Book Review: September Sky (American Journey #1)

24244216

 

 

 

Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Series: American Journey
Genre: Science-Fiction- Time Travel | Romance | History
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 412
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon


Blurb

When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But they find more than common ground aboard the ship. They meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, SEPTEMBER SKY follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make peace with the past, find new purpose, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come.

Review4+1:2 Stars Black

 

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mr. Hedlt’s books and The Mine and The Journey are one of my all time favorites. As a result, I had huge expectations from this one and, I must say, that September Sky didn’t disappoint me.

The storyline is well thought out and thoroughly researched. All the historical facts and places are to the point. Though the plot felt a little far-fetched at times, I still enjoyed it, given that the book was about time-travel, a far-fetched concept in itself.

This book is written in third person multiple POVs which give a very clear idea about everyone’s thoughts and reflections. Author’s writing is one of the best parts of the story and I can’t sing enough praise for it. It is simple, relatable and flows beautifully.

It book had a slow start but it picked up the pace gradually. This, however, is a point that I have gotten accustomed to while reading Mr.Heldt’s books. So, when I read his books I know what to expect and that makes it a little easy for me to get through the slow start of his books. But might be a problem for anyone who’ll be reading his book for the first time. So bear in mind that his books are worth the initial labor.

The ending is amazing. In spite of being a romance novel, I really didn’t see it coming, so it was a pleasant surprise. All the questions were answered with great care at the end and I was completely satisfied with the way things turned out for everyone.

The characterization is really good and I felt a connection with each and every character (even with the secondary ones) and thoroughly enjoyed reading about each and everyone.

As this is the first book in the American Journey series, I’m really looking forward to reading the next one.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Charles Townsend lifted the small, framed photo from the corner of his desk and studied the boy with the bat.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Paragraph: 

With that Geoffrey Bell, professor of physics, cruise-ship lecturer, and time-travel agent, walked out of the room and out of sight. He left his guests with Victorian clothing, bogus documents, and twenty-first-century anxiety.

Final Thoughts: A heart-warming read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

 

Advertisements

Book Review: From A Distant Star

24036086

 

 

 

 

Author: Karen McQuestion
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | Young Adult | Romance | Contemporary
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 256
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

 


Blurb

When Lucas Walker inexplicably recovers from a terminal illness, everyone is astonished –except for his girlfriend Emma, who never gave up hope. However, as friends and family celebrate the miracle, Emma becomes alarmed: Lucas has changed. He speaks haltingly, can’t recall past events, and even his own dog doesn’t recognize him. Emma begins to suspect something is terribly wrong. What happened to the Lucas she loved? Does his strange behavior have something to do with the shooting light that fell into Lucas’s backyard the night he recovered?

As the two set off on a road trip in search of the truth, the journey takes an unexpected turn. First they’re shot at by unknown enemies and then helped by unlikely allies. Before long, Emma and Lucas are plunged into a desperate life or death race against time.

Packed with intrigue and emotion, FROM A DISTANT STAR is a riveting novel about loyalty and the power of love.

Review

4 Stars Black

 

I enjoyed this book from start to end. It was a light read and had some really fun elements. In spite of being a Sci-Fi, it was more on the side of Romance fiction (other than a stranded alien.) I loved the characterization and felt a connection with the lead character, Emma, and even Scout (to some extent.)
I loved the plot line and though it felt a little off at a few places, it managed to pull me inside the story from the beginning till the end. I even loved the other characters. They felt very realistic and that’s where this book scored for me. That and the fact that it was a fast read.

I liked the writing style as well because it flowed nicely and wasn’t complicated like most of the Sci-Fi books. And unlike most of the YAs these days, this book is standalone, which is a big plus for anyone who wants to read a nice little piece of fiction.

It also had a great ending, one that I predicted when I was less than half through the book. But the author still managed to keep me second guessing it right till the end. So, it was a pleasant reading considering everything.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: A Piercing light flashed across the sky and plunged to the earth, landing in a farmer’s field.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A fast YA read.

Book Review: Monsterland

26835271

Author: Michael Phillip Cash 
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Series: None
Genre: YA | Adventure | Urban Fantasy | Post-Apocalyptic | Horror>Zombies |
Paranormal>Vampires | Shapeshifter>Werewolves | Post-Apocalyptic
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Create Space
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569
http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569

The story line of Monsterland is really unique, fresh and, I must admit, quite chilling (esp. the werewolf part.)

It’s not scary in the literal sense as such but it does gives the chills at more than one occasion. The descriptions are wildly realistic and the images they paint is worth all the time and money spent on this book. I felt that I was the one visiting the Monsterland with my friends and not the fictional characters. The story is beautifully crafted and the detailing is commendable. Being a paranormal/shapeshifter/horror storyline, the author successfully captured the character backgrounds and successfully added layers to the overall concept.

I enjoyed the book right from the first line right till the very last one. The overlapping of the paranormal and horror genres is commendable because, despite my initial reservations, the author managed to woo me with his amazing story and its execution. It is a job well done on the author’s part.

I felt a connection with each and every character of this book. What seemed to be pointless discussions of monster-obsessed teenagers in the initial pages of the book, made more and more sense as the story progressed and finally when it reached the last act.

I also enjoyed the last connection that the author made between the characters. It’s a well thought out storyline with 3-dimensional characters and layers and layers of different elements.

All the elements blended perfectly well together (except for one little thing- why was Raoul the vamp scared of the zombies!?!? Well, this crossed my mind only for a second before I got caught in the thrill of the moment and my mind moved on to other characters who were literally fighting for their lives (when the story is as good as this, who cares?)

I love myself some badass zombies but this is the first time I actually saw them sympathetically as “victims” and poor sick people who are not someone to be shot or bashed in the head by any/everyone, but a sad bunch of unfortunate people who caught the plague.

http://weknowyourdreams.com/zombies.html
http://weknowyourdreams.com/images/zombies/zombies-07.jpg

By the starting of the end, I was actually feeling sad for all the three creatures- the zombies, the vamps and the werewolves- but by the end, all the other things faded from my mind and I experienced what I really wanted to (and why I really picked this book in the first place)  – a complete monster massacre.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The sky was a sparkling, power blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lilypads.

Memorable Quotes: 

Wyatt looked back at the main area of the park, feeling uneasy he was being led somewhere he shouldn’t be going.

Memorable Paragraphs: 

Wyatt glanced back in his rearview mirror and shifted uncomfortable in his seat, remembering why the sign unnerved him. It bore a stricking resemblance to a picture he has seen in his history book. The words were in German and read Arbeit Macht Frei– Work Makes You Free. It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

Highlights: Superb concept and amazing execution of all the elements.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A must read for paranormal and post-apocalyptic readers.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

 

Book Review: The Prophecy (The Fulfilment #1)

23265671

Author: Erin Rhew 
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Series: The Fulfilment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 381
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Erin!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

Rating

TRB 4 half star

Review

Plot/Story:

I absolutely loved the plot line of The Prophecy. It’s entertaining as well as really emotionally involving. I really enjoyed the story and  it pulled me into the world of Vanguards, Ethereal and Outlanders right from the very beginning.

The world-building is superb and the author has really done a commendable job in detailing. The book is written in multiple POVs and takes us through the lives of all the three main characters in detail. The pace of the story is great and being an absorbing read and all it proved to be quite a fast read.

I’m really excited to read the next book in the series as I honestly want to explore the amazing world of this book.

Characters:

The characterization in this book is really impressive. I loved the main characters, Layla, Will and Nash and even the supporting characters of Vespa, Grant and Volton Holt (there were more but I’m just mentioning my favorites.) I was able to connect with them all and was able to feel all the emotions the characters were experiencing. I really wanted to cry when they cried and literally grin when something good happened (especially when Nash came in the picture.)

Romance:

This book is a romantic YA Fantasy, so what else do you expect!? It has tons and tons of romance and the author managed to pull off the love-triangle thing gracefully. Though at first I thought it to be a little weird, considering Layla’s nature, but it was all explained beautifully in the second half of the book. And yes, it all did make sense (which is really rare these days!)

Writing:

The writing is really powerful which I was expecting and which doesn’t come as a shock because the author is an editor and I’ve read quite a few books edited by there and they were really awesome! T

Begining:

The Prophecy pulled me in right from the start. I loved the Day Of Dawning was intrigued about all the cryptic thoughts Layla had about the First Ones and the Ecclesiastics. I mean that really, really made me curious and that was the point where I realised that I was in for a brilliant read.

Ending:

The ending surprised me, but I must say I did expect a little more (just a teeny bit.) I mean the ending was haw-inspiring but I kind of made my peace with it thinking that at least now Layla won’t have to choose between the two princes. Maybe it’ll be different in the second part but I really needed something more that would have made it a cliff-hanger of an ending.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and it totally managed to get me to read this book. So yeah, it’s as good as it can be.

