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Book Review: The Phoenix Apostles (A Seneca Hunt Mystery) by Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore

27 Jan

The Phoenix ApostlesMy Rating:  1.5 out of 5 stars

EDIT:  thank you to Candice who read my review and pointed out a mistake in my historical facts.  I’ve edited my post with the correct information.

This book is extremely formulaic.  It follows a similar plot outline as many of the popular crime series with a recurring character:  Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich), Cotton Malone (Steve Barry), Alex Cross (James Patterson), you get the picture. 

Believe it or not, the use of a well-worn plot is not a criticism.  I enjoy these types of books and I chose this book specifically because I was in the mood for this formula. 

This story has the typical elements:  young, intelligent woman with a non-detective job who gets innocently wrapped up in solving a mystery to save her own life, narrowly escaping death and meeting interesting friends along the way.   

It’s the details that killed me here.  Spoiler Alert (highlight with your cursor over the next section – it’s in white text): There is a guy living in present times who is Montezuma who never died because he had the shroud of Turin the Veil of Veronica and is now digging up the graves of world history’s ‘mass murders’ (think Hitler and the like) and using their ground up bones and some smart doctors to  bring them back to life.  Which worked. Why is he doing this you ask?  So these killers can all do their bidding at the same time again now and ‘cleanse’ the earth which will make the sun-god happy and Montezuma will become a god. 

In-SANE.  When I said I liked formulaic, I should have also said that BEING REMOTELY FEASIBLE must be part of the formula I’ll read.  This is just nonsense.

Book Review: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee

12 Sep

My review:  1.5 out of 5 stars

I appear down right prudish compared to the main character of this novel, Ace Jones.  Her boldness was not endearing at all.  The girl is raw.  Sure she’s chubby and has a biting sense of humor, but those assets were not well applied. 

This book is not due for publication until February 2012 but I purchased it in July for 99 cents through Barnes and Noble and some special offer they had going for Nooks.  I don’t know what the offer was exactly but I suspect the book was not through its final editing since I found lots of spelling and grammatical errors.  Even with those, the story was a quick read – not too much thinking you need to do.  I am really surprised it’s still being sent to store shelves, but based on the reviews some people really thought it was funny. 

I feel like the author is a very shy person trying to write as a character who is her polar opposite. It’s as if the character could only be developed based on what someone would see from the outside, which is how a shy person would see someone like Ace.

As someone who has been described as both  sassy and obnoxious I’ve found that ‘obnoxious’ is used before someone knows me and ‘sassy’ is used once they get used to my style and discover my good qualities.  Ace stayed as obnoxious in my opinion because the book never got past those aspects of her personality to make her anything but. 

Her behavior was funny on pages 1-5 but no longer funny after that. I will give credit and say I was able to finish it (more on my issues with that later) but I can’t say I was all that proud of my accomplishment it in the end.