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review 2018-06-19 03:34
A Gripping, Fast Read about a Would-Be Murderess
Go Home, Afton - Brent D. Jones

I have some potentially, slightly spoilerly thoughts in paragraph #9. Feel free to skip that, to help, I'll write my conclusion first and then add that on as a post-script of sorts. Deal? Okay here we go:

 

I learned over time that the murderess without blood on her hands has a lot in common with a heroin-addicted streetwalker. Both crave a fix, and both are willing to do just about anything to get one. And the longer she has to wait, the more dangerous and erratic her behavior becomes.

 

Afton Morrison, our narrator, has a problem -- she has this drive to kill someone. Multiple someones, actually. She's not a female take on John Wayne Cleaver, though. She's really at peace with the idea (as much as you can be). She wants her targets to be deserving (in a Dexter kind of way), and she wants to get away clean, so she can do it again. This isn't your typical take on a Children's Librarian from a small town public library, but, hey -- maybe it should be. She's found her first victim, follows him, knows his habits, is sure he's the right guy and is all set to make her move. . . but can't seem to find him when the time comes.

 

Meanwhile, she's got to play supportive and attentive little sister to her brother who's having trouble with his love life. She's an unwilling mentor to a would-be over-achieving high school student. Plus, Afton's finding herself with new and unexpected interpersonal connections -- none of which she has time for, because he's got to go kill a man. As soon as she finds him.

 

Also, other complications ensue -- Afton may have a well-conceived plan, but she's going to have a really hard time sticking to it once other people get involved.

 

I like Afton -- as much as you can like someone like her. Her brother's great, ditto for all the other complications in her life -- good characters, and (generally) good people. I hope we can find out more about Afton and most of the secondary characters (there's a couple I'll ignore for now for spoiler reasons).

 

The writing could be tightened up a little bit. A couple of errors fixed -- and I'm going off of an ARC, it's possible they will be in time for the publication. I think some of the language used by a some of the characters (see Peter, a fellow librarian, in particular) goes over the line -- he can be a creep, but when you make him that much of a creep, he becomes a liability. "Can we just spend time with the would-be murderess? I don't feel quite so dirty reading about her." But on the whole, the storytelling itself is strong enough that it makes up for whatever deficiencies one may find in the text.

 

A personal note to Mr. Jones: If you don't stick to your schedule on the following installments, so I have to wait to find out what happens, I'll...I'll, I dunno. Tweet nasty things about your mother. Just sayin' -- I need to find out.

 

A fast, fast read that grabbed me from the first chapter and wouldn't let me go until the end. And even then, it left me wanting more -- soon. Thankfully, Jones has his 4-part series scheduled to wrap up this October. Go Home, Afton is as entertaining as it is intriguing with a protagonist you want to get to know better (even if she's someone you'd like to see locked up in a treatment facility for at least a few years).

 

So, Afton is a great unreliable narrator. She's not trying to be one -- which is the best part. She's reporting things to us as she sees them, but she can't trust what she's seeing and hearing. Which makes the reader pretty sure they know what's going on most of the time -- but they can never be totally sure.Thankfully, Afton is pretty up front about this. Neither she nor Jones are trying to play games with the reader. I can get behind that.

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. The ensuing addiction was just a bonus.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/06/18/go-home-afton-by-brent-jones-a-gripping-fast-read-about-a-would-be-murderess
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text 2018-06-15 03:13
The Flat Book Society: Reminder - List is open for September nominations - Vote for your favorites!
Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones
Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law - Peter Woit
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

Just a reminder that our list is still open for voting for the September read.  We currently have 10 nominees (we aim to keep it at a max of 12-15) and the current leader with just 3 votes is:

 

Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones 

 

In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, [...] explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life—–DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock—–have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past.

 

In contention are 4 others with 2 votes each are (as listed above):

Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law - Peter Woit 

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher 

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker 

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson 

 

Be sure to get over to the Flat Book Society and vote if you haven't already, and if you have a dark horse entry, we still have a few spaces to fill.  If you're not a member already, it's never too late to join!

