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Book Reviews – Of Scars And Stardust

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Title: Of Scars And Stardust

Author: Andrea Hannah

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Length: 336

Rating: 3.5 rounded down to 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she’s been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her “delusions,” Claire can’t seem to escape the wolf’s eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she’s ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella’s trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister’s disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella’s past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was lucky enough to receive this book early from the publishers via NetGalley for an honest review.

Just a word of warning, need to talk about this book in detail so if you don’t want to be spoilt, go read it and then come back. PLEASE GO READ IT AND COME BACK! I need people to talk about this book with me. I need thoughts, because I am so so so confused.

Before I run off on a rant about the plot lets discuss the characters. I thought they were all well written and were not just random people you meet, they all serve a purpose. I did hate some though but that was on purpose I think. I despised Rae, and I hated her parents though by the end I didn’t hate them so much because more things made sense. I thought Claire was a developed character and the little side story of her and Grants love was just adorable. I loved Grant, I don’t know if I would date him but he was so what she needed.

Now onto the part that I actually want to talk about. The plot.

The first half of this book makes nearly complete sense if we exclude the obvious mystery of where on earth did Ella go and what on earth is with these wolves. Are they real? Or are they a representation of something darker? If we move past those things the events in this book make complete sense and are kind of logical. The more we read though the less things kind of make sense. The first half of this book was just amazing, I would give it a 4 star easy. But the further on we go the more confused Claire gets and so the more confused I got.

I hated Claire’s parents for sending her away and then never contacting her or inviting her home to see her sister recover and let her get some kind of closure of this stuff. But then we find out that she was actually the main suspect in her sisters accident and we work out that they actually sent her away for both sisters safety. Ella from Claire and Claire from getting put in the local loony bin. We also get multiple things that tell us that Ella left because she didn’t feel safe, not that she was taken by ‘wolves.’ Ella was (supposedly) running away from her dad because he is totally bonkers and killed someone. I didn’t see that coming at all! How that whole thing developed in the story was weird. Claire went from having a fear of him to partnering up with him pretty damn quick.

Then there is the whole reveal at the end that the wolves were all in her head, and she is kissing a tree that she thinks is Grant. WHAT?! Its this event that makes me question everything. Just before she was telling us how he was secretly calling her despite the no contact order his family put on her and then she thinks he showed up and it was actually a tree. Was he actually contacting her? Was the supposed letter that Ella had sent her saying she was coming to visit actually real? Is Ella even still bloody alive? Who the hell was setting everyone’s houses on fire and was the writing on their home really there?

The final ‘attack’ from the wolves we know was actually Claire being arrested. This puts the last moments between her and Grant  in a whole new light. Right before they run away from the hospital he asks Claire to promise to try and make sure that nothing happens to them before they leave Amble. Claire thinks this is all about wolves so she goes along with it, but with this ending information it brings it into a new light. He knew it was Claire who hurt him but she didn’t mean to and he was basically asker her not to have another episode before they left. But then we get questions like if Claire was supposedly talking to someone when he was injured, what the hell happened? Did that party even actually happen? Was their relationship even the way it seems AT ALL? All things I thought I knew are now opened for questioning.

This open ending is not really how I like my books which is what bumped it down to a 3 star to me. I was really really into the book before it gave me an ending that didn’t answer anything and make be question everything I had just read. I would suggest that if you like contemporary mysteries that you should read this book. If you have read this book already please for the love of god give me your thoughts. I really wish that I didn’t need to have this post up so soon after finishing it because I feel like I need to think about it again and again.

Share your thoughts!!!! I am sorry that this review doesn’t really make much sense, but it still doesn’t make sense to me.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – The Fire Prince

The Fire Prince

Title: The Fire Prince [The Cursed Kingdoms 2]

Author: Emily Gee

Genre: Fantasy

Length: 344

Rating: 4.5 Star rounded up to 5

Series Review: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

The long awaited and much anticipated sequel to 2011’s The Sentinel Mage. The Fire Prince continues the saga of Prince Harkeld, Innis the shapeshifter and the imperiled Seven Kingdoms.

The Seven Kingdoms are in the grip of an ancient and terrible blood curse. Thousands have died. Thousands more will die. Only one man can end the curse.

