God of Night (God Fragments #4) ★★★★☆


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 & Bookype by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: God of Night
Series: God Fragments #4
Author: Tom Lloyd
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 421
Words: 145.5K



Synopsis:

When the Cards released the seals on Magic, not only did more magic enter the world, thus stirring up all the creatures that used and fed on magic, and not only did it make mages more powerful, but it also had the side effect of making the god fragments even more powerful. One of the Militant Orders has figured out that if they can bring enough god fragments of their particular deity together, it might just resurrect it. And with a resurrected god on their side, they’ll rule the Riven Kingdoms as undisputed masters.

Does anyone think the Cards are just going to sit back and let this happen? Of course not. When they discover that one of their mages of Tempest has the ability to destroy god fragments merely by touching them, they hatch a plan, a daring plan to capture as many of the god fragments as possible and destroy them. Doesn’t matter that most god fragments are housed in the Militant Orders most secure locations, nothing is going to stop the Cards.

Using double and triple dealing, backstabbing, betrayals and general kick assery, the Cards manage to destroy the majority of fragments from 3 of the 4 Orders. The last Order is the most powerful however, and it’s cache of fragments is located in a duegar stronghold underground and is currently being overrun by magical underground creatures.

Once they’ve gotten into the Stronghold, the Cards find out that the gods were using a chained creature of magic to siphon power from. Now that the gods fragments are being destroyed and the magic has been released back into the world, this elder god is awakening. The Cards must therefore defeat the final god fragments, which are reassembling into its god AND defeat a creature so powerful that it made gods from mere duegar hundreds of millennia ago.

Tons of people die, the Cards succeed and Lynx is elected the new leader of the Cards because Anatol was one of the people killed. There are still god fragments in the world and the warlord of his people is still alive, so Lynx figures their new mission will be to invade So-Han and kill the warlord. Thus the book and the series ends.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this but by the end, with some realizations, was glad this was the end of the series.

The fights were awesome. Realizing what the Militant Orders were up to was even awesomer. Finding out there was an elder god involved and that the Cards were going to kill it was the awesomest of all! The final massive battle in the Duegar ruins between the Cards, the remaining Militant Order personnel, the magic monsters and the elder god was everything I could have asked for. Magic galore, flintlock fantasy bullets and grenades by the metric ton and a monster so huge and gruesome that it made the monster from the first book look like a teddy bear? How could I not like everything about that? Even the ending was good. Lots of the Cards die. Important Cards die, like Anatole. Lynx becoming the new Master of the Deck slotted in perfectly with the series.

Unfortunately, and this is ALL me, was that I was used to the god fragment bullets and the grenades and bombs, etc. They didn’t have the same impact on my as they did in the first book. I also realized, after finishing reading, that Lloyd had worked in some homosexual characters without playing it on a trumpet. I suspect if I were to go back and re-read the other books, I’d be finding more understated circumstances like this. Hence why I’ll be done with Lloyd from here on out.

In regards to the series overall, I really enjoyed my time reading each book and short story and thought it was about 100 times better than Lloyd’s Twilight Reign series. I’d recommend this wholeheartedly if mercenaries using dead god bodies to power their flintlock guns sounds like your kind of thing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Blackwing (Raven’s Mark #1) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@30%

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 & Bookype by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Blackwing
Series: Raven’s Mark #1
Author: Ed McDonald
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 325/120
Words: 119K/40K



Synopsis:

DNF’d at approximately the 30% mark.

My Thoughts:

Besides the profanity I mentioned in my previous Currently Reading & Quote post, McDonald also crossed one of the lines for what I’ll not accept in my entertainment reading. As such, I am done with this book, this series and this author.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) ★☆☆☆☆


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Title: Rosemary and Rue
Series: October Daye #1
Author: Seanan McGuire
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 287
Words: 106K



Synopsis:

From October-daye.fandom.com/wiki/Rosemary_and_Rue

Prologue: June 9, 1995

Half-fae changeling October Daye is on a stakeout for her private investigator / knight errant job when she gets a call from her human boyfriend Cliff and Gillian. Simon Torquill appears and Toby follows him to the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park in the hopes of locating the missing Luna and Rayseline Torquill. Simon meets up with Oleander, then turns Toby into a fish when he catches her spying. She is kicked into the koi ponds where she and Lily are trapped and forgotten for fourteen years.

