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review 2017-10-10 03:03
Part good, part meh
The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury

A fantasy romp through a narrow selection of death-cellebrating traditions. 12ish feels like the target audience aim.

 

I saw somewhere being said this is to Halloween what a Christmass Charol is to Yule. Well...

 

While I really liked some passages here and there (specially all those Oh, so grim rhymes), it was altogether too hazy and weird for me. I can enjoy weird, but this time I just kept loosing the thread in the story. Charol is still better.

 

 

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review 2017-09-02 23:03
Gaze back
Joyland - Stephen King

It was campy Hardy Boys, you know what's waiting for you with the sickly boy, it's a virgin boy fantasy, the protagonist is a Stu. All things you could say this is.

It was lovely read. Sweeps you up in nostalgia, and that sweet emotional minefield of youth, and makes no apologies.

It is what it is, and it's perfect at it.

 

Extra note: The guy that narrated the audio, I think it was the same from Christine and The Sun Dog? Awesome. Spot on performance.

 

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review 2017-04-05 14:01
Reconciled with Wells
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells

I was plesantly surprised. I did not enjoy War of the Worlds when I was a teen (I was bored to tears, actually), but I might have to revisit it given how much I liked this one.

 

It was bittersweet and evocative. Hamy in the social commentary too, but on those I still liked one passage:

 

And here I must admit that I learned very little of drains and bells and modes of conveyance, and the like conveniences, during my time in this real future. In some of these visions of Utopias and coming times which I have read, there is a vast amount of detail about building, and social arrangements, and so forth. But while such details are easy enough to obtain when the whole world is contained in one's imagination, they are altogether inaccessible to a real traveller amid such realities as I found here. Conceive the tale of London which a negro, fresh from Central Africa, would take back to his tribe!

 

 

I liked this idea of the unfathomability of far future. And out of it's gruesome context, and despite the MC rejection, this comment:

 

Man had been content to live in ease and delight upon the labours of his fellow-man, had taken Necessity as his watchword and excuse, and in the fullness of time Necessity had come home to him.>

 

There is a wealth of vengefulness there. A race's history measure of it. And pity, defeat, sadness.

 

For a short read, it got me thinking. A beautiful picture that gets pretty grim when you start digging. Talk about parallel between theme and content.

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review 2017-03-15 15:40
Bah!
A Painted Goddess (A Fire Beneath the Skin Book 3) - Victor Gischler

No, no, nope. This one didn't do for me. It wasn't bad perse, I guess, but no. I was bored, and I was annoyed, and while I liked some elements, and kinda expected the ending... still no.
 
I think mostly it is that this volume, and the previous one, exacerbated a vague sense I had in the first install of lack of substance. I can't quite explain it, that feeling, but it was as if the story check-marked. Also, vol 2 and 3 was too scattered. It was necessary for the plot, and that's the thing: it felt forced (mcguffing retrieval, all of them, and amazingly serendipitous, which aligns with the "fate" thing the plot has going, but still sucks). The empress pov, while interesting, was totally pointless.

 

So, yeah, so not for me.

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review 2015-09-29 01:45
Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain (audiobook) by A. Lee Martinez, narrated by Scott Aiello
Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain - A. Lee Martinez,Scott Aiello

Emperor Mollusk is a squishy super-intelligent cephalopod. He spends most of his time inside robotic bodies he built for himself, and he does not handle boredom well. He took over the planet Earth just because he could, but then found himself at a loss. His mind control turned all human beings into peaceful Emperor Mollusk fans, leaving the planet defenseless against outside attacks. Or Emperor Mollusk's inventions run amok. When you're constantly busy creating new things, it's easy to lose track of the occasional enraged genetically modified creature.

Mollusk is now a retired supervillain. He's not looking for forgiveness and doesn't particularly feel bad about what he did (except for maybe Saturn, that went badly). He just wants to continue inventing things and keep Earth as safe as possible until the humans have completely gotten over his mind control and are ready to take care of themselves again. Unfortunately, someone seems to be trying to kill him. Zala, a Venusian warrior who looks like a feathered reptile, becomes his reluctant bodyguard.

I don't even remember half of what happened in this book. I mean, there was a nearly indestructible pet ultrapede, pterodactyls that could shoot laser beams out of their eyes, an enormous rampaging Marie Curie robot, giant insects attacking Topeka, space battles, and more. It was confusing. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

On the one hand, I might have been better off reading this rather than listening to it. Any time my attention wandered even a little, something fantastical and confusing happened. It took me ages to realize that some scenes were actually flashbacks, and not Emperor Mollusk very quickly and briefly ditching Zala to go save some random Earth location from being destroyed (or at least from being destroyed even more). Scenes with Zala and Emperor Mollusk investigating and/or fleeing for their lives were interspersed with scenes of past Emperor Mollusk gradually realizing that being a supervillain wasn't quite so much fun anymore.

On the other hand, if I had read this rather than listened to it, I would have missed out on Scott Aiello's fabulous narration. His Emperor Mollusk was deliciously fun to listen to, and I laughed when he attempted to read the lipless aliens' dialogue without using his lips. He even did a great job with Zala – he used a softer voice for her, to indicate that she was female, but the result thankfully didn't sound breathy and weak, like some male narrators' voices for women do.

I was a little bummed when this book was put on sale shortly after I bought it at the full Audible membership price. However, it was worth it, and I definitely plan on listening to it again. The ending was a mess and incredibly confusing (perhaps purposely so), and some of the action scenes were oddly lacking in tension and emotion, but I didn't mind because the overall journey was so much fun.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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