The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk is one crazy story that connects a serial killer, a foley artist, con men, and a grieving father of a lost daughter. If you have ever read anything by Palahniuk who is most famous for writing the mind bending Fight Club, you know you will experience something totally unique and that is what is delivered here, a story I cannot imagine anyone else producing other than Palahniuk. The writing is very good, Palahniuk makes some of the craziest observations; also he knows his history when it comes to sound editing, you will come away from this book knowing a lot about the interesting world of foley sound; which is the creation of fake sounds in movies. The cover features a watermelon getting split open which is the sound used for a skull cracking in movies. This book is mind bending, as it will make you the reader ask is this real, is this a drugged out fantasy, is this mental break, or is this a dream. I would read something in this this story and ask that question and read a little further to find out if it was real or not. There is some readers who will driven mad by this, I for one enjoyed it because you who always get the answer on what was real. This wasn’t my favorite Palahniuk which is Choke and Lullaby but it is up there for me. Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader Copy. The Invention of Sound is Published on 9-8-20.
The Plot: Gates Foster lost his daughter 17 years ago, when she was only 7, he has spent that lifetime wonder if she is alive or dead. Lately he has been obsessed with child predators and working on tracking them down like a vigilante. On a plane he has a breakdown, swearing he heard his little girl call for him. he then accuses a fellow passenger of being a kidnapper because the girl looks so much like his daughter. A friend of a local support group for kids that have died early bail him out. Mitzi is a foley artist known for creating a realistic scream, she learned the technique from her dad and has since taken over the business. Gates Foster is on the brink of madness when he realizes where he heard the his daughter from a movie, is he paranoid, crazy, or is he on the right track to discovering the truth about his daughter.
What I Liked: the twist, there’s so many, and it keeps changing you perception of people. The history of Sound design I found really interesting, me, having worked on a couple of independent short films doing foley sound, loved the history, and how it was told. The flipping back and forth from Mitzi to Gates works great while they’re stories don’t intertwine. The uniqueness of the story is so refreshing for some one who reads so much, I had no way of knowing where this story was going, and just enjoyed the ride. The wild subplot about the conmen, I don’t know if it is was really necessary to the overall story but man was that plot crazy.
What I Disliked: Flipping back and forth between Gates and Mitzi while they are in the same place, listening to different things was super confusing for no reason. Why wouldn’t you just listen together.
Recommendations: I recommend this crazy, crazy, story. If you enjoy stories that are wild ride that you can’t predict, then this is the story for you. The story is mainly mystery, which too my knowledge is Palahniuk’s first, even though all his stories have an aspect of mystery. I rated The Invention of Sound by Chick Palahniuk 4 out of 5 stars.
Hello dear readers, Last month was a great month for reading for me, I read 12 books this month. I read 4 advance reader copies all from Netgalley. My reading was all over the place this month, I read 4 horror (Yes I’m counting Goosebumps as horror), 1 nonfiction, 2 mysteries, 1 young adult, 1 general fiction, and 2 graphic novels. I read some books of quality 3 five stars, 5 four stars, and 4 three stars I would like to thank everyone who visits, views, and interacts with my readingwithmyeyes site. Happy reading to all.
Five Star Reviews:
The Living Dead by George A Romero and Daniel Krause is a great zombie epic! It’s scary as hell, in its graphic descriptions that make you see, smell, hear, and even taste the gore. Please take my advice, and don’t read while eating for the first 200 pages. This novel is so much more than just a gore fest, it there is heartbreak, love and betrayal. The Living Dead is a morale tale that asks, what is living really? Is it a person going through the motions more glued to their phone than the real world? Or is it a Zombie that longs for a connection. This book is a huge 600 hundred pages, and I was entertained the whole time. From the Master of Zombies who started a craving for the undead in the 1960’s when he wrote and directed The Night of the Living Dead. The Living Dead comes from an unfinished screenplay. Thanks to netgalley and Tor books for the advance copy that was published in August.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman is a nail-biting horror story full of suspense. The horror isn’t in the monster but what the sight of the monster will do to the human. Malerman to his credit never describes the monster, and leaves it totally to the imagination of the reader. The monster’s sight will make the watcher full of rage and for most be driven to commit suicide, by any means necessary. We spend most of this story in the dark, literally, as the only way the creature is effective is through sight, so character’s cover their site through blind folds. The only way they use their eyesight is it every window is covered and know exactly who is in the house. This novel makes a simple task of going to the well to get water a suspense filled ride where every bump or trip hazard could mean doom.
The Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps books number 11 in the original series order. This book was good sort a revenge plot gone bad. Carley Beth is scaredy cat, tired of everyone picking on her because she gets scared buys a mask that scares people but the mask is haunted and can’t be removed. This one is actually pretty scary for a Goosebumps book. The monster mask’s voice that the mask puts out and the personality attached is kind of terrifying. ” I’ll eat you up!” was one of the lines, too scared kids.
Four Star Reviews:
The Guest List By Lucy Foley is slow build thriller filled with lies and secrets bursting at the seems. A wedding party on a remote island, what can go wrong. A scream to the sight of murder is what starts off The Guest List. By the end you will know who is murdered and who the murder or murders are. The book is told through 6 perspective wedding guest each with his or her own secret and motive. It’s a fun who done it? Where “you” the reader get to play the detective.
The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi is about murder stories taken place before World War II. The Eighth Detective is a story within stories, it works as both a short story anthology and an over-arching narrative. The novel is very clever in the way twist are laid out, the end is filled with so many twists they actually where’s out their welcome. There are 7 short stories in this novel all involving murder and a mathematic formula to make a murder mystery work. The short stories are borrowed from mainly Agatha Christie stories. Thanks to Netgalley and Henry and Holt Company for granting me a copy. The Eighth Detective was published on 8-4-2020.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell is a great book that made me think after I finished about my own outliers. An outlier is described as a scientific term to describe things or a phenomena that lies outside normal experience as described by Gladwell. The book is smart but written really well, that it is easy to follow. I was blown away how easy Gladwell will break down a person’s history so easily.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a beautifully written Young Adult novel dealing with class struggles, growing up, the sacrifices we make to keep family together, and love. This novel was written 6 years ago I was warned it had a good twist, but was not prepared for what it was, and it makes this beautifully written novel mean so much more. The words used flow like poetry, the stories with in a story are great and act as metaphors for what is going on. This is not a book that was on my radar at all so thanks to the book blog community for the rave reviews that got me to take a chance.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 2 by Brain Buccellato is action packed has improved it’s writing since last volume. This is the second to last Graphic novel in the series, and it’s starting to take direction for a pretty epic Batman and Superman fight. iI’s great to see this series, which I have stuck with for 10 volumes so far get better under him and go into the epic ending I wanted for the series.
Three Star Reviews:
The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry is a modern day fairy tale set in the 80’s. A town is cursed by a monster that lives in the woods is it a serial killer or something more. This book is creepy it is a combo of the original Pied-Piper tale, that lead children away with his tune, and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in a totally 80’s world. I’ve read a lot of books about the 80’s recently, and I feel this book nailed the grime and dirt of the 80’s; the rampant smoking underage, the cool cars, the mischief of parents letting kids run wild through the neighborhood, and the torn/ripped jeans. The Ghost tree had a great opening scene that carries the book, there’s clever writing about the curse on the town and the towns people. I wanted a little bit more from this novel than I got. I would like to thank Berkley Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced copy. The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry is published on 9-8-20.
Florida Man by Tom Cooper takes a look the mythos of the crazy stories surrounding the various news story dubbed “Florida man.” This novel is awfully hilarious in it’s character studies of Floridian rednecks, Cuban refugees, and American Indians. Most of the stories involve sex, drugs, violence, theft, and sometimes all four. The novel spans for the 1960’s to present spending most of the time in the 1980’s. The novel has its problems, but it is filled with so much charm, it’s hard not to fill somewhat satisfied when I finished it. Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for giving me a copy for review. Florida Man by Tom Copper is published on 7-28-20.
The Ghost Next Door by R. L. Stine is book ten of the original Goosebumps series. This one is rarely scary, I predicted the twist very early on, but I ended up liking the ending that saved this from being the worst Goosebumps. The scariest thing is to see the elevation of peer pressure and dares. There is a shadow creature that’s a little scary, is it real or imagined? There are no lame jump scares that are usually littered through out Goosebumps books. This one is more tied to the first Goosebumps movie with Jack Black than anything else; I liked how they used the character of Hannah better than this book.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato the action gets to a quick start, thanks to guest writer Tom Taylor’s short story in the the last volume, where all the prisoners that Superman had captured were released on a prison break. Superman and team works on recapturing them, but in some of those criminals he sees an opportunity. How do you break the Bat, with the only man that has done it before, Bane. Lex Luthor’s secret clone with superman’s DNA rises, and we witness the birth of Bizarro who is being manipulated by the Trickster. This volume is filled by great ideas, but the execution is really lacking.
