Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Hell Divers

Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes readers on a roller coaster ride straight into Hell, where the fate of human kind is left in the hand of a few:

After more than two centuries following WWIII poisoned the planet and forced the remaining human population to live on massive airships that circle the Earth, humans are in danger once again. Most of the ships have fallen from the sky with failing technology with easily accessible parts to fix the problems, there is now only a couple left. The only way to keep the ships running is to salvage what they can from  which is turned in to a Hell where is where the Hell Divers are needed to complete these missions. X is the best and most experienced Hell Diver, he has completed the most dives and missions (most only make it to 7 Dives before they die). When one of the remaining ships is damaged in a storm they call for help, all of the human race may be doomed and it is up to X and the rest of the Hell Divers to try and save them.

This is the first book I have read by Sansbury and it blew me away. It is a sci-fi/post apocalyptic book and sci-fi is something I usually  stay away from, but the premise sounded really different and interesting so I took the plunge; I'm so glad I did. This was a real page turner and  you'll want to read this book in one sitting, it was really hard for me to put this one down. It grabs hold of you from the very beginning and never lets go. There is very little let up on the action sequences on both Earth and the Hive, though on the Hive it much more political kind of suspense as the Captain tries to deal with no only the impending doom of the other ship but that of her own as well. Sacrifices need to be made and not everyone is happy about the decisions that she makes.

The world building was really well done and the description of not only the mutated monsters on Earth but the landscape and hardships that the Hell Divers had to endure while on the surface was well written.There are certain situations that you feel the weather and cold they have to endure and in the case of one of the Hell Divers his struggle to survive on nothing. There is also the extreme radiation that they have to deal with on each dive that adds in another element of danger that they need to be aware of. I also did not think that this book was too sci-fi for me, I liked that it was more of an apocalyptic book than a sci-fi book. I never felt like I was not able to understand what was going on or the machinery or weapons that the Hell Divers and the Hive rely on. The idea of the Hell Divers is extremely inventive and not something I have read, or even heard of being done in books before, so Sansbury's imagination hits a home run in this book

This book had an awesome main character. I mean how can you not love X even with his flaws he does what he has to do so that the human race can survive. Talk about selflessness. He is there to serve the greater good of humanity. He doesn't know when his next or last dive will be but he never shies away from that responsibility. I liked that Sansbury had X become more humanized than this thing of legend to the other people on the ship, with him having to take care of Tin. It gave him even more of a purpose than before and a now reason to try to get back at all costs. I could read a many books with X or someone like him as the main character.

All I can say is What an ending! It was not one that I saw coming which I think every reader loves in this type of book. So I guess you can say (and probably tell) that I am excited for the next book in this series, the summer and this book release cannot come fast enough. I'm also going to check out the other series that Sansbury has to offer.Sansbury really impresses with this book.

Enjoy!!!
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

W. Bruce Cameron: A Dog's Purpose





This book is a super cute read and I highly recommend it not only if you are a dog/animal lover, but need a feel goo read. I have not read too many books from an animals point of view, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It is kind of nice to have a non human point of view, however, Cameron has a good balance of Toby's voice and adding in additional human details that I would assume a dog would not notice or think about. I think that Cameron was smart to add these details, of have Toby over hear conversations that he may not understand but it allows the reader to get to know the world that Toby is living in better, and allows for a break from the canine observations

I really enjoyed the idea of reincarnation within this book as it was interesting seeing the different lives that Toby takes and the skills he learns along the way. We should all be so lucky to be able to carry this type of learning experience with us. It was also interesting that he was not stuck to a single gender along the way and I think that Cameron is trying to show it is the soul of the dog that matters most.

This book was cute read and will make you laugh and cry throughout especially if you are animal lovers. I have just realized that this is only the first book in a series, so I look forward to seeing where the second book leads. I also know this book has been turned in to a movie so I'm going to have to watch it as well.

Enjoy!!!
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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sean Platt & David W. Wright: Yesterday's Gone (Season 1)

Sean Platt and David Wright take readers on a  journey of what would happen if one day you woke up and everyone was gone:

Well almost everyone, there seem to be a few people that are still here alive, assuming everyone else is dead. The surviving few are different ages, gender, race, occupations and some are good and some are evil. It is unknown why they were chosen to survive and survive they must, as there is something more watching them. Side will be chosen, allies and enemies made, can the human race survive just on these "chosen" few.

