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Review: Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods

Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods by Danna Staaf My rating: 5 of 5 stars Disclaimer: I won a copy via Lib...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods

Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods by Danna Staaf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I won a copy via Librarything.
Unlike Staaf, it took me quite a while to warm up to squid, octopuses and the like. It wasn’t until I read “The Vampie Squid from Hell” by Richard Ellis that I took an interest. Staaf’s book isn’t about one specific squid, octopus, or whatnot; instead it is about the history of cephalopods as a whole, in particular the evolution.

Which you think would make it a rather dull science book, but it is not.

In part, this is because of all the cool and interesting facts that Staaf shares. For instance, did you know that a sperm whale eats 700-800 squid every day and that isn’t that unusual because apparently everything eats squid, including squid. And then there is the squid’s brain and that is really strange. Not to mention the whole thing about gas. So, all that is pretty awesome.

Then there are all the Clue references. Quite honestly, I mean that should have to be all I need to say.

But if that is not enough for you, there is this. Staaf’s love for her subject comes through with every single word. She’s not trying to talk down to the reader, to be smart, to be funny, to be cool. She is simply, lovingly, wonderfully writing about a family of animals she loves. This is a love poem. She will make you love cephalopods and give you reasons why you should - like the whole thing about shells.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: Invisible Victims: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Invisible Victims: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women Invisible Victims: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women by Katherine McCarthy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First the bad - there are several typos, the footnotes are, big and large, simply a website link. While this makes sense for an ebook, I still want correct citation format, sorry. Lastly, you could say that a few of the sections about serial killers are de facto ads for other books in the series. They are and they are not in my view. McCarthy does a good job of showing how those cases are related to the scope of the story, so considering the series, I'm neutral on these inclusions. Finally, and this was most annoying, it was unclear at points whether a work mentioned was an essay or a book. I spent several minutes searching for a book title when it was really an essay I should have been looking for. That was rather annoying.

HOWEVER

Those faults aside, this a pretty good overview and not at all senesation as the cover might lead some to think. McCarthy cites when she needs to and deals with the overarching issues quite well. The book is an overview, so the sections dealing with the history that lead to the society problems that allow for the murder of Indigenous women are perhaps too short, but McCarthy points you in the direction to learn more (and some of those facts, wow). McCarthy deals sympathically with the victims and points out how race and the question of "good" or "bad" girls plays into the how the media views the victim. Unlike some other work on the death of Indigenous women, McCarthy moves beyond the Highway of Tears and Residental schools and brings in classes that were not first thought of, making the book an overview.

If the editing errors had been fixed, this would have been four stars.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Executive Assistant Iris Vol. 2 #0

Executive Assistant Iris Vol. 2 #0 Executive Assistant Iris Vol. 2 #0 by David Wohl
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Okay, I am sorry but the cover. Kick ass women in comics are wonderful but the whole sexy look thing is a bit over the topic, especially with the cover. Look below her belt.  I mean, it could be an accident, but really?  C'mon.  Look below.

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Review: White Lotus

White Lotus White Lotus by Libbie Hawker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Rhodopis is an Egyptian version of Cinderella, or at the very least, it involves a foot fitting into a shoe if not evil step sisters. Libbie Hawker’s White Lotus is the first in a trilogy about Rhodopis.

The book isn’t bad. This volume details Doricha (who will become Rhodopis) beginnings from the daughter of a starting Thracian family trapped in Egypt to joining the household of the Pharaoh. IN short, it is about a young girl sold into slavery as a high-end prostitute.

While Hawker does a good job of immersing the reader in the society and time of ancient Egypt and the clash of Egyptian and Greek saviors, as it were. Yet, the central character of Doricha is rather dull. I mean really dull. She is a great dancer, smart, and wonderful. And constantly having bad things done to her by people she trusts.

The one character that really shines is Archidike, who is at first takes Doricha under her wing, but becomes her enemy due to a misunderstanding that, quite frankly, isn’t quite explained very well to the reader. She then becomes a one-dimension villain. But before that, she carries the book because she has the spark. Archidike sings. She almost steals the story from Doricha. When she is forced back, the book suffers, and we no longer truly care about the ending or Doricha’s success.

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