Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Beautiful Creatures By: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have found another series to get lost within, filled with mystery, voodoo, witchcraft, and good ole Southern charm. Once you enter these pages, you will get lost in the style, the imagery, the storyline and you won't want to come up for air.
Written in Ethan Wate's point of view as the reader you find that it was a great decision.
Gatlin is as small as a small town can get, in the south at least. Generations that live and die in the same house, go to school oat the same school their parents went, not much happens.. until along with a rainy day Lena Duchannes enters. If anything her family has claim to the town and the land way before any Civil War or Independence War, yet they are outsiders - for good reason.
Unlocking a curse and the mysteries that surround almost everyone is the least of the worries of Ethan, but getting Lena through her birthday should be simple enough - but dontcha know nothing is simple in the south, just the appearance of it being.

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Review: Whispers At Moonrise By: C.C. Hunter

Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4)Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am in love with The Shadow Falls series and I was not disappointed by this, the fourth, installment. To be honest, I found this to be more superb than the others and I am anxiously awaiting the next.
Kylie has now found out her kind, very rare, almost unheard of - which makes her an interest to the good, the bad, and the ugly. She also is caught between Lucas and Derek, and finds herself withdrawing and hiding things not only from the counselors, Holiday and Burnett, but also her best friends and roommates, Della and Miranda.
As a ghost with the spitting image of Holiday appears, a mystery must be solved and the bad guy seems to be closer than one would think- with new kids and teachers, everyone can be suspected.
I found Kylie's character much more developed and arising into her new voice, can't wait for the next one.

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Review: With or Without You By: Domenica Ruta

With or Without YouWith or Without You by Domenica Ruta
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Domenica Ruta has written a raw, no holds bar memoir. It is filled with such confessions that one at times cringes at it's revelation. A story of a dysfunctional family whose dynamics have been around generation after generation, from a grandmother that ran drugs for money, a mother that used drugs and loved strangers rather than her daughter.
This memoir is more than the smoke cloud room or a confessional, not a chronological beginning, but a deeper understanding of the journey that life takes you on. We are not determined by what has come before, what has happened, or even what we once did - it is the moment you step out and define yourself that the universe unfolds just as it should, and we can see this in this mercurial memoir.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Lullaby By: Amanda Hocking

Lullaby (Watersong, #2)Lullaby by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Watersong series continues and only furthers my addiction to this series.
Gemma is now a Siren and with that comes a hunger, for the hearts of men. She agreed to be with Penn and the girls to protect her family, but she is fighting what she has become (even as the hunger calls and she begins getting sick).
Alex and Harper are in a desperate search to save Gemma and with help from Daniel, they just might be able to do it.
A quick, easy read - one that fills in time until the next in the series comes out (I hope Tidal is better and has more plot). Ms. Hocking has left many ties undone, questions unanswered and I can't wait for this original series to continue.

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Review; The Spark: A Mother's story of Nurturing Genius By: Kristine Barnett

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing GeniusThe Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing and inspirational memoir of a mother's love, devotion, determination, and the fight to remove the boundaries and stigma of autism in her son's life.
There are many lessons to find within the pages of The Spark, but a mother's drive and faith permeates off each page. Never giving up, thinking unconventional has lead her son, Jacob, from life skills class to teaching class in college and being in line for a Nobel Prize. This was not an easy road, it was filled with negativity, low expectations, and set backs, but Ms. Barnett fought and never took no for an answer. She has left some words and lessons to live by- to have faith in your child, ignite their spark, and let them fly, for the only thing in the way is limited thinking.. you remove that and everything is possible.

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Review: Dearly, Departed By: Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I could give this closer to 3 1/4 stars.
Written in first person under a slew of characters the picture of the future is painted, a future that involves a virus that re animates the dead - yes, zombies. Part steampunk, part sci fi, part horror, the storyline is original but at times getting lost within and between the chapters. I felt that I had to push myself to keep going, with a great storyline and somewhat developed characters (although some, were so underdeveloped I was questioning why they were given a first person voice and multiple chapters).
Nora Dearly has the ability to fight off the virus that causes people to become zombies, her father supposedly dead yet the doctor in a specialized unit looking for the vaccine. A zombie army developed to fight off other zombies, even as New Victoria is and has been at war with the Punks.
Maybe there was too much going on, details unneeded and some not given, too many voices - if you are interested in a "new" zombie story, look for this..anything else, look elsewhere.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: The Gathering Storm By: Robin Bridges

The Gathering Storm (Katerina, #1)The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was quite impressed with the magic that flowed through the pages and brought me into the late 1800s Russia. The imagery, the people all flowed out to create a memorizing story to life.
Katerina Alexandrova has a secret along with all too many around her. From witches, vampires, lychans, sorcerers, fairies, and necromancers - the story of old Russia comes alive with the Courts (Light and Dark), with old vendettas and plots of conspiracy.
Katerina is a necromancer which makes her wanted by all parties. Against her will she uncovers the evil that lies within bloodlines and finds that she can be either a pawn or something more powerful.
I really enjoyed this book. I had to get through all the titles and names, but once the story develops a flow occurs making it an amazing journey. I recommend people to get lost within the pages and look for a continuation.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: The Hobbit By: JRR Tolkien

The HobbitThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this twice over the years, once in my teens, then again in my twenties, and now in my thirties. I have found Tolkien to be an amazing writer that I can easily get lost within his pages.
The Hobbit is an old friend, that I like to re visit, a tale of the incredible, of rising up to the unlimited potential that one has. I can't wait for the movie and hope that Mr. Jackson does it justice (I think he did an amazing job on the trilogy).

