Book Reviews: Funny Ducks, Bad Future, Double Exposed

“Don’t do anything you don’t want to.”
She batted her lashes. “But then how will you owe me one?”

Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting
A collection from a comic strip about an anthropomorphized family of ducks, with the father having trouble raising the kiddies, or ducklings.
This book is funny right from the intro, where after talking to other parents the author realizes that he is in fact the only one having doubts about their ability to raise a child; it wasn’t till he stared this strip that he grasped something the baby could have told him: “A lot of people are big fat liars!”
There’s some hilarious stuff that doesn’t need anything more said about it here. Then there’s some jokes that don’t hit you right away; it takes a couple of seconds for the humor to detonate. The good thing is that the LOL per page ratio is pretty high, as a lot of these get more than just a smile or a chuckle. There’s even a nice dig on Star Wars. The art work is serviceable, good enough without getting in the way of the humorous writing, which is really the important part.
4.5/5

The Shape of Shit to Come
A look at the future, as regards to technology, genetics, food, weather, and so on, as told by two British guys who think they’re writing for Benny Hill or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The sad robot on the cover, reminiscent of Marvin from the latter of the abovementioned references, sets the tone nicely.
While in general this is a good overview of what the future might have in store, the inclusion of too many not-worth-it jokes had me rolling my eyes far too often. There’s some surprising scientific logic behind the often groan-worthy humor, but it’s not allowed to flourish. The worst part for me was that all the British-isms were tough to understand; it wasn’t till they mentioned a Wallace and Grommit movie that I grasped a reference. And then after all that, their conclusion is: Cheer up—it might never happen.
This could have received a higher grade had they been able to hold in the impulse to include some silly humor that kinda screwed up their whole point. While I get them trying to parry the doom-and-gloom scenarios, having someone from Monty Python or Red Dwarf ghost-write a few jokes would have helped immensely.
3.5/5

Tough Justice: Exposed
Female FBI agent saves suicidal guy from ledge; he’s instantly shot once on the ground. But that’s just the tip of the plot iceberg, as it is then explained that she’d gone undercover to bust a mafia, then spent two years hiding from them.
Despite the FBI team’s insistence on the possibility that it could be completely unrelated to that assignment, it’s plain that it is. There were times when I asked a pertinent question a chapter ahead of the agents, except when I asked a question that the bright but angry detective never thought of, having to do with the dead guy’s girlfriend and his missing phone. It’s actually pretty good procedural-wise, though with these obvious lapses. While this is at heart a mystery, there’s also a look into the mentality of an undercover agent after a year-long job. I would say she’s suffering from a form of PTSD, except her trust issues and such began long before.
Since this is the first of a series—or I should say miniseries, because they’re novellas—it ends in a cliffhanger, but at least it’s expected.
I liked it, but not sure if I liked it enough to continue with the series.
3.5/5

Exposed
Hot lawyer in Seattle has sex, gets married, goes to sex clubs with her husband, gets divorced, then is really screwed over. Told as one long stream of consciousness, with the narrator in the present telling us about her past, this first-person chronicle takes some getting used to, but is ultimately worth the trip.
Can’t say I’m a fan of the format, but I ended up enjoying her journey. She would likely never realize how good she’s had it, preferring to microscope on the bad parts: how her parents suck, how her husband screwed her over. The good things in her life are basically the women she helps—though some are not worthy—her grandmother, and all the sex she has.
Toward the end it turns into a revenge fantasy come to life, where we find out who the true villain, the puppetmaster, is. The fact she enjoys sex with him doesn’t stop her from giving him what’s coming to him for all the misery he put her through, so the story ends with a sense of wrongs being righted and satisfaction being gained.
I did not think I would enjoy it this much when I started, especially the ending. Glad I stuck with it.
4/5

;o)

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