Thursday, December 1, 2016

Winter Halo by Keri Arthur (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:
When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay....

The humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way.

The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force.

Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself...

My Thoughts:

I am loving this series so much! I read the first book in this series, City of Light, earlier this year and just adored it. I've been pining for this book every since I finished and was so excited to finally get the chance to read this one. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first book. What a mark of a great series (and author)! One of the things that I love most about this series is how original and unique it feels. Tiger is a déchet which is both a very rare and dangerous thing to be in this new world. Tiger was created in a laboratory and created for a specific purpose which gives her many special skills and abilities. The entire world that Arthur has created with shifters, vampires, wraiths, and all kinds of other supernatural creatures just feels so fresh to me. I can't seem to get enough of it! Then you add in a fast paced storyline where Tiger constantly gets herself into trouble and I found myself flying through this book as fast as I could.

This might be slightly spoiler-ly (there is your warning) but I really liked that with this book we got to see more of Tiger's relationship with Jonas. I like that the characters are starting to trust Tiger more and find that I'm anxious for more of that in the third book. My one and only complaint with this book was that it definitely had a build up to the next book feel. There was resolution at the end so don't get me wrong but there was also a lot of set up for book three. It didn't bother me too much though as now I'm absolutely chomping at the bit to get my hands on that next book. The wait is going to be the hardest part!! I'm going to have to move on to one of Arthur's other series while I wait for this next book to be released. The ending of this book was completely intense! I got to a point where I just couldn't see how it was all going to end and the author had me on the edge of my seat. It was completely worth the ride and I am left eager for more.

Overall, this is by far one of my favorite new series that I have found in 2016. It is pretty rare that I'm caught up with a series but when the books are this good...well, how could I not be? I think that fans of science fiction and urban fantasy would both enjoy these books. I do think that you should start with book one first just so that you get the full back story as this second book continues on after events from the first. You don't have to as the author does a pretty great job of refreshing the reader on everything that happened but I just think the reading experience would be better reading in order. I would highly recommend this book and the series. I can't say enough good things about it!

Bottom Line: Such a great follow-up to book one! I need more!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher courtesy of NetGalley.

My thoughts on City of Lights are here if you are interested.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Fractured by Catherine McKenzie (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Julie Prentice and her family move across the country to the idyllic Mount Adams district of Cincinnati, hoping to evade the stalker who’s been terrorizing them ever since the publication of her bestselling novel, The Murder Game. Since Julie doesn’t know anyone in her new town, when she meets her neighbor John Dunbar, their instant connection brings measured hope for a new beginning. But she never imagines that a simple, benign conversation with him could set her life spinning so far off course.

After a series of misunderstandings, Julie and her family become the target of increasingly unsettling harassment. Has Julie’s stalker found her, or are her neighbors out to get her, too? As tension in the neighborhood rises, new friends turn into enemies, and the results are deadly."

My Thoughts:

Fractured is one of those books where I found myself on the edge of my seat for almost the entire book.  This author sure does know how to create levels of tension that keep the reader immersed within.  I have to fully admit from the beginning that I am a sucker for books where the author is almost able to create a feeling of dread within the reader.  It is like you know that something bad is going to happen or the other shoe is going to drop......but you keep reading because you have to see why and when.  I felt like the author did an amazing job of slowly building up page by page that feeling until I was unable to set the book down.  By that point I had hit the point of no return and needed to see how it was all going to end.  I loved my reading experience of this book for those reasons alone!  

I also really loved how the author created a certain level of distrust that I felt with almost all of the main characters.  As I read this book, I could never quite fully understand each character's motivations and if they were hiding something more.  It added to the overall feel of this book and I have to say that I loved every minute of it.  I found myself constantly guessing trying to figure out how everything was all going to end.  The book is almost broke up into two parts.  Before the mysterious event that happened and then the after effects of what happened.  The reader is left to wonder about that big event until the very end which is why the author's build up is just so good!  I have to be honest though: I was a bit underwhelmed by the ending.  Maybe because I was constantly trying to figure out it out so I had considered it as a possible ending?  I don't really know if I'm being honest, but I just felt like the author did such an amazing job building up to the ending and then it fell a bit flat.  I'm guessing that other readers will feel differently though so don't just take my opinion on it.  

