My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

1st To Die notes; Prologue & Chapters 1 to 2

cover for 1st To Die


Quite a forceful introduction, despite it’s shortness.

The idea that Inspector Lindsay Boxer is on an emotional knife-edge, life on the balance ready to teeter into oblivion coupled with her description of a logical detective while still retaining a level of empathy her male counterpoints lack, makes the character approachable for me. I can immediately identify with her, and already have an empathy for her predicament. I have yet to know who David or Melanie Brandt is but their mention, even in passing, is of violence and death. Murder is the name of the game and the author does not fail to bring the topic directly to reader
I have a feeling (a hope) there will be no pulling of punches in this book. Continue reading

The Gates notes; chapters 1 to 2

The Gates

Chapter 1; In Which the Universe Forms, Which Seems Like a Very Good Place to Start
From the first chapter, it feels like it was written by a young boy rather than John Connolly, a grown man. This in itself is amazing since Mr. Connolly has a reputation for books of a crime & thriller genre and to successfully tap into his inner child is no small feat.
As for my impressions, I have a borderline geeky love of science & any theories concerning the natural world & all universal aspects intrigue me, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed the first chapter. The explanation of the Big Bang theory is written not from the point of view of a physics professor or teacher, but through the understanding of a child, or from a writer of the old Beano or Whizzer & Chips comics (the Dandy being too juvenile obviously, and I apologise to non-British readers of these notes. The “Beano” etc… are British comics with tongue-in-cheek playground humour). Continue reading

Once Bitten Twice Shy notes; chapter 2

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Chapter 2
Miss Parks gifts have only recently developed/manifested. The only one mentioned though is her ability to sense-smell the presence of vampires. Little wonder that Vayl requested being partnered with her. He must think it interesting because he wishes Jaz to develop it.
Handy though it sounds, it would be better if Jaz could actually pinpoint the location of the vamp she can sense-smell. What other abilities might she possess? Might they all be focused on vampires, like some of the Dhampire myths, or could she branch out into other spheres of the supernatural. Is the price of the accompanying blackouts too high? Continue reading

World War Z notes; Goodbyes chapters 1, 2 & 3

World War Z
Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 8, Goodbyes; Chapter 1, “the Whacko”.

Whatever the Whacko’s real name may be (or whomever he is based upon) he isn’t a Whacko as you might think.
This goodbye is merely a case in point.
For America the war is over, at least on paper, and Whacko believes that people have a right to try and reclaim their lives. It’s just the American way, he reckons, but I think it’s more than that. In order to rebuild a way of life you have to start in the home. In the same way that charity starts in the home, lives need to be rebuilt. Children need to be taught & loved. All the while, maintaining constant vigilance over the ever-present threat.

Of course volunteers came forward, they had a choice.
If America hadn’t declared the war over, perhaps more people would have been disgruntled & reluctant to help or join the UN multinational force.
Choice is powerful thing, take it away & people lose hope, worse, they lose their humanity & compassion.
Yep, methinks the Whacko knew what he was doing, knew it was time to celebrate a victory.
It was a long time coming. Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 2

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 7, Total War; Chapter 2, Todd Wainio.

Todd’s experiences at Yonkers & the many encounters with ghouls since that day, had helped him with his re-training.
That re-training wasn’t just about the new weaponry, but also the new tactics. For him and his superiors.
Seems there had been many lessons learned since the fiasco at Yonkers. No chances were going to be taken now that their President had mobilised the reclaiming of America.
The first battle against Zack, in a town called “Hope” no less, proved to be immensely successful.
From the weapons used to great effect, to the specialised team replenishing the clips, the “Sandlers”. Everyone had a role to play, even the brass keeping watch using their periscope tower, and they all performed like a well-oiled machine.
Todd recalls how a member of the Knock Out teams tapped him on the shoulder, declaring Todd’s need for a fiver. A rest break.
Everything had been taken into account it seems.
Battle tactics had changed dramatically too, even the type of round used against the enemy had been taken into consideration, and which proved to be extremely effective. If a bit creepy.

Ultimately, their victory against the undead in this initial contact, was clear in the amount of ghouls despatched without a single casualty among the ranks.

We were totally walled in, all sides were piled at least twenty feet high and over a hundred feet deep. I’m not sure how many we killed that day, stats always vary depending on who you get it from. The dozer-blade Humvees had to push a path through the corpse ring just to let us get out.

I’ll just bet they were feeling ecstatic regardless of their battle weariness, nothing a good well deserved rest couldn’t put right. Thanks again to lessons learned, Todd’s superiors made sure everyone was well rested.
Amazing how a kick in the teeth (Yonkers) can change someone’s attitude (Hope).