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Zomblog by TW Brown

Zomblog was free when I downloaded it, but is now listed at $3.99

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Halfway Point (Rant)

Sometimes a book just isn’t worth the time and effort it takes to read it.  Case in point:  Last Legends of Earth.  And no, it doesn’t warrant a link.  It’s one of my (if not the) most loathed of books I have read.

With free books it’s very much hit-or-miss.  Sometimes it’s a good idea, badly executed.  Sometimes it’s a boring idea but great writing.  Sometimes, sadly, it’s neither.  Sometimes it’s just a dud of a book.

At what point, then, is a book no longer worth the time it takes to read it?  Halfway in?  Less?  When do you review these books, and more to the point, how can you?  If you haven’t slogged it out to the very end, how can you justify a review?

There’s really no point to this except to whine.  I’m in the middle of two books (Congregation and the other one) and it’s hard to feel interested in either of them.  Indifferent characters, writing and plot … or maybe it’s just my mood, today, where the only books that I want to read are the ones packed up in boxes.

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Clumsy is not a personality! (Rant)

I just did a review on UnEnchanted, one of many Twilight inspired books – and certainly better written than it’s muse.  However … it has one glaring flaw, a flaw that sets my teeth on edge.

Clumsy is not a personality!

Neither is:  Laughing at jokes, drinking tea, eating cereal for breakfast, or sitting in chairs.  It’s female authors who seem to be the most blind when it comes to this problem.  I don’t know why they feel obligated to do this to their own gender.

Take your main character (a girl) and make her unpopular … but wait!  She’s still stunningly beautiful and no less than two or three jaw-droppingly gorgeous guys want to have her … and then, lacking any other personality trait … make her clumsy.

If a male author did this to a female character we’d comment on his misogyny.  So why do female authors think they can get away with it?  And if they honestly don’t care enough to give their characters a personality, can they at least switch it up?  Maybe instead of being clumsy she’s fond of wearing shoes only every other day?  Or she gets hiccups all the time?  Oh, how about she has black hair.  That’s a personality, right?

Have a little respect for yourself, your characters, and your readers, female authors.  Give your heroines personality traits that are personality traits, at least, and not comedic defects.  Even Heinlein managed that.  (See Podkayne of Mars for a girl with a personality written by a true misogynist.)

Just because every cartoon you watched as a kid had only one girl character per show (whose personality was “Girl”) doesn’t mean you have to enforce this stereotype to the next generation.  Don’t be afraid to write strong, compelling and even – heaven forbid – normal, un-clumsy girls.

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What’s in a review?

Reviewers use different means of rating their books.  Stars, hearts, thumbs, knees and elbows, even smilies.  For myself, my rating system is a bit less (okay, a lot less) organized.

If I like a book it’s either okay, good, fun, worth a read, or great.

If I don’t like a book it’s either okay, bad, horrible, terrible, or worthless.

For me, the true test of a book comes to three questions:  Would I read it again?  Would I recommend it?  Would I keep it?

I’ll read just about anything once.  Reading it twice means there was something a little extra to the book that stuck in my head, something that brought me back to it.  It might be as little as liking a name, or how an author described something.  Who knows?  Just that little spark of something extra.

However, just because I’ll read something doesn’t mean I think it’s worth inflicting on other people.  If it’s a book worth sharing, I’ll share.  More rare, unfortunately, is a book that has to be shared even if the other person has no interest in the genre or author simply because it’s that good.

And then there’s the question of keep or not to keep.  I’m easy going about keeping books and even easier about donating them to the library or good will.  If it’s not worth keeping, it’s not necessarily that the book was bad.  It just wasn’t good enough.

Maybe I should switch to stars … that made no sense at all, did it?

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Free, free, free!

For Christmas I was given a Kindle Fire, and like many new owners I immediately rushed to Amazon in search of shiny new books to fill it with.  Two problems soon became apparent.  Ebooks are expensive!  Many times the ebook I want to download is more expensive than simply buying it in paperback; sometimes it’s more expensive than buying it in hardback!

Add to that some of the books I need new copies of (since my paperbacks are disintegrating from use) like the Demon Of Undoing or the Pride Of Chanur simply aren’t available.

So, I turned to the vast selection of free books.

So many, many free books.  And I have zero restraint when it comes to books.  In order to make myself read each and every one of the several hundred free books I seem to have downloaded, I’m going to review them and record them here, where no one will ever find them.

So, here we go:  My first review will be Drag0nchaser by Tim Stretton.

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