Cover Art:

I absolutely cover the cover art of this book and it really makes me want to pick up a hardcover copy of the book.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Beware of gray skies; they can be an omen.

Highlights: The world-building.

Lowlights: None

Final Thoughts: An engaging fantasy read with brilliant world-building.


 

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: The Girl Without A Name

24488233

Author: Sandra Block 
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Series: None specified
Genre: Mystery|Psychological Thriller|Suspence
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 368
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley invitation by Tiffany Sanchez
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Another gripping pageturner featuring psychiatrist Zoe Goldman, the protagonist from Little Black Lies.

In what passes for an ordinary day in a psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is stumped when a highly unusual case arrives. A young African American girl, found wandering the streets of Buffalo in a catatonic state, is brought in by police. No one has come forward to claim her, and all leads have been exhausted, so Zoe’s treatment is the last hope to discover the girl’s identity.

When drugs prove ineffective and medical science seems to be failing, Zoe takes matters into her own hands to track down Jane Doe’s family and piece together their checkered history. As she unearths their secrets, she finds that monsters hide where they are least expected. And now she must solve the mystery before it is too late. Because someone wants to make sure this young girl never remembers.

The Girl Without a Name is a powerful novel of memory and forgetting, of unexpected friendship and understanding…and of the secrets we protect no matter the consequences.

Rating

TRB 4 stars

Review

Plot/Story:

In one sentence- I enjoyed reading Girl Without A Name. Though it wasn’t a complete thriller, still it had its moments where it really stood out. It’s a slow paced story taking the reader through the ups and downs in the life and times of Dr. Zoe Goldman, which I must agree, was quite interesting.

What I really enjoyed about this book is the mystery and how all the small-small elements that snaked around the main plot, came together at the end beautifully making complete sense. Even though I’m a little bit disappointed with the fact that it was a subtle read and not a mind-boggling thriller, I still enjoyed this book, mainly because the ending took me by surprise. And that’s really rare! So, I really like this book.

Characters:

Dr. Zoe Goldman is a memorable character. I really enjoyed her witty nature and stark comments. She felt like a real character and the idea of showing her so vulnerable really managed to make a place in my heart for her (as a character.)

I’ll be reading the prequel to this one soon as I’d like to know what really happened with Dr. Zoe in the previous part.

Romance:

There was no romance worth mentioning but there was quite a lot of emotional stuff involving Zoe, her brother, and her deceased mother. The emotional angle added up to the advantage of the book in terms of character development, as it really added a new layer to Zoe’s character.

Writing:

The writing is simple and subtle and it made reading this book a pleasant experience. It’s good enough that I won’t mind trying out other books by Sandra Block.

Begining:

I was drawn into this book right from the very start. I really enjoyed the quirky banterings of Dr. Zoe. Her wit kept me entertained for the better part of the book. The starting of this book gave me an impression that there is going to be one hell-raiser of a mystery in the later part of the book but, to my annoyance, there wasn’t.

Ending:

The book ended with a real bang but, as I just said, I was expecting a lot more. I initially thought of this book as a thriller mystery but as it turned out it was just a mystery (with nothing really thrilling about it.) And that too a cozy mystery at that. Still the book managed to surprise me at the end, so there’s that to look forward to.

Blurb:

The blurb is good enough, though, I feel that it does give a slight impression that this book is a fast-paced thriller (or maybe it’s just me.)

Cover Art:

The cover art could have been a lot better but considering it’s a mystery read, the fog on the cover really does give an apt impression of the genre (at least.)

Other Stuff

Opening Line: We call her Jane, because she can’t tell us her name.

Highlights: The ending.

Lowlights: Slow pace of the story.

Final Thoughts: A slow paced, enjoyable mystery read.

Book Review: Neverland

25317200

Author: Shari Arnold
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Series: -
Genre: Retelling | Fairytale | Young Adult | Fantasy | Contemporary | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 359
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.
But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound.
Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?
In this modern-day reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Neverland is a fairytale retelling of Peterpan and as far as I’m concerned this is the best book I’ve read so far in the fantasy genre. It has a dreamlike  imagery which will leave you craving and begging for more.

The pace of the story was perfect, not too fast, not too slow. I was able to not only read the story in front of me but was also able to live it forgetting everything around me.

This book is literally unputdownable and I love it so much that it has made its place at the top of my all-time favorites! I’ve already read it twice now and I’ll be re-reading it again soon.

Characters:

I absolutely adore the lead characters of Livy and Meyer, so much so that I guess I’m in love with Meyer! The relationship between Livy and Meyer developed slowly and beautifully. The vulnerability of Livy added more depth to each and every aspect of the story.

I wanted to cry when Livy felt hurt and wanted to do a happy dance whenever she got a positive response from Meyer. I even blushed a dozen times while reading about Livy and Meyer’s small interactions.

https://45.media.tumblr.com/f7002f90f03cf17d5c7c5468b2ea3238/tumblr_mqd502krNg1sbgfiuo1_500.gif
https://45.media.tumblr.com/f7002f90f03cf17d5c7c5468b2ea3238/tumblr_mqd502krNg1sbgfiuo1_500.gif

Romance:

The beautiful budding romance between Livy and Meyer was nothing less than magical. It was slow and cute love that started as an odd friendship but developed into something more special. The thing that made their relationship so magical is the subtlety of feelings beautifully expressed by the author.

https://45.media.tumblr.com/1d61ec22b2bd42f451044d203205035d/tumblr_mtp4zcU5VG1svh626o1_500.gif
https://45.media.tumblr.com/1d61ec22b2bd42f451044d203205035d/tumblr_mtp4zcU5VG1svh626o1_500.gif

Writing:

Shari Arnold’s writing style is so simple that it flows smoothly throughout the book. I enjoyed reading this book mainly because of the uncomplicated writing style. I didn’t just read this book, but I was really able to live it (and that’s something.)

Beginning:

The book started beautifully with Livy reading Peter Pan for children in a hospital. How can anyone not get emotionally involved right from the start with this kind of a start! I was swept right off my feet from the very first page. And as the story progressed I lost myself completely in the beautiful world of Livy and Meyer.

Ending:

Ahh… the ending. At first, I was like:

tumblr_m2roxs3Qsb1qb4mxmo1_500
http://s181.photobucket.com/user/amtrak12/media/Gif%20Collection/tumblr_m2roxs3Qsb1qb4mxmo1_500.gif.html

But then after a few minutes, I thought about it and realized that it was for the best and that the ending couldn’t have been better. Yes, it wasn’t a straight out happy one, but it was realistic and, more importantly, acceptable. After being swept off by this story I really dreaded to know the end, but the author, Shari Arnold, really surprised me with a well-balanced ending.

Cover Art:

The cover art of this book is simply awesome. The colors are so pretty and subtle and the minimalistic design makes it a great cover.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and gives a fair idea of what to expect from the book. I picked it up from NetGalley after reading the blurb itself, so yeah, it totally worked for me, and I’m sure it’ll definitely get anyone else’s attention as well!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It’s just before dinnertime at the Seatle Children’s Hospital.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

Their eyes are wide and curious, and I love that. If I focus on their eyes I can forget the disease each one carries around like a nametag.

I’ve found that death makes people uncomfortable, while the death of a child clears the room altogether.

God doesn’t save children around here. Sometimes it feels as if he’s collecting them.

Memorable Paragraph:

Jenna slides up closer to me, her excitement a temperature that keeps me warm. She and Alice are spell-bound. They’re the reason I love to tell stories. It doesn’t matter how often they’ve heard it, or that they already know what will happen next. A story is a story. It takes you away from what you’re doing and how you’re living right then, and whisks you away into someone else’s world.

Final Thoughts: This book is pure AWESOMENESS!!!


 

Book Review: A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00002]

Author: A.J. York 
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Children's Fantasy|Fairytales|Magic|Middlegrade|
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 31
Publisher: Nova Sky Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Jen!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

A fully illustrated Christmas story that will make your heart sing!

Upstairs in the Anderson’s attic there is chatter coming from the Christmas, Easter and Halloween boxes. Someone new has arrived. Tallulah the Christmas Fairy wakes to find herself attached to the top of a tree. She soon makes friends and has a magical first Christmas. Once the festivities are over, Tallulah finds herself in the attic with the other decorations from Easter and Halloween. Each year they watch the seasons change as they wait excitedly for their turn to go downstairs. Until one day new boxes appear and then the unthinkable happens. A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a magical and uplifting tale for the whole family.

RatingTRB 5 stars

Review

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a beautiful book that gives us a peek in the lives of the various decorations (that we assume to be non-living) such as Christmas decorations, Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, etc. and even a few toys.

