Showing posts with label Mini Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mini Review. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Library - 2 Mini YA Dystopian Reviews "Ashes" & "Shadows" by Ilsa J. Bick

Title:  Ashes (Ashes Trilogy 1)
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Genre:  YA Dystopian

Synopsis from Goodreads
It could happen tomorrow . . .
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. 

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.
Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation. 
My Thoughts...
I am not doing mini reviews on these because I didn't like them, quite the opposite actually.  I loved them, but I am going to do a big review on the last book in the series next week and I will post more thoughts about the series as a whole on that post.  Basically I just wanted to give you a quick taste of the series before that review.  

I got this book on my kindle when it first came out and for some reason never read it, but when Egmont approached me to review the last book I jumped on the chance.  I read the first 2 books in just a couple of days but the 3rd book, in addition to being titled Monster, is literally a monster coming in at nearly 820 pages so I am still working my way through that one! 

So the synopsis covers the basic plot of this book pretty well.  This one is told exclusively from Alex's point of view in 3rd person.  Alex is suffering from brain cancer that is basically inoperable.  She has done all the treatment including some very advanced experimental treatments, but she still has the tumor.  She has decided to take some time off and head to the woods to kind of say goodbye to her parents who died some years ago.  She is a few days into her trip when the EMP happens.  She is also with Ellie and her grandfather when it happens.  She and Ellie survive, but Alex suffers some type of episode and she is left changed.  One of her senses, a sense that her tumor took from her has returned and is super enhanced.

They are discovering that the really young and the really old are the survivors.  Then there are the Changed who are mostly teenagers and young adults, but some, like Alex and Tom, are spared and as of yet they have no idea why.  The changed are very like what we think of as zombies.  She and Ellie are trecking it and fighting off "the Changed" when they meet Tom and now they are three.  They go through some pretty rough times, but they kind of become a little family.  Ellie is your typical 8 year old and she gives them grief pretty much most of the time.

There is a just a touch of a love story here, but for the most part it's just pretty intense action and horror.  This is YA so it's not super gory, but as the story progresses it does tend to get more intense.  There are some kind of older teenage themes and language.  I would probably recommend it for 15+ age group.

Title:  Shadows (Ashes Trilogy 2 )
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Genre:  YA Dystopian

Synopsis from Goodreads

The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.

Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.
But she was wrong.

Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive. 

Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.
My Thoughts...
This second book of the trilogy things just get worse for Alex and all the spared.  Where the last book was told from Alex's POV, in this one we get it a look from pretty much all directions.  The main narrators in this one are Alex, Tom and Chris with a few others thrown in.  I actually liked the first book better for this reason.  Also, the first book was told in a continuous flow with no over-laps in time.  This one has sections where there are overlaps because there are different POV being told, so while we are with Tom for 2 weeks and we have no idea what's going on with someone else, she has to catch up with that later and at times it's confusing.  Not so much so that I didn't enjoy the story though!

The Changed are starting to change and so is Alex.  She knows now that the reason she didn't become one of the Changed is likely because of her tumor.  She is also learning that even the ones she thought could help her can't be trusted.  Really she is all on her own once again and this time she is in the fight of her life.  

There isn't much more I can say without giving too much away.  If you like YA Dystopian and you don't mind intense action scenes with some nice gore mixed in then you are probably going to like this series.  Even if you aren't a YA fan and you like horror, zombies, etc...then you should give this series a try.  I am enjoying it quite a bit.

I will be posting my review for the 3rd book this coming Monday and I will be doing a giveaway for all 3 books in the series so if you are interested in reading this series be sure to check out that post!

*Disclaimer:  I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Library - YA Paranormal Review & GIVEAWAY "Imposter" by Susanne Winnacker

Title:  Imposter (Variants #1)
Author:  Susanne Winnacker
Publisher:  Razorbill 
Publication Date:  May 23, 2013
Genre:  YA Paranormal
Format:  Kindle 489 KB  |  Hardcover 288 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Hardcover|  Kindle Edition
Author's Website:
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Susanne Winnacker

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. 

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

My Thoughts...
This was a great start to a new series.  While it's not an altogether original concept, it's a fresh take on it for sure.  I have to say also, that Tessa's "power" is pretty phenomenal.  All the Variants have pretty awesome powers and I don't even think we have seen the best of them yet.  We don't even't know the half of what Major can do!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Library - Paranormal Romance MINI Review "Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris

Title:  Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Buy it on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:
There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...

My Thoughts...
** This review does contain spoilers!**
I decided to do this one as a mini review because, honestly, I don't want to waste much time on this book.  I have spent years on this series now and I feel really let down by how this ended!  I just going to bullet point my thoughts and then be done with it once and for all.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Library - Contemporary Paranormal Review "The Union Street Bakery" by Mary Ellen Taylor

Title:  The Union Street Bakery
Author: Mary Ellen Taylor

Publisher:  Berkley Trade
Publication Date:  February 5, 2013
Genre:  Contemporary Paranormal (Ghost)
Format:  Kindle 677 KB  |  Paperback 352 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Edition  |  Paperback
Author's Website: 
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Mary Ellen Taylor

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Life can turn on a dime. It’s a common cliché, and I’d heard it often enough. People die or move away. Investments go south. Affairs end. Loved ones betray us...Stuff happens.
Daisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.

Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.

What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life, and a chance to begin again with the courage and desire she thought she lost for good.
My Thoughts...
I really enjoyed this book from the very first page.  I have a soft spot for books that center around cooking for some reason!  One of my favorite Nora Roberts trilogies revolves around a girl that cooks for the little coffee shop in a bookstore.  Even though Daisy isn't the baker in this story, this reminded me a little of that series.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Library - Paranormal Romance Mini Review "Twice Tempted" by Jeaniene Frost

Title:  Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher:  Avon (sold by Harper Collins)
Publication Date:  March 26, 2013
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Format:  Kindle 690 KB  |  Paperback 384 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Edition  |  Paperback
Author's Website: 
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Jeaniene Frost

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges...

Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.
My Thoughts...
Holy HOT wow!  I just love this whole Night Huntress series, but if you are a regular reader then you know that Vlad is my favorite character and has been since he was just a minor character way back in the beginning.  That said, I didn't like him quite as much in this book, he just doesn't quite seem to be himself in this one.  Most of it was the way he treated Leila through most of the book.  I felt like he was almost a minor character in this installment.  I realize that this is Leila's story and it's told from her POV, but I felt like Vlad was missing from a lot of this story and when he was there he just really wasn't very nice to Leila.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Library - Mini Suspense Review "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn

Title:  Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre:  Suspense / Thriller
Format:  Paperback 252 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 

Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
My Thoughts...
Ok, I know I said, after I read and reviewed Gone Girl, that I was never going to read another Gillian Flynn book!  I borrowed this one from a friend after we discussed Gone Girl and she assured me that this one was better.  She was right.  I enjoyed this one so much more.  I am still going to keep this as a mini review though.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Library - Romance Review "Up To Me" by M. Leighton

Title:  Up To Me
Author: M. Leighton
Publisher:  Smashwords
Publication Date: January 6, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format:  Kindle 419 KB

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Edition
Author's Website:
Author's Goodreads Profile:  M. Leighton 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Happily ever after doesn’t come easy. But for love, it’s always worth the fight.

Olivia finds bliss unlike any she’s ever known in Cash’s arms. He sets her skin on fire and melts her heart right inside her chest. Unfortunately, their happily ever after is short-lived when a shadow from Cash’s past threatens to turn their world upside down.

Dangerous people from his father’s world have discovered that Cash holds information that could put them away for a very long time. And they’re willing to do anything—and hurt anybody—to get it back. Giving it up means Cash must choose between the life of his father and the life of Olivia.

Having nearly overcome her wariness of bad boys, Olivia’s trust is shaken when this new threat arises. Now she finds that Cash is not only a danger to her heart, but his family has associations that are a danger to her life as well. She soon discovers that there are some situations in life where trust is a girl’s only option. And this is one of them. If she’s to live, she must trust Cash with her life. But to Olivia, that’s much, much easier than letting go and trusting him with her heart.
My Thoughts...
In my opinion, this book was WAY better than the first one Down To You.  I felt like this one was actually more plot driven and less about sex than the first one.  This is another one where I just have to keep my comment brief for fear of spoilers!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Library - Horror Review "Tortured Spirits" by Gregory Lamberson

Title:  Tortured Spirits (Jake Helman Files #4)
Author:  Gregory Lamberson
Publisher:  Medallion Press
Publication Date:  October 1, 2012
Genre:  Horror
Format:  Kindle 1073 KB  |  Paperback 480 Pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Edition  |  Paperback
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Gregory Lamberson

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
The sign on Jake Helman’s office door says Private Investigator, but this ex-cop’s profession is more complicated than spying on cheating spouses. Over the course of two years, Jake has battled demons, zombies, even a cosmic monster—and he has paid dearly, both physically and emotionally, for his exploits.

Now on a quest to save his best friend’s soul, Jake embarks on his greatest and most terrifying odyssey yet: from the streets of New Orleans to the nightclubs of Miami to the jungles of Pavot Island, where undead slaves harvest narcotics for a ferocious dictator.

But this time Jake isn’t alone. Maria Vasquez, a beautiful NYPD homicide detective, joins him to rescue her former partner. With no backup and limited resources, Jake and Maria battle voodoo overlords, military troops, and an army of zombies. What will prove deadlier to Jake: the addictive drug called Black Magic, the return of an old enemy, or a vengeful demon plotting against him? Tortured Spirits is an action-packed, gore-soaked, supernatural thrill ride that will leave horror fans gasping for Jake Helman’s return.

My Thoughts...

