Sunday, August 28, 2011

Layton Green: The Egyptian

Available today, the sequel to Layton Green's Dominic Grey Series The Summoner, you will want to read the first book in the series The Summoner before you read this books as it explains how Grey became part of the private investigator business and the relationships that Grey has developed. 

In the Egyptian Green ventures into a cult that has been around since the rise of man who is on the search for eternal life and will stop at nothing to find it.

Dominic does not know what to make of his life after Africa. He was rebuffed by Nya, who he thought was the one person who understood him but now he finds himself in Manhattan, alone. However, Viktor has a job for Grey, a purpose that he hopes will help to take his mind off the past events that he is unable to forget. The job seems simple enough, though he is not getting too much information from his employed; find a test tube that has been stolen from his laboratories as it is the key to his research. Grey delves into the world to science cults and the need to search for eternal life. But what Grey does not know that this type of research cult has appeared in some form since the dawn of Man and that people throughout the centuries are willing to do anything to live forever, even if it means leaving bodies in their wake.

This book had me hooked from the opening chapter, with the reintroduction of Grey and with the mysterious happening within an Egyptian graveyard. I did not realize how much I missed reading about Grey till the book was in my hands, I needed to know more and know what was going to happen next. Green has a great ability to mold a great thriller novel with a touch of supernatural aspect, and make it feel that the supernatural aspect could be true. With lots of mystery, suspense and thrills, The Egyptian will not disappoint readers.

The one thing that really stands out about Green is his ability to create several well rounded and realistic characters within his books. He has his main characters but his secondary characters are also well developed. You feel like you not only get to know all the characters both the good guys and the bad guys, that you get more than one side of the story, which makes the twists and turns all that more interesting

I think that the partnership of Grey and Viktor is a great thing, they both have strengths and weaknesses that compliment each other. Though I do hope in future novel we get to see more of Viktor's fighting style just based off the sword like knife that he likes to carry. I liked that Green developed Grey's character further by showing the reader further aspects of his past and his struggle to come to terms with what happen in Africa and Nya and really what is his purpose in life and where is he going. I also enjoyed that we got to see Grey use more of his jujitsu training and it seems accurate from my sources about the abilities that Green portrays within the book. I just really like Grey as a character overall, everything I want as a main male character, tough, serious, able to fight with a touch of a sensitive side.

In the first one it was a little slow when the explaining of the Juju religious aspect. This book I did get a little lost in the biological aspect in the book. I understood most of it, but it has been a few years since I took a biology class, so at times it was a little overwhelming. However, I understand Green's need to explain the medical side of things, as it adds more context and importance to the product and just proves the research that he did. It did not take from my overall enjoyment of the book, just created that a little bit of a slow part.

If you are looking for a great read I recommend Green's Dominic Grey Series. It is well written, with well developed plot and character, with lost of action mystery and suspense that will keep you coming back for more. Green is a author to watch out for and to mark on your calender when his next book is going to come out. 

All I can say is I want more Dominic Grey.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Heads Up My BLOGOVERSARY Is Coming!!!!!! :)

Hi Everyone,

I can't believe that it has almost been a year since I started my blog. When I started my Blog I was not even sure that anyone would actually go to my site and read my review, let alone become a follower. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my reviews, comment and become a follower. I know one of the things that has made my site a little bit different is that I do not have anything other than book reviews on my site, and this may have hindered how many people view my site but I like the idea of just being a book review site. However, I think that a Birthday is something that needs to be celebrated, especially the first one so for a short time the format is going to change. I will be having just over a month long event for my Blogoversary, which will consist of Author Interviews and Giveaways of the authors that I have had the pleasure of reading in the past year. It will be a mixture of well known published authors and indie authors. My Blogoversary will be starting September 1, 2011. I hope that you all will be able to join me, enter some contests and enjoy the author interviews. Thank you once again for taking the time to look at my site and I want to sent a special THANK YOU to all the author who have agreed to participate and to Kristin from My Bookish Ways, who was kind enough to answer my questions about blogging, author interviews and giveaways.

So keep you eyes open starting September First for some author interview and giveaways.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Joseph Finder: High Crimes

In his novel High Crimes, Joseph Finder explores the length that one woman will go to in order to save her husband's life even if it turns out that he is a man that knew nothing about.

Claire Chapman has a great life. She is successful lawyer with a teaching practice at one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, she was able to find a great man after her first husband died, her life could not be better. But Claire's life is about to be turned upside down by the FBI who are not interested in her but in her husband Tom Chapman. Tom Chapman is not the man that Claire had married, it was not even his real name. He had been hiding everything from her, his past, his role in the military, everything. Tom has been charged with killing 87 indigenous people, women and children, on a South America mission. Claire may not have known her husband's past but she know who he is and is not about to let him face the charges without her. But Clarie soon realizes that the Military is still the "Old Boys Club" who will protect their secrets and superiors at any cost. Claire is about to get a lesson in Military Law and Practices some of which are legal and illegal.

