Category Archives: Book Reviews

In a Dark, Dark Wood – Book Review

Published Date: April 19, 2016

Publishing Co.: Gallery/Scout Press

Pages: 308

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Leonora, aka Lee, aka Nora, has been invited to the hen party (British version of a bachelorette party) of her best friend from school. Whom, she lost connect with ten years ago. She thinks to herself that it’s weird that she’s invited and she shouldn’t go, but when a common friend decides to go, Nora makes the decision to as well.

The hen party is in a literal glass house in the middle of nowhere, surrounding by forest. If you’ve ever stayed in the middle of nowhere, you know how creepy the woods can be at night. Add a bunch of city folks, and the atmosphere is scarier when they all begin to share their feelings. Not just feelings about where they’re staying but their actual feelings about things that have happened in the past and the complicated present.

Complicated feelings that lead to lies and murder.

I liked it. It wasn’t near as spooky as I had hoped but it’s a pretty solid murder mystery. I won’t say that I completely understand the hype around this one but, I would say to give it a try. The big secret that Nora won’t talk to anyone about was less exciting than I had anticipated it would be so that was a let down.

I’m not good at reviewing mysteries. I’m so afraid to ruin plot points or twists that I avoid saying much at all.

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper – Book Review

Published Date: August 9, 2019

Publishing Co.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: unrated

DNF at page 95.

For the first time ever, I’m not rating a book that I didn’t finish. Usually, if I don’t finish a book it’s because I hated it or it bored me to death. Those two things mean they deserve some type of rating either for the feedback of the author (if they bother reading reviews) and for other people who are considering picking up the book or both.

In this case, the book did keep my attention, however, in the end, I just can’t bring myself to care much about the lives of people who died 130 years ago. I respect the concept that these women don’t deserve to be remembered as prostitutes because there is not enough evidence that they were. But in the end, they are dead and they don’t care. (Does that sound super insensitive? Probably, but I’m too tired to care.)

This is thoroughly researched when it comes to Victorian London and that I really enjoyed. I learned things I didn’t know and that always earns my respect.

So this is a toss up kids! It’s research is fantastic. If you want to learn lots of information on that time period, this is great. If you don’t really care if someone who was murdered that long ago was a prostitute or not, this might not be for you either.

Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace #1) – Book Review

Published Date: May9, 2017

Publishing Co.: ebook, no publisher listed

Pages: 330

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was having a werewolf itch, so I perused some books that I already own and this was one of the options. It also had witches, another favorite of mine, so I sat down, ready for some good paranormal fun.

Lizzie and her witch familiar, Belle, moved and opened up shop on a werewolf reservation. Things are pretty quiet for a couple of months until Lizzie is asked to use some of her psychic ability to find a missing teenager. The quest leads to murder and the discovery of an extremely powerful villain. Lizzie helps the local werewolf Ranger (werewolf police) investigate and attempt to stop the bad guy before more people die.

Extreme lack of werewolf. Sure, the love interest is a werewolf, but the wolfiest he gets is sniffing the air and one howl, maybe two.

And Judas Priest, the amount of showers I had to read about Lizzie taking. I get it, you’re cleanly, let’s move on. Twice a day showers is a bit obnoxious and took up entirely too much of the story. If the showers were axed, there would have been more room for character development or world building.

I’ve read the first books to a couple of Keri Arthur series now and honestly, the main characters are all very similar. I feel mostly in appearance but in personality too. I have yet to be impressed with any of the series and this one is the same. It’s not bad but not something I’m likely to continue reading unless I’m bored and my options are limited.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie #2) -Book Review

Published Date: July 3, 2012

Publishing Co.: DAW

Pages: 312

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Good thing I was a lying, untrustworthy bitch. ‘Cause there was no fucking way I was letting this shit go. Not as long as I was the one being slammed in the news. Both the zombie mafia and the rebel zombie alliance could suck my white trash undead ass.”

In her first life, before becoming a zombie, Angel Crawford was a loser. Now however, she’s working very hard at improving herself. After all, she could live a very long life provided she doesn’t run out of brains or get decapitated. She has a pretty steady relationship with a cop, her boss at the morgue enjoys teaching her and thinks she has great potential and her relationship with her dad is even improving bit by bit.

Then, a masked man forces his way into the morgue at gun point and steals a cadaver. She doesn’t resist….much because she knows there are cameras covering the entire property.

With luck much like her old life, the cameras haven’t been functioning for several days and so nothing is caught. The people who work directly with Angel believe her, but the higher ups that are running election campaigns have to lay the blame on someone since they have nothing to go on but Angel’s word. Her old life is brought to the forefront of the newspapers and she’s made to look like a drug addict who fell off the wagon and now some poor victim’s family doesn’t have a body to bury.

