Thursday, September 28, 2023

Megan Goldin: Dark Corners

This is the second book in the Rachel Krall series, the first book is The Night Swim and it is an amazing read, but you do not have to read this book in order to read Dark Corners, there are some general references back to The Night Swim but nothing major.

Megan Goldin bring Rachel Krall and her podcast back, but this time Rachel is directly involved in the investigation:

Rachel Krall has made a name for herself with her true crime podcast, and this success has been a blessing but also a curse. She has become a household name, and the last hope for many who are seeking Justice but it has also put a target on her back. Terrance Baily is about to be released from prison, problem is that the local police believe that he is a serial killer. When Terrance gets his first visitor ever, an up-and-coming social media influencer, who then vanishes it is discovered that Rachel's name came up in their interaction. The FBI are at a dead end and want Rachel's help to determine if Terrance had a hand in her disappeared even from behind bars. When a woman's body turns up, Rachel knows that she's no longer there just to get Terrance to talk but to find a murderer as well.

The Night Swim was one of my favourite books of 2020, so i was extremely happy that Goldin decided to bring Rachel Krall back for another one. But I will say that this book is no Night Swim and it took me a bit to get into this book. I think part of the reason is that I wasn’t a fan of Rachel being involved with the actual investigation from the beginning. She has her own way of doing things and what she finds out we are given in her podcast reports a little later in the book. By her being part of the investigation it felt like she was hampered in a way and I much preferred when she was doing her own thing.

I missed the podcast parts in this book, I feel like it had a lot less than the Night Swim.

I'm not the biggest fan of books where we know who the killer is and we are waiting for the main characters to catch up. This takes away the mystery for me and all that is left is how some things are connected together. I will say the evidence pieces that are needed to solve the story are interesting and well thought out, I just wish i didn’t know who the killer was beforehand other than some hints along the way. 

I'm not sure I am the only one, but the relationship seemed forced to me. I mean it did not add anything to the story it was kind of like you're attractive, I'm attractive we should be attractive together. At least Goldin didn't add in a sex scene then i would be done.

I still enjoyed this book, it just did not live up to my expectations. I really enjoy Rachel as a character and her podcast angle is well done, which is why I wanted more of it. I do hope to read more books with Rachel as the main character and what next case she will investigate next.


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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Ilona Andrews: Magic Tides & Magic Claims

While this is the start of a new series, you’ll want to read the series this book is based after, starting with Magic Bites. If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy you will love this series.

Ilona Andrews brings Kate Daniels back and it turns out she and Curran are not very good at retirement:

Kate and Curran have decide to leave Atlanta behind and start a new life near the water in Wilmington This is supposed to be a fresh start, no pack business, people don’t know who they are, they can just relax and focus on family. But one thing Kate and Curran have never been good at is not helping those who need it and when people need help they are the first to jump into action.

Any time Andrews is going to put out a Kate Daniels book, I know I am going to pick it up. They decided to release two novella’s this year, maybe to test the waters to see if a new spin off series outside of Atlanta would work.  While these books were shorter, I did enjoy reading them back to back and I’m glad that Andrews kept some connection back to Atlanta in the form of some characters.

I think a change of scenery was what this series needed, not only for the characters but also for the storyline to continue. There is only so many times that Kate and crew can save Atlanta without if becoming redundant and let’s face it the last few books did follow a similar formula. There are some similar aspects here, but I think the addition of Conlan makes things different and there are different secondary characters that have come more to the forefront….. hello Kieran, I see you with your Claymore and whit.

I liked that Curran now had a full POV in these books along side Kate. I think readers have wanted this for a long time now and it makes the story more rounded.

My one with was that there would have been a hint of what happened at the end of Blood Heir, some sort of connection/timeline between the two. Though Kate does find out some interesting information.

I’m really hopeful that this will be part 2 of the Kate’s Daniels series and how the second novella ends it certainly feels that way. And I cannot wait to devour new books that feature Kate and Curran. If you enjoyed the first run of this series, you will enjoy this one as well.

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Friday, September 15, 2023

Katherine Centre: Hello Stranger

Katherine Center is back and love isn't blind....just a bit blurry:

Sadie has been on her own for a while now, trying to find her place in the world after the death of her mother when she was a teenager and her father bringing in a stepmother and sister into her life, who made her life a living hell. But things seem to be changing when she is announced as one of the top 10 finalists in a portrait competition. She decided to celebrate and everything changes. She gets diagnosed with face blindness, not something you want to hear when you're a portrait artist and now have a competition coming up. Sadie cannot even see her won face. As she struggles to scope she seems to meet two men, who could not be different from the other, but she feels drawn to both of them even though she has no idea what they look like. Could love really be blurry?

Alright here me out, I both enjoyed and disliked this book at the same time. Firstly, I loved the concept of this book and the idea of Face blindness is one that I have not heard about before and seems slightly terrifying at that, especially in the way that Sadie got it. But man was I not a fan of Sadie most of the time. I found her irritating, immature, and just wanting to punch her at times. I know mean but god just have a simple conversation about the face blindness especially when her and Joe really became more serious. I think that Said was portray younger than her 29 years, I mean she had insta-love with a man she could not see and then created a fantasy in her head about them getting married after one meeting. Just a bit too hard for me to believe a 29 year old would think that way. But I will say once I got to the 80% mark really got me and i was feeling all the emotions.

