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review 2015-10-31 09:29
Three strikes and you're out!
Poisoned Waters - Ermisenda Alvarez

Poisoned Waters sells itself as a tale of corruption. This is an apt description.

Not just from the character's POVs either. The writing style is one of the worst I've seen in recent months. It is written in a completely removed way. Passive voice alert! Not to mention the use of adjectives was abused almost as much as some of the characters in the story.

The amount of typos and issues in the text outside of the passive voice issue, were, thankfully minor. If they'd been more prominent I'd have had to stop reading.

Strike One!

My issues with the writing style and editing aside, the story was certainly complex. Everyone was screwing everyone else. Many people hit, punched, stabbed or just down right abused the female characters and when we did find a reasonably decent male character amongst the rabble, they were from a racial minority and pigeon-holed into the completely racist societal norms from the era this book is set.

Strike Two

I did not like any of the characters. I did not like the story very much and, that synopsis... Don't bring Helen into it. She's barely even in the story, she's not important. Hell, finding her murderer isn't even important.

The convoluted plot read more like an episode of Days of our Lives than a respectable novel. This needs a serious edit to cull the problems mentioned above and the seriously out of hand storyline and character arcs.

Now, the ending... This is where I was hoping to find some redeeming quality. Alas I was mistaken. I don't want to spoil the ending for any of you who are still to read this, but really... it was so unbelievable that I think I may have strained myself from rolling my eyes in disgust too much!


Strike Three - you're outta there!

Things I noticed:

4% - humbly stood (beside) him.
27% -'pleasure pearl' really?!
39% - She disliked being made (to) wait.
The man was no(ne) other than...
50ish% - since when did they know she had the pocket watch?
65% - "If (delete if, add Is) this all you wanted?"
66% "You're (delete You're, add Your) memory isn't...
74% - desolate desert... Desolate is redundant
88% - Several dozens (either several dozen, or just dozens)...
91% - amassed should be 'surrounded' or something similar.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2015-02-10 20:50
It needs a bit of an edit, but it's a great idea.
CHIMERAS - E.E. Giorgi

Chimeras is a combination of a gripping thriller/mystery whodunnit paired up with a science fiction/medical police procedural.

Track, our protagonist (perhaps anti-hero could fit a little here too), is a sensorially heightened being. He relys heavily on his heightened sense of smell in investigations, and really, who wouldn't in that situation? He's a blokey-bloke, a bit rough, and bruised. He's got a checkered past, but tries really hard to do the right thing and works his butt off every day.

Satish, his partner, was an interesting one. I did feel he was a bit of a crutch though. If the plot needed a prod, Satish was able to point Track in the right direction with one of his weird/insightful quotes or musings.

1. Track was a little safe, but there was enough new stuff to make me like him.
2. Twisting plot.
3. Complex scientific explanations made easy to understand.
4. The police procedural information, including investigations.
5. Diane's character - her feistiness and strength.
6. Hort - I liked her fireyness and passion, and even the kind of disfunctional but functioning relationship...

1. The masses of exposition that occurred.
2. Too much scene setting - I don't need to know about every traffic update in the area every time we start a scene.
3. Diane's character - her emotional game playing (in her defence it was kinda deserved, but I still didn't like it).
4. The ending.
5. Too many characters.

So let's unpack some of this...

When we got to the 'ah-hah moment' I had no recollection of who the killer was. Even with Track's re-investigation after the fact, I couldn't keep all the characters straight. We're introduced to scientists and police and investigators, social elite, families, boyfriends and girlfriends, maids and kids. I had a few moments where I was like:


and then:


This was a huge shame to me, because I really, really liked the story. I wanted to know what was happening, why people were being killed and who the hell was doing it. What I wanted though, was a feeling of:


This book needs a bit of an edit, if you cull the extra information about each scene (and the traffic reports!) and cull a couple of the characters who aren't really required in the story, this would easily be 4-5 star material.