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Promise Me By: Richard Paul Evans

Promise MePromise Me by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another win for Mr. Evans.
A story of life, disappointment, sacrifice, discover, growth, forgiveness, and love.
It is a story of Beth Campbell and the secrets that she has had to keep waiting for the moment to tell them, waiting for the mystery to unravel. With a touch of science fiction (aka time travel) her story comes to life.
I found myself excited for the development of the characters, for the ending. Perfect for the inspiration that his books leave, perfect for the season.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: KRAMPUS The Yule Lord By: Brom

Krampus: The Yule LordKrampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Krampus, a lowly god, grandson of Loki, The Yule Lord has returned from being the captive of none other than Santa Claus. Finding himself locked away in the mountains of Boone County, West Virginia, a whole new world exists now.
Jesse Walker finds himself from bad to worse, being seperated from his wife and daughter, pushed around by the crime lord of the county (the General), dealing with the harassment from a dirty cop (his wife's new guy) Chief Dillard Deaton seemed like too much, until he witnesses Santa Claus being attacked by some kind of creatures and has the magical sack fall through the roof of his trailer.
A wonderful dark tale, filled with action, adventure, the death of Santa, and a deeper meaing of the world we know and the one we should. Filled with some of Brom's artwork, this is a must read and keep - something to pull off the shelf on a dark, cold, winter night.

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Review: The 13th Day of Christmas By: Jason F Wright

The 13th Day of ChristmasThe 13th Day of Christmas by Jason F. Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first introduction to Mr. Wright was the Christmas Jars and I was excited to pick this up.
I must warn the fellow reader, I found myself in tears for most of the story, found my heart bbrsting, breaking, and bursting again.
A tale of a family that has taken on hard times, an old widow who finds an unlikely friendship and the crossroads and paths that we take - this is a story of love and hope, of the gift of yourself and the splendor of life and the little things.
There is a message of not just celebrating the birth of Christ, but the day after celebrating His life and the message He gave the world.
A truly great read that will stick with you and perfect for this Holiday season.

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Review: A Winter Dream By: Richard Paul Evans

The tale of Joseph and his coat come alive in a modern twist. A story of love and forgiveness as only Mr. Evans could do. Joseph Jacobson is one of thirteen children (second to last) and also his father's favorite. When he saves his father's client, all eyebrows are raised and the jealousy is fed further. Joseph's youngest and full blooded brother embezzles from the company and the brothers find that they can use Joseph's love against him - an ultimatium is issued, leave and disappear, from the family, from the company or charges will be filed. Joseph chooses to leave and embark on his journey of growth. This isn't just a tale of forgiveness, of love, of personal growth, but also of how treat one another.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Christmas Jars By: Jason F Wright

Christmas JarsChristmas Jars by Jason F. Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, I must admit I am a sucker for Holiday books, for the Hallmark commercials and movies, for the happy ending.
The Christmas Jar is one of those books that combine all the above and make a great afternoon read. It is a story of giving, forgiving, the human spirit, and the things that link us all together. It is one of those books that make you take a look around, be grateful, be humble, and set out to do something good.
Hope Jensen was left in a booth at the holidays with a letter, the woman who found her took her as her own and raised her. Hope became a reporter, worked her dues, and when her mother passes she experienced a burgulary and recieved a Christmas Jar filled with money mysteriously left in the doorway.
Uncovering the who, what, when, where, why and how is her job but the road that it leads her on teaches a life lesson that will change her and those around her.
A heartfelt, pay it forward mentality - this is not a book that you can simply put down, but one that if you let it will in fact change your life and people around it.

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Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet By: Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MS. Jones has done it again. Amazing read and knowing that I am simply addicted to this series.
Charley Davidson (a wonderfully developed character) finds herself experiencing PTSD after being attacked. Her inability to leave the apartment, sleep, and stop home shopping has left her vulnerable. Fear seeping off of her has the demons gathering their forces and attacking. With a new case in hand and developing more skills, Charley just might be wonderwoman in disguise. Between her father finding that that is something "special" about her, with Reyes developing more and stronger skills - can a group of demons, band of robbers and a homocidial senior citizen get in the way?
Written a unique style - a dash of Juno, bit of Buffy - the perfect combination of wit, sarcasm, and paranormal. I am looking for more.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: death and the girl next door By: Darynda Jones

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1)Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

