Tag Archives: book review

artemis

Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Look, I loved The MartianMark Watney was a bad-ass, the story was super exciting and full of adventure, and the sciency-part simple enough that my non-scientific mind could grasp most of it. I’m pretty sure I squealed in delight when I saw Andy Weir had a new book coming out – and I definitely squealed when Artemis popped up in my Netgalley approvals.

And then, I waited three months to read it because I still haven’t gotten over how horrible Armada, Ernest Cline’s follow-up to Ready Player One, was. I was terrified Artemis would be the same thing – an author writes a book I adore, only to follow up with a disaster. It didn’t help that several reviewers I respect bashed Artemis. 

Eventually I realized I couldn’t put it off forever. So with a lot of trepidation, I gave it a go.

And. Well. Sigh.

What made The Martian such a great book was that you had this endearing character in a situation where he’s totally in over his head, but it’s either figure it out or die, so he figures it out. Artemis follows a similar story arc….except that the best thing about Jazz Bashara is her name, and the story lacks all of the urgency that worked so well in The Martian. 

Let’s talk about Jazz first. Weir clearly has no idea how to write a female protagonist. Or at least, not a likable female one. Jazz is flippant, rude, and talks like a frat boy. She’s entitled, but I’ll give her this – she makes no excuses about what a bitch she is. She has a couple of things she’s committed to – her word, namely, but they aren’t enough to make me care much about her. And that’s the thing…rather than hate her, I simply didn’t care that she existed. Not what you want to say about the main character.

As for the story, I didn’t really care about that either. Maybe that’s because I’m not really sure Jazz cared. It all just felt….boring. Dull. Unimportant. Kind of like, oh hey, let’s go commit a felony to get rich, oops that didn’t work out, maybe we’ll try something else. Oh, you want to kill me? Meh. I’ll just hide out in a closet and then weld some stuff.

I wish I was joking, but that’s about the gist of it. I gave it 3 stars, but that was generous – it’s closer to 2.5.

Artemis isn’t a go-out-and-buy-it-right-now book, and unless you’re just desperate for something to read, not really even one I’d put anywhere near the top of your list. Put it on hold through the library, and maybe in a few months it’ll get to you. Go back and read The Martian instead.

Hardcover: 384 pages    Published: November 2017 by Crown    Source: Netgalley

Buy it on Amazon

Artemis on Goodreads

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

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Death Distilled

Review: Death Distilled by Melinda Mullet

Several months ago, I read and reviewed Melinda Mullet’s debut, Single Malt MurderI enjoyed it, not least of all because it was set in the Scottish Highlands, and knew I’d be reading the second one as soon as I could get my hands on it. Death Distilled came out in September, and though I’ve had a review copy for a while, only managed to get to it a couple of weeks ago. Don’t let my delay sway you though – the series just keeps getting better.

In Death Distilled, we get to learn more about Abi’s day job as a photographer, and that was pretty neat. I think this is the only cozy series I’ve read where the main character isn’t heavily involved in the business that’s the heart of the story. It’s an interesting perspective – to me, it gives the Whisky Business series a little more seriousness than other cozies. This isn’t a bad thing at all; in fact, it’s refreshing.

I’ll be up front and say that I didn’t care one whit about the mystery in Death Distilled; or, at least, not the murder. There’s a fair amount of mystery surrounding the town’s history, and that part was really neat to read. Those of you who spent your childhoods searching for hidden passages and longing for revolving bookshelves definitely want to pick this one up. The main story, though…eh. I didn’t like Rory’s character, so I didn’t really care.

My favorite part though, was BY FAR, the flock of sheep Abi rescues. I’m fairly certain I would continue this series just for the sheep alone.

The third book in the series hasn’t been announced yet, so you’ve got some time to catch up if you like whisky, adorable animals, and anything Scottish!

Series: Whisky Business Mystery #2    Kindle Edition: 240 pages

Published: September 2017 by Alibi    Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Buy it on Amazon for $5

Death Distilled on Goodreads

Award-winning photojournalist turned whisky distillery proprietress and amateur sleuth Abigail Logan returns in the charming follow-up to Single Malt Murder.

