Blood Rose Books

 

 

Blood Rose Books, is a book review website that provides review for the Mystery, Action Adventure, Thriller, Paranormal, Dark Paranormal and Horror genres. All the reviews are honest and yes that does mean a some bad reviews as well.

Blood Rose Books, tries to get readers interested in books and genres that someone may not have thought of trying before. As well as get people interested in not only mainstream published authors, but the wealth of indie authors that are out there as well.

Please feel free to comment on here, or on any of the reviews on the website Blood Rose Books 

 
I hope that I am able to lead you to your next great author and read.

Cheers,

J9

Shari Lapena: The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena

In her debut in the suspense/mystery genre Shari Lapena asks the question, how well do you those who are close to you: 

Anne and Marco are invited to a dinner party, only problem is their new baby is not invited. Good thing you live next door to the dinner party, at least that is what Anne's husband, Marco tells her and that between the baby monitor and checking on Cora every hour Marco is convinced. Everything is not fine, when they return home in the early morning hours to every parent's nightmare, the crib is empty, the baby is gone. What ensues is panic and every parent's nightmare. Will they get Cora back, who could have taken her, why did they leave her alone, did Anne do something to Cora? All of these questions are racing through everyone's mind as they try to find out what happened and get Cora back before it is too late.

This was a good debut for Lapena in this genre and really touched home on some points for me. As a new mom, this book starts out as my worst nightmare. Going in to the baby's room and finding they're missing would break anyone's heart but as a parent now, I cannot even imagine how I would react. I liked that Lapena had some aspects of postpartum depression and symptoms in the book and highlighted how things can be difficult for a lot of new moms out there. You really feel for Anne as she is struggling with it but it feel like she has no one to talk to it about and it seems very little understanding from her husband ans so call friend. I personally wanted to go through the book and grab the so called friend, Cynthia, who was next door when she made comments about how much Anne had changed after the baby and how she was no longer fun and interesting....All i can say is she ruffled more than one of my feathers lol.

I think that throughout the book I am most drawn to Anne and her struggle to come to terms of her child missing and all the walls crumbling down around her, especially when she and Marco are suspects right off the bat. You can really feel her emotions and struggle and I think that Lapena did a really good job in her characterization. I did feel like Anne was the main character in this book, I know that Marco has quite a bit from his point of view but I felt like everything really was centered around Anne. I also liked the police officer in this book, and I wish there was more from his point of view as he seemed like the tough as nails type of guy.

What I did not like about this book is that you as the reader know more than the characters and you are waiting for Anne to figure it out. I'm not a fan when main characters are behind what the reader knows, it takes out the suspense and mystery aspects of the book. I also felt that the book lacked any major twist or turns and I found it very predictable in the way that the plot unfolded.

This is a good book and I think that I enjoyed it more as I was able to feel some sort of connection with Anne. I do not think I would have liked this book as much if I had not felt this connection as I found the plot/mystery/suspense aspect a little lack luster, full of drama sure, but not normally the type of drama I'm drawn to (think Lifetime movie). However, I would read another book by Lapena as there were aspects in this book I liked and I think there is some real story tell talent here.

Enjoy!!!

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Ezekiel Boone: The Hatching

The Hatching: A Novel - Ezekiel Boone

With his debut novel and the start of a new series Ezekiel Boone takes a more creepy crawly stand to the end of the human population:
 
In the jungles of Peru Americas appear to be devoured by a moving black mass, there are unusual seismic activities in India and in China the set off an Atomic bomb in one of their most remote regions and claim it was an accident. All levels of government are trying to figure out what is going one.  All these events at first glance do not appear to be connected but humans will soon find out than a long dormant species has began to hatch and they need to feed, breed and spread and humans are the perfect target.

I was really impressed with Boone's debut novel. I found it interesting and against the norm in regards to his end of the world scenario which is extremely refreshing (too many zombie or the like out there now). I do not think I have read or watched a movie that was so spider heavy since Arachnophobia when I was younger (Yes I'm aware that there were spiders in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings but they were not constant throughout the book). If you have a fear of spiders you probably won't want to pick this book up unless you like being scared then this one is for you. I can probably guarantee even if you are not scared of spiders you're going to start feeling something crawling on your skin, or in my case having dreams about spiders. I think this speaks to the fact that the book is well written and that the details of the spider's in action makes you feel like you are there with them.

I appreciated that you could tell that Boone had done some research on Spiders, knew the difference species as well as how they interacted with each other and in the wild. Additionally, Boone has done some research in the ability for insects to be dormant for long periods of time and only emerging when conditions are right. What I think I liked best about Boone's spiders is that they were not these large scary for just being large kind of spiders, sometimes things that are small and in large numbers are that more terrifying. They were smallish (I believe it was stated they were quite a bit smaller than the Goliath bird eating spider) and they used their numbers to their advantage. How some of the spiders reproduced was just crazy (in a good way) and extremely smart, I like the ingenuity and research of this type of breeding that Boone brought to the book.

