Friday, December 30, 2022

Amy Lea: Set on You

In the her debut novel, Amy Lea shows the pros and cons of having a gym enemy:

Trolls are some of the most harmful people on the internet, but curvy fitness instructor and influencer Crystal Chen has built her career shattering gym stereotypes and encouraging people to love themselves no matter what. When there is a new guy at the gym who seems intent on always taking her space and machines, sparks fly and a gym competition begins. What they did not expect is to run into each other outside of the gym in a most awkward situation, and they decide to have a truce. Bonding over family fitness, DM chats and pick up lines, Crystal thinks she has found her soulmate. But there is always the niggling in the back of her mind that Scott is too good for her and when a photo of them goes viral, the Trolls are out in full force and it will test the strength of not only themselves but their relationship too.

First off the only reason I picked up this book was due to the fact that the main male lead was based upon Chris Evans (and I am not really sure I see it other than that is how he described as looking like). So now you know my motivation going in. This is a cute book, but almost too cute at times for me. I just wanted more to the story than just a relationship.

I wasn’t really able to connect with the main character for some reason. This is not to say I did not feel for her, some of the trolls that are highlighted in the book are just awful but I just could not relate. Also some of the drama that occurred I did not understand what the overall big deal was and I do not think that Lea did a good enough job explaining it. I have never had to deal with trolls but I can imagine the hurt you could feel if you got it everyday especially in relation to your life and your life choices. I will say it was great to see Crystal grow as a character in the book and change her opinion on the whole body positive idea, as it truly is a struggle to love yourself (inside and out) all the time.

I did like how the relationship started between Crystal and Scott and I was invested in it from the beginning with them being gym enemies to that steamy locker room scene, I just wanted something more to happen in the book other than their relationship. Yes, I know that this is a contemporary romance book but I have read others in this genre and the plot/stories just seemed more robust. I felt that a lot of Crystal's influencer life and her getting the bigger and new contracts was pushed to the side in the story just to highlight the romance. I was also expecting more sex in the book as well, and I think people will be shocked that there will be less than you think as I said the book is cute.

I love the message that is presented throughout especially at the end that we don’t have to love ourselves all the time but things will get better. 

I don’t think I will read the next book in the series it was just a bit too cute and romance based for me but I know there are many people out there that loved this book but if you don't constantly read in this genre then this one may not be for you too.

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Friday, December 23, 2022

Simone St. James: The Book of Cold Cases

Simone St. James shows that secrets in a small town will always haunt you:

1977, the town of Claire Lake, Oregon, is shaken by the murder of two random men and the only clue is a witness sees a women fleeing the scene. The murderer is coined the Lady Killer. In 1977, Beth Greer not only fit the description of the suspect but was an eccentric and rich 23 old women, and the community was shocked when she was acquitted. Beth became a recluse after that. Now in 2017 Shae Collins is a receptionist by day and the authors of The Book of a old Cases by night, her true passion. On a chance meeting Shae asks Beth if she can interview her about the Lady Killer case and shockingly Beth agrees. Shae thinks this is a chance of a lifetime but there is something off about Beth and the house she lives in and Shae cannot help feel if she is being manipulated by a master and that darkness is coming. 

I enjoyed this book and really like St. Jame’s writing style and format but I think I would have enjoyed it more if the paranormal/ghost aspect would have been intilized more. I actually did not realize that this book was going to have a paranormal aspect till I was reading it. 

The serial killer aspect and overall mystery aspect was interesting and well done but I was able to figure the big twist about halfway through the book and there weren’t a lot of twists and turns along the way to change my mind. But I still enjoyed how it all played out. Plus this book takes place in a small town, rich family with secrets, I’m a sucker for this setting.

I like the overal concept of the book, with our main character Shae having a crime blog (The Book of Cold Cases) where she delves into crimes that Have remained cold finding as much information as she can as well as having debates with people who follow her site. I feel like this is very Now, with the amount of pod casts and sites dedicated to this very concept and this is not the first book I have read that has used this concept. There is something about the armchair investigators that is appearing more and more in books.

I found that Beth was the more interesting of the two characters, this is not to say Shae was interesting (her past is very tragic) just Beth’s POV was more dynamic and St. James really used her POV to show the crimes of the past as well as what everyone thought of her then and now.

