This was a fun and flirty romantic mystery, with likeable and rather engaging characters. I couldn't go above a 3 rating, though because the characterThis was a fun and flirty romantic mystery, with likeable and rather engaging characters. I couldn't go above a 3 rating, though because the characterizations were rather trite and formulaic. The supposedly adult professor of criminology acted like an impetuous, lovestruck teenager. Sometimes petulant and obstinate, there was little maturity to her actions. Her deli-owning bff was similarly juvenile. The guys in the story were patronizing and demanding.
And speaking of juvenile, if I have to see one more reference to, "Mr. Winky," I'm gonna scream. Really? THAT is an adult female's clever euphemism for her boyfriend's penis? Heaven help me, I thought I'd slipped into a Jim Carrey movie. And this oh-so-experienced "woman" giggled about it like a fifth grader seeing a boy's underpants in the bathroom for the first time. Spare me.
Another mark against it was the often inelegant language. Objects - even lightweight ones - were heaved, hauled, and hucked. Methinks someone had too-easy access to Mr. Roget's work product. It was jarring.
The final ending of the secondary mystery felt like it was stitched on at the last minute. While I'm glad it was resolved, it could have been handled much better....more
It took me a while to get into the book. Once I did I found myself enjoying the ride, even if I did have issues with some of the sexist gamer-guy commIt took me a while to get into the book. Once I did I found myself enjoying the ride, even if I did have issues with some of the sexist gamer-guy comments. The sad thing is those comments were not new to me because they're pretty true to gamer culture. This does not make me happy, FYI.
I loved all the pop culture references, some of which made me positively giddy, but I didn't come anywhere near catching all of them. They were pretty much margin to margin throughout the book. Well played. All your pop culture are belong to us.
The one scene that really bugged me was the bad date between two characters. I don't want to add spoilers, so I won't say who, but I will say I found the girl's responses to the guy's unwelcome touching to be really disturbing. She kept feeling sorry for him, which pissed me off. We live in a culture that disrespects and devalues women and the authors glorified that. They could have made the decision to break that stereotype and given her more strength not to simply accept the situation but to actively put an end to it in some fashion. I'm disappointed at the choice they made.
Gamer culture has a constant undertone of female submission and sexual servitude which mirrors greater society's rape culture attitudes. Women are constantly trash talked. I remember some of the vile things I heard on Vent. It was downright ugly. Thankfully that was not so much a theme in the book, but I did see a lot of expectation that a woman has to either ignore the bad behavior or give as good as she gets in order to earn respect. Not that those choices are bad per se, but I'm sick of the pervasive attitude that women have no right to get mad for being treated this way.
That jarring more aside, I enjoyed the book and the pop culture seasoning. It was a light romp through fresh territory....more
I'm really pleased with this series. While it's true that there is really nothing new under the sun, Patton manages to bring a fresh paranormal concepI'm really pleased with this series. While it's true that there is really nothing new under the sun, Patton manages to bring a fresh paranormal concept to the table. It's intriguing and mysterious and interesting. The characters are well developed overall, and I like the changes I see as they grow and adapt to new circumstances. Olivia, in particular, feels like a real person to me. She has dimension and depth of character and doesn't always take a predictable path. Marcus is a bit less defined, maybe in part because he keeps a lot of secrets and Olivia has to pull them out of him so I feel like we see less of Marcus in this episode.
Overall, the books are well edited, but occasionally I come across a misused word, like "staunch" (meaning to stand firm; resolute) in place of "stanch" (meaning to stop the flow of blood), or "poured" instead of "pored." Other than that, though, these have been excellent reads, and very appropriate for a young adult audience. Thumbs up for not making them too sexual!
There were good parts and less good parts. I wanted a lighter read, so the less good was OK for that. I was expecting the romance to be secondary to tThere were good parts and less good parts. I wanted a lighter read, so the less good was OK for that. I was expecting the romance to be secondary to the time travel and the adventure portion of things, but once the initial time slip took place, the adventure kind of stalled and the romance became the focal point. The characters are likeable enough that I found myself caring about what happened to them, but they could have used much more backstory. To quote some pithy pundit or other, there just wasn't much there there. The author kept alluding to something in the professor's past, but she never fleshed out the issue, and that left me wanting. I never got a clear physical picture of either of them in my head, either.
I'll probably pick up the second book in the hopes that the author's style matures a bit and she learns to fill in gaps and not leave dramatic participles dangling in the wind....more
Because this is a self-pubbed novel, I was expecting the normal issues like bad grammar, poorly thought out plot lines, and contrived dialogue. I am tBecause this is a self-pubbed novel, I was expecting the normal issues like bad grammar, poorly thought out plot lines, and contrived dialogue. I am thrilled to report that none of my fears was realized. Ghost Hand was an excellent and intriguing read from start to finish. Patton did a great job of getting into a teenaged girl's mind and defining her logic and emotion without turning her into some emo caricature of a kid. I'm really pleased with this first entry in the PSS series and I'll be picking up the second one in short order.
The series, although formulaic in the sense of rebel kids vs. clueless or evil adults, has at least one unique mechanism working for it. I really enjoyed this. It's an easy read, but an enjoyable one....more
I'm still reeling with a literary hangover from the end of this one. I picked it up on Overdrive thinking it would be horror or sheer suspense. It wasI'm still reeling with a literary hangover from the end of this one. I picked it up on Overdrive thinking it would be horror or sheer suspense. It was that and so much more. The horror was not blatant, but really only there in the most fleeting of glimpses out of the corner of the eye; hinted at, but never fully spelled out until the end. The hallmarks are there to see along the way, but I was looking at them with prejudiced eyes, and so I missed many of the mile markers because of my established expectations of what constitutes horror.
