Book Review: Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man – Volume 5 by Stan Lee

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man – Volume 5 by Stan Lee is full Spiderman’s classic villains, The reptile returns, Kurt conners has been turned back when he helped Spiderman defeat a new foe. Kraven the Hunter returns and the Vulture gets a new person to take his wings as the old vulture rots in prison. We finally get introduced to Mary Jane. Peter Parker moves in with Harry Osborn. Spiderman is introduced to classic villains the Rhino, The Kingpin, and the Shocker. This comic features others in the Marvel Universe: Daredevil, The Wasp, Ant-man, Thor, Iron man, Hawkeye, And the Hulk. This volume contains issue 50 called Spiderman No More which heavily influenced Spiderman 2 with Tobey Maguire and Alfred Molina, who are both rumored to join the MCU (or Spidey-verse) in Spiderman: No Way Home. Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man – Volume 5 collects issues 41-50 and annual #3 from The Amazing Spider-man Marvel comic book.

The Plots: The Rhino hits the scene and is looking for J. Jonah Jamison’s son, astronaut John Jamison who has been exposed to spores that grant him his own powers. Flash Thompson has been drafter to the Vietnam War. The Lizard returns as doctor curt Conner makes a serum to stop the Rhino he becomes exposed and changes into the Lizard once again. The new Vulture who tricked the old Vulture to give away the location of his wings. The Vulture beats Spiderman or so it seems which brings back Kraven the Hunter to destroy the new Vulture who beat Spiderman and Spiderman himself. Peter Parker wants to me Spiderman no more as he is failing in being a friend, failing in school, and it gets to him being called a menace day by day from J. Jonah Jamison who started broadcasting his own news, with Spiderman being gone a new criminal rises who calls himself the Kingpin.

What I Liked: The villains introduced are the real deal, of Spiderman villains that are still around, Rhino, Shocker, and Kingpin. Flash Thompson dates the comics but it was interesting that this bit of everyday life was brought up. The Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy fight for Peter Parkers love. replaced the Betty Brandt and Liz Allen feud from the first 25 issues. Spiderman No More comic is interesting and looks at the frustration of living a double life, and seeing exact panel recreated in Spiderman 2 is pretty cool. Fredrick Foswell almost finding out Peter Parker is Spiderman, and Foswell’s return to crime. The Vulture and Kraven fights was one of the best fight sequences so far. I liked that Spiderman was injured fighting the Lizard and kept his injuries over 3 issues. Stan Lee’s writing and jokes when setting a scene, he calls out lazy writing in the editorial by using the phase “meanwhile” then keeps using it.

What I Disliked: The rhino introduction was good on power and unstoppability but not that great on actual substance, The annual with the Avengers was just okay.

Recommendation: This volume is a classic that can not be missed for Spiderman fan, too many iconic villains get introduced, along with Mary Jane. Big things happen with Peter Parker moving away from Aunt May and in with Harry Osborn. I rated Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man – volume 5 by Stan Lee 5 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: May 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, May was an good month for reading I got a little behind on my TBR,   I read 7 books this month out of 9 Local Woman Missing will be read next month as I am half way done with it, it is very excellent as well as a book I didn’t get to The Apocalypse Seven.   I read one graphic novels this month, 1 book in a series, 2 dark mysteries, 2 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley).  I read 4 books published this year. I read another Stephen king making him the dominate the most books read by an author.

Five Star Reviews:

The One my John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets black mirrored showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee, is the best yet since the original volume. Spiderman grows a lot in this comic, PeterParker is no longer a high schooler but a college Freshmen. In this volume Peter meets his future best friend Harry Osborn, and his controlling dad Norman Osborn. Peter meets a woman that could rival Mary Jane in blonde vixen, Gwen Stacy. Peter and the readers almost see Mary Jane but she remains blocked. Peter and Betty Brandt finally call it quits when they have a blow out, that ends in Betty leaving Peter and the Daily Bugle. Peter is unmasked by his biggest rival the Green Goblin, which unmask himself when he has him captured. Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Green Goblin and Molten Man, who is actually becoming one of my favorite of the B list bad guys, all come back in these issues to terrorize Spiderman.

