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review 2018-10-29 16:57
desperately wanted to hear from Edmund!
Escaping Solitude (Escape Trilogy #2) - Sara Dobie Bauer
I was gifted my copy of this book, direct from the author, that I write a review was not required. Andrew takes Edmund back to civilization, to his home in New Orleans. Andrew's coven has some members who wish to harm Edmund, to take him away from Andrew and Andrew will not have it. To turn Edmund, Andrew needs an Elder so Edmund is let lose in the coven's library to find him. Then Andrew is called home to England, so the trip to find the Elder is put on hold. That is, til a terrible accident on board. Again, written only from Andrew's point of view, in the first person/present tense, same as book one. Knowing this going in, made it easier to overlook that personal quirk that I don't much care for books written as such. And of COURSE I wanted to hear from Edmund! There were several keys points along the way that I really needed to hear what he was thinking. Andrew introduces Edmund to some of his more baser pleasures, several of them, in the club with the red door, and oh that was such a surprise cos I did not see that one coming at me! So bloody hot! He also introduces Edmund to his coven's parties. But rather than Andrew go all ALPHA-protect-what-is-mine, it's Edmund who goes all don't-touch-what-isn't-yours on Felix, the one who touches Edmund. Oh of course Andrew wanted to rip Felix' head off for that, but he left Edmund stake the claim of Andrew, rather than the other way round. The trip home to England brought some more surprises, but also tragedy, when there is a storm. And we're left hanging! Cliff hanger, people, of the highest order! Not QUITE the one I was expecting, but still a massive one, that could still go either way! And I have to wait til Jan next year for the final part, and Lord is that gonna be a wait!! So, ONLY, only because Edmund doesn't have his say, because I think if he had, this may well have been a 5 star review... 4 stars

 

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review 2018-10-29 16:37
kinda creeps up on ya!
Escaping Exile (Escape Trilogy #1) - Sara Dobie Bauer
I was gifted my copy of this book direct from the author, that I write a review was not required. Andrew didn't know how long he'd been on the island, but it was a long time. When a ship wrecks on his beach, a scent pulls him to find Edmund, half dead from the wreck. But there are others who want Edmund, and they don't mean to save him. Andrew has to keep HIS monster at bay, along with those on the island, if he wants to keep Edmund safe. So! I'm in a bit of a quandary about this book! If you follow my reviews, you'll know I'm not a fan of books written in the present tense and first person. I don't know why I don't like them, I just don't. You'll also know, I will ALMOST always say I wanted to hear from the other main character, if a book is written from a single point of view. And thus: my quandary. This book is written present tense AND first person. Had this book been written from both Andrew AND Edmund's point of view, in resent tense/first person, I have no doubt, NONE at all, I would have dumped this book as soon as that became clear. But it's ONLY Andrew who has a voice here. And of course, at this point I'm gonna say I needed to hear from Edmund, because I really did! But HAD Edmund had a say, I might not have finished it! You see my problem?!?!?! Putting that fact aside, I really did enjoy these 80 pages of a vampire falling in love with his rescue, who in turn rescues him from his banishment. Andrew has been banished for killing one to many humans and keeping this human alive might just be his salvation. Edmund, curious mind that he has, wants to study Andrew's kind. And as they grow closer, Andrew's beast pushes hard for Andrew to bite Edmund, which Andrew doesn't want to do. But Edmund takes the choice away from him. Andrew's voice is strong and clear, and he tells his story well. I saw no spelling or editing errors to spoil my reading. It's just my bloody quandary! So, since I really am surprised I enjoyed this first person/present tense... 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2018-10-27 18:25
Since I'm not reading for spirituality's sake
The Divine Comedy - Eugenio Montale,Sandro Botticelli,Peter Armour,Dante Alighieri,Allen Mandelbaum

Done! *cheers* (and an abrupt end it was)

 

I confess I started to loose my enthusiasm by Purgatory, and Paradiso veritably dragged for me.

 

Inferno is indeed the most interesting, likely because it concentrates more on describing the poetic (and in many cases gruesome) justice inflicted there.

 

Purgatory gets a bit wishy washy because we are even more deluged with contemporary examples, which was exhausting from a "pausing to research WTF" whenever I needed context to understand the grade, and felt like self indulgent page bloating when I didn't. And then we get to Eden, pretty cavalcade of symbolism lead by the still much discussed mystery that is Matilda, and meet Beatriz. Ahhhh, the lady herself, that symbolizes theology. Maybe it is no wonder I found her supercilious and overly jealous.