There are quite a few different view points in the book but I didn't really find myself caring that much about the all the character, it was all about the spiders for me. I mean I liked the Dr. Melanie Guyer and FBI Agent Mike Rich, who I would say are the main characters in this book as they seem to have the most chapters from their point of view but they were just part of the plot really. I'm glad that Boone included a spider expert (Arachnology) in the book, as she is a key player in figuring everything out. The one thing I did not like about Melanie is that she thinks about sex and sexual acts a little bit too much for me, but that is just a personal preference. I will say that some of the point of views feel like one offs in this book, but as this book is part of a series they may be developed more in the next book.

I look forward to reading the next book in this series and have some high expectations for it too. Can't wait  to start feeling the creepy crawly feeling as I read again (well maybe I can wait a bit, its not the best feeling in the world, lol).

Enjoy!!!

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Mary Kibica: The Good Girl

The Good Girl - Mary Kubica

In her debut novel Mary Kubice explores two sides of what happens when someone is kidnapped:

Mia was supposed to meet her boyfriend at a bar and when he doesn't show, again, she does something reckless and stupid, she leaves with a stranger. Little does she know he is there for another reason, he was there specifically for her. Colin takes Mia to a secluded cabin in the woods instead of delivering her to his employers both their lives are now in trouble. Mia doesn't know why she was taken, Colin doesn't know why he decided to go against the plan, but their lives and that of Mia's mother, Eve, are forever changed.

Kubice has been an author that I have seen a lot of lately and I decided to try her book (and not because it is hyped as the next gone girl....it is not). I will say that it took me two readings in order to get in to this book, as I was unable to get in to the book the first time and I am really glad I picked it back up. This was a really good book and it was even better once I realized that this was her debut novel. It was an interesting twist that the who the book is about does not have parts told from her point of view. All the information we get about Mia / Chloe is through another person, mainly her mother Eve and Colin her abductor, with the police officer in charge of the investigation in to Mia's abduction Gabe every once in awhile Although Gabe's parts were my least favourite in the book as they did not really add anything to Mia's story, they added a bit to Colins', but I found the investigation part a bit lackluster and definitely secondary.

I really enjoyed the format that Kubice and it really helped tell the story of Mia and how she became Chloe. It also added to the suspense of trying to figure out when and how Mia was able to get away from Colin. Like I said Kudice was very very successful in using this format to her advantage. It was addicting at times as you want to figure out how Mia became Chloe, how she got away, Colin's motivations and what job he was originally hired to do.

 
It was interesting seeing Mia go through the stages of being the victim of a kidnapping and eventually turning in to Chloe. Stockholm syndrome is very present in this book and it appears that Kubice had good knowledge about the syndrome. Though I do wish we could have been inside Mia's head at the time it was occurring by the end of the book you know why Kubica refrained from doing this. However, even seeing what happened to her second hand was enough for you to understand what she was going through both during the kidnapping and after. Don't worry I did not spoil the book you find out basically right away that she is returned to her family.

Not going to lie sometimes I surprise myself when I am able to figure out a books big twist well before the book has ended. All the info is there it is just whether you can put all the pieces together or not. That said I really did enjoy this book and how Kubice wrote it, as I said above it was addicting at time. I look forward to reading another book by Kubice and I have high expectations now as this was her debut novel.

Enjoy!!!

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Rick Yancey: The 5th Wave

By Rick Yancey The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) [Paperback] - Rick Yancey

Rick Yancey has a lesson for the people of Earth, an invasion is coming and they are going to use any mean necessary to take Earth:
 
The first wave was darkness, they took away electricity; The second wave they used mother nature against humans; The third wave a plague where only a few survived; The fourth wave you cannot trust anyone but no one was prepared for the fifth. Cassie was one of the "lucky" ones most of her family was able to survive the waves but not everyone made it. Now with her brother and father they make their way through the world to a camp where everything is about to change.
 

I will admit that I watch the movie before I read this book, so I knew basically how things were going to play out and true to form there were things in the book that did not make it to the movie, but overall I think that the movie was a fairly good representation of the book. It was an interesting premise and I how smart the Aliens were in their approach to eliminating the human, really I cannot think of better ways in the end. Although, typical that the invading species underestimates the other.
 
I never felt really attached to any of the character like I think Yancey wants you to be. I will say that Cassie was the biggest disappointment for me. I did not mind Cassie in the beginning, I actually thought that she was going to be the strong female lead in this book, but I could not be more wrong. The further I read in the book I found she became a weaker character, she relied way too much on Evan and went against her gut feeling too many times. She does have some redeeming qualities in that she is loyal to a fault especially towards her brother and she does have times of bravery, but the whole middle portion of the book really just had her portrayed as a weaker character. Overall, she was not the strong female protagonist that I wanted her to be.
 
This leads me to the wish that there was a point of view from Ringer as she is who I wanted Cassie to be. She is tough, at time ruthless and smart enough to know there is more going on and she does not second guess her gut like Cassie does. She also has a compassionate side that is under played at times due to the situation but you can see that it is there.

