Kevin F. - Reviews

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2312
2312
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 10/2/2016


"Interesting book" and that is not always good or bad.

At its heart is a book about world building, geography, lands and their peoples mixed with a crime thriller. I'm glad that I read it, but feel that it was too much work. I have enjoyed the author in the past, but this book was not as good as, say, the Mars Trilogy.


The Good: The author paints a vision of what "humanity" will look like in 2312, and like the present some people are good, some evil. Space Travel is "boring" as the characters regularly scoot back and forth between the planets, but while the traveling is common place the terrarium ships are each unique and entertaining. Most of the planets are occupied, although sometimes that means an enclosed settlement, or a settlement hovering in the clouds. The vision is sweeping and over whelming. I really enjoyed the characters and bought into them and what they were doing. As our protagonists travel, we see the technology and the vistas, and the planets through their eyes, and it's a rich and abundant view. One of the benefits of such a rich in ideas story, is that you see a lot of great ideas, and how the author thinks the ideas play out in the real world.


The bad: It's poorly edited in that it's boring and way too long. Perhaps it should have been two or more books. One of the problems is that the details of the "geography" are overwhelming. Who knew that there would be so much rich detail about the migration of the elk and the efforts that the wolves go to for a meal? These related but unrelated stories are interesting and help with character development, but they are pretty much a distraction from the main story. I usually read a book of this size in a few days. It took me months because I had to set it aside due to lost interest. Then I would read a bit more, get bored and read another book or two before I got back to it. Deeply in the story was an investigation of a crime, but there was so much emphasis on the vistas, the cultures, the re-population of animals on earth that the crime was a foot note.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Review Date: 12/23/2014


This book is fun! Sure it's got some serious moments, but overall it's a lot of fun and something you will want to read as fast as you can.


Act of Treason (Mitch Rapp, Book 7)
Act of Treason (Mitch Rapp, Book 7)
Author: Vince Flynn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 296
Review Date: 3/17/2018


I really love this entire series. If you start reading this make sure to google which order to read them in -- you can find this on the web -- the numbers that the publisher uses are just in order of being published.


Ai No Kusabi: The Space Between Volume 1 (Yaoi)
Ai No Kusabi: The Space Between Volume 1 (Yaoi)
Author: Reiko Yoshihara
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 1/6/2014


I loved this series of books as it had all a lot of my buttons: Raw, Dystopian future, Romance, Gay Relationships, intrigue, artificial intelligence, and it makes you think.

I have to say that I love this book and series even though its horribly written. I blame the writing on the fact that its a translation into English.

I love this book and series even though it rambles. I don't care, I loved this book and the series.

I love this book because its interesting. The characters are compelling. The setting is awesome.

Did I mention that I love this series? That I read the books quickly and was very disappointed that I was done so fast. I love this series even though the ending was not the ending I would have written. But the series ending was perfect for the story. Did I mention how much I loved this series?

I really loved this series. Read the books before you watch the movie. The movie is much more concise


All American Boy
All American Boy
Author: William J. Mann
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 7/2/2017


Awkward start but makes sense in the end.

This is a story about a son and his mother. We are âinsideâ their heads as they have flashback to other times, and frankly it's confusing, but in the end it's a story about growing up, for both the son and the mother, and connections are made that tie the whole thing together.

It was a really difficult read in that I didn't care too much for either the son or the mother, they both seemed dreadful people that made a lot of bad decision. I'd read a couple of pages, then set the book aside for another time, repeating often. Somewhere around page ~200 â it started being a more interesting book.

Again, once I completed the book, I found enough interest to make the whole thing worthwhile, but the first 2/3rds was a slog

It contains several triggers: underage sex, mental illness, runaway children and child abandonment. It may or may not include a murder; it's a mystery if it actually happened, but plays a major role. Acts occur âoff screenâ in the characters past and are brought up from time to time: Suicide of the boy's father and the mothers husband, parental violence directed at children.

