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Ancillary Justice: 1 (Imperial Radch)
Ancillary Justice: 1 (Imperial Radch)
by Ann Leckie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent tedious drag, 13 Mar. 2016
Lots of words sprang to mind as I read this book: ponderous, tedious and self-indulgent being just three of them.
At the core there are some interesting elements - AI ships, with claimed human bodies so they can be everywhere, see everything, hear everything. And what happens if they are divided somehow, if they begin to work against effectively themselves?
This book has won awards, a lot of them, which is a complete mystery to me. The front cover declares it is a space opera - um, no, a space opera is big, dramatic, action packed and sweeping. This tale was shallow, contained and crept forward at snail's pace.
The author throws an awful lot of political and religious elements at the reader - seemingly in the hope that something will stick. We are hammered with not only family names and personal names but also military ranks which makes the characters confusing and their position in this world never particularly clear.
And the assignment of only the female gender to characters - the constant 'she' - when clearly many of the characters are male just struck me as inordinately lazy on the authors part - keeping this shallow world definitely parked in the kiddie part of the pool. None of the characters had any depth - including Breq - the lead. Who is effectively expressionless in face and mind, often not even knowing why she performs an action, never bothering to analyse her motives or even offer up a guess as to her reason - saving Seivardan twice and once at great personal risk to herself - for example - I would have thought should have given her some pause for introspection.

This story could have been told in any number of ways - what a pity the author chose this path.

Mind Magic : A Novel of the Lupi
Mind Magic : A Novel of the Lupi
by Eileen Wilks
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - with lots of twists, 2 Jan. 2016
This series completely snuck up on me. Have read the books over the years and enjoyed them, finding it easy to immerse myself in this interesting world and liking Lily/Rule more and more with each book. Then I noticed something about four/five books ago - this series had leapt on to my pre-order must buy list and remained there.
Mind Magic, book 12, is typical of the high-quality, great read the author provides. Smart, fully fleshed characters. Worthy bad guys - lots of new ones, with challenging magic/skills popping up all the time to give our good guys a hard time (though thankfully they always triumphant) Lots of twists, turns and high stakes are always in play. There are small touches of humour, romance, action and loss... that fully round out each read.
Honestly, I think this is one of the rare series that just gets better and better with each instalment. Bring on book 13, can't wait.

Shadow's End (Elder Races)
Shadow's End (Elder Races)
by Thea Harrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No longer a fan... done., 1 Jan. 2016
I'm putting the pin in this series. After the horrendous book 7, and now this, Shadow's End book 9... no more. Where is the charm, the fun, the spark b/w the leads that was so apparent in the early books?
Let me count the ways I hated this book-
-The heroine, Bel. Too regal, weak and humourless.
- No spark b/w the leads. Hard to work out why within a matter of hours of meeting they are having sex? Firstly because she's still married. Secondly because she's on some important mission to track down her son, who may be in grave danger - but hey, let's stop and have sex.... what the?
- The sex scene, was overwrought considering they had met four hours earlier - the prose suggests a transcendent attraction but all I got was a lot of overblown description and blandness.
- The first 100 pages - the flashback was boring.

Hoped things would get better when we returned present day, but the lack of spark b/w the leads meant this was a grind to read. I had to give up at the 70% mark. Graydon's lack of honour was too much to bear - he's let a magical criminal wreak havoc for over two hundred years because of a woman he met/slept with in a matter of hours? I just couldn't believe it.

This book was a complete plod, boring and unworthy of Graydon - I can hardly believe that the same author wrote the earlier books in the series

How Beauty Met the Beast
How Beauty Met the Beast
Price: £1.62

3.0 out of 5 stars Short story - ends with very few answers provided, 24 Nov. 2015
This was heading for a four star review but the abrupt - out of no where - ending, threw a cold bucket of water on that idea.
Interesting, well written take on the Beauty and the Beast legend, with a secret magic society thrown in for good measure.
Enjoyed the story as a whole - but it was cheapened by the abrupt ending and the sudden realisation that the author has chopped up the tale into little vinaigrette stories, purely, I can only assume, so that they can make more money - it was a shame and made me as a reader feel cheated.
I probably won't be progressing with the series.

Immortally Yours (Monster MASH Series Book 1)
Immortally Yours (Monster MASH Series Book 1)
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Cool concept but flat story, 24 Nov. 2015
An exceedingly clever location/idea was pretty much ruined by the writer. Her characters were ho hum, the hero one dimensional and her heroine kind of petulant. The plot was tedious and clumsy. Felt like this should have either been more exciting or more funny, perhaps both. Even free I can only give this two stars as it was readable but I never fell in like, let alone love with it.

Sleeping With the Wolf: After the Crash, Book One
Sleeping With the Wolf: After the Crash, Book One
by Maddy Barone
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.71

2.0 out of 5 stars Modern woman to submissive kept woman in five easy steps, 24 Nov. 2015
The premise of this book sounded promising and fresh. And to give the author credit - it is well written. I just didn't like it. In this new future men are dominant, aggressive, protective. Women whilst precious are effectively possessions/chattel who can hope for nothing but a life of drudgery, isolation and squeezing out babies.
The whole throwing in werewolves came from left field and to my mind distracted rather than added to the story.
Basically the whole book is about how modern women (from the plane crash) must come to accept, make peace with their new status. So careers - gone. Decision making - gone. Independence - gone. But they fall in love so everything is alright? This annoyed me thoroughly. I won't be reading anymore books set in this future.

