8.27.2014

Review: Defenders


Defenders
Defenders by Will McIntosh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I really enjoyed this one. This is the third book by Will McIntosh that I've read and he's quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. I'm the one who always wondered what the hell the Republic was going to do with all those clones should they win. The humans in Battlestar Galactica got far more than they bargained for when they created the Cylons. Jurassic Park was less exciting and fun for humans once the exhibits sought to dine on the visitors. The scientists in the show Manhattan are racing Heisenberg in creation of an atomic weapon in hopes of ending war but having no idea of the actual consequences & impact on humanity it will make long after they're gone. I love stories where humans set out to create something and are faced with realizing that they never had control of their creations to begin with and now have to devise a way to deal with the consequences or more simply, survive them. Defenders was a great story that delved deeply into that and turned on its head the idea of friend, ally, foe and enemy. In the resolution none are wholly good or evil and there's a good measure of fear and distrust held by Luyten and human. I'd recommend this to fans of such scifi stories and fans of McIntosh. I'll surely read his next offering.



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8.21.2014

Review: Books Can Be Deceiving


Books Can Be Deceiving
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I was in the mood to read a quickish cozy mystery and this one fit the bill. As always the cover and setting really pulled me in and made me want to read it. A librarian turns out to be the sleuth and all goes along fairly predicitably in order to solve the murder. The town here is populated with familiar standards and a delightful "crafternoon" group that meet and chat over their group book, knit and if they're lucky, have a bowl of some of the best chowder in town. The murder victim was a real piece of work and I admit that I didn't find myself so sad to see him go but the why of his murder was intriguing. Lindsey, the librarian puts the pieces together well enough but there are a few things she doesn't do which made me question her researcher skills. I can only suppose that her doing them would have solved the murder too soon and would have deprived us of her perilous audience with the murder to have the confession.

The back of the book has a two recipes referenced in the book (Sully's Hot Chocolate & Mary's Clam Chowder) both of which I want to make as they're described as being all kinds of delish in the story. Also there's a knitting pattern for the hat Leslie was working on for her father during the Crafternoons. All in all, this delivered as a cozy mystery, I'm glad that I picked this one up at the library and I'll read the next in the series.



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8.20.2014

Review: Day 21


Day 21
Day 21 by Kass Morgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This turned from a two star into a three star read for me in the last 20% and basically that's because of the reveal of the the connection between Wells, Bellamy and Octavia. The new information on Clarke's parents was a good thread, as was Kendall's storyline. Wells continues to be my favorite character and while I still have very little like for Bellamy he seemed somewhat more tolerable in this book than the first. Clarke remains a take or leave for me but as this book closed, I felt more fine with her than not. And then there's Glass. She really brought down a lot of the story for me, once again and Luke didn't help at all. I do understand that they're to give a perspective of what's happening on the Ark but they're not strong enough characters individually nor together to carry the thread in a compelling way. I was annoyed every time a Glass chapter popped up. And her secret nor its reveal did a thing to court me to her side. I felt true disappointment that she wasn't one of the people gunned down trying to get from Walden to Phoenix. Sadly, with the way the story ends, I'm fairly sure she'll be around in the next book and I have very low confidence and expectation that being reunited with BFF Wells is going to help her as a character. That's too much heavy lifting, even for Wells.

There's still a bit too much romantic angst given the situation but somehow, I was able to read through it with much less eye-rolling. I still don't care who is with whom and don't see anything deep with any of the romantic relationships being stitched together. I've no idea how long the series is to be but this is only day 21. I'm glad that I read this and likely will continue to follow the story and continue to lament that in the television version, Wells is dead.

I received a copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.



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8.12.2014

Review: The 100


The 100
The 100 by Kass Morgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I came to reading this one because I had watched the show. Truth be told, I was only interested in the book because I'd heard that Wells didn't suffer the same fate as on the show. He'd been the character I'd found most interesting and my interest in the show waned significantly with his absence. So, I was all in to follow his character and find out more about him and his relationship with Clarke. I can still take or leave Clarke so I suppose that's a point in her character's favor. Bellamy still isn't a favorite for me and no his love for his sister Octavia doesn't pull at my heartstrings. I was initially interested in Glass but her angst was so caught up in Luke who had no personality to speak of that I eventually saw no real point or depth to her thread of the story. I suppose it was to give perspective to what life was like on the Ark but I think it could have been far better.

Overall, I'm glad I read this as I did get what I was looking for: more Wells. He's shown to be by no means perfect and can also be an insufferable idiot teenager but he also has moments of depth that balance him out. There's lots of something that's supposed to be romantic angst here but I don't care enough about or root hard enough for Clarke as an individual to pull for either guy. The story of survival should really be the most important thing going here but it is weighed down on by the horny teen angst. Not a bad story and it's very simply told making it a quick read (this was my treadmill book). I'll read the next as Wells lives and that I care about.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.






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8.10.2014

Review: Salvage


Salvage
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



4.5 stars. This was a great read and so much happened that I don't have the time to put it all down here. I will say that I do wish there were more science fiction stories like this in general and in YA & NA in particular. This very much reminded me in tone of A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. These are the sorts of standalone books that make me wish they had a sequel because the world is so well rendered and the characters well done.

I enjoyed Ava's evolution from her hiding her ability to perform fixes to her banishment and basically being reborn on earth. She had to learn to walk, read, fly a ship and take care of another in her charge after tragedy. And that wasn't even the totality of her journey. She had to find her Aunt Soraya in Mumbai and learn the truth of how she ultimately came to be a part of the community on the Parastrata and what that means for the life she can choose now. I found it all satisfying a read and understood where she was coming from most of the time. I understood her attraction to both Luck and Rushil and understood her decisions regarding them at the end. It didn't feel like there was a love triangle to me and as I loathe those, I'm calling this exceptionally well done. I wanted so much more from Ava but had to remind myself that considering where she'd come from, she was on schedule and probably ahead on exercising her own agency and embracing it. I wished to know more about Soraya and also the camp where the cast away boys from the merchant ships were living. It made me wonder about the government and what sorts of regulations there are with the merchant ships who seem to have human rights infractions across both sexes. This book says so much about different societies, ethics in anthropological research, natural disasters, pollution, population over-crowding, financial stratification in society, personal rights versus group advancement and so much more. It was worth every single page & I could've gone 200 pages more here alone.

If the writer decides to write another book in this verse, I'll be thrilled to read it. Well done.



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