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review 2017-09-17 15:06
Supernatural Square
Bound No More: A Jane Yellowrock Novella - Audible Studios,Faith Hunter,Khristine Hvam

Since this seems to be the week for everyone telling me my reviews are stupid because I am stupid western woman, let me say I didn't read the other books in this series.

On one hand, I really like this. Jane Yellowrock is a very interesting character and the audio narration was brilliant. Yet I found myself getting increasing annoyed with the story. I am sorry but in the middle of a big fight you are going to take the time to describe what your partner is wearing? Seriously? Additionally, I kept getting told the same thing over and over. And finally, I am sick and tried of the all powerful Mary Sue. Jane was totally wonderfully until she bound Angie and then you were like WTF, how she do that. 

It's a shame really because Hunter has one of the best relationships between the human and the animal in any were or shifter story I have seen.

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review 2017-09-15 13:40
The Germanicus Mosaic by Rosemary Rowe
The Germanicus Mosaic - Rosemary Rowe

Series: Libertus Mysteries#1

 

An influential (or at least well-off) Roman is found dead in the furnace room of his country villa in 2nd century Roman Britain. Libertus, a former slave and mosaicist by trade, had recently completed a mosaic for this Germanicus. Libertus is enlisted by his patron, Marcus (yes, this historical fiction book plays it a bit loose with the use of Roman names), to investigate the matter because Marcus is worried that the murder may be political in origin (these days the Roman Empire is rather unsettled).

 

This was a cute little historical mystery set in a slightly later Roman time period than I'm used to reading about. The resolution to the mystery did turn out to be one of my theories but I wasn't certain that I was right until the end. I completely missed the motivation for the murder though. I may continue reading the series, but I'm not rushing out to buy the next one. I liked Libertus and his slave, Junio, but overall the characters felt a bit flat.

 

I read this for the More Historical Than Fiction bookclub and for the "Murder Most Foul" square in the Halloween Bingo. It could also fit the "Terrifying Women" and "Amateur Sleuth" squares.

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text 2017-09-13 02:43
Reading progress update: I've read 26%.
The Germanicus Mosaic - Rosemary Rowe

So we have a British former-slave mosaicist-by-trade sleuth in the 2nd century. It's a bit like Guy Gavriel Kay's Sailing to Sarantium meets Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco. Ok, that comparison may be a bit of a stretch...

 

It's not bad, so far, although we're only at the beginning stages of the investigation.

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review 2017-09-11 05:57
GULP by MARY ROACH
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach

TITLE:  Gulp:  Adventures of the Alimentary Canal

 

AUTHOR:  Mary Roach

 

FORMAT:  e-book

 

ISBN-13:  978-0-393-24030-6

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

NOTE:  The Flat Book Society Book Club selected Gulp by Mary Roach as the book to read for September and October 2017.

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

When a book is titled “Gulp: Adventures of the Alimentary Canal” and marketed as popular science, the potential reader assumes they will be reading a book that discusses how the digestive system works and other interesting facts about the alimentary canal.  Well… that is NOT this book.  This book is something of an unfocused hodge-podge of breezy, superficial facts; throw-away statements (we want to know more!); and odd historical stories about the scientists and their less than savoury experiments on the digestive tract.

 

The book is divided into 17 chapters which loosely  follow the physiological structure of the alimentary canal, beginning with taste and smell, and covering such topics as organ meats, cultural food preferences, chewing, gastric acid, saliva, swallowing, being eaten alive, eating too much, intestinal gasses and flammability, extra-curricular storage functions, colonic direction, constipation, and gut-microflora transplants.  After a while I found that the chapters started to blur together due to the collection of random facts, pointless fillers, multiple side tangents, and not-so-witty footnotes. 

 

I’m not really sure what the aim of this book was supposed to be, but it is more entertaining (if you find potty humour and fashion commentary entertaining) than educational.  In any case, Roach seems to take delight in showcasing the more sensational trivia and taboos about the digestive system, while at the same time providing excessive fashion commentary of the people she interviews.  There is very little actual science in this book and a limited coverage of the functioning of the alimentary canal.  This book emphasized the strange and bizarre occurrences related to the digestive system, but never fully explained the system itself.   

 

I found the writing to be a little sloppy with odd sentence structures, interesting single sentence comments that went no-where and lack of clarity between fact and personal opinion.  In addition, the author has an irreverent, rambling style with excessive asides, puns, dodgy humour and innuendoes, and a preoccupation with toilet humour that might appeal more to a 12 year old boy trying to revolt his baby sister than someone actually looking for information about the topic.  The excessive, crude toilet humour also didn’t appeal to me.

 

The subject matter has the potential to be extremely interesting; however, this book is not.  One reviewer described this book as the “Trivial Pursuit version of the “adventures on the alimentary canal,” not the informative, organized tour designed to give insight in an entertaining way”.  I can’t really argue with that.

 

I would not recommend this book to anyone, except possibly the aforementioned 12 year old boy in the hopes of enticing him away from the computer/ TV for a while.  There is too much filler and pointless trivia; and very little actual science in this book.

 

 

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text 2017-09-08 07:33
Is Seth dead and wake up in hell?
More Than This - Patrick Ness

 

 

 

After seeing what other picked for Diverse Voices, mostly Black writers, I kind of get what this Diverse Voices square means.

 

I changed my mind and read this for "Magical Realism" square. This is a mystery if this boy Seth is dead or alive and in danger. I got this book on the TBR pile for too long. 

 

Looking forward to this. 

 

Change my mind about it and would read another book for this square. 

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