How I wish I loved this, but in all honesty I can't say that. I am a big fan of Ms. Jones and her Grave series - but this is no Charley Davidson book. It is choppy, almost written too fast that details seem to jump, making you wonder if you missed a page somewhere in between.
Lorelei McAlister lives in a small town with her grandparents after the disappearance of her parents. She is not the average teenager, she has a gift of visions - which for the most part she will only share with her two friends - Brooke and Glitch. In one moment all she has ever known begins to change when in one moment the loner boy from school, Cameron Lusk becomes a stalker (of sorts) and a new boy has entered, Jared Kovach (if you believe him after some crazy Keiser Soze mind warp). The truth and the danger of Lorelei's visions and the truth behind her family and parents disappearance are uncovered - only mystery left is why things are happening and the who that is behind it - hence, a new book coming out in March 2013.
I could see glimpses of the voice Ms. Jones has, the quick, smart way she writes - a combo of Juno and Buffy - I hope that the next in the series has a better flow to it.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: A Storm Of Swords Book 3 of A Song of Fire and Ice By: George RR Martin

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Song of Fire and Ice continues in Book 3 - and what an amazing read.
This time the twists, turns, the development of the characters EXPLODE!! With everyone claiming their own thrones and attempting to establish themselves on the throne of the Seven Kingdoms, there is more conspiracies, more death, more vengence than one can imagine.
As the kings rise and fall, the Wall still remains with something unnatural growing on the otherside and a Targaryen is making her way with her dragons.
I could not put the book down, the action, the suprise kept me lost in Westeros and the people. I found unlikely characters rising above and even those admirable falling, the complexity of the story is woven in a great tapestry only to be continued and enjoyed.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: His Mistress By Christmas By: Victoria Alexander

His Mistress by Christmas (Sinful Family Secrets, #1)His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In true Ms. Alexander style, you will find romance and humor within the pages. The likeability of characters, major and minor, the enjoyable situation/dilemma the characters face, and the nice outcome - bring this book together.

Lady Veronica Smithson is an independent woman. She values her independence and wealth. She also has no need for a husband, she had one -- but she finds herself in want of a man, not just any man, but, Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater. Sebastian is a world explorer, a writer, and a man with a certain reputation.

Veronica thinks she will be able to have her cake and eat it to but Sebastian has other plans- the plans to settle down. In a strange agreement they set off (with their own agendas) to the country, only to besieged by family members believing they are newly wed. Can they pull off the farce or will it become something so much more that needs no pretending?

A nice story to delve into, great characters, and wonderful dialogue (internal and external).

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: The 20th Anniversary Edition The Christmas Box By: Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas Box: 20th Anniversary EditionThe Christmas Box: 20th Anniversary Edition by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What is the first gift of Christmas?

In a wonderfully written story the answer unfolds. This is one of my favorite stories by one of my favorite authors. The wonder of the simple story is how it takes a hold of your heart - not to ever be released, and you will be forever grateful for that.

I wish I could fill everyone's stocking with a copy, but just the experience of the story will have you looking at loved ones and strangers in a way that will affect those that come in contact with you.

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Review: What Happens At Christmas By: Victoria Alexander

What Happens At ChristmasWhat Happens At Christmas by Victoria Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can happen at Christmas?
Well, if you have hired actors to be your family to impress a foreign prince - everything, especially when a man from your past knocks on your door.

I laughed so loud while reading this, the characters were so wonderfully developed, from the main characters Camille and Grayson to the hiredhelp/butler/actor Fortesque. The book had a nice flow, wonderful dialogue, and a nice storyline made just for the season. If you are looking for romance, humor, wit, and a bit of the magic of the season - you have to pick this up.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: A Clash Of Kings (Book Two of A Song Of Ice And Fire) By: George RR Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"...permit me to share a bit of womanly wisdom with you on this very special day. Love is poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same."

What is it within the seven kingdoms that most love - to be King. As the battles continue, men are crowning themselve and calling themselves king. They bring with them enemies and battles that ring throughout the lands that once were held in peace.

This was amazing and filled with adventure bringing the stories from Jon Snow, who is beyond the Wall, to Daenerys in Qarth - with a boy king, Joffrey (the result of incest), so many are in want of removing the crown from his head and placing it upon theirs.

Heroes come from unlikely places and great men fall, but through it all there is something to this story that brings forth a depth of the individuals and the whole of the actions. If you are looking for adventure, here it is, looking for fantasy, here it is, looking for unforgettable characters, here it is, looking for depth, here it is, and looking for a book that holds more meaning within the pages than the words themselves, this is it.

I want more of this series and can't wait to pick up the next in the series.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Inside HBO's Game of Thrones By: Bryan Cogman

Inside HBO's Game of ThronesInside HBO's Game of Thrones by Bryan Cogman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the perfect companion to Game of Thrones. I think this is wonderfull addition to your library and to the George RR Martin shelf.
I think I am enthralled with these books and with the show and if you are like me you will find that your collection is not complete until this book.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Cloud Atlas By: Davis Mitchell

Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edition): A NovelCloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel by David Mitchell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Maybe I was hoping for more, maybe I have been influenced by the trailers for the movie, maybe I was looking for something within these pages.

