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review 2017-09-21 09:23
I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book
The Shadows - Megan Chance

I went into this book with a little trepidation. Despite normally not doing so, I had managed to stumble across a few of the other Goodreads reviews before I started, and they weren't all glowing. Pacing seemed to be a major concern from a number of reviewers and lack of plot driven excitement. 

Well, I'm happy to say that while the story as a whole was slow, I didn't find it dull. When working with trilogies or series it can be difficult to get the world building and plot driver levels correct to keep your readers engaged and provide the information they need. 

Megan managed to introduce a large cast of characters, each with complex backgrounds in a way that didn't overwhelm the reader, provided teaser information and whetted the appetite for books 2 and 3. 

Complexity of characters was lacking in some of the later introduced characters, but I'm sure they'll be explored in more detail in the next book/s. The main cast had quite a lot of time to unfold their natures to the reader and do so in a manner that I don't really trust yet, but I feel that was the intention. 

It feels to me that Megan will portray a character in a certain way to start, only to have that original idea smashed by some later revelation. This is quite ingenious as it allows for character growth that the reader experiences too.

I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book and long to delve further into the Sidhe and Fianna. 

The biggest blow to this book was the love triangle. I am hoping it is redeemed later in the trilogy, but I'm not holding my breath.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-09-14 12:15
Not Fiona McCallum's best, but still might appeal to horsey people who don't mind reading about characters that are annoying and downright unlikable.
Leap of Faith - Fiona Mccallum

This is the third Fiona McCallum book I've read, and the second one I've rated two stars. There's one main reason this book tanked in my opinion. 

Apologies in advance for the tirade below:

Jessica, the main character, is a self-centred, immature and selfish adult-child. The constant inane babbling of her inner thoughts drove me batty, and her complete inability to think about anyone outside of herself left me wanting to wring her scrawny neck. 

Add to this continued form of abuse to the reader, Jessica's incapacity to put basic symptoms of pregnancy together after the reader was subjected to copious PG-rated coitus between Jessica and Steve, her rough-on-the-outside-but-soft-on-the-inside husband, and you're left wondering how this TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) character even made it to adulthood. 

Considering the amount of inner dialogue the reader is subjected to, Jessica's character has very little character growth, the one tiny speck of change really didn't warrant the 220 pages of torment within the covers. What's with that?! Really? Are there people like this in the world?

This book gets added to my swear-tastic shelf, not because it has a lot of vulgar language in it (there is a little, it's fairly light on), but instead it's added because of the quantity of vulgar language it elicited from me as I read it.

The ONLY reasons this book gets 2 stars instead of 1, is Laurel and Hardy, the farm dogs who were adorable, and the Plain-Jane-but-not-really, Faith. The little filly, Faith, is a welcome piece of sunshine and amusement to the book. If only we'd spent more time in her mind and less in Jessica's. 

I was left thinking:

Throw it in a dumpster, burn it

Not Fiona McCallum's best, but still might appeal to horsey people who don't mind reading about characters that are annoying and downright unlikable.

**Note: I was provided a copy of this book from the Publisher in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-08-25 01:16
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - My Thoughts
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

Let me be clear from the get-go.  I think many readers would rate this book with at least 4 stars, even 5, but quite honestly, I'm not the ideal reader for this book, so MY rating is a little lower.  I just don't want people to miss a fun, well-written, diversely cast, thoughtful, filled with love book.

My problem with the book is that the plot was little more than a wisp of smoke in an evening breeze.  I need a plot, really I do.  And this world/universe was built in a way that a whole BUNCH of plots could have been explored.  But the author didn't go there with her diverse merry band of  'tunnellers', wormhole builders if you will.  Instead she went for exploring the characters and their backgrounds and how this biggest job of their lives manages to affect them all in a very profound way. 

We get most of the story through the eyes of Rosemary, the young human who comes aboard as the ship's clerk, trying to escape her past and in reality, learn who she is and who she wants to be moving forward.  It's really a New Adult coming of age story, I guess.  Again, not my cup of tea, but I liked it in spite of that.

Here's a fan drawing of the crew I found that I thought was pretty good.  It's a crew that often reminded me of the crew of Firefly.  There are unlikable members and members that you just want to hug to bits.They all gel as a team though, especially after their big job journey.  Again, the story is way more about the characters than that big job thing.  :)

 

 

 
 
So, if you're looking for some sci-fi fun, heavy on the characterisation, light on plot, but a fun read and one that will warm the proverbial cockles of your heart, this is your book.  :) It'll make you feel good!

And I'll probably be picking up the next one in the series at some point.  
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review 2017-08-13 01:32
Timely book but didn't go deep enough.
Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era - Michael S. Kimmel

I've had this book in my to read list for years but never got around to it until I realized it was available at the library. Sadly it remains a timely, relevant read and so it seemed like now would be a good time as any to give it a go and see what it has to tell the reader.

 

The title is basically what it contains. Author Kimmel looks at white men in the United States and looks at why they are angry. They range from mass shooters at schools to Men's Rights Activists to disenfranchised men who have been unable to advance in their careers due to changes in the economy, technology, wage stagnation, etc. With women entering the work force, the election (and re-election) of the first black President of the Unite States, general demographic changes and shifts, etc. Kimmel looks at the how and why of the anger.

 

It was an interesting book but I agree with a lot of the negative reviews. The author can be quite repetitive. In some ways the book really doesn't go far enough. He seemed to focus on men who hold conservative political views but really could have done more with liberal/left/progressive/Democratic men. President Obama is mentioned periodically but the book flap specifically mentions his 2012 re-election victory and this book was first published in 2013--it would have been nice to have seen more about the rise of the Tea Party and an expansion on his point about people voting for Obama as a "sign" racism was over. Domestic/romantic violence is mentioned but there doesn't seem to be any regarding the LGBTQ community.

 

That said, I did learn bits and pieces, such as stuff on MRAs. I found his discussion of why people kept moving west as a sign of "failure" (staying back east meant one was successful but moving further out west and eventually to California and Alaska was a way to start over in the hopes that success would come) quite interesting. This point could have been expanded, especially when thinking about the travel abroad/expat experiences--some deliberately travel to particular countries/areas abroad that are poorer or more willing to cater to a male US expat, etc.  

 

It's not a bad book (and I understand a second edition has been released as of this review) but I felt I already knew much of this from other sources. I had been curious to know what a white man would have to say all about this but he doesn't add much then hasn't already been covered in recent journalism or books like Carol Anderson's 'White Rage'.

 

I'd definitely borrow this from the library. The version I have is the first edition so perhaps the more recently updated one might be more informative for the reader.

 

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text 2017-08-12 19:19
Loving this so far
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Tantor Audio,Becky Chambers,Rachel Dulude

Took an hour long walk this morning and started this book on the phone.   

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