Sunday, August 13, 2017

Darynda Jones: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet



As the title of the book suggests this is the fourth book in this series, so You will need to read the previous books (First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left  and Third Grave Dead Ahead) to understand what is happening in this book, so with that said there will be spoilers below from the previous three books...you have been warned.

Charley Davidson, aka The Grim Reaper, is in a grim mood after her last case, so she has taken some time off but The Reaper's work is never done. When a young woman seeks Charley's help, convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Charley knows her time off has come to an end. Everyone close to woman refutes the story or thinks that she is insane, but the more push back that Charley receives the more she is convinced there is something wrong. Life will never be normal for Charley not only because she is the Grim Reaper but Reyes is out of prison, on the run and always looking for trouble where Charley is concerned

Alright, this is not my typical read, I will admit that, but I have this thing for series that I started awhile ago and revisiting them every now and again to see how the story progresses. I feel like I cannot leave a series behind especially when I remember enjoying it. So this is my return to Jones' series and her Grim Reaper. There were some high and low points to this book which made it an okay read for me.

Charlie was not as annoying in this book as the last one, I think she had to grow up a bit more with what happened to her in the previous book and really look at her life. She still had some snarky comebacks but I felt that they were more well placed in this book and not as childish as in book 3. I also appreciated that there was also less sex scenes in this book compared to the last. The scene was was a little bit drawn out for me, but I think that readers who like this in their novel will appreciate it. These scenes are something Jones has had in all the books of this series so regular readers would probably miss it if she took the sex scenes out.

This book was pretty predictable in my opinion. I was able to figure out all of the mystery aspects within the book way before the end of the story; who was harming Piper, who the bank robbers were and who was moving in to the apartment next to Charlie. So this was basically I knew it all as soon as all the mystery aspects were introduced. This is not where Jones excels it would be nice for her to have an unexpected twist and turn here or there. This makes the mystery aspects secondary to what appears to be happening in Hell (which we do not get a lot of) and Charlie and Reyes' relationship.

Speaking of their relationship I did get sick of Reyes continually threatening Charlie. I mean it has not worked in the previous three books, I highly doubt that it is going to work now. Why doesn't he grow up, change his tactics and just accept Charley for who she is, I mean isn't that what attracted him to her in the first place.

One thing that I was disappointed about between the third and fourth book was I thought that Swopes was dead, I was surprised that he was reintroduced all of a sudden in this book. Kind of made me like the third book a little less and I'm disappointed that Jones could not let one of her secondary characters die. I thought that was a big turning and maturing point for Charley as well as this series.

I do not know why I keep reading this series at times. It has so many elements that I do not like in  the books I read now, now being the key word. As stated above the only thing I can think of is this is like my guilty pleasure or something and just not being able to let go of series that I have already started. It's like my once a year return to what I used to read, lol.  That said I'm sure fans of this series will enjoy this book, as Jones has found a formula that works.

Enjoy!!!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2010/10/julie-kenner-tainted.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2012/02/amanda-bonilla-shaedes-of-gray.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2013/02/cassie-alexander-nightshifted.html

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wendy Walker: All is Not Forgotten

Wendy Walker takes the readers on a journey as a young women struggles to remember one of the worst nights of her life:

What would you do to protect your loved ones? Would you want tot ake away their pan, their suffering, the worst day of their life. This is the choice that Jenny Kramer's parents faced the night that she was attacked and raped. Would it not be better if she could not remember anything of that night? Her parents decide Yes and give her a experimental drug that will make her forget. However, as the weeks go by Jenny may be healing from her physical wounds but the psychological ones are ever present, even though she has no memory of that night. Jenny wants to know what happened that night, her mother just wants to move on a pretend nothing happened and her father becomes obsessed. Obsessed with finding out who did this to his little girl. Dr. Alan Forrester believes that he can help Jenny recover her memories but while helping Jenny Alan is forced to take some dark paths that he though he would not have to revisit.

This an engrossing, emotional, and at time a thought provoking read, that you will not want to put down, I know I didn't. It deals with some very tough subject matter of rape (it does go in to detail) as well as the choices that parents make for their children and how this affects everyone. So with that said this book will not be for everyone, at times it is not an easy read, it is very character driven with the over hanging occurrence of Jenny's rape, what happened that night and who responsible, very much a whodunit.

I really enjoyed that this book was by the Alan, Jenny's psychiatrist in the book, with his own observations thrown in. It was also interesting that he also became the psychiatrist for her parents as well. I think this was not only a different way to tell the story but also an effective one, as we still experience everything that Jenny does, with the loss of memory and trying to gain it back in the sessions they have together, but also the police, parents and other characters information without switching between points of view. It also shows how people can be different when people think they are in a safe place and the power that they essentially give these people. Since the book is told from Alan's point of view you only really get to know him as a character and his motivations to help Jenny and the decision he has makes along the way to help and at times hinder her. There will be points that you love Alan and hate him, but this just makes him a very real character.

