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review 2017-09-18 05:44
Savage Woods - Mary SanGiovanni
Savage Woods - Mary SanGiovanni

The woods are alive. At least that's what Mary SanGiovanni would like you to believe in her latest offering, Savage Woods. The Nilhollow section of New Jersey's Pine Barrens has had its history of weird happenings. People tend to go missing here. Think of it as New Jersey's answer to the Bermuda Triangle. This has dated back tens of thousands of years. The Native Americans knew this and avoided this area like the plague. But what causes it? SanGiovanni attempts to explain it by introducing us to a chasm in Nilhollow that is allowing the bad mojo to escape it and pollute the wood spirits like a plague. This causes the woods to constantly shift and trap anyone who enters and then the wood spirits form these little tree creatures to off their victims. If you suddenly went "Huh?", you're not alone. Savage Woods has a few good ideas surrounded by an absolute mess and that's the most frustrating part for me. SanGiovanni can write. I've read so-called authors who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. She is not one of them. Unfortunately, the two stories of hers that I've read, she tries to take amazingly unrealistic material and breathe life into them. Instead, we get a laughable plot, uninteresting characters and pacing that makes a snail look like a top-fuel dragster. The possessed trees and vines in the Evil Dead. Now that was scary. Not so here. The tree creatures come off as hokie. Native American folklore can make for a great storyline, much like Brian Moreland did in The Devil's Woods and Dead of Winter. Again, not so here. She does throw in quite a bit of the red stuff, but you're beyond caring at this point and that makes the characters nothing more than cannon fodder. I simply found myself yawning through the whole thing eagerly anticipating the ending to come and put me out of my misery.

 

 

2 Killer Oaks out of 5

 

 

* this ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2017-09-01 05:35
[Book Review] The Brightest Fell
The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire

Previously reviewed:

 

Most of Toby's stories drop you into the action and feed you necessary bits of exposition as they barrel along.

This book takes the time to introduce you to the world setting, and in that marks a note of gravity and weight that has been absent at the start of the stories, but has always lain lurking.  In that, the novel starts off feeling like we've reached a new step, gone past some point of no return in both Toby's life and in Faerie itself.  Fitting, since ina the author's own words, Toby is starting to pay off debts created five or six books ago.

We know something is coming, hints have been dropped and there's the looming matter of Toby's debts to the Luideag.  Matters which were both brought starkly to light in Once Broken Faith when Luideag mentions it would take too long to replace Toby, and then later when she saves Tybalt's life.  But much of that is for a yet later story.

Meanwhile this is Seanan McGuire's writing, so we'll get that wry humor that infuses all of her stories.  It's not all blood and desperate magic.  I mean, the first chapter features the Luideag singing karaoke at Toby's Bachelorette party.  But a bleakness grips the narrative as Toby tackles a deeply personal challenge, one that puts her loved ones in peril, forces her to work with the man who's been her nightmare, and shines a glaring spotlight on the chasm between Toby and Amandine.

A rich, personal, and compelling continuation of the story.  Highly recommend.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Daw (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/09/book-review-brightest-fell.html
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review 2017-08-21 18:56
Wrath of the Ancients - Catherine Cavendish
Wrath of the Ancients - Catherine Cavendish

Adeline Ogilvy, a young widow from Wimbledon, has accepted a job in Vienna. Her assignment is to employ her skills as a typist and transcribe the memoirs of the late Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, an archeologist with a most peculiar hidden history. When she begins her recording the doctor's notes, she learns that, five years earlier, he claims to discover the tomb of Cleopatra. Even more astonishing, it seems that he has brought more than secrets back from Egypt. Strange occurrences begin to happen at the mansion. Is what Adeline seeing before her eyes real or a hallucination?

 

 

This is my first read of Cavendish and I love the slow burn in this Gothic chiller. I also like how blends an archelogical curiosity and characters with her own original take on what happened all those thousands of years ago. As the story unfurls, I can't help be reminded of the quiet horror writing style of Charles L. Grant. The characters are interesting and I'm drawn to keep turning the pages to see where they go in the story. If I have any criticism it's that there are parts where the pacing seems off. In one instance, things are doing a nice slow burn and then it closes in way too much of a flurry. But, it's a small blemish in an overall fun story. If you haven't had the pleasure to stumble upon Cavendish, Wrath of the Ancients is a great one to introduce yourself.

