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Zarah

St. louis, Mo
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-31-18

nice hard boiled detective

I quite enjoyed this. It was a little bit futuristic noir, a little bit Maze Runner. Hell, there might even have been a little Elijah Baley in Dhata. It was a good mix. Yes, Dhata was just a little too perfect—a little too tough, with too many connections in all the wrong places to somehow be one of the few clean cops left around. But I liked him and the book all the same. The writing was sharp (though occasionally oddly formal), the mystery progressed at a nice pace, and the persecution of Synths could easily be read as an allegory. I look forward to reading more about him. And Tucker McDougall did a marvelous job with the narration.

On a side note, it's worth knowing that there is a glossary at the end of the Kindle edition that I think may be missing in the Audible version, which is a shame. I needed it for some of the slang.

Note: I received an audible credit for this book from the author. However, I chose to listen and review it.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-18

ok

I finished this days ago and forgot to write the review. If I'm honest, that tells you about how much impact it made on me. It wasn't bad, so much as just flat. I never bought into Kadrienne's reasons for refusing a relationship and frankly thought the "you should forgive your abusive parent" plotline gag-worthy. Because, I don't honestly think people who have hurt you repeatedly deserve to be given a chance to do it again, just because they suddenly need you. Lori Prince (the narrator) made the experience worth while though.

Note: received a cope for the purpose of review. However, I chose to listen to it and write a review.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-22-18

ok

I have really mixed feeling about this book. The writing is fine, as is the narration, but the story seemed to go off the rails at some point and I still can't quite finger it's location on the genre spectrum. There is a mystery to be solved by the characters (the reader knows who done it), but there is too much focus on relationships and sex to be a mystery novel. There is focus on a relationship, but not the right sort of focus to be a romance. There is erotica-level sex (in fact, the last 1/4 or so of the book is basically just sex), but it's clearly not an erotic novel. In the end, I'm not sure what it is. All the disparate pieces just don't fit together quite right. The graphic sex especially seemed out of place. And I say that as someone who loves a good, dirty erotica.

Similarly, this is a "Vinnie Briggs" novel, but Vinnie isn't the main character. In fact, he's in a coma for most of the book. (Though I did find him by far the most endearing character.)

Lastly, some aspects of the book simply made me uncomfortable. Some of the language grated. I know bad guy characters can be expected to use derogatory language. But I didn't enjoy having it scrape against my backbone, thus it detracted from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. There are gay characters and they're represented well. But I also felt that there was a certain discomfort with them. It was in some of the subtleties of language and the way they themselves are used by straight characters. Lastly, Ginny has a sexual obsession that she clearly coerces others into participating in. If she was a male character, treating female characters as she does Dan and Ben there would be outrage. As it was, I hated her throughout the whole book.

In the end, I didn't dislike the book. But I think I'd only continue the series if I found the next book free. So, I liked it enough to read, but not enough to allocate funds for it. That makes it a fairly middle of the road read.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook. But I chose to listen and review it.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-07-18

entertaining enough

Crane

Pretty good. I finished the book still confused about some of the hows and whys of both the Horseman and the ghosts' reenactments, it's a bit hand-wavy, but I enjoyed my time with the characters (Ireland more than Ichabod). The loves are both a tad too insta-love for me, but there were hints that there might be a reason for this (some draw) that will be revealed in future books, so I'll forgive it. The dialogue and writing were witty and the narrator did a nice job with them. I liked her voice for the modern characters a lot more than the historic ones, but I think some of the reason might have been because they were written to be more formal (fewer contractions and such). All in all, enjoyable and I look forward to more.

Raven

While not bad, I didn't enjoy this one anywhere near as much as the first. It picked up directly after the end of book one, but I generally felt like the characters randomly went to meet some guy, who randomly had a tragedy befall him, and they all randomly went about trying to save the day. I actually wondered if I'd missed a chapter or two in there at some point, because it seemed to jump about.

It was still funny and the characters dropped lots of witty one-liners and I liked the pop culture references. Further, I listened to the Audio version and the narrator did a nice job. So, again, not bad, but a disappointment after book one.

Steam

I wouldn't go so far as to say this is bad, but I do feel like the series has run farther and farther off the tracks with each book. At the end of each subsequent book, I've been left with more questions than at the end of the previous one. As always, I thought Rourke's writing was easy to read (or listen to in my case, since I had the audio) and all the sarcasm and pop culture references are funny. But I never felt connected to this story. Why, the crew went along with Well's plan, for example, was a nagging question. Why introduce characters that were never more than props, was another. And I also thought that pulling the legends of the Horseman and Poe away from the mystical and giving them human(ish) origins diminished them. Basically, while finely written I just didn't like it very much.

All in all, I liked the books less and less as the series went on, but I started out liking it enough to never quite to dislike. The narrator, Karen Krause, did a good job with all of it though.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook, but I chose to listen and review it.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-18

pretty good

This had many of the elements of contemporary YA literature that I dislike: the pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty, the boy who solves her problems and gives her her confidence back, all the girls outside the main character's circle were horrible, etc. (Well, so was her best friend. That girl should have taken long walk off a very short pier. She was horrible, but forgiven without even apologizing and I was angered by it more than the other mean girls.)

