Ungh... Arrr... Books!

Ungh... Arrr... Books!

Favourite Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction


I read around 1-3 books per month.

Expect lots of random nonsense in between review posts.

Everything Ramble + See You Later

Rabbit posted a playlist a week or so ago that got me in the mood to make my own. It's my own writing playlist (minus a few hundred tracks—this highlights the artists); it's a little dark but that's probably not a shocker to anyone that follows me. Tracks 9-11 might be pushing it for the average music lover and perhaps, to those brave enough to listen, fortunate that I cut a large portion of that style of music from the list. I also tried to keep the explicitness to a minimum for maximum enjoyment by all. :P

I've already adjusted my BookLikes theme to a Halloween colour scheme, this is because I am leaving tomorrow and won't be around to adjust it for the holiday. Speaking of themes... I know I mentioned many moons ago that I was working on my next BookLikes theme. I stopped work on that theme when I found out I was going to be out of town for an extended time (and also because of distractions). I figured I would wait until I got back in case there were any bug reports.

So, this theme won't be available until the end of the year. I've all the structure for it laid out, it just needs some additional finishing touches to the style sheet. Below is a screenshot, it will have a sticky menu and collapsible 'about' section for your avatar, personal note, widgets and current reads. It'll also have two options for viewing the blog; pagination (already available) and infinite scroll (like on the dashboard).


On to why I won't be around. I'll be out from September 22 - November 14 to work on my manuscript and also for some music magic. While not doing those things, I plan to keep on reading. I've selected the following books to go with me and I'll have reviews up for these when I get back.



So, happy reading to all and I'll miss you guys. I'm especially saddened that I will be away during my favourite holiday and missing everyones Halloween inspired reads. I can't wait to get back to read all those!

Editing Tips

A few days ago YA Fanatic posted that she'd finished the first draft of her novel. In this post she asked if anyone had tips on editing. I responded in the comments but then realised the comment was going to be ginormous and so I ended up saying that I'd make a post instead.


What follows is my own personal method for editing. After a decade+ of editing my own work and digging around for advice from other writers, I think most can agree that many of these steps are necessary. You don't have to follow all of them and you should find your own order. I'm still working on perfecting this system and that process will probably never end. If you are a writer, please leave your own methods and experience down in the comments. :)


I'm adding a short description below because this post is HUGE. I've run out of time and, as hilarious as it is with this being about editing, I don't have time to edit this post before I leave on Monday. Such is life! Also, apologies for how 'know-it-all' this post might come off as. I spent so many years writing technical FAQs for websites (and working tech support) that I developed an odd voice I'm not quite fond of.


There are three major steps in editing. Developmental, structural and professional. Revising can take twice as long as it took you to write your first draft. Hang in there. Good luck!


-read more-
5 Stars
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Assassin's Apprentice  - Robin Hobb

As you can probably guess by my rating... I adore this book. There's something very comforting about the writing that just grips me each time I read it.


I love all the characters even though all their names are silly. The main character, FitzChivalry, and all his friends, mentors, and enemies... the emotions behind all those relationships are so beautifully written that you can really feel the connections Fitz has with them.


This book is not perfect. Still, each vital ingredient that is necessary for crafting a wonderful book is present. I just always want more. I'll try to explain...



It is really short for an epic fantasy and some of the world building suffers because of this. The setting is what you'd expect from this genre and the magic system isn't ground breaking. Yet, I still love the choices Hobb made with her magic system and tying it in with the worlds own mythology and history. The magic is shrouded in mystery which, I suppose, makes it all the more interesting. There isn't much exploration of the Six Duchies, but the places that were part of the adventure were great. This is mostly because the writing is so good that you don't even have to try to imagine... it just happens.


The beginning also starts off weak. You have to really try to suspend disbelief while Fitz recounts his earliest memories.

This is an obvious hint at Fitz being an unreliable narrator that many might not pick up on the first read.

(show spoiler)

Another issue early on is time. There isn't a clear picture on how time is passing until you are told that he is finally thirteen. Seven years go by without many markers (besides seasons) and so it's a little unsettling. This section doesn't last long and these minor concerns don't continue as the narrative launches into the meat of the story.


