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

Steve Hamilton: The Second Life of Nick Mason

The Second Life of Nick Mason (A Nick Mason Novel) - Steve Hamilton

Steven Hamilton introduces readers to Nick Mason who is about to start the second chapter of his life, just not quite the second chapter he was hoping for;

Nick Mason has spent the past 5 years in prison when an offer comes that he cannot refuse, he can get out 20 years early. For Nick this means h can once again be part of his daughter's life, he can try to be a new man on the outside. Nick doesn't fully understand the terms of his release until the first call comes in, he has to follow the orders, there is no yes or no answer he must do what he is told. He is now being controlled by  Darius Cole who is a criminal mastermind and rules his organization from his prison cell. Nick is forced to commit even more serious crimes than the one that he was originally put away for, but he cannot renege on agreement. He wants to go straight but in order to do so he has to risk everything and become ruthless in the process.
 
I really enjoyed this book it was fast paced and gritty with interesting main character. What stands out in this book is that Hamilton did not shy away from the grit that needed to be in this book to make this book not only believable but also unputdownable. This is fully a character driven book, yes there is some mystery as to why Nick is being asked to complete these tasks and who is this Darius Cole guy (he is explained in the book) but it more about Nick readjusting to being outside, trying to stay there and adapting to his new life and the tasks he is asked to complete. Now with many books where the main character is released from prison there are some cliche found here but even though they are cliche I think they hold a ring of real world truth, like the wife divorcing him and wanting to remarry or regretting the choices he made that landed him in prison. Sure similar books have this too but I think this just adds to the realism of the book.

Mason is an interesting anti-hero. He is willing do to anything to protect those he loves (he's loyal to a fault) and that includes murder, yep you read that right straight out murder, but he tries to keep to a certain type of rules and code to. Obviously this code/rules is hard to stick to when someone other than himself is giving the orders. The one thing that I did not get out of Nick’s personality was he goes from thief/robber to cold blooded murderer. Maybe Cole saw something in Nick that we as the reader are not aware of but it just doesn’t fit his previous profile. However, it is intriguing to see how much Nick does change from the beginning to the end of the book and it was quite a ride.

I’m extremely happy this did not have a cookie cutter ending where everything works out, if it did not only would I have liked the book less but in the scheme of the plot it would not have made sense to be tied up nicely in the end. I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series.

Great start to a series. Nick is an awesome character who really is the main focus of this book and Hamilton does him justice in his development and story. I will unqestionalby be picking up the second book in this series.

Enjoy!!!!

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Amanda Stevens: The Visitor

The Visitor (Graveyard Queen) - Amanda Stevens

This is the fourth book in the series so you will want to read the first three (The Restorer, The Kingdom and The Prophet) in order to understand Amelia her powers and rules as well as how her relationship with Devlin developed. Plus The Restorer is a great read and interesting story and I highly recommend it.

Amelia Gray is known as The Graveyard Queen for a reason; she is a professional graveyard restorer, restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries and cemeteries is where she feels most at home. When legend of the Krill cemetery enters into Amelia's life she knows that she needs to solve the endless amount of puzzles that it holds as it is unlike any cemetery she has ever been in before. However, unravelling the secrets that this cemetery holds will come at a terrible price and hit closer to home than Amelia ever thought possible.

I will be the first to admit that it has been many years since I have read the first three books in this series but other than a few relationship events with Devlin, that I could not quite remember, I did not find that I was lost in the content of the story as Stevens did a good job of reintroducing information and Amelia, her ability, the rules and the ghosts without feeling that she was rehashing the previous three books.

I have not read a ghost based story in some time and I was re-enthralled with this series, I really enjoyed this book. It had twists, turns, ghost, suspense and mystery all thrown into it and fit did not need a recent body count to achieve this (though not for lack of trying at times this book is more centered on the mass sucided that ocurred decades ago. With this there were some fairly dark elements that are slightly glazed over at times, that you may blink and miss them, but I appreciated that they were there. I think that Stevens did an amazing job with showing that it is not just the ghosts and demons that cause all the pain and suffering but there is a human element to it all as well. I also was not able to figure everything it with all the twists and red herrings that Stevens has throughout the plot so when I am unable to figure everything out I always enjoy the book more.

The previous two books have hinted that Amelia has more power that she knows, but this book really sets that in to motion. Amelia finally feels ready to accept these gifts and additional powers even if it means giving up the rules that she has lived with her whole life. I cannot wait to see what additional "powers" that Amelia has. Devlin and Amelia's relationship struggles quite a bit in this one and I will say that this is something that all readers of this series knew was going to happen eventually as they has such different points of view. I'm glad that Stevens decided to address it sooner rather than later in the series.

Although it has been a few years I really am looking forward to continuing on with the next book in this series to see where Stevens takes it. Stevens has re-hooked me into this series.

Enjoy!!!!

