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review 2018-08-20 06:01
First time ever reading a manga.
Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom - Tsugumi Ohba,Takeshi Obata

So this is the first time I have ever read a manga. I am not really sure what to say about it, just because I don't have other examples of other manga's to compare it to. I did enjoy it and I liked that it was such a quick read. I am not sure about how I feel in regards to what the main character is doing. I can understand why he thinks he's doing the right thing. But how is he any better than them, if his doing what he is doing. And his putting someone important into a lot of trouble because of this.

I did love the idea of the book, with killing someone by just writing that person's name on the paper. I know there are rules or steps that need to be taken for it to work. 

I will be most definitely getting other manga's and later on getting another book from this series. It was still a really interesting and enjoyable first experience of reading the manga. Especially since it's totally different in the way, you need to read the story. And at times it was confusing but hopefully I will get use to it as I get more experience.

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review 2018-08-17 03:25
The most rootin' tootin' shoot 'em up about accountants you've ever seen
Death and Taxes - Mark David Zaslove

I'm not sure I can go this book justice with a hand-crafted synopsis, I'll just copy and paste from Zaslove's site (slightly different than the Goodreads copy as of this date):

 

Death and Taxes follows Mark Douglas, an ex-Marine turned IRS agent, who, along with auditing the weird and the profane, also spearheads weekend raids with his locked-and-loaded gang of government-sanctioned revenuers, merrily gathering back taxes in the form of cash, money order, or more often than not, the debtor’s most prized possessions.

 

Things turn ugly when Mark’s much-loved boss and dear friend Lila is tortured and killed over what she finds in a routine set of 1040 forms. Mark follows a trail dotted with plutonium-enriched cows, a Saudi sheik with jewel-encrusted body parts, a doddering, drug sniffing, gun-swallowing dog named The Cabbage, a self-righteous magician with a flair for safecracking, a billionaire Texan with a fetish for spicy barbecue sauce and even spicier women, and an FBI field agent whose nickname is “Tightass.” All of which lead to more and bloodier murders – and more danger for Mark.

 

Enlisting his IRS pals – Harry Salt, a 30-year vet with a quantum physical ability to drink more than humanly possible; Wooly Bob, who’s egg-bald on top with shaved eyebrows to match; Miguel, an inexperienced newbie with a company-issued bullhorn and a penchant for getting kicked in the jumblies – Mark hunts down the eunuch hit man Juju Klondike and the deadly Mongolian mob that hired him as only an angry IRS agent can. There will be no refunds for any of them when April 15th comes around. There will only be Death and Taxes.


This is hyper-violent (not that filled with blood and guts, really -- there is some), a lot of guns, bombs, more guns. Sometimes played for comedic effect, sometimes it's the good guys vs. the bad guys. Sometimes, it's a little of both. It never got to the overkill point for me, probably because this felt more like a cartoon than a "realistic" thriller.* What was overkill for me was the hypersexualization of every woman under the age of sixty. I didn't need to hear that much about every woman's physical appearance -- there are more gorgeous women with perfect (sometimes surgically enhanced) bodies in this guy's life than an episode of Miami Vice.

 

But man, is this funny. There are sections -- sometimes a sentence or two, sometimes several paragraphs long -- that are the literary equivalent of a shot of espresso, they are so taught with action, cultural references, and humor that you just revel in them. This reminds me a lot of the John Lago Thrillers by Shane Kuhn -- I think Kuhn shows more discipline in his plots and characters, but on the whole, these two are cut from the same cloth. The same energy, a similar style, similar sense of humor -- and frankly, that stuff is catnip to me. I think the plot got a little convoluted, a little confusing -- but it was worth working through.

 

Am I planning on reading Tales of a Badass IRS Agent, #2? Yeah, I will be keeping an eye out for it. This is a heckuva romp, and will entertain anyone who gives it a shot.
--
* Really, what thriller is realistic?

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion, which you see above.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/08/16/death-and-taxes-by-mark-david-zaslove-the-most-rootin-tootin-shoot-em-up-about-accountants-youve-ever-seen
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review 2018-08-13 03:32
Death of a Greedy Woman by M. C. Beaton (audiobook)
Death of a Greedy Woman - M.C. Beaton

Series: Hamish Macbeth #8

 

I think the original title for this book, "Death of a Glutton", was better. Cat lovers may want to steer clear of this one, and I have to agree with the character that said that Macbeth's way of getting a confession was amateurish.

