April 30, 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik


T I T L E: Uprooted
A U T H O R: Naomi Novik
P U B L I S H E R: Random House Publishing Group/Del Rey Sppectra
P U B L I S H--D A T E: May 19, 2015
I S B N:97808041734
Fantasy
“Our Dragon doesn't eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that's not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he's still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we're grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn't, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.


     One word. Wow! This book was amazing. I loved every spine-tingling moment of it. It is reminiscent of an old-world fairytale. It’s true that it can get dark, but then the original fairytales of old were dark and not told in the same manner they are today, and that is one of the many things that I loved about this story.
     I must confess in the beginning I didn’t much care for the Dragon, but that all changed by the end of this very imaginative tale. It was great to watch Agnieszka grow and come into her own. I enjoyed the fact that her magic was not the same as the Dragon’s. The ending was not in the least predictable. However, I do have one complaint; the book seems to be a stand alone novel and I would love to see this story continue in at least another book, maybe two.
     I want to know what happens with the vile creatures still left in The Wood. I want to know what happens with the Dragon and Agnieszka. I want to know what happens with Kasia and the children. This is a world that I want to read more about. Simply put, I couldn’t get enough, and I want more.
Very well written and a must read for those that love not only the fantasy genre, but the folktales of old. I will be adding Ms. Novik to my list of favorite authors. There is no other rating that I can give this book, other than five stars, it's just that wonderful.

5 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 28, 2015

Sight by Juliet Madison


T I T L E: Sight
S E R I E S: The Delta Girls (N°1)
A U T H O R: Juliet Madison
P U B L I S H E R: Diversion Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: July 14, 2015
Urban Fantasy, YA
“I spent my birthday fast asleep. In a coma to be exact.” When Savannah wakes up after two months in the hospital, she sees a whole lot more than expected, things that could put those close to her at risk. The five Delcarta sisters have never believed in the paranormal, not like their woo-woo mother. Instead they believe in the power of sisterhood, of romance, and rebuilding their lives after their father's mysterious disappearance nine years earlier. Starting anew in the small town of Iris Harbor, they see potential in all. But Savannah's awakening after having surgery on a life-threatening aneurysm brings a unique ability to the Delcarta sisters–together, each can predict the future with one of the five senses. And Savannah has the gift of sight. A serial arsonist has been terrorizing the tight-knit community, and the Delcartasisters have their suspicions on who could be to blame, including a boy who starts as an adversary to Savannah and then very quickly becomes her whole world. Investigating these crimes, trying to stop them before the next flame is sparked will call upon Savannah to use her new found abilities with the help of her sisters, and will put each of their lives in danger.


     I don’t read a lot of young adult novels, but I will from time to time. The description on this one intrigued me, so I thought, why not. I’m glad that I did. I enjoyed it very much.
      The characters were interesting. Even though, they are only sixteen and seventeen years old, I’m sure they will continue to grow and develop as the series progresses. It was creative and a great concept to give each of the five sisters a different ability, all sensory related. However, I’m not really sure it would work if they were not all together. Perhaps Savannah’s would be the easiest to use when alone but I don’t see how the others would be able to do well if they were solo. Each ability seems too dependent on the others.
      If you want a fun fast easy read with nothing too dramatic and enjoy reading young adult, then this book may be for you.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 24, 2015

Cottonmouth and the Great Gift by C.S. Fritz

__________B O O K__R E V I E W__________

★★★★

     The adventure continues for dear Freddie Cottonmouth in this book. Both Laila and I are in total agreement with series so far. We love all the characters, and we think that each new character that comes into Freddie’s life bring a certain uniqueness to the story. Freddie Cottonmouth is both delightfully unpredictable, and a relatable character (Laila’s exact words). She said, she too would do what she could to try to get her parents back. Naturally, I smiled and hugged her for that. Laila thinks that this book was very mysterious; she loves that she never knows what is coming. Again, the art is wonderful, and continues to bring lots of character to the story. We agreed this book deserves its 4 stars, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the next Cottonmouth adventure.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________


T I T L E: Cottonmouth and the Great Gift
S E R I E S: Freddie Cottonmouth (N°2)
A U T H O R: C.S. Fritz
P U B L I S H E R: David C Cook
P U B L I S H--D A T E: September 1, 2014
I S B N: 9781434706904
Children’s Fiction

When his best friend comes back to life, Freddie is determined they'll never be apart again. But to find him, Freddie must rely on three mysterious gifts Tug left him.
Gently touching on themes of Jesus's resurrection and the Holy Spirit, this story will spark every child's imagination. As a follow up to Cottonmouth and the River, this story combines the artistic sense of Where the Wild Things Are with the heart of Narnia.