It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

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twelve slays of christmas

Review: Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

First of all, Jacqueline Frost is such an awesome name for someone who wrote a Christmas-themed cozy mystery that I had to look her up to see if that was actually her name. Best I can tell, it is, and Twelve Slays of Christmas is her first book.

And man, was it fun.

First of all, I want to live in Mistletoe. It sounds absolutely glorious, with all the Christmas spirit. The town really gets into the festivities, with all sorts of “12 Days of Christmas” activities. Holly’s family Christmas tree farm, Reindeer Games, sounds like a merry little utopia, complete with a gingerbread house restaurant and a trio of real live reindeer. Well, a utopia that happened to witness a murder. Regardless.

The characters are a ton of fun, and easy to imagine; Holly’s dad was 100% John Goodman. I liked the mystery, and it’s definitely a cozy – easy to predict (if you read a lot of them), but fun enough that you don’t care. I thought Frost did a great job with Holly; she’s a little naive, but not helpless, and throughout the story you can tell she’s starting to get her feet under her. I’m excited to see what she does in the next book; I have my suspicions!

Lighthearted and full of Christmas spirit – just what I wanted.

Series: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1    Hardcover: 311 pages

Published: October 2017 by Crooked Lane Books    Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Buy it on Amazon for $10

Twelve Slays of Christmas on Goodreads

When Holly White’s fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime–exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

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What Light

Review: What Light by Jay Asher

I mentioned in my post on 10 books to get you in the Christmas spirit how excited I was to read Jay Asher’s What Light. The idea of a YA romance set on a Christmas tree farm was just something I couldn’t pass up. Even better that it was written by Jay Asher, who, in the one book I’ve read of his, managed to balance teenage hormones with a plot line that didn’t make me want to vomit.

Asher does that again in What Light. Oh sure, there’s a fair amount of instalove and teenage angst, but what YA romance doesn’t have those? Sierra isn’t perfect, but she’s actually a fairly solid seventeen year old. Slightly naive, a bit melodramatic, but overall, someone you want to hug. Caleb is just dreamy enough and just flawed enough to make you swoon, without venturing too far into bad boy territory.

Sierra’s friends are also pretty great too, and it’s really nice to see a male author write strong, supportive female characters, especially in the YA realm. That said, What Light does still have the typical “girl meets boy and life is instantly perfect” schtick going on. But, I’m willing to overlook it, since I don’t pick up a book like this NOT expecting those kinds of happily-ever-after tropes. You shouldn’t either. After all, why else do we read romance? We don’t WANT it to be real, sheesh.

Anyway, What Light is definitely the kind of book you want to read during the snowy season, so grab a copy soon and get to reading!

Hardcover: 251 pages    Published: October 2016 by Razorbill    Source: Library via Overdrive

Buy it on Amazon for $9

What Light on Goodreads

From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

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Review: Ronaldo The Flying Reindeer by Maxine Sylvester

Who doesn’t love a good reindeer story around Christmas? When I was a kid, I loved anything reindeer – I must have made my mother watch Prancer about a million times. My favorite was “Victor” (Vixen). I have to say, though, I think I have a new favorite reindeer: Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer.

Maxine Sylvester was kind enough to send me the first two books of her Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer series: Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy, and Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher. Oh my goodness, guys, you need to pick up these books right now!

In The Flying Reindeer Academy, Ronaldo is a reindeer cadet, trying to become one of Santa’s elite fliers. When the Flying Academy issues an endurance challenge, Ronaldo draws on his grandfather’s wisdom (and pretty cool hat!) to help him get through.

In The Phantom Carrot Snatcher, Ronaldo meets a wolf pup named Ernie who’s lost her family. He’s got a choice to make – does he help Ernie, or does he try to win the speed record? After all, wolves eat reindeer!

I loved Ronaldo, and his best friend Rudi. I loved the carrot pancakes. I loved grandpa’s hat. I loved Vixen. I loved Ernie. I even loved Wing Commander Blitsen. Both Ronaldo books had me smiling the entire way through.

The Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer series is on Kindle Unlimited, or a couple of bucks each. Right now, Book 2 is on sale for $1, so pick it up now! And check out Ronaldo’s website for even more fun. If you have kids, they’ll love Ronaldo…and you will too. A perfect Christmas read!

Series: Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer #1/#2    Kindle Edition: 109/216 pages

Published: December 2015/November 2016 (self-published)    Source: Author Provided

Book 1 on Amazon ($3)     Book 2 on Amazon ($1)

Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy on Goodreads

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen.

In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge!

Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favourite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life!

Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher on Goodreads

Ronaldo and Rudi discover friends come in all shapes and sizes as they embark on a superhero mission to help a lost wolf cub called Ernie find her pack.

Rudi comes up with a plan to find the pack and deliver a message during a speed test at flying school. But Ronaldo isn’t totally on board with the idea. He desperately wants to break the speed record and the plan means jeopardizing his chance of becoming champion.

Will Ronaldo go for glory… or will he discover the true meaning of friendship and sacrifice the race for Ernie?

Bumbling Wing Commander Blitsen, head of The Reindeer Flying Academy, and mischievous brothers, Dasher, Comet and Prancer also feature in this fun tale of bravery and friendship.

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nillu nasser all the tomorrows

Review: All the Tomorrows by Nillu Nasser

As is the case with most of the author-provided books I read, I’ll admit my expectations were somewhat on the low side when I picked up All the Tomorrows. I’m a critical reader – or perhaps a more accurate term is a picky reader – and while I enjoy plenty of books, I’m not one to gush just because it offered me a good story. No, there has to be more than that. I need good characters, I need evocative writing, I need a well-constructed setting. Give me a fun story, and you can expect a solid 3 stars. Give me those extras, and the rating goes up.

Guys, I read the Nasser’s first sentence and knew I had something special.

All the Tomorrows is, truthfully, a bit out of my comfort zone. It’s set in India, and centers on two people who’ve fallen into an arranged marriage. The marriage fails, and the two go their separate ways, but not without trauma and heartbreak. We get to experience both sides of it, and both sides are equally painful.

Nasser has written incredible characters in Jaya and Akash. It’s no surprise that I have a thing for broken characters, and these two…man, these two. Broken is probably too kind of a word. But the thing about a good broken character is that they’re still redeemable. Yes, they do awful things. Yes, they moan about the results of those awful things. And yet….they go on. They fight. They wallow. They fight some more. They make dumb decisions and good decisions, and eventually, either heal or at the very least, accept their circumstances. And soon enough, a broken character becomes beautiful.

I loved the way Nasser deals with the ramifications of each character’s choices. It’s often a fine line between using societal norms as a crutch or using them to enhance the tension, and Nasser walks that line incredibly well. I raged for Jaya, I raged for Akash, and through it all, I respected their culture and heritage and values. What initially seemed archaic and brutal and repressive also, at times, made me long for that kind of sense of cultural identity and conviction. I credit Nasser’s writing for that.

Now, those of you who’ve skipped straight down to the rating (it’s ok, I do it too), will want to know why I’ve only given it four stars. I was all set to give it five, until literally the last paragraph. All of a sudden, the story just ended. It was so abrupt that I scrolled through to make sure I hadn’t skipped a page. Endings are one of the things that can either make or break a story for me. It doesn’t have to be a happy ending, but it does need to make sense. This one felt like someone told Nasser, ok, you have to stop now. It’s been several days, and I’m still scratching my head about it.

Despite the strange ending, I can’t say enough good things about All the Tomorrows. If I have one other complaint, it’s that I wish it had a snazzier cover. Pick this one up and be ready to fall in love with Jaya, Akash, and their story.

Paperback: 308 pages    Published: November 2017 by Evolved    Source: Author Provided

Buy it on Amazon for $4

All the Tomorrows on Goodreads

Sometimes we can’t escape the webs we are born into. Sometimes we are the architects of our own fall.

Akash Choudry wants a love for all time, not an arranged marriage. Still, under the weight of parental hopes, he agrees to one. He and Jaya marry in a cloud of colour and spice in Bombay. Their marriage has barely begun when Akash embarks on an affair.

Jaya cannot contemplate sharing her husband with another woman, or looking past his indiscretions as her mother suggests. Cornered by sexual politics, she takes her fate into her own hands in the form of a lit match.

