God how I loved this book, I loved it like a fat kid loves ice cream. We have all seen a horror movie that we thought “Oh man, this is just so awful!...moreGod how I loved this book, I loved it like a fat kid loves ice cream. We have all seen a horror movie that we thought “Oh man, this is just so awful! I love it!” That’s what this book was for me, a made for tv horror movie. But that’s also what made me hesitate to give it four stars. Based on the technical merits of the writing it would probably be a three, based on the story alone maybe a two, but based on how much I absolutely adored it a five would be appropriate. So in the end a 3.5 to 4 seems most fair.
Let’s get a few things straight about this book right up front. The writing is not very inventive or clever. I counted at least 3 times that the word “entrails” was used in every single scene where the shark eats something or someone. It was a bit repetitive and not very thrilling. The plot is also highly outlandish. You might just have to turn off your disbelief switch because I don’t think just suspending it will do the trick.
Though the plot was out there, I also thought it was awesome for that exact reason. More than once I just sat there with the book in my lap laughing so hard that I couldn’t see straight as the book slowly slid its way to the floor unnoticed. I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to see what outrageous thing would happen next. It was fabulous! And the ending…oh my God the ending! Give me a minute, the giggles came back. *deep breath* Okay, I’m good now. The ending was quite possibly the silliest and most amazing thing I have ever read. I cannot even fathom how such an ending came into being. I refuse to say anything else about it because it would ruin the amazingness.
Now let’s ponder for a moment on Mr. Alten’s theory of how the Megalodon survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. The book proposes that the Meg’s prey were driven to the depths of the ocean by the Ice Age and given that they are warm blooded the Meg followed and then stayed there because that’s were the prey was. And by the time they had any need or desire to return to the surface they were trapped by the colder water temperatures and so have stayed in the depths for millions of years. It’s an interesting theory but it ignores several key facts about the closest living relative of the Megalodon, the Great White shark. The White is also warm blooded, and it prefers colder waters. The White is most concentrated in areas such as northern California, off the coast of Massachusetts, the southern tip of Africa. Yes they can and do inhabit warmer waters as well, but the colder water is seemingly preferred. Since the Megalodon is considered a cousin to the White shark, why would that species be much different? There is no logical reason that the Meg would have been “trapped” by the cold layer of water between the depths and the surface. It made for an interesting theory for a book, but doesn’t make much logical sense. *blush* I’m sorry, is my nerd showing?
ENTRAILS! Now that you’re all distracted let’s move on to characters. They were all typical of this kind of horror book, nothing new or earthshattering. I did think the love interest seemed really forced. I mean, it wasn’t necessary so why not just leave it out? Instead I was caught feeling…wait a second they were wishing death on each other not two chapters ago and now they’re planning a romantic trip for when they survive this? That was kind of weird.
This book had a nice set up for a sequel, which I do intend on reading. I recommend this book if you want to read a book that is as silly as it is tropey, but still completely awesome. I know I loved it.
***DISCLAIMER*** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Louise!
First a breakdown of how I arrive...more***DISCLAIMER*** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Louise!
First a breakdown of how I arrived at my rating. This book contains 5 short stories, the 4 stars is the average of how I felt about each story. Individually I will discuss the stories here.
A Flip of the Coin: 4 stars. This was a good story to begin with because it allowed you to dip your toes into this collection and get a feel for how things would proceed. The story itself was very intriguing as well, which helped a lot. It set the bar for the remaining stories in a good way. It was very reminiscent to me of the “weighing of the heart” ceremony in ancient Egyptian religion. They believed that when you died, you stood before Osiris and he weighed your heart against the weight of the “feather of truth”. If your heart proved heavy then you did not go to salvation but if your weight proved light then you earned salvation in the afterlife. This had the same idea behind it but with a more modern twist. I really liked that. The only place this story fell short was with the ending. I appreciate that it’s a short story but I was hoping to not get left hanging quite that much. But overall, I really liked it.
Stamp: 2 stars. This story was something of a disappointment unfortunately. It started off well and I was intrigued to see where it was going. But once we were told about the stamps, my first thought went to “I bet it turns out like XYZ.” Unfortunately I was right. I was hoping there would be a twist in there someplace but it never came. The story progressed (interestingly) in exactly the manner I thought it would from the beginning and ended the way I thought it would. A good story but the predictability lowered the rating.
