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Search tags: contemporary-fiction
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review 2020-06-03 03:59
Water Bodies
Water Bodies - Jeffrey Perso

 John Voltaire returns to his childhood home of L along the banks of the Mississippi in order to settle his parents estate.  John thought he escaped the backwards confines of L long ago, but he is right back where he started.  Now, L is experiencing a strange plague of drownings.  More than usual, the water seems to be taking more lives than usual in an array of unusual and terrifying circumstances.  Locals are in disagreement of the cause- increases in drunken accidents, a supernatural force, a serial killer or natures revenge.  John's return coincides with the uptick and on top of the unusual circumstances, John's siblings, Cristo and Laura aren't helping much with the sale. 

 
Told through the device of John's scientific journal, Water Bodies presents a unique view of a very strange circumstance through the eyes of a former resident of the town and a current Doctor of Biology and Freshwater Science.  Since it is John's science journal, I really didn't get a good sense of his character.  In fact, the first section of the book is just a recounting of all of the strange recent drownings and no sense of who is recording it.  As John's family history unfolds, it also gives hints that John may not be the most reliable of narrators.  The plot of the story sort of dragged for me, but I was pulled along by the mystery of the water.  There may have been something in this story that I didn't quite get or something that went over my head and I was left unsatisfied and a little confused. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2020-05-20 20:55
The Poor and the Haunted
The Poor and the Haunted - Dustin McKissen

Life has never been easy for Jimmy and Kelly Lansford. Their parents never had much money and what they had was spent on drugs and alcohol.  When they are teens, their father commits suicide and their mother continues to spiral.  Jimmy is kept afloat with the help of local detective, Mike Carlisle and finds his way to Arizona State on a track scholarship. Jimmy doesn't like leaving Kelly behind with their mother, but Carlisle promises to look after her.  Jimmy excels at college and is able to become a successful trader.  He marries and is able to buy the house of his dreams and build the family he always wanted.  On his daughter's twelfth birthday, Jimmy begins to recall his childhood and the events that shaped him.  After that,  Jimmy begins to see and feel things  He begins to wonder if he inherited something from his father or if the family ghost has come for him.

 
The Poor and the Haunted is a psychological thriller paired with an unexpected ghost story.  Jimmy's character is wonderfully created and I could easily feel the intense bond with his sister, his guilt for leaving his childhood behind to start over and need to protect the life he has made for himself.  The writing bounces back and forth between Jimmy and Kelly as teens and Jimmy as an adult.  The writing created two very different worlds from Jimmy's childhood to adulthood and I could feel the buildup of trauma, stress and anxiety from his childhood.  As Jimmy slowly descends into darkness it is difficult to tell if he is truly having physiological issues or if a ghost has found him.  The Poor and the Haunted is complex, full of family drama and intrigue with a surprising ending. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2020-05-11 03:03
Greed
Greed - Ker Dukey,K. Webster

Micah Dixon wants it all.  Above all he wants to know what happened to his best friend, Mason and his sister, Evelyn.  Two years ago, Micah asked his father with help protecting them, but it was all lies.  With membership to New Orleans secret society, The Elite, Micah will be able to figure out a way to make up for it all.  The Elite have control of both Mason and Evelyn, and together they are going to find a way to bring it all down.  First, Micah has to take care of his task. Then there is  Sabella, the twin sister of Wrath and the girl that everyone believes that Envy has killed. 

 

 Greed is the last book in The Elite Seven Series and needs to be read last.  Micah's story brings together the suspense that has been building within the past six books.  The brothers are finally ready to take The Elite into their own hands by taking out the old order.  For this book, the story switches between Micah and Sabella's point of view.  The women's characters have been just as influential in the story as much as the men's.  Sabella regains her self confidence and builds her strength with Micah and becomes just as much a part of the group.  I'm glad that their romance was slower and took the time Sabella needed to find confidence again without losing any of the steamy scenes. The ending is exciting, violent and accomplishes what it needs.  I do wish there was a continuation of what this set of brothers achieve afterward.  

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review 2020-05-10 00:58
Sloth
Sloth - Giana Darling

Rush Dempsey doesn't care about much in life except finding out the truth about what killed his mother.  He knows that the secret society, The Elite has something to do with it.  It isn't until his father mentions that Rush is a candidate for the very same group that he is compelled to do something again.  Rush knows that getting into to The Elite will be the only way to destroy it.  His task to become a member of the group is to desecrate Archbishop Savoie's daughter, Isabelle on the alter of the church.  Rush's task becomes easy when Isabelle is pushed into her hands and taking down The Elite is in sight.  No one expects the laziest member of the group to have planned so carefully.

 
Sloth is the sixth book in The Elite Seven series.  Sloth brings together a lot of the previous stories, so I would definitely recommend reading the rest of the series first.  Rush is motivated from the very beginning to end The Elite and expose their secrets.  His character, from the outside seems like to least likely to do so, however; Sloth is just a cover for patience.  I enjoyed Rush's relationship with Isabelle and the fact that it didn't seemed forced or even too tied to his task.  The romance is sweet and sexy with plenty of steamy scenes.  Isabelle was courageous on her own and I was glad that she was able to use Rush to get out from under her father.  For a book about Sloth, this installment was really action packed as Rush and his brothers begin to bring down The Elite.  I was impressed at how well all of the stories have fit together so far and can't wait to see if Rush's plan will work in the last book, Greed. 
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review 2020-05-07 22:54
The Attic Tragedy
The Attic Tragedy - J. Ashley-Smith

Sylvie is new to the school. Her old-school clothes and head in the clouds demeanor make her an easy target for boys like Tommy Payne and his gang. George knows what Tommy will do to a girl like Sylvie. When George intervenes on Tommy's attack of Sylvie the pair become fast friends. Sylvie accepts George with all her quirks and faults. George accepts Sylvie's strange gift of knowing the background of the antiques at her father's shop with a simple touch. As life moves on, Sylvie goes to University far away. George stays and works in the antique shop waiting to desperately rekindle the feelings that they shared in school.

The Attic Tragedy is a short story about friendship and how it changes us over time. The unique elements of Sylvie's gift brought me into the story, but isn't the main focus. I would love to have a gift like that, to know the history of objects with a touch. The stories Sylvie shared were amazing whether they were sweet, heartbreaking or silly. Since this is a short story, the timeline moves quickly and the characters are carved out along the way. I do wish there was more information about Sylive's gift and George's background. The real focus, however, is on the value of friendship and how it affects us, even if the friendship changes. Overall, a unique story with elements of the paranormal and acceptance.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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