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review 2019-12-30 20:07
Needs the fat trimmed
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) - Jessie Mihalik

This definitely had a The League series by Sherrilyn Kenyon vibe, scifi/space opera/warring factions, if you liked that series, you'll want to give this one a go.

This was a debut and I felt like I could tell with how the overall story needed to be tightened up more. This was first person pov by the heroine Ada and while I enjoyed her voice and character, there was too much talk of going through the motions of menial tasks. 20-50% and around the 70% mark, my eyes glazed over a couple times. I just thought the fat needed to be trimmed and the story tightened up.

This was very much a first in the series with the world building and setting up of plot threads, like I said, I enjoyed Ada's character but her love interest, Loch, was only a pencil sketch to me. Not having his pov probably added to this but only hinting at and introducing the Genesis Project plot, instead of investing some time on it, kept me from fully knowing his character.

Ada and Loch spend a lot of time together and their attraction is very much a part of the story but at the same time, not really the focus. Their attraction and relationship never matured enough for me to feel it was solid and therefore wasn't very emotionally investing for me.

The strength here was the setting up of plot threads, warring Houses, modifying human DNA, faked death, political intrigue, teasing of future romance couples, and what, I'll intelligently, call space stuff/atmosphere.

The writing has a smoothness and, like I said, there are some intriguing threads set-up, that I'm on board for reading the second in the series.

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review 2019-12-01 21:30
Out Now
Voice of Rebellion - Roberta Staley
Disclaimer: ARC via a Librarything giveaway.

There is a debate among those who read biography (most likely more than one debate, but let’s just focus on this one). It has to do with the use of dialogue in biography, more specifically with the use of conversations that had to occur long ago and weren’t transcribed or recorded. Some people don’t mind them, perhaps even like them, but some don’t. I don’t. They work on basic level because of the nature of story telling and how we response to stories. But the academic in me is constantly wondering -was that really the conversation and how do you know that’s exactly what was said.

Staley makes use of such literary device, too much for my taste. So, if you feel differently, you should take that into account.

Staley’s book is biography of Mozhdah Jamalzadah, a singer who, when she was a young girl, immigrated with her family to Canada from Afghanistan. She went on to bring an Oprah Winfrey type of talk show to Afghanistan as well as to perform Afghan pop music.

Jamalzadah’s family was forced to leave Afghanistan during the 1980s because of her father’s position and political views. The biography’s first section details the family’s escape to Pakistan. While Mozhdah herself obviously did not have much to do with the planning and escape, the account showcases her parents’ strength of will and determination which they apparently passed down to their daughter. (In fact, it almost seems like Staley wants to tell the parents’ story, which itself sounds like it makes an interesting book).

The next part of the book details the family’s experiences in Canada and focuses shifts mostly to Mozhdah. And, strangely, it’s where the book loses a spark, a note, or a step. It isn’t that Staley’s writing shifts. She writes well, but there is a feeling of never quite getting to know Mozhdah Jamalzadah. In part, this has to do with details. For instance, she mentions Jamalzadah’s interest and heavy reading at one point, but doesn’t mention any of the books. There is a general sense of things but not much specifics outside the use of dialogue. To be fair, it must be difficult to write about a young and still living subject, even one who is cooperating. This might explain why the other children of the family seem to disappear (perhaps they did not want to feature in the book), but these generalities and missing facets are felt.

This is alleviated somewhat when Jamalzadah and her mother journey to Afghanistan to film the show. The challenges that Mozhdah faces range from the dangers of a country in a state of war to threats on her person because of her unwillingness to be a traditional, quiet woman as opposed to the feminist she is carry the weight, though even here there are gaps that feel strange. The focus is mostly on the career without too much depth, and there is little personal detail. It’s almost like there is a better book screaming to be let out.
 
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review 2019-06-17 00:24
Rebellion and Redemption
Rebellion and Redemption - David Tasker

The Great Controversy began before Creation and will be finished at the end of the millennium, the conflict between God and Satan permeates throughout the Bible from beginning to end.  In David Tasker’s Rebellion and Redemption shows throughout 128 pages how God used fallible human begins, who had fallen into rebellion, to push forward His plan of redemption that lead to the birth of Christ.  Following Christ’s ministry on Earth sealed the fate of Satan, His Apostles then did their part to establish the Church so it could spread throughout the world so all could have a chance before God brings about the end of the Controversy and reestablishes the perfect Earth of Creation.  This short book gives the reader a overview of the Great Controversy through the lens of scripture that will want to make you explore it more in-depth.

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review 2019-06-08 01:11
Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik - My Thoughts
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) - Jessie Mihalik

Disappointing. 

