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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-17 08:01
Apprentice in Death - J.D. Robb

I found the book to be pretty average for an In Death book. Not very memorable, due to violence I've been exposed to in shows like Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc, and in real life. I read the teaser a while ago and immediately thought of the Beltway snipers. I suppose it was meant to be "shocking" or a "plot twist" for Will to be a psychopath but I wasn't surprised. When people like Mary Bell, Robert Thompson, and Jon Venables exist in real life, people like Will existing in fiction isn't much of a stretch.

 

Nothing significant happened, just another high profile case. Eve works herself to the ground, Roarke inserts himself into the investigation and worries about her, Peabody won't shut up about her shoes or coat, Eve is forced to deal with Nadine and the media, Roarke forces her to rest and eat, they have sex sometimes, Eve has take a few hours off to do something personal like attend a party, Eve gets mildly injured. Same old, same old. The In Death series is a good series for people who like consistency and an overall lack of change.

 

I genuinely thought Robb would use this case as an opportunity to add some real angst to the plot by having Eve hit by a laser strike or have her walk around in public places as bait. But the most Eve got was a knife wound on her hand and a black eye. She hasn't been badly injured so far in the series, as I recall the worst that's ever happened to her was when she got nailed in the back by a kid on an airboard in Reunion in Death. She was kidnapped in Creation in Death but she was more effected by the drugs than any physical injury. I think it would be interesting to see how the characters would react if Eve were to be injured badly enough to need surgery. Would Peabody for once shut up about her boots and coat and her boyfriend long enough to hunt the person who attack her partner? What about Roarke? How far would he go? How would he react in the hospitals, with the doctors while his wife is in surgery? Or, how about if Eve is injured just like Susann was killed? Just one actual plot twist in one book would help the series.

 

I apologize for my rambling but I want more out of this series. Normally I'm very much not a fan of shows or books doing things for "shock value" but the series is now 54 books long and it's gotten to the point where I feel buying the books is a waste of money and instead turn to the library.

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text 2016-09-15 01:53
HP and Cursed Child rambling

One of the things I also hated about the book was the lengths Rowling went to try to make more people like Dumbledore or Snape. Like please, finding out that Snape wanted to fuck Lily Potter doesn't automatically make him a good person and redeem him of all the shit he did. And Harry saying "I love you" to the man who deliberately left him in an abusive home until he was legally an adult? Bullcrap. How on earth is his mother's love stronger than Hogwarts, which can literally fight back as shown in the last book? A world where Harry Potter is raised by the castle and people like McGonagall is so much more interesting.

 

Also Harry's kids' names are still stupid.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-08-02 17:44
TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...The Einstein Prophecy
The Einstein Prophecy - Robert Masello

I've been reading a lot of Young Adult fiction lately, so it was refreshing to read and adult fiction book that still had my favorite elements, paranormal or fantasy. Masello mixes these elements well with the real world.

 

Einstein and the Others

 

I don't know much about Einstein and his history to be honest. I'm an English major, so we steered clear of the whole relativity thing.

But Masello has created an Einstein that is easy for me to believe. All of his characters are very well developed and have unforgettable characteristics, but I was most impress at how he was able to bring Einstein to life without turning him into a caricature. 

Yes, the familiar wild hair and heavy German accent are there. Did he always repeat the last words of his previous sentence in real life? Not sure on that one, but it's something I could believe. Masello made him very human to me. Having read this, I feel like I know a different side of Einstein that not many people are exposed to, and thats a true testament to the writer. 

 

The Plot

 

 

The one thing I will say that may be seen as a con of this book, it takes a while to kick off.  I came close to putting this on my lost interest shelf, but I just kept willing myself to continue reading it. But I'm glad I did. Once you get past the first few chapters, meaning once the first person is "attacked" by the ossuary, things pick up. And once it does, it doesn't slow down. But this is not a page turner, edge of your seat thriller. It takes its time, doesn't leave you on any cliffhangers, and allows you to soak in the events of the story, which was a very interesting one. I enjoyed how Masello weaves historical events into his fiction. Like how Lucas and Simone witness the iconic Sailor and Nurse kiss that became one of the most famous photos in history. And to think that Einstein could have helped to create the atomic bomb, well, that's not too far of a stretch is it?

 

What sometimes got on my nerves while reading though were the extremely long, comma ridden, sentences that had the author, who otherwise was a great writer, constantly interrupting himself to add anecdotes or descriptions, and making the sentence very convoluted.

 

A lot like the sentence I just wrote. That got out of hand sometimes, and I found myself reading a sentence over and over, trying to figure out what was said. But honestly, after a while I got used to it, I guess.

 

Overall it was a good read. Pretty straight forward and I enjoyed it. It's a story I wouldn't mind reading again.

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text 2016-03-16 22:59
The day I was spoiled on Harry Potter

GUYS! 

 

Please enjoy this short story on the day when almost ten years of avoiding Harry Potter spoilers came to an end.

