Ivie Hill's Rant Rampage

TBH I am using Booklikes as a backup, I am almost never here. This is a safe haven if you are in fear of the Goodreads Inquisition. All your reviews, nice and safe :) If you need to get in touch, your best chance is Goodreads.

Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter - Kresley Cole And it was going so well....

I liked this series, I really did. Me and this series were becoming best of buds. Hanging out together constantly, it always telling me what's it been up to. It told me things in the beginning, it promised it wasn't like the rest. I fell for it. I guess it was my own too trusting heart. Alas, I have been deceived.

nuhuh

I don't mind couples, threesomes or squaresoms....I will always push for whoresome instead of wholesome in UF/PNR. Makes it more spicy. I like my characters badass, not dumbass, especially the heroines.

By now everybody has their likes and dislikes and more than a few pet peeves. Well this book has one of mine. A big one. In fact a colossal one. -> Evie and Jack are an item right? Even with their problems she has made promises. Evie is also attracted to Death. So much so she didn't cook him dinner. He was eating out. Things in here happened for reasons, and I get that, but they should also have repercussions too. I didn't see much of that. Although Evie is a strong character, she makes shitloads of mistakes, and she's selfish. Jack is obsessed regardless, and even with hurt feelings he goes all out or her. He thinks only of her, he will do anything or her safety. Death is the very same. She can't do no wrong, her cooch is gold plated. It gets so old, so damned fast.

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Endless Knight

Endless Knight - Kresley Cole image

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Authors vs. Goodreads

Authors vs. Goodreads - Zoe Desh I will flat out admit it....my own drama brought me here. I had maybe a few honest interactions with authors trough the years, and one of them was where the author was extremely unhappy with me not liking their book. Once I have seen the tittle of this, I thought maybe I get to see all this from a different perspective. The author's perspective. I didn't.

I have been a member of Goodreads for a few years now and trough my travels I have seen certain interactions between people that raised my eyebrows on occasion. I have seen the carnage when Fandoms clash and the adoring fans protect their beloved novels. I have seen reviews of people's work I thought are very unfair. I HAVE REVIEWED NOVELS THAT PEOPLE THOUGHT WERE VERY UNFAIR.

Reviewers seem to sort things out between themselves. Like tends to gravitate towards like, and people do form groups. It's not that fascinating and it happens in other areas of life also. What of it? To say that these are dark and murky waters is bullshit to say the least. If you don't want to speak to someone, you simply don't, and the argument is over. Authors on the other hand rarely survive clashes with the reviewers. I will explain why that is.

It's not a secret that Goodreads makes money. It makes a very healthy profit. We don't mind. What it does for us: Gets us up close and personal with hundreds of thousands of novels, most of witch we wouldn't have discovered in your local, pretty, charming but limited bookstore. It gets us in touch with people like us, who like to read. It allows us to interact, review and express our opinion on novels without censorship even if we are not world renowned literary critics. This is a social networking site for book lovers and bookstore for consumers primarily. The reason it is so successful is because of everything I just listed. We, the readers, the consumers love this site! That is why the authors, people who want to make money come here to try and do just that.The list of suggested rules in this booklet is ridiculous. If something like that was implemented, GR would go bust because people would go elsewhere. It won't, because at the end it all boils down about making a profit. Goodreads and authors are not doing what they are doing out of kindness of their hearts. So let's not kid ourselves.

This booklet isn't about Goodreads making money. This booklet is a lament about THIS PARTICULAR AUTHOR NOT MAKING ANY MONEY. I will take the author's own observations here and ask one question. If Goodreads allows such rabid behaviour between people with abandon, and if we do such horrible and unspeakable things to eacother and still don't get any repercussions whatsoever, what on earth did THIS AUTHOR DO do to get excommunicated? Where there is smoke, there is fire. It's hypocritical to use the GR network to bitch and moan about the GR network, but then again, just looking at this booklet tells me more then the author ever could. Truth be told if the writing of this booklet is the measure of the writing capacity of this person, I am not surprised for bad press. The editing is crap, the grammar bad and the research done to back it debunked in over thirty points.

The implications about some countries in this little rant is disturbing and a measure of the author's knowledge. The author is upset that some reviewer gets to be No.1 in some small country somewhere, and he/she doesn't get to be anything. Cheer up, you're my No.1 asshat of the day. Here's a cookie.