With assassin as part of the title, some might expect lots of actual assassinations to take place. They don't. This book deals with the internal struggles of becoming an assassin as well as external conflict surrounding the kingdom (raiders and a zombie-like weapon) and the politics (power moves) of said kingdom. It's a coming of age story and so we see Fitz change as he acquires new knowledge/skills and we see him stick to his principles regardless of the struggle he faces to remain loyal to his kingdom. These internal and external conflicts are so well balanced, very fulfilling.


The ending is surprising in how different it is played out. I won't spoil anything here except to say that I love it when things don't go exactly how you would hope or expect. Things are tied up nicely even though there are a few topics that are left in mystery or that hit an unexpected roadblock.

Such as the resolution with his relationship with Molly.

(show spoiler)

Effective in leaving you wanting more. There's not a single moment of boredom in this book even when there isn't massive action... the writing is that good. Compelling to the very last page that I even stayed up past my bedtime to finish the last 10% this time around.


Even with these faults, I'm sticking to my rating. This is a book that every fantasy lover should read at least once. The other books in these trilogies aren't as special but are still worth reading because they are good (3-4 stars, IMHO). I won't be re-reading the entire series just yet... but I do plan to over the next year or two to get up reviews and refresh my memory before diving in to the new Fitz and the Fool trilogy.


Recommended for those who love character development... and animals! :)

Oliver Twist VS Artful by Peter David

I was motivated to re-read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens after selecting the book Artful by Peter David from the Kindle First program back in June. I finally got around to the re-read and I enjoyed it as much as the last two times (once as a child around age eight and again in college around age sixteen). I tried writing a review for Oliver Twist but eventually gave up. What can be said that hasn't already been said? Reviewing a classic is tough business! My take on it was not intellectual in the least and since it is a social commentary... well, my review ended up sounding foolish.


I love Oliver Twist because of the villains. There, I said it. I am evil. I can become intrigued by villains who are mistreating a nine year old who has the mental capacity of a six year old. This is not to say that when the villains get their comeuppance that I wasn't just as captivated. Even more so, it's the best part of the tale.


I initially gave the read four stars but then bumped it down to three and a half. The ending doesn't sit well with me. Nature vs nurture. That sort of thing just bothers. The twist about his mother's sister, barf. Also, making Fagin out to be a devil and then referring to him as the Jew. How Dickens didn't realise this would be insulting to so many people... a let down. My mother told me (when I read it as a child) that by the end he had stopped that foolishness. So, in a way, it's good to see that people do overcome their ignorance.


I selected Artful from the Kindle First program because at the time I was thinking... hell yeah, a story about Dodger! If anything, Oliver Twist is acted upon by all the other characters in the story and so everyone else seemed three times more interesting. Dodger was no exception. When I read what the book was about I thought, 'oh, a twist with vamps. OK!' Click and download. I hadn't even thought through what I was doing. This is some type of fan fiction. I don't like fan fiction. I came to this realisation after completing the first chapter. Head, meet desk.


I didn't even read enough to find out if Dodger was turned into something not worth reading. Obviously, his character is amazing in Oliver Twist because of the mysterious quality. Whether or not that quality remains intact in this book, I do not know. I stopped reading around 13% (chapter four).


The introduction had me in agreement, I was still on board. When the vampyre business showed up, I was sceptical but still willing to go along. When I got to the first chapter is when I became somewhat angry. The writing was -HORRIBLE-. I had figured that there was some type of gatekeeper with the Kindle First program. Nope. I'd just been lucky before. This book needs serious work! It seemed like the author tried to copy Dickens style and failed miserably at it. I tried, but by chapter four I had had enough.


Perhaps it was a mistake to re-read Oliver Twist before starting this? I think I'll try again sometime next year just to make sure. :P

hurt - nine inch nails - san diego 2014


I had the pleasure of attending this concert yesterday - sound garden and nine inch nails. Sound Garden played all their hits, so I was pleased with that since I haven't kept up with their music since the mid-90s. NiN played everything I wanted from their new stuff and well, I love all their old stuff, so... it was perfect. I kept myself together for the entire show until the encore (video above); it was very moving with everyone singing along.


They played the same venue I saw them at in 2009, that concert was epic! Jane's Addiction!!! Very thankful to NiN for touring with these bands since, if they were on their own tour, I probably would never have seen them (not because I don't think they are amazing, but because the crowds are generally different).



