Moshe Hall

Joined a year ago

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JavaScript
JavaScript
JavaScript by Don Gosselin. Rated 3.4 out of 5 stars, with 25 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
Design Patterns in Ruby
Design Patterns in Ruby
Design Patterns in Ruby by Russ Olsen. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 59 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the ruby on rails category.
Le pagine della nostra vita (Italian Edition)
Le pagine della nostra vita (Italian Edition)
Le pagine della nostra vita (Italian Edition) by Nicholas Sparks. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 166 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Una Navidad diferente (Spanish Edition)
Una Navidad diferente (Spanish Edition)
Una Navidad diferente (Spanish Edition) by John Grisham. Rated 3.8 out of 5 stars, with 20 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
The Secret Friend
The Secret Friend
The Secret Friend by Chris Mooney. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 86 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
When I'm Gone: A Novel
When I'm Gone: A Novel
When I'm Gone: A Novel by Emily Bleeker. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 10323 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Java Programming Step-by-Step
Java Programming Step-by-Step
Java Programming Step-by-Step by Tony Bevis. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Learning WordPress REST API
Learning WordPress REST API
Learning WordPress REST API by Sufyan bin Uzayr. Rated 1.8 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
Programming in Visual Basic 2008
Programming in Visual Basic 2008
Programming in Visual Basic 2008 by Julia Case Bradley and Anita Millspaugh. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars, with 31 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Julia programming category.
Progress in Speech Synthesis
Progress in Speech Synthesis
Progress in Speech Synthesis by Jan P.H. van Santen, Richard Sproat, et al.. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Julia programming category.
Practical Angular 2
Practical Angular 2
Ich habe mir das Buch hauptsächlich heruntergeladen, da Angular2 noch in Beta ist, und die Auswahl an Literatur daher noch recht übersichtlich ist. Ich finde das Buch für Anfänger, die sich mit Version 2 befassen wollen, nicht schlecht, da die verschiedenen Projekte langsam aufgebaut werden. Man hat also nicht gleich mit einem Dutzend Dateien zu kämpfen, wo man als Anfänger doch leicht überfordert ist. Wer sich allerdings in den Beispielen auf der offiziellen Angular2-Site zurechtfindet, der kann sich das Geld wahrscheinlich sparen. Mich haben allerdings einpaar Sachen gestört: Das Buch ist aus dem Portugiesischen übersetzt, das Englisch ist zwar gut zu verstehen, aber voller kleiner Fehler. Nun ja Englisch ist auch nicht meine Hauptsprache, deswegen möchte ich nicht weiter meckern, aber wenn aus shift, shit wird, und aus videos, books, dann bekommt man irgendwann das Gefühl, das Buch ist schludrig geschrieben, ich ziehe hier einen halben Stern ab. Ich ziehe allerdings anderthalb Sterne für den Preis ab, 41,55 Euro für ein ebook, das muß zwar noch jeder für sich selber entscheiden, wenn man dann aber auf die Seite des Verlages geht, steht dort ein Preis von $25,75(Dollar, nicht Euro). Man kann das leicht überprüfen, mit "Blick ins Buch" und gleich hinter dem Cover, auf der zweiten Seite dem Link folgen. Ich habe es erst getan als ich das Buch schon gekauft hatte.
Ford Men: From Inspiration to Enterprise
Ford Men: From Inspiration to Enterprise
Imagine it’s 1903. You are Henry Ford, the first of the Ford Men. You are creating a complex, living, breathing being that will well outlive you. It’s going to take on a life of its own. Many men and women will be required over time to keep it growing and healthy, adaptable and on track through the years.

What I like the most about Christopher Whalen’s acute and comprehensive book, is his ability to bring forth the vitality and
vulnerabilities of the Ford Men together with so many forces, years, and people. Entrepreneurs are human, able, and driven whether it’s 1903 or 2017. Different generations reflect different needs.

