Monday, December 27, 2010

J.L. Bourne: Day by Day Armageddon

J.L Bourne's first book in a series that follows the journal entries of a combat pilot for the U.S.A as the life as we know it comes to an end.
Sporadic News reports. A strange virus is sweeping the Earth. Violence and chaos spread throughout the world, it is unknown if there is a place untouched by this virus. The dead are rising, seeking the living to feed on. The dead are rising in thousands, and as the living struggle to survive, one realizes that the dead are the new dominant race of the world. This is the hand written journal depicting one man's struggle to survive in a new world of global disaster, where the dead keep on living. This journal depicts the decisions he is forced to make which ultimately decides whether one lives or becomes part of the cursed walking the Earth as the dead.

I really enjoyed this book, it was non-stop action, lots of suspense and a great, well written story, that kept me coming back for more (if I wasn't required to join in for Christmas festivities, I probably wouldn't have put this book down).

This book is told in the first person diary format, so if you are not a fan of these types of books then you will probably not enjoy this book. I personally liked the format as it was more realistic than strictly being told in the first person. The journal entries are how he sees the world and the events that are happening to and around him. I believe in this way the reader really gets to know the main character within the book, and what his thought process is and the struggles he is forced to go through. This book really draws the reader in, and i never knew that the books could be so suspenseful told in a journal format. I really enjoyed the overall realness and believability of the book, even though it would be put in the horror/paranormal/fantasy genre.

My only criticism of this book is that it ended when it did. It felt like the story was not finished, which is true as there is a second. I wish the two books were put together because they are both on the slightly shorter side than most books. Nevertheless, I don't think that you cannot Not read the second book, I know that I need to know what happens next which is what you want in any novel, something that keeps you coming back for more.

This book is for people who are looking for a nonstop action fast paced book, whether you read horror or zombie books at all. This book is about survival and what would one do in order to survive. Would you try to survive on your own, or would you seek the help of others? How would you handle knowing you are one of the only humans left alive on Earth? And really when push came to shove and your survival is on the line, what would you do to survive? Time to get your survival kit ready, as Day by Day Armageddon feels like a realistic ride, that the this virus might just be around the corner. As I said I really enjoyed this book and I am going to pick up the second one and delve into reading it as soon as I can. I need to know what happens next.


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Charles L. Fields: Sentimental Me

With his debut into the fiction world of writing (he has written his own memoir Many Land Many Hearts) Fields, introduces us to the world of Boston Lawyer Charles Stone.

Charles Stone is one of the top lawyers/agent for Franklin Life insurance. Stone receives the assignments that have suspicious circumstances associated with them, the death of a US border patrol agent Jack Spates is no exception. He travels to Agua Prieta, Mexico a border town that is known for the transportation of people, money, drugs and guns across the border. Agent Spates did not always follow the rules, but his murder and need to be investigated especially when Spates left a 500,000 of his life insurance policy to Consuelo V, who has known drug cartel connections (also known as her father). Stone's investigation takes him places he never thought he would go and the deeper into the investigation he gets, the more he starts to question himself and all the people involved in the case.

This book is not what I thought it was going to be. I thought that I was getting an action adventure novel and really I am not too sure what I received in this book. Other than one part near the end of the book that had action adventure and suspense aspects to it, the rest of the book was sort of a mystery, but I am really not too sure.

When I was first asked to review this book, the premise really drew me in. I thought that Fields has something here, this could be a really good book. Fields knows how to be descriptive, he know how to describe landscapes that the characters are seeing as they travel throughout the book, The character development is fairly good especially the protagonists Stone and Sandra (though they are all kept simple). I am sorry to say that there were a few things that I did not like about the book. First, the story is slow to develop, instead of flying to the Agua Prieta Mexico; he decides to drive from Boston. The first 30 pages is the reader reading the absent minded thoughts Stone has as he passes through the landscape of America (this is because the book is told in first person). I wish this part of the story was Stone reflecting on what happened in Ireland and why Stone is always chosen for the tough jobs (there are vague details as to both those questions, but nothing is ever really answered). Second, there were some questionable actions that the protagonist made, that are not within believability of the character. For example, why would Stone, who is a law abiding lawyer think that it was okay to visit a Heroin Processing plant, this (to me) did not fit into his character. Third, dialogue between the characters is lacking, and I think this is due to the book being told in first person. We get extensive (and really too much) access to Stone's thoughts (as they are often about random things and not about the case) which replaced the dialogue between characters within the book.

