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review 2018-12-30 17:40
Blues-related thriller series – not particularly original plot-wise but still enjoya
Crossroad Blues (Nick Travers Mysteries) - Ace Atkins

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This series involves Nick Travers, a blues fan and detective, assigned to find out about Robert Johnson's missing records. The plot involves the usual conflicts and killings from a mystery series with few surprises. The plot is therefore nothing too outstanding and the characters are quite clearly-defined unlike the black-and-white artwork which is not always clear. It's OK as far as it goes but don't expect anything very original.

 

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review 2018-09-21 12:45
DRAWING BLOOD by Poppy Z. Brite, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Drawing Blood: A Novel - Matt Godfrey,Crossroad Press,Poppy Z. Brite

A good old haunted house story is something I've always loved, so when the narrator of this tale offered me a chance to listen to the audio in exchange for a review, I jumped at it. Poppy Z. Brite is an author I've heard a lot about and I've been wanting to read his work for quite some time. I learned a few things while reading this book and one of them is that Poppy Z. Brite can write.

 

Trevor is a young man returning to the house where his mother and brother were killed 20 years ago. Shortly after his arrival in Missing Mile, his old hometown, he meets a young computer hacker on the run, named Zach. The two immediately feel a connection and together they go to face Trevor's childhood home. What will they find there? Is the house actually haunted? You will have to read this to find out. 

 

While the writing quality here was good, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the story itself. This is not the author's fault, nor the narrator's,  it was my sky high expectations. I expected a scary as hell story- and while there was a little darkness,  there was way too much romance for me. I don't mind explicit sex scenes, (gay or straight),  if they are integral to the story. Now I totally get the term insta-love. These two just met, one of them a virgin, and before you know it they are going at it at a breakneck pace. And going at it again. And again. The sexy times were sexy, don't get me wrong but after a while they finally led me to ask "Can we get to the horror already?"

 

Eventually, we did get to the horror, but after such a long build, it failed to move me much. I'm not sure if I was just bored by that point, or if all the romance had inured me to what should have been an exciting finale. 

 

The narration by Matt Godfrey was excellent as always, I especially loved his Jamaican accent. Yeah, mon! 

 

As I said, I did like the writing, and in a few spots it was nearly lyrical. From what I understand this is one of Poppy Z. Brite's, (now he goes by the name Billy Martin), earlier works. While I didn't find this novel to be a true horror story, I'm told his later works definitely are and I will be tracking those down in the future, maybe even the near future. 

 

Recommended, as long as you're not looking for a horror tale and you don't mind a lot of romance and sexy times! 

 

*Thanks to Matt Godfrey for the audio of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-09-03 16:52
Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harrie
Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

I picked this up at some random point because it was really cheap. I've actually read very little by Charlaine Harris, I avoided all of the Sookie Stackhouse excitement completely - never read the books, never saw the HBO adaptation. In retrospect, that might have been a mistake because I'm not sure that this would qualify as her best work.

 

Midnight, Texas is a small town where things are not quite what they seem, including most of the inhabitants. The basic story relates to Bobo, the pawn shop owner (and frankly, I could never get over that STUPID name), whose girlfriend, Aubrey, has disappeared without a trace. Aubrey is also not what she seems. There is the local witch, Fiji (why, Charlaine, why?), the local psychic, Manfred (OMG, these names. Kill me) and the local nubile high school graduate, Creek, (OK, that name is actually quite good). And a vampire, Lemuel (we're back to stupid names, again).

 

In honor of Lemuel, I'm slotting this one in the Deadlands category. Vampires are not a favorite of mine, so I figure I'd better fill that category now or it may not happen later.

 

Anyway, I actually liked the town, and I even liked most of the characters, their stupid names notwithstanding. The problem with this book is that it went nowhere. And on the road to nowhere, it traveled sloooooooow. The ending was out of the blue, and left me thinking what the actual fuck just happened?