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B.A. Paris: Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. Paris

B.A. Paris takes the reader to the on a journey where one man must decide between his first love and his new love:

Finn and Layla were young (though she was quite a  few years younger than him) and in love but on a drive home from a vacation they stop at a rest stop to use the washroom and when Finn comes out Layla is no where to be found. There is no sign of a struggle, no sign of where she could have gone, she has disappeared forever. Ten years later Finn is no engaged to Layla's sister Ellen who were drawn together over their grief of Layla's disappearance. Finn knows it must seem strange to people that he would be with his previous girlfriends sister but Finn also still feels close to Layla when he is with Ellen. Everything changes with one phone call where a person says they have seen Layla. So begins the strange events that start happening, finding Russian dolls every where and emails from a mysterious account that claims to be Layla. Finn doesn't know what to do or what to believe, could his long lost love really be back? What about Ellen the? Or is someone just playing an awful trick on him? Finn needs to figure everything out quick before he loses everything.

This is the third book that I have read by Paris and in my opinion it is the weakest of the three books. This is not to say I did not enjoy this book but I found that it was fairly slow, took me a bit to get into the overall plot and lacked the suspense of the previous two books. This book is mainly becomes a love triangle with the main character Finn and two sisters both of whom he loves but in different ways and at different times in his life. It comes to the point where he is forced to choose between them. So basically a love triangle with deadly consequences and so twist and turns along the way (thought I did figure out what was going to happen) but a love triangle nonetheless.

This does have classic Paris format where she goes between past and present which allows us to see the differences not only between Finn's relationship with Layla and Ellen  but also how different the two women are. We also get points of view from both Layla and Finn in the past and the course of events that takes Finn to his current predicament. 

It is hard to like Finn as how terrible he is towards many people in his current life especially his current fiance but I honestly don't think you are supposed to like him. Actually it is hard to like really any of the three main characters for many of the choices they have made and the actions they have taken against each other in both the past and present. It was really hard to choose someone to cheer for, I mean there are many times you feel sorry for Ellen but at the same time you want her to grow a backbone and take it Finn for the things that he does.

I know my review does not sound glowing but I did enjoy this book, it was one big soap opera and overall it is good read once you get into the story. But Paris has come out with yet has been as good as Behind Closed Doors, however, I will continue to read Paris' books as I do find myself enjoying them.

Enjoy!!!

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Ezekiel Boone: Zero Day

Zero Day: A Novel (The Hatching Series) - Ezekiel Boone

This is the third book in a trilogy so you are going to want to pick up those up first (The Hatching and Skitter) before you read this book and you'll probably not want to read this review either as there will be spoilers.

Ezekiel Boone is back with the conclusion of his Trilogy and its an all out battle of Humans vs Spiders:

The world is on the brink of total destruction, human are no longer the Apex predators on Earth, Spiders have invaded almost every part of the world now. The American government has started to take drastic measures in order to try to ensure Humanity's survival, but it all may just lead to them destroying themselves. There is a next step in the Spiders; plan, the release of the Queens, but the Queens may also hold the secret to saving them all. With everything on the brink of total collapse a few brave women and men attempt the impossible trying to save the human race from not only spiders but from other humans as well.

Personally I think that this book is the weakest of the three, which is really disappointing as I have enjoyed the previous two books. This is not to say that I did not enjoy reading this book I just felt like this story wrapped up too neatly. Sure there are some battles between the Humans and the Spiders, but we never really get to see the true power of any of the Queens. The Queens never get released to make their own havoc on the Human race. There was so much potential there and different directions that I wish Boone would have taken. Boone could have thrown a twist there in the end. Part way through the book you realize how well (and basically easy) this is going to work out that it becomes less suspenseful. I wish that Boone would have been a little more free with some of his characters to add to the suspense of who is going to get out alive. I was really missing the thrills and chills that the first two books in this series had.

This books had a lot less fewer points of view in the book the pets have mainly been condensed down to only a handful of people now. However, Boone does a good job of showing where these people are by the end of the book, even if it really no different than where they were the last book. One of my favourite additions to this book when it comes to perspectives is the Spiders. The Spider Queens knew what was occurring around them, some sort of their overall plan that they could share with each and their ability to learn as well. Often times we as humans think we are the apex predators, well these spiders show that that is not always true. This is why I wish the Queens really would have been unleashed

This book also explored some interesting political perspectives, initiatives and attempted overthrow of the government. It also showed how things can become divided very easily within the government as well especially on the military sides of things.

I really wanted to enjoy this book for the ending of a horror trilogy there was more that I wanted from this. I wanted more action, more uncertainty about the outcome to keep me guessing till the end. All that said I would read other books by Boone as well as series as the first two books here really do make your spine crawl.

Enjoy!!!

