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review 2017-12-05 16:46
Hunger
Hunger - Michael Grant

Warning: There will be spoilers for book 1 in the series

 

 

This book takes place 3 months after the previous book ended. Food is running out and the kids are getting desperate. They are eating anything they can find. Boiling grass and weeds, random mushrooms, the occasional pigeon if one can be caught. Kids will do anything for food, including switching sides. Friends are turning on each other, allies are squabbling among themselves on all sides. Even though the children have figured out how not to blink out on their 15th birthdays, they are now considering giving up and letting it happen just to escape their misery.

 

Some kids are still developing new and unusual abilities, while normal kids are beginning to take a stand against those with powers. The challenges that Sam has to face, the pressures put on him by all the other children to make decisions and keep order really starts to wear him down. I couldn't help but feel bad for him. With constant threats from Caine and his crew, mutant coyotes and killer worms, there is also a creature living underground, controlling and manipulating some of the children. Getting into their heads and forcing them to do its bidding.

 

I read the Maze Runner a while back and I was unable to continue on with that series. The way the teens were portrayed, and how they spoke, was a big turn off for me. I was afraid this series might have a similar style, but despite the children making terrible and very dangerous decisions, I have really been enjoying the books and many of the characters.

 

There is no shortage of action in this book! There is so much going on in so many different places with different characters that my biggest complaint is that every time I get immersed in a scene and I need to know what happens next, Grant jumps over to a different group of kids and the second I get invested in the action with them, we are on to something else happening on the other side of Perdido Beach. It does exasperate me at times, but I love that there is so much action. I am never bored.

 

I'm definitely going to continue with this series. I need to know what will happen next. I recommend this series to anyone in the mood for action packed adventure.

 

 

-Shey

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review 2017-11-27 16:39
Nah.
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch

Spoilers for those who have not read books #1 through #4. 

 

Seriously. I know I am probably going to get yelled at for this review. But I stand by everything I am saying. This felt like half a book. There were so many dangling threads left that when the book came to an end I had to make sure that I didn't accidentally skip over the pages. The lack of Nightingale being part of things was felt. Peter was being a fool throughout most of the book so that was frustrating. I don't know what we are supposed to be feeling about Lesley. But her coming out with a whole, "I did it for you Peter" mess just made me roll my eyes. I don't know what Ben Aaronovitch is doing with her character.

 

"Foxglove Summer" has Peter away from London going to help out on a case of two missing girls. Initially, Peter doesn't think that magic had anything to do with the two girls and really wants to stay and help (also to avoid thinking about Lesley) but once magic starts to creep up, he realizes that something supernatural is going on.

 

Peter was a mess in this one. I get it, it's like what happened to Muller when Scully was MIA. Peter though he is trying to deny it, misses Lesley cause she's not there to point out things he is missing. I really wanted him to be more angry though. At least Nightingale seems to get how dangerous it is that Lesley is out in the world working for the Faceless Man. I didn't like that Peter essentially keeps doing stupid things throughout this book and even in the end, without Beverly helping out, he would have been screwed. 

 

We have Beverly fully in this one, so that is the only reason why I gave this two stars. I still don't understand her and Peter's "relationship" at all. I was just glad they finally stopped with the will they or won't they thing. I just found it very odd she and Peter don't really get into what Lesley did or what exactly does it mean that Peter is sleeping with her. 

 

I don't get what Aaronvitch is doing with Lesley. Okay she betrayed Peter and Nightingale. I kept thinking that she wasn't jealous of Peter and Beverly, but that seems to be where she is at headspace wise. Is this why she is doing this? I hope not, I am not thrilled with her betraying everyone. But if this turns out to be she did this to get her face back so Peter could love her, yuck. It also didn't help that she goes that in a year the Faceless Man is going to ruin the world, but hey Peter I am going to keep you safe. Is she out of her mind? So screw her family, his family, Molly, Nightingale, etc. Only Peter matters? I was just baffled by the whole thing.


There are only phone calls between Peter and Nightingale which was frustrating. At least a new character finally clued us into what the big battle was all about and why Nightingale doesn't want to talk about it though.

 

I really didn't like anyone besides the character of Dominic who steps into Lesley's shoes and made me laugh. That said, there was very little humor in this one.


The writing was okay, just muddled at times. We don't have Ben Aaronovitch going back to tie things up so I was just confused about a number of plot points.

 

We know that the two girls are sisters (the fake Nicole and real Nicole) so how did that happen? Also how did everyone in the village sleep with one guy and no one thinks they should be concerned that they may share kids so they should be thinking about what happens when they are all dating age?

 

Does this mean that Nicole's oldest sister (blanking on her name) is a changeling?

