Tag Archives: Review

Excuse me, there’s something on your face. A review of An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Ebook) I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed reading this book. I was also surprised how disappointed I was in the end of this book.

27774758

I loved how we start out in a gut-wrenching high action scene as our main character loses her family and sets off to find the resistance. I enjoyed watching her find the resistance and what she was willing to do get their help in freeing her brother from prison. The second lead in the story is a guy who is training to be one of the ruthless Masks who took her family away. He never had a choice, though, and he’s not very happy with the person they want him to become. I really loved everything about this book until the end. I love series books, but I expect at least part of the story to finish at the end of the book. I like it when the initial plotline closes, and a new one opens at the end. This is one of those books that feels like it ends at the end of a chapter with no satisfying feeling of closure. I hate that. But I really did enjoy watching these two characters grow. This is a very well written fantasy/dystopian that really draws you in. It is worth the read, just be prepared and maybe buy both books at the same time.

 


Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png


You can find the Fire in the Woods series at all these awesome bookish places!

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


 

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

 

Advertisements

You gotta admit, Navy SEALs Are Some Kind of Hero. (Yeah, it’s a book review)

Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann (Audobook/Ebook) Omigosh, I’m a pretty big Suz Brockmann fan, but seriously, she outdid herself with this one. I was a little wary because I didn’t think that the plotline of a guy trying to find his runaway daughter and the pretty neighbor helping him out was going to be exciting enough to hold my interest, but I was turning pages with reckless abandon.

23303664One thing I totally enjoyed was the neighbor is a romance novelist, and she helps by analyzing everything like it is a scene in a book, and she also has one of her characters stuck in her head and talking to her like a conscience. It’s pretty darn funny. Of course the dad is a Navy SEAL, so when the daughter turns from runaway to kidnapping victim, the bad guys are in for a whole lot of whoop-ass. The situation is believable though. I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes in the action scene at the end. The only thing I might subtract a star for happened in the beginning. Dad calls the police because his daughter is missing. The police blow him off and tell him she’ll probably come home. Say what? The first 24 hours are the most important in a missing child case. Statistically, after 24 hours the chances of ever finding a missing child drop at a heart-wrenching rate. I do understand that we needed no police involvement so Dad and the nice neighbor-lady could set off on their adventure together, but the lack of police support left me feeling like the start of the novel seemed forced. So, prepare to suspend your disbelief on that one point. After Dad gets in the neighbor’s car though, and the adventure begins, you are in for a really fun time. This might be my favorite Troubleshooters book yet.


 

Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png


You can find the Fire in the Woods series at all these awesome bookish places!

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


 

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture

Reading a book come Hell Or High Water (A review) Okay, maybe that’s not my best pun. Whatever.

Hell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker(Audiobook) This is book one in the Deep Six series. I was introduced to Julie Ann Walker with an ARC of book two in this series, Devil in the Deep last year, and I was instantly hooked, chowing down on all of her Black Knights books. But when those started to get a little stale for me (After many, many books), I decided to check out the rest of the series that drew me in in the first place. 23510148Hell or High Water instantly drew me in. I think This is because I enjoy the setting of the sea and islands in the Deep Six books a little more than I enjoy the bike shop setting of Black Knights. Anyway, Hell or High Water is about a team of retired Navy SEALs that have become salvage-guys. They are searching for the fabled wreck of the treasure ship Santa Christina. But their history comes to haunt them when a CIA agent that worked with them on a past SEAL job comes to them for help. A group of terrorists have stolen a stash of Chemicals that can be turned into horrific weapons. The CIA managed to sink their ship, but now the CIA needed to get to the chemicals before the terrorists come back to get them, and the Deep 6 team is the closest salvage team with government connections, and the only team that can get there in time. Of course, everything goes wrong or there wouldn’t be a story. Terrorist are horribly unpredictable, making for a great high-octane thrill ride to save the world. Hell or High Water had everything I loved in the second book, and it was great seeing the characters featured in Devil in the Deep meeting for the first time. I give this one two enthusiastic thumbs up (and an adult content warning. One of the SEALs has a heck of a thing for the Female CIA agent, and SEALs aren’t afraid to go after what they want, if you get my meaning)


Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png


You can find the Fire in the Woods series at all these awesome bookish places!

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


 

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

Serial Killers Anyone? Nighttime is My Time by Mary Higgins Clark

Nighttime Is My Time by Mary Higgins Clark (Audiobook) This is a serial killer murder mystery. The Killer, “The Owl” was picked on by a group of girls in the first grade. Coming into contact with one of them years later triggers him to start killing them one at a time in the order in which they are seated in a picture of the girls at the lunch table from high school. This was an interesting

41492

story, and I liked how just about everyone had some motive. I also liked how in the last act, the reason for the murder switches a bit. In the end, though, I was not aghast when the murderer is unmasked. In fact, I wasn’t really sure who he was. I think that had to do with the fact that there were so many characters that I had trouble keeping them straight. There were quite a few characters that were very defined for me, but the murder did not stand out enough in the scenes when he was just hanging out with friends to make me like/dislike/or even suspect him. Because of that the ending reveal was a bit lackluster, but I did enjoy the ride to get there.