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Maureen Johnson: Truly Devious

Truly Devious - Maureen Johnson

In the first of a new series, Maureen Johnson takes readers to an elite school that is shrouded in myth, mystery and murder:

In Vermont there is a school for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists; Ellingham Academy. Not only is the school for the brightest but the grounds and buildings were built in the 1920s by Albert Ellingham who was always found of riddles and games. Shortly after the school is opened Albert is faced with a deadly riddle after his daughter and wife are kidnapped, sadly this is one game that where the crimes will go unsolved and Truly Devious is never found. Enter present day and True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell who is determined to be the first to solve the mystery.But Stevie was not prepared not only for the demands of school but for Truly Devious to make return and soon Stevie as more than one crime to solve.

This is the first book that I have read by Johnson so I was interested in seeing where she tool the premise of the book and how well it would unfold in the YA genre. This book was a joy to read as well as an easy read and hit me at the right time as I was looking for something along these line that was not all doom and gloom. This book really is a light read considering it is center around murders but I think how Johnson decides to tell the story made it feel this way.Johnson decided to give the information about the murder and missing persons case from the 1920, a mixture of events told from that time, interviews as well as the video production that Stevie finds herself a part of.

This book has your typical high school students stereotypes in it but a times takes them to the extreme as this school is supposed to have the best of the best in each subject or career path, so there are times when I found some of the secondary characters a bit annoying. Additionally as this book is based in high school you do have the moodiness of youth that age as well as some teenage drama with the main character, Stevie. I found that at times these events/emotions took away from what should be the primary premise of solving the 1930s murder and then the present day one as well. I think there is a part of Stevie that we as readers will all like and relate to. I mean isn't trying to solve the mystery in each book we read true crime or not part of the joy of reading? I know it is for me, this is why I really liked Stevie as a character Teen Drama and all.

Of course this book ended on a cliffhanger so that means that I am wanting to read the next book in the series, The Vanishing Star which is coming out later this year (2019). Even if there wasn't a big cliffhanger I would continue on just for Stevie.

Enjoy!!!

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Deon Meyer: Fever

Fever - Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer takes the reader to South Africa where the majority of the worlds population has been wiped out by a mysterious Fever:

Nico Storm and his father Willem are traveling through South Africa looking for a safe haven. As they pass ravaged town by ravaged town they do not see any hope in sight. Willem has an idea, start their own safe haven in a town that will soon be called Amanzi. They appeal to those who are of good nature and want to better not only themselves but others too. But as with all places that offer safe haven there are those who will prey on them and as towns become bigger and bigger there are always people who will disagree. This is Nico Storm's memoir of survival and the eventual murder of his father.

This was a pretty big change of pace for me, it was not so much action, suspense and darkness but more about a son and father trying to survive in a new world (but less dark and depressing than The Road). There is a mystery here so that really held my attention especially as Meyer mentions it very early in the book, but where Meyer really shines is in his storytelling and character development.

I really loved the multiple points of view as you got more of a perspective for each situations as well as getting to know the back story for many of the people who now lived at Amanzi. This was incorporate through the Amanzi history project which essentially was a recording of the personal experiences of the individual as they came to Amanzi. While the main narrator is Nico Storm (as this is his story to tell) he incorporates the recordings from the history project to both agree and disagree as to what actually happened. Much of the story takes place when Nico is a teenager so this did skew his perspective and as Nico is looking back telling this story it makes sense to add the additional information from mainly adults.

I liked that is was set in South Africa as this a different settling for me and I felt the wildlife and conditions of South Africa just seem more extreme to me than other places in the world. This perspective is probably dues to the fact that I have not had a chance to travel there yet (hopefully one day) but for me the setting was unique.

This book lets you know from the very beginning that Nico's father Willem Storm is going to be murdered and that even we have met the murderer along the way so it was very engaging to try and figure out who it was going to be. You start to weight each conversation that Nico had as well as the information that is shared through the history project. I did not see the twist coming at the end, so Meyer was very nicely able to surprise me which I always appreciate.

This is the first book that I have read by Meyer and I am very interested in checking out his other books. I really enjoyed his storytelling ways and his development of the characters in Amanzi. Highly recommended especially if you like books where society and the human race need to start over again. I honestly wish there was another novel after this one or even a novella to see where some of the main characters are now

Enjoy!!!

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Alison James: The Lying Kind

The Lying Kind: A totally gripping crime thriller (Detective Rachel Prince Book 1) - Alison James

This book is also known or now known as Lola Is Missing or The Missing Child (I'm not sure why it has three different titles, maybe it depends on where you live). Alison Janes takes readers to a parent's worst fear when their child disappears in the middle on the night without a trace:

Lola is Missing; she is six years old who is taken from her bedroom. Her mother is distraught and also very convinced that her ex-husband is responsible for abducting Lola away. It does not help that they are not able to find him. Leading the case is Det. Rachel Prince but it is going to make more than her expertise to untangle the web of truths and lies that this family has. Everyone knows that the longer a child is missing the less likely they are to be found alive and as more and more time flies by and more and more lies are told, Rachel is not sure they are going to find Lola in time especially when another little girl is taken.

