Donald O'Donovan... I owe you an apology.. On March 2nd 2011, you sent me a copy of your novel Tarantula Woman. It was an interesting title and the stDonald O'Donovan... I owe you an apology.. On March 2nd 2011, you sent me a copy of your novel Tarantula Woman. It was an interesting title and the story sounded bery interesting, but at the time, the description of it just didn't jive to start reading it. I never sat down and got involved with it. Other books took precedence and eventually it was shuffled to the bottom of a tall tall 'To Be Read' pile.
4 years and change later I ran across it in my Kindle library. I don't know what caused me to start reading it. Some universal churn pushed it from the underside if the TBR, and placed it in my view. I did not reread the blurb for it, nor did I look up the topic matter. I just blindly opened it and began reading.
I owe you an apology because this novel was freaking excellent. It was a gritty flesh filled drunken Mexican word fest, I read and re-read passages. I forced those around me to slog through key sections which were beautiful both with or with out the context of the plot. I was consistently making mental comparisons to classic literature. The strongest similarity was to Hemingway's "The sun also rises". Amazon blurb mentions Charles Bukowski, I can see the reference, but am stuck on my own perception. There is no formidable plot line that leads the reader down a clear cut path of good and evil. No quaking Everest sized eventuality (besides death itself) which forces the universe to conform and play nice with the characters. Tarantula Woman is a debauchery filled booze fest, with humanist characters trying to live given the cards dealt and the cards they have drawn from the deck themselves. They siesta in the shadow of society.
For those new to the book, Jerzy Mulvaney is a perpetual layabout. Holed up in a border town, Cuidad Juarez Mexico, he floats about in a drunken battle against consciousness and responsibility. Mariscal Street, the red light district, is his primary stomping ground. It is here that he hangs his hat on which ever bed post he can gain access too. He scrapes by fueled by odd jobs here and there. He is an aspiring author whose only current writing is the translation of letters from Spanish to English. This allows the letters from prostitutes to be mailed to their American beau's and potential saviors..
Jerzy's story begins with a wide range of these women of the night, but nothing really matters till he meets Ysela. The part time love and companion of local boxing legend, Ysela strings Jerzy along, dragging his heart along like a stone in the dirt. Neither of them are faithful, neither of them will ever be satisfied with life, they are a perfect pair.
Jerzy himself is a connoisseur of the flesh. The man recounts in graceful detail the curves and crevasses of each woman he is acquainted with. If you approach the story with the wrong mentality, there is a risk that some readers may misread him as being a misogynist. Quite the opposite really. This man dedicated his very being to the occupation of spending time with these women, of making them smile, of learning their likes and dislike. He will do everything to please them with the exception of marrying them, only Ysela the Tarantula Woman could bestow this honor on him.
The book takes a turn when Jerzy decides to buckle down and do right by her. He gets a job in the local crate factory to save money. There are a number of very dark passages in TW. Descriptions of the Coffin factory are particularly so, but very beautifully presented. In a nutshell - "Here I am at the crate factory, and I am getting ready for the coffin factory." Paragraph after paragraph of finely crafted metaphor.
I salute you sir.
READERS BEWARE: Skip the last three pages. Turn off your kindle, or tear them out of your paperback. They are a sham. I have no idea why the author added them and they do the story as a whole a bit of a disservice. Placing this novel in a box and slapping a nicely wrapped bow on it is something the authors editor should have advised against. Jerzy's story should have remained as rough cut as it was presented throughout. It was a real disappointment, and it happened to be the very last thing I read.
-- Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author for review purposes. If it was shit, I would have advised such. This one just happened to be worthy of a super positive review.
The borders of Area-X are ever expanding, inch by inch, millimeters, how much is unknown. Does it extend into the ocean? How did it come into existencThe borders of Area-X are ever expanding, inch by inch, millimeters, how much is unknown. Does it extend into the ocean? How did it come into existence? What exactly is It and is it a threat to humanity? The Southern Reach recruits volunteers to enter the secret confines of Area-X to search out answers to these very concerns.
None of the volunteers have names, just designation of skill. Names are for people who do not come to this place, they are left behind at the shimmering ethereal border, along with the rest of the worlds distractions. The volunteers in this research team include the Psychiatrist, the Engineer, the Biologist, and the Anthropologist. Within hours of setting up base camp, it is clear that Area-X is not an untouched Muir wonderland of nature and joy. The underground Tower of endless stairs and cryptic writing on the walls made of organic materials and microbial spores proves this.
The 30 years secret zone is filled with wild life, and confusing references to previous human existence. Houses that are nothing but shells, a lighthouse that carries mass significance in the Area-X training process. The animal life is bizarre, and at night a moaning tortured sound comes from the swamp. None of these things matter however, only the Tower and learning who wrote the words.
Overall, I was gripped. I read the majority of Annihilation whilst on a business trip. Airports, cab rides, lonely hotel rooms. It was appreciated that I could be consumed so easily into a fictional world. I moved from page to page anxiously devising theories of my own regarding the origins if Area-X and the mysterious Southern Reach. I was incredibly pleased with the end and satisfied with the level of questions remaining as a reader.
I was not sure what I was getting into with this Novel. It was well written, but purposefully clumsy in areas as the protagonist (lovingly referred to by her husband as his Ghost Bird) is capturing thoughts in a field journal. It clicked about thirty pages in when it became clear that the minds of all volunteers have been tampered with in order to create an artificial calm in times of stress. This causes some strange reactions that previously made little sense.
Annihilation has me in two connundrums. One: I read this with the expectation of a standalone novel. I have no idea why I thought this was a solo work, as the cover of the novel clearly states it is a trilogy, but I never claimed to be the smartest man around. Typically the trouble is that I really dont like starting book series when the risk is high that I will have time to finish it. This risk increases with lesser know authors who may never even write a sequel, no matter how much a reader would like it. Turns out this novel, which easily is packaged as a one time read, is the first in the Southern Reach trilogy. The publisher removed a lot of my risk/fear by releasing books two and three only months apart from Annihilation. The question now is should I read the next two, risking the possibility of modifying my standalone novel satisfaction? It is not common that a series can be so successfully compartmentalized..
