Monday, September 29, 2014

Deborah Harkness Series

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)
I started with the first book in this series due to a recommendation from my local library and I could not wait to read the next two.
For me, this series has been the best one that I have read and I am a little sad that I do not have another book to read. All the characters in the book are so wonderfully rich and developed that it felt like I knew them all personally. What was unfortunate was that in the last book everyone was brought back, which was a little overwhelming. There were so many characters that if I had not read the books so closely together I don't know if I would have been able to remember or keep them all straight. Even though Diana and Matthew are the main characters, my favorite was Gallowglass. I wish that he was more of a focus in some of the books...or better yet, maybe Harkness gives him his very own series. I truly fell in love with him throughout the series.
One of my pet-peeves is when the Point of View changes and this last book in particular, has a tremendous amount of it. I am not sure how many, but it must have been upward of three POV shifts. It really should stay in either 1st or 3rd person instead of jumping around. Some of the shifts seemed a little unnecessary and could have been cut down.
Some of the plot choices seemed a little haphazard and like they were created last minute to try to tie everything up. I thought that the choice to make all the creatures, including humans, related seemed a little bit of a copout. It is so much more fantasy driven if they stayed separate and independent species. One of the things that I loved the most about the series was the wonderful view on magic and that the darker side of vampires were shown. There are not many unique takes on magical creatures these days and it seemed like this book had a slightly new vision. How the "Blood Rage" topic was resolved was a little anti-climatic. I won't say too much on the subject since I do not want to give any spoilers a way, but it seemed like it could have been handled a little differently. The other odd thing was the Book of Life itself. I am still not certain what it is or what it does exactly. Again, I can't say much more on the subject because of spoiling the plot, but it seemed slightly strange.
Overall though, I loved all the rich history and the research that went into developing these books. The most important thing for me as a reader is to become invested in the book to the point that I feel like I am experiencing everything the main characters are. Harkness did an amazing job of this. I was sad that it ended and I wanted so much to go back in time to meet Christopher Marlowe and maybe even Shakespeare.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys magic and the world of creatures in general. If you do not like to be immersed in magical fiction, then I would suggest passing on this series, but it would be a real shame to do so.
Rating: 4 out of  5
I borrowed these books from my local library; I was not asked to give a review.
The images were taken from Good Reads.

The Blackberry Pie Murder

Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #17)
I have read a few of these of books in the series and it pains me to say it, but I was a little bored with this one. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an addiction to reading and to cooking. The things I love the most about these books are all the wonderful recipes that I sprinkled within their pages. There is one in the book that creates a wonderful little bacon wrapped egg  breakfast muffin that sounds absolutely delicious.
In this particular book, Hannah finds herself in jail for murder and the issue is not resolved by the end of the book. That fact alone will be why I read the next book. I did not get any closure and I need to see how that plays out. I suppose her mother's marriage to Doc has got me curious as well, since she has had trouble letting go of creative control with regard to well....everything. I love how sassy she is and how Hannah is completely the opposite. Reminds me a little of my mother and myself.
Outside of all of that, I felt that this book was just following a pattern and there weren't any twists or turns. I knew who the killer was rather quickly, which killed the suspense right away. Hannah still has not grown in respect to romance with Norman and I am wondering why he even bothers with chasing her anymore. Something drastic needs to happen in the next book to keep my interest or sadly, I will not be reading any more books in the series.
For all of those reasons I would only really recommend this book to die hard Hannah Swensen Mystery Fans. Anyone else who is thinking about starting this series should start a few books back and not with this one.
Rating: 2 out of 5
I purchased this book at a local bookstore; I was not asked to give a review of this book.
The image was taken from Good Reads.

Murder at Westminster Abbey


This was recommended by my local library and because I am quite fond of Queen Elizabeth, this piece of historical fiction seemed like an interesting read. I found out while reading it that it is the second book in the series, but I do not think you needed to read the first one in order to enjoy it.
In this book, Amanda Carmack has made the mystery sleuth a musician within Elizabeth's court. The relationship between Kate, the musician, and Queen Elizabeth seemed rather unlikely and I had a hard time fully buying into it. Toward the end, it was hinted at that the relationship that Kate has with the royal family may be more than what it appears, but will not say more on the matter to keep from giving away a potential spoiler for future books in the series. Carmack's characterization of Kate and even the Queen, was rather disappointing to me. I do enjoy a strong female lead, but there just wasn't anything interesting or unique about Kate. She could have been any musician from any court at the time.
Overall, I think that the pacing might have been off a little and it seemed to drag in places. Since it is historically based, it was very interesting to me on that front. But outside of all the research that was put into the book, the story seemed rather, well, boring. It was a nice twist that individuals with red hair like Queen Elizabeth were being killed, but outside of that there was nothing unique. Even the murderer was someone I had suspected a little ways into the book and I was not really surprised when it was revealed. The other issue that I had was the language that was used. There seemed to be certain words and phrases that were repeated over and over, which made the dialogue rather dull after a third through. It would have also been nice if the romance between Anthony and Kate, which was eluded to starting in the first book, would have progressed a little. That might have helped with the story as a whole.
I think that this was a nice cozy mystery in which there is some wonderfully rich history woven into the fiction. However, I am not certain that I will go out of my way to read the next book in the series or even go back for the first. I needed a little something more within the pages of this book to keep me interested and sadly it was not there. Maybe in the next book Carmack can try to insert some of Queen Elizabeth's wit and humor. That would definitely make it feel less dry.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommended to anyone who enjoys historical fictions with a mystery twist. If you do not enjoy the  Elizabethan Age, then I would suggest skipping this book.
The image was taken from Good Reads. I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

