Morningside Fall DNF@55% Unrated

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Title: Morningside Fall
Series: Legends of the Duskwalker #2
Authors: Jay Posey
Rating: Unrated / DNF@55%
Genre: SF
Pages: 192 / 350
Words: 78.5K / 143K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

The lone gunman Three is gone.

Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harboring a terrible secret—one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

New threats need new heroes . . .

My Thoughts:

I was not enjoying my time reading this and so I stopped. I don’t care enough about Posey anymore to figure out if this was him or me. Doesn’t matter. Won’t be reading any more by him.

The King in Yellow Tales ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@50%

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Title: The King in Yellow Tales
Series: The King in Yellow Anthology #3
Editor: Joseph Pulver
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Cosmic Horror
Pages: 249 DNF/125
Words: 77.5K DNF/39K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Collected within this substantial volume of madness, murder, and spectral tragedy are tales of Carcosa, the characters that inhabit the KIY “Play”, and Chambers’ cosmic horror. Pulver’s tales adhere to Chambers’ core ideas and themes, and they retain all the mystery of Chambers originals. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. has been acclaimed by many notable editors, writers, and reviewers, as the contemporary heir to Robert W. Chambers’ “King in Yellow”. Have you seen the Yellow Sign?

“‘The King In Yellow’ reigns over the labyrinthine crossroads between the grand indifference of the cosmic Outside, and the inner wasteland of the tormented mind, so it’s no surprise to find Joe Pulver’s saturnine face so frequently behind the Pallid Mask. Joe plies the fathomless depths of existential nightmare breathing music and poetry, and brings back strangely beautiful salvage. That he has so lovingly and deeply explored Chambers’ bizarre pocket universe without destroying the merest scintilla of its mystery is ample testament to his painfully sharp craftsmanship and terrible wisdom.

My Thoughts:

It turns out this was a collection of madness in the form of frenetic poetry and fragments of prose. I thought I could make it through, surviving on the prose but at the 50% mark I simply couldn’t take any more.

I was bored, confused and feeling like someone was grinding broken glass into my earlobes. Not the feeling I want when reading a book. Heck, not the feeling I want, ever.

After the previous book, this was doubly disappointing.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Tales of Angria ★☆☆☆☆ DNF

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Title: Tales of Angria
Series: ———-
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Romance
Pages: DNF 10/786
Words: DNF 3k/227K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

In 1834, Charlotte Brontë and her brother Branwell created the imaginary kingdom of Angria in a series of tiny handmade books. Continuing their saga some years later, the five ‘novelettes’ in this volume were written by Charlotte when she was in her early twenties, and depict a aristocratic beau monde in witty, racy and ironic language. She creates an exotic, scandalous atmosphere of intrigue and destructive passions, with a cast ranging from the ageing rake Northangerland and his Byronic son-in-law Zamorna, King of Angria, to Mary Percy, Zamorna’s lovesick wife, and Charles Townshend, the cynical, gossipy narrator. Together the tales provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind and creative processes of the young writer who was to become one of the world’s great novelists.

My Thoughts:

When the story starts out with a heroine actively trying to emotionally seduce a married man, that was all it took for me to DNF this. I believe this is the last entry for Charlotte Bronte and my goodness, that is good. Outside of Jane Eyre and Villette, none of her stories have really stood up as far as I’m concerned.

It probably also didn’t help that the last couple of books have both been 1stars, dnf’s or both. Having three books in a row all be 1stars is wicked disheartening and the only thing I have to say is that the rest of the month better improve or I’ll be writing some seriously inappropriate book reviews where I get mean and ugly.

Bleh.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The Wings of the Dove ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@Page347

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Title: The Wings of the Dove
Authors: Henry James
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars DNF
Genre: Literature
Pages: 544 / 347
Words: 195K / 124K

★☆☆☆☆

There I was, reading a lengthy, wordy, utterly pointless and despicably worthless book. I’d been trapped in this book since January of 2021. I would take lunch and when I felt up to it, I’d read 1-5 pages. The author’s determination to make everything as complicated, opaque and difficult as possible made me want to beat him over the head with this tome. But I didn’t stop.

I was obviously a sick and addicted man. But it wasn’t MY fault. I HAD to read this book to prove to all those Literature People that I was just as intelligent as them! Without this book, how could I show my face in public and discuss the principles of Historical Victorianism Viewed Through a Lens of Ironic Byronism? I NEEDED this book. I really needed a DNF but I hid my problem so well that nobody suspected, not even my closest friends. Without knowing I even had a problem, there was no way they could stage an intervention and get me the help I so desperately needed. So I was stuck in a self-destructive loop of Modern Literature and Pride.

I needed a Hero. Someone to rescue me. Someone to bash Henry James in the face while simultaneously shoving all 544 pages of this book down his scrawny throat. But in this Age of Grimdark Villains and Anti-Heroes, where would I even begin looking for such a Hero as I needed? Even when I asked Shrek to use this book as toilet paper, he read one sentence and simply ran away. Where Oh Where was my Hero!?

