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review 2017-10-13 05:57
The Dragon Factory - Jonathan Maberry
Patient Zero - Jonathan Maberry

I kind of can't even handle how ridiculously pulpy this series is so far. Patient Zero pretends to a kind of scientrism, wherein the zombie outbreak our intrepid heroes race to thwart has, like, a modicum of scientific plausibility, I guess. Baltimore cop and chiseled jaw hero Joe Ledger gets tapped by one of those shadowy X filesy governmental organizations to track down a terrorist with a name like The Jackal. The leader of said alphabet soup organization eats cookies as his ominous tic; Joe has to murder a terrorist twice in a week; international pharma phuckers are the absolute worst. Patient Zero is good fun, with lots of kickass and a fullblown zombie outbreak to salve your need for bloodshed. 


But it's The Dragon Factory which really swings for the cheap seats. There's literal Nazis, genetically engineered chimera, Neanderthals, evil albino twins with a side of incest, clones, and more, so much more. SO MUCH MORE. I kept cackling through this novel, unable to believe how fucking bonkers everything was, and just when I got a handle on it, it would get MORE BONKERS. Uff da, I haven't had as much fun with something this silly in a long time. I'm going to read the shit out every single Joe Ledger novel as long as they stay this goofy, 

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review 2017-08-24 00:00
Incest - Christine Angot,Tess Lewis Incest - Christine Angot,Tess Lewis https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/164553574748/incest-by-christine-angot

…A man’s sex penetrates radically. I like what’s radical. Other kinds of penetration are possible, borders, journeys…

Angot begins finally at the three-quarter mark to describe the incest in meeting her father, whom she never previously knew, and then subsequently being charmed by him. Eight days in which she was afforded the chance to know him firsthand as a father, and then as a lover for a time, first with that kiss on the lips and then whatever else Angot chooses to eventually deliver on her page.

…And I’m still a dog and I’m still looking for a master.

Isn’t all good writing some form of obsession, a supersaturation of some pressing demand on our heart and the meaning of our being? Lives riddled by mistakes and insufficient plans. Character studies among the worst of the worst. The insistence to finally get things right. To make of life something more interesting and palatable. Trying on names for things and different ideas. Seeing things in ways others are not susceptible to or aware of. Taking that one step out of line and suffering the consequences. No playing it safe on the sidelines. Decorum saved for our last days and attempts at amendments guaranteed to be forgotten within days of being deceased. A moving on regardless of past promises. Hollow effects falling on deaf ears. There is no cover, Lish said. Charge the fire.

…in Savoie there was a church in the village where all the houses had flagstone roofs, in this church the Stations of the Cross were particularly beautiful and the confessional witnessed my open mouth on my father’s penis, I had to finish him off in the car, he didn’t want to ejaculate in the confessional after all.

Angot claims she does not care what others think of her, or her writing. Her pen must be free of mediation that might control the outcome. She has no agenda, no vengeance on her page, just her freedom of expression. And damn those she says who want a story, or plot and romance without the pain of process it takes in getting to the end. And she claims she will, as desire is the vehicle in which to escape our despair. Angot goes on to say, Tough luck. That is her exacting sentence, and there is no doubt it is she who is speaking.

…Dogs are stupid, you can get them to suck on a plastic bone, and they’re stupid, dogs believe you.

