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review 2017-03-23 23:07
Review: We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea
We Are Always Watching - Hunter Shea


We Are Always Watching is different from what I have come to expect from Hunter Shea. Usually, Shea throws me right into the action pretty early on, but not this time. This time the story built slowly, both in tension and in plot. I thought I had a rough idea what to expect after reading the blurb, turns out I was wrong. We Are Always Watching morphed into something completely different and went down a different path than I was anticipating.

 

We Are Always Watching was a slow burner. At times it felt like nothing of great importance was happening outside of getting to know the characters, their surroundings, and their general day to day lives - with little tidbits thrown in to whet the appetite for what was to come. For the first half of the book, I thought I knew where the story was going as it was still within the box that is the blurb. Then, almost as if someone had flipped a switch, the box was obliterated. All of a sudden all my expectations were thrown out the window and I was re-analysing what I'd already read. I found myself thinking back and reflecting on everything I'd read up to that point, re-looking at all the events, the sounds, and the clues, from a different angle.

 

I did enjoy this turn of events, but I have to say that I was also a little disappointed that it wasn't what I was expecting it to be. I'm purposely being very vague here because it would be extremely easy to ruin this book for those who have yet to read it. Once you get to this point in the book things really take off. Before you know it the slow burn is in your rear window and the story hurtles towards the conclusion at breakneck speed.

 

The character growth was portrayed well and the changing dynamics and tension felt believable, but I have to say, it was the visual aspect that shone for me. I could picture the surroundings and the buildings easily and it added a whole new level to the reading experience.

 

I like when a book surprises me and is something other than what I was expecting it to be. But, We Are Always Watching came to a fork in the road, one turn being one of my favourite horror scenarios, and the other being a lesser liked horror scenario, and it took the lesser turn. Of course, this is in no way a negative thing, it's just my personal preference and I still thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend it.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-03-23 15:01
Hyperion / Dan Simmons
Hyperion - Dan Simmons

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

 

Canterbury Tales in space. With the plotting of Agatha Christie.

Earth is just a memory, destroyed long ago, but it looms large in the galactic consciousness. Hyperion is a world on the edge of things—not really part of the Hegemony of Man, not really part of the opposition either. Ruled or haunted by a being known as The Shrike.

As a birder, I am familiar with shrikes. They are songbirds that think they are raptors. When you find one of their larders, you feel like you’ve discovered a serial killer’s lair—they use thorn bushes or barbed wire to impale their prey until needed to feed chicks or themselves. Simmons borrows this behaviour for his creation and it feels ominous.

As for the Canterbury Tales aspect, seven pilgrims are traveling to Hyperion on the eve of galactic war. As they make their way to the Time Tombs on Hyperion, they agree to tell their tales of what has prompted their participation in the expedition. As their stories unfold, we acquire the background that we need to learn more about Simmons’ universe and enough to tantalize us about what may be happening.

As to the Christie angle, I realized as I enjoyed each character’s story that Simmons had skillfully crafted all of the tales to fit together in interesting and intricate ways. Events in each person’s life, reaching back many years in every case, have drawn them to be where they currently are. Have they been manipulated by the Shrike? Or is this a case of massive synchronicity?

I loved the ending of this book and if it was a stand-alone, I could live with that. However, I am pleased that there are three more books to explore this intriguing universe.

Book 251 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

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review 2017-03-23 07:42
Book Tour: Red-Tailed Hawk by Nancy Schoellkopf
Red-Tailed Hawk - Nancy Schoellkopf

Nancy does it once more with the book called “Red-Tailed Hawk”. This book is about Mariah and her journey. What will Mariah learn along the way? Samatha also needs to learn something as well and so does her stepson.

 

The plot about this book is something different and amazing. There a love storyline. What a journey this book get the family on after a death in the family happens. Who has taken the special thimble that Mariah see as something special.


What do we learn about hawks. What will Mariah learn about herself. Samantha learns about something about herself. Will it bring healing to them all. We go along with Mariah when she goes on her journey. The plot is written well. I enjoyed every page of it. It got some surprises in it. I love the fact its got different meaning. Will Mariah find her twin or what happen? Will she find what is missing from her heart or her missing connection?

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/04/book-tour-red-tailed-hawk-by-nancy.html
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review 2017-03-23 05:45
Yellow-Billed Magpie by Nancy Schoellkopf
Yellow-Billed Magpie - Nancy Schoellkopf

I enjoyed this book about Yellow-Billed Magpies. Nancy does a wonderful job writing the plot and the story. I enjoyed every part of it. I loved that there was an autism and other disabilities as part of the story as well.

 

You get a bit of a spiritual in the story as well. We learn about Magpies somewhat in the book. We also go on a quest with Samantha O’Malley. We meet Craig and her old lover. She goes back to her teaching career.


What discoveries will Samantha and Craig find by working together and with her students? Nancy writing is done well. I have not been into a book that felt so real. I feel the book show us what it like somewhat of our world. Is our world what we think or is it an illusion? I start to wonder this and if we are just experiencing it as humans.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/04/yellow-billed-magpie-by-nancy.html
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review 2017-03-23 03:47
Book Review: A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauch
A Royal Christmas Wedding (Royal Wedding Series) - Rachel Hauck

Book Title: A Royal Christmas Wedding
Author: Rachel Hauch
Genres: Christmas, Romance,
Series: Royal Wedding
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date: 2016-10-18 (240 Pages, Paperback)

 

Avery Truitt is someone who was going to college to be a professional volleyball player. 5 years before she meet Prince Colin when she was with her sister Susanna went to Cathedral City. What ever happen to Avery and Colin?

 

Susanna has invited both her sister and mother to Brington Kingdom for the Christmas season. Will their mother get over their father’s death? There appear someone brings Avery and Colin together at every turn. Will Colin father help or harm Colin? The old bell rings and who has pulled it and rung it?

 

People do not believe that god had pulled the 600 pound bell that started ringing and bring all people to the where the accident of Prince Michael died. I love that fact that there is a meaning and some true relationship trouble and Hauck shows that in each story in The Royal Wedding Series? She let the characters work it out their own problems. She does not rush them. Rachel Hauck does well with the plot and her writing is wonderful as well.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/03/a-royal-christmas-wedding.html
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