Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Elementary Sherlock Holmes by Portico

The Elementary Sherlock Holmes by Portico
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘To a great mind, nothing is little’ Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes has become such an iconic figure that he’s almost real. He’s on our TV screens, he’s in our films and, of course, the books are still as popular as ever. This fascinating little miscellany tells you everything you need to know about this enduringly popular figure, and lots of stuff you don’t! It contains the plots of all the novels, character descriptions, details of some of the plethora of Sherlock websites, and highlights the best films and TV adaptations. Entertaining and engrossing, The Elementary Sherlock Holmes will satisfy the curious and enlighten even the most dedicated Holmes fan.

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This is a perfect book for fans of the new tv series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Or for those who before  never ever really cared about Sherlock Holmes, or *gasp* never even heard about him.

It's a fun book to read, a quick read, but for people that know quite a lot about Sherlock Holmes, that have for instance read some or all the books, seen the movies with Basil Rathbone or the excellent tv-series with Jeremy Brett (R.I.P my one and only true Sherlock) then this book will not really satisfy you.


But as an introduction to future Sherlockians, then this is perfect!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Breaking Love Book Tour by MJ Summers

Breaking Love by M.J. Summers
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Single mom Megan Sullivan travelers to Paris to visit her best friend Harper who works there. On a night out she meets Luc Chevalier and it doesn't take a long time before they hook up. But a casual fling with a sexy Frenchman is soon turning into something more serious for Megan, but does Luc feel the same way? Can Luc a man who never ever thought about settling down with a single mom change his womanizing ways? 

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I feel like I'm the odd one out seeing all the glorious reviews for the book on Goodreads, but I never found the book any good. I wasn't that found of either the characters or the story and there seem to be a trend by the all the romance books I have read lately to include lots of graphic sex scenes. Well, it is a smart way to sell books, there are probably many people that enjoy reading about sex in books, I just get bored lol, I just wished that the story in the book would have been better. But it's like watching an action movie where 90% of the budget went to special effects and 10% to the script. You get a lot of explosions but not a good story. This book felt like that. It was very predictable. I will not go into details since I don't want to give away the plot. But I like books that surprise me, Breaking Love never surprised me, and I was often forcing myself to get through it.

Last I will leave you all with a quote that really made me dislike Luc: “This is confusing. You're obviously attracted to me - Which is, of course, how it should be - but you don't want to be with me? How is that possible?" he asked with a teasing grin.” Yeah, Luc, she is a woman she must be attracted to you, you big stud muffin! (of course, she is but she is written to fancy him, but if a man said anything like that to me, that I must be attracted to him, I would have been pissed off by his ego!)

Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematar by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

November Buddy read RMFAO (Reading My Frigging A** Off)!

Sometimes dead is better....When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son -- and now an idyllic home. As a family, they've got it all...right down to the friendly cat.But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth -- more terrifying than death itself...and hideously more powerful.

**********

I dreaded reading this book because I've seen the movie and I knew that it would hit hard even if they had done a hell of a lot changes from the book to the movie adaption. There were changes, and even though it is ages since I saw the movie last time I feel that the books are way better than the movie, much better. But now I want to re-watch the movie to see how much they changed the story. Most been 5-10 years since I last saw it, perhaps I will like it better now...or perhaps I just will like it less since I liked the book so much.

I think one of the reasons they fail when they do movies of Kings books (well they do succeed of course sometimes like the Green Mile) is when they take away the heart of the story and just focus on the horror. Yes, King writes horror books, but like with this one, it's a hell of a lot more than just horror, it's about grief and family...and death. Sometimes dead is better...

It was a hell of a ride, and I enjoyed the book even though I read it with dread...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Revival by Stephen King

Revival by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs -- including Jamie's mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family's horrific loss. In his mid-thirties -- addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate -- Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil's devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It's a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe

********

For a while, I actually thought that this would be the first book I would give five stars to in ages. But in the end, it just got four stars. Why? Because of the ending. I just didn't like it very much. It was very depressing and for some reason, it felt like a letdown. All I could think was: "Is that all, have I been reading all day for that kind of ending?" I would rather have had a more ambiguous ending to the story. Instead of just a very bleak ending. (I need to read something cheerful after this...) However, I'm sure there are people that will love the ending, and it was not a bad ending, but perhaps I'm just a gal that what some hope in the end...

The rest of the book was great, I love Jamie and his family. I love watching him growing up, hell I would have loved reading a book about Jamie's life without Charles Jacobs. I know Jamie would have been a hell of a lot of happier without him in his life. Stephen King is a master telling tales, he has an uncanny ability to create interesting characters (both good and bad) and this book is one his greatest!


Saturday, 22 November 2014

The drop by Dennis Lehane

The drop by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Three days after Christmas, a lonely bartender looking for a reason to live rescues an abused puppy from a trash can and meets a damaged woman looking for something to believe in. As their relationship grows, they cross paths with the Chechen mafia; a man grown dangerous with age and thwarted hopes; two hapless stick-up artists; a very curious cop; and the original owner of the puppy, who wants his dog back. . . .



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This is the first Dennis Lehane book I read that doesn't star Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. The Drop is based on a novella called Animal Rescue that was turned into the movie The Drop which Lehane wrote the script for and then turned into this book. All and all was this a good book.

