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review 2017-12-04 09:41
Hogfather (Discworld, #20) - Terry Pratchett

I was supposed to be doing this as a buddy read with everyone, but I've not been keeping my end up at all.  The cold I thought I'd beaten down made a comeback at the end of last week, so I kept falling asleep every time I tried to get stuck into Hogfather.  Which sounds like a terrible condemnation of the book, but is really is NOT.  The book was excellent.  I'd prove it's excellence with quotes, except all my reading buddies beat me to all the quotes I liked the best. 


There's mischief afoot in the Discworld, and the Hogfather is missing.  Death decides to step in and play the Hogfather's role, visiting houses, filling stockings and doing his best to ensure that belief in the Hogfather never falters, while his grand-daughter Susan and a host of others do their best to thwart the mischief so Hogfather can come back.


This is a brilliant story - practically flawless.  My only two complaints are that:


1. Teatime is a little too evil; it adds an edge to the story that I freely admit is necessary; without it the whole thing would be a little less brilliant.  Nevertheless, His story line was the fly in my lemonade; I'd be reading along having a rollicking good time and then he'd show up being manically evil, and it felt like someone let the air out of my balloons. 


2.  The book kept referring to both dollars and pence.  Either this was done on purpose, because it's the discworld and can use any form of currency Pratchett would like, or else it's an editing error that wasn't caught during a transition from UK to international editions.  If it's the former, well, that's totally fine.  But I don't know, so I kept wondering if it was the latter and I kept getting tripped up by the discrepancy.


In the grand scheme of things, these are inconsequential - this is, hands down, the best discworld book I've read so far.  But Teatime's rain on my holiday parade does keep me from going the whole 5 stars.


If you like silly fun with a side of very deep philosophy, read this book.


There's one quote I don't think anyone has beaten me to yet:


Humans need fantasy to be human.  To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.


That might very well be my favourite quote of the book. 





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review 2017-10-03 10:59
Wildfire (Hidden Legacies, #3)
Wildfire - Ilona Andrews

Ok, I'm going to go on record here with my prediction for Caesar's true identity:


Linus Duncan.  Because he is both the least likely and the most devastating.  Also, he's mentioned in earlier books and earlier in this book, that he dislikes being bored.

(spoiler show)


Of course, there would have to be a fourth book published in order to find out if I'm right, and that's not a given at this point.  Still it's fun to speculate.


There's a lot going on in this book - it's action packed and there are revelations galore, including finding out what Arabella actually is.  But even though it's a neck-and-neck race, I think I liked the second book better (White Hot).  The narrative felt smoother, more coherent.  Wildfire was just... chaotic.  Fun, highly entertaining chaos, but chaos.  And I really didn't like all that nonsense with Rynda, and I'm not convinced it was in any way necessary.  But I loved Zeus.  I'd have liked to have seen a lot more Zeus - and (Sergeant?) Teddy.  But mostly Zeus.  


Here's hoping Avon will wake up and smell the coffee and a fourth book is just around the corner.

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review 2017-10-02 05:27
Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)
Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch

There are two storylines running through Moon Over Soho: one that begins and ends with this book, involving a string of suspicious deaths, all of them jazz musicians.  The other centres on a mysterious, faceless, unknown sorcerer running around London killing and conducting his own Dr. Moreau type experiments, and the reader is left hanging as to its resolution, presumably because it will come back up in future books. 


I knew how the first story line would play out by the time I got to a page that falls somewhere in the range of 40-60 (I won't give the exact page number because I don't want to risk spoilers).  This is why my rating is only 3.5 stars.  The story is still good, but it's definitely hampered by knowing the ending, and wanting to smack Peter for not figuring out what was right in front of him a lot sooner.  To give credit though, I did not foresee how he would try to resolve the situation; I liked it, even though it didn't work out quite the way he's hoped.


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review 2017-10-01 05:04
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, #2)
Hollow City - Ransom Riggs

More often than not, I struggle to like the second book of a trilogy and Hollow City is no exception.  To me, the second book feels like all the boring bits between the excitement of discovery and the thrill of the finale stretched out to 'make do' as a book.  In other words, book two is all existential navel gazing and I get bored.


Hollow City was not without excitement though; there were plenty of battles between the peculiar children and the hollows, and Jacob gets to use and stretch and refine his power, but mostly it's children bonding (go team!), true love (*eye roll*), evil plot to end the world revealed in all its evil glory (*gasp*) and existential navel gazing.


I'm being a bit cheeky; I did enjoy, it just wasn't great.  There are a couple of twists at the end; one I really didn't see coming and the other was, I suppose, inevitable, and it ends in something of a cliffhanger with the tried and true 'friends in peril' plot device fully engaged.  I already have the third book so it's definitely going to get read, but I'm not in a rush.


I read this for the Chilling Children square and it was more apt than I could have dreamed, as the power of one of the peculiar children is, in fact, freezing whatever she touches.  Chilling children indeed.


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review 2017-09-29 04:16
White Hot (Hidden Legacies, #2)
White Hot - Ilona Andrews

Well, that was exciting.  Still more urban fantasy than paranormal romance, but when the Andrews team decides to get down to the romance, they don't mess around. 


The non-romance part of the story is fast-paced and exciting as hell; I woke up in the middle of the night last night and my first thought was "oh, I can start reading again!" and it was only through supreme effort (and pharmaceuticals) that I refrained from doing so.  But I did start up again at 8am this morning and didn't stop until it was finished.


I'm thoroughly enjoying watching all the characters come together; the team it took Kate more than 5 books to build up has only taken Nevada 2.  The only niggling thing I was a tiny bit disappointed in is the overall series arc: I sense shades of Roland.  And don't get me wrong, I love the Roland storyline in Kate Daniels, but if it's used here, it's going to feel repetitive; it's not the sort of plot device that wears well over time.


I have the third book and I have no idea how I'm not going to pick it up and devour it immediately.  But if I do than I have to wait who-knows-how-long until the 4th one is out. Curse you Ilona Andrews!  


(I originally used the first book Burn for Me for my demon square, but it had a very scant mention of demons.  This book was much more demon-rich, so I've switched Burn For Me over to Supernatural, and I'm using this one for Demons.  No Bingos were altered in the switching.)



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