Thursday, December 31, 2020

Anne Bishop: Lake Silence

While this is the first book in a new series, it is set in a world that is already developed therefore, I would recommend at least reading Written in Red which is the first book in the other series to familiarize yourself with this world.

In a new series based in the world of the Other, Anne Bishop takes readers to Lake Silence where there is no separation between the humans, Others and Wild Country:

Vicki received The Jumble in her divorce settlement but she was not entirely sure she knows what she has gotten into when she comes into her kitchen to see her only lodger Aggie, one of the crow guard, trying to heat up a human eyeball in the microwave. This event leads to a murdered human body. When the detectives arrive they are keen to blame the murder on Vicki. But why would they want Vicki out of the way? As Vicki and her friends search for answers, one thing is certain the Wild Country is deadly.

It has been a long time since I have read in Bishop’s Other series and while I think that the first series went on maybe a book too long, I was happy to return to the world in a completely different setting. I liked that Bishop used a similar format in this book, with three main points of view, two humans and one other. I like that this gave an overall view of the story as well as how they all see a situation.

I’m trying to think of the words to describe the story in this book as it not quite a mystery or thriller or romance, just a series of events and really getting to know the characters in this world and story. I was not surprised by how the events played out and who the bad guys were. There were also some patella and minimal interaction with characters from the other Other series, but this did not make this story feel less independent. I did enjoy the overall story and I think it had laid the ground work for additional books.

Vicki is a character that you root for and feel sorry for. She has many “flaws” in her thinking that had been ingrained in her by her ex-husband. Basically she see her self as too fat, hair too wild, everything is her fault when it goes wrong and that she is worthless. So while you cheer for Vicki as a character and she does have some character growth in the book but some of her chapters it is quite depressing. You can also see how nice and understands Vicki is a person and is the perfect person to run the jumble. 

I really enjoyed entering into the world of the Others again in a different setting and I look forward to the next book in this new off shoot series.

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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Daco S. Auffenorde: Cover Your Tracks

In her debut novel Daco S. Auffenorde takes readers to a train, where two strangers are going to have to trust each other to survive:

Margo Fletcher is heading from Chicago to Spokane in the middle of winter, back to a family that she has been distant from for many years now. But she is eight months pregnant and there are some things that need to be said and put behind them. While passing through the Rocky Mountains, something triggers an avalanche. A stranger comes up to Margo and tells her they have to get to the back of the train if she and her baby are to survive. Margo ends up listening to him and it save their lives. However, now they are stranded in the wilderness with nothing to survive. Luckily for Margo Nick is an ex-army Ranger and a hunter and knows his way around the outdoors. He promises to help her and the baby. But should Margo trust him? He did just save her life, but he is a stranger, and some things just don't add up. Everyone has secrets and some are just more deadly than others.

I was drawn to this story for the premise of the book. It idea of having to survive in the winter with a stranger but also being extremely pregnant, I can read that, I haven't read a survivalist story in a long time but this is where the premise kind of steers you wrong.

This book tries to do too much. I think that the book should have been separated into two different parts with the the first being used to describe how Margo ends up taking the train. In the second part there could be more of a focus on the survival aspect and then had Nick's flashbacks in there as well. There are quite a few flashbacks throughout the book, and this muddles down the survival book aspects that the premise offers readers. Personally, I enjoyed the flashback aspects of how and why these two people ended up being on the train, more than the survival aspect, as once again it did not seem like this was the true focus of the book.

I also think that having the flashbacks with Nick throughout the book instead of a second part that I was able to figure everything out and the "big" twists that she had planned throughout the book.There was no shocker there for me. Don't get me wrong I was invested in both the characters throughout the story I just wish I would not have been able to figure the whole situation out. Trust me the flashbacks are extremely interesting and you get to know the characters from when they are children and has shaped them to be the people are now. If you like character development, Auffenorde gives it to you in spades.

The is one aspect within the book, that did not make since to me. Nick who is an Army Ranger, hunter, he knows his wilderness yet he states to Margo that there are Snow Leopards out there. Ummm nope, there are not, Snow Leopards do not live in North America, they live in a small region in Asia. I think Auffenorde meant Puma, mountain Lion or Cougar and none of those are refered to as a Snow Leopard. I realize it is a small detail but it goes against Nick as a character and I wonder how did the author or editor not catch this flaw.