I likely will. Otherwise...
Conundrum two: I could never read this article written by VanderMeer on TheAtlantic with out feeling like I cheated.. The Atlantic: From Annihilation to Acceptance, A writers surreal journey http://www.theatlantic.com/features/a...
It covers the writing process associated with signing up for three books in a year. I read a couple paragraphs and am highly fascinated, but dont want to risk spoilers that I can see are littered through out it.
This book was provided for review purposes by the publisher, this makes me incredibly grateful as I REALLY LIKE BOOKS.
My household is slowly becoming a friendly zone for children's booksDC Super Heroes Storybook Collection
Harper Childrens,Comics,Super Heroes,Hardcover
My household is slowly becoming a friendly zone for children's books with real paper. My son is growing out of board books while my daughter is starting to gain an interest. This book turned out to be a good find (thanks mama!), showing classic super heroes in easy to understand battles of good vs evil. Batman, Wonderwoman, Superman.... Throw in some cameos and you are set.
The storybook collection covers eight individual stories, each taking no more than 10-18 pages to tell. It's like a superhero primer. The details of the stories are limited, not going into back story. It mainly keeps to the high points, just right for new reads who may know some characters visually, but not yet understand why they are so interesting as to warrant a big person page book. We all know big person page books mean important things are with in. In case your kiddo has questions and you yourself are not aware that Starro is a villain from space shaped like a starfish (go figure), check the handy hero and villain appendix and learn that he controls minds using probes and will not stop till he rules the universe..
Short example story synopsis: Superman and the Mayhem of Metallo Lex Luthor engages the half man/half robot Metallo to attack and destroy Superman. It is not mentioned why Luthor cares, nor how he knows Metallo, nor how he knows that the Kryptonite given to Metallo will harm Superman. Clark Kent quick changes to Superman and is immediately blasted with radiation from the Kryptonite, Metallo's shiny metal skull in the background laughing. Batman flies in his Bat Plane to save the day, helping Superman regain his powers. Between the two of them Metallo is flung into space and Luthor is tracked down as an accomplice.
See? Just right.
Kiddo perspective: Apparently this book is good enough to carry around the house. It is not used as a door stop or a weapon, no animals were harmed in the reading of this book. The pages are not bent or torn.. Why? Because my son really really likes this book.
He is excited by the stories, though he can only read one at a time before needing to switch gears. Several of the bad guys are kind of creepy looking from a kid viewpoint, so i commonly find him watching for my reaction.
He knows that Clark Kent is Superman and that this is a secret.
Adult Perspective: What the hell have I done wrong. Superman is NOT as cool as Batman. I tried sooooo hard to make sure that my son understood this. Batman is amazing but troubled, Wonderwoman is pretty incredible and world changing, Superman is an egotistical jerk. Somehow this lesson was missed and my son believes that the sun rises and sets with Superman.. Ugh. We hit up a local comic book store on Free Comic book day and he insisted in taking home a Superman action figure. Granted, Kal-El is still cool.. I just don't get his need to elevate him above Mr. Wayne.
This book is pretty cool regardless of the above. All eight stories are cool, they tell cool plot and are easy for attention span reasons. It uses full adult sentences so when reading you do not feel like Hodor from Game of Thrones, mumbling baby nonsense and wishing for something meatier.
[see website for photo]
Several panels from this book are patently ridiculous. One of the most off the wall panels was Batman climbing in the Batplane and heading to Washington DC. His jet quickly accelerates to light speed as he races to the white house. This page continually requires that I point out reality to my son. If the Batplane could fly at light speed, he would instantly arrive in DC. Alternately, if it could reach those speeds, he would need a computer processor that is FTL in order to stop in time. Absolutely silly. I mean I guess he could go FTL pop around the entire planet a million times in a second before slowing, but a fruit fly could knock him out unless he finds a way ro phase through matter.. I mean seriously? How can he accomplish that with a fuel rocket?
Big highlight, President Obama makes an appearance and I was quite pleased to talk about him. It was a great opportunity to teach that the POTUS is an office as well as a person.
[see website for photo]
This book is pretty cool folks, well worth the dollars, with good reread value. Was picked up at home goods or some similar store for $7, but isnt much different new through a big book retailer.
Twenty years ago I read one of the most influential book series of my lifetime. In recent years I learned that a new chapter had bUnder A Velvet Cloak
Twenty years ago I read one of the most influential book series of my lifetime. In recent years I learned that a new chapter had been created. The original Incarnations of Immortality, written by Piers Anthony, was a seven book package of awesomeness. In 2007, an eighth book was written. Created entirely due to readership demand and some amazing collaborative efforts by the author and a handful of dedicated fans, the final book in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality left me satisfied though a little ambivalent.
Readers who are fanatical for the Incarnations of Immortality should investigate this immediately. It's worth reading in my opinion, though mixed reviews are to be had. This is a highly sexualized novel, and is dissimilar to the other novels in much the same way as the others differed in style and presentation. The full cast of characters is there and you have basically all the answers you have been wanting. Not a fanatic? You can skip it with no concern. Dont want to risk muddling your fond memories on a 20 ish years in the making sequel? Then skip it, no harm no foul.
I fall into the fanatic camp. I describe the plot of the series to anyone who will listen, and can instantly bond with others who read then (I love you Jenn). I commonly think of Nox and Eris, contemplating loose ties. I never to this day have truely forgiven a woman who swimped my copy of 'On a pale horse' and wrote 'property of' her name in the cover.
I am not sure how much I have to say here. I have opinions.
Was it good? Well of course. Piers Anthony is a great writer. The authors note about the writing and concept was fascination. The book was amazing.
