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blackbrokkoli's books

Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient [Paperback] Helen Hoang (Paperback, Corvus) 4 stars

"A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in …

Review of 'The Kiss Quotient [Paperback] Helen Hoang' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

As an erotica, it's ok.

As a book with a neurodivergent protagonist, it's ok.

As an exploration of Asian-American culture, it's ok.

Some icky stuff. Sexual assault is not a peccadillo only to be used as a setup to show how cool your boyfriend is. Boundless jealousy, feeling of ownership and violence fantasies should maybe not just hang around uncommented.

Most of all, I'm interested in the political future of this book. The Kiss Quotient can definitely be read as the "lesbians just need some good dick" spiel applied to ace people. Let's see.

Alastair Reynolds: Blue Remembered Earth (Hardcover, 2012, Orion Publishing Group) 3 stars

BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH is the first volume in a monumental trilogy tracing the Akinya family …

Review of 'Blue Remembered Earth' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I'm surprisingly disappointed by this.

I have the general feeling that Reynolds got lost in researching and implementing sci-fi concepts in incredible detail, at the cost of everything else: Story, characters, dialogue, suspense. Some examples:

The high-level story is a kind of scavenger hunt setup that feels very linear, like a quest in a mid-tier RPG. Without spoiling details, it also seems to turns out to be 100% pointless unless I'm missing something.

The two main characters feel incredibly bland, and while they are supposed to be polar opposites in their personal beliefs, you could literally swap their positions and the book wouldn't change. An even worse offender is Jumai, a side character: She's an high-tech salvage expert, an ex of the male lead, and has a bit of an identity crisis. How is this intriguing setup used? She opens one security door (that may as well have not existed …

Ann Handley: Everybody Writes (Hardcover, 2014, Wiley) 4 stars

Review of 'Everybody Writes' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Does a decent job teaching you what it sets out to teach you.

Definitely has a problem with global coherence, with random chapters that are sometimes surprising, sometimes dull, sometimes outdated and sometimes vague.

In the end, I cannot ignore that the book teaches you to produce more of that vile, pseudo-personal corporate bullshit that the internet is already filled with to the brim .