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review 2018-09-19 02:16
Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen & Theresa Romain
Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain 

 

I'd describe this duo as one of those that give you an AWWWW! feeling and that feeling stays with you long after you put the book down. Both stories are about second chances. 

The Way to A Gentleman's Heart by Theresa Romain stars Marianne, a lady of society-turned cook, and James, a man with plenty to regret but willing to make amends and hoping for forgiveness. I always find this author’s stories kind of hard to understand in the sense that I don’t connect with the characters right away. At first I thought James had hurt Marianne too much and grueling for the rest of his life wouldn’t be enough to deserve forgiveness, however once Marianne’s musing put their relationship in a different light and she realized he was a worthy man I too realized just as much. 

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen intertwines characters from No Earls Allowed, book 2 in her The Survivors series but you don’t need to read that book first in order to read this one. Bridget and Caleb were forced to part ways at a moment when Bridget needed him the most. Fast forward several years later and Caleb seems to be the only one to help her find what she once lost but loves the most. I liked this story a lot. The author was able to pack plenty of character development, emotions, action, and redemption in only a few pages. The fact that Caleb was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Bridget was kind of the cherry on top. 

I think this set perfectly represents what each author is about so if anyone's thought about trying something by either one I encourage you to give these novellas a go. 

I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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review 2018-09-12 00:14
Ghosting by David Poyer
Ghosting: A Novel - David Poyer

Dr. Jack Scales, a prominent neurosurgeon, is at the peak of his career. To celebrate, he decides to make up for lost time and buys a sailing yacht christened Slow Dance, for a family cruise to Bermuda. But the family is strained: Jack’s wife Arlen is secretly considering leaving the marriage; Rick, their bipolar twenty-year-old son, may need to be committed to a group home; Haley, a rebellious teenager, would rather be anywhere but trapped on a boat with her family; and Jack himself is not prepared for the challenge of the open sea. Day by day, the Scales face mounting dangers. A lightning storm nearly destroys the boat, Rick’s unstable condition worsens, and both Arlen and Haley realize that Jack is in over his head. Still, emerging from the storm, they find a fragile unity…until a man adrift on a raft leads them into danger against a terrifying gang of smugglers, who will stop at nothing to gain control of Slow Dance.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: This novel includes scenes of gang rape. Also within this book are intense, emotionally raw scenes with a character who is struggling with schizophrenia and suicidal thoughts. 

 

Neurosurgeon Jack Scales may be riding a high professionally but over the years his personal life with the wife and kids has suffered. Now near the breaking point, with Jack's wife, Arlen, having an affair with a younger man, and his schizophrenic (or at least schizo-affective) son, Ric, hearing voices urging him to commit murder and self-mutilation, Jack thinks a family trip is long overdue. Also along for the journey is daughter Hailey, a dedicated swimmer who generally does what she can to avoid the whole family. Jack plans a family trip to Bermuda on the new sailboat he bought but has yet to actually sail. What could go wrong?  Oooh, just wait, readers. 

 

In the course of this short novel that clocks at just under 300 pages, we the readers witness: a stowaway that nearly dies, a lightning strike that damn near sinks the boat, Hailey walking in on brother Ric trying to shove a kitchen knife down his throat, a gang rape, AND the boat taken hostage by smugglers! Phew! At times it almost felt like some macabre, darkly comedic take on National Lampoon's Family Vacation, minus the scenes where I came to really feel for Ric with his dark episodes and internal struggles. Ric reminded me a bit of the character Andy Hoffstadt (the brother of Hank Azaria's character) on the short-lived tv drama, Huff. 

 

No surprise, there is a healthy dose of medical and boating jargon scattered throughout the story (author David Poyer himself is a sailor with 30+ years experience). But I got a chuckle at one point when Jack insists to his family that any complaining is to be done using correct boating terminology. The sex scenes though... I'm talking about the consensual ones here --- not so sexy. Maybe it's just a matter of personal preference, but having a guy bust out one or more "kiddo" during bed dancing just weirds me out. 

 

The plot, post-smugglers taking over the boat, gets incredibly intense. As noted in the trigger warning at the beginning of this review, this novel does include scenes of gang rape. Though painful to read, their existence within the story plays a powerful role in illustrating just how far a parent will go to protect their child, sacrificing themselves at all costs if it will me the offspring will stay safe. 