I liked that this book even had a bad girl, an arch nemesis, if you will for Sadie who is destined to destroy everything positive that she has going in her life. I found it heartbreaking and comical at times the length that her "evil step-sister" would take in order to make Sadie's life a living hell. Anyone else feel a spin off book here for Parker, i feel like that would be a character arc of the century.

To put things simply Joe is just a delightful golden retriever who is simply amazing.

This book tried to have some mystery thrown in on it, or at least I think it tried to with the whole love triangle between Sadie, Joe and the Dr. but i personally thought it was pretty obvious so that why i said Tried. I mean how does a reader not make the connection and then we are stuck waiting for Sadie to figure it out.

So overall just okay for me as I loved the face blindness aspect, evil step-sister and Joe but I just could not love the main character.


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Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Alice Feeney: Good Bad Girl

Alice Feeney takes readers on a journey of four women, all who are good but have done some bad deeds:

Everyone has secrets, everyone lies every once in a while, thinking that they had done something for the greater good. But what happens when what you think is right turns out to wrong. Edith is currently living in a nursing home, where she doesn’t want to be, she hates her daughter Clio for putting her there and her nurse Patience is the only individual she now trusts. Patience has been lying to Edith since day one, and part of that is that she has ran away from her mother Freddie for the lies that she has been told. All the women have things they regret, all have secrets and lies that they want to remain hidden, but they are all about to be thrust together in a mystery that spans over 20 years.

I am finding that Feeney is hit or miss for me and I think that the miss part is when she goes more to the domestic suspense side of things, instead of the murder side of things. I am not going to Lie I was boarded for probably 70% of the this book. It was much more about how the people were connected to eat other, which was interesting in a way, but I was able to figure out most of that early on. With this mainly figured out, I wanted to know more about the murder investigation and it seemed odd to me that this investigation was a side point/secondary aspect in the novel. Like why would a murder investigation be left off to the periphery of the plot. I mean this is where the interest really lies as to who killed Joy and Why. And while we do get the answer of this in the end it's just a bit rushed is all.

I think this suffered from a few too many POV as there are four and each one seems to get as much airtime as the last one and all of them in their win way are similar to the last one. I think the only one that was truly interesting was Edith's, with her sharp whit and being from a different generation from the other three characters.

I wasn’t expecting this book to be a domestic suspense one, I wanted it to be the twisty thriller that the premise promised to me. While there are some interesting events that happen in this book, the plot never really focused on the most interesting part. I will read another book by Feeney, i would just try to discern if the book is more murder than domestic.


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Friday, September 1, 2023

Rebecca Yarros: Fourth Wing

In the first book in a new series, Rebacca Yarros has readers enter the brutal world of Dragon Riders.

Violet Sorrengail is used to living in her mother and siblings’ shadows, she is okay with it. She has been training to be a scribe like her father most of her life. But after her father and brother's death her mother, who is a captain, has decided that she will now become a Dragon Rider. Becoming a Dragon Rider is brutal, you don’t just have to worry about the trials you have to worry about other candidates trying to kill you or a dragon trying to incinerate you. Violet is smaller and frailer than any of the other candidates and everyone knows a Dragon wont bond with a weak human, she needs every edge that she can in order to survive to the next day.

Alright, Wow, that book was amazing, from start to finish I did not want to put the book down. I personally think that this book is worth the hype and if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, you should totally pick a copy up (if you can find one). I love that this book is about Dragons, I think that we have lost this motif in the past few years as other creatures have taken the forefront but I really happy that we are back at Dragons. I think that the Dragons and the relationship between the dragon and the rider will be a highlight for many people in this book. I hope in future books that we get a dragon POV even just a chapter here and there.

From the very beginning we are shoved into the world that Violet is living in and it is not a kind/safe one. I personally loved that the book was darker than I thought that it would be and it is dark right from the beginning. Death is a constant companion throughout the book of characters you know and don’t know, but death is coming.

Violet is a character that you want to root for right from the beginning, with her being forced to enter the dragon riders even though she had been training to be a scribe. Violet is further disadvantaged by the fact that she had a sickness growing up that has affected her growth and development. But she does have her mind and her training as a scribe to rely on.

I think that the one thing that is lacking in this book is the world building, there is not a lot of world building that occurs and what is given in the books seems a bit convoluted and doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is due to the fact that we only have Violet’s POV and the world building is very much shaped by what she knows and experienced. So I hope that there is more information in the next book.

Was able to figure out the twist ending, but that did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the book and the cliffhanger just makes you want to pick up the next book.

I know this will be one of my favourite reads this year and 5 stars as well. I borrowed a copy of the library as you never know if a book is going to be worth the hype (especially coming from TikTok) or not but after reading it I know I am going to want my own copy and pre-order a copy of the next book.


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