Although I liked the Alien invasion aspect of the this book, I really could not get invested in any of the main characters in any way. So I do not think at this time that I would continue on with this series, although I might consider it if the next book had Ringer point of view.
 
Cheers!!

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Pippa DaCosta: Hidden Blade

Hidden Blade - Pippa DaCosta

Pippa Dacosta takes the Gods of old and transports them to our time, where they indulge and rule like never before:
 
The Gods call him the nameless one, others call him the soul eater, both would be right. Kicked out from the underworld and cursed to walk the Earth for eternity, Ace does everything he can to stay away from Gods. Ace tries to spend his time helping people avoid Gods and demons, but not even he can avoid the callings of his ex-wife, Bastet Queen of Cats. Bastet hires Ace to find out who is slaughtering her blessed women and Ave finds himself caught in-between more than one powerful deity.
 
I picked up this book as I wanted to read something with a Male lead. I really enjoyed this book as it was a lot darker than I thought it would be. I also liked that I had not heard of  of the Gods in this book, so their evilness and calculating manners were refreshing. I believe I read in another review that the Gods are from Egypt, which makes since with Bastet, so this now makes them even more interesting to me as I really know nothing about Egyptian Gods. However, I do think that the underworld part of the look was lacking in world building. "Above ground" it is normal with demons and gods roaming around so I was hopeful that DaCosta would expand the underworld. Hopefully in future books in the series she will take us back to the underground and expand on not only the world but the Caste system that appears to be in place there. Really even after this book I feel like the underworld is still a blank slate for her to play with and create.

 

I liked Ace as a main character, he is almost the anti-hero as he has some dark points of views, really he likes to play if off that he is just out for himself, but he has the ability to see the light of people's souls and he does not want to hurt those who have that lightness. However, he has no qualms with people that he feels need to be killed but due to some unfortunate circumstances some innocents are murdered along the way. His struggle is very interesting in regards to the curse that he is under. He is unable to refuse the bidding of one of the Gods and the pain he goes through when he is forced to do something that he is very much against is very real. You can tell that not all of Ace's powers are displayed in this book and I look forward to learning more about them and his sword.
 
Did this book need a sex scene? I do not think so, as it did not add anything to the story. I understand why DaCosta had some sex in regards to the Gods, as one was the God of fertility and was just wielding his power over a pitiful human but I do not think that there needed to be one between Ace and Bastet. You could tell where there relationship was before and where it was going with out the scene. As this book is on the shorter side, I can only think that it was included in order to make the book longer.
 
I liked the darkness that this book has and the interaction between Ace and the Gods, however, I found the world building severely lacking. That said this book was able to keep me entertained and I'm looking forward to continuing on in the series.
 
Enjoy!!!

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Amy Schumer: Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer

I do not read a lot of biography or autobiography books, however, Amy Schumer has been and up and coming comic/actress for awhile now and I personally find her hilarious so I thought I would give her book a read. If you are looking for the top ten Amy Schumer jokes, move along, this is not what this book is about. If you are looking for just one joke or funny story after the other, this is not the book for you, move along. If you are looking for all of those things go see her live (this based upon what I have heard and a bit from her book. When she was in my town I could not afford tickets to her show...but next time look out), as this is what her shows are about.

What this book is a more in depth look into Schumer, her beginning, her life, how she became a comic and the things that she has triumphed and struggled with along the way. It is by no means a full inclusive story but just a glimpse in to who she is, people have a right to keep some things to themselves even celebrities, but Amy does shine a light on several topics throughout her life. I never would have known that she was an introvert and all the anxieties that come with that especially when it is your job to perform live and in front of thousands of people as well as mingle with people at events when all you really want to do is sit in the corner (I share that trait with her on some level, though I would like a book in the corner with me, lol).

I appreciated some of the life lessons that Schumer discusses in her book, from her Dad's illness, to being in an abusive relationship to being raped. The latter two listed are violent or as explosive physically as those words bring images to mind, but they do happen in this way and people need to know that in whatever form they take it is not okay in any relationship.  Many of those topics are common in autobiography, biography or memoir; I found that Schumer discussed these topics not only with class but with some humor in a way that did not minimize the experiences that she had gone through (something that is very tough to do). Is Schumer crass at at different point in the book, I think you'd be surprised if I said No. Of course she is Crass and proud of it, this is what people would expect from her book, but I think more importantly Schumer passes  shows that Yes she is human, Yes she has and does make mistakes, Yes she is happy with what she looks like and F you for thinking she needs to lose weight and Yes she probably does not want to talk to you all that much at a party. These things all make her human; we are all flawed, we all hate ourselves at some point in our lives but eventually we accept who we are and what we look like and I think this is one of the most important messages that Schumer has in her book..

There were some things in the book that felt like she was just trying either a little too hard or just trying to make the book longer, especially the lists. I did not really find that there was any interesting information in them that Schumer does not talk about in the book.

This is the first book that I have read by a comedian and I know it will not be my last, there are a few out there now that I would like to pick up. Even though I have not read a lot in the genre I still really recommend this book, it was really enjoyable and I enjoyed the little peek that Schumer let us have in to her world.