This book makes you think quite a bit about the choices you would make in the situations presented, as a parent, a victim and human. There are several points in the book that will have you questioning whether you would do the same thing or could you see a different route. I like books that make you have these thoughts and Walker had me questioning myself many times in this book.

I think that this will be a polarizing book, you will either love it or hate it, I do not think that there can be an in-between. I personally really enjoyed everything in this book, from Alan (love and hate him) the plot, the way everything unfolded, how it was told and an ending that I did not see coming (I love when an author can surprise me). I especially liked that it had me questioning myself, which is not always something you want from a fiction read, but this one did. I look forward to what Walker release next

Enjoy!!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too: 
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2017/07/jp-delaney-girl-before.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2016/11/noah-hawley-before-fall.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2016/02/william-landay-defending-jacob.html

Monday, July 31, 2017

Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them

 
I will admit that I watched the movie before I read this book so I was pretty excited to pick this one up and return to the amazing world of Harry Potter, however, it was not quite what I was expecting. Based upon the fact that I saw the movie first, I assumed (I know I know) that this book was going to be more of an adventure story than an education book. I now know I should have read the screen play version of this book instead, but I had no idea there was one.

This book gives an in depth look at all the creature you encounter in Harry Potter and some that you do not (maybe in future books...fingers crossed) as well as I'm sure the screen play for the movie that I just became aware of. So I guess this is a very short review of the wrong book, lol. If you want to know more about the creature in Harry Potter, this one is for you. I did enjoy learning about the creature and probably would have enjoyed it more if I would have read it when I was first discovering Harry Potter many many years ago now. I know that it makes me want to reread the Harry potter series and I am so looking forward reading them to my child and my husband discovering them as he has not read them yet (no idea why not lol). Now I just have to get my hands on the screen play and read the book I meant to.

Enjoy!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

D. Melhoff: Grimm Woods


D. Melhoff takes the readers on a journey of what happens at your very typical fairy tale inspired summer camp:

A remote summer camp that is based on fairy tales themes is about to show the dark side of the fairy tales. When two teens are murdered and rendered in to a real life version of a classic Grimm's fairy tale chaos is about to ensue. The counselors and children are trapped within the wilderness till Friday and the bus comes to pick the children up, 4 more days they have to try and survive. But this killer has been planned for everything and has a Grimm Fairy Tale for each counselor they want to enact, survival is not likely.

This book (and several movies out there) makes me happy that I was never a counselor at camp, these people seem to get the worst of the worst at these camps, plus they have to take care of a whole bunch of children at the same time, no thank you. This book starts out like the Wet Hot American Summer (well less funny and more sex) with just some not so casual murders involved.

This was an gripping read and this was due to the fair tale murder aspect of the book. I personally was not aware of all the different horrors fair tales come from and Melhoff does not shy away from expanding on them. The deaths are twisted, gruesome and at times you can only imagine how much the individual suffered before they succumbed to their end. These are not your Disney tales that you think you know so well and I think that Melhoff describes it best when you first open the book "Fairy tales have not always been considered suitable for children. Many of them originally contained elements of torture, incest, rape, cannibalism, suicide, beastiality, murder and other horrific acts. All references to these elements in this novel are accurate". It was from this point on that you know but don't really know what you are about to get in to. Then by the end of the book you realize how screwed up our ancestors were for coming up with these stories, and you can understand why they have changed in to the Disney version over time.

This book does not strive for a lot of character development. Yes, we have our main character in Sean but with some many people being murdered like flies it is hard to really get to know Sean outside of how he tries to handle himself in each situation.  Other than that all we know about Sean is that he suffers from a reoccurring nightmare each night about trains. This book is very much plot driven as the counselors strive to stay alive, take care of the children at the camp as well as figure out why this is happening to them.

Was not as graphic as I was expecting for being a horror book, really only "experience " one of the murders the rest happen and are discovered or the people are killed but it is not elaborated on. However I am okay with this as it allows you as the reader to use your own imagination for what happened, so you can create it as graphic as you want in your head. This does not mean that these scenes are any less disturbing, the way some of the counselors die are horrific even if only the body is discovered.

This is the first book that I have read by Melhoff and it will not be the last. I enjoyed the thin lines that he played with throughout the book and he chose well when he decided to cross them.

Enjoy!!!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2010/10/jon-evans-night-of-knives.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2013/02/ted-dekker-bonemans-daughters.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2015/12/a-j-arlidge-eeny-meeny.html

Monday, July 10, 2017

A. M. Justice: A Wizard's Forge

A. M. Justice takes a ready on the journey of a young woman who goes from a Scholar to Slave to Warrior to Wizard:

Victoria was the youngest scholar in her town. It was her job to spread the word of the history from town to town to make sure that the past was never forgotten. On her very first trip she is kidnapped and sold in to sexual slavery to the Realmlord whose every desire is to break Vic's will and make her love him and no other. Vic is able to break free, she has no desire to be a slave she knows she has to fight in order to make sure it never happens again. She becomes a warrior hell bent on revenge from her former captor but there could have been other reasons the Realmlord chose her. Vic is about to learn more about herself and her destiny but it will a bloody battle and many friends will be lost and the very thing that Vic craves may be what destroys her as well.

