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Archive for March, 2012

Darkhouse

Darkhouse by Karina Halle

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) With all the vampire, werewolf and faerie books out there, it’s easy to become numb to all things supernatural. The antidote? Darkhouse introduces two real and unforgettable characters, Perry Palomino & Dex Foray, amateur ghost hunters who are “attractive, relatable and oddly heroic,” “flawed but loveable,” “slightly crazy” and just the most endearing pair to ever tackle the paranormal…just don’t call them normal. Darkhouse is a thrilling and sexy new take on concepts like Supernatural and The X-Files, bringing a breath of fresh air to a genre that has been inundated with the dead.

Perry has been having strange nightmares about a damp room with a stranger that seems to want to harm her. By day, she lives at home with her parents and little sister and works as a receptionist at a communications agency in Portland. Perry and her family go to have a weekend with her Uncle Albert and two cousins on the coast. While there she has this strong desire to explore the abandoned lighthouse on his property.

While exploring the lighthouse, Perry runs into Dex. He films for an internet show and was interested in the lighthouse for a possible new show. Then things get creepy, Perry is locked in a room with a burned bed. When she gets out Dex is nowhere to be found but hr cousins are looking for her.

After posting on her sister’s blog about the lighthouse incident, Perry has become an internet hit. This leads Dex to contact her about doing in internet show with him. Perry agrees but finds out there is more to this than just a story about a creepy abandoned lighthouse. When a creepy older lady starts giving her odd advice about Dex, Perry wonders what she is getting into.

I really liked this story. It is a great introduction to a series I think will just keep getting better. But I have to admit that the story felt unfinished. We get to a peak in the story that feels unresolved. Then the story ends with the possibility of more to come. Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely be reading the others in this series.

If you like paranormal YA stories, you will not be disappointed in this. Just remember that it is the first in the series.

I received this book for free from Book Rooster in exchange for an honest opinion.

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The Plight and Plot of Princess Penny by Michael Mullin

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) From the author of “8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf” comes an original fairy tale about a teenage princess who hires the witch from “The Frog Prince” to get revenge on a Mean Girl at school. (Intended for YA readers and up.)

Princess Penny is not your normal princess that thinks about knights in shining armor, being the head of a click in school, and wasting all the money in the treasury. Sadly, an ex-friend, Darcy, has been spreading vicious rumors saying she is very superficial. While reading a magazine, Penny finds an ad from a witch that promised to help you get revenge. All Penny can think about is having Darcy suffer the same way she has.

When Penny gets to the witch’s place, she learns that she is missing some important things for the revenge to take place. She has to gather some items before the potion can be made. She also meets Jink, a nasty slimy troll like creature that is trying to make her think about what she is doing.

All Penny can think about is turning Darcy into a rat. When she returns to the witch’s house she finds the pull of the transformation potion too great and she steals it. Things don’t go as planned then the witch comes to collect her missing potion.

I really liked this poem. You can relate to Penny being picked on in school and wanting to get her revenge. This is a great moral story for anyone but especially those that find themselves in similar situations. I loved Michael Mullin’s 8 and this is another great story. I recommend everyone get this story you won’t regret it.

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Puzzlebook Trilogy:

Puzzlebook Trilogy: 303 Puzzle Quizzes by The Grabarchuk Family

5 stars

(Excerpt from Amazon) Discover a trilogy of the Top Rated Puzzlebook: Puzzle Quizzes series – a compilation of three books: 100 Puzzle Quizzes, 101 Puzzle Quizzes, and 102 Puzzles Quizzes. In this puzzle collection you will find 303 pictorial, hand-crafted puzzle quizzes in different themes: visual, spatial, counting, geometry, matchstick, coins, searching, and much more.

As the above description said, this is a collection of three of the Puzzlebooks. The format is the same. There is a diagram index that takes you to whatever game you want to play first. When you are at the game, you select an answer and if the answer if wrong, you can go back to the puzzle. If the answer is correct, you are taken to a page that explains the answer. Then you get directed back to the next puzzle.

After you are finished with the first set of puzzles, you are then directed to the second books index page. If you want to skip to that book, use the index at the front. Otherwise you will be flipping through the answers of the book before to get to that book.

I used this book on my Kindle for the PC and on my phone. Both give you wonderful colors and no the computer it was easier to see the details. I really liked this book. Mind you, I have all ready been playing with these books individually. If you are looking for a way to spend your free time and to get a good value for your money, get this book. The individual books are great too. But I recommend getting this book, it is much more convenient.

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

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I have been chatting with Mary Pauline Lowry about reviewing her book The Earthquake Machine. I’m sad that my TBR pile has taken over my life and my review will be delayed. But I’m excited to read and review this story.

Mary just send out notification that she has a new cover for The Earthquake machine. I love it and just had to share with everyone.

For more information, check out her website at www.marypaulinelowry.com.

