Tag Archives: book reviews

reading the rainbow

Wasting time…or playing with my book reviews

This post sort of came about by accident, as a result of me trying to keep myself busy. As I say in the Instagram posts below, I’m having my first real experience with sciatica. The result is that I’m largely uncomfortable if I’m walking around, but I also can’t sit for too long without stiffening up and hurting more. Yeah, it’s no fun…It is not fun.

So, in trying to find activities that I can do both while being up and about and while sitting down, I discovered that making little Pixgram videos can be a fun distraction that I’m able to do in on the go and while sedentary. As a result, I decided to make a cover reel of for each color of the rainbow. Yes, it’s random and basically just me frolicking in my digital book pile. But it’s something to keep me occupied.

After the fact, it occurred to me that, since most of these books have reviews here on the blog, there’s no reason I shouldn’t pull them all together too. Yes, it’s basically just a game and me playing in my review pile. But it is what it is.

The standard by which I chose books is set out in each of the post, but I’ll quote it here. “I only chose from books I’ve read (though not necessarily reviewed), the cover was heavy in the color I was looking for, I didn’t hate the book too badly when I read it, and I didn’t remember posting about it super recently (though, since I’ve read them, I probably have at some point). And I tended toward books that seemed like they’d not had a lot of attention.” Plus, I snagged Saint Louis Authors when I saw them. Gotta support the locals.

I’ll also add that the whole thing depended pretty heavily on chance. I literally scrolled until I found a book that matched my criteria, grabbed it and went for the next. So, it could have been this batch of books or an entirely different one. The result is that I ended up checking out some reviews I’d not had reason to look at in several years, which was fun. I forget what is buried in the review archive sometimes.

Here are the Pixgram reels and I’ll link each review below it.

The Martini of Destiny
Food of the Gods
10 Ways Io Piss Off A Reaper
The Winter Boy
A Surefire Way
Love and Fuck Poems
Technologies of the self
The Clockwork Monk
Slippery Souls
The Fire King
The Devil’s Revolver


The Prince and the Program
Storm Dancer
The Tide of War
Was Once a Hero
The Quest For Juice
Finding His Feet
The Guest of Honor
Resistance
Mars on the Rise
Gracier


A Bullet A Piece
Light a Candle
Colt Harper Esteemed Vampire Cat
Spirelli Paranormal Investigation
The Magic Laundry
Murder Takes Patience
Edge Of Desperation
100 Ghost Soup
Dhata Mays
Death Days
Season of the Wolf


Guesswork
Duende
The Flower Bowl Spell
Creature of Dreams
For the Clan
Curva Peligrosa
Alien Chicks In Citrus Bras And Stalkers From Beyond The Stars
Life After Love
King’s Raven
The Wounded Ones
Rook
Man Made Man


Last Witch Of Cahokia
Cotton and Indigo From Japan
Dancing With Gravity
Ghost
Shadowcursed
The Eighth Square
The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain
A Late Bite To Eat
Night Watch
Eternal Samuri
Half


Dragonspire
Welcome To My Chair
The Mechanical Universe
One Dead Vampire
God Killer
A Lesson for the Cyclops
Wild Wild ghost
Thorn and Fangs
Dear Mona Lisa
Silver Moon
Binding Shadows
liberty


 

I’m baaaack

My family and I had a wonderful trip to Manchester, England and Yunnan Provence, China. That may seem an odd combination, but we went to Manchester to spend Christmas and New Years with family and then on to China for a wedding and time with friends.

We’re back now though. Which means the blog is open again. I have a few reviews to post from my time traveling. But I didn’t read anywhere near as much as I expected to. We simply did not stop. So, the only reading I did was on flights.

I read The Highest Tide, Blood of Elves, and One Dead Vampire. I was pleased with all of them.

