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review 2018-03-23 02:52
Angels and Demons
Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

I had read "The DaVinci Code" a very long time ago, around the time the movie came out. I recently found this book and used the audio to help me get through the book quickly ("reading" in the car or while knitting). 


I was a bit shocked to learn that this was Robert Langdon's book #1. He is called to Cern to help find what had been stolen from the Cern in Switzerland and where it had been taken and who had taken it. 


A scientist was tortured and murdered and his work was stolen and taken to the Vatican where it was used as a threat to destroy the Catholic Church, just as the Church once tried to destroy the Illuminati. 


He uses his knowledge of the Illuminati to find out where the kidnapped Cardinals are going to be found and how they would be murdered. He tries very hard to stop these murders and tries to save the scientist's daughter and partner from being murdered by her captor. 


It was an interesting story, that I was glad that I could use the audio with the book in order to find more time to read. This is a story that provided some interesting information about the Cern and the Vatican. I do recommend that this book not be listened to around children unless they can handle the harsh murder descriptions. This limited the time that I could listen (before children woke up and after they went to bed and when I was alone in the car). 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-10 22:50
Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn
Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn

Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With monsters that hunger for flesh, ghosts that lie in wait, and brutality at the hands of humanity - this collection certainly has it all. Delving into the satirical, chilling and downright disgusting, this is a must read for those that like a bit of horror in their lives.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Mike Thorn for giving me the opportunity!

This anthology has sixteen individual stories, each offering varying degrees of horror in different forms; bizarro, quiet and psychological are just a few of the sub-genres that are incorporated. Chances are you'll find something that tickles your fancy within the wide spectrum that is Thorn's imagination, just as I did. I do, however, feel the need to mention the reoccurring themes that present themselves throughout the majority of the book. Despite each short being unrelated and diverse in form, there were certain factors that kept resurfacing; the heavy metal, the smoking (specifically marijuana and Camel cigarettes), and lastly, academia. It just didn't work for me all that much - instead of characters blending together, I would've preferred differentiating attributes.

I always find it difficult to review these type of books, for the sole reason that I feel there's so much to write - I can get carried away with my thoughts and write paragraph upon paragraph. For my own sanity I've decided to forgo a ten-page essay detailing each and every short, and instead highlight the the top three that I enjoyed the most.

A New Kind of Drug
This is the first story that really piqued my interest, primarily due to the fact I've never read anything quite like it before, and it caused me to think of how we, as a species, are awfully enticed by substances that alter the state of consciousness. It's said that we're always looking for the next big thing, the next high that will affect us in new and oftentimes dangerous ways. I liked how Thorn took that aspect, and spun something that didn't seem so far-fetched in regards to human cruelty. Whether the creature was a demon, an alien, or whatever else, I felt pity for it and thus viewed the people themselves as the monsters. The added possibility of there being another plane of existence only interested me further.

And maybe I was screaming too, I don't know, but I'm quite sure I would've done something to stop this awful spectacle if I'd had the time, or the will, or even just a modicum of bravery.

Economy These days
Clearly the ugliness of humanity's a personal favourite of mine; the type of horror that's closer to home and more real than any supernatural beast. This particular short reminded me of the film Hostel, with the concept that people pay money to hurt a stranger. The difference was, in this case, both parties acted upon a consensual basis, where rules and regulations were strictly set in place. I have no doubt that something like this exists today, and whilst I don't consider it terrifying in the traditional sense, it's immensely thought-provoking.

But in this moment, money seemed like some grotesque abstraction; these terrible means dwarfed the process of reaching agreeable ends.

Lucio Schluter
Yet another example of human savagery, yet in an entirely different manner. Appreciating art as much as I do, I couldn't help but feel fascinated by Schluter's work and the way in which Thorn truly captured its disturbing essence. To turn actual people into such ghastly pieces of craftsmanship, it's delightfully macabre. The artist himself was a character I favoured because of the unnerving, yet obvious way he felt strongly for his victims - perhaps even a sort of love for them.

