Okay, right off the bat, I couldn’t put this book down. When it comes to the Southern Gothic genre, I just can’t help myself, so I picked up this bookOkay, right off the bat, I couldn’t put this book down. When it comes to the Southern Gothic genre, I just can’t help myself, so I picked up this book based on the genre alone. When I did the cover reveal for it, I was sold already!
I really connected with the main character. Reese is one of those characters that is probably not as likable in real life, but as a character in a book, she is one of my favourite types of main characters. Colton is equally as likable, in fact, probably even more so with his horrible father and bad breaks in life.
As for the small town element of Here They Lie, there was just the right delicious blend of southern hospitality mixed with buried secrets and double crossed characters to keep me engrossed in the setting as well as the story.
There is a wonderful blend of humour mixed with that wonderfully “chattiness” that comes with a decent southern Gothic novel that hooks me every single time. As a result of this, the story grabs you right from the first page and I found myself reading late into the night in order to “turn another page”. However, each page turned made me need to turn another, and another, and… well, you get my drift ;-)
There were only two faults I could find with this novel, First was the constant reminders that Reese’s family had a secret. While I know the author needed to build suspense and, to a degree, possible shame, about the family secret, I just found I was getting over being “reminded” there was a secret that the reader was going to be teased with it but not told what it was just yet.
Secondly, the end of this novel just felt a little under done. I think one more read over and polish up by the author would have helped considerably. While it wasn’t so much the copy edit, it was more along the lines of certain areas seemed glossed over or under-explained and found, while reading it, I was fumbling a little.
However, these gripes were minor ones and didn’t overly hinder my enjoyment of the novel. I can’t WAIT to read more by this author....more
I haven't read a straight fantasy novel for what feels like the longest time ever. And, when I get the opportunity to read a novel such as Al-Kabar, II haven't read a straight fantasy novel for what feels like the longest time ever. And, when I get the opportunity to read a novel such as Al-Kabar, I really question why I don't read a lot more in this genre!
Al-Kabar is what I would consider Middle Eastern Fantasy. There is deserts and magic and mages galore. I really love the feel of this novel, the author draws you in immediately and sets the scene nicely with the main character meeting a potential suitor. Her family is introduced and the everyday sense of the setting is engaging.
Then, stuff happens. And since I am not a spoiler heavy reviewer, let's just say that things go down and the main character discovers she is actually Al-Kabar, a water dancer (or mage) that is set to seek revenge.
Overall, the pace of this story was great. There were a few moments where I felt the story lag and get bogged down with the fine details of what was going on, but these moments were few and far between.
My main gripe with this novel is the fact that when the main character (who is female) becomes Al-Kabar, she transforms into, for all intents and purposes, a male character. While I loved the conflict that occurs after this transformation, when it first occurred, there was some confusion as the character was suddenly being referred to as a male when a chapter ago they were being referred to as a woman. However, this hiccup has been amended between the ARC and the published copy, so all readers have to do is sit back and enjoy the show!
Over all, I am giving Al-Kabar by Lee French, 4 out of 5 stars. I really, REALLY enjoyed this book!...more
Fractured Memories starts in a post-apocalyptic world where “skinnies” can be compared to zombies in that they have a compulsion to eat flesh, althougFractured Memories starts in a post-apocalyptic world where “skinnies” can be compared to zombies in that they have a compulsion to eat flesh, although they tend to be smarter than your average walker. I loved the immediate sense of bleak dread the author conjured up and then the later automatic feeling of confusion when a birthday surprise sours and the whole community falls.
However, I was a bit surprised, when the author had set the scene brilliantly to allow the reader to feel the ever present sense of urgency and impending doom, then she allowed her characters to step outside the community’s boundaries for something as frivolous as surprising one of the characters for their birthday. I was also surprised, later on, when one of the characters sleeps easily in the wild without any concern for encroaching skinnies.
Throughout this novel I found the main character, Wendy, as strong and independent, yet vulnerable at times, qualities I love in a female character. However, there were moments when I was confused as to just how much she knew about her memory of the downfall of her community. While the author created characters with ease that the reader could be automatically drawn too, there were moments the story was lacking because I was trying to work out just how much Wendy knew, when she was telling the truth about the matter and when she was pulling the wool over someone’s eyes.
There is also a few moments when I felt the world was not properly established for me to willingly accept the fact things like flying boots exist. While I was eventually able to believe it was plausible within the world, it would have been easier if the author had set up the boundaries for this universe a little more at the beginning.
It was the characters and Wendy’s personal development that really made it for me with this novel. While she is strong as nails, she keeps getting thrown into increasingly terrible situations. Yet, still she remains true to herself.
Overall, I am giving Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounding it up to 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads....more
Okay, I finished reading this book a while back but just haven't gotten around to reviewing it because I was hoping time would help me pick a rating fOkay, I finished reading this book a while back but just haven't gotten around to reviewing it because I was hoping time would help me pick a rating for it. Unfortunately it hasn't really.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this book - not by a long shot at all. However, the end threw me more than I could ever imagine. And, I can't even really talk about it because I don't want to give away spoilers. But, let's just say, the ending was not what I expected and I'm not really sure I liked where it took the story.
However, even with not liking the end, I will be chasing down the next book in this series when it comes out.
At first, when I was reading the start of this book, I was ready to give it 5 stars. I loved the way the main character is not your typical in your face aggressive forthright and spunky girl who is taking on the dystopian universe. The main character in Broken Lies is more unsure of herself, ready to admit she doesn't know it all and worries constantly about whether or not she is making the right choices in life. In fact, I really enjoyed all the characters in this novel. The author writes them well and fills out their stories with great effect. All the way through this novel I found I was engrossed in the world and completely believed everything on the page.
Then the end happened.
At first I wanted to give it 2 or 3 stars. While I really didn't like the way the author was going (and had thought she was taking the story in a completely different way), I was still in love with the characters and was invested desperately in their story - regardless of how much I rolled my eyes at the cliche.
But, after putting the book down when the story was finally finished, I realised 2 or 3 stars would be an injustice. While the ending was not to my liking, the characters were. The prose in this novel is wonderful and I was constantly emerged in the story. So, instead, I settled on 4 stars because I really think readers should give this book a go. Not for the ending, but to fall in love with the amazing people telling the story. Overall, I am giving Broken Lies by Claire Vale 4 out of 5 stars!...more
When I first started reading The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader, I was unsure as to whether I would actually like this book. I found the characters holWhen I first started reading The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader, I was unsure as to whether I would actually like this book. I found the characters hollow, parts of the story a bit too in your face (yeah, I get that the main character has lived in a heap of different countries already!) and there was a whole heap of telling rather than showing going on. But, after a while, the characters really started to grow on me and I was intrigued by the development.
I really loved the complicated mess that was Vivian and Rose’s relationship and I loved that it was never really resolved in this novel. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops in future books in this series. The aunts Vivian was sent to fascinated me and I could have read about them all day. Ditto for the townsfolk Vivian is introduced to. The author has a great flair for creating an eerie atmosphere and a creepy town.
At times this book just felt like a retelling of Practical Magic – the movie, not the book by Alice Hoffman. And there were even moments when I found myself thinking this novel would make an awesome hidden object game with all the creepiness going on and all the clues being laid out.
While I think this novel has potential, there were plenty of times where I just felt the author fell a little short, either in the way she told rather than showed the characters emotional journey or with all the cliches that were peppered throughout.
Overall, I am giving The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader 3 out of 5 stars. It will be interesting to see how this series develops....more