I picked this up on the advice of a friend. I didn't really expect to like it because it's a self-pub, but I found myself gripped till the end. I gotI picked this up on the advice of a friend. I didn't really expect to like it because it's a self-pub, but I found myself gripped till the end. I got attached to the characters who were well and quite humanly written, in my opinion. The only thing I had trouble with was following a few of the scene shifts because I couldn't remember who was where and for what reason all the time. But the thing is, it always shifted at the right time to keep the suspense and the momentum peaked.
There weren't a lot of surprising things about the book, overall, but it wasn't 100% predictable. I think Druga Jacqueline did a fantastic job describing the unfolding of the outbreak and how it traveled person by person to infect not just the whole country, but the world. It was a zombie apocalypse without the zombies.
There's a lot more to be played with in terms of what infrastructure was kept up. I think they should have lost the water supply at some point, for instance, but didn't. In some ways, even through the horror of what was being experienced, it still came across as somewhat sanitized because the main characters managed to keep a sense of slightly too much hope. Not that I enjoy novels where hope is gone, but some of the parts felt artificially cheerful to me.
Anyway, this was a pleasant surprise, and it touched emotions in me that I didn't expect. A fast-paced, easy read....more
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
Child sex trafficking is something we don't want to think about, but it happens every day around the world. The internet has made things all too easyChild sex trafficking is something we don't want to think about, but it happens every day around the world. The internet has made things all too easy for pedophiles and pimps. This story is a chilling tale of what happens when a child is targeted for abduction and a life of slavery. The author brings the subject alive in a way that is at times tough to deal with, but crucial for enlisting the help of many people who have lead lives of privilege, never knowing this other world exists all around them. It's uncomfortable and it's important. She also incorporates statistics and information from various human trafficking organizations, which may help readers to recognize that this is more than merely a story; it is truth. Please read it. Pass it around to your friends....more
I really liked the story here overall, but there are a few reasons I marked this a 3 instead of a 4. The lead FBI agent's personality was thoroughly aI really liked the story here overall, but there are a few reasons I marked this a 3 instead of a 4. The lead FBI agent's personality was thoroughly abrasive. In this era of litigiousness, I can't see an FBI agent being allowed to get away with the derogatory sexist comments he spouted. anyone who publicly asks his female partner if she's "riding the cotton pony" (a ridiculously juvenile term to be sure) wouldn't have made it through the academy. Just ludicrous. It was like the author was going for a cross between the enigmatic know-it-all style of The Mentalist and the detached feel of Sherlock Holmes. It didn't work nearly as well as it could have.
The bathroom fight scene didn't work well for me, either. I can't see a guy like Forsythe not taking vengeance for it on some way. Blow hards like him don't often recognize when they're in over their heads.
The third point that knocked it down was that, although the language was mostly clear, the author does not have a clear grasp of how to use punctuation appropriately. There were short run-on sentences on almost every page. It drove me batty.
The plotline overall played out well, with a nice O. Henry twist at the end that I never saw coming. In spite of the drawbacks, if there's a second book, I think I'll grab it....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!
Well. I certainly wasn't expecting THAT. Jim Butcher just amazes me. He weaves together complex and intricate plot lines in every book, always findingWell. I certainly wasn't expecting THAT. Jim Butcher just amazes me. He weaves together complex and intricate plot lines in every book, always finding ways to tie them to past events and deliver an incredibly rich and masterfully crafted alternate world. Jim, you always leave me dumbstruck, on the best possible way....more
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