A comet birthmark throughout time has found the people it marks and brings their stories through time. Could it be symbolic or reincarnation? Could it be that these lives are the same soul brought forth throughout time to interconnect? Whatever it may be, the reader will travel from the Pacific explorations into the future with clones. Stories within stories the interconnection of reading a journal to an intrumental song - these people can find a link throughout centuries bringing them together.

I liked some of these stories and found others quite tedious to get through all the nuances. At one point I questioned the reasoning behind all the tales and the minute details that were constantly thrown about (almost like filling up paper or making a word count).

If the movie is anything like the book, I will be waiting for it to come out on video -- why spend $10.00 to find myself disappointed.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: The Christmas List By: Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas ListThe Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is nothing quite as uplifting as a book by Richard Paul Evans.
James Kier is a man driven by money, he never cared about who he had to step on to get it, never cared about people, and over the years lost himself int the business world neglecting his own family. What more could this man want when he could buy anything he ever wanted? James has also never had to look at himself and his deeds, never had a moment of self reflection, that is until he reads his own obituary (do to mistaken identity) and finds himself looking hard.
He read the comments people made about him, he read his soon to be ex defending him, he saw the empty man he had become. No time like now to change. He has his secretary make a list of the people that he has wronged. Every person brings to light something inside of him - from a gentle former friend wanting nothing from him to a man he stole an idea from becoming a "predator" in the business world owing his view and wealth to him.
James' growth unfolds with each meeting, and he learns the true meaning of a life lived.
A wonderful told tale with with a great spiritual message that is bound to melt even the hardest of hearts.

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Review: The Snow Angel By: Glenn Beck

The Snow AngelThe Snow Angel by Glenn Beck
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think that it should be maybe 3 1/2 stars.
I great story about finding yourself in a situation that you don't remember entering. This is told by two main characters - Mitch and Rachael, a father and his daughter. I once was told that regret and loneliness is the cruel life and what better than to see the blossom of love, forgiveness, and compassion to cure it.
Mitch has lived his life, although he can't recall most of it because of Alzheimers, but daily he knows his regret, he knows he is waiting, he just isn't sure of what. He is able to push through moments to bring memories back to the surface, memories of his daughter, of his wife, both good and bad. And so his day that we are introduced to is Christmas Eve.
Rachael has been isolated and abused, first by her mother now by her husband. The excuses are wearing thin "falling" is working with her anymore. You can lie to others but can you really lie to yourself. She starts to reconnect with people that once loved her and through honest talks with her daughter, Lily, she takes a look at her life - how it was, how it is, and even the possibility of the future. Within those talks (her story starts on October 1st) a new perspective takes place, I new self love begins to develop.
This is a story of giving, recieving, grace, and love. I really enjoyed it, although as a former abuse victim I found some things too farfetched. But in the end the result was really good.

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Review: Michief and Mistletoe By: Putney, Beverley, Bourne, Rice, Cornick, Elliot, Gracie, and King

Mischief and MistletoeMischief and Mistletoe by Jo Beverley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Get into the spirit of Christmas, Yule, and Mistletoe - The holiday season is a blink away and what better to get you in the mood than this wonderful anthology.
From Beverly to Putney - a total of eight quick (about 40-50 pages long) romances that truly bring the spirit of love, romance, and Christmas into your heart.
I loved that so many writers gathered to make these stories. It was also very convenient to be able to do a chore, sit to lunch and complete a full story.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: The Night Eternal By: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy, #3)The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two years have passed since that fateful flight, two years since the Master made his way into the United States, two years since the explosions that went across the world - the ones that brought the night sky into the day, two years since Eph saw his son.
With the Ancients out of the way, with people farms created for him and his kind to feed, there is a few that continue to stand in his way, a few that hold the key - which at this moment they don't know how to unlock.
There is only one way to destroy the Master and one book that holds the key, but until it can be translated with all the secrets that lie underneath (watermarks, secret writing within the writing) humanity might not be spared in time before the end of all humans.
Fear gripping and an amazing end to the Strain Trilogy, this was the battle, the revolt, the chance for hope and the release of me holding my breath until the end.

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Review: The Fall By: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Fall (The Strain Trilogy, #2)The Fall by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the 2nd part of The Strain Trilogy, the horror continues.
Humanity is changing, the world has not mercifully come to an end. It has taken a week for the disease to hit large populations and many countries.
The sacred book, the Lumen, within it contains the answer for destruction of the Master. The book has also lead to a strange alliance with the Ancients. But there is the Master's plan and he plans to rule the world and it's inhabitants like a man does cattle and to destory anything that might attempt to be a problem or get in his way.
I was sucked in. I couldn't put it down. The story continued and my heart kept pounding away. The writing style pulls you into this horror and locks you in.