Ok, I know that for the most part I tend toward romance, but I gotta say that this series is probably one of the best I have read this year and I have read a lot of books!  I do like horror and when you throw some paranormal/supernatural in there then I love it even more.  The one thing that I love about book blogging is that I have been introduced to some really great authors and books that I would never have found on my own.  Gregory Lamberson has definitely been added to that list.  I read all four of these books in less than a week, some in less than a day and they are long books!  Mr. Lamberson contacted me to review this book, which is the 4th in the series and was kind enough to send me all of them so I wouldn't be lost as far as the story is concerned.  Oh, and he signed them all to me so they have a special place on my book shelf along with my other signed books!

I do think that if you want to read these books you should definitely start at the beginning of the series.  The first book sets it all up and they all tie in to that original story in some way, at least they have so far.  You could probably get along without reading the previous ones, but I wouldn't skip them.  Here are the links to the books on Amazon and to my reviews on Goodreads.  I did mini reviews on all of them instead of doing them all on here.
This 4th book was my favorite of the series, so far.  I have a feeling by the way this one is set up that I may like the next one even better!  It's going to be really hard to do a proper review of this book with out posting any spoilers but I am going to try.

This book finds Jake in New Orleans, Miami and then to Pavot Island as he tries to help one of his friends.  This book is really almost like a sequel to Desperate Souls.  Maria is with him almost every step of the way in this one.  She's been following him trying to find out what happened to Edgar.  Earlier in the series Edgar tried to set Jake and Maria up, but Jake wasn't quite ready to be with anyone.  It was clear that Maria was into Jake even then, but when Edgar disappeared she stepped back because she suspected that Jake had a hand in his disappearance.  Now they are both at a point where they are ready and it's about time too!

In this installment we see a re-occurrence of Black Magic.  Jake and Maria make a deal with a vodou practicer, in exchange for what they need from her they will rescue her husband from prison.  He is a political prisoner on Pavot Island and has been for 30 years.  Pavot Island is being run by a dictator who has a black Vodou Priestess working with him.  Together they run the island and the slaves who work their drug crops. They are using Black Magic to control the Zonbies just like the priestess in Book 2 did.  There is just one catch though, Jake and Maria know how to kill their Zonbies.

Jake and Maria find themselves smack in the middle of an uprising, thankfully they have people on the island who are helping them.  There is a whole faction on the island that wished to see this prisoner liberated, but this doesn't mean that things are going to go smoothly for them.  This book is more action packed than all of the last 3 books put together.  It's pretty much non-stop from the moment they land on Pavot Island.  Jake has been through a lot in the last couple years and doesn't let up in this book.  There is a reason that this book is called Tortured Souls and unfortunately for Jake he learns this firsthand.

This book does have a little romance story line running through it and I think it's nice that Jake is able to have something nice a long with all the crap that gets thrown his way.  I am anxious to see how thing progress for Maria and Jake as the series continues.  This part of the story didn't have many return characters, but this one, like all the others does tie back to Tower Industries and some of the things in the very first book.

I highly recommend this series if you like horror.  I don't think I would classify this horror as in a scary sense, but it does have the gory, creepy thing going on.  It's unbelievable at times, but that's what makes a really great paranormal series.  One thing is for sure, it's well written and Mr. Lamberson has a wild and vivid imagination and that shows through in every page of this series.  I will be waiting on the edge of my seat for the next installment in Jake's story!

*Disclaimer:  I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Friday, September 21, 2012

{Mini Review} "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

I am adding something a little new to the blog, the Mini Review.  I may do this on books from time to time.  They will always be books I have acquired on my own, I will never do this with a book that I have been asked to review.  Also, I will say that in most cases these will be books that I either didn't care as much for and I don't want to do a long review, or books that can't be discussed in much depth due to spoilers.  In the case of this book, it's both!

Title:  Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre:  Suspense / Thriller
Format:  Hardback 419 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Diving in...
Ok, here is the deal.  I really, really, really wanted to love this book and for the first 2/3 of it I did.  It's incredibly well written and very witty, there is no doubt about that.  What I didn't care for was the ending of the story.  Usually in a story like this one I pick a character that I like and there isn't much that can sway my opinion of them.  That was not the case here, I liked each of them for a little bit, then I really didn't like either of them at all.  I felt sorry for each of them for a bit, then I decided that they deserved what they got.  I never really cared much for any of them, but I still wanted a better ending for someone!

I understand the hype about the book since it's really well written, but I just don't care for this type of ending. I know that there are readers out there that won't be bothered by it, but I feel like my time these days is super valuable and I wasted 4 days on this book.  I try not to read reviews of books before I read the book myself because I want to be able to read without being influenced at all.  There were a lot of good reviews of this book, unfortunately I didn't care for it.  I don't know that I will pick up another of Ms. Flynns books because of this.

If you like a nice tidy ending when you read a book then I don't recommend this one for you!