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review 2018-08-13 01:29
Book Tour: Death Logs Out by EJ Simon
Death Logs Out - E.J. Simon

Do we ever really know what really happens after death? Did Alex really die or is he still alive somewhere? The author put us in to story as Michael is wondering about this as he find out that his brother Alex as somehow getting in touch with several of his ex-wives.

Sofia is reached out by her uncle but doe not really know for sure. Then she is kidnapped? Will she survive or is this a mad woman going to get her revenge on Michael? Michael goes to his buddy a retired policeman. Whatever happens when they recruit a friend to save Sofia? There seem to be more going on that someone once Sindy Steel gone?

What does the Vatican want? There seems to be more of terrifying going on? Who is the Free Force Party? Kurt seem to want more power then what he got. We got back to learn some history about the Nazi occupation. There are more action and twist as you turn the page.

The author takes you for a ride of a lifetime. Learn a bit about the Vatican church. You also get to tour a bit of Paris. What will happen to Michael as he goes to hunt down the bad guys that murdered his to brothers. Alex is mentioned and talked to though out the book. What is AI? Is it real?

What does John Goldstin want with Michael? I know that once you start reading this book you will not want to put it down. It action packed. I do wish to that parent are aware that his is book has a lot of deaths in it. I would suggest this to be for children of ages 16 + with Mature in it. Please know this is only what i suggest and the parents have the right to allow there children to read it if choose to or not.

I thought this book acted like a lot of my real world that going on around me. Though not at lot but you might remember 9/11 and think of how real that might be if or what really happen to Malaysia plane that when down over the ocean. I know that fact or there but they may not be real in the story but sure feel that way when reading the book. Thank to the author I have enjoyed these books. I can not wait for more. Check out my review for Death Never Sleeps and Death Logs In

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/09/book-tour-death-logs-out-by-ej-simon.html
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review 2018-08-11 22:53
The Dispatcher (audiobook) by John Scalzi, narrated by Zachary Quinto
The Dispatcher - John Scalzi,Zachary Quinto

In the world of this story, something happened 8+ years ago that changed how death works. When someone is killed (or murdered?) by another person, instead of staying dead they pop out of existence and reappear, naked and alive, in their own home, wherever in the world that happens to be. Well, most of the time. There's a one in a thousand chance that they'll stay dead.

No one knows how this change came to be, or why, but it has resulted in the creation of a new job, Dispatcher. Dispatchers are people trained and licensed to kill people who are about to die, so that they can come back to life. Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher substituting for another Dispatcher at a hospital. It seems like a normal enough assignment until he's roped into an investigation into the disappearance of the Dispatcher he was substituting for.

This was okay. The setup was really interesting, but I had trouble getting a handle on the conditions under which someone would come back to life. I initially thought that their death required the direct and immediate involvement of another human being. However, that would have meant that there was nothing for anybody to worry about in the part where a woman was hit by a truck. Another human being was driving the truck that hit her, so she should have died and then reappeared in her own home.

Near the end of the story, other details were provided that seemed to indicate that intention played a role. Since the driver hadn't intended to kill the woman, she would simply have died. I assume this means that if someone had intentionally poisoned someone, their victim would have come back to life, but if they had accidentally poisoned the person, their victim would simply have died. I'm not sure even that quite fits, however. Wouldn't it mean that Dispatchers' victims would almost never come back to life? Valdez didn't consider what he did to be murder. He was providing a service that was almost guaranteed to save people's lives. Since he didn't kill people with the intention of them staying dead, shouldn't they all have, well, stayed dead? Unless he was lying when he was describing how he viewed his work - quite possible, considering how many other things he lied about or failed to immediately mention.

I have a feeling I'm probably overthinking this, but I couldn't help trying to tease apart the details of how all of this worked, since the details turned out to be very important at several points in the story. One of those instances in particular made it difficult to believe that 1) Valdez had been doing this job for 8 years and 2) that he'd had a great deal of experience with the shadier aspects of Dispatcher work. It shouldn't have taken him as long as it did to figure out how a couple hired thugs were going to make use of one aspect of the whole "killing you, but not really" thing.

The resolution to the mystery of the missing Dispatcher was very emotional, but something about the way the story was written resulted in it having less impact that it should have. Maybe the problem was that so much of the story involved Valdez (and occasionally the cop) visiting people and asking questions. The emotional resolution was mostly pieced together second- or third-hand by Valdez - none of it happened on-page. Heck, even the missing Dispatcher never had an on-page appearance.

All in all, this wasn't bad but could have been better. On the plus side, Zachary Quinto's narration was excellent. I've listened to The Dispatcher twice now, and Quinto was a large part of the reason why.

 

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

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