Status Update

I will be going offline from September 22nd - November 14th. No Internet at all! Less distractions will hopefully lead to a much more productive experience working on my manuscript and on some music related things.


As for reading, I've mostly just been reading stuff that I've read before. While I was sick I read Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. by Kristiana Gregory because it is short and easy for an addled brain to handle. I'm not sure I will review it. Maybe.


Right now I am re-reading The Bhagavad Gita which I tend to read whenever I notice that my temperament is breaking down. I'm not a religious person so most of that stuff I treat as mythology and the rest I take as self-help to better my attitude about whatever is bringing me down. Sometimes I just need a reminder to detach and discard any and all expectations.


I'm planning on reading Artful by Peter David before I take off. So I'm also re-reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens before I get to that.


Yep, that's about it. I hope everyone is having a fantastic week/weekend, especially when it comes to the books you all are reading. :D

3.5 Stars
Bay's End by Edward Lorn
Bay's End - Edward Lorn

I'd seen plenty of reviews for this book on my dashboard and the ratings were always up there. This, because I'm a cynical bastard, made me wary to pick it up and give it a read. Also, I started following the author and that made me anxious because I found that I really enjoyed his reviews and blog posts. I started worrying that if I read this novel, and hated it, that I wouldn't be able to post a review in my normal fashion (which, I admit, sometimes has heavy focus on the negative).


I'm happy to report that I enjoyed this book and that my rating has in no way been swayed by the above factors. I was also relieved to discover that I can review a book for someone that I follow without sugar coating things. Relief! Also, sorry for doubting any of you that have reviewed this. I've just been burned so many times! On to the review~

The writing style was the first thing that drew me in. I can usually tell within the first chapter if a book is going to be hard to get through or if it is going to be smooth sailing. This book was smooth sailing from start to finish. Everything was clear; the narrative mode kept me interested and invested in what would happen next. For any out there worried because this is free (and maybe self-published?), this book was well edited and definitely proof-read.


The second thing that hooked me was how real the characters and setting felt. I grew up during the 80s/90s before all the parents of the world decided that their children were safest kept/hidden indoors. Neighbourhood kids roamed the streets and often were out looking for mischief. Most of our entertainment was not filtered by mature ratings like it is today. You could say that it was from the most disturbing horror in this book that really transformed the freedom that youth had after my generation (especially in America, wow, the over-protectiveness of some parents here can be extreme).


Unfortunately (maybe my parents should have been more over-protective?), I experienced some of the horrors in this book in my real life which I'm not sure how that factored into my rating... but I'll try to explain. I think that the way this book handled these situations worked very well for me. The narrator revealed many things before they would happen which was a very smart move because otherwise I would not have finished reading it. These were trigger warnings so I knew that specific abuse was about to take place. Other readers out there might be angered at this because in a way there wasn't much suspense and you knew what was just around the corner. However, this book was not so much uncovering a mystery or having an 'oh, what the fuck' moment, it was a journey to be had with these characters.


Now for what I didn't like and what I think others might not like. There was a vibe of racism towards a specific character and his family that I felt made me lose a little connection to the main characters. It was very minor, but enough that I remember it still as the only thing that really put me off. For others, I imagine that many might find the character with Down Syndrome an issue. As I mentioned before, there is child and sexual abuse.


So, I'm stating these things because I know that this book is not for all. This book shows real horrors that are not fantastical, they happen every day and are very much a reality. Yes, there are obviously parts that are there for fun, but specific parts might make some readers angry. If you want to read a book that is a fun horror ride through and through (without deep emotional triggers), this is not the droid you're looking for.


Back to the good! I liked the ending even though it seemed a little cliched. I loved how things from the beginning were tied in to the end. That specific scene with all the connections coming together was great! I said above that this book isn't focused on WTF moments, but there is indeed plenty WTF's to be had. For me, I think I just really clicked with the characters (I felt less alone in regards to my own past) and I wasn't entirely expecting that out of a horror/thriller novel.


A grade for the villains, A+ for the writing and definitely A++ for characterisation. The plot was handled in a weird way (more telegraphing than foreshadowing) but that weird way kept me reading. This was a really awesome debut novel!

