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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 18:49
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, by Jason Fry
The Last Jedi (Star Wars) - Jason Fry

Almost forgot to review this! Like the novelization of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi was mostly worthwhile in terms of the additional context and peek inside characters' heads not offered in the film. However, I had even more questions about TLJ from the movie than I had for TFA. I also had not re-watched it yet. Moments I thought were not in the film were indeed in there when I eventually re-watched; I was so off in my head through TLJ, I missed a lot!

 

The most interesting new bits in the novel that I remember from my reading include details about General Hux's background and those of his fellow First Order officers. Apparently, Hux's father was also a military man but was crazy; Hux killed him (it's not revealed how)--it remains dangerous business being a father to a son in the Star Wars universe! Seriously, it's like being a Roman Caesar. In the film you can see Hux clash with other officers, but the novel clarifies that a few of them also served the Empire; they're used to doing things a certain way. Hux favors shows of strength rather than utilizing successful strategy.

 

Some additional scenes were filmed but not part of the final cut (available as deleted scenes in special features) and are described in the novel. These include a serious-turned-funny sequence where Luke tells Rey that newly arriving Caretaker species merchants are raiders who come regularly to steal and kill. Rey rushes down to them only to discover that they're having a party! Luke lied to make a point about how the Jedi would have taken a no-involvement stance. Something not filmed, though, is Luke inviting Rey to dance; it's sweet scene.

 

The biggest questions I had after seeing the film the first time involved Kylo Ren and Rey, of course. It somehow wasn't clear to me on a first viewing if Ren knew anything about Snoke forming the Force bond between him and Rey; he didn't. I also wondered if Snoke was telling the truth about that. In the book, before and during his monologue that ends with his death, we get a glimpse of Snoke's thoughts, and he did indeed bridge their minds (at least HE believes he did). There's also more about the fight from Rey's perspective especially; at the beginning she struggles a bit but essentially lets the Force guide her. It's pretty cool. She also senses Ben/Kylo as he fights and compares him to an animal finally freed from his cage.

 

Most revealing is why Rey leaves Ren alive once it's clear he's not going to turn and they struggle over Luke's light saber, which splits and knocks them unconscious. He wakes up, but Rey is already gone in the movie. In the book, there's a little scene where Rey awakens and contemplates what to do. She feels that the Force isn't done with Ren, and it's not her place to kill him.

 

There's also more about Rose and her sister, which helped me appreciate her more as a character. There's a bit more romantic tension between her and Finn, from her perspective at least, as she's annoyed each time he thinks only of Rey, not the larger cause.

 

And we get more about and from Leia, including her Force training and that moment where she and Ben sense each other as his ship is set to fire on hers. The thing that prevents him from killing her is that what he senses from her is worry--for him, not herself. My heart hurts; excuse me while I go cry over Carrie Fisher again.

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review 2018-06-23 18:17
2 Out Of 5 "I'm going to make this quick" STARS
Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

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~BOOK BLURB~

Disturbed

Jennifer Jaynes

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On Halloween night five years ago, Chelsea Dutton’s college roommates were viciously stabbed to death, and Chelsea was critically injured. She was found hiding in her apartment’s bathtub, barely clinging to life.

With only fragments of shattered memory, she’s been trying her best to move past the nightmares ever since. Now in Boston, she lives a somewhat reclusive life, working from home as a medical transcriptionist and bingeing on mindless television shows.

She can’t shake the fear that her attacker is out there, waiting to finish what he started, and Elizabeth, a nurse she met after the murders, is the only person she can trust.

When someone from her past reemerges, Chelsea starts receiving disturbing messages and worries that her every move is being watched. As the messages mount and her memories begin to return, she’s led to a very terrifying and lonely place. But she needn’t be afraid. She won’t be alone there for long.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A formulaic plot with overly bland characters.  The declarations of love after one night of sex…eye-roll worthy.  The twist at the end was unexpected, but even that didn't up my level of enjoyment adequately.  At least it was quick one at six and a half hours.

 

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~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 2/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2.5/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Originality~ 2/5

Ending~ 2.8/5

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Book Cover~ It's quite awful, actually.

Narration~ Carly Robins

Setting~ Boston, MA

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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review 2018-06-22 23:35
3 Out Of 5 "this is more like a plea" STARS
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney

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~BOOK BLURB~

Sometimes I Lie

Alice Feeney

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My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 

  1. I’m in a coma.
  2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
  3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If anyone out there who has read this can please answer a few questions about this…PLEASE let me know because I don't understand how this all plays out…she lost me somewhere along the line.  I might raise my rating if I could just figure out the twists.