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Review: The Strain By: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Strain (The Strain Trilogy, #1)The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Want an intense thriller that you just can't put down? This is it!
Forget about Angel and all the friendly vamps that have entered into movies and books, this one takes you back to the orginal - to the fear, the hunger, the hunting, and the disease that marks them.
An airline goes down at JFK, everything is normal, until it shuts down completely. Blinds are drawn, no power, no air, no 911 calls from inside. Unlikely heroes enter into the book and a strange sense of doom is awaiting. Once the bodies are removed and put into morgues stranger things occur, like them rising.
I could not put this down. I was enthralled, horrified, and devoured the book (and the series) in no time. I am a big fan of del Toro and the deeper meaning within the characters, the images, and the story. With Halloween around the corner, I recommend this series to fill you with the spirit.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review: Ricky Gervais presents The World of Karl Pilkington

Ricky Gervais Presents: The World of Karl PilkingtonRicky Gervais Presents: The World of Karl Pilkington by Karl Pilkington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Enter the mind of Karl Pilkington, Beware it is filled with amazing theories and thoughts that mere man has not the time or inclination to ponder.
I must say I am a HUGE fan of The Ricky Gervais Show, I love An Idiot Abroad, and the Idiot II - so I am familiar to Karl's thought process. A man who says that if he was a slug that he would just end his life flinging himself into salt.
Most of the book it popular podcasts written, but there are some little tidbits strictly of Karl - such as the 5 Animals We Don't Need, Jellyfish is number 1.
I laughed so loud reading this book, I know I will reread this quite often.

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Review: Extraordinary By: Nancy Werlin

ExtraordinaryExtraordinary by Nancy Werlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now, I am a fan of Ms. Werlin's work Impossible, I thought she couldn't top that, and unfortuantely I was right. Please don't get me wrong, this is a great story, but something was missing, maybe I set the bar too high.
Phoebe Rothschild has a debt that she must pay, a debt a forefather brought upon his legacy that he had made with the Fairy Queen. Over the years since, the fairy kingdom has had a toll taken in the imbalance of the world. Mallory is sent from the faerie kingdom on a mission, and finds that it is hard to keep a promise to her people and hurt a friend.
This is a story of personal growth (within multiple characters), a stroy of friendship, and most importantly a story of self love.
As in only Ms. Werlin's style the faerie kingdom comes to life on the pages. If you enjoy her work, this is a great read, if you haven't found her yet - please pick up Impossible.

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Review: Raven By: Allison Van Diepen

RavenRaven by Allison van Diepen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nicole has just started working at Evermore, she has your group of friends that are a dance team, and she finds herself helplessly in love with Zin. But things are not what they seem, people have their secrets, and some are ages old.
When it is revealed that Zin and the other workers at Evermore are Jiang Shi (immortal soul eaters) it takes alot for Nicole to take in. It is also too much to think that Carlo, the creator, is interested in her and a vision he had many years ago.
Just when you thought things couldn't be more easier, Nicole's brother is brought back to life and the Heng Te are looking to elimate the Jiang Shi.
It is a fast, easy read. I felt as though the depth of characters and the storyline was very superficial. Want a fluff read to take when tanning, this might be it.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Hemlock By: Kaleen Peacock

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

LS - Lupine Syndrome has now been admitted by the CDC. The risks involved of contracting the disease make society build reservation camps to keep in the infected.
A small town, Hemlock, finds themselves no longer safe, especially when the most recent death of a girl, Amy, comes from a family with her grandfather as a Senator.
Mackenzie has lost her friend and now finds herself visited by her spirit. They were once a foursome of friends, Amy, Mac, Jason, and Kyle. Now each one has their own battle to wage and with a 'serial killing' werewolf on the loose, the Trackers have come to town. (Trackers are a mercenary group only to hunt werewolves)
Unfortunately Mac hits walls in trying to get to the bottom of Amy's death, and with all the secrets unravelling that Amy was keeping, Mac will never look at things the same way.
There is a teenage angst and love triangle that almost seemed unnecessary for the pages flowed with intensity.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: The Christmas Clock By: Kat Martin

The Christmas ClockThe Christmas Clock by Kat Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A nice feel good story of love and giving. The story of a woman coming back to the small town she ran from and the man she left, a couple that have lost that passion they once held, a woman diagnosised with Alzheimers caring for her grandson and holding on to what memories she can, and a little boy that brings everyone together.
Christmas is a time for miracles, a time for hope.
This a super fast read that is like bubble gum, it will make you feel good, it will bring a smile to your face, but it doesn't have complete characters or dimension.

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Review: The Timekeeper By: Mitch Albom

The Time KeeperThe Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time is precious. Once there was a time that man did't feel the hours ticking by, the need to outrun and push for more - but that all changed when one man started counting and gave humans the ability to tract time. But what is it that time is really about, the minutes or the moments that are contained in every hour.
This is a story of Father Time and two souls that each want something, one less time and one more.

