Tag Archives: 2 Stars

Bug Island by RG Cordiner

When a cruise ship blows up near an uncharted island, the survivors are attacked by giant (as in 9 foot long) bugs.

Bug Island is a very strange book. Mostly, we (my 10- and 12-year-old sons and I) really did not like it. Often, there were random strings of letters representing sounds. What some of those sounds were supposed to sound like or represent, I have no idea. It was pretty graphic and often gross. Finding out what the bugs were was a bit disturbing and then the end was kind of sudden. The writing, however, was decent. The storytelling jumped between people/groups of people and that was quite effective. Those redeeming qualities just aren’t enough for me to recommend this book. It’s one you’ll probably want to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 79
Pages Read in 2018: 18,773
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

True Stories of Crime from the DA’s Office by Arthur Train

True Stories of Crimes from the DA’s Office is a collection of several stories of cases from the district attorney’s office from the very early 1900s. The writing is rather dull. It tells the stories mostly in a this happened, then this happened, then this happened, just the fact sort of way. I love reading true crime books, but this just didn’t hold my attention very well.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 24
Pages Read in 2018: 4534
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Reason: Birthstone Bookology, True Crime

A Night at the Animal Shelter by Mark J. Asher

After a big sale at the animal shelter, just a few dogs are left on Christmas Eve. They spend the night telling their stories and playing.

After I read A Night at the Animal Shelter to my boys, I had to go back and make sure it really was aimed at kids (it is – 8-12 year olds). Twice a curse word was used so I edited it as I read. No way would it be appropriate to just hand over to a child. The story was kind of cute, but mostly was just a way to attack people who leave animals at shelters or don’t adopt animals from a shelter. It’s short and reads fast which is really the best part about it. I do not recommend reading this book and would definitely caution against giving it to a child to read on their own.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 18
Pages Read in 2018: 3203
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

God’s Battalions by Rodney Stark

God’s Battalions takes the view that the Crusaders were completely justified after being pushed so hard by the terrible Muslims who were invading their territory. The chapters where the author stuck to facts and what happened on the various Crusades were very good. The chapters attempting to prove his thesis were not. He’d “prove” his point by grabbing onto one single thing that didn’t necessarily prove what he was trying to prove (for example, the Muslims were “backward” because they did not like to use wheeled things like carts as the Europeans did, but instead stuck to the camels they were already familiar with – making it clear that camels were far inferior to carts). Often he stated that most historians say one thing, but this one single historian says this other thing and so obviously the one is correct (because what they said agrees with his thesis) and all the rest are wrong. There are many logical fallacies throughout the book. I actually had my 16-year-old son read this book as a critical thinking exercise, finding the problems with it. For that, it is an excellent resource. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 166
Pages Read in 2017: 44,742
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for This School Year

1 Comment

Filed under Non-Fiction

One Nation by Ben Carson

One Nation is a lot of rambling about how we need to fix America. The anecdotes don’t always make sense in the context of the chapter. Some of the facts (and understanding of scientific concepts) are just plain wrong. He claims to be moderate, but clearly is not. While I do agree with quite a bit of what he wrote, I found his “action items” to be lacking and it ended up being more of a giant whine than anything else. I could only take the book in small doses. I don’t particularly recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 157
Pages Read in 2017: 42,452
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: A to Z Authors (C)

Leave a comment

Filed under Non-Fiction

Out of Play by Joy Norstrom

Gillian is not happy in her marriage. Her husband, Ralph, spends all his free time LARPing. When Gillian’s therapist suggests she try LARPing herself, Gillian volunteers as a kitchen wench without telling Ralph.

Out of Play wouldn’t have been so bad if Gillian (who was the narrator) hadn’t been so thoroughly unlikable. She was whiny, condescending toward her husband, refused to even consider looking at things from Ralph’s point of view, and was determined to hate LARPing from the beginning because obviously (to her) all their problems were his and his LARPing’s fault. At the very end, the author threw in something that wasn’t even really part of the story to make it end a certain way (presumably heading toward a fixed marriage). I found that addition jarring. The only good parts were the descriptions of the LARP and the people there. I don’t really recommend reading this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 152
Pages Read in 2017: 40,890
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (O in TOPAZ)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction

Last Shot by Mike Faricy

Dev Haskell is a private investigator who is more interested in beautiful women and drinking than investigating most of the time. After he refuses to take Desi on as a client and then she’s found shot to death, he decides to find out what is really going on even though he won’t be paid for it.

I always grab the Dev Haskell mysteries when they are free on Kindle. They are pretty funny, though quite repetitive. I found this one to be rather boring, though, and often chose to read something else instead. It’s decent enough as a mind vacation, but I don’t really recommend this one. There are other books in the series that are much better.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 139
Pages Read in 2017: 37,755
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (L in OPAL)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction