Wrap Up: July 2020 Book Reviews

Hello dear readers, July has come and gone.  This month I was able to read 10 books. 2 books were advanced reader copy thanks to Netgalley, 5 were from one of my favorite Graphic Novel book series Locke and Key, books that have made my favorites list off books read in 2020 with The Sun Down Motel and Home Before Dark.  I read one of the weirdest books ever called Antkind written by Charlie Kaufman.  I can’t wait to share some of these mini reviews with you.

 Five Star Reviews:

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a nonstop thriller that mixes elements of a ghost story with a mystery. The pace was nonstop from the beginning, and did not let up as it reached the climax. The story is really fun, I enjoyed finding out more about the ghosts and why they haunted the Sun Down Motel. The twists are plausible and well thought out to fool the audience. This book has been hyped recently, and I have to say I really enjoyed it, it doesn’t reinvent the genre, just tells a good story in a way that is easy to read and picture. I recently put this book as number 2 in my favorite of the year so far.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is a top-notch thriller wrapped in a ghost story. Home Before Dark reminded me of why I love Riley Sager so much, good writing that for the most part keeps me guessing while adding that level of believability, that it could happen that way. I felt like this book was a good return to form after I was let down by Lock Every Door which was released last year. Home After Dark offers two accounts one of a book written 25 years ago that is a nonfictional ghost story called House of Horrors that written by Ewan Holt that tells of the Baneberry House haunting of him and his family; the other is Maggie Holt that was five at the time of House of Horrors returning after 25 years to see what was real as her family won’t speak of the book.

Locke and Key Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill and Art by Gabriel Rodriguez is the book that I have been waiting for finally getting a flashback to the past, one to colonial times where we get the origins of Keyhouse and the keys. There’s another flashback that will change everything you thought you knew about the villain, Zach/Dodge, and his origin. This book is easily my second favorite since the beginning. There’s a really good opening that had me hooked from the start. It wrapped up a lot of story lines and made complete sense. Stuff that was hinted at in the beginning got to become full circle. Almost every question I had was answered with great explanations.

Locke and Key Volume 6: Alpha and Omega by Joe Hill art by Gabriel Rodriguez. It’s the series finally, the Omega Key has been found and we know what opening that door will bring, creatures from another world that possess what they touch, but if the door is somehow closed, every creature has magic metal that can be used for more keys. I liked this one, a fitting ending; one of my favorite characters’ bit the dust. I do like that there’s a twist in Dodge’s end result, his plan wasn’t as obvious as an army; it’s more than that.

Four Star Reviews:

Wedge’s Gamble by Michael A. Stackpole takes the X-wing pilots out of the X-wing and has them go undercover on Coruscant. Wedge’s Gamble is book two in the X-wing Saga series that is a part of the Star Wars Legends series ( Star Wars Legends is a division that was considered cannon, but with The Force Awakens not following the trajectory of The established novels they were called Star Wars Legends). The last X-wing novel Rogue Squadron review, I used a Tom Cruise movie to describe it as Top Gun, this novel I would describe as Mission Impossible. Wedge’s Gamble refers to two things a plan to bring criminals from Black Sun to give the Imperials trouble on Coruscant and the undercover operation to take down the twin shields.

Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 by Joe Hill with Art done by Gabriel Rodríguez is a graphic novel that will open minds literally. This is my second time through the series, now that I know the ending, it fun piecing it together knowing all the character’s pasts and knowing all the keys and where they are hidden.

Locke and Key: Volume 3 Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill art done by Gabriel Rodríguez This is a smaller story filled with a really long action piece and the rest is filled with long conversations. There are three keys discovered in this one, the giant key which makes you turn into a giant, the crown of shadows key, which has a key go into a crown which lets you control shadows, and the fix it key which can fix broken items in a cupboard, but can not fix the dead. 

Locke and Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Jill and art by Gabriel Rodriguez was the best story since the first volume, but the art was one of the weakest. This volume has guest artist Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbs do an issue, which is great at first I felt it lost the seriousness the previous books had set. I will say this has one of the most fulfilling climaxes I read in a long time, where everything goes to hell all at once and things are not the same

Three Star Reviews:

Antkind by Charlie Kaufman is a truly out of this world adventure about a film critic experiencing and trying to remember a film that last 30 days. It consumes him and his dreams as he figures out what was the film and what was his life. The book relies heavily on how film affects the watcher, and that the film can become a part of you. This book is deeply funny mind trip that only the writer of such films as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind could write. This is Charlie Kaufman’s first novel and it is a doozy. This is the kind of novel that I think could be heavily discussed in college literature classes, because there’s a lot to explore and debate about, what is part of the film and what is a dream?