 

So today I decided to drive to the nearest Books-A-Million (if you can call an hour a way "near") My goal was to just browse around and maybe sit in their little cafe and read some of my book. When I was done making my lap around the store all of a sudden I hear over the loud speaker "Hey all you muggles!" I knew we were about to hear an advertisement for Harry Potter, so I started listening. 

 

What happened next you're wondering?

 

Well, the advertisement was for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The announcement included a synopsis of the book, which included exactly how Harry Potter's life turns out at the end of the series!! I probably looked like an idiot standing there screaming in my head "HOW DO I STOP LISTENING? I CANT UNHEAR IT! WHY?" I just don't know why they would do that!

 

Now, I know i'm twenty years old and I probably should have read Harry Potter about ten years ago, but I didn't. I have avoided spoilers this long and I figured it was time to start the series. Ten years of being spoiler free ended today.

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-03-13 00:25
TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...Allegiant
Allegiant - Veronica Roth

When I first read Divergent I thought,"YES! Something that's completely original! Something I've never read before!" 

 

I loved the characters, I loved the world, I loved the idea of the factions even though I knew that was just asking for trouble. But thats the point of every novel right? To ask for trouble for it's characters? Speaking of characters, I loved the fact that the side characters like Peter, Christina, and Caleb, were people. Not fillers. That is until Insurgent and Allegiant.

 

Imagine my dismay as I watched this series begin to crumble. As I watched Roth struggle to keep the originality of her story. Insurgent I felt was just an unnecessary filler book that completely dismantled everything I thought about the characters, but Allegiant takes that even a step further.

 

Okay, enough about the previous books. I have reviews on Goodreads if you wanna know how I felt about that. Lets get into Allegiant.

 

 

The only reason why I gave this a 3 out of 5 is because I actually do like the story.

 

I mean sure the plot didn't make sense at times. Especially with the whole, genetically damaged genes eventually making genetically pure genes if you procreate enough. If that were the case well then maybe my great great great grandchildren will have the cure for sickle cell disease swimming around in their veins. Anyway, so Veronica wasn't paying attention in Bio, I can relate. But research is always good for plots that have anything to do with Science. But regardless, I give her brownie points for at least trying to be different.

 

Characters

 

Most people felt like Tobias in Allegiant is to Tris in Insurgent. But I honestly don't think it was that bad. I completely understand Four's reaction to certain things, like being genetically damaged. That would make anyone feel insecure, especially if they have had that feeling for a while anyway. Bottom line is, no matter how tough Tobias appears, he's still a guy who was abused by his father as a kid and constantly felt or was told that he was worthless. Yes, he is insecure, and that makes him honest in my eyes. BUT, the whole not thinking things through situation is new to me. He was the one that always went off on Tris when she went on her little I'll sacrifice myself for everyone rampages 

More on that later.

 

But for him to just say okay to the chick he barely knows, while brushing off his girlfriend's warnings as jealousy, was so not Tobias in my opinion. You know what else was so not Tobias, that epilogue zip line scene. He sounded like Caleb, practically sniveling about how he didn't want to do it. I remember being like WTF, this doesn't sound like Tobias. Two years later or no, Tobias, who first of all overcame all of his fear landscapes, would not still be terrified of zip lining. And even if he was, he wouldn't show it. He would grit his teeth and get on the damn thing. I was so disgusted by him saying "Please. I don't want to do this." Did you somehow lose your balls during the two years that passed? Even the way he was talking to his mother and everyone else, it didn't even sound like his voice. I wasn't sure who it was and I think Roth might have noticed that too, hence all the clues she was dropping until she finally just blatantly had Tobias say "well I am your son Evelyn."

 

Sidenote: Roth does a lot of that. Telling instead of showing.  Instead of us just seeing something happen between two characters, somebody explains why they did what they did or how they're feeling. That is a storytelling no no.

 

Anyway..

 

Tris on the other hand, was way better than she was in Insurgent. Her confidence was back and she didn't turn into butter every time a gun was put in her hand. She had attitude, she was defiant, and she reminded me of why I liked her in Divergent. Even with her going in Caleb's place, I knew that was something Tris would do. But her death was not necessary. More on that later.

 

The sad part was watching characters that I really liked becoming flat fillers. Christina is only around when Tris needs someone other than Tobias to talk to. Same goes for Cara and Tobias. Caleb does nothing but mope around feeling miserable for what he's done. Uriah is the occasional "comedic relief" that is until he's... you know... blown up for no apparent reason other than it was about time for somebody else to die. Peter, who I liked for being proud of how much of an asshole he was, turns out to actually hate being an asshole. He wants to forget who he is and start over. Last time I checked, the memory serum takes away your memories, not your personality. Which is made even more apparent when it's stated later that the more "sharper" aspects of his personality came back.  I'm not even sure what the point of that was. Maybe if it had been made clear that Peter had some sort of inner struggle all along about the type of person he was, this would have worked. Instead it just comes off as random and pointless. I guess she realized that nothing had really happened with Peter lately, so she made something up.

