Above average characters in the book, with strong and clearly defined female and male leads. Cussing is scattered throughout the book but no sexual coAbove average characters in the book, with strong and clearly defined female and male leads. Cussing is scattered throughout the book but no sexual content. The sweet romance buildup was pleasant. A good mystery without being too overly complex.
I didn’t read the first book in the series, but this one was recommended by my sister as being a better write than the first one. With that in mind, I didn’t feel too lost with all the introduced characters and felt I was able to slip into the story without too much trouble. The only thing I could wish for was previous knowledge of how the characters interacted so I could know if this was a new development or not. My sister offered to clarify anything from the first book if I had any questions but I didn’t feel the need to as most of the relevant pieces were given a brief history in the second book. I will admit this book didn’t draw me in as some other books I’ve read, but I did still enjoy it as a whole.
Having the point of view all told from the main character, a functioning autistic person was a new idea to me and I must admit I did enjoy the observations of all the non-verbal cues. Genevieve (or Jenny to her friends) was well written and while the reader could understand most of the conversations and social interactions going on, through her you also were able to pick up a sense of her frustration and inability to quickly grasp the social context. This also gave the perfect excuse for Jenny to just up and drop a social bomb right out of the blue in front of up to five people, as Jenny doesn’t feel the social pressure to not bring up taboo subjects, there is no reason in her mind not to. The resulting squirming, coughs and/or tattle telling were amusing to observe.
Even though this is set in France, I didn’t have much impression of the surroundings. Enough was written so I wouldn’t feel lost, and main buildings that were visited were described enough without too much detail. Perhaps this is also because it is written from Jenny’s point of view and the surroundings might not merit enough of her attention. The group as a whole don’t travel too far and wide and we got to experience some of Europe’s narrow streets, but I still would of appreciated a few more details, even if they didn’t have direct bearing on the story.
This was more of a character driven story than a plot driven which, if there is to be any lacking, is the way I would have it. There are quite a bit of characters in this one and most of them interact with each other and often there are group meetings were everyone is interacting. All this is done quite well, with lovely character development in almost all of them. Phillip, Jenny’s boss, doesn’t get too much page time and Vinnie seems to have the least development of all. But still, all in all, quite satisfying. It was this type of interaction that kept me reading the book despite the language used throughout the book.
I was shocked that it was just cussing in the book. There were no “accidental” bathroom scenes, no groping or anything sensual. It was wonderful to be able to relax and read a book without having to be alert and keep the characters at a distance because anytime the author might decide that the book and characters alone aren’t exciting enough without throwing in some R-rated material. I did enjoy the soft and slow buildup of relationship between two of the characters, it showed a lot of character when he was willing to be patient and stay aware of certain things. I also appreciated that the bad guy stayed the bad guy.
I did guess some of the mystery and players ahead of time after just two hints, but that may just be the very active Zelda/Link Dungeon Master in me constantly trying to connection points together....more
Honestly, by the time I got around to reading this book on my Kindle, I had forgotten about the summary of the book so I didn’t have much idea what IHonestly, by the time I got around to reading this book on my Kindle, I had forgotten about the summary of the book so I didn’t have much idea what I was getting into. The story was a short read, I was able to read it all in my evening read time, yet it didn’t feel too rushed. The descriptions of the garbage piles were well done without being too heavy. It really did make it feel like some sort of post-apocalypse Earth, or even “somewhere else”, and in fact that was what I thought this was going and I kept waiting for that conclusion. But it wasn’t “anywhere else”, but set in contemporary Earth and time – more on that later. It was also intriguing how the character and story flowed and (since I’d forgotten about the summary) it did come to a bit of a surprise to find that Abasi is albino. The way it comes about tells the reader that this is a very important fact – and the why comes soon very after that.
The violence in the book came quick and strong. Bullets are shot, limbs are cut off, though I didn’t feel that the author tread too much into “gore” category or that he was using it as shock value because there is no other way to hold the reader’s attention. The violence just was, it just was part of Abasi’s world and was nothing new. The witch doctor was the most uncomfortable part for me, he had no hesitation for what he was doing.
