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review 2018-12-10 23:36
Please tell me if this gets better as the series goes on???
All Systems Red - Martha Wells

 

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

 

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

 

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

 

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

I've seen this series all over my feeds and I thought, I might as well try it, people seem to like it.  Well...I'm afraid that I didn't love and I'm not sure I even liked it.  Maybe it was due to the overly bland voice for the narration...I just couldn't stay focused on the story for anything.  It was too easy to tune it out, unfortunately.  I did have some moments where I almost kind of liked Murderbot, though...he was developing a sense of humor at least.  I just need to know, does it get better with the next book?

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

2.5STARS - GRADE=D+

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

 

Plot⇝ 2.5/5
Main Characters⇝ 3/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 2/5
The Feels⇝ 2.5/5
Pacing⇝ 2/5
Addictiveness⇝2/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 2.7/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 2.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 2.5/5
Originality⇝ 2/5
Ending⇝ 2.5/5 Cliffhanger⇝
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Meh...it's fine, I guess.
Narration⇝ ☆2☆ for Kevin R. Free
Series⇝ The Murderbot Diaries #1
Setting⇝ Deep Space ???
Source⇝ Audiobook (Scribd)
๏ ๏ ๏
Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes

 

 

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review 2018-11-27 18:18
Review: Deep in the Dakota Woods by Brandon Barr
Deep in the Dakota Woods - Brandon Barr

Deep in the Dakota Woods by Brandon Barr is an extremely short read, but it definitely gives you a look into what an exceptionally gifted writer Brandon is. 

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review 2018-11-11 15:16
Sometimes the simplest of messages can mean so much...to me this story is all about its message...
Sky in the Deep - Adrienne Young

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.
 
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
 
Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
 
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
 
 
 
 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
While this story's message is a well-known one but, it's still an important one.  The reviews for this are all over the place, some loved and some did not even like.  I obviously really liked it, maybe possibly loved it, even.  Some said it was cliché, and not true to the Viking heritage...I didn't feel that way at all (not that I'm super knowledgeable about Viking heritage).  I believe if you go into this thinking that is Viking-inspired and not true Viking, you won't set yourself up for disappointment. 

Maybe, it was the narration that made me so invested in this story...the narration is excellently done, after all.  Maybe it's the fact that it is a stand-alone...I do love stand-alone's.  I think it's both of these things actually...plus the vivid writing and I seriously loved Fiske, and truly loved Eelyn and Fiske together.   éé

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏

 

4.8STARS - GRADE=A

 
 
 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4.7/5 
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.5/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.7/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.5/5
Originality⇝ 4.2/5
Ending⇝ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.  It's a stand-alone!
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝  Amazing
Narration⇝ ☆5☆ for Khristine Hvam...I've always liked her.  She always does a powerful female character justice.
Setting⇝ Between the Aska and Riki Villages...The Mountains and the Fjord.
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes
๏ ๏ ๏
 

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review 2018-10-28 17:43
Mira Grant: Into the Drowning Deep
Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant

In the first in a new series Mira Grant takes the readers to the Mariana Trench where humans are on the menu:

 
Seven years ago the Atargatis is set off for the Mariana Trench to create a mockumentury about the existence of Mermaids. The voyage ended in tragedy with not a soul on the ship surviving. The footage that was shot on The ship has been locked away and those who have seen it cannot believe that it is real. Now the production company is sending another ship to that area to investigate what had happened and to prove once and forall if Mermaids do exhist. Everyone on the boat is going to get way more than they bargined for.

I have not read a Mira Grant series in a long long time, but it was Grant who intorduced me to reading zombie books, so it is really only fitting that she introduce me to Mermaids books as well. This book was amazing, it had aspects of mystery, horror and urban fantasy all rolled in to one. You really did not what was going to happen next and who was going to survive. I mean who does not love the idea of the deadly mermaids instead of the Disney style ones. Due to the fact that Grant has mixed a few genres within this book you might think that it is oversaturated with ideas but Grant he does not shy away from any of the genres and took the best aspectsnofneach to create this story. Some of the scenes are quite brutal in their description but these are countered with the scientific discovery aspects so there is a nice balance and Grant does not hit you with death after death. There is also a nice suspense aspect as there are so many points of view throughout the book that you are not 100% sure which views are going to be there in the end.

The imagination and research that Grant put in to this book was exceptional. She tried to cover all different types of angles when it came to mermaids from where they live to additional organizism that may be down in the mariana trench as well. You can also tell that Grant put in a lot of thought as to how the mermaids would be able to interact with human on both their territory as well as above the surface. The intelligence that they have is awesome and are basically killing machines that can work in groups or solo. I’m glad that Grant did not make them mindless killing machines, they have the ability to adapt and plan their attacks which makes them that much more interesting.

