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review 2020-02-28 10:04
Review: The Wayward Girls
The Wayward Girls - Amanda Mason

I received a copy from Netgalley.


An enjoyable mystery with a paranormal twist. Takes place in a “then and now” form.  Sisters Loo and Bee live with their mom and dad and siblings in a rambling farm in the 1970s. Their parents are considered “outsiders” in their small communities. The kids are home schooled, the dad’s an artist. The mom wanted an easier life, and while it seems ideal on the front, it’s doesn’t sound as easy as it looked in the idea stage.


During one summer strange things start happening in the house and before long a slew of paranormal experts and professors, reporter and a medium are on the property interviewing the family, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.


In the present day, the mom, Cathy, is now in a care home and Loo has been called home to come and see to Cathy’s care and needs. At the same time a modern day team of university students are conducting a paranormal research investigation Loo and Cathy’s former house which has been empty for many years now.


The chapters flip back and forth between what happened back then and what’s happening present day. It’s been a while since I read it so I can’t remember too much of the intricacies of the plot. Lots of characters, can’t remember anything that particularly stood out. It was a well written mystery that kept the pages turning.


Intriguing more in the past stages for me than the present. The present day sounded like a thousand other ghost hunter books/tv shows/movies but it was interesting in comparing the temperament of adult Loo to the child Loo in the past along with how she dealt with things back then and what she’s thinking/feeling now as the recent events unfold.


There were a few twists at various points which I had already guessed, however, that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel.  The twists were believable and the errors involved human and understandable, given the circumstances.  Some good family and relationship dynamics added into the mix.


All in all a very enjoyable read and definitely an author I would read again.


Thank you to Netgalley and Bonnier Books UK for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-06-13 11:45
Review: The Turn
The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death - Kim Harrison

I received a copy from Netgalley.


Since The Hollows is one of my favourite urban fantasy series, and probably one the series that got me hooked on urban fantasy in the first place, a prequel to the Hollows was a must have. I put in a Netgalley request as soon as I saw it. (Even though I’m only up to book 7 in the series).


Though after reading it, I can’t honestly say I liked it all that much. It was okay, somewhere between a two and a three star read for me. The first half of the book was full of science stuff that I found incredibly boring and a slog to get through. I’ve never DNFed a Kim Harrison book before, so series and author love made me determined to finish it.


 I found it quite confusing, it didn’t help also that I could have sworn there was a Trent Kalamak in the Rachel Morgan series. It was only when I was reading reviews on Goodreads and saw the questions about this book section that someone else had asked the same thing that was puzzling me. Not the same character, two different characters (though there was a ding! moment towards the end of the book that made me go aaaah, that’s why).


One or two familiar characters also popped up, demon Algaliarept (who’s name I can’t pronounce to save my life) was his usual delightfully obnoxious (and somewhat amusing in a snarky way) self and Quen.  One of the vampires makes an appearance towards the end as well.


This is all about two dark elf scientists who are fighting it out for funding, Trent and Trisk, both of whom hate each other, Trisk’s created a genetically engineered tomato that will supposedly end third world hunger. Forced to work together each have their own separate agendas. As I said, the first half was all very technical and the two of them playing off each other to get to their own goals. (I had to keep reminding myself this was set in the 60s as well). Favourite classic songs are on the radio as new music.


But of course, jealousy rears its ugly head and one thing leads to another, something goes hideously wrong. This resulting in a wide spread disease that nearly wipes out the human race, bringing out the fear and repercussions of a bunch of vampires, witches and other species trying their best to get head of it and survive as well.  While at the same time Trisk and a companion, the Dr who created the virus in the first place, there’s links to her genetic tomato, and Trent trying to keep on top of things.


The second half was much more exciting as things went from bad to worse and Trisk and her friends try to fix the problem. There’s something – satisfying is not the word I’d use – but there’s definitely a so that’s how it all happened feeling about now knowing how The Hollows all started, but it’s certainly not a favourite novel. Though I am glad I read it, and would certainly recommend to Hollows fans.


Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2016-10-11 17:22
are not afraid of the unexpected, or that creepy sensation
SPIRITS OF THE BAYOU (The Spirits Series Book 3) - Morgan Hannah MacDonald


Someone is taking the children of New Orleans. For the last eight months on the night of the full moon there has been an abduction. No bodies have been found. No ransom demands made. Poor or Rich. Black or White. Boy or Girl. The kidnapper does not play favorites.


