Review: Tell My Dad

cover104634-medium.pngHow far would you go to protect your children?

“Stay away” — Those are the two words written on the forehead of every pedophile murdered in San Francisco Bay Area.

Joshua Theaker is tasked with finding the killer whose killing methods involve strange weapons. Theaker and local law enforcement find it hard to agree on where the trail goes while local FBI is distracted by child kidnappings. For Theaker, there is a pattern among the victims. But just when Theaker thinks he is getting closer to the killer, he strikes again. And again.

Tell My Dad was an absolutely chilling story that I’m not sure I was emotionally prepared for but that I’m very much glad I decided to pick up. There’s a lot to be said for the power of the phrase inspired by true events.

There were a lot of different stories to follow throughout this narrative, and they were all handled well, keeping me frantically turning pages to find out how everything would come together by the end of the story. There were some scenes that were particularly hard to take, but in the end served to raise the stakes and make for a strong ending that will absolutely have me keeping an eye out for more from this author in the future.


Review: The Soldier’s Woman

cover103330-medium.pngIt is 1810 somewhere in the chaos of war-ravaged Napoleonic Portugal. Miss Charlotte Everslea, dedicated member of an ancient secretive Guild and skilled paranormal artefacts hunter, is hot on the trail of a madman who has stolen an arcane book with the power to change the course of history. Unfortunately, a reversal of fortune for the British troops has left her trapped behind enemy lines pursued by thieves and kidnappers.

Colonel Maximillian Bladewood is used to giving orders and having them obeyed, both on and off the battlefield. As eldest of the large untidy Bladewood brood, life has equipped him for most of its vicissitudes, or so he believed. But the petite golden-haired hoyden, to whose accidental intervention he owes his life, challenges both his authority and his sanity.

Their cross-purposed journey is further exasperated by their mutual, undiscussed attraction and an eventual crossroads where one or both of them will need to compromise is looming.

Readers of Jayne Ann Krentz and Mary Jo Putney will feel right at home.

It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve read any historical fiction (or really much of anything at all, thank you holidays), but this was the perfect book to pull me back in. I don’t know much about the early 1800s, but the Napoleonic era came to life in Charlotte and Maximillian’s story. The dynamic between the two main characters was fairly standard for romance heavy stories, but to worked wonderfully within the world Lyonn’s has crafted for her readers.

Review: RAYNE: Luminescence

cover102394-medium.pngIn the dawn of The Rebirth Period, a new species of humans dominates the Earth.

In their second year of life, they experience the Luminescence and awaken to a mystical ability. Except one. Her name is Rayne.

In a society whose values and manners are as refined as the language they speak, her peers mock her because she has no higher ability. In the early hours of her 17th birthday, she experiences a night which will change this.

As her new reality brings adventure and peril, Rayne is desperate to learn the purpose of her power. Rejected by her Colony, she must hide the truth of what is happening to her. Though she finds friends from unexpected sources, Rayne finds herself hated and even more of an outcast when she’s involved in an accident which turns deadly. As her world unravels, everything she thought she knew about the Luminescence and society is changed, and she must uncover the truth on her own.

There’s little I love more than the chance to binge a series so when I saw two books in the Rayne Trilogy up on NetGalley, I couldn’t resist. I’m not sure how I feel about the covers, but the story itself hooked me from the first chapter. The world building was really fantastic and unlike anything I had read before. I’m already excited to dive into book two!

Rayne’s journey isn’t an easy one, but you’ll find yourself rooting for her throughout. At first she only has to deal with not having an ability like everyone else in her society, but things go from bad to worse pretty quickly.

I loved the concept of a new type of human living here on Earth in the future, and think everything came together really nicely.

Now, on to book two!

Review: Eternal Night

cover98841-medium.pngA dark secret lies in her past. A magical world exists just out of reach. A hidden destiny awaits her.

After a tragic murder and year of lost memories, Anna finds her world shrouded in mystery. Only the elusive Blake seems to have any answers, but pursuing his knowledge takes Anna down a dangerous path. As she begins to unlock pieces of the puzzle, she gets closer and closer to wanting someone she can’t have while unlocking a dormant power she isn’t sure she can control.

