Riders preview is a tantalizing tease

ridersArgh!!!!! Tor Teen Books, you tease! You cruel, coy, infuriating tease. You give me the first 19 gripping, enthralling, can’t-get-enough chapters of Riders and then the preview just ends?!?!?!?! No matter how many times I swipe my finger across my Kindle screen I can’t get another word, can’t turn another page, and now I have to wait until February to find out what happens to Gideon, Sebastian, and Daryn???? Evil! You, Tor Teen Books, are as evil as Samrael and his creepy cronies!

Okay, deep, calming breath.

So, Netgalley (and I can happily say the slump is over) granted me access to a preview of Veronica Rossi’s soon-to-be-published Riders, about a young Army Ranger in training who plummets to his death during a parachute jump and comes back as one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And that’s when things really get weird, and intriguing, and page turning, and agonizing when the pages no longer turn!

I usually avoid previews because I don’t like waiting. I want the whole book, and I want it now, but I knew what I was possibly setting myself up for when I clicked the request button on the Netgalley page, and despite the waiting and the cliff-hanger of going from Chapter 19 to no chapter 20, I am happy I put in this request because this is gonna be good. I immediately liked Gideon, Army Ranger turned confused Horseman of the Apocalypse. He has a great voice and manages to be strong, self-depreciating, and funny all while being confused, angry, and capable of kicking some ass even when he isn’t sure why and who’s ass it is exactly that he is intending to kick. And to add to his stress, he and his other recently reincarnated friends are tasked with saving the world from an ancient evil…and they fail. Yup. Though it hasn’t been revealed how and why by the end of Chapter 19, Gideon wakes up in the custody of some very unhappy government officials. Now, he’s got to talk his way out of this mess, find his comrades, and somehow manage to save the world before it’s too late.

And we’ve all got to wait until February 16th to find out how it turns out. One month, 4 days. Time cannot move fast enough!

Full review to come.


Liar, a story whose truth isn’t discernible

Continuing my Netgalley slump….

Liar, allegedly a memoir by Rob Roberge

The most screwed up story about addiction I have read since A Million Little Pieces, with the main difference being that this memoir is actually true. Or as true as a book written by someone with memory damage can be. At least this author admits his lies, mostly, sometimes. I think. It’s kind of hard to tell because the narrator is, after all, a bi-polar drug addict who self-medicates with anything from booze to ‘scripts to cocaine and lies about everything from scars to sleeping with his best friend’s mom.

I have this hang up about narrators who can’t be trusted. And I definitely don’t believe this guy. How could I? This is a man so coked out of his head that he gets bills for hospital stays that he can’t remember. He starts off a paragraph with “You have scars you lie about and scars you tell the truth about.” He then proceeds to tell a ridiculous tale of being drunk while running through the woods being chased by cops and colliding with a tree branch that cuts a bone-deep gash in his collarbone. He ends the paragraph with, “This story is true.” Excuse me while I try and suspend my belief enough to buy that.

I thought this would be a comedy noir. I thought I would laugh at least a little, but I’ve only read 40% of the book, and I am just done with it. I feel like the whole book is a lie, and I am just another fool who has fallen for the author’s bulllshit. What was advertised as a “darkly funny, intense memoir about mental illness” is turning out to be a rehashing of the author’s sexual exploits while spending most of his time higher than the stars in the sky. Oh, and then there are the random facts thrown in about extinct animals, murders, and the sinking of the Titanic. Perhaps they eventually tie into the overall story, but I don’t have an interest in finding out. Despite the claims of the book’s blurb, which is what drew me in to begin with, there is very little discussion about the author’s mental illness, and I can’t drum up an ounce of sympathy for this man whose problems, so far, all stem from his drug addiction, not his mental health issues.

Apologies to Crown Publishing who sent me an electronic ARC of Liar, but this one is going on the DNF pile. I cannot recommend it.

The New Year is off to a bad book start

Happy New Year, Readers! Hope your 2016 is filled with happiness, adventure, and loads of good books. Thanks for following this blog. 2015 was a bit sporadic with posts, but I am hoping to do better in the new year.

So far, I am not off to the best start with my Netgalley picks, the first of which is Playing by the Book by S. Chris Shirley.

As I have mentioned before, I have a rule that if I am not completely hooked by the 50th page, then I toss the book in the Did Not Finish pile and grab another one. There are too many good books in this world to waste time on one that doesn’t hold my interest.

Unfortunately with Playing By the Book, I didn’t even make it to the 50th page. The main character, Jake, is so brainwashed by his religion that both his internal and external dialogue are offensive. No one who is 17 years old is this ignorant about social norms, kissing, sex, and how his narrow-minded religion would come off to LGBT people. Furthermore, the characters are total clichés. Jake’s preacher father is the overbearing family ruler whose word is law. His mother is the meek mouse counterpart. There’s a crazy aunt in the mix, and Jake is the country bumpkin who goes to the big city and is overwhelmed by all these sophisticated folk. No joke, when he meets his turban-wearing roommate Raj, his thought is, “I’d never seen a real live Muslim before.” As opposed to a fake dead Muslim?” Come on! There is sheltered and then there is this unbelievable character. And not to get on a soapbox, but turbans are not worn only by Muslims and do not always indicate a religious affiliation. Numerous religions and cultures wear turbans for different purposes. His reaction was just too much of a  “dumb, uncultured hick” stereotype for me to tolerate.

Then began the “hey, I’m attracted to a fellow student who is also a guy. I am such a filthy sinner. I better get out my engraved bible and read it until my soul is clean again.” Excuse while I choke on all the sanctimonious hypocrisy spewing from this guy’s stream of consciousness.

Jake’s ignorance was unbearable! In the end (or should I say the beginning since I didn’t make it anywhere near the end), I just couldn’t take all the preaching and bible thumping. Tossing this one on the DNF pile and reaching for another book.