That the company stands beside the Ford Men as one of the many forces and players in this fine book is a statement of the author’s capacity for discernment of story, trends, players, history, and nuance.

I think this is an instructive and pleasurable book for many of us interested in business and history, not to be missed.
TeeShirtPalace Donald Trump President Vintage USA Vintage Flag T-Shirt
TeeShirtPalace Donald Trump President Vintage USA Vintage Flag T-Shirt
This seller and product are a joke, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY YOU WILL JUST GET SCAMMED. Bought the shirt and paid a little over $10. I received the shirt and it was a large, but fit more like a small. Skin tight and uncomfortable. Too short, quality was horrendous. My child could have cut out the letters and design better than this joke of a shirt. Since when does the flag have 15 stars? The stars section and the letter P are where the horrible quality stands out mostly. See the pictures provided. Asked for a refund, was approved for only $5 back! Then the seller tries to make ME pay for return shipping!! Would cost more than that to ship it back! Filed a claim through amazon, don’t waste your time or money! Included a picture of the listing and even a grainy screen shot the quality looks better than the actual shirt.
AIMS 300 Watt, 600 Watt Peak, Pure Sine DC to AC Power Inverter, USB Port, Cables Included - Non UL Listed
AIMS 300 Watt, 600 Watt Peak, Pure Sine DC to AC Power Inverter, USB Port, Cables Included - Non UL Listed
Really great small pure sine wave inverter. I am using it almost everyday on the back patio in a DIY-made ammo box solar generator (see attached picture). I bought this in April, 2017 and it gets used quite a bit to power a small HDTV, speaker, coax amp, etc. I checked the "pure sine wave" with my oscilloscope and it appears on freq with some minor dwells in the waveform. Pk-pk was about 320v (340v is ideal). Not a big deal. From what I measured...looked alright, but not as good as my Outback Power PSW 3,500w inverter or Go Power 1,500w PSW inverter or utility power. Did the "fan" test. With modified sine wave inverters...my shop fan "groans" and sounds pissed-off. I plugged the 100w AC fan into this AIMS...sounds good.

DISKLIKES: 1) Mounting? No screw eyelets or way to mount. I had to use Velcro in my ammo can and stick this inverter to the side. It works, but not ideal. 2) banana plugs for DC power input. Why not regular screw posts eyelets like on other products? I had to buy 90-deg banana plugs to make this work.

OVERALL: Does the job well but needs an update...needs a mounting solution and the banana plug inputs are just a plain stupid idea. They'll work but stick out too far and have the propensity to break off if not careful

UPDATE: March 18, 2018 - Still working great! Solid little inverter.

UPDATE: June 5, 2018 - Still working 24/7 in my ammo box solar generator. This is the 180w PSW inverter model with the banana clip 12v inputs. Did some measuring...gonna order the 300w version to see if I can fit it in an ammo box. If not, no big deal...will stow it in my truck.
JBL GX402 4" 210W Peak Power 2-Way GX Series Coaxial Car Audio Loudspeakers
JBL GX402 4" 210W Peak Power 2-Way GX Series Coaxial Car Audio Loudspeakers
These are some of the most efficient speakers on the market, with 3 ohm resistance and 92dB sensitivity. I did not add an amp to the 1991 head unit, which produces just 12 watts per channel at low-distortion levels - and with this speaker setup, I don't need an amp to get great sound loud enough you'd have to shout to converse with your passenger. Sound improvement over the prior setup - which included stock separates in front and a prior owner's upgrade in rear - was substantial. But to be fair to the JBL's, if you added a small amp you'd get a lot of bass from this set.

