logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Tom-Rob-Smith
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-19 21:22
The Accidental (Smith)
The Accidental - Ali Smith

The strength of this novel, for me, is in the very tight point of view for each of the chapters, right down to the individual use of language by the characters whose train of thought we are following. For instance, in the chapter where we first meet Astrid and her reaction to the country village where her parents have dragged her, we know that she is a pre-teen not just from the mixture of sharp insights and sheer incomprehension with which she sees things around her, but from her repetitive use of the word "substandard", in that infatuated way we have when young for some new word or idea.

 

Like quite a lot of literary novels, this one keeps us engaged by feeding information - who are these people, what is happening to them, what (if anything?) is the shape of the story - in small and obscure parcels that we have to keep decoding. It was, in fact, mostly fun to do, although I was a little disappointed to discover that the seemingly accidental factor that precipitated the breaking of their world and their family - the arrival and persistent presence of a mysterious young woman named Amber - was not accidental at all, and rather easily explained by all-too-common human depravity. Nonetheless, in the unfolding we learned a lot about the inside workings of not just Astrid, but her brother Magnus (racked with guilt over a serious incident at school), her mother Eve (a working author), and her stepfather Michael (a professor of English with tendencies to infidelity).

 

The formal experimentation is audacious. As Amber enters his life Michael's life become a sonnet, and the next dozen pages are in various poetic forms, including a magnificent sonnet sequence. It doesn't surprise you one little bit that Ali Smith is also a published poet.

 

What's left at the end? A tremendous sense of inconclusiveness, of course - this is a literary novel after all. A lingering sense of who the characters are, even Amber (who is not a complete mystery, though her chapters require even more decoding than most). And, most of all, a sense of playfulness and lightness.

 

Appropriately, my reading of this book was entirely accidental; it was a random pick from a book exchange at work. It has made me curious to read more. (I only discovered well after reading it that Ali Smith is Scottish; there's nothing particularly Scottish about the book, though I seem to remember Amber has a Scottish tinge. Still, no need for the "Scotland" tag - Smith's biography makes it clear that her actual and spiritual home is Cambridge).

 

Recommended if you want to try something you've definitely never read before, and that gives pleasure in exchange for the work.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-16 22:55
Well that was...different...interesting and...
Far From Home (Belladonna Ink #1) - Jill Eileen Smith,Lorelie Brown

a big step outside of my comfort zone, which is something that I think does a mind, body and soul good from time to time. 

 

So what was so different about this story for me, you might ask yourself...well there are two things...

1. It's narrated by a woman.

2. It's a f/f story of which I've only ever read one other. 

 

f/f stories as a rule just aren't my thing which is the biggest reason why I haven't listened to many...ok, any female narrators. I tend to listen to audiobooks from the m/m genre and for me listening to a woman do the voices for an audio book that's predominantly m/m doesn't work any more than listening to a man do a f/f story would...so this is totally on me...personal preference and nothing else...no good or bad involved here.

 

And now here I sit having listened to an audio book that for a few reasons caught my attention...

The first one being the narrator...seriously this was the FIRST TIME EVER!!! that I listened to the full audio sample on the first try with a female narrator...so good on you, Jill Smith... I was impressed and my attention was captured.

 

The next reason being the story...it sounded sweet and pretend girlfriend/boyfriend is  one of those tropes that I like and in this case it was more like pretend spouses giving it the potential for some really cute and humorous moments to balance out the more serious issue which was Rachel's struggles with anorexia.

 

As with any story there were things I liked and things I didn't...I liked Pari and I especially liked the relationship between her mother and her. It wasn't perfect but there was a definite sense of a strong and positive mother/daughter bond between them even when they were not of like minds.

 

I liked that while Pari might have been living in America we were given a successful and strong female character who wasn't 'simply an American' but an immigrant who came to the the United States to follow her dreams...novel concept there...I'm sure it's never happened in the real world, right? ;)

 

Ok, so as much as I like Pari and her mom and I also enjoyed some of the interactions between Pari and Rachel...what I struggled with was Rachel. I really wanted to love this character. I know I felt bad for her...she struggled with her anorexia and she was trying so damned hard to beat it and maybe if the story hadn't come strictly from her perspective I would have seen her as a really courageous young lady rather than having her turn into someone who for me started to sound a bit whiny and seemed to be experiencing a bit of 'poor me' syndrome. I really, really didn't want that image of her but that's what I ended up with.

 

Even more than the overkill on the anorexia, sorry but really sometimes less is more and if Rachel had a bit more diversity to her thoughts than 'musings on her anorexia' and all the reasons that she was attracted to Pari...because yes we have a case of insta-lust with a good dose of GFY going on here. Rachel was straight...not bi...straight as can be attested to but the considerable number of men she's slept with...hey, those are basically her words not mine.

