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.



Marie Lu: Warcross

Warcross - Marie Lu

In the first book in the a series Marie Lu takes readers to a world where everyone lives for an online game called WarCross:

WarCross entered the internet gaming scene ten years ago and now it is not just a game it is a way of life for most people. Everyone logs into the game several times a day or never really leaves the game at all. Emika Chen is working as a bounty hunter to make mends meet but the bounty hunting business is a competitive one. Emika is also a computer hacker and she has figured out how to steal some of the most sought after weapons in the games. Emika dares to hack into the WarCross Championships and she succeeds but also accidentally glitches herself into the game. Convinced she is going to be arrested or kicked off of WarCross for life, she is confused when the creator of the Game Hideo Tanaka wants to meet her and ends up offering her a PI job as well. Her task is to uncover the security problem and threat to the Championships and to stop it at all cost, but Emika investigations uncovers an even more sinister plot that could change the world as she knows it.

This is the first book that I have read by Marie Lu and really only the second book that I have read that was really video game/online world based. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought that Lu did a good job of setting up the world, characters and the whole world's love aka obsession with WarCross. Once again it is a video game that is more than just a game, it is a way of life for everyone. Even Emika does most of her PI work through War Cross and has a very unique ability to track people using it.

Emika is a fun character, though her age shines through many of the decisions she makes and her ability to be distracted by Hideo. However, I like her intelligence and her ability to think outside the box even within the realm of War Cross. This is probably her greatest asset that she has, she totally see the world differently than other. She also has an amazing ability to process a large amount of information in a short amount of time, also a great quality of a PI who mainly uses computer information.

This book is an interesting mix of many of the popular YA novels out there and takes elements from each. You will find yourself thinking as you read, oh that is very similar to this book and oh I like how she adapted that element to fit here. I do not mean any of this in a negative way, just Lu has found a way to emerge several of the ideas and plots of these books into one place.

The one aspect that I thought took away from the overall interesting story was the relationship between Emika and Hideo. I questions if Lu really needed it in there in order for Emika to complete her job as a PI for Hideo. Truly it served as more of a distraction than anything else, maybe that was deliberate, but I wish that Emika spent more time doing her job or preparing for the games than getting to know Hideo better.

I enjoyed my venture into Warcross especially some of the twists that Lu threw in along the way (though I did see most of them coming), and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.


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Nancy Warren: The Vampire Knitting Club

The Vampire Knitting Club - Nancy Warren

In the first in a series Nancy Warren takes readers to Oxford where a knitting shop seems to be the hub for paranormal activity in town:


Lucy Swift travels to Oxford to escape from another bad relationship and just feeling like she has no direction and purpose in life but she know that her Gran will make her feel better and set her on the right path. Lucy is shocked to discover that her Gran is deceased and has been for three week, but Lucy is sure that she just saw her down the street. Lucy discovers that she is her Gran's sole heir to her shop Cardinal Woolsey's a knitting shop and that should keep her busy as she tries to process everything that happens. But it turns out her Gran just cannot stay away. Gran is very much alive, well Undead, a Vampire and the Vampires of Oxford have been using Cardinal Woolsey's as their knitting circle meet up. From Gran Lucy finds that she she did not die peacefully but cannot remember what happened only that her dying was not an accident. Lucy is determined to find out what occurred and she's about to discovery more about herself in the process.

I know this is not my usual read, but for the sake of Halloween Bingo I read one of these cozy mystery books a year and they quite fun and a nice change from what I usually read. I can sum this book up as a pretty cute read with a side of murder that occur. I also think that you can tell from the cover that the vampires within this book are not the scary blood sucking type. Actually you find out pretty early on they have a side hustle to get their blood supply and really a vampire knitting club, I guess who doesn’t have more time than the vampire to learn how to perfect the art of knitting. What I liked that Warren did though was not all the members of the club were old (when they were turned) and female, there were a few men in there as well. Additionally, I think that Warren did a good job in trying to throw as many suspects or red herrings as she could as to who the killer actually was, I did find myself changing my mind a few times, but was able to figure it out. Nevertheless, Warren does a good job with the mystery aspect.

I liked that there wasn’t any romance in this book. I mean it is hinted at that there may be a triangle in the future but this was much more about Lucy trying to adjust to her Gran’s “death” and trying to find out who did it. So minimal relationship and romance which is strange for a cozy mystery but appreciate it.

Warren does try to do a lot in this book, so a few things are missed along the way in regards to background as to some of the characters and not really fleshing out the main ones there. If I were to read farther in this series (there is always next year's BINGO) I would want a bit more substance to the characters.

So this is an easy read, that is cutesy as you have vampires who spend their undead years perfecting their knitting skills. So if you’re looking for a cozy Halloween read this one is for you.


