65 Minions
106 Overlords
AlexandrasAdventures

Alexandra's Adventures in Books

The real world is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

 

Just an occasional lurker here.  I won't post much blog content until/unless Booklikes institutes Privacy options.

Review: Starflight

Starflight - Melissa Landers

I'd classify this story as a Romance, rather than a Sci Fi novel.

 

I'm disappointed, as I was hoping for a Sci Fi adventure, even if it contained a bit of romance. At about the half way point I'd have called this a romantic caper. A lighter story than I was hoping for, with a heroine who was a mechanic and on the run, I was hoping for something a bit grittier, more adventurous, and a MC who was a bit more kick butt.

 

But at that point, in spite of these disappointments and some eye roll inducing moments, I was enjoying it well enough. And I thought perhaps the second half would improve my estimation. At the half way point I'd have given this a solid 3.

 

Unfortunately the second half became more Romancy, with our heroine and her love interest sharing a fade-to-black night of bliss, and declaring their love for each other. That I could have handled, probably, but ugh, what we had to go through to get there.

 

Thankfully this story avoided the typical angst ridden back and forth of so many teen romance stories. But instead we got accidental ingesting of drugs, under the influence hickeys given, plus matching tattoos. We even were treated to a night on some planet somewhere, that just happened to be having some type of festival, where there were hay rides, a barn dance, a corn maze, and a rigged shooting game, just like you'd find at state fairs or country festivals. I kid you not. Yes, presumably this place was colonized by people from Earth, but come on!

 

This story could have been set on present day America with just a few tweaks. By the end I was just ready to be finished. I'd rate the second half a 2.

 

There are bad guys, chases and narrow escapes, but it all felt like an excuse and window dressing for the romance. I found the characters likable enough, and this story certainly isn't bad. But it's going to appeal more to the Romance audience than the Sci Fi Adventure audience.

Whoot! I read a graphic novel! Review: Mass Effect: Homeworlds #1

Mass Effect Homeworlds #1 - Anthony Palumbo

Am I one of the cool kids now?

 

Always had a soft spot for James, nice to get a bit of his backstory.  I wish it had been longer though, and covered other past events, such as the night Anderson convinced James to be Shepard's guard.  It's a pretty short story.  Showing James at the Citadel which I take to be when he was there at the start of ME3, then telling this story as a flashback, was a nice touch I think to tie the two together.

 

Although James is supposed to be a teen in this story, young enough to be referred to as a minor, old enough though to enlist in the military, he's drawn to look pretty much as he is later. A minor quibble, though.

 

Overall just a morsel for Mass Effect fans.  Others will have no idea who this guy is, or why we should care, or maybe even what the heck is going on.

Just Starting: Ravenscroft Conspiracy

Ravenscroft Conspiracy - Vic Connor

"So it's all real. They're going to kill me. According to their records, he murdered his parents soon after he turned sixteen. Only it was a lie. He hadn't seen them since he was six."

 

A Sci-Fi story with a virtual world setting.  A favorite premise of mine.

 

I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but do hope it's at least reasonably entertaining.

 

Here goes!

Please Read - Signal Boost for Fellow Reviewer Frank Errington

Authored by Debbie's Spurts:

Hello peeps. If you spend any time in the horror community, you might have run across a reviewer by the name of Frank Errington. He’s simply an all-around good dude in an all-around crappy situation. He needs a kidney. Currently he’s looking for a live donor. I asked him if I could boost the signal with my blog and he said sure, so below you will find an image of Frank and a phone number. You can call Frank direct and he’ll give you info on how to find out if you’d be a suitable donor. I tried, but the transplant people told me my prediabetes automatically disqualified me. Maybe you can help.

 

Take care of each other,

 

E.

 

Notice: Free Download for The Way of Kings

Authored by Debbie's Spurts:
The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, The) - Brandon Sanderson

To my fantasy reading friends, Tor.com is offering a free download of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings on March 23 & 24. This is the first book in his Stormlight Archives series - the third book, Oathbringer, is scheduled for release November 14!

