A completely compelling book. I read this 4 months ago and a quick scan of the synopsis brought back all of the emotions to my mind.
The story is super...moreA completely compelling book. I read this 4 months ago and a quick scan of the synopsis brought back all of the emotions to my mind.
The story is superbly put together, with the twists and turns putting the reader in Maggie's state of confusion, where nothing is certain. Throughout, the relationships and reactions were real and realistic...I was totally immersed throughout my reading, hurting and healing with Maggie and the others. Like Maggie, I both needed to learn and dreaded finding out exactly what happened. There isn't a fairytale ending, but rather a real life ending, with hope.
Thank you, NetGalley, for the chance to read this brilliant book.
Why oh why does my kindle "archive" (aka delete) non-Amazon books from its memory??? Flipping annoying and very inconvenient when I'm working my way through a bunch of NG ARCs....Grrrrr (less)
Three Strikes is an entertaining short story. The cast of characters appear in a series of Scott Soloff's books. I found the voice of the narrator, th...moreThree Strikes is an entertaining short story. The cast of characters appear in a series of Scott Soloff's books. I found the voice of the narrator, the eponymous Picker, a little off-putting at first, but I got used to it and soon found that it conveyed much about his character.
The story is self-contained and you do not (I have not) need to read any of the full length books in the series to appreciate and enjoy Three Strikes. Scott manages to explain all the essentials without slowing down the plot progression or bogging the reader down in long descriptive passages. Full marks for style.
There were quite a few spelling mistakes/typos...at first I wondered if some of them were there to help portray Picker's voice - some unconventional spellings definitely were there to convey accent - however, the two misplaced apostrophes (both on the same page) were not. "Two Rotweiller's and a Shepherd. It is not uncommon for ones' defenses...". I have my grammar police hat on today!
There was one howling great factual error. A six-week old GSD does not weigh 40 lbs!! It won't reach that until around four months (16 weeks). Nor would a six week old GSD be tall enough to put paws on one's chest. GSDs are a similar sized dog to Golden Retrievers; when I was 9 yo, we had a litter of GRs and when they left at 8 weeks old, I could still carry them (one at a time!).
The rest of the descriptions of Kato (aka the monster) seem plausible ... and yes, I'd love a dog like that!
All in all Three Strikes is a great short read and I'll be looking out for more of Scott Soloff's work.
Thanks Scott for highlighting on Goodreads your 24 hour Amazon giveaway of this great introduction to your work. (less)
A 3.5 star book. Well written, internally consistent and a nice balance of action and emotion; a good example of paranormal YA fiction. I read the boo...moreA 3.5 star book. Well written, internally consistent and a nice balance of action and emotion; a good example of paranormal YA fiction. I read the book in one sitting, when I really should have been doing other things. Darn! LOL. Now I'm banned from reading for the rest of the week.
I've seen a couple of "yuk" reviews for this book. I don't agree with them. This is a good book in its genre. It's not high literaure, but it's not trying to be. It's a good, solid entertaining read, with an unusual premise and reasonably well-drawn characters. There's loads of late teenaged angst, all mixed up with the crazy stuff happening around them. It works - Timepiece is an excellent piece of escapism.
If I have one issue it's that the author desn't really understand time travel paradox, but meh, the way the story ran (and the way I think the next book will run) it doesn't really matter. I worked out the twist before characters did, but that didn't spoil their path to finding out.
Thanks to the publishers for providing this ARC through NetGalley. (less)
[2012-08-16] Excellent book - I really didn't want to put it down. There were a few spelling/typos scattered through (more in Book2) and one use of in...more[2012-08-16] Excellent book - I really didn't want to put it down. There were a few spelling/typos scattered through (more in Book2) and one use of inferred that should have been implied (I'm a grammar pedant, bite me) but these didn't get in the way of a great telling of a universal story. I liked the imagery and how that can be related to real life.
How good is The Assassin’s Curse? It’s so good I read it in a day!
The Assassin’s Curse is an otherworld fantasy story that can hold its own with the b...moreHow good is The Assassin’s Curse? It’s so good I read it in a day!
The Assassin’s Curse is an otherworld fantasy story that can hold its own with the best of the genre. The Assassin’s Curse has about it the feel of Robin Hobb – although this instalment is shorter than one of a Robin Hobb trilogy, however, I suspect that there will be four or five books in this series (if you read The Assassin’s Curse, let me know if you agree!). Since I really want to know what happens next and how Ananna and Naji deal with the challenges they’ve been given, I shall be keeping a watch on Strange Chemistry’s blog for the next in series, although since The Assassin’s Curse isn’t released until October 2012, I suspect I will have a bit of a wait!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Assassin’s Curse and found the standard of world building by Ms Clarke to be well executed. I would have liked a little more detail on the various peoples and their cultures & religions to be worked into the tale.
