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review 2018-07-15 17:45
The First World War from a different perspective
Pandora’s Box A History of the First World War - Jörn Leonhard,Patrick Camiller

For the English-language reader today there is no shortage of histories surveying the First World War. Thanks to the centenary, several new volumes have been added to the fine books written over the years, giving readers a choice of works ranging from those of contemporary authors such as Winston Churchill, C.R.M.F. Cruttwell, and Basil Liddell-Hart to more modern studies by historians such as John Keegan, Hew Strachan, David Stevenson, and G. J. Meyer. Yet even when these authors have pursued a balanced approach and incorporated available German-language sources into their account, they usually have an inherent British or Allied focus resulting from a combination of factors.

 

This is just one reason why Jörn Leonhard's book stands out as a history of the conflict. Originally published in German in 2014, its translation into English offers readers of the language a survey of the war from an historian coming from a perspective rooted in a different set of sources and influences than those of his British and American counterparts. Yet this is just one of the many distinguishing characteristics of his fine work, which offers what is easily the most comprehensive single-volume history of the war yet written. Within its pages he offers an account that begins with an examination of the factors that lead to the war and ends with its postwar legacy. Along the way he discusses the war in all of its myriad aspects, from the politics and economics of the conflict to its effects on society and culture. No front is left unexamined, and all of it is integrated into a narrative that moves with considerable fluidity from topic to topic.

The result is a work that is massive in scope yet one that offers an insightful account of the war that defined the 20th century. There is little that escapes his coverage, which is informed throughout by a perspective that will be fresh for many English-language readers of the war. It makes for a book that has set the new standard by which histories of the First World War are judged, and one likely to remain the standard for some time to come.

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review 2018-07-14 23:39
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
The Cabin at the End of the World - Paul Tremblay

Eric and Andrew have taken their daughter Wen to a remote cabin in the woods to, what else, get away from it all. It is in a beautiful, remote spot on a lake. Wen has just turned seven and is enthralled with the world around her and her perspective informs the reader that she is old hat at the adopted with two dads business and completely precious.

Wen is outside when she is approached by a strange man. He's huge, friendly, and Leonard befriends her quickly despite her knowing better. He tells Wen that her daddies are going to have to let him and his friends in, that nothing is going to be her fault, and that her daddies have to help them save the world.

I was captivated by this, make no mistake. But there were elements of this that, while important to the plot, I couldn't accept as a reader. In many ways it was too unrelenting, too dark. An apocalypse novel shouldn't be light, but there was too much left unsaid by the last page for me to get over what had happened and call it fair.

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review 2018-07-13 18:08
4 Out of 5 STARS for this Novella to the Wolf by Wolf Series
Iron to Iron - Ryan Graudin

Taking place before the events of Wolf by Wolf, but should still be read after that book, in my opinion.  A worthwhile read at 104 pages, of which 86% is the actual story, which is fairly good for a novella, usually it's only half that.

 

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Book Cover~ Love it.

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ The AxisTour Route

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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review 2018-07-13 18:08
4.7 Out Of 5 "skin-shifting" STARS
Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) - Ryan Graudin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Blood for Blood

Ryan Graudin

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There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.

 

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Non-spoiler-y review for both books.

 

The narration for this series is fantastic, she does German words and accents with ease, all while staying completely comprehensible.  Yes, even for me.  I highly recommend the Audio version for this series.  Although, the novella Iron to Iron is only available in book format, but well worth the read anyway.

 

An alluring, atmospheric, alternative historical where the Germans and Japanese win WWII.  In the first book Wolf by Wolf, the resistance recruits Yael a skin-shifter (Sounds a bit paranormal-ish…but it's really more like Science Fiction with the way it's done.) to impersonate Adele Wolfe, a racer in the Axis Tour, to assassinate Hitler.  Things end on a cliffhanger and Blood for Blood picks up where the first book leaves off.  From there it's a race of a different kind.  To not only live but follow through on killing the real Hitler.  The writing is captivating and the characters are inspiring.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.2/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ No, not at all.

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Book Cover~ Awesome

Narration~ ☆5☆ for Christa Lewis...so good!

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ Japan & Germany

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-07-12 06:52
Mortal Republic by Edward J. Watts
Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny - Edward Watts

TITLE:  Mortal Republic:  How Rome Fell Into Tyranny

 

AUTHOR:  Edward J. Watts

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  6 November 2018

 

FORMAT:  ARC ebook

 

ISBN-13:  978-0-465-09381-6

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NOTE: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.

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Book Description:

"A new history of the Roman Republic and its collapse.

In Mortal Republic, prizewinning historian Edward J. Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise. By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents. As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets. The stage was set for destructive civil wars--and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus.

The death of Rome's Republic was not inevitable. In Mortal Republic, Watts shows it died because it was allowed to, from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever.
"

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I usually battle to enjoy history books that deal with the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire - they are just too confusing and boring.  THIS book is different.  I actually enjoyed reading it.  The writing is clear and accessible, the subject straightforward, and the relevance of that subject to the current political climate highlighted.  

Mortal Republic covers the Roman Republic period between 280 BC and 27 BC, when the Roman Senate formally granted Octavian overarching power and the new title Augustus, effectively marking the end of the Roman Republic.  This book is not a biography of any particular set of Romans nor is it exclusively a military history.  It does however successfully weave together politics, military, social and biographical details, along with the how and why events occurred and what this meant for the Repbulic in the long term.  
 
In addition to a general history of the Roman Republic, Watts attempts to understand the current political realities of our world by studying what went wrong in the ancient Roman Republic, upon which many modern republics are based.  The author makes evident that serious problems arise from both politicians who disrupt a republic's political norms, and from the citizens who choose not to punish them for doing so.  In the end, Romans came to believe that liberty - political stability and freedom from domestic violence and foreign interference - could only exist in a political entity controlled by one man.  This book explores why one of the longest-existing republics traded the liberty of political autonomy for the security of autocracy.  

I found this book to be enjoyable, well-written and providing a new perspective on an old topic.

 

 

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