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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-16 12:21
Unbound is an Unimpressive Anthology Even Though it had 4 Big Names in it! Here's my Review...
Unbound - Kim Harrison, Jocelynn Drake, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson,Melissa Marr

 

Ley Line Drifter by Kim Harrison - A pixy tries to solve a mystery and gets more than he bargained for.
★★ I liked how cute it was but there was a lot of repetition.

description

Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost - Bones is asked to hunt a ghoul couple in New Orleans by its Voodoo Queen. Of course, things aren't as they seem.
★★★ I liked the darkness and that Bones was able to carry the story without Cat.

Dark Matters by Vicki Pettersson - Dark & Light come together when agents from the opposite side come together.
★ No surprises.

The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten by Jocelynn Drake - A vampire fights to keep her domain under her control while she is being framed.
★★ Loved the violence, for instance, check out the quote below:

The fledgling was still in the attic, chained to the wall. For a moment, I wondered if I should go up and free, but quickly shook off the thought and got into the car. If she couldn't find a way to free herself, then she would never survive in my world.

but the story lacked cohesion.

Two Lines by Melissa Marr - A glaistig does her best to fight temptation and stay mortal.
★★ I really liked the parts with the glaistig's family but other than that, the story was repetitive and boring.

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review 2017-01-31 18:18
How to train as the #2 hero
Sidekicked - John David Anderson

I haven't read a large amount of middle grade fiction but I must say that I've really enjoyed John David Anderson's writing thus far. Sidekicked was a lot of fun and right after finishing it I added two more of Anderson's books to my TRL. The story revolves around Andrew "Drew" Macon Bean (admittedly a fantastic name) who is not your typical sidekick. His powers aren't the usual 'faster than light speed' or 'stronger than steel'. Nope. (I'm not going to reveal his powers because they are truly unusual and it'll be more fun for you to read it and found out for yourselves.) However, he is a typical nerdy kid just trying to make it through middle school unscathed. There's the usual pre-teen drama about who likes who and fitting in but on top of that is uncertainty about the safety of themselves, their families, and the town. Like Miss Bixby's Last Day, Anderson doesn't shy away from tough subjects. The drawbacks to having superpowers such as having to lie to one's parents, worrying about the mental health of one's mentor (the Super assigned to each Sidekick), and navigating adolescence are dealt with in a very loving, realistic way. Drew is a likable character and I think boys as well as girls will identify with him and become invested in his story. If you have kids in your life who are obsessed with superheroes but are not overly enthusiastic about reading maybe you could suggest that you read this one together. I have a feeling it will be a hit. :-) 9/10

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-01-22 16:12
Book Review: Humanity 2.0: Emergence
Emergence: A Humanity 2.0 Novel - J.M. M... Emergence: A Humanity 2.0 Novel - J.M. Martin

*I was offered a copy of this book from the author or publisher for review.

These novella length stories are longer than short stories so you can get the feel of the full story, characters, and world. Each story is different but set as a braided story in the same world. There are mentions of other characters from stories in them as you go, but nothing that would take from the story if you didn't read it.

Overall it's an enjoyable set of novellas based on people who come into super powers. But how will they use it? And how will the world be touched by them? Good? Bad? You decide.

From the Barrel of a Gun by Jeff C. Carter
I wasn't sure where this story was going as we watch the court case of Timothy Hathcock for killing 23 chimerics (super-beings). When I was about ready to say I was bored, the story took a twist and Hathcock decided to take the stand. That's when things cleared and made me thing.

We get this story from Lars Wilson, superhero known as The Red Wraith, point of view. He's stood by and watched his friends killed and had a target on his own head. Hathcock has his own story too. We get both here. Now we try to decide who is in the right. Or are they both wrong? Does two wrongs make a right? In this case, it's a slippery slope. Interesting.

Never Go Half-Supervillain by C.T. Phipps
David makes a living helping villains in his home town Motor Hills. But part-time as he's living a life as a husband and father too. David, The Freelancer, is drawn into the conspiratory world of who's in charge and who's doing right, to find he needs to decide what he wants to do.

