Tuesday, September 16, 2014

(49) Out of the Ashes

Title: Out Of The Ashes (The Ending Series, #3) by Lindsey Fairleigh & Lindsey Pogue
Publisher: L2 Books
423 pages
Genre: Dystopian,

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis: Hope brought them together, but it's now fear that drives them...and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms--other survivors, their friends, even themselves--and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others' memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself--her humanity--completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they're willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

Review:  Free from the Colony, Zoe, Dani and their crew of other lost souls continue to make their way across the country.  They are in search of a place to call home, a safe place where they don't have to sleep with one eye open anymore and be able to try to build a life.  Zoe is still struggling with the effects of whatever happened to her during her escape from Clara the psycho girl who keeps trying to kill her and Dani seems to be losing herself to her animal friends. In addition to the every day struggles to survive Dani struggles with the knowledge of what her mother had done and that she is still alive. This knowledge is dangerous, more dangerous than she can possibly imagine.

This series just keeps getting better as layers start to peel away to reveal what happened to create this world, and how those who survived can continue to live their lives. These characters aren't invincible either, you will see them bend to the breaking point or lose themselves all together, this is a touch and violent new world and they are lucky to have survived as long as they have but their struggles are far from over. Like the other books the action and the character building gets equal play and doesn't disappoint.  My only wish for these books is that I didn't have to wait for the next one but even still I am excited and gripping the edge of my seat to see what new challenge this motley crew will have to face in order to survive.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

(48) Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyle Series)

Title: Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles Series) by Christine Warren
Publisher: St. Martins Paperbacks
336 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis: Art restorer Felicity "Fil" Shaltis can read the magic in auras, but her fascination with a valuable statue her friend Ella Harrow asks her to locate is purely artistic. At least until the fierce stone gargoyle comes to life as a powerful, and powerfully hot, immortal warrior, who promptly saves her life from a cultist set on destroying them both. Suddenly "chiseled good looks" takes on a whole new meaning…

Review: This is the second book in this series and I thought it was better than the first.  Felicity like most people doesn't know that there is a war going on between good and evil in the world and Evil seems to be gaining ground.  Stone Guardians were created to protect the world from this evil but the Wardens that were supposed to wake them up are being hunted and killed.  It seems that now only certain women their Guardian's true mate can wake them.  In the first book Ella woke the first, in this book Ella convinced her friend Felicity to seek out a special statue which she winds up waking and being pulled into a mystical nightmare where there is danger around every turn and she has been branded by a crazy man wielding magic.

Christine Warren spins a tale that captivates you and keeps you reading.  I love this series.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

(47) Tantric Coconuts

Title: Tantric Coconuts by Greg Kincaid
Publisher: Crown
306 pages
Genre: spirituality/ romance/ religion

I received a free e-copy of this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis: Free spirit Angel Two Sparrow—artist and musician extraordinaire—is having trouble making ends meet.  On the verge of desperation, she inherits her crazy Aunt Lilly’s bookmobile and half-wolf named No Barks, and dreams up yet another life plan. Painting her business card on the side of the van, Angel and her trusty companion set off on a pilgrimage across America hoping to jump-start her new profession: Native American Spiritual Consultant.

Traveling in the other direction, Ted Day and his trusty Irish Terrier-mix Argo are on a much needed vacation (and in need of spiritual nourishment). When he leaves Kansas, Ted can’t image how far from his sleepy law office that old silver and black Winnebago 32RQ Chieftain will take him.

Two lives (four if you count the canines) collide (literally). Once the dust settles, Ted and Angel find themselves enamored. Sensing that something bigger and more profound has been set in motion, the couple embarks on a wild road trip, detouring into some rarely traveled corridors of the human soul. Very soon, it becomes clear that nothing will ever be the same for these travelers, their dogs, and, heck, the world at large, too.

Review: This book seems like religion or spirituality 101 -If you ever wanted to know a little bit about different religions and how they all fit together, this book is for you.  Its like taking a bunch of different self help/spirituality books mashing them together and throwing in a love story.  I really struggled through this book.  Maybe because I have read most of those books individually and the definitions and discussions of different philosophies was a little too rudimentary for me but I also just felt it plodded along.  I think some people will find it fascinating and a good primer, and others will find it tedious and boring, some will find it offensive and others will put it down after a few pages.  I'm somewhere in the middle. I thought it was good although I struggled with staying awake through information that I feel has already been told to me by the writers that are quoted or annotated in the book.  If you are looking for something and don't really know what it is this might be the book for you, otherwise you may want to take a pass.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

(46) Into the Dark

Title: Into the Dark: A Novel of Suspense (Brenna Spector Novel) by Alison Gaylin
Publisher: Harper Collins
384 pages
Genre: Suspense, Mystery

Synopsis: Can a stranger share your memories?
That's the question that haunts Brenna Spector when she first sees footage of missing webcam performer Lula Belle. Naked but hidden in shadow, the "performance artist" shares her deepest, darkest secrets with her unseen male audience . . . secrets that, to Brenna, are chillingly familiar.

Brenna has perfect memory, able to recall in astonishing detail every moment of every day of her adult life. But her childhood—those carefree years before the traumatic disappearance of her sister, Clea—is frustratingly vague. When Brenna listens to the stories Lula Belle tells her audience, stories only Brenna and Clea could know, those years come to life again in vivid detail. Convinced the missing internet performer has ties to her sister, Brenna takes the case—and in her quest for Lula Belle unravels a web of obsession, sex, guilt, and murder that could regain her family . . . or cost her life

Review: This is the second book in the Brenna Spector series and I found this one more enjoyable than the first.  Maybe because I knew the characters or maybe because it just creeped me out.  Who is this mysterious shadow of a girl and why does she have Brenna's memories? Could it be her missing sister Clea? You sort of get answers at the end but yet you are still left with lots of questions as well.

I would not consider this great literature or anything like that but it is a good story that keeps you guessing, keeps things moving and keeps you entertained.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

(45) The Dead Will Tell

Title: The Dead Will Tell: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo
Publisher: Minotaur books
317 pages
Genre: Mystery, Amish

Synopsis: Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time—and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.

On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide—an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they're both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti’s family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?

 When a second man is found dead—also seemingly by his own hand—Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished—and his young wife disappeared without a trace.

Review: All is well in Kate's world until 2 phone calls change everything.  The first telling her of a possible suicide, the 2nd telling her live in partner Will Tomasetti that one of the men responsible for raping and murdering his family was set free from prison on a technicality.  Will had crossed the line of the law once before, would he do it again? Kate isn't sure and while she worries about Will she is also engrossed in what turns out to be a murder investigation that may help solve the cold case of a dead Amish family.

There are twists and turns in this story, some that I could have predicted, some that were just too twisted for me to even see coming.  Then there is the curious case of Tomasetti...I'm not sure what to make of him. I feel like Castillo gives us glimpse of who this man is but not ever really letting us get too close.  But maybe thats how Kate deals with him too, although in this book it seems she realizes that she has let him closer than she thought she could or would.

This book definitely holds your interest and sometimes you find yourself even holding your breath. I found myself struggling to stay awake for "just one more chapter" on a couple of occasion.  Quick, easy, entertaining read.
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