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review 2017-10-07 06:31
Shadows of Sherwood
Shadows of Sherwood (Robyn Hoodlum) - Kekla Magoon

 

The sing on the fence said BEWARE OF DOGS.

- first sentence

 

Robyn was the sort of girl who knew not only how many teeth a bulldog had, but also exactly what to do to get a bulldog on her good side.

Chapter 2

 

Robyn had always been the sort of girl who enjoyed breaking the rules. She was almost never where she was supposed to be.

- Chapter 4

 

When Robyn's parents are taken, she is thrust into a world she didn't even know existed. People are suffering and the government is corrupt. Robyn tries to find ways to help people and to thwart the government when she can. She is a strong girl and yet terrified of what happened to her parents. She finds friends, learns how to trust people, and tries to make a difference.

 

This a reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Robyn lives in Nott City in her home, Loxley Manor. The counties that surround her home are Sherwood, Nottingham, Excelsior, and Block Six. Robyn and her friends form a band that steals medicine and food from the government and distributes it to the poor.

 

The story is fun, imaginative, and full of adventure. Even though Robyn is strong-willed and independent, she also has doubts about herself and the wisdom of what she is doing.  This a great book for middle readers. I am definitely going to read the sequels. :)

 

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review 2017-10-04 01:00
Good Stories and Characters
The Heiress Brides - Pamela Sherwood The Heiress Brides - Pamela Sherwood

This was a book that contained two novellas that are related to the author’s other novels. Because of that, I wasn’t sure if I’d like them. I’m not too big on novellas and I wasn’t sure if I would be missing something by not reading the books these stories were related to. However, they were both cute and enjoyable to read. I didn’t feel lost and read through them pretty quickly. I recommend.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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url 2017-08-14 18:25
Going Rogue! Free range reading ... nominate and vote any book for the Sept. thru 2018 books the booklikes TOR ebook club will be reading
Tor.com Publishing's 2017 Hugo Finalist Bundle - Carrie Vaughn,Kij Johnson,Victor LaValle,Nina Allan,Seanan McGuire,Fran Wilde,Kai Ashante Wilson,N.K. Jemisin,Alyssa Wong
Dark Run - Mike Brooks
The Adventures of Little Fuzzy: From the Original Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper - Benson Parker,H. Beam Piper,Michael Whelan,David Wenzel
The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
All Systems Red - Martha Wells
We Will Destroy Your Planet: An Alien's Guide to Conquering the Earth (Dark) - David McIntee
Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb
The Quiet War - Paul J. McAuley
The Phoenix in Flight - Sherwood Smith,Dave Trowbridge
Alien Tango - Gini Koch

With TOR putting their monthly ebook freebie program on hold, our booklikes bookclub is going rogue, off the grid, off schedule, free range ... nominate and vote for any books that might be remotely suited for TOR (speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction ...).

 

Above, I displayed some of the currently nominated ones; visit the link and scroll down to nominate, vote and edit your voting. (Or click the "Next Books" tab in the bookclub if you lose this post/link.)

 

Books with most votes will be our September book, the next most likley the October book  (will look at current voting in case that changes during September) ..

 

Vote for as many as you like. Nominating a book automatically votes for it. If you click "Remove" that will remove your vote, not the book.

Source: booklikes.com/book-clubs/next/88/tor-monthly-free-ebook-science-fiction-and-fantasy
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review 2017-04-18 21:23
A marmite collection of unique characters and stories.
Homesick for Another World: Stories - Ottessa Moshfegh

Thanks to NetGalley and to Vintage for offering me an ARC copy of this collection that I voluntarily chose to review.

I read Moshfegh’s novel Eileen (nominated for the Booker Prize, read my review here), admired it (perhaps liking it is not the right way to describe it) and I was curious to read more by the same author.  When I saw this book on offer I took the chance.

This collection of short-stories does reinforce some of the thoughts I had about Eileen. Ottessa Moshfegh can write, for sure. If the stories in this collection have anything in common, apart from the quality of the writing, is the type of characters. They all (or most) are lonely, only a few are likeable (they can all be liked, but that’s not what I mean) and easy to relate to, they often have disgusting habits (although I suspect that if our lives were put under a microscope and every last little detail was looked at and written down we might not look very pretty either), and are lost. The characters made me think of Sherwood Anderson and Flannery O’Connor (not the style of writing, though): those people who don’t seem to fit anywhere and are utterly peculiar, although many of the characters in the stories are only peculiar because we get a peep into their brains. One gets the sense that they would appear pretty normal from the outside. A man who lives alone at home, watching telly, and is friendly with the girl living next door. A Maths’ teacher, divorced, who might cheat on the students’ exams. A Yale graduate, who does not know what to do with his life, spends too much money on clothes and gets infatuated with a woman he only met briefly once. A couple of children, twins, telling each other stories. An aspiring actor who can’t get any acting jobs.

