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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.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~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

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I used this for Shifters Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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text 2018-10-17 14:04
Reading progress update: I've read 174 out of 292 pages.
Ordinary Souls - J.S. Bailey

Just finished Imaginary Friend - This story is a prequel to “Rage’s Echo” a novel by J.S. Bailey I haven’t read. Knowing nothing about Rage’s Echo, I really enjoyed this story. It was sad, but sweet at the same time.

 

Just finished - Weary Traveler - I really liked this one. It was spooky. I like how you are not sure what is real and what might be supernatural.

 

Just finished - Journal Entry From The End Of The Universe - This one was told in journal entries. I really liked the format. This story makes you think about what matters and to be careful of what you wish for. The thing you wish for might not be what it is cracked up to be.

 

16 stories, 10 finished.

 

The Mirror - 5/5

The Ghost of Memory - 3.5/5

Vapers - 3/5

Maria - 1/5

Agoraphobia - 4/5

The Author, The Lonely Walker and The Class - 4/5

The Outing - 3/5

Imaginary Friend - 4/5

Weary Traveler - 4/5

Journal Entry From The End Of The Universe - 5/5

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text 2018-10-17 13:09
Reading progress update: I've read 136 out of 292 pages.
Ordinary Souls - J.S. Bailey

Just finished The Outing - This one seemed like it would be a sweet story about an average looking man (he pretty much describes himself as such) and a younger woman he thinks is out of his league getting together and getting married. It is a much darker story than that. I can’t say much without spoiling anything, though. I liked the story, but I wanted more, or a little more “oomph.”

 

16 stories, 7 finished.

 

The Mirror - 5/5

The Ghost of Memory - 3.5/5

Vapers - 3/5

Maria - 1/5

Agoraphobia - 4/5

The Author, The Lonely Walker and The Class - 4/5

The Outing - 3/5



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text 2018-10-17 12:48
Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 292 pages.
Ordinary Souls - J.S. Bailey

Just finished The Author, The Lonely Walker and The Class - This one is interesting. It is a story within a story…within a story. I’m not going to say it isn’t confusing at first. I'm not usually a fan of this, but I think it was handled well here. This kind of story (especially considering it is so short) is a hit and miss for a lot of people, but I liked it. I feel like I could also relate to “the author” who talks about what I assume is social anxiety and having meltdowns in public. I don't want to spoil anything, but I relate to "the author" and "the lonely walker" in other ways, too. Really solid writing style.

 

16 stories, 6 finished.

 

The Mirror - 5/5

The Ghost of Memory - 3.5/5

Vapers - 3/5

Maria - 1/5

Agoraphobia - 4/5

The Author, The Lonely Walker and The Class - 4/5

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review 2018-10-17 12:18
More magic, more supernatural events, and plenty of wonder in the second novel of the series.
Atonement in Bloom - Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I was offered an ARC copy of this novel, that I had been after for some time, and I enthusiastically decided to review it as soon as I was able to.

I have followed Teagan Geneviene’s blog for a few years and have long been amazed by her creativity and her power to weave stories from the most unlikely jumble of elements, always rising to the challenges set by her readers, and writing by the seat of her pants. I am inclined to think there is some kind of magic at work, and I am not surprised by the genre she has chosen for her novels.

I have read and reviewed several of her books (you can check my most recent review of one of her serials here) and have long been a fan of her first-novel, Atonement, Tennessee (you can check my review, here). I had been waiting for the next instalment of the series for some time and had eagerly read any stories and snippets the author has shared in her blog about the Atonement universe. And I jumped at the opportunity to read an ARC copy of this novel, the second one in the series.

The author has tried to make this book stand alone, to ensure that anybody who started reading the series at this point would be given enough background to follow the events and enjoy the narrative, without slowing down those of us familiar with the story. Having read the first novel a while back and having reread it recently, I am probably not the best person to comment, but, in my opinion, she succeeds, although I would recommend anybody considering the purchase of this novel to go ahead and get the whole series, as they will be able to more fully appreciate the plot twists and the character development that take place in the series. And there are some companion stories available that you will enjoy as well.

The story is told from two different points of view, as was the case with the first novel. We have Lilith, Esmeralda’s (Ralda for short) calico cat, whose narrative is told in the third-person, and whose personality (her likes and dislikes, her strong opinions, and, indeed, her all-appropriate curiosity) shines through even more than in the first novel. She is witness to a number of events that allow the reader to be slightly ahead of Ralda at some points, but also increase the suspense and the expectations. She is not a human narrator and her understanding of events is often puzzling for us, so her clues are a bit like cryptic crossword prompts, familiar and alien at the same time. She gets involved in some hair-raising adventures of her own, and the end of the novel hints at many interesting things to come for our favourite feline narrator.

Ralda is the other narrator, and she tells the story in the first person. Those of us who have read the first novel know that she is a Southerner at heart, although she has spent many not-very-happy years in Washington DC. Atonement, Tennessee proves to be anything but the quiet and charming little town she imagines at first, secrets and supernatural events abound, and most of them centre on her house and her family line. She is a woman of strong intuition, but there is more to the events unfolding around her than a sixth sense. If the first novel saw her teetering between real-world difficulties (the move, the state of her house, the problems of her new-found friends), and some strange and decidedly supernatural events, in this second novel she at first suspects, and later comes to realise, that in Atonement, Tennessee, there is no clear separation between the “normal” and the “supernatural”. One of the things that make her a very compelling character, apart from her lack of ego and her self-deprecating sense of humour, is her open spirit and her ability to experience the wonder of the world around her. By her own confession, she has suffered the nasty side of things and people, and she at times appears overcautious and paranoid, but she is unable to say no to anybody needing help, and no matter how hard she resists, she finds it difficult to believe the worst of anybody. She might hesitate, but she will get in harm’s way if any of those close to her are in danger (and that includes Lilith, of course).

As for the plot… After taking stock of what happened in the first novel, things start getting interesting very soon. Some of the characters we thought we knew are revealed not to have been how they looked like at first (some for the better, some for the worse), and we have quite a few new characters turn up, some supernatural without a doubt (including my beloved glowing pigs), and others… well, I’ll leave you to see what you think. But there are unrequited loves, magical objects (one of my favourite things, both in fantasy and in the horror genre), some very Shakespearian turns of events, kidnappings, natural (or supernatural) wonders, and a fantastic battle scene (and I won’t reveal anything else).

Although the storyline is complete in itself and the events that unfold during the book get a resolution (and a more than satisfying one, I might add), there are mysteries still to be solved, some new ones hinted at, and I can’t wait to read the next book. If you love fantasy, supernatural events, folklore, myths and legends, Shakespeare, and appreciate a wild-tale full of imagination, you’ll be delighted by this book. I know I was.

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