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review 2018-04-08 21:42
Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson Anthology
Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson Anthology - Kol Anderson

It dawned on me about halfway through this that I had read another book by this author that did not go well AT ALL.  Happy to say this was much better overall.  But man was this everything the warnings indicate and more.  This was utterly disturbing but I found myself unable to put this down.

 

There are 4 stories in this anthology as follows:

 

Don't be Afraid of the Dark - 3 Stars

 

This one has some pretty sadistic torture with a vampire plot.  For much of the story I was left scratching my head how the story would merge but I loved when it did. I did think the story overall ended way too quickly and I wanted another turning and vampire bonding to close this one out.

 

Slave - 2 Stars 

 

Phew...this was was sadistic and full of some pretty awful torture.  Again, it ended abruptly.  

 

Sin - 4 Stars

 

This one is easily the most disturbing of the 4.  Good lord this poor kid was self destructive and so abused.  Note that this one includes rape, incest and some pretty heavy drug use. But overall I felt this one was the best of the 4 and had the most character development and craziest ending.

 

Fugue - 2.5 Stars 

 

This was was just weird and yet written in a way that leaves you wondering what was real and what was not.  Not a lot of torture in this one but more possible alien abduction.

 

Overall, these are written better than the book I had previously read by this author and overall I was pulled in and unable to set this down.  Note that while this is full of non-con sexual situations there is no detailed sex in these stories.  Overall everything is implied and handled without getting into the specific acts themselves which helped me a lot.

 

Overall a 3 Star read for the book, with stories ranging from 2-4 Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-05 16:34
Kraken
Kraken - M. Caspian

I am not even sure what to say about this one. What a clusterfuck.

 

No issue from me for non-con or tentacle sex. I mean it can be done and can be done well *coughs Nicholas Bella*. Was this to be erotic in any way...it was not. As my BR indicated, this was old man rape creep. We cringed most of the read.

 

The story was creepy and yet intriguing until about 70% and this felt like a good ole horror story. Then around 70% this took a turn for the the crazy...nothing making sense and storyline components dropping off and coming up that just were out of left field.

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text 2018-02-12 21:51
Widen your horizons
The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited - Louisa Lim

Last year, I decided that I wanted to try my best to learn about different countries and cultures. I became especially interested in China and their Cultural Revolution. (You may recall Do Not Say We Have Nothing.) To that end, I picked up The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited by Louisa Lim which is a work of non-fiction that culls firsthand accounts from those who lived through that time and documents how their lives were subsequently changed. The biggest takeaway I had from this book was that I know next to nothing about the history of China...and most of its people can say the same. There has been so much collusion and cover-ups that most people are unaware of the true nature of historical events that occurred in their country. And those that would tell the truth are hushed up one way or another. The government's control works under the guise of "stability of the nation" which keeps the populace blind and even afraid of digging deeper. There is also a fear of the West because of massive political and cultural indoctrination that has occurred over several years. The seasons of political and cultural change can easily be marked by the different people in power. The party 'line' made it imperative that change be accepted by each and every citizen. Firsthand accounts from those who participated in (or lived through) the Cultural Revolution (more info on that here) illustrates the power wielded by those in power. All of these people are still being monitored and silenced. They can never advance in their careers which in a money obsessed country like China spells a certain shunned existence. It was a powerful, eye-opening experience reading this book. It has only increased my interest in learning about new places and people. If you're not a huge fan of nonfiction because you find it too dry then this would be an excellent one to give a shot as it reads more like a work of literature. 10/10 for the obviously thorough research and excellent writing.

 

What's Up Next: The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg

 

What I'm Currently Reading: I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart

Source: readingfortheheckoft.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-12 01:18
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix, designed by Andie Reid, illustrated by Michael Rogalski
Horrorstor - Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör is a ghost story that takes place in an Ikea knockoff called Orsk. Amy, one of the main characters, is low on cash, convinced she's about to be fired, and desperate to transfer to a different Orsk. She thinks her boss, Basil, has it in for her, which is why she's horrified when he calls her in for a special meeting. It throws her off a bit that Ruth Anne was also called in. Ruth Anne is a model employee, so why would anyone want to fire her?

As it turns out, Basil isn't planning on firing anyone, at least not right now. No, Basil has a problem. It appears that someone has been hanging around Orsk after hours and breaking things. In one instance, the person even pooped on a Brooka (sofa). The security cameras are no good - whoever's doing this has been limiting their activities to sometime between 2 and 7:30 AM, the time period when the store lights power down to twilight mode. Basil figures that he, Ruth Anne, and Amy can sweep the store and either find the culprit or at least prevent them from damaging anything else before the store's general manager and Regional arrive in the morning. This is a horror novel, so of course things don't go nearly that well.

Several people I follow on Booklikes read this a while back. I kept seeing the cover art pop up on my Dashboard, and the slightly creepy "catalog page" look of it intrigued me. It took me a while, but I finally requested an interlibrary loan copy.

I've never been to an Ikea and was a little worried that that would interfere with my enjoyment of the book. Thankfully that didn't seem to be the case, although having experience with big-box stores in general probably helps. Horrorstör gave readers an exhaustive employee's eye view of Orsk and how it operated, going so far as to include a floor plan, order form, and product images and descriptions (which took an unnerving turn later in the book).

The details about the haunting didn't strike me as being very exceptional or original, and the things that happened to the employees in the store occasionally caused me to pause and wonder how they hadn't died of shock yet. The thing that made Horrorstör more than just an average horror novel for me was the way it incorporated Orsk details. One of my favorite parts involved Amy being trapped inside a Liripip wardrobe. It mattered that it was that particular kind of wardrobe and that Amy was a store employee with special knowledge of its particular problems.

Hendrix did a great job at emphasizing the creepiness of an empty Orsk, with its peculiar layout that required customers to go through the store in a particular way. Even before the real horror started, I found myself getting creeped out by Amy and Ruth Anne's efforts to sweep the store for intruders.

The characters were a little thin, and their actions didn't always match the background info readers were given - for example, I found Basil's actions at the end a little difficult to believe considering he's his little sister's primary caretaker. That said, I still loved this. Hendrix left just enough loose ends that I could imagine a Planet Baby sequel, although it's probably for the best that, as far as I know, no sequel has been planned.

 

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

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review 2018-02-08 05:00
The Puritan Pirate (Pirates of Port Royal #1) by Jules Radcliffe
The Puritan Pirate - Jules Radcliffe

3.5 stars I think is a fairer rating. 

Everything goes oh too well for our characters. Even the most evil event leaves (physically) only bruises and sore muscles. Not that I am complaining, mind you. 


Another minus for me is the unfinished business. Killjoy, Chacal, Spanish in general - those are still loose ends. I almost wish there was less talk and love making.... oh, who am I kidding!

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