Chapter 1-2: December 23, 2009

Toby regains her true form and seeks help from her longtime friend Evening Winterrose to set up a new human identity. She rejects most of Faerie including Sylvester and her changeling friends Mitch, Stacy, and Kerry, choosing instead to work at Safeway and occasionally offer toothpicks as aid in the local pixies’ territory wars. When Mitch visits the store, she pretends not to know him even though Gillian and his daughter Cassandra used to be playmates.

While heading home from a work shift, Toby is caught by the dawn and her human illusions are forcibly stripped away. Tybalt appears while she recovers from the pain of the magic, and they banter before going their separate ways. She arrives home to find a page of Duke Sylvester’s service waiting with a message, but she refuses to hear it as she has refused all the other messages.

Toby dreams about her mother Amandine, who had been married to Toby’s human father until Toby’s Changeling’s Choice, administered by Sylvester, forced mother and daughter back to the Summerlands. She also dreams of the day she escaped the koi pond and sought Evening’s help to get back on her feet, even as Cliff and Gillian rejected her for abandoning them for fourteen years.

Chapter 3-4: Awoken by her cats Cagney and Lacey, Toby listens to several increasingly frantic voicemails from Evening which culminate in Evening binding Toby to find Evening’s killer right before Toby hears Evening get murdered over the line. Toby drives to Evening’s apartment where she magics the human police into believing she belongs there. She finds splatters of Evening’s blood and the human-like corpse left by the night-haunts. She uses her Daoine Sidhe abilities to taste the blood and relive Evening’s final moments, learning that unidentified attackers killed her with iron bullets.

Chapter 5-7: Toby travels to the Court of the Queen of the Mists to announce the death using the fae’s formal customs, but the semi-mad Queen refuses to believe her. Next Toby goes to Home, an underground community of Changelings led by Devin, who had given refuge to Toby as a teenager after she ran away from Amandine and the Summerlands. Toby confronts teenagers Dare and Manuel before they allow her to see Devin. She recalls her own time as Devin’s lover and lackey, and how she and Devin had argued when Toby started dating Cliff and became pregnant with Gillian. In the present, Devin insists that he would have helped Toby after her return from the pond if Toby had allowed it. He explains that Evening was a benefactor for Home, and he pledges Home’s resources to helping Toby find her killer. In exchange, Toby will be in his debt. Devin encourages her to break ties with Sylvester, since although she won’t talk to Sylvester she is still his sworn knight, but she refuses.

Chapter 8-10: On the way home, Toby encounters a rose goblin who gives her an unmarked key. Evening’s binding tells Toby that the key is important, so Toby next heads to Evening’s mortal place of business, Third Road Enterprises. The binding tells her that the key will “open the way into Goldengreen,” Evening’s knowe. Using the key at the mortal business gives Toby access to the offices and leads her to a hidden hope chest. Toby recognizes that she must hide it, so she makes a bargain with Tybalt to keep it safe. He refuses at first, telling her to take it to the Queen or the Tea Gardens, but then accepts it and puts Toby in his debt.

Chapter 11-12: Although she is exhausted, Evening’s binding uses increasingly painful means to urge Toby to keep hunting the truth. Toby visits Shadowed Hills to inform the Torquills of Evening’s death and to ask for help. She recalls that Sylvester went mad when Luna, Raysel, and Toby all disappeared, and only snapped out of it when his wife and daughter returned to him. Toby’s magical abilities are tested by a footman who makes her design a court outfit with her magic, which adds to her magic burn. Quentin, the page who visited her home earlier, announces her to the Torquills. Sylvester is delighted to see her but shocked by the news of Evening, and more shocked by Toby’s binding to find the killer. As the Torquills mourn Evening’s death, Toby flees to the rose gardens and is followed by Connor, who attempts to make small talk with her but is clearly unhappy in his politically arranged marriage to Rayseline.

