Book Review: Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is amazing tour de force that put you the reader in the band, you will get the high and lows, the nitty and gritty, and sights and smells. This books is an immersive experience where you get to know the the artist inside and out. You ‘ll infer the all the songs off the Aurora album and understand the true meaning and inspiration from the words. The style is told as an interview where you get snippets of people recounting the events, some people are more forthcoming with information than others, and rumors and speculation are all apart of the story. This is my second novel I read from Taylor Jenkins Reid, my first being The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I’m awed by her storytelling ability and the way she can draw me into her characters lives and make me care. I love when a hype book is this good the early reviews were amazing and glad that it like Evelyn Hugo has lived up to the hype. I felt the story was heavily influenced by the band Fleetwood Mac, in how they were a band before Linsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined. I can definitely see Stevie in the character of Daisy Jones.

Favorite Quote: We only look like young stars, Because you can’t see old scars. From the song Young Stars

The Plot: Daisy Jones is a girl that lives in the moment, she comes from a rich family, that sort of ignores her, but everyone else she meets seems to be captivated by her. She falls in love with the LA’s Sunset Strip during the late 60’s into the early 70’s as she flirts with drugs, musicians, and singing herself. Brothers Billy and Graham Dunne are upcoming musicians driven to rise to the top of the charts. Billy is a control freak when it comes to his music with and addictive personality. He and his brother create The Six a band with six members and “six” kind of sounds like “sex”. Daisy Jones ends up earning a record contract but is heartbroken when they only want her to record covers and songs she didn’t write. Both their first albums do well the Six do better than Daisy’s. Billy wrote a ballad for the woman he loves among no other. He knows he needs a singer for the duet and the producer of their album also produced Daisy’s and wants her on the track is it kismet or a beautiful disaster for Daisy Jones and the Six?

What I Liked: How hard hitting the drugs and addiction was used in the book to tell a story, the drugs were used to both glamorize and show the destructive nature of addiction and what it does to the body and mind. I love the real places and items that went to the nostalgia of it all that everything fit i to the time line. The character of Warren the drummer as the comic relief, his delivery and just roll with it attitude was great and refreshing. I love hated the character of Daisy Jones, I love how real she felt but some of her choices when it came to addiction. I love the way the story was told as a fictional biography of the band. The story is great and really compelling, there’s even a great twist thrown in. The songs and lyrics are well thought out and fit the overall narrative so well. I could feel the venerability of the characters like in Evelyn Hugo. She still has an LGTBG character not as prominent as Evelyn Hugo but still there and representing.

What I Disliked: The full songs are at the very end of the novel, but I would have liked them to be more ingrained in the story, I felt at least Aurora we should have seen the some in the narrative. I was bummed that the song Honeysuckle was not a song featured in it’s entirety at the end. I understand that the main focus was on the Aurora album, but it would have been nice since it was the fist song together.

Recommendations: This book is fantastic, the flow is amazing, you can read this in one day, it moves really fast. There’s strong drug use as far as content warning, but is shows both side the glamour and the addiction, I believe it show more of the horrors of drug than the fun. If you liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo then you will love this book. Instead of acting the main focus is music. I think I liked Evelyn Hugo just a hair better than this one but both books are in my favorites categories. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. That’s two five star releases in a row from Taylor Jenkins Reid for me I look forward to here next.

Book Review: Dark Age by Pierce Brown

Dark Age by Pierce Brown is epic on every level, this is a novel of loss, sacrifice, redemption, heart break, political moves, and tyranny. This is book five of the Red Rising Saga. This book was so welcomed by me, because I thought that book four Iron Gold was the weakest in the series. This book follows the same format from Iron Gold, where it gives the same five character perspectives Darrow, Lyria, Ephraim, Virginia, and Lysander. This worked a lot better this time around it didn’t feel like all the characters were setting up something for the next novel, there’s a only one that didn’t feel complete, and was a set up story. This novel wrapped up all the stories from the cliff hanger of Iron Gold, and managed to go into new territory and create new problems as the stories moved forward. This book does a great job of showing two characters difference towards the same goal, as a reader they kept making good points and then screwing up there own ideas to beat one another, it was such good character work and plotting. The twist and turns are so good it reminded me of the midway turn in the original Red Rising and the end turn in Golden Son. There’s a lot of character’s too keep up with which was a little daunting since it had been over a year since reading Iron Gold, and two years since reading the original trilogy. This book brings back some characters that you might have forgot about in the original trilogy that you might have forgotten. One character I thought would have made it to Iron Gold but when they do appear it is well worth the wait and the shock value that they’re capable.

