Tag Archives: book reviews

The Forgotten Girls – Book Review

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Published Date: February 3, 2015

Publishing Co.: De glemte piger

Pages: 312

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Louise Rick has just been handed a new department within the police department. Her new agency’s first case is identifying a woman who died in the woods. No one seems to know who she is and her death is deemed accidental. But too many small questions surround her death to just close the case once she’s identified.

In order to solve the case, Louise may have to confront some dark secrets she thought she left behind years ago in the small town she grew up in. Small towns have long memories, and this is going to be an uncomfortable investigation.

I think a lot of the magic of this book may have been lost in translation. (Originally in Danish.) That’s not saying that it was bad by any means. The descriptions of people were vague, as the depth of characters were also rather shallow. Which overall, made it hard to connect with any of the characters. As for the murder mystery, that was pretty solid and the investigation was interesting. It also shined a spot light on the horrible conditions in mental institutions back in the day and why there are not nearly as many now.

This is the fourth book in a series but I did not feel like I missed anything important from the three prior books. The lead into the mystery of the fifth book was not intriguing enough for me to continue. I’m fairly certain I can guess the outcome, but the slim chance that I’m wrong still doesn’t arouse enough curiosity for me to follow along.

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Truthwitch – Book Review

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Published Date: January 5, 2016

Publishing Co.: Tor Teen

Pages: 416

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Perseverance. It’s worth the effort to trudge through the first one hundred pages of the convoluted mess that is the beginning. The introduction to the world is a little sloppy, but after awhile the characters crawl under your skin and things get more interesting and things are explained better.

The synopsis of this novel gives you a very good run down of the story line, so I won’t be repeating it. What I will do is talk about how refreshing it was to finally read about a solid female friendship. Sometimes, I feel like my best friend and I are the only ones in a sea of women who don’t constantly fight with their supposed BFFs. How we treat each other is always at the forefront of both of our minds, we constantly lift each other up and we never abandon each other for anyone else. (In fact, I told my now husband when we were dating that the stupidest thing he could ever do was try to become between her and I. We’ve been together 11 years now so he clearly listened.)

I don’t read YA that often anymore but I would consider this a good read and something I would definitely pass along to any teens I know. (Especially any girls so that they know what a healthy friendship looks like.) I enjoyed myself and will check out the next installment to the series.

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Unclean Spirits – Book Review

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Published Date: Febraury 13, 2018

Publishing Co.: Abbadon Books

Pages: 320

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Demonic, murderous unicorns. Every god of every pantheon is real and banished to Earth. Despite living among humans, they still see themselves as better and play with human lives like toys. Mostly people don’t know it, but some sell their lives in order to save the ones they love from certain death. Like Cason Cole, his wife and son were stuck inside a burning vehicle after being hit by a drunk driver when time stopped itself and a being who was clearly not human offered to save them if Cason gave himself to a life of servitude.

Cason serves as bodyguard to the god for years, never getting to see his wife and child. Until one day, a bomb blows up the god and kills him permanently. Cason races to his family only for them to not know who he is. Meanwhile, the other gods are very angry. Humans should not be able to kill them. Cason must be found and punished, for they think he is the one who killed the god.

As they hunt Cason, he learns that there may have been a larger conspiracy against him. A conspiracy that took his family away. If one god can be killed, so can others. It’s just a trick of finding their weakness and then vengeance will be his.

An interesting concept. The writing outside of the dialogue could be tweaked a bit. Sometimes descriptions went on for too long or were repeated from a few chapters earlier. Otherwise it was a fast, different story.

The Crimson Campaign – Book Review

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Published Date: May 6, 2014

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 596

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

War is all the more complicated when gods walk the earth and choose sides.

We follow three points of view after war has broken out between two countries. A god assists on each side and bullets meet sorcery from both armies. War is fought with guns with bayonets, cannons, magic and people called powder mages who can control and use gunpowder in insanely deadly ways. Two countries fight, one tries to stay neutral and a third party is set to invade while the armies are away fighting each other.

Adamat is a private investigator desperately searching for his kidnapped family. They’ve been abducted by a ruthless gang who have no qualms about torturing anyone.

Tamas is the field marshal of the Adran army, believed to be dead after an attack by the enemy goes wrong. In reality, he’s racing his army through enemy territory, trying to get back to their homeland and save the capital city and his son, Tanial Two-Shot. The enemy is on their heels and he’s going to have to be increasingly clever to escape.

Taniel Two-Shot took out an eye of the god on the opposing team. The god is slowly going mad from the magical bullet lodged in his head and desperately wants the person responsible. But Taniel may not be 100% human anymore after a brush with death, and this god may have bitten off more than he can chew by threatening Taniel and his Bone-eye girl, Ka-poel.

