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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-22 22:38
Reading progress update: I've read 318 out of 518 pages.
Sophie's World - Paulette Møller,Jostein Gaarder

 

I'm over 50% done with this book and I'm surprised with the twist. Sophie and the others are characters in a story read by Hilde. It reminds of the twist with The Lego Movie.

(spoiler show)
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review 2018-04-21 04:24
Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
Her Darkest Nightmare (Dr. Evelyn Talbot Novels) - Brenda Novak

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was pretty good. It wasn't great but it was good. I have been excited about this book since I read the prequel novella Hanover House a couple of years ago. This is the first full length book in the Evelyn Talbot series but I do recommend reading the prequel novella first if at all possible since it really sets up the series well. I had a pretty good time with this book and was eager to learn how everything would work out in the end.

Evelyn Talbot has a lot of experience with psychopaths. As a teenager, her boyfriend killed her friends and almost killed her as well after torturing her for several days. As an adult, she has dedicated her life to learning more about psychopaths. She was the driving force behind opening Hanover House, a facility that houses and studies these individuals.

Sergeant Amarok is the local law enforcement. He is an Alaskan State Trooper and the only real authority in the town. He has to deal with dangerous weather condition and whatever other issues come up in the area. When it appears that a murder has occurred, he is the one tasked with figuring everything out.

This book had a lot of really great elements. It was an exciting story. There was more than a few scenes that really had me worried that things might go poorly for the characters. The mystery was rather complex and kept me guessing until the very end of the book. I liked the romance between Evelyn and Amarok. They really seemed perfect together and I loved how their personalities complimented each other.

There were a few things about the story that seemed a bit off. I did like the romance between Evelyn and Amarok but I didn't care for the way that it seemed to take over the rest of the story at times. The book spends a lot of time in Evelyn's head and she spent so much time thinking about Amarok. I kind of thought she should have been thinking about the murderer running around the town but that is just me. I also thought is was unrealistic that Amarok would have been left to deal with everything on his own. I would think that a murderer on the loose would have been enough to get a few reinforcements sent to his little town.

Therese Plummer did a great job with this book. I found the book to be a pretty quick listen that I really enjoyed. Overall, I think that the narrator did a nice job with the character voices although I did find a couple of the voices to be rather similar at first. I thought she did a great job with adding excitement to the book at just the right moments. I would definitely listen to this talented narrator again in the future.

I do recommend this book to others. This wasn't a perfect book but I had a lot of fun with it. I am really looking forward to finding out what else might threaten Evelyn and Hanover House very soon.

Initial Thoughts
This was good. Not great, but good. Right now I am giving it 3 stars but I may bump it to 4 after I give myself some time to think about it. The book focused on the romantic relationship of Evelyn just as much as the murders and corruption happening all around her. Some parts of the book were unbelievable although entertaining. I thought that the narrator did a good job with the story.

Book source: Audible purchase

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review 2018-04-20 18:30
SHOCK Anthology edited by Joe Pruett
SHOCK Anthology - Joe Pruitt

 

SHOCK Anthology is a collection of short stories told via comics. Being a lover of short stories, and taking into consideration that super cool cover, how could I resist? As with any anthology, some of the stories worked for me and some did not. One thing I learned was that I needed to go through this volume slowly, otherwise moving from comic to comic, each being totally different in writing and artwork styles, was too jarring.

 

That said, these are the tales that stood out for me:

 

THE LAST DANCE WITH YOU: was a beautifully told story and even though the clues were there, I didn't catch on to where the story was going until we arrived.

 

DUMB BITCH: Don't you touch that dog!

 

ISTANBUL: I loved this one because the art work was gorgeous and evocative, even with no words.

 

THE DEAD CITY AWOKE: This tale was super short and had few words, but the art was simply breathtaking. (Probably my favorite graphics in this collection.)

 

LIVE OR DIE: A spooky story taking place in the middle of a war battle.