Nightfall Academy is only the beginning of a world of deceit, lust, and vengeance. Learning you are part of an ancient race of mages and falling for a dark prince are nothing compared to what Anna’s future holds. If she can handle the power in her blood, she may reunite a lost realm with its past.

And our world could get caught in the crossfire.

There are a lot of elements in Eternal Night that you may have seen before in other popular YA books, but Alayna Ravenwood managed to combine them into something new and really interesting with Eternal Night. It did take me a little while to get into the story as there was a lot to follow and quite a few characters to get to know, but once I began to understand the story, I was hooked.

The main character Anna finds herself attending Nightfall Academy after her life takes a dark turn, where she meets a cast of well-developed and likeable characters. This book will entertain most paranormal fans while also bringing something new to the genre, so I hope readers decide to give it a chance!

Review: Money Can’t Lie

cover99222-mediumShould there be three pieces of crap this is of the British intelligence classic

One day there happened what may happen to a sleeping agent, he was burnt by the same intelligence he worked for. He expected to be arrested and suddenly realized all those things he felt overwhelming for the last week were nothing but seeming true. And in reality it was all quite different, and he had to save not his neck but the operation to which he was a shadow partner.
This deal left no legible trace. It was just like a woman always staying with somebody else in her pursuit of money. It was made of thin air, of powerful links, of noncommittal talks and handshakes. In this deal every cent was lying in someone’s hands. So not knowing the hand that handed this cent over to some other hands one could learn nothing at all, and the whole thing turned to be a number of bulging bubbles of virtual money that disappeared from bank accounts with a single keystroke. It became the reality pulling in to death.
So many people wanted to hold that deal in their hands.
Therefore he understood nothing would happen to him there, he could just walk out with no glance back since he knew so well all those counterparties involved in this operation, and these people could sense something went wrong from miles away and could read it by his walk, there was no need to warn them, they would scatter away on their own and hideaway like rats. And the deal would vanish alongside with them, flowing like sand between his fingers.
If someone wanted to hold down that deal nothing wrong could happen to him. He just had to walk into the street. But then, what if he was mistaken?

I hate to give a bad review, and usually I’ll put a book down if I’m not enjoying long before I get to the point where I feel I can give fair criticism, but while I really enjoyed the plot of Money Can’t Lie, there were a lot of issues that were hard to get past, namely the editing. This book needs a lot of polish. I’m not sure if maybe English is not this authors first language or it was just published before it was ready, but this book needs more work. Such great potential here though! There’s a lot to like, but I can’t in good faith list this in our catalog.

Review: Anvil Soul

cover100143-medium.pngFather James O’Ryan has lived his life by a high moral code, using his beliefs to uphold the sanctity of the church he has pledged his life to serve. After finding himself relocated to the sleepy town of Temora, Father O’Ryan finds himself tempted with lust and distracted by the dangerous actions of his fellow priests.

Will he turn a blind eye to the events surrounding him and take the fall for his brethren or will he issue justice with his own hands?

After seeing the cover and checking out the blurb for Anvil Soul, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this story. But I ended up jumping in without even reading other reviews and am really glad I did. This turned out to be a nuanced story that was extremely relevant to today’s world, and one I think that many of our patrons are going to be interested in reading. I’ll absolutely be recommending it in the future, maybe even as one of our book club selections. There’s a lot to think about weaved into O’Ryan’s story, and I think we could generate a lot of great discussion here.

Highly recommended!

Review: The Duchess Quest

cover100012-medium.pngLove is destined to find her…

Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward!

Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart.

Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

The Duchess Quest was a compelling story from beginning to end, combining some great political elements with well crafted characters. Dainy has no idea how deadly her history was, or what’s ahead of her, but C.K. Brooke does an incredible job of telling her story, in a book that will connect with readers of many genres.

There are a lot of characters involved in this story, and the POV switches often, so it took me a while to really feel like I knew what was going on, but once I was full involved in the story, I couldn’t put it down. This wasn’t a quick read by any stretch, but the pacing was wonderfully maintained as the story and the world continued to build on itself.

Very well done!

Review: Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger

cover99221-mediumNarcissist, sociopath, and shameless backstabber Jubal Van Zandt is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth…and he won’t shut up about it.

