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review 2018-04-20 00:53
Sharpe's Trafalgar by Bernard Cornwell
Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell

Series: Sharpe #4 (Chronological Order)

 

This book started off quite strong, and I was initially enjoying Sharpe at sea (not his usual environment), but I felt things went downhill somewhat when we left the Calliope with its amusing merchant. I also didn't find the sea battle at Trafalgar to be as interesting as the battles in the previous books. Oh well. Let's hope I like the next one better!

 

Previous updates:

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review 2018-04-19 03:21
Wingmen (Audiobook)
Wingmen - Ensan Case

First thing's first: this is NOT a romance, so anyone reading this as a romance is going to be very disappointed. This is a war story with some romantic elements, but those elements make up a very small percentage of page time. Really, it's more  a story of a squadron of pilots, focusing on three of the men, two of whom just happen to be gay and start a relationship with each other, but for the most part that relationship is between the lines. 

 

HOWEVER, all that said, I still really enjoyed the story. I could tell that a lot of research went into this. The lingo, the fight scenes, the war diary, the protocols - I can't attest to how accurate anything is but it sure sounds legit. (Though the military lingo was a little too much at times. I even had to go back and relisten to the first few chapters because I was losing the thread of the story. Once I got used to it though, the story flowed well.) I thought many times while watching that this would make a great war movie, perhaps directed by Ron Howard, and I would've liked for the story to keep going after

Fred gets hurt and discharged

(spoiler show)

since I wasn't invested in the relationship as much as I was the squadron as a whole. So the ending felt a little anti-climatic. The epilogue covered about twenty-five years after the war's end, highlighting the major events in Fred and Jack's lives together. But even though this isn't a romance,

I was still disappointed this wasn't an HEA for them, since it ends with Jack's death by heart attack.

(spoiler show)

 

Keeping in mind this was originally written in 1979, it's no surprise then that this is not the gay-ok revisionist history that you get in too many m/m romances today. I get why people want their protags to be happy, but I always feel like it disrespects the men (and women) who had to live through those times. I really did like that aspect of it, and just the fact that this was published when it was is an example of all those little steps over the decades that brought us to where we are today. 

 

The narrator does a good job, though I wished he'd made the voices a little more distinctive. My issues with the audiobook isn't because of him though. The editing was less than stellar. I lost track of how many times sentences were repeated, but it was easily over a dozen. This should've been caught before it was released and since I've had experience with this from Audible before, I doubt it's going to be fixed any time soon.

 

I do recommend this one if you're a WWII buff and enjoy action/adventure stories, but readers wanting Romance (™) should look elsewhere.

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review 2018-04-18 02:53
Tough as They Come by Travis Mills

 

In 2012, Staff Sargent Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne Division put his back pack down in the worst possible place he could in Afghanistan. That's all it takes to set off the IED which robs him of three, and ultimately all four, of his limbs. He is only one of five soldiers to survive such horrific injuries.

 

But as this book shows, his backpack was also placed in exactly the right place. For as much as Satanic hatred tried to destroy his body and spirit, it did not succeed. It could not. In the great darkness that comes from overwhelming physical and emotional pain, it can only serve to highlight the light that comes from the human ability to bear the unbearable and shine out all the brighter and be seen all the clearer because of the darkness. Because Travis went through the night, cheered and strengthened by one who came to him who had already come back through the black into the light, he serves as a light to others. If he had not gone through hell, he could not show others the way out. Click on the link for the great work this inspired. Certainly not the enemy intended! The darkness wishes to devour us all, but it cannot if we look to such examples as Travis and see the black night rent by their light.

 

Rock on, Travis, and all your brothers who serve as inspirations. God bless you all.

 

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review 2018-04-17 23:55
Solitary by Giora Romm

 

Ace Israeli fighter pilot, Giora Romm, vividly recalls the harrowing time his plane was shot down over Egypt in 1969 and the terrible months he spent as a prisoner-of-war. Despair ever glared down at the seriously injured young man and pierced him at times with its claws, but it could not destroy him.

 

He thought the memories of his terrible time would easily fade, but this volume is a testament they remain indelibly etched into him - as does the resilience of the human spirit to endure the unendurable and triumph. As violent and powerful hate is, it is weaker compared to the strength of the heart. I recommend this book, told in the first person by Giora and with some humor too within the darkness.

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text 2018-04-17 18:06
Reading progress update: I've read 36%.
Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell

Farley (the merchant), addressing his wife:

'You ate worse than this when we were first married, mother.'

'I cooked for you when we were first married!' she answered indignantly.

'You think I've forgotten?' Fairley asked, then spooned another mouthful of burgoo.

Yeah, it's a bit of a cheap shot, but I still think it's funny.

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