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Whale's Tooth

Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-06-15 14:27
subject: [Review] The Road Home by Michael Thomas Ford
security: Public
tags:fiction, gay fiction
The Road HomeThe Road Home by Michael Thomas Ford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of my favourites of this author's books. I liked the characters and their growth through the story and the theme of being true to yourself. The subplot of the 'ghosts' and their story had several parallels to the present day story and I liked the way it all came together. One to add to the wish list.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-04-20 10:37
subject: [Review] Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann
security: Public
tags:action, drama, fiction, romance, suspense
Breaking the Rules (Troubleshooters, #16)Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book was well worth the wait, and another good addition to the author's Troubleshooters series. I loved the combination of action, drama, hurt/comfort, angst and romance that this series does so well. I've always liked Izzy as a character and it was good to get some closure with his relationship with Eden. His banter is a fun mix of humour and pop references, especially when he and Dan start trading barbs. Good to see a continuation of Dan and Jenn's relationship too.

The secondary characters were also well fleshed out. Ben, I really liked and the fangirl in me loved the way he described the weapon the bad guys had by it's that one in the Buffy episode where.... Greg I wanted to smack.

Another one for the wishlist - and I hope there will be more in the series although I'm sure I read somewhere that she was taking a break from it. :( This is one of the few series/authors I drop what I'm reading when the new book turns up and can't put it down till I'm done.

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storyfan posting in whales_tooth
poster: storyfan
date: 2011-04-18 11:44
subject: Review: Dig This Gig by Laura Dodd
security: Public
tags:non-fiction
Photobucket

Dig This Gig by Laura Dodd is a career-exploration book targeting 20-somethings who are either just entering the workforce or who are already working and regretting their career choices.

Dodd begins by discussing job dissatisfaction, job insecurity and the importance of working in a field you enjoy. She then interviews a large number of young people who hold jobs that are either just slightly outside the norm or who have landed jobs in burgeoning industries. While the anecdotes are interesting, they aren't particularly helpful. Few interviews discuss exactly how much training or education are needed to obtain such jobs, where in the nation and the world these jobs can be found nor how they fit into family life if the job-holders decide they want to settle down and have a family one day.

The book isn't geared to my age group, of course, but on the advice of another reviewer who said the book could help anyone at any age, I picked it up. The reviewer also said the book had all kinds of advice about creating jobs, but I found little of that in the book. The majority of the interviewees work for someone else; they did not create their own positions.

While Dodd does mention the up-and-coming green jobs as well as the booming health-care industry, she also includes a section on journalism, including print journalism. Journalism is a dying industry, and it's one that I would have omitted from the book. She also discusses blogging which, in my opinion, is no way to make a living. There are millions of bloggers out there vying for attention. The chances of earning a living at blogging are slim at best.

However, I did enjoy the sections written by mentors. These people had a lot of helpful tips to impart, and I would rather have read more of those.

This book does give a general look at some jobs younger people who are not tied down to hearth and home might want to consider. The jobs are off the beaten path and might lead to work satisfaction. But if you're looking for details about how to get these jobs, you'll need to do a little more research.

In short, borrow the book from your library. I'm donating my copy to my local book-lender.
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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-04-18 11:40
subject: [Review] Elementary Erotica
security: Public
tags:detective, erotica, fiction, steampunk
Elementary EroticaElementary Erotica by Peter Tupper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an interesting collection of well written stories, although some of them appealed to me more than others. I really liked the idea of Sherlock Homes stories told against a backdrop of steampunk, and including an exploration of his and Watson's relationship.