Overall, I found myself really enjoying this book so don't be put off by my minor complaint.  I had heard so many good things about this author and I really can't help but echo them.  I am so glad that I finally gave her a try!  I will definitely be reading more by this author.  I loved how this book almost felt like a breath of fresh air from some of the other stuff that I have been reading.  I'm thinking I need to read outside of the mystery/thriller genre a bit more just for a change of pace.  LOL!  I can easily recommend this book and am going to do just that as I know my Mom and sister would enjoy this book as well.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  This book is worth reading for the atmosphere the author creates alone!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley as part of a TLC book tour.  My apologies as I completely missed my original date and am posting this quite late. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Study In Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind."

My Thoughts:
I adored my time reading this book! There is just something about historical mysteries that I love. Add in Sherlock Holmes but with a twist and you have a book that I couldn't help but enjoy. I mean changing Sherlock Homes into Lady Sherlock is just brilliant in my opinion. It allows for the author to really explore what it means to be a woman during this time period and an exceptional one at that. Charlotte Holmes is one of the most unique characters that I've ever had the pleasure to read about. She more than likely would be considered to be a prodigy in this day and age, but as she is a woman during this time period she is just considered to be a bit unusual. Her father humors her more than anything and no one expects her to do anything outside of social norms. Despite expectations, Charlotte makes choices throughout this book that no one expects and it is these choices that lead her to take control of her own life. I loved every minute of it! She was such an amazing character to read about and I really could not get enough of her.

When you then mix in an exceptionally good mystery, you have a wonderful read! I loved the way this book was broken up into almost two parts. One that focused on Charlotte and the challenges that she was facing and another on the actual police investigation. I honestly didn't even prefer one story line over the other as I found them both to be intriguing. I never was able to figure out the mystery on my own but was left surprised by the ending. It was just a really great mystery that was made even better by the wonderful characters that this author created. I finished this one and was almost sad to see it end. The only thing that makes it better is that it looks like this is the beginning of a series so I have more to look forward to! I cannot wait! On a side note, I think that this cover is so completely well done. How could you not want to pick up this book based off of that gorgeous cover alone?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and was left very excited about this series! If this is only the first book, I can only imagine what this author will come up with next. Charlotte is a character that I won't forget about anytime soon. I'm so glad that I didn't wait to read this one. I actually decided to read it based off of a tweet on Twitter. It was a great choice on my part so thanks to the book community yet again! I would recommend this book to mystery fans especially, but really I think that this is a book that anyone could enjoy! Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: This book is as good as it looks! Read it!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bookish Bliss (Or Recent Additions to My Shelves)

I really should work harder on not adding any books to my shelves but it is harder than you think sometimes!  These are all of the newest print books that I've brought home in the past month or so.  True fact:  I have had these sitting in a pile in my bedroom just waiting to share about them with all of you.  I should probably put them away now.  LOL!  Also, I didn't actually buy these all at once so that makes me feel a bit better.  I should probably stay away from any store selling books for awhile but where would the fun be in that??  Here is what I bought:

