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Bleak Harbor by Bryan Gruley

Bleak Harbor is a fast paced who-done-it with a twist as the kidnapped child in question is on the autism spectrum.

Title:  Bleak Harbor
Author: Bryan Gruley
Series:  Bleak Harbor #1
Publish Date:  December 1, 2018
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Publisher’s Description:  Their son is gone. Deep down, they think they’re to blame.

Summertime in Bleak Harbor means tourists, overpriced restaurants, and the Dragonfly Festival. One day before the much-awaited and equally chaotic celebration, Danny Peters, the youngest member of the family that founded the town five generations ago, disappears.

When Danny’s mother, Carey, and stepfather, Pete, receive a photo of their brilliant, autistic, and socially withdrawn son tied to a chair, they fear the worst. But there’s also more to the story. Someone is sending them ominous texts and emails filled with information no one else should have. Could the secrets they’ve kept hidden—even from one another—have led to Danny’s abduction?

As pressure from the kidnapper mounts, Carey and Pete must face their own ugly mistakes to find their son before he’s taken from them forever.



Agent Annie says…

 

Bleak Harbor is a fast paced who-done-it with a twist as the kidnapped child in question is on the autism spectrum.  I enjoyed the family dynamics of a mother, son and step father and all the various entanglements they each are caught up in.  I was definitely kept guessing as to who did the kidnapping. Unfortunately, I thought the last quarter of the book introduced too many possibilities and added more characters than I could keep track of.  Many of whom seemed just a distraction to the main story. I also thought the final reveal and the manner in which the kidnapping was pulled off was too complicated and I found myself doubting that the character was given enough backstory to make it believable. I also felt a connection to the small town on the shore of Great Lake Michigan since I am familiar with actual towns that are in the same locale.  The history of the town and the matriarch’s interaction with the townspeople was well done and I appreciated the “justice” that was meted out at the end. I would give this book 3.5.

 

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Tabitha by Neil Gibson, Caspar Wijngaard

I really wanted to like this comic. It’s from an indie publisher, and I was hoping to give them a good review, maybe get them a few more sales and fans. It won’t be from this title.

Title: Tabatha
Author: Neil Gibson, Caspar Wijngaard
Publish Date: November 3, 2015, by TPub Comics
Genre: Thriller
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Luke works as a mailman in Los Angeles and moonlights as a thief – the empty houses on his postal route are rich, easy pickings for him and his friends. Everything goes to plan until one house turns out to not quite be so empty. The situation spirals out of control, leaving the happy go lucky thieves battling for their lives. And all because of Tabatha.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

I like the concept. It starts out as if it’s about some thieves and how they case places to rob later. Further, one of the characters is awkward around women, and I wondered if it was going to get dark because he would get some power over women. But it was not to be.

 

***Spoilers***

 

***Major Spoilers***

 

Ready for them?

 

Tabatha ends up being a doll that the bad guy thinks is real. He has conversations with her, and he is the one kidnapping and killing the other women to give Tabatha a real body through some ritual.

The idea is very good, but the execution is lacking. I think some of the ideas are an attempt to provide a reason to read it again, but it didn’t work for me. They would show the bad guy talking to his victim from the victim’s perspective. Then later, we get it from the bad guy’s perspective, and we “hear” Tabatha’s side of the conversation. I think it was too easy to fill in the blanks, and the later dialog doesn’t add anything new, which is why I didn’t feel the need to go back.

The group of kidnappers is even a bit stereotyped, with the girlfriend of one of them being taken to be the latest body for Tabatha. At least the girlfriend is not a damsel in distress, which is nice, and the group works together to save themselves.

I give this a three, right in the middle. Some good ideas and good artwork, but marred by cliches. If I hadn’t read so much, this might have been better. As it is, it doesn’t rise above the other things I have read through the years.

The Alchemist’s Son by Athena Daniels

The Beyond the Grave series by Athena Daniels returns with Book 2, The Alchemist’s Son.

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

AlchemistTitle: The Alchemist’s Son
Author: Athena Daniels
Series: Beyond the Grave 02
Publish Date: August 16, Sunset Coast Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Source: Provided by publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionA town with a dark secret.
A detective digging for the truth.
A discovery that leads to an unthinkable sacrifice…

For one hundred years, a demon has been watching, waiting, plotting…

White witch Sage Matthews has inherited a gift that makes her both integral to an ancient prophecy and a target for a demon-possessed serial killer. Assigned to catch the killer, Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade falls wildly, and inconveniently, in love with the one woman he doesn’t know how to protect.

