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review 2017-09-23 17:44
.Splintered Book Review.
Splintered - A.G. Howard

 

 

This review can also be found at LostBetweenThePages & Goodreads.

 

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers - precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. A family curse that stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, it's time for Alyssa to follow in her footsteps. To fix Alice's mistakes. To Wonderland.

 

A lot drew me to this book, Alyssas mum is locked away in a mental hospital and Alyssa herself is in danger of following right behind her. Plus Wonderland is real. Great!! This book went with the darker and more twisted version of Wonderland, which I think is a cool idea. Taking the odd yet picturesque place and turning it on it head to be disturbing.

 

Alyssa is an average teenager who is doing her best to get on with her life, which isn't easy when you're teased about your connection to the original Alice Liddell and your mum is locked away talking to bugs and only eating food unless it is served in a tea cup. The one person in this book that deserves some serious praise is her dad. He is desperately trying to keep their life together, its clear he is terrified his daughter will turn out like her mum and every other female in her family. He is still hopelessly in love with her, regardless of her illness and is clinging on to this hope that one day she'll come back to him.

 

Alyssa does her best to ignore the bugs and plants around her, determined not to go down the crazy route, but after an incident at the mental hospital things change. There's finally some hope. Alyssa ends up being dragged into Wonderland, with one goal. Fix what Alice did and save her family from the madness. Cue love interest.

 

Jeb is her long time crush and best friend. He ends up going with her, he is hugely protective of her and is desperate to get them home. As much as it pains him to stick it out in Wonderland and watch Alyssa feel the need to prove herself he doesn't hold her back too much. Deep down I think he knows what she is capable of but is so scared to let go of his need to protect her. Enter Morpheus stage left.

 

Morpheus makes up our triangle. He has been with Alyssa through her whole life, she just hasn't known it. It is obvious he has an agenda and will use Alyssa. He's dark and mysterious, and can show her a whole other side of herself. He does get on my nerves quite a bit, he goes on about what how well he knows her, but really he doesn't. He doesn't know her life Jeb does, and will manipulate her in this game he wants her to play.

 

There was only one real downside to this book for me, the love triangle I could cope with. Just about it. I feel like the dark and moody thing got taken too far, I have no problem with Alyssa being a punk skater girl, I was a teenager once too. But it seems so over the top, her out fit choice seem so teenager cliché. At first I thought she dressed like it because she looked so much like her mum she wanted to distance herself away from her. I felt like this was her only form of rebelling, because god forbid she does her dad will probably had a meltdown. I'm hoping that after the events of this book it'll be toned down a little in the next.

 

 

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text 2017-01-30 15:21
January wrap-up
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton
Letters To The Damned - Austin Crawley
A Tale du Mort - Jaimey Grant;Wendy Swore;Rita J. Webb;Paige Ray;Jeanne Voelker;K. G. Borland;Gwendolyn McIntyre;Katrina Monroe;S. M. Carrière
Splintered Souls (Flames of Time Book 1) - Erica Lucke Dean
Infernal Parade - Clive Barker,Bob Eggleton
The Art of Leather Burning: Step-by-Step Pyrography Techniques - Lora Susan Irish
The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell - Aldous Huxley
Surviving The Evacuation, Book 1: London - Frank Tayell

Since I know I'll be working tomorrow and I'm not close enough to finish anymore books before the end of the day, I might as well get this done early.

 

8 books for the month, one of them a re-read because a group was reading it.

 

5 Netgalley books! I had a moment of weakness, but most of this batch have been really good! I even snagged the sequel to Rebel of the Sands, which I'll be starting very soon.

 

1 craft book and 1 from the Philosophy backlog.

 

1 Dystopian off my tbr A-list. Oh, I meant to read more from that list, but the Netgalley selections pushed in front again. No worries, only 2 left and one of those is the sequel I'm looking forward to starting.

 

I also got my samples organised and all the ones off my cloud downloaded to my Kindle folder so I can see how many I've got. I read loads of them but lost track of how many. I have about 130 still to read. I'm going to try to reduce that number every month.

 

I've had a very enjoyable reading month. I may have given into the lure of Netgalley, but I've learned to spot books I'm more likely to enjoy.

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review 2017-01-16 13:47
Splintered Souls
Splintered Souls (Flames of Time Book 1) - Erica Lucke Dean

by Erica Lucke Dean

 

The prologue in this one gets right into action. A historical backdrop with the conflicts from the time of Charles II is established. A woman is pregnant and fears that her child will be deemed the son of a traitor. Her husband is missing, perhaps captured. In desperation, despite the dangers involved, she turns to a local witch.

 

When we start the story proper, it is modern day. In many ways it reads like a typical YA Romance story about a girl about to start college. The father died, the family moved, and she's going to live at home while attending a small campus. She meets a few local girls, one of which takes an instant disliking to her and is really bitchy. So far ticking all the boxes, including spotting a cute guy.

 

However, there's a mystery to the cute guy. It takes quite a while to get back to the historic part of the story or for the time travel element to come out, but when it does the title makes perfect sense and the concept is actually rather intriguing and original. The writing is also good so although I'm not really into college settings, it kept my attention.

 

The second part of the story really drew me in and got very exciting, but then it stopped on a cliffhanger ending. I presume another book is planned as some of the salient points were never explained, like how the time travel aspect works, though there was a good opportunity. Also, a few inconsistencies in the characters began to emerge so though the writing itself is very good, the plotting left a lot of holes and the ending was far too abrupt.

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text 2017-01-09 19:33
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Splintered Souls (Flames of Time Book 1) - Erica Lucke Dean

So far so good. I don't read many Romance books, but the time travel aspect of this one appealed to me. The first chapter has a lot of set up that looks too familiar in the genre, but the prologue was really good so I have some confidence that I won't regret requesting this one.

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text 2017-01-05 14:29
2017 Reading
American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition - Neil Gaiman
A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins
A Far Better Rest - Susanne Alleyn
Mary Reilly - Valerie Martin
Splintered Souls (Flames of Time Book 1) - Erica Lucke Dean
A Tale du Mort - Jaimey Grant;Wendy Swore;Rita J. Webb;Paige Ray;Jeanne Voelker;K. G. Borland;Gwendolyn McIntyre;Katrina Monroe;S. M. Carrière
The Green Mile - Stephen King
The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch
Faust: First Part - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I just read the BL new challenge widget message and almost went for it, then decided I don't need to work out a widget.

 

My goals for 2017 are to clear the backlog on my Kindle. Yes, I said clear.

 

This extends to the overflow on my physical bookshelves too. I need to read books that I'm only going to want to read once and pass them to someone else so that there is room for all my books that I like to keep. My shelf space isn't going to be able to expand anytime soon.

 

I enjoyed reading according to my whims in December, now I'm going to continue reading those books at the top of my tbr, but balance it with keeping up Netgalley requests and trying all those samples and freebies that filled up my first Kindle and now lurk around in my cloud. Freebies will get the same treatment as samples, except if I decide I like them, I'll go ahead and keep reading since I've got the book!

 

Given my history of rejecting about 90% of samples and freebies, this should get me through a substantial amount over the next few months.

 

Then I can reload the books stashed in folders on my computer from when the old Kindle filled up. Or the one from when it had a factory reset before samples were all kept in the cloud. Oops...

 

I'm having some good reads at the moment. My real goal is to clear all the dross so I can enjoy the best books that wait among my personal slush pile.

 

I may not like all the ones designated A-list when I get to them, but at least I will have got to them rather than letting them taunt me!

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