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review 2018-06-21 21:50
Out in Sept
They Fought Alone - Charles Glass
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

If you know anything about SOE then you have heard about the Starr brothers, maybe not in depth and maybe just by their code names, but you have heard them. John Starr was at Avenue Foch at the same as Noor Khan and was one of the men who planned an escape attempt with her.

Charles Glass presents the story of the brothers’ actions in SOE during the second World War. George Starr avoided capture and lead a rather effective group of resistance operatives in occupied France. His brother, John Starr, was not as lucky.

In many ways, using the two brothers, Glass shows the divergent paths an SOE operative could take. Capture in most case, meant torture and death. But freedom could mean death as well, but also to strike against the Nazis, then possibly, possibly honors after the war.

Not that those who joined SOE did so for honors; it was a top-secret organization after all.

The book’s one problem is the same problem that is in any book about SOE, what is the truth and what actually happened. It’s hard, and then you have to factor in the times, the situation and all that.

To be fair, Glass does his best. He does note when something is rumor and when something is fact. If there are two divergent stories, he gives both with context and pros and cons. This is especially important when dealing with John Starr’s story as his is less clear cut than his brothers. Did he help the enemy or not, if he did is he at fault are questions that Glass must attend to, and he does, quite well. While he is sympathetic to his subjects, he is not blind or totally in awe. It is a balanced recounting.

The Starrs are the focus of the book, but Glass does give time to various members of the Circuit and other prisoners. 

This book is nice addition to the works about the members of SOE.

 

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review 2018-06-21 19:40
Out in Sept
If You Give the Puffin a Muffin - Timothy Young

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

Dear Angry Little Puffin,

 

                How dare Mr. Young try to feed you a muffin simply because it rhymes with puffin!  What is wrong with that man?  You raised very good points with the other animals.  Well, not the pig, but definitely the cheetah.

 

                I noticed that you broke the fourth wall.  Have you thought about, maybe, working with Deadpool?  Yes, I know he is far more violent than you are, but I think you two would get along quite well.

 

                Yes, I know that you are for children, and he is for an older crowd, but if he were to have a pet, it would be you.

 

                Seriously, though, ALP, it was awesome how you taught your readers about children’s literature and wall breaking.  You also worked in some neat thing about being creative.  It’s just a shame you had to be offered a muffin instead of a fish.

 

                Still, it was a very good sequel.  Well worth a muffin.

 

                Long Live Puffins!

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review 2018-06-21 10:00
Review! Crossroads of Bones (Katie Bishop Series #1) Luanne Bennett!
Crossroads of Bones - Luanne Bennett

 

 

Katie Bishop would have taken her secret to the grave, but . . .
a bunch of fat cat society folks smelled her out and made her an offer she couldn't refuse.

 

Katie just wants to run her tattoo business quietly under the radar. But when a man walks into her shop and hands her a drawing of the same tattoo she's been dreaming about for weeks, things start to spin out of control. The last two people who tried to apply that tattoo are dead.

 

Only half human, it's her other half that an elite group wants to hire-a group of Savannah's more privileged citizens, including the city's reigning coven of witches.

 

There's a rogue god on the loose, and Katie is the only one who can send him back to hell before he breaks open the crossroads and lets the underworld waltz right in-if he manages to get that deadly tattoo inked onto his back.

 

 

I just found a new urban fantasy series – Katie Bishop Series - that is full of some unique beings and the first book in the series –Crossroads of Bones is a fascinating story that caught my attention and made sure that I want to read more Katie Bishop adventures.

 

Katie Bishop is a strong, charismatic character that has some unique elements that make her a bit different from other dragon shifters and her tough girl personality and her past makes her vulnerable to a threat that she didn’t see coming and has brought her to the attention of the council. There is a quite a bit of some steamy and sexy love scenes and a hot and sexy biker that has some unique qualities of his own. All the characters in the story are strong and all of them have their own quirks that make them fun and intriguing characters that easily draw readers in and ensure that readers want to know more.

 

The steady to fast paced plot keeps readers glued to the pages with lots of intrigue, thrills and surprising twists that keep the readers guessing and very curious as to just what will happen next and wondering how Katie will get out of the fix she finds herself in. It’s not non-stop action but has quite a bit of exciting events and the characters provide a lot of fascinating input to the story, although the story is a little choppy, not sure why I felt that way, but it wasn’t enough to distract from the interesting story line.

 

It seems that the next story Blackthorn Grove has been released so I will be adding to my TBR pile as soon as possible to find out just what happens next especially as Katie got some important information regarding what she is at the end of this one.

 


Crossroads of Bones

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36469576-crossroads-of-bones

 


Is the 1st book in the Katie Bishop Series.

