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review 2018-10-18 18:47
Review: Everless
Everless - Sara Holland

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is one of the most original fantasies I have come across in a while. While I can’t say I was that invested in any of the characters, I found the actual story itself and the world building totally captivating and the combination of the two made it book impossible to put down. In this fantasy time is a commodity that can be bought and sold.

 

The world building was               quite complicated, or at least for me, the combination of magic and science and the whole buying and selling time. The setting was a small, town on the edge of a huge estate where the wealthiest family in the district ruled over everything.

 

The heroine Jules used to live at the estate where her father was a revered blacksmith, but a secret caused them to flee in the middle of the night and now they are barely eeking out a living in a tiny cottage on the edge of the forest. Her father is in debt and sick. So Jules hatches a plan to sell her own time and repay his debts

 

Yet she finds herself presented with an opportunity for employment at the estate, Everless, where she once lived. Seizing the moment, Jules makes herself a plan to save her father. She worms her way into employment at Everless.

 

Jules is one of the brighter YA heroines, she’s smart and thinks things through. She plans and doesn’t seem to act recklessly when things don’t go according to plan. She was a little bit two dimensional but likeable enough. Back at Everless while in a different capacity than she was previously, she’s of course flooded with memories of her time back then, and the mystery of why she and her father fled in the first place. And she has to deal with the two sons of the Lord of Everless. One of whom was a great friend and played with her when they were children, who has grown up to be devastatingly handsome and quite the ladies man. He’s engaged to the Queen’s daughter. And his brother – who was a mean bully.

 

The plot gets quite twisty, there’s a legend on how time came to be used as a commodity, a vicious queen who everyone’s terrified of visiting Everless, Jules discovers she has time letting abilities that are beyond normal, a hidden vault where Jules believes she will get some of the answers she seeks, there are plenty of secrets – including a mystery to solve about Jules’s deceased mother, and some things her father neglected to tell her. And people who turn out to be nothing like you thought they were.

 

I read this quite some time ago so I can’t remember all the details. Just that it was a really good one, quite different and I liked it. I’ve already pre ordered the next one.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Hatchette Children’s Group for the review copy.

 

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review 2018-10-18 00:06
The Gathering Dusk
The Gathering Dusk - Cynthia Eden

Well done novella. Suspenseful. Induces Samantha, a FBI profiler. Cliff hanger ending. From reading synopsis of book 1, I am 100% certain who the killer is. Should be interesting.

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review 2018-10-17 22:30
Are we, as in humans, headed in this direction???
The Last Town - Blake Crouch

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~SERIES BLURB~

Wayward Pines Series

Blake Crouch

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The plot surrounds Secret Service agent Ethan Burke's introduction to the remote small town of Wayward Pines, his new home from which he cannot escape. The mysteries and horrors of the town build until Ethan discovers its secret. Then he must do his part to keep Wayward Pines protected from without and within.

 

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~MY QUICKIE (and non-spoiler) REVIEW~

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A very mysterious, uniquely done creepy-scary scenario with scy-fy and dystopian-ish elements, this trilogy is a must-read. I loved it, despite certain aspects confusing the heck out of me…I'm inclined to believe that's on me, more than the writing, though.  And geez-louise, what an ending...

 

If you don't know much about this series…you should keep it that way…and dive in.  Seriously, just do it.  The narration is excellently done for one-person narration. 

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Well…

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~4.5 for Paul Garcia

Series~ Wayward Pines #3

Setting~ Wayward Pines

Source~ I Own Audible Audiobook

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I used this for Modern Noir Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-10-17 21:28
Hush little baby, don't say a word and never mind that noise you heard...it's just a beast under your bed...in your closet, in your head.
Pack - Mike Bockoven

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~BOOK BLURB~

Pack

Mike Bockoven

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Cherry, Nebraska, population 312, is just off the highway between the sticks and the boonies. It’s where Dave Rhodes and his friends have lived all their lives. They own businesses, raise families, pay taxes, deal with odd neighbors, and, once or twice a month--just like their fathers before them--transform into wolves.

 

It’s not a bad life, but when one of the group members goes astray, it sets in motion a series of events that will threaten to destroy the delicate balance that has kept Dave and his clan off the radar. Between a son getting ready for his first transformation--called The Scratch--a wife with sordid secrets, a new sheriff who knows nothing of the creatures in his midst, and a mysterious man in a bow tie with a shady agenda, the middle of nowhere is about to get very dangerous.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I don't like most of the Shifters novels out there, but this one is different.  I like that it was different.  This felt like it came from the real-world with a supplement of paranormal elements…rather than coming from the paranormal world supplemented with real-world elements.  If that makes sense…it's also very graphic, especially the shifting scenes. 

