I just finished reading The Last Policeman and all I can think is “Wow, that’s one awesome epilogue.” Why does the epilogue stand out to me so much? W...moreI just finished reading The Last Policeman and all I can think is “Wow, that’s one awesome epilogue.” Why does the epilogue stand out to me so much? Well, I just can’t put my finger on it. The book as a whole was pretty good. But the epilogue, wow. I can say I wouldn’t have liked the book as much without the epilogue.
In The Last Policeman are two of my favorite genres smash, mixed, and crammed together. Sometimes it was a good fit, others it felt a little clumsy. The pre-apocalyptic world was an insane choice of a time period to set a detective novel, but Winters made it work in his favor. The people’s thoughts, actions, choices were so relevant and real. I couldn’t decide what I would do or how I would choose to live with the impending annihilation of part or all of the world. Winters portrayed those emotions with such grace and poise. I am shocked still at how honest the book felt.
Where I had the hardest time believing in The Last Policeman was the last policeman himself. Hank Palace was a cop through and through. New to the detective job, eager to do right by the department. And, honestly, he was too goody-goody. He felt a little like the kid in school that was always trying to be the teacher’s pet that just about all the other kids didn’t like. Palace came across a little like that, only a little more jaded, a little more beaten down by the world at large. I just couldn’t get the “why” he was so bent on solving the case, beyond his “it just doesn’t feel right” answer. I get that there’s an instinct to police officers, a gut feeling that helps guide their inquiry, but with the end of the world as they knew looming a few months off, why be so obsessed with solving an apparent-suicide? It took me awhile to get through the first half of the book because I just couldn’t invest myself since I didn’t understand Palace’s motives.
I enjoyed reading his journey. The second half of The Last Policeman is marvelous. I couldn’t stop reading it. As the story reveals itself to the reader, there’s still some mystery that Winters holds back, some details that only take place in Palace’s mind. The “ah ha” moments that we are not privy often are exposed in a brilliant flash and had me in shock at the truth of the situation. Winters is quite the master at storytelling.
The writing style has a smooth, simple elegance to it. There are some technical astrophysical-type of things related to Maia, but things roll pretty easily. A few times the pace picks up and pages fly, but for the most part it’s like a nice stroll through the end of the world.
I am glad that Rebecca suggested I review this book. I haven’t yet read something quite so unique in the genres it falls into or the way it’s written.(less)
I came into this book with an open mind, as wide as the big blue sky. What filled my mind were characters that I cared nothing for. A story that was m...moreI came into this book with an open mind, as wide as the big blue sky. What filled my mind were characters that I cared nothing for. A story that was mildly intriguing. A plot that moved like frozen molasses. I don’t think I can tell you adequately how incredibly slow this story moved, how many times I heard the phrases “sister-wives,” “house governor,” “our husband Linden,” and “my twin brother Rowan.” It really irritates me when an author doesn’t think that the reader is smart enough to remember who is who and constantly repeats things.
Now that I’ve been overly critical toward the author, let’s move on to the actual story. I like that DeStefano did something that I’ve not seen in YA/dystopian yet: that the genetically perfected offspring die young...And there’s no cure.
I grew to LOVE Jenna! And then the thing happened. And I nearly cried. Cecily is another story. I cared absolutely nothing for her, until one little bit right near the end of the book. If you read (or have read) this, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Rhine…well, she was just irritating. I can’t put a finger on exactly what it was about her that raked my nerves, but she did. I really can’t understand why Rhine never just told Linden the truth. The truth about where she was from, who she is, that she has a twin brother, how she ended up as his wife. Why didn’t she try to send a letter to Rowan? Why?
Did I mention how incredibly slow Wither was?
Even though the story isn’t complete, and this is only the first of a trilogy, I’m passing on the rest.
Update: As I was updating my reviews on Goodreads, I saw this on my list, and I couldn't remember what this book was about. I had to read my review to remember. It didn't even leave an impression on me.(less)
Not near a good as it could have been, but not as bad as some of the reviews on here suggested it would be. Entertaining and at least a little interes...moreNot near a good as it could have been, but not as bad as some of the reviews on here suggested it would be. Entertaining and at least a little interesting.(less)
Let’s pause, for just a moment, and go back to school for a minute. I think you’ll need this educational break to appreciate this book, a refresher on...moreLet’s pause, for just a moment, and go back to school for a minute. I think you’ll need this educational break to appreciate this book, a refresher on the definition of tragedy:
trag·e·dy/ˈtrajidē/ Noun: 1. An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe. 2. A play dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, esp. one concerning the downfall of the main character.