The Guest List By Lucy Foley is slow build thriller filled with lies and secrets bursting at the seems. A wedding party on a remote island, what can go wrong? A scream to the sight of a murdered body is what starts off The Guest List. By the end you will know who is murdered and who the murder or murders are. The book is told through 6 perspective wedding guest each with his or her own secret and motive. It’s a fun who done it? where you the reader get to play the detective. This was my first Lucy Foley book, she came on my radar after last year’s The Hunting Party, which I want to read now. I have to say I wasn’t blown away I guessed early who the killer or killers would be and were right, there were some details that I did not get right that kept it enjoyable for me. After you know who the murder or murders, there’s still a little bit more like are they going to get away with it and I liked that bit.
The Plot: On the a storming evening there is a black out on the wedding night, when the lights come on there is scream from the island of someone finding a dead body. We meet all the main players of the wedding, the uptight control freak bride Jules, the charming TV star groom Will, the university dropout Jules’ sister and bride’s maid Olivia, the estranged party boy best man Johnno, the stay at home mom and plus one of Charlie her husband and Jules’ best friend, the wedding planner and Chef Aoife and Freddy, and four of Will’s drunk best mates from boarding school, Duncan, Pete, Femi, and Angus. That’s the guest list, list of suspect, and also list of possible murder victims.
What I Liked: The perspectives of the six individuals worked really well, I only got confused once, and it was for a short time. The setting of Cormorant Island comes with its own haunted past and adds to the isolation of being trapped. I enjoyed learning all the secrets and how some strangely connected. The ending was really good how one character ended up getting a comeuppance for their part in a secret that hurt others even though they were not involved with the murder. Good writing keeps this from not being a typical murder mystery.
What I Disliked: I was able to guess the murderer or murderers pretty easily, I t just made the most sense, like I said in my first thoughts it was still interesting, but I kind of wanted to be wrong.
Recommendations: I would recommend others check The Guest List out. If you like a good Murder Mystery and train wreck of secrets all coming out at a secluded island than this is the book for you. I compared this book to Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Woods, which I rated similarly. I rated The Guest List by Lucy Foley 4 out of 5 stars. I will definitely try to read The Hunting Party when I have a chance.
The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi is about murder stories taken place before World War II. The Eighth Detective is a story within stories, it works as both a short story anthology and an over-arching narrative. The novel is very clever in the way twist are laid out, the end is filled with so many twists they actually where’s out their welcome. There are 7 short stories in this novel all involving murder and a mathematic formula to make a murder mystery work. The short stories are borrowed from mainly Agatha Christie stories, I’m sure for legal reasons the story could not mention her by name. The short stories are good with some being great, but I enjoyed the conversations after the stories more, where the story is broken down and discussed. Thanks to Netgalley and Henry and Holt Company for granting me a copy. The Eighth Detective was published on 8-4-2020.
Favorite Quote: “Chess is a cheap metaphor. It’s what men use to talk in a grandiose way about conflict.”
The Plot: Grant McAllister, a professor of mathematics, worked out a theory thirty years ago about how to create the perfect murder mystery stories. After the theory was published, he quietly wrote a book of 7 short stories testing the theory called The White Murders . The book has came and went, but now 30 years later a young editor Julia is interested in republishing the book and wants access to the Grant McAllister who lives a quiet life away as a recluse. Grant is real iffy on his past not really wanting to discuss it. They start reading his short stories and breaking them down after exposing little truth and some he can’t or won’t answer like the similarity in the title and the real murders called The White Murders.
What I Liked: The conversations on the breakdown of stories are so good. The first short story is really good and immediately had me hooked. There’s one short story that takes place on the remote island after the aftermath of one of my favorite Agatha Christie stories And Then There Were None. I liked this one it intrigued me because it would be so hard to figure out what happened, and the perfect place for murder. This story was the only direct clone the ending’s of The Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd are part of the perfect endings. The language and lines of dialogue are good and through out the short stories. The main twist is really good with how clever it is.
What I Disliked: The first thing that intrigued me was the comparison to the White Murders, it’s kind of answered but I wanted more facts. How do you not think or acknowledge Agatha Christie in the Foreword or Afterword. I thought at the end there was too many twist that did not involve the short stories we just analyzed.
