A paranormal thriller set in Los Angeles that will keep you glued to your seat.
This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Alibi in exchange for an honest...moreA paranormal thriller set in Los Angeles that will keep you glued to your seat.
This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Alibi in exchange for an honest review.
My Take This was brilliant and awful, absolutely heartbreaking. Yes, I had niggles, and I'm probably somewhat prejudiced towards this story simply because one of the characters is an artist who had the same dream I had.
Emley dragged me in immediately with Junior's annoyed questions. Ones that had me wondering what was going on. She further pulls me in with Danny and his predicaments. Yes, more than one. He's sick. He's obsessing about Junior. And he has something awful planned. Something from which he doesn't intend to return. It's Danny who first tells us how the blackness all panned out. And Emley quickly reduces me to tears. Over and over.
And yet, if Rory knew that Junior was not responsible, why has she never visited him? Why did she let the investigation die? Why did she go along with the party line? The reveal at the end suggests that Anya was protecting different people at different times in her work. If this is true, why was Anya pursuing Junior as she was? Why was she working so hard to create problems between her sister and Junior?
Emley is good at leaving me guessing about Tom and Evelyn. I can't figure Tom out. Emley goes back and forth with him, questioning what's happening with Rory, how he feels about it. Will he be supportive? Is he out for what he can get? Is he kissing up to his future mother-in-law? Does he love Rory enough? With Rory slipping away, her contradictory comments, the jabs she's delivering to Tom, there's really only the one scene where he lays his concerns out to Evelyn, but it's all tell.
Rory has her comments about her mother, and at first Evelyn seems a concerned mother, but Emley slips in those subtle moments when you start to wonder about her. It's at the end that all the truths come out. Horrible. Disgusting accommodations, anything for money.
I do like the twist in how Emley achieves justice. I am in tears for Danny, Junior, and his family. As for Rory, well, I feel bad for Rory, but I don't like her. She has no loyalty.
It's so heartbreaking to read of Junior's current health. All that promise…
There's so much potential for some truly great drama here, but Emley merely dips under the surface. Still, it's a surface with waves that will shove you from side to side, into brightness, and down into darkness.
The Story Opposites — Rory and Daniel — are getting ill. Bothered by visions of doves flying. For Rory, this night, the La Vie en Rose ball, is important to her as it benefits the charity she began, TOV, which makes her the co-hostess. For Daniel, this night is important as he intends to find justice for a beloved brother.
But that night is just the start of Rory’s nightmare, for something or someone is invading her mind, affecting her body.
The Characters Guillermo "Junior" Lara is an incredible painter who keeps doves on the roof of the Killingsworth, the building he bought to fulfill his dreams, dreams to help other artists, to marry the woman he loves. Daniel Lara is Junior's baby brother, seventeen when it happened. The promising young athlete who's slowly dying, coughing, back sores, and more. Sylvia Torres is the sister who continues to give interviews, keeping her brother's condition in the press, always accusing the Tate family of being in the wrong, of covering up the truth. Elias is her husband, and they have two children, Vanessa and Georgie. Fermina is Junior, Danny, and Sylvia's devoted mother. She visits Junior every single day as does Danny. Chiclets is the family terrier.
Yvonne Argos is the attorney Sylvia has hired. Ethan Byrd is the artist who discovered the bodies.
The Villa del Sol d'Oro Rory, a.k.a., Aurora Langtry, is the younger twin. Just as beautiful, but more absorbed in the beauty company, Langtry Cosmetics, she started with seed money from her father-in-law and brought to prominence using her model sister's face. Tom Fuller is her worried fiancée. Anya is the older twin, the outrageously successful one with the career as a high-flying model. One bought at great expense. Evelyn Langtry Tate married Richard Tate III, a.k.a., Ratsy, L.A. old money. Abigail "Boo" Barrett is Tate's first wife. Jordan is his secretary. Richie, Richard Tate IV, is a backstabbing jerk with no long-term sense, Rory's stepbrother, and CEO of Rory's company. Paige is his wife; Beatrice is their daughter. Leland Declues is the Tate family attorney, Ratsy's fraternity brother, and a longtime family friend.
Graehme is Evelyn's assistant. Rosario is the housekeeper; Hector is her husband, and they live in the carriage house on the property with their two children. Donna is Rory and Anya's aunt, Evelyn's sister. She's married to Dave Knight, and they raised Evelyn's kids. DOB was Anya's secret caller.
Victoria Newell and Hannah Vorst are a couple of Rory's friends. Jonah Donati is a hedge-fund manager who dated Anya. Gilles is the make-up artist at Langtry Cosmetics.
The hospital Johnnie and T. Cordero are guards at the hospital. Corliss is the lead nurse on Junior's floor; Keith is the night nurse. Robert Patyk is Junior's roommate.
Dr. Reece Gaspar and Joy and Brad, two nurses, tend to Rory that first time. Dr. Toshiko Ballard is a neurologist. Dr. Templeton is an ob-gyn. Dr. Olga Ostermann is a psychiatrist at the Casa del Fuente. Simon Weber is one of del Fuente's administrators.
The police Officer Glen Shortall is the arresting officer at the ball. Sergeant Alex Burke quickly dismisses the arrest. Detective Harry Auburn worked the shooting five years ago; he's never been satisfied. Detective Gabe Rodriguez is his current partner. Dr. Gene Hedges is the coroner with a blind eye.
TOV is The Other Victims, a charity Rory started in Anya's name intended to provide aid to families of murder victims. Oscar Han of Kwik Kwality Kut and Sewing buys the Killingsworth building.
The Cover It’s a nice use of complements — blues and oranges — on the cover. It’s Rory holding a sheer blue curtain aside as she peers through the window of her life. A reflection in the window shows an artist’s brushstrokes in whites, yellows, and oranges outlining a tall building in a twilight sky, one window lit up. The author’s name is shades of orange while the title stands out in bordered white.
The title is more metaphor than truth, for The Night Visitor comes when he pleases, day or night.(less)
Second in the Jackie Rutledge series and revolving around Jackie Rutledge, a grief-stricken FBI agent based in Chicago. The story touches on Jackie an...moreSecond in the Jackie Rutledge series and revolving around Jackie Rutledge, a grief-stricken FBI agent based in Chicago. The story touches on Jackie and Nick as a couple.
My Take I liked the first story better. Of course I read it three years ago, so who knows how much I actually remember. Jackie irritates me in this one. Sure, I understand that she's lost her partner of many years, but god, she's so whiny. I know that depression can grab on to you and drag you down. I understand that Jackie is having to deal with some new "gifts". Gifts that shouldn't be that strange to her as she worked actively with Laurel who used the same type of gifts. Maybe it's just that it's all hitting her at once.
So, back to that leetle complication of Laurel's death and her transference of her powers to Jackie. Yep, the same psychic skills she made such fun of when Laurel was alive. Which leads to that trope I hate so much. The I-have-all-these-new-powers-that-I-refuse-to-learn-to-use-even-if-they'll-save-my-ass trope. I wanna smack her upside the head! Jeez, Jackie is such a mess. Yeah, the new "gifts" have impressed Nick and Shelby — they've never seen anything like it.
I thoroughly understand her needing to go back to work, to immerse herself. I bury myself in my work all the time. But Jackie, in spite of this great and desperate need, is fighting against Dr. Erikson so hard, it makes ya itch. Then again, it's so much easier when it's someone else sitting in that chair, being vulnerable. I don't think the doc is helping though when she's threatening Jackie.
"'…the point is not for me to know it' she replied. 'The point is to put your issues into your own words, to let someone else hear them, and know that you aren't so utterly alone and helpless as you feel right now.'"
The part that bugs me is Jackie is almost desperate enough to kill to get back to work, and all she has to do is spill her guts to get the doc to sign her back in. And she won't do it. She spends more time battling the doc and her past than jumping through the obstacles that stand in her way.
I do love that, even as she's fighting Dr. Erikson, she's getting her own revelations about the impact Laurel had on her life as she realizes what a schmuck she was. I wonder if that tease about Jack being broken will lead to further insight into her past, her future, her gifts, her…?
We get more information in this story about the FBI's acceptance of psychic actions. Laurel's success rate and Nick's efforts in Deadworld, 1, to save Jackie have made quite the impression. Still, it's interesting that Nick is so familiar with Belgerman. Familiar enough to call on his phone whenever and call him John, the incredibly easygoing, unFBI-like John. The closest the FBI comes to being the uptight agency we know from most fiction is at the end. And even that is low-key with an ulterior motive.
