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review 2020-03-07 07:05
Review: The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
The Unspoken Name - A. K. Larkwood

I must say it has been a long time since I was as disappointed in a book as I am in this one. My expectations for this book were sky high. I had seen a lot of good buzz about it and the premise sounded amazing. A high fantasy with orcs and elves, mages and assassins? And brought to me by Tor Books? Sign me up! Here just have my money!! Then, in the end, it was just a giant feeling of “whomp whomp”. That makes me sad. Especially because this book had a ton of potential.


Csorwe had the potential to be an amazing character. She was raised her entire life to know that she will be sacrificed to her god on a specific day and that is her only purpose. And then, at the last moment, she is offered an alternate destiny. A chance to become an assassin, a sword hand for a wronged wizard who wants his power back. And she just so happens to be an orc priestess too. Unfortunately, she was also incredibly boring. I had no emotional connection to her at all. Probably because we only see her in action packed moments. We only see her in the moments preceding battle, the midst of battle and the immediate aftermath of battle. Characters are created in the little moments. The moments that the character spends training, planning, preparing, and theorizing about what is to come. There was absolutely none of that in this book. We go from Csorwe leaving behind her destiny to several years later when she’s already largely trained. We are told that she really enjoyed training with a mercenary group, but we never actually see that happen. We are told that she is a remarkable fighter and assassin. Except she only does this actual task one or two times, neither of which could be considered wildly successful. Mostly she gets her ass kicked. To the brink of death. Seemingly every day.


Tal’s character was slightly more fleshed out but I got the feeling that he was there purely as an adversary for Csorwe and occasional comic relief. That was a shame because I felt like there was untapped potential there. Shuthmili was a good character and I found myself connecting with her at times, but since she isn’t a major factor in a lot of the book it was hard to develop any lasting feelings about her.  And her romance with Csorwe was very sweet.


The most memorable character was Oranna. I had some deep feelings about her and thought she was the best character as a whole. She actually felt like a real person instead of a cardboard stand-in for a real person. She was wonderful although I don’t think that I ever completely grasped her motivation behind everything that she did. I know what she told us her motivation was but it seemed hollow and shallow. I suspect it wasn’t entirely the truth.


The writing was technically solid and I found myself reading large swathes of pages at a time without realizing the time was going by. That was the good part. The problem was the disjointed nature of the narrative. We start with Csorwe at 14, then we jumped a few years to about 17 or 18, then jump again to her at around 22. Every time we arrive in a new time period, things are already figured out and a plan is already well underway for what needs to happen. It was confusing. I never got a chance to get invested in a particular narrative before it was over and we moved on to the next thing. There was also absolutely no showing in this book, just telling. We are told that people felt a certain way. We are told that things work a certain way. We are told that this is the answer to the entire thing. We are told that this is what will happen next. It made things very boring and without a connection to the story.


I am not sure why the author tried to make different races of beings. I forgot that Csorwe was an orc for most of the book because it is never mentioned and it doesn’t influence how she behaves, speaks or her interactions with others. Similarly, I completely forgot that Tal was an elf until I was writing this review and remembered some tidbit about his ears and skin color. I don’t need Tolkien levels of race building here. Frankly I am glad it wasn’t because Tolkien’s 4 page narratives about a tree bore the bejesus out of me (I know, I pronounced myself a heretic on that one, haha!). But you need to give me something because these characters were painfully human.


Because of all this showing and not telling, I also have no idea how this world looks or how it works. I got some vague stuff about gates that remind me of Stargate and some kind of ship. It is alternately described as a wooden ship or a barge, and has an “alchemical engine” which gives me steampunk airship vibes. But I have no idea if any of these interpretations are correct. The world itself was not fleshed out well. So as interesting as a Maze that eats dead worlds is, unless you can describe it for me then it’s just an interesting idea and nothing else.


One aspect that I loved was the pantheon of gods, how they are worshipped and the magic system of this world. That was all completely stellar. I am always on board with some good ole fashioned god worship, complete with sacrifices. I also really enjoyed the rules for using magic in this world. Magic comes with a price, exacting a physical toll on the user. So there is a delicate balance that must be struck and maintained. That was all fabulous and one of the big things that kept me going on this book.