The rating is more of a reflection of my own personal tastes in reading, rather than the quality of the stories as I prefer a bit more plot and a bit less sex. Some, I felt, were a good mix of the two (which I enjoyed a lot more) while others were sex with a very thin plot with the steampunk element being about variations on vibrators. Still, the mysteries solved by Holmes very much reflected his character and brilliance and were very well thought out and written - brilliant.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-04-08 13:10
subject: [Review] The Shadow Project by Herbir Brennan
security: Public
tags:action, drama, fiction, sf, ya
The Shadow ProjectThe Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting idea about a group of teenagers acting as spies using astral projection. This was a good, fast read although some continuity jarred in places which made me stop, go back, and reread in case I'd missed something which I hadn't. Still enjoyable though and I'm interested in what the author does in developing the characters more and the 'triangle' between them.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-04-06 10:57
subject: [Review] Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
security: Public
tags:fiction, gay fiction, romance
Tigers and DevilsTigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was in love with this by only a couple of chapters in. The characters sucked me in, not just Simon and Declan, but the others especially Fran and Roger. Although it's the story of Simon and Declan's relationship, it's very much also a story of friendship. I think Simon's words at the end sum that part of it up: "In life, like football, you need a good team to support you."

I was wary going in with it being set around the game as I'm not a follower of sport in any shape or form, but the characters won me over, it was a part of their lives but the story was about /them/ - if that makes sense.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the fact it was set in Australia so a lot of the slang was familiar etc, and the references. Most of what I read is set elsewhere so that made me happy too.

This is one I'd highly recommend and it's going on my wish list for a print copy although I already have an ebook and I read the hardcopy from the library. I'm still rather old-fashioned that way.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-03-30 12:16
subject: [Review] Time Riders - The Doomsday Code by Alex Scarrow
security: Public
tags:action, drama, fiction, science fiction, ya
The Doomsday Code (TimeRiders, #3)The Doomsday Code by Alex Scarrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third in the Time Riders series and just as good as the other two. This would be one of my current favourite series and I'm hanging out for the next one when they visit the American Civil War. This story, which takes place partly in the time of Robin Hood and gives a different take on it, is a good read with plenty of action and drama. I really like the ongoing mystery which is building with each book and the individual growth of the characters. Even Becks, one of the AIs, learns and grows in this one. There's also a melanchony with the story, of people they can't save and things that can't be changed. It's realistic.

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storyfan posting in whales_tooth
poster: storyfan
date: 2011-03-19 15:30
subject: Review - Split Image by Robert B. Parker
security: Public
tags:crime, dectective, fiction, murder, mystery
split image

Earlier in his career, the late Robert B. Parker was a master of detective fiction. His "Spenser" series was groundbreaking, and his ability to write both male and female detectives was laudatory. Parker was rewarded with great financial and critical success, and he deserved it — at first.

I've only read a couple of his books, but I've listened to at least a dozen audio presentations, written at various points throughout his prolific career. "Split Image" was one of his last.

I get the feeling that Parker simply coasted through his final books, including this one, rehashing old plots, dusting off old dialogue and then collecting his royalty checks. The plots that were so well done in his early Spenser books have all but fallen by the wayside.

In "Split Image," the characters, Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone (who each have their own series but cross over from time to time), are simply going through the motions. Their cases (his are murders, and hers involves a questionable religious organization) don't cross paths, and neither one of them seem to be all that concerned about solving them. In fact, they don't. Other people essentially solve the cases for them.

What is supposed to pass for witty dialogue (the book is almost all dialogue, with annoying "he said," "she said" tags littered throughout) is tired and old — we've seen it all before in Parker's own books.

Both Sunny and Jesse spend a lot of time with their respective psychiatrists, either getting free advice about criminals or delving into why they love the wrong people. Quite frankly, that's boring. I give Parker points for giving his characters some angst and backstory, but in this book he's rehashing everything his loyal readers already know. And frankly, I can't see a new reader caring about why Sunny rebelled against her perfect ex-husband, or why Jesse can't seem to forget his philandering ex-wife. Sunny and Jesse are thrown together here for the final plot device, but I could see where that was going by the time the first CD was over. However, I kept listening, hoping the story would take an unexpected turn. It didn't.
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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-03-19 19:30
subject: [Reivew] Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
security: Public
tags:action, drama, fantasy, fiction, ya
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first of the prequel series to the author's Mortal Instruments which I haven't read but the time in which this was set appealed as did the snippets I'd read while browsing at work. It was an enjoyable read. I like the world building she's done with Shadowhunters etc and I'm curious about Will's past. The clockwork creatures have potential too.

I'm going to have to read the next one in the series when it's released just to see what happens next with these characters.

