I tore through this like wildfire…

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When life hits you in the gut, it’s always a sucker punch. You never see it coming.

I have some small grievances, that I will happily ignore in my final rating, because the rest was just so much fun:
Too many repetitions of previously explained points. The elaborate descriptions of absolutely everybody’s hairstyle, hair colour, shape of their chin, skin tone, bla… got a bit tiresome.

Oh, yes, and please ignore the cover. It is hideous and has absolutely no relevance for the contents of the book. I don’t know what the cover artist was smoking. This is Urban Fantasy with some romance thrown in, some sleuthing and some great magic.

I am also 99.999% sure of the identity of Cesar, because his last sentence in the book is something he said exactly like that in an earlier scene. And because I have been suspecting him since White Hot. Bummer, because I like him. One could hope for a false trail?

Victoria turned out to be a likeable character. Surprise!

Arabella was fun and her alter ego is great. I am picturing her as the monster on the cover of Where The Wild Things Are, with bigger horns and a bone plate on top of her head. And strangely, I picture her fur to be a dark purple. No idea.

Leon evolved very nicely.

Cornelius is becoming one of my favourite characters, especially now with the addition of Zeus.

Seargent Teddy riding in the car with them was a hoot. The whole book was a hoot.

The final battle was over way too quickly. Could have gone on for another 30 or so pages. But nobody asked me.

Fingers crossed that there will be a fourth book. And in the acknowledgment a new book in The Edge series is mentioned. Really? I thought that series was done? Instabuy!

Would I buy the next book? Silly question. 5 stars, with a cherry on top.


All things Nevada Baylor: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/category…

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Boldly going… nowhere.

Star Trek, Vol. 1Star Trek, Vol. 1 by Mike Johnson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not impressed with the artwork. Flat, unimaginative, simplified.

The plot starts after the 2009 reboot movie with its altered timeline, Kirk, Spock and company looking like the actors of that movie. The plots follow the original series. Nice idea. But it also means that you know what will happen, if you are familiar with Star Trek TOS. Which means no suspense at all.

Where No Man Has Gone Before
The Galileo Seven

The inconsistencies threw me a little–Spock with blue eyes, Kirk with brown eyes. Is that just carelessness, on purpose or badly researched? Oh, hold on, a few pages later, Kirk’s eyes are blue. Then Spock’s eyes are brown, then blue and then brown again. Sigh. Let’s settle on carelessness.

So, the artwork was unimpressive and had inconsistencies, the plot was boring. Not worth it.

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On the backs of hippos…

River of Teeth (River of Teeth #1)River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Feral hippos in Louisiana, mercenaries and an almost-recommendation by Ilona Andrews, what’s not to like?

Classic caper. Ocean’s Eleven comes to mind. Gather your fellow gender fluid characters and go against the bad guy, Western-style and on the back of hippos…

Other than that pretty flat and predictable, no great surprises. If you are looking for a light in-between read, this is entertaining enough. I might even pick up the sequel at some point.

2017 MacHalo Challenge: Western

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Revisiting the red planet

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read the book in 2015, watched the movie in 2016, just listened to the audiobook. And watched the movie a second time, whilst I was in the middle of the audiobook. Pity that Matt Damon didn’t narrate the book, that would have been fun. Well, more fun. It was fun to listen to the book. Although I think I laughed the most when I read the book for the first time. The movie adds great visuals to the story. The audiobook is more of a book light version. Not bad, nice to listen to, not essential. It was well done, he did a good job with the various accents and managed to bring across the different personalities and emotions well. Matt Damon, though. That would have been really cool…

Review of the kindle version is here.

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Previous trip to the red planet

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Update July 2016:
I finally watched the movie today. It’s good, but the book is a lot more fun. I missed its humour the most. There was so little of Mark’s sass left. And all his struggles to survive, how he figured out how to do impossible stuff–it’s so reduced in the movie. The movie does win the last few scenes. You can’t top the visual impact of those frantic scenes with words.

A re-read might be in order!

Update from August 2015:
A large chunk of the year has passed, I have read some great books in that time, some crappy ones and some in between. This is still the best read of 2015! If you have the slightest interest in the plot, read this!

Original review from February 2015:

Take one smart-arse with a wacky sense of humour, give him some knowledge of botany and mechanical engineering skills, dump him on Mars and abandon him. Watch and be entertained.