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Lucy Foley: The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party - Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley takes readers to a remote mountain stay, where friends gather but one of them is about to be murdered:

During the Christmas/New Year break a group of friends from Oxford takes a break to an isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands, an old hunting lodge that has been converted into a luxury stay. The only people on grounds this time of year are the manager and the game keeper, both who has secrets and something they are running from. On December 30 a huge blizzard hits the lodge stopping all in and out travel, the guest and workers are snowed in and may be for some time, however, they have been assured they have enough food in order to wait till the storm passes. Two days later, on New Years day, one of them is dead. There is a murderer amoung those who are at the lodge, and all of them seemingly have a reason to commit such an act.

This book does a lot of things right but I think where Foley really excelled in the format that she chose to write this book in. There are multiple points of views, not just the guest but the manager and games keeper as well. This offers a well rounded story, most of the characters backstories as well as their feelings about the others. There is not just one opinion of a person but many. This helps the reader feel as if they are part of the group staying at the lodge and start to form their own opinions about the characters.

I felt that Foley was able to keep the suspense throughout the book, as you know a murder is going to occur as this is how the book starts out but you don't know who is going to be murdered or who the murderer so it is a fun ride to see how these events play out. The multiple points of views keeps you guessing about who will be murdered and who the murderer is likely to be and you will probably change your mind a few points along the way.

This book really explores how much people change over time and how some people want nothing to change while others just want to move on and love the person that they have become. Sometimes it is hard to keep those friends you have had forever as people take different life paths, no matter how hard you try to hold on to them. This is probably the most common theme throughout the book.

This is the first book I have read by Foley and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading another one of her novels.


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Megan Goldin: The Night Swim

The Night Swim - Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin's main character Rachel Krall takes the readers to the courtroom of a rape case, where she is about to discover there is also a murder within their midst:

Rachel Krall has created a successful podcast, Guilty or Not Guilty, in which she reopens cases to find new evidence to find a new suspect or to free an innocent person. When she able to free an innocent man in her first season there is an outpouring of people wanting her to take on their case, it can be disheartening to have so many people needing help, but she is now on season three and making her way to her new case. However, one note left on her windshield as she was heading to the place for her next podcast gets her attention. Her name is Hannah and she is sure her sister was murdered 25 years ago, and the murderer will be in the courtroom rape trial that Rachel is attending. Rachel as first does not take Hannah's case but with more notes and information emerges Rachel finds herself investigating and finds out that Jenny Stills tragically drowned in a swimming accident. But things are not adding up the more she looks and the rape case Rachel is creating her podcast for has polarized a town. The questions remains will there be justice for all the victims? 

Wow, I truly enjoyed this book, I did not want to put it down. I think that Goldin does a great job of creating the two story lines that are equally interesting and one does not take away from the other. This may be as book really is part mystery and part courtroom drama, as each day Rachel sits in on the rape case so she can create her podcast. The other interesting thing is that Hannah believes that her sister's killer will be in the courtroom as well, so that has to Rachel analyzing everyone who is there as well from Judge to jury. This creates two interesting plot bu also intersect the crimes that are 25 years apart, which is not only creative but a really smart idea.

I'm a sucker for a book that takes place in a small town as there are always secrets and typically the socioeconomic divide that occurs in this towns. And both are well on display within this book, both the rape case and Rachel's investigation into Hannah's sister's death, there may be 20 years between them, but some things never change. I will applaud Rachel when she does her podcast that she tries to stay neutral on all fronts of the trial that she is covering, as the town of Neapolis shows, there is nothing more polarizing it seems than a rape case (well maybe mask wearing).

When I started reading this book, I realized that it would be a perfect audio book listen because of the different point of views as well as the podcast that Rachel creates. The chapters tend to alter from Rachel to Hannah to Rachel's podcast, so the story is well rounded with the information that the reader is receiving. So if you are able to, I would recommend to read this one through an audio book format, you will not be disappointed with it.

I love a surprise and I will say that I did not see the twist or who the killer is coming, so that always gets an extra point from. Make sure you have nothing planned when you start this book you're going to want to read it in one sitting. I know I'm going to be checking out Goldin's other books.


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Kelley Armstrong: Watcher in the Woods

Watcher In The Woods - Kelley Armstrong

This is the fourth book in Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series, so to completely appreciate, the characters, plot and the town of Rockton, you need to read the previous three books: City of the Lost, A Darkness Absolute and This Fallen Prey. 

Kelley Armstrong is back with another Rockton book and this time is seems like Rockton's secret may be out:

The town of Rockton is supposed to be a secret, but there are things that need to be done to protect the residence. This means Casey approaching her own estranged sister to help one of their residences that was injured badly in a gun fight, but bringing her there has to be a secret, as that is how Rockton survives. However, word seems to have gotten out about Rockton, when a US Marshal shows up demanding one of the residences. Casey and Dalton have to figure out no only who he is after, stop him from taking them but how the Hell did he find out where Rockton was located. Nothing is ever boring in a town full of not only victims but criminals too, many of whom will stop at nothing to make sure the US Marshal isn't after them.