 

Grab the free download here!

 

And enjoy!

 

 

Free Story and a Cheap Audiobook

Authored by Jessica's Book Thoughts:

 

For the next five days, you can grab the Kindle edition of "Margins" for free, and then get the audiobook from Audible for $1.99.

 

 

 

Amazon US

UK

Germany

France

Spain

Italy

Netherlands

Japan

Brazil

Canada

Mexico

Australia

India

 

I'm on Patreon

Authored by Lornographic Material:

I've had friends, fans, and followers ask about helping me out monetarily in between book releases, or to help fund future books, so I've created a Patreon page. This isn't for donations. You get rewards at certain price points, which start at $1 and go up to $20. It's been awhile since my last major release and funds are tight. If you'd like to help, click on the link below. 

 

Right now I'm working on getting my novel FAIRY LIGHTS hammered into shape and could use help with paying for final proofreading. To be completely transparent, I can afford this by myself, but not until the beginning of next year. If you'd like a new Lorn novel before next summer, this is how you can help make that possible. 

 

You may share this post, if you're so inclined. Thanks for your past, present, and future support.

 

Edward Lorn on Patreon

The Rook on sale for $2.99 (Kindle)

The Rook - Daniel O'Malley

The Rook is a Kindle Daily Deal today for $2.99.  I really enjoyed this one.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rook-Novel-Files-Book-ebook/dp/B004QX07EG/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469617842&sr=1-1&keywords=the+rook

Here's My Ticket

(And no, I don't want to discuss real politics :D)Comander Shepard & Garrus Vakarian 2016

 

 

 

 

Review: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

"It is about 4:00 a.m. when they come for me.  I am already awake, strung out on the fear that they will come, and the fear that they won't."

I won't recap the basic plot, as that's covered in the blurb.  If you're worried (or hoping) this is a slasher type book, it is not.  It is a suspenseful Young Adult mystery.  There's a bit of romance, but it's more in service of the question of who the guilty party is than really romantic.  Something I actually preferred.

I enjoyed the isolation aspect.  With the island cut off from the mainland except at low tide.  Although it's not all that unique in the genre, I think it was handled well and added to the tension of the plot.  

We're fairly quickly introduced to the game, "Killer", and don't have to wait too long before it starts.  Still I found that things really picked up during the second half of the book, as it was then that I really started to find it un-put-down-able.  The first half of the book was fine, but the second half really gets good.

I had several potential suspects in mind while reading this, and kept going back and forth on who I thought the guilty party was likely to be.  It kept me guessing.

I was very impressed with the showing, not telling, in this book.  In Cate's head I could really feel the way we can freak ourselves out when stressed, just from her inner dialog.   Where you start to get spooked over things that aren't anything to be spooked over, just because you're so on edge or become suspicious of everything.

Another example of the showing, not telling, is the way I began to not trust one of Cate's friends in particular, simply due to what he said and did, and the way he said and did them.  He (to me) felt like someone who either had boundary issues or was socially inept, or he was a jerk in that fake nice way some people have a talent for.  And this was accomplished without the reader being told what to think.  I enjoyed that.

Overall I think this is a very enjoyable story for young adults who like mysteries and suspense.  

I do not think this one would do as well for those adults (like me) who enjoy reading YA.  Although well done, and having some personality of it's own, I think most adults familiar with the genre will probably find it a bit tame.

Reading Progress - Finished: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

Finished this one.  Think the YA target audience for this will likely enjoy it, not as much for adult readers of YA.

 

Saying that though I did like it, particularly as it picked up the second half, and toward the end I didn't want to put it down before I knew who-done-it.

 

I had a few suspects along the way, and I went back and forth about who I thought was most likely.  I'll admit I'm not always the most savvy figuring those things out, but at least it wasn't glaringly obvious.

 

And I do think the author did a good job with showing-not-telling.

 

Review to come.

