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review 2019-02-19 08:03
Book Review - Written in Red, by Anne Bishop
Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I got Written in Red, by Anne Bishop as a Christmas present from my husband and I was happy to discover a new fantasy writer whose books I can devour. At this point, I hadn’t read anything written by this author, so it was all new to me. Written in Red is the first book in the Others series and now, as I’m writing this review, I’m already knee deep in the third book. I hope this answers any questions about whether I like this series or not. Naturally, there will be more reviews to follow. 

Back to Written in Red, Anne Bishop created an Earth-like world called Namid, its indigenous population called terra indigena that includes all the supernatural creatures you can imagine (so far vampires, wolf-shifters, bear-shifters, crow-shifters, hawk-shifters, elementals, and so on) and humans who are their prey. There are a lot of information to wrap your head around, and it can be a bit off-putting if you’d rather jump straight into the story.

There are a couple of pages explaining the history, places, and names. They use different names for continents (Tahisia is their version of North America), also different names for days of the week and months. Honestly, I found that annoying and didn’t bother to learn them. All I remember is that instead of Monday they have Moonsday and instead of Sunday it’s Earthday. There are also maps at the beginning of the book showing the cities of this world. I’m more action oriented so I looked forward to getting into the midst of everything rather than being able to pinpoint on a map where it happened.

So, in this made-up world, there is an uneasy truce between predator and pray. The Others (terra indigene) tolerate humans up to a point due to their technical skills and creative talents. The Others often refer to humans as smart meat, or monkeys and have no qualms about eating trespassers.

That being said, the book starts with a demure, half-frozen human young woman, Meg Corbyn, showing up at Lakeside Courtyard, the business district operated by the Others. We later find out that she’s a cassandra sangue (blood prophet who can see the future when cutting her skin) who has escaped the Controller and seeks refuge in the only place where human law does not apply. No one dared to enter the Courtyard without an invitation. Even Meg noticed, not without humor:

“People who entered the Courtyard without an invitation were just plain crazy! Wolves were big and scary and so fluffy, how could anyone resist hugging one just to feel all that fur?
“Ignore the fluffy,” she muttered. “Remember the part about big and scary.”

Simon Wolfgard, the leader of the Others in Lakeside, despite being uncomfortable with having a human in his territory, gets protective of Meg because she doesn’t smell like prey. Once he finds out her secret and the lengths the Controller is ready to go to enslave her again, Simon has to figure out if protecting Meg is worth the war she has brought to his door.
The Controller breeds blood prophets like cattle and sells their prophecies for profit.

“Whether you’re beaten or pampered, fed the best foods or starved, kept in filth or kept clean, a cage is still a cage”

The story doesn’t have a romantic subplot but does set the ground for it, perhaps later in the series. I’m glad this doesn’t have an instant romance the way so many fantasy books do these days.

“He kissed her forehead and found the act pleasing for its own sake. And, he admitted as he licked his lips, it was enjoyable for other reasons. Meg wasn’t biteable, but he really did like the taste of her.”
“The sweatshirt was big on her and she looked ridiculous. He liked it. And he liked that she was wearing something that carried his scent.”

Most social activity happens in a book store connected to a coffee shop. Only a bookworm would appreciate this detail.

“Vlad looked around. “Are we providing shelter, or are the humans actually buying books?”

I won’t give away more of the plot so I won’t spoil the book for you. Despite preferring fast-paced stories, I learned to appreciate a slowly developing plot, rich with details, humor and sometimes morally flexible characters. It’s not a fast read, but it’s a book that’s hard to put down.

Source: www.summonfantasy.com/book-reviews/book-review-written-in-red-by-anne-bishop
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review 2018-11-20 05:02
Education and work, a story already written

The story of a person who wants to enter the world of work starts from afar and is often a story already written with pay someone to write my essay: family, gender and nationality are the first 3 factors that determine the success or failure of their professional history . If you are a male, come from a family of graduates and have citizenship in the country you live in, you will be more likely to continue your studies and find a suitable job.



