Monday, June 17, 2024

Kate Alice Marshall: No One Can Know

Kate Alice Marshall show what happens when three sisters return to the scene of their parents' murder:

Emma has always tried to hide her past. She has made a point to keep it secret and has made sure she has adapted to the person her husband wants, but when her husband looses and finds out she is pregnant, she makes the decision to move back home to help relieve some of the financial pressure. This would be okay, if her home was not where both her parents were murdered and Emma has always been the prime suspect. She is estranged from her two sisters, but feels compelled to let them know she is going there. The strange thing is Emma and her sisters have never talked about that night and with Emma returning home the other two come as well and maybe this time they will find out what actually happened that night.

This is the second book that I have read by Marshall and I really enjoyed that this was completely different from her other novel, no repeat of her work here. This is a really good twisty turny domestic suspense book, that had quite a few of the aspects that I like in these books; memory gaps from the main characters, returning to where the crime happened, links from present to past and secrets upon secrets. I think that Marshall does a good job with pacing and when/how Marshall reveals the evidence from both the past and present.

I personally love that each sister got a POV, though I felt like Emma had the most compared to the other sister. This is probably due to the fact that she was (and still is) the main suspect for her parents' murders all those years ago. Plus we do not hear from the other sisters until a little later in the story once they realize that Emma is returning to the house. The multiple POV also shows the dysfunctional relationship that the sisters and how this has shaped the relationships that they have as adult. 

I also loved that there are two time lines and that the past one shows what each sister was experiencing not only that night, but what their life was like with their parents and how each handled them, which was very different between the three. How they interacted with and how they were treated also shaped who they are as adults and each has changed a lot. Although all three are different they very much have each other's back, no matter what.

While I think that Marshall was good at keeping the twists coming but I was able to figure out before the end of the book (quite a bit before). I also wish that it was a bit darker at times. Marshall is able to achieve this a bit with Daphine but i wish other things pushed it a bit more.

I think if you like Domestic suspense books you will enjoy this one, as it is engaging throughout. I look forward to reading more by Marshall.


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Monday, June 10, 2024

Hannah Bonam-Young: Next of Kin

In Next of Kin, Hannah Bonam-Young has a new form of blended family:

When Chloe receives an unexpected call that her birth mother has had another baby, she does not hesitate to become a Next of Kin guardian. The problem is that Chloe is fresh out of school and just starting her career so her finances are not that great. She is faced with a choice, either allow her baby sister to be place in foster care or become part of a new CPS program Teamup, which pairs next of Kin people to help them qualify to watch their siblings. Enter Warren a mechanic apprentice with a chip on his should who makes it very clear this is just a temporary situation for him and his brother and they need to stay out of each other's way. But as more of their lives intertwine, they both realize they are more similar than they imagined and maybe just maybe they have found a new family.

This is the second book I have read by Bonam-Young and while I will say I did not enjoy this one as much as Out on a Limb, this book was still extremely cute and heartwarming and perfect if you are looking for a book that will feel like a warm blanket by the end of it.

I was sold on the premise of this book from the very beginning and I loved the idea behind the adoption by the Next of Kin. Would the whole living together arrangement work in real life, I don’t know, you are basically asking strangers to move in together but for this book works.

I dont think you cannot like Chloe as a character, she goes above and beyond for everyone in her life, and really never asks for anything in return but at the same time is not afraid to ask for help when she needs it. What Chloe really wants to have that sense of family and love that she missed from her childhood, with both her birth mother and her adoptive parents. Warren is a guy that is trying to be the best parent to his teenage brother and uses a grumpy front to help shut other people out. He really has some anger issues that the story does not shy away from, but that is what makes him feel more real as well as the relationship between them. Neither is perfect nor pretends to be.

I wish there was a little bit longer time between Chloe and Warren where they cannot stand each other, but i will say that them not really liking or knowing each other at the beginning really makes the relationship that they have feel real.

No third act… love that the two books I have read by Hannah have not had this, not all relationships need to have a break up, sometimes there is a breaking point by people can talk things out and figure things out without calling it quits. 

If you like the Romance troupes like grumpy sunshine, forced proximity and found family.

This is the second book that I have read by Bonam-Young and I know it will not be the last. Her ability to write such cute and heartwarming stories will get me every time I need a break from the darker books I read.


