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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.

Extras:

  • 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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review 2016-04-08 01:51
Book 25/100: House of Incest by Anais Nin
House of Incest - Anaïs Nin,Val Telberg

Around the Year Reading Challenge Item #8: A Classic Book with Less than 200 Pages

I don't remember what made me want to read this book in the first place; I just remember having a vague sense about 10 years ago that I should read some Anais Nin. So, now I have!

And I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Not the writing itself -- Nin's writing is evocative and gorgeous. I'm just not sure about the use to which it was put here. What DID I just read a couple weeks ago? A prose poem? A novella? A lot of intriguing imagery, but mostly it was like reading a dream. I didn't feel up for diving in to a full analysis to make it make sense. Instead, it just made me want to read some of Nin's journals -- to have that same talented writer's voice applied to something that I might actually be able to understand.

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review 2015-09-30 14:22
The Alchemist’s Memory - Katie Gatto

This book really feels disjointed. The protagonist, Callia, seems to flip-flop on if she hates her brother or if she doesn't and in one scene goes to kill him only "Nope", and of course he gets the upper hand.

 

The whole book is about her brother controlling her and she more or less dances to his tune even though it's said she doesn't want to or won't. Trigger warning for incest and the brother wants her romantically and is of course the jealous type.

The story also seems to start out in the most random place, with her in the woods having fallen or something? It never really gets explained and a large portion of this book is never explaining things. Also the world building is non-existant. There are just names of people and about two places mentioned. It's not even explained how the king had usurped anyone in the first place or what he had done to deserved to be re-ursurped.

 

Overall it lacks a lot of world building and characterization. Not only that it just seems to end. More or less on a cliffhanger and considering how short it is. It really could have used more.

 

Not to mention the casual misogyny of "I'm not like those other fluff headed girls" when she's talking about the count. The constant controlling of Callia by her brother and her more or less liking it? Not liking it? Being a confused woman the whole time.

 

Another thing was that this was hard to read as the MOBI I got was double spaced and it had huge margins making it look more like poetry (it's not). I had to convert it to a better spaced EPUB. Other technical things in the book are a lot of typos. Mixed names, such as Erdan supposed to be speaking but it's attributed to Drew. Mixed genders, Drew is referred to by 'she' when he has up until this point be 'he' and afterwards is 'he'. Some words that are mixed, 'and' instead of 'an'. Some words that are missing, such as '..he had gone' and there's only 'had gone' and it really needed the 'he' there.

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