To really look at one of Schluter's subjects was like seeing a reflection of yourself ten years from now, somehow locked in a stasis of fear and eternal nakedness.

Other honourable mentions are The Auteur, Long Man, Sabbatical and Fusion.

Of course, due to the differing of story-types, there were some I didn't care for, and some I outright disliked. With Mired, Fear and Grace, and Speaking of Ghosts, my attention considerably waned until I just wanted them to end as quickly as possible.

In conclusion - A well-written concoction of the dark and twisted. My interest fluctuated depending upon the concept, but it's clear that Thorn has talent. An author to keep an eye on, for sure.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/10/darkest-hours-by-mike-thorn
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-17 22:33
The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld) - Gena Showalter

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Baden, former Keeper of Distrust, has something new living inside him, something darker than any mere demon. Bound to the King of the Underworld, he struggles to fit into his new role of assassin, however his biggest challenge comes in the form of Katarina - a dog trainer that happens to be the wife of a very troublesome man.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

Let me start by saying that this instalment's number twelve in an ongoing series (Lords of the Underworld), and at the beginning - it's been seven years since I picked up the first book - I absolutely adored Showalter's steamy and mythological world. My very first reviews are of this series, where I found the characters, the stories, and the sexual heat all new and captivating. I even gave five star ratings to a couple, The Darkest Pleasure and The Darkest Passion. I had nothing but praise.

That time has unfortunately passed.

Whilst these books will always have a place in my heart, and I'll probably, against my better judgement, continue on until they come to a final conclusion, I'm truthful to myself in that I'm not enjoying them as I once did. At this point I'm just regurgitating my complaints, and it feels more like a chore to get down my thoughts. I'll however try and be coherent about my reasoning - why do I now largely dislike what was once beloved?

- The characters tend to fuse together, becoming indistinguishable. They're too similar, often having the same mental outlook, the same behaviour and even the same dialogue. Say a bunch of them were in the same scene and it wasn't directly stated who was speaking, well, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

- The sex has become stale and it fails to thrill me anymore. What was once downright dirty has turned tame. I don't need an excuse to prefer the eroticism that once dominated the romance.

- Plot inconsistencies are plentiful. I'm not even going to go into detail, but it's clear that Showalter made a decision to change already established storylines. Baden's past in particular completely confused me.

- The writing's declined on a monumental level. Full sentences are a thing of the past. Example:

Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?”

“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.”

Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad.

Which brings me to the dynamic of Baden and Katarina, and how she ultimately considered him an animal in need of training. When someone doesn't even think of their significant other as an actual person, then there's undoubtedly something wrong with the relationship. I liked the hellhounds, though, but that's the only thing, and it's not enough to justify a higher rating.

As for the whole William and Gillian debacle - I just didn't care.

In conclusion: I initially rated this two stars, however I believe one to be more appropriate in regards to how I feel. I'm not into this series anymore, but I feel an obligation to trudge onward. If only I could walk away.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/17/the-darkest-torment-by-gena-showalter
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review 2018-02-01 19:56
Review – Angel of Shadow by D H Nevins @dhnevins
Angel of Shadow: Wormwood Trilogy, Book 2 - D.H. Nevins

I am so excited to be sharing my review for D H Nevins latest fabulous novel, Angel of Shadow, Book II of the Wormwood series. I loved the first book (see my review here).


I love this awesome cover, done by Carlos Quevedo, which definitely foreSHADOWS the story inside.


Goodreads  /  Amazon




I loved the first book, Wormwood by D H Nevins, so I was very excited to get my hands on Angel of Shadow, and OMG…if was fabulous…unputdownable. It took D H Nevins five years to write it and it was worth the wait!


The world and characters captured me and I am so eager to get back into the story and find out what Kali will do. In her dystopian world, she has some difficult choices to make.

