Archive for the ‘Books that are Mediocre’ Category

Good Girls

Posted: July 29, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre
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goodgirlsDo you remember when the movie Wrath of the Titans came out? It was a sequel to a remake of Clash of the Titans, made back in ’81, which didn’t have a sequel. I remember seeing the trailer for Wrath that first time and having that moment of temporary disorientation–as if the world had just tilted on its end and sent my head spinning–thinking that this movie shouldn’t exist. The first one was a remake after all. I almost felt the exact same way when I saw this book in my lineup. Just hadn’t expected it, I guess. After taking a quick glance back at the first book though, I realized that there was the beginnings of a slightly-larger story that the author had been setting up, and so a sequel–nay, a TRILOGY!–actually made perfect sense. Now, if only we can get someone to make a third Titans movie…
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Picture 1 I was in the mood for a straightforward, uncomplicated fantasy story and voila! There on my to-read shelf was THE THORN OF DENTONHILL. I was prepared for tropes and predictability and was even determined to be O.K. with magic system/plot inconsistencies because, really, I rarely notice those details if the characters are engaging and the pacing and story is good . . . but there is simply no margin for error when the writing is poor. Too bad, because this was potentially as good as early Harry Potter and might have satisfied Rowlings fans in search of something similar and good. Except it’s not. (more…)

Pharos

Posted: June 28, 2016 by criticaluniverse in Books that are Mediocre
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28336913Continuing my Horus Heresy binge I have another review for you! This time we have PHAROS by Guy Haley, Book 34 in Black Library’s massively successful tie-in series. It’s a bit of a leap from my last review given that ANGEL EXTERMINATUS is Book 23, is set in an entirely different theatre of the galaxy spanning civil war, features a completely different cast of characters, and even delves into different themes. There exists some Horus Heresy novels that can be read out of their numerical publishing order but if you haven’t been following along with the series I would not recommend starting with PHAROS. It’s essentially a sequel within a sequel within a series. It’s sequel-ception! That said, I’ll try not to reveal too much about the book in case you’re intrigued by the Horus Heresy but uncertain about jumping into a series that is currently 38 books long. (more…)

hollowcity HOLLOW CITY starts right where MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN leaves off, our hero children on the run from the horrible hollowgasts and wights. Their main concern is for Miss Peregrine, herself, who needs help returning to her human form, but they need to find another of her kind to perform the magic. So off they travel in search of help, all the while being pursued. The exciting beginning events teach us the reality of their situation and what they must do to find help, and…

…yawn. (more…)

championsWhilst in the midst of reading this anthology I was reminded of a concept that is occasionally important for me to revisit. That is the idea that my opinion is not everybody’s opinion, AND (a twofer for the masses…) there can frequently be a wide range of goodness separating multiple stories written by a single author. Thus, as a reviewer, it’s my job to give an honest review of what is given to me, and, quite honestly, to enjoy what is given to me as a reader, plain and simple. For it is when I forget that I am a reader that I lose the view of who these stories were meant for. Maybe a little deep for an everyday book review intro. I seem to be on a kick lately though. So, if you must, TLDR; this bit and jump straight into the good stuff.
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INCI

Posted: March 15, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre
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inchAfter seeing my most recent review of a Mike Resnick book, you might be surprised that I’d pick up another so quick. The fact of the matter is that I actually read this one before that one, but there’s a condition that most reviewers have where if they really love or really hate a book, it’s oh so easy to drop everything else, forget the queue, and just bang that one out first. The fact that this happened with my previous Resnick review should probably tell you that there wasn’t much to this book, and you’d be mostly right, but let’s be complete and get all the details, because it wasn’t all that bad…
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unnotice2

This book immediately caught my attention when I first saw it. The bright colors and dark, almost rorschach-testness of the images were immediately arresting, and the summary on the inside cover did even more to get me excited about reading this one. The impression as a whole was one of weird stuff in the modern world, which falls into the category of Urban Fantasy, although I don’t know if it really fits into that subgenre wholesale. Regardless, this book like any other had a job to do when it landed in front of me.

  1. Catch my eye
  2. Get me to open the cover and read
  3. Catch my interest with its premise
  4. Start me reading Chapter 1

And it absolutely succeeded on all those levels. If I had been a regular schmoe, bumming around the book store, looking for the next good read, this book would have had some serious mojo for me to try and ignore for it to not end up in my hand when I got back into my car. But past that point, what is it’s job? And how did this one stack up where it really matters: inside the content of the book. Check it out.

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