Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

Metro 2033Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Of the ones I’ve read (which admittedly aren’t that many), there isn’t a single book by a Russian author that isn’t packed chock-full of descriptions, long confusing names and equally confusing locations (this has more to do with me being unused to their naming fashion than anything else, though). Metro 2033 is not much different: I found many of the station names a tad confusing until about halfway through the book, and I kept mixing them up. The descriptions were extensive, but pleasant despite the very lousy translation. If you like the subject and you read it properly, it will really transport you to their world of darkness. I did take a bit to start really getting into it though.
Alongside the detailed (if sometimes confusing because of the bad translation) descriptions of physical places came the heavy description of politics, mostly on a per-station basis. It was obvious each little station had their own world, ways of behaving and politics to follow. This too was a bit confusing to me at first, and I couldn’t help but feel slightly identified when Artyom felt totally in the dark about matters mentioned.

The story is pretty basic, but quite enjoyable- not because of the story or the characters itself, but because of the way the world is painted for us. The characters could have had more depth, though (or rather, been developed more as they traveled the metro lines), and the religious cults Artyom encountered did quite a bit to make me feel quite uncomfortable and nervous. Man, would I have run the opposite way!

And what happened to Khan? I sure hope we get to see more of him in book two- he was a bit of a wacky dude, but I liked him.

(view spoiler)

The Kremlin thing didn’t seem very well explained to me anyhow.
Was the underground goo-thing that powerful that, whomever stared the way of the surface-Kremlin was drawn to it by it? Or was the surface-Kremlin a different thing from the underground-Kremlin? And what about the shining rubies or whatever?
Was the goo-thing really a biological weapon or just another mutation?

And the part with Oleg dying, after all they had gone through to get the boy- that felt just like a low blow. Couldn’t they have just saved the kid at the last minute? I admit I was hoping he’d die or something because I really hate disobedient kids that get everyone else in troubles, buuuut it felt bad he did die because it was a dumb death and I actually liked his father. I saw no sense in him ‘reacting’ just when the kids jumped. It felt lame. (hide spoiler)]

At any rate, I loved the book, and I definitely want to read more of the story.

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Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1)Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story was catching and very interesting, I really liked it in the sense of story, though I must admit I disliked the writing style. Still, it was not the worse I have read, and once I got used to it I could get by it for the sake of the story.
I loved every single character in the book… except the main character, Vanyel. It felt way over the top, and that his angst could have well been toned down without making him as annoying and difficult to love as I found him to be. I spent 3/4 of the book wanting to slam his head against a wall and that the book would focus on something else.
And that’s the reason why I gave it a simple three stars- it was just above “ok” to me, but I hated the one that appeared as main the most, so I could not come to “really” like it.
I would, however, like to read most of this and recommend it for a simple time passing read.

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Writing Habit Mastery by S. J. Scott

Writing Habit Mastery - How to Write 2,000 Words a Day and Forever Cure Writer’s BlockWriting Habit Mastery – How to Write 2,000 Words a Day and Forever Cure Writer’s Block by S.J. Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Great tips, but sadly nothing new under the sun, as most things said here you can find in just about any blog, for free. It’s a to-the-point book, though, and tries not to beat around the bush on the explanations of the tips and tactics, so that’s nice. A good read if you need to be reminded to just sit and write.
I particularly enjoyed the section on outlining.

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Songmaster by Orscon Scott Card

SongmasterSongmaster by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was debating between 3 and 4 for a while, because I liked it, but it was a rather sad book, not to mention I liked the first half better than the second. The second felt hurried, and while I was hoping the book would show more of what happened after the point where the short story ended, I was rather disappointed by the happenings themselves. So, 3 it is.
Also, the cover creeps me out. I keep thinking it looks like his life’s being sucked out, rather than him just singing. It’s something about the way the face is painted. I guess it fits the book though.

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42: Deep Thought on Life, the Universe, and Everything by Mark Vernon

42: Deep Thought on Life, the Universe, and Everything42: Deep Thought on Life, the Universe, and Everything by Mark Vernon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I feel very special at being the first one to rate this book a one star.