[2013-01-18] I read this book back in August, after receiving a kindle copy from the author. It is a wonderful story of hope, strength and tradegy - t...more[2013-01-18] I read this book back in August, after receiving a kindle copy from the author. It is a wonderful story of hope, strength and tradegy - tradegy refused, fought and transcended. I will be writing a fuller review in time (and probably rereading!!), but in the meantime, I recommend you grab a copy and read it!(less)
An excellent, fast-paced read. I was enthralled throughout. I thought the characterisation was excellent and the relationships realistic. The descript...moreAn excellent, fast-paced read. I was enthralled throughout. I thought the characterisation was excellent and the relationships realistic. The descriptions of the various incidents were very vivid.
Poltergeeks absolutely races along, sometimes leaving the reader almost out of breath; there are few points where the reader thinks “Ah! I can put the book down knowing all are safe for a bit”. I admit that partway through, I worked out who – but I didn’t see the why. This looping interweaving sleight-of-hand part of the book was wonderfully woven.
[2012-06-28] Read this after work tonight. Like the wine at the wedding in Cana, the best was saved till last in Matthew's giveaway. At the beginning,...more[2012-06-28] Read this after work tonight. Like the wine at the wedding in Cana, the best was saved till last in Matthew's giveaway. At the beginning, I wondered if I would enjoy this story; I couldn't see the question behind it (Matthew's stories start from a question which he answers for himself by writing). When I got to the end, the question I asked myself was not the one with which Matthew started. I don't want to say more here, for fear of spoiling the story for others. When time allows, I may write a blog post discussing it.
As ever with Matthew's books, the story is excellently crafted. The descriptions are so well done that you walk with the seven through The Bleak and face the monsters with them. The ending was both surprising and obvious: surprising when we got to it, but obvious when looking back at it.
I think I had better stop before I give too much away...so I will finish my saying "Go Buy This Book". You won't regret it.(less)
[2012-06-24] Bought from Amazon Grrr...why is it when you try to edit purchase location (I clicked the wrong autofill option) it disappears? The only w...more[2012-06-24] Bought from Amazon Grrr...why is it when you try to edit purchase location (I clicked the wrong autofill option) it disappears? The only way to edit is to delete the ownership and start again....bleurgh. Finished....:-)(less)
[2012-06-23] Downloaded (thanks Matthew for the six-day giveaway!) and read within the hour. Fantastic story! Entirely complete (excuse the tautology)...more[2012-06-23] Downloaded (thanks Matthew for the six-day giveaway!) and read within the hour. Fantastic story! Entirely complete (excuse the tautology) and with lots to think about. I also enjoyed reading Matthew's thoughts on the book that are bundled with the story (I would have liked a blank page between to the two, just to allow my mind to close from the story).
Fanatastic word-smithing, superbing plotting and excellently drawn characters in such a short time. A real "find"(less)
[2012-06-21] Thanks Matthew - your giveaway is appreciated. Will read and review.
[201-06-23] Just read this short story whilst sitting the sun and sti...more[2012-06-21] Thanks Matthew - your giveaway is appreciated. Will read and review.
[201-06-23] Just read this short story whilst sitting the sun and stiff breeze (missing the rain showers!).
Actual rating 4.5 stars
What an excellent story! It is a complete package on its own - but leaves you with "what happens next?" and "how do I get to know these characters better?" ringing through your head. The ending is bittersweet and, at least to me, entirely logical with what we know of the situation. It is not a cliffhanger; this is a complete tale, but like all good stories, it invites you to imagine the ongoing lives of the protagonists. In addition, Matthew Iden structures this so that I also wondered about what had happened in the times before the glimpse into the Kingdon of Mercia that we are afforded.
This is a 4.5 start only because I felt the tale was told a little hurriedly. Just a few more sentences in several of the scenes would have made the whole shine that much more brightly.
Now: Matthew - when will the trilogy be out? I definitely feel that the potential is here!
Thank you for inviting me to the 2 day giveaway for this story...looking forward to the next two stories!(less)
I received a kindle copy of Shattered after responding to an announcement on goodreads by Donna Ball that she was looking for reviewers for her latest...moreI received a kindle copy of Shattered after responding to an announcement on goodreads by Donna Ball that she was looking for reviewers for her latest book. Having read (and reviewed) several of Donna's other books, I was delighted when Donna accepted my offer.
Shattered lived up to my expectations and is a tense “who-done-it” with lots of twists and turns. I felt the psychological effects on the victims were extremely well portrayed.
If I have any niggles about Shattered, they are minor. I felt that, in the first part of the book, we were told too many times, in almost the same words, how animosity-filled had been Carol and Guy's divorce: I got it the first time; I was fed of hearing about it by the third time. I didn't feel retelling it added to the story but rather slowed down the pace of the beginning of the book.
