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Search tags: characters-too-stupid-to-live
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review 2016-05-19 09:05
From Hooked to Meh to Nope
Timebound - Rysa Walker

First things first:



I listened to the audiobook and I do like Kate Rudd's voice even if I don't think she can really do good accents or male voices. I mostly adapted to her style and it worked for the story. I don't know if I'd seek for more books she's narrated—probably not—but I wouldn't skip on a book because she's voiced it either.


Then the story:


I actually had to pause and restart this audiobook because I felt like I was missing something important at the beginning. It turns out this really wasn't the case as Walker uses ample time to set up the world and story simply because time travel as a concept is just that confusing. Others have called this a pacing issue and info dumping, but I can't say I noticed as I was listening to the audiobook.


I did, however, notice how the author introduced new characters who became super important to the protagonist in a blink of an eye, even if I didn't label and file it under "characters too stupid to live" until later.


Other things that did bother me, were the main character and first person voice narrator calling a character "Pudgy" long after she'd learned his name. This fat-phobia resurfaced when Kate's—the time travelling protagonist—boyfriend took her home for dinner and she made a comment about how thin Trey is despite all the food his family's Guatemalan housekeeper keeps pushing at him and everyone at the table.


Speaking of secondary POC characters. I completely missed Charlayne's (African American, thankfully the author tweeted me and set me right *wipes forehead & flicks fingers*) description, but then again she only featured in a handful of scenes. She's supposed to be Kate's best friend and motivate her to keep time jumping, but it's not like she has her own personality on the page. You could even call her the token black character and you'd be right.


Other than a vague feeling of something not being quite right and the use of words "blood as pure as mine" when Kate's talking about her time travelling gene, I can't really pinpoint my problem with race in this book. An expert—which is to say a non white person—could tell you more.


There's a love triangle in this book and series.


If you need to know more, keep reading.


One of the love interests is another time jumper from an earlier time who is supposed to be a villain to some but is quite obviously helping Kate in her quest to correct the time shifts. Thing is, I couldn't care less about Kiernan Dunne and he's obviously supposed to be the one who ends up with Kate. Kiernan is from the past and in love with another version of Kate from another timeline, but when has that stopped a creative author?


I did however like Trey, one of the insta-love contenders of the year and a contemporary guy from one of Kate's changed timelines. Unlike with Kiernan, Walker actually shows how Trey and Kate grow closer and could be good together. And I figured he'd be the one she'd have to sacrifice to fix things, which made me like him all the more right up until the point where he insisted that all she had to do was to smile at him for him to fall in love with her again. It wouldn't matter what she'd say.


And I just can't with that. Neither can I with the fact that Kate's supposedly ready to have sex with Trey just after she's been threatened with rape. I was expecting that particular discussion to happen but I'd hoped the mere threat to her life would've sufficed to prompt it. After all, they might never see each other again after Kate's next time jump.


As for the big bad, I liked that it was basically a family feud combined with religion. It gave me ideas and hopes, which I do not trust the author to fulfill or win me over with her own interpretation.


I just wasn't sure about that until the author tweeted me.

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review 2016-01-02 11:12
A hint of idiocy can't void my enjoyment
If It Ain't Love - Tamara Allen

This was a little bit of depression era fantasy--things really worked out a little too easy for the couple---for the gay romance readers. I think the depsessing start went a long way to earn the guys their HFN.


Other than that, not the kind open and trusting characters I'd choose to write or read about but I guess that optimism is required for a novella. Cynics need more work anx pages.


Just what I needed to start the year.

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review 2015-04-03 10:00
A Memory of Time Lost
A Memory of Light - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson

Wasn't that a gigantic waste of time.


The first book hooked me with its characters and the fantastic audiobook narrators dragged me through the hellish purple prose all the way to the end. For such a long series I have little to say.


For a world supposed to have been built on the fear and respect of capable women, it was terribly misogynistic. No one really acted like the Aes Sedai were a force to be reckoned with. No, they were cunning women with ageless faces and never to be trusted.


