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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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Alice Feeney: His & Hers

Alice Feeney takes the reader to a His & Hers case, where you never know who is telling the truth:

Anna Andrews had her dream job but then it was snatched away from her and she was sent back to do field work as a reporter. She never imagined that on one of her first story she would be covering a murder from the small town that she grew up in, a place she never wanted to return to. When the victim turns out to be a friend she had growing up, Anna finds her self trying to solve what happened but also finds that that she is a suspect as well. It also does not help that her ex-husband is the DI in charge of the case. But Jack has his own secrets to keep, he knows the victim as well but much more recently and he may be a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn't telling the truth, and that is going to be deadly.

This is the first book that I have read by Feeney so I was not sure what to expect and what I received was a mystery/thriller book that had me continually changing my mind as to who the murderer was. This book has so many twists and turns and just when you think you’ve figured it out there is another possibility around the bend or some new evidence that comes forward that makes your suspect look innocent. I went back and forth many times that by the end I will say that I had not, at that time, picked the correct person who was the killer. So high points for that Feeney, very high points. Feeney was able to weave a well thought out and dark plot throughout the book and this shines through with ever twist that she puts in there that you do not see coming.

It’s hard to really like either of the main characters, as they are both really flawed in their own way and at times so extremely selfish that they put not only themselves but others at risk unnecessarily. Honestly, there were times when I questioned their actions to the point of would someone really do this/make this decision, especially Jack as a police officer. I guess them having flaws makes them more human and I guess root for them not to be killed as well murder is a horrible thing but there was just not a lot of likeable qualities between the two of them.

I enjoyed that this had multiple points of views, literately, His and Hers, as the book is titled. There are also a few chapters in which we get to hear from the killer, as they talk about how they achieved the murder and why that individual had to die. This makes the book out to be a bit of a game by having the story structured this way, you need to determine who is telling the truth and who is not as well as determine who has the biggest motive to have these women killed. So that made the book more engaging and fun to read

As the first book tat I have read by Feeny I know that this will not be the last. Any book where I cannot figure out who the killer is will have me picking up the other books that they have written. If you're looking for a twisty serial killer book, then this one is for you.


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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Debra Dunbar: A Demon Bound

Debra Dunbar begins a new series where all a demon wants to do is cause a little havoc now and then:

Samantha Martin just want to sit by the pool, drink some beer, ogle her neighbour Wyatt and play some pranks on unsuspecting humans every once in awhile. I mean what more could a demon ask for. Samantha knows that she has to limit her powers so the Angles don't find her, but that is not a problem she has been living up side on Earth for around 40 years now, she's got this. But when her hellhound lands her in trouble she is blackmailed into finding a killer who is killing shifters and they want the murderer taken care of. Problem is there seems to be something Holy going on and as much as Samantha wanted to avoid Angles, she may not be able to do that much longer.

This was a really fun read and a lot better than I expected. I enjoyed the characters and world that Dunbar created and I liked that the Demons were Demons, but not too Demonie (aka just trying to destroy the world, Sam actually likes the would as it is) and that the Angels are not these amazing do gooders that have no feelings or cruelty in them. Really Dunbar kind of made them a little more human than a lot of books do and the characters and story line are better for it. This is not so much a mystery read, but chasing your prey/killer one which I was okay with, it was a little different angle for the genre.

I really like Samantha as a character, she is an Imp and is not ashamed of being a Demon, really she relishes in it at times. She loves causing mayhem and trouble for the humans around her. She is a fun character who is not only smart, fun and snarky as hell, but she's also not set out on hurting or killing people endlessly. She just wants to have a little fun causing some mayhem here and there. Samantha is also pretty much a horn dog, but really for any human that she finds attractive, so there is quite a bit of hearing how sexy she finds a person and what she thinks sex with them will be like. So not really a romance read, but Samantha often finds really any reason you can think of to take her clothes off.

I am still trying to find a replacement for Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series (though I just saw that there is a Julie book coming out next year) and that is how I came across this book. While this book does not live up the the Daniels series, there were several things that I liked about this book that would have me continuing on with the series.


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Friday, October 2, 2020

Kelley Armstrong: Alone in the Wild

This is the fifth book in Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series, so you are going to want to read the previous four books (City of the Lost, A Darkness Absolute, This Fallen Prey & Watcher in the Woods) in order to appreciate not only this book but the series/characters/setting of the books.

Kelly Armstrong is back with the next installment in her Rockton novel, and Casey is about to find the unthinkable in the forest:

Dalton and Casey are enjoying some much needed alone time on a camping trip when Casey hears the strangest sound in the forest, a baby crying. She knows that there are no babies in Rockton and that they are not close to any of the settlement camps, and the crying is getting more and more frantic. She takes her dog Storm into the woods and discovers a grizzly site. The murdered body of a woman, with a very much alive baby hidden beneath her jackets. Casey is able to determine that this woman is not the baby's mother, but who is? Casey won't just give this baby back to anyone and who would murder a woman who was carrying a baby? There are two mysteries to solve and Casey has to decide that if she does find the mother of the child alive is the baby better off in Rockton?

The previous book in this series was not my favourite, I felt it was a little slow and had a lot of filler that didn't need to be there, so I was hoping that that book was not going to start a downward trend in this series. I am happy to report that I loved this book, if I would have been able to read this in one sitting I would have, but you know life sometimes catches up to you. I was sneaking every minute I could reading this book as I did not want to put it down.

I liked the new dynamic the baby brought not only to Casey and Eric but to the whole town. It was like the baby was such a foreign thing that people did not expect to ever see again, or at the very least a long time and it kind of brought out the better in everyone. The baby really affected Casey as well, it has been said many times before that she is unable to have children due to the beating/assault that she received as a young woman, I liked that is showed more a Casey’s compassionate side with trying to find the babies mother, but in a way you can tell secretly hoping that the baby is able to stay.

There was a drastic increase in the interaction with the settlers and others who have chosen to live in the forest, away from all civilization. I like that Armstrong was able to show that not all of the settlement and groups are the same and each has their own set of rules and values that they live by.

April is a really strong addition to the town and the story line, not only is she a doctor and Casey's sister but she is also on the Autism spectrum so she see the world different and relationships differently from other people. I like the blunt perspective that she gives, but also that she is working on having relationships with not only Casey but other people in Rockton as well, something I don't think her or Casey thought could/would happen.

This is great mystery/suspense series that I have really enjoyed. I love the uniqueness of the characters and the need to get back to basic for investigation and tracking just based upon the location of the town. I enjoy that the mysteries differ in each book and it's not serial killer after serial killer (i'm sure there might be one or two in the town but you know...). I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series.

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