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text 2017-12-01 16:31
Reading progress update: I've read 13 out of 445 pages.
Hogfather (Discworld, #20) - Terry Pratchett
Hogfather: Discworld, Book 20 - Random House Audiobooks,Terry Pratchett,Nigel Planer

"And there's the sign, Ridcully," said the Dean. "you have read it, I assume.  You know?  The sign which says 'Do not, under any circumstances, open this door'?"

"Of course I've read it," said Ridcully. "Why d'yer think I want it opened?"

"Er ... why?" said the Lecturer in Recent Runes.

"To see why they wanted it shut, of course."*

 

*This exchange contains almost all you need to know about human civilization.  At least, those bits of it that are not under the sea, fenced off or still smoking.

 

[...]

 

"I'm in charge here and I want a bathroom of my own," said Ridcully firmly. "And that's all there is to it, all right?  I want a bathroom in time for Hogswatchnight, understand?"

And that's a problem with beginnings, of course.  Sometimes, when you're dealing with occult realms that have quite a different attitude to time, you get the effect a little way before the cause.

Oh, it's good to be back with Sir Terry at the height of his powers -- I feel like sharing every other page.  And of course Ridcully would have done better curbing his curiosity about that door ...

 

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review 2017-10-16 21:45
Great idea, less than great execution
A Plague of Giants - Deutschland Random House Audio,Kevin Hearne,Xe Sands,Luke Daniels
Let me start by saying the Kevin Hearne is a talented writer with some absolutely brilliant stories. I loved his Iron Druid Chronicles and was so excited to see this start to a new series.
A Plague of Giants comes in at 600+ pages and is quite the undertaking, especially with so many characters and situations. The premise is an exciting one and quite often, there are some amazing scenes to hold a reader's interest. The problem lies in the execution of the story. It is told by Dervan, a historian and that, in itself, wouldn't be bothersome except that Dervan is retelling the stories that the bard,  Fintan, is telling to the people gathered to listen. So, basically, this is a story of a story, or more accurately, several stories of stories. The way the bard goes about it is imaginative with the optical illusions and colorful language, but each chapter is a different story. By the time I was able to get into each individual tale, it was coming to a close and time for the next, creating a rather disjointed story. 
As this is a series, the story will continue in the next book, but by the time I got to end of this one, I found that I'm not sufficiently invested in any of the characters to see where it goes from here. 
Hearne is a favorite for this reader and I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes after this series. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark and was just okay for me. 
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review 2017-07-25 02:28
Monroe has to use more brains than brawn in this thriller
The Mask: Vanessa Michael Munroe, Book 5 - Taylor Stevens,Hillary Huber,Random House Audio

I spent a lot of time being annoyed with Michael in this novel -- more time being annoyed with Miles, however. Well, that's not true -- events keep Miles off of the board for most of the book, so let me say that I spent more time annoyed with him while he active. I get that communication is hard for them, and I guess it was good to see that Miles was human, too -- even his ability to understand Michael's needs and desires has limits.

 

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

 

So Michael's got her head on right after The Catch and goes to join Miles in Japan. He's there in a strange corporate security consulting gig that he really won't clue her in on. They spend a few months together, him working days and her trying not to get bored and learning Japanese. The latter of those two works a whole lot better than the former. She needs something to do -- and not in the "I've gotta kill someone or take drugs" kind of way she did back in The Vessel. She just needs something to occupy her time while he's putting in 15 hour days. Which isn't dong their relationship any good. Before she can have it out with him, he gets arrested for murdering someone at the tech company he's working for. If she had tried to talk, if he'd explained himself a little better -- if they had communicated at all . . . so much of this novel wouldn't have happened. Too many books/movies/TV shows rely on this poor interpersonal communication to force plots forward, it really gets on my nerves.

 

First, we get a little lesson in Japanese jurisprudence, which by itself was enough to convince me that I don't want to end up arrested in Japan (not that I really want to be arrested anywhere). Then Michael goes to work to clear his name, no one else is going to. The hoops she has to jump through make her previous adventures seem easy -- sure, she was in more peril in most of the previous books, but it seemed easier for her to get around and get the information she wanted. Cultural and corporate protocols are tougher to beat by bribery, sensuality and violence than other things, I guess. Throw in some underworld figures and you've got yourself a thriller worthy of Monroe. I really enjoyed this story once Miles got arrested and things got moving -- Stevens is getting better at plot intricacies.

 

There's a great corporate espionage plot throughout with an operative that could probably sustain her own novel if Stevens ever got around to it. I'm not sure I can say more than that without messing something up. But as despicable as I find (some of) her methods, they made for good reading.

 

About the time that I'd given up on Michael doing more than outwitting her opponents, she got sucked into a very violent confrontation. I didn't spend a second thinking that she was in trouble, but man, she had to work hard to eliminate these guys. There's that scene in The Vessel where Stevens cuts away from the action, and we don't get to see Michael kill her captives, we just know she's about to do something and then Miles comes along later and finds the aftermath. This fight scene was probably pretty similar to that -- but there's no cut. We get the whole thing.

 

I should take a moment to talk about Hilary Huber, but I can't say anything about her narration than I've said before. Now that I'm caught up with these, I'm going to have to track down some other books that she's narrated.

 

I never expected a happily ever after scenario between Michael and Miles -- but I expected something better than this (not that this is in any way, shape or form the end of their relationship), and that took some of the shine off this book for me. Otherwise, this was very entertaining, gripping, and so on -- a Michael Monroe thriller that tops its predecessors, and deepens our understanding of Michael. Not much more to ask.

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review 2017-07-21 07:07
Best friend
Eye Candy (Real Love) - Jessica Lemmon

Vince is in love with his best friend but has no idea how to tell her, or himself.  He knows these feelings are growing for this amazing woman he spends so much time with.  They both have been hurt so badly in the past.  Together, things are just right.

 

Jacqueline AKA Jackie really does want to have a fling to enjoy.  She is still stinging from the hard slap her ex gave her by choosing another woman.  With her best friend, she is a confident and fun woman.  Where is that confidence when she needs it most?

 

This story has a little bit for everyone.  There is humor, hot guys, sexy times, pop culture, movie quotes, and more.  Did I mention there is seriously hot men?  I love the banter and the friendship portrayed here.  What is so excellent for me, is that these two show how much they care, long before we get the words.  I give this book a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-10 00:00
Into the Water: A Novel (Random House Large Print)
Into the Water: A Novel (Random House La... Into the Water: A Novel (Random House Large Print) - Paula Hawkins 4 Stars
Quite boring in the beginning but picks up the pace towards the end. Was a good suspense. Not as good as her first book TGOTT.
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