There is plenty of dirty language used throughout the book, more towards the end of the book when Abasi is around other people. Again, it didn’t seemed to be used as “shock” value. I prefer not to have to deal with any type of language in my books that I intend to enjoy but given the setting (goal?) of the book it wasn’t out of context. There is mention of a rape by one of the witch doctor’s members but thankfully no detail or explicit content were given.
I’m not sure what to think about the baboons, although it wasn’t too far fetched. I do remember reading about baboons being extremely territorial and dangerous. So given how well the author researched his location and topic, it wasn’t out of context.
Bottom Line: A short but impacting read. I wouldn’t say it was a “comfortable” read, given that it is a story addressing a very, very real life that happens to real people. That’s part of what makes the book a bit incredible – especially for a reader living in America it can sound so far fetch and science fiction like; garbage piles, albinos hunted, witch doctors… but it is real. So it wasn’t maybe a comfortable read, definitely not the right one to pick for a relaxing evening read. Yet the author managed to not do what is such a turnoff to me for other books and that is “preach” through his story. None of that was there, just a short story of what real life is for real people. Given my experience, I wasn’t shocked to hear that albinos in Africa were discriminated against, but it is such an extreme that they aren’t really viewed as humans anymore. They are commodity, desired for body parts in rituals and such (hence, the witch doctor in the story) but I’m pretty sure a lot of people would find this totally new to them.
I really appreciate the author for tackling such a difficult, violent and dark issue and creating a story that touched on it, held the grimness of such a reality without plunging headlong into it. It’s enough to help sensitive people become aware of such real life issues and a stepping place for those who want to find out more....more
It started out OK, but didn't seem to go anywhere. The main female lead, with her issues and especially dealing with her relationship with her dad wasIt started out OK, but didn't seem to go anywhere. The main female lead, with her issues and especially dealing with her relationship with her dad was a good basis, but I didn't see much character development throughout the book and she didn't come across as an overly strong character in the end.
I was also hoping for a book without sexual text. Perhaps I picked up the wrong book, I know. But nothing in the summary indicated that (the one I had seen on amazon at the time was different than the one on goodreads, lesson learned), the "look inside" on amazon didn't hint at it. Sure, the characters get married and then the sex scenes come on, but I still didn't want to have a window seat into the bedroom.
Because of that I didn't read the rest of the book and I doubt I missed much. I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone....more
Clean fluff that is heavy on the romance and picks up some action towards the end.
I like some aspects of this book, but I think I’ll have to lean moreClean fluff that is heavy on the romance and picks up some action towards the end.
I like some aspects of this book, but I think I’ll have to lean more towards dislike than like. The ending part of the story is better than the beginning part, much to my surprise so right before I was ready to drop it things picked up enough to keep me reading. A point in the book’s favor is that there at least were no sex scenes or excessive cussing. It was one of the main reasons that kept me reading through the beginning. It was well written, so my dislike is probably more personal preferences.
We are introduced to Xanthus’s world quickly and intense, bringing the reader right up to the main conflict of the Dagonian-Human conflict – a conflict humans are totally ignorant of. Soon after that we are introduced to some old history of the Dagonians, involving none other than Triton. Before we can get too deeply into that though, the plot line moves on and before too long we find ourselves on land and introduced to the next main character.
My main dislikes are in the beginning of the book. I’m getting a little tired of stories running on emotional highs for matching up the main leads romantically. Sure, emotions play into it, but where’s the slow build up that can make the love story all the sweeter? For me, Xanthus’ gets protective of Sara too soon, especially given the complex history that is revealed and how long Xanthus has believed (and possibly acted) on it. So lines like “he couldn’t resist” get a little tiring for me. Also, why is it that every other male that Sara meets is a creep? Granted it could be because of who she is, but still…
Towards the middle of the story we get to meet Sara’s mom and I actually liked that character. It just didn’t seem to match up with what was heard of the mom over the phone. I really don’t get making a snarly, screaming by the second sentence, guilt tripping parent being any nicer in person but something like that happened. Maybe this got me more than it will most people, but I’ve seen people like Sara’s mom when you meet her over the phone and they are never pleasant to be around and can only love through a twisted, guilt tripping way. Yet, with that point made, I actually wished we got to have more of Sara’s mom with the personality she had when you meet her.
