Remember me is one of the most beautiful, imaginative, dark, chilling, and intriguing tales I have read in a long time. From the very off, the reader...moreRemember me is one of the most beautiful, imaginative, dark, chilling, and intriguing tales I have read in a long time. From the very off, the reader knows that all is not as it appears, and the yearning to unravel the mystery of it all fast becomes the driving force of this story—because the first chapter alone instils in the reader a deep desire to ‘know’. On top of that, Ms Ison’s writing is nothing short of poetic, but without feeling forced or overdone, and her smooth style sucks you so fast and deep into her created world, the reader has no yen to leave until they have uncovered all the truths. And the uncovering of said truths only adds to the mystery, because this tale is so artfully woven, and the reveals drip-fed exactly when and where the author wants them, that the reader will spend the entire time speculating—right up until the very end. Far too often in these kinds of tales, the big reveal, the answers to the mystery, can leave the reader feeling slightly deflated. That wasn’t the case with Remember Me. Because the ending will blow apart any notions the reader may have come up with, and is so beautiful, you will be left with a feeling of warmth, of wanting, of hoping, and of belonging, and quite possibly with a small tear in your eye. This is only the second tale of have read by this fledgling author, but the vast differences between the two tales leaves me wondering just how diverse Ms Ison is capable of being. So keep an eye out, because this is one to watch. I, for one, will be checking for new releases from this lady. I’ve had a taste of what she can give me. Now … I want more. (less)
When I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Tonya’s latest title, I said yes because I’d enjoyed SEAL of Honor. Admittedly, I half expected a r...moreWhen I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Tonya’s latest title, I said yes because I’d enjoyed SEAL of Honor. Admittedly, I half expected a retelling of Ms Burrows’ first novel upon noticing we were dealing with another ex-serviceman; however, that totally wasn’t the case at all. Wilde Nights in Paradise is a far throw from Tonya’s other book. The setting is about as different as it can get. The plot nowhere near in the same ball park. And the tone is far lighter, too. As I expected, the characters’ development is well done. Although, Jude did have to win me over, as I wasn’t so keen on him to begin. His playful nature came across as immature, but that just made watching him ‘grow up’ more of a pleasure. Libby, on the other hand, was easy to connect to from the off, but that may have been because she was the ‘afflicted’ one. And whilst it might have seemed a little slow to begin, the pace gradually picks up, and then continues to do so right up until the very end. And the heat? Oh, lordy, the heat. There is GREAT sexual chemistry between these two characters. And the intimate scenes are very well done—well written, well thought through and formulated, and very naturally placed, that I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride (pardon the pun), because there were absolutely no flies there for me to pick at. And I’m so glad about this, because—whilst I don’t read books for their sexual content—this was one of my gripes in my review for SoH. And onto the plot I briefly mentioned above. I enjoyed where it went, and yes, yes, I had my suspicions pretty early on about the suspect they’d all pegged as the bad guy being wrongly accused (of that, anyway). However, I didn’t guess it right one little bit. I had my money on friendly office dude, and not at all on the one who it actually turned out to be. My only complaint in this one (other than it taking a while to warm to Jude, even though I had deep suspicions that there was more to his back-story behaviour and her dad was somehow involved), is that we didn’t see enough of the struggle from Libby’s father in his decision to tell Libby the truth. Sure, I get that we don’t see his POV to fully appreciate this, but I didn’t ‘feel’ that quite as much as I wanted to. But that’s a minor complaint. The rest of this book was cool, and I’m looking forward to more from Ms Burrows, seeing as she has now given me two completely different reads. (less)
4.5 stars Darker Days is one of those books that pretty much has it all. Originality. Amazing pacing. GREAT characters. An awesome storyline. Excellent...more4.5 stars Darker Days is one of those books that pretty much has it all. Originality. Amazing pacing. GREAT characters. An awesome storyline. Excellent weaving of threads like an expert knotter (what?). It is also what I suspect to be another GREAT first book in an exciting new series. Ms Accardo, if you spot this review: You rock my socks! Because not only is this book FULL of twists and turns and family secrets, history and mythology (of the religious kind), kick-butt scenes and a whole host of paranormal creatures who are so flambouyantly and vibrantly displayed I could ‘see’ it without even having to close my eyes or squint, as well as one freakin’ fabulous crowd of a full-bodied cast ... it is also jam-packed full of LOL moments and has a HOT GUY who is quite literally ... sin. Jessie, as MS, is HILARIOUS, to the point I would like to award her with: ‘BEST HOT DUDE REACTION EVER!!!!!!!!!’ award. Don’t believe me? Here’ take a tiny peek: “Holy house of hogs getting blasted by the blue birdie brigade ...” And those little corkers don’t end there. They are dotted throughout and at the daftest at times—often when you need the laugh most. Not to mention the dude the above statement refers to. Lucas is quite possibly awesome. I found him cute, and charming, and loved the portrayal of his fight against his sin. I thought it was so subtly welded in with the rest of the text, that there wasn’t a single eye roll or neck jarring moment to be had. My only gripe for these two, which I would be amiss not to mention, is