Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Färjan / Blood Cruise – Mats Strandberg

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Goodreads synopsis: On the Baltic Sea, no one can hear you scream.

Tonight, twelve hundred expectant passengers have joined the booze-cruise between Sweden and Finland. The creaking old ship travels this same route, back and forth, every day of the year.

But this trip is going to be different.

In the middle of the night the ferry is suddenly cut off from the outside world. There is nowhere to escape. There is no way to contact the mainland. And no one knows who they can trust.

Welcome aboard the Baltic Charisma.

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My thoughts: Blood Cruise (god I hate that title) or Färjan (ferry) in Swedish is a horror story in Stephen King standard, taking place on a big boat that travels between Sweden and Finland. I did know that this was a horror before starting and I have read one book by Strandberg before this, but that was not a horror and I did not know what to expect this time. Well I did certainly not expect it to be as nasty, horrific, bloody and foul as it is. Wow it certainly made my stomach turn a couple of times and it is not a book to read while eating. Just saying.

When starting the book, I did not have high expectations and in the end I was actually was pleasantly surprised. Don’t know why that surprises me but there it is. We get to follow a lot of characters but Strandberg keeps it clear and easy. There is never any confusions even though the heavy load of information at times. The chapters are pleasantly short and you do get to know a group of characters deep enough to make connections.  But god damn you Mats are an evil person. And what you have created here is ingenious.

After the whole vampire hysteria that was several years ago, I’m not a big fan of vampires but this, this I can stand behind. It is dark and there is no lovey dovey or glitter in sight. It is true and realistic and shows all the good and bad sides of the modern human being. It even ends a little on the edge. Don’t know if I like it or not but it fit. If Strandberg writhes his horrors like this, I can certainly see myself reading more of his books.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Thriller/Horror

Sleeping Beauties – S. King and O. King

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Goodreads synopsis: In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

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My thoughts: I don’t know how to sum up my thoughts and feelings regarding this one. The thing with Stephen Kings books (in my opinion) is that almost every time it gets too much. To excessive and it’s easy to lose focus. Apparently it is still the same even if he co-writhes with his son Owen King.

It is a good book though. When sum it up as a whole it is a great book. It captivated me right from the start and it has a horrifying yet believable plot which is easy to connect with. It stayed that way for at least 400 pages and I just could not put it down. Then it slipped over to the typical King trait. Nothing happened, it started to be repeatable, slow and all you did was just wait for it to start up again. When it finally did, they had lost me. I did never get my 100% focus and attention back into the book. At the last 100 pages I just wanted to be done. I find this happening often with Kings books and it is too bad because I do really like his storytelling, imagination and writing in general. Perhaps it is my fault for not being able to stay focused throughout his 700 + page books, but there are books much longer than that, that I have read without a problem. So I can’t accept that it is totally my fault.

Anyhow, despite that, I really love the book. It was a perfect start on the horror month of 2018. The topic with the men who are the destroyers and women are the healers is put in a interesting way that makes you think. Would the world be better or worst without women. There is some philosophical thoughts and I do wish there were a book club in town where we could read and discuss. Specially this one.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

In the company of wolves – Paige Tyler

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Goodreads synopsis: He opened his mouth to order her to drop the MP5 she had aimed at him, but nothing would come out. It was like she’d robbed him of the ability to speak. Shooting her wasn’t an option, though. And the idea of arresting her didn’t make him feel any better.

There’s a new gang of criminals in town who are organized and ruthless in the extreme. When Eric Becker, along with the rest of the Dallas SWAT team, ends up in the middle of a shootout, he immediately senses werewolves-a lot of them. Turns out, the new bad guys are a pack of wolf shifters.

In a spray of gunfire, Becker comes face-to-face with the most gorgeous woman he’s ever seen. Becker does the logical thing. He hides her and leaves the scene with the rest of his team.

Jayna Winston has no idea why that SWAT guy helped her, but she’s glad he did. Ever since she and her pack mates got mixed up with those Eastern European mobsters, everything had pretty much fallen apart.

So what’s a street-savvy thief like Jayna going to do with a hot alpha-male wolf who’s a police officer?

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My thoughts: With a truly fantastic start we are once again thrown into this action packed story with clean cut and deep characters that are introduced in a way I really enjoyed. It was nice to once again meet some of the characters from the earlier books but still the focus was mostly on Becker and the new pack in town. It did however dropped off for me after approximately half way through and I did find the storyline somewhat thin. It did not keep up the heat and did not in the end deliver that punch I had expected and learned to associate with Paige Tyler.

It is not a bad book by far but it is not the best one either. A solid 3 star rating and I do like it. And the best part is actually that Tyler have put more energy on the werewolf mythology and we are introduced to other parts and aspects of the history. Beside Alphas we are also introduced to Betas and Omegas and there was some exciting twists. So I’m satisfied by that read and can recommend it.

