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review 2014-02-06 07:45
Audiobook Review - Archetype by M.D. Waters
Archetype - M.D. Waters

Archetype is a mix of several genres- sci-fi, dystopian, mystery, and most of all suspense. Nail biting, fist clenching, teeth grinding suspense. This author certainly draws it out too. Hints and clues and secrets, all of the answers so tantalizingly close but didn't quite get there until I was ready to chuck my Nook out a window. I'm so glad I didn't because the answers were well worth waiting for! Wow, what a twisty, turny, mind bending story! 

Emma, the main character, wakes up one day in a hospital with absolutely no memories of who she or anyone else is. Declan is the man who says he is her husband, and he certainly behaves like he is, always treating her with care and kindness. While her days are spent getting reacquainted with her husband, her nights are often interrupted by nightmares of war and other disturbing images. She wonders if these are memories, and if so, they certainly don't fit what she's been told by her husband and doctor. Emma doesn't know who to trust, she's not even sure she can trust her own mind or the flashes of memories that she gets from time to time, or the voice in her head that warns her not to tell anyone anything. 

From the beginning, I was very quickly hooked. Emma's voice is compelling, drawing the reader in so that I was as frustrated and confused as she was trying to figure out what was going on and why. Not to mention wondering how this dystopic society came to be. It was interesting learning things alongside Emma because since she remembered barely anything, not a lot of explanation was given for what brought the world to this point. That was one of the only negatives for me. I am left with so many unanswered questions! 

It's easy to sympathize with Emma's character while at the same time become so frustrated with some of the decisions she makes. As far as romance, I'm not sure I would call it insta-love considering the situation, it was a bit uncomfortable since the whole time she (and I) had misgivings about whether or not Declan was genuine. Also, he was quite creepy, controlling, and stalkerish. And there is a bit of a love triangle, but it's quite twisted as well, so it's not the average love triangle that annoys me so much. The plot reminded me of a cross between Before I Go to Sleep and The Program but with much more suspense! 

The secondary characters were very much in the background and it was more about Emma's thoughts about them and interaction with them than finding out enough about them to get a good grasp of who they are. But even though I would have liked more details with the characters and the world, I can't say that I'm at all disappointed with the book. 

The audio narration by Khristine Hvam was well done. I admit, I was so immersed in the story, that I didn't pay close attention to how the narrator sounded, but I guess the fact that I was able to lose myself so completely says that the narration was solid. 

I cannot wait until the next book in the series, Prototype, is available! This is a series I will DEFINITELY be continuing. The ending of Archetype wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but I am still left wanting much more. I would highly recommend this to fans of sci-fi, suspense, and futuristic reads.

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review 2013-10-01 14:47
Review - Through Glass by Rebecca Ethington
Through Glass - Rebecca Ethington

Through Glass is a journey into fear, loneliness, and despair as apocalyptic monsters begin a systematic takeover, quickly putting the surviving humans under their full control. The story begins full of hope, as young lovers, Lex & Cohen, are just discovering one another when suddenly the bottom drops out of their world and they find themselves trapped in their homes by strange and vicious monsters. They are forced to stand idly by as death rains down from above destroying everything they have ever known and leaving them only able to communicate with one another through the glass panes of their windows because to step outside would mean certain death.


The Ulama, the unnatural creatures bent on the world’s destruction, were terrifying yet so incredibly strange that it was difficult to understand what they were or what their purpose was. One thing was clear, these things were effective, shutting down any resistance with brutality and complete annihilation leaving any survivors in complete darkness and dependent solely on them for food and water. Lex’s fear and hopelessness was palpable throughout the story as she struggled just to live from day to day, not understanding why this was happening and with no end in sight. Her only solace was being able to see Cohen through her bedroom window each day and the encouragement they gave to one another to keep going.


I enjoyed the way the author built a sense of dread for the reader by making the Ulama so unpredictable and allowing the main characters to be harmed, not assuring the reader of a Happy Ending. I always prefer this kind of realistic desperation in a post-apocalyptic story because it pulls me in and makes it so much more believable. I find myself feeling panicked for the characters in an actual physical way, my heart starts racing and I’m practically yelling at the book “no, don’t do that!” or “Grab the lamp!!” because I’m just so invested in the story and real possibility of them coming to harm.


While there were certain aspects of the world building, which I felt was pretty choppy in the beginning and the writing style and flow that didn’t necessarily work for me, the story itself was so riveting that these things were very easy to overlook and are really just a matter of personal preference anyway. I would definitely recommend this to fans of horror and sci-fi with a post-apocalyptic theme. The Ulama were very original, I hadn’t read any kind of creatures like them before and I enjoyed trying to figure out what they were and their intentions & motivations. This is definitely a great October read when you want something that will leave you feeling a bit jittery and jumping at small sounds!

