Creepy Russian Dolls…

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Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story. Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him…even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her. Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know? (From Goodreads)

First of all I will not look at Russian Dolls the same again. They’ve greatly increased in the creep factor thanks to this book. (It’s a good thing!)

I enjoyed reading this one as throughout the novel you’re always second guessing yourself and just when you think you got it right, something else happens and you’re guessing again. Loved the twists and endless possibilities with this plot! I thought it enhanced quite a few things once Layla’s point of view is introduced because this is where it gets more complex and things start going a bit darker and uglier.

Ellen’s behavior was frustrating. You felt right up there with Finn sometimes because of her bouncing back and forth in opinions and it added more to Finn’s stress (although, it now makes sense as you head towards the ending) It’s definitely felt as it takes its’ toll on Finn. It’s hard to sympathize with him. He does have a temper and his personality and reasoning makes it hard to like him. He rather treats Ellen as a means to an end and his obsession with Layla reaches a disturbing factor.

The book is a quick read and engages the reader. I enjoyed the last bit in the end of the book, it’s well thought out and brings everything to a nice close. I liked how it kept me guessing and the thriller elements are well placed to keep the reading going.

Definitely recommended for a good thriller read!

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Thank you St Martin’s Press for a review copy!

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Book Blogger Hop 7/13


Book Blogger Hop

 

 

Does a cluttered blog have you not returning? By cluttered I mean too many columns, small type, too many photos, difficult to follow, etc. 

 

What I don’t really like is the massive amount of gifs people put in between their sentences. Sometimes I see six or seven in between paragraphs and it’s insanity. It puts me off of reading the post. I’m a minimalist type of blogger so I like everything simple, clean and easy to read. Sure graphics are pretty to look at but I actually like to read the content as well 🙂

Happy Reading in this ugly heat. I’m melting……

When a Finale is Disappointing…

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A war to the death. Empress Adele has launched a grand crusade against the vampire clans of the north. Prince Gareth, the vampire lord of Scotland, serves the Equatorian cause, fighting in the bloody trenches of France in his guise as the dashing Greyfriar. But the human armies are pinned down, battered by harsh weather and merciless attacks from vampire packs. To even the odds, Adele unleashes the power of her geomancy, a fearsome weapon capable of slaughtering vampires in vast numbers. However, the power she expends threatens her own life even as she questions the morality of such a weapon.  As the war turns ever bloodier and Adele is threatened by betrayal, Gareth faces a terrible choice. Their only hope is a desperate strike against the lord of the vampire clans–Gareth’s brother, Cesare. It is a gamble that could win the war or signal the final days of the Greyfriar. (from Goodreads)

***Possible spoilers you’ve been warned***

I don’t know what happened in this one. The first two books were excellent and fun to read. It got you looking forward to the final installment and wanting a nice close to the series. This one falls short. Drastically.

You get smidgens of action here and there but the bulk of the novel is Gareth and Adele having cheesy love sick conversation about their relationship and what the future holds for them. The setting changes throughout the book but they keep talking about the same bloody thing over and over again. It’s a bloody record that’s been scratched and you can’t turn it off.

Adele goes on the major pity party and gets whiny. I don’t know how she managed to pull this 360 when the first two books she was an excellent character to read. Now all of a sudden it’s “poor me” and “What about Gareth?” “Everybody is leaving me. Wah. Wah. Wah” Oh lordy Adele. Shut up. You’re an Empress. Act like it.

The geomancy theory was okay and interesting but there wasn’t much to it. Sure Adele, let’s destroy the vampire race right? okay good. Save humans. Yay. Oh wait your boyfriend is a vampire but hey! he’s okay with the massive genocide you’re doing. Yeah! that’s great! Thumbs up Gareth! we’re voting for you next time around!

The most disappointing factor of all was the inner vampire plotting was left to a few pages here and there and it lacked any substance. Cesare barely made an appearance and if he did it’s all about “Bwahhaah my plot is unfolding” several more scenes later: “Bwahahaha my plot is still unfolding” it’s like the villain who talks to much and doesn’t actually do the deed he’s supposed to do.

I was severely disappointed with this final book. It’s unfortunate to see such great characters come to a lackluster end.

I give it a 2 out of 10.

 

Book Blogger Hop 7/6


Book Blogger Hop

 

 

Today’s Question:

If you were stranded on a deserted island, which ONE book could you not live without?

Ahhhh this question is as difficult at the “What is your most favorite book”

So I’ll go with this one (which I have mentioned before)

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One of the few books I will read and reread until the end of time and I will never get tired of it. If I can bring volumes 2 and 3 that would be great too. 🙂

Life update: I know I have been slacking off on the posts and reading here. But I just started my new job last Thursday and I am LOVING IT! I’m trying to get a hold of my routine and schedule so I can fit in posting and reading until then I’ve been lurking and visiting pages so if you see me stalking, well that’s why 😉

Have a great friday all!

 

Setting and Mood is dark and gritty in Silent City

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Pete Fernandez is a mess. He’s on the brink of being fired from his middle-management newspaper job. His fiancée has up and left him. Now, after the sudden death of his father, he’s back in his hometown of Miami, slowly drinking himself into oblivion. But when a co-worker he barely knows asks Pete to locate a missing daughter, Pete finds himself dragged into a tale of murder, drugs, double-crosses and memories bursting from the black heart of the Miami underworld – and, shockingly, his father’s past. Making it up as he goes and stumbling as often as he succeeds, Pete’s surreptitious quest becomes the wake-up call he’s never wanted but has always needed – but one with deadly consequences. Welcome to Silent City, a story of redemption, broken friendships, lost loves and one man’s efforts to make peace with a long-buried past to save the lives of the few friends he has left.  (From Goodreads)

What I liked about this one is the setting and the overall mood of the book. It’s gritty, very noir, and it suits the plot. It shows the other side of Miami besides the beaches and the bustling city we are all familiar with. It’s great writing and really sets the tone throughout the story.