Status Update

I've been a bit under the weather these last two weeks which is why I haven't posted in a while. I had great fun at the concert and convention, but I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised to have come down with something after so much exposure to so many people.


I finished reading Bay's End by Edward Lorn during that hectic weekend, the book was great! So, I don't really have any worries about losing the highlights of what I read and writing up a review to do it justice. My face is still really stuffed up and my sinus/migraines are really doing a number on my ability to write or even just looking at my monitor. I am feeling loads better though, so I hope to get my review up by this weekend.


For the remainder of the week I plan to just sit in a dark room with cold towels wrapped around my face. Ah, so exciting! ;)

Comic-Con International

Seems like it has been ages since I visited the Comic-Con International. My first visit was in 1999, specifically to pay a visit to the pre-Invader Zim-famous Jhonen Vasquez (I have to say, after Invader Zim, Jhonen was not as friendly at the SLG booth!). My wish came true and I met him. I also met Jill Thompson and Neil Gaiman. I think the Undertaker (if you're a wrestling fan) and Lou Ferrigno were also present that day. Countless others as well... I just can't remember so well as 99-01 all the faces get mixed up... maybe Roman Dirge was at the 99' con as well!


This was before the Comic-Con blew up into a super famous people gathering event. Ah, memories~  I still have my badge too!  

Oh, I also got my copy of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac signed and doodled on!


Well, I'm off to a concert tonight and will be busy with comic stuff until Monday. I hope everyone has a splendid weekend and some great reading! :D

2.5 Stars
World After by Susan Ee
World After - Susan Ee

Alright, I read this one much quicker than the first. Maybe others also complained about not giving the MC enough breathing space to grow since this one was 80% all about the MC with a little angel action thrown in towards the end. Unfortunately, this did not save the book. It was, again, just an okay read.


I've been thinking about what went wrong with this book and I keep landing on two things. First, for most of the book I simply felt like this girl could have a better life if she just ditched her family. It's great that she's all about family... but it seems to be such a drag and I often got the impression that the MC was so damn tired having to have so much responsibility. Second, she doesn't have anyone outside her mom and sister. Where are her friends? Where are the supporting cast that actually matter? Yeah, yeah... there is the angel. But he's like hundreds of years older than her and that match just gives me the creepies. Basically, there isn't enough outside of a girl with problems and a mission to fix those problems. It's tiring for the reader as much as it is for the character.


I didn't like the dream stuff with her sword. It was part of what the first book suffered from: too convenient situations for almost everything encountered. Oh, the MC doesn't know how to wield a sword? *the author must have forgotten to give her Kendo instruction in the first book!* Well, let's have her learn while dreaming. Yeah. It's funny because I actually experience learning while dreaming ALL THE TIME (especially if I'm working on scripting a program.... although those dreams suck!) but this was just so blah. I would have even liked a more convenient option of just having the sword move her body to where it needs to be at... so, I guess maybe it was all the eaves dropping on the angels past that bothered me? I don't know, just that those chapters were not my favourites.


With all that said... I still enjoyed the book enough to finish reading it and I will be checking out the third book when it becomes available (as long as it's also part of the lending library). I enjoy the fictional world Ee has built here, it just isn't anything mind blowing like I had expected.


Oh, and there was a secondary character that I did like. I just have a thing for villains, I suppose, but Beliel won me over with his little worm talk. Also, what happened at the end to him was hilarious. Probably my favourite scene out of the entire book. :D

2.5 Stars
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Angelfall  - Susan Ee

A lot of time has gone by since I finished reading this book, so this has actually worked to my advantage in that there will be less nitpicking and more focus on what really bothered me about this read. If any of you are not familiar with my rating system, it goes like this - 1 star for each: story, characterisation, world building, compelling, writing. Each category was worthy of at least a half star. Everything about this book was just 'okay'.


There were elements here that have been done before (several times, really) and there were just too many tropes/cliches for me to take this book seriously. Right off the bat the characters are just so... meh. A 'crazy' mother, a fragile sister that requires protecting, and the main character: a super Mary Sue.

