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review 2018-06-19 02:13
All the stars!
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee

Can I give this all the stars?   No, only five?   Okay, then.   

 

So I think that the lazy/sloppy world building reviews kept me from finishing this.   I thought they were rational and well thought out arguments, and they make me think about how I approach and read books.  And how others will approach them differently.  

 

Because you know what?  I don't get so much of this book.  Like a lot of this.  This book makes me feel like a big 'ol dum-dum, and so do some of the reviews where I am like 'you clearly understood something I didn't.'   I frown-y face at myself so much for being dumb enough not to really get so much of this book.   I actually am not sure I disagree with the reviews, although I have a different take on the world building: I think that things, like how the calendars work and influence the fighting, and the math of it all, were left vague on purpose, and for two different reasons. 

 

The first is twofold in fact: the math it would take to come up with the way the calendars actually worked, and implement them, seems to be, I dunno, so much work it would make me want to curl up in a corner and weep.   More than that, if that much math is involved in such a complicated calendar, do you really want to read that?  I mean, I'm sure many math-oriented people would geek over it, but I personally didn't want to read that much math, thank you very much!  I think Lee realized that nine-tenths of this book would be 'and this how the calendrical fighting system worked' if he were to properly explain it.   (And I probably still wouldn't get it, and I would feel like the largest dum-dum ever, so thank you, Lee, for not letting my ego take that blow!)

 

Secondly, I don't think it's that important.   So did it bother me at first?   Yup.  And even when I saw those reviews, I tried to read it and was like, nope, don't get it, and got frustrated.  I figured with those reviews, why bother?   But when I started reading Raven Stratagem for the Hugo voting, I realized I kind of needed the backstory, and hey, I owned a signed copy!   (A signed copy that came with me to rides on Universal Studios, FL, by the way.)

 

So I grit my teeth, started reading, and I just let go of needing to understand.   Once I realized the world, or part of it, was incomprehensible, I allowed myself to appreciate the nuance of the political system, those who rebelled against it, and the characters' interplay and growth.   

 

And I found that I loved this: I didn't care that this book made me feel stupid, massively, epically stupid.  I didn't care that I didn't get so much of it.   I just wanted more

 

Of course, this book has loads of the kinds of angst and mind-fuckery that I just love, so it filled a hole in my soul.  And I even sent the author a note saying that after the shitshow of a wedding and my grandfather's passing that these books kept me trucking. 

 

He sent me back a lovely e-mail that said he was glad they brought me comfort.  I own this as an e-book - and an audiobook.  I'm probably going to listen to the audiobook soon and may invest in the second and third, if I can get over Jedao's voice.   The problem with audiobooks is that often times the characters voices don't match the voices in my head, and I listened to a bit of Ninefox Gambit earlier tonight.   Jedao's voice might kill this trilogy as audiobooks for me, to be honest.

 

 

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review 2018-06-19 01:39
Cybertron comes back to Earth
Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2011-2016) Vol. 7 - John Barber,Sarah Stone,Livio Ramondelli,Andrew Griffith,Casey Coller

At least, Optimus Prime and a small group of Autobots do.  I wasn't a big fan at first read, but I'm coming to appreciate just how brilliant a move this was: the focus stays on the Cybertronians, not the humans, and even then?   Thundercracker adopting a dog and becoming the worst screenwriter ever is just hilarious. 

 

Somehow, even when he's mangling screenplays and writing in general, Thundercracker just wins me over.   Like completely over.   

 

Loved this, and read it early on in the month, right before the Hugo packet hit.   

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review 2018-06-18 20:15
Wolves on audio...it's a thing...who knew...
Once Upon a Wolf - Rhys Ford

Well actually I'm pretty sure we all did but for me this one was a must...it's by Rhys Ford and she's totally a favorite of mine. So needless to say there were no real surprises here because...I've read the book already and as far as the story goes as far as the story goes my original review still holds true so, I'm going to borrow from it in regards to the story...here goes...

 

First off let's chat a bit about the main characters and their relationship...I liked the way Gibson and Zach's relationship developed as a slow burn against the backdrop of event's that while not connected to Zach and Gibson held a loose tie to Gibson and Ellis's family history on the mountain . Ellis grabbed my curiosity fairly quickly and I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed that there's a story coming for him soon.I really enjoyed the banter between Zach and Gibson and with Ellis as well...

“You’re really going to attempt to make pancakes?” The mock horror in Zach’s grimace was a clear indication he’d picked up more than his share of sardonic expressions from the brothers. “Aren’t you happy with trying to kill me just at dinnertime? Now you’ve moved on to breakfast?”

With less than 100 pages to this story there's a lot happening and lot of groundwork is being laid out for not just this story but I suspect some of it will become more relevant as the series unfolds. As well as Ellis who I'm hoping that we'll see more of some of the secondary characters like Ruth and Martha, the two women who are looking after Zach's B&B, then there's Pat Brown the son of the former sheriff and currently working for the sheriff's department himself and there's some interesting history between the Kellers and the Browns to be sure.

