Friday, July 28, 2017

Book Review: The Last Flag by Wren Cavanagh

The Last FlagThe Last Flag by Wren Cavanagh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read The Last Flag a few months back (thank you to the author for sending it my way). I waited a while to post the review because I wasn't sure how many stars I wanted to give it. The premise of the book is fine. It's about a zombie infested town that they fence off and then they host a game show where people race through the town trying to avoid zombies and collect flags. I read that and thought to myself, ok this could be interesting. I have to say I wasn't really impressed...

The plot was ok. There wasn't a ton of back story on the zombies, the characters weren't developed real well, and the flow of the story was just kind of all over the place. These were a few of the writing elements that I didn't like, but then there were the typos and grammar issues...holy cow. Every other page had some sort of typo or grammatical error. I checked to see if I had received an ARC and I hadn't so needless to say, that was painful to get through. Normally I'm alright if there are a few errors, but this was crazy.

The author has set it up for another book, but I'm not going to be continuing on with this series. The plot didn't pull me in enough. I couldn't find a connection with any of the characters and I'm just not interested in where the story is going to go from here.

As I said, I'm very appreciative of the author sending it to me, but I couldn't find it in myself to give this book more than 2 stars.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Review: Ignite by Danielle Rogland

IgniteIgnite by Danielle Rogland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a big fan of dystopian sci-fi books and Ignite didn't disappoint. I was impressed with the writing style, character development, and the world building. I'm not going to hash out much of the plot because you can get that in the summary of the book. I like to talk more about the thing's I've listed above.

It took me a while to get used to the way the chapters read. Each chapter is from the point of view of a different character, which I've read before, but for some reason I had to keep reminding myself who was talking in the first 5 or 6 chapters. After you get into the book you don't really have to try to hard to remember the transitions and it's wonderfully written.

The plot of this book is amazing. I'm a sucker for rebel groups fighting the "bad guys" and this book didn't disappoint. Every time I thought I knew where it was going there was a plot twist that took it in another direction. There were a few times that I had an idea of where it was going, but I didn't have the full grasp of the twist or the implications that it would have for the rest of the book. I also enjoyed the inner struggle that some of the characters had. I have a psychology degree, so I like seeing those things in writing and it was very well done in this book. I felt like I was struggling right along with the characters.

The world building in this book is great. I could picture myself in the burned out and ruined streets of London. I could see myself in the HQ of the flames and the factories that they moved in and out of. I could picture the homemade tech devices they used in the book. It was all so vivid in my mind and that is a result of the amazing writing in this book.

Character development was very good as well. Those of you that have read my reviews for any amount of time know that that is a big deal for me. I enjoyed getting to know the characters individually through their unique chapters and then seeing how they join together part way through the book.

This book is a wonderful read for people that like: sci-fi, dystopian, action/adventure, and fans of just plain old good writing. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that asks.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Review: Mostly Human by D.I. Jolly

Mostly Human is a very well written book. It moves along quickly, which I love in a book. Many times books about werewolves are boring to me because there are so many of them out there, but not so with this book by Mr. Jolly. 

The plot is well thought out and well written. There are a lot of POV changes, so if you aren't into that you may want to think before picking up this one, but it wasn't an issue for me. I like books with lots of different POV throughout. 

The characters are well rounded and well developed, but not overdone in any way. 

If you're looking for a new book to pick up, I would consider Mostly Human. It wasn't one that would have jumped out at me on a bookshelf, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to give it a read. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: Molina by Bengie Molina with Joan Ryan

This book is a deviation from what I normally review here. Almost all of my reviews have been on fiction titles. This  is a non-fiction work,  so we are branching out here at JABG.

I received this book as a gift from my in-laws and was very excited to receive it. I'm a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan and have been watching Yadier Molina play for many years so it was interesting to get some insight on his life and upbringing through the eyes of his brother.

This book is well written and very readable.  Some non-fiction titles are slow and hard to read but not so with this book; it reads like a fiction title.

The story of the Molina family is very amazing if you think about it. One family that put three children into the Major Leagues and all of them as catchers. This book takes us on the journey of the boys learning to play from their father, who is referred to as Pai throughout the book. Pai was a beloved member of his community and quite the baseball player in his own right. It was so amazing to see the influence he had on not only his family, but his entire town.

It was also pretty cool to see life through the eyes of Bengie Molina who worked hard to get into the major leagues. He seemed to have to put in more time and effort than his brothers did. It was a great story of perseverance.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is into baseball or into books that have a great message for life in general about not giving up and seeing your dreams through to the end.

Overall I give this book a 4/5

Thursday, October 6, 2016

An unplanned break

Hey all, it's been a long time since my last post. I apologize for that. Apparently I decided to take a 6 month break from posting. Rest assured this blog is still alive and well and will have new content soon. I'm reading 3 different books right now that should be done within a week or so and then there will be new posts happening again. As always, thanks for the support of this blog.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Book Review: The Last Words of the Holy Ghost by Matt Cashion

Last Words of the Holy Ghost is a Gothic short story book. A little disclaimer here; short stories and gothic are not two genres I generally like to read in. So, there was some bias coming into my reading of this book.

As I read the first short story I must say that I was not a huge fan because I didn't like the language and I feel like the story just ended very abruptly without closure of any kind. This is what drives me nuts about short stories; I never feel like the story is developed enough or that it ends in a way that is satisfying to me as a reader.

I tried to read a couple more of the stories and just couldn't get into them.

Having said those things, I think that this book will indeed appeal to folks who enjoy short stories and the gothic genre. I'm just not that person.

I would like to thank University of North Texas Press for an opportunity to take a look at this book. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Book Review: Grief Light by Julie Yarbrough

Grief Light by Julie Yarbrough is a wonderful devotional that talks about grief. She breaks it down into 6 sections. They are entitled: 
  1. Shadow Light
  2. Life Light
  3. Grace Light
  4. Love Light
  5. Hope Light
  6. Joy Light
Each section has devotions that focus on each kind of light. The layout of this book is very well done. The devotions are each about 2 pages long. They begin with some thoughts from Julie or a story about her life and her dealings with grief and then she transitions into a paragraph or two on thoughts from the bible and always includes a bible verse that's applicable to the topic and then ends it with a short prayer. This is a very well done devotional and it's well worth having on your shelf, if not for yourself then for someone you know who is struggling with grief. It would make a great gift for someone who is going through the grieving process.

Julie is a fantastic writer. It's sometimes hard to get all your thoughts in and make them coherent in a two page layout, but she does it well. I didn't find any of these devotions to be disjointed or all over the place as some people are in the habit of doing. They are on point, well thought out, and written wonderfully. 

This is a great devotional and you can't go wrong picking up a copy for yourself.