I have not read too many courtroom thriller novels. I do not know why I shied away from this genre before, but I was completely hooked while reading this book. I think that Finder has found himself a new follower for the courtroom thriller. With an interesting and twisting storyline, Finder was able to draw me in, and capture the courtroom aspect as well as create well defined characters.

This book was a great mixture of mystery and courtroom drama. With each new piece of evidence that is uncovered you discover more and more of the conspiracy that the government is able to undertake to protect it's secrets. There are many twists and turns and you are never really sure who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. There are strong cases on each side, but you never know how far lawyers and the government are willing to manipulate the evidence.

I like Claire for the most part as main character. I think that Finder did a good job of creating a strong lawyer, but also an individual who struggles in her home life. She is killer in the courtroom and presents a strong female lead who is willing to even go after the military in order to safe her husband. However, Claire did not cross the line from strong female to Bitchy. She was willing to receive advice and help from people who knew the military court system better than her. I am glad that Finder was able to find this balance and not cross that line. Claire also showed that she was more concerned about her husband than her daughter at times, and Finder did a good job of showing this dismissal actions of Annabell's.

The only part that became a little redundant is you knew that the defense was going to have an answer for everything. This only became a little bit of a hindrance to the story in the latter part of the book, as you knew that Kate was going to introduce evidence only to have it shot down. As I said it got a little bit redundant, but it fit the flow of the courtroom and the story line that Finder had set out. Also I am unsure if it means something different in the USA but voir dire in Canada means a trail within a trial, i'm unsure if Finder was using the right words for the context that they were written but as I said it might be different between the two countries.

This was a really good read (I can see why it was made into a movie, also by the same name with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. I have not seen the movie, but I may have to look it up now) and I know that I will read another book by Finder as well as explore more courtroom thriller authors out there (suggestions welcome). I feel like Finder has opened me up to a genre that needs to be explored.


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

J.J. Westendarp: Spiral X

First off I would like to Thank Wenj over at Black Lagoon Reviews who had an interview and giveaway featuring J. J. Westendarp and I was lucky enough to be one of the winners. I think this is the first book I have ever won. So Thank You again.

In his debut novel J.J. Westendarp introduces the reader to a darker side of paranormal where life and death may be determine by how much one has Faith:

Cheryl has been fighting vampires since she was 16 and now six years later she is still fighting but questioning how much fight she has left in her as she has just crossed some unwritten line but, she is not about to give up yet. With the introduction of a new street drug, Plast, that turns the human user into their primal self when they come back down from their High, Chery knows that the vampires are the ones distributing it on the street, this may be her last fight but she wants to make her streets safe again. To make matters worse, it is going to be very hard to do her job as there has been an underworld hit put out on Cheryl with the emphases on dead. From cops to underworld bosses to gang members, Cheryl will leave no rock unturned and neither will the bad guys as they pursues Cheryl for the bounty on her head, and she pursues the distributor of Plast.

Loved this book, it was everything that I wanted it to be; lots of action, darker writing and a little bit of twist on the paranormal genre. The book was fairly well written (I found a few typos here and there but nothing major), easy to read and the plot line was full of mystery and suspense. Additionally, Westendarp was not afraid of his main characters getting hurt or suffering, which I prefer as it opens up a whole new whelm of possibilities that the author can explore.

This is the first book I have read that had a belief in God as a very powerful weapon against vampires. I know that in Laurell K. Hamilton's series that Anita believes in God and that is why her cross glows, but this takes it to whole other level. Westendarp has reintroduced an aspect that I think has been lost in the paranormal genre and the old folk lore about Vampires and Demons being destroyed by an individual's Faith in God. The way that Westendarp uses the church and the blessing of stakes is a great reinvention of an old "myth".

I really liked Rev and the what he is and what he represents. He is a very interesting character and I hope that we are able to see more of him in later books, I do not want to give too much away about who and what Rev is. Lets just say it is something that I have not seen in a very long time, I'm thinking 90s area. Cheryl is part of the main reason that I liked this book, she was a great mis of tough chick/vulnerable. She does not think that she has all the answers, she is willing to get the job done, but after 6 years of fighting, she is wonder how much longer she can actually fight. I think that Westendarp did a good job of not crossing the line into what I have found lately the annoying ass kicking i know everything heroine in this genre.