The main character knows martial arts and beats up other, much larger, characters. She is only human, she has no real super powers, she is described as a very small person. It seemed that every time a new characteristic was revealed that my eyes were rolling so hard I feared for my vision. :(

(show spoiler)


We first meet the angel as he falls from the sky and crashes onto the hood of a car. Please! How many times have we seen that in movies? That specific scene also had some point of view issues. There were so many point of view issues! This story is told in first person present... this is Susan Ee's first book.... so I gave most of these a pass (mostly tricked myself into not seeing them so I could finish the book).


I felt like the angel character really held back the main character. There was a part of this book that was great! It was towards the end when the main character is on her own. This was something like 2-3 chapters. If the entire book had just been like this, without the angel character getting in the way, the book might have been better for me. Instead, we get the same crap of an angel falling in love with a human (monkey, ahaha, we haven't seen that one before, either~) so there can be a silly love story twist at the end. Boo! I knew there were romantic elements coming in to this, but it didn't feel like the main point, more like filler when filler wasn't even needed.


I'm not saying that the two characters didn't work well together, either. The focus was just on the wrong stuff. For example, I'm really tired of reading stories with angels in them and where the main character thinks so often about the way their eyes look or their 'velvet steel' skin. It was repetitive in this book and really didn't add anything. I wish a different direction would be taken to show how a character is falling for another character without focusing on looks/obsessions/petty things. These parts also made me think less of the main character, specifically how easily she was distracted from her mission.


The book had proper closure but it was so super cheesy. If anything, the ending for this could score a movie deal with one of those low budget companies (you know, the kind that turn Dean Koontz books into films) or a television show on ABC/WB. It's kind of sad that I am picturing a bad movie/show from a book, usually I imagine a movie/show being epic and it turns out being bad compared to the book. *sadness*


Sorry folks, this one just didn't work for me but I am giving book #2 (free with Amazon Prime) a chance! Angels, demons, mythology - these are all at the top of my list of things I love... so maybe I came in with expectations that were too high. Expectations are taken down a bit now, so maybe I will enjoy the sequel better. :)


-Side Note: My family tricked me! They were supposed to leave last weekend but instead stuck around for an additional few days. I'm pretty sure all that excitement is now behind me. So so so happy to relax now and read read read. Yay! :D

Status Update

I just realised that the status update I posted last week... never posted! >_<


My family are still visiting and taking up most of my time. I'll have more free time starting next week, so things should be back to normal by then. I haven't had time to read anything and I have yet to write up my review on Angelfall. I should be able to get that review up before the weekend... but if not, Monday it will have to be.


I hope everyone is doing great and reading lots of fantastic books! :D

Magic Dance - David Bowie


I'm falling behind on my video postings. Here is a throwback and fantasy related video; great song and almost three minutes of sexy David Bowie. Who can complain? :D


I've had a busy week; family gathering on Wednesday, recovery all day Thursday. Yes, 1 simple outing has zapped all my energy but... I'll live.  I'll have my review on Angelfall up by Monday. Somehow that book managed a 3 star even though my eyeballs were rolling so much I thought I might have to make an eye doctors appointment. What? Not funny? Yes, I see many of you out there have rated it a 5! Shh... I agree, it wasn't terrible (but there were many, many problems). ;)

Short Friending Meme

Joining in on the fun! If you want to do the meme, just copy my post and replace my answers with your own. All of these are optional, so go with what feels comfortable for you.

Name: Lee - My nickname/shortened version.

My name means 'torch'. Feel free to guess in the comments. :D

Age: 33

Location: California, USA

When did you learn to read?

Two or three? My mother was obsessed with teaching me how to read.

Favorite book genres:

Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction or anything with a Paranormal edgeI love mythology!

Do you write as well?

Yes. Speculative Fiction, mostly. No one can resist writing Erotica, right? Right? ^_^

Do you read fanfiction? No. I have mixed feelings about fan-fiction. I do understand why people write it and why other people enjoy reading it... it's just not for me.


Other interests: Music, video games, movies, anime, etc.

Any form of entertainment that can warp me to a different reality.

Which English?

Quiz Link: Which English?


This quiz attempts to guess your English dialect and native language. I took this quiz to figure out which way I lean and it turns out I'm more American now, hurrah! I'm assuming the other two were selected based on my mashing together American and British standards? I don't even know which are which anymore. @_@


The second set of results guess at native language. I don't know Swedish or Norwegian but I do wonder if (being native in) those languages would cause problems with word order, switching from formal to informal, and grammatical tense. <— Everything I have difficulties with today.


