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review 2020-04-18 15:42
Confusing, difficult read
A registry of my passage upon the earth - Daniel Mason

A registry of my passage upon the earth, the clue to the unravelling of this collection of short stories is held within the title. I found it somewhat difficult to comprehend this weird grouping of unrelated events and happenings. What is the connection between a sailor, a boxer, a balloonist, a linesman on a busy lonely railroad in South America?  The final story and in particular the final image go some way to helping a confused reader make sense and arrive at some logical conclusions on the authors intentions. Many thanks to netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review, on a difficult read, and that is what I have written.

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review 2020-02-28 10:04
Review: The Wayward Girls
The Wayward Girls - Amanda Mason

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

An enjoyable mystery with a paranormal twist. Takes place in a “then and now” form.  Sisters Loo and Bee live with their mom and dad and siblings in a rambling farm in the 1970s. Their parents are considered “outsiders” in their small communities. The kids are home schooled, the dad’s an artist. The mom wanted an easier life, and while it seems ideal on the front, it’s doesn’t sound as easy as it looked in the idea stage.

 

During one summer strange things start happening in the house and before long a slew of paranormal experts and professors, reporter and a medium are on the property interviewing the family, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.

 

In the present day, the mom, Cathy, is now in a care home and Loo has been called home to come and see to Cathy’s care and needs. At the same time a modern day team of university students are conducting a paranormal research investigation Loo and Cathy’s former house which has been empty for many years now.

 

The chapters flip back and forth between what happened back then and what’s happening present day. It’s been a while since I read it so I can’t remember too much of the intricacies of the plot. Lots of characters, can’t remember anything that particularly stood out. It was a well written mystery that kept the pages turning.

 

Intriguing more in the past stages for me than the present. The present day sounded like a thousand other ghost hunter books/tv shows/movies but it was interesting in comparing the temperament of adult Loo to the child Loo in the past along with how she dealt with things back then and what she’s thinking/feeling now as the recent events unfold.

 

There were a few twists at various points which I had already guessed, however, that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel.  The twists were believable and the errors involved human and understandable, given the circumstances.  Some good family and relationship dynamics added into the mix.

 

All in all a very enjoyable read and definitely an author I would read again.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bonnier Books UK for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2020-02-19 20:18
Review ~ Disappointing
Sins of the Undead Patriot - a.c. Mason

DNF @10%

 

Book source ~ Review copy. My review is voluntary and honest.

 

Vaihan Louchian is a zombie and a special advisor to the President. Leera Waltz is a pawn. Rowley is some wing-nut who is anti-zombie. And there’s some guy (I can’t even be bothered to remember his name) who I have no idea whose side he’s on.

 

I usually try to give books more than 10% to see if it gets better, but when I stopped at 10% I just couldn’t gather a single drop of enthusiasm to come back to it. Vaihan is described as Ancient. Um, he’s 100 yrs old. I’m 51, nearly 52. What the fuck does that make me? Semi-Ancient? Wtf. Leera is sexually assaulted by this guy who is playing all sides. At least, I think he is? Anyway, she’s a wimp. And I have no idea what is going on. The writing is convoluted and boring. I think this is trying to be a military/political thriller with a paranormal twist and failing spectacularly. Maybe someone else will like this better.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/sins-of-undead-patriot.html
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-07 06:57
I Wish you All The Best- Review
I Wish You All the Best - Mason Deaver

I enjoyed that that this was an own voices novel about a nonbinary teen, something even in lgbt Young adult books that is not written about or talked about as much as it should be. Especially not AMAB who is non-binary, or least I have sadly not read many books where that was the case. I enjoyed that even though the books has lots of various queer experiences non of them feel forced for the sack of diversity alone and non of the characters feel like they are just to be tokens nor do they feel like their whole personality is their sexuality or gender identity. Even Nathan , the love interest, who is revealed to be bisexual toward the end of the book, a revelation that feels honest to the character and the story and not just a "choice" by the author to make sure their characters can end up at the end.

Mentioning the romance by the end I was rooting for them to get together because it was a journey to get there. It was obvious that they had feelings but it always felt like their friendship mattered way more and that they were not certain the other felt the same. Too often friendship is thrown aside because the romance matters more or that an author rushes through the friendship stage to get to the romance. It was nice to see that often moving from one stage to another takes time and that not only is it worth it but the time before becoming more than friends is important that that it matters.

I like that the book deals with the messier parts of coming out and that sometimes the best option at the moment to to distance yourself from those people that can not except you even if they are family and even if you know you still love them. Too many times it seems to end up with a happy ending an author will have characters that are not accepting suddenly be overly accepting by the end. In particular novels and if it makes sense in terms of character development the the plot this can be a good thing but too many times it comes off as rushed and unrealistic. Life is messy and as much as it would be wonderful if everyone would finally accept their lgbt+ family in some cases that either takes time or in some cases just doesn't happen. So I really appreciate that author didn't attempt in the final few pages to tie everything up with a nice red bow by having the parents magical come all loving and accepting. Again real life is filled with "endings" that are not always nice and clean and happy.

I also like that therapy is presented in a positive light without being an instant cure all. That it is actually present as work from both sides . That and that medication is not some wonder drug that cures all your problems. I like that it took time for Ben to be comfortable wish their therapists and that at times they were not comfortable sharing certain things til later on in the novel.

I also really liked that the author did not shy away from saying that bisexual and pansexual people freaking exist since so much in Young adult novels if someone likes more than one gender their sexuality either gets skirted around to avoid using one of those labels or it's "I don't use labels", which is fine if that in itself is discussed but usually it is a get around to avoid using bisexual most often or just pretending both pansexual and bisexual people don't exist. Mentioning the no labels thing feel it is important to mention that I like that even though several labels are used for various people Ben , though comfortable with their non-binary label, is not as firm on a sexual label and is still figuring it out though they do preferring more masculine presenting people. I believe they say bisexual with a type or something of that , which I feel is even more rare in books in general so that was nice to see as well.

I think my only gripe about this book is that I am still a bit unsure exactly how Ben and Mariam are friends. Get that Ben watched their videos and that they are both nonbinary and course talked and found out they have several interests in common but just that getting to know each other is not really talked about. From the sounds of it Mariam is a popular uploader , so popular in fact that they get to met celebrities are during the course of the books going on tour to give various speeches about their experience . I am not saying it is impossible for them to be friends but just if Mariam's channel is as popular as it seems I am not sure I buy that one day they say Ben's message out of the possible hundreds or even thousands of messages they receive and they just so happen to decide to reply to Ben's . Just I can see various other teens who are also nonbinary message to say how Mariam's videos spoke to them and such. It is a small gripe , though and maybe Ben messaged when Mariam's channel was smaller .

Overall though think the book is is a wonderful coming of age story of finding yourself, first love, and trying to make the best in a world or family that is not always loving or understanding

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review 2019-12-28 11:35
Ich hätte gern meinen Kumpel zurück
The Getaway God - Richard Kadrey

Die „Sandman Slim“-Reihe von Richard Kadrey spielt in Los Angeles. Da Kadrey die Stadt gut kennt, obwohl er selbst in San Francisco lebt, kann er der Handlung seiner Romane konkrete Landmarken zuordnen. Ich habe ein kurzes Video entdeckt, in dem Kadrey einige wichtige Orte in L.A., die im sechsten Band „The Getaway God“ eine Rolle spielen, vorstellt. Das war wirklich interessant, denn dadurch kann ich mir die Straßen, durch die sein Protagonist Stark so oft mit seiner Höllenmaschine donnert, wesentlich besser vorstellen. Das einzige Manko des Videos besteht darin, dass es nicht regnet. In „The Getaway God“ steht L.A. nämlich die Apokalypse bevor – und dem sonnenverwöhnten Kalifornien kündigt sich diese natürlich als Dauerregen an.

 

Manche Leute würden alles tun, um ihre eigene Haut zu retten. In Zeiten der Apokalypse kann „alles“ sogar bedeuten, sich einer Sekte anzuschließen, die jenen uralten Göttern huldigt, die die Welt zu verschlingen drohen. Die grausigen Tatorte voller Leichenteile, die Der Zorn Götter hinterlässt, um den Angra Om Ya den Weg zur Erde zu ebenen, erscheinen selbst dem ehemaligen Höllengladiator James Stark aka Sandman Slim unappetitlich. Allein das Qomrama Om Ya könnte die Invasion der Angra noch aufhalten – wenn Stark denn wüsste, wie es funktioniert. Um das herauszufinden, teilt ihm sein Boss beim Golden Vigil einen skurrilen Partner zu: die jahrhundertealte Mumie eines japanischen Mönchs. Leider ahnt nicht einmal der Shonin, dass die Angra nicht nur von irdischen Anhänger_innen hofiert werden. Die Entdeckung einer weitreichenden Verschwörung zwingt Stark, die eine Seele um Hilfe zu bitten, die er mehr als alle anderen hasst: Mason Faim. Natürlich traut er Mason nicht, aber vielleicht kann Stark von seinem Wissen profitieren, um die Apokalypse abzuwenden. Und wenn nicht, bleibt ihm zumindest die Genugtuung, seinen Erzfeind zweimal getötet zu haben.

