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text 2017-08-10 17:11
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Final Girls - Riley Sager

A special thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Group, and Dutton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Ten years ago, a group of college friends went on a getaway to a cabin in the woods, and only one of them came back. Quincey Carpenter was the lone survivor of this horror movie-style massacre at Pine Cottage. The press has dubbed her as a "Final Girl" (a term that refers to the last woman standing in a horror movie). There are two other women in this club: Lisa Milner, who survived a knife attack that claimed the life of nine of her sorority sisters, and Samantha Boyd, who survived the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn. The women have never met despite attempts to get them together, they all want to put the past behind them and move on.

On the surface, Quincey seems to be holding it together—she has a successful baking blog, an understanding fiancé, Jeff, and a beautiful apartment. In actuality, she is using Xanax, and relies on the steadfast support of Coop, the police officer who saved her life that night in the woods. She also has no recollection of what actually happened. It is not until Lisa, the first Final Girl is found dead, and Sam, the second girl shows up on her doorway, that Quincey is forced to deal with the past and what actually happened that night.

Quincey invites Samantha, who now goes by Sam, to stay with her and Jeff at the apartment. Sam begins to influence Quincey and she engages in some destructive behaviour which is completely uncharacteristic and her actions are threatening to jeopardize the "normal" life she has worked so hard to build. Quincey begins to question Sam's motives—what are the truths and what are the lies? Why after all this time did Sam decide to show up? And why is she pushing Quincey to remember things she has blocked out? Can she trust Sam?

I didn't fully buy in. How could a complete stranger influence Quincey's behaviour so much? I understand that Sagar was using Sam as a vehicle for Quincey to deal with the past and uncover what happened, but it was forced. Unfortunately I had it figured out before the big reveal.

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review 2017-08-05 22:22
Final Girls - Riley Sager
Just the other day I came upon something that reminded me of the author, Todd Ritter. I loved his books and I noticed that he had not published anything lately. I knew that he was little known and as such his following was somewhat meh. However, I had met Todd Ritter and found him to be very personable and entertaining. I hoped the best for him. So when I discovered this, I sunk a little bit, hoping he was doing well.

Then, this book came up on my TBR pile. While reading the blurbs, I noticed the phrase "previously published author". Curiosity peaked, I looked them up. Surprise, surprise, it's Todd Ritter! I am so happy he's publishing again and I'm pretty sure his little known status is no more!

I read this book all in one sitting. A story of three girls who were the girls left by serial killers. Either left for dead, thought they were dead or they got away. 

A title that no one wants, Quincy is the latest to receive it. She was involved in a massacre that took place in a camp cabin in the middle of the woods years before. She is now leading a "normal" life as a cooking blogger and engaged to her fiance, Jeff. She finds therapeutic satisfaction in the officer that found her and saved her, Coop.

When news that Lisa, another "Final Girl" who survived an attack on her college girls dorm commits suicide, Quincy is visited by the last "Final Girl", Samantha Boyd. Samantha was involved in the attacks by the "Sack Man" while working in a motel.

Samantha has been a curious one for the reporters. Her picture has never been shown, no one knows anything about her whereabouts, she's gone with the wind. Her sudden appearance at Quincy's doorstep adds a new element to this whole story. One where the real intrigue begins. And, where the person searching for the "Final Girls" comes hunting.

A story full of action, suspense and thrills, I found page-turning and mesmerizing. I read it all in one day because I could not put it down. 

Kudos to the author for a job well done and your new, well deserved status!

