Archive for December, 2011

Say Not What If

Say Not What If by Andrew Friedman

3 Stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) “Say Not What If” is about a man on death row, and has as its theme the concept that time is our most valuable commodity. As someone once said, “waste anything but time, because we really are promised no tomorrows.” This theme is explored through the life of a man who sacrifices his marriage and everything else for his career. He realizes much too late the terrible consequences of this decision, and then desperately tries to regain those lost years by making a much worse choice. The resolution of this latter choice involves an additional examination of the concepts of accountability and responsibility, redemption, and the morality of the death penalty.

This is about a 51 page book about a guy that spent all his time devoted to work. When he looses his wife to work and becomes ill he realizes what he lost. Trying to make things better, he talks to the gods of Fate and learns that the only option to getting his health back is a horrible act, which he does.

This lands him in prison where he is treated horribly but makes something of himself. But during the time he is changing his life for the better, his sentence is almost over and he is once again realizing what he is about to lose.

I understand what the author is trying to get across. We should try to help others and not waste time that could be spent one important things and people. The rhyme did flow well throughout the story.

I do have to say that the price the gods of Fate ask for and him providing it really turned me off the story. I honestly had a hard time feeling anything for the character or even wanting to continue reading.

This is a quick read and has a good message. I am sorry to say that I couldn’t find it in myself to rise above the anger I felt and try to think better about the character and what he goes through. I am going to give this story a neutral review because of that.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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The Companion of Lady Holmeshire by Debra Brown

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) A baby girl was found in a basket on Squire Carrington’s doorstep. She was raised and sent to work as a servant girl for The Countess of Holmeshire. The widowed and unconventional Countess chose Miss Emma Carrington as a companion and sent her off for finishing with the goal of dragging her along into genteel Victorian society. What sort of reception would she have at tea and dinners? The young Earl of Holmeshire was engaged by arrangement to a lovely London lady, but their relationship was difficult. Could they work it out? Even the tribulations and banned romances of the servants downstairs play into the story as we follow Emma from a stone fortress to a Victorian village and then into fabulous London mansions. Great surprises unfold at a Midsummer Night’s Dream Ball which help to solve mysteries that have gradually developed. You are invited to predict the great revelation of the last few pages!

Lady Holmeshire has chosen a common girl to be groomed for Victorian society. She has chosen Emma as her companion. Emma was found abandoned and was raised by a squire until he couldn’t take care of her along with the rest of his own family. So the Countess decides that she will take care of Emma as a servant then decides to educate her as a Victorian Lady.

We start with Emma coming home from finishing. She feels out of place in the house where so recently she was a servant. Emma is also very nervous about being introduced into society. In the mean time, Wilfred, Coutness’s son, has returned home and is planning on taking his mother and Emma to London while he works in Parliament.

While in London, Emma is to be introduced to polite society and draws a rather negative air. Several people are not impressed that a former maid should even grace societies halls and they plan on how they can get her thrown out. At the same time, Wilford is trying to get the lords and lady’s to realize that there is a problem with the poor and that they need help. This topic is frowned upon so Wilford is having trouble getting support in Parliament.

I liked the idea behind this story. The end was surprising and there was a great twist when you thought the story was over. I really liked how everything was rapped up at the end.

Sadly, I have to say that I have learned that I don’t enjoy Victorian based stories. Having said that, I felt that the story wandered around and branched off before coming to the end. Some of the story felt like filler and could have been taken out.

Beyond that, I do feel if you like Victorian stories, you will like this one. It is a quick read, about 133 pages on my Nook and 269 pages in print, but well worth it.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Abigail by Heather Marie Adkins

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) When Abigail’s supposedly immortal faery mother is found murdered, her human father sells her in to slavery. Bought by a young and wealthy landowner named William, she is whisked away to a Grecian island to play caretaker for his baby sister.

However, the island has a deadly secret connected to Abigail’s past. Her budding romance with William is shattered by Abigail’s intimate, unwanted connection with the island’s faery prince. Meanwhile, the Faery King is planning revenge upon the family.

