Search

Some Nerd Girl

Some Like It Nerdy

Category

Book Review

Book Review: The Last Station Before Heaven by Peter J. Mylin

The Last Station before Heaven by Peter J. Mylin is set during a time where Christianity has been outlawed. It is narrated by a journalist invited by a former priest to find the last station before heaven – located in a kind of underground. At first our nameless journalist tells us about his story; that he doesn’t know where his wife is, his son is gay and doesn’t know if he survived the persecution of homosexuals and he hopes that this journey to find the last station before heaven will be worth it.

He meets the former priest, John Campbell, and his cat, Eva, and they spend the rest of the book decoding messages in hidden CDs that play hymns. Our journalist and John talk about John’s former life, being the head of a massive corporation-like church.

As the road trip continues we learn more about why Christianity was outlawed, and why most people wouldn’t like it; churches ruled like governments, and basically sucked the money out of their parishioners and spit them back out when they didn’t have any more money.

I thought the world described by Mylin was believable, and more than that, it was interesting. I read this book online, and I couldn’t stop clicking to advance the page. Usually I find a lot of fault in books that have a clear stance on religion and why we as a society should or shouldn’t have it, but the story was engaging and well developed. I also thought that the main characters were developed and weren’t just the two sides of the story. They were hilarious, and confusing, and weird and sad. I myself preferred John’s frank manner of speaking about all the mistakes that he had made in his life, and whether he felt that his actions were justified.

I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story even though the characters went through a cycle of getting a secret disc, cracking the code, and then going to the next location there was enough variety at each destination to keep me interested.

Although I really enjoyed this story I thought that it could have used more female characters, and the female characters like Jael could have been more developed. I won’t spoil it, but I felt the ending was too perfect. As a reader I felt like I had followed this story, this journey about characters that I cared about, for no reason.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and I would give it three out five stars.

3outof5


MirandaMiranda is a college student studying Adventure Education and Sustainable Agriculture. Don’t let all that outdoorsy-ness fool you, when the Deathly Hallows came out Miranda was at the release party. Other nerdy credits include having deep discussions about various book series on reddit, tumblr, and twitter. She loves Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, the Delirium series, basically anything dystopian and the community of Nerdfighteria. You can find her on twitter @genderisweird, check her out on her blog and tumblr.

 

Advertisements

Book Reiew: I Kill Monsters by Dennis Liggio

As an avid reader of Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, and Charlie Huston, I like to consider myself to be very familiar with the urban monster landscape. I Kill Monsters is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I would label his work as having solid potential. I Kill Monsters isn’t the first of its kind, nor the most original, but it does have its charm.

The book features two brothers Szandor and Mikhail, living on a rougher side of town, who take down the creepy crawlies hiding in the city. They take money as best as they can, but work the daily grind to keep the bills paid (mostly).  When a well-to-do client comes along, they jump at the opportunity to play bodyguard for a few days. Unfortunately for them, something much more nefarious than the boogeyman is afoot, and the boys are launched into a part of the monster industry they didn’t even know existed.

Overall, the writing flows well and it is a good, albeit shallow, read. There are times I found myself genuinely laughing, but also times I found myself cringing at some of the bland writing. The main character describes himself to have a “punk” haircut, which I cannot fathom precisely what that may mean. The main character describes at least two women to be “hot”, with little description as to why. There is a fade-to-black sex scene, with little post-coitus followup. I may be spoiled by the many female writers that I read, but if you’re going to include a sex scene, use it.  An author friend of mine tells me it’s important to “show, not tell”, and I find this book doing a lot of telling. To give away a mild spoiler, Szandor’s brother uses a nickname that he hates, and that’s how he describes it- as a nickname he hates; with no explanation. Why does he hate that nickname? Was there an embarrassing story involved? An awkward teen obsession? What a wasted opportunity to deepen the character.

One of the things I do enjoy is that neither Szandor nor his brother seem to be the Dark Brooding Type. Not every character in monster-themed books need to carry their burdens in every sentence, and it’s refreshing seeing these guys just going about their lives, having the typical brotherly love that also involves wanting to throttle each other at times.

Despite a few missteps in the writing, I Kill Monsters is a light and easy read, great for anyone on their lunch break or riding on the train. I’ll look forward to reading more of Dennis Liggio’s work.

Overall, I give this read a 4/5 star rating.

4outof5


Barb2

Barbie O’Havoc has been considered a nerd since the first time she pissed someone off for having a weird opinion. Since then, she’s been spending her time indulging in the surprisingly expensive habits of reading trashy vampire novels and hitting people while playing roller derby. Both of her main hobbies have led to a love of terrible puns, much to everyone’s dismay.

Barbie O’ also loves coffee and local restaurants, and occasionally rambles about both on the Johnstown Food Blog.

Book Review: The Three Kings by Grace E. Pulliam

In The Three Kings, we join our main character Kate Fox after a flashback from before she is born. After the flashback, the story picks up at a point in Kate’s life where she is being raised by a cult/religious group called the Blood of Christ. Eventually she is rescued and brought back to live with her Aunt and cousin who, until that time, had assumed her dead. She registers at a college and finds a job, only to find out that she has a connection to her employer through her late father. Unbeknownst to Kate, the powers she has yet to realize were promised to another and she must play a magical game to fully actualize them.

I found this book to be super engaging and hilarious. I thought that Essie and Billie were both amazing characters, a great balance to Kate’s troubles throughout the book. Even though the cult was pretty hard to read about, I could appreciate how Pulliam fully developed their ideals to make them believable and impacting to the reader.

Although the romance between Kate and Hemming is unnecessary and silly I appreciated he and Helen’s characters and how they interacted. I think they are some of the strongest characters in the book.

While I was engaged with this book and found it very difficult to put down, I did, at times, question the flow of the story. The concept of being turned into a supernatural being because of a human injection is very odd, and then the needing of a teenager who can do magic to reverse that seems unlikely.

After Kate gets liberated from the Blood of Christ compound the story also takes an unrealistic turn. Even if she is a carbon copy of her mother it doesn’t make sense that her aunt and cousin would immediately accept her, give her money, and her own apartment/place to live. Her recovery time from being in an abusive cult feels like it happens too quickly. She just magically gets over being told that she’s ugly and fat and it’s not a huge issue when Pulliam decides it doesn’t need to be. There was a lot of potential here to see Kate’s growth as she recovers and it feels like a bit of a miss.

Another miss is the miraculous recovery of Kate’s documents. For example; did Aunt June really have a spare birth certificate and social security card lying around? Both would be needed to integrate back into the educational system. In the same vein I was glad that Kate was placed in remedial classes at her college.

I will say that while I am I’m excited for the next book, I am also worried about the plot holes and confusions that I might read in the next two books. I hope some of these issues are resolved or explained in the next two.

Overall, I would rate The Three Kings 3 out of 5 stars.

3outof5


Miranda

Miranda is a college student studying Adventure Education and Sustainable Agriculture. Don’t let all that outdoorsy-ness fool you, when the Deathly Hallows came out Miranda was at the release party. Other nerdy credits include having deep discussions about various book series on reddit, tumblr, and twitter. She loves Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, the Delirium series, basically anything dystopian and the community of Nerdfighteria. You can find her on twitter @genderisweird, check her out on her blog and tumblr.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