Is it for everyone? No. Absolutely not. People uncomfortable with sex should avoid this. Seriously. It is like reading Pornucopia part III (yes, there is a second P-copia). Most important conversations take place during or post coitus in this novel. Detailed but not to the point of indecency, sex is used as a tool in the cultivation and diplomacy of mankinds existence. Especially hard to read is opening sequences which detail the analytical breakdown and sexual awakening of (at that time in the story) the fourteen year old protagonist. Context must be kept. Historical timeline and such make this timing appropriate and not out if the norm. It never borders lewdness, staying fairly clinical and detached.. But still difficult to get past with modern perspectives in place. Also, I would not categorize this regarding the topic of feminism, you will find it can be argued both directions as there are many blurred lines.
This was not my favorite book of the series. I would probably not read it again, not because of it's quality. It's ship only needed to sail once to reach the right destination. Unlike the other novels, this one is complex for the purpose of completion. It fails to have the reread value of the others because it is designed to fill the gaps that caused one to scratch repeatedly the surface of the others.
I greatly appreciate closure to what felt like an incomplete story for a large portion of my life. I always wanted a Nox tale. Chaos deserved a voice in the Piers Anthony universe and has finally received it.
This is a standalone novel, which I think is important to point out as the author has a bias toward single word titles which can get confusing. I hadThis is a standalone novel, which I think is important to point out as the author has a bias toward single word titles which can get confusing. I had to use Wikipedia as a primer.
My wallet is a temple cow which few are allowed unfettered access to the milking teats of. Subscriptions and the like are just not part of my world if alternatives exist. I do not allow bills to auto-debit, only a handful of services have that honor (I love you Netflix).. An exception may be ready to occur however. Writing books in a serial format seems to the standard MO for Mr Hugh Howie, and if all of his work holds true to the quality of Sand, then I am going to have to be monitoring RSS for new releases or auto purchase items as they become available. I loved loved loved this novel. I bought the omnibus forms of another serial series of his (wool). If it is just as good, then he will het my cash in a small trickling gush as he releases installments on future work. I despise him for gaining this much power, yet will allow him access to the milk.. He must wear gloves.
Sand is beautifully crafted. Just the right amount if drama, scifi, mythology and action. Just enough characters to remain diverse, but nowhere in the untrackable realm of russian classics.
Set in the future, timing is kept unclear. Huh? What kind of statement is that? Well, It is far enough in the future that Orion no longer carries the name Orion. The constellation has modified. No longer does it tie to Gilgamesh fighting the Bull. Now it is the constellation of Colorado, though the bull is still involved, the warrior Colorado is now the emphasis.
Time being what it is, this is not the center point. Sand. This is the key. Sand covers everything. Great roiling hot dunes of sand. Living on this sand is a society eking out existence, digging ever moving pits to access underground aquifers, avoiding the badlands from whence men do not return.
There is a special class in this society who have a skill set to control the sand, Sand Divers. Imagine Scrooge McDuck dives into his money-bin and splats dead onto the hard as concrete surface layer. Imagine McDuck instead actually breaches the surface and makes it under his money just to be crushed to death, suffocating because he is unable to inhale due to pressure. His money is sand.. Small, easy to carry or move, but increasing in power with each individual element added to the pile. Now imagine him wearing an electronics excessive wetsuit, rechargeably powered by sun and wind, controlled by his mind, which allows him to radiate energy. This energy moves the money around him like water. He is swimming and leaping in no time. Duck Tales whoo hoo.
This is what sand divers do. Sand bends to their will, their technology, their drive to survive. They swim to the valleys and dead world beneath the sand searching for relics and salvage. These elements are prized in the shops and markets. Metals, plastics, papers. The trash and knick knacks of our existence. Everything from the bygone age has use and value.
Sand is about what occurs when you find something beneath the sand that could get you murdered.
Kids book? No. Probably good for teens. I had trouble putting this one down. Written as a standalone novel, it is hard not to be disappointed when the end comes. It is really easy to hope for and be frustrated that no more of the Sand universe is available for reading. I have to wonder if this is an artifact of the serial progression. I find that short stories have the same feeling. All is right, but why isn't there more. I assume that the Wool series which is an omnibus trilogy, will feel more naturally resolved, but who are we kidding :)
Excellent read. Worth the money, but if you are not sure, combine all those left over dollars on your holiday giftcards and spend that.. No harm no foul.
Short stories drive me nuts. I do not care for them, as a rule. Between 5 and 40 pages of character development, I get invested and find myself totallShort stories drive me nuts. I do not care for them, as a rule. Between 5 and 40 pages of character development, I get invested and find myself totally involved. I want to learn the deep history and horrible details of the character lives. I often find myself frustrated, throwing down a book in disappointment when it leaves me hanging. I always pick them back up and finish them, but there is a grudging nature to their completion.
Somehow Jacob Appel managed to provide stories in his collection that kept me from fashioning a shiv out of office supplies and taking out my frustration on office mates.
Einstein's Beach House is a pleasurable collection of stories. Each of them are a little off kilter. Whether it be about an extramarital affair with one's daughter's imaginary friend's father, or breaking into the basement of your local sex offender's home to locate dirt on the guy, Beach House holds it's own.
Where most authors drop off in a failed attempt at literary poetry, Appel has edited these tales down to the perfect/ the right moment. The only poetry is the wind that whistles in the cracked door he leaves open, uncomfortably numbing you and making your nipples hard enough to cut glass. Each of the eight stories are perfectly crafted to leave a reader strangely satisfied, and yet wondering how. If somewhere in the world these characters exist, they have been flash frozen just at the right moment where their faces are dead pan stuck in "WTF".
Reading this book is like taking a pill that carves out your gut and fills it with the precise moments when people will tell their therapists' "this is why i am who i am". There is not a single 'happy' story in the lot, though I would not refer to them as unhappy. They are just..
Just.. Strongly suggested reading, even for folks who hate short stories.
Fyi- I believe the weakest story in the collection was pertaining to a turtle under court orders to have shared custody for divorcees and the eclectic and F*ed up owners, but only because someone needed to own a firearm to bring true closure to that story.