The fugitive Osgaardan prince, Harkeld, is that man—whether he likes it or not. But the bounty on Harkeld’s head is high. He has outrun his father’s soldiers, but he can’t outrun the assassins who seek him—Fithians, trained in the art of killing. Even the Sentinel mages who guide and guard him are no match for Fithian steel. Faced with the ever-present threat of death, Harkeld must learn to use his fire magic. Or die.

Meanwhile, dark plots are unfolding in Osgaard’s gold-tiled palace, snaring Princess Brigitta and those she loves. And in the eastern kingdoms, young orphan Jaumé journeys with a band of mysterious and dangerous fighters, heading north for a purpose he does not understand.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This will be filled with spoilers, so move on if you care about those things.

I received this book from the publishers through Netgalley. I loved this book. In some ways it was better than the last but in others it wasn’t quite as good.

I think the thing I loved the most was the growing kind of love that Innis and Harkeld, but of course he doesn’t realise that any of it is real! He thinks its all part of his dreams. I like the fact that the romance is growingly slowly and is so complicated. Harkeld still has no idea about the truth and if he did find out it would have bad effects on his relationship with the mages, but now that Innis has told Cora and others about the fact these dreams are happening she must eventually spill the beans to him because its an invasion of his privacy.

We also get characeter development. Harkeld not only has to deal with the fact that he has witch blood, he is infact a witch. He agrees to train with Cora so that he doesn’t hurt anyone with his extreme power and so that a mage will remove his magic at the end of the quest. He must also deal with the fact that he feels like the mages keep on tricking and betraying him. While these struggles were just as interesting as in the first book, they also got on my nerves. He still thinks degrading things about the mages yet he is training to be one right now so he has no right to think those things specially since he knows them better now. Innis must also develop. Thanks to the fact that Petrus caught her breaking Primarily Laws without reason to share dreams with Harkeld, which cause serious issue with their own relationship, she has to finally admit how much she is struggling with the want to be Justin and the dreams.

We still get the other two stories woven through. Brigitta’s story seems to go from bad to worst to over the moon happy to much much worst. We got alot more of this side of this story in this book. We also see more of her brother Jaegar. While this side of the story takes place in their kingdom, we get many hints that Jaegar may not be all he seems. He gets blisters on his body and a touch of his burns some of Brigitta’s clothes. His is magical? If he is how come his power is hurting him? It has already been said it cannot hurt the person is came from unless they set their hair on fire or something. Brigitta proves herself time and time again that she is a strong person who doesn’t give up. We also get Jaumé travelling with his assassins. He thinks they are off to help the prince, and when they finally catch up to him he finds out just how wrong he was. The book ends before he must do anything and it kills me that I have to wait to find out what his choice will be from here.

The story answered alot of the backstory and magic related questions that I had asked myself through the first book and I really appreciated. That cliff hanger though I didn’t really appreciate. It ends with Harkeld nearly dying and in a desperate attempt to save him ends up revealing that she is infact Justin. Then the book ends. We get nothing else. How am I going to live until the next book comes out, between this one and the last there was over a 3 year gap. I pray that they don’t make me wait that long.

I recommend this series to any he has patience and a love of simple but very well written fantasy.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Queen of the Tearling

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Title: The Queen of the Tearling [The Queen of the Tearling 1]

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian

Length: 448

Rating: 4 Star

Release Date: 8th of July 2014

Series Review: 1, 2

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Description/Synopsis:

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received this book from NetGalley. I picked it up because Emma Watson apparently signed on to do the movie adaptation.

I will have to think on this a bit I think, but as of now the rating sits at about 4.5 but rounded down. I didn’t get what I expected from it after reading the PR statement about it being like GoT and The Hunger Games (I actively searched for anything similar but only found one tiny thing, some people had crazy hair), but then again I also got way more than I was expecting because of all the negative reviews I read before picking up the book.

I really rather enjoyed it, be that because I was expecting rubbish I don’t know. However, I enjoyed it none the less and despite the fact this isn’t even out yet I want the next one now. I am hooked. There were things that bothered me but not as much as I thought.

