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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-08 01:15
Hidden by Benedict Jacka
Hidden - Benedict Jacka

Hidden by Benedict Jacka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whilst rumours of his master's return circulates throughout the mage community, Alex Verus, Diviner and known "outsider", chooses to ignore the gossip and focus on something else entirely, such as rebuilding damaged friendships. An interruption comes in the form of abduction when Anne, his once housemate and valued companion, disappears in her home. Taking it upon himself, Alex doesn't hesitate to stage a rescue mission, which just so happens to lead to a shadow realm, belonging to the one and only Dark mage, Sagash.

(WARNING: This reviews contains spoilers.)

I started reading this series (Alex Verus is nine instalments long), in 2014, as it was one of the few in the genre that had a male protagonist. Being largely into Urban Fantasy at that time, it didn't take a genius to notice the staggering amount of females that dominated. Alex's trouble-making was thus refreshing, yet always struck me as having some issues that I just couldn't ignore. For one, the plot-lines primarily consisted of Alex saving women - not that I have a problem with the odd damsel in distress; I'm not a fragile flower that gets offended by a man coming to the rescue of a lady, but with the amount it happened it got repetitive pretty quickly. The fourth book, Chosen, turned the tables, and Alex was the one in need of saving by the strong females he surrounds himself with. I appreciated that instalment considerably more than the rest, hence my rating of four stars. This one, however, seems to have returned to its roots - the rinse and repeat of Alex being good at everything in full force.

The events that transpired in this one, whilst interesting to an extent, were very clearly filler. However I admit, I actually liked the concept of a shadow realm; the very personal domain of a Dark mage, where their deepest, most sinister creations can take form. In general, I find the darker side of mage society to be far more interesting in comparison to the lighter side. This isn't to say Light mages are dull - on the contrary, there's a lot of shady stuff going on there, but they strike me as far, far too political, at least for my tastes.

There's a part of me wishes the overall tone of the series was more adult, for the simple reason as to allow the malevolence of the Dark to shine through on a much more heinous level. As it was, I felt a little underwhelmed by Anne's recollection of her past - which consisted of her being forced to kill others in an arena. Yes, murder is ugly, but it just didn't shock me as much as I'd like, especially when it's been stated that Sagash was twisted and, most definitely, bad on all counts.

It's at this point that readers are very much aware of Richard, and his impending and much anticipated return. Richard's been a very prominent character from the beginning - Alex has never missed an opportunity to ramble on about his past trauma as his unwilling apprentice. I was hoping there would finally be some sort of reunion or confrontation, and whilst it did happen, it certainly wasn't as explosive as I wanted it to be. Despite being all together anticlimactic, it nevertheless set the foundation for what I assume to be the next book.

As for the characters themselves; Alex still had his obvious faults, but he remained likeable in personality. I'd most assuredly have him as a friend if I could, even if he'd probably get me killed. I've always been fond of Anne, though I considered her a little bit over-dramatic here. Arachne wasn't in it as much as I'd like, but I was thankful for Luna being absent for a large portion. The character I disliked the most was Sonder - he was the definition of annoying, clearly stealing Luna's spotlight in that regard. The introduction of the blink fox was, of course, the most memorable aspect - I hope it returns as a permanent ally! Goodness knows Alex will need it.

Veiled is the next instalment of this series and it was first published in 2015. It's currently on my reading list.

In conclusion - Yet another addition which I considered average, at best, and more than definitely filler. Hopefully the next will be more relevant and include dear ol' Richard!

Notable Scene:

It didn't make me any happier. My crude ability to see the future didn't make me any friends - the opposite, if anything. I had knowledge, but there wasn't anything I could do with it. I was left just as isolated, hating the people who'd ostracised me. Until one cold autumn day when Richard had stepped onto the schoolyard where I was standing, promising me everything I'd secretly wanted if I'd follow him and call him master. And I'd said yes.

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/08/hidden-by-benedict-jacka
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text 2018-03-08 00:12
Reading progress update: I've read 12%.
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio


The passengers always applaud when we touch ground.

Good to know islanders from all around share this peculiar trait.



Her favorite snack was a dollop of fresh sheep's-milk ricotta mixed with sugar, lemon zest, and chocolate shavings squeezed between two sugar cookies--a Sicilian Oreo.


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text 2018-03-03 23:58
February in Review

January in Review


(Read: 5 / Reviewed: 6)


February sure flew past! I have to say, I had so much fun this month! There was a lot of coffee, wine, and book-related delights! I also had the chance to take part in a Q and A for Booklikes, which really made me feel warm and fuzzy inside! I know it's not that big of a deal, but it's nice to be acknowledged for something you work hard on. See my post about it here!






John Dies at the End by David Wong - It's surely becoming a regular enjoyment; taking part in the monthly group reads of Horror Aficionados! I honestly wasn't sure about this one at all - it sounded way too silly for my taste. How wrong I was! What a great start to the month!