C.T.'s humor with science fiction/fantasy is the top of my favorite list. So many quick remarks that I get! And they make me smile. I enjoyed seeing David be on his own side through the story. And make his decision. It was quite a dangerous adventure for David, but I didn't get overly worried for him because of his ability, though it's not always right...

We Could Be Heroes by Eloise J. Knapp
Vlad and Lucy are eighteen year old chimerics trying to get by in Russia under the thieving hand of a cruel man. They want to be heroes, not the thieves they have to be for Cheslav. One day, they will find a way to break his hold on them and escape to America.

I liked the way this story gave us a past and present view. Almost like two stories in one. It tells of what happened in the past to bring Vlad to be who he is today, and how he got to today. Vlad and Lucy work to get away from one life in Russia, to fall into another in America. Is it better and what they wanted? Hmm, you'll have to read to find out.

Whiplash by Tim Marquitz
Whiplash is working through college, but finds herself helping against the crime in her home city. Chimeric in their teens are popping up and attacking and stealing from stores. Vivian doesn't think it's a coincidence, there is a pattern. She puts the pieces together and goes after these kids, to find a bigger danger behind the acts of the kids. Monger.

I found this story fun with the headbanging and metal-head references. But what I like is that Whiplash, or Vivian, does get beat up. It's not that she's beat up that I like, but that she takes a beating and keeps going. She does get hurt, but she'll fight on. She keeps going back to stop what's happening. She wants to stop the person behind it too. That's strength. That's power. I like that draw to Whiplash as a character.

The Other by Rob J. Hayes
David wants to remain safe from the crime and chimerics employed to do crime, so he's modified his body. Working at Biotiq prosthetic's lab helps with the new and improved items.

This story is one of my favorites. I really like how it reads and makes me curious and interested in David. And The Other. Interesting story with The Other and what he's trying to do while meeting another chimeric and what she's up to.


Perennial by Edward M. Erdelac
Nico and Pan are tracking Zita, a baby-napper for hire. Pan's goal, to find the babies that didn't go through the illegal adoptions. But he learns more about himself and fights through more than he expected.

This is one of the longest stories in the book, page wise.

The story was okay for me. I really wanted to love it more with one character named Pan, after Peter Pan, and to learn why. I enjoyed some sections, but others dragged. I think the one thing that slowed the story for me was all the back stories. This is something in short stories that slows the story for me and frustrates me. Someone else may well enjoy this story more than I.


Avenger by G.N. Braun
Leon Stone, a security guard at the mall, finds a delivery van with blood on the side door. When he looks inside, he can't believe what he sees! Blood. And death. Then he has to fight the creature that caused it. This one incident draws him into the strange and deadly world of chimerics.

This story had me from the beginning with what Leon found in the van. This is in first person, but I felt I liked the feel from the first sentence. Leon's personality really comes through.

This story feels like it could be a prequel to a series. A series I'd be curious and interested in reading!


Bring It On, Hero by J.M. Martin
Where Avenger stopped, this one picks up from another person's point of view. It's like a braided world. Hero goes in to investigate where the others left. This draws Hero's memories to when had to talk about events lived through and what went wrong.

The story shares, through Hero, the memory of leaving TCA, when first developed powers, and more. The story started really good for me, then I got mixed up in the memories on where and who Hero was in the story.


(They Call Me) Epilogue by Steve Diamond
Kennedy Ross's husband is being honored with a statue. The news press pushes on for more answers and her thoughts on Human Shield not coming into his powers until after he failed to prevent her husbands death...

This is probably the shortest story of the anthology, and I loved it. It had me curious from the get go. What happened to Kennedy's husband to die? Even the true feelings Kennedy has, as you know she's holding back. Oh, I love Kennedy!

This story references the previous ones here, but not based on them. But answers a question from one of the earlier ones. (Who's behind this?)