I always have high hopes for this series and have enjoyed every book so far, but I will say that this is my least favourite book in the series. I found that the beginning was very exciting with the Marshal sniffing around town, and trying to figure out who he is there to take back south, but then the middle really slowed things down and then bang the ending was faced paced again. I guess for me I think that the middle just felt like a lot of filler and no substance. I wish a certain event had not taken place so quickly and there was more of a cat and mouse game to be played. When I have read other books in this series, I never wanted to put the book down. It was always I'll just read one more chapter one more page to see what happened next, where this book I was okay with putting it down.

I really liked the Marshal aspect within this book, I think it was really clever and why wouldn't some of the residence within Rockton have people coming to look for them. Some of them have committed horrible crimes. It was really interesting to see how the residence of Rockton reacted to the knowledge that there was a Marshal hunting one of them down. I know there are the main players within Rockton that we have readers have gotten to know from the previous book but you really don't know everyone, so it was nice to see some new residences show their faces. 

I will say that the addition of April, Casey's estranged sister, to the town and story was just brilliant by Armstrong. I'm so happy that she found a way to bring her to Rockton and to have her and Casey interact with each other, and man is there some comic relief in there. It also shines more of light on how Casey was brought up which does round her out more as a character.

So we're four books in and this is my least favourite of the bunch, however, does that mean this is a bad book? No, I just don't think it lived up to the previous three. I still love this series and characters and totally recommend this series to people, all the time. So I'm totally looking forward to book number 5.


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Suzanne Collins: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Suzanne  Collins

Suzanne Collins, takes readers back to near the tenth Hunger Games, where President Snow, is anything But:

The once mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, well it had been hard times during the war and every year since the Snow family fortune was lost along with District 13. However, Coriolanus Snow has been given a chance which could help secure not only his but his house's future. He and his classmates will be the mentors to those who are chosen during the reaping. The mentor whose tribute wins will have their future set out for them and money to support it. Snow does not get the most favorable pick, a female from District 12, but he is determine to win at any cost even if it means breaking some rules, especially once he gets to know his tribute outside the arena and begins to get feelings for her. Can he help her enough so she can win so that they both can get their happily ever after.

I really enjoyed this book but due to the fact that it is a Hunger Games novel, I believe that people will either love or hate this book because it is very un-Hunger Games. Sure the Hunger Games exist in this time, but they are not the extravagant event that we see later and the reader does not have first hand account of what is going on in the arena. This book is much more of a political based one, in which Snow is trying to preserve himself and his family not only his family but the Snow legacy as well. Snow is trying to portrays that everything is fine in his life but the reality is that they are extremely poor and it is up to Snow to bring the family fortune back, which is a lot of weight on a teenagers shoulders. Therefore, Snow is forced to manipulate those around him to make sure they perceive him in a certain way, find out information he can use to his advantage and yet still be liked by his peers and teachers as these will be his cohort for the rest of his life.

I enjoyed that this book was solely told from Snow's point of view. You can see why he became that man he is in the other books, as well as, his growth in character and how some personality traits never really change from when one is younger. You also discover additional reasons as to why he truly did not like Katniss even from her name. I am sure that Snow saw a lot of Lucy Grey in Katniss. The only point in the book that I wish there was a change in point of view was the end, I wish there would have been something from Lucy Grey's point of view maybe in an Epilogue or something like that, I just needed something from her in the end. I don't know exactly what but something.

Speaking of Lucy Grey, she is a very interesting character but we only get to see her from Snow's point of view, so things are just a bit clouded, jaded and maybe a bit idolized at times. I think Lucy Grey knew what she was doing on several occasions throughout the book and is just as manipulative as Snow. She knows how to work her image and crowd to get those around her to like her and help her, so I was questioning her motivation throughout the whole book, besides her need to try and survive the arena.

As stated above I liked that this showed a very different hunger Games and that it was not always the event and it was not something that people from certain districts strive for.  It is really Snow and his classmates who first start to shape the Hunger Games into an interesting event that everyone in the Capital wants to be part of and the realization that no one in the districts really watches it. It is interesting some of the ideas that everyone comes up with and the ways to incorporate them into the area.

I enjoyed this prequel to the Hunger Games Trilogy. I am okay that it was a bit slower pace at times as this was more of a characterization of Snow in a novel and that there was next to zero first person action that Snow partakes in. I think if you are interested in Snow as a character you will enjoy this book, however, if you are looking for another "Hunger Games" book you may want to pass on this one.


