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review 2015-10-31 23:31
Brief Thoughts: Raging Heat
Raging Heat (Nikki Heat) - Richard Castle

Raging Heat -- Richard Castle

Book 6 of Nikki Heat



Well... more like 3.75 Stars... but I can't only fill in a point or two of the star on the rating thingy.  So I'll just statistically give it that 4 Star rating even if it isn't quite there.

Because I don't really, REALLY love this book, but I DID like it enough to mentally give it a 4 Star rating while I was reading it. But then some other things happened that bugged me a bit and made me think: "The detectives on Castle wouldn't act like that!" or "Detective Beckett would have handled this situation differently!" or some other nonsensical exclamation...

But to be totally honest, if you look at this book in a non-Castle-comparison way, it was a very well written crime thriller. But then it would drop meta-details here and there, with that continuous subliminal message to "Watch Castle the television series on ABC", and I'm back to making my comparisons.

All-in-all, I am actually very pleased with this installment of the Nikki Heat series--it may even be the better written, personally most favorite book of this series to date. I haven't yet read the newest release, Driving Heat, but I am very much hoping for some of the same kind of writing, narration, and story progression.

Raging Heat may not have had as many funny quips as previous installments (which I missed, because I love one-liners and you can't have a meta-fictional Richard Castle as Jameson Rook without those subtle, yet ingenious one-liners of which Jameson Rook actually kind of fails at), but Raging Heat DID have an engaging story plot with a introductory that started with a literal bang. It did not drag out action sequences or simple scenes, it moved smoothly from Point A to Point B without inserting useless side tangents...

Simply put, I am very much pleasantly surprised. And while the meta-references to Castle can get a little tedious, I actually DO like those extremely rare references to Firefly.




This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):



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text 2015-10-28 06:29
Coloring Fun!

I'm not much for coloring books or coloring anything (in fact, I should probably be getting some reading done), but I'm going to admit, I had fun with this.



And yes, I made copies of those bookmarks first so I could do a few "practice" runs before working on the actual bookmarks.  Yes, I do strange shit like that.


Anyway, my shoulders are a little achy from crouching over my desk, but it was fun.  And because I used permanent marker (of the many colored variety, as you can see in the above photo), they leaked through.  The backside looks pretty neat as well.



I think I'm going to laminate them and make them into bookmarks, too.  You can never have too many bookmarks, right?  :D


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text 2015-10-28 03:19
Bookstore splurge...


Because I have no self-control.



And while I was spending money anyway...




There seems to be this new fad with what people are calling "Adult Coloring Books"... which, when I first heard the term, made me raise my brows a little bit since those words kind of suggest something a little... kinkier?  But then my friend was showing me a section of artsy coloring books and calling them Adult Coloring Books and I was like: "Oh..."


So while we were at the bookstore today, my other best friend mentioned them and I took a glance.  I've never been big on coloring books myself, even when I was younger, but since I usually end up throwing money away for random bookmarks, I figured it would be fun to buy a set of bookmarks and give it a go.



And then, while I was at it:  A little something for one of my best friends who is in love with The Nightmare Before Christmas.




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review 2015-10-25 13:28
Brief Thoughts: Story's End
Story's End - Marissa Burt

Story's End -- Marissa Burt

Book 2 (final) of Storybound



I really don't do this book any justice by not remembering much about the first book, Storybound (I read it sometime back in 2012). I DO recall, however, mentioning it to a friend once and saying something like: "It wasn't a bad book, but it felt really flat and unexciting."

In a way, Story's End also felt the same way. There were no Feels. And while there was a really decent progression and great writing and narration, the entire thing just felt detached. And even kind of rushed. The build-up to the climactic ending battle didn't draw me in. None of it really drew me in.

But the characters were great, even if only on paper because they didn't feel alive either. I had trouble relating with the characters, and while I've never been one to love too much angst, the main character, Una Fairchild's secret back history and subsequent discovery of her secret birth would have merited at least a little bit of angst. But that didn't happen and we merrily breeze our way through the book as we roll closer to the ending.

Also, I don't remember who the character Snow is, but she ended up getting quite tiresome and annoying. Otherwise, the other characters were okay, I guess.

Nonetheless, Story's End makes a fairly good conclusion to a well-thought-out duology, and if I knew how to appreciate it better, then maybe I could have liked it a bit more.





