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review 2017-06-26 20:57
Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis
Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis - Richard Roberts

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher.]

I remember being disappointed with the previous instalment. This one, although not as strong as the first volume in the series, I felt was better—probably because it deals less with slice-of-life/school moments, and tackles more seriously the matter of Penny wanting to come clean to her parents about the Inscrutable Machine. Well, ‘seriously’ being a tentative word, because her plan is, as Ray and Clair put it, just crazy enough to actually work. (On the other hand, well, it’s a plan crafted by a 14-year-old mad scientist, soooooo... why not!)

... And you can sense this plan smells like Eau de Backfiring from the moment it is formulated, and can’t help but wait for the train wreck to happen, and... I admit, I liked that part of the plot. Even though it didn’t cover the whole book (too bad). In a twisted way, the mistakes Penny keeps committing seem to me like they’re actually her subconscious, or perhaps her power, acting her to act: she wants to be a hero, she regularly tries to help people and do good deeds, but somehow she seems more cut out to be an ambiguous hero at best. More suited to be filed with the likes of Lucyfar than Marvelous.

(I’m also thinking that IF this is what the author is indeed going for, then it might also explain the Audit’s lack of insight about her daughter: maybe the Audit does know, has known for a while, and isn’t saying anything because she wants Penny to realise by herself what her true decision will have to be.)

What I regret:

- Like in the previous two books, we don’t see much of Ray and Claire, both in terms of development and sidekicking (summer camp kind of gets in the latter’s way). Hopefully the last volume will take care of the whole ‘Ray’s family’ issue. Or maybe it’s not worth it? I don’t know, I’ve always felt there was something off to them, and not merely as in ‘they don’t like superheroes/villains so I can’t tell them I’m one now.’

- The coming back of a friendtagonist: I was expecting it, I wanted to see it happen, yet at the same time, the way it was dealt with felt like a plot device. Kind of ‘this character is needed to help Penny build one specific machine, and then will be unneeded for the rest of the book.’ Meh.

What I’m in between about:
- The ending. It is fairly depressing, and a cliffhanger... yet at the same time, I’m glad the whole thing wasn’t solved just like that, since it would’ve been too simple, and... ‘too clean?’

Conclusion: Not on par with volume 1, howeve it did leave me with a better impression than volume 3.

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review 2017-06-25 15:49
Audio Book Review: The Science of Supervillainy
The Science of Supervillainy (The Superv... The Science of Supervillainy (The Supervillainy Saga) (Volume 4) - C.T. Phipps,Valerie Kann,Raffaele Marinetti,Terry Stewart

*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

Gary aka Merciless may have stopped President Omega (for now?) but he still has Other Gary to tend to. After his imprisonment by Other Gary, Gary returns to Falconcrest to find Other Gary has taken Gary's name and turned the city into a wonder, run by a superhero. Gary must now overthrow Other Gary to get things to return to normal.

Jeffrey is a treat to listen to. In this book, he made me laugh out. What did he do? He did a villain's laugh for Gary. Yes, a laugh laugh not just telling me the words describing the laugh. It was awesome! These are the little things narrators do that catch my ears and draw me in. I wonder how many times Jeffrey had to speak the tongue twister sections, as they are perfect in the audiobook.

I'm so excited to get back into this world. Gary is kicking it strong with his references in this book. C.T. has weighted the book heavily with these cool nods to all sorts of memories of shows, comics, and so much more. All hit home as soon as I hear them, and make me smile at the memory and joke. So many references to the shows, comics, and more are in comment, actions, and title.

Gary's colorful look on events and life makes this book a joy to listen to. If you enjoyed Gary's perspective on events and life, you'll continue to enjoy this book. He really believes what he thinks, whether it's true or not. When he's wrong his friends point it out and he plays it off. He never thinks back to it and rolls with it. It's a hoot.

I love the twist to good and evil and live and death interpretation on things done in this book. It's a fun twist authors enjoy playing with, and C.T. has the ground work in place to do that with Gary and Other Gary.

Gary keeps friends and loved ones near and dear. Gary loves his wife, Mandy, so deeply. He is so caught on her, and it's great. He's not stalkerish, he's just full of heart or heartbroken or... well, he always wants the best for Mandy and hopes to have his relationship back. Gary meets a very special little one. The communication and conversations with the little one is cute and fun. I love the references to cartoons.

