While this was probably what would be considered a liberal biased presentation of facts, I thought that Presidents from both sides were treated with t...moreWhile this was probably what would be considered a liberal biased presentation of facts, I thought that Presidents from both sides were treated with the same amount of respect and derision. I also think that the military was given credit for what it does well and that Maddow attempted to explain the reason behind some of the failures that have occurred.
Maddow is easy to listen to and she speaks in a voice that neither talks down to people nor uses excessively complex language. Her reasoning was easy to follow and I largely agreed with her. If I disagreed, it might have been more difficult to keep listening, but there were a couple of instances were my opinion and hers weren't exactly the same. That said a conservative or someone who never wants to hear anything about the military being too large probably wouldn't like this.
There might have been a few curse words for dramatic effect, but this is adult non-fiction written by a TV news reporter. No real sexual/romantic content because the subject is the military so any talk about women is about gender roles, support of the military and advertising to recruit people into the military. There is talk about what occurs in war zones, but it is to a large degree factual, distant and not very detailed.(less)
I have to admit that this book read a bit like it had a health agenda and a grudge against overweight people and current lifestyles (fast food, soda a...moreI have to admit that this book read a bit like it had a health agenda and a grudge against overweight people and current lifestyles (fast food, soda and less exercise than we probably should). Cat is determined to be a scientist when she grows up. The first step towards that is to get a good grade in this class with this project which she also hopes to win the science fair with. She got a picture of hominids around a dead animal. Insects she would have great ideas, but this she was initially stumped.
Then she comes up with the idea to use herself as a test subject for determining whether modern lifestyles are worse for our health than hominid life styles. She cuts out all technology, processed foods and Diet Coke (her salvation). This means she prepares all her food, walks everywhere and spends less time getting ready for school.
As her project continues, she loses weight, her skin improves and boys start to notice her. She's still stuck on the guy who used to be her best friend though. Something happened at a science fair that changed their relationship and she still hasn't forgiven him.
With all the eat healthier and you will feel so much better. If you walked more, you would lose weight and your peers would be interested. At least the author finishes with the important people having liked her before and after her project. If that hadn't happened, this whole book would have been a wash rather than an after school special. It was mostly an entertaining one, but it definitely lost points for the agenda.
There was some cursing, but no f-bomb that I remember and very little cursing otherwise. The sex factor was pretty low although as she loses weight Cat does attract more attention from guys. There was absolutely no violence aside from scientific talk about how hominids got meat.(less)
Up until the very last portion of the story (view spoiler)[where Sherlock takes out the bomber balloons on his own (hide spoiler)], I found most of th...moreUp until the very last portion of the story (view spoiler)[where Sherlock takes out the bomber balloons on his own (hide spoiler)], I found most of the narrative compelling and quick paced enough to make me believe it. I just wasn't entirely convinced about that last bit and I didn't think there were reasonable consequences displayed for a 15 year old. The lizard thing was a bit bizarre as well though.
I missed Matty for most of the book. Virginia doesn't quite make up for him because she causes Sherlock to have romantic type feelings that I'm just waiting for the author to shatter. Granted, Matty probably won't survive the series either, but at least Sherlock is vaguely capable of dealing with street kids which indicates that Matty's end might not be too horrible.
I really liked the addition of Sherlock learning the violin as well as his wide interests starting to include something other than just straight facts. The violin involves feeling as well as practice and math. Sherlock seems to be on a path to experience his emotions currently whereas his future self is much more calculating and distant.
The man behind the white mask and the leeches are extremely creepy and insane. I did enjoy that he played a classic villain giving a whole speech with his grand plan though.
Rebel Fire includes no sex or sexual innuendo. There were some threats of violence against Virginia because she is a girl, but nothing very specific or acted on. There may have been some minor cursing, but nothing like what you would see in a modern realistic novel. There is quite a bit of violence against animals, other people, blowing things up and other types of physical violence. The masked man is described in a rather gory manner, but many of the descriptions (of the violence as well) are more clinical in nature than graphic.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A Sherlock Holmes story without Watson. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how this would work, but with Sherlock as a teenager, Watson couldn't be...moreA Sherlock Holmes story without Watson. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how this would work, but with Sherlock as a teenager, Watson couldn't be in the story. Lane adds in a couple of characters that will help shape Sherlock into the man that Watson will later work with in Conan Doyle's books. The story line and mystery are a bit far-fetched to me, but the characters are enjoyable and Sherlock reads much like someone who could grow into the character I'm familiar with.
