Thursday, November 23, 2017

Writer's of the Future | Review

Title: Writer's of the Future Volume 32
Author: Various
Genre: Fantasy and Science Fiction
Length: 496 Pages
Release: May 2016

I received a copy of this short story collection through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am honestly not sure what to say about this collection. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and I've wanted to start reading more science fiction, and I like writing short stories, so I thought this would be a good fit. In some ways, I was right. 

None of these stories really stand out to me over the others. There were a few that I found interesting and would probably read more from, but none of them really caught my attention either for story or writing. There seemed to be more of a focus on science fiction here, which may have been part of what I didn't enjoy. The fantasy stories that made appearances I believe were my favorite. The only story that I can distinctly remember is The Ace of Souls, which, while not amazing to me, was really interesting. 

I've wanted to start reading more short stories and short fiction in general because I really enjoy writing short fiction, so this was a good jump into that. It helped me shape my opinions more on what I believe makes a good short story and what doesn't seem to work. It also made me want to enter the Writers of the Future contest, so I might be working toward that for this first quarter of the current competition. 

Overall this was enjoyable but nothing particularly special to me. If you enjoy science fiction then this would be a good collection to try.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Whispering Room~Dean Koontz | Review

Title: The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk #2)
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Length: 512 Pages
Release: November 2017

I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This second book in the Jane Hawk series picks up right where book one left off and Jane is on the trail of those involved in a conspiracy to rid the world of the people the deem undesirable. It's really a ploy for domination, but it's very sophisticated and it seems to be working. 

One of the scariest things about this series is that you can see some of it being possible. Mind control through injectable nanomachines that essentially turn you into a robot. It's a terrifying prospect, but one that doesn't seem that farfetched. And it definitely made me shiver as I read about the things that these controlled people were made to do. 

There are several side characters introduced here that I really liked. Luther and his family were a great addition and I really liked getting to know their characters. There was definitely some heartbreak with them and I hope to see more of them in the future to find out what happens. 

The ending kind of surprised me. Not so much that what happened was that surprising, just that I don't have a clear idea of where the next book will take us. I guess we shall see next year! I'm hoping the release of this one is moved up as well. 

As always, Koontz is able to weave an interesting story with his beautiful writing. This wasn't my favorite of his novels, but I definitely enjoyed it. If you're a Koontz fan you should give it a read. And if you're not, then become one.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Scorpio Races~Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mythology
Length: 409 Pages
Release: October 2011

4.5 stars, I think. 

I started this years ago and only read the prologue. For some reason it just wasn't working for me. For a long time I thought that I might not give it another try. And then I found the audiobook on my library overdrive account and figured why not. I am so glad that I did. 
"It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."

One day I want to try reading this in a physical form, but I don't know that it can ever outdo this audiobook. The narrators were absolutely wonderful. They brought everything on the page to life and I felt like I was right there alongside Sean and Puck, riding Corr and Dove, the wind and spray of salt from the sea in my face. It was so wonderfully vivid. 

It always worries me to read books that are set around horses, no matter what kind, because so often horses are not done well. Authors usually do a better job than those attempting movies, but still, it worries me. Maggie managed to do it really, really well though. It's not like it was a manual on riding or horses, but still, the horsey stuff was well done and just as vivid as the setting. It made me long to get back on my horse. 

The relationship between Sean and Puck was beautiful. They were both fighting for their own lives, the things they couldn't live without. Puck's family is falling apart, her brother on the brink of leaving, and Sean is trying desperately to break away from the man who plays games with his life. They have a lot to offer each other because they understand each other so well. 

The story revolves around the Scorpio Races, where men race horses that come from the water. These aren't tame horses, but man eating beasts with magic that will lure you to your death. They are an integral part of the island of Thisby. Both Sean and Puck are caught up in the races for different but similar reasons. 

I've heard people say they are not satisfied with the ending, because it's too open. For me, it was perfect. I didn't need to know all of the details, there were enough hints along the way that I could see the path spread out ahead of Sean and Puck and it was a satisfying one. 

Maggie also wrote and performed music for this audiobook, which was really neat. 

Read this book. Please read it and love it.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Seize the Night~Dean Koontz | Review

Title: Seize the Night (Moonlight Bay #2)
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Suspense/Thriller/Horror
Length: 443 Pages
Release: December 1998

"Fortune favors the bold. Of course, so does Death."

