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review 2018-11-15 01:09
The Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch
The Revolution of Marina M. - Janet Fitc... The Revolution of Marina M. - Janet Fitch

A special thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Fitch amazed me with Paint in Black.  I listened to the audiobook that was read by Jennifer Jason Leigh and it was mesmerizing—Audible cast this book perfectly, Leigh was brilliant and her delivery  was flawless and was exactly what the character embodied.  I also read and thoroughly enjoyed White Oleander when it was the Oprah's Book Club selection.  Fitch is a powerful and poignant writer and has such purpose and thought throughout her novels.

This was quite the undertaking at 816 pages and it took several attempts to not only get into it, but to stick with it.  Hear me out...  Fitch did an extraordinary job in her research and retelling of the Russian Revolution but at times this was the only redemption. I struggled with the main character, she was completely void of depth and was surprisingly underdeveloped for such an intricate story.  

The last almost quarter of the book was completely unnecessary—I'm not even going to try to understand why it was included, it should have been edited out.  Especially because this is apparently volume one of two.

The beginning was the best part, and then...it's like Fitch had to include every single detail and every bit of research and it's not necessary.  Is she looking for validation for her years of work?  The story then just becomes a linear piece of writing which begs the question, should this have not been a historical fiction book but rather an actual book on the Russian Revolution?  I think so.  

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review 2018-10-23 16:26
Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley
Rock Chick Revolution - Kristen Ashley

Ally was my least favourite Rock Chick from the start. But this book showed her in a new light. She had brains and knew when to back off and let the others help. She still got in my nerves from time to time and there were too many sex scenes in this story, but I actually liked the last book of the series quite a lot. 4 stars.

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review 2018-10-17 14:27
Podcast #120 is up!
In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown - Nathaniel Philbrick

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Nathaniel Philbrick about his narrative history of the last year of the American Revolution. Enjoy!

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review 2018-09-27 01:40
Pretty but problematic
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

I'm divided on this one.

 

I liked the writing. I liked the stab at representation and consent issues. New takes of old tales are always an interest to me, and the sci-fi slant is just more win.

 

I could not get over Earland. On his own, he undermines most of the good bits about body-autonomy, consent and chauvinistics screenings. There's this bit where the doc passes on testing the virus/cure combo on a male cyborg ostensibly because he's too old (and in his mind, ostensibly because he has a son), but then gets all gung-ho on testing the teen girl, and a female colleague implies it is because he's a chauvinistic ass. But hey, no! That woman was obviously wrong and overreacting! (oversensitive feminists!) He just knew that the immune one he was looking for would be a cyborg teen girl. He's not racist or anything. It is just a pity that the easiest way to find her was to implement a draft on a group with little body autonomy and they... well... die. The princess (and a cure... that too) must be found! He's just working with the system! Honest! (I kept thinking of The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, and also the Nuremberg Trials, ain't he a peach?)

 

The other bit that I did not like was the very end.

 

Cinder is overwhelmed by all the revelations and pretty much giving up, even as Earland gives her the tools to escape and a path forward (Oh yeah, and on that note, this speech is not skeevy at all

But finding you and being able to reinstate you as queen are two very different goals. I have planned this moment for a long time. I can help you.”
Cinder gawked at him as panic gripped her lungs. “Reinstate me as queen?”
The doctor cleared his throat. “I understand you are frightened right now, and confused. Do not think too much. All I’m asking is that you find a way out of this prison. I know you can do that. Then come to Africa. I will guide you through the rest. Please. We cannot let Levana win.”

) she can't even contemplate it till she thinks about her prince *eye-roll*. Yeah, the whole cheese is a bit much, but getting out of dodge? How about not needing a love interest to get the drive to stay alive? (sorry, but Bella consumed any quota of patience for that devise that I ever possessed)

(spoiler show)

 

And I knew it was a series, but I still hate books that do not resolve the main plot. I like series with myth arcs and more or less self contained volumes. I can count the amount of books I "forgave" cliff-hangers or series' hooks with one hand, so a final demotion, though this one smaller and more personal.

 

Hell, likely all the cons I wrote there are personal anyway. It likely is the perfect book for many people, and I might still read the rest. I'm just not in as much of a rush as I felt I'd be at the start.

 

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review 2018-09-14 15:59
Hah!
Magic Triumphs - Ilona Andrews

Really, what else is there to say about the closing of a saga worth it's salt?

 

Ok... Fast paced wrap up choke-full of badass moments, everyone gets a scene bit or at least a name check and the last solution reeked of poetic justice with a good dose of deus-ex-machina (heheh). Plus all the mommy moments that were hilarious, dysfunctional, messed up and all around weird, or awesome, or blood-thirsty, or all of the above, lol.

 

Now, for all the bits that I can't comment without spoiling

 

I'm never, ever, no matter how many times the books name him, will stop grinning at Teddy Jo's name.

Luther. And Roman. And Beau Clayton. Come on, they are so awesome.

Kate's "we are a family of monsters" acceptance moment, when she gives up on trying to shield Conlan from violence and decides to go with "but we are the most violent BAMFs around, so you are safe".

Hugh having a second Conclave crashing moment.

Kate and Hugh having their "yeap, we are siblings indeed and dad sucks" chat.

On that vein, Kate and Nicks vaguely siblingly but even more combative relationship too (seriously, this family!)

The muggle Lt stepping up with "what do you need?" and all the muggle forces showing.

Saiman, why?

Julie and Erra leaving to have their own adventures after a visit to grandma? So want to see

(spoiler show)

 

Oh, lookie, I just busted my yearly challenge

 

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