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review 2017-04-25 08:02
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed - Octavia E. Butler

Series: Patternmaster #1


Finally, a book by Octavia E. Butler that I didn’t hate!


I really didn’t like Dawn and Parable of the Sower, you see. So it seems like Butler’s writing got worse as time passed, at least in my opinion. I’m not entirely sure the ending was all that convincing since it seemed like such an abrupt shift, but it’s late at night and I’m willing to accept it for now.


Anyway, Anyanwu is a witch and she meets another witch, Doro. Anyanwu is immortal because her body stopped aging naturally and she’s gained complete control over it while Doro is immortal because his spirit keeps stealing bodies. Doro is the epitome of taking because he’s powerful without giving anything back (other than his “protection”) and is basically a kind of soul-stealing vampire. He seeks to control Anyanwu too with only moderate success. Wild Seed is the story of how they met and the first 150 years or so of their relationship.

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review 2017-04-25 00:06
Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
Yarned and Dangerous - Sadie Hartwell

Series: A Tangled Web Mystery #1


I picked this up because I just couldn’t resist the title and I fully expected to have to write a rant review. I expected to want to throw my ereader across the room or to be tempted to beat myself in the head with it. Much to my surprise, this didn’t happen. Oh, it wasn’t perfect: it was a bit light on the mystery side, some of the family banter stuff came off as a bit forced, and some of it was a little implausible, but I enjoyed it. There is a mystery here, but the investigation by the main character was light. Admittedly this also means that she’s not doing incredibly stupid things chasing after criminals, and she does help to solve the mystery in the end.


The background to the story is that Josie’s great uncle, Eben, has broken his leg in a car crash that killed his wife, and Josie (who is from the big city and works in fashion) has to go visit him in this small town to help look after him because her mother has booked a cruise and she can’t cancel. Eb is very crotchety and has a long-standing feud with his neighbour. Josie brings her cat Coco with her, naturally, who gets along great with Eb’s giant dog (not really).


The deceased wife, Cora, had a yarn shop called ‘Miss Marple Knits’ that Josie is supposed to help close up. And then a dead body shows up, apparently strangled with an I-cord or some yarn. Josie tries to investigate a bit but mostly gets laughed out of the police office and thinks a lot about going back to the big city while simultaneously being drawn to the yarn. The mystery took a weird turn at one point that was a bit silly but also quite amusing.

The little old ladies that Josie finds are acting so suspiciously are actually spying on one of the other women in the Charity Knitters Association using equipment they bought online to try to blackmail her out of her prominent position in town because they don’t like her. And they ask Josie for tech help because Cora was their “tech whiz”.

(spoiler show)


So, it was pretty cute and it didn’t make me want to throw anything across the room. Yay!


I read this for square #10 “Read a book that takes place in a small town in the U.S.A.” for the booklikes-opoly game because Dorset Falls definitely fits the bill. Amazon tells me the paperback is 288 and Kobo tells me the ebook is 258, so I’m counting it as $3 to add to my bank, bringing my total to $40.

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review 2017-04-23 14:29
Hôtel Olympia par Élisabeth Vonarburg
Hôtel Olympia - Elisabeth Vonarburg

English to follow.


Et j’ai finalement fini !


Ce livre aurait pu être intéressant mais il ne passe pas grand-chose pour tellement de pages que la lecture est devenue un peu pénible. Même rendue à mi-chemin je me demandais si on allait quelque part avec l'histoire de l’Hôtel ou bien si on terminerait en finissant les redécouvertes des mémoires de Danika. Même la résolution de la fin a pris une cinquantaine de pages. Je n’ai pas encore décidé si je vais essayer l’autre livre par Élisabeth Vonarburg qui m’avait intéressé. À celui-ci je donne juste une étoile parce qu’à la fin j’étais devenue tellement tannée du livre. Presque 600 pages de ça !



And I’m finally finished!


This book could have been interesting except that nothing much happens for so many pages that the reading became somewhat painful. Even mid-way through I was wondering whether we were going anywhere with the Hôtel story or whether it would end with the rediscoveries of Danika’s memories. Even the resolution of the end took about fifty pages. I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll try the other book by Élisabeth Vonarburg that caught my eye. I’m giving just one star to this one because by the end I was just so tired of the book. Almost 600 pages of this!


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review 2017-04-17 03:54
Explorer by C. J. Cherryh
Explorer - C.J. Cherryh

Series: Foreigner #6


More fun with aliens but this time with unknown ones. Ilisidi is, of course, along for the ride.


And Cajeiri plays with toy cars on the spaceship. And don't forget the bow and arrow that dents the wall.

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review 2017-04-16 17:30
The Semester of our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn
The Semester of Our Discontent - Cynthia Kuhn

Series: Lila Maclean #1


I guess this book was okay, but I found it kind of condescending and not nearly as tightly-told as it could have been. There were a lot of extraneous details that the author though should be included to flesh out the characters but that didn’t do much for the story and I didn’t really think they were necessary.


The police were made to look like imbeciles. I’m not sure if that was the intention. There were also quite a few melodramatic plot elements that I had to raise an eyebrow at.

e.g. secret societies, daggers with symbols, the bad guy confessing while threatening to kill everyone…

(spoiler show)


It probably didn’t help that I came off another cozy mystery that I thought held together a lot better even though there were still some elements that I suppose I could have taken exception to (A Pint of Murder by Charlotte MacLeod).


I’m not sure whether I’ll read the next book since MbD wasn’t impressed. It won’t be high on my list, anyway.


I’m giving it an extra  half star because the feminist themes in the book have merit although I don’t think they were presented in a particularly interesting manner or utilized as well as they could have been.


Various sources have the page count for this book ranging from 213 to 246 pages, so I’m going to count is as the 201 to 400 pages ranges, or $3 for booklikes-opoly. This brings my bank to $25. I’m counting this book for square #17, cozy mystery. It’s tagged as that on GR, so I think it counts. MbD will probably back me up on the genre too.

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