I loved every second of this book. The world building, the characters, the mechanisms of war, everything. It’s clever and exhilarating.

White Hot – Book Review

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Published Date: May 30,2017

Publishing Co.: Avon

Pages: 389

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

White hot is right. Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan have a chemistry that burns your finger tips. Once again the two are backed into an explosive corner thanks to Prime politics. Someone is murdering Primes and Significants to keep secrets and brew a war between houses. Every lead ends with someone murdered and eventually Nevada and her family become the targets of a high paid hit. Their enemies learned a heavy lesson in their failed attempt to take out their biggest threats. One, never cock block someone who’s nickname is ‘the Scourge of Mexico’. Two, never attack the Baylor family on their home turf. They’ve got a lot of tricks up their sleeves and some heavy weaponry.

As if attempted murder, potential house war and falling in love aren’t all stressful enough, a powerful, previously unknown family member is moving in on the family. Nevada’s mother is willing to kill a Prime to keep Nevada and her sister’s identities a secret, she fears this person so much. To protect those she loves, Nevada may be forced to form her own House. A world she has little interest in, but affords protections for new houses for the first three years after they are formed. In order to form a House, she would have to reveal her sister’s burgeoning powers. One of them powers no other Prime has ever possessed. A power the military would love to obtain.

Nevada’s powers are growing as well. She’ll need them to throw down the gauntlet to protect those she loves. Mad Rogan included.

One of the major reasons I love Ilona Andrews novels is that it’s almost never the hero rescuing the damsel. All these ladies are strong and independent. Alphas. They don’t need a strong man to protect them, but if they want to stand alongside them and help, well that’s perfectly fine. The men might be tempted to try to tell them what to do, but the ladies shut it down. Either help her or stand aside, otherwise you’re just in her way and she’s got shit to take care of.

I was sad to learn that the next book in the series will be the last. With the Kate Daniels series coming to an end, Nevada and Rogan seemed like prime candidates to take on the helm of new, best loved Ilona Andrews series. I feel like there is so much to this world and characters that it could definitely expand past three books. But alas, I’ll just have to be grateful for what I’ve been given.

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My review of the first Hidden Legacy novel: Burn For Me.

Stillhouse Lake – Book Review

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Publishing Date: July 1, 2017

Publishing Co.: Thomas & Mercer

Pages: 292

Goodreads Synopsis here.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Imagine you’re the American dream. Midwestern housewife with two kids and a steady, reliable husband. He tinkers in the garage after work and you attend PTA meetings and after school events. Nothing rocks the boat for years and years. Until one day, someone accidentally drives their vehicle through your yard and into the garage revealing your quiet, dependable husband to be a ruthless serial killer. You have my attention.

The rest of the story is of a mother living in paranoia, trying desperately to keep her kids safe from people who want to hurt her and her children because they don’t believe she’s innocent, despite a trial that finds otherwise. They change their names, run and try to rebuild. Until someone in their new town begins murdering girls in the exact same manner as her ex-husband.

I’ll admit that this one was kind of a let down. I loved the concept and I was pumped to read it but it fell flat. Everything was predictable right down to the multiple red herrings. I knew fairly early on who the murderer was going to be and I was right. The “shocking” ending wasn’t so shocking. I saw that one coming a mile away, knowing that this is a series and there would have to be something to explain a second book. Gwen, the mother, has super level paranoia but doesn’t think a certain curiosity from a near stranger was an odd question? Or that someone who has been helping her all along did it out of a sudden change of heart? She put too many eggs in baskets that I wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole if I were in her shoes.

Milk and Honey – Book Review

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Published Date: November 4, 2014

Publishing Co.: Createspace

Pages: 204

Synopsis link to Goodreads here.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

She was a rose

In the hands of those

Who had no intention

Of keeping her”

It’s been awhile since I sat down and read any poetry and this reminded me of the beauty I was missing out on. A good poet speaks to the heart.

Not every poem is amazing and some are so short they are more like statements but, the message the author conveys is powerful. We need more of this in the world. More of women not judging but raising each other up. Of accepting yourself and loving yourself. Fighting against sexism. Standing united.

If you’re looking for fuel for your feminism, your political activism or an inspiration to be kind to one another, pick this up. You can read the whole thing in an hour and walk away with the motivation to make a difference in the world.

Theft of Swords – Book Review

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Published Date: November 23, 2011

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 681

Synopsis link to Goodreads here.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Two books in one, just the first reason for a book wyrm to love this novel.