This book was originally released in a serial format, but I received the first six episodes in one book. For me this book was a DNF and I hate that it was as the premise of the book had so much promise and intrigue for me. I was able to make it through one serial and half of the next section when I stopped reading, I lost interest in the entire book and where the authors were going with it. I think that due to the fact that it was in a serial so they needed to have each serial as a mini book instead of chapters and for me this affected the overall flow of the book. I think that the serial format hurt this book but maybe I would have thought differently if I had read it in the serial format instead of having it lumped together in a book as I would have had a break between the releases. Personally, I think the serial format is better suited for TV and honestly I could see this book as a TV show, just from how it was presented and written

I could not get in to the story or the characters and the characters I did find interesting had less sections from their viewpoints, which that takes me to my next point that there were too many characters. With too many characters there were too many different experiences and too much information about each one to not only keep them straight but also to understand what was going on in the book. 

I'm always disappointed when I'm unable to finish a book, but sometimes it just happens, and we all move on to a book that will hopefully be an amazing. If you have previously read a book that is serial in format then you may like this one as well, but it was not for me.

Cheers!!!
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shari Lapena: The Couple Next Door

 
In her debut in the suspense/mystery genre Shari Lapena asks the question, how well do you those who are close to you: 

Anne and Marco are invited to a dinner party, only problem is their new baby is not invited. Good thing you live next door to the dinner party, at least that is what Anne's husband, Marco tells her and that between the baby monitor and checking on Cora every hour Marco is convinced. Everything is not fine, when they return home in the early morning hours to every parent's nightmare, the crib is empty, the baby is gone. What ensues is panic and every parent's nightmare. Will they get Cora back, who could have taken her, why did they leave her alone, did Anne do something to Cora? All of these questions are racing through everyone's mind as they try to find out what happened and get Cora back before it is too late.

This was a good debut for Lapena in this genre and really touched home on some points for me. As a new mom, this book starts out as my worst nightmare. Going in to the baby's room and finding they're missing would break anyone's heart but as a parent now, I cannot even imagine how I would react. I liked that Lapena had some aspects of postpartum depression and symptoms in the book and highlighted how things can be difficult for a lot of new moms out there. You really feel for Anne as she is struggling with it but it feel like she has no one to talk to it about and it seems very little understanding from her husband ans so call friend. I personally wanted to go through the book and grab the so called friend, Cynthia, who was next door when she made comments about how much Anne had changed after the baby and how she was no longer fun and interesting....All i can say is she ruffled more than one of my feathers lol.

I think that throughout the book I am most drawn to Anne and her struggle to come to terms of her child missing and all the walls crumbling down around her, especially when she and Marco are suspects right off the bat. You can really feel her emotions and struggle and I think that Lapena did a really good job in her characterization. I did feel like Anne was the main character in this book, I know that Marco has quite a bit from his point of view but I felt like everything really was centered around Anne. I also liked the police officer in this book, and I wish there was more from his point of view as he seemed like the tough as nails type of guy.

What I did not like about this book is that you as the reader know more than the characters and you are waiting for Anne to figure it out. I'm not a fan when main characters are behind what the reader knows, it takes out the suspense and mystery aspects of the book. I also felt that the book lacked any major twist or turns and I found it very predictable in the way that the plot unfolded.

This is a good book and I think that I enjoyed it more as I was able to feel some sort of connection with Anne. I do not think I would have liked this book as much if I had not felt this connection as I found the plot/mystery/suspense aspect a little lack luster, full of drama sure, but not normally the type of drama I'm drawn to (think Lifetime movie). However, I would read another book by Lapena as there were aspects in this book I liked and I think there is some real story tell talent here.

Enjoy!!!
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ezekiel Boone: The Hatching

With his debut novel and the start of a new series Ezekiel Boone takes a more creepy crawly stand to the end of the human population:


In the jungles of Peru Americas appear to be devoured by a moving black mass, there are unusual seismic activities in India and in China the set off an Atomic bomb in one of their most remote regions and claim it was an accident. All levels of government are trying to figure out what is going one.  All these events at first glance do not appear to be connected but humans will soon find out than a long dormant species has began to hatch and they need to feed, breed and spread and humans are the perfect target.