I liked Mat, at least his misogyny was the honest kind—lewd gestures and words—unlike Rand's. It never occurred to Rand that it wasn't his choice, that it was their choice, that it was up to the three women to decide whether they wanted to share him separately or together. Alas, the poly was not to be. What a shame.


Perrin was the only decent sort of the lot, so of course his wife was almost raped and he had his "she cheated but I love her enough to forgive her" moment.


The White Wizard of this series didn't get to save herself. That was true for others as well. Of the women who lived I can't remember anyone saving herself. They all had to be aided in one way or another. To make sure, I wanted to go back and re-listen parts of the Last Battle but not anymore after that ending.


Only boys get to live. That's pretty much the series summary in one line.

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review 2015-01-30 10:00
The Psychic and the Sleuth by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon
The Psychic and the Sleuth - Summer Devon,Bonnie Dee

This book is why my "theory good, practice not" rating-slash-shelf exists. I can see the brilliance of the set up, the momentary genius in the writing, the detail that make others love the story, and yet it all falls short of my expectations.

The first twenty-five pages or so were a struggle and it all started with a fridged woman. Inspector Robert Court is investigating his cousin's murder unofficially, because someone was already hanged for the crime. Officially he's chasing a charlatan spiritualist Oliver Marsh, who accidentally gives Court the clue he desperately needs.

See that set up: Two equally cynical men from opposite sides of the law, thrown together by something paranormal and having to work together to rid themselves from inconvenient ghosts. That's the good in the theory. In practice however, it doesn't take much more than a cab ride and a couple short discussions before both men risk their lives for buggery. Technically, the anal intercourse enters the picture much later, but I doubt Court's colleagues would have seen it that way.

Both characters act too stupid to live because the authors rely heavily on romance shortcut where the reader knows to expect the two point of view characters to fall in love and spend the rest of their lives together because they are meant to be. Neither Dee or Devon justifies why would Court put aside his apprehension of getting close to a suspect or why would Marsh risk his life and living to give into Court. There are hints of instant attraction and lust but those aren't strong enough to explain that first surrender.

I quite liked the discussions that followed each and every sex scene, but I couldn't enjoy the rest of the story without a proper foundation. Especially when the dog play and elements of BDSM emerges. Court and Marsh never talk about their preferences and limits of consent until after the sex and even then it's mostly assurances that neither had gone too far.

"Was I too rough? I'm sorry. You just make me so… I could hardly help myself."

I'm pretty sure that if this had happened in a hetero romance, there'd be an uproar. Then again, plenty of alpha heroes are loved despite sounding exactly like the abusive boyfriends they are.

I could have enjoyed the decent murder mystery and an erotic novella squashed together despite a few minor editing quibbles and story details—like how could they afford to take cabs all the time—if the foundation laid in the sixty pages leading up to the first sexual encounter had been better.

Thanks for the rec, Ana, I'm sorry I didn't like it better.

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review 2014-11-05 15:42
The path of misogynistic writing continues
The Path of Daggers - Robert Jordan,Michael Kramer,Kate Reading

I was not amused by how this book ended, with a rape scene. The description of Faile's capture is as close to a graphic rape scene as Jordan who cannot make his characters to say the word "sex" is capable of writing. Or was, by this point. I'm not done with the series yet, dammit.


She fights a man bigger than her husband, is overpowered, cut out of her clothes, and tied down naked. Then it's casually mentioned that a Shaido Aiel is forcing her to be a Gai'Shain and it feels like the world's biggest cop out. It is a rape, but that's another word Jordan refuses to say outright.


You wouldn't think that a man who wrote a twelve—turned into fifteen, I'm counting the prequel—part fantasy series has commitment issues, would you. Jordan, however, couldn't commit to his world-building (women led societies that aren't actually matriarchal or non-misogynistic) or talking about issues with their real names.


If you're about to point out to me that Jordan couldn't use the word "rape" because children read these books, then I have to ask you why are you okay with children reading graphic descriptions of (sexual) assault without the author labelling them as such? Why are you okay with chilren reading about randy characters who aren't mature enough to voice and explain their desires?


If I wasn't hate reading this already, I would be now.


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