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review 2017-04-30 02:01
I got the mixed feels about this
Shift Omnibus Edition (Silo, #2) (Wool, #6-8) - Hugh Howey

Ever since I finished the fantastic Wool a few years back I've had the other volumes on my TBR list. It was only when the other half of the two-person sci-fi reading group I'm in selected this that it became a priority though, and even then I'm about three months late getting to it. Part of it was the size, which suggested a commitment of time that I couldn't make until I took care of other reading requirements. Fortunately reading it proved quicker than I thought -- but only because I ended up skimming so much of it.

 

Hence the title of my post. I can't recall the last time I was so divided in my feelings towards a book. At the core of it is the backstory explaining how the Silos came to be. Overall, I was impressed by Hugh Howey's story, which explained nicely how so many people ended up in constructions that would take an enormous amount of preparation to realize. It also filled in the margins of Wool by providing prequels to the events in Silo 18 and one of the characters in Silo 17, though this felt like padding. And there we have the source of my conflicted feelings about the book.

 

Perhaps I'm ungrateful to complain about what amounted to unnecessary backstory, when the part of the book that I liked was really little more than unnecessary backstory itself. The difference, though, is that the backstory I liked introduced new characters and illuminated previously unexplored parts of the world of Wool. With the other half of the book, however, I already knew where I was going to end up. Had Howey's characterization been better I might have been more interested, but his strengths have always been with plot rather than character development. Fortunately once I figured this out I was able to skim through big chunks of it, which helped me to finish it a lot more quickly than I expected. So at least there's that.

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review 2017-04-24 17:08
CRAVINGS by LAURELL K. HAMILTON, ETC
Cravings - Laurell K. Hamilton,MaryJanice Davidson,Eileen Wilks,Rebecca York

Anthology 4.75 out of 5 stars. Excellent for an anthology.

1. "Beyond the Ardeur" (An Anita Blake tale) By Laurell K. Hamilton - I started reading this and I kept thinking that I've read this before. I searched for this title or series # in the list of titles. Nothing. So I kept reading, knowing what was coming next. Then I went back to the anthology's blurb and saw this: ***This short story is a condensed version of Incubus Dreams, book 12 in the Anita Blake series! No wonder, I have read it. I gave Incubus Dreams 5 stars, so I'll give this 5 stars.

2. "Dead Girls Don't Dance," by MaryJanice Davidson. I've read this one too. I have a feeling I read this before I was on Goodreads. I liked this story. Thought it was funny and sweet. 5 stars.

3. "Originally Human" by Eileen Wilks. Read it previously also. He's a "something different" that fell in love with her from afar. Cute story. 4 stars.

4. "Burning Moon" by Rebecca York. Okay I read all of these stories but this one was worth a re-read. Serial killer after handicapped woman and a werewolf who is there to stop him. 5 stars.

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review 2017-04-24 16:49
ELLORA'S CAVEMEN: TALES FROM THE TEMPLE III
Ellora's Cavemen: Tales from the Temple III - Jaid Black,Cheyenne McCray,Mary Wine,Delilah Devlin,Anya Bast,Diana Hunter,Sherri L. King

Anthology Average is 3 stars out of 5

1. Wolf’s Law by Cheyenne McCray. Okay story about a werewolf coming upon a woman sold into slavery and falling in love/lust. 3 stars.

2. Scarlet Sweet by Anya Bast. The fae separate to separate planets and find themselves in dire straights. One has the potential to be "embraced" which makes her something more and maybe finding someone more. Good story. 3 stars.

3. Writers Unblocked by Diana Hunter. A couple who have been married for two years finally come clean about what floats their boat. 3 stars.

3. Looking Forward by Mary Wine. Colonists come to a planet and one of the women becomes an unwanted widow until the planet's inhabitants get a look at her. Good story. 3-1/2 stars.

4. Raptor's Prey by Delilah Devlin. He's part of a dream but he's not. They have sex in these dreams but she's not sure if it's real because he ended one talk with a really cryptic remark. And what's up with the hawk? 2-1/2 stars.

