3.5 stars Gina Damico, author of the Croak trilogy, is known first and foremost for her fabulous sense of humor. Her books are always hilarious, which3.5 stars Gina Damico, author of the Croak trilogy, is known first and foremost for her fabulous sense of humor. Her books are always hilarious, which more than makes up for the occasionally weak plots. On the surface, Hellhole is a pretty weak story about a boy who accidentally ends up taking care of the devil (one of 666 of them, apparently) and makes all sorts of ill-advised bargains with him along the way. But there are many other things underneath, and it’s precisely those things that make this book worth your time.
The beginning and the ending were actually Hellhole’s weakest points. The beginning seemed slightly ridiculous as there was no good reason for Max to end up with Berg. The whole digging-up-the-devil business made very little sense and I felt that Max’s whole predicament lost some weight because of how it came about. The ending on the other hand felt rushed and non-sensical and it made my head spin with how quickly everything was wrapped up. I had maybe twenty minutes left of my audiobook and nothing was resolved, which made me panic slightly, and then before I knew it, everything was set to rights.
The middle part, however, was an absolute delight, what with all the humor and the explorations of Max’s character. A boy in his situation could so easily be swayed by the forces of evil, and it was touch-and-go for a while there since he kept making so many poor choices that almost led him to the point of no redemption. That psychological aspect of the story that can be pondered and discussed if one is willing to dig just a little deeper is something I truly didn’t expect from Damico, but it made Hellhole a much better and far more worthy experience.
The romance developed slowly, gradually, from poorly hidden disdain to reluctant friendship and finally to love. I really enjoyed the fact that Max had a best friend who was never anything more, and that he managed to endear himself to Lore despite his inability to talk to girls. Word vomit is a term that certainly applies to Max and his predicament was always equal parts endearing and exasperating.
MacLeod Andrews is quickly turning out to be one of the few narrators that can be relied upon completely. He is the male version of Lorelei King – fabulously funny, extremely capable, with a voice laced with humor and a talent for voice characterization. I still maintain that his female voices need more work, but overall, his performance is always superb.
All in all, Hellhole is a standalone, it’s adorable and it will make you laugh. When you add to that MacLeod Andrews’ fabulous voice, you know you’re in for a treat.
Here’s a fair warning: don’t start reading Liars Inc. right before bedtime or when you have other, more important things to do. That will not end wellHere’s a fair warning: don’t start reading Liars Inc. right before bedtime or when you have other, more important things to do. That will not end well. This book is a thrill ride that demands your attention non-stop from start to finish, and what’s more, it absolutely deserves it. That’s not to say that Liars Inc. is free of flaws, but for the life of me, I can’t force myself to care. The important things are covered: a wonderful, believable protagonist, a well-built story, an interesting and most importantly different romance – all skillfully written and fabulously paced.
It needs to be said that Paula Stokes has an impeccable sense of pacing. Writing a story that progresses so rapidly, but also runs smoothly is a rare talent indeed. I must confess I was thoroughly impressed by her storytelling abilities.
The mystery was surprisingly well crafted. There are so many red herrings along the way, and they are so well placed that it’s almost impossible to tell which one of them is the real threat. More than anything, though, it was the romance that kept me glued to my gorgeous new reading chair (see how I casually threw that in?). From the start, Parvati seemed to be the perfect girl for Max, but there were ulterior motives behind everything she did. She was also the only one willing to help him when things really got tough. She seemed honest on one page and deceitful on the next, which made seeing what was real almost impossible.
There are so many lies told in this story and even more truths to uncover. Good YA thrillers are truly rare, but Paula Stokes definitely knows how to write them. Liars Inc. is not the most memorable of books, but it’s undoubtedly fun. I highly recommend it.
I usually tend to avoid novellas written by unfamiliar authors, but this time I made an exception simply because I liked the cover. My proble3.5 stars
I usually tend to avoid novellas written by unfamiliar authors, but this time I made an exception simply because I liked the cover. My problem with novellas is that they don't give me time to form any sort of emotional connection with the characters, but that was not the case with Served Hot. Annabeth Albert painted these characters very well and their emotions came through loud and clear - the grief, the insecurities and all the fear.
While not perfect, this e-novella is well-written and the characters are fairly memorable. It's a great choice for a slow afternoon read. ...more
Calamity! I can’t believe it’s over! I’ve waited so long to read this… When this trilogy started, I’d been mostly unfamiliar with Mr. Sanders3.5 stars
Calamity! I can’t believe it’s over! I’ve waited so long to read this… When this trilogy started, I’d been mostly unfamiliar with Mr. Sanderson’s work, but his easy style and humor won me over in a heartbeat. This trilogy has been a favorite of mine since the very beginning, and while the ending didn’t quite provide the entertainment I was hoping for, it was nevertheless a satisfying finale that gave me answers and more or less the type conclusion I was hoping for.