OECD The latest report by the OECD , the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development , describes Italy as a country in sad decline :  those who come from an uneducated family do not arrive at the University,  young graduates are few and disadvantaged and women make less men's careers. The so-called social elevator does not work anymore because the educational and professional destiny of our children is already written according to the family of origin: today 90% of the graduates have at least one graduate parent while there are very few boys who can graduate from a less educated family. The reasons start from afar, even from the nursery school . We are a country where the lines of asylum, both municipal and private, are very high and only wealthy families can afford them. And the nest is already the first piece of the cultural baggage that a boy carries around. In general Italy is a country with a good level of education: it  is expected that 53% of the population will obtain a secondary diploma higher than professional guidance in the course of their existence  but the percentage of graduates is not satisfactory compared to the European average . These low levels of graduates may be partly due to insufficient job prospects and low financial returns following the attainment of the doctor's degree, although employment and retribution are always more favorable for those with a higher qualification than a lower one .



ocse2Also the skills that boys and girls choose to study are crucial for professional life . In Italy, scientific and technological studies have seen an increase in recent years and this is a good sign because the labor market requires precisely these so-called STEM disciplines. Like all OECD countries, men represent the vast majority of first and second level graduates in technology (79% first and 86% second) and in engineering, industrial production and construction (69% and 73%). Women are over-represented in education, fine arts and humanities, social sciences, journalism and information; as well as in the health and social services sector, both in the first and second degree levels, and also in the natural sciences, mathematics and statistics at the master's level, representing more than 60% of the graduates in these fields. This preponderance in girls in the humanities has led to a gap with respect to young people, both in terms of employment and retribution for the benefit of young people. The gap is not only seen at the beginning of the career but also in the long term because even the top positions of companies are mostly held by men than by women. Women are a wasted talent as women are the majority of graduates and are even better and quicker to graduate than boys. The system does not even help foreigners because they have a lower level of education and fewer expectations at work. 

To start again, it is essential to review the educational system in close contact with the work but also to ensure that there is fairness for access to education and inclusion in the labor market especially for the actors who today seem more fragile: young people, women and foreigners .

Source: essaymafia.co.uk/write-my-essay.php
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review 2018-11-20 02:41
A great intro to one of the most unlikely thriller heroes around
Written in Dead Wax - Andrew Cartmel

How did it take this long for me to realize that the protagonist had no name? I just noticed that now, three months after reading the book, as I was flipping through the book to refresh my memory -- and then giving up and using the Internet to cheat. Other than the lack of name -- he's a very thoroughly drawn character, so much so that you don't notice little things like no one calling him by name.


I'd initially thought of the book as Rob Fleming (from High Fidelity), P.I. But that's not right -- our protagonist isn't Rob, he's Championship Vinyl's best customer. Someone who can talk to Rob about minutiae of music, who can go toe-to-toe with Dick and Barry in music trivia, who will be there any time they have new vintage records, etc. He's an expert in jazz -- and might as well be an expert in just about everything else. He lives alone, makes enough to get by (but wouldn't mind making more, if he could do it on his terms) and loves his pet cats.


One day, a beautiful woman approaches him with an offer he can't (and doesn't want to) refuse -- on her employer's behalf, she wants to hire him to track down an incredibly rare -- impossibly rare, some would say -- jazz record. It's rare enough that even the reissues are nigh-impossible to track down.


They've not been looking for long, until it's clear that there are a couple of other people who are actively looking for the record (in addition to a handful of people who always have an eye out for it). Then a fellow jazz aficionado is attacked -- and money and violence start surfacing around the vintage vinyl circuit in London. Because that's a thing that happens.


At some point, our protagonist starts to realize there are reasons beyond wanting a complete jazz collection to have the originals, and in conjunction with someone with family ties to the records, he plunges further into the hunt for the record and to uncover whatever dark and violent secrets that are being kept by the record.