It’s a heart melting story about how the decorations get all super-excited as their time of the year comes and how, when the festival ends, they get sad as they are stowed away in the attic. How they wait for the seasons to proceed and for their festival to come so that they can again be hung or placed downstairs and can finally see the family and the world outside (through the windows.)

The story is told from the POV of princess Tallulah, who is a new addition to the Anderson’s Christmas decorations. She sits at the top of the Christmas tree and makes loads of friends over time. And as the years go by all the decorations grow extremely close to each other and finally all the events lead up to the most amazing Christmas ever. (I won’t say anything further as it is a surprise after all!)

This story is so beautiful that not only children but adults will also enjoy it thoroughly. It’s a fairly quick read and will be a nice gift to give it your kids this Christmas. (I know I’m a little late, but what the heck, it’s still holiday season.)

In the Christmas spirit, here’s some magic for all the readers of TRB:

tumblr_mftv2hFCaA1ric07zo1_400
Source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/eb323b1073d16f12cb46f41f8cc93b3f/tumblr_mftv2hFCaA1ric07zo1_400.gif

Book Trailer

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Tallulah had no idea she was alive. At least, not straight away.

Highlights: Awe-inspiring story.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A magical read!


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.


 

Book Review: Quiet Neighbours

26157712

Author: Catriona McPherson
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Series: None
Genre: Mystery
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to.

Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant and, when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger’s cottage isn’t perfect for a woman alone but at least she has quiet neighbors.

Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell’s past and Jude’s present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything.

Rating

TRB 1 star

Review

DNF’ed at 20%

I just can’t get into this book. I guess a few sentences are plain weird to say the least. Things seem to happen out of nowhere and I have no clue where the hell this book is headed.

I’ve previously read The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson and absolutely loved it. So, I was expecting a lot from this one as well, but sadly, after a few pages, only everything went south.

I like the author’s writing style but for this book what didn’t work for me was the characterization and the desperate need to bring out the characters’ love for books. It felt quite forced to me.

Hopefully, the other books will be better than this one, cause I really liked TCG, and want to read more books like it.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was the last thing on her mind when she fled across London.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and NetGalley.


 

Graphic Novel Review: Oddly Normal (Chapter #1)

23257942

Author: Otis Frampton 
Illustrator: -
Release Date: 1st May, 2006 
Series: Oddly Normal
Genre: Young Adult | Magic | Fiction 
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 132
Publisher: 
Distributer: Diamond Book Distributors 
Source: NetGalley

Blurb

Oddly Normal is a 10-year old girl with the most unfortunate name and the luck to go with it. The product of a unique mixed-marriage (her mother is a witch and her father is human), Oddly has grown up between cultures and she is the proverbial outsider. On her 10th birthday, her parents mysteriously disappear and she is left in the care of her great Aunt, a citizen of a fantastical place called Fignation.

Rating

TRB 5 stars

 

Review

Note: It’s been quite a while since I read this one and now finally I’ve got the time to pen down a review for it. As it’s been a sort of late reviewing, this review is not as detailed as I would have liked but I’ll be reviewing the sequel soon, so I’ll be more descriptive when I review that one.

Oddly Normal is the one of the best graphic novels I’ve read so far. It’s extremely engaging, superbly thrilling and, I must say, remarkably cute! I love the characterization and Oddly are indeed a really remarkable character. I can completely relate to her and I really think that this series is going to be epic. The illustrations are rich and spot-on. I really, really love this book!!!

The world-building in this novel is a work of pure genius. The names are just totally amazeballs (yea, I had to say that) and the storyline is one that can easily suck the reader inside the amazing and adventurous world of Oddly.

If you’re looking for a new graphic novel series to start with, Oddly Normal is just the thing you need. Trust me.

tumblr_m3xsjkAVMd1rn435g

(Review of Oddly Normal #2 is coming shortly!)

You can also read this review at: Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: No Rest For The Wicked (Vampires Of London #1)

25407047

Author: Wolfe Cotto
Release Date: February 28, 2015
Series: Vampires Of London
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 288
Publisher: Black Crow Publishing Limited 
Source: Publicity Assistant, Sam
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Edward DeVere, 600 and some year old vampire, resident of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, has been taking it easy.
London is home sweet home and Eddy considers himself a Renaissance man; a bit of a modern day ‘flaneur’. Some would say a ‘slacker’ and a bit of a ‘stoner’. Opinions are divided.

Eddy knows the city like the back of his hand. Life is ordered, predictable and boring. Until someone near and dear disappears and he is left with no choice but to find out why.

It should just be a night’s work for such an ‘old timer’.
But things don’t go as planned.
Eddy’s cosy world starts to fall apart.
Nothing is what it seems.
It’s time to wake up, smell the coffee and roll his sleeves up.
It’s a damn nuisance, he’s exhausted and could really do without all this ‘tom tit’.
But it seems, there’s just no rest for the wicked.

Rating

TRB 1 star

Review

DNF’ed at page 170. Though I really liked the witty comments and observations of Edward, the writing style of the author really bothered me. The sentence formation is really complex (and at times really weird, what with 5-6 commas in one single sentence itself.) It really distracted me from the plot, which BTW was a little too uninteresting for my taste. At one point (around page 50 or so,) I was wondering what the hell is really going on.

If I would have had free time at my hands I would have tried to at least complete it, but unfortunately, I don’t have even a second to spare. Certainly not for the books that don’t suck me right into it. from the start. But if you are really patient and don’t mind the blabberings of an extremely talkative vampire, then go ahead and give it a try. You might just like this book.

You can also read this review at:

Goodreads and Amazon

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I wake from a bad dream, except I know it wasn’t just a dream.

My Instagram:

Book Review: Nirvana (Nirvana #1)

26164334

Author: J.R. Stewart
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Series: Nirvana
Genre: Young Adult|Sci-Fi|Dystopian|Fantasy|Mystery|Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 186
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking oan entire government to do so.

Rating

TRb 3 half star

 

Review

Plot/Story:

Nirvana is an amazing YA read with a really fresh plot line and a great new dystopian world setting. I loved the characterisations and the fast pace of the story.

I was really impressed with the storyline and the world-building concept of Nirvana, though, it lacked a little behind when it came to the execution of these two concepts. I enjoyed the book (no doubt about it) but somewhere I felt that if the second half of the book can be tweaked a little bit then it can be at par with the best-selling YA reads of today.

Characters:

I loved the lead character, Kenders, and was able to feel a connection with her. Though, in the second half of the book I felt that connection slipping (as soon as Serge comes into picture.) I loved Andrew, the male lead, as well but sadly the same thing  happened with him.

Romance/Kills:

This book falls in the romance genre as the plot depends on the romantic relationship between Kenders and Andrew. And like any other dystopian book there is a love triangle (Kenders, Andrew and Serge) but thankfully it’s not a farfetched one. It starts and ends within an acceptable time frame and now I’m really looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

Writing:

I enjoyed the easy flow of author’s style of writing. It’s simple yet relatable and makes reading this book a pleasant experience. Having said that, I’d like to point out that I felt that the first half of the book was excellent whereas the second half lagged a little behind not only in terms of the plot line but also in terms of the characterisation and flow of the story.

Beginning:

I started enjoying Nirvana right from the first sentence and continued to do so halfway through the book. Everything was just amazing and I had no issues with anything (but only till the first half.)

Ending:

The second half of the book along with the ending felt quite weak to me. The plot went on to some other uninteresting tangent and ruined an otherwise excellent story. I really hope that the sequel will be better than this one.

Blurb:

The blurb is good, but I felt that it actually revealed a major spoiler about Andrew’s fake death. I would have liked it better to have come across  it while reading the book instead of the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is marvellous. I really like the eerie feeling it radiates. It’s just perfect.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Eight-year-old Larissa Kenders pulls a doll tighter toward her and opens one eye.

Highlights: Plot line.

Lowlights: Second half of the book.

Final Thoughts: A decent dystopian read with a rather weak ending.

Book Review: Cold Girl (West Coast Crime #1)

25825999

Author: R.M. Greenaway 
Release Date: March 26, 2016 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Crime Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher:  
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s too cold to go missing in northern B.C., as a mismatched team of investigators battle the clock while the disappearances add up.

Smart urbanite RCMP Constable Cal Dion isn’t designed for snow, silence, and deep, dark woods. But that’s where he finds himself after a life-altering car crash: coping with brain damage and posted in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. But how can he find his footing in a new life when he can’t find his own keys?

Detective David Leith has his own demons to tackle. Forty-two years old and a dogged investigator, he’s seen a lifetime’s worth of cruelty on the job, and his conscience has taken a battering. And now a monster is murdering young women on his turf.

