Dear Readers, May was a great month for reading I read 8 books this month. I read all the books on my TBR and added 1.  My ratings for this month were really mixed I had 3 books that were five star, 3 that were four star and 2 that were three star. This month I did read my favorite novel that has been published this year with The Island. I read 2 science fiction/ fantasy, and 2 horror this month. I read I completed all the books written in a series so far, but more will be written, talking about the High Republic middle grade series. I started a 12 book series DMZ and continued reading the Harry Bosch Universe series, the original Goosebumps series, and the Sword of Truth series. I read  3 advance reader copy books (thanks to Netgalley).  In a personal note I got married this month and got covid for the first time, so it was an odd double whammy.

Five Star Reviews:

The Island by Adrian McKinty is an intense, page turning thriller that does not let up until the end. The pace for this book is rapid pace even when the book as its rare slow moments, it’s still interesting. This book is suburban mom with step kids meets Rambo. The thriller aspect is so intense, but I also have to commend McKinty for his analysis of the family unit, I have never read a trophy wife quite like this. It’s one thing escaping backwoods killers, but you have to parent kids that are closer in age to you than you are to your husband. The twists are great, there’s not too many but they make them have impact. The scary thing thing in this book is the rational of desperate people scrabbling to make sure they keep their independence. The setting of the untouched island off the coast of Australia has that stranger in a stangeland quality, where the family has to not only escape but deal with the elements and wildlife of the Outback that they have only read about. This book is getting a lot of hype and advertisement; it is great to see it lived up to it. The Island is in my top 5 books of the year. I read this book thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company. The Island by Adrian McKinty is published on May 17 2022.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a great novel about family, relationship, and history. I don’t know if I would call this book historical fiction even though most of it takes place in the 1980’s no major historical events happen but you can feel the decade in the narrative. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s gift is getting to care about characters so fast, I don’y know how she does it but I’m drawn in almost instantly, and the same thing happen with Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The theme of directions and history repeating it self was layered through out, there was a subtitle passage about one character not turning a blinker and it is because at that moment his life has no direction. This novel is an emotional ride, there’s so many highs and lows like a surfer’s wave. The narrative bounces between the past and the present, we see the patterns and the life repeating itself in the past then in the present. The Climax was really well and focused on the right story, it didn’t wrap up every thing in a bow but you were left with a feeling the character would be okay.

A Night in Terror Tower by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 27 in the original order. This book has a lot of good scares both imagined and real. The books plot goes to places now Goosebumps book has gone before. This is the first Goosebumps book set in England. The pacing for this book is good it draws you in right away. The twist is really clever, and the climax is is pretty nail biting for a Goosebumps book. Scary moments are a stream of sewer rats, being lost in a foreign country, some following you, grabbed by a skeleton, and thinking you fell on a dead body. Something that is totally 90’s when the kids are in trouble they don’t have money to use the pay phone, thanks cell phone technology, I remember being that kid

Four Star Reviews:

Hide by Kriersten White is a game of hide and seek in an abandoned amusement park with deadly consequences. This book was not marketed as YA but the writing sure felt like it, I know White is known for her YA works. Some things dipped in to the adult along with the language but the writing format was very YA. I think this book can me enjoyed by both audiences, it makes great observations on privilege and generational gap amongst families and what they value. The story had good twists and turns. The narrative follows the 14 contestants, one person that helped organize it, and journals that feel in the history of the event. The story flows well and increases the intensity as the contestants get lower. The villain is best when not described. The plot was really clever and overall really liked where the story went. I wanted a little bit more from the ending but was still satisfied. The story features LGTBQIA+ characters that were represented well. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for the advanced reader copy of the book. Hide by Kiersten White is published on May 24 2022.

Black Ice by Michael Connelly is a dark mystery taking place in Los Angeles and will travel down to Mexico to solve. Black Ice is book two in the original Harry Bosch series and book two in the expanded Harry Bosch Universe. This mystery is pretty compelling and full of twists and turns. The final twist is really memorable, I read this book 15 years ago and still remembered elements of the final twist. I liked this book quite a bit more than the first book. This book dipped more into police corruption, dirty cops, and the breaking of the laws for the means to an end that Bosch expanded on from the first book. Bosch as a character is so compelling, and is a joy to read his exploits. The pace is for this book was good at first then hit a lull when he arrives in Mexico, it picks back up to give a worthwhile end. The mystery was good but it did go into head scratching territory in Mexico for a bit everything was explained at the end but it took a while

Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind is book 6 in The Sword of Truth series. It is the continuous tale of Richard and Kahlan and how they fight oppression and tyranny in their world. This novel is an ode to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, We find out the villain that has been at war with them through 4 books was a Communist, and we see how the villain home town runs. I have mixed feelings about this narrative, the end worked really well but at some points it felt like agenda writing and took away from the story, and even inserting verbatim Ayn Rand quotes. When showing tyranny and how the system of works, it is good, but the hard left turn one of the best villain of the series does feels forced to get you to read about a communist society. The ending was super exciting with lots and twist and turns. The flow of this book was one of the best one of my biggest complaints in Goodkind is not switching perspectives enough but this book was the best so far and really kept the story going.

Three Star Reviews:

Star Wars: Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland is the 3rd book in The High Republic middle grade series. All the stories in the High Republic ( 200 years before A New Hope) are weaved in to fit this world. So far in the High Republic Series I have read 2 of the adult novels, 2 two of the YA novels, 2 of the graphic novels and with this book 3 of the middle grade novels. I’m pretty invested in the story telling for this series and have been intrigued where the story has gone. Mission to Disaster follows Vernesta, Imri, and Avon all characters that were established in A Test of Courage the first middle grade book in the High Republic. I was happy to see these characters back. The book starts off with excitement making be really excited, but then the story fell a little flat. The Avon scenes really steal the show and as a reader I wanted more of her, having just watched Obi Wan she reminded me of a young sassy Leia. Vernestra and Imri scenes were just okay some interesting scenes but as a whole just okay. There’s a small amount of action the Ice Gators fight was a stand out, but the other major battle scene the bad guys kind of run away. I reviewed this book thanks to Netgalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide, Disney Lucasfilm Press. Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland was published on March 1 2022.

DMZ – Volume 1: On the Ground by Brian Wood with Art by Riccardo Burchielli is a graphic novel that asked what if there was a second civil war and the island of Manhattan was the demilitarized zone on which the war was fought. The Art and story are unique as they take a photo journalistic style to telling the story. The story is a stranger in a strangeland approach where the war has been going on for 5 years and an intern with a news agency gets thrown into to be a photojournalist when the star anchor is killed on set down. The story reminded a lot of the Kurt Russell movie Escape from New York as you see landmarks like central park totally changed to fit this new urban environment. The plot is all about raising awareness for the people still living in the demilitarized zone that are casualties of the war. The overall story is good but it feels like a string of vignettes than the story having an overall arc.

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