Book Review: A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins is back! I was not a fan of Into the Water but a big fan of Girl on the Train. This is a pretty compelling mystery about broken people. Each of the characters had something horrific that makes them all capable of murder if it was the right person which makes this mystery good and hard to find out who did it. There is no big twist but a lot of little twists act as the embers to A Slow Fire Burning. I guessed wrong on who I thought the killer was, but was okay with the killer and the outcome. My favorite character was Irene who is no nonsense and the only character with morals. This is a very fast read that sucks you in with the little twists and cliffhanger chapter writing where you have to keep reading. Everyone is connected through someone in this story, at first it was dizzying trying to keep up with all the connections, and then the book slows and let’s you really get to know the character’s making them hard to forget and formed a better link to the way the character’s connected to one another.

The Plot: Daniel is murdered on a house boat. A week before his mother died of natural causes, or did she. Daniel is discovered by a nosey neighbor, with a history with the family. She see’s two women A young woman seen fleeing with an arm bleeding and another woman that could be his older lover. The body is discovered 26 hours from death making opportunity for even more suspects.

What I Liked: how fast paced this story is from the get go. I liked that it did not take me long to get hooked. I can’t stop gushing over Irene, she was my favorite, I did used to work at a retirement home and have known a couple Irene’s. I liked the little twists, it answered all the loose ends, except one, which I will talk bout in my dislike section. I like that Hawkins made fun of her writing with in this story. The finale was fun and wrapped up nicely.

What I Disliked: is that Irene makes a discovery about two characters and how they are linked, the reader has already found the secret out, but I was bummed that nothing comes of it. It is discovered one night and never mentioned the next night. The beginning will make you dizzy as you sort out all the characters and who they are related too.

Recommendations: This book is a return to form for Hawkins, after I was disappointed by Into the Water. I recommend you check out this fun little mystery/ thriller. I have read all 3 Paula Hawkins novels and A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins I rated 4 out of 5 stars. Not as good as her debut the excellent Girl on the Train but a fun mystery that will keep you guessing.

Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is insanely good. The book has a twist that will change you world and open yourself to a new way of thinking. This is one of the best well rounded stories that I have read in some time, everything fits and it does not feel forced. The big twist is explained and all the loose ends are tied up so well. What is cool about the big twist is if you pay attention and open your mind you can figure it out, I was back and forth on what was coming guessing some parts but not all. I’m going to be vague on my plot details because this book is best not knowing too much. This book will be compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl because you get the big twist and still have a lot of book left to explain it. This book is a book that was hyped early for reviewers to read, and I’m glad to say it has earned it’s hype. There are parts of this story that will stick with you for a while. It is being marketed as a Horror but is more of a psychological thriller with elements of horror, it leans to Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs in mixing genres. The story is great you will have a couple character’s where you switch to loathing to loving them because they are so misunderstood. Trigger Warnings: child abuse. I was lucky to get selected to read The Last House on Needless Street early by Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is published on September 28 2021, right before October which is the perfect reading month for this book.

The Plot: In a boarded up house on the end of Needless Street bordering the woods lives a large man Ted who is haunted by a controlling mother, Lauren his teenage daughter that goes away for weeks but no one ever sees leave, and Olivia the bible reading house cat that will not be messed with. live a quiet unobserved life until a new neighbor moves in with and agenda to get into the house and open up the secrets inside.

What I Liked: Olivia the bible reading cat has so much character i liked being in that character’s head. The twist is pretty great I couldn’t put everything together but it was a great twist that was explained really well. I love full circle story telling and this is a great example of how it works and every secret is revealed and all connected. The different perspective story telling we get the views of 6 to seven characters who are all unique and I was never confused as to who’s head I was in. This story is dark but the humor which is mostly provided by Olivia the cat is great and served as a good break on the heavy. The afterword was interesting and unique since it went into detail how Catriona Ward came up with this story and how she made some choices. I was hooked from the start with this book because Ted the main perspective is so guarded. This story is dark but it has a lot of heart to it, there is a great I understand now moment. I liked what was done with the street at the end.

What I Disliked: I did feel that the wait was too long to find out what went on with Ted and “the dates”. I thought the book could have had better cover art, for how awesome this book was.

Recommendations: I haven’t been this surprised by a novel in a long time. Do yourself a favor and check this book out. Stephen King says”The buzz…is real. I’ve read it and was blown away. It’s a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end.” I have a feeling this is going to be a book people will be buzzing about. I haven’t liked a book this much in quite a while. The book is really fast paced and a great read. I rated The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward 5 out of 5 stars, I will definitely be checking out more books from this author.