Calamity starts with a bang and continues on a very high note throughout. The Reckoners are irrevocably changed and it’s up to David to decide their next move. Although he’s the newest member, his knowledge on the epics allows him to make solid decisions and mostly follow through on his plans. No matter how much things around him change, David remains the same – awkward and funny, and always optimistic. Even the events in Firefight didn’t crush his never-ending optimism, and while it’s sometimes annoying, it’s also childlike and honest and it sometimes leads to very good things. Where others would give up, David just plows through with very little regard for his own safety, and he darn well does with a smile and an endless supply of truly stupid similes.
Calamity isn’t without its issues, but pacing isn’t among them. I liked how the story progressed and all the action was both exciting and funny. The only thing I struggled with was David’s slowness in figuring out what was going on. He wasn’t doing a whole lot of thinking, especially for someone who was in charge of so many lives. I did feel that Sanderson got tangled in his own plotlines a tiny bit. The alternate universes brought more confusion than answers and in the end, they seemed like an easy fix, a neat solution for every problem out there. I can’t really say more and avoid spoilers, but some things could have been dealt with differently and certainly more elegantly.
It needs to be said though that I generally don’t read series about corrupt superheroes for their great literary value, so I’m quite content with being properly entertained. If I laugh out loud a few times along the way (which I did), all the better. While the series didn’t have much of an emotional impact, I’ll certainly go back to reread it every now and again.
I think I would have liked this book a lot less on paper, but McLeod Andrews is every listener’s dream. He brings such humor into the story and he knows exactly how to make the important details stand out without giving too much away. He is a fabulous narrator, one of those rare stars who can narrate just about anything and make it sound amazing. So Audible Studios, if you’re listening, more books narrated by Andrews, please.
I've seen and heard so much praise for this book, and I understand why. It's great for New Adult fans, with two severely damaged characters, some healI've seen and heard so much praise for this book, and I understand why. It's great for New Adult fans, with two severely damaged characters, some healthy voyeurism, plenty of one-on-one time and a pretty well-constructed story.
For me, however, it just didn't work. I've read some pretty great M/M New Adult lately (the best being Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan by far) and this simply pales in comparison. I thought it was too long and somewhat repetitive, the characters needed more work, the emotional moments didn't quite reach me, and in the end, it was all a bit too easy and a tiny bit unconvincing.
Also, I'm a one-person-one-person kinda gal, so the stories that start with one of the MCs sleeping with someone else (let alone a series of random people) rarely work for me. It's a personal issue. Those of you who aren't bothered by such things will probably like this one a lot more.
Definitely worth reading, but far from being what I'd hoped. ...more
Having read this author before, I knew to expect a whole lot of angst from this novel, and I wasn't wrong. Heavy drama oozes from the pages and some vHaving read this author before, I knew to expect a whole lot of angst from this novel, and I wasn't wrong. Heavy drama oozes from the pages and some very difficult subjects are addressed with different levels of success.
Harper was just released from prison after serving ten years for something he didn't do. He was accused of commiting a hideous, unforgivable crime and the consequences are severe even after his release. Harper's life will never be what it once was, and the only thing he has is a very old house in desperate need of repairs.
Malachi's life hasn't been quite as hard, but it hasn't been easy either. At the beginning of this story, we find him more or less at his personal low. Things can hardly be any more humiliating, but Malachi is a fighter and he's constantly finding ways ti build up his life.
The romance between these two happens rather quickly, but I felt it was justified consiering both their circumstances. Their feelings for each other came through loud and clear, and their relationship was entirely believable.
The plot, however, needed much more work and planning. Harper's story was far-fetched and a serious suspension of disbelief was required in order for me to enjoy this story. Aside from poor planning, predictability was also a huge issue seeing as I guessed the villain almost at the very beginning.
What saved this book, however, and made it memorable, was Malachi's wonderful sense of humor. I must confess that I didn't expect so much great humor from Elsborg, but that boy had me laughing out loud on every other page. I found him and his view of the world quite endearing and I hope we'll get to see him again in this series.
All in all, Falling wasn't without its problems, but it's still a worthy begining to what promises to be an exciting series. Angst isn't really my thing, but Elsborg does it well. I'll certainly be reading her future releases. ...more
I expected more from these two authors, but the characters were underdeveloped, the romance just didn't work, and I didn't understand the attraction bI expected more from these two authors, but the characters were underdeveloped, the romance just didn't work, and I didn't understand the attraction between Christian and CJ at all. CJ had no empathy whatsoever and he kept behaving like a selfish brat. I couldn't understand why a 40-year-old man would be attracted to him, especially a deeply religious, (view spoiler)[virgin (hide spoiler)], who is also his professor and advisor.
I thought about DNF-ing halfway through and only finished reading because I'm so stubborn. ["br"]>["br"]>...more