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review 2018-10-14 13:47
A Darker Shade of Magic ★★★★☆
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

I approached this with some wariness, as I saw other readers had tagged it as YA and my experiences in that genre has led me to expect tiresome teenaged angst and even more tiresome love triangles, but this was a pleasant surprise. The only connection with that genre I saw was the age of the primary female character. What I found instead was a good adventure fantasy with a well-developed world and rules of magic. The characters were fun, the world was fun, and the action was suitably violent and gory, even if the Antari trait of self-healing did rob some of the danger of its impact. I would have liked to see more well-developed villains, though. They were fairly two-dimensionally evil, simple baddies to be knocked down. We did get a little more depth to the opposing Antari, at least, so there was some investment in that character. The book is obviously the start of the series, but there is a satisfactory (enough) resolution to the books to events to allow this one to serve as a stand-alone.

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Darkest London: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London. This book is set in several Londons in adjacent worlds, with one (not visited) literally called “Black London”.

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text 2018-10-13 12:49
A Darker Shade of Magic - 70%
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

Well, this took off about the 25% mark and I've had a hard time putting it down. 

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text 2018-10-12 14:19
A Darker Shade of Magic - 15%
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

A little too slow to start, with a lot of exposition, but it's starting to pick up now and get more interesting. 

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review 2018-10-05 13:49
Mechanique by Genevieve Valentine
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti - Genevieve Valentine

It's finally over.

 

I wasn't really sure what I was getting in for, but I thought this story of a circus company in a kind of dystopian post-apocalyptic world might be interesting. It wasn't so much the story itself that bothered as the way it was told. There was a lot of jumping around between characters (mostly told in the third person), which was fine, and there was a lot of jumping around in time, which could have been fine, except that that the same events got referred to and covered over and over again. Sure, we got a few extra details now and then, or more context, but it got to be quite repetitive. By mid-way through, I was finding it to be a slog, and nearing the end I got very impatient. There was also one character that had both first-person and third-person chapters and I didn't really see the sense in that.

 

Finishing this book did let me complete my Creepy Carnivals square for 2018 Halloween Bingo, which finally gets me a bingo. :D

 

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text 2018-10-02 05:40
Kindle vs. iPad: Which is the best device for eBook reading?

As digital ebook readers, Amazon Kindle and iPad both are equally popular and offer readers pleasurable reading experience. Kindle had started the trend of exclusive e-reading handheld devices whereas iPad represents multi-purpose tablet devices. Readers can tweak the devices to suit their preferences and reading style. When talking about the differences in Kindle vs iPad reading experience, you have to compare the same from the perspective of respective brands i.e. Amazon and Apple. Both devices may fulfill your love for e-reading, but a critical brainstorming would help you arrive at the one which optimally complements your sensibilities and tastes. The simple comparison of models won’t help you judge their suitability quotients. You need to understand the areas where one model has the distinctive advantage over the other or may lag in performance.

 

Decisive factors about both Devices

 

1) Dedicated reading

 

When you are searching for the best device for ebook reading, remember that Kindle has been exclusively designed to facilitate you to read eBooks and listen to audiobooks. It is not like a normal smart handheld device that allows you to browse websites, check emails, enjoy games or hop on to social media. Its size is like a book and the user interface black and white. If you are a bookworm, then this device is built for you. Its dedicated reading feature allows it to enjoy a host of features that may be uncommon on iPad. They have absolutely amazing battery life and e-ink screen. Just charge your Kindle once and go on a reading spree lasting for weeks. The batteries won’t simply get drained.  This is, in fact, one of the best advantages of Kindle.

 

2) Safeguard for eyes

 

iPad has an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) color screen. The light radiations coming from the display can affect your eye’s retina if you stare at it for long hours. Images on an LCD display are formed by manipulation of light sources hidden behind the colorful screen. This implies that your eyes would be adversely impacted by the glare if subjected to prolonged exposure. In contrast, Kindle display does not rely on light source for forming readable images. So, even if you are fixating on the Kindle screen for hours at a go, your eyes would not be harmed. This is a defining difference in Kindle reader vs iPad. This is the reason why Kindle is a better option for aged readers.

 

3) Reading Illustrations and graphics elements rich content

 

If you are looking for a compelling ebook reading experience for content that is rich in graphics, drawings, and graphs, then iPad definitely has an advantage over Kindle. EBooks with static text like novels can be perfectly read on Kindle. Here, only font variations would matter. However, Kindle is not adaptive to the illustration rich eBooks like textbooks or comics. Black and white display is a disadvantage for Kindle but it is compounded more by the 6 inches screen. iPad has a 10 inches screen which would make the entire page content appear in a single shot without requiring you to zoom in or out the text. Further, textbooks are often downloaded in Acrobat PDF form which doesn’t reflow. In such a case, the page of pdf would resemble a static image whose fonts cannot be modified through the settings. In order to focus on a particular section of the page, you have to zoom in. iPad by virtue of its large display definitely offers more convenience in reading such pages. Another drawback for Kindle is the e-ink screen which is not as responsive as the iPad’s touchscreen. Once you issue a touch command to Kindle, you would receive a delayed response which can eat away your time. iPad, in contrast, responds lightning fast to your touch stimulus. Among iPad vs Kindle paperwhite, the former definitely is way ahead when it comes to the faster reading of interactive content. 

 

4) Kid-friendly interface

 

Your kids have the short attention span and it is obvious that they won’t appreciate anything that fails to appeal them. They feel an attraction for colors and graphics. Kids want to feel the content and interact with it. For them, Kindle can prove to be a spoilsport. The screen is monochromatic, audio is not readily playable and needs an external attachment for being heard, and the text is monotonous. Ebook format for Kindle is in fact not made for kids. iPad, on the other hand, is more appealing to the instincts of children. For mature readers with reading as a passion, Kindle is appropriate to read serious textual contents.

 

5) Browsing eBook platforms

Kindle ebook store caters exclusively to the Kindle device. However, for reading other enhanced eBooks from different publishers, you would typically have to run kindle conversion using specialized software. Even after such exercise, the converted ebook may not be compatible with Kindle and it could be troublesome. This is not the case with iPad which allows seamless access to all ebook platforms. All popular and major ebook stores have dedicated apps for iPad. Prominent ebook stores are Amazon, Kobo, Nook run by Barnes & Noble, and Google. The fact is that an ebook purchased from one store is governed by its own set of unique protocols which makes conversion or migration to other ebook platforms really difficult. Although Kindle ebook havens are treasure troves of digital books and almost all titles may be available there, but still searching laboriously for a compatible title is not worth when the same title is readily available on another store.

 

Kindle and iPad each have their own sets of advantages and drawbacks. Most of them are discussed above. It is up to you to choose the right platform based on your needs and preferences for ultimate reading experience. 

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