9.14.2018

The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter {Book Review}

The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter is not a feel good story. It is an estate-approved sequel to H.G. Wells' classic The War of the Worlds, telling the story of what happened after Earth repelled the martians.

{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of The Massacre of Mankind free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:

Abandoned

As you can tell by the title, The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter is not a feel good story. It is an estate-approved sequel to H.G. Wells' classic The War of the Worlds, telling the story of what happened after Earth repelled the martians.

I'm not giving anything away that the cover doesn't tell you when I say that the Martians are back. I felt at a serious disadvantage because I am not British - so many references, place names, and turns of phrase went completely over my head.

Those references felt a whole lot like filler, along with detailed descriptions of people traveling from one location to another, but so so little about the actual Martians. By around the 30 percent mark, I threw in the towel. If you are a huge fan of The War of the Worlds, this would be perfect for you. It wasn't perfect for me.

9.01.2018

The List by Patricia Forde {Book Review}

The List by Patricia Forde has quite the premise - in a post-apocalyptic world, the leader of one of the only remaining communities on an earth decimated by melting ice caps has decreed that people will use only 500 words.
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of The List free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:




PTH Review:

The List by Patricia Forde has quite the premise - in a post-apocalyptic world, the leader of one of the only remaining communities on an earth decimated by melting ice caps has decreed that people will use only 500 words. Maintaining the list of words (The List) requires the services of a Wordsmith. Letta takes over the job and quickly learns that things are not what they seem.

I struggled with what rating to give this novel because I thought it was really good but not enough for four stars. Maybe 3.5 would be a better fit. I think I just felt disconnected from the characters because they were not fully developed. 

This novel is aimed for kids aged 10-14 and falls easily into the thriller genre, with a fun post-apocalyptic bent. I'd lean towards the higher end of that range because of some violence that could unsettle a sensitive reader.

8.18.2018

Genius: The Con by Leopoldo Gout {Book Review}

{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Genius: The Con free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

If you don't like to start a series until it is completed, The Genius series by Leopoldo Gout is ready for your reading! (Oh, Patrick Rothfuss.) The third book in the series, Genius: The Revolution, was just released on August 7, 2018.

In the Genius series, we follow three geniuses through various exploits. At first, the stakes seem small, but the risk to themselves and others continues to build through both books. The story starts with The Game, which is a competition organized by a mysterious tech giant to pit the geniuses of the world against each other.

While I found the series intriguing, I was never really pulled in. I'm not sure it makes any sense, but this felt like it was trying a bit too hard to by a YA or middle grade novel, instead of just being a great story.

8.05.2018

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman {Book Review}

As a class mom myself, I thought Class Mom by Laurie Gelman would be a perfect fit for me. We meet Jen Dixon, who left behind a wild youth and has finally settled down in suburbia. Her son is headed into Kindergarten and her PTA-President best friend twists her arm to take the job.
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Class Mom free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:



As a class mom myself, I thought Class Mom by Laurie Gelman would be a perfect fit for me. We meet Jen Dixon, who left behind a wild youth and has finally settled down in suburbia. Her son is headed into Kindergarten and her PTA-President best friend twists her arm to take the job.

While I appreciated the litany of minor dramas that a class mom has to deal with (why isn't anyone signing up to bring stuff, did the parents even read my email, what should we do for the Valentines's Day party), it all came across as sort of whiny.

There is an underlying mystery running throughout the book, but it ends up being much ado about nothing. Jen is, as she admits herself, "small and petty." She insists that offending people is fine if you cloak it in sarcasm and the excuse of "I'm joking." Because of these traits, I just didn't have anyone to root for in this novel. I think this means that Jen wouldn't like me as a parent in her class. Oh, well.

7.30.2018

When the English Fall by David Williams {Book Review}

When the English Fall by David Williams takes the power outage dilemma to an extreme. What would happen to the modern world without electricity or technology? That's the question being considered here. #books #postapocalyptic
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of When the English Fall free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:



When I was a kid, I feel like the lights went out so darn often. Just so we are clear, the bill was paid, it was the whole neighborhood that would lose power. The worst that would happen in these situations, waaay back in the 80's, was that your alarm wouldn't go off, you couldn't watch TV, and the food in the fridge and freeze could be wasted. Obviously, that's not the world we live in anymore.  Can any of us live without our phones? NO.

When the English Fall by David Williams takes the power outage dilemma to an extreme. What would happen to the modern world without electricity or technology? That's the question being considered here.

The story is told from a unique perspective though - an Amish community in Pennsylvania.  While I appreciated the different view of the world, I was more interested in what was happening in the city that was falling apart than in the rural community on the fringe of the main action. The novel is well-written and realistic, but just not the story I wanted to read.

7.14.2018

Gork, The Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson {Book Review}

Teenage dragons all over the place! #books #dragons
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Gork, the Teenage Dragon free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating:



Gork, the Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson seemed to hit a few of my "must read" categories. (1) It's set on a school campus - the WarWings Military Academy of Planet Conquering. (2) It involves dragons. (3) The blurb says its for fans of Harry Potter and The Hitchhikers's Guide to the Galaxy. That's all me.

Having read this novel, I can certainly see the comparison to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, particularly the tone. Gork has the name whimsical and often nonsensical view of the world, with a dash of humor and satire thrown in. But HP? Nope. The only connecting thread there is the fact that the novel is set on a campus (in this case, a campus where being evil and terrible is a minimum requirement).

Unfortunately, my enjoyment of this novel was curtailed by numerous and repetitive info dumps, combined with tangents that resulted in a very slow moving plot. I can only assume the repetition was done on purpose as a writing device, but hearing the same information repeated using the same words and phrases grated on me.

So, while this book has a super cool 80's retro cover, it just wasn't for me.

7.09.2018

Waste of Space by Gina Damico {Book Review}

Waste of Space by Gina Damico has a hilarious premise - 10 teenagers are sent into space for a reality TV show. The novel is full of humor, satire, and situational comedy that made me laugh out loud. #books #scifi #realitytv
{Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC of Waste of Space free of charge. If you click through the affiliate links in this post, any purchase you make supports this site.}

PTH Rating: 




Waste of Space by Gina Damico has a hilarious premise - 10 teenagers are sent into space for a reality TV show. The novel is full of humor, satire, and situational comedy that made me laugh out loud.

So why the three stars? The concept could only carry the book so far. At a certain point, the humor and satire were noticeably absent as the story took a turn. Because the characters had been mostly there to deliver jokes up until that point, they weren't fully enough developed to support the new plot twists.

With that being said, I have to admit to reading this novel in one day! It is comprised mostly of transcripts and emails, which are a quick read.