Tag Archives: Book Review

Ummm, why am I holding a gun? A review of Project Pandora by @AdenPolydoros

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros (Ebook) Wow- what an opening chapter! This book immediately drew me in. 31450642Our main characters are all about 17 years old. They are normal kids attending school, but every once in a while a phone rings, someone speaks some keywords, and these kids are hypnotized into triggering skills they don’t know they had, and they are forced to assassinate people. Once the job is done, they forget and return to their everyday lives. Such a creepy premise!

As we move on, one of the characters starts to lose his programming, and begins to remember his other life when he shouldn’t remember.

I loved this book all the way through, with a slight falling at the end. This is obviously a book one. However, we aren’t given closure to any part of the story in this first installment. I feel like with just an extra chapter the characters could have come full circle and completed something, even if it was an emotional part of the journey.

31450642One character was left up in the air as to their survival. I think this might be the missing element that left me feeling unsatisfied…Not hanging like a cliffhanger, this is different. I think if maybe we either saw that character’s funeral, or experienced their emotions once they woke up… Yeah, I think that is the problem for me… If that one character got closure (and sorry, I felt like there was not closure) I think this book would have rocked it until the end.

So, all this to say, this was a super fun, exciting read. I would suggest, however, waiting until the next book comes out and counting on reading both books back to back if you don’t want to be frustrated with a too-open ending. Otherwise, this feels like you are reading the first half of a book, and then being forced to wait before you can read the second half… if that makes sense. But that is NOT enough reason to miss out on this one. I really enjoyed it a lot and will be looking for the next book.

Four stars, subtracting one only for the almost-an-ending [She twiddles her thumbs, wondering when she can get a copy of the next book]

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Rapunzel with a modern day twist. A Review of The Distance Between Stars by Nicole Conway

The Distance Between Stars by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This was a nice, sweet read reminiscent of Rapunzel.

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In this story, a dancer suffering from a severe allergy to the sun is locked away in the top floor of a large home (complete with a tower to be saved from) in order to keep her safe.

The new groundskeeper is an ex-soldier suffering from a form of PTSD that leaves him unable to talk. He can only communicate through gestures and writing on a pad that he keeps with him.

I really enjoyed how the relationship develops between these two characters. The dancer sneaks downstairs and steals his notebook, writes a note to him, and then he responds the next day. They become good friends without even seeing each other, and eventually, once they meet, they become something more.

Again, this is a nice sweet romantic tale with a HFN ending. My only quibble is I wish there were one or two more chapters.

[Extremely minor spoiler ahead] The whole vibe of the story is how these two characters will save each other. While we see one saved, I think we could have spent a little more time seeing the HEA for the other character as well.

But other than that, this left me feeling all warm, cuddly and gooey inside.

It was one of the best, Until… A review of Consolation by Corinne Michaels

Consolation by Corinne Michaels (Audiobook) I have extremely mixed emotions about this book. From the first page to the last page, I was about to

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place this book on the top of by “Best Contemporary Romances” list. But then I read the last few lines.

This book is about a pregnant woman whose Navy SEAL husband dies overseas. We feel her heartache through the first chapters, and then we begin on a very realistic journey of healing. Her husband’s best friend stays local after the funeral, and tries to help her get her life back together (While she raises a newborn). And yes, this is a romance, so a relationship develops between the two of them.

I loved pretty much everything about this story. I found it perfect, haunting, and believable.

HOWEVER my bubble burst in the last few lines of the book. There is the MOTHER of cliffhangers. There is absolutely no closure, and you have to get another book to fish the story. I should have been prepared, because I knew there was another book, but I expected SOME sort of closure. So, my suggestions would be to definitely read this book, but don’t read the last chapter. Give yourself the wonderful, happy ending that you are supposed to get in a romance novel by NOT reading all the way to the end. Take out that last chapter, and this is a five star book.

I’ll have my super powers, and I’ll use them, too. A review of Anomaly by Tonya Kuper **** Four Stars!

Anomaly by Tonya Kuper (Ebook)

This book is about a girl who suddenly 20696040can make almost anything appear. Anomaly takes place in present day, but there is a secret society of Pushers (those who can make anything inorganic appear) and Pullers (Those that can retract, or make things disappear). Occasionally among these people is born an Anomaly that can both Push and Pull. (Yup, our heroine is an Anomaly) She may be the most powerful anomaly the world has ever known, and they need to train her fast, because they need to get a top secret serum to the Vice President quickly, but there is another secret society that wants to stop them. (Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that, but this is the jist of it.)

I really enjoyed this book. The writing flows nicely and I felt completely engaged with the characters. My only nitpick might be that the big, scary job that they are 23014836training her to do didn’t really seem all that big and scary to me. And when they got there, there was this epic battle, but I wasn’t really sure why the main character HAD to be the one. (Especially since there were so many others there.)

Pushing that aside, this was a really fun read, and there is a double-edged twist in the end that really caught me off guard. Never saw either one coming.

So, yes, a thumbs up on this one. I will be reading and reviewing the next book, Enigma, shortly.

Book two just released, so no worries about having to wait to continue the series. And according to the author on Goodreads, this s only a two book series. So… ready, set, go! (She reaches for her Kindle and opens up the next book)

Ex Navy SEALs Turned Bike Repairmen? A Review of Wile Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Format: Audiobook **Adult Content Warning**

This is the second Julie Ann Walker book I’ve read, but the first in this Black Knights series. I really loved Devil and the Deep, and was expecting the same 30166725non-stop action in this new book.

