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review 2017-09-24 11:50
SHADOW OF A HONEYBUN by Sam Cheever
Shadow of a Honeybun (Honeybun Fever) - Sam Cheever

Beginning of the Honeybun Fever series where some of the characters are introduced.  Dolfe is on a stakeout for a meth lab when he runs into Blaise who comes with a "date."  She's drunk and cannot keep up with her "date" so he leaves her so he can conduct his business there.  Gunshots ring out.

 

This is very short and is truly an introduction.  The segues between scenes is not always smooth and it feels like the story needs fleshed out at times.  The characters are good.  They make me want to read more of the series and more of them especially Blaise.

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review 2017-09-19 22:37
Shadow of the Zeppelin - Bernard Ashley

Trigger warning: Attempted rape scene (once)

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting is World War I. We settle on two brothers caught up in the conflict - one of whom joins the war effort, the other of whom is too young to join the army and has his own problems at home. In addition, we also focus on one of the German soldiers manning the zeppelins during the Blitz! I really enjoyed that.

 

Well, what we have here are two brothers, Will and Freddie. Will is old enough to join the army but refuses to join (it is not yet compulsory), and his girlfriend Amy stands by his decision. It isn't until a bomb lands nearby and scars her face that he is spurred to join the war effort. 

 

We also focus on a German bomber called Ernst who, for the most part, isn't much different from the English soldiers. He follows orders, he has a wife waiting for him back home in Germany, and they've just had their first child. He constantly worries that his zeppelin will easily catch fire and go down in flames, much like they do. He is also responsible for the dropping of many bombs during the Blitz.

 

Freddie doesn't join the war, but he certainly has his fair share of troubles - especially when a bomb lands on his own house and he barely makes it out alive. I can't really go into that without spoiling it however.

 

There is an attempted rape scene in this book, however it was not described in detail thankfully and I thought it was dealt with appropriately.

 

I really enjoyed all these characters. Will, Freddie, their family, the rest of the army, Ernst as well...each of them was well-rounded and I would even say that Will is rather relatable. The Germans were not made out to be "evil" or anything like that.

 

I felt this book did a good job of describing the war, too - in bits and pieces, anyway. You get to see what the Blitz is like back home with Freddie. You get to see what it's like on the front lines with Will. You get to see what it's like for other soldiers to die. 

 

However, I'm not sure all of the content was there. I get that this is a YA book and so the violence and imagery is toned down a bit, but I don't think it shows all the true horrors of war. Will doesn't participate in more than a handful of skirmishes before he's removed from that part altogether (but there's a reason for that). I can't help but think that there could be more to that, but then again I understand that they already had a fair amount of detail going on.

 

I didn't find any serious flaws with this book, it fit the time period really well. The author really researched this properly - in the author's note at the back of the book, he makes several references to historical events during the time of the Blitz. Even the street names are preserved.

 

Overall, I liked this book very much. I wouldn't say it's amazing - it tugged at my heartstrings during one particular scene, but not that much. It could be better, really, but I found it to be very well-rounded and well-written in general. 3.5/5.

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review 2017-09-13 16:58
Shadow's Curse - Alexa Egan

I had difficulty getting into this one and staying interested. The passion felt stunted and rushed in its description. The villain was good and the conflict was interesting, but the plot just was hard to get into.  Not really sure what it was exactly that I found hard to get into. The characters were good, though the tension between the two could have been more developed. The passion could have been explored and drawn out; he was a womanizer after all so that aspect could have played more of a role (his reputation coming back to bite him, him being placed in a situation where she could misconstrue what was going on, etc.) in the tension and emotional development of their relationship. When he goes into Death to save her was a good scene, that added some emotional suspense to the plot. There wasn't anything bad about it; I was just a bit bored.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-10 20:07
1977 Grimdark with a dose of testosterone
Shadow Of The Wolf - Chris Carlsen


Viking Age: The Sword and Sorcery group on Goodreads had a Viking Age theme, for fans of books like The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson or Scott Oden's newly released A Gathering of Ravens ...or C. Dean Andersson's Bloodsong! — Hel X 3. I went after 1970’s Berserker series.

Availability: The Berserker series was originally published in 1977-79 under pseudonym Chris Carlsen (real name Robert Holdstock). Since 2014, it has been available as an omnibus paperback edition under Holdstock: Berserker SF Gateway Omnibus: The Shadow of the Wolf, The Bull Chief, The Horned Warrior. Melvyn Grant was the cover artist for the originals, which represent the books well with Sword and Sorcery flare ala Frazetta..

  1. Shadow Of The Wolf 1977
  2. The Bull Chief 1977
  3. The Horned Warrior 1979

 


1977 Grimdark!: This reads fast and drips testosterone. Monstrous possession ala lycanthropy is prominent, but here it is Odin’s ursine Berserker spirit in the spotlight. Like Jeckyl-n-hide, Harald Swiftax is cursed to relent his body to a bear-entity that is less chivalrous than himself. The Berserker in him is bestial, without empathy, and blood thirsty. This is Harald’s story, from being cursed to struggling to break it. The book is geared toward all the good and bad of stereotypical masculinity. It features mostly men (save for one screaming-hot witch who bares all); it has plenty of gore-rich melee, one overtly gratuitous, drawn-out sex scene, and a few lesser rape scenes.

The milieu is filled with supernatural forces from Nordic gods, Celtic witches, and even Lovecraftian Old Ones. Overall, entertaining. It’s like riding a wolf or bear at a rodeo (animal choices intentional). Pacing alternates from easy-going/trope-filled village pillaging to high octane savagery and horror. Several story lines had the potential to be over-the-top epic, but were left hanging or deflated. One or two moments seemed either contrived [(i.e., Harald’s tense-confrontation with other Berserker’s in Urlsgarde, followed instantly with him not caring and getting drunk)] or inconsistent [ [ (Harald and Diedre’s “relationship” seemed to diminish Elena’s impact…and given that Diedre needed an immortal… then she should have mated with a Berserker form)].

That said, there is still some great story telling employed. Most of the mysteries are resolved. The title “Shadow of the wolf” eventually makes sense. It is part of a trilogy; some mysteries remain (i.e., exactly why was Swiftax or his family targeted by Odin’s curse?)

Death Dealer Sigurd Gotthelm is a great secondary character who wears a cursed horned helmet and is reminiscent of Frazetta's Death Dealer (though arguably more interesting than the James Silke's presentation of the Death Dealer in Prisoner of the Horned Helmet 1998’s Gath of Baal). Frazetta painted the original in 1973, so perhaps that was in inspiration for Gotthelm. I hope there is more of him in the subsequent books. I have no idea where the next two installments will take me, but I own the next one and am jumping in.

Source: www.selindberg.com/2017/09/berserker-1977-grimdark-with-dose-of.html
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review 2017-09-05 17:21
Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O'Hara, Lauren O'Hara
Hortense and the Shadow - Natalia O'Hara

This weekend 2 of my Grand Daughters spent the night to have a slumber party at Nana's house. I read them this book. It is a short read. The book is about Hortense. She is a young girl who is afraid of the her shadow. She doesn't want it to follow her around. Until one night something scary happens and her shadow actually helps her get out of the trouble. 

 

This is a great book for helping children ages 5 to 7 to overcome some of their fears. The book is filled with wonderful illustrations. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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