Review: DMZ

DMZ
DMZ by Andrea Speed
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I chose DMZ without reading the blurb because of the author. I like Andrea Speed’s work and liked the cover so those sold me. I’m not sure if reading the blurb would have helped with this particular short story though. It’s not bad but it’s nothing special and not that interesting. It feels like a deleted scene from a novel rather than a complete short story on its own. The writing is clean and evocative but my attention wandered for such a quick story.

Part of the problem is that while a lot technically occurs in the story, I felt very disconnected from the action and characters. Thus I was left feeling like “nothing happened” when that’s not true. The story starts with Carlos hanging upside down and bleeding from a helicopter shot out of the sky in a hostile country. Ky, who happens to be an old university crush of Carlos’, saves him. After a night in an abandoned building the two are successfully rescued. It’s a decent premise but perhaps too ambitious for such a small length.

For starters it was hard to understand what was going on. Starting the story in the middle of the action I had no idea who anyone was or what the point of the story was. Perhaps reading the blurb beforehand would have helped but it took me several pages to get into the rhythm of the story. Unfortunately I never connected to Ky or Carlos at all. The third person narrator here created a distance between the story and reader that was never overcome. We were told many times that Carlos had a crush on Ky in university, that they were friends of friends, but not close. I was a little annoyed at the repetition of information when that space could have been used to give the characters more depth and interest. As it was they remained very remote, thin characters that I didn’t really care about. I sensed no chemistry between the men either. That might be due to the lack of sex, but considering Carlos was badly injured, a sex scene would have been ridiculous.

That said I’m not entirely sure what the point of the story was. It feels unfinished with neither a beginning nor an end. Perhaps this is part of a larger series? I quite like the author’s voice but this is not one I’d recommend. Overall I’m disappointed in this short and have already forgotten it, which is sad.

View all my reviews

Throw back review : Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price, new audiobook version

5603414 Among the Living (Psycop #1)
by Jordan Castillo Price

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

I listened to the audiobook version of this novella for re-read as I was curious about the narrator. Also I may have mentioned that I’m seriously into audiobooks right now and can read more that way than sitting down to read a book. I’m happy to say that I think the audiobook version lived up to my first impressions of the series, all the way back to 2009. Kind of impressive for books these days. I don’t think I enjoyed it quite as much as the first time I read it, nor did I pick up on all the nuances within the writing and characters when listening to the audiobook. This is a drawback I’ve come to expect from listening versus reading and I try to factor that in to both my comprehension of books and my enjoyment. That said, my review still stands pretty spot on to how I felt about the book now.

What’s different is of course the narrator. He’s got a slight spanish accent when he’s listing details such as the author’s name but has the smooth blandness of a good narrator when speaking in Vic’s voice. I did think his voice for Jacob was kind of funny. It’s deeper and more of an attempt at sexy and it always made me laugh a little. As did the sex scenes because frankly I’m a prude when listening to sex. I keep thinking about whether the narrator was embarrassed having to describe very graphic sex scenes, because of course it makes -me- blush. But overall I liked this narrator quite a bit. He’s got a good voice to listen to and keeps my attention. He does the various voices with enough inflection I could differentiate them. His voice is very mature and I always thought of Vic as pretty immature and young (despite actual age) so that took a minute to get used to. However, I’m kind of eager to listen to the whole series now. Also because this was a novella the audiobook version was incredibly short and I finished it in a day, which made me sad. I wanted more. I hope JCP decides to do audiobook versions of all her work.  Continue reading

Review: Flux Orbit

Flux Orbit
Flux Orbit by Emily Veinglory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s really rare that I can’t put a book down and it’s even rarer that I stay up late to finish a book. That hasn’t happened in over a year but I literally would not put this book down until I finished. I basically read it in a day and while I didn’t love the ending, or every part of the book, I think it’s fair to say I really loved reading this one. It’s not what I consider a five star/incredible but it’s 4.5 stars that I’ll round up since it’s that good. Although it started slow, once Kell was in contact with the Coil, the book took off like a shot. I knew Veinglory was a good writer but this book made me really appreciate her imagination and sense of adventure. I really respect an author that isn’t afraid to make daring choices. Continue reading

Review: Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder

Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder
Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder by Nicole Castle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

I don’t remember what made me pick up this book but damned if I didn’t love it. The editing is atrocious with misspelled words, missing words, and wrong italics littering the pages, but after a while I was so into the story itself I didn’t care anymore. I do think the book would benefit greatly from a decent editor and even a copyeditor, so for any picky readers that are sticklers for such things this book can drive you insane with all its flaws. Thankfully, the story itself engaged my attention to such a degree that I could not only forgive but also overlook such problems. The strong, stoic, morally bankrupt assassin protagonist usually works for me and Chance Assassin played him so very well. I think this will work well with fans of this type of protagonist. Continue reading

Review: Patchwork Heaven

Patchwork Heaven
Patchwork Heaven by Jaime Samms
My rating: DNF

Um I usually love Jamie Samms but I feel like an alien took over her writing and this is the result. I’m struggling with this book pretty mightily and considering I’ve had a rash of bad luck with books I really don’t want to continue with this because I’m pretty confident it’s not getting any better. Then I’ll have invested a lot into a book I got no enjoyment or entertainment from. YMMV. Continue reading

Review: Wide Asleep

Wide Asleep
Wide Asleep by Nick Nolan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book honestly just left me confused and disappointed. I’d read the first two books in the series, Strings Attached and Double Bound, and quite liked them. Plus I really like Nolan’s writing style so although it had been four years since I read DB, I knew I wanted to read Wide Asleep. Unfortunately this time the book didn’t work for me at all. Whereas I’d loved the characters and general mystery involved in the previous books, this time the plot felt convoluted and all over the place with no cohesion. I wasn’t entirely sure what the point of the book was when I finished. The writing repetition was odd and not something I’m used to reading with Nolan’s work. Although I tried hard to suspend disbelief with the fairy tale connection, the ghosts and past life regression just made me sigh. Neither one adds to the story and in fact diluted the main theme of the mystery. Sadly this ended the series on a bad note for me and I struggled to force myself to finish the last third. Continue reading