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

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

731806.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.

That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.

And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….

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My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.

It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.

Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.

It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Bird box – Josh Malerman

18498558.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

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My thoughts: I had such a bad luck with this book. Me and a friend started a BookClub since we could not find one here where we live. The first book we choosed to read was Bird Box. It was supposed to be Novembers book. But I could not get hold of a copy in a bookstore. So I ordered one online and the order was cancelled due to empty stock. I ordered from another web store, same thing there. Note that by this time, two weeks had already passed. I tried to order it to a bookstore in town, but the system was down. In a last attempt I ordered a different format from the first place I ordered from. After a couple of days I received note that the book had been shipped. Hallelujah. I may still have time to read it since this was around 15 of November. However due to Christmas, it took longer than usual for the book to arrive. I actually started to think that it had gotten lost in shipping. But on the 3 of December it finally arrived. 18 days after I ordered it, a month after I ordered the first time. But I still had time to read it. Our club meeting is on Thursday 6 of December. It gave me three days. Would I make it?

Well I did And i’m so happy that I finally received the book. It was so much better than I had predicted. Malerman did a great job writing a book, solely relaying on sensory other than image description. Sound and feel descriptions, emotion and imagination build most of the book. It creates a really spooky feeling while reading. It reminds you how vulnerable we would be without our eyes and it certainly reminds you of all your childhood fears. Remember those? The terror you as a child felt for not what you could see, but what you could not see. The monster under the bed, the beast in the closet. The creatures outside your window, just waiting to eat all the small children, not laying in bed at night. It is an emotional read where even you as an adult do feel discomfort to some degree. And I loved it.

Unfortunately I did have some problem with the writing. Malerman keep referring them by names ALL THE TIME. I’m not kidding that Malories name was mentioned on the same page at least fifteen times. If he had used words like “her”, “she”, “him”, “that”, “it” and so on, would have eased up the flow of the text considerably. After fifty pages you don’t think about it anymore, but it bugged the hell out of me in the beginning and when a book only is 250 pages, you do not want to be bugged one quarter of it. And I have thoughts about the end. I will however not discuss it here due to spoilers. But either way, the book is certainly worth reading and I’m happy that I finally got to.

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

A court of frost and starlight – Sarah J. Maas

31076583| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

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My thoughts: Can you love a couple of characters as much as I love Feyre and Rhysand? O my god how wonderful they are. This is the book about just after the war. Wounds need to heal and order need to be restored. It is powerful, wonderful, happy yet so sad that it breaks your heart. And it gives you a sneak peek on what will come in the future. Because yes, there will be more books in the Court of Thorns and Roses series and o my, I can hardly wait.

It is as good as you would expect. The writing is still the same and Maas is still the queen. I wouldn’t say that the book is especially exciting or anything like that. Not really that much happen, but it is a closure for the old and a beginning for something new. Perfect little middle book while you are waiting for the next one. Oh I hope it comes soon.

This is so far the best series I have read this year. Yes it is that good. All of the books. Two received five star and two received four star. Wish to read more? Her you have my other review.

A court of thorns and roses
A court of mist and fury
A court of wings and ruin

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction

Royal Assassin – Robin Hobb

22016387.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

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My thoughts: Oh my! Fitz does really feel sorry for himself. That was probably my biggest problem with the book. Yes it is easy to forget how young Fitz is supposed to be and yet it was so annoying that I didn’t even want to read on. It makes me so conflicted. I loved the beginning and the end but all that stuff in the middle is just mud. Nothing major or big really happens and it is such a character driven story that 50 pages can have been read but nothing substantially had happen. However that is what in the end make it so great so overall I do like the book.

I did struggle more with this one than I did with the first. A lot because of the writing. This is high/epic fantasy for adults and it is such a slow burn that when you read page after page without any action and no breaks between the sections, it is hard on the head. Well at least for me. Hobb certainly has an unique way of writing. Hard but still great writing that gets you involved regardless of the challenges it contains. It is powerful, deeply imaginative and beautifully constructed. A real work of art. You get emotional invested and when all that stuff is happening and Fitz stands in the middle of it you can’t stop thinking about the book.

It certainly is a great story with a highly imaginative and deeply written plot where characters became friends and enemies. It ended unexpectedly and I do believe that the third book will be a great ride in this roller coaster called Fitz Life.

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

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel – A.W Jantha

36244389.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don’t quite go as planned, it’s a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches’ latest death-defying scheme.

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My thoughts: I really did not enjoy this book. Hocus Pocus is such a cult movie, a movie I watch every October, every year since I was a child. I never miss it and I loved the idea of a continuing. Bought it last summer but saved it just so I could read it in October. Such a mistake.

While the novelization of the movie is pretty good, the All-New Sequel should never have been written. I found the author was trying too hard to connect it with the first book with both details and happenings but nothing new. It is the same but different. Let’s take some small examples.

  • Instead of a cat, there is a dog.
  • The witches loses their brooms, again!
  • Again they use vacuum cleaners.Again it is the “rule the world” mentality.
  • Again it is circulating around one place. Just not the cemetery this time.
  • The humour (which I loved in the movie/book) are lame and forced. Not funny at all.
  • Instead of Zombies, there is ghost. But still the same thing.

I could keep going but I’m afraid we will go into spoilers so I will end here. The author tried too hard to include the 21- century in the story that it was just, overrated and not functional. And the worst part of it all is that the final act of the story just goes on and on and on. I actually fell asleep several times reading it. But I would not give up. It took me embarrassing long time to read it but I had to.

And to top it all, The book ends on a completely unnecessary cliffhanger. Come ON! That just makes me mad.

Final conclusion!
Oh Disney. I was so, so happy when I found out about the book. But it didn’t work for me. This was not what I wanted. It probably would have been better as a movie. One thing is for sure. The world of Hocus Pocus deserves so much more.

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

Miss Pregrine’s home for Peculiar children – Ransom Riggs

9460487| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

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My thoughts: Before I saw the movie last year, I hadn’t heard about this book or series. I do not know which rock I have been living under to miss it but hey, I did and so it is with that. When I was back home I did find the three books in the same bookstore and since they had a great deal that day I ended up buying all three. I don’t like to buy complete series if I don’t have read the first book yet. But I did and I’m so happy that I didn’t dislike the first book. Because OH this was so fun. And I’m happy I didn’t remember much from the movie because it was almost like reading it without knowing much about it.

I liked most of it. I liked the strange but interesting plot and characters. I did however not like Emma and some of the things she does, says and thinks. No spoilers. I loved the photographs, history and story Riggs have written around them and I did find the whole “time traveling” quite interesting. However there was some details that didn’t make sense and if you thought about it you do wonder why they couldn’t do “this” or why the rules was like “that” and how it worked when it should not to. Maybe i’m thinking to much on the details instead of the big picture, but it did annoy me.

Not a big fan of cliffhangers either and yes this book did end on a light cliffhanger. Fortunately I do own the other two books in the series. 😛

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

Färjan / Blood Cruise – Mats Strandberg

25445622| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

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

34466922| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

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

25391400.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

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

23131087.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

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.