Kiera Rilkoff, a popular young singer, is missing. Has she also fallen victim to the so-called Pickup Killer? The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two. It isn’t until the bitter end that Leith discovers who is the coldest girl of all.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Cold Girl is one of those books that you can either love or hate. And for me, fortunately, it’s the first one. I really enjoyed the story and relished the way it ended. The plot is not only outright gripping but quite unique as well but in its own subtle way. Cold Girl has a character driven plotline and the author successfully pulls it off. The plot line is simple enough, but the twists and the turns scattered throughout the book makes it a fairly complicated one but in a good way.

The writing is a little different, which took me a fair amount of time to get used to, but by the end I got the hang of it. The story flowed well and the pace of the story was also good. But, in spite of everything being great, I thought that the book was exceptionally lengthy. In my opinion, it can be reduced to 3/4th of its length and still have the same impact. This little fact bugged me to no end because it was a really, really time-consuming read.

So, if you have enough time on your hands, then go ahead and read Cold Girl, as it’s a superb detective fiction.

Characters:

As I just said Cold Girl is a character-driven book and the author has managed to create something that I call as “awesomeness.” The main characters, Leith and Dion, are the life of this book and I can still picture them moving around and doing stuff in their daily lives –  that’s how powerful the characterization in this book is. I was totally able to connect with them and the bond that formed is a really strong one.

When we have two male leads who hate each other there is bound to a favorite. Mine is Dion. His vulnerability is what draws me to him and I’m sure in the coming books he’ll emerge as a really strong lead, even more than Leith.

The other characters such as the Law brothers, other constables and DCs, the victims and the suspects, each and everyone had a unique personality and surprisingly I was able to relate to them all. Full marks for characterization!

Romance/Kills:

There is no romance as such, but a major part of the investigation revolves around the relationship of the deceased and the suspect.

There is also a considerable number of killings prior to the main case which involves a serial killer. It serves as a great diversion initially and later on connects beautifully to the case-at-hand.

Writing:

The writing in this book is a little different than what I’m normally used to. Some of the sentences felt a little awkward at times but later I realized that it had more to do with the author’s style of writing than glitches. Fortunately, after reading half of the book I found myself getting used to it.

Having said that I would have definitely enjoyed the book more if the editor had straightened out those awkward sentences and made them a little less painful to read.

Still, I enjoyed the book and the amazing characterization totally made up for whatever problems I had with the writing in the first half of the book.

Beginning:

The book started off perfectly well with an intriguing prologue and then continued on a high note that kept me engaged the entire time. I enjoyed the detailed insight into the police procedurals and enjoyed the overall suspense that kept on building till the end.

Ending:

The ending of the book was perfect considering that it’s a part of a series. In fact, I’m really looking forward to how things are going to shape up in the next part. The mystery also ended well. A classic example of a simple situation going out of hands.

Blurb:

The blurb is apt and gives a really clear idea about what to expect from the book. If I had come across this book in a bookstore then I would have definitely grabbed it after reading the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is good but not excellent. It could have a been a lot better.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She was the only patch of stillness on the planet, to Dion, the dark-haired girl sitting on the far wing of the bleachers, second to lowest tier, watching the band play.

Highlights: Exceptional characterization.

Lowlights: Length of the book.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant but lengthy read.

Novella Review: Home Is Where The Start Is (Roseland #1)

24881399

Author: Eric Ugland
Release Date: January 29, 2015 
Series: Roseland Series
Book: Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Detective Fiction | Cozy Mystery | Cozy Paranormal 
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 113
Publisher: Air Quites Publishing 
Source: Author 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When Ginger Mitchell finds out her mother committed suicide, she packs up her life as a Vegas “dancer” (hey, somebody’s gotta do it) and drives her cherry-red SUV straight home to Portland. Without a disapproving mom to rebel against, what was the point?
But things aren’t what they seem once Ginger gets to the City of Roses. For one, nothing about her mother’s suicide adds up, but no one else even wants to entertain the idea that it could’ve been murder. No one that is, except the ghost of Ginger’s mother, who keeps scaring the crap out of her. It’s probably just a psychotic break because of the grief, right? Sure.
In any case, it’s during one of these visits from Ghost Mom that Ginger decides to solve the murder on her own. She really only ever wanted to be a cop, so maybe she should start a private detective business and see where it takes her. And look, that hippie kid running down the street after a muscle car right now probably needs help. Another case!

Rating

4-stars

Review

Home Is Where The Start Is started off pretty well. I really liked the don’t-give-a-damn attitude of Ginger and most of all the first line that really kick started the book. As I went along it kept on getting more and more interesting. As it’s the first book in Roseland series, it dedicated a good amount of time in setting up the basics (characters, locations, situations, etc.) and honestly, I  enjoyed reading every bit of it.

The writing is exceptional and packs a big dose of humor. I loved the imagery and at more than a dozen occasions it made me laugh out loud.

The book ended on a high note and left me craving for more. I had low expectations from the book considering that it borders on the paranormal realm, but I really enjoyed the ghost angle. Though what I really found strange was Ginger’s mother’s personality. She seemed a little opposite of what was expecting her to be especially  considering her profession. Maybe in the next book it’ll be clearer.

For a novella, this book really packs a punch and is totally worth the time spent on reading it. I’d recommend it to anyone really as it’s a nice cozy mystery to read and enjoy.

You can also read this review at: 
Goodreads and Amazon

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I wish I hadn’t been sucking cock when my mother died, but I was.

Highlights: Storytelling

Lowlights: 

Final Thoughts: A nice and cozy mystery.

Novella Review: Fly And Other Stories

24846189

Author: Anneliese Poelsma 
Release Date: January 12, 2015 
Series: None
Genre: Short Stories |Dark Fiction | Psychological Fiction | Adult
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 68
Publisher: Self-Published 
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

A book of six short stories.

Winner of the 2014 Ada Cambridge Prose Prize, ‘fly’ tells the story about a power struggle between two women whose relationship is doomed from the start yet neither can let go, one because of a desire for power and control, the other because of an inability to let go of her need for escapism and change.

‘I live in the bathroom. My husband locked me in here in a fit of rage…’
Winner of the 2002 Verandah Literary Award for fiction, ‘I Live in the Bathroom’ is an unsettling psychological tale about a woman’s disturbing fight to retain her sanity in a domestic setting gone awry. After being locked up by her grieving husband, she takes us on a dangerous journey into the bugs and viruses of the human mind as she struggles to make sense of her reality and the consequences of her dark feelings of jealousy and rejection.

Jennifer… an innocent, socially awkward woman being bullied by her chic office colleagues, or an obsessed, narcissistic stalker capable of the darkest of deeds?

‘Where Maisy Went’
Longlisted for the 2014 Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.
Desperate for a baby of her own, a stroll through the inner city gardens turns into an impromptu kidnapping for middle-aged, mentally challenged Georgia. Ill equipped for the sudden demands of motherhood and with the mind of a child herself, Georgia unwittingly embarks on a journey towards infanticide.

The food the food the food…
‘Skin’ tells the story about the role food can play in the struggle against self-loathing, the fear of rejection and the fight for control and preservation of self in the face of psychological manipulation and abuse. Skin outlines one lesbian woman’s battle to free herself not only from the power of false love but the demands of a society and its concepts of what constitutes feminine beauty.

‘Jump’
One man’s search for his family in a busy shopping center becomes a search for meaning and purpose in his life. As he loses hope at every wrong turn and the resulting disasters continually test his lacking confidence, the man must decide if his life is worth the continued struggle against disappointment, disapproval and death.

‘fly and other stories’ explores human strength and fallibility in the face of failed emotional connections. It investigates the fragility of sanity and the desire to hold onto hope, sometimes where there is none. Each character seeks to achieve a sense of self-improvement, freedom and happiness, sometimes successfully, sometimes misguided, sometimes with horrific consequences as they struggle to force their worlds to make sense.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Fly And Other Short Stories is a short-stories collection of 6 brilliantly written short stories. The main theme of the story is exploring the dark rooms inside a person and the author has done it to perfection.

I enjoyed each and every story and was left craving for more. All the stories were short, to-the-point and smart. I really liked reading them and they really creeped the hell out of me (yeah, I just made that up. But you get the drift, right?)

To be honest, when I first saw this book on Goodreads, I had no idea what to expect from it. I mean the name itself felt bizarre and then as soon as I read the blurb, I was sold! I immediately accepted the review request and now, that I’ve read it, I’m really happy that I read it.

If you like the works of Stephen King and Gillian Flynn then this book is a must read. It’s a novella, but it packs a serious punch. All the stories are 5/5. In fact, they are so good that I can’t even pick a favorite one.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of dark fiction, especially those who have a thing for creepy stuff and don’t mind the negative side of things.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and Amazon

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I sit on the edge of the couch, perched and stiff.