 

Eines habe ich im Verlauf von „The Getaway God“ begriffen: wenn Stark nicht gerade übernatürliche Krisen abwendet, ist sein Leben ziemlich öde. Sicherlich nicht die ergiebigste Erkenntnis einer Lektüre, aber nichtsdestotrotz wahr. Sein ganz normaler Alltag besteht aus kaum mehr als unregelmäßigen Arbeitszeiten bei Max Overdrive, alarmierendem Alkoholkonsum entweder Zuhause oder in seiner Stammkneipe Bamboo House of Dolls und endlosen Filmnächten vor dem heimischen Fernseher, allein oder in Gesellschaft von Candy und/oder Kasbian. Klingt nicht gerade fesselnd? Ist es auch nicht und die Tatsache, dass mir diese unspektakulären Muster in „The Getaway God“ bewusstwurden, sagt viel darüber aus, wie aufregend dieser sechste Band ist. Obwohl L.A. die Apokalypse durch die uralten, rachsüchtigen Angra Om Ya bevorsteht, gelang es Richard Kadrey nicht, einen durchgängigen Spannungsbogen aufzubauen. Die Handlung folgt keiner erkennbaren Zielsetzung, sie wirkte wirr und improvisiert und langweilt mit häufigen Leerlaufphasen, in denen Stark Däumchen dreht und wartet. Die drohende Invasion übersteigt seine Kompetenzen vollkommen; er kann sich nicht länger mit markigen Sprüchen und Höllenhoodoo durchschummeln. Ihn so einfallslos zu erleben war für mich sehr frustrierend, denn die Rolle des hilflosen Amateurs passt überhaupt nicht zu meinem Bild von ihm als liebenswerter Chaot, der schon alles irgendwie hinkriegt. Meiner Meinung nach hätte Kadrey das Ausmaß seiner Überforderung elegant überspielen können, hätte er einigen der vielversprechenden Ansätze in „The Getaway God“ mehr Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt. Allein Starks aufgezwungene Partnerschaft mit dem mumifizierten japanischen Mönch besitzt so viel ungenutztes Potential, dass ich mir die Haare raufen möchte. Der Autor hätte ihrer Beziehung mühelos den Anstrich einer grotesken und unterhaltsamen Cop Buddy – Romanze verpassen können, hätte er sie mehr Zeit miteinander verbringen lassen, statt Stark auf die Ersatzbank zu verbannen. Keine Ahnung, warum er es nicht getan hat, ob ihm nicht klar war, was er da in den Händen hält oder ob er glaubte, diese Nebenhandlung würde zu sehr ablenken. Ich kann nur resümieren, dass ich für jede Abwechslung dankbar gewesen wäre. Den erneuten Auftritt von Mason hingegen fand ich verwirrend und weit hergeholt. Echt, darf der Mann nicht einfach mal tot bleiben? Muss Kadrey ihn immer wieder wie einen Clown aus der Kiste hervorspringen lassen? Hat Stark es nicht verdient, dieses Kapitel endlich überwinden zu können? Mason verwickelt Stark natürlich in eines seiner Psychospielchen, das am Ende zum alles entscheidenden Showdown führt. Weder habe ich Masons Strategie verstanden noch Starks aus dem Stegreif zusammengeflickten Plan, um die Angra aufzuhalten. Was der sorgfältige Abschluss eines umfangreichen Handlungsbogens sein sollte, der die Reihe seit mehreren Bänden begleitet, erschien mir aus dem Ärmel geschüttelt und nicht überzeugend.

 

„The Getaway God“ schafft es nur mit Ach und Krach auf eine Bewertung mit drei Sternen. Versuchte ich, völlig objektiv zu urteilen und ließe alle Sympathiepunkte außer Acht, hätte das Buch maximal zwei Sterne erhalten dürfen. Es ist in sich unlogisch und inkongruent, ein inhaltlicher Flickenteppich, weshalb ich das Gefühl habe, die Geschichte des sechsten Bandes ist ausschließlich im größeren Kontext von Belang und dient lediglich dazu, das ganze Tohuwabohu mit den Angra abzuschließen. Ich hoffe, das ist jetzt auch endlich der Fall. Ich hoffe, Richard Kadrey macht einen Strich unter dieses Kapitel der „Sandman Slim“-Reihe und denkt sich neue Abenteuer für Stark aus, denen er tatsächlich gewachsen ist und in denen er seine Stärken ausspielen kann. Ich möchte ihn wieder Kontrolle auf die Handlung ausüben und nicht mehr von ihr getrieben sehen – auf seine eigene, chaotische Art und Weise. Er soll wieder der Stark sein, den ich in den ersten drei Bänden kennen und lieben lernte. Bitte Mr. Kadrey, geben Sie mir meinen Kumpel zurück.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/28/richard-kadrey-the-getaway-god
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