In this prequel to Spirits Among Us, nineteen year-old Jon-Luc Boudreaux is trying to manage his gift. He’s a psychic medium, in other words he sees the dead. They appear to him like living breathing people. At times it’s hard to know the difference. One night he is visited by the ghost of a young girl named Charlotte. Her message is simple; Save the children.


Jon-Luc has no idea how to do that. He’s not a cop. He knows nothing about finding missing kids. He tries to ignore her, but Charlotte won’t leave him alone until he promises to help. Since her visits started, he’s had some very disturbing visions. When the signs begin to point toward Voodoo, he has no choice but to find an expert.


Celestine Glapion is a Voodoo Priestess and a descendant of the great Marie Luveau. The minute Jon-Luc walks into her family’s shop she remembers him, but he has no memory of her. So when Mama Arelia tells her she must help with this crisis, she’s reluctant to work side-by-side with Jon-Luc. But she’ll do anything for the sake of those innocent lives.


Their journey takes them to the underbelly of New Orleans where dark magic lives. Jon-Luc escapes death not once, but twice and still he pushes on. Knowing time is running out, the kidnapper speeds up the schedule. Now the children’s lives hang in the balance and only Jon-Luc holds the key to their survival. Can he rescue them in time?

What did I think
5 stars
First off I would love to think the author for giving me a chance at reading and review Spirits of the Bayou (The Spirits Trilogy, #3) in a change for my honest opinion, which this is 100%,what that said lets get going; Even though this is book 3 and the first time I ever picked anything up by Morgan Hannah MacDonald , I'm so glad that I did, there's some thing about her writing style that just reaches out and grabs you and pulls you in to the story and won't let go at all, its captivated from the beginning to end,has a way of bringing the characters to life before your eyes, it's also chilling and terrifying, because it gives you a inside view and describes what Louisiana Voodoo, also known as New Orleans Voodoo is, plus its gives you the background of Jon-Luc as his learning about his gift and how to use it, and did I mention that it has Lots of unexpected, moments that gives you a creeping sensation on your skin that cause the hair on your arms to raise, and when you think that that your at a non creepy part of the book , she laughs at you and say I'm not do with you get, so just set back and hold on to your chair and enjoy the ride, because that's when she throws more surprises at you ,so if you love to be on the edge of your set, and are not afraid of the unexpected, or that creepy sensation then this is the book and series for you

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review 2016-07-05 11:33
Review: The Outliers
The Outliers - Kimberly McCreight

 I received a copy from Netgalley.


I can’t remember what it was that caught my eye about this title. It was on my wishlist for a while, so when I saw it pop up on Netgalley, I took a chance and figured what the hell. I’d give it a shot. I’d already seen Goodreads reviews pop up and the ones from the blogs and reviewers I follow were a mix, some loved it, some hated it.


Unfortunately, I was in the hated it group. Well, I didn’t actually hate it, I didn’t like it much. It was stupid – but in a this is so stupid why the hell am I still reading this – what’s going to happen next? I need to know! Kind of way.


The whole thing was ludicrous convoluted mess. It starts with Wylie struggling to get over the death of her mother. Her twin brother whom she doesn’t really get on with is a genius and not very helpful, her dad is some sort of research scientist who works with emotional perceptions. Wylie has terrible anxiety, hasn’t left the house in months. Her dad and her doctor are trying to convince her it’s time to get back to things and go back to school and help the healing process and moving on with her life.


Wylie is grumpy, moody and not having any of it. Then her former BFF’s Cassie’s mom turns up asking if Wylie has heard from Cassie. Cassie and mom had a huge fight and Cassie’s been MIA ever since. Wylie and Cassie have sort of stopped speaking, Cassie’s become involved with the popular kids at school who are into partying and drinking, Cassie’s dating a guy, Jasper, who Wylie dislikes intensely (even though she’s never met the guy, she’s just going on rumours and what she perceives his attitude to be from seeing him around high school). While the parents are talking Wylie texts Cassie and gets a worrying response.


So while the parents go and look around town for Cassie, Wylie is home alone and Jasper shows up at Wylie’s house, Cassie sends more cryptic texts. And next thing we know, even though she doesn’t like him or trust him in the slightest, Wylie and Jasper are gathering supplies and heading off to find Cassie as per her text instructions.