 

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review 2018-06-14 10:43
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave - Darynda Jones

I love this series - especially the later ones - and even though I enjoyed this one enough to read it in one sitting today, it was not one of her best.  Mostly because the plot(s) were utterly transparent.  There was never any doubt in my mind what Reyes was looking for, or what would happen when he found it (although the third member of the showdown was a delightful surprise).  There was never any doubt in my mind who was responsible for the killings either, although the 'other' murder plot, while not central to much of anything, was interesting and its resolution unexpected.

 

There are also a few story elements that keep getting repeated in the books - honestly, it's like hell has a revolving door - but Jones still manages to write a captivating, and hilarious, story that expands on biblical mythology while honouring its structure and its spirit.  So in spite of not being everything it could be, it was exactly what I needed today.  

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text 2018-06-06 18:45
May 2018-That's A Wrap!
Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard Setaro Clark
Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter - Donald E Westlake,Fredric Brown
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn
Saga, Volume 8 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples
Terror is our Business: Dana Roberts' Casebook of Horrors - Kasey Lansdale,Joe R. Lansdale
The Outsider - Stephen King
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells
Wicked River - Jenny Milchman
Walk the Sky - Robert Swartwood,David B. Silva,Matt Godfrey
Bad Pennies - John F Leonard

I've read 13 books this month!

 

Graphic Novels

 

SAGA, Volumes 7 and 8   4 and 5 * respectively

 

Total: 2

 

Novellas

 

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells 4*

Jurassic, Florida by Hunter Shea 4*

 

Total: 2

 

Audiobooks 

Walk the Sky by Robert Swartwood and David Silva, narrated by Matt Godfrey 4*

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, narrated by Bernard Setaro Clark 5*

The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn, narrated by George Newbern 5*

 

Total: 3

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

Wicked River by Jenny Milchman 4*

Terror is our Business: Dana Roberts' Casebook of Horrors 4*

Bad Pennies: A Supernatural Horror Novel by John Leonard 4*

 

Total: 3

 

Random Reads

Carrie by Stephen King 4*

The Outsider by Stephen King 4*

Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter by Fredric Brown (Short story collection) 5*

 

Total: 3

 

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

 

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

4. It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis Lawson

5. Bad Pennies by John Leonard

Status: 5/40

 2018 Running Total: 74

 

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review 2018-06-04 06:03
The Big Ones by Lucy Jones
The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do about Them) - Lucy Jones

TITLE:  The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do about Them).

 

AUTHOR:  Lucy Jones

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2018

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  9780385542708

 

_____________________________

From the blurb:

"By a veteran seismologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, a lively and revealing history of the world's most disruptive natural disasters, their impact on our culture, and new ways of thinking about the ones to come.

Natural disasters emerge from the same forces that give our planet life. Earthquakes have provided us with natural springs. Volcanoes have given us fertile soil. A world without floods would be a world without rain. It is only when these forces exceed our ability to withstand them that they become disasters. Together, these colossal events have shaped our cities and their architecture; elevated leaders and toppled governments; influenced the way we reason, feel, fight, unite, and pray. The history of natural disasters is a history of ourselves.


The Big Ones is a look at some of the most devastating disasters in human history, whose reverberations we continue to feel today. It considers Pompeii, and how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged and reinforced prevailing views of religion for centuries to come. It explores the California floods of 1862, examining the failures of our collective memory. And it transports us to today, showing what Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami can tell us about governance and globalization.


With global temperatures rising, natural disasters are striking with greater frequency. More than just history, The Big Ones is a call to action. Natural disasters are inevitable; human catastrophes are not. With this energizing and richly researched book, Jones offers a look at our past, readying us to face down the Big Ones in our future."

_________________________

 

This book provides a superficial look at a few of the world's biggest natural disasters and how these disasters effected societies.  Jones explores how the disaster victims and relevant governments dealt with the catastrophe and what they are doing to mitigate the adverse effects of any subsequent natural disasters.  This is a history book with minimal, superficial science.  The book is informative with an easy going writing style, however, I was hoping for more specific information on the disaster themselves and the engineering options used to mitigate disaster impacts.  This book makes for a good introductory text to the subject.

 

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