Transfer of Power (Mitch Rapp #1) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Transfer of Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #1
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 458
Words: 168K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.com

Rapp is introduced while he is performing a covert operation in Iran and he discovers a possible terrorist attack planned for the nation’s capital to happen in the near future. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Anna Reilly is starting her first day as a White House correspondent for NBC. It also happens to be the day where the terrorist, using a secret entrance, takes over the White House and holds it hostage. The president, who barely escaped the hostage situation, remains trapped in the unfinished bomb shelter. With the vice president using this opportunity as commander in chief to glorify his political career by being lenient towards the terrorist demands, Rapp must find a way to fight the terrorists from the inside of the White House. It is here where he saves Anna Reilly from being raped by one of the terrorists and their relationship, which will be seen throughout the later books, begins.

Several Navy SEALs sneak into the White House while Rapp eliminates the terrorists, and saves the hostages and the president. The leader of the terrorist group manages to escape the White House while detonating his strategically placed explosives. He is later found in South America only to be killed by Rapp

My Thoughts:

This was a thoroughly enjoyable macho man book without the macho-ness dragging along a boatload of jerkitis. I hate when testosterone turns to stupidity. That was my main issue with the Scott Harvath series (which I touched on in the Currently Reading & Quote post last week). I did go into this a bit gingerly because of that. Even 4 years later Harvath sticks in my mind as an icon of douchebaggery. Thankfully, Mitch Rapp doesn’t seem to be that way. While he’s not a smooth tongued political serpent, he doesn’t go out of his way to be a jerk either.

I am a little concerned with the romance angle. Most Operators aren’t the kind of people who can focus and do what needs to be done AND have a perfectly balanced family life. While I’m rooting for Rapp and Reilly to work out I’m not letting it become a big thing in my mind. That way if it doesn’t work out or she dies or becomes a terrorist or WAS a terrorist the entire time, I won’t be torn up about it.

I’m also currently reading the Delta Force novels by Dalton Fury and that has given me a lot of background into certain terms and processes used by teams like Delta, that while not necessary to completely understand here, certainly make for a fuller reading. In the final assault on the White House Flynn talks about small helicopters loaded up with 4 Delta members on the skids. It’s a 2 sentence description that by itself you just kind of read over. But Dalton references the practice in much fuller detail in his books and so I was able to transpose the knowledge from that to this. Not a big thing but reading books like these are all about the experience and that made for a fuller experience. I’m happy about that.

One word of warning. There is a scene where Anna is going to be raped by one of the terrorists. She isn’t because Rapp steps in. However, if reading about attempted rape is something that bothers you, you should be aware of that. I’m not a fan of reading about that situation and should it be used again I’ll have to think hard about the series. But it made sense for the situation (ie, it wasn’t thrown in as titillation), wasn’t graphic and in the end, doesn’t happen because a good man puts a stop to it.

The title refers to the Transfer of Power from an incapacitated President to the Vice President. Said VP is a real scumsucking politician being advised by an even worse scumsucking politician and they both get their just desserts by the end of the book. Too bad real life can’t follow certain parts of this book.

I’ve got 17 more Mitch Rapp books to read by Flynn. Flynn died and another author stepped in at book 13 or so, so we’ll see how the series goes. Sometimes a series is long because it is good and sometimes it is long because it is pablum for an undiscerning audience. I am pulling for the Good option here!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Currently Reading: Gulag Archipelago Vol. II

I have been reading this for the past 2 weeks. Yes, you heard me right, 2 weeks. I’ve cheated a little and started a couple of other books (hence the other Currently Reading Posts) but I really want this done.

I’ve been able to judge what is coming up for February a little better and things are looking slightly brighter than I originally thought. Which makes reading this just a tiny bit easier. Not much, mind you. but every tiny bit helps! So while February is going to be slightly lighter in terms of books read, I don’t think it will be in the single digits like I was fearing.

Onward, Comrades, for the Bookerland!

PSA: #WordPress – Whoring Out the Free Blogs

Yep, it’s official. Time to bend over Free WordPress Users, Big Daddy Pimp has shown up. We all know that the free blogs have ads on them but if you have an ad blocker you don’t notice. Big Daddy has decided that it’s time to take things up another notch however. Introducing, Native Sponsored Posts!