Death on Eat Street

Death on Eat Street
I was given this book as a gift for my birthday this summer. My mother-in-law knows how much I love to cook and this book does have some recipes strewn in with all the fictional murder mayhem going on. The title didn't really stoke my curiosity, so the book sat on my shelf for a few months before I finally cracked the cover.
Some of the things that I enjoyed about the book was the strong leading lady that J.J. Cook created. I am a sucker for a book with a strong female character and Zoe certainly is that. She is determined to make it on her own without the help of her wealthy family in the food truck and restaurant business. The fact that she had a cat named Crème Brulee and that he was an incredibly fat opinioned cat, was hilarious. Although I have to say I am more of a dog lover. Sometimes the character did seem a little cliché, but I did enjoy her growth over the course of the book none the less. It probably had something to do with the fact that I connected with her on some level. If I wasn't in the position that I was at right now and had a little more courage, I would definitely be in the food business.
In fact, I thought that most of the characters were well written. My only complaint is that sometimes the actions of some of the characters were a little hard to believe. I am a parent and I know that at some point I am going to want my kids to do what I want with their lives and not what they are attempting to do. However, I would never resort to kidnapping my own child, which is what Zoe's parents did. I also would not suggest that they need to marry someone that they do not love just for appearances sake.
Other than that, they only other thing I can say is that the book on the whole felt a little too cozy I guess. There wasn't a certain 'je ne sais quoi' and it felt a little flat at times. I wish that there was just a little more spice within the pages to help the story along. With all the wonderful in the South and with all the amazing techniques on how to cook, I felt that the authors of the book missed a few wonderful opportunities to be creative. It could have been something simple like how the victim is killed that would have given it a little more flare than it ended up having.
I think that anyone who likes cozy mysteries and loves food, then they would enjoy this book. If you are someone who doesn't like to cook and only likes take out, then I would probably skip this book.
Rating: 3 out of 5
I was given this book as a gift and was not asked to give this review.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

January Thaw


Recently I participated in the 41st Midwest Writer's Workshop and had an intensive session with the author of this series. In preparation, I decided to read one of her books in the series and this is the first one that was available at my local library. I believe that this is book 9 of the Murder a Month series that Jess Lourey is writing, but I did not realize that at the time that I read this.

With regards to the novel, I was a little disappointed in it. Maybe if I had started with the first one I would have seen the character growing, etc. For me, I thought that the main character was a little static. She was far less interesting to me than her cohort in crime Mrs. Berns. That old broad was fun and I couldn't help but laugh whenever to came onto the page. Definitely a scene stealer, at least for me. Also, her main character Mira and her boyfriend seemed almost like stock characters in a way. They were way too familiar and were felt type-casted. I would have liked to have had the characters have an idiosyncrasy of some kind that would have made them more interesting.

What I thought that Lourey did well was setting development. You knew that it was Minnesota and that it was in the winter. Sometimes while I was reading the skin on my arm would break out in goose bumps in empathy for the characters in the book. Battle Lake, since it is a real place, helped ground the book a little as well and made it easier to imagine what the little town looked like and how the people there behaved.

Some things that I had issue with was that the murderer wasn't really a secret and there were quite a few clichés strung throughout. For me, I need to be challenged when trying to figure out who the villain or murderer is. In this book, it seemed like Lourey didn't try to give any red herrings. I knew who it was rather quickly. The other thing is that even if you change a single word in a clichéd phrase, it is still a clichéd phrase. There was too much of that throughout.

In terms of the Midwest Writer's Workshop, I thought the intensive session with her was wonderful. She is extremely nice with a great sense of humor. In those few hours I learned more about the writing process than most of the writing classes I have taken. What I took away from it was not matter what, stay focused and don't give up on getting published. Even if you get 400 rejections, it may be accepted on the 401st, query.

If you like a cozy type mystery set in the Midwest, then this one is for you. If you need a mystery with a little more mystery and lot more action, then this probably isn't the one for you.

Rating 3 out 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not paid to do a review of this book. The image is taken from Good Reads.



I seem to punish myself with reading books that are either sequels or extensions of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, but when I read the synopsis for this one, I was instantly curious. What would the story have been like through the eyes of the servants of the Bennett household?

The first thing I had to tell myself before reading this is that I could not in any way shape or form be expecting the beautiful writing style of Austen. What I was hoping for was something a little more raw and even rough in style. Jo Baker did not disappoint! The servants were so deliciously bitter that I found myself amused and did not miss the characters of one of my favorite books.

Baker did an exceptional job of developing the characters and capturing the hard life that they had back then. It read a little bit like a historical fiction and had some interesting twists in turns, especially with the storyline of James, the new footman. I found myself wondering more about his back story more than any of the others and almost wish that it been told more through his eyes instead of Sarah's. Her writing style was beautiful as well and everything flowed from one page to the next smoothly.

My one main criticism is that Mr. Darcy was not really in the book. Alas, it would not have made much sense to make him a main character here, but how I do love that literary man!

If you are expecting a novel that is full of P&P then this book will be very disappointing. If you like a piece of fiction that has familiarity to another piece, but maintains its own storyline with love and loss then this book is for you. I should think that some other diehard Austen fans would be able to appreciate this book for what it is and not for what they wish it was.

Rating: 4 out 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not paid to give this review. The image was take from Good Reads.

The Witches Revenge


I was given a copy of this book by the author and thought that the premise for it was interesting. It is written like a folk tail of sorts and I was hoping that if I thought about it in the format I would begin to like it as I read it. However, after about 50 pages into it, I had a very hard time going forward to finish the book.

I think that Danny Odato's idea for the book was a great horror story. A small village is terrorized by some sort of evil force that is taking the lives of the children and pregnant woman. However, there was a great deal of telling where some showing needed to happen throughout. I wasn't really given the ability to imagine anything for myself since everything was handed to me.

Even though I knew that it was a horror story going into it, the fact that there were some very graphic scenes regarding children either dying or injuring themselves, really bothered me and I had a hard time connecting to the characters. Some of the dialogue and scenes felt choppy or shortened like they needed a little more fleshing out to be interesting to the reader. There seemed to be maybe a little too much tension and climax happening and I never really got to build with the sensation of fear. Instead, it felt overwhelming and I did not want to continue turning pages. The only other thing is that there were some general editing issues, which seem to be standard with novels that are self published by the author.

Overall, I thought that the story had really good promise to be scary if it had maybe been written a little more like a folk story being told to warn naughty little children. If you like short horror novels than you might like this. If you are like me and the detailed deaths of children bother you, then you may want to skip this book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I was given a copy of this book by the author for my honest review; I was not paid to give my review. The image was taken from Good Reads.

A Discovery of Witches


This book was once again on my library's staff recommendation list and I decided to check it out. Even though this book is quite long, 579 pages, it only took me a couple of nights to read. I could not put this book down, almost like I was under a spell to complete it. Now, I am going to have to read the other books in the series to find out what will happen to the main characters!