Chapter 13: Quentin finds Toby after Connor leaves, and she learns that he is in blind fosterage to Shadowed Hills. She tries to relax his pureblood prejudices and formal mannerisms, and they agree to hang out after things calm down. Sylvester and Luna are upset that Toby indebted herself to Home on her quest, and they reiterate her welcome at Shadowed Hills. She promises to stay in touch.

Chapter 14-16: On her way home, Toby realizes someone is in the car with her and she drives manically to keep them off-kilter. The intruder shoots her with iron and she flees the car, escaping on a city bus that takes her to Golden Gate Park. She tricks the Tea Garden’s gate attendant into letting her in and, growing increasingly weaker, she falls into a koi pond only to be rescued by Tybalt, who brings her to Lily. The Undine heals Toby, then chides her for her apparent death wish before sending her off with Julie and Ross as escorts. The trio are attacked en route to the taxi and Ross is killed. Tybalt kills the attacker and claims he helped so he won’t be stuck with the hope chest.

Chapter 17: Toby is driven home by Danny to find Devin waiting on her doorstep. Devin administers to Toby’s latest wounds and they sleep together, Devin trying to convince her to give up her hunt.

Chapter 18: Toby is fired from Safeway for being no call-no show. She can’t make herself care given everything going on. A doppleganger posing as Gillian visits and attacks Toby, who wants to believe her daughter is ready to make amends. Dare and Manuel come to the rescue and Dare kills the doppleganger with her iron knife, but in the attack Toby is yet again injured.

Chapter 19-20:They take her to Home, where Devin yells at the kids for slacking on guard duty. He tries to persuade Toby to give up her hunt for Evening’s killer, which she physically cannot do even if she wanted to. Dare asks how Toby met Devin, and Toby recalls how he rescued her from the streets as a teenager. She encourages Dare to break free of Devin, but Dare brushes her off. Devin tells Toby that he will send word to Sylvester that she is safe. Toby learns that Devin called in a favor from the Luidaeg to heal her.

Chapter 21: Toby, Manuel, and Dare head to Goldengreen to investigate further. She runs into Connor, who was sent by Sylvester, and discovers that Devin lied about updating the Duke. She makes Connor cut himself to prove he is not another doppelganger, identifying him by the scent of his blood and magic. Toby suggests that Raysel might be the killer, and they again acknowledge their mutual attraction even though Toby refuses to let Connor cheat on Raysel. They realize they are not alone in Goldengreen, and in fleeing they accidentally jump off a cliff into the ocean. Connor uses his selkie abilities to rescue Toby from panic-drowning as she flashes back to the pond.

Chapter 22: Dare and Manuel find them on the shore and they return to Shadowed Hills. Luna agrees to give the teens sanctuary. She also recognizes that Toby has been healed by the Luidaeg and tells Toby she must visit the Luidaeg to learn how to escape Evening’s binding. The rose goblin shows her the way.

Chapter 23: The Luidaeg introduces herself, shows Toby a vision of Maeve’s Firstborn, and identifies herself as one of them. Toby barters Evening’s key for the answers to her questions. She learns that hope chests can turn changelings fully human and that Devin has future plans for Toby. Toby does not ask her final question, which leaves the Luidaeg furiously in her debt.

Chapter 24: Back at home, Toby names the rose goblin Spike; the cats have warily accepted its presence. Toby asks Cagney and Lacey to bring her to Tybalt, being his subjects, and they grudgingly take her to the Court of Cats. She asks Tybalt for the bloody shirt he had worn at the park, and Julie attacks her because she blames Toby for Ross’s death. Tybalt asserts dominance over Julie, gives Toby the shirt, and tells Toby to leave as Julie continues to struggle.