The Plot: Darrow has gone to fight a war in Mercury to free more colors from slavery, he had to sacrifice not finding his son Pax in the process. His Wife Virginia the Sovereign has kept the kidnapping under wraps to not alert anyone and for people who want her power to say she’s compromised. She with Servo, who’s daughter was also taken help track who took the kids. Virginia also is trying to gather support for her husband n the unsanctioned war on Mercury he started. Lryia is being tortured by a pregnant Victra, who is Servo’s wife, She does not know she was a pasty and was manipulated by Ephraim. Ephraim downed his ship on purpose with the two kidnapped kids, when he realized who’s hands they were going to and there intentions, but where he downed the ship there people who see a big opportunity to use the kids as a bargaining chip to gain power. Lysander convinced what’s left of the Raa family to make Darrow pay for his huge betrayal and lie in the book Morning Star. He meets with a members of his family to take Darrow down on Mercury. He’s finding out the people remember that he is rightful heir to sovereign.

What I Liked: This is edge of your seat story telling at it’s best. There’s so many twist and turns one person will have an advantage one moment then switch, then find out there was a puppet master in the shadows. The character’s arc in all stories evolve and come full circle. Secrets are revealed that were hinted at in past books making it really rewarding for having read the first 4 books in the series. Every character has an agenda and it’s constantly shaping but it all makes sense. The flow of this book is amazing it does let you catch your breath after a big reveal but not too long because another one is coming soon. The character’s big and side character’s all sound different and easy to separate from one another. A great ending not a cliffhanger like the last one but you know where most characters are headed, and it going to be bloody.

What I Disliked: This is a broken record comment, but with so many character’s if there was some synopsis for the character’s, it would be great, thank goodness for the internet, so I could look up the character’s to know their history in the series, the book usually gets there, and gives a background eventually. Lyria story is still the weakest story but is way better than in Iron Gold.

Recommendations: I totally recommend this series with a little warning about content, this is a brutal story where people are ripped apart, swearing, sex, rape is threatened, radiation rots the people form inside out, and urination on a vanquished foe is par for the course. This is book is rated Young Adult but could really be adult. That being said I’m an adult that loves Game of Thrones and stories where no one is safe and a brutal world. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. my ranking of the series from top to bottom is Red Rising, Dark Age, Golden Son, Morning Star, and Iron Gold.

Reading with My Eyes 500 Followers Post: Top Ten Auto-buy Authors and Book Bloggers Spotlight

Thank You, Thank you, all my followers, and anybody that checks out my post.  I’ve been running this blog for a year and two months, and could not be happier with the interaction I get on a daily basis, with people just excited about books as I am.  (The picture is my girlfriend’s dog Emmy Lou falling asleep next to Cuckoo’s Calling)

What is New on the Blog: Ive had success with my TBR page and making that realistic, so I will have more of the post in the months. My reading has gone up, so more reviews. I’m going to do a couple of book events and singings. I have some good ARC’s too read on Netgalley, I’m almost to the milestone 80% badge.

What Are My Top Ten Auto Buy Authors:

  1. Stephen King: the master of horror, I’m currently reading It, right now, I’ve read 27 novels so far from the man I still have a lot more.
  2. Joe Hill: Who just happens to be Stephen King’s son, I have read novel he has put out and most of his graphic novels. I’m eagerly anticipating Full Throttle his new one.
  3. Riley Sager: I’ve read all three novels published so far, The Last Time I Lied was my favorite book of 2018  and can not wait for his next.  He’s the king of summer thrills.
  4. Brandon Sanderson: This guy is the Stephen King of Fantasy, he writes very frequently usually publishing 2 or 3 novels a year, and each one are great, I love his Mistborn series, and and love what I’ve read so far in the Stormlight Archive.
  5. Pierce Brown: The Red Rising series blew me away just how compelling and beautiful it is, Ive read all his novel’s except his newest Dark Age, which I currently have but need to finish a little novel called It first.
  6. Angie Thomas: I’ve read both her novels The Hate U Give and On the Come Up both were amazing and talk about real issues of the day involving African American’s.  Try not to cry as a father explains to his family his children the rules of not getting shot at a police stop.
  7. Martha Wells: Is one I have recently discovered but am so in love with her novella series the Murderot Diaries, which has an upcoming novel for the first time.
  8. Robert R. McCammon: Is one of the most underrated writers, he’s a master of horror and historical fiction, he is the my number 2 most read author besides mr. Stephen King.  Funny enough I discovered McCammon because Stephen King praised him and his work in horror.
  9. J.K. Rowling: Who doesn’t love Harry Potter, but beyond Harry Potter I love the C.B. Strike series, It has been fun watching her grow as a writer.
  10. Scott Snyder: My only Auto-buy when it comes to Graphic Novels.  What ever he’s doing he makes it interesting and he manages to evolve the character wether it be Batman or Aquaman, I’m in Awe almost every time how he progresses these character’s that have been around for 70-80 years.  The Court of Owls storyline floored me and created a new set of Batman villains instantly.