 

Overall though, I felt like it lacked heart, or maybe it just needed a tad less testosterone…I'm not really sure.  Also, there are a few plot inconsistencies where things didn't get fully explained.  Other than that, while not as terrific as Fantasticland, Pack is still a mostly enjoyable listen.  The dialogue was easily digestible and well done in Audio format, but it would have been even better with additional narrators.   Oh yeah, there is also a shout-out to Metallica...gotta love that.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.3STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3/5

Characters~ 3.3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.2/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.2/5 Cliffhanger~ hmmm…sort of…

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Book Cover~ Love it!

Narration~ 4 for Peter Simonelli, he wasn't half bad…I just wasn't really into his exceptionally deep voice.

Setting~ Cherry, Nebraska

Source~ I Own Audible Audiobook

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I used this for Shifters Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-10-17 18:45
DRIVING TO GERONIMO'S GRAVE AND OTHER STORIES by Joe Lansdale
Driving to Geronimo's Grave and Other Stories - Joe R. Lansdale

 

DRIVING TO GERONIMO'S GRAVE: AND OTHER STORIES is a shining example of how skilled Joe Lansdale really is. Not one of these tales is like the others-they're all different, all unique and all showcasing why Mr. Lansdale has been called the Champion Mojo Storyteller.

 

The title story is the first here and it's set during the Great Depression. A young man and his sister are tasked with picking up the corpse of their dead uncle and bringing it back home so they can bury him with the proper respect. Being that this is a Lansdale story, things don't go quite as planned. I loved this tale, I loved the characters and I especially loved smart-mouthed Terri. 5*

 

IN THE MAD MOUNTAINS: Mr. Lansdale's homage to Lovecraft was better than most of the actual Lovecraft I've read. I don't even know what else to say because this story was so imaginative-I think each reader needs to have it unfold for them. It had a pulpy feel to it on top of the Lovecraftian base-a unique combination that worked well for me. 5*

 

WRESTLING JESUS: A bullied boy and a bullied man, (albeit a very different kind of bullying), both come together in this tale of wrestling, love gone wrong, and a relationship much like that of father and son. 4*

 

ROBO RAPID: This is a pulp adventure-type story set in the future with a delightful young woman, Sheann, as the protagonist. Years after an invasion here on earth, robots have killed her parents and stolen her siblings. She makes it her mission in life to get them back. Along the way, she makes a friend, sees a musical, and learns that she's braver than even she realized. 5*

 

THE PROJECTIONIST: I first read this story in Lawrence Block's collection IN SUNLIGHT OR IN SHADOW. At first this seems to be a tale about a young man lusting after a beautiful young woman. Then it turns into something else entirely. 5*

 

As an aside about THE PROJECTIONIST: it's fascinating to me that an author can gaze at a painting and come up with an entire backstory for it. In this case the painting was The Usherette by Edward Hopper and here it is:

 

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The last tale in this book EVERYTHING SPARKLES IN HELL brings us to visit Nat Love. A black cowboy featured in the novel PARADISE SKY and a few other novellas, Nat returns as a bounty hunter tracking down two no-good men. (Loosely based on the real man, yes there were black cowboys, despite their absence from most American history books.) Along the way he meets up with Chocktaw, (a tracker of some renown), and the biggest she-bear either of them has ever seen. I loved visiting with Nat again and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

What I especially loved about this collection are the tidbits from the author himself revealing how the stories came about. In the digital review copy I received, these came after the stories rather than before, and I liked that. (It seems that, in previewing the finished copy online, these are now forewords to the stories, rather than afterwords.) I enjoyed reading them after reading the tales themselves and seeing how the ideas germinated in the head of the author, sometimes sprouting out fully formed, according to him. Once again, I find myself fascinated by Mr. Lansdale's writing process and abilities.

 

I was pretty sure I was going to love this collection of stories even before I started reading it, and I was right. It's the skilled writing of Mr. Lansdale that gets to me every time. No matter what he writes about, it can be counted on to capture and hold your attention. It can be counted on to contain some humor and real life observations. It can be counted on to satisfy. Because his characters are so true to life- complicated and diverse, they make me feel connected not only to them, but to the world as well. It's a gift and Joe has it. That is all I can say.

 

My highest recommendation!

 

*Thank you to Subterranean Press and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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