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review 2017-10-31 14:31
#Audiobook Review: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave: A Novel - Darynda Jones,-Macmillan Audio-,Lorelei King

Note: this review contains spoilers from earlier books in the series, to include the surprising ending of the previous book.


Opening three days after the explosive conclusion of Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, Charley is searching for her husband-turned-malevolent-god, Rey’azikeen. No longer Reyes after his short jaunt into the god glass hell dimension, Rey’azikeen is loose and Charley has been given one more day to find and stop him before Jehovah sends his army to capture him.


The Trouble with Twelfth Grave is a wonderful addition to this crazy, hilarious series. Overall, the story is shorter than and far more direct than previous titles (well, as direct as Charley Davidson can be). Each strand of the plot is clear and makes sense, and then Ms. Jones expertly draws them all together to create a larger picture as the book progresses. Charley uses her wit and cunning, along with her team of friends, to solve multiple cases that seem unrelated, but ultimately tie in loose ends or come together by the end of the book. 


I love how free Charley is in this book - she’s back. The whole “do I trust Reyes or not” issue seems to FINALLY be put to rest as Charley struggles with the very real possibility she may lose the love of her life forever this time. She goes from moment to moment, bringing readers and listeners along for one crazy ride. The convoluted subplots are absent, leaving behind a solid story with a bring big twist at the end. Additionally, the continuity issues I’ve noted in the past are either gone, or irrelevant because the rest of the story runs so smoothly. Finally, while the author does do some info dumping, it’s in the form of children’s books, and scattered throughout the story, rather than at the very end.


Lorelei King, my all-time favorite narrator, continues to capture Charley’s unique and crazy personality, easily jumping from one subject to the next without pause. She has mastered Charley’s sarcasm and sincerity, her passion and her fury. I think the only reason I can keep up with Charley’s ADD lifestyle is due to Ms. King’s masterful performance. And it’s not just Charley, but Ms. King provides a large range of unique voices for every character, making the recording sound like a cast of dozens, rather than one.


In the end, I really enjoyed listening to The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, and with the way the story ended, I cannot wait to find out how Ms. Jones is going to wrap up the series with her thirteenth title.


My Rating: B+
Narration: A+


Review copy provided by Macmillan Audio.

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review 2017-10-16 02:14
Odd Child Out by Gilly MacMillan
Odd Child Out: A Novel - Gilly Macmillan

A special thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


MacMillan's second instalment in the Jim Clemo series is about inseparable best friends.  Despite their vastly different cultures—Noah Sandler is British and Abdi Mahad a Somali refugee—their loyalty sees no boundaries.  After what appears to be a prank gone wrong, Noah is found floating unconscious in a canal in Bristol, and Abdi has been shocked into silence.  


Detective Jim Clemo is just back from a mandatory leave as a result of his last case.  Because the investigation seems cut and dried, it is assigned to him.  After tragedy strikes, it is apparent that the case it is more than just an accident.  Social tensions begin to rise as the families fight for their sons and seek the truth.  


Told from alternating perspectives, MacMillan's story is a slow, tense burn with a deep plot.  She effectively and deftly captures how relentless the press are.  This is especially relevant and relatable in today's climate—whether they print facts, fiction, or a little of both, people will believe it is spun the right way.  However, there are times where the narrative was clunky which accounts for some of its unnecessary bulk.    


While the premise is interesting, the characters were at times a bit too stereotypical and because of this, there are times where the story becomes a bit contrived.  All-in-all, a good read and I will definitely be checking in with Detective Clemo again.     



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review 2017-10-01 04:01
Odd Child Out
Odd Child Out: A Novel - Gilly Macmillan

By:  Gilly MacMillan 

ISBN:  0062697838

Publisher:  William Morrow 

Publication Date: 10/3/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars


Gilly Macmillan returns following What She Knew and The Perfect Girl with her latest, ODD CHILD OUT —her third highly-charged compelling psychological (literary fiction) suspense.

Set in Bristol, meet two teen boys from different backgrounds: Noah Sadler— a native-born British boy, and Abdi Mahad —refugee from Somalia. 

An opening scene. One boy jumps near a canal at the edge of the water . . . He lands, gets up and begins running. One pleading with the other. 

A suicide attempt? What happened? Did someone fall? Foul play involved?

Two friends. As thick as thieves. They made friends of the first day and became inseparable at the college. One boy winds up in the hospital. An accident?

Detective Jim Clemo (we met in Book #1) returns and is assigned to the case with colleague DC Justin Woodley.

Things become complicated. Social tensions arise of fear and fury. Both parents want to learn the truth. 

Noah is dying. Cancer. Terminally ill. 

He has a bucket list. Thirteen items. His #1 item. “Don’t tell anybody else I’m dying. Not even Abdi.”

They need Abdi to speak. 

A photo exhibit. Images from war and disaster zones. A racially motivated attack?

Neither boy can provide a version of what happened. Noah is in a coma and Adbi remains mute. Emma, a reporter stirs up emotions.

Both Noah’s and Abdi’s families are forced to confront emotions and secrets. 

Covering the course of 5 days of the investigation and the day after, the author covers media frenzy and social tensions, as well as emotions of diverse families, in this highly-charged third book. 

A story of family, love, loss, illness, and friendship. A realistic and timely storyline, with similar critical issues we are faced with today in our own society.

A special thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Harper Collins for an early reading copy. 



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/06/21/Odd-Child-Out
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review 2017-09-07 15:28
Odd Child Out
Odd Child Out: A Novel - Gilly Macmillan

Best friends sometimes do unexpected things.  Abdi and Noah were best friends and did something that no one would expect.

The unexpected incident obviously brought the police in along with the two silent friends.  Noah was put into a coma because of his injuries, and Abdi wasn't talking.

ODD CHILD OUT was definitely a study of personalities and human emotions.  Each character seemed to not fit with each other, and I thought it was odd that they were family members as well as friends.  I did like the "bucket list" that Noah and his father compiled, but one part of the bucket list is what caused a problem the night of the incident.

ODD CHILD OUT has us following along with the police in their investigation after Noah is found in the canal and an eye witness says she saw the best friends arguing.  When Noah who is terminally ill with cancer is found floating in the canal and Abdi, his best friend, had been with him, no one knows what to think.  It is difficult to imagine these boys doing anything out of the ordinary because they were star pupils.

We also follow the story being told by Abdi and Noah about what really happened as the friends silently re-live it in their minds.

The descriptions and the character development are very good and help you visualize the scenes and totally experience the emotions of each character which were mostly fear, loss, and questioning. You also feel the weight of lies and silence, truths untold, and prejudices.

ODD CHILD OUT is an emotional, tense book that will make you think and question.  

Another excellent read by Gilly MacMillan.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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review 2017-08-02 08:02
The Upstairs Room - Kate Murray-Browne,Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Eleanor and Richard can't believe how lucky they were to find a Victorian home in London. They move in with their two daughters plus a little later on, Zoe, the lodger, to help pay the mortgage. So far so good, but then things change and not for the better. It's a pity that this wasn't more creepy and sinister, that there was a lot less vomiting and headaches. Nothing wrong with the style of writing except there was just too much of it for this type of book - far too long for what actually happened in it. Didn't like Richard and Zoe at all and Eleanor was too wimpish to have any sympathy for. I loved the description of this book and the cover, but sadly that was all.

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