logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Halloween
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-12-04 22:32
The Water Rat of Wanchai
The Water Rat of Wanchai - Ian Hamilton

They had been profitable years, with Ava earning enough money for the condo and the car and an impressive investment portfolio. But the best thing about the jobs she and Uncle did was the ride getting to the money - it was never the same twice, and though it taxed her emotionally, it also forced her to expand her senses and her thought processes. Then there were the clients. Although she complained about them sometimes, especially those who in utter desperation were far too clinging and demanding, she also accepted Uncle's conviction that they were simply lost souls looking for redemption. "When we get them their money back, what we are really doing is saving their lives," he would say. Ava believed that, too.

Ava Lee is a forensic accountant, but we learn very little about what forensic accountants do in this book, because right from the get-go, Ava Lee turns into this shady figure tracking down people and information by using any means necessary - deception, coercion, chloral hydrate, but very little accounting.

 

Oh, I am so conflicted about this book. I really wanted to like this a lot. I was really hoping to find a new series that would fill that silly void left by other series about action-packed espionage. And this one looked good because the idea of a Bond-like figure written as a woman sounded too good to pass by.

 

However, the execution of the book didn't live up to my expectations at all. There are silly plot elements that required me to suspend disbelief just a little too much, like when Ava calls up a shipping company out of the cold and they remember every single detail about a one-off, very ordinary, transaction from 8 weeks earlier, and they didn't even have to consult their files? I found that hardly credible.  

 

There were other elements of the writing that also grated on me: the use of brand names instead of descriptions, was a major annoyance. I find this so lazy. Even if we get to learn that someone wore Adidas pants, it still doesn't tell me what colour or style or whether they were tracksuit bottoms or the more fashion-conscious kind. All I know is that they may have stripes down the sides (tho not all of them do...). 

So lazy. Yet, this book is full of this. Brand names appear so often that I once even laughed at how the multitude of product placement compared to a James Bond film, which is famously full of the same advertising. 

 

There was one particular scene where the author has Ava decide between two hotels in Hong Kong (or was it Macao), and I literally had to skip the page because I was not going to put up with reading an advertising leaflet for the Mandarin Oriental. Still, as we can see, the advert worked as I will forever remember the name of the hotel. Gaaaahhh...

I'm so annoyed about this. And I haven't even mentioned Ava's addition to a particular kind of Starbucks coffee sachet...

 

In all of this, what I can only describe as an exercise to replace descriptive writing with consumerist imagery, the plot and character development gets left behind. 

In the first half of the book, Ava does little else than answer phone calls and jump on planes to exotic locations. 

In the second half of the book, the plot thickens. Or rather, Ava breaks out her martial art skills to kidnap someone...

Ironically, this is where I should have really gotten into the book and just didn't. It took me a lot longer to finish the book than I thought, because I just could not face the tedium of reading about Ava's attempts to restore money to a company account. I think I'd have been more interested in it if the underlying purpose had not been quite so ... transactional, and if there had been more emphasis on the characters involved.  

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-12-02 14:17
Reading progress update: I've read 64 out of 412 pages.
The Water Rat of Wanchai - Ian Hamilton

I should be able to finish this book today, as I am having up to 2 hours of uninterrupted reading time while my car is getting new winter tyres put on.

The gent at the garage told me I could wait or I could leave and he'd give me a call when they have finished. Even he smiled when I pulled out my book asking him to point me to their waiting room.

 

So, reading the heck out of this book while fuelled by garage coffee. :)

 

As for the book, I'm still interested but there are elements that really annoy me.

 

For example,  I find it a stretch to believe that a shipping company would remember the details of a one-off job from 8 weeks ago, that was a normal job, without consulting its files.

That does not happen, and yet, this happened twice already.

 

Anyway, onwards...

