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Book Reviews: When She Was Bad +WhenSheWasBad +Princess Of Wands +Unquiet Dreams +Unnatural History

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen
This thriller from the author of ‘The Broken’ is an excellent tale of office politics and how old sins cast long shadows. A much loved boss is sacked and replaced by a shark. The staff: Sarah, Amira, Ewan, Paula, Charlie and Chloe struggle to cope in the increasingly unpleasant atmosphere as things become ever more unlovely. Who among them is hate filled and scarred by a childhood that had no humanising influence due to repulsive parents who oozed sadism? This was a dark tale of a morally contaminated boss who uses emotive power with cold-eyed assessment.  The results of their malevolent influence and instinct for wrongness are truly terrible.

Best Line:
“What did it need a stroller for? It never went out.”

~
When She Was Bad by Jonathan Nasaw
This overwrought 2007 novel has no downbeat charm and was not morally complex or gripping. The decoy protagonist is Lily who has DID, she’s put into a mental institute where she meets fellow inmate Lyssy. One of Lily’s alternate personalities Lilith meets Lyssy’s real personality Max: an infamous serial killer and they fall in love, escape and cause mayhem. This is a tale that displays strikingly little emotion and is full of sexual violence and cascades of explanations.

Eerily detached medical staff are clearly untrustworthy. The plot is muddled and has a total lack of affect. The author treats the whole thing like a bad joke and not one character has any signature wit or effervescent charm. This was all sordid thoughts and accusations and disbelief. This is interminably dull and full of indiscipline and vindictiveness.

~
Princess Of Wands by John Ringo
This is Special Circumstances book 1 which is a Christian fantasy. It is full of author tracts on dirty people, fat people, underage sex workers, the heroine’s D cup, foreigners and the right to carry. There is no dark reality in this mess just sexual violence and sexual objectification. The heroine has a lazy slob husband and there are anti-Catholic thoughts, constructed religions and OTT misogyny.

This horrible woman-hating novel is full of tedious prose, flat wooden characters, banal plotting and everyone comments on the heroine’s large bosom. The author uses this novel as an affirmation of his hatred of then contemporary arguments. This is all declared moral superiority, ranting about women assaulting masculinity and an endless onslaught of bile. I won't be reading Book 2 ever.

Best Lines:
“A personality of a badger,”

“Five dead hookers are already noticeable,”

“Creep-meter.”

“Learn to cook! It’s not that hard!”

“Using a silencer was, de facto and de jure, proof of prior intent.”

“Bad screams.”

“Dumb, low-class sluts.”

“Parasitical marriages with one partner sucking life from the other like a leech.”

“She was sucking him dry.”

“She was still trying to find a plot in all the killing orcs and crossing feiry, sic, wastes.”

“Wondering when Gunor was going to do anything of note or dare she hope, the writer would learn to run a basic spell-checker.”

“The word “word” was misspelled, twice.”

“I think even less of the males who fall for their arguments.”

“Feminists created Eminen and now they’re getting what they asked for,”

~
Unquiet Dreams by Mark del Franco
This 2008 novel is another entry in this iffy urban fantasy about a banjaxed druid. This was invariantly terrible.

Best Lines:
“I waited a beat for him to ask me how I was doing. Then another beat. And another.”

“How accidentally useful you can be, Connor.”

~
Pax Britannia: Unnatural History by Nathan Green
This 2007 pulp novel tells of a world where a steampunk British Empire rules and sinister forces are at work. This was so bad it was like a parody of bad.

Best Line:
“After Ulysses had broken the tragic news to Genevieve Galapagos that her father had somehow become some kind of degenerate apeman, the girl had gone to pieces.”
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