Cormorant, by Chuck Wendig, book review

After reading the third book in the Mariam Black series, I feel like the second book was just a filler. This book, book 3, ties into book 1 quite nicely. A character from the first book is brought back and all the loose ends are finally tied up. Yes, I’m annoyed I had to read three books and that middle book really was a waste of time, but at least I finally have some answers. If I was advising someone to read these books, I’d tell them skip book 2.

And the writing… drum roll please, has finally improved. No big, weird, bang my head against the walls, paragraphs that confuse me. The writing is professionally done and edited. I would give the writer a big old A++ but… he did spell the country Colombia as Columbia. So he still has some learning to do.

Majority of the book takes place in Florida, and I can tell the author has been there. Another high five, good job writing about a place you’ve been instead of guessing, like I’ve seen some authors do.

The story does have a lot going on. There’s about three, maybe more, timelines going on. By that I mean, you read about ten years ago, then a week ago, then today, then a year ago, and repeat in no particular order. I was able to read this book, and the other two, in about a week, (with a busted foot I had nothing better to do) so the jumping around in the story was easy for me to follow. Now if I was like most people and only reading a little each day, the story would easily get confusing.

There will be another Mariam Black book. But thankfully, all the plot holes were tied up nicely in book 3. Will I read book 4? I wouldn’t mind reading it, but since its not out yet and I somewhat suck at paying attention to release dates… probably not.


Mockingbird, by Chuck Wendig

Reading the second book in the Mariam Black series helped tie up some lose ends the first book left. Whether this was done on purpose or not, is unknown, but I’m leaning towards the latter on some cases.

Thankfully the author just comes out and tells me the answers to several of the questions I had from the first book. I learn how she miscarriages and the stupid “being attacked by a snow shovel” dreams, finally make sense. Those were not things that I should have been left guessing about, they should have been resolved in the first book, just say’n.

The foul mouth, excessive cusswords continue. And the plot is once again convenient. The supernatural aspects are taking a… well a turn that is making it hard for me to find it believable. The more the author tries to explain the power Mariam has and dissect it… well it’s like pulling on a thread, don’t do it cause it’s gonna fall apart!

The same flaws from the first book are evident in the second. In other words, the author made no improvements from one book to the next. Remember how I wasn’t sure if there were typos or if I was just confused? Well, reading a second of his books helped me conclude, that yes, they are typos. There were several times where a sentence repeated. Or a random fragment was present, just a few words in between sentences, no punctuation or capitalization. my mistake is That’s an example of what I’m talking about. Not sure how mistakes like that slip by in the editing process. But they were in this book and the first. So… yeah.

It’s still a good read though. The characters have very strong personalities and I love how the author describes people. It’s very original and filled with character. I will be reading his third book. And who knows, maybe he hired an editor for that one…


Into the Storm, movie review

One word summarizes this movie, entertaining. The plot is exactly what’d you expect. It’s a B movie, with mediocre acting, dialogue and plot. But the effects are decent and it makes for an entertaining movie.

If you are looking for a movie to watch, that won’t require you to use your brain, then this is the summer blockbuster for you! Go, sit, relax, and watch the tornados fall. I kinda wished there were some sharks… but eh, it was okay without. *smirk*

 


“Blackbirds” by chuck wendig, book review

This book’s amazing book trailer is what first caught my attention. You can view it here. Blackbirds trailer

The trailer prepares you quite well for what you’ll be reading. The language is quite vulgar throughout the book. Everyone in the book is rude and unpleasant. The characters do have a lot of personality though. And they are all quite believable. For some, it might be hard to like them though, even the main character.

The story is intertwined with the past and present. And sadly, neither story is told in its entirety. Which means, one will need to read the next book in the series if they want all the answers. As of now, there are three out, with no set limit to be seen.

You can take the above comments as positives or negatives. The writing was good enough, although some of the metaphors seemed odd. And there were times where I couldn’t tell if I just didn’t understand the book or if there was a typo/mistake.

In the end it all boiled down to believability. I need to believe in the world the author has created. The supernatural aspect, although convenient, was believable enough for me. Sadly, it was the plot that the author messed up on. They tried to save face by having a character state, what we are all thinking, “this doesn’t make sense.” But it still fell short. Sometimes that trick of having a character point it out, just isn’t enough to make the audience believe it’s okay.

Basically you have a girl who, when she touches someone, she sees how they will die. This only happens the first time she touches them. After that, its whatever, hence the convenient part. Now this other kid basically stalks her down and forces her, through manipulation, to find him a rich guy who is going to die soon, so they can rob him after he croaks. Not super believable, but good enough. But then comes the plot twist. This kid has stolen a suitcase full of meth and the drug dealers are out to get him and do what evil drug dealers do best.