The one thing I'm not sure about, and it could be that I missed a reference to it earlier in the book, is that Cheryl is part physic when it comes to vampires. She is able to pick up who is a vampire, and sometimes tell what they are planning or going to do next. I felt that this aspect was just dropped on me halfway through the book, as I do not remember it mention in the beginning. It is an interesting power, that I think will be explored more, but it is not to the extent (yet?) that she is able to fully read anyone's mind (think more like a spidy sense feeling).

The is mystery in this book is great with twists and turns, with ones that I am sure that you will not see coming, coupled with some new ideas and great reinvention of old ones that I think that Westendarp has something here. Spiral X is an easy to read, fast paced, action infused novel that I think those who like the paranormal genre on the darker side of things will enjoy. Westendarp is definitely an Indie author to watch out for and I know I will be picking up the next book.


Note: You can find Westerdarp's books on Smashwords

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Faith Hunter: Blood Cross

The second book is a continuation of the first book, as Jane's contract has been extended to cover another task. Therefore, you will probably want to read the first book Skinwalker before you pick up Blood Cross.

Faith Hunter is back with Jane Yellowrock, skinwalker, who is on the trail of the vampire who is creating young rouge vampires who have been terrorizing the street of New Orleans.

Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker. Only those who are closest to her know of this power, though the Vampires of New Orleans are determined to find out what Jane really is. Jane's contract by the vampire counsel has been extended. She has been charged with finding the rouge maker and putting a stop to them once and for all. As Jane does her nightly patrols she is finding more and more young ones are risings. But these grave sites are different, they have a witch aspect to them, something that Jane has never seen before and even more strange is Jane swears that the Vampire she just killed was lucid when she put her stake in her. As Jane digs deeper she discovers a grisly past, one that involves the sacrificing witch children that has a deadly game for anyone who has investigated into the missing witch children before.

Faith Hunter has created a series that is easy to read, fast paced, that has great mystery, and introduced new ideas to the paranormal genre. These aspects are key these days to keep readers interested and I know that I am seeing how the series develops after reading this book.

I Love Beast. I think that Beast is the most interesting aspect in Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series. The Beast aspect is something completely unique that you do not get in other skinwalker or were books. Beast is the reason that I will continue coming back to this series. I like the interaction between Jane and Beast and how they teach each other something, though I'm sure Beast won't admit it. In this book we do not get to learn too much about Beast and how Jane and Beast came together, but we do get  look into Jane's past. It was nice to have Hunter explore Jane, where and when she came from. All the details have not been filled in yet, but I think that Jane exploring her past is a great step in her character development in the book

I really like that Hunter has not taken the move to paranormal romance with a touch of mystery. Yes, there is tension between the Joe (also now known as Rick now) and Bruiser, but it does not over power the whole story. Plus if you were wondering from the first book which one Jane and Beast choose, you find out in this book (no I'm not going to say, you have to read it for yourself). It is just nice to have the romance as secondary, and have Jane focus on her job and discovering who she and Beast are.

The one thing I wish this book had more was action. There are very few action scenes except for the big one at the end. I wish there was a little more of the vampire hunting going on. However, the addition of Derek-lee and his "army" was a nice support for Jane, when she cannot rely on the cops.

This is turning into a really good series, and I like that Hunter is not afraid to take some risks and introduce some different aspects into a fairly over saturated paranormal genre. I look forward to picking up and reading the next book in this series.


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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scott Mariani: The Mozart Conspiracy

There is no need to read the first book, The Alchemist's Secret, before this one, I believe that Maraina has written the books in the Ben Hope series so that they can be read as stand alone. There is no reference back to the first book, however, if you are looking for a good read, then I would recommend reading the first novel The Alchemist's Secret.

Scott Mariani returns with  Ben Hope the finder of missing children, however, his next mission is one that is much more personal.

Ben Hope finds those who others have tried and failed. He is the person that family members call when their children have been stolen from him. Ben is very good at his job and he does not stop till he finds the child and puts his own form of punishment on the perpetrators. However, Ben is about to be dragged into a mystery that stems from history. Was Mozart Poisoned by a jealous composer? Was he killed by his fellow Freemasons to silence him? Oliver Llewellyn believes that he has found the truth and it is more sinister. However, before Oliver is able to release his findings, he is murdered to keep his silence. Ben does not believe that Oliver would die the way he did, things do not seem to be adding up and when Oliver's sister Leigh Llewellyn calls Ben desperately needing help, he knows there is more to Oliver's and Mozart's deaths than has been discovered. Ben is on a race to discover the Mozart's final secret as it will lead to Oliver's killer. But Ben needs to watch out because the conspiracy is far more powerful than anyone imagined.

I loved this book, I think it is better than the first. This novel had everything that I want in a Thriller; Mystery, suspense, action and further character development. I found this book darker than the first one, and I think this was partially due to the fact that the mission is much more personal in this book than the first. There are quite a few twists and turn and it is not just about finding out the Mozart Conspiracy, but also a more recent murder. This book is well written and easy to read. You will not get lost in the mystery or action scenes as the are well laid out, and you are never questioning, how did that happen?