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Bad Wolf

Bad Wolf by Tim McGregor

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Detective Lara Mendes’s hard work finally pays off when she gets the chance to join the homicide detail. There’s only one catch; she has to partner up with a cop no one wants to work with.

John Gallagher is a veteran homicide detective who loves stomping bad guys and hates partners. When the Lieutenant saddles him with this green kid named Mendes, his first reaction is to ditch her but a call comes in about a body on the river bank and the rotation says they’re up.

What they find are human remains, mutilated and partially devoured. Their investigation reveals a killer stalking the city with a pack of vicious, feral dogs.

And the suspect believes he is a werewolf.
But this is Portland, where crazy bastards outnumber normal ones ten to one. Except there’s another catch. The crazy werewolf guy? He isn’t crazy…

Lara Mendes has just been promoted to detective. The only stipulation is she is partnered with John Gallagher, a detective known for over stepping the line. Her job is to keep a leash on him. Their first case together is a lady killed by dogs. They then stumble upon Ivan Prall. Prall was a foster kid that was abused.

Lara and John find his hiding place in the basement of an abandoned shack. While looking around, they find some journals and some chains and leather restraints. They think he is just a little off but Prall thinks that he is a werewolf. But he must actually be one since the local stray dogs are forming a pack with him has the alpha.

Lara and John are on a race to find Prall, solve the murder of the mauled woman, and stop the dogs from attacking. They also need to learn to get along with one another.

I liked this story. There was a good mystery along with a paranormal twist. I admit that the story did feel like it drug in a couple places. But the ending clearly made it feel like it was the first in a series. I am curious to see what happens next. I think if you like paranormal thrillers you will like this book.

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

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Guarding the Healer

Guarding the Healer by Gabriel Beyers

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) When Silas Walker is endowed with the power to heal, he soon discovers that no gift comes without a price.

A man possessed by an ancient evil is taunting the healer with photos of victims brutally murdered and marked with the crude image of an angel, and for Silas the slain are growing more familiar.

After he is given an ominous warning and an unbearable ultimatum, Silas sets out to draw his enemy away from those he loves, and discover the true purpose of his gift, which leads him inexplicably to a troubled young drifter named Tommy.

The Stalker is close on the healer’s trail, bringing with him an army of demons. Silas’s only hope rests in the hands of a guardian angel he doesn’t even know exists.

The Guardian is doing all within his power to save the healer, but he is certain Silas is heading into a trap. Time is running out. War is at hand.

But there is no turning back. For even an angel can’t alter a man’s destiny.

We start the story out with four boys in an abandoned train station. The four of them have been torturing and killing small animals, but the ringleader, Rick, wants to take things further and kill a little girl. What they don’t know if there is a collection of Shadows, Fallen Angels, warrior angels, a grim reaper, and Nassarius, and angel that has been drawn to the area. A Shadow ultimately possesses Rick, the other boys don’t survive the ordeal, and the little girls escapes.

We then meet Silas. His parents are dead and he is living at his Aunt Katherine’s house. Her husband, Uncle Barney, is a drunk and very abusive to both Silas and his aunt. We also learn the house that he lives in is haunted by Shadows. Nassarius becomes Silas’s guardian angel and helps him battle the Shadows. During this time, Silas develops the ability to fight the Shadows and heal people.

We follow Silas as he starts learning about his healing ability and the limitations. With the good there is also bad. Demon Rick is following Silas to get a better body to possess. After not being able to heal his wife, Silas meets Tommy and together they wander the country to heal people. But no matter where he goes, Demon Rick is not far behind. Usually taunting him with photographs the next day. Eventually they are drawn back to Silas’ hometown where he is going to have to face Demon Rick once and for all.

I really enjoyed this story. I felt for Silas with the limitations of his healing abilities. I did get sucked in and couldn’t wait for the finally battle. I will admit that I was a bored with the ramblings around the country. I understood that Silas and Tommy had to go do the Lord’s bidding for who and what should be healed and to link the ending together. But there seemed to be no rhyme of reason for it. For example, the possessed girl, I felt cheated after that encounter. Beyond that, this is a good book. I think if you like thrillers you will find this a good story.

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

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Wayward Son

Wayward Son by Tom Pollack

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) A POWERFUL TREMOR UNEARTHS AN ANCIENT SECRET
Buried near Italy’s Mount Vesuvius is a fortified observatory containing artifacts dating to the earliest record of human events. Only one person, the Getty Museum’s Amanda James can unlock the mysterious doors that guard the chamber. But once inside, Amanda is shocked to discover evidence left behind by a notorious Biblical killer; who long ago wandered off the pages of history. When a strange relic unveils the miraculous truth about this villain, Amanda must confront sinister forces intent on suppressing her stunning revelation; before it alters the destiny of millions. The first in a series, Wayward Son, takes the reader back in time, where ancient adventures in Egypt, Greece, China and Rome collide with modern-day intrigue and suspense. Journey with Amanda and witness the incredible story of the world’s original wayward son.

