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review 2017-11-18 22:18
Book Review of Nefertiti's Heart (The Artifact Hunters Book 1) by A.W. Exley
Nefertiti's Heart (The Artifact Hunters Book 1) - A.W. Exley

Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.

 

1861. Cara has a simple mission in London - finalise her father's estate and sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when a killer stalks the nobility, searching for an ancient Egyptian relic rumoured to hold the key to immortality.

Nathaniel Trent, known as the villainous viscount, is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on both Cara and the priceless artifacts. His icy exterior and fiery touch stirs Cara's demons, or could he lay them to rest?

 

Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem known as Nefertiti's Heart. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she sacrifices her own heart and life.

 

Review 3*

 

This is the first book in The Artifact Hunters series. I have been wanting to read this book for some time, but due to my large reading list haven't been able to do so until recently.

 

Cara Devon is a character I found likeable, but did want to do her some physical harm when she made impetuous decisions that put her life on the line. She also rushed into a relationship with the viscount, even after being sexually abused for years. This aspect I found most unbelievable, considering she was uncomfortable even hugging an old childhood friend. She is a young woman living in Victorian London. She returns to her deceased father's house with the intention to sell off his collection of artefacts he had acquired. One of the artefacts is rumoured to be Nefertiti's Heart, a gem of immense power reputed to give the owner immortality. Unfortunately, there's a killer after the artefact too and Cara soon finds herself facing some hard choices - continuing to run from the killer, or being helped by Nathaniel Trent, a viscount and a pirate/businessman/crime lord who wants the artefact for himself.

 

As I said above, I have been wanting to read this book for some time, so when I started reading I was very excited. The story is told through the eyes of both Cara and Nathaniel, though mostly through Cara's. The story started off strongly, with danger around every corner, which kept me hooked. Then the story took a more sedate turn about half way in and somehow lost the immediacy when the two main protagonists became more romantically involved. I'm not saying this was a bad thing, only that the story flow seemed to slow down and it focused more on the romance side than the adventure/action one. I still found myself riveted to the story, but it somehow became more predictable and when certain events happened it felt inevitable. I love a good plot twist that surprises me, but I could see more than a few of them coming from a mile away, even the revelation of who the killer was. This dampened my excitement over the story somewhat. I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings.

 

I love reading books in the steampunk genre and feel I don't read them often enough. However, I feel the author did a wonderful job in bringing the characters to life, as well as the Victorian past. So why the low rating? This is because although I enjoyed the story, I didn't feel any emotional attachment to the characters. Other readers may have a different reaction, so I will leave it to you to decide whether or not to give this book a try. As for me, I am considering reading the remaining books of the series, though due to my large reading list it could be some time before I would be able to.

 

A.W. Exley has written a wonderful steampunk romance/adventure that kept me hooked from beginning to end. I loved her fast paced writing style. Though the pace slowed down half way through, I thought the flow was wonderful as it flowed easily from scene to scene.

 

Although there are scenes of a sexual nature that are not explicit, I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to some violence and gore. I do, however, recommend this book if you love Egyptian mythology, steampunk or fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-11-04 21:56
Book Review of Ahoy, Mummy Mia! (Ahoy, Mischaps!) (Volume 3) by Miss Mae
Ahoy, Mummy Mia! (Ahoy, Mischaps!) (Volume 3) - Miss Mae,Miss Mae

The Mischaps ride again! Actually, they sail again. Into a dimension far, far, far away where you can’t find it. Why can’t you find it? Because the dimension is lost. Yes, the Mischaps sail into The Land of Lost Directions. But guess what they find there? A prophecy! Yes, a prophecy about them! What does the prophecy say? What does it mean? Can the Mischaps discover the secret of fulfilling the prophecy…and destroy its evil, dangerous, stinking curse?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the third book in the Ahoy, Mischaps! series. I absolutely loved it!

 

I usually do character breakdowns in my reviews, but I have a little trouble doing this for the main character, who narrates this story in the style of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, as she actually doesn't have a name and is only known as The Narrator. However, we join Sir O Yuri Wiseguy-eh and well known Pukelitzer prize winning journalist, I.B. Nosy on another zany adventure, this time in the Land of Lost Directions.

 

This story has a fantastical plot, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. There are several references and play on words that would go over a child's head, but adults would pick them up with ease. The Mischaps gang find themselves lost in the Land of Lost Directions, where a greedy and ambitious cat called Mia has placed a curse on Gum Drop chocolate, turning it into mud. Or has she? In order to break the curse, the Mischaps have to fulfil a prophecy. Let the adventure begin!