For such a confident guy, Nick is amazingly reticent about going after Jackie. Although, then again, he is planning for the long-term, lol.
How does Rosa know so many tricks already? She's not sane or rational, so I don't believe she read the handbook or anything. Not that I blame her because I gotta say, I'm with Rosa on this. But I think she went overboard on it. Killing all those innocents, having no regard for the person she possessed. Why does no one wonder where Rosa went when her "possession" died? That scene at the end in the confrontation over Rosa's baby? How does Rosa not react to her baby not screaming?
I wish Duncan had given us background on Rosa and the guy killed with her. Who were the living who failed? Who should have protected him? She's projecting her own anger onto her baby, and I can't help but think that Duncan needs to work on this part of the story. He relies on a mother's rage for everything. We have to learn why her killer came after her from someone else. Nor does it sound as if Rosa had "tried to do right" in her life as she claims.
Jeez, that little snitfit Jackie has in the office… Doesn't she realize that the work continues even if she's off? Admittedly, being out of the office isn't her choice, but still. I'm having a really hard time feeling bad for Jackie.
Oh, yeah, I also want to know who the beastie is who's chasing all the ghosts in Deadworld…
The Story It’s a horrific murder of a mother and her child that sets this ghost off on her murderous rampage of revenge. It’s her pain that pulls Nick and Shelby in. That and the desperate need to save whoever the ghost has possessed.
Another pain, Jackie’s, pulls Nick into her orbit, or her mess of an apartment at least. He doesn’t care. He’s been there too many times himself.
The Characters Normally, Jackie Rutledge drowns her past in her work and her piano playing, but with the loss of her best and only friend and partner, Laurel, there is no work. They've forced her to take compassionate leave and see the FBI's shrink. Now she drowns her grief in the booze she loves so well. Bickerstaff is her cat. Her stepfather, Carl, was a cop and abused his wife until she killed herself.
Laurel Carpenter was her partner and a psychic who sensed ghosts. And she was murdered by Cornelius Drake on their last case in Deadworld. Sam and Beatrice Carpenter are Laurel's parents, and they've sent her a package.
The FBI John Belgerman is Jackie's boss and an incredibly understanding one, a father figure. Special Agent Ryan McManus is Jackie's new partner from San Francisco where he worked gang enforcement. He gets dropped into the deep end! He's divorced and gets weekends with his daughter, Amanda. Dr. Matilda "Tillie" Erikson is the office shrink, who's actually very insightful. Denny is the photographer who sneaks information to Jackie. Captain Pernetti is the token jerk agent, AND he's in charge of this case. Wendall and Jenkins are on it too. Hauser.
The Chicago PD Detective Thomas Morgan has a problem, only he doesn't know it will be a very short term one. Detective Frank "Sock" Wysocki is Morgan's partner, I think. Both detectives are with the Joint Violent Crimes Task Force.
Beverly Morgan is his wife who works as an office manager in an accounting firm. Even though she's filed for a separation, she still loves him.
Nick Anderson was a sheriff in Wyoming in 1862. Now he's a vampire. He's had plenty of time to accumulate a great deal of knowledge which he's parlayed into a substantial fortune and Bloodwork Industries, another of his companies working on a synthetic blood he developed as a biochemist. He's also a concert pianist and a gourmet cook with great lockpicking skills.
Specialty Investigations… …is Nick's private eye firm which specializes in ghostly issues. Shelby Fontaine was brought over by Nick in the 1930s when she lay bleeding out. Lovers for a time, they're friends now, and Shelby is in a relationship with the dead Laurel. Cynthia is a medium who's a flesh-and-blood human in unrequited love with Nick and works in his firm as his secretary. Reggie was a ghost from Nick's sherrifin' days.
The Almighty Latin Kings The Raging Bull is a popular hangout for the Kings. Hector, Eduardo, Rennie Vasquez, Loopy, Miguel, Maria, and Manuel "Steel-Toe" Juarez are all members. Rosa Sanchez was pregnant and a former gang member. Antonio would have been the baby's name.
Gladys Wainwright is a friend of Nick's and the senator's wife. Adam Parker is the director of the Arts Center; his wife is Dorothy. Melanie Armond is a cancer survivor and the artist. The Reverend Michael Chambers allows access to the pipe organ at Rockefeller Chapel.
Philip Margolin is with the Chicago Tribune and can't take no for an answer.
The Cover The cover is greens and yellows with the misty ground giving a sense of Deadworld. I suspect it’s Laurel in the background, looking quite sexy in her form-fitting white wifebeater, pouting sexily at Jackie who’s dressed in FBI standard issue — not — black short leather motorcycle jacket, a form-fitting black cropped tank top with a plunging neckline baring a whole lotta tummy as she holds her Glock at her side.
The title is about Rosa, for she’s The Vengeful Dead, intent on revenge.(less)
First in the Rosewood romance series with the couple focus on Ivy Hudson and Blake Chamberlain. Based in Rosewood, Alabama, and six years later.
This A...moreFirst in the Rosewood romance series with the couple focus on Ivy Hudson and Blake Chamberlain. Based in Rosewood, Alabama, and six years later.
This ARC was provided by NetGalley, Pocket Star, and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
My Take Laurence has really twisted the revenge-of-the-woman-wronged trope. It'll make you laugh even as you start off feeling bad for the guy. Of course, once you hear his side of things, you're likely to think he got what was coming! He made his bed, and now he's lyin' in it. I don't feel sorry for him a'tall anymore especially with some of the dimwitted moves he makes It did surprise me how well his grandmother knew him. Lucky thing for these two!
This is mostly a fluffy feel-good romance, except that Laurence has some nice switch-ups — besides the twist I mentioned above. And Laurence keeps you wondering just what that song does refer to, 'cause I know what I was thinking, ahem. When you do finally learn what Ivy/Laurence is really referring to, well, it just makes sense and is so well done, you can't help but laugh while you shake your head.
It's rather tacky of Ivy to date guys just to use 'em as she does. And I think Malcolm hit the nail on the head as to why this emotion is the only one she can write about. Ivy is missing out too, as it sure doesn't lead to a happy life. She ticks me off with her feeling of entitlement; that scene where she locks her keys and phone in the cabin comes to mind. She sure is accident-prone, probably 'cause she hasn't got her head on straight. Nor can she take what she likes to dish out.
I do like the sound of Ivy's family; it sounds as though the three of them have always been there for each other. As for Blake's family, if you discount his dad, the rest of them sound terrific as well.
Ivy must have had a really easy time of building her career as thin-skinned as she is. She does a nice job of lobbing most of Lydia's zingers right back at her, but there are a number that just crumple her up. And they don't make sense that they have that reaction. Ivy knows about Lydia's antics, and Ivy's childish reactions irritate me. I'm just not buyin' it. Laurence needs to work on those Ivy-Lydia interactions to make them believable. It's the only weak point Facing the Music has.
As for Lydia, I'm surprised no one has called that witch to account yet. She's a selfish, self-entitled nightmare. If she behaves this way with people she wants, how does she behave with the "riff-raff" in town? Why hasn't she been taken out yet? No, no, this should have been developed more with people's reactions to make it believable or toned down. Instead, it's as if Lydia is an invisible person in town. No one reacts to her except Blake and Ivy. I know, I'm whining. It's just that Laurence has gone so over the top with Lydia, that I don't see how anyone could possibly not notice her.
Huh, I like the point Blake's grandmother makes about why all these publicity events are so important to rebuild the gym. I never thought of it this way. She sure makes a good point about the town's sense of intimacy dying out. She'd be agreeing with Kevin about the press: use them even as they're using her. Yank that attention they're paying in the direction you want it.
Oh, crack me up!! Ivy's so worried that the locals would chase her out of town with pitchforks, that when I read how the townspeople rally against the reporters, well, I can't help but laugh. Makes you wish more "decent" people would react this way!
That message Rex delivers…I see his doing this as a loose thread…
Blake realizes he's missing the end of Ivy's show, so why doesn't he simply turn around and go back for the end of it? It is such a no-brainer as to what she's up to, and I've only known her for a few hours. And Ivy has her usual, lame reaction.
Laurence does do a good job playing on my emotions: Ivy's reactions, Lydia's actions, Blake's thoughts, the story Grandmother told about meeting Charles and his fits of courting, that one taunt of Lydia's that actually sounds as if it could be true.