Blasting through space with a Starship Mage by Glynn Stewart.

Starship Mage by Glynn Stewart (Audiobook) This is one of those books that I don’t know where I found. I picked it up quite a while ago and it has been 23848809sitting there while I kept adding more and more audio titles to my library (Yeah, I know. My Ebook collection is even worse.) Anyway, after reading romance for a few months, I finally tapped on Starship’s Mage.

All I have to say is GREAT GOOGLEY MOOGLEY where has this book been all my life? I mean, seriously, people… Why is the world not screaming about this story? Why isn’t there a movie?

Okay, so, yes, there are a few flaws. I really wish that there was a bit more emotional engagement between the characters. The good thing about listening on audiobook is the narrator can sometimes fill in these blanks with their voice, but the connection was still lacking in some places. The second, and probably more noticeable problem is the author likes to repeat himself. (A lot) One chapter we have this epic battle scene, and at the start of the next chapter we re-hash that battle scene (in case the reader forgot) And he kept explaining about the ribs turning around the ship, and we are told over an over that the simulacrum is in the center of this ship, and what it can do, and that the captain is burly, and that Damien is a mage and can do all this cool stuff. You get my meaning? The book feels a little but like it was written in serial (Which would make all of the above perfectly acceptable) and then it was glued all together to make one novel.

** NOW WAIT! **

Don’t get me wrong. These are INCREDIBLY minor issues when we are talking about how freaking fun this book is. I was instantly drawn in, connecting with the main character, Damien, as he strolled the halls of a space station, looking for a job. I instantly loved the down-on-his-luck captain who needed a mage and was being denied one by the powers-that-be. You see, if you don’t have a mage to work your simulacrum, your ship can’t jump (think Han-Solo and hyperspace). Now, nobody knows it yet, not even Damien, but he is more powerful than your normal mage, and we are about to jump on board to one of the most surprising, exciting, adventures out there… Because the captain is already on the run with a price on his head, and when people find out what Damien can do, the intergalactic police, the mob, and several bounty-hunters will stop at nothing to get their hands on him.

There are a few points where the characters make poor choices that a seasoned adult should know better, but all in all I say, “Who cares?” because I had that much fun reading. If you like science fiction, don’t walk, RUN to pick this baby up. I seriously don’t think you’ll be sorry. An easy five stars. I liked it so much I can’t even subtract a star for the repetition. [She opens up her phone to pick up the next book in the series]

NOTE: I went back for fun and read a few reviews. Many mentioned the repetition, but several mentioned too much use of the F-Bomb. I don’t actually recall this. It is possible the audio-narrator left them out. Anyway… I wanted to say that if there were a lot, I didn’t notice, and I am one of those people who would normally subtract a star if profanity is overused.

Sometimes a book gets Under The Skin – A Review

Under the Skin by Michel Faber (Audiobook) This is kind of a weird book to get my head around. I picked it up because it was mentioned in a podcast as a book that transcended genre… that the characters were so great that even people 123063who hate science fiction could get into it. Overall, I have to agree with that, with a few caveats.

One, I would not label this science fiction, even though there are aliens in it. Overall, it feels very literary to me. Literary science fiction? Yeah, like I said… it’s hard to get your head around. The main character is, if effect, a serial killer. She picks up hitchhikers and decides which will live and which will die in a horrific manner. Don’t judge her though. She’s just doing her job. That’s the weird thing… you are so centered in this girl’s head that you do feel like you are doing this horrible job with her. The author does a great job of removing empathy and mercy from this character’s psyche (after all, she is not human) and you really bond with her and are along for the ride (not as her hitchhikers, thank goodness.)

What I found a bit odd, though, was the ending. I guess that I expected something fantastic because this is science fiction at heart. But instead… Well, I don’t want to ruin it, but this is one of the reasons this feels literary to me. In some instances, I feel like maybe the author had developed this amazing character, but then didn’t know what to do with her. So instead of developing more of an arc, the story ended. Either that, or the story is literary, thus making the ending absolutely brilliant. Again… tough call. Overall, though, despite the great characterization, this story left me pretty unfulfilled. If you like literary, give this a try and let me know what you think (Don’t worry, it does not read like a scifi AT ALL.)

