This is the first LDS fiction that I've read in a LONG time. I used to read them as a teen, but eventually moved away from them. They all followed the...moreThis is the first LDS fiction that I've read in a LONG time. I used to read them as a teen, but eventually moved away from them. They all followed the same pattern and were borderline cheesy at best.
NOT so with Deep Cover. In fact it was so good I read it in one day. And I didn't start until the afternoon. Yes the main characters were members of my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), but the story was a CIA/FBI story. Church wasn't a player. Well, there were moments that another member of this church would feel extra sympathy with Kelsey because of all she was giving up in order to be really good at her job. But non-members will be able to connect with her for the same reasons. AND Abramson kept the church cultural references to a minimum so that readers wouldn't feel lost there.
Having met Traci and learning that she is former CIA, I believed every bit of this book. Write what you know and all of that. The pacing was great. Moments of intense conflict and tension and then slower moments to catch our breath. I felt for Kelsey and the way she was trapped between so many decisions. She was REALLY good at her job. A job she didn't exactly choose for herself. But she knew she could make a difference in keeping the US safe from terrorism. But this job requires her to lie to everyone she loves. And if you have to use an alias while working at the CIA you are really Deep Cover.
I give Deep Cover by Traci Abramson a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) because it was cleanly written, and I read it in a day I enjoyed it so much.
1-5 scale and what it means: 1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad 2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing 3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive 3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love 4: Solid mind candy / worth reading 4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read 5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure(less)
This one was hard for me. I don't read a lot of fallen angel stories. For some reason they all feel the same to me, even when they are completely diff...moreThis one was hard for me. I don't read a lot of fallen angel stories. For some reason they all feel the same to me, even when they are completely different. (Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either.) I guess technically this one isn't a fallen angel book to begin with, but let's jump in anyway.
What I Liked: Gabby. She's real, quirky, emotional, and every bit a teenage girl who gets her wires crossed leading to trouble.
Jake is the perfect hero for her. He's all guy and some of his actions make it easy for her to misunderstand his intentions.
Arroyo has some good twists and turns in the mystery part of the story. You're never quite sure who the good guys are or the bad.
She knows how to write terror!
What bothered me: There were a few typos, but that wasn't too bad. However, there were some spots where I just had no clue what just happened. I don't know if it was an editing mistake, or if it's just because I don't read a lot in this genre and am clueless.
I felt like the book contained two styles of writing. For the most part it read like a YA book, but the murder scenes were gruesome and dark. And detailed. More like some of the hard core murder/detective novels I've read. It jarred me a bit each time.
In the end I enjoyed the story and was torn about where Gabby finds herself. She's changed, and yet she's still not sure what she is. And Jake is...oops...sorry, you won't get any spoilers out of me. :)(less)
I had the privilege of reading this book before it was contracted. The second read through was just as enjoyable and rewarding as the first time. Coff...moreI had the privilege of reading this book before it was contracted. The second read through was just as enjoyable and rewarding as the first time. Coffelt crafts a wonderful story of courage and love set in a chilling reality where one crazed woman controls all those who can work magic. Well, almost all.
Justus is a strong hero. Even in his sullen moods you can't help but like him. He lives by his convictions and is doing quite well for himself until the unexpected happens. He falls in love. And with the most dangerous woman possible. Sable is running from the Imperium, but she's never free of their watchful eye. She is the prize worth waiting for, and once crazy Tiarra gets her she'll be the weapon to bring down all who resist the Imperium's control.
I love all the characters in this story. Bert the impertinent teen who has to learn the hard way, the sweet couple who take care of everyone, even the two hunters struggling to break free of Tiarra's grasp.
Without giving any spoilers, I just have to say that I loved the subtle difference between the original ending and the published ending. The clues have all been dropped and I'm just waiting for Coffelt to write the next book. I love how Justus' inner struggle is more of the focal point at the end as well. I can't wait for the next in the series!(less)
I received a free copy of this for reviewing several months ago and although I'm not finished with the book, thought I'd go ahead and share my thought...moreI received a free copy of this for reviewing several months ago and although I'm not finished with the book, thought I'd go ahead and share my thoughts with you. The only reason I'm not finished is because I've been working through the steps Dr. Drago sets out to solidify some of the characters I'm working with in my WIPs. Since I haven't been writing much the last the last three months, I haven't been thinking along the lines of improving said writing.
