Criss Cross by James Patterson My rating: 2 of 5 stars “The past will hunt you down” it says right there on the cover and I wish it was sarcasm by Patterson to put it there. Because the past hunts only him down. Let’s start at the beginning, though: In typical Patterson redneck manner, he lets Cross witness the state-sponsored murder of a killer he put away – right after Cross framed the guy… Cross himself about the framing part: ...

“(Confession time: that moment, when the humans or augmented humans realize you’re really here to help them. I don’t hate that moment.)” It doesn’t happen often but I’m running out of words. So, go and read my previous reviews first, I’ll be waiting here for you. Everything I stated before still holds true for this book. This first full-length Murderbot Diaries novel proves that Wells can obviously write at any length without ever b...

Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory (The Murderbot Diaries #4.5), by Martha Wells My rating: 4 of 5 stars This short story primarily focuses on Mensah (irritatingly called by her first name Ayda here) is nice enough but doesn’t live up to the standards of the rest of the series. Most disappointingly, Murderbot itself is hardly ever present and just at the moment when it got interesting, the story was at its end....

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars “I had options, and I didn’t have to decide right away. Which was good, because I still didn’t know what I wanted. But maybe I had a place to be while I figured it out.” So, four novellas and I’ve devoured them. One short story and one novel (so far) to go. I haven’t had this much fun with a book series since… Hitchhiker’s Guide, I guess. Whereas the latter is (almost) purely h...

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars Well, here’s yet another great instalment in the “Murderbot Diaries” series. It starts exactly where the previous novella left off and this leads us to yet another exciting adventure. While it’s, again, more of the same in a good way, this time we get to know even more about Murderbot’s ethics and morality because he has to deal with a human-form or pet robot. Miki, the “pet”, i...

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Murderbot Diaries strangely appeal to me. As I’m still on my way to the full length novel, recently published, I’m wondering at the simple elegance and straightforwardness of the novellas. This second instalment in the series is, thankfully, pretty much more of the same in a very good way. We still get a good view of a “construct” that’s basically a robot with human parts ...

All Systems Red by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars “And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.” I’m not a Science Fiction fan. I’m not especially fond of novellas. This one, though… I can’t even really explain what appealed to me about this novella: Murderbot neither really feels like a robot nor like a person but still s...

Beach Read, by Emily Henry My rating: 3 of 5 stars When I decided to read this book, I was expecting a light, funny romance before going back to more “serious” books. I basically wanted what the title promised – an early “Beach Read”. Unfortunately, this was obviously not to be. First of all, January, our heroine, is annoyingly insecure. Her mother got cheated on by her late father and both the cheating and the dying entirely shatte...

Warden’s Fate A Sci Fi Adventure by Tony James Slater My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really didn’t expect this. The previous book, “Warden’s Vengeance” in the “Ancient Guardians” series wasn’t very good – the pacing was problematic, typos all over the place and the characters didn’t develop at all. Along came “Warden’s Fate” and with it, the final instalment in the series, Tony is back! Gone are (most of) the typo...

Age of Empyre by Michael J. Sullivan My rating: 5 of 5 stars “The stories I write might be fantasy, but the depiction of the feelings people share for each other is real.” I’m cheating. The above quote is not from the actual content but from Michael’s afterword. I chose it for the simple fact that, to me at least, this is what makes Michael’s books “work” for me. But we’ll come to that yet… First, I have to admit that I was actu...

The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library #6), by Genevieve Cogman
Book Review / December 13, 2019

The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Stories matter – telling them, sharing them, preserving them, changing them, learning from them, and escaping with and through them. We learn about ourselves and the world that we live in through fiction just as much as through facts. Empathy, perception and understanding are never wasted. All libraries are a gateway into other worlds, including the past – and the fut...

Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire #5), by Michael J. Sullivan
Book Review / November 30, 2019

Age of Death by Michael J. Sullivan My rating: 3 of 5 stars It pains me to write this but I didn’t really like “Age of Death”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book per se. It’s just that it feels flat and – ironically – lifeless. That’s probably why it took me almost a month to finish it. “Age of Death” starts where Age of Legend, the previous book, left off with a huge cliffhanger. Now our heroes mo...