Shatter Me

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi First of all a big shoutout to Mada for loving it and recommending it to me. I see where you're coming from.

The story on it's own was entertaining, but the writing style was murder. I had only two complaints in that department but as those two things encompassed the entire novel I have to say they've taken away from the reading experience.

Problem number one. The striketrough text.

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I have seen the blurb, yes, but I disregarded the striketrough as something limited to the marketing of the novel. I didn't give it a second thought. So I went online and got it. Started reading it and I honestly thought that I have somehow got the pre-edited version. I thought someone mistakenly made the wrong file available for download.

I understand the intention behind it. The things that we think, compared to the things that we say from time to time. It's not limited to Juliette, nor it's the first time it has been put in writing. It's just that I am used to seeing conflicted internal monologue displayed in other forms, mainly italic, not striketrough. For the life of me I couldn't focus. I kept thinking that these were internal notes the author was leaving for herself, to go back to and amend. Visually it was like looking at somebody's notebook and all the corrections they've made. It LOOKED like the novel is riddled with mistakes.

Second problem was the dreaded Purple Prose. In my personal taste there is a balance between being eloquent and waxing poetic for the sake of making your character sound grand and refined. The latter usually backfires. If you use it sparingly and apply it to highlight key emotional moments the effect is staggering, leaving the particular quote burned in your mind like a brand. If you choose to write the entire novel, you wind up filling the pages with contradictory terms that break the focus and often lead away from the plot. Take Juliette's imprisonment for an example. I couldn't experience it as something bad because the sugary way of speech made me think she was falling in love with the place. If you take in account that she's seventeen and been trough a shitload of problems, it doesn't add up. I know that she has seen some cruelty and that it can affect the mind, but for fucks sake “drops of water that gather like pearls on his eyelashes”? And every sentence is exactly the same??? Every time she would launch in a monologue I was like....

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The only person I could connect to was Warner, and him being a murderous psycho with massive daddy issues tells you something about everyone else. Adam the true love interest was bland as porridge, and equally interesting. Warner at least had some depth of character. Yes he was a bit not quite right in the head but it worked for him. I liked it. Overall the plot would have developed a bit more faster I think if Juliette didn't write an Ode every time she went to the toilet.

As a YA novel the plot was good, but not something we haven't seen before.

Cake

Cake - Derekica Snake ~DISTURBINGLY BRILLIANT~

I can see how this novel would clearly piss off a mass of people. It's made in a way that will leave you no moral gratification at the end. It is comprised completely out of antiheroes and they do not experience a magical epiphany throughout the novel, leaving them repentant for their twisted, wicked ways.

This is a story about a stolen life, abuse, and forceful warping of the mind to suit the captor's needs. At the end it was about acceptance. Here's the thing – it goes against the grain. It really does. We as a society of readers more often then not find happy endings, and see bad characters getting exactly what they deserve. We pursue that witch we see as morally correct. We demand it even. Life doesn't often happen that way, in fact it doesn't happen like that in general, but we always seem to find some form of justification to get us trough. Sort of glossing over the grey bits if you would.

Xavier's capture was brutal, his year in confinement harsh and hard. He was fat and legally blind. In that year his sight was restored and he was made to run two hours a day on the treadmill to get in shape. Some would call that body shaming. The author presented it this way – His captor Marcus said to him from day one that he is beautiful. All of him. That he saw what was underneath and wanted to raise him to his full potential. Marcus didn't treat him any differently because of his weight – he still used him exactly the same. A year later and Xavier found himself being happy because he was healthy, not because of vanity. In absolutely no way am I saying that the end justifies the means in this case, but I personally find that harsh truths and tough realities benefit us more then sweet lies and paths of less resistance. For example if you had a person you cared about and you saw they were unhappy and unhealthy because of their weight, would you keep quiet because it's the polite thing to do, or get your hands dirty and help them no matter what?

The confusion of sexual identity was constant and well placed. Xavier was only with women prior to his capture. In fact he was very inexperienced sexually, but was convinced he was straight. Throughout his confinement his body has learned to accept Marcus' touch, confusing the life out of him. He was in limbo asking himself was he gay to begin with. Is he becoming gay because of the forced treatment by Marcus. Or has he simply gone insane. The thought process was realistic. It was logical and understandable. It made you care for him.