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Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Kelley Armstrong: Disturbing the Dead

This is the third book in the Rip Through Time series, and I personally do not think that it can be read as a standalone book, you need to start with A Rip Through Time, this sets up not only how Mallory ends up in the past but also the relationships. I do not think you will appreciate this book without reading the previous two.

Kelley Armstrong is back with the next book in her Rip Through Time series and this time the victim comes all the way from Egypt:

Mallory is starting to adjust to Victorian Scotland, though inhabiting someone else's body is still extremely unsettling at times. Mallory and Dr. Gray have settled into a companionship of working together and as they deal in Death, it does not surprise Mallory that they are invited to a Mummy unwrapping Party. What they do not expect is when their host, Sir Alastair Christie, goes missing that Gray would be asked to perform the unwrapping. As Gray and Mallory unwrap the body, they make a gruesome discovering beneath.

This book is a fun ride from start to finish, and I think you will want to read this in one sitting as you sift through the evidence along with Gray and Mallory. For me this is the best book so far in the series. I loved the introduction of the Egyptian side of things, that Armstrong kept the body count low and the overall creativity that Armstrong has with this book. 

Mallory is a highlight in this book, as well as the others, but in this one it seems like she got some time away from Gray and the ability to have some alone detective work. It also shows how far Gray has come in trusting her to be able to handle herself in Victorian Scotland.

You can tell that Armstrong did research for this book, not only about Egyptian culture, but also how this culture would have been perceived in the Victorian times. You can tell with the fascination of the mummy unwrapping party, that people want to know about it, but just going about it in a way that is not culturally sensitive. Though to be honest I think during the Victorian times they would use any excuse to have a party. I like the children in this book, with their vast knowledge of Egyptian culture, but I felt they were a little underutilized.

Lots of twists and turns along the way and Armstrong took the story in places that I did not expect her to go. I also feel like a learned a few things along the way, which is never a bad thing. I know that I did not guess who the killer was as Armstrong did a great job of not only having suspects but eliminating them as well.

I really appreciated that Armstrong answered some of the questions that I have had since really the beginning of the series, as to what has happened to Catriona.

This is a great series and I hope that Armstrong continues on in with it. While there are some questions answered in this book, I feel like we have so much more to see where Mallory and Gray go. Highly recommended series, especially if you like investigative novels.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Kiersten Modglin: The Stranger

Kiersten Modglin show why you should never trust a stranger:

Walking on the side of the road in the middle of the nowhere at night time, is never the smart choice, but doing so in a snowstorm is even worse. This is the situation that Tibby finds herself in. She knows that she needs to get to shelter soon, but there is nothing in site, not even a sign for a town. When a car pulls up beside her she knows she shouldn’t get in but what choice does she have. Should she trust this perfect stranger with her life or her life to the elements. When she chooses the stranger, disturbing things start to happen and Tibby doesn’t know who she can trust.

This is the first book that I have read by Modglin and I was impressed with her ability to keep me guessing to the end. I did find the book a bit short and I wish the suspense didn’t end so quickly, but overall I enjoyed the book.

The strangers, who is the stranger, can you figure out who the stranger really is in the end? I know I certainly wasn’t able to figure it out by the end. I think that Modglin does a good job keeping you guessing and questioning who it could be by playing with details which details are presented to the readers as well as how and when she chooses to share those details. This means that the book is full of red herrings, and you will find yourself making assumptions throughout the book only to be fooled again.

I feel like you only get surface level with the characters, so this is very much a plot based book.

I did the audiobook version of this book. Walker’s reader is fine. Tibby’s reader is fine, but the physic/killer’s reader’s voice is annoying. I get trying to disguise who that person is but the voice was too tinny and hard to listen too. If they had shorter chapters, it would be fine but they feel longer due to the voice and the voice really grated on me. It made me not want to start listening, so i think if you would like to read this book, I would do a physical copy.

I found the ending a bit abrupt and that was it. I wanted a bit more but there was nothing left.

First book by Modglin and i enjoyed it and it will not be the last. If you are looking for a quick read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I recommend this one.


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Thursday, May 23, 2024

V. Casa: Vaieon

In her debut novel, Casa shows the strength of a woman who finds herself in the most unlikely place:

Lily is living a normal life with her husband and children until one night she feels her body falling, being pulled away. When she awakes, she find herself in the strangest place, first thinking it is a jungle but the plants don’t match and certainly the creature she just saw doesn’t match either. Lily has somehow found herself in the Cretaceous Era. This is her tale of survival and trying to find a purpose in this new Era. 