In this particular book, there are a couple of people killed by various means (the dead bodies are described and towards the end there is a scene where Sherlock and one of his friends are tortured and another man is killed rather gruesomely). The violence isn't as detailed as it would be in an adult book, but it is described in an analytical manner that makes it slightly more graphic than it otherwise would be. The analytical nature of the descriptions also make them more detached which could make them easier for some people to read/listen to. There is no romance except for a slight crush and a wish to follow through on it by (if I remember) brushing through her hair and kissing her. The language is appropriate to the times and I don't really recall much if any cursing.(less)
Not only was I disappointed because I pretty much knew what was going to happen in the big fight before it even happened, but the book was both too lo...moreNot only was I disappointed because I pretty much knew what was going to happen in the big fight before it even happened, but the book was both too long and not enough of an ending to the series. There was so much that needed to be solved in this book that I couldn't believe that it was the last book. Riordan didn't just start solving the loose ends from the previous two books, he added a couple of new ones increasing the amount of plot lines swirling around in this one.
The Sadie love triangle got weird. Full stop. I'm pretty sure that both of the main characters were too young to be starting forever relationships anyway, but they were both doing some weird things for their current love interest.
I just couldn't keep my head around the change in magnitude between the books either. In the first two, they traveled around the world, but were largely in a small group against the apocalypse. In this one, they were basically the government fighting a rebellion and the apocalypse. It just seemed like too much to cover in one book especially one book aimed at 8-13 year olds.
There is some kissing, but nothing else. Some people are killed, but it is mostly off screen and seemingly for impact. There isn't any cursing that I remember, just a lot of ranting against things being unfair. It is geared towards 8-13 year olds and it fits that category very well.(less)
A return to vampires that not only don't sparkle but are completely vicious and unreasonable when it comes to wanting human flesh was too much to resi...moreA return to vampires that not only don't sparkle but are completely vicious and unreasonable when it comes to wanting human flesh was too much to resist. I was intrigued by the premise of a human (the last or one of the last) hiding among his predators. This book requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief in regards to the capability of Gene to stay hidden, how this world came to be and how he can be quite so dense about certain things and perceptive about others.
I had many of the plot twists figured out at least a couple chapters before the reveals. I also got a bit annoyed at the lack of drive and direction behind most of Gene's actions. He spends most of the book intent on trying to get back to hiding rather than attempting to find a better life away from the vampires even after he starts finding hints that there may be one.
While I do have gripes about the book, it was unique. It also kept my interest the whole time. Gene's motivations were clear and understandable. Despite him being raised to act like a vampire, he was still someone a reader could relate to even if it was with exasperation at times. The book keeps the pace until the ending. The ending is my gripe with almost all series fiction these days: authors don't tend to end their individual books in the series satisfactorily, but just leave a cliffhanger and make readers wait for the next book. I hate feeling like I'm buying into your publishers' schemes rather than enjoying your work. Please quit it.
Talk of vampires eating people (and being really violent and messy about it, including one scene of it actually happening and mention of it happening to a 5 year old), along with some kissing and longing on the part of teenagers makes for a tense book. Oh, and the vampires also tear each other apart and are affected by the sunlight. There may have been some cursing, but it would have fit the tone of the book with them hiding from society and on the run for their lives.(less)
This one was a bit more violent than the previous one. Grim is a pretty tortured guy. There were again some ridiculous moments, but nothing that made...moreThis one was a bit more violent than the previous one. Grim is a pretty tortured guy. There were again some ridiculous moments, but nothing that made me want to quit reading. I didn't understand the motivations behind some of the characters, but I was half asleep at a couple points (through no real fault of the author). I definitely want to pick up the next one.
Again, there are detailed sex scenes, some language, battle violence including murdering innocents, abuse of a young boy, poisoning, threats of violence and other stuff.(less)
I probably should have read the print version rather than the audio because I didn't care for this narrator. She didn't differentiate the voices well...moreI probably should have read the print version rather than the audio because I didn't care for this narrator. She didn't differentiate the voices well enough for me.
The language was more archaic than I usually care for, but I definitely enjoyed this book. I might not have had the same opinion if I had read it for a class and been forced to pick it apart for style, allusions and other such drivel, but for simple enjoyment it certainly provided. The romance is fairly timeless even though some of the misunderstandings are hard to believe nowadays. I also really enjoyed Mr. Bennet though I did believe that he should have tried harder to rein in the silliness of his younger daughters especially if he thought it was so tiresome.
There isn't any language or sex. The most scandalous parts are those with Mr. Wickham and Lydia because they lived together unmarried (and likely did things that married couples do). Of course, Mr Wickham's failings are only alluded to and never stated explicitly. Likewise, the worst instances of violence are Mrs Bennet's exclamations that Mr. Bennet might be killed in a duel for Lydia's honor.(less)
I was a bit hesitant on this one because they changed the narrator on me. James Marsters is Harry Dresden for me and to have John Glover (who as I lis...moreI was a bit hesitant on this one because they changed the narrator on me. James Marsters is Harry Dresden for me and to have John Glover (who as I listened I did recognize from what little Smallville I had managed to stomach) made this one harder to start.