The Darker Arts (Frey & McGray, #5), by Oscar de Muriel
Book Review / November 4, 2019

The Darker Arts by Oscar de Muriel My rating: 1 of 5 stars I read one book at a time, always. I simply cannot just “switch” from one book to another anymore. So, if I hit a rotten tomato I tend to actually read less. I’m typing this on my iPhone. A minute ago, I found myself wondering and thinking, “I usually read at a time like this.” – while I was playing a game. Then it began to dawn on me: ‘How much must you despis...

A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18), by Deborah Crombie
Book Review / October 21, 2019

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, we’re already at the 18th instalment of this great series. When I picked this book up, I was slightly worried how I would like it, considering that I haven’t exactly had much luck with long-running series this year; the latest Dupin a disappointment almost as badly as the latest Bruno (review here). Would Deborah Crombie let me down as well? Would she make me wish for Du...

Fallen (Alex Verus, #10) by Benedict Jacka
Book Review / October 14, 2019

Fallen by Benedict Jacka My rating: 3 of 5 stars Let me state clearly where I stand when it comes to Alex Verus: I think he’s the greatest Urban Fantasy protagonist ever. I’ve enjoyed every single book in the series and I enjoyed this latest instalment as well – just not as much as most of the others, unfortunately. Why though? The trademark humour is there, Luna is there and so are Anne, Variam, Arachne and others. Sadly, they mo...

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.75), by Andrzej Sapkowski,
Book Review / October 11, 2019

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski My rating: 5 of 5 stars “‘Who the hell are you?’ Geralt asked again, leaning forward. ‘What are you doing… in this forest? How did you get here?’ The girl lowered her head and sniffed loudly. ‘Cat got your tongue? Who are you, I said? What’s your name?’ ‘Ciri,’ she said, sniffing.” Once more we return to Geralt of Rivia, the eponymous Witcher, and his deeds. Mostly, though, ...

You might not even have noticed…
Exherbo / October 6, 2019

… but the git statistics for Exherbo’s repositories have been static for over a year. Since I found an easy way to revive them, they’re back, live and updated daily: https://mailstation.de/egitstats/...

Der Blaue Lotos (Tim und Struppi, Band 4) von Hergé
Book Review / September 26, 2019

Der blaue Lotos von Hergé My rating: 3 of 5 stars “Der Blaue Lotus” entstand im Jahr 1934 und wurde bereits 1946 erneut überarbeitet und es wurden wiederum auch inhaltliche Änderungen vorgenommen. Auch hier versucht Hergé wieder eine “runde” Geschichte zu erzählen, doch leider mißlingt ihm das gründlich: Die Story besteht in wesentlichen Teilen aus Tims fortgesetzter Flucht und Wieder-Inhaftierung. Ein Entkommen ist dabei...

Her Silent Cry (Detective Josie Quinn #6), by Lisa Regan
Book Review / September 25, 2019

Her Silent Cry by Lisa Regan My rating: 3 of 5 stars In this sixth instalment of Regan’s Josie Quinn series a child is abducted in a rather complex way and more “surprises” await Josie and her team during the investigation because not everything is as it looks at the beginning… At least it’s not like it looks to Josie or anyone on her team because very early on there is a horrible give-away as to the reasons of the abduction w...

Die Zigarren des Pharaos (Tim und Struppi, Band 3) von Hergé
Book Review / September 21, 2019

Die Zigarren des Pharaos by Hergé My rating: 4 of 5 stars “Hurra, ich spreche elefantisch!” Der vorliegende Band, “Die Zigarren des Pharaos”, entstand im Jahr 1932 und wurde 1955 überarbeitet und koloriert. Dabei wurden auch geringfügige inhaltliche Änderungen vorgenommen, die aber der Geschichte keinen Abbruch tun. Tatsächlich ist dieser Band der erste, der eine konsistente und unterhaltsame Geschichte erzählt und...