Four Star Reviews:

Later by Stephen King is a really fun ghost story, about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them is it a gift or a curse. I would say it is the Sixth Sense meets combined with a short story he wrote in if it bleeds Mr. Harrigan’s phone, this story went in another direction and it was good. Later was part of the Hard Case Crime series, that not really a series but more of a style of books. This is my fourth so far and favorite. I have read the three that Stephen King wrote and one by Brian DiPlama. Later is a good fun ride that gets exciting and a little gruesome. King will always create characters that you can connect instantly to and Jamie the lead is no exception. The pacing is fast I was able to read it in a day and had moments where I could not put it down.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is a tightly wound thriller at an isolated hotel with it’s own horrific past. The thriller gets off to a fast start with a murder. we later learn the significance of it and when it happened. This is a novel of a lot of twist that will mess with your head as to is behind all this. The setting is unique a former Sanatorium that treated female tuberculosis patients that is turned into a swanky hotel in the Swiss Alps. This book was on Reece Witherspoon’s book club which gave it some extra hype. The Sanatorium is a solid mystery, with easy to remember character’s.

Three Star Reviews:

Goblin by Josh Malerman is a collection of 6 novellas all featured in the town of Goblin. The town of Goblin is a little different with police that look and sound the same, the dead are buried standing up, and a witch live in the forbidden North woods. The stories are interesting and barely intertwined for it being in the same town. The most interesting things the police, the dead buried standing up, and the witch, are barely explored. The book focuses on the history of the town which is just okay but not nearly as interesting as the other things I had mentioned. The novellas are okay, there was only one really good one, one really predictable and the rest fall into the good category. I wanted the stories to come together more. The writing does some clever things but the pacing, and focus on the history of the town will try the patience of the reader. 

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier is where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living, which sounds a lot like Pixar’s film Coco. This is no Coco. There is a plague that wipes out all of existence except one person to our knowledge who is isolated the city of the dead shrinks to one city where all are connected in some ways. The story is more metaphorical than straight linear. The words written are beautiful, but man does this story get boring, the last person doesn’t seem to want to do really anything that makes sense. Mostly it’s wondering and you get to know her character through the people she knew. I thought it was an interesting story, but it could’ve been something more. The dead world was interesting and a metaphor for living your best life even if you’re dead.

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times

Book Review: Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times, where the girl is so guarded we rarely see what is in her head, other than being unnoticed and surviving. I did enjoy the theme of home is where the heart is, it’s the safe place. Thanks to Netgalley and Ecco publishing. The Girl in the Walls is published on May 11 2021.

The Plot: Elise lives in a house that is not hers, anymore. The Mason’s own the home she lives in. The Mason’s don’t know she live there, because she lives in the walls. She lives like a mouse scurrying around eating what she can and reading what she can. The house is here when they go to work and school. She does not leave the house. Eddie the youngest Mason can feel her presence, he doesn’t know if she’s real or a ghost, he just wants her gone, and to stop taking his stuff. The trouble starts when the older brother starts noticing, and is more proactive about it.

What I Liked: The uniqueness of the story, it blends the line of is she a ghost or not for the first couple of pages. It was a beautiful story of a house and it’s meaning, but it’s also a creepy story for a home owner, it made me think of the horror movie the People Under the Stairs. I liked the brother Eddie, it didn’t say he was exactly autistic but definitely in the spectrum, he senses the girl and protects her as well as puts an ode to her in his legos. The descriptions at the beginning when Eddie has a piano lesson was so good. The villain is terrifying as he fights his childhood fears that there was someone in his house, and he’s determined to find what goes bump in the night. I liked the stuff about Odin, Thor and Loki.

What I Disliked: The ending initial ending was good, then we get two more that were unnecessary because they didn’t provide any information, if you show the girl when she was older, but don’t tell anything about her past life or current really. I was left with more questions than answers with the first I was satisfied. We don’t see enough into Elise’s mind, we don’t get her thoughts on much I had a hard time connecting to her. I could feel for her circumstance but not for her as a person.

Recommendation: I will barely recommend this for the young adult audience it was made for, but as an adult I respected the unique story line but not the character development. I found some parts beautiful, but so of it just pain boring as nothing happened and developed. I rated Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets Black Mirror-ed showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show, that I can’t wait to check out. This the 4th book I have read by John Marrs and it did not disappoint in the least. The technology in The One is mentioned in The Passengers and The Minders which are books about future technologies, that hackers try to hack and manipulate. The book does have an LGTBQ storyline which is done really well

The Plot: A gene is found that links you to the one you are to belong to, your one true love. A website is started where you can send in DNA to have it analyzed. We follow five people, Mary who has been showing everyone her match, but something happens before they can meet, Jade who lives in England is matched with a Australian farmer with a catch, Christian is a serial killer of women that has just been matched, Nick and his bride to be dare each other to take it, when Nick does he’s matched with a man, and A super rich women with no time to date, becomes matched with a regular guy, she must keep secrets to see if this is real.