Even her boyfriend Marcus, thinks that she’s remembering things wrong or doesn’t know exactly what she saw. Thing is, she isn’t that junky bitch anymore and no one is going to treat her like it. If no one else knows what to do about it, she’ll figure it all out herself. She might be a high school dropout, but that was in a life that didn’t count.

Virtually on her own, a little help from friends here and there, she discovers that someone is experimenting on zombies. That someone convinced her old friend Ed to deliver zombie heads to them for research by fueling his hate of zombies he blamed for his parents death. But, it’s beginning to look like that person would like to have a ‘live’ zombie to experiment on and they know about Angel.

BookSirens

Morning lovely people of the world! I hope you’re waking up with delicious hot beverages and cuddly fur buddies to start a new, exciting day.

Weirded out by my optimism? Yeah me to. Just go with the flow.

I was recently invited to join BookSirens.com, a website for book reviewers. It appears to be much like Netgalley but the authors/publishers come to you. (Although it looks you can still request stuff too.) Now, I don’t plan to go crazy on ARCs but this may tie into my bookish resolutions for 2020. (To be explained at a much later date.)

Does anyone else have experience with this website? And if so, what are your opinions on it?

Scourged (Iron Druid Chronicles #9) – Book Review

Published Date: April 3, 2018

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 268

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time has come to an end. This was literally one of the books that sparked my interest in the genre and now that it’s over, it’s so very bittersweet. (Slomo said it best.)

After centuries of running, hiding, surviving and causing general chaos, Atticus O’Sullivan is facing Ragnarok. He caused it, so he must also try to prevent it from succeeding and destroying the earth. While he is fighting with the ‘good guys,’ he’s made many enemies there and the feeling that he won’t walk away from this battle even if they win, is riding his conscious.

While Atticus handles Ragnarok, Granuaile and Owen fight battles on other parts of the planet. Granuaile fights alongside the Monkey Kind in Taiwan, while Owen globe hops helping out where the planet needs it. He makes a super cute sloth friend in South America while convincing a vengeful nature goddess that destroying all humanity won’t save the earth.

Ragnarok was a very intense battle scene and I loved how everything played out. The multiple pantheons coming together to battle Loki and Hel was an exciting concept that worked beautifully. If there was ever a series that married various mythologies with such coherency, this was it and a large part of why I’ve loved it for years.

The ending was something that I really did not expect, which adds huge bonus points when you cannot predict something you’ve been involved with for a long time. I cannot honestly tell you if I’m sad or not about the way it ended. Maybe a mix of both. While it wasn’t what I was hoping/expected, it definitely fit.

This will remain a series that I highly recommend to people for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into fantasy or specifically urban fantasy, or love mythology, or paranormal, or action and adventure, there is something here for everyone.

Besieged (Iron Druid Chronicles #8.5) – Book Review

Published Date: July 11, 2017

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 235

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Required reading before Scourged.

I’m always skeptical when something says it’s required reading before moving on with a series. (Also, it tends to annoy me. I don’t like when novellas become ‘required’.) In this case, it’s true. There are some relationship shake ups that you’ll have no clue about if you skip this.

Enough complaining about forced reading. (I know, I’m SO tortured. How dare someone force me to read.) This is a rather fun collection of short stories regardless. They are told from different perspectives. There is a story from Granuille and a couple from Owen, along with our MC Atticus.

Despite my bitching, I love when the short stories are about Atticus during times of historical significance and how he affected them. I think if I had to pick a favorite for this collection, it would be how he met Shakespeare and saved his life, Goddess at the Crossroads.

Underrated Ladies! Tag

I’m in one of those pissed at the world moods in which getting anything productive accomplished is a struggle. But somehow, it makes it the best time to catch up on at least one tag that a lovely blogger was kind enough to tag me in. I could use a little feminine appreciation to brighten my day so here we go ladies and gents:

The very awesome blog Livid Lightning is getting my ping back since she introduced me to this tag. 😀

Rules (I will try to follow, but no one’s the boss of me on my blog)

  • PingBack to Kate at Melting Pots and Other Calamities and pingback to a post of hers (I guess she’s the creator of this tag thingy? Good for her!)
  • Answer the questions (That’s the point of these tags thingys, no? See below!)
  • Choose female characters from books, movies, TV, anime, webtoons, etc. (I’ll try my best)
  • Tag as many people (We’ll see…)
  • Have fun! (No doubt)

Questions:

Name a heroine you like but whom you feel is always overshadowed by the male characters in the story.

Ka-Poel from the Powder Mage trilogy. She’s from a tribe and is essentially Taniel’s personal spotter and later servant but she’s so much more than that. She’s a force of her own with her own magic and tricks up her sleeve. She’s clever and feisty and never lets Taniel down.