  • The Diviners by Libba Bray - I found this gem ridiculously cheap and so it came home with me as simple as that.  Add in an absolutely gorgeous cover and the fact that this has been on my TBR list for awhile and you have a win in my book!
  • Track the Cat by Nevada Barr- 1st in a new to me mystery series and a used bookstore find.  One of the best things about used bookstores is that you can find the first books in ridiculously long series.  I'm looking forward to reading this!
  • A Place of Execution by Val McDermid- I actually bought this one awhile back.  Twice.  Obviously I really wanted to read it.  Ha!  So I gave one copy to my Mom and sister to read which they both highly recommended back to me.  I'm planning on reading it soon.
  • The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen-  Back in my pre-blogging days I used to read this author's books and enjoyed them although I never seemed to read them in order.  I decided to pick this one up at the used bookstore so that I could finally read the series in order.
  • Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart-  It is Mary Stewart.  Enough said!
  • The Deep by Nick Cutter- This was actually a Goodwill find.  As it sounds perfect for this time of year I think that I've made a good decision.  Also I have heard a ton of good things about this author's books!
  • The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen- I've had this author on my TBR list for months.  I couldn't resist when I found her books at the used bookstore.  I didn't realize that there was a TV show based off of this series.  I'm going to read them first then check it out!
  • Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen- This seems to be a standalone but it sounded so good so I ended up bringing it home with me as well!  (This happens a lot when I am at the used bookstore and browsing)
  • Kind of Cruel by Sophie Hannah- I bought this one at my local Barnes and Noble store.  It was on the discount table and since this is Sophie Hannah I just brought it home with me.  How could I not?  She is one of  those authors that I basically want to read all of her books even though I've only actually read one book by her.
I just realized that all of these would fit in with Carl's RIP challenge.  How perfect is that?  I would say that I won't buy any more books any time soon, but I'm sure that by this point you all know that isn't true.  I just can't resist!  What books have you brought into your home lately?  Is there any book in this pile that you think I should read first?  Do tell!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Evil Games by Angela Marsons (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal."

My Thoughts:

Evil Games is such a great follow-up and has easily secured my love for this series (which wasn't really ever in doubt after loving the first book so much). Silent Scream set the bar high because I thought it was such a great read but this second book came out just as strong. Wow! I cannot get over just how good these books are and how compelling I find them to be. This was a prime example of what a real page turner is (as long as you disregard the fact that I read this on my kindle and didn't actually turn any pages). It was a book that kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed. One that had me thinking about it when I wasn't reading. It was suspenseful and tense and everything that I think a good thriller should be! Obviously I'm going to gush about this book for the majority of this review but really I think this book and author deserve it!

One of my favorite things about a good mystery series is a strong female main character and Kim Stone fits that bill perfectly. I'm not sure why but I am always drawn to female leads who have troubled backgrounds or don't fit quite in with society in some way. Kim is great at her job but she has her secrets and a dark is those type of things that I find so intriguing! I really loved that in this book we got to learn more about her past and what happened to her when she was young. I loved the way that the author tied this into the current investigation that Kim was working on. I also liked that parts of the book were being told by the viewpoint of the "villain" for lack of a better word. It made it all the more suspenseful because of the way that this book was set up. The ending was great and like I said previously I had a really hard time setting this book down. I found myself unable to stop reading because at that point I just had to finish and see how it would all end. It was totally worth it and I'm left ready to read book three as soon as possible!

Overall, this has fast become one of my favorite mystery series! The author writes books that make your pulse race and heart pound. What more could you ask for?? I loved how this book made me read late into the night. I loved how easily I fell into the pages of it. Basically I just loved this book! I won't be waiting long to continue on with this series. I also can't seem to recommend these books enough. Mystery and thriller fans alike should give this series a try. You definitely could read this book on its' own but I think the reading experience is enhanced if you start with Silent Scream. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: A book that is very likely to make my top reads list this year!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

Fans of Sharon Bolton's Lacey Flint series and M.J. Arlidge's Helen Grace series will definitely enjoy these books as well. I would also recommend It Takes One by Kate Kessler for a similar type of thriller/mystery.
Here are my thoughts on Silent Scream if you are interested.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Homicide In Hardcover by Kate Carlisle (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn't be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.

With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless and supposedly cursed copy of Goethe's Faust for safekeeping.

Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to the humorless, but attractive, British security officer who finds her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice…."