This was a gripping read that did not rely on a body count in order to make it so as this book is about a missing child. James relayed on the twist, turns and lying that goes on within family dynamics especially that of this broken marriage. Things become very interesting and devious along the way as Jones shows the lengths people will go to in order to protect their secrets as well as trying to find their daughter.

I really liked Det. Rachel Prince, she is smart, tenacious and follows her gut when investigating her cases. She also doesn't pander to politics which is always dangerous and interesting at the same time. I mean people do not always have to like her in order for her to get her job done. She also seems to have her life and career together and is not running from some hidden demon that is going to rear its ugly head at a bad time. Sure she has made some poor choices with men (who hasn't, lol) but they do not affect her work or work ethic. She is not pining away for some guys that she throws the whole case away.

James also does a great job of showing what I believe actual police work is like, not all action but having to hit the paperwork in order to solve the crime. There is quite a bit of this in this book, going back over evidence and information that Rachel or her team has found. There are also a few stake out scenes that show that it is not that glamorous.

Alright this a nick picking thing but it makes me question if James is willing to do research for her books. ACL tears do not repair themselves, you can attempt to strengthen the muscles around the knee to provide stabilization but the ACL will not regenerate. As an individual who has had to have ACL surgery I wish they had the ability to repair themselves. Really this is minor in the scheme of things of your book but just do a quick google search and you’d know this information. Also she wouldn’t be able to walk in high heels after just tearing it without falling on her face every time she took a step especially if it was a full tear there would be nothing preventing the lower part of the leg from flying forward with each step.... Sorry rant over


Alright looking past my rant, lol, this book was interesting and great start to a series, especially with the main character who I thought was really well done. I look forward to continuing on with this series to see what James comes up with next.


Enjoy!!!!

 

Javan Bonds: Zombie Lake - Still Alive

Zombie Island: Still Alive - Javan Bonds

Javan Bonds takes readers to a pirate ship and zombies, what could go wrong?

The world has gone to Hell and Mo Collins is facing the end of the world on a replica pirate ship. Each night hordes of naked blue zombies flood the city streets Mo and his shipmates Crow just fish and try to survive. When another survive stumble across Mo and Crow's ship Mo has found a new lease on life. As Mom's reality starts to mimic fiction they need a new cast of characters to fill the each role; The Expert, The Tech, The Oracle, The Sacrifice and The Old Friend. Sometimes life bites but right now it's all about the zombies.

Unfortunately this book was a DNF for me, I found I was unable to become interested in the characters or plot and to be honest I read approximately 50% of this book and it was just boring. Nothing really happened, I understand the need to set up the world and characters this is supposed to be zombie and there were very few zombies to be had. It was more about getting the merry band of characters together. I think I would have liked the idea of Bond's zombies if there would have been more interaction with them, as they only come out at night, seem to go blue and are naked, lol.

I also had issue with the amount of slang of one of the characters that it was very hard to understand what he was saying even though the words were written right there and I just became annoyed each time he spoke. Maybe this makes me a prude or something when it comes to the English language, I don't know but I just wish that not every word that came out of this character's mouth was a swear or some type of slang or abbreviation of words.

This book was not for me but I'm definitely in the minority on this one based upon the reviews on Goodreads. Lots of people have enjoyed this book and found it extremely funny (maybe I have a different type of humour, once again I don't know, lol).

Cheers!!!!

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Angela Marsons: Dyning Truth

Dying Truth - Angela Marsons

This is the 8th book in the series (wow I cannot believe that there are already that many), especially with this book you will need to read the previous 7 in order to understand the characters and their relationship dynamics. The previous 7 (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines, Dead Souls and Broken Bones) are all extremely well done and will keep you on the edge of your seat and don't blame me if you don't get anything done as you strive to finish Marsons' books:

Angela Marsons is back with another DI Kim Stone novel, where Kim is taken to an elite school where secret societies rule the school:

When teenager Sadie Winter supposedly jumps from the roof of an elite private school, DI Kim Stone is assigned to the case and nothing feels right to her right from the beginning. When another body of a boy turns up dead at the school, Kim is not about to step back and call it a coincidence like the school would like her to. Kim and her team discover what the school is hiding, a dark web with an even darker society where punishments are handed out if you go against your card. With more childrens' lives at risk Kim must consider the unthinkable that one of the kids peers is going on a murder streak all to protect that what the cards hold dear. Once a suit of cards, always a suit of cards.
 
This is the 8th book in a series and I think that I am reading and reviewing this book says a lot about Marsons as an author. There are so many choices and new authors and series to choose from these days that often people (myself included) start a series but never really stick with it, they can be forgettable. Obviously this is not true of Marsons' DI Kim Stone series, each book has had a unquie story line and while Marsons does have a bit of a formula by now, it is fluid enough that each book is very different, this is especially true in this book Dying Truth.
 