Enjoy!!!

Side Note:
While reading this I had no idea how many female comedians these days were writing this type of book. Maybe I was in my own little world here but I really had no idea that this was now the "IT" thing to do. If you have any you have read and recommend please let me know.

Hollie Overton: baby Doll

Baby Doll - Hollie Overton

In her debut novel, Hollie Overton tackles the journey of a young girl who went from captive to freedom:

 
Eight years ago Lily disappeared without a trace, many think that she is dead, but she is not. She has been taken captive, abused, and taught to be his perfect Baby Doll, she would never try to escape, the punishments have been too harsh in the past when she has tried, but this night is different. She is sure she did not hear the door lock and heard him leave the house, is this another trap to see if she is still his perfect doll, or is this her one chance to escape. Lily has to make a decision and she has to make it now for her own life and that of her daughter's Sky. But will anyone believe her if she makes it, will they accept that a trusted member of their community was her kidnapper and tormentor, she has to take the chance, it is the only hope she has left. This is the story that happens after.



Overton is no stranger to writing, she is also a writer for the Shadow Hunter Tv series (I do not watch this series so I cannot comment on the writing for that show), however, this is her first novel. As far as debut novels go, this one is good but there are certain aspects you can tell that make this a debut novel. I found that there were areas that I thought needed more exploring that were only hinted at throughout; mainly the Twin connection. The twin connection is referred to quite often in the book but never really expanded upon in any way. I never really felt like Lily and Abby were twins most of the time (other than their looks), just sisters and I think just having them as sisters would have made no difference in the book or how it played out. What I did like about them was that they were completely different people when Lily came back. Lily was stronger than ever and more protective than ever while Abby was weak on many front in her life. I enjoyed reading about this contrast between the two.


I am always a fan of a book that can surprise me and I there were times in this book that Overton was able to achieve this, especially in regards to Abby's character. There were events that I did not see coming or a turn that a character would make that I had not expected. I think surprises are key in this type of book when things can go very straightforward, so I am happy that Overton was willing to take some risks. I also think that Overton did a good job of understanding the dynamic between Lily and her kidnapper and the relationship that they had "built" through their year together. I wish there would have been a little bit more focus on this, but this is just a preference.


I dislike that the publishers compare this book to Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, this book is neither. I do not mean this in a bad way, this book has a different writing style, tone and overall idea that it is unfair to compare it to these two books. I also do not think that this book should be classified as a thriller, but that is my personal opinion when it comes to that genre.


This was a good read and a good debut novel. There were a few elements that I think could have been expended on and developed more, but overall I enjoyed reading this book. I look forward to reading more from Overton.


Enjoy!!!

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Ilona Andrews: Magic Shifts

Magic Shifts  - Ilona Andrews

This is one of my favourite urban fantasy/paranormal series, and in order to fully understand the world and characters you will need to start at the beginning Magic Bites. I dont have a reviews for the first few books in this series, as I started reading them before I started reviewing and blogging, but there are some great reviews out there and I encourage you to check them out.

Ilona Andrews is back with the next book in her fantastic Kate Daniels series, and everyone want to know if Kate and Curran can survive without the safety of the Pack:
Kate and Curran are starting to adjust to life outside of the Pack, but it seems like the Pack is not quite done with them yet. The Pack offers Curran a stake in the Mercenary Guild and Curran sees it as a new opportunity for him and Kate. However, the Mercenary Guild want nothing to do with Curran or Kate and the Guild has fallen into dis-repair in both the office and the jobs they take. Kate knows to get things up and running they have to do all the dirty work and that means the jobs that have been left unfinished. But there are some strange happenings on the jobs and they all seem connected and  it is going to take everything they have to defeat this ancient being.

I have been reading Andrews since I started reading Urban Fantasy in the early 2000 (did I just date myself there?)...Anyways, Kate Daniels is still one of my favourite series and characters in this genre and I look forward to the release of the next book in the series each year. I have started many series throughout the years but some get forgotten or go by the wayside, but this has not happened with this series. I think that this is mainly due to the fact that Andrews has allowed Kate and Curran to grow as characters throughout the series. Yes they still have some of their same personality quirks that they had in the beginning but they have grown as characters and not so stuck in their ways that they cannot move on (I'm looking at you Anita Blake).

I loved the creativeness that Andrews showed in this book with the mutation of the bodies from one species to another. I kept thinking it was a different form of a hydra, kill one form of the species and the next one that comes out is harder and more deadlier than the last and I know that Andrews has not used this type of idea in her previous books in this series. That is one thing you can count on in this series is creativeness.
There were some interesting interaction between Kate and Roland, I cannot wait to see what type of game they are going to play with each especially with the premonition that was given to Kate from the witches. This premonition also shows the growth that both Kate and Curran are going to take and I hope that Andrews does not take too long to get there.

This book exceeded my expectations especially as I found the book before this to be the weakest in the series so far and maybe I was just a little bit worried that Andrews had lot her touch. I'm happy to report that the previous book, was just a blip in this series and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Enjoy!!!