We get a lot of family (blood and picked) time. Gary was imprisoned in a town for five years and has a lot to catch up on. We do, and learn what happened with Other Gary in their town.

Just when I think things are going to become as I expect, C.T. throws in a surprise. I just never know what's going to happen or appear in a scene. Sure, I can guess and let my mind run wild, but then I miss something! lol.

Gary gets sidetracked so easily! lol. It's funny how this mans brain works. We have a goal, to stop Other Gary. But we get waylaid with family and friends along the way because things are different after five years imprisoned in Undertown, living the 1950's life style. At times I almost forgot what the end goal was with all we talked through with family/friends. This story's focus feels to be more on family, those we create by blood and more.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-16 12:21
Unbound is an Unimpressive Anthology Even Though it had 4 Big Names in it! Here's my Review...
Unbound - Kim Harrison, Jocelynn Drake, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson,Melissa Marr


Ley Line Drifter by Kim Harrison - A pixy tries to solve a mystery and gets more than he bargained for.
★★ I liked how cute it was but there was a lot of repetition.


Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost - Bones is asked to hunt a ghoul couple in New Orleans by its Voodoo Queen. Of course, things aren't as they seem.
★★★ I liked the darkness and that Bones was able to carry the story without Cat.

Dark Matters by Vicki Pettersson - Dark & Light come together when agents from the opposite side come together.
★ No surprises.

The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten by Jocelynn Drake - A vampire fights to keep her domain under her control while she is being framed.
★★ Loved the violence, for instance, check out the quote below:

The fledgling was still in the attic, chained to the wall. For a moment, I wondered if I should go up and free, but quickly shook off the thought and got into the car. If she couldn't find a way to free herself, then she would never survive in my world.

but the story lacked cohesion.

Two Lines by Melissa Marr - A glaistig does her best to fight temptation and stay mortal.
★★ I really liked the parts with the glaistig's family but other than that, the story was repetitive and boring.

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review 2017-01-31 18:18
How to train as the #2 hero
Sidekicked - John David Anderson

I haven't read a large amount of middle grade fiction but I must say that I've really enjoyed John David Anderson's writing thus far. Sidekicked was a lot of fun and right after finishing it I added two more of Anderson's books to my TRL. The story revolves around Andrew "Drew" Macon Bean (admittedly a fantastic name) who is not your typical sidekick. His powers aren't the usual 'faster than light speed' or 'stronger than steel'. Nope. (I'm not going to reveal his powers because they are truly unusual and it'll be more fun for you to read it and found out for yourselves.) However, he is a typical nerdy kid just trying to make it through middle school unscathed. There's the usual pre-teen drama about who likes who and fitting in but on top of that is uncertainty about the safety of themselves, their families, and the town. Like Miss Bixby's Last Day, Anderson doesn't shy away from tough subjects. The drawbacks to having superpowers such as having to lie to one's parents, worrying about the mental health of one's mentor (the Super assigned to each Sidekick), and navigating adolescence are dealt with in a very loving, realistic way. Drew is a likable character and I think boys as well as girls will identify with him and become invested in his story. If you have kids in your life who are obsessed with superheroes but are not overly enthusiastic about reading maybe you could suggest that you read this one together. I have a feeling it will be a hit. :-) 9/10


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-01-22 16:12
Book Review: Humanity 2.0: Emergence
Emergence: A Humanity 2.0 Novel - J.M. M... Emergence: A Humanity 2.0 Novel - J.M. Martin

*I was offered a copy of this book from the author or publisher for review.

These novella length stories are longer than short stories so you can get the feel of the full story, characters, and world. Each story is different but set as a braided story in the same world. There are mentions of other characters from stories in them as you go, but nothing that would take from the story if you didn't read it.

Overall it's an enjoyable set of novellas based on people who come into super powers. But how will they use it? And how will the world be touched by them? Good? Bad? You decide.

From the Barrel of a Gun by Jeff C. Carter
I wasn't sure where this story was going as we watch the court case of Timothy Hathcock for killing 23 chimerics (super-beings). When I was about ready to say I was bored, the story took a twist and Hathcock decided to take the stand. That's when things cleared and made me thing.