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Peter Swanson: Eight Perfect Murders

Eight Perfect Murders - Peter  Swanson

The latest book from Peter Swanson shows that what you post on the internet can come back to haunt you:

When Malcolm Kershaw first started working at Old Devil's Bookshop he was in charge of the online blog and one of his first posts were books that contained what he believed to the books with perfect unsolvable murders. However, Malcolm gets a huge surprise when an FBI agent enters his bookstore to question the list that he made. She is convinced that someone is using his list to get away with murder and it seems that she is not the only one interested in Malcolm, the killer is out there watching him, knows his history, his secrets. To protect himself Malcolm has to find the killer before he makes his way through the list and exposes everything Malcolm has worked hard to achieve.

STOP!!!!! If you are planning to read some of the great mystery reads from some of the greats just STOP and not read this books as there are spoilers to all of these book:
1. The ABC Murders
2. Strangers on a Train
3. The Red House Mystery
4. Malice Afterthought
5. Double Indemnity
6. The Drowner
7. The Secret History
8. Deathtrap

So even if just one from above is on that list read it first before you read this book. I wish I had known going into this book which books he was talking about and while the narrator does warn of spoilers you don’t know the books until you're already invested in the book.

This is the second book that I have read from Swanson (first book was Her Every Fear) and this book far exceeded the first book that I read by him. The stories are completely different, which I appreciated, and I just found this book way more interesting in main character and story. This is the first bookstore murder that I have read in a long time and I really enjoyed myself. There were a few muddy points along the way, mainly with the FBI/Malcolm dynamic in my opinion (their interactions just seemed odd, almost forced. I know that Malcolm is roped into working the case by the FBI but it was the writing that felt forced) but I really enjoyed the story and it will keep you guessing until the end. I personally did not see all the twists and turns that Swanson throws at you so that always gets bonus points from me. 

I think one of my favourite part of the book is the narration of the book. I like that it is told from only Malcolm's point of view. This works for this book due to the fact that he is the expert in the books from the list. You as the reader also get to know Malcolm really well and the kind of character he is, as well as learning that he has more than one secret in his life and you as the reader are not only trying to solve the murders but also Malcolm's secrets as well.

While this book is extremely clever from start to finish, does it bring anything new to the Mystery genre? No, but it is a good read from start to finish, I just wish is hadn't ruined some books that I had not had a chance to read yet.


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Kiersten White: The Guinevere Deception

The Guinevere Deception - Kiersten White

Kiersten White brings the reader to the tale of King Arthur, but this is not quite the tale you know:

Princess Guinevere comes to Camelot to wed a stranger, King Arthur, but she feels likes she knows him for Merlin has told her much but not quite enough at the same time. You see this Princess Guinevere is an imposter, she has been sent to Camelot to help protect King Arthur from the magic that was thought to be banished has returned. Now Guinevere is tasked with not only becoming Queen, but hiding her magic as she does her best to protect Arthur and Camelot from unseen dangers and people. However, Merlin had a habit of not telling her everything and some of the deceptions he kept have deadly consequences.

I really enjoyed this book and different adaptation of King Arthur that White decides to take. I will admit that I only know the basic story behind this tale so beyond the basics I am not well versed into the entire story and how much liberty she takes with it, but personally I'm okay with that. I like that White modernized the tale I know but kept it in medieval times feel of a world and did not attempt to bring it to the present or future, I think it would have been strange for what White wants to accomplish in this book. I also like that she took liberties with some of the characters as well, for example Guinevere is not the true Guinevere but the imposter, hence one of the deceptions within the book. I also loved the twist with Lancelot as well.

Guinevere is an interesting character, women but also a teen as well. She very much knows her duties and her magic and has lots of confidence in herself for the most part, but she is unsure how to interact with others. The only relationship she has had is with Merlin, so entering into a relationship and eventual arranged marriage with Arthur she does not know how to handle the emotions that she feels. This is also true when there is another Man who also has interest in her, she does not know what she feels and how to handle the emotions. This is also compounded as the more she uses some magic, some of her memories are taken away from her, so she cannot always rely on her mind. Wish I knew more about Guinevere's magic and what she is able to do, but what we see so far in this book is very interesting.

I will admit that this book is a little slow to start as White sets up the world and Guinevere as a character, but it does pick up the further you read into the book. I look forward to picking up the next book in the series.


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Kim Michele Richardson: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

The Book Woman Of Troublesome Creek (Unabridged edition) - Katie Schorr, Kim Michele Richardson

In 1936 in Troublesome Creek, KY lives 19 year old Cussy Carter, who is last female with the rare Blue People Ancestry. She only has her Pa to keep her company so she decides to join the Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky. Riding across the treacherous mountain ranges rain, shine or snow to deliver books to her patrons, she is determined to win them over and show them the amazing information and world that books can bring people. The more she visits and the farther she travels she slowly creates a network of friends. But hardships are part of Cussy's life and even though she makes many gains with her patrons, many people in Troublesome Creek see Cussy as problem, devilish for her blue skin and would stop at nothing to sure her of her "problem".

