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Magic of Thieves (Legends of Dimmingwood, 1) [#fantasy]

Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I went into this not expecting a lot, and boy was I surprised. A bit slow in the middle, but great fun in the beginning and especially the end.

It's a series, yes, but the hanging loose threads didn't seem unnatural, as though placed there for something to suck you into the next book. Nope. All the loose ends were natural to the story, and nothing made me want to skip the rest of the series.

The protagonist, the apparent sole survivor from her village, destroyed in a pogrom against "magickers" by the government, lives with a band of highway robbers. She has forgotten most of her real family, and only has fitful dreams to tease her memories.

Eventually she will outgrow her band of brigands, and what waits for her as she seeks to learn more of the magic that calls out to her?

Why 5? I tried to think of anything to detract from the rating, but aside from the slowness (typical of fantasy) I could find nothing negati…
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Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook [#moneymanagement]

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an extremely reserved 5 star.

The book is spot on, totally amazing information that it would pay anyone who fits into any of the categories of person that is described in the text. The financial advice is worth way more than what the cost of the book is. Enough info is given to easily reverse engineer the processes described. The author isn't pounding on your face every few paragraphs about how you have to buy their next product right now, or forever be a loser. It's one of the risks of getting a book from a self-help guru.

There is only one touchy-feely section, and when you do run into it, call the book done. No point in going further IMHO.

Why so reserved?

I am nearly 60. None of this applies to me in the slightest. I'm running about 40 years too late for it to have much value. I suppose if I were looking to have a nest-egg built up for my 100's it would have value, but right t…

Taste [book review - #vampire #dystopian #postapocalyptic]

Taste by D.S. Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story was fascinating. Dragged me right in. Vamps, hints of what might be shifters, rebels, villages essentially selling their 17 year old girls into a type of slavery, never to be seen again just to ensure they have enough food and access to their magic elixir of life.

Sadly, it's a beta, a teaser, a potential promise of what might be in the first book in a series. It's quite short. I expected as much. I usually check the number of pages in the Amazon listing, and try to keep some shorts around to fill in between other books. As far as cliffhangers go - it ends with a bang. You're waiting for the very next sentence, and it's not there. Again, I went in with my eyes wide open.

I loved it just the same. Why 4? It has a lot of little editing errors that are tough to overlook. Hopefully they'll be ironed out when the real book is released.

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The Serial Killer's Daughter [#thriller]

The Serial Killer's Daughter by Lesley Welsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like reading the screenplay for a snuff film. If that's not okay with you, skip it. You've been warned.

The sheer quantity of sexual violence and mind-games can be a bit overwhelming to the more sensitive reader. None of the characters experience much of a growth arc. No one really wins or loses. It's just fun fun fun until everyone is dead. There is no romantic anti-hero posturing here. Hope that's not going to be a problem for you.

Why 4 stars? It is pretty well written. Gotta hand the author that.

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Creatures of Appetite [#thriller]

Creatures of Appetite by Todd Travis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wanted to give it a 5, really. But the main character was a bit coarse and misogynistic. Like a lotta bit. Oh, and a few other characters were too.

Of course, we're talking about a bunch of cops and killers of various shades of gray here, so we can cut them a bit of slack.

Overall really good editing, good story, and everything fits into place nicely. In fact the "shocker" ending to this book even fits in nicely.

What does it take to out-sociopath all the sociopaths? Find out in this book, for sure.

Best of all, there's no cliff-hanger. You can read this and bail on the rest and miss nothing at all. I might go on with the series, maybe not. We'll see...

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A Time To Kill (Elemental Rage Book 1) [#paranormal]

A Time To Kill by Jeanette Raleigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not sure what just happened here. The snippet of chapters flitted back and forth between POV, sometimes in the middle of a fight scene or car crash or whatever. Mildly distracting to say the least. Like switching body-cams in an episode of COPS.

A few were organic enough - flit to the POV of someone in an alternate dimension, a different city, yep, that's when you switch POV, and carefully at best, making sure it adds to the story somehow.

Overall, after reading it, I felt like it could have been done in a few chapters as a short, maybe a treatment for a Buffy screenplay, or something similar.

I don't mind having to grow into a mythology, heck, I did that in my own fiction novel, so that's not a problem. I mean the mythology being handed out in bits and pieces, hints and chunks held tantalizingly just out of reach. So that was one good thing, and why it's a 4, not a 3.

The characters seemed a little bit cardboard…

Crossing in Time (Between Two Evils, No. 1) [#timetravel #scifi #starcrossedlovers]

Crossing in Time by D.L. Orton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't think the description accurately portrayed this book. I won't spoil that for you, by pointing out the misses, but be mildly forewarned.

The various bogey men might or might not be themselves or others, and blowing up a city to attract the attention of the people who would blow up the city in an alternate reality while adding more lists of people to blow up cities in other alternate realities and sending them all on death missions to interfere with their own alternate lives seems a bit much to keep track of.

Other readers might not see this convoluted mess for what it is, and I apologize if it seems like I'm trying to say "Don't Read It" because I'm not. It's just a bit messy for me. I won't be continuing because the hints of what might come next are even more convoluted.

How else can you wormhole through alternate dimensions and realities while cavorting with alternate or identical versi…