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

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 · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

The graveyard book – Neil Gaiman

2213661.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

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 · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

HEX – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

31560400| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

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.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Dark lover – J. R. Ward

42899| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

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My thoughts: What a great book. I’m often sceptical toward this kind of books. This whole supernatural, paranormal, love, suspense kind of books do not often sit well with me and I often find them exaggerative. Specially if it is about vampires since that topic have been pushed for centuries now. But here I was really surprised that I liked is as much as I did.

It is a complexed story where vampires are not as I’m used to. They are a lot more vulnerable but still strong and mystic. In this book, just under 400 pages, you get a story filled with suspense and thrilling events from the first to the last page It is well written with a lot of details, great characters and hot, hot scenes. It is a complex world with even more complex characters and I just fell hard for the main male character, Wrath and almost as hard for the rest of them. I found the name at first somewhat excessive but after a while I got used to it and now I can’t have it any other way.

Really looking forward to continue this series. There is like 16 books in this series with another one that has it release next year. Oh wow this is going to be awesome I hope. If I’m right, I might have found a new favourite author. 🙂

Contemporary · Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Dance upon the Air – Nora Roberts

59829.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago… But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely. Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…

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My thoughts: This was the first time I read something more supernatural, written by Nora Roberts and since I do like her other books, I didn’t expect anything less. Well I shouldn’t have expected anything at all. Because this was certainly not my type of book and a complete waste of time. So why didn’t I DNF it you wondering? Well I’m a sucker for the whole “woman on the run from bad guy, find a new home, new friends, new life, new love but her past comes back and hunts her.” plot. Some old school romantic suspense. Never fails me. So I thought.

I think it is the paranormal aspect with the book that bugs me the most. It feels so unrealistic and worn-out. No real excitement or suspense. Oh and the characters. I have never seen Roberts as any less than an author who stands for strong and independent females and good, great guys. But Zack in this book, is not a great guy. He pushes and pushes even though Nell has told him that she cant get involved with anybody not even him. Then he pushes some more, they gets involved and than HE gets mad because she has not told the truth about her history. Well F*** you! She was as honest she could be from the start and Zack didn’t listen. He kept pushing. He kept taking over. Not letting her find her footing and kept stearing her the way he wanted her to go. That is not her fault. And he didn’t make her situation easier.

Oh man. Do you see my problem here? It was terrible and I’m honestly disappointed on Roberts. This is not an series I will continue to read. And from now on I will probably stay with the other type of genres by Roberts and stay away from the paranormals. I do not feel that, that is her strong suit.

And the last thing I wish so complain about is the writing. It is written in a point of view way, for every character and the chapters are to crowded. It was hard to keep track on who is talking when. Overall the book is in such a bad quality that if I didn’t already know, I wouldn’t have though this was a Roberts book. That is how different it all is.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Deadly Harvest – Heather Graham

3643502.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When a young woman is found dead in a field, dressed up as a scarecrow with a slashed grin and a broken neck, the residents of Salem, Massachusetts, begin to fear that the infamous Harvest Man is more than just a rumor. But out-of-town cop Jeremy Flynn doesn’t have time for ghost stories. He’s in town on another investigation, looking for a friend’s wife, who mysteriously vanished in a cemetery.

Complicating his efforts is local occult expert Rowenna Cavanaugh, who launches her own investigation, convinced that a horror from the past has crept into the present and is seducing women to their deaths. Jeremy uses logic and solid police work. Rowenna depends on intuition. But they both have the same goal: to stop the abductions and locate the missing women before Rowenna herself falls prey to the Harvest Man’s dark seduction.

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My thoughts: This is like the third book I have read by Heather Graham and still after I’m done with the book I have this feeling “thank you that it is finally over!”. That is not a good feeling to be left with. Almost all her books have a average 4+ star ratings and it is weird that non of those I have read, has appealed to me, at all. And I don’t really know why either. I think it is the writing that I can’t connect with. I feel bored and already at 20% of the book I wanted to DNF it, but didn’t since the story was a little interesting.