What I really loved about Deborah Harkness was her writing style. This book was extremely well written and you could tell that the author is a very accomplished academic. It had a very nice flow to it and its contents were very easy to follow. There was also a great deal of history woven into its contents, which made it read a little like a historical fiction piece. With all of the sensory details that Harkness put into the novel, you get transported to another world and it envelops you. It may even haunt you a little as well.

Normally, a love story would be off putting to me and are things that I do not gravitate to. However, I was drawn in and wanted to see how the love between Diana and Matthew would pay out. This is also why I now need to read the next two books in the series! A union between a vampire and witch seems interesting and one that is rarely done. It brought forth a great deal of questions, which is something that I like while reading. If everything is given to me without allowing me to fill in some of the blanks, I tend to lose interest fairly quickly.

The only complaint that I have is that the point of view shifts between first person for Diana's passages and third person with all of Matthew's passages. I tend to be a little old fashion and would like the point of view to stay the same throughout the piece. For this novel, that had to happen for everything to be explained and worked for it, but I still would have liked it to be consistent throughout.

If you like supernatural romance fiction, then you will enjoy this book immensely. If you do not like romance and feel that it should not have any place in supernatural fiction, then you might want to pass this one up.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I checked this book out of the local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book. The image was borrowed from Good Reads.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ruby Silver


When I was first pitched this book, I thought that it sounded interesting and would give it a try even though it was a little outside what I tend to read. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into this book and it took me longer to finish than I had expected.

What I thought Randall Reneau did well was the main character development with respect to their professional background. All of the geological terms and mining situations seemed very realistic, which helped me with the overall plot. However, with this being possibly the third in the series, I did get much general character development, which made them all seem very flat. I was able to get an outline of what each character should be like, and I really like the old snake farmer a great deal, but I found myself wanting specific quirks or details about each one explained more or exposed.
One issue that I had with dialogue in this novel was all of the Texan colloquialisms that were used. It seemed rather heavy handed and about a third of the way through the book I began to get annoyed by them all. The main reason for this is that they were all cliques as well. For example, "like a side of beef" or "pardner", and again, overused multiple times throughout the book. I think that if half of them were taken out and something else put in their place that still helps to give a "cowboy" or "cowpoke" kind of feel it would have helped us "city folk" get into the book more.

I also think that there were some added storylines in it that were unnecessary, like the kidnapping and show down at the Forth of July mine entrance. Those types of things could have been cut out and the story would not have suffered from it. That particular example didn't really have anything to do with the main plot of the novel and sometimes you will need "to kill your Darlings" in order to make a stronger tale.

The other thing that I was a little disappointed with was the overall editing of the novel. There were dialogue quotations missing in places along with some general editing oversights. But the big problem, and this is a huge pet-peeve of mine, is the changing of point of view from first person to third person. You either need to have the courage to keep all in first person or just put it in the more common third person. In this book, all of the chapters or sections in the eyes of the main character Trace are in first person, which is a challenge because you are only able to write what he feels, sees, etc. Everything not in Trace's POV is written in third person, which is needed to understand what is going on. Unfortunately, I am an old-fashioned stickler with respect to this issue and was disappointed to see that it was a mixture of POVs.

Overall thought, I did enjoy the storyline with respect to the mob ties, etc. I thought that could have been developed more and that more action could have taken place from the get go. The start moved quite slowly, which also made it hard for me to get to the end quickly. Usually it is a better idea to start your story in the middle of something that grabs the reader and I did not really find that with this book.

I do hope that Reneau continues writing books in the series because there is a good foundation for it. For me though, I just needed a little more description and depth to become completely invested in it.

If you like trying new readers and don't mind a slower moving plot, then this book would be for you. If you need a little more action, faster plotline, and great character development then you may want to skip this book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through Bostick Communitcations; I was not paid to give a review of this book. The image was borrowed from Good Reads.

Brush With Death: A Gray Whale Inn Mystery #5


This is the fifth book in the series and the first one that I have read, which is unfortunate because I will probably not read any of the others in the series. It had some problems right from the start that made it difficult for me to want to finish it. The only thing that drove me toward the end was the need to know that I was right about the villain.

I did think that Karen MacInerney did a good job with setting and I felt like I was really experiencing the harsh winters of Maine. Since the main portion of this tale is set on an island off of the mainland, I also thought she did a good job of showing what island life was like. For example, you could only travel to and from the island by a ferry and it would depend on the weather whether or not you could even travel that day. The other thing that she set up nicely was the artist community feel. I can imagine how cutthroat it is in the business and that would be enhanced further on a small island.

Aside from the setting, where the problems began were with the characters themselves. They all seemed quite flat and this could be partly because I have not read the other books in the series. I didn't really get a good sense of backstory for anyone except the future mother-in-law. Even then, I found it hard to believe that she would be as brazen as to just barge into people's homes unannounced, especially with how her heritage was set up. Natalie, the inn owner and main character, seemed to be a little too eager to get involved with the crimes on the island and I had a hard time believing that she would be that clueless about putting herself in danger with all of the previous sleuthing experiences she has had. The other glaring issue was with the sexuality of some of the characters. It seemed a little unnecessary to be such a main issue, especially when it did not have anything really to do with the overall storyline.

Another issue was the plot. I think that I knew who the killer was the moment they were introduced and why. That was really disappointing. Some of the little side stories seemed a little uninteresting too like the engagement ring being fake. Unless, MacInerney is setting some of these stories up for future books in the series.

Add to all of that, the numerous editing errors, this book was very difficult to follow through with. It was  a recommendation at my local library and since I am trying to find new authors to read, I gave it a chance.

If you like mysteries that are easy to figure out then you will like the book. However, if you are like me and need a little more of a challenge, then you might want to skip this one.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

I borrowed this from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book. The image was borrowed from Good Reads.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Homicide in Hardcover


Review: This book was on the recommended list of mystery books at my local library. I am always looking for new authors to read and add to my "Guilty Pleasures" list, cue Joanne Fluke, but this book was not as exciting as I thought it would be.

