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review 2018-10-15 02:13
Not Afraid of No Ghosts
The Other Side - J.D. Robb,Patricia Gaffney,Mary Blayney,Ruth Ryan Langan

Typical anthology, some stories were good, though most were meh. I would probably have put this aside after the JD Robb story, but kept plugging away.

 

Possession in Death (In Death #31.5) by JD Robb (3.5 stars)- This is a futuristic romance taking place in 2060. It was nice to read an In Death story showing all of Eve's coworkers and people important to her. We start off with everyone at a fun BBQ which is quickly overshadowed by murder. I do wish that the more recent works had everyone together in them and actually just hanging out. I had no idea how much I missed that until I read this story. We have Eve called away and finds herself holding an older Romany woman (Gizi) who was stabbed to death. Eve agrees to find Gizi's granddaughter Beata that has gone missing. Eve realizes slowly though that somehow she has been possessed by Gizi. She and Roarke work together to see if they figure out what happened to Beata in order for Eve to return back to normal. I liked the thought of Eve being able to see ghosts and help lay them to rest. Frankly it's not much different from her dreams which have seemed to gotten more prophetic at times during the series. In the end though, the entire story-line moved a little too fast (not surprising since this is a short story) and we don't get a chance to digest things.

 

The Other Side of the Coin by Mary Blayney (5 stars)- This is a historical romance taking place in 1810. The one story not about ghosts in any way was my favorite. I liked the idea of the Earl of Fellsborough (Harry) swapping bodies with his wife (Bettina). They have an argument and both throw a mysterious coin that is nearby and wish for things at the same time. Bettina wishes that Harry could be in her shoes and Harry wishes that his wife would trust him. It was pretty funny to read them trying to deal with the ins and outs of being men and women in this time period. We also got to see their views on a lot of things such as the slave trade too. The funniest scene though was when the Earl got a period (in his wife's body) and I maybe laughed so hard I hurt my ribs. The agony he was in and the countess just rolling her eyes was hilarious. 

“Does it feel like some monster from hell is working its way through your stomach and below and the only relief will be when it explodes out of you? But before that can happen the pain fades, but only for a few moments.”

“Yes.” He sounded amazed at her insight.

“It happens every month, my lady,” Bettina said with a sarcastic emphasis on the honorific. “Indeed, it will happen monthly right before your courses for the next twenty years.”

“God help me.” 

I also like how Blayney played with romance scenes in this one too. 

 

Dancing Ghost by Patricia Gaffney (3 stars)-This is a historical romance taking place in 1895. A young woman (Angie Darlington) hires a man (Henry Cleland) who claims to be a paranormal investigator. Angie doesn't really believe that Henry can find or sense ghosts. She is merely trying to use him to prove her grandparent's house is haunted in order to prevent her cousin from selling it. I just found myself bored while reading this. Neither characters interested me much. I was more interested in the literary sayings about love that were appearing on a mirror in a bedroom. 

 

Almost Heaven by Ruth Ryan Langan (2 stars)-This is a contemporary romance. Ted and Vanessa are an older and happily married couple. They leave a party celebrating their daughter's engagement and died when the brakes fail. They get to stay on this side as ghosts and are told they can hang around for a while, but not interfere. Things get dicey though when they realize that someone purposely murdered them. This and the next story are among my least favorite in this anthology. Probably because we don't get any character development from Christina and Jake. They are just props in the overall story and you don't really root for them. I also didn't like Ted that much when he admits he thought their young son Tyler (who suffers from autism) was not intelligent. I just hard cringed at that line. 

 

Never Too Late for Love by Mary Kay McComas (2 stars)-This is also a contemporary romance. MJ is hell-bent on selling her mother's home and then comes to find her ghost and the ghosts of her two aunts who have passed on. The story had too much going on, and McComas trying to throw a love story in there didn't help either. I just didn't think that the story-line was remotely interesting since it seemed like all MJ was talk. And I didn't buy her romance with the guy next door (Ryan) he was beige as hell. The ending just fell flat. I wish the anthology had wrapped on a stronger note. 