Rock God: 4 stars. This little storyline was the most surprising for me. I started off thinking that I wouldn’t really like it that much. I suspected I knew where the story was going and I just wasn’t in love with the narrating character. To be perfectly honest, she came across like a bit of a selfish bitch. I didn’t really like her that much. But then the story took a turn when things starting getting explained. I found myself giving my book a sideways glance and thinking “No, you didn’t just do that did you?”. The ending however is where this became so great. I didn’t see it coming at all because I was so wrapped up in everything else that was going on. Truly a great little piece.
Superstition: 5 stars. This one was my absolute favorite of the entire collection. It was interesting and intriguing but humorous too. Usually when I find myself giggling in books like this isn’t because it’s so terrible but not so for this one. I found the narrating character delightful and I was so amused by her that I forgot there was supposed to be something strange about this whole thing. The story flowed so naturally and I just loved it.
Late: 1 star. This last story just didn’t do it for me. It started off alright and I was intrigued with what was going on but the novelty quickly wore off and I wanted something to happen. And it did, but then went from exciting into rather mundane. For some people this may be a great story, but it bored me after awhile. I have to admit that I started to skim and considered going back to Superstition to read that again instead.
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Lisa Jackson, what is happening with you? You’ve made me sad, very sad. I have been a fan of this series, and another of hers too, from the first book...moreLisa Jackson, what is happening with you? You’ve made me sad, very sad. I have been a fan of this series, and another of hers too, from the first book. The last book in this series disappointed me but it still had a few strong points. This book not only was disappointing, there were no strong points. Every sentence of this book reminded me of every other book in the series so far. And Kristi just irritated the living hell out of me. However, I am getting ahead of myself.
Let’s address Kristi first. In the beginning I liked Kristi quite a bit. She was intelligent, sassy, street savvy, and one of the better characters in my opinion. But somewhere along the way Kristi lost her brain. It might have fallen out her ear when she was abducted by a serial killer in the last book. I’m just not sure what happened. First, she seems to have trouble remembering whether she likes her stepmother or not. In one paragraph she says that she likes her and just a page later she says that they don’t really get along too well. Well, which is it? Then she moves and becomes obsessed with missing girls at her college. Gee, that sounds smart! Next thing you know, she’s running around doing all those TSTL things that make me despise so many YA heroines. For the record ladies, it is NEVER a good idea to walk home in the dark when you know someone is watching you just because you’re too stubborn to let your ex drive you home. Things like that made her really get on my nerves. Also ignoring her instincts. Her instincts are excellent for sensing trouble, unfortunately she’s too stupid to listen to them. She actively recognizes that her instincts are correct and then disregards them.
The plot has been done so many times in this series. Kristi must have a serial killer attractant tattooed on her ass, because she seems to be the perfect victim type for every serial killer on the planet. Which brings me to another plot point. The actual whodunnit was not that great of a reveal. One part of it was painfully obvious, to the point where the characters were making observations about how obvious it was. The other two were so obscure that not a single clue was given through the entire book over who it was. But in the end there was nothing about the plot that was different or new and exciting. It was just like all the other books in the series except more boring.
One last annoyance, isn’t this series about Bentz and Montoya? We hardly saw either of them at all. Kristi should never have been a main part of this series because she just isn’t interesting enough. All the good people got taken out and the book suffered for it.
Every time I pick up a book lately my only thought is “Please God don’t let this suck! All I seem to do is leave bad reviews!” I had such high hopes t...moreEvery time I pick up a book lately my only thought is “Please God don’t let this suck! All I seem to do is leave bad reviews!” I had such high hopes that this might be the one to break the streak. First, it has an orgasm worthy cover. I could stare at this cover for hours and not even blink once, it’s just that gorgeous. The synopsis just about made me faint in ecstasy. It sounds EXACTLY up my alley! This book excited me, it intrigued me, and ultimately it disappointed me.