Highlights: Brilliant storytelling.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant short story collection.

Book Review: The Child Garden

24586135

Author: Catriona McPherson
Release Date: September 8, 2015 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Scottish-Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children.” But it closed in disgrace after a student’s suicide. Now it’s a care home, its grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives there in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day.

When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn’t hesitate before asking him in. He claims a girl from Eden is stalking him and has goaded him into meeting her at the site of the suicide. Only then, the dead begin to speak—it was murder, they say.

Gloria is in over her head before she can help it. Her loneliness, her loyalty, and her all-consuming love for her son lead her into the heart of a dark secret that threatens everything she lives for.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

The Child Garden has an amazing plot story full of well-timed twists and turns. I enjoyed reading it t and tremendously and felt compelled to read it in one go. I was sucked right into the book from starting to end. The main suspense of the book is also mindblowing and there is no way in hell one could have guessed that the things will turn out the way they did.

The pace of the story is great and the writing proceed smoothly without interfering the flow of the story. I really liked the deliberate slow progress of the investigation as it kept me intrigued throughout the book. One more thing that I’d like to add is that the small part of the book where the author used a little demon reference was the stroke of a genius. Why? Because it really made me put down the book at the night. it was a really small part (maybe a few pages,) but it really gave me a good scare.

Characters:

In spite of liking the story, I wasn’t able to feel entirely connected to the main character, Gloria. The story is written in first-person but still I felt a little detached from her. In fact, at one point I felt that she herself was the murderer. I’m not sure what went wrong, but it just felt that the narration was responsible for the detachment I felt.

The other main character is that of Stig and I really liked him, though I felt a little irritated at times to find out that in spite of whatever Gloria did for him, he  continuously held back the truth from her. Still, I liked him a lot and enjoyed the amazing foods he dished out.

Romance/Killings:

There was no romance, but there were a number of killings. Though at times the murders were a little confusing (maybe because of Scottish names and surnames or the fact that a few names were similar,) I still enjoyed the book thoroughly. All the killings really intensified the pace of the story and left me wanting for more.

Writing:

As I mentioned earlier, the writing is good and flowed beautifully without interfering the reader’s imagination. Though I felt the characterization was a little (just teeny-weeny) weak. I would have enjoyed more if the MC would have been a tad more relatable but nonetheless I still enjoyed the story.

The attention to detail is remarkable!

Beginning:

This book hooked me right from the beginning. It started with a beautiful prologue and carried on with the same effect.

Ending:

The ending is mind blowing and I was completely spell-bound by suspense that was revealed at the end. Though I felt that the story was a little rushed right before the suspense was revealed.

Book Cover:

I love this book cover because it really gives me the willies! I picked up this book because of the cover and the blurb.

Blurb:

Okay now, this is where it gets a little ugly. The blurb is quite misleading. I thought that the book is a supernatural one (as the blurb says) but it is NOT. It’s a suspense-thriller book.

You can also read this review at:
 Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was far from silent in the dark wood.

Highlights: Amazing storyline and suspense.

Lowlights: Characterization and misleading blurb.

Final Thoughts: A really good suspense read.

Comic Book Review: Apocalypse Meow Meow (ARC)

23848079

Author: James Proimos III 
Illustrator: James Proimos Jr.
Release Date: 3rd November, 2015 (I received an ARC)
Series: -
Genre: Children's Fiction | Comics | Post Apocalypse
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 224
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA CHildrens
Distributer: 
Source: NetGalley

Blurb

Brownie, Apollo, and their ragtag group of strays have raided the grocery store and defeated some very mean mutts–but now they’ve run out of food. So when the crew discovers a nearby Twonkies factory, and all the Twonkies they could ever eat, they think they’ve got it made.

The only catch is the cat guarding the factory–and this “cat” is MUCH bigger, and far more sophisticated, than any feline they’ve ever met. Can the dogs and their friends defeat their foe and claim the Twonkies for themselves?

The Proimos father-son team returns with another irreverent, dog-filled take on the apocalypse, told in a graphic novel paper-over-board format. The instantly accessible artwork and laughs on each page will charm everyone from the most reluctant reader to the coolest of cats (humans and animals alike)!

Rating

4-stars

Review

description
I had a good laugh reading this comic and would definitely read the other books in the same series.

The book started brilliantly and I adored all the dogs and the cat (meow.) I really enjoyed the quirkiness and the cuteness of the plot and the characters. I absolutely loved the whole thing about the “Twonkies” (with a capital T) and the nude dude.
description
It’s a funny book and that’s what I was expecting from it, so it delivered what it promised and considering that it’s a children’s book, I can’t expect anything more from it.

Having said that, i did feel that the end could have been a little different or a page sooner.
Originally I wanted to give this one a 5-star rating, but before I did I found out that the other books in this comic-series are far funnier than this one, so I thought of giving it a 4-star for now. If later, after reading the other books, I’ll feel that it deserves an added star or half, then I’ll definitely update my review. But for now I think 4-star rating is perfect.

description
Aww… isin’t he adorable!? ❤

 

You can also read this review at Goodreads.

Book Review: The Forgotten Girls (Louise Rick #7)

20756683

Author: Sara Blaedel
Release Date: February 3, 2015 
Series: Louise Rick
Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Crime-Fiction | Scandinavian Fiction | Suspense | Adult
Edition: e-book (mobi) 
Pages: 315
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley (Thanks, Tiffany!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick—the new commander of the Missing Persons Department—is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed—and hidden—n the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

The Forgotten Girls is a brilliant book with an exciting plotline which engulfs  the reader right from the beginning. The enjoyed the storyline thoroughly and would definitely love to read more from the author. This book has so many elements that it’ll keep the reader guessing at all  times. This book is what a real psychological thriller should be. The twists and turns were well timed and the intrigue factor was always present.

I loved the story from beginning to end and I’d recommend it to everyone, especially the genre lovers.

Characters:

The characterization felt a little weak to me. The main character, Louise Rick, is a decent character. I won’t say that I felt an out-of-the-world connection with the lead, but still I was able to relate to her on some level. Maybe it’s just me or the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy reading about 30 something women. Still Louise Rick, as a character, was quite good.

I enjoyed reading about her partner, Eik, and her son and neighbor. All these characters are also well-built and relatable, but again, only at some levels. but the little bit of romance seemed a little awkward as again I’m not used to reading about women with children.

Romance/Kills:

There were one or two killings, which contributed to creating the whole mystery. The killings were not really gruesome or gut-wrenchingly intense so I’d say that it’s actually a light thriller.

There was also a little romance, though it was more like flirting and it was quite awkward cause it happened so suddenly that I thought that I missed a page. It doesn’t even matter as it’s a thriller and not a romance book.

Writing:

The  book is written in third-person narrative and the writing style of the author is really simple and understandable. To be honest, I felt that the writing was decent, but the story-telling was quite weak. With a plotline this amazing I was expecting the book to be an outstanding read, though it was not quite there. And for me, that was because of the story-telling.

Having said that, I think maybe it’s because of the fact that the book is translated or poorly edited. Whatever it is, it’s the only thing that, according to me, pulled the book down a little.

Beginning:

I enjoyed the beginning of the book and was sucked into it right from the first page. Though, after the prologue the story  flowed quite slowly. But after a while it picked up the pace.

Ending:

The ending was quite unpredictable. I was completely blown off by it and it’s one of the strongest parts of the book (after the plot itself.)

Cover Art:

I love this cover art. It gives the feeling of being forgotten and the darkness of the woods really intensifies the feel.

Blurb:

The blurb is just perfect. it made me accept the book in spite of being completely packed with review-requests. I would have definitely bought it if I had stumbled upon it either on Amazon or in my bookstore.

You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Gone is coming, Gone is coming!

Highlights: Brilliant plotline.

Lowlights: Storytelling.

Final Thoughts: A decent psychological thriller with a strong plotline.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.

Book Review: Googolplex

25692698

Author: K.G. Johansson
Release Date: September 16, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Science-Fiction | Speculative Fiction   
Edition: Paperback 
Pages: 206
Publisher: Affront Publishing
Source: Editor, Peter Oberg 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

If you could have anything but the one thing you really wanted, what would you do?

Jack is part of a group of colonists traveling to the distant planet Shylock to build themselves a new home. But Jack has trouble letting go of his past and the world he left behind. He becomes obsessed with what could have been, and with the help of multis – mysterious beings from parallel universes – he begins his search for truth. However, in a world where even love seems impossible to define, what can he find?

