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!!!
Instead of This,
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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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Monday, February 27, 2017

Rick Yancey: The 5th Wave



Rick Yancey has a lesson for the people of Earth, an invasion is coming and they are going to use any mean necessary to take Earth:


The first wave was darkness, they took away electricity; The second wave they used mother nature against humans; The third wave a plague where only a few survived; The fourth wave you cannot trust anyone but no one was prepared for the fifth. Cassie was one of the "lucky" ones most of her family was able to survive the waves but not everyone made it. Now with her brother and father they make their way through the world to a camp where everything is about to change.


I will admit that I watch the movie before I read this book, so I knew basically how things were going to play out and true to form there were things in the book that did not make it to the movie, but overall I think that the movie was a fairly good representation of the book. It was an interesting premise and I how smart the Aliens were in their approach to eliminating the human, really I cannot think of better ways in the end. Although, typical that the invading species underestimates the other.


I never felt really attached to any of the character like I think Yancey wants you to be. I will say that Cassie was the biggest disappointment for me. I did not mind Cassie in the beginning, I actually thought that she was going to be the strong female lead in this book, but I could not be more wrong. The further I read in the book I found she became a weaker character, she relied way too much on Evan and went against her gut feeling too many times. She does have some redeeming qualities in that she is loyal to a fault especially towards her brother and she does have times of bravery, but the whole middle portion of the book really just had her portrayed as a weaker character. Overall, she was not the strong female protagonist that I wanted her to be.


This leads me to the wish that there was a point of view from Ringer as she is who I wanted Cassie to be. She is tough, at time ruthless and smart enough to know there is more going on and she does not second guess her gut like Cassie does. She also has a compassionate side that is under played at times due to the situation but you can see that it is there.

Although I liked the Alien invasion aspect of the this book, I really could not get invested in any of the main characters in any way. So I do not think at this time that I would continue on with this series, although I might consider it if the next book had Ringer point of view.


Cheers!!
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pippa DaCosta: Hidden Blade



Pippa Dacosta takes the Gods of old and transports them to our time, where they indulge and rule like never before:


The Gods call him the nameless one, others call him the soul eater, both would be right. Kicked out from the underworld and cursed to walk the Earth for eternity, Ace does everything he can to stay away from Gods. Ace tries to spend his time helping people avoid Gods and demons, but not even he can avoid the callings of his ex-wife, Bastet Queen of Cats. Bastet hires Ace to find out who is slaughtering her blessed women and Ave finds himself caught in-between more than one powerful deity.


I picked up this book as I wanted to read something with a Male lead. I really enjoyed this book as it was a lot darker than I thought it would be. I also liked that I had not heard of  of the Gods in this book, so their evilness and calculating manners were refreshing. I believe I read in another review that the Gods are from Egypt, which makes since with Bastet, so this now makes them even more interesting to me as I really know nothing about Egyptian Gods. However, I do think that the underworld part of the look was lacking in world building. "Above ground" it is normal with demons and gods roaming around so I was hopeful that DaCosta would expand the underworld. Hopefully in future books in the series she will take us back to the underground and expand on not only the world but the Caste system that appears to be in place there. Really even after this book I feel like the underworld is still a blank slate for her to play with and create.


I liked Ace as a main character, he is almost the anti-hero as he has some dark points of views, really he likes to play if off that he is just out for himself, but he has the ability to see the light of people's souls and he does not want to hurt those who have that lightness. However, he has no qualms with people that he feels need to be killed but due to some unfortunate circumstances some innocents are murdered along the way. His struggle is very interesting in regards to the curse that he is under. He is unable to refuse the bidding of one of the Gods and the pain he goes through when he is forced to do something that he is very much against is very real. You can tell that not all of Ace's powers are displayed in this book and I look forward to learning more about them and his sword.


Did this book need a sex scene? I do not think so, as it did not add anything to the story. I understand why DaCosta had some sex in regards to the Gods, as one was the God of fertility and was just wielding his power over a pitiful human but I do not think that there needed to be one between Ace and Bastet. You could tell where there relationship was before and where it was going with out the scene. As this book is on the shorter side, I can only think that it was included in order to make the book longer.


