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Archive for the ‘3 Star Books’ Category

The Iron Flower

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The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles – 2) by Laurie Forest

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

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Laurie Forest

About the Author

Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles – OUT NOW) & Wandfasted (Book 0.5, The Black Witch Chronicles Prequel) are her first published novels. Coming in 2018 are Light Mage (Book 1.5, The Black Witch Chronicles) & The Iron Flower (Book 2.0, The Black Witch Chronicles). She is currently ensconced in the woods, hard at work on The Shadow Dryad (Book 3.0, The Black Witch Chronicles).

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My Review

3 stars

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last Black Witch but has no powers of her own. She has also lived a semi sheltered life and is unaware of a lot of the various races except for her small village teachings. She has learned the hard way that the Gardnerian’s have abuse and exploited these races over the years especially with the help of her grandmother. Now the various races are ready to fight back to gain their freedom.

Elloren has been verbally and physically abused since she looks just like her grandmother and that she is a Gardnerian. But she has had enough of how the other races have been treated and joins the resistance to help fight with them. But she also has her own challenges to face. The mage counsel has deemed it that anyone not wand fasted by 16 years of age will be fasted to whom they deem fit, Aunt Vyvian is going to get her wish one way or another.

I would have had no problem with this book if that is the main content. But I have to say the whole love triangle with Yvan got to be so irritating. I’m not a fan of love triangles anyway but this one just bogged the story down. I almost just put the book down then. But I persisted and the story did get better.

I will say that there were some unexpected moments that kept things interesting and the ending was a surprise. That was a good twist although I kinda had that one pegged. Overall it continued the story on from The Black Witch and expanded the world a little. I don’t know if I want to continue this series, I’m going to have to think about it for a little bit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Publisher for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Ruin

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Ruin (Kano’s Necromantic Comedy – 1) by Karl Radle

Humanity has died out, leaving their twisted biological creations as the sole inheritors of the earth. Plagued by visions of her past, Kano wanders amid the ruins of the old world, where violence has become a way of life.

Caught up in the machinations of necromancers, the only beings capable of creating new life, she stumbles upon “children” born from one of their insane plans. The meeting revives emotions she hasn’t felt in a long time. Emotions which echo her past self.

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My Review

3 Stars

The world we know is gone, destroyed by necromancers. Now you have ghouls and golems created by artificial souls. Kano is something more than just a simple Ghoul, she has some special equipment and abilities but has memory problems. But she stays with Nove, a beastial ghoul, even though it seems she has no feeling for her, Kano would rather spend her time high than deal with reality.

But when she wakes up naked and robbed, she goes on the rampage to find out who robbed her. This leads to a group controlled by a necromancer that she decides she is going to kill. There she gets a collection of small, childlike ghouls and takes a liking to one of them. But she realizes that something is wrong with her and goes looking for help.

I will be the first to admit that after reading the blurb of this book that this is not what I expected. Kano has memory issues so I can see some of her behavior but she is just a jerk. Mind you she does get better but just a little. I was kind of lost by this world and had a hard time sticking with the story.

This is not a bad read. There is potential for a great story and I could see some people liking it a lot more than me. Unfortunately it just was not for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Pushback

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Pushback by John Stith

Dave goes to his high school reunion for his very small school where he knew everyone… and nobody at the party was in his class, nor is he shown in the photo of everybody in the graduating class. He’s brought his new girlfriend with him, who’s understandably now wondering about if he’s right in the head. He knows he is (PTSD notwithstanding) but he doesn’t know what’s up… or who shot holes in his car… Things turn even more deadly as someone seems to have it in for him, but he has no idea who or why.

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Praise for Pushback

“Some people dream about going to their high-school reunion in their underwear. Dave Barlow goes to his and finds himself worse than naked — unrecognized. A lovely, twisty thriller that moves like a roller coaster — racheting up the suspense, then plunging into crisis, or doing a swift loop-the-loop through flashbacks of PTSD before the climb stars again.” — Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander series.

