Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh #1) ★★☆☆½

coverherface (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: Cover Her Face
Series: Adam Dalgliesh #1
Author: P.D. James
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 256
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A young woman has been taken on as a part time servant at the Maxie resident. Said young woman causes as many small problems as she can and ends up being choked to death one night.

Detective Dalgliesh is assigned to the case and begins to uncover the web of sins connecting the household. The true story is told, the murderess confesses and life continues for those left behind.

Not a cozy mystery but more of a bottom feeding, slime pit mystery.

 

My Thoughts:

In my review of the Mistletoe Murder, I used the word “sordid”. I was afraid of getting more of that here. Thankfully, that was not the case. However, what I did get wasn’t much better.

I am not a fan of series where the titular character is barely there or plays almost no part in the story. Miss Marple springs to mind. I gave up on those mysteries when she stopped being the central “character”. Adam Dalgliesh was almost invisible in this story. In fact, the last 10 pages or so gave him more character than the whole of the book before those 10 pages. I felt like he was a hat rack for James to hang her literary hat upon. He was featureless, bland, plodding and was not a “character”.

I am also not a fan of unlikeable characters. From the murdered woman all the way up to the Matron of the House, there wasn’t a likeable person among them. The Matron’s two adult children were petty, self-centered bitter people. The two houseguests were delusional on one hand and quick to enjoy the suffering of others on the other. The dead girl’s uncle stole her small inheritance. The dead girl pretends to be a single mother so she can get all sorts of free stuff and then claims that the Matron’s son asked her to marry him. He doesn’t deny it even though he didn’t. And through it all, the dead girl was married almost 2 years ago and is expecting her secret husband back any time. She says what she says and does what she does just to cause chaos and turmoil and pain.

Now how am I supposed to enjoy reading about a group of people like that?

I don’t read books to experience the worst of humanity. I know it exists and it is real but my books are for me to escape, to aim for something higher. This gave me none of that.

I think I am done with James. Her desire to drag her readers through the mud and slimepits of her characters isn’t compatible with my desire to be actually entertained while I read. Her writing ability may be great, but it is wasted as far as I’m concerned, being used that way.

★★☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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The Deaths of Tao (The Lives of Tao #2) ★★☆☆☆ DNF@67%

deathsoftao (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 Deaths of Tao
Series: The Lives of Tao #2
Author: Wesley Chu
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 464/DNF’d at 67%
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Four after the previous book, Roen is married to Jill and has a 3 year old son named Cameron. Unfortunately, under the urging of Tao, Roen has pretty much abandoned his family to fight against the Genjix and find out what their master plan is. Tao is convinced that the Genjix no longer wish to return to their homeworld and have nefarious plans for Earth and humanity.

This appears to be the plan and the Prophus, now very much decimated due to botched leadership, must play catchup, if at all possible.

 

My Thoughts:

I gave up on this book so late in the game because I was realizing I simply didn’t care. I didn’t care about stupid Roen Tan. I didn’t care about the miserable alien Tao. I didn’t care about the idiots at the top of the Prophus. I didn’t care that the aliens were attempting to terraform earth to their own standards.

For phracks sake, I am more competent at command than those idiots in the Prophus. That really annoyed me. Not my can of energy drink at all and I’ll be avoiding anything by Chu in the future. 3 tries is enough.

This book gave me the exact same vibe that I got from Time Salvager. So nothing particularly wrong with this book and I can’t point to something specific and say “I don’t like that” but it’s just apparent that I don’t like Chu’s books and writing style and choice of protagonists.

I feel rather generous giving this 2 stars, but honestly, there is nothing wrong here to take it lower, I simply didn’t like it.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) ☆☆☆☆½ DNF@22%

ghostlyechoes (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: Ghostly Echoes
Series: Jackaby #3
Author: William Ritter
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 353/DNF@22%
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

[Miss Rook] “Miss Lee was really a boy, wasn’t she? Underneath”

He slowed and then came to a stop and looked me square in the eyes, “That’s up to her to decide,”

~page 56

 

Yep, I’m done with this author now. Ritter’s going to push the SJW line about gender and cross dressing down my throat, forget it. As much as I enjoyed the previous 2 books, no amount of enjoyment is worth listening to lies for.

By the by, cross dressing is a moral deviancy that indicates some real brokenness inside. It isn’t normal and it shouldn’t be treated as such. It’s an indicator and Christian professional help should be sought. Just like you wouldn’t tell a man with a broken leg that he’s ok. Even if you can’t fix it, you can tell him to go to a doctors. But denying that there is anything wrong is the height of foolishness.