The Wolf Within: Volume 1 (Purgatory)
The Wolf Within: Volume 1 (Purgatory)
by Cynthia Eden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.07

2.0 out of 5 stars Good start but failed to deliver, 24 Nov. 2015
Book started off promising. It was well written, characters interesting, was well on it's way to being a four star read, then everything changed... at the 50% mark I lost all interest, the story had become repetitive and kind of boring. Seriously, how many times can they end up back in the lab, separated, him telling the h to stay away for her own good, her half brother interfering, all the agents threatening to kill the H for the umpteenth time...
Don't care how it ends, I'm done.

Prudence: Book One of The Custard Protocol
Prudence: Book One of The Custard Protocol
by Gail Carriger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Sparkled - then quickly grew tiresome, 9 Nov. 2015
It was with great pleasure I cracked open this book, as a big fan of the parasol protectorate series, it was a real treat to return to this world. Certainly the first few chapters lived up to my expectations. The dialogue sparkled. The set up was fun. And a few of my favourite characters showed up. I found Prudence daring, funny and charming but then everything dropped off a cliff... or should that be, took to the skies. From the moment Prudence and her gang lifted off everything went pear shaped.
Now that Prudence was front and centre she quickly began to test my patience. What was once charming was now irritating. She was selfish, wanting everything her way and couldn't seem to make up her mind whether she was a daring/blue stocking or rigid/rule follower - sometimes in the same chapter. The story wended its way forward, with little tension added.
Grew so tired by the last few chapters I kept checking to see how many pages I had left to read (never a good sign) and began to skim read.
In a word, I grew bored. Prudence came across too Y.A for my taste. The story was a bit of a mess, and Prudence's involvement seemed to only make things worse and despite kidnappings/strange creatures appearing... the whole thing was just kind of tiresome. What a great pity.

Ruthless Game: Number 9 in series (Ghostwalker Novel)
Ruthless Game: Number 9 in series (Ghostwalker Novel)
by Christine Feehan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1.0 out of 5 stars kick ass heroine - was too limp to live, 9 Nov. 2015
Grrr, the heroine Rose killed this story for me. She's constantly stating she is capable and kick ass but at the same time seems to always be holding back tears. The author sets Rose up to make a multitude of mistakes - all so the hero can point them out, be forced to manage them and basically save the day.
So whilst the H was perfect - the h was in reality kind of weak and needs the big gorgeous H to care for her - ick.
This was dnf for me at the 60% mark, the romance was too boring, and I just stopped caring what happened to the H/h.

Dead Ice (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter 24)
Dead Ice (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter 24)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No mystery - Anita's life has become a non stop roller coaster train wreck, 9 Nov. 2015
Reading LKH these days is like a train wreck. I can't not read but thanks to my library at least I don't have to resent paying for the privilege.
Dead Ice starts well - setting up the case Anita is currently working on. And if we'd just stuck with the police work this novel could have worked for me.
But in the end I think it would be lucky to say seven or eight chapters focus on the 'dead ice' case whilst the rest of the novel is a frantic series of personal events that Anita seems powerless to control or avoid. Seriously, the woman should just put her foot down, tell everyone to back off and chill for a while.
The problems;
- on three separate occasions Anita goes nuclear on someone's ass, they underestimate her, she takes them to the floor, threatens to kill/fire them and then boom, backs off or recants... huh
- All the recapping... seriously? Just give us a character glossary and get on with the fricking story.
- Anita is finally happy with the number of people in her life (sort of) can't we delve further into those relationships rather than keep adding numbers to the revolving bed?
- Jean-Claude is supposed to be King - then act like one. Kill Asher, banish him, whatever, but lets move on from this repeating disaster.
- the whole, I love you, I love you most, I love you mostest... gag me with a spoon every time I see it in print.
- if I had a dollar for every time Anita does her woe is me - I've resigned myself to dating men who are more gorgeous than I am - routine, I'd be filthy wealthy. How... in the world, considering EVERYONE wants to bed her, can Anita still be so bloody insecure about her looks/appeal?
- Every character it seems must have a personal hangup. And LKH often pulls them out of thin air just to annoy us and cause tension for Anita, Dom thinking she used him as zombie bait when only a few lines earlier Anita states he hadn't heard her over the flamethrower, tell everyone to get back from the grave's edge. Why doesn't she just tell him that. Instead he goes berserk, ridiculous, she's working and a professional, why would she put up with his nonsense?
- The increase in Anita's power / Micah and Dev's ability to change to new forms - this is all pretty major but no one goes looking for answers - weird.

And the worse problem with this book. Manny mentions who the killer is very early on in the book. So instantly as a reader all tension/mystery was drained. But Anita didn't even twig to who it was. Seriously? She didn't think - well the only person who could have possibly done this is dead, powers can be passed on genetically, perhaps I should look at her family members?
It just made Anita look too stupid to live.

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