 

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS

*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell


T I T L E: Kight’s Shadow
S E R I E S: The Greatcoats Book (N°2)
A U T H O R: Sebastien de Castell
P U B L I S H E R: Quercus (US)/Jo Fletcher Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: June 2, 2015
I S B N: 9781623986989
Fantasy
Following his beloved debut, TRAITOR'S BLADE (a "swashbuckling romp packed with charisma, camaraderie, quick wit and even quicker swordplay"-NPR), Sebastien de Castell returns with volume two of his fast-paced fantasy adventure series, inspired by the swashbuckling action and witty banter of The Three Musketeers. KNIGHT'S SHADOW continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers' corruption. A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.



     What can I say? I absolutely loved this book. There was never a dull moment with non-stop action. From the banter between the characters to the thrilling sword fight scenes, it was well written and lots of fun to read.
     The characters were very likeable with depth and complex personalities. There was just enough humour to balance out the darker parts. What's more is that it held my attention from beginning to end. When forced to put the book down in order to do other things that I had to get done, I found myself wanting to hurry through them so I could get back to reading. It was a page turner for sure and one of the best books I've read this year so far.
     I am rather stingy when it comes to doling out stars and so far I've not given out five to any book that I've read, until now. I feel this book was worth a five star rating. I am looking forward to reading more in this series...

5 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 22, 2015

Tidewater by Libbie Hawker

__________B O O K__R E V I E W__________

★★★★★

     I won't say I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, but that might be because I haven’t read many books for the genre. However, I love the idea of taking something that has happened and is documented (or not), and weaving it into something that we can and want to relate to. I’m a proud Virginian, born and raised. It was pretty cool that I came across this novel two days before my youngest daughter brings home her permission slip for her class’ Jamestown field trip.
     That tidbit of useless information aside, I’m going to try to turn the love that I have for this book into an understandable strings of words. For some reason, I have a harder time reviewing books that I love vs. books that I like or do not like at all.
     Tidewater, while historical fiction, manages to capture, and play off some key points of this very important time in Virginia history. I loved the contrast between the palisade of early, strong-willed Jamestown and the territories of the graceful Native Americans. Not just where they lived in relation to each other, but the hardship of their relationship (or lack of). While we can never be sure of how it really was, Libbie Hawker does an awesome job of making it all seem very real, and very understandable. I feel like she really brought the characters back to life, and I found myself loving them, all of them.
     This novel is beautiful, and dramatic, and expressive, and touching, and when you make to the end of this very long novel, it’s rewarding. You walk away wishing that the events, though they are often heartbreaking, really was what happened, because you experience a closeness with the story by the time you read the last page. To add to it all, there is an author’s note at the end of the novel that almost comes as a blessing. And after you read it, you’ll understand why.
     Hawker’s words were a joy to read because, wow, her writing is brilliant; which always makes the story any author is telling that much more enjoyable, and rare. I look forward to reading more from Libbie Hawker, and hope that she plans to write more about Jamestown, as its history didn’t end with Pocahontas and John Smith. I give this book five stars, because it’s an all around awesome book.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________


T I T L E: Tidewater
A U T H O R: Libbie Hawker
P U B L I S H E R: Lake Union Publishing
P U B L I S H--D A T E: May 19, 2015
I S B N: 9781477829929
Historical Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)
In 1607, three ships arrive on the coast of Virginia to establish Jamestown Colony. One girl’s life—and the lives of her people—are changed forever. To Pocahontas and her people, the Tidewater is the rightful home of the Powhatan tribe. To England, it is Virginia Territory, fertile with promise, rich with silver and gold. As Jamestown struggles to take root, John Smith knows that the only hope for survival lies with the Powhatan people. He knows, too, that they would rather see the English starve than yield their homeland to invaders. In the midst of this conflict, Pocahontas, the daughter of the great chief, forges an unlikely friendship with Smith. Their bond preserves a wary peace—but control can rest only in one nation’s hands. When that peace is broken, Pocahontas must choose between power and servitude—between self and sacrifice—for the sake of her people and her land.