Now this book may seem like a fantasy to begin with as the main character Cussy, aka Bluet, is blue skinned, but assure you this book is based upon a rare condition known as Argyria and is caused when silver builds up within the body. The skin will appear blue especially the places that get the most sun exposure. Now that we have determined this book is not a fantasy one, I just have to say, I Loved this book. It was a great story centered around Cussy and her just trying to live her life the best she can as a Blue but also trying to spread the amazing ability of reading to those who are unable to get to town to read or need help learning to read. You get to see throughout the book the amount of lives that she touches, changes and how just delivering books, any type of books, she has made those people's lives better, and Cussy relishes each time she is able to achieve this.

Cussy is a beautiful character, strong in both mind and will, she tackles so many obstacles through her life, and only makes herself better for it. Even when she gets beaten or is afraid she gets back on her mule each time she makes sure to get the books to those she knows will bring the people joy. She is selfless throughout the book, and though her Pa may not like it, it is who Cussy is.

This book truly highlights the racism that people experience for being different, and in this case a different color. Cussy is seen as inferior to those around her, and that her blueness must be caused by something unnatural or devilish (this is what one character believes and believes he can beat it out of her). There is heartache after heartache, test after test in this book by the white characters and Cussy's amazing character shines through it all. Honestly, you think more cannot go wrong for her and yet there is always a new low that other people can sink to in order to put people down. Unfortunately, there are many points within this book where the same rhetoric is used today or some of the same beliefs, maybe not toward the Blue people as it is a known medical condition, but towards people of color and visible minorities.

I really enjoyed this book and the story that Richardson weaved with the research she has done on Argyria disease as well as the book providers of this time. I highly recommended this book, it is a amazing story.


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Grady Hendrix : The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel - Grady Hendrix
Grady Hendrix takes readers to Charleston, where a quiet suburb is about to get the most unexpected visitor: 
Patricia Campbell gave up her love of nursing in order to have a family and support her husband in his career choices and now she feels like that she does not have much of a life outside of her house. This changes when she joins a book club with other mothers and wives from Charleston and they have one big obsession, true crime and mystery books. However, mystery is about to come to Patricia's house when a new neighbour moves up the street, Patricia is attacked outside her home and children begin to go missing from the poorer neighbourhood are going missing. Are all these events related or has Patricia been spending too much time reading books for her book club, one thing is for sure she did not the answer she was expecting.
This is the first book that I have read by Hendrix and I am excited to check out some of her other works as I liked this book, even though it wasn't quite what I expected. When I started seeing reviews for this book as a great horror novel I expecting it to be more horror and less details of a southern wife's life at home. So the book does start out slow as we get to know Patricia and why she is so unhappy with her life, and her striving to find a way to change that, this is actually an aspect or theme throughout the book. I really do wish there was more slaying vampires and less debating whether or not Patricia is crazy, mixed in with doing some house work and talking about husbands. There is a bit of detective work that is done by Patricia but it is disjointed throughout the book especially with the time jump.
Patricia is a house wife who tries to do it all and I hate to say it but she is portrayed as a typical house wife who is looking for a little bit of spice, adventure, mystery, something in her life. This is what leads her to the book club but also what leads her to befriend the new neighbour who moves down the street. Patricia is a strong character and a great mom who really puts everything she has to keep her house in order and protect her children, so you cannot not like her. Does she makes some not so smart choices, sure but we are all human after all (well most of us, as you never know as this book highlights). As this book is told from Patricia's point of view we only get to know the other characters, mainly those from the book club, from her point of view but they are all fairly similar.
I liked Hendrix's take on the Vampire was very traditional blood thirsty and preying on the unsuspecting and weak. I like the hussel that he takes from town to town, it was just unfortunate for him that some people live a long time too. It really is an art that he had perfected. It was interesting to also watch what ailments the Vampire has and how he gets around them, as well as his strengths, the last scenes are really horrifying (enjoyed every minute of it).
I know that Hendrix was going for a 90s feel in this book but I felt like it was set in the 50s as it seemed that all of the women were house wives and were expected to take care of their house, children and husband. None of the characters worked outside of the home, which I believe was more of what happened in 90s (even in the south) plus all the housework etc, and there is really no mention of the technology of the 90s that makes me think this is the time period its based in. Not going to say that all that house cleaning doesn't come in handy, but the book just lacked the 90s feel to it.
Although this was not quite the book I was expecting, I still enjoyed the ride that Hendrix takes the reader on. This book is well written, well thought out and the horror scenes that do occur are downright frightening. Looking forward to checking more out by Hendrix.
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Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone  - Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen show that you are not alone when you're surrounded by "friends":

Shay sees a tragedy happen right in front of her, a woman commits suicide. Shay cannot understand what happened and why this woman would do this. Shay finds herself thinking about it all the time and this leads her to attending the victims funeral. What Shay was not expecting was to meet her friends and for them to want to get to know her. Shay is a bit of a loner and has a hard time making friends, but it seems this tragedy has lead her to a new type of life. However, the friends have a different idea of what they would like to do with Shay's life.

