Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Shutter – Courtney Alameda

20757532.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

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My thoughts: I’m so disappointed with this book. I don’t think It’s due too high hopes, since the author was new to me and I haven’t heard or read any chatter about the book or author before. It was just something Book Depository recommended me since it was a similar to another book I bought a time back. Well it was a bad recommendation.

I have so many problems with this book that I don’t even know where to start. Here’s a list!

  • It is repetitive
  • Not enough description
  • No variety
  • Kind of cliché
  • To many questions
  • Lack of information
  • Slow and way to much teen angst.

My biggest problem is that there is not enough description of the characters itself or the history. The readers get thrown into the story with no knowledge or background history. Like for an example, all the unnatural creatures seems to be common knowledge. Does every person on the planet know that all you have seen in horror movies are true? That they really exist? Well apparently so. To a certain degree at least. But this is never 100% verified. And I missed proper information and descriptions of other things. Like characters! I should not have to read on page 220 that a main character actually has Aborigine heritages and that his skin is like a 5 shot Café au lait. That totally messes with my mental picture that I have tried to build up. And it is like this through the book. On everything! And some of the bad stuffs description is to easy that I can’t form a picture fitting with the story. And I have a pretty good imagination, to tell you the truth!

How about the story itself? Well, our heroine, Micheline Helsing, descendant from the big Abraham Van Helsing, killer of all unnatural, is around seventeen years old (I counted but it is never mentioned) and goes to school to become a hunter. She however, takes water over her head when trying to prove to her father that she is capable of taking care of herself, her team and save innocent people. She has a tough relationship with her father and to be honest, that is the only thing that kept me reading. Because I wanted to know what would happen between her and her father.

Other have described this book as fast paced and edge of your seat, kind of book. I however did not find it like that at all.   And I think Alameda tried too hard, to push that horror feeling trough out the book which gave it the opposite effect. No I’m not happy. Not at all.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Diabolical – Jana Deleon

31396255| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nine years ago, the police found Shaye Archer wandering in the French Quarter, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Now, at twenty-four, Shaye is a licensed private investigator, determined to get answers for her clients when the police can’t help. But her last case uncovered more than anyone anticipated, and pieces of Shaye’s missing past have surfaced with unexpected consequences.

She’s starting to remember.

Will Shaye unlock the secrets buried deep in her mind? And more importantly, can she handle the truth if she does?

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My thoughts: In this third book about Shaye Archer, the mystery is finally starting to unravel. Her memories starting to flow back and along the way discovers not only her but every one she love or has helped her, is in danger. A madman is back on the street of New Orleans and no one is safe anymore.

I do not often read series where it take several books to unravel some secret but this has certainly been a great journey. Deleon has a really unique style of writing. It is capturing and explosive. I do however feel that it was a little less this time. Both book one and two got a full five star rating. That is how good they are. This one however never reached that five star. Something was missing. I felt a little detached and the ending was somewhat weird even tough a lot surprising. I love the way the story started of several years before Shaye even was born. Deleon did do a great job with the interweaving the past with the future and the now.

I’m happy that there is more books in the series. I really want to follow Shay some more especially now that the truth is out. I would also love to see how the relationship between her and Jackson is unfolding. I have my own wishes and I really hope that they come true.

It is a great series and I recommend it to everyone who will listen. Its that good. 😀

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Pandora’s Succession – Russell Brooks

11435761.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: The deadliest weapon against mankind has been Unleashed.

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, never stopped hunting his fiancée’s killers—a weapons consortium called The Arms Of Ares. When Fox follows a lead to one of their top-secret bioweapons facilities in Chechnya, he barely escapes alive. However, he’s learned that Ares has weaponized a hyper-deadly microbe called Pandora. The trail leads Fox to Tokyo, where he teams up with an old flame and fellow operative, Nita Parris. Aside from Ares, they must contend with rogue agents who’ll stop at nothing to get Pandora. This throws Fox and Parris into a deadly game of spy vs spy, as they must rely on each other to locate the microbe. For if it’s unleashed, it could mean the end of humanity.

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My thoughts: Russell Brooks contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review his book Pandora’s Succession. The first book in the series about Ridley Fox and Nita Parris. Since thriller, mystery and suspense is my favorite genres I certainly had to take the chance. And I’m happy I did because this was, overall, a good book to read.

It is action filled from the first page to the last, with a complicated suspense plot and a intriguing story. It certainly made my mind work. Unfortunately I had some issues with the first 50% of the book, but I feel that Brooks saved it in the end.