My Thoughts:

I'm always looking for a new cozy mystery series and so I decided to pull this one off of my shelves.  A book featuring a rare book expert is right up my alley which is why I added this one to my to be read list so long ago.  I enjoyed it and thought it was a good start to a new series, but I'm also having a hard time remembering some of the details after reading it a few months back.  It was a solid read but nothing that really blew me away.  I guess I like for my cozies to really pull me in with the characters and this book didn't quite do that.  I'm having trouble explaining my thoughts on this book for some reason.  It was good but not great for me.  I liked it enough to want to add the second book to my TBR list but not enough to go rushing out for that next book.  I loved the focus on rare books and book restoration which was really interesting and something I don't know much about.  In fact the sections of the book where Brooklyn was working on restoring books were some of my favorite parts just because I was so intrigued.  The mystery portion of this book was interesting but it was never what really drew me in.  Instead I found myself reading to see how Brooklyn was going to clear her name and get out of the trouble that she was in. 

In the end I found this to be a good beginning to a new to me cozy series.  I'm glad that I finally pulled it off of my shelves.  It wasn't my favorite but I liked it enough to want to continue on.  And writing up my thoughts on it (finally) has me thinking about what I like most about some of my favorite cozy series.  Food for thought!  Overall, I would recommend to fellow cozy mystery fans.

Bottom Line:  A good read!

Disclosure:  I purchased my copy of this book from the used bookstore.

If you are curious about some of my favorite cozy mystery authors try:

Ellie Alexander
Kate E. Dyer-Seeley
Maddie Day
Ann Meyers 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Kill Box by Nichole Christoff (Thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Hardworking Jamie Sinclair can’t wait for the weekend. She plans to be off the clock and on the road to wine country with handsome military police officer Adam Barrett. But when a strung-out soldier takes an innocent woman hostage and forces his way into Jamie’s bedroom, everything changes. Jamie’s never seen the soldier before. But he’s no stranger to Barrett—and with one word he persuades Barrett to pack a duffel and leave Jamie in the lurch.

Jamie cannot fathom why Barrett would abandon her without explanation. But as the consequences of an unsolved crime threaten to catch up with him, a late-night phone call sends Jamie racing to Barrett’s hometown in upstate New York. In a tinderbox of shattered trust and long-buried secrets, Jamie must fight to uncover the truth about what really occurred one terrible night twenty years ago. And the secrets she discovers deep in Barrett’s past not only threaten their future together—they just might get her killed."

My Thoughts:

Three books in and this series has secured a spot as one of my favorite mystery series. Every book reminds me of why I love this series so much and this book was no different. In fact, it somehow languished on my kindle unread for an obscene amount of time for no other reason then I didn't realize it was there. Yes, I find that to be just as ridiculous as it sounds. Anyways, the 4th book was up on NetGalley and after requesting it I realized I had never read this one. So I had to get started on it right away because how could I not?? I think that this book may be my favorite of the series so far. While every book has been both intense and suspenseful, this book really allowed for me as the reader to understand Jamie more. I loved, loved, loved that we got to see a different side of her in this book. One that focused a bit more on her emotions and feelings for Adam Barrett. I just felt like this was a turning point book in this series for Jamie, and I loved this book all the more because of it.

One of the things that this author does best with these books is creates mysteries with a military edge to them. With each book I have learned something different about the military and how it works, which just makes this series stand out for me. For instance, in this book I learned about what a kill box is which is a term that I had never even heard of before. It is so interesting and I love that about these books. I also really love Jamie's character at this point. She isn't perfect and struggles with getting close to others. But it is these imperfections that make her come to life in the pages of these novels. I loved how this book put her through a ton of emotional turmoil. It made me want to read as fast as I could to see how it would all end. I always feel like I've been through a whirlwind when finishing a book in this series. They are all that fast paced and intense. I have to force myself to slow down at certain points so I don't miss anything. The ending of this book was perfect in my opinion and I am very excited to move on to book four in the near future!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am a huge fan of this series! I think readers would be better off to start with the first book and read them in order but you definitely don't have to. This book would stand quite well by itself in my opinion. It wasn't perfect (I managed to figure out the bad guy early on) but it was the emotional connection that really made this book stand out for me. And as I spent the rest of the book trying to figure out if I was right or wrong.....well I really can't even complain about that. I would highly recommend this series to other mystery readers!