 

 

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Graphic Novels/Comics · Young, New adult/College

Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

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Goodreads synopsis: Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

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My thoughts: It was a cute story. I do however not feel that I’m experienced enough in the genre to give an equitable review. I do not know what is common among comics and what is not. So I will instead write about how I perceived it. Just my point of view as an graphic novel/comics virgin.

comics.JPGFirst off, it was a great art work. I love how simple, yet elaborate the drawings are. She really choose her colors perfectly and I must say that I enjoyed the color shifts that were depending on who of the characters you were following at the time. I took a picture of a page where you clearly can see the differences and since I had a little trouble with the fast shift in subjects, characters and environment, it did really help me.

I think however I missed the point of the story. Or there is no point. Or there is a hiding meaning, but I’m just too dense to understand it. Either way, I do not fully understand the ending and it felt somewhat undone. Like it will come more books about Nimona, but still it was so satisfying that I do not feel the need to read more.

Either way, I’m happy that I have read it. Will probably do it again in the future after I have gain some more experience to see what my thoughts will be then. That is always interesting.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

The graveyard book – Neil Gaiman

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Goodreads synopsis: After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

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My thoughts: Cute story but maybe a little too easy for me. It is a young adult book but had maybe not expected it to be that young in all aspects. Cute characters, interesting plot and I like the way Gaiman have written it. There is some aspects of the story that you do not get a full explanation about but you do get a lot of clues to make your own thoughts and mind about it. It wakes the desire to discuss the book, its meaning, its plot and all that around. I can see how this would be a perfect book in discussion classes in school and such.

I really liked Nobody. He has this charming, naivete that puts him in situations where he certainly not should be and he resolves those situations either by himself or help from those who tries to protect him. It is funny and light if you do not think too much or try to analyse more than that.

I don’t have so much more to say. I really liked the beginning and the end was satisfying yet sad, but didn’t care to much about the middle to be honest.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of wings and ruin – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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My thoughts: I have gone on a total Sarah J. Maas binge and did finish the third book last Friday. This was such a great series. I still have A court of frost and starlight to read and there is rumoured to be released at least 3 more books but I don’t have much more information than that to give. I do believe that the next books to come is about some of the biggest characters around the main ones, judging by how this one ended. And it did end in a satisfying way in my opinion.

I didn’t find it to be just as good as the second one and a little lower than the first one. Still a solid four in rating. I think it is the wars fault. The book is a lot darker in every aspect than the first two books and there was some long patches with not that much happening. The war was a huge and overwhelming plot which frustrated and didn’t quite make sense some of the times. The worst part was that after 300 + pages about the war, it was just boring. Well, at least until I had like 100 pages left of the book. Then the shit hit the fan and I constantly worried that it would end badly. But what a ride.

I really like Maas way or writing. It is easy on the eyes, simple to understand and doesn’t make a book on 700 pages seem long and overwhelming. However I do have to say that I did find her way of using the words this time somewhat repetitive. Like the words mate and dream kept being mentioned all the time. I actually read a review where a reader had counted how many times the word “mate” is mentioned in the book and if I do recall correctly it is over 200 times. I do agree that, that is to excessive use of the word. But other than that, the writing is as I’m now associates with a book by Maas.

To judge this book and this series in one way I would have to say that this is the best series I have read so far this year and would highly recommend for everyone who has not yet read it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of mist and fury – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

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My thoughts: Do not read this review if you not yet have read the first book because I don’t want to unintentionally ruin it for you. So this is a SPOILER ALERT. Read on by your own free will. I have warned you. 😉

I have no words! Oh I’m lying to you. I have so many words and feelings that it is a big chance this review is just a rant about how much I love this book. Love, love, love, loved IT. I don’t know what to say in order to express how stunning this series is. I’m starstruck and was sporting a major book hangover before I was even done and I just had to get my hands on the third book right away. I could not, was not, ready to leave the world of Prythian or its people like Feyre, Rhys and all the others. That the book ended on a major cliffhanger did not surprised me either.

This is in my opinion a work of art. The so small details in the first book made so much more sense in the second. It’s a beautiful way Maas has tied the books and story together. She has a talent with slowly changing the readers mind and thoughts about different subjects like for an example Tamlin, Rhysand, Lucien and the world of Prythian. You fall even harder in love and I admire Feyre. I connect with her and it is just a wonderful, heartbreaking and intense ride throughout the 600 pages. Not once did I feel the slowness of the story as I did in the first book.

I love the development, the magic, the love, fear, feelings and so much more that Maas has crammed in there. And hate! I feel so much hate towards some of the characters. They are hideous, mean and what I once thought is no longer the truth. It is so intense to follow that I even dream about it at night. I’m so high-strung that I should start meditate to be able to mentally tackle the third book. I feel so much that I’m ready to burst. Aren’t it a wonderful feeling? 🙂

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of thorns and roses – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

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My thoughts: How am I supposed to review this one? This… this fantastic, unbelievable imaginative, angst riddled and intense product, written by a queen. A book who rips, ravages and breaks you into a million pieces before it reassembles you at the end. But you as a human will never be the same. It changes you and the view I once had are long gone and forgotten. I am and for ever will be a different person after this. That is how good it was, with such an impact that it even was hard to read on sometimes. I have heard that the second book is even worse, with more tears, more pain… just more of everything. And I can’t wait to read it.

