All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) – ★★★★★

All Systems Red

Great, quick read that I didn’t want to put down. Enjoyable humor and strong premise and character development of the titular murderbot. I was disappointed at first by the very last couple pages but then I remembered there’s 6+ other books that it leads into and am a lot less critical of how it wrapped up.

Rating: 5 stars

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Relic (Pendergast #1) – ★★★★½

Relic by Preston and Child

Really enjoyable thriller. Been making my way through Preston and Child’s independent books while waiting for this book to become available at the library. Relic was considerably more interesting and generally better than any of those so looking forward to making way through more of these. Interested to see how Pendergast goes from side character to the namesake of the 20+ book series.

The Agent Coffey character was one of the worst “idiot cop who’s in charge of everything and keeps blowing it for our heroes” trope characters in any media though. Just comically stupid and obnoxiously stubborn.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Mickey 7 by Edward Ashton – ★★★½

Mickey 7

I could have done without the handful of pretty average and vaguely sitcom/rom-com adjacent chapters when the multiple appears early in the last third, but I enjoyed the writing style and dialog of this quite a bit.

This ended up being pretty slight particularly with regards to the conflict/mystery of the planet itself and wrapped up the issue with the multiple quickly and unsatisfyingly, but the premise and execution (pun intended) of the expendable concept in general was really good so I’m interested in seeing where Ashton took this in the sequel. Especially considering because of the decisions Mickey makes at the very end of this.

(I’m also now excited for the Bong Joon-ho/Robert Pattinson movie version Mickey 17 coming out early next year I found out about while writing up this review.)

Rating: 3.5 stars

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Chrysalis (Jeremy Logan, #6) – ★★★½

Chrysalis (Jeremy Logan, #6)

Well after reading six of them I’m still not really sure what exactly a Jeremy Logan book is, but I’m not sure Lincoln Child knows either. They’re at least nice easy reads/listens.

I liked this book pretty well but its another Logan book where Logan doesn’t really do all that much. And does even less enigmatology (hey look that is actually a “real” word after all) related business. The final conclusion was flat out dumb/silly and the epilogue was not much better, but overall it was a mostly solid little tech thriller with not as much mystery or thrills as it should have had.

Despite my complaints, I still overall enjoyed the series and am looking forward to the Child/Preston books coming available via Libby. Hopefully those will be both better and more consistent.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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Review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – ★★½

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

The characters, Sadie in particular, just never seem to get more mature in their thoughts or their actions despite anything that happens in their lives. The constant reappearance of the toxic, abusive character with only cursory mentions of what is often literally sexual assault never really seems as introspective as it should. Of course, Sadie and Sam’s own relationship is equally toxic pretty much throughout.

Just incredibly immature thoughts on relationships, work, video games, and life in general.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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Restarted “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow”

Restarted Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow today and made it back to same point I bounced off the first time.

Three chapters in and I really dislike the book up to this point. College Sadie and the terrible professor is sooooo dumb and his dialog and personality are so transparently awful. I can’t tell at this point if the author Zevin is this clueless about relationships or if Sadie is about to turn into a non awful character any minute.

It doesn’t help how bad the video game stuff is early.

Calling Street Fighter etc “martial arts games” made me cringe. This is also how I feel watching any baseball or football fiction. It must really be hard writing about nerdy details in a way that doesn’t alienate people not intimately familiar with the concepts.

The Codex (by Douglas Preston) – ★★½

The Codex

Ooof. Wasn’t awful but was certainly stilted/poorly written in spots. Not nearly as interesting or in my wheelhouse as the Lincoln Child books I’ve been reading. (Ironically, I’ve been catching up with all these old Preston and Child books while I wait for the first Preston & Child book Relic to be available on Libby.)

I think the voices/accents the reader uses in the audiobook likely made it even worse, but even for a book from 20 years ago this was pretty culturally incompetent. And it saved some of the worst racism for a totally unnecessary final coda that doubled down on bigotry and some of the worst language yet.

I read Preston’s Tyrannosaur Canyon on vacation ages ago and liked it, so despite struggling with this one I’m still eager to reread that and check out the rest of the Wyman Ford books. Hopefully they’re a little more fun and a lot less dated in their perspective.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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Disrupting the Game (by Reggie Fils-Aimé) – ★★½

A relatively thin personal memoir that tried too hard to be a business book and to cover every one of Fils-Aimé professional life events instead of going particularly deep on anything interesting. Considering the name, tagline, and cover art of the book more focus on Nintendo.

The behind the scenes moments with the late Satoru Iwata were the most interesting but Fils-Aimé memoir lacks much real introspection or insight into what was happening at Nintendo during his time there. 200 page book and only 7 pages or so are spent on the failure of the Wii U and the launch of the Switch.

He still seems just as proud of the Bigfoot Pizza as he does of his time at NOA, despite mentioning in the book that the pizza wasn’t very good and had to stop selling it relatively quickly because it was negatively impacting the overall sentiment of Pizza Hut’s pizza. But I guess it was a marketing success and that’s all he cares about?

I definitely already had opinions on hiring sales people as president/CEOs and nothing in this book really dissuaded me of that sentiment.

I only really know Reggie from his E3 stage presentations, and while this book makes him seem like a pretty decent person it also is written as if he thinks he is the smartest person ever and Nintendo would still be making the Ultra Hand and Love Testers if it wasn’t for him. I’m not sure if that’s really how he feels but the way the book is written frequently comes off that way.

I’m probably just not the target demographic for business dude memoirs and should be reading investigative journalism and history books instead of this.

The Third Gate (by Lincoln Child) – ★★★

The Third Gate

First Jeremy Logan book where Jeremy Logan was actually the main character and so far the worst of the series. Both the general premise and the actual events in this book were the weakest so far (IMO), and even worse Logan himself is the least interesting main protagonist. There’s just not a lot of personality or backstory there despite the fact that he at least existed in two previous novels.

Spoiler warning
I found myself rolling my eyes several times at Logan’s statements/beliefs and the entire pseudoscience connection to the ancient world a lot harder to connect with then the good ol’ fashioned ancient aliens or mystical beasts tropes from the first two books. The direction this one took definitely has me a bit worried.

I’m flying through these audiobooks on Libby super fast so unless book 4 falls off a cliff I plan to keep going but hopefully the characters and mysteries of the next books in Child’s series are much stronger.

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