Is it weird for me to say Marsons got her groove back with this book? I found the previous 2 books not as compelling and interesting as the ones before them and focused a bit too much away from Kim, who is the main reason I read these books. Do not get me wrong they are still good reads just not as amazing or interesting as the ones before them. However, this book was something else, and had me reading well past when I should be. There was one really big change in this book than the previous one and that was that the team were focused on just one case this time, normally there are a few cases going on at once that the team is being forced to handle so it was a change to only see one case in this story line. So maybe Marsons is changing it up a bit.

We all know the characters well enough by now that there is not that much character growth that is occurring there are some opportunities within this book for that to happened, especially with the ending but I appreciate that each character knows who the are and what their role on the team is. There also is more of a team aspect with the group and how they work with each other, which I enjoy reading almost like the fifth member, lol.

I'm always a sucker for small town reads and well why not a school with a secret society. I love all the secrets and how once a member of a card always a member of a card and how this can influence life well after school is over. I also appreciated that Marsons acknowledged that sometimes Kids are bad people too and they are not to be over looked and underestimated by adults, which many of us still do, even with everything that goes on today. The one kid related aspect that I think that Marsons missed in this book is their use of social media. I'm not sure why is aspect was absent from the novel but I think it would have added an additional dynamic to the story and premise.

I think that Marsons took a real chance with this book, and you won't really understand that aspect until you read this book. I have been a big fan of Marsons since she started this series, and I continue to be one now. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Enjoy!!!!!!

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Nicholas Snasbury Smith: Hell Divers III Deliverance

Deliverance - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

If you have not read the first two book (Hell Divers & Hell Divers: Ghosts) in the series, stop right now and go order them. They are both fantastic reads that you will not want to put down. This review will contain SPOILERS for both of those books and you really don’t want to do that to yourself, so just stop reading this now and start at the beginning of the series. Trust me you won’t regret it.

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is back with his killer Hell divers series and this time the divers are spending more time on Earth than ever before:

Team Raptor has been left behind on Earth by the Hive but they were able to find a new ship Deliverance to help take them to the last coordinates that Xavier “X” Rodriguez had given and hope that he is still alive after all these years. They are on a rescue mission that has zero chance of being a success but they have to hope for something and to prove to X that he was not left behind by everyone. While on the Hive Captain Jordan is losing control over the ship. The people are angry, supplies are running out and Hell Divers are in short supply. Jordan will do everything in his power to keep the ship in the air even if it means, lying, cheating and murdering to keep it that way. Team Raptor may be in danger from the nightmare creatures that now plague the Earth, but they also need to keep their eyes on the sky for danger comes from familiar places.

 
Honestly, this is hands down my favourite sci-fi series, granted I do not read a lot of sci-fi but any time I pick up a book in this series I know I am in for a roller coaster ride and I will not want to put the book down. Deliverance deliveries on all the things that I want in this series; Interesting world/characters, fast pace story, action scenes, you never know who is going to make it out alive and just overall awesomeness. 

As stated above, there tends to be some character turn over, also known as Sanasbury has a knack for killing people off, yes that also includes some of the characters you like, so it is always nice to have some fresh blood to the books. I enjoyed that this time we get to meet some new Hell Divers in training and each of their reasons for being their and the choices they have to make. It was also interesting have more of a perspective from Captain Jordan and the choices he makes. Honestly, even though he is made out to be the bad guy, some of the reason he has about not wanting to return to Earth make sense. However, many of his actions are based upon just having the power to do things and jealousy.
 
I really appreciated that we got some time to see what X had been up to and the progress he made while traveling as this was the bomb shell of the previous book that X was still alive and had survived somehow. X is on his way traveling to the coast but and due to Sansbury writing style  (and the fact that X's part are set in the past) you never know if X is still going to be there  but just the thought of finding out keeps you reading. 
Sansbury Smith really out did himself with the introduction of new creatures that have developed on Earth and how these creature differ from those inland. Makes you wonder what will be out there if one decided to venture further in to the seas, where the water is no longer water but sometime of sludge
 
Fantastic book and addition to this series and I cannot wait for the forth book, going to be some interesting times and challenges ahead for the Hell Divers and I cannot wait to go along for the ride with them. On to Wolves I go...
 
Enjoy!!!
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Jack Heath: Hangman

Hangman - Jack Heath

Jack Heath introduces readers to a very disturbing anti-hero who works for the FBI when they need the best and his payment is taken in Flesh:

When a 14 year old boy is kidnapped and there is a ransom call with a deadline the FBI have called in expert consultant Timothy Blake aka Hangman. Blake is not only a genius known for solving the impossible cases but he is also a sociopath. But Blake may have met his match on this case. The kidnapper is cunning and foils Blake at every turn. Along with his newly assigned partner (Blake doesn't work well with other), he has to be on his toes not only to find the kidnapper but to keep his dark secrets. You see every time Blake saves a life be gets to take one in return, and Blake needs his pounds of flesh in order to survive. Clock is ticking and who knows who will come out of this alive
 
Unfortunately with book has been moved to my DNF shelf and I am extremely bummed about it. I always hate when I cannot finish a book, I think every reader and reviewer hates the feeling where a book sounded promising but just couldn’t grab a hold of you. This is the problem I had with Hangman. I’m not sure where this book went wrong for me. It has an interesting and down right disturbing anti-hero, has a cat and mouse type “game”, a different type of premise and yet there I was having read 50% of the book and it felt like work to pick up the book to read it. And trust me I have so little time to read these days, I don’t want to have something I love feel like work, when I need it to be enjoyable.

