Monday, March 28, 2022

Rachel Hawkins: Reckless Girl

Rachel Hawkins explores can you really get away from your problem on a deserted Island:

Lux has always wanted to travel the world and with personal tragedy recently now is better than ever. When her boyfriend Leo suggests traveling via his boat the Susannah, Lux cannot wait to get away. But they end up getting stuck in Hawaii, working dead in job in order to pay for boat repairs. The boat is just fixed when they are hired by 2 women to take them to a private off the beaten path island. The job pays well and Lux and Leo are wanting to escape again. Once there the private beach is amazing but not alone for long when a Golden couple end up on the beach too. Everything is going great but being cut off from civilization can change people, make you see differently and the dynamics of relationships change. Lux soon begins to realize not is all what it seems and she doesn't know who she can trust.

This is the second book that I have read by Hawkins and what I like is that this is completely different from The Wife Upstairs. While the format is similar and I would call this a domestic suspense type book due to all the relationships involved in this book but the plot line and twists that Hawkins takes is completely different.

This book makes me miss the beach and vacations even more (Thanks COVID) but aside from that, this book is a roller coaster ride the farther you get in to it. Even though I was able to figure out the twists that Hawkins was going to throw out there, I was not sure how everything was going to play out. So this was a fun ride that does start off slow and seems just like people having a fun Island party but it for sure takes a dark turn.

There are three main POV that have both current and before aspects with them but Lux is the character that gets the most page time. And I’m not going to lie there were times when I would get Brittney and Amma’s POV confused when they were in the before chapters. I wish that there was not an Eliza POV as I felt like it gave too much away and assisted me in figuring out what was going to happen. I think the information that was given in her POV actually hindered the story.

Lux feels like a very real person, her insecurities, he wanting to run away from the pain in her life and thinking that it will solve all her problems. As many people know that doesn't exactly work, so there is lots of drama and self searching begins and not all of it is positive. So Lux does grows as a character in throughout this book and the events that happen in the Island really do change her, which i appreciate Hawkins doing.

I really enjoyed this book, it was a little bit slow to start with getting to know the characters but keep with it craziness is going to happen. I look forward to seeing what Hawkins comes out with next.

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Monday, March 21, 2022

Sarah J. Maas: Throne of Glass

In the first of a series, Sarah J. Maas show, can an assassin really change her ways?

Celaena Sardothien was once the most feared assassin in the world, beautiful and deadly, but a deep betrayal has turned her into a slave in the mines. That is until she is summoned to the castle to win her freedom. All she has todo is defeat 23 men, all of who are competing to become the King’s Champion. Celaena has no desire to be the King’s champion but does desire her freedom. But there is a deep evil that dwells in the castle, an ancient evil that is wanting to rise again and the fight to be the champion turns into fight for survival. 
I'm pretty sure that I am one of the last people to start this series and I do not know why I did not pick it up sooner. I really enjoyed this book, I felt like there was never a dull moment, even when I was able to figure out the plot twists that were coming. Maas had a way of just drawing the reader in and having you become invested in the story and characters that I found the book hard to put down.

It was an interesting place to start a series with having Celaena already captured and working as a slave in the mines. There are many references to what happened to her before that I wish I would have read the novella that takes place before this one to better understand who Celaena was before and what events lead to her being a slave. Betrayal is thrown around a lot.

Celaena is character that you can get behind as an assassin she has a deadly set of skills but also the smarts in order to problem solve problems. But you can tell she has a moral code and wants to fight for what is right. That is what I find intriguing of her, maybe slightly Black Widowish and trying to eventually move her ledger to black.

World building is a bit lack luster as the majority of the book takes place in the palace and we hear very little about the outside world, only that it has been conquered by the king but I am hoping future books will expand on this. Additionally, did there have to be the love triangle. I know that it is down played in this book and not really a full on love triangle but why did there have to be a hint of one. Why cannot they all be friends? Is it because she is so beautiful? Also I wish that there was more action in the book, that was some instances of her showing her skills but I just wanted more.

This book was really good and had me reading any chance that I could get. This is the second Maas series that I have tried and I found I have enjoyed this one more than the first book in A Court of Thorns and Roses (though I'm probably in the minority there). I just found I liked Celaena as a character more and the overall plot of the book. I look forward to picking up the next book in the series and picking up the novella as well.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Rosie Walker: Secrets of a Serial Killer

In her debut novel Rosie Walker reveals the secrets that so many want to know:

There has been a serial killer terrorizing Lancaster for decades, something completely unusual for a serial killer, never has there been one that that lasted this long. The police are completely baffled and there are no new clues to go on, therefore, true crime forums and armchair detectives all have their own theories. When another girl goes missing, her mother Helen will do anything she can to find her daughter but will she be able to unlock the secret of this serial killer before it is too late.
I'm a big fan of reading debut authors, I love finding the next great author that is up and coming. I had really high hopes for this book as the title is one to sure to bring you to the book stand and pick up just even to read the back of it but this is my first DNF book that I am going to review this year.

