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review 2018-12-30 20:28
Anna & Elsa #2: Memory and Magic (Disney Frozen) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) - Erica David,William E. Robinson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is such a good follow-up series to the Frozen movie. In the first book, Elsa learns how to balance using her powers and utilizing other methods to help the villagers with their problems. In this one, Anna deals with having had her memories of her sister's magic removed when she was a child.

I think one of the things that really draws me to this series is that when you watch a movie, you usually still have so many questions you want answered after it ends. This series is a great way to find answers to some of those questions.

Well-written, I found this one especially funny. I really liked Brock and Kristoff's hilarious interactions. 




As with the first book, it was a fun and entertaining story. Good easy read. I already picked up the third book in the series and can't wait to read it.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-12-26 14:52
A Memory Called Empire - Arkady Martine
A Memory Called Empire - Arkady Martine

There were a lot of things I really liked about this book but, I have to be honest, the pacing at times let A Memory Called Empire down a little. Still, that might be a little unfair for what is both a first novel and also the first in a trilogy with all the world-building requirements that entails. 

 

The basic premise of the book is that we follow the newly-appointed ambassador for Lsel Station who has been unexpectedly called to the heart of the nearby all-consuming Teixcalaan empire. On Lsel, it's traditional for the memories of past individuals to be paired with a new person on their death, so their experiences and expertise are passed on without subsuming the new 'host' and their own life. When Mahit is summoned, she is only able to be given an outdated version of the previous ambassador's memories and hastily packed off in a ship, only to discover on her arrival that the summons was due to her predecessor's murder. 

 

At this point, Yskander's previous memories stop working and Mahit is left to try and navigate the empire she admires and figure out just what Yskander did to get himself killed. This turns out to be offering the memory technology to a dying emperor who is desperate to continue to live through his clone, which is both unacceptable to Lsel and also considered immoral by the empire. In the background, there's also the threat of alien invasion which Mahit is eventually able to use to try and keep Lsel from being swallowed up. 

 

Overall, I really liked the clash of cultures taking place here, with Mahit as a big fan of Teixcalaan culture but eventually realising she can never quite fit in with them. I found it a little annoying that the potential clash between Yskander-as-was and the machinations of his older self were underplayed by the memory device malfunctioning at the least opportune time. As mentioned earlier, at times the pacing was a little uneven but in general I enjoyed A Memory Called Empire a lot and look forward to seeing where the rest of the story goes. 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-11-27 12:10
Good Story and Good Characters
The Memory Hit - Carla Spradbery The Memory Hit - Carla Spradbery

