Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Alexandra Bracken: Lore

Alexandra Bracken takes readers on a journey of of girl who is forced to return to a world that she had fled, in order to protect those she loves:

The Agon occurs every seven years, the Greek God's of Old are transported into the  physical form on Earth and stripped of their immortal power and to kill a God means that the killer inherits their power. The descendants of each house are power hungry and looking for more power each time. Lore fled this world and went into hiding after her family, including her young sisters, were brutally murdered by a rival house. But the war is about to come to her doorstep and a childhood friend who she thought dead has resurfaced and needs her help. Lore is about to re-enter the fight of the Agon and death of the other houses is the ultimate goal.

I think I should start off by saying that for a book that is supposed to be a YA book, it has quite a few disturbing scenes, that would not be suitable (in my opinion) for a young YA reader. Older YA sure, but this is not a book to bridge the gap between middle grade and YA genres.

And that is why, I pretty much loved every minute of this book. It was unique, dark, gritty, loads of action and not completely overwhelming in describing the world that Lore lived in and chose to flee. And when I say dark and gritty there is blood and death and loss and well being that the book is based around Greek Gods that is really fitting that Bracken went as dark as she did, especially since that the God's are at War every seven years. It is tough to have a War without death, maiming, destruction, and murder of the innocent. And to say that the God's in this book revel in it all is an understatement, this is what they "live" for every 7 years.

Lore is a pretty fascinating character and one of the most Badass women out there. Not only is she a great fighter but she is also loyal to her fellow man, and has morals, that seem to be lacking in those who participate in the Agon. She has also shown her ability to adapt to normal life as well as hide from the Gods that are still looking for her. Lore to put it simply is just awesome, even when we get glimpses of her past when she was a child, she was awesome back then too.

This book took me on an emotional roller coaster ride that I was not at all prepared for. I totally thought it was just going to be fighting the Gods, trying to stay alive and out whit the Gods and while this does happen throughout the book I was not prepared to get to attached to Lore and her life and history and the pain that she has suffered at the hands of the Agon.

This was a really different retelling/recreating the Greek Gods and displaying them in not only a different light but century as well. It is hard to like any of the Gods in this book as they are all blood thirsty and just wanting more power and to win the Agon. That is what has shaped them for the centuries they have battled each other. Additionally, their followers are just as blood thirsty, like asking the God Apollo to create a diseases that they could benefit from in their pharmaceutical businesses, like what, you want to kill a who bunch of people with a new diseases so you can make more money from creating the drug to sure it. Just cold man, just cold.

Really enjoyed this book from start to finish and expect to want to read it in one sitting. It really does take a hold of you from the very start. I appreciated the creativity that Bracken brought to the Greek Gods. I look forward to reading more by her.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

D. J. Palmer: The Perfect Daughter

D. J. Palmer show’s readers how far a mother will go to prove her daughter is innocent of murder:

One thing a parent never thinks will happen is to have their child accused of murder, but this is the reality that Grace has come to face. There was no doubt that Penney was physically  there, her fingerprints were on the knife and she was covered in blood but it might not have been Penny that committed the murder. Grace is convinced that Penny has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and is hoping the doctor at the psychiatric hospital will agree with her. With each passing day the trial date gets closer and closer and Grace is getting desperate to prove Penny is innocent and starts to do her own investigating.

This is the first book that I have read by Palmer and I was super impressed. The writing is well done, the plot is well laid out and the mystery within the book is a solid one. I appreciate that this book jumps right into the court case and does not have a lot of fluff in the beginning. We know that Penny is accused of murdering her biological mother and that her adoptive mother is attempting to prove that Penny has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and should not be held responsible for the crime. I have not read a book with DID for a really long time but I will say that Palmer does it right.

I was able to figure out one of the main twists early on, but did not see the last twist coming till the very end. WOW, it was such a crazy reveal that was amazing, and like I said I did not see it coming at all, well done Palmer.

It was an interesting take on POV but I liked that Palmer decided not to have "Penny" or any of the other Alters as one of the POV as all the switches between the alters I think would have been confusing and would have taken away from the book. Instead we get to see each alter through two different people and it was interesting to see how they would act for each person. I also appreciated the background information and the format that it was presented in, through Jack and saying parts he would place in his movie. Honestly, I would be interesting in watching the movie that Jack was trying to write about his sister's life.

