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review 2018-11-05 15:50
TEETH by Kelli Owen
Teeth - Kelli Owen

 

Lamians. That's what vampires are called now. They have rights just like regular people under the Stoker Treaty, so you'd better get used to it. This is part of the premise of Kelli Owen's TEETH, and it sucked me right in! (See what I did there? Perhaps I should move on...)

 

As we already know, just because laws are there doesn't mean they'll be followed. We only have to look at the civil rights movement to see that. Once coming of age is reached and the new, Lamian teeth come out, they're as difficult to hide as skin color. Unlike skin color though, those new teeth signify a lot of differences-we are NOT all the same. Lamians have special powers-they may be able to read our thoughts for one, and who's comfortable with that? TEETH does a terrific job of addressing the types of sociopolitical issues of today under the guise of vampirism.

 

Set in a small town, bigotry, ignorance and prejudice play a large role here. Lamians are hated as well as admired. They are ousted from popular social circles and in others they may be worshipped. A young woman just getting her teeth and worrying about being expelled from her social clique at school has feelings just as valid as the young man who wants to pay the dentist for implants because he needs to be accepted into a Lamian group. Looking at issues from all sides, Owen does a great job of slipping in current political commentary and I enjoyed that. Oh, and she also slips in a serial killer, but I'll leave you to discover that on your own!

 

Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was the Lamplight Foundation. This is a Lamian organization designed to help Lamians learn more about their history, their future, their abilities and many other things. I found myself wanting to know more about them, how they came about and especially more about the leader of their local branch, Maximillian. Perhaps we will get that in a future book? I certainly hope so.

 

Just when I think I'm sick to death of vampires, an author comes along and puts their own spin on the old myths. So... relax-there's no sparkling here. There's no whiny regrets here as there is with Lestat and Louis, either. What we DO have is a clever way to address fear, bigotry and prejudice, and how they are used in our current political climate. And that way is all dressed up and disguised in the bloody gore of torn out throats and other body parts. Come on, how much fun is that? It's a LOT of fun! Trust me on this.

 

Recommended! You can get your copy here: TEETH

 

*I was given an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-11-04 12:47
Thump
Angst: The Collective Season Two, Episode 7 - Samantha Cole

This is book #2.7, in The Collective Season Two series.  This novel can be read as a standalone.  For more information about the series, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading these in order.

 

Carson moved to San Francisco to take a position that furthered his career as a doctor.  The love of his life decided to make the move with him there.  Only they never see each other anymore.  

 

Quinn is not sure he wants to stay in his current job.  He moved here with Carson to be with the man who he loved beyond all else.  Their careers are so demanding, that it seems they have no time together lately.

 

While this series has its own thread weaving through all the books, this one turns up the heat and keeps it blasting.  This author is an automatic buy for me and this story does not disappoint.  Thrilling, and full of suspense, this is a story that will leave you breathless and wanting more.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-11-03 13:32
In the Miso Soup (book) by Ryu Murakami, translated by Ralph McCarthy
In the Miso Soup - Ralph McCarthy,Ryū Murakami

Kenji is a "nightlife guide" for English-speaking tourists in Japan. Basically, he takes guys on tours of what the Japanese sex industry has to offer. Although Kenji gets quite a few customers via his little ad in Tokyo Pink Guide (a magazine about the sex industry in Tokyo), the work isn't as good as he expected it to be. He can never seem to save up enough for that trip to America he wants.

Kenji has seen a lot of foreigners, but his latest client, Frank, is different. On the surface, he's a loud and friendly New Yorker who wants to go everywhere and have some sex along the way. There are moments, however, when something dark and ugly peers out of Frank's eyes. Frank hired him for three nights, right up until New Year's Eve, and by the end of their first night together, Kenji becomes convinced that Frank is the serial killer who's been raping girls involved in compensated dating, killing them, and dismembering their bodies (not necessarily in this order).

This book could be divided into three parts. In the first part, Kenji is a guide and translator working with a strange and vaguely disturbing client. This section has a large amount of detail about how the various places Kenji and Frank visit work and takes place mostly during their first night together. I recall them going to a peep show, a lingerie bar (sounded a bit like a hostess club, only with the women dressed in nothing but lingerie), and some kind of club where they ended up going on a paid date that Frank had hoped would end with sex. They also spent some time at a batting cage, of all things. Considering what just the time with Kenji cost, it was a little surprising that Frank wanted to spend it just watching Kenji try to hit some baseballs. But Frank was weird, even at the very beginning.

