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review 2018-04-20 00:49
Black River Falls
Black River Falls - Jeff Hirsch

The town has become a place where groups roam trying to get dominance, the one kid who is uninfected and a group of other children who were infected are all hiding up at a camp, to be away from the predatory adults. The government came in to try and help but turned over everything to another group. 


This book was assigned to my girls for their book club and at first, it seemed interesting, but as the time went on, I just couldn't get into and stay in the book. 

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text 2018-04-19 22:43
Reading progress update: I've read 12%. - remember Bowie's Starman who'd like to come and meet us but he thinks he'd blow our minds? Well, I just met him and he was right
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

I'm three chapters into this book and I'm blown away. The style makes hyperbole seem like restrained understatement. This book is so extrovert it makes my head hurt.


Take "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" then double the speed and triple the volume. Replace the urbanity of "Don't Panic" with the existential bluntness of "Life is beautiful. And life is stupid." Then use four decades of contextually dense pop-culture references as rebar to allow the concrete of your narrative structure to rise rapidly from nothing to mind-blowing complexity that is almost disturbingly easy to grasp - like Wile E Coyote, you can run with these ideas as long as you don't look down.


So, what are the ideas? Well

"Life is beautiful. And life is stupid."

The stupid part means that sentient races fall into galactic war because we races are hardwired to ask:


Which of us are people and which of us are meat?


Once you decide that you are people and they are meat, attention turns, not to living in peace but to whether you:


"eat, enslave, shun, keep them as pets, or cleanly andquietly exterminate them all. "

 A century after having ended the Sentience Wars, all races are agreed that this can never be allowed to happen again. Cue the invasion of Earth at this point.


Meanwhile, the focus is definitely on the personal, even if the person focused on is a burnt out ex-global rock star who is now decades away from mega-fame and has just had his third solo album fail.


Why the focus of on one person? Because:


"The story of the galaxy is the story of a single person in it. A cover version, overproduced, remastered, with the volume cranked up way past eleven and into the infinite."


This is the kind of book I want to read in one sitting but can't because:


1. My head would explode

2. I keep having to stop to take notes.

3. I don't want this ride to end.


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review 2018-04-19 12:58
The Rainmaker - John Grisham

Rudy is a 3rd-year law student and all his plans have gone up in dust. The firm that he signed with has sold and he is no longer going to be employed by them. When he leaves their building he knocks into a bust of the founder and it shatters a window. When he goes to another firm, started by a young, hungry law student years ago, he is promised a job, but when he does all the work on the account he is bringing them, they fire him and then he is accused of starting a fire at their place. After his current employer, a shady bar owner, helps him get with Bruiser, a shady attorney, he now has a job and he gets to keep his account that he brought along with him. The cases that he is so possessive of, are Miss Birdie, an elderly woman who says she has a huge fortune and wants to rewrite her will to write out her family and the Black family, whose son is dying from treatable leukemia. He was refused medical treatment by the insurance company that his mother got for the family and his brother was a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant and yet, the insurance company refused the treatments and refused to pay for any testing he had done claiming that he had pre-existing condition and then calling his mother stupid in a letter. 


When it becomes evident that Bruiser is going to be running from the law, he and Declan leave and start their own office, doing all the things they had done before at Bruiser's to pay the bills all the while, working on this one big case. Since this is his only big case, he works it all the time. He fast-tracks the case and as he works the case he finds allies in places he didn't know he had. A law school friend helps him with cases that his company cannot handle and will allow some steady income and allow him to continue to work on this case for the Black family. When Deck and Rudy find that their phones are bugged, they start doing things to see who has bugged them and discover that it was the law firm for the insurance company and they use it to their advantage, pretending that the family wants a settlement or that they tampered with the jury. 


It was a really good story and moved quickly, hard to put down, so much so that in order to continue reading while I was driving my girls around, I borrowed the audio version so I could listen while I drove. 

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text 2018-04-18 16:29
Free on Kindle Unlimited

“Rob Williams’ Sins of Variance poses one of science fiction’s crossroads in a difficult future of dark choices for the human race.”


Sins of Variance takes place 500 years into the future in Gloucestershire County, United Kingdom (near Wales).  Mankind has changed through genetic engineering, almost to the point of being unrecognizable from what we know today.  Advanced genetics has brought about a complete “optimal” set of genomes preferred by the society.   Though variation has been bred out of most humans, there are rare individuals with unique inner characteristics who have been deemed unacceptable by the society. They struggle because of these personal differences, and some find their world is not really what they have been led to believe.


The author would rate the book on the high side of PG-13 due to violence.


Author’s Website












Published by

The Ardent Writer Press



Author Page on Ardent Writer Press



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review 2018-04-17 12:10
Magic and Macaroons
Magic and Macaroons - Bailey Cates

"“Those are macarons,” I said, then spelled the word. “Though sometimes it’s spelled the same as the coconut-based cookies we have here. Macarons don’t typically have any coconut at all."


As the ladies of the Spell Book Club are having their meeting, a woman comes and starts banging on the door and saying that she was sent by her uncle to find Katie Lightfoot. Then she collapses and goes into a coma. Katie feels that she needs to find out who this woman is, who her uncle is and then what really happened to them both. Along the way, she meets her former flame's new girlfriend and quickly fiancee. She learns about voodoo and meets some practitioners. 


This book took me awhile because it was on a tablet and then I would just get sidelined by other stories and just kept having to work on it a little at a time. 

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