My final issue is that I have no idea why this book was called The Unspoken Name. We have the Unspoken One, Csorwe’s patron god. But they are only referred to as the Unspoken One. Never as anything else. The term unspoken name weren’t actually in the book until page 435 and it seemed to be mostly used as an exasperated expletive. “We need to think. We need to – Oh, by the twelve hundred Unspeakable names, what in hell is that?” This probably shouldn’t get on my nerves but it did.


In the end, this book was okay. It shows some signs of brilliance and I can see that the author is very talented. But that brilliance was not curated properly and so the final result ends up being messy and disappointing.

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review 2020-01-24 19:18
Ritualistic Human Sacrifice by C.V. Hunt
Ritualistic Human Sacrifice - C.V. Hunt

A shitty man is about to surprise his shitty wife with an “I want a divorce” pronouncement but she foils his plans with an announcement of her own and this sets into motion a strange series of events that escalates into an all out disgusting display of over the top sexual nastiness and other grossities.

If this is your thing you will have fun. I suppose fun might be the wrong word choice but if you picked up a book called Ritualistic Human Sacrifice I think you'll get what I’m trying to say here.

The story is told from Nick’s POV and, excuse my bluntness, Nick is a prick. He is a germaphobe and he is revolted by everything that isn’t young and perfect, and perfectly clean and fresh smelling. You will despise Nick, most likely. His wife isn’t a whole helluva lot better either. They’re both selfish and passive-aggressive and kind of deserve each other, if you’re asking me. Midway through the book I caught some clues that Nick was too dense to notice because he was too busy scrubbing his hands and thinking ugly thoughts about everyone. I anxiously listened and couldn't wait for some terrible things to befall some of these terrible people.

The terrible things take quite a while to happen. Much of the book is spent listening to Nick bitch about everything and silently put down everyone around him. He’s a gross person. I don’t know if I made that clear enough already, haha. But the fun of this book is the anticipation. I knew something strange was going on and something horrible was going to happen and I could NOT wait for it to begin! I mean, if you are dumb enough to buy a house that smells of death and of poo simply to spite your wife then you probably deserve whatever hell is hiding behind the black door.

I was not let down. This is an extreme horror novel and it is VERY porny. Trust me. Please tread lightly here if you don’t want to read graphic sexual violence. It over floweth in the final chapters. This is not a gentle warning. Also take a good long look at that cover. It gives you clues as to what might be in store for you. I’ve been reading gross things since I was a kid and I can stomach a lot but some of this was a bit much even for me. Fortunately there were moments of sick humor here to lighten up the mood and keep things readable. You’ll either want to read this madness or you won’t. Personally, I thought it was gross (oh yes) and ridiculously over the top but seeing Nick have to deal with it all was worth it to me.

I knocked off a star because it took too long to get going and my pesky brain couldn’t make sense of some of the plot turns. I also wish it had been even more brutal in the end for one particular person but there may be something wrong with me.

Narration Notes: I think narrator Anderson Prunty did a fantastic job with the voices. The tone fit the characters and his female voices didn’t make me cringe. Major points for that. The straight up narration bits felt a wee bit underplayed at times but it might’ve been a good choice considering how insane the story got near the end.

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review 2019-12-31 20:30
The Sacrifice, Animorphs #52
The Sacrifice (Animorphs, #52) - Katherine Applegate

Ax has long been torn about his loyalty to Prince Jake and the other Animorphs and his own people, the Andalites. It's revealed Ax has been in communication with the Andalite military High Command, and its official: the Andalites are not coming.


This information would be devastating to the other Animorphs and to the other members of the resistance. At the same time Yeerk tactics have come out into the open with Yeerk-controlled members of the military herding people from their homes and vehicles to the Yeerk pool via the subway in broad daylight.


Is it time for the Animorphs to target the pool itself and actually follow through on it, despite the moral implications? Guerrilla tactics must give way to high strategy and Jake realizes they must take a chance and get in touch with government and military forces and work together on their offense. The governor, having broadcast her warning to the public, has not been seen since and can no longer be counted on as an ally.


This book was really good, though Rachel has devolved into a violent cartoon, because new options appear for the Animorphs as violence and casualties escalate.