"It's the long, winding road…"
The Story Thank god Rosewood contacted Ivy — again — about doing a charity concert in her old home town. Lord knows the town needs it after that last disaster, and Ivy is desperate to get some good publicity after this last fiasco, even if this will be her first trip home since the song that launched her career. The one about her break-up with the town hero, "Size Matters".
Now her manager is requiring all sorts of PR stunts — in her old hometown — but also demanding she change the types of songs she writes.
All she has to do is get through these next two weeks and avoid Blake…
The Characters Ivy Hudson has a reputation as a sweet-but-unlucky-in-love Grammy-award-winning singer. Kevin Lynch is Ivy's manager, who knows what he's doing to Ivy's chagrin. Malcolm Holt is one of her best friends, and she's been linked to him romantically. Lucky for Malcolm, the action film star… Dominick is her bodyguard.
Sarah Hudson is Ivy's mother and owns a beauty salon, Curls, gossip central. Ivy's dad, Trent, is the high school band teacher. Sounds like Ivy got quite a bit from her dad.Pepper Anthony is Sarah's only, very insightful, employee and a former classmate of Ivy's. Pepper's being set up for a Grant romance. Brian Green, the former chess geek, manages the electronics store and is dating Pepper.
The Chamberlains are the town's royalty, and Blake Chamberlain was the town's golden boy and is a former NFL quarterback whose career was cut short. Now he's coaching the high school football team. Adelia Chamberlain is Blake's imposing grandmother and the family matriarch. Norman is his lawyer dad, and it seems that Blake may be taking after his daddy's inability to keep his pants zipped. His mama is Helen, and we don't know if she's dead or alive. Maddie is one of Blake's sisters, a snotty one, and she works at the town bakery; Mitchell is Maddie's twin brother, and he's going for a medical degree; Grant is a younger brother and a local fireman with some great insights; Simon is the youngest and a policeman in town; and, Hazel is his book-lovin' baby sister. Winston is their houseman; Cookie is their cook.
Lydia Whittaker is the town rich mean girl who also went to school with Ivy. Her family owns a huge horse farm and two of the local restaurants: Ellen's Diner and Whittaker's where she's an executive chef. She's best friends with Maddie. Tells you what Maddie is like…Thomas is her little brother. Angus and Willow are the horses the Whittakers provide for the parade.
Francine Doyle does a nice casserole. Dorothy "Dotty" Baker is too old to care what she says, and she says anything she likes. Miss Vera's mac and cheese is to die for, and she always wins for her pies. Sheriff Todd. Emmett Sawyer is the new bar owner and bartender at Woody's. Jesse and Curt are a couple of guys with whom Blake had gone to school. Mayor Otto Gallagher has been the mayor all of Ivy's life; Marilyn is his wife. Mrs. Gloria Everett is Ivy's favorite history teacher, although she's now the high school principal. Miss Beverly Perkins owns Dressin' Up, the go-to shop for ladies needing a nice outfit. Such as tea with the town grande dame. Ruth is a waitress at Ellen's Diner; Fred is the cook. Miss Twila runs the B&B. Mr. Osbourne is the bank manager. Arthur Jackson owns the gas station. Miss Phyllis owns the antiques shop. Clark Newton is with the Rosewood Times. Petal Pushers is the local flower shop. Cheryl Buckman is a middle-aged lady working behind the counter of her daddy's ice cream store, Scoops. The same protective daddy who was a decorated sniper in Korea. Estelle Townsend owns Rosewood Cakes & Cookies, the local bakery. Josh Baldwin is the kicker on the high school football team, and the way Blake handles him is just beautiful. I'm curious what Rex Campbell's motivation was; he's another student on the football team.
Nash Russell is a tabloid celebrity reporter for Hollywood News. He's made a career out of uncovering every inspiration behind every one of Ivy's songs. Yeah, he's a not-nice guy and a disreputable journalist. Larry and Ted are from Celebrity Weekly. Jimmy is the talk show host.
Sterling Marshall is the jerk of a teen idol Ivy is in trouble over. Perfect Harmony was his boy band.
The Cover The cover is sweet with a relaxed-looking Ivy and Blake lying on the green, green grass, each lying in the opposite direction with their heads touching. Ivy’s guitar is off to the side, and they appear to be relaxing into the day.
The title means different things to Ivy and Blake. Ivy’s music is for the release of her emotions while Blake is Facing the Music for what he did so long ago. (less)
Fifth in the Indigo Court urban fantasy series and revolving around Cicely, the Queen of Snow and Ice, and her family and friends who live in New Fore...moreFifth in the Indigo Court urban fantasy series and revolving around Cicely, the Queen of Snow and Ice, and her family and friends who live in New Forest near Snoqualmie, Washington.
It’s been a month since Night Vision, 4, and it’s been two months since Cicely returned to Veil House at the start in Night Myst, 1.
My Take Oh, brother, this is one of Galenorn's off days — she is such an uneven writer! I gagged my way through this juvenile writing, wondering why, and knowing it was only because I wanted to know if this series would end — please god.
Can you say melodramatic? The way Cicely whines on about getting lost within her wind powers, how tragic it would be, and she keeps stepping into it. Rhiannon reminds her that if she learned to use it, she could use it in greater safety. So, why hasn't she worked at this? Why aren't both girls out on the front lines using their tremendous powers to take out the bad guys?
She whines on about Myst, her past, her far past, the negatives and positives of her new powers. She just whines and whines and whines about everything. For the salacious aspect, she whines about how she needs Lannan, that he allows her to be vulnerable with Grieve. The sex thing feels shoved in…yeah, yeah, yeah, I didn't mean it that way!…as if Galenorn figured she needed sex in the book to get people to read it, so it gets dumped in. And just in case, she hints at this threesome possibility [not three at a time, but Cicely with Lannan and Cicely with Grieve] with Cicely whining about how she loves being with them both. Get off the pot, Galenorn! Either go for it or stop. It's just annoying.
Cicely does have a lot of learning experiences in this. She must become colder and more detached. She must accept the "growth spurts" as she becomes accustomed to the new powers her crown gives her. She must learn what it is to truly wield power, the horror of it.
In this story, as Cicely whines about her childhood, she talks about Veil House as if it was refuge, a place she couldn't wait to return to. So…why did it take so long for her to return once her stupid mother died?
There is more back history in this about Cherish, her life with Myst, and the first glimmerings of rebellion on her part. It also provides the detail about Cherish and Shy. How they met, some of their courtship, their escape, and most important, the manner in which they bound their souls.
One of the few real things in this story is Peyton's and Luna's reactions to Kaylin's invasion of their minds.
Galenorn goes on and on about how they have to get the policemen back into the police station. Why? What's so important about the police station? Wouldn't any secure building work? In fact, with all this magic around, why didn't the vampires and the fae put together wards and enchantments to protect people? To protect the town?
From Cicely's memories, it sounds like Myst was a psychopath. As for Violet, I can understand the need, the reason they need to merge, and it's both sad and wonderful. So the two of them and a select group of others go after Myst's great secret and figure she'll have traps up. Why does it never occur to any of them that Myst might have warnings set up as well?
There's an epilogue at the end which takes place 25 years after that last battle. Now, trust me on this, borrow it from the library. Don't waste any money. Unless you do read it and decide you like it. Each to her or his own taste…
The Story It’s a harsh thought with a brutal action to follow. Someone is spying on Cicely and her court and the shamans must torture every single person in the burrow to be sure they are true. It’s a torture that will not be reserved for the fae alone.
The Characters Cicely Waters has magic, a gift of wind control as well as the ability to shift into an owl through her connection with the Uwilahsidhe. Violet is one of Cicely's incarnations. Ulean is her Wind Elemental, bound to her by Grieve, who was the Prince of the Court of Rivers and Rushes — and is a Vampiric Fae of the Indigo Court. He's also Cicely's husband. Hunter is Cicely's grandfather and Wrath's father, a Uwilahsidhe. Krystal had been her waste of a mother. "Uncle" Brody had taught her to survive the streets. Andy Chase is a little boy who is the only survivor.
The Court of Snow and Ice The court resides within the Eldburry Burrow. Check and Fearless are Cicely's personal guards; Olrick leads the first brigade. Druise is her lady's maid. Silverweb is the treasurer; Strict is Cicely's chief advisor. The shamans guard the magic of the court; Thorn is the Elder. Van is another of the shamans.
The Snow Hag is one of the Wilding Fae and has become a friend of Cicely's. Dorthea is a dead spirit, Luna's great-great-grandmother, who will aid them all with Luna's help, but she asks a steep price. Townspeople who come out to help include Trevor Grant.