 

 

 

4 1/2 Green Glowing Apparations out of 5

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2017-08-20 21:59
MOLTEN DUSK BY: KARISSA LAUREL
Molten Dusk - Karissa Laurel
 
  Words can't even express how excited I was to get my hands on an early copy of Multen Dusk! So I'll just let Thor do it. 
 
 
 
 
 
Actually, I've enlisted Thor and co. to help me with this review to better express all the many feels this book has inspired. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Molten Dusk pretty much picked up where Arctic Dawn left off, with Helen, Skoll and their goons trying to devour Solina and bring on the second Ragnarok. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I did appreciate just how much Solina and Thorin had grown in this addition to the series. Solina was definitely on a smarter path this time around. She was more hesitant to jump straight into each new dangerous situation. Solina was never one to sit back and let her friends fight the good fight without her, but she did learn to trust in them more and know when to listen to her head and let others take the lead when it made sense. But when the time did come for her to storm in she did so with flare! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Solina went through a lot in this book too. But I think the most devastating was the faceoff with Val. I knew it was inevitable, but man it still stung. I'm honestly glad that Solina seemed to feel that too. Val weasled his way in your heart throughout this series, and it wasn't an easy feat to cast him out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
And then there was Thorin.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thorin was still the protective, mighty bit of yumminess that we've come to know and love. But I feel like we also got to see a much more vulnerable side to him this time that we haven't really seen much of before. I especially liked hearing more about his past in Asgard, even if it was incredibly heartbreaking. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was nice to see him opening up to Solina and putting himself out there. And the chemistry between the two was off the charts! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Besides the smoking hot smoochy stuff there was that whole stopping the end of the world as we know it thing they were smack dab in the middle of. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Being that Solina and Thorin were more inclined to trust people (with a heavy dose of weariness, of course), that did put them in the position to possibly be betrayed by those closer to them. And there were many likely candidates for this. It was nearly impossible to foresee exactly who was truly on their side or just laying in wait to make their move against them. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let us not forget to mention the incredibly awkward/adorable situation where Solina's parents finally came into the fold and were introduced/bombarded with the fact that she and her brother were not exactly human, Norse Myths are real, and all their lives are in danger. Oh, and mom & dad...have you met Thorin the God of Thunder? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I quite enjoyed Thorin whipping out his Hammer for them! And no pervs, that isn't an euphemism for something lewd. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We finally come to the EPIC final showdown at the end. I honestly LOVED the way it all played out. There were quite a few things that I didn't see coming that I wouldn't dream of spoiling for any of you. I will say I was honestly more surprised by those who stepped up and chose to act for what's right than the deceivers this time around. Which was a refreshing change of pace after the (cannot be topped) betrayal in the last book. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I thought things wrapped up nicely in general. It was sad to say goodbye to this story and these characters, and while I would have loved to get a little better of a glimpse past all this chaos and bloodshed, I was pleased to get the little sneak peek. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you haven't started The Norse Chronicles yet, I highly recommend doing so! It is a perfect blend of Norse Mythology and modern atmosphere, and the series is now complete for you to gobble 'em all up at once! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Thank you gif maker extraordinaires for the wealth of Thor related gifs on the interwebs that made this post possible*
 
 
 
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. 
 
 
 
**A special thanks to author Karissa Laurel for creating this awesome series, and so kindly sharing early copies and always shouting out your appreciation to your biggest fans (including little ole me!). I can't wait to see what you come up with next!** 
 
 

 

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review 2017-08-14 15:37
MR. TROUBLE BY: NANA MALONE
Mr. Trouble - Nana Malone

 

  This was a cute contemporary romance. It was a quick read, which explains why like went to love rather briskly. The characters were well developed and likable. Kinsley was smart, sweet, independent lady and Jarred was your typical billionaire on the playboy path that needed something or someone to point him in a better direction. While it sounds pretty standard for the romance genre, I liked that Jarred wasn't a total jerk. It seemed like it was more him finally living up to the low expectations his parents had set for him. It was nice seeing him grow out of his parental issues and finally take his life more seriously. Kinsley and Jarred made a cute pair and they seemed good for each other. I was hoping for a little more of the happy couple at the end, but things wrapped up in a nice way.

 

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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