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Search tags: 2017-netgalley-reads
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review 2018-01-06 20:11
Halloween Carnival Volume 1
Halloween Carnival Volume 1 - Lisa Morton,Kevin Lucia,John Little,Brian James Freeman,Robert R. McCammon

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
A new series of Halloween short story collections from old and new authors alike. When I saw Robert McCammons name in the writer list, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. 'Strange Candy' is a stellar effort and manages to be both touching and a little creepy at the same time.
My favourite story was 'The Rage of Achilles', I haven't read Kevin Lucia before but was very impressed with his writing style. A grief stricken father attends the church of Father Ward to confess a crime he has not yet committed and tells of how he lost his family. This story was truly heart wrenching and really pulled you in emotionally. The stand out of the collection.
'Demon Air' was disappointing, it seemed like it was going to be a gory fun read but it fizzled out halfway through. Having heard such great things about the author I'm surprised at the quality of the story.
The next story was a nice enough read but incredibly cliched, 'La Hacienda de los Muertos'. Trick is an old tv star who is offered a role in Mexican horror movie. When he gets there he finds that some of the horror is true. I thought this was okay but everything gets solved a little too easily and quickly.
The last one of the collection was '#MakeHalloweenScaryAgain', a local author tries to use social media to revive Halloween and use it for self promotion, instead it sees a serial killer come out of the woodwork and take the hashtag literally. I quite enjoyed this one, not as much as the first two but I thought it was fun even though it was a little predictable.
Overall, I really enjoyed the collection, the first two stories make it worth while picking up this collection.

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review 2017-09-02 04:46
Dreamwalker - Russell James
Dreamwalker - James Russell Lowell

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Pete has the ability to live both in the real world and also his dreamworld, Twin Moon City. At the latter he has amazing adventures with a mystery blonde but doesn't realise the powers he possesses as a dreamwalker in this realm. Fate draws him to Atlantic City where St Croix, a voodoo demon possessed drug lord, is looking to destroy him both in the real world and in Twin Moon City.

This one was a really enjoyable read, the premise and world building were unique and I was pretty hooked from the first few chapters. Pete is a very likeable main character and is well supported by an array of nicely fleshed out minor characters who all add something to the story. St Croix is a nasty piece of work and his actions are chilling in how vicious he will be to get what he wants.

The pacing is fairly fast and the writing engaging enough that it was hard to put down at times. The only small niggles I had with this was the fact that some things were tied up too neatly at the end. Whilst I thought some elements of the story were taken care of too easily towards the end I do give the author major props for not copping out to a happily ever after ending.

I would recommend this and will look at some other work by the author.

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review 2017-08-08 10:43
The Glass Magician - Charlie Holmberg
The Glass Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg

It's taken me forever and a day to even attempt to read this. Memories of the first book were not making this very appealing and it's ended up sitting on my NG shelf for almost 2 1/2 years.

However once i committed to reading it I was relieved to find that this is a better book than the first in a number of ways, mostly because there are more characters than just Ceony and Emery. Ceony is still pretty annoying as main characters go but she has a slightly better attitude this time around and doesn't whine nearly as much. Nor is she prying into Emery's life and belongings like she did in the first novel.

She is however, just as dim as she was in the first book in that she is adamant that she, an apprentice magician, can take on other dangerous magicians without any help and it's no surprise that her decisions cause problems for everyone else.

The romance between Ceony and Emery still leaves me cold, it doesn't feel right and to be honest it's annoying that Ceony is just so hellbent on trying to make it happen. She also needs to seek medical advice for the chronic blushing problem she has, any encounter she had with Emery seemed to set this off, pair this with her pale skin and reddish/orange hair and it's not a pretty picture that's conjured up.

The world building is yet again something that didn't work for me, the time period is confusing with some of the details and it would seem that the author has 'modernised' the period with details of transport, food and materials that really don't seem to fit the time. I also found the magic wasn't very well explained and I struggled to grasp what the author was describing.

On the positive side this was a fairly fast read and a lot more engaging than book 1, I'll again put this down to the fact that there were a number of other characters whom Emery and Ceony spent time with, this seemed to help keep the plot moving along and not stagnate as it did in the first book when a lot of the story was just Ceony.

Better than the first book but I don't think I'll be picking up the third one, my interest was slightly peaked but not enough to continue.


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review 2017-01-03 03:02
Babylon Terminal
Babylon Terminal - Greg F. Gifune

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Monk is a dreamcatcher, a law enforcer who is sent to catch those that run and return them to the city. When he finds out his wife is now a runner, he takes it upon himself to catch her before another enforcer is given the job and terminates her.

Monk goes further out to the wastelands of society and comes across those he thought were only myths. He begins to question his society, his dreams, is anything real or is it all a dream? He thinks Julia is running towards the fabled promised land but has no idea what he will find there, a safe haven or a new hell.

This was a trippy and confusing read and I was enjoying it up til the last 3/4 chapters and then, for me, it started to unravel just a bit. I have no idea if Monk encountered anything real or if it was just all a dream, was he real or was he someone else just dreaming about another life as his own comes to an end.

Like a cross between Mad Max and Bladerunner, its dark and violent and I would have given this a higher rating if not for the weaker ending.


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