68 Following


Reclusive Duck Woman. Artist. Writer. GR Refugee.

Currently reading

Popular Magic: Cunning-folk in English History
Owen Davies
Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
Graham Hancock, Rick Strassman, Roy Watling
When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World
Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, Stanley Schachter
Madame Tussaud: and the History of Waxworks
Pamela M. Pilbeam

Great World Mythology

The 12th Planet (Earth Chronicles 1) - Zecharia Sitchin

The world mythology aspects to this book were great, and in itself make this worth reading.


I suppose the scenario is plausible, although I have misgivings about certain aspects, including the technology, and the possible cause of the Deluge. All in all this was a fun book to read, but if Sitchin was correct, it would only mean that the bible, and all the world mythologies and gods and goddesses, were not really divinely inspired after all, nor were these beings ever well intended in regards to our well being. I suppose that fits with all the smiting, seductions, angels of wrath, wars, exclusivity etc, that saturate religions and faiths.

An original and unusual story

Pantomime - Laura Lam

4.5 stars. Thank goodness there is a sequel coming! I would have been terribly disappointed if it hadn't been the case. 

I loved the protagonist. The world building was wonderful. An original and unusual story.

I do agree that the blurb is misleading. I suspect the decision was made in order to make it appear more of a mainstream book, but it is anything but a YA romance. 

So, a year to wait. I'm sure it will be worth it! 

R U Serious GR?

Reblogged from Derrolyn Anderson:

Poe say no.


Reblogged from Derrolyn Anderson

Some Advice From IT Professionals on How to Handle the Latest Goodreads Shenanigans

Reblogged from Tracy's Stay in Midian:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband is a programmer. He works for an international company with a high bar for its IT staff. 


I ran GR's latest nonsense--their claim that Booklikes is causing Goodreads content to be deleted--past him, and the verdict is that this is actually probably GR's fault. More than likely is has to do with flaws in their API code that are more like security holes than features. Other sites should never be able to delete GR user content. The fact that it may have somehow happened indicates that the blame lies with Goodreads, and they're trying to use Booklikes as a scapegoat.


My husband also ran this past his colleagues, who agreed that there's only one way to handle this:


Run. Pack up your shit and get the hell out of dodge, because Goodreads is not a site you can trust. Their API code is a mess and they're trying to blame it on someone else so they don't have to take responsibility for exposing their user base to potential security breaches. The best thing you can do for yourself is jump ship.


I'm appalled at Goodreads' behavior. Their lack of professionalism and unwillingness to take responsibility for their mistakes is horrifying. They're a shit snowball rolling down a hill and with each new fuck up, the mess gets uglier and uglier. Find a place that respects you as a user, a place that doesn't try to censor you and doesn't think you're an idiot who can't see through their bullshit. That place is not Goodreads. 


Reblogged from Tracy's Stay in Midian who reblogged from Thalia @ Pictures in the Words

War Declared: Goodreads vs. BookLikes, Or how Goliath beats on David

Reblogged from Literary Ames:

Yesterday Goodreads threw the first punch, simultaneously insulting their users' intelligence. They announced BookLikes was responsible for reviews deleted that were not targeted as part of their new policy. And yet, in Kara's following comments, she admits there is also a bug deleting reviews.


(Click to see the thread in which these posts were made)


Read more


Reblogged from Literary Ames

Source: http://amyorames.booklikes.com/post/579878/war-declared-goodreads-vs-booklikes-or-how-goliath-beats-on-david

Some Authors are Impossible to please, OR I don't do free publicity, I write reviews

I know that most, if not all, the troubles on Goodreads arose from authors responding to negative reviews which then caused some reviewers to answer back and here we go, here we go again, but even if that didn't happen, is it ever possible to please authors?


From this site,


[I] try to determine why a person who is supposedly my friend gave me four stars when they should obviously give me five. Are they just pretending to like me? 