Since this blog is about me reaching 500 followers, I wanted to tell you other bloggers that excite me and I think they deserve some more fans.

Book Blogger Spotlight:

  1. Paul’s Picks paulspicksdotblog.wordpress.com : This guy will tell you all you need to know in the world of Advanced Readers Copies, he post a review almost everyday, and it never lacks in quality.
  2. OwlBeSatReading owlbesatreading.wordpress.com : Really great post, once reached out to me because of a broken link was sending people to her site instead, really cool and real honest in her reviews.
  3. hobbleit hobbleit.wordpress.com :Really great reviews, constantly reading things that I add to my TBR after her review.
  4. Jonny Pongratz jonathanpongratz.wordpress.com : This guy has a real love for nostalgia is currently reading the Antimorphs series, then wants to start on The Goosebumps series
  5. Sarah hamletsandhyperspace.wordpress.com : Another blogger that reads really interesting stuff and I’m constantly putting books she reads in my TBR.

Thanks every one I hope to do another post when I reach 1000 followers.

 

Book Review: The Passengers by John Marrs

The Passengers by John Marrs is a good Science Fiction book, that feels all too real and ask some pretty big questions. I love a good Science Fiction novel that look at the future and asks should we as a society be questioning this; and that is what John Marrs delivers with The Passengers, as he looks to the future and the dangers of self automated cars driven by A.I., it also looks at the growing power of social media and it’s influence in the future. This book reminded me of the Roger Corman film Death Race 2000 meets Stephen King’s The Long Walk all wrapped in an episode of Black Mirror. This could totally be an episode of Black Mirror for it’s take on society and social media alone. If you have read John Marrs book The One ( The One is being adapted into a 10 episode Netflix mini-series) it matches DNA so find your soul mate, you’ll get an added bonus, with that technology being is a small plot point in The Passengers which works really well on where technology is in the fictional near future. I really liked this book, but I was letdown by the ending, which veered off in a direction that didn’t seem to go with the beginning of the novel, it changed my sure to be 5 star review into a 4 star. I would like to thank Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for giving me the advanced copy for the American release in exchange for honest opinion. The Passengers by John Marrs has already released in the UK and is getting released on August 27 2019 in America.

The Plot: In the near future in Britain all cars have been fully automated making regular cars illegal. The cars now come with a seat that can swivel and media can be played on the windows, the car is operated by voice commands. The car death toll has gone down but they still happen, and have a jury decide who’s at fault for the deaths, Libby is a guest on that panel. Libby is a mental health doctor, that doesn’t trust the cars fully after watching a terrible accident a few years ago wipe out a family. Libby is the only civilian juror, the other jurors are medical professionals, government agent and clergy. So far since starting the panel no death has been the cars fault, the car are anti-hack proof, or so they thought. Today 8 people from different walks of life have had their vehicles taken over by a person on a automated voice calling himself the Hacker. The 8 passengers are all told they will die in 2 and a half hours as they reach their destination. The jury will decide who lives or who dies, Libby’s world is turned upside down when she knows one of the passengers, and the hacker knows about her as well. It’s a taut thriller ride that will put you in the passengers seat for the ride.

What I Liked: This novel does an excellent job with backstory picking and choosing when to reveal more about the characters at the right time. The twist and turns are through out this novel, keeping you the reader on your toes and not knowing who to trust. The humor comes in burst like the hashtag on Libby’s bad shoes as she’s deciding on someone’s fate, and others. Me being a Communication Major I loved the take of social media in the near future. I enjoyed the characters and their ups and downs. The technology of the cars was well thought out, and great twist involving that technology later. The hacker was a great puppet master type villain, until the ending , but until that point great character work. I do like that Brexit is now a thing marked in history as a milestone, that still affects Britain in the future.