 

I actually finished this book a couple of days ago and was left with a ratings quandary because if I rated this with total honesty and accuracy it would probably go something like this...

Story concept...4 stars

Story execution...2.5 stars

Narration...5 stars (ok, a little biased here because first time ever female narrator that I liked enough to listen not only to the sample but the whole damned book!!!)

 

So at the end of it all I'm calling it a day with an overall average of 3 stars which still when you think about it for someone who rarely and I do mean rarely ventures into the world of f/f and who was listening to an audio book narrated by a woman for the first time EVER!!! I think this ended fairly well...will I suddenly start listening to this genre on a regular basis...I doubt it...will I venture out of my snugly little m/m box to try something else in future...why not? One never knows what they'll find if they just step out side of the box.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Far From Home' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-16 15:45
Salvation of a Saint (audiobook) by Keigo Higashino, translated by Alexander O. Smith, narrated by David Pittu
Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith

When Yoshitaka married his wife, Ayane, it was on the understanding that she would at some point become pregnant. It has now been a year of trying, and still no baby. Yoshitaka sees marriage without children as pointless, so he informs Ayane that the two of them are done. Not only that, but he already has another potential mother of his children lined up. Ayane appears to quietly accept this, but in reality she has decided to put a plan into effect, something involving white powder.

A short while after Ayane and Yoshitaka's conversation, Ayane leaves to spend some time with her parents and some old friends. She provides her apprentice, Hiromi, with a spare key, just in case. As it turns out, Hiromi is Yoshitaka's secret lover. Hiromi makes Yoshitaka some coffee, and the two of them contemplate their future together. All appears well until Hiromi tries to contact Yoshitaka before their next planned date. When she gets to the house, she discovers him dead. The police determine that that the coffee he made himself was poisoned, and it isn't long before they start digging into Hiromi and Yoshitaka's secret relationship together.

Hiromi had access to the house and had even used Yoshitaka's coffee-making supplies and equipment shortly before Yoshitaka drank his poisoned cup. However, she had no motive, and it's unclear how and when she might have added the poison. Ayane had a motive but was nowhere near her husband when the poisoning happened, and if she'd sabotaged any of the coffee-making supplies or tools, Hiromi should have been poisoned as well when she and Yoshitaka made coffee together. It's up to police detectives Kusanagi and Utsumi to figure out what happened.

I listened to the first book in this series, The Devotion of Suspect X, not too long ago. Although I never got around to reviewing it, I enjoyed it and was looking forward to this. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the first book for a variety of reasons.

The two books had similar structures. Readers were given several key details about the case that the police would be unaware of and would have to find out on their own. In the first book, readers knew exactly how the murder happened, who committed it, and who was involved in covering it up. The question seemed to be whether the police would figure out the truth. In this book, readers knew that Ayane had to have somehow used the white powder to poison her husband. The question was how she managed it and, later, what her intentions were for Hiromi. Both books ended with twists that revealed that readers knew less about what was going on than they thought - those "key details" at the start of the books were only part of the overall puzzle.

The mystery of how Ayane arranged for her husband's coffee to be poisoned without killing Hiromi seemed overly simplistic at first but gradually became more complex, as the police found more and more places with traces of the poison but no definitive source, and no explanation for how Hiromi and Yoshitaka managed to drink coffee together earlier without both of them winding up dead.

When Utsumi involved Yukawa in the case, I wondered if Kusanagi and Yukawa would ever talk about the events at the end of the previous book. While the events of the previous book were alluded to - I'd recommend that readers new to this series start there, if only to understand the tension between Kusanagi and Yukawa - they weren't discussed in any sort of detail.

I was impatient with Kusanagi's attraction to Ayane and, like Utsumi, thought he was ignoring obvious clues in an effort to continue to view Ayane as innocent. I was actually a bit surprised that Yukawa didn't needle him over it, since his desire to protect Ayane was a bit hypocritical considering how the previous book ended.

Anyway, I had fun thinking through the problem of how Ayane managed to poison her husband, but the actual solution turned out to be a bit much. It would have taken a ridiculous amount of dedication - once the plan was begun, there was no going back and no telling anyone, and the slightest slip-up could have resulted in an unintentional death. The possibility for failure was huge and, in real life, no one would have gone through with such a plan. And the backstory for it all was kind of gross. I mean, I was somewhat sympathetic towards Ayane for a good chunk of the book - yes, she likely killed her husband, but he'd used both her and Hiromi, viewing them as nothing more than his future baby incubators. Once additional details were revealed, though, I found myself disliking most of the book's cast.

The very end of the book further soured it for me. While discussing the murder and everything that led up to it, Yukawa basically concluded that women are illogical. I would have liked nothing more than for Utsumi (a woman) to smack him at that point, but unfortunately that didn't happen. And honestly, I'm not any more pleased with Keigo Higashino if he thought "women are illogical" would make all the difficult-to-believe aspects of the murder mystery solution easier to swallow.