♪I need a hero♪

♪I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night♪

♪He’s gotta be strong♪

♪And he’s gotta be fast♪

♪And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight♪

♪I need a hero♪

♪I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light♪

♪He’s gotta be sure♪

♪And it’s gotta be soon♪

♪And he’s gotta be larger than life♪

♪Larger than life♪

It turns out, My Hero was right next to me this whole time and I never even realized it until it was too late. My good friend, mild mannered energy drink, Mr Silver Ice came to work with me one day. Little did I know that HE was the Super Hero known as The Rockstar. When The Rockstar saw what was going on he realized only one thing could save me. That day, The Rockstar poured his life out for me and destroyed that book because I was unable to do it myself. I stand here before you all today ONLY because The Rockstar was a true, selfless and self-sacrificing hero. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about. When I opened my bag at lunch and saw the sacrifice The Rockstar had made for me, the chains of bondage to that terrible book were broken and I DNF’d it right on the spot.

Friends, I hope my experience can help some of you. I know the addiction of being a completist, the siren call to just finish the book, no matter how terrible it is. The agony, the pain, the deception as you avoid your friends’ eyes and tell them everything is fine. I KNOW. And I sympathize. But you have to accept that you can’t do this alone. DNF’ing is a matter that can cut to the soul and most times we simply can’t do it. While not everyone has a friend like The Rockstar to help them like I had, I vow, here and now, to help everyone I come across who is struggling with this issue. Do you need help DNF’ing a book? Then I will help you.

I will carry on the Legacy that The Rockstar started in my life. Bad Books and Jackass Authors will tremble at the mere sight of my shadow. The sound of my fingers typing will send them into paroxysms of terror. The Righteous Flames of Wrath will be so expressive from my eyes that their souls will writhe and shrivel to bother us no more.

So fear not, mortals, for this day, in your very sight, a New Defender has arisen. The Bookstooge will be the scourge of the Space Ways, protecting all who may need it (and even those who don’t, sometimes anyway).

Mild Mannered Bookstooge
And his alter-ego, The Bookstooge!

Hangman’s Holiday ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@55%

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Title: Hangman’s Holiday
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey #9
Author: Dorothy Sayers
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 234 /DNF@120
Words: 63K /DNF@32K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia:

Lord Peter Wimsey stories:

  • “The Image in the Mirror” – Wimsey must help a man with situs inversus, who believes he is going mad after being haunted by a doppelganger.
  • “The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey” – A man studying Basque culture enlists Wimsey’s help in saving an expatriate American woman whom the villagers believe is bewitched.
  • “The Queen’s Square” – Wimsey attends a fancy dress ball during the Christmas season, where several people dressed as chess pieces become suspected of killing a female blackmailer.
  • “The Necklace of Pearls” – Wimsey tries to avoid scandal when a fun-filled Christmas Eve at Sir Septimus Shale’s house turns into an uncomfortable affair after a priceless pearl necklace goes missing.
  • Montague Egg stories:
    • “The Poisoned Dow ’08” – Mr. Egg arrives at a client’s house to find him dead, and the police in need of evidence about a shipment of bottles Mr. Egg delivered earlier.
    • “Sleuths on the Scent” – Mr. Egg uses his knowledge of various professions to flush out a murderer hiding in a pub.
    • “Murder in the Morning” – Mr. Egg finds himself one of those suspected in the murder of a client, and gives evidence at inquest.
    • “One Too Many” – Mr. Egg’s knowledge of the train ticket system helps the police find an absconding banker and his secretary.
    • “Murder at Pentecost” – While trying to win a bet against an Oxford University student, Mr. Egg discovers the motive and opportunity of a very clever murderer.
    • “Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz” – After helping an impoverished child sell her cat, Mr. Egg discovers the cat has run away from its new home and in tracing it back discovers the brutal murder of more than fifty cats and an elderly man.
  • Other stories:
    • “The Man Who Knew How”- A man becomes obsessed with finding and stopping what he believes is a serial killer.
    • “The Fountain Plays” – A man being blackmailed tries to figure out how to rid himself of his tormentor, but finds himself at the mercy of a second blackmailer.
My Thoughts:

This is the book where Sayers and I part ways. I realized it was her, and her writing style, that grated on me and not necessarily the character of Lord Peter Wimsey. I figured this out because half this blasted book wasn’t EVEN ABOUT Lord Wimsey. I felt cheated and tricked.

When Sayers can be bothered, she can tell a great story. The problem is that she messes up her stories by making it all about the mystery and the process instead of the story itself being the central point. I don’t want to solve the mystery or have every blasted detail etched into my brain. I want a good story. Apparently Mrs Sayers disagrees with me and I’m forced to believe that so do her adherents.

