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review 2017-05-25 16:27
You Say you Want a Revolution
Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree that Gripped Belle Epoque Paris - John Merriman

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

 

      

I live in a neighborhood that has anarchists.  Granted, my philosophy is different, and I don’t quite understand why an anarchist would always have the most up to date computer, but hey, they seem pretty nice even if they smell of pot much of the time.

 

                That’s my view of anarchists, who are usually squatters in my neck of the woods.

 

                Needless to say, those types of Anarchists are not the ones that Merriman is writing about.  Merriman’s history is about the bandits that committed crimes during pre-WWI France, but it is also about the anarchist movement in France at the time.

 

                Merriman opens his book with the holdup of the Société Générale.  This is the Bonnot Gang.  Of course, like most criminal’s people who were not involved with the crime spree where caught in the net.  It is two of these – Victor Kibaltchiche and Riette Maitrejean.

 

                Merriman takes him time in laying the foundation for the action.  He provides more detail of the Belle Époque period, showing the trends and political movements that gave rise to the Anarchist movement as well as the various threads of that movement – illegal activity vs philosophy.

 

                For that is what sometimes gets lost in a discussion of anarchists, at least in the media.  They become simply bomb throwing, gun shooting radicals who populate the media.  Merriman’s book illustrates that in some cases it was a life style, including vegetarianism and foregoing of items such alcohol and salt.

 

                Maitrejean and Kibaltchiche are at the heart of the story, for they seemed to have known everyone, and part of the drama of the story is the dragnet that captures are in its wake, regardless of involvement or not.  It is their fate and the fate of their family that moves the story forward.  Merriman’s prose is invigorating enough to carry the reader along.  There are also little details, such as the horror of balsamic vinegar that actually illustrate the dedication to the cause. Honesty, you must strongly believe in something if you are willing to give up such a wonderful thing.   Such small details actually make the history more interesting and in some ways more real.

 

                Considering the current political climate, the book might be timelier than intended.  It is also to Merriman’s credit that he does not romanticize the Illegalistes.  Despite the title the book isn’t one of the romantic retellings of an outlaw life.  In many ways, while the reader does end up feeing some sympathy for the bandits, or at least a few of them, the cost to others not involved in the Illegalistes is not ignored.  This is done by the not only the use of outsiders but also by showcasing the debates within the movement itself.

         

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review 2017-05-23 15:11
not for me.
Dangerous Interference - BJ Wane
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian. Alena goes to Blue Springs, Maine, because that's where her sister was last seen and the disappearance investigation has drawn to a halt. Randy is Sheriff and Nash, a visiting officer from Scotland Yard when the Blue Springs case has some disturbing similarities to a case in London. Alena has an impact on both men, and Alena has a powerful reaction to them as well. But the case is cold, and Alena impatient. And she finds herself in a massive heap of trouble. I have some...issues with this book. There is no discussion, I mean NONE between Nash, Randy and Alena BEFORE that first time one of the men, I forget already which, spank her, in full view of those around them. There was NO discussion about limits, about safe words or anything like that, not even after, when they were planning to attend a PARTY. Now, I'm no expert, but I read a lot of BDSM books, and the level of research that appears in those books differs greatly. Some, its outstanding the amount of research that goes into the life style and what should be expected and not. But not so here. I felt rushed into the relationship between the three of them, and I didn't much like it. I also felt that the relationship between Nash and Randy could have been developed more. They only met a few weeks ago, and I didn't feel a proper connection to THEIR connection, if you see what I mean. Also, the language used when describing the scenes between them is a little....flowery, and it wasn't consistent. Sometimes the words were explicit, and sometimes, almost Mills and Boon-worthy. I don't mind either way, but I don't think that HERE, mixing them just didn't work for me. There is no sexual contact between Nash and Randy. Had there been, I might have enjoyed it more. I'm not ashamed to say I prefer that! AND! Nash's language annoyed me, like GRRRRRRRR. Mate, luv, chap?? almost every time he spoke to Alena or Randy he used words like that. Seriously, I am UK based. I don't know ANYONE who uses those words like Nash does! I liked that I didn't get what had happened to Alena's sister until it was all resolved in the book. I had an idea, I was just wrong about how much that person was involved. Would I read anything else by Wane?? Possibly. I liked the how the sister's disappearance story was dealt with, Alena/Randy/Nash aside. I'll give them another go, if the story is not a BDSM or three way book. I did finish though, and it was touch and go for a while. I had to keep putting it down and coming back to it, reading other things in between. 3 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-05-23 15:02
loved book three!
Hunter Claimed - A.M. Griffin
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Book three in the series, and I recommend you read books one, Dark Wolf Enterprises, and book two, Lover Claimed before you read this one. Not TOTALLY necessary, but I think you should. And just like that, we are back up to 5 stars! Hunter, cousin to the Farkas brothers, hates vampires. A rogue group killed his parents while he and his little sister, Ezie, had to watch. So when his Alpha brings in a vampire accounting firm to finally plug the leak, he isn't happy. It's their assistant though, that causes Hunter's wolf to come front and centre. Asha has only one goal: to prove that she is better than the sum of her parents, and the vampires will help her get it. Oh I loved this one!! So much better than book two, and on a par with book one. I've no idea why book two didn't quite work, but there you go. We finally get the whole story of who and WHY the vampire is embellishing and HOW they are doing it! And that's now all wrapped up in a big fat bow. Kinda. Sorta. Almost. Hunter's wolf is very taken with Asha, and their coming together is powerful. We get that sucker punch kind of feeling when they look into each other's soul. I missed that in book two. I loved the way it all played out between Hunter and Asha. I'm not going into any details, because that's spoilers. I didn't like Clarissa and what she did to Asha throughout the story and towards the end, especially but what she did, cost her dearly. Hunter's sister is now missing. For a while, I thought Ezie was seeing the Alpha behind everyone's back, but that played out differently. But the eldest brother, Andras, he still needs a story! I still think, that somehow it might be Ezie, but then there was that one line, when they all went to meet the head of the Vampire house that set all sorts of alarm bells ringing! So, please, Ms Griffin! Will the Alpha get his story and how long will I have to wait!! 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-05-23 02:02
Review: Come Home by Lisa Scottoline
Come Home - Lisa Scottoline