The lyricism of the prose reminded me in some ways of my gold standard, The Night Circus, but in a completely different way. In this book, for one, the protagonists find each other at nearly the beginning and are working together with full knowledge the entire time.
I enjoyed the alternation of past and present through the chapters. It made so much sense. And I loved the weaving of Koontz's spirituality through the pages as well.
Snow - silent, white, pure - creates a powerful texture that lends energy and serenity to the text. It underlies simply everything, but with great foreshadowing purpose.
An outstanding, absorbing read. I lost myself in it completely....more
Lars Hedbor is a dear friend of mine, so I have to admit that my own reading may be a bit biased, but I don't really think so. I received nothing in eLars Hedbor is a dear friend of mine, so I have to admit that my own reading may be a bit biased, but I don't really think so. I received nothing in exchange for my review. As a lifelong reader, I am very critical of books with unfounded backgrounds, or poor grammar, or a lack of subject knowledge. While my primary interests are mystery and the paranormal, I have really enjoyed this foray into historical fiction. The characters read as very real, and the situations in which they find themselves either actually did happen (he did lots of historical research on this piece and has a passionate love for Colonial America) or are very plausible given the era, the constructs of society, and the geography.
It's been a number of months since I've read the book, but I was also privileged to have read it in its birthing stages, too. I was enchanted with the characters - simple people with integrity and dignity - two things missing all too much in the world of today. It brought to mind a much simpler time (or at least that's how it feels to me) when morality wasn't quite so grey and ill-defined, at least by the standards of the average citizen.
All in all, an excellent, easy read, but by no means lightweight fare. I'm looking forward to seeing the next one in print!...more
Absolutely stunning. I savored every single word, which is unusual for me as I speed through so many books. This one, however, like a superbly craftedAbsolutely stunning. I savored every single word, which is unusual for me as I speed through so many books. This one, however, like a superbly crafted meal, invited me to linger and taste the nuances of every flavor on my literary palate. It cast a glorious spell over me. I was so sorry to see it end, and that is also a rarity for me.
The visualizations in my mind were crystal clear. The descriptions of physical things and people were so explicit and rendered in such fluid language that the circus truly lived in my imagination.
I loved every wonderful moment of this unique story. It was utterly gratifying to watch it give the lie to the adage that there is nothing new under the sun. Erin Morgenstern weaves a rich, bejeweled tapestry full of amazing and unique characters in a completely outrageous situation. She drifts forward and back in time as befits the character of the circus itself.
Ms. Morgenstern's writing style is elegant and eloquent. She strings words the way a jeweler strings a perfect pearl necklace. The Night Circus was a magnificent creation and I wish I could read it all over again with fresh eyes....more
Jesse Petersen's debut novel is a great, fun read. It moves almost as swiftly as the Zombie Invasion itself. (And that moves really fast, just so youJesse Petersen's debut novel is a great, fun read. It moves almost as swiftly as the Zombie Invasion itself. (And that moves really fast, just so you know. Forewarned is forearmed!)
I admit, I bought the book because of the cover. Who doesn't want to read something with the tagline "The Couple Who Slays Together Stays Together"? I've really only ever had a marginal interest in zombies, but I have several friends who are rabid fans of the genre (don't worry, I got my shots) so I gave it a whirl. I really liked the approach of this book. The cover caught my attention, yes, but the story held it.
Meet Sarah and David, a thoroughly dysfunctional married couple on the cliff-edge of divorce. They fight. A lot. They get on each others' nerves at the best of times and admittedly this is .... not it. Honestly, I can't imagine going through a holocaust of this magnitude with someone I love, much less someone whose voice chafes like ill-fitting pants, but they not only survive, they thrive in this crazy atmosphere. Amazingly, the characters actually grow in these first few days of the invasion.
Appropriately enough, their first encounter with a zombie occurs in their marriage counselor's office where the doc is no longer shrinking heads, but eating them - or their contents, anyway. Thankfully, it's the heads of the Wonderful Wilsons, the couple with the appointment before Sarah and David's, else we might not have this creative chronicling of the most invasive epidemic to face the country.
The Zombie Invasion starts in Seattle where David and Sarah live. Considering that Seattle is also the home of the prototype invasive force in the form of little green coffee shops, the Zombpocalypse seems a natural progression. Hm. Now that I think of it, this bears some contemplation (and may be where Petersen got her inspiration).
Anyway, considering all the caffeinated Seattleites, I'm not all that surprised at the speed with which zombies actually move. Unlike Night of the Living Dead, the zombies in this story are pretty zippy, which is one of the few departures from traditional zombie arcana that I found. Sarah and David actually test and make use of movie lore as they fumble through the first days of infestation and make reference to such films as Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and the entire Resident Evil franchise.
Married With Zombies is a quick read alternating bouts of gory, gruesome, horror-flick action worthy of Rob Zombie himself (HA!) with dry humor. Each chapter begins with a piece of sage marital advice that sounds as if it came from the Ladies' Home Journal's new Zombie-era column, "How the Zombpocalypse Saved My Marriage." I hope she continues the tradition in the next book (there are now three in the series). The second book, Flip This Zombie, came out last month and the next, Eat, Slay, Love is due out later this year....more
I'm with brain_candy (Jen) and her review. What a pathetic loser chick (the protagonist, not Jen) ;). The woman ignores every instinct about herself aI'm with brain_candy (Jen) and her review. What a pathetic loser chick (the protagonist, not Jen) ;). The woman ignores every instinct about herself and her husband whom she barely knows. It's like she married the man she sees at the newsstand once a week because he said she was pretty. GEEZ. MHC's "heroines" from her earlier novels are really beyond insecure. This wouldn't even make it as a Lifetime made-for-TV movie!...more