Reviews :: Book Rating :: Books We Don't Like

Review

Wanderers

Posted: November 26, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Chuck Wendig, Horror, Science Fiction
Wanderers

Well, here I am again at the tail end of the reading experience for a book that has left me absolutely stymied. Sometimes it surprises me just how different my opinion can be from other readers, not just around the world, but from those in my own backyard as well. Finishing this book has brought me to the conclusion that I am completely oblivious when it comes to understanding the “literary” merit of a story. I just don’t get it. Like, at all. In fact, I think I can safely say that any literary aspects of a story come across as 100% transparent to me. Not only do I not understand them, I don’t even see them when I read a story. A Google search for the term “literary merit” currently brings up a 2017 article from Medium.com. It seems to do a fairly decent job of relaying the main ideas of what literary fiction is about. My take is that a literary story’s primary concern will be to try to relay a “theme” or “well-posed question” dealing with society or humanity… or something else equally boring and, for me, pointless. As such, they typically make lots of mistakes along the way when it comes to telling a story that is actually engaging and worth being told.
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Review

The Stars are Legion

Posted: September 20, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Kameron Hurley, Science Fiction
The Stars are Legion

After the high of reading THE LIGHT BRIGADE (EBR Review), I was really looking forward to diving into some more story from this author. Everywhere I looked, people seemed to be talking about her and how “out there” her stuff is. It’s weird and new and her’s is a voice that needs to be heard. I love imagination and wonder. It’s one of the reasons why I love Science Fiction so much. In fact, it’s probably why I like good Science Fiction even more than good Fantasy. But before any of that, the story has to be well told through some solid characters. Because without those two things, imagination and wonder just don’t matter.
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Review

Reincarnation Blues

Posted: July 23, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Michael Poore, Fantasy
Reincarnation Blues

Had this one sitting on my shelf at home for quite a while. Picked it up to try and read a few times, and ended up putting it back down again. I finally decided that I was going to punch this one out though, as there were so many great reviews for it on Amazon. Wish I’d just listened to my first impressions of the opening sequence and forgotten the whole thing. Realistically, I should have been put off by the fact that the title includes the moniker: A novel. That’s pretty much always a dead giveaway that a book’s going to be exactly the kind of item to disappoint me.
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Review

Artificial Condition

Artificial Condition

If you read my previous review, you’ll know that I recently ran through a few novellas. This is the second of those shorties that I read. I was actually pretty excited to get to it. Although out of the bunch, it definitely sat near the bottom. I mean, the competition was Robert Jackson Bennett (EBR Archive) and Alastair Reynolds (EBR Archive), which both sit pretty high on my scale of READ-THESE-AUTHORS-NOW. I had recently read the first in the Murderbot series (Vanessa’s EBR Review) and liked it quite a bit. So this step was kind of the next natural one to take, yeah?
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Review

Blood of Ten Kings

Posted: February 21, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Edward Lazellari, Fantasy
Blood of Ten Kings

This is one of the books on our makeup list from last year that I just didn’t have the time to get to. Actually, it kind of took me by surprise. The most recent book in the series, THE LOST PRINCE (EBR Review) came out more than 5 years ago, and I guess the possibility of seeing this sequel had completely fallen off my radar. Still, I was really excited to finally see it. THE LOST PRINCE was an absolutely brilliant book, and I was so looking forward to seeing how it would all come together for the Guardians from Aandor.
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Review

The Ember Blade

Posted: December 27, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Chris Wooding, Epic Fantasy, Audible
The Ember Blade

This book was on my radar for a while, but I didn’t think that I’d be able to get to it. Then, I forgot to cancel my Audible membership after going through that mess with THE SIGNAL, and suddenly I found myself with another book credit and no direction to run with it. After a quick perusal of my options, I found that the audiobook for Chris Wooding’s next book was only 10 days away from publication. Trust me, with our history of loving the books lobbed at us by him (EBR Archive), I quickly made my decision and started into it.
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Review

The Final Six

Posted: December 20, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Don't Like Meta: Alexandra Monir, Science Fiction, Young Adult
The Final Six

It’s the end of the world as we know it. The effects of global warming are claiming city after city and millions of lives have been lost. Nope, it’s not the front page of the newspaper. It’s the plot of THE FINAL SIX (Amazon) by Alexandra Monir.

Looking to escape an increasingly devastated earth, the international community selects Europa as a site for future colonization. And who better to colonize a distant moon and save humanity than six teenagers?
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Review

Kill All Angels

Posted: December 13, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy
Kill All Angels

I think I can safely admit that I wasn’t even planning on reading this book when it first showed up in the mail. I hadn’t been particularly enamored with either the first or second books in the series, I had no idea where this third book might go that could possibly change that opinion, and the cover was so blaringly pink that the thing gave me a headache every time I looked at it. But it was a quick read (which I needed), and the cover was removable (thankfully), and… my experience with its pages was exactly what I expected it to be: a jumbled conglomeration of “What in the world did I just read?” Ever had one of those? For your sake, I hope not. Still, as the saying goes, “In for a penny, in for a pound,” and so I decided to finish this series off with one last monumental push.
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Review

Off Armageddon Reef

Posted: October 25, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: David Weber, Science Fiction
Off Armageddon Reef

So, we don’t normally do reviews for books that were written so long ago (first published in 2007). Especially for books that weren’t just awesome-sauce fantastic. In fact, we generally frown on writing reviews for books this old as a general rule, unless they’re considered a “Classic”. There are a few extenuating circumstances, however, that made just such a review feel justified in my mind. One: this is the first book in an ongoing series that has not yet been completed. Two, the next book in the series (#10: THROUGH FIERY TRIALS — Amazon) has a release date of January 2019. So, at least the series is current. Three, I’ve come across several references in my time from individuals that like this series very much. And there are soon going to be ten books in the series. So, this whole situation got me to thinking. If someone were to see the release of this newest book, and then decide that it sounded like something worth checking out, and then went on to find this, the first book in the series: how would their experience be?

And giving opinions on this exact situation just happens to be our specialty here at EBR. So I dove in, hoping for some goodness.
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Review

Soleri

Posted: May 31, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Don't Like Meta: Michael Johnston, Epic Fantasy
Soleri

One of my favorite things about reading a book is reaching that point where you just can’t put it down. It’s always magical to feel immersed in another world. Some books draw you in right away. Others can be a slow burn, but the wait feels worth it when you go from “I’m enjoying this book” to “talk to me in approximately 150 pages.” And then, there are the books that just never take off. Michael Johnston’s SOLERI (Amazon), despite its interesting premise, is one of those.
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