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review 2018-01-17 03:26
Creepy premise that pushes the edge of kid-appropriate horror
Shadow Weaver - MarcyKate Connolly

Disclaimer: reviewing uncorrected digital proof via NetGalley

 

This story had some really interesting ideas but didn't hold my attention as well as I'd have liked. The relationship between the main character and her shadow (invisible friend?) is interesting, unique, and offers some unusual opportunities to show a story from a very interior perspective. I really liked the setup and premise. Adult readers will very quickly pick up on the fact that the shadow is a rather suspicious character, but if kids take a little longer to clue in, it still shapes up a nicely creepy, ominous and dark fantasy/horror-lite atmosphere. The setting is that vaguely Medieval Europe-ish world of stone manors/castles and rural cottages, which is a draw for some readers, but tends to be a little light on worldbuilding because it relies on familiar tropes.

 

The threats that launch the adventure felt unlikely; I just didn't buy into the parents' nastiness or the risk of kidnapping by enemy agents. Other child characters were handled well (kids with powers/light-magic boy & power-radar girl) but adults faded into the background. Which, to a certain degree, is fine in kidlit, because the story has to be driven by the child characters, but I felt like it stole some of the intensity, depth, and motivation from the story. As the first book in a series, it seems to be setting things up, without high enough stakes or a shocking enough reveal for my taste. However, an age-appropriate reader might not have the same reaction, and would probably experience the atmosphere and threats as more creepy. 

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review 2018-01-16 21:34
Broken Circle (Sirius Wolves #2) by Victoria Sue
Broken Circle - Victoria Sue

Took some notes while reading. Reporting back:


- The first 10% of the book is all about child birth. Not sure what's with refusing painkillers during 14+ hours of painful misery. I would rather be ready and alert for my babies and enjoy the experience. But to each its own. Not judging, just saying those 10% did feel like 14 hours.

 

- What I wanted when I started this installment was the evil doctor to come back. What I got was a hormonal gamma. like uber hormonal. 

However, Paul hinted that there is hope yet! Abuse and torture and not a drop of epidural in sight! =)

 

- The second case of TSTL kicks in around 40%. I am disappointed. It takes away from pain and torture because - honestly - it's self inflicted :/ Someone needs to put a leash on Aden and lock him in a cage for his own safety. Oh, wait! The good doctor, it seems, is the one with the right ideas!

 

- Nate is "innocent"! Hahaha, good one! Almost killed one person, and intentionally at that, then shot and killed another, conspired with the worst most evil doctor evah, not to mention that shady business with his own mother, and yet he is "innocent". I am about to die laughing here!

 

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review 2018-01-16 03:43
Locked In Silence (Pelican Bay #1) by Sloane Kennedy
Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, Book 1) - Sloane Kennedy

I really loved this book up until 60%, where I started to feel like the author is trying to inflict as much pain and suffering on the MCs as possible without introducing actual physical torture. Oh, wait, there was that bear! :( Anyway, I would have done just fine with all of that if it wasn't for the finale. Everything, and I mean - e-veh-ry-thing - bent and twisted and in the end righted itself, short of resurrecting dead people. 

And so, while I enjoyed most of the book immensely and even got some perverted satisfaction out of the too-good-to-be-true ending, I can't give it more than 3.5 stars. Which way to go tho, which way to go? 

Ahhh, hell, I did read it well into the night, so - 4 stars in the end.

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review 2018-01-15 02:01
Beloved 2: A Yaoi Fairytale (Beloved, #2) by Amelita Rae
Into His Arms: A Yaoi Merman Fairytale (Beloved Book 2) - Amelita Rae,Skyler Thacmis

Too much sex. Too much sweetness. Foot fetish sweetness. Mpreg sweetness. Little mermaid/boy sweetness. Babies sweetness.... Too. Much. Sugar!

Bleach Lysterin for my eyes!!!!

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review 2018-01-14 19:38
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson,Judith Gwyn Brown

I know for a fact I read this book in elementary school, but I didn't remember anything about it. It turns out The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is about how the Herdmans, a gang of ill-bred ruffian poor children, hijack the Christmas play at Church because they thought there would be food, and they end up teaching everyone in town the lesson that.....they have feelings? I think that's it. It was marvelous.

The narrative, from the perspective of the daughter of the woman who ends up having to direct the pageant, is deadpan and with the humor mostly being carried by the dialogue between her parents and a lengthy segment where the hard-bitten urchins are disgusted by the treatment Mary and Joseph receive in Bethlehem and the poor quality of gifts offered by the wise men.

The humor is great, but there is a core of genuine sympathy in the book. Robinson cleverly cuts through all of the 'expected' traditions and finds a way to express the, yes I'm going to say it, the true meaning of Christmas. There isn't much resolution, but it does raise many questions, which can be a good thing when one enters into the dicey territory of Christmas fodder. This is a quick read for Christmas day and can be supplemented by the 1983 television special.

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