This book was a roller coaster ride from start to finish that I think anyone wanting to read a mystery or psychological mystery book should pick this one up. I look forward to reading more books by Palmer.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

V. E. Schwab: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

V. E. Schwab takes readers on an incredible journey of one women, who everyone forgets, but who lives hundreds of lives:

France 1714, a woman makes a desperate plea to those who live and love the dark and make a bargain, that will change her life forever, let her live forever, but she will be forgotten by everyone she meets. Addie has lived many lives since then, but has attempted to leave her mark along the way. She has learned to use people forgetting her to her advantage, but there are times where she longs for something more. When she enters a random bookstore in New York City, she is shocked to discover something that has not happening in 300 years, she is remembered.

I will admit that this book was not even on my radar, and the only reason I picked it up is that I kept seeing it constantly on Bookstagram with glowing reviews. I have only read one other book by Schwab and it was more in the YA genre so I was not too sure what to expect from this one being an adult book, but i was extremely impressed. This was an interesting read and out of my comfort zone a bit as well, as it has a contemporary romance feel to it, with a fantasy twist.

This is a slow burn of a book, as Schwab takes the time to set Addie as a character and there are several flashback to what her life has been like in the 300 years that she has been alive. I enjoyed getting to know the places she visited, the people she met along the way and her desperate attempts to find a connection. But there were times that I just wanted it to get a move on with things that I was pretty sure were going to happen and other events felt like they were just filler.

There were times where I found Addie very frustrating as a character as it seemed like  had lived all this time but Addie had not learn anything with it but in the same sense knowledgeable, it was a weird juxtaposition within one character. I like her cleverness in making a mark on the world, and finding those who have the ability to do so and her own manipulation abilities there were just times I wanted to shake her but I will say that I do appreciate Addie's ability to play the long game. Henry for me was just there as a character, I did not really find him entertaining or exciting, just really someone for Addie, but I have to give it to him (and Schwab's) cleverness in the end.

What I liked about this book the most is that I can say that I have not read a book like it and I applaud Schwab for doing something different. I look forward to reading more adult books by Schwab.

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Monday, August 2, 2021

Roz Nay: The Hunted

Roz Nay takes her readers on an African Island vacation with 2 couples but one of them is stalker who will stop a nothing to get what they want:

Stevie is looking for a fresh start, the ability to be someone different and new, someone other than who she is after the sudden loss of her grandmother and everything back home being screwed up due to it. He boyfriend, Jacob, suggests a vacation, somewhere completely different from their small town. The end up on an island just off of Tanzania, at an Ecotourist spot where Jacob can also work as a diver. Along the way they meet another couple names Leo and Tamsin who appear to be experts at traveling, and are able to help Stevie and Jacob navigate Africa. When they all end up at the same Ecotourist spot, relationships are put to the test and the question of how well do you really know the person you are with. Could one of them be capable of murder?

This was the first book that I have read by Nay, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the book but I found the premise really interesting, and what Nay presents here. that in my opinion, is a Domestic Suspense book that really will have you wanting to read on from the very first sentence. I think of it more as in the domestic suspense genre as it involves two couples and the interaction between them. There is suspense on many levels between the two couples, not just in a psychological way, but a physical and sexual one as well. Do I think that Nay achieved the suspense throughout the entire book, No, it ebb and flowed but I did find that it was quite slow at times, but I wanted to read on to see what would happen next, so it was able to keep me reading throughout.

It is always interesting when you read a book and you do not like any of the characters, and you’re not really rooting for anyone, I mean you don't want anyone to get hurt, but there are very few likeable qualities among the main characters. Even that of Stevie who is one of the POV, I just found her selfish, childish and just not true to herself throughout the book (though i will admit she does grow by the end of the book). Leo is also an interesting character mainly due tot he fact as to how Nay portrays him in this book, but the same point not a very likeable character, he is creepy, clingy and entitled throughout. I feel like not liking any of the characters this is a unique experience, that I actually do not mind, I do not think that it took away from my enjoyment of the book.

I know, for me, when an author really tries to convince me of one thing I look in the totally opposite direction and that was true in this book, so I was able to figure it out, and it wasn't a big shocker in the end. Honestly, I thought that it made perfect sense to me and how people manipulate others. And lets just say this book has a lot of manipulation going on, and Nay shows that she has no problems with mind games for her characters and her readers.

This is the first book I have read by Nay and it won’t be the last. I look forward to checking out her other novels.

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