Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jennifer Estep: Venom

If you're looking at this review you probably already know that there are two other books before this one in the series Spider's Bite and Web of Lies, both of which you need to read before this book as they give you Gin's past as well as set of her current relationship with her friends and enemies.

Jennifer Estep is back with her spider assassin series and the past is what drives Gin, but I don't think even she say this coming:

Gin always needs to keep a low profile whether she is in retirement or not, but there is something about a giant beating the crap out of her, that really makes her want to show her stuff, but she needs to keep her cool if she wants to get the chance to take on Mab Monroe. Although Gin's no longer on Mab's radar there is a new police detective in town who is now the target of Mab. She and I share the same type of need for revenge, but what do you expect when it's Gin's sister, back from the dead and now Gin wants to make sure that this time she is able to protect her.

As with any series you do not know if the future books are going to hold up over time and keep you are interested and invested as the first book. I am happy to say that so far Estep has kept up the pace, characters and plot so far. I like the direction of the book, and glad with the introduction of some new characters but also keep the same from the first two (for the most part). I enjoy that Estep is not afraid to have lots of action within her novel, and make them fast paced where readers like me can devour them. However, I do hope that sooner rather than later she has Gin and Mab face off as we all know that is the inevitable conclusion of this series. As there seems to be 11 books so far in this series, it makes me wonder how long Estep may plan to drag it out but i really hope she does not and is able to find a new plot line to follow (I do say this without reading any of the premises of the books that follow this one). 

I really like the development of Gin and Owen relationship as I have always liked him more than Donovan. I think Owen just has the personality and life style that is better suited to Gin, whether she is being Gin or the Spider. He just seems to understand and "get" her better. As for Gin, she is one of my favorite paranormal heroines out there, she has great set of morals and values, but at the same time she is not afraid to do what needs to be done and get her hands dirty.

I liked the introduction to Gin's sister Bria and how they are they are the same and want to achieve the same goals but are going about it in very different ways. I am interested in learning more of Bria's back-story and how her life turned out so differently than Gin's and I support Gin's way of wanting to get to know her and not what the folder says about her (even though I want to know).

I think I will always be a fan of Gin, she can do no wrong in my books. Estep knows how to keep this series interesting, different, and action packed. I'm excited to get my hands on the next book in this series.

If You Like This,
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http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2012/03/jennifer-estep-spider-bite.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2012/11/jennifer-estep-web-of-lies.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2010/11/dakota-banks-dark-time.html

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jefferson Bass: Carved in Bone

This is the first novel in Jefferson Bass' Body Farm series and bodies is something that they are never short of:

The Body Farm is a place of science where forensic anthropologist observe how bodies decompose in different situations as well as determine what might have been cause of death or what instruments could cause certain wounds. Therefore, bodies are a common site on the farm and when a body is found in unusual circumstance in a small town not far away Dr. Bill Brockton is called on to consult on the case. But small towns are a funny place where everyone know everyone and there is a tight knit community even by those who do not like each other. Dr. Brockton knows there is something very unusual about this case and not everything is as it seems.

Jefferson Brass, is the pen name for Jon Jefferson and Dr. William M. Bass who is the original creator of the Body Farm (Yes one does exist in real life and they have revolutionized forensics and forensic anthropology), so i'm pretty sure we can both agree that they know what they talk about when it come to bones, bodies and decomposition. Brass sure knows how to create an opening, I guarantee that the first sentences will have you hooked and yet as the book goes on I found that I became less and less interested in the storyline that Bass chose to take. It became tedious to continue to read and this started to happen in the second half of the book especially when Bill is attempting to get the FBI and TBI involved in the case. I understand Bill's motivations for doing so and I understand the reasons the FBI do not want to step in (always politics) but I felt there was too much focus on this aspect.

I was not a fan of the small town aspect within the book, I just never felt a connection with the town and I felt that there was something missing over all in this aspect of the story. I'm not sure what it is, it just did not feel complete to me. But i thought that the religious aspect was an interesting twist as well as the corruption within the police department that add twists, turns and obstacles in Bill's case.

Bill is what made me keep reading this novel and I liked all of the interesting story-lines that are associated with his job and I like how Bass made Bill's work life feel more real with him constantly having to go back and fourth not only between cases but the body farm and teaching classes. Bill is smart (brilliant), insecure, heart broken, tenacious. He is a good mix of positives and negatives as he tries to manage his world after his wife's death.  However, I don't feel like I got to know Bill that well, as I think I was missing a bit of the back story where is family is concerned as well as he personal life and this is the first book in the Body Farm series I thought there would be a little bit more character building.

I would read another novel by Jefferson Bass, as the idea of being based out of the body farm is extremely interesting and you know that when you are reading a Bass novel the information will be correct, well researched and possibly experienced by them as well. Bill is what will keep me coming back for the next novel.