Yep, ADS are now going to full on posts inserted into our free blogs. If you read the above article closely, you see that right now it is just for WP’s use but they promise that eventually these sponsored posts will be available for use to others. So get ready to be gang raped by proxy.

And they lie their asses off about it on the official forums: My Website has been taken over/hacked by an ad. In particular, please note Quote ##3610590 by JerrySarcastic. He states that “As long as one post is published on the site, this sponsored post is not shown.” That is a complete lie and Jerry is an official staff member on the official WordPress.com forums.

I can testify that I have seen these native sponsored posts on extremely active, but free, sites. I’ve seen them at BookWyrmReads and EarnestlyEccentric. Unfortunately, I did NOT take a screen shot. Thankfully, and I have permission from Alex to use his address, I did catch a screen shot of what they look like at AlexonFilm.com. Alex, while using a dotcom address, is using a free wordpress.com plan.

The reason I’ve included this screenshot is because these “posts” are a moving target. They don’t stay there. They’re inserted and then randomly disappear. So you can go visit Alex’s site and chances are you’ll never see that post at all. I want a record because if anyone brings up the issue on the forums I fully expect Jerry and his ilk to backpedal and lie again.

I’ve deliberately used inflammatory language throughout this post. That is because I’ve only got words to use. Make no mistake, this isn’t some Call to Action, or to Boycott WordPress.com or to leave or to take ANY action at all. The truth of the matter is, there isn’t anywhere else you can go for free (and remember, if you’re not paying for it, you are the product). Over the last year WP.com has been actively and I might say, hostilely, doing everything they can to monetize their services and make using the free option as painful as possible. What this post is is a call to awareness. You need to know what is going on on your own blog and then make the choice what you’re going to do about it, even if that choice is to do nothing, like me.

I have decided to do nothing for now. But being aware of this, I’ve decided where my Rubicon is. If WordPress starts inserting posts sponsored anyone other than WP.com then I’ll have to leave the free plan. Whether I leave WP or just upgrade to the personal plan (ie, dotcom) I have not decided yet.

In closing, please give this a minutes thought and at least decide if this is an issue or not for you.

[Manga Monday] Yotsuba&! Vol. 8 ★★★★★


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Yotsuba&! Vol. 8
Series: Yotsuba&! #8
Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 208
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

Chapter List:

Yotsuba & Opposites

Yotsuba & the Restaurant

Yotsuba & the Cultural Festival

Yotsuba & the Typhoon

Yotsuba & Watching the House

Yotsuba & the Festival

Yotsuba & Acorns

My Thoughts:

I read this sunday. I was feeling tired, stressed out and sick (probably from stressing out) and reading this was like taking a huge horse tranquilizer. By the end of the volume I was totally chill. I had been debating about whether I wanted to read this feeling the way I was but am I glad I did.

The picture I included this time was from the Festival Chapter. Yotsuba is helping pull a shrine and they take a break so she and her dad and some others are looking at the other portable shrines when Yotsuba sees the sumo wrestler. I remember laughing my head off the first time I saw this page and man, it hasn’t stopped being funny to me. The manga-ka has totally caught that innocent yet bold spirit of being a 5 year old.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

#6Degrees – Hamnet to …..

This month we are starting with Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Apparently, it was the winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Good for it :-/


I am getting fething sick of these starting books. The creators seem to be under the impression that everyone who does this is a woman. Hey Jackasses, men blog too! So feth this book and feth this author.



This book, the Younger Gods, pretty much got the same reaction from me. It was the last book, that I’m aware of, that Eddings wrote and it was complete trash. Just UGH. I’d give it an old “frak” though instead of a “feth”.


Not everything by Eddings was trash. The Diamond Throne, book one of the Elenium, was a favorite of mine in my teens and 20’s. I’m actually planning on re-reading it this year to see how it has held up. The main character Sparhawk, is a middle aged, tired and worn out knight. But he does his duty.


Another man who is also a tired knight is (Ben) Kenobi. He’s gone through too much to stay General Kenobi and becomes crazy Old Ben. He has to have faith that the next Generation will be able to save them all and simply wait. Brutal.