First off I need to commend Kate Carlisle for writing this entire novel in the first person. That is extremely hard to do successfully, so bravo to her for that. Having said that, I did find that at times it was hard to read. Carlisle has her main character Brooklyn almost addressing the reader at points which reminds me that I am reading this book and not actually part of it. For a book to keep my attention, I really need to be sucked in and made into an omniscient, but quiet character in the plot. If that doesn't happen, it becomes really hard for me to finish the book.

I did think that Carlisle knew all of her characters well and I loved how there was a diverse cast involved. They ranged from wealthy and conservative to eclectic and free loving. At times, there did seem to be too many characters to keep track of, but they were still all interesting. Also, there were moments when several truths came to light that I wasn't entirely sure if I was sold on the character reacting they way they did. It took away some of the realism for me.

The overall murder mystery is where I had a small amount of trouble with. At the end, I didn't really see the murderer coming, which is good, but it seemed like there wasn't a whole lot of set up for it. There was so much energy involved in developing a relationship of hate between Brooklyn and another character, that I think any subtle clues given were overlooked. Sometimes there can be too much of a red herring and that makes the story suffer a little.

Since the topic of bookbinding was foreign to me, I found that part of the story kept my interest in the plot going. I never would have thought that it would be so cutthroat a business!

However, at the end, I think that my overall feel of the book was average. I was surprised by who the killer and why that individual was the killer, but there were several other instances where I was pulled out of the story or when I had to stop and ask myself if that character would really do that.

If you like cozy little murder mysteries that end fairly neatly, then you will most likely want to check out this book. If you are looking for books that are a little more action-packed with nonstop murder, then you may want to skip this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not paid to give this review.

Image taken from Good Reads.

Carol P Roman Books

Reviews: I was sent 7 children books from this author and have decided to place all the reviews for them here. I normally do not review children books, so hopefully what I have written reviews worthy of the books.

1) "I Want To Do Yoga Too"

I thought that this book was cute, especially since I have done (or tried to do) yoga in the past. It would definitely help show kids how to do simple little moves like tree and cobra. The best part would be that they kids would be using their imaginations as well as toning their muscles. My two little guys didn't really get into this book, but I found it fun. I think that this would be appropriate for toddlers on up.

Rating: 3 out of 5

2) "Strangers on the High Seas"

This is one of two books I received that is part of the "Captain No Beard Stories". I really loved the artwork in this book. Everything was colorful and full of pirate whimsy. There were a few moments within the pages where I thought that the author, Roman, was trying to get a little "after school special" and that didn't work for me. With some of the vocabulary in this book, it may be more suited for older toddlers as well. The main thing that threw me at the end was that I didn't catch on from the start that it was a brother and cousin watching his little sister playing make-believe.

However, my two little guys loved this book and pointed out all of the animals on both of the pirate ships. It was very entertaining and I would recommend this to anyone with older toddlers and up.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

3) "The Treasure of Snake Island"

This is the other "Captain No Beard Story" that I received and it was just as fun as the first one. I thought that the artwork in this book was just as wonderful as in the first one. Everything is so colorful and I love how the story ends with books being the treasure they were all seeking. (I secretly believe books to be treasures too!).

Again, my little guys really enjoyed this one as well and I am sure we will read it more than once.

I would recommend this to anyone with older toddlers and up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

4) "If You Were Me and Lived in Turkey"
5) "If You Were Me and Lived in India"
6) "If You Were Me and Lived in Norway"
7) "If You Were Me and Lived in Kenya"

I am lumping my review for each of these books in this series together because I found that my reaction was the same for each one. Overall, I thought that they were all very informative and had nice artwork. Sometimes the art was rather dark and details were not there like in Roman's "Captain No Beard Stories". Also, since she wanted to get SO much information into each book, some artwork was covered up by lines and lines of content. Most of the time, the books covered their countries very well, but it seemed like Norway was centered mostly on the "Ice Hotel" and little else.

My two little guys lost interest about halfway through the first one that I tried to read to them, so I don't recommend these books to younger kids. I think that kids in first or second grade may find these books rather interesting.

Rating: 3 out of 5

I was given copies of these books by the author; I was not paid to give these reviews.

The Hanging Tree


Review: This will be the third piece I have read and reviewed for Michael Phillip Cash and I thought that it was a very interesting little novella. It took only a few hours to read and it had a few twists that made it seem a little more of an original take on the classic ghost story.

What I really liked about this piece were all the different characters that were part of the history on "The Hanging Tree". I think that the old woman was probably my favorite and seemed to be the most fleshed out of all of them. She had a great deal of black humor, which drove the story forward for me. Without Goody Bennett I don't really know if I would have enjoyed the novella as much.

The weakest part of the piece was really the overly done beautiful but virginal girl not willing to give into carnal desires with her handsome, popular boyfriend. All this, of course, takes place on lover's lane with evil lurking within the branches of the big tree above them. For this storyline to be successful in any way, it needs to stray away from that and not come across as a warning to all young girls about premarital sex.

I think that Cash had a new take on part of that storyline by having the ghosts within the tree become active players. He brings each of their storylines through their eyes instead of having some other main character retell them like a history of the area. Sometimes, however, there are places in the novella where the point of view of these ghosts get blurred and does create a small amount of confusion while reading.

Outside of some editing issues with respect to typos and chapter cut-offs/beginnings, I thought it was a rather easy read. Anyone that enjoys a simple ghost story during a rainy night would enjoy this book. But if you prefer to be scared out of your mind while reading ghost stories, you may want to skip this one. I didn't find it all that scary.

Rating: 3 out of 5

I was given a copy by the author for an honest review via Bostick Communications; I was not paid to do this review.