Recommendations: I’m going to barely recommend this one, the short stories for the most part are good and the conversations after are even better. If you like classic murder mystery that involves thought and deduction and not forensics then this novel is for you. You’re never going to be as good as Agatha Christie but it is still enjoyable. This book is getting unfairly compared to The 7 and a half Murders of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton who reinvented the murder mystery and told it in a unique way, the Eighth detective just has a unique telling. This was another hard review for me to place, I kept going back and forth between 3 and 4 stars, but eventually settled on a number barely making it to the threshold. I rated The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi 4 out of 5 stars. I will look for Pavesi books in the future, I see a lot of promise in the writing.
Hello dear readers, July has come and gone. This month I was able to read 10 books. 2 books were advanced reader copy thanks to Netgalley, 5 were from one of my favorite Graphic Novel book series Locke and Key, books that have made my favorites list off books read in 2020 with The Sun Down Motel and Home Before Dark. I read one of the weirdest books ever called Antkind written by Charlie Kaufman. I can’t wait to share some of these mini reviews with you.
Five Star Reviews:
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a nonstop thriller that mixes elements of a ghost story with a mystery. The pace was nonstop from the beginning, and did not let up as it reached the climax. The story is really fun, I enjoyed finding out more about the ghosts and why they haunted the Sun Down Motel. The twists are plausible and well thought out to fool the audience. This book has been hyped recently, and I have to say I really enjoyed it, it doesn’t reinvent the genre, just tells a good story in a way that is easy to read and picture. I recently put this book as number 2 in my favorite of the year so far.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is a top-notch thriller wrapped in a ghost story. Home Before Dark reminded me of why I love Riley Sager so much, good writing that for the most part keeps me guessing while adding that level of believability, that it could happen that way. I felt like this book was a good return to form after I was let down by Lock Every Door which was released last year. Home After Dark offers two accounts one of a book written 25 years ago that is a nonfictional ghost story called House of Horrors that written by Ewan Holt that tells of the Baneberry House haunting of him and his family; the other is Maggie Holt that was five at the time of House of Horrors returning after 25 years to see what was real as her family won’t speak of the book.
Locke and Key Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill and Art by Gabriel Rodriguez is the book that I have been waiting for finally getting a flashback to the past, one to colonial times where we get the origins of Keyhouse and the keys. There’s another flashback that will change everything you thought you knew about the villain, Zach/Dodge, and his origin. This book is easily my second favorite since the beginning. There’s a really good opening that had me hooked from the start. It wrapped up a lot of story lines and made complete sense. Stuff that was hinted at in the beginning got to become full circle. Almost every question I had was answered with great explanations.
Locke and Key Volume 6: Alpha and Omega by Joe Hill art by Gabriel Rodriguez. It’s the series finally, the Omega Key has been found and we know what opening that door will bring, creatures from another world that possess what they touch, but if the door is somehow closed, every creature has magic metal that can be used for more keys. I liked this one, a fitting ending; one of my favorite characters’ bit the dust. I do like that there’s a twist in Dodge’s end result, his plan wasn’t as obvious as an army; it’s more than that.
Four Star Reviews:
Wedge’s Gamble by Michael A. Stackpole takes the X-wing pilots out of the X-wing and has them go undercover on Coruscant. Wedge’s Gamble is book two in the X-wing Saga series that is a part of the Star Wars Legends series ( Star Wars Legends is a division that was considered cannon, but with The Force Awakens not following the trajectory of The established novels they were called Star Wars Legends). The last X-wing novel Rogue Squadron review, I used a Tom Cruise movie to describe it as Top Gun, this novel I would describe as Mission Impossible. Wedge’s Gamble refers to two things a plan to bring criminals from Black Sun to give the Imperials trouble on Coruscant and the undercover operation to take down the twin shields.
Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 by Joe Hill with Art done by Gabriel Rodríguez is a graphic novel that will open minds literally. This is my second time through the series, now that I know the ending, it fun piecing it together knowing all the character’s pasts and knowing all the keys and where they are hidden.
Locke and Key: Volume 3 Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill art done by Gabriel Rodríguez This is a smaller story filled with a really long action piece and the rest is filled with long conversations. There are three keys discovered in this one, the giant key which makes you turn into a giant, the crown of shadows key, which has a key go into a crown which lets you control shadows, and the fix it key which can fix broken items in a cupboard, but can not fix the dead.