I’m sure many people will love this book and I’m truly shocked I could not get in to this book or characters. Maybe I’ll revisit it later but right now not for me. Those  of you who would like to check it out, be warned it is not for the faint of heart. As mentioned above the main character is an anti-hero and let’s just say he has some Hannibal Lector qualities about him (and by that I mean the eating kind) as well as some Dexter qualities and truest me Heath is not sparse on the details for this and other aspects in this book. Timothy Blake is really like a marriage between Lector and Dexter but with even more socially awkward qualities and none of either of their charisma. See what I mean I should have loved this book....

Oh well you cannot win them all I suppose. On to my next read, I'm truly disappointed that I was unable to finish this book.

Cheers!!!!

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Mira Grant: Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant

In the first in a new series Mira Grant takes the readers to the Mariana Trench where humans are on the menu:

 
Seven years ago the Atargatis is set off for the Mariana Trench to create a mockumentury about the existence of Mermaids. The voyage ended in tragedy with not a soul on the ship surviving. The footage that was shot on The ship has been locked away and those who have seen it cannot believe that it is real. Now the production company is sending another ship to that area to investigate what had happened and to prove once and forall if Mermaids do exhist. Everyone on the boat is going to get way more than they bargined for.

I have not read a Mira Grant series in a long long time, but it was Grant who intorduced me to reading zombie books, so it is really only fitting that she introduce me to Mermaids books as well. This book was amazing, it had aspects of mystery, horror and urban fantasy all rolled in to one. You really did not what was going to happen next and who was going to survive. I mean who does not love the idea of the deadly mermaids instead of the Disney style ones. Due to the fact that Grant has mixed a few genres within this book you might think that it is oversaturated with ideas but Grant he does not shy away from any of the genres and took the best aspectsnofneach to create this story. Some of the scenes are quite brutal in their description but these are countered with the scientific discovery aspects so there is a nice balance and Grant does not hit you with death after death. There is also a nice suspense aspect as there are so many points of view throughout the book that you are not 100% sure which views are going to be there in the end.

The imagination and research that Grant put in to this book was exceptional. She tried to cover all different types of angles when it came to mermaids from where they live to additional organizism that may be down in the mariana trench as well. You can also tell that Grant put in a lot of thought as to how the mermaids would be able to interact with human on both their territory as well as above the surface. The intelligence that they have is awesome and are basically killing machines that can work in groups or solo. I’m glad that Grant did not make them mindless killing machines, they have the ability to adapt and plan their attacks which makes them that much more interesting.

There are quite a few points of views in the book so you get a fairly rounded story as to why many of the individuals are on the mission to find mermaids, however, the most frequent point of view that we encounter is Victoria's. Victoria is on the ship for several reason, most importantly she wants to prove that mermaids exist as her older sister was on the maiden voyage of this research ship and no one from that vessel made it home. She is also a brilliant scientist who wants to use her knowledge of ocean sounds as a guiding tool for the discovery. In many ways Victoria is the scientist and is very calculating in everything she does. This does make her portrayed as naive at times And this is most seen in her relationships with people (I’ll say slightly typical for the scientist type to be portrays this way however, Victoria does gain more and more confidence the farther in to the book you get).

I love that this book is about mermaids and Grant’s idea of the mermaid is not the little mermaid that we all grew up with. These are deadly killers who have human meat on their menu and according to the mermaids it’s a tasty feast. I look forward to the next book in the series to see where Grant takes it.

Enjoy!!!
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Spencer Kope: Collecting the Dead

Collecting the Dead: A Novel - Spencer Kope

 In the first in a new series Spencer Kope introduces readers to an FBI tracker that  is known as the Human Bloodhound:

When regular trackers are unable to find someone or a clue then the FBI calls in Steps and Jimmy. They are the elite trackers and are able to find anyone, even in remote locations, even when others have failed. Steps has a special vitality he calls shine that shows him where people have traveled to, what they have touched etc. He uses this ability to hopefully bring those who are lost, missing or kidnapped home safely. However, more often than not this does not happen. In their latest case Steps and Jimmy are called to a crime scene where Steps recognizes the Shine from a previous case. Based upon what Steps found they have eleven missing women who fit the same pattern and they are in a race against time to find them before its too late.