My biggest sticking point with this book was that Amelia is SO DAMN BORING! You can’t even call her a Mary Sue because she manages to screw up everything she does and doesn’t have anyone falling at her feet and begging her to be theirs. Amelia is supposed to ignore the ghosts…why? Well we get a vague answer about haunted people being drained of life force but honestly it’s never entirely explained how people become haunted because most haunted people can’t even see the ghosts. So, *headscratch* try and figure that one out! Then Amelia has the most boring job on the face of the earth. She spends hours cleaning tombstones with brushes and doing….other restoration thingys that never get explained. As if this wasn’t boring enough, she is asked to assist on a murder investigation and then does NOTHING. No, I literally meant nothing. She stands around and eavesdrops on other people and then asks a few stupid questions and then stands around some more. Then, for the cherry on top, let’s throw in her obsession with Devlin. It’s actually really creepy. She turns into a complete stalker. She tracks down information about his dead wife and child behind his back for fuck’s sake!! I just can’t even begin to describe how much of a line crossing that was.
The murder mystery of this book couldn’t even hope to overcome how boring everything else was. Frankly, I don’t even remember how it got resolved because I was very nearly in a coma by then. I couldn’t even get enough passion about this to one star it and tear it apart. I give it two stars because the cover still rocks, the rest is useless. If you need a cure for insomnia, give it a shot!
***WARNING: This review may contain spoilers, stop reading now if you wish to remain unspoiled.***
This book is a hard one for me to put my finger on a...more***WARNING: This review may contain spoilers, stop reading now if you wish to remain unspoiled.***
This book is a hard one for me to put my finger on and say I liked it or I didn’t like it. In the end, I really liked some of it and I really didn’t like some of it. I liked the story, it was decent and well constructed. I really disliked Sgt. Reid, he annoyed me on nearly every page. And I absolutely loved Ben the serial killer, he was the shining star of this entire book!
Let’s begin with the story. Like I said, it was decent and well constructed. Sgt. Reid is still recovering from an emotional case involving young girls being murdered and brings his family to Prince Edward Island, where things like that just don’t happen. But no sooner does he get there then that kind of thing starts to happen. Bodies of young women are turning up, proudly displayed in public, and Reid must face everything all over again. I thought that things progressed at a fairly good pace as far as the progression of the killings went. It was logical and made a lot of sense. All that was good. But I really didn’t like the police work in this. I give the author big props for doing so much research into police procedure and keeping it so real to life. However, there is a big reason that TV shows and movies make police work so fantastical…it makes it interesting. Reading scene after scene of the police scratching their heads and going “I dunno what to do? What should we do? Wait for another killing? Go talk to more people? I dunno.”, might be true to life but it’s also not very interesting. I was sitting there screaming, “SHE SAID HE WAS A PHOTOGRAPHER!!! YOU ALREADY TALKED TO HIM AND HE TOLD YOU THAT!!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!!!??” Maybe it was because Reid was too focused on his partner’s ass..ets, but more on that in a minute. I was mildly perturbed about knowing the name and identity of the serial killer right off the bat, but since his scenes were so good I stopped caring at all.
Now let’s talk about Reid, and yes I have to call him Reid because we never learn his first name. At first that was kind of amusing as people guessed and never got told, but it got old fast. And when it was used as a cliffhanger at the end, I was just over it. The woman says, “Do me a favor, tell me your first name.”, end of book. I didn’t care anymore at that point, it wasn’t amusing anymore, so I didn’t mind that I don’t know his name. I also firmly believe that Reid has a medical condition. This man has the most tingly, twitchy groin that I have ever heard of. Sees the dead mangled body of a girl, he thinks about her nice body and tingly groin! Sees his partner walking around, twitchy groin! Looks at pictures of the murdered girls before they died, tingly groin!! Looks at a butterfly, twitchy groin! About the only time there is no tingly, twitchy groin is when he’s with his wife. I think he should see a doctor, he has a serious problem. I also think Reid couldn’t solve the murders faster because his every single thought is about cheating on his wife. The wife who is at home, calling to make sure he was safe and had dinner while you working his case, that controlling dirtbag! She didn’t do a single thing except love him and support him and he’s thinking about screwing around on her constantly. Even at crime scenes and during interviews. No wonder you couldn’t find the killer bud, you were too busy thinking about your twitchy groin than the case. Needless to say, I despised Reid very much.
