Review-Half-off Ragnarok

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I simply love Seanan McGuire’s writing. Both series, so completely different, have caught and held my interest, though I have heard rumblings about the last October Daye book.

Ragnarok is the first book about Alex, Verity’s brother, the only returning character from the first two books is Sarah, who is making a slow recovery from the events of Midnight-blue Light Special. Alex is every bit as charming a character as Verity in his own way and he also comes with a colony of Aeslin mice.

Because if we are all honest we are only reading these books for the mice.  😉

Alex is in Ohio at the Columbus zoo giving lectures at the reptile house and doing covert studies of the local fricken population. Fricken=feathered frog. The fricken population is growing and the reason might not be good news for any of us.

Unfortunately there is even worse news- someone or something is turning employees of the zoo and the neighbor of Alex’s grandparents into stone. Whoever it is wants Alex dead, too, or maybe it’s Alex’s sort of girlfriend, Shelby, a visiting big cat specialist from Australia.

Alex, Shelby, and Alex’s assistant, Dee, are all keeping secrets, secrets that they will have to share if they want to catch a killer and sharing those secrets is not easy when the secrets have kept them alive.

As in the first two books McGuire introduces us to a lot of interesting characters, Alex’s grandparents, his assistant, a young wadjet and her fiancé; and also new creatures, his Church griffen, a cockatrice, frickens, lindworms.

I love her world, I love what she’s done with the state of Ohio.

Excerpt from Half-off Ragnarok:

“Shelby blinked. Then she blinked again, and finally, looking somewhat nonplussed, she asked, “Is anyone in Ohio human?””

Well, Shelby, I live in Ann Arbor and none of us think so. Go Blue! And cake and cheese for all.

 

 

Review- Deadshifted

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While Alexander’s Edie Spence series is still going strong it will be going on without me. I have become one of those people who can now walk away from an ongoing series if it jumps the shark or loses steam or my interest shifts.

I’ve liked and still do like Edie but Deadshifted didn’t work for me.

I love the whole plague ship plot, love it when the MC or MCs get stuck on a plane, boat, train, or island with  something sentient or not trying to kill everything. The plague worked, everything else not so much.

First and foremost, while I like Asher I don’t like the whole Asher-Edie relationship. It just does not work for me. The chemistry isn’t really there. It’s a good friends with benefits dort of deal but to extend it to this happily-ever-after kind of thing that Alexander seems to have done is not going to keep me reading.

So Asher convinces Edie that what they really need is a slow boat to Hawaii and Edie reluctantly agrees. It is almost immediately assured that fun and sun aren’t going to be what they get when Asher recognizes another passenger as someone from his not entirely sunny past.

Edie doesn’t want to think about large parts of Asher’s less than acceptable past but, please girl, this shapeshifter has been around the block, actually round several blocks in the most unsavory part of town, more than often than the postman so wanting to ignore them is like trying to ignore dandelions blooming on the front lawn.

Happy times don’t last as the passengers begin to fall ill and Asher disappears. Edie realizes if she wants answers she will have to find them -and Asher- herself. With a few seemingly unaffected crewmembers and passengers, who also didn’t really work for me,  Edie sets out to find both.

Gah. I couldn’t work up any interest in anything but Edie and the plague. Even the Shadows were annoying.

Without giving anything away, a large part of this book’s plot just seems to be the setup  for the next book’s plot. This didn’t work for me, something was off but beyond saying it felt flat and sort of contrived to build up to Bloodshifted I just can’t be more specific.

And I won’t be continuing with this series.

 

 

A Better Plan than Anne Rice Has

We’ve been going about this the wrong way. We don’t need a petition to save anonymity on Amazon. No, no. We need  a petition that allows Amazon to not post reviews that are not using the reviewer’s real name on the books of certain authors.

Simple, really. Amazon creates a little button that allows authors to choose to allow all reviews or only “real name” reviews. Make it retroactive, any previous review not acceptable under the new system will be deleted.

Reviewers wishing to post or repost will be given the choice of either having their real name, if they aren’t using it, now attached to every review and comment they have ever posted on Amazon or remaining anonymous and not reviewing certain authors.

Much easier, I think, and gives both author and reviewer a choice because both groups should be free to choose, not have the choice taken from them.

So, from a “blood-sucking parasite” to the woman who is famous for writing about blood-sucking parasites, isn’t this a much better solution?

What The Pirate Really Stole

[reblogged from my BookLikes page, Spare Ammo]

Just a little rant because time is short this morning.

What the (hopefully former) reviewer really stole was the kindness and friendship of a lot of blogger/reviewers. She stole it and used it and then threw it away. How many people exactly she used or tried to use we will probably never know, not with some bloggers blaming those that have come forward for coming forward. And there are some who will probably remain quiet because they, out of mistaken friendship, gave in to her repeated begging and gave her an eARC.

To those, like Bec and Alise, who posted blogs only presenting parts of the story and then shaking their fingers in the faces of all concerned, I wish you would turn off your computers and find something else to do with your time. Presenting only parts of the story, and those tailored to your needs, is wrong and you did a great disservice to the rest of the community you say you are a part of.