Bob is an ordinary guy, a bit too ordinary for my liking I thought when I read the book. He works at the bar, goes to church every Sunday but it was finding the puppy that really changed his life, made him suddenly snap out of his monotone life. Throughout the book, I mistook him for being a too soft guy, but then the ending comes and then I realized that the person you should be worried about was not Eric Deeds, the psycho who claimed to own the puppy, but Bob, the kind, and shy bartender... So this book gets 3,5 stars. It was not as good as other Lehane books I have read, and it would have been just 3 stars if not Lehane had turned the table and made the ending quite spectacular.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan

Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The year is 1933 and twenty-two-year-old Alice arrives at Fiercombe Manor in rural Gloucestershire, pregnant and unwed. She has been sent there from London by her mother to hide the shame and the housekeeper Mrs. Jelphs, who is an old friend of her mother, will look after her. The family who residents there lives abroad. Alice discovers, during the hot sunny summer days that some thirty years before something happened to the lady in the house, Lady Elizabeth Stanton, who like Alice also was expecting a child.

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I requested The Girl in the Photograph from Netgalley and then I found an interesting book called Fiercombe Manor on Edelweiss and requested it. A while later when I had been granted access to them both did I realize that it was the same book. The Girl in the Photograph is the English book and Fiercombe Manor is the title for the book in US and Canada. I chose to read the Fiercombe Manor since the text was formatted better in that version.

This is the kind of book I like, a historical fiction/mystery. I love reading parallel stories, and in this book we get to follow both Alice and Elizabeth and as the story proceeds we get to know what happened to Elizabeth in the past at the same time as Alice in the present discover it. Now, the book wasn't that great that I had hoped it would be, but it was a good read and above all it was interesting even though I felt that story dragged on a bit in the middle, but I was probably just a bit impatient. I also liked the characters, I didn't even mind the budding romance between Alice and Tom Stanton.

So if you like historical fiction/mystery books then this is a book for you!

Thank you Netgalley/Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A new killer is stalking the streets of London’s East End. Though newspapers have dubbed him ‘the Torso Killer’, this murderer’s work is overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes.

The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames – and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.

Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where monsters stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.


**********

The story in Mayhem is about "The Thames Torso Murders of 1887-89" with a paranormal twist to it. I didn't know before I read Mayhem that Jack the Ripper wasn't the only killer on the loose at the time. Sarah Pinborough has taken real characters and used them in this book, which was a great move to make. Police Surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond who is the MC in this book worked on the case IRL.

I had forgotten what the book was about when I started to read it. I didn't even check up the book on GR to refresh my memory so I was a bit surprised when the book turned paranormal and frankly I would have preferred an ordinary crime novel instead of paranormal one. But it was a good read, not as good as I had hoped it to be. I would have preferred a real flesh and blood killer instead of what I got. But, I should have checked up the book before I started to read.

But I liked it enough that I look forward to reading the next book in the series! And the cover for the next book is just as gorgeous as this one (yeah I'm a cover junkie)!

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Spell of Vengeance (Thieftaker Chronicles, #0.5) by D.B. Jackson

A Spell of Vengeance by D.B. Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ethan Kaille is a thieftaker in Colonial Boston, scratching out a living by restoring stolen property to its rightful owners. But unlike others in his profession, Ethan relies on magical spells as well as his wits to track down thieves. Being a conjurer doesn’t make him popular with the law in Boston, so Ethan is taken aback when the sheriff seeks his help in settling a dispute between a pair of wealthy merchants and a ship’s captain who has threatened their lives. Ethan knows the captain can back up his threats with magic of his own. But there is more to this matter than the merchants have let on, and Ethan soon discovers that what he doesn’t know might actually kill him. D. B. Jackson’s first Ethan Kaille novel, Thieftaker, will be published on July 3, 2012
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I think I'm a tiny bit in love with Ethan Kaille, just look at the cover to this prequel to the first book and also the cover to the first book that I added *swoon*...I know, I know, looks isn't everything, thank heaven then that he is a really interesting character also!




I was glad to read this prequel since that got me a chance to see if this series is any good, now I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the first book...and the second and so on...

Thanks I for the link to the short story!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?

Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life, you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!


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Have I read the whole book? I don't think so! Why not you ask me? Well, it's because in this book you will have to pick your own way to get to the end/endings. Which means that I have read the book, jumping around, precisely like the old adventure books my brother had when I was younger. You haven't read an adventure book where you have to pick you own way? Then I feel sorry for you, they are great, I wish I had one of them right now (well if I had one I would probably just cheat to get to the ending). So there is probably parts of the book that I have missed, but that is part of the fun. The next time I pick up the book, I could very well find a hidden gem, that I missed the last time.

Anyway, got sidetracked a bit. This is a great book. I had a lot of fun jumping here and there, reading about NPH life. He's such a great guy. The kind you really, really would love to have as a friend. This is one of the best autobiographies I have read, not only because it is different, but because it's interesting and funny.



I received the book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory

Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oliver Gooch is given a tooth from an old man and with the tooth comes a handwritten note from 1888 that says that the tooth is from the boy Edgar Allan Poe. Oliver displays the tooth in his new bookshop and names the bookshop Poe's Tooth Books. The bookshop is located in an old converted church where Oliver lives with his wife Rosie and daughter Cloe. Cloe hasn't been herself since she was hit by a car 9 month's earlier and it's thanks to the insurance money that they could buy the old church. Cloe hasn't said a word since the day she was hit by the car and Rosie hopes that she will snap out of it but Oliver, who's neglect of Cloe feels guilty about the accident, likes the new Cloe who is so much easier to handle. 

Then one cold night he and Cloe finds a crow, and the crow refuse to leave the old church and slowly its presence in the old church starts to affect the family...