This was a good book and the first I have read by St. James and I look forward to reading her other works as I do like her style.

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Monday, December 19, 2022

Kerri Maniscalco: Stalking Jack the Ripper

In the first in a series, Kerri Maniscalco takes you back to the times of Jack the Ripper with a new detective set on discovering and stopping the killer:

Society has never held but interest for Lady Audrey Wadsworth, she prefers to spend in time in her uncle's laboratory watching him dissect the dead for a living and the birth of forensic medicine. When there are a string of murders occurring in the white chapel area, each more gruesome that the last, Audrey is determine to figure out who the killer is before they are able to strike again. Her uncle's apprentice also wants to find who is responsible for the murders, but he may also have an alterative motive for wanting to help. The more Audrey searches the more that is revealed that the truth may be very close to her, very close indeed.

This was a good book and fairly well paced but there were times when I thought that the romance aspect was featured a bit too much or Thomas was "teasing" Audrey a bit too much but that is just a personal preference. And honestly I think the book would have been better without the romance and the attempt a love triangle but at the same time I understand why Maniscalco decided to have these included in the book as this it the 17th century and it was hard enough for Audrey to sneak out of the house.

I think that Maniscalco did a good job with her characters, you feel for Audrey who wants to break societies rules against her and use her brain power for something more thank dinner parties and Thomas who infuriates her with his comments but at the same time affording her respect that no other man would (other than her uncle) with that Audrey is interested in. I like the duo of them working together, but wish that is all that they were, working together without the need for romance between them. Too many time Audrey was distracted from the task at hand by Thomas' advances making her heart race or her mind muddled with his closeness. I mean it plays into the stereotype that women cannot think when a man is paying her some attention.

I was able to figure it out but not what the Ripper was trying to achieve, which was pretty interesting take by Manscalco and it fit the story really well as well as the hints along the way. I also liked that this book was dealing with the birth of what could be achieved not only in science but forensic science as well. I think that Manscalco did a good job of portraying what Audrey and Thomas could do from crimes scene information, to autopsy to psychological theories throughout the book.

In the author's note she states that she wanted to stay true to who the women were, but they are referred to multiple time in the book as prostitutes, so I questions this fact. If one want to know about the women who were murdered by Jack the Ripper then check out The Five by Hallie Rubenhold who disproves much of what was thought about these women.

Overall, I did enjoy this book as the mystery was well thought out and planned. I think that I will continue on in the series to see what creative ways that Maniscalco inserts Audrey into actual events and works of fiction of the time, I'm just hopeful the that relationship part gets downplayed a bit.

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Monday, December 12, 2022

Stacy Willingham: A Flicker in the Dark

In her debut novel, Stacy Willingham shows that one can never escape their past:

When Chloe was a almost a teenager there was a serial killer ravaging her town, little did she know that it was her father committing the murders, and that she would be the one to find the key piece of evidence that would put him away forever. Now 20 years later, even though Chloe had struggled to put her family name and past behind her, she has become a specialized psychologist focusing on teen trauma patients as well as getting ready for her up coming wedding. Very much ready to shed her maiden name. When a local girl goes missing and then another one, she cannot help but look into them as the resemble so much what occurred in her past. But is she seeing parallels where there are none? Is there a killer still on the loose all these years later? Is there a copy cat killer looking to use her family name for their own fame? For the second time in her life Chloe becomes determined to unmask a killer.

I'm a big fan of reading debut novels, especially in the psychological thriller genre as I like to read what new voices bring to the genre and I can say that Willingham did an amazing job with her debut. This is how you do a debut novel; This book was fast paced (really picks up in the second half) but you do not feel overwhelmed it kept me guessing till the end as you are never really sure of who Chloe can trust throughout the book as it seems like so many people have hidden agendas. Plus Chloe is a self medicated character which also makes her unreliable at times as well.

I think my favourite aspect in this book was there were so many possibilities of what could have happened and how everything could interconnect and while I was able to figure out the big twist, this does not mean there were other ones along the way that I did not see coming. Just when you think that you have it figured about Willingham did a brilliant just of adding something in that made you question everything.

I like Chloe as a main character and the fact that she has turned what happened to her family in the past, one that she cannot escape with her maiden name, into something more positive as psychologist and helping those around her. I also appreciate that Chloe cannot get away from the past, her n3eed for medication in order to get through some days, I cannot say how a daughters of a serial killer would cope (plus you were the one to turn him in), but I don't think that everything would be all right. I also appreciate her tenacity in trying to get the police to take the case seriously and that they all are connected and she just wants to help.

