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review 2017-06-25 02:50
THE ROMEO CATCHERS BY: ALYS ARDEN
The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls Series) - Alys Arden

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Reading an Alys Arden book is like taking a vacation. Her books make you feel like you're an actual part of the French Quarter. Completely immersive and her love of her city shines through each and every page. You end up feeling as if you are living and breathing the city right along with the characters. I absolutely adore that about these books!

 

 

bayou a drink

 

 

I loved watching the Coven come together and getting to know some new characters as well as getting more background stories from characters we already know and love. Getting to know Niccolo better was quite endearing. I don't know what Arden is trying to do to my heart, but I don't think I could possibly be any more conflicted between Niccolo and Isaac at this point! Seeing Adele and Isaac's relationship flourish in this book was so sweet. I can plainly see that they are pretty darn wonderful together. But even with Niccolo being out of sight, he was never out of mind, and seeing him as this young determined dreamer with so many hopes of a bright future tugged at each one of my heartstrings. I don't even know what I want at this point! I am DYING to see what happens in the next book.

 

 

which one

 

 

I was really excited to see more of the witch magic throughout the story. It was a lot of fun watching Adele, Isaac and Dee building up their coven and finding their place. I am very eager to see this group grow and flourish! I am completely intrigued by their individual growing powers as well! That ending was OUT OF CONTROL. You could tell that it was building to something huge towards the end, and it did not disappoint. I have no idea what will happen next in this story, but I can't wait to find out!

 

 

patience

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review 2017-06-18 17:29
Bad Girl Gone
Bad Girl Gone: A Novel - Temple Mathews

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This ended up being a very uneventful read for me. The premise felt really cool: a girl finds herself in a creepy orphanage, realises it’s actually a kind of purgatory for murdered kids, and tries to find out who killed her so that she can move on. The beginning was intriguing, especially since, like other ghosts in the orphanage, Echo first has to piece together memories of her death—reliving the trauma at once would be too shocking—, and investigating why you’re in an orphanage when last you knew your parents were definitely alive, well, that’s tricky.

The problem lied mainly in how all this was executed. Not particularly thrilling, for starters. Echo has a couple of culprits in mind, so she and the other kids go to ‘haunt’ them and see if they’re going to wield under pressure, or are actually innocent, but… it wasn’t anything scary or memorable, more like pranks, not like the really creepy kind of haunting you could get when adding children/teenagers to the mix (in general, I find kid ghosts scarier than adult ones). The mystery itself—finding the murdered—wasn’t exciting either, nor were the murderer’s reactions. Perhaps this was partly due to Echo’s power as a ghost: entering living people’s bodies in order to perceive their thoughts. The investigation part, in turn, was more about vaguely picking a maybe-potential culprit, scaring them, popping in their mind, then be gone. Then the story. And then Echo’s past as a ‘bad girl’ was revealed, and it turned out it wasn’t so much bad as introduced without much taste.

Definitely cringeworthy was the drama-addled romance. Echo’s living boyfriend, Andy, is all about moping and wanting to kill himself over her death, and… well, call me hard-hearted and callous, but you’re 16 and that kind of relationship is by far NOT the first one you’re going to experience in life, so pegging everything on it always feels contrived to me. Then there’s cute ghost boy Cole, who’s not about murdering the hypotenuse (thanks goodness), yet was strange, considering Andy is not aware of his presence, and so the triangle is… incomplete? (Its attempts at becoming a square later didn’t help either.) Also contains examples of stupid Twue Wuv/The One/soulmate 4evah/Doormat Extraordinaire. Such as Echo being so happy that her corpse was dressed in her favourite dress at her funeral… Favourite because her boyfriend Andy liked it. I still have no idea if Echo herself liked the pattern or colour or whatever. In any case, these are the kind of tropes I dislike in novels in general, and in YA even more. Why always make it look like couple love is the ultimate end, as if nobody (whether girl or boy) couldn’t have a good life in different ways?

In fact, I was more interested in the orphanage’s headmistress (whose back story plays a part for a chapter or so) and other inmates, all with their own murders to solve. These I would’ve liked to see interact more than just as Echo’s sidekicks. But we don’t get to learn much about them, apart from how they died. Too bad.

Conclusion: Nope

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review 2017-06-18 16:23
Ghost Box
Ghost Box: Voices from Spirits, ETs, Shadow People & Other Astral Beings - Paulette Moon,Chris Moon

by Paulette Moon,Chris Moon

 

Non-fiction

 

This is the authors' relation of their experiments with a 'ghost box', literally a box that works like a radio transmitter to pick up the voices of ghosts. Spooky! But that's what attracted me to the book.

 

It requires a big leap of faith. Apparently much of the activity happens on a psychic level so you're basically taking the word of the author that anything was heard at all, although some recordings apparently produced voices. Putting belief aside, I found the book interesting. The incidents mentioned in relation to a few high profile historic deaths made for good reading, scepticism or not.

 

I did find the suggestion that the box picks up alien voices as well a stretch. It started ticking too many woowoo boxes at that point and I found it more difficult to suspend disbelief. I keep an open mind about spiritual activity, but this pushed it a little too far for me and I found myself reading with more scepticism after that part.

