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review 2017-11-16 03:40
Fixing
Citywide (Five Boroughs) (Volume 6) - Santino Hassell

This short story collection is set in the series Five Boroughs.  These can probably be read as standalone novellas, but would better read in order with the series.  There are three books included, but for the review purposes we will look at the first story, Rerouted.

 

Chris is trying to move on with his life.  He is trying not to think about his past encounters with both Jace and Aiden.  The couple have a kind of open relationship that leaves room for someone like Chris.

 

Aiden & Jace have been trying to come up with a way to talk Chris into coming back and being with them more.  He has been distant lately, and this is a cause for some concern.  Is  there something wrong?

 

This was such a nice quick read.  Lovely characters I was excited to see again.  Also many visitors from the previous books in the series are present.  I like the fast pace of these books.  I also adore the banter and real world situations that feel like you are right there.  I am always feeling like I am home with this series.  I give this collection a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-09 22:30
Sweet Aswang by Anthony Hains
Sweet Aswang - Anthony Hains

 

I have to admit that I had no idea what an Aswang was when Anthony Hains asked if I would like a review copy of this novella. I'd previously read his book THE DISEMBODIED and enjoyed it, so I said yes. I'm glad I did!

 

Two eighth-graders, Chloe and Spencer, have one thing in common-diabetes. Rather than spending all their time talking about boys or girls, they have to spend a lot of it calculating carbs and insulin dosages. One night they are each awoken by mysterious noises outside and the next day they discover that a nearby family has been slaughtered in the night. What killed this family and mutilated their bodies? Did the mysterious noises have anything to do with the murders? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Even though YA is not really my thing, I thought this novella delivered the goods. We have a mysterious, scary creature, a few likable kids with some real problems, (diabetes is no joke), and lots of action in the last half, which was fun. The mythical abilities of an Aswang are wide and varied and as such leave a lot of room for imaginative storytelling; which is one of the reasons that made me wish this tale didn't end so quickly.

 

SWEET ASWANG was a lot of fun without getting too seriously bogged down with medical jargon or sappy teenagers stealing kisses on the front porch after dark. With a fast moving plot and a cool creature like the Aswang, this book was over before I knew it and I was sad to be finished.

 

Recommended!

 

You can get a copy here: Sweet Aswang

 

 

*As noted above, I received this copy free, in return for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2017-10-27 15:42
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

 

Strange Weather is the novel I most anticipated this year and I'm happy to report that it lived up to my high expectations. It consists of four short novels, (Joe Hill dislikes the term novella), and I enjoyed them all!

 

Snapshot is a story about memory and a camera that steals them. Set in the 80's with a teenage boy as the protagonist, this story packed some powerful imagery along with a bit of nostalgia for good measure.

 

Loaded is a tale about guns. Joe Hill says it's not political, but I think that both pro gun and anti gun proponents will bring their own views to the party. I tried to keep my politics out of it and enjoy it for the fast paced horror story that it was. Oh yeah, and the ending was KILLER.

 

Aloft was the story of a man on a cloud. It wasn't cloud 9, in fact, it wasn't a cloud at all, really. What imagination and creativity this story showed! I can't seem to put my finger on why this tale appealed to me so much, but the fact remains that it did. It reminded me somewhat of Hill's short story Pop Art , in that the tale doesn't break its back trying to provide explanations or reasons why...it just IS. And what it IS, is fantastic. (Junicorn!)

 

Rain was my favorite story in the book. The protagonist, Honeysuckle Speck, was one of the most interesting characters I've ever met. She is so much more than what you first suspect and I would love to read more about her in the future. It's hard to say what one would do if the sky suddenly began raining sharp crystal nails. I would love to think that I would act with the same bravery and smarts as Honeysuckle did, but I suspect I don't have the strength. Hill says in the Afterword that this book was sort of his anti-Fireman story, but one thing they both have in common is strong female characters and I like that. I like it a lot.

 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Edelweiss, but I also received my own (signed) copy, (whoohoo!),courtesy of Joe Hill at a book festival. This gave me a chance to check out the VERY cool illustrations, before and after each story, and also the little icons at the top of each page. They give the book a unique look and feel.

 

I've come to love and admire Hill's work over the last few years and I think he has developed a strong voice, independent of, but respectful, of his father's. Strange Weather was worth every minute of my time and I'm sure I'll be devoting more time by reading it again in the future.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: Strange Weather

 

*Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publisher, (who I unabashedly emailed for the e-ARC of this awesome book), in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-10-11 00:00
Romance Destinations: A Series of Novellas
Romance Destinations: A Series of Novell... Romance Destinations: A Series of Novellas - Debbie White The reason that opposites attract is because the heart speaks a language that no person can predict. Like a compass, we are guided by emotions that are unexpected but no less truthful. Debbie White gets that and Gabe, Ryan and Cody may have been a little slow on the uptake but maybe that's why the road each travel for love was so profound. Using irresistible humor and seductive tales of romance, Romance Destinations steers right off the pages and into reality with lovelorn stories of wisdom, laughter and courage. This is one road trip that has pleasure written all over it.
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review 2017-09-28 18:45
Mystery Road by Kevin Lucia
Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia

 

Mystery Road is a beautifully written, poignant story about a man caring for his dying father and the memories that suddenly return to him after decades of forgetfulness. 

 

Kevin Ellison recalls the day he was riding his bike to the local basketball court when he was 12. A road appeared. But he went to play basketball nearly every day, taking the same route, and has never noticed this road before. Where does it go and what does he find there? You'll have to read this novella and find out for yourself. 

 

I loved this story!  Even though I had an inkling of where it was going to go once events started to occur, I didn't guess all of it, and I still enjoyed the getting there. (In fact, the getting there was the best part.) Exploring the emotions of losing a parent, and of learning more about a parent's life before they had children-these are heavy subjects. But Mr. Lucia gets down in there, digging deep, and I'm not ashamed to say that I had a tear in my eye by the time I finished this sweet novella. 

 

Highly recommended!

 

*This book will be available as a limited edition through Cemetery Dance Publications' Novella Series. I wish I could tell you when and provide a link, but alas, I cannot. I will update this review when the information becomes available. I was provided a paperback ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

 

 

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