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review 2020-02-13 03:03
Not lacking in characters
Disappearing Earth - Julia Phillips

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips had a great premise and sounded like it could be the Russian equivalent of Broadchurch which I found very excitingThe story opens with the disappearance of two little girls from a small community and the suspicion and unease which come about as a result. Unlike the TV series, the book introduces a cast of characters that did nothing to add or move along the narrative plot. [A/N: There's one character's story in particular that really made me question its addition. If you read the book you'll recognize her as the lady that visits the hospital. What was going on there?!] I can only guess that they served as a kind of backdrop for the area which the author took great pains to describe (and which I knew nothing about prior to reading this book). I can't fault Phillips' writing or ability to engage the reader because I was fully hooked by this story...that is until I realized (nearly at the end) that so many of these side stories (not to mention the main plot) had no real conclusion. I read quite a lot of mysteries and crime procedurals and my favorite part is generally the dramatic tying up of the loose ends of the case which you don't get with Disappearing Earth. Instead you get more questions than answers. (Why was Denis obsessed with aliens?!) So I'm afraid the overall rating suffered as a result and I can only give it a 6/10. (This hasn't stopped me from encouraging others to pick up this book though. I keep waiting for one of them to come back and rage at me because they're annoyed by the ending.)

 

Absolutely stunning cover. [Source: Amazon]

 

What's Up Next: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2019-06-06 16:59
I have no shelf control #1: May - June Book haul + Book Box Subscription
Romanov - Nadine Brandes
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman
These Witches Don't Burn - Isabel Sterling
Disappearing Earth - Julia Phillips
Little Darlings - Melanie Golding
Sherwood - Meagan Spooner
The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides
The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi
Ringer - Lauren Oliver

So... I might have gone a bit overboard with my new purchases but hey I just recovered from a reading drought - imagine how 'thirsty' I am =P 

Besides, it's not that I just pile them up like my old self: I already read some of them. Ha! Imagine that!

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review 2015-01-19 11:52
What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Audiobook Review
What I Did for Love - Susan Elizabeth Phillips,Julia Gibson

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my favorite chick lit author. I do not read much chick lit because it gets predictive and boring but I usually fly through Phillips books. My favorites are her books from the Chicago Stars series but I also enjoy the Wynette-Texas series. I do not find her standalones as catchy and enjoyable but they tend to be okay. “What I Did For Love” is a standalone and also the first book by Phillips I heard as an audiobook. The book was good. It was not outstanding or noteworthy but I enjoyed it.

 

The story is simple: Georgie York and Bramwell Shepard worked as teenagers as stars of a television show together and now hate each other. Hate that turns to love. The ingredients in chick lit books are always the same. While these ingredients always work well together in Phillips’ other series, I usually find something to be desired for in her standalones. The main characters are alright and the story flows easily, but everything is so predictable.

 

And I wonder if I have never noticed this before when I was reading the books instead of listening to an audiobook or if there are just more in this book, but there were so many sex scenes that had no purpose at all. Maybe it just irritated me because I was driving to work while I listened to it. I also did not like the change of narrator in this book. Almost the whole book was written from Georgie’s point of view but in between there were short parts from Bramwell’s point of view. These parts were so short, not even a chapter long, that it made no sense why the change of view was even there. It was inconsistent. Additionally, I got a little confused since the production company of the audiobook did not pause after the end of a chapter. They just continued on even though there was a change of scenery or people talking.

 

All in all, it was fun listening to the audiobook but it is certainly not my favorite Phillips book.

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review 2012-05-28 00:00
Saint Sanguinus: A Dark Ages vampire novel
Saint Sanguinus: A Dark Ages vampire novel - Julia Phillips Smith “Surrender your expectations. Surrender your doubts. Surrender your fears. Surrender your strengths. Surrender your anger. Surrender your control.” - Yasmine Galenorn, Darkling


as Peredur lies bleeding to death, he curses God for his fate and for denying him of having a future with the woman he loves.
a stranger appears by his side and offers him a second chance. Peredur accepts and becomes the newest member of the strange and elite Brotherhood.
author Julia Phillips Smith spins a unique tale of vampires, sacrifice and love. her story takes place in Wales during the late 600th century A.D. and she vividly captures the atmosphere of this period. the reader travels back in time to a society where warriors march off to battle against invading tribes and bring home the spoils of war; where women await with anticipation and dread the return of their loved ones; where the border between superstition and the supernatural was a thin line.
this worldbuilding was one of the best elements of the book. i also loved the romantic aspect and love triangle which played out among Peredur, Tanwen and Cavan.
although the story is given in different points of view, there is no confusion as to who is speaking or what is taking place. some readers may not be comfortable with this set-up but i think it was effective in clarifying events and connecting them together.
i had difficulty, though, in dealing with Peredur's turning after cursing God. it seems that this same God allowed him to become a vampire so that he can become one of the Brotherhood - a group of vampires really - whose objective is to stop their other "cousin" vampires from turning humans.
i was confused and tried to see the justice in all this. i also did not find out how the "cousin" vampires became vampires. obviously they did not curse God so how did they end up as the undead? what really sets them apart from the Brotherhood aside from their shared bloodlust? Peredur himself had this dilemma. when he asked questions, all he got were cryptic answers from one of the Brotherhood. i admit, these dialogs were well written but i wanted answers as well.
for the most part, this first book in the Dark Ages Vampire Trilogy had its shining moments especially the last remaining chapters. i would not have finished the novel if i did not find merit with it. perhaps, the second and last books would explain and provide more details and closure.
overall, this was still a good read and something i would recommend to readers who want a different vampire story.


Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy of Saint Sanguinus from the author. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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