This is Casa's debut novel and I have to applaud her with taking the road less traveled. Many debuts that I read tend to be in safer genres, where there is more readily available avenues for inspiration for their book or ideas of how things should/could unfold. Personally, I have not read too many time travel books and secondly, I have never read one where the individual is taken back to the Cretaceous period.

This is very much character driven novel, so if you do not like character driven novels this will not be for you, but I think you would be missing out on a great character. Lily is really well written in this book, you feel her struggles especially at the beginning as she attempts to come to terms with where she is, even though she does not know how it happened. Honestly, I probably would have freaked out a lot more than she did. It was interesting to watch her adapt in order to ensure her survival but at the same time questioning whether she wanted to live as well, she contemplates a few times that being eaten may be a mercy for her. You really feel for her when she is missing human interaction. 

I really appreciate that Casa had the dinosaurs have some form of intelligence and that they were not as mindless beast as we often think they are or portrayed in some media. They are able to form bonds, within and outside of their species and I think that Casa did a great job in highlighting this. Baby Boy, was just a treasure in the story, and I look forward to the scenes with "him" especially at the beginning.

So the time travel aspect is never really explained in this book. There was this weird scene in the middle of the book, with, I don’t even know, what that was but it was supposed to explain how Lily ended up there, but honestly it just confused me more than anything. I think I would have preferred Lily not being able to ever figure out the time travel aspect, as she never really focuses on the ability to get home. She does accept that this is to be her life now fairly quickly.

This was a good debut novel, and after messaging with the author, it is going to be a series, which I was happy to hear (that ending I still had quite a few questions). For sure one to check out if you like survival books, character driven books and dinosaurs (but not the dino erotica phase that happened a few years ago).


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Thursday, May 16, 2024

John Marrs: Keep it in the Family

John Marrs, shows why you should always check the attic before you buy a new home:

Mia and Finn have fallen on some hard times that have forced them to move in with Finn's parents. To say that Mia and Debbie, Finn's mother, do not get along is an understatement and Mia wants out of the house as soon as possible. When a home comes up for sale, Mia and Finn jump on it and are determined to turn it into their dream home. As they are renovating, they come across some a strange message written behind the baseboards in one of the rooms "I Will Save Them from The Attic". This leads them to investigating the attic and making a gruesome discovery. Mia becomes obsessed with what they have found and wants to make some of it right out of it, she needs to in order to cope. Secrecy shrouds everything in the attics but the more she investigates the more she realizes that the threat of danger is not just in the past but the present now. She will do whatever it takes to protect her family, but what if it is too late?

I absolutely Loved loved this book and I think it is one of those books that you will either love or hate it as it deals with darker aspects, downright creepy, insane and well just F*ck up. However, I will be fair and say that the beginning of this book i was not sure about it, I was kind of waiting for things to happen and I will say that they do not happen quickly at the start of the book. Wow, this book was fantastic, full of suspense the entire way. This is how you write a domestic suspense book. This book is extremely dark and if you have triggers involving children in any way shape or form, then do not pick up this book. Marrs does not go into great description about what occurs to the children, but there is enough there that I could see it triggering people.

I really enjoyed the different timelines and POV as this added to really get to know each character, what is at stake as well as add to the atmosphere of the book as you didn’t know what Marrs was going to reveal next. Plus you get, the now famous i think, Chapter 39 that is just one word. I like how the darkness is not just in one timeline but is spread throughout both, but just in different ways. It is always interesting when there it POV of the bad guy and this one has that as a constant POV. You really get to know the main characters in the present POV, Finn, Mia, Debbie and Dave, and their personalities and motivations and who they are as people. You cannot help but feel sorry for Mai at several points in the story, especially with some of the vindictiveness that Debbie puts her through. Very much an hellish mother in law.

I was able to figure out who the killer was fairly early on but there were so many twists, turns and revelations along the way, that I don’t even care that I was able to figure it out early on, Marrs was still able to shock me constantly throughout the book. Like the shocks just keep coming until the end of the book.

Without giving much away, if you find the beginning slow push through, I promise it will get better and more twisty the further you read. This is the second book I have read by Marrs but I am going to be picking up his backlist as well as the new books he releases. Highly recommended book, especially those who like the darker side of things.