Fit-wise, these speakers are a fairly conservative buy, smaller than higher-end 5 1/4's on the market but still a tight fit for older Euro compact and subcompact cars. Shallow depth enables fitment into smaller speaker holes but in some small cars the openings may need a little modification. Woofer cone is much bigger than many 5 1/4" speakers - JBL really uses all the available space inside the mounting frame. Woofer lip is fairly big, allowing maximum throw to push out the sound waves; the big magnet and coil can use the whole throw too. This also means you may need to modify your stock speaker covers, as any OEM speaker of the same size will have a smaller speaker element and little if any protrusion.
Cross Game, Vol. 1 (1)
Cross Game, Vol. 1 (1)
Just reading about the success of author Adachi's previous titles alone made me pick up this first volume. This is the first of his works I've read, but so far I'm willing to give this series a chance.

Without giving away the main spoiler in this 3-volume-in-1 release, the story revolves around a young boy, Ko. The first volume covered in this release is more of a backstory on his childhood, floating between his father's sporting goods store and his neighbor's coffee house. Readers are immediately introduced to his love interest in Waka, his neighbor and second oldest of four girls. Waka's interactions with Ko alone are enough to establish that they're gonna be the main pairing you're expecting while reading, but to bring it on home, you also find that they're born on the same day. It'd be cheesy in any other instance, but Adachi makes it work just well enough for readers to tolerate it.

... but you'd be wrong to assume this manga is a full-on romance. As suggested by its genre alone (most shonen manga rarely delve that deeply when it comes to romance) its primary focus isn't on the possible couplings throughout the story, but moreso on the action, which in this case is baseball. The latter two volumes covered in this release are different from the first in that focus is less on the romance (which was only done in the first volume more to establish characters than the full story itself) and more on baseball--which will either make or break it when it comes to whether you should buy the release or not.

Having read this 3-in-1 release, the overall tone of the series tends to that of your typical sports manga with the smallest doses of romance and suggestiveness (in the chapter title pages alone!) expected from your typical sports manga. Regardless, there's just enough charm for me to continue with the series.
One Piece, Vol. 2 (Japanese Edition)
One Piece, Vol. 2 (Japanese Edition)
【概要と感想】

「オレはオレのやりたいようにやる」

2巻の中でゾロが言った言葉。

こんなセリフを吐ける大人になりたい。

子供の頃は言っていたかもしれないし、周りの友達も言っていたかもしれない。「自分のやりたいようにやるから大丈夫」とか、「放っといて欲しい」とか、平気で親にも周りにも言っていた。

でも、自分のやりたいようにやることはものすごく大変なことであることを知ると同時に、子供の頃はやりたいようにやらせて”もらっていた”だけだということに大人になって気づきました。

