Wrap Up: December 2019 Book Reviews

Hello Readers, December is done and gone as well as the decade. I have already written my best of 2010 -2019 check it out! I have had a fair amount of comments about my number 2 pick of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 which is really fantastic and King’s best work in years it was nice to see the reading community behind that one because I did not see it on too many Best of the decade list. I read 5 books this month one five star book that made it on to my best of the year post at number six. I read one advanced copy thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron Books.

5 Star Book Review:

The Wanders  by Chuck Wendig – a novel that is an epic tale that manages to balance the worship of both technology and religion, while throwing in the end of the world as we know it type scenario. An epidemic has started in America that make people start sleepwalking but can’t be woken, their family members at as shepherds guiding them to their final destination, when and where ever that will be. People don’t know if they’re angels or devils. This Novel is written in the vein as Stephen King’s The Stand.

4 Star Book Reviews:

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix – a fun horror read, with the best cover ever, resembling an 80’s VHS cover, that dips into eighties nostalgia and at it’s core is about real friendship. This novel knows what it is and has fun with the tropes it sets. Think of this novel as a an adult version of Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine’s Fear Street both of the novelist got their start in the 80’s and had a formula for just how far the novels will go. This novel borrows off of it but where those books won’t cross a line, this novel does it with glee.

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean – a bleak tale of survival involving eight kids and three adults stuck on an island made of black rock in the Wales. The story is based on a true story, with a lot of fictional license taken. The novel can’t help but remind me of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, as young boy’s are thrust in to adulthood but still have the pressures of fitting in. Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for the advanced copy.

3 Star Book Reviews:

Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole is the Top Gun of the Star Wars novels. The novel is about X-Wing missions after the Empire has fallen. The space battles are well crafted and even if this wasn’t Star Wars the war games are strategically sound and well thought out. This is the first of the X-Wing novels that follows Wedge Antilles and the Rogue Squadron who in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi defeated both the Deathstars. This one was really more of a three and a half star review, the ending was just okay, but there’s some good character work.

Rocket Raccoon and Groot is a marvel comics graphic novel, featuring the unlikely pair from Guardians of the Galaxy. This novel features Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Rocket Raccoon) #1, Rocket Raccoon #5, Marvel Universe Guardians of the Galaxy#1-2 and #5, and Groot #2. This collection is best when it is just Rocket Raccoon and Groot. They very cleverly use the only phrase Groot uses which of course is “I am Groot”. I bought this for my nephew for Christmas, and just wanted to do a content check, if it was appropriate for a 7 almost 8 year old. Which I felt it was it’s fun and has good artwork which is all he cares about.

Wrap Up: Best Books Read in 2019

Hello readers, what a great year of reading this year. I ended up reading 77 books this year with 30 being published in 2019, I’m going to do a top ten of books published in 2019 and a top five of books read this year but not published in 2019. I look forward to reading and comparing every one’s list while expanding my TBR.

Top 10 of books published in 2019: (one through five were so hard to place)

  1. Recursion by Blake Crouch – This book was so mind minding and trippy, A cop is exposed to FMS (False Memory Syndrome), a new epidemic plaguing the world, where people start to remember a different lifetime of memories other then their own which is driving people insane and doubting if the life there living is real. The book really stuck with me and made me think long after it was over. It won the Goodreads choice award in Science Fiction.

 

  1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides –A woman is found in a catatonic state as she is covered in the blood of her husband, who had been shot multiple times, a psychotherapist believes he is the only man to make her talk again. A fantastic debut thriller, with a twist ending that changes everything. This book is a little Hitchcockian with the added bonus of a Greek tragedy that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you know the truth.

 

  1. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This is the follow up to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo another 5 star review from me.  This novel had sex , drugs, and rock and roll, a great character piece that examines the good and bad of people living the rock and roll dream. Daisy Jones and the Six follows two rock groups rise The Six a good rock group that’s not great, and Daisy Jones the solo artist, with a soulful voice, that wants to write her own material but does not have the clout. They come together when Billy the lead singer of The Six writes a duet and needs a female singer, he never planned on her joining the band and that’s what happens as we get to read about how the group only put out one record.