This book was a great psychological thriller book that will keep you guessing till the end. Willingham does a great job executing the plot of this book and I look forward to reading the next book by Willingham.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Eve Langlais: Earth's Daughter

In the first in a new series, Eve Langlais shows what happens when zombies invade a Baking loving Earth Witch's town.

Mindy owns a popular bakery in town, weaving some of her magic into the creations that she bakes, to help those who come into her shop. She used to have a homeless man that lived in the alleyway behind her store, but he disappeared and she had not seen him for awhile, until tonight where he tried to some bites out of Mindy's flesh. Barely escaping with her life (and dignity) intact she discovers that strange occurrences are happening in her hometown. More talks about zombies than anyone wants to hear about. Now there is a strange man who is coming into her life as well, and he seems to think that she can help him, but she's not sure her pumpkin spice muffins are going to be enough.

This was a cute read and it had me laughing at a few points in the book, but I just wasn't the biggest fan of the main character with her constant need to talk/banter, I'm not really sure just didn't connect with her as a character. I also was not a fan of the insta-love/lust that occurred (it really is a troupe that I am just not a fan of).

I enjoyed that this was a zombie book that utilized a necromancer in order to create a zombie army in order to take over the world. Yep their reason for doing things is world domination, who doesn't like the idea of world domination. How the necromancer goes about it is fairly straight forward but still entertaining.

I really liked Langlais' use of Mindy's power and abilities as I can say I have never read a book that had an Earth Witch as the lead in the way that she can talk to plants around her. She also has the ability to bake hexes and such into her baked goods that I am here for aw well. I just found Mindy an annoying character, and for a lot of the book she just seems overly clueless and just wanting to help out the guy that has suddenly appeared in her life. I did like the banter between Mindy and Annie. but outside of that is seemed like Mindy could never tone done her external monologed and just rambled a lot.

Also I will add a that the cute but not cute Goblin side kick was a plus.

So while I was entertained in parts of this book, I was also annoyed with it as well. I did do the audiobook version of this book and I wasn't the biggest fan of the narrator at times. Maybe overplayed the role at bit. So I debate if I would continue on with this series, as there were elements that I liked but I'm not sure if there are enough to continue on. If you're looking for a cozy, easy magic read that has romance in it this might be more for you than it was for me.

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Kelley Armstrong: Murder at Haven's Rock

As this is a spin off series from Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series you will probably want to read that series first starting with City of the Lost. However, I think you could start here if you have not read the other series, as long as you give some leeway in not knowing the main characters back story.

Kelley Armstrong is back with the main characters of her Rockton series, but a new town means new dangers that threaten everything before they can even open:

A new type of town is being built in the Yukon wilderness with the a unique residents, but the residents can only come there once the town is built. Hindering the build is now there are two workers missing, they had gone out into the forest (which they were no suppose to do) and never came back. Det. Casey Duncan and her husband Sheriff Eric Dalton are now in the town and looking into both missing persons. When a body is discovered in the forest, missing person quickly turns into possible murder. With a missing man still in the forest, Casey and Duncan must do everything they can to find him for he may hold to key to what happened to the woman. New town, New territory, means new dangers and aspects of trying to make a town in the middle of no where and some things that they could never have foreseen. 

I think readers of the Rockton series wondered if Armstrong was going to continue on with these characters as the events and unanswered questions of Rockton were answered in the last two books in that series. I personally was extremely happy that Armstrong decided to continue on with these characters in a new setting.

I think that was my favourite part of this book was a new setting at haven's Rock. The characters do not know the area or terrain. Dalton is in his Element but out of it at the same time as he does not know this land like he did around Rockton. This created more suspense and sense of danger when they were in the forest, as Dalton could not predict who was coming or if an animal called this place home. We also get to meet some neighbours of the area that Casey and Dalton were not quite aware of and I am looking forward to see how those dynamics play out.

Now on the the murder investigation. Does Armstrong have a style/formula that she has used in her Rockton series? Yes. Does she use this one when she starts out this series? Yes but I think with the change of setting and change of characters in this book introduces a new dynamics into the formula. I personally flipped a few times trying to figure out they whole scope of things as there is more than one body in this one as well as who was responsible. With the introduction of cast new and old Casey does have to start from scratch with trying to figure everything out. 

