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Friday, March 2, 2012

Third Time a Charm?

It is possible that my third will be the last Kindle that I have to purchase for awhile. I find it sad that so many of my electronic devices seldom survive the first few weeks in my home, but it is far from unbelievable. I have a two year old that likes to make things vanish, and a five year old that once took about 30 ounces of Pepsi and poured it into the keyboard of brand new Toshiba Satellite.

The funniest thing about my last two Kindles though, is that my children are not to blame for their demise. My first was eaten by a chair, the second became a chair. I am a bit glad the last one got broken though. The regular Kindle has very limited storage capacity. The Kindle Touch has four Gigabytes. That is a whole lot of books. Seriously, so many books. 

The Kindle touch also has voice capability (text to speech and speech recognition), which you will find in the Kindle with a keyboard, but not the regular Kindle. Even if I never use half of these features, I like that they are there. No, I have never tried the speech recognition. To me, it just seems lazy. I do let my daughter turn on the text to speech so that it can read stories to her. She prefers it reading them, to me reading them. I was offended at first, of course, until I realized that she just thinks the computer voice is funny.

The touch screen is very sensitive, but not so sensitive that it is an issue. You can set your screen to refresh with every page turn (black flash) but the default is for it not to. I have no problem with the black flash, but have been too lazy to change the setting. I guess the ghost words from pages past have not started to bother me enough yet. There are specialized zones on the screen that have a specific purpose when tapped, another when pressed for a moment, and yet another when you slide your finger across depending on what screen you are on. It is kind of nice when you have it all figured out.

Like the Kindle Keyboard, this Kindle has the ability to play MP3s, but I think that section will remain unused for me. I would prefer to use that storage space for more books, and since I have a four Gigabyte MP3 player, and an Android device with Pandora, I have no reason to use my Kindle for that purpose. Oddly enough, even though I already have the Kindle Touch and an Android phone, I still want a Kindle Fire...

The Sign of the Cross - Chris Kuzneski

There are few things worse than waking up to being kidnapped, taken by boat to another country, and then crucified. Well, for this guy there isn't. The others are not even as lucky as he was. Throw in Jon Payne and David Jones in a Spanish (yes, Spanish) prison, two CIA agents that aren't, an English professor and student with secrets and it all gets a bit odd.

It seems that the Vatican has a secret, one that they want to keep. As usual, things are not always as they seem. The Vatican security chief seems extremely committed to his job, but he has his own agenda. Like any good antagonist, he will do whatever it takes to achieve it. This man is on a worldwide killing spree, and even his own children are on that list.

The Cardinal from Texas was an interesting character. Nick Dial has a few fun conversations with him. Nick Dial of course, is the head of the homicide division at Interpol. Well, I guess you can figure out on your own how he gets involved. What with exploding cars, hijacked helicopters, and plot twists around every corner, this book is a fantastic read.

This book was intensely fun, and full of action. It would feel wrong to give this book anything less than five stars.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

4 Killer Crime Stories in 4 Minutes - Benjamin Sobieck

Goodness, this book was terrible. I do not even think terrible is accurate, but I am not sure that there is a word to describe how truly awful this book really is. I think it is supposed to be a collection of micro-fiction. What it really is, is a conduit for micro bleeds in the brain.

The first of the four, titled "Purgatory at the Pump 'n' Loaf" had to be the most ridiculous idea I had ever heard of, and it really was not put together in a way that made any sense to me.

The second story, titled "Use the Pillow" was another insanely stupid idea. I find it to be incredibly and amazingly stupid that he tries to write in the stop text manner to "simulate" hypnosis speech. I know of no hypnotic therapists that make every three words a sentence.

The third, titled "You're the Boss" made me want to find his house, and burn it to the ground with him in it...

I was grateful for "Timmy Says Out This in an eBook," not because it was any better than the others (because it wasn't), but because it was the last in a set of literary garbage that would make me want to shove an ice pick through my eye.

I love the disclaimer at the beginning of the book:

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
It was not worth the 99 cents I paid for it! There is now way on this Earth that I would purchase it for anyone I care about. Hard work? I doubt it. Trust me on this one, save your money and your brain.

Half a star (for effort).


And Once Again...

Much has been going on in my life since my last post. I have had to relocate, and my Kindle died a horrible death. I have had it replaced with a Kindle Touch, because replacing it with an identical Kindle made no sense to me when I could have one with more memory for only 20 more dollars. There is only one problem, the battery refuses to die, so I cannot upload all of the books I did not buy from Amazon.com. If I try to upload them before the battery dies, my computer will automatically start charging it, which will have a negative effect on future battery life. I do not want to review another good book until I have complete access to it again for reference while writing, so I will review ones that I am reading in an attempt to kill the amazing super battery.