 

Recommended for: Fans of Corban Addison's The Tears of Dark Water.

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review 2018-09-11 10:45
Das wandelnde Chaos
Bluteid - Vanessa Lamatsch,Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison begann ihre Karriere unter ihrem echten Namen Dawn Cook als High Fantasy – Autorin. Anfang der 2000er wagte sie eine radikale Veränderung und schrieb den ersten Band der „Rachel Morgan“ – Reihe, der von ihrem Verlag Ace abgelehnt wurde. Sie fand zwar einen neuen Verlag, ihre Vertreter_innen wollten jedoch einen Neuanfang – mit einem neuen Namen. Ihre Lektorin wählte das Pseudonym Kim Harrison aus, damit sie im Buchhandel neben Laurell K. Hamilton einsortiert würde. Um die Abgrenzung von Dawn Cook noch deutlicher zu gestalten, empfahl sie ihr sogar, sich eine Perücke zu besorgen. Deshalb wurde Kim Harrison als Rothaarige bekannt, obwohl sie eigentlich blond ist. Mittlerweile kann sie auf die Perücke verzichten. Trotz ihres überwältigenden Erfolgs ist meine Beziehung zu der Reihe etwas schwierig, daher sind seit meinem letzten Ausflug in die Hollows vier Jahre vergangen. „Bluteid“ ist der achte Band und ein gewohnt turbulentes Abenteuer mit der Hexe Rachel Morgan.

 

Mithilfe ihrer Freunde hat Rachel Morgan schon einiges überstanden. Dieses Mal kann sie sich jedoch nicht darauf verlassen, dass ihr Ivy und Jenks den Hintern retten. Der Hexenzirkel für moralische und ethische Standards hat es auf sie abgesehen. Ihre Vorwürfe sind lächerlich. In Wahrheit geht es nicht um Rachels vermeintliche Verbrechen. Der Zirkel hat erfahren, dass sie die Schülerin eines Dämons und zum Teil selbst ein Dämon ist. Sie sehen in ihr eine Bedrohung und planen, sie entweder magisch und körperlich zu kastrieren oder lebenslang in Alcatraz verschwinden zu lassen. Als sie herausfindet, dass sowohl ihr Erzfeind Trent Kalamack als auch ihr Ex-Freund Nick ihre Finger im Spiel haben, beschließt sie, zurückzuschlagen. Sie entwirft einen riskanten Plan, um den Zirkel, Trent und Nick loszuwerden. Dafür muss sie allerdings bei Trent einbrechen – und sich den Erinnerungen an ihre gemeinsame Kindheit stellen…

 