Once we got more into the underworld things picked up nicely towards the last third of the book and I found myself enjoying it more. The prison, while dank and spoke of crueler things than just killing someone (this would be one of those cultures that taken alive is worse than death), but we thankfully weren’t dragged through much of the dark and instead had some light humor.
I’m probably not going to reread this book again, but I may be tempted to pick up the second in the series, just to see where the author has taken the story and if they’ll keep it clean....more
This book is one of those where people will hate it or love it for its theme.
When I picked up this book I wasn't expecting the letter formate and didnThis book is one of those where people will hate it or love it for its theme.
When I picked up this book I wasn't expecting the letter formate and didn't enjoy the book for the first two-three "letter" chapters until I got use to the formatting. But after I got use to it I started to like it more - if you can call cringing at the the story of a woman who constantly cusses at the male faculty members & the one female who wasn't a feminist a way of enjoying the book. While I could never see myself mastering the bluntness and subtle sarcasm Mike Adams has in his letters, I (as a "traditional" female) appreciate the points he makes and calls the feminist on their irrational behavior and beliefs. Before the letters begins he also points out that feminist not only hate men, they also hate women like me. This is true, as I've experienced this attitude of varying degrees aimed at me in the past but at that time I wasn't quite sure why. Now I know.
Bottom line, this is a nice quick read that shows real life examples of what happens when the feminist belief is acted out - such as hiring a secretary despite her habits of leaving work whenever she felt offended or teachers lying left and right.
I give it three and a half stars because while it was a good read it wasn't indepth or as informative as some other books on the confrontation of feminism. For a more in depth book , pick up a copy of "Domestic Tranquility: a brief against Feminism" by F Carolyn Graglia. Fair warning, This book is thick and does touch on the sexual differences between male and female....more
This is a nice compilation of Marvel Team-ups. I read it for the Spider-Man Team-ups which these are all are so that makes me a happy camper. Sure, soThis is a nice compilation of Marvel Team-ups. I read it for the Spider-Man Team-ups which these are all are so that makes me a happy camper. Sure, some of the issues can be a little corny but that was part of the comics.
Bottom line: Good one or two evening's read and a great way to fight off minor depression. A must for Spidey Fans to see who he teams up with and how they get along....more
I enjoyed the various stories compiled in this book, though I did skip the first two. Sometimes Stan the Man's comic stories are a little better thenI enjoyed the various stories compiled in this book, though I did skip the first two. Sometimes Stan the Man's comic stories are a little better then the written ones. My favorite story was "An Evening in the Bronx with Venom" where I finally got to read how Spider-man saved Hawkins like they kept mentioning in "Venom's Wrath". Other interesting angles were explored.
All in all a nice evening read to borrow from the library....more
**spoiler alert** I had picked up this title because I had read other books on the legend of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", the one I remember t**spoiler alert** I had picked up this title because I had read other books on the legend of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", the one I remember the most titled "The Lady and the Lion" by Jacqueline K. Ogburn. I loved the story of how slowly the Lady fell in love with her monster and then spent SEVEN years getting him back. That was devotion.
This book was an OK read. It started out lovely enough, the description of the main female character and how her life started, the continual winter and the hardships, all this was drawing enough.
But after that it didn't seem to go anywhere. The bear came, the youngest daughter went with the bear and the daughter tried to find out what the enchantment was. In some ways, it almost felt like the author had much more description and action laid out but then had to reduce to to just the lines of "They spent several weeks having dinner together and talking about the various books she had read."
Because of this, I didn't really feel like I had time to learn about the enchanted bear's personality or get attached to him in any type of manner. He was just... there. So when he did get whisked away by the troll princess I felt no sadness in it. There seemed to be nothing of him to fallen in love with for the main character except that for the fact that he had been a constant presence in her life for the past year and she had cried on his shoulder (as a bear) a time or two). In fact it seemed like she was doing it more for her brother then she was doing it for her own enchanted bear.
So when they finally did meet back up in the troll princess's palace, all the sudden hugging, kissing and crying seemed... a bit out of place. What was there to suddenly kiss the man who we've hardly gotten to know about? In fact, I had no idea if he was brave, had a temper, disliked dancing... I knew nothing about him and so felt out of place when the main female character made such a deal about him. This more then anything else made the book a one-time read only for me.