5. Voyeurs Overexposed by Sherri L. King. People living under Earth's crust fight evil and try to stop humans from finding out. One of the Shikar meets a photographer who took pictures of a battle. Why they sent this girl, I have no idea. Okay story. 3 stars.

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review 2017-03-01 16:57
Highlander Bride Taken: Omnibus - Lynda Belle

The future Lady McFarris was to be bridal tribute between her father and Lord McFarris to seal the clan truce. Lord Mcfarris was eighty one and the future Lady McFarris was eighteen but she knew her duty to her family and clan. She meets her soon to be nephew in law Conall as  she stumbles on the step of the carriage and he catches her. The soon to be Lady McFarris wishes Conall was to be her husband and the man who took her on her wedding night. On her wedding night lord McFerris falls to sleep when he was suppose to make love to his new bride. Then Conaal steps in and performs the duty for his uncle but he wanted her from the moment he seen the new Lady McFarris.

This was a short novella and I just couldn’t connect with the characters or the story. I understood the plot but you needed more story and a real ending.

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review 2017-02-02 14:01
When An Outcast Became a Hero At The Beginning of a Zombie Outbreak!
I am a Hero Omnibus Volume 1 - Kengo Hanzawa

There are so many 'zombie' related novels, comics and even mangas, its unsure which one is really good to pick up. Yes, The Walking Dead is a much favorite comic book series so far with other numerous other zombies that many felt pale to its comparison. Mangas are only a handful of titles that either work or fair well to some readers. It was then I stumble upon a movie trailer of 2016's I Am A Hero that got me curious to pick up this manga title... and boy, Kengo Hanazawa has shown true potential what a storyteller and artist he can be with this title.

 

Let's start off with what makes this different than most zombie titles - Hideo Suzuki is a lowly assistant manga artist for a long time. He's an outcast thirty-five years old and still has no hit on any of his proposal that he was popular to be made into serial in Japan. Daydreamer occasionally that he is not able to see reality of life, he talks to himself most of the time. His girlfriend, on the other hand, used to be a fan of his but he isn't if she still loves him. Slowly as days passes by and always on a deadline, some thing is happening around Hideo that he never notices and thinks its one of his hallucinations... until when some thing freshly dead became a reality in Japan.

 

How much different is this compare to other 'zombie' related theme novels, comics or mangas is this - told in a sequence of a day to day happening, Kengo Hanazawa took realism into manga form using panel by panel story telling. Its not a fast-reading material, I give you that but the artwork gives any reader a step-by-step eye movement following sequence that really works into your pleasure of reading. I was totally into the manga and I am glad that he took his time building up the suspense in a slow-pacing manner. In truth - the real fun begins after 1/2 of the omnibus (which is after the first collected volume one) and where the attack begins. But won't this affect the fun in reading the manga? No. He has his own reasoning why the build up is slow. That build up introduce the characters of who they are, what they are to the protagonist and how this affects his reality issues of life that he can't comprehend. Namely, the wonders of daydreamers depict really well as a character being told almost accurately how shut-ins live their lives. Throw them into a zombie apocalypse and see what they will do. And that's a fun read.

 

The artwork itself is the ugly reality of how Japanese life is. And the details given so meticulous in art-form is a beautiful piece you can feel that Kengo Hanazawa paid a lot of good attention to details needed. Yes, blurred lines are used but the splash pages are some thing to behold here. My following eye-movement is one that dictates which will go first and which is important for the intensity of the action and this works really well. Its an acceptable manga to give what manga readers want to enjoy reading and to admire the artwork as well. Nominated and won with some awards and its still ongoing since its first debut its series in Japan in 2009, I am glad I pick up this title on a whim because of the movie trailer. I am hoping that it does not disappoint as the series continue and since the English language version was released last-year, I can wait a little longer to enjoy reading this at a slow-pacing while I work it up with my other readings. This is one zombie related manga that should be read if you want some thing that build's its suspense at the right timing.

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