Would you come home, Walter? Please?" With these desperate words from the mysterious, distant mother he hasn't seen in ten years, Wally Day finds his carefully constructed world falling in on itself. For years, the handsome actor has made denial his own particular art form. But now, faced with this sudden intrusion from his past, Wally must confront the reasons he left his hometown of Brown's Mill in a cloud of anger, shame, and guilt. But Wally isn't the only one who's confronting ghosts. His mother Regina had dreams too once, dreams corrupted by fate and circumstance. With her own world unraveling, with strange, confusing memories of a murder that may or may not have occurred, she turns to the son she barely knows for help. As Wally unravels the dark side of his all-American family, he has a chance to make peace with the boy he was in order to become the man he needs to be. He is once more the 14-year-old living at Miss Aletha's house on the wrong side of town, the music of "Saturday Night Fever providing the charged, erotic soundtrack to his life. The world was on the exuberant edge of change in those days, and Wally relives the thrill of discovery, the promise of forbidden sex--"and the mistake that cost him everything.


American Assassin (Mitch Rapp, Bk 1)
American Assassin (Mitch Rapp, Bk 1)
Author: Vince Flynn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 123
Review Date: 1/4/2018


Awesome!


American Jihad (Black Ops, Bk 1)
American Jihad (Black Ops, Bk 1)
Author: William W. Johnstone, Fred Austin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 7/2/2017


A team of one

William Johnstone is a prolific writer of fiction. As a fiction writer he is very entertaining, I find myself chuckling at the things some of his characters do, and cheering others. This is not classic fiction, it's the kind of trashy pulp fiction that many of us secretly read because it's so entertaining. I've read about half of his books and I'm happy that I have.

Triggers: Lots of violence in these stories, wars, post-apocalyptic, and the good guys taking on terrorists. People get harmed or killed in these books.

Lieutenant Colonel Art Jensen finds himself a soldier without an army after he is caught on tape killing an Iraqi terrorist in a Baghdad firefight--only to have the media make him out to be a murderer. A career spent serving his beloved country now seems to be over. Until Jensen receives a new set of orders--secret orders. He is promoted to brigadier general, and placed in charge of the Special Function Unit--a new, covert "black ops" team. A team of one. The terrorists are already here. Financed and trained by a billionaire Saudi prince determined to bring the infidel America to its knees, a number of sleeper cells within the U.S. are being activated. Officially, the politically protected prince is untouchable, and his campaign of terror stands ready to begin. But Art Jensen is no longer a soldier bound by orders--he's a weapon, bound by duty and honor, and he has one mission: to destroy the enemy within.


Amigoland
Amigoland
Author: Oscar Casares
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/2/2017


Every guy should read this, especially if you have a brother.

This is a book about two elderly brothers, one ancient, and one almost so. Even though they grew up in the same family, the distance in age between the two of them is great. Given the time between them, they grew up in two different cultures and have different values. They go on a quest to find where their father's family had once come.

I found the book to be very funny at times especially the fights between the older brother and the nursing home staff where he points out that he is 91 and won't live forever. The story had several poignant moments where the brothers bonded, as kids they were so far apart in age they never really bonded. It was also rich in descriptions of the situations they were in when they took their quest into Mexico.

This book is not for everyone, but it should be.

In a small town on the Mexican border live two brothers, Don Fidencio and Don Celestino. Stubborn and independent, they now must face the facts: they are old, and they have let a family argument stand between them for too long. Don Celestino's good-natured housekeeper encourages him to make amends--while he still can. They secretly liberate Don Fidencio from his nursing home and travel into Mexico to solve the mystery at the heart of their dispute: the family legend of their grandfather's kidnapping. As the unlikely trio travels, the brothers learn it's never too late for a new beginning. With winsome prose and heartfelt humor, Oscar Casares's debut novel of family lost and found radiates with generosity and grace and confirms the arrival of a uniquely talented new writer.


And Another Thing... (Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Bk 6)
Review Date: 1/27/2015


Its okay it has some really good moments, but it fizzles out.

Im a diehard fan of the Hitchhiker series, and while this is not as good, it has some good things. More importantly its not so bad that it takes away from the original 5 books of the increasingly inaccurate trilogy

Triggers: Its a comedic book*, so nothing, not one thing, is sacred. Lots of cussing but they are all mostly invented words, Ill be saying Zarks, Buffa and Froody for a week. I rate it G, or mostly harmless. *How comedic is the question: sometimes brilliant, but often not: Sometimes I laughed out loud, sometimes I groaned, and sometimes I frowned.


Angel Lust
Angel Lust
Author: Perry Brass
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 9/20/2016


I'm not going to recommend it --- You will either like it or hate it.

Trigger warning: gratuitous pedophilia in the first few pages.