The Court of Rivers and Rushes This court resides within the Marburry Burrow. Rhiannon Roland, Cicely's cousin, the Amber to her Jet, is queen to Chatter's king — and Grieve's best friend and cousin. She has a Gift of Fire and is also half Cambyra Fae. Edge is Rhiannon's court advisor. Lanuile is the former queen and Rhiannon's and Grieve's aunt.
Their magic-born friends… …are now living in Rhiannon's old home, Veil House. Her mother (and Cicely's aunt) was Heather Roland. Kaylin Chen shares his soul with a night-veil demon, and he's a dream walker with the skill of a martial arts sensei. Luna Saunders is a powerful Yummani bard who has taken over Wind Chimes, the magic shop Cicely had planned to open. Zoey is Luna's sister and a member of the Akazzani, a secret society. Peyton MoonRunner is half werepuma and half magic-born with a Gift for divination who wants to open a magical private investigation agency, Mystical Eye Investigations, that will operate from Veil House. Anadey was Peyton's traitorous mother. Rex MoonRunner was her Native American father and a werepuma who was killed in Night Vision. Ysandra Petros is a prime member of the Consortium, a Yummanii, and a powerful witch who has the Gift of sound, energy, and force.
The Vein Lords… …are true vampires, and they are the true rulers of New Forest. Lannan Altos is the new NW Regent of the Vampire Nation, a perverse vampire who wallows in hedonism. He's Regina's brother and her lover and works as a professor at the New Forest Conservatory. Due to earlier events, Cicely must have sex with him on a regular basis. Regina Altos can appear and function better in society and is the emissary for the Crimson Queen. Crawl is the Blood Oracle, created by the Crimson Queen. He's lost all sense of any scrap of humanity and is the sire of Regina and Lannan. Dakota is the day-runner Lannan appoints. Mort is a vampire Lannan pulls in for the mission to Myst's life-giving secret.
Geoffrey was the previous regent until he betrayed his true colors. Leo Byrne was a day-runner for Geoffrey and Rhiannon's fiancé and betrayer.
The Indigo Court… …is named for the color their skin becomes when Fae are turned into Vampires and become the Vampiric Fae. Myst is queen and mother of the Indigo Court, turned by Geoffrey centuries ago — and mother to an earlier incarnation of Cicely known as Cherish. The daughter who fell in love with the enemy, Shy. Shadow Hunters is another name for Vampiric Fae. Snow weavers are supernatural spiders.
The Uwilahsidhe are the Owl people of the Cambyra Fae. The Consortium is ruled by the Elder Council and appear to be the hidden rulers of the world. The Wilding Fae are independent, obligated to no one, feral. Everything with them is a bargain, carefully negotiated. The Yummanii are humans. Ice Elementals simply exist. They have no feeling either way about who they serve or if they serve. The Bat People are the children of the night-veil demons. A paralaxium is a creature from a plane of Ice and can kill with a touch.
The Cover The cover is blue lavenders — soft and peaceful with a snowy night in the forest, an owl perched on a fallen log, and a sexy Cicely in black jeans, deeper lavender bustier, a choker, and a jewel in the middle of her forehead.
The title is a foretelling, for it will be Night’s End.(less)
Fourth in the Rachel Knight series and revolving around Rachel and her friends.
My Take Clark breaks your heart from the start as she focuses in on one...moreFourth in the Rachel Knight series and revolving around Rachel and her friends.
My Take Clark breaks your heart from the start as she focuses in on one student's dream finally being achieved. It's a great way to yank your reader in and get them emotionally involved. God knows, I cried.
Talk about déjà vu, as Clark takes us through a school shooting, and it reminds me of the day I heard about the Columbine shooting on the radio. I can still remember where I was that day. Picking up slides at the photographer's. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And now, reliving it in The Competition, well, it brings all that loss back and breaks my heart.
All those families. All that promise.
The massacres are a repeat of several mass shootings that have been on the news in the past years. It includes references to theories and discussions about warning signs, symptoms, causes, and how parents could not see such signs. The two doctors Clark brings in as characters provide conflicting information about the effect of video games on kids, and it makes sense. In both directions. They also have some great suggestions for the team to ask their witnesses.
I know cops are just as human as the rest of us. And they're just as prone to wanting to cut corners as the rest of us. And that's why no one trusts them. Too many have gone for the easy arrest and not pressed for the real one. For the person who is truly guilty as opposed to this'll-close-our-case. And the problem is that even one is too many.
It's a slogging round of questioning multiple witnesses, seizing on the smallest possible clues, chasing them down, narrowing the possibilities down to just the guilty. Reading Clark's stories makes you aware of the hard work the police do. The thankless task and little reward they receive for trying to protect us, as we curse them and withhold information that could save others.
I do wish Clark had given us some background on if those teachers survived.
It's about time — Graden and Rachel are finally having sex. Oy.
Why does Rachel get so ticked off because a couple guys refer to her and Bailey as "ladies"? What? Would she prefer they say "bitches", "hey, you"? Ooh, maybe "gals"? Or "women"? Yeah, "you women". That'd make me feel all competent and accepted *eye roll*.
That's one of those problems with high-IQ students. They get bored easily in class. It's one thing to want to treat everyone the same, but everyone is not the same. Each child is different and learns at a different level. It doesn't matter if they learn fast and quick or slow and methodical. What's more important is for each student to enjoy the learning. To want to discover more. By forcing them all to the same pace takes that joy away from so many. Challenge kids to keep their attention focused. That would be a better use of educational funds than more tests to see if "our" kids are up to an arbitrary government standard. 'Cause we see how well that's worked.
Shane makes some good arguments. The government uses soldiers up in war. They come home with problems and does the government help them? No. Puts them through red tape, denies claims. No help in getting a job, getting back into society again. Well, really, why should the government go out of its way to help the men they tore from their everyday lives and ordered to attack today's enemies? At a pittance of pay? They've done the job the government wanted. They got their nickel. What more could they possibly want? Other than a leg, an arm, a peaceful night's rest.
That sergeant's comment at the park cracked me up…!
"Always appreciate it when visitors pick up their own litter."
That was a dumb move on Dwight's part. What could the "bomber" possibly do that the cops couldn't counter? And if the corpse was so burned up, how could they identify it so quickly?
Jesus, this is just so sad, but I do like the final ending Clark put on this. A very positive outcome to a horrible, horrible tragedy.
The Story It’s a regular school day, but it’s Christy’s first appearance with the cheerleading team. And there’s a pep rally today! Only she won’t be finishing her routine…
It ends quickly, the shooting that is, when the killers commit suicide in the library. Only, Dr. Shoe isn’t buying it.
The Characters Rachel Knight, a deputy district attorney, is one of the few lawyers in the Special Trials division along with one of her best friends, Toni LaCollier. Romy is the young sister who was kidnapped back when Rachel was very young. Luis Revelo is the MBA-pursuing shot-caller for the Sylmar Sevens gang. I do like him! He's so real with a great sense of humor.
Their ultimate boss, District Attorney William Vanderhorn, is a nightmare, and Rachel refers to him as "Vanderputz". He knows nothing, but insists on getting all the limelight. Eric Northrup is the head deputy for Special Trials, smart, experienced, and savvy. The unmotivated Melia is Eric's secretary. Judge J.D. Morgan is dating Toni; his clerk is Sophie. Sweeny is a defense counsel.
Bailey Keller is a homicide detective and frequently partners up with Rachel on a case. She's also one of Rachel's best friends. Her boss, Lieutenant Graden Hales, is dating Rachel. He has a younger brother, Devon, and they're partners in a video game that Graden invented and Devon wrote the program, then shopped around. They're millionaires. Cherie is Graden's very short-lived secretary. Skipper Don Harrellson is another detective. Detective Gina Stradley is first on the scene at the Cinemark Theater. Jay Rollins is on the Target shooting. Officer Todd Santos is the La Conchita cop who has the tip. Lieutenant Scott Braverman is a dick. Detective Dwight Rosenberg is not, although he does make a stupid move at the parking lot; his partner is Meg Wittig. Captain Vroman warns the principal. Sharpshooter Officer Butch Cannaday sets up. Officer Craig Silvers was patrolling the back of the hill with Rosenberg.