Her needs are rarely met. Meanwhile she licks and sucks and fucks whomever needs it. And then creates entire books about the subject and her behavior. Angot is popular in France and widely read. She is controversial, at times sued, and in spite of it wins the occasional award judged for important writing. But she often feels despicable while unable to do anything about this feeling. Similar to the trap she is unable to escape from. And yet I do sympathize with her, still wanting her to indulge herself in every profane act imaginable. I want her dutifully soiled by her own making and then have the courage to write about it. It is Angot’s chosen way to redemption in her search for satisfaction on the page. It is her perpetual hunger unassuaged and a monster in the making.
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review 2016-10-16 14:41
Ghost by Candace Blevins
Ghost (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club) (Volume 8) - Candace Blevins
Ghost (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club Book 8)Ghost by Candace Blevins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has so much going on at times I felt I needed to re-read something because I couldn't believe what I read the first time. Ghost's father had married Hailey’s mother when he was eleven and she was eight then the day after he graduated high school Darnell took his son and left Hailey and Aggie behind, that was six years ago and they just ran into one another for the first time and let me tell you was that a shock and a half for both of them. Hailey is a strong female that had to do what she had to do in order to survive, she doesn't regret her choices but at times she is embarrassed about them. Ghost (aka Dare) was always a mysterious person in the other RTMC books, he was around in the background and doing things that needed to be done but we never really got to know him until now, and WOW there is a lot going on with him. Likeable, loveable, thoughtful, considerate, kind are a few of words you wouldn't associate with a bad boy biker but that is exactly what Dare is.

I don't want to give to much away but I have to say that, just when you think the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club has all types of supernaturals as brothers and sisters of the club Candace Blevins goes and throws in a hybrid! Yep! a paranormal super-being that you have never seen before and oh boy the hoops you have to jump through to get the Concilio to allow you to go on and be a part of society, it's crazy!

The last third of the book had me wondering a lot of things, first and foremost will there be a time where we see these characters down the line when they are suppose to be old and gray but need to start over in a new place because certain paranormal species do not age and live for a very, very long time.

This was a great addition to the series and if you have read any of Candace Blevins's books you know the sex is HAWT, although it's not as plentiful in this book, the story was a good one that will keep your attention and to tell you the truth I didn't miss the overabundance of sex because the story was so engrossing I hadn't even realized it until I finished the entire book.

Ghost (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club Book 8) by Candace Blevins
Ghost (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club Book 8) by Candace Blevins
Ghost (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club Book 8) by Candace Blevins

**I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book given to me by the author**
Nadine's ARC image

View all my reviews


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review 2016-08-06 21:16
Amnesia Labyrinth (manga, vol. 1) story by Nagaru Tanigawa, art by Natsumi Kohane, translation by Nan Rymer
Amnesia Labyrinth, Vol. 1 - Natsumi Kohane,Nagaru Tanigawa

I'll start by saying that the description on the back of the volume contains several incorrect statements. There is no evidence that Souji's sisters' clingy behavior is anything new. Also, I don't know if Souji and Yukako start dating in the next volume, but Yukako is not Souji's new girlfriend in this one. Now, on to my description.

Souji is a high school student who left his family home some time ago. He had hoped never to return, but sometimes we don't get what we want. At any rate, his three sisters are thrilled he's back. Harumi, his stepsister, is sweet and quiet and clearly has a crush on him. The real problems, though, are Youko and Saki. Youko is Souji's full sister. She possibly has a split personality, and she's certainly a vaguely malevolent presence in the household, glaring daggers at Souji even as she cuddles up to him in a more than sisterly sort of way. Saki is the daughter of Souji's father and Souji's father's mistress. She works as one of the family's maids and, when the other sisters aren't around, sleeps with Souji. And possibly also Kazushi, Souji's older brother. Kazushi, meanwhile, may be lurking somewhere nearby.

At school, Souji instantly comes to the attention of Yukako, the self-proclaimed sole member of the student council's “Intelligence Committee.” It's Yukako who tells Souji of the three murders that occurred at the end of the summer, shortly before he arrived. The school's smartest student was stabbed. After that came the track team's star runner, also stabbed. Then the student council president was pushed in front of a train. Yukako wants to know why the killer chose those particular victims, especially since she had a crush on the student council president. She basically forces Souji to join her, but Souji secretly thinks he knows who was responsible: Youko, his sister.

I think I picked this volume up in the clearance section during a used book shopping trip. I wasn't aware, at the time, that this was only a 2-volume series. It wouldn't be hard for me to either buy the second volume or get it via interlibrary loan, but...I don't know that I want to. Even that small amount of effort feels like too much.