Objecting to 4 stars! That is a really good rating. 


From the same author, 


Then I curse people who gave my book a bad rating and yet say they didn't finish it. 


They didn't finish it because they didn't enjoy it. Doesn't this author ever think that a book looked interesting but it didn't live up to it's promise. And what does she mean by a 'bad rating' since she objects to even 4-stars?  Do authors not realise that low ratings (1 and 2 stars) give credibility to the 4 and 5 star ones?  They stop them looking like puffery and mean that some people enjoyed the book and others didn't.



Another author who had just published a new book, 


...seeing its value reduced to a 3.925, or whatever rating I'll find myself having this time, is not something I'm looking forward to.


That is a really high average. I have a bookshop, I look for books with an average of 3.6 to 4.4. Anything less I will consider if it looks interesting or only has a few reviews. Anything more than 4.4 and it doesn't have a lot of reviews, it's probably the author, other SPAs, friends and family, nothing objective, so I don't buy it.

read more »

Castle Can't (Get it????)

Reblogged from Ceridwen:
The Secret of Castle Cant - K.P. Bath

Cross-posted on Soapboxing.net

Look, I know everyone is sick of talking about the new moratorium on writing book reviews about "author behavior" here on Goodreads - dudes, that was so last week - but I'm not. I'm still pissed as hell. 

Last week I compiled a database the book reviews Goodreads deleted from 13 of the 21 people affected by the "policy change". (And in your link-whoring department, full analysis of the deletions here.) Two of the users had reviews from this book deleted. Here is a screencap of one of the deleted reviews, because while Goodreads can delete something, Google cache is forever:

This book was written by a convicted pedophile. 'nuf said.

K.P. Bath was convicted of owning child pornography and sentenced to 6 years in prison. And it is 'nuf said. This children's book was written by a pedophile. Please tell me how this "author behavior" doesn't have a direct bearing on the content. 

I'm not going to link to the dozens of reviews that note this fact and nothing else, but they are still up on Goodreads. You know why? Because this policy about author behavior is complete bollocks. This "policy change" was a witch hunt, pure and simple. 21 people had their reviews deleted because the management at Goodreads didn't like them personally.

21 people. 

I aim for 22. 



Reblogged from Ceridwen

Middle Book Syndrome

Unwind - Neal Shusterman UnWholly - Neal Shusterman UnSouled (Unwind, #3) - Neal Shusterman The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins Feed - Mira Grant Deadline - Mira Grant Blackout  - Mira Grant

Last year I embarked upon three new book series, each beginning with an exciting, well written novel, each losing my interest by book two. The series in question were:


The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman, comprising of Unwind, Unholy, and yet to be released Unsouled and Undivided.


The Hunger Games, a trilogy by Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.


The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant: Feed, Deadline and Blackout.


I began to think of it as the middle book syndrome. I wondered what caused my interest to suddenly wane. Clearly the premise wasn't strong enough to ensure my continued interest, despite the fact that the first novel in each series was exceptional-- a five (or six) star read. 


So I finally came to the conclusion that the problem with each of these series was that the first novel WAS the series. No need for more. In fact, further books diluted the strength of the first.


Unwind, The Hunger Games and Feed, had strong, deeply resonating story lines. Sure, readers like to continue on with the world, and the characters, but if the main thrust of the story is told, then why drag threads of that original plot into follow on books?


It's true that not everything was wrapped up by the closure of each of these books. Threads carried over. But I suspect that they COULD have, and MAY have (in the author's original manuscript) but for some reason, a decision was made to make it into a series, rather than a stand alone novel.


OK, I know this blog rambles, but hoping my idea is coming across anyway.


I'm interested in what others think of the middle book syndrome...






The Enemy Series by Charlie Higson

The Enemy (The Enemy #1) - Charlie Higson The Dead - Charlie Higson The Fear - Charlie Higson The Sacrifice - Charlie Higson The Fallen - Charlie Higson

Book 1: The Enemy

4 stars.