To sum up, I felt this book was trying to be an action adventure book, but instead of adventure, there was just a lot of information about the landscape within America. I wanted this to be something that it was not. There is no doubt that Fields has a talent for writing, but I don’t think that this genre is a good fit for him.


Friday, December 17, 2010

First Ever Blog Hop :)

Hosted By: Crazy-For-Books

"What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?"

My Answer: Really I can't choose, you need a great plot for the characters to interact with and challenge the characters while the characters make the plot. I really don't think you can have one without the other.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Molly Harper: Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs

After reading Reed's the Cruelest Cut, I really needed something light, funny and easy to read, and this book definitely fits all of those categories.

Jane Jameson, self proclaimed nice girl, has always had the glass is half full type of attitude, she may not have the perfect life, job, and family, but she was always able to see the better half of things, until she is fired from her job at the library (in order for someone who has a history of setting fires in a work place, to take her job). Jane has always loved books and being around books has been her life, now she feels that she has nothing left, not even a good severance package (25 dollar gift card to a local restaurant). So she decides to make the best of the gift card and drown he sorrows in some electric lemonades, but she does meet a man that night (her mother would be so proud or maybe not...). On her drive home, her car breaks down, Jane is mistaken by the town drunk for a deer, is shot and left for dead, could her day get any worse? Well that depends if she ever had any desire to be undead, Jane has been turned into a Vampire. She receives a Welcome Basket from the Undead club, plus the new desire to drink some O negative blood, but she hasn't change that much right? Still the same nice girl, with some extra dental work? But being undead isn't all that it is cracked up to be, someone is killing older more powerful vampires and Jane is the council's prime suspect, Jane may start to be seeing the glass completely empty.

I liked this book. As I stated above, I was really looking for a light and easy read and this really fit the bill. Jane is a fun character with her whit, sarcastic behaviour and useless tidbits of information that I'm sure would be good for a trivial pursuit game. There were some times too when I did laugh out loud especially when Jane talks about her previous sexual experiences. I really liked Jane's family too, lots of fun there and laughs too as well as motherly mother, an ugly dog and a great aunt ghost. Zeb (her best friend) is pretty funny too, especially when he first finds out that Jane had been turned into a Vampire, I mean who wouldn’t be a little curious.

I would classify this book as a paranormal romance, with a small touch (and I mean small) of mystery, which really is not my usual read. However, this book is really about Jane and her transition in becoming a vampire and I think that is why I liked it a lot more than most paranormal romance books that I read. From small town Kentucky librarian to vampire, I mean what isn’t to like about that scenario (certainly makes me laugh).

So to sum it up, I will read the next book in the series, even though it is not close to my usual paranormal reads (I normally require something darker and with a lot more mystery) but I liked the lightness, the humour within the book and just once in awhile, this is all someone really needs.


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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rick Reed: The Cruelest Cut

Rick Reed is a retired police detective; Reed takes his knowledge of a police investigation into his fictional debut thriller novel The Cruelest Cut.