Book Review: August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe

August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe is a mind trippy horror that involves past trauma and dreams that can effect reality. The novel was fast paced and has some scenes of horror that will get under your skin. This book reminded me a lot of the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell meets the villain from Joe Hill’s N0S4A2. This book has a lot of fun pop culture references, and little bits of odd humor. I liked and cared about the main character John or Johnny still being tormented by a mistake he made as a scared kid that represses in his living dreams. This book is pretty brutal and not for everybody with trigger warnings of rape, abduction, and child abuse, book doesn’t go into crazy detail but enough to unnerve the reader. I want to think Glenn Rolfe who reached out to me on Goodreads and asked if I would like to read his book. I want to think Flame Tree Press and netgalley for providing the book to me. August Eye’s by Glenn Rolfe was published on August 17th 2021.

The Plot: When John was a teenager he saw his friend Ethan get abducted into a van and was so terrified about it he repressed it. John now has these dreams where he is a young teenager with two other boy’s one with out eyes called August and anther boy called One Eye who has you guessed it one eye, they play in a graveyard land. The dreams scare him but also comfort him in some way. In real life John has a job which he hates, a great wife, after 2 failed pregnancies their relationship remains strained, his best friend is Pat a 16 year old neighbor kid with a mohawk. The dreams start feeling more real when his dream starts getting scary and in real life John sees a van that terrifies him and feels like it is watching him.

What I Liked: I looked the talk about different books both nonfiction and fiction. I liked the moment of wicked humor. John was a great character that I could identify with, a man trying to good but sometimes royally screwing up. August and the twist with his character was really good. The climax was done really well and was a satisfying ending. The dream scenes were my favorite and always interesting. I loved all the pop culture references to the 90’s during the flashback and the modern day pop culture.

What I Disliked: The plot line between Sarah and John and the tries for pregnancy, never felt like it belonged in this story. I wanted something that dealt with John’s repressed trauma, and tied it in to the story better. I do not like the cover art for this, it should have been spiders coming out of eye holes in my opinion.

Recommendation: I recommend you checking out August Eye’s if you are in need of a good horror that will trip your mind a little bit. The trigger warnings of rape, child abuse, and abduction will keep some away but if you can stomach those things then this is a solid horror with a heart. I rated August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe 4 out of 5 stars.

Goosebumps: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine is book 20 in Goosebumps original publication order. This is one of the scarier Goosebumps stories the nightmare scene is pretty terrifying. The story is good and focused as it ramps up horror at the end. The characters are more memorable than most Goosebumps stories, especially Stanley that is similar to Forrest Gump, but with a twist. The twist at the end is good and fits the sorry, even if it is not going to be memorable. The story is the first one that takes place on a farm and R. L. Stine plays with the isolation of that. In these reviews I always have to point out everything that is so 90’s Mark plays Nintendo’s Gameboy and wine about how much he wants his MTV for music.

The Plot: Jodie and Mark make their annual summer trip to their Grandparent’s farm., but this time when they visit things have changed. There’s no scary stories at dinner time, and no chocolate pancakes for breakfast, just plain corn flakes. Stanley, the grandparent’s simple helper is content but he does keep muttering to himself the scarecrow walks at midnight. This sticks in Jodie’s mind when she looks outside into the field; is the scarecrow trying to get off his hook or is that just wind? Jodie and Mark will out what goes bump in the night.

What I Liked: The nightmare about people Jodie knows having painted on cloth faces chasing her around. That nightmare is super scary and I could visualize it really well. I loved all the sound words used to add tension. Stanley is a get memorable character. I liked the flow of the story. I like the superstition book. I liked how the mystery unfolded of the scarecrows.

What I Disliked: That the plot is an extortion plot and when it’s all over everything is back to normal even though the person was not possessed and still has access to the spell book.

Recommendations: The Scarecrow that Walks at Midnight is by far one of the more scarier stories, the plot has some holes, but for the most part the book flows really well. I will recommend you read this story, it should be read aloud while in a field with a campfire and a scarecrow behind the kids in sight distance. I rated The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L Stine 4 out of 5 stars.Here’s my full ranking of the 20 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, Welcome to Dead House, Monster Blood II, The Girl who Cried Monster, Deep Trouble, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood, And You Can’t Scare Me!.