This is such a catch-22 book for me, I loved the idea of the premise, it's not fully achieved until the end of the book, so i was disappointed by that. Yet i could not put this book down as I really enjoyed discovering who the characters were and what lead each of them to take a train across the country in the middle of winter. I think that this a is a good debut novel, and that Auffenorde story telling ability will get better the more she writes. There are great bones here and interesting twists that would knock people out if they were executed in a different way. I look forward to seeing what Auffenorde comes out with next.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Intisar Khanani: Thorn

In her debut novel Intisar Khanani takes readers on a journey where one Princess has two futures she must decide between:
Princess Alyrra made a horrible mistake growing up she displeased her family and the court, not their only use for her is make their contempt for her known. When a King shows up to offer his son's hand in marriage all of the Kingdom is shocked, why would anyone want Alyrra, but the marriage is advantageous therefore the documents are signed. However, there is another that wants the Prince for herself, one who has vengeance on her mind. The Lady, a sorceress will stop at nothing to claim the Price. When Alyrra refuses to hand him over, she robs Alyrra of her identity and her title. But Alyrra does not see this as a punishment, more of an opportunity to a new life, even as a Goose Girl. The more Alyrra learns about the Prince, the land, the people and the suffering, she must decide if her own happiness is worth that of the sadness of the kingdom.
This is a good debut novel. It does start off a little slow, but the second half of the book really picks up. You really get to love Alyrra as a character and the struggles that she goes through, and I will not lie there is one point of the book where I was maybe ugly crying a little bit, but I challenge anyone not to at that point. The world is not really defined in the book, but I likened it to something in the King Arthur era with the technology, setting and Mages instead of Wizards. I'm okay with the world building not being too strong as I did not find that it really took away from the story at all once I myself had established the world I believed it was taking place in. Also this book is not as romance as the premise of the book portrays, the "romance" in the book is really more of a relationship building than anything else and I like that Khanani did not see the need to have romance or sex in the book just to have it. The story unfold amazingly without it.

The beginning of the book felt a bit off as Alyrra is hated by her family but it is not explained why. Other than she is too honest, but what was she honest about or too honest about. So I was a bit confused and not sure about this book. However, by, I believe, chapter 3/4 we find out what Alyrra has done to earn the disliking of all those in her family and court. I just wish this would have been explained a bit earlier on, especially as it has so many ramifications on Alyrra's life at home, and we experience many of the verbal and physical abuses that she suffers from due to her being too honest.

I like that Alyrra is not your typical main character for this type of book, she is not kickass or knows how to fight or a smart add. Instead she has a quiet strength, the ability to adapt and a strong sense of protectiveness to those she cares about. She does struggle with what her choices are, best for her or best for the masses. She has no special abilities like some of those around her, but another of her strengths is to be humble, which is not something you see very often in princesses. Really it is hard not to love her as a character.

This book was originally published in 2012 and was just released again this year (2020), and it looks like there is going to be a second book in this series, which I look forward to reading. If you want a lighter fantasy read then this is a good book to pick up. I really enjoyed the story and Alyrra as a character.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

B.A. Paris: The Delimma

In her latest book, B. A. Paris shows how a small group of friends, has all the secrets of a small town:

Today is Livia's 40th birthday and she has been planning her party for 20 years, it is to make up for the wedding that she never had. All she wants to do is be the center of attention, bask in it and enjoy the night. But Livia has a secret one that will change everything not only in her family but for those who are attending the party as well. She is determined to tell Adam, her husband, about it after the party is over, she just wants one more night of normalcy. What she does not realize is that Adam is keeping a secret from Livia too, one that also has the ability to change everything, but he just want Livia to have one more night, have the party she deserves and the decisions they both make this night, will change everything.

This one is a hard one for me to review as there are quite a few aspects that I really enjoyed in this book but there was one main character that I could not get behind their thought process so when reading from his point of view I found it pretty infuriating. 

I think the aspect that I liked the most, was that this one party was like a small town in itself, all the secrets and lies that each person is keeping from the others for one reason or another. Some secrets are to protect others, others have the ability to destroy lives and relationships. I also enjoyed that this book is basically told within one day and that Paris did not draw it out over several days, due to the plot of this book, this timeline makes sense and I think with the flashback thoughts that the two main characters have, the reader get enough information in order to understand the history and relationship between the characters. I also like that Paris kept the secrets that Livia was keeping were not given away right away, this caused me to have several, albeit wrong, guesses as to what she is hiding from her family and friends. I also understand Livia's reasons for not telling Adam the secrets that she is keeping from him, but Adam is a completely different story.

