Tag: Shomi Spotlight

Guest Review: Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi

Posted September 5, 2008 by Ames in Reviews | 4 Comments



Molly Anderson is not your average twenty-one-year-old. It’s been six years since she and her family escaped into a bunker, led by her conspiracy theorist father and his foreknowledge of a plot to bring about the apocalypse. But her father’s precautions didn’t stop there. Molly is now built to survive.

Yes, Ian Anderson’s favorite book gave him ideas on how to “improve” his daughter. Molly is faster, stronger, and her ocular implants and razor-tipped nails set her apart. Apart, when—venturing alone out of the bunker and into a plague ravaged, monster-ridden wilderness—what Molly needs most is togetherness. Chase Griffin, a friend from her past, is her best bet. But while he and others have miraculously survived, the kind boy has become a tormented man. Together, these remnants of humanity must struggle toward trusting each other and journey to the one place Molly’s father believed all civilization would be reborn: a magic kingdom, where everyone knows it’s a small world after all.

I LOVE zombie movies. I don’t know what it is, but there you have it. So I jumped on the chance to read Razor Girl. Also reading Holly’s review didn’t hurt. LOL (Thanks for that background info on Molly Millions.)

Razor Girl is a futuristic tale that deals with a DNA mutation that creates zombies out of the majority of the populace. Our razor girl is Molly Anderson. The book features Molly’s current existence interspersed with flashbacks from when she was 15 – when the zombies began appearing. I enjoyed how the backstory played out at the same time as the current one.

Molly’s current existence is about survival. After people began getting sick, Molly and her mother were locked up for 6 years in an old fallout shelter created by Molly’s dad. Finally free, Molly’s main goal is to find her father – and fast. Before her encapsulation, Molly’s dad tampered with her blood to give her an edge, he put nanobots in her system and now those nanos are dying. But the nanos aren’t the only thing Ian Anderson did to Molly. He also gave her 4-inch blades under her finger nails and occular implants. She’s a lean, mean, fighting machine.

But on the outside, Molly’s still unknowledgeable about basic survival. She knows nothing about the Others and she ends up banding together with an old high school friend, Chase. After some Others attack their group, Chase talks Molly into taking their motley crew with her down to Disneyland, where her father was going to set up a new civilization and find a cure with his other science buds.

That’s the basic premise for Razor Girl. But their journey to Disneyland from California is wrought with danger and not all of it from the Others. I really enjoyed the roadtrip aspect to RG.

The characters…the characters are young. Molly was 15 when she was locked away, so now she’s 21. I don’t know that Chase is much older than her, so yeah, these are young characters for such a heavy theme (the end of the world and all). It makes sense though, that some of the reactions our characters have can be immature at times. That kind of got annoying, but it’s true to the characters. And there’s one person in particular I wanted to die a horrible horrible death. But it doesn’t happen so I’m giving RG a B. Well I’m not only giving it a B for that reason – I also would have liked to have seen some more zombie action. I don’t think Molly showcased her kick ass-ness enough.

All in all, definitely check out Razor Girl. There is action, there is love and there are zombies. What more can you ask for?

This book is available from Shomi. You can buy it here or here.

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Posted September 2, 2008 by Holly in Giveaway Winners | 17 Comments

Because we got a late start on the Shomi Spotlight, I was somewhat behind in posts and therefore didn’t get to host as many contests as I would have liked. As a result, I had about 14 books leftover that needed to be sent to loving homes. g

Instead of extending the Spotlight another week, I decided to just go through our spotlight posts and randomly choose winners from those who commented throughout the last few weeks. Below is a list of winners and their prizes. Will each of you please email me at thebookbingeATgmailDOTcom with your snail mail addresses? Your prizes will be sent out shortly.

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Time Transit


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Tez Miller

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Amy C.

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CONGRATS to all the winners!

**A special thanks to ames for helping me choose all the winners!

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Shomi Spotlight – Guest Review: Wired by Liz Maverick

Posted September 1, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 7 Comments

Carolyn Jean’s review of Wired by Liz Maverick.

Seconds aren’t like pennies. They can’t be saved in a jar and spent later. Fate seeps through cracks and shifts like fog. Pluck a second out of time or slip an extra one in, the consequences will change your life forever. Is the man you love really the man you think you know, or is there a version of your life in which he’s your enemy? If you didn’t know who or what you were before, would you take a chance on becoming that person again?

L. Roxanne Zaborovsky is about to discover fate is comprised of an infinite number of wires, filaments that can be manipulated, and that she’s not the one at the controls. From the roguishly charming Mason Merrick—a shadow from her increasingly tenebrous past—to the dangerously seductive Leonardo Kaysar, she’s barely holding on. This isn’t a game, and the pennies are rolling all over the floor. Roxy just has to figure out which are the ones worth picking up.

Wow, WIRED was such a damn fine read—fun, exciting, sexy, plotty, mysterious—the perfect balance of a book.