Jess, Hannah, and Luke are together. Hannah tells Jess you were suppose to tame my little brother. Now Luke wanted to be a doctor like Jess and go to the same Uni as her. Luke told Hannah he and Jess were going to have the most awesome life together. Jess never went anywhere without Luke. Jess felt it was true love just like her parents. Jess and Luke have been together for six months. It was a masquerade New Years party. Jess had went on a dare to get a plastic snowman off a pizza delivery car and they had just returned. Jess and Scarlet were best friends. Than Jess found out Luke was cheating on her with Scarlet. Sam Cooper/Coop was playing a video game- he was Jess’s ex- and than his best friend Jag came in and said he wanted to spend time with his best mate but than coo noticed they were out of beer but it was 11:20 on New Years Eve. Last year Coop had done a crash and dash to steal alcohol from a party and Jess had called the cops on him. Neither had talked to the other since. Jess went to leave Scarlets when she started downstairs and realized there was a fire she tried to get back up the stairs to at least tell Scarlet and Luke to get out of the house but the crush of the panicked kids carried Jess outside. She looked up to Scarlet’s window and saw too people still in her room trapped there. Coop remembered how happy he had been with Jess last year. He hadn’t been with anyone else since. Coop had gone through the cemetery to get to the party he planned on crashing for alcohol but also check on his sister. Than Coop saw a figure in black  he knew he had to hurry and decide which way to try to get away but but the first blow hit him above the ear and he went down. Than a second blow came and so did total darkness. When Coop came too he had been in a car’s boot than Leon was the guy opening up the trunk and he beat Coop as he tried to get away Leon found the drug Nostalgex or N in Coop’s backpack and Leon said this was his territory and the only way Coop could get away was to take five hundred pills of N and sell them and have the first part of the payment- a grand the next night. If not Leon threatened to kill his twin sister Amy. Coop’s father had been a drug dealer and Coop believed Leon’s father set his dad up. Now Coop’s mom and dad were in prison for a long time. Luke and Scarlett get rescued from her house and Luke was asking for Jess and Jess went in goes to his room. She tells him they are through and than he asks if she has the pills still in his pocket and to leave his coat there with them but Jess just turns and walks away from him. She goes through the hospital and sees Coop and than the baggie brags and the red pills fall to the floor she goes to pick them up and Coop helps her than notices cops coming toward them and they leave together after they got the pills. The cops do chase them but Jess and Coop get away. Jess tells Coop about the pills and Luke was dealing them and he was dealing for Leon. Than Coops tells her that is who messed up his face. Than she remembered the bag of pills that fell out at Scarlet’s and her fingerprints were on them she was determined to go back and make sure the pills weren’t still there and Coop goes with her. Leon had been controlled for the past two years by Whiteface as he told Coop. He had evidence that would put Leon in prison for the rest of his life. Leon had killed his father when on N as his father abused even knocked out Leon’s two front teeth.  He had dropped the gun and seen someone standing, watching him. So Leon did what she was told.

I read this book in one setting but lost some sleep doing it. But I just didn’t want to put it down as I wanted to see what was going to happen next. This book had: suspense, drug dealers, drama, intrigue, murder, greed, and a lot more. It was a great read. The only thing I would have liked done different was the end but it did definitely fit this book. This shows how much greed can take over and mess with your life up. Also how dangerous dealing drugs as well as taking them can be. Also I felt a lot of this was very realistic as Far as I am concerned. I would have like to rate this 4.5. I liked the characters of this book and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend this.

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video 2018-10-16 10:56

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review 2018-10-14 17:15
Forget Me Not...
Memory Man - David Baldacci

I was recently introduced to the work of David Baldacci by my Dad, who has enthusiastically devoured the Amos Decker thrillers in quick succession. This first in the series introduces the gruff and unlikely hero - ex NFL player and police detective, decimated and made destitute by the collapse of his private world some fifteen months before. However, what makes the rather tragic character of Decker so unusual and compelling is his experience of ‘hyperthymesia’ (excessive autobiographical memory/perfect recall). On the one hand, it does seem like a convenient way of giving ‘superpower’ to a detective, but the narrative actually describes the burden equally as a curse, for the man unable to erase some haunting memories. Still suffering under the weight of his loss, Decker is barely functioning, but is drawn back into his painful past when a man hands himself in and confesses to the murder of Decker’s family. And so the blue touch paper is lit on an explosive tale of murder, intrigue and a battle of wits to prevent further killing and seek justice for the growing number of victims.


Despite being a brilliant detective, Amos Decker is an emotional shell, no longer able to process as he once did. Yet, as well as a triumph of complex plotting, the author’s skill lies in his ability to make the reader care about how it turns out for the flawed main character. Former police partner, pushy journo, FBI special agent are all excellent supporting characters and each realizes Decker is the key to the case and prop him up along the way, recognizing his vulnerability.

 

It is a masterful example of the genre. Perhaps, the fact that, like my Dad, the final page had me seeking out the title of the sequel is testament to this book’s impact as a ‘page-turner’. Quite dark, the rattling pace is maintained, despite the convoluted twists and turns and in an interesting symmetry the criminals are as unusual as the pursuer. Well worth a read.

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