We get to see more of Ben Hope, his past and more of who he is as character and partially of how he got that way. I liked how Mariani gave the reader peals into his past with becoming an SAS soldiers, as well as his friendship with Oliver. Hope has his own form of right and wrong, especially when dealing with people who have kidnapped children. The reader gets to see a harder, darker side of Hope as well as a softer side, especially when he encounters Leigh Llewellyn.

I really enjoy that Mariani is willing to take risks with his characters. You don't know who is going to be hurt or dead next. I enjoy this type of suspense from the author as it is creates a type of suspense that goes beyond the storyline. I wish more authors would do this. Does it mean that you can loose characters you love, yes, but it just makes the book that much more realistic, so I applaud Mariani for not taking the easy route when writing his stories and realizing that there doesn't always have to be a happy ending.

Mariani has stuck with the premise around a type of cult or group that has been around for generations. There is talk about the Freemasons (as Mozart was supposed one) as well as a rival group. I'm unsure of how accurate the information within the book it, but either way it was a great read. There was not too much history about Mozart, I think that Mariani kept it pretty basic so that the reader did not get lost in detail and the story did not slow down.

Mariani has quickly become a go to author for me when I'm looking for a Thriller book. The books are everything and more that I am looking for. If you are looking for a novel that has an easy writing style, very interesting storyline, and a writer who is not afraid to test the limits of their character, Maraini is the author you are looking for. I am looking forward to reading more books by Mariani with his character Ben Hope. Definitely a Thriller author everyone should look into.


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Monday, August 1, 2011

Hank Schwaeble: Damnable

In his debut novel Hank Schwaeble introduces an evil villain who will do anything to revenge the death of his parent, even if that means destroying the world.

Jake Hatcher is a military interrogator who was at the top of his game and mission when he was wrongly imprisoned by the military. The guards of the prison are slowly trying to break him down, to get him to act out so that he serves a longer sentence, but so far Hatcher has endured, he is only a few more weeks till release. However, release comes early for as he finds out that his brother has died while trying to save a woman's life, but Hatcher does not have a brother. Hatcher soon finds out that there are quite a few secrets that his family has hidden from him, all that play a key role in his up coming fight. Hatcher is entering into a Sadistic man's game where he plays a more vital role than even he realizes, and all he is really fighting for is saving the World from becoming a new Hell.

This book was okay, definitely on the darker side of things and had some horror aspects to it, which I liked, however I found it hard to get into the story that Schwaeble has set out. I thought the story started out really dramatic and then with the introduction of the main character as he is in prison, and I really thought this was going to be a great book, I just found the story did not pick up from there. The writing style good and fairly easy to follow, I really enjoyed the action scenes in the book, there were some good twists and turns, it was storyline that missed the mark for me. I really did think that this book was going to be more militaristic and apocalyptic.

I liked Hatcher enough as a lead character, he leans on the side of an anti-hero, which is my preference, however, I felt for the most part I really did not get to know Hatcher outside of the very basics. I really liked that Hatcher was are interrogator for the military, and I hope that Schwaeble will explore this more in future books. It was interesting to see how Hatcher was able to dissect the police's interrogation ways. I think that Schwaeble could used more of this talent as he read people or actually have him partake in more interrogation that just one scene (which I found very interesting in the techniques that were used). I really just wanted more of these aspects.

The villain in the this book is very sadistic and evil.There are some very disturbing scenes involving Valentine and his victims, not for the faint of heart that is for sure. Lets just say that the book starts out with Valentine removing a victims heart, while she is still alive. I know this part had me clutching my chest, and really what I thought would be the set up for the rest of the book. And I have stated it so many times before, Humans are so much worse than any monster that is out there and Valentine is one very very twisted character.

I was shocked with the amount of sex or sexual references in the book, not that they were a constant thing, I have never read a book by a male author that had this much sex in the book. I did eventually became annoyed with not only the sex (or should I say rape or suggestion of rape) but also the amount of times where the author had the main character have a hard on for an attractive female. I understand that he has just gotten out of prison after a about a 12 month stay, but I did not think that the whole premise of the book would really be about sex. As I said really shocked me that the author put so much focus on sex.

As I stated this book was an okay read and debut for me. I really wanted Schwaeble to explore to more of who Hatcher is and the specific skills that he has and I for some reason I had a different plot and premise in mind after reading the back of the book. I think I will read the next one to see if Schwaeble is able to explore more of Hatcher, but I probably wont be picking it up right away like some debuts I have read.


Note: There are some torture and sexual sadism scenes that are fairly descriptive, that some individuals may find disturbing to read.

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