 

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text 2018-10-14 21:16
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
The Other Side - J.D. Robb,Patricia Gaffney,Mary Blayney,Ruth Ryan Langan

Yikes. If I wasn't reading this for a square I would totally DNF it.

 

So far only one story is really tied together with a ghost, Eve Dallas's "Possession in Death" (In Death #31.5). it initially is okay with Eve and Roarke having a BBQ at their home with Eve's fellow cops and friends. She is still feeling awful after closing the case on two thrill killers from the last book (FYI, I forgot how much I loathed that book). Eve gets a call and goes out and finds a woman dying after being stabbed, someone though Eve invites her into herself and is able to see the newly dead. It works mostly, and I did love that Roarke this time was very much about doing what he could to get Eve back to herself. 

 

"The Other Side of the Coin" by Mary Blayney has the Earl and Countess of Fellsborough switching bodies. I know that many people who have read these anthologies know that Blayney also has the whole magical coin thing going on. This was pretty interesting and I loved the resolution. No ghosts though.

 

I started "Dancing Ghost" by Patricia Gaffney and so far am not a fan. Reading two people sending letters back and forth to each other is boring me to tears. At least this one is about ghost hunters it seems operating in the 1800s. 

 

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text 2018-10-08 19:31
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
The Other Side - J.D. Robb,Patricia Gaffney,Mary Blayney,Ruth Ryan Langan

Hold.

 

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review 2018-09-17 15:22
Good YA Ghost Story
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Honestly not a lot to say besides I enjoyed this one a lot. It was a nice break from the doom and gloom of Stephen King. This book reminds me of a hybrid of "Supernatural" with a little "Charmed" mixed in for good measure. 


"Anna Dressed in Blood" follows teen Cas who has the ability to sense ghosts and also send them away if he manages to kill them (how do you kill something already dead?) with his father's enchanted athame. Ca's father was also a ghost hunter until he met a tragic end. Cas's sole mission is to get strong enough to go back one day and put to end the ghost that killed his father. When he and his mother are on the move again for him to track down and put down another ghost, Cas starts to realize that this trip is different. 

 

Cas reminds me a bit of Dean and Sam from Supernatural. Cas would be the perfect hybrid of these two characters. Cas apparently is good at research, but can also protect himself when going up against ghosts. One wonders though after what is revealed in the end, was that all him though or something else?

 

Due to the nomadic life he has lived, Cas hasn't really thought about friends or girls. However, after coming to Thunder Bay, Ontario, he starts to develop friendships with Thomas and Carmel. Thomas has some telepathic ability and Carmel is the queen bee of the school. You don't see these friendships coming, but Blake does a good job of fleshing out this threesome. You have Cas's mom who is hoping for something more with Carmel and Thomas who is hoping for something more. I kind of wanted Carmel to pop up and say I am good and keep on keeping on. That was the only part of the book I didn't care for, Carmel was not a prize to be won by Thomas or Cas. Thank God though there is no dumb love triangle in this book. Cas sees Carmel as a really cool and strong friend and I was delighted with that. 

 

We get some other characters who get a bad end. We do have some gruesome scenes here and there, but nothing too scary. We do find out eventually what happened to Anna and how she became an uber ghost. I think that the book could have easily been cut in half, but we continue on and we get some more to do with Cas's father and his legacy. I was worried there was too much going on int his book, but Blake manages to walk the line. 

 

The flow works in this one though I did want to yell at Cas for being dumb sometimes. The action slows down a bit when Cas and Anna talk. I know why Blake set it up that way (for us and Cas to get to know her) but I had a hard time with her not being that scary really. 


The ending leaves things with a slight cliffhanger. I know there's a second book in this series, but the reviews have been mixed. I may just leave things here since I really enjoyed Cas and his ghost hunting. 

 

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text 2018-09-15 18:21
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Wow. What a great story! Very good and loved the ending.  Cas, Carmel, and Thomas are an awesome trio. There are enough twists to keep you guessing. I know there’s a sequel, but I don’t think I’ll read it anytime soon.  Will have to remind myself to read it later on next year.

 

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