Wrap Up: August 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, August was a crazy month, finally getting settled into my first house.  I read 5 books this month. I read 2 books over 600 pages, 1 graphic novels, and 1 new releases thanks to netgalley. I Read 2 book from a book series the third book of the Sword of Truth series Blood of the Fold and Star Wars: The High Republic series book 2 for adults the Gathering Storm . I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and one 2 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.

Four Star Reviews:

Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is the Second novel in the High Republic (which take place 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope) books for adults. This novel takes place mere months after after the event in Light of the Jedi. All those character that were given brief intros in Light of the Jedi, are finally able to be fully realized character that you can get behind. We follow Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, and Elzar Mann as our main Jedi characters the villain is the same except more brutal and powerful, there’s only one new character of note Ty Yorrick a former Jedi that as avoided the order at all cost is confronted by one of the order. This book has a good flow and was quite a page turner. The book has some moments of epicness, but the main plot takes care place at a fair, and I’m sorry there is nothing too epic about that even if the fair is more like the World’s fair. This book has been my favorite of the Star Wars High Republic books so far.

Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind is Sword of the Truth book 3 of 11. Blood of the Fold is pretty epic there is two twist in the story that I was not expecting. The book has a nice opening then starts setting things up for the book to finish in a pretty epic 200 page climax that doesn’t stop. This book will not do any synopsis of the other two books, it will remind you of a few things with some characters but other’s it will leave it up to you to remember. On a couple of character’s I was like have I met them yet; then as I read okay they did this and this in the last one. I do like that both the bad guys were set up in the previous books you might not have known their name but knew they where a threat by people they commanded.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 by Stan Lee is a lot of long form spiderman tales with the most beautiful artwork to date. This volume contains the small first run of The Spectacular Spiderman which only ran 2 issues. One of the book is black and white pencil drawings that are just beautiful with Peter Parker looking closer to what he looks like today. The big issue in this volume is the return of the Green Goblin, which has been building up for sometime, and leads to a big finish with the Green Goblin being the only enemy that knows Peter Parker’s true Identity. The other notable issues are the battle of the two Vultures, and an epic Mysterio which was my favorite two parter issues so far in the series. We get to find out what happened to Peter Parker’s parents, and how they died. Mary Jane gets a perm, and it is not pretty. Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 collects issues of The Spectacular Spiderman (1968) 1-2; The Amazing Spider-Man 62-67 and Annual 5.

Two Star Reviews:

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is not really a retelling of Little Red Riding more of cash in the popularity of retellings. There’s a girl named Red who wears a red cape and a Wolf in the woods sort of, those are the only things in common with the fable. The story was an almost DNF, the beginning is really slow and the world building is hard to understand, but I stuck to it and it did get better. This novel is being set up as a series and was happy to see that in the epilogue the story is heading in the most interesting direction. Neve, Red’s sister, really steals the spotlight ad I thought was the far more interesting character.

Book Review: For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is not really a retelling of Little Red Riding more of a cash in the popularity of retellings. There’s a girl named Red who wears a red cape and a Wolf in the woods sort of, that is the only things in common with the fable. The story was an almost DNF, the beginning is really slow and the world building is hard to understand, but I stuck to it and it did get better. This novel is being set up as a series and was happy to see that in the epilogue the story is heading in the most interesting direction. Neve Red’s sister really steals the spotlight ad I thought was the far more interesting character. I will list some of my own bias for this story and take this what you will – I don’t like blood magic, let me rephrase I don’t like magic that is released by cutting wrist hands, and this is the only type of magic being released. For me it is a bit of a trigger warning, I said the same thing in my review Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) Adeyemi, Tomi, I don’t think it effected my review but I just think my reader’s of my review should know. I ended up liking the history of the Wilderwood not at first but how it was explained about midway through. The ending was exciting and well thought out. I did love the bond of sisterhood aspect in the story the most.

The Plot: Red and her twin Neve are on different paths, Neve is the heir to me queen as she was born first and Red being the second sister of twin is to be sacrificed to the forest and the wolf in a chances that the five lost Kings will return. The woods are haunted and only let the Sister with a mark through. Red is still haunted by the one time she was in there before. Neve fights with her mother the queen not wanting Red to go, but the queen will not listen and send Red to the forest as Neve plots to retrieve her sister and will go to extremes to get her back. Red finds an old house the the forest led her to then closes up once she there then finds the wolf (who is not a wolf at all or someone that can even turn into a wolf that tells her to leave, red after the big ordeal is stubborn and says she’s staying. Red finds out the forest is indeed haunted with shadow people who possess trees and that Red’s blood is special and the forest wants it, where the Wolf’s blood keeps the shadows away.