I was happy to see that many of the main cast of secondary characters are going to continue to be a Haven's Rock. It will also be interesting to see how a new dynamic is created with different terms for people seeking refuge there with the old residences. I mean you still do have  a few questionable individuals coming from Rockton and with the new neighbours situation you know things are not going to go as Casey and Dalton planned.

I really enjoyed this book on many levels, of having characters come back that I like, new change in setting as well as a mystery that kept me guessing till the end. I look forward to seeing where Armstrong takes this series as I know I will be here to read it.

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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Keri Arthur: Hell's Bell

This is the second book in the series, so to understand some character relationships, setting and wild magic you need to read the first book Blood Kissed. It is a good read and start to a series.
Keri Arthur is back in the next book in her Lizzie Grace series, and Death strikes with the tolling of a church bell 3 times:

With Christmas approaching Lizzie and Belle are hoping to further cement their lives in the Faelan Werewolf reservation. When Lizzie is is woken with the sounding of church bells she know that evil has come back to the reservation. This evil has the ability to eat the souls of the living and animate the flesh of the dead. This is way beyond Lizzie and Belle's knowledge which calls for the need to have a new reservation witch come and deal with this evil, but what Lizzie and Belle get is not only a competent witch but one that knows that Lizzie and Belle are more than what they seems and threatens to endanger what they have been running from all these years.

I'm always in search for a good Urban Fantasy series and while I don't think I would normally migrate to one where the main character is a witch, I think that Arthur has swayed me into that direction with this series. I like the small town setting, the characters and that Arthur does not pick the typical Bad Guy/Creature for the book. This book picks up almost immediately after the first book ended, and I am glad that Arthur decided to do this. I think that by not having any time pass between the books, show that nothing has happened in the background to that would affect the characters and setting of the book

One of my favourite part of the series so far is the connection between Lizzie and Belle. I love that they have each other's back in any situation no matter the danger. It was also interesting to see the expanding of their own powers. I think Belle would be a terrifying person to be on her bad side with her mind powers.

I like that Arthur is having Lizzie and Aiden's relationship build slowly, I actually prefer this in series instead of having them hop into bed with them the first moment they get, as then I find the books become how many more sex scenes can i have with these two characters than an actual plot of the book. 

Not sure how many more time I can hear that Lizzie is an under powered witch, yet then proves that she is not. I like how people around her are starting to question that statement and hope that they push it more. Ashworth is a great addition to this story as he knows and can sense there is more to them than what they are saying. I also wish that we knew more about why Lizzie and Belle fled other than her being blamed for her older sister's death. You know that there is more to the story and i want to know what it is and why Lizzie feels like she needs to hide it.

Overall, I am really enjoying this series and I am looking forward to continuing on, not just to discover what Lizzie is hiding, but to see what creature Arthur will have Lizzie and Belle battle next.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Alaina Urquhart: The Butcher and the Wren

Alaina Urquhart shows that a serial kill will stop at nothing for the perfect kill:

Dr. Wren Muller is one of the best forensic pathologists out there, and there has not been a case that she has not been able to figure out the manner of death to help the police. Now there is something dark and evil lurking in the Louisiana bayou, one where the killer is using inventive ways to kill.

I might be in the minority here but I do not know Urquhart from their podcast. I have yet to get into podcasts as I do not have enough time for those and audiobooks so I didn’t have the expectations others had going into this book. Now that I know this fact, I feel there were certain aspects of the book that Urquhart could have done better.

I liked when "The Butcher" was being more the mad scientist with his methods and Urquhart took the time to for him to explain the method and where the idea came from. Those were The Butcher's more sinister moments. I felt like the Butcher had yet to find a complete MO for doing things, and kept trying different things which was interesting but at the same time he felt incomplete and kept changing a bit too much throughout the book. 

I think my favourite part of this book was that the major twist was in the middle of the book as I did not see it coming. It really changes the story, overall flow, and mystery aspects of the book. I really really enjoyed that Urquhart did this, as without it the book would just be very similar to other mystery/thriller books with serial killers.

I think that Urquhart did not take the time to truly flesh out the characters, even Wren as a main character. We are told very surface level information about her and her life, but nothing beyond that. We get a little bit of her personality, but nothing to let the reader really know Wren, especially with events that happen within the book.