So, if you have time (the test takes less than 10 minutes)... I'm curious what your results are and if you find them accurate.


My results:


Our top three guesses for your English dialect:
1. American (Standard)
2. Welsh (UK)
3. Australian

Our top three guesses for your native (first) language:
1. English
2. Norwegian
3. Swedish

3.5 Stars
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

This book took me a long time to finish (3 weeks!) even though I was enjoying it. It wasn't very long (400 pages, according to Amazon), but I was not in a reading zone and I think this review might suffer some because of that. I didn't take notes (like I usually dolaptop meltdown and all) and throughout I would put it down after a chapter or two and busy myself doing other things. So basically, I've been unable to focus on a single thing for a few weeks and now I've hit bottom and have zip motivation to do anything. I'm forcing myself to write this (I have a hard time reading my next book if the review on the last hasn't been written), so I apologise ahead of time that this review might come off as super negative and well, it just might suck. Also, spoilers.

It took me a while to warm to the characters and the events. At first I found the main character (Jude) to be a very stereotypical version of a rock star. I think this might have been part of the reason for why I kept losing interest. It wasn't until a few chapters before the end of Part I (around chapter 15) that I knew for certain that I was committed to seeing the story play out to the end. The amount of tension building in those chapters was magical. It has been a long time since an author has been able to bring about that level of dread in my black heart. Hah! If I rated on emotion, I think I'd have given this 5 stars just for that.

Unfortunately, the stereotypical stuff kept coming up and yanking me out of the story. There were just so many name drops and some that didn't even make sense to me. Who says they met someone backstage 'at a Trent Reznor show'? I can recall one show that Trent played as himself (Hurricane Katrina, maybe?), but for the most part I think normally one would say 'at a Nine Inch Nails show'. It came off as sounding false to me. The name drops made me think that too much focus was being placed on how big of a rock star the main character was.

This next part, again, is more of a 'me' problem than a problem with characterisation. My brain must have just been way too exhausted to clearly form my own made up versions of these characters. For most of this novel I pictured Jude as someone like Rob Zombie. The character of his ex-girlfriend (Florida) I pictured as Sheri Moon Zombie. Was this intentional? I wonder if anyone else pictured them like that. I also got thrown for a loop when it turned out Jude is a grandpa rocker, more like Alice Cooper or Ozzy. After a while I had this odd Frankenstein idea of who this guy was and almost all based on acts that I'm familiar with. This made the main character less special for me.

However, the characters were also majorly stupid. Again, intentional? I didn't understand why these characters were like "I'm terribly wounded but we can't go to the hospital..." and then Jude would be all like, "but I'm a gazillionaire, I could just call a doctor..." and then, NOTHING. This was repeated a few times, too! WTF?! I understand that they might just not be accustomed to asking for help or even that they were so stressed they couldn't think straight, but if you are constantly worried about something being really bad and then you just roll over? I still can't think of any good reason why this was constantly mentioned except to make the reader clearly see what a mess these two were in. It lacked finesse.

Also, the dogs being their protectors. I saw this coming miles before the characters did... intentional? 'Clue the reader in before the characters' sort of deal?

(show spoiler)

The motives for the bad guys weren't very clear. Misguided revenge? Did they really blame Jude for their actions that led up to Florida's fate? Could they just not help themselves and just wanted someone to torture for funsies?

It seemed excessive since Craddock and Florida were already dead and Jude had already moved on.

(show spoiler)

Why drag him back into the picture except because of paranoia and crazy?

After a while I even started thinking that the entire story must be a delusion. Maybe the rock star had a heart-attack and was in a coma or something and he was just reliving what a horrible shit he had been to so many people. It didn't turn out that way. The ending actually left me going, WTF?

I'm used to my horror having a somewhat tragic ending. The ending was... I don't even. For a story that starts off with a guy dropping a grand on a possessed set of clothing, why did he only slip the poor girl $200? Whatever, this really didn't 'ruin' anything for me so I'm just being nit-picky now. If you like happy endings in horror, more power to you! :D

(show spoiler)

On to the good!


