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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-06 08:07
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–February Edition


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 6, 2018.






Magno Girl by Joe Canzano

An old review:


What I Thought:


the book was about a female superhero…but the book was not from the superhero’s POV but the guy dating her!


some of the jokes and situations were too funny and silly — I loved them! — but the jokes did get tiring at the end


I enjoyed every conversation that Magno Girl had with her mother. They were all laugh out loud funny! It also made sense that Sandra would use the issues that Magno Girl had as a curse.


All kinds of discrimination were made fun of and I liked how the author made us see the silliness when it comes to advertising, pregnancy etc. but the MCs continuously joked about the short stature of one of the villains.


The character of the teenage girl who became increasingly vapid was fun to read about but her curse was made into such a big deal and then it was solved just like that!

Legalman was my favorite character — he would find a reason to sue you even if it killed him you!


I do not know what it was but I kept wanting to put the book away and could not gobble it in one go. I kept wanting to enjoy it and get hooked but that didn’t happen. That is why, I am rating it 2.5 rather than 3 stars. However, if you want to try something unusual and funny, Magno Girl is a good idea!






Botanicaust by Tam Linsey


Another old review:


What I liked:


the concept this story was based on was really interesting and it didn’t disappoint, as I read ahead

the cover--suited!

all three races, if they can be called that, were as different as day and night but the most advanced ones-I forget what they’re called- were the scariest!

the author did research and it showed-I loved the part about telomerase and the chloroplasts, as well as the part about Ripening.

the ending wasn’t impractical-it was quite realistic

I sort of threw a tantrum when one of the little girls was taken by the cannibals-I’m pretty sure we’ll see her again, if there’s going to be a sequel but still!


What I didn’t like:


the whole people turning into cannibals part wasn’t too well-thought. If plants will grow in one place, surely people will work to grow them elsewhere.


If you want to read about photosynthesizing people, cannibals and an apocalyptic world, give this one a try-it doesn’t disappoint!






Eona by Alison Goodman


Epic YA fantasy that is fun, not just about winning the boy, and about an imperfect protag. She also happens to have powers that have been denied to women of that world ever since the beginning of time. This series broke tradition in another way i.e. by not being a trilogy but was instead a duology! I devoured it and then reached for the second one. Recommending it recently to a friend made me realize that its magic remained in place!





World War Z by Max Brooks


Huh, so I did write a review for this one back when I read it:


This book is all kinds of good. I love the scope of the book since it gives you a global perspective of a zombie apocalypse. It also follows the progression of the zombie infection as it spread universally. Moreover, it sketches a situation that has its roots based on reality, when talking about the aftermath of the infection.


An addendum:

Looking at the world today, I think it wouldn’t be remiss if I objected that the two countries to start a nuclear war would be Pakistan and India. The rest of the world presents us with more likely candidates!






The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


People have called it verbose and boring. But I found the writing lyrical and the magic of love…well magical! The book made quite an impression on me.





Zombie Nights by Tom Lichtenberg


An old review:


This is a highly entertaining short story and instantly made me want to start reading other books by the same author. The author didn’t waste time in describing things that weren’t important to the story and I loved how he was able to let us feel how dangerous the bad guys/bullies were, even while laughing at them. All I’m saying is I want more!





Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist


Another one:


Okay, so I want to rate this book 4 stars but what stopped me was my pet peeve-unnecessary details involving characters who weren’t important to the story. Other than that, the book is amazing for several reasons:

the vampire is a little girl (almost)-who wouldn’t want to read about that, right?
the vampire kills and there’s no covering that up-no sexy smooth talking vegetarians here.

you connect with both the kids intensely-when Oskar gets bullied, I wanted to go save him.

the violence and the sadness and the loneliness just gets to you..chokes you up and keeps you reading.

be warned, you WILL need Teddy Bears if you want to get through this book with the least bit of depression

the ending..well it takes the cake!


I haven’t seen the movie yet (any version)and will add to my review once I do.





Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost


This one too:


Loved this book!!

The story opened in the perfect way.

I loved every bit of the action and of course, it had one of my most favorite things in it-a kick ass, smart-mouthed heroine.

I did not like Bones right away. But gradually, he became awesomer and more awesome.
Another thing which always tips the scales for me is good humor and this book had that down pat.

I also loved Spades and would want to read more about him and meet Ian.

There was no one big bad wolf until the very end and I liked that–it made the story more interesting.

Oh and I hated the mom’s guts like I was supposed to.

It was only the too-typical ending that kept me from rating this book 4 stars.


Onward to the next one!

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review 2017-10-22 18:15
Little Star, by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Little Star: A Novel - John Ajvide Lindqvist

After seeing the recent adaptation of Stephen King's It, I was inspired to delve into a big, fat horror novel (I already read It a few summers ago); plus, 'tis the season. John Ajvide Lindqvist has been referred to as Sweden's Stephen King, and I can see why. What I like most about King's writing is his characterization: characters feel like real people, no matter how fantastical, or evil. Little Star is my second Lindqvist novel, and he has a similar gift for creating engaging characters.


In some ways, though, I find his horror even more frightening than King's. He has a way of providing the details that are often skipped over in horror movies, such as the way the human body reacts to terror. Acts of violence are shockingly brutal (early in the novel a husband savagely breaks his wife's kneecap). He also appears to be interested in children as protagonists, especially girls. Little Star, like Let the Right One In, the other Lindqvist novel I read, features two children as the characters who drive the narrative. One (Theres) does not seem to be quite human (like the vampire in the latter novel), while the other (Theresa) is a human who is an outcast (like the boy who befriends the vampire). Each one's story is told separately at first, including their parents' points of view, until they meet--virtually and then in person. At this point we know the two will be frightening together.