 

Plot

 

So the genetically pure and the genetically damaged story has some kinks to be worked out, that is what it is. My problem is, why introduce a whole new conflict when the previous conflict has yet to be resolved. If we were going to go outside to the world beyond the gate and get some new crap shoved in our face, then the whole faction vs factionless dilemma should have ended in the second book. Or rather, it shouldn't have started in the 3rd book. Or it should have started and shutdown quickly. Anything to not have the plot so convoluted. Maybe she could have saved the whole GP and GD thing for a prequel series or something, I don't know. It's just too much going on in one book. It's to the point where we barely even know what's going on with the factions. They've been reduced to here and there snippets on the control room screens. I think I would have actually been okay with the 3rd book still focusing on the factions and factionless, and then ending with a group of people leaving the compound. Then we can have a few more books exploring the GP and GD conflict. Funny because in Insurgent, I was saying it should have been a two book series, but since she dropped this stuff on us, I'm thinking 2 more books could cover this new plot nicely. It's almost like halfway through writing the series she came up with another idea and felt like she just had to squeeze it in somehow. That was one of her biggest mistakes with this book.

 

The other was Evelyn throwing away years worth of work and determination just because Tobias asked her to. Its even more ridiculous to me because right before the scene Peter reminds Tobias that Evelyn almost got him killed by sending a group of people with guns after them when they were leaving the city, knowing that her son was among the people leaving. We also know that Evelyn doesn't take too kindly to betrayal. But low and behold Tobias says choose me or the city and it doesn't even take a second for her to choose him. You know I actually thought it was a trick. I'm reading and in my mind I'm like OMG, she's so faking it, something is going to happen, that was too easy! But no, nothing happened. She really was surrendering. And Marcus, Mr. Big Bad Wolf, was shut down by Johanna before he could even really begin to start a ruckus. And he actually gave up. Just like that. You mean that this conflict could have ended a long time ago if Evelyn had just surrendered? Then explain to me what the point of all this was? If all it took was for Tobias to say, "Hey mom, choose me," then why didn't they have that conversation when he was working side by side with her. Evelyn faked her own death for goodness sakes! You would think that having a family again is not exactly high on her priorities list. I literally pictured them fighting and Tobias force feeding her the memory serum. But it's almost like Roth is afraid of having completely evil characters. It seems like she tries to give all her bad guys some sort of redeeming quality, but it's really not necessary. Let a bad guy be a bad guy. That's their job. But since Roth apparently wants everybody to just forgive each other, we end up with a very anticlimactic end to that conflict. 

 

Now for that finale. That moment my friend told me is going to make my jaw drop. Honestly, it didn't. As soon as my friend told me I might not like the ending, I knew what was coming. I figured it would either be Tris or Tobias. And you know what, I would have been fine with it. It's realistic enough. I'm not the one to always want a happy ending anyway. But the way this ending happened was so forced, it's insulting. I can't help but feel like she, her publisher, somebody wanted this "shock factor". Cause lets face it, Tris's death was so unnecessary. It took away the chance for Caleb, the only person who actually did need redeeming, to prove that he wasn't a bad guy after all, just misled. I was completely okay with him sacrificing himself because it just made sense. But I just knew that Tris would steal the moment. But I didn't expect her to die because of it. I was expecting the whole she has more of a chance to survive the death serum thing. But David waiting with a gun? We don't even know what tipped him off. He just had a feeling because she had been running around with GD people all week? Thats complete bullshit. First of all, who else is she going to run around with? Those people are her friends and she's not going to cut them off just because you say they're damaged. Oh, and let's not forget that she saw him early in the day at a meeting! Don't you think if he suspected anything he would have brought it up then? But no, instead we get a random security lockdown that ruins the whole plan. If we had some clue or inkling that David was on to them, this might have worked. But instead she forces a situation that would allow Tris to die. And then we're supposed to be heartbroken for Tobias. First of all, it took pages for them to get back to the Bureau to learn what happened, by then I was just over it. The mini chapters of Tobias in his feelings didn't even move me because I was just pissed the whole time that Tris died is such a dumb way. I mean she had a whole conversation with David and was taking steps BACK. She could have dived behind some cover, grabbed her gun, shot David from around the corner and Initiate the memory serum and that would have been that. Hell maybe she could have took some shots too, but survivable ones.

 

I think in Roth's quest to be different, she threw logic out the window. But I'm sorry, to successfully kill off a main character, you better have a damn good reason to. That's why it's very rare, not only in books but in films. Roth could have gone so many ways with that ending. But she chose the wrong path for the sake of controversy, and that is the biggest disappointment about this series. 

 

You know what, that 3 out of 5 is more for the series as a whole. I would give this book more of a 2 out of 5.

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