**********

How can you not be drawn into a book that starts with “Cloe had her tongue stuck on Robin Hood's thigh”. I mean WTF? This book managed to draw me into the story from the first page. This was not a, oh perhaps I will get into the story after a while, and I was immensely grateful for that since the last two fiction books I read was pretty hard to get through.

Stephen Gregory writes fantastically well. You wonder, is the tooth cursed, or is everything that happens just coincidence? Is Oliver drinking too much (well yes) and hallucinating? What the hell is wrong with the crow? Is the tooth really Poe's and is it connected to the crow? Is the crow Poe? Will Cloe get better? What the hell is going on? Perhaps Oliver is going mad...



Towards the end the story lost a bit of speed, I really felt that this is Oliver drinking himself mad and everything is in his head, and I had no idea how the hell Gregory would be able to finish this off well. But he did it, he manages to write an ending that made me question everything I thought during Olivers drunken nights.

It's a great book and I'm looking forward to reading more from Stephen Gregory!

Disclaimer: The quote I used from the book may not end up in the finished version of the book!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Chronicles of Steele: Raven: The Complete Story

Chronicles of Steele: Raven: The Complete Story by Pauline Creeden
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Raven has been trained from that she was young to be a reaper, a trained assassin, by her father. But she has spent the last years trying to make amends for all the lives she has taken as a reaper by saving lives. She has not many lives left to save until she can settle down and be a wife to Gregory, the boy she loves and who promised to wait for her. But then she saves a young boy from drowning and suddenly she must do everything in her power to save him from his father who wants him dead.

I was a bit skeptic to the book in the beginning and I had a hard time getting into the story. But tenacity made me continue with the book and it got better and even though I wasn't that compelled by the story did I like the world that Pauline Creeden had created. That subtle blend between a steampunk world and ordinary world. Steel horses, zeppelins, witches etc. made the story richer and made this YA much, much more interesting to read.

Raven was a good character, and I liked Monroe Strider another reaper who she meets on the journey to save Darius, the young boy. I wasn't that interested in the predictable relationship between Raven and Captain Jack Grant, the man who hunted her.

I'm not that fond of YA, mostly because they often (according to me) lack any depth. This ended up better than I expected. Still, I wasn't drawn into the story in a way that made me forget time and place. But at least, the book didn't have a love triangle...

2.5 stars

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Hard Time by Cara McKenna

Hard Time by Cara McKenna
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Annie Goodhouse knows she should stay away from bad boys. After all, her ex-boyfriend was the violent type and the reason she has stayed away from relationships. What she didn't expect was meeting, on her first day as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, inmate Eric Collier. Annie knows that she should stay away from him. But then Eric starts courting Annie through letters...

**********

Erotica isn't really my favorite genre. Hell, I'm extremely picky when it comes to romance in books. But I'm weak when it comes to forbidden romance. So when I got the chance to read this book I said yes because of that. Also, one never knows, one could find a hidden gem...

I had hope in the beginning that I actually would like the book. It was not perfect, but I enjoyed reading it. (Sometimes I need something easy to read) but soon I felt that the story really wasn't up to my liking. That bothered me that Annie was so smitten by Eric that she fantasized about him being a bank robber instead of just checking up what he had done. I mean she only checked up what he had done do land himself in prison because he was going to get paroled. It was safe to fantasize about him when he was in prison, but as soon as he gets out, then she needed to know. I would have checked him up directly.

I felt that the story had potentials but, in the end, the books never addressed interesting issues like, how does the community see on a relationship between an ex-inmate and a librarian that works in a prison, can she keep her job since she met him in the prison? How will her family react to it? That bothered me that her parents never found out that she is dating an ex-inmate. They only got to know what she had met someone. Most of the story dealt with his family, she got to meet his mother and sister and but he never got to meet her father and mother. I would have liked to see how it would have gone.

I was a bit annoyed about his overprotective attitude towards his sister. Yes I know, he wants to protect his sister. But after spending 5 years in jail, for her, he is ready to do it all again if she asked him to? Seriously?

Also, one should never judge a book by its cover...but this cover...was not to my liking!

Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane

I am Ichabod Crane, born in the year 1747. It seems this is the year 2013 Anno Domini, and I have been given new life—how, I know not; why, I know not. I will discern the truth—if, that is, I can keep my head.”

This book is basically Ichabod Cranes retelling of season 1 of Sleepy Hollow, spiced with amusing reflections on modern day phenomenon and memories from his life during the American Revolution and his life with his wife Katrina.

It was nice to read about events from from the first season, it freshens up my memory a bit, but at the same time it was a bit dreary going through events that has already happened. I liked best without doubt Crane's musings over modern day things like, showers, clothes, baseball etc.

This is definitely a book for fans of the tv-show Sleepy Hollow, also a good way for people that have missed the first season and instead started with season two to get into the story.

2,5 stars

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

Pumpkin Cinema

First I must say that I'm impressed by Nathaniel Tolle that watched and collected all these movies, short movies and tv-episodes that are suitable for a succesfull Halloween evening/night. I mean spending 8 hours watching episodes on youtube is impressive man.

It is a great collection and I found many gems among the movies and it was great fun to read about movies that I haven't seen in a long time or missed completely. Of course there is one movie I don't want to see again and that is Braindead, a classmate to me in high-school got to chose a movie in school one day, guess what he picked? Yes sir, Braindead. I can't believe the teacher approved of it (and that Peter Jackson is the man behind it). 