I tried to read this book multiple times and just could not get into it. I think that Walker suffered from trying to do too much with too many characters / plot line that I could not really follow the story as well as I wanted to. With all the POVs I never really came to care about the characters, really get to know them, or feel invested in them, so it was time to put the book down.

Now here is the thing, I think at Walker has a great ability to write and tell a story as the elements are all there, I just think that there was a lack of a critical eye some where along the way that would allow for Walker to tone it down a bit. Someone needed to say there is too much going on here and to simplify things a bit. This does not mean make the plot less twisty but maybe loose a POV or two to ground the story more. 

All that said I think that I would try another book by Walker, but i would read the reviews first beforehand.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Kelley Armstrong: High Jinx

This is the second book in the series, so you will need to read the first book in the series Cursed Luck, to understand the relationships as well as the ability that Kennedy has. Plus it really is a fun read. 

Kelley Armstrong’s Cursed Luck series is back with a hexed object that Kennedy cannot refuse:

Curse weaver and ultimate unhexer Kennedy is back in her home town and settling in to her new store. She is always on the hunt for new pieces when a chance spotting on eBay of a known cursed painting, that has been missing for years and responsible for a few deaths, she really wants it. But when the bid gets out of her reach, her friend Aiden steps in a buys it for her to make sure it is unhexed. What Kennedy does not realize that this is all part of a perfect plan and trap of Kennedy and there is more at risk here than a few hexed paintings.

This is a fun Urban Fantasy series and I really like the incorporation of the Greek Gods and how they still wish to play a part in people's lives especially their descendants, which as you can imagine it creates a whole new aspect to Family Drama (and let’s say this plays out in several forms in this book). The mystery aspect in regards to the paintings and who has commissioned them is really well done, and the paintings themselves have some very scary hexes on them. It seems like Kennedy and Aiden are going this way and that in order to not only find the paintings but unhex them as well, so there is really not a dull moment in the book.

It was interesting to get to meet Mercy and Athene and get their points of view of the world now, what they have seen and their father as well (and not everything is positive). They also add a bit of mischief to everything, especially Mercy but I think that is to be expected and well they are the source of some of the family drama.

I appreciate that Armstrong did not have Kennedy and Aiden rush into a relationship in the first book, there is a lot of stake for both of them and this is further seen in this book especially with more of an introduction to Aiden's family.

I missed the curse working and luck working aspects of the first book, and of course the magic 8 ball from the first book. I felt that Kennedy and Aidan's powers were downplayed in this book. They are mentioned a few times, but I can only remember them being used maybe twice throughout the book. Also we do not get too much from Kennedy breaking the curses like we did in the first book. 

I will say that I appreciated Armstrong’s creativity in regards to what the hexes were on the paintings as they seem plausible. I mean we have all been near that painting where it feels like it is watching your every move.

I'm really enjoying this series, and I hope that Armstrong continues on with it. I find there are not as many authors writing in the Urban Fantasy genre these days and I almost always enjoy it when I read in it.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Kelley Armstrong: The Deepest of Secrets

This is the final book in the series, so please do not start here, start with the first book City of the Lost (you will not be disappointed it is a fantastic book) and work your way here. I do not think you could enjoy this book without reading the other books in this series

Kelley Armstrong is back with the final book in her Rockton series, a city full of secrets that were not meant to get out:

Rockton is a city that was built for second chances but also that of secrets. The thing is that no one is supposed to know why each resident is in Rockton for. Casey and Dalton have figured it out, especially after discovering the council was letting anyone who could pay in. When one resident’s secret is put on display for all to see, the town becomes divided on whether this person should be allowed to stay. As Casey tries to find out who knew this secret, he attention is about to be divided as a resident then goes missing and found dead. The Council is now more determined than ever to close Rockton for good and see these events as inconveniences nothing more. Never a slow day in Rockton, city with the deepest of secrets.

You never know when and how a series is going to end and I actually liked that Armstrong wrapped up quite a few of the story line that had been constant throughout the books in the previous book, allowing Armstrong to focus more completely in the closing down of Rockton and the ramifications it will have to many of the residents there. I really like that the town was really divided in this one, even some of Casey's friends and allies had opinions that were a bit different after the secret is revealed. It really felt like the people were turning against each other. And that is not even the only mystery part of the book, there is a murderer in town who is using the town closing as a perfect way to hide their crimes. The way of murder is unique as well and you’re never really sure who in town is capable of it, but there are several suspects throughout, that you’re not sure which one it could be.

The thing I really like about Casey is that even when she is told not investigate the murder or who revealed the secret she does it any ways. That is her job and though people in town may not be respecting her as much as they used to due to the town closing, she is doing her best to still protect them.

I feel like we were missing a bit of Eric in this book, he was not as constant of a character as he has been in the past. Actually, it felt like many of the side characters had diminished roles in this book and I missed the interactions with April and Sebastien.

This was a good book and a great wrap up to this series. I have loved this series and characters and I respect Armstrong’s decision to end this series, I have enjoyed it from start to finish. Cannot wait to read more by Armstrong in any genre.

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