This is the second book that I have read by this duo and I am extremely impressed. Although they are both in the psychological thrill genre, they had a completely different plot and story line compared (The other book I have read by them is Anonymous Girl). They do a have a bit of a formula surrounding the psychological aspects and manipulation of one of the characters, but this is achieved in different ways was still very interesting the second time around. I will also say that I wasn't sure which avenue Hendrick and Pekkanen were going to take at the beginning of the book when Shay first meets the Moore sisters. Honestly in a way Shay would have been an asset to their team, with all her data searching knowledge and abilities, if they did not need her for other reasons.

Shay is a puzzle of a character to me. There were times where I just could not follow her thought process at all, but I guess that is why she was so easy to manipulate throughout the book as all Shay really wants is to be accepted. You realize this through the continued stats that she writes in her notebook about what she is thinking about and more than one are about friends. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to reach through the book and shake her, tell her to think straight and to think her plans out. She truly was a perfect mark for the Moore sisters. She is a likeable character, just a frustrating one.

I liked how Hendricks and Pekkanen took the time to explain how each individual came to be a part of the Moore sisters team and how they would do anything at all to protect each other. It was also interesting to see how far back Moore sisters began their manipulation of everything around them. The whole team is pretty amazing and scary at the same time, when they set their mind to something, well when the Moore sisters set their minds to it, as they manipulate everyone.

There was a little bit of a twist at the end, but it was not Earth shattering or anything like that. I actually wished the book had ended differently, not so clean cut and predictable. 

I really enjoyed this book by Hendricks and Pekkanen and I recommend I would recommend it to people who like psychological thrillers books that are not police or courtroom related. The storyline was interesting and it was interesting to watch all the manipulations play out. I look forward to see what they come up with next.


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Shruthi Viswanathan: Ink & Arrows

Ink & Arrows - Shruthi Viswanathan

In Shruthi Viswanathan debut novel she shows that people from two different walks of life can fall in love:

Rae is Suveri whish means she is an artist that has the ability to ink magical tattoos. A talent that is looked down upon, yet sought after as well. Bitter about the death of her father she attempts to get revenge but fails, however, she is saved by the Archduke Sebastyen who not only frees her but offers her three wishes in order for her to teach him the Suveri secrets around the magical tattoos. The two are nothing alike yet both are seeking something, one revenge and the other power and maybe something more, maybe love.

Alright, I told myself this year that I would try to read a few books that were outside of my comfort zone and usual genres. I had great success with Katherine Center Things You Save in a Fire (highly recommend) and had high hopes for this book as well but I am sorry to say this is my second DNF this year. I mean I really really tried with this book, I made it to 70% in my kindle but I just couldn't read it anymore. There was just so much lacking in this book and I could only tell my self something would develop later so many times. So lets break this down.

The good is that Viswanathan had an interesting premise that I thought had a lot of promise. The book is described as a Fantasy Romance book but it was Rae's ability as the Suveri that I thought was really interesting. Rae has the ability to create magic tattoos that can give the bearer different strengths and ability. See very interesting. Also the cover of the book is well done, it is what drew me in to read what the premise was about.

Alright, I will admit back when I was just getting into reading I read a lot and I mean a lot of romance books. I used to alternate between a mystery and romance genres, so I get so of what needs to go into a romance book to make it have a somewhat interesting story and that is chemistry between the two main characters. Whether they love or hate each other or a bit of both there has to be something there, some sort of emotion, Rae and Sebastyen have none. Rae states she hates him for what happened to her father, but never really shows that hate (side note, he was not the one to kill her father). She seems to learn that she actually loves him but this is after they are apart for more than a year (and we don't even know what is going on with either of them in that year as Sebastyen is away at war and Rae is just there but has a change of location while he is gone). I just don't understand how those feelings materialized while they were apart . They seem to have conversations off page, as they never really seems to talk when they are together, its more about what they are doing than what they are saying, so I struggle to see how a bond between them is formed. I guess the one emotion I do see is from Sebastyen and that is in the form of obsession more than anything else. But all in all not only is their chemistry flat, them as characters is flat as well.

The world building is not there, I have no idea why the Suveri are looked down at and why the tattoos are frowned upon, but that doesn't stop the warriors/generals from getting them. Sebastyen always seems to be at war, and why they are at War I have no idea why other than his father wishes it. Honestly I know nothing of the world that Viswanathan was trying to create.

Every aspect that I look for in a book whether it be in the genre I read or not, was just not happening in this book which is a shame as the premise was really promising. I cannot even recommend this book to those who like the romance genre, because the romance/chemistry/connection was not there throughout the 70% of the book I read. Oh well hopefully the next book I read off genre will be better.


