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text 2018-02-01 00:56
January in Review

January in Review

(Read: 5 / Reviewed: 9)

It's certainly been an interesting, if not a long, month! Phew, I thought January would never end! Fortunately I got through some great books and was able to write two reviews each week. This new routine really helped me stay on top of things. Let's take a look at all the bookish goodness, shall we?

Read

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Splatterpunk Fighting Back by (multiple) - This analogy has eleven individual stories written by different authors. Going in, I was only vaguely familiar with Duncan Ralston, having previously finished Woom. I never would've discovered this had it not been for Horror Aficionados on Goodreads, of who appointed it the January group read with author invite. I was lucky enough to ask some of the authors questions whilst trying to gain more insight into their brutal tales, and I had a blast! The best thing, though? All proceeds of this book go to charity! (Rated: 4/5)

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay - Another one I wouldn't have picked up if not for the Horror Aficionados group. Being the January group read, I was pleasantly surprised by this one! (Rated: 4/5)

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter - I started this long-running series in 2011, and it's still ongoing. Whilst I really enjoyed it at the beginning, my enjoyment waned several instalments ago, however I can't just give up without finishing it, can I? Ludicrous! (Rated: 2/5)

What Hides Within by Jason Parent - I found this on Netgalley, and I'm glad I did! Bloodshot Books accepted my request, and I promptly read and reviewed it. (Rated: 4/5)

Morium by S.J. Hermann - I was requested to read and review this novel by the author. Being my last read of January, this one takes priority and will be the first review of February. See my request information here. (Rated: 3/5)

 

Reviewed 

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Blood Song by Cat Adams (WORST READ)
Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
The Taste of Night by Vicki Pettersson
Stephen by Amy Cross
The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards
Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds (BEST READ)
Woom by Duncan Ralston
What Hides Within by Jason Parent
Dark Space by Kevis Hendrickson

Other than that, January was a decent month for me personally. I'm enjoying reading more, getting out more, and generally trying to put more effort into my day-to-day life. I thank everyone who made this past month all the better, including the wonderful authors I had the chance to speak to! Here's hoping for a book-tastic February!

Red xx

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/01/31/january-in-review
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-30 23:31
Dark Space by Kevis Hendrickson
Dark Space - Kevis Hendrickson

Dark Space by Kevis Hendrickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zyra Zanr's in a lot of trouble when Helship II is bested by an unknown ship. Much to her dismay, her time as the most lucrative and notorious bounty hunter comes to an abrupt halt, when instead of being the hunter, she becomes the hunted. Captured and aboard the Lillith, Zyra must somehow escape the clutches of a rival gang - one that make their hatred for her no secret.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

If it's one thing I love, it's intelligent protagonists. All too often, certainly more often than I'd like, main characters outright refuse to use their brain, and it infuriates me. This leans more toward female leads, as for some reason being "tough" usually means that they can't keep their trap shut; mouthing off at everyone and everything, usually making their predicament ten times worse. This is where I have to give credit to Hendrickson, as Zyra's not stupid. She was well aware of who had the upper hand, that is, until she gained the advantage. This was a satisfying change from the first book in the series (Rogue Hunter is currently five instalments long, with four more planned), as she often gave in to her impulsive tendencies. The obvious progression of her character was something I favoured, as I find characters that learn from mistakes to be less predictable and more engaging.

Similar to Inquest, there were very little people on Zyra's side; most needed serious anger management, and perhaps a lesson or two in empathy. The aspect of bounty hunting was further delved into, and the ugliness of it wasn't shied away from - on the contrary, as rather than being even remotely glamorous, the team had a difficult time merely getting by. Their struggle did nothing to warm me to them, however, as their actions were nothing short of detestable. The torture they inflicted upon Zyra was horrific, and perhaps even a little reckless considering she was wanted alive. I wanted to think better of Drake; a seasoned hunter, he had to act the adult amongst his bickering subordinates, yet he wasn't much better in the scheme of things. They truly were a dysfunctional group of people that were pathetic in terms of professionalism.

