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review 2018-09-19 22:52
Picking the right narrator makes all the difference...
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

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~BOOK BLURB~

Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

 

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

 

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

 

Yet she spares Cas's life.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Plot-wise this has all the right elements, Anna is a fairly kick-ass ghost and despite how terrifying she is, you still end up liking her.  Especially after you hear the story of how she died.  Nevertheless, I still felt that it was missing something…maybe it's just me…or maybe it was due to the narrator.  When he did other peoples voices he was not so bad, but when he did the voice of Cas the MC, (which was his normal voice) he delivered his lines with very little emotion and it left me feeling disconnected from the story most of the time.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite striking…

Narration~ 2 for August Ross

Series~ Anna #1

Setting~ Thunder Bay, Ontario

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Ghost Stories Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-08-10 16:41
3.7 Out Of 5 "Untamable Demdji" STARS
Hero at the Fall - Alwyn Hamilton

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~BOOK BLURB~

Hero At The Fall

Alwyn Hamilton

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When gun slinging Amani Al'Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she'd join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn't have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untamable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn't exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I have struggled with each book in the Rebel of the Sands Trilogy when I first start them, there is a lot of characters to keep straight and the story is really complex, but I have always managed to get "with" the story early on…at least with the first two books.  This third book…not so much.  It has too many small stories within the main story itself, to keep it all straight.  I also believe it could have benefitted from a list of characters, I have just learned that the book does have a list…unfortunately, the audio does not.

 

Overall, I'm glad I finally managed to listen to this final book, and I think I it was satisfying ending to the series, at least once it got to the actual story.  I would have liked it to be a tad shorter, without all those other mini stories.  I still love the characters, Amani and Jinn and lots of others who have joined the rebellion along the way.  They are what makes this story so memorable.

 

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~MY RATING~

☆3.7☆STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.2/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~3/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.8/5

Backdrop (World-Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ This one is cool…I like it. The actual cover for the audio version is not so cool.

Narration~ Soneela Nankani, she's perfect for the voice of Amani.

Series~ Rebel of the Sands #3

Setting~ Miraji Desert

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-04-30 15:16
3.7 Out Of 5 "demented and twisted" STARS
The Butterfly Garden - Dot Hutchison

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

The Butterfly Garden

Dot Hutchinson

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Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

 

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

 

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

 

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I hesitated to read this because the subject manner was the sort that I have a difficult time reading…then I saw a review that said it was disturbing but not graphically so…and I thought, maybe I can get through this.  Since Amazon basically gave (I paid $1.99) me a KU membership for the next 3 months, I went for it.

 

The Butterfly Garden is seriously twisted but something about it kept me from investing in the story completely.  I honestly think that was due to the wide-ranging reviews on this book. I think they jaded me right from the start.  I'm not going to get into the details of that because I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone else.  Although, I will say that the twist at the end felt entirely unnecessary to me and it really just left me confused.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.7/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 2.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Sorta…

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Book Cover~ It's decent

Narration~ 5 -Lauren Ezzo was amazingly good & 4☆ -Mel Foster was decent too.

Series~ The Collector #1

Setting~ The Garden

Source~ KU Read & Listen

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review 2018-04-08 17:25
3.7 Out Of 5 "tragically hip" Stars
Sorta Like A Rock Star - Matthew Quick

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

Sorta Like A Rock Star

Matthew Quick

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Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism—and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope? With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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At first, Amber Appleton annoyed me quite a bit.  She is tragically hip, saying words like True and Word constantly.  Maybe, in 2015 when this was published, she might come off as less annoying, but somehow I doubt it. I was poised to give this something like a 2-2 and 12 Stars, and then somewhere along the way, she started to get to me.  Somehow, she burrowed her way under my skin.  I even shed a tear or two.  Seriously.  Of course, I could just be feeling sorry for myself, I just had surgery, after all, and I can't do much right now.

 

Ultimately, the message or the tone of this book came through to me, despite all the religious references (for the most part they were referenced in a non-preachy way).  Granted, it's has a sappy "ABC After School Special" feel to it, but for the right audience…

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.3/5

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Book Cover~ It's Okay

Narration~ ☆4☆ She's definitely perky…but she didn't pull those "Word" and "True's" off to well.

Setting~ IDK

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2017-12-27 23:31
I believe this is worth the read for the world-building alone.
Certain Dark Things: A Novel - Silvia Moreno-Garcia

 

 

 

 

Book TitleCertain Dark Things

Author:  Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Narration:  Dan Bittner

Genre:  Urban Fantasy | Paranormal

Setting:  Mexico City

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  3.7/5

Main Characters:  3.2/5

Secondary Characters:  2.8/5

The Feels:  3/5

Pacing:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  4/5  It's not that he wasn't good…I just wish there would have been a female for the female parts.

Ending:  3.8/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5:  2

Total:  3.7/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

 

 

If you prefer your vampires scary and very little to no romance…then you might like this.  It's definitely different and it's all told in one book, too.  The world the author has created with Certain Dark Things is fantastically dark and rich in vampire folklore.  An alternate present where vampires have been found out and have shaped our present world very different than it is now.  Unfortunately, I found the characters in this book, less than likable…with the exception of Domingo, and most of the time I just felt sorry for him.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Maybe, I would.

 

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