 

  1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – on my half of the year review for books, I had this book at number 1.  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.

 

  1. Dark Age by Pierce Brown – is epic on every level; this is a novel of loss, sacrifice, redemption, heartbreak, 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. So this was a much-needed return to form. The Red Rising series was one of my favorites of the decade. The plot is too big for a quick summary to do any justice.

 

  1. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig – a novel that is an epic tale that manages to balance the worship of both technology and religion, while throwing in the end of the world as we know it type scenario. An epidemic has started in America that make people start sleepwalking but can’t be woken, their family members at as shepherds guiding them to their final destination, when and where ever that will be. People don’t know if they’re angels or devils. This Novel is written in the vein as Stephen King’s The Stand.

 

  1. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding – a modern day Grimm’s Fairy tale a new mom has her twins go missing and when they are brought back she’s convinced that the twins are not her’s and have been replaced with evil ones.  The writing make your skin crawl with it’s descriptions and the pace is a fast read.

 

  1. Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh – a really good thriller with an amazing tag line, The Serial Killer is not on trial, he’s on the jury, that made me have to read it. This novel reminded me of the early James Patterson novel.. The twists and plot is very clever, there’s a couple twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but was pleasantly surprised.

 

  1. Violet by Scott Thomas a creepy, dark, horror, about an imaginary friend that’s all too real. This one was trippy but also had a lot of heart. The story is a slow burn with an exciting climax, and a meaningful epilogue that puts a nice bow on the story.

 

  1. On the Come Up By Angie Thomas – The follow up to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. In this story we follow a young up incoming female rapper, as she tries to make it in the rap game and still keep her voice.  It is both coming of age and thought provoking. Not as good as The Hate U Give but another fantastic story that has it’s own unique voice.

My Top 5 Books Read, but Not Published in 2019:

  1. The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – This one was an instant favorite for me.  What sets this mystery apart from all the others 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. You have no idea where this story is going at the end, it is such a fantastic ride.

 

  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins – This was a great novel easily one of my favorites, I was drawn in to the story so quickly. I enjoyed this one over this year’s release of Daisy Jones and the Six.  I like how it used the life of Marilyn Monroe combined with Elizabeth Taylor to develop a story of love, betrayal, secrets, and fame set during the Silver Age of Hollywood. The interview style really works in this story.

 

  1. The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – A book that takes real people and actions during World War II and creates a compelling work of fiction that fells very true. Lilac Girls follows three women Kasia a Polish teenager who works for the underground against the Nazis, Herta a young German doctor that works at women’s German prison camp, and Caroline an American that volunteers at the French Consulate and helps the war effort. These tales are all connected in some way and intermingle at times.

 

  1. LoveCraft Country by Matt Ruff – A fantastic novel that’s told in anthology of short stories that all connect and blends the real life struggles of an African – Americans living in 1950 Chicago and traveling south, with supernatural and horror elements.  I was shocked how perfectly it balanced real life struggles of the time, supernatural elements, and humor. Jordan Peele the director of Get Out is adapting this for an HBO series in 2020 with J. J. Abrams.

 

  1. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – An excellent sequel to The Five People you Meet in the Heaven, where it expands on characters from the first book, and catches up new readers that don’t have to read the sequel to know what happened.  This novel will give you the feels, and I think it makes a great case for what happens to pets in heaven. This book will not leave you with dry eyes.

My Top Ten Books: of the Last Decade 2000 -2009

Hey all my fellow readers, in anticipation of this decade soon ending and me painstakingly lowering the over 400 books I have read in this decade, down to the ten best. I thought it would be fun for me to post my list of the ten best of the last decade that I originally posted to Facebook ten years ago.  I can not wait to check and compare everyones list and discover new reads.  The one thing I noticed the most is the little variety in genres that I  have now made up for. I t is a little crazy that 7 out of ten have gotten turned into either a movie of a series, with one that is currently available  Happy reading!
Best Books from 2000 up to the end of 2009

10. Timeline by Micheal Crichton – is one of the smart’s book about time travel, made into the stupidest movie, I was so disappointed. Crichton does so much research to have it all flushed away in the film.

9. Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst-  this is a thought provoking novel about a husband who can’t deal with his wife’s death that he tries to teach the only witness to see the death, the family dog, to communicate with what he’s seen, if the death was an accident or something more.

8. Cell by Stephen King – the first fifty pages of this book are utterly terrifying, a new zombie novel about zombies created from technology, no one writes an apocalypse like King.

7. Choke by Chuck Palahnuik – this is a novel about a sex addict who works at a Middle Ages park and that chokes on food so people will feel like heroes and want to take care of him, he and other are lead to believe through a series of event that he is the second coming of christ. This kind of a crazy feel good novel, where the character learns to grow up. this was turned into a movie starring Sam Rockwell and Clark Gregg, and was actually directed by Clark Gregg who is agent Coulson in the Avengers and Agents of Shield.

6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – This book is about the mythological Gods of America, there’s the god of TV, and Radio, all preparing for a huge battle with all the other Gods, and on man who’s the son of a god and a Woman. The book sounds simple enough but this plot is only a subplot for a smart mystery of a serial killer.

5 Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill – who’s really Stephen King’s Son, His Debut novel reminds you of his Dad’s early stuff this is a really smart ghost story that will really scare you. The ghost doesn’t let daylight or crowded restaurant stop him this ghost story that doesn’t let up till the very end.

4.Life of Pi – by Yann Martel this book is so good, even though there are some slow part and at some points I really wondered where the story was going. Where it takes you I would never have imagined. I never would have thought that a book about an Indian boy, a Zebra, and a Tiger would have been so entertaining and have such a great ending. Turned into a movie that one best director for Ang Lee at the Oscars.

3. Water For Elephants – another book marketed as being chick lit, even though the main character is a man and there is masterbating dwarf, that probably won’t make it into the movie (it did not make it into the movie). This book reminds me of the way Stephen King’s The Green Mile was told. It’s about an old man in a nursing home that reflects on his life as he worked on a traveling circus in the 30’s. This is a love story, but it’s also about death and about how you want to leave this earth, waiting for it or doing something you love as your welcoming it.

2 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Micheal Chambon – a book about World War I and II, 1930’s comic book writer’s starting a company creating heroes to deal with what they think of the war, this book also is about being jewish, about being gay, about going to war a supporting your country, the early movies in the thirty’s, and life in early New York City. It deals with even more then that and it all makes total sense, to where the characters wind up.

1. Shutter Island by Denis Lehane – this book is a page turner, that you can’t put down the ending will have you talking for days arguing with your friends about the ending. Hopefully the movie keeps that part alive.  is an illusion or isn’t it is it a hallucination or will the end answer that question, but then ask you even more allowing you to question the answers you’ve just learned. A great read that’s just fun to talk about.

Wrap Up: November 2019 Book Reviews

Wow one more month left in the year, 2019 is flying by. With my new work schedule allowing a little more time for reading, I completed 8 books this month. Two books this month have made it on my top five list of the year. I had 3 books that were five stars, 3 books that were four stars, and 2 that were three stars. One of the books was an advanced readers copy thanks to Netgalley. This month I reached over 600 followers, thanks every one for the support. I met and exceeded my reading goal of 65 books this year.

Five Star Reviews:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – A woman is found in a catatonic state as she is covered in the blood of her husband, who had been shot multiple times, a psychotherapist believes he is the only man to make her talk again. A fantastic debut thriller with a twist ending that changes everything. This book is a little Hitchcockian with the added bonus of a Greek tragedy that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you know the truth.

Recursion by Blake Crouch – A cop is exposed to FMS (False Memory Syndrome) where all the people in their social circle remember a different lifetime of memories other then their own. Recursion mind bending Science Fiction, I would say like no other, but this is the writer of Dark Matter, so mind bending is what he just does. A good science fiction for me makes me ask questions about the potential future and this book will compel you to ask questions. The story is all about memories of the past and how we connect to them, and second-guess the choices we made in those instances.