Fast paced. Fun. Gory, and truly sickening in places. Great characters, with realistic reactions to the disintegration of the world around them.



Book 2: The Dead

4 stars.



Book 3: The Fear

2 stars. 


So why have I rated this book 2 stars, and the preceding two, both 4 stars? Quite frankly, they are becoming depressing. It's all fine and well keeping things dark and dramatic, but readers need some resolution, or progress to be made in each and every book, not just at the end of the series. It doesn't necessarily have to be a HEA, but some hope that things could eventually get better. 

I felt that the author's motto was: if in doubt, kill them off. So much so, that I no longer wish to connect with the characters. I know full well that they will get eaten, bashed or shot by accident, develop a terrible infection, and ultimately die. And with the fourth book entitled The Sacrifice, I'm pretty sure it's only going to get grimmer. Also, after heaping death upon death, the author left us with a nasty cliff hanger. 

I also found myself skimming through the zombie attacks. There is only so much tearing and rending I can read, before it gets to be same old. Now this is going to be a seven book series! Who's going to be left to carry on the story? Will he just introduce a new cast to kill off? I'm a stubborn thing, so I've just started book four, but if it's like book three, I won't bother reading the next three books when they are released. 


Book 4: The Sacrifice

4 stars


Glad the threads start to tie together in this book. Not so many main characters hacked off either. Interesting ideas becoming clearer. I can see the possibility of hope, in amongst the horror and gore. I will continue on with the series when the other books are released.


Book 5: The Fallen


Charlie Higson I hate you. You are one sadistic bastard. I can't believe you left me there, at that point. :/ You know I can't opt out of this series now that I'm so far in.  I don't trust you at all. I'm extremely suspicious about who you will choose to slaughter next, given the set up. The final scene was just sick.


Please hurry up and deliver the next book. And did I mention how much I hate you? 



So far the series is cruising for a four star rating...

[REBLOG] STGRB: They're Spider Crawling Booklikes Blogs

Reblogged from Grimlock ♥ Ultra Magnus:

Last week the STGRB started sending out web spiders (a.k.a. web crawlers) to crawl our new Booklikes blogs.  This was the notification I got from my IP tracking software when they tried to hit mine:

(Click on image to enlarge)

So why are they telling their adoring, but oh-so-clueless, supporters that they are not following us, when they know full well they have set up a database back-end to store our user content, and have web crawlers to capture it?


read more »

[Reblogged] A publisher advises on how to hand-pick and fake friend reviews

Reblogged from The Book Nerd:

1237196This is interesting. On the purchasing of reviews, on making fake friends with hand-picked reviewers on Goodreads in order to get good reviews, on the slagging off of one-star reviews as inadequate etc. It was written by Doris-Maria Heilmann at 111Publishing. That info took a while to track down.

Start making “friends” with reviewers, long before your book is finished: Search on your social media sites for reviewers, reviews, book bloggers, etc. when using the search function on top of Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Google+ pages. At Goodreads, reviewers are listed, so you can conveniently choose them as friends and follow them for a while...

I wish Goodreads appreciated us as much as she does though, 

those readers do not only review books, but post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and the like. On top of that, they often write a blog post about the books they read, which stays there for years to come. They are actually promoting those book reviews to readers and indirectly even to industry decision makers: librarians, booksellers, agents, publishers – like a publicist does it (for money). If compensated it would mean at least a couple of hundred dollars worth, what they provide you for free!

But they don't like honest reviews, only good ones.