I like our main character Kelsea quite a bit. She didn’t want to be useless and have other people look after her all the time and she tries to do the best she can. She does make some really dumb choices, but I can forgive them because no one will tell her anything that might actually be of some use to her. Like anything about her mother (or her father) or any of the choices her mother made that turned the kingdom into what it is now that she has control of it. One thing though that I wont forgive was that she pretty much instantly fell in love with with this random guy that kidnapped her and threatening to kill her. Yes she doesn’t have much experience with people since she was never allowed to see anyone besides her godparents. Bust still.

The setting for the story took some getting used to. We are both in the future but kind of in the past at the same time. Some stuff went down apparently so now civilisation has gone way back to the point where they don’t even have doctors. I also found the history of everything a bit confusing. And we kept getting random information dumps both about people and the land which was really annoying. But then we get some magic in there too which kept me going. Plot wise quite a few major things happened (mostly set up ones) which has left me hankering to find out what will happen next!

Kelsea’s interaction with other people was also a very interesting. There are either people that will die for her or people that are trying to kill her. I really want Mace to take on more of a father figure kind of role, I love him so much. I wanted more. I think Kelsea wants it to, not too sure what he feels about it yet though. How she describes her views on her family I also found really interesting. She always wondered about her mother because she wasnt allowed to know anything, but she didn’t ever wonder about the uncle she knows who is hiring people to kill her her whole life, or the father she also knows nothing of. Not even his name. They never mattered, only her mother.  There were a lot of comments about her father in this book and I think he is going to become a larger role in the next ones.

So yes, I enjoyed it despite the bad PR statement and all the negative reviews. I will be getting my hands on  a hardback at the first chance I get.

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Love Gone Mad

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Title: Love Gone Mad

Author: Mark Rubinstein

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 348

Rating: 2 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

When heart surgeon Adrian Douglas and Megan Haggarty, RN, meet at the hospital where they work, neither has any idea of the scorpion’s nest into which they’ve stumbled. Strange and frightening events begin happening to each of them; someone is after them both–and the stalker is not only brilliant and crafty, but vows to exact revenge for the ultimate betrayal. As things spin out of control, Megan and Adrian fight for their lives.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was pleasantly reading through this book for about 30% of it. Then I realised that it was still going and I was only 30% through it. Things went downhill from their. It was not a good start to the 2014 reading of the year.

Like all NetGalley books this had random bits of structural and spelling failures so I am just going to move past it.

The dialogue in this book could have been better. At times it was staggered and unrealistic. I think if people talked liked that it would be just as hard to listen to it as it was to read. There was a line asking the bad guy how he smelt something on someone. It frustrated me greatly. Though the thing he said he could smell was that his daughter wasn’t his own, and thats not normally something you can smell (in this book it is) but the way the line was phrased got to me. How do people normally smell you idiot…

It repeats itself a lot, hypes things up that aren’t shocking or anything along those lines, and doesn’t stick to perspectives in a way that makes sense. It jumps from person to person sometimes without warning and quite often stays with the perspective I think that  was the more boring and outside the interesting parts. There are also moments which are seriously coincidental and the fact that there is more than one of them blew the chance of me accepting that it could actually happen. The book lost points here and It was hard for me to keep reading.

However when something action packed was happening, it did it very well. The description in these part was very captivating and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. My favourite section was when she was trapped in the elevator. I am horrified of elevators breaking on me and I am claustrophobic at times so her horror was my horror.

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Book Review – Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa

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Title: Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa

Author: Benjamin Constable

Genre: Mystery

Length: 352

Rating: 3 Star

Description/Synopsis:

What writer Benjamin Constable needs is a real-life adventure wilder than his rampant imagination. And who better to shake up his comfortable Englishman-in-Paris routine than the enigmatic Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, who has just sent a cryptic suicide note?

She’s planted a slew of clues—in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.

But Butterfly’s posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they’re full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In terms of structure there were a lot of issues. I have found this to be the case with a lot of NetGalley books and because I like to believe that authors pay much more attention to what they are doing even in a first draft that these structural stuff ups are intentional. I don’t know if its to spot something if people publish leaks or something or to discourage that kind of thing it is greatly annoying. Its very hard to just focus on the story when different people speaking isn’t broken up into different sections or when just one person speaking starts a new line multiple times after a couple of words. It also went from bold and italics for apparently no reason all the time. Very very distracting. I know that leaks would be an issue, but when there is so much wrong with the structure of the book its really hard just to focus on the story and rate it justly.