At first I had a little trouble with the writing style. It felt kind of forced and I’m wondering if this is Brooks debut book. Because later on in the book the writing started to change. Not much but enough to give me the feeling of a more relaxed author with a more loose writing. Like Brooks had found his way and style and the book grew before me. OR, it is just me who got used to it. Anyhow, the second thing I had trouble with was connecting with the characters. It took me too long to really connect with either of them. And in the beginning there is a lot of characters and it kind of overwhelmed me. I had a little trouble keeping up with who is who. I’m thinking it is because of the writing and that the characters are a little cliché and similar. Those type of characters you find everywhere, without any real depth. Also this changed later on in the book and in the end I really connected with several and even got sad when some bad stuff happened. No tears tough.

Now after I’m done with the book, I really like Fox and Parris. The twists in the end surprised me and that it ended with a “bang” certainly gave me a satisfying feeling. There is no cliffhangers but it do end in a way that lets you as a reader know, that there is more to come from Fox and Parris. And I’m actually quite excited about that.

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

Rot & Ruin – Jonathan Maberry

7157310.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

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My thoughts: I don’t know if I’m just incredibly lucky or if I have found a way to choose good books. Because my five star ratings and good books just keep pouring in. And I’m a little surprised. As much as I love Joe Ledgers series by Maberry (still more than this), not one of those books (that I have read) have received a five-star rating and yet this one does. But One thing is for sure, Jonathan Maberry takes my mind and heart by storm, Again!

This is a wonderful book and I am surprised over how much I loved it. It is a little different from what I normally read and it is a Young Adult book. YA books are often not for me due to that I often find the books a little meek and dramatic. Not in a good way. Anyhow, this book was nothing like that and it evoke feelings that I did not foresee it would.

Here we get to follow Benny. A fifteen-year-old teenager who live in a world post zombie outbreak. He was too young when the outbreaks began and he can’t remember a world before the Zombies. And I totally loathed Benny in the beginning. Yikes I hated him. Later, he grew on me and by the end of the book, I loved him. Him and his brother Tom. Tom however was old enough to remember the world before the zombies and he is the reason Benny still is alive. But misunderstandings and half-truths have made their relationship hard and they are not that close to each other as brothers should be. Different circumstances outside their own power makes them thrown together and they must work together and fight for their life’s and what’s right.

I often feel that Zombies, like vampires, are a subject that have been done to many times that there is nothing new about it anymore. But I think that Maberry has taken a step back and brought the subject back to its core and just stayed with what’s simple and that worked in favor of the story. It feels real and totally perfect. It even made me cry some parts.

I short, I totally loved it and can’t wait to read the other books in the series. I have ordered the whole box from Book depository and hope it will arrive soon.

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I’m really happy that I was able to find this book signed. I ordered it from some guy in USA and it took almost tree weeks for it to arrive. But I’m really happy and this is the first signed book on my shelf. Totally worth the money. 🙂

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The fire witness – Lars Kepler

16085509| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Detective Inspector Joona Linna, under internal review by the National Police for an alleged infraction, is on leave to solve some troubling personal business when he is called in to “observe” the investigation of a gruesome and strange murder at Birgittagarden, a youth home for wayward teenage girls. But it’s not long before Linna is drawn deeply into the intricate, disturbing case. Intriguing, astonishing, and with all of the suspense that first captured audiences in The Hypnotist, The Fire Witness is Lars Kepler at his most psychologically complex and thrilling.

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My thoughts: The third book about the Swedish/Finish Cop Joona Linna. He is a ruff character with an immensely good moral compass and somewhat of an enigma. But in this book, you finally are starting to get some answers to who Linna really is and why he is and do as he does. However, you do sit in the end of the book, with a ton of questions but there are more books in the series so I’m pretty sure I will get my answers someday. The book do not end on a cliffhanger however, for those who are like me and don’t like that.

The books story is just great. Joona Linna is under internal review due to some stuff that happened in the second book. But since he is that good guy that he is, he breaks the rules to save a kid after getting called in to “observe” a crime scene at a youth home, where a young girl and the homes nightwatchman has been killed, and another girl is missing. Not only that but he has some personal issues to resolve and it makes the suspense a lot more intense. And not only that. A psychic comes in and stir the pot even more. And I just say, wow!

Lars Kepler is really not a person but an pseudonym for the married couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Yeah I think they did the right thing with one name since theirs are so alike. I love their way of writing and how they succeed to include the readers in the story in a way I don’t feel many Swedish authors are able to do. Scandinavian litterateur is not one of my favorites but I try to broaden my view to also close authors. Not just authors from the other side of the glob.