There were times in regards to Wren's profession that Urquhart asked us to extend our belief's a little too much. I don’t think a forensic pathologist would be brought out on police operations, like hunting for a killer at a music festival. I'm not sure that she would be able to smell a body amongst all the other orders that would be there, especially as it was written that she was some distance away. And I am fairly certain that they do not attend crime scenes, pretty sure they wait for the body to be sent to them (this aspect I could forgive though, as I think many crime dramas do this). I just had higher expectations about these aspects after I found out that she was a true crime podcaster, you should know your stuff when it comes to crime and how they are investigated and who does what.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I would check out another book by Urquhart or if this book becomes a series with that ending? I just hope that Urquhart takes the time to flesh out the main and minor characters a bit more.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Elle Cosimano: Finlay Donovan Knock'em Dead

This is the second book in the series and to fully appreciate this one you need to read the first book Finlay Donovan is Killing It.

Elle Cosimano is back with Finlay Donovan who may sometimes want her ex-husband dead but doesn’t want anyone else to kill him:

It starts with some back room Chats that Vero is looking at looking for the next job that Finlay should accept, even though the last one was a one time thing. At the livery least Vero chocks it up to research as Finlay seems to have writers block for the next book in her series. When Vero stumbles upon a hit on Finlay’s ex-husband Steven she knows she has to do what she can to prevent, but before she can accept the hit, someone beats her to it. Determined to protect Steven, figure who the other hit woman is and who took out the hit on Steven, Finlay has her work cut out for her and she needs to get it down before the deadline of her book.

Sometimes it is hard to right a sequel to an amazing book that many have loved. It is often compared to the first one, was it as good? Funny enough? And I am happy to say that Cosimano did not disappoint with this book.

I really love this series as it is me laugh but also that Cosimano is also able to weave an interesting mystery throughout the book. Like who did put out a hit on Finlay’s ex-husband and the lengths and antics that Finlay and Vero go to had me laughing a lot, maybe not as much as the first but one still pretty close.

I honestly did not mind the romance in the book as Finlay really does not know how to date, so everything is a bit of a train wreck. I’m not a fan of the love triangle that is playing out but I can live with it as long as it doesn’t become the sole focus of the story.

I like that Finlay is able to take what is happening in her real life and translate it, in a way, to her next novel as it makes Finlay feel more real. But then part of me questions how long Finlay (and Cosimano) can keep this up before someone really get hurt (Finlay) or the ideas become stale (Cosimano).

This book is a fun easy mystery read that not only keeps you on the edge of your seat but also laughing out loud. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series

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Monday, October 24, 2022

Ainslie Hogarth: Motherthing

Ainslie Hograth shows what happens when a mother in law decides to continue medaling even after death: 

Abby has always been searching for someone to love her ever since she was a child. When her an Ralph fall in love, she is not only happy to have Ralph's love but hopefully the love of his mother, Laura, as well even though Abby knows the history with Ralph. When Laura takes her own life, Abby thinks that her an Ralph can now focus on their own lives, maybe start a family but Laura has other ideas. Laura begins to haunt the house, determined to keep Ralph to herself and plunge him further into depressive state and to haunt Abby so that she destroy every ounce of love she has to give. This forces Abby to come up with a chilling plan to break Laura's hold and save everything she loves.

I like the concept/premise of this book, literally Mother-in-Law from Hell that does not even leave the happy couple alone after her death. She decides to haunt them instead as she wasn’t content to make their life miserable while she was alive she had to do it in her afterlife as well. Now with this premise it could go a few way with it being a horror novel (as it is touted to be) or a dark comedic book but for some reason it never really reaches either of these aspects. 

I didn’t mind how the book was written, I actually liked the scenes that Abby would play out in her head with her conversations with Laura and Cal, as well as the flashbacks we got. What I really had a problem with was the similes and metaphors that Hogarth put throughout the book. I'm talking that sometime there would be 3 on the page, it just felt like Hogarth was almost trying too hard, trying to be too descriptive when she didn't need to be.