Dorian Struck is the best criminalist and crime scene analyst in the business; Marco Herrera is a co-worker. Dr. Shoenmacher, a.k.a., Dr. Shoe, is the head coroner, and Scott Ferrier is the coroner's investigator whom Rachel picks on. Ed Berry is a senior firearms examiner. Nick Parsons is with the Computer Crimes Unit.
A couple of doctors are brought in to help with profiling: Dr. Jenny Shelby is a child psychologist with lots of hands-on experience with juvenile offenders and Dr. Michael Malloy has had experience with pedophilia. Gavin de Becker is the world's foremost authority on stalking. Dr. Jerry Bingham is another mental health professional.
Marion J. Fairmont High School Christy Shilling has achieved the dream she's worked so hard for as the school's newest cheerleader. Harley Jenson is her best friend since that first day at preschool. His dad, Andrew, got laid off and his mother is worrying about how they'll afford MIT for him. Dimitri Rabinow will sing for the pep rally. Tammy Knopler is captain of the cheerleading team. Bryan Scofield was one of the jocks who picked on kids.
Charlotte Kerrigan is one of the students whose house is where Rachel and Bailey meet with witnesses. Her two besties are Marnie and Letha. Meredith Charnosh offers up her house for interviews with Mark, Vincent, Harrison, and Paula. At the principal's house, Bailey and Rachel interview Nancy and Carrie who are two of the nine students present.
Otis Barney is a geeky kid with the weird laugh. His parents are Tom and Sonny. Carson James is a fellow student with whom Otis did a science project. Logan Jarvis is one of the students they can't find; Brad and Bonnie are his worried parents. His brother Luke is a mechanic at a high-end auto-repair shop; Alfred Bedigan owns the shop. Some of Logan's friends include Caleb Samuelson, Kenny Epstein, Evan Cutter, Darnell, and Leo. Mikayla and John Cutter are Evan's parents. Mrs. Amy Ester brings in her son, Jeremy, whose car got sideswiped. Chloe and Suzanne Eckman sang Otis' praises. Lionel Franks.
Principal Dale Campbell loves to see the students as one big family. Adam Levy is the geometry teacher; Hector Lopez teaches Spanish and dropped back to distract the shooters; Angela Montrose is the girls' soccer coach who shields students with her body; Sara Beason is the teacher on duty in the library; Liam Forster and Ms. Sherman are science teachers; and, Arthur Windemere is Otis' English teacher.
Michael Dingboom is Taft High School's principal. It's where the Fairmont students have been sent. Marion Jenks is the principal at Platt Junior High; Joe Cooper is a phys ed teacher; Sophia Magana; Albert Packman teaches math; and, Cherry Fournier teaches English who remembers an incident with a jock named Hot Rod. Vera Littlefield is an elementary school teacher. Greg Kingsley is a counselor at the high school in Lubbock, Texas. There's a parole officer there by the name of Stanley Addison. Amanda Kozak was a student there who transferred out. Mark Unger was one of the juries. Petey is her little brother. Her parents are Janice and Hank Kozak who likes to hunt.
Lupe Velasquez is the manager at Cut-Rate Kicks. Joy Pickerton and Ava Landau work there too. Shane Dolan was Luke's roommate for a bit and works for a tree cutting service and at a gun range. George "Lock" Lockmire owns the gun range. Rusty is a lead cop in Ventura. Eddie Hemmings works the Army-Navy surplus store. Isaiah Hamilton is the owner of Camarillo Tree Cutters. Pedro is one of his workers. Nancy Findley was a stalker. Max is an old army buddy of Shane's. Jax Esposito is running guns and drugs and skimming off the top. Enrique Sosa is the manager at Target. Forest is a homeless guy and a witness. Francis Spader sold his mother's car. Charlie Herzog traded his junker Chevy.
Special Trials is a 24/7 job and partners lawyers up with detectives; they're usually at the crime scene with the cops, and it allows them to build a tighter case. Rachel lives at the Biltmore Hotel in a special arrangement with a survivor. Rafi is the hotel valet who wishes Rachel would use her car more. Angel is the doorman. Drew Rayford is one of the hotel bartenders and has been dating Bailey for a while now.
Lilah Bayer, a psychopath who is after Rachel, gets a little buggy. Her partner in crime, Chase Erling, is still in a coma after Lilah tried to have him killed.
The Cover The cover is a close-up of the pillars in front of the courthouse with Rachel’s back to us, her hair in a long ponytail and clad in a grayish green leather jacket.
The title is nebulous. Is The Competition the shooters? The students? The race between cops and shooters? Considering what a psychopath the creep was, I’ll opt for the latter. (less)
Fifth in the Rebecka Martinsson history + contemporary mystery series based in Kurravaara, Sweden.
I received this ARC from the publisher.
My Take Once...moreFifth in the Rebecka Martinsson history + contemporary mystery series based in Kurravaara, Sweden.
I received this ARC from the publisher.
My Take Once past the disconcerting start and Larsson’s introduction of her reason for this look back in time, Larsson keeps it evenly split between today and 1914 and on.
It takes awhile before it ties in to the rest of the story that follows. More tears will follow when Erikkson unexpectedly surprises Marcus, and how Erikkson copes with that. Of course, Marcus’ response to all this new trauma will crack you up. Wuff.
I love what we learn about Swedish culture in this, and it takes me back to a trip I made to Norway with its talk of cloudberries and reindeer. There’s a bit of back history on what caused Swedes to emigrate out, and I’m wondering how similar Swedish reasons for leaving are to Norwegians emigrating — I’ve always wondered what drove my maternal grands out of Norway. It’s also fascinating to read about education in the early part of the twentieth century, and how incredibly depressing it must have been for Elina. As for that priest…typical. Larsson’s depiction of the time’s mores, lifestyles, and housing rings depressingly true and makes me feel as though I’m there, especially when she writes of the living conditions.
We also learn that Swedes are the same as people elsewhere: quick to judge and to feel superior. Poor Elina is ahead of her times, by about fifty-plus years! And it’s those beliefs that find her in hot water.l
There is so much sadness in this, and I love what Sivving says about how he misses his wife:
”. . . he had ironed tablecloths and picked flowers to put in vases all around the house. Heather and wild rosemary and globeflowers. But the house had not seemed to be alive. It was as if it did not want to be alive.”
I do love how Erikkson rewards his working dog, by playing with her. Even if it does look bad to outsiders, lol. He’s also so very caring and thoughtful with the Wild Dog. I do love that text message Erikkson sends to Martinsson, lol, with Tintin’s thoughts on animal welfare.Then there’s the unplayful Vera. Well, unplayful with Martinsson anyway.
Oh, oh, oh, then there’s Maja Larsson’s spot-on analysis of von Post. If only Martinsson could’a been there! Unluckily for Mella and crew, they have to enjoy it in secret — lordy, von Post is the most amazingly dense idiot. Martinsson also learns more about her parents from Maja.
I don’t understand why Elina doesn’t complain about Fausth to her boyfriend. She has to know he behaves this way with anyone female.
Oh, the ending is so very sad and uplifting all at the same time. I must go back to the beginning, Sun Storm, 1, and read this series. I like Martinsson, and I want to indulge in the relationships that have evolved to this point.
Do read Larsson’s “The Author’s Thanks” as it can be quite poetic. I love the first two lines: “I stumbled and fell. The book came adrift and ran off into the trees.” Now, if that doesn't sound like a writer . . .
The Story A dog dies from a bear attack, and it sets off a chain of thoughts in Martinsson’s mind. Lucky for her — amd Marcus — that von Post stole her case from under her.
The Characters District Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson has a reputation for getting her man. Mikk and Virpi’s daughter, she’s currently living in her grandma’s house and trying to decide what to do about Måns Wenngren, her Stockholm lawyer boyfriend who is a partner with Meijer & Ditzinger. Madelene is Måns’ first wife who is now married to Ekstömer. Jasko, a.k.a., the Brat, is her sheepdog puppy gifted to her by Eriksson. Vera is a mongrel dog she inherited when his owner, a hermit, was murdered. Sivving is her retired neighbor with his German pointer, Bella. Maj-Lis had been his wife.
Krister Eriksson is a police dog handler with a major visual disability; he’s also in love with Martinsson. His two dogs are Tintin and Roy, working dogs. Brat is Tintin’s son. The three of them — Martinsson, Sivving, and Eriksson — make up a close trio, however much Martinsson wishes they didn't, lol.
