Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Woman in Cabin 10 By Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad detective story, but oh so predictable. Reminded me of my beloved Christie’s books. Only, with Dame Christie I almost never could guess the identity of the bad guy, while with “The Woman in Cabin 10” I knew what had happened when I was 30% into the book. Or maybe even earlier. But then, it’s probbaly because I read Christie when I was a kid. I’m 20 years older now and have read a lot of detective stories, so the twist has to be something really incredible for me not to guess it.
Still, I was enjoying this book until the heroine (who was very, very slow) learnt the truth. After that it kind of became slow and a bit tedious. So much that I was ready to abandon the book without reading the last 30 pages. I persevered, of course, and the ending was a bit disappointing. You really need to suspend disbelief to believe that the things could end up that way for a certain character.

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

A few updates

I know I haven’t been active for ages, posting only book reviews. I have started so many side projects, that have no second to post on my blog. Which is a shame, ‘cause I love posting here and sharing my progress.
But am I having a progress? Not sure. I’m working on too many books simultaneously, and maybe that’s why I haven’t published anyhting new for a while. All my books are still in the process of being written. I know I should focus on one thing and finish it, then start the next project, but somehow I end up piling up all the projects then get lost in them.
I’m actively working on Abracadabra: The Factory of Magic. And so far I’m loving whatever I’m writing. Really loving it. And it’s a great news, actually, because if I’m loving the story, then I’ll write it more quickly.
Recently I tried a free promo for Abracadabra, and ended up with no results. $125 and nothing. A few years back my books would end up with 2000-4000 downloads, but today not even 1000. Yes, too many books. Too many FREE books. 
So what to do? No idea. It’s like trying to break a concrete wall. Hitting and hitting it and then hitting some more.
What I think will help is writing more. I know, I know, there are already so many books out there, but that’s the reason that there are so many books out there: it’s the only way to survive.
Just don’t forget that writing more doesn’t mean publishing a low quality content. Edit your book a thousand times, then hire a good editor. It’s hard to find a good editor. My last editor sent me back Abracadabra, and I spotted 50 (!) errors after his edit. 
Gotta go now. Too many projects, too little time. But I’ll be back soon. And meanwhile, work hard on your next book.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bossypants by Tina Fey

BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Umm, I guess this book is for Tina Fey’s fans. All I knew about Miss Fey before starting her bio was that she was one of the most famous American female comedians, she had worked on Mean Girls and was in that movie with Steve Carell. I never liked Mean Girls and consider the Steve Carell movie to be one of the unfunniest comedies I have ever watched.
I didn’t find this book funny. I never once smiled. Most of the time I didn’t know what the book was about, maybe because I don’t get the humor, or maybe because there were too many pop culture references, too many names, too many movie titles. And the things that Tina Fey was telling about were just not interesting to me.
When I was nearing the end of the book I checked out 30 Rock. Again, I didn’t smile once. So I guess it’s not Tina Fey, it’s me. Yes, it’s me who doesn’t get the humor. I’ve come to realize that humor is a cultural thing: Russians don’t get Americans and vice-versa. Well, I’m Armenian and our humor is different too. And I happen to like it more:))
P.S. I don’t know what Saturday Night Live is. And am too lazy to check.

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The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Warning: review contains minor spoilers.

I have always avoided books about child abuse and paedophilia, because I know it’s a subject matter I cannot handle. Not even in books. I had no idea The Child Finder would go into such details and wish it had been made clear in the description, but that’s not the reason for my low rating. Once the scenes of child abuse began I could stop reading, no one was holding a gun to my head, but I persevered, because I wanted to see the end, to see how that sonofabitch got what he deserved.

But reading this book felt like a slow torture. Being such a short read it moved so slowly that once I reached the 50% point I skipped to the last 10%. I hate skipping books, but recently all I’ve been doing is skipping books.

My problem was that there was nothing new in this book. The protagonist, Naomi, was yet another PI with a dark past, who did the job better than a whole PD, and who was antisocial and didn’t trust anyone, but was so alluring, mysterious, and captivating, that everyone was momentarily smitten away by her.

I didn’t find it believable that Naomi had such a high success rate of finding lost children, because all she did in the first half of the book was walking around, talking to people, and roaming the woods. Her accomplishments were based on pure luck.
Also, the characters were not a bit believable. Everyone’s behavior was amateur, everyone spoke like they all were from a Daytime Soap.

Now the kidnapped child. I yet have to see a 5 y.o. girl behave the way Madison did in the book. Near the end she was badly beaten up by her abuser, but next day when the investigator finds her, the girl is described as “bruised and dirty.” After such a beating I expected an 8 y.o. to end up in a coma, not just be bruised and dirty. And she had even managed to open the lock with an old, rusted spoon. If a 40 y.o. man beats up a girl the way it was described in the book, she wouldn’t have a healthy spot on her body.
And after she’s saved, the girl isn’t hospitalized, isn’t in care of psychologists, she’s at home, drawing. A 5 y.o. girl goes missing, three years pass, she’s found, she recognizes her parents immediately and she’s at home, drawing. I’ve been a lawyer for 13 years. This doesn’t happen, sadly.

The writing wasn’t great either. Sometimes I finish the book I don’t like because the writing is superb, like in “The Thirteenth Tale”. Here, it was not. “He looked away, and she could see the reflection of trees in his eyes.” How’s that even possible? And the POV shifts were distracting.

One more thing. If you give someone a nickname in Spanish, you don’t have to use the “la” article. Naomi wouldn’t be called “la reina” by her Mexican friend. It’s like nicknaming your friend “queen” then saying, “Hello, a queen.”

Usually I don’t write such long reviews, but I needed to rant a bit, lol. It happens when I’m angry with a book. Obviously a lot of readers have loved this book and it’s great. We all look for something special in a story. I just didn’t find it in this one, but I’ll keep searching.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I waited for a whole week to review this book, so that i could understand at last how I felt about it. Sometimes I’m still thinking of it. So I guess the story has left an impression on me. Yes, it wasn’t believable that a society of that kind could grow so quickly and that the women who just a couple of years ago were wearing bikinis on the beach had turned into birthing machines, but that improbability didn’t make the book unreadable. In fact, it kept me reading. Some people seem to hate the ending, but i liked how the book ended. I don’t think there could be any other way to end this story.
The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t as great as I had expected, but I enjoyed it and recommend it to readers who like dystopian novels.

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