Finally the breaking of mental barriers after Xavier has been turned. During his capture he was called by his initials, Sigmund Edward Xavier. Sex. He was a slut and a whore, even if he only had one master. Now he is an equal. Marcus is kind, caring and most importantly asks for permission to touch. Slowly Xavier analyses his time with Marcus and starts noticing small things, small mercies and gentleness where he before only saw cruelty. He notices his growing feelings for his captor. He by no means asks for justifications nor Marcus ever offers any. The balance has shifted with Xavier not being food or a toy anymore, and Marcus gave him the ultimate gift, himself, to be ruled by his once prisoner. He is equal. The vampires in here weren't apologetic. Humans are food, and useful tools, nothing more. In fact here's a quote that explains their relationship quite well.

“I do have another particular vice that I like to wallow in. You see, I have, from time to time, been known to kidnap, ravish, and mate with my victim.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Are you calling me a victim?”
“No. I am calling you mine.”


In a sense morality is subject of this novel, but not in a classic black and white sense. You have started at one point, and that starting point is now gone. It's in the past. Experience changes us, and shapes us in different ways. Whether you see this as wrong or right sometimes you just simply accept the cards you've been dealt and make the best of it you can.

I honestly wasn't expecting this when I picked it up.

For M/M this was ballsy and deep – pun may, or may not have been intended.....

A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens ~It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only..~


Ai no Kusabi Vol. 4: Suggestion

Ai no Kusabi Vol. 4: Suggestion - Rieko Yoshihara, Katsumi Michihara, Kelly Quine image

Just look at this face...Riki was right from the get go not to trust him. He looks like one of them evuuuul porcelain faced dolls. Lil' shit...

Wizard

Wizard - P.L. Nunn TREAD VERY CAREFULLY......VERY, VERY, CAREFULLY. DIS B SUM DARK AND POWERFUL STUFF.

First of all, i had no idea it was illustrated to a degree, so that blew me away. It was apparently done by one single person, and i have no idea just how much time and effort it went into the creation of it, but it looks really good. I was pleasantly surprised.

A second surprise came in the way of content. I was expecting some darker elements, but this has taken it to a whole different level. The descriptions of torture accompanied by a contributing visual is enough to disturb people. A lot.

The only thing I can attribute to my resilience is the sheer volume of intake of manga and anime throughout the past years. They have as a general rule even, at least one betentacled monster chasing a scantily clad male or female (depending how you squint) character around. And boy, can those tentacles become frisky.

No really all joking aside, this is harsh and very hard to follow if you are the type of person that doesn't gravitate toward the extremes. Reading it, i came to the conclusion the author knew exactly witch kind of impact this work would bring and still chose to dedicate the time writing and illustrating it.

The illustrations are good, detailed, but not overly so. In a sense it's a blessing in disguise really.

The story follows young Ferris, a man fighting a seemingly unwinnable war against an army fueled by the religious beliefs of absolute and sheer cruelty. Such an army that gives a true meaning to the term- Death is preferable to capture.

Sadly Ferris winds up in an ambush, and gets himself taken alive. He is at the mercy of cruel sadists, and just when he thinks he can't take any more he is sent to die at the altar of the blood gods, where he comes face to face with the same pagan priest that captured him.

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The rest, torture, sacrifice, escape, salvation is all embedded in a world that is not for the faint of heart.

Sometimes i go for the very dark novels, and sometimes i can't really stomach them. Depends of the emotional connection that is offered with the characters. I need that redeeming quality. I need that human touch, that salvation at the end of things.

I personally would wholeheartedly recommend this book, but for a selected audience.



Ai No Kusabi the Space Between, Volume 3: Nightmare (Yaoi Novel)

Ai No Kusabi the Space Between, Volume 3: Nightmare (Yaoi Novel) - Reiko Yoshihara image

Ai no Kusabi Vol. 2: Destiny

Ai no Kusabi Vol. 2: Destiny - Rieko Yoshihara, Katsumi Michihara, Kelly Quine I am not the biggest fan of these illustrations, because the series ruined it for me i guess. Riki doesn't look right. Still by far one of my favorite series.

Ai No Kusabi The Space Between Volume 1: Stranger (Yaoi Novel) (v. 1)

Ai No Kusabi The Space Between Volume 1: Stranger (Yaoi Novel) (v. 1) - Reiko Yoshihara The comics, the novels, the series, the remake....all so damned good.