So far all of this is mixed, liked some and hated some, but then we get to Ben the serial killer. If this book had been Ben only, it would have been five stars all the way. I loved watching him as a young boy killing small animals, to progressing and refining his skills as a rapist and then finally as a killer. The look into this psychopath’s mind was fascinating and I loved every page of it. I never did quite figure out why Ben decided to taunt Reid which ultimately got him caught though. Until then, the cops had figured out nothing and were waiting for him to tell them how to catch him. If he hadn’t done that he could have gone on forever because they cops had nothing that he didn’t hand them. I think this was supposed to be part of Ben’s de-evolution and descent into madness. But it didn’t feel totally genuine to me. He’d been completely stable until that point and then just jumped off the deep end. I still liked it, but it felt rushed. At the end of this book I have to take what I hated and take what I loved and I come away with one conclusion: It was good and I would choose to read it again if given the chance, but I probably won’t reread it now that I have already done so once.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review. Thanks to the author for providing this book!
Let me just start this by saying, I loved this book. Every page was a joy for me to read and I couldn’t wait to see where things would go. I read the...moreLet me just start this by saying, I loved this book. Every page was a joy for me to read and I couldn’t wait to see where things would go. I read the first book in this series and fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to read the second one. The cover was amazing, the synopsis was amazing, and I jumped at the chance to read it.
This book picks up just a handful of days after Touch of Power ended. Avry and Kerrick have been spending some time, ahem, getting to know each other better. Now they have to get back to work. Kerrick is going to go meet up with Prince Ryne and prepare their army to meet with Estrid’s troops to take on Tohon’s attack. Avry wants to go find her sister and do what she can to get her away from Jael and set things right with her. And so the two of them split up, with Kerrick promising to keep Avry’s miraculous survival a secret so that no one suspects she is still alive. This is where we get to the narration of the story. We have two different stories being narrated, Kerrick’s story and Avry’s story. I found this an interesting approach that complimented the story overall. We haven’t heard much from Kerrick’s perspective before and I found him to be a great character. I knew he was a strong, intelligent, but stubborn individual but hearing his narration took his character to a whole new level. I like Kerrick more than I did before.
Avry is still just as fantastic a heroine as she started out in Touch of Power. She still has a few moments of being sacrificing to the point of stupidity, just like in the prior book. But, overall, she is everything a book heroine should be. She’s strong, smart, determined, stubborn, resourceful, and compassionate. Why can’t we have more heroines (particularly in YA ficiton) like her? My only complaint is that she didn’t seem to be doing much. Yes, she was helping Estrid’s troops but it was mostly just day after day of the same with a few things thrown in on the side.
The plot was very interesting, but I admit that in places it seemed to drag and there wasn’t much going on. This was supposed to be the preparation for war with Tohon and Tohon’s attack. We got some preparations for war, but because neither Kerrick or Avry was involved in that planning the reader didn’t get to see too much of it. The attack by Tohon was good and things really started to get interesting. I also really like the secondary plot of investigating the properties and abilities of the Death Lilies and Peace Lilies. I have to say that I was hoping to see more of this than we did. We had characters lost and characters returned. We learned more about the depths of Tohon’s evil mind. I also think the title of the book is appropriate for the secondary plot that was explored. Lilies have the ability to know if someone is magically inclined, and we also meet a character who can literally sniff out the magic of others.
Overall this book did exactly what the second book in a series is supposed to do, move the plot forward, and entice readers to read the next in the series. Though I felt the plot could have moved a little quicker, I am not disappointed by where it is going. And that ending, holy crap! How long until the next book again?
A free copy of this ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Harlequin for a great read!
This book was…strange, there really is no other word for it. I have postponed writing this review for a few days to find a better word to describe it...moreThis book was…strange, there really is no other word for it. I have postponed writing this review for a few days to find a better word to describe it but I can’t find one. Parts of this story had me clutching my ereader in a death grip with fear for the characters. Parts of this story just left me scratching my head as I thought “Wait, what?” The basic premise is that Henry lived the life of a wanderer when he was growing up, his mother moving him from place to place with regularity. When his mother decided to move him to Catalina Island he fell in love with the place. Shortly after, however, he begs his mother to leave and she complies. Now that he is married and has a child, his mother has dropped off the map. They were never close, but now he hears that she has moved to Catalina Island and is returning his letters. His wife, Ruby, suggests that they go find his mother and sort this out. Henry is overcome with apprehension at returning to the place of his childhood nightmares but agrees.
This novel jumps between Henry’s perspective of the island in the present and flashbacks of his time on the island as a child. This is very disconcerting and pulls the reader out of their comfort zone, I thought this was a very good tactic. This is supposed to be a horror type novel, I shouldn’t have a comfort zone! And with this novel I never did and I liked it. While reading, you are never quite sure what is real and what isn’t. Henry has memories of the girls at his school chasing him down and trying to kill him and stumbling into a butcher shop where the butcher is wearing the head of a pig and brandishing a cleaver. He has dreams about nearly drowning and finding himself face to face with a monster that lived under the ocean and tried to hold him underwater. Part of me wanted these things to be real because the descriptions were fascinating.
