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review 2017-12-08 17:59
The Raven
The Raven - Jeremy Bishop

It is rare for a sequel or the second in a series to be as good as the original story, the one that first presented the reader with this new world, these new characters. It is even rarer for it to be better. But The Raven is definitely more exciting, more of a page-turner, than the very good The Sentinel.

 

Jane Harper has been trapped in Greenland since the close of the first adventure when, unsurprisingly, virtually no one believes her story of what happened to the crews of the whaler and the anti-whaling ship that both sank following a ramming incident and an explosion. Unsurprisingly because the story she tells is replete with thousand-year-old zombie Vikings, and - worse still in the opinion of the media who decide what people shall and shall not believe - zombie polar bears and narwhals and whales.

 

Now though, the only other survivors, the elderly Captain of the whaler and his son, return to the island where it all began, intent on saving the world from the (alien) parasite that causes this living death, and they give Jane little choice but to accompany them.

 

I don't want to spoil the story. I will simply say that if you enjoyed The Sentinel, don't miss The Raven. And if you haven't read The Sentinel, then read it first: this book, The Raven, is not a stand-alone.

 

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review 2017-11-29 10:00
Review! Mallory's Mark (Demons in Darkness # 2) by Erzabet Bishop
Mallory's Mark - Erzabet Bishop

 

 

Hotter than Hell and eager for sin... 

Mallory is having a bad year, even for a succubus. Her adorable dog has transformed into the Devil himself, and she can't catch a date without someone dropping dead in her wake. Now a hot shifter detective is on Mallory's trail, and things are about to get dicey. Even a trip for a cut and curl can't ease her spirits. After Mallory rescues a dog in distress, her luck might finally be turning around. Sometimes the one you save saves you right back, and maybe that sexy investigator will turn out to be exactly what she needs as well. But someone from Mallory's past has a score to settle, and her hot new boyfriend may just end up on the menu. 

All that glitters could be murderous... 

Detective Bryce Richardson is a werewolf on a mission. A murderer is stalking the city streets, and all signs point to one very gorgeous lady with a string of one-night stands and a growing pile of bodies. Watching her with her blind rescue dog tugs on his heartstrings, and he finds himself falling for his chief suspect, hook, line, and sinker. A true mate is hard to find and when his animal speaks, he's learned to listen. But can Bryce keep his head long enough to solve the murders, or will he be next in the killer's sights?

 

 

I just had a fantastic visit to an intense world full of zany, vivid characters and great world building.

 

This is my first book by Erzabet Bishop and I am wondering how I have managed to miss her books, luckily that oversight can be fixed and I can’t wait to get started especially on the first book in the Demons in Darkness series. The second book Mallory’s Mark really grabbed my attention and held on tight throughout the book with a story full of zest, chuckles, romance, and thrills. The world is well put together and has unique traits that make it stand out from others, some of them fun as well as intriguing.

 

Mallory and Bryce make for a great couple with lots of red hot chemistry and their romance is full of spice and sweetness as well as ups and downs which keeps readers focused on the couple throughout the book. The readers can empathize with both characters and if they are anything like me, fall in love with all the characters and be intrigued enough to want to know them all. The suspense builds throughout the story keeping readers turning the pages with lots of twists and turns that keep readers guessing.

 

As this is the second book in the series and I have not read the first, I want to let you know that I had no trouble falling into the story and becoming fascinated with the world. Erzabet Bishop’s books have now been added to my TBR pile and I am certainly looking forward to more books in this captivating series.

 

 

Mallory’s Mark is the 2nd book in the Demons in Darkness series.

 

Mallory’s Mark is available in ebook at:

EtopiaPress   Amazon   GPlay   Kobo   B&N  

 

Erzabet Bishop can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub   Facebook   Pintrest   Twitter

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review 2017-11-22 20:33
The Sentinel - A Jane Harper Horror Novel
The Sentinel (A Jane Harper Horror Novel) - Jeremy Bishop

It all starts when an anti-whaling ship rams a whaler off the coast of Greenland and the whaler, instead of turning the other cheek, rams it right back, rather more disastrously. But then the whaler explodes.

 

How? Why? What happened?

 

Read it and see. Then follow the adventures of the few survivors on a frozen island inhabited by "draugre", Viking revenants - zombies under another, older name.

 

I liked the narrator, Jane Harper, a real kick-ass ex-military-brat, who responds with a sarcastic quip to everything Greenland and the paranormal can throw at her, but I have to say that while I found the story and the setting exciting I didn't really get any feeling of "horror" - as promised in the subtitle.

