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review 2016-04-11 23:06
Into The Dim
Into the Dim - Janet B. Taylor

*DNF 330 PAGES* (I had less than 100 pages left. That's right.)


Honestly, were it not for the ire I had for the maligning of a historical figure, I would have probably enjoyed this quite a bit. Not because it was that good, but the writing was engaging and it was pretty fun, with a kinda Timeline (movie) vibe going for it. However...

My biggest issue was what the author decided to do with Thomas a Beckett. She made him out to be the most vile slimy, greedy, Jew-hating, nun-slapping monster. That was really bad and made me quite upset, but the final straw that made me not only a little bit sick but wanting to throw the book out the window ala Pat in Silver Linings Playbook leading to a rage-quit is when he hands over a Jewish girl to some lecherous creep and condones him raping her.






*blaring horn covers loud swearing*


No. Like, what un-Godly version of history is this??? Maybe, maybe, if there was an author note saying "hey, I totally changed a bunch of historical figures and here's why I decided to go that direction in my alternate history" but THERE ISN'T THAT HERE.



To add insult to injury, Eleanor is practically worshiped as this bad-ass wonderful queen who went shirtless at a battle and wow, that's so amazing and she is the golden role model for girls and guys and everyone.




Beyond that, Hope is a super special snowflake, but while I didn't overly care for her, that actually didn't bother me a whole lot until she lost any likability once they went to back to the past and her inner Eleanor fan-girl came out. The two characters I actually liked the most were Phoebe and her techie boyfriend Doug. They were both cute as a couple and likable on their own. Didn't care much at all for "Crayola eyes" (I am not even kidding) Raisin Bran,

who I nearly immediately called as being not only A. from the rival time-traveling gang but also B. Celia's son. I mean, seriously, as soon as the rival gang was mentioned, I guessed it.

(spoiler show)


The time travel aspect was kinda fun to read about, and at least tried to be buy-able, what with ley lines and Tesla's inventions and whatnot. However, I had to disappointed with how our characters acted in the past. They try (though not really) to avoid using modern language, and while I understand why the author did not actually have their dialogue in Old English, what I found frustrating is how often they A. slipped up and B. (infinitely more frustrating) it was treated like it was still normal for the time period.

Exhibit A.

"No way," I whispered incredulously, forgetting my medieval speech for a moment."

Okay, fine. Except that she has been using contractions left, right, up, and down this WHOLE time.

Uggggggh. This could have been so much more, or the very least, a passably fun ride, but the issues were too big to ignore. Actually, it was decent until they went back to the past, and then everything pretty much went to heck.

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review 2015-12-23 18:58
Murder Is Bad Manners
Murder Is Bad Manners: A Wells and Wong Mystery - Robin Stevens

I can't complain, as far as just mystery goes. It was fascinating, because there was so much misdirection that I honestly completely neglected to notice the obvious clues as to whom was the murderer. Cleverly written, I'll say that.


However, I found Daisy and Hazel's friendship to be problematic. Daisy manipulates and pushes Hazel around, also placing herself as more important and belittling Hazel's place in their detective "agency" , and Hazel is just so desperate to be friends with her that she allows Daisy to do all of this. Now that is not the problem. This is probably a very common real-world problem that needs to be addressed. And Daisy does come to recognize that she needs to treat Hazel better, assure her and confirm that she is an important part of their "agency", and even start being Hazel's friend rather than idol. All well and good, but what IS the problem I found here is that even though all this happens, it's done so poorly, I couldn't believe that Daisy really changed. Her character development as regarding her friendship with Hazel felt fake, flat, and forced because it was too quick, like flicking a switch.


And the other thing that really brought this down was the bi/lesbian teachers and schoolgirls literally everywhere. I mean, everywhere. And not only everywhere, but constantly mentioned. Like, no. A. This is a kid's book, and the fact that there was a bi/lesbian/straight love triangle is bad enough for an adult to be subjected to and B. I refuse to believe that apparently nearly all the members of this whole damn boarding school are lesbian. Not even mentioning the fact that IF they were, the book is set in the 1930's and, historically speaking, they would have tried harder to hide it, and IF it was discovered and mentioned, it wouldn't have been done nearly so favorably/blasely.


Anyways. I can't believe I remembered all that as well as I did. It's been a whole 3 months!!!

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review 2015-08-18 01:11
Rook - Sharon Cameron


Maybe someday, if I ever feel so inclined, I shall pick this back up and finish it, but I doubt it. It's not that it was horrible and I had to throw it against the wall in a fit of rage or disgust, but it was hardly compelling and the pacing was crap, not to mention that I hated Rene, the main love interest who is not who he says he is ooooooooooooh how exciting. Really, the only person I genuinely liked was Tom, Sophia's brother.

So until I hear otherwise that Rene disappears into an alternate dimension or has a visit from his good old friend the Razor, or that the rest of the book was worth slogging through, this one is a pass.

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review 2015-07-09 06:00
Crimson Bound
Crimson Bound - Rosamund Hodge

**Skim read from page 120+** I know I missed a lot of plot stuff due to the skimming, but I don't really care. But if something I say below is truly amiss, feel free to let me know.

I'm not sure what to say about this one. I wanted so very much for it to be a favorite, even though I knew it was improbable that I'd love it. Fairytale retellings are my thing, I can't get enough, but sometimes they don't sit right with me. Maybe I simply wasn't in the right mood for this, but it was a little too dark for my taste. And the oddly sexual vibe I was getting from the evil forestborn wasn't helping matters. I had a sense of things to come when young Rachelle is forcibly kissed in the forest on page 12...

Hodge's prose is lovely, if occasionally royal purple, but her writing leaves something to be desired. She explains things in such a way I'm not sure she even knows what something really is. I still have very little clue as to what the bloodbound are. And goodness, did this really need to be over 400 pages? I think not.

The love triangle was so annoying. I must have hit every kissing/flirting scene, even with all the page flipping and skipping I was doing. I am so done with love triangles. SO. DONE.

I never saw what went on with the Devourer, but he/it strongly reminded me of Fenris from Norse mythology, especially since he was swallowing the sun and moon. I'm sure something quite important went on with him, or he was Armand, or some such, but quite frankly...

I couldn't be bothered to care. I wanted to, but it just wasn't doing a darn thing for me. And life is too short to read those kinds of books. So undoubtedly this is someone's type of book, but it wasn't mine.

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review 2015-04-29 03:30
Red Queen
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I went into this book with very low expectations, which is probably why I was pleasantly surprised for most of it. I liked the story, so far as the X-Men meets high political fantasy went, but it was seriously bogged down with romantic entanglements, what with a frelling love square. That's a new trend, I'm seeing. Love triangles are so 2011.


Regardless, I was quite pleased that Mare was not the only super-special snowflake, as that and the love square would have tipped me over the edge. But even though, love square annoyance aside, it was a fine book, I have to agree with my friend Kass: "I don't care for this book one bit because, frankly, I feel like I've already read it. Multiple times."

There's really nothing wrong with the book but also not very much right, unless you count the gorgeous cover and endpages. The story has been done before and it'll be done again. (On a slightly related note, I keep hearing people comparing it to Red Rising and their comparisons seem legit, but I've never read it.) I wish I liked it, but it just wasn't doing anything for me.

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