This book really fell for me each time there was a point of view from Adam. I just could not fathom why he chose to keep the secret that he had from Liv. I mean if I found out what he did I would say Fuck the party, Fuck everything, I need to find out the truth now. I feel like that is how most people would react to this situation, and not want to have one last party for their wife. I don't care that she has been planning it for 20 years, there are just some things that take priority over others.

I am a fan of Paris, but this book is far from my favourite. I think that the general idea for the book is a great one and I enjoyed the small town feel at one party, but I just could not get past Adam's thought process and since he is one of the two main characters, you get a lot of his points of views. I will say that all of the books that Paris has released are all different from each other, so I am looking forward to what she comes out with next.

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Monday, December 7, 2020

Ernest Cline: Ready Player Two

I have read that some people do not think that you need to read Ready Player One before this book, but I would disagree with that assessment. I do not think a reader would fully understand the addictiveness of the OASIS and the format that Cline uses with his plot without reading that book first. So if you are interested in Ready Player Two, I would suggest reading the first book in the series beforehand.

Days after Wade win's Halliday's quest, Wade makes an amazing discovery in a vault in Halliday's home. It is a device that will make the OASIS even more addictive than it is now, as it gives users a new way to experience the OASIS. However, if Wade chooses to share the invention with the world there are some consequences that will affect not only the OASIS but real life as well. As Sam, is trying to save the world and prevent it's destruction, Wade's decisions will put everything in jeopardy, but they can prevent tragedy but they need to complete one more Halliday Quest.

Do you ever think that authors write a followup book for no reason, especially when things are wrapped up nicely in the end.For most of this book I was questioning whether a second book in this series was necessary. There were not really any plot lines that were still open from Ready Player One that there needed to be another book in this series. So I wonder why Cline decided to have a follow up nine years after the first book ended (was it for the money? or maybe to get the book back in the mainstream after the movie came out a few years ago?). Even more puzzling is that the book picks up just days after the first book end, so we don't really get any growth from the characters in the first bit they are still the same teenagers they were when the first book ends.

Honestly, the first third of this book is SSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW, like are we just reading this so that Cline can drop some obscure 70s, 80s and 90s pop culture references for us and nothing really happens, at all. Other than Wade discovering a new way to interface with the OASIS, people in the high 5 fight and this goes on for the first third of the book, on and on and on. If you can make it through the first third of the book the speed does pick up, but does it get better?

The best part of this book was finding out who the villain was going to be, what new threat the high 5 was going to have to deal with and I will say it was a surprise and one I did not see coming. But other than that, I did not find the quest as interesting and the tasks that they had to do each time, felt a little bit too drawn out to keep the reader interested, especially (in my opinion) the Prince one.

I kind of got sick of only having Wade's point of view as often times it was depressing to read how little he thinks of himself and finds his only value in the amount of Halliday knowledge he had. I like that this quest had him rely more on those within the high 5 and outside of it as well but I wish there would have been some chapters from other character's point of view to make it more of a well rounded story especially when they are the ones who have the knowledge to pass the quests, not Wade.

If you liked Ready Player One, I think that you will be disappointed with this book like I was. If you like all the obscure references that the first book had, you will probably enjoy this book a lot more than I did. It just felt to me like Cline was grasping at straws a lot of the time.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Megan Goldin : The Escape Room

Megan Goldin shows how disastrous one elevator ride can be:

Vincent, Jules, Sam and Sylvie are called in for a last minute meeting, they all believe that they are either going to get their bonuses or they are going to get fired as their team had not been performing well as traders and investors. What they do not realize is that the elevator they are about to enter it s trap, one that was designed specifically for them, one that will test their friendships, the hierarchy of their team and their own sanity.

I really enjoyed this book and one of the best parts was that it was completely different story than The Night Swim, which I read earlier this year. Yes, there were some similarities in format (present and past alternating chapters) but that was about it. What is different is the story angles in the past we have the point of view or Sarah Hall the newest member on her team and in the present you get points of view from each of those trapped in the elevator. 

