Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31 | Currently Reading

Hi, everyone! You may have noticed I've been on a bit of a hiatus lately. It started out simply taking time off during my kids' spring break, but that turned into the flu and pneumonia and a whole host of not feeling up to posting on the blog.

During my time away I've finished reading The Body Book by Cameron Diaz, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, and The Bleeding Season by Greg Gifune:

I enjoyed the Cameron Diaz book. The Winner's Curse wasn't particularly great for me. The Bleeding Season, however, was a really great read.

Right now I'm rereading Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon. I've been in the mood to read it again for quite some time and the new book in the Matthew Corbett series comes out in a couple of months.

I hope it is starting to look like spring for you guys. The pollen is coating EVERYTHING right now, but I'm loving the beautiful weather. All of our flower seeds have sprouted. I'm looking forward to moving those into the yard. Baseball season has started. We have just 3 short weeks until our first planned trip to the beach. Happy times make me happy.

Let me hear what is going on with you and especially what you are reading this week. Be sure to let me know in the comments or leave me a link!

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review | Honor's Knight by Rachel Bach

Honor's Knight is the second book in the Paradox trilogy by Rachel Bach.

Book Description

The rollicking sequel to Fortune's Pawn -- an action packed science fiction novel.

Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either.

After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she's determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi's not actually looking for it -- trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she's supposed to hate.

But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there's worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.

The entire time I was reading Honor's Knight all I could think was Holy shit I love this book. I'm devastated there is only one book left in the series. If you haven't read Fortune's Pawn, I cannot recommend enough that you jump on to this trilogy.

You can read my review of Fortune's Pawn here.

I mentioned in my review of Fortune's Pawn that it was more of a "space fantasy" than a science fiction novel. Honor's Knight can definitely be classified more as science fiction but this is an awesome thing. I'm loving the way this trilogy is progressing.

The Paradox series centers around Devi Morris - a totally badass mercenary chick on track to join an elite league of armored fighters. It's difficult to review Honor's Knight without spoiling the first book so I'm just going to say I loved this second book even more than the first. And I really loved the first.

There's so much action and mystery, so many twists and turns, and such awesome characters. There's also no cliffhanger at the end of this one! Just an intense longing for more... I highly, highly recommend this series.

9/10: Highly Recommended

Review copy provided by publisher

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review | The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Troop is a new horror novel by Nick Cutter (Craig Davidson).

Book Description

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. Te boys are a tight-knit crew. Tere’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there—which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier. But for some reason, he can’t shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this year. Something waiting in the darkness. Something wicked . . .

It comes to them in the night. An unexpected intruder, stumbling upon their campsite like a wild animal. He is shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—a man in unspeakable torment who exposes Tim and the boys to something far more frightening than any ghost story. Within his body is a bioengineered nightmare, a horror that spreads faster than fear. One by one, the boys will do things no person could ever imagine.

And so it begins. An agonizing weekend in the wilderness. A harrowing struggle for survival. No possible escape from the elements, the infected . . . or one another.

Why did I read The Troop?

First, Stephen King said it scared the hell out of him. Then there were comparisons to Scott Smith's The Ruins. Those two reasons alone were enough for me.

The Strengths

The Troop is a scary read. Although the characters in The Troop are not very realistic, the horror at the heart of The Troop is plausible. Part of the fun in reading The Troop for me was wondering what was causing the horror and then believing it could actually happen. Science related horror, for the win.

The comparisons to Scott Smith are true. The Troop was very similar in tone to The Ruins which is a great thing. There was a lot of tension so I was a nervous, happy reader.

The Troop is a stand out book. It's not just your next horror story. It's well developed and memorable.

The Weaknesses

The kids. I never thought there could be too much back story on characters, but the amount of development on the boys in The Troop made them feel unrealistic to me. Each boy fit a role and it was too convenient for each one to have such a huge (usually disturbing) back story that they had never shared with each other before.

I much preferred the biological horrors of The Troop over the psychological/human horrors.

Would I recommend The Troop to others?

Absolutely. If you are a fan of horror or thrillers and you don't mind being disturbed or even grossed out, The Troop needs to be on your list of things to read this year. I do not, however, recommend it to the squeamish.

8/10: Great Read

Review copy provided by publisher

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review | Snowblind by Christopher Golden

Snowblind is a stand alone horror novel from Christopher Golden.

Book Description

The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards...but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children's windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow. Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as---tonight---another little boy is missing. Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning's life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he’s starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes. Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to save the life of a young boy . . . and the boy’s father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.

As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.

I was highly anticipating reading Snowblind this year. I've been a fan of Christopher Golden for a long time, and it has been a while since he's released a new horror book. When I heard Snowblind was going to be released, I immediately placed it on my must read list.

I absolutely loved the ominous build up in the beginning of Snowblind. A blizzard is blowing in to a small town in New England, and something is waiting out in the snow. It reminded me of Stephen King's The Mist. You know some bad shit is happening, but you don't know exactly what is out there.

Once all of the foreboding came to a head and we started seeing the horrors of the blizzard, the timeline jumped ahead 12 years. The real story of Snowblind lies in what happened 12 years after the original events, but the jump in time forced the middle to lag for me. I spent most of Snowblind longing for the awesome that got left behind.

Even though the end of Snowblind didn't live up to the promise of the beginning, it was still a good snow thriller. If you are looking for a book to give you the snow creeps, Snowblind will definitely fit that bill. I'm glad I read it on one of the only almost snowy days we had here this winter. If I ever find myself out in real snow, this book is certain to be on my mind.

6/10: Good Read

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