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Search tags: Max-Brooks
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review 2017-11-10 17:45
Clique (Heartsville) by Jayden Brooks Review
Clique (Heartsville) - Jayden Brooks

Adam Locke’s youthful looks aren’t the blessing everyone seems to think. At twenty-eight, he’s a successful photographer with his own studio and respected by his peers—but that doesn’t seem to matter to the men who catch his eye. Instead, he’s brushed aside like an underage twink with a daddy fetish.

When a hot, bearded stranger stops him from accidentally walking into traffic, Adam looks up and finds the man of his dreams. Unfortunately, his first meeting with Brandon ends with him being dismissed as a kid. Again. Adam can’t help his annoyance. He also can’t help staring (and drooling) whenever he spots Brandon walking through the neighborhood with a different dog.

He watches from afar, wondering about Brandon’s story—until the day he’s dared to take another chance. It’s just the push Adam needs, and finally, he catches Brandon’s interest. Now if only he could figure out the key to getting taciturn Brandon to open up and let Adam in. But Adam knows sometimes all it takes is a little patience for the last piece to click into place.

 

Review

 

There are parts of this novella that are really, really good . It is super funny in several places. I like the characters and the world.

 

Then there are places that the writer just doesn't follow up so we get a lack of connection which makes the romance less powerful. (Like Brandon's past)

 

And then there is conflict that is kinda dumb.

 

I will read more by this writer because the funny and charming parts.

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review 2017-11-07 14:31
Family, friendship, and loyalty
Coming Attraction (Coastal College Football Book 2) - Felix Brooks,Andrea Dalling

3.5 stars
Coming Attraction is an engaging story that flows very well. The characters are interesting and it's easy to see that this is a great group of friends that will go the extra mile for each other. My problem lay in the romance in this one. Waseem and Brent are friends and they obviously care about each other, but it felt like that spark was missing. Their story does get steamy, but while I liked the characters, I didn't feel that something that makes a reader root for their happily ever after. For me, the story was more about Brent and his emotional turmoil with his family. Romance aside, this one was a sweet story about friendship, loyalty, and learning that family isn't always who we're born to, but those we choose to have in our lives.

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review 2017-10-10 16:40
Historical anachronism happens fast
This is the Way the World Ends: An Oral ... This is the Way the World Ends: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Keith Taylor

This poor novel had the bad sense to be published in August, this year of our Lord 2017, though, presumably, it was written earlier. EVEN SO, at the very moment of publication, it was already woefully historically anachronistic. I'm going to blame this, like so much else, on the Trump administration, and the unbelievable chaos and unprecedented violation of governmental, social, and ethical norms that we've seen in this fine country, the US of A, since then. Writing near future science fiction is an unbelievable bitch.

 

This is what got me. So, This is the Way it Ends is avowedly a love letter and a riff on Max Brooks' World War Z, which is also glossed with the subtitle An Oral History of the Zombie Wars. The writer here, Keith Taylor, notes in his introduction how taken he was by the retrospective and documentary feel of World War Z, and how, after expecting a raft of novelists to take up the style, he decided to fill the gap when no one did. This is the Way it Ends is successful in this Brooksian ventriloquism for the most part, and it you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing you'll like. (Well, other than a metatextual spin wherein Keith Taylor, current novelist, inserts himself inside this fictional narrative as "Keith Taylor," the documentarian for the novel. His intro dragging on fictional zombie narratives was way too clever-clever. It's the kind of thing that's fun to read to your wife after you write it, but shouldn't make it into the final draft.)

 

Like Brooks' novel, this one takes place a dozen odd years after the initial zombie outbreaks, after humanity has gone through the meat grinder of a full on zombie apocalypse and come out on the other side, shaky, diminished, but still standing. This is the section that got me: a centrist Republican, one who shepherded the US through the zombie wars, tells a story from mid-2019. Apparently, there are outbreaks happening all over Europe, and there's more and more worry about the zombie threat. At a bipartisan meeting, a reporter asks if maybe the US should close its borders. A democrat steps up, and in an act of partisan showboating, begins reciting the Emma Lazarus sonnet that is carved into the statue of liberty. "Give us your tired" etc. At this point everyone goes nuts, freaking that closing the borders is evil, and certainly no sane (or not evil) person would suggest such a thing. The Republican president is rueful: if only those stupid liberals knew better. 

 

So here's the problem with this. First, let me tell a joke: at an intersection with four corners, on each corner stands an individual: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, a centrist Republican, and an alt-right nutjob. Someone drops a case of money into the center of the intersection. Which individual gets it? The alt-right nutjob, because the rest of these beings are purely fictional. Second, Trump already tried, and has been moderately successful, in implementing his Muslim ban, just recently adding to the seven Muslim-majority countries he's put on the shit list. Though the courts have put on the brakes a little, public outcry was nowhere near uniform. In fact, I think I was in a minority for thinking that was self-defeating and cruel, in addition to racist. The Trump administration is working hard at curtailing literally all immigration, legal and illegal, and we don't have anything near a zombie fucking outbreak to point at, though you wouldn't know it from some Brietbart articles, boy howdy. No one reads sonnets anymore; those are for effete liberals and they are decidedly not in charge. Third, what is this word, "bipartisan"? I do not understand this strange concept. 

