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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-24 19:52
Reading Anniversaries & First-in-a-Series — April Edition

 

I know I am way behind schedule but I have been really busy what with switching jobs, earning money, and losing an important my mamujan (maternal uncle) to Parkinson’s! Please bear with me…

 

2014

 

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Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

 

So, this is weird. I didn’t have many good reads during the past Aprils. Hopefully, that will change in the future. This book stood out because I read it while still following the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. The husband-wife duo seemed to write a book that made me like the main leads again — even if I didn’t fall in love with them the way I did with Kate & Curran and still haven’t!

 

 

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The Year-God’s Daughter by Rebecca Lochlann

 

 

Find my review here.

 

2013

 

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Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

 

Witty characters, a female protagonist, Victorian sensibilities, and impossible situations, this book should have been an instant favorite of mine. It wasn’t! Maybe, it didn’t capture my interest because I read it after finishing The Parasol Protectorate series. It could also be a lack of hilarious courtship between the protags that made it less interesting.

 

Whatever it was, I am glad I continued because the subsequent books are better.

 

 

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The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

 

It has been 5 years since I read this book, so I don’t remember much. What did remain behind was the authentic display of the life of a soldier. It was that and not the story that made me go out and buy the omnibus edition. And it won’t be anything else that will get me to read the graphic novel version either!

 

P.S. I reviewed the prequel here and the second in the series (via infographic– it has skulls in it, so you might wanna check it out) here.

 

 

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

 

When I read this book, I felt as if I’d read something that had shades of both Wilde and Dahl. I still feel the same about the subsequent books in this series. There is nonsensical fun and razor-sharp wit that makes me want to keep reading. They aren’t overly long either, so that is another plus. Of course, the protagonist being female and used to fighting her own battles doesn’t detract the reader from its beauty. If I remember correctly, this one featured a villain who had no ulterior motives — he only wanted to destroy the world!

 

More praises here and here

 

For the books read in 2017 and 2018, you know where to go…

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text 2018-03-09 09:21
Alf Widdershaine
Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde

His arrogant and confident manner had given way to a lonely desperation, and as his eyes met mine I saw tears spring up and his lips tremble. It was, to a committed Schitt-hater like myself, a joyous spectacle.

 

Was für ein herrlich abstruses Buch! Ich dachte beim Lesen unweigerlich an Dirk Gently (in Form der Serie, nicht des Buchs) und dass man hieraus eine ebenso bunte und verrückte Serie machen könnte. Tolle Vorstellung :D

 

Ich bin mir nicht sicher, wie viele Witze ich verpasst habe, aber es sind genug übrig geblieben um giggelnd in den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln zu sitzen und sich zu freuen. Dabei hatte ich aber nie den Eindruck, dass es erzwungene Komik war, die irgendwann ausgelutscht war. Der Plot an sich ist dabei noch nicht mal so spannend, oder vielleicht spielt er auch einfach nur eine untergeordnete Rolle (in meinem Kopf?), weil der Alltag an sich schon genug Spannung bereithält. Mir gefällt die Vorstellung dieser Parallelwelt, in der man in Büchern - im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes - ein und ausgehen kann.

 

Größte Begeisterung hier, die war nach dem ersten Buch der Serie nicht da :)

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-01 08:59
February 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 1, 2018.

 

 

 

Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill

 

Several things about this book annoyed the heck outta me, including:

I have begun to detest Jamie who is a Mary Sue if there ever was one!

 

Talbot stared at Jamie, admiration on his face. “Bravo”, he said. “There are men and women a lot older than you who fail to understand that. You’re absolutely right…”

 

He is the youngest this and the smartest that while also being the best at everything! Oh, and he actually left his female friends behind because he “couldn’t bear if anything happened to you”. One of them is a vampire with superstrength and other powers. Both of them are members of a covert organization that keeps the supes under check. They are at least as old as Jamie is.

 

The worst part: they let him They understood he was just worried about them. Needlessly worried but Jamie’s just so sweet, y’know? Ugh!

 

There are at least two instances of a character who looked as if about to say something but “then the door rolled shut with a loud thunk.

 

Every development was repeated endlessly. If one character found out about it, they’d tell the others and we’d be there for every conversation!

 

We are almost 65% into the story and a new character who is supposed to be dead shows up. And I am not even talking about the other character who also died in the first book and showed up in this one alive. At least, that guy had the decency to arrive right from the start!

 

We also spend a lot of time learning about people who have nothing to add to the story. Seemed like filler so the book would swell up to 560+ pages.

 

So yeah, bad experience! Read my review of the first book here.

 

 

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

 

During my second visit to Discworld, I discovered the following to be true:

Luggage is my favorite character:

“The Luggage said nothing, but louder this time.” 

And then there is all the Pratchett-ness to love and laugh at:

“It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as ‘slightly foxed’, although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.” 

 

 

 

 

A big part of that is because he can poke fun at almost anything. Have a look at his disregard for the Asgardian deities:

In fact the Gods were as puzzled by all this as the wizards were, but they were powerless to do anything and in any case were engaged in an eons-old battle with the Ice Giants, who had refused to return the lawnmower.

Also, I finally figured out that I am Twoflower. Evidence:

It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate beauty, he just appreciates it in his own way. I mean, if a poet sees a daffodil he stares at it and writes a long poem about it, but Twoflower wanders off to find a book on botany.