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS

*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

April 21, 2015

The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath by Ishbelle Bee


T I T L E: The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath
S E R I E S: From the Peculiar Adventures of John Lovehart, Esq. Volume 1
A U T H O R: Ishbelle Bee
P U B L I S H E R: Angry Robot Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: June 2, 2015
I S B N: 9780857664433
Sci-Fi, Fantasy
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.
John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr. Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.
Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…



     Incredibly creative and deliciously dark. Though a very different tale than that of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, it is slightly reminiscent of that style. However, it is not a child's tale and it is far from predictable. I never knew what to expect next and that in itself kept me turning page after page.
     The characters were inventive and definitely not the normal fairy tale characters, which was kind of refreshing. Even though I didn't want to, I found myself cheering for Mr. Loveheart at the end. Although, I would have liked to see what became of Mr. Tumbletee. Yes, I know there was a hint of it, but I wish that Ms. Bee would have written more of that scene.
     I must also mention that because of the style it is not a book that you can sit down and fly through in one day. There are twists and turns throughout the book, and I caught myself re-reading some portions thinking that I must have missed something.
     While I did enjoy this book, it must also be said that this is book will not be everyone's cup of tea. I don't recommend it for those who love fairy tales where everything is light and lovely. However, if you prefer the unusual, the dark, the unpredictable, the demented, as well as a splash of blood here and there then I think you will really enjoy this story.
     I will definitely be reading the next book. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Mr. Loveheart. I give this book four stars because of the creativity.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 19, 2015

Cottonmouth and the River by C.S. Fritz

__________B O O K__R E V I E W__________

★★★★

     I read this to my 9-year-old daughter. We both agreed the illustrations are beautiful works of art. The story allowed us to laugh together; Tug is hilarious. At one point, she gripped my arm because Freddie had to understand the consequences of his actions. She rooted for him to be okay, and for Tug to jump in and help him. When Tug did, she gripped my arm tightly again and begged for everything to turn out right. We both clapped with excitement in the end. Laila enjoyed the book without a doubt. and was saddened by its end, but then excited to learn there would be more. I had a good time reading it to her and stopping on occasion to admire the art and discuss where the story was headed. We both agree this is a 4 star book and look forward to reading more about Freddie Cottonmouth.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________


T I T L E: Cottonmouth and the River
S E R I E S: Freddie Cottonmouth (Nº 1)
A U T H O R: C.S. Fritz
P U B L I S H E R: David C Cook
P U B L I S H--D A T E: May 1, 2014
I S B N: 9780781410335
Children’s Fiction

Meet Freddie Cottonmouth - A Boy Who Loves the River, Big Adventures, and a Furry Beast named Tug. Tug loves taking Freddie on wild adventures—trips to the moon, building castles, or catching fireflies with Freddie riding on his wide furry back. When Freddie finds a mysterious egg, Tug makes him promise never to eat it. But Freddie is about to discover that broken promises come at a great price. This is the rare children's story—both bold and tender and brimming with moments of great risk, adventure, and heart. Combining the artistic wonder of Where the Wild Things Are with the timeless storytelling of The Polar Express, this story will capture both the imagination and the intelligence of children and their parents as it sheds light on the power of sin, sacrifice, and redemption.

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE  * GOODREADS



*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

April 18, 2015

She Shall Have Murder by Delano Ames


T I T L E: She Shall Have Murder
A U T H O R: Delano Ames
P U B L I S H E R: Manor Minor Press
P U B L I S H--D A T E: November 20, 2014
I S B N: 9781942024040
Mystery, Thriller
Dagobert Brown’s always got a new hobby. He's been through Gregorian chant, wildflowers, sixteenth-century French poetry . . . But his latest hobby is murder—or at least, the murder mystery he wants Jane Hamish to write.
No-nonsense, sharp-witted Jane only has one weakness: Dagobert, who exasperates her and intrigues her in equal parts. “Dagobert is my hero,” she says, “but he persistently refuses to act like one.”
Mrs. Robjohn seems like the perfect victim for Jane’s book: a lonely, delusional spinster who haunts the law offices where Jane works, telling everyone who’ll listen that sinister men are following her. When Mrs. Robjohn’s found dead of gas poisoning in her flat, Dagobert won’t believe it’s an accident.
Dragging Jane with him through 1940s London, from pub to nightclub to deserted warehouse district, Dagobert throws himself enthusiastically—if eccentrically—into sleuthdom, determined to track down a real-life killer.
In their easy camaraderie and witty banter, Dagobert and Jane bring to mind Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora, but Jane is every inch Dagobert’s intellectual equal and partner in detection.
A classic Golden Age mystery, She Shall Have Murder, the first in Delano Ames’s Dagobert and Jane Brown series, stands up to the best in its genre today. But its absorbing portrayal of life in London between the wars adds another dimension, highlighted in this annotated Manor Minor Press edition.


