Envy by Gregg Olsen



Crime lives–and dies–in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen–and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town’s victims and culprits. Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins’ old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out–and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined. (From Amazon.ca)

I really tried to like this novel. The cover got me all curious. Yet it wasn’t what I thought it was. I thought there was going to be more of a paranormal feel to it, but it’s limited to mostly the twins having their telepathic abilities. I rather liked the history behind the two girls that was actually the more interesting part of the book. The mystery part of the book wasn’t that great. It sure had all the makings of an intriguing mystery, it even got me hooked and I kept trying to guess who was behind it. Yet the ending was just so anti climactic and I felt almost as if I was cheated out of a good ending (and suddenly feeling the urge to demand a refund of my time back). So when you find out who did it and what really happened, it was pretty much bland.

The characters were okay. The twins were your typical gifted, overachieving, strikingly beautiful people to ever walk the earth with paranormal powers. Nothing new there and they were like made out of a cookie cutter style. None of the characters really stood out to me, and I think this, with the combination of rather dry writing, and a slow pace of the plot, I didn’t really enjoy the novel. It was disappointing, since I was looking forward to reading this, and I thought it certainly had the potential to be interesting.

I am still not sure if I’m going to read the second one of this book. It’ll have to be spectacular and exciting enough for me to read. It is the first book of a series, and sometimes they’re off to a rocky start so who knows what the second one will have. Not going to recommend this to anyone but if you are curious, I say take it or leave it.

I give it a 5/10


Bloodshot by Cherie Priest

Bloodshot Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride. (From Amazon.ca)

I’m always very cautious when I pick up an urban fantasy book. For two reasons: 1. I’m not a romance reader, so the moment I see a paranormal/urban fantasy with romance and unexplainable feelings stirring from the loins because there’s a character with bestial urges and dangerous animal/pheromone attractiveness, it makes me roll my eyes and go for the next book on the list. 2. Inter species fluid swapping makes me cringe. Enough about this I am going off subject…

I am very pleased to say, this book has NONE of the things I was not looking for in this type of book. Actually, in fact, I was pleased with this book overall. I loved the writing style, and what grabbed me after a couple of chapters is Raylene herself.

Raylene is a character so well written, and so filled with wit and charm you can’t help but like her. She’s got an attitude, and her insults are beyond hilarious not to mention, her narration of the story is what really keeps the plot going and interesting. I’m not sure who you would compare her to, as my experience reading in this genre is somewhat limited, but I’d have to say her wit and insults got me laughing out loud at times. Her snide side comments also provide for much of the comic humor that goes on throughout this book.

That is not to say this book is in anyway a light hearted read. The real plot itself is dark and the overall setting and some of the characters are oily, seedy, and awful. So there is a balance between action and humor here that makes the reading certainly ‘feel’ light even though the subject isn’t close to that. What I thought was fun was Raylene seems to attract a small group of followers and she has no choice to accept them. I thought the two orphans showed the ‘softer’ side of Raylene (does she really have one though? maybe!) and the other two followers show potential romances (maybe? although her choice at the end rather surprised me).

The book overall was really good and I had fun reading this. There were moments where the action was so fast paced and almost movie quality reading, and then there’s comedy moments where I found myself laughing out loud. I’m really looking forward to reading Hellbent, the next book that comes after this one. Greatly recommended for urban fantasy fans.

I give it a 9/10