22歳で就職してから仕事をしてお金を稼ぐって大変なことだと改めて実感する日々です。

夏休みも冬休みも春休みもないし、ちょっとメンドイからといって休むことも出来ない。

そして、「自分のやりたいようにやる」と宣言することが難しくなっていくことに気付く。

最近、やっと読み始めた国民的漫画。2巻は、ナミとの出会いと対話、ゾロとカバジの対決、そして、ルフィVSバギーの一騎打ちスタート。

といったところで次巻へ。

【入手きっかけ】

食わず嫌いだったけど、ついに読み始めたらばっちりハマった国民的マンガ。
Cruelty
Cruelty
bought as a gift after it had been mentioned. Recipient didnt enjoy tho as apparently “a bit dark”. I think the title was a bit of a clue there though myself 🙄
Fighting Caravans: A Western Story
Fighting Caravans: A Western Story
This is the best Zane Grey book I have read. It has held my attention from day one and tells about a part of the old west I never gave much thought to: the freight caravan. Clint Belmet is a twelve year old that leaves Illinois with his family to go west. But at Independence, Missouri his father decides that he will accept a job driving a freight wagon on the trip to help finance his way out west. Unfortunately, Indian raids take the life of both parents and the trailmaster his father chooses to look after him as he grows up. And grow up Clint does on the trail as he becomes famous as a young hunter and wagon driver who earns the nickname "Buff" after killing a bull buffalo on his first official hunt. He becomes an friend of Kit Carson who helps spread Clint's fame. Then there's little May Bell, his first love that he loses track of and must spend the next 15 years trying to locate as he works across the west.
Main Street #5: The Secret Book Club
Main Street #5: The Secret Book Club
This book, The Secret Book Club, is the fifth in a series called Main Street written by Ann M. Martin. This book was published in 2008 by Scholastic Inc. This is a fiction novel with a mystery genre appropriate for adolescents in grades 5 - 7. The book is 212 pages in length.
The setting for the novel is the small town of Camden, Massachutes. The two main characters are sisters, Flora and Ruby, who came to live with their Grandma Min after their parents died in an auto accident. The two supporting characters are their close friends, Olivia and Nikki.
The plot of this novel centers around the friendship between these four girls and the summer that they spend together before three of the four girls enter 7th grade at the central high school. Ruby, as the younger sister of Flora, is two years younger than the others.
The summer begins with a mysterious letter and two books that are sent to each of the girls inviting them to be part of a secret book club for the summer. This first communication indicates that the girls will receive letters and books every week with instructions for discussion and activities. The girls are excited to be part of the secret club and curious about the source of the letters. Before the summer is over, they read books, have adventures and finally find out who is behind the club. The theme of the book club is bravery, and the girls are asked to participate in Saturday adventures that help them face their own fears. The theme of bravery is particularly relevant since each of the girls is facing their own fears and apprehensions about entering the central high school.
The only criticism that I have of this book is that there are so many characters and sub-plots included in the novel that we do not get a deep understanding of any one of the characters. The novel is told from the perspective of all four of the girlfriends at different points. Each girl has an interesting perspective and background to share. The novel leaves you wanting more insight into each of these characters. Perhaps this deeper insight is gained in some of the other novels that are part of the series. Also, there are two subplots that focus on Fora and Ruby's neighbors. One neighbor, Mary Lou Willett, has Alzheimers and her husband is struggling to cope with the disease. The second neighbor, Robby Edwards, has Down Syndrome and has just started a new job at one of the stores in town. These sub-plots are both interesting, however, they feel somewhat disconnected from the main plot of the novel.
Overall, I think this is a very good book for children grades 5 - 7. The theme of bravery is well developed and the characters are engaging. There is much to be learned from this novel about respecting diversity, being part of a community, generosity and friendship. Although this book is more likely to appeal to young females, I think that all adolescents would enjoy this novel and learn from it.
Master of Pleasure: A Secret Baby Romance (Uncut Book 8)
Master of Pleasure: A Secret Baby Romance (Uncut Book 8)
I love Sasha's fierce love for her adorable twins, Nico and Sam, and her backbone to Gabriel's bitter, sarcastic memories. He quickly sees Sasha's maternal love for Nico and Sam is genuine - 'She kissed Nico on the top of his head as she took the binoculars from him, one arm wrapped firmly around Sam, the other around Nico. There was a pain in Gabriel's gut, a familiar dull ache that suddenly flared into a hot, stabbing sensation. As a child he had never known the tenderness of any woman's maternal embrace'

I love the fight Gabriel has when some HUGE revelations come his way and the fight is on for all things he holds dear - but Sasha's virtuous independence has him back pedaling to redeem himself. 'She felt as though she was existing in some kind of void--something akin to the emotional equivalent of the golden hour after a major accident, when the victim was so traumatised that the body failed to recognize the severity of its injuries. Without saying a word to Gabriel she started to walk back to the house. Sasha shook her head. `No. Your sons, Gabriel, would be as damaged and as tainted by your childhood as you are yourself. An adult can't find salvation through a child. You have to give to them, not take from them.'Somewhere deep inside the most private and vulnerable part of him a long-buried fear was pushing painfully through the protective layers of denial. What if the blame for Sasha leaving him lay not with her, but with him?

