Reviews: 7/1-7/15

No, you didn’t skip a page.  It’s been almost a month since I last did reviews, but I was in the middle of a reading slump, so bear with me. There’s not a lot of books (these were spread out by weeks), but I’m going to review them the best I remember them.

Broken Ice
by Matt Goldman

The second in the Nils Shapiro series, and it’s just as good as his first, Gone to Dust. Broken Ice is about a missing girl, a dead girl, and two arrow murders. Our hero Nils gets shot with an arrow in the first or second chapter, so you know things are going down fast in this book. It’s really readable, with likable characters and a solid mystery (or two, as it turns out). I definitely recommend it. It can be read as a standalone, but it does make mention of the previous book (no spoilers, though).

Ask a Manager
by Alison Green

This was a very informative, and sometimes funny, book. I definitely recommend it to have on hand if you work in an office, because it gives very good tips on how to navigate an office job with bosses and coworkers. It covers a wide variety of topics, from how to get along with your boss, how to ask for a raise, to how to get along with coworkers, and even how to get along in interviews.

Over the Garden Wall Vol. 4

Our quest for the dread Pirate Croaker continues. We’ve found the Hero Frog, but something suspicious is happening. But Greg and Jason Funderburker (the frog) are on the case! Meanwhile, Wirt and Sarah are on the trail of a shapeshifter who steals candy. It all culminates in a wild ending I won’t spoil for you.

This series is unfathomably adorable and I definitely recommend it to fans of the show.

Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity
by Arlene Stein

I have a lot of opinions on this book, so be prepared. First, the good. It follows several trans men and one woman (though it spends almost no time talking to her, so) getting top surgery. It does a good job explaining to the layman what top surgery is about and how these different men came to be there to get it. And here’s where we get to the bad.

Arlene Stein is a cis lesbian. She really has no business writing a book about trans men, especially when she frequently undermines them by asking if they’d “would have been butch lesbians 20 years ago”. No, because they’re men. Lesbians do this a lot to trans men, acting as though we’re “taking away” lesbians by… somehow convincing them to be men, instead of just being men to begin with. She talks about one man who gains passing privilege (she claims gaining cis white male privilege), without acknowledging that that privilege is solely dependent on “passing” as a cis man, something which can be lost in an instant the moment someone learns you’re trans.

While she admits at the very end of the book that she brought her own judgements to her writing this, she claims that she learned better. However, there’s enough in the way she talks about trans men that makes us seem like some sort of inversion to the natural order. Clearly, objectivity is not her strong suit. Fucking TERF.

Neverworld Wake
by Marisha Pessl

Moving on to a good book, now, we reach Neverworld Wake, a book about five teenagers who become stuck in time following a car crash. They must solve the mystery surrounding the death of their other friend to escape the Wake. But only one can survive.

This was a quick read that made me keep reading to finish it in a day. The pacing was just right and the story itself was worth diving into. The repetition of the same day was a fascinating device, which kind of asked the question of what you would do if you kept living the same day over and over with no consequences. The pursuit of the mystery was a solid journey that revealed secrets about everyone, even people you thought were innocent. Also, there’s a fictitious book mentioned in the story that I so want to read, it’s not even funny. I definitely recommend this for a quick, fun read.

by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

Awakened is a fast-paced horror adventure that I ended up so caught up in, I legitimately forgot about time and what I was doing while reading it. It starts with a train pulling up to a new underwater platform with its car covered in blood. It then escalates to a global conspiracy and a fight for survival against a race of unspeakable creatures.

I’m going to spoil something now, so stick forks in your eyes if you want to avoid that.

The scene with the “ultimate” baddie was so out of place, I started laughing. It was so packed full of Bond-like villain clichés that it legitimately lost out on its impact. I mean, kill your most loyal to test your third in command for no other reason than because you can? That’s straight up bad Hollywood villainy. Also, can we not have another disabled villain? Disabled people aren’t evil, we’re just disabled. Stripping us of our humanity by making us Nazi villains is so fucking rude, considering Nazis would prefer we were all dead to begin with. For fuck’s sake.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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