Much of this novel details the angst and alienation of young girls, which can be painful to read if you're a woman who felt like an outsider at some point during your childhood. That alienation is weaponized; it's a freight train whose collision you can't stop but also can't look away from. It reminded me of Dietland, which I read a while ago and is not a horror novel, or even Kill the Boy Band and The Girls. I suppose I'm drawn to stories where patriarchal suppression erupts in violence.


I was left with a question or two, including Theres's origins (she's left to die as an infant in a forest before being discovered) and the red smoke she and the girls feed on. I also wanted a bit more of Theres's adoptive mother's perspective at the beginning.


Despite these questions, this novel shocked, disturbed, and awed me. I tore through it. AND I learned about several Swedish pop stars!

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review 2017-08-11 02:56
Harbor - John Ajvide Lindqvist

This memorable story is perhaps...a bit too long.


When people say that, is it normal to know what should be cut, edited out?  And if a reader doesn't know exactly where a book is too long--where sections should be cut, so that..."ahh! that's much better! you get rid of those bits, and the book is better!'--if I don't know what should be jettisoned, do I have any right to just say "well I dunno...it's just too long and that's all I have to say about that. case closed. so there.".


The only thing I can tell you is: for a book that seems to be at heart a story about a father's search for his missing child--possibly made missing by malevolence of a supernatural nature--we certainly get everything but the kitchen sink. strike that--several scenes are at or near various kitchen sinks. One might say that Simon--a magical, enigmatic presence in the book, with special, slimy little pal in a matchbox who grants him power over water--almost seems to want to emerge as the star player. But then his storyline fades a bit, moves aside for Anna-Greta, who moves aside as required, so we can meet more characters who are very important in long flashbacks; maybe these characters are still around, in the present-day setting, or not. There's a lot to cover, and it is hard to see where the focus of the story really lies, at times. And just when it feels like the entire community is the "main character' (and somehow at odds with some old curse, or ancient force, that has staked a claim on, perhaps, all the various souls that make up the doomed harbourtown and adjacent island), just when a reader says "ah-ha! the magic key: I'm being given everything, because everything is important! It's all One!"...just when peace is achieved with the book's vast, all-encompassing scope with its myriad cursed kitchen sinks from which haunted, transformative water gushes forth...the book does a dirty and boils itself way down to Anders searching for little Maja again. And a reader shrugs, and thinks: "okay, well, most of what came earlier is somehow linked to this, has fed into this, mostly...".


And so, that's the negative way of looking at it. But it's a 4 Star book. Why? Because even when I wandered around--at the author's insistence--getting to know anything of any significance that is happening, or did happen, in and around Domaro, and feel like Anders doesn't know how to take the lead in his own story (and occasionally feel like Simon started strong and then faded), it's a beautiful, compelling read. It doesn't go off the rails; it's just a really big heavy train, that certainly cannot be accused of being one-track-minded.


So if you like a Horror novel that makes sure the macrocosm is always taken care of and on display, no matter how much the microcosm is ultimately the real juice (ie. Anders' plight), the sweep of Harbor will work for you as much as it ended up doing for me. And it is fair to say--in the end--that everything Anders does to try and rescue Maja, if that's even feasible after her impossible disappearance into thin air near a creepy lighthouse one day, will affect Domaro and everyone who lives there...and, maybe, even those who once lived there. Some monsters can wreak stranger havoc than others...


Beautifully done, if a bit tough to see, at the end, how it all fit together and contributed, in its many parts, to the whole. Of all the Ramsey Campbell books this reminds me of, I am left thinking back to John Crowley's Little, Big, in terms of final feelings: "it's a gorgeous tale, but there sure is a lot of gorgeous to sort out.".

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text 2017-08-10 14:55
Reading progress update: I've read 370 out of 500 pages.
Harbor - John Ajvide Lindqvist

extended flashbacks reveal the strange, grisly fate of Anders' father--but also, how Anders and Cecilia bonded. meanwhile, in the present situation at Domaro, the older, broken Anders seems to be undergoing a sort of madness that brings with it a cruel kind of clarity, but other residents are just going mad. violently mad. is anyone themselves anymore?

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text 2017-08-10 03:08
Reading progress update: I've read 326 out of 500 pages.
Harbor - John Ajvide Lindqvist

I didn't do 50 more pages of this tonight, like I thought I would. instead...20 pages, and a bit more of that Martin Edwards book. Harbor reminds me more of Ramsey Campbell than Stephen King, at this point--specifically, Campbell's slower, moodier efforts, such as The Darkest Part Of The Woods, or Midnight Sun. if things slow down too much, I'm not inclined to give 5 stars, but we're still talking about some effective Horror, in these cases. Ramsey Campbell's The Hungry Moon also comes to mind as I get deep into Harbor, but I think that book had gotten a bit more intense and openly nasty, by this point in the proceedings. other books that have come to mind as I have enjoyed this book: Bag Of Bones (yes, that King yarn did occur to me, although I'm enjoying this a lot more, and it has gone in a somewhat different direction); The Shipping News (an odd one to suddenly recall...or, maybe not so much); Hex (still very fresh in my mind); Dan Simmons' The Terror, and even some rather chilly Murder Mysteries, like The Coldest Blood (Kelly), and The Ice Princess (Lackberg).

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