I have read other tracker based books before but those involved search and rescue dogs as part of the main story not just a person, so I did find this concept interesting. Kope does a good job of showing how Steps hides his ability while on a track but at the same time you have to think in real like these trackers do some amazing things, that maybe there is an aspect of realism to this idea; the ability to see what others cannot. Kope also does not shy away from the fact that not everyone makes it out alive when they are missing as well as having fairly detailed crime scene information as Steps details what happened.

Steps has the ability to see what he terms Shine. He has has it ever since a near death/he did die when he was a young child. Shine is the essence of an individual. It follows you where ever you go, each person has a different color/colors and this color changes based upon the living status of that person. This is how Steps is able to find people and clues that no one else is able to see. All of this makes Steps an interesting character with his gift / curse as he struggles with those times when he is not able to find the victim in time and Steps can tell mid-track if the person he is tracking is still alive or dead. This plays on his sanity and he struggles with whether he should continue on or not.

 

I will say the secondary characters are not fleshed out as much as so wanted them to be. This story is really about Steps so it seems like he we Kope’s only focus. You can see their relationship with Steps but it really does not go any further than that even with hi Sarah partner Jimmy.

This was a really good read with an interesting twist on the tracking idea. I like the idea of the elusive serial killer that Steps has been tracking for years but has been unable to find, this added an additional dynamic to the story as it does test Steps' focus. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in this series.

Enjoy!!!!

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Elise Kova: The Alchamists of Loom

The Alchemists of Loom - Elise Kova

In the first in a new series, Elise Kova takes the reader to with world of the Loom, ruled from above by the Dragon King:

Ari lost everything; friends, her lover, her way of life, when the five guilds resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now she uses the skills she learned in the resistance, her ability as an engineer and magical talents to be the White Wrath enemy to every dragon and known for contributing to a thriving underground Dragon organ market. That is until she meets Cvareh, a Dragon who claims to be on the side of those in Loom and he is willing to bargain something very precious, a wish,  if Ari is able to get him to the alchemists so that the resistance can start again. Ari knows she cannot trust Cvareh, and that the task may be near impossible as assassin after assassin is sent after Cvareh by the Dragon King, but a wish from a Dragon can give Ari the one thing that she desires most and hopefully the freedom for Loom.

I do not read many fantasy genre novles, but I was drawn to this book first for by the cover, second by the description of the book and third I haven't read a fantasy book in quite some time so I was excited to try something different. Kova uses a tried and true premise to frame the world and story around; one society/culture/people oppressing and abusing the other and those that try to take the power back. This is done in a completely fantasy world that had some very interesting and disturbing elements (think Frankenstein/plastic surgery to the extreme) and the thirst for power that goes along with it. Loom is divided into 5 different Guilds (Raven, Rivet, Alchemist, Revolver and Harvesters) and where you are born is what specialty you will grow up perfecting, if you show any sign of weakness or do not live up to the Dragon's standards you are killed (this mainly happens to children). Loom supports The Dragon's world above with the introduction of machinery and some magic, it were these aspects that the Dragons became aware of Loom and wanting to possess and control it. With all the machinery and magic this novel does have a very steampunk feel to it, especially with Ari and her engineer abilities.

I really like Ari as a main character, she is strong, confident, smart, often thinks the worst about people, has a past that we don't know too much about but she has a caring side especially when it comes to Florence. Florence is an awesome sidekick to Ari, she just needs to gain confidence in herself. She is probably the character that grows the most in this book, as she is forced in to circumstances that she has never been in before and many of them are a true test for her character both physically and morally. Cvareh is a good counter point to Ari with his obsession with things that are pretty and complaining about his clothes getting dirty or having to wear clothes out of fashion. He truly shows the differences between Loom and Nova. It is also interesting to watch Cvareh grow as a character as he tries to survive not only the threats on his life from other Dragons and Ari but also trying to navigate a new world in Loom.

I find that Dragons does not seem to be an apt description of the characters just based on the cover art of the books in this series, but also how they are described in the book. To me they seem that they would be more of Elfin or Fae or some other magic creature that Kova could have created. Based upon descriptors and the fact that they do not have wings or the ability to fly or shape shift in to what I would call traditional Dragon form. You say Dragon to someone we will probably all come up with some sort of similar image, and what is presented in this book is not that image. Maybe the reason they are called dragon is explained in the next books in this series but I think that is a slightly misrepresentation of these individuals.

I also could have done without the romance aspect that is hinted at. I mean why does there have to be a romance element? Ari and Cvareh they dislike each other in every way, yet drawn to the other individual as well. Why cant they just not like each other but are forced to work together for a common goal, why does that have to lead to attraction????

I still have a lot of Why questions after reading this book, which is not a bad thing as I know this is a series, however, quite a few of those questions are world based, so there are a few things that are not so clearly set out. I found the characters in this book to be very interesting and why I kept turning the pages to see what they would do next. I look forward to reading the second book in the series and hoping some of my questions are answered. 

Enjoy!!!

