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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! 2017-12-08 13:00
The Taste of Night by Vicki Pettersson
The Taste of Night - Vicki Pettersson
The Taste of Night by Vicki Pettersson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Joanna Archer, representing the Light-side Sagittarius sign in the Zodiac troupe of Las Vegas, continues to juggle her new-found life in her sister's body. Not only does she have to keep up appearances of being the sole progeny to the richest man in the city, she also has to protect society from the Shadow organisation hellbent on terrorising the innocent. Finding herself in a rather peculiar predicament, Joanna reluctantly makes a deal with a Shadow initiate; one that she might come to regret.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

I've always been fond of the good ol' fight between good and evil, so the aspect of superheroes was definitely refreshing to return to. Whilst finding The Scent of Shadows to be rather average as a whole, I believed this instalment (Signs of the Zodiac series is six instalments long) to be a large decline - primarily because of the heroine herself, Joanna Archer. I personally love the first-person perspectives that dominate the genre; it gives an in-depth and intimate picture of the character, however it can be especially unforgiving if that character happens to be someone you dislike.

And boy, did I dislike her.

I'm a firm believer that characters should be flawed, because people are flawed, however there's only so much I can take when I can find very little redeeming qualities. Joanna repeatedly made the exact same error and refused to learn from it, instead putting herself and her troupe at risk over and over. I'm legitimately shocked how anyone could find her actions reasonable, and how anyone could consider her a good protagonist. Being vengeful is one thing, but being stupidly selfish is another thing entirely.

Let me give a rundown of her transgressions; the ones that bothered me the most. 1: She kept going off alone after the bad guy, with the knowledge that her enemy was stronger. Thus, he would obviously get the better of her and she would need rescuing by her team. This happened three times, if I remember correctly. 2: The gateway to the Light side's secret hideout, she compromised it twice (the second time she was well aware of her actions), and so put the safety of her group, not to mention children, at risk. 3: Due to jealously, she couldn't allow her ex-boyfriend to move on, so she forced herself back into his life, when he was just beginning to be happy again. And she spent a night with him, then disappeared again.

The third one bothered me the most, I think. This is a woman whose identity needs to be kept a secret, yet as soon as she caught a whiff of a new woman in Ben's life, she didn't waste any time to metaphorically urinate all over him. The fact is, she can't have any sort of relationship with him, she can't even allow him to see her physical appearance unless she uses a prepubescent's shield-mould-thing. Am I the only one that found it creepy, that she had sex with Ben whilst using that little girls essence or whatever it was?

I'm going to end the rant about our dear Joanna there, if I can bring myself to it.

I can't say I favoured any of the other characters either, except maybe Regan. She really did play her role expertly, and I daresay she'll be one hell of a villain for the team to battle in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has in store for the Light side. Sometimes you just have to root for evil, because in this case, the Light doesn't exactly offer anything substantial. I mean, what do we have? Hunter? Well, he took a page from Joanna's book; his selfishness actually resulting in someones death. I'm not a fan of love triangles anyway; I'd much rather he or Ben be removed from the equation altogether. Warren and Tekla's frustration throughout was understandable - they were definitely the adults of the situation.

The plot itself could've been better. I honestly expected the plague to have more of an impact, but it didn't even occur until a hundred plus pages. The focal point seemed to be Joaquin, and because of such the tone of the book was needlessly dark. Joaquin was portrayed badly; his entire thought process being about rape, despite him apparently being an avid collector of the comics. It was basically telling us he had depth, yet every time he was on-page he was constantly sexually abusing and / or harassing women. At one point he even yelled: "I will rape you, Joanna!", which in itself summed up his character perfectly.

I like the premise of this series, I do, but I got pretty sick and tired of Joanna's mess. I dearly hope she'll develop into something better.

The Touch of Twilight is the third book in this series, and was first published in 2008.

Notable Scene:

"Uh... good doggie?" I said, taking in the sight of an animal with the muscle of a bear and the angular ferocity of a wolf. He let a warning rumble loose in his throat, and the deep reverberation jarred through my immobile bones like a jackhammer through concrete.

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

 

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/01/08/the-taste-of-night-by-vicki-pettersson
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-30 08:07
March 2017 — Wrap-Up

 

 

 
 
 

Old Favorites

 

DU

 

Dune (Re-Read)

I’ve covered this book in too much detail to add anything here. Well okay, I’ll just leave this joke here:
 
Check out the final review instalment here.