What I Disliked: The ending is the only problem I had with this book, it’s not horrible, but it just didn’t fit at all, this novel is a smart tight thriller until the ending that is out of character and has a calculated character make a dumb mistakes and it took too long to get to the ending, once the rising action stops.

Recommendations: Despite me not enjoying the ending this is a worthwhile, often thought provoking novel, that looks at issues that could arise in our near future. I do recommend you check this one out. If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Black Mirror then you must check it out. If you like Science Fiction that challenges future technology, your sure to enjoy this one. I rated The Passengers by John Marrs 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Black Leopard and Red Wolf by Marlon James is an African fantasy novel, that explores a lot in it’s text like the topics of homosexuality, skin colorization, hegemony, disabled, incest, and feminism. Marlon James won the prestigious Man Booker Prize Award for his last novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, and this book is heavy on the metaphors and has gems of great dialogue through out. This novel took me two weeks because of the words used and the way that it is told. The story and fantasy elements are really strong. I loved the story for this book so much. The way it is written especially at first is very hard to get into I felt the same way when I tried reading William Faulkner’s Sound and Fury where you have to piece the story from the metaphor. It took be too about page 100 until I was comfortable to read without going back and rereading. I see this book being one read and discussed in college. I usually save trigger warnings for the end but this does have strong uses that could turn readers off so I will mention them here: graphic sex scenes, graphic language, graphic Violence, rape, incest, and sex with animals ( a couple character’s are shape shifters). This is my second African fantasy novel, my first being Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi, which was very different but both were steeped in culture you can feel.

The Plot: e meet the tracker when he is a man imprisoned and telling stories of his past. His first story is how he went to the land of the dead and brought back a king that would rather be dead than married to the queen, and an enemy he brings back still haunts him to this day. The story then goes to when he was a child and finds out about his past and becomes the Tracker. He was always able to find things by sense of smell, and he find out he can see things towns a way. The first place his nose leads him to is his birth place, where he finds about all kinds of legend and meet Leopard a shapeshifter that can change form leopard to man. He protects children that were born deformed called mingi, with a witch Sangoma. The village is raided for fear of plaque and a dry season the witch place a protection on him that and steal weapon will not pierce his skin. The children for the most part survive, and the Tracker and Leopard become their protectors and eventually find them a home. Another tale that takes up most the book is years later where the Tracker is really known for finding people and children is tasked in a fellowship to find a boy. There’s a huge mystery about who this boy is he’s supposed to protect, this fellowship is not like the Fellowship of the ring these are mercenaries that some have a horrible past the tracker wants to kill one member and might not wait until he finds the boy to do it. Leopard is also apart of it but their trust is broken by something. The Tracker will have to find his own demons to find the boy.

What I Liked: The overall story has so many twist, turns, and betrayals. I have read my share of fantasy novels and the story is one of the better ones, you think you can predict where it’s going but you can not. the last 100 pages changes everything. The story arc of Tracker is interesting at the end of the novel he gets some redemption but character went into place I didn’t always like. Sadogo is my favorite character, a gentle half giant now, but once a brutal killer that sometimes still comes out, such a sad backstory, but a great character. The action is written really well. The settings are vidid and show all the different shade of Africa.

What I Disliked: The story was a little long, occasionally it would retell the story adding little extra in it’s retelling, that happened at least five times. I wanted better descriptions of characters, some James did a really good job but others I just couldn’t visualize. The finger in the butt joke was to frequent. I would have been ok with half the sex, I think it was really important when Tracker was finding himself when he was young, but after that I didn’t need all the graphic details.

Recommendations: I know people that will hate this the sex and swearing will turn them off, but the story really is good so if you can get past all the trigger warnings which are again: graphic sex scenes, graphic violence, graphic language, rape, incest, and sex with animals ( a couple character’s are shape shifters) then the book is really well told. This book is very LGTBQ friendly with its characters. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. This book is mark as book one of the Dark Star Trilogy I will read the second one for story alone, I might have to block out a time when I can easily consume it.

Wrap Up: July 2019 Book Reviews

July is over, another great month of book reviews I read 7 book this month, it was a month of highs and lows that I found a a new favorite series in The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells and one of by most anticipated reads of the month Cari Mora by Thomas Harris was kind of a dud.  I had read A Divided Mind Arc for free thanks to netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. I hit personal highs in having setting a new record of 58 views in one day and and also having my highest month of views.  I think all the new followers that pushed me over 400 this month, and my followers that have grown with me. Thank you, I love this wordpress community of book reviewers so much.

