Monday, September 27, 2021

Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Sons of War

In the start of a new series, Nicholas Sansbury Smith shows what happen when the economic meltdown causes a civil war in the USA:

The USA recalls all it's troops from around the world in order to help the Unites States government prevent states from leaving. Open warfare erupts across the USA with those who are just trying to survive or those who see opportunity within the burning city of Los Angeles. The Moretti family have being trying to rebuild their empire since they were forced out of Sicily and with America about to burn they realize now is the opportunity they need to make them great again. Salvatore is a marine who is just trying to what is best for his country, but he does not know how he feels about killing fellow Americans. All he wants now is to make sure that his family is safe, as the human race descends into chaos and you do no know who you can trust.

What I love about Sansbury Smith is that he has a pretty unique ability to make to  you believe that how he sees the future is going to be real and Sons of War is no exception. It starts out with energy wars/economic meltdown in the USA, and the some states wanted to leave the USA and then nuclear war within the US occurs. Now i can see this happening, due to the fact that energy, gas, oil, and everything in between always seems to be at war, and secondly there are many states that have different ideas and beliefs about the country and how it should be run. Mix all this together and times it by 10 and you really can see why Sons of War has a very real feel to it.

As you can probably guess there is a lot of action in this book and there is, but it's not wall to wall battles (there are a few of those especially nearing the end of the book), it is more about moving from survival moment to survival moment in the book and these can be small or large wins, but either way the book is fast pace and holds all your attention till the end

I like the dual POV and how they are two different sides of the law as it really give a cool perspective of different people see the end of the world and society as we know it and the similarities between the two, especially wanting to protect their families. I personally found Moretti POV a little bit more interesting because well they were on the other side of the law and using whatever they can to take advantage of the doomsday that is occurring around them, from trying to take out the other gangs and cartels as well as making deals with the military. I just found Moretti and his family very cunning and interesting while the Salvatore's POV was much more along the lines of fighting for survival.

There are times that the book is pretty brutal, but that is what happens to war or when humans are fighting for their own survival. It always brings out the worst in most people and I appreciate that Sansbury Smith does not shy away from this. But there are times when you are reading the book that you realize how real this world could be and that is what makes Snasbury Smith such an amazing writer and story teller.

This is the first in the series and I look forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing when (I have to believe it will be when) the two POV really intersect, it was something that Sansbury smith seemed to be building up to the entire book but never got there, but that's okay, I'm always wanting to read more Sansbury Smith.

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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Gemma Rogers: Payback

Gemma Rogers shows that you can never really hide from your past:

No one thinks that what they did in their teens would come back and haunt them but twenty years later, when they are brought back together with the death of one of them in a suspicious car crash. It is after the funeral that Sophie White starts to receive threatening messages, all that have to do with the party 20 years ago. Now Sophie is trying to figure out who knew about the party or if it was one of her old friends that is trying to kill them off one by one.

This book starts out really good and I was really interested in what was happening or going to happen, but I was able to figure out this book quite early on, so that did take the suspense out of it for me, and from then on things just became too predictable. I also thought that  the perspective in 1997 pretty boring and I do not think that it needed as much page time as it received.

For some reason I seem to be reading quite a few books lately where I cannot understand the main characters choices when it comes to someone stalking them, this is another book where this occurs/ Why is it so hard to involve the police right away? I just don't get it, especially in this book, who cares that you had a sex pack thing that happened over 15 years ago, that is probably nothing compared to what youth are doing now. Just stop being embarrassed and do something to protect yourself. Like you life is worth more than a little secret. 

I think this book would have benefited with a second POV, that way we would not just have to deal with all of Sophie's bad choices, or that of Mark as he was in the police and he could have handled the investigative part of the book.

I'm not sure what else to say about this book, it just wasn't for me. i know that Rogers has the ability to write an interesting story, and she does write really well, but this one was just too predictable for me. I will however read another book by Rogers.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

Grady Hendrix: Final Girls Support Group

Grady Hendrix shows that you can never but nightmarish past behind you:

In Horror movies there is always that one girl that fought back and defeated the monster(s) that killed all their family and friends. They emerge alive, bloody and victorious, but what happens to those women when the sirens fade and the danger is no longer there? They join The Final Girl Support Group. A therapy group where all the women there are Final Girls and they attempt to get their lives together and "get past" the worst events in their lives. These women have been meeting for years, but Group is starting to deteriorate and when one of their members misses a meeting, only Lynnette fears the worst and believes that someone is out to get The Final Girls and make sure this time they do not win. But the thing about Final Girls is they all have an uncanny will to survive and fight to the bitter end.

I really liked the premise/idea of this book and the homage it plays to the final girls of the horror movies of the 80s and early 90s. You can tell from each of the women's survival stories what horror movies that Hendrix is paying homage to. Hendrix does raise the question what would happen if those movies were real in some form and there was a sole woman survivor each of these massacres. You would 100% agree that they would need some sort of support and therapy in order to return to some semblance of normalcy, though as you read the book that is not achievable by all the members. I like that Hendrix did not have all the members of the group coping the same, Lynette is constantly paranoid and only truly feels safe in her home, Heather is a drug addict and Marylin hosts lavish parties trying to save circus animals and so on. They are all different and cope with hat happened to them in different ways.

