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Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

5. Surfing The Panther [Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper] by Steve Martini vs. Linda Fairstein

This one mostly interested me after a confrontational start - I’ve become rather averse to arguments, so the initial back and forth put me off a little. But once the story itself got underway I was interested the ‘lawyers attempting to uncover the truth of a case’.

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Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

4. The Laughing Buddha [Malachai Samuels vs. D.D. Warren] by M.J. Rose vs. Lisa Gardner

I think this story was inherently going to be disappointing for what I wanted out of these. Like the previous story this one was hero vs. villain, not hero teaming up with hero as the first two were. Worse - from my perspective - Samuels is a protagonist villain, ever-slippery evading the grasp of the law, so this is effectively forbidden from being a story in which D.D. Warren gets one over him.

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Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

3. Gaslighted [Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast] by R. L. Stine vs. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I dreaded reading this because I am not a fan of horror. It is a genre I am perhaps oversensitive to, one that lingers with me for days if I am lucky. A couple of years ago, for example, I read a short story by George R. R. Martin, “The Monkey Treatment” in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection. That one gave me difficulty sleeping for a few weeks after and some of the imagery still haunts me.

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Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

2. In The Nick Of Time [John Rebus vs. Roy Grace] by Ian Rankin vs. Peter James

I want to call this a nice little morality play but I’m not sure that’s quite right. Guy’s on his deathbed, insists on making a confession of the time he got away with killing someone back in the sixties during the Mods and Rockers riots.

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Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

1. Red Eye [Patrick Kenzie vs. Harry Bosch] by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly

So far I’ve yet to read anything by Michael Connelly I did not enjoy. Admittedly that is not much - a novel, The Poet, and a short story “Father’s Day” in the collection The Blue Religion. The latter is all I have otherwise read of his main series character Harry Bosch. I’m not previously familiar with Dennis Lehane or his work but this piece worked so well I’m inclined to give him a look.

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Book Dragon is Reading - Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton

Had a lunch break and then three hours on a train earlier in the week so I managed to read the remaining half of Aunt Dimity and the Duke. Meanwhile I’ve been a lot tired and of correspondingly low mood, and persistently failed to find the time to write anything about it. Trying to fix that now before it fades any further into the past and becomes any more overwritten by the stories I have read since then.

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Book Dragon is Reading - Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton

Chapters 10-13

About half-way through. Still no sign of the promised ghost aunt. Beginning to think she won’t show. Meanwhile our protagonist finds the children growing on her with their quirky damage. Continues to feel like she is being fitted into a narrative she did not ask or want to be moulded to (new dresses appearing in her wardrobe, persuasion that gardening is her true passion, that sort of thing). Sometimes when I am reading this feels almost like a horror narrative.

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Book Dragon is Reading - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

Volume 1, Act 4: Masquerade Dance Party

This is exactly the chapter I needed at this point. Promise of ongoing narrative, characters settling into themselves, Nephrite pledging to revive Jadeite…

Even the recap was changed up enough, and the dossier Luna is building on the computer was cute (especially that they have indeed identified Tuxedo Mask).

Basically, on a first reading I don’t have any complaints.

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Book Dragon is Reading - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

Act 3: Rei, Sailor Mars

I was very surprised to find myself immediately drawn to Rei. I regard myself as a spiritually tone deaf sort of person and so a shrine maiden really does not seem the sort of person I would match to.

It’s a bit annoying having a recap and re-introduction of Usagi at the beginning of each chapter but I suppose that is useful to do when you are writing a serialised story. I assume at some point that will become impractical to maintain and be dropped.

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