All in all, this was disappointing. I haven't decided yet whether I'll continue on with the series.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-15 02:27
Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Ords II Stranded
Orbs II: Stranded: A Science Fiction Thriller - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

You will want to read the first book in the series Orbs in order to understand the Aliens and world that this series is based upon.

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is back with the second book in his Orb series, where water is becoming more and more scarce:

The Alien invasion has wiped out most of the life on Earth by sucking the water not just out of the ground but also out of every living thing they can find. The Oceans are slowly being drained and the survivors within the biosphere make a horrific discovery human farms where the Aliens appear to be slowly draining the life of humans that have been captured. When one of their own is captured by the Aliens, they enter into an all out mission to find him and bring him home, but nothing prepares them what has been happening outside of the biosphere.

I liked this better than the first not sure why but I was really drawn into the story and characters in this book when compared to the first. Maybe it is due to the fact that these are the people who survived the first wave and we get to know a few of the survivors better. Sansbury Smith pull no punches on descriptions of deaths (they are pretty gruesome as the Aliens want the water from any lifeforms' body) and who is alive at the end of the book, lets just say they all do not make it out in the end. Sansbury Smith knows how to keep this series both frightening, disturbing and entertaining all at the same time.

Really like the development of Alexia the AI in the biosphere as a character in this book. She changes and almost develops feelings which I find very interesting due to the fact that she is AI as well as her attachment to the humans who she watches over. Another character that was better fleshed out in this book was Sergeant Overton. He really shows a different side of himself I found in this book, as he is very much lets take the fight to them as so what if we die trying while in the first book it was more about trying to survive. But the one thing that you respect the most about Sergeant Overton is that his is completely loyal to his men and is not willing to ask them to do anything that he is not willing to do himself.

As us one of my favourite authors out there right now Sansbury Smith is one of my go to authors. I know I will be continuing on with this series to see where he takes it.

Enjoy!!!

If you Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2018/10/mira-grant-into-drowning-deep.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/04/nicholas-sansbury-smith-hell-divers.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/03/ezekiel-boone-hatching.html
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-12 00:31
Book Review for Anguished a Crimson Elite #2 Novel by T.L. Smith
Anguished (Crimson Elite #2) - T.L. Smith
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Anguished
Series: Crimson Elite #2
Author: T.L. Smith
Genre: Romance (standalone)
 
  • File Size: 4501 KB
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: February 19, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07MK1TF4H
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for an honest review
5 stars from us
 
It wasn’t meant to be this way—she shouldn’t have fallen for my brother and left me for him. But she did. And now I’m left to pick up the pieces of my shattered, broken heart. And to top it off, they want me to come to their wedding. Do they think I’m a pushover? Do they think of me as a joke? The old saying stands true, ‘why have enemies when you can have family.’
 
 
I understand it now, better than I ever have in my life.
 
There’s one unexpected surprise though, Storm. She blew in just like one and makes the pain diminish. She’s exactly as her name describes her—she is a storm. A beautiful and powerful one.
 
But not all things are meant to last. Like a storm that wreaks havoc, some things cause anguish, and in my life she may very well be one of them.
 
 
 
 
Let's start off by saying this is a brand new author for us and we really enjoyed our first read by them .The only thing we disliked is we wish that the author had written and Epilogue. I strongly dislike authors that end books just like this author did as we love seeing a glimpse into the future especially if the romance was a rocky road to get to a happily ever after.
 
We really loved the character's Storm and Echo (love their names) they were a lot of fun and both of them had vibrant personalities which we love.
 
Storm's character's was a hoot ! We found her to be strong,successful,smart,independent,caring funny,and one of those women who doesn't even know her own sex appeal."We loved her from the very beginning!" 
 
Echo-We love his name! We found Echo to be a little bit broken,successful,sexual,funny,has trouble letting go of the past but, most of all we loved the person he was when he was with Storm as she always brought out his best qualities.
 
We love the other character's as well like Darby,Falcon,Creed all had different personalities some of them light and funny,others all serious like and others dark and dangerous.
 
The plot had a lot going on in it along with a complicated love triangle between two twin brothers and one crazy chick. lol The story came with tons if ups and downs but, what we loved most of all is that no matter what Echo's friends who he considered his brothers always had his back.The story definitely kept you engrossed in the drama and suspense the entire time and I will say I wanted to kick the crap out of Echo's entire family for being so blind more than once. lol
 
Overall the story was enjoyable and we loved getting to know all the character's and we can't wait to read Darby's,Falcon's and Creed's story.This was one fun read that was full of tons of chemistry and had really hot sexual interludes as well as making us laugh out loud time and time again.I really think we are really going to love this series.
 
We recommend the read to all ! 
We are looking forward to reading more of this author's works !
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?