Despite everything that happened to Zyra, she was still able to turn it around. This made me wonder about her, and if her incredible knack for survival was intentionally far-fetched. The extent of her wounds were stated to be pretty severe, so much so that she was apparently on the verge of death. I know one of the rumours about her was that she wasn't entirely human, and I began to contemplate that possibility more and more. It went beyond mere skill, when she was able to successfully out-best the entire crew whilst dealing with that amount of injury. It could be that I'm wrong, though, and she's just that good. If that's the case, I'd thus consider her to be a tad unrealistic.

One thing I didn't quite understand, was the self-destruct mechanism on the ship. It seemed convenient only for the plot, however I suppose the ship itself was an earlier acquisition and had a prior function, so obviously certain features would've been left over from that. It's too bad the time limit it issued was less exciting than it should've been, because Zyra wasn't going to die - she's the main character and has natural plot armour. I'm glad Logos made it, though, and I wonder if he's going to be present in future books.

In conclusion - Zyra's quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Hendrickson does a great job in creating a brutal universe where everyone's out only for themselves. I can't wait to see where Zyra ends up next!

Notable Scene:

Drake was playing with fire. His every taunt stoked the flames in her heart, raising the heat within her to explosive heights. Zyra trembled, unable to check her rising anger at the pitiful sight of Logos. If Drake touched another hair on Logos' head, she would make him suffer.

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/01/30/dark-space-by-kevis-hendrickson
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review 2013-05-21 00:00
The Tale of Liril
The Tale of Liril - Kevis Hendrickson The Tale of Liril - Kevis Hendrickson

I liked it. At the beginning, I wasn't sure I would, but I liked it. Uh ... haha ... I usually am full of things that I want to say about a book I've just finished, but in this case, being that it's so short (only 25 pages), every time I write what I want to say about it, I erase it just because I don't want to give away too much of the story. So I'll simply say this - it's one of those moments where you've made a wish that you wish you could take back kind of books.

For those of you interested in taking a look, it's actually free on Amazon right now. :)

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review 2013-05-04 00:00
The Grey Elk
The Grey Elk - Kevis Hendrickson I was looking for something short to read before bed and came across this on my iPad. I had downloaded it from Smashwords and I'm so glad I read it. It's perfect if you want a really solid, good short story. It's a well written fantasy tale of a man and his journey through life. I loved the ending. It gave the story a feel as though it could be passed to my children. Perfect length, too. I'll certainly read more from this author!! Highly recommend it.

Review also published on my blog http://diamondlovestoread.blogspot.com
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review 2013-03-12 00:00
Rogue Hunter: Inquest
Rogue Hunter: Inquest - Kevis Hendrickson Action Packed Story

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

What I liked:

The fast-paced action and suspense was well written. It was a page turner, especially once the big stuff started up. It was also obvious the book had been edited—it wasn’t filled with typos and grammar problems (thank you!). That it itself, often makes independent books more enjoyable to read. The convoluted natures of both Zyra and Skringler worked well to keep me guessing what was going to happen. The author worked hard to make you hate one and cheer for the other (I won’t tell which). The author also presented a lot of sensory detail, for the most part, and that helped place images in my mind (but does anyone ever eat?).

What I didn’t like:

The first part of the story, where the sequence of events was mixed up was not necessary, especially in light of the whole book. It made the adventure seem like it was going to wrap up as soon as the reader caught up with the present time. I suggest that next time, simply write out the events as they happen, and tighten your tension with each chapter. I understand that going back helps build tension, but it also builds a certain amount of frustration.
For me, the sex scene between Zyra and Mika took away from the story. I thought it was too intense and detailed for what the story was really about. I also realize that in a story with this scope, it is hard to convey the entire thing while staying with one viewpoint. However, I think that if the author had kept to perhaps two or (no more than) three viewpoints, it would have kept the jarring effect to a minimum. Also, develop those characters more, instead of introducing them with little or no background and keeping them that way. For the most part, I thought the voices in the story were mostly similar except for Kara (slightly more irate), Mika (quieter) and Zyra/Skringler (defiant, mouthy). When characters lack enough color, it is easy to forget about them, and the story can more easily be overlooked. The last part of the story seemed contrived to a point. There wasn’t enough backstory presented to even hint at what was to come. For myself, I usually hate backstory, simply because too often it is a data dump. However, not knowing any of the big picture (at all) left me wondering if we were simply moving on to another plot. Even though I left more “improvement comments” than kudos on this review, I did enjoy the story and was pulled into a grand outer space adventure.
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