As written in true Mitch Albom's way, this is a can't miss book, one that will make you reflect, one that will make you think, one that will hopefully change your outlook. I can never go wrong reading Mr. Albom - I have loved every one of his books and they are just the ones that you would want to share and re read over and over.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Cast of Characters By: Max Lucado

Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon GodCast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God by Max Lucado
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With Max Lucado you can never go wrong.
Looking for answers, looking to renew, looking to fill yourself - go to Mr. Lucado.
In Cast of Characters he breaks down some unlikely heroes and saints of the Bible. How can a prosector turn his will over and become the stone of which the Church is built? How can a prositute recieve forgivenes and Grace from God? Now, how about you?
In modern takes, Mr. Lucado brings us on a journey not just of this Cast of Characters, but upon the journey of our own character.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Long Lankin By: Lindsey Barraclough

Long LankinLong Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A perfectly written haunting novel!!!
In August 1958, Cora and her sister MiMi (Elizabeth) is placed in the care of their Great Aunt Ida. Nothing is as it seems, for the Guerdon Hall is as old as the area it was built to protect. Unforunately, the Guerdon family has been plagued by a curse for generations and just by walking through the door, Cora and her sister have awakened it.
Written in first person by three characters, this novel sucks you in and keeps you enthralled til the end. The story creates a tale, weaving a gothic fear, and unleashing the bones long buried within Hall.
I could not put this down. I am glad that I didn't pick this up at night - for surely the fear seeps off the pages and into the reader. I lovede the characters, the development, and the MOST original storyline. A truly great read that will be with you long after you finish the last page.

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Review: Embrace By: Jessica Shirvington

Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1)Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Violet Eden is celebrating her 17th birthday when all that she knew, all that she wanted, all the illusions she grew up with dissipates into the world of exiled angels and the secret group of Grigori.
She finds that the boy that she had a crush on, Lincoln, is Grigori and has been preparing her without her knowledge and that they "belong" together. Unfortuately for her that also means that they are not meant to be any more than companions, friends all without any intimacy. Violet also receives a letter written 17 years before by her mother, who died in chilbirth giving birth to her. The letter, the box, the bracelet are all a link to the knowledge that her mother had that this road is the road of destiny.
Violet is not to happy about having her fate predestined, she wants a choice - afterall, does she really want the veil to be removed to see the exiles as they are - angels that no longer carry light or dark, but carry a want and need to enslave humans for their pleasures and need for power.
Enter the tall, dark, beautiful stranger, Phoenix, an exile - one unlike the others, one that has true power, deep sadness, and the pure need for Violet. He also carries a deep secret.
The "embrace" happens when Violet chooses to become Grigori - and the power that becomes unleashed is something no one or being saw coming.

I really liked this book, it was quick but filled with action and adventure - I also found myself rooting for one of the gentleman (suprising even myself by doing so). I look forward to seeing what is next for Violet.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire By: Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As the followup to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the characters Lisbeth, Blomkist, and others continue on a new mystery - one that begins in Lisbeth's past.
A ring of human trafficking is now being investigated by a writer for a book and his partner for her dissertation, and with the stories names appear. Names belonging to judges to police and one name appears to instill fear into everyone, that of Zala.
Enter a world filled with murder, intrigue, and a deeper understanding of such a complex character. Lisbeth has pushed so many people away from her - the same that without her asking, stand up for her.

I enjoyed the book, but I was a little disappointed for a couple reasons. 1. I was expecting something as amazing as the first book 2. It really isn't a stand alone in the trilogy, it is continued into the third.

Now, withstanding those reasons, I did enjoy it and recommend it for a crime thriller, just be prepared to purchase the last on in the series.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Wake By: Amanda Hocking

WakeWake by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful quick read, with an unusual topic - I can't resist the five star rating.

In a small little town in southeast Maryland, Gemma Fisher has her every day normal life turned upside down. First, the boy next door, Alex, is looking better and better even if he happens to be her older sister, Harper's best friend. Second, a strange trio (once a foursome) has entered the town and seems to have a darkness to them even under their beauty. Third, people are missing, and the fear of a serial killer is hitting the residents.

Gemma can not resist the water, from training for the Olympics in the pool to her nightly swims in the ocean, but these swims don't go unnoticed by those that have something to gain by using her.

I found the book very good, wonderfully written, an interesting topic, and I can't wait for the next in the series - there is a cliffhanger.

The characters are easy to identify with and are multidemensional, a definite must read.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Speechless By: Hannah Harrington

SpeechlessSpeechless by Hannah Harrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chelsea Knot has done - her mouth, her need for gossip, her need to fit in - she really opened up her mouth this time.
At a party Chelsea witnesses what she immediately must dish, by doing so she has affected more lives than she thought. When someone gets hospitalized in a hate crime because of her mouth, she shuts it.
Chelsea learns more about herself and the people around her than ever before. From the person she thought was her best friend, to the boy she has had a crush on for over a year - most of all, Chelsea is changing and developing into what she wants to be, not what was expected from her by her peers.
She learns the important message of thinking before speaking, making your words count, and allowing your actions to speak for you. She also learns the importance of forgiveness and that love is more important than hate.