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Monday, February 17, 2014

Amanda Carlson: Cold Blooded

This is the third book in a series, and I do not think it would be enjoyed as a stand alone novel as you would be missing too many of the elements of the first two novels. Therefore, you need to read Full Blooded and Hot Blooded in order to enjoy this novel.

Amanda Carlson is back with her third book in her Jessica McClain series, and it is the most dangerous adventure yet:

Jessica McClain, just wanted to be reunited with her Mate and get on with her life, but she knows that cannot happen until she finds out what happened to her best friend who seems to have disappeared, along with a werewolf from her pack. But politics within the supernatural committee always seem to be standing in her way. To make matters worse the sorcerer community is after Jessica as they are convinced that she has a power needs to harness and are willing to do anything to achieve it, even if it means entering into a pact with Demons. With sorcerers and demons close on their tail, Jessica doesn't know if they are all going to survive this hunt.

This series really has something for everyone, as so many different types of elements and creatures featured within these books. I think fans of this series will be really happy to know that this book picks up right where Hot Blooded left off, and I mean right after, Carlson does not let any time pass in between. I will say that I think that this book, for me, was not as good as the second book Hot Blooded, which has been my favorite so far. I just felt that things that were a little too predictable or settled themselves too perfectly. I want Carlson to have more edge and darkness in her writing that we got a hint from in the second book. I especially did not like the convenient way that the "mates" seem to lining up and falling into place and it just sounds like Carlson may try to attempt spin off books for each one.

Right now, Jessica is my favorite female heroine within a paranormal series. I find her to be such a well rounded character, and I cannot not find fault with the way that Carlson has portrayed her. She is loyal, witty, confident, has both strength and weakness, she has the complete package. I am also a big fan of Ray and I like how Carlson is developing his character, and it is something slightly new and different in her books so far. I personally like Ray as a character and how he is okay with challenging aspects that have been in place for years as he is a newbie in the paranormal world, but that is not a weakness to me.

There is more romance in this novel when compared to the second as we have the return of Rourke as a full time character in this novel, which means that there beasts need to settle a few things between them. The romance aspect is not my thing, but I appreciate that Carlson does not have too drawn out sex scenes and have them chapter after chapter, but I think those who like the romance and sex aspect in novels will enjoy having it (finally..lol).

Jessica is what keeps me coming back to this series, as she is a great character and I cannot wait to see her further develop. I am interested in knowing more about the background to the folk lore that seems to be driving everything in her life. I hope Carlson is a fast writer as I know her fans are going to want the next book as soon as possible.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Richard Doetsch: The Thieves of Faith

You do not read the first book within this series Thieves of Heaven as this book does do a great job in filling most of the back story. However, Thieves of Heaven is a fantastic read and I think you should read it just for that basis.

Richard Doetsch brings Michael St. Pierre who is given an assignment of impossible proportion, breaking into the Kremlin:

Michael St. Pierre was a master thief who has been trying to stay in retirement and recover from the death of his wife, but Michael is about to be pulled into a very intricate web of puzzles that only he can solve and they are all surrounded by the mystery that is the Kremlin. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible the Kremlin has been created into more and more of a labyrinthine fortress to protect the treasures and secrets of the Soviet Union and now Russia. A madman has built an empire of terror based around the teachings of God, promising the impossible and he is convinced that the secrets lie within the depths of the Kremlin. Michael is about to be the most hunted man in the world as he must find the pieces of the puzzle and destroy them before Hell is unleashed on Earth.

Thieves of Heaven was a fantastic first novel in this series, and I am sorry that it took me this long to get to Thieves of Faith. Doetsch just has a way of writing and creating an intricate plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat and not let you go. Doestsch is the master of plot twist, turns and red herring (although I will admit at times that they may be a bit farfetched) that you never really know how the book is going to end and who is going to make it. Doestch knows how to form a plot and mix that with his amazing skill for research. You feel like you are there and you have another must read from Doersch. After reading this book I wanted to pick up every book I could about the Kremlin and the secrets hidden within.

Michael is a great character and although he may have been a master thief in his time, you can tell that he is trying to reform, but there is just something about the excitement and thrills that you can tell that he will never be done with it (but you can say that he now only steals for the great good now). I really like Michael’s skill set both mentally and physically. Mentally, he is a caring person and really just wants to protect those around him, additionally, his problem solving skills are amazing, which I suppose comes with being a master thief, but they astound me at time. Physically, I like that he has taken the time to develop skills like diving, rock climbing and repelling, you can tell that he was dedicated to his trade as a master thief.