that the ‘feelings’ between them seemed to come a little too quick. I’d have liked a lot more ‘moments’ between them first. Because the willingness to each do what they planned to do for the other at the end seemed to be driven what felt like a very power motivation—yet they’d only known each other a handful of days. So something a little more substantial than her attraction to his hotness in the beginning would have strengthened this—but this is pretty much my only complaint. Aside from these two, however, we have the supporting cast. Jessie’s friends—great stuff; Jessie’s family—loved mum and dad and all the issues and complications and backstory that came as a result of having been spawned and raised by those two; the funny cop with a crush; the best friend of her mum’s with a lifelong affection; the school friend with flaws; even the dodgy evil baddies, with their attitudes and connection with the sin that had claimed them (where relevant). And before I go, let me just take a moment to reflect on this new world Ms Accardo has created. Because, to begin, I thought the pacing was a little slower than I expected, but then I fast understood the reading rate was all me. You see, I DO have a tendency to read slower where there is world building to be absorbed, because I hate nothing more than not understanding the scenes the author has created, and so I stepped back, checked myself, and came to the conclusion that the pacing is brilliant. Oh, and that ending? Yeah, reassures the reader that there is definitely more to come from these characters—and doubly reassures that the next book is going to be a whole ‘nother ride. I can’t wait. Once again: kudos, Jus Accardo. (less)
Okay, so I’ve made absolutely no secret about my love for all things Lirium. Never in my imaginings, when I picked up that first Debt Collector episod...moreOkay, so I’ve made absolutely no secret about my love for all things Lirium. Never in my imaginings, when I picked up that first Debt Collector episode to check out Susan’s writing, did I expect to fall in love with this series the way that I have. As for it being in instalments? Dude, I even love that! Because I love the little bite-sized pieces with get that fill in my reading gaps, and pump me with emotion (usually on Lirium’s behalf), and then leave me snorting at the gate to race off to Amazon the instant I see the next episode go live. It has been a long time since I’ve gotten this excited over a story (and, for those who don’t know, this is a self-published beauty, at that), and it’s been a long time since I have fallen so deeply in love with a character that my heart actually hurts for them. And I have felt this way about Lirium from episode one. Each and every instalment of this series leave the poor baby somewhat emotionally scathed, and I feel for him every darn time. But this episode? Dayam, from the very first word, Promise tugged at my heartstrings, and I pretty much spent the entire read looking a lot like this>> :( <As usual, I’m not going to go specifying the plot of this one. I’m just going to assure you that this was another awesome addition, where the reader is allowed even deeper still into Lirium’s mind and emotions, characters from earlier on in the series make a VERY welcome return and add another layer to the plot that I’ve missed since they ceased to be around, and the reader is left wondering (once again) how anything can possibly be okay for Lirium ever again. Loved it. You should read. Where’s my next fix? (less)
PODs was an unusual read for me, to the point I’m left floundering and completely at a loss for how to rate it. After finishing reading the book this...morePODs was an unusual read for me, to the point I’m left floundering and completely at a loss for how to rate it. After finishing reading the book this morning, I’m actually still not 100% sure as to my thoughts about it, and I’m having trouble putting it into words how it made me feel.
Did I enjoy the book? Well, I really just ... don’t know.
I mean, it had some issues that made this a less than fluid read for me, and I’m not sure if those are the factors driving this uncertainty, or if it’s something else.
As you can see by my nonsensical waffle, I truly am at a loss. So, maybe I can make some sense if I simply write what I did or didn’t like about the book.
To begin, I kinda thought YES! The writing seemed smooth, and quite fast-paced, and the conflict had been identified so I knew where the story was going and who and what to root for.
But then, that opening pace seemed to vanish into the stratosphere, leaving the rest of the book to drag along the ground like animal-savaged victim—who’s lost both his legs.
To begin with, I kinda liked Eva. I felt for her, and dreaded what I knew she headed toward, and what we know she’s leaving behind. Yet, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, I just didn’t connect with her. and I should have, because she had a whole lot of shizazz going on that I should have been empathising with her over—yet, I found myself very much detached from and indifferent to it all.
The bits leading up to the PODs was that fast paced section I mentioned, and then it’s once they’re in the PODs that the pace goes askew. I have a feeling the author relied too heavily on (view spoiler)[the relationship she created between Eva and David (hide spoiler)] to hold the reader’s interest, but it didn’t, and I think my status updates will probably explain why better than I can:
At 26%: (view spoiler)[1) Other than his 'silver eyes', I have NO idea what David looks like. 2) However, I DO know he smells great because she tells us a LOT. 3) One minute, Eva and David are showing us a glimpse of their relationship beginning to grow, THEN we make a giant leap & are smacked with a big 'TELL' that she realised she really likes him and we don't get to SEE any of this growth.
At 36%: IS it just me who finds David a bit creepy?
At 42%: Kissing. Lots of kissing. More kissing than anything else, in fact. But at least the doors are opening. Something fresh is afoot. Yay!