Anyway I got a bit sidetracked now and that is what happened when you read this book. I read it from cover to cover and that my young padawan isn't in my opinion the right way to read this book. Because when I was finished it felt that I had stuffed my head with a lot of movies inside and my brain felt overloaded. This is a book that you should browse through. Find a movie here and there to see, not doing the student way of just cramming everything inside you like you are a living encyclopedia. I mean I do not read Guinnes Book of Record from cover to cover, do you? If you do I'm impressed and a bit stunned!

Also I'm disappointed that he didn't include the Halloween episode of Beauty and the Beast from 1987. And reading about Halloween episodes from tv-series I never heard of was not that fun and the kid stuff for Halloween was a bit dreary to read.

3,5 stars

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Night Chills by Dean Koontz

Night Chills by Dean Koontz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Black River is a sleepy little town in Maine (Stephen King vibes) where the population starts getting night chills and suddenly all hell breaks loose. In the middle of the chaos stands a family that doesn't get the night chills and they now have to fight for their lives.

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I wasn't supposed to read Night Chills (since I already have a lot of other books planned to read), but my eyes found it in a pile of books at home and I just felt the need for a Koontz and I'm happy I followed my instinct since it was a really good novel.

Black River is a sleepy little town in Maine (Stephen King vibes) where the population starts getting night chills and suddenly all hell breaks loose. In the middle of the chaos stands a family that doesn't get the night chills and they now have to fight for their lives.

I found that the worst thing with this book is that the night chills isn't something spooky going on, something paranormal, instead, it's an experiment conducted by three men and I have always found that the horror of the things humans do to each other is far worse than monsters under the bed or aliens in space.

Night Chills was a well-written, fast-paced book that I devoured quickly.

The King's Deception by Steve Berry

The King's Deception by Steve Berry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. But after he is greeted at gunpoint in London, both the fugitive and Gary disappear, and Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown—an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.

At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for “humanitarian reasons.” An outraged American government objects, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.

Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception.

Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.

Blake Antrim, the CIA operative in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire, the one thing that every Irish national has sought for generations: a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire forty-five-year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another—and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to prevent the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.


*********

The book has everything; an old secret, a secret society, American agents, British agents, two old ladies, a thief and of course our hero Cotton Malone smack in the middle. He has a talent for really getting in the way of things. Cotton Malone is on his way to Denmark to celebrate Thanksgiving with his son Gary. But first, he needs to drop off a kid I London that has tried to enter The States with a false passport. And as usual, everything gets fucked up!

Adventure books are something I really, truly enjoyable to read, especially a well-written one with an interesting and almost believable story. Well, the nonstop action is a bit over the top, but adventure book must be fast paced, or it gets dull. But I loved how I was pulled into the story, how Steve Berry manages to write something so fantastic that one almost could believe it’s true.

The secret in this book, its dynamite (not literally) and if it would be reviled it would have such huge impact on the world that I just can’t believe that those behind trying to bring the secret out in the open would do something so stupid. But pettiness is everywhere. Anyway, it was a great book and if you like adventure book then you should read this one!

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely—not only in Malone’s world, but in ours.

September 1861: All is not as it seems.With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: save thousands of American lives, or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever?

The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot—a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase.

All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict—a constitutional war secretly set in motion more than two hundred years ago by America’s Founding Fathers.

From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln—while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance.


*********

It’s only fitting that Cotton Malone goes from saving the UK from tearing apart in the last novel to trying to save the USA in this one. Unfortunately, this book isn’t as interesting to read as The King's Deception was.

This book was ok to read, not bad just not fantastic to read and the usual flow was missing. Personally, I’m not really a fan of religious fanatics and making the main bad guy a fanatic Mormon with hallucinations made me groan inside. Also, it didn’t help that I have read a kind of similar book by James Rollins called The Devil Colony that is utterly engrossing to read.

A big problem with the book was Cassiopeia Vitt role, she is usually a great character, but in this book, I just wanted to slap her and tell her to wise up. Stephanie Nelle asks her to get close to a childhood friend and the first man she ever loved. But she left him because he was a devout Mormon, and although she had grown up a Mormon she didn’t believe. Now she dupes him to believe that she has found her faith. The problem is that she seems to be totally incapable of believing that he is bad. She really wants to clear his name and is totally blind to and death to everything that happens and everything Cotton Malone, the man she supposed to love, says.


But the book wasn’t all bad, a new character Luke Daniels, nephew to the president and an agent for Magellan Billet was introduced and he was a great addition. I hope he will be in the next book. The ending was ok except the last action of Cassiopeia Vitt which was very immature.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Today, F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his novels, but in his lifetime, his fame stemmed from his prolific achievement as one of America's most gifted story writers. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," a witty and fantastical satire about aging, is one of his most memorable stories.

In 1860 Benjamin Button is born an old man and mysteriously begins aging backward. At the beginning of his life he is withered and worn, but as he continues to grow younger he embraces life -- he goes to war, runs a business, falls in love, has children, goes to college and prep school, and, as his mind begins to devolve, he attends kindergarten and eventually returns to the care of his nurse.

This strange and haunting story embodies the sharp social insight that has made Fitzgerald one of the great voices in the history of American literature.


**********

I’ve seen the movie (twice), and I’ve been looking forward to reading the short story that the movie is based for a while now. The movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has very little in common with the book. The name is the same, and the core is the same, Benjamin Button is born old and as he grows older he grows younger both in the book and the movie. But in the book, he is raised by his father and not abandon at birth. And all the rest of the book differs also from the movie.

