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review 2018-11-09 14:39
Firestarter ★★★★☆
Firestarter - Stephen King,Dennis Boutsikaris

There is a lot to like in this story. The concept has always fascinated me, especially given the veneer of plausibility as the US government does have a well-documented history of unethical human experimentation and has had programs investigating psychic phenomena. So the setup, and the description of Charlie and Andy McGee’s wild talents, the psychological manipulations, and the action scenes are wonderfully entertaining. The characters who people The Shop are fantastic.


But the book is not without its problems. The pacing is awful, dragging endlessly in spots until the final third of the book. This is also very much a book of its time, with now cringe-inducing stereotypes toward race, gender, and sex. Charlie, who is only 7 years old, behaves with a maturity and critical thinking ability far beyond her years, even for a child who has spent all her life having to conceal her essential self and years on the run from deadly government agents.


Audiobook, via Audible. The performance by Dennis Boutsikaris is excellent.


I read this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season, for the Guy Fawkes Night door; the book task: Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.

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text 2018-11-07 12:23
Firestarter - 26%
Firestarter - Stephen King,Dennis Boutsikaris

Oh dear, this story has gotten so dated. 

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text 2018-11-06 12:58
Firestarter - 0%
Firestarter - Stephen King,Dennis Boutsikaris

It's a re-read, but I've never actually written a review for this one, so I decided to use it for the Guy Fawkes Night book. Obviously, there is arson, both intentional and accidental. 

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review 2018-10-25 20:59
This may be Burt and Ernie but it's not the children's version...
Hiding the Moon - Amy Lane


If you haven't read 'Racing for the Sun' or the first 3 books in Ms Lane's 'Fish Out of Water' series...specifically 'A Few Good Fish' I strongly recommend reading them because for me while there's a lot of overlap between those two books and this one. 'Hiding the Moon' does more than retell events from 'Racing the Sun' or 'Fish Out of Water' it's the link that solidifies the connection between these books.


We first met Lee Burton (Burt) in 'Racing for the Sun' when he came to the aid of Sonny and Ace finding not only men in need of his help but friends who would offer him a safe place to go when he needed it for himself or for a rather unusual young man with a talent for knowing things that he shouldn't and for being a diversion that Lee finds he can't live without.


It's not until 'A Few Good Fish' that we meet Ernie. When Burt is given the task of 'taking out' Ernie. He sees someone who is not a threat to national security or a terrorist of any kind but a young man who makes him want and distracts him but Burt tries to convince himself that he needs to walk away from Ernie but the heart wants what the heart wants and for Burt his heart wants Ernie.


While much of 'Hiding the Moon' takes place during the the same time frame as events from 'A Few Good Fish'. It's not Jackson and Ellery's lives or perspective that we're following and it's not until later in the story that Jackson and Ellery become a more direct part of events but even then for me Ernie and Burt were still the main focus of what was happening.


I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of stories that are retold from a different perspective quite honestly I find them to be boring and repetitive more often than not. That was not the case for me with this story and I think that one of the main reasons for this is that 'Hiding the Moon' isn't about retracing the actions of  Jackson and Ellery but finding out what others were doing at that time...specifically Burt and Ernie with a bit of Sonny and Ace thrown in since they also play a role in both of the books that I've mentioned.


I liked Burt in 'Racing for the Sun' and was pleasantly surprised to see him resurface in 'A Few Good Fish' but here in 'Hiding the Moon' seeing Burt and Ernie's relationship as it evolves has been absolutely delightful. I loved having a closer look at how these two met and their lives came to be tangled together.


Ernie may seem like someone who's partying their way through life with drugs and too much sex but he's so much more. Ernie's what some people would call gifted and when his gift gets noticed by the wrong people...his life is no longer his own. And it's only through a streak of luck that Burt is the one who is given the assignment to terminate Ernie. 


While I enjoyed the additional perspective into the events from 'A Few Good Fish' for me the best part was seeing Burt and Ernie's relationship grow from their first meeting and their interactions. On one hand we have Lee Burton by the book, black ops, military man, solid, dependable, a good man who's job is something bigger and then we have Ernie gifted with psychic abilities, so much more self sufficient than he seems, strong in ways that are less obvious than Burt's strength but someone who's lonely and wants nothing more than to have a family to call his own.


From start to finish this book was a total pleasure to read and I loved Burt and Ernie as individuals and as a couple they were delightful. My one niggle here is that I want more Burt and Ernie (yes, I do love that it's Burt and Ernie). I'd love a story that gave us more about their life maybe picking up where this story leaves off...it's just a wish I have.



An ARC of 'Hiding the Moon' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-10-21 15:43
Kill Creek ★★★★☆
Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard Setaro Clark

How many ghost stories have I read where a group of people are invited to spend the night in a supposedly haunted house? Well, I don’t know, but it seems like about a gazillion. This one, though, was just different enough to thoroughly enjoy the modern twist where the guests are all horror authors – although each of very different and distinct styles – and the host is a celebrity producer of viral internet marketing schemes. While each character is a Type, they are not caricatures, and even the most dislikeable ones are still sympathetic in some way. The story is a bit of a slow burn, where there are merely hints of the unexplainable through the first half, but there will be plenty of graphic blood and gore by the end, with a final twist that took me by surprise.


I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000. Kill Creek was published in 2017.

Audiobook, via Audible. I really enjoyed the narration by  Bernard Setaro Clark.


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