Es fällt mir heutzutage schwer, nachzuvollziehen, was ich jemals in der „Rachel Morgan“ – Reihe und ihrer Protagonistin gesehen habe. In der Rezension zum letzten Band „Blutkind“ schrieb ich, dass ich Rachel aufgrund ihres aufbrausenden Wesens mag. Ich urteilte, dass ihre Neigung, ihr Herz auf der Zunge zu tragen, sie real und echt wirken lässt. Vier Jahre und hunderte Bücher später kann ich dem nicht mehr zustimmen. Es ist wahr, dass Rachel in der Riege der Urban Fantasy – Heldinnen eine Ausnahme ist, weil sie selten alles unter Kontrolle hat und ihr Temperament ihr häufig gewaltige Probleme einbrockt. Ich erkenne an, dass Kim Harrison eine individuelle, einzigartige Heldin konzipierte. Aber ich kann nicht mehr verstehen, wie mir ihr Charakter jemals sympathisch erscheinen konnte. Heute finde ich Rachel unerträglich. Sie ist aggressiv, hysterisch, waghalsig und trifft überstürzte Entscheidungen, die der Lösung ihrer Probleme eher entgegenwirken. Nicht mal in Kleinigkeiten sind wir einer Meinung. Unsere Reibungen sind so gravierend, dass ich den Großteil der Lektüre von „Bluteid“ damit verbrachte, mich über sie zu ärgern und ihr zu widersprechen. Ich hätte in jeder einzelnen Situation des Buches vollkommen anders gehandelt. Ich war schockiert, wie unreif Rachel sich verhält. Im achten Band muss sie sich ihren Erinnerungen an ihre Kindheit stellen, um ihre schwer belastete Beziehung zu Trent Kalamack zu verstehen. Dadurch erhalten Leser_innen das zweifelhafte Privileg, sie als 12-Jährige zu erleben. Ich war wie vom Donner gerührt. Sie hat sich kein bisschen weiterentwickelt! Sie ist noch immer genau wie im Alter von 12 Jahren. Ein Armutszeugnis, meiner Meinung nach. Die Handlung von „Bluteid“ ist allerdings auch nicht dazu geeignet, Rachels positive Eigenschaften zu betonen. Theoretisch hätte die Affäre mit dem Hexenzirkel wunderbar als Bände-übergreifende Handlungslinie dienen können. Stattdessen quetschte Kim Harrison Rachels Konflikt mit ihnen in einen einzigen Band, wodurch ich das Gefühl hatte, inhaltliche Entwicklungen werden durch laute Action ersetzt. „Bluteid“ weist keinerlei Tiefe auf, Szenen sind oberflächlich gehalten, übertriebener Aktionismus verdampft das Potential der Geschichte. Ständig wird gekreischt und geschrien. Kampf folgt auf Kampf, sodass ich glaubte, in einer Wiederholungsschleife gefangen zu sein: der Zirkel greift an, Rachel entkommt. Wieder von vorn. Daneben passiert meiner Meinung nach überhaupt nichts. Harrison versuchte, emotionale Integrität zu erzeugen, indem sie Rachel eine Identitätskrise aufbürdete, die mich nicht mal ansatzweise überzeugte. Es ist zwar verständlich, dass sie ihr dämonisches Erbe überfordert, da sie sich selbst als weiße Hexe definiert, doch ihre Gewissensbisse sind völlig willkürlich. Sie vertritt keine konsequenten Prinzipien und widerspricht sich, wann immer es ihr passt. Sie ist das wandelnde Chaos und egal, wie oft Harrison sie in rührselige Dialoge verwickelt, ich kann für sie einfach keine Zuneigung aufbringen.

 

Es gibt für die „Rachel Morgan“-Reihe und mich keine Zukunft. Schon nach dem letzten Band kritisierte ich, dass Kim Harrisons schriftstellerische Begabung nicht ausreicht, um ihre Ideen effektiv umzusetzen. Mit „Bluteid“ bestätigt sich dieser Eindruck. Sie hat die Grenze ihres Könnens erreicht. Sie ist nicht fähig, Action als Mittel zum Zweck einzusetzen. Stattdessen ist der achte Band ein einziger repetitiver Schlagabtausch ohne inhaltliche Tiefe und nur darauf ausgelegt, Leser_innen atemlos von einer Situation in die nächste zu jagen. Das Buch besteht ausschließlich aus Action. Mir ist das zu wenig und ich glaube nicht, dass ich in den Folgebänden eine Besserung erwarten kann. Besäße ich nicht bereits zwei weitere Bände, würde ich die Reihe an dieser Stelle abbrechen. Es ist ärgerlich, dass ich so viel Vertrauen in Kim Harrison und „Rachel Morgan“ hatte, aber um die Bände ungelesen wegzugeben, ist es mir um mein investiertes Geld zu schade. Fazit: zwei Bände noch und Tschüss.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/kim-harrison-bluteid
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review 2018-09-10 22:15
Land of the Lost for the modern times...
City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

City of the Lost

Kelley Armstrong

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Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a domestic violence support town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want; she's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding - in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This is my first Kelley Armstrong book…I've never read any of her paranormal stuff of which she is well known for.  Her writing in this was easy to listen to and her characters were easy to root for.  Especially, Casey…she kind of rocks.  I wish I could have gotten with who she chooses to be her love interest more, but I was left liking the other guy…I think it may have been the voice that Therese Plummer chose for him, I just didn't really care for it.