And then, just as it seemed like it was starting again... the story ends....more
I am extremely picky about the rating of the content in a book and I am morally bias, both of which reflect the rating. You have been warned.
First ofI am extremely picky about the rating of the content in a book and I am morally bias, both of which reflect the rating. You have been warned.
First of all, let me begin with the things I do like about Catspaw.
I liked the way the author wrote. The flow of words and switch between speaking and describing was sometimes a bit awkward to read, but it never felt forced. The author also was pretty good at explaining the surrounding without overloading you. Too often I'm left with wanting to know more about the world around the characters, this time I wasn't. She also did quite good at keep things interesting and leaving you wanting to read more without getting bored with yet another shocking mystery.
The dialogs were great, it wasn't just two heads talking for a whole five pages while the rest of the story pauses. Things happened inbetween. The telepathy was handled nicely without diving into details of it all and why it worked this way or that. It worked, that was enough for me.
I also felt connected to Cat, at least in the very beginning, coming from a rough background, getting thrown into a strange situation where people disdained you and praised the very institution that made your life miserable. So it was easy to sympathize with Cat and believe that he was seeing enemies everywhere.
Now onto the other stuff that affected the rating despite what I liked about the book. I honestly didn't finish the book after the nightclub part but rather skimmed through the rest of the book to confirm that it really did ruin itself.
An advocate for fish and vegetarian diet while having an undisciplined sex appetite does not a hero make. Though you could argue that maybe the author wasn't intending for the main character to be a hero. But if you stop calling a villain a villain, what is he? As much as I liked Cat at first, I lost that towards the middle of the book, especially when the only moral argument Cat could come up with (at least in the parts I could see) was equating killing off unwanted human beings to making cows into hamburgers.
Cat also seemed to have a lot of contradictions later on.
One of the more disturbing parts was a child in an adult only club, being allowed to watch the show and later on told that it was just part of the bitterness of life one had to learn sooner or later. Umm... right. I lost what respect I had for Cat taking care of the children when he didn't protest or seemed at all worried that the kid was there in the first place, regardless of class issue.
He says he learned he wasn't sexually interested in a friend, but wanted just friendship. Yet later on he has sex with another man's wife who looks so much like said friend.
You also don't protest to a lady about a man being disrespectful of her and using her as a sex object(which she made no effort to get out of the business) and then do the same thing without looking sad.
This is probably one of the nicer sci-fi books, but too many contradictions and pretending for my taste....more
This book started out interesting enough. What happens when a race with low tech (comparatively), the wish to make war finds a catch of undiscovered wThis book started out interesting enough. What happens when a race with low tech (comparatively), the wish to make war finds a catch of undiscovered weapons from a race long gone? An edgy balance between getting them to solve things diplomatically but not tick them off into blowing themselves up and the rest of half the sector.
The author seemed to have a good hang of character interaction and surprises, and then this quickly gained heavy sexual overtones to the whole story. But perhaps he was just staying true to the characters of course. I personally was looking for some light story with somewhat engaging characters, not false "romance" so this one never got finished....more
I honestly didn't read through this whole book. I stopped at about a third of the way through, mainly because it didn't catch my interest and some chaI honestly didn't read through this whole book. I stopped at about a third of the way through, mainly because it didn't catch my interest and some characters kept getting "dropped" from the scene. Case in point, early on (like in chapter two or three) one of Enterprise's shuttle craft is caught in a tractor beam that is too strong. We get reactions from Wesley, Ken and Data. But Deanne Troi and Gina were also suppose to be on board yet they are entirely silent until the next scene several pages later. And the author had earlier been trying to describe Gina as someone who is not quiet or thinks before she speaks.