This followup to Fear Nothing continues Chris Snow's story as he and his friends confront the horrors of a changing world. It wasn't quite as good as its predecessor for me, but I did really enjoy it, and of course the writing is beautiful. 

The best thing about this novel was that we got a lot more of Bobby and a lot more of Bobby and Chris. Bromances are my favorite and this one was great. There closeness comes through really well here, building on what we had already seen in Fear Nothing. And like any good Koontz novel, there is excellent humor. 

"Stuff like this is why I don't listen to the news these days."

"You've never listened to the news."

"I know. But I used to have different reasons."

While some people may not enjoy Koontz's philosophising, I always enjoy the wisdom offered through the introspection of his characters. Chris is no different. 

Time travel is always interesting, and we get a small bite of that here. It's odd and jumbled and just plain strange, but it's also really interesting. This is only the second in what is supposed to be a at least a three book series. Book three is about twenty years overdue. Hopefully it comes eventually, but I wasn't completely disatisfied with how this one ended. It needs closure, but it wasn't a complete cliffhanger. 

Another solid read from Koontz. If you haven't read his novels yet, go ahead and do it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dangerous Illusions~Irene Hannon | Review

Title: Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1)
Author: Irene Hannon
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 332 Pages
Release: October 2017

A review copy of this novel was provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Irene Hannon rocks! This new series is awesome, having just finished Dangerous Illusions I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

What does murder, embezzlement, stealing identities, Mafia, have to do with a young woman who has already lost a lot? You soon realize that Trish comes from a rather well to do family, and they are big on giving back, but money can’t buy happiness, and she has lost her husband, her Dad, and her Mom was severely injured, in an accident. Trish spends her days teaching and taking care of her Mother, but evil has a way of winding its hand in and that happens in this great book, but things are not always as you perceive them to be.

This is a Christian meeting the evil of the world. Early in the book you meet Detective Colin Flynn. The interaction between Flynn and his longtime friends was great! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves suspense with a little romance thrown in for good measure!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blind Spot~Dani Pettrey | Review

Title: Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor #3)
Author: Dani Pettrey
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 336 Pages
Release: October 2017

A review copy of this was received through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blind Spot is the third novel in Dani Pettrey's Chesapeake Valor series, and the first thing you need to know is that it absolutely does not stand alone. Sure, you could read and enjoy it, but you'd probably be pretty confused about who was who for a while, and one of the two main plot threads is directly continued from Still Life. So if you haven't read Cold Shot and Still Life yet, do yourself a favor and pick those up before you dive into Blind Spot!

I really liked Cold Shot, and I enjoyed Still Life, but Blind Spot is on another level. It continues the terrorist plot started in Still Life, so check out Still Life if you haven’t already read it. Then there's a side mystery involving a financial planner connected to the characters. With so many plot threads, the story could become confusing, but I had no trouble keeping track of everything.

The main romance between Declan and Tanner was set up in Still Life, and it was nice to see that paid off in this novel. Tanner ended up being a much more interesting character than I'd anticipated, and I'd love to learn even more of her story. As for the suspense, I felt like this was just as suspenseful as Still Life, though not as dark.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Deadly Proof~Rachel Dylan | Review

Title: Deadly Proof (Atlanta Justice #1)
Author: Rachel Dylan
Genre: Romantic Mystery
Length: 320 Pages
Release: September 2017

Deadly Proof was my first time reading anything by Rachel Dylan and... wow!... was it good or what? When I first heard about it, I was very interested in reading it. It did not disappoint! I was hooked from the first chapter and never wanted to put it down. The action and suspense continually progressed. There were lots of twist, turns, and shocking surprises. It definitely kept me guessing.

Kate's a super strong and powerful attorney who's fighting for the underdog, the innocent victims. It's not about the money for her, she genuinely wants to help people. She's very relatable and easy to like. Landon's protective and extremely thorough with his job. He's got some demons, but is actively working to become a better person.

It was very interesting to get an inside look at corporate law and learn some of the ins and outs. Dylan did a great job at explaining all the legal terminology without it being clunky or sounding out of place. I really enjoyed getting to see both sides of the case. While it was mostly from Kate's side, there was also a peek at the opposing counsel.

I haven't read many legal thrillers, but after absolutely loving this one, I can't wait to check more out. And I'm definitely going to check out Dylan's other books. I can't recommend this book enough and I can't wait for the next one!