What I Liked: The bond of sisterhood is a theme through out and I love it. I really liked Neve’s storyline and the sacrifice she’s willing to make to save Red. The legend of the Wilderwood was really good when fully explained. The ending was both exciting and emotional, I enjoyed the lead up to it as well.

What I Disliked: Blood magic cutting your self for one spell is okay but cutting yourself and fling blood multiple times, not for me. The action, the magic, and the exposition scenes were really hard to follow especially at the beginning. It did try to throw in elements of Little Red Riding Hood it could have easily thrown in something, but no attempts.

Recommendations: This book starts off as a dud then gets a lot better at the end, not enough to give it a recommendation to read. This book already has a sequel called For the Thrown I think the book is heading in the right direction, I might be interested in trying the sequel sometime. I rated For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten 2 out of 5 stars it was close to two and a half stars.

Book Review: Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind

Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind is Sword of the Truth book 3 of 15. Blood of the Fold is pretty epic there is two twist in the story that I was not expecting. The book has a nice opening then starts setting things up for the book to finish in a pretty epic 200 page climax that doesn’t stop. This book will not do any synopsis of the other two books, it will remind you of a few things with some characters but other’s it will leave it up to you to remember. On a couple of character’s I was like have I met them yet; then as I read okay they did this and this in the last one. I do like that both the bad guys were set up in the previous books you might not have known their name but knew they where a threat by people they commanded. This book introduced a couple of characters that became instant favorites Cara, Raina, and Berdine. Mriswith are a crazy new enemy or friend that are deadly and scary. The book is mainly about Richard and Verna adventures, Kahlan and Zedd are more secondary characters and don’t appear until half way, which was the book’s big flaw. The book does give some interesting characters to follow the Leader of the Blood of the Fold, Some Sister’s of the Dark and two surprise characters.The books flow could have been a little better in the middle but when you get to the 200 page finish it is almost forgotten.

The Plot of Wizard’s First Rule: Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.

The Plot of Stone of Tears: The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.

The Plot for this book Blood of the Fold: A funeral is held at the Palace of the Prophets for the Prelate and the Prophet. They were burned by Sisters of the Dark who have infiltrated the Sisters of the Light. Sister Verna who is the a good Sister of the Light and a friend to Richard Rahl the Seeker of Truth, is set up to be the new Prelate she doesn’t know if this is for real or a trick of the Sisters of the Dark, the prophesies foretold that the false Prelate will destroy the Palace of the Prophets. She believes this to be free when she unravels a conspiracy that makes the prophesy come to pass. Richard having just came from seeing Kahlan and confirming she is alive when the world thinks she is dead. Richard waits at the Mother Confesser’s temple and fights the Mriswith a deadly snake like creatures that he saw and killed in the old world but has never seen one in this world. The Mriswith have now started to plague the land, they are being lead by something Richard must find out. Richard has started to embrace the Rahl part of his name he believes that the only way to unite the Midlands is be the supreme ruler, with all of Midland under his rule. He tries for peace by strong arming The Blood the Fold leader, the very same man who thinks he murdered Kahlan, but the Mriswith help him as their ruler wants him to live, and has a purpose for him. The ruler is known as the Dreamwalker and quickly takes over the Sister of the Dark and the Blood of the Fold, he wants Richard defeated and the Palace of the Prophets to be his especially the slow aging spell attached to it. Richard and Verna must fight the Dreamwalker on to different fronts.

What I Liked: How Epic the finale was it was battle after battle, and some really good twists. One of the twist was really great and set up so well. It was kind of two twist inone but I loved the ultimate reveal. The Mord-Sith characters wee my favorite and my most excited about reading further adventures of them. This books has some great moments of humor that really land, it has a joke about breast that had me crying. The only character that has any real development is Richard and is great seeing him try to me a sympathetic dictator until he’s forced to be ruthless but for good, it was a crazy balance. I liked the final development with Gratch. This was my favorite end in the series so far.

What I Disliked: The flow in the middle got a little slow as things were over analyzed a little too much. I rolled my eyes everytime Gratch says he Loves Richard, i his Gratch -like voice. The novel repeats itself a little much but less than the sequels.

Recommendations: Blood of the Fold is a good book third book, it ends some storylines from the Stones of Tears, expands some storylines, and creates new storylines, and a possible new villain. I would recommend not taking as long as I did to read the second to the third, 10 months is too long and this book doesn’t do any favors for the reader just getting back in the story. I rated Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind 4 out of 5 books.