A court of thorns and roses or ACOTAR, was a major hype a few years back. Everyone I knew and followed on YouTube, Instagram and in the groups on Facebook could not stop talking about it. The synopsis never intrigued me back then and even when I started it, I was still a bit skeptical. I often have problems with YA and often find YA Fantasy to be overrated and without any real depth and almost always has that stupid love triangle drama that I hate with every fiber of my body.

So why did I read it? Well I just wanted something new and unpredictable and I wanted it directly. Meaning, I didn’t want to order online and wait several days for it to arrive and I didn’t want a e-book either. I wanted something real. This one was the only book my local bookstore had on English that remotely interested me. And I’m so glad that I bought it.

The only (two) problem I have with the book is the pace. It was to slow but still had that simmering feeling that something will soon happen, then it didn’t and it drove me nuts. And some things was not explained enough. I do not read that much fantasy and would have liked a little more explanation on some things. But other than that, I’m happy.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

HEX – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

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Goodreads synopsis: Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

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My thoughts: Two nights in a row I have been dreaming about the wicked Witch of Black Spring. She have sneaked her way into the back of my mind and taken control in a way I have never experienced before. I’m not easily scared and specially not by books. And certainly not in a way where I actually wakes up, in the middle of the night with a racing hart and with a feeling that I don’t want to sleep anymore. I can feel discomfort and such but never really fear.  I wouldn’t call this one a scary horror either but it’s still an unpleasant book in the way that it was uncomfortable and mesmerizing at the same time.

Well written with an really interesting and suitable history and backstory. The details fit together nicely and in a way that it did not feel exaggerated or cheap. The original story takes place in a Dutch town but when the rights for the English version was sold it was decided to move the settings to a Hudson Valley and change the ending. That is two major difference between the original story compared to the translated one. According some forum threads I found, there is no big difference and has no great significance. Since I’m never gonna read the dutch version, it really doesn’t matter to me.

There is a lot of mixed feelings toward this book out there and my own are probably more on the good side than the average. I found the book complex and deeper than I first thought. A little obsessive with tits, breast and nipples but hey it is a guy who have written it after all. I liked the ending (even though I hate it) and I like how it makes you think. It compels you to seek deeper and read between the lines. A book which awakens feelings and questions and do need to be discussed because it is all in the way it is interpreted.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Spirits in the trees – Morgan H. MacDonald

17325157| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: EVIL DOES EXIST

An abandoned house, a serial killer, and a victim reaching out from the grave. A woman races against time to unearth buried secrets before she becomes a ghost herself.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Madeline Anderson goes to Isabelle Island, Washington, to sell a family home abandoned over forty years before. Strange things occur the moment she steps on the property. Inside the dilapidated old house, items move about on their own accord. Noises come from empty rooms. She has a vivid, recurring dream of a woman running for her life. The wind rustling through the trees sounds like urgent, murmuring voices. When the cacophony dies down, one single word emerges: Madeline, Madeline, Madeline.

YOU CAN NOT HIDE

At first, Doug Lindstrom, the hot fireman helping Maddy restore the old home, doesn’t believe anything bizarre is going on. He’s certain Maddy is jumping at shadows because the local kids call the house haunted. That is until he witnesses horrific violence he can’t explain. After Maddy’s life is threatened not once, but twice, Doug vows there will not be a third time.

THEY ARE WATCHING

While searching for answers, Maddy uncovers astonishing secrets about her aunt’s past. Finding more questions then answers, she digs deeper until she stumbles across evidence of a cold case involving a serial killer named The Seaside Strangler. Now Maddy must unmask the killer. The life she saves just might be their own.

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My thoughts: What I wanted and expected was some spine chilling horror/mystery. What I got was a silly love story in a hunted house and some confusion.

How shall I review this book? Well for starter, the writing did not work that well for me. It was somewhat confusing in the way that the author probably forgot to mention some details to make some other details later on make sense. And some stuff was only mention once or twice. This infuriates me. Do not include something huge in the story, and then just ignore it later on. A violation will not that easily be forgotten. And to not mention it again will just make it sham and frivolous.

I did however like the idea of the story. The hunted house, the family mystery’s, the 50 year old crimes, the island, the sickness and all that. Not so much the violations and there really should be a trigger warning on this book. Because there are some graphically described chapters from different point of views and I would have liked to be warned. But on the other hand, if I knew, it could have been a reason for me to not read it at all.

The characters are the usual ones. The great hero and the broken heroine on the way back to life. Somewhat shallow but still readable. I did like it. But if I remember correctly, I had the same writing problem with one of the other books I have read by McDonald. So even though it is a good story, I do see a pattern and maybe this is not an author for me.