The beginning is nasty filth with pedophilia, worse yet it was unneeded as it didn't help the story line other than to show depravity. I admit I set the book aside never intending to finish it. A couple months later, I was bored and started reading it again. I think the author intended to shock with the beginning, but eventually it became more of a steamy romance between the two main characters, a romance that goes back a millennia or so.

A problem is that if you get "burned" like that in the beginning, while reading the book you are always wary of another stunt that the author might pull. My recommendation is that if you must read the book, skip the first chapter.

I really liked how the story unfolded slowly, it's set in modern times but the characters history goes back thousand(s) of years. It's engaging, but getting burned by the author right off the bat is unpleasant.


Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 350
Review Date: 7/12/2017


Magnificent book (It's also a movie now)

One of those books that moves at a really fast pace, sometimes one has to flip back and reread something that as it turns out was very important.

Highly recommend this book, but it's not one you will want to put down.

As a bonus, the book has some "groaner" jokes in the banter between the scientist characters, like studying flounders to prove the world is flat.


Antarctica
Antarctica
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 7/10/2017


Kim Stanley Robinson creates big complex worlds. He probably is best called a science fiction writer, but his worlds are about future peoples and their struggles, he is a visionary. The adjective âfascinatingâ is over used but he certainly writes fascinating books that are real page turners. I'm a big fan.

Triggers: There is violence in the book, but it's mostly âoff screen'. There is a fair amount of accidents where people get injured or killed because of the climate.

Antarctica is about to be commercialized, this book is about the clash between environmentalists and their corporate enemies with dithering politicians


Anything Could Happen
Anything Could Happen
Author: B. G. Thomas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/10/2015


Another book that I found by chance but didnt read for more than a year. My regret is not reading it sooner. How should I classify this book? At its core, its a gay love story. But its also a story about love and loyalty, about family, about friends and about discovery

Our main character is on a quest to find a friend, both he and the friend are from a tiny town and they both end up in Kansas City. The protagonist moves in with his great uncle and through a series of fortuitous accidents meets an ensemble of characters and situations. Im trying hard to do a spoiler free description and ending up with a sterile description. I can say that I loved the story and found myself wanting to rush through the book to find out what happens. Its all good, from cover to cover. The bad parts are good, and the good parts are great.

This was the first book by this author that I read. What a treat. I definitely will read more of his stuff. The book has a natural flow, everything is readable and the characters are believable and engaging. There was one scene that was not so believable in the situation, but the characters still were.

This book is a M/M love story. There is some plot appropriate and well done love scenes. Sexy times are sexy. Language was mild. There are some adult situations. Keep in mind that the story revolves around theater and in one of the plays there is some violence. Two major characters die from natural causes.

The ending was perfect, what needed to be wrapped up was wrapped up with ribbon and a bow

Read this book. You wont be sorry.


Appearances Matter
Appearances Matter
Author: Jeff Erno
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 4/10/2015


Boy meets boy, time passes, then boy and boy fall in love. Good things happen, then some bad things, but love prevails.


It seems like a simple recipe, but Jeff Erno is able to make it romantic, fun and keep you wanting more. It's a very enjoyable book that made me happy that I found it and read it. (I actually devoured it over two days, and was sorry work and other matters kept me from reading it in one "sitting".)

I recommend it.


Backlands: A Novel of the American West
Backlands: A Novel of the American West
Author: Michael McGarrity
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/2/2017


Growing up

Very attractive series based on a lawman in New Mexico and his family. This is part of the series called the Kevin Kerney Novels. This paragraph applies to all books in this series. The story's are great, but what makes this series stand out is how the country is worked into the story, It's almost as if you are there. The author is a gifted story teller.

Do you need to read this series in order: Yes, it helps a lot. Note that Hard Country and Backlands (and one pending maybe) are the prequels.

Triggers: Cops and police situations, there are rapes, homicides, and crime.

In the New York Times bestselling Hard Country, Michael McGarrity gave readers an expansive, lyrical period Western in the tradition of A. B. Guthrie Jr. and Larry McMurtry? (Hampton Sides). Now McGarrity continues his richly authentic epic of life on the last vestiges of the twentieth-century American frontier. â Scarred by the loss of an older brother he idolized, estranged from a father he barely knows, and deeply troubled by the failing health of a mother he adores, young Matthew Kerney is suddenly and irrevocably forced to set aside his childhood and take on responsibilities far beyond his years. When the world spirals into the Great Depression and drought settles like a plague over the nation, Matt must abandon his own dreams to salvage the Kerney ranch. Plunged into a deep trough of dark family secrets, hidden crimes, broken promises, and lies, Matt must struggle to survive on the unforgiving, sun-blasted Tularosa Basin.