John Glover doesn't do a bad job with this one. No, he isn't James Marsters, but he does a fairly good job of bring Harry to life. I wasn't as convinced with some of the other characters, but I do have to admit that I preferred his Mort and maybe even his Lea. He was good with the pacing and emotional context, but I still hope Marsters is back for book 14.
As for the story itself, I was kind of disappointed in how far Molly and Karin had fallen apart without Harry there. I get that the world without the Red Court was more vicious, but they had each other and the werewolves. They had a support system to keep them together and mentally stable, but they apparently needed Harry in order to be whole people. Since none of the guys broke down like that I felt a bit insulted for my gender... (view spoiler)[Well, none of the guys that you see until Thomas is shown at the end and Thomas is so tied to sex and family that he's a special case (hide spoiler)]
I love the fact that Harry is this awesome wizard, but I keep thinking that if he only asked for help from the right people at the right times he would be more effective. Mab was not the choice I would have made even if Uriel didn't/couldn't answer. The idea of correcting the balance of things with all of this was a bit strange even with what was revealed at the end (which I completely expected (view spoiler)[there was no way Mab was going to lose her investment (hide spoiler)]).
I think there are too many subplots, most of which could turn into plots at any given moment, being juggled right now. Butcher needs to solve at least some of them or at least give us a hint at the direction they are going.
This book contains spirit possession, speculation on the afterlife, creepy fairies torturing people, violence against mind slaves, violence against people, torture of people, curses including the f-word, and contemplation of romantic feelings.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
As others have noted, it is best to read this after having read Changes because Aftermath reveals the ending to Changes.
That said, some of these stori...moreAs others have noted, it is best to read this after having read Changes because Aftermath reveals the ending to Changes.
That said, some of these stories were better than others. I liked that Mac was in a couple of them because I don't think we've seen enough of him for Harry trusting him so much. I really enjoyed the fact that the stories focused on smaller jobs. I also appreciated seeing Karin and Harry's first meeting since the graphic novel prequel I read didn't do that. The other story that really struck me was Thomas's Backup. It was great to finally see things from his point of view and I can't wait for those plot lines to continue. As for Aftermath, I have a feeling that the bad guys met here won't be addressed in Ghost Story, but they were eerie. (view spoiler)[The fact that Karin was dealing with them largely without magical assistance was a big handicap that she had no way of having time to have learned to deal with yet. (hide spoiler)]
The level of violence, aside from in Aftermath, was actually slightly less than normal. The amount of cursing was definitely lower with a higher ratio of fake cursing rather than real cursing mixed with f-bombs. There was some innuendo, but it was largely used for humorous purposes rather than to create sexual situations.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I have to say that Morgan turning to Harry in a time of need was a bit of a shock at first. I did see the motivation quickly though. The results of th...moreI have to say that Morgan turning to Harry in a time of need was a bit of a shock at first. I did see the motivation quickly though. The results of the true traitor's actions and the effect that traitor had on at least one of the major members of the White Council were more profound than I would have figured possible. Thomas's new feeding method seemed like such a good idea until the creepy bad dude got a hold of him because he wasn't quite getting enough life force at any given time. The battle with that creature was a good way to work in older powers and the continuing influence of Demon Reach will be interesting to see in later books. This particular entry in the series has a character tortured off screen, several characters killed, lots of damage taken and dealt by the main party and the same cursing as has been seen since about book 7 or 8. There isn't as much innuendo in this one, the space for that is taken up with political intrigue and supernatural creepiness.(less)
For the most part, I really enjoyed this addition to the Dresden series. It featured a lot of action and growth from all of the major characters. My b...moreFor the most part, I really enjoyed this addition to the Dresden series. It featured a lot of action and growth from all of the major characters. My biggest problem with the book was that I didn't like the romantic relationships in it. Butcher didn't do a very good job inserting them into the narrative in my opinion. Also, I'm not one of the fans waiting for Harry to get with Karin, which made his jealousy even worse for me to read. I read these books for the magic, the friendship and camaraderie and the adventure. When Butcher mixes romance into things, he seems to hit exactly the wrong literary note with me. I liked Lucio, but the romance just seemed a bit awkward. The other issue with the book, was the ending. I don't like to see favorite characters get hurt and this time it was a major deal that would have had me sobbing if it had been any worse.
This book contains adult levels of cursing including the f-bomb alongside the more fun made up cursing of the earlier books, descriptions of violence both magical and physical as well as Bob the epic pervert and some other innuendo. I would not recommend it to teens who are not already reading adult fiction.(less)