Locke and Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Jill and art by Gabriel Rodriguez was the best story since the first volume, but the art was one of the weakest. This volume has guest artist Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbs do an issue, which is great at first I felt it lost the seriousness the previous books had set. I will say this has one of the most fulfilling climaxes I read in a long time, where everything goes to hell all at once and things are not the same
Three Star Reviews:
Antkind by Charlie Kaufman is a truly out of this world adventure about a film critic experiencing and trying to remember a film that last 30 days. It consumes him and his dreams as he figures out what was the film and what was his life. The book relies heavily on how film affects the watcher, and that the film can become a part of you. This book is deeply funny mind trip that only the writer of such films as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind could write. This is Charlie Kaufman’s first novel and it is a doozy. This is the kind of novel that I think could be heavily discussed in college literature classes, because there’s a lot to explore and debate about, what is part of the film and what is a dream?
Two Star Reviews:
Mayhem by Estelle Laure is a send up to the 80’s with a story about feminism and powerful versus powerless. This story is a mash up of plots from 80’s and 90’s movie plots Lost Boys, Sleeping with the Enemy, and The Craft. The results should be amazing but instead a lot of formulaic plot with ideas on feminism throughout that only take root at the end.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is a top notch thriller wrapped in a ghost story. Home Before Dark reminded me of why I love Riley Sager so much, good writing that for the most part keeps me guessing while adding that level of believability, that it could happen that way. I felt like this book was a good return to form after I was let down by Lock Every Door which was released last year. Home After Dark offers two accounts one of a book written 25 years ago that is a nonfictional ghost story called House of Horrors that written by Ewan Holt that tells of the Baneberry House haunting of him and his family; the other is Maggie Holt that was five at the time of House of Horrors returning after 25 years to see what was real as her family won’t speak of the book. This book is high suspense with more twist than a Tilt-A-Whirl.
The Plot: Maggie Holt has just been called to her father’s will reading. Maggie’s dad is infamous because he wrote a book 25 years ago called House of Horrors about him and his family buying their first home the Baneberry house. The family only last 25 days as they were haunted by ghost. Maggie has asked her father and mother many times through her life what was real? What really went down? Even on her father’s death bed when asked all he could say was he’s sorry? Maggie is shocked when goes to the will reading and the Baneberry house is in the will to her. She still can’t believe he had it in his name still for 25 years, and shocked further still when she finds out her father visited one day everyone of those 25 years. Maggie who is in real estate plans to fix up the house and sell it, while also investigating what is real or not. Maggie unearths secret after, secret, was every word written true? or a clever lie?
What I Liked: The twist were really good I had a couple of the theories, but all were proven false, I liked the end. The narrative of bouncing back from Maggie to her dad’s voice was a little disjointed at first but I really enjoyed it as we would learn more about what was true. I liked the conspiracy theories that came out of the ending. I liked Maggie and the closure she got at the end. The snake scene is terrifying, both of them. I loved the ghost aspect.
What I Disliked: Petra and what was theorized especially in the beginning, and the justification being how much she is in the book, but she’s barely in the book. I thought there was going to be more than one alone time with Ewan, but that’s it. I liked everything else but I wanted more scenes of Ewan and Petra together.
Recommendations: I really enjoyed this one it’s a good mix of horror and mystery. The twist are good and through out, which makes for an easy fast paced read. This was my second favorite out of four that Riley Sager has written, and already can not wait until next summer to read another one. He remains the king of summer. I rated Home Before Dark by Riley Sager 5 out of 5 stars. Since I have read all other books written by Riley Sager here’s mr order of best to worst: The Last Time I Lied, Home Before Dark, Final Girls, and Lock Every Door.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a nonstop thriller that mixes elements of a ghost story with a mystery. The pace was nonstop from the beginning, and did not let up as it reached the climax. The story is really fun, I enjoyed finding out more about the ghost and why they haunted the Sun Down Motel. The twists are plausible and well thought out to fool the audience. This book has been hyped recently, and I have to say I really enjoyed it, it doesn’t reinvent the genre, just tells a good story in a way that is easy to read and picture. This is a fast read that was a breeze to consume one afternoon.