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Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins takes readers on a train ride (pun intended, you ride the train a lot in this book) of mystery and emotions, when you cannot quite remember what happened:

She rides the train in to London every day, just to cover up that she has lost her job and is no longer working. While on the train each day she starts it with a few drinks and watching the people who live along the train line. She passes her old residence where she had love and a future. Now there is a new happy couple living there and one of them is her ex-husband Tom. This is why she drinks, she cannot face the life that she now has when she once had the best life with Tom. the other house she notices is the one at the end of the street, where a new couple lives and she imagines them having a perfect life as they both look perfect. But when Megan goes missing, Rachel feels like she has seen something, knows something about her life that can find her. She wants to help the police but her own turmoil of a life put everything she knows and saw as well as her life at risk.

I tend to stay away from books that have a lot of hype around them (like fifty shades of grey) at least until the hype dies down a bit but I'll admit that I picked up this book because that it was being turned in to a movie and I always like to compare the book and movie. Based upon how amazing and awesome this book is being hailed, it took me way too long to finish it and I do not think that I should be able to figure out the "big" twist ect, fairly early in the book too, so this hindered my overall enjoyment of the book. I think that Hawkins does a good job of trying to lead the reader to different opinions on what not only happened to Megan but ultimately who is responsible, I just think her attempts were lacking in imagination.

I liked Rachel as a main character with all her flaws around alcoholism, blackouts and her bipolar disorder. This adds real dimension to her character as she tries to muddle through what happened to her that night. All these flaws make her character not only damaged but also interesting. As her mind is pretty jumbled chapters about her and from her point of view can be frustrating as a reader as you really just want her to remember. Her decision making process is also not the greatest too and she end up getting herself in trouble more than once with the decisions she makes, but it is her overall eagerness to help that makes her endearing and the character you cheer for.

I think that I must have a different idea of what a thriller is supposed to be but for me other than the last quarter of the book I did not have this feeling. For me a thriller needs to leave me on the edge of my seat, have me staying up late to read just one more chapter and this did not achieve this for me. It was an interesting who-done-it type of book, but thriller it is not.

For me this book was a disappointment due to all the hype associated with it and the fact that it was being turned in to a movie. I would read another book by Hawkins as I think that she explored some interesting aspects in the book especially around Rachel's alcoholism.

Enjoy!!!

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Darynda Jones - Third Grave Dead Ahead

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson Series) - Darynda Jones

If you want to start this series, you will want to read the first two book before this one, First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left.

In the Third book in her Grim Reaper series, Darynda Jones takes the reader on a ride from Reyes to a missing person case:

Charley Davidson, aka Grim Reaper (though not the cloaked skull looking one) did not know what the consequences would be by binding Reyes to his physical body. She certainly did not see it leading to her not sleeping for 14 days straight. It's hard for her to function or do work in her private investigators business but she trudges ahead. When a strange missing person case comes to Charley she has to drink as much caffeine as possible in order to stay on her game as it sounds to her that this missing person case is about to become a homicide.

It was about 2013 the last time I read a book in this series, it was one that I remembered enjoying but for some reason stopped reading it. So I decided to pick it up again, and I will say that it is funny how taste can change over a few years. You basically get hit with a sex scene right from the beginning (not my favourite thing in books) and this set the main tone for the majority of this book. I will say that it was easy to pick back up in this series even after three years as Jones does a good job of rehashing the major points from the previous two books in the series

I'm a sucker for a Grim Reaper. I personally have not read too many books that feature a Grim Reaper so I am always interested in seeing different authors interpretation of that character. I find that Charlie is the portal to heaven interesting and I wonder if that aspect can be developed further later in the series. I also find it interesting that Charley does not know the extent of her powers, other than talking to the departed, and that she has not taken the time to really learn what she can do. I also hope that her additional powers are developed later in the series.

I can say that I am not fan of Charley for the most part of the book, I just found her pretty whiny and maybe a little too much of a smart ass. Maybe all her snarky comments was just Jones playing up her lack of sleep in the book. I cannot remember her in the previous books and what she was like, but I do remember liking her, so it is possible that Jones is really trying to make Charley as real as possible. I know I would be barely (and I really mean not) hanging on without sleeping for 14 days. However, Charley does have her redeeming characteristics of putting herself in the line of danger so that others can survive or do not get hurt. Can you enjoy a book and not really like the main character? I would say in this instance yes, as I did find myself enjoying the book, just with more eye rolls that usual as I read it when Charley would have a very immature, stupid or extremely bad timed comment.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, minus the main character, so I'll see how things goes in the fourth book to really help me decide if I will go on from there (I checked and there are eight books so far in this series, that is serious commitment if I do not like the main character).

Enjoy!!

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Angela Marsons: Blood Lines

Blood Lines: An absolutely gripping thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 5) - Angela Marsons

Normally with this series it is not necessary to read the previous books in the series (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls and Play Dead), but this book is the exception. At the very least you need to read Evil Games in order to understand the cat and mouse game that Kim and Alex have going on. That book really set the past history that they have. That said all the books are really good reads and I think you will want to continue on after you read the first book Silent Scream.