Two Star Reviews:

Mayhem by Estelle Laure is a send up to the 80’s with a story about feminism and powerful versus powerless. This story is a mash up of plots from 80’s and 90’s movie plots Lost Boys, Sleeping with the Enemy, and The Craft. The results should be amazing but instead a lot of formulaic plot with ideas on feminism throughout that only take root at the end.

Wrap Up: June Book Reviews 2020

Hello dear readers, June has been quite a month. I cannot believe we have hit the mid point of the year.  Look forward to my best of books I have read so far this year, coming out soon. I managed to read 6 novels this month.  I read zero rereads  this month. I read one graphic novel, one book that has been on my TBR for years now The Shining by Stephen King. I read one new release, thanks to Netgalley. I read a couple books in a series, and was able to finish the Power of the Dog series, this year it has been my goal to finish more series, I had a bad habit of starting a series and not finishing it. So far I have finished 2 trilogies, and have made gins in on-going series.   Thank you, to all followers I just hit 2 years running this blog yesterday, and it has both inspired me and uplifted my passion for reading thanks to you.

Five Star Reviews:

The Shining by Stephen King is a truly horrific book. Alcohol and ghosts do not mix! King gets into true fear, having someone you love, a father and husband, say, “I’m going to bash your brains”, then attempt to do it. The Shining is a ghost story but the scariest monster in the book is addictions and how it changes your rational choices, to choices that jeopardize your family. This Novel has been on my TBR for 15-20 years always meaning to read it but had not, until now.  I was shocked how different the book and the movie were, liking some and loathing some choices, but all in all a scary read, with truly horrific images, that only King can deliver.

Four Star Reviews:


The Border By Don Winslow takes the epic tale of DEA agent Art Keller and his war on drugs to a worthy conclusion. The Border is book three in the Power of the Dog series. This series starts in 1975 and takes us all the way up to 2019. The Border mirrors events that happened in real life and tweek them to fit the narrative, making it feel very real and current. The previous books in the series have remained in Mexico, but this book looks at the drug war going on in America. This book reminded me of J. R. Tolkien’s Return of the King when they destroyed the ring, they go back the shire is under siege (that happens in the book not the movie). Art Keller spent so many years trying to destroy drug kingpins in Mexico, that he returns to see that drugs are all around and didn’t stop anything. I did not like The Border as much as The Power of the Dog and The Cartel which were both 5 stars, but this delivered a pretty could conclusion wrapping up the series really well.

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine is book 9 in the original Goosebumps series. Welcome to Camp Nightmare is scarier than most of the Goosebumps I have read before. The ending is a good twist that is set up from the start with little hints along the way, in my last review of The Girl Who Cried Monster Goosebumps 8 this was a big complaint. The Psychological horror of being stranded and having people go missing, that no one remembers being there in the first place works really well.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells is the third installment of The Murderbot Diaries. This novella like the previous stories in the Murderbot Diaries follows an A.I. SecUnit that is self aware and detached from the mainframe that controls all other SecUnits. He refers to himself as Murderbot because he has murdered hundreds as he was controlled and part of the mainframe. He know tries to discover mysteries of his past. The Murderbot Diaries are part character study and part action adventure. The character study is usually the best part, but I preferred the action a little bit more in this installment.

Three Star Reviews:

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks, is a fiction that is written like a nonfiction having a journal, expert interviews, and family interviews. The Legend of Bigfoot is something that I have always been curious about, this book does the research on past Bigfoot sitings and makes a story out of it. I like Bigfoot but I’m not a fanatic (note: though growing up I did name one of my dog’s Bigfoot), I think fanatics and believers will get a lot more out of this book than I did. I ‘m sad to say I found the first half of this book very boring, with me only connecting with two characters. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing group Ballentine Del Rey.

 Two Star Reviews:

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato is all about the new Gods (Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, and the Flash) v. the old Gods (Zeus, Hera, and Hermes). Superman kills Zeus’ son Hercules, and in retaliation Zeus strips Shazam of his powers and sends him along with Harley Quinn to the underworld. We learn more about Ares, the God of War, plan for more war and who is pulling his strings. This Volume has been my least favorite so far, there was a couple of cool moments, but the dialogue remains stale and uninspired.