Image was taken from

Tuesday, May 20, 2014



Lawgivers - A fast-paced, dystopian techno-thriller novel exploring the fight for freedom in a complex near-future
SEATTLE -- Author Chris Kohout combines high technology, swordplay, and social commentary to create a rich story of a biotech firm out of control and the rogue attorney seeking to bring them down in Lawgivers.
Published by Unbound Reality, the novel opens in our near future. Law enforcement has evolved. Attorneys are judge, jury and executioner in one. Police officers are free to investigate, interrogate and apprehend at will. Working together in pairs, they are called Lawgivers.
Like all attorneys, Sarah Jordan delivers justice with a katana blade. Moderate offenses result in the telltale scar of a Lawgiver sword through the palm. More serious crimes end with a blade through the heart.
When a young girl stumbles into their office after witnessing her father’s murder, Sarah and her cop partner Robert seek the murderer but soon find they’re on the trail of a vast conspiracy revolving around a new drug that vaccinates against all genetic diseases. Going up against its creator, Integrated Life Sciences, would be the case of a lifetime.
But against ILS and its shadowy backers, even the law offers little protection.
Review: I thought that this book had a really interesting premise with the Attorneys deciding the ultimate fate of the clients they take on. However, at times I had a hard time believing the scenario that they would even be allowed to be given all of that power. In the very beginning of the novel, Sarah kills a man that is being sent to an alternate universe, but does not really suffer any consequences for her actions. Even in a world such as this one, it would seem that she would still need to be held accountable for the murder after sentencing had been given. There also seems to be a lack of overall law in the novel, which makes it hard for me to see it as real. The "evil" in the storyline seems to have a very easy time getting away with things like murder, corruption, and other situations that are related to the pharmaceutical approval processes.
What I thought that the author Chris Kohout did very well was his characterization. Most of the main characters were very well fleshed out and I instantly connected with Sarah. I also thought the back story was well developed for Sarah as well. There is spot in my heart for individuals that take the hard road, not because they want to be different, but because it is the right road to take. Even if they know that it will cause them to lose that what matters most to them. There were a few of the "evil" characters that could have been fleshed out a little more, only because they have quite a few scenes in which they are a part of.
Looking at the novel from a editing point of view, there were a few areas that could have used a little help. There were a few areas where some typos happened. I think that every time that the word "God" was used, it should be capitalized. All the times it was mentioned herein the novel it was left lowercase, but the connotation that I got from its usage made me feel like it should have been treated like a proper name. Point of View of each section seemed to be difficult at times to follow, which is the place that I had the most trouble with. Sometimes it would jump to a different person for maybe two paragraphs and then go back to the character that started the scene. I'm old school in my thinking about this issue compared to most. The novel would have been a smoother read if it had stayed with third person limited for each section. All the information given was needed, but a story can be made stronger at times with the "show don't tell" homage. Lastly, the other pet-peeve that I have is when every sentence is started with "she", "he", "they", etc. It makes the flow choppy and repetitive in nature. 
Overall, I thought that this was a nice novel with a little bit of everything in it: mystery, murder, corruption, family, and a little of science fiction. At times the POV seems a little confusing making to story feel like it is not complete. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys futuristic mystery fiction. Those who like a tighter storyline that doesn't seem rushed at the end may not enjoy this book.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I was given a copy of this novel by the author for an honest review, I was not paid to give my review. (Pitched by Bostik Communications)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Boleyn King


For some reason I have always been fascinated with King Henry XIII and the whole Anne Boleyn story, so when I saw the library recommendation for this book, I knew that I had to read it. What was intriguing about this piece is the "What If?" scenario presented. What if Anne Boleyn's son had survived at birth and she was never executed for her adulterous crimes? Would the outcome still be the same with Elizabeth being crowned Queen in her lifetime?

This novel is seen through the eyes of several different individuals, but one seemed to stand out above the rest. Elizabeth, as written by Laura Andersen, was very well done. She had the independence and hardness that I have come to love about her. Also, her wit is still in tact within this piece, which is equally important. However, I also enjoyed the way that William seemed to be a polar opposite of Elizabeth with his love of grandeur and free spirit. Andersen tried to encompass Henry XIII lust for life within William, but I would have like to see just a little more wit and little less anger for him. Andersen does create a character that seems to be the peace keeper of the bunch. Dominic is the son of a prior traitor, but was brought into the Tudor household and trust by Henry XIII. William considers him to be more than a friend, giving a title for his service as a soldier in the king's army. I enjoyed the parts of the story through his eyes, but they read like a young man's diary in which he was writing daily about the young woman he was pining for but could not have.

The only character I don't know that I was entirely sold on was that of Minuette and unfortunately, the majority of the story is told through her eyes. She is the daughter of Anne Boleyn's servant that was born on the same night that William was and is brought up within the Tudor household. Looked upon as family, she ends up as Elizabeth's head servant and ends up in a love triangle with William and Dominic. Andersen, however, does not really do a good job of explaining why she is so sexually sought after. Some of the situations and decisions that Minuette made throughout the plot seemed a little unbelievable and that hurt the plot for me.

Andersen also added in a murder mystery to the story, which is the primary focus of her piece. Minuette's roommate appears to have committed suicide, but it turns out she was actually murdered. It is centered on a secret that could possibly take away William's birthright to be king. Without this part of the plot, I am not certain that the piece would have help my interest. It helped with establishing a genuine conflict and climax for her novel, but parts of it seemed a little farfetched with respect to Minuette's role. I don't want to put any spoilers in her, so I am going to leave this intentionally a little vague. However, I will say that apart from that there were some nice, unexpected twists that I did enjoy as evidence was brought to light.

Overall, I thought that this was a very quick and rather interesting read, especially with the added murder mystery. If it had been just another retelling of the time period, it would have been extremely boring, but Andersen did a rather good job of keeping me an active reader. There are a few historical inaccuracies along with some small editing errors, but they don't seem to deter from the story telling that Andersen is able to accomplish. It may have roused my curiosity just enough, that I may need to eventually read the other books in the series.

If you enjoy historical fiction that does not keep to the exact confines of the period and incorporates some things that may be historically inaccurate, then this book would be a good choice. However, if you are a stickler for details and those inaccuracies would keep you from enjoying the book, then I would suggest skipping this one.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4

This book was borrowed from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

Image was taken from Good Reads.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Death By the Book - Prism Book Tour

Death by the Book (Drew Farthering Mystery #2)

Death by the Book
by Julianna Deering
Christian Mystery
Paperback, 320 pages
March 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

Bethany House

Other Books in the Series:

Normally, I do not read kindle books. Mostly it is because I love the feel and smell of an actual book, which understandably sounds a little creepy or weird, but the electronic versions of them tend not to have the same personal connection for me. Having said that, I thought that this book was quite a charming mystery novel which I rather quite enjoyed.
Julianna Derring did a remarkable job of weaving a wondrous murder mystery set in England around the late 1920's. It kept me reading into the wee small hours of morning to find out if my suspicions of who the killer could be were right or not. For me, the killer was not readily revealed which I rather like. Novels that don't keep you guessing are not very good sport for an avid mystery reader such as myself. This one did not disappoint and I felt that Derring was able to stay true to the period and means of detection that were available at that time.
I also felt that the characters were exquisitely crafted. It was clear from the beginning that Derring felt comfortable writing about them and seemed to know them better than themselves. Usually an added romance would be something that would not work for me in a mystery novel, especially if it is one of the main story plots, but in this case it added to intrigue of the plot itself. It had kind of an Austen feel that I very much appreciated.
There were two main things that I had a little difficulty with overlooking, however, and they both have to deal with the editing of the Kindle version sent to me. It was strange, but for some reason all of the words that had a double 'f' in them were missing them! Words like off would be spelled "o" instead of it. If it had been intentional there should have been an apostrophe after the 'o'. The other thing that bothered me was how the book was formatted. In the version I was sent, there were not many, if any, distinctions between paragraphs. Not many indentations to signify a new paragraph and in some instances there was a space right in the middle of a sentence where the line was severed and then indented on the next line. Other than that, there were some minor editing issues with respect to missing quotations around some dialogue and some odd transitions. The main character would be chatting with someone about going to the chief inspector to relay information and in the very next sequence of sentences, the inspector was suddenly there as if no time had past.
Overall, I thought that this was a great mystery that keeps the reader invested in solving. If you enjoy mysteries that have a more classical feel to them, then you will thoroughly enjoy this book. However, if you will not be able to look past the formatting issues making it impossible to finish the book, than I would not recommend this one. However, it would be a great shame to pass it up since it was a delightful and light read.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I was given a copy by Net Gallery at the request of the Prism Book Tours for my honest review; I was not paid to give this review.

Julianna DeeringJulianna Derring has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Deviltry Afoot


I thought that this book would be interesting to read. It was pitched to me in an e-mail blurb that I get from time to time from a company that is trying to help self published authors out. That is what makes this review quite difficult to write because I really do enjoy helping others when I can, especially aspiring authors.

The strongest thing about this book was the storyline behind it. I thought that Pritt had a unique plot that has not been written about in this way. For anyone who is very religious and knows that the Devil is real, this could be a very scary book to read at night. It is interesting to see a serial killer who was killed several decades ago comes back from the dead to start killing again. Add in a mourning mother looking for clues into who killed her daughter, you have a really good tale to be spun.

However, this book had quite a number of issues that would have been caught by a decent editor. The plot, while good, was not executed well, which brought the whole story down. Nothing was ever really developed or fleshed out because the pacing was so quick. Instead of having paragraphs, many of the pages were filled with one sentence paragraphs, which not only made it awkward, but made it read like a list of ideas instead of a cohesive story. There were many errors with grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. that it was very hard to read and I almost could not finish it. This is now becoming my pet-peeve with respect to the whole publishing community. Please get someone to edit your books appropriately! Outside of all that, it unfortunately read like a rough draft and not a polished piece.

I do hope that Pritt continues writing and honing her skill set in the future. With story ideas like this one, she could become a mainstream author if she was able to successfully execute them on the page.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

I was given a copy of this book by the author through Bostick Communications; I was not paid to give this review.

Image taken from Good Reads.

Three Graves Full


This book had one of the best opening lines that I have read in a while, "There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard". It created such a wonderful image and started off the story with all kinds of questions, which I liked. However, it quickly lost my interest after a few chapters and I had a difficult time finishing it.

I think that Mason had a wonderful idea for a story with her main character killing a man, burying him in his backyard only to have the people planting flowers find two additional bodies that he did not know about. It creates a problem for him since he knows there is a third body out there in his yard that no one knows about except him. That part of the plot was strong and could have went any number of different ways. However, the path that Mason took was not as interesting and I quickly became less invested in it.

My biggest problem was the character development. Jason Getty, the main character, seemed insipid as the story went on and I wished he had a little more spine, so to speak. As Mason brought more information about him to light, I began to view him as a victim and not the ruthless serial killer I was looking for. She also had several storylines going on that did converge, but it seemed a like she may have taken on a little too much and nothing was really developed extensively. The side story of Leah looking for her dead fiancé who also happens to be stepping out on her quite often, wasn't really needed. I think it would be a much better story if Mason would have stuck to Jason, the killer of the two people found in the flower bed, and the detectives on the hunt.

Overall, I thought it was a decent novel, but not one that I will reread over and over like a good Austen novel. If you enjoy a decent caper with a few twists that are not over the top, then you may like this book. If you need something that has more action to keep your attention, then you may want to pass this book up.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

This book was borrowed from my local library; I was not asked to write a review.

Image was taken from Good Reads.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Red Queen Dies


This book was recommended by my local library and it sounded interesting with the "Alice in Wonderland" inspired crime. It is essentially a detective novel that takes place in 2019 where the occurring theme of "Big Brother" is watching runs amuck. Bailey has created a very strong female leading detective that is working very hard to catch a serial killer that may have ties to the last victim, a Broadway star know as "the Red Queen".

Even with all of the intrigue, this book took me several days to really get into it. Especially since it started off with a press conference, which was informative, but dull. I didn't have any immediate excitement about reading the book and was concerned that it would not be eventful. However, I will say that Bailey has done a very good job a weaving a relatively okay crime tale that has some good twists and turns that the average reader may not catch on to right away. Her main characters were fairly fleshed out and they seemed like they could be real people, which for me is one of the things I need to become invested in the plot.

Outside of this though, there were several things that got in the way and made it a slower read for me. First off, there was the abbreviation "ORB", which I am not entirely sure what it stands for. It seems like it is a smart tablet/phone-like device that people are able to order/pay for items at coffee shops along with answering calls or viewing e-mail. It was not fully explained, so I envisioned it as a smarter version of the most recent smart phone...confused? In the "Author's Notes" section of the book, Bailey suggests going to her website for further explanations for the technology, history, etc. Although that was very nice of her to offer, I would much rather have been shown this in the novel then going the distance to research it. Kind of takes the fun out of reading the book and being transported somewhere new.

There were also too many twists to the storyline that made it seem a little ridiculous at the end with respect to tying it in to "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz". I wish perhaps some of that would have been cut out and a little more focus could have been given to the crimes at hand. The idea was sound, but just not well executed which made the overall readability of the book suffer.