 

New Delights

 

 

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Coraline

Coraline is a book that I would have loved to read as a kid. It is full of Dahl-esque quirkiness…okay, who am I kidding? I loved it even as an adult! Two of my favorite quotes:
 
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Binti

Read my detailed review here.
 

 
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I dunno what to say about this book, except that it had nothing and everything in it! I wanted to pick it up as soon as I got off work and I didn’t want to put it down. The plot is simple and straightforward. The author hasn’t weighed it down with complicated science. You can see where the events are leading up to and yet… I am still ambivalent about the ending but I guess, I’ll just let it sink in for a bit before I come to a decision. This was my first Simak book and I can’t wait to gobble everything else by him!
 
 
P.S. The cover has NOTHING to do with what goes on in the book. 
 
 

Holocaust Horrors

 

TCM

 

The Complete Maus

This comic will just mess you up and yet, you’d be unable to put it down. Just look at how beautifully it portrays the impact of the dreadful event on not just the parents who experienced it but also on their kids who had to live with it:
 
 
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New Additions to Old Favorites

 

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Saga Vol.5.

 
Saga continues to be its beautiful, painful self. I’ve stopped thinking that the story is going anywhere. I just read it because I can’t not read it! Some of the artwork:
 

 

 

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More Weird Customers Say in Bookshops

 
The first one was wayyyyy funnier.
 
 
 
 

New but Okayish

 

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The Lady Killer

Beautifully drawn but lacks anything that’d make it stand out!  I don’t think I will be continuing.
 
 
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Bag Lady

According to GRRM, this book is the first ever short story written in the Wild Cards series. However, it wast published as a part of the series, which had already changed and evolved.
 
I loved this nod towards Asimov:
“What are your orders?”
“To obey my creator, Dr. Maxim Travineck. To guard his identity and well-being. To test myself and my equipment under combat conditions, by fighting enemies of society. To gain maximum publicity for the future Modular Men Enterprises in so doing. To preserve my existence and well-being.”
“Take that, Asimov”, Travineck said.
 
He uncorked the bottle of vodka and raised the bottle on high in a toast.
“New Prometheus,” he said, “my ass.”
 
and this witty repartee:
“I am beginning to realize, said the android, raising a hot buttered rum to his lips, that creator is a hopeless sociopath.”
Black Shadow cnsidered this, “I suspect, if you don’t mind a touch of theology, this just puts you in the boat with the rest of us,” he said.

 

 

Unbound

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Read my review here.
 
 
A good month that was full of reading, I’d say. How was was your March reading-wise?
 
 
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review 2016-10-12 15:25
Swerve
Swerve - Vicki Pettersson

Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are on their way from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California for the Fourth of July. Kristine isn't looking forward to spending time with Daniel's mother, but that's the least of her worries when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop. Now Kristine must choose: return home safe and sound without Daniel or take orders from a killer that will send her on a trip through hell to find him.

This book was intense! The stellar writing and the amount of suspense made this book grip me from page one and didn't let me go until the very last page. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the author would surprise me. Kristine's situation was palpable (and definitely not enjoyable) I loved the setting. I loved Kristine's relationship with her daughter. And I loved this book!

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review 2016-01-10 20:05
Review: Swerve by Vicki Pettersson
Swerve - Vicki Pettersson

Published by: Gallery Books (July 7th 2015)

 

ISBN: 9781476798578

 

Source: Netgalley

 

Rating: 4*

 

Synopsis:

It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.

One road. One woman. One killer.

Sprinting against the clock, and uncertain if danger lies ahead or behind, Kristine must blaze an epic path through the gaudy flash of roadside casinos, abandoned highway stops, and a landscape rife with horrors never before imagined. Desperate to save her doomed husband-to-be, Kristine must summon long forgotten resources if she’s to go head-to-head against this unpredictable killer. And she’d better hurry. Because she only has twenty-four hours…to make one hell of a trip.

 

Review:

This book was recommended to me by a fellow reviewer, and I'm so glad as I'd have hated to miss this fantastic read. It is tense and thrilling, with Pettersson's brilliantly descriptive prose making for such vivid imagery that I felt I was the one frantically looking for Daniel.

 

The plot is compulsive, drawing you in from the outset and leaving you helpless to fight the momentum. It is meticulously thought out with plenty of surprises and 'Noooo!' moments.

Swerve is compelling psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat - it's one hell of a ride!

 

 

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