PUSHBACK is a fast-paced crime novel guaranteed to keep you reading into the night. Accelerating through enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, PUSHBACK ramps up to a heart-pounding ending that will leave you breathless. Stith, known for his award-winning science fiction, really brings it home in his debut mystery. Bring on the next installment!” — Chris Goff, author of RED SKY

John E. Stith

Author’s Bio

Science fiction and mystery author John E. Stith writes across many worlds. His books have been translated to French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian and are even available in braille for the sight-impaired.  His science fiction stories have been categorized as “Hard science fiction,” a label given to those stories thoroughly researched to play fair with the rules of science; something any die-hard SciFi fan can appreciate. PUSHBACK is his debut into the mystery, though readers will find both suspense and thrills in his SciFi novels, as well.

Stith holds a B.A. in physics from the University of Minnesota, has served as an Air Force Officer, where he worked at NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The passion for science runs in his family, as his father George worked at the White Sands Missile Range on such projects like the rocket sled.

He has appeared on a live nationwide PBS broadcast or Science-Fiction Science-Fact (SF2) and his work has also been sold to film and television. His novel Reckoning Infinity was chosen as one of Science Fiction Chronicle’s Best Science Fiction Novels,  Redshift Rendezvous was picked as a Nebula Award nominee and Manhattan Transfer received an honorable mention from the Hugo Awards and a nomination from the Seiun Award in Japan.

Stith is a member of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Writers Guild of America (WGA), International Thriller Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW), Colorado Author’s League and Mensa.  He currently lives in Colorado Springs.

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My Review

3 Stars

Dave Barlow is an investment counselor and discovers two bullet holes in his new car. But before he really can look into them, he takes his girlfriend to his ten year college reunion. But something strange is going on. He doesn’t recognize these people and they don’t know him either. His girlfriend takes this badly and breaks up with him. Thinking things couldn’t get worse, they do. It seems someone is out to get Dave. They want to destroy him completely.

Dave has some issues but is piecing his life back together after the death of his girlfriend in a car accident. He has found another girl and plans of going to his reunion. But things take a turn for the worse as it seems someone is determined to end him. From here Dave goes through hell trying to figure out who is after him and why.

This story has a rough feel to it. It’s not bad but there are a couple places that it just seems to stick. There are some descriptions that are way over done and then there is the whole Bolivia obsession. If the story would have been smoothed out I think that I would have liked it better. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book. Although I might not have been as excited about this book doesn’t mean that it won’t be someone else’s top read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Sami at Roger Charlie for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Red Harvest

Red Harvest
The Haunted Hollow Chronicles #1
by Patrick C. Greene
Genre: Horror
In the epic tradition of
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Jonathan Maberry, a chilling new
masterwork of small-town evil, centuries-old traditions, and
newly-risen terror…
Red Harvest
Every year at harvest
time, something strange and wonderful happens in the sleepy farm
community of Ember Hollow. It comes alive. Truckloads
of pumpkins are sent off to be carved into lanterns. Children
scramble to create the creepiest, scariest costumes. Parents stock up
on candy and prepare for the town’s celebrated Pumpkin Parade. And
then there is Devil’s Night . . .
But this year, something
is different. Some of the citizens are experiencing dark, disturbing
visions. Others are beginning to wonder if they’re losing their
minds, or maybe their souls. One newly sober singer with the voice of
a fallen angel is tempted to make a deal that will seal his fate. And
one very odd boy is kept locked in a shed by his family—for reasons
too horrible to imagine . . .
Whatever is happening to
this town, they’re going to make it through this Halloween.
Even if it kills them . . .
Patrick C. Greene is
a lifelong horror fan who lives in the mountains of western North
Carolina. He is the author of the novels Progeny and The
Crimson Calling
, as well as numerous short stories featured in
collections and anthologies.
My Review

3 Stars

Ember Hollow is a small town that goes to the extreme when it comes to Halloween. But this year there is more than normal. This town harbors some people with some serious issues. But as good or bad as those issues are, this Halloween is going to turn them on their head in the most disturbing kind of way.

So this town is small and secluded and similar to any little town that doesn’t have computers or cell phone and the paranormal is true and strong. We have a musician that is trying to make his little band go big. His little brother loves following him around especially when it means he can impress the girl he has a crush on.

