Reviews and Comments


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Michael Ende: Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer. (German language, 2004) 4 stars

Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (German: Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer) is …

Review of 'Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer.' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Hab das Buch dem mittleren Kind vorgelesen, jeden Abend ein Kapitel und manchmal tagsüber eins. Kannte die ganze Geschichte bislang gar nicht, nur die paar Bruchstücke, an die ich mich aus meiner Kindheit erinnerte. Und das zeigt auch schon, wie Michael Endes Werke Generationen verbinden können und auch über 60 Jahre später noch von Kindern gerne gehört werden. Das Buch selbst fand ich nett. Mitunter wirken Dialoge etwas altbacken, aber zumindest die altmodischen Begriffe gehören auch zum Charme. Die Abenteuer der beiden Freunde werden nie übermäßig spannend und sich auch für kleine Kinder geeignet. Das gruseligste ist Frau Mahlzahn und der Ausflug in die Drachenstadt. Aber auch mit dem Drachen nimmt es, wie mit allem, ein gutes Ende. Wir nehmen uns mit Sicherheit auch noch Die Wilde 13 vor, aber zuerst Die unendliche Geschichte und Momo.

Mit Kirsten Boie aufs Land und mitten hinein ins Abenteuer: Die zwölfjährige Martha und ihre …

Review of 'Ein Sommer in Sommerby' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I read this book to my daughter over the course of a few weeks. We both enjoyed it, as we enjoyed all books from Kirsten Boie so far. The characters feel real and the experiences of the kids do too. Just a lovely book that I can fully recommend.

Eleanor Bardilac: Knochenblumen welken nicht (Paperback, German language, 2021, Knaur Taschenbuch) 3 stars

»Knochenblumen welken nicht« ist ein orgineller und sympathischer Fantasyroman in einem Setting, das an Wien …

Review of 'Knochenblumen welken nicht' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Not for me. Neither the writing, nor the characters were particularly enjoyable. The writing was rather juvenile and the characters didn't quite feel real or deep. This book contains the trope of people with magical abilities being (kind of) oppressed, which I always find silly. People with magic will always rule everybody else or at the very least be an integral part of society, just because of their powers. And if they don't the author doesn't quite understand how reality works. I know, silly to complain about reality in a fantasy setting. I guess it's a pet peeve of mine.

Die siebte Zeugin (Paperback) 2 stars

Review of 'Die siebte Zeugin' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

German court thriller, not exactly a Grisham. Neither the writing nor the story will challenge anyone. But I still enjoyed it, if only for a glimpse on the German legal system. I feel I am more familiar with the US legal system than the German one, which sounds a bit sad. The characters are fine, maybe a bit shallow. Definitely not deep. The relationship between Rocco and Jarmer seems rather forced. But overall I felt the book was OK. If I come across the next one in the library I might pick it up. I definitely won't pay money for it.

Review of 'Oxen. Gefrorene Flammen' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I am finally done with the Niels Oxen trilogy. The last book begins a few months after the events of the second book, with our heroes beaten and isolated by the Danehof. But of course everything changes over the course of the book.

The Niels Oxen books are not the best thrillers out there, but they are fun and somehow feel good reads and sometimes that's just what you need.

Charles Sheffield: Between the strokes of night (2002, Baen, Distributed by Simon & Schuster) 3 stars

Review of 'Between the strokes of night' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I first read this book in the early nineties, when I was just old enough to participate in the world games in the book and it left quite an impression. It was one of the first more serious SF books I read, before that it was mainly the Shadowrun and Battletech novelizations. Most of the other SF books I read at that time left quite an impression, as did this one. On a re-read 30 years later it still mostly holds up. I would classify this as YA lit and I think it could get a movie trilogy like Divergent or Maze Runner, as the general setup is quite similar. Nonetheless I still enjoyed the book.

Review of 'Oxen. Das erste Opfer' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Another random find in the library. I enjoyed this very much. The only irritating thing, really, was the fixation on dogs, which was somewhat odd. Apart from that a really fun book. Secret societies, conspiracies, likeable characters, action... Just a lovely mix of all that. I am angry because the library is closed today and I have to wait until tomorrow before I can pick up the next two books. Highly recommended if you enjoy the keywords I mentioned.

Wolfgang Hohlbein: Charity (Paperback, German language, 1989, Bastei Lübbe) 3 stars

Am 4. März 1998 geschieht das Unglaubliche: An den Grenzen des Sonnensystems taucht ein außerirdisches …

Review of 'Charity' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Oh man. This must've been my fourth or fifth time through this book. I was crazy about this series about 30 years ago. Even then I realized that it wasn't exactly high literature. Today I'll describe it as pure pulp. The story could definitely be more, but Hohlbein is Hohlbein. I think as a teen it was easier to gloss over the really bad parts, fill in the gaps. I can still see the potential of the story, but reading this trash is so much harder. I won't recommend this for anyone over 20 or even just slightly sophisticated teenagers (which I apparently wasn't).

Sixteen years before Democratic Senator Bruce Jansen was elected president of the United States, a …

Review of 'The Washington decree' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I picked this up, because the scenario sounded grand and I love me a good conspiracy thriller. Overall I enjoyed the book, although it definitely isn't perfect. The editing could've been tighter, like other reviewers I think the book could be about a third shorter. There are other flaws as well, but it's still an enjoyable read. I read the German translation, so I can't speak about American v. British English problems. Recommended if you like conspiracies on a grand scale.

Review of 'Der Panther: Julia Durants neuer Fall (Julia Durant ermittelt, Band 19)' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

My first Durant book. A nice police procedural. Too much personal crap from the investigators, I prefer if the investigation is the only focus. But the story was still entertaining. I noticed a few clunky parts, where the author decided to let someone jump to a helpful conclusion or where the fate of characters was just never mentioned again. I might pick up other books from this author.

Harlan Coben: Six Years (Hardcover, 2013, Dutton) 3 stars

Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry …

Review of 'Six Years' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Picked it up from the library because it seemed nice and short and it was. The story is nothing new, but I enjoyed the writing, which didn't take itself too seriously. A fun, little read with some action and drama that you can finish in an hour or two.

Arno Strobel: Mörderfinder (Paperback, German language, 2021, FISCHER) 3 stars

Review of 'Mörderfinder' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

What a dumb book. My goodness. Very simplistic and dangerous worldview, where those damn laws and procedures keep the police from catching the bad guys. And then I got the book where it's about child abuse. Ugh. The author's handling of the awful topic is distasteful and just plain bad. Definitely recommending to stay away from this book and probably the author.

Review of 'Violas Versteck' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The final entry in the Tom Babylon series. I skipped the third one, at least for now, but that wasn't a problem. I enjoyed the book very much. Sita's chapters were quite painful to read and I feel that real people would not be able to shrug off trauma as easily as fictional characters. But that's why it's fiction. If you read the previous books, definitely pick this up.

Joel Shepherd: Renegade (2016, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) 4 stars

Review of 'Renegade' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I haven't read sci-fi in a good while and this came across as a fun, light read and it was indeed. It's military sci-fi and a mix between hard and soft. The actual science of being and moving in space plays a role, but only to a certain degree. The mechanism behind FTL travel, for example, is never examined. Which is completely fine for me, but I know some people want that.

As for the story, it's not the greatest thing ever and some things you just have to swallow and move on. I like the characters, I feel there is some growth and I will definitely continue the series.