Nothing endures fire. As shards of their past threaten their future, will Jaya ever bloom into the woman she can be, and will redemption be within Akash’s reach?

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markmanson

Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is THE book right now. It’s this year’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or The Little Book of Hygge – everyone wants to read it and be seen reading it. In short, the book is everywhere.

Which explains why – even though my library has 30 copies of the ebook – I waited 5 months for it. FIVE MONTHS PEOPLE.

Was it worth it?

Yes and no.

The first thing I’ll say is that if you’re going to read it, be aware that Manson uses the word f*ck (not the censored version) approximately 4000 times in the first chapter. If you’re like me and this kind of thing drives you batty, hang in there. It gets better, and in the rest of the book, f*ck is used somewhat sparingly.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way. I’m still sorta torn on how I feel about this one. On one hand, Manson has a lot of really solid advice or thought or whatever you want to call it. What he’s saying is pretty reasonable. Basically, there’s no need to care about everything, but make sure whatever you do care about is in line with your values. Oh, and have good values. And don’t strive for happiness because pursuing happiness only reinforces the idea that you’re dissatisfied and/or unhappy to begin with.

Did I just lose you?

That’s kinda how I felt reading Manson’s book. I’m no stranger to personal development books or theories; I read a fair amount of them, and have spent my fair share of time on a therapist’s couch. But even I had to stop over and over again to suss out what I’d just read. And that’s why I have such a hard time with this one. While Manson’s ideas are sound, they’re difficult to comprehend the way he’s written them. I actually think people would get a lot more out of hearing him speak about these ideas. Perhaps the audiobook version is better because of that very fact.

I didn’t hate it, and like I said, Manson has a lot of really solid stuff in here. Stuff that everyone would benefit from hearing or reading. My favorite quote from the book is one I’d like to shove under the world’s nose:

There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances. 

PREACH, Mark Manson, preach.

What do you think? Will you give this one a try, or have you already read it?

Hardcover: 210 pages    Published: September 2016 by HarperOne    Source: Library via Overdrive

Buy it on Amazon

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck on Goodreads

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

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dial meow for murder

Review: Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake

Daphne and Socrates are back for another fun mystery in Bethany Blake’s second Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series, Dial Meow for Murder. Some of you may remember how much I loved the first book, Death by Chocolate LabNeedless to say, I was not-so-patiently waiting for the next one. I needed to know what happened to the Rotties!

Speaking of, while I did find out what happened to them, it was a two-sentence-in-passing mention. Please write another book about the Rotties, Ms. Blake.

I wasn’t quite as enamored with Dial Meow for Murder as I was with Chocolate Lab. Oh, I still enjoyed it, and I still plan on continuing the series. But a lot of what was so great about the first book was all the animals, and that just felt like it was missing here. Even Socrates didn’t have much of a role. Plus, I wanted Artie back.

I do think Blake improved on the mystery, keeping it front and center for the majority of the story. Daphne was also a little more subdued, but truthfully, I missed her passion from the first book. We did get more information about Detective Black’s past, and some more about Sylvan Creek, both of which I wanted in the first book. So, happy there!

Dial Meow for Murder is still a great cozy, and I can’t wait to see what happens in book 3!

Series: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #2    Paperback: 328 pages

Published: September 2017 by Kensington    Source: Netgalley

Buy it on Amazon

Dial Meow for Murder on Goodreads

Even an experienced pet sitter like Daphne Templeton can be fooled by animal behavior: how can an adorably tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston be capable of sudden flying leaps with cat claws bared? But human behavior remains even more mysterious, especially when Tinkleston s owner is murdered on the night of a gala fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue.

Accompanied by her unflappable basset hound, Socrates, Daphne plans to take charge of Tinks the Terror and leave the crime-solving to handsome detective Jonathan Black. But while luring the prickly Persian out of hiding, she uncovers clues that might take suspicion off her own mother. Maeve Templeton already has a reputation as a killer in real estate. How far would she go to bag Sylvan Creek s most coveted property, the Flynt Mansion?