First victim:
4 Killer Crime Stories in 4 Minutes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's cold outside...

When it is cold outside, there is little I enjoy more than curling up with a good book and ignoring the world. Few thing I find more rewarding than sharing another's talents, viewing a little piece of their imagination or reality. When I was younger, my father read to us before we went to sleep. He started with C.S. Lewis, and my love for reading went into full bloom by the end of the Narnia series.

When I was 10 years old, he bought for me a book that I read until the pages fell apart. It was the first book my father bought for me, and only me. The Last Unicorn still holds a very special place in my heart. I even own the movie, for I feel that they did a splendid job. When I was 12, my tastes in books altered. As my dad is a fan of fantasy, I have a soft spot for it. It is what I started with, and I will never not love it. My tastes turned more toward science fiction, and spread out wide.

I found Stephen King through my dad's copy of The Bachman Books.After that, I was given a copy of The Shining. My choice in reading material would never be the same after that. I read every Stephen King book I could find. I thought it was amazing that one man could be such a creative genius that he could write so many extremely different books in the same genre. I found, as well, an author named Phil Rickman, whose book Curfew I purchased simply because I loved the cover art. I have not found any regret in that purchase. The book is incredible, and I plan to purchase it again, as soon as I can find it. I hope to come across more of his literary masterpieces as well.

Then there is Dean Koontz. I cannot say enough about this man. He is such a talented writer, that I know any words I put to paper would pale in comparison to his scrap heap! The first book I found by him was by accident. I had never heard his name before. I was 19. I lived alone in a terrible apartment. I am not a fan of television, and I had read all of my books time and time again. I needed something new. I went to the little second chance store a block from my home and saw a book that I could not take my eyes off of. It was like a nightmare. The cover art was horrendous!  The name of the book was Intensity. I could not help it. It looked like a headache waiting to happen, but I had to have this book, so I bought it. I read it in one night. I could not put it down, reading it even while I cooked my pathetic dinner.

There are about 74 books written by Dean Koontz in my Kindle as we speak, and I cannot wait to read them all. I am trying to keep my blog diverse though, and be a fair reader to all authors. My next review will be of the second book in the Jonathon Payne and David Jones series by Chris Kuzneski. *spoiler alert* It was awesome.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just have to say...

Although I read more than I like to admit, and often read more than five books a week, I (obviously) do not blog about them every day. There was a long break between posts, this is because my original Kindle vanished and I had to get a new one. Now that I have replaced it with a new, smaller and cheaper version, I will be able to put more time into reading.

My new Kindle is the basic 3G with special offers. It does not have a keyboard or sound capabilities, which are the only drawbacks of the device. It is small enough to fit in my purse. The special offers are not a nuisance. The screen does not fa=lash black when turning pages like the old one did. It does have a smaller memory, but will still store tons of books, so that is not a terrible thing.

Anyway, I plan to write another soon. Maybe tonight or tomorrow :)

The Plantation - Chris Kuzneski

Let me start off by saying that I did not start off with this book, which is the first in the series. I did not know this at the time, and because I started with another book, it took some time to get used to his writing style.

This novel is book one in a series that follows the adventures and exploits of two former special forces operatives, Jonathon Payne and David Jones. Jon is a rich boy that wanted to make it on his own accord, so he joined the military, proving himself the best of the best. He and his friend David are hand picked to become leaders of an elite special forces team, where they stay until they retire upon the death of Jon's grandfather. Jon takes up the family business, a multi million dollar a year manufacturing corporation, and helping his friend start a detective agency. Now that we are done with the background, we get to the excitement:

John's girlfriend (who coincidentally is never mentioned again after this book) is kidnapped by some real crazy dudes that want innocent people to pay for the crimes of their ancestors. She is not the only one. They kidnap entire families. They torture and abuse each and every one of them, forcing them to work as slaves on the plantation. That is not enough for these guys though, they want to make money from it as well, so they plan to sell them as slaves in Africa. They do not care how young or old they are, one of their captives is Jon's girlfriend's pregnant sister.

**MAJOR SPOILER ALERT** If you have not read the book, this might give a LOT away:

1. Jon arrives at his girlfriend's house to pick her up for a weekend getaway, and finds she has been kidnapped. With nothing but a tattoo and license plate to go on, they track the kidnappers to New Orleans.

2. With the help of a former NFL star and supposed friend, they find out where she is being held, make a rescue plan, and are led into a trap.

3. They escape, saving most of the people that were being held captive, but fail to rescue the girlfriend before the kidnappers flee with her, and her family, out of the country.

I am not one to give away an ending, but it is worth a look. This is a great book by a really incredible author. As you will see in my future reviews of his books, he really does his research. This is not typically my favorite genre, but wow... 

I give this one five stars.