I liked the story, first I couldn’t help at first to compare the story with the movie and feel that the story was lacking everything the movie had, but soon I was sucked into the story and I’m glad it was different since it's more fun reading something that not exactly like the movie.

It’s a bittersweet story and in a way, a cruel story since Benjamin during all his life is met with contempt and misunderstanding. The story is set during the latter half of the 19th century but it could as well be taking place now a day since being different is something that is always going to be met with ignorance.

Sacred by Dennis Lehane

Sacred by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dying billionaire Trevor Stone hires private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro to find his missing daughter. Grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father, Desiree Stone has been missing for three weeks. So has the first investigator Stone hired to find her: Jay Becker, Patrick's mentor.Patrick and Angie are led down a trail of half-truths and corruption into a world in which a therapeutic organization may be fronting for a dangerous and seductive cult, a high-tech private investigation firm may be covering up lethal crimes, and a stolen cache of millions in illegal funds may be tied to both disappearances and a tanker full of heroin. 

Nothing is what it seems as the detectives travel from the windblown streets of Boston to the rum-punch sunsets of Florida's Gulf Coast. And the more Patrick and Angie discover, the more they realize that on this case any wrong step will certainly be their last...

********

Patrick and Angie discover that they are being followed, but they underestimate their stalkers and they get kidnapped. "Luckily" for them, it's just a dying billionaire that wants to hire them to find his daughter before he dies. And they feel for him, especially Angie and agree to take the case. What could go wrong, it's just a missing person case? Of course, nothing is as it seems and this missing case turned out to be a much bigger case than they had bargained for and as usual, they just can't seem to catch a break and this case just like the last one will take a toll on them.

This book was not as intense as the last one, still good, but just not exceptionally good. But the final confrontation and Patrick and Angie's way of delivering justice were great. There are twists and turns in the story and that is as always great, I love reading books where nothing is as it seems.

Blackout by Tim Curran

Blackout by Tim Curran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the midst of a beautiful summer, in a perfectly American suburban middle-class neighborhood, a faraway evil is lurking, waiting to strike the unsuspecting residents.

First come the flashing lights, then the heavy rains, high winds, and finally a total blackout. But that's only the beginning...

When the whipping black tentacles fall from the sky and begin snatching people at random, the denizens of Piccamore Way must discover the terrifying truth of what these beings have planned for the human race.


**********

This is my first Tim Curran book and I will without a doubt read more. Blackout was a fantastic science fiction story about a neighborhood that discovers that people are disappearing, that something is grabbing them from the sky. First, it is just confusing for them, the stars are gone, the sky is black and then it hit them! And I really mean hit them, long tentacles from the sky is snatching up people as soon as they touch them. And our little group of people has to do anything to stay alive.

I got sucked into this story so much that last night when I was finishing off the story I had to put the book down a while. I had read I think around 75% of the book and I had to calm myself down because I cared so much for Jon, Billy, Iris, and Bonnie that it was hard reading the book  and knowing every time I turned the page that anyone of the could be sucked up into the sky. This is the first horror/science fiction book that has gotten to me in a long while. The book reminded me a bit of The Mist Stephen King just this book was better, more terrifying and had better characters. The characters in this book, they are not perfect, they could act annoying but considering the circumstances, everything is forgiven in my opinion, it’s not every day you get to be witness to the end of the human race and I would probably freak out too. Blackout is a terrific book and I recommend it highly to anyone that likes science fiction, horror or the end of the day stories!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane

Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The master of the new noir, Dennis Lehane delivers a shattering tale of evil, depravity, and justice that captures the dark realism of Boston’s gritty blue-collar streets.

Private Investigator Patrick Kenzie wants to know why a former client, a perky woman in love with life, could, within six months, jump naked from a Boston landmark—the final fall in a spiral of self-destruction. What he finds is a sadistic stalker who targeted the young woman and methodically drove her to her death. A monster the law can’t touch. But Kenzie can. He and his former partner, Angela Gennaro, will fight a mind-twisting battle against this psychopath even as he turns his tricks on them.

********

I took a Lehane break after Gone, Baby, Gone. I needed to read lighter books with stories that didn't make me feel like breaking down or getting angry because of stupid laws that make children's lives miserable.

But I decided to read the next one when I saw that I need to return the Lehane books I had at home to the library. I could return them and then borrow them again but I thought what the heck lets at least read this one!

Anyway, this book was a lot easier to read, the story is good, really good, just a hell of a lot lighter than Gone, Baby Gone, that doesn't mean that the story was fluffy and sweet, just that I could read it and it didn’t make me furious or sad. Well, the part with the dog hit me hard. But Bubba showed in the end what he feels about people hurting dogs.

It's a fast read, as always with Lehan's books. I feel the same way when I read Harlan Coben. Suddenly you are halfway through the book and you just started it. The reason I didn’t give it 5 stars, in the end, was because the ending was a bit predictable. It just wasn't that surprising, it was more an “ of course it has to be this way” not an “ OMG WTF?” a moment. He must have had a partner, he couldn't do everything by himself and where did he get the information, it was a logical ending, but not a perfect mind-blowing ending like Darkness Take My Hand.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Exiled by William Meikle

The Exiled by William Meikle
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When several young girls are abducted from various locations in Edinburgh, Detective John Granger and his brother Alan, a reporter, investigate the cases from different directions. The abductor is cunning, always one step ahead, and the only clue he leaves behind at each scene are the brutalized corpses of black swans.

