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Search tags: the-thing-at-the-end-of-the-bed
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review 2018-11-16 18:09
Okay
Man-Thing (2017) #1 (of 5) - Germán Peralta Carrasoni,Tyler Crook,Daniel Johnson,R.L. Stine

This and the previous SW comics were freebies.  It was okay, but Stine got a little too cheesy and the real interest was in Ted being a human trapped in Man-Thing's body and the horror that comes along with no one accepting him. 

 

Had Stine focused more on that in a more nuanced way, I would have enjoyed this more.  

 

The horror story in the back was okay, but a  little too obvious: I saw where this was going from near the beginning.

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review 2018-11-14 22:44
This Monstrous Thing: Or Steampunk Frankenstein
This Monstrous Thing - Mackenzi Lee

I've been putting off writing a review for this book because I still can't figure out what to say about it. It's steampunk Frankenstein, so if that sounds appealing to you then snap it up post-haste. If you're not a steampunk fan, well, know what you are getting into.

 

Lee does an excellent job evoking the past in all her books, and this one is no exception. The interesting thing is that she infuses her world with machinery and mechanical men. It almost has a cyberpunk quality in that so much of the book is concerned with the divide between machine and man, and at what point when adding machinery and subtracting flesh does a man cease being human. It's an interesting direction to take the story, and there are also some astute comments of disability and social standing.

 

Where the book flagged for me was that I went into it wanting a story about brotherhood, and to watch these two brothers grapple with one another throughout the narrative. However, much like the source of inspiration, the two spend most of the book separated and only clash at the ending. This is all well and good, it's just not the story I wanted. While the book spent lavish detail and time exploring other characters and locales I found myself frustrated that it wasn't spending its time on things that interested me more. It doesn't feel fair to be critical of a book for not being what you want it to be, especially when it does a fine job in every other respect, but here I am.

 

If you dig steampunk you will likely enjoy this book. If you like historical fiction with a twist you will likely enjoy this book. If you want to read an interesting re-telling of Frankenstein you will also likely enjoy this book. If you want a story of brothers at odds with one another, and an exploration of their relationship, this will likely not hit the mark for you.

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review 2018-11-04 13:41
The Right Thing to Do at the Time by Dov Zeller
The Right Thing to Do at the Time - Dov ... The Right Thing to Do at the Time - Dov Zeller

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I received this book through LibraryThing is exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like it so much. A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice? With queer characters? Sounds great. However, it just did not live up to the promise of success.

My main problem with the book was the writing. It was unnecessarily complicated and drawn out. This book did not need to be nearly as long as it was. It's roughly 100 pages longer than Pride and Prejudice itself. The book would have been stronger if it had been more concise and cut out some of the unnecessary threads. There is so much in the novel that isn't really important or even resolved. This made reading it such a chore. It just went on and on and went nowhere. 

Along with this, I am pretty confident in saying that this is the first novel I have read with footnotes. I was conflicted about them. They gave some good background information on various Jewish holidays and Yiddish phrases, but they really pulled you out of the story. Yet, if I didn't read them, I felt like I was missing out on information. In my opinion, the footnotes were not needed and instead disrupted the narrative. The information could have easily been worked into the narrative or even simplified and included in parentheses within the text.

I will say that I did like the representation of queer characters and relationships. None of the characters are cut and dry. It was interesting to see the unique struggles Ari had being a trans man in comparison to the non-trans characters and how it effected relationships with other characters.

However, I found that I absolutely hated Ari. What a horrible reimagining of Elizabeth Bennet, one of the greatest heroines in literature who is not afraid to speak her mind even within an oppressive society. Then you have Ari, who can't make a decision to save his life. Everyone calls him a "noodle" throughout the book, which holds true, but making your main character a "noodle" is a horrible way to keep readers interested in your book. I hated him so much. Even by the end, I just could not like him. 

