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text 2020-04-23 22:00
Reading progress 12%
Fangs for the Memories - Molly Harper

I couldn’t talk to Jane about this. She tended to do jazz hands when she did her little “I told you so” dance.


No one deserved smug jazz hands.


Of all the weapons in a vampire’s arsenal, they were the most demoralizing.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-03-11 06:23
Review: Recursion by Blake Crouch
Recursion - Blake Crouch

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers. Mild ones, epic ones, tiny ones, big ones, and even gigantic ones. This is your one warning. Okay, I might give you another warning before the biggest one, maybe.




This book was quite an endeavor for an author to take on, the concept of it is intimidating. So I have to give the author a lot of credit in trying to tackle such an immense idea. A lot of it worked. The last 150 pages didn’t.


I have never read Blake Crouch before and didn’t make the connection between this and the Wayward Pines books/show until after I got the book. This was an impulse buy. I was drawn in by the interesting cover, read the blurb and thought “Hmm, this is an intriguing idea.” I really enjoyed the way Crouch writes. It is engaging and informative without dragging the story down in extraneous details. This is a difficult balance to maintain. Especially if you are trying to explain (and probably failing to explain, because who actually could understand this stuff except a super genius) complex things in a way that makes sense to the masses, while knowing that you will have to alter any basis in science that it has in order to keep your narrative intact.


I recognize that the “science” in the book is overly simplistic, but for a novel it needs to be. I was not looking for a scholarly paper on the theory of reactivating memories in Alzheimer’s patients. So yes, I totally understand the complaints that “curing” Alzheimer’s isn’t as simple as just memory. The brain degradation goes much beyond just memory. But for the purpose of the story, this is what Helena was trying to do. Trying to find a way to recover the memories that these patients lost and then reactivating them to fight the disease. Simplistic notion? Of course. But it’s enough to get our story going.


I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game between Helena and Slade, and then later between Barry and Slade. Basically, Slade discovers that’s Helena’s memory reactivation program actually sends the consciousness of the person back to the memory they were re-living. It was interesting because it takes place over several timelines. And the idea is that if you get shuffled back into a memory of the past anything that you’ve already lived becomes a “dead” memory and on the date you originally made the jump all those dead memories come flooding back. Not just for you, but everyone involved in those other memories. Naturally this leads to chaos as people suddenly find their brain filled with memories of a life they didn’t live. I was rooting for Helena and Barry to succeed and I was excited to see how they might accomplish this monumental task. How do you stop a man who can jump back into time to get another chance at stopping you?


Things took a turn for the worse when it becomes like something out of the movie Inception. Multiple people making multiple jumps back in time, over and over and over. And expansive descriptions of memories that no longer exist and new ones that do, until the next page when those “new” ones are now dead and overwritten. I had a really hard time following any of it. Then we come to the end game. Helena and Barry hide out, working on solving the problem of the returning “dead” memories so that world doesn’t end, and then Helena going back to her teen years to try again when they fail. This portion got incredibly repetitive. The two of them having the same conversations, doing the same things, as they realized they failed and had to try again.


Here’s where my biggest problem came in. and here’s your SECOND WARNING:  This is the big spoiler. It literally spoils the entire ending.




The logical way to end this is to go back to the event that precipitated the first timeline shift and change it, right? Apparently, no one in the book has figured out how to do that. Because that timeline is now a dead memory and they can’t figure out how to send people back to dead memories. Barry confronts Slade about it, because he heard that Slade might have a solution, and Slade basically says “Go back to the original memory. The day I killed Helena to steal her invention.” Barry says he can’t, that’s a dead memory. And all Slade says is “I did.” Barry runs to tell Helena and finds she’s already made the jump and he’ll have to wait until this memory returns to his mind the next time to tell her so they can try. Problem if, the next time Helena has died. So by the time Barry remembers, she is already gone and he’s on his own. Then he just figures it out apparently. No seriously, that’s what happens.


Barry is lying next to Helena’s grave, taken a bunch of pills to end his life, and then decides that he has to try to reactivate a dead memory and fix things once and for all. So, with dwindling time until those pills kick in, he runs to the lab and tries to map a dead memory. It succeeds, he goes back in time and stops the original event and everything is set right again. All in about 5 pages. And it made me mad.


We just spent an entire book with you telling me it’s impossible to go back to a dead memory. Then you find out that, maybe, it’s not impossible after all but you have no idea how to do it. And then figure it out in five minutes? But Helena who had literally been working out a solution to this for over a hundred years couldn’t figure that out? It reminded me a Stephen King ending. Blake Crouch got tired of this book, wanted it to be over and was just like “And so, there was a giant spider, the end.” I felt pretty ripped off and it lowered the rating of the entire book for me. It didn’t pay off. So even though I largely enjoyed the book, the ending tainted it for me.


I will probably read other books by Blake Crouch, I find his ideas and execution interesting. Hopefully his other books have a decent ending.

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review 2019-12-26 13:54
Twisted Memories by Kate L. Mary
Twisted Memories - Kate L. Mary

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this book in the Twisted series. This book fills in all the gaps between the Broken World series and the events in the first book in this series. This is a series that would best be read in order and I do believe that this series works best when read after the Broken World series. I have been kind of obsessed with this group of characters this year so I was delighted to have all of my questions about what their lives have been like and what really happened answered in this book.

