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text 2018-03-24 20:23
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
The High Tide Club - Mary Kay Andrews

This book isn't making a lot of sense. A woman hires a lawyer to stop the state from taking her land and tells her to find her three friends who were part of a so called High Tide Club. Then she tells her that one of them still sees her and the other friend is dead. So that's just one friend she needs to find. This is my puzzled face.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-24 17:57
The Tracker by John Hunt
The Tracker - John Hunt

The Tracker by John Hunt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Taylor's life is in ruins; his face publicly known for crimes so bloody and awful. He does the only thing that could possibly help him in the situation - he walks through the door of a police station and turns himself in. With no resistance and full compliance, Taylor recounts the most horrific time of his life, where a monster haunts his every step - a brutal game, where fear is in full effect.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

This book certainly doesn't mess around; it plunges you neck-deep into the chaotic life of Taylor, a suspected murderer whom swears innocence despite the evidence against him. I found myself instantly drawn in to his situation where I, too, questioned his very sanity, whilst also sympathising with him on some level. Hunt's intention was quite clear from early on - a fast-paced, thrilling concoction, meant to keep you on your toes. The one thing that really impressed me was the twists and turns that genuinely shocked me - all too often I foresee a typical plot direction and it ruins what's supposed to be surprising, but Hunt was able to expertly weave the unexpected and force me to reanalyse what I thought I already knew. I can't give enough credit to tales that make you pause and think; authors can certainly mess with their readers and bring the unpredictable.

At no point did boredom raise its pesky head; too much was happening. What started off as Taylor's recount of his last forty-eight hours of forcibly taking part in a game of hide and seek, turned into a grisly manhunt of murder and mayhem. The aspect of "The Tracker" and how he was able to influence his victim was an interesting one. He didn't seem to have any intention other than to toy with his prey and use their own suppressed hate against them. I really wish more information was offered regarding him, and if he had any other motive than just chaos.

Taylor and Owen, on the other hand, had a brief connection that stood out for me. It might have been highly impersonal for Owen, but for Taylor it was an examination of his life. I felt for him, for the struggle he had endured. Relating to him in a way, I hoped everything would have worked out, but I knew it was ultimately doomed.

Despite my high praise of certain aspects - that being the story itself, I found the writing to be terribly messy at times and it subsequently distracted me more than once. This is more to do with sentence structure and, of course, my own personal taste. I'll however give an example of exactly what I mean:

Owen realizing the paramedic wasn't only mad because he had walked in to find an unconscious man still cuffed to a steel table, he was thinking while flashing his beady accusatory eyes that Owen had something to do with it, had maybe even injured him and Owen tired and grumpy, opened his mouth to say something he'd immediately regret when Earl cut in and said...

I admit, I had to re-read this confusing pile of words about five times, and even then I had a hard time of discerning it. What should have been at least two sentences, were fused together to create something that just didn't work inside my head. Throughout the entire book, the quality reached both highs as well as lows, giving the impression that certain parts were rushed, whilst others more thought through. I believe it could have benefited from more editing to tighten it up, and thus make it overall easier to read.

In conclusion: A good story that kept me guessing, however the format of writing brought its cleverness down. I would consider it unfinished, and in need of further editing.

Notable Scene:

He needed time to process and speak with the other officers monitoring the interview to strategize how best to confront Taylor. Because no matter how much Taylor believed what he had said, it wasn’t true. It couldn’t be. Shadow men do not hunt people through the city. There were no shadow men.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/22/the-tracker-by-john-hunt
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review 2018-03-23 20:21
The Forgotten Ones

Danger, wonder, secrets, family, and forgiveness. This book is a MUST HAVE.

Elle has done a good job of managing life. Her mother is certifiable, and the mood swings can take a toll on her. However, life has a way of taking a detour, and Elle is fixing to stumble on a huge secret - one that her mother has kept buried for years. 

When Anna Marie was growing up, she had a rather dysfunctional childhood. Her father was a long haul trucker and her mother - well her mother lived in a world all her own. Gertie lost many of her children, and they were all buried in the backyard. David would weave stories for his little daughter, weaving a fantasy world that will stay with Anna Marie for the remainder of her life. As much as she loathed her parents, she used that same fantasy world with her daughter Elle. 

Brennley, Elle's best friend and roommate is also a fellow nurse. Together they weather the storm of losing patients and battling the emotions that come with it. Brenn and Elle balance each other out. While Brenn knows the background of Elle's mother, their past is as much of a secret to her. One of her patients, a man dying of cancer, becomes more than just a patient. Brennley is becoming more and more attached to the lonely older man. But as they become closer - a bit of Elle's past is opened. Brennley calls her, reading a letter that David has written. She believes that Elle is the granddaughter of the man in the hospital bed. Elle does not think so, her grandparents are dead - it is what she has always been led to believe. But secrets have way of reaching the surface and this one is about to put her entire family on a roller coaster that is going to take many twists and turns. Buckle your seat belt, and get ready for a story that will literally knock your socks off!

A missing child, an imaginary friend, and the secrets of the past have come back to haunt Elle. As she listens to the stories that David tells her from his hospital bed, she believes that they are made up - at least at first. As her mother becomes more and more unhinged, Elle begins to wonder what really happened, and who Bella really was. 
By continuing to delve into her mothers past, she begins to push against the history that she has been told, and comes to not only love her grandfather, but wonder what her own future is going to hold. But before her world entirely gets turned upside down, there is one major secret that her grandfather has been hiding - and it could entirely destroy her mother.

OH MY GOODNESS. When you sit down to read this book - do not start it late at night! Book hangover material! The twists and turns that Steena Holmes weaves will keep you guessing, and wondering. As the story progresses, you begin to really feel sorry for David. Choosing between a wife or a daughter is not a decision any person should have to make, but when you are hiding an even darker secret - life becomes a torment. Elle is determined to find the truth, but her mother is becoming more and more unhinged. 

This book is one that will make you laugh, it will make you angry. It will leave you horrified and mystified. Ya'll this book has it all! There are no disappointments, no letdowns, just page turning electricity.


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review 2018-03-23 17:00
The Helper Owl
The Ghost, The Owl - Betsy Franco

 She has lost her way and cannot remember how to get back until a friendly owl spots her and decides to help. In Franco's graphic novel, readers are given a rich illustration of Eleanor and Aldus journey of self-discovery.

Pro: The illustrations in this graphic novel are very vibrant and colorful. They change with the mood of the plot which is a great indicator of what will happen or what is coming up. Portraying Aldus the owl as a helper to the ghost was [pleaseant to read about. usually, owls are not portrayed in this manner.


Cons: The illustrations could get a little overwhelming with all the details and colors. Sometimes they got in the way of what was happening in the story. There was not much development of the characters and would have liked to know more about the owl politics or what happened after Aldus helped Eleanor. Also knowing why the man was attacking Jessica and their relationship would have helped with the depth of the story. 


A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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review 2018-03-23 00:50
A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
A People's History of the Vampire Uprisi... A People's History of the Vampire Uprising: A Novel - Raymond A. Villareal

I was really interested in this book after reading the description. I started reading it and everything seemed to be going well. The further along I read the more frustrated I became with this book. This just around between different people and different time periods. I didn't really mind that but what did annoy me is that there are so many things that you want explained and want to hear about what happened and it seems to take forever to flesh out any of the plot. Quite frankly I finished the book feeling like nothing was resolved at all and still had a ton of questions that I felt were not answered. I didn't think that this was supposed to be part of a series but that is the only way I can explain the lackluster ending and the unanswered questions. 


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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