This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):



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review 2015-10-25 13:23
Thoughts and Notes: Haunted
Haunted - Kay Hooper

Haunted -- Kay Hooper

Book 15 of Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series

Book 3 of the Haven sub-trilogy



There are two reasons why I liked this book the best out of the three Haven books:

1) While the book still dragged like the previous two did, once the investigating team got together, I got really interested. And also Trinity Nichols kind of reminds me of Miranda Bishop when she was still a police detective in Out of the Shadows--she’s competent, level-headed, and she’s got aces all up in her sleeves.

2) Hollis gets a lot of book time.

And Hollis gets her closure.  And Hollis is much closer to finding her Happily Ever After™.  And Hollis sort of kind of figures out her potential power.

(spoiler show)

While we once again focus on two sets of main characters, this is ultimately a very “Hollis Templeton-centric” book. She needs her own book and she needs some closure on all the stuff that’s been happening to her since her first introduction into the series and her first participation as an SCU agent. It made me very happy that this book focuses so much on Hollis.

And then there is one reason why I considered docking that extra 0.5 Stars I finally chose to give Haunted (there was a lot of hemming and hawing on my part, and even a potential extra 0.5 Stars I thought of giving this book):


  • There are a lot of loose ends that never get resolved and just seem to fade away as if they weren’t brought up in the first place. Even I had forgotten about some of these side threads of the story after I finished reading Haunted until something triggered my memory and I found myself wondering:


What was the whole “Scott’s ghost” thing about? What about the rest of The Group and what’s going to happen to them? What was that Big Revenge deal all about and why was there a guy so bent on revenge? What were his reasons for revenge in the first place? And what about Megan? Something about Megan seemed to have been left out, but I just can’t put my finger on it.

(spoiler show)



Story Blurb via Goodreads:

When Deacon James’s younger sister Melanie calls him, terrified, he goes to her aid in the small Georgia town of Sociable. What he finds is a scared young woman in the grip of what she insists is a paranormal nightmare—and murder. Two local men have been killed under mysterious circumstances. And Melanie is the prime suspect.

Trinity Nichols left a high-stress job for quiet, small-town life. But news of the murders has left her—and the town—on edge, especially when there is nothing remotely ordinary about how the men died. And her investigation is yielding more than she bargained for, including a group of strangers who have descended on Sociable, some with abilities Trinity finds hard to believe, and agendas she refuses to trust. For some reason, they know a lot more than they should about what’s happening in town. And what’s happening is growing stranger by the minute.

Now Trinity, Deacon, and this odd band of FBI agents must work together to solve a series of disturbances so incredible that Trinity, and the town of Sociable, will be changed forever. She just isn’t certain who—or what—will be left standing when it’s all over.



My Notes:

Here are some of the notes I wrote while reading this book. Here are also some thoughts I’m coming up with while writing this review. And then some…


  • The town’s name is Sociable, Georgia. Somehow, that made me raise my eyebrows and squint really hard at the page.


  • Again, there are two separate storylines--or rather, the semblance of two separate murder mysteries with two storylines that will eventually merge together. But this time, we don’t follow both storylines even though we know one of them is going on in the background somewhere. Instead, Hollis and Reese join Trinity and Deacon on one murder investigation, the likes of which I had figured out what was going on even if I had no idea who the murderer was.


  • On the other hand, there is mention of Miranda and another agent investigating a murder case up in the mountains and that Isabel and Rafe (from Book #3, Sense of Evil) were going to join them. Isabel and Rafe were one of my more favorite investigating teams after Miranda and Bishop so I was hopeful to get to see them in the book, though that did not happen.


Nonetheless, since this book is very much Hollis-centric, even if Reese DeMarco doesn’t really stand out, I still giddily gobbled up this book for Hollis’ sake.


  • At least one thing is consistent with a Kay Hooper book: the book starts getting more interesting when we actually start investigating rather than everyone just sitting there, spending time discussing the “History Text of Bishop’s SCU” or playing exposition fairy for this book and for the entire series as a whole.


And really, these past few Bishop/SCU installments would actually have been really exciting and would have been great crime thrillers if people would just stop discussing the same repetitive subjects over and over again. We need more action, ya’know.


  • Again, while the romance element in these books is lukewarm to non-existent, I still managed to enjoy the character interactions. I would love to see Trinity in action and watch Trinity and Deacon develop their relationship. Trinity is another Bishop/SCU character I would love to follow in later installments because she has a lot of potential for being in a great investigative role.


And also,

Now that Hollis has gotten her closure and her almost Happily Ever After™, I’d love to see a later installment wherein she and Reese can further develop their relationship whilst fighting crime together and saving the world as a pair of psychic superheroes much like Miranda and Bishop.

(spoiler show)





This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):



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