On top of these, there was a seriously unrealistic birthing scene about a third of the way through the book. The birthing mother was a teenager. There were no adults present. No adults responded to their requests for help. No medical supplies. All they had for guidance as to how childbirth goes was a book. The poor young girl in labour had NOOOO pain relief—and yet she barely made a peep. The entire ordeal seemed to be over within an hour, despite this being her first child delivered by kids who had no idea what they were doing during a delivery, and there ZERO complications ... okay, I guess you’re getting the picture. But on top of this, the poor young girl who’d just given birth also cleaned herself up AND the baby up whilst Eva was in the bathroom (which is where they ALL go to clean themselves up, so I’m unsure how this was achieved—in the kitchen sink maybe?)—now, I dunno how the experience of other women has gone for them, but dude, I could barely get my own hide off that bed after giving birth, let alone moving around on my wobbly legs. So, this scene bugged me a fair bit, as I would have preferred if more credibility had been exercised. (hide spoiler)]
Anyhoo, moving on. After a pretty long and slow section of them (view spoiler)[, and I’m excited because I imagine this is where stuff gets interesting. I mean, they’ve hidden inside the PODs for this long, after leaving all of their loved ones and the rest of the country topside to deal with a virus that they all expected would kill them off, and now they’re finally clambering out of their hole .... as a reader, you’d be expecting mutated family members to be wondering around, and them fighting for their lives whilst fighting with the realisation that the virus wasn’t quite as cut and dried as they imagined ... right? (hide spoiler)]
Well, okay, this does kind of happen—but it seems to take ages AFTER they’ve left the POD for it to get to this point. I mean, sure there’s the whole (view spoiler)[being separated by David issue Eva ends up having to deal with (hide spoiler)]. But, in all honesty, that got a little bit boring, and when some dude called Craig shows an interest, I find myself egging her to just go off with him in the hopes of something new and fresh happening at last.
It’s not actually until (view spoiler)[David shows up on the outside of the compound Eva’s been assigned to (though this moves slow, too), which encourages Eva to break out (hide spoiler)] (which looks like something exciting is about to happen), that we finally see a bit of action and what I imagined the book might be about (finally). However, even then, I found myself just plodding along, rather than screaming my way through the pages on the edge of my seat and biting my nails and being shocked and horrified and praying they’ll all be all right. And though it took some deep thinking, I think I finally figured out what the issue in even this area was. It was the writing. Not that the writing was bad, because it wasn’t—the sentences were smooth and well-constructed enough. But those sentences alone weren’t enough to bring excitement to the words. There was an underlying blandness to everything. The verbs lacked tension, and speed, and thrill, and oomph. There was so much difference that could have been made if only far more active and invigorating verbs had been chosen over the constant generic ones used through the novel that gave the reader no indication as to HOW the characters did stuff, so we only knew that they ... just did. Am I even making sense? Added to these was the kissing. Yes, it warrants another mention, because it didn't cease even once they'd left the POD. And a LOT of those kisses came at inappropriate moments, and every kiss was written the same, and far too often (view spoiler)[Eva was shivering or trembling from these kisses or the slightest of touches from David, even when comrades of hers were being attacked or in distress right beside her, so they didn't always fit with the story/moment (hide spoiler)]. So, they kind of bugged me to and only helped to make her less likeable because it made her seem out of touch with the troubles of others, or emotionless over the plights of the team, and I think this may also have contributed to my inability to connect with her.
I think what I’m trying to say is that I liked the story, and the concept was great, but a lot of it could have been quashed and condensed, to make way for more of it to have been shown, and to let me deeper into Eva’s story and allowed the ability to travel her journey alongside her rather than merely read it as words on a page—and maybe then it would have held the excitement I felt I missed in there. BUT these are just the thoughts of one person. We all like different styles. We all like different levels of involvement. So make up your own mind, because this book might be the right one for you. (less)
Lirium. *sigh* What can I say about the dude expect that he never disappoints. In fact, I think the entire series should have been called: Lirium. May...moreLirium. *sigh* What can I say about the dude expect that he never disappoints. In fact, I think the entire series should have been called: Lirium. Maybe every title in the series, too. In case you hadn’t realised it, Lirium is the driving force of this series, for me. I adore his character. Adore his tortured soul. Adore his idealistic way of thinking despite everything going on around him (and sometimes inside his head, too) demanding he stand up and take notice that his world just ain’t built like that. Most of all, I adore the emotional connection Ms Quinn’s awesome writing ensures I constantly maintain with the dude. Because, one instalment after another, she torments this guy, taking him on a journey to the pits of despair with nary a light at the end of any of those tunnels. And this time, just when we’re thinking something might actually come good for him, she goes and does it in the biggest and worst style she’s done to date. I’m truly not sure how much more this more pudding can take before he cracks and collapses from emotional expenditure. This instalment was pretty awesome from start to finish. From the new developments, to the tightly woven elements of the plot necessary for the lead-up to that ending (sorry, no spoilers)—and boy, what an ending. Like I said: I think Ms Quinn may just have done him in this time. I only hope that tiny glimmer of hope one of the characters fed him turns out to shine one of those tunnel-end lights that he needs.