Strongest? Every other story ;)
This review is based off a free copy provided by the author. The author was kind enough to write a book that deserved a great review. Had it been crap, rest assured, i would be vocal about it.
According to the author's note, Turing Evolved has gone through several independent grass roots edits before becoming the polished and shiny titaniumAccording to the author's note, Turing Evolved has gone through several independent grass roots edits before becoming the polished and shiny titanium beast that it is. This is the beginning of a streak of finely crafted self published novels available for suuuper cheap. Highly recommended for any scifi nerds, mech geeks, MMORPG players, and housewife romance fans. This is an equal opportunity read.
The Alan Turing namesake should be enough to give a semi knowledgable reader insight into the core to this. Turing Evolved is an in depth look into the world of Artificial Intelligence and it's affect on our world in a fictionalized non specific future.
Jon has been kicked from the military for actions that put them in a poor light. As a Demon Pilot, his fully haptic implants allowed him to run his mech as if it were his own body, preparing for future conflicts with the Asian Union or otherworld powers. Now, he doesn't know what he is, besides a displaced fool who should have kept his mouth shit. He has been referred to his first non military job, working with the MINDSpace Samaritans. The Samaritans help extract people who are fully immersed in MINDSpace and ensure they are able ti reintegrate into society.
Jon finds himself in a strange position when he crosses a rogue Demon and an Angel in an encounter on city streets, he is forced to take direct action to save the life of an AI. What follows is a surprisingly non-mushy and thrilling love story. How can a man who can only visit the virtual world love a woman who can on visit the physical.
Heavy handed but well thought out and critical religious references abound. Highly geeky storyline. No dates are applied, but references to stealth bombers and other modern tech as several hundred years old (and foreign in detail) show that this is far into the future. Filled with but not dominated by technology, instead it feels like with the exception of a few elements, it could happen today rather than in the future..
Well worth the time, grab a copy and give it a shot.
They shave a small spot on the back of your head and insert a needle. They sample matter found deep inside you, delicate and evaporative. They run theThey shave a small spot on the back of your head and insert a needle. They sample matter found deep inside you, delicate and evaporative. They run the tests, and with in a short time, Life Inc can tell you the precise time and date you will die. As it turns out, along side the creation of highly pollutive freeways in the sky, leaking gasses and forcing the public into oxygen masks, Life Inc has been able to analyze and validate your life force.
In the opening, the mastermind and genius who built Life Inc is dying. He travels to his lab, knowing his death clock is running. He knows that his life force has dwindled. He has a plan, to capture the final grain of life as it leaves his body, and follow it 'home'. He has proven life force, now he will prove the human soul.
10 short years later, Life Inc airs a commercial that offers the ultimate gift to humanity. At the cost of one year of life energy, you can spend 24 hours alone in open physical contact and communication with a dead loved one.
It is interesting how much of a struggle the fictional world has in this novel, dealing with the existence of a soul. Scientifically proven life force. Can you imagine? Science and religion speaking in like terms of semi-intangible existence.. I could only hope for the marriage of these two factiosn, but predictably, the world of Life Inc still fights this fight, of science being a starved for attention meddlesome god debasing entity and religion being a starved for attention meddlesome fear monger.
This book ranks in the realm of amazing. It has complex characters, interesting science, well written action sequences, and a highly polished writing style. Add in some pulp fictionesque mystery. At $2.99, this book is a steal. Seriously..
Kevin George seems like a fairly prolific self published author. With a mature writing style, 4 series and this single standalone book under his belt, it is nice to see that he has fully resolved all of the complaint generating errors that too commonly plague self pubs. This book was effectively error free and a really great plot line with basically zero plot holes.
Can you ask for more?
Do not read comments on amazon. There are some dickbags sharing open spoilers in the small handful of negative critique. I dont know why people have to be like that.
Ballet Cat and Sparkle Pony need something to do. They discuss the various crafts and activities they could work on, games they could play but BalletBallet Cat and Sparkle Pony need something to do. They discuss the various crafts and activities they could work on, games they could play but Ballet Cat is of a single mind. At every turn, she finds ways to wiggle out and bring focus back on Ballet.
So ballet is what it will be! When Sparkle Pony appears down in the dumps, he tells her about his Secret Secret and his fear that she will no longer want to be friends if she learns it. The two realize what a special friendship they share as they work through this conundrum.
Kids who like the Dinosaur vs. books will quickly gel with this kids book. Readers of the Mo Willems Pigeon books will also jive with this very quickly. At approx 30 pages, with lots of bright colors, it will hold their attention just long enough to put a smile on their faces.
Kiddo Perspective: In our household, Ballet Cat sounds like a clone of Foofa on Yo Gabba Gabba, Sparkle Pony sounds like Eyore's cousin. It was a ton of fun to read and Bob Shea packed so much personality into these two characters. My son was really into it. He was down for the painted characters and the bright splotchy outside the lines coloring.
Adult Perspective: My son is not a boy who is afraid of pink or other 'girl things' which is awesome because this book should not be quickly written off as boy or girl centric. It is chock full of cool images and teaches a good lesson about doing what other people want to do rather than always getting your way.
Bob Shea is the author of the Dinosaur vs Bedtime and other great books. This book is no less a hit, it is fun to read and is filled with sarcasm that adults can pick up. My wife and I would have this on our shelves even if we had no kids, as it is so freaking cute.
I think that older kids might be okay with this book in E-format, my son however needs a dead tree copy. I don't know how parents can keep a kids attention when looking at an ipad or other tablet.. Paper baby, that's the ticket.
Highly suggested book, I look forward to putting this in our library and seeing what the rest of this new series will be like.
This book was provided for review purposes by the publisher. I appreciate this because my children are going to eat me out of house and home.
Teen Literature. A serial killer murdering homeless gay males. A Hetero rebellious youth fighting against bible thumping father. The ki50 word review:
Teen Literature. A serial killer murdering homeless gay males. A Hetero rebellious youth fighting against bible thumping father. The killer begins communicating with said rebel. Interestingly, teaches tolerance, acceptance, introspection, and that today's youth can change dogma.
