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Search tags: borrowed-from-library
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review 2019-02-23 21:56
Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar #2; Valdemar #2)
Arrow's Flight - Mercedes Lackey

I liked this one more than the first but I still found some things unsatisfying. 

 

I liked that we got a more contained story than the first one, and things are still being set up for the intrigue at court even though we don't spend any time in court during this book, since Talia's starting her internship which means a year and a half on tour in one of the border sectors. They don't leave court behind entirely since some rumors about Talia's Gift follows them, and this causes problems for Talia and her mentor Kris. It was good to see the ethical and moral implications of Talia's Gift addressed but the conclusion to all that was sort of a letdown since the book spends pages on Talia's struggles with it and then very little time on how she eventually improves. Then there's the whole 

mind rape of a rapist, making him see through his victims eyes. No sympathy for the rapist or anything, but Talia served as judge, jury and executioner without even at least conferring with Kris first.

(spoiler show)

 

Then there's the weird direction Talia and Kris's relationship takes, all the while they're worrying about Dirk, who Talia likes and who likes her. It just really didn't seem necessary. I did really enjoy their friendship though.

 

If the ending hadn't been so rushed, I would've given this a full four stars, but for now, the issues with Talia's gift seems to have either been put off for later or resolved in an uncomfortable way. Since a lot of the conflicts in the first book were solved off-page in the first book, it could go either way.

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review 2019-02-22 03:06
Another Country (Audiobook)
Another Country (MP3 Book) - Dion Graham,James Baldwin

Once again, I find myself not really sure what to think of a book. It was undoubtedly well-written and an interesting examination of liberalism in the 1950s, the struggles between the races and how the anger and confusion and incomprehension of everyone's varying struggles and outlooks can make a group of friends - if you can even really call them that - do pretty horrible things to each other. 

 

I can't really say I liked any of the characters. They were all self-involved assholes who could only see their own pain, but then, that was also the point of the story, so I guess it was successful, lol. But people who cheat because they can't figure out what they want -and everyone here cheats at one point or another - are just not very good people. They're dishonest and unfaithful, to themselves as much as their partners and families. I could sympathize with some of them, especially Ida. The constant misogyny made me uncomfortable, even more so than the brutal examination of racism and internal homophobia.

 

The interpersonal relationships of the various characters were used to examine the larger world these characters lived in, to really look at what it meant to be alive in this time and place. What did it mean to be white? To be black? To be male or female? To be queer? And how was this group of people going to meet these challenges, how would they struggle with the old ways while trying to create new ones, if that was even possible?

 

It's an uncomfortable read, and it's meant to be, but not being able to really connect with the characters prevented me from really getting into the story.

 

The narrator, Dion Graham, was very listenable and did a good job with all the voices, male and female. I listened at 1.20 times and it was perhaps still just a tad too slow.

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review 2019-02-22 02:56
[REVIEW] 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
99 Percent Mine - Sally Thorne

It was fine. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. Tom was a sweetie pie and not gonna lie, Darcy got on my nerves more than once, but I couldn't hate her. She's got issues but then again, who doesn't. I knew she was a wounded character and her way of dealing with the world was to snap at it. Jamie felt like this gigantic shadowy monster that was going to kill Tom and Darcy if they hooked up. 

I saw Truly and Jamie hooking up a mile away which FYI would make Jamie a hypocrite for having an issue with Darcy and Tom hooking up. Except, he didn't really care in the end, so everyone was worried over nothing, wha wha. 

(spoiler show)


The biggest problem with the book is the pacing and also the fact that there isn't a discernible plot per se. Also, it bothered me that I had no idea where the book was set (I assume the United States). There were too many nebulous things that detracted from the reading experience.

Only thing I can say that I loved without fail was Tom's senior chihuahua, Patty. She's my MVP.

 

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review 2019-02-22 02:49
[REVIEW] How To Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson
How to Date Men When You Hate Men - Blythe Roberson It’s hard for me to review this book. It was well written and it throws a lot of terminology around that made me feel giddy like ah! Somebody else thinks about these things. Not to mention the title is a MOOD. But overall, I didn’t love it. There’s something about it that makes it very hard for me to fully connect to it. It’s as if the book didn’t know what it wanted to be.
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review 2019-02-01 03:37
Around the World in 80 Days (Extraordinary Voyages #11) (Audiobook)
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne

This started off a little slow, with all the boasting and detailing of bets of whether Phileas Fogg actually can make a trip around the world in eighty days. But once he got going and he got framed for stealing money that put Det. Fix on his trail, it got more interesting. Fogg also picks up a French servant, Passepartout, who is quite endearing and faithful to his employer. Fogg starts spending money like a politician on the campaign trail in order to win his bet, and the various obstacles he meets along the way are met with a cool head. A little too cool. Fogg was a hard nut to crack, but I still found myself more engaged with this story than with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This one does have the same broad generalizations and stereotypical portrayals of any culture not English as 20K Leagues did, so fair warning there.

 

I actually didn't know much about this one before going in. Like with 20K Leagues, I knew of it and the general idea of what it was about, but not much else. The various methods Fogg takes to get around the world were interesting, if not downright absurd. There's this weird passage once they get to America where Passepartout listens to a Mormon elder lecturing about the church. Weird for me anyway, since I never expect to see Mormons portrayed in things yet I keep stumbling upon them in older works like this. I keep thinking that my Mormon upbringing gave me a skewed perception of how influential the church was at that time, but I guess not if first A.C. Doyle and now Jules Verne felt compelled to throw something in their books about the church for absolutely no reason whatsoever. 

 

I thought the character of Aouda was pretty pointless, and it makes me wonder if Verne just didn't have much exposure to women. Also, the narrator Frederick Douglas, could not do a woman's voice convincingly at all and settled for talking in a falsetto for her parts. Thankfully (or offensively? LOL) she didn't have much to say so I didn't have to put up with it much. Speaking of the narrator, he read pretty slowly, but once I sped him up to 1.20 times the reading went more smoothly. (What did people do when books were on tape and couldn't be sped up except to fast forward, making it sound like the Micromachine man on helium? Progress, y'all!)

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