 

Does this mean that due to Peter reneging on his deal with the Fairy Queen he is going to owe the Rivers?

 

Also does this mean that Peter is going to get into trouble with Nightingale for getting involved with Beverly?

 

I had so many questions and wanted to kick something. 

(spoiler show)

The flow was off after a good 20 percent of the book. I found myself getting bored. Without anyone to really bounce things off of, Peter is kind of a boring character. 


The setting of Herefordshire was good. I could picture a village that has a touch of magic about it and all of the neighbors knowing each other. I just didn't get a sense for the village as a whole. We stayed focused on the two families, and Dominic's family and that was about it. I wish that Peter had been out and about more with the locals. 

 

The ending was a letdown. I think that Aaronovitch thought he wrapped things up...but yeah not even a little bit. This book felt shorter to me too. It was 333 pages though so it's not that. It just felt like very little got done in this one compared to the other books in the series. 

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review 2017-11-22 13:09
Foxglove Summer ★★★★☆
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

More fun with my favorite apprentice wizard cop, this time out in Herefordshire on the border of Wales instead of in London, investigating the disappearance of two preteen girls. We get to meet a retired wizard cop and his weirdo granddaughter, and we have more – much, much more! – of Beverly, and we even get a teeny satisfying peek at what’s going on with Lesley. I can’t say I came away really understanding all the logic of what happened, but that’s probably because I was listening to the audio while distracted, and one of these days I’ll get around to re-reading these books and will take a more critical look at such things. For now, I’ll just say it was enormously entertaining.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with another masterful performance by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere. This story is set in high summer, as we are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat (Are the West Midlands that much hotter than London?), and seasonal flora that are relevant to solving the mystery.

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review 2017-11-21 02:35
The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! I am not usually someone who reads a lot of Christmas stories. I will read them but I don't really look for them. This book made its way into my hands and something about that cover drew me right in and I wanted to start reading it right away. Once I started, I didn't want to stop and I ended up reading the whole thing from cover to cover in a single day. I really enjoyed every moment I spent reading this wonderful little story.

Clayton is ex-military and has been working overseas until he is called home to the family ranch. The ranch is in trouble and his dad is sick so Clayton must come home to run things and try to save the ranch. Abby has not had it easy. She has been raising her two younger brothers and doing her best to get ahead in life.

Abby and Clayton meet when Abby's brother is caught stealing cattle from the ranch Clayton's family owns. Not the best way to start things. Clayton turns out to be a really nice guy and instead of sending Abby's brother, Brice, to jail he lets him come and work his debt off at the ranch. Clayton also enlists Abby's help with the ranch's books hoping that she can sort out exactly what is going on.

I loved the characters in this book. Abby and Clayton were both amazing. Abby was strong and cared deeply for her two brothers. She was smart and willing to sacrifice her wants for the sake of other people. Clayton was such a good guy. He has had some things to deal with in his personal and military life. I loved this pair together. They had great chemistry from the very beginning and it was really wonderful to watch them fall in love.

The secondary characters were also really well done. Abby's two brothers, Brice and Caleb, played a large role in the story and were really great. Their relationship with their sister really helped illustrate how much she cared for them. Clayton's parents were also key players in the story. I liked how they welcomed Abby and her brothers as if they were family right from the start.

The mystery in the book kept things interesting. I really wanted to see Clayton save the ranch with Abby's help. There were a few scenes where we got to see Clayton, a former SEAL, in action which was pretty exciting. This was really a book more focused on romance than anything else and it did a wonderful job with it. I don't know that there was really anything too surprising in the book but everything was executed perfectly. I couldn't help but get swept away by this romantic tale.

I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary romance. This book had just the right combination of romance, action, and great characters. The story had just the right amount of Christmas adding just a bit to the story. This is the first book by Donna Grant that I have read and I am really looking forward to reading more of her work soon.

I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! Clayton and Abby were absolutely perfect together. I thought the secondary characters were amazing and the mystery held my interest. This probably falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me so I am rounding up for now.

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review 2017-11-09 18:29
The Cowboy Christmas Hero Book Review
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

I loved this book. This is a fun Christmas story for the holiday's. I didn't feel that it overdid the Christmas theme. 

 

Back home, on the ranch is the last place Clayton, former Navy Seal wanted to be for the Holiday's. But when his mother calls desperate for his help he's obligated to help. 

 

Abby and her brothers are all that's left of her family, and as the oldest sibling its up to her to take care of her family. When her younger brother is caught steeling cattle she's thrown into Clayton's family. 

 

It's nothing out of the ordinary for a romance (especially the ending). But its enjoyable, fun and a quick read. I loved the family aspect of this book, especially the siblings. I always want more books with sibling characters.

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