Quick review for a somewhat lengthy read. I'm actually asking myself in the hours after finishing the book: What on Earth did I just read?

I haven't read many of Lisa Scottoline's books, but admittedly it's been a while and this is the most recent example I can go on. It's...definitely not the first book I would recommend anyone read from this author. I feel like it was an entertaining read but also a complete waste of time. (That sounds like a contradiction in itself, but I'll explain shortly.) So much of this book annoyed me to heck and back - mostly for how over the top and non-cohesive it was. The dialogue in some stretches is completely unrealistic and cringe-worthy. I guess the entertaining aspect of it lies in that it plays out like a soap opera - with the main character running to and fro searching for answers that absolutely no one asked, and one calamity building upon another to ramp up the action and conflict to march forcefully through its conclusion. There are times when I like this kind of story if it can poke fun at itself or just proves entertaining to watch with the characters who make the story more than the bones it stands upon. But "Come Home" was the true definition of a false advertisement of a book if I ever started one.

The story centers around Jill, a pediatrician who's adjusting to life with a new fiance and her daughter. Yet, Abby, Jill's estranged ex-stepdaughter comes bounding to her doorstep one rainy night to proclaim that her father's dead and that someone killed him. This sets off a chain of events that lead to Abby's disappearance, and Jill's desperate search to find her. Only...the search for Abby takes up a good portion of this story, but it's just one thread among several microconflicts that don't really reach satisfying conclusions. "Come Home" dangles false carrots of conflict in front of you, leading you in one direction, but just when you reach a climatic point that promises some answers, the answers lead in another direction that doesn't really have much to do with the original thread of conflict and seems to get weaker and less intriguing as it goes on. I felt like part of it was Jill's utter recklessness and stupidity in approaching every mystery around her, and what she finds just happens to hit the mark in some way without really having any kind of payoff.

In retrospect, I really didn't like most of the characters in this novel, including Jill. I did like Sam and Jill's friend (mostly because they were the ones who had the most sense), but everyone else was annoying as heck in speaking voice as well as contributing to the microconflicts and unreliable narrators here. I wish I could've believed in them or had a good laugh at them, but in the end, the dramatics were lain on far too thick - and the characters far too grating - for me to enjoy this more. I will say it kept me reading and wanting to see what would happen, but I took far too much time on the audiobook and overarching story than the story paid off in the experience. I probably wouldn't pick up this book again, once was enough.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

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review 2017-05-22 18:38
Awesome addition to this series!
Lochlann (Order of the Black Knights) - ... Lochlann (Order of the Black Knights) - Andrea Speed
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. This book?? This book here is a prime example of why I LOVE this series. TOTALLY. FREAKING. AWESOME. Lochlann was recruited to Alpha after the death of his brother and father. Cas infiltrated Alpha to try to get information to bring it down. This is book 6 in The Order of The Black Knights, but you don't NEED to have read the other five. But hear when I say you SHOULD read them. All written by different authors, in their own style and manner, but they all follow a theme, that of a meet, love, kill, rinse and repeat until they meet the one enemy that will be spared. And they are all 4 and 5 star reads. SO, read the damn books already. This is, for me, a far far bloodier read. Quite literally. Being members of Alpha is like a Black Ops team, on steriods. In, kill, and out. And there is a lot of killing here. And it is gloriously written! I loved Inga. SO she was deadly, but totally scary and messed up. She left me with lots of questions about her. Loved the reasons all the other team members were with Alpha too. You don't get much, just enough to be able to connect, but then again, you don't need them all to have a say, because Lochlann and Cas have a lot to say on their own. It takes time for things at Alpha to come to a head, and I wasn't sure which way things were going to go, til right til the very end, and I do so LOVE being kept on my toes. BUT!! What made this for me, what made it stand out from the other five books, is that it is almost CLEAN. Like NO sex at all. Sorry, there is sex, its just not described in any way. Its all left to the reader to fill in the blanks. And I absolutely LOVED it. Go figure! Me, who will say she much prefers her books on the sexier side, hell I'll even read porn, I don't care. BUT know this. For Lochlann and Cas, it's freaking perfect. I think that is Andrea Speed and her way of writing. But brilliant here. OH! And this cover. I don't usually take much notice of a books cover, but this one?? It fits Lochlann, perfectly. Stunning side view. Love it! There is a book 7 listed on Goodreads, but I have insider information that there will be more. I am so loving the way each author presents these books. Its giving me a whole host of new reading matter too! I didn't quite manage to read it in one sitting, but I tried so bloody hard to. Work got in the way! Still, a stunning... 5 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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