What is the connection between a local caring upstanding social worker and a local drug addict have in common. Kim and her team are baffled as the only connection is the same precise stab wound to the heart. To make matters worse Kim is off her game with the return of Alex Thorne, who is not done with Kim yet. As the body count continues to grow, Kim cannot seem to focus on the case as Alex is forever in her mind, trying but failing Kim becomes more and more wrapped up in her "Game".

Mike Drop....Pen Drop....Book Drop..... Not sure which one applies to books, but I was extremely excited when I saw that Alex was going to be back in this book. Alex is one of my favourite antagonist in a mystery series. Alex is not only the master of manipulation but an actor who is able to become the person that you want her to be. It is very interesting that Alex is able to understand emotions but not feel them. Although Alex is not able to manipulate Kim as much as should would like in this book (face to face time is hard when you're in prison), we are still able to the resources that Alex has and her reach even when she was in prison were astounding. Her planning and forethought really point to the sociopath that she is, and well as you can probably tell I just loved having her back. Alex is not even the main issue/case in this book, Alex really acts as a diversion to Kim and really takes a toll on Kim mentally that her work is suffering. The main mystery is also interesting and I will say that the diary entries will make more sense at the end of the book.

It was nice to see that Kim has changed from the first book and has made strides since the very first book. Her growth has been slow but Marsons does allow some milestones in her personality and relationships. You can really see this with her relationship with Bryant. We also see more of her haunting past, and while we had some of the information in previous books, there was more elaboration of the events.
I'm not sure if I just never noticed it in the previous books in this series, but Stacey's slang really bothered me in this book. It just seemed more pronounced and constant and well just annoying to me. It is something very minor overall in the book but I guess it was there enough that I really began to notice it.

This is one of my favourite thriller/mystery series that I read and I was so excited when Alex was back in this book. I cannot wait for Marsons to release another book in this series.

Enjoy!!!

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Keri Arthur: Winter Halo

Winter Halo - Keri Arthur

You will need to read the first book, City of Light, in order to fully grasp what is going on within this book as the whole plot and a large part of the word building is done there. Additionally, I think that it was a really good read so you should just pick the book up.

The world thought that all the déchet were massacred during the last war, but Tig has survived and her secret is now out. Although many do not trust her, they have to put their faith in her to find the missing children. When all signs lead to a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo, Tig needs to infiltrate the company. What she finds will scar her forever and it is going to take all her special abilities and gifts in order to come out not only alive but in one piece.

You never know how the second book in a series is going to go. There are some that are just as good as the first and (which happens more often) pale in comparison to the first book. I am happy to report that this book is in the first category and a really good follow up book to the first book and there were aspects in this book that I liked more. I found that this book was not only darker but more descriptive in those parts. The whole king of body farm aspect/human experimentation was completely creepy and Arthur really did not hold back here.

I'm glad that Arthur introduced additional information about rifts as this was one of the aspects in the world building that I found under explained in the first book and a bit confusing; especially the major role that the rifts have had in both books. Now I have a whole new set of ideas of what is really going on and what the rifts are, what they accomplishes. I think that the rifts are some sort of magic from another dimension or planet something to that affect. They are there to really weed out the weak from the strong as well as act as portals for these other creatures that made the portal to come through, and i think that is what those creatures are trying to create for them; a perfect army to take over. No idea if my thoughts are right, complete speculation on my part, but that is the feeling/ide, just glad that i'm able to get to this point instead of just scratching my head about them.

I found that the sex scenes were shorter, which I appreciated, I think this may be due to the fact that Tig was doing it more as an investigative part than reliving times with a close friend. However, there were times that I questioned whether Tig needed to follow that avenue of investigation and maybe Arthur was just using it to have sex scenes in the book but the more I thought about it, this is where Tig is supposed to excel. Not every avenue of investigation is going to get the result or outcomes that you hope it will and when I take that in to consideration I understand why Arthur had these scenes. Plus hey they were shorter, so major points in my book.

Still love Tig as a main character. She uses her strengths to the best of her ability even if that does mean sex, but she is a great fighter as well and she has not wasted her time alone in learning how to fight, even if this goes against what she was created to do. I would love to have some ghosts of my own to help me out, I think this is one of the more interesting aspects in this series. I just love Cat and Bear and their ability to help out Tig and I think that with some of the events that happened in this book things can only get more interesting.

This book lived up to the first one and while I still have questions, Arthur was able to keep me on the edge of my seat and of course wanting more. I am very interested and excited to see how this trilogy is going to play out.

Enjoy!!!