Wrap Up: Book Reviews May 2020

Hello dear readers, May has been quite a month. I managed to read 6 novels this month, I have worked over 50 hours every week this month, so I’m calling that a win. .  I read one reread. I read two 5 star books. I read one graphic novel, where Wonder Woman kick Superman’s butt. I read one new release, thanks to Netgalley. I read a couple books in a series. Thank you.

Five Star Reviews:

The Cartel by Don Winslow is one heck epic book, the story takes place over 9 years and makes you feel like you lived it. You experience the  lives of heroes and villains in a drug war gone bad in Mexico. The book in fiction but is heavily researched with real events added to the story to give it an authentic feel. The Cartel is the second book in the excellent Power of the Dog series.  I gave Power of the Dog the first book in the series five stars as well, it is highly recommended.

 What Lies Between Us by John Marrs is one crazy book that you can’t predict or put down. Characters flip from being good to bad, as the reader learns more secrets. This book has some of the most cringe worthy scenes, not because of gore or anything horrid, but because you are reading about a character that keeps digging themselves into holes. This is family dysfunction at its finest. What would it take for you to chain your mother in her room? The answers come quickly but the reasons behind them stay buried in lies.

Four Star Reviews:


Long Bright River by Liz Moore was a slow burn mystery that uses a real town and the topic of addiction, to make this mystery compelling. The slow pace reminded me of In The Woods by Tana French and The Widow by Fiona Barton. The mystery is not as good as it could have been and takes a backseat to addiction, but addition and the characters that are dealing with it are what make this novel stand out.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 1 by Tom Taylor, adds a little magic to this volume of Injustice. It was just a matter of time until magic got brought in, with magic being Superman’s weaknesses besides kryptonite. I’m not to familiar with Justice League Dark characters, but the Batman / John Constantine dynamic really plays off each other well.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Volume 2 by Brian Buccellato is a change from original writer Tom Taylor. The first issue in this volume is probably my second favorite since the first issue. In this issue Superman dreams what if Lois lived instead of died, having Batman kill the Joker to protect Clark, as he say where the Joker almost took him. This volume concludes most of the Justice League Dark’s involvement.  Constantine leaves in a really clever way.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato is one action packed volume that pits the old Gods of Myth Zeus, Hera, Hermes and more against the new Gods Superman, Wonder Woman, and more in a fight with deadly consequences. Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to revive Wonder Woman and Superman from a magic induced sleep, we learn the terms of that deal in this volume and the consequences that come with it. Batman also makes a deal with Athena (the God of War) who is playing both sides for more war. Superman and Wonder Woman fight, and man is it epic.

Wrap Up: Book Reviews April 2020

Hello dear readers, another month down. I read 9 novels this month, hit over 700 followers, thank you everyone. I read two graphic novels, three science fiction, one fantasy, one historical fiction, one young adult, and one middle grade fiction. I only read two books that were not in a series. One book was an advanced reader copy from Netgalley. My most anticipated read turned out to just be okay. My breakdown for this month is two 5 star reads, four 4 star reads, and three 3 star reads.

5 Star Reviews:

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow – is Scarface and the Godfather rolled into one. You live as the good guys the bad guys and the people in between that are casualties of a 30 year drug war, in the USA, Mexico and Columbia. This story looks at both sides like I have never read before, it shows the good guys having to cross lines they never thought they could cross and the bad guys crossing those lines to keep what they have. The pace is break neck and so addicting. This is book one in the Power of the Dog series.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two Volume 2 By Tom Taylor – is action packed with a lot of surprises and turns. This volume was a return to form it added the comedy back, some heartbreak, epic fights and happy reunions. Harley Quinn is a very bright spot in this volume, adding humor and heart, with her own twisted sense of humor. Batman is still in the shadows still recovering from what Superman did in year one. Superman goes from protector to dictator as he starts losing foot holds on his turf.