I do have to warn you that this series is not an standalone series and I do recommend that you start with the first book if you are interested. But it is total worth it.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The doll’s house – M.J Arlidge

23519826| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.

Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing – her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.

For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it’s chilling evidence that she’s searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful – a predator who’s killed before.

And as Helen struggles to understand the killer’s motivation, she begins to realize that she’s in a desperate race against time .

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My thoughts: I was skeptical about this book. I liked the first one in the series, but the second got pretty low rating by me. I am however happy that I choosed to read it anyway because it was really good. There is one thing I have an issue with however. And that is all the drama.

There is 5 female characters in this book who have some kind of issue with one another. There is jealousy and other stuff that just brings the story down. I hate drama and I hate office politics. Bringing this two together and it brings it all down for me and I am ashamed over the female genus because I know that this happens in the real world. However, it was still nice to get some kind of closure on the whole Grace and Harwood fiasco and I hope the drama is now over.

The story itself is classical. No big surprises and it is something you have seen or read to many times. It is still entertaining and then I also like these slow burner, English crime books that ends with a bang. Helen Grace keeps being an enigma and after three books, I can’t say that I know who she is. I know she has some problems due to her childhood and that she has a strong desire to help people. But other than that, she is a complete puzzle to us readers.

One other thing I liked with this book is that the chapters are really short and it pleases my OCD. I can absolutely see myself read the fourth book in the series.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The treatment – Mo Hayder

647954| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered. Badly dehydrated, they’ve been bound and beaten, the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing.

When DI Jack Caffery of the Met’s AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins…

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My thoughts: I have very few triggers when it comes to books. I read most of it. I don’t like it all and it can affect me bad mentally, but mostly I can handle it. But the few triggers I do have, are different types of sexual assaults. Specially against kids. I can read a book when the story is that it already has happen and you get to read about it in past tense and preferable not in that much details. Read it happen in present time and aftermath is something I have tough time with and I do my best to avoid those types of books.

So, you can imagine how tough this book was for me. And I didn’t know that it was supposed to be about pedophilia and other sick monsters. Now I’m glad I didn’t know since the book is terrifyingly awesome and if given the choice, maybe I would not have read it. But since I do have read the first book, I should have been a little smarter and foreseen that this would be a big part of the book. Apparently, I’m not that smart.

This book was so much better than the first book and I love the broken dynamic between Jack and Becky and how they, even though all the shit that has happened, not give up. The truth comes out and it just makes them fight harder for them self’s and each other and I love that. Other than that, the book is a typical British crime novel. Some really sick stuff is happening and you get some answers on questions from the first book (So yeah you should read them in order) and it builds something of a series I can see myself continue.

But no, this is not a light read but I do think it’s worth it.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

After The Dark – Cynthia Eden

30836269.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Former FBI agent Samantha Dark was one of the most respected profilers in the bureau, an expert on the twisted minds and dark hearts of the most depraved criminals. But when her own former lover turned out to be the serial killer she was hunting, Samantha’s career was destroyed. Blamed for the FBI’s failure on the complex case, Samantha fled Washington, DC, for the quiet anonymity of Alabama.

Now an all-too-familiar killer is hunting once again. She can catch the sadistic assassin, but that means putting her trust in her former partner, Blake Gamble. Ex-military, Blake is tough, protective, precise. With her entire life on the brink, she knows he wants her back in the FBI…and possibly more.

But someone else wants her, too. A threat is waiting in the dark, a killer who has set his sights on the ultimate trophy victim—Samantha.

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My thoughts: I don’t know if I just had to high hopes or what not for this book, but no matter what the reason, I was not happy with the result. It is so repetitive. Yeah I get it that the characters want something or need something but do you have to keep thinking it, saying it and be angry if you don’t get it and keep it on a loop even after you get it. It destroyed the story. Specially since the story could have been good, even though you get to know the truth early on.

I still liked the book enough to give it a two star. It is still not positive but since the story was intriguing even though no suspense or excitement, I got through it. It is an average read. Not something I would recommend to friends if they not specifically requested something in this line. However Eden has done a great job with capture a killer’s mind and the law enforcement work and even if the whole story was predictable, it still was somewhat entertaining.

But I didn’t like the character’s dynamic to each outer. Someone who do not trust someone, don’t just show up the next day and have complete and utterly trust in that person. And the relationship between Gamble and Dark just didn’t feel real at all and quite forced. There was nothing with it that I liked and that makes me a little sad.