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Googolplex has a really, really unique plot based on very famous concept of multiverses. The uniqueness of the plot really stood out and over all this book makes for a great sci-fi read. There are various elements in the book that I absolutely loved and

Characters:

I felt a really strong connection with the main character, Jack. I felt for him whenever his heart broke and felt happy to see him make progress. Rest of the characters were not stressed upon enough to establish a connection but that wasn’t a problem as the story was completely around Jack and his adventures (so to say.)

Having said that, I really liked the concept of multis and was constantly intrigued by their presence and interest in Jack’s life.

Romance:

There was just a hint of romance but a lot of passion. Jack was completely hooked on his childhood crush and went to extreme lengths in order to find her. The entire process was really enjoyable. I also liked the concept of sic-fi mingling with a person’s love interest on a whole another level!

Writing:

One of the best things about the book is author’s simple yet effective writing. It flowed beautifully and flawlessly and made the experience of reading this book a really pleasant one!

Beginning:

The book started with a bang! I really, really enjoyed it and was sucked into it right from the first line. After reading a few pages I started to feel connected to the main character, Jack and I knew that I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Ending:

The book’s ending was not completely surprising, though I felt that it was a little far-fetched. I was expecting it to be a little more convincing than that but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

Cover Art:

The cover could have been a little better but, considering the theme of the book, it’s actually quite appropriate.

Blurb:

The blurb describes the book perfectly.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line:

Highlights: Uniqueness of the plot.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It’s hard to hate anybody that you’ve seen from inside.

The only people you like are people who also want to be alone. But at the same time , this also means that you’ll mostly leave one another be – which makes you stand each other.

Final Thoughts: A decent Sci-Fi read with a unique plot.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Southern Solstice

25263608

Author: Sarah Sadler
Release Date: June 2, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Edition: Kindle (.mobi)
Pages: 404
Publisher: Blue French Press
Source: NetGalley (Requested by Tammi Weed, Director of Media Relations, Modern PR.)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

As rich and distinctive as the Lowcountry itself, Southern Solstice presents a clever and charismatic journey of love, heartache, adaptation and emotional fortitude as told through a patina of family heritage.

When twenty-four-year-old Larken Devereaux is left brokenhearted by her fiancé on the West Coast, she reluctantly returns to her charmed aristocratic roots in Charleston, South Carolina to rebuild her life and gain self-determination in a prominent southern family that offers everything and requires nothing.

As her impetuous mother orchestrates a reunion with a first love, Larken becomes entangled in a dilemma where she must choose between an intriguing, passionate plastic surgeon—who is anything but superficial—and the annoyingly irresistible man who has silently loved her forever.

Rating4half-stars

Review

Plot Story:

The plot-line of this book is really impressive considering it’s a contemporary-romance story. I enjoyed reading this book and would felt myself pulled into the story from the beginning till the end.
I had a great time reading it and this book will make an excellent summer read. I’d recommend to anyone who loves the genre. I’m not a huge fan of romance novels but this book really stood out. The simplicity of the plot is commendable and so is the rich writing and characterisation.

Characters:

I absolutely loved the characterisation in this book. I was able to feel a strong connection with the lead character- Larken Devereaux. I also loved the male leads – Jackson and Miles.

To be honest, I loved all the other characters as well and felt like I’d known them forever. Each and every character had substance and spoke for itself making the reader feel so comfortable reading the book that you’d want to loose yourself in it.

Romance:

It’s a romance fiction… so figures. The sizzling chemistry between Larken and Jackson is to die for. But when Miles comes into the picture, everything gets upside down and that’s when the the subtle bond between Larken and Miles starts to shine through. It’s amazing how the author not only successfully pulled off a love triangle but also ended it on a brilliant note.

To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the little moments of lovey-dovey stuff without actually cringing away from it. And that’s how, at least for me, a romance book should be.

Writing:

The writing is rich, as I already said, with a few new and heavy words sprinkled here and there. I enjoy this type of writing and I’m looking forward to read more books by the author. The book is written in third-person omniscient narration and the imagery created by the author is brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed narration. That said, yes, there were times, especially in the second half of the book, when I skimmed over a few lines here and there. But maybe that’s because I was so curious to find out how it all comes together in the end.

Beginning:

I thoroughly enjoyed the book from the beginning. The emotional turbulence at the very beginning of the book pulled me right in and instantly connected me with the female lead – Larken. After that as I read further the story got more and more interesting with each and every page. I love books with powerful beginnings as they draw me inside from the start and this book did just that.

Ending:

The book ended on a brilliant note and the ending itself was quite surprising. Generally, in romance novels the ending is pretty predictable but in this book but in this case it came as a pleasant surprise and it beautifully pulled out Larken from the web of a love triangle.

Cover Art:

I absolutely adore the cover art. I think it’s pretty classy and goes well with the theme of the book (esp. with Bunny’s quote – Jewels anyone crown.)

Blurb:

The blurb seems perfect to me. I accepted the book based on the blurb itself.

You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Don’t make this harder on me than it already is, Larken.”

Highlights: Brilliant plot.

Lowlights: A little too descriptive in the second-half.

Memorable Quotes:

Jewels On Your Crown.

And then she thought of Dr. Miles and the scar he had promised not to leave. Then she realised in a strange, hopeless way that he had left one anyway. Men always do.

If the shoe don’t fit, run barefoot the other way.

When you trouble yourself to be obligated to someone, they better have already proved their worth to you.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant summer read.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Novella Review: Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island

18106337

Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Release Date:  2013 
Series: None 
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Suspense 
Edition: Kindle (.mobi)
Pages: 137
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Source: NetGalley 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

Rating

4-stars

Review

 

Story/Plot:

This book has a really unique plot-line and I enjoyed it pretty well. It was a mild read but at times it really gave me the creeps. The concept was really good but I feel that the story could have a little ore better towards the end. Still, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent suspense or horror read.

Though I felt that despite of having a great start to the book, the ending was a little week.

Characters:

It took a few chapters to establish a connection with the protagonist, Paul, but once it was done, I was able to enjoy the book without any difficulty. I really felt sorry for the situation he was in – dead wife and three children to care of and then dead wife coming back to ask for help. The other characters were also good but I wasn’t able to connection with anyone else.

Romance:

There was no romance as the lead’s wife dies, but there was a whole book full of love. It was really sweet to read a horror story which was completely driven by only one main emotion – love.

The author did justice to the theme.

Writing:

I’d like to commend the author on the simplicity of the book. The writing was simple yet relatable and I’d like to read more books by the author.

Beginning:

The beginning of the book was probably the best part as it drew me right in. I was able to get the feel of the whole situation and could clearly see where the story was going.

Ending:

The ending, for me, was a bit confusing and week. I felt that with such a great concept the author should have really pulled it off with a great ending (connecting the dots and all) but to my disappointment the story felt quite rushed at the end.

Cover Art:

I like the cover art and it compliments the theme of the book perfectly.

Blurb:

The blurb is quite good and summarises the story perfectly well.

You canals read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Paul turned from the dark window, twitching the drapes back in place.

Highlights: Beginning of the plot.

Lowlights: Ending.

Final Thoughts: A decent read.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Sisters Of Sorrow

25348662

Author:  Axel Blackwell
Release Date: 24th April, 2015
Series: February 17, 2015
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure | Young Adult | Magic | Supernatural | Mystery | Thriller | Suspense
Edition: mobi
Pages: 332
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Sisters Of Sorrow has an amazingly superb plot-line. It is a complete adventure-mystery package and this book is by far one of the best books I’ve read by an independent author. I enjoyed each and every chapter to the core and I literally had to drag myself away from the book to sleep at night.

This book is a masterpiece and I’ll recommend it to all the adventure and mystery fans. If you want to read a good book with an amazing story and superbly crafted characters, then this book is for YOU.

This book is about an orphan girl who tries her best to get away the cruel nuns of SFDCOA. She risks everything, even the life of her girls (sisters) and other orphans. But when she gets out, she discovers the ugly truths of the island and the asylum itself. The story shows her struggles and dilemmas beautifully and the of course highlights her choices which ultimately makes her a hero.

I enjoyed every ounce of this story and I’m going to re-read it soon, in fact I wanted to start it over again as soon as I finished it, but I have a lot of stuff to do right now to indulge in something so absorbing.

Axel Blackwell has beautifully proved that YA genre is so much more than Hunger Games, Divergent and Immortal Instruments.

Characters:

The author, Axel, did a fabulous job in creating, what I like to call as, the perfect characters. The characterisation is so strong that you’ll fall in love with each and every single character. I felt so bonded with Anna and Donny that I wanted to get in the book and help them out at tight places.

Even the characters of the evil nuns are so beautifully created that you’ll want to get stay away from McCain and Eustace.

Another character that I really enjoyed was that of Joey. The author really impressed me with such a unique character. I enjoyed having such a different being in a story like this.