Jack Murphy is one of the best detectives on the police force, but that does not mean that he always follows the rules, or knows how to be politically correct, but none of the other members on the force would question his work ethic or courage. Jack is going to need his best work, when a serial killer decides to play mind games with him, and has decided that Jack is the perfect detective for him. His messages to Jack are not hard to miss, from craving Jack’s name into a victim's back, to leaving notes within  victims throats, the killer is taunting Jack at every turn, saying that there will be more murders and gives him a new clue each time with a fractured nursery rhyme. But if the killer thinks that Jack is going to play be the rules and just let him kill in his city, he has another thing coming. He wanted Jack on the case he’s got it. But there is more at play here than just murder, there are political matters that are over shadowing and hindering the investigation. None of this is concern of Jack, all he wants to do is catch the killer that seems obsessed with nursery rhymes and torturing and killing his victims in the most brutal way possible...“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick...”.

This book is okay. I appreciate Reed’s background as a police detective and this really shines through with his dialogue between the police officers, officers and the media, and politics within a police department as well as the overall investigation of the serial murders. I especially like Liddell in the book, who is the comic relief, as he had some pretty funny one liners and funny cop humor.

The main reason that this book was lacking is the reader knows who the serial killers are at the beginning of the investigation, which for me took away the thrill of the chase and mystery in the book. It becomes a question of when the protagonist within the book will catch up to the information you already have, instead of figuring the mystery out with the protagonist. I just kept waiting for Jack to discover the truth, so that "we" were on the same page for the investigation. I really wish Reed would have kept the killer anonymous but had still given the reader the chapters told from the killers point of view. This would have allowed the reader access to the killers’ mind and point of view but also have the created the mystery aspect that I was craving from this book.

So I give this book high marks for its authenticity in the sense of how a police investigation occurs, but for me it lacked the thrill of the mystery by knowing too much when the book started. As for being a thriller, it has points, but I think that it has been classified as a thriller strictly because of how gruesome the killer is (which is not a thriller in my opinion).


Note: The book has quite a few gruesome scenes and murders that involve children, so not for the faint of heart.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gail Carriger: Soulless

Lady Alexia Tarabotti, an old spinster (I guess 26 is old back then), is considered a spinster (according to society and her family) because she is too old and Italian (who knew those were qualifications??) which means she has an Italian's tan skin, a stubborn, outspoken personality and a larger nose. She is also Soulless, nope no soul in her body (which her family does not know) or also known as preternatural, instead of supernatural. She is bored with her life but is always in search of her next meal, preferable treacle tarts. In this “world”, Vampires and Werewolves are known to society and many live should to shoulder with the crème de la crème of the court. So when Alexia comes across a Vampire in the Library, in the home of a party she is attending, she is not overly concerned. All vampires are told about her (and her preternatural state) when they are made, but she is very upset that the tea and treats she had ordered is being interrupted (honestly, who has a party without food). However, this young vampire, seems to know nothing about her and attacks her for his next meal, bad manners indeed. Well Alexia inadvertently kills him, Oops. Enter the Alexia's greatest pain in her... Lord Maccon, who is sent to investigate but he is also the Alpha werewolf in the London territory and Queen Victoria's agent. Alexia finds herself under investigation for killing the vampire, and others as she discovers others have been missing, some even from high society. Her Soullessness, makes her the perfect Vampire hunts, therefore, she is at the top of the suspect list. Now Alexia finds herself hunted in more than one way and by more than one man. And she finds herself searching for the truth before it's too late, guess her lunch will have to wait.

This book is fun and an easy read. The book is based in the mid to late 1800 with smart and witty English Humor, which I just loved. There are some different ideas about werewolves and vampires, most notability is around the soul. In order for a person to be turned into a vampire or werewolf they have to have an over abundance of a soul. If they have just a normal or no soul, they are unable to be turned. There are other differences as well, but I will let you read to figure them out. Alexia being Soulless also gives her power, when she touches someone who is supernatural she takes away what makes them supernatural, for example, the vampire no longer has his fangs, just regular teeth. Hence why she is called a soul sucker. The affect is temporary and she has to be touching them for it to take effect. I loved Alexia as a character, she is fun and full of witty remarks and comments, but is never shy about finding food. She also has a vulnerable side as well, that you see when her step-sister and her mother talks about her (I mean really, 26 a spinster???). Alexia and Maccon also have great banter and how Maccon floats between wanting to strangle her and kiss her at the same time. I also found Alexia's friend, with all her outrageous hats very charming and kind of cute in her naivety and trying to be a lady all the time.