To expose the truth, Daphne finds herself donning a deranged clown costume on an autumnal adventure that might just be crazy enough to work if it doesn t get her killed. Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

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americanwar

Review: American War by Omar El Akkad

American War. What do I even begin to tell you about this book? I finished it weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. I totally understand why it was nominated for two Goodreads Choice Awards (and yes, I voted for it).

American War is one of those wonderful books that both entertains and makes you think. It follows Sara T. Chestnut, known as Sarat, as she navigates the horrors of life during the second American Civil War. As you read (or in my case, listen), you begin to realize that what the author describes isn’t that far-fetched after all. A country where North and South are at odds over resources and politics? Where red and blue become more than just an association – they become an identity? Where people turn on each other, torture each other, and hate each other?

Not so hard to imagine, is it?

Perhaps this is what makes American War so compelling, or perhaps it’s Sarat herself. This fierce, defiant, and eternally loyal little girl who grows up to become one of the most influential and terrible people in the war. And yet, for all her faults, you can’t help but empathize with Sarat. Her experiences as a child make her who she is as an adult – hard, but haunted. There’s a humanity and tenderness in her, that you wish for throughout the whole story, but only glimpse at times. Sarat is one of the most complex characters I’ve read in a long time.

American War isn’t perfect, and the lack of exposition for the war itself is most of what kept me from giving this one 5 stars. I’d rank it behind both Station Eleven and The Road, though the feel is similar. It’s an entirely plausible dystopian novel, both timely and tragic. Well worth the read.

Hardcover: 352 pages    Audio: 12 hours

Published: April 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group    Source: Purchased via Scribd

Buy it on Amazon

American War on Goodreads

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war – part of the Miraculous Generation – now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past, his family’s role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others.

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dogdishofdoom

Review: Dog Dish of Doom by E.J. Copperman

I know none of you are surprised to see that I read a book with a dog on the cover. If there’s one thing that gets me every.single.time, it’s dogs. I don’t care what the book is about, if there’s a dog in the description or on the cover, I’m going to read it. (Might just take me a while!)

Dog Dish of Doom is the first in a new cozy series from E.J. Copperman (pen name for the writer Jeff Cohen). Copperman/Cohen is no stranger to cozies – from what I can gather, Agent to the Paws is his 4th cozy series. The main character, Kay, is a showbiz agent for animals. Sounds like a fun gig, if we’re honest.

I kinda hated, Kay, truthfully. She annoyed the crap out of me, and I thought she was a bad sleuth. Part of it might have been the fact that she seemed utterly uninterested in solving the murder. Part of it might have been that she was so BAD at what she was trying to figure out. Honestly, I liked her parents more than I liked Kay. I also wanted more Bruno, but that’s kinda beside the point.

Dog Dish of Doom was a relatively short read, but also kind of a boring one. Not much happened, and as I said, there was very little sleuthing. I also got tired of reading the same phrases over and over again.

The more I think about it, the more I want to downgrade my rating to a 2. It’s probably more like 2.5, because I didn’t hate it, but I also have no desire to continue the series.

Series: Agent to the Paws #1    Hardcover: 304 pages

Published: August 2017 by Minotaur Books    Source: Netgalley

Dog Dish of Doom on Goodreads

Cozy fans and animal lovers alike won’t be able to keep their paws off Dog Dish of DoomLaugh-out-loud funny, E.J. Copperman’s series debut is “lots of fun” (Library Journal, starred). 

Kay Powell wants to find that break-out client who will become a star. And she thinks she’s found him: His name is Bruno, and he has to be walked three times a day.

Kay is the Agent to the Paws, representing showbiz clients who aren’t exactly people. In fact: they’re dogs. Bruno’s humans, Trent and Louise, are pains in the you-know-what, and Les McMaster, the famous director mounting a revival of Annie, might not hire Bruno just because he can’t stand them.

This becomes less of an issue when Trent is discovered face down in Bruno’s water dish, with a kitchen knife in his back. Kay’s perfectly fine to let the NYPD handle the murder, but when the whole plot seems to center on Bruno, her protective instincts come into play. You can kill any people you want, but you’d better leave Kay’s clients alone.