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review 2016-10-19 06:11
A broken hero, dark urban fantasy and a magical world can be found in here...
In the Twist - L. A. Stockman
3.5 Hearts--Debut novella urban fantasy with a religious/mythology tinge, In the Twist, is the first in the Wild Hunt series. It's definitely a story that is not for everyone. Read the blurb. Still think you're ready? The story begins with a gory start...a disemboweled junkie child kind of start. Still with me? There are triggers up the wazoo, potential readers are heavily warned. While the subjects are dark, the story isn't as dark as it seems. (Think light-ish DMC read)

If you don't mind viscera here and there.

Anyone, still here with me?

You are?

Great. :)

Irish ex-priest, now American detective David Shaughnessy is a damaged soul with so baggage he could probably run his own department store. He's fairly young but has lived a lifetime of pain, shares a home with a sister and houses unwanted orphans. He was an unwanted once. And was used and abused by those who he should have trusted.

Present day David can care for those in need but doesn't care about himself, he's scarred and tattooed. While on a case, he meets older and worldly Interpol agent Dallan Jaeger. Dallan and David see the world...differently. Together, they uncover the mundane and magic world, open a new way of life for David and meet the 'The Wild Hunt', a group of the world's best warriors of legend.

The first 30% was a struggle for me. In fact, it took me days to get through. It wasn't the subject matter (because this barely scratches my dark meter) but the POV is muddled. At one point eye colors changed from ice blue to green-grey. And I thought it disemboweling was going to be as good as it got. But something pushed me to keep reading.

And I'm glad I did.

After 30% or so, the story got less muddled and more interesting, especially the urban fantasy world, religious and historical undertones brushed through. There was action, magic, romance, horror and mystery. It might've also been the swords added in too. I'm a sucker for swords. There's more to Dallan, David and his family. I like the mythological/fantasy world created. And I enjoy anything with a hint of heaven/hell thrown in made interesting. I enjoyed the author's take on it (the hints the reader gets).

Bare bones, this story hits an appropriate checklist of romance: man meets man, they share interests and mutual attraction, fight said attraction while uncovering a mystery and falling for one another for a solid HFN.

Not bad, right? What's the difference from all the other urban fantasy romances? The Wild Hunt, for one. Picture international badass immortal warriors from the ages. The faeries in this book are evil. And there are dukedoms in Hell.

I thought all of that was cool.

But I have quibbles.

My main quibble with this novella is it could have been longer.

For someone with David's depth of damage, the rapid way he gets over his hangups for love? I want to buy it. I really do. But it takes time. His mental abuse is so ingrained, the hurt and pain were written so well (a bit too well in aspects) that I ached for him. We get novel length feelings and major declarations in a novella. And some really lovely words, that I normally flutter like glitter fairy to I really enjoy. But the time span the men spend together is days. It's not like we're talking normal human relationships here. I can turn a blind eye for fated mates (not the case here).

I liked the attraction between Dallan and David. The romance was nice when I overlook the muddle. Because the conversations that Dallan and David had, really had when trying to overcome the hardships of their past (namely the abused), oh...those were sweet. Like laying jewels on your damaged feet kind of sweet. I basked in some the words when the muddling lessened.

I especially liked the duke. I kind of wished there was elaboration on the backstory about that. The story slowly unfolds David's background and his kids. It's more about him than Dallan, though both men are equally interesting.

Worth a gander (those who can handle the subject matter)? I think so.

Underneath the weaker start, rapid insta-love, beginning POV confusion, there's a solid plot. And it's too soon to call, but there were hints of something in the prose. It reminded me of a few urban fantasy stories I used to read in the past underneath my quibbles. And I think that if the author finds a groove, explains plot points and keep the POV separate...this could be an urban fantasy series to watch.

I'll be back for book #2, Titan's Watch, see what else the author has up her sleeve especially for these characters.

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2016-05-29 18:34
A History of Loneliness: A Novel - John Boyne
  A powerful book. It made me think about how I would have handled what happened. Would I have looked away or would I have spoken up? I liked how the story was woven between years. I figured out what happened early on to Ordan as well as Aidan. I was surprised that Ordan did not make the connection. Ordan has much that he had to live with as he aged. I wonder what happened to him. Well done.
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review 2016-01-20 15:31
Priests of Mars - Graham McNeill

To me, this was an EXCELLENT Warhammer 40K novel. McNeill manages to throw about 7 or 8 very different and distinct types of WH40K characters into a cosmic quest to a region of the galaxy known as the Halo Scar. McNeill manages to mix in elements of real-world machinery, supernatural events of Chaos, and a rather clever humanizing faction of a massive starship with its commanding yet sympathizing tech-priest crew. I loved the attention to technical detail presented here, and yet McNeill manages to project a lot of emotion through all this data. Any details would just spoil the plot, but suffice it to say when the expedition reaches the Halo Scar and an orbital station nearby, all Chaos breaks loose. It helps to know that sequels will follow, thus making the abrupt ending more palatable. If you are even thinking about trying science fiction someday, this would be a great place to start.

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review 2015-10-23 13:57
The longest 364 pages of my life
To Darkness and to Death - Julia Spencer-Fleming

That was a book. Written by Julia Spencer-Fleming. About Clare Fergusson and Russ van Alstyne. In a series of mystery books.


And that explains why I read it. Why I stuck with it until the end. Because the format of minute-to-minute or hour-to-hour detailed storytelling might have been an interesting craft choice, it made for a pointless novel. A futile episode in the middle of a series.


So I'm done and that's that.


*picks up the next book*

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text 2015-07-17 20:01
Hell and God and Nuns With Rulers
Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers - John Collings Squire


Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers - John Collings  

Blurb on back of book:


The holy sacrament of Confirmation is considered Baptism for adults, a time when individuals proclaim their faith in God. So why does Tristan Adamson feel so much trepidation when his parents force him to take classes to be confirmed in the Catholic Church? Is it because he isn't sure if this is the right choice? Does he have more important concerns he needs to attend to, such as his grade in English class, or working at the Burger House? Or is it something much deeper that a chance encounter with someone at a party forces him to face? As Tristan sets out to answer these questions, he begins a journey of self-discovery that will force him to face the powers of Hell, and God, and nuns with rulers.


This book has  had me laughing so hard and I have only read 20some pages. I don't know where this book will go from here but the first chapter is great. It really got me thinking about my past.


I was raised in a Catholic home. I went to a Catholic school until sixth grade and remember the nuns with their rulers. They carried them around like weapons and used them repeatedly during lessons to loudly smack them on your desk when they thought you weren't paying attention. Was I ever assaulted with one? No, but they were scary and the possibility was always there. I remember being forced to attend Confirmation classes and remember the horror of sitting there and thinking, 'Oh shit! I am going to hell.'


I don't consider myself a Catholic and don't really know if I ever did. My big problem with the religion came when over 400 priests defrocked for either molesting children or trying to protect those that did. I was embarrassed to be a Catholic.


Are you still a Catholic or are you a Christian now?

It had been so long since smebody had asked me this ignorant question and about a week ago, it came from a girl I grew up with who is now a Sunday school teacher.

Me: Is the Pope a Christian?

Idiot: Oh, he is definitely a Christian.

Me: Actually, I heard that he has decided recently to become a Catholic.

ldiot: I have to make sure my preacher knows this.

Me: *jaw drops* In head I pray that she will pull out her cellphone right now and call him so I can hear this conversation.  I pray so hard that I promise to go to church on Sunday. Prayer answered. It was a wonderful conversation.

Enlightened idiot: Did you know that Catholics are Christians, just not the good kind?




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