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review 2018-05-30 17:04
The Borrower / Rebecca Makkai
The Borrower - Rebecca Makkai

Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

 

I’m not sure yet why I didn’t love this book as much as I expected to. Perhaps it’s because I never have read Mary Norton’s The Borrowers , and therefore couldn’t appreciate the parallels that Makkai was making.

The main character, Lucy Hull, is a children’s librarian, who becomes overly concerned with the welfare of her favourite library patron, Ian Drake. Being in library work myself, I usually adore books involving libraries and librarians. This one also references many books of childhood, another characteristic that I generally appreciate.

Although I tend to prefer ambiguous or realistic endings, I had problems with the wrap-up of this novel. The whole plot line of a run-away boy with the librarian who aids and abets him just didn’t work for me as it has for other readers. Your mileage may vary, perhaps I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to enjoy it right now. At any rate, I had to really push myself to finish the book and was left less than satisfied when I turned the final page.

But I truly did love some passages in the book, such as Lucy’s description of The Wizard of Oz:

And second, everyone is so weird, but they’re all completely accepted. It’s like, okay, you have a pumpkin head, and that guy’s made of tin, and you’re a talking chicken, but what the hell, let’s do a road trip.


That is one of the great pleasures of literature, its ability to make the unusual seem absolutely normal.

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text 2018-04-18 16:29
Free on Kindle Unlimited

“Rob Williams’ Sins of Variance poses one of science fiction’s crossroads in a difficult future of dark choices for the human race.”

 

Sins of Variance takes place 500 years into the future in Gloucestershire County, United Kingdom (near Wales).  Mankind has changed through genetic engineering, almost to the point of being unrecognizable from what we know today.  Advanced genetics has brought about a complete “optimal” set of genomes preferred by the society.   Though variation has been bred out of most humans, there are rare individuals with unique inner characteristics who have been deemed unacceptable by the society. They struggle because of these personal differences, and some find their world is not really what they have been led to believe.

 

The author would rate the book on the high side of PG-13 due to violence.

 

Author’s Website

https://www.robwilliamsnovels.com/

 

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Sins-Variance-Empathy-Dystopian-Future/dp/1938667921?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2F6RDUSIYCWQMFQ&tag=sa-sym-new-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=1938667921

 

 

 

Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Sins-Variance-Empathy-Dystopian-Future-ebook/dp/B07BPWPXJQ?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2F6RDUSIYCWQMFQ&tag=sa-sym-new-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07BPWPXJQ

 

 

Published by

The Ardent Writer Press

http://www.ardentwriterpress.com/

 

Author Page on Ardent Writer Press

https://ardentwriterpress.com/alabama-authors/rob-williams-2/

 

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review 2018-04-05 18:45
ZOMBIE BIGFOOT written and narrated by Nick Sullivan
Zombie Bigfoot (Creature Quest Series Book 1) - Nick Sullivan

 

ZOMBIE BIGFOOT isn't trying to disguise itself as literary fiction as you can tell by the title. What it promises with that shadowy cover and its campy title is creature feature fun and it delivers that in spades!

 

Sarah, a woman whose father spent a good deal of his life trying to prove that the Sasquatch exists, is now spending her time trying to do the same. Her dad did eventually meet a member of the Bigfoot family when he was injured during one of his solo expeditions. Unfortunately, although he survived his injury with a Bigfoot's help, he returned to civilization with no real proof of it, and he became the object of scorn among his peers. Sarah has now returned to the area where her father documented his encounter with a team of her own and all of the latest technology to capture any discoveries they might find. Will they finally find the evidence that Bigfoot actually exists? You will have to read this to find out!

 

I expected this book to be more fluffy than it actually was, and that was a pleasant surprise. With a cast of characters that ranged from a television survivalist, a billionaire explorer, a Shwarzenegger-like body guard and a native American tracker/guide-there were plenty of personalities and events to keep the reader occupied.

 

Even though the beginning got off to a bit of a slow start, it felt like the author began to really hit his stride once the action got going. Somehow it seemed to come through that he was having a lot of fun and that point is where the reader started having fun too. Sprinkled with humor throughout, (like referencing those beef jerky commercials), ZOMBIE BIGFOOT doesn't take itself too seriously, while delivering more than what this reader expected from your average tale of this nature.

 

Recommended for fans of creature-features!

 

Get your copy here: ZOMBIE BIGFOOT

 

 

 

*I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-03-30 12:45
VIDEO NIGHT by Adam Cesare, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Video Night - Adam Cesare,Matt Godfrey

 

VIDEO NIGHT is a perfect example of a creature feature combined with a small town and 80's nostalgia. For fans of this type of horror, it would be difficult for you to find a better book than this.

