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Search tags: could-have-been-better
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review 2016-01-06 11:26
Midnight Rescue
Midnight Rescue - Elle Kennedy

This book could have been good, so so good. But (it seems like) the author couldn't make up her mind about the main character, she wanted to make her a bad-ass emotionless killing machine but she also wanted another aspect, she wanted her to be sweet and kind, caring and naive, look lady you can't have both, one or the other. You certainly can't have an assassin who NAIVE!! oh how many times i wanted to smack some brain cells into that girls head. I know i know makes more a more interesting story line but the character makes no bloody sense and it was irritating as hell, Abby was so inconsistent, it got old quickly. The other characters were more interesting, Kane fascinated me for a while there, he was even more interesting then Abby!

The inconsistencies with the characters is my main issue, it impacted my enjoyment enough that i deducted two stars, that how much of a problem it was. Otherwise not a bad book, i like the idea of mercenaries running around killing who they please, all guns blazing. I like the idea of a secret group of female assassins silently killing their targets in the night, using their female charms to get up close and personal - mix the two together good things are bound to happen. Just a real shame this book didn't turn out as good as i had hoped.

I had no plans of reading any further but i had a sneak peak at the next book, and it looks like Sullivan makes an appearance. He wasn't even in Midnight Rescue and yet he intrigued me! who can resist a aussie merc? not me so I'll get around to reading the next book eventually. I also noticed this starred a different MC. I imagine this series is going to be a lot like BDB where every character meets their soul mate or whatever in their own special book, blah no thanks. I hate it when that happens. Another thing to turn me off the series.
The action better be as good in the next book as it was in this one!!

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review 2015-12-23 23:05
Guess I'l have to read the second one...
Carousel Tides - Sharon Lee

TW's: memories of child abuse

Carousel Tides started out great. Extremely atmospheric, it caught my interest from page one.
However there were some things that prevented me from fully appreciating this:
_ The writing style
I wasn't crazy about it. The abundance of what I presume are Maine colloquial expressions made it impossible for me to sometimes understand what I was reading. Then the descriptions weren't that good: most of the times I couldn't see what I was reading.
_ The abundance of strange words that are part of this fantasy setting, and that most of the times aren't that well explained...«
_And then there's Kate, the main character...
Here's the problem, Kate starts out as an incredibly complex character with issues that are actually life threatening. This added complexity and interest to the story. Unfortunately this situation ends being resolved in a blink of a eye, in a very anticlimactic solution.
What follows isn't bad _ far from it _ but I was expecting a little more.
For instance, there's this possibility of a romance between Kate and a character named Brogan, and once again I was expecting a little more from it.  More intensity.
At the beginning, Kate is all: "Oh, I can't accept help from Brogan's kind because there's always some sort of payment to be had"...and after a little _ a really short number of pages_ she's counting on the guy as her sidekick. wth, woman?

Oh, another thing that really, really bothered me: I tend to get away from books that are "rapey" just for the added shock. When the thing involves children, it leaves me way, way madder.
f II am reading a fantasy book, I do not want to have traces of child abuse floating in the god dam book.
Yes, the guy was a villain, and that's what villains do, some of you migh say.
I don't care. I don't want to read child abuse in a fantasy book.
That is why I've stopped reading thrillers.
Give me flying horses with bat wings, selkies and dryads, but just leave the kids alone.

 

p.s. As for the cover, I have no idea what Kate looks like, but at the beginning it is said that Brogan has dark skin. Oh, and that his hair is cut really short with the exception of a braid...then towards the end, he is described as being Indian. I am guessing, native American... maybe?

Also I don't see any high cheekbones -_-

Also the horse actually flies with his bat wings...not that you would know from that tiny little things...

Yeah, the cover is a mess.

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review 2015-12-17 01:38
Could have been better
Black Blade Blues - J.A. Pitts