 

City of the Lost is a "city" out in the Yukon, somewhere between Alaska and Canada I believe, that is sort of like it's own little commune, minus the religion.  The people go there to live and get away from their problems in the real world, whether it's an abusive ex or a crime they've committed, they are all running from something or someone.  They even pay money for the privilege of going there to live.  I never really understood where the money goes to, some sort of council that doesn't even live there…sounds fairly sketchy to me.  But otherwise, a worthwhile and fascinating story, with everything from possible cannibals, wild dogs, cats, grizzlies and a red fox; to drinking, drugs, casual sex and oh-so-much more.  Including some unforeseen twists that will have you reeling.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4/5  Cliffhanger~ Not really…

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Book Cover~ It's okay…

Narration~ 4.5 for Therese Plummer, she does so many different voices very well.

Series~ Rockton #1

Setting~ Rockton, Canada

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I used this for my Terrifying Women Square on Halloween Bingo

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-08 22:14
Book Review of Heir of Ra (Blood of Ra Book One) by M. Sasinowski
Heir of Ra - M. Sasinowski

For fans of science fiction and fantasy arrives a story unlike any other...

 

Alyssa signed up to study history, not to rewrite it.

 

An excavation of the fabled Hall of Records beneath the Sphinx unleashes an ancient disease that leaves her father fighting for his life. As Alyssa races to find a cure, she stumbles onto an impossible artifact that could change history--or destroy our future.

With unexpected help from Oxford student Paul Matthews, Alyssa evades ruthless adversaries set on harnessing the power of the artifact. As a global epidemic looms, they must unravel deep secrets hidden within it and unveil the link between a mythical civilization and the birth of Egyptian mythology, before time runs out.

 

Compulsively readable, M. Sasinowski's electrifying debut thriller, Heir of Ra, is filled with action, technology, humor, and a generous dose of "what if" that just might have you question your history books.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the first book in an exciting YA series called Blood of Ra. I loved it!

 

Alyssa Morgan is a wonderful character. I love her take no prisoners attitude, but she also can be a little reckless. She is a mature seventeen-year-old, but she also is incredibly impulsive at times. She works with her archaeologist father and professor, Kade Morgan. When her father becomes ill during an expedition to excavate the potential Hall of Records under the Sphinx in Cairo, Alyssa finds herself in a race to locate a cure and unravel the mystery surrounding the hidden chamber. Unfortunately, someone else is determined to stop her. Can she find a cure in time?

 

I love a good YA thriller/mystery, and this book has it in spades. I began to read it, and the action starts immediately and doesn't let you go until the last sentence. I love myths and legends, especially Egyptian folklore about their gods and goddesses, stories about Atlantis, and even alien origin theories, and this story has a fantastic mix of all these things. I have previously read a YA romance book that explored a similar topic, but the stories are entirely different. I have to say that I prefer this version. It appeals to my love of science fiction.

 

There are a few interesting characters that help bring this story to life. Paul Matthews is an intern at the World Health Organisation office in London, UK, though I am unsure as to his age - seventeen or eighteen I think. I am not sure why he decides to help Alyssa - besides his attraction to her, that is - but he appears to be a fantastic character too. Unfortunately, I feel that he needs a little more depth to him. Perhaps his character will grow as the series continues. I hope so. Another character who has potential is Clay Obono, who is Paul's friend. He's a sixteen-year-old student intern and computer geek also working at the World Health Organisation. He has a great sense of humour.

 

Heir of Ra is a pulse-pounding roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I reached the end, and my first thought was, "Gah! Now I have to wait (im)patiently for the next book as it can't end like that!". It is not exactly a cliff-hanger ending, but it's close. I sure hope the author is penning the sequel right now because if he isn't, I will probably start pulling out my hair in frustration. However, I will do my best to restrain myself as I know that it takes time to create great works of art and this series seems to have had a lot of research done for it.

 

M. Sasinowski is a debut author. As Heir of Ra is his first book, I think this author is one to watch. I love his fast-paced writing style. His characters come to life on the page, and I can picture the scenes in my mind's eye with ease. I also love the story flow, which runs smoothly from scene to scene. I am considering adding him to my favourite author's list.

 

Although there are no scenes of a sexual nature, there is some violence, so I feel that parental guidance may be required. I highly recommend this book (and series) to teens and adults alike who love YA science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, thrillers, mysteries, mythology, and romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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