Abigail must join forces with the very race she’s sought to deny, to save the humans she has learned to love.

The story starts with Abigail finding herself up for sale as a slave. She is lucky that her purchaser has decided that he would like to have her take care of his kid sister. But Abigail is not completely human; she is part faery with a connection to the earth. On the trip to her new home, she demonstrates her powers in different ways.

On the little island that is now her home, she meets others faeries and learns that the land that the house is built on belongs to the faery king and he plans on taking that land back. She also learns that she has a connection to the faery kings brother even though she loves William.

I really liked this story. I’m sad to say that I have had it in the TBR pile for a while and feel really bad that I didn’t read it sooner. The only thing I was not impressed with was the relationship with the3 faery kings brother. Something rubbed me wrong with that.

Beyond that, if you like paranormal romances with faeries in them, you will like this.

I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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I am still alive, contrary to the lack of posts. I have been super busy and hardly had time to read. I do have some older reviews that I’m going to post, so there will be a couple in a row. I still have a huge TBR pile and I’m so sorry to everyone that I have told I will review their books but have taken so long to get to them. My New Years Resolution is to get my butt in gear and make this up to everyone.

Having said that, here is the first of several late reviews.

Solid by Shelley Workinger

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Teens who discover they were secretly genetically altered before birth are brought together at a classified site where they forge new friendships, find love, develop “super-abilities,” and even unearth a conspiracy.

The army has released information of one of their doctors experimenting on unborn children. He had given about 100 mothers tainted vitamins to alter their children with secret abilities. Now the army is trying to figure out what all the children can do and how to help them live with their new abilities.

Clio is one of the teenagers. When she gets to the camp for the teenagers, she finds that the army has spared no expense for them. They packed up the teen’s rooms at home and set up the rooms exactly as they were to make them feel more comfortable. Clio quickly meets four other kids and makes fast friends. She learns that there are three main groups; the athletes, the heavies or the goth kids, and the rest. The Jack, the guy that Clio has an instant crush on, is a floater. No one really knows what his abilities are so he floats between the groups to see where he belongs.

One day while Clio is resting, she over hears a conversation that gets her to think that something far different is going on. When she brings her suspicions up to her new friends, they go on a fact-finding mission.

I really liked this book. I got sucked in with the prolog and couldn’t wait to learn what abilities they kid’s would have. The interactions between characters was really good, especially the heavies and their moodiness. I liked how the book ended with the opening for more books to come. I cannot wait to get Settling. If you like young adult stories you will love this book.

I received this book for free from a giveaway and promised the author an honest review.

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Dark Inside

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Four teenagers on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found. THE DARK INSIDE is a stunning, cinematic thriller: 28 DAYS LATER meets THE ROAD.

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…. Now it’s our turn.

Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even worse is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, hooking on to weakness, turning the unwary into hunters, killers, crazies.

Mason: His mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground. Everyone he knows is killed.

Aries: A school bus, an aftershock and a crash. Pulled out of the wreckage by a mysterious stranger, she’s about to discover a world changed forever.

Clementine: An emergency meeting at the town hall that descends into murderous chaos. Outside the rest of their community encircle with weapons. How can those you trust turn into savage strangers?

Michael: A brutal road rage incident. When the police arrive on the scene they gun down the guilty and turn on the by-standing crowd. Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad?

We start the story with a huge earthquake on the west coast that frees a darkness that makes the evil thoughts in people come to light. Most people turn into crazed, murderous people that came to be called Baggers. The few people that remain themselves are most likely killed by the Baggers although a few have managed to survive.

The story follows four teenagers; Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael. After Mason’s mother dies he is afraid of the emptiness and rage in him. He decides to go to Vancouver where he was happy at one time. Aries meets Daniel and is warned that things are going to get worse. She gets a group of kids from school together and they try to survive the Baggers.