The writing of this book and the plot were all very good. The pacing was also good but it got a big slow at the end. As the pieces of this story began to unravel I found myself growing more intrigued with this story than I was at the beginning. But I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled with everything. There was a large section of time when I kept thinking to myself “Wait, is X in on this or not? And if they are, how long has this been going on?” Then there is a part when Henry is trying to protect his daughter, who was just yelling and calling for him,(view spoiler)[but as soon as he picks her up she attacks him. (hide spoiler)] The ending of that part was just weird and it didn’t feel genuine to me. Similarly the occult ritual that takes place was very long and I started to skim it to get to the interesting parts. I was still not totally aware at the end what was real and what wasn’t and that annoyed me.
Also at the end it just started to get cheesy. For example, this line: “They killed the sheriff. But they did not kill the deputy.” I swear to God that’s actually in there. That was so corny and dumb it just pulled me right out of the story. When we reached the ending I was so ready for it to just be over that I started skimming again. Because of that, there was never a big monumental moment of “Oh my God!” about the ending. It was just over.
This was a good book in its entirety. It was intriguing and entertaining but I felt like the unraveling of the mystery could have been done better. And the ending was pretty lengthy and it started to drag which effected my enjoyment of the conclusion of the plot. If you are a big fan of mysteries and horror novels then this is one that you should give a read. But if you are not deeply interested in these genres then I would suggest you give this one a miss.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review. Thank you Night Shade Books!
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Before starting this book, I was not exactly sure what to expect. I had heard so many things about it and all of them seemed to be good, which seemed...moreBefore starting this book, I was not exactly sure what to expect. I had heard so many things about it and all of them seemed to be good, which seemed very unlikely to me that I had heard nothing but praise about this book. When it became a monthly read for an online book group, I knew it was time for me to give it a try. This story was entrancing and yet dark at the same time. This isn’t some fluffy, happy, cutesy story but it is very deep and emotional.
This story is told through the five year old eyes of Jack. I think he was the right narrator for a few different reasons but it also presented a challenge. How do you accurately describe some of the horrific things that happen in this book if your narrator is a mere 5 years old and may not understand it? It’s a dilemma and there were times that I felt the author struggled with her narrator, but it also made the story better. In my opinion, having a child be the narrator for the story made the subject matter easier to get through. As an adult reading his descriptions you knew what was going on, but it was less gritty and thrown in your face and so it made it easier to deal with. A story about a woman who was kidnapped and held captive as a sexual slave for nearly a decade and who gave birth in this room to her kidnapper’s child is really tough and emotional to read about. Having it filtered through the eyes of a child lessens the horror a little bit, which allows you to see the story as a whole.
I had two issues with this book, one of them is small and one is rather big. The small irritation is that sometimes Jack talked like a adult, or made observations that no five year old child would ever really care about. For example, when Jack makes an observation about how people in the world are always busy and never have time for anything and so stressed. A kindergarten age child doesn’t look around and think about other people’s stress. It was moments like that when I felt that the author struggled having a child narrator who couldn’t realistically portray what she wanted to portray in certain instances.
The bigger irritation was how the adults insisted on treating Jack after they were rescued from Room. Even his Ma kept treating him as if he should have been acting and responding differently. When he said he wanted to go back to Room his Ma would get angry with him. I understand that for her it was a prison cell and a torture room, but for Jack it was the ONLY life and existence he ever knew. It was never a negative place, it was home. It’s only natural for him to want to go back. And the other adults did it too. When Jack took something from a store and tried to leave with it, they were angry with him. He’s a child for God’s sake! And a child who has no experience at all in functioning in the outside world! It made me angry and it made me dislike most of the adults in the book.
The ending of this book, however, washed away any irritation I had with the book. They get to put their experience to rest and that part brought me to tears. The moment that Jack stands in the door and says, this isn’t Room anymore, my heart broke and I knew that I loved this book. It’s very rare that a book brings tears to my eyes, but this one did. It wasn’t perfect, I mentioned my problems with the book, but it did touch my heart.