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review 2018-09-07 00:48
The Sandman
The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie - William Joyce

This is the story of how the Sandman came to be. The man in the moon tasked the sandman with giving children good dreams. This story follows the Sandman has he carries out this task and encounters the nightmare king. The Sandman fights back after some new friends help him get better after his battle with the nightmare king. Sandy comes out victorious, and continues to give children good dreams to this day.

 

This book would be a great tool to introduce the basic elements of plot. Students could organize the plot based on the plot elements. Students could also do a writing activity about dreams.

 

AR Level 4.6

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review 2018-08-27 10:33
Different focus
The Children of Men - P.D. James

I'm needing a "slow" shelf. Despite a lot happening, this one felt like it was double the length.

 

I'm torn. It's not a bad book. There is a thread of danger imminent running through the whole story, a masterful presentation of a world gone to waste in apathy, and many interesting commentaries on society from the point of view of a very flawed protagonist. The part where I'm torn, is where the suspense did not thrill me, and the package whole felt flat to me.

 

Here is another aspect of the deal: the movie is also slow (at least at first), the protagonist deeply flawed, the apathy all-encompassing and the depression caused by the setting is transmitted loudly. But it works.

 

I have trouble working out why the difference in impact, but I think it is the focus.

 

The movie is about the need to stop being detached, to feel again, to care about something enough to live and die. The pregnant woman symbolizes, above all, hope.

 

In the book, the pregnant woman still symbolizes hope, but that's only far away down the road. Above all, she represents power. Everyone fights ultimately to be present at the birthing, and it feels like the book is first about power, who has it, what kind of person goes after it and... something like people feeling like power is a reason unto itself when there is no reason left or meaning to find in life.

 

So, yeah, a though provoking book, but not one I really enjoyed.

 

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text 2018-08-23 08:58
The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman

Just like the other books in the series this was fun and well written. Maybe those 1930’s gangsters aren’t my favorite subject for a book but somehow that doesn’t matter. I’m just enjoying myself. This book is for anyone who likes this series or books, libraries and history. But if you haven’t read the earlier books in the series you should. It’s not that you have to to be able to enjoy it; it’s just that you’d most likely love them.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-07 15:03
Review: Anita Blake- Serpentine

A brief note: I submitted this to Amazon literally at 3:12 AM this morning and it just went through 10 minutes ago- obviously to give all the Verified Purchase reviews exposure first. So, if you're of a mind, I'd appreciate a little voting help to push it up the list.  Thanks.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RDTQTS4X0K36U/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0425255689

 

 

 

 

I hadn’t read the last two books… actually I stopped reading the last two books about 20% in because I completely lost interest in them that fast- so when the chance arose at an early copy of this one I figured: what the hell, maybe there’s been some changes and improvement.  Maybe there’s been some actual developments, revelations and repercussions from these character choices and events.

 

Let’s put it this way: No.

 

Remember all the buildup for the plot of Bullet?  That assassins were gunning for Anita and the crew, and even Belle Morte was high-tailing it as fast as she could, only for the book to be about everything else but assassins?  How a story featuring cold blooded killers only dedicated about 19 PAGES right smack in the middle to said murderers? How the synopsis ended up getting revised because turns out there were virtually no assassins in the book, and would’ve been false advertising to keep saying it was all about them?   Well, if that was your gold standard for storytelling, if that muck thrilled you to the stars and back- boy, has Laurell got a story for you now!

 

I’ll give her credit; it took some serious gall to write this.  She had a lotta nerve pulling this again.   In a 500 page book about cursed snake people, they get mentioned in the beginning, referred to in the middle-ish and never brought up again until the finale.  Take one guess what’s on the rest of the dead trees sacrificed for this drek.  You got it: relationships and all the baggage they come with!

 

*** Mini-Spoilers Ahead***

 

There ain’t a K-Drama in the world that can hold a candle to this!  It’s everything all the other Anita Blake books have given you the past fifteen years, yet somehow less.  The paint by numbers scenes of gratuitous boob/crotch flashing, jellus haterz who deep down want to be just like Anita, hawt zexxy zex with the sweeties, fifty pages to leave town, forty pages to get to the hotel from the airport, recycled & rehashed pissing contests with cops, identifying friends from enemies by their boob size and curves, bad guys who suddenly can’t function without literally giving themselves away, rushed & compressed ending with tons of exposition in order to get back to the real story- troo wuv with the boyz.  It’s all there, y’all!  Knock yourselves out… or at least get a friend to do it.  Not so messy that way.

 

The one real surprise is the return of a character we hadn’t seen in a while- Olaf.  And despite being as boring and repetitive as everyone else, still manages to be creepy and somehow able to sneak a bit into Anita’s good graces.  In hindsight, an appearance from him is overdue but under the circumstances you wouldn’t expect him to be there, which makes the reason for his being there utterly contrived.  But given the implausibility of everything else, why the heck not?  Toss in Bernardo Spotted-Horse and it makes for a reunion of the Four Horsemen, which could’ve been a tour de force, but instead plays like an investigation by Scooby-Doo & the gang. Because, yeah- the baddie would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling U.S. Marshals and their were-buddies.