Bailey also had a few side stories added in and I am not certain what purpose they were meant to serve. The first had to do with another case that a few detectives were working, but it didn't really tie in to the serial case that was the main story and seemed a little erroneous. Then there were several scenes in which one character was meeting with another or speaking with another on their ORB, but the identity of the other individual was never revealed. If these scenes had had an impact with respect to the story, I would have understood why they were there. But they felt like they were added in only to show that this book would be part of a series and there were still much more to come with regards to the characters in the plot.

The other thing that bothered me was the fact the book had many editing issues. It has become a pet-peeve of mine now that authors do not seem to be proof reading their manuscripts or investing in a good copy editor. There were dialogue sequences that were missing quotations. Many areas had grammatical errors that should have been caught. I was a little disappointed in that.

Overall, the book was okay. It started out slow, but in the end it made for a good story. If you can overlook some of the editing issues and wade through the extra information that was not needed, you would enjoy this book because it does have a good crime story underneath all of that. However, if you are unable to do any of that and need a story that builds from that first sentence on, then you may want to skip this one.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

The image was taken from Good Reads.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Rosie Project


I am part of a reading challenge on Good Reads and this was the book that was chosen for February. This is not the genre I typically choose to read, so I was apprehensive if I would even enjoy this book let alone be able to finish it. However, I did like this book and finished it within 2 days time.

What was interesting about this book was exploring Asperger's Autism, which is something that I know very little about. It was a great deal of fun to take someone who does not understand emotions like love and place them into a situation where love or falling in love was the end result. The need for precise scheduling seemed to surprise me too, especially with the need to calculate every minute of time done to how long it should take to shop for something as simple as a scarf.

The other thing that I enjoyed was Don's need to create "projects" to accomplish goals. At first it was to find a suitable wife, so he initiated "The Wife Project". Then the goal of helping Rosie find the identity of her father, so "The Father Projected" was created. Lastly, there was "The Rosie Project", which was the main plot of the book. Since I have some science background, I felt that Simsion did a great job at showing this logical part of the scientific brain and how it relates to every day life.

I know that others felt that Simsion made his main character Don a little like Sheldon from the "Big Bang Theory", but even with the similarities there were enough differences that made Don incredibly unique. His inability to meet someone without calculating their BMI was truly humorous to me. I enjoyed the situations that he found himself in with respect to "normal" social decorum like the dispute with a student on evolution that involved a flounder well past its eat by date.

For me, there weren't too many things that I did not like about the book. It had a good flow to it and was a very easy, light read. The fact that it is only told through Don's eyes is why the book was successful for me. If there had been more with respect to the thoughts and feelings of Gene, Claudia, and Rosie I don't think the underlying meaning behind writing the book would have been as strong. However, I really wanted more from the Gene and Claudia storyline. I suppose more for my own curiosity than anything else. There was an unexpressed feeling that Claudia was not as excited about the open marriage the same way that Gene made it sound. Especially after the scene where she put chili peppers in his sandwich without telling him!

Overall, this book was enjoyable and quite different from what I would typically read. If you like romantic comedies then I think that you would enjoy this book. However, if you are not into that type of thing and would not be able to get past the similarities between Sheldon and Don, then you probably should skip this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

The image was taken from Good Reads.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

Because I love a good caper and have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes for quite some time, I could not resist reading this novel. It is the first Sherlock Holmes book allowed to be written by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate in about 125 years! Even with all the expectation that this novel would indeed disappoint to live up to Doyle's beloved character, I had to give it a try and pleasantly, I found myself unable to put it down.

Horowitz does an incredible job of capturing Holmes the way that Doyle had created him to be. I love how everything is there; the violin, the exasperation that Watson feels over the course of the investigation, and the subtle clues that reveal the killer in a way that only Holmes is privy to. It was if Horowitz had created Sherlock Holmes himself for you can feel the love that he has for this timeless character.

But beyond this, the language of the novel was exactly the way that Doyle would have written. It was as if it had been published 125 years ago with that classic literature feel. Gregarious and dripping with description that I so desperately want in the newer fiction that I have been reading these days. The plot was weaved so that the killer was not completely obvious, but you had your suspicions that could encompass several of the characters being followed by Holmes. Even I was surprised with some of the revelations of what crimes were committed by whom and why. (And that is saying something!).

There isn't much that I would have changed about this novel except a few revision/editing issues that I had. Some of the dialect seemed off and there were a few words used multiple times toward the first half that wore out there use after the second time written. However, these did not deter from the story overall and I found it no less enjoyable to read.

If you are an individual that is expecting this character to be one that mirrors the likes of Robert Downey Jr, then do not pick up this book. Sherlock Holmes in this novel is exactly the same as the one Doyle had written long ago. If you are able to disassociate yourself from the new age romantic view of Holmes then you will enjoy this book. However, if you are not able to detach yourself from the 21st century version of the most famous detective in literature, then you will probably not enjoy this book, but it would be a shame not to read it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I borrowed this book from a local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

The image was taken from Good Reads.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Real Murders


This book was also recommended by my local library and even though it was written some time ago, I thought that I would give it a try. The premise was interesting with a club called "Real Murders" in which people gathered monthly to look at true crimes and discuss the details of a particular case, but there is a murder at the VFW hall where their meeting is and everyone becomes a suspect. Several more murders take place and it is clear that the killer or killers are copying old crimes.

This is the first book that I have read by Charlaine Harris and I thought that it was fairly well written. It kind of reminded me of "Murder She Wrote" even though the main character, Aurora, is a great deal younger than the Jessica Fletcher character of the former. Harris does a fairly decent job at developing her main character Aurora, but almost borderlines with stereotyping her as a librarian that eventually lets her hair down to be adventurous. The story also moved along quite steadily and did not seem to have too many awkward pauses, but there were some editing issues that should have been resolved before print. I also felt that with it being in first person point of view, the story did not suffer from lack of information either with regards to the crimes. In that respect, it was very developed.

Sadly, the overall feel of the book was rather dull. There were quite a few characters introduced in the book and not all of them were needed. Harris develops some that should be left in the shadows and then skips over others that should be more fleshed out. There is also the unnecessary love triangle between Aurora, Arthur the detective, and Robin the writer. I wish that Harris would have chosen one of them to be the main love interest and then explore that a little more in the book. There just seemed to be several sub plots that were not important and made the whole book drag on as it was being read.