Be that as it may, I’m done. This wasn’t the first LPW book that I wished was finished quicker, but the fact that I simply quit after the second Montague Egg story was enough. Enough is enough is enough.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The Best Science Fiction of the Year (2015) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@5%

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 Best Science Fiction of the Year (2015)
Series: The Best SF of the Year #1
Editor: Neil Clarke
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF Short Story Collection
Pages: DNF@5%
Words: DNF@5%



Synopsis:

Table of Contents

“Introduction: A State of the Short SF Field in 2015” by Neil Clarke

“Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker

“Calved” by Sam J. Miller

“Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson

“The Smog Society” by Chen Quifan

“In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard

“Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfiang

“Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman

“Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu

“Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley

“So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer

“Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn

“Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie

“The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee

“Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper

“The Audience” by Sean McMullen

“Empty” by Robert Reed

“Gypsy” by Carter Scholz

“Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii

“Damage” by David D. Levine

“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin

“No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven

“Outsider” by An Owomeyla

“The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu

“Cocoons” by Nancy Kress

“Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim

“Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer

“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald

“Meshed” by Rich Larson

“A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds

2015 Recommended Reading List

My Thoughts:

I made it to the 3rd story before giving up. Horribly depressing. Perverse. Self-righteous. Smug.

While Clarke didn’t write these stories, he did choose them as the Best of 2015. That is just horrible. I think I’m going to be avoiding anything else with his name on it from now on.

If Woke Cli-Fi is your thing, then have at it. As for me, I’m going to go read something that is actually good.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger #3) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@30%

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Title: The King of Plagues
Series: Joe Ledger #3
Editor: Jonathan Maberry
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 492 / 160
Words: 151K / 50K



Synopsis:

DNF@30%

My Thoughts:

By the 30% mark Maberry had used the term “hate crime” 15 times. I quit reading when he used the term to justify a muslim special forces guy beating people so badly that they ended up in the Emergency Room because they used words he didn’t like. It’s called Free Speech, for good AND bad. When you start telling people what words they can and cannot say or use, you have entered the Deep State.

So adios Maberry, you confirmed my fears about you and I’ll be avoiding you like the plague from now on.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The Irony of American History DNF (Unrated)

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Title: The Irony of American History
Series: ———-
Author: Reinhold Niebuhr
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: DNF
Words: DNF



Synopsis:

DNF during the intro by Andrew Bacevich.

My Thoughts:

I am not rating this book because I couldn’t even get past the introduction by a scumbag named Andrew Bacevich who appears to be a damned communist and someone I’d gladly kill. Thus, since I didn’t even make it to Niebuhr’s own words it isn’t fair to judge his book.

Maybe someday I’ll read this book but from what was in the introduction, I am extremely hesitant and doubtful. The fact that a lying scumsucking twatwad like Bacevich wrote what he did in the intro doesn’t bode well for the book itself. I hope Bacevich burns. I am sorry that Niebuhr’s book was saddled with an introduction like that. Nobody deserves that, not even if what is in the intro is indicative of the writing itself.

Because of this, I won’t be including this in my ratings score for the month.

Isotopes (A Very Short Introduction) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@20%

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Title: Isotopes
Series: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Rob Ellam
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 25 / 126
Words: 7.5K / 37K



Synopsis:

DNF@20%

My Thoughts:

This was the straw that broke the Bookstooge’s back. I just couldn’t take this series and it’s pointlessness any more. It was not horrible, it was not any worse than some of the other fething pieces of excrement from this series but I had reached my limit and this pushed me that one fatal step beyond that limit.

In regards to the series overall, I HIGHLY DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. The premise it is based on is a false one, it is misleading and the writers involved, for the most part, are not authors by any stretch of the imagination. Overall I am very unhappy with my experience with this series and if there was a poll or something, I’d be giving Oxford Press a big fat negative score. If they worked at Target, they’d be getting the lowest scores possible and then get in trouble with their bosses for doing such a poor job.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Break the Chains (Scorched Continent #2) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@37%

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Title: Break the Chains
Series: Scorched Continent #2
Author: Megan O’Keefe
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 316 / 117
Words: 106K / 39K



Synopsis:

DNF@37%

My Thoughts:

I was completely bored. And I shouldn’t have been. Some of the side characters had gotten thrown in a top level prison to find a genius tactician and the main characters, when I stopped, had just tried to rob an army vault. It should have been wicked exciting. Instead, I found myself wondering what the temperature outside was.

This is exactly what happened to me in the first book the first time around and I just figured it was me. Well, lesson learned. This is all on the author for boring me to death. Nothing bad, not even bad writing or anything I can say “No, I will not accept that”, just plain old boring boringness.

I sentence this writer to be cast out into the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth for the terrible sin of boring me. * bangs gavel * Case dismissed!

Rating: 1 out of 5.