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Search tags: Max-Barry
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review 2018-02-08 15:53
Lexicon by Max Barry
Lexicon - Max Barry

What a fun read. Interesting ideas, good use of fantasy, characters I cared for, worried about a bit and wanted to come out OK. A fairly romance-heavy speculative book (I really wouldn't call it sci-fi, but I'm no master at these things. Seemed like sci-fi lite, at most.) Romance is not my normal fare, but I wanted this dyad to work. I'm usually not in favor of the romance working, so that says something actually.


I saw the main "twist" coming long before it did, but I didn't know how things would turn out after that, so I was all aboard for the ride.


Some interesting things about the lexicon and yet another novel this year that deals with the theme of words meaning far more than the sounds they make or the direct message. It reminded me a bit of micro-expression analysis, only with words -- which is cool. Especially if you could do both, but tragically, I doubt either of them are truly reliable. This is why speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy are so good.


It did seem like after the big reveal, the plot got muddier, but it was not a mess by a long shot. It was an easy treat, done in one night and off the library stack that's due soon. I liked this one!

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review 2018-02-06 19:56
Dark But True
When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 - Barry Denenberg

Young Emma Simpson lives in Virginia in 1864 during the middle of Civil War. She writes in her diary about the trials, Emma, her mother and other family members survive through. The men in the family are fighting in the War. Food rations start to dwindle as family and friends get sick and some die. Based on a real person we see the dark side of war in America’s past. I find these Dear America books interesting and wish I had them when I was younger. They do tend to be pretty dark. I guess that is to show children they have it easier these days. These Dear America book do usually end with death of the diary writer or just an abrupt ending, which probably meant death as well. This one I am happy to say actually has info on what really happened to Emma after the war. As I mentioned I dislike the fact that the stories are so dark, in these series of books. I do not know how much of the diaries are real or made up but i guess when people usually write in their diaries it is not because something good is happening or you are working out some happy through your mind. It would be nice to read one Dear America with a happy conclusion. I will continue to read the dear america books because they have a charm about them and they make me feel like I am learning. I do wonder how close they are to the actual history but how will I ever know.

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review 2018-01-24 16:03
The Soldier Who Killed a King: A True Retelling of the Passion - David Kitz,Barry Buzza

The Soldier Who Killed a King by David Kitz
Wasn't sure I could get into reading this but so glad I got a review copy.
What an awesome read. Starts out with Marcus and he's the Roman soldier in charge as life comes to the city for Passover week. Growing up Catholic I was able to follow so much of this story.
Some parts of the story really helped me understand what really happened during that week and the resurrection that is commerated as Easter Sunday.
Like following the solider around as things are explained in words I can understand-just had to click on some words and the online dictionary would load up and tell me what the word meant.
So many details and very descriptive you can see in your mind what's going on. Wish they had taught us this version when we were growing up-it's so understandable and clear.
Wasn't able to read the print version due to my poor vision after trying all my other glasses and magnifiers so got a kindle version that I could control the font size of the text. Would highly recommend this book, enjoyed the read.
Espeically liked the ending.
I was given the review copy by the author via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest opinion

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review 2017-12-22 20:01
Podcast #82 is up!
Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford - Scott Barry Kaufman

My eighty-second podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Scott Kaufman about his new biography of America's 38th president (which I reviewed here). Enjoy!

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review 2017-12-22 17:57
Redemption by C.J. Barry
Redemption - C.J. Barry

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***


Reya Sinclair is a "redeemer"; her mission is to find people before they die and offer them redemption and forgiveness if they want it. She's not doing it for selfless reasons, though, her own redemption and salvation is on the line.

Unfortunately, her mission is thrown into peril by a detective that happens to notice the trail of dead bodies she leaves in her wake. Thane Driscoll also isn't as pure as fresh snow, exacting his own style of justice in his quest of finding his father's killer...And the woman he's tracking just might be the key to that most important investigation.

I liked the premise of this one with the whole redemption/forgiveness theme and the heroine delivering both in order to save her own soul.

Unfortunately, the execution left much to be desired. It was a little too "preachy" for me with its religious undertones, the info dump was simply that instead of sprinkling information here and there throughout the story, the suspense was lukewarm, and the characters didn't really resonate with me. Both Reya and Thane left me cold, and the romance between them was a real stretch. I felt they were more friends than lovers, and as the "romance" evolved and progressed, the whole thing felt a little icky.

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