When the brothers' investigations finally converge at a farmhouse in Central Scotland, they catch a glimpse of where the girls have been taken, a place both far away yet close enough to touch. A land known throughout Scottish history with many names: Faerie, Elfheim, and the Astral Plane. It is a place of legend and horror, a myth. But the brothers soon discover it's real, and, to catch the abductor, they will have to cross over themselves.

To catch a killer, John and Alan Granger will have to battle the Cobbe, a strange and enigmatic creature that guards the realm, a creature of horrific power that demands a heavy price for entry into its world. The fate of both realms hangs in the balance…and time is running out...

*********

It’s a fast pacing book, The beginning before you learned the truth about the other world was best when everything still was a mystery. I liked the thought about another world that is guarded by a mythical creature. 2/3 of the book was good. They are racing against the clock to stop the killer from finishing the sacrifices’ and becoming too powerful to stop.

The last part of the book was unfortunately not that interesting. You learn the “truth” about the world. Well, as much as it is possible to learn and you get a final fight between the brothers and the killers. But my interest in the book faded the last 1/3 of the book. I just couldn’t care less what happened to Alan and John.

I wanted to know more about the other world, where it just humans that had crossed over to the other side or had it been another race (or races) of people living there before. Who build the fortress and the cathedral? What’s the story about Jonas and James? What is so special about Alan, John, and Sandra that makes the three of them able pass over to the other side easy? I wanted to know more about Simon and Cobbe, how did Simon learn about Cobbe, did he just invent the story about Cobbe or did someone tell him about the creature? Too many questions, too little answers for my taste.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story by C. David Heymann

Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story by C. David Heymann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "American Legacy," "RFK," and "A Woman Named Jackie," an in-depth look at the much talked-about -- but never fully revealed -- relationship between Jackie Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. Few writers have immersed themselves in the world of the Kennedys as completely or successfully as C. David Heymann, whose biographies of Jackie, Robert, John F. Kennedy Jr., and Caroline together have sold millions of copies and have shed light on the private lives of the most prominent members of this iconic American family. Now he draws on more than two decades' worth of personal interviews, as well as previously unavailable reports and briefs from the Secret Service and the FBI, to create a complete picture of the complex relationship that existed between two of the most heralded figures of the twentieth century.

**********

Found this book in the library and decided to borrow it since I have a thing for the Kennedys and most of all RFK. I didn't have high expectations for the book. It looks a bit sordid and it felt a bit sordid to read. Did Jackie and Bobby have an affair? Many people seem to think that they did. It was like a secret everyone knew but no one spoke about in the public. Nowadays it would be impossible to keep an affair like that a secret, but in the 60s it was probably a lot easier.
In a way a feel sorry for Jackie, I don't think many people knew her. Men wanted to sleep with her, women wanted to be her and she is often portrayed as a greedy ambitious woman, very much so in this book. And perhaps she was precisely so. Who knows?

Perhaps she and Bobby had an affair. Perhaps he was the love of her life. It's easy to write a book about two people that are both dead since they can't confirm or deny anything.

Full Moon Over Cedar Hill by Edward Lorn

Full Moon Over Cedar Hill by Edward Lorn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Image lying in a bed, unable to move after a stroke, abandoned by your family...suddenly there are noises in the corridor; something is happening...something bad...

This is what happens to Peter, and to find out what happens to him…you will have to read the story for yourself.

The ending was perfect, All I could think of in the end is "Revenge is a dish best served cold".


Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Firelight by Kristen Callihan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.


**********

Firelight is a historical fiction with a touch of paranormal. What really got me intrigued was the blurb describing a man in a mask and since I have been enchanted with The Phantom of the Opera since I was a young girl was this something I just had to read.

Miranda has a powerful gift that for her is much more of a curse since her ability destroyed her father's fortune and because of their situation, she has to marry a man or get cast out on the street. What she doesn't know is that the man, the Lord Benjamin Archer is the same man that saved her when she was younger. He is also a man that is hiding his face, but why?

First and most, this isn't the kind of book I usually go for when it comes to paranormal, I prefer horror instead of romance. But I liked the book's cover on NetGalley and I as I stated above liked the blurb so I thought I would give it a go.

There are things that bothered me with the story, like for instance the secrets between Miranda and Archer, but this isn't the first book I will read or the last that the characters misunderstand each other because they keep secrets from each other. But it would have saved them a lot of time just being honest with each other. I also felt the story dragged on a bit. But this is a love story so they have to have this lustful dance around each other before they consummate their passion. (Why on earth it took so long time beats me since it's obvious they have the hots for each other).

I liked the waiting to uncover what's under Archers mask, it's a smart move drag out the waiting, it is much more alluring to read a book that has some mysteries left towards the end.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane

Gone, baby, gone by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find four-year-old Amanda McCready, abducted from her bed on a warm, summer night. They meet her stoned-out, strangely apathetic mother, her loving aunt and uncle, the mother's dangerous, drug-addled friends, and two cops who've found so many abused or dead children they may be too far over the edge to come back. Despite enormous public attention, rabid news coverage, and dogged police work, the investigation repeatedly hits a brick wall. 


Led into a world of drug dealers, child molesters, and merciless executioners, Patrick and Angie are soon forced to face not only the horrors adults can perpetrate on innocents but also their own conflicted feelings about what is best, and worst, when it comes to raising children. And as the Indian summer fades and the autumn chill deepens, Amanda McCready stays gone, banished so completely that she seems never to have existed.
**********

In Gone, Baby, Gone you really get a taste of darkness and an overdose of evil. I finished the book a couple of weeks ago but this was a book that actually was so awful to read, the first Lehane book I had to read in phases, not right through because it was sometimes too awful to read. I also waited a while to write the review. Sometimes dwelling in darkness isn’t that nice and after Gone, Baby, Gone I just wanted to read easy things and watch fun things on tv.