There was much more of Busch in this book than the first one and I think that Brush is needed there to balance out Michael at times. Busch is a cop who is now in retirement and he has a thing to say about right and wrong and he does a good job of rounding out all the rule breaking that needs to go on, he is essentially everyone's moral code, even Simon, but never under estimate him. I wish there was more Simon in this novel; I missed him from the first book. He is such an interesting character who is full of contradictions. I would complete read a novel that just had him as a main character as I find him that interesting.

I would not classify Doetsch books as easy reads, as you really need to pay attention to everything that is happening, so if you are looking for something more complex, his books are for you. Doestch knows how to draw the reader in not only with his intricate plot, and research but also with his different and dynamic characters. I cannot wait to pick of the next book in this series and I'm not going to wait as long to read the next one.


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Emma Pass: Acid

In her debut novel, Emma Pass has a very bleak future in mind for the United Kingdom for those who fight to keep the freedoms they had in the past:

The year is 2113 and Jenna Strong is the only female occupant of the world's most violent prison. She has had to strive to live every day that she is there and she was sentenced to life. She was put there by Acid, the military police force that now controls everything within the United Kingdom. Acid makes sure that no one ever speaks against them, that everyone serves their purpose and the rich get richer and to poor get poorer. But there are those that remember the old days, that remember what it was like to have freedoms and little does Jenna know, but she is about to become a key player in a revolution that is going to shake everyone in the UK to their core.

From the beginning Pass was able to create a good read and at times very interesting, but also at times very far fetched.  For example, being the only girl (and lets face it she is a girl) in an all male prison was the part that was truly far fetched. you would think at this time and with the amount of  people that acid is arresting there would be a lot of women being put in prison as well. I did like Pass's imagination in regards to Acid and what the prisons are like. Pass has a great ability to predict a bleak and interesting future.

As Jenna is the main character, you will either like her or hate her, I liked her ability to survive above all else and try to stay true to who she is. Jenna/all the other characters that she is forced to become, is forced to under go a personality disorder with the underlying one always attempting to come out. I think this was the most interesting aspect within the book as Jenna strives to protect herself not only from ACID but also from not forgetting who she is. However, Jenna is like a typical teenager and it all comes down to a boy and I am sad to say that about half way through the book the really comes down to a girl who wants a boy, and will risk everything, even the revolution to save him and be with him, just a little bit selfish I think. I really wish that Pass would have taken a different route than this as it has become pretty typical now.

Pass has some very interesting ideas as to what the future holds for the United Kingdom and while there were times where it seemed like Pass' imagination was running a little too far fetched she was still able to create an interesting story that was able to keep me entertained. I would read another novel by Pass and this was a pretty good debut novel.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Patrick Lee: The Breach

In the first in an action packed new series Patrick Lee introduces a man that never wanted to be a hero and a mysterious weapon that has the ability to change everything:

Travis Chase has just been released from prison and he is trying to restart his life back on the right side of the law. He decides to get back to nature and take a backpacking trip across the Alaskan wilds, but this trip will change his life forever. Travis stumbles upon a crashed 747 passenger plane that is filled with people murdered, but not by the crash. Among those dead it the wife of the USA's president, who has left a message that Travis cannot comprehend. Leading away from the crash site are several sets of tracks that Travis decides to follow and what he come across is a scene from a nightmare that is only just the beginning of events that will change Travis's life and possible the world forever.

Fast paced, interesting story and nonstop action, what more could a reader ask for in a action-adventure novel. Add into is some interesting concepts and characters you have a win win situation for the reader. I did not want to put this book down as there never seemed to be a good time todo so, there was always events unfolding both past and present that kept me hooked throughout.

Book has a definite sci-fi feel to it with the weapons, gadgets and secret policing force. The weapons were very imaginative and things that I have never read about before that Lee really excelled at this part of the novel. I never felt that the sci-fi aspect of the book was overwhelming where I was lost in the details or facts that Lee was presenting to the readers, which I was thankful for, as sometime I do get lost in these details. As this book is non stop action and with sci-fi weapons the scenes can be a little far fetched at times, especially one fight in particular where the body count is astronomical and all I could think about this scene was how are they going to explain it later. It seemed that the consequences were kind of lost on this scene.

I really liked Travis as a character, I found him smart and willing to think outside of the box when everything seems to be already predicted by the whisper. You can tell that he is their best chance to stop everything from happening. It was also interesting learning about Travis' past what lead him to be in prison and really shaped the man before. There are quite a few shocking moments that occurred beforehand (before the crash) that really set the course for what was happening and I like that Lee revealed these throughout the book.

Interesting concept with an unexpected ending, that I personally did not see coming and I don't think that many people will. I was really impressed with Lee's writing style and while there were quite a few out of this world ideas I never felt lost in all that information or action. I would read another novel by Lee and I would continue alone in Travis' series


Note: There are some torture scenes that are descriptive in nature, so please be advised before you read this novel.

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