I was really impressed with Boone's debut novel. I found it interesting and against the norm in regards to his end of the world scenario which is extremely refreshing (too many zombie or the like out there now). I do not think I have read or watched a movie that was so spider heavy since Arachnophobia when I was younger (Yes I'm aware that there were spiders in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings but they were not constant throughout the book). If you have a fear of spiders you probably won't want to pick this book up unless you like being scared then this one is for you. I can probably guarantee even if you are not scared of spiders you're going to start feeling something crawling on your skin, or in my case having dreams about spiders. I think this speaks to the fact that the book is well written and that the details of the spider's in action makes you feel like you are there with them.

I appreciated that you could tell that Boone had done some research on Spiders, knew the difference species as well as how they interacted with each other and in the wild. Additionally, Boone has done some research in the ability for insects to be dormant for long periods of time and only emerging when conditions are right. What I think I liked best about Boone's spiders is that they were not these large scary for just being large kind of spiders, sometimes things that are small and in large numbers are that more terrifying. They were smallish (I believe it was stated they were quite a bit smaller than the Goliath bird eating spider) and they used their numbers to their advantage. How some of the spiders reproduced was just crazy (in a good way) and extremely smart, I like the ingenuity and research of this type of breeding that Boone brought to the book.

There are quite a few different view points in the book but I didn't really find myself caring that much about the all the character, it was all about the spiders for me. I mean I liked the Dr. Melanie Guyer and FBI Agent Mike Rich, who I would say are the main characters in this book as they seem to have the most chapters from their point of view but they were just part of the plot really. I'm glad that Boone included a spider expert (Arachnology) in the book, as she is a key player in figuring everything out. The one thing I did not like about Melanie is that she thinks about sex and sexual acts a little bit too much for me, but that is just a personal preference. I will say that some of the point of views feel like one offs in this book, but as this book is part of a series they may be developed more in the next book.

I look forward to reading the next book in this series and have some high expectations for it too. Can't wait  to start feeling the creepy crawly feeling as I read again (well maybe I can wait a bit, its not the best feeling in the world, lol).

Enjoy!!!
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mary Kubice: The Good Girl

In her debut novel Mary Kubice explores two sides of what happens when someone is kidnapped:

Mia was supposed to meet her boyfriend at a bar and when he doesn't show, again, she does something reckless and stupid, she leaves with a stranger. Little does she know he is there for another reason, he was there specifically for her. Colin takes Mia to a secluded cabin in the woods instead of delivering her to his employers both their lives are now in trouble. Mia doesn't know why she was taken, Colin doesn't know why he decided to go against the plan, but their lives and that of Mia's mother, Eve, are forever changed.

Kubice has been an author that I have seen a lot of lately and I decided to try her book (and not because it is hyped as the next gone girl....it is not). I will say that it took me two readings in order to get in to this book, as I was unable to get in to the book the first time and I am really glad I picked it back up. This was a really good book and it was even better once I realized that this was her debut novel. It was an interesting twist that the who the book is about does not have parts told from her point of view. All the information we get about Mia / Chloe is through another person, mainly her mother Eve and Colin her abductor, with the police officer in charge of the investigation in to Mia's abduction Gabe every once in awhile Although Gabe's parts were my least favourite in the book as they did not really add anything to Mia's story, they added a bit to Colins', but I found the investigation part a bit lackluster and definitely secondary.

I really enjoyed the format that Kubice and it really helped tell the story of Mia and how she became Chloe. It also added to the suspense of trying to figure out when and how Mia was able to get away from Colin. Like I said Kudice was very very successful in using this format to her advantage. It was addicting at times as you want to figure out how Mia became Chloe, how she got away, Colin's motivations and what job he was originally hired to do.

It was interesting seeing Mia go through the stages of being the victim of a kidnapping and eventually turning in to Chloe. Stockholm syndrome is very present in this book and it appears that Kubice had good knowledge about the syndrome. Though I do wish we could have been inside Mia's head at the time it was occurring by the end of the book you know why Kubica refrained from doing this. However, even seeing what happened to her second hand was enough for you to understand what she was going through both during the kidnapping and after. Don't worry I did not spoil the book you find out basically right away that she is returned to her family.

Not going to lie sometimes I surprise myself when I am able to figure out a books big twist well before the book has ended. All the info is there it is just whether you can put all the pieces together or not. That said I really did enjoy this book and how Kubice wrote it, as I said above it was addicting at time. I look forward to reading another book by Kubice and I have high expectations now as this was her debut novel.

Enjoy!!!
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