What I Liked: The premise and the story arcs are great. I liked that the characters never meet each other, it would have been to much of a stretch to make this happen. The characters are great and you know and understand them in the end. The twist are really good, each story has a major twist, and they are all plausible. My favorites were Christian, Mary, and Nick. Their are some happy endings and some truly messed up endings. The end twist was a great one that made you question every thing and every couple.

What I Disliked: The only tale that I never connected with was Jade’s, I did enjoy the twist but it took a while.

Recommendation: I really enjoyed this story as I have enjoyed all John Marrs so far. If you have never checked out his work I would recommend this story The One and What Lies Between Us. Marrs is If he king of domestic thriller, every book he writes is a page turner. I rated The One by John Marrs 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: the Brief History of the Dead

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier is where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living, which sounds a lot like Pixar’s film Coco. This is no Coco. There is a plague that wipes out all of existence except one person to our knowledge who is isolated the city of the dead shrinks to one city where all are connected in some ways. The story is more metaphorical than straight linear. The words written are beautiful, but man does this story get boring, the last person doesn’t seem to want to do really anything that makes sense. Mostly it’s wondering and you get to know her character through the people she knew. I thought it was an interesting story, but it could’ve been something more. The dead world was interesting and a metaphor for living your best life even if you’re dead. Really bad pacing problem stops what could have been a great novel. The novel flips back and forth between the city of the dead and The last human? Maybe Laura. The city of the dead is way more interesting.

The Plot: Laura is on a base in Antarctica working on a campaign for Coca-Cola. They want to go back to have penguins enjoying a coke. Laura’s team go out to meet the other team after they can not get contact. The city of the dead, is a city made up of people who live because they are remembered by the living, well everyone in this city starts disappearing, those that come to the city speak of a plague wiping out all of humanity. Laura starts losing power at her station and decided to find her team at the other station. The city of the dead is shifting and people start realizing they’re connected to Laura. Everybody who comes through wants to know about Laura. Is she humanity’s hope?

What I Liked: The word used to describe city’s and I’ve of Antarctica are beautiful. I don’t know if I liked Laura but I liked the dead’s memories of her. I did think it interesting the look of religion that went on in the city of the dead. I liked the restaurant worker who always wanted to run a restaurant they way he wanted but had no means, but got to in the city of the dead and was so happy about it. I liked that the dead had a newspaper about what the recently dead reported on. I do like the drum beat you hear when you died compared to Earth’s heartbeat. I like what it says about human interaction, and how we need more of it to live our best life.

What I Disliked: The pacing is really bad the city of the dead is fun and Laura is all ice and survival, there is a rare flashback thrown in which was always welcomed. I felt we needed three city of the dead chapters for every Laura chapter not switching back and forth where nothing happens. The end is metaphorical it is okay, but I wanted concrete as well.

Recommendation: While I find the afterlife interesting, and this is a unique take on it for sure, I cannot recommend this book. If you want a book that is beautifully written and described but lacking in story and substance then this might be your book. I rated The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier 3 out of 5 stars. It was close to 2.5 but the descriptions and metaphors are really well done.

TBR: April 2021

April 2021 TBR Last month I read all seven books, but upped it to 9 this month.  I have my one hold over from the past two month that I kept switching out will get read.  I’m reading my first Stephen King of the new year with Later.  I’m reading my first Mary Kubica with Local Woman Missing she has been recommended a lot.  I have a lot of fun reads in store for myself.

Later by Stephen King  is his newest novel and a part of the Hard Case Crime series.  I have read the first two the Colorado Kid which I hated and Joyland which I did enjoy.  A couple of people I trust said Later is the best of the bunch.  With King I will always get a little enjoyment out of it and am guaranteed to connect to a couple of characters.  Later is about a kid that can see and talk to ghosts.

The One by John Marrs is one that I’ve wanted to read for sometime I have enjoyed the three John Marrs books I’ve read so far.  The One is about a match-making site that can tell you who the one is with out question, until hackivists take it over and make who they want a match.  The One has been turned into a Netflix series that I really want to watch but will wait until I read the book first.

