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review 2017-10-14 19:12
[Book Review] A Scandal in Battersea
A Scandal in Battersea - Mercedes Lackey

The Christmas season has come to London, along with a new moon, and there are things that take advantage of the dark of night (reviewer aside - why Christmas Eve and not Solstice?).  Among all the gifts and cheer, a Book finds its way into the hands of a resentful young man who desires power.  What starts as a sacrifice and invocation, soon proves dark and alien, to a dangerous end.

So.  Mercedes Lackey has written a story with Lovecraftian flavor.  This has resulted in probably the coziest "C'thulhu Mythos" story I have ever encountered.  Note: there is no direct reference in name or language to the Mythos, but the traits are heavily present throughout.  It also gives us more of her vision of Sherlock Holmes & Co, as introduced in A Study in Sable, and stars the ever steady Nan, Sarah, and their birds.  If you want more Nan and Sarah, or just want cozy Mythos story, give it a try.  If the idea of a cozy Lovecraftian novel hurts your mind, I recommend skipping this one.

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

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/10/book-review-scandal-in-battersea.html
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review 2017-09-29 00:27
[Book Review] Sweet Revenge
Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies - Heather Kim

Sometimes I'll pick a book up just for it's title or it's cover.  If it's a cookbook we're talking about with the promise of gratuitous puns, well, I'm pretty sold.

The book delivers on promised tone and puns both, fun, snarky, and well explained.  The recipes veer into the unexpected, with the inclusion of various snack foods such as Doritos and Hot Cheetos as part of the flavor, texture, or highlight of sweet treats.  But even if you're conservative when it comes to flavor combinations, there's plenty for you here, and a number of recipes you can make a more traditional version of by simply sidestepping the inclusion of the salty munchie in question.

A fun addition to your cookbook collection, and if you're in a library one I think that will definitely circulate on amusement value alone.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Capstone via Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/09/book-review-sweet-revenge.html
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review 2017-09-01 05:35
[Book Review] The Brightest Fell
The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire

Previously reviewed:

 

Most of Toby's stories drop you into the action and feed you necessary bits of exposition as they barrel along.

This book takes the time to introduce you to the world setting, and in that marks a note of gravity and weight that has been absent at the start of the stories, but has always lain lurking.  In that, the novel starts off feeling like we've reached a new step, gone past some point of no return in both Toby's life and in Faerie itself.  Fitting, since ina the author's own words, Toby is starting to pay off debts created five or six books ago.

We know something is coming, hints have been dropped and there's the looming matter of Toby's debts to the Luideag.  Matters which were both brought starkly to light in Once Broken Faith when Luideag mentions it would take too long to replace Toby, and then later when she saves Tybalt's life.  But much of that is for a yet later story.

Meanwhile this is Seanan McGuire's writing, so we'll get that wry humor that infuses all of her stories.  It's not all blood and desperate magic.  I mean, the first chapter features the Luideag singing karaoke at Toby's Bachelorette party.  But a bleakness grips the narrative as Toby tackles a deeply personal challenge, one that puts her loved ones in peril, forces her to work with the man who's been her nightmare, and shines a glaring spotlight on the chasm between Toby and Amandine.

A rich, personal, and compelling continuation of the story.  Highly recommend.

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

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/09/book-review-brightest-fell.html
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review 2017-08-28 21:16
I'll just be over here in my box, with a few of my friends...
Controlled Burn - Erin McLellan

This was another awesome buddy read with my besties...Josy, Christelle and Simone and made even better when the lovely Dani joined us...sadly this didn't turn out to be an awesome story for any of us...but, hey that's just us. A lot of people who read this book...well, they loved it and I'm not here to say they're wrong because this is yet another case of differing opinions and while I just couldn't get into this story I'm also not here to say it's bad...just that it didn't work for me.

 

Unfortunately there was a big chunk of this book that we all found didn't work. So if you've read Simone or Christelle's reviews I'll apologize now if things occasionally feel repetitious and also add that I will do my best to be somewhat original at least, ok?

 

Let's start with what I liked as my friend Christelle said the start was fairly good. We were drawn in fast and got to meet the MCs both Joel and Paulie fairly quickly and I liked that we were there when they met. Joel's roommate, Travis was one of my favorite characters and I have to admit if he got his own book I'd be seriously tempted. Even more than Travis though I liked Paulie.

 

Paulie was what many would term effeminate in the world of men but more than this Paulie was incredibly brave and strong. His life was for sh*t and still he found the good in the world and he continued to put himself out there and be positive, he just kept trying...now don't get me wrong he wasn't 'Mr. Perky Pants' but given the life he had trust me...he was pretty damned awesome...not perfect. There was actually a point at which I was a little frustrated with how he'd behaved but all things considered it was one moment that even he recognized as a moment of 'a$$hattery' and owned up to it and that quite possibly made me love him a tiny bit more.

 

I was also pretty taken with Paulie's aunt...she was wonderful and the mom that Paulie should have had, Paulie's sister while she had a raft of her own issues I wanted to hug her and feed her milk and cookies. She adored Paulie and that alone got her brownie points in my world.

 

The other thing that worked fairly well for me was the ending and by that I mean the last 20 - 25% of the story. It was definitely the best part of the book, mostly because after the first part and by this I mean maybe 5% my tickity boo was was on hiatus. 

 

Ok, so the first 5% got us off to a reasonably good start and the last 20 - 25% was also fairly good...mmmmm....that leaves us with 70 - 75% of 'what the hell?' and this mostly revolved around Joel which that wasn't the problem...because Joel was one of the MCs. The main MC, if you will.  

 

Take 2 on this part of my review because...whoa!!! Way to ramble Karen. It was epic...no actually I thought it was tedious so I scrapped it and I'm going to attempt to share what the issue was with this book for me using a lot less verbiage.

 

Hopefully in fewer words I'll try and explain why for me it was a matter of 'less is more'. For a big chunk of this book we were in Joel's head as the entire story is told from his perspective and if I'm going to be in someone's brain for that long I need them to make progress to move forward and while Joel may have been doing that externally. Internally  it felt like he was wallowing in the past and I finally hit the wall on how many feelz I had to give. Trust me when I say I am truly not a cold hearted biotch. I can empathize and sympathize with the best of them. I can give you a list of books that have reduced me to tears practically from cover to cover...hell, I can give you a list of television commercials that repeatedly reduce me to tears...30 seconds that's all it takes.

 

With Joel unfortunately I felt him wallowing in his grief and guilt and going nowhere for too long and even when it seemed like he'd started to move on, it didn't feel like it. It wasn't about him loving Diago, that never bothered me although I did question how much his love was reciprocated but at this point that's water under the bridge and that Joel would always have a place in his heart for his first love...well anything else would have been just wrong. 

 

My other problem became...the sex. Sorry, it was at times over the top and some of the descriptives well I have to admit I might have held out a little longer than the rest of my buddy read gang, along with my eye rolls there was a face-palm or two going on. I understand that Joel and Paulie are college age and libido's are in good working order but I have to admit a few of their encounters could have been off page or fade to black and I would have been fine with it and probably appreciated what happened on page a bit more. So really, it was once again a case of less is more and I fully acknowledge that this is entirely a personal preference issue as well.

 

Once again ladies thanks for sharing the adventure...but at the end of it all...I found myself frustrated by what should have been an 'I loved it' story for me written by a new author who in spite of all my ramblings here I do sincerely believe has the ability to write a story that will either reduce me to tears or have me over the moon with joy...or who knows maybe both. I look forward to finding out.

 

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

An ARC of 'Controlled Burn' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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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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