There are quite a few points of views in the book so you get a fairly rounded story as to why many of the individuals are on the mission to find mermaids, however, the most frequent point of view that we encounter is Victoria's. Victoria is on the ship for several reason, most importantly she wants to prove that mermaids exist as her older sister was on the maiden voyage of this research ship and no one from that vessel made it home. She is also a brilliant scientist who wants to use her knowledge of ocean sounds as a guiding tool for the discovery. In many ways Victoria is the scientist and is very calculating in everything she does. This does make her portrayed as naive at times And this is most seen in her relationships with people (I’ll say slightly typical for the scientist type to be portrays this way however, Victoria does gain more and more confidence the farther in to the book you get).

I love that this book is about mermaids and Grant’s idea of the mermaid is not the little mermaid that we all grew up with. These are deadly killers who have human meat on their menu and according to the mermaids it’s a tasty feast. I look forward to the next book in the series to see where Grant takes it.

Enjoy!!!
If You Like This
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review 2018-10-27 05:20
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw: A Wicked Debut
The Wicked Deep - Shea Ernshaw

Hocus Pocus meets Practical Magic.

 

 

 

THIS COVERS LOOKS SUPER SHINY AND PRETTY but I didn’t even know because I borrowed an ebook from my library!

 

CONSENT IS AN ICKY ISSUE

 

So this is kind of a novel about consent without it ever really being addressed.

There are so many consent issues to think about: consent about whether the sisters really did ‘bewitch’ men against their will, on the consent of boys lured to their deaths, on the consent of the sisters inhabiting innocent teen girls to wreak their revenge and whether the sisters have been invited by sheer teenage stupidity or bravado or peer pressure (and even if they have, they can’t consent to individual acts the sisters choose to commit), and how the sisters use the innocent girls’ bodies while they’re possessing them. But this is all kind of glossed over because it’s revenge.

 

YA… BUT MAYBE IN DISGUISE?

 

I feel like this novel didn’t really have to be a Young Adult novel. It could have been an adult one, and may even make more sense as an adult novel.

 

  • Penny had no parental guidance and was basically emancipated, caring for herself because her mother was unable to and her dad wasn’t around.
  • It was set in the summer holidays so there was no school influence (although there was a lot of very cold ocean and rain and not much mention of hot weather – does it even get hot in Oregon? idk). Since it was a small town the relationships between the youth population could have easily been because of that and not that she’d gone to school with them.
  • She didn’t particularly want to party.
  • Everyone casually drank underage, which I guess isn’t as big a deal in the US as I thought it was.
  • Penny took it upon herself to hire help for the island.
  • She didn’t even have a cell phone, with the argument that it had no signal on her island.
  • She didn’t have any modern technology that teens are obsessed with. She didn’t have email or social media – no one did, it seemed. Some of the other characters had cell phones, but they might as well have never existed.
  • There wasn’t any teenage angst. I like to read YA because the protagonists haven’t found their feet in the world yet, don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to love and relationships and sex, but Penny was remarkably self-assured and mature without being overconfident or jaded.

 

Maybe it was an attempt to make this book seem more timeless, like it was set in the 80s or 90s when technology wasn’t so deeply engrained in everyday life, something that The Scorpio Races, a strikingly similar book, pulled off with its earlier time setting. But the result made Penny seem like she was a middle-aged adult in a young person’s body, much the same way Bella Swan seemed strikingly middle-aged for a teenager. Maybe it’s a Pacific North West thing, I don’t know. But this book could have been rewritten as a book for adults with very little effort, or maybe it originally was and was easily switched to YA to find a more lucrative market.

 

SIMILAR TO THE SCORPIO RACES?

 

I didn’t find this particularly atmospheric or spooky, maybe because I think it pales in comparison to both Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic, which is has been compared to. I also think it pales in comparison to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater which, like I mentioned earlier, it bears striking similarities to: a small town set in a stormy place has a supernatural ‘season’ that involves the ocean and locals doing daring things that might get them killed, and which attracts tourists to the town. Like Puck, Penny is also a local who is an outsider. I also didn’t think it was particularly romantic, mostly because I really have no idea what either person in this supposed romance felt. It was really lukewarm and uninspiring. It also didn’t make any sense that at the end of the novel, Penny and her love interest continued their relationship as if nothing had happened.

Penny is not the one falling in love/being fallen in love with, and that’s why it’s icky consent and no feels romance and generally kind of a plot hole.

(spoiler show)

 

BUT I DID LIKE IT!

 

What I thought was really great was the use of first and third person point of view, and past and present tense. There was no hard and fast rule: it wasn’t that everything set 200 years ago was in third person and everything set in the modern world was first person. There was a fluidity there that I think could have been a risk in lesser hands, but Ernshaw had good instincts and it all flowed really well.

 

It was fun and easy to read and guess the twists before they happened. The narrative was woven together very nicely, utilising a variety of points of view and tenses, and using Chekov’s Gun surprisingly well. One thing that kept me going was that I couldn’t see how this could possibly be resolved.

 

SO…

 

While I wasn’t an enamoured of this book as I wanted to be, I think it was a better debut than most contemporary YA paranormal writers. If Ernshaw’s writing improves with time and experience I expect her next novel to be even better, and I look forward to reading it. I also think this would make a really good TV miniseries and I hope it’s fully developed.

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