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text 2017-07-24 19:17
Reading progress update: I've read 75%.
In the Middle of Somewhere - Roan Parrish

I love this book but it pales in comparison to the others.  The author took on much deeper relationships and internal demons with the next books that for me excel in many ways.

 

*sigh*

 

...plus Spencer just has to studder as Colin for my knees to melt.  

 

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review 2017-07-24 14:00
Star Trek. Titan. Synthesis - James Swallow

This is the second James Swallow Trek novel I've read, as well as the second Titan novel I've read. Like the other Swallow novel, the pacing is measured almost to perfection, the characters are easily distinguished and easily likeable, and there's a crazy big dumb object out there that's going to ruin everything unless our heroes put a stop to it. Like the other Titan novel, this one feels much like classic Star Trek in the sense that the whole plot more or less revolves around a big moral question. 

 

So, Synthesis has a lot going for it, and I think it will satisfy most Trek readers. There were a couple of things about it that I thought were particularly outstanding. First: I felt like the Titan crewmembers that this story focused on were easy to get to know and care about. That's not so easy when the majority of these characters are ones that were not ones known from the TV shows and movies. These were new characters, and establishing equity between them and the ones already established on TV (like Tuvok, Troi, and Riker) must be one of the special challenges of writing media tie-in fiction. Swallow strikes a comfortable balance and maintains it throughout. The other thing I really *really* liked was the "Minuet" character. She's featured on the cover of the novel, and she appears in the holodeck in chapter 1, so that part is not much of a spoiler... I can't say much more, though, without making it spoiler. Suffice it to say that she becomes much, much more than the Minuet we encountered in season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And she becomes incredibly interesting. Not only that, but Swallow deftly weaves her story in with that of Riker/Troi and Choblik (the half-cybernetic engineer from an uplifted species). It's too bad what happened to her at the end -- I can only say I'm disappointed, given the great potential that her existence gives to the future of the Titan series. This last point, I feel, is grave enough that I can subtract a star from the rating, because "Minuet" could have offered so many interesting directions for Titan to take in the future... but the conclusion of this story prevents that. 

 

Despite what I thought about the conclusion of the "Minuet" storyline, Synthesis is a great read for any Trek fan, especially one who's read a Titan book before (or even just the Destiny trilogy). The character work, all around, is outstanding.

