Danger is Everywhere

Danger is Everywhere by Docter Noel Zone (David O'Doherty)
Genre: Humor
Rating: DNF, 3.5 for what I did read

Danger is Everywhere was one of those books that would have been much better if I’d read it (physical or Kindle) instead of listened to it. All things considered the narrator did a good job, but there’s only so many acronyms one can keep straight without actually looking at the book. Not only that, the book had a definite voice to it, but the narration was just a little too much. It would have been much better if it had been an annoying voice in my head instead an annoying voice in my ear—and it was definitely supposed to be annoying (in a silly kind of way).

The premise of the book is clever and the examples and chapters are very funny. Part of the humor is how serious the book takes itself. But as I said earlier,the narration kind of killed it, and I couldn’t stick with it without getting a headache. Maybe one day I’ll become a Dangeroligist but I’ll have to get a paperback.

This Is How You Die

This Is How You Die (edited by Ryan North)
Genre: Short stories
Rating: 4

I’m not a huge fan of short stories: I like to really get into the characters lives and the anticipation and the crescendo of a novel. Short stories, to me, feel like I’m thrown into a story, see a snippet of it, and am then jerked out. But one thing that really helped this collection not feel like that was how all the stories were about the same thing. Not the same plot, not the same people… but the same concept. A machine that tells you how you will die, and is absolutely never wrong? That’s a sticky situation. And each person had to figure out how to deal with it and it revealed a lot of humanity.

I was very pleased with this collection as a whole. I didn’t read the first one, and I don’t think you’d need to in order to enjoy it. I definitely liked some stories and some writers better than other, but all in all, it was very satisfying.

 

If a machine could predict how you would die, would you want to know? This is the tantalizing premise of This Is How You Die, the brilliant follow-up anthology to the self-published best seller, Machine of Death.
The machines started popping up around the world. The offer was tempting: With a simple blood test, anyone could know how they would die. But the machines didn't give dates or specific circumstances - just a single word or phrase. DROWNED, CANCER, OLD AGE, CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. And though the predictions were always accurate, they were also often frustratingly vague. OLD AGE, it turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or being shot by an elderly, bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machines held on to that old-world sense of irony in death: You can know how it's going to happen, but you'll still be surprised when it does.
This addictive anthology - sinister, witty, existential, and fascinating - collects the best of the thousands of story submissions the editors received in the wake of the success of the first volume, and exceeds the first in every way.

Rags and Bones

Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales, a compilation edited by Melissa Marr
Genre: Short Stories (supernatural)
Rating: 4.5

Rags and bones stripped down stories that were important to the author and allowed for a new telling, a blank canvas, a skeleton for new musculature. it was one of the most interesting collections I've ever read and every story had something interesting about it. The writers selected to participate in the project were all excellent. Some of the stories I was able to figure out which story they came from, but others I didn’t know, and some I intend to read. I really liked that each story had an author’s note explaining their reason for picking the story they did.

I don’t typically like short stories because I feel like I can’t get into the story until I’m being pulled out again because it’s over. And I did definitely stop between stories and think about each one for a while. But I was impressed and enraptured with Rags and Bones. It is one of my new favorites. I recommend it to anyone who likes short stories, or who needs something to think through.

The best writers of our generation retell the classics.
From Sir Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen to E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops," literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories, the ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them, the ones that have become ingrained in modern culture, and the ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of young adult readers.
Written from a twenty-first century perspective and set within the realms of science fiction, dystopian fiction, fantasy and realistic fiction, these short stories are as moving and thought provoking as their originators. They pay homage to groundbreaking literary achievements of the past while celebrating each author's unique perception and innovative style.

It does not get easier

I’m going to post just a little tid-bit here.

I started this blog when I was in High School. I was a terrible high-schooler, I did very little work and spent most of my time reading, growing this blog, and dancing (and pretending to do homework). I thought I’d have so much more time to do blog stuff when I went to college (I had significantly less) and that I’d have even more time when I graduated (2014 had something like seven blog posts, and that’s being generous). However one thing I’ve learned is that you have to make time for something you want.

Hence the reason I’ve cut down on memes and weekly posts like Exploring Etsy and monthly review stuff. I’m less concerned about pageviews, followers, and contests. And maybe I don’t get as many visitors, but you know what?… it’s a lot more fun to listen to an audiobook and write a review on it when I get the opportunity than force myself to read fifteen books a month and have five to ten blog posts a week.