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Hollie Overton: The Walls

The Walls - Hollie Overton

In her second novel Hollie Overton takes the reader inside a destructive relationship:


Kristy Tucker is the press agent for the Texas Department of Corrftiown. This means that she gets face to face with some of the worst criminals in the state as most of the men she deals with are on death row and she feels she can tell who the worst people are. When Kristy meets Lance, her sons’s martial arts instructor she is leery at first but soon Lance wears her down and Kristy believes she has found the one. She could not be more wrong; Lance is a monster, full of physical and verbal abuse. Lance is also a master manipulator and has everyone convinced even Kristy’s family that he is a saint. Kristy does not know how much more she can take, but she has to be willing to take things in to her own hands; Can she get away with murder?


This is the second book that I have read by Overton and I appreciated that it was a completely different story than the first. This book did not go in the direction that I thought it would, especially based on the title and cover of th book but I think the title has more to do with the walls that one creates around the self in order to survive and not the walls of the prison where Kristy works. Overtone does not spend that much time having Kristy at work especially in the latter half of the novel. So if you are expecting a prison type novel this is not what you are going to get here. It also takes a bit for the overall story line to get going and I had to go back an read the premise of the book to see what was supposed to happen in this book. As you r was farther in to the book you understand why Overton took the time to develop the relationship between Kristy and Lance as well as how Lance is going to fit in with Kristy’s family.


I personally do not think that I could do Kristy’s job, not only dealing with inmates on death row but also the families that those men have affected. This would take a toll on any person and that Kristy does this job very professionally speaks to her strength as a character. She is also a fantastic mom and daughter as she puts their needs way above her own and her want/need to portray that everything is perfect. It is these two strengths that start he to take action and start to make plans to make sure she never gets hurt again.


This book is not going to be for everyone and it definitely will have some trigger moments for individuals as Overton does not shy away from the domestic abuse that Kristy suffers, both verbally and physically. It also highlights what an individual is willing to go through in order for those that she loves can retain a normal life and so she chose to suffer in silence. This book really shines a light on domestic violence and the secretive nature that it can take on as even those close to you do not know what is going on.


This was a good read that was a bit slow to start. You will like Kristy as a character and her struggle to find love and then stuck with a man that is abusive towards her. I look forward to seeing what Overton comes up with next.


Enjoy!!!

 

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S.J. Kincaid: The Empress

The Empress - S.J. Kincaid

Sorry I have been absent for awhile. If you follow me on twitter or instagram you know that we recently welcomed a new addition to our family so it has taken some weeks to get in a new routine. So hopefully i'm back lol, but you never know where life takes you, but i do know that i still find time to read (even when it is in middle of the night) and i still enjoy writing reviews even if they are not as often as i would like. So with all that said bring on the review:

 

This is the second book in a series so in order to understand this world, where the main players stand politically and who Nemesis is and where she cam from,  you will need to read the first book in this series The Diabolic (which is also a great read).

 Tryus has won the long game that he has played his entire life, so far, however his choice for Queen is being met with a lot if resistance as well as Tryus' view of the future. But having the power means nothing if you are not able to keep it and changes are not always welcome especially those who are tied to the old ways. There are several plots afoot to not only keep Tyrus in power but also to remove him from it. Nemesis will protect Tyrus at all cost but what if that jeopardizes their future as well as Tyrus' hold on the throne. The Question for everyone in the books becomes, what are willing to do to achieve the ultimate power and what are you willing to do to keep it?

 
Wow this book is absolutely crazy, you don’t know who Nemesis can trust and what an ending I did not see it coming at all. Kincaid really shines in this book as she keeps you guessing till the very end and throws in so many twist, turns and red herrings that you just hold on and enjoy the ride. This book is full of political intrigue and espionage with a lot less fighting and action scenes when compared to the first book. This book really highlights what people are willing to do in order to obtain power but also be the ones to control it as well. It shows that people will go to ant lengths for these two things and this includes Nemesis and Tyrus. If you did not enjoy all the politics of the first one then you will not like this one as it takes it up ten fold. I personally liked all the political games of the first book so I really enjoyed this one.

It was interesting see Nemesis develop more “human” emotions and not really sure whether to trust then or not, as many of them go against her programing but really Nemesis is in a position that no one even considered that a Diabolic would be in. Nemesis also has to learn to be more subvert in her actions and not just a mindless killing machine, so it was very interesting being inside her thoughts as she decided to kill or not to kill an individual who may threaten Tyrus' rule. It was interesting to see Nemesis and Tyrus relantionship develop not only as Tyrus attempts to seal his spot on the throne but also how the changes that Nemesis is experiencing shapes the decisions that she decides to make throughout the book; many of them are very again the Diabolic way and not something she would have even considered at the beginning of the first book. There are times when her new found humanness really gets in her way.

I really enjoyed where Kincaid took this book and where she is going with this series. I like that this book and series seems to be going more of the political route as who should rule and what kind of ruler they should be is in questions. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Enjoy!!!
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