Especially at the beginning I felt like this book was a bit tone deaf at times when it came to mental health and mental health issues. Like stating a wife’s duty is to cure their husband of their depression (pg. 48 if you wondering where). Depression is not something that can be vanquished or conquered, it is something that is part of a person for life. I’m just not sure if Hogarth, wrote Abby not being aware of depression, even though her and Ralph have been together for quite awhile, that you would think she would have a better ways or mechanism to help not only herself but Ralph as well or if Hogarth herself did not understand mental health/depression. Granted Abby is also dealing (but not dealing) with her own mental health issues and cannot fault some of the actions she chose to take but I think from the beginning it left a bad taste in my mouth. Also the fact that they agree to move in with Laura in the first place, with her history of manipulation and previously causing Ralph to go into a depressive state baffles me. They both know that it is bad for Ralph, yet do it any ways, why are these people not thinking straight?

I think that the scariest thing within this book is people not seeking help for their mental health issues or sticking to the plans/boundaries that have been working for them. Abby, who has suffered a long time in silence, that it leads to some very irrational actions. I think this will be a book people will either enjoy this book or not, especially if people go in thinking that it is a traditional horror book, which it is not, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been, it a pretty heavy read with an intense focus on mental health/depression that I was not prepared for.


Normally I would put books to read instead of this one, not sure I have anything in the same realm as this book, so I'm going to forgo that aspect of my review this time around.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Hailey Edwards: Black Hat White Witch

Hailey Edwards show that one's past and investigations will always come back to haunt you:

Rue was once part of an organization that the only way out was in a body bag, but Rue had found a way out that did no include a body bag. At least she thought she did until the Black Hat shows up where she had been hiding for 10 years. Her former partner, Clay, is happy to see her (he thought she was dead) but he is there to tell her that the Silver Stag paranormal Serial Killer is back in the form of a copy cat. No one knew the Silver Stag better than Rue and now she is pulled back into the Black Hat world one she ran from and has been hiding from for Rue has her own secrets that she needs to keep safe.

This was a good urban fantasy, I liked the overall investigation and story I just wish that is was darker as I felt that it had the ability to be. It even had a disclaimer at the beginning that it featured mature themes, so I was thinking that it was going to be a lot darker than it was. It was not, I would say normal content for an adult book. We have all these magical creatures and humans are none the wiser about them and we have an agency that hunts down the bad ones. But those who hunt them down are seen as bad as well in a way? I mean I like the concept but i was hoping that the characters would be a bit more morally Grey in a way. And once again darker.

I liked that Edwards featured different creatures, and Clay as  golem was pretty unique (I don't think I have read a book where a golem was one of the main characters) and the transformation of Colby and what she became was really interesting as well.

Rue was a fine character, I mean you root for her, especially after you hear about her and Colby's past together, but I just didn't find her that much of a standout in the present, the past Rue sounds badass. On thing that was not explained as why she stopped eating hearts. She was only eating the hearts of bad people and by doing so she would get more powerful, but does it become the more hearts she eats the more she craves them? Even innocent ones? I mean if she is only eating bad guys hearts then why not?

I could have done without (what will undoubtable turn into) relationship/tension/attraction between, I just didn't get the attraction other than Rue's obsession with Asa's hair. I don't know how many times I had to read about his hair but it was a few too many. Also it seems like Asa's demon half has chosen Rue, so we have that troupe coming soon I think. 

There is not really any world building that occurs in this book. All we know is that there is a lot of paranormal creatures in this world and the humans seem to not be the wiser.

This was a good read and kept me entertained enough that I will check out the second book in the series and hopefully the "mature" content catches up to the series then.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

B. A. Paris: The Prisoner

B.A. Paris looks as....I don't even know what to put here, this book was just a train wreck

Normally I would write what I think the synopsis of the book should be as sometimes what is on the book is misleading, but I just can't with this book as I'm not 100% sure what is going on other than a woman is kidnapped and all this stuff before happened that we don't get much about.

I have been wanting Paris to capture what she had in her debut novel Behind Closed Doors and I am sad to say that Paris was not able to succeed in this book. If this book would have been longer, I would not have finished it and unless by making it longer it became a more complete novel.

This did not feel like a full novel as it jumps around A LOT and we get random bits of information here and there and you wonder how we get there. In one of the past she is an orphan living on the streets and follows a lady home from having a coffee and the next chapter they are older and friends, like wtf.