Angus James came to Atlanta to save the world. His immunity has made him a precious commodity. Even though he came willingly and wanted to help, the CDC told his family that he had died and used him for one experiment after another. 20 years of experiments. We also get a chance to check in with Axl, Vivian, Jim, Al, Lila, Josh, and Parv. A lot has happened in 20 years and not all of it was good.

This book covers a lot of time. A lot of the story happens before the events of Twisted World and I did have a moment or two when I wondered why the author chose to wait until the second book to share this information but I don't think it would have worked well any other way. I hated hearing some of the things that happened to these characters. They have been through so much and it just seems wrong that they had to deal with the kind of evil shown in this story.

I thought that Heather Firth did a great job with the narration. This book is told from a lot of different perspectives and there a lot of characters that play important roles. I thought that she did a great job keeping all of the voices consistent and I never had any difficulty recognizing the speaker. I also think that she does a great job of adding emotion to her reading. I had no problems listening to her narration for hours at a time.

I would recommend this series to others. I feel like I have been on quite the journey with these characters and was very happy to find out what happened to them over the years even though a lot of it was heartbreaking. I look forward to reading more of Kate L. Mary's work.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this installment in the Twisted series. This book fills in the gap between the Broken World series and the first book in this series. It was really interesting to see what had happened to certain members of the group in the years since they entered their community controlled by the CDC. This book kind of takes everything you thought you knew about the way the community is run and turns it on its side. I thought that the narrator did a great job with this story and I am eager to get started on the next book in this series.

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review 2019-12-09 16:59
Memories of Tomorrow (Nameless Book 6) by Dean Koontz
Memories of Tomorrow - Dean Koontz
I received a complimentary Kindle copy of Memories of Tomorrow (Nameless Book 6) by Dean Koontz in an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review.
A description of Nameless: "Each night he falls asleep within one minute of resting his head on a pillow; each morning he awakens at the time that he predetermined when he went to bed the night before. This is one of his gifts."
I gave this book five stars because I found it fascinating. It is the last story about "Nameless".
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review 2019-11-14 18:25
Angela Marsons: Dead Memories
Dead Memories - Angela Marsons

You will NEED to read this first NINE (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Dying Truth & Fatal Promise) books in this series before reading this book or even review as it will spoil some things. Honestly this is one of the best Detective series out there and if you have not picked it up yet you should.

In this installment of the D. I. Kim Stone series, we get to see some of the most traumatic events in Kim's Life recreated:
D.I. Kim Stone has arrested quite a few people in career and many of them believe that she ruined their lives, prevented them from living the life they want, doing the things they wanted to and for that she needs to pay, not pay but suffer too. Kim's traumatic past is about to be laid out for her but she wants to keep her team at arms length as this is personal, her thinking is the less they know the better. Woody knows the most about Kim's past and he wants to make sure that she is okay, so he has assigned Alison Lowe back to the team for some insight not only into the perpetrator but Kim as well. With each new event and victim, Kim cannot help but blame herself for what is happening, and the pool of suspects seems to be getting larger not smaller. The Killer has an endgame and it is all about Kim and how the killer chooses to end it.

Honestly, I cannot believe that we are already on Book 10 in this series and Marsons is still publishing books that are interesting, different and engrossing. As this is book 10 you can think of the number of people that Kim has put away in this series so far and it was trip down memory lane from all the previous books and some of your "favourite", most cunning and violent criminals are back (no not Alex again, Marsons is too clever to recycle that premise). I guess what I really liked about this book is Marsons' acknowledging that even though these people are charged and have a trial gone to prison they could and most of them will eventually get out of prison and still have hatred to the person who put them away.
We do not get to know more about Kim's past as we as the readers have heard of the Kim's past before and the majority of these event that are presented we have read before, maybe there is a bit more detail but we have been aware of them. Where we see growth in this book is her team fully understanding what Kim has gone through to get where she is now, and I think a growing respect and trust between Kim and her team develops.

I enjoyed that Alison Lowe was back and I hope that she stays part of the team as I think she adds a dynamic that was missing before. Manly, Alison questioning Kim a lot and just bringing a whole new perspective to how they treat their case and narrow down who the suspect is. And yes questioning Kim is a good things, I know Bryant does at times but Kim just pushes him off when he say something that she does not agree with. Additionally, Alison is the individual who has a side case running in this book and it showed more of her personality and what she was willing to go through to make sure the right person is arrested. I know I said it before but I hope that Marsons keeps her around.

In a way I feel like this book closed a chapter in Kim's life and story here, the cat is out of the bag so to speak. Everything that Kim has been hiding protecting is out there and in a way she has lost one of her walls. If this were the last book in this series I would be okay with it as I feel like Kim has grown as much as she can and has shared as much as she can. This book also summarized the successes and failures that Kim and her team have had over the 9 previous books and it was a tribute to the good work that everyone on the team had done. I know there is another book after this one and I will be reading it but I do wonder where Marsons will go from here.


If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2011/11/amanda-kyle-williams-stranger-you-seek.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2019/07/kelley-armstrong-city-of-lost.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/08/wendy-walker-all-is-not-forgotten.html
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