The plot was interesting if a little far fetched. So someone comes up to you and asks you to help find their daughter. Okay. Any other person would go straight to the police right? Although I suppose this is to show Pete’s ‘investigative’ reporter spidey senses and it piques his interest as he delves further into a downward spiral. So maybe that’s what got him going further. Now I understand (without providing any spoilers here) it gets a little more personal later but I expected maybe a little more from it. Perhaps because I’m used to other books where there’s more twists and turns, some more shocking moments, etc. This one just gets down to business and it’s pretty much cut and dry – which is fine for those that enjoy this type of story. However, there is plenty of action which does make the plot move forward.

Pete does take quite a beating in the book but I just could not really like him. He’s gone through a lot, true, but he’s just been on the pity party train and it got old and aggravating. However when he reached the point of no return and when there’s nothing to lose, something sparked in him and he managed to climb out of it (for a bit) but then you have to wonder if he’s going to go back into that void again. Meh.

The supporting characters weren’t that great or likable either. I’d suppose the only one that had something was Mike. Emily wasn’t that great and I found her an annoying pest. And Kathy. She was a piece of work and not that likable either.

I might keep going further into this series. Not sure yet. I did like reading this but at the same time I wanted more out of it. It was enough to get my attention but I really did like the mood and theme of the book. Perhaps I’ll give the second one a try and see how it goes.

I give it a 6 out of 10.  

 

Where is Book three??? I need it..now!!!

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When a high-speed train from Milan draws into the station in Rome with a carriage full of dead bodies, Deputy Police Commissioner Colomba Caselli, a fierce detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe of her own, is called to lead the investigation. After receiving a message claiming responsibility for the killings and announcing more murders to come, officers turn their attention to a small group of Islamic extremists. But Dante Torre believes authorities are being misdirected. For him the Islamic link is a smokescreen concealing the actions of a killer who has been committing murders all over the world for years: a woman who calls herself Giltine, after the mythological Lithuanian goddess of death. After further carnage, Giltine’s murderous plans escalate to macabre heights, and only Dante and Colomba can stop her. (From Goodreads)

***Contains spoilers. You’ve been warned***

Oh lordy. Lordy lordy lordy. I don’t know what to say except, yes one more time. Lordy. I finished this book and screamed. And it’s a good reaction.

This book doesn’t disappoint. It sets the bar higher than the last one, Kill the Father. It would be best if you do read them in order as you do need the background information surrounding Dante. Plus, it does add more substance to the characters.

This one was definitely more action packed than previous. As it involves a great deal more victims and there’s definitely more layers to peel once the mystery starts to unravel and we get closer to Giltine. And it’s not yet over! There’s giant revelations at the end and you’re left with a heart stopping ending.

There are many twists and turns to go through in the book; old and new characters are mentioned, and of course Colomba is in a bind and goes through very hefty events and you marvel at her mental and emotional strength. Dante is likable in his own quirky way and both him and Colomba work so great as a team, even though they have their differences. There’s a more deeper level of understand between the two of them and there is a hint of a romance. I don’t see it myself as I’ve always seen Dante and Colomba more as a sibling like relationship. (I would have liked to see Dante and Brigitte together, they seemed like they could go along well!)

There’s some major blindsiding happening in the book, you realize Giltine is both victim and perpetrator. There’s still more to uncover in the mystery and by the time we do come to the conclusion it would be a massive atom bomb waiting to drop. However on a side note, I do enjoy how Dazieri brings in these references to various historical events (Chernobyl for one) and various conditions and illnesses to make you think and realize there’s actual conditions out there that exist and people do suffer from them. It makes the plot different and substantially prominent to make this book memorable.

The plot is very engaging and you’re pretty much on the edge in the last third of the book. The last few chapters really pack it in and they were one of the most exciting chapters I have ever read in a book so far. I’m still overwhelmed and blown away by the last page. Gah! I can’t wait for the next book!

Definitely recommended. The series is going to be one of the best I have read so far in my lifetime.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

 

Book Blogger Hop 6/22


Book Blogger Hop

 

 

Today’s question:

For all of you worker bees out there! How do you balance having a day job/career and managing your blog at night? Is it hard or easy to do, and what do people in your work life think of your blogs?

This is going to be a doozy. First, I’ll be starting a new job on July 5th (more on that later!) so I will try to find the time to get some reading done. I plan to do so at night around bed time and hopefully when I come back from work. I’ll have to manage my posts somehow I”ll probably have to write them up on weekends and schedule them throughout the week. It’s going to be a challenge! but ….

 

So, now let’s talk about my job. I’m pleased to say I’m going to be working for a Publisher company that specializes in art books, children’s books, calendars, gifts etc! it’s the closest to the book industry as I can possibly get and I’m so excited and happy. I’m so ready to start this job!!! so my manager already knows I”m a bookish sort of person so I’m sure she won’t be surprised when she sees I’m going to be bring a book in during my lunch break 😉

So! let me know what your answers are! happy reading and enjoy!

Toodles!