Now for the story. This book confused the hell out of me. It started off not confusing at all but the more you read of it the more confused you get and you just question everyone’s sanity and yours because you got sucked into their madness. You start off with a friend telling another in a letter that they are committing suicide and that they have set up a treasure hunt for them to follow and receive things if they work out the clues. This starts off both cute and fun, though a little weird because you know that both these people are a little weird, buts that’s it. A weird fun little treasure hunt. One joke that happened though at was funny got carried out too long. A piece of paper gets referred as a shit of paper at one point and from then on that’s what they are always referred to as. The joke got old very quickly. I don’t know anyone who would have found it funny for as long as it was played out.

The first sign of weirdness that happens is that our main character has a much large than the normal house cat. But he’s imaginary. He can’t talk or anything, even though he’s an imaginary cat and could make him talk if he wished. He talks to the cat all the time though, and it follows him. I personally love this cat and his relationship. The cat is awesome. Its the only relationship I love in this whole book though. Everyone is is bloody nuts with everyone else.

The treasure hunt doesn’t really get weird until it leads him to do a different country. Its there that we seriously start to leave the land of cute and fun. Our dead friend keeps telling him stories about how she has killed a bunch of people and our main character just kinda goes along with it. Then we find out she isn’t dead and when our main character finally hunts her down she takes him captive and constantly threatens to kill him with a gun. Still our guy just goes along with it. In the end she kills herself and lets him go, and he still just goes along with it. In the end he says goodbye and makes a comment about it all being very strange. Well no hell. It was all very strange. Very very strange. What kind of a person would just roll with everything that happened? Like I said, I question everyones including mines sanity.

This book was simply really confusing and a bit mind boggling. It was an experience though, and I would recommend it to people for the experience. It was a bit hard to put a genre on it for this reason.

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Book Review – The Last Winter of Dani Lancing

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Title: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing

Author: P.D. Viner

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 400

Rating: 4 Star

Description/Synopsis:

Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer was never found, and the case has long gone cold. Her parents, Patty and Jim, were utterly devastated, their marriage destroyed. While Jim fell apart, Patty was consumed by the unsolved case. She abandoned her journalism career and her marriage to spend every waking hour searching and plotting. She keeps contact with Tom, Dani’s childhood sweetheart, who has become a detective intent on solving murders like Dani’s. When he finds a lead that seems ironclad, he brings Patty in on it. After years of dead ends, her obsession is rekindled, and she will do anything for revenge, even become a killer herself-dragging her whole family into the nightmare once again, as lies and secrets are uncovered.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Well I spose I should start off by saying I got this off of NetGalley ahead of the publication date. That date has been and gone by now so I am sorry! I should really keep my NetGalley books to one at a time so this issue never comes up again.

For the structure of of the book I really enjoyed it. It gives you snippets of past and present mixed in together and slowly the story unfolds. I really like these kind of stories. They keep the suspense going for a story you already know the ending of. If this kind of story was told in a more straight forward order I don’t know how well it would work, but luckily for me that is not an issue.

When it comes to the theme/plot of the book the ending was left a little up in the air. The dude waking up from the coma could destroy the life they are living but they don’t go into that just just left there. Part of my likes when things are left up to the readers imagination but I think this may have been taking that too far. On the other hand, I really liked the very beginning of the book. You start off from the perspective of Dani, and though I could sense it coming/being revealed, I really loved it when it was told that she was already dead. Ghost perspective is generally always awesome for me because its not something I come across all the time.

Dani I liked as a character and I did feel sorry. She wasn’t perfect but you could feel her struggle with what happened with her life and I personally thought she was more real for this struggle and imperfectness. I’m glad they put the perspective of her ghost in there, I don’t know if I would have liked her so much if it was just the memories/revelations made up by the other people in the book. I started off like Tom and felt sorry for him too, I felt sorry for pretty much everyone in the book, however I gradually become disgusted with some of his choices throughout and was left wondering what the hell I was think feeling sorry for someone like that. But this disgust was slowly developed and I’m glad it was done that way because it made me feels things about him rather than cause me to ride him off right away. Good move on the writer. I thought the dad was a wimp and I didn’t like him all that much, but I thought the mum though crazy was more likeable. I seem to have a soft spot for the crazy.