Her forbidden love for Tiamat…will it sway her decision?


Good and evil. Angels and demons. If you think you know angels…think again. These angels are not ones you want knocking on your door.


Tiamat is Nephilim. They were sent to wipe out humans from Earth in The Cleansing.


But, when Tiamat met Kali, his world shifted. Can an angel disobey? Will he?


Kali is half human, half demon. Tiamat is half human, half angel.


When Kali is faced with death, her Shadow saves her, but at what cost? Is it a friend or foe? Can she control it, or will it control her?


Each character, no matter the size of their role, is a valuable addition to the story. Not all will survive and I was especially saddened by one Nephilim’s death in particular, but I do like that an author is not afraid to kill off a character if they feel it is necessary. Life is not always happy ever after, so why should a novel be?


Tension mounts and war approaches. Nephilim against Nephilim, demon against angel, where does Kali fit in? I am so happy that I have watched Supernatural, the TV show, because it allows me to understand and visualize the world that D H Nevins has created.


I am eagerly anticipating Book III,  And After The Shadow, Light by D H Nevins, which will be published in the fall of 2018.


I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Angel of Shadow by D H Nevins.


Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos      5 STARS


Read more here.


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Source: www.fundinmental.com/review-angel-of-shadow-by-d-h-nevins-dhnevins
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review 2018-01-31 10:00
Release Day Review: Under the Blood Moon (Under the Moon #1) Tracie Provost
Under the Blood Moon - Tracie Provost



A supernatural war is brewing in New Orleans, threatening to expose the existence of vampires, werewolves, and Gatekeepers to the wider world . . .


Ritually staked and hidden for two hundred years, Juliette de Grammont, voodoo priestess and vampire, is found and revived. Just days after she is freed, still coping with a world she could never have imagined, she loses her sire and vampire coven in a fire. Confused and alone, Juliette seeks the help of the city's powerful Grand Master, but dark elements within the city are conspiring to topple that regime. Soon Juliette's struggle for survival places her in the middle of a supernatural war for control of the city.


Josh Bouchard, former Texas Ranger now vampire and coven lieutenant, is drawn into the conflict and appoints himself Juliette's protector over her objections. They must enlist the help of both the city's werewolf pack and the Gatekeepers - a shadowy group dedicated to keeping the paranormal world secret from humans - to forge a coalition to save New Orleans from the powers that seek to destroy it.


After traveling extensively with wanderlust struck parents, Tracie Provost settled down to small town life in rural Georgia. There she teaches history at a small university and writes to keep her cats in the luxury to which they have become accustomed.




The first book in the new ‘Under the Moon’ series by Tracie Provost starts off a bit on the slow side or so I thought, really it starts off with a series of small events that keep readers’ curiosity spiked and it draws them deeper into the magical New Orleans setting. The author did a great job of setting the scene and the background so it really sets the mood for the book, so the reader becomes engrossed in the book and even though it seems slow, the reader is completely hooked, it does pick up speed and then things get even better.


The strong, compelling characters grab the reader’s attention and refuse to let go as Juliette and Josh get to know one other through all the trials and tribulations of the story. The romance is on the sweet side and the book focuses more on the thrilling events of the plot than the romance throughout most of the book.


I said above that the story is a bit slow but really the plot is a steady to fast pace that keeps the reader glued to the pages as the events unfold building suspense and anticipation throughout with some unexpected twists that surprises readers as well as the characters.


Overall, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure that I was going to like the story, but it didn’t take long before I was completely caught up in the story, the author created a great paranormal story with a few unique qualities that makes her story stand out and I am now looking forward to reading the next book and finding out just how the series progresses.




Under the Blood Moon is the 1st book in the Under the Moon series.


Under the Blood Moon is available in print or ebook at:

Amazon   Kobo   GPlay   iBooks    B&N


Tracie Provost can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   Facebook

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