Tag Archives: paranormal

Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1) – Book Review

Published Date: July 21, 2009

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 388

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Dragged to Hell by demons at the behest of his supposed friends, Stark has spent 11 years battling in the arenas in Hell. Instead of facing lions and bears, he faced demons and other hell beasts. He was traded from one of Lucifer’s generals to another and was just generally treated as Hell’s bitch. Now, he has snuck his way out of the pit and is more than ready to seek vengeance for both his false imprisonment and the murder of his beloved girlfriend.

The world has changed a lot in eleven years. Not only must he adapt quickly, he has to launch a game plan to get his vengeance before everyone knows he’s back. Some groups have already been tipped off to his presence and are hindering his quest. He’s a one track man though and he’ll have his vengeance, opponents be damned.

This was a fun, although not very profound, read. Stark is stubborn, yet not unfeeling despite all the torture he’s been through. He’s amiable in the face of a world against him. Literally both Heaven and Hell do their best to get in his way, but he’s picked up so many tricks in his short, violent life, that even they cannot quite catch up with him.

So if you’re looking for a good, fun vengeance story that features a hit man that escaped Hell, look no further.

High Voltage (Fever #10) – Book Review

Published Date: March 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Delacorte Press

Pages: 476

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This might as well have been titled: Dani: The Most Unique, Misunderstood, Better Than Everyone Else, Heroine.

Man, does this girl love talking about herself and how different she is from everyone else on the planet. I don’t care if it’s true, I don’t need to read about it relentlessly. I fully admit that the Dani books are always the hardest for me to slog through. I thought it might be a bit better because she’s an adult now but unfortunately, her mind is still very much a teenager.

I’m not even going to explain the plot, it barely moved. There was a bad guy, they take care of it all too quickly because Dani is oh so mighty and then they move on to more character “development” for Dani.

I could care less about Kat’s point of view, though I know it’s required for the minimum amount of plot movement that happens.

After all of this complaining, why I am still reading this series?

1. I have a lot of time invested in it.

2. I love a lot of the side characters.

3. The world building is great.

4. The plot line is still interesting even though it stalls in this volume.

5. It looks like Mac is back as main POV in the next book.

I’m actually giving this more stars than it deserved because I still did enjoy myself whenever Dani stopped talking about how awesome she is.

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4) – Book Review

Published Date: September 3, 2002

Publishing Co.: ROC

Pages: 446

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A vast improvement from Grave Peril.

It probably helped that this had zero Buzzkillington the Third in it. (Michael.)

In Summer Knight, we see a complete unraveling of Harry in regards to the ending of the last book and what happened to his girlfriend, Susan. He doesn’t care much about anything other than trying to find something to help her resist her new semi-vampire status. In the mean time, vampires have declared war on Harry and the White Council and have put hits out on both. Harry is under intense scrutiny by the Council and may even get fed to the vampires to help put things back to right. At least that’s the opinion of Harry’s enemies among the Council. As if all that wasn’t enough, war is brewing between the two faerie courts and Harry’s been dragged in against his will to help absolve Queen Mab of murder. So needless to say, Harry can’t sit in his basement studying any more.

Here, we begin to see some of Harry’s more annoying traits begin to die down. He recognizes that keeping people in the dark, in order to protect them, is actually only doing harm. He still wants to save all the damsels but he acknowledges that sometimes, the damsels can handle themselves.

He also begins to accept help from his friends instead of trying to be the lone hero so that no one else but him gets hurt. He lets them know the level of danger and leaves the decision to attend the melee up to his possible allies.

The growth of Harry Dresden looks good on him.

spoilers below

I’m very upset about the death of Meryl. I think she would have been an absolutely great character addition to this series beyond one book. I could read a million more books about troll girl.

My favorite battle moment was when Harry looked at an enemy, yelled, “Meep! Meep!” and ran away.

I’m relieved this is picking up again. Maybe I won’t wait so long to continue onto the next book.

Missing in Michigan (Alex Bentley #1) – Book Review

Published Date: November 2019

Publishing Co.: Midnight Grasshopper Books

Pages: 176

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Alex Bentley is a ghost therapist. She helps spirits move onto whatever afterlife exists. People hire her to rid themselves of troublesome ghosts that are effecting business or driving the living person insane. Her latest case pulls her to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What at first appears to be your average restless spirit turns into a missing persons case. The police have put in virtually zero effort in finding missing teenage boys, instead just labeling them drug addicts and runaways. The rumors in the small town even point to Native American folklore as the possible culprit.

This book is absolutely fine if you take it for what it is. A paranormal mystery with minimum world building and fairly two dimensional characters. There is a possible love triangle and some insta-love happening and isn’t that the formula for a million urban fantasies out there?

As someone who helped start a small business, I find her complete lack of business sense annoying. She’ll jet off to help someone with no guarantee of getting paid or getting paid much more than it’s costing her. She’s flying to other states, spending days at a time, coming home and having barely any money to show for it. She’s on the brink of losing everything, yet she does it again. You can point out that you can’t put a price on doing what you love, but when you’re the only known ghost therapist, you can literally put a price tag on it.

All the action parts were sparse, easily handled and over almost immediately. Even drawing out more detail of an eventual trial would have provided some well needed depth.