Overall I was fairly unimpressed with Black Blade Blues. I disliked the main character, she was immature and made terrible choices and had a crap attitude. Now i know some of those choices were out of her hands (which i think is a lazy plot line to create extra drama) but that doesn't excuse everything away. I did on occasion feel for her, i can understand her reaction in relation to the PDA, at the time she was stunned and not coping very well with all the mixed emotions and guilt coming up, but you make a mistake and you apologize for it. It wasn't terrible, embarrassing maybe but not unforgivable, but she had to drag it out and make it TEN TIMES WORSE. The whole time i was just cursing what an idiot she was. And it wasn't just that - there was so much emotional and drama crap until about 3/4 of the book. filled with angsty, brooding miserable main character, who was in a lesbian relationship (once again could have been better) where i personally didn't see much connection, a tiny bit of black smiting (there was a lot of potential here that wasn't taken advantage of, least the author seems to know a decent amount about horses) some weird crap to do with a movie set (who didn't appear to be very successful. and was filled with assfaces). Then we were introduced to the action - this is what i had been waiting for!! everyone (okay some people) said this is where it gets good! and okay it got more enjoyable, but still managed to flop in some places, how can one flop when fighting dragons, trolls, ogres and giants? HOW?
Sarah likes, oh no the evil dragon has my GF i have to rescue her, she means everything to me. so does she go rescue the GF? no of course not, that would be expected, instead she runs off and kills a whole bunch of bad guy minions, occasionally looks over to make sure the GF hasnt been taken by the dragon in the helicopter which was RIGHT THERE (cause you know, of course a normal women would be able to fight off a dragon for a good 10 mins, even though he's already beaten the crap out of her and she can barely stand, makes sense yea?) then after skills hacked and killed most dudes and has run back and forth a few times she decides now is a good time to take on the dragon and save the GF, never mind she's all broken and crap from all the previous fighting. Yes least the hardest fight for last - good strategy, no way you'll end up dead.
and don't get me started on that fucking dwarf.

On the plus side, in the last 10 pages i was like yea, this is pretty good i might read the next books. then i thought of all the shit i had to read to get here and decided nope. Unless it is 100% amazing and declared by all I'm not picking it up. I will enjoy someone's spoilers instead. quicker and easier.

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review 2015-11-04 16:05
The book grinch attacks again..
A Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas


After much okay a little analysis I've decided to remove a star to this book.
Here's the thing: did the romance swept me of my feet?
Hmmmmmm... No, it did not.
As other reviewers have mentioned, for me the weakest part of this book was also the romance.
Or romances, as in plural. Because there's another one to which we readers are presented to, and it honestly left me scrunching my face in distaste.

Here's the thing, in a general perspective I actually liked the characters.
maybe because they reminded me a little too much of the Hathaways... o_O
And if I want to read about a dysfunctional family I rather re-read the Hathaways, and not some distorted version of them.

In this one, our main characters are Devon Cam and Katherine Amelia... only in this one Devon is a cad with a sharp tongue, and Katherine could use a little more of Amelia's strength (See Mine Till Midnight). Or age.

As secondary characters there's West _ Devon's brother_ here a "little" of Leo Hathaway( See Married by Morning). He drinks, he doesn't care about anything else... until the moment he starts caring about everything.

Helen is Katherine's sister in law, and here a little of Winnifred (See Seduced At Sunrise). Or Poppy.(See Tempt Me At Twilight)
 Unfortunately she doesn't get to have a Merripen, but an ill mannered idiot who is supposed to be some sort of Harry Rutledge.
Then there's also a pair of twins, and one of them just reminds me of Beatrix (See Love in The Afternoon).
Do you see where this is going? -_-

Thing is, I actually loved the setting. I loved the fact that this story takes place in a time when the old traditions are being challenged by a new age.
I loved the relationships between sisters and brothers.
Katherine and West's friendship was a blast to read.
...
But the two romances weren't that great.
Even so I preferred reading Katherine's and Devon relationship to Helen's and Winterborne's. At least with the first ones there isn't a nasty shade of abuse surrounding the thing.

 

 

We don't get to see it, but we are told that Winterborne's forces his kisses on Helen leaving her distressed about it.[/spoiler]

We don't get to see it, but we are told that Winterborne's forces his kisses on Helen leaving her distressed about it.

[spoiler]

(spoiler show)


And I am already seeing how things are going to work out for those two. She's probably going to apologize to the idiot. Arghg.
I don't like bullies.
I don't care if he has had a difficult background: I don't like him, and I wish that Devon had let him drown.
But, and this was worth less a half a star, I also had a hard time with Devon's attitude towards the end!
Hey, jackass, if you want a dog, you should get a four legged one. Guys, who give commands by pointing fingers should have their hands broken.

On the positives I think I may like West's book when it comes out.

