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review 2016-11-22 00:42
Only okay
Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt (Aliens Vs. Predator) - Mike Kennedy,Roger Robinson,Dustin Weaver,James Pascoe

Humanity lost all its technology, then regained it - minus knowledge of aliens or predators. When a group of businessmen and underlings and government liaisons land on a planet they wish to colonize, this gap  in their knowledge turns out to be far more important than they could have realized. 

 

The problem is that predators and aliens killing meatbags - while satisfying to read about - doesn't make a storyline, even with the hunter becomes the hunted storyline going on.   All the trappings - the socio-political arguments, etc - never seemed fleshed out enough to make a solid plotline.   There was that, there was a love story, and neither felt like it was enough to really make me care about the characters, so I didn't care if or when they died. 

 

The ending was creepy, and one of the better open ended finales I've read in a while.   Even that wasn't enough to save me not really caring about what happened to the characters next.   If I had, it would have been far more effective.  

 

Not bad, just not really engaging enough for me to want to read more.   That being said, it hit the media tie-in for my general comic bingo card.   And I got it in a Humble Bundle and it was less than a hundred pages, so I was going to try it at some point.  Now seemed as good a time as any.

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review 2016-03-08 21:14
The Green-Eyed Monster
The Green-Eyed Monster - Mike Robinson

I really liked the basic idea of this, and I even liked the concept behind how the book was organized, but in the end, this really didn't work for me.

 

One of my biggest stumbling blocks is our "main" characters. They aren't present throughout the novel. Some of that is probably due to the way the story is told primarily through the eyes of those around them, but Martin and John are known for being charismatic and hard-to-ignore in-story and yet it is remarkably easy to forget that they are supposed to be the center of things while reading. They somehow feel like one of the least interesting parts of the story. People talk about them, and it is suggested they are causing some things, but it is rarely seen at any point and it's hard to care much about the ramifications of the opening scene of the novel when it is so hard to care about these two men.

 

Now I get to stumble around trying to come up with words to explain something I almost never talk about in books, curiously enough: language. As far as I am concerned, if I am not actively highlighting it on my Kindle and adding notes remarking on how ridiculous I find it, the language is fine.

 

There were lots of notes here.

 

Things just did not ring true in places. The metaphors were overwrought and didn't hit the ideas clearly, the dialogue varied between "serviceable" and "nobody says that and nobody should say that," and I just kept getting pulled out of the story to wince at something I had just read. It is not the worst I've ever read, certainly, but it is one of the few times my immersion has been so constantly broken because it wasn't always awkward, but when it was, it was really awkward.

 

The book stumbles a bit at figuring out what it wants to be. The genre is fluid, which does keep the reader guessing and wanting to get to the end, but also means quite a few things seem to come out of nowhere. If I had been more attached to the characters or the world, it probably would have been either very annoying or really fun, but without that connection I was left faintly bemused by the whole thing.

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review 2016-02-08 21:05
The Green-Eyed Monster - Mike Robinson

Two boys were born on the same day. They were even neighbors and didn’t really like each other and were rivals as they grew up.

I didn’t really get this book. It was kinda hard to understand. I gave up reading this before i finished just didn’t keep my attention.

**I received an ARC of this story for an honest review

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review 2016-01-31 08:26
Waking Gods
Waking Gods (The Enigma of Twilight Falls Book 3) - Mike Robinson

In this ultimate chapter of the non-linear trilogy The Enigma of Twilight Falls we meet Adrian Foster, a young and reclusive Los Angeles man with an extraordinary gift that has informally brought him the nickname “The Human Master Key.”

When a new victim of a vicious serial killer turns up in the woods by Twilight Falls, California, Adrian reunites with eccentric detective Derek Adams in probing the occult lore surrounding the town — the town in which Adrian was born and raised, the town in which he left behind many a ghost, the town whose dark central spirit will force him on a harrowing journey through the rugged bottomlands of another’s psyche … as well as his own.

Waking Gods completes the terrifying and surreal panorama previously established by The Green-Eyed Monster and Negative Space.

 

In my review of The Green-Eyed Monster I stated I would like to have some more closure on the whole Martin Smith and John Becker thing. I also wasn't completely sure what to expect of Waking Gods as the previous two books were quite different from each other. However, I wasn't expecting this.

 

I was a little bit disappointed really. I was completely prepared for something that was different, strange and chaotic, and while the story certainly had all that (I don't necessarily mean those things in a bad way though) I never got into the story. This might have been due to the extensive time-hopping, which made it at times unclear as to who we were following and where it fit together with the rest of the story.

 

Besides, I got really annoyed by all the references to the earlier stories. I mean, I understand it all takes place in the same town and universe, and I can believe some reference, but it was too much. There is not a single character who is not affected by Smith's and Becker's books, and a lot of other things, which I won't mention so I don't spoil everything, get a lot of attention as well, even if it doesn't always make sense. The story, at times, gets drowned in those references.

 

While this trilogy certainly is unlike anything really that I've read before, and some of the ideas and writings were truly great, I look back at the series with some mixed feelings. I haven't always enjoyed reading it, but I think in a while I will look back and be glad I did. If that makes any sense at all.

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-01-30 07:54
Negative Space
Negative Space - Mike Robinson

Continuing the Twilight Falls series with Negative Space.

 

And, frankly, at the start it felt like I was reading something completely different. The premise of this book was even better than the last. A promising LA artist uses the faces of missing persons in his paintings, as to give them some kind of place. However, when he recognizes one of 'his' faces in the street, things are about to change.

 

It started of really good, but soon it got crowded with lots of different characters and story lines that didn't always seem to make sense. (Did the lawyer one really need to be included?) And that was before all the Neo-Naturalism things and before the very long passages on art that just weren't that interesting.

 

I was however, to some extent captured by their wild goose chase, even though it was not that realistic. It also took me ages to figure out the book was set 20 years ago, oops. Much like its predecessor, The Green-Eyed Monster, Negative Space gives up story for style, which didn't always work for me, although at times I really enjoyed reading it.

 

All in all some mixed feelings. It is certainly not something you read every day and a good concept but in places it became very chaotic and too crowded.

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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