Thanks to Penguin Group/Dutton and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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text 2017-07-23 00:33
Reading progress update: I've read 73 out of 168 pages.
The Final Conflict: Omen 3 - Gordon McGill
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review 2017-07-17 01:03
The Final Plague Vol. 1 by JD Arnold (Author), Tony Guaraldi-Brown (Illustrator)
The Final Plague Vol. 1 - JD Arnold,Tony Guaraldi-Brown
The Final Plague begins in Lehigh Iowa on May 4, 2012.  As someone who hates any kind or rodent, this was not a good comic for me to read.  It begins when a small farming family finds that their home has become infested by rats. Helen is tough as nails and ends up killing the first one after a battle on her front porch. Helen is forced to use a shovel to decapitate it and even then, the damn thing still twitches.
The second rat attack happens in New York City on the same date. A homeless man is drunk in an alley when he is attacked by what can only be described as a horde of rats. There are so many rats, they quickly overpower the drunk and consume his alive.
The third incident happens on the same date in a lab in New Jersey. Jeremy is working with the rats and he notices that some of them have bloodshot eyes and assumes they are blind. Because he believes the rats to be sick but not contagious, Jeremy does not follow along with proper quarantine protocols, much to the disgust of fellow scientist Carol. Of course it's not Jeremy is hurt but a fellow when the rat sprays blood at her which lands in her mouth. Finally, it's decided that the rats need to go into quarantine and be dissected so that the scientists can figure out exactly what the hell is wrong with them.  
The one thing that is certain is that rats aren't acting the way that rats are supposed to. Normally, a rat would shy away from a human being if it encountered them but these rats are bold enough to actively attack humans when they come into contact with them. We later learn that it's not just the rats and that in fact all of the furry rodents are doing damage to humans when they encounter them. The red eyes suggest some sort of infection which is making the rodents more aggressive than usual. Alan, the exterminator posits that all of the pesticides that humanity has been using has emboldened the rats and changed their behaviour.  Of course, Alan finds out the hard way when he succumbs to the rats when he tries to exterminate them at the farm.
The Final Plague Vol I  quickly establishes the idea that rodents aren't behaving normally and are attacking and consuming humans. As someone with a deep fear of rodents this comic rises to the level of horror for me.  It does however make historic sense. We know for instance hat the bubonic plague was carried by fleas on rats which is estimated to have killed 50 million people.  Rodents are nothing to joke about because they carry disease, so the idea that the end of humanity might come at the paws of rodents makes perfect sense. It's particularly true in a city like New York city, where the rat population is enormous. Think about what it would mean for humanity if the rats suddenly started working in a swarm to attack humans. And since they can slip into a hole as big as a quarter and quickly reproduce, this would be a true nightmare because not only have to deal with the diseases which rats carry, we'd be attacked as prey.

What is less believable than a plague caused by rats that quickly moves onto other animals is just how quickly society falls apart. From beginning to end, it takes 24 hours before cities are burning, the main lab must be abandoned and a significant portion of society is either dead or infected. I appreciate seeing the beginning of a dystopian society; however, having society fall apart so quickly is just ridiculous, even if we are all surrounded by animals to some degree. 
We really haven't been introduced to a lot of characters so far. The most prominent female characters are Helen, who is a wife, mother who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis and Carol who is a scientist.  What both Carol and Helen have in common is that they read like harpies.  It's Carol and Helen who demand that the men in their family and work space do something about the rats. It is suggested to each woman in turn that they are overreacting. Jeremy in particular is dismissive of Carol concerns, claiming that his name is on the research grant as well. Common sense should have suggested to Jeremy that rats with red eyes are a no go but instead what we have is a man bucking against being told what to do. It's particularly grating since Jeremy is the reason the plague exists in the first place. Jeremy's name may be on the research but it's Carol who is the head researcher and such it's Carol who takes responsibility for Jeremy's actions and creations.  So not only was Jeremy a fool who did't take proper precautions and caused the plague in the first damn place, it's Carol who is going to be held accountable.
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/06/the-final-plague-vol-1-by-jd-arnold.html
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review 2017-07-14 19:25
Final Target (A Jonathan Grave Thriller) - John Gilstrap

I have only recently discovered John Gilstrap and I'm glad that I finally did. This was the second book I've read in this series and I was thoroughly entertained.

This book was intense with all the action trying to avoid this narcissistic and scary Mexican cartel leader and his legions of thugs. He even had the Mexican police on his side. The orphanage children also played a big role in this book. 

Lots of action, plot twists, and characters used to capture the DEA man that had been abducted makes this a great read!

Thanks to Kensington Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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