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[Reviews] Shoes to Die For

Because sometimes, high fashion is murder.

[Reviews] A Great Deliverance

A strong start to what looks to be a series that I could easily come to adore, though I'm not quite there yet.

Murder in Thrall

"Murder In Thrall," the first installment in a new-ish mystery novel series from novelist Anne Cleeland, is the clumsy start to what might in subsequent volumes prove an interesting venture.

As the novel begins, readers are introduced to Kathleen Doyle, the viewpoint character. She is an Irish policewoman with distinctive red hair and the unlikely, almost magical ability to intuitively know when people are lying or when a situation isn't quite right. This she does with no explanation provided other than that she is blessed with a gift.

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Cloche and Dagger

"Cloche and Dagger," the first novel in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, was just the book I needed at the time I read it. I haven't read any of McKinlay's previous books, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading. What I found was a delightful setting, populated by equally delightful characters and situations, but a not especially compelling mystery. Still, as an introduction to a new series, I'd call that a decent start overall.

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Some games have a hard time inspiring much more from me than a sense that they were competent but could have been better. JuJu didn't buck that trend, as it provided a thoroughly competent experience, nice visuals, and a lack of originality that unfortunately dragged it all down a bit.

I was happy for the review assignment, though, as I always am. And honestly, I enjoyed large chunks of the game, between the bits that left me bored. I also was happy for an excuse to play around a bit with my wife, who rarely agrees to sit down for some gaming because she doesn't like cooperative play and she doesn't win if we pick something more competitive. I had to coax her to play, but then we had some fun running around a jungle environment and that was nice.

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Why would anyone care about Metacritic?

Recently, I've seen a number of complaints about Metacritic, and some freelancers wonder why anyone even cares about the popular aggregation site. I thought it might be helpful, then, to point to some reasons those people might not have considered.

Before I go any further, I'd like to add that I have been trying to get Metacritic to link to reviews on my site, HonestGamers, since December 5, 2004. I still have a copy of the awkward first email to prove it. None of those efforts have gone anywhere productive. Metacritic's editor has declined to add links each time I asked. He is under no obligation to explain precisely why that is, and he never has (despite always being very friendly).

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