That being said, here is my advice to bloggers or people considering starting a blog:

1. You can make it whatever you want it to be, but don’t bite off more than you can chew

2. If you aren’t enjoying it, don’t do it

3. If it’s not working for you, there’s always room to make changes.

Thanks guys! hope to see more of you this year since I’ve gotten more into the habit of listening to audiobooks than anything. so many more reviews coming soon!

Waistcoats and Weaponry

Waistcoats and Weaponry, by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quirk 
Genre: YA, Steampunk
Rating: 5

I loved Waistcoats and Weaponry as much and maybe more as the rest of the books in the series. Sophronia just keeps getting better. I won’t spoil anything, but she’s growing up, learning how serious life is, planning for her future, dealing with boys, and getting into mischief with her friends. I loved every second of it and am dying for the next one. I hope it’s the last because I want to know how it ends, but at the same time I don’t want it to end because it’s so clever and exciting.

The series demands to be taken seriously. Looking at a summary of the series it would be hard to take it seriously (Hey I’ve been reading this steampunk series about a girl who goes to a floating finishing school that trains her to be a secret agent spy intelligencer type person, and she takes classes about taking high tea but also how to kill people with bladed fans, and she’s friends with the kids who keep the school floating, and there’s vampires and warewolves and robots and a school for evil geniuses, and she keeps getting herself in trouble with this band of anti-supernatural men who try to blow up trains with cannons…) It’s kind of hard to read or hear someone tell you all that and not raise an eyebrow (or both). But the thing is, the writing and the language takes itself seriously, and transports you into a place where you can throw yourself into the story and take it seriously, which is the only real way to enjoy it. I admire Carriger’s writing style and plan to read more of her work.

Moira’s reading was as good as always, and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. If you haven’t listened to her work, check out this link to the audible books she’s done.

Ettiquite and Espionage | Curtsies and Conspiracies | Waistcoats and Weaponry | Manners and Mutiny

Truth and Fear

Truth and Fear by Peter Higgins, read by Neil Dickson 
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5

I was so excited about this audiobook that I went back and re-listened to the first one in the series so I’d be on top of all the details. It did not disappoint. More mystical creatures than ever, a wholly other side of the same terrifying magic, a fast-paced exciting plot that never stopped, all concluding to me absolutely dying for the next book. I cannot wait to find out what happens to all my favorite characters. I cannot conceptualize how this story will end—and that, for me, is the best thing ever, because so many stories out there are so easy to guess the plot and the conclusion but this… this is something entirely other that I cannot expect. And I’m in love with it.

I whole heartedly recommend reading this series!

Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air raids are a daily occurrence and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defense of the city.
But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city.
But will the horrors of war overtake all their plans?

Parasite, Symbiont

Parasite (book 1) and Symbiont (book 2) by Mira Grant, narratred by Christine Lakin
Genre: YA, Horror, Science Fiction
Rating: 4

Here’s the rundown: I am in love with this series. I am all over this series. I love Sal, I love the characters (I even kind of love Sherman, a little), the plot is brilliant, it’s exciting, brilliant, fast-paced, and original.

But. Why does there have to be a but! I wish there wasn’t, but there is.

There is literally only one issue with this series that makes it a 4-star instead of a five-star: I call it “Jenny McGrady Syndrome.” See years ago I read this book series about a young detective that always got herself into trouble trying to be Nancy Drew. And in every single book, at least once, this phrase was present: “Jenny felt as though she’d been slugged in the stomach.” Every. Single. Book.

Now if I found a phrase in Parasite and Symbiont that repeated only once, that wouldn’t be a big deal. Even two or three times between the two books, that wouldn’t be a big deal. But the problem I have is that there is a lot of repetition of phrases. I understand what Grant is trying to do here, making the drums an important thing, seeing red, the cold gut wrenching feeling of fear and anticipation at the same time… but I don’t want to read it forty times in five chapters. It’s not necessary. It only slows down the story and frustrates the reader.

Other than that one minor flaw, it is one of the best YA novels I’ve ever listened to. The characters are full of personality and quirks, the plot is unexpected, the bad guy makes me want to punch him in the throat, and I’m dying to find out what happens in the third book. I will absolutely read (listen) to it. I am super excited. I’m dying over here. I just wish that the unnecessary and repeated words and phrases were cut out.

I love the reader for this audiobook, Christine Lakin. She adds a lot of character and emotion, and reads clearly and at a good pace. I like her voice. She’s one of those people who you’re sure that the main character’s voice actually sounds like the narrator. I loved her performance in this as well as The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and look forward to hearing her again, and am adding her to my list of favorite narrators.

Disclaimer

Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.
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