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review 2017-07-06 18:45
Optical Delusion by Hunter Shea
Optical Delusion - Hunter Shea

 The latest installment in the Mail Order Massacres series is Optical Delusion. This time around the action is focused on some X Ray glasses ordered from the back of a comic book. What could go wrong with that?

 

Mr. Blackstone's son tosses the specs aside because they gave him a headache and they don't work. When Martin Blackstone spots them, he scoops them up and decides to give them a try. What happens next? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

 

 

I enjoyed this novella for the bit of silliness that it was. It's not trying to be the next Crime and Punishment, it just wants to take you along a quick ride of "What if?" Even though I knew going into it that this was a novella, I found myself wishing for a meatier story. Overall though, Optical Delusion did meet my expectations and I had fun with it.

 

I'm looking forward to Mr. Shea's next foray into the world of mail order mayhem!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Lyrical Underground for the e-ARC!*

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review 2017-06-25 15:29
Hoodoo Harry by Joe Lansdale
Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries) - Joe R. Lansdale

Hoodoo Harry is actually a woman and she used to drive the bookmobile in her town. The bookmobile and Harry both disappeared years ago and no one ever knew what became of them.

 

Enter Hap and Leonard. As they're driving down the road one day, what comes up the road towards them, but the bookmobile? It's being driven by what looks like a young boy and unfortunately, he drives right into Hap and Leonard! That's all I can say about the story, you'll have to read it to find out what happens next.

 

I love these guys and this novella was no exception. I also loved the bookmobile when I was a kid, so this story very much appealed to me. Hoodoo Harry has to be one of my favorite entries in the series so far and I know that I'll be thinking about her and her bookmobile for a long time to come.

 

Highly recommended!

 

Available August 1, but you can pre-order here: Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries)

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher for the digital ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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text 2017-06-23 18:00
My Free Friday Book! Hoodoo Harry by Joe Lansdale
Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries) - Joe R. Lansdale

This is a short novella, so I should be able to finish it over the weekend! My Booklikes-opoly Bank account is as sad as my real one! This will be a nice way for me to make a deposit. 

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review 2017-04-30 18:29
Soles by Kay Brandt
Soles - Kay Brandt

Soles has the most original premise of any book I've read so far this year!

 

Roland has inherited his family's shoe shop which has gone severely downhill since the violent death of his parents. His Aunt Grace has tried to keep it going, but is finally throwing in the towel and handing it over to Rolie. Problem is, he's not interested and...oh yeah, the place is haunted.

 

I'm not going to act like I understood everything that went on, but honestly, I don't need to understand every little thing. The atmosphere went from slightly silly when Rolie first took over the store and hired Stephanie, to deadly serious when Stephanie's friends came to rob the store. There were some extremely creepy moments,

especially when the shop kept locking its own doors, trapping Rolie inside. For some reason, that gave me the shudders.

(spoiler show)

 

  In the end, I'm not positive as to the cause of things, but I'm okay with that because I enjoy ambiguous stories and providing my own ideas as to what was happening :

my thoughts being that Rolie's father, literally, put his soul into the soles, (see what I did there?), and they carried it on, as did the shop itself, long after he was gone. Or perhaps the shop was haunted before Roland's dad ever took it over? 

(spoiler show)

Am I right or am I wrong? That's the beauty of ambiguous stories: I don't know. Perhaps you'll come up with your own theory and we can discuss it?

 

Soles is an original take on a haunting and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The writing was above average and in the creative department this tale knocked the ball out of the park. As such, I recommend it-especially to readers that don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow. If this sounds interesting to you, you can grab your copy here: Soles and we can discuss it when you're done!

 

*I was provided an e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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text 2017-04-13 14:31
Strange and dangerous though its world might be...
The Enclave - Anne Charnock

Strange and dangerous though its world might be, I was fascinated to be back in the technologically advanced, genetically enhanced, climate challenged future Manchester that Anne Charnock first explored in A Calculated Life. In that book the main character is Jayna, a simulant or lab created human who has been completely bio-engineered to have beyond genius level intelligence so she can process huge amounts of data for her employer, but in this novella we get a look at lives on the far other end of the human spectrum.

 

Caleb and Lexie have both been deemed unworthy for the cognitive implants that most natural born people receive to enhance their abilities. They eke out a living in the Enclave, a violent, gritty slum community far from Manchester’s hub. With a nod to current events, Caleb is a young illegal immigrant who had to flee Spain when climate change rendered his home virtually unlivable. Caleb and Lexie work together, but though they have a stronger bond than normally found in subordinate-boss relationships, the nature of their reality makes it hard for them to trust anyone.

 

Charnock writes what I think of as science fiction for grownups, stories in which realistic (if often futuristic) characters and thought-filled themes are as important as her high tension plots. While The Enclave isn’t exactly a sequel to A Calculated Life, those who’ve read the first book will recognize Jayna and her coworker Dave in a brief encounter they have with the characters in this novella. Even Dave’s bees make an appearance.

 

One thing left to explore in this world is the lives of the elite--the natural born (not lab created) humans who have been equipped with cognitive implants. They have best jobs and the nicest homes, but I wonder how life in this tenuous world would feel to one of them.


I received a complimentary copy of The Enclave from the author, with no obligation to write a review. Review opinions are mine.

 

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