Rating the book was also hard. I gave the book 4.5 stars after I finished the book, but after thinking it through these weeks after finish the book I've decided to give the 4 instead, knock off a half star more. I found the book too dark and disturbing for my taste. I hate reading books when children get hurt and for instance, the pedophile part of the books was horrific.

I have more Lehane books to read, but for the moment I will read another kind of books. Books with hopefully happy endings…

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story in this book takes place after the episode "The Golem" and before the episode "The Vessel".

A Coven of witches is collecting Congressional Cross's to use in a spell to bring the witch Serilda back. It is up Abbie, Crane, Jenny, and Irving have to stop Serilda from resurrecting.

I enjoyed reading about Crane and Abbie mostly because I'm looking forward to season 2. It took me a while to realize that Serilda was the witch whose bones was burned in an episode. I would have liked it mentioned early in the story since it's not easy to remember everything that happens in the show. But my biggest problem is that I didn't find the story that interesting because I know what will happen next and I'm more interested in the future of Crane and Abbie than a story from a period that has passed.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas? by Bryce Zabel

Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas? by Bryce Zabel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if Kennedy survived Dallas?

President John F. Kennedy has lived through the ambush in Dealey Plaza. America holds its collective breath, seeing its president nearly executed in broad daylight. But as the country marches on, the office of the President finds itself under a much more insidious type of fire. Political scandal, an endless war, and a country coming apart at the seams take the 1960’s in a terrifying new direction, and both John and his attorney-general brother, Bobby, struggle to stay ahead of their enemies, political and otherwise, and steer America toward a greater future.

Bryce Zabel is a master of the cover-up and the conspiracy, creating the Emmy-award winning series DARK SKIES. SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES is the first novel in the new Breakpoint series—each book exploring seminal moments in popular history and taking readers on a journey into a mirror world where events are both unexpected yet startlingly believable.

This savvy, fiercely intelligent novel, perfect for readers of Harry Turtledove, brings together elements of political thriller and page-turning history, enthralling readers with a sharply written take on the America that was, and the America that could have been.


**********

What if JFK had survived the attack on his life in Dallas?

This book was really intriguing and well written. Instead of dying in Dallas in 1963 JFK survived and one get a chance to see how his life and those around him change with him alive. But it is not a fairy tale with everything ending well. His involvement with women, especially affairs with women of questionable reputations that are something everyone knows about nowadays but something that was not public knowledge during the 60's is the thing that in this "what if story" will come to light during his presidency. And that combined with his ill health that he has been hiding from the general public and orders he has given to alleged assassinations of foreign leaders will, in the end, lead to his impeachment.

In the end, when they could not kill him they tried in every way to kill his political career instead.

I enjoyed this book immensely. A favorite subject, the Kennedys told in on of my favorite ways of telling a story; a what if story. It helped that it was really good and it felt like it could have happened if JFK had lived. Well except one thing, in the end, something that has to do with John-John was a bit too much and that made me remove a half star.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen . . .”

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed—a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

**********

The Angel's game is the second book I have read by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind. I will probably go against the tide, but I found this book much better than The Shadow of the Wind. I liked the characters and the story better in this book. David Martíns life and struggles were captivating to read about. The only thing that bothered me really was the character Christina, I mentally sighed when we were introduced to her at the beginning of the books. She was such a flat and boring character and honestly, I just couldn’t stand her. Luckily we were introduced to Isabella later on and she was such a wonderful character that she in many ways compensated the presence of Christina.

One thing I really enjoyed was the link this book has with the first book. Not just the Cemetery of Forgotten Books but also the bookstore Sempere & Sons.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón has a really wonderful talent for telling a story. And I’m looking forward to reading his next book The Prisoner of Heaven.

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the dark early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.

Full of intrigue and emotion, The Prisoner of Heaven is a majestic novel in which the threads of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game converge under the spell of literature and bring us toward the enigma of the mystery hidden at the heart of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a collection of lost treasures known only to its few initiates and the very core of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's enchanting fictional world.


**********

The book continues the story that started in The Shadow of the Wind and also has ties with The Angel's Game which story takes place before The Shadow of the Wind. In many ways it’s a really good story, you get to know what happened to David Martin from The Angel's Game and his connection to the Sempere family. Well, you don’t get all the answers, the ending has a “to be continued” feeling over itself. And since the book had only 300 pages (the Swedish version) and I just think Carlos Ruiz Zafón could have written well at least 100-200 pages more and just given the book a better ending instead of leaving one hanging. Well, it’s a smart move because now one just has to have the next book… when it comes…

The Angel's Game was such a great book that really pulled you inside and this book for all its promises didn’t really reach the same level, it was good and I love the connection to The Count of Monte Cristo (need to re-read the book), loved to know what happened to David Martin, how and where he wrote his book. I just want more…more Daniel Sempere and more David Martin…more about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books...

Haunt Me Still by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Haunt Me Still by Jennifer Lee Carrell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Caught in a web of evil, Kate Stanley tangles with a legendary curse, a witch-haunted blade, and all-too-modern murder.