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John Marrs: The Passengers

The Passengers - John Marrs

John Marrs shows the true danger and fear behind driver-less cars:

Self driving cars have been made standard in the UK, you can no longer drive yourself. These vehicles have been found more safe and reliable than regular vehicles. Everyone has been assured that they are completely safe and even safer when the act of driving is taken out of their hands. But then eight people enter into driver-less cars for possible their last time. Six were chosen, two were random and their vehicles have been hacked. They are now heading to the same destination, where only one individual gets to survive and who gets to decide who survives? The public of course as the whole event is broadcast world wide and everyone's secrets are about to be exposed.

Well what a trip (pun intended), to the not so distant future. This book has you go through so many emotions over the span of a two and a half hour car ride it is insane. I really enjoyed this book, it was fast paced due to the time constraints on the cars, therefore, the plot has to fast as well. This book will have you asking yourself who would you choose to die? Would you play the Hacker's game? It was almost like you were participating in the book. And oh reveal after reveal, twist after twist, its really hard to predict what is going to happen next, which I really enjoyed. I was able to figure some of it out, but not even close to all of it, which makes this book even better in my opinion. 

You don't really get to know any of the characters that well even the main ones, you just get glimpses of who they are, especially the passengers in the cars. This is completely deliberate by Marrs as he wants you/the characters within the book to choose based upon the facts that the Hacker presents. However, when it comes to Libby we get a bit more character development as we not only see her in this snapshot of time but also some of her history with driver-less cars but overall I don't think she is completely fleshed out as a character. There is one character that I absolutely despised was the social media expert, all he cared about was what was on twitter or what hashtag was trending. Honestly, I feel like he is the future of some people where all they care about it the online aspect and not even acknowledging that there are people in real life. His nonchalance when people are killed was just crazy to me, but all he saw was where the next trend was heading. I think this was also a deliberate character creation by Marrs, as a way of saying look where we're heading now.

One thing that puzzled me was why were the six chosen, there were eight people but two were random taxi cabs so those were left up to fate. I mean we all have some sort of skeleton in our closet, maybe not to the extreme of the people shown here, by how and why did he choose them. I mean there are quite a few factors that the Hacker would have had to predict in order to pull all this off on this specific day. I get that we put lots of things on social media and it is only going to grow but i do not think he could have predicted certain events that swayed people for and against a person in the vehicle. So on that front a few things do not really add up.

Not going to lie, I liked the idea of driver-less cars before I read this book, now they scare the crap out of me. Nope, No Thank You, I will continue to drive myself thanks. See this is how this book has affected me. This is the first book by Marrs that I have read and it will not be the last.


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BR Kingsolver: Night Stalker

Night Stalker - BR Kingsolver

This is the second book in the series, so you will want to read the first book Shadow Hunter, its a really good read and highly recommend it, to understand the basic elements and characters of this book.

BR Kingsolver is back with the next installment in her Rosie O'Grady's Paranormal Bar and Grill series and this time is it the Vampires think Erin holds the key to the city:

Erin just wants to attempt to find out what a normal life is like, but it seems like that is going to have to be put on hold, when a new Vampire shows up in town and believes that Erin is the Key to taking the city. Minus the fact that Erin and the vampire have crossed paths before, Erin has to watch her step every bit along the way to hope that the Illuminati do not discover that she is still alive. Erin's going to need all her skills and her friends at O'Grady's in order to come out of this feud alive.

I enjoyed this book but I do not think that it was as good as the first. This book followed a similar format and lacked some of the imagination in the plot that occurred in the first book, the only real difference in this one is that the Vampire politics that were somewhat dealt with in the first book are now front and center here. And as in the first book, people want Erin to help solve their problems, she says No and then she ends up being pulled anyways in one way or another. If you read the first book this will all sound so familiar.

I still like Erin as a character, and we get to see even more of her extremely cool ley line magic and some additional moves that she has. I felt that Erin became a bit too acclimatized to her new friends and city. I miss they mystery that surrounded her and what she can do, she just seems too willing at times to show it off. Her love life is the exception to this acclimatization, the romance that Kingsolver attempted to have within this book is laughable but I feel like it was on purpose as Erin has never had a boyfriend before. If it wasn't on purpose, then yeah I just don't know then.

I really enjoy the world that Kingsolver has built very the past two books, and that it is even expanded upon within this novel. I like that they are separate and try to hide from the humans, but you can tell this is becoming more and more of a struggle for them. Plus I love Grady's, honestly I want to go have a pint of something from there.

Where Kingsolver also excels in the creation of her secondary character. There are so many different types of paranormals within this world as well as a whole bunch of personalities that any of them could be featured in a spin off series. Like one about Sam before he became to owner of O'Grady's for example, that could be Epic.

While I do not think that this book was as good as the first (really the first blew me away as it was so unexpected), I still enjoyed reading this book. I like the characters and world that Kingsolver has created. I'll be picking up the third book in this series.


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Mary Kubica: The Other Mrs.