Just about my whole Romancelandia Twitter feed was over the moon about this book.  Best thing ever!!  Kickass heroine!!  Awesome hero!!! Action galore!!  Romance!!  Sexytimes!! 

Nope.

If you're looking for all those things, try the excellent Conspiracy of Whispers by Ada Harper.

So here's the thing, a 23 year old heroine who can do everything and get out of scrape after dangerous scrape, time after time, thanks to some training we're just hearing about that she had when she was young.  TWENTY THREE IS YOUNG!!!  She's just so darned perfect all the time.  No one is at that age, but seriously, this gal, who amusingly enough, is named Ada doesn't have a single fault or flaw.

And the hero?  Loch, who frowns and growls and grunts his way through the book until just about the very end where he declares his devotion to Ada.  But do we SEE this relationship kindle and grow?  Nope, we see a lot of hot sex and lusty glances and panting after each other, but aside from this overpowering physical attraction to each other, I don't think I saw much emotional growth. Loch is just a lump of growly muscle and abs as far as I can tell, one who seems to think that Ada belongs to him.  His property.  I can't tell you how that put me off every time it was mentioned - and that was a lot. 

The action.  Well, there was a lot of that, but it mostly spun the same way.  There's some trouble, Ada pulls out some great weapon or defense and manages to rescue them, much to Loch's amused surprise. Or, Ada gets captured, she's threatened with DIRE consequences, and by some special quirk of hers or SURPISE, growly man, she or they manage an escape.  There are politics involved by they're basically only given surface attention.  They could be very interesting and maybe we'll get there at some point in the series, but not here. 

Romance?  Not much here!  Mutual admiring of weapons and abs and lusty looks and thoughts and deeds and that's about it.  I don't know why Ada loves Loch and I don't know why Loch loves Ada.  I'm told they're in love, but... I have no clue why or how.

There were a few scenes I really liked.  The scenes where Ada, Loch and their friends plotted and planned and teased each other.  Felt a lot like Nora Roberts' gang of friends characters.  And that's my catnip, as they say.  *LOL* 

Of course we've been introduced to the next couple in the series, I'm pretty sure.  Ada's sister and her family's House security guy (who I think is one of Loch's friends, but that's in the future.)

Oh, and one last thing...  I found the characters very 2019ish as opposed to the hundreds of years in the future people they are supposed to be.  Just the way they spoke, the terms they used, it just all felt somehow contemporary to me. 

Anyway, I went into this with high hopes and was quite frankly, disappointed.  I don't understand what the huge fuss is about.  The basic ideas are good, but the execution and the meat of the story are lacking, in my opinion.  So it's another book that so many people found wonderful and I found it rather ordinary and pedestrian. 

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review 2019-05-13 00:31
Raider (Coalition Rebellion #4) - Justine Davis

I find myself wanting to dig out [book:Lord of the Storm|583971] and [book:The Skypirate|584009] because it's been a very long time since I read the beginnings of this series. That's the trouble really with a series that was started in the futuristic romance heyday and abandoned due to publisher short sightedness. The author finally got her rights back and revisited it but there is a point where even I forget things. :D

 

That said, this one could be read as a standalone in that other than the coalition presence and references to the characters in the first 3 books near the end, it could be anywhere. I think I was in the last third when it occurred to me that there were a lot of similarities in plot to Avatar - invaders taking over a planet to mine its resources, only in this case, the natives were human too and didn't need an outsider to save the day. And it is saved - for now, because apparently it takes 3 books, but that's ok as I'm really curious about the soon to be released book 6, if only because of who the H/h are.

 

Enough of that. The H lives a double life. It's implied really on the back cover, and the author does not try to hide it from us. His official life is a bartender who is raising his siblings after his mom took a header off a cliff. The siblings are a 17 year sister who acts like a spoiled brat for much of the book, and 13 year old twins who're like, Dennis the Menace doubled. The kids were somewhat annoying in that you'd think under the circumstances they'd be a little more mature at that age. The older sister though... And then there's the h - his wannabe girlfriend, but for his alter ego because even though she took care of a disabled parent until 6 months previous, she has no empathy for a man overburdened with 3 siblings he's forced to raise (two of which are always in trouble and one of which does not hide her contempt for their overlords).

 

I had issues with the women in the book. I think perhaps if the story itself hadn't been so engaging, it would have gotten a lower rating. I was relieved that the two did feel a whole lot of guilt when they figured out that he was burning the candle at both ends while they were bitching at him for what they perceived as cowardice (as opposed to being a responsible adult) I also was suspicious that one of the coalition seemed to have an awful lot of page count. The upcoming new release confirms my suspicions, heh.

 

Will I read it again? Probably. When? Not sure.

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