Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an adventure!

Fledgling was the last book I read by Octavia E. Butler. I liked that it had a different take and more diversity than many other ‘vampire’ book. So I wanted to see more by this author.

This book takes the apocalyptic point of view from the beginning of the end. Our main character is the daughter of a preacher. She is black but the color of her skin is not the point. She is a teenager in a protected community that suddenly isn’t. As a teen, she sees things her own way, not like her parents or anyone else. So it is a story of growing up in social, physical, and psychological chaos.

I have to admit to loving the story. I did get tired of the God Seed of her making against the biblical verses of her father. But it was her experience so I accepted it as the character point of view not preaching to the reader. This blended with her bringing together a group of people wandering up the California highway and byways while protecting each other and defending their rights to live in this new world.

Though the story leaves the reader in a safe place, not a cliffhanger, I feel the need to read the next and see what happens now that they have settled. My e-library had this one but not the next so I requested they get it.

It must be nice for black readers to have stories that reflect them. I’m not black but I would love to see diversity more often. As much as I am loving seeing female authors writing strong female characters, let’s see more of the female experience in other races and experiences. Maybe our future generations of people will have books written from all points of view encouraging the reading experience by all society! I’d love to read more about women who are in their sixties and seventies and older! Let’s make sure everyone gets to see the world from characters like them!

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If you read the above you will notice I used the prompt word ‘social’ a couple times. I was going to do two separate posts but computer issues prevented it. So this is a combo of Review and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

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Against the Current (Zombies! #2)Against the Current by R.S. Merritt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the second book that was also on Kindle Unlimited. I enjoyed it as much as the first, maybe more as there were fewer mistakes. Starting a sentence with Him is never a good idea unless you’re baby-talking with an infant. And only if you don’t care how that child learns to talk. Luckily that only happened at the end of the book so I managed to actually enjoy the story more.

As one can’t really predict who might die or live in the Zombie Apocalypse, I will try not to take offense at who died and who didn’t. I certainly won’t give spoilers, as much as I wish I could.

My biggest problem is the cliffhanger. Truly I think this would be a better book if sold all as one. I’m not at all thrilled to wait until the next is written. Even if it is free I don’t want to read it. I will assume the right people survive and all becomes good in the world after.

This is not to say that others wouldn’t love these two books. There is enough to make the reader engage and hope for the best. The characters are nicely developed and one wishes them all a good life!

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We Witches Three Books 1-6We Witches Three Books 1-6 by Humphrey Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m pretty sure I’ve read these books before, at least the first three or four. I can’t find my review anywhere. I think I felt the same thing for the books then as now. There are aspects of the story I like. Witches and librarians (bookstore owner). The things I hate are too many males overpowering in any way the females. There are too many brothers trying to hold down the young witch. Plus a vampire who feels he should protect her. Then a jealous boyfriend. And that teen angst. UGH! Does he love me? What if I do this will he still love me? What garbage. Books should teach girls to be strong in their own individualism.

Don’t get me wrong. I stayed with it and kept reading. There is enough going on that the reader gets into the tension of what will happen next. And this six-book combo was free on Kindle Unlimited. So I went with it.

One last thing I HATE is cliff-hangers! I would have just left it at that had the next set of books cost even a penny. But it was also free on Kindle Unlimited. But I have a ton of books to read before I can get around to it.

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The Payback Letters (Payback Society Book 2)The Payback Letters by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Gladly. I have loved every book Cidney Swanson has written. I always admit that my favorites were the Saving Mars series. But the time travels, and Ripplers and now the Paybacks have been a delight to read, also.

Cidney has characters that are believable, relatable, even when they seem to be well to do, and going to a rich-kid boarding school. BUT this brain got confused in this book. So a warning: Clair is the main character of the first book and Fiona is of this second book. What kept confusing me (or unconfusing) were that I remembered that Clair’s parents were dead and her brother had helped in significant ways. Fiona’s aunt keeps referring to her parents helping with tuition and her brother being dead. I am horrid at remembering names But relatively good at recognizing certain aspects of a story. I had to go to the book blurbs to understand where I was getting confused. If you read book one, you remember poor Fiona going with the horrid Sly. That should lead you down the trail of the story Ms. Swanson has present us.

After I understood who the star was, I think I love her more than Clair. Yeah, she gets a little gah-gah about a guy, but in the long run, I was rooting for them as much as for Fiona’s future.

Since the Payback series is separate from Ms. Swanson’s other books, you can pick them up and enjoy them now without reading everything else. That said, I hope you read the rest, eventually, as they are all fun adventures. I wish I had someone writing these kinds of books when I was a teen.

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SmilodonSmilodon by Alan Nayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My husband seemed really excited about a book he was reading. He even brought it into the living room with his headset while I was watching some show. He doesn’t usually read during the day. He is usually on the computer during the day. So I asked him about the book. It sounded exciting. I was able to borrow it on Kindle.

He was right it was right. It was exciting.

Anyone who reads my reviews know I am on a mission to read mostly female authors with strong female characters. After all, I spent my first sixty years like most people, reading mostly male authors and male characters. This book didn’t fit my new goal. But my husband convinced me that is was intriguing. So I couldn’t resist.

I have to admit that the first few chapters were boring. It was male heavy. And the only females were eye-candy. The main female (secondary character) was the ranger in charge but was seldom given her due of being in charge.