So, to conclude it all, I liked the story even though it was predictable and you got to know it all already in the beginning. I did however don’t like the characters and the general dynamic in the story. Probably had higher hopes for the book, than what I should have had.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Assassin’s code – Jonathan Maberry

12024990| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In ASSASSIN’S CODE, the fourth book in New York Timesbestselling author Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series, Joe Ledger and the DMS go on a relentless chase to stop an ancient order of killers from plunging the entire world into Holy War.

When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran,the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood.

Accompanied by the beautiful assassin called Violin, Joe follows a series of clues to find the Book of Shadows, which contains a horrifying truth that threatens to shatter his entire worldview.

They say the truth will set you free…
Not this time.

The secrets of the Assassin’s Code will set the world ablaze.

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My thoughts: Dear Mr Maberry.

You broke me! You broke me to the moon and back and then you put me together with scotch tape and hot glue. Blood seeping trough the wounds, glistening in the night as I lay and think about Joe Ledger and his life. And then I read the last sentence in this book and it is all better again. Almost! So please, do not fuck it up. (Yeah I know you already have written like 6 more books after this one but I can still Wish because that guy need some happiness.)

If I ever was one of those people who wrote letters to musicians, actors, authors, serial killers or what not, this is probably how I would start a letter to Jonathan Maberry. After every book about Joe Ledger, I have felt a little broken, a little hurt but at the same time had this good, warm, fuzzy feeling in my chest. Maberry takes his readers on an exquisite ride through out the horrors of real life mix with the horror of the historical, fantasy, conspiracy tales and mad science. As a child I loved books like Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker and every other “supernatural” book my little hands could get. This is just an modern view of old tales in a more exciting form. There to entertain, not to teach and with twist you would not be able to foresee.

I have not written an official review on any of Maberrys books before but they pretty much go the same. The story is phenomenal. The imagination and execution of the story is one of the greatest. This is not generally a genre I read much in and even less if there is not more of an Romantic suspense/horror type of book. Mostly because I often feel a get bored. Long descriptions, not enough dialog and so on is not always the best. But I do not get bored by this books. It is terrifying, exciting and lovable. And you as an reader are there with the characters. There have not yet been a full 5 star rated book (but The King of Plagues was pretty close) and that is because every time I feel i’m missing something. But I cant figure out what.

chapter.PNGJonathan Maberry is also a king on writhing short chapters with a punch and a total effect to wake your curiosity. This picture is the first chapter from the book “The King of Plagues” and I wrote this on my Instagram (this was before I created The Book Chick).

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And it is perfect for those of you who read by chapters and goes like “Just one more chapter” late in the night. 😉

Thriller/Horror

To keep a secret – M. M. Wedin

37551431| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A well needed week away from the mainland sounded like a great idea. But this innocent trip to a private island won’t end as well as it began. Tracy finds herself in a situation she could never have imagined as she gets to know the secrets of her love – Ryan Bailey.

The question is: when love turns to fear, how will you survive?

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My thoughts: I got this book from the author against a honest review, and even though I’m not much for short stories, the synopsis intrigued me and I wanted to give it a shot. I feel a little bad that I did not find this book as great as those others at GoodReads find it, but that’s the thing, we all do not like the same thing and that is a good thing. Right? Anyway, I will explain my thoughts about this book.

First of, I really like the cover. It gives the viewer (me) an eerie feeling and it is matching the story. The title of the book though makes no sense compared to the story. Who is keeping a secret and you can’t keep a secret you don’t know about? Right?  Anyhow, this is a book in the genre horror/thriller, but I personally feel that it is more Thriller than Horror. Specially since all the horrific stuff happens when our protagonist is elsewhere. So you do not get to know about it until it is done and done. There was however one part of the book that really made me cringe and that is an indicator of good writing. One other thing I also liked is that the author makes it clear already on the cover that the book is an short story. Not all do that and I hate to by a book and then find out it is just shy of 100 pages.

The story felt a little forced to me. It was stuff that just didn’t make sense. Like for an example Ryan’s history or Tracys history for that matter. You do not get to know the characters as much as I would like and the storyline is, by that result, somewhat broken. The other characters in the book are not that interesting either, but really could have been. I would have loved to get to know some things more deeply. What really happened then and what happens now?

I’m aware that the story is told after the fact that it already happened and it may explain the broken pace. And it is just so short, and I really would expect more fight from the protagonist than it was. 

The storyline is intriguing and the characters could be really great. Just a little more time and work in the backstory and a little longer I think it would be a lot better. I can see that Wedin has the knowledge to write and writes really well. It was easy to read and understand and I feel that the book can suit several different type of people. Even if this one not was one in the top for me, I do like her way of writing and she has another book, that also is a little longer, that i’m looking in to.