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review 2017-12-31 00:00
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore It took me several attempts to finish this, and this time around I managed (finally) but it took almost two months. I thought it was really just me, but after skimming over some reviews, I see I'm not alone in being a bit underwhelmed by this one.

I saw the movie when it came out, and I love it. It's one of our few traditions that we (or at least one of us) watches it ever November 5th, and we've done so since the first November 5th it was on DVD.

Anyway, I didn't actually know it was based on a graphic novel for about 2-3 years, then immediately snagged a copy when I found it in a bookstore. I've been trying to read it ever since, but kept failing to get very far. Part of that, possibly the biggest part, is that I wasn't really thrilled with the art. It's not really bad, it just left me feeling pretty "meh" about it. I also had a hell of a time reading and following the story because of the font style (I had to squint and re-read bits on almost every page because I couldn't make out what it said) and some of the dialogue that was written sort of phonetically to convey the accent or whatever. That kept pulling me out of the story and minimizing my interest.

The story itself, though, was really great. I think I would have liked it better with some changes (like text that was easier to read), and I doubt I'll be re-reading it anytime soon, but I didn't hate it and I'm glad I've finally read it. I was really surprised by how closely the movie followed the graphic novel. Usually there are a lot of changes, or at least that's what I've noticed from my limited experience reading comics and graphic novels, and seeing the movie based on them. This one, though, was pretty similar. The movie was so well done, I would go so far as to say to not bother reading the graphic novel if you don't have a very strong desire to, because there weren't many changes, and most of them were so insignificant it doesn't change anything major.
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review 2017-10-29 19:36
Action, suspense, paranormal, and romance
Crescent Vendetta (Vendetta Series Book 1) - Desiree L Scott

Crescent Vendetta has a smorgasbord of genres. We get crime, action, thriller, suspense, paranormal, and romance all rolled into one engrossing story. The book is well-written and fast-paced. There are some time jumps in the story, but they work well and the flow is good. This one is a bit dark and violent, especially with the abuse that Vanessa has suffered, but the care and protection that Travis and his family show her is part of what makes this one so good. Travis is such an endearing character. He is most certainly self-assured and proud, as I would expect from an alpha, but he doesn't come off as arrogant. The patience that he has with Vanessa is quite touching and keeps the romance side of the story moving during all the turmoil. There is a lot going on, but the story is easy to follow and the action and suspense kept me turning pages. All-in-all, this is great start to a promising series. 

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review 2017-10-17 00:00
Kill Order / Vendetta
Kill Order / Vendetta - Jack McSporran Kill Order / Vendetta - Jack McSporran Introduces Maggie Black, an agent with The Unit, which takes on tasks the government wants to keep hidden.

In Kill Order, Maggie is framed for killing the Mayor of London, and has to discover who is really behind it.
Vendetta is a prequel story, looking in more detail at one of the events mentioned in the first book.

There's nothing unique or original in either story (both are slightly predictable), but they move along at a good pace and there's always something happening.

Bit repetitive in places - whenever Maggie and her boyfriend are about to get down to some "snuggle time", it always tells how she bites his lip, and he moans. (Probably he's trying to tell her to stop biting his lip).

Kill Order was better than Vendetta (in my opinion), due to a wider range of characters on both sides.
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review 2017-10-15 13:32
#Audiobook Review: The Ghoul Vendetta by Lisa Shearin
The Ghoul Vendetta: An SPI Files Novel - Audible Studios,Lisa Shearin,Johanna Parker

SPI agent Makenna Fraser points out that bad stuff always seems to happen around her, and she’s not kidding. The Ghoul Vendetta opens with Mak and Goblin Lord Rake Danescu on a yacht in the Hudson, along side several of the supernatural world’s bigwigs, when it is attacked by a kraken and other sea creatures. What is even more strange is that no one is hurt and everyone is left alone as soon as their target, a vampire mob boss, is kidnapped. Soon after, a familiar foe turns up, robbing banks and threatening Mak’s partner, Ian. Now it’s up to SPI to find the connection and stop a terrible enemy.


As a fan of the SPI Files from the beginning, I am sad to say that The Ghoul Vendetta held several issues for me. First, I was disappointed that the first five to six chapters are almost entirely review of the previous three books; explaining the world and highlighting major events. I appreciate that the author takes care to do this, but by the fourth chapter, I was ready for things to move forward. And once again, throughout the book, there is so much repetition. Mak will remark on who a character is or what they like or do a more than once in the book.


Another issue I’m struggling with is the relationship between partners Mak and Ian. Yes, I was disappointed when the author chose to keep Mak and Ian platonic friends, but I was glad to see she gave them each a love interest. After the conclusion of the previous book, I was looking forward to seeing Mak and Rake together. However, for much of the book, the story once again focuses on how close Mak and Ian are - but how they are only friends. I’m not buying it. Mak shows way more affection for Ian than her supposed boyfriend, Rake. If the author wants me to buy into the “just partners,” and view Rake as a love interest, then she needs to invest time in the romance. There was some of this in the last parts of the The Ghoul Vendetta, but honestly, it felt awkward and out of place since we really haven’t seen Rake and Mak together other than a few casual dates, or working in life and death situations. We know more about Ian and Kylie’s romance than Mak and Rake.


Sadly, I never really got past these two issues, so it was difficult for me to get into the overall story, which has some extremely interesting aspects. I appreciate that the author works to tie together several threads from the previous books. I liked the tie-in with Ian, and was left wondering what will happen next (in a good way). I just felt like there wasn’t enough emphasis on this part of the story after the continuous mention of so many previous events.


One bright spot in listening to The Ghoul Vendetta is the narration by Ms. Parker, even when I bumped up the listening speed 1.5x. I love listening to Ms. Parker’s Mak, repetitions and all. She has a lovely southern accent that is fitting for the tough yet “weaker” character of Mak. Ms. Parker’s male voices are good, but tended to blend a bit (Ian and Rake), and I felt that her performance of Alain Moreau has changed slightly-a bit more dramatic of an accent, yet I still enjoyed it. 


In the end, I had real difficulty getting beyond the constant rehashing of past events and the constant repetition within the story. It diminished what should have been an engrossing storyline and frustrated me to the point where I had to speed up the playback to get though it more quickly. With that, I still recommend The Ghoul Vendetta to fans of the SPI Files, and I hope that the next title will be tighter, stronger, or I fear I may drop the series.


My Rating: C
Narration: B+


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review 2017-07-21 22:07
The Ghoul Vendetta - Lisa Shearin

Fast paced as per usual. Am a bit surprised that we have elves, goblins, and... apparently we have fae as well. Huh. Oh, and Fomorians. The latter were banished millennia ago by what turns out to be Ian's ancestor...who wasn't human. Nobody's sure how Ian feels about that. Ian isn't saying though. Ian would have remained in the dark so to speak about his ancestry if the bad guy hadn't left a little trinket that lit up like the Bat signal when he picked it up.


Of course, the bad guy is trying to get a curse lifted that Ian's ancestor placed on the Fomorians, and to do that, he's gotta remove Ian.


Much investigating ensues, with Rake declaring his intentions to Mac just prior to the latest war to stave off Armageddon. Of course the good guys win.

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