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review 2017-02-28 13:13
The Midnight Assassin ★★★★★
The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer - Skip Hollandsworth

It seems amazing that I’ve never heard of this string of attacks and murders in Austin, although I seem to recall hearing of the legend of the mysterious woman in white (apparently the ghost of the murdered Eula) when I was a student at UT. Or maybe from my visits to my grandparents in Austin as a kid?

 

The author does an excellent job of presenting the events and his research findings objectively. The narrative is not at all dry – it’s engaging while paying the reader the compliment of avoiding sensationalism and emotional manipulation. I was as fascinated by the story of historical Austin, its people and growth and politics and race relations, as I was by the mystery of the attacks. The insight into the process (and limits) of 19th century forensics, law enforcement, and justice, was compelling as well.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Clint Jordan provides an excellent performance with an authentic regional voice, although his mispronunciation of a few place names was a little distracting. For example, Seguin is “suh-GEEN”, not “SEG-win”. The author reads the afterword in his own voice, which is even more authentically, delightfully, regional.

 

Update:

I gave the hardcover copy to my Dad for his birthday. The bound copy is full of goodies, like maps and photos, and contains a reference index. My dad, a native Austinite, is also a history buff who particularly loves the late 1800s, and was so delighted with this book that he also sent a copy to his brother. 

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review 2016-12-12 17:13
excellent read
Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds - Joseph P. Laycock

Excellent read and very comprehensible for an academic text.

 

Also a good read considering issues with biases, information bubbles, and distortion in news and national discourses.

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review 2016-10-30 02:23
Great start to a new series
Pull Me Close: The Panic Series - Sidney Halston

It was hard to see how this story could have a happy ending. Katherine's PTSD was so extreme, and I know this does not go away fast, if at all. Because of the time that passed through this story, I grew to love the grumpy but loving Nico who did what he could to help Katherine. I had to keep turning pages to see how they made it to the other side of this disorder. As the story progressed, I enjoyed it more. I recommend this story highly.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2016-10-20 00:00
Pull Me Close: The Panic Series
Pull Me Close: The Panic Series - Sidney Halston description

description

Katherine lives a life of fear and anxiety. Surrounded by the walls of her tiny apartment she carries on never daring to take a step outside. That is until she decides to face her fear and finds herself at PANIC a Miami nightclub for her sister's engagement party. Soon the flashing lights and crush of bodies have Katie suffering one of the worst panic attacks of her life.

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Nico doesn't have time to worry about some passed out girl in his club. She's probably some junkie anyway, and they've already had their share of bad press lately. He'll give Katie a ride back home, but then wash his hands of her. But there is just something about this waif of a girl that has him intrigued.

THE FEELS in this one...

I honestly don't know what to write in this review that would do this book and OUNCE of justice. The writing was PHENOMENAL. As someone who has suffered from social anxiety, and PTSD, this book hit close to home and close to my heart. The author obviously did her research and the subject justice.

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Katie was an AMAZING heroine. So strong, and loving. Watching her bloom and get better had me tearing up through the whole book. Nico, what can I say. At the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to like this guy. He was a judgmental ASSHOLE. Sure he had his reasons, and I even understood them. It didn't stop me from wanting to smack him. Luckily it doesn't last long and we get ourselves one of THE best heroes I've read in a book to date.

On top of that, we get some fabulous sexual tension, some smokin hot sex scenes, and a great cast of secondary characters. I am taking a moment here to give a shout out to MATT. Was that guy awesome or what? I CANNOT wait to see what happens in his book (I assume there will be one.)

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Which brings me to the end. The last 15% of this book TORE my heart out. I was ugly crying. I wanted to immediately grab my loved ones close and make sure they knew I loved them.

So as you can probably tell from my gushing and probably not 100% coherent review. I ADORED this one. Do yourself a HUGE favor and add this one to your TO READ list TODAY.

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review 2016-10-18 17:53
Grandioses Finale!
Spellcaster - Finsterer Schwur - Claudia Gray,Ira Panic

Inhalt:

 

Captive´s Sound steht vor dem Abgrund, denn der Herrscher der Unterwelt steht kurz vor der Auferstehung und plant alles den Erdboden gleich zu machen. Nadia hofft dieses Vorhaben zu verhindert und hat dem Herrscher der Unterwelt Treue geschworen. An der Seite von der schwarzen Zauberin Elizabeth dient sie Jenem dort unten und wird von ihr in die Mächte der dunklen Magie eingeführt. Statt standhaft an ihren Vorhaben festzuhalten und mehr über die bösen Pläne in Erfahrung zu bringen, verfällt Nadia immer mehr der Verlockung ihrer neugewonnenen Macht.

 

Leider birgt diese auch viele andere negativen Seiten, denn durch ihre Empfänglichkeit für die Dunkelheit, verliert sie immer mehr den Zusammenhalt zu ihren Freunden und ihrer Familie. Abgeschottet von allen die sie liebt, versucht sie für Gerechtigkeit zu sorgen, doch wem gilt am Ende ihre Loyalität – Gut oder Böse?

 

Meine Meinung:

 

Ich hasse Abschiede und doch lässt es sich leider nicht vermeiden. So heißt es auch hier wieder einmal Abschied von einer fulminanten und fesselten Trilogie zu nehmen, die mich mit ihrer Vielschichtigkeit, Magie und Spannung total begeistert hat!

 

Claudia Gray hat rund um ihre Protagonistin Nadia eine Handlung gestaltet, die mit vielen Elementen und tollen Charakteren ein absolutes Lesehighlight wurde. Die Trilogie baut super aufeinander auf und jeder die mitwirkenden Charaktere bekommt Gehör, Aufmerksamkeit und eigene Partei im Geschehen geschenkt, bei denen sie ihre Sicht der Dinge, Gefühle, Ängste und Hoffnungen mitteilen können. Es entsteht so eine innige Bindung zu den einzelnen Charakteren, auch wenn das Hauptaugenmerk immer auf Nadia zurückfällt, die die entscheidende Rolle in dieser Fantasy-Trilogie spielt.

 

Toll ist auch die Wahl der Cover, die einem im Verlauf begegnen. Auf jeden der drei Cover wird eine der drei weiblichen Charaktere dargestellt. War es bei Band eins Nadia selbst, so ist es beim zweiten Band Verlaine, die das Cover ziert. Den dritten Band zeigt nun die schwarze Zauberin Elizabeth, die dieses Mal viel zu berichten hat und man bekommt ein klares Bild von ihr geboten.

 

Die Handlung ist rasant, düster und magisch. Es macht richtig Spaß dem finale Entgegen zu fiebern und ist dennoch enttäuscht, wenn es eingetroffen ist. Dennoch bin ich froh ein Teil des sehr fulminanten Finale geworden zu sein und ich kann abschließend nur sagen: „Kaufen, Lesen und Genießen!“

 

Fazit:

 

Positiv wird mir auf jeden Fall die Entwicklung der einzelnen Charaktere in Erinnerung bleiben, aber auch der erst klassige und flüssige Schreibstil der Autorin, der diese Trilogie zu einem reinen magischen Abenteuer werden lässt.

Absolute Leseempfehlung für alle Fantasy- und Hexen-Fans, aber auch für die die es gerne noch werden wollen!

Source: www.harpercollins.de/buecher/young-adult/spellcaster-finsterer-schwur
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