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review 2017-05-01 00:35
Apocalypse: Underwater City (The Hope Saga #1) by Chrissy Peebles
Apocalypse: Underwater City (A Dystopian Novella) PART 1 (The Hope Saga) - Chrissy Peebles
The world as we know it is gone.  Who would have thought that humanity would suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs? When a huge asteroid hits the earth, only a small group of people saw it coming. Armed with the knowledge that the surface of the earth would no longer be habitable, they built a dome under the ocean as a sort of ark in the hopes of saving as many as they possibly could.  They watched in horror as the asteroid made it's way towards the earth and people studiously ignored or denied the implications. 
It's been years since the asteroid hit the earth and sixteen year old Sky Hammons is desperate to join the small group of humans who are attempting to repopulate the land.  Even though the small dome proved to literally be a life saver, Sky is desperate to leave and sees herself as little better than a rat trapped in a cage. Unfortunately, it seems that the leader of  humanity may not necessarily believe that everyone should have the right to feel the suns rays on their skin.
I'm truly thankful that Apocalypse is only a novella because I don't think that I could handle a full length book. This short entree was absolutely riddled with grammatical mistakes causing me to re-read portions of it continually trying to divine the meaning of the text. I'm not one to complain about mistakes in a self pub if I can understand the authors meaning but when it becomes a reoccurring problem and detracts from my enjoyment of the story, it's absolutely worth mentioning. 
We are told repeatedly that people who complain about the ruler simply disappear without explanation and so what does Sky do? Well, she's constantly running her mouth about how something just doesn't feel right and questioning if they've been lied to about the condition of the surface.  If people are suddenly disappearing because they are too vocal, the intelligent response is not to boisterously complain but maybe to investigate quietly and perhaps question even more quietly. Furthermore, if people are disappearing for being vocal or resisting authority, why is Sky still strolling around growing pansies and sparring with her bff?  The disappearances of people speaks to authoritarianism but beyond Sky's continually blather about something not feeling right, we were not given any evidence to back up her suspicions.  If her government is so evil why are they allowing the people to train with weapons, thus gaining the skills to revolt if necessary? 
Then we have the murder of two young women who we are told are innocent by Skye but the government doesn't seem interested in investigating. Here's a question, why should a sixteen year old, known to have a big mouth be privy to the inner workings of any investigation? In fact, what investigator runs around telling the populace what they've learned before establishing who the guilty party is? If that were not enough, Skye takes objection to the removal of the body. Should the authorities have just left the body to rot in a small enclosed public space?
The synopsis says that Apocalypse: Underwater City is dark and upon reaching the end, I don't think it could have been described in a more inaccurate fashion. At best, Apocalypse: Underwater City is twee.  It's only three years old but the pop culture references already feel so damn antiquated.  Look, I'm a nineties girl and totally love the Smashing Pumpkins, but never has the lyric "Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage", been so misused. We get it, Sky feels trapped but we don't understand is why exactly, despite repeatedly being told by Skye that this is how she feels.


Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/04/apocalypse-underwater-city-hope-saga-1.html
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review 2017-04-04 23:44
Sidney Shark's Seaside Shanties - Giles ... Sidney Shark's Seaside Shanties - Giles Andreae,David Wojtowycz

This is a great sea creature book. It talks about sharks, crabs, jellyfish, and more. It is very cute and playful and would be a great introduction to a marine life lesson. It is leveled A. 

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review 2017-01-31 04:42
Too slow to start and too little too late...
Underwater - Julia McDermott

Underwater really was too slow to start and the little momentum it built about 2/3 of the way in, just couldn't redeem the slow plodding pace.

Candace is our main female lead, and for once she was reasonably intelligent, a successful business woman and confident in herself... except when it came to dealing with her slime ball of a brother, Monty.

The sad thing is, Candace was too snobby and bitchy, she was too used to the finer things in life and I felt she had little depth to her character. I couldn't get close enough to her to like her, or feel anything for her. While what Monty was doing was horrible, I just couldn't connect.

Monty was an all round manipulative and sleazy character... which was a good thing, but the problem was, he was so horrible I felt nothing for him either. And while that's not necessarily a bad thing to have a character the reader hates, what happens at the end really was an anti-climax after so much manipulation and general horribleness on Monty's part.

Overall, the story had way too much day-to-day minutiae that it almost felt like I was at work. The reading became a chore and that's really a bad sign. Where three paragraphs were taken to describe the communications between Candace and her team of staff, really could have been explained in two sentences with the same result.

I won't rush to read anything else by the author, this was just too slow and too shallow for my tastes.

A few things I noticed:
20% - ...make him a (delete a) more of a...
25% - ...that she was (delete was) wouldn't be gifting...
58% - ...want to pay for more(delete more) any more work...

**Note: I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

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review 2016-10-26 19:11
Underwater Puppies - Seth Casteel
Underwater Puppies - Seth Casteel

Photographs of puppies under water. Just for fun, I put “puppies and kittens” into the library subject search, and this is one of the books returned. Good little dogs. Unusual and appealing pictures.


Puppies are their own reward; as are books about them.


Library copy

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review 2016-10-09 23:08
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
Dragonbreath - Ursula Vernon

Dragonbreath stars Danny Dragonbreath, a young dragon who hasn't yet learned how to breathe fire, and his best friend Wendell, a green iguana. Whereas Wendell studies, does his homework, and would probably never get into trouble on his own, Danny has waited until the morning bus ride to write his science paper. He was going to ask Wendell for help, but his topic was the ocean and Wendell's was bats. Danny's science teacher isn't particularly interested in Danny's paper on “the rare and elusive snorklebat” and tells him to turn in a better paper tomorrow. Library research isn't really Danny's style, so, at his mother's suggestion, Danny visits his cousin Edward, a sea serpent. Danny drags Wendell along with him.

When my local entertainment store announced that it was closing for good, I spotted this on the shelves during the ensuing “going out of business” sales and decided to buy it. I had my oldest niece in mind, but I'm pretty sure it's above her current reading level. I still plan to leave it with my sister next time I visit – the kids might at least enjoy the pictures. Like Vernon's Harriet the Invincible, the book is a mixture of plain text and graphic novel-style pages with illustrations and speech bubbles.

Dragonbreath was a little more focused than Harriet the Invincible, although Danny didn't work quite as well for me as Harriet did. Harriet was fearless, smart, and brave. Danny was fearless but didn't always think before he threw himself into potentially dangerous situations. Wendell had to be the voice of caution, and even then he rarely managed to rein Danny in.

Wendell was basically me. I couldn't help but laugh at this bit: “It was one thing to bring Cousin Edward along – Edward was mythological, after all, and used to this sort of thing – but Wendell was an iguana. Epic tales of heroism and disaster were notably lacking in iguanas. His best friend just wasn't cut out for high drama.” (121) If Wendell had been the star of the story, the whole thing would have taken place in a library.

The story itself was a bit of adventure plus some fairly straightforward edutainment. Danny and Wendell learned about the bends, sea cucumber defense mechanisms (gross), jellyfish, anglerfish (one of which was correctly referred to as female), and more. Mixed in with the real-world stuff was the lost city of Atlantis and a Kraken.

In addition to their underwater adventure, Danny and Wendell also dealt with a bully. Like the rest of the book, these parts were pretty light-hearted. The fierce potato salad was great, and I really liked that it was technically Wendell who got rid of the bully the second time around.

All in all, this was pretty good. I may try the next book in the series.


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

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