Sometimes the next generation is even worse. In The Dark Glory War, the book ends with everyone realizing that the current crop of heroes are going to be the next generation of villains. How’s THAT for a kick in the pants?


For me, as an American citizen, the ultimate kick in the pants would be if we were ever to be nuked. This happens in Dale Brown’s Act of War. Thankfully, the rest of the book was “flufferific”. Men of firm resolve and action springing forward to defend their country. And Death to the Commie’s and Commie Pinko’s!


Despite his name, Daniel Pinkwater is no Commie Pinko! In fact, Pinkwater seems the kind of author who would be banned, hounded and generally censored by our new lizard overlords. Thankfully, with his 5 Novels already published, he’s pretty safe.

And that is how you go from Hamnet to 5 Novels.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month. Personally, I’m going to do one more and if it’s another “chick” book, I’ll be done with this meme. This used to be fun but now I’m just annoyed and this blogging gig isn’t paying me nearly enough to put up with being annoyed.

Wicked Bronze Ambition (Garrett, PI #14) ★★☆☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Wicked Bronze Ambition
Series: Garrett, PI #14
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 438
Words: 127K



Synopsis:

From Kobo.com

Garrett is a human detective in the fantastical city of TunFaire. And now he’s getting tangled up in the worst sort of laws…

In-laws.

Garrett is set to stow his wandering heart with his fiancée, Strafa Algarda. But for Garrett, even true love comes with its share of headaches—namely, the Algarda family.

Strafa’s family needs Garrett’s unique skills in the worst way. Rumors are spreading that someone is organizing a Tournament of Swords—a brutal contest that magically compels the children of sorcerers to battle until only one is left alive. The winner will absorb the power from those he has killed and thus become a demigod.

Strafa and her family want to protect her daughter, Kevans, from being forced to take part in the lethal contest…and they’ve asked Garrett to find out who is organizing the tournament and nip it in the bud. The only problem is that finding the culprit is most likely impossible. But the Algardas are used to getting what they want….

My Thoughts:

This is the final Garrett PI book and I have to admit, it wasn’t good. Garrett’s new almost-wife (they’re going to be married in a week or so) is killed right from the get-go and then is returned/resurrected/whatevered right at the end. I really disliked her being killed, but to have her return was even worse.

Then Garrett is about the stupidest I’ve ever seen him in the series. Cook uses the old “I’m in shock, I’m stressed, I’m excuse, excuse, excuse” but it was total caca. He wrote Garrett dumb and then shut the Deadman out of the picture to make this last longer. Pile on that many other characters DO seem to know what is going on but are not telling Garrett because of “you have to figure it out on your own” caca and you had a LOT of caca in this book.

Everything in this book felt like a whimper instead of bang. A series shouldn’t end like that. Bleh.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Currently Reading & Quote: Transfer of Power

How they felt back at Langley would be a different matter, entirely. Rapp had known this before he stepped out of the stash room with Adams some seventy minutes ago, but that was just tough shit. There were too many people sticking their fingers in the pie. This thing needed to be streamlined, and someone needed to take action. Sitting around and playing cautious was not in Rapp’s nature, especially where Aziz was concerned. Rapp knew whom he was dealing with, he knew what Aziz was up to, and if nobody else could figure it out, to hell with them. This was not one of those moments in life where disagreement was acceptable. This wasn’t a policy decision where it was difficult to quantify the benefits of one course over the other. This was black and white. Rapp knew what had to be done, and everyone else could kiss his ass if they weren’t on board.
~Page 335

Now that is what I’m talking about! I am going to enjoy this character.

My last literary encounter with a Secret Service’y agent (I’m ignoring the Delta Force series for this post) was the Scott Harvath series by Brad Thor. I dnf’d the 4th book, Blowback, because Harvath was an insufferable, arrogant asshat. While Rapp has that potential, so far he’s not been a jerk even once. He’s been competent and qualified and not afraid to stand up to political idiots. He’s the kind of character that makes me want to stand up and go “Rah, rah, rah”.