There is no getting around the fact that Man in the Blue Moon is a tragedy, and one of epic proportions. This is a well written novel, a story that will haunt you until you finish it. A story that burdens you with the harsh realities of life. Ella Wallace is left with the burden of raising her family, running the store that she and her husband, Harlan, owned, merely existing, and repaying the second mortgage Harlan took out on her land all on her own. Her husband left her. Out of the blue, Lanier shows up. Literally. And things just get worse. You can tell things are only getting worse, but you’re still not prepared for it. Morris sets the story up in such a way that you get a feel for what’s going to happen, but leaves you guessing a little bit. There are surprises along the way, but not a single thing redeems this tragedy.
There’s a scene toward the end of the book, where all the character’s demons that have haunted them throughout the story come together, melding into a glorious brouhaha that marks the change in the tide of Ella’s life.
To find out more, you need to read this book. It is good, no great. But it is heavy. I had to read it in small chunks over the coarse of about 45 days.
The craziest part of all, is that parts of the story are based on a true story!(less)
Y’all, I can’t get over this book. I finished it, and can’t move on, can’t read anything else. I’m afraid it will spoil my high.
This book has element...moreY’all, I can’t get over this book. I finished it, and can’t move on, can’t read anything else. I’m afraid it will spoil my high.
This book has elements of several different genres: YA , paranormal, action, suspense. It would be too hard to put it into one category. And that is what makes it awesome. You start out with plain, normal Maddy, and get introduced to her plain, normal life and friends. Then, after the lightening strike (the point at witch things start to get really interesting) you begin the introduction into her paranormal adventure. There are several things that happen, and so many of them are entwined so tightly with the plot, that I can’t talk about them because it would give things away. I need to say I love Dane and Chloe. I’m not sold on Stamp. And, really, Hazel is the worst best friend ever. I didn’t like her before things went down. Seriously.
As the “zombie Armageddon” approaches, things get really interesting and suspenseful. I stayed on the edge of my seat for like 80% of the book. It’s entertaining with enough humor, action, zombies, and snarky dialogue to keep you hooked. I stand by my assessment that Rusty Fischer is a genius. Yes, he needs some kind of writer-genius award.
I want to kick myself for waiting as long as I did to read this. Seriously, I’m an idiot.
So, if you haven’t read this yet, don’t wait any longer. Go buy it, devour it, and relish the afterglow of the brief romance you will have with Zombies Don’t Cry.(less)
I do not try to hide my love for the Iron Druid Chronicles. I am completely enraptured by it. I cannot say enough good things about this series!
Coyot...moreI do not try to hide my love for the Iron Druid Chronicles. I am completely enraptured by it. I cannot say enough good things about this series!
Coyote is back, and up to his tricksy ways. The combination of Atticus and Coyote is a disaster waiting to happen, and like any book in this series, it is a serious disaster. This is probably going to be hard to write without including spoilers, but I’m going to try.
Atticus and the Morrigan pull a trick of their own at the very beginning of the book. And it works, and then…
So, I tried to right this without spoilers, and there’s nothing that I could say—this review would be one big spoiler! Tricked is an action-packed, insanely plot-driven story. There’s not a moment to rest, not a moment to catch your breath. Hearne pulls out all the stops with this installment. It’s chock full of Navajo mysticism, which puts Atticus at a disadvantage. There’s an amazing mingling of the two forms of magic, and, even though I knew nothing about the Navajo belief system, Hearne explains it all in the course of telling the story.
So, read this series, read this book. As for me, I need to get the next book in the chronicles, Trapped!(less)
I don’t know that there are words enough to even marginally describe how much I love Jenny Pox. I would have to describe it in facial expressions and...moreI don’t know that there are words enough to even marginally describe how much I love Jenny Pox. I would have to describe it in facial expressions and hand motions, which on a blog, would look something like this:
[cue crickets chirping]
So, what you’ll read below is my best effort. [crickets still chirping]
Bryan is a master. My wife has known this for some time. I am just coming to this realization. Now I want to devour this entire series. Jenny Pox is like nothing that I’ve ever read before. And it’s set in South Carolina! I’ve been reading this off and on since February on my iPhone’s Kindle app. I’m glad that I’ve stretched it out, it would be too much to handle in large chunks!