The Other Mrs. - Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is back with another psychological thriller where a move for a fresh start is not what the family gets:

Sadie, her husband Will and their two sons move to a small town island in Maine, where the only way on and off is by ferry. They are moving there as Will's sister committed sucide and they need to take care of their niece who they do not know and they are needing to get away from Will's other Mrs. They think that by leaving Chicago and her behind that they will get the fresh start that their family needs. Then just a few months in living there, there is a murder up the street and everyone is a suspect, especially the new people who just moved into town. Sadie finds herself drawn into the investigation, trying to figure out what happens, but she has this every present feeling that someone is watching her and that she has the most to lose.

I have read quite a few books by Kubica now and I think that this is my favourite book so far and I think this has to do that the plot within this book was much more complex than the other books that I have read by her. I think part of this is that she has changed up the format a bit. All of her previous books that I have read had two time frames that were slowly getting closer and closer together, where this one is all in the same time frame, except for one of the characters is from the past. In this book there is the murder up the street, the death of her husband's sister, inheriting a grieving niece, Sadie and having the feeling that her husband is still cheating on her and well the police suspecting she has something to do with it all. There are a lot of facts to sift through and this is further enhanced with the multiple points of view, which I enjoyed.

There are three main points of view; Sadie, Camille and Mouse, and they all add something different to the story. But at the same time they all present the same thing that they want, love and acceptance. Sadie wants to be loved by her husband, Will, and be the only woman in his life, which she is sure she is not. Camille wants to be loved by Will and be the only woman in his life and will go to great lengths to achieve that (see the similarity there) and Mouse a young girl just wanted to be accepted and loved by her step mother, but that seems impossible. I think my one problem with the multiple points of view was there were times where they gave too much away that I was able to figure out the vast majority of what the big twists were going to be. However, I still enjoyed the intricate ride that Kubica takes you on. Oh and its in a small coastal town where gossip is a job i swear, what more could I ask for.

This was a great book and I highly recommend it if you like the mystery and psychological thriller genres. I was really impressed with the plot that Kubica created and I think her novels are getting better and better. I look forward to see what she comes up with next.


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Leigh Bardugo: Ninth House

Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo takes the reader to Yale where the secret societies will do anything to achieve power:

Galaxy Alex Stern is not quite the same as the rest of the freshman class at Yale, as Alex never even finished high school, lived a life of shady drug dealer boyfriends, was a druggie and has survived a horrific event, but Alex is nothing but a survivor. She gets a second chance to have a different life and it includes a full ride to Yale, but the second chance has some extra work that Alex will have to do. Alex is tasked with monitoring the activities of the secret societies of Yale to make sure the rituals do not go wrong from paranormal forces. Alex is the perfect for this job as she has a special ability, one that she has tried to run from most of her life, but now she needs to embrace it to help keep everyone safe.

Alright I'm just going to lay this out there, I LOVED this book, I can see why it was getting so much hype last year and is one of my favourite reads so far this year. I have never read a book by Bardugo before (I know this may be shocking to some but I don't venture into YA that often) and this book was simply amazing, blew me away. It it dark, gritty, has a very grey world feel to the words and doesn't shy away from any of these traits. There are some disturbing instances and scenarios in this book that involve drug use, rape, murder and Bardugo does not simplify them or sugar coat them either, which I applaud. I will admit that it is a bit slow to start and it can seem a bit confusing especially where and how the book starts and you try to keep all the houses straight, but it does all make sense, you just have to get past that first initial bit. It also at times feels a bit pretentious but lets admit that this book is based in Yale, so I think a bit of pretentiousness is expected. However, as we get to know more about Alex, her past, her abilities and when she stops trying to fit in at Yale and be herself the book really takes off.

Alex has a troubled past and this stems from her ability to see ghosts and have unforgettable and unforgivable encounters with them when she is young. Alex turns to drugs to numb everything, not just her pain but her ability to see them. One day she wakes up in a hospital bed supposedly OD where she gets an offer she cannot refuse. Alex does try to adapt to this new prestigious role that she is given, but I love when she just says fuck it and does it her own way. Alex is smart, resilient and turns out to be a good friend, which is not a trait you are expecting when you first meet her. I like her ability to get things done, she doesn't like authority and goes ahead with what she believes is right even if it is against "orders". Alex's past has truly shaped her, from her experiences to drug use she is a strong ass woman that is for sure.

This is a contemporary set novel novel with paranormal set into our day and age. So the technology, current events and Yale feel like they are very now. I think that Bardugo did a good job of mixing the contemporary and paranormal and if you like the skull and bones type of aspects/conspiracies then you will like this book too. It really takes the secret societies or houses to the extreme, as people are willing to really do anything to achieve power and I mean anything.

I'm extremely excited to read the next book in this series, and cannot wait to see where Bardugo takes it as there are many things left unsolved with this one. I hope that Bardugo continues along with the darkness she created in this book. For me this book deserves the hype that it has been given, and if you haven't had a chance to check it out you should.


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