Romance/Kills:

It’s a YA book and the main character is 14 years old, so there’s no romance but there’s a lot of love. Anna’s love for her girls (whom she lovingly calls her sisters of sorrow) is so heart-warming. Her attitude towards all her girls make me want to cry the tears of joy. She is such a brave little girl that I really, really love her.

Writing:

Writing style of Axel Blackwell compliments the story beautifully. He is an amazing story-teller. the writing is simple and perfect. I enjoyed reading the perfectly written third person throughout the book and based on this book I’m going to read all the books by him.

Beginning:

My heart clenched so bad when the story began. The nuns terrified me to no end and thinking about little girls and boys under their supervision gave me the willies.

The beginning was so powerful that as soon as I read the first page, I knew that I’m not going to be putting this book down anytime soon. I started to feel the bond with all the characters (that were mentioned from beginning) in the initial pages only and by the time I was half way through the book, I knew it’s going to be my new favourite.

Ending:

The ending of this book is perfect. It couldn’t have been better than what it is. I was so relieved and happy that the author maintained his level of brilliance throughout the book, till the very last word.

Blurb:

The blurb gives a fair idea about what to expect from the book. This book has so much to offer that it’s practically impossible to sum it up in a small blurb.

Cover Art:

Nice. I really like it and coupled with the blurb, it gives a really mysterious feel to the book. I love it.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Anna Dufresne sat on the edge of her cot in the predawn hour, staring down at her mummified pinky finger.

Highlights: Amazing plot and brilliant characterisation.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

When I’m dead, there’s nothing else they can take away. And that is it’s own kind of freedom.

No food and no blankets gets you dead little girls and boys.

If a child will not work, neither let him eat.

Being Anna’s friend is a bad idea.

They can only kill you once. After that, they can never hurt you again.

Memorable Quote:

A troop of broken orphans, shell shocked into doing the next thing that must be done. The only difference was that this time, the next thing that must be done involved sneaking through a storm while being chased by ax-weilding nuns and a Joseph-Thing. These girls have faced the stampers and needle machines on a daily basis, this wasn’t much worse.

“Lady!” Jane interrupted, in a voice that made Anna want to hide under a cot. “are you blind as well as stupid? Look around you. There used to be a fortress here. It stood here for a hundred years. It’s gone now. You know why? Because it made Anna it’s enemy. If anyone ought to be scared, lady, it’s you. There used to be a factory there, now it’s just a hole full of sand and seaweed, because it tried to keep Anna on this island.

“Anna fought off an entire order of evil nuns, an army of mercenary witch-hunters, a pack of wolves and a-a-a Joseph-Thing, to rescue her girls and get us off this island. And now you are going to just saunter up in your silly white dress and threaten her? I’ve seen a lot of moronic behaviour since I’ve lived here, lady, but you take the cake. You are one dumb-witch.”

Final Thoughts: You’ve GOT to read this book!!!


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Novella Review: Gravitas- Valkyrie In The Forbidden Zone

25055762

Author: Lynne Murray 
Release Date:  28th Feb, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Fantasy (Space-Fantasy) | Adult
Edition: e-book (.mobi)
Pages: 106
Publisher: Murraymade Books 
Source: Author (Thanks Lynne!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

An urgent mission.

A woman with a past.

A dangerous burden.

Sybil, from Planet Valkyrie, carries a risky amount of Gravitas, a top secret aphrodisiac, to trade at a conference on ending slavery in her sector of the galaxy. Attacked by an angry warrior from slave-holding Planet Roggr, Sybil falls through an unmarked portal to land on Earth. The Forbidden Zone. Rescue is impossible. Portals to Earth are sealed. Sybil needs to defend herself, protect her hazardous cargo, and find a way home–while dealing with a damaging overdose of Gravitas.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Story/Plot:

I loved the plot of this amazing novella. It has a really, really unique concept of having a planet where women dominate men and they undertake several husbands to look after the estate and home affairs. Lynne Murray successfully created a unique world that is both believable and marvellous. It’s uniqueness really stood out and I was longing to be able to visit this wondrous place (but only if they’ll allow a human from earth to visit their planet!)

I loved the attention she paid to all the small details. Everything sounded so beautiful and real. The concept of humans worshiping the alien visitors was hilarious and interesting, I mean what if the world in the book is really ‘real’! God, that will be amazing!

The over all structure of the book is great and it keeps you glued to the book from staring to end.

Characters:

I absolutely loved Val-Sybilla (a Valkyrian.) She is the strongest and the most independent female leads I’ve ever read. She is beautiful in her own way and I love this about her. The second character I loved in this book is Gelbrave. Initially I hated him but the author worked up her magic in showing his growth in the story. By the end I found him to be extremely humble and adorable.

Rest of the characters were also amazing and I was able to feel a connection with each one of them.

Romance:

There was a lot of romance, or should I say, Gravitas propelled lust. Sybil carried around huge amount of Gravitas with her in a ritual jewellery and it made people get attracted to her sexually. So everyone kind of wanted to take her. But, the relationship between Josu and Sybil was beautiful. It was a true-love relationship and I loved the fact that he always supported her.

Writing:

Lynne Murray’s writing is beautiful. It’s subtle and had an easy flow to it. I was lost in the story as soon as I started reading it. No complicated sentence-structures and no unnecessary tongue twisting words – just perfect.

At some points her subtle sense of humour made me laugh. It was a great experiences and for a novella, this book is amazing. Not too long, not too short, just the right length.

Beginning:

I loved the beginning, the first chapter started right in between a complex situation (as you can guess from the first line, see below) and then the author explaines how they got there and then later picks up from there and tells what happens after that first scene. The structure of this books is so amazing that it’ll grip you right from the first page.

Ending:

The ending is perfect. It had the right amount of drama, action, emotions and logic. I enjoyed it and it made me smile broadly after finishing the book.

Cover Art:

I love the cover art. It’s stylish and beautiful. And the red hair girl goes well with the description on Sybil. The colors on the cover really stand out. It’s one of the two reasons I read this book.

Blurb:

The blurb is intriguing and is the second reason for me to accept this book for review.

You canals read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I landed, naked, on the highway with a lust-crazed Roggarian warrior trying to scramble on top of me.

Highlights: Unique concept.

Lowlights: None

Final Thoughts: A refreshing read with a unique concept.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.

Book Review: Waiting For The Machines To Fall Asleep`

25319732

Authors: Hans OlssonBoel Bermann, Erik OdeldahlIngrid RemvallLove KölleLupina OjalaChristina Nordlander , Pia LindestrandJonas LarssonTora GreveAndrew CoulthardAlexandra NeroJohannes PinterAndrea Grave-MüllerAR YngveMy BergströmAnders BlixtMaria HaskinsPatrik CenterwallBjörn EngströmKG JohanssonOskar KällnerSara KopljarEva HolmquistMarkus SköldAnna Jakobsson Lund
Release Date:  6th May, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Science-Fiction Anthology | Speculative-Fiction | Short-Stories | Fantasy
Edition: Paperback 
Pages: 324
Publisher: Affront Publishing
Source: Editor (Thanks Peter!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

26 short stories from the new wave of Swedish speculative fiction writers. Forget about cheap furniture, meatballs and crime fiction. Sweden has so much more to offer. Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep includes twenty-six stories from the new generation of Swedish writers of science fiction and the fantastic. Stories ranging from space horror and post-apocalyptic nightmares to tender dramas. Stories with steampunk horses, android uprisings and cheeky goblins. Stories that are action-packed, wise, silly, beautiful, surreal and horrifying.

Rating

5-stars

Review:

I absolutely enjoyed all the stories in this book (for individual ratings see below.) This book is so much more than just an anthology. It was an experience. So many different stories, so many unique concepts and such amazing writing styles – this book has everything to be a brilliant read. There were some stories that literally made me feel dreadful thinking about what might have happened (Lost And Found) and there were stories that made me smile (To Preserve Humankind.) There were stories that really worked me out in anticipation (Outpost Eleven) and stories that I thought were funny (Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right.) Never have I ever enjoyed a single book so much. I’m going to be looking out for more works from the authors I enjoyed the most. I’m really happy that I am lucky enough to have read this book. I’ll recommend this book not only to Sci-Fi fans but to anyone and everyone who wants to read some beautifully crafted stories. I really hope that they decide to release this book internationally, so that everyone in the world can read this book. Following are the individual ratings for all the stories:

  1. Melody Of The Yellow Bard: 5/5
  2. The Rats: 5/5
  3. Getting To The End:  5/5
  4. Vegatropolis – City Of The Beautiful: 4/5
  5. Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right: 5/5
  6. The Order Of Things: 5/5
  7. To Preserve Humankind: 5/5
  8. The Thirteenth Tower: 4/5
  9. Punchcard Horses: 3/5
  10. The Philosopher’s Stone: 5/5
  11. A Sense Of Foul Play: 5/5
  12. Waste Of Time: 5/5
  13. The Damien Factor: 5/5
  14. Wishmaster: 5/5
  15. Quadrillennium: 3/5
  16. Mission Accomplished: 5/5
  17. The Road: 4/5
  18. Lost And Found: 5/5
  19. The Publisher’s Reader: 3/5
  20. Stories From The Box: 4/5
  21. The Membranes In The Centering Horn: 5/5
  22. One Last Kiss Goodbye: 5/5
  23. The Mirror Talks: 5/5
  24. Keep Fighting Until The Machines Fall Asleep: 5/5
  25. Outpost Eleven: 5/5
  26. Messiah: 3/5
You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The man approached me when I was on my way home from the university.

