Tag Archives: 2 Stars

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)

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Filed under Realistic Fiction

Any Way You Dream It by Monique McDonell

Lucy needs a fake fiance for her high school reunion. Chase says he’s not the relationship type, but he’s willing to pretend for a weekend.

Any Way You Dream It was completely predictable and ended exactly how I wanted it to. Unfortunately getting to that end was somewhat painful. The book is in great need of an editor. There were occasional stretches that were fine, but then there’d be several errors a page for a while. Occasionally I had no idea what the author even meant. Things went on a bit too long, too, like the author was just trying to stretch the length. It’s the second in a series, but there is no need to read the first book first. I only recommend Any Way You Dream It to people wanting a total mind vacation who don’t mind grammar and spelling errors.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 130
Pages Read in 2017: 35,499
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (A in SAPPHIRE)

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Filed under Realistic Fiction

Scaly Tale, Ripley’s Bureau of Investigation

The first Ripley’s Bureau of Investigation book, Scaly Tale, is the story of teens searching for the lizard man. The story itself is pretty dumb (my 9- and 11-year-old sons agree), but the many facts included on the side and at the end were quite interesting and made it a bit more worth reading. I recommend it for kids who like Ripley’s Believe it Or Not factoids.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 128
Pages Read in 2017: 34,915
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Filed under Children

Wild Thing by Dandi Daley Mackall

Winnie loved horses. Ever since her mom died and they left their ranch, she’s dreamed of owning a horse again. She finally gets her chance with a wild white Arabian, but she knows that as soon as she gentles the horse, she’ll have to sell her to make back the investment.

There was so much about Wild Thing that was just ridiculous. The character names were based on what kind of animal they liked. Winnie for hoses, Barker for dogs, Catman for cats, Lizzie for lizards. The story was incredibly predictable. So much so that my 11-year-old accurately guessed what would happen in each chapter before we read them. I felt like the author wanted the book to have religious elements and so stuck things in, creating an awkward in-your-face experience. The story was very sweet, however, I just don’t recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 126
Pages Read in 2017: 34,496
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Filed under Middle Grades

The Legend of King Arthur by Stephen Klein

The Legend of King Arthur is an overview of the King Arthur legends including the actual history leading up to when historians believe the real King Arthur lived and notes on when certain characters first appeared in the stories. The information provided in the book was quite interesting, but the author repeated himself over and over like a high schooler needing to pad an essay to reach the required length. The whole thing could have been about a third as long. The grammar was atrocious. There were many extra commas where they didn’t belong, tenses that changed in the middle of sentences, and pronouns that often did not match the sex of the character being referred to. Occasionally, the author would switch to an alternate spelling of a character’s name and then the next time return to the original spelling. Many times the author would write something and then in the next sentence write, “Therefore…” and draw some conclusion that actually didn’t make sense with the other information given. Somehow, the author made the Arthurian legends rather tedious and boring, probably because of the extreme repetition (how many times did I need to be reminded of the names of Morgause’s sons?). The final conclusion at the end of the book summed up everything that had been explained in the previous more than 100 pages and almost could have been all that was needed at all. Overall, this book is just in extreme need of an editor. Because of this, I cannot recommend anyone take the time to read it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 103
Pages Read in 2017: 28,575
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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Filed under Non-Fiction

Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner

Since the Bloody Coup, Killdeer and Billycan have ruled the Catacombs with an iron fist, but still rats are disappearing without a trace. After Clover is named as The Chosen One, her uncle Juniper must hurry up the plans to overthrow Killdeer and move the rats to the much more pleasant Nightshade City.

I have noticed that there seems to be some unspoken rule that graphic violence is not okay in books for kids unless the characters are animals. This book has some very graphic violence going on between the anthropomorphic rats. The chapters are also overly long with each chapter being 25-30 pages. This made the flow of the book awkward. My 9- and 11-year-old boys were happy when we finished the book, not because they enjoyed it, but because it was over, and said they did not want to finish the series. I don’t really recommend reading Nightshade City.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 99
Pages Read in 2017: 27,935
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Filed under Fantasy, Middle Grades

Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson

Alison wakes up in a mental hospital and slowly her memories begin to come back. As far as she can recall, she got in a fight with Tori, punched her, Tori disintegrated, and Alison went nuts. Alison has always known there was something weird about herself – letters are colors and have personalities, sounds are visible, and so on – but disintegrating someone with her mind goes beyond anything she can imagine.

Ultraviolet started out kind of slow, but still interesting, especially since my daughter has synesthesia (though, later in the book, in my daughter’s experience with multiple types of synesthesia at once, the portrayal of what it’s like to be a synesthete was not even remotely accurate). Eventually, the whole story just completely went off the rails and became a complete mess. I felt like the book was trying to be multiple stories at once and it just really didn’t work. By the last quarter, I couldn’t get the guy from the History Channel saying, “Aliens!” out of my head as the book went from a little odd to completely weird. I do not really recommend anyone take the time to read it and I will most definitely not be reading the second book in the series.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 96
Pages Read in 2017: 27,048
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (U in RUBY)

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Filed under Science Fiction