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Friday, May 10, 2024

Kamilah Cole: So Let them Burn

In her debut novel and the first in a series, Kamilah Cole shows the power of love between sisters:

When the her people needed a hero, a way to sway the war in their favour, Fallon prayed to the Gods and become the Child Empyrean. As the child Empyrean she was able to channel the power of the Gods. Five years later, Fallon still has all the powers, but no war to fight in. When she is forced to attend an international peace summit all she expects to show off her powers and go home but instead her older sister Elara find herself bonded to an enemy dragon. Both women have impossible choices to make in order not only to save themselves, their island and people but the world as well.

This is a good debut novel and I found myself invested early in the story and where Cole was going to take the characters. I really enjoyed that this book took more of a political that I thought was going to be but at the same time there was a lot less action than I thought there would be. As this is Cole's debut novel, I felt that there were some aspects in this book that you could tell it was. I think that this mainly seen in the world building, in the character arc of Fallon and the book was a bit predictable.

Elara was my favourite POV in this book and is a solid/interesting character right from the beginning. She is the older sister of the Child Empyrean and all she wants is to make her own way in the world get out of her sister’s shadow. I found that in her dragon situation there was more at stake and she was in a dangerous situation with the Dragon school she finds herself in. I also think that Elara has an interesting character Arc and how she has to adapt to the situation she finds herself in as well as question everything that she knows. I wish that Cole would have spent more time in the school aspect and how much Elara was out of place/different from all the other students there. There are some scenes, but I think that this is glazed over in this book.

I was not really interested in Fallon's POV. To begin with I thought that Fallon's POV was going to be interesting with her being the Child Empyrean and having the power of the Gods, but her POV really fell off for me. Fallon is supposed to be 17 but she acts like a petulant child at times, maybe this is due to her surviving war and being famous bringing but it seems like she has to be constantly reminded about the stakes, like she keeps forgetting them or something. She is constantly bored when her sister's life is at stake and she just proves many times throughout the book that she is just a child.

I wish there was more about the drakes, there is a lot made of them but we do not get that much interaction with them. And i wish there were more than one scene of Drake vs Dragon, I mean that is what the Drakes are there for, but we get very little action there.

This book is touted as a Jamaican fantasy novel, as I am not Jamaican and am not familiar about Jamaican culture, hell I have never even been to Jamaica, I cannot really comment about this aspect. However, I did find the world that Cole created interesting, but I felt that there were a lot of gaps along the way and we don’t really understand major aspects of the world and the war that occurred before this book until the latter part of this book, so there were points when i was questioning things. So much is made about the war that I actually checked (twice) to make sure that I was reading the first book in the series. I think this series would benefit with a novella placed before this book iron out a few of these points as well as have more about how Fallon became the Child Empyrean and her feats in the war and why she is revered now. 

Based upon the ending I will totally be picking up the next book. I loved the Arc of Elara’s character and need to know how Cole is going to move the story along. Totally an author for people to check out.

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Saturday, May 4, 2024

Jenny Holiday: Canadian Boyfriend

Jenny Holiday shows what happens when a Ballerina meets a Hockey player but this is not your typical Hockey Romance:

In order to have some support growing up Aurora created a fake boyfriend after meeting a hockey player at work one day, and it was extremely convenient for Aurora that her boyfriend was from Canada. What harm could having a fake boyfriend be, it is only when said fake boyfriend walks into her Dance studio that Aurora doesn’t know what to do. Mike Martin is feeling overwhelmed with his life. His life had recently passed away, discovering she may not have been as honest with him as he would like and he is raising his daughter alone. But Aurora just seems to get him and she becomes a pseudo nanny to his daughter it seems that they may just be able to help each other out.

This is the first book that I have read by Holiday, so I was not sure what to expect and in some ways I got more than what I was expecting but at the same time I got less than what I wanted out of this book. I would not call this a rom-com I didn’t feel like there were really that many funny moments and I wouldn’t call it a steamy romance either as most of these events happen behind closed doors. How I would describe this book is two people who are working on themselves end up helping each other more than they thought possible. 

This book is sweet and focuses on the importance of mental health which was amazing. Holliday does not glaze over the fact that both Mike and Aurora are working through things from their past and present and I like that Holiday does not repeat which mental health issues that they are dealing with. I also like that Mike and Aurora take different and similar paths to getting back to a more healthy mental state. 