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/227998-katie-bishop-series

 

which includes Book #2 Blackthorn Grove which is also available


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37411535-blackthorn-grove

 

& book #3 Shifters Moon will be available soon!

 


Crossroads and Bones is available in print or ebook at:

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072YWGJFH

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1287040768

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crossroads-of-bones-luanne-bennett/1126686213?ean=2940158678981

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/crossroads-of-bones

 

GPlay -

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Luanne_Bennett_Crossroads_of_Bones?id=WBJADwAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

 


Luanne Bennett can be found at:

 

Website - http://www.luannebennett.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14584106.Luanne_Bennett

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/luanne-bennett

 

Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/luanne_bennett

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LuanneBennettBooks/?ref=br_rs

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/luanne-bennett/author,5010354

 

 

 

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review 2018-06-21 07:03
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean - Jonathan White,Peter Matthiessen

TITLE:   Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

 

AUTHOR:  Jonathan White

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  2017

 

FORMAT:  ebook

 

ISBN-13:  978-1-59534-806-7

___________________________________

 

NOTE:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.  This review is my honest opinion of the book.

___________________________________

 

 

Jonathan White is a sailor, surfer, writer, and active marine conservationist who takes his readers on an adventure around the world to discover the science and spirit of ocean tides.

 

Some of the fascinating topics covered in this book include tidal bores, tidal anomalies, the difference between spring and neap tides, the science and history of forecasting tides, resonance, geophysics, the different methods of harvesting energy from the ocean, and a rather poor attempt to describe the effects of rising tides on civilization. 

 

The author provides a superficial explanation of tidal mechanics – I really was looking for more information on this, especially in a book subtitled “the science and spirit of the ocean”.  The “spirit” part of the subtitle takes over the book in terms of personal anecdotes, “travel writing”, tangential stories and philosophical musings that didn’t particularly appeal to me. 

 

The book was also arranged in an odd manner by explaining specific tidal anomalies before explaining tides in general.  Trying to sift the interesting scientific information out of all the extraneous text didn’t help with the conveyance of information.  However, the book does provide numerous black & white photographs, explanatory diagrams and sixteen colour photographs.

 

If you want to know more about tides and like personal, chatty stories mixed with your science, then you will probably enjoy this book.  If you want more science and less “fluff”, you need to look elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-06-20 22:09
Out in Sept
The Piranhas - Roberto Saviano,Anthony Shuggar

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

                There is a tendency to romanticize the mob.  Whether it is the fault of The Godfather movies or something more else, many people feel a certain affection for the mob.  Perhaps it is a sense of loyalty or of family. Who knows?  It is mostly a love for violence and mayhem, for instance in Scarface.

 

                But that’s all Hollywood.

 

                There are certain things that buck the trend – say The Wire, which is about drug dealers but also about the culture that allows them to exist and how policing is not the solution.  There’s Saviano’s Gomorrah, a book which earned him a target on his back, but that also demolishes any romance for the mob and forces people to confront the truth (this is also true of the movie and tv series that the book produced).

 

                Saviano’s latest mob book, The Piranhas, is one of those novels supposedly based in true events.  I’m not sure; I don’t know enough about Italy and the mob to say so.

 

                However, if the fourth season of The Wire is the best because it looks at how a failing school system sets up its students for failure, then Saviano’s book does the same thing for Italy.  The story follows a group of boys, led by Nicolas, who want to become Camorra bosses.  In part, this is a result of the steady diet of media they consume, and in part, it is because of what they see every day, who controls everything, and how everything in their world works.  They can become like some of the fathers, but the boys do not seem to view those men as real men, but as simply weak.

 

                And that something these boys cannot be seen as, for they want to be in the ones in the private room.

 

                What the book then chronicles aren’t the corrupting of the innocent, but how a presence of crime combined with social media and status lead a group of boys to become, not so much men, but young people with guns.  The boys can’t be corrupted because that happen long ago, and nothing different is really shown to them.  If it isn’t the Camorra controlling something it’s the better neighborhoods or towns controlling something, acting like the Camorra without the official illegality.  Even the teachers are in on it, for that is simply life.  Those that do not join, simply do not anything really.

 

                It is a bleak novel, a harsh novel, and one without a true hero.  The reader cannot root for, isn’t suppose to root for, any of the young boys who despite their bravo are still boys.  Still, at times, think the Camorra is simply as it is in the movies (which do make for the truly funny passages of the novel), yet who do have a degree of flare and intelligence needed to pull things off.

 

                Yet, we need novels like this, in the bleakness, because we need to confront what is wrong in society and why we glorify criminals who don’t really have that many redeeming features and whose actions murder innocence and hope.  At least we need to, if we want to break the cycle.  It is violent but it does not celebrate violence the way that many movies do.  No, it is far more personal  than that.

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