I did however get 45% through the book and have found it to be very helpful with digging into the subconscious motivations of my own characters. I read one review where the reader complained that this felt like a psychology book, this is one of the things that I liked about the book. They also complained that it was similar to other books on the same topic out there. Not having read any other books on this recently I can't comment on that. I can only say it was helpful for me. I also liked how he used characters from popular movies and books to illustrate his point.
I've been going through slowly, step by step with each of my characters. As I get to know how their minds work I'm understanding how they will act and react to certain situations. When I get to sit down and finally write, I'm hoping this will result in realistic and natural progression of the story.
If you are having trouble figuring out your characters, this is a great place to start.(less)
I'm a sucker for cowboys, don't know why, but I am. I even devoured Louis L'Amour books in high school. Anyway, this one had all the hero factor he ne...moreI'm a sucker for cowboys, don't know why, but I am. I even devoured Louis L'Amour books in high school. Anyway, this one had all the hero factor he needed to make this story work. Melanie's health issues came on very fast, and at times (just the beginning) I wondered if they could come on that fast, but in the end I didn't even care. The chemistry between her and Adam was wonderful,
My favorite part of the story though was the suspense. How creepy to know someone is watching you, judging you--and then deciding that you don't get to live. I loved that Adam brought out Melanie's own strength. He was the hero by helping her realize that she could save herself. That's something girls don't get a lot of these days--you can be beautiful, feminine and strong as nails.(less)
I picked this one up on the recommendation from a friend. There were no expectations on my part, and the first chapter had me really confused. There w...moreI picked this one up on the recommendation from a friend. There were no expectations on my part, and the first chapter had me really confused. There was a lot of jumping around in time and I wasn't sure who I was supposed to be focused on. I almost stopped reading, but I'm glad I didn't.
Once the background info was set down through those 3 (?) short (thank goodness they were short!) scenes the story settled down to one timeline and one character. That's when I was able to find my footing and enjoy the story. I enjoyed the things I learned about dog grooming. Perhaps this is because I've been trying to groom my own dog for the last year. However, the story really come alive with the creep factor and the supernatural elements. Even the romance felt barely there compared to the dark force haunting Brenna, her land, and ultimately all of humanity.(less)
I picked this up on the recommendation of a friend. This was a great fantasy ride. It had all the elements of a quest fantasy without feeling to bogge...moreI picked this up on the recommendation of a friend. This was a great fantasy ride. It had all the elements of a quest fantasy without feeling to bogged down in FANTASY, if you know what I mean. If not, let me try to explain.
Sora and all of the other characters felt so real to me. They had fears and emotions I could relate to even though they were on this fantastical journey where death could find them at least 50 ways each day. Sora was young and naive to the world, but she grew into a strong capable woman. I loved watching her growth.
As much as I loved Sora, I'm the most intrigued by Crash. Even though he came off cruel, cold, unmovable at first, I found myself drawn to him. The mystery isn't solved, not even scratched really in this first novel and that's what will take me to the next one. And I secretly hope he'll find Sora again someday. Maybe not, but the romantic in me likes the fact that she was able to "wake" him up. He starts to feel again, grow a conscious, want to be better. (less)
It's been almost 2 weeks since I finished this book and I still find my mind drifting to it. For me, this is the mark of an excellent story. There are...moreIt's been almost 2 weeks since I finished this book and I still find my mind drifting to it. For me, this is the mark of an excellent story. There are so many thought provoking elements that you can't help but question what you would do, what you would believe, etc in this situation. However, you don't ponder those questions while you're reading because you get so lost in Water's characters and world that you forget yourself. But afterwards...(sometimes I hate writing reviews because I don't want to spoil anything for future readers!!)
Thing I LOVED: The unraveling of the mystery, piece by piece.
Emma's confusion makes her so real. I felt for her the whole way.
You instinctively know certain things that Emma doesn't from the beginning, and yet there are still surprises that send your mind reeling.
The format of back and forth with life and the memories.
The chemistry between Emma and Declan. Emma and Tucker. Emma and Foster.