4 Star Reviews:

The Book Of Koli by M.R. Carey – is science fiction book after an apocalyptic battle where we tried to fix the environment but the world created trees that can walk and kill for nourishment. This book is the first book in the proposed Rampart Trilogy. This book is all heart, you can’t help but fall for Koli as he wants something more in this world, ad he manages to get a piece in the most unlikeliest of ways. The novel has a couple of good twists and turns and went in a direction I didn’t see it going. He is the unlikeliest of hero with a weapon to match. I read and reviewed this book thanks to Orbit and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind – is a fantasy that goes from juvenile light fantasy to brutal high fantasy full of sex and torture. Wizard’s First Rule is book one in the 15 book Sword of Truth series. The first 200 pages are the corner stone of fantasy mediocrity, A hero orphaned finds out he is really the savior all along, he meets the woman of his dreams that’s the key to the danger and his prophecy. The old healer in the village is really a powerful wizard that has been watching over him. The first 200 read like a Star Wars plot set in a fantasy world. Thank goodness this book is over 800 pages because those pages are original and go in directions I couldn’t have predicted, and I couldn’t put it down.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two Volume 1 by Tom Taylor – it gets away from the Batman and Superman strife of who is wrong by adding the Green Lantern Corps. The epicness died down a little in this volume but the potential is still really high for a huge payoff. Out of all the members of the Justice League I’m least familiar with Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps, this graphic novel is heavy on those characters.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow 1 is a love story at its heart, that I found very beautiful, it dips into the science fiction by way of magic, and the time period of early 19oo’s makes it historical fiction as well. I liked the idea of doorways to another world, where some people want to explore them, while other’s want them destroyed. The story is told as a book with in a book, which took a little getting used to, once I got used to it I liked the storytelling more, and there’s a few surprises in this way of storytelling that really work for the narrative.

3 Star Reviews:

This Is How You Lose The Time War By Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladstone – is a science fiction love story featuring a spy vs. spy storyline with time travel agents. What happens when one time traveler writes a note to her rival? They start a letter writing correspondence through time. The novel flows like a poem as the time travelers try to one up each other with diction, prose, and literature. There where times when I was head scratching some of the words and what they mean.

The Girl Who Cried Monster by R. L. Stine – is Goosebumps book number 8 in the original series. The Girl Who Cried Monster is an updated take on the classic fable The Boy who Cried Wolf. The premiss is the same a girl is obsessed with monsters, always acting like they’re real, discovers a real monster, and no one will believe her. The tale runs pretty typical until the bonkers ending, which is so out there it ruins it a little.

The Toll By Neal Shusterman – is book three of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. The Toll Ends the series in a fitting way exposes truths hinted at in Scythe and Thunderhead. This book expands the number of characters introducing a few new ones and expanding upon characters we have grown with. This book was my least favorite in this excellent series. I wanted to love this book as much as the others, but from chapter two, I knew this book was going in a different direction than I wanted it to. The novel eventually corrects course and delivers a satisfying ending to the series. My main problem is Citra and Rowan have been the main characters, and this book changes it to an ensemble story.

 

Wrap Up: March 2020 Book Reviews

Hello dear readers, March has been quite a month. I managed to read 6 novels this month. I read two rereads, one, Ender’s game, is a personal favorite from my childhood. I read two new releases, one was from Netgalley. I read two second books in a series. On a personal note in these hard times I wish everyone safety, and good mental and physical health. When the pandemic went down I had a hard time separating fact from fiction and had to keep reminding myself that characters can be in large groups. Reading has and always will be my escape, I hope everybody is able to escape as well.

Five Star Reviews:

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, is the second book in the Arc of the Scythe series. Thunderhead ramps up the action, expands on the already great world building, it has one hell of a climax, and maintains the high quality writing, that will make you think long after the book is finished. I love this series so much, it is going places I could not imagine. In world where people can live forever, there are scythes, whose job is to kill at random and be unbiased. Rowan a failed scythe has declared himself Scythe Lucifer and is set on killing scythes that are unbiased.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One, Volume One by Tom Taylor This graphic novel is based on the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, which would usually put it on the list of , yeah I’m gonna pass, but thanks to a friend’s praise I gave this a try. And man am I glad I did, because this comic book series is excellent. In an alternative world where The Joker tired of losing to Batman, “tries easy mode” with the target of Superman. Superman loses love ones and never want the world to lose another life, and turns the world into a police state where super heroes rule.   Batman and Superman become enemies that will make you the reader decide which side you are on. Superman thinks he’s saving the world while Batman thinks he’s putting more fear into it. Superman creates Batman’s dream but also his nightmare; A world at peaceful fear.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite Science Fiction novels of all time. This book is deep Science Fiction with one of the best endings that will floor you; it will make you both happy and sad at the same time. This Book is number 3 on NPR’s 100 best science fiction and fantasy novels it won the Hugo award for best novel and plenty of other awards. The plot is the world cannot wait for the next leader he has to be made. Graff the general in charge has found his leader in 6-year-old Ender Wiggin. Ender will be put to the test playing war games for an upcoming war with Earth’s greatest threat the Buggers.

