Yet another recommendation from Smart Bitches Trashy Books, here is a romance novel for grownups. London stage actor Richard has an attitude problem aYet another recommendation from Smart Bitches Trashy Books, here is a romance novel for grownups. London stage actor Richard has an attitude problem and the producers of his current play decide a fake romance with second lead Lainie is just the thing to rehabilitate his public persona. She despises him and he is barely aware of her existence and both of their expectations are confounded when they fall in love. Funny
He'd occasionally wondered if he'd missed something, being an only child. Grievous bodily harm, by the looks of it.
"You're not bad at this sex thing...Although, you know, regular rehearsals. Important for any performance."
and some nice detail on the craft of acting
Sadie and Will fielded that one, jumping in with a pack of PR-friendly lies that made the theatres sound like something out of an Enid Blyton book. All jolly midnight feasts and togetherness. As opposed to a hard, professional grind and a social atmosphere that could be like navigating a snake pit. If one of them came out with a smarmy "There's no 'I' in team," she was pulling a Richard and walking out.
The story doesn't get started here until about 70 pages in (Where was this guy's editor?), but then it really does get going. Lieutenant Promise PaenThe story doesn't get started here until about 70 pages in (Where was this guy's editor?), but then it really does get going. Lieutenant Promise Paen (promise pain, see what he did there?) of the Republic of Aligned Worlds Marine Corps, is tasked with schmoozing her home planet, Montana, into staying in the Republic instead of defecting to the Lusitanian Empire. Then the LE invades and much battle havoc ensues both on and off planet with Promise in the front lines of all of it. A lot of detail about armament as per usual in military sf (there is a blurb from David Weber and you can see the influence as well as homage involving a hexapuma reference). There could be a little more character and a little less Glock, but a pretty good read nonetheless. I'd read the second in the series....more
Hayley Kincain has been homeschooled by her father in the cab of the eighteen-wheeler they've been crossing the country in since he got back from theHayley Kincain has been homeschooled by her father in the cab of the eighteen-wheeler they've been crossing the country in since he got back from the Sandbox, but now they've settled down in his childhood home and she has to go to school. That would be fine if she had any social skills to speak of and if she didn't constantly have her father on an alcohol, drugs and suicide watch. Painful as hell to read but such great characters, and so topical when you consider (as I learned via the author's note) that this book was based on Anderson's own relationship with her WWII veteran father. The wars change only in name, as do the repercussions, shell shock, battle fatigue, PTSD. She gives us what may or may not be a happy ending, but... Recommended....more
Genre-bending graphic novel about a little girl, Nimona, with special powers, or maybe that's special powers with a little girl inside them, who forceGenre-bending graphic novel about a little girl, Nimona, with special powers, or maybe that's special powers with a little girl inside them, who forces her services upon a wanna-be villain. There is some fun stuff here, like the big bad Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, and names like Ballister Blackheart and Sir Goldenloin, and the fact that everyone swans around in medieval clothing while critiquing television shows ("I don't understand what's so scary about zombies. Reanimating the dead isn't hard but they make TERRIBLE minons."). Yes, in this world magic and science co-exist, and Blackheart decides to infect the populace (but not fatally, his heart isn't that black, much to Nimona's irritation) with poisoned apples. Nimona says
Whoa, that's old-school villain right there. Are you pissed you're not the fairest of them all?
There is a huge expository lump later on involving a Doctor Blitzmeyer and her invention that intersects the powers of magic and science and a pretty schmaltzy backstory involving a jealous lover and the loss of one of Blackheart's arms and the true villain is pretty obvious from the getgo, but well worth reading for the fun dialogue and the sharp-angled art (vaguely reminiscent of Mary GrandPre's Harry Potter illustrations)....more
An unlikable (read strong) and poor (read powerless) and friendless (read lower class) woman is charged, convicted and executed for the crime of murdeAn unlikable (read strong) and poor (read powerless) and friendless (read lower class) woman is charged, convicted and executed for the crime of murder, which of course turns out not to be murder at all. A depressingly predictable plot, with the only uplifting moment coming when the women who are her final jailers come to realize that Agnes is much more sinned against than sinning. At least Margret gives her a bath and clean clothes and food and a bed to sleep on, cold comfort when her next stop is the headsman but I suppose better than none.
It's a well-written story, incorporating documents from the actual events of the real-life murder in 1820s Iceland, but it's a story I've read many times before and there is nothing new here. Yep, women seriously screwed back then, and not only metaphorically....more
Ronnie and Sid, a pair of ex-cops turned PI's take a job to find out who killed chemist James Ballentine, murdered and dumped into a storm drain a yeaRonnie and Sid, a pair of ex-cops turned PI's take a job to find out who killed chemist James Ballentine, murdered and dumped into a storm drain a year before. The cops have no clue and neither do Ronnie and Sid until professional killers Ed and Nicole start trying to take them out. They're very motivated, they want a payday. So do Ronnie and Sid and they also have a very acute sense of self-preservation which keeps them alive, just, to detect another day.