     I love classic murder mysteries, however until I read this book, I had never heard of Delano Ames. I was also a little surprised that this book was originally written at just after the end of World War II. It was a fantastic classic mystery.
     The characters were lots of fun. Dagobert had me chuckling throughout the whole book. The interaction between him and Jane was fun to read. They are a great couple and are now among my favorites in this genre. As far as the murderer goes, well, I suspected him on and off as I read the story. But, then I also suspected others as well. I was never really sure if I was on the right track with him, which is part of the fun of reading a mystery such as this one. After all, if you can positively figure out whodunit from the beginning then what's the point of reading further? And so when it came down to it, I was surprised that I was occasionally correct in assuming that the murderer was who I suspected from time to time. Although, his motive was not what I expected.
     It was well written and I would love to read more in this series if I am able to find them. I will definitely be on the lookout for them. This was an enjoyable read and has earned four stars.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 16, 2015

Magic Revealed by Misha McKenzie


T I T L E: Magic Revealed
S E R I E S: The Magic of the Heart Series (N°4)
A U T H O R: Misha McKenzie
P U B L I S H E R: Icasm Press
P U B L I S H--D A T E: January 4, 2015
I S B N: 9781942318026
Romance, SciFi, Fantasy
Born into an already-powerful family, Gideon Marquand is a special kind of witch. The most recent in a long line of super-witches, he is the first in over two hundred years to emerge possessing unlimited stores of magic. He is hunted—driven into hiding until the day when he can finally reclaim his rightful place among his family. Gideon has spent his entire life preparing for a showdown against an evil force bent on his destruction. But when fate intervenes and puts a broken and damaged woman in his path, Gideon knows he’ll not only have to fight for his life...He’ll have to fight to save the woman meant to be his.



     Perhaps if I would have read the other books in this series I would have liked it better than I did. I was not aware that it was the fourth in a series when I started reading though that became apparent fairly quickly. I was lost on who each character was and where they fit into the story.
     I would have expected it to be just a bit more difficult for Gideon to convince Stacia of who she really is. While I did like Gideon, I was not so keen on Stacia/Lauren, however. I don't think she was very believable. I found it hard to get invested in most of the characters in this story.
     It was also just a bit predictable, but only because of the way it was written. I would have liked a few more twists and it could have been executed a bit better than it was. To me, it felt somewhat rushed to come to the conclusion but then again it could have been because I haven't read the other books in this series. I do feel the idea behind the plot was a good one.
     It was not a bad read and I did enjoy it to some extent and so, therefore, give it three stars.

3 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

The Devil's Monk by Sara Fraser


T I T L E: The Devil’s Monk
S E R I E S: Constable Thomas Potts(Nº 6)
A U T H O R: Sara Fraser
P U B L I S H E R: Severn House Publishers
P U B L I S H--D A T E: August 1, 2015
I S B N: 9780727885029
Mystery, Thriller, Literature/Fiction (Adult)
July, 1829. When a female corpse, dressed in male clothing, is discovered lying in a haystack in the Worcestershire countryside, rumour and superstition abound. For the sighting of a man in white robes fleeing from the scene leads to suspicion that the ‘Devil’s Monk’ is responsible for the crime. According to local legend, this vengeful apparition appears at intervals to molest and kill. Constable Thomas Potts is dismissive of the rumours – but without knowing the victim’s identity, he’ll need the devil’s own luck to catch her killer. And when a second body turns up, Potts is under pressure to track down the murderer before hysteria engulfs the town.


