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Search tags: small-words-and-short-sentences
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review 2015-03-13 10:04
Red Moon - DNF at 10%
Red Moon - Benjamin Percy

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 4
boobs: 0
bombs: 1
bondage: 0
blasphemy: 0
Stars: 2
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.



I DNF'd this at 10%. This feels like a YA book; all the POVs (except one) are of kids and it looks like they're shaping up to be the main characters. The only exception is a maternal warrior character a'la Ripley. The writing is solid - though made of small words and short sentences - and the plot is based on an interesting premise. I think it could be a good story, but YA isn't for me.

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review 2015-02-02 16:40
Psychopath for Hire - I'm not hiring
Psychopath for Hire - Matt Shaw

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 4
boobs: 2
bombs: 0
bondage: 4
blasphemy: 3
Stars: 1
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.



This is not going to be a long review; the time I've spent reading the first 10% is more than enough time on this book. I thought I'd give this a try since I'd already bought it; I was hoping I'd like it better than "Sick Bastards". I didn't. For this review, I'll throw out some terms and let y'all put your own sentences and paragraphs together:
Derivative
Unoriginal
Uninspired
Predictable
Boring
Unrealistic
Simplistic

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review 2015-01-27 10:18
Shining in Crimson - Not a shining example of literary prowess
Shining in Crimson: Empire of Blood Book One (A Dystopian Vampire Novel) - Robert S. Wilson

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
boobs: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
bombs: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
bondage: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
blasphemy: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
Stars: 2
Bechdel Test: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
Deggan's Rule: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]
Gay Bechdel Test: [UNSCORED, DNF AT 10%]

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.



I picked this up because it was cheap and it has 250+ ratings and a >3.75 star average rating at GR. I'm not sure I got the same edition everyone else has read. The edition I have had some serious pacing problems and glaring issues with the worldbuilding.

Our intrepid hero finds himself dumped off in Las Vegas, some time after it's been taken over by vampires. This is a state sponsored execution - he and his fellow convicts are expected to die. So far so good. This clearly isn't going to be the best book I read all year, but we're off to a good enough start. In the course of the next few paragraphs he manages to break into an as yet unscavenged army surplus store - that none of the hundreds (thousands?) of convicts before him, or undead residents of Las Vegas had yet broken into. How lucky can one guy be? There's a thick layer of dust over everything - but the store is just as it was when the employees last locked up. There's no hint as to why this store is intact when the rest of Las Vegas is run down and decrepit.

During the course of the scavenging, a fight ensues with a vampire and the vampire gets killed. Hero finds out that if he ingests a wee bit of vampire blood he gets superhuman strength etc (yawn). The whole fight didn't convey any sense of danger - it just sort of ambles along at the same pace as everything else we've done so far. Our hero was detected while he was quietly tiptoeing around inside the store, but the fight that knocked over rows of shelves didn't seem to draw attention from any of the other vampires flying around. And of course everything our hero needs for his solitary, Rambo-esque trek out of Las Vegas and back to (wherever) is right there in easy reach.

The city is completely abandoned and run down with no running water, but there's still electricity? This doesn't surprise Hero, nor is it explained at all. Maybe I'm too old, maybe I'm too grumpy, but I just can't tolerate worldbuilding errors like this. The numerous logical fails, coupled with the uninspired writing (short words and small sentences) put this book on my DNF list.

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review 2015-01-16 17:11
Good Omens - Not as good the second (sober) time
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 1
boobs: 2
bombs: 0
bondage: 1
blasphemy: 3
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.



I don't recall exactly why it seemed like a good idea to buy this and read it again; I believe I heard a mention that the BBC4 dramatisation will be available for sale soon. In an inexplicable fit of nostalgia I bought a copy and for reasons I can't quite fathom I actually reread the whole thing. I first read this book right as it came out in paperback - about the time I graduated high school. It must be understood that the young Mr. Brainycat was drunk nearly every night and stoned more often that not. Way back in the day, I thought it was brilliant satire that was sticking it right to the man where it'd hurt him the most. Neil Gaiman was the new Ambrose Bierce!

Growing up in middle America made any story set in England seem vastly important; it was the land of Monty Python, Benny Hill and Proper Tradition. England was a wonderland of glorious villages and endearing people with a brilliant sense of humor, and an affinity for anything English gave me a feeling of being cultured (superior) to the rednecks surrounding me. A quarter of a century later, six years sober and living in England has wiped the gloss right off of that fantasy in no uncertain terms.

I think being more familiar with the English culture is the biggest factor in my disappointment with this rereading. It doesn't seem cute and quaint; the difficulties of trying to do things in England (like drive around the M25) are cute when you're reading about them from 10 000km away; when you're living there it's maddeningly frustrating[1]. I didn't realize how much of this book is taking the piss out of the British way of doing things until now, but this time around I didn't find it LOL funny. It's cute, it's funny, and it's totally forgettable.

I had a notion to reread American Gods, which I liked when I was really high, but I think I'm going to let that one lie. Some things are best left as (scattered) memories and vague impressions. I believe the fact of the matter is that except for Sandman, I'm not a Neil Gaiman fan and as I grow older and more cynical I'm diverging further and further away from his canon. By the same token I've never disliked Terry Pratchet, but I've never been a huge fan either - I found the couple of Discworld books I read to be cute, funny and totally forgettable. This is a great pairing of authors but I don't think they worked out a whole that's any greater than the sum of their parts.


[1] Example: restaurants run and staffed by English people cannot get a meal delivered to a table in less than 45 minutes. This is an example of the attitude that lost them their empire.

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review 2015-01-04 13:27
Djinn - It didn't take me long to give up on this book
Djinn: An Extreme Horror Novel - Sam West

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
**Intentionally Left Blank**
blood:
boobs:
bombs:
bondage:
blasphemy:
Bechdel Test:
Deggan's Rule:
Gay Bechdel Test:

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.



I left my "5Bs" blank because I didn't read enough of the book to make a valid score.

I made it about 12% into this book before I gave up. Not because it was too "extreme" or "graphic", but because it just wasn't written very well. I'm all about the splatterpunk - I don't even blink an eye at Edward Lee - and I took a chance on this at amazon when I saw the 3.6 average review at GR. I'm glad I didn't pay very much for it.

The content wasn't the problem. The problem is the writing. All of the sentences looked the same. All of the dialogue sounded the same. The author didn't show me anything. The author only told me things. The main character was boring. And she was predictable. I knew what was going to happen to her after her first "test".

There's just too many good books that are crafted by wordsmiths rather than written by content producers and lovingly edited by professionals that are advocating on the reader's behalf to spend time on books that are substandard. I do hope this author continues to refine his craft, the world needs more splatterpunk and I'm sure he has important stories to tell, but until he's better at telling them I'm going to spend my scant reading time on books that are produced to a higher caliber.

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