The first part is surprisingly tame. No sex, on-page or otherwise. The closest Frank gets to having sex is a handjob at the peep show, which isn't on-page. Kenji asks the woman who did it for a few details, hoping for something that might tell him, one way or the other, whether Frank was the murderer. Some aspects of this part of the book could almost be viewed as darkly comedic. Even as Kenji worries that Frank might be a murderer, there are moments when Frank seems clownish and ridiculous.

In the second part, which occurs a little over halfway through, the violence and gore is cranked WAY up. It's basically just one scene, but it is not for the faint of heart. I didn't expect this level of nastiness and ended up skimming it for my own peace of mind. Even then, way more of this scene is burned into my brain than I'd like. There is

on-page torture, as well as a character who is almost forced into necrophilia.

(spoiler show)


The third part returns to the pacing and overall content of the first part. Kenji continues to act as Frank's guide, although Frank is no longer interested in finding someone to have sex with. However, whereas the first part was filled with Kenji's suspicions, more a fear of what his gut told him Frank might be capable of that anything, in the second part Kenji is

so far past fear that he's numb.

(spoiler show)


The last part also had a sharp increase in Frank's level of self-reflection, philosophizing, and societal analysis. Kenji, too, found himself thinking about what it is to be Japanese. And, to be honest, I really didn't care what sorts of insights Frank had or inspired in Kenji.

I don't know if his explanation of his childhood was supposed to awaken in readers some sort of empathy or understanding for him, but I, personally, just kept coming back to the utter horror of what happened at the book's midway point. Several of those people were annoying, or liars, or scammers, but none of them deserved what happened to them, and Frank made it pretty clear that he planned to continue on as he had been, after he and Kenji parted ways.

(spoiler show)


I didn't like this book. I suppose it was intense and focused look at the emotional impact of three nights with a guy like Frank, but I don't know that that time was worthwhile.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-11-02 17:45
EXORCIST FALLS by Jonathan Janz, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Exorcist Falls: Includes the Novella Exorcist Road - Matt Godfrey,Jonathan Janz,Jonathan Janz

 EXORCIST FALLS was so much demonic fun, I don't even know where to begin!

 

Narrated by Matt Godfrey, this audiobook starts out with the novella EXORCIST ROAD. A completely off the wall story of demonic possession with so many twists and turns, this reader didn't know which way was up!

 

I'm not going to get into the plot-exorcism is involved- which is plain from the get-go. What makes this book exciting and different is the twists and the loads of action within. Not only do we have the demon and the priest, we have an extremely depraved serial killer-and perhaps more than one. Father Crowder, the protagonist, isn't a completely good guy either-he often gets a bit over- zealous, (over-righteous?), in his thinking, which leads him down some uncommonly sinful roads.

 

My only criticism is the fact that towards the end of the tale the twists began to feel contrived. Honestly, though? I was having so much fun by then that I really didn't care. The final scene was such a gleeful delight, I would have overlooked a LOT worse. I'm grinning just thinking about it!

 

As I mentioned above, Matt Godfrey narrated (the hell out of )this story, and his voice and pacing were perfect. There were a few hairy scenes that I'm sure must have been difficult to get through, but he made it sound easy. He also sounded like he was having a great time, which only added to MY enjoyment.

 

If demonic possession all mixed up with a mysterious serial killer and sketchy priests sounds good to you, I highly recommend you give EXORCIST FALLS a try. I've never read anything else quite like it!

 

You can get your copy here, (tell 'em Char sent you): EXORCIST FALLS

 

*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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text 2018-11-01 21:46
Nonfiction November
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine - Lindsey Fitzharris
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus - Monica Murphy,Bill Wasik
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - Anthony Bourdain
Fear: Trump in the White House - Bob Woodward
My Own Words - Wendy W. Williams,Mary Elizabeth Hartnett,Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Lethal Guardian (Pinnacle True Crime) - M. William Phelps
Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer - M. William Phelps

I just haven't been able to read lately. Migraines are the worst. So I finally saw a neurologist and he was pretty flabbergasted by why nobody was taking this seriously. He took me off the Topamax and prescribed Aimovig, which is a monthly injection. And of course Tricare put a screeching halt on that, saying it's too expensive and demanding a pre-auth. A pre-authorization is basically the doctor making a case for why I need it, as if the doctor prescribing it isn't enough. Now I'm waiting for my damn insurance to say it's okay for me to have this lifesaving medicine so I can function like a human being again. If anyone ever says the military have good benefits, tell them to bite you. Our insurance is only good if you have a cold or a sinus infection. When there is something really wrong, they lose their shit.

 

Anyway, I should be listening to my audiobook of Spinning Silver but I don't even have the motivation to start it. I really want to read a lot of these nonfiction books I got. I'm in a slump.

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