Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel

Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an interesting prequel to the stand alone Star Wars adventure, Rogue One. What is perhaps the best part about this little story is how it sets up an in-depth backstory of the Erso family as well as Orson Krennick. Tarkin makes his appearance as well and this is really a good story whether you are a Star Wars junkie, or even just a casual fan.

The narration is adequate, but sometimes the background sound effects can become annoying. A bit overdone at times.

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Review: Patient Zero

Patient Zero Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, I guess I came in with different expectations. Yes, this is technically horror/zombie related, but it is more of a "Jack Bauer" sort of tale. It has a lot of action and features a main character that is apparently the baddest man around because he always gets the drop on people and can kick anybody's behind he meets...oh yeah, and he gets the hot girl after the required will they/won't they period.

Honestly, when reading anything "zombie" related, it requires a degree of reality suspension, but Maberry does do a great job of melding real science into the work. Not sure how far I will travel with Joe Ledger, after all, I wasn't a fan of McGyver and this is a souped up version in a lot of ways. It leaves an open ending of sorts that I had a hard time swallowing with a key villain, but I guess that helps to propagate a series.

As for the audio version, well narrated with a voice that fir. Great pacing and no attempt to overdo it when female voices were needed.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: Married with Zombies

Married with Zombies Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a series that had moments where I would discard all the criticisms I'd built up. Then it would come crashing down again with ANOTHER moment that had me wondering what I'd done by ordering a few of these at one time. I am not one of those people who buys a book and then returns it to get my money/credit back. I made the commitment, and sometimes, you can bite the bullet.

So, here were the issues I had. The very first zombie encounter for Jesse and her husband happens in the marriage therapy office. They walk in to discover the therapist chowing down on the couple that had the appointment before theirs. Okay...how does that happen? Two people just sit around in a room and let the zombie get them? But I looked past it. Then, later in that battle between Jesse, David and the counselor zombie, she holds onto the therapist while David goes down, grabs her spiked-heel shoe from the zombie's foot, and kills the zombie. Do you see where I had issue?

Also, while there is some wit and appropriate snark in the series, sometimes it reads as a woman just angry with her man as she sat down to write the story. Not that I am any great knower of all things pertaining to the female mindset, but Jesse got to be a bit of a nuisance at times. I will move on to book 2 since I already bought it when I grabbed this one, and I will hope for improvement. Writers often get better as they trudge forward. So we shall see.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: Twisted Magic

Twisted Magic Twisted Magic by Claire C. Riley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Claire Riley proves she is not a one-trick pony with this offering. This is a paranormal romance with all the depth you expect from Claire. The tragic love story unfolds here as you meet Sarah and Peter. One is dark, the other...light.

In a short time, and using her exceptional skill at dialogue, Ms. Riley gives you a backstory and reason to care about the forbidden romance that burns between these two. If this is the prequel, I can't wait for the first full-length offering set in this world of witches, covens, romance, and magic.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Ship the Kids on Ahead

Ship the Kids on Ahead Ship the Kids on Ahead by Bill Stokes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to a simpler time. Granted, you might not think so as you journey through a world shared by Bill Stokes as he uses wit and humor to describe an era that is sadly almost forgotten.

Each one of these "columns" is delivered wonderfully and brought back memories of my childhood. This is something you should share with your children or even grandchildren. I can imagine that it will start a few engaging conversations versus the standard eyerolls you receive when recalling the days when you "walked to school five miles in the snow uphill both ways". Instead, you may be asked, "what did that mean?" or "was it really like that when you were younger?"

Whatever the reason, I would highly rec commend grabbing this clever collection and letting your mind wander back to a simpler time that might not have seemed that way to those who lived it.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, so not perfect, but I don't think Amy Schumer ever set out to be. This is an interesting read, and comes across as very genuine. She does not hold back, and there are some moments that might make people uncomfortable, but the final results are well worth it. She is the perfect "everygirl" for a society that has gone off the deep end when it comes to what the perception is of what a woman should look/act like.
There is a lot here whether you are a fan of Shumer's or not. I was not all that familiar with her before, and while I may not actively seek out her Comedy Central show, I did enjoy her movie and will likely watch for more.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Z-Burbia

Z-Burbia Z-Burbia by Jake Bible
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first half of this book did nothing but annoy and frustrate me. It was almost like the writer was trying to re-create Michael Talbot. (And I never really drank that Kool-aid), with a bunch of wisecracks and humor. The situations often seemed forced and the "hero" gets saved in the nick of time. The idea of an HOA in the ZA? I just wasn't buying it. And the ending made me throw my hands up in frustration. I'd almost been convinced to try another in the series until then...but that just felt like the writer wanted to ensure he had a built in foil for the main protagonist in upcoming books.

Bullhorn/Wallstreet shouldn't have made it past the introduction. A bad guy that comes to your gates and threatens to kill everybody inside? And the people on the wall are armed? If he is that brash to be so stupid, he should not have survived this deep into the ZA, and if nobody on the wall would take the shot? After killing a group with men, women, and children earlier?

Overall, I say 2,5 stars, but round up to 3.

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