Chapter 26: Toby seeks Lily’s help to reawaken the blood on Tybalt’s shirt. Lily tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Toby from riding the blood, and Toby learns that Devin is Evening’s killer. The binding nearly lulls Toby into a peaceful death, but Lily snaps her out of it. Danny takes Toby to Home where she confronts Devin. He says he killed Evening so he could use the hope chest to become a pureblood. He wishes Toby had come back to him, then orders Manuel to shoot her. Manuel hesitates and he, Dare, Devin, and Toby fight. Devin kills Dare. Manuel kills Devin.

Chapter 27: Sylvester and Shadowed Hills arrive for cleanup. Dare is buried. The hope chest is returned to the Queen, who is now in Toby’s debt. Toby accepts her place in the world of the fae.

My Thoughts:

I had seen several reviewers who were long time fans of this series (it’s up to book 14 or 15 I think?) and from what they had written, it sounded very interesting. I knew this was Urban Fantasy, a genre I have a VERY mixed relationship with, but was hoping it would stay away from the tropes that have driven me away from the genre in general. Unfortunately, as you can tell from the rating I gave the book, this read didn’t work out as I was hoping it would.

This was the very definition of female urban fantasy as far as I’m concerned. Everything that bugs the living daylights out of me about UF was here, in spades.

  • Spunky, full of attitude woman
  • multiple love interests from the past
  • family drama ramped up to 11
  • poor decisions by the main character leading to drama ramped up to 20
  • main character “taking care of herself” even while being rescued by others over and over and over
  • did I mention attitude coupled with bad decisions?
  • Bad Decisions
  • doing things for the good of others without asking them, talking to them about it or in any way seeing if it actually IS good for them
  • alienating family, friends and pretty much anyone who could help in the name of being spunky and full of attitude

And that’s enough for me. I will not read a main character who acts stupidly, gets away with it because of authorial fiat and then gets to call it “I can take care of myself” bullshit. Toby Daye (the titular character’s named shortened obviously) is exactly the kind of character who I hate. Not the kind of character I love to hate, or love to hate and read about, but simply hate.

I hated almost every page I read and seriously thought about DNF’ing this at the 9% mark. I guess I fell into the trap of thinking that this couldn’t possibly stay this bad and so kept reading. By the end, I was seething on the inside, almost frothing on the outside and felt like I had wasted my time. Even Psychic Grandma rattled her chains at me for being so dumb as to go all the way to the end. Considering I never listen to her about her ironing tips, I wasn’t about to start with “reading advice” from her either though.

The only good thing is that at under 300 pages I didn’t invest much time and I can now get rid of the whole series from my tbr list. 13’ish books gone in one fell swoop and able to add another series to my reading rotation.

If the bullet list of things sound like something you’d like, then go for it and may you find more joy than I did.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Awakenings (Guardians of Aandor #1) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@49%

awakenings (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: Awakenings
Series: Guardians of Aandor #1
Author: Edward Lazellari
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 246/DNF@49%
Words: 89K/44k

Synopsis:

DNF’s don’t usually get a synopsis from me unless the DNF is ALL about me. This doesn’t fall into that small category.

My Thoughts:

This was pretty grim and bleak so I was wondering if I could handle 3 books of it, but the story was humming right along. I figured I could handle grim and bleak with a fast paced story.

Then along came a very low blow political statement and so I was done. Done with this book, done with this series and done with this writer. It isn’t worth my time or emotional energy to get upset about it but I won’t spend a second more on it than this.

Not quite the way I was hoping to start the month, but I guess you can’t win them all!

★☆☆☆☆

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) ★★☆☆½

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: Red Sister
Series: Book of the Ancestor #1
Author: Mark Lawrence
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 467
Words: 170K

Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

The planet Abeth was originally settled by four tribes with various abilities. The hunska have superhuman speed; the gerant have superhuman strength, the marjal can work elemental magic; the quantal can work larger magics. Children born on Abeth may have access to one (or rarely, multiple) bloodline powers. Abeth’s dying red giant sun cannot generate sufficient heat to prevent a global ice age. Abeth’s man-made moon refracts sunlight onto a narrow strip of land circling the globe. This Corridor, only fifty miles wide, is the only unfrozen land on the planet. It comprises several kingdoms fighting for control of the planet’s resources.