Jenny Pox is emotionally charged. It’s fast paced and easy to read. It would be no problem for most people to read this in a few days, if that long. I recommend taking your time, digesting it in manageable pieces. There’s a lot going on, a lot to fret over, a lot to become enraged about.
Jenny is strong, there is depth and maturity to her character, as well as vulnerability. Seth is somewhat weak, and I know that part of it was Ashleigh’s doing, but the dude needed to grow a set. I instantly loved Jenny, Seth took some time. For me, it was easy to insta-hate Ashleigh, and never stop hating her, only to loath her more. There’s such a realness in the way Bryan writes his characters, that you believe in them.
There were parts of the story that had me thinking, “This is so unrealistic.” Or, “That would/could never happen.” This is a fantasy book at times. There is a need to suspend some reality when going into this. Really. I’m being straight up with you here: this is not contemporary with a little fantasy thrown in, this is full-on fantastical. But it’s not hard to believe the world of Fallen Oak, SC. It is realistic, and the people are genuine, and react genuinely. Then the supernatural/paranormal aspects come into play, and you’re sometimes going all “WTF just happened?” But it works, and it works well. (less)
Y’all know I love me some Southern Fiction, especially those set in South Carolina (I LOVE my state). Bootlicker is one of those books that makes me p...moreY’all know I love me some Southern Fiction, especially those set in South Carolina (I LOVE my state). Bootlicker is one of those books that makes me proud to be Southern. Though Piacente is admittedly not a Southerner, he accurately and eloquently gives a Southern voice to his characters. The South is as much a character in this book as the actual characters. There are elements, like the racial unrest and discord that still exists to some extent today, that are as important to the story as the plot that couldn’t have been as real were Bootlicker not a Southern novel.
There is no political intrigue, no mystery to solve, no stalkers or assassins. Bootlicker is straight up fiction, and the good kind. We see the story unfold from the eyes of several different people, different views that make things feel real and earnest. I ached with their pains and rejoiced with their victories. Piacente wrote in a way that immediately draws you into the story, it pleads with you to invest your emotional fortune there, and leaves you stripped bare and yearning for the story. You believe it, you want it, and you will it with all your might to happen. And when it does, you’re relieved that it’s finished, glad that justice is served, and weary from just taken such a journey.
Booklicker isn’t perfect. We had our fair share of words. It knows how I feel, and we’re both ok with that. What it is, is a heart wrenching story, a victorious story; one you must read. (less)
R. Scott Anderson’s The Uncommon Thread is a hilarious romp through the musings of a deep thinker. Albeit irreverent at times, there is something to b...moreR. Scott Anderson’s The Uncommon Thread is a hilarious romp through the musings of a deep thinker. Albeit irreverent at times, there is something to be learned from Anderson.
The short essays are witty, full of quips and jabs, but not demeaning or degrading. They are fun, quick reads, all with a message to be taken from them. Several had me actually laughing out loud, some in thoughtful silence. Others brought me to near-tears. What you need to know going into these essays is that you will see life through the eyes of a very intelligent doctor, and reevaluate how you see your own life, how seriously or not you take it, how you will let what you read and learn change you.
I liked the honest voice in which each essay was written. It was relatable and genuine, like going to coffee with a dear friend and discussing the latest adventure and lessons learned. There was a bit of comfort and nostalgia, mixed in with just enough excitement to keep you drawn into the story. Several short stories were included as well. Some were humorous, others verging on unusual or weird.
One of the great things about reading a compilation of short stories or essays is that it is full of variety. I never got bored reading Anderson’s writings! They were captivating. I tended to enjoy most reading his retelling of something that happened within his family, stories about his children especially.
