November 2019 — A Wrap Up

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Ugh, this was just torture! I didn’t have any issues with the story or the characters. In fact, the author built up the suspense wonderfully. You could feel your horror grow as you realized that nobody would take these kids seriously. Or, the fact that this wasn’t the first time this carnival had come around. I didn’t even mind that we never really find out the origins of the evil in the carnival. What I didn’t like was the language. It felt pretty at the beginning but soon turned the book into a slog-fest for me!

So grateful that this was a short read too. What’s with the books I am choosing these days anyway?

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The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

From involving a teenager to solve a case and endangering her to an annoying as hell protagonist, this story is full of holes. The male lead is just too everything because of course he is — and that includes being an overcontrolling asshole.

Sure, I am not a YA-lover but this one was just impossible to like. The premise intriguing — a girl to whom the dead and buried call. But how it was handled was just blech. I don’t think I’ll be reading the other books in this series. In fact, I only picked this one up for a challenge.

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

While I gave this book 3 stars, it was a 2 star read for me. The last star was for the writing style, which I liked, and the LGBT representation — even if it felt like a token in the case of some characters.

I wasn’t crazy about this book because it felt incomplete and tried to achieve too much for a novella. Even though, the story’s premise was a good one, the identity of the killer was no mystery. It felt as if the author didn’t put enough hard work in deciding who the killer would be.

Hope the second one is better!

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God’s War by Kameron Hurley

If you’re going to base your faux-religion off on one that exists, you need to get everything right. It didn’t take me two seconds to guess which one was the basis for this book. So, back to my original argument. Muslims don’t eat dog meat; it is haram — if the author can use the word halal in a supposedly badass expression, they should also know the word for its opposite. Additionally, their protagonist shouldn’t be eating dog meat.

Similarly, Rhys, who is shown as a devout follower, would stand up to pray even in the middle of a battle. Yet he fails to pray when he hears the call of prayer while being transported across the border in a body bag with no certainty if they will make it. Muslims who aren’t able to pray standing up for reasons, such as health or a handicap, etc., do so while sitting down. Those who cannot manage that may pray lying down. And for those who aren’t able to do even that may pray with gestures.

If the Kitab — a stand in for Quran — is so holy, how come people are writing its verses on the ground or floor tiles? We don’t even touch the Book without ablution, for God’s sake.

Religious inaccuracies aside, I had issues with other stuff too. For instance, there’s the fact that the whole thing is a slug-fest against the protagonist. Everyone fears her fighting skills, survivability, and smarts. I saw no evidence in favor of those qualities. She continued to bumble into every fight, screwed up everything, got beaten up, and didn’t have two brain cells to put to work and reveal what was really going on.

I didn’t even connect with the other characters enough to be worried about them. They weren’t as developed as to be interesting anyway.

We never get an explanation about the bugs that seem to be everywhere and at the root of everything. Where did they come from? How are they connected with magic? Why are they even there, except to make the book odd?

I may read the next book in the series to see if it makes sense or explains anything that happened in this one!

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Small Favor by Jim Butcher

Sure, this series consists of formulaic books. Dresden faces the Big Bad. He mouths off while thinking, there’s no way I am going to survive this. Then he pulls a rabbit out of his hat and lives to tell the next tale.

They’re like the family-sized containers of ice creams. You salivate at the thought of all that goodness waiting for you in the freezer. But you also know exactly how it’s going to taste — nobody buys new flavors in that huge a size. You gorge yourself on it. But then you begin to feel bad about all the gluttony you displayed. A week or two down the road, you buy a new pack!

So, no. I am not complaining about that. What I didn’t like — besides all that — was that the plot started with Marcone getting kidnapped. What happened to it? Moreover, the basis for the Winter Fae for getting involved in the mess — and dragging Harry along — in the whole thing was just stupid.

Moreover, this installment was just non-stop action. I did like how the author described each battle. Although it also made me think how Harry could function on no sleep. I turn into a zombie for half the day since I stay up late to read each night.

The silver hand, Harry meeting Uriel, and the whole thing with Luccio…blech. Here’s why, though. The first thing: too easy a solution for Harry’s problem and it came out of nowhere. The second thing: angels? Really? Do we need to muddy the waters already oozing with more characters than we can handle with still more characters? And the last one: it felt like I didn’t know the Luccio that I saw in this book. I did make an irreverent meme, though:

I really enjoy reading about Michael and his family. It was heartbreaking to see him think — even for a second — that maybe he could hang up his sword. And maybe he didn’t have to save someone. But he’s only human and I loved that shaking of faith. He was also so gentle while informing Harry that his brain had been tempered with. But that’s just Michael being himself.

On to the next one, I guess!

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Find my review here.

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Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Find my review here.

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Room by Emma Donoghue

Just plain disturbing! I wanted to like the main characters. They underwent trauma and lived to tell the tale. In fact, the woman was resourceful and very very smart about how she planned her escape. But all I could think about when I looked at her was breastfeeding! breastfeeding! breastfeeding! The whole thing made me uncomfortable and not in an it-forces-you-to-think way. The kid I just found annoying.