It is a fun easy read and there is some romance within the book, but manly it is more of a mystery and in some sort political book and some may say it gets a touch steampunkish near the end (but that is really not the genre of the story). I have read the second book as well, so I hope to post a review sometime soon.

Oh and don't forget the Tea and Crumpets while you read it!

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jordan Summers: Red

This book was not quite what I expected, but that does not mean it was a bad book. This book is a combination of paranormal and sci-fi genres, as the book occurs in the distant future, with futuristic weapons, laws, countries, ect. Normally for me I stay away from sci-fi books as they have never appealed to me in the past. Personally, if I had known that the book had sci-fi aspects, I probably would not have picked it up. Don’t worry the sci-fi is secondary in the story, if you are not a fan of that genre, it just sets the overall scene.

Gina "Red" Santeiago is a member of an elite tactical team, in a post apocalyptic world
. She has devoted her life to protecting the people of the world from the "others", which are creatures that no one really knows where they came from, but they do know they do not want them crossing into their town. While out on a mission Red discovers a mutilated women’s body, whom the rest of the team believes a wild animal killed but Red sees that crime scene differently. Taking time off from her job she goes solo to attempt to find out what happened to the women and her journey leads her to a small town in an area that used to me Arizona and to a very attractive sheriff named Morgan Hunter. Red cant explain her instant attraction to him, but her priority is catching a murderer. Morgan has said that he will help her, yet Red believes that Hunter is not telling her everything. When another body is discovered, Red begins to question the little town, the sheriff and herself. As she begins to get closer and closer to the truth about the secrets held by the town, the sheriff and herself it puts herself in even more danger than before.

The book was overall an okay, easy read, as it was predictable. I was hoping for a few more twists, turns, mystery and action, just to make the story more interesting and keep me guessing. You will like this book as it is something different than the typical paranormal romance and there still are some steamy sex scenes for you. You will Not like this book if you are more into werewolves that turn into actual wolves than, wolf-man form. I liked that there were some chapters where the point of view came from that of the killer, it let you have a different sense of what was really going on, and it shifted the focus away from the attraction and sex scenes/attraction between Hunter and Red.

So I guess to sum this review up was it the best book I have read lately? No. Was the book able to hold my attention? Yes. Am I interested in reading the next book? Maybe. I think there are just better books and first books in a series out there, that I may forget to get the next book and read it. I just wish there was more to the book, it wasn’t so predictable and just a little less romance and sex (but that is just my preference).


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life is Good Award

THANK YOU, Maria from Twilight and Other Dreams for awarding me the Life is Good Award (and life is good right now, lol), it was a very nice surprise in my comments section. I was surprised when I received the Versatile Blogger Award, but to receive this one so soon after, I can't say Thank you Enough.

Now, here's how this award thing works:

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions below.
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.

I would LOVE to give this award to..

Survey Questions: (Wow some of these are kind of personal, but I will answer as best as I can)

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this?   If you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?
 I Blog anonymously, and there is a simple reason for it, I work in a job where you need to stay as anonymous as possible and all actions in life and internet are scrutinized and can be held against you if you cross the line. So While I feel I have done nothing wrong with blogging, there are always those who find something wrong in something harmless, so I choose to stay anonymous.