The various threads of the characters' – major and minor – lives are beautifully interwoven, resulting in a tapestry of a story that needs to be read more than once to find all the clues as they first appear.
I particularly enjoyed that the story changes viewpoint regularly – that way the reader gets to see much more of the action. This technique adds to the tension for the reader as we can see the pitfalls and traps ahead of characters and thus will them not to fall in, whilst suspecting that they will do so anyway.
So in summary: buy Shattered! It is a little slow to start, with an element of repetition, but once the suspense starts to build and the status quo is challenged, it is a tense page-turner.
Thank you, Donna, for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I hope that Shattered gains the critical and commercial success due to it.
This has the honour of being the first kindle book I paid money to get. I quite enjoyed the book, with a couple of irritations: "Exhume" means to dig u...moreThis has the honour of being the first kindle book I paid money to get. I quite enjoyed the book, with a couple of irritations: "Exhume" means to dig up a previously interred body...I think the author meant "exuded" whenever "exhumed" was used...I never heard of an object exhuming energy...;-) And what on earth is a tonsil stone????
I thought the story ended rather abruptly, but with a perfect set-up for the next book.
I enjoyed this book - it's got a good premise. There are quite a few points where I had to remember that this is a YA book, written by a young author. There are a few non sequiturs and plot holes, but overall I enjoyed the book and will be looking for the next instalment.
A longer review appears on my blog from 07 June 2012.
Spoiler alert: there are a few plot reveals in this review; I have tried to keep them to a minimum and they are only there to explain my points.
This w...moreSpoiler alert: there are a few plot reveals in this review; I have tried to keep them to a minimum and they are only there to explain my points.
This was an excellent story with lots of tension and plot twists. The story moves along at a good pace; sometime a small pause in the headlong rush to make an important aspect clearer to the reader would be useful, I think. A little polishing to the writing style would turn Dancing with the Boss from a good book into a great book.
There were a couple of problems with the kindle formatting, but I put these down to this being a NetGalley ARC – time to iron out such issues before publication. For the record, I found that the chapters ran into one another and that the word was printed “chaPTer” each time. The first letter of the first paragraph of each chapter was lower case and printed on its own line.
Whilst talking about style and formatting, there were a couple of other points I wanted to mention: I found the direct speech internal monologue inserts clumsy and distracting; finding another way to include these elements would improve the book for me. There was a classic spelling mistake: at one point Mr Hernandez became Mr Fernandez, but quickly reverted. Was this a typo or a previous incarnation, I wondered!
For me the book was somewhat spoiled by a couple of, to me, daft plot happenings. These made the main character, Annie, appear, in my eyes at least, rather stupid.
In the first place, having done some quite clever sleuthing and discovered not one but two vital pieces of information into the crime, she heads off, for an indeterminate time, and leaves both pieces of evidence behind! I'm not sure how she planned to investigate (her intention) without at least copies.
Secondly, towards the end of the book, when Annie and her sister are ensconced as investigators, she suddenly produces a huge amount of information from here friend, Rhino, who died some months earlier. No previous mention of this data was made...and given the desperate nature of their need to solve the crime and find those responsible, why would Annie sit on this information?? Non sequiturs like these really annoy me in books.
Despite these areas which I believe can be improved, I enjoyed reading Dancing with the Boss. I found the characters for the most part reasonably well drawn; the polishing I mentioned earlier would include refining their description and bahviours a little, removing a touch of the stereotype that tends to creep in. I mostly cared about what happens to the characters; in some cases, the minor characters were in better focus that the major ones!
I recommend this book to ladies who love thrillers and mysteries. I suspect most of the men who read this genre would not enjoy the romance aspect. Personally, I feel this adds to the book, but thought it could be a little less front and centre, but rather a little more subtle. In some ways, I thought Dancing with the Boss couldn't make its mind up if it were a thriller or a romance: I guess I was looking for it to be a thriller first and foremost! Dancing with the Boss is an enjoyable, entertaining read and I would pick up other books by Clare Gutierrez without hesitation.
I thank Clare Gutierrez and her publisher for making this book available to me through NetGalley. This review appears there and a longer one appears here(less)
[2012-06-17] Book finished. Full review to follow. I was impressed at the inclusion of a bibliography. Nearly 10% of the ebook was taken up with this,...more[2012-06-17] Book finished. Full review to follow. I was impressed at the inclusion of a bibliography. Nearly 10% of the ebook was taken up with this, the acknowledgements and a preview to Cameron Nation - I didn't read the latter, as that's next on my to read list!
[2012-06-17] Wrote the review in manuscript today...will try to make time to edit, type & publish this week....(less)