It feels like Paris had all of these ideas but no idea how to connect them together, I felt like I was reading a first draft of this book and she was struggling to write a full novel. I mean the guts of the book is there, but there was random shifts of information, that would come out of left field that I did not see them as twists but just slaps in the face of this new info and why didn't we get this information earlier or lead up to in the past parts. I kept thinking that I have missed something and had to back track to make sure I had not. What do mean this person is dead? When did they die? When did this go down? I don't think I have said WTF in regards to a book in a long time.

Don't get me started on the ending, just when we are supposed to get what happened and why it happened in more depth readers do get to be part of the conversation.

Sorry Paris but I am done with reading your books. It pains me to say that as I have always been excited to read them and hope you could regain your magic but you have not been able to. I have read all of the books you have released (except the Therapist) and they have just not hit the mark each time (though I did think that The Breakdown was okay). On to the next book and author, I'll keep recommending Behind Closed Doors but that is it.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mira Grant: Rolling in The Deep

Mira Grant shows what happens when humans go searching for things thought to be myths:

The Imagine TV Network is wanting to get into the documentary game, though most would see the venture they are currently going on is a mockumentary as the team set out to the Marianas Trench in search of Mermaids. And they will find Mermaids, whether they are real or fake. What the team on the boat were not expecting was to actually find Mermaids and for them to have teeth and a taste for Blood.

This is the novella to the book Fear the Drowning Deep which I read a few years ago, it is fantastic non-Disney look at mermaids and this one is no different. While Grant makes reference to the footage, this book fully details the carnage that took place on the video. Thank said i think to fully enjoy the full novel i would recommend still reading Fear the Drowning Deep first as if you read this one, it takes away a bit of the suspense and what is going to happen.

As this is a novella there is not a lot of character development that goes on, plus Grant has multiple POV in the book, but I do not think that this took away from the story as all the people that Grant chooses to feature are very different. You have the captain who wants to make sure everything runs smoothly, a new deckhand who is hoping to sell some extra footage and spoilers of the show they are trying to make, the documentary host, scientists who are trying to make a name for themself and some of the mermaids (those brought on by the media company just to make sure that there are some mermaids in the documentary). 

I like that this book and Fear the Drowning Deep plays on the idea that we have not explored all of our ocean and some of the creatures that were spoken of old, and I really like that idea as I have not read too many books that play on that. Plus i don't think people are really doing mermaids any more, they have gone out of "fashion" but i personally hope they come back, but more like this and not the Disney one (but if the new live action Little Mermaid can make this happen I am all for it).

As I had read the previous book I knew how this one was going to end, but I was okay with that. I was still sucked into the story.

I'm a fan of this novella and Mira Grant and I really do need to read more by her and I highly recommend Fear the Drowning Deep and Rolling in the Deep.

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Ruth Ware: The It Girl

Ruth Ware brings to question how well do you truly know your friends and loved ones:

Hannah Jones knows that she is out classed by most of the people at Oxford especially after meeting April for the first time. But April makes her feel special and Hannah knows that they are going to be best friends forever. That is until April is murdered in their dorm one night. Hannah is the key witness in the case and while she does not know what happened that night she does state that there was a porter who had been showing stalking like behavior. On the event Hannah presents John Neville is convicted of the murder and has just died in prison, where he has always claimed his innocence. With his death is the resurgence of media trying to get Hannah's POV and one reported is convinced that many stones were left unturned in her murder and now has questioning everything she thought she knew. Could a murderer still be out there?

This is the third book that I have read by Ware and well I made it through the book. Honestly, I only did that to see if I was right about who I thought murdered April and I was right. Did I waffle a bit while reading? Sure did but I knew the person I thought had killed her was involved some how.

To put it bluntly this book was just boring, with nothing happening especially in the present timeline. There was no suspense or atmospheric aspect that Ware has had in other books by her that I have read. Granted this is only the third book I have read by her  and I keep wanting her to capture what she had in The Turn of the Key. And just so readers of this know, I enjoy alternating timelines in books, it's one of my favourite writing styles when done right, but it felt like the present POV was not needed until the last 10%.

I think if this book was just along the last timeline and stuck to a who done it, with police interviews, friend pointing fingers at each other and how horrible April was to everyone would have been a more interesting story.

So I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority with this review, so make sure to read others if you are thinking of reading this book. I’ll probably try another book by Ware as I keep holding on to hope that the next one will be better. 

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