A Side Project

side project

Back in April I ran across this post about 100 Books. I’ve finally started working on my own version, which I’ve divided into books I hate and books I love. I’ll be linking each title to it’s review here on wordpress.  As such, I’ll be having to create whole new posts for about half the books as they were simply in my monthly posts from years ago.

What this means is that those of you who are subscribed to get an email every time I put up a new post will be getting a small flood of emails over the next few weeks. You might have experienced it already this past weekend.  Thankfully, this still advances my overall Site Update plans, so I don’t feel this is taking away from that project. That is already going slow enough, sigh.

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Just wanted to give you all the heads up. Once the Project is done, I plan on making the list one of the static pages here on WP, along with “About”, “Star Ratings” and “Review Policy”.

 

Carry on.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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Critical Failures (Caverns & Creatures #1) ★★☆☆☆

criticalfailures (Custom)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: Critical Failures
Series: Caverns & Creatures #1
Author: Robert Bevan
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 284
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A group of RPG gamers have put an ad out to a Cavern Master, as none of them want to do the hard work. A man shows up at the Chicken Shack, in cape and with all the other accoutrements a Cavern Master could need.

These gamers are jackasses. So they hassle the guy for wearing a cape and take their game playing very casually. This enrages the Cavern Master and has each of the players roll his special dice. This transports them into the game as their characters. The Cavern Master is interrupted by the sister of one of the players and her boyfriend. They too are transported into the game.

Shit happens and the gang gets separated, some in jail, some in the forest, more hijinks, mixups, etc. They all eventually get together, find out that the Cavern Master has done this to other people and trick him into a situation where he has to release them or die. Unfortunately for them, he dies and they’re stuck in the game world with no way to get out.

The end.

 

My Thoughts:

Swords and Spectres has been reviewing this series and I thought I’d try it. He did warn me about the profanity and folks, he was NOT kidding. These are 20 something losers with the accompanying attitude. Self-absorbed, filthy mouthed, caring about no one or anything but themselves. I was actually rather glad that they got theirs by being pushed into the game. Unfortunately, they are just as horrible in game as they are out of the game.

The humor was right up my alley and I kept snorting and laughing out loud but honestly, it was wicked crass and relied on a juvenile humor about death and body functions.

Even with that, I’l be reading the next book. However, since I’m pretty sure it is just more of the same, I expect to stop the series then.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Shooter VERSUS Point of Impact

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Shooter is a 2007 movie starring Mark Wahlberg about a sniper hired by the United States Government to prevent any chance of an attack by another sniper on a meeting between some politician and a religious figure.  He is actually used to plan the attack and double crossed and blamed. He goes on the run, hooks up with a dead marine’s wife who helps him out and turns the tables on the slimeball politician who set the whole thing up.

 

 

 

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Point of Impact is the first book in the Bob Lee Swagger book series by Stephen Hunter. Bob Lee is a sniper, hired to prevent the assassination of the president or vice president, double crossed, runs all over the country and eventually proves his innocence.

 

 

 

 

 

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I actually saw the movie before I was even aware of the book series. I saw it on an airplane either on my to California or on my way back from California. I don’t think I watched the whole thing, but I watched enough to know that I enjoyed it. I got it from the library and watched the whole thing and really did enjoy it. It wasn’t until ’13 that I actually got around to reading the book and comparing the two.

If it is JUST the book versus the movie, I like the book more but the movie had more action. However, the series of books devolved and I ended up stopping several books in and wished I’d just stuck with the first. The later books kind of ruined the first book for me, to the point where I’d rather own the movie instead of the book.

I found the book deeper, better plotted and much more interesting in terms of character in Bob Lee Swagger. He’s a Vietnam sniper who is just about the only guy in the world who can shoot “X” number of yards with some sort of rifle. He’s a gimp, in his mid 50’s or so and lives alone in the Appalachian Mountains.  He’s very smart and is smart enough to know when to get the help of people who know more about something than him. Such as a lawyer. Some big wig lawyer who knew his daddy also plays a big part and watching everything come together to prove Bob Lee’s innocence is a great thing.  The book is almost as much a legal thriller as anything else.

That being said, he’s not running around shooting off machine guns or hiding in the Antarctic or blowing up scumbag politicians’ houses. That is where the movie kicks butt. It is an action movie and makes no bones about being one. Mark Wahlberg does a great job of portraying a modern Vet with modern tools at his command.  The romance in the movie is upped quite a bit from the book and the character in the movie is almost portrayed as white trailer trash, where as in the book she’s a pretty upper crust woman. I think that was my only real bone of contention for story/plot change.

Honestly, it’s a tossup which is better in my opinion. I think it comes down to what you are looking for.

28ijiq

 

 

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Queen Bitch (Kurtherian Gambit #2) ★★★★☆

queenbitch (Custom)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: Queen Bitch
Series: Kurtherian Gambit #2
Author: Michael Anderle
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 258
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Bethany Anne must begin cleaning up the mess left behind by Michael. She has to start cleaning up the Forsaken who are starting to make inroads in North America due to Michael’s absence. She has to start putting Michael’s “good” children back on the straight and narrow and have them go back to their duties of keeping the supernatural outside of the purview of the normal world. She also has to put the Council of the Were in their place, as several members are thinking that without Michael around they can begin shoving the humans around, perhaps even ruling them.