I like that Goldin had the idea of an Escape Room, which have become popular as team building exercises and in this plot it make sense for this team to do something like that, with their struggles. I also like that this book highlighted some of the problems within Wall Street, especially the sexism and what people's worth is seen as solely based upon their gender. This is seen in several different ways throughout the book, from hiring to year end bonuses.

I like that it starts at the beginning and then takes us back as to how these four people end up in the working elevator and trying to figure out who put them there. We get to see how ruthless each of the people in the elevator are and how they would do anything from money and to protect themselves. This book is about the long game for each of the characters, how to succeed themselves while hoping others around them will fail. And although this is a close nit group, that does not mean that they play dirty with each other as well. There are some twists and turns along the way about who would put them in the elevator and while I able to figure some of twist (mainly the big one) I was not able to figure it all out.

Goldin is one of my favourite discovery of an author this year. I cannot wait to see what book and story she comes out with next. Highly recommend this author and book.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Tamsyn Muir: Gideon The Ninth

In the first of a series, Tamsyn Muir takes readers on an incredible necromancer journey:

Gideon has had a enough living under the thumb of those who have made it clear that they do not want her there, for all her years of her life. Her most recent plan to escape the Ninth will work this time. That is until Reverend Daughter, Harrowhark, makes her an offer that she cannot refuse. Be her sword in the coming trials that the King has sent for them and Harrow will set Gideon free. Gideon has only wanted to be free, so she agrees. Gideon and Harrow do not know what trials await them, but they will be deaths, betrayals, treason and lust. All of which will change them both forever.

Alright, if you decide to read this book, just realize for a good part of it you are not really going to understand what is going on. This is mainly to do with the fact that the book is only told from Gideon's point of view and well she doesn't know what is going on, so neither will you. Gideon is very much just what seeing is in front of her and not so much about figuring things out, so that complicates understanding things.

There were several times when reading this book where a I debated putting it down as I was confused and well didn't know what the Hell was going on or what the book was about for most of the book. But it was Gideon as a character that kept me reading on in this book. Gideon is crass, full of brass and well could kick your ass, lol. Gideon is no afraid to speak her mind, even when she is told to take a vow of silence, she talks and curses like a sailor but underneath all of that she has a soft spot for those who appear to be weaker or taken advantage of by other people and for Harrow even though she hates her. Gideon will have you laughing out loud with some of her word choices for things and her constant talk about well "titties".

I think being in the mind of Harrow in this book would have helped me with the overall understanding of the world and the plot as a whole. Harrow is very much a necromancer, and one of the most powerful ones on the mysterious island. She has the mind that is forever trying to figure things out and will stop at nothing to achieve the answer. She also is very much a loner so that means she does not share everything or much with Gideon, hence why the reader feels like they are in the dark throughout the book.

This book is dark, full of death, I mean it is based upon necromancy so I was glad that I got what I expected in that aspect. I also do not read that many necromancer based novels so the overall concept was refreshing for me. It was interesting to see that the necromancers had different abilities when it comes to necromancer. For example Harrow can create a new skeleton or part of a skeleton out of a single finger bone, while one of the other characters was able to follow the spirits of those who have passed. I never thought about having different necromancer powers so Muir's creativity in this aspect was amazing.

Muir is able to bring the story around in the end that I now know (pretty sure) what was occurring and I am glad that I stuck it out through till the end as the last quarter of the book are really amazing. I guess my words of advice if you are going to read this book are, study the character names beforehand as there are quite a few and each belong to a certain house and this matters, If you are lost and not sure what is going on, don't worry it will all come to a head and finally just enjoy Gideon as a character, she is an amazing one. I'm excited for the next book in the series.

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Katherine Center: What You Wish For

Katherine Center takes reader to school where she shows what happens when the staff unite against a new principle:

Samantha Casey loves her job as a school librarian and is trying to live her life to the fullest, but this was not always the case. She left her last school as she realized that she had fallen for another teacher and a relationship with him was never going to happen. Instead she left and went to find herself. Sam is about to get some exciting but frightening new, Duncan Carpenter (the guy from previous school) was just hired as the new principle as her school. Sam is very nervous but excited as well, he will be a perfect addition there. But the Duncan that walks in is not the man she remembers, he is strict, brings a gun to the first teachers meeting, and is all about sterile walls. Sam doesn't know what happened to him but is determine to help him remember the man and teacher he used to be.

