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review 2018-06-24 21:58
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
Lying in Wait - Liz Nugent

This takes place primarily in the 1980s, in Ireland. On the surface, Lydia, her husband Andrew, and her son Laurence appear to have a perfect life. The whole family lives in Lydia's family home, a beautiful mansion. Lydia is a stay-at-home mom who is devoted (overly so) to her son, and Andrew is a respected judge.

This happy life is a facade. Andrew and Lydia hired Annie, a prostitute, to help them with a problem, and when Annie tried to blackmail Andrew he choked her and Lydia finished her off. Lydia proposed that they bury Annie in their garden, a perfectly safe spot since of course they'd never sell off her family home. Unfortunately, the family also has money problems, brought on by Andrew placing his trust in the wrong accountant. Cracks are beginning to appear in their pretty little life, and those cracks widen when Laurence sees news reports about Annie and begins to suspect that his father had something to do with her disappearance.

I picked up an ARC of this during a recent conference. Although it's been out since 2016, it looks like it was released in hardcover earlier this month.

I read this hoping for an exciting and tense thriller. What I got was sometimes achingly slow pacing, characters I didn't care much about, and boredom. I thought this would be about Lydia and Andrew's increasingly futile efforts to hide their part in Annie's murder. I suppose there was a little bit of that, but the story mostly turned out to be about Lydia and her deeply unhealthy attachment to her son (no incest, but there were a couple moments when I worried that that was where Nugent was going with all of this). Everyone's secrets poisoned everything around them, and the ending was just depressing.

There is no justice and goodness to be found here.

(spoiler show)


The book alternated between chapters from Lydia, Laurence, and Karen's POVs. Karen was Annie's sister, and probably the most sympathetic of the book's more prominent characters. Although I disliked her actions where Bridget was concerned, I wanted things to work out well for her.

Too bad this wasn't that kind of story.

(spoiler show)


I felt some sympathy for Laurence, who was clearly being suffocated by his mother, but that sympathy eventually evaporated. He was more like his father than his mother - he actually had a bit of a conscience, but it didn't stop him from doing horrible things and then finding ways to rationalize most of it later. I completely gave up on him when I got to the chapter from his POV about the first time he met Karen. This took place a lot later than the publisher's description led me to believe it would, by the way.

The bulk of the book was pretty boring. Despite the fact that Andrew made several enormous mistakes, he and Lydia didn't have to work nearly as hard to hide their tracks as I'd have expected. As time passed (the story took place over the course of about 6 years, I think), it seemed less and less likely that the mystery of Annie's disappearance would ever be solved. The story finally became more tense and interesting near the end, as everyone's lies started to unravel. Unfortunately, the ending was a disappointment.

I'll end this with a warning for readers for whom weight and weight loss in fiction are an issue. At the start of the book, Laurence is fat and bullied because of his weight. Throughout the rest of the story his weigh yo-yos. The descriptions of his weight loss bothered me - he struggled with a relentless appetite, but that appetite had a tendency to magically disappear after he started dieting, and deciding to diet also magically gave him the energy and ability to exercise.

All of this was actually addressed later on in the story, but it took a while, and until then readers had to put up with the implication that all Laurence needed to do to lose weight was exert a bit of willpower.

(spoiler show)

There were also lots of mentions of Laurence feeling repulsed by his own weight and of Laurence worrying that the women he was with were repulsed by his weight.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-06-17 23:58
Patrick: Son of Ireland
Patrick: Son of Ireland - Stephen R. Lawhead

I began this book appropriately on St. Patrick's Day and by the following day was almost half done. This is much the most interesting and readable book I've read so far by Lawhead. (Right now, I am reading Merlin and that would be a close second so far).

 

Over the bare bones of what is actually known about Ireland's patron saint, Lawhead spreads a fully embodied coat of flesh, told in the first person, from which comes its ease of reading and liking the future saint. The Roman-British Succat goes by several names throughout his life; only the last is the one he is known by: Patricius. After Irish raiders capture him, he first demands to be ransomed back to his family. Unfortunately no one understands his Latin, and he does not speak Irish. He becomes a slave instead, a sheepherder and briefly a stable boy. He abandons his Christian faith after God does not answer his plea bargain for rescue. Or at least He does not answer in the way Succat wishes. Over time, he learns the Irish tongue, makes three unsuccessful escape attempts, and has his life saved more than once by a druid. He takes a lover who he knows he will abandon once he makes yet another try at escape. In the meantime, he serves the druids and asks for training in their ways. This is not because becoming one interests him, but he sees it as a way to escape back home.

 

But is there really a home for him after all these years except in the God he has rejected, but Who has not rejected him?

 

After a stint in the Roman army, Succat works toward becoming a senator. But tragedy strikes and only after despair crushes him, does he offer himself back to God. He hears a call to return to Ireland, where he is still considered an escaped slave, but where he realizes his true freedom lies.

 

This story shows God can use any sinner for His greater glory and to bring more souls to Him. God bless St. Patrick!

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text 2018-06-12 14:54
Coming Out Today ....
Lying in Wait - Liz Nugent

 

Released today in hardback cover, "Lying in Wait" is going to conquer american readers who are always up for a good dark thriller.

 

Born in Ireland, Liz Nugent is not a newcomer, she has already released two previous books and I'm shure that she has gained the respect of many readers that became instant fans.

 

Nothing better than a rainy day, a hot cup of tea and a book for a companion.

 

 

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review 2018-06-06 00:17
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

As a black girl born in July of 1863, in the South no less, Jane McKeene did not have a promising future ahead of her. Her birth just so happened to coincide with the dead rising from the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville. The dead have plagued the United States ever since. A divided nation agreed on re-education acts that required black and native American children to be trained to put down the dead. Jane is in training to be an Attendant, a young woman set as a personal bodyguard for wealthy women.

I love this, because of course white people would make minorities do the dirty work. It makes a sick amount of sense. Ireland's vision of how 19th century society re-arranges itself around the constant threat of attacks from the dead was entertaining and sobering. This novel works as an action and adventure story, raises issues of social justice, and provides a few key perspectives on life in the 19th century.

'Dread Nation' is the first zombie book since 'World War Z' that kept my attention. Don't even get me started on films and television. My fellow readers who have become numb to anything zombie related, I ask that you check this out. Jane and Co.'s struggle to save themselves and others from the undead as well as other humans is a great teen read full of humor and adventure, may wake you up to the possibilities of the zombie genre again.

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review 2018-05-30 15:01
3 Out Of 5 "feeling meh..." STARS
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Dread Nation

Justina Ireland

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Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

 

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If wanting to like a book is enough, then I would have loved this…but, in reality, I just found it rather dull.  The zombies or "shamblers", were the dullest of them and the story just fell flat for me.  Although, if they had been more kill-y than I probably wouldn't have finished it due to the nightmares I would have had. {{{shrugs shoulders}}}

 

The plot didn't play out the way I envisioned it.  I thought it would center around the civil war and how the walking dead changed how it ended.  But after rereading the synopsis, I realized I shouldn't have thought that…but even knowing that it didn't change my disappointment. (This is why reading the synopsis doesn't spoil the book for me, I don't really pay attention to what it says...)  Overall the story wasn't all bad, but it's likely that I won't read the next book. 

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 3/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5 Cliffhanger~  sort of…

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Book Cover~ Awesome, it drew me in…I feel like the cover promised more than I was given…

Narration~ 3 -Bahni Turpin…it's not that she was bad, only that I think they were too many characters for her take on by herself.

Setting~ Alternate United States

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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