Sol-Britt Uusitalo lives out at Lehtiniemi and works at the Winter Palace with Ann-Helen Alajärvi. Her promising son, Matti, was killed three years ago by a hit-and-run driver, leaving his son, Marcus, an orphan. Marcus’ runaway mother wants nothing to do with him. And Marcus is the making of Sol-Britt. Her dad, Frans Uusitalo, was eaten by a bear last fall; Anna Jaako was his girlfriend with a different take on Frans’ death. His mother was Elina, and she was murdered. The beautiful and amazingly understanding Maja Larsson is Sol-Britt’s cousin and is in town to nurse her mother. Örjan Bäck is Maja’s boyfriend. Solveig Uusitalo is one of Lundbohm’s grandchildren.
The investigating team Police Inspector Anna-Maria Mella has three kids including Petter, sixteen-year-old Jenny, and the too-chatty Gustav, her youngest. Robert is her husband whose sister, Ingela, is having a birthday party. The rest of Mella’s team includes the baby of the group, Tommy Rantakyrö ; Fred Olsson; and, Sven-Erik Stålnacke, who’s ready for retirement. Dr. Lars Pohjanen is a very well-respected pathologist dying of cancer; Anna Granlund is his assistant. District Prosecutor Carl von Post, a.k.a., the Pest, with his excuses is a stupid jerk more interested in his own self-aggrandizement than solving cases. Alf Björnfot is the chief prosecutor who messed up badly. Sonja is the switchboard operator.
Louise and Lelle Miemi support their bullying son, Willy, until forced down. Jocke Häggroth is a welder at Nybergs Mekaniska with a nasty wife, Jenny. Leif Silbersky is the lawyer she demands. Marianne Aspehult works at Be-We’s. Hannes Karlsson is an ice sculptor who works for the Ice Hotel. He found Matti’s body. Mange Utsi is a friend of Jocke’s and has his alibi. Ragnhild Lindmark worked for a home-help service in Lainio and Frans was one of the people for whom she cared.
It’s the attack on Samuel Johansson’s dog that brings out Patrik Mäkitalo, an expert hunter from Luelå.
Kiruna in 1914 Fröken Elina Pettersson is a schoolteacher looking forward to her new job in Kiruna. Klara “Lizzie” Andersson is Lundbohm’s housekeeper and Elina’s new roommate, and she has a wealth of ideas on how to make money. Her fiancé is the protective Johan-Albin. Heiki is his supportive friend.
Hjalmar Lundbohm is the managing director of L.K.A.B., a mining company in Kiruna — Rudyard Kipling calls him “the uncrowned king of Lapland”. He wants to create a family town for the miners, in spite of the challenges of revolutionary employees. Sixten is his brother. Lundbohm also has a hankering for beauty and celebrities whom he courts: Prince Eugen, Carl and Karin Larsson, Selam Lagerlöf, Anders Zorn and his Emma, Ferdinand Boberg and his wife, and Christian Eriksson.
District Police Superintendent Björnfot knows which side his bread is buttered on. Old Johan Tuuri represents the Laps. Manager-in-Chief Fasth is the worst type of man; his wife despises him. Johansson is the principal of the children’s home. Blenda Mänpää and Hillevi are a couple of Fasth’s maids. Oskar Venetpalo, a rock-blaster, is one example of Lundbohm’s dishonesty and is Johan Venetpalo’s great-grandfather.
The Cover & Title I'm guessing it's Elina with her head bowed and a hood covering her dark hair as she hovers over a cityscape, or perhaps it's a mining camp? It's difficult to tell if the combination represents the original and the contemporary. I much prefer the cover I found over at Amazon.
The title could well refer to the second commandment, The Second Deadly Sin, which certainly does find Lundbohm’s sins visited unto the third and fourth generations.(less)
OMIGOD. Talk about tension! Asad Khalil is quite inventive in how he comes after John and Kate. Phew. And it's terrifying how easily he takes out othe...moreOMIGOD. Talk about tension! Asad Khalil is quite inventive in how he comes after John and Kate. Phew. And it's terrifying how easily he takes out others.
I am surprised how long it takes the task force to figure out that Khalil may be after others from his last encounter.(less)
Fifth in the Bloodlines urban fantasy series for Young Adults and revolving around a group of dhampir, Moroi, and humans who have become friends. The...moreFifth in the Bloodlines urban fantasy series for Young Adults and revolving around a group of dhampir, Moroi, and humans who have become friends. The couple focus is on Adrian and Sydney.
My Take The point-of-view switches between Sydney and Adrian, which only makes sense since they're so completely separate in Silver Shadows. I see this as a bridge novel. Yes, there are two important steps achieved, but that's just it. They're steps toward what will happen next.
Jeez, ain't it always the way with a fanatical organization that thinks it's all that? Terrified that someone may step out of line, think for themselves, challenge their obsolete, archaic thinking. Can't have that. Beat it down. Starve it out of them. And that's exactly what they're doing to Sydney.
These people think they're so decent, using their religious terms of communion, reflection, purification, and yet they delight in hurting, abusing, destroying individuals every chance they get. Doesn't sound very Christian to me.
Oh, please. I can't believe these Alchemist nuts actually believe they could be "contaminated" by touch!
Adrian is so confused and frustrated over Sydney that I'm guessing he clung to Nina, a full-blooded Moroi with a Gift for Spirit, as one of the few people who could understand what he was going through, even if she didn't know about Sydney. He's caught between trying to find and rescue Sydney and battling his depression even as he starts to try and fix things for others back at the court.
He's also confused about that whole being supported thing. He rails at his mother for being a hypocrite about his father, and yet he's doing the exact same thing. Even at the end when he returns, he still believes he'll be able to live his life as he's used to it.
It does lead to thoughts on love. A comparison of his parents and what he's experienced with Sydney. It'll be interesting to see how he thinks of it in The Ruby Circle.
The escape is something of a disaster; it does bring it home how impossible their situation is. It also brings out the romantic in Adrian. He was so sweet and thoughtful. A romantic and protective streak that is cracking.
At the very end, why didn't Adrian immediately think of his bond?
The Story Light and sleep deprivation, less than minimal nutrition. Punishment for the slightest infractions or none at all.
It’s a nightmare for both Sydney and Adrian as she tries to survive, to escape, and Adrian struggles to reach her through Dreams.
The Characters Sydney Sage is an Alchemist who is questioning their core beliefs — and has fallen in love with the enemy, a Moroi. Jared Sage is her fanatical father; Zoe is the sister who turned her in for torture and re-education. Carly is her older sister who stood with her mom during the divorce. Ian was a jerk who claimed he loved Sydney.
Lord Adrian Ivashkov is a Moroi prince with Spirit, a debilitating Gift that sends him seeking oblivion in drink. Hopper is a tiny callistana, who looks like a dragon and is a benign demon. Adrian's dead Aunt Tatiana, the late queen, has latched onto Adrian and her voice snarks away in his head. His mother, Danielle, is out of prison; Dale is the guardian who accompanied her to Palm Springs. His father, Nathan, is so angry with his wife, and worse, they're not being invited anywhere. Horrors!
The Moroi Court in Pennsylvania Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov are both dhampir and Guardians. Rose is also Queen Lissa's best friend. Christian is still part of Lissa's life. Maria Conta is an advisor. Sonya Karp is also a dhampir and a former Strigoi, like Dimitri, who was brought back by a Spirit user. She's desperately searching for a vaccine.
Vanessa Szelsky is one of the party royals. Wesley Drozdov shows up with his lackeys, Lars Zeklos and Brent Badica, trying to make trouble, and Adrian lets everyone know what they tried to do to Sydney, hee-haw.
Amberwood Preparatory School Princess Jill Mastrano Dragomir is Lissa's sister and the only reason Lissa is queen of the Moroi. She's been hidden at the school to keep her alive and Lissa on that throne. Eddie Castile is in love with Jill and one of her dhampir bodyguards along with Neil Raymond and Angeline Dawes who has finally become a couple with Trey Juarez, a human student. Jackie Terwilliger is Sydney's magical mentor and history teacher. Maura is Sydney's stiff-faced Alchemist replacement.
Neil is in love with Olive Sinclair, who was a strigoi in The Fiery Heart until her sister, Nina Sinclair, helped bring her back. Meanwhile Nina misinterprets Adrian's interest.
Carlton College Rowena Clark is a student friend of Adrian's; Cassie is her girlfriend.
The ex-Alchemists Marcus Finch is number one on the Alchemist Most Wanted list. He's been helping Alchemists who have started to question the party line; Sydney was one of them. Sheila, Grif, and Wayne are part of Marcus' team.