The Devoured by Curtis M. Lawson - I was requested to read and review this one by the author. I'm glad I did, as it was a bit different than my usual reads, but in a good way. I promptly consumed it and reviewed it.


Hidden by Benedict Jacka - I started this series in 2015, whilst still in my Urban Fantasy phase. What intrigued my about it, was that it had a male protagonist, something that's not all too common in the genre. This series has never been perfect for me, but I still like to see what trouble Alex gets himself into.


The Fallen Kind Vol I: Ghosts Of Nunchi by M. Almelk - After being contacted by the lovely author, I quickly accepted his request! Post-apocalypse but on another planet? It certainly piqued my interest. I reviewed it here.


Preta's Realm by J. Thorn - A last minute read for the month. Having been on my Kindle for a long time, I decided to finally give it a shot. It was short, and it included some truly disgusting scenes.




25082869365618413171393534326754DirectIngest, , Manually Released125030623014001 (1)37556541


Morium by S.J. Hermann

Splatterpunk Fighting Back by MULTIPLE

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The Devoured by Curtis M. Lawson

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter (WORST READ)

The Magic Cottage by James Herbert (2017 Review) (BEST READ)

The Awesome by Eva Darrows (2017 Review)

The Fallen Kind Vol I: Ghosts Of Nunchi by M. Almelk


I strive for two reviews a week, but I had extra space this month, so I included reviews from last year. I think I'll do that - start to post old reviews, just to have them on this blog. On Goodreads I have over a hundred reviews, dating back to 2011! This month also included a trip to Waterstones, and a basket full of books! All horror, of course.




So how did February go for you? Read anything good? Let me know!


Red xx

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/28/february-in-review
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review 2018-02-20 10:00
New Release & Release Day Review! Sons of Broad Series Prequels by Tara Thomas
Shattered Fear: A Novella of Romantic Suspense (Sons of Broad) - Tara Thomas
Hidden Fate - Tara Q. Thomas
Twisted End - Tara Q. Thomas



From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas, comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

Forbidden love never felt so good...

She’s got a killer to catch.
He just might be it. 
Undercover detective Janie Roberts needs to find out for sure if Brent Taylor is a murderer.
Handsome, wealthy, and sexy-as-sin Brent Taylor. 
She’s got to get close enough to learn his secrets.

But getting this close is dangerous in more ways than one…




From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas, comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

He’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe…

Someone wants Janie dead.
Brent will do anything to protect her from a ruthless killer’s hunt. 
But an enemy this powerful won’t give up easily….

And danger and passion will explode as they fight for each other.




From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas, comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

First comes desire.
Then comes love.
But Janie and Brent need to stop the man out to ruin them,

Before they can live happily ever after…


This review is for the three Sons of Broad prequels: Shattered Fear, Hidden Fate & Twisted End.



Strong, compelling characters pull readers into a thrilling story that fills readers with suspense and holds them hostage until the very end. This new series is off to a strong start with a series of three prequels that are fast paced, full of edge of the seat suspense, lifelike characters and steamy romance.


The author brought the story to life with well written words that provided vibrant imagery that makes it easy for the readers to picture each and every scene which keeps them glued to the pages and embroiled in the thrilling danger with surprising twists that keep readers guessing and a romance that is sweet and steamy. The first two prequels Shattered Fear and Hidden Fate end is hair raising cliffhangers, so you do have to read all three to get to the happily ever after but even with the romantic conclusion for Janie and Brent, there are still mysteries to be solved and bad guys to catch so the series will continue with the first full length novel Darkest Night and I am looking forward to reading the coming books in the Sons of Broad series.




Shattered Fear is the 1st of 3 prequels in the Sons of Broad series and

is available February 6, 2018 in ebook at:

Amazon    B&N    iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   ebooks


Hidden Fate is the 2nd of the 3 prequels and is available February 13, 2018 in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks


Twisted End is the 3rd of the 3 prequels and is available February 20, 2018 in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks


The 1st Book, Darkest Night is set to be released on February 27, 2018.

Keep an eye out for my review of Darkest Night coming next week.


& the 2nd book Deadly Secret is set to be released on March 27, 2018.


Tara Thomas can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter

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review 2018-02-17 04:00
Anne Frank
Anne Frank: A Hidden Life - Mirjam Pressler

AR: 8.5

Grade Level: 6th-8th

Summary: Anne Frank: A Hidden Life is all about what Anne Frank and her family endured through the Holocaust. Anne Frank: A Hidden Life gives extreme detail, and allows the reader to experience the Holocaust through Anne's perspctive. 

Idea: This is a great way to intertwine reading into social studies because it covers a momumental part of our history.  I would most definitely use this book for upper grades, most likely 6th. I feel like the reading level and content is most appropiate here. For my lower level students, I can always fit this book into where I would meet their needs. This way, they would not miss out on a first hand account of a young girl, who experienced every bit of the Holocaust. 

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