Book Review: Falling by T. J. Newman

Falling by T. J. Newman is an okay thriller on an airplane. The novel does feel authentic like you the reader are getting insider information on how the flight crew works. The author was a former flight attendant and Falling is her debut. This book has moments of thrills but it felt pretty formulaic too me. I would say this book is Airframe by Michael Crichton meets a decent James Patterson thriller. I think if you read this novel it should be on a plane, because that will amp the fear, and you couldn’t help wonder what goes on behind the door of the flight deck. You will come out respecting your fight attendants and the job they have to do. I think this book is getting over hyped, it is good but not great. Thanks to Netgalley and Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster for giving me access to Falling early. Falling by T. J. Newman is published on July 6 2021.

The Plot: Airplane Pilot Bill has picked up a flight to the disappointment of his wife Carrie who will miss his 9 year-old Son’s first baseball game of the season. After Bill leaves his family is kidnapped my Sam, who wants Bill to gas his passenger’s and crash the plane. Bill is in flight when he finds this out, the terrorist warn there is a mole on the plane that will let the terrorist know if anything is wrong. Bill confides in Jo his lead flight attendant that has been with him since the beginning of his career. Jo agrees to help, she also conveniently has a nephew that works for the FBI, she text him about the situation. Bill must think of something while not letting his co-pilot know, Jo must think of a way to keep her and the passengers safe from a gas attack, and the young FBI agent must save bills family.

What I Liked: I loved Jo the flight attendant so, so, much, she did remind me a lot of Nana Mama from the Alex Cross series, they could me cousins, but she is the stand out character. I liked the bad guys were bad but they were trying to make a point about there country and the war that we pulled out of despite our alliance to the Kurdish people. I like how fast this novel starts, and it was very easy to read. I makes you think and see plane travel a little differently.

What I Disliked: Some of the flashbacks were not needed at all and didn’t add any insight. I was waiting for another twist, but it didn’t happen. The plot was fairly straight forward. The biggest piece was we were missing the thoughts of a passenger to elevate the fear, we have action from the passengers but not thoughts, and they were needed badly. The action was a little hard to follow.

Recommendations: I think that falling is a run of the mill thriller, but I can see that reading it on a plane will ratchet up the thrill of it, so if you read this book I would recommend it on a plane. This book is getting over hyped right now I read it based on recommendations from Don Winslow and Lee Child. Falling is author T. J. Newman’s debut and I saw some decent characterization, so I will read the next novel from T. J. Newman. I rated Falling by T. J. Newman 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is a tearjerker about two of America’s harshest times The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression. This Historical novel uses real events and puts here character’s through tragedy and triumph. This novel can easily get compared to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, but teaks it giving it a new perspective what if Tom Joad was a single mother with kids. The perspective changes everything the character of Elsa want to breakdown but is strong for her and her kids. This is a novel that you will want to thank your mother after for all that she has sacrificed for her children’s happiness. This book will make you teary eyed as you go on a journey looking for a living wage. This book will also make you mad at how our fellow men and women are treated and some still treated this badly. The Four Winds drew me in right at the building as I connected with young naïve Elsa and her fairy tale visions of love. The story is grand character development taking a character so naïve and at the end making her so worldly that she almost can’t trust her fellow humans even when they’re trying to help. The novel is a bumpy road with so much heart that you fell every slight and every helpful gesture. Hannah will get in to the soul of her characters and take you with them. This novel does have a little controversy, because it does feature communist, and person raring to go, but this novel is not a secret convert to communism. It has a communist character and another that becomes convinced to rally. You might find yourself going that communist had a point 80 years ago. If anything this book is slightly pro-union, but then again under the circumstances and working conditions that was the smartest choice, and the only real option. But still this book didn’t change my view on unions some are good and some are bad.

The Plot: Elsa is 25, gawky, pale, and tall and lives in 1920’s Texas her family has all but given up on her finding a husband. They call her ugly in not so many words and show her no love. Elsa’s family is well off and spends most her time reading and dreaming of love. She reads is influenced to put herself out there and sneaks out to a bar. She meets a man in Rafe who calls her beautiful and makes her feel it. Rafe is Italian and her family would instantly disapprove. She goes to bed with him not knowing this can cause pregnancy and finds herself pregnant. When her family finds out; they find the man and his family responsible, drop her off, and disown her. Elsa who has lived high society has to become a farmer’s wife and fast. She finds out Rafe didn’t really love her but was more infatuated with her but will marry her. The novel skips a head 12 years in the middle of the great depression and the start of what is known as the dust bowl. It has hit the family hard with no work and no way to farm, Rafe thinks their sanctuary lies in California where they hear the rumor of all these jobs. Elsa wants to tough it out, but Rafe can’t, she’s losing him and her daughter Loreda everyday it doesn’t rain. Will Elsa leave land that is bought and paid for, for the promise of work?