This was an interesting read and more high fantasy with a mix of sci-fi than I thought that it was going to be and I think overall Justice created an interesting and compelling read but there were a few flaws. For me I got lost a bit in the details of the world building that Justice tries to impose on the reader.  It almost felt like Justice was trying to hard in creating her world. I guess what I'm trying to say is Less is More. I'm still not sure what the importance is yet that they are on a different planet than Earth this aspect was very downplayed the farther you go  in to the book. I'm going to assume here that there will be more development on this in the future books. For me what drove this book was the development of her characters both those you liked and hated.

Vic is an amazing character, the strength she shows on a daily basis to go through what she has endured is amazing. I liked that Justice never had Vic forget what had happened to her as it has shaped her and still defines her character and the choices that she makes. It will be interesting to watch Vic come in to her powers and abilities the more practice and control and I look forward to Justice being creative with this. There are times when Vic's ideal are child like though which makes sense as she is only a teenager when this books starts and she has to grow up quick. I also find that these characteristics come out the more that she is with Ashel. Personally, I disliked Ashel as a character; I liked him when you first meet him in the book but it kind of went downhill from there. He is a spoiled rich prince who is not used to hearing no, he has not really experienced the world and always has his family there to bail him out if needed. I think that Justice created him this way so that when he meets Vic and actually has to go through some life changing even on his own his character has the ability to develop and change.

Justice does not shy away from torture in this book and it takes on several different forms from mutilation to sexual to psychological in nature. While this book may feature a teenager, this is not for a young adult audience some of the things that Realmlord does to his people is very disturbing. However, Realmlord is an interesting foe and one that Vic will never be able to forget and he uses that to his advantage on more than one occasion. The Realmlord is one of the highlights of this book as his a a really good villain and the length he will go to for control and to get Vic back are extreme.


Overall enjoyed the book even though I found the world building a bitt too convoluted, I really enjoyed the story and Vic as a character. Of course there is a cliffhanger at the end too, so you'll be wanting to read the next book
Enjoy!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2014/06/mark-alpert-furies.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2014/01/rebekah-turner-chaos-born.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2011/03/philippa-ballantinr-geist.html

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

J.P. Delaney: The Girl Before

In his debut novel J. P. Delaney's characters enter in to a life changes in the search of perfections:

Make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life? How does one answer that question and it is a strange question to ask to someone who is looking to rent One Folgate Street, but it appeals to Emma (Before) and Jane (After). Here lies the intertwining story of two women at One Folgate Street and how the past can affect the present and people can find themselves walking the same path as those before them even if they know it will have deadly consequences.

This is a debut novel for Delaney however, it does not read like one. I found the story was interesting, with fairly well developed characters that kept me guessing and switching my opinion till the very end. (After writing this I found out that J. P. Delaney is a pseudonym for another author, but I was unable to find which author it was for, which I was able to find out was Tony Strong who I am not familiar with).

As I cannot seem to get away from this genre this year I have another Domestic Suspense read under my belt. How does this differ from the other ones I have read this year or does this add anything new to this up and coming genre, I'm glad you asked, as this book takes the manipulation factor to the hilt. And it is not just unknowingly being manipulated the two main female characters Jane and Emma, enter in to a tenant lease and relationship that they know is going to be full on manipulation as really this is one of the rules that comes with living in the house. I think this is what drew me in to the book. How could these women want to be manipulated like this, why stay especially Jane when she learned what happened to Emma. This book just has an overall odd/strange feeling to it as you try to understand both Emma, Jane and One Folgate Street that keeps you turning the pages.

I find the house is one of the interesting aspects within the book. It is stark clean lines, everything has its place and must be there when not in use. Delaney does a perfect juxtaposition between the clean well maintained house and the idea of perfecting the messy lives of the human race. It is also interesting to see how the house affects Jane and Emma differently as you go back and forth between their points of view (Emma: Before, Jane: After), which in my opinion was the best way to tell this story.

When I started this book I thought I was getting a mystery type of book, but some where in the middle is some how it turned in to 50 shades of grey (well at least I think 50 shades of grey as I've never read the series), well 50 shades of grey but with some murder. I guess you can attribute this to the manipulation and domination that Simon has and wants to have over Emma and Jane, I just was not expecting it.



Overall I enjoyed this book, even though it was not exactly what I thought it would be. This book is all about the manipulation within relationships and who is manipulating who, so with that I do not know if it will appeal to everyone. I look forward to seeing what Delaney can come up with next.

Enjoy!!!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:

http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2017/05/b-paris-behind-closed-doors.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2017/03/mary-kubice-good-girl.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2016/04/lisa-lutz-passenger.html