transmission
23Jul/17Off

oceanographer?

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop

Annie Darling

I received this book for review from Netgalley.
Verity runs admin for the Lonely Hearts Bookshop. An introvert dreamer with a bad break up behind her she's invented a fake boyfriend to stop the well meaning interventions of her friends into her dating life. Nearly caught out in her lie she relies on the kindness of a stranger to divert her friends. Turns of the stranger thinks the idea of fake dating is a great one and proposes they be each others fake dates for the summer.
Fun book that was total catnip for me. As I've said before the 'fake dating' trope just works for me. The lead character is easy to root for and the world around the leads is well drawn. The only thing that spoils it is just how dumb the lead male is about his 'one true love'. I could get it if she was a decent human but she's just spoilt and awful.

Rating: B

23Mar/17Off

na?

Hold Me

Courtney Miilan

A very enjoyable slice of contemporary romance that basically does the whole 'Shop Around The Corner/You've Got Mail' plot with Physicists and science bloggers.
Unusually among the romance novels I've read this one has a very diverse cast none of whom are defined solely by their ethnicity, identity or whatever.
I much preferred it to the first in this series.

Rating: B

30Nov/16Off

raptor?

How To Save The World

Lexie Dunne

The latest in Dunne's superhero series finds our protagonist estranged from the Davenport corporation and attempting to go back to her normal life. Of course a crazed supervillain puts a spanner in the works...
This one is clearly designed to take the premise of the series into a direction that can continue for more volumes. It's still entertaining and well worth your time but just that little bit less satisfying than the previous volume.

Rating: B

29Nov/16Off

luxury?

Supervillains Anonymous

Lexie Dunne

In super-max supervillain prison after the events of the previous novel our heroine finds herself caught up in plot masterminded by one of the greatest supervillains of them all.
This one is just as much fun as the first book in the series with the added bonus of an actual ending with a resolution and everything.

Rating: B+

28Nov/16Off

mobium?

Superheroes Anonymous

Lexie Dunne

This is a highly enjoyable contemporary superhero tale about Hostage Girl (that is - the girl always kidnapped by the supervillains) when she's kidnapped and ends up with superpowers of her own.
Great characters, moves a great pace and it draws you right in. The only problem is the cliffhanger ending. I'm docking a half point for that one.

Rating: B

13Nov/16Off

gribeau?

Maskerade

Terry Pratchett

maskerade-1This book from the Witches sequence is a parody of The Phantom of the Opera - both the original novel and Lloyd Webber's blockbuster musical. As you may know the original West End Phantom was played by Michael Crawford. His big breakthrough in the UK was playing the hapless boy-man Frank Spencer. One of the characters in this book is basically Frank Spencer but from Ankh-Morpork.
This is middling Discworld. It's still very entertaining but doesn't hit the astonishing heights of the best of the series.
Obviously I'd still highly recommend that - if you haven't already - get started reading the complete Discworld as soon as you can. As I've said before on this blog and elsewhere - no writer has informed my thinking in the same way as Pratchett has and I laughed my head off at the same time.

Rating: B

28Jul/16Off

banned?

One Con Glory

Sarah Kuhn

one con gloryGeek culture journalist Julie attends a comic-con with two purposes in mind.
The first to interview one of the stars of comicbook based TV show without insulting him...
The second is to win at auction the rare action figure of her all-time favourite superhero Glory Gilmore.
Needless to say this plan doesn't run as smoothly as she'd like.
This is a thoroughly entertaining novella even if everything that happens is entirely predictable.

Rating: B

29Feb/16Off

sundry?

You're Never Weird On The Internet (almost)

Felicia Day

you're never weird on the internetFelicia Day is an American actress most famous for roles in various SF and Fantasy TV shows. She was in Buffy, Eureka and Supernatural among others.
She has a dedicated fanbase for her own shows produced for the web. Her show The Guild was a pioneer web series.
This is her autobiography. It goes into great and sometimes funny detail about her home schooled childhood and years at college. There's very little about her work on TV and film but lots of information about The Guild and Geek & Sundry (her YouTube channel/production company). I would have liked to have read her thoughts on what it's like to work with Genre TV alumni like Joss Whedon.
The most welcome part of the book is the section on her struggles with anxiety and depression.
I have to say this is not a book where the author uses autobiography to exorcize their demons. It's a quick read where Ms Day often reaches for the joke rather than the truth of the moment.
I picked it up for £3. I wouldn't recommend paying more than that for it.

Rating: B

20Oct/15Off

sterling?

First & Then

Emma Mills

First & ThenThe first novel by Emma Mills is a high school set tale of families, friendships, loves and finding yourself.
Ms Mills is better known to me as the vlogger elmify. Her videos are usually sweet, goofy but always underpinned by her enormous smarts.
The book also matches that pattern.
The book feels like it takes place in a recognizably real world filled with real people. Lead characters Devon and Foster are particularly well drawn.
However, there's just something about this book that never quite sparks into life. For all their reality I never felt invested in the character's lives.
It's still worth reading and I expect better books to come from her over the years.

Rating: B

20Apr/15Off

cyberbully?

A Midsummer's Nightmare

Kody Keplinger

midsummers nightmareAfter reading The DUFF I discovered that Keplinger had other novels set in the same town and as I was interested to see if anything about the DUFF characters cropped up I picked up this one to read.
The lead character of this book is a teenage girl called Whitley.
She's looking forward to escaping her embittered mother for a summer of booze and beach side lounging with her semi-famous anchorman father. When he picks her up at the airport she discovers that he's getting remarried and she's staying with his fiancee and his two kids. One of whom is a guy she had a one night stand with at the end of the school year.
Whitley is an unhappy, lonely, screwed up kid. She takes her frustrations and pain out on everyone around her and it gets her in a lot of trouble.
This book is easily as well written as The DUFF and it was nice to see some of those characters again if only for a few paragraphs but I found Whitley a hard character to relate to or sympathize with. That's probably because I'm a long way past my personal teenage angst (all my angst is middle-aged thank you very much).
It's worth reading but there's nothing outstanding or especially memorable about it.

Rating: B