I liked the darkness that this book has and the interaction between Ace and the Gods, however, I found the world building severely lacking. That said this book was able to keep me entertained and I'm looking forward to continuing on in the series.


Enjoy!!!
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Amy Schumer: Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

I do not read a lot of biography or autobiography books, however, Amy Schumer has been and up and coming comic/actress for awhile now and I personally find her hilarious so I thought I would give her book a read. If you are looking for the top ten Amy Schumer jokes, move along, this is not what this book is about. If you are looking for just one joke or funny story after the other, this is not the book for you, move along. If you are looking for all of those things go see her live (this based upon what I have heard and a bit from her book. When she was in my town I could not afford tickets to her show...but next time look out), as this is what her shows are about.

What this book is a more in depth look into Schumer, her beginning, her life, how she became a comic and the things that she has triumphed and struggled with along the way. It is by no means a full inclusive story but just a glimpse in to who she is, people have a right to keep some things to themselves even celebrities, but Amy does shine a light on several topics throughout her life. I never would have known that she was an introvert and all the anxieties that come with that especially when it is your job to perform live and in front of thousands of people as well as mingle with people at events when all you really want to do is sit in the corner (I share that trait with her on some level, though I would like a book in the corner with me, lol).

I appreciated some of the life lessons that Schumer discusses in her book, from her Dad's illness, to being in an abusive relationship to being raped. The latter two listed are not violent or as explosive physically as those words bring images to mind, but they do happen in this way and people need to know that in whatever form they take it is not okay in any relationship.  Many of those topics are common in autobiography, biography or memoir; I found that Schumer discussed these topics not only with class but with some humor in a way that did not minimize the experiences that she had gone through (something that is very tough to do). Is Schumer crass at at different point in the book, I think you'd be surprised if I said No. Of course she is Crass and proud of it, this is what people would expect from her book, but I think more importantly Schumer shows that Yes she is human, Yes she has and does make mistakes, Yes she is happy with what she looks like and F you for thinking she needs to lose weight and Yes she probably does not want to talk to you all that much at a party. These things all make her human; we are all flawed, we all hate ourselves at some point in our lives but eventually we accept who we are and what we look like and I think this is one of the most important messages that Schumer has in her book..

There were some things in the book that felt like she was just trying either a little too hard or just trying to make the book longer, especially the lists. I did not really find that there was any interesting information in them that Schumer does not talk about in the book.

This is the first book that I have read by a comedian and I know it will not be my last, there are a few out there now that I would like to pick up. Even though I have not read a lot in the genre I still really recommend this book, it was really enjoyable and I enjoyed the little peek that Schumer let us have in to her world.

Enjoy!!!

Side Note:
While reading this I had no idea how many female comedians these days were writing this type of book. Maybe I was in my own little world here but I really had no idea that this was now the "IT" thing to do. If you have any you have read and recommend please let me know.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hollie Overton: Baby Doll

In her debut novel, Hollie Overton tackles the journey of a young girl who went from captive to freedom:

Eight years ago Lily disappeared without a trace, many think that she is dead, but she is not. She has been taken captive, abused, and taught to be his perfect Baby Doll, she would never try to escape, the punishments have been too harsh in the past when she has tried, but this night is different. She is sure she did not hear the door lock and heard him leave the house, is this another trap to see if she is still his perfect doll, or is this her one chance to escape. Lily has to make a decision and she has to make it now for her own life and that of her daughter's Sky. But will anyone believe her if she makes it, will they accept that a trusted member of their community was her kidnapper and tormentor, she has to take the chance, it is the only hope she has left. This is the story that happens after.

Overton is no stranger to writing, she is also a writer for the Shadow Hunter Tv series (I do not watch this series so I cannot comment on the writing for that show), however, this is her first novel. As far as debut novels go, this one is good but there are certain aspects you can tell that make this a debut novel. I found that there were areas that I thought needed more exploring that were only hinted at throughout; mainly the Twin connection. The twin connection is referred to quite often in the book but never really expanded upon in any way. I never really felt like Lily and Abby were twins most of the time (other than their looks), just sisters and I think just having them as sisters would have made no difference in the book or how it played out. What I did like about them was that they were completely different people when Lily came back. Lily was stronger than ever and more protective than ever while Abby was weak on many front in her life. I enjoyed reading about this contrast between the two.