Four Star Reviews:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells – This is the intro to the character Murderbot an A.I. that is self aware that job is to protect humans but is easily distracted my media and would rather do anything else, but darn it all he starts to care about the humans he is supposed to protect.  It add humor and a great insight to the questions of humanity and freedom.

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells – Rarely will I read a series this fast but I was still so interested in the story of Murderbot in his journey for humanity.  This time he journeys back to the place where he started calling himself Murderbot.  He wants to find out why he went on a murderous rampage was it a malfunction or did he willingly kill, and wipe his memory.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – This novel has been on by TBR for at least 4 years, I found out I really liked gothic mysteries with reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, and this did not disappoint. A biographer sets out to find out about a bestselling author that is haunted by demons and ghost of the past.

A Divided Mind by M. Billiter – This was a netgalley read for an honest review. A story about a teenager dealing with the struggles of being a high schooler, on a racing team, and dealing with schizophrenia.  This story is being marketed as a thriller which it is not, more of a how the family deals with this and how a teenager can come of age with this diagnosis.

Becoming the Dark Prince by Kerri Maniscalco – is a short story that adds to the series Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by telling tales from a Thomas Cresswell’s  perspective other than Audrey Rose.  This book is ranked as 3.5 and wets your appetite for Capturing the Devil coming in September.

Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith – A real interesting take on Batman and what would happen if he fell in love, it still has action and humor, that only the creator of Jay and Silent Bob can bring. The graphic novel has a really interesting take on Batman’s trust issues.

Two Star Reviews:

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris the first time in thirty years that Harris has written a story without Hannibal Lector and it is meh.  I felt it was Thomas Harris trying to copy Elmore Leonard’s style with out the character development.  Cari Mora is about a heist of Pablo Escobar’s buried treasure of gold, under his old house in Miami.

 

 

 

Book Review: Cari Mora By Thomas Harris

Cari Mora By Thomas Harris is a heist novel where a band of thieves plot together to steal gold that Pablo Escobar buried under his mansion in Miami. This book felt false from the get go like Harris was trying to mimic Elmore Leonard style novel. He still can deliver brutal shocking violence, and worthwhile the flashbacks, that are the best thing in this book. The style and the approach were really lacking. The novel is named after a character in the novel, she’s the lead barely as she comes in and out but people want to keep involving her, her background was really compelling but after we get her full background I grew a little invested and interested in her character, but she doesn’t come back into the story for another 50 pages or so; Harris does it again with a Detective Robles later. I wanted to like the plethora of characters but I was grasping at straws to find any attachment. It has been 13 years since Thomas Harris has published a book and over thirty years that the book has not featured the character Hannibal Lector. I have only read Red Dragon (which I loved) and watched all the movies and TV shows based on his work he’s proven he can create iconic characters in Hannibal Lector and Clarice Starling, but this book appears a miss, for me and my taste. I do not take pleasure in reviewing a bad novel, and I will always finish a book before giving any opinion it, but this is not a good novel and I know Thomas Harris can do better.

Plot: Caridad Mora is a house sitter bird sitter, and Animal rescuer, she was a former Columbian freedom fighter that fled to the US when her captian was shot and killed on her watch. She stays and takes care the Pablo Escobar’s old place in Miami. The place is lavish and mainly used for movie making and very rich tourist. An old Columbian man Jesus is dying and he is spiling secrets so his family will be taken care of, and he’s in connections with a sadistic Russian murder, Hans-Peter, that sells organs on the black market and loves killing women he has capital and rents the place while digging for the gold. Don Ernesto a Don in Columbia finds out about this and puts his guys in as grounds keepers and pool cleaners. They all fall in love with Cari but want to steal the 25 million in gold. It’s a race to se who can steal the gold and open the safe that Pablo had personally designed so know one can break in.

What I Liked: The heist is is fun and I liked the booby trap on the safe. I loved, the background of both Cari Mora and Detective Robles really interesting really well told, I wish there was more of this writing in the whole of the novel. The action scenes there’s only a few, but I had fun with them.