And the body count rises – a Review of Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy (eBook)
This book is a serial killer mystery that takes place in a high school. To be honest, 32972117this book came close to a do-not-finish for me, because the beginning was very slow for me. A girl gets murdered, and then there is tons of day to day stuff that didn’t keep my interest. Somehow though, I trudged on, and I did end up eventually enjoying the book. I just wish I got there a little faster. Anyway, once this gets going it is a fun mystery. The only thing that bummed me about it, is I picked out the serial killer very early on, and I was 98% correct on the reason why. I was really, really hoping that there would be a twist at the end, and it would be a “ha! I fooled you moment” from the author, and the killer would end up being someone devilishly clever… but that was not meant to be. But anyway, I am sure there will be others who will be surprised. Like I said, once it gets going it is a pretty descent read. An awesome twist at the end would have put this in five star territory. I would still recommend this for anyone loving a good mystery. I really wish there were half stars, because this is better than three stars, but I’m not fangirling enough for four. I would definitely check out this author’s other works, though. The writing is readable and flows well.

Crawling out of the pit of despair. A review of NIGHTINGALE by @JocelynAdams

Nightingale by Jocelyn Adams (Ebook) I am a pretty big Jocelyn Adams fan, and while this is not my favorite book by her, I think it will stand out as an ambitious, thought-provoking effort to those who enjoy deep themes and slow-36359941burn romance.

Micah is a rich former playboy who has been brutally disfigured after being held captive by a Columbian drug lord. Darcy is an ambitious reporter who nails the interview of a lifetime when Micah finally agrees to reveal what happened, and how he and a small group of captives escaped. She finds herself falling for Micah over the week-long interview, and ends up questioning which is more important to her… printing a story that rockets her to fame, or protecting the secrets of a man who used the horror of an unthinkable experience to refocus and devote his resources to saving people’s lives.

I really liked how Darcy didn’t take the easy way out and sleep with him right off the bat to get him to talk. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other, and how their very different lives had so many similarities that I could actually believe they would fall for each other despite the class lines.

There’s not really anything to complain about here. If you enjoy a more realistic romance, where people take the time to fall in love before falling into the sheets, this book should be a winner for you.

There’s one of these Raffle-Copter things associated with this book’s release. Here it is if you are the contest-type. $25 Gift Card up for grabs.

Rafflecopter linky-thing

Catch you later!

Gearing up for a Hot Pursuit – A review of Julie Ann Walker’s latest Black Knights book

Hot Pursuit by Julie Ann Walker (Ebook) This book is part of the Black Knights series, where a team of ex-military guys are undercover in a motorcycle shop, and actually working for the president as independent contractors. The 31676242books are all self-contained, but interwoven with the same characters. Each book centers on not only a special op, but on the romance between one of the operatives, and a girl we’ve either seen in other books, or one that just pops up. For several books, we’ve been watching Ex-UK special OPS Christian Watson spar against Emily, the office manager. (Kind of annoyingly so, IMO) Hot Pursuit is their story.

I had a little trouble with this one, because while Christian has been a favorite character of mine through these books, Emily has always annoyed me. While I knew this matching was inevitable, I guess I hoped he’d find someone else. By the end, I must admit, I’d grown a little fonder of Emily, but I’m wondering if the story being about her is what stopped me from getting completely engrossed.

Also, this special Ops part of the story fell very flat for me. While most of the books made sense, I felt like this one was forced. I completely understand the story, what happened and why (I don’t want to spoil it) but for the first time in a Walker novel, I found myself rolling my eyes at the action-part of the novel. I guess I just didn’t buy the bad guys or their reasons for doing what they did. I suppose when you’re writing a series that is as long as The Black Knights you’re going to throw a ground ball once in a while. I just wish it wasn’t in Christian’s story.

Then again, I’d have to admit that my bar was set pretty high where Christian is concerned, so that might have a lot to do with it as well. We still see the great writing, wonderful flow and super-readability that I expect from Walker. I’m looking forward to the main plotline picking up again in the next book to re-hook me with Black-Knight goodness.

OOO! OOO! I wanna play with the sticky Goo! A Review of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen @scott_thought

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (Ebook)

Omigosh! This book was such a great surprise! This was like The Hunger Games in outer space… A group of low-income teenagers are recruited for a job on another planet. The voyage will take a long time, and they will be trained along the way. They and their family are 27426044going to get paid a TON of money for these kids working this job. But there is a catch… they will be trained during the flight to the other planet. Each day they will receive a score. There are twelve kids, but only ten get the job. The lowest two go home. (I may have gotten the numbers wrong in that synopsis, but that’s the jist of it.)

Holy cow did I enjoy this book! I loved the diverse characters, and how they interacted, and how each on was a distinct person. I was rooting for some, and booing at others, and who I was rooting for changed throughout the book. Also, every time I thought I know what was going on… BAM! Plot twist! And I mean multiple plot twists. Even when I was nearing the end, BOOM! There’s another, just in case you were getting comfy near the very end of the book.

Whew! Now, this is most definitely a book one. You do not get a complete story here, but enough of the story to make me happy. There is definitely more adventure to be had, and I am first in line to see what happens after they all XXXX on the XXXX! I mean seriously, what is XXXX going to do to XXXXX when she finds out XXXXX. Arghhhhh! So good! And easy five stars from me.


 

Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png


You can find the Fire in the Woods series at all these awesome bookish places!

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


 

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture