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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-22 22:02
The Shatter Point by Jon O'Bergh
The Shatter Point - Jon O'Bergh

The Shatter Point by Jon O'Bergh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Asher wants nothing more than to impress his girlfriend, whilst she wants nothing more than to gain esteem through social media. Then there's Donna and Phil, new to Acacia Lane and eager to embrace their love of Halloween and all it represents, much to their neighbour's displeasure. Unknown to them all, something will inevitably bring them together, and possibly even bring chaos to their uneventful lives.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Jon O'Bergh for giving me the opportunity.

It was quite apparent that this one was going to differ from my usual fright-fest reads, but I wasn’t aware of just how much until I delved right in. Whilst there were subtle elements of the paranormal, which related to some very brief ghostly activity, it certainly didn’t try to induce discomfort or fear. Instead, it used the haunting aspects as a tool to express loss and perhaps even as an attempt to foreshadow what was to come. The story focused entirely on the characters and how their lives, in one way or the other, became inexplicably connected due to one very interesting establishment; Horror Place. The concept of Horror Place became of interest to me, as I recall seeing something quite like it on the internet - extreme experiences people actually sign up for, that can include very authentic forms of abuse. At first, I was under the assumption that Horror Place and the spirit would have been interconnected, but that was not the case; in actuality, only a small portion took place within the confines of Horror Place itself, despite it being of utmost importance overall. I found myself a little disappointed at this, as I wanted to read more of the creative yet harsh encounters that spurred its popularity, but I understand it wasn't that sort of book.

Each person that O'Bergh introduced differed largely in personality and intentions - some were likeable, whilst others resided upon the other end of the spectrum. I liked that, throughout the plot, every single one of them were forced to overcome obstacles, and even though the book itself was rather short, I believe I was able to get to know them sufficiently well. What made them relatable were their many flaws that took centre stage; the obsession with social media where likes equal happiness, family troubles relating to money, and the secrets a neighbourhood can hold. My favourite had to be Asher, followed by Donna, as they both were legitimately nice people that were ultimately ruined by others. There's no mystery behind my least favourites, as the way in which they were written portrayed them to be the most problematic individuals.

Despite getting to know the array of characters, I couldn’t help my interest dwindling just after the fifty percent mark. I suppose I just expected a bit more to happen, other than the mundane of everyday life. I was aware it was all leading somewhere, possibly to something going severely wrong, but it felt like an impossibly long time before it came about. It’s what I would call a slow burn, and I can’t say it kept a tight grip on my attention.

The ending certainly did surprise me, I'll give it that. I really didn't see it coming and I'm usually quite perceptive of hints and suggestions along the way. Despite the initial shock, I can't say it made much sense to me, as after much contemplation I found myself questioning the likelihood of such crimes going unsolved. I won't go into specifics, and maybe it's just my tendency to overthink, but I feel it could have been better.

In conclusion: A story that spotlights the pushing of limits and the consequences related to such. It did have its charm, but it fell a little short in some regards. Perhaps not what I'd normally read, but I thought I'd give it a chance.

Notable Quote:

Hands could create achingly beautiful melodies that stretched the rules of harmony, but they could also enact savage vengeance. Asher chortled at the paradox.

© Red Lace 2018


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/07/22/the-shatter-point-by-jon-obergh
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-21 00:14
Inquest by Kevis Hendrickson (2015 Review)
Rogue Hunter: Inquest - Kevis Hendrickson

Inquest by Kevis Hendrickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zyra Zanr is on a mission; to extradite the dangerous terrorist Boris Skringler from the planet of New Venus, and give him over to the InterGalactic Alliance, but nothing is ever so easy. Ending up imprisoned herself, Zyra must somehow fix her own mess and capture her target, who just so happens to be her ex-lover.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. My thanks goes to Kevis Hendrickson for giving me the opportunity!

I admit, I'm very particular when it comes to science fiction, especially space opera, whether it be watching or reading. It needs to have a certain punch to fully interest me, something more than flashy battle scenes or odd looking aliens, but a story that's got depth. Story is essentially everything and, of course, how it's presented. Hendrickson certainly impressed me with a number of things, from his world-building to his highly descriptive writing. Zyra Zanr was portrayed exceptionally well, her every emotion described in such intimate detail, it's as if I could feel her rage, or even her lust. Of course, Zyra wasn't the most wise of characters, as her issues were caused by her own impulsive actions, however after reading the author's note after the ending, I believe this was intentional. She's deeply flawed, but even so, she wasn't completely dislikeable. Perhaps she'll grow as the series progresses, become more careful, as such development is no doubt important. We all learn from our mistakes, after all.