Reviews:

The Highest Tide, by Marian Perera:

I liked this more than I expected to. I appreciated that the woman is the physically strong one who saves the day most of the time. She’s quite capable. I appreciate that she was allowed to be scarred, even if the author wasn’t willing to go as far as to let her heroine be ugly. Even scarred, men think she is beautiful. Which, of course, she can be. But I felt like the focus detracted from the fact that women don’t have to be beautiful, even if flawed, to be a heroine. It felt like the author got half-way there on not classically beautiful representation. But I’ll take what I can get. Similarly, I appreciated the little LGBTQ acceptance slipped in with no fuss or obvious ulterior motive.

As for the romance, I liked both characters and liked them together. But I didn’t feel the romance was well developed. Too much of the book has them avoiding each other, so there isn’t a lot of interaction. And for one of the characters the ‘love’ is so instant even he says he feels as if he’d been struck by lightning.

All in all, however, I’d be more than happy to read the rest of the series.

Blood of Elves, by Andrzej Sapkowski

This book got me through a 10 hour flight. It was nothing like I was expecting though. I expected a lot of fighting, like in the prequel short stories. Instead, I found a lot of humor as a group of clueless men try to figure out raising a young girl. I quite enjoyed it, though I found it slow at times and Sapkowski’s writing style a little sparse for my taste. I’ll be continuing the series though.

One Dead Vampire, by Kris Ripper

Cute & fluffy. I generally loved Rocky and all of the side characters, plus all the representation. There’s a fat and fabulous main character, several characters of varied sexual and gender identities—using any number of pronouns—and characters of several races. I do think this is a book not written for those invested in remaining with-in the confines of the comfortable majority. I suspect I’ll see more than one review saying all of the pronouns and such were unnecessary or too hard to keep track of. But I think that’s more a matter of what you’re used to. It certainly works. 

I did feel like Rocky was too clueless about both the supernaturals and police procedure to have been raised in a supernatural cop family. Plus, I felt like all those cops/detectives enabling her compromising an investigation felt super unnatural. And the eventual reveal of the villain was too random to feel satisfying. 

The romance is secondary to the mystery and pretty mild. But, as I liked both characters, I was willing to roll with it. I was less able to accept that Rocky had given up her best friend because the friend had the audacity to go away to college. 

All in all, this was a higher than middle of the road read, but not five-stars for me. I’m well up for continuing the series though.

Review of The HOT Wolf (Werewolves On Heat Series #1), by Ellie Valentina

I received an Audible code for this book (Hot Wolf, by Ellie Valentina), or rather for the compilation of the first three books in the Werewolves on Heat series. It was my plan to save the reviews for a single blog post, once I had listened to them all. However, I’m traveling for the holidays and don’t anticipate actually finishing the series in 2019. My sense of order just won’t let me a review a book I read in 2019 in 2020. So, I’m posting this one now and will post again when I finish the series next year….decade. Crazy.

Description from Goodreads:

Ava Sparks was a paranormal assassin tasked with eradicating werewolves from existence. 

Her latest target was gorgeous billionaire Chase Elliot. Intelligence suggested he was hiding a secret life as a werewolf and because of that he was to be erased from existence. 

However, once Ava became close to the charming Chase she made a stunning realization that changed everything. 

Now, instead of killing the werewolf, she was to find herself making love to him and life as everyone knew it would never be the same again… 

Review:

First, I think both the title and the cover of this book are misleading. The title makes you think it’s erotica, but it’s not at all. There is VERY LITTLE heat in it. What’s more, the werewolf in question is very cool and collected. He may be attractive, but hot isn’t an adequate description of him as a whole. He’s a politician, not a soldier or anything else that would have him hulking ripped on the cover either. All in all, you are simply given there wrong first impression of this book (and probably series). 

This is exacerbated by the fact that werewolves are basically extraneous to the plot. The characters could be from opposing political factions, or ninja clans or corporate spies. None of it would change the plot one iota. I was disappointed by this fact.

Getting past all that, I though it was still only so-so (not bad, but not good either). The ‘parents’ seem to make decisions based on who knows what that make the heroine go off and make ill-thought plans and take poorly executed actions. (She’s awfully inept for an experienced assassin.) She seems to have several personality shifts throughout the book. And the happily-ever-after is just too pat to stomach easily.