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review 2017-11-08 00:39
An elephant trap! Sneaky elephant! Tembo Makaburi by John Isaac Jones
Tembo Makaburi - John Isaac Jones

This novella is set in the days before the ban on ivory. Walter Cravens is out to get his fortune by hunting elephants and taking their tusks. Abasi is a servant, guide, and translator to Cravens who is set on bringing ‘progress’ to Africa. An old woman tries to give him some advice, warns about the elephant graveyard. Of course, Cravens won’t be warned off.

I liked the mouse and cat game that Cravens plays with an old bull elephant as they go ever deeper into the wilds. Cravens comes off a little strong in his pompous attitude but it serves the plot well. He’s dead sure that no animal could outsmart him and he’s got the imperious attitude to prove it – ha!

Meanwhile, Abasi and the porters do all the work. In some ways Abasi is the true center of this story. He gathers all the intel (chatting up locals, doing the tracking) and lays it at the feet of the great White hunter Cravens. I liked that Abasi makes mistakes too and isn’t really averse to killing elephants even if he gets a bit spooked later on in the story. He’s not perfect but he’s not the hero of the tale either.

As the story progresses, the tension builds. Something a little supernatural is going on here, right? Or is it just that Cravens and Abasi are making idiot choices and Nature eventually wins out? It’s left up to the reader to decide and I really enjoyed this slant to the story. 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: JD Kelly has one of those rich voices that makes you want to listen to darn near anything that he reads. I loved his voice for Cravens and he also had a distinct voice for Abasi with a believable Swahili accent. Abasi’s fear and skepticism and placating charm all came through loud and clear even as Kelly made Cravens sound like a pompous jerk as he’s meant to be. 5/5 stars.

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text 2017-10-30 15:18
Clean slate
Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects (Influential Video Game Designers) - Jennifer deWinter,Carly A. Kocurek,Anastasia Salter
The snail-watcher, and other stories - Patricia Highsmith
The Naked Sun - Isaac Asimov

I turned in these and a bunch of other library books today, unfinished. I still have The Moai Island Puzzle and Ichi-F checked out. Let's see if I can manage to finish and review them in time. I still haven't made a decision about The Ginza Ghost.

 

It looks like I might not get that second Bingo before the end of Halloween Bingo, although I still plan to finish the book I was reading for my Vampires square, Alliance in Blood. At the moment it's highly unlikely to get more than 2 stars from me, and I can practically feel the review writing itself. I'm still shaking my head at the author's decision to have one of the characters tell another character everything that just happened. The entire convo was included on-page, even though readers had just seen it all themselves and didn't need it repeated back to them. No wonder this book is just the first part of what was originally one enormous book.

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review 2017-10-26 03:34
R is with Julie and that is all that matter
The Burning World: A Warm Bodies Novel (The Warm Bodies Series) - Isaac Marion

R is a zombie. 

 

And he is alive now because of Julie. 

 

Some evil corporation Axiom. They fake a negotiation and killed off the community, pretended to help and then take over.

 

Evil humans. Good zombies.  

 

The language is good and keep it pretty real. Julie and R were kidnapped and tortured. And one guy released them because he wanted some answers from R. Julie thanks the guy and he snapped at Julie, saying that she is too naive to thanks the guy who had kidnapped and tortured her in the first place. Good point. 

First half of the book is interesting. R is fighting to know himself. As a zombie with stolen memory from Perry. But memory is not a person. So who is he really? 

 

In the meantime, Abram, the brother of Perry is trying to survive. The running around bit seems a bit pointless, Not every zombie could be turned into a thinking good zombie, that include family member of Julie. Still enjoyable. 

 

Reading this for the Dead will Walk square. 

 

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review 2017-10-07 01:15
Practical skills from one generation to the next - Trapping Rabbits by John Isaac Jones
Trapping Rabbits - John Isaac Jones

This little piece of historical fiction centers on Billy Johnson. In 1951, he’s just a kid and it’s plowing season. Billy’s dad and two Black farm workers (Rufus & Calvin) are hard at work with the mules when a little rain shower comes along and work is paused. Billy’s dad doesn’t waste the time but instead uses it to teach Billy the useful skill of catching and killing rabbits.

I really liked this part of the story because it’s set on a farm, there are mules (I used to have donkeys and one of them was trained to plow), and there’s some parent-kid bonding going on. In today’s world of industrial meat farms, catching and killing rabbits isn’t a common skill to pass down but I think it’s a useful one to have. The author didn’t hold back on how to capture and kill rabbits, nor did he make the descriptions gruesome. It was simply a useful skill being passed on from one generation to the next.

The story is catapulted into 1975 for the second half of the tale. Billy is a functioning adult with a job and aspirations. In a conversation with a shoestring relative, he’s flung back to that moment in 1951 where his dad taught him about rabbits.

I was intrigued by the second half of this story. It was interesting to see Billy living and working in near-modern world with office buildings and packaged foods. However, the tale ends rather abruptly. I was left wondering what the point was and how Billy was affected by this unexpected trigger in 1975 that brought back 1951. I would have liked just a little more to finish this story out. We don’t know if Billy’s dad is alive in 1975 or not. Perhaps Billy would give him a call or visit his grave or simply toast his memory with a scotch.

In short, the tale started off interesting and gripping. Then there’s the sudden jump in timeline but the story holds promise for interesting times. Then it simply ends abruptly.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: James Kiser was a good fit for this story. He had a kid voice for Billy and then an adult voice for him. There was only 1 female character but Kiser had a believable voice for her. He captured the dramatic bits as well as the in-between moments well.

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review 2017-10-03 12:50
Winter Warning: An Isaac Sidel Novel - Jerome Charyn

Winter Warning by Jerome Charyn
First book I've read in this series and it's the final one. Wish I had read from the very first book. A lot to me didn't make sense til towards the end.
Characters were introduced by the bundles as things were being brought into the plot.
Reminds me a lot of the Last Survivor a story on TV where a man was pushed to take over for the president who died in a white house bombing.
So much, as in that show were brought forth in this book and took it to the next level as we learn about other things in the past and present and future that will make a difference to the country.
Love the travel and all mercenary and wild things, super natural beings but they are explained. Nicknames for some were hilarious but they fit the picture in your mind.
Love hearing of the razzia and can't wait to teach my grandson about it as we play army guys.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

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