Could that last 10% been a bit different, I think so, I don’t think it needed to play out how it did and I think Mike totally overreacted. So yeah you have probably guessed there is a third act breakup (really it happens pretty late in the book) and it just didn’t need to happen. And then the get back together seems so rushed and not fully developed in a way. I wished that Holiday would have spent more time on it.

This book was not quite what I was expecting, I thought it would be a more straight forward Hockey Romance but it was much more than that. I really enjoyed that Holidays focused on mental health in this book. Where Holiday lost me was the third act/ending area break up that just seemed forced, like that Holiday felt that she had to put it in there (she did not). I enjoyed this book enough to check out some other books from Holiday.


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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Luanne Bennett: Bloodlust Blues

In the first new a new series, Luanne Bennett shows what happens when a new creature sets it's site on a small town:

Crimson, Georgia is just like any other small town, one where people keep to themselves but are also up in everyone else's business. When a new restaurant opens up across from Charley's bar, The White Stag, she is curious about who the owners would be and it seemed a bit too fancy for their small town. The members of the community start to act strangely and some are starting to go missing Charley can't help but think it is due to this new restuarant, but how could a new restaurant be the cause of all the extra havoc in town, Charley doesn’t know but she is going to find out.

I am pretty well versed in the urban fantasy genre but I can honestly say I have not heard of Bennett before so I was really eager to check her out. I am always on the search for new urban fantasy author as that genre is one of my favourites and my favourite authors in it do not write fast enough.

This book was okay, did it add anything new and different to the urban fantasy genre, not really other than the power that Atticus had and what he was doing. I think that this was the most interesting aspect of the book, but there really wasn't any suspense or intrigue to get there. I think that right from the beginning it is pretty obvious who the Big Bad is in this book and Bennett does not do anything to dissuade this fact. 

Charley (why did she have to be named Charley I swear there are too many women named Charley in Urban Fantasy) was not a very memorable character other than the fact that she has some underdeveloped powers that she knows nothing about or how to control them. I mean Charley started off strong with her love of helping out Misfits, I was just expecting more out of her and she just felt flat at times, or completely different people. Most of the story seems like Charley is just going about her day at the White Stag. The only real interesting character in the book is Candy, an ex-stripper who is a powerful witch.

I really appreciated that there is no obvious love interest for most part of the book, which gave very early 2000 urban fantasy feel to it and i am here for. There is one that is hinted in the latter part of the book and I hope that Bennett lets it progress slowly and more naturally.

I do wish there was a bit more world building, though it did feel like a regular small town set in our world, just with paranormal creatures here and there. There is the typical people do not like vampires and they are on the other side of town type of thing, but there are exceptions to this rule. So world building was pretty typical as well and you can tell why Atticus chose this town to set up his restaurant.

This book was good but not great I think is the best way to sum up this book. I finished the book but I kept waiting for Bennett to push the envelope a little bit more and throw something really exciting and interesting in. I would continue on in the series to see where Bennett takes it but I cant really recommend anyone rush out and buy it.

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Monday, April 22, 2024

Sarah Barrie: Unforgiven

Sarah Barrie shows what happens when a once victim becomes the vigilante:

Lexi has dedicated her life in just trying to survive, she drinks to much and sleeps with whomever she likes as long as they pay her. But Lexi's true passion is as a Hacker. Tracking down pedophiles, gathering information about them to put them away. Lexi was the last victim of the notorious pedophile known has the Spider, oh so she thought as a new individual has come forward claiming to be the real Spider as they emulate the murderous acts. Now everything from before is being called into question, even the innocence of the man convicted of being the spider. Did they get it wrong all those years ago?

This is the first book that I have read by Barrie and I can tell you this will not be the last. This book is a dark, gritty thriller that you will not want to put down as you get caught up in the search for "copycat" serial killer. This book will seem darker than other thriller books and that is because the victims are children. I will say that Barrie does not go into detail of what happens to the victims but does give enough detail that you KNOW what has happened to them and it is heartbreaking and sick. So if you have triggers of child abuse then this book will not be for you, as I said not a lot of detail of what is happening but enough to know as a reader what is happening.

Lexi is a straightforward but also complex character at the same time. I love that Barrie did not sugar coat her past or make it seem like what she lived though has not affected her, it has and Barrie does not shy away from this. Lexi is trying to recover from her past and help those who cannot help themselves yet at the same time she is unable to forgive herself for what happened and what almost happened to her sister. Lexi has chosen to be an escort as she believes that is really all she is good for, but Lexi is nothing but a survivor and she always will be. I appreciate that Barrie does take time to explain Lexi's history as well as the link between her and DI Rachel as their history brings some of tension that is felt throughout the book.