One thing I noticed:
52% - ...distinctive as an (delete an) Elton John...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of the book in return for an honest review**

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review 2015-02-10 20:41
The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Let me start by saying...


I went into this book not really knowing what I was in for. I picked it because it fit in with a reading challenge I was doing.


The first thing to bother me was the really off-putting POV that the whole story was written in. I felt like a perverse stalker.


And let me tell you, things did not get better. There was pretty much no plot, no real characterisation, and nothing fundamentally exciting actually happened. Even when it got that that climax I felt nothing! Nothing for anyone.


Considering I normally have emotional reactions to books, this just went towards proving to me that this book did absolutely nothing for me.

My verdict:

But that's not enough...

P.S If you want a rather more articulate, yet no less scathing review, check out Michael J. Sullivan's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

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review 2015-01-14 09:14
Endgame: very interesting plot, not so great execution.
Endgame - Nenia Campbell
Endgame: very interesting plot, not so great execution.


Meet Volera (Vol) is our protagonist. She's feisty, fairly snarky and a lil bit kickass too, but I didn't like her. Why? Well, it seemed too much. Something was off about her from the first word.

Things seemed to be perfectly placed in the story to tease us about a bigger plot twist, but it'd dart temptingly close then disappear again. This shows Nenia's ability to write, but it didn't impact on the characters as it should have. Their reactions felt wrong.

The world building in this book is vast and quite creative. I'd have liked a little more in each Virtual Reality (VR), but it was a good base to start with.

Our love interest/s, well, I'm all for the silent, brooding type, or the slightly creepy asshole type, or even the mentally deranged. But what I don't like is all of them smooshed into one person. That one person surrounded by a bevy of other 'prissy' boys that seem too pretty to possibly of interest to Vol. Eugh! Pass me a bucket, I'm going to be sick!


The story was a little confusing at times, like it felt that some of the scene changes weren't obvious. One minute we're talking with a character, the next we're in a game, the next we're dreaming... it was quite confusing in parts. Not the whole thing, just a couple of important parts. I think a little clearing up of scene changes would help that a lot.

As part of a series, you don't really get any sort of closure at the end of this one. I don't like that. It also needs a serious edit. There's a lot of superfluous words that can be cut, clunky wording and of course, typos. I've listed the typos I found, but there's probably a few I missed.

If you like gaming, you'll enjoy the world this is set in. If you're a sci-fi fan, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're neither, don't go near it with a 50ft pole.
11% - ...throwing of(f) dazzling diamonds...
21% - ...foot hits something stuff (either stop at something or change stuff to stiff or solid).
22% - ...cold win(d) nips at her...
28% - ...slams the doors hut (door shut)
33% - I bet (beg) to differ...
...in his face For (for) tricking her...
37% - The creatures (delete the s) approaches her...
42% - ...and the sun's days (rays) skewer...
47% - ...ground beneath t he (the) building...
80% - ...would be aloud (a loud) silence;
95% - ...in two worlds as (at) once.
96% - Not(-)Vol's nails...


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review 2014-10-07 02:51
My eyes... my poor, poor eyes!
Inside the Fire - R.M. Grace

DNF @ 3%!


1% - a lot of passive sentences, weird imagery and sentence structure.
...timidly flickers he them open (transpose flickers and he)

I read for an hour, 2% in and I'm developing a tick from the weird way sentences are structured. It reads really wrong.


Examples from Chapter 1 - 2% in:
1. ...his toes are painted a dry brown shade, crusted with skin peeling...

2. Despite looks, the damage feels light for there is barely any pain in the numbing chill...

3. Someone is shouting off in the distance, but he is unable to make out any words, and then silence resumes.

4. ...which sends a dizzy spell over him what he tells himself is nothing.

5. Stalk naked, with wild alarm brimming in his eyes he looks into the face of someone who could be him, only older, with his hands gloved from the cold.


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