I am also a bit conflicted on whether a reader should have read Pride and Prejudice before reading this book. There are interesting subtleties with the characters and it's kind of fun to figure out who is who (Mr. Wexler makes a great Mrs. Bennet). However, as someone who loved Pride and Prejudice, this just felt like blaspheme. To take such a great work and turn it into this mess was a disappointment. This book was not well-constructed. I loved the idea of a genderqueer Pride and Prejudice, but that was all it had going for it. 

While I think this book had a very interesting premise, it was just a complete mess in my opinion. I trudged through it after reading multiple reviews saying it was dull at first but picked up as you went on. I kept reading, but by page 300 I knew nothing would redeem the book and just pushed through to the end. 

As I said before, the main idea of this book was good, but the execution did not make it a successful novel.

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review 2018-10-17 03:30
A Delightfully Charming and Fun Time-Travel Epic Kicks Off
Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor
Thinking carefully is something that happens to other people.


I lost my notes to this book, which is annoying me greatly. So I'm going to be a bit more vague than I want to be.

 

I could tell from the first couple of pages that I was going to have a great time with this book -- our narrator is Dr. Madeline "Max" Maxwell, a specialist in ancient history. She is charming, engaging, brash, and funny. She's a few more things, too, but let's leave it there. Essentially, she's a delight -- it almost doesn't matter what setting you put her in, what story you tell with her -- I'm in.

 

Thankfully, Taylor puts her in a crazy novel, one perfectly suited for her. When we meet her, Max is being recruited by a former mentor to join St Mary's Institute of Historical Research, a very strange research facility. These historians get their hands dirty in their research in the ways that no other facility on Earth can manage -- they have time machines to take them to whatever point in time they're studying so they can see ad experience history first-hand.

 

Sounds great, doesn't it? But things go awry -- in spectacularly bad fashion. But, for these Historians, where there's tea, there's hope. Using wit, sheer determination, and a little luck Max and her new colleagues will have to find a way to meet these new and dangerous challenges.

 

There's a lot more action and fighting than you'd think given that the book is about Historians and the Technicians who work with them. There's a lot of humor, some pathos, a little love -- and a little more sex than I'd prefer (thankfully most of it happens "off screen," but not all of it). The plot is impossible to summarize well -- it bounces around from point to point like a ball in a pinball machine. This is not a complaint, this is a description. Months will go by in a paragraph (or less) and then things will slow down for the events of a day or two. These are Time Travelers, after all, they can squeeze a lot of activity into a short period of time.

 

There are some other great characters here, too. Max has wonderful, loyal and capable allies (who happen to be interesting to read about); she has fantastic antagonists -- the kind of characters you can relish your annoyance/anger/moral superiority over; her friends are interesting, he love interest is about as fun as you could ask for, and is charming enough in his own right.

 

I wish I'd had the time to write this up when the book was fresher in my mind -- or if I'd not lost my notes. This book deserved a bit more from me. Basically, this book -- between characters, circumstances, plot and tone is what I'd hoped for from the Tuesday Next books. I have no idea if Taylor can keep up the freshness of the voice, the zaniness of the plot, and the engaging quality of the characters (particularly Max) -- it'll be tough to do. But I'm looking forward to finding out. I had a blast reading this one, and can't imagine that Taylor's charm wouldn't win over at least 87% of those who give this a try.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/10/16/just-one-damned-thing-after-another-by-jodi-taylor-a-delightfully-charming-and-fun-time-travel-epic-kicks-off
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review 2018-09-25 18:34
The Thing about Jellyfish
The Thing About Jellyfish - Ali Benjamin

My coworker (who has the best taste) recommended this book to me telling me it would make me cry (I appreciated the warning so I didn't end up reading it on desk). It absolutely made me cry. It also gave me that feeling that the best children's books do, that twelve-year-old feeling that's both joyful and painful. After reading it I immediately wanted to reread all of Sharon Creech's best stuff (but didn't have time because of school and stuff). 

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