This book had quite a few twists and turns along the way and I like that all the evidence is not just handed to the police or Lexi. Lexi does a lot of digging on the internet so that type of information can take time to dig through, especially the type of groups that Lexi has had to infiltrate over times. I will also totally admit that I did not see that final twist coming. 

In the real world would the let Lexi be as involved as was probably not but I’m okay with how Barrie dealt with it in the plot, I mean this is a work of fiction so you need to dispel things a bit. And how Barrie presents it in the story works.

This was a terrific read, Highly recommend this book if you like thriller books and be prepared to read this one in one sitting. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, Lexi is the type of character I am drawn to in these types of books. 


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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Megan Boley: The Darkness All Around Us

In her debut novel Megan Boley explores what happens when you give a pharmaceutical company too much power:

Pharmmatrox was on the cutting edge of medical science, they had created incredible drugs that were supposed to save the world, no on would ever get sick again. But instead of curing people, they created an additive drug called Dust, that eventually turns the user into a zombie like creature.  Stella is just trying to survive and keep her promise to find her friends before people started turning on mass. But Stella has a few problems, no only is she a user of Dust she is also on the run from a woman who is hunting her believing she is the reason why there are turned in the first place. Stella knows her time is running out in more ways than one and she has to try and find her friend and hopefully do some damage to the company that caused this in the first place.

When I read the premise of this book, I knew it was one that i would want to read. I am all for books where there are morally grey characters, and when the book is presented as Dark and Gritty. I have not read a zombie based book in quite some time, I think many have moved away from the genre for awhile (it did get oversaturated there for awhile), but I am happy to delve back into the genre. I like Boley's take on how the zombies are created, this is not your typical you get bitten you become a zombie. No this is if you use this addictive drug too long, it is going to turn you into one and all those who take it know this. However, like in many zombie or apocalyptic novels, the zombies are really the least of your worries, it is the other survivors you need to worry about. I think that Boley does a great job of showing how far humanity can fall and how the two different groups The Faction and Pharmatrox (troxies), are battling each other for control.

I struggled to get into this book at the beginning, I wish there had been a prologue to give readers the general idea of the dystopia we are about to step into, the two sides and why they are fighting. Instead, we have to wait till chapter 10 in order to get even a hint of what occurred before. I wasn't able to understand why people hated Troxies and wanted them all dead or how people were becoming zombies, so I felt like I was muddling through the first few chapters trying to figure it all out. 

I think I saw a review where some people had a hard time believing one of the twists in the book, I personally thought it was quite obvious, and not surprising and it just made since when you think of most dystopia/end of the world type books; everyone changes in some way or another, from who they are to their names, people have to change and adapt in order to survive. The other twist I did not see coming at all, and does it really affect things in the book, not really, so I am fine with it.

I appreciate that Boley does not waste the side characters in this book, they are not just there to be there, but feel like they are fully fledged people and different from each other even though they do not get their own POV. Each of them has a purpose in this story, especially those around Stella and I enjoyed that we got to know them as well. They also helped keep Stella grounded in certain situations which Stella needed quite a bit of in this book. I mean how can you not like Quinten. 

Death was an interesting addition and I wasn’t sure of her purpose until halfway through the book, so if you find the Death character confusing to begin with don’t worry. Their presence is explained and I actually wish there was more of Death at times (Death starts to fade out the farther you get into the book), to really show the downward spiral of Stella and her Dust usage and in the same way explain why she continued to use.

Overall, this is a really good debut novel and for most of the book you do not think that you are reading one. Boley does not let up on the action, suspense or darkness throughout the book. There are times when I wish the stakes were a little bit higher (but I don’t want to give any spoilers). I look forward to reading what Boley puts out next and I better not have to wait long for book 2.


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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Rebecca Ross: Divine Rivals

In the first book in a duology Rebecca Ross shows the power of the letter:

Gods have awoken after centuries of sleep and they are at War again. Some hear the cry to volunteer to join while other are forced to. Iris' older brother Forrest heard the call to war and is now serving on the front lines of it. In order to try to hold the family together for his return, Iris Winnow takes a postion with the Oath Gazette, but what she does not realize that she has a rival for the colomnist position a hansome man named Roman Kit. In order to help stave off her loanliness Iris begins to write letters to Forrest, as she has not received any from him, and slips them under her wardrobe door, where they have started to vanish. Iris did not know where they were going, and hoped that they were going to Forrest, only to discover a letter had been written back to her one day by an anymous person. 