 

In some ways, this anachronism is adorable, and it dovetails into some blindspots Brooks had in WWZ. The farther Brooks gets from his worldview, the less compelling his narratives get -- the American housewife one is a big fucking mess, but then I have a whole thing about the housewife in fiction. Ditto with Taylor. As a native Brit with a Mongolian wife who spends a lot of time in Mongolia and Thailand, his grasp on pan-Asian politics is pretty great. Americans? Yeah, not so much. I'm not picking on him here though. I'm not sure I understood (even as someone who purported to at least a modicum of wokeness) how unbelievably racist and isolationist the United States is until the last election. And that election technically didn't involve zombies! 

 

Except it totally did and we're all going to die. The horror of reading horror fiction for me these days is in how unscary it all is. It's nowhere near as terrifying as considering a malignant narcissist who considers Nazis "fine people" starting World War 3, the one that will kill us all, while tweeting on the shitter one Sunday morning. In the words of Mira Grant, rise up while you can. 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-10 03:14
Review: Make Me Yours by Rebecca Brooks
Make Me Yours (Men of Gold Mountain) - Rebecca Brooks

4.25 stars - My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

Once upon a time, Claire Collins fell fast and hard for bad boy Ryan Thomas. But Ryan was an up-and-coming musician whose alcoholism was making him spiral out of control. When Claire found out she was pregnant and Ryan was too drunk to even talk to her about it, she did what was best for her child and left him. It’s been more than five years since they last spoke, but when Ryan comes to Gold Mountain on his comeback tour to find not only Claire, but the daughter he didn’t know existed, everything changes. The chemistry between Ryan and Claire is as hot as ever. But even though Ryan is Claire’s weakness, she always puts her daughter first. And if Ryan wants a chance at winning the heart of the woman he loves and the daughter who immediately grabs his heart, he’s going to have to prove that he has changed.

There’s nothing I love more than a good second chance romance and Make Me Yours is exactly that. Rebecca Brooks has a talent for delivering wonderfully human characters which is what makes this story compelling.

Ryan is a recovering alcoholic who lost everything. He’s worked hard to remain sober and rebuild his career, and I respected the hell out of that. Ryan is a flawed hero, one who makes a number of mistakes. But he’s also incredibly loving and is working to be a better man. Claire’s life was turned upside down when she got swept up in Ryan’s world the first time. Since leaving him, the businesswoman and single mother has worked her butt off to build a life for herself and her daughter. She’s strong and protective and definitely wary of letting Ryan in her heart again. Upon seeing each other again, the two of them strike sparks. Their romance is both emotional and incredibly sexy (I’ll never look at rock climbing the same way again). I liked that Ms. Brooks didn’t make things easy on them; there are a couple of ups and downs and even when the characters messed up, I could understand why they made the mistakes they did – there’s no false drama in this book.

Make Me Yours is by turns sexy and sweet and I may have sniffled a time or two. I adored Claire and Ryan together and I loved catching up with Claire’s friends, the previous Men of Gold Mountain heroines. All in all, Make Me Yours is an engaging story with characters who grab your heart and don’t let go.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/10/review-make-me-yours-by-rebecca-brooks.html
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review 2017-09-27 20:27
Audio Much Better Than the Trying to Read the Book
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

I have to say that a lot of people suggested that I listen to this book and what a great idea. I have to say that some of the voices sound a bit too stereotypical to my ears, but I really did enjoy listening to the so-called Zombie wars. 

 

I will say that you really do have to listen to this book. It doesn't work well at all as a written novel. I had to switch over since I almost DNFed it at one point. Reading interviews and questions and answers doesn't work in the long term. Your brain after a while just doesn't care and you find it hard to concentrate. Or at least me. When I have to read through Congressional transcripts it's the worse. I like to listen to congressional meetings or attend in person cause you don't get to hear the nuance in people's voices. 

 

I liked hearing about the so-called Patient Zero and how the virus spread and all of the places on the Earth that was touched. It was so scary reading about how the young boy's body was falling apart. I even got a little bit sick here and there listening to how cords had gone through his body to the bone. How cold his skin had gotten and how his blood now looked. When we hear about how the governments of the world even had a zombie protocol though it was surprising to me. 

 

I did think the narrator (who was Max Brooks) was not that great. He sounded so weird to my ears. I think certain statements/questions he asked needed more passion in his voice or more feeling. It just felt like he was reading the phone book to me sometimes. 

 

I was thrilled to figure out that one of the voices was Mark Hamill. He is the best! 

 

I will say though that I wanted to read more about what people did when the outbreak happened, how they managed to get through it. This was definitely an oral history, but I felt like it was missing parts. 

 

I did love the thinking that went into this by Max Brooks though. Cause it didn't even occur to me that zombies can just exist in water. That they don't need to breathe, so they can just hang out on the bottom of the ocean floor...forever. That the cold will stop them so heck move to a colder climate. Still not dead, but not real active anymore either. I also love how we learn about different things such as protocols, laws, how the world changed and new countries were formed, etc. 

 

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