My favorite line: He looked round the comfortable, homey room, at the confident smiling faces of the two boys who were now his responsibility. He had been scarcely even allowed to enter the kitchen of his foster parents' farmhouse. It had not possessed the warmth and cleanliness, the security he could see and sense in this room. Like him, it had been dirty and neglected, tainted with the wretchedness of emotional poverty and fear. Because here in this room there was love? Love? A thought as soft as a drifting feather had brushed against his heart, telling him that here, in this private moment of time with Sasha, lay the greatest happiness he could ever know.

A truly poignant moment. So much more rich, well-written passages to be enjoyed - well worth the read.
Le fiabe di Beda il Bardo (I libri della Biblioteca di Hogwarts Vol. 3) (Italian Edition)
Le fiabe di Beda il Bardo (I libri della Biblioteca di Hogwarts Vol. 3) (Italian Edition)
Bella edizione edita da Adriano Salani Editore uscita a luglio 2017.

Si tratta di un libro pensato per i bambini e che è destinato a diventare un must in particolare per i figli di tutti gli appassionati della saga di Harry Potter, ad esempio come me e la mia compagna.

Naturalmente può comunque costituire un pezzo da collezionare, anche senza avere figli ovviamente, e da aggiungere così semplicemente sullo scaffale della libreria insieme alla collana completa dei libri della saga.

So che è disponibile la versione in formato Kindle, tuttavia noi abbiamo deciso di acquistare la versione con copertina rigida, peraltro bella e molto ben rilegata. Le dimensioni del carattere sono ottime per la lettura anche se si hanno gli occhi stanchi, infatti il font è particolarmente ampio e grande. La qualità della carta opaca utilizzata è decisamente buona, nessun problema di riflesso per gli occhi. Siamo soddisfatti dell'acquisto e ci sentiamo di consigliare questa edizione senza nessuna remora. Spero di esservi stato utile e ti ringrazio in ogni caso per aver letto la mia recensione.
Funko Pop Movies Harry Potter-Ron Weasley with Scabbers Toy
Funko Pop Movies Harry Potter-Ron Weasley with Scabbers Toy
I love the product, but the box was ripped and bent like someone previously had a hard time opening it. And there was dust on the funko....so....that tells me this wasn't new as advertised. Definitely not mint, anyway. I'm an out of the box collector, so it's not the end of the world, but it all feels a bit dishonest. I purchased this from box warehouse.
Order of the Majestic (1)
Order of the Majestic (1)
Order of the Majestic takes the reader into the heart of a world where magic is mostly controlled by an evil organization called the Invisible Hand. A young boy named Joey, has no idea that magic is real, for him, he's stressed about his parents wanting him to take some special tests and attend a special private school for geniuses. Just because he aced a few standardized test. But he doesn't see himself as anything special, even after being asked to take a strange test that lands him inside the phantom remains of an old theater. Here he meets Redondo the Magnificent, a talented magician that disappeared twenty years ago. Redondo used to be the head of an organizer called the Order of the Majestic (named after the Majestic Theater in which Redondo now hides). This organization used to oppose the Invisible Hand and worked to spread magic among the masses.

Joey is fascinated by magic's existence, but as he quickly becomes involved in the conflict between the Invisible Hand and Redondo, he's not at all sure that he wants to be involved at all. But something keeps drawing him back. A competition between him and two other young people for the powerful wand that Redondo possesses is something that leaves Joey struggling. He doesn't have the skills to compete against Leonora and Shazad, but he can't bring himself to quit. But when his doubts about himself and about Redondo leave his new-found friends and Redondo in danger of destruction, Joey has to decide if he can find the courage and belief to step up.

The idea of magicians having real magic and Harry Houdini having a powerful wand is a great one for a middle grade fantasy novel. Joey also makes for a great main character as he struggles with self-belief and his reluctance to get involved in the whole evil vs. good use of magic war. It's a valid fear that holds him back after all, he doesn't know Redondo very well, and Redondo is rather a jerk through most of the book. He also knows little about magic and how it works and he's immediately thrown into some difficult situations. And of course, his self-esteem struggles make it hard to believe in anything else and magic requires belief.