“I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.”

Good thing he has some bad 70s TV shows, Disco and some Hercule Poirot to take his mind of things and a never ending supply of crazy ideas, how to survive until the next mission to Mars arrives to save him…

“I would only be “in command” of the mission if I were the only remaining person. What do you know? I’m in command.”

“Damn it, Jim, I’m a botanist, not a chemist!”

“Yeah. This all sounds like a great idea with no chance of catastrophic failure. That was sarcasm, by the way.”

“How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

“All my brilliant plans foiled by thermodynamics. Damn you, Entropy!”

I thought the snark and humour would get annoying eventually, but they didn’t. Maybe it got old a little, later on in the book, but just a tiny, weeny bit.

Halfway through the book the suspense really took off and reached escape velocity and I was biting my nails. Oh boy.

There were a few moments when the author lost me with his techno babble or I simply was too lazy to try and follow his math, but ultimately this was a great book. Entertaining, funny, suspenseful, with a plot full of surprises and a loveable main character.

“In your face, Neil Armstrong!”

“Beers for everyone if I get back to Earth.”

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Gothic steamboats

Fevre DreamFevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was not for me. I was bored from the start and the story never gripped me. I skimmed through most of it. It was very atmospheric and the early chapters, telling of the steamboats and life on the river, were not without charm. Even the plot had its moments. However, I did not like any of the characters. And the writing was just so cumbersome.

Joshua’s backstory was not bad. I got quite an Anne Rice vibe from it. Joshua reminded me a little of Louis. But, sorry to say, he is one of the lamest vampires I have ever encountered. And Julian, the big, bad bloodmaster, just put me to sleep. He was really not interesting. Or scary.

Just dull. Out-dated. I was going to give this two stars, but writing about how much I did not enjoy this made me reconsider. Goodness me, am I glad I am done with this.

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Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon (Marvel NOW!) (Hawkeye Series)Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon (Marvel NOW!) by Matt Fraction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Collects Hawkeye #1-5 & Young Avengers Presents #6.

Hawkeye #1-3:
What a fun comic! I liked the flat artwork with its muted colours, the humour, the down to earth, quirky storyline. We do have an Avenger here without flashy superpowers and snark and that heart of gold…


Him living in an apartment building in New York without any other Avengers had me a little confused, but I am not really up-to-date and just jumped in, because the comic looked interesting.

Hawkeye #4 and #5:
Unfortunately the artwork changed with Issues 4 and 5 (The Tape). The characters looked different, cleaner and with less personality. Kate looked so different, I had trouble recognizing her. Pity. The style of the first three issues was a lot grittier and more original.

The story was still good, though.

Young Avengers Presents #6:
The feel and look changed again. Quite a lot. I did not like it or the story of the last issue much. Kate looked like a bimbo, the story was simplistic and not very interesting.


Hawkeye #1-3: 5 stars
Hawkeye #4-5: 3.5 stars
Young Avengers Presents #6: 2 stars

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Not quite a dream novella

TraumnovelleTraumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child. One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation. That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life, his wishes and desires.

In 1926, when this was originally published, it was probably a pretty scandalous book. My thoughts were more along the lines of “oh, another guy exploring his midlife crisis!” Which is probably really shallow of me. Eroticism is only one aspect of this novella. It looks at our dreams, our wants and how we deal with them.

Go read some of the other reviews, they looked at this properly and made an effort to give you a well rounded and educated idea about this famous piece.

The movie Eyes Wide Shut is based on this novella, but I have never watched it, so I can’t say how it compares.

The delivery of the German audiobook I listened to was pretty wooden.

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Full points to Mercy Thompson

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I’m a mechanic; I fix things that are broken. I turn into a thirty-five-pound coyote. I have powerful friends. But when it comes right down to it, my real superpower is chaos.”

Changing points of view, that’s a new one for this series! I liked it, although I am not quite sure about the off-set timeline. It added an interesting dynamic, but probably made it unnecessarily complicated.

Nice revelation there at the end, makes me want to re-read the whole damn book right away… I missed all the clues, if there were any.

Some great character additions. Libor was fun. Lots of vampire politics, which I usually find tedious, but they were well done here. Great visuals, good plot, entertaining, three very late nights of not wanting to put this down…

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