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-11-25 08:57
"The Mermaid's Madness - Princess #2" by Jim C. Hines - the series gets a little darker
The Mermaid's Madness - Jim C. Hines

"The Mermaid's Madness" is the second book in this series about three princesses who aren't quite the ones you know from the fairytales and the Disney movies. The first book, "The Stepsister Scheme" brought together Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as agents of Cinderella's new mother-in-law, the Queen Beatrice of Lorindar. Snow is a sorceress with a slightly ribald sense of humour, Beauty (never call her that to her face) is a trained assassin and the Cinders, who now has a young son, has a magic sword and an ability to lead.

 

"The Mermaid's Madness" gives us a different look at what the story of The Little Mermaid looks like if you drop the soft-focus and treat the mermaid at the centre of the story as a real person. The story starts with the Undine/merfolk, who are lead by the most senior female undine, breaking a long-standing truce with Lorindar and attacking and wounding Queen Beatrice.

 

As the Undine will only treat with women, the three princesses set out to try and end the war with the Undine and save Queen Beatrice's life.

 

The Undine, as Jim Hines imagines them, are not just humans who can swim underwater, they are an aquatic species with their own culture, gifted with significant magical abilities, especially via their voices, who are able to communicate with humans. When an undine princess falls in love with a human prince who betrays her, she goes mad with grief and everything else follows.

 

Like it's predecessor, this is, at least on the surface, a boisterous, trope-twisting, witty romp of a book but beneath that shiny surface is something much darker. There is a vein of sadness that runs through the book whenever we get to how the young women in the story have been treated by the powerful, especially powerful men. The book is filled with strong women but almost all of them have been damaged or at least wounded by their encounters with people who fail to see them as fully human.

 

I admire Jim C. Hines' ability to write a rollicking tale with mermaids and selkies and sea battles that has a fast pace and is lubricated with humour and yet still bring the reader back time and again to real sources of pain.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-11-20 11:00
Recent Release Review! Unhallowed Murder (Chattanooga Supernaturals #8) Candace Blevins!

 

 

It’s Halloween night and the Haunted Corn Maze is a madhouse. However, no one knows one of the zombies in the diorama is a dead body. There’s a reason it looks so real.

 

Lieutenant Veronica Woods is dressed as a Power Ranger, as are her four friends, enjoying the frights and scares in the chill autumn air. Ronnie is a tiger-shifter, and her sense of smell points her to the body, but there’s no logical reason for her to climb the small hill and traipse through the display. At least, not until she scents a group of vampires, and she bullies and coerces one of them into helping her report the crime so she can begin her investigation.

 

Josef is an ancient vampire with a military mindset. He was a general in his human life, and now he’s head of security for one of the most powerful vampires alive. He hasn’t had a personal relationship in decades, and has no interest in one, but the adorable little tiger shifter walks like a sex kitten and issues orders like a military general. Her people obviously respect her, and he finds he doesn’t want to leave her side when she’s ready to turn him loose.

 

NOTE: Unhallowed Murder can be read as a stand-alone.

 

 

This paranormal murder mystery romance takes place around Halloween which enhances the atmosphere to the mystery as the strong, bold characters discover a body while out celebrating with friends. The mystery augments the story with thrilling suspense and keeps reader guessing ‘who done it?’ right along with Ronni and Josef in this fast paced and thrilling story. And readers get the thrill of trying to discover clues and find evidence right alongside the characters as the author paints such vivid imagery which makes it easy for readers to imagine each and every scene. The plots is fast paced and flows smoothly throughout the story with lots of electrical chemistry flowing between Ronni and Josef which adds lots of hot and spicy romance to the story. The romance is the story starts with each of the characters being intrigued with each other and they kind of negotiate their way into a relationship which builds the suspense of the romance. Once again, the Chattanooga Supernaturals provide a rip roaring romance that keeps readers entertained from beginning to end, which is kind of fitting since it’s about a vampire and a tiger shifter. The story can be read alone without reading the other books in the series and it is a bit different being it is a murder mystery romance but it is still part of the fascinating world full of wonderful characters that reader can’t get enough of.

