Tag Archives: humorous

Review of Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), by Janet Evanovich

I borrowed an audio copy of Janet Evanovich‘s Wicked Appetite from the library.

Description from Goodreads:

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

Review:

I’ve wanted to try a Janet Evanovich book for a while. Everyone seemed to love them. But I was never certain where to start; there are so many of them. So, when I came across Wicked Appetite, clearly labeled book one in a series I jumped at it. (For the record, I think Diesel is a character from another of Evanovich’s series. But the book certainly stood alone.) After all the anticipation I was severely let down. I found the whole thing silly beyond belief. And not even endearingly silly, just stupid silly. I was irritated by all the onomatopoeia, the dialogue was ridiculous, the plot paper thin, and the characters shallow. I made it all these years without ever reading one of Evanovich’s books. It looks like I’ll go several more without them. I have no desire to read another one. Lorelei King did a fine job with the narration.

Review of Welcome to the Madhouse, by S.E. Sasaki

I won a copy of S.E. Sasaki‘s Welcome to the Madhouse through Goodreads. The ebook was also free at the author’s website and Amazon at the time of posting.

Description from Goodreads:
Doctor Grace Lord, a lieutenant in the Conglomerate Medical Corps, has come to the medical space station, the Nelson Mandela, as the new surgical fellow under the renowned Doctor Hiro Al-Fadi. Though she earned her commission as a combat surgeon in the field, she is unprepared for the scope and pace of what awaits her in the Conglomerate’s Premier Medical Space Station. The countless cryopods that come into the Nelson Mandela are filled with the casualties of the Conglomerate’s animal-adapted military forces. Traumatically injured and disfigured in campaigns spread across the galaxy, it is up to the staff of the Nelson Mandela to patch up the wounded combat soldiers for redeployment. For Grace, it is a trial by fire, as she familiarizes herself not only with the routines and protocols of life on the Nelson Mandela, but also with the eclectic community of professionals with whom she works – not the least of which is an android that has taken an almost human interest in her. When disaster strikes the space station, the Nelson Mandela must race against time to stave off annihilation, and it becomes clear that, regardless of the outcome, nothing will never be the same again.

Review:
Going into this book, I didn’t expect it to be a comedy. The humor was a pleasant surprise. At times it reached a little too far and came across as trying too hard to be funny, but it usually managed to walk the line and I enjoyed it.

I liked all the characters too, Bud especially. The back and forwards banter between the surgeons was amusing and was nicely balanced with the obvious affection the characters had for one another. Grace was a little too perfect in all ways, but I managed to look over her lack of faults.

However, I thought the whole plot-line with the closest thing to a villain the book has was unnecessary, distasteful, distracting, and predictable. It was painfully obvious who they were from the first moment they were introduced. Their character lacked depth, was evil just because they were evil and their plot arc didn’t tie well into the primary plot-line. In fact, it had nothing to do with it and was an unappreciated distraction that was wrapped up too quickly and easily to fee satisfying in any way.

Further, I felt the introduction of inferred rape and mental abuse (described as easy, at that) was unnecessary and detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I am so sick of victimized women as plot-points that I almost just gave up on the book after reading the prologue. I was pleased the subject didn’t come up again. I understand that this particular plot-point probably just set up the sequel, but I REALLY wish this book had done without it. In fact, it reads like it did and the author went back and added it just for book two.

The writing/editing was unusually good for an indie. I did think some of the dialogue was on the stiff side, even when allowing for android-speak and there was an excess of exclamation marks. But I was mostly pleased.

All in all, however, I enjoyed the book. I laughed and was interested enough to read until the end. I’d happily read book two to see how Bud progresses.


What I’m drinking: Bentley’s Oolong tea.

Review of Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom, by Brian Olsen

Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of DoomI snagged a copy of Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom, by Brian Olsen, from Amazon. At the time of posting is was free.

Description from Goodreads:
Alan Lennox has been assigned yet another soul-crushing temp job, keeping him from his first loves – drinking, playing video games, and looking for a boyfriend. But Alan’s new job proves to be anything but boring when his co-workers start turning up dead. The mysterious megacorporation Amalgamated Synergy has taken a deadly interest in Alan and his three roommates, and the hapless quartet are woefully unequipped to deal with the psychotic secretaries, murderous middle managers, and villainous vice-presidents hunting them down. 

Their investigation leads them deep into Amalgamated Synergy’s headquarters, but can Alan and his friends stay alive long enough to discover who – or what – waits for them on the top floor?

Review:
This is one of those books that is frustrating because it’s almost something special (and probably is for some people, just not for me). I liked the characters, though they were a little stereotypical. I liked the plot, even though it was on the slow side. It was funny, written well enough and possibly an allegory, but none of that really makes up for the fact that I never could buy the ending. The how of what happens is conveniently skipped over and it all felt rather anticlimactic.