The Plot: In 1982 Vivian starts working the nightshift at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, NY. The town is quiet but it has a string of missing and murdered young women, and Vivian is the next victim. She has been missing for 37 years when Carly her niece travels to Fell to investigate. She always knew her aunt was missing, but upon her mother’s death, she finds old news clipping about the crime that her mom would never get a straight answer. Carley’s investigation cause her to live in the same apartment as her aunt and take a job working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. Carley discovers secrets of ghosts old and new. Carley wants the truth, but she may risk her life to get it.
What I Liked: I loved the ghost and their personalities. I love how focused this novel was, I felt no scene was wasted. I like the flipping back from 1982 to present day. I liked how the personalities of Vivian and Carley complimented each other. I liked the roommate Heather, how she still powered on after her panic attacks upon investigation. I loved the investigative photographer and the role they play in everything. This novel was about female power and I loved it!
What I Disliked: After the climax the wrap up took a little too long, but It didn’t effect my review too much, since I was so entertained by 90% of the story.
Recommendations: This is a really fun thriller that delivers. The narrative is easy to follow and the pace doesn’t let up. I wanted a decent mystery and I got a ghost story that is surrounded by a mystery, which was more than I expected. I rated The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James 5 out of 5 stars.
Hello dear readers, May has been quite a month. I managed to read 6 novels this month, I have worked over 50 hours every week this month, so I’m calling that a win. . I read one reread. I read two 5 star books. I read one graphic novel, where Wonder Woman kick Superman’s butt. I read one new release, thanks to Netgalley. I read a couple books in a series. Thank you.
Five Star Reviews:
The Cartel by Don Winslow is one heck epic book, the story takes place over 9 years and makes you feel like you lived it. You experience the lives of heroes and villains in a drug war gone bad in Mexico. The book in fiction but is heavily researched with real events added to the story to give it an authentic feel. The Cartel is the second book in the excellent Power of the Dog series. I gave Power of the Dog the first book in the series five stars as well, it is highly recommended.
What Lies Between Us by John Marrs is one crazy book that you can’t predict or put down. Characters flip from being good to bad, as the reader learns more secrets. This book has some of the most cringe worthy scenes, not because of gore or anything horrid, but because you are reading about a character that keeps digging themselves into holes. This is family dysfunction at its finest. What would it take for you to chain your mother in her room? The answers come quickly but the reasons behind them stay buried in lies.
Four Star Reviews:
Long Bright River by Liz Moore was a slow burn mystery that uses a real town and the topic of addiction, to make this mystery compelling. The slow pace reminded me of In The Woods by Tana French and The Widow by Fiona Barton. The mystery is not as good as it could have been and takes a backseat to addiction, but addition and the characters that are dealing with it are what make this novel stand out.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 1 by Tom Taylor, adds a little magic to this volume of Injustice. It was just a matter of time until magic got brought in, with magic being Superman’s weaknesses besides kryptonite. I’m not to familiar with Justice League Dark characters, but the Batman / John Constantine dynamic really plays off each other well.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato is a change from original writer Tom Taylor. The first issue in this volume is probably my second favorite since the first issue. In this issue Superman dreams what if Lois lived instead of died, having Batman kill the Joker to protect Clark, as he say where the Joker almost took him. This volume concludes most of the Justice League Dark’s involvement. Constantine leaves in a really clever way.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato is one action packed volume that pits the old Gods of Myth Zeus, Hera, Hermes and more against the new Gods Superman, Wonder Woman, and more in a fight with deadly consequences. Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to revive Wonder Woman and Superman from a magic induced sleep, we learn the terms of that deal in this volume and the consequences that come with it. Batman also makes a deal with Athena (the God of War) who is playing both sides for more war. Superman and Wonder Woman fight, and man is it epic.
What Lies Between Us by John Marrs is one crazy book, that you can’t predict or put down. Characters flip from being good to bad, as the reader learns more secrets. This book has some of the most cringe worthy scenes, not because of gore or anything horrid, but because you are reading about a character that keeps digging themselves into holes. This is family disfunction at its finest. What would it take for you to chain your mother in her room? The answers come quickly but the reasons behind them stay buried in lies. This is the second novel that I have by John Marrs, last year I read Passengers about driverless car taking 8 people hostage to murder them as people choose who lives or dies. Passengers rifted me while What Lies Between Us rocked me to my core. A huge thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for letting me read a novel that has taken my top spot in favorite books of 2020. The screen writes were picked up by Renee Zellweger’s production company, which would have a juicy role as the daughter who chains her mother, while exposing a lifetime of secrets and lies. What Lies Between Us is to be published on May 15th 2020.