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review 2017-07-24 10:01
awesome narration of an awesome book!
Wrapped Up in Chains - Cindy Sutherland
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book. Devon finds Chase, tied to a St Andrews Cross, in his club, being badly whipped and Devon sees red. After taking Chase down and looking after him, Devon gets some of why Chase was being punished so harshly, and again sees red. Because the man who has held Chase as nothing more than a slave and prisoner for 7 years, is the same man who beat Devon to a pulp when he was just starting out in the lifestyle. What started as a case of after care, quickly becomes something much more, for both men, but Devon knows, to keep Chase safe, he is going to have to let him go. Don't you just LOVE it when a book totally surprises in ways you didn't see coming!! I knew this was going to be a painful listen, both physically and emotionally, but i didn't fully understand just how painful it was going to be. Written from both Devon and Chase's point of view, we get it all. We get deep into the emotional scars Chase from his 7 years at the hands of Kingston. We get deep into Devon's psyche as a Dom and a Master, but equally, as just a man, who finds himself letting go of the one man who could make him whole, just to keep Chase safe. I was shocked how it all went down with Kingston, but given the level of madness that man possessed, I don't think either Chase or Devon would have been really safe had it gone down any other way. And I love loved LOVED that it was CHASE who pushed Devon to come get him! Loved that Chase corned Devon, come get me, or I'm moving on. And THAT was what Devon needed to hear, to make him see that that he needed Chase in his life, his bed and his heart. First I've read/listened of Ms Sutherland's work, hope it's not the last! AUDIO REVIEW John Anthony Davis narrates. This is, as far as I can see, the first of Davis' work I've listened to. Other than a tendency to pause in random places, in the middle of sentences, I loved the way he performed this book. His reading voice is deep and clear, and I had no trouble catching everything he said. His voices are distinctive and easily definable, making it easy to know who was talking without being told. And it seemed to me, while very VERY young sounding at the beginning, Chase's voice became older in the time he was with Devon. Like he grew up really quickly. I liked that, might just be me though! Davis pulls off the intense emotions in this book incredibly well. It was painful listening, I can only imagine how painful reading it would be. I will certainly look for more of Davis' work to listen to. 5 stars for the book 4.5 stars for the narration, but only because of the random pausing rounded up to five stars overall. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-24 09:13
great first book, second not so much.
Road Trip Vol. 1 - BA Tortuga Road Trip Vol. 1 - BA Tortuga
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is a two book set, Racing The Moon, and Steam And Sunshine, and I read them back to back, so my review will be for both books, as a single listing. I enjoyed reading about Sonny and MJ, in Racing The Moon. They come together in an unusual way, Sonny running his Moonshine and MJ blowing up Sonny's escape route! There is immediate chemistry between these guys, I mean, they are trying to kill each other but it quickly turns into sexual chemistry. And THAT is way off the charts! Once these guys get with the programme, they are at it like bunnies and I LIKED that ....in the first book. But in Steam and Sunshine?? not so much. Every little thing sets them off, like EVERYTHING!!! And its on every bloody page, almost. Oh, I'm not against high levels of sexual activity, not at all, but it has to be in keeping with the book, and it took me an inordinate amount of time to read the 330 pages its billed on Goodreads as. I had to keep putting it down, and coming back to it, just to give myself a break from it all! In the first book, its pretty much just Sonny and MJ, with side characters, but in book 2, Neil and Paddy are introduced, hog tied and kidnapped! And these guys are great, weird, as are Sonny and MJ, but great. I liked them. It's very well written, from Sonny, MJ, Neil and Paddy's point of view. All four of them are very different, and it does take a little time to get into each character's way of thinking. Quite hard, at first, but I found it quicker to get with Neil and Paddy, than Sonny and MJ, possibly because I read them back to back. And these guys are BADASS! All of them are, but Sonny and MJ more so. They make no apologies for who and what they are, and I did love that, even badass as they are, Sonny and MJ managed to find those three little words. Kinda cute, but don't tell them that! There is a bigger picture across the stories, and I'm not seeing it yet. I have inklings, but I can't see that picture, and BECAUSE I can't see it, I would love to be able to read books 3 and 4 in this series. Had I just read book one, I would have rated that 5 stars, but this is for volume one, and is for two books and I had some issues with book two, so.... 4 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-23 16:35
Audio Book Review: Lucifer's Star
Lucifer's Star - C. T. Phipps,Michael Su... Lucifer's Star - C. T. Phipps,Michael Suttkus

3.5 stars

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Eric is a new narrator for me. From the first sentence Eric had a positive, hopeful sound to his voice for me. I can hear his deep breaths between lines. There is a short (about 3 or 4 words) that didn't follow character tone in the beginning, I caught only because following the book at that time. Eric does do different tones for characters, giving them a sound of age and their own voice. I did pick up on one small repeat, I almost missed it as it was quick.

I just love that first sentence! What a sight that would be. The sentence really drew the picture for me.

We start with Cassius in a big battle in his life on Crius. This battle is one that lingers in Cassius's mind, and what he's trying to escape from. There are sections that are memories, though with this being audio you don't see the italics that indicate it's different than the here and now. It sounds like two conversations happening at the same time. Then Cassius doesn't talk to himself as much and is easier to catch as the book goes on. The book is focused on Cassius and his time on his current ship. The people are also residing on this ship are not who they seem to be.

As we learn these people aren't who they say they are, we see much more in this unstable universe. The different groups in the universe are all working at different angles. Even the people in the organizations have different angles they are working. So much to play with here!

Cassius grows through the book, as he grows to realize he has friends. Cassius is running from who he is. He wants to be someone that's not of the Archduchy to live his life with the guilt he feels. Through what he learns in the events he lives through, and the connections made, Cassius learns of details he didn't know before. I love the moment when Cassius gets a...closure with someone from his past. Cassius confronts feelings he'd been holding in.

Cassius grows attached to people which helps him along in his journeys. We learn a few have rather heavy pasts as well. The crew on the ship he finds himself on has many who are fugitives in their lands or pasts that aren't of the best actions. There are moments that feel drawn out with details of histories of people and descriptions, but the story comes together and the ending is non-stop.

I found that the AI take in this book was very interesting. There is also cloning in this book. Biodroids were a neat creation. I know we haven't heard the last of these. I don't want to give to much on this as it's a big play in the book. You have to read or listen to the book to get the details. We learn details that all come to a head at the end of the book with a special type of AI.

This wouldn't be a fun space story if we didn't get action scenes. We get just that, in space and on planet action. Even among the crew on the ship.

The world feels vast and full with crew that Cassius has acquired. I look forward to continuing with Cassius and what is in store for him next.

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