Book One: The Crown Conspiracy

Royce and Hadrian are hired for a last-minute-needs-to-be-now thieving job. Their first rule is that they don’t take same day jobs. They need time to properly research for every possible outcome and difficulty. Unfortunately for Royce, Hadrian harbors a secret heart of gold and will do just about anything to help anyone. Sometimes that means he accepts a job without talking to his partner about it first.

A job that seems cut and dry but ends with the two of them being caught and accused of the murder of a king.

Royce and Hadrian are very clever but mostly in this case, lucky. They catch a break with the princess who convinces them to kidnap her brother, the prince and keep him safe from her uncle and the church that may be trying to destroy their rule. In their quest to keep the prince safe, they help an all powerful wizard escape confinement by the church. It remains to be seen whether this wizard is good or bad. The church certainly seems to think he’s evil but we all know how much churches love to lie.

From hired to steal a sword, to saving a kingdom, Royce and Hadrian have their work cut out for them.

Book Two: Avempartha

Royce and Hadrian are once again hired to steal another sword. This one magical and locked inside an elven tower with no obvious signs of access. Did I mention guarded by a mythical beast called a Gilarabrywn? Kind of a dragon meets scorpion.

While they try to figure out this conundrum with the escaped (and Church’s most wanted) wizard, Esrahaddon, the Church is converging on the small village they are staying with all the knights and nobles of the kingdom, to present a tournament against the beast and crown whoever wins Emperor. The Church wants to crown an Emperor that they can control and do away with small kingdoms. They claim that the winner can be none other than the Heir of Novron, although in reality, they have what they believe is a magical sword that will defeat the beast with the lord they prefer to control.

Staying out of the eye of the Church is rather hard in a very small village, especially if you’re a master swordsmen like Hadrian. They just can’t believe that one wouldn’t want even the chance of being Emperor.

Overall, I really loved this whole story. From the amount of epic adventure to two protagonists that drip with sarcasm at every turn. What’s not to love? That ending left me dying to get my filthy little hands on the next book.

The King of Bones and Ashes – Book Review

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Published Date: January 23, 2018

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 320

Synopsis link to Goodreads Here.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

First off, I would really like to thank the author and publishing company for accepting my ARC request despite having zero street cred on Netgalley. I tip my invisible top hat to thee.

The story surrounds three witches from different walks of life, watching as witches disappear and the elders fight to hang onto power. Alice has been locked away in an asylum for a number of years after witnessing her brother commit suicide. Evangeline runs a strip club and Lisette carries on her mother’s voodoo shop despite no longer carrying the faith herself. The witches in present day New Orleans are scrambling to retain their power, or any power really. Magic is slowly diminishing from the world and sometimes the only way to hang on to any power is to cut off parts of dead witches. Sometimes, witches don’t die quick enough and someone is getting creative.

The three protagonists bring together the various aspects of the story and together they may have to face the evil to save themselves and their families with power they didn’t realize they had.

This is mostly a family drama with some magic thrown in. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed myself. J.D. Horn writes very good characters, whether you love them or love to hate them. He also seems to have done an extensive amount of historical and occult research and that really added to the depth of the world building. It was an urban fantasy with a limited amount of the pop culture references that usually plague the genre.

The King of Bones and Ashes could almost stand on it’s own as the drama is wrapped up fairly well and there are only a couple unanswered questions remaining. However, I look forward to finding out where the next book takes our three magical ladies.

Fer-de-Lance – Book Review

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Title: Fer-de-Lance

Author: Rex Stout

Published Date: October 1934

Publishing Co.: Bantam Crimeline

Pages: 285

Synopsis link to GR: Read Here

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a series/author I had never heard of until my Secret Santa from work plopped this little book in my tiny greedy hands. Every once in a while I enjoy your good old fashion murder mystery and this delivered.

What makes this stand apart from others is that one of the main protagonists (and detective) is a large peculiar man who does everything without leaving his house. Twice daily Nero Wolfe attends his rare orchids and refuses to see anyone for any matter. He is not to be disturbed at these times. In between you may catch him eating food or making phone calls and solving crimes. His trusty assistant detective, Archie Goodwin, is the man who runs all the errands to help get things done. He does it in good humor and sometimes bad tempers, but he does them nonetheless. Working for an eccentric genius has it’s trials.

I really enjoyed the odd quirks of both detectives but mostly Wolfe’s. Archie Goodwin’s humor and attitude helped to balance things out. This was one murder mystery where I couldn’t keep up half the time. Even if I had a guess at who the murderer was, I couldn’t figure out how they had done it. I had some reservations about how the crime was handled in the end by the detectives but it was explained in the very last chapter. I don’t know that I agree with it but it was a solid enough ending.

This is a large series. While I don’t know that I’ll read every book, I know I will at least continue to try out more.