 

I have to praise Dante's balls: first he aligns himself equal among Homer, Ovid and Virgil in that Limbo chat, and here he places his lady love highly enthroned in the Empireum, representing the Dogma by which he knows God.

 

If I could leave Paradiso just taking away that love has been his salvation and his way to heaven, we'd be good. But no, he had to insist on hammering until rigid conformity to scripture was reached. Thorough what felt like endless proselytizing (hey, I know it is my fault, because what was I expecting, right?) and pointing fingers of doom everywhere (the amount of eggs thrown the church's way! And his political enemies... you bet this got him the exile prophesied to him here).

 

Also, even considering some pretty descriptions, the spheres felt lame and boring reward (and here I'm reminded of Huxley calling happiness undramatic and boring, and Le Guin criticizing those that think "Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting"). Where is the imaginative poetic justice of the first third? Methinks Dante got too tangled in the discussion of virtues and splitting hairs on their display levels. So yeah, I get the whole "watching god and feeling his light is rapture beyond comprehension", I'm still contending that the theological got in the way of the literary, and there goes one star. Sue me.

 

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review 2018-10-26 11:15
Russo's narration broke me!
Beneath This Mask - Victoria Sue,Nick J. Russo
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my AUDIO copy of this book. This is book three in the Enhanced Series. I wouldn't say it was necessary for you to have read books one and two, but it might give you a better reading experience. It would also give you a a better experience of these men, and just what being Enhanced means. Gael doesn't want a regular human partner, especially not one from the task force they have all come to hate. But Jake is different, he's not got that inbuilt hatred the others seem to have. When Jake and Gael come across a non-verbal Enhanced child, who later becomes a murder suspect, Gael has to put his feelings aside, even if they threaten to be his very undoing. Oh Gael, Gael, Gael! My heart bled for this man, it really did! He's in a whole lotta pain, and he hides it from the others in his team, who are his family too. But Jake?? Jake sees, really SEES Gael, and Gael isn't entirely sure he wants to be seen. While there is the murders of the Enhanced as the back story, what I particularly loved about this one, was the emotions involved between Gael and Jake. With the emotions involved with turning, and the aftemath of that. Gael's history wasn't the best before that point, but it became a whole lot worse after. Jake has his own demons, and when Gael finds out what that is, he lashes out, quite LITERALLY. But he does come around, once the awful truth becomes clear. It's not as explicit as books one and two, but it doesn't need to be. I did find it a little more graphic, though, but I think that really IS needed. When Gael is caught by the one doing the murders ( I knew! I knew when that person first showed up, I KNEW they were no good, that something bad would happen!) his feeling for Jake, his own abilities are used against him, and Gael has to trust the guys find him in time. And after that, when Gael pulls away from Jake?? That boy pulls out all the stops to make Gael SEE Jake, he really does. That Jake wants a family with Gael, and all who come along too. And I cried then, great heart wrecking sobs, because it's such a beautiful scene! We are introduced to Sam, AKA Angel, who pushes ALL of Vance's buttons and then some! Can't wait for their story, really can't. But I'll wait for the audio, don't wanna flip between reading and listening. Again, Nick J Russo narrates. This above mentioned scene? When Jake makes Gael SEE Jake?? I have no doubts, none at all, that it's the way that scene was deliver by Russo, his NARRATION, that wrecked me! Reading would not have had the same impact, not for me, anyway. Russo KILLS it, he absolutely does. His voices are clear and consistent across all three books, he has a way of getting so much emotions across, that really is beyond compare. I love his narration, so please keep them coming! 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 5 stars overall **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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text 2018-10-25 20:34
Reading progress update: I've read 505 out of 798 pages.
The Divine Comedy - Eugenio Montale,Sandro Botticelli,Peter Armour,Dante Alighieri,Allen Mandelbaum

I get the "pointing him away form the carnal to the spiritual" thing, but Beatrice's rant over Dante looking toward other women after her death sounded downright bitchy to me (it's been 10 years woman!).

 

I found Inferno a lot more engaging than Purgatory on the whole, but the symmetry between the two is interesting, as is the fact that the punishments are not that much lighter in corresponding sins and circles, but for the hope.

 

What I am wondering, given the correspondence where repentance makes the difference between up or down, is whether not even repentance can wash fraud and betrayal in this cosmology.

 

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