Ah, what? What the F*&$ is he messing around with small time stuff like pick pocketing a dead guy, if he has a suitcase full of meth? Even the girl says this to him and his reply is, “I don’t know how to sell it.” Um, yeah, so your decision was to stalk her and pretend you don’t have it? Makes no sense. There is no logical reason for him to have decided to stalk her while he has this suitcase. Its obvious the author needed some bad guys to chase his main character, so he came up with this plot in an afterthought.

The bad guys are made to be too evil, so they are practically monsters. And everything is just very convenient. The author has talent and has created some unique characters. I really do enjoy the style of writing he has. But… the story felt like it needed to be flushed out a bit more.

Would I suggest reading it? Sure. So long as you don’t mind the foul language and ignoring the above mentioned plot weaknesses, go for it. As for me, I haven’t decided if I want to read to the others in this series.


“Animal Farm” book review

I heard about this book in my sociology class and it peaked my interest. Basically the animals on the farm form a rebellion and start running the farm for themselves. You get to see all the stages of a society forming and evolving in an accelerated forum, because the animals have shorter memories and life spans.

I found the plot to be fascinating and tragically close to reality. In the end the animals end up worse off than they were before and it’s sad to see previous equals now abusing each other. But it’s a very real thing.

The style of writing was what I truly loved. It is very rare to see a book correctly written in the omniscient point of view. If anyone wants to see an example of how it’s supposed to be done, read this book.

I will definitely be adding more of George Orwell’s books to my to-read list.


The Giver, movie review

The trailer for this movie left me guessing as to what it’s about. But I took a gamble and saw it. It was a good gamble.

The movie had a very strong meaning behind it. A society has removed all emotions from its occupants in an effort to keep the peace. One person is allowed to remember the past, basically how life is for all of us, so that the current society can draw on that experience. Well, as with any society, there is a rebellion.

My only problem with this movie is… I was given several facts that I just had to accept as fact. I wasn’t given the explanation as to how it worked. Like there’s this dome force field thing, and when “the giver” walks through it, suddenly everyone inherits his memories. I think, that’s how I interpreted it at least. I really felt like I needed to go read the book in order to fully grasp the concept. Too much was left out in the adaptation. At least, I hope the book explains everything better.

So the movie is okay, but if you haven’t read the book, expect to be a bit confused at the ending. And again, I’m assuming the book will explain everything, I haven’t read it.


Deamhan book review

I’ve only read a few Vampire books. And most seem to just copy each other in one aspect or another. This book was refreshing in the fact that it wasn’t just about Vampires. The author created their own supernatural creatures called Deamhan. Background and history was given for all these races, so much so, that really, Vampires could have been excluded and then the book would have been completely original.

The plot was riddled with conspiracies, lies and the like. Pretty much every character you are introduced too, likely has an ulterior motive going on. To me, I like my stories less bogged down with backstabbing and lies, all those subplots can get confusing. But this story did a good job of keeping it all straight.

I did have trouble believing in the world. Not for the reasons you would think either. I wasn’t told otherwise, so I assumed the book takes place in current time and the Deamhan /Vampires are just hidden. Most of us don’t know they exist, kind of thing.

But the problem with that logic is… one Deamham/Vampire appears to feed on… oh five people a night, on average. And they have nightclubs, and hidden places where just dozens of humans are being kept hostage and eventually tortured and murdered. There are quite of few of these creatures too, not just one or two per town. I’d say there are hundreds, if not more just in Minneapolis, the town the book takes place. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

If you do the math, whoa is that a lot of people who are going missing and or turning up murdered. Unless these creatures are smuggling their victims in from some third world country, which is unlikely since they are living in a landlocked state in the United States. I would think not only would people be aware that there is something fishy going on but eventually they’d run out of willing subjects. It’s going to get harder and harder to snag people off the street if a thousand people are going missing EVERY night in ONE CITY. The stats aren’t that bad, even in your biggest cities. (I checked Minneapolis had 39 murders in 2012.) Even if there is only one Deamhan in a big city, five people going missing/murdered EVERY night, is still a lot. (1,825 victims a yr for one Deamhan)

Maybe most people who read supernatural books accept this high number of deaths as normal, but I had trouble accepting it.

So… aside from that logistical error… the book was a good read. If you are into darker Vampire books, you should add Deamhan to your to-read list.


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