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review 2017-03-21 02:49
Ink and Shadows (Ink and Shadows #1) by Rhys Ford
Ink and Shadows - Rhys Ford

UPDATE:
While reading the length of this book, one star. <----- That pretty much sums up the state of editing in this book. Hence the rating.

==================

I was sooooo looking froward to this book! This is pre-Kai Gracen universe, I was told. But the moment I dug in.... *sigh* I expected horror elements, of course, but not like this :/

This is a horror, alright. This. Is. Frigging terrible. Who "edited" this book? They really need to be fired. Like 3 years ago. Before this mess came out :/

Warning: Misplaced modifiers, POV ping-pong, adjectives (ab)used as nouns.

I lost the story behind this terror! :/ Sure, horror was never my poison, but it's on me, not the author. I still love Kai Gracen, but he certainly received much more attention from people who somewhat know how to apply English grammar to a written text. It wasn't perfect, but it was readable. Lack of editing in its entirety, however, I cannot forgive. Not where it comes to a published book. Not when that book costs you 7 bucks :/

I am beyond disappointed and this.... this close to DNF.


66% After acquiring a massive headache that not even sake can heal, I am DNF-ing. My brains says No. More!

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review 2017-03-05 23:26
Word of Honor (Knights of Honor) (Volume 1) - Alexa Aston

This is a story full of ups and downs. Merryn and Geoffrey have some moments of despair and brutality throughout a life of love. Watching Geoffrey overcome his issues with the help of Merryn's determination and love kept me turning the pages. Just when everything looked rosy, another curve is introduced. I enjoyed the characters, and my heart became engaged in the story as it unfolded. I recommend this story and look forward to more in this series.

I received a copy of this book through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2017-02-13 15:54
did not like Jaeger himself, but a solid 4 star.
Jaeger - Evelise Archer
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book.
 
US Marshal Jaeger is in witness protection, and he despises those who have turned state witness to save their own miserable hides. But Wren is different. Wren pushes buttons in Jaeger he didn't know needed pushing. Wren makes him think, about after work, about life, about love. But first, Jaeger has to keep them both alive long enough for Wren to testify against his family.
 
I did NOT (underlined, block capitals, bold script, just it case it loses the emphasis when I copy and paste this!) like Jaeger. NOT AT ALL. He is a far..colder...harsher person than those who came before him in this series. He does not like playing baby sitter to snitches and he makes no bones about showing it. He will use a client in any way he wants. And he wants Wren with a passion he knew not that he carried.
 
But Jaeger is just.....Jaeger, you know?? And I can't find the right words to describe him and you know how I hate not being able to say what I want!
 
Moriel does go against what he has been doing in that he gives Jaeger a second chance to redeem himself with this incarnation of the other half of his soul. And Moriel is, in his own words, "old and tired" Makes me think. Makes me wonder what he'll do in any future books.
 
Which leads me to ask, will there be more?? I hope so. I'd like to read them too. I'm enjoying watching different authors deal with the 'love, kill, rinse, and repeat' theme, I really am.
 
As much as I did not like Jaeger, I did enjoy his story. Oh, I also liked that besides Jaeger and Wren, another character has a say. I'm not gonna say who, or what he has to say but I will say this: that character made his bed, and he has to lie in it!
 
Even though Jaeger himself didn't quite work for me, its still a....
 
4 star read.
 
**same worded review will appear on: Goodreads, Booklikes, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble**

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-02 22:38
Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue - Maajid Nawaz,Sam Harris

'Liberals imagine that jihadists and islamists are acting as anyone else would given a similar history of unhappy encounters with the West. And they totally discount the role that religious beliefs play in inspiring a group like the Islamic State - to the point where it would be impossible for a jihadist to prove he was doing anything for religious reasons. Apparently it's not enough for an educated person with economic opportunities to devote himself to the most extreme and austere version of Islam, to articulate his religious reasons for doing so ad nauseam, and even to go as far as to confess his certainty about martyrdom on video before blowing himself up in a crowd. Such demonstrations of religious fanaticism are somehow considered rhetorically insufficient to prove that he really believed what he said he believed.' - Sam Harris page 47-48

