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review 2018-04-18 02:36
Review of Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl's Guide to Witchcraft) by Helen Harper
Slouch Witch - Helen Harper

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 


Posts running across my booklikes dashboard made this one sound good.  It was; I really enjoyed this Kindle Unlimited offering.

 

This is Bewitched and PNR type of witchcraft rather than horror, satanistic rituals, etc.  Book synopsis is accurate.

 

I liked the snarky, lazy heroine. Not at all a grim anti-hero, but not eager to exert.   Loved her cat.  Even liked the building romance (not where it went at the end of this book in the series).  Lazy or not, I do wish she had fought harder against the false accusation tanking her with the order and still tarnishing her reputation.  

 "He stared at me. Screw him. I wasn’t going to apologise for my clothes lying around my home."

Being kicked out of formal magic meant she developed some unique things herself.  At least things she really wanted -- like bespelling her cat to actually speak.  Made for fun worldbuilding.

" Scouts would be looking to hire me as their personal mascot – or better still, the fire brigade. I pictured myself on their annual calendar, surrounded by broad-chested firemen. Now there was an idea"

 

 

" ‘It might not be a drink, it might be an orgy. Well,’ I amended, ‘a threesome anyway.’

Winter looked faintly green. ‘Let’s hope not. Come on. There’s probably a back door.’ "

All in all a good read with even side characters and love interest developed nicely.  Looking forward to reading the next in series.


*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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review 2018-04-16 21:57
Review of "All Systems Red" (Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells
All Systems Red - Martha Wells

I have the worst trouble writing reviews for books I unequivocally ★★★★★.

 

Probably the best review I can give this is that I immediately pre-ordered the next book, Artificial Condition.

 

I just loved being inside Murdebot's head.  Grumpy, introverted, snarky, lazy, fighting any emotions or involvement ... anti-hero, indeed.  

 

The worldbuilding with greedy corporations had a fond déjà vu for me of H. Beam Piper's works—but, original rather than derivative.

 

This had been on my radar since publisher first announced it.  So glad I read it now for booklikes bookclub http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/88/tor-monthly-free-ebook-science-fiction-and-fantasy when publisher TOR offered as this month's free ebook.

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review 2018-03-22 21:40
Putting aside for now
Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer

I'm not in the mood for this.  I may come back to another time (particulalry if future books in series sound like get better). 

 

I went wandering about the blogosphere and reviews.  Found posts and comments from the author that persistently spoke of main character as the "Narrator," an inept one with the affectation of writing in 18th century style in a tale resolving nothing and going nowhere yet while raising all these huge philosophical ... reviewers who did not like speaking of same things that bother me.

 

To be honest, I didn't give it much of a chance (less than 20%). I was about ready to throw something the next time an apology was offered to the poor reader who probably wouldn't be understanding of the 18th century style ... *gag*

 

I'm just not in the mood right now.  A dwindled TBR could mean I should never say never.  As could future entries in this much praised, much awarded series sounding fantastic or as if story finally going somewhere or getting characters to care about.  

 

It it is an interesting premise, a "what if" type of future -- which I usually enjoy.  Started reminding me of the slow parts of student/campus Wicked and those horrid posthumous continuations of Asimov's Foundation books that weirdly had Voltaire as an AI mouthing off endlessly.


I actually like quite a bit of actual 18th century writing.  This just wasn't done well.  I wanted characters, not what even the author referred to as "Narrator" stiltedly relaying events that never resolved.

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review 2018-03-20 16:33
Review of "Skyborn" (Dragons & Druids, #1) by Leia Stone
Skyborn - Leia Stone

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

 

Uneven read for me. I may or may not read another in the series. I think this is one where there's an interesting premise and story arc that was possibly more interesting in concept than execution -- tried a little hard to engage reader interest in places and was sometimes jarring in the romantic elements. For a random Kindle Unlimited borrow, it's very good (clearly was ready to publish, edited, etc.).

 

The premise is a young woman alone and on the run after accidentally transforming into a dragon. Sounded right up my alley (although she is not alone for very long with cleaner elements of joining what in other genres might be a milita or biker gang except no assault weapons or bikes and had werewolves and other shifters). 

 

Generally, I liked he main character. She had a TSTL moment from panic but otherwise thought through things (other than the unrelenting lust). Alone in the world, on the run from Hunter's after unexpectedly shifting into supernatural creature (dragon), with single parent mom dying of cancer when a preteen so unable to explain. Of course, the author also put in a lot of elements to ensure readers were sure to almost immediately like the good guys and hate the bad guys. Missed with me on one trope -- bully gets befriended so now all forgiven. A bit much that for centuries the hero had single handed ly been keeping humanity alive and safe from bad guys. Author's voice sounded young but author's note talked of husband and kids so maybe not.

 

By jarring in the romantic elements -- well, nothing horrible like lack of consent or abusive behavior with fated mate stuff. Actually, no sex on or off page in this one and not really explicit (PG13?). I actually liked these two together; no one stupid or being an inconsiderate douchebag. No, we-can/no-we-can't illogically back and forth. No sudden resolution because someone finally said something after endless chapters of silence. But, sheesh, the unrelenting lust on nearly every page. Okay, we get it. Lust and fated mate and presumably last two of their kind in the world. Leave some room for rest of story or go for it or even rewrite as erotica. Almost made me DNF except was a quick short read for the Bookshelf BINGO Immortals shelf (which was full of mostly things I already read or didn't want to).

 

Examples of the lust stuff that was a miss with me:

"I needed a hysterectomy or something.My dragon lady parts were malfunctioning and I was stuck in heat."

 

"Having a half-naked sexy dragon shifter with his arm around me … while he made plans to save his pet kitten … made my ovaries ache for his babies."


Okay, so not real fond of any of the places that actually said "lady parts" but that's a personal pet peeve.

 

I wanted to like this much more. I do like the main characters. It has elements that could lead to a great series. That's why I'm just not sure how I felt about it or if I liked enough to try the next in series. Despite being on the run, hunted by bad guys, and throwing in with strangers, it kind of lacked suspense -- I think because the bad guys lost too easily and someone with right powers or knowledge showed up or was conveniently ran into.


*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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review 2018-03-15 22:08
Review of "Fury's Kiss" (Dorina Basarab, #3) by Karen Chance
Fury's Kiss - Karen Chance

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

 

I enjoy Dory.  Put off this one too long because starts with a chapter where she has memory loss (just not personally my favorite plot device).  I shouldn't have.  It gets away from that quickly and then a rousing story start to finish.

 

A lot of Dory in this one with lots of other characters almost in cameo positions and new ones more in the front.  So, good thing I like Dory.  More senate and fey politics, more about her other self, and absolutely more family dynamics (even some mushy moments).  Thankfully more of Louis Cesare and their relationship moves forward.  

 

I'm not always a fan of the romance parts of UF books, but Cesare has certainly proven himself so was routing for them.

 

I finished the book happy with how everything from relationships, worldbuilding, plot lines, character catch-ups, and most "mysteries" were resolved except for that opening chapter memory loss.  Oh, that was resolved -- just not done well in my opinion.  Nor badly enough to spoil the read at all -- just didn't flow that well with rest of book where I guess I was right to side eye the memory loss opening.

 

Will be reading more in the series.


*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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