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review 2017-09-13 20:51
Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey - My Thoughts
Taste of Marrow - Sarah Gailey

I pre-ordered this book (something I very very seldom do) because I enjoyed the first, River of Teeth, so much.  It was fresh it, it was different, it was intriguing and it was well written and peopled with lovely characters.  This book, Taste of Marrow, was still all that, but at a lower level, I'm afraid. 

Now, both books are novellas and I honestly think the story suffered from that in two ways.  First off, I felt that the story over both needed more fleshing out.  I wanted more... depth?  No, because what's there is plenty deep enough, but it just seemed that I wasn't getting the whole story as I should be.  I wanted more meat. 

And secondly, I don't know why it had to be split over two novellas.  The first half of this one, I didn't really understand why one of the main characters was so manically obsessed with finding one of the others - big love notwithstanding.  I still don't get why it was so manic and I suppose I'd have to go back and read the first one again to see.  And I only read that one in May!  Anyway, put them both together in one normal sized novel - it would only be 75K words or 260 some odd pages.  Not even CLOSE to epic.  *LOL*   I also had trouble remembering why one of the bad characters was so important to the whole story.  So yeah... a single novel please? 

The other thing that I found bothered me again was the gender-neutral use of the pronoun 'they'. It's bloody confusing, I'm sorry.  I apologise if that sounds insulting in anyway.  I have absolutely NO problem with gender-neutral/fluid people.  It's just that the word, after 55+ years of reading and 60 years of talking indicates more than one person to me.  I was confused so many times looking for the second or other people in the scene.  It brought me up short and took me right out of the story.  Which saddens me because I had to take off a .5 star for that because it did impact my enjoyment of the book. 

So yeah, I was somewhat disappointed by Taste of Marrow.  I do hope the author continues to write in this universe however, and maybe even with some of the same characters. 

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review 2017-03-13 15:11
Wildcat by Sara Paretsky
Wildcat: V. I. Warshawski's First Case (Kindle Single) - Sara Paretsky

A fun little story!
I wouldn't call it V.I's first case so much as her introduction to bad guys. She didn't really go on a case, but was being a nosy child chasing things she maybe shouldn't have.
It made for a good, quick read though. It also helped shape why V.I. became the private detective that she did. This incident would have created that whole spark.
I loved the movie, so it was nice to read a story with a familiar character. I definitely want to read more now too!

 

 

Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2017/03/wildcat-by-sara-paretsky-7.html
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review 2017-02-25 14:05
Blood Ran Cold (A Kindle Single) - Sten Ostberg

Snowy, cold Norway in the depths of winter. Karl and Marte Vollan are leaving for the hospital to give birth, when a hooded stranger leaps in front of their car, preventing it from moving. What does he want and more to the point why has he chosen to come to their house? This is a short, intense story with great descriptions of the cold, the snow and of a terrifying situation. There's violence, so not recommended if you are of faint heart and probably not the best book to read if you live in a cold climate and have to go out in the dark! This was interesting enough for me to read something else by this author.

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review 2017-01-03 22:12
“The Junior Arsonist’s Club” by Craig Tollifson – weird but in a contrived way
The Junior Arsonists Club (Kindle Single) - Craig Tollifson

I close the audible ap, pull out the earbuds, stare into space, looking for my opinion of the book I’ve just finished. A single phrase writes itself across the back of my eyes:

 

“Well THAT happened”

 

I’m not entirely sure what THAT was.

 

I know having Amy McFadden reading it carried me along in the hope of something truly good but, although I tried to stay positive as I iourneyed through this tale of a repressed woman, in a loveless marriage, with a twelve year old daughter, newly adopted from a Russian orphanage, who has a passionate desire to set fire to the sofa, I couldn’t put aside the sense that what I was reading was fake.

 

I’m sure this was meant to be quirky, with a coating of zaney around a soft-centre of difficult truths. What I got was something that tried too hard, was self-conscious rather than self-aware and seemed to arrive nowhere in particular.

 

I’m sure there are people who will love this. I’m just not one of them. Another phrase comes to mind that sums this up: “It’s nice work if you can get it, but I don’t get it.”

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review 2016-12-18 00:00
Virgins: An Outlander Novella (Kindle Single)
Virgins: An Outlander Novella (Kindle Single) - Diana Gabaldon ~*Full review and details on The Bent Bookworm!*~

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"The Virgins" felt short-story in length to me, though I think it’s actually classified as a novella. I read it in less than an hour though, so…maybe I just read fast? The hardcover addition available from The Book Depository is 256 pages…which I don’t understand since my e-book version was only 86 pages! HUGE difference there and I feel slightly cheated, but it doesn’t seem that there’s actually a difference in content. HOW.

Feels:

I was so happy to be back with Jamie and Ian! Seeing them before Claire came to Scotland, and seeing Jamie so soon after all the horrific events that we only see in flashback in the the full length novels, was both heartrending and exciting. I also really enjoyed that this story was just straight-up historical fiction, no woo-woo added. Not that I haven’t enjoyed those aspects of the novels, but this was just the down and dirty, the nitty-gritty. Even for such a short story, I was totally invested back into the characters and their world.

Characters:

Jamie and Ian are SO YOUNG! They distinctly remind me of my own 17-year-old brother in the way they react to some things. This is Jamie before he became the confident, skilled warrior we meet in [b:Outlander|10964|Outlander (Outlander #1)|Diana Gabaldon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1402600310s/10964.jpg|2489796]. This is Ian before Jenny. This is both of them as complete virgins in every sense of the word, and they are gregarious, lovable, and heartbreaking. Also cringe-worthy at a few points. I swear I can almost smell the teen-boy sweat coming off of them.

The secondary characters here are interesting and colorful, but I didn’t get attached to any of them. I was rather hoping someone would drive a dagger through a certain female person’s heart, but alas. Despite my non-attachment, I was devastated after a particular scene near the end. Not so much because of who died, but because of how it affected Jamie.
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Plot:

The main line of the plot doesn’t become apparent right away. First, we’re thrown into Jamie and Ian’s meeting almost immediately after Jamie’s escape from Black Jack Randall. This, I think, is where it becomes apparent that this story is not to introduce a reader to Outlander. This story is for the fans. I loved it, naturally. However, the actual plot starts off a bit slow. Does it work? Yes. But I think it was secondary to showing us a young Jamie and Ian and just how they actually thought of each other.
“Did ye not mean to go to Confession yourself?” Jamie asked, stopping near the church’s main door. There was a priest in the confessional; two or three people stood a discreet distance away from the carved wooden stall, out of earshot, waiting.

“It’ll bide,” Ian said, with a shrug. “If ye’re goin’ to hell, I might as well go, too. God knows, ye’ll never manage alone.”


Setting/Description:

As usual, Diana’s writing appears to be impeccably researched. I’m not a historian, but the amount of detail and care is obvious.
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Rating/Notes:

Overall, I’m giving 4 stars. I do think part of my rating is due to HOW MUCH I love these characters. The writing itself doesn’t seem quite as polished as in the books, but it’s difficult to lay a finger on what gave me that impression. Especially in the beginning, some things felt just a little bit forced. Once everything got started it moved along smoothly, and as usual Gabaldon is a fabulous storyteller. I would recommend reading immediately after the original Outlander, but it would be perfect for Outlander fans at any point in the series!
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