Four Star Reviews:

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a great thriller about power and manipulation of a young woman who doesn’t want to fell so alone. The plot is Shay is a witness to a suicide, she doesn’t know the woman, but is interested in the why. She digs into her old life meeting her friends, coworkers, and family. She soon realizes this maybe wasn’t suicide after all but murder, and she just might be next. You Are Not Alone was published on March 3 2020

Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year One Volume 2 by Tom Taylor was a little bit slower but seemed to be saving everything for the finale, and man was it pretty epic. This book had a lot of cool action and scenes, with me as a comic book fan have been dying to see. Some of the lines between Batman and Superman gave me chills.

Three Star Reviews:

Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is a mystery/general fiction with a really good hook. A homeless man Joey commits suicide at a bookstore the clerk that he would interact with him finds him, along with his body he has a picture of the clerk, Lydia when she was a teenager. This book has great insight on the homelessness situation, but not much about actual books. I was hoping for a lot more book talk since there’s a code using books, this book is more about personal tragedy and connections.

Two Star Reviews:

Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman is a thriller filled with interesting characters but forgot the thrills. This novel spends too much time establishing the characters when they finally meet stuff starts to finally happen, but too little too late. The plot is a man running for Senate, has affairs. When one of those affairs is a member of his staff, that has decide to runaway. Must be found or it looks like he was involved with the plot. This is part of the Hard Case Crime series that specializes in pulp novels. Are Snake Necessary? was published on March 17 2020

Wrap Up: February 2020 Book Reviews

Hello dear readers, February is over, despite it being one of the shortest months I have had one of my best reading months so far. I read 9 books in February. I read all kinds of genres science fiction, mystery, general fiction, horror, historical fiction and young adult. I read 2 rereads, 2 advanced readers copies thanks to netgalley, 4 books in a series, a short story collection and a novella. I had three five star reviews, which is rare for me. So please let me share my mini reviews with you for these 9 titles.

Five Star Reviews:

Locke & Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, is a graphic novel I have read 3 times and my rating of 5 star still stands. This book is incredible! I’m reading the series and this book in particular because of the new Locke & Key series started on February 7 2020 on Netflix. This graphic novel combines gothic horror with suspense and added fantastical elements, all of which I love. This novel starts off with a bang having two murders show up asking about keys that no one knows what they’re talking about. Then the family moves to key house a house none of the kids have been to before. A place where the keys only open doors and powers for kids.

The Holdout By Graham Moore is as good as a legal thriller can get, it is one very entertaining and will keep you guessing, and two makes a statement about how our current legal system is broken and can be manipulated. The Holdout is two mysteries in one. One is a mystery that took ten years ago, where one jurist was a lone holdout for a not guilty verdict and swung the jury to all vote not guilty, is was the alleged killer guilty. The new mystery is who killed a member of the jury when they come together for a documentary about the case ten years ago. This book was part 12 Angry Men combined with an Agatha Christie murder mystery. I really enjoyed The Holdout thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for giving me an advanced readers copy. The Holdout was published on February 18 2020.

Full Throttle by Joe Hill is comprised of 13 short stories, two are written with his dad Stephen King. Some stories are bone chilling tales of fright, while others give whimsical insight of the the unknown. All tales draw you in in some way, some let you go easily, while other try to hold you in a death grip and not let go.

Four Star Reviews:

The Queen of Bedlam by Robert R. McCammon. This was a reread for me, book two the Matthew Corbett series. A haunting historical fiction/mystery set in 1702. There’s a serial killer called The Masker that cuts the victim’s face like a mask, a woman in an insane asylum, that they refer to The Queen, and the starting of the first detective agency in America.

The Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine is the 7th book in the original Goosebumps Series. I read this 20 years ago and forgot a good deal, there are still a lot of surprises and twist. This book messes with your brain a little bit, by asking what is real because of some clever pranks it make the reader second guess if this is really happening or a nightmare. I will say personally wooden dummies freak me out, so my fear factor might be higher than others.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson is very original plot, involving a woman looking after two twins that can spontaneously combust, bursting into flames at any second. How do you take care of kids like that? This novel is original in its approach taking the concept of kids that can burst in to flames seriously.

