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review 2017-07-21 03:28
The Lying Game: A Novel - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

The premise of high school girls making up a game of lying and hiding a suicide as their last and final lie really held my interest in this book. 

Years after the suicide and after the girls had left school, started living their adult lives, some married with children and some just trying to make it. Three of the girls receive a text from the fourth girl in the pact: "I need you". With this being known very early in the book without any background whatsoever of these girls and their past, I was immediately intrigued. 

The narrator focuses, for the most part, on Isa, who at times becomes the narrator. Her instant response to that text has her grabbing up her six month child, packing some things and catching a train. Leaving her husband dumbfounded and questioning. Another reason for my interest in this story.

Yes, I was hooked at the beginning and never lost interest. A story filled with intrigue, suspense, deception, and secrets that have been hidden for a long time. Definitely unputdownable and entertaining. 

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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text 2017-07-17 21:25
Booklikes-opoly: July 17th

I should probably start thinking about a new computer, but it seems to be holding up so far. I've had it on for a couple hours and it hasn't spontaneously blacked out, so that's good. We'll see if I can convince it to properly go to sleep in a bit.

 

Anyway, books finished so far:

 

An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole  Decision at Doona - Anne McCaffrey  Redshirts - John Scalzi   

Baccano!, Vol. 1: The Rolling Bootlegs - Ryohgo NaritaAgainst the Paw - Diane Kelly  Star Surgeon - James White   

 Salamandastron - Brian JacquesThe Friday Society - Adrienne Kress  Jewels of the Sun - Nora Roberts  

The Edge of the Abyss - Emily Skrutskie The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku - Yunagi,cosMo@BousouP,Muya Agami  The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes  

 

Dice roll: No screen shot since I did it on my phone a few hours earlier, but I rolled a 5 and a 3 for a total of 8.

 

I was at Water Works, so this puts me at Paradise Pier 30.

 

 

I took a look at the GR pages for several books I thought might be tagged "suspense," but the closest they came was "thriller." I wasn't sure if that counted, so I went with the page number aspect instead. I'm now reading The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan, which is 574 pages if you don't count the excerpt for the next book at the end.

 

The Dinosaur Lords - Victor Milán 

 

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review 2017-07-17 20:05
Turing's Imitation Game
Turing's Imitation Game: Conversations with the Unknown - Kevin Warwick,Huma Shah

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

That was an informative, albeit also controversial, read about Turing’s ‘Imitation Game’, focused on the game itself rather than on the man (who I like reading about in general, but here I was definitely more interested in his famous ‘test’, since I keep hearing about it, but never in much detail). It sheds light on Turing’s aim when devising the test, as well as on what he predicted, and that may or may not happen sooner than expected.

Several sections in the book are devoted to examples of studies and events during which the test took place, pitching human judges against both machines and other human beings, without the former knowing what or who the latter was. Actual, textual examples allow the reader to try and make their own judgment—and determining where the machines are is not so easy as it seems. I was accurate in my guesses except but once, I think, however I can see where judges were ‘fooled’, and why. At other times, I was surprised at the outcome, for instance quite a few human participants made ‘boring’ answers to conversations, which in turn prompted judges to believe they were talking to a machine—and conversely, some AIs were clearly programmed with a variety of lively potential responses. Eugene Goostman, especially, with its persona of a 13-year old Ukrainian boy whose English is only second language, has good potential (in that you can tell some of its/his answers are stilted, but not more than if it/he was an actual learner of ESOL).

The test as a whole posits several interesting questions and conundrums. Namely, the fact that it’s based on language, and that one may wonder whether being able to converse means one is gifted with ‘thought’. Another one is whether the test as it exists can really be used as a marker: aren’t the various chatbots/AIs out there simply well-programmed, but in no way indicative of whether they’ll be able to go further than that?

Also, I’m not sure I can agree with the 2014 ‘the Turing test has been passed’ result, as it seems to me the percentage is too low to warrant such a qualifier (if 90% of judges were fooled in believing they were conversing with a human, now that’d be something else... or am I aiming too high?), and it’s too early anyway for the current AIs to have been developed far enough (as fascinating as some of their conversations were, they still looked much more like complex chatbots than anything else—at least, to me).

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. I did learn quite a few things no matter what.

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review 2017-07-17 15:56
A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly

 

This time around Charlie Parker is hired to look into the disappearance of Jaycob Eklund. Jaycob is a P.I. that has mysteriously vanished while investigating the history of a group named The Brethren. Louis and Angel get involved and the Collector and his aging father do as well. What FUN!

 

FBI Agent Edgar Ross is the man who hires Charlie and I still don't trust him or his motives. He won't even tell Charlie why he's searching for Eklund. I'm not sure where Mr. Connolly is going with this relationship, but I have a bad feeling about it, for sure.

 

Louis and Angel trade insults as always, but in this book their love became a little more real to me. You'll see why if you read it. (You SHOULD read it!)

 

Also playing a part in this volume are Rachel and Sam, Charlie's ex-girlfriend and (living) daughter, respectively. Rachel, understandably, is still angry and upset after what happened to Sam in the last book and is now taking legal steps regarding Sam's custody. Trusty Moxie, Charlie's lawyer, is on the case. Unfortunately, Rachel doesn't ask Sam how she feels about all this, but Sam makes her feelings known-in a way that is uniquely her own.

 

I loved this book! I believe I am seeing the beginning of the end, off in the distance, and that makes me sad. However, I am hoping that perhaps the series will continue in some other form, I

am hoping for an entire new series featuring Sam and her insane capabilities.

(spoiler show)

But if I don't get I will still be happy, because I believe that the Charlie Parker books have become the best ongoing series out there, bar none. They are consistently interesting, well written and just plain fun-and considering how dark some of them are, that's quite a feat!

 

I love Charlie, Louis and Angel and I love YOU, John Connolly! I can't wait to see what happens next! I highly recommend A Game of Ghosts to fans of the series, and to new fans, (but I strongly suggest you read them in order.)

 

*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-16 12:34
Game, Set and Murder
Game, Set and Murder: A Mystery For Di Costello - Elizabeth Flynn

Petar Belic raised his racquet high in the air, his body arched back in the service motion recognizable to thousands of tennis fans around the world. His long, evenly tanned legs stretched upwards taking his feet off the ground. The sun glinted on his gold bracelet as his arm came over his head. His opponent had just enough time to register that it was going to be a smash as the racquet bore down. A nanosecond later the ball whizzed past him in a fluorescent yellow blur, crashed onto the service line and bounced out of court.

Oh, this book had so much promise...and then it caught the net a few times and slowly double-faulted its way to end. No tie break, no deuce, it just fizzled out.

 

I'm sorry, I just had to. It's the Wimbledon finals weekend and this book was just so lame. The only other thing more disappointing this morning was that my tv (or rather my freesat box) kicked the bucket - which means I have an hour to find a new one or watch the men's final at either a friends or at the tennis club...

 

Back to the book: the writing was lame, there was no atmosphere, and the D.I. dealing with the case was new in the job and pandered to constant patronising by her colleagues. Blergh.

 

What was the point that killed it off completely was the pretty huge mistake at the very end of the book where the solution is presented.

 

Stealing a diabetic's insulin will not give them a hypo. Pretty much the reverse actually. Diabetic coma induced by skyrocketing bloodsugar levels perhaps, but not a hypo.

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