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica the author has been recommended to me a lot with her last novel the Good Girl.  I got and ARC to Local Woman missing and can’t wait to dig in.  The tagline is: People just don’t disappear without a trace. ARC thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin published on May 18

Goblin by Josh Malerman is a rerelease that features 6 novellas in one book. I have read 3 Malerman novels 2 five stars and 1 three stars.  I like his ideas; they are always one of a kind. Bird Box is what he’s most famous for. Copy Thanks to Netgalley and Random House

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is about a isolated getaway in the Swiss Alps called Le Sommet, a detective need a break and comes to her estranged brothers engagement party.  On the night of the storm the finance goes missing. This book is part of Reece Witherspoon’s book club.

The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette  has the tagline: This is the way the world ends,. Not with a bang, but with a whatever.   The description sounds pretty crazy  I can’t wait to read this ARC. This ARC is thanks to Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin it is published on May 25th .

Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse  has a good description: A mesmerizing and suspenseful coming-of-age novel about an orphan hiding within the walls of her former family home—and about what it means to be truly seen after becoming lost in life. ARC is thanks to Netgalley and Ecco. Girl in the Walls is published on May 11.

he Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier my other holdover form last month it reminds me a lot of the plot of Pixar’s Coco. Where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living.  But the City has started rapidly shrinking.  It has been on my TBR for a while, and I’m committed to reading it, and already started it.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spiderman Volume 4 by Stan Lee is full of new and old villains. I features the unmasking of the original Green Goblin. I has on of of the most famous panels featured on the cover where Spiderman uses all the strength he has to save himself and Aunt May. It features Doc Ock and Kraven the Hunter.

Wrap Up: April 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, April was a good month for reading and catching up on my TBR,   I read 7 books this month. I exchanged Instinct for The Brief History of the Dead for Instinct because was released this month and I missed it when making my TBR, The Brief History of the Dead will be read next month as I am half way done with it.   I read no graphic novels this month, 3 books in a series, 2 dark mysteries, 1 classic, 5 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley).  I read 6 books published this year. I only started 1 new series Starwars the High Republic and finished all books published in The Murderbot Diaries.

Five Star Reviews:

Network Effect by Martha Wells is Murderbot Diaries number five. This is the only full novel in the series with the rest being novellas. I have read and loved the character of Murderbot for 4 previous novels. The series has had highs and lows, I felt the formula was getting a little predictable, then Network Effect came out and changed the narrative making this book my favorite in the series so far. It took the best parts, intense action, witty dialogue, human interaction, and character growth, and expand them. The pace of this book is pretty fast it slows down a little in the middle but after intense scene after intense scene I welcomed the slow down. Network Effect brought back my favorite character from the series ART (an acronym for “Asshole Research Transport”) from Artificial Condition book 2.

Four Star Reviews:

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten Is a atmospheric horror that is slightly unnerving. The Lost Village is a Swedish book that has been translated to English. The descriptions make it feel like characters are constantly being watched by the village, it makes the reader feel pretty unnerved. The mystery is pretty captivating, and the way the story is told by amateur documentarians, really works since they bring their own problems, to a place that feeds off those problems. The Lost Village reminded me of parts of Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery meets the film The Blair Witch Project. I was slightly underwhelmed my the climax, but the rising action to it was so cool I thought of all these other cool scenarios that would have made it epic, and the climax was just good. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press through Minotaur books for letting me have early access to this title. The Lost Village by Camilla Sten was published in Sweden in 2019 and translated/published in America on March 23 2021.

Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: The High Republic) by Charles Soule is a fantastic introduction to a new timeline taking places 200 before the Phantom Menace. This is the first book in the new cannon (that started when The Force Awakens came out) that has told a new story not involving events that film and television have touched on. Yoda is the only character from the Skywalker Saga. The book starts out introducing a dizzying amount of characters all dealing with a crisis, thankfully it slows down and lets you get to know the characters a little. This is an ensemble piece with no main character, which got on my nerves at first, but it worked well at the end. The villain’s plan is pretty genius, the way it unite people through manipulation and lies. The new Jedi I came away having some mixed feelings

Near the Bone by Christina Henry is one part Emma Donoghue’s Room and the other part The Relic by Preston and Child. This off mix of kidnapping slash survival works really well to the theme of one woman beating her demons literally and physically. This is the third Henry that I have read and this one was my favorite so far. I enjoyed it but there is a lot of trigger warnings on domestic abuse, kidnapping, child endangerment, and manipulation/gaslighting. This is a really fast paced novel, that is deeply psychological. Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley books for the advanced reader’s copy, Near the Bone by Christina Henry is published on April 13th 2021.