An easy read filled with depth. The growth and development of such a character through self dialogue and the other characters - along with a subject matter that needs to have open discussion, a not to miss read.

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Review: Betrayal By: Gregg Olsen

BetrayalBetrayal by Gregg Olsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Betrayal is the contiuation in the Empty Coffin Series and just like Envy, you will not be let down.

A murder has occurred in Port Gamble. During a Halloween party an exchange student, Olivia has been stabbed multiple times. Every one in the small community is on high alert, afterall it had to be one of them. Hayley and Taylor Ryan sense the disturbance and try as only they can to put the pieces together.

The inspiration of the story stands through the book, the Amanda Knox case. Brianna Connors, the girl whose house the murder was committed in, the room which Olivia's body was in, the girl who makes out with her boyfriend as investigators are collecting evidence, she even goes as far as doing yoga in the police interrogation room - not too hard to see the similiarities. But is Brianna guilty, her boyfriend?

The twins also start to uncover a few secrets that not only had their parents held shut, but possibly a few others, including Colton's mother. Opening up the past, brings more than they might be prepared for.

I really enjoy the writing style of Mr. Olsen, the characters, the mystery, the twists and turns. I recommend the Empty Coffin series for a great read, but even a social commentary.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: The Unnaturalists By: Tiffany Trent

The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1)The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You can see the inspiration of The Golden Compass within the pages of this book. The myths, the magical dust, the unique creatures - it's all here.
Vespa Nyx is hoping to follow in her father's footsteps in studying the Unnatural in the New London. Science and Order rules, or so the appearance of it, with Saints such as Tesla and Bacon, the old order seems washed away.
Hal Binon (aka Bayne) is off to uncover what is a conspiarcy that has lead him to the museum, and Syrus (a tinker) seems to hold a key.
It is not until the three gather that all is uncovered. Enter the world of witches, architects, tinkers, elements, and mythical creatures - it will be a good journey.
The book has twists and turns that one can enjoy, it can at times also seem disjointed - as if you missed a few pages, but you didn't. I wanted to like the reading process more than I did, but the storyline might be the thing that keeps me liking the book.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead By: Darynda Jones

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Remember that show Dead Like me? A cult classic, filled with humor, sarcasm, and drama. Get your weekly lesson of life through a dead girl carrying out her penance as a reaper.. I loved that show, and now I can understand the addiction I have to this series.

Charley Davidson is the grim reaper, but not in the historical sense that most of us have been raised to believe. She is the beacon of light that the dead must use as a gate into heaven. Charley is also a Private Investigator whose father retired from the Albuquerque Police and her uncle who still works there.

Being the reaper has its advantages especially in her line of work, afterall the dead easily find her and always have their tale to tell.

In this book Charley must deal with her father's demand to change jobs, Reyes Farrow's escape from prison, a husband that has a missing wife and a history of losing women in the past, a biker gang with a problem of someone poisoning their dogs, and the search for Earl Walker - the man Reyes was in prison for killing.

With excellent storyline that is a roller coaster ride, characters that are wonderfully written and so dimensional that they float off the page into life. You can not go wrong diving into this series.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review: Second Grave On The Left By: Darynda Jones

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, so I am officially addicted to this series.

Charley Davidson is the grim reaper, not like the old tales we have heard, she is also a PI and finds herself walking between the supernatural and the cases she has - oh, did I mention she is in love with the son of satan, Reyes Farrow.

In this book Cookie, Charley's assistant, pulls her into a personal case in regards to a missing person and the uncovering of a person that will go to extreme means to silence everyone involved in an incident over 10 years ago. Charley also finds that Reyes is being tortured by demons and he has made the decision to leave his body permanently.

Charley must solve one murder, fight off crazies, get to the bottom of serial murders surrounding a secret incident, to save the man that holds her heart and convince him to guide her to him.

I stayed awake to finish this, I couldn't put it down. With wonderfully developed characters and an amazing storyline with twists and turns - I dare anyone to picked Ms. Jones novels up and put them down.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: First Grave on the Right By: Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meet the Reaper, that's right The Grim Reaper - her name is Charley Davidson. She is part time PI, part time consultant to the Albuquerque Police Department, and full time reaper. She is not the reaper that most have heard of, but she works as a beacon for the dead to reach the other side and they go through her.
Of course it is an everyday occurence when the dead show up and ask for help or closure, but when 3 attorneys from the same office, representing the same accused man.. well, Charley has to get involved.
The mystery of their deaths is nothing compared to the mystery of the otherworldly spirit that has been invading her dreams, her thoughts, and at times her shower.

Ms. Jones has a wonderful storyline that when you meet the characters they flow off the page into life. Moments of great wit and humor along with tense thrills and this readers tears this book is a great beginning to the series. I am addicted.