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – A book that takes real people and actions during World War II and creates a compelling work of fiction that fells very true. Lilac Girls follows three women Kasia a Polish teenager who works for the underground against the Nazis, Herta a young German doctor that works at women’s German prison camp, and Caroline an American that volunteers at the French Consulate and helps the war effort. These tales are all connected in some way and intermingle at times

Four Star Reviews:

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – an anxiety filled psychological thriller about a woman invited to a Bachelorette party ten years after having a fall out with the bride to be, twist, turns, and murder are abound.   It makes you fill claustrophobic but yet on display. This is my second Ruth Ware novel I caught the hype train and read The Women in Cabin 10, I have to say I liked this one a whole lot better.

Let’s Get Invisible by R. L. Stine – this is the sixth in the original Goosebumps series. This one is all about invisibility, the ultimate way to play hide and seek. Stine always adds something real and relevant to his horrors and this time it is addiction and peer pressure.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – A book that cast a spell on your knowledge of witches and vampires and one of the best stories of introducing vampires and witches and their to world history, literature, and sciences. Diane accidently breaks a powerful protection spell on a book that is the holy grail of vampires, witches, and daemons, that tells how they were made and can be destroyed, this draws danger as all species want that book for their own purposes.

Three Star Reviews:

Once Upon a Dream: A Disney Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell – A book from Disney’s Twisted Tales Series, where reader are given alternative versions of classic Disney stories by having what if questions. For Once Upon a Dream the what if scenario is, What if Sleeping Beauty never woke up? We get a clever plot, but with a slow start.

Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand – An interesting Historical Fiction mixed with a mystery. The story takes place in 1915 Fair grounds in Chicago about twenty years after the World’s Fair fire and the serial killer H.H. Holmes, with it’s own serial killer to deal with. The history is a big part I was constantly reminded of the nonfiction work The Devil in the White City, which covered the 1893 Chicago’s World’s Fair. This is a decent story with a strong LGTBQ lead character. A special thanks to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for giving me a copy.

 

 

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is book that cast a spell on your knowledge of witches and vampires. This book is one of the All Souls trilogy, it is one of the best books of introducing vampires and witches and their additions to world history and sciences. The book is really well researched on the history and plausibly inserts the creatures into time. This book reminded me of some of my favorite parts of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches, the history and the romance. It creates and explains it’s own rules for each creature, mocking their Hollywood interpretations. Diane the main character is a strong witch that does need any saving my vampire or witch. I like that this book is quest for the holy grail tale reversed, instead of finding out about human life they want a book that explains the creation of vampires, witches, and daemons (not a typo, it is a creature at uses influence to madding effect, the super smart, that could go crazy at any moment) and also how to destroy them. The novel pays out like a chess match making continuous moves and sacrifices along the way. A Discovery of Witches is a show on AMC that is currently in it’s second season starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer.

The Plot: Diana Bishop is a professor at Oxford and also a witch. She knows what she is but very reluctant to use any of her powers only for trivial stuff, like not finding her glasses. She knows of Vampires and Daemons can feel their presence. Diana while doing research on alchemy stumbles across a book she needs in the Oxford library. the book is old with a seal preventing it from being opened, she need this book and it reluctantly opens, and Diana can feel a spell being lifted. She does research with it a notices the pages when in light reveal hidden text, she would love to explore this more but her need is done, she shuts the book and the seal reforms making the magic reactivate, and returns it. What she didn’t know is that no one has seen that book in hundreds of years and the book holds secrets of life and death to witches, vampires and daemons. When the magic was released others felt it’s power. Matthew an over 1,000 year old vampire wants the book and starts following Diana and protecting her from others who want the book. The book draws an ancient order that will stop at nothing for the secrets of the book.