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter is a good who done it? mystery. You know right up  front there was a murder, and you know the who said they did it is lying. The narrative moves  really fast supplying the reader with a little bit more information at each turn. This is not a big twist novel but a series of twist that add up to tension and betrayal. The novel does look at the British class system which I found the weakest part of the novel. I haven’t read a mystery in a while and this novel was just what I needed a good quick mystery that kept me guessing. I’m really liking these domestic mysteries that focus on a small knit family that is driven apart by a dark secret. The Dinner Guest is very LGBTQ friendly as the family that is torn apart is a gay couple. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK , One More Chapter for giving me this ARC. The Dinner Guest was published on April 1st 2021.

Three Star Reviews:

Instinct by Jason M. Hough is small town thriller. Where small town folks start to suddenly lose their survival instinct, like a person that never goes outside will go on a massive hike, and the guy scared of animals will face down a bear. It reminded me of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter where in the last 25 % of the book goes to a crazy place. The finale is good but it is one slow build up to that point. The character’s are quirky with conspiracy theories running deep until the town is in one. Instinct is a good idea, but the execution is lacking. The end is fun but I don’t know if everyone will get there with every beat of action and odd occurrence nothing happens in between; we don’t spend enough time with these characters to see them acting out of place. Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books – Skybound Books for the opportunity to read Instinct. Instinct by Jason M. Hough was published on April 6th 2021.

Two Star reviews:

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells is Murderbot Diaries book 6. This time Murderbot plays detective investigating a murder at Preservation Station that only it can solve. After the epic Network Effect that was my favorite in the series comes the sadly lackluster Fugitive Telemetry that is my least favorite so far. The plot is okay, it’s not really a murder that can be solved but the right beats are there, The problem with this one is Murderbot doesn’t have that much interaction with anyone, and the action is really limited. This has been one of my favorite series but this book just didn’t gel with me. I read Fugitive Telemetry through advanced readers copy curtesy of Netgalley and Macmillion-Tor/ Forge books. Fugitive Telemetry is published on 4-27-21.

Book Review: Instinct by Jason M. Hough

Instinct by Jason M. Hough is small town thriller. Where small town folks start to suddenly lose their survival instinct, like a person that never goes outside will go on a massive hike, and the guy scared of animals will face down a bear. It reminded me of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter where in the last 25 % of the book goes to a crazy place. The finale is good but it is one slow build up to that point. The character’s are quirky with conspiracy theories running deep until the town is in one. Instinct is a good idea, but the execution is lacking. The end is fun but I don’t know if everyone will get there with every beat of action and odd occurrence nothing happens in between; we don’t spend enough time with these characters to see them acting out of place. Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books – Skybound Books for the opportunity to read Instinct. Instinct by Jason M. Hough was published on April 6th 2021.

The Plot: Mary is has been an officer to the town of Silvertown, Washington for two months now. She’s still getting her bearings coming from a larger town than Silvertown’s population of 610. The town is reeling from the first death that wasn’t old age. But the next day another death happens the towns people thank it’s the new radio tour with 5G that’s doing it. Mary thinks the town is crazy then she herself starts acting different. The town’s people are starting to lose there survival instinct. How did they lose it and how can they get it back.

What I Liked: A town of conspiracy theorist trapped in a conspiracy was fun too watch. I liked all the bar banter with Kyle. The last 25% of this book was pretty crazy and a lot of fun. I like the missile Silo party. The home invasion was a tense scene. The premise of the book is why I put in to read it is still a really good clever idea.

What I Disliked: The first 3/4 of Instinct is pretty slow paced, there’s burst of excitement then the narrative slows to a crawl. Interesting things happen but it was not enough to keep my interest.

Recommendations: I can not recommend this book. Interesting things happen but not enough to keep my interest through out. The ending is crazy and fun, but it takes a lot to get there. I rated Instinct by Jason M. Hough 3 out of 5 stars. I think Hough has talent was highly entertained by Kyle’s bar banter, it was quirky and funny and the best part of the book.