What price genius? Macbeth is so famously cursed that many actors refuse to name the play aloud. Kate Stanley, Shakespearean scholar and theater director, dismisses the curse as superstition, but--as the cast begins rehearsals at the foot of Scotland's Dunsinnan Hill--evil begins to stir. Actors go missing, and a trench is found filled with blood. Then Kate discovers a local woman dead in circumstances that suggest ancient pagan sacrifice. Marked as either suspect or future victim, Kate races to find a dangerous, alternate version of Macbeth said to contain actual rituals of witchcraft--and Shakespeare's darkest secret.


**********

Haunt Me Still is a sequel to Interred with Their Bones in which Kate Stanley was on the hunt for a missing Shakespeare play. In this book, she is hired to stage a new production of Macbeth. Macbeth is a play so famously cursed that actors even refuse to name the play or quote from the play aloud. And it won't take long before it seems like the play really is cursed…

Interred with Their Bones was such a good book that I for a long time have wanted to read Haunt Me Still, unfortunately, this book wasn’t nearly enough good. It's was entertaining, it was interesting; I love the idea of a lost Macbeth that is said to contain ritual of real witchcraft. But it wasn't a page-turner for me, I read part of it now and then and I enjoyed it but it never became a book that I couldn't put down. It was just…a good for the moment book, but not an OMG book. I liked the first book much more, it was more intense, more action and more adventures. Will I read the third book if it comes out? Yes, I would, I just hope that the mystery will be more interesting than this book.

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from Brown Book Group in exchange for an honest review, thank you! I also want to thank Brown Book Group for letting me participate in the "The Mill River Redemption blog tour"! 

Josie DiSanti moves after losing her husband in a fire that burned down the house to the little town of Mill River with her two small children, Rose, and Emily, to live with her aunt Ivy. As they grown up the girls are inseparable but a terrible accident tears them apart. Years later they return to the town for the reading of their mother’s testament. They learn that Josie will do anything to reconcile her two daughters. The sisters must move into neighboring houses during the summer and work together to find Josie’s safe deposit box which contains their inheritance...


**********


I got a chance to read Darcie Chan's “The Mill River Redemption”, her second book after “The Mill River Recluse”. I have not read the first book, but I don’t feel that you need to, even though I must say I am a bit tempted.

This is not the usual book I go for. But I felt intrigued when I read what the book was about. About a small little town, a town where everyone knows everyone and two sisters that have to return to fulfill their mother's last will to be able to inherit. But nothing is easy; they haven’t spoken to each other for years and something putting two people together that are angry with each other can cause blowups.

In the book, we follow Josie in the 1980-90s building a life for herself and her children parallel with her children as grownups coming back to town and trying to find the key to the safe deposit box. I liked it at the same time you get to know the people in the past you also get to know them as grownups and in the end, the past story reveals why they are estranged.

Rose and Emily are very different, Rose is superficial and Emily is down to earth. And there we have my biggest problem with the book. Emily is the good and Rose the bad daughter. The story is written so you will feel for Emily always, it is she who got hurt, and it is she who always does the right thing. After a while it feels like everything Rose does is to hurt everyone around here. Of course, it could be the alcohol talking, she is an alcoholic, but I don’t buy it all the way. By always making it Rose’s fault then the book loses a bit of credibility because not everyone is perfect and not everyone is bad. And I feel that the book had been better if they both had been portrayed with flaws instead of just Rose.

But besides that, I mostly enjoyed the book. It was a bit weird reading about Claudia and Kyle in the book, at first I didn’t understand why there were chapters about their life in the middle of the story about Emily and Rose but I figured that their story had something to do with the first book and I was right.

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. . . .

His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

**********

Marina is the fourth book I have read by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (not counting The Rose of Fire since it’s a short story) and I think it’s probably the best I have read of him. This book has nothing to do with The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. But I don’t mind that, it's refreshing to read something different. The story takes place in Barcelona just like The Cemetery of Forgotten Books does but this is years later and the story has nothing to do with forgotten books instead this is a love story. Or love stories, one in the present 1980’s Barcelona and one in the past, both tragic.

This is one hell of a well-written book with a story that really spoke to me; tragic love stories, revenge, scary dolls, experiments, murder and a mystery woman in black with a tragic past. I just wish I could find more books like this.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Jessica is going to Hell.

After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn't have the power to stop.

Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast—new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be... or she will never make it out alive.

**********


The book starts with Jessica trying to prepare herself with some training in magic (with the help from some witches) before she descends into hell to find her brother who has been captured by the Prince of Hell. And of course, nothing goes as it is planned and by sheer luck/mistake does she descends to hell a bit earlier than the witches and she had expected.

Red Blooded is the fourth book about Jessica McClain, the only female in a male race of werewolves. This is the first book in the series that I read so I have a bit of disadvantage in that everything is new to me and it doesn’t get easier that so little is explained. During my reading of this book, I had to gather information about the characters and past experience to make sense of the story in this book.

I can see the appeal of the book, but I think you should start with book one and not like me jump in and read book four. I usually don’t read books in the middle of a series. But Red Blooded arrived home to me as a bit of a surprise and I thought what the heck, it looks like a book that will not take forever to read and it's a paranormal.

Overall the book wasn’t bad, I just got a bit impatient towards to end, but I think it had very much to do with the feeling of frustration that there is so much back history that I didn’t know that mattered to the story on this book. People that popped into the story and you get some info about them but not enough.

Would I read the previous books? Yes, I would, even though that whole heroine, the one in the kind, prophesied to greatness, is something I feel can be a bit annoying. One thing for sure I would rather read the previous books in the series before I would read the next one.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!