I am always a fan of a book that can surprise me and I there were times in this book that Overton was able to achieve this, especially in regards to Abby's character. There were events that I did not see coming or a turn that a character would make that I had not expected. I think surprises are key in this type of book when things can go very straightforward, so I am happy that Overton was willing to take some risks. I also think that Overton did a good job of understanding the dynamic between Lily and her kidnapper and the relationship that they had "built" through their year together. I wish there would have been a little bit more focus on this, but this is just a preference.

I dislike that the publishers compare this book to Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, this book is neither. I do not mean this in a bad way, this book has a different writing style, tone and overall idea that it is unfair to compare it to these two books. I also do not think that this book should be classified as a thriller, but that is my personal opinion when it comes to that genre.

This was a good read and a good debut novel. There were a few elements that I think could have been expended on and developed more, but overall I enjoyed reading this book. I look forward to reading more from Overton.

Enjoy!!!
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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ilona Andrews: Magic Shifts

This is one of my favourite urban fantasy/paranormal series, and in order to fully understand the world and characters you will need to start at the beginning Magic Bites. I dont have a reviews for the first few books in this series, as I started reading them before I started reviewing and blogging, but there are some great reviews out there and I encourage you to check them out.

Ilona Andrews is back with the next book in her fantastic Kate Daniels series, and everyone want to know if Kate and Curran can survive without the safety of the Pack:
Kate and Curran are starting to adjust to life outside of the Pack, but it seems like the Pack is not quite done with them yet. The Pack offers Curran a stake in the Mercenary Guild and Curran sees it as a new opportunity for him and Kate. However, the Mercenary Guild want nothing to do with Curran or Kate and the Guild has fallen into dis-repair in both the office and the jobs they take. Kate knows to get things up and running they have to do all the dirty work and that means the jobs that have been left unfinished. But there are some strange happenings on the jobs and they all seem connected and  it is going to take everything they have to defeat this ancient being.

I have been reading Andrews since I started reading Urban Fantasy in the early 2000 (did I just date myself there?)...Anyways, Kate Daniels is still one of my favourite series and characters in this genre and I look forward to the release of the next book in the series each year. I have started many series throughout the years but some get forgotten or go by the wayside, but this has not happened with this series. I think that this is mainly due to the fact that Andrews has allowed Kate and Curran to grow as characters throughout the series. Yes they still have some of their same personality quirks that they had in the beginning but they have grown as characters and not so stuck in their ways that they cannot move on (I'm looking at you Anita Blake).

I loved the creativeness that Andrews showed in this book with the mutation of the bodies from one species to another. I kept thinking it was a different form of a hydra, kill one form of the species and the next one that comes out is harder and more deadlier than the last and I know that Andrews has not used this type of idea in her previous books in this series. That is one thing you can count on in this series is creativeness.
There were some interesting interaction between Kate and Roland, I cannot wait to see what type of game they are going to play with each especially with the premonition that was given to Kate from the witches. This premonition also shows the growth that both Kate and Curran are going to take and I hope that Andrews does not take too long to get there.

This book exceeded my expectations especially as I found the book before this to be the weakest in the series so far and maybe I was just a little bit worried that Andrews had lot her touch. I'm happy to report that the previous book, was just a blip in this series and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Enjoy!!!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Paula Hawkins: Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins takes readers on a train ride (pun intended, you ride the train a lot in this book) of mystery and emotions, when you cannot quite remember what happened:

She rides the train in to London every day, just to cover up that she has lost her job and is no longer working. While on the train each day she starts it with a few drinks and watching the people who live along the train line. She passes her old residence where she had love and a future. Now there is a new happy couple living there and one of them is her ex-husband Tom. This is why she drinks, she cannot face the life that she now has when she once had the best life with Tom. the other house she notices is the one at the end of the street, where a new couple lives and she imagines them having a perfect life as they both look perfect. But when Megan goes missing, Rachel feels like she has seen something, knows something about her life that can find her. She wants to help the police but her own turmoil of a life put everything she knows and saw as well as her life at risk.