Morality tale, semi-christian, wasn't sure what I was getting into, enjoyed it though.
Not needed, origination blurb was well written as was the novel.
Noah Nordstrom has been dissing the religious beliefs of his father, who hosts a popular Christian radio show and whom Noah accuses of spreading hate. When two local gay teens are murdered, Noah’s anti-evangelism intensifies—he’s convinced that the killer is a caller on his dad’s program.
Then Noah meets Will Reed, a cool guy. But when he learns that Will is gay, Noah gets a little weirded out. Especially since Will seems really into him. Noah gives Will the brush-off. Meanwhile, the killer is still at large . . . and soon Noah finds the next victim. It’s Will.
Racked with guilt, Noah decides to investigate. He knows the serial killer is targeting gay teens, but only those who live in foster homes, whose deaths are not that important to society; they are the less-dead. Noah, however, is determined to prove that someone cares. With the help of Will’s journal, which he pocketed at the scene of the crime and in which the killer has written clues, Noah closes in on an opponent more dangerous than he can guess.
Extinction Machine follows the trend of DMS fighting battles against foes of legend. In this case, Aliens. Or more accurately, humans in a 50+ year seExtinction Machine follows the trend of DMS fighting battles against foes of legend. In this case, Aliens. Or more accurately, humans in a 50+ year secret race to recreate technology from downed alien craft (roswell et al). My opinion of the book should not block a fan from reading, or a potential fan from starting the series. This is just me being a cry baby fan boy who is potentially over critical.
This was my least favorite of the Joe Ledger series by Maberry. It isn't that the plotline was bad, it wasn't in fsct it was really quite good. The trouble was the heavy handedness and some love interest concerns (potential love interest concerns for the main character).
With out getting too deep into the plot details, Maberry goes against his normal grain of eloquently spoon-fed details which make the plot hum and vibrate with goodness. In EM it feels more like he has trouble spinning the yarn. The only reason I can think of that there would be such a drastically change in writing presentation would be that Maberry himself has difficulty with his own plot.. As a result, various characters take turns parrotting back the same substantiating data over and over and over, beating into our heads the details needed to make the plot holes plausible. Seriously, the book would be a third smaller if this were more streamlined. Besides that though, pretty cool stuff as always.
Primarily I was vested in finishing the book because of some particularly evil sh*t which occurs and makes me blood thirsty for revenge as many chatacters were. I was also curious as to the final outcome of a particular end of world scenario, which I ultimately felt was glossed over.
Good thing for me there are two more books in the series, one novel and one collection of short stories.
Potential spoiler: Uhm. Violin is going to nail Ledgers balls to a wall and slowly de-vein him like a giant shrimp. You DO NOT F*CK with the bastard inbred daughter of a vampire... No matter how 'informal' your relationship is.
I dont know how to fix this one. I read the book without reading the back cover. Had i read it firdt, i eould have felt a bit cheated. I guess it is adequate, but I feel like it gives away plot that was enjoyable to unravel. Not worth reblurbing, but not 'great' or satisfying.
In Extinction Machine, the fifth Joe Ledger book by Jonathan Maberry, the DMS must go up against someone—or something—in search of new technology that could bring about world war
The President of the United States vanishes from the White House.
A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds.
All over the world reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate.
And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth. There are rumors of alien-human hybrids living among us.
Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences rush headlong into the heat of the world’s strangest and deadliest arms race, because the global race to recover and retro-engineer alien technologies has just hit a snag. Someone—or something--wants that technology back.
*edit! In discussion it was found I was unclear in aspects of the below text. While I will discuss some editorial complaints in this review, I did find*edit! In discussion it was found I was unclear in aspects of the below text. While I will discuss some editorial complaints in this review, I did find this book highly positive, and was very intrigued by the overall concept. Please try to recognize the dynamic as it unfolds. This is an excellent book that I enjoyed a great deal.. But with some proposed "tweaks" from myself, a reader ;) --
While I was mid way through reading the nightmare that was American Psycho, I was teeming on the brink of 'not-okay-ness'. I was approached to read and review a self described Self Help book. My brain was melted and I felt pretty gross at that point. To be honest, this unnatural mental status helped drive my agreement to read what I would normally not. After reading the author's site, it sounded clean and refreshing and was a complete juxtaposition from current status. What better way to climb out of the hole I was sitting than something epically positive: The "Self Help Book".
The premise of Finding Francesca is fairly simple. Sit down in a quiet spot, visualize a meeting spot with aspects of your personality which you believe need work. If you are an over eater or obsessively neat, your conversation would relate around why you are this way, what is the root cause that started the behavior. The end result is that you would give these aspects of yourself permission to stop behaving poorly. This is over simplified, but easy enough to conceive.
In Francesca, Stephanie Correa finds herself transporting into a mental office building, scheduling meetings with whomever wants to meet her. Aspects of her personality step up, and seem more than happy to explain themselves. They describe through memories why they have the difficult trait that make them problematic for the author, and are willing to accept forgiveness and move on. It is unclear how long this process takes, but in the presentation, it could be construed as back to back meetings over a few weeks tops. I do not believe this was the intended timeline.
This openness is not the reaction I had, unfortunately. Perhaps this perceptive and open state is easier to reach under instruction. Giving it a solid try, I found myself talking to a blank slate. No aspect of my personality came forward, no matter the level of introspective meditation I applied. Perhaps I am filled with antisocial gremlins.
Regardless of my failed attempts, it still sounds like a pretty cool concept. The workshop planned to shadow this book might perhaps add the missing elements blocking me. I will refrain from discussing the actual value associated with the process. A process can only work for someone dedicated to the involvement. This is not me, so saying "this will (or will not) work" would be unethical. It is a great idea though, and I hope for success to those who need the assistance.
The world needs great ideas and pioneers to push the envelope and try new methodologies where existing ones are inadequate.