Bear in mind Wylie hasn’t left the house in months, can’t deal with people at the best of times, and the reader learns has fallen out with Cassie and they’re not even really friends anymore. In one way it’s kind of admirable that even though things have gone south in the friendship Wylie can put aside the problems that have kept her housebound to the best she can and go off to find her former BFF on very little words.


On the other hand the grown up in me is rolling my eyes and their stupidity. They don’t tell anyone, other than leaving a note for Wylie’s dad telling him not to worry. Of course her dad is going to fucking worry! She’s not left the house in months and she’s going off with some guy she barely knows for a girl she’s not even been speaking to and she’s expecting all the grownups involved to just be okay with this?!?!?!?!


So off Wylie and Jasper go on a road trip through winter in New Hampshire at night without telling anyone and only the barest of info from Cassie’s texts to go on. And things rapidly go downhill from there.  Car trouble, help from people who turn out to be dangerous, when the police finally get involved, they’re not interested in helping, Cassie’s cryptic texts get more and more alarming. Wylie’s dad is worried and furious and has told Wylie her doctor has called the police and if Wylie is caught he will have her committed which makes Wylie pissed off.


Though it turns out Jasper’s not as bad as she thinks he is. He’s actually the more sensible of the two of them, and a pretty decent guy. Wylie is a whiny pain in the ass. Though she does seem to get her head around the danger they are in and at least at one point is smart enough to protect herself with a sharp knife and do some damage.


So the novel progresses on the search for Cassie as one thing after another goes wrong. Despite the utter stupidity of the plot, it is actually quite compelling. As I said earlier, even though it’s stupid, you still find yourself wanting to know what the hell is going on and why is this happening. Where is Cassie?


The explanations are some convoluted nonsense to do with covert special ops groups wanting Wylie’s scientist Dad’s research. Something to do with people with extra sensory abilities. Which of course tie massively into Wylie. Cassie has secrets of her own. Everyone’s got twisty secrets and nothing is as it seems. And just when you think it’s going to be okay…warning bells go off when mysterious agents claiming to be from Homeland Security appear, and...there’s a big ass cliffhanger and that’s the end.


And even though I loathed Wylie and Cassie, I will probably find myself wanting to read the next one.


Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK Children’s for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2016-04-02 18:53
Review: Burning
Burning - Danielle Rollins

I received a copy from Netgalley.

Different and intriguing. My initial worry with this one was it would be too similar to Nova Ren Suma's The Walls Around Us which was also a paranormal mystery with a juvenile detention centre setting. Pleased to say this one was very very different. The story focuses on Angela who is counting down the days to her release from the detention centre when a strange new Doctor comes in with what appears to be a new opportunity for getting the girls into a science based programme. There's also a strange new inmate - a little girl named Jessica who appears to be very weird and dangerous. No one really knows anything other than rumours. Angela's brief encounter with the girl was not a pleasant one.

The new Doctor, Dr Gruen knows there is something off about Jessica and claims that her group SciGirls is in a position to help and if Angela can get close to Jessica, Dr Gruen can make things run more smoothly for her. Simple enough. Jessica is a very intriguing character. Clearly a very scared little girl and you want to know what she did - it's clear she has some abormal ability to do with fire. Is she as scary as everyone is making out?

The more Angela gets to know Jessica, the more things start changing in the prison facility. It's a hard one to go into detail for without being too spoilery. But everything revolves around Dr Gruen's SciGirls programme. Some changes appear to be good, others for lack of a better phrase - not so good. A lot of Dr Gruen pushing Angela in regards to finding out something from Jessica, the little girl.

It was certainly very atmospheric, very creepy and very compelling in its narrative even if the plot was getting weirder and more twistier by the second. Excellently written, though Jessica and Angela seemed to be the only ones with a lot of character depth. A couple of the side characters, Angela's two roommates and friends had some interesting background stories, but there seemed very little elaboration on anyone else. They were just there for the purposes of forwarding the plot. Though granted, even though it was a juvenile detention centre the main characters (apart from Dr Gruen) and Angela's friends were actually pretty likeable characters, even though they were criminals and bad girls. You want them to come out of the mess unscathed and okay.

The end was a bit weird and felt a bit rushed, that being said, the style of the storytelling was pretty consistent with the rest of the story.

Certainly a fun creepy read with an interesting take on a paranormal theme.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) for approving my request to view the title.

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