I enjoyed the story for the most part, the plot points are rather creative and I loved the phantom theater as a setting. And as I said above, Joey is a sympathetic character. The villains are very villainous and the school Joey might attend is intriguing. What I had a hard time with is Redondo himself. He took himself out of the fight twenty years earlier after an unfortunate series of events and then has the gall to blame Joey when he's tricked and manipulated by the enemy. I really wanted to shake him at that point. Luckily, he redeems himself later on. Overall, Order of the Majestic works as a fantasy involving themes of belief, friendship, and power.
The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools
The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools
Elena Aguilar's first book, the Art of Coaching, fundamentally changed the way I engage with individuals in my life. Though I read it as a novice coach, it is not an exaggeration to say that it had ripple effects in even my most intimate and long-lasting relationships. True to form, her second book, the Art of Coaching teams, is making a noticeable impact on how I interact in teams, both those I lead and those I am a part of. What I have come to love and deeply value from both Elena's books and her workshops (check out her website for a list of offerings!) is the balance she strikes between being philosophical, expansive, and empathetic, while also being deeply practical and solution-oriented. This book is filled with immensely helpful tools - Team Communication Agreements, Indicator's of a Team's Emotional Intelligence, Decision-Making Grids - and even includes, at the opening of the book, a guide for when to use what tool. Most of these resources are available for download from her site after purchase, which is also helpful for bringing them to team meetings. Alongside this, Elena shares stories of her own struggles and triumphs in leading teams seeking to transform schools. Ever conscious of the need to create more equitable conditions for both children and adults, her books is both a challenge and a beacon of hope. It should be required reading for school leaders and all those whose work seeks to create a more just, nimble, and loving world.
Hezbjiti - Cadena de luces LED de 1000 luces LED de 308.4 ft, 8 modos de iluminación para interiores y exteriores, con mando a distancia y temporizador para el hogar, cumpleaños, bodas, fiestas, decoraciones de árbol (1000 LED, color blanco cálido)
Hezbjiti - Cadena de luces LED de 1000 luces LED de 308.4 ft, 8 modos de iluminación para interiores y exteriores, con mando a distancia y temporizador para el hogar, cumpleaños, bodas, fiestas, decoraciones de árbol (1000 LED, color blanco cálido)
We don’t usually string up Christmas lights, because we travel so much around the holidays. However, this year we plan to stay home. That means it’s time to find some great Christmas lights. I was immediately intrigued by this super long, 394-foot strand of LED lights.

These bulbs are tiny little LEDs, more like fairy lights than typical twinkle lights. My biggest complaint is that they aren’t nearly as bright as incandescent bulbs, maybe half as bright even on the brightest setting. They still show up in the dark with a nice warm glow, but you’re not going to be the brightest house on the block by a long shot. I think that the brightness level would be more appropriate for lighting a Christmas tree.

The extra-long strand is great, because you don’t have to connect a bunch of short strands while trying to match the light color/quality or hide all the plugs. On the downside, this strand cannot be plugged into another strand, no daisy chains allowed. The plug is grounded. The cord is clear, instead of traditional green or white, and disappears well against the house.

I love the remote feature. I was able to use it from about 30 feet away or through a window. Using the remote, I can choose from four brightness levels and use eight different light modes. There were several interesting blinking patterns. I liked “wave” the best.

The timer is another great feature. Keep in mind, you can’t set a specific time or duration. Instead once you start the timer, the lights stay on for six hours then go off for 18 hours. This is a nice amount of time for outdoor lights compared to 12 hours on/12 hours off.