This is the second book that I have read by Center and while I appreciate the story that Center tells here, I did not feel like I was as engaged with the overall plot and characters as I was with her other book Things You Save in a Fire. I thought the plot was just not very interesting, people trying to save the way of life as a small school, from someone who wants to make changes for security reasons, it's a little lacking on substance if I'm being honest. Granted I do not read in this genre very often so maybe that has something to do with my opinion about this book.

I liked Sam as a character with all her heart that goes towards the school, the children and the Library there, but there were times when she felt very naive as well, not quite the woman that you expect her to be but getting there as there is some growth that occurs in the book. I think this book is not only about her growth but Duncan's as well. Duncan is very different from Sam, he's all hard edges, no shades of grey and wants to keep everyone safe. His reasons for this are very understandable and I am shocked that it takes Sam so long to figure it out, you think she would have thought to see why there was such a change in him sooner.

Their relationship growth is very cute and I like the set up the other ladies in the book did. They realized that they really were good for each other that the other person could bring something else out of the other. I just feel like you knew where their relationship was going and how it was going to end that it just seemed more typical to. It was kind of like hurry up and get there as we all know what is going to happen, I guess in a way i was missing some suspense from within the usual genres I read.

I do like Center's writing style and her ability to tell a story. If I do read in the romance, chick lit, contemporary genres, she will be the author I go to now. Although, I did not enjoy this book as much as her other one that I have read, it was a nice break to read something not so dark and serious. I think fans or frequent readers of these genres would enjoy this book also if you like the Hallmark Movie Channel.

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Friday, November 13, 2020

Jim Butcher: Storm Front

One of the first Urban Fantasy series out there Jim Butcher shows readers what Wizards are really capable of:

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does, well he is the only Wizard that advertises his services for hire as a Wizard. Harry is very good at all things that are paranormal and tends to have a knack for finding things. But to say people often go looking for a Wizard is an understatement. Where he makes most of his money is consulting with the Chicago Police department when they have a murder that does not make any sense. When Harry is called to a double, what is believed to be murder scene, he has no idea how it was done, but Harry has to stop whom ever did it. It will take a Wizard to catch a Wizard and Harry must use everything at his disposal not only to find the Wizard but stay alive as well.

I cannot even remember how long I have had this book on my shelf, it has been many many years, I don't think 20 (the book was released in 2000) but I want to say at least 10 years likely more and I have to say that this book, in many ways, shows it's age. I think that 20 years ago this book would have been amazing and at the forefront of the urban fantasy genre but reading it now I don’t know, it had a hard time holding my attention, and there were many dated facts throughout that it just felt stale. However, there were points within the book that I could not fault Butcher's imagination with how Harry creates potions or some of the Demons that attack / darker elements.

Harry is pretty fantastic character with his whit standing out most to me. He very much has an underdog type of vibe to him which you do not see in many main character, secondary characters sure, but not so much the main characters. Plus I like that Butcher did not have Harry be this all powerful Wizard that can do anything with magic and spells. There are limits to his powers, and he requires items to help focus them at times. I did like that he had Harry carry a staff, very Lord of the Rings of him.

I enjoyed that wizards affect electronic modern items. For example Harry is forced to have cold showers as the water tank requires electricity to turn on and he has to live by candle light as light bulbs and him do not mix. I do want to see what it would be like for him to pass endless people with smart phones, he’d be responsible for a surge in iPhone sales lol.

Although I found this book dated when reading it now, I know I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I would have read it when it was first released. I think that I will continue reading this book just for Harry, he is the kind of character that draws you into the story even when the plot is not as interesting as you would like it to be.


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Saturday, November 7, 2020

Holly Jackson: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder


In her debut novel Holly Jackson introduces Pippa Fitz-Amobi who has chosen the strangest graduation project; Finding a murderer:

Everyone in town knows that five years ago Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend Sal Singh. There was never any question that he committed the murder, no one even spoke in his defense. However, Sal cannot speak for himself anymore as when the police were closing in on him he committed suicide. Pippa (Pip) Fitz-Amobi, remembers Sal a different way and knows that he was not capable of committing murder. Under the guise of a school project Pippa is determined to prove that Sal was innocent. What Pip discovers is a town full of secrets many of which they want to keep hidden

This is Jackson's debut novel and from the writing style and plot layout I feel like you can tell that it is her debut. I liked that the book is told from Pip's point of view and it does not vary from this throughout I think there were just a few aspects that set this book back for me from being the top read from the past few years.