Next: 'The Answer'


Previous: 'The Absolute'

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text 2019-10-18 15:46
Review: Pumpkin Spice Sacrifice (Murder in the Mix #3) by Addison Moore
Pumpkin Spice Sacrifice - Addison Moore
Pumpkin Spice Sacrifice
Murder in the Mix #3
Addison Moore
Cozy Mystery
Hollis Thatcher Press, LTD.
October 18th 2018


*A laugh out loud cozy mystery by New York Times Bestseller Addison Moore*


My name is Lottie Lemon, and I see dead pets. Okay, so on occasion I see a dearly departed human, too. And, unfortunately for me, that horrible scenario is playing out right this minute. Worse yet, that good-looking ghost just so happens to look just like my friend, Everett, and it refuses to leave his side. I’m petrified of losing Everett, so much so that I too refuse to leave his side, which of course doesn’t exactly bode well with my newly minted boyfriend, Noah Fox, who is just as comely as his surname suggests. After two horrific murders just took place in our small town of Honey Hollow, I’m ready to put the last few months behind me, but when I come across another gruesome discovery, my entire world comes crashing down on me once again.


Lottie Lemon has a brand new bakery to tend to, a budding romance with perhaps one too many suitors, and she has the supernatural ability to see dead pets—which are always harbingers for ominous things to come. Throw in the occasional ghost of the human variety, a string of murders, and her insatiable thirst for justice, and you’ll have more chaos than you know what to do with.

Living in the small town of Honey Hollow can be murder.


From the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Addison Moore—Cosmopolitan Magazine calls Addison's books, "...easy, frothy fun!"






** Read as part of the Murder in the Mix Boxed Set. **


Pumpkin Spice Sacrifice is book three in the Murder in the Mix series by Addison Moore.


To start Chapter 1 is a repeat of who Lottie Lemon is, what she can do, who her friends and family are and last who her boyfriend is. It’s nothing new. If you haven’t read the series then you know what’s what at the start, but for those that have read in order it’s just a repeat of information we already know about. It felt redundant.


As for the murder mystery it wasn’t in the forefront. And, what Lottie does to get answers in solving the mystery like going to The Jungle Club, you can guess what that is, and a nude swim class well let me just say the areas aren’t something Lottie would go to, so it was out of character. I just shook my head at what she was willing to do to get answers. It was all to far-fetched to me.


Then we have her friends, family, and boyfriend that keep telling her over and over to stay out of the investigation. She says she will, but she doesn’t. Now I get that we don’t have a story without her getting involved, but something about her, her profession, and her breaking her promises make me wonder. Her character just doesn’t make scenes to get involved in mysteries.


Then their is the drama with her boyfriend Noah. She likes him, but she’s unsure. She’s keeping secrets from him. She plans to to tell him, but their ends up being to many disagreements or miss understandings. I just didn’t care for all the drama. Either they are together and trust each other or they are not together.


Last, Lottie is a baker and runs a bakery, but I don’t know how she makes any money when she keeps giving all her baked goodies away for free.


On a positive note: I like the revamp in the covers for this series. It’s better then the first publication and very cute. I like Edward, Noah’s brother, and I like Lottie’s friends.


Pumpkin Spice Sacrifice was ok. As for the Murder in the Mixseries it has some interesting concepts and nice characters, but it’s just not working out for me. I gave the series a three book try, but I won’t be continuing. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you.


Rated: 3 Stars


Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!


Challenge (2019):







I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2019/10/review-pumpkin-spice-sacrifice-murder-in-the-mix-3-by-addison-moore
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review 2019-09-28 14:40
Modern Masters of Horror
Sacrifice - Russell James

 edit:  I had this one slated for Terror in a Small Town, but it takes place on Long Island, and I really don't think that counts as a small town unless you go back 200 years.


A group of friends get together 30 years after graduation to finish driving away the vengeful ghost? spirit? of a man who was brutally killed by towns people over 200 years ago and is now stalking their children.  They screwed it royally the first time around.


And I want more information on the amulets!  This I think would have set it farther from just a retelling of It.  


and some other story I'm unable to pull from the depths, but it involves a group of families being haunted through the years because of something their ancestors did.


It felt like the story was just skimming the surface.

Not particularly scary or suspenseful, especially since the author keeps giving stuff away way too early. 

I can't remember what square I was going to use this for, so I will update the post when I get back to the big computer. 


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