 

I think that one paragraph sums up my frustrations with the debate on Islamic terrorism. Imagine if you went back in time to see the Knights Templar not give an inch in battle, driven by their religiously inspired, fervent belief in martyrdom. The conclusion you draw from this is that this was at root a frustration garnered from hundreds of years of eastern foreign policy in the form of Jihad and the knights' reaction has nothing to do with religion. Surely you'd have to be at least dishonest in that scenario to discount the role of religious conviction? And yet as Harris demonstrates, this has almost become a mainstream political opinion amongst so called liberals. Harris continues -

 

'The belief that a life of eternal pleasure awaits martyrs after death explains why certain people can honestly chant "we love death more than the infidels love life." They truly believe in martyrdom - as evidenced by the fact that they regularly sacrifice their lives, or watch their children do so, without a qualm. As we have been having this conversation there was an especially horrific attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, where members of the Taliban murdered 145 people, 132 of them children. Here's an except from an online conversation with a Taliban supporter in the aftermath of the massacre - Human life only has value among you worldly materialist thinkers. Death is not the end of life. It is the beginning of existence in a world much more beautiful than this. Paradise is for those pure of hearts. All children have pure hearts. They have not sinned yet... They have not been corrupted by their kafir parents. We did not end their lives. We gave them new ones in paradise, where they will be loved more than you can imagine. They will be rewarded for their martyrdom."

 

I think that speaks for itself. You would have to make the claim that the Taliban supporter is lying, in order to undermine the idea that extreme religious conviction plays some part in the terror debate and I personally think the weight of evidence rests against you if you do.

 

But anyway that's not even the debate that people should be having, the debate should be how do you deal with the tide of Islamist and jihadi groups around the globe? Maajid Nawaz argues that Islamism, the political belief of fundamentalism and the spreading of Islamic law and customs across all nations, must be defeated at grass roots levels within the Muslim community. They estimate that Islamist groups make up between 15 and 25% of the world's 1.6 billion strong Muslim population. He sees The Obama administrations refusal to name Islamism as being at the root of groups like IS as a failure. He believes that naming the problem instead of avoiding it, gives Muslims a choice to either 'reclaim our religion and its narrative, or allow thugs and demagogues to speak in its name and impose it on others. Calling it extremism is too relative and vague and sidesteps the responsibility to counter its scriptural justification.' He means scriptural justification here in the sense that one may interpret many things from the Qu'ran and ahadith and one of those readings is the skewed beliefs of Islamic State. He also mentions however that another essential thing that needs to happen is for there to be an acknowledgement that there are many different interpretations possible, each to the person who reads the scripture. Essentially if the Muslim community can get to the stage where the interpretations are personal to the person and there is no right answer, this is the first step on the way to pluralism and secularism. 

 

I've done rather a hatchet job here of what is a short, at 128 pages, yet valuable conversation in which the intricacies and problems of the debate are analysed in such greater depth. Despite its small length, it is definitely a worthy addition to the field and a good discussion between two respectful men, one a liberal Muslim, the other a liberal atheist. The more this is talked about and the less it is approached with apprehension and shame the better for our society. 

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review 2017-01-22 19:55
The Dinosaur Knights - Victor Milán

I actually enjoyed this one far less than the first. Have no fear, I intend to read the third book, and there are parts of this book that are great.

As many other reviewers have pointed, this book does pass the Bechel test. When the women talk to each other, they do not talk about men.

And yet, there is something off about the women in the book. We are given several characters to follow, of those, the only woman is Melodia, who was wonderful in the first book but seems to have been dosed with stupid pills in this one. And yes, considering the

[spoiler]rape and imprisonment she underwent

[/spoiler]

 in the first book, some mental issues are not surprising. But this stupid? Additionally, it is strange that the male buddies tend to survive bu Melodia's women friends don't.

 

In particular the

[spoiler]

 

the  death of Pilar came across very badly for several reasons. It felt overly violent with the description of the raptor juggling her breast. It felt like too much titataltion. It also felt like fridging because it was used to show angst for Rob and Melodia. Both of whom seemed to recover rather quickly. [/spoiler].

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