The complexity of the human mind and how it combines with the body to make us who we are.
The only nitpicks I could think of (and this is really grasping at straws!): We only see a small portion of this world and I had lots of questions about how it worked. How did it get that way (details)? I might have missed some of those clues because I was so caught up in the other elements of the story. AND the part of the world we lived in was completely real and detailed. I could see it clearly.
Although I understood Emma's need to raid the WTC, I wonder why those facilities are even needed with Declan and the Doctor's breakthroughs? And the end. It was heartbreaking for me. Emma finally has all the answers, but they can't make her whole. She does the only thing she can, and I'm left with a glimmer of hope for her future. Then I turned the page and read the very short epilogue. HOLY COW!
There is so much more to come in this story. More turmoil and decisions to make.
I can't wait!
NOTE to my LDS friends: there was one scene I had to skip, but everything else was fade to black.(less)
This was a wonderfully quick read that had me smiling like a silly girl most of the time. Such a sweet romance with a twist to the "forbidden love" an...moreThis was a wonderfully quick read that had me smiling like a silly girl most of the time. Such a sweet romance with a twist to the "forbidden love" angle. I also enjoyed how Sienna had good intentions for why she wanted to change the status quo, but the changes were also driven by very human emotions. Lee is a good guy. This was also a nice change from the standard "bad boy" love interest.
Pennington proved that you can create and maintain a strong story with two every day "good" kids. (less)
I planned on saving this for the poolside, but didn't make it that far. Let me tell you, I'll never feel the same about the smell of lemons ever again...moreI planned on saving this for the poolside, but didn't make it that far. Let me tell you, I'll never feel the same about the smell of lemons ever again. Jayne has a gift, or is it a curse? Sometimes she will get a whiff of lemon coming off a person and if she looks into their eyes she will see their death. Because of this she avoids eye contact a lot.
Heiner does a great job creating believable characters that you grow to care about. It was easy to get lost in her world. This was a quick and riveting read. My favorite part was that I wasn't sure who the bad guy was until the end. (less)
It's been a long time since I read this series, but I liked it because my brother and I used to play Myst together all the time. I was emotionally con...moreIt's been a long time since I read this series, but I liked it because my brother and I used to play Myst together all the time. I was emotionally connected before opening the cover. (less)
I enjoyed the final book in the Enchantment series even more than the first one. Rivioli continued with her amazing world building. The thing I liked...moreI enjoyed the final book in the Enchantment series even more than the first one. Rivioli continued with her amazing world building. The thing I liked the best is that she simplified the point of view. All the characters were still there but I knew who to focus on as the most important.
In this story we follow Chloe and Preston as they grow in skill and knowledge. Each step brings them closer to being reunited. By the end I was on the edge of my seat and thinking "this would make a great movie!" The descriptions created clear visuals in my mind and it was very exciting. (less)
Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. He knows how to build on the conflict from the first two books in the series and raise...moreCavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. He knows how to build on the conflict from the first two books in the series and raise the stakes even higher. The stakes affect the entire known universe, but Cavanaugh also makes it very personal. Byron is still just as stubborn and private as ever, but he's learned to let those he loves into his mind. In this story he's got two more lessons to learn, and the last one's a doosey!
One of the things I appreciate about Cavanaugh's writing style is the fact you could read any one of the books in this series independently of the other and enjoy a good book. However, I can promise you that if you invest the time to read CassaStar and CassaFire first, the emotional impact and payoff of CassaStorm will be much higher.
I can't say enough about the world building in this series. The science is amazing for two reasons--it's understandable and so ingrained in the world that you just accept and believe every bit of it. The descriptions of the planets, ships, etc make it easy to ground yourself in the Cassan universe without that feeling of drifting untethered in zero G. (less)
This reminded me a bit of Rebecca by Du Maurier but it was easier to read. I love Rebecca, but you have to be in the right mindset for the heavily des...moreThis reminded me a bit of Rebecca by Du Maurier but it was easier to read. I love Rebecca, but you have to be in the right mindset for the heavily descriptive writing. Byrnes has a mystery just as compelling but she balances world building and action much better. The story flows well and kept me sucked in until the very end. (less)