Bare Bones (Temperance Brennan, Bk 6)
Bare Bones (Temperance Brennan, Bk 6)
Author: Kathy Reichs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 361
Review Date: 7/2/2017


Poachers and drug traffickers

What the author does with this series: Kathy Reichs started off slow but gets better and better. This is part of the series called the Tempe Brenner â Forensic Anthropologist. This paragraph applies to all books in this series. Tempe is a anthropologist who works for medical examiners in Montreal, Quebec and Charlotte North Caroline

Even though the books are often very detailed in both location and the examination of the remains, the story often moves faster than you expect.

Do you need to read this series in order: YES or you miss out on too much of the back stories.

Triggers: This is a book about medical examiners at its core, so lots of references to dead bodies, some are described in strong detail (in a forensic way).Our anthropologist ends up in some life threatening situations and on a couple of occasions in the series, animals are killed, sometimes gratuitously. Relatives of Tempe often in up wounded as the bad persons try to get to her through her family.

Dr. Temperance Brennan works with the dead, but she works for the living. "Down time" is not a phrase in Tempe Brennan's vocabulary. A string of disturbing cases has put her vacation plans on hold; instead, she heads to the lab to analyze charred remains from a suspicious fire, and a mysterious black residue from a small plane crash. But most troubling of all are the bones. . . . Tempe's daughter's new boyfriend invites them to a picnic -- a pig pickin' -- in the North Carolina countryside, where a cache of bones turns up. But are they animal or human? X-rays and DNA may link the crimes, but they can't reveal who is closing in on Tempe and her daughter -- and how far they will go to keep her from uncovering the truth.


The Big Gamble (Kevin Kerney, Bk 7)
The Big Gamble (Kevin Kerney, Bk 7)
Author: Michael McGarrity
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 46
Review Date: 7/2/2017


Darkest places of the soul

Very attractive series based on a lawman in New Mexico and his family. This is part of the series called the Kevin Kerney Novels. This paragraph applies to all books in this series. The story's are great, but what makes this series stand out is how the country is worked into the story, It's almost as if you are there. The author is a gifted story teller.

Do you need to read this series in order: Yes, it helps a lot. Note that Hard Country and Backlands (and one pending maybe) are the prequels.

Triggers: Cops and police situations, there are rapes, homicides, and crime.

Michael McGarrity's acclaimed Santa Fe police chief, Kevin Kerney is back-with his estranged son. Two bodies have been found in a burned building. One is a missing person from Kerney's cold case files. The other is a more recent homicide. Both will lead father and son into a vast network of crime...and the darkest places of the soul.


Blood is the Sky (Alex McKnight, Bk 5)
Blood is the Sky (Alex McKnight, Bk 5)
Author: Steve Hamilton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 11/17/2016


The series is great, it's a private eye noir set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where summers are short and winters are brutal and cold. I really enjoy the series, but our poor protagonist never seems to catch a break or have a good time. Despite that, this book, and the series is certainly worth reading.

This particular book took our private eye and his friend up to Ontario in search of the friend's brother. It's a page turner!


Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey/Maturin, Bk 20)
Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey/Maturin, Bk 20)
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 5/9/2015


I enjoyed this series a lot. This book is the last one I will read in the series, even though there is one last book, an unfinished one.

This series is well worth reading, even though it's written in such a way that it's harder to read than say the other series' on the French and English wars, like Hornblower or Delaney or Kydd or Bolitho. Bolitho is my favorite by far

Well worth reading, but you have to read the series back to back, as though it were one book.


Triggers: Less recreational drugs than prior books, some sex, lots of violence (it's a war book). Not much 'rock and roll' (or chamber music)


Bone Dance: A Fantasy for Technophiles
Bone Dance: A Fantasy for Technophiles
Author: Emma Bull
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 11/17/2016


It's one of those books that is engaging yet weird, so weird that it hooks you in. Nothing is really the way it seems, yet it is.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world that is believably harsh, our protagonist gets involved in things without really understanding them, and why the man is out to get him

It's a good story. My only "wish" is that more of the characters were developed and that it was a longer book.


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