Source: happy-booker.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-excerpt-giveawaythrough-glass-by.html
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review 2013-06-20 00:00
I Hunt Killers
I Hunt Killers -

I've had friends jokingly tell me that I rate EVERYTHING a 3. I find, so often, that books that are super popular and everyone is screaming about are just kinda okay for me. It makes me wonder if maybe I'm too picky or if I'm missing something, some connection, that everyone else is getting. But then I pick up a book like I Hunt Killers and it reminds me of why I reserve those 5 star ratings. Books like this remind me of why I love reading so much. 

I absolutely lost myself in this story from the very beginning. I was immersed, riveted, completely out of commission for anything outside of finishing this book, which I did in just a day. Jasper Dent was one of the most fascinating characters I've read recently. Raised to be a serial killer by his serial killer father, Jasper now analyzes his every thought, his every action, trying to determine if he will follow in his father's footsteps, if he too is a sociopath. To be raised like that would undeniably cause irreparable damage to a child, and Jasper is no exception. Luckily, the detective that caught his father has kind of become a mentor to Jasper. When another serial killer seems to be operating in his small town, Jas is forced to confront those feelings and explore that darker side of himself.

While the story within I Hunt Killers was intriguing, it was the characters and the relationship between them that grabbed me and held me and makes me want to read more. From Jas' crazy grandmother, to his sick twisted father, to the gruff detective who feels sorry for Jas, each character has dimension and allure that pulls a reader further into this dark and often quite scary story. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I would absolutely recommend this to everyone who enjoys dramatic thrillers and fans of shows like Criminal Minds.

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review 2013-06-16 00:00
Sharp Objects: A Novel
Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects tells the story of Camille, a journalist living in Chicago, who is asked to return to the small town where she is from to cover an unfolding story about 2 murdered girls. This also gives Camille the opportunity to reconnect with her family, an opportunity she didn't necessarily wish for. It seems that Camille and her mother have many unresolved issues revolving around her childhood & the death of her sister when Camille was just 13. Camille also has a younger sister that she barely knows having been away for so long. To call this family dysfunctional is an understatement. The mother is so vile and distasteful in the sick way she gives and withholds love as a means to control. The 13 year old little sister is maniacally manipulative & known to be the vicious head of the "mean girl" clique at school. Camille herself is understandably damaged and tries to cope by carving words into her skin to deal with her pain. 

I love that this author unflinchingly takes the reader to very dark places in this book. The characters are seldom likable but are so authentic in their broken lives. Sharp Objects explores the real consequences of extreme unhealthy mother-child relationships. The damage that a mentally disturbed parent can cause is far reaching and can last far beyond childhood. This story also shows how easily such sickness can be overlooked by everyone, people refusing to see what is right in front of them. This is definitely not a book that will leave a reader with a happy, hopeful feeling. It is dark and disturbing and can leave the reader feeling a bit unclean. But Sharp objects is also undeniably a fascinating story, expertly written, with authentic characters that, while not always likable, will draw a reader in making them want to understand their motivations. 

I absolutely recommend this to anyone who, like me, enjoys stories that are a bit more dark and with unexpected villains. This is the second of Gillian Flynn's books I've read and I am officially a fan. I can't wait to read more from this author.

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review 2013-05-12 00:00
Blindsighted (Grant County)
Blindsighted - Karin Slaughter

Blindsighted was an okay read. The gory bits were explained in explicit and excruciating detail, which were as fascinating as they were disturbing. The crime itself was satisfactorily shocking and unpleasant. These were the things that worked for me in the story. Where Blindsighted fell flat was in just about every other area, characterization, plot, dialog, and in the relationships between the characters. 

The plot was very simple, someone killed a blind woman in a very horrific way and the detectives are trying to find out who did it. There was little to no suspense or building to a dramatic conclusion. Some things happened, some people reacted, then the culprit revealed himself, and it was all resolved and loose ends tied up simply and conveniently. The plot never gained much more dimension than that. 

The relationships between the characters, the siblings, the ex husband/wife, relatives, friends, etc, I never felt anything about any of the characters so I cared very little about their relationship, therefore the emotional pull that is usually present in these type of stories was missing for me. A lot of personal stories of traumatic events experienced by these characters was kind of thrown at the reader I assume to create that connection, but it fell far short because of the lack of life and personality shown by the characters themselves. They never gained a distinctive "voice" within the story and were all just paper thin and lifeless, I remained completely disconnected from them which ultimately kills a story for me. 

The ending was anticlimactic, mainly because I didn't really care at that point about the characters and had no idea who the villain was or why he was doing what he did. I had very little invested into the story and the ending wasn't anything resembling suspenseful or action packed. Questions were answered but only in the most basic surface kind of way, exactly like all the rest of the plot, characters, etc. It was all very shallow. The crime itself, and the autopsy, were the most interesting thing about the book. 

So, Blindsighted was mildly interesting because of the nature of the crime and the shocking gory details, but is definitely not a book I would recommend, although I will say that I did finish the book which, in itself says that it is readable because I rarely hesitate to put down a book that loses me. I will continue reading this author who is highly recommended by several reviewers whose opinions I value so I assume the quality of the storytelling improves in her other books.

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