We get this story from Lars Wilson, superhero known as The Red Wraith, point of view. He's stood by and watched his friends killed and had a target on his own head. Hathcock has his own story too. We get both here. Now we try to decide who is in the right. Or are they both wrong? Does two wrongs make a right? In this case, it's a slippery slope. Interesting.

Never Go Half-Supervillain by C.T. Phipps
David makes a living helping villains in his home town Motor Hills. But part-time as he's living a life as a husband and father too. David, The Freelancer, is drawn into the conspiratory world of who's in charge and who's doing right, to find he needs to decide what he wants to do.

C.T.'s humor with science fiction/fantasy is the top of my favorite list. So many quick remarks that I get! And they make me smile. I enjoyed seeing David be on his own side through the story. And make his decision. It was quite a dangerous adventure for David, but I didn't get overly worried for him because of his ability, though it's not always right...

We Could Be Heroes by Eloise J. Knapp
Vlad and Lucy are eighteen year old chimerics trying to get by in Russia under the thieving hand of a cruel man. They want to be heroes, not the thieves they have to be for Cheslav. One day, they will find a way to break his hold on them and escape to America.

I liked the way this story gave us a past and present view. Almost like two stories in one. It tells of what happened in the past to bring Vlad to be who he is today, and how he got to today. Vlad and Lucy work to get away from one life in Russia, to fall into another in America. Is it better and what they wanted? Hmm, you'll have to read to find out.

Whiplash by Tim Marquitz
Whiplash is working through college, but finds herself helping against the crime in her home city. Chimeric in their teens are popping up and attacking and stealing from stores. Vivian doesn't think it's a coincidence, there is a pattern. She puts the pieces together and goes after these kids, to find a bigger danger behind the acts of the kids. Monger.

I found this story fun with the headbanging and metal-head references. But what I like is that Whiplash, or Vivian, does get beat up. It's not that she's beat up that I like, but that she takes a beating and keeps going. She does get hurt, but she'll fight on. She keeps going back to stop what's happening. She wants to stop the person behind it too. That's strength. That's power. I like that draw to Whiplash as a character.

The Other by Rob J. Hayes
David wants to remain safe from the crime and chimerics employed to do crime, so he's modified his body. Working at Biotiq prosthetic's lab helps with the new and improved items.

This story is one of my favorites. I really like how it reads and makes me curious and interested in David. And The Other. Interesting story with The Other and what he's trying to do while meeting another chimeric and what she's up to.

Perennial by Edward M. Erdelac
Nico and Pan are tracking Zita, a baby-napper for hire. Pan's goal, to find the babies that didn't go through the illegal adoptions. But he learns more about himself and fights through more than he expected.

This is one of the longest stories in the book, page wise.

The story was okay for me. I really wanted to love it more with one character named Pan, after Peter Pan, and to learn why. I enjoyed some sections, but others dragged. I think the one thing that slowed the story for me was all the back stories. This is something in short stories that slows the story for me and frustrates me. Someone else may well enjoy this story more than I.

Avenger by G.N. Braun
Leon Stone, a security guard at the mall, finds a delivery van with blood on the side door. When he looks inside, he can't believe what he sees! Blood. And death. Then he has to fight the creature that caused it. This one incident draws him into the strange and deadly world of chimerics.

This story had me from the beginning with what Leon found in the van. This is in first person, but I felt I liked the feel from the first sentence. Leon's personality really comes through.

This story feels like it could be a prequel to a series. A series I'd be curious and interested in reading!

Bring It On, Hero by J.M. Martin
Where Avenger stopped, this one picks up from another person's point of view. It's like a braided world. Hero goes in to investigate where the others left. This draws Hero's memories to when had to talk about events lived through and what went wrong.

The story shares, through Hero, the memory of leaving TCA, when first developed powers, and more. The story started really good for me, then I got mixed up in the memories on where and who Hero was in the story.

(They Call Me) Epilogue by Steve Diamond
Kennedy Ross's husband is being honored with a statue. The news press pushes on for more answers and her thoughts on Human Shield not coming into his powers until after he failed to prevent her husbands death...

This is probably the shortest story of the anthology, and I loved it. It had me curious from the get go. What happened to Kennedy's husband to die? Even the true feelings Kennedy has, as you know she's holding back. Oh, I love Kennedy!

This story references the previous ones here, but not based on them. But answers a question from one of the earlier ones. (Who's behind this?)

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