While ALL this is going on, Bethany Anne also has to keep in mind that the overall threat is so much greater and her final goal must be to get humanity into space and ready to fight off potential hordes of ravening aliens.

Sometimes, being Queen Bitch just isn’t worth the hassle.

 

My Thoughts:

This was F-U-N!! Nothing deep, nothing worth a re-read but my goodness, Bethany Anne kicks some serious butt. She is pretty much a Mary Sue, but only if Mary Sue was a psycho violent vampire who was trying to protect the planet. I can handle that.

Even through all of this, Bethany Anne is still planning on just how she is going to save the planet. She might be violent but she’s not at all stupid. She’s beginning to make more and more use of TOM and she’s already thinking about how she can use its knowledge to grow humanity’s knowledge AND give her the funds necessary to build the space stuff that will be needed.

Thinking about this book, I would compare it to the earlier MHI books in terms of action and violence. I’d compare it quality-wise to the first MHI book as well. The thing that gives me pause is that Anderle has a bajillion books while Correia has a steady output of steadily increasing quality. I’m kind of afraid to find out where Anderle plateaus or even nosedives. That’s the only problem and that is all in my head.

I almost started in on the next book right away but thank goodness my inner core of self control kept me safe. Nothing is worse than having too much of a good time all at once.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

No Worse Enemy (The Empire’s Corps #2) ★★★☆½

noworseenemy (Custom)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: No Worse Enemy
Series: The Empire’s Corps #2
Author: Christopher Nuttal
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 431
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Mandy is on a spaceship to get more training from the Rockrats when her craft is attacked by pirates. is captured and because of her space engineering knowledge, begins working on a spaceship for the leader of the pirates, The Admiral. She is put through her pirate paces and gains their loyalty but has secretly stolen a bunch of explosives that she then plants around the ship.

At the same time, The Admiral sends a ship to Avalon to take it over and the marines are able to take the ship over. They head out to other star systems and help free them and try to make some sort of entity that all the various planets in their systems can participate in. The beginnings of a political system other than the Empire.

The Admiral needs Avalon and its HE3 scoop for fuel, so he gathers his fleet and his mercenaries and attacks. The Marines and some others hold him off for a bit but things aren’t looking good until Mandy detonates her explosives and puts The Admiral out of commission.

The Admiral’s ship is to become the new head ship and Mandy is chosen to help run it. Captain Stalker must now act like the Empire is truly gone.

 

My Thoughts:

I bumped this up half a star from the previous one because of lack of sexual scenes (even though Mandy does have to sell herself to a pirate commander to stay alive) and because Nuttal drops scenes and ship names from a LOT of old and not so old Science Fiction. If you don’t recognize the stories you won’t miss out but knowing them showed that Nuttal has a good SF foundation as well. I find that important in an SF author.

Mandy is the main character this time around while Jasmine, now in charge of a troop of Marines, is the main viewpoint of the military side of things. It worked well and we’ll see if Nuttal uses them again or switches to yet another viewpoint for each future book.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Worst Contact ★★★☆☆

worst contact (Custom)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: Worst Contact
Series: ———-
Author: Hank Davis – Editor
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 384
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A collection of short stories about First Contact between Humanity and Aliens. Ranging from the humorous to the droll to threatening to the downright ironically twisted, this collection just about covers it all.

 

My Thoughts:

Overall, this was a good collection of short stories. I do like collections like this because you can read one or two, walk away for a day, come back the next day and not need to have remembered anything. Each story is self-contained.

The reason this didn’t get 4 stars from me is because the Editor, Hank Davis, has his own little blurb before each story. Mainly a ultra-mini biography or bibliography about the author of the story. I found they interrupted the flow of my reading and I really didn’t enjoy them. Also, there were 2 or 3 where he talks about the authors political leanings and without fail they were very liberal to the outright Communist. I felt like he was singling them out for special attention as no other political affiliation was mentioned for other authors. If I want to hear the praises of the Left sung, I’ll go read something about Barack Obama. Keep that stuff OUT of my SF please and thank you.

The humor, both wacky, ironic and menacing, all worked for me. Vaguely threatening is fantastic when it is pulled off correctly. Things get a little dated with some of the stories when ever “tech” is used. I remember one story talking about translating video being the easiest because pictures are “universal.” Anyone who uses digital video today and has to encode their own bluray/dvd’s and runs into different codex compatibility issues knows that “universal” is a crock of rotten milk. 50 years is a long time in terms of technology * wink *

I definitely would have enjoyed this more if the Editor hadn’t stuck his oar in on each story, but then, if he doesn’t, how is anyone supposed to know how great and smart he is? So depending on how you feel about editorial things, that might not be an issue at all for you.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Culling – An Exercise in Futility

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The Cull Master is Tired

 

I have been in the habit of culling, on a regular basis, all the “people” who follow me here on WordPress.  It’s a habit I’ve had to get rid of all the dead wood and scum bags that accumulate. Recently, I’ve been getting flippity flopping tired of it.  I am especially tired of dirtbag writers who follow me but who have nothing in common with my blog. And when I remove them and they follow me AGAIN within 24hrs, well, that tells me they’re just looking for attention because of what awful people they are.

And don’t even get me started on those “companies”, like Hastings Services. I removed those miserable sad sacks 15 times before they stopped trying.

But I’m done with that now. It is like counting the sands on a beach, never ending. So follow away you pieces of algorithms, you attention whores, you scammers. I simply don’t care any more.

 

bookstooge (Custom)