As a side note I have read that many people have not liked the cover used for this book that I put at the top of this review, however I disagree. I feel the cover displays the more ghostly side of the writing and I think it displays Dani’s sadness and concealment.

Anyways I really liked this book, and I would more than gladly pick it up again.

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Book Review – A Fatal Likeness

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Title: A Fatal Likeness (Charles Maddox 2)

Author: Lynn Sheperd

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction

Length: 384

Rating: 2.5 Star (Rounded up to 3)

Description/Synopsis:

A mystery that explores the dark lives and unexplained secrets of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his wife Mary, author of Frankenstein.

In the dying days of 1850 the young detective Charles Maddox takes on a new case. His client? The only surviving son of the long-dead poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his wife Mary, author of Frankenstein.

Charles soon finds himself being drawn into the bitter battle being waged over the poet’s literary legacy, but then he makes a chance discovery that raises new doubts about the death of Shelley’s first wife, Harriet, and he starts to question whether she did indeed kill herself, or whether what really happened was far more sinister than suicide.

As he’s drawn deeper into the tangled web of the past, Charles discovers darker and more disturbing secrets, until he comes face to face with the terrible possibility that his own great-uncle is implicated in a conspiracy to conceal the truth that stretches back more than thirty years.

The story of the Shelleys is one of love and death, of loss and betrayal. In this follow-up to the acclaimed Tom-All-Alone’s, Lynn Shepherd offers her own fictional version of that story, which suggests new and shocking answers to mysteries that still persist to this day, and have never yet been fully explained.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I got this book from the author or someone associated with publishing the book on NetGalley. I am a bit ashamed to say that though I recieved this book before the publication date which was 20-08-13 for an honest review, that date has come and gone. I appologize for the lateness of this review, but I spose I will let myself off the hook by saying better late than never. So, finally, here is my review.

This story is fictioned based on real people and events, which isn’t normally something I would go for when lookig for something to read. I have to say that the cover and the title are the main things that peaked my interest about the book, specially as by the time I started reading it I had no idea what kind of book it was. I know, and still really don’t know, anything about the topic or the people, so Im going to be doing most of the review in the context that it is all pure fiction because thats what it mostly was to me. I also didn’t realise that this is was a second book in a series until I looked it up on Goodreads. Though I can see how story came before this one, I didn’t feel like I was really missing out on things that may have come before, and I don’t think it will effect anyone to read it just by itself like I did.

Ok first I guess I shall talk about the structure of the book. I don’t know if it was because of how it was written (the style is like pride and prejudice) or because I had to keep putting it down, but I found myself being seriously lost at some points, totally confused as to what on earth I was reading. At first I had serious issues with names. a lot of people are introduced and I had difficulties keeping up with who was who and who wanted what and who was responsible for things and blaaahhhh. I actually got really furious at section because I just had zero idea what was going on, ande It wasn’t supposed ot be that confusing. I almost just totally gave up on the book and never picked it up again, only the fact that I said I would reviewit and that I missed the date kept me going. I have to say that I amn kind of glad that I did, I enjoyed it far more towards the end when I had more time to read larger sections and things began to make more sense. I feel like I have to go back an reread the book again to fully what was going on all the time, but If I hadn’t been so confused at sections it very well could have gotten a better rating.

In terms of characters I felt myself get caught up in their concerns and theories to what on earth happened and why people care (something I didn’t really do al that much, it took me ages to  really be concerned as to why we were even being told this story). However, on the indivudual character basis I didn’t really care about any of them. I felt storry for the ones that died, and I thought the main character was a bloody idiot to not notice that someone working for him was pregnant and thusly ended up dying when things went bad. For someone who is supposed to notice and connect things for a living, it just blew my mind that he could be that stupid and blind to things going on in his own house.

For the overal theme and plot, if you look passed that for a good part I didn’t get why the story was being told, and that I was greatly confused for sections, I actually got pretty hooke don what was happening towards the end. When people started dying or when deaths started getting looked into I was much more interested.