 

Sometimes I Lie is a twisty, diabolical read…and I was totally into it.  Somewhere towards the last third, I started getting a little confused and by the end, I was like…wait a minute…what the what?  After thinking for the next hour or so upon finishing, I felt like I needed to re-listen to parts of it…but unfortunately, I had already deleted it, which also returns it to the library.  So, here I am…feeling lost.

 

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 3/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 3/5

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Book Cover~ It's okay

Narration~☆4☆ for Stephanie Racine...not too bad.

Setting~ England

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-06-22 22:20
Das Fünfte Zeichen // The Devil's Star
Das fünfte Zeichen - Jo Nesbø

German and english review
First things first: I received this book through NetGalley.

 

Diesmal nur eine kurze und vor allem spoilerfreie Bewertung.

 

 

Ich bin so unheimlich froh, dass ich das Buch jetzt endlich hinter mir habe, dass liegt nicht an dem Buch an sich, sondern an einer besonderen Storyline, wenn ihr die Bücher lest, wisst ihr sicher was ich meine, wenn nicht, dann will ich nichts verraten. Aber es ist endlich überstanden, jetzt hab ich das Gefühl, dass ich irgendwie viel frischer in den Rest der Serie starten kann.

 

Den Fall fand ich wirklich richtig gut erzählt und auch wirklich spannend bis zum Schluss. Ich hatte zwar einen Verdacht, aber wie immer hab ich den zur Seite geschoben und am Ende war ich dem Ganzen doch näher als gedacht.

 

Am besten hat mich die Auflösung von der ein oder anderen Storyline gefallen, die in vorherigen Büchern schon angefangen wurde. Ihr wisst was ich meine. Ich dachte erst wir würden nicht sehr viel von Rakel und Oleg sehen, aber war froh, wie sich das im Laufe des Buches entwickelt hat. Es ist nicht wirklich ein Spoiler aber trotzdem VORSICHT: Der Moment in dem Oleg zu Harry Papa gesagt hat, hat bei mir für alle möglichen Gefühle gesorgt und obwohl die Situation angespannt war, hat es mich grinsen lassen wie ein totaler Idiot.

 

***

 

This time around it's just going to be a short and spoiler free review.

 

I'm just so very happy that I am finally done with this book, it's not about the book itself but one of the storylines. If you read the book, you know what I mean. If you haven't read it, I won't spoil anything. But I did it. It's finally done. Now I have the feeling that I can somehow start fresh and new into the rest of the series.

 

The case itself was really damn well told and kept me guessing until the very end. I can't say I never had a feeling but I always push it aside and at the end of it all, I always come pretty close.

 

What I loved the most, was that storylines from the books before were being wrapped up. You know what I mean. After the beginning, I didn't expect to see anything from Rakel and Oleg but I was so so SO happy how things developed throughout the book. It's not really that much of a spoiler but well, SPOILER, the moment when Oleg calls Harry dad, made me feel all the feels and even though the situation was super tense, I kept smiling like a total idiot.

 
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review 2018-06-22 04:19
2.7 Out Of 5 STARS for me on this one...
Wake of Vultures - Lila Bowen

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~BOOK BLURB~

Wake Of Vultures

Lila Bowen

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Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood and he turns to black sand.

 

And just like that, Nettie can see.

 

But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding—at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead her to find her true kin . . . if the monsters along the way don't kill her first. 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This felt like it was trying too hard to be about as many relevant topics as it could, and for me personally, I think it just came off as overtly chaotic.  It started out good, I was feeling the alternate old west world she had created…then it just became crude and uncomfortable.  Then there were the supernatural elements, seriously it had everything from Vampires to Chupacabra's, with several more in between, too many really…but  hey, there are plenty of readers out there who liked this.  With that being said…its overall message about not being afraid to be yourself is the best thing about this book, and it's the reason I rated as high as I did.

 

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~MY RATING~

2.7STARS - GRADE=C-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3/5

Main Characters~ 2.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 2/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5  Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ Very cool

Narration~ 3 by Robin Miles…I don't think she was bad, she just didn't work for me.

Series~ The Shadow #1

Setting~ Old West

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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