So, this book is about Jeremy Flynn. The second of the three brothers this series is about. He is in Salem, Massachusetts to help out a friend, who’s wife is missing. Roweena, who are from Salem is trying to help out. Jeremy met her through his brothers wife down in New Orleans and for weeks he have tried to stay clear of her but his feelings  is to strong and in Salem there relationship takes a big turn. She tries to help him but there is a lot of stuff happening and on top of that, she has terrible dreams, she doesn’t know what to do with. Jeremy is a down to earth, facts and logic kind of guy who do not believe in stuff he can’t see. Together they need to work together to find Mary, the missing wife, and later on, find a killer.

Okay story, a little predictable and boring but still well described. Missed some hot and steamy feelings and scene between Jeremy and Roweena, which I think would have made the book better. And the rest are a little flat. Still I think it all is because of the writing and that it doesn’t captures me.

I do not think I will read more by Graham for now, I just think that she maybe not is an author for me.

 

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

Fear University – Meg Collett

26038790| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: I’ve always known I was a monster, and I don’t mean some teenage vampire shit either.

My mother abandoned me when I was ten years old because I have a freakish mutant disease that makes me incapable of feeling pain. I bounced from one foster family to another because too many people like to test my medical condition in a game of “Try To Make Ollie Scream.” At sixteen, I killed a man for taking that game too far.

Two years later, I’m still on the run in Kodiak, Alaska. Here, I’m the most dangerous person around, until I come face to face with a creature that should only exist in folklore. The monster is an aswang, and I, with my medical anomaly, am uniquely qualified to hunt the beast that haunts the night. At least, that’s what the two scarred, mostly crazy ‘swang hunters tell me when they kidnap me and take me to Fear University, a school where young students learn to hunt and kill aswangs.

I arrive at the university a prisoner, but I stay because I finally find my freedom.

For once in my life, I belong. I’m needed. I make a home for myself inside the university masquerading as an old Alaskan prison. Something close to happiness warms my icy heart when I’m with my scarred, still mostly crazy tutor, Luke Aultstriver. For a murdering runaway like me, Fear University is a haven where I can put my skills to good use hunting monsters in the night.

But when certain truths come to light and even more lies are exposed, I fear that I, Ollie Andrews, am the worst kind of monster of all. And, maybe, they should be hunting me.

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My thoughts: First off, before I start to talk about the book itself. I don’t know if it is the authors fault or someone else but either way. Do not, I repeat, PLEASE DO NOT end the e-book under 90%. It makes you as an reader feel cheated, and that is not a good feeling to have your reader sit with at the end. Even more important so if the book ends on a cliffhanger. It happened with this book. Ended on a cliffhanger when I thought I had at least 10% left of the book to read. Not a good feeling at all. An quite frankly, it makes me a little pissed off and not wanting to read the second book. I will of course someday read it, because I need to know how it will end, but it will probably take awhile.

So what about the book itself? It is really good. Fresh and quite imaginative. Asuwangs is from an old Filipino folklore and I have seen and heard a lot about it from the movie world. But really not read anything. So I did not know exactly what to expect. But the story is exciting and filled with lies, mystery’s, really good characters and suspense. I like the dynamic and I like what the book is starting to build up. It’s twisted and you think you know how it all is put together but in the end that is just wrong. I do not, however, like Ollie that much. Well I like her fine, but for a girl who has been through everything she has been through, she is quite naive and really childish sometimes. And it does not get any better. I do hope she grow up some in the next book because if not, I don’t know if I want to continue reading.

I do not know the history with Asuwangs but have read a little about it now after the book and if I get it right, Collett (Which is not of Filipino descent) has done a great job with mixing the history with her line of the story and make it believable.

So as soon I have forgotten the “betrayal” I will read the second book and I really hope it is as good as the first one.

How do you feel about books ending before you think it will and cliffhangers?