Part memoir, part psychological thriller, Claudia Rowe's brilliant THE SPIDER AND THE FLY gripped me from the first page, and sent me spiralling intoPart memoir, part psychological thriller, Claudia Rowe's brilliant THE SPIDER AND THE FLY gripped me from the first page, and sent me spiralling into a frenzied read that left me turning pages until I literally couldn't keep my eyes open. In my sleep, the story continued to play out in my dreams, and when I woke, I reached for this book before my coffee, desperate to finish. Claudia Rowe is an incredible writer, and her book left me slack-jawed and brimming with writer envy, but also with a deeper understanding of my journalistic (and somewhat obsessive) self. Few memoirs have left such a startling impact on me. ...more
I studied “serious” Journalism in college, but there’s a part of me that’s always been somewhat fascinated by the paparazzi, the lengths they’ll go toI studied “serious” Journalism in college, but there’s a part of me that’s always been somewhat fascinated by the paparazzi, the lengths they’ll go to in order to get their story, and the boundaries of professionalism and morality they’re wiling to push. Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to stalk Charlie Hunnam. (Kidding!) Max Eastern more than satisfies my paparazzi curiosity by way of the protagonist in his smart noir debut, THE GODS THAT WALK AMONG US. Eastern takes us through the gritty New York streets into the dark underbelly of the human rights world—where Adam Azoulay must track a reclusive human rights icon with a shady past that may even include murder. With vivid prose that allows you to feel in the moment and character insight that is cynical, laugh out loud funny, and clever, THE GODS THAT WALK AMONG US is a compelling mystery that deftly demonstrates not everything is always as it seems. I’m not surprised this is a Kindle Scout winner—a must read debut!...more
In Denise Jaden’s compelling twist on a classic holiday tale, a young “scrooge” must face her past, present, and the future in order to find forgiveneIn Denise Jaden’s compelling twist on a classic holiday tale, a young “scrooge” must face her past, present, and the future in order to find forgiveness, love, and perhaps “herself.” At its core, A CHRISTMAS KERRIL is about self-discovery, but the messaging is underpinned by clever nods to the original tale and believable teen characters that stick with you long after you reach the end. Emotional, fresh, and deftly navigated by one of the genre’s best, this truly magical story is perfect for both lovers and haters of the season....more
I’m a sucker for anything written by Sherry Ficklin—she has an incredible way of drawing the reader into each new world with characters that lift offI’m a sucker for anything written by Sherry Ficklin—she has an incredible way of drawing the reader into each new world with characters that lift off the page, regardless of genre, subject matter, or time period. GILDED CAGE is no exception.
This first novella in Ficklin’s Canary Club series is a delicious blend of the glitz, glam, and dangers of the Prohibition era, brought to life through the authentic voice of a feisty teen protagonist who will sing-sing her way into your heart. It’s dark, gritty, and hella addicting. Not surprising, I read it in one sitting.
Ficklin jams a lot into this novella—gangsters, mobs, romance, suspense, and so much more. It’s truly a rip-roaring romp through the Gatsby Era that will leave you wanting—needing—more. In fact, my only complaint is that after turning the last page, I didn’t have the second instalment in my grabby little hands. Not only is Ficklin a master of her craft, she’s also a master book tease. ...more
Thoeba is no cliched fallen angel. She's a warrior of the Energy, and an angel seeking her lost love. She's fierce, compassionate, and smart - heck, wThoeba is no cliched fallen angel. She's a warrior of the Energy, and an angel seeking her lost love. She's fierce, compassionate, and smart - heck, when I grow up I want to BE Thoeba. Through her eyes, the reader is transported on a dangerous journey to Earth, and we must outrun demons (like Jim-thing!) and restore the Energy to its power...like, now!
Donna Milward is a fresh voice in paranormal romance fiction, but you'd think she was a seasoned pro. Despite this book's commercial appeal, Donna has such a way with words that the narrative reads almost like poetry. Thoeba is beautiful and compelling.
Ever since Jack Kilborn / J.A. Konrath switched to e-publishing, it's been increasingly hard to find his titles in print (and sadly there was no e-reaEver since Jack Kilborn / J.A. Konrath switched to e-publishing, it's been increasingly hard to find his titles in print (and sadly there was no e-reader under the tree for me this Christmas.)
I picked up Afraid at a used book sale, a major score since it's been on my TBR list for almost the entire year. Though I've read only one other book by this author - Whiskey Sour (J.A. Konrath) - the hype surrounding Afraid has kept my interest piqued.
It didn't disappoint.
As James Rollins' blurb on the cover suggests, Kilborn starts the action on page one and the horror never stops. A town is terrorized with unimaginable torture, by "men" of extraordinary strength. The premise is not supernatural - in fact, you can almost believe this type of "universal soldier" might already exist somewhere.
Not the kind of guy you want to meet in a dark alley.
After a string of paranormal romance and YA fiction, I was ready for something grittier. Kilborn certainly delivers. The pacing is spectacular. It wasn't until about the half-way point of the book I realized there were no chapter breaks. When time is tight - as it was this week - I tend to sneak in a chapter here and there when I can. The lack of chapter designation "tricked" me into reading more, until I simply ran out of steam.
I'm a huge fan of Kilborn's writing style. It's tight and clean, not a single word of extra fluff. The dialogue serves its purpose, voice is consistent, and the description is minimal but effective. I've bought a lot of horror books in my time but never read any author who could do "gore" so well. Afraid isn't for the weak at heart.
The story isn't predictable and the characters - even the bad guys - are sympathetic. But I've yet to find a book that actually scared me, and I truly wanted this one to be the one. While the gore factor was high, Afraid fell a little short on suspense.
I suspect this will be the last book of the year for me, which means I've fallen well short on my 100 books in 2010 challenge. I know 56 books is nothing to be ashamed of, and really, the challenge pushed me to read when other distractions might have played a role. Still...
For 2011, I'm issuing myself a new challenge - 75 books and 26 movies. I just need a catchy title. Got any ideas?...more