 

Despite this, some of the stories related towards the end appeared to be corroborated by real world evidence, if you take the author's word for it. I decided that belief is subjective and on the bottom line, I enjoyed reading the book. It was well written and provided some interesting food for thought. Would I try the spirit box if given a chance? Definitely. Like some of the other sceptical people who came into contact with the authors, I would ask questions that only the person I was contacting would know, but I would not hesitate to give it a go and see what happened.

 

The only thing missing was any information whatsoever about how it supposedly works. Maybe the authors will include that in their next book.

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review 2017-06-18 15:47
Audio Book Review: Ghosts of Empire
Ghosts of Empire (Book 4 of The Empire of Bones Saga) - Terry Mixon

*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

Having planets under control of higher powers can be a feeding ground for conspiracies and resistances. Here on Harrison's World, we get both. And they know very well who their enemy is. Harrison's World holds knowledge Admiral Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey Bandar need to continue their fight against the Rebel Empire. But, can they get their people free and make allies at the same time? Or will the conspiracies of the Rebel Empire go deeper than all expected?

Veronica is talented at keeping pace with the excitement of the story. When the events pick up pace and the heart of the characters is pumping, Veronica has the feel of the fast tension to her voice, drawing me into the rush of the moment. Yet, Veronica is crystal clear in speaking so I know exactly what she says. There are moments through the book that have an echoy sound to them. I'm not sure what this is or why, me or the recording, I'm not sure. I'm repeatedly wowed at Veronica's ability and beyond any talent to give a vast cast of characters their own voices and personalities.

With Terry's writing we have come to be very close to our characters here. We've slowly added new characters that I've grown attached to as well. Now we are adding more people to the mix. It sounds like a lot of people, but the way Terry adds them keeps them all individual and easy to get to know before adding more to the group. I love this as it does not stress me out. He introduces them in their 'home' environment and when they appear on the page it's in relation to who and where they are, even not spoken or written. This makes it very easy for me to remember who's who in this growing cast of characters.

We get the story from Kelsey and Jared's POV's like previous books. But we also get a new view here. Commander Sean Meyer is in a different spot and we get to see from where he's at. And Coordinator Olivia West, who has a special connection to things.

Oooooh this book. There is so much to learn! We start to learn details of the Rebel Empire and how it's set up with their lords and rulers. Very interesting. Just when I thought things could get boring, Terry surprises me and keeps me held fast to the book. Things could easily be repeated, but they aren't. What we learn and deal with at Harrison's World grows to new heights, unlike at Pantagar.

We see how two worlds collide with needs and desires to do more. There are items that both want, yet only one has and can have. There is also desires for more on the new world we are negotiating with, Harrison's World. These worlds are damaged and the people are angry. Different people want different things - revenge, freedom, power, and more. There are people who want to rebel against the Rebel Empire and others with plans of their own. All clash as Jared and Kelsey work to get their people freed from Harrison's World. Will they make a new ally or an enemy? Or come to even grounds? There is a different hierarchy here, and it's going to be difficult to get anywhere.

This book had me groping for all sorts of ideas on how things could turn out. Oh to see how the people of Harrison's World who want to rebel against the Empire have worked for what little they have in place, and to know where those items are. Wow. There is more in common with Jared and Kelsey with Olivia and her people, they just don't know it right away. I worried how this common ground could be destroyed before it's ever found because everyone's so worried about keeping things safe against the AI and their Rebel Empire.

The creation of the Rebel Empire and their treatment of the planets is a feeding ground for rebellions and conspiracies. People wanting to be free. People wanting to climb the power ladder. It's a crafty web people weave to get what they want, and the extents they will go to. I was worried and anxious for all our friends, old and new, hoping things would turn out as they get into tight spots. I'm always mesmerized at the craftiness of authors that create systems and conspiracies this deep and this believable. Amazing talent!

Battles in space and on land. Car chases and fights. Caring people with close relations to their crew.

Aside from all my rambling, I just love this spectacularly written story, characters, and world!

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review 2017-06-14 21:06
Jackaby reads like a sort of Mad Hatter/Sherlock Holmes mashed up with Ghost Hunters...maybe???
Jackaby - William Ritter

 

 

Book Title:  Jackaby

Author:  William Ritter

Narration:  Nicola Barber

Series:  Jackaby #1

Genre:  Mystery, YA, Fantasy

Setting:  New Fiddleham, New England 1892

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

Theme to Elementary the TV show on CBS  --what can I say I wasn't overly inspired when it came to a theme song for this book...♫

 

 

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

2.8/5 STARS

C-

 

 

My Thoughts

 

Despite being smartly written and having a highly imaginative plot, I have to say that Jackaby was not for me.  I wouldn't say that it was wretched, by any means, only that I didn't find this to be overly engaging. I believe maybe the Sherlock Holmes style of mystery detecting; mixed with the paranormal elements, just isn't for me.  Although, the audio, is smashingly well done.  I only managed to finish this because I listened on audio, otherwise, this could have very well been a DNF.

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  3/5

Main Characters:  3/5

Secondary Characters:  3/5

The Feels:  2/5

Addictiveness:  2/5

Theme or Tone:  3/5

Flow (Writing Style):  2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  2.5/5

Originality:  3/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  3.3/5 Cliffhanger:  to be continued…

 

Will I continue this series?  Most likely, not.

 

 

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