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review 2017-01-09 19:35
Audio Book Review: The Secrets of Supervillainy

*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review at my request.

It's been a year since the fall of Falconcrest City, and the returning of a portion of Gary's wife who's now a vampire. Gary has searched and will do anything, almost anything, to have Mandy's soul returned to her body. Someone is calling for Gary's death, along with his hench-people, Cindy aka Little Red Riding Hood and Diabloman. Gary and Diabloman believe it's the government behind the push for their death due to the money offered along with being pardoned. Gary struggles with his growing feelings for Cindy, yet wants his wife back. With all Gary's personal struggles, Death has a new assignment for him. An important hero has died, out of his timeline. Death wants Gary to find the killer and eliminate him, in return for a favor of anything in her power.

Jeffrey returns to bring us Gary's dry humor. How can he do some of these jokes without sounding as though he's laughing? Talent. Jeffrey brings us into the conversations as he voices it all with the feel of the characters and the quick retorts with a feel as though he doesn't even think. Wow. Well done! Jeffrey is clear and easy to listen to as he goes through the story. One of the best complements I can give to a narrator is they voice the story and yet are unheard. That sounds backward but this is why, they don't draw attention from the story itself or over voice to distract. Jeffrey does this. What he's added to the story is the blend of voice and personality that adds to the story and he's not heard. Well done.

We start right in with Merciless in the midst of trouble, erm, battle. Yes battle. And it doesn't stop there. Gary seems to always be found by trouble. But with all he's done in the last year, tinkering in magics to save Mandy, Gary is weaker in his magic from Death. This does affect him and brings a consequence to light for all he's done.

I do enjoy the dry humor between Gary (Merciless) and Cloak. This story just makes me smile. It's funny how much chatting goes on in battles. And how things come out. lol. Then, the whole thing changes directions as everyone's motives and wants change with the chatter.

Oh the humor! I love all the one liners that reference so many different geeky items. I listen intently to hear and catch these. Kool Aid man was hinted at. I had to smile as it was the old commercial reference. lol. Elvis! A play of Frozen the movie! Then there's a play made that feels like something from Terminator, with the time travel. lol Twisty thinking yet so fun with Gary's responses. lol. And Star Wars debates along with references. With the time line part of story, I was waiting for the Quantum Leap reference. It came! lol. Goodness, all the old and new science fiction/fantasy references. I love them!

The interaction of the characters and how they play off each other with quick comments, just fun as the crew blends in a fun wonky way. I get a kick out of Death with Gary. She finds him amusing, but she pushes his buttons so easily. And she has the powers to keep him under some control of quick lines. Even Cindy with Gary. They are all wonderful compliments of each other.

As much as Gary has a strange, twisted view on things, there are those moments when he sounds brilliant too. lol. I love the dynamics this man goes through.

There is always an enemy to come. Gary finds he's the center of the attacks of the Dark Light group. I got a kick out of who is behind the Dark Light group after Gary aka Merciless.

I will warn you, there are times that strong language is used. The f word and a few others. But fits perfectly to the characters and the moment.

We have everything from super powers to magic, from cybernetics to alien technology. A great blend of all things science fiction and fantasy with our superheroes, erm, supervillains! Pay attention! Because when things get rocking and we start talking different universes and times, you are going to see all the twists and loops C.T. creates in Gary's plan...plans... Garys.. plural used? lol.

This book ends on a small cliffhanger. It doesn't hit me as bad as you would think though. Gary's main goal in the book is resolved. But, there is another battle to be fought, and we will be waiting for the next book with that battle.

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review 2017-01-03 12:40
All My Friends are Super Heroes
All My Friends are Superheroes - Andrew Kaufman

Quirky and one of a kind. How often do you find a book in which the experience depends so heavily on the reader and it's interpretation? A multi interpretable book to a point of transcending the two-dimensional and becoming interactive. Rare and truly engaging; as long as you embrace and ravel in the obscurity of intention.

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