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storyfan posting in whales_tooth
poster: storyfan
date: 2011-03-13 00:11
subject: Simple Justice and Revision of Justice
security: Public
tags:crime, fiction, gay fiction
Simple Justice and Revision of Justice by John Morgan Wilson.

books


I'm a great fan of detective fiction that features gay characters, and this series doesn't disappoint. Disgraced journalist Benjamin Justice is offered a chance to redeem himself in more ways than one in the series opener, "Simple Justice." He teams up with aspiring journalist Alexandra Templeton to solve a murder case involving a gay man, but none of the suspects are who they seem to be. The backdrop for the story is West Hollywood, a colorful place filled with secrets.

books


"Revision of Justice" is the second book in the series. Justice again teams up with Templeton, and the pair investigate a murder in Hollywood's cutthroat film industry. There are suspects aplenty, but when Justice falls for one of them, the limits of his objectivity are challenged.

Wilson is an expert at creating characters. Even the minor players are three-dimensional, with histories, secrets and motivations. And his main characters? You'll find yourself rooting for them to find the guilty and free the innocent.
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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-03-09 11:02
subject: [Review] Behind the Lines: The Oral History of Special Operations in World War II by Russell Miller
security: Public
reading mood:busy
tags:historical, non-fiction
Behind the Lines: The Oral History of Special Operations in World War IIBehind the Lines: The Oral History of Special Operations in World War II by Russell Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an interesting collection of true stories from people who worked behind the lines in World War II. There was a good mix of antedotes, some amusing, some very much not so, but all very insightful in regard to the day to day training and then into the field.

I'd highly recommend it, especially if you're interested in this time period as these are not the stories that are usually in the history books but it's the people who made the difference right down at ground zero level.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-03-03 11:17
subject: [Review] Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
security: Public
tags:action, drama, fiction, steampunk, ya
Behemoth (Leviathan, #2)Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the second in this series about an alternative steampunk world set against a backdrop of WW1 and I enjoyed it as much as the first. I like the main characters - Alek and Deryn/Dylan. They're realistic and make mistakes and yet are still likeable. I do want to shake Alek though and point out to him that Dylan is really a girl.

I love the idea of this world and the different Darwinian creatures from the Leviathan which is a living airship to Bovril who attaches himself to Alek and then Deryn. I suspect that is intentional foreshadowing that those two will end up together. I'm hoping so. Also enjoying the way in which the author is modeling events and historical locations on our world, yet with subtle changes.

Meantime I'm waiting impatiently for the third book in the series and conclusion to this story.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-03-02 23:14
subject: [Review] Josh Lanyon Collected #2
security: Public
reading mood:soresore
tags:detective, fiction, gay fiction, ghost stories, mystery
Josh Lanyon Collected #2Josh Lanyon Collected #2 by Josh Lanyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this collection of novellas. It's a great introduction to the author's stories - although I've already read most of his and am a fan. This collection I hadn't read any of - need to read the sequels for the two that have them now. It was a good mix of genre, enjoyed all of them.

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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-02-16 14:41
subject: [Admin] Viability of this comm
security: Public
reading mood:busy
tags:admin
I've noticed that I'm the only person who has posted in this comm since October of last year, and those reviews appear to be posting to crickets.

So my question is, are the other members of this comm still interested in using it as a place to share their reviews etc? I'm not planning to take it down as it's a useful tool for going back over old reviews etc. I also don't really care about the lack of commenting - everything one person reads is not neccessarily going to be of interest to others.

However, I'm not sure about the viability of continuing to post reviews etc here if no one is reading them or finding them useful, especially as there are sites such as goodreads.com out there.

Comments? Questions?
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Anne posting in whales_tooth
poster: darthanne
date: 2011-01-21 23:40
subject: [Review] The Project by Brian Falkner
security: Public
tags:action, drama, fiction, historical, science fiction, ya
The ProjectThe Project by Brian Falkner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the second book by this local author I've read and it didn't disappoint. It's a YA novel and reads more towards the junior end of that spectrum but that doesn't prevent it from being a good fast read, with an interesting plot. I always get a kick too when a Kiwi kid is instrumental in saving the day and all the references to local culture etc.

It's one I'd recommend to 10-12+ (and adults).

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June 2011