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review 2018-09-13 19:59
Animal Zombies!
Animal Zombies!: And Other Bloodsucking Beasts, Creepy Creatures, and Real-Life Monsters (National Geographic Kids) - Chana Stiefel
I took this nonfiction children’s book into a third-grade classroom I was subbing in yesterday and the students pounced on me, like they were hungry wolves. I loved it! You should have seen their eyes and electricity filled the air as I started to share the pages with them. It was pure joy.
It was actually funny as I shared this book with them because the students kept creeping closer and closer to me as they “supposedly” sat on the floor. They were bouncing around as I flipped through some pages, all the while, they were screaming, “Read that page!” “What was that?” “Was that a garden spider?” “Hey, I saw one of those things in real life!” “Flip that page back!” I was smiling and trying to calm these little bug people down.
They seriously loved this book and wanted me to leave it with them but it was a library book that I had checkout. I knew after seeing the cover that I needed to read it. After seeing their reaction and reading it, I might need to purchase a copy for other rooms I sub in.
The pictures inside this book are fantastic. As with all National Geographic books I have found, these pictures are bright, colorful and realistic. I could actually see some of the fine pieces of individual hair on some of the insects and the detail on the ceratioid anglerfish was cool and creepy! Seeing all the fine detail inside this fish’s body as she lit up at night was amazing! Then, the mass of tentacles on the giant jellyfish- remarkable!
There are tons of facts inside this book. I cannot tell you how many times I said, ‘wow!” as I read this book. I learned a lot and the students learned just a little because I didn’t have time to share with them everything I found fascinating for we spent a great deal of time, just looking at the pictures. I did tell them about the frilled shark. This shark’s picture was incredible and the facts about this creepy, green-eyed serpent got the students real excited. The student’s learned about the ghost octopus, the glass frog, and the peacock mantis shrimp. There is a ton of information in this book, from exotic creatures to ticks to foot fungus.
It’s a fun and entertaining book and one that I highly recommend.


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review 2018-04-05 16:34
Kraken - M. Caspian

I am not even sure what to say about this one. What a clusterfuck.


No issue from me for non-con or tentacle sex. I mean it can be done and can be done well *coughs Nicholas Bella*. Was this to be erotic in any way...it was not. As my BR indicated, this was old man rape creep. We cringed most of the read.


The story was creepy and yet intriguing until about 70% and this felt like a good ole horror story. Then around 70% this took a turn for the the crazy...nothing making sense and storyline components dropping off and coming up that just were out of left field.

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review 2018-04-01 15:35
Creep: A B.C. Blues Crime Novel - R. M. Greenaway

This book picks up where Undertow left off & there have been a few changes for our 2 MC’s due to the fallout from their last case. Cal Dion is back in uniform, pounding the beat with a shiny new partner who might be a good cop if he ever stopped talking. But oddly enough, Cal is almost content with his lot.


When we first met him (Cold Girl), Cal was returning to work after suffering a head injury in a car crash that killed his best friend. Cognitive blips & difficulty reading/writing were his constant companions. And while he became adept at hiding his limitations from coworkers, Cal was only too aware he was no longer a hotshot detective. Frustration & depression ensued & in book #2 we watched as he went off the rails & risked everything. Now he’s in a better place. Cal’s accepted his faulty wiring & is lucky to still have a job.


Dave Leith was Cal’s partner in homicide. He’s still working elite crimes & trying to get used to big city life. Now their paths cross again as a series of bizarre crimes begin to pop up around the North Vancouver detachment. First a body is found on a derelict property & it’s been there a while. Then a hiker dies mysteriously on a densely forested trail & walkers are spooked on wooded paths. Excluding nosy neighbours, tips are hard to come by. Well…unless you count reports of a wolf-like creature spotted around the cycling trails. Wait…was that a howl?


In alternate chapters we meet Stefano Boone, a young guy who works at a diner. He lives in his parents’ basement, has no friends & he’s…em…kind of going through something. Best to leave that alone until you meet him yourself.


