Review: Briarpatch

Briarpatch
Briarpatch by Tim Pratt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this guy Darrin has a string of really bad luck. His girlfriend Bridget leaves him, he loses his job, and then his car. To top it off, he’s heading out to lunch one day and sees his old girlfriend just as she leaps off the Golden Gate bridge head first and kills herself. Next Darrin starts seeing things. Alleys and paths that aren’t supposed to be there. This place is called the Briarpatch, and with the help of Arturo, a strange guy with a strange car, Darrin is beginning to find connections between this place, the guy Bridget left him for, and Bridget’s suicide.

I found this book in the bargain area of my Chapters and was kinda skeptical about how good it would be. I expected some kind of fairy world and magical blah blah, which I tend to hate, but it also hinted at something more interesting with the suicide idea.

I was surprised in a good way when I found out that this book was not about fairies! It is actually closer to books like the Otherworld series by Tad Williams, but without the tech aspect.

Another good surprise is that this book is aimed at adults!! No whiny teen characters, no censoring of language, and overall more realistic character traits. In general, the characters were intelligent if not entirely informed, and I can’t think of any choices characters may have made that bugged me as illogical or irrational. I like fiction, not stupid fiction.

The writing was well done and interesting. There were no instances where the wording was awkward or required re-reading (unless you weren’t expecting what was said). The plot was fast-paced and didn’t focus too long on events that weren’t pertinent to the plot, while slowly revealing some of the mysteries in just the right way.

The ending was satisfying and reasonable. It closed the conflict while still leaving open the possibility to return for a sequel. All in all, a good book worth reading.

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Review: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Part Two

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor - Part Two
The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Part Two by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one was a little boring because of the overlap with the main events from the comic(/show), and at times it was frustrating that the characters just blindly followed the Governor even when his behaviour was extreme.

However, it was interesting to read it from the other side of the conflict, and get an idea of how other groups where handling the pressures of the walker plague.

The writing is great in general, fast paced, and flows well. There was a bit of repetition that could’ve been edited out, such as how often we needed to read about the morning/afternoon/evening air. Without revealing anything, I will say that I was pretty sure the continuous mention of something else made me think it was going to be a major plot point but wasn’t. I supposed it might be in the next book, but if it’s not, then this is an example of the unnecessary repetition.

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Review: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

The LeftoversThe Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good book, but not at all what I was expecting. I saw the first couple episodes of the show, and it seemed pretty exciting, but while it followed the details of the book for the most part, they weren’t the same. The book is character driven rather than plot driven. Nothing really happens, you just follow some characters for a year or so and see how they are coping after the rapture.

It’s interesting enough, and certainly has my attention for the HBO series. I just wish there was a book version of the tv show.

The characters are mostly relatable, but even so, I think there is a bit of a disconnect between thoughts and behaviour for some of the characters. Maybe I was just hoping for something darker, grittier, and less life-goes-on.

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Review: Fool Moon

Fool Moon
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good sequel to the first book, Fool Moon keeps a good pace going by adding in some new world expanding plot line. This time its the werewolves that are the problem. It turns out that the different names for werewolves mean different types/breeds/species of them.

Harry Dresden keeps up the self-depreciating humour while getting the utter crap beat out of him again and again. I had a bit of a hard time figuring out the bad guy, which was good, but I was also getting frustrated by all the secrets that made the situations worse.

The book was a quick read, with interesting lore, and a good installment for the series. I’ll definitely continue reading. Still a good series for supernatural crime along the lines of Sandman Slim, and the TV show Supernatural.

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Review: Storm Front

Storm Front
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was exactly what I needed right now. An interesting series with lots to think about world-wise and crime-wise. without gtting so complicated that it becomes boring. Perfect for me to catch up on my GR annual goal (lol). Kind of along the same lines as the tv show Supernatural, and Harry Dresden is a great main character with lots of realistic flaws and while still being pretty cool. He’s also not the stereotypical BA either, so that is a nice change.

This book will appeal to fans of Supernatural Crime, including the Otherworld series, the Sandman Slim series, and shows like Supernatural, Haven, and Buffy (though not as dramatic).

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Review: Sandman Slim

Sandman Slim
Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this one. It’s a bit like Supernatural seasons 3 to 5ish, mixed with a bit of Spawn, which are two of my favourite stories/plots. It’s a fast read and full of action which makes it hard to put down.

There were umfortunatly a lot of editorial problems. Lots of jumbled sentences with parts missing or added. There was also some timeline confusion, which isn’t exactly a problem, but makes you want to check back on what you’ve read and messes with the flow.

All in all it was great. A strong, funny main character, interesting secondary/support characters, and a new take on the biblical story. I will definitly be reading the rest of the series.

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Review: Zone One

Zone One
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mark Spitz is working with his unit to clear out the left over undead in Manhattan so that the American government can finally reclaim it and begin returning to normal. Over a couple of days, Mark Spitz shares his memories and knowledge in flash backs and conversational narrative. It’s a very interesting read for sure, a bit World War Z, in a good way.

It has its predictable ending, but because of certain aspects of Mark Spitz character, it’s still worth reading. Because Mark Spitz is mediocre, never the best, but never the worst, and somehow he survived the plague so far out of sheer unremarkable-ness. The author has also added in PASD, like PTSD but the apocalypse version, which makes sense yet has not been a common theme in the genre.

The writing can be a bit difficult at times, with some sentences needed to be reread to get the right cadence/flow, and the language is certainly more mature in the intellectual sense.

One of the things I liked about the story is that characters generally made sense in their actions and choices. Some people are idiots and get themselves in trouble of course, but a lot of them don’t fool around, and there is a reason they made it so long.

Nothing negative stood out, and it was a refreshing take on a plot that has become almost boiler plate. The story may be the same, but its execution is what makes it great.

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