For that matter, name a heroine whom you feel is always overshadowed by the other female characters in the story.

Peryn’s little monster sister. That’s right, she’s over shadowed enough that I don’t remember her name. But she’s a great character, she gets some show time but I would have liked to see her even more throughout the series.

Name a character who had potential but was greatly underutilized in her story.

Constance Stapleton comes more into focus in this installment of the Golgotha series, however, I still think she’s being underutilized though it appears that may change in the future.

Name a female character who you either find better in her book than her movie, find better in her movie than her book, or whose portrayals you find equal.

Offred (June) from The Handmaid’s Tale is SO much better in the TV series than the book. In the book, she’s actually rather bland and kind of hard to read from her point of view. In the show, her rebellion, her determination and her overall character keep me coming back again and again.

Name a character who you want more backstory on.

Adelia Reyes, the femme fatale assassin. I just want more of this whole universe in general!

Name a character with traits you feel are sadly overlooked by everyone.

Arya Stark is the very first that comes to mind. Although, it’s usually her enemies that overlook her traits and they pay the ultimate price. But,I feel her own siblings overlook her quite often as well.

Name a morally grey character. (Villain or anti hero!)

The Morrigan from the Iron Druid Chronicles. She does some pretty shitty things but a lot of the time she also tips off Atticus to danger. Sometimes, she’s the danger.

A character you’re stunned isn’t more famous.

Stealing this answer from Lightning. Hail is such a bad ass heroine, but somehow I don’t know that many people who have read this series. It’s a high recommend from me if you enjoy space operas.

A character from a piece of fiction you’re amazed isn’t more famous.

Temple grew up during the time of zombies. She’s been on her own for most of it. This is a great story of a teenager surviving the zombie apocalypse on her own, fighting both the dead and the living.

Fantastic Female Bloggers

I’m going to try to tag people Lightning didn’t already tag so we can spread this fun out a bit more, but don’t feel obligated to participate by any means. This is meant to be fun!

Kristin Kraves Books

Books, Bones & Buffy

By Hook Or By Book

Meltotheany

ReadRantRock&Roll

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 5, 2006

Publishing Co.: Berkley Sensation

Pages: 334

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I read Singh’s first book in her Guild Hunter series years ago and really enjoyed it at the time. Rarely am I in the mood to read romance so when I found this at a used bookshop for $0.50, I thought I’d give the series a try.

There were aspects of this that I really enjoyed. The emotionless race of Psy and the network they linked their conscious to for information was a pretty fascinating premise and I could read about it for hours. I will always remain a sucker for shapeshifters so combining the two races and the hierarchy of the world they live in was another reason I should love this series. I even enjoyed the burgeoning relationship between the two main characters, and many of the side characters as well.

BUT, the gratuitous sex scenes just interrupted the more interesting parts of the story. I wouldn’t have minded that in and of itself but I didn’t particularly like the sex. I think a lot of it had to due with the naivety of the female MC. I guess I like a female that knows what she wants and has no problem demanding it of a man.

Unfortunately, after taking a peak at the summary of the next book, this is one of those series that each book focuses on a new couple and that just isn’t something I dig. Once I get committed to characters, I like to stick with them. If the series continued with the characters we were introduced to in this series, I would at least give the second book a shot, but since it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

Girls Burn Brighter – Book Review

Published Date: March 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Flatiron Books

Pages: 309

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A story I won’t soon forget.

Poornima and Savitha are two girls born into a poor village in India. Everyday is a struggle to survive. To have enough food, not to fill their bellies, but just enough to keep them alive. To make enough money to buy the bare essentials. Living in shacks with no doors, dirt floors and sleeping on mats. Poornima’s father is desperate to marry her off, but her skin is too dark for most men’s taste. The dowry their families demand, too high for him to pay so he grows to despise her even more. Why did she have to be a girl?

Savitha’s father is an alcoholic who begs at the temple for hand outs. Her mother works as a servant, which is considered low class. She has several sisters and she’s determined to earn their dowry money before her own so that they may have better lives.

The two girls find each other and become best friends. Savitha brings a light to Poornima’s life that she didn’t know existed after the death of Poornima’s mother. Life begins to have a kind of hope.

Then, life promptly crushes that hope. Stomps on it and spits on it’s ashes, for both girls.

A cruel act forces Savitha to run away, and Poornima is married off to an evil family. Despite their desperate situations, they are both determined to find one another again. This begins a journey across countries, that takes darker and darker twists, with no promises that they’ll ever make it back to each other.

At times, this story tore my heart out of my chest. It is beautifully written, moderately paced and achingly real. A testament to the light that burns inside every human being, and that some torches refuse to be snuffed out no matter how dark life gets.