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review 2016-07-02 01:10
Moving On...
Brooklyn on Fire - Lawrence H. Levy

I ended up dnf'ing the first book in this series because it was incredibly boring but I won this second book, Brooklyn on Fire, before I started the first so I was hoping it would be better since Second Street Station was Levy's debut. Well unfortunately I didn't care for this one anymore then I did the first. It again was boring and the writing and story just didn't flow well to me in either book. I also felt absolutely nothing for any of the characters so I'm calling it a wrap and moving on to something else. It may be that this series just isn't for me so if you read it, I hope you enjoy it more then I did.

 

*I received this ARC from Goodreads FirstReads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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review 2016-06-24 05:35
Cyber-Stalking...
Boar Island: An Anna Pigeon Novel (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) - Nevada Barr

I've been reading the Anna Pigeon series for a long time now. This is the 19th book in the series and I haven't got bored with it yet. Several books ago Barr introduced a couple of new characters Heath, a paraplegic and Elizabeth, who is now Heath's adopted daughter. In this book, Elizabeth is being cyber-stalked by an unknown person. The cyber-stalking becomes so serious that they decide to take Elizabeth to Maine and stay on a friend's secluded island, Boar Island, which is also near to Anna's new post at the Acadia National Park. The move unfortunately doesn't help the situation. Not only does the stalker follow them to Maine, but a murderer is also in the area.

 

One of the things that I like most about this series is that the stories are all set in or around National Parks so there is always an outdoorsy, wilderness back drop. This story also had all the makings for a cool setting- the remote deserted island and Acadia National Park but I didn't feel like the setting was exploited to its full potential. Yeah the characters stayed on this "island," but most of the story seemed to take part in the city and we never got a full view of the Island or the Park. I just didn't get my normal dose of the outdoors like I was hoping for. It was still an entertaining story though. Barr always keeps you enthralled with multiple story lines in play and this one was no different. I just hope she reverts back to a more natural setting in the next book and gives us the full park and outdoor experience like she usually does.

 

*I received this ARC from Goodreads FirstReads & the Publisher, Minotaur Books, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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review 2016-04-17 00:06
Ad Tenebras Dedi - 3.5 stars...
The Last One: A Novel - Alexandra Oliva

"Ad Tenebras Dedi" or "I surrender to the dark" (I think) is the catch phrase that the 12 contestants of a new survival reality show called In the Dark must say if they are ready to throw in the towel. Unbeknownst to them though, while they are out in the middle of nowhere participating in the show challenges, a worldwide virus pandemic is sweeping across the country. Some of the contestants are recovered and taken to refugee camps but then there are others like the contestant Zoo, who haven't been found. The story follows the contestants and then Zoo as she navigates the country trying to survive and come to terms with what's real and what isn't. 

 

I love the premise for the story and I did enjoy it but I think it could be even better with a few of the kinks worked out. For one, the story flips between the contestants completing their challenges and Zoo navigating on her own solo challenge but there is no clear timeline distinctions so trying to understand when everything is occurring is really confusing.

 

The contestants are also introduced by their real names and given reality TV show names. Throughout the story, the narration switches between both names and that's also confusing trying to remember who is who. 

 

Another issue I had was with the game show challenge narration. The narration of the challenge details were sort of choppy, flat and monotonous. I think maybe to compare to with a TV dialogue script but it actually took all the suspense out of the story. I just think it would have been more entertaining if the narration was styled a little bit differently and the suspense turned up a notch.

 

Overall though, I think it's a really unique concept and the story has 5 star potential but just needs to be polished a little more.

 

*I received this ARC from NetGalley & also a wonderful ARC Paperback from First Reads & Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review! Thank you! 

 

  80%Challenge Participant

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text 2016-02-06 22:02
Along for the ride with The Passenger
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

Fun and suspenseful, Lisa Lutz's story was an intense experience.  I loved it.  I loved the characters.  I even loved the deeply flawed plot.  There are many things in this story that don't make sense and aren't tied up at the end (despite the impression that they are), and I could go into great detail here, but they didn't spoil the experience for me.  The suspense in the novel depends on the main character and narrator, whose name keeps changing, keeping things from us as she tells us her story.  She drew me into her story, but once she had gained my trust and my empathy, I wondered why she kept hiding things from me.  In the end, though, I came out cheering for her, happy to have lived in her story a while.  It was a great ride.  

I got a free copy of this from Net Galley.

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review 2015-12-31 21:04
Who is Santa and how did he get to the North Pole?...
Who is Santa? And how did he get to the North Pole? - Stephen W. Bigalow

If you want to find out how Christmas came to be, who Santa is, why he moved to the North Pole, where elves came from, and all of those other questions about Santa you've been dying to know then you should check out Who is Santa by Stephen W. Bigalow. It answers all of those questions and more. It's pretty long though and the author says it written for an older child but you can read each chapter just as an individual story which does help to break it up some for the younger kids but it's still pretty daunting for a child. I'm not sure why authors keep writing these extremely long Christmas books for kids. It makes you wonder if they actually have any kids of their own. My 9 year old would not sit through even a couple pages so I definitely think it should be shortened. It does have some really fun stories, pretty pictures and everything you want to know about Santa if you can actually get your kids interested enough to sit down for long enough to read some of it.

 

*I received this ARC through FirstReads and the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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