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Search tags: 4-format-audio
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review 2020-05-31 16:18
The Deep ★★★☆☆
The Deep - Alma Katsu

This book was kind of a mess. It was intriguing enough to keep me going to the end, but after it was over, my only thought was, "well, that's over". It had so many good reviews that I wanted to like it, but even with a generously open mind, I found it mostly annoying. 

 

The problem, for me, is it didn't know what kind of story it wanted to be. A well-researched,  fictional accounting of true historical events and real historical characters? A ghost story? A mystery? A romance? An unreliable narrator with a disturbed mind? I think it could have been any of these things, and done it well, if the author had just committed to a couple of these concepts. But she tried to do it all, and it just didn't work for me. I spent most of the time wondering what the heck was going on, and not in a good way. Extraordinary amounts of time were spent on characters who weren't central to the story. The narrative continually jumped between characters and tense and timelines. 

 

I'm rating it three stars, because for all its flaws it kept me interested and sort of entertained. Maybe this would have been better in a text version, although I felt Jane Collingwood gave an excellent performance as narrator. 

 

Audiobook, via Audible. 

 

 

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review 2020-05-28 20:52
A Scandal in Bohemia ★★★☆☆
A Scandal in Bohemia - Arthur Conan Doyle

I appreciate the intrigue, and that Holmes was actually a little delighted that he was outsmarted (and out-acted) by a woman, but I'm a little puzzled as to why the Grand Duke insists that a woman who has been blackmailing him is a "woman of her word" and won't expose him now.  

 

Audiobook, part of the enormous Audible "Sherlock Holmes" compilation of works read by Stephen Fry. I'm slowly working my way through it. I'll be listening to the rest of the short stories in "Adventures of" later. 

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review 2020-05-28 13:53
Agent to the Stars ★★★★★
Agent to the Stars - Wil Wheaton,John Scalzi

Okay, maybe not objectively 5 stars, but this book was just exactly what I needed right now. It's a little silly on the surface, but the goofy premise and light humor and bantering dialogue camouflage some serious themes, one of which surprise-smacked me in the face towards the end. Because it was there all along, I just didn't notice because I was laughing. 

 

Audiobook, via Audible, and Wil Wheaton's performance was as perfect as always. 

 

Thanks for the rec, Char. You never steer me wrong. 

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review 2020-05-25 15:01
Smith of Wootton Major / Farmer Giles of Ham ★★★★★
Smith of Wootton Major / Farmer Giles of Ham - J.R.R. Tolkien

I admit I'm biased, but I loved these two short stories as much now as I did when I was a little kid just discovering Tolkien. I feel as though they represent both his love of the heroic and the mysteriously romantic nature seen in LotR, but also his affectionately scathing take on human nature seen in The Hobbit. With SoWM illustrating the first and FGoH the second. I think these would be a good intro to Tolkien for anyone hesitant to make the larger commitment to his novels. 

 

Paperback version, found at my public library's Friends of the Library sale. 

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review 2020-05-25 02:46
Gods of Jade and Shadow (DNF) ★★☆☆☆
Gods of Jade and Shadow - Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This was mildly interesting but there were just too much teenaged angst and too many YA tropes for me to enjoy it.

 

DNF at 25%

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via overdrive.

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