Category Archives: 4_Reviewers

T*Witches: Don’t Think Twice by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

In book five of the T*witches series, Cam and Alex begin to receive strange messages – messages they believe are about their long, lost mother, Miranda. And although they’ve got the right idea, the way to Miranda seems to be through their friend, Bree, who is suffering from anorexia.

Meanwhile, on Coventry Island, Thantos, Karsh, Ileana, and others are joining center stage at a trial destined to discover who really murdered the father of the twins. Ileana, believing it’s Thantos, is the number one accuser. But the truth she may discover may put her on a path to madness and misery.

Title: Don’t Think Twice
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 05
Publish Date: July 2002, Scholastic
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Cam’s best, Bree, is unraveling, and Cam feels locked out. Not so for Alex, who has been breaking into people’s minds. She knows all Bree’s secrets. But before the twins can help Bree, she is taken away. To a private place, for help. Serious help.

There, Bree meets a mysterious woman who is able to heal her like no one else. But this woman is more than a stranger. She holds the key to everything that Alex and Camryn have been searching for. If only they can get to her.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

This is one of the shorter books in the series, and since I’ve read all ten books, I also know it’s one of those transitional books with a minor plot. Basically, this book is here so that the twins have a link to their long-lost and thought-to-be-dead mom. However, there are a lot of secrets that are revealed in the process… but those said secrets are pretty obvious if you were to read the four before this one because a lot of hints are given.

I think it’s weird that the twins are ragged on a lot for being “self-centered.” It’s a shame they can’t tell everyone that they’re going through a lot – both personally and magically. I think everyone who labels them as conceited would see they weren’t really. Even Alex, who doesn’t really want to join her sister’s “Six Pack” is drawn to Bree’s silent cry for help, and Alex is able to assist her without worrying about what she could get in return.

But anyway, this is an enjoyable read.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Miss Audrey Rose is back at it again in this delightfully creepy mystery that will have you wondering what goes bump in the night.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Hunting Prince DraculaTitle: Hunting Prince Dracula
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #2
Publish Date: September 19, 2017; Jimmy Patterson
Genre: YA Historical Fiction Mystery
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionFollowing the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Maniscalco has done it again!

 I cannot stop gushing over how much I loved Staking Jack the Ripper. Seriously if you haven’t read it go do so right now. I will wait! …Read it yet? …GOOD! Now pick up Hunting Prince Dracula, with its whispered lore and beautiful snow covered scenery marred by blood, and fall even harder for Maniscalco’s writing!

I feel like a lot of research went into this book, not only when it came to the Romanian folklore but also the brutal history of Vlad the Impaler and Countess Dracula. The plot is complex and had some slower points, but the action and beautiful settings that make you feel like you are actually in a drafty old castle or walking snow covered forest paths more than make up for them.

I love that Miss Wadsworth is still reeling from the events in Stalking Jack the Ripper. But I was a little disappointed to see her worrying more about what society would think, particularly when it came to Mr. Cresswell (who, by the way, I am becoming a huge fan-girl of) than in the previous novel. But once Audrey deals with her personal demons and throws the incessant worrying about society’s rules out the window, things pick up speed. I was also pleasantly surprised by who the culprit really is. I did not see it coming AT ALL!

badge5v5It is a rare event when a sequel is on par with the first installment of a series. This novel will be taking its rightful place next to Stalking Jack on my shelves and I will shout praises from the rooftop until I am blue in the face. For its complex mystery, beautiful writing, and life-like characters, I give Hunting Prince Dracula 5 leather wings (I’d say Romanian Tarantula, but I hate spiders and that chapter made me itchy!) and eagerly await the third installment!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out these other historical fiction reads: The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 9/10/2017

Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

  • Everybody loves a good giveaway, right?  Well, here is an AWESOME giveaway.  All these books are right up my alley and I’d love if I could read each one.

The authors that are involved are as follows:

 

  • A new and thrilling addition to the Eve and Roarke series by J.D. Robb.  Okay, it’s not the Eve and Roarke series, it’s the In Death series, but it might as well be Eve and Roarke.

Title:  Secrets in Death 
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #45
Release date: September 5, 2017
Publisher’s description:  The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

  • After I finish Secrets in Death, I’ll be ready for the next episode called Dark in Death.

Title:  Dark in Death 
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #46
Release date: January 30, 2017
Publisher’s description:  There’s always a reason for murder. But when a young actress is killed in a swift and violent attack at a cinema screening, that reason is hard to fathom – even for Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her team.