Reading Progress 45%: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

So far I'm a bit befuddled about all the negative ratings this one has so far. I suspect it's due to the fact that adult readers have different expectations/requirements for Suspense and Mystery, and the ratings aren't in consideration of what teens might like.

Reading Progress 32%: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

When I started this I noticed it had quite a few low rated reviews on Goodreads, which made me a bit nervous.

 

So far I'm finding it well written and interesting enough, although at this point I think it's definitely going to appeal to actual YAs rather that cross over well to us adult YA readers.

 

At about 1/3 of the way in the game has started, a few imaginative fake "kills" have occurred, but nothing really to suggest anything more nefarious is going on.

 

I am impressed with how the author shows the unsettling and possibly creepy way one of Cate's friends, Vaughan, has some serious boundary issues, as well as that off-putting way of coming off as not nice, but doing it in a way that is nice - if that makes sense.  So that it's unsure if he's up to something or just really socially awkward.

 

I don't trust the guy, and the author achieved that all by what he says and does, and how he says and does them.  That should be something fairly common, but sadly in this day of rampant telling-not-showing it is not.

 

I'm enjoying it well enough, but so far am not finding it un-put-downable, and I'm only mildly invested.  But I thing teens will find the story interesting so far.

 

 

Amazon (Finally) Suing Sellers Over Fake Reviews

Authored by GreyWarden:

(reblogged from MarketingLand.com)

 

 

amazon-orange-1920

 

One of Amazon’s most appealing features is the unbiased reviews provided to members. Unfortunately, it turns out that some sellers have taken it upon themselves to feed fake reviews to their customers-to-be. This wouldn’t be a prudent idea. Amazon is (and has been) suing those sellers that are buying positive reviews.

 

Amazon has previously sued to stop websites that sell fake Amazon reviews, along with individuals offering to write fake reviews. This latest batch of lawsuits is against the companies that buy fake reviews for their products.

 

A story from TechCrunch this week reports that three new lawsuits were brought against sellers where the fake reviews made up 30 percent to 45 percent of the overall reviews. According to TechCrunch, the defendants are Michael Abbara of California, Kurt Bauer of Pennsylvania and a Chinese company called CCBetter Direct.

 

We reached out to Amazon for comment and received the following in regard to these cases:

While we cannot comment on active litigation, we can share that since the beginning of 2015, we have sued over 1,000 defendants who offered to post fake reviews for payment. We are constantly monitoring and will take action against abusive sellers by suspending and closing their accounts and by taking further legal action. Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation. Lawsuits are only one piece of the puzzle. We are working hard on technologies that allow us to detect and take enforcement action against perpetrators while also preventing fake reviews from ever surfacing. As always, it is important for customers to know that these remain a very small fraction of the reviews on Amazon and we introduced a review ranking system so that the most recent, helpful reviews appear first. The vast majority of reviews on Amazon are authentic, helping millions of customers make informed buying decisions every day.

The rules in this type of a case are fairly straightforward. Amazon has sellers agree to the following:

You may not intentionally manipulate your products’ rankings, including by offering an excessive number of free or discounted products, in exchange for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited.

Furthermore, when sellers choose to break selling policies, they may find themselves without much recourse. The seller policies make it clear that any disputes or claims will be resolved by binding arbitration and won’t go to court and that each party waives their right to a trial.

 

So sellers take heed, if you want a good review, make sure your product/service earns it. To make sure that you are adhering to Amazon’s rules, read the full Participation Agreement in its entirety.

 

NetGalley Needs A New Rule

A Little Knowledge: The Split Worlds - Book Four - Emma Newman

I think if a person has read and enjoyed all the previous books in a series they should be automatically approved when they request the next book on NetGalley.

 

What is up with NG declining me for this one anyway? So unfair!

 

(And yes that is just my sour grapes tongue firmly in cheek but still!)

 

Darn NG anyway, what do they know?

 

I'm reading this one and you can't stop me! I'll show YOU!

Just Starting: The Assassin Game

The Assassin Game - Kirsty McKay

Hope it's good!