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Noah Hawley: Before the Fall

Before the Fall - Noah Hawley

Noah Hawley explores the many aspects of what happens when tragedy strikes:

Eleven people board a plane, one of them is a painter, Scott, who has had a rough past and the other 10 are from a privileged background and Scott knows that he is lucky to be on this plane. Sixteen minutes after the flight takes off, it crashes into the Ocean and everyone dies except for Scott and a young boy. Scott is being hailed as a hero, but there are some who do not believe his story and have questions they want answered, especially why was he on that plan as he clearly did not belong there. Here is the story of Scott and the other passengers Before the Fall as we explore what caused the plane to crash.

Normally when I find an author that is transferring from the small or big screen to writing a fiction novel, their books have fallen flat. I find that you can tell they are used to writing something for a visual audience not one where the audience sees with their mind not their eyes. However, I do not think that this is the case with Hawley. I found that this book was well written and descriptive. I think that this had to do with the main character (I say main character as we have the most POV from Scott) being an artist by trade and Hawley uses this to his advantage when we are inside Scott's head. The book becomes more dimentional in it's world building and what is occurring because of Scott.

I enjoyed how Hawley went back and forth between the past and present but it was kind of  morbid and sad in a way as you get to know some of the other characters in the book, whether you like them or dislike them, but you know that these are going to be their final moments, especially that of the children (though we do not get their perspective). This was extremely well done, very interesting, and I personally have not read a book that took in to account the perspectives of those who have died before.

It was nice to really have a hero in this book who was just a regular guy who thrown into these specific set of circumstances he is able to save his life and that on a little boy. I think that Scott portrayed a very realistic sense of the people who are every day hero, in which they do not think of themselves as such and that people just want to be part of their limelight (even if they do not want it) plus

I enjoyed the main antagonist in this book Bill Cunningham who was so concerned in finding out the "truth" and pointing out the flaw of our hero that he goes out of his way to break the law. Cunningham also reminded me of Trump in a way as he would make a mountain out of a mole hill especially in regards to Scott going in to hiding and not wanting the media attention on him.

Overall, was an interesting read, but was not quite the thriller I was expecting, more a mystery and exploration in to human behaviour, which it what I really enjoyed. I did find it slow at times but I think Hawley did this on purpose because there were so many people to explore and not all of them can live an interesting life, have sort of scandal or skeleton in their closet (there are just normal people out there too). I would read another book by Hawley and I'm excited to see what he comes up with next.

Enjoy!!!

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J. F. Lewis: Staked

Staked - J.F. Lewis

In the first of a series, J. F. Lewis shows the reader just how wrong the vampire making process can go:

Eric wakes up covered in blood, which normally would not be that bad of a thing being a vampire, but it is never a good thing when you don't remember whose blood is all over you, who you have killed and most of all being outside this close to sunrise (unless you have a death wish). These are just a few of Eric's overall issues. Add in that his girlfriend desperately wants him to turn her into a vampire and a religious based lycanthrope group wants to kill him, it's no wonder that Eric is "slightly" insane. Now he just has to survive long enough to figure all these aspects out. They never said being a vampire would be easy and it sure beats the alternative of being dead.

The cover of the book does not do this book justice, and does not portray this book accurately as I think the book is way better than the cover dictates. However, this book was published in 2008 so that probably had something to do with it as it was covers like this one that sold back then. Really other than the main character owning a stripper joint (good place to get money and blood) the cover has nothing to do with the darker, funny and action orientated story that is on the inside. I'm not kidding this book seemed like such a contradiction to the cover that I was surprised with the book inside (but in my opinion it was a good surprise). Also the main character in this book is male, so I find it weird that it is possible Tabitha is the main focus the cover.

Have you ever wondered what would happen to someone who was going through becoming a vampire only to be thought dead and embalmed part way through? I know I never ever thought of it, but Lewis did and lets just say what comes out isn't entirely whole and pretty quirky too. This is Eric's creation story, and i think this is one of my main reason why I liked him and this book as he is very different. You can really see that the embalming has had an affect on him, not so much physically but mentally for sure; in fact he is kind of insane at times (most times really), lacks any type of for thought and judgement and his memory is horrible though I guess his blackout moments do not help. Eric is loyal to a fault (well except when it comes to the women he is dating, but to his friends, children and those he has made into vampires, he is very loyal to them even when he shouldn't be).

There were times when I liked Tabitha but I found more often than not she acted like a spoiled brat. Maybe this was Lewis' intention to really show the age difference between Eric and Tabitha as well as Marilyn and Tabitha but she was just whiny to me. I personally would have chose to have Greta more as the feature female in this story over Tabitha but you can tell that Lewis has big plans for her and really Greta seems a little bit crazy in her own right so I can understand Lewis not wanting two insane people for the leads.

This book did have some flaws in the mystery aspect falls flat and the conclusion that takes Eric and his team/friends, forever to come to is really obvious (I mean really really obvious). So this was a bit of a let down for me in this book. Mystery was for sure not the high point of this book, where Lewis excelled though was in his creation of Eric.  

For me there was too much sex in the book, but that is just personal preference, as the scenes were not that long, just a few too many of them for my taste. Additionally, i did become annoyed with all the times that both Eric and Tabitha thought about sex or how hot some guy or girl was, but once again this is just personal preference.