The Plot: Maggie is believed to be a shut in that relies on her doting daughter Nina to get her through her days, then the chain is revealed. Maggie is not a shut in by choice. Her daughter Nina has been chaining her up in the attic which she soundproofed for two years. Nina is convinced her mom murdered her father years ago, and is determined to lock her up, in replacement for the last 21 years of her life since her father disappeared.
What I Liked: How crazy this novel got, there were many times where I was astounded of the places this novel went. There’s so many twist, I guessed a couple of them, but there were sometimes twist on twist. I enjoyed the ending, I felt like everything wrapped up in a very messed up bow. Never have I been so back and forth with characters, you will read one thing and be like Maggie had a point and then read another where I was like how could Maggie do that to Nina. The back and forth go almost to the end.I liked the side character of Bobby and how he fit in to the mother and daughter fight. The party scene was one of the most cringe worthy scenes I’ve ever read, and I kind of loved every minute of it. The scene was like a slow train wreck, you just have to watch. The way this novel was written getting into Maggie’s and Nina’s heads was perfect and helped explain a lot about the characters and their motivation.
What I Disliked: There was disappearance scene that the police don’t have a suspect, and we know the last text that go the person there and an incident that happened just weeks before the disappearance, I found it very unlikely that this character would not be the main suspect. The police go to the house but there were all these red flags that the police wouldn’t be ale to overlook. I hate that we never knew how high Jon was during the incident, or didn’t look into his appeals. I didn’t like the cover, it looks mediocre.
Recommendations: I really connected with this thriller and could not put it down. The only thing I would caution readers with is the characters given their reasons remain mostly unlikeable. I can still love a novel even if the character’s are difficult to like, but I know some can not. I think this is a can’t miss thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I did not want to stop reading. I rated What Lies Between Us by John Marrs 5 out of 5 stars. So far this is my top book of the year.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore was a slow burn mystery that uses a real town and the topic of addiction, to make this mystery compelling. The slow pace reminded me of In The Woods by Tana French and The Widow by Fiona Barton. The mystery is not as good as it could have been and takes a backseat to addiction, but addition and the characters that are dealing with it are what make this novel stand out. The novel isn’t a fun read it stays pretty serious while staying on the dangers of addiction and the effect it can have on those around you. This is not a novel of big twist, but tiny little ones that build up. I was glad to be wrong on my guess of the killer, and that twist was pretty good. Paula Hawkins wrier of The Girl on a Train and Dennis Lehane writer of Mystic River praise Long Bright River on the cover in blurbs.
The Plot: Mickey works as a cop in the Kensington, Philadelphia, a town where she grew up. Kensington is a placed rocked by the opioid crisis, it effected her mom, her father, and her sister. She doesn’t remember much of her parents who passed away when she was young, and raised by her Grandmother Gee. Mickey and Kacey had the same life but she became a cop and her sister a junkie prostitute. Mickey stumbles into a case of a dead young hooker, that is the start of a serial killing. As more girls off the street start showing up dead, her sister Kacey has vanished. Is it she the next victim, or is there something else? Mickey risk everything to locate her sister before it is too late.
What I Liked: I liked the characters, Mickey, Kacey, and Grandma Gee are all well rounded characters with real problems. I liked the way the opioid crisis was handled in the book. The look on addiction and the link of heredity was really great. I loved, loved the final scene of this book it nailed theme of addiction starting early so hard, that scene will stay with me a little while. I liked the look on community and how they come together and try to help. Kensington, PA is a real place with a real crisis, but the city is portrayed as broken down but still with a heart that I admired. I have had friends and family that have gone through addiction some have lived through it while others have succumbed; which made this story very relatable to me.
What I Disliked: Liz Moore chose not to use quotations on any lines of dialogue, which I found really distracting and had to read some passages over to understand it. This was a writer or editor’s choice but it didn’t work for me. The serial killer’s plot fell to the wayside for too long, I thought it could have dealt with that storyline together with addiction. The serial killer’s was not really compelling and didn’t do really anything to hide it.
Recommendation: I really think the character’s over the mystery make this novel one to check out. I found the difficult subject right on point and very real, which kept me reading. I think this book will allow addicts to look at what they put people that love them through, while giving the people that take care of them more insight into why addicts are addicts. I rated Long Bright River by Liz Moore 4 out of 5 stars. This was my first Liz Moore book, but I will soon check out more.