Beyond those complaints, the Smilodon part of the story was exciting. Imagine a creature that big that takes over a park! I don’t want to give any spoilers. It is well worth the read, but maybe not at night. It was hard to sleep after!

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London Holiday (Americans Abroad, #5)London Holiday by Miranda MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little book! Need a beach read or a nod to fairy tales with a twist? This is it. Though it was a little predictable, I still couldn’t go to sleep until 3:00 in the morning as I wanted to see what would happen.

In our crazy cyber-gossipy world, a princess and a journalist fall in love, quite by accident. Fun and adventure happen, lots of London is explored.

Beyond these words, I am afraid I will ruin your discovery of this gem if I tell you more. This book was just a lightweight read to fill the moments between heavier books. I probably won’t read it again but I am now a fan of this author and will read more by her. Enjoy!

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The Victory GardenThe Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I’ve read this story before. I know I haven’t. Though I enjoyed it, I found it trite. Again, don’t take this as a dismissal. There are many good qualities here. Young women should read books that speak to women in history. It’s good to see how far we’ve not come while learning what has improved.I

While I can’t rate this five stars, which means I will always remember it and may read it again, it does come up to maybe a 4.5. It was well written. It kept me interested, I wanted to know what happened next.

I love reading stories like this. Women during the world wars and how they had to do the men’s jobs. How stories of witches and unplanned pregnancies could cause gossip but not as often as peacetime.

So, please if you want a good read. Pick this one up. It is free of you have Kindle Unlimited.

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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African ChildhoodDon’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Look, I didn’t hate it. It obviously kept my interest until that mild end. Yet, I just didn’t get into it like others I see in the reviews.

As I have said on reviews of other biographies/autobiographies, I don’t feel I can stand in judgment of another’s life and the viewpoints of their life. And this book was another example of a person’s life and perspective.

One of the things I like was the language the author used as she grew up. It was a bit confusing at first, especially on text-to-speech to hear the immature language of the author as a toddler mixed with the language of her area. And as she grew the language grew along with the history and cultural colloquialisms.

I was struck by how normal the author perceived it was to live in war zones or areas of gang wars. I know that must be how it is for anyone in these kinds of situations. That is their ‘normal’. So this was an educational piece for me.

Still, I find I am glad to move on to other books now. Thank you for recommending this to me. I hope everyone likes it better than I did.

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Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)Planetfall by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darn cliffhangers! I cannot wait until the library can get book two onto my Kindle Fire! That is the only reason I rated it four stars.

If you are a sci-fi fan like me, especially the kind that include space travel or new planets, you’ll love it, too. One of my friends recommended this to me and she is not wrong, this is my kind of book!

Ren is the main character. She has some personal issues but tries to stay professional. We aren’t sure what causes her to be the way she is. But we like her and follow her life on this planet. Other characters aren’t nearly as developed but don’t need to be. There are a couple of them that are not as nice or are too pushy but, hey, in any group of people there are going to be individuals who are not as accessible.

The science used in this book was fascinating. It all seems not only plausible but necessary if we are ever to explore other worlds.

What isn’t often explored in sci-fi are mental issues and how that could affect all on a new planet. And mental issues may not be there at the beginning when being processed towards being an astronaut but that doesn’t mean that issues won’t come about later to trigger individuals.

I love how issues like anxiety and depression and even hoarding are brought up. As we all know, the patient is the one that has to ask for help for help to be most effective. I seem to be making this sound clinical, it isn’t. It is exciting and kept me up reading far longer than I should. The excitement of a new planet and flora and fauna never seen before kept my interest until nearly sunrise a couple of nights.

I highly recommend this book. And as I said, I can’t wait for the next book to become available.

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Pulse (Pulse Effex #1)Pulse by L.R. Burkard
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What if a solar EMP hit and all electronics, even in cars and landline phones stopped working and it was in the middle of one of our coldest winters? Good plot premise.

Three teen girls from the same clique at school can’t get to each other or school. Written in their points of view in their journals, first person. And not too much teen romantic angst.

Sounds like my kind of book.

If it had stayed with the above status I would have loved it.

It was a political anti-everyone that isn’t them propaganda. Gun carrying prolifers–only ours, no one else’s counts. Judgemental as all get out.

I believe the best Christians are humble and caring for others. No matter whether they think or look like me or not. ‘We are all made in the image of God.’ ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The christians in this book represent a lot of people who pick and choose which verses to preach believing it makes them more holy.

Stepping off my soapbox now. There were plenty of different scenarios in how folks are dealing with this new world. In real life right now, we are going through a very cold snowy winter so a lot is believable.

Hunger is the first and biggest problem in this story as there are no stores or ways to get food. As abhorrent as a lot of the book is, the writing is good and I didn’t throw it across the room because there are all kinds of people in this world and this story is from one kind of view.

Which is why I felt shooting that many people, thinking they were in the right and others who were hungry were wrong… was wrong.

What would I do if I lived through the situation our main characters were in? Is there a way as we prepare for such as this that we try to share our abundance. As we prepare we have to remember that our case of food is kept in our car or home and the catastrophe is an earthquake, volcano, or fire and that case of food is destroyed. When we are prepared but but end up the hungry ones, how would we like to be treated? I have rarely missed a meal. I can’t imagine being that cold, tired, and hungry.

Regardless of politics, I’m glad I read it. I won’t bother with the rest of the series. There are a lot better sci-fi’s to see the post-apocalypse through a more open-minded prep and love.

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