Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: What White Boyz Ride

What White Boyz Ride What White Boyz Ride by Kelley Nyrae

I'm not going to drag this out: I didn't find anything redeeming in this book. Not the characters in the stories, not the plots of the stories,not the writing, not the settings, not a thing. If you're a fan of these authors, this book might be for you. If you're picking it (and them) up for the first time, prepare to be disappointed. I won't be reading anything by any of these authors again.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review: Tortured

Tortured Tortured by Amanda McIntyre

I'm not giving this book a rating because I didn't finish it. But, unlike most DNF's, I'm not sure it was entirely the book's fault. It isn't badly written, and there are some interesting historical details. But, I was bored. I didn't engage with the characters, and I skimmed more than half of it before I decided to just give up. The parts that I read seemed well written, and the premise I was getting was interesting enough for me to pick up the book in the first place. But, I just didn't find it enough to keep reading. I would try another book by this author, but I won't be giving THIS book another try.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Review: Lamentation

Lamentation (The Psalms of Isaak) Lamentation by Ken Scholes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The audio version of this book was fantastic, but this may have been a case where the print version would have made things easier. You can flip back, in the print version, when things start falling into place. Or, when things get even more confusing. Both situations happened during this book.

If you're a fan of the political intrigue, twisty plot and twisty characters version of SF/Fantasy, this book will be right up your alley. How Scholes ever kept it all straight could probably be a book all its own! Yet, he doesn't sacrifice characterization for the sake of plot. Each of the characters makes you feel somthing for them. It isn't always a good something, but Scholes manages to make even the worst characters seem redemptive. And I mourned the absence of Gregoric secondary characters I probably wasn't meant to get so attached to. I won't say more than that for spoilerish reasons.

I was a little bit lost at the end, but that could be because I was listening, working and/or driving while I listened and was bound to miss important clues given at important times. But, it is possible that there were a few too many twists and turns. Nothing is as it seems in the Named Lands, and, possibly, even beyond. Can't wait for book 2, which I'll be taking in with my eyes instead of my ears.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Review: In the President's Secret Service

In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect by Ronald Kessler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Parts of this book were so good I didn't want to put it down. Yet, there were some parts that were so boring I skimmed the pages. There were some good insights into the Secret Service, and the history of the organization was wonderfully done. But, at times, the book took on a gossipy tone which, while fun to read, didn't really add much to the core content. On the other hand, that is probably what will move books because we have an unquenchable thirst for gossip about....well, everyone.

What I found most amazing about this book was how stupid some of my fellow citizens can be when it comes to how (and how not to) behave in regards to people who enjoy Secret Service protection. Most of the things that are detailed in the book had me saying "Really? Someone would really be that dumb? Seriously?!" The book passes a lot of it off as mental instability/illness and I'm sure some of that is true. But there seems to be just a lack of common sense in these anecdotes as well.

As always, readers have to decide for themselves how much of it they're going to believe. When you're dealing with real people, especially real people who aren't around to defend themselves anymore, you take it all with a grain of salt. I can't remember what I said to half the people I saw last week. Do I really believe all of the reports in this book were remembered correctly from 10, 20, 40 years before? Not necessarily. And, there is always bias involved when you have people reporting what other people may have done or said. That's just how things go. But, taking that into account, I believe you can still get the gist of the Secret Service job and a sense of how they felt about the particular people they were assigned to guard. If you're a political history buff, or have an interest in the secret service,you'll probably want to check this one out.

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