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review 2017-09-21 14:27
Eh...
Venomverse (2017) #3 (of 5) - Iban Coello,Nick Bradshaw,Cullen Bunn

I'm just not a huge fan of these events, mostly because they seem to be...shallow.   Like I don't see what larger purpose this will serve in the Marvel universe, nor what the ones before this served, and it makes me cynical. 

 

It's fun seeing Rocket as a Venom, and Robbie Reyes as a Ghost Rider, and there's a twist I really enjoyed in the middle of this, thus the three-star rating. 

 

It was fun and slick. 

 

But it certainly wasn't great, something I know this author can do well.   It didn't make me feel for the characters, even at points where I normally would have.   Most of the emotional aspects felt like it was trying to manipulate me, or just fell flat, thus the lack of four or five stars. 

 

Still, I probably inflated this rating.  It's the first time I've been able to read and review in a while - and man, I missed both of those things!

 

Aliens in Halloween bingo.

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review 2017-09-20 04:29
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24) - Terry Pratchett

Series: Discworld #24

 

Vimes is being sent off to act as a diplomat in Uberwald for some do about the Low King of the dwarves. Sybil claims it’ll be a holiday, but as Vimes puts it, he’s a policeman and policemen find crime, so he’s going to find a crime even if he tries not to. Meanwhile, Angua leaves town and Carrot enlists the aid of Gaspode, the talking dog, to go after her. Gaspode is awesome. He’s been sending letters to the Patrician complaining about the cruelty to dogs in the city and the clerks never see who leaves the messages. He holds the crayon in his mouth to write. Oh, the poor flea-bitten mutt.

 

I had a lot of fun with this book, with the narrative split between Vimes’s journey to Bonk in Uberwald and Colon acting paranoid with terror and basically running the Watch into the ground as acting captain. I quoted some of the laugh out loud moments in my previous updates. One thing that I may not have mentioned is that one of Colon’s manifestations of paranoia is that he keeps counting the sugar cubes, coming up with different totals, and then accusing various watchmen of stealing sugar.

 

I think I resent the comparison of Gaspode to Nobby. Gaspode’s way cooler and just keeps getting knocked down.

And poor little Gaspode has to make his way back to Ankh-Morpork from Uberwald because they just assume he’s dead. Oh well, at least he talks his way onto a barge to save his little doggy legs.

(spoiler show)

 

I read this for the “Werewolves” square for Halloween Bingo, but it would also work for the “Murder Most Foul”, “Locked Room Mystery”, “Vampires”, “In the dark, dark woods” (Vimes gets chased through the woods by werewolves at one point), “Supernatural”, and “Monsters” (Trolls) squares.

 

 

Previous updates:

137 of 460 pages

119 of 460 pages

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review 2017-09-19 18:16
My Forever, My Always
My Forever, My Always: Men of Crooked Bend Book 1 - Taylor Rylan

Phew. I skimmed the last 10% because...I was exhausted and just over this couple.  This book unfortunately did not work for me.

 

This book is nearly 400 pages and compared to most MM books, that is about 150 pages too much.  This one could have used the cut.

 

Overall, I was curious about this author. I have had conversations with her several times and she is a sweetheart.  And for a first time novel, this one has its pros.  But there is no doubt that a lot can be learned from this first one.

 

  • Not every man in the book needs to be gay.  I mean I love gay men but at some point good grief...I could use a straight character.
  • The entire story does not need to be told.  We went from hook up to quick relationship development to moving in to meeting families to engagement to bachelor party to wedding to honeymoon, to an epilogue...which did not close anything but brought up more storylines about other characters. It just becomes too much.  Much of the last 50% of this book could have been reduced.
  • While there was nothing overly irritating about these "Architects" there could be some improvements on what Architects actually do that would help readers like me avoid eye rolling.  But for those who are not Architects, none of these items would matter to them at all.
  • I love getting glimpses of couples that will be brought forth in future books but this was painful.  Too many instances of "I wonder what is going on there" or "I'll have to ask him what happened" only to get more questions and no answers. Yes, I get books are coming but this is rather painful as a reader, especially when the couples that interest you are books away.  Introduce these characters but avoid drawing them too much into the current story or risk irritating your reader and drawing away from the main couple too much. I found myself more interested in wanting these future books than I was about this couple.
  • I wish there had been a Gay Romance Checklist of attributes, sexual positions, storylines, etc. attached to this book, because I think every box would be checked. We don't need everything.  And the warning about Rape at the beginning was completely unnecessary because we never got anything more than "he was raped, beaten and stabbed".  I assume when we finally get to this character's book we will get more.  At least I hope so.  
  • There is no need to overuse a character's name repeatedly in conversation between 2 people.  I am talking to you, I don't need to use your name.  This became irritating because how often do you really use a person's name when you are having a conversation with them.  Very little.
  • Overall this couple was rather blah.  There was no tension, no heartache, no dark past or anything.  These were just 2 lovely men who loved each other.  And we heard about it a lot.  I just kinda lost interest. 