Nona Grey is a peasant girl living in a remote village in the Corridor. She is purchased by a slave trader who recognizes that she has hunska blood. She is brought the to capital of the Empire, where she attacks a noble named Raymel Tacsis. She is saved from execution by Abbess Glass of the Sweet Mercy Convent.

Nona trains in the arts of combat and subterfuge at Sweet Mercy. Along the way, she meets fellow novice Arabella (Ara). Various nobles believe that Ara is the Argatha, a savior destined to save Abeth. Abbess Glass convinces the nobility that Nona is the Shield, destined to protect the Argatha. With her training, Nona recognizes that she also has quantal and marjal talents. Nona also meets a mysterious student named Zole and her bodyguard Yisht. Nona realizes that Yisht is attempting to steal a valuable artifact from Sweet Mercy: the shipheart, which was left by the original settlers of Abeth. With four shiphearts, one can control the moon which is protecting Abeth from a permanent ice age. Nona and the other students defeat Yisht and save the shipheart.

In a frame story, an adult Nona and Ara are attacked by members of the Empire’s nobility. They are betrayed by Clera, a former student at Sweet Mercy. Nona attempts to convince Clera to join them against the Empire’s army.

My Thoughts:

Well, this book confirms that Lawrence is an author I cannot read. Between nuns sleeping together, young almost prebuscent girls flirting with each other, psychopathic killers (who aren’t the bad guys), a failing sun, a hopeless world being encased in ice, the devolving of technology and failing technology, plus the absolute soul destroying underlying philosophy, I got a soup that was pretty as anti-me as you could get.

While Nona was more likeable than that hellbound Jorg, she wasn’t really fun to read about either. While I didn’t hate my time reading this, by the end I had to ask myself if I cared about anything in this story enough to want to read another book’s worth (and that’s not taking into account that this is a trilogy). I answered with a resounding “NO!” If there had been even a hint that the “moon” could have been repaired, or that someone had even entertained the idea of repairing it, even that tiny, small shred of hope probably would have been enough to keep me going.

But that was the whole problem I have with Lawrence. There is no hope, anywhere. I looked high, I looked low, I even looked at sub-minor-side characters. No where did I find any hope. All I did find was an existential existence for 10 year old girls who had a choice of being raped/tortured/killed or becoming merciless killers themselves. On the killer side things, there was no justice. There was no Justice because there was no Law. There was no Law because there was no Law Giver.

As much as I despise Lawrence’s philosophy, I do have to admit that he is honest enough to take it to its logical end. It is just that that end is a maelstrom of  death, despair and destruction.

★★☆☆½

To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld #1) ★☆☆☆½

toyourscatteredbodiesgo (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: To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Series: Riverworld #1
Author: Philip Farmer
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 224
Words: 67K

 

Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

British adventurer Richard Francis Burton dies on Earth and is revived in mid-air in a vast dark room filled with human bodies, some only half formed. There, he is confronted by men in a flying vehicle who then blast him with a weapon.

He next awakes upon the shores of a mysterious river, naked and hairless. All around him are other people in a similar situation. Shortly after they awaken, a nearby structure, nicknamed a “grailstone,” causes food and other supplies to appear in the “grails” bound to each individual. Burton quickly attracts a group of companions: the neanderthal Kazzintuitruaabemss (nicknamed Kazz), the science fiction author Peter Jairus Frigate, and Alice Liddell. Among these is the extraterrestrial Monat Grrautut, earlier part of a small group of beings from Tau Ceti who had arrived on Earth in the early 21st century. When one of their number was accidentally killed by humans, their spaceship automatically killed most of the people on Earth. Frigate and others alive at the time confirm Monat’s story. Retreating into the nearby woods for safety, Burton’s party chew gum provided by their grails, and discover that this gum is a powerful hallucinogen. As days and weeks pass, people’s physical wants are provided for by the grails, which eventually produce a set of cloths used for clothing. Rumors reach Burton’s region that the river continues seemingly forever. One night, Burton is visited by a mysterious cloaked figure, whom Burton dubs “The Mysterious Stranger,” who explains that he is one of the beings who has constructed this world and resurrected humanity on its shores, and tells Burton to approach the headwaters of the river.