I found the whole school aspect of it to be a bit far fetched, that she would get away with the questions she asked, decisions she makes or the acts that she committed to get the answers. I mean one has to come to point where she should have thought, maybe I should go to the police with this new evidence I found (especially a key piece) instead she tries to do it all herself. Jackson basically has the police pictured as a bumbling agency that would not look at things like a teenager does in this day and age and that is why she was able to find this evidence 5 years down the road. I hate to break it to Jackson but most police are pretty familiar with the internet and social media and all that stuff in order to do their job. Additionally, if someone start to threaten you, why would you ignore that fact, especially when they know you are investigating a murder. I mean i can't even understand why an adult might not report something like that let alone a teenager.

I did like Pip as a character, she is smart, tenacious, naive (as she thinks everything will work out and be fine) and I even applaud her for skirting the system on her school project. I see Pip as a Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars type character just lacking the skills that they have. I think Pip would make a fine detective or journalist in time, she just needs to hone the craft of investigative work.

I'm a sucker for a small town setting book. I love that everyone knows each other, their business and lots of time their secrets. Small towns always seem to have a dark side for some reason and it seems like Pip's town is not different. I did find the overall mystery to be interesting and having some unexpected turn of events throughout the plot, which I applaud Jackson for. However, I was able to figure out who the murderer was way before the end of the book, however, there was a secondary twist that I did not see coming at all.

I think people who enjoy YA mysteries will really like this book and it will probably be on the top of their list from the past few years but sadly for me there was just something overall lacking in this book that I cannot put my finger on. Maybe it was the YA aspects of the book that I struggled to relate to, but I am not sure. Overall, I was lacking the feeling of being on the edge of my seat wanting to read more. When I was finished I mainly had a meh feeling about the whole book. I mean I did finish it so it was entertaining, but I'm not sure it is one that would come to forefront of my mind to recommend to people. I did see that there is a sequel to this book, but I am unsure if I will read the next one.


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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Jay Anson: The Amityville Horror

Jay Anson tell the true tale of the 28 days of terror the Lutz family had in the Amityville House:

The year is December 1975 and the Lutz family move into their new home right before Christmas. The home is more than they ever dreamed the could afford and then some, it seems like the perfect place to raise the family. But this house has a torturous past within, just a year earlier Ronald DeFeo murdered his parents, brothers and sisters. All the events that unfold in this book are stated to be true and that there is something demonic in the house that caused the Lutz family to flee after just 28 days, never to return.

This book is probably one of the more popular horror stories out there and I was excited to read this book to see if the Horror aspect was still relevant and achievable in today's day (this book was written in 1977). Now, I do believe in ghosts, but I'm not so sure about the whole haunted house aspect or evil demons or spirits within a house so going into this book I was not sure I could really get behind it, especially as it says that it is a true story. While reading the book I will say that there were times when I found the account just silly and not scary at all, however, I did not realize how much this book would affect my subconscious, to the point where I was having dreams based upon this book. So at some level this book was getting to me and have that horror aspect even though when reading it I did not feel that way. Maybe this is the true test of a horror book when it has you dreaming more about it and the aspects of it each night. Though on the flip side of this, when I was reading the book all I could think about was Ryan Reynolds and his movie version of this book, I mean hello abs...

I liked the narrator does not seem to take sides when telling the story, he seems to be impartial just telling the facts as they were told to him. He does not seem to make judgement on them just these are the events and really leave it up to the reader to make up their minds as to what happened in those 28 days in the Amityville house, as well as to the priest who entered the home as well. I think for me that was the more shocking parts were the accounts that the Priest had, who was so far away from the home when his torments were occurring. Also he is a priest and lying is not something they are really supposed to do. It all does make me wonder where the Lutz family is now and if they are still suffering some aftermaths of living there, as I did read it has been lived in by several families after the Lutz and there has not been any additional sufferings in the house, so maybe it went with the Lutz family, or it was all made up? Who knows, except for the Lutz family really.