Until...a retired group of jewel thieves from the Balkans who started this whole mess in the first place get into the act, and the cops get back into it, and the FBI and Interpol, and in the meantime everyone's running around LA trying to shoot and blow up and (occasionally, maybe) apprehend the others. Some old alliances dissolve and some new ones form and there is a lot of gunfire and at least two massive explosions and really, if I'm worn out just writing this imagine how exhausted the characters are. Recommended....more
Jane Whitefield has been living quietly with her doctor husband in Amherst, New York, when the eight mothers of her Seneca clan descend on her in forcJane Whitefield has been living quietly with her doctor husband in Amherst, New York, when the eight mothers of her Seneca clan descend on her in force. Her childhood friend, Jimmy Sanders, is under investigation for a murder he did not commit. Find him, the clan mothers tell Jane, and leave behind a string of purple and white beads. Jane knows what that means.
Giving a person a single string of ote-ko-a was also the traditional way for the clan mothers to appoint him to an office or give him an important task...The string of beads was an appointment to act as the agent of her people. It was a license, an assignment, a contract, a physical symbol of an agreement. It was all of these and none of them, but having it gave her a responsibility she couldn't duck or amend.
There is no refusing this request, and so, much against the wishes of her husband, who had to patch her up the last time she came home from rescuing someone else, Jane is off on Jimmy's trail. So are the state troopers, the late victim's employer and all his men, and what appears to be the entire arm of the Adirondacks Mafia. No one is taking any prisoners, certainly not Jane and Jimmy and their steadily growing band of escapees.
A fun read with a wealth of detail about how to disappear and interesting stuff about the Seneca. Family is never easy, yours or anyone else's. Recommended....more
Our favorite Imperial Auditor is sent to Kibou-daini to find out just what those sneaky Kibouians (immediately I think of Dax, https://www.youtube.comOur favorite Imperial Auditor is sent to Kibou-daini to find out just what those sneaky Kibouians (immediately I think of Dax, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0mba...) are up to in building a cryogenic facility on Komarr, one of the Barryar empire's three planets. Yes, Miles Verkosigan is back and at the full speed we all know and love and that terrifies all his employees and dependents. There is a great kid character, Jin, who Miles of course rescues along with the kid's sister and mother, and the plot twists off in a couple of unexpected ways, including as neat a scheme for a planetary takeover as you'll ever want to see.
But the ending, oh. I had to reach for the Kleenex. That was a shaggy dog story whose ending I did not see coming....more
Year before last I saw the documentary DamNation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X2dY...), and last year I read David R. Montgomery's The King of FiYear before last I saw the documentary DamNation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X2dY...), and last year I read David R. Montgomery's The King of Fish (my Goodreads review here, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). The film is a visual education in how we as a nation have screwed with our native habitat in exchange for cheap power. There is a scene that shows one salmon after another ramming a dam to try to get upriver to their spawning grounds that is really painful to watch, on many levels. The book is a history of what happens after the dams are built that reminded me of what happened to the Plains Indians after white hunters and settlers nearly exterminated the buffalo herds from the windows of their railroad cars. By now we've got starving out undesirables down to a science.
In Warren C. Easley’s Not Dead Enough, dams and salmon both become motive for murder. Cal Claxton, ex-LA to Oregon attorney, is approached by Winona Cloud, a Wasco Indian whose grandfather disappeared in suspicious circumstances sixty years before with the building of a hydroelectric dam on a river their tribe had fished for generations. Winona wants to know what really happened, so Cal starts asking questions and then starts getting shot at. Meanwhile, suspects stack up like cordwood, from the dam's original contractor and one particularly twisty employee to the dam's biggest booster, whose son is now running for the US Senate. I liked the setting, Oregon in all its rain-soaked glory west of the Cascades (and it's liberal beating heart) and all its desert scrubbiness east of them (and its conservative boomerish base), and Easley drops in some nice, laidback humor from time to time to flesh out Cal's character, as here when Cal is invited to join in a sweat
...I really didn't care that I was witnessing a ritual that hadn't changed in millennia. I did try to conjure up some spiritual thoughts of my own, but it's hard to think when your brain is melting.
And I really liked the minor characters, like Jake the shooter, for whom I should not have felt remotely sympathetic (reminding me of when T. Jefferson Parker makes me root for all the wrong people). And I really appreciated the way Easley handled the rape of another character--we don't have to live through it and the woman, in a masterpiece of understatement emblematic of women raised in that time and place, says only, "He was not a gentleman." My heart just broke for her. And I can only bow my head in respect for the way Easley handles the romantic relationship, something series writers struggle with all the time, myself included. And he saves a perfect twist for the last page. I will say no more, because spoilers. Recommended.