What I Disliked: How much the story jumped around, it was a pain, and hard to keep up with at times. The style, every time you give a chapter to an animal and their point of view you might want to set that up from the beginning not just be zany. Th bad guy Hans-Peter is so one layered that I didn’t find him interesting. The dialogue was hard to differentiate what character was talking because they all sounded so a like. Having whole conversation in Spanish but not always telling what they were saying was super annoying, I took two years and was able to get the gist but still really annoying. The ending made the heist kind of unimportant, to one character that sacrificed a lot to get there, I felt the character wouldn’t give up that easily.

Recommendation: I would say skip this one, I would not recommend this one. That being said there’s small burst of genius, very small if you’re a super fan you might get more out of it, than I did. I f you did like this please check out Elmore Leonard and see how the master of heist and multiple character’s does it. I rated this book a disappointed 2 out of 5 stars. Reading this did make be want to read a good Thomas Harris Novel so I might check out his earlier work again.

Book Review: A Divided Mind by M. Billiter

A Divided Mind by M. Billiter is a good emotional piece about the struggles of a family dealing with one of it’s children being a schizophrenic. A Divided Mind comes out on July 27 2019, it’s being marked as a thriller and I don’t feel it fits that category, general fiction fits it better. The book does have one or two thrilling moments, but it is more of a think piece that show how an individual and his mother deal with the illness. The novel is mainly told through Branson who has schizophrenia and his mother as she deals with the diagnosis. I was not prepared for the humor in this piece, that really helps with the flow. It sometimes reminded me of a much serious version of C. D. Payne’s Youth in Revolt. I enjoyed this novel and found it very engaging. I would like to think Netgalley and Hot Tree Publishing for giving me a free advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Plot: Tara receives a call from her 17 year-old son Branson that he’s hearing voices as he blacked out and was found with bloody knuckles at school. Tara who is now a single mom thinks it is PTSD of her family surviving her first ex husband who was abusive towards her and her children. Branson is coy with telling people all the details about what he calls “shadow people” that will assassinate people he disagrees with in his mind. The voices have been getting louder and transforming. Tara sends him to a specialist that says it’s not PTSD but schizophrenia. The disbelief is strong and she doesn’t know how to deal, she finds a notebook of her son’s journal and reads all about a girl who has tormented her son, and decides to get revenge as she’s a college admissions officer for the university and creatively makes her not a candidate. Branson life gets more complex as he starts seeing a new person in his life, but are they real or not is what the reader will be asking.

What I Liked: The humor both Branson and his mom Tara have some wit to them in the form of internal thoughts. The struggle of Branson and his other personality be sometimes the only one he can confide in, but also wanting that person gone for his own health. Carson, Branson’s sister, solves so much of his mother’s problems, I loved her character. Dr. Cordova seems like the perfect doctor never rising to any bate of the characters but slipping out a smile when he can’t contain the funny situation or answer in front of him. I loved the story about how the kids were named, and I loved their names. I loved Tara’s revenge plot, and all that things that happened because of it. The cat creature was very scary and written really well and easy to visualize. I really liked the ending.

What I Disliked: The people in Branson’s life our way too accepting. There’s an instance where Branson steals something and a person that don’t know him helps him out, I found really hard to believe. I found it to easy to tell who was real and not in Branson’s mind, but the book acts like this is a mystery.

Recommendations: I will recommend this book as a good emotional sometimes humorous general fiction book. If you’re looking for a thriller you will be a little disappointed, the book is not with some thrilling moments and one okay twist but in my humble opinion not a thriller. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Becoming the Dark Prince by Kerri Maniscalco

Becoming the Dark Prince by Kerri Maniscalco is a novella and book 3.5 in the Stalking Jack The Ripper series. Thomas Cresswell is front and center taking the narrating duties away from Audrey Wadsworth. Thomas is easily my favorite character in the series so I throughly enjoyed getting in his head. This novella throws the reader back on to the RMS Etruria in the midst of the events of book three Escaping from Houdini. Escaping from Houdini was my least favorite of the series so far, that said I really enjoyed this little taste of a story. It does a good job of reminding the reader of the new villain that will be stalking the streets of New York in the new novel Capturing the Devil that releases on September 12th in 2019, it also reminds us of the love that was tested and what has endured on the last adventure to where Thomas and Audrey are in their relationship now. I liked that this story is half retelling from a different perspective and half telling the story of what went on while Audrey was not present.

