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Search tags: Out-of-the-Shadows
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review 2018-08-31 09:26
not for me
Midnight Shadows - Nancy Gideon

Three  men battle through the Amazon forest in Peru to the tomb of a king that was buried with gems and gold from 600 BC when the last footed traffic had been in this tomb. The men found the tomb they believed they had been looking for. Mano was the smallest ,and so he was to enter the structure - with a rope around him so the other men could pull him out-to see what he could find in it as the structure's entrance was small and he cleared away another wall of stone. He found a golf ball sized nugget of gold and kept that for himself after all he had to go in by himself he deserved it. Mano then dropped several feet down and the chamber he was now in was huge. There was a large creature made of wood adorned with rubies and gold. Then Mano sensed something and when he turned there was a fateful scream The other two men brought Mano back up to the forest but he was clearly already dead. Several places in Texas at different time frames animals were found dead with all the blood drained from their bodies. Then the same thing happened in Puerto rico and a name is given to the legend - The Chupacabra and this was blamed for the deaths of about one hundred and fifty animals all drained of their blood. Then there are the same kind of incidents in Michigan and rural  Miami and back to Texas. Sheba came to Puerto Rico seven months earlier. Sheba ‘s life work was exposing hoaxes. Sheba stared at the timeline before her and the huge stacks of notes she had gathered since her arrival. She had done a thorough investigative research approaching the topic more like a scandal journal list instead of the scientist she was. Sheba had talked to the people with haunted eyes who had found their animals dead and drained of all their blood. The Puerto Rican government had supplied Sheba with a grant to find out the truth and the truth was there was no monster involved. Then Sheba got a call from Paulo letting her know he was back home in Peru and he wanted to know when she would be back. Even though she wasn’t sure why Sheba would never go back home to Peru. Then Paulp told Sheba they had found a tomb in the jungle and maybe the tomb. Paulo called Peru home but to Sheba it only meant death. Frank Cobb takes a job with him running into Sheba. Then they both go to the jungle and Sheba will have to face her past.

I couldn’t really get into this book.It dragged for me too much for me and definitely could have been a little shorter. This book just wasn’t for me but I am sure there are others who will really enjoy this book.

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review 2018-08-06 21:49
Tracing Shadows by Alex Lidell
Tracing Shadows - Alex Lidell

Kali and Trace make a really good team! I enjoyed getting to know Kali on her own and even enjoyed her initial interactions with Trace, who was a bit high and mighty. There was a bit of silly tension between the two as they worked out their always fluctuating relationship but I can forgive them that.

Kali’s young enough to have doubts about her abilities on her first real espionage mission. Still, there were situations that I thought her training would have readied her for, like nudity in the guards change room, etc. So, I did do some small eyerolls. After all, what good is a spy that gives themselves away by blushing over a bit of casual nudity? Kali totally redeemed herself with her knife skills.

Leaf, Kali’s sister who is being held hostage, has her secret skills too – she’s talented with the crystal healing magic, a Whisperer. Alas, this talent can get a person killed. Even though she has such a small role, I liked her character and want to learn more about her.

Crown Prince Wil and his sister Violet are very different from each other. Kali is charged with protecting Wil, so she has to traipse around with him, and also Trace. Meanwhile, Violet is an introverted young lady who has severe doubts of her self-worth. She is also caught up in deep grieving over the recent death of their mother. While I didn’t particularly like her character, she gave us a window into a dangerous and manipulative religious group.

Next to Kali, Trace becomes my favorite character…. yes, it’s a tie between the two of them. While the plot and characters start off simple, we get a little layering later in the tale, with Trace especially. He’s got plenty of secrets and hidden skills. Kali eventually grows a bit after she makes a bad mistake that leaves her injured.