 

 

Author's Book page

 

http://www.candaceblevins.com/kirsten-osheas-universe/unhallowed-murder-a-murder-mystery-romance/

 

 

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42289377-unhallowed-murder

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/unhallowed-murder-by-candace-blevins

 

 


Unhallowed Murder is the 8th book in the Chattanooga Supernaturals series

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/147358-chattanooga-supernaturals

 

 

1 The Dragon King
2 Riding the Storm
3 Acceptable Risk
4 Careful What You Ask For
5 Hallowed Destiny - Forged by Darkness
6 Uncaged
7 Cocky Queen
8 Unhallowed Murder

 

 

9 Unexpected Gifts (November 24, 2018)

 

 

 

Chattanooga Supernaturals is part of the Kirsten O'Shea Universe which includes 5 connected series, however you can read each series without reading the others or you can find the reading order for 5 at -


http://www.candaceblevins.com/kirsten-osheas-universe/

 

 

The Universe includes -
Only Human - urban fantasy
The Chattanooga Supernaturals - paranormal romance
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club - paranormal romance
Dark Underbelly of the Chattanooga Supernaturals
A Dark(ish) Faerie Tale

 

 

Amazon - https://amzn.to/2CF8457

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unhallowed-murder

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unhallowed-murder-candace-blevins/1129730428?ean=2940161887943

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unhallowed-murder/id1438789356?mt=11

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Candace_Blevins_Unhallowed_Murder?id=n1JyDwAAQBAJ

 

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/900597


Candace Blevins has published more than forty books. She lives with her husband of 20 years and their two daughters. When not working or driving young teens all over the place, she can be found reading, writing, meditating, or swimming. The family’s beloved, goofy, retired racing greyhound is usually at her side as she writes, quietly keeping her company.

 

Candace writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary BDSM Romance, and a kick-ass Motorcycle Club series.

 

Her urban fantasy series, Only Human, gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, and three different species of vampires exist, as well as a variety of other mythological beings.

 

Candace’s two paranormal romance series, The Chattanooga Supernaturals and The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club, are both sister series to the Only Human books, and gives some secondary characters their happily ever after. Her three paranormal series are written so you can read one series, or all three, should you prefer only a particular genre.

 

Her Safeword Series gives us characters who happen to have some extreme kinks. Relationships can be difficult enough without throwing power exchange into the mix, and her books show characters who care enough about each other to fight to make the relationship work. Each book in the Safeword series highlights a couple with a different take on the lifestyle.

 

 


Website - http://www.candaceblevins.com/

 

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/candacesblevins

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4489132.Candace_Blevins

 

Amazon - http://amzn.to/1TFP6eL

 

Twitter- https://twitter.com/CandaceBlevins

 

Pintrest - https://pinterest.com/candacesblevins/

 

InstaGram - https://www.instagram.com/candaceblevinsauthor/

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/candace-blevins

 

 

 

THANKS FOR VISITING & HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-11-18 15:34
Dark Voyage
Dark Voyage - Helen Susan Swift

by Helen Susan Swift

 

Two people are out on a pleasurable boating trip on the North Sea when storm clouds suddenly move in and turn the sea violent. As if that weren't enough to ruin their day, things take a strange turn.

 

This is a ghost ship story with a few weird turns. It did stretch believability in some places, but was overall an interesting read. My one complaint is some lazy writing where one of the main characters would 'just feel' what she was meant to do or that a ghost wanted her to do something.

 

The majority of the story is told through the voice of a doctor who had been on the ghost ship and what happened to the rest of the crew. There are some triggers here. It was a sealing ship and animal lovers like myself may find some passages difficult, though it isn't gratuitous gore. Just the thought of a sailing expedition whose purpose is to slaughter animals, including baby animals, is enough to be upsetting.

 

The writing is excellent and the supernatural aspects of the story are very well done. The beginning and end sequences felt rather rushed, but the bulk of the story, told by the doctor's journal, made for a very good read.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?