If you are going to tell a story you have to tell the whole story, you have to ask around and check your facts, you can’t ignore parts of it, and at some point you are going to have to name names. If you are going to talk about someone’s bad behavior then, for gods’ sake, make sure you talk about the right person.

In this instance, the bad behavior is the pirate’s and her friends and supporters who are still telling her that it is all right, she’s done her part and everyone else is being mean to her.

NO, NO, NO.

It’s not all right. She hasn’t stopped her behavior. Everyone else is just astonished, outraged, and hurt that she would treat so many people so badly and still keep on keeping on.

And they should be even more astonished, outraged, and hurt that other so-called members of the blogging community would jump on the bandwagon of a common unrepentant stupid criminal, because that is what she is, and cry about how badly she has been treated.

What the Hell is wrong with some of you? This woman lied, manipulated, and stole and isn’t the slightest bit sorry about it. Do you not think the rest of the blogging/reviewing community shouldn’t know precisely who and what she is? Before she can lie, manipulate and steal from them?

Those who engage in bad acts depend upon our silence, our reluctance to point a finger, to perhaps have to admit we were taken in. They rely on us to give them the benefit of the doubt. They rely on our kindness and our definition of friendship.

This little goniff is laughing at you, at the ones encouraging her, supporting her. She knows she can’t use people like Faye and Khanh anymore but she can definitely still use you. And she will, she will.

What did the pirate steal? The kindness and friendship that was extended to her, the good names of those that are supporting her, the brains of what seemed to be a few intelligent bloggers.

If you are interested, she dumped them all in the garbage bins behind GR, all she really wanted was the books.

I Want A Little List of Authors I Won’t Miss

[reblogged from my BookLikes blog, Spare Ammo]

“Anonymity is the root of so many of the problems that come with the Internet. It allows people to say things to each other they would never say to their face. Cowards can become fearless warriors when sitting in front of a keyboard because there are no consequences to what they write. 

As for those who are concerned about their safety and privacy, that concern should moderate what we say to each other and how we say it. It shouldn’t be used as an excuse to hide behind anonymous words.”- Part of a comment from an author in the KDP boards.

I still have my cold and I feel wretched and grumpy and my writing, not all that good anyway, reflects this.

I think perhaps removing the veil of anonymity from reviewers might not have the result authors are so fervently wishing for, I think it might have quite the opposite on the reviewers left reviewing.

They think that reviewers only write critical reviews because they don’t have to use their real names? No, no, I don’t think that is completely true. There are plenty of us writing critical reviews under our real names now and I think those of us who would be left standing after the “Great Unveiling” would be less inclined to be kind or considerate of author’s feelings.

I think those of us left reviewing, and if they think it’s hard to get reviews now how many do they think they would get if only real names were allowed, would look around and wonder why we gave a nickel-plated rat’s tushie about their work or their feelings or if we were “killing their careers”.

Those authors  might think that only their fans would be left standing but I’ve got news for them-not all of those fans would be willing to review under their real names. Just because some people only give positive reviews does not mean they would be happy putting their real name out there.

And there is also the reckless disregard of these authors for any concern beyond their own selfish desires. They  cannot or maybe  will not admit that there might be any reason for someone to want online anonymity beyond writing reviews. They seem to think if you need anonymity you brought it on yourself and if you are so concerned then just shut up and sign off.

There is no room for anyone’s concerns but their own. Charming.

One more thing, I think any author who supports that petition should stand up and say so. No hiding behind pseudonyms.

You want transparency, let’s have it. All the way. You have my name, now I want yours-no anonymous, no pseudonyms, no suck puppets-your name.

If you signed that petition then you need to stand up and say so, own your words, isn’t that what you want from reviewers? No cowering anonymously, anonymous doesn’t count anymore. You don’t get to have what you  spineless, self-absorbed, little weasels would deny to your reading public.

Not Really a Review of Not a Book At All

YESHUA, MY PRINCE CHARMING - Audrey Brown                                        Yeshua, My Prince Charming: Audrey's story - Ms. A B

This is Audrey’s life story and while I do not wish to seem dismissive of her life I just wish people would stop sharing their lives. Reading only the excerpt her childhood was miserable which might be part of the reason that her writing is so bad.

Grammar, punctuation, spelling, I have read worse but that is not a ringing endorsement. I found this not-a-book because Audrey spammed it in the  KDP. That’s right, looks like Audrey’s ability to read is on par with her ability to write.

Did you notice the price? Now did you notice the number of pages?  75 for the ebook and 86 for the print.  Did you notice the price? Yes, I repeated it, it bears repeating.  And 75 or 86 pages does not a book make.

Am I the only one to notice her name has a typo? (print copy only)

Then there is the LARGE, BOLD, COMPLETELY CAPITALIZED dedication and author’s note in both with the addition of bad formatting in the ebook.

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Audrey, and others like her, might have a story to tell but they lack the necessary skills to tell it. Unfortunately it does not stop them from trying to make money from it and I really, really dislike someone trying to take the money I make from a job well done for a job not done at all.

garble-de-gook                                     self-publishing