The ghost (aka the villain) was fantastic! I loved learning about him, how he was such a fucked up human being and how that played into all the ways he menaced the main character.


Florida and all her questions... I really liked this character with her ups and downs, her switching from being very much like a child and then moments of clarity as an adult. Georgia (Jude's current girlfriend) was also very important to keep the story moving and to keep Jude grounded. I really liked how Florida and Georgia's story lines came together. Oh, and Bammy!

When Jude finds out it's short for Alabama and has a freak out that maybe he's fucked his girlfriend's grandmother... I laughed out loud.

(show spoiler)

The story weaving and pacing were perfect. There were just enough lulls in between the chaos to make it not too exhausting. As I mentioned earlier, the tension was intense and without the little parts where they could get some time away from the ghost, the characters (and myself) probably wouldn't have made it to the end. My difficulty with reading this for longer periods of time was all me... not the book.

Last but not least, the writing was excellent. The narrative style worked for me, it remained consistent and even when it switched over to Jude towards the end for a scene, that part was done exceptionally well, too.

Some misc. notes with trigger warnings/spoilers. Beware that there is violence against animals in this.

Also, the destruction of vehicles. I really loved how Jude restores cars (this is a fascination of mine) but ah, having Florida's sister destroy that... a very easy way for me to hate that woman more than I already hated her!

(show spoiler)

I noticed that I hopped a bunch with tense here and there and that it's super spoilery in some places (added a note about this at the top of the review). My head is totally on backwards, Linda Blair style. >_< Relaxing for the remainder of the weekend... marathoning Orange is the New Black season 2. Woo!

The Goodreads/BookLikes Tag

It's taken me so long to get to this that I was tagged by multiple people... thanks to each of you: Kate (The Realist), Peaceā˜®Love♥BooksRachel the Book Harlot and It's a mad mad world.


I don't really use GoodReads as much as I used to. I usually only visit to find reviews on books that haven't yet been reviewed here on BookLikes.


1. What was the last book you marked as 'Read'?

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill


2. What are you 'Currently Reading'?

Angelfall by Susan Ee 


3. What was the last book you marked as 'To-Read'?

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler 


4. What book do you plan to read next?

Bay's End by Edward Lorn 


5. Do you use the star rating system?

I use this specific star rating system here at BookLikes—it's based on the components I think are necessary for a fabulous book. My star rating at GoodReads is usually accurate to what they say the stars mean (3 stars is I liked it) and almost always 1/2 star higher than here on BookLikes.


6. Are you doing a 2014 reading challenge?

Yes. My challenge is for 30 books. I read at the pace of a snail covered in salt! I'm at 14/30 so far. :D


7. Do you have a wishlist?

Not at the moment. If I ever add a book to my wishlist it is usually to remind me that it will soon be published. I very rarely read newly published books, thus the rare wishlist books.


8. What book do you want to buy next?

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin for the next hard cover book I'm looking forward to. Might be a long wait.

As for ebooks, it's almost always a book I already own that shows up as a $1.99 book for Kindle. If it isn't an already owned book, it is one that is on my TBR list... I buy several of these per month. I use BookGorilla to keep me in the know for the deals Amazon doesn't announce.


9. Do you have any favorite quotes? Would you like to share a few?

All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened. — Ernest Hemingway


I'll have to hunt some more down later... most of my favourite quotes are inspirational for writers. (2:30AM and I need to get to bed!)


10. Who are your favorite authors?

Too many to count. I have the same problem when asked which are my favourite books. Genre is an easier one and for the most part, if I read a book in a favourite genre I have at least a higher chance that I will like it. Speculative fiction is where it's at. :)


11. Have you joined any groups?

I'm a member of the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout over at GoodReads but I haven't participated with the community—I'm a terrible lurker. I lurk the groups here on BookLikes when it's a slow day on the dashboard.


12. Are there any questions you'd like to add to this tag?

Nope, but Degrees of Affection... added this question, which I will answer.


12.1. Are you more of a personal book reader or a library reader?

Personal book reader, but I support my local libraries by buying from the book sales they have. I was a major library reader when I was younger, I visited the library at least 3-4 times per week, sometimes just for the atmosphere. :D


I tag... everyone! I'd love to see this list from all my followers, especially the quotes. I love great book quotes. ♥

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