But not everybody in the swampy, soggy, feudal future approves of Jubal’s vocation. The Guild—the religious fanatics who helped rebuild civilization after the collapse—in particular are waiting for their opportunity to slip the noose around his neck.

Which is why when the renowned Guild knight Carina Xiao—a.k.a. the Bloodslinger—contacts Jubal about an off-the-books job that violates Guild Law, he’s too intrigued to say no. He is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth, after all.

Part bizarro ecopunk, part outworld thriller, part odd-couple roadtrip, Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger is a 150% futurepunk quest for blood and betrayal across the Revived Earth.

This story was really cool! Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting based on the cover but the number of story elements combined in Jubal and the… yeah, this book is going to need an acronym, worked out into some really really interesting, and very much worth discussing.

First up, I loved Jubal’s character. He’s everything the blurb describes him as, but his character comes together in a way that will have you rooting for him from the first chapter, if only because you already know you’re going to want to read more about his adventures. He’s got quite a history, but I’m more curious to see what kind of character he could grow into if this is somehow turned into a series.

The world building was also well done with a lot of fun adventure tones merged into a cyberpunk universe. I’m curious to read any other fantasy work Hudson may already have out as this seems to be something she does really well.

All in all, a great read, and I’m very much hoping for more.

Review: Storm Watcher


Lightning Never Strikes Twice, Does It?

Luke Riley is lost. His mother’s recent death has set Luke and his family adrift. Even though his father, twin brothers, and their three Bloodhounds are search and rescue volunteers, they have been unable to rescue themselves and become a family again.

The summer after sixth grade looms in Luke’s mind as a long, lonely three months where the only thing he can look forward to is watching The Weather Channel. Luke is fascinated with the weather, but since his mother’s death in a storm, he is also terrified. Even the promised 13th birthday present of a Bloodhound puppy fails to lift Luke’s spirits. He would rather have a different breed – a petite Papillon, but his father insists he get a Bloodhound.When Luke decides to get the Bloodhound from Willajean, a dog breeder who owns Storm Watcher Kennel, he works out a deal to help at her kennel in exchange for the expensive dog. Thrilled to have a summer with a purpose, Luke befriends Willajean’s daughter, Megan and together they plan how Luke can get a Papillon puppy instead of a Bloodhound.

But nothing seems to work as they struggle with stubborn fathers, summer storms, unhelpful siblings, and hidden guilt. Can one little white dog really save both families?

How did I not know that Maria V. Snyder had a book for younger readers? I’m a huge fan of her adult fantasy work, mainly because she has such a distinct writing style and a real talent for crafting character, both of which translate through to Storm Watcher. This was a really fun story combining the main character’s struggle after his mother’s death with some really fun weather elements that I’m sure will interest middle grade readers. Of course, the dogs featured in the book will definitely help to grab some reader attention as well. There really is a little bit of everything here and I can easily see this book becoming one I recommend on a regular basis.

It looks like there’s only one book in the series so far, but there’s definitely room for more stories with these characters so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books in the future!

Review: The Unforgettables by GL Tomas

cover97168-medium.pngNeighbors and best friends Paul and Felicia hoped they’d be friends forever. But as they change, so does their friendship.

She shouldn’t have kissed her…He shouldn’t have liked it.

Starting school changed everything…

While I would have loved more of a description on what this book was about, I ended up picking it up mainly because of the cover (which I’m in love with) and falling in love with Paul and Felicia from the first few chapters.

Paul was an especially great character to read for me, though his relationship with Felicia was ultimately brought him to life on the page. Paul is the kind of guy I’d love to see more of in YA stories. Nothing about him is cruel or unnecessarily brooding. He’s a good guy, which lets face it, in the real world are the best guys. Both Felicia and Paul were characters I would love to be BFFs with, and the supporting characters were pretty great as well. There was a lot of diversity among the cast which made the story even more dynamic.

There were a couple of spots where the book could probably use a bit of polish, but I’m not actually sure if I had an ARC version or not. And ultimately, the story was more than enough to make up for editing blips.

I’ll absolutely be recommending The Unforgettables in the future.