Bottom Line: My favorite book in this series so far!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

Here are my thoughts on the other books in the series if you are interested:
1. The Kill List
2. The Kill Shot

I was trying to think of other books to try if you like these and I think that Notorious by Carey Baldwin would be a good choice.

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 2nd)

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!"

Monday is here once again!  It was a crazy weekend and felt like it just flew by.  Maybe it did since it included a girl's softball tournament, flag football, a sleepover (not at my house thankfully), a homecoming football game, overtime.....well I think you get the picture.  Sometimes I am more tired from the weekend than I am from the actual week.  Ha!  It's a fresh week though and I'm ready to talk books with all of you.

Last week I managed to finish one book but it was a really good one!  I finished:

You guys!  This series is just SO, SO good!  I feel like other mystery lovers are missing out a bit if they haven't tried this series yet.  I'm certainly going to be pushing both my Mom and sister to pick these books up.  I still need to work on writing up my thoughts on this one which will be difficult as I don't want to spoil anything for others who haven't read the series and might.  There is a lot that carries on from book to book.

I'm now currently reading the following:

Hold Tight is a carryover from last week and is my print read.  Not much new to report other than I'm enjoying already.  Dark Road Home is my new kindle read which I haven't actually started.  I've been focusing more on the Coben book with the limited reading time that I have had.  I'm also still working on Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels on my phone.  I've got plenty of books on the go so now I need to actually make some reading progress with all of these. 

New book acquisitions:

NetGalley continues to tempt me endlessly with books I want to read.  It doesn't matter how far behind I feel with my reading, I can't seem to resist visiting that site and requesting new books.  This is where the first three books pictured above came from.  It took ALL of my self control not to start reading First Degree Mudder instantly as this is the 4th book in one of my favorite cozy mystery series.  I feel like I have been waiting for it for months now.  Last Rituals was purchased by myself for my already overloaded kindle.  I absolutely loved The Silence of the Sea by this author earlier this year (I still need to review) which meant it was a must buy for me.  

That's enough out of me for one Monday.  I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with some good books.

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blogging Fun and Signing Up

It wouldn't be fall if I wasn't signed up to participate in R.I.P. (or Readers Imbibing Peril).  Even though I'm a bit later than usual in signing up, I have been reading for this challenge already.  There is no challenge out there like Carl's Annual R.I.P. event and I look forward to it every year.  As always to participate all you have to do is the following:

"There are only two expectations if you want to participate with us:

1. Have fun reading (and watching*).
2. Share that fun with others."

I always end up adding a ton of books to my TBR list thanks to this challenge.  Usually I would share a pool of possibilities but since I've been a bad blogger lately I'm going to skip that part for the first time in years.  I'm signing up for Peril the First which only requires me to read four books.  It almost feels like cheating when I've already read three books with this event in mind.  I'm counting them too because I can.  Ha!  Here is what I've read so far if you are interested (or looking for book suggestions for yourself:

If you want to sign up then go here.  Basically all of my reading till the end of October will fit in with this challenge because nothing makes me think of fall more than spooky reading.  And look at that beautiful artwork from Abigail Larson!  How could you not want to share that as well??

I'm also planning on participating in Blog Ahead.  This is a blogging event that focuses on schedule posts ahead of time.  This is something that I always want to do but very rarely happens.  I wouldn't have month long gaps in between my posts if I could schedule and plan ahead that far.  For the month of October I'm going to work really hard to creating posts ahead of time with the goal of getting at least a week ahead (if not more).  It is going to be hard but fun and I'm really looking forward to participating.  If you would like to participate yourself, sign up here.  

So I take off a month of blogging and jump back in feet first.  Sounds about right, doesn't it?  LOL!  Are you participating in either of these events?  If you are then let me know so we can cheer each other on!