This portion of my review is not intended to belittle the genuine nature of the stories told, however, the presentation was a bit off. The book itself could use some polish. I believe that someone reading this for the intended purpose could see past this as they gain value. Having no value to me from an introspective perspective, I could only read Finding Francesca with an editorial mindset.
Sections rubbed me wrong, similar to many self published novels do. I often question whether enough editing, or HONEST critique has been provided to the author. Most friends and family are yup yup Sesame Street aliens, too afraid to be blunt.
As an outsider, I will take this opportunity to stand in their place regarding this early edition.
The story teller presentation of the book is derailed instantly by being sandwiched with fore/aft authors notes regarding the process. It lessened the impact. Letting it unfold and organically work toward the purpose may have held more strength. The fore/aft statements could have better propped up as a single post arc authors note. Let people experience the story before bringing it full circle. The clinical summary blurb was cold. As will be discussed later, the description on the authors site was drastically more compelling and less likely to drive off potential readers. Repeat descriptions of created a stale element and could have been expanded. As an example, the repeat references to a "black out drunk" individual may have served better with more diversity. Black out drunk he may have been, but could be described using equally powerful words. The apologetic associations near the end regarding the same described drunk, this was hard to read. Love is a strange creature, and I don't envy the rectification of this conflict, but also have trouble with apologetic regarding the topic of reference. Too obtuse? Read the book to understand my reference. This book clocked in at around one hundred pages, a valuable percentage of which were dedicated to the index. I believe that the individual chapters could have been more robust. The author told her story, but in some cases felt watery and hurried. In a future revision, Correa may choose to honor her story further by fleshing it out and giving it the various lives it deserves while staying true. Properly done, this could trancend to a biographical fiction for those not interested in the intended help process. None of these points would limit a dedicated reader in gaining benefit from the process, but along with a blurred and grainy cover, will block this book from being taken more seriously. It would be lost on any bookshelf as it fails to command attention. Though the items I outlined and others do not hold up to an editorial review, I do believe they would be forgiven by the proper audience. Success, right? All things considered, I enjoyed Finding Francesca, and though not my vein of standard reading, the genuine and positive outlook in healing did put me in a better mood and help cleanse my thoughts after reading such a horror show of a novel prior.
I wish people luck in the process and hope the author continues her uphill sprint.
I believe that the description on the Authors website is more useful than that on the back of the book. Mainly quotes from readers, it held little value, where the description on the author site sold the book well, with less effort, and attracted me quickly. The official blurb would have caused me to set the book backdown. Rather than write a new blurb, I shall simply post that site text here (without permission).
"As the room came into view, instantly I was in complete shock. Nanette had transformed from the rebellious, glaring goth girl into a beautiful woman, professionally dressed in a high-end fashionable suit and neutral, peep-toe, four-inch heels, golden hair pulled back in a French twist, passing out sheets of paper outlining the agenda for the meeting. She was unquestionably a leader. Nanette was confident, strong, sexy, vibrant, and unflappable; I wanted to be her. -- excerpt from Finding Francesca
Finding Francesca by Stephanie Correa
Finding Francesca is Stephanie's big debut as an emerging author! Within Finding Francesca you'll discover a unique approach to Self-Help and Transformation solutions. Rather than telling you what you must do to improve the quality of your life, Stephanie shows you how with honest, intimate and often humorous accounts of meetings with her own inner-sabateurs and the loving peace that followed. If you have felt lost, alone, heartbroken, defeated, insecure, or just needing of motivation, Finding Francesca can help you discover your personal inner utopia where you know beyond a doubt you are loveable and worthy of enjoying all the good life has to offer.
Book original pitch:
Compare and see the difference..
Do you feel stuck in an endless cycle of self-criticism, extreme discipline, and restriction? Do you believe being hard on yourself will force you to reach your goals and achieve success? Do you feel victim to self-sabotaging behaviors keeping you from relishing in the success you see others enjoying around you?
What if there was a way to meet these self-sabotaging parts of your personality, to interview them and gain an understanding of why they have been showing up in your life? Imagine reconciling and falling in love with who they are with in you, releasing their negative impact and creating a true sense of inner peace.
Finding Francesca takes you step-by-step through the process of meeting the self-sabotaging parts of your personality by sharing true accounts of intimate, powerful and humorous inner meetings written as the occurred. Through these stories, the visualization process and sample list of protectors included within Finding Francesca, you will be empowered to overcome self-sabotaging behaviors, confidently work toward goals without using restriction and inner-bullying tactics and gain the ability to learn how absolutely adorable and lovable you really are.
Rarely have I been confronted by a book that makes me feel sick for humanity, a book that causes me to question my taste as a reader, and or a book whRarely have I been confronted by a book that makes me feel sick for humanity, a book that causes me to question my taste as a reader, and or a book which is so brilliantly put together that I can justify ignoring my impulses to turn tail and run.
American Psycho.It was disgusting and offensive, yet, I read every word of it.
Ellis's American Psycho was brilliantly written and masterfully sewn together to create the view of a killer in decline. It deserves a place on my book shelf, but will never be suggested reading, I will never loan it out. I would ask people I care about to never read it.
Presenting in detail an utter disregard for human life, women in particular, I had trouble fathoming the filth my 'soul' was accumulating by proxy of the character Bateman. The despicable and cruel beyond description, he was neither sinister nor evil. Bateman simply wasnt human. Applying morality or ethics to the character would be no different than saying an inanimate macaroni salad at a hot BBQ is evil when it causes harm or death. Bateman simply exists and is what he is. He just needs to be recognized, separated, and thrown out as bad. Keep him away from your dog.
Seeing the world through his eyes and with his thoughts was torture. A reader cannot simply consume, having to instead perform amatuer analysis of him to find the errors causing his ailments. In some portions of the book, references to prep school abuse and other signs are enlightening but ultimate are not the point. Being an inhuman creature, I feel this was what was to be gleaned.
