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review 2017-10-31 00:00
The Marines of Montford Point: America's First Black Marines
The Marines of Montford Point: America's First Black Marines - Melton A. McLaurin,J.D. Jackson,Adam Lazarre-White,David Carpenter,Karole Foreman,William Harper,Daxton Edwards Probably mostly interesting to people who are doing either black history or WWII research. I liked hearing the words of the people interviewed (though why they recorded them, transcribed them, and then had actors read them I don't know), and there was a lot of interesting stories and voices, but the content was repetitive and somewhat limited.

The bridging material by McLaurin didn't help this, as it was deeply rahrah marine corps, and fairly shallow, often just reiterating what the men themselves were about to say. Though some of the interviewed men said they had negative experiences and wished they hadn't been in the marines, that's never really followed up on (certainly the stories of say Iwo Jima and Korea are horrific, but usually to the tune of "that made a man of me). I'm not saying the stories are less valuable for all being positive, but it did have a very Funded By USMC feel. I also wish that the book had been arranged by interview subject, rather than by topic.
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review 2017-08-25 01:09
Thought it would be a good introduction but it's quite boring.
Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two - Joseph Bruchac

The Navajo Code Talkers were not a subject I remember being covered much whenever I had studied World War II in school and so this seemed like a good way to introduce myself to the topic beyond online articles and such. Apparently Navajo Code Talkers Day was earlier this month (August 14th) so this ended up being a fitting read after all.


The book tells us the story of a fictional Ned Begay who tells the reader of his life from being sent to a boarding school and then eventually joining the military to become a code talker during World War II. We get bits and pieces of his life but the largest chunk of the book is dedicated to his time in WWII.


I have to say, while initially the book was quite interesting (although it was fiction it was still a good read for his experiences at the boarding and then high school). Leaving his family only to visit during the summer and then getting high enough marks to go on to further education was a fascinating read. As this book is also geared towards a YA audience I was also relieved to see that other, darker experiences such as sexual abuse not described as part of Ned's time (although he does describe corporal punishment such as having his mouth washed out with soap for speaking Navajo or being beaten with sticks as well as his military training).


Once he moves onto his service during WWII the book becomes distinctly less interesting. His training to become a code talker was still informative but I don't really care for war books very much. It was also a bit disappointing because Ned is not part of the group that forms the Navajo code talkers for WWII. It's understandable because he was too young but that would have been also quite interesting to read about (although perhaps a bit out of the scope for the author).


I did learn a bit so I didn't mind reading this. But it wasn't what I thought it would be. It would be a good addition to a school library. Amazon indicates it's for age 12 and up and that sounds about right. A mature younger child might be able to handle the material as well, but it does depict a war its violence plus some of the physical abuse at school so that's a heads up. Otherwise I'd recommend borrowing from the library.

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review 2017-06-09 04:32
A fun kick-off to a SF adventure series
Project Mothership: space marines, robots, and Captain Crunch (The Prince of Qorlec Book 1) - Ash Gray

Rose is on her honeymoon when she's abducted by aliens -- who have abducted her for the express purpose of having her carry one of the many eggs of a Queen struggling to keep her subjects safe and fighting to prevent an invasion force from completely conquering her planet. And, yeah, if everything goes bad, it'll be good to have some descendants of the Queen running around.


A few years later, a woman comes knocking on the door of Rose and her daughter, Quinn, with the news that the enemy is close -- and has been working with the FBI -- to take her daughter from her -- Rose and Zita fight for their escape through human robotic and alien forces, just trying to get off the planet so that Quinn can claim her rightful place helping her people.


There's a sense of fun, despite the dangers, and a great pace with plenty of tense moments throughout this. It was an enjoyable read with some good writing, and I'm pretty curious where it goes from here. It's not perfect, I have a couple of complaints that I'm afraid will overshadow things -- I want to stress: I liked this book, I want to read more -- don't think this post is anything but a recommendation.