The Alchemists… …are a secret society of humans fanatical about keeping humans from knowing about Moroi, strigoi, and anything else that goes bump in the night. Grace Sheridan is in charge of the re-education facility, and she's a right bitch who delights in torture. Baxter is the cook. Addison teaches the art class which is designed to encourage conformity. Harrison teaches current affairs according to the Alchemist viewpoint, i.e., propaganda aimed at forcing them to see the Moroi as evil. Kennedy is another teacher. Kendall and Grayson are guards.
Emma will become Sydney's roommate. Elsa, Amelia, Jonah, Renee, Lacey, Hope, and Stuart are more prisoners desperate to keep themselves from the taint of Sydney. Duncan Mortimer is the first to make overtures, but even he is very careful. Mostly because of Chantal, a girl he fell in love with whom they took away when they realized it.
Keith Darnell was the jerk from Bloodlines, 1, and The Golden Lily, 2, who went into re-education. Seems he really did learn his lesson.
The Witching Hour in Las Vegas is a Moroi-run casino and hotel.
Dhampir are half-Moroi, half-human, and they train to protect Moroi. The Warriors of Light are anti-non-humans as well and hunt vampires down. Sydney learned in Indigo Spell, 3, that they're secretly associated with the Alchemists.
The Cover The cover is soft with Adrian looking out at us over Sydney’s shoulder from the greeny gold background while Sydney is staring straight at us, her blonde hair blown to the side, her golden lily visible on her cheek. It’s a sad cover for a sad story.
The title is a question, for Sydney’s golden tattoo has Silver Shadows.(less)
A brief documentary look into Bette Midler's 1978 world tour and her musings, thoughts, and reactions.
My Take Melodramatic and free-wheeling, ridiculo...moreA brief documentary look into Bette Midler's 1978 world tour and her musings, thoughts, and reactions.
My Take Melodramatic and free-wheeling, ridiculous chatter that feels as though you're listening to Midler talking at you. It's crazy and revealing, sad and ditzy, happy and nuts, and too funny for words. Do be sure to read Midler's "Band Application". You'll crack up.
An interesting tidbit about growing up in Hawaii surrounded by all that gorgeous color. It certainly makes sense about Bette, and I'm completely with her on this. Color is too important to ignore!
"Being moral isn't what you do … it's what you mean to do."
Color and black-and-white photographs are scattered throughout the book. Pictures that will make you laugh out loud and others that will pull you in. Midler free associates in her humorous style about each country she visits with comments about the food, the money, going through customs, the audiences, styles, and more.
Midler doesn't spare anyone, including herself. I particularly enjoyed her point about always taking characters on the road with her — masks she can hide behind. Reading her process for how she determined the identities of the characters was a fascinating look behind-the-scenes.
For the most part, the chatter holds together, although there are great lengths that you simply read without worrying about what it means. It's rather scattered at times nor am I always sure what's truth and what's said for the fun of it.
The Characters You all know Bette Midler. Miss Frann Frank was her prim and proper companion and wardrobe mistress. She mentions her mother and her siblings: Daniel and her twin sisters, Judy and Susan.
The Harlettes are Katie, Franny, and Linda. At least to start.
Vilmos Angst is a determined film director.
Yes, there are more characters, but these were the ones who stood out.
The Cover The cover is a bright pink with Bette Midler in a mermaid costume, hip cocked, head shyly tilted, and arms raised in a Y-frame as though she’s holding up the Hollywood-lights title. It’s perfect.
The title keeps cracking me up for its literal and humorous interpretation, as this is indeed A View From a Broad.(less)
Cute. Expands on the first story, The Summoning", 1, with the first time Maya meets Rafe. It's on that first day of school as Daniel is concerned abou...moreCute. Expands on the first story, The Summoning", 1, with the first time Maya meets Rafe. It's on that first day of school as Daniel is concerned about Maya having to endure it without her best friend, Serena.
Armstrong does a nice job of reinforcing the tininess of their town and their school as well as keeping Maya's attitude in place. (less)
An interesting twist on the urban fantasy with a nurse desperate for help in keeping her drug-addicted brother alive. So when she gets an offer that w...moreAn interesting twist on the urban fantasy with a nurse desperate for help in keeping her drug-addicted brother alive. So when she gets an offer that will result in a job for her and help for her brother, Edie Spence jumps at it.
Alexander keeps it jumping with twists and turns that'll ramp up your heart rate, and I'll be interested in finding the next book in the series.(less)
Fourth in the Lucky Harbor cozy romance series. The couple focus is on Mallory and Mysterious Cute Guy.
My Take Well, I knew I was gonna be happy when t...moreFourth in the Lucky Harbor cozy romance series. The couple focus is on Mallory and Mysterious Cute Guy.
My Take Well, I knew I was gonna be happy when the first chapter started with a chocolate epigraph! Woohoo! Chocolate cake and cupcakes, brownies, hot chocolate…get ready to settle in for this one! The part I wasn't so happy about was the falling-in-love-after-promising-not-to trope. It wasn't as bad as it could have been as Mallory does struggle against it, and there are some really good reasons for wanting to keep Ty. Besides the great sex…*eyebrow waggles*… I did like that Ty loved Mallory's eyes so much!
At last we find out who the Mysterious Cute Guy is! And why Amy came to Lucky Harbor. I'm not sure why Mallory seriously thinks Ty will show for this date when she hasn't spoken to him since the ambulance took him away. As a nurse, she should have some idea of how much of their conversation he'd have retained. Which makes me wonder just why Ty does show up at the auction if he doesn't remember making that date?
Ty does have his PTSD issues, for good reason. Mallory has her own PTSD. Not from the same causes, but just as debilitating.
Secrets? Hah. Not in Lucky Harbor where it's considered a "God-given right to gossip and nose into people's business", however your gold bullion will be perfectly safe. Guys, however, seem to be fair game. Ask Deena.
What is with Mallory's mother? She nags at Mallory to get a boyfriend, and then she nags when she gets one.
The Health Services Clinic is Mallory's pet project. She just has to get approval for it in a bad economy and past a lot of unhappy voters who believe it will draw the wrong element in.
Ty can't wait to get released, and yet Lucky Harbor is sucking him in. The same Lucky Harbor that is getting hypercritical of Mallory. We're heading for two conflicts in this story: the one between Mallory and Ty when he heads back to D.C. to his job and Mallory's struggle to get the clinic accepted. Shalvis gives us a sweet twist on the Mallory-Ty one, but it's the clinic that creates the greatest impact as Mallory is totally responsible for anything that happens there. It will be her greatest growth and her (second) greatest despair.
It's that threat, that loss, that brings the town around, and you'll want to stand up and cheer!
The Story It may be spring, but somebody forgot to tell the weather as those fat fluffy snowflakes descend with a vengeance and a snappy wind brings down power lines and trees. It’s a terrifying night at the Eat Me as the wind and branches bash through glass and the door, and worse when the ladies hear moans above the howling wind.
It’s those moans that Mallory cannot ignore, and she braves the weather only to find a stranger, bloody and lying on the ground. Good timing really, as Amy and Grace have decided that Mallory needs to step out with a Mr. Wrong and where better to start than the big auction that Mallory has spearheaded for her pet project.
The Characters Mallory Quinn is an ER nurse at the hospital and the town's "very good girl". She's been taking care of her dysfunctional family since she was sixteen. Sweet Pea is her mean old cat. Tammy is her formerly wild, older sister now married to Zach, a former security guard she met in Vegas. Tammy, who has a housekeeping job at the hospital, had been Karen's twin. The one who suicided. Tony was the boyfriend who took her down the wrong path. Joe is their still-wild, younger brother. Their mother, Ella, is a supervisory nurse at the hospital.
The Health Services Clinic (HSC) is Mallory's dream. A way to alleviate the pain of Karen's death.
The secretive and potent Ty Garrison is Lucky Harbor's Mysterious Cute Guy — he's practically got his own Facebook page. He's a former Navy SEAL medic, honorably discharged after the plane crash. Now he makes a living as a mercenary doing the same thing. Well, except when he's recovering from wounds. Tommy, Trevor, Brad, and Kelly are the teammates Ty lost. Matt Bowers, ex-Chicago SWAT and now a forest ranger, has been a friend of Ty's for years. He and Ty spend a lot of time sparring, shooting, and exercising together. When Matt isn't with Ty or working, he's mooning over Amy. Ryan is a homeless vet addicted to alcohol. Frances is Ty's boss.