What I Liked: The history in this book is so good I felt very real and plausible. The lore changes to Vampires and Witches were really thought full and explained where the movies and book borrowed from. The haunted witch house were my favorite scenes with the grandma witch in ghost form criticizing her ancestor’s choices. The family dynamic of vampires, this is the first book that I have read where the maker is referred to as mother and father while the new vampire is referred to as son of daughter. The aspect of the book and the secrets it holds was really intriguing and held my interest. I enjoyed that Diana’s character was so head strong and wasn’t a damsel in distress. I really liked the bad guys and only wished I could have spent more time with them in this book. I really enjoyed the side characters of Marcus, Miriam, and Hamish. The love aspect took be quite a while to be fully on board but when more was reveled in terms of fate I enjoyed it more and it became less forced. The mystery surrounding the death of Diana’s parents and what they did to protect her. The lead in to the next book is really intriguing, it seems like all the things that I liked in this book will expanded. The magic was really good I especially liked the witchwater scene and witchfire usage.

What I Disliked: All the conversations about wine, too much! There’s people out to kill us, let’s take a while and talk of this Bordeaux. The pacing to me was sometime frustrating, there’s a book that can hold the secret to everything we know of witches, vampires, and daemons, and it takes 200 pages to try to summon the book again, while we had ten wine conversations. What I failed to see was all the information on history was pulling the book in a different direction, which I enjoyed where the book ended up but would have enjoyed a faster pace pulling me there.

Recommendations: If you want a smart new take on the vampire genre, then A Discovery of Witches is the book. If you’re a history buff, you’ll geek out after Matthew is inserted Forest Gump-like into literature, history, and science as well as witches and daemons influences as well. This book captures the imagine because it it so well thought out in terms of history. If you’re a wine connoisseur then you will find all the wine conversation way more fascinating than I did. I rate this book 4out of 5 stars. My girlfriend has read all the books says that I will like the 2nd book a lot better, so I look forward to it and the history.

Wrap Up: October 2019 Book Reviews

There’s only two more months until the end of the year, that’s crazy.  I am currently one book away from hitting my goal of 65 novels this year.  I’m currently changing up my work schedule that will allow me more reading time.  I read five books this month, one biography, one graphic novel and three tales of horror, with one being a netgalley ARC.  I felt I was reading slow this month but hit my average anyway.  I read one five star read and the rest were four star, not too bad in reading content.

5 Star Reviews:

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones – This book paints a picture of a hardworking puppeteer, director. writer, composer, and creator. I loved this book, I’m a huge fan of the Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal. This book really drives home Henson’s kind character, insane work ethic, and his visionary ideas. The book is a almost 500 pages (almost 600 pages with the citations) and when I finished I still wanted more. highly recommend I was ten when he passed, and cried not understanding about death and this book recounts what his tragic final days were like, I still got emotional while reading it.

4 Star Reviews:

Flight of Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales edited by Stephen King and Ben Vincent – this book has tales of the supernatural, tales of death, tales of suspense, and tales of the dangers of the innovation called flight. The authors of stories in this anthology include Steven King, Roald Dahl, Joe Hill, James Dickey, Ray Bradbury, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Richard Matheson, and others. This book is about fear, now sometimes it is physical fear, but in a couple stories it is the idea of fear. this collection was really balanced in terms of quality storytelling in my full review I broke down every short story and gave it a five star rating scale.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey – this is a horrifying look at a a world dealing with a fungus that turns the host into a walking zombie that is hungry only for flesh. This book centers on a young girl of the age of nine the interesting protagonist makes this zombie like story a great one. The theme is this book is hope and it covers both hope and hopelessness fully. This book manages to be heart-filled and heartbreaking at the same time. This book was the closest I read to being five stars, the flow got slow, but one of the most inventive novels I’ve read in quite some time I bought the other book in the series and will read it soon.

A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs – this is two books in one, a novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and a short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow. This advanced copy published on October 7th was given to me by Harpercollins and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Both stories challenge idea of death and hell on earth. They both involve the past and choices made, for the better or worse. Both stories have good wrap ups and ending that will leaving you thinking for a bit after the story has ended. My heart Struck sorrow I rated it a highly recommended 5 stars, it is the second story in this book. Where a man dealing with the lose of his daughter and child becomes obsessed with a journal and recording of a man searching for a particular song about a man going to hell.