However, I did find the overall theme of the book intriguing and therefore would recommend it to individuals that enjoy mysteries of the 1990's. However, if you like more streamline mystery novels where you are constantly asking why the main character doesn't just use their cell phone to call the police, then this novel would not be for you.

Rating: 2 out 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

The image was taken from Good Reads.

The Fate of Mercy Alban

The Fate of Mercy Alban

This book was on the recommended list at my local library. Since I found it quite intriguing, I checked it out and was able to finish it within a night. It was a simple read that had wonderful potential to be an amazing mystery, but sadly fell short with respect to structure and plot.

What I liked about the book was that Wendy Webb was able to create several characters that I truly wanted to like and learn more about. The main character Grace struggled with wanting to be free of her family's history, but at the same needs that family's pull in the small town where she grew up when a series of deaths and unfortunate events start happening. Webb introduces a sweet minister from the church about a mile from her family's home that is instantly likeable, almost reads like the boy next door. The house itself is also a character rich in the history of how it was built with the backstory of a curse passed on from the harvested wood it was created from.

However, the story itself suffered from several issues. In terms of story editing, it ended and began with third person point of view, but the main part of the story is told in first person point of view. This is one of my biggest pet-peeves. The point of view cannot change several times within the story. It is either all third person or all first person. I suppose I am a little old-fashioned in that respect, but that is how it should be. Secondly, the reality of the storyline seemed a little off. A minister jumping into bed with the main character so quickly in the book seemed rather unlikely, especially since the religious views of Grace were not well established. Thirdly, the reading of the unpublished novel within the novel did not work for me. It was very dull in spots with this addition and seemed to make the story slow down greatly. Lastly, it seemed like the actual "ghost story" was kind of lost or skipped over because of the found unpublished novel. It would have be far more interesting to give a little more background on Grace's grandmother and her Irish or Celtic magical roots. I wanted more of that part of Grace's history and of the backstory of her aunts.

Overall, it was a good attempt at a campy ghost story. It reminded me of something that one might tell around a campfire with friends about a cursed house and how those that lived there once had never been heard from again. I really wanted to like this story and parts of it I did. If you are looking for a new take on a ghost story that gives you all the thrill rides of a murder mystery, then you will probably want to skip this one. But if you are someone who enjoys a campy ghost story that gets its point across without explaining everything in detail, then you may want to pick this book up some dark and stormy night.

Rating: 2 out of 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

The image was taken from Good Reads.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Willful Behavior

Willful Behavior

I have never read a novel by Donna Leon and so was unfamiliar with the length series that this book was a part of. However, I don't think that you would be lost if you were to pick up this book like I did and start reading in the middle of the series about this Detective Brunetti.

For me this was an VERY slow read. I am not certain if it was intentional by Leon because that is what the Italian lifestyle is like or if it was an unfortunate outcome of the plot itself. It was really hard to keep my focus and I found myself putting the book down for several days and then picking it back up only to repeat this process.

In terms of the characters and Italy, it was exquisitely written. The description was wonderful and it felt like I was really walking the streets of Italy, embracing their culture, and experiencing a place that I am not familiar with. Leon gives great descriptions of the characters as well and it feels as if the Detective and the reader are old friends.

Unfortunately, the plot didn't really work for me. I found myself not really invested in the murder of Detective Brunetti' wife's student. The only thing that kept me reading was to find out why she was murdered for my own personal interest. It seemed like even Leon was tired of writing it about halfway through and perhaps that is why it dragged. There were still a few twists while trying to solve the murder, but it read more like a travel book documenting the Italian lifestyle than as a murder mystery.

Overall, this novel had great descriptions, but it was a very slow read and dragged on. I think that many individuals who have already read the previous books in the series will love this book. However, if you are a newcomer like myself, I recommend starting with the first book in the series before taking this one on.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I borrowed this book from a local library; I was not paid or asked to do a review of this book.

The image was taken from Good Reads.

Daughters of Twilight

Daughters of Twilight

It is rare that I come across a book that I just cannot put down and read well into the night, but this book was one of them. The premise is what interested me from the beginning; a possible war with angels here in Iowa. However, even though I was interested enough to read this almost all in one night, it did not deliver everything that I had imagined it would.

What I really thought that Collette Jackson-Fink did well was with regards to description of the surroundings and of the characters. The angels were incredibly detailed with their beauty and the way that they were able to move/fight. I found myself transfixed, wondering exactly what it would have been like to be in their presence. The men that were fighting against them, some under false pretense, were your garden variety military personnel. Jackson-Fink does try to give each of them a unique quirk or characteristic to set them apart from one another, but sometimes they still seemed a little type-casted. What I really loved were the descriptions of the black pyramid, especially the secret place the angels take the main character Dane to.

Most of the issues I had were simple editing or revision errors. There were many sentences that started with "He, his, they" and that made the paragraphs seem to read a little awkward at times. Some of the dialogue was a little confusing at times with missing quotations and some strange spacing issues. I think that there were two areas within the storyline that I felt if the author had fleshed out a little more, the story would have been a little more complete feeling. One was when an angle "tasted the truth" in the blood of the wounded Dane. I didn't quite understand how that worked. How did the angel taste truth? Seemed relatively abstract and wasn't very concrete. The other issue I had dealt with how the angels "remake" or "transform" their life mates. It seemed to be something that was talked about more than once, but when it came time for it to happen in the book, it was only a paragraph long. It didn't really explain how it happened, which is what I really wanted to know. The last issue I had was that the novel seemed to wrap every loose end up when it was finished. I think that I like to have a little bit of the storyline end not so neat to keep me thinking. Sometimes that "what ifs?" are sometimes more important to me than tying everything up in the end completely.

Overall, I thought that this was a very good novel. The religious undertone was what really drew me to it and it kept me interested all the way to the end. I would recommend this book to just about anyone who likes religious suspense fiction. However, if you are not a fan of having everything tied up neatly in the end and know that will bother you, I would suggest skipping this book for the moment, but it would be shame to miss out on this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

I was given a copy of the book by the author; I was not paid to do this review.

The image was taken from Good Reads.