Not really.
The quotations were cool The “brilliant observations” were not (they were also not particularly ‘brilliant’ in my opinion). Too bad, because I really wanted to like this book.
I guess I’m the only one who expected more (fun) out of something with that title. And, you know, the part where it claimed to be “easy and fun to read”…
It was easy, it wasn’t fun. I got bored, I moved on.

Either philosophy books aren’t for me or I’m really choosing all the bad ones.

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Evil Origins Collection by J. Thorn

Evil Origins: A Horror & Dark Fantasy CollectionEvil Origins: A Horror & Dark Fantasy Collection by J. Thorn
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Most boring thing I’ve read in a very long while. I started all 3 of the main novels to see if any caught my interest, but none could.
Could not relate/did not like any of the characters, did not care what happened to them, did not even mind where the story was going and it was so boring that I even got tired of skipping to reach the end and see if anything of interest happened there.

Also did not like the repetitive way in which people’s faces were described. (“His eyes sat (…)”, “His hairline sat (…) “)

Don’t get me wrong, I can see where a certain crowd would like it, but I’m clearly not part of it.

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All Wrapped Up Anthology

All Wrapped UpAll Wrapped Up by Elizabeth Hyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ground Mission: 4.3/5 Now here is present tense done well.

Wildwood: 4/5 I wish it’d had a happier ending though, it was kind of bittersweet.

Dark Covenant: 1/5 (view spoiler)

Situation Normal: 4.3/5 Nice, fun read.

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1984 by George Orwell

19841984 by George Orwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When it’s a well known, famous author and most of your FL gave it a 5 (the rest gave it a 4), you feel a bit hard pressed to rate it high too. But the truth is, for me it was just likeable, just up to there.
No, I didn’t miss any of what was going on, and yes, I gather it’s an excellent story, if you’re into this type of thing; but I guess it’s just not my type of book after all. Oh well. I gave it a try.

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Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

Mary Hades: Beginnings (Mary Hades, #0.5-2)Mary Hades: Beginnings by Sarah Dalton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

I think a 2.5 rating would be more accurate for this collection. On the whole, I liked the story. It was very well told, was entertaining, and I liked the subject, but it cut it just a little short to keep me turning pages, which in turn made me take forever to finish it.

So, while the idea and execution were nice, I think the failure was in my age. There are YA books that can be appreciated by anyone, and there are YA books that are just a little “simple” (stylistically speaking, I don’t think there’s a better way for me to describe this). I honestly think had I been 13 or 16 I would have enjoyed this one a lot more. I can definitely see a younger girl or boy who is into ghosts and mystery and such enjoying the book plenty. Me, I just couldn’t quite get into it even though I liked it. That doesn’t mean someone else who’s even older than me might not enjoy it, but for me it didn’t quite cut it. I didn’t identify in any way with the main character, and even if I didn’t dislike her, I couldn’t quite find myself rooting for her either.
Perhaps it was also that I was expecting a bit more “horror” than we got.

I would still recommend this to YA enthusiasts or actual YAs.

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Discardia by Dinah Sanders

Discardia
Discardia by Dinah Sanders

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5
I was really excited to get my hands on this book at last because honestly, I had been looking to get it since forever ago. I guess because of that I went in with too high expectations, and the book didn’t quite meet them.
To start off with, it’s not at all a bad book; it has some good, solid, sound advice, and I like that it deals not only with material objects but with other aspects of your life as well: digital, relationships, and physical things outside the house, too.
Unfortunately the writing style didn’t resonate with me at all. It’s like it wanted to be read as fiction only it’s really non-fiction and the mix was all weird. The subjects jumped from one to the other in a way that appeared to be random, and the sections seemed overly long and unnecessarily mixed with topics that didn’t seem to make that that much sense together. Wordy, I found it wordy. Which I guess it’s funny to say of a book, but there you have it.
Also I didn’t get at all the reasoning behind separating this “holiday” in sections, since the book didn’t give any sort of actual guidelines on “how to celebrate it”, but rather gave a very open interpretation of all you could do (rather indistinct of the time of the year, I felt; or perhaps it’s because I’m in the wrong hemisphere? Who knows?).

So, it’s not a bad book, but I found myself skimming many parts more than reading them through. Basic advice was found within, but really, if you’re into decluttering and have read any other amount of books and/or blogs on the subject, you’ve probably already heard most of it.

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