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review 2020-04-05 13:45
Scattered Souls
Scattered Souls - Erica Lucke Dean

by Erica Lucke Dean

 

After a prologue to give some background information about what happened with Laith and Maddox in the past, chapter one starts off as a direct continuation of the first book. This made me wonder if this one would end in a cliffhanger as well and decide I was finished with the series if it did.

 

Questions of who Ava loves and which is the good brother get more complicated in this one, but we get a nice trek through history and even meet a famous person or two along the way.

 

I felt the twists and turns in the plot of this one were less believable than in the first book, but it kept my interest and I enjoyed the read, even if I did sometimes want to tell Ava not to do something stupid! We see different sides of both Laith and Maddox, which is where I had a little issue with consistency.

 

The historical aspects of the story fit well enough and while I'm not an expert on any of the periods we traveled through, they rang true. The convolutions of time travel worked well and I enjoyed learning more of the 'rules' that affect the twins as they move through time, though the source of the ability was magic rather than science.

 

I could see how this one needs to end, but the chance was missed to keep the story going through another crisis. It didn't actually end on a cliffhanger, but definitely set up for a next book. My only other complaints is that though sex wasn't actually graphic, it was a bit much for a YA book. Pre-teens read these after all.

 

A generally enjoyable time travel book, but I feel the plot has lost its way.

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review 2019-09-28 05:46
“Poo-tee-weet?”
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Took some pages for the book to grab me. If I'm honest, I'm pretty sure it was the chat with his war-buddy's wife, and as it happens, it is something of a key for the whole book. There was a promise there

 

If I ever do finish it, though, I give you my word of honor: there won’t be a part for Frank Sinatra or John Wayne.
“I tell you what,” I said, “I’ll call it ‘The Children’s Crusade.’”

 

It was kept, in sub-title and spirit.

 

There is nothing that could ever come close to glorifying war inside these pages. The theme is how absurd a beast it is, the little and big tragedies, how far in time the damages travel (and who was that said that wars die only with the last soldier that fought in it dies?). Hell, the whole way it's constructed is thoroughly trafalmadorian, which we would call hell of a PTSD outside any sci-fi bent mind.

 

It's also so bittersweet and human. There was also this other bit near the beginning that caught me

 

And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.

 

Because... well, I guess because it kind of encapsulates the thing, and how it feels. It's horrible, and terrible, and pretty disgusting, and so are almost every character in one aspect or another, but you are compelled to look. The dead demand to be witnessed and acknowledged and war sucks.

 

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review 2018-09-20 02:59
First half to see good, then the shots are fired
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

When I was around two thirds in, I started idly concocting a review in my brain, about how the almost surreal elements and characters was what gave this narrative such a verisimilitude. Cue me over the 80% mark, just going to search for a detail, and finding out this is nonfiction. Sure, there are artistic licenses, but in essence?

 

I love it when knowing absolutely nothing about a book pays up in such ways.

 

As I mentioned previously in an update, the general tone reminded me a lot of latinoamerican writing. This has a lot to do with the conservative (and quirky) societies that brew in relatively small, isolated towns. You have the sedate and beautiful surface, and the decades/generations long ugly undercurrents. Everyone "behaves" in public out of a certain need for society and peace, and whomever "pops" may as well go the whole nine-yards and wear it like a flag.

 

So, that's basically the aim: to illustrate Savannah. The plot as it were serves the theme. We go into the deep ugly undercurrents. Almost every ugly you can imagine. Sometimes you are enraged and amused at the same time from the sheer hypocrisy rampant. I spent most of the book in some queer state of entertained stupefaction because it is so grotesque you almost can't believe it. But you do. You recognize it. It is your hometown.

 

 

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review 2017-03-15 15:40
Bah!
A Painted Goddess (A Fire Beneath the Skin Book 3) - Victor Gischler

No, no, nope. This one didn't do for me. It wasn't bad perse, I guess, but no. I was bored, and I was annoyed, and while I liked some elements, and kinda expected the ending... still no.
 
I think mostly it is that this volume, and the previous one, exacerbated a vague sense I had in the first install of lack of substance. I can't quite explain it, that feeling, but it was as if the story check-marked. Also, vol 2 and 3 was too scattered. It was necessary for the plot, and that's the thing: it felt forced (mcguffing retrieval, all of them, and amazingly serendipitous, which aligns with the "fate" thing the plot has going, but still sucks). The empress pov, while interesting, was totally pointless.

 

So, yeah, so not for me.

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review 2017-02-22 14:56
To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Philip José Farmer

Good novel with a great story idea. Every human being (and one alien) that ever lived on Earth is resurrected on an alien world beside a river millions of miles long. Everyone is naked and hairless. They have a canister strapped to their arm that, when placed in "grails" spaced along the river, is filled with food, tobacco, toiletries and a narcotic gum.

 

So what does humanity do with this second chance? Unfortunately, most revert to form. War, rape, murder, but is it really murder if your are resurrected again?

 

This is book 1 of the Riverworld series. It follows the exploits of historical figures Sir Richard Francis Burton and Hermann Göring. Burton is trying to find the "why" of this alien world and after his 777 deaths gets close to the answer while Göring is haunted by his personal demons but eventually seems to come to terms with them and make peace.

 

This book will leave you with a lot of questions and few answers although there are hints such as when introduced to the "Ethicals".

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I hope the others in the series are as good.

 

Oh, and one last thing. For those that saw the made for cable "Riverworld" movie, the book is much better!

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