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Review: The Iron Wyrm Affair By: Lilith Saintcrow

The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1)The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enter the steampunk world designed by Ms. Saintcrow - a world in which there is a war to gain control of not just Londinium but the whole country. With a new "child" queen Emma Bannon is called to service to protect the kingdom and uncover the conspiracies that reach out like a spiderweb throughout. Ms. Bannon is a Prime (top sorceress) and the man she must protect Archibald Clare is a mentath. With people trying to kill them to keep their plan going both Bannon and Clare must uncover everyone behind it and foil them.

The book was great ... in the beginning, pages flowed, chapters melded, but 200 pages in there was something disjointed that appeared within the pages. I liked the story and the storyline, I just wish that it was more enjoyable to complete.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Putting Make Up On Dead People By: Jen Violi

Putting Makeup on Dead PeoplePutting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story of coming to age is found in Putting Make Up On Dead People.

A personal growth, internal and external struggle, the gifts of loss and love and how the two can be the same -

Donna Parisi, whose father passed away 4 years ago, finds herself at the end of her Senior year of high school and looking into a path that goes against the path chosen for her. Through a chance encounter, she hears the call to do something otherwise different, but the pull is great, she wants to be a mortician.

Her growth is chartered through the interactions of those around her, from her amazing free spirited friend, to her family members. She isn't the only one moving with time, as does her brother and his upcoming marriage, her mother dating - but she is the one that finds a way to hold to the past while transforming.

A great story of being able to let go, to grow and honor oneself (despite the odds), and find love in everyone/everything around you.

An easy, quick read that loeaves a smile on your face as you turn the last page.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Girl Of Nightmares By: Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The continuation of Anna Dressed in Blood, makes one wonder why add to a great story as a series?

Cas is back and with visions of Anna on the other side, in a hell where the Obeahman is there leaves him no choice but to find a way to save her. Carmel and Thomas help as only they can, one not keen on bringing Anna back and the other helping his best friend.
Enter the secret order - The Order of Biodag Dubh, the keepers and creators of the athame. They don't agree with what Cas has been doing, picking and choosing which ghosts need to move on, they believe that all should be given the gift of the athame's blade.
Cas, Carmel, and Thomas fly to England to meet up with Gideon and Cas' replacement chosen by the Order, Jestine.

With trials and secret rituals, is Cas able to save Anna and those around him, will the Order succeed in his destruction?

I forced myself to read this all the way through, it lacked the intesity and overall enjoyment that Anna Dressed In Blood had. This time I found that even the characters lost dimension. Not worth destroying the image created by the first book, save this one for when there is nothing else to read.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: The Name Of The Star By: Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jack the Ripper is back, or so it may seem to Londoners. Aurora Deveaux has left the comforts of a small town in Louisiana to go to England to the Wexford boarding school. From the grueling schedules to seeing a mysterious man that comes around her, and with a serial killer on the loose following Jack the Ripper's murders - this school year has turned her life upside down.

A great YA novel, filled with paranormal, mystery, thriller, and growth - I recommend this simply for the excellent plot and the movement throughout.

Since Aurora's brush with death, that almost seems to humorous, she has been thrown into a world that most others don't get a glance of. She isn't the only one, for there is a secret government group that know and hold the secret. When CCTV has no image of the killer, for the killer is invisible, a call to action is brought into play. So goes a game of cat and mouse and "the slayer and the victim, tied by fate."

A quick read with both primary and secondary charaters being multi dimensional, a unique plot, this is a great read.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: The Truth of All Things By: Kieran Shields

The Truth of All ThingsThe Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beware of those offering to show you "The Truth of All Things". A great mystery, thriller, with a throw in of occult - you can't miss.

Summer of 1892 proves to be the beginning of a serial murderer choosing his victims very carefully in Portalnd, Maine. Deputy Marshall Kean is hot on the trail noting oddities and calls in the pinkerton Indian half breed Grey to lend a hand. With the help of Dr. Steig and his niece Helen, they uncover the symbols of the killings and just where he might be found.

The killings follow two parts: The Salem Witch trials and The Black Book (a book of dark evil). With the leads taking them two steps forward and one step back, a game of cat and mouse begins only to have a dramatic climax.

Great written characters, main and secondary are very dimensional. A wonderful storyline that captures the reader (I stayed up all night to finish on the edge of my seat).

I can't wait to see more from this author, finding that as this is his first, I greatly enjoyed.

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Review: An Idiot Abroad By: Karl Pilkington

An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl PilkingtonAn Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington by Karl Pilkington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anyone who has seen the Idiot Abroad series or wants to, this is a great companion. If you follow The Ricky Gervais Show, you catch glimpses into "Karl's Diary".

Karl Pilkington has an interesting point of view, I find his thinking proving he is "the round headed buffoon" Ricky accuses him of to idiot savant.

A travel diary made as Karl traveled the seven wonders of the world, and his complete, unedited observations leave you laughing and wondering if he has the voice to say some of the things we think without filter.

Want to get out of your world, the hummdrum, find a laugh, even a ponder - pick this up, you will not be disappointed.

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