Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Book Review’

Sunday Book Review: Binti and America Again and READATHON announcement.

This week I read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor and America Again by Stephen Colbert. As always I say what I liked and didn’t like about each book.

Nebula and Hugo Winner, Binti is a coming of age novella that follows a 16 year-old-girl as she leaves home to go to the university and ends up a prisoner of an alien race, the Meduse. Ultimately though there was a lot I enjoyed in Binti, I felt the setup felt a little lopsided as Okorafor explored Binti’s culture in depth, while every other human was unimportant. Otherwise this is a great allegory novella with layers of meaning with an intelligent hero who finds non-violent solutions to her and humanities problems.  4 stars

America Again is Stephen Colbert being Stephen Colbert from the Colbert Report. He explores topics such as gun control, food, the justice system and others. If you liked the character, you’ll like it. I got tired of the sarcasm. 3 stars.


A regular feature to my blog, Elizabeth’s Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. Since I started adding videos, I started doing stars. I do say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week.

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Sunday Book Review: After Ours

This week I read and reviewed Cheryce Clayton’s After Ours, a collection of flash fiction stories that create an over-arcing stories. It’s a fun take on zombies and the Folk with a dark sense of humor. Tagline: Things are looking grim for the shop hobs.

I gave it a 4 star review for zombies, shop hobs, and a dark sense of humor. I received an ARC for this book free from the author, but that in no way changed my feeling about the book.


A regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. Since I started adding videos, I started doing stars. I do say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


Sunday Book Review: Welcome Despair


A regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


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Welcome Despair By Maquel A. Jacob

I purchased this book directly from Ms. Jacob at the Capitol Indie Book Fair. Both when I spoke to her and in her blurb she says, “this collection of shorts that lets you dip one foot into the shallow end of horror.”

I would agree with that assessment. These stories are suspenseful, but only a few delve deeply into horror.  Think Tales of the Crypt or Creepshow on the level of horror. However, in one topic, I would say Jacob definitely is fully into horror side of things. She pulls no punches is she explores rape and sexual sadism in every story. There are no happy endings.

FYI: This is not a spoiler, it literally says this on the back of the book.

Her use of language is quite straightforward. There was a few minor typos, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. (Sometimes I am not sure is a typo or just a style choice.) In my opinion, I’d have liked a little more poetry in the prose, but overall it was pretty solid.

The standout (and goriest) story of the five is Taken. Earth has been ravaged by aliens and a group of children are abducted by the sadistic enemy. One boy goes on a rescue attempt for his best friend only to discover he has been turned into a girl (why is unclear) who is being terrorized by the alien emperor.  The aliens are as cruel to each other as they are to the humans. And as I said there are no happy endings.

I would recommend this book for fans of Tales of the Crypt or Creepshow who aren’t’ afraid of reading sexual horror.

 

Sunday Book Review : Esquelle and Marie

As a regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


Apparently my reading this week was all about government secrets, espionage mixed with science fiction  with a kickbutt female title character.  That is where the similarities end. I enjoyed them both, but for different reasons.

51x-xe5tnjl-_ss300_Joe Dacy’s Esquelle is a book that Ihad been meaning to get to for awhile. An enjoyable techno-based thriller filled with smart characters, action and adventure.

While there is a lot of technology in the novel, the plot didn’t get bogged down. Dacy’s prose is detailed enough that you feel like its coming from a place of authority. It read very much like a Dan Brown’s book when the characters are discussing art or Tom Clancy discussing the ins and outs of submarines.

My only negative was the romantic subplot. I saw it coming when Dacy started mentioning what pajamas the two leads wore. It just seemed rather pointless. Or rather that “this is the spot where a sex scene goes.”  (But I admit, I find most romantic subplots pointless.)
Otherwise this is a awesome book.

People who enjoy books about computer technology or hard science fiction would love this novel.

511-11zherlMarie (Teumessian Trilogy Book 1)  by Ana Elise Meyer

Though it starts a little slow, once it gets going the action sequences are excellent and the pace quickens. And the climatic scenes is written wonderfully. This book is Jason Borne mixed with Kill Bill.

The title character Marie goes on a murdering rampage after the death of her husband and son, but she was so sympathetic (and kind to children) that I was cheering for her.

Marie is a great first book, but it has a few “first book” issues. As I said above it took awhile to get going. Since the first 100 pages was dedicated to the experiment to create super soldiers, I wished there was more science, but that was glossed over and instead we were shown how cold and calculating the scientists were. The book is well written and nothing pulled me out of the story, but the prose was blah specifically because the author used expositional dialogue. (Used in television and film this is dialogue  that no one would really say, but tells the audiences something. But books can use a little exposition) For example: There is a scene when the experiments are teenagers that is specifically to introduce their traits, but it was slow and plodding specifically because all the descriptions of each person was in the dialogue. “You are the X”  It didn’t need to be there.