Being a bounty hunter, Zyra is anything but a good person. Sure, she struggles with her decisions and thinks she's doing the right thing, but she's ultimately a killer for hire. At best, she's in amongst shades of grey. Mikaela, her lover, was the likeable sort; loving, understanding and Zyra's only hope of fitting into a normal life with a stable future. I wanted things to work out between them, I really did. I found Mika was trying to be an anchor for the troubled love of her life and it was lovely, yet perhaps destined to fail. (Yes, I'm a real sop sometimes.) Their first scenes were erotically charged whilst not going into the nitty gritty too much, which I actually loved; being able to convey such sexual heat without going into the act of sex itself. Not all writers can do this.

I didn't like Boris Skringler and I certainly didn't want a screwed up, abusive romance going on, so I'm glad Zyra got that out of her head. As a murderer, terrorist, former partner in crime, I found him completely undesirable and annoying. In fact, the few men introduced seemed to be the unsavory types, but that however added to the "girl power" aspect. I do hope in the proceeding instalments, men are given more of a chance. Although saying that, I thoroughly enjoyed the Venusian's and their all-female culture. It was fantastically done and held a very dark undertone that was even unnerving. Their past was pretty grim, with being experimented on, forced to have abortions and whatnot. I truly believe they should've been left alone to rule their world however they saw fit, even if Queen Karah was a nasty woman.

The space battles were an exciting bonus to the great storytelling. As Captain Edna Ajala made the difficult decision to sacrifice her own life, and those of her crew, to attempt one last blow to the Alliance, well that moment was emotional. I don't usually enjoy such battles, and yes I became confused at times with all the techno-talk, but Hendrickson really drew me in. I wanted to know the fate of New Venus, I wanted to know about the super weapon and just what the goals of the Alliance really were. It was truly great, with a shocking finish.

In conclusion: I feel that Zyra, as a protagonist, has a lot of potential. Despite the plot being highly political, I really enjoyed it; the differing cultures especially drew my attention. I know one thing for sure - I have to check out more works by Kevis Hendrickson.

Notable Scene:

Ajala turned around and looked directly into the faces of her crewmembers. But instead of fear, she saw their courage. It was invigorating to be surrounded by such proud women, women who were willing to give their lives to protect their world. She took strength in their nobility and felt a surge of confidence. Death was going to come to them all. But she was going to see to it that the enemy died with them.

© Red Lace 2015


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/07/20/inquest-by-kevis-hendrickson-2015-review
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review 2018-07-20 16:00
BLOG TOUR REVIEW: 'Scream All Night' by Derek Milman
Scream All Night - Derek Milman

 

 

I jumped at the chance of getting on this blog tour the second that I could! This book is so up my alley I can barely get the words out quickly enough (and I’m not sure I can get them all out).

Having worked on horror movies in the past (more about that below) there’s no way I could have passed this book by, and neither should you! It’s genius, in that it’s funny, endearing, clever, thought-provoking, and just brilliantly-written.

So read on…especially since there’s a giveaway at the bottom!

 

Thank you so SO much to Rockstar Book Tours for including me on this one!!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, DEREK MILMAN

 

 

 

Derek Milman was born in New York City, but grew up in Westchester, NY, where he wrote and published a successful underground humor magazine that caught the attention of the New York Times, who wrote a profile on him at the age of 14.

 

Derek studied English, Creative Writing, and Theater at Northwestern University. He began his career as a playwright (his first play was staged in New York City when he was just out of college), and earned an MFA in acting at the Yale School of Drama.

 

Derek has performed on stages across the country, and appeared in numerous TV shows and films, working with two Academy Award winning film directors.

 

Scream All Night is Derek's debut YA novel. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he is hard at work on his next book ('Night Flight').

 

ABOUT THE BOOK, SCREAM ALL NIGHT

 

Pub. Date: July 24, 2018

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

 

A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

 

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

 

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

 

BUY THE BOOK!

 

**ANDwill point out NOW how easy it is to go and PRE-ORDER the book TODAY; go to THIS LINK because there are both the links to where you can BUY THE BOOK (AmazonSkylight Books, B&N.com ) and for the PREORDER GIVEAWAY (FEATURING MOVIE POSTER SWAG FROM THE BOOK)!**

PS. The preorder giveaway ends at the end of today (7/20) so order RIGHT NOW!

 

 

And of course, it's NOW MY TURN....

 

Now that you have read the synopsis, I know you must be intrigued, and honestly, I feel like this is one of the most unique and original YA novels that I’ve read in some time, particularly in terms of setting (does it even have to be listed as such, just because the characters are young? This is unique, period).