This is not a story that should work. But it does -- it absolutely does. It sort of makes sense that this quest starts to involve violence, lethal violence -- and that both sides are prepared for it. The protagonist's reaction to it all is what sells it. This is a guy who just wants to spend time with his cats, track down and listen to good music, and maybe enjoy some female company. He doesn't expect to get plunged into some strange international quest, he doesn't expect to fear for his life, or to have to outsmart people who are prepared to do him harm. It's this nameless guy, the Vinyl Detective, who makes it all work.


In addition to the contemporary hunt for the record (which turns into a hunt for records), there's the story behind the making of the records, the people involved, the reason that people are willing to spend a lot of money to recover the records (in addition to everything else they're willing to do). It's fascinating, believable stuff -- especially the backstory to the recordings. I'd 100% believe that all the backstory actually happened that way, and that Cartmel used that true story as something to frame his novel around.


I don't know how to adequately capture this book (note how long it's taken me to post anything), it's a very clever story, very well told. It's exciting, it's funny (at times), it's heartfelt, it's everything you want in a thriller within a world you don't really think that much about. Not only does this strange premise hold-up well, it's apparently good enough to spawn at least three sequels (two published, one on the way). Don't ask me how it works -- well, it has a lot to do with Cartmel's skill and charm.


Give this guy a shot -- you'll be glad you did (and you'll wish you could listen to his record collection).

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/11/19/the-vinyl-detective-written-in-dead-wax-by-andrew-carmel-a-great-intro-to-one-of-the-most-unlikely-thriller-heroes-around
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review 2018-05-30 15:59
Written in Stone - Ellery Adams

Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4)Written in Stone by Ellery Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Munin Cooper, who is known as the Witch of Oyster Bay, warns Olivia Limoges that death is coming, neither of them realize that it is for Munin herself who will be found dead. Olivia’s instincts tell her that someone more sinister than a mystical force is at play. Olivia has a lot on her plate as she prepares for the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. When she hears about Munin’s untimely death, however, finding the murderer takes priority. Munin left behind a memory jug full of keepsakes that Olivia knows must point to the killer but first she’s got to figure out what they all mean. With her boyfriend Sawyer Rawlings by her side, Olivia starts to identify some of the jug’s mysterious contents. Soon they find that the jugs secrets are much darker than Olivia ever suspected. Now Olivia must enlist the help from the members of the Bayside Book Writers to help solve the puzzle behind the piece of pottery and put an end to a vengeful killer before any more damage can be done.

The mystery has lots of twists and turns and has more layers than suspects, so you have no idea who the killer is and why they did what they did until the big reveal at the end of the book. The characters are well developed, well written, and realistic. The way they interact with each other as they go about their daily lives make them very believable and lifelike. Captain Haviland at times seems to be more human than dog the way he interacts with different situations.

I like that Olivia is still growing stronger and becoming more complete as a person as she works on her relationships with her family, friends, and boyfriend. I'm still on the fence about how I feel about Olivia's decision about how she deals with a personal family situation when she meets the uncle that she never knew about. I don't like that after Michel makes some racist comments he doesn't have to deal with any sort of consequences for his remarks in any way. I also think that the bedroom scenes between Olivia and Sawyer seem to be unnecessary to the plot line of the book.

View all my reviews

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review 2018-05-14 00:00
Written in My Own Heart's Blood
Written in My Own Heart's Blood - Diana Gabaldon I DO like this series, but it's also gotten so long and drawn out that I have trouble remembering what happened at the the beginning of the book, once I get to the end. Not to mention what happened in earlier books! But I love Claire and Jamie, and I have to see their story through to the end - I just can't reread the whole thing again!

This is a good instalment, though a bit too heavy on the battle scenes for my taste - they got old fast. Gabaldon has a tendency to ramble/put in almost TOO much detail, and to fall in love with secondary and tertiary characters - a trait I could do without.
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