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review 2017-07-22 03:45
[Book Review] Curse Words, Volume 1
Curse Words Vol 1: The Devil's Devil - Charles Soule,Ryan Browne

A dark wizard has come to our realm to destroy our world for his master... and decides to become a hero (or something) instead.  Clearly nothing can go wrong with this plan.  Clearly.

Yeah... things go wrong.  In a splashy, chaotic, rock music video sort of way.  All in the company of talking rat/koala/being that's a bit more charismatic and moral than Wizord.  Probably for the best.

Entertaining and unhinged.


Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Image Comics; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/book-review-curse-words-volume-1.html
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review 2017-07-20 21:51
[Book Review] Meddling Kids
Meddling Kids: A Novel - Edgar Cantero

Scooby-Doo meets H.P. Lovecraft.  With an absolutely fantastic cover.

If you want to read someone singing praises of this story it's not hard to find (NPR: In 'Meddling Kids,' The Scooby Gang Grows Up — Hard, USA Today: 'Scooby-Doo' fans will dig Cantero's 'Meddling Kids').

My reactions are a bit muddled, and probably more in line with the Kirkus review.

Is the book fun?  Undoubtedly.  Familiar enough to evoke Scooby-Doo, but different enough to skirt violation of intellectual property.  Even better, Cantero has injected some actual diversity and complexity to the characters.  In true Scooby-Doo fashion, even as they encounter horrors from the gates beyond, the story holds fast as an adventure rather than a horror or thriller.

My copy was a pre-publication galley, so I'm not sure how much has changed in the final publication, but as I still lack access to the final piece, I have to go forward with the above caveat.  Cantero has chosen to drop in and out of narrative voice and style, with parts of the book written as a script instead of as a novel.  Other parts the narrative includes run on sentences masquerading as paragraphs that make my eyes cross.  I truly hope those parts received excessive editorial attention.

The whole story has a fun, tongue-in-cheek aspect in regards to action movies, particularly those it appears to be a script for.  It definitely gives some fun moments.

My biggest response to this  novel is "how can I turn this into a Call of C'thulhu scenario?"  This would be loads of fun to play as a game, and only require minimal juggling to make it work (the biggest issue is probably how to balance attention to players with Peter's ghost, and possibly to consider Nate "mythos hardened" against certain things).

So, overall, the book was fun, but when I sit back it lacks something.  Elements of fun, but I felt I was promised something with more substance and creeping horror.

I still absolutely adore the cover though.

Advanced Reader Copy courtesy of Doubleday; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/book-review-meddling-kids.html
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review 2017-06-27 04:08
[Book Review] Wired
Wired - Julie Garwood

FBI Agent Liam Scott knows there's a security leak, and he's sure it's from inside the agency.  Enter the gorgeous and too smart to be believed Allison Trent, a brilliant programmer who takes refuge from her manipulative family in code.  Scott learns enough about Trent to know that she is in a class of her own when it comes to coding and hacking skills, and believes that they need someone from the outside to find the leak.  Trent is a little less enthusiastic, she knows she can do it, but regardless of intent she's done quite a bit of illegal hacking that could get her into serious trouble.  Even if that hacking has resulted in the return of millions of dollars and the apprehension of scammers by the FBI and other agencies.  But there's more to the crimes she faces down than just lines of code, and things start hitting close to home, while Scott and Trent struggle with keeping things if not professional, at least casual between them.


I can definitely see where Garwood has a dedicated audience, but I felt the story lacked in suspense, romance, and comprehension of technology.  The idea of a perfect firewall (or firewall equivalent) that you never have to update is a great one... but here's the thing, computer systems and  programs aren't static.  So her program kind of has some glaring flaws.  The hacking was all a little Swordfish-esq to me as well, but that could just be me nitpicking.  As for the suspense, it was pretty obvious what the threat(s) were, even with some minor red herrings.  The romance goes from "no strings" and lots of dramatic anguish (and hurt feelings)... to an immediate "I love you, lets get married" without any addressing or resolution of the significant hurt and issues between them.  The sex happened to hit a few of the cliches I find annoying, such as going from never having ever experienced an orgasm to a earth-shattering one like magic.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/06/book-review-wired.html
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text 2017-06-16 18:14
cliche check: first orgasm
Wired - Julie Garwood

At least she's not a virgin, but OF COURSE she easily has her first orgasm ever and it's world-shatteringly amazing with almost no effort on either of their parts.  ~eye roll~

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review 2017-06-15 17:27
[Book Review] Believe me
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens - Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard's comedy is like a cultural language in itself.  You can identify people by their jokes and quips. 

"Cake or death?" 

"I was on the moon, with Steve!" 

"Obviously, Hitler never played Risk as a child." 

Et al.  There's a joy in discovering another fan and playing with the shared joy of Izzard's humor, and I've adored him since I discovered him and his embodiment of genderfuck while in my early teens.



Believe Me is like a conversation with Izzard.  The voice is so unmistakable that reading the book one cannot but help hear Izzard narrating in one's head.  The memoir is poignant and touching, with a deft seasoning of Izzard's humor, and a careful handling of painful and difficult subjects.

I also highly recommend the audiobook, read by Izzard, and enriched with "live footnotes" as Izzard makes on-the-fly additions to the text and existing footnotes.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/06/book-review-believe-me.html
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