I enjoyed this book, as it was not something that I usually read as well as how it seemed to affect me more that I thought it would. There are no real jump scares in the book, but what Anson is able to create is the atmosphere of suspense as what will happen next.


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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Wendy Walker: Don't Look for Me

Wendy Walker shows the lengths one women will go to protect her family and the lengths another will go to find her:

One dark and stormy night, Molly Clarke walks away from everything she has known and loved. All that is found of here is her abandoned car and a letter stating to not look for her. Molly had a reasons to disappear, not in the least that her husband no longer loves her, her daughter hates her and all of her family blames her for killing her youngest daughter, Molly even blames herself. She just wants to walk away from it all, start anew, and allow her family to greave and move on. But would Molly really run away from her family and if she did would she do so in such a mysterious way? Her daughter Nicole does not think so and she will do anything to find her mother, whether she wants to be found or not.

This book, for me, ends somewhere in the middle of the pack of books Walker has written. It is not the best book she has written (that is still reserved for All is Not Forgotten) but it is not my least favorite. I think my main criticism for this book as it seemed like Walker didn't write it. I feel like it was not as inventive, suspenseful or have as many twists/turns/red herring as her books usually do. After a strong start, something just felt off with this book. Now I could chalk this up that I had it basically figured everything out in the first quarter of the book, but once again this really doesn't happen when I read Walker's book, so I think that really threw me off as well. I mean I did not question for one second what I thought was going to happen in the book. Walker makes attempts to lead you off course, but they just felt lack luster than what her usual plots twists hold. I will admit I did not see one twist coming but it was a minor one at best, it did not change the story or really affect the plot as this twist came up at the end.

I did like the format that Walker decided to have the story in, with alternating POV for Molly and Nicole as well as have them at different time stamps from the day Molly disappears. I think this was an effective way to lay out this plot and tell this story and this aspect was executed well.

I really liked Molly as a character and a mom. She is struggling as a mom and a person after a tragedy stuck the household and she blames herself for what happened. Molly seems like a real person, her struggles seem real, her thought process and questioning whether her family would be better off without her all has a very real feel to it. You also get to see how smart she is and how Molly will fight for her children.

So not my favourite book Walker has written. I finished it, but I just do not think this book was her shinning moment in her writing career. The farther I read into the book I just felt like I wasn't reading a Walker book any more but something I have read so many times before. Of course will continue to read her books, I am a fan of her as an author but this one just wasn't for me.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Marissa Meyer: Renegades

Marissa Meyer takes readers to a world where superheros are real, think they know what it best, but not everyone thinks that way:

The Renegades won the war between the superheroes, the prodigies, and those that lost are in hiding, but forever planning to overthrow the Renegades. Nova has reasons to hate the Renegades and she has made it her mission to bring them down any way she can. When Nova goes undercover at the Renegades to try and bring it down from the inside, she meet Adrian. A guy that believes in the Renegades, what they do and he believes in Nova as well. Nova begins to question her allegiance and everything she knows and the fate of the world will be shaped by Nova's actions and what she decides.

This is the second series that I have started by Meyers and I must say that I enjoyed this book much better than the Lunar Chronicles and I think that is due to the fact that this book has darker elements to it (granted I only read the first book in the series as it was just okay read for me). If you have watched Amazon Prime's The Boys shows there are some parallels between the two shows, with supers thinking that they know best for the city as well as abusing their power at times as well. There is also the belief that not all supers are created equal, which you can tell during the trials they have to select new members of their team. I have not read a super hero based book in a long long time, so this was also a refreshing read for me as well. Something new and different that I have not read in a long time.

Nova is a very interesting character, she has a super tragic past which has shaped who she is and in becoming Nightmare, but she has lots that she still needs to learn about life and the difference between right and wrong. I like that Nova starts to question everything she knows after becoming part of the Renegades, which I think any person would be surrounded by so many people that hold the opposite perspective from you. Nova is smart, inventive, adaptive and when she wants to be manipulative, which in my opinon means she's a pretty awesome main character.

There was some teenage drama/relationship within the book, but this did not bother me, as it was pretty puppy dog like, it did add some elements to the story so it wasn't just put there to have it and it was not a love triangle (thankfully).

I will saw that I saw the big twist in the end, but I was happy that I was right and I think that it will create an interesting story for the next book in the series and I am really excited to see where Meyers takes the story-line.


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