The Plot: Thomas is first in the middle of book three on the RMS Etruria where Audrey and Liza have just gotten back from the first day of training in the act of the Moonlight Carnaval. Audrey has already made the deal with Mephistopheles so Thomas is dealing with not knowing where he stands with Audrey. Then the story jumps right to the finally and we the reader get to see how exactly Thomas reacted to those events, it was still exciting even knowing the out come. We then get to see how Thomas handled things after Audrey was not present. we get insight in to the conversation that Audrey only overheard bit and pieces with Thomas and Mephistopheles. We also get more insight to the mysterious body in the crate and how it relates or not to the killer of the Moonlight Carnaval.

What I Liked: Thomas’s voice for the story really worked for me all the insecurities and how he starts to count when overwhelmed. The love of Audrey and Thomas is the heart of the story and is written so beautifully. I loved finding out about Audrey’s new cane and all the thought that Thomas put in to it and the dialogue with the shop keeper about Audrey’s knife fights The cane looks so awesome featured on the cover of Capturing the Devil, just like how I pictured it in my head. I really enjoyed the back and forth with Thomas and Mephistopheles. The cover for this fits with the other’s but finally helped me have a glimpse of Thomas Cresswell’s frame.

What I Disliked I would have liked to relive more of the acts leading up to the finally and what went through Thomas’s head when she volunteered after the warnings. I was hoping for a little bit more knowledge of the new killer, and Thomas’s testimony about the Moonlight Carnival Killer.

Recommendations: The story is 99 cents and I feel so worth it as a fan, you will get more insight into the lives of character’s and events. Do not read this if you have not read Escaping from Houdini, because you will know who killer is. I rated this story slightly higher than Escaping Houdini and give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. my best to worst order is Hunting Prince Dracula, Stalking Jack the Ripper, Becoming the Dark Prince, and Escaping from Houdini. I’m more excited now than I was for Capturing the Devil.

Wrap Up: June 2019 Book Reviews

It’s wrap up time for June, and wow did I read some great books this month.  This is the most 5 star reviews I’ve ever given in a month.  I read 8 books this month, which is really good for me.  Two of the reviews Every Locked Door and Aquaman/ Justice League: Drowned Earth were given to me free in exchange for a honest review.

Five Star Reviews:

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – This one was an instant favorite for me.  What sets this mystery apart form all the other’s is the way that it is told.  The mystery gives you 8 days to solve the crime of who murdered Evelyn Hardcastle, the catch is everyday you are a different person full of their own personality and faults.  You can work together with your future selves, but beware two others are playing the same game. This mystery was really fun and sucked me in completely.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – on my half of the year review for books that came out this year, I have this at number 1 so far.  This is a well plotted thriller with no big twist but a lot of really clever small twist and turns that kept adding tension.  This follows a girl who lives in New York desperate for money to help her and her family just get by, ended up sneaking into a college study, and becomes the main test study for a manipulative doctor who desires their own result in a study that becomes very personal for both parties.

Batman: Cacophony by Kevin Smith – Kevin Smith is a write director famous for creating the duo Jay and Silent Bob, he is also a huge proud geek and the owner of a comic book. He is one of the fore fronts of geek culture.  He wrote this work adding great lines of dialogue asking question know  one thought to ask, He expanded on a villain he created in in a run on Green Arrow comics that’s brutal and wants a dead Batman’s cowl for his collection.

Goosebumps: Stay Out of the Basement by R. L. Stine – A great story that plays on a real life scenario of a father losing his job and going a little bit nuts to prove the people wrong.  In this story he’s a scientist and goes a little mad.  Just a fun story with a great ending that is truly creepy.

Four Star Reviews:

Aquaman & Justice League: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder – A fairly good graphic novel with one of my favorite writer’s Scott Snyder.  Aquaman and the Justice League have to deal with alien gods of water that want to see Earth drown, and it’s citizen’s becoming sea creatures that they can control.

Three Star Reviews:

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – This review hurt a little I’m such a fan of Riley Sager’s other two novels Last Time I Lied and Final Girls and remain so but this story of a hunted hotel had me wanting a lot more. The novel is still a page turner in terms of flow and the set up.

Alice by Christina Henry – This is the most divided I’ve been on a review in a long time. On one hand I found the plot a bit stilted on the other I wanted to find out where this went and was awed about some of the changes to characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Goosebumps: Monster Blood by R. L. Stine – A haunted “flubber” like substance causes a lot of problems for teenager Evan and his dog Trigger.  This story seemed to have no direction and the ending was wrapped up to conveniently.