Clementines parents are killed and she decides to make the journey west to Seattle where her brother is attending college. And Michael survives with a businessman after the police prove that they cannot maintain the peace.

I really liked this story. I was hooked from page one, couldn’t put it down, and finished it in one day. I like how people are portrayed in an apocalyptic world. Although they are affected by the darkness, they are portrayed, as many people would act normally. I also like how the survivors have to do what needs to be done to survive, it’s not murder it’s survival. I liked how the book ended yet it has the possibility of having additional books.

If you like apocalyptic stories, you will like this. Although the characters are around seventeen years of age, it will appeal to everyone. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this book for free from the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab in exchange for an honest review.

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Christian Zombie Killers by Jeff Kinley

3 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Ben Forman was just an ordinary guy, a young professional starting his first job and falling in love with his girlfriend. Living in the outskirts of a southern city, he didn’t think the zombie activity so common in the major cities would hit so close to home. But it was becoming clear that the mysterious infection reanimating the deceased was a growing epidemic across the country. The question was, would he stay alive or become the undead?

In this one-of-kind approach to teaching about sin, grace, and salvation, The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook tracks the fictional life of Ben Forman and offers solid Bible teaching to help readers understand the gravity and consequences of life without God, of life as a zombie. Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Without the salvation Jesus offers, we are all as good as dead. But as this book teaches in a winsome, cutting-edge, culturally relevant style, anyone can kill the zombie inside, escape the clutches of the undead, and come alive by the supernatural power of God’s salvation.

This is a world where a virus infects people and makes them mad with rage. After they die, they come back as zombies. Part of the book follows Ben Forman. A couple years prior, his father was attacked by a zombie and killed so he couldn’t rage and return as a zombie himself. We start as Ben stumbles upon a zombie kill. The story follows Ben as he tries to get on with his life but seems to have interactions with zombies every time he turns around.

The other part of the book explains how there are zombies in all of us. Through our love for the Lord and following his word, we can over come the selfishness and inner rot. There are many references and a good correlation between zombie and our regular lives.

When I first got this book, I was under the impression that intertwined in the story would be the religious aspect, like the Left Behind series. I was completely wrong. There are two sections to each chapter. The first is the story about Ben then you have the preaching about how we can better ourselves.

I’m sorry to say this but I was a little put off with all the preaching. I understand what was being said, and if you want to say that my zombie was taking charge I will agree. I ended up skipping the preaching sections.

This is a good story, but be warned that it does get very heavy. If this is something that you don’t mind, I think you will really like this book. If you are like me, you might want to think twice about reading this book. Like I said, the story about Ben is great, but you might be skipping through half of the book.

I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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Hellbent by Cheri Priest

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths.  Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right?

Raylene’s little family is growing, including their problems. Ian’s house just lost the leader, Ian father. Now Ian’s brother Max is trying to get him to come back to the house and run it or publicly announces that he doesn’t want the position. Unfortunately, if he shows up he will be killed because of his blindness.

Then Horace calls Raylene with a job. A box of interesting artifacts that have a lot of magical powers has been discovered but Horace couldn’t get them. When Raylene goes on the hunt, she is almost killed by a witch with the power to call lightning. The witch believes that, with the artifacts, she can undo mistakes in her past.

Raylene also has Adrian to work with since she promised him that she would find his missing sister, Isabelle. When an opportunity comes up to go to Atlanta, to find out what happened to Ian’s father, Adrien is all on board to come along and help Raylene and try to find his sister.

I really like this series. For a vampire that hates to be around people, Ray is getting an odd assortment in her little family. There is a lot of action and I have to laugh as how Ray seems to be played by Adrian but goes along with it.

I will admit that I was not impressed with the ending. Don’t get me wrong, I think that was a great ending, it was just way to blunt. I felt that there should have been a little more explanation or follow up with what happens afterwards.

This book was great. If you like science fiction and vampires, you would like this book. I can’t wait to read the next one in this series.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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