Dario, our ‘lead’, is both witty, and tragic, and I found it hard not to fall for him in terms of wanting things to work out as he’s finding his way through all the craziness: his brother Oren, his father, the studio, his past, reuniting with his ‘lost’ love Hayley. He’s real and honest, and it’s tough to read some of the sections of the book about him and his mom because he’s had to deal with a lot of sadness.


That said, this is a ‘coming-of-age’ story, one where hard decisions about life have to be made, but it’s also a darkly comedic one; there’s so much humor, so much vivid imagery, and it hit the right tone with the ‘difficult’ spots, as well as the lighter ones. Milman is able to shift easily with this writing to make this both a poignant but funny and clever book.

Describing film/movie making is really hard to do, since you’re discussing a world within a world (and it’s so visual), and Milman has created this whole Moldavia Studio ‘world’ and then had to also translate as much as he can about filmmaking while keeping it easy to ‘get’. He has film terms and crew positions in there that maybe some people won’t understand (but I got a real kick out of; I could absolutely imagine this stuff) but nothing that made it confusing. *If you’re in the biz though, it’s just a bonus.

 

**EXTRA PERSONAL NOTE:
A quick word about why I jumped on this book like Vincent Price on a bare neck: you see, while I didn’t actually live in a castle like Moldavia Studios, which is where the book’s lead character Dario grew up, where dozens of cult classic horror movies got made, I did get close enough to my own version of this slice of craziness quite a few times. I have my degree in film and video production (and even got to take a brilliant 3 credit class all on vampire movies one summer), and spent a good decade or so working on feature films (and TV, commercials, etc), as continuity/script supervisor.


I tell you this because some of my favorite film-making memories were of making horror movies. My most fun times, as hard they were, were standing on snowy mountains seeing ‘someone getting slashed’ and hung on the ski-lift. And not many people have images of actors having their lunch with ice picks sticking out of their backs, or in bloody nightgowns but with grins on their faces. And even though I’ve even seen a house set on fire at the end of a film shoot and more fake blood than I can fathom, it doesn’t make me lose my love for the great horror classics.


I love horror movies (and books), and have taken great fascination into the old Hammer Studio movies in the past. The campy gore, the cult classics. And having Derek Milman put this into a book as a backdrop was an absolute delight, right down to all the movie names he cleverly came up with.

 

I absolutely can’t wait to see what Derek comes up with for his next book, although I think before that, it would be fantastic to sit down and make either a campy horror movie (it’s been a while!), or have a Hammer-Horror movie marathon!

 

Congrats on the new book, Derek! It’s genius.

 

 

THE BOOK GIVEAWAY

 

Everyone who enters the Rafflecopter giveaway at the link below has a chance to win a copy of the book and swag!

 

**1 winner will win a signed finished copy of SCREAM ALL NIGHT & swag, US Only.

Ends 7/30.

 

Enter by clicking HERE

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

 

And you can follow the whole book blog tour by following this link:

SCREAM ALL NIGHT BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

 

This was a really fun book to read and I'd love to hear if anyone preorders it or reads it, as it comes out just next week! It's a real scream!

 

Happy Reading!

~ K

 

 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/32928987-scream-all-night?ac=1&from_search=true
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review 2018-07-18 17:19
Review: The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn
The Rending and the Nest - Kaethe Schwehn

When ninety-five percent of the world’s population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can’t afford to lose. Four years after the Rending, Mira has everything under control. Almost.

Then Mira’s best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first in this strange world and a new source of hope for Mira. But Lana gives birth to an inanimate object—and soon other women of Zion do, too—and the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new world begins to fray. As the community wrestles with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world outside Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn’t return, Mira has to decide how much she’s willing to let go in order to save her friend, her community, and her own fraught pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

1 ½ ★

 

 

Sadly this book was a DNF, I don’t like to DNF books and I rarely do it but I just couldn’t connect with this book.

I like to say that the writing is what put me off, and that I’m sure many people will enjoy this book and its writing style. It just was not for me.

For one it seemed a bit too much philosophy for me. Yes, I like when I book makes you think and maybe see a bigger pictures but as far as I read this book was too much of it, almost was like fill in the blanks feeling for me. It started out with the world building or the lack of it, in this case. We are just thrown into the story with very little info about the world or prior events. We don’t know why 95% of humanity disappeared or what lead up to it. It’s just a fact no explanation or anything and we just supposed to take it. While sometimes that can make a book, it defiantly didn’t in this case, at least not for me. It just made me feel lost and disconnected to the book. That also goes for the characters. I had a hard time to connect to any of them and it just felt sort flat to me.