 

As a horror story I would say it fails - 3 stars at most. As a thriller with an unusual setting and a very strong female protagonist, it succeeds - 4 or 5 stars.

 

So 4 stars.

 

And I shall definitely read the sequel, The Raven.

 

 

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review 2017-10-30 01:11
The Bishop's Pawn by Don Gutteridge
The Bishop's Pawn (A Marc Edwards Mystery Book 7) - Don Gutteridge

This is set primarily in Toronto in 1839, although some of the characters take a brief trip to New York City later on. At the start of the book we meet Dick Dougherty, a massively overweight man who was once a lawyer in New York City but who, after some vague and mysterious trouble, was able to relocate to Toronto. Since then, he’s been taking care of his two wards, Brodie and Celia, and slowly taking control of his life again. A recent courtroom success has inspired him to apply for admission to the Bar (he wasn’t disbarred back in New York), and with Brodie and Celia’s help and encouragement he’s slowly regaining his mobility. He now takes daily walks that are so regular and predictable people can practically set their watches by him.

Unfortunately, although the common folk of Toronto love Dougherty, the same can’t be said for some of the area’s political leaders. There are rumors that Dougherty’s relationship with Celia isn’t entirely proper, and Dougherty’s refusal to give any details on the events that got him run out of New York City inspires even more whispers. Things come to a head when Archdeacon John Strachan delivers a fiery sermon that accuses Dougherty of “vile and abominable” behavior. Not long after the sermon, Dougherty is discovered dead, with one of his eyes removed and a note with “Sodomite” written on it pinned to his chest.

Marc Edwards and others suspect that one of Strachan’s parishioners was influenced by his sermon and killed the man. They even find a likely suspect, drunk and covered in blood. However, some of the details don’t add up. Marc suspects there’s something else going on, but the tense political situation makes it difficult to discover the truth.

I’ll start off by saying that this is book 7 in Gutteridge’s Marc Edwards series, and I haven’t read the previous six. The only reason I had this one, and five other ones after it, is because they were all free during some past Smashwords sale and their descriptions made me think of the Murdoch Mysteries TV series. I had noticed the series numbering but thought it might be a mistake, because no books with earlier series numbering were even listed. The earlier books appear to have been put out by a different publisher, one that doesn't sell through Smashwords (not a deal breaker for me, as long as it's available through Kobo) and that has chosen to add DRM to all their e-books (still one of my deal breakers when it comes to e-book purchasing).

I had hoped that jumping into the series at such a late point wouldn’t be too difficult. The story itself was fairly self-contained. Unfortunately, character relationships weren’t, and I could tell there were references to at least three previous books: one in which I’m guessing Dougherty was first introduced, one in which Marc’s wife’s first husband was killed, and one in which Marc was reunited with his mother. I had difficulty connecting to and caring about most of the characters, and I wasn’t sure whether that was due to the writing or my own lack of familiarity with them.

My other hurdle was my lack of familiarity with Canadian history. I basically know nothing. I probably should have sat down and read a few Wikipedia pages on historical figures and events mentioned in the book’s first 50 or so pages, but instead I powered through my confusion. Thankfully, the situation became a lot easier for me to follow once Dougherty was murdered. The basics: politicians afraid of a scandal, and a power struggle brewing over the position Strachan would vacate once he was elevated to bishop as everyone expected he would be.

Marc was given a pretty tight deadline, and I wasn’t sure I could buy the extension he was given in order to go to New York City and ask a few more questions. Still, the results of his investigation were interesting and more shocking and horrible than I expected. I was glad that Marc

didn’t see pedophilia and homosexuality as being essentially the same thing, even though other characters seemed to.

(spoiler show)


This was a decent book, but it didn’t work nearly as well for me as I had hoped it would. Marc and his wife both seemed like okay characters but didn’t really grab me, whereas Cobb and his habit of mispronouncing words actively annoyed me. I’m still debating what I’m going to do with my freebie books 8 through 12. Eh, they’re free and not taking up any physical space, so I’ll probably keep them around for now. I just checked, and it looks like I should be able to read at least a few of the previous books via interlibrary loan, if I wanted to give one of the earlier books a shot before moving on to book 8.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-10-25 03:55
Marked in Flesh
Marked In Flesh (A Novel of the Others) - Anne Bishop

I've been sitting here trying to think of what to say that can get across my feelings better than the "holy cow" I posted in my last status update, and I'm coming up blank.

 

All the cliches fit, though, so I'll go with those: It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to start the next book right now. (Yet, I also don't want to start the next book right now because it's the last one.)

 

Ugh...I remember when I used to write halfway decent reviews.

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