Book Review: The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter is a good who done it? mystery. You know right up front there was a murder, and you know the who said they did it is lying. The narrative moves really fast supplying the reader with a little bit more information at each turn. This is not a big twist novel but a series of twist that add up to tension and betrayal. The novel does look at the British class system which I found the weakest part of the novel. I haven’t read a mystery in a while and this novel was just what I needed a good quick mystery that kept me guessing. I’m really liking these domestic mysteries that focus on a small knit family that is driven apart by a dark secret. The Dinner Guest is very LGBTQ friendly as the family that is torn apart is a gay couple. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK , One More Chapter for giving me this ARC. The Dinner Guest was published on April 1st 2021.

The Plot: There’s a body, Matthew that has been stabbed on the dinner table. Charlie the Husband looks on in amazement at the body, Titus, Charlie and Matthew’s teenage son, sits silently at the table not looking at the body, and Racheal holds the bloody knife and calls the police, telling she murdered Matthew. Charlie thanks why did she confess to a murder she didn’t commit. Secrets and lies lead up to this twisty murder mystery.

What I Liked: The way is was told having Charlie and Rachael tell the before and after of the death of Matthew, then at the end we get a new voice. The POV worked really well and added up to tension. I liked the family drama not dealing with the mystery at all was good. Titus is a handful. Blackmail is something all the characters do at one point. I liked the book club scenes and Anita is hilarious, I could have seen a whole lot more of her. The flow is really good the scenes lead to the next really easily. It is easy to understand which character is narrating at the moment.

What I Disliked: Every time the excuses go to class, I’ve read some good interesting class arguments, but every time it was brought up in this story it felt forced, there’s not too many scenes, so it didn’t hamper my enjoyment too much. A big secret is revealed which leads directly to the murder, where the individual just takes the word of someone and doesn’t check if it is true, the person had it’s own reasons for telling. Every thing I had read about that character previously would have to see it with their own eyes to believe it. So that felt false.

Recommendations: I will recommend this pretty good who done it? It is a good escapist read. It reminded me of Shari Lapena’s The Couple Nest Door. I rated The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter 4 out of 5 stars.

TBR: April 2021

April 2021 TBR list: last month was I read 6 out of the 8 books on my TBR, I’m going to lower it to 7 to deal with looking for a house and overtime. I have 4 ARCs to read this month. I have my reading goal for the year set at 80 books this year which I’m a head by two for the moment.  I have  read most of my Christmas book haul, but my Birthday is this month so will for sure get more, If I read extra it will be a Amazing Spiderman Marvel Masterworks since  it’s easy to read at my work break.

Network Effect by Martha Wells – I the first full length book in the Murderbot Diaries Series.  Network Effect is book 5 in the series.  I recently got approver for the ARC  for Fugitive Telemetry which is published on April 27th.  I love Murderbot the character, and I love where the series left off.

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells – I have been asking for an ARC of a Martha Wells book for a couple of years now can’t wait to read this one a little early, It is publish right around my birthday and will consider this a present on April 27 thanks to Netgalley and Tor.

Near The Bone by Christina Henry – This is will be my third Henry novel I read Alice and the Ghost Tree, I have liked but not loved her novels.  I hope this one is a love, this is her second novel not about fairy tells being retold. The plot is a woman trapped on a mountain attempt to survive more that one kind of monster.  The synopsis intrigues me so I’m looking forward to this book.  Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley publishing for the ARC that is published on April 13th.

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter – It has been a while since I read a mystery; my favorites are the classic Agatha Christie novels, and I get this vibe from the book. The tag line is A stranger at the table; A dinner that ends in death. It seems fun this book changed it’s publishing date up a month or two it was published on April 1. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter for giving me an opportunity to read this novel.

Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule – I jumped at the chance to read the newest Star Wars because it is before all the rest and the first book in the new cannon to do that.  The cover has a Wookie with a lightsaber I have to read this book.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten  This my hold over last month I’m half way done and it it is very atmospheric and spooky. The Lost Villiageis described as The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar by the publisher.  I don’t know a lot going in to this story but the genre is horror/suspense.     Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC.The Lost Village is published on March 23 2021

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier my other holdover form last month it reminds me a lot of the plot of Pixar’s Coco. Where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living.  But the City has started rapidly shrinking.  It has been on my TBR for a while, and I’m committed to reading it.