Sunday, August 25, 2019

Review: Second Skin: Fractures: A litRPG Adventure by M Damon Baker

Second Skin: Fractures: A litRPG Adventure Second Skin: Fractures: A litRPG Adventure by M Damon Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first book where the story is set up in a Role-Playing video game. It was a little difficult to get into the rules and calculations that go into score and capability measure [ i am still not too sure ] but once you read through it, the world and the people in the story capture all your attention. The way the various abilities are built in the game and measured starts making sense after a while and it is quite crafty. The game is well designed and easy to follow, even if it's not too easy for the players. The land description and the people of the land are intriguing, especially in the latter part of the story. The solo travel for the lead character is a little repetitive but the book is fun to read when she teams up with others. The main city, in the end, was quite interesting and hope it continues to be so since the little story that has been built up for the sequel is well crafted.

My only complaint was from the whole scorecard being pulled up again and again when I already had read the gist of it from the character point of view. Also, I am not too sure of the way her feelings about her transition from real to gaming world were handled. The struggle was believable, but the conclusion, not so much.

Still an enjoyable read out of my comfort zone and area of interest. Might try the sequel in a few months.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: The Redgrave Murders by A. L. Sowards

The Redgrave Murders The Redgrave Murders by A. L. Sowards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes it is not the big picture but what is happening within that frame that makes a story work for the reader. This is a story of two people with different past working for a common future - a future together.
Evie and Gary are an unlikely couple for the 1950s and coupled with Gary's past it was not easy for him to be the kind of boyfriend he would have liked to be. Evie's father is murdered and the blame falls on Gary. Evie works on finding the alibi for him and clearing the blame and along the way she gets a better picture of the man she is dating. This is actually the core of their evolving relationship and their struggle to make it work.

The murder mystery is well crafted and easy to follow as they together go through the list of possible suspects. It reveals the bias and the struggle the minorities face in society and how love can heal it.

An easy read that has a lot of heart in it.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review: This Savage Song [The monsters of Verity] by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Savage Song is a Young Adult fiction set in a city full of monsters and human. The city is divided into two sections - one ruled by Harker who has made monsters his slave and now sells his protection to humans, other section ruled by Flynn who saves the humans by fighting the monsters and the evil humans alike and keeping them out of his part of the city. There are three kinds of monsters - and one of them is August - the boy who loves music but can not play at his will as his songs can steal a human's soul. Harker has a daughter - Kate who he keeps away from the city as much as Kate struggles to return home and eventually succeeds too.

“She cracked a smile. "So what's your poison?"He sighed dramatically, and let the truth tumble off his tongue. "Life.""Ah," she said ruefully. "That'll kill you.” 

This is a story of these two and how one saves the other from acting like a real monster and ultimately saving the city, perhaps temporarily. Maybe this is about choices we make - to be the monster or not and to shape our own destiny even in the bleakest times. But what moves the story forward so seamlessly is the dialogue and the pace of the story. Supported by some really amazing cast on August's side and the conflicts on Kate's side, this is a really good quick read.

I did not love the book, but I did like it enough for one of the main characters - so that I am curious about the second part of the book to know the story further.

“I read somewhere," said Kate, "that people are made of stardust."
He dragged his eyes from the sky. "Really?"
"Maybe that's what you're made of. Just like us."
And despite everything, August smiled.” 

The story ends at a point where it is satisfying to be left without reading the sequel.

Here is the link to the audiobook from youtube.

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#BookReview: Utrecht Rain by Jonathan Wilkins

My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars Maaike Meijer is attacked in a senseless outbreak of violence at the Dom Tower in Utrecht. Her broth...