Richard II ★★★✬☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Richard II
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play
Pages: 99
Words: 27K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

The play spans only the last two years of Richard’s life, from 1398 to 1400. It begins with King Richard sitting majestically on his throne in full state, having been requested to arbitrate a dispute between Thomas Mowbray and Richard’s cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, later Henry IV, who has accused Mowbray of squandering money given to him by Richard for the king’s soldiers and of murdering Bolingbroke’s uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Bolingbroke’s father, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, meanwhile, believes it was Richard himself who was responsible for his brother’s murder. After several attempts to calm both men, Richard acquiesces and it is determined that the matter be resolved in the established method of trial by battle between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, despite the objections of Gaunt.

The tournament scene is very formal with a long, ceremonial introduction, but as the combatants are about to fight, Richard interrupts and sentences both to banishment from England. Bolingbroke is originally sentenced to ten years’ banishment, but Richard reduces this to six years upon seeing John of Gaunt’s grieving face, while Mowbray is banished permanently. The king’s decision can be seen as the first mistake in a series leading eventually to his overthrow and death, since it is an error which highlights many of his character flaws, displaying as it does indecisiveness (in terms of whether to allow the duel to go ahead), abruptness (Richard waits until the last possible moment to cancel the duel), and arbitrariness (there is no apparent reason why Bolingbroke should be allowed to return and Mowbray not). In addition, the decision fails to dispel the suspicions surrounding Richard’s involvement in the death of the Duke of Gloucester – in fact, by handling the situation so high-handedly and offering no coherent explanation for his reasoning, Richard only manages to appear more guilty. Mowbray predicts that the king will sooner or later fall at the hands of Bolingbroke.

John of Gaunt dies and Richard II seizes all of his land and money. This angers the nobility, who accuse Richard of wasting England’s money, of taking Gaunt’s money (belonging by rights to his son, Bolingbroke) to fund war in Ireland, of taxing the commoners, and of fining the nobles for crimes committed by their ancestors. They then help Bolingbroke to return secretly to England, with a plan to overthrow Richard II. There remain, however, subjects who continue to be faithful to the king, among them Bushy, Bagot, Green and the Duke of Aumerle (son of the Duke of York), cousin of both Richard and Bolingbroke. When King Richard leaves England to attend to the war in Ireland, Bolingbroke seizes the opportunity to assemble an army and invades the north coast of England. Executing both Bushy and Green, Bolingbroke wins over the Duke of York, whom Richard has left in charge of his government in his absence.

Upon Richard’s return, Bolingbroke not only reclaims his lands but lays claim to the very throne. Crowning himself King Henry IV, he has Richard taken prisoner to the castle of Pomfret. Aumerle and others plan a rebellion against the new king, but York discovers his son’s treachery and reveals it to Henry, who spares Aumerle as a result of the intercession of the Duchess of York while executing the other conspirators. After interpreting King Henry’s “living fear” as a reference to the still-living Richard, an ambitious nobleman (Exton) goes to the prison and murders him. King Henry repudiates the murderer and vows to journey to Jerusalem to cleanse himself of his part in Richard’s death.

My Thoughts:

Another good “history” play. I do wonder how close to actual history they hew or if Shakespeare and these plays were the “bastard histories” of yesteryear like the “historical movies” of today are. But not being a history buff nor ever planning on becoming one, I don’t care enough for it to really matter.

And I don’t have anything to say here. I enjoyed this and that was that. * dusts hands off *

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Project X (Classified and Top Ultra Mega Totally Secret) – An Introduction

Blogging Projects are fun. They give you an idea, something to work with and you run with them. Recently, ThemisAthena moved over to her new site and introduced 2 new projects and the Alphabet of Likes & Dislikes sounded interesting. Then she did her second day of the letter “B” and I realized “Hey, this seems like a lot of fun and it’s something I can do slowly over the year.” Thus, in the Fires of Inspiration, Project X was born!

Yes, Bookstooge is now Bionic! And with my bionic powers I will be bionically writing 26 posts about my Likes and Dislikes taken directly from the bionic alphabet. AMAZING! Tune in next month, bionically, for our shows exciting, astounding and completely awesome bionic first episode! Don’t miss it! (or you’ll owe me 6 million dollars)