 

Billy and his best friend have a standing date once a week to watch a video, almost always a horror movie. Their video store is small and space is limited, so they've seen every horror movie available over and over again. But this week, VIDEO NIGHT is not going to go as planned. Both boys have dates and not all of them will survive. In fact, most of the town won't survive. Will Billy himself make it through? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I love all kinds of horror, dark fiction and even some fantasy, but I have a special place in my heart for both the 80's and for creature features, so this book was perfect for me. (It only took me so long to read it because friends of mine, [I'm looking at you Kimberly and Andi], gifted me a gorgeous signed/limited edition and I didn't want to crack the spine!) I had some high expectations going in, and I'm happy to report that this book lived up to each and every one of them.

 

I listened to the audio and Matt Godfrey did a great job of narrating, as always. I admit that I wondered how his calm manner would work in a book that was so fast paced and gory, but I needn't have worried. He brought it all home with a certain style that I enjoyed.

 

If you like creature-features and 80's nostalgia, or if you grew up during that time, there is no book out there better suited to you than VIDEO NIGHT!

 

BONUS! If you're a member of the Horror Aficionados group at Goodreads, come join us during the month of April, when Adam Cesare himself is participating in a group read of this book. He'll be available for your questions and comments! It's free to join and all you need is a copy of the book, which you can get in all formats here: VIDEO NIGHT

 

 *Thanks to Matt Godfrey, the narrator, for the free audio of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-03-30 02:06
Moonstruck by Graeme Reynolds (2016 Review)
Moonstruck - Graeme Reynolds

Moonstruck by Graeme Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Best Read 2016

Now in police custody, John Simpson is quickly running out of options. His face is all over the news for the grisly murders of multiple people, and the full moon is vast approaching yet again. If that wasn't bad enough, a squad of professional killers have been sent to take him out. He's a threat, an apparent moonstruck, with no control over his monster - or so the pack believes. John's not the only one in danger however; those that know too much must be silenced, including the law enforcement involved with the High Moor investigation.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

High Moor was my one and only five star book of 2014, with very good reason. It surpassed my expectations and instantly plunged me into an exciting roller-coaster of claws and teeth. Everybody was fair game, every limb at risk of being ripped off - the extreme brutality throughout shocked me as well as thrilled me, but it wasn't just about violence and gore. It was about a man with a terrible beast lurking beneath the surface, and a society determined to remain hidden. This second instalment was no different in terms of pace and edge-of-your-seat excitement. I found myself drawn into the life and death situations of characters old and new, and a few I truly liked from the get-go. There's something about how Reynolds spins a tale, and that coupled with my love for werewolves, is the perfect combination.

The plot largely centred upon the werewolf pack, led by Michael as alpha, and their attempts to cover up the rather messy events that transpired in the previous book. Getting a more in-depth look at their inner workings and at their harsh, yet understandable, methods of taking care of the situation was thoroughly engrossing. Of course they went to great lengths to secure the secrecy of their race; realistically, we (humanity), would outright eradicate them upon the discovery of their existence. Perhaps not at first, but eventually. No matter how much it may be denied, we are a destructive force, and peace would most assuredly be merely an illusion. Because of this, I didn't dislike Oskar and his team for doing what they did out of necessity, but Connie was another matter. She was the heartless villain that enjoyed the cruelty and pain of her victims. She was so consumed by hate. I have to admit, she provided some very tense scenes, like the one with Olivia, which I couldn't read fast enough; I needed to know if the poor woman survived.

John and Marie both returned and their romance took a step further, albeit with an awkward, yet sweet moment. I appreciated that amongst the horrific bloodshed, there was at least a little bloom of love and the potential for quite the power couple. Steven Wilkinson also proved to be deadlier than ever, yet no longer did he desire an allegiance with John, but four unsuspecting policemen. I was quite fond of Phil Fletcher in particular, the older and higher ranked copper, as he seemed the decent sort. Hopefully he reappears in the final book of the trilogy, perhaps as a hunter himself. Considering the ending, there's no doubt things are going to escalate for every character.

Another aspect I favoured was when Marie admitted to there being other types of supernatural creatures; vampires included. This made me smile and wonder of the possibility of more novels being set within the world of High Moor. I'd definitely read them!

In conclusion: Utmost excitement - excellent werewolf savagery. I'll be keeping an eye on Reynolds' future works, as I just love how he spins a tale.

Notable Scene:

If anything, the experience was worse going from wolf to human than it had been from man to beast. The savage fangs pushed their way back through his gums, feeling as if a dentist was drilling all of his teeth at once, without the benefit of anaesthetic. Black talons forced their way under his already forming fingernails, while every bone in his body splintered and reformed, flowing like liquid to their original shape. The worst thing, however, was the itching burn across every inch of his skin, as thousands of coarse black hairs pushed their way into his flesh. He cried out in agony, but his vocal chords were half way between human and werewolf, so all that escaped his lips was a strange combination of howl and scream.

© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/30/moonstruck-by-graeme-reynolds-2016-review
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