Together Sage and Ethan delve into the prophecy, and the more they learn, the more deadly their situation becomes. At midnight on the night of the blood moon, an ancient doorway will open, and a master demon and his horde will pour through and unleash hell on earth. Only Sage can stop their onslaught—but not if the demon kills her first.

With the blood moon looming, Sage discovers she can join forces with “the alchemist’s son” to destroy the demon. But who is the alchemist’s son? And will he be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice required to end this struggle between light and dark forever?

The Alchemist’s Son is the much-anticipated conclusion to Sage and Ethan’s journey of supernatural suspense and romance, which began in The Seer’s Daughter.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I must admit I was a little disappointed in this one. The title promises more of Ethan’s background but we get more of Sage trying to figure out what to do. Readers don’t learn more about Ethan until the story is almost over. Most of this installment is Sage still running around trying to figure out how to defeat the demon.

The setting is even darker in this book as the demon is closer to walking on this plane of existence. but readers get comedic breaks between the doom and gloom when they are introduced to the new characters of Ethan’s team. Ethan and Sage have their romance beautifully wrapped up.

badge3v4I did enjoy this novel but I think it could have taken a different direction that would have made me love it.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out these other Romance reads!

His Darkest Craving by Tiffany Roberts, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Real by Katie Evans

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

Rising Tide by Lynn Steigleder

In a world where land is scarce, the forces of good and evil will form and battle it out.

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

rising-tide.jpgTitle: Rising Tide
Author: Lynn Steigleder
Series: Eden’s Wake 01
Publish Date: June 17, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionRising Tide depicts a world in which land is at a premium due to the advancing sea, where man’s attempt to adapt has led to a decay of morals into survival of the fittest. In the midst of the ocean, a crew of racketeers rescues a stranded diver, Ben Adams. Is the rescue just a fortunate coincidence for Ben, or has he been led to this rendezvous with fate for a common goal? A mysterious island inhabited by a primitive yet advanced race of people. A devious ship captain’s metamorphosis into the essence of evil and a ship’s container discovered by itself in a billion square miles of ocean all play a role in this tale of rebirth for a world corrupted by the collapse of morality.  


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

This novel has an interesting premise. The world has descended into chaos because the world’s oceans have risen. A ship’s captain descends into evil as his crew meets a primitive people and becomes a force for good.

I liked the idea. It was a new concept to me and showed promise. It was a quick read. The world and backstory are set up quickly, within the first few pages/chapters. But the characters weren’t fleshed out as well to me. I found that I wasn’t as sad as I should be when this character dies or these two characters get married. There were some twists that I didn’t see coming. Overall it was a good start to a series.

badge3v4

Even though I read it fairly quickly, I found my interest waning. Rising Tide is a promising start but I felt that it needed a bit more work. Because this is the start to a series, I give it three shipping containers, in hopes that things pick up in later installments.

Other recommendations…

Check out these other popular Science Fiction reads! Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Martain by  Andy Weir, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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

The Shadow: The Last Illusion by Cullen Bunn

Title: The Shadow: The Last Illusion
Author: Cullen Bunn
Series: The Shadow, Vol. 2
Publish Date: June 7th 2016 by Dynamite Entertainment
Genre: Graphic novel
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The Shadow infiltrates the sanctum of The Society of United Magicians, an esoteric enclave of illusionists who are hellbent on escaping the ultimate trap: death itself!

Learning the secret of the so-called -Last Illusion- from the spirit of escape artist Harry Houdini himself, The Shadow becomes the next target of their murderous scheme. To thwart their plans, he must evade twisted traps and solve spellbinding puzzles, while simultaneously evading the deadly skills of Sandman, the magician assassin. A good (or evil) magician never reveals his secrets… but the Shadow knows!

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

A great idea that didn’t work on me.

If I hadn’t read the previous two Shadow books, especially Shadow Year One before reading this one, I would have been more impressed. The problem I had was due to my liking the Shadow and buying into the previous background given. The idea is that the Shadow is being trained by Harry Houdini, which should make me happy as I do like Houdini. But, I think it took too much away from the Shadow’s training I had read before.

The rest of the adventure is well done. The usual suspects are there, backing up the Shadow as well as his own disguises to get information. And the conclusion of the adventure works.

I couldn’t get past that background, though, which didn’t feel like the Shadow’s background. I think if I had read this first, I might have liked it more. As it is, I give it a three. It probably deserves more, but that’s all I can give it.

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