Of course, there are other things we discover. The man seems to have a strange interest in the girl next door. The Maths’ teacher drinks so much she keeps a sleeping bag at the school (well, it’s really a room in a church) so she can lie down between classes. The graduate has to sell his clothes in a desperate attempt to get the attention of the woman he is mad about. One of the twins is planning to kill a man. The aspiring actor doesn’t know who Scorsese is (or much about anything) and can’t even kiss a girl on camera. The author digs deep into the characters’ façade and pulls a distorted mirror to them, that like in caricature drawings, emphasises the weirdest characteristics rather than what might make them seem ‘normal’ because normal is a construct after all.

Not many of these stories would fit comfortably into standard definitions of what a short story is supposed to be like. If the author pushes the boundaries with her choice of characters and her descriptions (a lot of them have acne that they squeeze, they are sick or make themselves sick, their bodily functions are described in detail, and some are … well, let’s say ‘alternative’) she does the same with the stories. Quite a few of them seem to be slices of life rather than stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. There are some that have more of a conventional ending (even if it is open ended), but plenty do not and it is up to the reader to decide what, if anything, to make of them. If I had to choose and extract something from the stories (not a lesson as such, but a reflection of sorts) is that perhaps the only characters who end up in a better place or experiencing some sort of happiness (or contentment) are those who don’t try to live up to anybody’s expectations and accept what might appear to be strange alliances and relationships. But perhaps it is just that those are the stories that have stuck more in my head.

Reading the comments, this collection, much like Eileen, is a marmite book. Some people really love it and some hate it with a passion. As I said, the writing is excellent, but you’ll need to have a strong stomach and not mind detailed descriptions of bodily functions and less than flattering individuals (nobody is tall, dark and handsome here, although some characters believe they are). Although many of the stories might feel dispiriting and depressing, this depends on the point of view of the reader and there are very witty lines and funny (but dark) moments.

Here some examples:

‘Oh, okay, there were a few fine times. One day I went to the park and watched a squirrel run up a tree. A cloud flew around the sky.’

‘I had a thing about fat people. It was the same thing I had about skinny people: I hated their guts.’

‘Her face was pinched, as though she’d just smelled someone farting. It was that look of revulsion that awoke something in me. She made me want to be a better man.’

In sum, I wouldn’t dare to recommend this book to everybody, by a long stretch, but if you want to check great writing, have a strong stomach, and don’t mind strange and not always likeable characters and unconventional stories, dare to read on. It will be an utterly unique experience.

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review 2017-04-14 01:20
I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!!!
Home Fires - Kate Sherwood

This was it, the final book in Kate Sherwood's series 'Common Law' and it was perfect. Did I finally get my sexy times...yeah, there wasn't a lot of them but what there was I loved. But more importantly than that these guys got their HEA! and so did I.

 

Like the previous books in this series there was action...seriously Wade went to the toy store and came back with 'blow shit-up' toys...how sexy is that. Sorry, I have a weak spot for men who can blow shit up...I'm a 'Die Hard' fan...so sue me ;)

 

Each of these books has contained a different story and I loved that because it kept things from getting too drawn out and reaching that point...you know the one...come on I can't be the only one that sat in theater yelling..."Throw the damned ring Frodo, just throw the ring." So while we had the same MCs in each book we had a whole new series of events and weren't kept waiting for answers, so in fact no cliffhangers. Each book was a self contained story. But this one...this one was definitely my favorite. There was drama and action...and did I mention shit got blown up...mmm...I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

 

Definitely one of my favorite things about this series was the relationship between Wade and Jericho. It was neither easy nor perfect and there were times that things were definitely one step forward and 3 steps back which only seemed right given that these men stand on opposite sides of the law. I loved the banter between Wade and Jericho and needless to say with each subsequent it just got better and better.  I have to admit I'm sorry to see this come to an end. 

 

While the series stands complete as it is the epilogue does leave room for the author to revisit the lives of Wade and Jericho something that I would love to see happen. While I wouldn't list any one book as an all time favorite for this year I can easily see that the series in it's entirety will remain a favorite for me.

 

********************

An ARC of "Home Fires" was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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