 

I may be willing to give Midnight, Texas another go, but I'm thinking that I should probably dip my toe into one of her other series first. The Lily Bard series is the most appealing to me, starting with Shakespeare's Landlord, but I think I will check it out of the library in case it is also a miss for me.

 

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review 2018-07-06 15:22
Rich premise and great characters, but a predictable plot
Crossroad - Barbara Hambly

While engaged in the exploration of the treacherous Crossroad Nebula, the U.S.S. Enterprise detects a vessel that shouldn't exist: a Constitution-class starship with more advanced design elements, yet bearing signs of considerable age and wear. With the ship on a course for Tau Lyra III, a planet with a pre-warp civilization, Captain James Kirk beams aboard the half-dozen members of the ship's crew and detains them for their evident intent to violate the Prime Directive. But the crew soon escapes captivity and takes over the Enterprise, holding it hostage until their ship is repaired and their voyage to Tau Lyra is resumed. As the crew struggles to retake control, the mounting evidence makes it clear that the anomalous ship is indeed from the future and that its crew is waging a war against the greatest tyranny in their galaxy: the Federation.

 

Barbara Hambly's novel is one that I looked forward to reading for two reasons. The first was the back cover description, which promised a rare Star Trek time travel novel involving interaction with the future. It's always interesting to me to see where authors project the future of the Star Trek universe as heading, especially at a relatively early stage in the franchise before the shows locked in the canon. Here Hambly doesn't disappoint, fulfilling every expectation she set for me with her previous contribution to Pocket Books's Star Trek novels, Ishmael (which I still retain fond memories of despite having read it decades ago). Indeed, she provides a very rare bird indeed: a future Federation corrupted by a sinister organization that uses plagues, psionics, and advanced FTL travel to dominate the Alpha Quadrant.

 

The richness of Hambly's premise and the development of her characters (both from the series and her own creations) are undeniable strengths of her book. And yet I found elements of her plot cripplingly tiresome. Far too much of the story follows the predictable patterns of a series episode: alien crew escapes detention and takes over the ship, the crew faces a threat at odds with lofty Federation ideals, and a daring plan involving phaser fire is needed to save the day. To be fair, there are a couple of unexpected twists and turns, but by the end of the novel I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed by the overall result. While Hamby's book is definitely in the better half of the novels in the Pocket Books series, it nonetheless fall short of what it could have been given the material with which Hambly gave herself to work.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-28 07:31
Midnight Crossroad — A Buddy Read on Booklikes and Preparation for the new Series on NBC
Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book?

 

S.L.O.W.

 

It moved with glacial speed and the supernatural events were too far and few to make up for it.

 

The pacing wouldn’t have mattered, if the book didn’t also have the following problems:

 

The fact that one of the characters is a vampire is just sprung upon us and not in a good way.

 

Anybody who lives in the town of Midnight knows not to ask questions. To me, it seemed like a good way of not having to make up character backstories until absolutely needed.

 

I didn’t relate to or like any of the characters from the story either, with the exception of the cat who could talk. It caught my attention for a second and then lost it when its voice was described as snide (or was it nasal?).

 

The writing style didn’t do anything for me. An example from the book:

As she washed her hands, she thought of having corn bread with the soup tonight. As she was drying them, she told herself how much better the soup would be without the corn bread, and failed to convince herself that could be so.

 

Crossroads 1.jpg

 

 

Why Did I Read the Book Then?

 

All these complaints bring me to why I read this book in the first place. I wasn’t a fan of the Sookie series written by the same author either. While the show, True Blood, might have held my interest for a season or two, I didn’t follow it religiously either. What made me pick up this book was this trailer and the fact that there was a buddy read going on over at Booklikes.  I wanted to be a part of both. However, if you are expecting the book and show to be alike, they aren’t at least as far as the pacing is concerned.

 

I might try the next book in the series.

 

23281944

 

Then again, I might not!

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