It’s only when bestselling crime writer Blaine DeLano arrives at the precinct that the shocking truth is revealed. Someone is recreating the murder scenes from her latest series, book by book. With six more novels left in the series, Eve now knows how the killer will strike next. But why has DeLano been targeted? Could her abusive husband be involved?

As fiction is transformed into bloody reality, Eve will need all her skill and experience to solve this unique case. Luckily for her, husband Roarke happens to be a fan of DeLano’s work. And he’s more than happy to work side by side with his gorgeous and brilliant wife – no matter how dark things become…

 

 

 

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Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock

This is not your typical Wonderland. You have been warned.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Lost in WonderlandTitle: Lost in Wonderland
Author: Nicky Peacock
Series: The Twisted and the Brave #1
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Source: Provided by author

Publisher’s DescriptionMonsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.

 


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

“You used to be much more…muchier. You’ve neglected your muchness, Mouse.”

I must admit even after reading the synopsis I was expecting something more akin to the fantastical Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories. While it was a little shock to discover this isn’t the case, this tale delivers the fantastical and humorous as well as being dark and thrilling!

This is undoubtedly one clever book. In its own right the book is dark. It is chock full of murder and intrigue. I mean a secret vigilantly group that hunts and kills serial killers? That would be awesome by itself!  But the little bits of Carrol’s Alice makes things a little lighter. Quotes and references litter the pages adding to the characters and the tale over all. And made this reviewer love the tale all that much more.

The characters all have their own strengths and weaknesses. This makes them seem more realistic – even the killer/monster, the Kustaka.  This also adds to the narration as badge4v5the story is told from Kayla and Shilo’s point of view, as well as that of the Kustaka.

The ending to the story felt a bit rushed and I found my self wishing that the chase was drawn out just a bit longer. But over all this is a powerful start to a series and I can’t wait to read the next installments. 4 teacups all around!

 

Other recommendations…

If you love Wonderland tales, you might try the following re-tellings: Splintered by A.G. Howard, Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J Pepper, Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Carnifex by D. P. Prior

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

CarnifexTitle: Carnifex
Author: D. P. Prior
Series: Legend of the Nameless Dwarf Book 01
Publish Date: January 15th 2016, Homunculus
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Publisher’s Description: For more than a thousand years, the dwarves have hidden away from the world in their ravine city of Arx Gravis.
Governed by an inflexible council whose sole aim is to avoid the errors of the past, the defining virtue of their society is that nothing should ever change.

But when the Scriptorium is broken into, and Ravine Guard Carnifex Thane sees a homunculus fleeing the scene of the crime, events are set in motion that will ensure nothing will ever be the same again.

Deception and death are coming to Arx Gravis.

The riddles that preceded Carnifex’s birth crystalize into a horrifying fate that inexorably closes in.

But it is in blood that legends are born, and redemption is sometimes seeded in the gravest of sins.
For Carnifex is destined to become the Ravine Butcher, before even that grim appellation is forever lost, along with everything that once defined him.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

It is rare to find a fantasy story centered around dwarves, and I enjoyed the world building. The dwarven world was captured quite well in my opinion. Their culture is an odd mix of Scottish and Viking. Masculinity is prized, but it is a matriarchal society. Outsiders are not welcome, and this has lead to a stagnation of their culture. But exciting things are about to happen whether the dwarves want to admit it or not. 

The characters were well written in my opinion, if not what we would consider traditional dwarves. Most of the dwarves I am familiar with live deep underground. These dwarves live very much like humans. I can’t decide if this adds to the story or takes away from it. But I think I am leaning more towards the non-traditional tropes adding to the dwarf mythos.

The plot was a little slow in places, but it is fun and adventurous. The battle scenes are not something to be laughed at. It can be extremely difficult to write a scene involving combat well. Prior’s are violent and gripping, however.

I will admit that when writing this review I had to step outside myself to write it well. I, personally, did not enjoy this story as well as I thought I would. That isn’t to say that badge4v5Carnifex isn’t a wonderfully written work because it is, it just wasn’t for me. I may try to go back to it at another time to see if my opinion changes. This also makes it very hard to rate. Because of my lack of enjoyment I really want to give it a three, however, I am settling on a 4 because it is well written and I may come back to it at a later date.

Other recommendations…

If you like dwarves check out these other great reads: The Dwarves by Markus Heitz, The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.