What I Liked: How well these characters are developed. Hannah does not shy away from the difficult conversations. I liked how real this novel felt, how raw the emotions are. I came away learning a lot , I knew about the dust bowl and how hard it was to get work but I didn’t know the discrimination the would be workers felt. I did not know the ties of Communism to the labor movement and unionization. I liked how this story would evoke emotions out of me, and to the credit of the author she did not milk scenes for emotional impact, but would sometimes be blunt and the death explained later.

What I Disliked: The time jumped a little too far in the future the first time, I would have wanted to see the true beginning on the dust bowl and how the character’s reacted to it.

Recommendations: This book is a fantastic read that hits you hard and brings the emotion. The history may not be one hundred percent right, but you feel the history of the era and the hard times. This novels feels very authentic. I rated The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah 5 out of 5 stars. This is the first book I have read from Kristin Hannah and it will not be the last.

Book Review: Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club 2 By Chuck Palahniuk Is a very meta tale told in graphic novel form. The first book was written as a novel, but the follow up was written as a graphic novel. This follows the film Fight Club over the actual novel. I prefer the film but this novel fall in too much fan service and too meta. The original novel had a way different ending than the book, where the narrator’s bullet actually killed him, and people still call him Tyler Durdin in Heaven, the film the narrator survives as Tyler dies and watches the effects of project mayhem as bank building crash and burn and he sees Marla in a different light. Chuck Palahniuk as a character talks about how Tyler has gotten in to pop culture and there for lives, and we see that the narrator was in a coma but survives and Tyler with him. Palahniuk brings everyone back, Angel Face, Robert Paulson, and even Chloe. Each character is brought back with a surprising twist. I liked some of the ideas brought on but others fall flat. The ending is way too out there and meta it is a bit of a cop out. The art and how the story uses the visual to tell that story is one of the best but the story just was just okay. It does make me want to watch the Fight Club movie again. Fight Club 2 collects issues 1-10 of Fight Club 2 by Dark Horse Comics.

The Plot: The Narrator who now goes by Sebastian is a boring video game designer to a call of duty like game, he is married to Marla and has a son now. He takes a massive amount of pills to keep Tyler away. Marla is bored and tired and starts going to groups again, this time sickle cell anemia support group where she tells the story of how she met Sebastian and fell in love. She longs for the excitement that Tyler brought in life and in the bedroom. Marla gets a plan to replace Sebastian’s pills with sugar. She gets the one night of passion she craves but their house blows up the next day with their son inside. Marla reveals everything and needs him to remember, he goes to a shrink he’s been seeing weekly to look for answers, but the shrink is a follower of Tyler and has been hypnotizing him so Tyler can take over and lead. He got Sebastian’s son out before it blew up and is keeping it safe. Sebastian starts putting the clue together and destroy’s his face and goes to a fight club for answers. Marla uses the only thing she can her support groups and make a wish grants to help find her son. This is a wild adventure with Tyler pulling the strings.

What I Liked: Marla using the support groups and make a wish to go to all these crazy locales. I like Chloe coming back her character was the only return that I really enjoyed. The character of Marla, Sebastian, and Tyler’s were still so perfect. I liked when Sebastian was play fighting with his son he hits him in the ear, and we get the same reaction Tyler gave to the narrator. I like that fight club has grown to all various club’s I did get a kick out of Write Club the most. The art is so good I love how it nailed the closeups it made it feels very cinematic.

What I Disliked: Robert Paulson coming back, it was not necessary and was the jump the shark moment in the book for me. The book was too meta, I liked the subtle things about the film and Brad Pitt, I liked the first time when Chuck Palahniuk character was asked what happens next, but when it keeps coming back to the writer and he was involved in the entire finale it was too much and stayed over it’s welcome. I was kind of a screw you to people that have taken to the character of Tyler saying, the character is mine and mine alone.

Recommendations: This is a hard one there’s some good ideas, but the bad seem to outweigh the good I’m sad to say. The art is beautiful and will keep you entertained when the story does not. I can not recommend Fight Club 2, to the people that will read it anyway I hope you’re not disappointed like I was. I rated Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk 3 out of 5 stars.