Bone, Vol. 2 The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith – this story adds more slapstick and more focus to the ridiculous second graphic novel in the Bone Series. This book is part Looney Toons meets Grimm Fairy Tales.  I bought this for my cousin who is 12 I’ve loved reading this series with her, it is very fun.  There is animated character’s smoking cigars is my only warning to this series.

 

 

 

Book Review: A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs

A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs is two books in one, a novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and a short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow. Both stories challenge idea of death and hell on earth. They both involve the past and choices made, fro the better or worse. Both stories have good wrap ups and ending that will leaving you thinking for a bit after the story has ended. My Heart Struck Sorrow was the new story The Sea Dreams It is the Sky has been published before. I enjoyed My Heart Struck Sorrow quite a bit more. Chuck Wendig author of Wanders does really cool foreword to the book. Thanks to HarperCollins Publishing and Netgalley for letting me read an Advanced Readers copy of A lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs in exchange for an honest review. It was first Published on October 8th 2019 with an expected mass market publication on October 29th 2019.

The Plot for The Sea Dreams it is the Sky:Rafael Avendano, a former poet, has escaped Argentina and now lives in Spain. The Poet now wears an eye patch has now goes by the Eye, it is a mystery to how he lost it. He meets Isabel a Teacher of poetry in Spain, and originally from Argentina knows a little of his work but found it crude and juvenile. She and most of the world thought Avendano was dead, during the takeover of Argentina. She befriends him as he is called back to Argentina in hopes of a reunion. Isabel watches his apartment in it she finds a secret manuscript telling just how he lost his eye, she keeps getting mysterious notes with just a latitude and longitude on them, pointing to a place in Argentina.

The Plot for My Heart Struck Sorrow: Cromwell needs a distraction from the recent deaths of his wife and son, he with his partner Harriet find that distraction as there job being part of the library is to go through a collection bequeathed to it. The Parker estate is one such donation, they are excited to too into the collection since Parker was a member of the Library of Congress in the music division collection folk songs and stories. Cromwell and Harriet discover a secret room that was locked away, of Parkers last assignment. Where Parker went searching for a particular song about a man and hell.

What I Liked: Both stories blend fact and fiction pretty seamlessly. Both stories are about lyrics in a song or in a verse of poetry, and the writing in both are really great, the folk songs especially, I could almost here them. The endings in both stories really work well, and end a in a very full circle way that I always appreciate. I really loved the characters in My Heart Struck Sorrow, they felt very real and grounded I understood their obsessions. I really like the work with the untrustworthy narrator. The flow in My Heart Struck Sorrow is so good such an easy read.

What I Disliked: The story flow of The Sea Dreams it is the Sky is so slow in the middle I loved the first couple chapters but then it slows down so much. My Heart Struck Sorrow is almost double The Sea Dreams it is Sky but it took me much longer to read Sea Dreams, because of the flow. I also had a little thing with The Sea Dreams it is Sky and it’s use of pronouns, sometimes I was confused with it and had to read passages over as a pronoun is switched to a dream person.

Recommendations: I will recommend this collection of two tales for a perfect October read, my favorite by far being My Heart Struck Sorrow. My rating for stories is The Sea Dreams it is Sky 3 out of 5 stars and My Heart Struck Sorrow 5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this to readers who like historical horror, or horror with a great deal of real life with a twist. I rated A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs 4 out 5 stars.

Wrap Up: September 2019 Book Reviews

Hello all, only 3 months left in the year, this whole year is flying by.  I read 5 books this month, one book (Dark Age) took me half the month to finish but it was so good.  I had two five star ratings which I haven’t done too often, I read two ARC’s from Netgalley.  I continued my retro read by read book five of the classic Goosebumps Series.  I had a record number of comments this month thank you so much, I do read them all.  Wrap ups are my favorite I can’t wait to check what everyone in the wordpress world is reading.  Happy reading everyone, October is next month I’ve saved so great horror for next month.

