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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