     This historical mystery, which is set in the late 1820's, is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Not everything is what it seems. It is well written and has an unexpected ending. Everything you want in a good mystery.
     Tom Potts is an excellent character. I must admit however, I'm not overly fond of his wife. I realise that relationships and interactions with husband and wife were a bit different then, but I just don't feel she's a very likable character and doesn't seem to be a good fit for him. Other than that it was a fantastic read and I really enjoyed it.
     I recommend this book for those that love historical British mysteries. It was an enjoyable read and it has earned four stars from me.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S



April 14, 2015

Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell


T I T L E: Don't Turn Around
S E R I E S: Detective Jennifer Knight(Nº 1)
A U T H O R: Caroline Mitchell
P U B L I S H E R: Bookouture
P U B L I S H--D A T E: April 24, 2015
I S B N: 9781909490970
Literature/Fiction (Adult),Mystery/Thriller
As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave. When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked. What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict. Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play …
With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiraling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves.



     Let me begin by saying this book delivered exactly what the description promised. Unfortunately, that is not always the case with many books and their description. However, I was not disappointed in the least with this novel. It was truly a great read and well written. It's an imaginative mix of murder mystery and paranormal thrills.
     From the beginning, I was drawn in and found myself asking, is this a copycat serial killer or could it truly be the original murderer come back from the grave somehow? Perhaps, DC Jennifer is a bit on the not so sane side with a touch of schizophrenia. Or does she truly hear voices belonging to the dead? Are her dreams messages or ramblings of someone in desperate need of psychotherapy and medications? It, however, does become evident that she does, in fact, see dead people.
     When she is given a message that there is someone close to her that she shouldn't trust, I suspected everyone she came in contact with as I tried to figure out who the untrustworthy person was. But, that is the fun of reading mysteries and thrillers. This story has lots of twists and turns, as well as scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat while you turn the page. I always love the unexpected and the ending was certainly a surprise.
     Even though Jennifer has issues, she is strong and complex which adds to the story. I am looking forward to reading what the future holds for DC Jennifer Knight. This is definitely a series that I will be keeping an eye on and can't wait to read the next installment. Kudos to Ms. Mitchell on a great debut novel.
     This book receives four stars from me and I recommend it to everyone that enjoys murder mysteries with a twist.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


April 12, 2015

Guild of Immortal Women by David Alan Morrison & H.L. Melvin


T I T L E: Guild of Immortal Women
A U T H O R: David Alan Morrison/H.L. Melvin
P U B L I S H E R: Book Publishers Network
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 12, 2014
I S B N: 9781940598444
Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Two bodies are discovered on the grounds of "The Bastille," home to a coven of witches who belong to the Guild of Immortal Women. The bodies have strange characteristics, so what follows is a combination merry and sinister romp through ancient history. Medieval times are brought to life through a massive Tapestry adorning the mansion's walls where the characters -- animals and humans -- emerge through tears in the fabric. It is up to Detective Matt Mathers and social worker Lynn Swanson to solve the murder-mystery while dealing with the strange world of magic, Guardian Abbey's amnesia from her past lives, and the devilish mission of Robert and the Doctor to create an immortal heir through the laboratory.



    This story has almost everything you could ask for. There is a murder, mystery, a bit of magic, a touch of history, some action, a little treachery, insanity, with bits of humor thrown in. However, it all melds together to make a great read.
     The plot was original and well written. The ending did, however, leave an opening for more to follow and I hope there is another book. I'd like to see what happens. It was very intriguing. And though it was fairly fast paced it was still easy to follow along. I thoroughly enjoyed this book enough to read it in one day.
    While I did like most of the witches in the Guild, I didn't care that much for Ruth. She seemed a bit scatter brained. It did seem a bit odd to me that the women didn't get along all that well a lot of the time. I expected more of a sisterhood. I also didn't really care much for Lynn, the social worker from the Meadows. She was a bit rude and also not very bright as well as a little too easy to tell things she shouldn't just because a man was handsome and paid attention to her.
    All in all, it was a great book and I would highly recommend it. I give this book four stars.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 6, 2015

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash


T I T L E: The After House
A U T H O R: Michael Phillip Cash
P U B L I S H E R: Red Feather Publishing
P U B L I S H--D A T E: September 30, 2014
I S B N: 9781500600365
Myster, Thriller, Romance

Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?