I think the most horrifying parts within this book are when what happens to the women and what made them Final Girls are told. We get the most detail about Lynette as she is the main character of this story but the other stories are just as horrifying as you as the reader fill in the extra details. I know after reading Lynette's story it gave me one more excuse not to allow my husband (who is a hunter) to display elk or deer heads on our walls. What happened to her family is just horrible. 

The mystery/ cat and mouse game was well done and you will questions a few times throughout the book who could be after the Final Girls or whether it is one of women from the Support Group. I was able to figure it out but this was nearing the end of the book, so Hendrix did keep me guessing for most of the book.

Honestly, I'm not 100% sure if I liked Lynnette as a character, but I feel like Hendrix did a great job in developing her, her paranoia, her scatter thoughts and ultimately trying to do what is best for Group, even though she does not start out that way. I think what I disliked about her as a character, was trying to follow her thought process through. I totally understand why she is written this way but it just made it hard to like her.

This is the second book I have read by Hendrix and I personally liked it more than The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. I just found this store more engaging in the end and did not need Vampires to make it scary, humans were enough. If you want to read a book that sounds and reads like a horror movie then check this one out.

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Monday, September 6, 2021

Damien Angelica Walter: The Dead Girls Club

Damien Angelica Walter’s shows that your past always catches up to you, one way or another:

During 1991, Heather and her friends were all part of the Dead Girls Club, where they talked about serial killer, horror books and anything scary that they could find either in the news or in books. When Becca  introduces The Red Lady, they all become obsessed with her, but as more time goes along Heather, does not like the stories of the Red Lady any more or the rituals they are doing for her, it feels like the Red Lady is there each time and Becca was determined to prove she was real, but Becca ends up dead instead. Nearly 30 years later, The Red Lady forgotten, Heather has moved on with her life. But the Red Lady is not something to be buried and forgotten about and someone wants to make sure that what happened all those years ago comes out.

I liked this book, as it every has you questioning if the Red Lady is really there, she was really great at creating a creepy atmosphere when the girls were younger and calling for the Red Lady. The Red Lady is really the star of this book and the time line where she is featured is where Walter shines. It also brought back memories from when I was younger and watching The Craft for the first time and light as a feather stiff as board, can anyone else relate, lol.

I felt the book was a bit long and dragged out a bit in the second half, there could have been a little less on the most recent timeline of events, as they were boring verging on repetitive, and I felt like Walter didn't add anything new to the Stalking aspect. Personally I just became more and more annoyed with Heather. And as i stated before I found the time with girls when they were Teens with the Red Lady interesting and creepy.

I was able to figure out one of the twists but not the other, and the one twist I wish that it would have been something different, I don’t know just didn’t seem that twisty for the ending if that makes sense.

Heather's choices annoyed me most of the time. I sometimes understood why she did what she did, but at the same time I did not. Like I did not understand why she didn't tell Ryan or any of her best friends about what was happening to her. I don't think what she did when she was a teenager would have come out, she simply could have said someone was stalking her. She had several times to make a difference in what was happening to her and each time she chose the dumb choice.

I like that Walters left some things to the imagination in end and I enjoyed the overall story that she told, but really she could have written one just for in 1991.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Darynda Jones: A Bad Day for Sunshine

In the start of a new series, Daryna Jones takes readers to Del Sol New Mexico, where the Sheriff's first day on the job has a missing girl and a kidnapper and all sort of memories when one comes home:

Sunshine Vicram is about to become the new Sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico but the funny thing is, is that she never enter her name to be sheriff but her parents did and some how she won. Sunshine is happy to move home that he daughter Auri can be closer to her grandparents and the small town will be a slower pace of police work that is for sure. But on her first day there is a missing girl and nation wide fugitive is expected to be in the area, and Sunshine cannot seem to find one of her deputies. To make matters worse, there are some memories that are associated with Del Sol that Sunshine would like to forget, and one of the is Levi. Sunshine's first day is going to be anything but sunny.

This was a fun easy read that had me reading past my bedtime as I neared the end of the book (it really picked up). It was a good mystery throughout the book, but at times it did not seem like the main focus and more and more attention was paid to Levi. I like that there is both current cases and a historical one that directly involves Sunshine when she was younger and kidnapped. I think the one involving Sunshine will be one where we get a few new pieces of information each book, which I am perfectly okay with as it is a cold case, these take a long time to investigate and new evidence is needed to progress them along.

I liked that the romance in the book is not insta-love and one that has been brewing for years and years, and is almost enemies to lovers kind of thing and totally a complete misunderstanding of certain events that you as the reader will find out along the away and I have already made a few conclusions.

This book was funny especially Sunshine’s friend Quincy but it was not as laugh out loud as that I thought it would be, based upon a couple of reviews, but I did chuckle a few times.

We get an alternating POV between Sunshine and Auri. Sunshine is a fun character, extremely sassy, I'm not too sure about her ability to be a Sheriff yet, as a lot of her time was spent staring out windows at her old flame, Levi, but she does seem competent, but I honestly can remember any of her detective skills as I write this. I was not a fan of Auri’s POV in the beginning, I wanted to read an adult book and her parts are suitably YA in nature, which they should be as she is a teenager. I will say that they did grow on me a bit more in the end but I could still have done without them.

This was a good start to a new series, is a fun easy read and I look forward to reading the second book in the series. I think if you were or are fans of Jones' Grim Reaper series then you will enjoy this one though it lacks the paranormal aspect and if you are fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series you will like this one (I feel like Quincy could be the grandma in the comedy relief aspect).

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