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review 2018-06-15 12:36
In Pain and Blood (Spellster #1) by Aldrea Alien
In Pain and Blood - Aldrea Alien

In Pain and Blood is the first book in the Spellster series, and has all the hallmarks of everything I enjoy - epic fantasy, m/m, romance, action, and adventure. Dylan has spent his life in 'the Tower' learning how to be a spellster. Magic comes easily to him, but his guardian keeps on telling him to stay safe in the tower, and not to make waves. However, one event shoves him to the forefront, and he sees more of life than he expected. Trying to make his way back to the Tower, he becomes part of a ragtag group and sees life in a completely different way.


This should have been a good book. I really wanted it to be a good book, but it fell short for me on a number of different levels. First of all, it's long. And I mean REALLY long. Now don't get me wrong, I love epic fantasy, and regularly read books of a thick volume. However, for this book, it felt like it needed some serious editing to get some of the monotonous repetition removed. Also, this land is supposed to be under attack, but they manage to completely miss any and every member of either army on their two month trek across the land - which we hear about in great detail. How this book started actually had me going back to check on the blurb as I thought I was reading a completely different book. It does change and become the story the blurb describes, but only after a long start. It is only the two main characters who we really meet, and I wouldn't say I 'know' them very well. Even their companions, who they spend so much time with, aren't really fleshed out. It didn't help when one of the main characters spoke to everyone as 'my dear hunter/my dear warrior/my dear spellster'. I know this was supposed to be one of his quirks, but I got it after the first dozen times. It really didn't need repeating multiple times on every page. The ending, such as it was, is the only thing in the book that felt rushed. Big events happen, something life-changing happens to a supporting character, opinions change, a lifetime's enduring love is pronounced, and it happens at the speed of light.


I struggled to finish this book. It was only my sheer stubborn nature and optimistic belief that it would get better (and if I finished it before it ended, I would never know) that kept me turning the pages to the very end. I am glad I've read it, but I wouldn't recommend it.


* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *



Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/06/14/In-Pain-and-Blood-Spellster-1-by-Aldrea-Alien
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review 2018-06-04 03:50
Not bad, could have had more story.
The Pain Palace - Phebe Solar

I liked this quick hot read with elements of BDSM. I felt that Billy and Conrad went well together. I just would have preferred more story to get to know them better, especially Conrad.

I received a copy of this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-05-28 06:04
The Shack
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity - Wm. Paul Young,Brad Cummings,Wayne Jacobsen

I read this book several years ago but I couldn't remember much about it. I came across another copy so I read it again. I remember hearing other people talk about it and it seemed there were three camps. There are those that loved it, those that hated it, and those were afraid to say what they thought about it. 

Many of those that hated it had a problem with God being depicted as a black woman. I thought this was very clever because it brings out the prejudges of people. God is not black or white or male or female. Anyone who believes in God knows that God is not limited to any one of those things. 

I really enjoyed the story, although it was very sad, but I enjoyed the way things were wrapped up. I got a lot out of the chapter A Morning of Sorrows which talked about forgiveness.

I have to admit I didn't like everything about this book and what was said and some things I will have to continue to chew on for a while. I do plan to go back to this book later and think about these things some more. I have ordered a hardcover copy for my permanent library.

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quote 2018-05-28 01:16
Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity - Wm. Paul Young,Brad Cummings,Wayne Jacobsen

Chapter 13, page 187-188

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review 2018-04-28 15:58
The Body in Pain, by Elaine Scarry
The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World - Elaine Scarry

Probably I should officially consider this a DNF, but I did at least skim the last section, so... This was perhaps a case of waiting too long to read a text I became interested in when a graduate student. At that time, I was regularly reading scholarly work either as assigned in class or for projects for those classes. But I graduated in 2012, and my brain as a reader is generally in a different gear.


I read some of Scarry's other works in my program but was specifically interested in The Body in Pain because I read the opening pages and was drawn in by the discussion of the inexpressibility of pain. I've mentioned in previous posts that I'm a migraineur, so I tend to take note of topics related to pain. Then as a writer I'm naturally also fascinated by works addressing communication and creativity.


Earlier sections on torture, making, and unmaking were worth the tough read, but the second section delves into biblical and Marxist texts, neither of which are in my wheelhouse. I gave myself permission to skim as, let's face it, I'm not likely to end up writing a scholarly paper on the topic.


I thought it unfair to rate what I essentially DNF. I'll say that Scarry's work in general can be unique, surprising, and compelling, but I don't always buy her premises.

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