 

I'm hoping that as things progress in this series we'll learn a little more a bout Zach's life before he came to own the B&B. We've gotten some glimpses of his life, enough to know that Zach was in a accident, that his family relations are strained to say the least.

 

While this one got off to a bit of a slow start for me. I have faith in Ms Ford's ability to draw me into her stories and make me not only glad I'm reading them but want more and more...and yes, more and so far I definitely want some more of Gibson and Zach but I'd also like to find out more about Ellis and while he really didn't seem to be a nice guy much less a good one. I have the feeling that there's possibly more to Pat Brown than we know and I'm sure that it could make for an interesting story as well. I think at the end of it all for me I'm on board with this series not because of where Ms Ford has taken us but because I'm curious to see where we have yet to go.

 

Now on to the audio portion of this audio book...

Derrick McClain was the narrator for this audio book and overall I enjoyed things except for the minor glitch that Zach's voice wasn't quite what I had imagined it would be. 

 

My previous experiences with this narrator have varied and while a couple of the audio books that I've listened to haven't worked really well for me the opposite is also true and I've really enjoyed others.

 

Regardless of whether I've enjoyed it or not I do find that in general this narrator ticks the basics on my list of 'must have's for an audio book'. His voices are varied, expressive and words are pronounced clearly and concisely but not to the point of being monotone or stilted.

 

So overall Derrick McClain produces an audio book that can readily be enjoyed and beyond that when it comes to things like how a voice sounds we're talking about a purely subjective issue that's a matter of personal taste which to me means that it's not an issue of right or wrong, good or bad just what works for one individual and not for another. This time around things didn't work as well as they have other times, but that doesn't mean that the next time won't be an entirely different experience. While he's not on my 'must listen' list neither is he on my list of 'not in this life time' more like 'let's take this one audio book at a time'. 

 

Still at the end of it all I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to read/listen to what comes next from Ms. Ford's band of 'Wayward Wolves'. 

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Once Upon A Wolf' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2018-06-15 14:42
good book and characters
Her Favorite Duke (The 1797 Club) (Volume 2) - Jess Michaels

Margaret/Meg Rylon was dress in full black and she should be mourning as her father had just been put in the ground a few hours ago. But she did not see sadness in her eyes and she didn’t feel it either. She felt nothing in her heart for her father the late Duke of Abernathe. The man had not spoken directly to her in three years even though the lived under the same roof. She had been nothing but a failure at an attempt for a spare. To her she had been cruel. In truth she was happy he was dead. Meg’s mother had turned to the bottle for comfort already as her husband despised her. Meg was sure her mother the Duchess was fully drunk and would stay that way for weeks using her husband’s death as an excuse. Then Meg noticed that Simon and Graham had arrived. It had been six years since she had met James - her brother-best friends. Seven years later Simon was Duke of Crestwood. He was in the ballroom staring at Lady Margaret -sister of one of his closest friends and her fiance Graham who was the Duke of Northfield. Graham didn’t like to dance so Meg often came to Simon to dance with her as graham wouldn’t. But Simon secretly wants meg for his own. At some point Simon just had to had to forget his feelings for Meg. He wanted the same thing James had with his new bride but with Meg. Since Meg’s engagement to Graham Simon and Meg had gotten closer and though he would never say it out loud Meg was Simon’s best friend. Simon had cared and wanted Meg seven to eight years now. But he couldn’t ruin everything and let his feelings out. Meg felt deeply about Simon and hated the women in his arms as they danced. Then Graham talked of the date they would marry Meg agreed then went outside and sat at a table and put her head down and cried.  Then Simon came out and saw Meg crying. And sat at the table and slid his arm around Meg’s shoulder and guided her toward his shoulder and she rested her cheek against his chest. Then Meg got up and walked back into the light from indoors. Simon realized Meg didn’t really want to marry Graham. Then Meg and Simon are caught in a storm and have to find shelter in a cabin then everyone finds out they were alone in a cabin and Simon was forced to marry Meg which he wanted anyway. Meg can’t take all the guilt Simon feels and how distant he has become and leaves him. The way that Simon and Meg were found hurt everyone and basically destroyed a couple of lifelong friendships.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the plot and the pace. I don’t understand why Graham is so bitter he didn’t love Meg he was engaged to her as he felt it was an obligation to James. I also felt Simon didn't have to go on so long about the guilt he couldn’t change it and he had gotten the one he loved. I also think Meg should have tried harder to make things better between Simon and his friends and let James know she didn’t want to be with Graham. I didn’t want to put this down as I wanted to see what would happen next. I advise you to read the books in this series in order so all will run smoothly when reading this book. I enjoyed the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend.

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review 2018-06-03 20:12
Review: “A Destiny of Dragons” (Tales From Verania, #2) by TJ Klune
A Destiny of Dragons - By (author) TJ Klune

 

~ 4 stars ~

 

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