Okay, first, a bit about the plot, because you know what’s funny? The back blurb, like many events within the book itself, makes a whole lot more sense in hindsight. Translation: not a lot of help from the flap. So here’s the deal:

The book starts when L. Roxanne Zaborovsky, a witty and reclusive computer programmer, is walking to the 7-11 one night. Two fellas appear from nowhere and begin fighting over her—it’s an old college acquaintance Mason Merrick and a British guy named Kaysar. It turns out Mason and Kaysar are “wire crossers,” people who screw around with the past to get the future outcome they prefer, and they each have their own special plans for Roxy and the computer code she’s going to write.

So the three of them play a kind of game of cat and mouse, chasing through alternate versions of Roxy’s own life, and Roxy has to figure out what the heck is going on, who to trust, and how to take control of the situation so she doesn’t end up with a relatively awful version of her life. And of course, there’s the matter of preventing future chaos.

Plotty deliciousness

I would particularly recommend this book for people who love plotty puzzles—even more so if you have a taste for time travel. A lot of the fun of the book is being in Roxy’s head and trying to figure out what’s going on as she does.

Now, I know in certain other texts, a lack of big picture clarity can feel annoying, like authorial withholding. But that’s not the case here at all. The puzzley part was just 100% fun. A kind of whirlwind experience where I felt this exciting sense of urgency to figure things out. Oops, one a.m.? Let me just quick read one more chapter.

The heroes

One of the more compelling parts of the mystery was which guy to trust. Both Mason and Kaysar seemed to have trustworthy moments, and both were, of course, hunky. So which is the bad guy? Author Maverick does an expert job of arranging events to make it a juicy and fun conundrum. I went back and forth a bit, but when things became clear, it made perfect sense. And I daresay I was pleased.

And while we’re on the subject of the heroes, this is not a big steamy read with disco version sex marathons, but what steam there is—and there is some—is quite nicely done.

The writing

Maybe it’s just me, but when I see anime art on the cover of a book, I never think, I am going to find some fine prose in here at the level of the sentence. Live and learn. Because the writing here was excellent, IMHO. And the voice, too.

As a first person narrator, Roxy was highly likable—strong, smart, funny, vulnerable, such a refreshing change from the badass, smartmouth chick narrators that have become so common. I mean, Roxy makes mistakes, hesitates when she’s scared. She is achingly real at times. So wonderful.

Here, early in the book, she’s in an alternate version of her life, but doesn’t realize it yet, and opens a shoebox she finds in her closet:

I sat there propped up with my elbows behind me and just stared. Two admittedly attractive black satin high heels nestled in the box alongside a handful of bullets and a gun.


I don’t own a gun. I’ve never owned a gun. I don’t even know anybody who owns a gun.

Actually, the truth was that I couldn’t even think of too many people I knew at all, which I supposed would reduce the number of guns likely to be owned.

There was something kind of dirty about the idea of a gun in my closet, something dirty and dangerous and scary about not knowing why it as there or how it to there.

Then, after examining the gun and determining the shoes were her size.

..very carefully, I put the gun and ammunition away, fit the lid back on the box, stood up, backed out of the closet and closet the door.

Denial. It’s an important emotional stage often overlooked in favor of the others involved in traumatic situations, such as anger and acceptance. But I focused on denial as I shook my damp hair out…

The science

Overall I would say on the level of time travel, this was put together thoughtfully and even brilliantly in places, and it holds together tightly when you think back to add stuff up – not an easy feat. Time travel narratives are notoriously impossible to pull off—even Terminator had holes.

But here’s my confession: I found the book to be so exciting that I didn’t exactly kick the tires in terms of the internal logic of the world. You know, I had tiny, minor little ‘hey, what about this or that’ moments, and maybe I would’ve found the answers in the text if I’d backed up or paused to connect stuff up, but I sort of didn’t care, because the book was way too exciting and I HAD to find out the answers to my various burning questions, so I plowed on.

And really, you don’t have to be a time travel nerd or to get all hung up on the mechanics or even understand them to enjoy this very delightful read.

I’m so thankful to Book Binge for introducing me to this line, and I’m definitely going to be looking for other books by this author.

5 out of 5

This book is available from Dorchester. You can buy it here.

Read more from Carolyn Jean at The Thrillonth Page.

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Shomi Spotlight Roundup

Posted September 1, 2008 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments

I want to thank all of you who participated in and supported our Shomi Spotlight. I feel like I found some amazing books and hopefully you all did as well.

Last week I asked all of you to vote on whether or not we should keep the Shomi Spotlight going another week. I still have reviews, excerpts and giveaways to do, but ran out of time in August. The majority of you said no, you’d rather we not continue it. To be honest, I’m somewhat relieved. I really have enjoyed putting this together, but it’s a lot of work!

Still, I do have quite a few things left to wrap up, so I’m going to spend this week getting those things taken care of. I have a few more Shomi reviews to post (mostly because I fell behind in my reading), but I’m not going to put up anymore excerpts. I’ll also be clearing up all the contests and randomly giving away the 14 books I have left over.

I really do appreciate all the support I received this past month. Many thanks to Casee and Rowena for putting up with me, to Dorchester who so generously sponsored us and to all of you who guest blogged with us, especially Marianne Mancusi, Liz Maverick and A.J. Menden.

If any of you missed the spotlight, you can troll through the posts here. And if you haven’t tried a Shomi novel yet, please check them out. There are some amazing ones available and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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