But to start with, other than the weaponry, I'm not so sure I see the difference between Gray's 2160 and 2016 -- it's a shame that Gray didn't work harder on that part of the world he built. I'm not saying it needs to be an unrecognizable reality (although it'd be nice), but we should have moved further than just better guns.


One of my biggest beefs in fiction -- TV or books -- are central characters telling their closest family and friends lies to protect them. Yes, I'm looking at you particularly CW DC shows. That's Rose's impulse move, which is understandable, but why not trust those closest to her with the truth? Particularly her husband, clearly head over heels with her. Why make up a ludicrous story to explain what happened to her rather than risk the truth?


My last beef was the sex scene -- there's some romantic tension early on that I'm fine with, I thought it worked in the moment. But running for your life, with various enemies on your heels is not the time to take a quick break for a little whoopie. It didn't need to be as graphic as it was (thankfully brief), but really ill-timed.


Setting that aside, this was a fun, quick read (I couldn't believe I was done when I got to the end) that really made me want to go grab the sequel. Ash didn't create a masterpiece here, but he told an engaging, entertaining story. Which is good enough for me.


<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this book from the author in exchange for this post, I appreciate it.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/06/08/project-mothership-by-ash-gray
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review 2017-04-07 15:54
The Marine's Queen (Recon Marines, #1) by Susan Kelley Review
The Marine's Queen - Susan Kelley

Queen Callie Adell’s enemies want her for the secret elixir only her bloodline can produce. She flees an abduction attempt and lands in the arms of the most feared military man in the universe. Recon Marine Captain Joe, a genetically enhanced soldier, knows little of civilian life or of women. But his body knows what it wants from Callie even if his mind suffers mostly confusion in her presence.

Joe’s sense of honor and duty demands he protect the queen even if she can never overlook his unnatural origins and love him as a man. But neither of them can ever be safe if Callie doesn’t protect Joe from those who want to destroy him as much as her enemies wish to capture her. Only if she can civilize her marine will the world accept him as more than a living weapon. But can Callie convince Joe that he’s a man first, her man, and a marine second?





I like the survival aspect of this romance. The hero is wonderful. The heroine... not so much. She waffles so very much. She goes back to her prejudice point of view constantly treating the hero as less than human.


The plot is interesting enough but it is drawn out and not balenced with the romance as much as it should be.


So, not a great read for me.

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review 2016-10-28 21:06
Black Knights Inc. Book: One
Hell on Wheels - Julie Ann Walker

The back of your neck is trying to tell you something...are you going to listen?

Well, of course you are. Your a woman walking down the street and was taught by a very overprotective brother that when that sixth sense kicks in, you listen to it. Especially when just a few months ago you got the news that your brother just passed away and you know for certain he didn't die from working on his bike.

So what do you?

You go to the one place that doesn't make sense....her brothers outfit the he joined after the Marines. The place where her brothers best friend Nate Weller lives....a Chicago Motorcycle shop called the Black Knights Inc....Inc being something other than a Motorcycle shop! When she finally gets the nerve to go up there to ask help she sees that this has got to be the last place on Earth that she should be in....but with that mugging only last night and that sense that someone has followed her Nate Weller is going to be her knight in shining leather to help her out!

Nate Weller has done some things in his life that he's not proud of....decisions that he made that he wishes he could take back but knows that life isn't that nice. Especially when life hands him Ali Morgan, his recent deceased best friends "little" sister. Ali is beyond being little and for a Kindergarten Teacher she packs more strength in her little petite body than he could in his 6 abs or more!! He knows that he must keep his unsaintly hands off of her, but when he hears that someone is after Ali....more to the point wanting Ali "deleted"....he's going to have to suck it up and help her through this and his own demons as well. Once he puts that men who want to harm Ali behind bars (or under 6 feet of clover) he'll leave Ali alone and be content with his own life.

He just wishes that Ali would cooperate.

Source: www.goodreads.com/series/73865-black-knights-inc
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