After setting off, Burton’s group encounters many adventures; but are enslaved by a riverbank kingdom run by Tullus Hostilius and Hermann Göring, against whom Burton leads a successful revolt. Göring himself is killed by Alice. After the revolt, Burton is part of the nation’s ruling council. Later, the protagonists discover a person among them who they conclude is an agent of the beings who created this world. Before the man can be questioned, he dies of no apparent cause. An autopsy reveals a small device planted in the man’s brain which apparently allowed him to kill himself at will. Burton is visited by the Mysterious Stranger and is warned that the beings who created this world, to whom the Stranger refers as “Ethicals”, are close to capturing Burton. Desperate to escape, Burton kills himself to be resurrected elsewhere in the river valley, and continues thus to explore it. He often finds himself resurrected near Hermann Göring, who undergoes a moral and religious conversion and joins the pacifist Church of the Second Chance. After many resurrections, Burton finds himself resurrected not in the river but in the Dark Tower at the headwaters, and is interrogated by a council of Ethicals to discover the identity of Burton’s “Mysterious Stranger”. After fruitlessly questioning him, the Ethicals inform him that they will return him to the river valley, remembering nothing of themselves, and restore him to his friends; but the Mysterious Stranger prevents them from removing his memory and Burton resolves to continue pursuing the truth about the Ethicals and their intentions for the Riverworld.

 

My Thoughts:

Well, that was a complete and utter waste of my time. The main character, for someone who is an atheist, sure does blame God for a lot of stuff. Pretty amazing how angry he gets at something that doesn’t exist.

This teetered on the edge of blasphemy at best (blasphemy being defined as speaking against God or making statements about His nature contrary to Scripture (much like the Mormons do)) and really, crossed over enough times with enough spite that I was ready for the book to be done.

Whatever the story, it was overshadowed the whole time by spite and anger against a being the main character kept insisting didn’t exist. I have now read Farmer and found him lacking. I won’t spend any more of my precious time on his stuff.

★☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

The Complete Dreamsongs ★★☆☆½

completedreamsongs (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: The Complete Dreamsongs
Author: George Martin
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 1146
Words: 494K

 

Synopsis:

Combining Dreamsongs I and Dreamsongs II into one omnibus, this collects the majority of Martin’s short stories from the beginning of his career to its publication date in either 2003 or 2006.

 

My Thoughts:

I really liked how Martin talked about the stage of his life when he wrote each story. It gave some background and made him a person. Even in his own words he comes across as an arrogant jackass and anyone who thinks he’s going to finish Game of Thrones had better look at his own self-proclaimed track record. With that out of the way….

This was some of the best writing I have read in a while. Martin has talent and he’s spent the time honing his skill and it shows. Based on the writing alone, this deserves 5 stars. If you like good story TELLING, then you need to read this.

However, WHAT he writes about is what took this right down to its current rating. Almost every story is sad, melancholic, depressing, horrific or down right twisted. While Sandkings is a fantastic horrorific short story, 1100 pages of that kind of things wears you down. These stories also gave me vivid bad dreams, to the point where I stopped reading this in the evenings.

I read this in small doses (I started in mid-April) and I cannot imagine the affect of trying to read this straight through. I would not recommend that to anyone, no matter how much they might enjoy Martin’s writing. While I plan on re-reading Sandkings every decade or so, I think that will be the limit of my Martin reading. I will assiduously avoid all his others writings.

★★☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Flight of the Fox ★★☆☆½

flightofthefox (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: Flight of the Fox
Series: ———-
Author: Gray Basnight
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 406
Words: 108K

 

Synopsis:

Sam Teagarden, former math professor and recent widower (his wife died in a car accident that also broke both of Sam’s legs), is attacked by drones and only saved by the heroic sacrifice of his dog. This leads into Sam going on the run and his young neighbor being killed by the assassins after Sam. Said assassins then make it look like Sam did the dirty deed. All the while Sam has no idea why anyone would be doing this, he’s just a math professor.