Then at the end of the book there was authors notes on where the facts came from and what was altered and so on. I found this was helpful in clearing up some sections which I became lost in. It was a good summary I thought, but I only took it with a grain of salt. I wouldnt consider all the things said good facts unless I wanted to read up on them myself.

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Book Review – The Storycatcher

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Title: The Storycatcher

Author: Ann Hite

Genre: Suspense, Supernatural Thriller

Length: 352

Rating: 3 Star

Release Date: September 10th 2013

Description/Synopsis:

Shelly Parker, a sixteen-year-old servant who works for the tyrannical Pastor Dobbins and his family, has had the gift of sight for as long as she can remember. She’s grown accustomed to coexisting with the spirits of the dead who roam Black Mountain, telling Shelly their stories and warning her of the dangers that surround her. When the ghost of Arleen Brown, a poor woman who died on the mountain during childbirth five years earlier, begins to pursue Pastor’s daughter Faith—hell-bent on revealing a terrible secret that she took to her grave—Shelly is the only person that can help her. The two young women soon find themselves tangled up in a web of secrets and lies that takes them from Black Mountain to the murky saltwater marshes of Georgia, uncovering long-hidden truths that put their own lives in danger…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was allowed to read this book ahead of its publication date thanks to NetGalley and the author/publication house.

I started off a bit confused with the plot of this book. It took me a chapter or so get what was going. I know you may think that is generally the way it goes for ALL books, but the chapters switch between characters in different places in different time frames.

For the most part I really enjoyed the story. I love a book that deals with spirits of the dead hell bent on having the truth told, something that has haunted a mountain and those who are related to it in some way or anything for many years. The switching between the characters was a great way to get more detail about what is going on and to get some different perspectives on how they all felt about each others and the situations. I really enjoyed it when each of the different perspective/time frames joined up in pieces along the way to reveal what on earth was going on. For the most part the past was pretty easy to just know straight away, but there was always how it was going to end to work out.

There were a few things I didn’t like about the story though. One being that it moved really slowly. It did have enough stuff going on with the constant changes that it took me awhile that nothing really had happened yet. I was about 86% through, and from this point onward when something that was obviously moving the story onward to the climax I got a bit frustrated and tended to put it down a bit more. Another was the fact that though the characters have a few differences they all kinda seem the same by the end, mostly cause they are all scared and angry and there isnt much different between how they each react to these emotions. Also, the ending though had a bit of a climax, didnt really feel satisfying when you finally got there because of how long the build up took. It was also a bit of a too happy ending for a sad story.

I still recommend it when it is published. I only received the first draft so things might have been changed, and if not its still a worthy read.

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New Kindle Paperwhite :D

So yesterday I just took the plunge and bought myself a new Kindle Paperhite despite all the poor reviews I have read about the screen.

I have only put it down when the battery ran out. I am completely in love. I straight away went and found myself some free books on amazon, and put a book from NetGalley on there that would not work on my computer. Im afraid to put it down and touch it at the same time because I dont have a case for it yet. I bought one of the amazon cases online as soon as brought it home, and slightly regret not paying for it to get shipped sooner rather than later, but it would have been about $70 all up to do that and I couldnt bring myself to spend that much on a case.

So if anyone has any books to recommend that are super cheap/free tell me!

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Book Review – Predatory

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Title: Predatory

Author: Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, Dianne Duvall, Hanna Jayne.

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Suspense

Length: 254

Rating: 2-3 star average

Release Date: May 7th 2013

Description/Synopsis:

Four of today’s most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire…

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other…

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d’Alençon can’t forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay’s design contest rival is found dead, she’s the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He’s the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him–and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?​

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy 2 Star

This section of the book didnt impress me very much and it was very difficult to get into reading the book at all when it had such a poor opening story. To me this was basically just a shorty story version of a porno, just a quick bang that happens for the most random reasons which everyone is supposed to believe it plausible but really never would happen in a million years.The characters come into the story, instantly love or rather lust after one another. I didn’t feel any connect between the two main characters at all and found the overall insistence of the author that they actually love each other annoying because I didn’t believe it. The characters were hollow and I could barely tell the difference between them as I read, and the character Nikolo’s constant reminder that he was this great and powerful Sentinel was horrible. I understood that fact the first or at the very latest the third time you told me. Angela was also supposed to be smart, but some of the dialogue she spewed forth was just so idiotic I actually stopped reading for a bit to get over what had just been said.