However, if you like revenge books with secret government programs check out Marie.

 

Sunday Book Review: Doomed and Ariel

As a regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


This week the two books I read couldn’t be more different. My husband is on a Chuck Palahnuik kick right now, and the second book I picked up on a recommendation to relax my brain.


Doomed by Chuck Palahnuik Published by Anchor House, July 2014

51g4k83vm2bl-_sx323_bo1204203200_What in the Hell did I just read? Maybe it’s horror? Maybe its satire? On the book, a reviewer from the Guardian calls it a morality tale.  When I finished it, my husband asked if the book was good. I answered it was strange.

I can’t say whether it was good or bad. I will say, I feel like I should do a writing exercise and analyze Palahnuik’s style. The Basic Premise: A gritty and dark telling of God versus the Devil told via the experiences of the chosen one: Madison Spencer.

What did I like? The novel follows a dead girl named Madison through Palahnuiks slick, visceral sometimes shockingly funny storytelling style. Palahnuik’s descriptions of her life before death, her parents and no religion except that of the celebrity culture are filled with satire.

What didn’t I like? The novel follows a dead girl named Madison through Palahnuik’s slick, visceral sometimes shockingly funny storytelling style. Madison doesn’t really have her own voice she is speaking with Palahnuik’s voice. She would alternatively used vile descriptors or kiddy phrases. But so we don’t forget that she is actually a thirteen year old girl, she repeats “Yes, I know X word.”

If you want to read something different or just want a morality tale with a razor’s edge of wit than this book is for you.


514vfhamfol-_sx331_bo1204203200_Ariel by Fia Essen, 2015

I am not big into “chick-lit”, but Fia Essen’s books are always a cool refreshing glass of water on a hot day.

Ariel, the title character, broke up with her boyfriend and is struggling financially. I enjoyed the fact that the romance is the subplot while the rest of Ariel’s life: work, family, friends are actually the main plot. There is a bit of mysterious element to Ariel which I enjoyed.  With the help of the Muse Agency, she is on a path of self discovery and the ability to love again. But what is the Muse Agency? Why are they so secretive? How do they know so much?

I described Essen’s first book Change of Pace as a beach read, Ariel is also a beach read, but now there is more confidence and strength in Essen’s prose. “There had been a time when I could sprint across rough terrain in stilettos without faltering, but those days were long gone. Few occasions now called for fancy footwear. I was out of practice and my toes were wildly objecting to being squished into such cruelly narrow vessels.”

Essen, Fia (2015-03-30). Ariel (p. 24). Summer Solstice. Kindle Edition.

So if you are looking for a fun beach read, give Ariel a shot.

Update: I believe Change of Pace might be out of print. I looked for it on Amazon for the link and it is no longer listed. 


Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think!

Sunday Book Review: Famished, The Farm & The Dragon Tax

While I have posted reviews in the past as I have read books, I am going to start posting reviews of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday as a regular feature to my blog.  While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but I do mention if I received a book for free. I only read books in hardcopy.

51kxfeqvtzl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Famished: The Farm

(Adult Horror)

Great story. I enjoyed the pull between the characters. There is the ghoul who is just waking up to who/what he is. And the friction between the ghouls who live the old ways and the ghouls who want something more. There was a bit of misdirection in the plot and the ending was an action-packed blood bath.

My only negative comment is that it followed many vampire narratives that I have read before, so once the ending started I wasn’t surprised. Still it was a great fast-paced read.

If you like books where monsters take center stage with no human interpreter, this is the book for you!

(This book was given to me for free in exchange of an honest review.)

 

The Dragon Tax 

511ionaod9l-_sx311_bo1204203200_(New Adult Fantasy)
This novella is a quick  read in an epic fantasy setting. If you like Robert Bevan or Peter Beagle, you will like Madison Keller’s work.

Without spoilers, the relationship between Sybil the dragon slayer (tax collector), Riastel the dragon, and the king who wants to tax the dragon plays out at the center of this novel. There is plenty of danger and fun surprises. There is a bit of tounge in cheek attitude to the writing which adds to the light tone.

My only negative comment is why do good guys say things like “I’d rather die…” to bad guys.   I saw the set up and shook my head with the thought “DON’T SAY THAT!” But the book picked up directly afterwards and the climax was awesome.

Great fantasy romp!

(This book was also given to me for free in exchange of an honest review.)

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