There are other characters that flesh out the story lines & several will trigger your spidey senses. As the investigations progress, Cal also has his suspicions. Thing is, it’s hard to know if he’s on the right path. Is the person of interest really a little hinky or has Cal’s memory just sprung another leak?


This is book #3 in the series & it’s my favourite (so far…). It’s not just the multi-story lines, great twists & characters I’ve come to know. It’s also the writing. I can’t help but feel the author has really hit her stride. The flow & pacing make for an effortless read with little nuggets of info dropped in all the right places that make it hard to put down. The prose is self assured & economical with enough description to create an atmosphere that is dark, foreboding & tense.


The pace picks up near the end as the puzzle pieces begin to click together. It’s like a fog lifts to reveal startling truths. There are some satisfying conclusions (for 1 character in particular…what a git!)  but not everything is neatly folded up & put away. An event from Cal’s past has lingered in the background like a spectre since the first book & it’s starting to take shape. If details surrounding the crash that re-wired his brain come out….well, Cal’s going to have a very bad day. Or decade. That alone guarantees I’ll be in line for book #4.


Recommend reading in order due to ongoing story lines that reference the characters’ personal histories & evolving relationship.



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review 2018-01-28 15:52
"Creep", by R.M. Greenaway
Creep: A B.C. Blues Crime Novel - R. M. Greenaway

Book#3, B.C. Blues Crime series

This 3rd mystery featuring Cal Dion and David Leith is a well created and a haunted tale set against the dark side of Vancouver’s North Shore. “Creep” has also elements of a gothic suspense I loved, some quite spooky making the experience a compelling read I enjoyed immensely. Ms. Greenaway stories are getting better with each outing.

As in the previous novels “Creep” is an exciting wild ride into police procedural with deeply characterized RCMP officers as main players. Dion and Leith are on the hunt for a killer who may be responsible for the death of a hiker and also for the mauled body found in a derelict house. Reported sighting of wolf, werewolf and large dogs….is the perpetrator human or beast……. As the investigation unfolds people are starting to think yes there is a werewolf on the loose….

Mental illness and paranormal, a mix that makes one ponder why some lose concept of normalcy and in which world they live on. Ms. Greenaway brings to her story a keen understanding of frailty and is at her best when she brings us into the forbidding wilderness and plunges us along with her characters into hugely intricate murder cases. Strong narrative all through gives strengths to the investigations inevitably holds us captivated, glued to every word from start to finish. 

After 3 books, this author has finally won my heart. Her writing is economical, her plotting taut and her knowledge is sound. Well-done.

I received this ARC from Dundurn Publishers via NetGalleys for my honest thoughts.

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review 2016-08-10 05:41
Review: Floor 21 by Jason Luthor
FLOOR 21 - Jason Luthor

If you aren't a fan of open endings/cliffhangers then this is not the book for you. However, if you are willing to wait, I think this is going to be a great series. Floor 21 is full of unanswered questions and the author does a wonderful job of bringing you into Jackie's very inquisitive character.


The narration technique of using the characters "recordings", while interesting, didn't really meet my expectations. There were several instances where there was a conflict of storyline vs. actually being able to record. I think at some point my brain just skipped over the idea of the recording and I enjoyed it as a first person narrative. Jackie is the main narrator, but we do get insight into other happenings in the tower which add a lot of depth to Jackie's story.


Jackie is an interesting lead character. She questions everything around her and challenges the status quo. At the same time, she willingly obliges her bff with dance parties in her room. There is a lot of unknowns in her world and she's not afraid to see what else could be out there. I would say that this book is geared towards the young adult audience, if only that the main character is a bit young and her point of view can be a little grating (also whiny) at times. It's very representative of her age group and appropriate given the world she lives, but some chapters were harder to get through.


What is the Creep you ask? Terrifying is what it is. I became so engrossed in this book that I literally had a dream about the walls of my house being alive. I'd say that's pretty indicative of a good story. I've read a fair amount of dystopian and this is a fresh story with lots of opportunity to grow the characters and story line.


I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction into the Tower and look forward to jumping into the sequel soon!


I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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