If only this book had been shorter, and more focused on Kathleen and Devon's romance _ I understand why it wasn't, with Kathleen being a widow _ I think I would have found less things to bother me.
Like Winterborne not being in it.

p.s- I better finish this review or by the time I'm done with it, this rating will be reduced to a one star rating. -_-

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review 2015-09-20 23:26
Superheroes do not always an awesome book make (IDK IF THIS EVEN MAKES SENSE)
Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld,Deborah Biancotti,Margo Lanagan

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I wanted to love this book. I really really did, but unfortunately,Zeroes didn’t blow my mind the way I had wanted it to.It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading the book, it's just that I wanted so much from it. Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors and superpowers are always incredibly fun to read about so I went in expecting to love this book. When it turned out this book wasn’t everything I had wanted it to be, I was sad and disappointed.

The characters are a diverse bunch, which was awesome but I don't think they weren’t developed as well as they could have been. This is the kind of book where the multiple point of views didn’t work for me. The transitions were okay but I couldn’t get behind all the characters. I liked reading about some more than others but I also felt no strong connection to any particular character since the various POVs focused more on progressing the plot than they did on character development. What development there was related back to the superpowers. I just wanted to be able to experience them as individuals and really get to be inside the characters' heads.

When a book features a group of superheroes, one would expect amazing group dynamics. Unfortunately, for most of the book this group did NOT work like a group. That’s partly because they hadn’t been a group for a year but even when they got back together, I didn’t get the sense of comradeship I had been expecting. There was no witty banter; there weren’t any really fun interactions. The group split up into smaller groups of people who worked together and reported back to Nate aka The Glorious Leader.

This book tells the story of six teenagers born in the year 2000 (WTF? When did kids in books get to be so much younger than me?); Nate, Thibault, Riley, Ethan, Kelsie and Chizara. They all possess various superpowers that make their lives both harder and easier. Nate is the leader of this group but being the sketchy character he is, we never know whether he is a ‘good’ guy or just manipulating the group. To be honest, he was my favorite character since he seemed to be the most complex. Then we have Riley who is blind but her superpower allows her to see through other people’s eyes. I feel like there wasn’t much more to her but that could also be because I never really felt anything for her. Ethan’s power comes in the form of the voice which is all knowing. Ethan was an interesting character because his power completely contrasted his personality. I really liked that contrast but I also wanted to get to know more about Ethan. Chizara has powers that allows her to crash technology and she was the one that underwent the most development over the course of the book (I’d say.) She has always had problems with her power but she finally learns to accept them over the course of the book. Thibault was the character I sympathized with the most. His powers make it so that no one really remembers him. He is invisible but not really. People just have a tendency to forget he is there. That’s nice in a lot of situations but when that results in his parents forgetting about him…. it's not so much fun as it is sad. Kelsie is the latest addition to the group and her superpowers allowed her to amplify emotions in crowds (kind of?) I guess she was an okay character too but I also didn’t really care about her?

You might notice that I barely said anything of substance about the characters and that's because I don't really have anything to say. We don't really find out the back stories of most of the main characters, we don't see most of the them engage with people outside of the group, we don't get to see them have any strong feelings towards things that don't involve their powers, we don't really get much of anything. At the moment, it just seems that their powers are what make these characters who they are.

There are two romances featured in the book and I didn’t like either *gasp*. Ethan has a case of insta-crush when he meets Kelsie. AND I DO SAY INSTA-CRUSH. They don’t even have a conversation before he is all like, I LIKE HER. Look, I've had crushes that have developed over the course of a day, so I get it, but I don’t tend to crush on random strangers I’ve never talked to before or seen.

The romance between Thibault and Riley didn’t work for me because it seemed random and we don't get to see the entirety of their relationship because Riley doesn’t always remember her time with Thibault. That is sad but also kind of creepy since she has no real way of knowing what happened. She just has to trust this guy she can barely remember, that nothing weird went down.

Also, Riley and Nate clearly have an interesting history and I was sad that was just brushed under the rug and not explored at all!

The main conflict is centred around rescuing Kelsie's dad who fucked up big time when he decided to get involved with the wrong crowd. It starts with a bank robbery gone horribly wrong and it ends... well that's for you to find out. I enjoyed watching these kids (I am going to call them kids because they were born in 2000) run around and use their powers in interesting ways to save the day.

Overall, this book was enjoyable with an engaging plot but I found it lacking in several other areas. I am intrigued though and still want to know more about these characters (AND NATE) and see where things will go from here, so I shall await the sequel. Until then, all I can say is that I hope other people will have better luck with the book than I did!

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

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