 

By the time Hamilton returns to the supposed mystery/curse to solve, you flat out won’t give a flip because it hasn’t mattered in so long you forgot all about it.  Far more important are the sudden appearance of Donna’s jellusy about Anita’s special bond with Edward, Donna’s BFF Dixie’s seething jellusy about the wedding, the cadre of bimbos jellus about Anita’s men, Olaf’s jellusy about Anita boitois… you might be sensing a theme here.  Jellusy even has a place in the motives of the bad guy- go figure!

 

Another theme is Hamilton’s ridiculous fixation with superhero metaphors.  Man, did she just love comparing Edward/Ted to Batman/Bruce Wayne; even Superman/Clark Kent a few times just to mix things up a bit.

 

No LKH novel would be complete without the sheer idiocy that’s Anita & Co- in both the classic and contemporary sense of the word.  Early on they ask a particular character if they know anything about the snake curse; they deny it, only to discover in the end just how much they did know.  Why such pertinent info was withheld is neither explained nor explored- just tossed in to avoid thinking something else up.

 

In the midst of an investigation into some missing women, Anita & co. come in contact with someone who’s obviously tied to the disappearances, but just plain fail to alert anyone about this in time to prevent other problems.  Why?  Why ask why.

 

There’s really not a lot to say about Serpentine-all the endless inanity, vapidity, vulgarity, insanity, mendacity, fragility…  It’s just plain bad, lazy, dull, self-indulgent, writing.  The usual, but somehow worse. 

 

Sorry for the lack of snark.  But I got nothing for this thing.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-06 17:30
Book Flog- Anita Blake: Serpentine, Chapters 47-50 (79% AND FINALLY A DEAD BODY)

 

Crapter 47:

 

Capt. Tyburn’s a pretty big guy; big enough to get Anita’s attention… know what I mean?  Rankin’s still trying to catch Dalton’s eye but Anita stumbles against him, breaking his concentration.

 

They run into Olaf in the lobby, and he wrangles himself into tagging along for the meeting.  All they needed was Bernardo and it’s the Four Horsemen again! 

They go into side room barely big enough for all of them and Tyburn unloads on Rankin, demanding answers.  They’re connected to the missing women and Nate’s background makes him a suspect.  Good answer; what do you have to say, Blake? 

 

Nate was a victim, not a perp; he was a child and we got him help.  Pffft!- of course he’d say that; he bats his pretty little eyes and tells a sob story and you all fall for it.  Whoa- did you just slut-shame a child victim of pedophiles just because he was a pretty little boy?  Uh-no?  Sounds to me like you damn sure did!  Tedward asks if Rankin has any connection to Nate.  Lots of non-denials before he finally just says no.

 

Anita remarks it’s pretty bad when a cop slut-shames an adult rape victim, but attacking a child…? WTF?  Nice try, Blake; you’re just trying to make trouble for me.

 

Olaf comments that lots of men say stuff like that would be rapists if they thought they wouldn’t get caught… so I gotta wonder what you’d do if you thought you wouldn’t?  You accusing me of being a pedophile?  Nope; just accusing you of thinking like one.   Anita figures that Olaf would know a thing or two about that.

 

Rankin shoves Olaf against the wall, and it’s on.  373 pages.

 

Crapter 48:

 

Olaf open hand slaps Rankin, staggering him.  Rankin tries to fight back; Tyburn opens the door so the rest of them can escape.  Next thing Rankin goes flying and crashing into the hallway.  Olaf lands an elbow to the temple and that’s it.  Anita now realizes she *never* wants to mix it up with Olaf.  375 pages.

 

Crapter 49:

 

Rankin gets sent to the hospital (still without anyone knowing about his powers- nice job breaking it, heroes) and Tyburn treats Anita & co. like co-workers instead of busybodies.  Dalton comes into the lobby, trailed by Micah, Nate, Rodina, Ru, Nicky, Bram; she needs to talk to Tyburn.  Tyburn tells a cop to escort the Four Horsemen to the crime scene.  While calling Bernardo, Micah explains Dalton thought she was in love with Rankin; he had his claws deep in her.

 

Bernardo struts in, with his zexxy self and it’s time to go.  Anita’s brain (such as it is) finally engages and she realizes Rankin’s gonna be at the hospital with Peter and Donna; she sends Rodina & Ru to check on things, keeping the main boitois with her.  Bernardo is bemused that starting a fight with Olaf got them a look at the crime scene; so is the cop escorting them.  380 pages.

 

Crapter 50:

 

It’s Anita’s first crime scene by the ocean- yay!  Tyburn’s given them the go-ahead; just want to know what they find out.  It’s officially Bettina; she’d been gutted like a melon, skin peeled back and hollowed out.  No spatter along the beach, no smell of decay or offal from the bowels and no marks they can recognize- human or otherwise.   How was this done and why?

 

There’s a bite mark along the ribcage- possibly a were did this.  Maybe, but looks more like human teeth; real question is how’d they get the organs out so skillfully.  Need a lot of practice for that.  Olaf doesn’t even detect the scent of a were- as far as he can tell in human form.  So what the hell?  390 pages.

 

 

79%, 50 chapters, 390 pages and I honestly can't remember the last time I saw or heard anything about a fucking snake person.  

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