…are the devil’s workshop, so here are some reviews I wrote recently.

Marrying the Marine by Sabrina Sims McAfee
(1 out of 5 stars)*


The writing is not bad, it flows easily and evokes beautiful images. The reason I gave it one star? I did not like the heroes and the handling of this story at all. Please skip the rest of this review if you don’t like spoilers.

The heroine is a virgin who usually does one of the following three things:

1) Cooks a variety of foods, pies and sweets,

2) takes care of someone/ helps someone,

3) blindly obeys her (clearly insane and backwards) dad.

The hero usually does one of the following three things:

1) Thinks of ways to have sex with the heroine. He also never wears condoms because this is a romance book and how are you going to get the marriage/ child ultimate finale/cliché if he wears condoms, you ignorant fool!?! Sheesh! What do you mean, ‘venereal disease’? Is that a kind of pie?

2) is overbearing, juvenile, presumptuous and VERY crude,

3) can’t explain why this woman makes him feel so differently, but she does, because reasons.


“His cock sang with electricity, then hardened like steel.”
“Best pussy in the world.”
“Sperm boiled in his hard spheres.”
“I can’t wait to sample your pie, he thought, thinking the sweet pie between her legs was probably just as sweet as the pies she baked.”
“I’d much prefer friends with benefits,” the hero thinks about the heroine. After two paragraphs: “You deserve a good man in your life.” (Hm, what? How did we go from thought A to thought B?)

If you are still living in the 1950s and you want to read an easy book about a marine who feels extremely smug he was the first sexual partner of a woman (as in woman=object and virgin woman=brand new object, with tags on) then this book will rock your world. If you like your heroines experienced and with a bit of backbone, it will probably make you wince.

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
(3 out of 5 stars)*


Honest, raw, unpleasantly truthful and without artificial flair. I enjoyed it, although it gives no answers and has no conclusion. Real life is often like that; inconclusive and without clear answers. Offers the reader a sneak peek into the mind of the writer, his personality, and the circumstances that shaped him. It’s crude and violent and sad. At the same time, the writer remains deeply human in spite of his disillusionment and disgust for the human race, and keeps struggling to find his way in a less than perfect world.

Legends: Eleven New Works by the Masters of Modern Fantasy
by Robert Silverberg (editor)
(4 out of 5 stars)*



Really enjoyed this one. I haven’t read any of the so-called modern classics of the genre, and this anthology was a perfect collection of characteristic samples. Each story gave me a glimpse of the author’s world and familiarised me with their writing style. I already know and love S. King, T. Pratchett and U. LeGuin, but had not read any of the rest until I read this book.

If possible, I like to discover my compatibility with an author before I buy one of their longer books, and this anthology was perfect for that purpose. For example, I was pleasantly surprised by Orson Scott Card. If I had simply read the description of his world and heroes, I wouldn’t have bought his books. I am not particularly drawn to a mixture of magic and America of the civil war era as a setting. However, after reading his short story I was completely captivated. On the other hand, I can’t follow the writing style of Robert Jordan at all, and his short story gave me the opportunity to discover it. Which is a pity as he is a very popular writer, but I am happy to know he’s not for me before buying yet another book I won’t enjoy.

The rest of the short stories are good, or very good. Even the more mediocre ones gave me a coherent sense of the writer’s world. I could tell that these worlds had taken years to be created. They had been tended and grown and perfected like gardens, with constant care, a steady hand, devotion, timing and lots of weeding, to discriminate what worked and what didn’t. Under this light, I can understand why these writers are considered masters of modern fantasy. The complexity and depth of their worlds is such that a reader can live inside them. On the contrary, this lack of solid foundation is the reason I usually don’t enjoy Paranormal Romance and YA very much. When I read fiction, I need to immerse myself into a world that won’t come apart at the seams if I start asking questions. The writers of this anthology have built solid worlds. Most PR and YA novels I’ve read offer a slightly different version of reality that does not exist on its own right. It’s more of a backdrop for the romance or the adventure to take place, than an actual creation. If I keep reading with an open mind, I am sure I’ll discover some delightful exceptions to that rule, too, and I can’t wait.

*My star rating and what it means: 
Zero stars: Why me?!? I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh…I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay.Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average.Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good!Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.