I have heard of Rebecca Ross and have been meaning to read her book A River Enchanted but somehow I ended up reading this book first and it really wants makes we want to move A River Enchanted up on my TBR list. This book was extremely well written that a reader just falls into the story and characters. I did not want to put this down, I found that the book was really enchanting and I enjoyed it more that I thought I would (I think I read this book at the perfect time for me when i was craving something a bit lighter) and I would say that it lives up to the hype that has been created around it. 

I think that people need to be aware that this is not a High Fantasy book, as how the premise is written I think a few people would make this mistake. I went into this book not really knowing what it was about, only that it was one of the best books from last year (at least according to Goodreads). 

I would classify this book in the fantasy light genre as while there are mention of Gods, and it is there war that is causing WWI, as well as using creatures to fight this war, there is very little interaction with them. The most mgical or fantasy based aspect we get is the enchated typewriters that Kit and Iris use to exchange messages. This book is also classified as Young Adult but it falls some place between young adult and new adult in my opinion just based upon the age of the characters and the subject covered. Though I don’t think that this classification should disway you from reading this book.

I absolutely loved the relationship between Iris and Kit, how they are rivals at the newspaper, are from two different classes and that they open up to each other in letters. I think what I loved most about the letters is how sincere they were in them, even when they didn't know who was on the receiving end of them and how those words could lead to something more. I appreciated that Ross gave equal time to their POV and further demonstrated how the same and different Iris and Kit were but their love of the written word was strong for both of them.

This is such a sweet and cute read that really draws you into the story and relationship of the two main charters. You’ll want to pick up the next book in the series right after that ending, I can't wait to pick up the next book in this duology.


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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Eve Kellman: How to Kill a Guy inTen Ways

In her debut Novel Eve Kellman, flips the table on Men who try to take advantage of Women:

Millie Masters has set up a hotline for women, Message M, when they feel that unsafe to get home. Millie sees the worst of men in these situations, looking to take advantage of women Night after Night. Sometimes she even sees the same guy over again and that the men will just continue to do the same thing night after night. Millie is sick of them getting away with it with no consequences especially when an assault happens close to home. Millie decides it's time to switch things up and take the law into her own hands.

This is Kellman's debut novel and I appreciate the premise that she has presented here. I mean you do not often get the read about female serial killer (in Fiction or real life) and you know you are getting something along those lines based upon the title of this book. I think that when you realize the men that Millie is choosing, the question becomes, can you really blame her for the men she decides to kill? And when does it change along the way.

I struggled reading this one and I don’t know why, I found I wasn’t in the mood to read it when I first started it. I will admit that the book picks up and gets interesting the further you go into the book it just take a bit to get there. There was a point at around the 3/4 marks where I fully said holy fuck out loud with where Kellman took a plot point. it was totally unexpected, and I was there for it. I think people will either love or hate the ending, but I was there for the ending as it was not your typical one at all.

This book was really hindered by having long chapters. I’m just not a fan of them and it just seemed like each chapter went on and on and on and didn’t really give readers a break to process what was going on. I felt like there were places that Kellman could have broken the chapters up a bit instead of forcing them on. I feel like most people prefer shorter chapters than longer ones.

Millie as a character is fascinating and the moral ground and questions that she asks herself, especially at the beginning are really interesting. It is when you find Millie later in the book where she sees that she may not be just killing for saving women anymore. I like that Millie really started out just wanting to help women get out of situations that are just uncomfortable to downright dangerous with her Message M number and side job that she has. It is this side of her life where she feels purpose and excels, and I feel like there is a job that she could make of this somehow.

I would have liked a POV from someone else in the book, I'm not really sure who maybe James, not at the beginning as we have not met him yet but later in the book would have been great. Just break it up a bit, and then once again this could have broken up the longer chapters. I just felt that the book felt a bit stagnant with only having one POV.

I will not deny that this was an interesting read and Millie as a character was truly fascinating. I think that you can tell that this was Kellman's debut novel with the chapter length and the overall flow of the book. But that last 25% of the book and ending made me happy that I pushed through on this one. I do look forward to seeing what Kellman comes out with next.


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