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Search tags: By-the-River
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text 2017-11-14 22:41
Reading progress update: I've read 52 out of 336 pages.
The River of Kings: A Novel - Barbara Brown Taylor

So slow. I've been on this for a week and only got 50 pages. I don't know if it's life or lack of drive that are the cause. Life has been running at a fiendish pace, I tired, burned out and just can't get more than one page read before I fall to sleep. The story is fascinating, but I am spent. I may need to pick something lighter up, and slowly march through this when I can

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review 2017-11-10 00:52
Bitter River
Bitter River - Julia Keller
I really enjoyed A Killing in the Hills so I had high hopes for this second novel in the series. I liked reading about the happening in this small Appalachian Mountain town in West Virginia where everyone is connected either from the past or in the present. I found that this novel was a bit slower than the first book in the series and that the book started and ended strong but in the middle, the book dragged. Just when I thought I might have to abandon this novel, a major event occurred and the novel continued at a speedy, adventurous pace until the final pages.
 
It seems like everyone has issues that aren’t central to the novel but still haunt each of the main characters as they navigate their way around Acker’s Gap. Acker’s Gap, as a whole, has its own share of issues with a dwindling economy, feuds and personal conflicts among its citizens. When a young girl is found immersed in a vehicle in the nearby river, there doesn’t seem to be a culprit. Everyone has their own alibi. The victim had her own secret, a secret that leads many to contemplate different ideas and leads. When authorities come under attack, the town is shaken. What is happening to this small community? And why is it happening now? This had a great solid ending and I can’t wait now to read the next book in this series.

 

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review 2017-11-09 19:01
Dead in the Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River) - Denise Swanson

I don't know how this happened, but this is my first book by Denise Swanson. I see her books everywhere.

I am glad to say that I really liked this read. I sped right through and the ending had my heart beating very fast. Especially when the tornado was hitting everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

Good character development with lots of twists. 

I will definitely be reading more Denise Swanson books in the future.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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text 2017-11-03 12:12
November TBR
I, Claudius: From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius - Robert Graves
The Vor Game - Lois McMaster Bujold
Birdcage Walk - Helen Dunmore
Between Two Fires: A Novel - Mark Noce
Updraft - Fran Wilde
Cheddar Off Dead (An Undercover Dish Mystery) - Julia Buckley
Murder in the Manuscript Room: A 42nd Street Library Mystery (The 42nd Street Library Mysteries) - Con Lehane
Cane River - Lalita Tademy
The Memory of Us: A Novel - Camille Di Maio
East of Eden - John Steinbeck

So here are the books I'm planning to crack open this month. 

 

My goal is to shake things up with historical fiction and science fiction mixed in with some mystery. 

 

I, Claudius is off of the 50 Essential Historical Fiction Novels list done by Abe Books.  

 

Between Two Fires and Updraft are re-reads because it has been too long since I read them for me to read their sequels with any kind of authority.   I've been meaning to get into re-reads for a while. 

 

The Vor Game is the next book in the Vorkosigan saga for me. 

 

East of Eden is a classic I've been meaning to get to. 

 

I will no doubt switch this up. I am the moodiest reader I know - but this is the plan so far. 

 

I will enjoy looking at everyone's TBR for the month and,  as usual, count on your reviews to break my book budget. 

 

Happy reading! 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-16 01:41
ARC Review: Off The Beaten Path by Cari Z.
Off the Beaten Path - Cari Z.

Ever since I read my first shifter book, I've been hooked. For some reason, Off The Beaten Path escaped my notice at first, but when it kept popping up in friend reviews on Goodreads, I requested a review copy from the publisher.

I was not disappointed.

This is not some fluffy wolf shifter meets human and they live happily ever after shifter book. No, as the title indicates, this shifter universe is off the beaten path, set in an alternate reality where shifters exists, after a government experiment gone terribly wrong, but are controlled by the human government, living in remote areas away from human cities, within confined compounds, with the pack Alphas required to serve as ultimate soldiers whenever the military requires them to utilize their extra strength and abilities to carry out the military's dirty work. 

Additionally, some children are born as shifters to human parents, and when their true nature is revealed, they are removed from their human parents, severing the relationship, and relocated to a shifter compound, where they either can shift back to human or, if they can't, are destroyed. 

Thus, we meet Ward Johannsen whose young daughter Ava shifted into a wolf during a stressful situation and was immediately taken by the feds to the nearest shifter camp. Unwilling to give up his daughter, Ward does everything he can to obtain her location, which just happens to be in the Colorado mountains. And it's winter. 

Ward is rescued, nearly frozen to death, at the perimeter of the pack compound. Once inside, he's faced with the pack's Alpah, Henry Dormer, who only recently returned from his last mission and hopes to have a bit of time to recuperate before he's sent out again.

Both men are really strong-willed and not inclined to give up. Ward is unwilling to let go of Ava, even if the law says he has to, and he does everything in his power to get back to her, even if that means willingly walking into a werewolf compound and standing his ground. Henry too fights every day to ensure the security and well-being of his pack, even if that means that he himself suffers abuse and faces possible death.

See, the government doesn't really care about the werewolves it created, considering them dangerous and thus in need of being kept separated and hidden, but is perfectly willing to use the wolves' Alphas for its Black Ops missions. Henry's CO especially is a sack of shit, vengeful and vile, but Henry knows he has to follow the rules so his pack can get what it needs to survive. 

Relationships between wolves and humans are strongly discouraged, though not forbidden. 

Obviously, Ward's presence in the camp, and his having found the compound, breaks all kinds of security rules, and Henry has to take the blame. Still, Henry realizes that Ward's presence will likely help Ava shift back to human, so he is willing to give it a try. 

The attraction they both feel to each other is neither expected nor necessarily wanted, but Ward's persistence and courage seems to calm Henry in the face of the multiple pressures he's facing not only from his CO but also his pack. 

This isn't some fluffy shifter tale. It's gritty, it's dark, and there are oh so many obstacles Henry and Ward face before they can find even a modicum of happiness. Though, I think the point here is that the happiness you have to fight for so hard is worth more in the end - simply because you have to fight for it. 

At the end of this book, there's hope. Not only for Ward and Henry to have a happy ending, but for the shifters in the compound, and all shifters under the thumb of the feds. In fact, there are forces at work to better the lives of the werewolves and give them a chance to actually live

I do hope that the author has more books planned, and that this will turn into a full-blown series. Because Tennyson and David surely need their own book.

This book is full of tension, passion, and courage in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. A true "edge-of-your-seat" read, this comes highly recommended. 



** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. **

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