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
Me Stubborn...NEVER, lol. I can't really think of a specific incident, but i'm pretty stubborn in most experience in my life, lol.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
I see Me, not trying to be someone else, but just me.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Love a nice cold Pint of Beer, on a Patio somewhere

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Well I think that is pretty obvious, I like to lose myself in a book. I also like going for a pedicure when I have time.
6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
 I think that there is always going to be something that I will want to accomplish. Right now, it is to work on getting my thesis published. May take a bit, but I hope to do it

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
 I was the Jock/the shy person. But more so the Jock, I was always on some sort of a sports team.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?
To me I associate poignant with regret, but I am of the mind that one should never regret events that have occurred in ones life, even the horrible ones, they shape us, teach us and sometimes hurt us, but they create who we are in the end

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
No it is not easy to share my true self on my blog, hence why it is dedicated to only review, but I feel that if someone awards me with an award, there is no way that I could not accept, it would be rude to not to.
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
 Book all they way. I really dislike talking on the phone, I'm more of a face to face person. I have a limit to the amount of time I can talk on the phone, once that is reached be prepared to be dismissed, lol.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Kalayna Price: Once Bitten

Hey Everyone, Sorry it has been a few days I have been able to post a review, but moving has taken up m time for almost the last week. But I was able to finish this book yesterday, hopefully soon, I will be back to my regular posting.

In her debut novel Price introduces to new the reader to a new urban paranormal world centered in a city called Haven. Let’s just say the city does not live up to it`s name.

Kita, is a werecat, but not the normal lion, tiger or panther, Kita’s other form is a calico cat. Kita is also the heir to her pride, but as a calico cat, she believes that she would not survive any challenges to leadership, so she has run away. She has been on the run for five years, living on the streets or in stranger`s home as a stray cat. But her time on the run is about to change, her clan) has decided that they want her back and has sent the Hunters after her. She is now on the run from the hunter of both the cat clan and wolf clan and the train to the town called Haven, sounded like a good idea at the time. However, the town is overrun with Hunters looking for Kita, with some who want to return her to the Firth (her home land) and others who believe she is responsible for creating a Rogue were. A demon judge has determined that Kita will die if she is unable to prove her innocence within three days times, but this does not mean that the hunters will stop looking for her or help her. While eluding the Hunters, Kita runs into a Clanless were who attacks her with silver to try to kill her, thinking that she is the rogue. Nathaniel, a vampire, who while trying to save her from the Clanless, is forced to turn her. Kita wakes up in a strange room, with a strange woman, and cannot find the cat inside her anywhere. Nathaniel has taken away Kita’s ability to be a cat, and turned her into a vampire but can that save her, from not only the hunters but also the rogue were and the judge too, good thing she has nine lives of a cat (well at least she hope she still does).

I enjoyed Price’s debut novel, granted there are some slow spots within the book that did not hold my attention too well but I was able to get past them, so overall this is a really good debut. I enjoyed Kita as a character, though at times I wanted to strangle her for just wanting to run away from her problems but someone cannot always be a hero.  The emotional process Kita goes through within the book was very well written, and supportive.  Price did a good job of showing Kita`s emotional and in a sense growing up process from turning from a possible coward and living for herself, to finding out that maybe she is worthy of something better and maybe can be worth something to someone other than just a heir or stray cat. Additionally, I liked how her cat personalities came out in her human form and her hair. It was a nice twist to have a Were that did not turn into a hunter animal but something as small as a calico cat. I was also very entertained by Gil, the scholar and I believe witch who has been sent to the Human Domain to study Kita and her methods to prove her innocence. Gil, is the comic relief in the book with her naivety of how things are done in the Human World. There is also some good tension between Nathanial and Kita, which will appeal to those who like some romance in the books that they read.  I also liked Price`s ideas of having the Human world, the Were world and the magical world separate yet the vampires live hidden among the humans (I guess due to the need to feed on humans) and the worlds do not interact very often. I believe that Price was purposely ambiguous on some of the aspects within the book such as the Firth and Vampire council in order to pique a reader’s interest for the next books; I know that it worked for me.

This book is an urban paranormal book, there is some action, dark aspect, humour, mystery and a hint of romance, but they all just weave together well to form a good urban paranormal book that, I believe, will have you asking for more.

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