This is a fun, easy read that will open your mind, give your funny bone a workout, and most of all, entertain you. (less)
Redundant, over-descriptive. How many times can you describe the same graveyard in the same chapter using the same words? Apparently a lot. Only one e...moreRedundant, over-descriptive. How many times can you describe the same graveyard in the same chapter using the same words? Apparently a lot. Only one example of the repetitiveness of Abandon.(less)
There comes a time when we must learn from our mistakes, take responsibility for our actions, accept the consequences, and move on. Stronger, greater,...moreThere comes a time when we must learn from our mistakes, take responsibility for our actions, accept the consequences, and move on. Stronger, greater, more knowledgeable than we were. Sean DeLauder in a humorous, witty, quirky way explores these themes.
Hedge, a plant come to Earth in human form, has been sent to study humanity, to learn their ways, what makes them tick. It was fun to see us through his eyes. How our everyday, without-much-thought routines can seem trivial and ridiculous.
Even understanding why and how we love someone and how to express that love was hilarious:
She gave him a half smile.
"You're always so weirdly sincere," she said. "I guess I love you for that." The half smile found its other half and became full, but she was staring at him in the intense, patient way that told him she was waiting for something. Not just something, an equal acknowledgement of the love which she had just expressed.
Hedge thought a moment, then smiled in return.
"I find you highly symmetrical." (Kindle Locations 427-433).
Even some of our greatest pastimes were analyzed, shaken down, and exposed at their basest levels:
He thought he'd wasted time with Anna, watching the glamorized violence on the television; wasted time sitting on the porch as he waited for the magical moment when the sunlight fell behind the willow and exploded it with radiant orange; wasted time gazing at Anna while the toaster buzzed in his hand before slinging him across the cosmos to end up standing here—in the mud, dripping wet, waiting indefinitely. The only wasted time, he decided, was not the moments idled away in pursuit of foolish pleasure, but that period of empty time where you did absolutely nothing and the next foreseeable event loomed somewhere beyond the horizon.
This, Hedge felt, was an unprecedented waste of time. (Kindle Locations 532-537).
I did a little looking around on Goodreads, seeing how others rated this book, and noticed that there were some discussions people had started. One was related to the subtitle of the book: A Love Story. And I was perplexed because I didn’t notice that when I started the book. And it truly was. The love between Anna and Hedge spanned miles, hours, planets, galaxies. It was a genuine, real, sweet love. There was nothing more satisfying about this book than that love and it’s many representations in the story.
I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending is just wonderful. I smiled. I mean, y’all, it was that sappy smile, that all-is-right-with-the-world smile. And it was real. At that moment, everything felt right with the story, the world, the universe.
I so enjoyed this book that if I could give away copies to you all, I would, but I can’t. So, you just need to go buy this for yourself. It is not what I expected it to be, and I am thankful that it wasn’t. The Speaker for the Trees is perfect the way it is, taking it at face value, no additions, subtractions, or substitutions.
I don’t know how Kevin Hearne does it. It’s not just that these books are awesome tales of adventure and butt-kicking, but they are clever, witty, int...moreI don’t know how Kevin Hearne does it. It’s not just that these books are awesome tales of adventure and butt-kicking, but they are clever, witty, intelligent, and believable. It’s so easy to buy into the world that Kevin has created and be wrapped up and absorbed into it. I am amazed every time I read [or listen to] one of these books. I will be sad when I read the last in the series. I will morn their passing with a funeral pyre befitting of a god.
Kevin Hearne is back with the same energy of the previous Iron Druid Chronicles. Atticus finds himself bound to keeping his oaths from Hexed. He has promised Laksha a golden apple and Leif revenge on Thor for their help fighting against a hoard of witches [you MUST read the other two books to fully appreciate Hammered!].
Things go...not according to plan, as if anything Atticus does goes according to plan. Which in and of itself reveals the genius writing talents of Hearne, that even though the book itself is carefully calculated and crafted, as a reader you still get the sensation that Atticus is flying by the seat of his pants. Nothing AT ALL seems contrived or scripted. There are things you feel or know must happen, and they often do, but it feels so honest.
As Atticus and crew take their journey, stuff happens, butts get kicked, and people die. I mean really, I think there is more blood shed in Hammered than the other two books combined. Awesome, right? There is more depth, more emotion, too. And I really empathized with the characters, felt their hurt and pain.
There is never a dull moment in any of Hearne’s books, so prepare for a nonstop adventure through mystical, magical worlds, and a little bit of our world.
I cannot express how thankful I am that I finally started this series!(less)