Highlights: Brilliant selection of stories.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It’s a place of maybes, I guess. Where bad things can happen, and often will, but also might not.

Everybody who lives here has seen something they can’t explain. And everybody who lives here has seen things they don’t want to explain

Strange, how quickly you adapt to things if someone tells you it’s normal

Memorable Paragraph:

And then I thought maybe you actually could. Maybe money was some kind of delicious dish. But sister told me people long ago thought the small round things were beautiful. And they just wanted to have as many of them as possible. Way back when the crowd was beautiful I said to myself dreamily. When people just looked at things because they liked to look at things, beautiful things. Not because they were wondering if this thing or that was edible, like I do. But then, I’m always hungry and there is so little to eat in the Newest New World.

Final Thoughts: A must-read for everyone!

Book Review: The Silent Scream

25126231

Author: Siddhartha Garg
Release Date:  8th March, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Non-Fiction | Sociology 
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 156
Publisher: Rumor Books India
Source: Author (Thanks Siddhartha!) via NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably the filthiest. Of late, we have heard of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse is child sex abuse. The Silent Scream takes up this issue which people normally turn a blind eye towards. Through the subtlety quoted instances mentioned in this narrative non-fiction we are exposed to the disturbing lives of child predators and their innocent, young unassuming victims. The Silent Scream is a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil with the aim of sensitising the general public on the ways in which sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also being made to counsel the victims and carry forward the war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved.

Rating

4-stars

Review

This is the first non-fiction book that I’ve accepted for reviewing and I must say that, the subject being so intense, it really was a very heavy read. The thing that I really liked about this book was that the author, Siddhartha, introduced his readers to child-abuse in a very educative light. This book was so much more than just real-life-stories. He completely made the reader understand the reasons behind such horrific crimes and how to understand it in a way that one can prevent it from happening or atleast prevent it from happening on a level where there is no looking back.

As difficult as it was to read this book, with all the harsh truths being told bluntly, it was good to read the expert’s advice and experiences. Now atleast I know how to identify potential child-abusers and beware of them at all times. Siddhartha also sheds light on how to prevent child abuse, how to identify the abuser and how to deal with the abused children, all through the guided experiences of an expert.

He explained it very truthfully that how easily we eliminate our loved ones from the bounds of doubt when it comes to child-abuse, and how easily we fail to understand that it’s the same loved ones whom we should be doubting in the first place.

I had nightmares after reading this book, but it’s necessary to face the truth in order to be prepared to fight such a plague that’s destroying the lives of so many people, especially children.

I really feel that all the parents and parents-to-be should really read this book and have it with them to use it as a guide.

You can also read this review at Goodread and Amazon.

Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Missing Melissa

25401874

Author: Alretha Thomas 
Release Date:  5th May, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: NA | Mystery |Relationships | 
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 301
Publisher: Divers Arts Collective
Source: Author (Thanks Alretha!) via NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Twenty-two years old with a journalism degree from UCLA and a promising entry level position at a television station, Madeline Patterson is ready to take on the Universe. Raised by two loving parents, adored by her grandmother, protected by her dog, Pepper, and supported by her best friend—Madeline has it all. There’s only one thing missing—literally missing—her identical twin, Melissa.

When Madeline and Melissa were three-years-old, their mother was carjacked in broad daylight while taking them to a doctor’s appointment. She was able to get away with Madeline in tow, but the assailants left the scene before she could rescue Melissa. A long and massive search ensued, but Melissa was never found and is believed to be dead. However, a dream Madeline has on her twenty-second birthday, wherein Melissa appears to her as a grown woman pleading for help, convinces her Melissa is still alive. Against her parents’ wishes, Madeline vows to find her twin. However, in doing so, she unknowingly stumbles upon a series of startling clues that point to her parents’ possible involvement in Melissa’s disappearance. Paralyzed by fear, Madeline doesn’t want to face what could possibly be the ugly and grim truth about her parents. However, her desire to find Melissa propels her forward—but nothing could prepare her for what she discovers.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

I enjoyed the plot a lot. The pace of the story was good, it was neither slow nor super fast, just the way a my. Everything happened at the right time. So, the timing of the twists were really good to keep the readers hooked.

I really enjoyed the little pieces that kept on twisting the plot. It really kept me on the edge right till the very end. There were so many possibilities that came in mind and I suppose, that’s how a really good mystery is supposed to be.

Characters:

I was able to relate to all the characters. I loved all the characters, especially that of Madeline, her BFF Ruby and her pet Pepper. There was such a beautiful connection between Ruby and Pepper that I fell in love with them right from the start. Ruby is a friend to die for, and a one who’ll die for you.

I felt a real connection with Madeline and still feel that she’s a close friend or a real person (which is really rare in mystery books.)

I loved the Madeline’s family as well and the last part of the book focused beautifully on the unique relation between the twins. I enjoyed knowing all the characters as each and every one of them had a unique spark to their personalities.

Romance:

The relationship between Madeline and Sam was really cute. It was a refreshing given the mystery involved in the book.

It developed slowly (which was perfect given Madeline’s situation) and Sam was a perfect gentleman. I really enjoyed the subtle growth of their relationship and the way it took shape at the end of the book.

Plus, it really justified Sam’s interest in a long lost case inspite of all the weak and insufficient evidences.

Writing:

Alretha Thomas’ writing had a very easy flow to it. I loved it and the fact that she kept it subtle. No unnecessarily complex words as I hate digging the dictionary again and again (even on Kindle.) You can just start the book with an unexplainable ease. Her writing, or to put it correctly, her story-telling helped me glide through the entire book smoothly. I enjoyed reading this books and now I’ve decided to read all her other books as well.

Beginning:

The biting had a great pace and I was sucked into the plot right from the start. I loved having the descriptor of most of the characters’ personalities in the beginning itself. I was

Ending:

I enjoyed the ending a lot. The mystery was brilliant and there no way I could have guessed who was actually behind the kidnapping. It was totally unexpected and I loved it.

Blurb:

The blurb for Missing Melissa is just perfect. I accepted this book for review after reading the blurb. As soon as I read it, I knew I really wanted to read this book.

Cover Art:

To be honest I have mixed feeling about the cover for this book. It’s not excellent but it’s not even dull. I like the mirror reflecting the chic as it symbolises the twins but for a book this good there should have a much serious cover that can radiate the feeling of mystery.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She’s not dead.

Highlights: Brilliant plot-line

Lowlights: None

Memorable Quotes:

God help me to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Normal is a setting on a washing machine and not what our lives are supposed to be.

Final Thoughts: A refreshing mystery.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


ARC Review: Her Sister’s Shoes

24919359

Author: Ashley Farley 
Release Date:  24th June, 2015 (I received an ARC)
Series: None 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Relationships | Family
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 
Publisher: Leisure Time Books
Source: Author (Thanks Ashley!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: The Woman In The Movie Star Dress

24021166

Author: Praveen Asthana 
Release Date: December 20, 2014
Series: None
Genre:  Fiction | Mystery | Suspense | Thriller | Supernatural
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 313
Publisher: Double Wood Press
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Praveen!)
ISBN NO.: 9780692367445
Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: The Magician

514fAdg2m5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Author: D.A. Pupa
Release Date: July 10, 2014
Genre: Psycological-Thriller | Fiction | Mystery | Suspense
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 316
Publisher: Wing Span press
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Dave!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: Angelfall (Penryn And The End Of Days #1)

15863832

Author: Susan Ee
Release Date: January 1st, 2011
Series: Penryn & The End Of Days
Genre:  Young Adult | Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic | Fantasy | Paranormal > Angels
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 288
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing and Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Followed By: World After (Penryn & The End Of Days #2)

Book Review: The DUFF

8989348

Author: Kody Keplinger 
Release Date: January 1st, 2010
Series: None
Genre:  Young Adult | Contemporary |  Chick Lit. | Fiction
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 370
Publisher: Machete Children's Books
Source: NetGalley