This series' vibe reminds me of When They Cry, only with added incest and less playing around with tropes. Souji is a boring blank slate. He's supposedly good at everything – a star athlete, top student, handsome enough that all the girls fall for him (including all of his sisters) – but if Yukako hadn't repeatedly said how awesome he was, I'd have guessed he was a stereotypical loner geek with no friends and creepily affectionate sisters.

The creepy sisters thing was apparent right from the start, although the only one who seemed to genuinely creep Souji out was Youko. He took Harumi's devotion in a stride and saw it as destiny that he and Saki regularly slept together. I had a feeling he would have easily accepted Youko's habit of draping herself on him all the time if she hadn't also radiated hostility. The first time readers saw her, she was standing at the other end of a dark room, glaring at Souji. Also, when she unexpectedly visited Souji's school, Souji could sense her presence well before he saw her, in the form of a chill running down his spine.

This first volume was jam-packed with mysterious elements: Souji's gross relationship with his sisters, the murders, the hints that Souji's older brother was lurking somewhere in the background but refusing to reveal himself, Souji's reason for leaving in the first place, the possible references to “other selves” (either other personalities or doppelgangers), and the hints that Souji and/or Youko and Saki had previously killed someone.

I'm just not sure I have it in me to care. Souji was a boring guy who only got involved in the murder investigation because Yukako dragged him into it, and his relationship with his sisters was extremely off-putting. The storytelling was sloppy and unfocused, especially for something that was going to wrap up in only one more volume. And I shouldn't have to find out the answers to certain questions, like “why does Saki work as a maid in the family's household?”, by reading the character profiles.


  • Character profiles for Youko, Saki, Harumi, Souji, and Yukako.
  • A brief message from the author that makes this entire project sound like a mess from the very start. Apparently Amnesia Labyrinth started off as a story idea that Tanigawa couldn't figure out how to turn into a full novel. Or even a 2-volume manga series: “Although an overall plot does exist for this story, when everything was said and done, I sort of ran out of things to write, and therefore I admit there are a number of lazy, phantom passages scattered throughout.” Who includes a note like that in something they're hoping strangers will buy? On the plus side, it makes me more confident about my decision not to continue on with the series.
  • A one-page note from the character designer, of all people. Why the character designer and not the illustrator? And why did the series have both a character designer and an illustrator?
  • Translation notes for a few terms, the most important one being “yogare,” which is probably the key to understanding what's going on with Souji's sister, and maybe Souji himself. Perhaps Souji's older brother, who looks an awful lot like an evil version of Souji, is really his doppelganger?
  • A 12-page preview of Gunslinger Girl.


(Original review, including read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-04-28 21:21
Everyone deserves better than this
Blackout - Mira Grant

I said about Deadline that Shaun deserves better. In here, it's all about Shaun and his pain and frankly, all of the After The End Times deserves better. Everyone else's pain was pushed aside and Georgia's journalistic guilt crisis seemed to come out of nowhere.


I didn't mind the—I meant it about the spoiler tag—incest revelation and I was kind of expecting it after Shaun said in his book that "sex hadn't been a thing in post-George world" (paraphrasing) or before that if we're honest. I did mind the throwaway line about George and Shaun getting DNA tests before to make sure, as if that'd make it okay. They're still breaking the taboo—as George acknowledges—but the only way their DNA matters is if they're planning on procreating. And neither of the adopted Masons strikes me the kind of a character interested in cribs or midnight feedings.


I minded missing the emotional beats in the character arcs and focusing on the governmental crisis that fell on its arse like a clown in a circus. Except with less practiced grace.


As for the narrators. Paula Christensen continued to be brilliant and Michael Goldstrom was not. Well, he wasn't bad but I liked Deadline's Chris Patton better and Goldstrom's voice just wasn't right for Shaun.


P.S. I was eyeing the Newsflesh novella: Countdown, but I'm not anymore.

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