Monday, December 5, 2016

ARC Review: Cover Me In Darkness by Eileen Rendahl

Release Date: December 8, 2016
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Kindle
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: Mystery
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

Amanda Sinclair has to fight harder than most for everything she has after fleeing the cult that left her brother dead at her mother’s hand. Amanda works a quiet job in quality control for a small cosmetics company, trying to leave her past behind her—until she learns that her mother has committed suicide in the mental ward where she’s been locked away for the past ten years.

At first, Amanda believes that her mother killed herself, but when she looks through the personal belongings left behind, it seems her death may be related to the upcoming parole hearing for cult leader Patrick Collier. Teaming up with her mother’s psychologist, Amanda starts to peel away the layers of secrets that she’s built between herself and her own past, and what she finds is a truth that’s almost too big to believe.

Review:

Amanda still struggles with the death of her baby brother at her mothers hands.  She sees him in dreams, blames herself for not saving him.  She has built a wall around herself to protect herself from the outside world, finding it hard to trust anyone after what her mother did.  She also blames the cult her mother was a part of, COGG, and now their leader is being paroled.

Just as Amanda starts to try to breach her walls and interact with people outside of work she gets a call that her mother committed suicide.  After that a series of weird events start leading her down a path of mystery.  Who would want to hurt her, how can she get them to believe her? The bodies start piling up and the lines between what is in her head and what is happened start to blur.

This is a frustrating mystery, where everyone seems like a suspect.  Who can you trust? Just when you think you have it pegged a new twist emerges.  This was a quick read because I couldn't put it down.  I needed to figure it out.  I really liked this book right up to the end when I felt like the conclusion was rushed. Had there been a little more substance to the ending I think it would have earned another star from me.

The writing is simplistic making it an easy read and one that even younger readers may enjoy.



Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review: Caged by Onaiza Khan

Release Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Kindle
Pages: 146 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

"Keep your mind right, put your body in action and let your spirit guide you.”

These are the words keeping her sane after her husband kidnaps her, tearing her away from her life in India and keeping her captive in Northern Canada.

But after three months with only a servant, a television and the screams of another captive keeping her company, she begins to lose touch with reality - even forgetting her own name.

In her struggle to escape, she discovers an inner strength and powers previously unknown realigning her past, present and future.

Review:

This was a really interesting read.  Noor is a newlywed and is being held hostage by her husband.  He seems to really like her and doesn't seem cruel so why he is holding her against her will is a mystery.  Like the main character I wasn't sure what was going on at first then details started evolving and the mystery only deepened.

There were moments in this book that left me really confused, others that didn't seem to work and ones that were totally on point.  I think that Khan has a great premise and a great start to this story but this story would benefit from a re-write.  The ending felt very rushed and disjointed.  It didn't flow like the rest of the book, characters were introduced that I had no idea where they came from and other little things that seemed to happen out of the blue.

Overall the premise is very good, the writing could use some work but it was not a bad read.







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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review: Esper Files by Egan Brass

Release Date: October 16, 2016
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Kindle
Pages: 224 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

They came after The Great Storm, the Espers. Feared and hunted by society, there are those who use their powers for good, and those who use them for evil.

When an experiment goes wrong in Victorian London, Espers, people with supernatural abilities are created. In order to counter this new potential threat, the Institute is set up to teach Espers how to use their abilities for good and how to hunt down those who want to use their powers for evil.

Gifted with a formidable but self-destructive ability, Nathan is one of the Institute’s top agents. When the evil Baron executes his plan to control the minds of London’s political leaders, peace is dependent on Nathan and his team.

Will he learn to control his powers in time to save the world? Or will he succumb to their self-destructive nature?

Review: 

This book is like a combination of X-men and the Flash.  Espers are humans who have obtained supernatural powers when an energy conductor blew apart.  The Professor responsible for creating the Espers has been ostracized and is now running the Institute where other Espers go to learn about their powers and also police those who use them for evil.

Nathan is a smart ass with an amazing ability (think Wolverine with the powers of Rogue).  He seems to be the only one who can help the young Esper who just discovered her powers and help her stop another the Baron from completing his evil task.

This world seems like a distant past and recent future combined so I'm going to say this had a very steam punk feel to it.  This was an entertaining book with lots of suspense and a bit of a cliffhanger of an ending.  The sequel to this book Esper Files: Sky Cult comes out January 25, 2016.



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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Book Review: Fall (Archer/Bennet #3) by Candice Fox

Release Date: December 1, 2016 in Australia (no date for USA yet)
Publisher: Random House Australia
Format: Paperback
Pages: 252 pages
Genre: Thriller, crime
Buy: not available in the USA yet


Synopsis:

If Detective Frank Bennett tries hard enough, he can sometimes forget that Eden Archer, his partner in the Homicide Department, is also a moonlighting serial killer . . .

Thankfully their latest case is proving a good distraction. Someone is angry at Sydney's beautiful people - and the results are anything but pretty. On the rain-soaked running tracks of Sydney's parks, a predator is lurking, and it's not long before night-time jogs become a race to stay alive.

While Frank and Eden chase shadows, a different kind of danger grows closer to home. Frank's new girlfriend Imogen Stone is fascinated by cold cases, and her latest project – the disappearance of the two Tanner children more than twenty years ago – is leading her straight to Eden's door.

And, as Frank knows all too well, asking too many questions about Eden Archer can get you buried as deep as her past …


Review:

I was so excited when I saw there was a third book in the Archer/Bennet Series but my excitement was dashed when I found it wasn't available in the USA right now.  I wrote to a family member in Australia to send me a copy and I'm glad I did.

Eden and Frank's relationship is strained due to his growing knowledge of what Eden likes to do when she isn't working as his partner detective. Eden is struggling to recover from her near fatal injuries and fighting off growing suspicions that Frank's girlfriend is putting her nose where it shouldn't be. This book also introduces us to Hooky, a computer genius whose family was killed by her sister. Hooky is only 17 but helps the police investigate pedophiles on the internet.  She also has a almost fatherly relationship with Frank and his girlfriend isn't too pleased with it.

So while Frank navigates all these females in his life he is also on the hunt for a killer who is drugging and killing runners in the park in a very personal way.  How are they connected, who could be doing it?

Fox's characters are dark, dangerous and fantastic.  There are so many layers to them. Just when you think you have one pegged something else happens to realize you may be giving them too much credit for being human and the funny thing is the most ruthless character of them all Eden's father, Hades, seems to be the most human.

This book leaves us with a doozy of an ending that leaves me really wondering what comes next for these characters.  I know that the author is set to publish the first in a new series early this year, but I hope she doesn't let us stew too long waiting for answers on what becomes of our warped but fascinating friends in this series.




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