This story takes place in two parts. In present day, Amanda James works for the Getty Museum specializing in scrolls and languages. She is contacted by Juan Carlos, a friend and ex boyfriend. An earthquake by Mount Vesuvius has opened a small crack that leads to a gold door, which is assumed to lead to a great archeological find. Amanda is chosen because of her background as the best person to interpret the symbols on the door.

At the same time, Luc Renard, a rich benefactor to the Getty, is in the process of purchasing the land that has been uncovered by the earthquake. The Vatican has also been informed that the discovery could possibly be a tomb. If it is, the Vatican will step up and claim the site.

The second part of the story follows Cain. We begin when Cain is being punished for slaying his brother. We follow Cain through the years as he becomes a powerful ruler, an engineer, a captain of a shipping industry on the Nile, a bard, and many other things.

I have to admit that when I first read the synopsis, I thought this would be another mystery thriller with historical items similar to The Da Vinci Code or like Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series. I was surprised since this book is basically about Cain and his travels through the world. It was interesting all the areas and things that he sees and does.

***Spoiler Alert, skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to spoil the book*** The only thing that I was not impressed with was that the synopsis made it seem like there was going to be a big race to protect the find. But there was not, it was just the story of Cain, his travels, and such. Yes, there was the rush to rescue Amanda and who was going to claim the find, but nothing like I was lead to believe.

If you get past that, I think it was well written and worth reading. If you like history of Greece, Rome, the Middle East, and some China, I feel like you would really like this book. I loved the biblical references in the story; it really makes everything come together.

I received this book for free from the Library Thing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

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Cut the Shapes

Cut the Shapes by The Grabarchuk Family

5 stars

(Excerpt from Amazon) Cut the Shapes is a unique puzzle experience for Kindle.

The goal is simple: Cut the shapes into congruent (identical) parts. Puzzles are of increasing difficulty up to almost impossible (but always solvable).

240 hand-crafted puzzles are included and 3 game modes, Basic, Domino and Trio, offer variety. Need help? Cut the Shapes can give you a hint. You can keep track of your time with a counter, and you can pause that timer when you want to take a break. You earn stars for each puzzle completed, and Cut the Shapes will track your scores so you can track your progress.

A super puzzle for exercising your visual skills, Cut the Shapes is a great pastime for young and old alike.

The idea of this puzzle book is to “cut” the shapes into identical pieces. To do this, you select one set of squares or triangles and darken them. When the two pieces match, you go to the next puzzle. The more advanced games darken the pieces so they can be one item or used in both pieces that are cut in half.

I have to admit that I was a bit lost when I first started playing this puzzle book. It took me a couple trials and errors before I figured it out. Mental note, read the instructions first. This really makes the game so much easier to play.

What is nice is you have three different levels that you can play along with a scoring system so you can constantly challenge yourself. This is a great challenging puzzle that anyone can play. It really makes you think outside the box, especially when you have pieces that can be used in both cuts.

If you want a really challenging puzzle without the common puzzles you come across, this is the ebook for you. Even though you think you might have solved the puzzle, you will find that it’s not as easy as you first thought.

I received this ebook for free in exchange for an honest opinion.

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Puzzlebook:100 Puzzle Quizzes by The Grabarchuk Family

5 stars

(Excerpt from Amazon) This is Volume 1 of the Top Rated Puzzlebook series. In this brand-new puzzle collection you will find 100 pictorial, hand-crafted puzzle quizzes in different themes: visual, spatial, counting, geometry, matchstick, coins, searching, and much more. Be sure to check Puzzlebook: 101 Puzzle Quizzes and Puzzlebook: 102 Puzzle Quizzes for more!

This is the first book in the Puzzlebook collection from The Grabarchuk Family. There are 100 puzzle and quizzes in this ebook. With my Kindle, you highlight an option then enter to see if you selected the correct answer to the puzzle. If you didn’t get the correct answer, simply selecting Back will take you back to the puzzle to try again. If you selected the correct answer, you will be taken to the answer page. On that page is an explanation of why that is the correct answer.

I also have used my Android phone to read/play this ebook. I really like using my phone since I can see all the color. This is the same set up where you get four options and can choose which ever one you feel is correct. If you are correct, you are sent to the page that provides an explanation for the answer. Unfortunately, I found that if I got the answer wrong, I don’t have the option to go back to the puzzle that I was working on. I have to go back to the glossary then go back to my puzzle. I have spoken to The Grabarchuk Family about this. I think it is a weird fluke that happens on my phone.

Beyond that, all of the puzzles and quizzes from The Grabarchuk Family are great. They are a good way to pass the time while keeping your mind active. If you like puzzles, you will want to get these ebooks. You can’t beat the prize either.

I received this ebook for free in exchange for an honest review.

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