 

This is a story full of adventure that is so nonsensical and humourous, I found myself highly entertained.
There are some old faces from previous books that appear in this tale. There's Moose, the chocolate loving plantation worker; Heathcliff, a possum who happens to be a fantastic detective (a secret is revealed about this character in this tale); Speck and Spang, two eagle-eyed vultures, and Spit, a small purple snake with the largest set of eyelashes known to adorn a snake. The reader is also introduced to some brand new characters, ranging from a crocodile called A. Buncha Crock to a swamp rat called Louie, who wants to be a pirate, and a chef called Chef Mac A. Roni. We also get to meet a Mummy named Ralph, and Dr. Ag. O. Nee and his Igor assistant Mandibles tumble into the adventure too.

 

I found myself turning the pages in an effort to find out what happens in every chapter, which is introduced by the narrator and is told in such a witty and engaging way that I found myself smiling even through the dangerous parts. I could picture the scenes in my mind's eye with ease. I didn't see the scenes as live action but as an animation though. I think this would make a fantastic children's animated movie, along with the other two books. I reached the end of the book with a bittersweet feeling; I didn't want it to end. However, I think there's another adventure on the way as the story ends in such a way that, although not a cliffhanger, it infers that it will continue. I can't wait!

 

I am not sure what age range this book is aimed at, but I sat with a smile on my face for most of the story. This story, however, would be ideal for children to listen to at bedtime.

 

Miss Mae has written a wonderfully imaginative story that will enchant adults and children alike. I love her writing style, which is fast paced enough to keep even the most fidgety youngster enthralled, and the flow was wonderful. I am a huge fan of Miss Mae and I will be keeping an eye out for more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this book to children aged 5 upwards and to adults looking for a quick, light read. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-11-02 21:21
A thoroughly entertaining sequel to Rebel of the Sands...
Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands) - Alwyn Hamilton

Book Title:  Traitor to the Throne

Author:  Alwyn Hamilton

Narration:  Soneela Nankani

Series:  Rebel of the Sands #2

Genre:  YA, Fantasy

Setting:  Maraji

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  4.2/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  4.5/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  4.2/5  Cliffhanger:  Yes!

Steam Factor 0-5:  2

Total:  4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

Once I could keep most of the characters straight on who is who, I found myself enjoying this, and what amazing characters they are.  Amani is with-a-doubt one of my favorite YA heroines of all time.   She isn't whiny, she uses her head and she's kind of bad-ass too.  I did really miss Jin, we didn't get nearly enough of him.  I really wish we could get inside his head, just once, at least.  Also, the narration is excellently done by Soneela Nankani.  

 

Will I continue this series⇜  Yes, I will…I need to not wait so long, though, because I was lost for a bit on this one.  There's a lot of names to keep straight.  Even with the first chapter re-capping what happened in the book one. Hero at the Fall is due out in March of 2018.

 

 

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review 2017-10-28 22:45
Book Review of NEST: Retribution: An Alivia Morgan Story by David Antocci
NEST: Retribution - David J Antocci

The Rally for US was meant to be a day of camaraderie and awareness. Instead, that crisp October morning turned into the bloodiest terror attack to strike the city of Boston in more than a decade.

 

In the wake of the attack, the New England Special Terrorist Division—NEST—turned to their most senior and capable agent, Alivia Morgan. She was unwillingly ripped from her home and family, but didn’t have a choice. Though she had no idea just how deeply personal the fight would become.

 

Now, it was up to her to find the extremists and stop another catastrophic blow that would drive the death toll higher. She was captured, alone, and armed only with her years of training and experience in Special Ops and the elite Army Rangers. Alivia quickly realized she was in a race against time as she struggled to escape with her life and stop the impending attacks. Could she do both?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in a new series which follows the New England Special Terrorist Division (NEST for short). I loved it!

 

Alivia Morgan is a fantastic character. She is capable, strong and determined. When a terrorist cell targets her in retribution for her killing one of their leaders in an earlier mission, Alivia finds herself in a fight to the death. Held hostage, but knowing her team is looking for her, she is determined to bring the cell down. As the danger increases and the threat to innocents rises, can she stop them in time?

 

Having read this author's previous Escape trilogy, when he contacted me with regards to reading a complimentary copy of this book, I eagerly accepted as I knew I would be taken on an amazing roller coaster ride of not only danger but emotion. However, I also purchased a copy of this book when it became available to pre-order and re-read it as soon as it was released. This review is based on my own opinion and have not received remuneration for it.

 

As I said previously, I knew I would be taken on an emotional journey. However, I wasn't expecting the intensity, though in hind-sight I should have anticipated it. The story is told through mainly Alivia's point of view, but other characters, including the bad guys also have their say. I was pulled in from the first page and didn't put the book down until I had finished it.

 

The reader is introduced to the NEST team. NEST is one of several anti-terrorist task forces set up after the 9/11 attacks. The leader of the group is Director Luis Huerta and he is hands-on in his approach to leading the team. An ex-sniper, he has lots of experience in war. Then there are several other operatives that work under him, including Alivia and JJ. There is a hint of romance to go along with the danger as Alivia and JJ are involved in a forbidden relationship.