Then you have a seriously disturbed young man that has an unhealthy obsession with all things Halloween including the blood, guts, and gore. And where there is evil, you will also find a woman that has taken her vows to God overly seriously and has planned to end the pagan/satanic Halloween at all costs.

This story definitely has blood and gore in it but I felt that it wandered away from the story. There were some interesting story branches but they got all caught up and lost the thread that they were on. But I will say that everyone in this town shows how messed up people can be and that there really are no true heroes or villains. People tend to dance the line between the two.

Red Harvest is a decent read and will appeal to anyone that likes lots of blood and gore.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
I would like to thank Sivler Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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She Lies Hidden

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She Lies Hidden by CM Stephenson

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

When DI Thomasine Albright is informed that the remains of her fifteen-year-old sister have been found, she has the tragic responsibility of breaking the news to her mother. Thomasine promises her mother that she will be the one to find Karen’s killer.

But Karen Albright wasn’t the only girl to go missing during that weekend in 1973… Veronica Lightfoot disappeared too. They’d lived barely four miles apart, yet apparently never met. Suddenly there is a new question, was Veronica involved in Karen’s death? Is that why she vanished?

DI Mel Philips is handed the original case file and begins a new investigation. Unwilling to be side-lined, Thomasine decides to go it alone.

As the case unfolds, Thomasine realises that there may be other victims. Can she find them too?

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C.M. Stephenson

Author’s Bio

After growing up in a small Lancashire village, Christine Stephenson left school at fifteen. Four years later she moved to Cornwall.

In her late teens she met people whose lives were complicated, fuelled by drugs, and filled with violence and aggression. There were others too, in her mid-twenties, everyday people, educated, with careers, who had decent parents; people who you wouldn’t look at twice in the street. They were worse; she knew the victims of their crimes too. These experiences continue to influence her writing.

Her career can be described as eclectic. Jobs ranging from office junior to dental nurse, management consultant to executive and corporate coach. She ran her own training consultancy for over twelve years. It was there that her love of writing bloomed. She went on to produce an extensive portfolio of work which included resource packs, case studies, role-plays, games, presentations and academic texts.

In 2008 her husband’s job dictated that they move to South Gloucestershire. This in turn, lead to a brand-new life. They now live just outside a small medieval town, set between Bristol and Bath.

In 2009, she decided it was time to study the craft and undertook the A215 in Creative Writing with Open University, and later followed that with an MA Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2016. She gained representation with Andrew Nurnberg & Associates soon after. She spent the following eighteen months writing and editing what is now her debut novel. In May 2018 Christine was delighted to accept a contract with Bloodhound Books.  ‘She Lies Hidden’ is due for release in September 2018.

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My Review

3 Stars

Twenty three years ago DO Thomasine Albright’s sister Karen disappeared. Thom’s mother always insisted that Karen would return home. With the discovery of Karen’s body it is up to Thom to break the news to her mother. Since this directly affects Thom, she is not allowed to formally investigate Karen’s murder but this doesn’t stop her from looking into it and discovering a couple other girls disappeared at the same time.

This story follows along with a couple different story lines that eventually come together. Although the different perspectives gave this story a little more depth, it didn’t really bring us closer to the different characters. It was also a touch repetitious when you learn the same piece of evidence from different viewpoints.

For a debut book She Lies Hidden was a good start. It was a tough rough and I think the story was spread out a little thin. But this is not a bad thriller. I am eager to see that CM Stephenson is going to come up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Read Me

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Read Me by Leo Benedictus

Hitchcock’s Rear Window meets Messud’s The Woman Upstairs in this unnerving, superbly crafted novel which takes readers deep into the mind of a serial stalker and, through him, the lives of his unsuspecting victims.

Try it yourself. Go out, pick somebody and watch them. Take your phone and a notebook. Persist. What begins as a confluence of yours and another person’s journeys, on the train maybe or leaving a cinema, gets into an entanglement. You follow, feeling that it’s not really following because you’re going the same way, then when they at last reach their office you feel the clutch of a goodbye. It’s normal. But how many times do you think the person being followed has been you?