5 Star Reviews:

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This follow up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo another 5 star review from me.  Daisy Jones and the Six follows two rock groups rise The Six a good rock group that’s not great, and Daisy Jones the solo artist, with a soulful voice, that wants to write her own material but does not have the clout. They come together when Billy the lead singer writes a duet and needs a female singer, he never planned on her joining the band and that’s what happens as we get to read about how the group only put out one record. It’s sex, drugs, and rock and roll as we watch and listen to the rise and fall of Daisy Jones and the Six.

Dark Age by Pierce Brown – This is book five in the Red Rising Series, and manis it good there is so much going on plot wise, it’s filled with old scores and new scores. There’s lots of twist and turns.  This is Pierce Brown’s return to form, I was not a fan of Iron Gold rating it 3 out of 5 stars, but man did this book deliver on action and suspense. I recommend reading the series from the start since Brown does not do recaps.

4 Star Reviews:

Violet by Scott Thomas – This was a great slow burn horror, where the setting and descriptions put you on edge early.  This is a story about a forgotten imaginary friend that haunts the woman who was dealing with the loss of her mother at a remote lake house when created to return twenty years later with her daughter after the death of her husband.  Violet has one of the better climax’s for a horror novel. I received a free Advanced readers copy from Inkshares publishing and Netgalley.

Goosebumps: The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb by R. L. Stine – This story had a fun take on the old mummy creature, and a lot of facts how the real mummy’s are made. I fear closed in spaces and this story really got to me once it gets going it doesn’t stop.  I thought the twist was pretty good. This spooky story moved into the second spot on my rankings of the first 5 goosebumps books in order so far.

2 Star Review

Cold Storage by David Koepp – This is Koepp’s first novel he’s known for being a screenwriter of Jurassic Park, Carlito’s Way, and Spiderman.  The novel’s bad guy is a killer fungus, if you read the novel as a B- Movie with gross visuals and bad dialogue you will have more fun with it.  It had some nice moments but the story was told very clunky.

 

 

Book Review: Violet by Scott Thomas

Violet by Scott Thomas is a dark, creepy, and haunting tale of horror about despair and loss. The story is a slow burn with an exciting climax, and a meaningful epilogue that puts a nice bow on the story. This story is not exactly gothic but it feels very influenced by that horror genre. The story moves a bit slow but once it gets going and all is revealed this story finds it’s flow. This novel has about twenty songs mentioned in it I was pretty familiar with most of them, I approve of Thomas’s character’s musical taste. I would recommend the reader to listen to The Beatles “Blackbird” since it is featured and lyrics heavily used in the story. Thanks to Inkshares Publishing and Netgalley for providing an advanced copy of Violet by Scott Thomas in exchange for a honest review. Violet By Scott Thomas Published on September 24 2019.

Plot: Kris after dealing with death of her husband decides to take her daughter Sadie to an old Lake house that her family has owned. The lake house has significance that this is the place where Kris’s mother passed away and she remember’s being happy her and getting over her death. When Kris and her daughter get to the house she is shocked to find it rundown since her father gave it to a realtor to take care or and rent. Sadie is shocked when the realtor explains her father’s last words were let the place rot, the realtor tries to persuade her to take another rental, but Kris is determined and wants to fix the place up with her daughter. Sadie deals with the death of her father by barely speaking. Kris see’s Sadie start to actually have fun again. Kris starts remembering her time here and it was not as happy as she remembers. When Sadie develops a imaginary friend it’s fun and it reminds her of the one she had when she was here. Sadie’s imaginary friend is very secretive, Sadie’s not supposed to tell her name but when he accidentally reveals the name it was the same of when Kris was a little girl, Violet.

What I Liked: The atmosphere created at the lake house and the town, having just read IT by Stephen King, and it reminded me of the under the surface creepiness that is just under the surface.  The cover for this book is so awesome, and fits with the story.  The songs worked well showing the joy the lake house could bring. The mystery of the the town and what is really going on with the Violet situation was really compelling, and I liked the outcome. The climax was really exciting and had me doubt how it was going to end, I saw one part of the ending coming but didn’t think the novel was going there, and it did and I was pretty satisfied. The epilogue actually has meaning and is used really well, we’ve all read those books where the epilogue doesn’t serve a purpose, and it is nice when it does it nicely and really puts a bow on the story. I loved the character of Hitch the book store owner. I loved the hardware scene when Kris puts the hardware shop worker in place that keeps asking about her husband.