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson is a Science Fiction Novella that tells a futuristic Neo Noir detective story. I was reminded a lot of a Phillip K. Dick meets George Orwell, especially The Eye, the story Minority report is based on, and 1984. In the near future a computer program can simulate an entire day of the past for every person , police step into this world to gain to find evidence in the real time, but every interaction with someone from the real time causes deviations in the day.

Three Star Reviews:

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in High school! The story doesn’t hold back in its brutality, while keeping the dialogue foul and razor sharp. The language and camp are the best part of this novel. There are trigger warnings all over this book. Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday books for the advanced readers copy. Foul is Fair was published on February 18 2020.

Black Hammer Volume 3 Age of Doom Part One by Jeff Lemire is a graphic novel that takes heroes from the bygone era, and stick them in a purgatory on a small farming town, where there is no such thing as superheroes. Some find love, others find betrayal, and some heartbreak in this purgatory, but most just want out. Is there something keeping the team there or someone? In this novel we find out the answer.

Wrap Up: January 2020 Book Reviews

The first month of 2020 is in the books. I read 6 novels this month. I read two Classics with Little Women and Just So Stories. Little Women I read in anticipation of the movie, which was amazing and I highly recommend, it added additional scenes that enhanced the story. It was one of the best adaptations I have seen in a while. Tangent over see the movie. I read two Advanced Readers Copies thanks to Netgalley called Dreamland and Not So Stories.  I read a reread of Speaks the Nightbird one that I read 9 years ago before I started reviewing. Last but not least I read Scythe a young adult that has been heavily hyped on WordPress, and it did not disappoint.

Five Star Book Reviews

Scythe By Neal Shusterman is an incredible young adult novel that looks at Earth’s future in a smart way. Scythe takes the Grim Reaper character and humanizes it, by well making it human and showing the need of death. The novel really analyzes death; it shows the horror of murder, the mercy of a killing, and the romance of death. In a futuristic Earth humans have beat aging. Thanks to Nano technology there is no disease and death can be reversed in most cases. Scythes bring a permanent death to curb over population. The Scythes are human’s who have been appointed, they have a kill quota that must be unbiased in choosing its victims.

Speaks the Nightbird by Robert R. McCammon is one of my favorite stories by one of my favorites authors. This is my second reading of this epic tale that combines Historical Fiction with Murder Mystery, and adding a dash of Horror. We get a tale about witchcraft only 7 years after the Salem Witch Trials in 1699. Where witchcraft was in murky waters of being real or not. This book introduces Matthew Corbett and is the first book in a proposed 9 book series. Speaks The Nightbird is in development at FX with Blumhouse producing, I’m very excited. This is the first reread where my rating stayed the same, this book is a great five star read. I’m currently reading the 2nd in the series now.

Four Star Book Reviews

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott the unabridged version is a classic that remains relevant today. Little Women was written almost 150 years ago and the characterizations of the March sister’s still hold up today, we know those girls I personally see them in my sisters and my larger family, making the story easily relatable to me and probably others. The novel is told almost as vignettes, or more accurately slices of life involving the girls and occasionally Laurie the neighbor who becomes a part of the family. This novel is full of heartache and heartbreak.

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling is an interesting new set of fables aimed at teaching kids about things and expanding their imagination, all while having the subtext of British Colonialism and the Empire, as a good thing. These are stories meant to be read out loud, and they use interesting rhyme patterns, alliteration, and repetition, that add to the way the story is told. I read the version that is accompanied by illustrations and with added text that adds more insight to the story, which I would recommend.

Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore takes Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and flips it on it’s head. With 12 stories from diverse authors, that redirect the subtext of the Empire and British Colonialism in Just So Stories, to stories that embrace independence and mock the empire. This book is not as kid friendly as the original, but would still fall in the Young Adult category as far as content goes.

Two Star Book Reviews:

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau is a novel that is insightful when dealing with class warfare and structure, but when it is not, the novel is a fairly obvious mystery that is easily solvable. The novel is called Dreamland after the Brooklyn Amusement Park on Coney Island; it is most infamous for having a ride called Hell Gate. I wanted to like this one but didn’t connect to the characters and found the descriptions really vague.

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: 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.

 

 

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.