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review 2016-12-18 19:30
REVIEW: Redshift Rendezvous
Redshift Rendezvous - John E. Stith

In my lifetime of reading, there are very few times that I have ever DNF-ed a book. I'm always convinced that, if I put it down and come back to it later, I may enjoy the book more, and I actually have a folder on my Kindle for books that I need to come back and look at later on.

 

This book was almost put into that folder. More than once.

 

I found the first 32% of it to be very tedious. It wasn't the "hard science" that was the problem - I actually prefer that over just regular science fiction - but the fact that things about the ship were repeated over and over again, in different ways. It actually became quite annoying, reading an explanation again, wondering why the author kept deciding to explain this, as if his readers were complete idiots. (Hard science fiction readers tend to read a lot of hard science fiction books, and they shouldn't be treated like that.) Sometimes it is really hard for me to read a book without being an editor, and this was one of those times. The story itself needed so much cleaning up that it left me quite frustrated. On top of that, there were several times that the wrong word was used in the manuscript - and not just once, but several times with the same word.

 

There was an "underlying" story - a mystery, an adventure, some bad guys (ones you expected and ones you didn't), and two characters (Jason and Tara) - that kept me coming back to read more. Unfortunately, with all the focus on the Redshift, all of that gets sort of lost, at least for a time, and felt rather secondary, instead of being the main focus of the story. Having finished the book, I realize that what I thought was an "underlying" story was actually the main plot. Unfortunately, with the beginning of the story as it was, it took me until the end to realize all that.

 

The book really picks up once the ship gets close to Xanahalla. The adventure begins before that, and on the way you learn a lot about the two main characters, but once there, what you think you know changes, and I had a hard time putting the book down. There is a bit of romance, but not enough to take away from the story, and it actually drives the characters a little more than they may have been without that.

 

I enjoyed the ending. With all of that buildup, I'm glad that the end wasn't too easy... and that sometimes there's just a little bit more around the corner.

 

At the end of the book, the author includes a "Phenomena Aboard the Redshift" section, which I think would have benefited the reader a lot more had he put it at the beginning of the book, or at least included a page that let them know about this so, if they were curious about certain things, they would know it was there to find. It would have definitely taken away from all that tedious repetitiveness at the beginning.

 

The book has some good and bad moments, but I am glad that I fought through it to find out what happened.

 

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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review 2016-10-18 01:48
REVIEW: Flynn Nightsider .75: Firedragon Rising
Firedragon Rising - Mary Fan

This is the continuing story of Aurelia, the Firedragon. I really liked the first book... and liked this one even more than that. The end of it was so good... and yet so sad, because I just didn't want the book to end. It is a great adventure - just when I thought it couldn't get any better, there are several heart-catching moments - and I liked learning more about her, the Trimvirate and the Rebellion. Mary is such an amazing author and I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. The only problem that I have ever had with her stuff is... it is so hard to write a review because there is so much I want to talk about, but all will give away too much of the story for future readers. Ugh.

 

Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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review 2016-10-18 01:43
REVIEW: Flynn Nightsider .5: The Firedragon
The Firedragon - Mary Fan

I have always been extremely impressed with the writing of Mary Fan, so when I was given the opportunity to read this book (and the next one), I was super excited. I read it months ago, and loved it, but every time I sat down to write a review of it, I just could not find the words. Still can't, to be honest. It is such a good story. Her character descriptions are so good, especially when it comes to her monsters. There are lots of dimensions to each person, and the adventure, though far from reality in her little worlds, are worded so well that you can almost see everything playing out before your eyes, can almost imagine yourself as the main character. I really like her little Firedragon and think that, as a young adult book, it should be on a lot of young folks' lists.

 

Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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review 2016-10-06 02:05
REVIEW: A Witch's Kitchen
A Witch's Kitchen - Dianna Sanchez B.S.

I have a fascination for children's books, especially when they are something that I would have read when I was younger. This one had all that I needed - a witch who had problems doing things right and lots and lots of cooking. There's adventure, and making new friends, and magic, and a school just for witch's (that reminded me a bit of HP) run by a dragon, and fun.

 

It was a cute story, but went more than just that. It teaches the reader how to survive the not-so-nice moments in life and the experiences that Millie went through were a lot of fun to read about. Watching Millie grow and figure out who she really is was sometimes funny and sometimes sad, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a middle school age child (or younger, if you're reading them chapter books) who is a little different and could use a story about someone who is like them.

 

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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review 2016-09-28 02:45
REVIEW: You're the Cream in My Coffee
You're the Cream in My Coffee - Jennifer Lamont Leo

You're looking at the genre and wondering what in the world I was thinking, aren't you? I know, I know - me and romance books are like pickle juice and chocolate chip cookies. The cover caught my attention, though, and the storyline seemed pretty interesting.

 

The story is set in the roaring 20s (though there wasn't much talk of that, or much description either, minus the fact that prohibition was going on, the word "speakeasy" was used a few times, and their fashion choices) in the city of Chicago. Marjorie is a girl that needs to find herself and figure out what to do with her life, so when she bumps into who she swears is her ex-boyfriend, who died in the war, and spends a couple of days enjoying the art museum, she decides to stay in the city instead of heading back home to her small town, her family... and her fiance.

 

I really enjoyed this book... and actually had a hard time putting it down. I liked Marjorie quite a bit, even though she was a bit of a goody-goody and was very set in her Christian ways. Her new friend, Dot, who she met at work in Chicago, is the complete opposite of her, and they both learn a lot from each other as the story goes on.

 

Helen (Marjorie's sister) and Charlie (their brother) were both well-written characters, who grew in these pages, but Pop... he was my favorite. There wasn't much of him in the story, but when there was, he was exactly what Marjorie needed.

 

I consider this book more historical fiction and mystery than I do women's fiction, but I can see why the author chose to justify it as such, what with the mystery of Marjorie's future being discussed, and some of the things that her and Dot went through in the story. Finding out just who Peter was took Marjorie on an adventure (filled with inner turmoil) that gave the story more depth than I originally had expected.

 

Definitely a good story that I would highly recommend if you like those coming-of-age type things. Do keep in mind that there are some Christian points to the story. Marjorie and her family come from a God-fearing, church-going small town and there is a lot of speak of God, which I happened to enjoy.

 

Back to the topic of that book cover catching my eye. I wish it had actually depicted one of the two main characters. I had that girl (on the photo) in mind, but never once did what they were wearing ever coincide with that. I think, had the cover artist used the yellow hat or the blue gown (to find out more you have to actually read the story), it would have really tied that in more and gave me an aha moment (besides when the title was used in the story).

 

I absolutely loved the descriptions of working in the department store and all that she did there. What fun, and though not completely historically accurate with this particular store at this particular time, the author's description is pretty spot-on with things I have read.

 

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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