A little lacking, wasn't that moving of a story although the idea of the new beings was a bit interesting. All in all, may be enough for a Star Trek fan but I won't be picking it up again. ...more
**spoiler alert** Eh... it had a interesting premises that kinda tumbled into disappointment. It starts of with a crippled girl passing herself off as**spoiler alert** Eh... it had a interesting premises that kinda tumbled into disappointment. It starts of with a crippled girl passing herself off as a boy to get through a series of test that would pick out the new "dragoneye" or person who would have a dragon's power. As I said, it starts off interestingly enough but once the girl passes the test and enters the palace, things start getting a little chaotic and meandering. There was a lot of back and forth with the politics and I easily saw why the author mentioned the Women's Writing that it was no surprised when the reason was revealed. My irking points are that;
None of the male characters (what true male characters there were between all the eunuchs and concubines of the palace) weren't all that wonderful or even manly. Her master wasn't a kind person no matter how much the author tried to imply otherwise, her friend goes crazy and the prince can't think past his royalty. I won't even touch on the other ones.
None of the bad guys get killed or die satisfyingly. Instead what happens is the "bad guy (who's killed and was trying to rape the main character, not to mention being responsible for driving her friend crazy) gets a new heart" story syndrome. Not satisfying.
**SPOILER** In the end the girl is healed from her crippled leg which seems to defeat the whole purpose of the story. The story's culture is one that views cripples as somewhat evil touched. Throughout the story it seemed like the author was using the character being a crippled and a girl to challenge the common culture thought and getting it healed did away with everything that had been built up previously as well as taking away any challenge of being a crippled. Now the second story will be about a girl with a powerful dragon. *shrug*
Would not read again, won't be reading the sequel and won't be recommending it to read. There's other stories out there without blurred moral lines....more
This book is old, but there was still a lot of timeless information within its pages. The stuff that was out of date is easy enough to convert (cataloThis book is old, but there was still a lot of timeless information within its pages. The stuff that was out of date is easy enough to convert (catalog cards = database). But almost more important then that was the author understood how important a library can be to a church and the beginning chapter of why you want a church library is a must read. Also, the way he speaks on issues like fines/overdues and stewardship over the books was very refreshing. There was no talking down to people, or belittling the effort of the librarian. All in all, if you are even thinking about starting a church library or yours is being neglected, start here....more
This story was pretty well written, as Star Trek stories go, and had an interesting plotline that did not seem too cliche. Although I am pretty sure tThis story was pretty well written, as Star Trek stories go, and had an interesting plotline that did not seem too cliche. Although I am pretty sure the author was making a point near the end of the story I did not feel the author was "preaching" through the characters and it worked with the flow of the story. I believe there was a balance of scenes taking place on ship and/or in space and planet-side, giving you a nice view of things instead of confining you to one restricted space station.
That being said, I'd like to add some more details, hopefully without any spoilers.
The list of Voyager characters featured prominently in the story. They are, from more scene time to least; Tom Paris, Seven of Nine, Chakotay, B'Elanna Torris, and Katheryn Janeway. Not many other characters, other then the aliens that Voyager stumbles across, enter into the story. This was a little bit of a draw back in my view, because even though it allowed the author to focus on just a few characters and not spread himself out too thinly, he almost did it too much to where no one else was hardly mentioned. Harry Kim has two (or was it three?) bridge scenes, one sickbay scene and one hallway scene. He is involved in a landing party which is lead by Chakotay and helps out, but Chakotay dominates most of the pages. Aside from that you don't see, read, or hear about Mr. Kim. Seeing as Harry Kim was one of Tom's best friends it would have been nice to have more interaction going there, especially given what happens in the story you would expect more reaction from Harry. This isn't necessary a negative to the story, but it is one thing that I felt lacking throughout the whole story and I don't know if the husband/wife interaction between B'Elanna and Tom made up for this.
The characters that were written though were well written. None of them felt like they were making actions or saying things that would make someone who has seen the show go "they wouldn't do/say" that. All together I found it an easy read, especially if you aren't looking for a universe moving story. It might even stand up to a second reading for some....more
This was a nice easy read. It didn't have any hidden turns or edge of the seat action, but if your looking for light reading this would be a good bookThis was a nice easy read. It didn't have any hidden turns or edge of the seat action, but if your looking for light reading this would be a good book.
One of the major beefs I have with the book is that later on I would of rather had certain actions shown instead of just talked and explained about. With it just being told I felt I was missing out on half of the story.
Everything else was pretty good though, interesting idea played in the book, the characters were written well and the flow of the story made it easy to read....more