Wild Ride was not as Wild as I expected. It was a little, no, it was a lot more general contemporary than I expected. I expected a little more excitement for an ex-navy SEAL novel, but the first 3/4 of this book was just really about bikers, which I found to be a bit of a turnoff. Walker’s writing and readability are just as awesome as ever, and I am wondering if the other books in this series have more action in them. The last, say 25% of this book was a heck of a lot of fun… exactly what I expected… it just took me a long time to get there. If you don’t mind bikers in your story, and a slower pace at the beginning of a novel, you’d probably rate this four or five stars. It’s a great book, just not quite what I was expecting.

When a book brings you on a grand adventure: A Review of Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake (Ebook) It’s kinda hard to explain what this book is about. Most large libraries hold magic books that are actually portals. 17669243There are people guarding these portals from things that go bump in the night that might try to use the portals to move into our world. Our heroine accidentally falls through one of these books because she is actually one of these wardens because her mother was one. – Okay, that is really oversimplifying it, but that’s the best I can do.

This book is really rich with world building, and the world created is pretty cool, with a life all its own. There is a whole lot of story going on here, and at times I felt a little overwhelmed. This book also seemed really long. But again, a lot was going on.

Our heroine is falling for another warden, and he is very interested in her, but they are forbidden from being together because of a curse. There is also another guy in the picture, creating a love triangle (To be honest, I kinda like the other guy better) This is definitely a book one, because most of the story is left open at the end. If you are into rich, fantastical worlds, are okay with a long (not boring, just long) read, and like a series, this it totally the book for you. Four Stars.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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in a great while, A Movie is Actually Better Than The Book – THE IRON MAN vs. THE IRON GIANT

The Iron Man / The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes (Paperback) 

Now, This is just an opinion, please don’t start freaking out because this is a classic book… Hear me out!

The well-known USA animated movie, THE IRON GIANT was based off of a 1968 kids book called THE IRON MAN. It was renamed for the movie because “Iron Man” was already a superhero franchise in the USA. I saw the movie first, and it was one of those stories that stuck with me, and probably helped spur my love of contemporary science fiction today.

The original book by Ted Hughes was a cute story about a big robot that shows up and starts eating tractors. 119502The townspeople, sick of losing their tractors trap him in a big hole. After he escapes, they lead him to a junkyard where the Iron Man is more than happy to sit around eating cars and other metal junk all day, every day. Then a space dragon the size of Australia shows up and the Iron Man needs to save earth (with an odd contest, not a fight). (Note: the book is only about 70 pages long with REALLY BIG type and pictures. I finished it in under half an hour)

While I do applaud Ted Hughes’s vision of a simple, non-violent story for kids, I have to admit that the adaption for film was a lot more fun. The introduction of the psycho FBI Agent and the government wanting to find and destroy the Iron Man added what I consider a much more realistic element. And while the relationship between Hogarth and the Iron Man is hinted at in the book, their friendship really comes alive in the movie. And that ending… wow, sooooo much more satisfying that a non-aggressive “who is stronger that who” contest at the end.

119502Hughes’s original book was about peaceful existence and tolerance for all. The move delved deeper. While still having a profound theme of tolerance for those who are not like you, it also really pushed friendship, and believing that you can overcome all odds to be who you want to be, rather than who everyone thinks you are.

For me, the movie touched on what I deal with as a person every day, where the original book seemed more of a political statement. Again, yes, I applaud the original author’s intent for peaceful existence for all; but in the end, I’d rather show a little realistic violence and learn a message that people of all ages can apply to everyday life.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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Take me where no one has gone before. A review of Avalon by @MindeeArnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Hardcover)

This book is a hard sci-fi, which isn’t usually my thing, but I am happy to say that I really loved it!

17149396We are taken off planet where we are introduced to a group of kids that are deviously good at stealing things. Their leader is working off his uncle’s debt in order to hopefully one day have enough money to buy his deceased parent’s ship back. They end up voyaging into a dangerous part of space to retrieve some sort of weapon. This is where the fun begins.

I really enjoyed the rag-tag group of characters in this book. Each was distinct and could probably hold a novel on their own. The Main character’s plight is engaging and relatable, and you are genuinely concerned about the fate of him, his crew, and the ship.

I definitely recommend this one. This is a duology, but I was not left hanging without an ending. I will still most likely read the next book thought. Great sci-fi fun.

Strap yourself in for a heck of a ride: A review of Betrayed by a Kiss

Betrayed by a Kiss by (Ebook)

This book starts out with a huge bang. Hacker Marnie races to save a retired cop after finding out that her former boss has put a price on his head.

The beginning of this book really drew me in. Marnie was hired for her hacker skills to find out information about her boss’s enemies. While researching the cop, she falls for him, and when she discovers that people she has researched had a bad habit of being murdered, she decides to try and save him.

This is a really interesting clash of two worlds, because we have this straight-laced cop being helped by this white-collar criminal, and also by several people that he would have felt compelled to arrest not to long ago.

This is a romance, at heart, where the cop and Marnie team up to clear their names and bring down the boss and the corporation that has marked them both for death. I give this four stars, taking off one because it gets a little slow here and there, but this is true to the story and didn’t really affect my enjoyment. Overall, I found myself excited to get back to this book every evening.

Hanging out AMONG THE HIDDEN, a review of the book byMargaret Peterson Haddix Margaret Peterson Haddix Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix – This is a middle grade dystopian. Middle grade is not normally my thing, but I was trying to 1222403encourage my youngest to actually finish a book by reading it with him.

This is a pretty dark look into the future, and it probably enough to scare the pants off younger middle graders, so please take caution.

There is an evil-overlord government, and people die for the crime of being born… yeah, pretty scary.

My son liked it overall, and he DID finish it. He was not disturbed, but he is 11… take caution for younger readers. He did say he would be willing to read the next book in the series, so I’d call that a win, being that he has not finished a book in months before this.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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