Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meg Collett: Fear University

In the first in a new series Meg Collett takes the reader to your not so average University:

Ollie is very unique, she has been diagnosed with a disease that prevents her from feeling pain. There are people that would take advantage of such a gift, expecially after Ollie is abandoned by her mother at age 10 and she is passed from foster home to foster home. When she lands on one foster home that has a let's make Ollie scream game, she end up killing a man and is on the run. Ollie thinks that she's the baddest person in town but she is about to get a rude awakening when she comes face to face with what she will learn are aswangs. Man by day creature by night and they are winning the war against the Hunters. Ollie may have been on her own for a long time but she is about to find a purpose in fighting the aswangs that would harm humans and live for the fear they inflict.

Alright that was a roller-coaster ride and this book was not what I was expecting at all. I thought it was going to be a fun little easy with a bit of romance through in to it (honestly I did not have that high of hopes). What I got instead was a fairly dark, action packed read that I did not want to put down (with a little bit of romance and sexual tension thrown in there too), so Bravo Collett for surprising me. That said I did find some aspects of the book predictable but overall it was a good fun read.

Fear University is more like Fear High School, maybe this was due to the fact that the university was so small and  the interaction with the same people all the time, but there was nothing university like in this book to me. The whole clique aspect, with the mean girls and everyone pinning for the same guy, sounds like high school to me. However, this High School aspect is countered with the darkness of the book; From the Lets Make Ollie Scream game to the action/fight scenes these added to a more well rounded read.

I like Ollie as a main character and her haunting past. Though I was able to figure out the "major" twist very early on. The one thing I will point out is that for all her gruff and front she was at times a whiny character especially when she did not get her way. I think this is a maturity factor and as I said above, more like High School than University. Her disease is an interesting aspect for Collett to play with. Even though Ollie is unable to feel pain she is still able to get hurt and hurt badly and that seems to happen quite a bit in this book. I also think that Ollie seems to heal faster than normal, maybe this is a side affect to the disease maybe something else. I like that Luke had the frame of mind to try and teach her understand that not feeling pain could actually be a liability and to try to not get hurt.

I would classify this book as new adult, as the main character is 19 and I think there is way too many thoughts of sex and the one sex scene was highlighted too much for a YA read. There is also how the aswangs saliva affects Luke, basically makes he extremely sexually aggressive and this is also highlighted in the book as well.

This is the first book that I have read by Collett and I think that I am going to enjoy this series. I'm already on the hunt for the next book.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Richard Montanari: Shutter Man

In the ninth book in his Balzano & Byrne series, Richard Montanari introduces the readers to a story that was 30 years in the making:

Billy is a perfectionist when it comes to killing, if only he could remember who he was supposed to kill looked like. Billy carries his targets in photographs in his pocket to make sure he get the right one. Killing is part of Billy's ancestry as part of the  Philadelphia's Farren crime family. Detective Kevin Byrne and assistant district attorney Jessica Balzano are assigned a strange break and enter series all of which seem to be link to the Devil's pocket and Bryne's past. All of this jeopardizes the Farren family and has put Bryne on Billy's hit list.

I was really really excited to read this book, it had such an interesting premise (I mean a hit man not being able to remember face of who he is supposed to kill but can only tell who they are through photos. Just think of how you could take advantage of that) and the beginning was fantastic, engaging, had me hooked and then it fell really flat and slow.

Going in to this book I did not know that it was part of a series when I requested it on Netgalley. It was my fault for not checking, I get that, but I guess I assumed (we all know what happens when you do that) that it would be listed as number 9 in the series. So as you can guess I did not know the players in this game, their history and this is probably part of the problem I had.

There was too much back and forth not only between different characters but also between past a present that I found myself lost some where in the shuffle. I like to think that I read often enough that this is a hard thing to do but I just really struggled with this book. I also really like when back story is explained especially when it relates to the characters and sometimes the crimes, but this one did not feel fluid with me.

I just do not know with this book, I have read some amazing reviews for it that make me think I should go back and give it another try, but I really had a hard time getting in to the story, that makes me think this one was not for me. Maybe if I start at the beginning of this series I would have been able to get in to the story more. Basically do not make the same mistake that I did.

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