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review 2017-08-16 00:38
Hortense and the Shadow - Natalia O'Hara

This book actually makes me feel rather uncomfortable - why would a young child hate her shadow? I've always encouraged my children and grandchildren to think of their shadow as a friendly presence, not something to be scared of.
Then, when Hortense slams the window sash down, the shadow howls and kicks and scratches at the glass, well, by this time, no wonder she's petrified by her shadow.

The art work is cute, with a Russian feel, cold and snowy, and this book appears to be well received by other reviewers. As yet my granddaughter is still a bit young to really test her reception to it, although I'm in no hurry to give her shadow-phobia. Maybe this is just one that I'll let pass by.

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review 2017-08-15 17:24
Shadow Rider
Shadow Rider (The Shadow Series) - Christine Feehan

Shadow, Book 1

I Picked Up This Book Because: I can’t seem to let go of Christine Feehan

The Characters:

Francesca Cappello:
Stefano Ferraro:

The Story:

In the Why Did I Read this section I said I can’t let go of Christine Feehan and I should explain. Every book I’ve read in the past two years I say needs to be about 100 pages less. Shadow Rider is no exception. Though I think Feehan is a an awesome story teller who gives beautiful details about her characters and their surrounding areas (especially in the Leopard Series), she is now infamous for being repetitive. Really if Francesca said how beautiful she thought Stefano was one more time I was going to reach in the book and smack her.

Now that I got that off my chest let’s talk about what I liked. Super powerful, rich family that’s close and takes care of each other. Love it. Dispenser of justice to those who can not fight for themselves. Love it. Steaming hot couple who care deeply for each other. Yep, love it too. (I can ignore the instalove but just a warning). Crazy, maniac after our heroine, not original but I liked the author’s twist on him.

The climax of the books was good but also totally expected and What I really love is the set up for Nicoletta and Taviano and I’m disappointed that their book is not next. I will definitely be continuing the series however I hope I can get the audio versions as I think fair better with this particular author’s brand of storytelling.

Overall I enjoyed the broad strokes of the story.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


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review 2017-08-03 11:37
Downbeat and Offbeat Fiction: “The Shadow Year” by Jeffrey Ford
The Shadow Year: A Novel - Jeffrey Ford

"Her small stature, dark, and wrinkled complexion, and the silken black strands at the corners of her upper lip made her seem to me at times like some ancient monkey king. When she’d fart while standing, she’d kick her left leg up in the back and say: ‘Shoot him in the pants. The Coat and vest are mine.’”


In “The Shadow Year” by Jeffrey Ford


The world-wide craze for superheroes is obvious. We all see ourselves as passive victims and don't expect to rescue ourselves.


There's also the national craze for vampires and zombies in books, TV, movies, and the web. It may seem odd that a deeply Christian country is also obsessed with vampires, but as Joseph Glanvill wrote in the 1600s, if you deny the existence of demons and witches, you deny god. I see it as another form of projection: a few survivors are surrounded by the dead, i.e., the masses of the unemployed and soon-to-be-unemployable. I’m thinking USA here.


Magical realism is a bit like SF, where colorful, fanciful personas, places and technologies are used to explore all too real attitudes, trends and prejudices. It could be said that Ford's take on it is America's second exploration of the genre, since it was also prevalent in the 50's and 60's (and to some extent the 70's) with the proliferation of pulp magazines, SF publications (also the birth of the modern comic book) and SF movies and TV shows (Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Star Trek).



If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2017-08-03 00:00
Double Down: Shadow of the Templar
Double Down: Shadow of the Templar - M. Chandler 4,75 stars

I knew I liked this book going in to it, but I didn't remember just how much. I think it's a shame that this series is "just" a self-published one and it's not crossed more people's paths than it has. I'm pretty sure if Shadow's character was female, these would be some sort of best sellers (although some things would surely be different in the story line.)

It's hard to pinpoint what I love most about these, but in the end it probably boils down to the characters and their interactions. I especially like Nate and Johnny, but they all feel so real (if not completely realistic) that I just feel like I'm more invested in them than I probably should, considering they are all fictional. It makes it all the more difficult to read, knowing what's up a head for them.

The other thing that Chandler handles exceptionally, is tension. These books pull me in so completely because they are just so well written that you feel like you're living in the story. I just can't get over it.

These books somehow manage to have a bit of everything I usually look for in a good book (or most of everything). The dialogue is funny, the emotions are easy to empathize with, the characters are flawed but lovable, the plot moves forward with exceptional pacing and while the plot might not be mind blowing, it's well thought out and very entertaining.

I like that The Relationship isn't the leading plot line, while it is an interesting one. Simon's so messed up and Shadow's too good for him, but there's constant development and hope. I also appreciate the author's decision to fade most sex scenes out. I agree that in a book like this, sex scenes would detract from the plot, so it's good to leave it to the reader's imagination. (Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a good sex scene as much as the next person, but I think there are books better suited for those than these ones.)

I'm probably going to get into With a Bullet straight away, even though I'm simultaneously dreading it.
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text 2017-07-25 21:11
Which Fantasy to Pick?
The Shadow Of What Was Lost - James Islington
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer - Jonathan L. Howard
The Magicians - Lev Grossman
The White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in ZombielandThrough the Zombie GlassThe Queen of Zombie Hearts - Gena Showalter
The Wheel of Time: Boxed Set #1 - Robert Jordan
The Malazan Empire - Steven Erikson
The Night Watch Collection: Books 1-3 of the Night Watch Series (Night Watch, Day Watch, and Twilight Watch) - Sergei Lukyanenko
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

I want to read a great fantasy series. I like it when there are lots of mythical characters/creatures. I like it where the main characters are not normal human type. I do like Tolkien, but I want something a bit grittier. I uses to read a lot of fantasy book, but lately have found myself zipping through para romance. I have recently not been enjoying them as I uses to though. 


I have most of those above in complete, or near complete series. I also have King's Dark Tower books, most of Brooks' Shanara books, a lot of Robin Hobb, and Sanderson. Most of what I have I have not read past the first book and do not remember much of what they we're about.



Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't mind if it is something I don't have, I will get it. 

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