The story never lagged for me. Plenty of action interspersed with spy stuff kept me engaged. The tale does end on a cliff hanger so I hope Book 2 comes out on audiobook very soon. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Hayden Daviau gave a really good performance with this narration. Her male voices are believable and she had distinct voices for all the characters. I especially liked her waspish, peeved voice for Leaf while she tries to attend to Kali’s injuries. She did a great job with the emotional scenes as well. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-08-04 19:31
Back at it again
The Figure In the Shadows (Lewis Barnavelt) - John Bellairs

I gobbled up The Figure in the Shadows in one sitting. This could lead you to believe that I thoroughly enjoyed it but really it was super short coming in at 160 pages with quite a few of Mercer Mayer's illustrations sprinkled throughout adding to that number. The plot of this installment revolves around an amulet which Lewis acquires and which seems to hold a 'spirit' of some kind which he has awakened and which turns out to be rather malevolent. (If you think this sounds similar to the first book you're not alone.) Once again, he keeps this a secret from his uncle and the witchy neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman, next door. Instead he shares his discovery with his new friend, Rose Rita, who is virtually Lewis's opposite in every conceivable way. I will say that Lewis is a unique character in that he's not brave, overly intelligent (although a voracious reader), good looking, talented (described as quite fat), or particularly good-natured (in fact he's rather whiny and prone to childish fits of anger). He doesn't fit the prescribed parameters of a typical protagonist. He's bullied and anxious about the possibility of even being bullied or 'bawled out' by adults. (I was nervous about the latter through my adolescence as well so in that regard I can relate.) Magic + mystery + misadventure = the plot 5/10

 

Source: Amazon

 

Mercer Mayer's work (Edited as original post credited Edward Gorey.) [Source: Pinterest]

 

 

What's Up Next: One Step at a Time by Sara Y. Aharon

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Founding Mothers: The Women who Raised our Nation by Cokie Roberts

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-07-05 15:02
Claimed in Shadows - Lara Adrian

Aric Chase is kind of like royalty in the Order as son to Stirling “Harvard” Chase and Tavia. He has worked his way up the ranks and wants nothing more than to run his own team. On his way back from England, he is ordered to take a detour in Montreal in order to aid in an operation only a Daywalker, like him, can do. He is teamed up with Order rookie Kaya who is also dedicated to earning her spot in the Order. They butt heads at first and she doesn’t think much of him. He is a rich charmer that comes across as not having to work too hard for anything in his life, while she grew up poor on the streets and had a rough life until she fell in with the Order. While on their mission, things don’t go as planned and she thinks she has ruined all chance for her to earn a spot on a team. Aric is definitely drawn to her but he isn’t looking for any sort of entanglements, especially not a Breedmate, so he tries to keep his distance but the spirit and drive he sees in Kaya appeals to the same traits he has to accomplish his goals. They work together to try and stop Opus Nostrum and their war against the Breed, but with every lead they discover, someone beats them to it and kills the suspect violently. As more leads die it becomes apparent that they have a mole and Aric can’t help but see that Kaya isn’t being honest with him and is growing more and more distant. It isn’t until it is almost too late to stop the attack that she comes clean about her secrets. It was enjoyable and entertaining. Action packed and passionate. I feel really sorry about his best friend Rafe so I really hope his book is next and whomever he ends up with will definitely have a battle to earn his trust after what happened to him in this book. So good. Want more.

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review 2018-07-04 15:34
A Skinful of Shadows - Frances Hardinge
A Skinful of Shadows - Frances Hardinge

Another Hugo ballot book, this time something from the YA list, and again something I probably wouldn't have ended up reading otherwise - that's one good thing about these kind of awards, I guess, that you might come across stuff that's outside your usual stomping grounds...

 

A Skinful of Shadows is set in the run-up to and early days of the Civil War, the UK one. We first meet our protagonist, Makepeace, in the sternly-Puritan environment where she is living with her mother. Life is tough, to say the least, and the threat of outright war is still in the future while Makepeace tries to deal with the way her mother is attempting to toughen her up by making her stay in the local graveyard overnight. It's not until after the death of her mother in a riot some months later and an unwanted claim being made on her by her father's family that Makepeace discovers just what ghosts have to do with her own ancestry. 

 

Once she has found her place in her family's home, even though that place is working in the kitchen since she's one of the former lord's illegitimate children, Makepeace discovers the truth about the family to whom she's related. The current crop of lords are literally being bred to exist as containers for the ghosts of their ancestors, with Makepeace and her half-brother James being convenient substitutes if the process doesn't work. Once she's realised just what fate awaits her, Makepeace begins to plot her escape although it takes a while for her plans to actually work out. 

 

A Skinful of Shadows is an interesting book and probably one I would have absolutely loved as a teenager, with a clear attention to detail in terms of the ongoing history and the lives people lived in that period. Makepeace doesn't quite work as well as a character for me and I can't quite put my finger on why that is, which is irritating, hence my rating at 3 stars rather than 4. 

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