READ ME is a seductive, haunting novel that holds a sinister mirror up to the ways in which we observe, judge, and influence people. Benedictus’ prose commands and draws readers into the dark, manipulative mind of a serial stalker as he targets women across London, escalating his efforts until he settles on Frances — a bright young professional whose career is set to take off — whose life he proceeds to unravel from the inside, out.

A chilling rumination on power, manipulation, complicity, and anonymity, READ ME exposes just how vulnerable we are to the whims of others — people we may not even know.

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Author’s Bio

Leo Benedictus was born in London and graduated from Oxford University. He worked as an advertising copywriter and as a freelance sub-editor for The Guardian. His work on immigration issues has earned him widespread recognition: his article “London: The World in One City” won the Amnesty International UK Media Award (2005) and the Race in the Media Award (2006). His work has appeared in ProspectThe Observer, The New StatesmanThe London Review of Books and The Literary Review. Leo’s debut novel The Afterparty was long-listed for the 2011 Desmond Elliott Prize. Leo is currently a freelance feature writer for The Guardian and lives with wife Sarah and his two sons in Brighton. Leo is writer-in-residence at Holland Park School, London.

My Review

3 stars

This is the story of a stalker. He writes that years prior he inherited a large sum of money and has spent his time following random people. He follows people around making notes in his journals. But he has taken a liking to Frances. He sees her crying and introduces himself to her, a conversation happens about her work situation, and their phone numbers are exchanged.

From there he starts seriously stalking her, hiding cameras and microphones in her apartment. He even hides in her apartment when she is there. Then things go from bad to worse. It seems he is the reason she had trouble at work.

When I think of stalkers I just get a chill and I was excited to see how this book was going to tackle that story line. Although the narrator and Frances has the possibility to be really good, the story started falling flat for me. He started being more obnoxious than scary and Frances didn’t really make me care what happened to her.

This could be a story that people really life but I have to say that I didn’t really think it was a fit for me. Try it, you may like it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Twelve Books for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Serpentine

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Serpentine (Anita Blake – 26) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, returns for her twenty-sixth adventure. Fans of Charlaine Harris and Anne Rice will delight in this series by Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton. ‘A hardcore guilty pleasure’ – The Times Anita Blake faces new, even deadlier enemies as she and the people she loves confront major changes in their lives…

Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome everything she faces. But this time there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight…

A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it’s the first trip she gets to take with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…

In this tropical paradise, Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowout within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret–if she survives at all, that is…

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Author’s Bio

Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American multi-genre writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry.

Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her New York Times-bestselling Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.

Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live.

Laurell was born in rural Arkansas but grew up in northern Indiana with her grandmother. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University).

Hamilton is involved with a number of animal charities, particularly supporting dog rescue efforts and wildlife preservation.

Hamilton currently lives with her family in St. Louis, Missouri.

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My Review

3 stars

Essentially Anita is taking a little entourage with her to Florida to attend Edward’s wedding to Donna. While there they discover a family that slowly turns into snakes and some women that have disappeared. The local police believe that one of Anita’s group is the killer so she steps up to solve this mystery.

I loved this series when I first started reading it years ago. I couldn’t get enough but noticed that the further I got into the series the more the books become drama, sex, and a semi decent plot that just kept getting smaller and smaller the more books I read. So I quit reading after Incubus Dreams. But when I was approached to review Serpentine I couldn’t wait to see what I have missed.

The murders and snake curse caught my attention and I was really curious to see where these would go. But there were a couple bumps to the plot that caused me to pause in the story. I will say that when the story finally got going it was fast and kept me turning pages.

Sadly the book is filled with so much drama and porn that I was about to put the book down several times. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first books in this series and know that there is going to be lots of sex. What got me is the feel that the plot was just the fluff parts to the next sex scene. I also hate the drama. There’s a reason that I don’t really like most romance books and that is it. If I wanted to watch daytime tv I would, I wouldn’t waste my reading time on it.

Overall I was disappointed in this book. It seems the series has continued with the things that initially turned me away from it, which is sad since I really liked it when I first started reading it. I think that I am done with any new books with Anita Blake in them unless they can get back to a decent plot that the story is based on, not the drama and pointless over done sex scenes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Penguin Random House

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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