Amy Michaels is the feisty Xena waitress over at the Eat Me café which Jan owns. Grace Brooks was planning to pass on through on her job hunt for investment banker jobs, but gets seduced by chocolate and her two new best friends into creating the CA, Chocoholics, their very own gang for celebrating and commiserating.
At the hospital Dr. Josh Scott is in charge of Ty's medical rehabilitation program. Alyssa is Mallory's useless counterpart on her shift. Jane Miller is the director of nurses and Mallory's boss. Camilla is an LVN. Jodi Larson is a ten-year-old leukemia patient. Bill Lawson is the head of the board of directors.
The brutally honest, yet caring Lucille is gossip central for Lucky Harbor and keeps the town's Facebook page up-to-date. Mrs. Louisa Burland is a pain in the butt oldster who gives EVERYone the worst time. Most people try to avoid her. I think Mallory has a persecution complex for putting up with the old bitch.Mr. Teddy Wykowski is a seventy-year-old who looks too much like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Mrs. Tyler is Mallory's wheelchair-bound next-door neighbor for whom Mallory waters her flowers.
Charles Tennessee is the auctioneer. Anderson is the always horny hardware store owner. Allen, the Seattle accountant, had been Mallory's last Mr. Right. Jax Cullen is the current mayor, and he owns the Love Shack with Ford Walker. Sandy is the town manager. Sheriff Sawyer Thompson is engaged and still pulling over speeders, ahem. Mallory is keeping Tara busy baking.
The Cover The cover has a white background, white as fog over the water that murmurs around the mossy, rounded rocks that Ty and Mallory are standing on, an arm around each other, with Mallory reaching up, looking up.
The title is part of what Mallory needs. Heck, what Ty needs as well. They both need to be, and are, Lucky in Love.(less)
This is a fantasy science fiction for Young Adults and a real treat.
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing this ARC for my enjoyment.
My...moreThis is a fantasy science fiction for Young Adults and a real treat.
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing this ARC for my enjoyment.
My Take Oh, this was fun! A strong female character who develops her skills and protects herself in a universe which combines the medieval with computers, a sci-fi take on that fairytale, Snow White, with a wicked stepmother, poison, apples, and a runaway princess. Lewis has updated the traditional tale with a living father with some nasty secrets, rocket ships, computers, and a lot more huntsmen and "dwarves". And I'm not sure if it's just the drones who are the seven dwarves.
Stitching. It's working microcontacts, a different way of looking at snipping and patching computer code to create something new or better. Essie specializes in stitching and is unknowingly gaining Forty-Two a reputation for output without injury. Throw this in with Essie's more, ahem, physical side and it turns a bit vicious, but it does the job. Now if only she didn't let her pride rule her decisions. It's that pride that will change the direction of her future. Still, I like how stubborn she is. She is not about to go quietly.
Just because the miners lost on that fight is no reason for Essie to have to make up anything to them. These miners are just nasty. Essie has done so much to make their lives easier and safer, and yet they want to see her hurt. But none more than Moray, and it's his attack that springs open a side Essie had hidden years ago.
"Aye, but that was different. We were friends then."
I love the idea of the solar screen on Garam! Although I don't like the Garamites. Snooty buggers. I did enjoy Essie's sneakiness in getting information, and she learns a lot from Dane's actions too. She also gets to try that VT fighting. Ooopsies.
"'Why not use me to get on with it faster?'
'Using is using, from where I stand.'"
What a rude bunch on Candara! Have they NO manners?? Although, they do pale next to what King Matthias and Queen Olivia get up to. Oh. My. God.
A few caveats. Lewis needs to work on the romance angle better. It's much too subtle at the start and suddenly bursts out. It works, but it could be better. Dane does figure out the truth about Matthias as soon as he meets him, so I wonder how no one else picks up on it. How does neither Dane nor Essie figure out that the apple is likely to be poisoned??? I mean, duhhhh.
Interesting bit about the map used in Taktik. I like how Lewis made me use my imagination with that boot! I hope it makes kids head for the globe! Theo's story about Queen Alaina was sweet, a bit of foreshadowing. Then there's the school and meeting the schoolchildren, a reminder of Theo, and a warm thought to cherish while having dinner with brainless ninnies.
It's not a strenuous story. No scary drama but just enough tension, making this a story you cannot put down. It's too different, too much action. Too many swings, sways, and punches that keep changing how you view the story. You want to race through just to find out what happens next. What smart-mouth remark Essie will spout next, lol, even as it makes you laugh and cry.
"Brave is being scared and doing what needs to be done anyway."
The Story Essie ensures her safety by cage fighting. She’s just leaving one night when a shuttlecraft crashes outside the zone. It’s her mother’s voice telling her to pay it forward, and Essie helps repair Dane’s ship.
Only it doesn’t pay off as Essie had planned, and Dane is determined to free the Candaran hostages King Matthias imprisoned when his daughter went missing.
The Characters The feisty Essie is still young and ekes out a living at Mining Settlement Forty-Two by building drones. Her particular drones include Dimwit, who somehow manages to get the important things right; Whirligig, a.k.a., 'Gig; Clank and Clunk; Cusser; Ticktock; and, Zippy. Her mother, Alaina (her real name is Ametsa), may be dead but her aphorisms sound off in Essie's head, pushing her onto the right path.
Dane seems to be a Garamite from Garam hunting for treasure. Something that will help him unite Garam against Windsong.
Thanda is a practically frozen mining planet where merinium is mined. Petey is both bartender and protector; he runs the Station where the fights take place and men can drink. Grayson is his assistant. Jarom Thacker is said to be the sharpest fighter on Thanda. The creepy Lawrence Moray has been wanting to fight Essie too. Ever since she turned him down. The Bands are at the equator of Thanda where the families live. Umbergild is the most prosperous settlement on the planet; the Ascetics live there.
Garam is a high tech planet There is no central government here, and they all work to keep Windsong happy so they leave Garam and its colonies alone. This bargain works because Garam is renowned for its technology. Brand rules the colony where they drop. Liza helps heal Essie's injuries. Tobias is the tech repair teacher who will oversee the repairs to Dane's shuttle. Harper checked Essie's records on Thanda. Oops.
Candara is where the Exiles fled Gakoa is the capital city. The governing council is made up of members of the First Families of Candara and includes Stindu, Lunak, and Mura. Kip (Keppes is his Candaran name) is Candaran, and Kadei is his nephew. Pondu and Mikat are engineers; Tatsa is Mikat's young daughter. Laisa was Alaina/Ametsa's friend when they were girls.
Windsong is the ruling planet and quite luxurious Princess Snow is missing (Elurra was the name her mother gave her); Kip was the Midnight Blade who helped Snow disappear. Queen Olivia is Snow's stepmother and the royal theurgist with "magical" healing abilities. Her father, King Matthias, works to appear benevolent but is actually a dictator. The Midnight Blade is the queen's guard. The Golden Sword is the king's guard. The Silver Dagger is the princess' guard. Margaret is the king's aide. Tutor Benedict taught Snow about computers. Garrick is a footman. Lucia is likely one of Olivia's sample victims. Theo is the guard who flies Snow and Dane to the war zone in Saddlewood. Iris is an aide assigned to Snow.
Larsen is the captain of Fort Saddlewood and has a list of problems Snow takes on. Including not having proper care available for the wounded.
Darrak is Dane's father, the man who would be king. And he's dead. He died 7 years ago of an infection. Not surprising in that horrid dungeon Matthias and Olivia keep the hostages in.
The Exiles are what the people of Windsong call them; they were the previous rulers of Windsong until Matthias' ancestors kicked them out. The Exiles call themselves Candarans. The War of Exile is called the Liberation on Windsong. Ascetics lie to everyone not them.
Merinium is formed from a chemical reaction between stone and harri-harra (a Thandan worm) excrement and secretions. It can be mined once it's aged long enough. Body-hopping, a.k.a., Transitioning, is a skill, a gift, granted with Exile blood and allows a person to "hop" into another's body. To manipulate his thinking into doing what you want. Tipping is nudging someone in the direction you want them to go.
The Cover The cover is beautiful, although I’m not sure how it relates to the story. It’s a white background with scrolls and a lacy effect which is overlaid with another lacy effect but in purple to form an apple. It’s all very scrolly with a feeling of musical notes or circuit boards or lacework. Hmmm, maybe it's a nod to that tattoo…
The title is all about Essie, her skills and a reference to her home planet name. She’s Stitching Snow and good at it.(less)