I did like how the world, including their families, treated them after they managed to escape. The woman had probably thought that surviving the room would be her biggest challenge. She hadn’t expected the weird questions that the media would ask her. Or, whether her family would be able to get used to her presence after such a long period of disappearance.

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Feed by Mira Grant

What I Liked:
That we get an explanation of the origins of the zombie virus. Put me in mind of I Am Legend — a book that I have undying love for!

The whole Romero thing and how his movies served as teaching material for the zombie-killing and survival.

What I Didn’t Like:
There are almost no female characters to speak of, except for the female protagonist. And if there are any, they are treated very shabbily. Even their teammate, Buffy, turns out to a traitor. The only female presidential candidate is big-boobed and stays in the race for as long as she does because of the knockers and her ability to dress as scandalously as she can. The wife of another presidential candidate is only good for being a housewife, staying out of the limelight, and one instance of slapping the villain.

The villain is an idiot. I didn’t really expect the author to set him up as the man behind the evil plot because it was too expected. Secondly, he starts off as trying to defeat his opponent in a very stupid way. Killing someone’s daughter will only turn the public’s sympathy in their favor — not the other way round! Then he thinks fine, I’ll ride on his coattails. Sabotaging the person you want to use to your advantage only means you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Overall, this wasn’t a world-changing book and not only because it doesn’t even fit the genre that it supposedly belongs to, i.e., horror or zombies. But it is an enjoyable read.

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Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Rant here.

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Breed by Chase Novak

Reviewed here.

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The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

Like so many books I have read this month, this one pissed me off!
For one, the author tried to be clever with time travel. The outcome was a convoluted mess in which everything that could go wrong, did.

Then there was the gross unexpected hint of a romance between a shiny new teenager and a middle-aged fairy. I get that Holly’s body is under the onslaught of the oh-so-terrible teenage hormones when she travels back in time. But yuck!

Moreover, we had met a potential love interest for Artemis in the previous book. Where did she go? Why wasn’t she in this one?

And even though I get why the author introduced twin siblings into the Fowl family — he has plans for them in the last book — did they have to be so annoying? Thankfully, their appearance was brief.

Can anybody kill Opal for me? Returning from the dead once was irritating enough. Why did she need to be in this one too? Moreover, she escapes in this one too. Wth?

Oh, and the only species that became extinct because of Artemis is the cure for the sickness that befalls his mother? Puh-lease!

Finally, the villain. The whole philosophy of exctinctionists made zero sense. The author didn’t even bother giving the villain any depth.

What is happening to one of my favorite series?!

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Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Again, dark and violent as YA is supposed to be. Great premise and the use of elements of horror, which would keep any non-horror readers — like myself — at the edge of their seat. If only it had also had characters that I could connect with. I didn’t even care what happened to them or who died. Moreover, when we are told the reason behind the haunting and everything, we don’t get a backstory about the evil woman behind it. Finally, the ending wasn’t satisfying enough either.

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power

These days, YA novels are darker and violent. Wilder Girls ticked both those boxes. Aside from that, it also deserves appreciation for the inclusion of an LGBT element. Interesting protagonists. Appropriately menacing air that makes you imagine things far worse than they actually are. Good ending that is conclusive but still leaves some room for an interpretation of your own. Beautiful cover, which made me think this book would look so amazing in the form of a graphic novel. Something like The Wilds. So far so good, right?

The book disappoints when it comes to the mystery itself. For one, nothing unexpected happens. Secondly, I don’t get how the scientists could miss that the reason behind the infection was a worm-like creature. Would it not show up on any scans? What were they even testing for?

Book Cover for One of Our Thursdays is Missing

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde

Link to review here.

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The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

This installment made for good reading but it didn’t capture my interest the way the first one had. It could be because the protagonist here was more laconical or less funny. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun reading it.

The author also raises questions about the morality of cloning and what makes us us. However, they didn’t go on and on about it, which made it easier for me to follow the story.

The eponymous Ghost Brigades are created to do humans’ dirty work. If that means killing babies, then they will do it — and have nightmares about it later. But they are also reviled because of the extent they have to go for the survival of the species. It seems as if they cannot win and provides fertile ground for dissension, bitterness, and hate.

Being considered sub-human isn’t fun for anyone. So, I am sure we’re going to see some fireworks in the next one!

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Dark Ghost by Christine Feehan

If you’ve read one, you’ve read em all when it comes to this series. I continue because I am not going to stop after reading more than 20 books. In short, I’ll be seeing this series to its conclusion even if it kills me!

So, how was November for you?

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Judi Lynn says:

    LOL. I love your reviews. I never know what to expect. I mean, Ray Bradbury is a classic. I read the book and enjoyed it. I met the man he left all of his files and papers to in Indianapolis at a writers’ conference, and there are TONS of files. He’s trying to sort them out for the regional campus there. It doesn’t sound like a great month for your reading, though. Hope December offers up better ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Midu Hadi says:

      And it’s not like I like dissing classics. Really, I don’t. But this was so not my month! 😭
      Also, wow @the Bradbury heir!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Judi Lynn says:

        Hope you find all good books for your next reviews:)

        Liked by 1 person

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