Black Balled

Black Balled - Andrea Smith, Eva LeNoir Yes, i have read it, and it may come as a shock to some people, i didn't like it, regardless the hype.

My review will stand, for as long as it will be allowed before i get escorted to the gallows.

Opinions are important, they make us who we are. But to expect the entire world to abide by our opinions, makes us morons. Andrea Smith - if the shoe fits, please feel free to lace that bitch up and wear it... I didn't get very far with this book. From page one something didn't quite fit. It was too close to real life in some points, and so full of rage to be simply disregarded. Goodreads became Greatreads in this novel and there are numerous examples of conversations, very similar to a GR thread.

Take bestsellers for an example - Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Those are epic novels, made legends by the entertainment industry. They've made so much money, the authors descendants will have tiny dollar signs embedded in their DNA for generations to come. So please, take a look at their reviews. Yes, they have one star reviews with the rest of them. See, tastes differ.

It's becoming increasingly common practice to label a person intellectually inferior because they don't agree with what we say. I don't mean only on the internet, either. Sad, since quite the opposite is true. Now here is something that is so readily available to people, in fact i think everyone has shared it from time to time. To bad it's become an cliche witch people parrot without truly thinking about it.

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*cliche, yes i know - but couldn't be more fitting*

Andrea Smith may think her writing is amazing, Graysen Blue may think her stories topple the mountains and boil the seas with their originality. Other people may disagree, and they are allowed to. Black Balled says so much about the author, and yet so little about the reviewer she tried to belittle. Once you get a few chapters in, it's abundantly clear that L. Blackburn is an emotional mirror. “He” addresses problems of Indie publishing, saying how it's so very hard to get an audience since there is so many self-pubs out there, and half of then not nearly as good as him. His talent gets lost witho all the riffraff. At one point even refers to himself as, “I know I’m good, and it sure as hell doesn't take a genius to realize that!” ….really? Hear that people? You don't like this, you're a retard.

In the original book blurb, you know the erased one, we see the indie author going head to head with someone who tired to 'destroy their career'. Over one single review.... Wow. The author can't have very good opinion of their work if it's success can be measured in the like or dislike of one single person. So that tells me the story is weak.

In the book, however “Babu” the reviewer is described as a sanctimonious, arrogant prick who treats his following and his job like shit. More or less, he says that people who read his column would believe anything he says. Because they are simply that stupid. Smith described him tormenting the author by sending him a film in witch he had a whore spit his cum on the cover of the author's book (my... don't we have a flair for the melodramatic?), then proceed to mail it to him from his sock puppet account. Because that's what every well paid (six figures I believe) professional does. You know – puts his reputation on the line like that from a sock account, that he naturally has. - That is her view of people who dared to trash hers, no wait, Blackburn's work....sorry I got confused for a moment. Oh, and all this buhaha about this completely fictional, and having nothing to do with real events. Judge the book, they've said...Wow, did the book write itself? I'm amazed....well maybe the book stole some information and framed the author. I mean there must be a defense, any defense. It simply CANNOT BE THAT THIS BOOK IS BAD. It must be someone else's fault if it all went south. Not the author's - cuz she speshul n stuff....

The paper trail Smith left made me cringe. To use a pen name - leave a fabulous review as yourself, to go and announce on Amazon - It's one and the same person - without thinking people will connect the dots. Especially those who have been affected by the product. I will be honest and say I was amazed by that. It's so simple, transparent, unimaginative, uncreative, and downright stupid. So that part tells me not to expect any 'Didn't see that one coming' moments in her work.

Lastly - i will address this bullshit like cardinal rules and whatnot. THERE ARE NO RULES! There are preferences dictated by common sense and courtesy to your fellow reviewer, as another member of the human race. I personally was on the receiving end of hate mail many times. Mostly by reviewers, and once by an author. Why? Because I didn't like the same things they did, or I didn't conduct myself well enough to fit their standards. I was slapped in the face with imagined snobbery where I was told that if i want to consider myself a serious reviewer, I shouldn't say things like shit and review a book I didn't finish. And we have come to the core of the problem - CONSIDER MYSELF.