That Rincewind will stay true to his character. Even when he has a chance to be less cowardly, he does the expected…or the unexpected!

A fun book and quickly finished.

 

 

The Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milán

 

One of the complaints that I had after reading the first book:

Insufficient dino-action. Yeah, that complaint wasn’t reirst bmotely true for this one. Epic dino-battles shook the world like literally!

A quote that stayed with me:

Through the trees on the far heights emerged a colossal silvery-grey shape. Even the Companions gaped: it was a Tirán Rey, a bull Tyrannosaurus rex, most feared of all Aphrodite Terra’s dinosaurs. Even at this range Jaume could see the monster dwarfed Falk’s albino adolescent Snowflake.
“Beautiful,” murmured Rupp. “He must weigh seven tonnes!”
Jaume found a smile inside himself. “You shame us, my friend, finding Beauty where even we find only terror.”

The other complaints, such as the princess being a pain in the butt, remained as they were. In fact, she was even more of a pain in this one. She is improving but her getting her friends killed in every scene can get tiresome!

We finally get to see the Grey Angels in action and it is pretty much horrifying what they can do. I loved every bit of it!

I wanted to rush in to read the next book in the series immediately but found out that the author recently passed away.  Sad sad news but it made me want to save the last book to read later. Because there will be no more Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park hybrids for us!

 

 

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

 

Thursday Next steals people’s hearts and I am no exception. She gets into all sorts of literary trouble but handles it in a no-nonsense way. She is into solving problems and not whining. Next also isn’t afraid to ask for help or doesn’t judge people by their looks, species, gender, or whether they are real or not. I like her; it is likely that you will too!

 

Plus, the humor in this series is decidedly Douglas Adams-ish! Next named her son Friday Next. Has a pet dodo whose son is a hooligan and doesn’t have the decency to go Plock. He goes Plick just to be contrary! This book also had cameos by the Cheshire Cat, Hamlet, and many other literary darlings.

 

 

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

 

I was reading reviews for this book on GR and people seem to think it was dull, cheesy, and repetitive. I don’t get how it can take them 8 books to realize that! Since I will be reading it anyway, why bitch?

 

 

Endurance by Jay Lake

 

I wonder how I ever got along with the protag from this series — well enough to have completed the first book! She is annoying, reckless, rude, manipulative, and as if that wasn’t enough, she also thinks she is better than everybody else! Should I explain it all away by saying that is how teenagers are? I don’t think I should!

 

There were other issues that made this a difficult read, such as the copious amount of foreshadowing. If only she had known…if only she had done that…and so on! Aptly placed and lightly done foreshadowing is always welcome but this book didn’t have it.

The only part that made me laugh:

though five centuries past this had been the very pinnacle of architectural taste in Copper Downs.
A good education never went to waste. If I did die here, at least I would have the comfort of knowing I’d passed on amid high style.

The only part that stayed with me:

I wondered how it had been for the miners, back in the morning of the world. Had they broken open the crust of the world only to find a population of haunts and legends already awaiting them? Or had they brought their fears with them on first creating the Below?

Some readers might like the endless descriptions of everything that was around the protag at any given time but I didn’t!

So, there. If I do read the next one in the series, I wouldn’t be reviewing it.

 

 

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

 

An okayish installment since I wasn’t too worried about anything bad happening. After the horror stories we were told about Underhill, a visit to the place didn’t have that intensity or scariness.

 

Then there is the Walking Stick. I think the author got that it was turning into a deus ex machina and got rid of it — even if it took her the whole book to do that!

 

And, of course, Mercy didn’t shift. Not even once.

 

The good things about this one:

1. No Stefan. I have no idea why he was even introduced in the series

 

2. Adam finally realized what his pack had been doing to Mercy since like forever. I mean what he did next was the worst thing he could have done but at least, he opened his eyes.

 

3. A Doctor WHO reference!

 

 

4. The scary-ass little not-really-human but not-fae-either kid that the pack had to provide shelter to! He broke my heart by being so broken.

 

I hope the next installment is more exciting!

 

 

Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman

 

 

 

The book refers to a backstory that I read and reviewed before. You will find the review here.

 

 

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

 

Something about this series makes me think not-YA. It could be that the main characters are struggling with darkness and the struggle is real. Whatever it is, while the story failed to wow me — and I could see the major reveal coming from a mile away —, I still liked the book.

 

So, this is what I did in February. What have you been doing?

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review 2017-10-24 00:00
The Eyre Affair
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde This book throws right in so it took me a minute to get my bearings. It's in an alternate reality. Books are a huge deal. Parts can come to life. Throw in some time travel and comedy. There are murders and robberies. There are government agents trying to bring down criminals disrupting lives and stories. I enjoyed it. I'll be continuing the series.
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review 2017-09-19 13:16
Magic world with teenager managing a home improvement service by magic
The Last Dragonslayer - Jasper Fforde

 

 

 

This book fits Magic Realism, Chilling Children and probably Witches. 

 

Reading this one now. More like a magical world where wizards would take care of moles problem with charms. 

 

Sound like fun. 

 

Oh my goodness. This story is great. 

 

Jennifer Strange is 15 and going on 16. She manages a magic service agency that do delivery by flying carpet and finding missing items by magic.

 

She is trying to find out about a prophecy that Big Magic with capital letter M is happening because the last dragon is going to be killed.

 

The story moves smoothly and then a lot of real life issues happened in this fantasy land. 

 

Like it a lot. Looking forward to the next one.  

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