There are many analysis/reviews and deep level critiques of American Psycho, some predating its official publication, others from proponents of it's restriction or banning. Because of this, I will refrain from further speculation, feel free to read more at other locations.
Side note: People who knew what book I was reading commonly asked how it compared against the film adaptation. The film is tame, the film is an exercise in comic relief, the film is a beast that can be separated from reality and understood.. The novel, is a gory horror show several magnatude worse, to the level that no further comparison will occur.
Ugh... And yet, wow.I will stick with the more comedic less soul destroying movie in the future.
Not needed, it could warn you about the need to vomit while reading, but otherwise adequate.
In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.
Teenage girls read very stupid books, and apparently so do I. And I enjoy them greatly.
Backstory: My wife decided to revisit some of her childhood yeaTeenage girls read very stupid books, and apparently so do I. And I enjoy them greatly.
Backstory: My wife decided to revisit some of her childhood years by picking up some old teenage angsty trash novels. You know the kind I am talking about, like sweet valley high but lacking the SVH vague long term character arc; the long winded modern fables dragged out over several books; where you are shackled with a moral passed to you on a platter by heavy hands. This one has the moral but comes at it like a teenager, quick with minimal forethought and absolutely no staying power. No sequel was ever expected.Jenn, my wife, decided to tackle a sad little book titled 'My Secret Love'. This two hundred and nineteen page treasure is part of the Sweet Dreams "Special" series. As she consumed it, she kept pulling me away from important tasks like dishes or toilet scrubbing, in order to read me important passages. When she forced me into the inside cover page excerpt is where I got sucked in. It was harvested from near the end at the highest peak of teenage girl hormone explosion as she was in a fight with her father over a boy.
The geeky little rich rich girl who never fits in since her move to Texas, living in a planned golf club neighborhood who falls in love with the bad boy on the other side of town. The bad boy being misunderstood and invisible. This book captures the ridiculous thought processes of idiot tee wagers. All the highs and lows, the stuttered logic that drove all of us to many cringe worthy decisions and quotes. Things we hope to forget but friends and family continue to remind us of.
The strangest part if this is that the main character reminds me of someone I know. Protagonist Lara Mitchell, is weird but nice, strong willed but world wary. Lara is obsessed with a fictional world, 'Starbright'. Dragons, armies, love interest, deceit. She writes short stories set in this world, and is so involved that her parents believe at one point that one of the fictional men a real live boy she sneaks out to meet.
Alt notes, the cover is cheesy. I feel bad for the cover model forever associated with this book.
The book series the protagonist enjoys is about StarBright, the publisher of this novel was Starfire... Was this a contracted novel?
Reblurb: I am not even going to attempt this. I have a hard enough time publicly admitting that I read this ;) I carried it openly on public transit.. I read it coming in the door to work..
I suppose I would avoid the word 'Forbidden' in any summary text as this is such a vanilla story it seems too descriptive and is a bit misleading. The title 'My Secret Love' combined with forbidden? Yeah.. Misleading. But that's not enough to warrant a blurb.
Ever since her family moved to Johnson's Crossing, Lara Mitchell has felt terribly alone. She doesn't fit in at school, her mother spends more time playing golf at her exclusive country club than she does with Lara, and her father cares only about his important new banking position. The one source of happiness in Lara's life is Starbright, a series of books set in a magical, faraway place.
Lara's life changes when she falls in love with Billy Jo Kane. Billy Jo is a loner, too, and he and Lara like many of the same things. He even loves Starbright. But Billy Jo's family comes from the poor side of town, and his brothers are known as troublemakers around Johnson's Crossing. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell assume that Billy Jo is just like his borthers, so Lara must keep their relationship secret or risk being forbidden from seeing him anymore.
Then one day something happens that forces Lara to bring her love for Billy jo into the open. Can she find the strength to stand up to her parents and prove the depth of her feelings for Billy Jo?
From the addictive green cover and clean artwork till the last page.
RawBlurb Suggested read.
ThisYou want a review?
It is simple, I looooved this book.
From the addictive green cover and clean artwork till the last page.
RawBlurb Suggested read.
This book does deserve a reblurb however.. The original was found very very lacking. In fact, had it not been for my love of the cover, I may never have given this book a shot. I often find that it is in the favor of the author to foster "judging a book by it's cover".
You think that the current debates over pro-life and pro-choice are lively? Well have you heard about The Cure? This is going to knock the world on it's ear. The pro/pro debate is gonna be irrelevant. It might even take a turn and become a pro-abortion vs "what's the other choice again?" conversation.
The Cure, what is it exactly? No, not the British goth/pop/rock band. The Cure resolves the ultimate disease, OLD AGE. Sure it is illegal, you need to back alley it, you have to pass cash under the table and use a secret knock.
Is it worth is? I heard it is expensive, dangerous, and that you can still die? Well sh*t, what do you want, a garauntee? It it doesn't fix cancer, or heart disease.. You can still take a bullet to the head.. But if you are willing to put in a little work, you will never have to give those spoiled children of yours a penny of your hard earned money.. Write them out of your will and out live them all. Get tired of it in 300 years, end it all in your own terms.
The Cure gives you the power of gene therapy focused to the ultimate task, perpetual cell regeneration. The age you are today, locked in for ever and ever, Amen.
Mortality is history.
Immortality is mythology.
Postmortal is now.
John Farrell is about to get "The Cure."
Old age can never kill him now.
The only problem is, everything else still can . . .
Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors.
For those who are reading Maberry's Joe Ledger series, this book is going to knock you on your ass plot wise. It continues to follow the arc of fightiFor those who are reading Maberry's Joe Ledger series, this book is going to knock you on your ass plot wise. It continues to follow the arc of fighting unknown evils in a world where we are kept blissfully unaware of the horrorshow behind the scenes. Ledger and the DMS have already conquored biological warfare, genetic engineering, nazis offspring, secret societies, varying global destruction plots, and the trust of bottled water.. How is a guy supposed to top that? Maberry has no trouble doing so. He pulls from his world an ancient pact in the middle east, rival factions and an absolutely f*cked up history for some potential Department of Military Sciences allies, some long awaited glimpses into Church (the man and the org) backstory, and a whole lot more.
