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review 2018-04-17 00:00
A Shout in the Ruins
A Shout in the Ruins - Kevin Powers This book is great. The writing is superb, painted a great picture. The concept of the intimacy of violence was a really interesting one.

I think what most impressed me was the empathy employed by Powers in the telling. This empathy along with the intimacy helped to illustrate the true consequences of violence and in civility. These consequences seemed to transcend the physical world in some instances, in other instances it obliterated their world. This often set off a chain reaction leading to tragedy.

Tragically, a number of the characters seemed to bear the burden of cruelty despite their better natures, all of them dealing with this in their own ways.

It was a bit difficult to keep track of the characters at times, but it is worth sticking with. Powers painted a terribly compelling picture of the casual cruelty of oppression and managed to do so beautifully.
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review 2017-11-25 14:06
The Light in the Ruins ★★★☆☆
The Light in the Ruins - Chris Bohjalian

I am a little disappointed in this book overall, as I had high expectations after seeing some very good reviews. Also disappointing that I didn’t like this more because my library has several more audios of this author’s books on Overdrive. It started out well, at least, with a brutal murder occurring from the anonymous murderer’s POV, and it kept me interested enough to keep pulling me along with the story and trying to guess at the murderer. But… I felt myself growing more distanced from all the characters as the story progressed, which really should not happen. By the end, I really didn’t care much about any of them, but was only curious to see how the story resolved and if any of my guesses at the murderer were right. I’m fine with a book peopled by unlikeable characters, because it’s absolutely possible for them still to be drawn in a way that the reader can still connect with them. I don’t feel the author accomplished that here. The mystery reveal was a disappointment, too, as it turned out that

the murderer is a minor character whom we aren’t even introduced to in the war storyline until close to the end.

(spoiler show)

I will still try other books by this author, though. Maybe I’ll like another better.


Audiobook from my public library via Overdrive. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, for my first Light Joker: Read a book that has the words “light”, “candle”, “lamp”, “sun” or “fire” in its title or features any of these five things on its cover. This book fits, obviously, because it has “Light” in the title. I’ll use this for square 4: Book themes for Thanksgiving Day: Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.  –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover.

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review 2017-07-04 13:35
post apocalyptic writing at its very best!
Lying In Ruins - Jami Gray
Charity is a Hound, she uses her skill to find things, people, information. When her task means she crosses paths with Fate's Vultures, a band of highly skilled people known for delivering a ruthless hand, Ruin sets off all sorts of alarm bells. Charity sets Ruin's alarms off too. When Ruin's enemy turns out to be Charity's, they have to work together. I've read everything by Jami Gray, and this one holds its own against those other books. But this is a far bloodier book that what came before. And I loved it for that!! Charity and Ruin makes no apologies for who and what they are, and if killing someone as slowly as possible gets them their answers, they will do that. But they don't just dish it, they take their beatings too,and the way Gray describes it, makes you feel with every single punch thrown and delivered! Set in a post apocalyptic world, some things remain the same, some things don't. I loved how Gray used buildings for things that was not their intended purpose, but she describes these places, you know exactly what they were. I loved the world building, or destroying as it were. You don't get it all in one go, and for me, that's the best way to deliver information, little bits at a time. I'm left with questions. Lots and lots of questions!! Who is behind it all? When did Ruin and Charity meet before, because that was hinted at and never explained. Is there another book?? How many books?? I want to know what's going on between Simon and Vex, because clearly there IS something. So many questions!! But that's a good thing, a really good thing as it kept me engaged and excited and interested from from to back. So, if you like your characters with a bit more bite, with secrets, with hidden agendas,and all those sorts of things, and your worlds a far more deadlier place, then this is for you. I've filed it on the darker/grittier and the over 18 shelf, because of the long and detailed violence. I can't give it any other word, I'm afraid! 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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review 2017-05-06 00:00
Ruins of Empire
Ruins of Empire - Jay Allan Ruins of Empire - Jay Allan The continuation of Tyler Barron’s adventures in the war between the Confederation and the (communist) Union continues. This time the stakes are obviously high as can be seen from the book blurb.

It is a good and entertaining book. It flips between the fight for the ancient relic and another big clash between the Confederation and the Union. Loosing any one of these conflicts could spell the doom for the Confederation. Personally I was not too happy about the jumping back and forth between the two threads. Sure, it made for a good story with plenty of pressure but both events are easily good enough for a whole book each.

As usual there is plenty of combat action in the book but also a fair amount of personal interaction. The Union political officer is a particularly nasty piece of work and it is indeed a joyful event when Barron & Co finally gets their hands on this scumbag.

The book introduces a new character, the freighter and smuggler captain Lafarge. I definitely like this woman. Strong, resourceful and she takes no shit from anyone. Needless to say she and her ship and crew plays an important role in the story.

I have to say that I was a wee bit disappointed with the ending. I cannot say much about it without spoiling too much but let’s just say that I would have liked the Confederation to retain a bit more advantages from the outcome.

On the whole though it was a soundly entertaining read. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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review 2017-04-20 16:40
The Ruins - Scott Smith

It'd been a while since I read a book that horrified, sickened, and amazed me in equal measure; The Ruins did all those things with ease. I was shocked at just how much I loved this novel. I did not expect it to totally blow me away. The characters are mostly unlikable and infuriating, and I must admit I had trouble reading about them at first, but that's the point — being trapped in the jungle and fighting for one's life brings out the very worst in a person.


This is a brutal, agonizing read. There are no chapter breaks, and because of that it feels like a knife slice to the jugular. Scott Smith is unwavering in his quest to horrify the reader; you can almost imagine the maniacal grin he wore as he doled out pain and suffering to his unsuspecting creations.


I'm going to keep this one short and sweet: I really loved The Ruins. In fact, it's probably in my top five horror novels — it's that damn good. It pushes every button, as good horror should. I can't wait to check out this author's debut novel, A Simple Plan.


This was a buddy read with my friend Sadie. I had the time of my life. :)

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