Buzz Books are one of my favorite ways to discover new-to-me books and authors!
While I may not read every single word of every single sample, I readBuzz Books are one of my favorite ways to discover new-to-me books and authors!
While I may not read every single word of every single sample, I read enough to know if I'm going to like the story or not. That's the beauty of these samplers - there's something for everyone!
Here are the samples that stood out for me this time:
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. A retelling of Lady Jane Grey's story, but with a shapeshifter twist! The excerpt was incredibly intriguing, and I'm a sucker for anything to do with the King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I era!
Didn't think I would like The Progeny (by Tosca Lee) after reading the synopsis, but the excerpt really grabbed my interest! It's about a descendant of a notorious serial killer who is being hunted by a mysterious group. Sounds like a fascinating thriller, and I've already requested a review copy!
Another surprise was how much I enjoyed And I Darken by Kiersten White. A historical novel set in the 15th century, featuring the children of Vlad the Impaler. I don't usually read historicals, but the characters really leapt off the page!
Already looking forward to the Fall/Winter sampler, as I love discovering new reads!...more
The first story in a collection usually sets the tone for the entire anthology, so a little sad that I didn't care for The Price of Survival. It was aThe first story in a collection usually sets the tone for the entire anthology, so a little sad that I didn't care for The Price of Survival. It was a little too science fiction-y for my tastes. Thankfully, the rest of the collection was more to my liking!
The Final Report on the Lifeline Experiment was an interesting take on the when-does-life-begin question. And I really loved the ending, which I didn't see coming at all. Love when that happens!
One of my favorite stories was Clean Slate, about a wizard trying to earn his title without falling victim to the Wizard's Curse. What is the Wizard's Curse? The price that the wizard must pay for the privilege of using his power. Never heard of such a curse, but loved it!
Some of the other stories that stood out for me were Protocol, Old-Boy Network, Proof, Trollbridge, and Pawn's Gambit. All different types of stories, but all original and interesting. More than a few of them had a neat little twist at the end, which I really enjoyed. Seems most of my favorites had a twist of some kind, so guess I like twists!
Even the stories I didn't particularly care for were well-written, so the author is obviously talented. Short stories are tricky, as you have to pack a lot of punch into a small space. Zahn proves himself very good at this!
While I'm pretty sure that this was my first Zahn book, it definitely won't be my last! I'm more of a fantasy reader than science fiction fan, but it looks like I still have plenty of options....more
Ever wonder if there's really an afterlife? If our time here on earth is it, or do we go somewhere else after we die? Firstlife sort of answers thoseEver wonder if there's really an afterlife? If our time here on earth is it, or do we go somewhere else after we die? Firstlife sort of answers those questions, with an interesting premise that hooked me in the first chapter!
According to the story, there are two realms where your spirit can go after death. Troika is the land of light, while Myriad is the land of darkness. Troika is a little stricter than Myriad, but they both have pros and cons. They both also have agents who try to convince humans to sign on with their realm.
Actually, there are three options if you include those humans who don't sign with either realm. They wind up someplace called Many Ends, which sounds straight out of a nightmare!
Didn't care for the prologue, but loved the rest of the story!
Ten, the main character, has been sent to a horrible asylum to be tortured because she refuses to sign with one of the afterlife realms. The treatment dished out to the residents is beyond belief! What's worse is that they're all kids. What kind of parent sends their child to a place like that? Yikes!
Turns out that both Troika and Myriad really want Ten to sign with their realm, so they send agents into the asylum to help make up her mind. They really, really want Ten on their side, so guess that alls fair in love and war.
Really enjoyed this one, as I've never read anything like it! Great characters, an interesting plot, and a well-placed storyline made for a great read! Definitely a great start to an interesting new series, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next!...more
The first time I rode Space Mountain was in total darkness. Found out later that the stars and other effects were only turned on half the time, but IThe first time I rode Space Mountain was in total darkness. Found out later that the stars and other effects were only turned on half the time, but I loved having no idea of the upcoming twists, turns, and dips. It was definitely an adventure!
Reading Ashley Bell reminded me a little of this ride, as I had no idea where it would take me next!
Koontz is one of the few authors where I skip reading the synopsis so I can be surprised. This story had so many unexpected twists that it was definitely like riding a roller coaster in the dark!
The main character, Bibi, is a writer. As a lifelong reader, I love that!
Bibi finds out that she has a rare form of brain cancer. Given less than a year to live, Bibi is miraculously cured thanks to a mysterious late-night visitor.
Her free-thinking parents gift her a psychic massage to celebrate her recovery. After the relaxing massage, the psychic uses Scrabble tiles to ask why Bibi was cured. Yes, Scrabble tiles. Who knew? Apparently, her life was spared so that she could save someone named Ashley Bell. And so it begins....
There are several flashbacks to Bibi's childhood, which provide some clues to her present predicament. I enjoyed these flashbacks a little more than Bibi's search for Ashley. And I really enjoyed getting to know Bibi's hippie-esque parents!
Just like a dark roller coaster ride, the story had unexpected dips, peaks, and valleys. Then came a disappointing dip that sort of derailed my fun. The previously fast-paced, fun plotline slowed down after that dip and didn't pick back up for me.
You know how you're disappointed when the roller coaster rolls back into the loading zone, but you still enjoyed the overall ride? That's how I feel about Ashley Bell. I wish there had been a twisty turn instead of that disappointing dip, but still enjoyed the ride!...more