Man, this is NOT the way I wanted to start out a new month…

☆☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Return ★★☆☆☆

thereturn (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 Return
Series: ———-
Author: Joseph Helmreich
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 256
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Andrew Leland was abducted by aliens on national tv. Six years later, he is found wandering in the desert but claims to have no memory of ever being abducted.

College student, and genius, Shawn Ferris practically worshipped Leland for his ideas in whatever science they both are in. But being a Millennial, Shawn doesn’t believe that Leland has any right to keep his experience a secret. So he begins a correspondence under false pretenses and discusses theory and such stuff with Leland. Shawn then hunts Leland down only to be abducted himself by a super secret agency that Leland ran away from.

Shawn is convinced to work for them to help defend Earth against an alien invasion. But when he is chased and shot at by security for not toe’ing the company line, Shawn realizes somethin is off. On the run, Shawn is rescued by Leland and together they try to avoid detection by Ambius. It turns out Leland built a protective barrier for the aliens to keep humans out and Ambius used Shawn to reverse engineer it and figure out how to invade the aliens planet. Meanwhile, the aliens want to invade Earth to put a stop to the threat that humanity poses but they can’t because of the barrier. So when Ambius invades, they’ll be opening Earth up to an invasion as well.

Shawn and Leland kill some people, steal the artifact that it was all about and Shawn destroys the artifact. Leland realizes too late that the artifact is actually the alien he was in love with while on the planet.

The End.

 

My Thoughts:

What a piece of trash this was. While I noticed absolutely nothing wrong with the grammar, etc, both Shawn and Leland are Grade A jackasses. And since they are the supposed good guys, you can imagine what the bad guys are like.

Shawn is a know it all, butt hurt little prick. His insistance that Leland has no “right” to keep what he knows to himself is the epitomy of everything I despise today. Privacy, phhhh. I did not like Shawn at all. Leland was even worse though. He was super powered due to something the aliens had done to him and could almost literally walk through a hail of bullets but all he could think about was his lost alien love back on Planet X. He wouldn’t talk, he wouldn’t even try. He just wanted humanity to die. He made the choice to come back and then does nothing but wish he had stayed.

I enjoyed the idea of the story and if the characters had been more likeable or sympathetic, I probably would have enjoyed this and recommended it. But as it is, I won’t recommend this to anyone and will be staying away from anything that Joseph Helmreich may write in the future.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

We are Legion (We are Bob) (Bobiverse #1) ☆☆☆☆½ DNF’d at 8%

wearelegion (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: We are Legion (We are Bob)
Series: Bobiverse #1
Author: Dennis Taylor
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 383 / DNF’d at 8%
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

DNF’d at 8%

 

My Thoughts:

Forget the countries run by tyrants working on nukes. Forget the hordes of militant Islamics raping their way across Europe and Africa. Forget the Russians & Chinese and their militant outlook and history of war, pillaging and conquering. Oh no…

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS WHO BREAK THE LAW AND RULE THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I laid it on a bit thick there with all those exclamation points. But one thing this book did do for me was make me realize how some people are so blinded and what vision they do have is so skewed, that for all intents and purposes, we’re not even seeing the same world.

☆☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Gods of the Mountain (Cycle of Blades #1) ★☆☆☆½

godsofthemountain (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:
Gods of the Mountain
Series: Cycle of Blades #1
Author: Christopher Keene
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 307
Format: Digital Edition

 

Background Info:

The author of this indie book convinced me to review it with a rather humorous comment on my “Review Policy” page. Asking for a bad review, that I can handle. He seemed like a nice enough guy when we emailed, so I thought “Sure, why not take a chance.” And if you read the reviews over on GR, it DOES sound like a bunch of paid shills. And he has a BA in English Lit (I believe), so it couldn’t be THAT bad, right?

First hiccup was him emailing me a second version. This was supposedly released in 2017, so I was expecting a finished product. When an author keeps tweaking a book, well, that doesn’t bode well in my eyes.

Second hiccup was him letting me know, in Mid-April, that it was going into audio production and had I had a chance to “look it over” yet . I only got the book in the beginning of March and needed to work it into my rotation.

So, legal schmegal crap: The author gave me a copy of this book for an honest review and boy howdy, is that what he’s going to get. Remember, he ASKED for this.

 

Synopsis:

The Kingdom of Tyrania was conquered by the Kingdom of Aavaria because the Aavarians wanted control of the only supply of a special kind of wood that could be turned into swords that would suck the life out of anyone receiving even a small wound.