Turns out Sam was mailed an encrypted document that once he decodes it while on the run, details the love life between J. Edgar Hoover (head of the FBI back in the day) and his second in command. It also details how Hoover uses his position to hire other sexual deviants ostensibly for the FBI but in reality for his own pleasure. There are also references to Operation Over Easy, which is revealed as a secret hit team to take out any internal threat that Hoover considers a danger to the nation. Dangers like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Hemmingway, etc.

The modern day successors to Operation Over Easy, the DFC, are the ones gunning for Sam. With no oversight, they can’t allow the public to find out what their government has been doing for the past 90 years.

Sam outwits them all and releases the information to Congress, after many thrilling adventures and near-death experiences, all the while ostentatiously NOT naming the current President of the United States.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the story part of this ultra-paranoid thriller. It was fun to read about Sam as he dodges, ducks and weaves his way around, between and through some top notch assassins.

The author is from New York and sadly, his politics get in the way. The one republican shown is a caricature of a conservative christian who ends up practically insane after claiming that keeping the files secret is God’s will. Then you have the democrat who is open, honest and only wants the truth to be told to the American public. What a crock of poo. The author’s hatred of guns comes through loud and clear as well. Only the bad, evil, insane people in the story CHOOSE to use guns. Sam of course, being a paragon of virtue and goodness is FORCED to use guns by the bad, evil, insane people. But he really doesn’t want to, honest. And of course, the tearing down of any authority because they’re secretly corrupt and despotic is pretty standard for a liberal from New York. But the solution? Well, the author’s brand of government of course!

While I enjoyed the story, I won’t be reading any more by Basnight. He is everything that McCarthy was trying to fight against and lost.

★★☆☆½

bookstooge (Custom)

 

The Last of the Plainsmen ★★☆☆½

lastplainsmen (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: The Last of the Plainsmen
Series: ———-
Author: Zane Grey
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 237
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Grey “chronicles” a time he supposedly had with a man named Jones, a hunter and trapper who tried to trap the animals he hunted so he could domesticate them, whether they were mountain lions or wild ox. Anything but bears.

 

My Thoughts:

This was very much a Man VS Nature story that happened to take place out West (in the United States) and wasn’t what I think of when I think “Western”. There isn’t a single showdown with pistols, no bare knuckle fights, no Indians trying to scalp anyone, no scheming cardsharps, no damsel in distress, no wily saloon keeper with a hidden shotgun behind the bar. None of that.

This is just a boys adventure story about a man who has a lust for trapping animals and domesticating them. The main story was about Grey and Jones and the group Jones had gathered, trying to catch some mountain lions. During that hunt (which lasted several months if not longer) Jones tells stories about himself hunting other animals. Wild stallions, some sort of Indian ox that they considered sacred, bison, etc. There was a lot of adverse Nature conditions which provides most of the tension of the story.

This was not a “bad” book, but once again, Grey doesn’t give me what I was expecting in a Western and as such, I am done reading him. Maybe next year I’ll try Max Brand? I’d like to keep some Westerns in my reading rotation, but I am not willing to sift through L’Amour’s standalones.

★★☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Places in the Darkness ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@Page11

placesinthedarkness (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: Places in the Darkness
Series: ———-
Author: Chris Brookmyre
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 448/DNF on page 11
Format: Digital Edition

 

My Thoughts:

Main character was talking to her male coworker and brings up the fact he might be leaving the space station to go be with his male partner.

At some point I will simply have to give up on SFF because of the pervasiveness of such perversions presented as normal. I don’t know what my tipping point would be though. A monthly total, a yearly total, something else? I take this subject matter pretty seriously and so I guess I really need to sit down and think about just what my tipping point actually is. I have to admit I’ve been avoiding thinking about it but as this seems to be happening more, I just can’t shrug it off as an aberration on the writer’s part. Giving up a whole genre seems like a lot but at some point the apple is so riddled with worms that it is better to throw the apple away than to try to eat the few remaining good parts.

All choices have consequences.

★☆☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)