Although the mystery was lacking in this book, I was really intrigued with Eric as a character and the overall plot layout of the book that I ended up enjoying this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book and learning more about Eric.

Enjoy!!!

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Jeff Abbott: The Last Minute

The Last Minute - Jeff Abbott

It has been awhile since I read the first book in this series, Adrenaline, and while I really enjoyed that book and would recommend it to readers, I do not think you need to read that book in order to enjoy The Last Minute. Abbott takes the time (but it never felt out of place) to cover all the important elements from the first book in the second so you do not feel lost at any time.

Jeff Abbott is back with another high adrenaline read in the Sam Capra series; who will show just how far a father will go to get their child back:

Sam Capra has only one reason to live and that is to rescue his son from the secret society, Nine Suns, that has kidnapped him. However, Nine Sons knows what an asset it is to have Sam on their "side" and are going to take full advantage of it. They have plans for Sam, one of which is to complete an impossible assassination, but if Sam wants to see his son again and make sure that no harm comes to him then he is going to have to play along and get a new set of rules to live by. Nothing is ever simple in Sam's world and everything is going to become a whole lot more complicated.

Damn Straight Sam Capra...you do everything and anything to get your kid back even if it means breaking some of your own hard and fast rules. I really appreciated Sam's drive throughout this whole book and the desperation that Abbott put Sam under. Getting Daniel back it the core to all the events that unfold within this book and Abbott never lets Sam forget that. From the taunting phone calls, or the tasks that he is asked to perform (killing someone else child) Same is ever reminded that he is a father. I do not think that I have read a book before where the main character is this desperate but also still trying to be the man that he is and the struggle it takes for him to compromise everything for his child, just wow.

Personally, I could read a whole book or multiple books of Milia's adventures. I wish that her back story was a stand alone book but I'm sure that Abbott could still do one of her adventures, targets and tasks before she met Sam. I don't think it would really be a true Sam Capra book without Milia as she really did help get Sam to where he is. I just hope there is more Milia to come in the next Capra adventures.

Loved the action and that Abbott is not afraid to have Sam get hurt, he is not invincible. Though at some points you do question this as Sam really seems to be only fueled by adrenaline and only goes so far. I also do not really know anything about Parkour (other than the odd YouTube video), and Abbott has Capra use this skill quite a bit, so I'm not sure about the believably factor for what Sam is doing. But hey it sure is a fun ride throughout the book. I think my favourite bad guys in this book were the sisters as they were twisted, smart and ruthless I wish that there was more parts with them facing off against Sam.

Great followup book in this series. It was able to grab a hold of me right from the beginning and never let me go. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get to this one, but there are so many books and only so many hours in the day. I know I'm not going to wait nearly as long to get my hands on the next. Keep the Sam Capra series coming Abbott, I know I will be reading them.

Enjoy!!!

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Anne Bishop: Marked in Flesh

Marked In Flesh - Anne Bishop

You will need to read the first three books in this series to understand what is occurring in this book. While there are times when Bishop does take the time to recap some of the past events these do not make up for actually reading the previous books; Written in Red, Murder of Crows and Visions in Silver.

Anne Bishop is back with the latest book in her Other series and this time the humans may have pushed the Other too far that only one species could be left standing:

The Others have allied themselves with the sweet bloods (cassandra sangue) and this has change the dynamics between the Others and Humans especially in Lakeside Courtyard, who are discovering that Humans may have some uses when they are friends. The Humans First and Last group wants to see the other eliminated and will take drastic steps in order to make that happen even if it means attacking other humans. The Others are pushed to make a choice, that not everyone is going to like and not everyone is going to survive, but there are some other factors at play too, hidden deep in the forests who are now taking note of the Human problem.

This book was Awesome and it was what I wanted the third book to be. It really moved the story forward with increased the tension between human and the Others. I really enjoyed how Bishop had events play out and while things at times may have been predictable (in the end) it was still a really interesting ride on how we get there.

I love the way that Simon and Meg's relationship has progressed throughout the books. I think I have applauded Bishop many times for not forcing it and letting it grow as they get to know each other. There are some big steps taken in this book and I think those steps mean so much more as to how Simon and Meg got here.

This book is quite a bit darker than the previous three and it was quite a bit more gory at times than the first 3 as well, which I was shocked that Bishop went that way but happy that she did. A lot of the topics that she brings up in this book I think were better portrayed with the descriptions that she used. This has to do mainly with the introduction of some new Others (/elders), that the Others that we have come to know in the past few books are afraid of (now that is saying something). I personally hope that there are these new Others in the next book as they are probably the main reason why I enjoyed this book so much; Something new and something unknown.

I will say that we are almost getting to the point where there are too many points of view that some of the main characters from the beginning are lacking on time within this book and with the ever expanding territory that Bishop seems to be covering this may not get better. 

I do wonder where Bishop will take the series from here as there were some very finale moments in this book which makes me wonder will there be more and in what way will the story progress. I guess this means that I just want to read the next book even more just to see where Bishop is taking us.

Enjoy!!!

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