There are 1,000 LED bulbs on this strand that claims to only use 6 watts total. This will help with the energy cost of leaving them on night after night. Even after being on for hours, the bulbs are not hot to the touch. If you don’t mind the dimmer light, these are a great option of outdoor Christmas lights. I'd give these a 5-star rating for value, since you normally pay $8-10 per hundred lights, while this one is $50 for 1,000 lights.
Encased iPhone Car Mount for iPhone 12/iPhone 11 Pro Max Phone Holder (Case Friendly Design)
Encased iPhone Car Mount for iPhone 12/iPhone 11 Pro Max Phone Holder (Case Friendly Design)
The mount works great, grips the phone securely and does not budge.
I gave it three stars for the one very annoying issue. The bottom two forks of the mount are positioned as such, that if you are not careful when placing the phone in the mount, they will activate the power or volume down button on the phone, turning the phone off, or muting it. For this not to happen, you need to put the phone in a little off center, which makes the case not grip it as good as it should.
Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne)
Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne)
In my review of Peter McLean’s first book in this series, Priest of Bones, I said I kind of hated Tomas Piety. I still do, and his “wife” even more so, but this time around I feel much more satisfied with how things go for him and his band of criminals. What was simply set up and implied in the last book is brilliantly paid off here, with interest.

The first book covered gang leader Tomas Piety’s return from war to retake his rackets in the industrial city of Ellinburg from other syndicates, only to get pulled into a darker cold war between a foreign power fronting as a rival gang and the Queen’s Men, the crown’s shadowy enforcers. Priest of Lies begins a few months after the end of Bones, where five hundred more or less innocent people were immolated by the Queen’s Men to keep the city of Ellinburg out of the hands of the foreigners. The mood is set right away, with Tomas in a deep despondence. When outwardly it seems he should be at the height of his power, he is in fact being used as a puppet in the same way he himself uses others. The architect of the massacre has forced Tomas into a sham marriage while ordering him about like a common hired thug. Oh, the irony.

There is a brief expository reintroduction to the story and its characters, just enough to remind you what’s going on in case it’s been awhile. There is some humor with a parody of a nagging wife but with vastly more dangerous implications. Tomas cannot enjoy his victory but must continue to battle the foreign-backed gang under the guise of taking even more territory. When his wife/handler insists on gathering up anyone gifted with magical abilities to use in the fight, the plot thickens and they are called to the capital city, where Tomas confronts new enemies in a society whose rules he doesn’t understand.

This book is a little bit less Peaky Blinders and a little more Godfather Part 2. It shows in graphic detail the notion that the higher up you go, the crookeder it becomes. The legitimate rules are no better than the gangsters, and in many ways much worse. I get the same sense in some parts of Michael Corleone at his lowest, when his plans come back to haunt him. In this at least, there is some satisfaction.

I love series that slowly grow in scale like this. I know it’s a vestigial adherence to video games with their stepwise questlines and boss fight progression, but the sense of growth is so satisfying, and it’s used to great effect here. You go from the provincial city, now to the capital, then to…what? How high will the lowly crime boss rise? What will he turn into and how many innocent people will pay the price for it? The short, action-packed chapters keep the pace barreling along to the final explosive conclusion, but I felt they could be longer in some places, just to give the reader a breather. The voice is clear but very affected, and one might start to get tired of the constant refrains of “to my mind” and “years to him.” But I know that’s intentional. These are the thoughts of an intelligent but classically uneducated man.

In grimdark fiction you got no call to expect good guys, only bad and worse. But one thing I absolutely hate, can’t stand is unacknowledged hypocrisy. In this volume, McLean throws me a bone or two, and at least a few chickens come home to roost, and the truth that violence never truly comes without consequence is laid bare. The attempts to humanize Ailsa fail for me, but importantly, not for Tomas, though he acknowledges the cognitive dissonance in his feelings. Speaking of which, McLean’s depiction of PTSD is something the reader won’t soon forget, and adds a searing layer of realism over the whole saga and this volume in particular.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I can say I felt completely vindicated in my opinion of Piety, and I will definitely read on when the next volume comes out, if only to see if he gets his comeuppance.

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