People like that, who CONSIDER THEMSELVES to be an authority in our little reviewing world grate on my nerves, and honestly make me want to punch their lights out. Even if you are working for the world's leading magazines, or publishers, your opinion is still the one of a single individual. 90% of people here just like to read. Simple as that. They should be viewed as potential customers and fans. Not like this. To write, or to read for enjoyment is a sign of passion, a sign of creation and discovery. So many different stories, so many different genres and tastes. How the hell are people SURPRISED that somebody might think differently? Or not like the things you do.

For an author to step out and spit on somebody who had a taste of their work is degrading to the author. Furthermore to launch a revenge on the person for having their own taste is pitiful. Andrea Smith considered herself a better author than she was, she considered herself righteous, and attacked her reader from an imagined moral high ground when really she should have taken in her own actions. If she simply left her private animosity out of it, i can guarantee her work would have found an audience. Even a small one, because it always does. Like this, she gave her would be readers insight in how narrow and limited her imagination truly is.

Yes, her career is in the shitter, but it's not the reviewer's fault. In the end it was proven that one voice didn't have nearly as much impact as her ugly actions. Who would want to read one of her books to be called names if they didn't like what they saw? Seriously, there are so many books out there, so many authors that would be grateful for your time, and take any criticism as a constructive tool, rather than throwing a tantrum like a spoiled brat. Fuck this.

No, not the reviewer, the fault is her own. Poetic justice for a prosaic crime.... she deal't herself the hangman.

the hanging man tarot - Google Search

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake It was good, but still not as good as i have expected. I guess sometimes with novels whose ratings are trough the roof, your bar of expectations gets set really high.

I went into this novel without reading anything but the blurb beforehand. I only knew that a lot of people loved it.

The writing was good, i have to say. The characters had their own uniqueness, and they were not one dimensional.

The plot was different to be sure, but still somehow wound up being a frilly teen romance, despite all the darker elements presented.

Solid, but no more then that.

The Eternity Cure

The Eternity Cure - Julie Kagawa Well, this was disappointing.

It would appear that those small plot problems bloomed and blossomed in the second edition of the Blood of Eden series. I have to admit I am torn. I liked the first book, and I really wanted this series to work. It's just when I notice something, I can't just put it out of my mind. Especially if it pertains to the writing style or plot. In that case it just follows me around like a dark cloud until it manages to rain on my parade.

One of those things I guess.

What i've noticed in The Immortal Rules was the way the plot developed, smooth, clean cut and with no surprises. Allie was hungry? Two biker dudes appear. She's hungry again? Some random dude is dying anyway, so she doesn't have to make any hard choices - what a coincidence.

Here's the thing, though. In The Immortal Rules it was subtle, I mean you can still pick up on it, but it was really subtle. Not so much here...

Rumour has it that there is a supa-secret government lab in the subway tunnels below Washington DC and maybe, just maybe there could be small chance that somehow, somewhere the information on creation of Rabidizm was left behind. I mean, c'mon! What are the chances of that?

Allie and Jackal (hate that name BTW) get down in these tunnels, and find the lab straight away, I mean in couple hours tops. Wow, they're talented!

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But hey! Their luck doesn't end there. They get in the lab, and the very first door Allie finds contains a desk, and on it a journal. A very important one- that says things like this: In case there is somebody randomly looking for information on the Red Lung, look no further....here it is! If you are looking for an antidote, look no further...there it is! If you're kinda sorta stuck with your plot, and have no clue how to introduce new information, look no further...is this a magical journal or what???...why yes, yes it is...

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You can have one or two, 'What are the odds?' moments in your book, do it too many times and the reader will simply disconnect. It takes away from the realism.

I don't know what the hell is going on with my book choices lately, seems like I need some of Allie's luck....this is the end of Blood of Eden for me.

Shadow and Bone / Siege and Storm

Shadow and Bone / Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo I loved the world building, loved of the concept of an ocean of sand surrounded by sheer darkness and filled with all the nightmares a human heart can create.

Sandstorm in my head

What worked well in this novel was the description of quiet sacrifice Alina made to stay together with the only person she considered family, and how sometimes it seems in life that no matter how much you wish for things, or how much they feel right. They are not meant to be.

A truly solid read, yet i find myself wishing it was a little darker. I don't know why. Maybe because Bardugo laid a brilliant foundation for it. To be fair i was a little disappointed at the end at the classic YA theme. It just wanted to be a bit more then that i think.

Ah well...

Song of the Vampire

Song of the Vampire - K.M. McFarland I didn't get far, the writing was that bad...