Despite having plenty of elements I disliked, it was also smart and witty, had a clean narrative voice and relatable high school experience. All of which I enjoyed. Additionally, Ashley Klanac did a good job with the audiobook narration. So, end the end I enjoyed listening to The Fie Art of Keeping Quiet, even if I sneered at certain bits of it.

Note: I won a copy of this, but I chose to read and review it.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-12-18

narration good, but story didn't work for me.

Soooo, I wasn't all that fond of this. The fact that the narrator, Lori Prince, did a good job with the narration meant I made it through, but the story left me pretty cold. It's basically a meet cute and some sex scenes. There's some flirting and an attempt to give the story some depth by looking at home the pretty blond is so much more than her appearance would suggest, but since the romance is so rushed none of it really works.

My main issue was elsewhere though. I had some major problems with Kelsey's character. The story begins when her male fiancée cancels the wedding at the last minute and she comes into Dre's flower shop to cancel the flower order and breaks down. Dre offers her some friendly support. Kelsey is obviously presented as straight. Toward the end of the book, she's still referred to as straight. But the reader is never given even a moment in which she considers her identity or sexuality before she aggressively pursues a lesbian relationship. None. If someone goes from identifying as straight to something else, bi-sexual, lesbian, whatever, I would expect there to be at least a moment of, "Oh, I guess I'm not as straight as I thought."

This was al compounded by the fact that Kelsey repeatedly went on about how she'd always wanted to try this or do that. But the things she wanted to experience were basically Dre's life, lesbian lives. It made her feel like she was just playing dress of with Dre's identity, a lesbian identity. I expected it would be the sort of thing she'd later chortle about with her suburban mommy-friends, "That time when I was young and adventurous and dated a woman." It didn't feel serious or real.

All in all, the writing was ok and the narration was good, but the story was uncomfortable at best.

Note: I received a free copy of this audio book, but I chose to listen and review it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-18

still enjoying the series

Again, I enjoyed my time with Ms. Sunshine Walkingstick. This isn't a book of fast paced action, but more of slow developments and strength of character. I happen to enjoy that, but if you're looking for shootouts and car chases, or dramatic clashes of humans versus monster, you'll be disappointed.

What I like most is Sunshines voice. She's...Appalachian I suppose is what I'd call it. In the first book I struggled a bit with it, but here I quite enjoyed it. Both the way Roman wrote it and the way Winder voiced it. Maybe it just took getting used to.

While I understood Sunshine had trust issues, I eventually became confused about why she was so unable to recognize Riley's intentions toward her. He's certainly not hiding his feelings. The whole this is starting to stress the bounds of credibility. Similarly, considering the events at the end of the book, I'd have expected to see a bit more stress on his part.

All in all, however, I very much enjoyed this and am looking forward to book three.

Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. But I chose to listen and review it.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-18

still enjoying the series

I think maybe this series is just getting better, though it's getting to the point that reviewing each individual book becomes difficult. After all, the voice, characters, world, etc is all the same. I liked it in the past two books and I still like it here. This particular mystery and monster didn't seem quite as important as some of the past ones, maybe because it's a middle book.

I'm still finding Sunshines resistance to her relationship with Riley a bit too much to believe. But I appreciate that the reader sees Riley's frustration with this.

All in all, I'm still all in for Sunshine Walkingstick and look forward to future books and I'm still enjoying Winder's rendition of the books too.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-17

I liked it more than I expected

This is one of those books I had to look at in my Audible account and wonder how I ended up with it. I mean, I know I won it through a Dab of Darkness blog giveaway. But what was I thinking to even enter? I have almost debilitating stage fright. The thought of becoming an actor is tantamount to hell for me. So, how did I end up listening to the story of a 50-year-old veteran actor's move to Los Angelous to pursue his acting career? Honestly, I'm not even sure.

But surprisingly enough, I found it interesting. Interesting in a detached, 'I have NO INTEREST in doing that' sort of way. But interesting all the same; kind of a 'how the other half lives' experience. The other half being people who don't pee themselves at the thought of standing in front of a crowd.

Theis has a self-deprecating humor that I appreciated and I found myself invested in his journey. I also found myself shocked at how many people he knows. At one point he had a chapter dedicated to how many people took him out to lunch during his 3 months in LA. I'm not being facetious when I say, I literally don't think I even know that many people!

Not only am I not interested in acting. Prior to listening to this, I'd of told you I'm not remotely interested in LA. Big cities? No thank you. But all the history was fun. Again Theis made it so.

All in all, you might not be surprised to find that I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Even my hesitancy to listen to an audiobook narrated by the author himself proved unfounded. Theis spoke a bit too fast for my liking, especially in the beginning (which I listened to at .75 speed, which I hate doing), but it eventually slowed down and I enjoyed his banter-like narration. Invading Nirvana was a surprise win for me.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-22-17

fun

Another fun little visit with Royce and Hadrian.

The narrator did a good job, but I thought he sounded too old for the characters.

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