Another issue I had was that it seemed incredible slow to me , I only made it to page 116 but it felt like I read 300 some pages. But to be honest it could have been just the fact that I was not a huge fan of the book.

While this book was not for me, I still think plenty if people would enjoy it and appreciate the writing style much more than I did.

I rate it 1 ½ ★ for the 116 pages that I have read if the book.

 

 

Image result for nah gif

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/07/18/review-the-rending-and-the-nest-by-kaethe-schwehn
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review 2018-07-17 18:34
’Baby Teeth’ has a lot of bite and is not so sweet BUT it’s ‘un-put-down-able’
Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

This amazingly creepy story from debut author Zoje Stage has got a lot of bite. The ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ complex takes center stage as Hanna, a seven-year old (supposedly) mute girl plays nice-nice in her father Alex’s company, but when she is the company of her mother Suzette, she just about unleashes horns on her head and a devil’s tail.


I’m exaggerating a little bit: there are no supernatural horns or tails although it’s way to easy to imagine them on this devil child that Zoje has so well-written for this novel. And somehow Hanna only manages to talk, now suddenly in French, just in her mom’s company, never so her dad can hear.


For years, Suzette has had to sacrifice her career by staying at home to homeschool Hanna, as she has been thrown out of preschools for bizarre and nasty behavior, but it’s behavior that her parents felt she would grow out of, and that once she was school-age, she could be handled better by an elementary school. Suzette also struggles with Crohn’s disease, which often keeps her bedridden and very ill, but it’s something that Hanna only has so much patience for but luckily her husband Alex has been sensitive to over the years.
Hanna persists in showing only one side to her father, who is Swedish to a fault, following Swedish holidays and traditions, which is something Hanna loves, including the special names Alex gives her, like Lilla Gumman, and she delights in little things like jumping in this lap and bedtime stories, shows of affection she reserves only for her father.
Alex and Suzette have not ignored Hanna’s lack of speech and antisocial behavior over the years though; they’ve taken her to specialists and had tests done, MRIs and other scans but there are no medical reasons for these behaviors. The answers start to become clearer especially to Suzette, as the behaviors become more pronounced; she questions herself, her parenting, whether Hanna is possessed, but she starts to realize this is just Hanna.


Reading Hanna’s side of it (as the novel goes -effectively - back and forth between what is going on for Hanna and Suzette, as if they are making an argument for their case) is just so incredibly disturbing. As she makes ‘plans’ for things she is about to do, and as she reasons ‘why she should’ do things, you’re allowed to see inside a very sad and twisted mind. As the book progresses so does her negativity towards her mother, and her need to push her mom out of the way to get closer to her father becomes greater.


The methods she does it by made me literally gasp out loud and sent my own child running (with questions for me), so that’s a good sign for me when it comes to a book.
In terms of how Suzette and Alex were able to handle Hanna: I will say that if you’re not a parent, you may have the view that it would have been easy to think ‘call the police’, or do certain other drastic things at times, but once you’re a parent, your perspective changes. You try everything else first. You want to try and help your child and do what you can, or you don’t believe they’re doing these behaviors. Your love for your child makes you run through all other avenues of help first, or in Alex’s case, stay in denial or in oblivion.


For many readers, this book may have gone too far; I know of many reviewers who passed on it because of the subject material, and it wasn’t for them. But it was totally right for me. I had been waiting for a book to be this daring for a while, and if it turns some people away, then you’ve at least elicited a visceral reaction to your work, whatever it is. In this case, it was because it was something that was going to make them feel uncomfortable or scared. I’d read that some people also got the wrong idea about the book, that it contained sexual abuse: it’s a shame people jump to conclusions before they actually have any real information.
Even if I didn’t know that the author Zoje used to work in film (as I also did) I probably could’ve guessed, as this would hold up so incredibly well as a movie; I had so many scenes in my head when I was reading this! Pure magic for the camera. Especially with the right Hanna.
The characters were so fascinating, and well-written, and I loved all the little bits about Sweden, Zoje did a fine job making these characters unique, especially for a thriller in a crowded genre. But then again, the whole book is unique, right down to the crushed lollipop on the front of the book.


And since at the center of this book is the ‘Daddy’s Little Girl/Electra’ complex, I found this fascinating. I don’t think I’ve seen a book personally written about this to this degree. It made Alex so blind to his daughter’s behavior, although it also made me question whether the ending was realistic.
The ending did kind of peter out a bit but I was satisfied with it; overall the book was such a page-turner, and kept me so enthralled, it was thoroughly ‘unputdownable’. I want more of this from Zoje!


*Warning: it might make some people question whether they want a ‘Little Girl to spoil’ after reading.

**Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my early copy! 

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