 

Then there are the bad guys. They are not the most pleasant of people and have the intention of causing as much chaos and terror as they can. The leader of the terrorist cell, Syed Ashear, has a personal grudge against Alivia and is determined to use her as a pawn in his deadly game against those he sees as infidels and nonbelievers.

 

I found myself holding my breath several times when reading as the intensity was almost unrelenting. There are some lighter scenes to counteract some of the more gruesome aspects of the storyline, but the fast pace kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. Although this book has a fast pace, it is not rushed. The author has a talent for describing scenes in such vivid detail that it made it easy to picture and it ran like a movie in my mind's eye. In fact, I think this book would make a good movie thriller or TV series similar to NCIS. There are scenes of terror, as well as car chases, gun fights and explosions. Just when I reached the end of the book (or so I thought) with a feeling of happiness, the author throws a curve ball and ends the story on a chilling note in the epilogue. It doesn't quite end in a cliffhanger, but it's close and sets the reader up for the next book. I hope he's busy writing it because I am dying to read it!

 

David Antocci has written a thrilling first book to what looks to be a fantastic new series. His characters are extremely lifelike and this made the story feel incredibly real. I said in my review of Escape: Dead End that this is an author to watch, and I was right. I love his fast paced writing style, and the story flow is fantastic. I have already added this author to my favourite authors list, and will definitely read more of his books in the future.

 

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to young readers, or those of a nervous disposition, or those who may be affected by a triggering event due to extreme violence and/or abuse and/or terrorism. I highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers, suspense novels and/or military fiction. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-10-28 16:35
The Rooster Bar
The Rooster Bar - John Grisham

By:  John Grisham

ISBN: 0385541171

Publisher: Doubleday 

Publication Date: 10/24/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

#1 New York Times bestselling author, John Grisham returns following Camino Island with his 25th novel THE ROOSTER BAR — a legal thriller exploring conspiracies inside for-profit law schools and the lives it destroys in this modern-day scandal ripped from today’s headlines.

Inspired by an article in the Atlantic called “The Law-School Scam,” a lengthy investigation of for-profit law schools, the author takes off an inside look at corruption in the legal field and student loans.

Gordy, Mark, Todd, and Zola each have their own stories and how they landed at Foggy Bottom— a third-tier for-profit law school. Each has borrowed heavily and student loans are enormous, there is no way they will ever attain a job to begin paying back this debt.

Each of the three is drowning in student debt, which it would seem will be impossible to ever pay off. Mark owes $266,000; Todd, $195,000; Zola, $191,000. 

Foggy Bottom had enticed them to take out huge federally backed loans — from an equally disreputable bank that offered easy money with the false prospect that they would get high-paying jobs immediately upon being graduated and passing the bar.

They each had high expectations as well as their families. Soon they realize there is more to the story. Gordy (bi-polar), is engaged to be married (to wealthy white girl from his hometown); however, seeing Zola on the side. She is black Muslim-American. 

Gordy has done much research and lays out all the players for the group. His obsession turns to madness quickly and they all are concerned. 

Their school is owned by a corrupt New York hedge-fund operator Hinds Rackley, who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, and connected with various law firms. He is a billionaire and using thousands of students to bankroll his lifestyle. A scam. However, what will they do with this information? Who will believe them? 

They are in their third year and the $$$ and interest are mounting daily. Drowning in debt, pressures from debt collectors, and no promise of a job, they set out on a dangerous course to try and outsmart the conman. They will never be able to repay this debt. 

Gordy cannot take it anymore. After he is gone, they decide they will honor him by fighting back the best way they can to survive. 

Taking a page from SUITS, (even though I think Michael Ross is smarter); they decide they will practice law without a law degree. Going rogue is a little difficult when they do not have the funds to make this work, or will they? 

 




Will they be able to pull off their own scam to con a con, (David vs. Goliath) without being sent to prison before they are found out? In the meantime, who will bring down the bigger scam that drove them to desperate measures? 

With only Mark, Todd, and Zola remaining, they will have to stay one step ahead of the impending danger, in order to beat the system.

Mixed with legal-drama, suspense, action, and humor, THE ROOSTER BAR uncovers greed, conspiracies and throws Zola’s family issues (deportation) for added conflict in this compelling 

"More than 44 million Americans who have borrowed money to pay for college owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt."

More fact than fiction — we are well aware, the significant number of real-life American millennials duped by unscrupulous banks and businesses today, is astounding. 

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Ari Fliakos for an entertaining listening experience. 

The entire time I was reading/listening kept thinking about Roosters, the popular gay bar here in West Palm Beach, FL with the Best Drag Show and has been around for over 30 yrs.

Love the Cover and the Title!

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/11/The-Rooster-Bar
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