 

Now all that said, will I continue?  Yes.  As I mentioned above, I am actually much more interested in these other couples who appear to have a little more grit to them than these characters did.  Plus, I am eager to see how this author grows and develops.  She has the abilities there is no doubt. I just hope she can structure her next book in a way that keeps me more engaged.

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-19 17:32
Well this is a bit of a quandry...
Played! - J.L. Merrow

I was more than willing to give this one a go. It had a lot going for it...I like J.L. Merrow's writing, Mark Steadman is the narrator and I like him, I enjoyed 'Caught' the first book in this series. The blurb sounded cute and Shamwell seems like a quaint little place to visit...so I was all in and while I gave this one 3 stars, I have to admit it probably fell a little bit short of that mark. But between the quality of the writing and the audio narration in good conscience I wasn't really comfortable giving this one less than 3 stars and there were several things that I liked about this one.

 

I liked Con. While he was a bit sensitive about his dyslexia, I can't in all honesty say that he was 'bitter' or 'excessive' about it. It struck me that his attitude was more a case of it was what it was and he just seemed to want to get on with his life. He's had his heart broken before and he's not looking for any one night stands or quick hook-ups. 

 

Tristan on the other hand is just in town for the summer and he's more than happy to do no-strings-attached, commitment free fun as he sorts out the house he's inherited and gets it ready for sale before going to New York to join the family business, give up his desires to perform live theater and fulfill his obligation to the family as per daddy's instructions. 

 

Tristan's also more than a bit full of himself which leads to him being more than a little surprised when Con turns him down and doesn't return his interest. When circumstances conspire to throw Con and Tristan together in an amateur production for the local theater company.  Con and Tristan begin to form a tentative friendship and feelings begin to grow on both sides. 

 

At first glance this had all the makings of a fun, sweet, friends to lovers romance. Unfortunately as the story progressed Tristan went from self-absorbed and bit arrogant to a total, absolute jerk, I started to like him less and less. Now in his defense I will say he had help being such a huge jerk and that was his bbf  Amanda...his Best Biotch Forever...because trust me folks this piece of work was no one's friend but her own. More often than not I found Tristan to be demeaning and condescending in how he treated Con. 

 

As well as just not feeling the love for Tristan, I never really felt the love between Tristan and Con. It just didn't work for me and by the time they got together it was just a bit too rushed for me.

 

While the story overall was promising in the end it just wasn't enough to save it from what wasn't working for me so it ended up just being ok and with the addition of another solid job on the narration by Mark Steadman I'm comfortable leaving this one with 3 stars.

 

In spite of it all I'm hoping to give the next book in this series a try it's Patrick's story and we met him in this book and he had a bit of bad luck happening so with any luck things will go better for him on my next trip to the wee village of Shamwell.

 

********************

An audio book of 'Played' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-19 15:42
Lies She Told
Lies She Told - Cate Holahan

By:  Cate Holahan 

ISBN: 9781683312956

Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 9/12/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

LIES SHE TOLD by Cate Holahan is a dark and twisty mind-bending thriller with more than one unreliable narrator. 

On almost every page, this imaginative psychological thriller forces the reader to reconsider what is real. A book within a book when the lines of fact and fiction are blurred.

“The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted.” — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook H 

Manhattan author Liza, (of romantic suspense) is under extreme pressure with her upcoming novel. 

Trevor, a forty-two-year-old (editor) is telling a thirty-five-year-old woman in the middle of her target audience demographic, what her peers want in the sack. He thinks he knows trends. 

Alternating between Liza’s POV in the real world, and Beth (the protagonist) in Liza’s novel. Needless to say, both these ladies lives are complex. 

"Blurring fact and fantasy is my trade. I am a con artist. A prevaricator. I make up stories." So why does he think this one is real? 

David Jacobson, husband of twelve years. Nick Landau, David’s law partner is missing. Nick never liked Liza.

Liza and David have been unable to conceive. Both the anxiety of this plus her writing deadlines push her to get lost in her characters. Their marriage is strained. 

. . . She does not invent her characters. She steals them from her surroundings. To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day she robs herself blind.

"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place." —Henry Louis Mencken, A Little Book in C Major

As the pressure of the deadlines mounts, Liza becomes immersed in her heroine. Unfaithful? Murder?

Is she writing about her own life? 

Beth has a new baby and her husband, Jake is a prosecutor. He is cheating, while she is home taking care of the baby. The sexy officer, Colleen. The psychiatrist, Tyler, and an old friend.

Will both stories lead to murder? The lines are blurred. 

Who is telling the truth? Who is not? Two stories intertwined.

The author cleverly draws readers into a world where truth blends with delusion, plus more. . . 

Dark, twisty, and sinister grip-lit. The author keeps the reader on its toes while switching from fact and fiction while questioning every move. 

Chilling, unique, intriguing, and disturbing, LIES SHE TOLD, will keep readers turning the pages. With all the books about LIES these days, this one definitely takes a distinctive spin. 

A special thank you to Crooked Lane and NetGalley for an early reading digital copy. 

I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Amy McFadden and Lisa Larsen, for a captivating performance.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/12/Lies-She-Told
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