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review 2018-12-15 02:25
So that took me a long time...
Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop

I finally took this out of the library again and finished it.   And I  I still really, really hate Simon and even all the rest of the Others.   Look, commit to being vicious or don't, but this 'we kinda are, kinda aren't' bullshit is bothering me. 


And yes, I'm going to compare to Rocket again.   When Yondu asks him if he's a professional asshole or what, Rocket's like, yeah, pretty much a pro.   He's a d-hole, knows it, and owns it.   And so while he is completely an asshole, he's pretty much a consistent asshole, funny, and I love him.   Simon's so wishy washy and wishy washy to such a degree, I just wanted someone to slap some consistency into his character. 


Which is a shame: the actual storyline moves along at a nice pace, it goes into the truly dark territory that I think is a hallmark of Bishop's work, and I think her storytelling just gets better and better.   She does have a tendency to write vicious characters with hearts of gold, but they didn't feel as inconsistent in the Black Jewel world as in this one.


I got into the world and storyline, but the characters were, for the most part, so confusing due to their being written so inconsistently that I had a hard time connecting with any of them or finishing them. 


Please, please let the next book be better since I took out the next two...

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review 2018-09-07 18:54
Unimportant Sub-Plots: "A Feast for Crows" by George R. R. Martin
A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin

The thing that astonishes me, continually, is the fans who cannot see it and, in some cases, cannot even perceive that the quality has fallen off disastrously as he got mired in unimportant sub-plots. He reminds me of a story told by one my bosses I used to have a long time ago. This guy was head director. When I started working in that department I found none of the rest of the staff would speak to him because they had decided he was completely incompetent. He wasn't. He was good at certain things but not all the things he had to do (such as managing people) as head director. Work piled up and up and his desk was a vast pile of papers which stuff disappeared into.



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



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text 2018-08-28 01:42
Reading progress update: I've read 121 out of 354 pages.
Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop

I keep comparing Simon to Rocket.   


Simon... does not fare well. 


I wish Simon was a little more of an asshole.   As it is, I also wish he either went with snarly or lovey, but the bouncing back and forth is irritating me.   No wonder Meg is confused!


And yeah, I like the dicks, so I wish he swung that way a little.   


Also, Rocket has explosives, and that's making me wish he would use some on Simon.  I find Simon even more grating when he's pining over Meg, to be honest. 


I love the Crows, the Ponies, and I wish there were Raccoongard.   Just saying...

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text 2018-08-26 20:32
Reading progress update: I've read 22 out of 354 pages.
Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop

I was in soooo much pain on the flight back that I could barely focus on movies.  I managed to mostly finish my reread of Written in Red.   Not sure why, but I don't own and haven't read the rest of this series.  I started this book this morning as my early Halloween bingo book, though!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-24 18:34
A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene
A Gathering of Crows - Brian Keene

A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The town of Brinkley Springs is about to become a hunting ground. Five otherworldly beasts descend upon the populace, their hunger for death and destruction insatiable. Levi Stoltzfus finds himself amongst those in danger, yet he proves anything but helpless. Along with some unexpected allies, magus Levi must discover the identity of the ravaging monsters, and figure out a way to stop them.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

To show support for the author Brian Keene, of whom suffered an accident and has subsequent insurance issues, Horror Aficionados selected this title for the monthly group listen in July. I simply had to join in as it was a good cause, and I’m all for helping a writer in need. As for the audiobook in general, well, I was at first put off by the narrator, Chet Williamson. Don’t get me wrong, Chet wasn’t bad at all, but his voice took a while to get used to. If I were to describe it, the words “powerful” and “booming” come to mind, so it was a very intense experience indeed. I also found it difficult to distinguish between characters at times, especially when it came to the male personalities. After some hours, however, I was able to get into the rhythm of Chet’s mighty voice-over and focus primarily on the story. Despite being the third installment in the series, this one sufficiently stood as an independent volume - as far as I’m aware, the adventures of Levi Stoltzfus can be enjoyed in any order. Of course, there are running themes throughout, but Keene always seemed willing to share lengthy, yet relevant information and pieces of history.

The story begun as rather slow, with the repetition of certain details. If there’s one specific thing that irks me in any form of media, it’s the retelling of something that I already know. Brinkley Springs was a dying town, I understood that the very first time it was stated, and I really didn’t need to be reminded with the introduction of every new character. It may be a minor thing to some, but for me it’s a personal grievance. It became apparent that most of the beginning was comprised of useless, and not very interesting, elements of people's lives. They did little to connect me to the residents, as soon enough they would fall victim to the monsters. What I wanted was to get familiar with the man himself, but Levi's appearance took time to come about, and when it did, it usually wasn't for long.

The further the plot progressed, the more I came to enjoy it. Levi's presence eventually became the main focal point; his investigation of the horrific occurrences afflicting the town improved my overall feeling of the book. There was a tremendous amount of death, and it, in all its graphic glory, had very little in terms of limits. Children, animals, the elderly, all were fair game and sought out like animals. Whilst the aftermath was largely centred upon - the state of the bodies after the initial murder, there were a few scenes that depicted the actual killing. It was brutal, and I do favour brutality.

I can't say I became attached to anyone but Levi, and even then I believe that to be able to fully appreciate him I'd have to delve further into the series; from what I could gather, his history was certainly intriguing. As for the others, well, there was a romance I didn't care about, and the surviving group in general didn't strike me as anything special. The villains, whilst amusing with their shape-shifting shenanigans, were awfully single minded and thus had little depth. I suppose that was the point; they were minions, set upon one specific goal.

My interest soared to new heights when the mythology of The Thirteen came into play. I don’t know much of Keene’s Lovecraftian lore, but by goodness I devoured it. To be honest, it was the best thing about the entire novel; the snippets of information relating to these nefarious entities. Due to my fascination, it was therefore a real treat when Levi transported himself to another realm right at the end. I actually couldn't get enough of it.

In conclusion: It was a very weak beginning, but it improved, and by the end I was well and truly drawn into Keene's Labyrinth Mythos. There's no doubt that I'll be seeking out more of his work.

Notable Quote:

Brinkley Springs may have been dying, but it doesn't deserve to be murdered.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/08/24/a-gathering-of-crows-by-brian-keene
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