I tend to stay away from books that have a lot of hype around them (like fifty shades of grey) at least until the hype dies down a bit but I'll admit that I picked up this book because that it was being turned in to a movie and I always like to compare the book and movie. Based upon how amazing and awesome this book is being hailed, it took me way too long to finish it and I do not think that I should be able to figure out the "big" twist ect, fairly early in the book too, so this hindered my overall enjoyment of the book. I think that Hawkins does a good job of trying to lead the reader to different opinions on what not only happened to Megan but ultimately who is responsible, I just think her attempts were lacking in imagination.

I liked Rachel as a main character with all her flaws around alcoholism, blackouts and her bipolar disorder. This adds real dimension to her character as she tries to muddle through what happened to her that night. All these flaws make her character not only damaged but also interesting. As her mind is pretty jumbled chapters about her and from her point of view can be frustrating as a reader as you really just want her to remember. Her decision making process is also not the greatest too and she end up getting herself in trouble more than once with the decisions she makes, but it is her overall eagerness to help that makes her endearing and the character you cheer for.

I think that I must have a different idea of what a thriller is supposed to be but for me other than the last quarter of the book I did not have this feeling. For me a thriller needs to leave me on the edge of my seat, have me staying up late to read just one more chapter and this did not achieve this for me. It was an interesting who-done-it type of book, but thriller it is not.

For me this book was a disappointment due to all the hype associated with it and the fact that it was being turned in to a movie. I would read another book by Hawkins as I think that she explored some interesting aspects in the book especially around Rachel's alcoholism.

Enjoy!!!
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Darynda Jones: Third Grave Dead Ahead

If you want to start this series, you will want to read the first two book before this one, First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left.

In the Third book in her Grim Reaper series, Darynda Jones takes the reader on a ride from Reyes to a missing person case:

Charley Davidson, aka Grim Reaper (though not the cloaked skull looking one) did not know what the consequences would be by binding Reyes to his physical body. She certainly did not see it leading to her not sleeping for 14 days straight. It's hard for her to function or do work in her private investigators business but she trudges ahead. When a strange missing person case comes to Charley she has to drink as much caffeine as possible in order to stay on her game as it sounds to her that this missing person case is about to become a homicide.

It was about 2013 the last time I read a book in this series, it was one that I remembered enjoying but for some reason stopped reading it. So I decided to pick it up again, and I will say that it is funny how taste can change over a few years. You basically get hit with a sex scene right from the beginning (not my favourite thing in books) and this set the main tone for the majority of this book. I will say that it was easy to pick back up in this series even after three years as Jones does a good job of rehashing the major points from the previous two books in the series

I'm a sucker for a Grim Reaper. I personally have not read too many books that feature a Grim Reaper so I am always interested in seeing different authors interpretation of that character. I find that Charlie is the portal to heaven interesting and I wonder if that aspect can be developed further later in the series. I also find it interesting that Charley does not know the extent of her powers, other than talking to the departed, and that she has not taken the time to really learn what she can do. I also hope that her additional powers are developed later in the series.

I can say that I am not fan of Charley for the most part of the book, I just found her pretty whiny and maybe a little too much of a smart ass. Maybe all her snarky comments was just Jones playing up her lack of sleep in the book. I cannot remember her in the previous books and what she was like, but I do remember liking her, so it is possible that Jones is really trying to make Charley as real as possible. I know I would be barely (and I really mean not) hanging on without sleeping for 14 days. However, Charley does have her redeeming characteristics of putting herself in the line of danger so that others can survive or do not get hurt. Can you enjoy a book and not really like the main character? I would say in this instance yes, as I did find myself enjoying the book, just with more eye rolls that usual as I read it when Charley would have a very immature, stupid or extremely bad timed comment.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, minus the main character, so I'll see how things goes in the fourth book to really help me decide if I will go on from there (I checked and there are eight books so far in this series, that is serious commitment if I do not like the main character).

Enjoy!!
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