What this book needs is more fleshing out. More world building, more character building and progression, and more descriptions of virtually everything. At times you went from being inside the character’s mind frame to the character addressing you as if you were an audience or they were writing a letter. Anytime that Alex thought anything remotely deep that might resound with the reader, it was pointed out how serious and dark things were getting in her head and she tried to lighten the mood with some quip.

There is a lot of potential here for a great urban fantasy if the author worked out a few of these kinks. Otherwise, it’s fine but not something I’ll run around recommending to my friends.

#SpooktasticReads : Nightwise (Nightwise #1) – Book Review

Published Date: August 18, 2015

Publishing Co.: Tor Books

Pages: 320

Goodreads synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The banker was crucified on the wall of his Wall Street office, fountain pens rammed through both wrists, an Armani Jesus.”

Well hello there. You have my attention.

When that’s your opening sentence to the story, you just know you’re embarking on a dark and gritty ride.

Laytham Ballard was born a Wisdom, as his grandma called him. It ran in the family. She tried her best to instill the whole, “With great power comes great responsibility,” thing in him, but sometimes, life throws more at a little boy than he can handle. With lots of power swirling within him and a broken heart, Laytham lashed out on a level no normal parent has to deal with. He raised the dead and caused a slaughter.

That was only the beginning of his moral down slide. He spent his life hunting other people in the Life and building a legend of himself as the biggest bad ass in town. It doesn’t matter how dirty he has to fight to build that image, he’s sold half his soul already.

Even villains have their own strange loyalties, so when one of his only friends is dying, he makes a promise to avenge his wife’s brutal death. The one thing his friend was never able to do while living. But the target hasn’t been seen in nearly 11 years, and has some very big friends that Laytham will have to get past first. He’ll have to use every trick in his book to find him and then, will he even have the power to take him down?

It really hurts your pride when you doubt just how bad ass you are.

This is a dark urban fantasy with an anti-hero that you can’t trust but you also, can’t wait to see what he does next.

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.

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.

The Brotherhood of the Wheel (#1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 1, 2016

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 384

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

She looked over the menu at her daughter. “How about this Ed Gein Bar-B-Que? That sounds good!”

“That name’s familiar,” Paul said. “I think he was a governor or something.”

A diner called Zodiac Lodge with entrees named after serial killers, may be a business venture that R.S. Belcher should look into. There are larger take-aways from this book but this may, perhaps, be my favorite.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Belcher is the master of genre mash-ups. The Brotherhood of the Wheel comes off as a mix of horror, grimdark and urban fantasy. It’s a blend that worked together and in my humble opinion, an ample dosing of horror that should throw him the leagues of King and Koontz.

The United States transportation systems are the perfect hunting ground for all manners of killers. They provide access to victims, hiding places to commit their crimes and dumping grounds galore. Both evil humans and paranormal predators stalk these interstate super highways, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Where there are horrors, there must also be heroes who lead the fight against evil. That is the purpose of the Brotherhood, a secret organization tasked with protecting the innocent. They are police, taxi drivers, truckers, bikers, etc. They come together from all walks of life to take down serial killers, rapists, and human traffickers.

Something ancient and hungry is working it’s way free into the world, turning children into mindless monsters and using human sacrifices to increase it’s power. It hides away in a hidden town, not on any map. The residents there are captive, they cannot leave to find help and the monster’s minions lurk about, prepared to make their lives a living hell for trying.

A renegade cop, biker, trucker, and a book worm are the only ones on this thing’s tail after looking into multiple missing teenager cases and it may just save all of humanity if they can take him down.

Last Podcast on the Left Live

After about a year of exploring podcasts, there has been a clear winner, at least for me.

Last Podcast on the Left covers all the bases. Serial killers, true crime, UFOs, paranormal and cryptozoology. They mix facts with humor, sometimes making the very dark subject matter more easy to digest. They’ve become a household name….in this house. My husband has listened to every single episode as I’ve been slowing working through everything new they put out and catching up on the old stuff too.

So when they announced a live tour, with the nearest stop to Michigan being Cleveland, we bought tickets immediately. It was worth every penny and we’ll go see them anytime they come that close. It was my first comedy show and I laughed a LOT. (This is important as every time I’ve watched a comedian do stand up on TV, I maybe laugh out loud once….if they’re good.)

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, this podcast probably isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like swearing and dark subjects, stay away. Some people have accused them of being into murder porn because they really hit the details in every case, but as they’ve recently pointed out, thanks to the new Bundy tapes documentary on Netflix, the reason why they do is to show just what horrific monsters these people are/were. You may think, they’re serial killers of course they’re terrible, who would think otherwise? The answer: too many fucking people. For example, Netflix had to come out and tell people to stop romanticizing Ted Bundy (something that was an issue during his actual trial as well), but this was partially their fault. No where in the entire documentary did they say anything about his murders other than he committed them. They didn’t mention the rape, or the necrophilia. So I digress back to Last Podcast, they’re going to give you every single detail so you know exactly what kind of monster you’re hearing about.

The live show was much more light-hearted and fun. They talked about murder conspiracies, UFOs, and cryptids. The tour will run across the globe for most of the year and then they’ll probably do a recording available to purchase at the end of the year (like they did this past December) and next year, a new tour with new subjects.

If this all sounds up your alley, I highly recommend giving them a try.

Intense banter.


Henry gets his Mufon on to talk UFO sightings.