     While this book is a ghost story, I didn’t find it scary at all. But, I did find it enjoyable to read. Yes, there were some romantic elements, but they didn’t overwhelm the plot.
     AlthoughI did find the description of the killing of the whales a bit disturbing, I do understand that during that time period whaling was looked upon much differently than it is today.
     The characters were very likable, and I think I liked the Captain better as a ghost than a living man. Especially when confronted by Remy’s daughter, Olivia. In some ways this book reminded me a bit of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”.
      This book is as much about Remy and her attempts to move on after a horrible marriage, as it is about Captain Eli and the things he needs to resolve before moving onto to his afterlife. However, it’s easy to follow.
     Even though I figured out early on in the story who was terrorizing Remy, I kept turning the pages to see if I was correct. In a way that is my only complaint, maybe the author could have made it a bit more of a mystery and added a bit more suspense. I also feel the two watchers, or guardians could have been left out of the story. I didn’t really think they were necessary to the plot since it is hard to tell exactly what their role truly was.
     There were scenes that had a bit of action as well as some with humor. The chapters are fairly short and easy to get through. If you are looking for a quick light read that is also fun, then I recommend this book and give it four stars.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 3, 2015

The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith


T I T L E: The Shadow Revolution
S E R I E S: Crown and Key (N° 1)
P U B L I S H E R: Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra
P U B L I S H--D A T E: June 2, 2015
I S B N: 9780345539502
Sci-Fi, Fantasy
They are the realm's last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they're going to need a lot more silver. As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield. After a lycanthrope targets Kate's vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they're dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.



     Fantastic! I really enjoyed reading this book. The story was mainly Urban Fantasy with a pinch of Sherlock Holmes and a splash of Steampunk. It takes place in Victorian London instead of the modern day. Those were nice touches that added creativity to make it a bit different. I found it difficult to put down. The villains were werewolves and there was no mistaking them for being anything other than the bad guys. Although, they were born weres and were not turned from a bite delivered by another werewolf and could shift at any time with no correlation to the phase of the moon. With the exception of Charlotte, of course, whom I am hoping turns up in a sequel somewhere since it's unclear as to what happened to her.
      Had I not had to work, I most likely would have finished this book in one day. It was that good and I enjoyed it that much. There were scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat while turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.
     The characters were all likable. I am glad that Kate was a strong female and not some wimpy damsel in distress. She was a bit ahead of her time as was Penny who was also excellent with her inventions.
      Though a bit of a Rogue, Simon had a great heart. Nick reminded me just a wee bit of Dr. Watson, but out of all good guys in the story, he's my least favorite. He was still likable in any case.
This was a great first book and an excellent start to what I think will be a fun series to read. I am looking forward to reading more. I give this book four stars.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

April 2, 2015

A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall


T I T L E: A Crown for Cold Silver
A U T H O R: Alex Marshall
P U B L I S H E R: Orbit Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: April 14, 2015
I S B N: 9780316277983
Romance, Fantasy
"It was all going so nicely, right up until the massacre." Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history. Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner. FIVE VILLAINS. ONE LEGENDARY GENERAL. A FINAL QUEST FOR VENGEANCE.



     The plot for this book was creative. I liked the idea of the main character and her captains being older instead of very young. However, having said that, I, unfortunately, had a difficult time connecting with any of the characters. Perhaps if the story would have started at an earlier point in time, it would have been easier for me to do so. Or it could have been that the author changed points of view frequently, I didn't feel that I had the chance to really get to know Zosia better or even any of her captains. If I had to choose a character that I liked more than others, I think it would have to be Choplicker simply because he's not what he seems in that he's not an ordinary dog or even a dog at all really.
     The action was great as well. I really enjoy books that don't gloss over those parts in the story or sugar coat them. Sword fighting and fighting with daggers is brutal and bloody business. This book did not sugar coat anything. That helped to score some extra points with me.
     Even though I liked those points which I mentioned above, I do have to say that I was somewhat confused throughout the book. That became frustrating for me. I almost put the book down, but I kept reading just to see if it got better and less confusing. It did not. While I did understand more by the time I finished there were still some things that remained confusing. Perhaps any future sequels will clarify things a bit more. But, because I finished the book, still a bit confused and frustrated I am giving the book three stars instead of four.

3 STAR


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