 

DEVOLUTION: I loved this dystopian tale of caution even if it was a bit implausible. I see seeds of this in our day to day living right now and I often wonder where it's going to end up. DEVOLUTION presents its own ideas as to how things will turn out.

 

MOMENTS: With tongue firmly in cheek, this tale about social media and how far it could, (will?), go was hilarious and disturbing all at once. With so many people paying way too much attention to their online lives and so little to their actual lives, I thought this tale was a fun and unsettling way to look at what the future might bring.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the concept of this book and the book itself. With lots of variety and something for everyone, I recommend this fun volume to fans of short stories,comics and graphic novels!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This is it.*

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review 2018-04-19 23:21
there's delight in every sentence
A Long Way From Home - Peter Carey

It's been a long time since I've found such delight in a story's every sentence.

 

The telling is all fine wordsmithing and sharp phrase-turning and frank soul-searching, neither sentimental nor cynical nor pretentious, and thoroughly engaging.The story is also satisfying and among the best I've read, and it's not the only Peter Carey work to earn that status with me.

 

It's told in first person, primarily by two narrators, each nearing 30 and introduced as neighbors in small-town Bacchus Marsh. The woman, Irene Bobs, is married to car aficionado and would-be Ford dealer Titch Bobs, and they're raising two children. The man, Willie Bachhuber, is a school teacher and quiz-show whiz, who left his wife and child over a misunderstanding about the child's parentage. The latter leads to much of the story's depths and surprises, and takes the reader into the thick of Australia's troubled racial landscape. The narrators wind up in a car called a Holden (Ford's Aussie competitor) in Australia's 1954 Redex Trial, a cross-continent auto race over much grueling outback.

 

Irene is my favorite narrator, but I've grown very fond of both voices. Irene, who considers herself little more than a pretty decent mum, turns out to be a bad-ass driver. Willie is her spot-on though occasionally delirious navigator. Their personal journeys progress apace with the race, eventually along separate but criss-crossing paths, never stereotypically and always with great heart.

 

Here's a taste of the telling, from Irene's perspective:

 

"The smell of a rally car, the stink, the whiff, the woo, you will never find the recipe for this pong in the Women's Weekly but ingredients include petrol, rubber, pollen, dust, orange peel, wrecked banana, armpit, socks, man's body. I drove into the night on the ratshit regulator. My headlights waxed and waned depending on the engine revs. Beneath us was bulldust, two feet thick. It was always smooth and soft-looking but the Holden banged and thudded like an aluminium dinghy hitting rock. It is a miracle our suspension didn't melt. Sometimes I saw the shock absorbers of a car in front, white hot, glowing like X-rays. Cattle loomed from the blackness and if I had rolled or hit a roo, if I killed us all, what then?"

 

What then, indeed. It is well worth the read to find out.

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review 2018-04-18 01:06
Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe - My Thoughts
Wisp of a Thing: A Novel of the Tufa - Alex Bledsoe

I really enjoy Alex Bledsoe's voice.  His writing is easy yet rich and full.  Perfect for the subject matter of North America's fairy population. It's not an urban fantasy, it's more a contemporary, rural fantasy, I think.  Set in the Appalachian mountains and peopled with a whole bunch of unique characters, it's the place where Rob Quillan, a musician haunted by tragedy, comes in search of a song to heal him. 

Now there may be other books out there about the other-worldly creatures in this part of North America, but I can't really recall any.  As it is Bledsoe walks the perfect line of keeping the story sounding ... um, not of the city .... yet not sounding like the Clampetts.  His characters are characters, not caricatures and some you love, some you hate and some you just... know.  It's a homey book, but with an edge.  :)

And the fairy-folk themselves.  They're not the grand lord and lady types, not the ethereal little nymphs, not the austere folk we see portrayed so often.  They're good, they're bad, they're dark, they're light and they're not quite like anything I've read about before.

I think if you're a fan of Charles de Lint, you'll enjoy this series. 

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