Each of the stories in this book are very short but this one suffered greatly for the 60ish page limit each one had. The story really is just meant to a ‘trailer’ for a series of books that will be coming out at a later date, but it really wasnt suited for it. A story that could fit comfortably into a series let alone a full sized novel should not have been forced into such a small space. The idea of turning this book into a preview of ones to come kind of made me angry. The series name shall be Sentinel

All that being said though I have given the story a 2 star rating because if it wasn’t so short and wasn’t mainly focused on the sex, the actual story idea would have been very good. It has very X-Men qualities to it that could be very interesting. I would consider reading at least one book from the actual series to see if it has been presented better.

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs – 3 Star

I didn’t mind this story so much.Granted it did move a tad quickly, but the stories within this book don’t really have much of a choice in the matter. The story line was enough to keep me interested until the end, but not so great as to leave a very big impression on me once I had finished reading it. The only thing that greatly stood out in this story was that the main character Cassie didn’t seem to have a very set personality like the author couldn’t quite make up her mind about which one persona she wanted her character to take. Other than that however, it was alright and it would probably be worth a read.

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall – 4 Star

We just keep going up with the star rating don’t we? But I actually loved this story. Though we had very little time with the characters I actually felt like I got to know them and could tell each of the apart and their names weren’t mentioned directly after a section of dialogue.This one is also a sort of preview for a series for books already published called Immortal Guardians, but this one didn’t leave me disappointed or anything at the end.It seemed to span over a greater period of time so the storyline didnt seem so rushed but was left open to more if it wanted. For this one I dare say I was supposed to know the characters before I started reading to know some of the background that was happening/mentioned, but I never once felt like I was missing something. It was very well put together or a short preview.

Also a romance, it didn’t focus on the sex either and the relationship seemed to grow more than something that was slapped together for the sake of it. The only thing really that I have to complain about with this book as that it kept switching character perspective when it wasn’t supposed to, but I don’t know if everyone would pick up on it, and it sure didn’t ruin the story for me. It was mainly something I picked up on because I try to focus on details like that when I send my response to the author that was kind enough to let me read the story before it was published.

Anyway, I now eagerly await the day I can read the actual series and get far more of these characters I fell in love with and the ones I wish I knew more about.

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne 2 Star

I fell asleep 3 times while reading this story. Thats a lot for about 60 pages of writing and having not been one bit tired. I was expecting more from this final story since the other ones seemed to improve the more I read into the book, but this one made the overall rating fall right back. The author tried to make it very hip and now to how people on the internet or some people on the street tend to speak, but what I think the author failed to pick up on that some of those things are really only said by 14 year olds and older people tend to stay away from the ridiculous sayings. It didn’t really work with the age group the book was trying to reach.

Again a preview for an already published series called Underworld Detection Agency, the story itself wasn’t so bad from a how it was written kind of way, and I felt like I was missing things in this story. Our main character is supposed to be a vampire but the only thing that really comes about from this fact in the story is she catches on fire at one point and heals quickly, other than that nothing. It probably would have been better to leave this out all together and have it as a normal human murder fashion mystery rather than a seemingly pathetic vampire that doesn’t really seem to do anything that makes her a kick ass of the night. I feel the series might reveal more, but for this it just wasnt needed to add the paranormal aspect to the story.

Combine all this with a predictable ending, you have a pretty boring story. I guess the second I met a characters sister with the thoughts “The sister did it” before I even knew what it was, that she would be the master behind all the evil. Then sure enough I was right. When I jump to conclusions I would like to be made to feel at least doubtful if not proven wrong by such a judgement.

The Overall Book

I received this book from the publishing company (I think) on NetGalley for my honest review, but If was to go and buy this book, it would only really be for In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall. It was the only section that made it a worthy read really. Or if you feel the other might actually appeal to you, I would suggest that I buy the actual books from the series rather than this book of previews. Its just not worth it for the whole thing.