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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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text 2018-09-17 17:39
Daily Special - An Almost Free Giveaway!
Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads and Extras - Moosewood Collective

For the price of postage only.

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure where this came from, but possibly it's one of those "I forgot to return the card that said don't send me this" book club editions.  At any rate, it's brand new even though it's been sitting on a shelf in the workshop for almost 13 years.

 

Neither of us is much for soups or stews, so even though there are some great recipes, they're not going to be made here.  Someone else might as well get some use out of it.

 

I'm determined to clear out stuff I'm not using.  If no one claims this by Thursday, it will be donated to the Apache Junction Public Library.

 

The little Washington State Ferry ornament was a gift from my husband's brother and his (Tasmanian) wife years ago.  Not forgotten, because I knew exactly where it was.  I just didn't remember that the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special was sitting right beside it on the shelf in the workshop.  I brought both of them in the house.  The ferry now sits beside my desk computer screen.

 

There's a method to my madness.

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text 2016-09-30 16:22
Lyrically Justified - Urban Word Collective,Shaun Clarke For me, 'Lyrically Justified' encapsulates a new and exciting movement in poetry. This collection of poems, lyrics and urban rhyme grants literary space to marginalised perspectives and voices, exploring raw themes that traditional poetry sometimes cannot do justice. With lines such as 'Great Britain, What's great about a country that is broke' (page 140), the stark reality of these poems force the reader to actually face the problems addressed within the UK and beyond. In that sense, beyond everything 'Lyrically Justified' is extremely eye-opening. Many topics are covered, from addiction to migration, from consumerism to war. However, despite the disparity of subjects, the collection feels distinctly inclusive. Each piece is written in a completely different style to the next, yet when reading them as a whole a collective sense of anger and frustration is conveyed, in which this new wave of poetry is perfect in capturing. Although the collection is free from swearing, the colloquial use of urban slang, repetition and references to modern entities provides the collection with a certain rawness. Paired with poetical prowess, these young artists, poets, singers and writers prove that they are 'lyrically justified when (they) stand up and say what's right'.
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text 2016-08-24 14:55
Reading progress update: I've read 6 out of 128 pages.
DMZ, Vol. 10: Collective Punishment - Andrea Mutti,Cliff Chiang,Nathan Fox,David Lapham,Brian Wood,Danijel Žeželj

unfortunately, I don't get any Riccardo Burchielli artwork this time around, which is a downer--but Danijel Zezelj is on board for some of the pencilling, and for me that's a big upper!

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review 2016-05-04 07:05
Sensation by Nick Mamatas
Sensation (Spectacular Fiction) - Nick Mamatas

It all starts with a wasps' nest in Raymond's mother's basement. The wasps are Hymenoepimescis sp., which usually reproduces by attacking the Plesiometa argyra spider and laying its eggs within the spider's abdomen. As the larvae feed off the spider, they change its behavior, compelling it to create a web that can allow them to finish their development. When the spider is done with its work, the larvae kill it. (The spider and wasp species are real – nature is freaky and horrifying.)

Hymenoepimescis sp. doesn't usually build a nest or use humans as its hosts, but in this case it was affected by the unusually high radon levels in Raymond's mother's basement. Julia, Raymond's wife, is attacked by one of these wasps and unknowingly has its eggs injected into her. Over the course of the next few months, the larvae gradually affect her behavior in various ways, until one day she decides to leave Raymond. From that point on, she proceeds to become famous, carrying out an assassination and inspiring a nameless political movement which has no apparent goal. What neither she nor Raymond realizes is that they are both pawns in an ancient war between Hymenoepimescis sp. and Plesiometa argyra.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Part of the problem was that “war” was maybe too strong of a word for what was going on between the spiders and the wasps. Although the spiders were an intelligent collective and were, in fact, the book's narrator, the wasps were just doing their thing. When their hosts were spiders, “their thing” meant inspiring behaviors that would allow their larvae to survive and become adult wasps. They weren't intelligent and hadn't evolved to grow inside and control human hosts, so their effect on humans was more aimless and chaotic. The end result left me wondering what the point was supposed to be, and the story became more tedious than interesting.

I did enjoy the bulk of this book, though. I was drawn in by Julia's erratic behavior. I wanted to know what she'd do next and what sorts of actions she'd inspire (although she was the only one being directly affected by the wasps, she seemed to inspire changes in everyone around her, apparently without even meaning to). Raymond watched her antics on the news and desperately tried to make some sense of it all, unable to truly move on.

The main reason why I decided to read this book was because of the intelligent spiders. I liked that the story was told from their collective point of view, both as individual spiders trying to keep track of the movements of the various characters and as spider-controlled masses of webbing designed to look like “men of indeterminate ethnicity.” There were moments when I felt that the author occasionally slipped up, including details that Raymond would have known (about his own experiences and feelings, for example) that the spiders probably wouldn't have. Still, it was interesting, and I liked their very alien perspective on how they should behave and what sorts of things humans might feel comfortable with and enjoy. I wish there had been more of that.

The world-building didn't really work for me. I could deal with the way the wasps mutated to be able to inject their eggs into Julia (honestly, it wasn't much different than accepting that radiation could create superheroes), and the author did eventually (a bit later than I'd have liked) provide some of the history of the spiders' influence on humans. However, there were lots of things I wanted to know more about, and instead I got vagueness or absolutely nothing. I'm still wondering how a giant mass of spiders could create a believably human-looking being, especially since the spiders didn't always seem to be confident about their ability to successfully communicate like humans or create natural human facial expressions. And why weren't they more confident about their mimicry, considering how long they'd existed alongside humans?

I also had issues with the characters. Just about every female character in the book behaved, at one time or another, like she was Julia under the influence of wasps. It didn't seem like they were consistently themselves. And the thing was, I'd probably have been able to put up with that, and my issues with the world-building, if it had all amounted to something.

I really liked the premise and the unusual POV. I just wish the finale had been as good as the buildup.

Additional Comments:

I counted at least six typos or instances of missing words. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it was more than I expected in a work this short, and the errors were really noticeable.

 

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

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