Faulk watched as his Commander died in a duel to the Aavarian General and as his homeland fell. Now, 3 years later, he’s a mercenary for hire, drowning his despair with drink. He meets up with a former fellow soldier who specialized in assassination. This Kessler shows Faulk some magic that only a specific tribe in the mountains are supposed to be able to use. This tribe, the Lunarians, are dedicated to pacifism. Kessler was taught by an exiled Lunarian and he begins passing on his knowledge.

3 Lunarians are sent to Tyrania to stop outsiders from using the symbol magic. This will involve taking one of the users before the Lunarian’s gods and those gods severing all connections which will stop that user and all users associated with the initial user.

Faulk goes with them to ostensibly learn more magic, as he’s unaware of the gods true purpose. He ends up being stripped by the gods and then someone reconnecting back to the magic using another form.

While this is happening to Faulk, the Lunarian Exile has set in motion a chain of events that leads to his ascension as Ruler of Tyrania. He makes one of the magic trees grow using all of the stolen life force from the magic blades.

The book ends with Faulk and his Lunarian girlfriend, along with her ex, heading out to explore Aavaria and the Lunarian Exile planning on worldwide conquest.

 

My Thoughts:

First off, the writing. In my recent “Quote” post, I posted just a tiny bit of the book. There were a handful of instances of like awkwardness that had me guessing just what the author meant. I’m not talking about story plots, but plain old grammar use. You can find Editors who will look for and show you how to fix those type of things. Sure, they cost money, but do you want your book to be good? I talked to someone I know, who also has a BA in English Lit, and she said the instances I showed her were what she experiences when reading chinese novels translated by highschool students.Dinged off a ½ star for those instances.

Second, the magic system. The way it was really introduced had me going “That’s a Brandon Sanderson Mistborn knockoff!” Pushing and pulling against magic swords and daggers to move objects or yourself? Vin!checkbox

Thankfully, it does go on to be a “little” more original, but the way it was introduced really wasn’t handled well. Problem is, later things get messy again when Faulk gets cut off from the magic but “magically” is able to reconnect using some other way. Terms are thrown around but it made no sense to me. This happened near the end of the book though so I was pretty much past caring if I had missed something. Ding. There goes another ½ star.

The characters. I’m not sure if I was supposed to be rooting for anyone, or just against the Aavarian overlords and then the Exiled Lunarian. Faulk was this uber-sceptic with the philosophy of a 2nd grader. The love interest, Yuweh, was this magical powerhouse but then would turn around and be this incredibly naive and simple “girl”. Purposeful or not, I didn’t like either of them. At the end, there is this semi-sex scene between them. Up to that point Keene had kept things clean. But they are at a pool bathing together and he describes their foreplay like an awkward 14 year old and then ends with something like “and they laid down and made love”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t WANT to read erotica, or even semi-graphic sex scenes. But it offends my completist sensibilities that you’d clumsily yet graphically describe their foreplay but not the actual act? Considering that nothing like this is described earlier, its obviously put in to titillate the reader. But the only people going to be titillated by such amateur descriptions are 14 year old boys. The rest of us are just going to roll our eyes. Ding, another ½ star.

There is a bunch of other stuff too, but really, isn’t that enough? I’m not getting paid as an Editor here.

So lets do the math, because nothing is sexier than a man in suspenders and a flannel shirt doing “math”.

3 Stars is my starting point.

Add 1 for getting me to read the book in the first place.

Subtract ½ for mucking around it with it AFTER it is already published.

Subtract ½ for acting like an anxious man whose wife is pregnant with their first child.

Subtract ½ for Awkwardness.

Subtract ½ for the magic system and Sandersonitis.

Subtract ½ for the terrible and just plain embarrassing foreplay scene.

The grand total should be…..* calculator noises *

0.5!!!! Oh wait, no. Hold on. Carry the five, divide the 2, add the 1/2’s. Dang this “new math”.

1.5 STARS FOR THE WIN!!! (Where is Vanna when you really need her?)

All kidding aside, this wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, not even close. But it was barely adequate with enough issues that I certainly won’t be reading any more by Keene. Between this and Algorithm of Power, I have also reaffirmed my decision about indies in general.

★☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3) DNF@18% ☆☆☆☆½

lasttown (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 Town
Series: Wayward Pines #3
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Thriller
Pages: 308/DNF
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

DNF @ 18%

 

My Thoughts:

“And what he saw, he didn’t know how to process”

…….

“A string of indelible images.”

…..

“In the middle of Main Street, a large abby on top of Megan Fisher, violating her.”

 

Enough. I will not read stuff like that.

☆☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)