I think about an extremely unfair review, a good friend of mine has received from a “Librarian” at Goodreads! She wrote about a book that has amassed more than 90 percent 5-star reviews. The “reviewer wrote: “I tried to like the book, really. But I just can’t.” That’s it, this was the whole review! No description what the book is about, no mentioning of the writing style (excellent!), not about the plot, the characters, nothing. And gave it a 1-star. So much for the quality of reviews…


What she doesn't say is the 5-star reviews were from her friends, family, fellow self-published authors and possibly not one single genuine one among the lot. Just like Jennifer Smith's reviews on her book, Grrr where all 239 stellar ratings were created by people who live in Scranton, PA, joined between 30 Sept and today (yes, she's still at it). They squeal when they get 1 star reviews but expect us to believe all the manipulated 5-star ones. That's popularly known as wanting to have your cake and eat it too. 

The only way to please these authors who are looking for reviews worth "at least a couple of hundred dollars" is to give them a fake 5 star review. They don't care it's fake.

Some authors think that reviewers should take my mother's advice "If you can't say anything nice , don't say anything at all." 

Honesty out of the window, scam us for our $$$ with manipulation of reviews. I am sure those sort of authors are a tiny minority though. The ones I know on GR and in real life (a lot) are with a single real life exception, really straight and credible people.


Reblogged from The Book Nerd who Reblogged from Petra X

Gratuitous deaths and endless running soured the second half of the book

The Knife of Never Letting Go  - Patrick Ness

5 stars for the first half of the book. 1 star for the second. I really, really enjoyed the beginning. Loved the world and characters, especially Manchee. Then, for me, it went downhill. I found the premise that explains the motivation of the pursuing army to be flawed, and flimsy in logic. Gratuitous deaths and endless running soured the second half of the book. I doubt I'll continue the series, but I'll certainly seek out more of this author's work.

The ending became nothing more than one huge battle

Blood Ocean - Weston Ochse

What I liked about this book:

The premise was wonderful and very original. The descriptions of the Pali Boys, the floating city, the factions, the blood rape, and the monkeys *shudders*, were simply fantastic!

What I didn't like: 

The ending became nothing more than one huge battle, which bored me. I'm not saying it could have been averted, but there you have it. My other issue was with who was 'evil' and who wasn't. I didn't like the type-casting of some of the cultural groups, and the clear bias towards others. On the one hand, the message seemed to be that it was what was inside, that mattered, yet there were absolutely no favourable characters among certain cultural groups. This grew more irritating as the book progressed, and lowered my overall enjoyment, and therefore the rating. 

Tasmanian Gothic

The Hunter - Julia Leigh

A classic. Beautifully written, so different, and so much darker than the movie. 

Two quotes to illustrate the beauty of the author's prose:

"Dark here comes quickly. He undresses and slips into his silky cold sleeping bag. Up above, the clouds mask the stars and the moon alone glows like a strange pearl. Somewhere, he thinks, cherishing his last thought before sleep, somewhere, out there, the last tiger stands with her back to the rising wind and slowly shakes herself awake."

"Do tigers dream? he wonders. And this tiger, reputedly the last of her kind, what does she dream of? The scent of a mate? Or does she have the same dream he has or, at least, the only dream that he ever remembers: the running dream, where he is being chased for hours by an unknown foe, where he has to hide in bushes and hold his breath, where the bushes transmogrify and he is forced to run again, where he can't run quickly enough and where, finally, he knows he will be caught and that capture means a blank death, but where - dreams being what they are - the threat of capture dissolves and disappears at the very last moment so that, still sleeping, he knows he has survived and the running dream is over."

Worth Reading

The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness #1) - A.G. Henley

An enjoyable book. Lovely writing. Interesting ideas. The fact that the MC was sightless added an extra dimension. The first half of the book was far stronger than the second. More foreshadowing of key events was needed. There were a few, small plot holes that also needed side-stepping, and a rather annoying love triangle, but all in all, this was a book worth reading. 

The most redeeming character was Argos

The Forest of Hands and Teeth  - Carrie Ryan

Shelving this as dnf at p225 of 310. Therefore no rating given. I found Mary to be extremely irritating, and the love foursome unbearable. The most redeeming character was Argos.