The difficulty here is a this is book four in a series. Book five is already on shelves, the sixth book is coming out April 2014 (this month) and a collection of digital shorts in the same universe is also ready to stock in bookstores. What this means is that pretty much everything that I say will be a spoiler. I must be delicately aware of my wording so I do not give plot elements away. My delicate resolve will be just to avoid the plot completely.
I would like to point out that Joe ledger became quite the mouth dude this book. His sarcasm was always pretty intense in previous books. When he would normally be very careful in wording, he seemed to be overtly antagonistic and unable to concentrate on the finer points of common conversations. Though this did not make for a bad book, it did add a a level of tedium to the novel that is normally absent.
Not needed. Publisher description is adequate. Being part of a series, most readers will already be invested.
In ASSASSIN’S CODE, the fourth book in New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series, Joe Ledger and the DMS go on a relentless chase to stop an ancient order of killers from plunging the entire world into Holy War.
When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran, the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood. Accompanied by the beautiful assassin called Violin, Joe follows a series of clues to find the Book of Shadows, which contains a horrifying truth that threatens to shatter his entire worldview. They say the truth will set you free…not this time. The secrets of the Assassin’s Code will set the world ablaze.
Okay. So over beers, I suggested to a good friend, Rich, that he should invest time in the Hyperion Cantos (Dan Simmons). I swear, Rich got a twinkleOkay. So over beers, I suggested to a good friend, Rich, that he should invest time in the Hyperion Cantos (Dan Simmons). I swear, Rich got a twinkle of evil in his eye, and he made a devilish deal. If I wanted him to read The Hyperion Cantos, I would have to agree to read The Death Gate Cycles, a series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I generally trust Rich's perspective, so the fact he was exchanging a 7 book series for my suggested 4 book series never read false to me.
Book one of seven: Dragon Wing, where to start.
Well, let it be known that I am not a reader of DragonLance novels. The fantasy genre just isn't my cup of tea, there are some authors I have enjoyed, but fantasy tends to be more miss than hit when I am concerned.
My reading experience:
- It took me two months+ to slog through through three hundred and forty pages - Even with access to appendices, I wanted to strangle Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The number of concepts and words that were unexplained drove me bonkers. - I very nearly lit this book on fire and peed on it's ashes. My deal with Rich was the only thing that pushed me to completion. - I still do not know what the root words for 'Kicksey-Winsey' are, even though Managers, etc all became clear. - The big protagonist (cheekily named the Sinistrad) and culmination of plot were a huge let down, approx four pages all wrapped in a bow? Exaggeration, yes, but not much of one. - The Gegs (Dwarves). They are as annoying as Jar Jar Binks.
With all that said, it turned out pretty good... What's that? Well, yeah, my reviews are always honest and in this case the first three quarters made my soul bleed, where the last hundred pages were quite good. I sailed through them pretty quickly. Most of my questions were answered. Characters solidified, story became understandable, and it clicked. After all that pain it clicked. I would never read this book twice (you couldn't pay me), but I do feel confident that my frame of reference is now large enough to enjoy book two. I will read the remainder of the Death Gate Cycle series, much to my own surprise.
Reblurb - this novel undoubtably required a new blurb as the Publisher's description is a waste, an absolute waste in all aspects. Are they selling this purely off the fact that the authors are apparent novel writing machines?
"The Sartans are well intentioned meddlers, attempting to help those on earth by imposing their will on the planet as a whole, each time they meddle, something gets worse. Before they disappeared completely, the Earth was shattered into several crippled pieces.
Hugh the Hand, an assassin, has been hired by the king of the mid-realm. The war between the Elves and Humans is in a lull, and the King is cleaning house, starting with the death of his own son. Hugh is hired to murder the Prince and blame it on the elves.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, nothing in the realms is simple, leading Hugh, the prince, and various others into the world of the Gegs, a revolution, and a battle for their own survival.
Readers of the DragonLance series pay special attention as preeminent storytellers Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman continue to redefine epic fantasy."
"Preeminent storytellers Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have redefined epic fantasy. Since the publication of their Dragonlance series, millions of readers have enjoyed their imaginative world-building, rich characterization, and intricate storylines. Now these bestselling authors bring their talents to one of the most innovative fantasy creations ever in Dragon Wing, the first volume in The Death Gate Cycle."
This book is incredible. It is no written master work, nor will it be any more than what it is now in the eyes of the world, but it is incredible allThis book is incredible. It is no written master work, nor will it be any more than what it is now in the eyes of the world, but it is incredible all the same. If you are even reading this review, you should be reading this series.
Spoilers? They don't matter. You know how this ends. It is nothing more than sci-fi geek porn dictating events that ultimately lead to the same conclusion as the movies you have already watched or the comics that Dark Horse os prepping to release. Humans die, robots are destroying.. the story is all in the details of how it happens.
After a fight in Antarctica, John Connor is tearing himself apart. before dying horrifically, his girlfriend entered a code base which would permanently disable SkyNet from moving forward into existence. John pushed the button to activate the kill code... Or did he? Everything he remembers is muddled, it is fuzzy and mixed up and highly emotional. Perhaps he was wrong and was told NOT to activate the code. He doesn't dare tell his mother that he may have unraveled their entire effort and helped bring SkyNet online.
SkyNet performs a test run, globally unnoticed, taking control of various electronically controlled "smart vehicles" and murdering thousands. Human kind is fought on multiple fronts by both machines and Human traitors, who have sided with the machines in an effort to save the planet from Humans.
John Connor's father, in child form is introduced. Everything in this trilogy culminates in the final book and 'The Future War' begins.
ReBlurb: Not needed, three lines from the publisher are more than adequate.
Rear cover summary: "The machines are awake--and aware. There is no destiny but the one we have created,, There is no turning back-- The future is now."