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review 2018-09-23 19:53
Polikarpov Fighters in Action, Pt.1 - Aircraft No. 157 - Hans-Heiri Stapfer

This book provides a fairly comprehensive history of the first generation of Polikarpov fighter planes -- all biplanes --- produced by the Soviet Union during the 1930s, which came into being in response to Moscow's decision to modernize the Soviet air force and aviation industry in the Soviet Union. Many of these fighters (e.g. the I-15 and the I-152) saw combat in the Spanish Civil War, in the Battles of Khalkhin Gol (fought between the Soviet Union and Japan from May to September 1939), the Sino-Japanese War (with the Chinese Air Force), and during the early stages of World War II. 

The Polikarpov fighters, when they first arrived on the scene, were among the most advanced aircraft in the world. But by the time Europe was on the eve of war in 1939, these Soviet fighters had become obsolete, due to the widespread adoption of the monoplane fighter by a majority of the world's modern air forces. The day of the biplane was now passé. Nevertheless, Stalin insisted that a more advanced biplane fighter be developed. Thus was born the Polikarpov I-153, which had a retractable landing gear, and boasted a higher speed, as well as heavier armament, than its predecessors. Though a robust fighter, the I-153 proved to be unsuitable for fighter-vs-fighter combat during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and was largely relegated to the ground attack role until it was phased out of service in 1943. 

This is a fantastic book, with many photos and a page containing illustrations of the various Polikapov fighters (1st generation) in their various uses from the Spanish Civil War, the Sino-Japanese War, to World War II. 

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review 2018-09-23 19:13
A disappointing ending to one of my favorite series...3.5 Out Of 5 STARS worth
The Lost Codex - Heather Lyons

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Lost Codex

Heather Lyons

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Allies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart. 

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence. 

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated. 

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost. 

For what is written can still be erased.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I wanted to love this…I have loved the first three books in The Collector's Society.  This has always been a uniquely told book series, but this one was just too out there in left field and left me feeling confused and sadly disappointed.  It felt like it dragged a lot of the time and was the longest 411 pages ever.  I've adored these characters and I have been fascinated with the premise, so I tried to let that reflect in my rating.  I guess, overall I just wanted this play out differently…and that ending…well, I guess ultimately that ending left an opening for this story to play out differently...

 

I actually finished the last half or so of this book with the Audio version, because I was being plagued by migraines and couldn't continue reading.  I did not care for the narration of this at all, though.  Heather Lyons, in my opinion, this series could have benefitted from a different narrator, in fact adding a male voice would have been worked much better for Finn's parts and for the print version, you really need to have someone proofread it.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.2/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 3.7/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ This is supposed to be the last one…but it could be continued…with the way it ended.

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Book Cover~ It's fairly cool…

Series~ The Collector's Society #4

Setting~ The Institute, Antarctica, Wonderland

Source~ I own Kindle eBook

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I used this for Relics and Curiosities Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-23 17:05
5 STARS for this story that lives up to its amazing cover...
Contagion - Erin Bowman

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~BOOK BLURB~

Contagion

Erin Bowman

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IT GOT IN US

 

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

 

MOST ARE DEAD

 

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

 

DON’T SET FOOT HERE AGAIN

 

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I wasn't sure what to expect with this…the only other books by Erin Bowman that I've read have been YA Westerns.  This is way different than those books.  I'll admit, early on, I thought she was jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, with this deep space horror/thriller based on a crazy virus.  It felt an awful lot like Illuminae.  Within no time though, that thought was out of my head, because I was hooked on this compelling story.  With zombie-like symptoms, this mysterious virus is seriously frightening.  It does end on a total cliffhanger, but I'm not even upset about that because I cannot wait to listen to the second book which is set to come out in July of 2019.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.8/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.8/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.8/5

Ending~ 5/5  Cliffhanger~ Yeah…you could say that.

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Book Cover~ Love it…especially the colors in it.

Narration~ Amy McFadden

Series~ Contagion #1

Setting~  The Planet Achlys

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Dead Lands Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-23 05:33
Not what I expected but it's ok
The Anomaly - Michael Rutger

What was enjoyable about this book was it could be a movie. Imagery in the book was pictured clearly and the plot was good enough to make you think ‘This should be a movie’

 

The plot was all right. It’s enjoyable and makes for quick reading. It’s not overly complicated and the action scenes provide a good thrill here and there. It flowed and kept things interesting, however around the midway mark of the book things slow down and not much happens. Things do pick up quickly in the latter half. I didn’t expect the outcome to turn out as it is. I was looking forward to more of a plot like the movie “The Descent” with more thrills and horror. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

 

The characters on the other hand, don’t have much to them. They’re pretty much flat and are just there to keep the story going. Although I admit I rather liked Ken throughout the book. He was brash and hotheaded. Everything was either a complaint or an insult which made him stand out from the others. Although Nolan was the ‘leader’ in this group there really wasn’t much to him. There was a small background story to Nolan to give him more substance but it really isn’t much.

 

There’s a lot of intrigue and some bits of thrilling scenes to enjoy, some mystery in the end but overall I can’t really say it’s something I would gush about. Perhaps because I was expecting this to be more of a horror than anything else. Which is too bad, it had potential to be better but it fell short. I’d say take it or leave it. There’s no regrets reading it but don’t expect it to be gripping and exciting. It’s...meh.

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review 2018-09-19 22:52
Picking the right narrator makes all the difference...
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

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~BOOK BLURB~

Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

 

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

 

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

 

Yet she spares Cas's life.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Plot-wise this has all the right elements, Anna is a fairly kick-ass ghost and despite how terrifying she is, you still end up liking her.  Especially after you hear the story of how she died.  Nevertheless, I still felt that it was missing something…maybe it's just me…or maybe it was due to the narrator.  When he did other peoples voices he was not so bad, but when he did the voice of Cas the MC, (which was his normal voice) he delivered his lines with very little emotion and it left me feeling disconnected from the story most of the time.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite striking…

Narration~ 2 for August Ross

Series~ Anna #1

Setting~ Thunder Bay, Ontario

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Ghost Stories Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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