What I Disliked: At times the book was way too descriptive it has a paragraph dedicated to brushing teeth and the technique used as well as how condiments are put on a hot dog. (note: I did read an advanced reading copy, hopefully it was changed in the final version) The descriptions work when going into specific details about the house and certain items, but not on everyday task, which there was a couple of pages worth. The passing of the beginning was to slow, the novel is a slow build but it takes over a hundred pages for something to really happen.

Recommendations: I really enjoyed this book, despite the slow start, this is a really good horror novel that sets the creepy tone early. If you like Gothic horror I would give this a try, because it’s close and the pacing is mainly that slow build. This novel also has a mystery that I really enjoyed, so if you like mysteries this could be a god way to get into horror. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. This is my first Scott Thomas I have Kill Creek on my TBR and I’ve heard good things, and it is a faster paced book in compared to Violet.

Book Review: Cold Storage by David Koepp

Cold Storage by David Koepp is the first novel from a well established screenwriter, some of my favorites are all adaptations of novels and comic books like Jurassic Park, Spiderman, and Carlito’s Way. Cold Storage is a story that is all David Koepp. It kind of a serial killer piece where the killer was apprehended and thrown in a dark hole to be forgotten, but this serial killer is crafty and has been plotting their escape the whole time, and thanks to flaws to in the system it escapes, but the killer isn’t a person but a fungus. This book is about a killer fungus. Since he famously adapted Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park I can see a lot of attempts to mirror Crichton’s style, but where Crichton can explain the science so everyone can understand Koepp struggles with it. This book made some interesting choices in terms of choices and flashbacks. I started liking it more when I gave into the premise and viewed it as a SyFy original movie. I was given the advanced copy thanks to Harpercollins Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Cold Storage publishes on September 3rd 2019.

The Plot: In 1987 a super secret task force that investigates biological terror and threats is sent to a remote Australian village. Roberto and Trini of the task force meet doctor Hero to investigate the village. They find every member of the village of the dead on the roof tops with their chest burst out and a green fungal mold around them. The source seems to be part of a fuselage from a Skylab explosion in space. They save a a sample of the fungus and attempt to photograph it as the fungus jumps to the camera, and begins attacking them trying to find a host, the quickly find out the host goes to the highest point available for mass spreading. The whole village is determined a risk and is bombed and burned. The sample is frozen and kept in a deep dark hole where the temperature will remain at freezing. But thanks to global warming and the increase of temperature in Earth’s core in present day the fungus is going to escape. The government has long abandoned the storage facility in Kanas, but a regular storage units were built on top of it. Teacake a lovable loser works at the storage unit as security, and he finds out there is a lot he didn’t know about what is stored there.

What I Liked: The opening is a little clunky in terms of flow and information, but there is some nice surprising action and character work. I did like the character of Roberto his chapter’s always went by fast. I like that the fungus continues to evolve and get smarter. The character of Murphy’s job is you’re supposed to hate him and he did in spades. There’s a good twist at the end that really went with Roberto and how he feels about the fungus and it’s irradiation, that I really liked. I liked the fungus infected animals there were pretty terrifying.

What I Disliked: The character of Teacake he was annoying and stereotypical. The pace was really disjointed through out, there would be good momentum then the story would go off in a tangent. The flashbacks rarely served the story, so I found most of them distracting. Character’s dialogue was really generic, and had hardly any weight to it. The story was too simple would have served better a novella. Roberto was my favorite character but it takes him forever to get to the storage unit and into the action.

Recommendations: I would recommend this to people who like SyFy movies like Sharknado that are kind of tongue in cheek. I don’t know if the novel was going for this initially but if it would have embraced it, it could have been better. If you want a good science fiction I would recommend you picking up a Crichton novel. I gave this novel 2 out of 5 stars, it’s close to the 2.5 mark.