Book Review: Descent (Tim Johnston)

Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 8.53.55 PM.pngWay back in November, The Suspenseful Clues and Thrilling Reviews book club decided to read Descent by Tim Johnston. I was really excited about this pick since it had been on my TBR pile for quite some time and I had been looking for an excuse to read it. However, now that I have finished this book, I have some seriously mixed feelings.
This review is already feeling like a tough one to write; bear with me!

Initially, the plot intrigued me. The story surrounds a family who takes a final family trip to the Rocky Mountains before their daughter goes off to college and end up suffering a great loss. As the family patriarch and matriarch make final attempts to save their relationship, their children go missing and, hours later, their son is found injured and their daughter never returns. The family is left in shambles. The story that follows attempts to discuss what happened to Caitlin, how the family moves on and what happens when families suffer great loss.

Sounds intriguing enough, right?

I think maybe if the book was stripped down to the bare bones, I may have enjoyed it more; I am not sure if this is typical of Johnston’s writing style but I felt like there was a lot of plot points that were not completely relevant. I felt confused by the number of extra characters and scenes that felt like they had nothing to do with the actual plot of the book; there were some confusing relationships and trips. I feel like due to the amount of “fluff” and a bit of mismarketing, it didn’t feel much like a thriller. To me, it felt more like contemporary fiction.

I feel like for the reasons above, the pacing was off for me. It felt too slow and I didn’t find myself completely hooked. This one didn’t make me feel compelled to turn the pages, I felt like was reading it purely to finish what I started instead of enjoying the book.

Obviously, I was not the right reader for this book, especially since I am known to be a fan of fast-paced, on the edge of your seat style thrillers.

Did anyone else read this one?  Am I the only one who felt like it was lacking?? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Book Review: Rolling in the Deep/Into the Drowning Deep (Mira Grant)

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I am a creature of habit, what can I say? I am continuously drawn to the same types of books with the same types of antagonists. I read serial killer thrillers and psychological thrillers by the bagful and relish in their twisty plots and realistic horror. So, imagine my surprise when one of the knockout books of the year for me came from Mira Grant and featured killer mermaids.

That’s right people. Killer. Mermaids.

Who knew?!

Chelsea (from The Suspense Is Thrilling Me) actually recommended this book and, I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to pick it up. I don’t generally read a lot of fantasy or science fiction and the premise of the book sort of seemed like a happy marriage of the two. As per Chelsea’s suggestions, I started with the novella prequel, Rolling in the Deep (am I the only one who reads this book title and instantly starts singing the song by Adele?) and, after a crazy time, I was finally able to obtain a copy (Thanks, Chandra!).

The prequel, Rolling in the Deep, opens with the introduction of Imagine Film Company, known for their “mockumentary” style films, as they head out into the great blue sea to create a film about mermaids.   As the ship sets out to create their “found footage” and “eyewitness accounts” for their film, the cast and crew find themselves in grave danger when they actually do discover something in the water. This only took me about an hour to read and I was completely hooked, I continuously messaged Chelsea as I was reading to comment on how REAL it felt. Although I knew I was reading a work of fiction, Grant does an amazing job with her narrative style of making you question your own logic. By the time I was finished, I was more than ready to jump into the first, full novel in the series.

Enter, Into the Drowning Deep. This novel can absolutely be read without having read the prequel (but I do think the prequel does an amazing job at setting the tone). The story opens seven years after the Atargatis was lost at sea and a new crew has been assembled to head back to the Marianas Trench to get to the bottom of the maritime tragedy (or hoax, to others).  This book was just as brilliant as its prequel. Fast-paced, intricately written and filled with chilling prose, I was on the edge of my seat and recommending this book to everyone who would listen!

I will not go into any true details because I do feel like you’d have to read it to appreciate it, but, I am pleased with the open-ended finale that leads me to believe that Grant will be providing me with another book in the series (please!!).

If you are looking for something different to add to your TBR pile, do not be turned off by the randomness of the plot, just trust Mira Grant and dive on it. You will not be disappointed.

5/5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher, the author and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel.  It was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Book Review: The Sin Collector (Daria Desombre)

Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 9.14.58 PMThis time of year as other bloggers are rounding up their favourite books of the year and creating their top lists for Christmas gifts, here I am, struggling to catch up on all the books I had read and neglected to review! I blame my wedding and my move.

That is my story. I am sticking to it.

Forever ago, I read The Sin Collector by Daria Desombre, which is the first in a new detective series starring Masha Karavai. A work of Russian noir, I was curious to see what this genre would bring, especially since this is unchartered territory for me.

The novel opened with the introduction of Masha, a brilliant law student, as she investigates a series of recent killings and navigates her way through law enforcement.  I found Masha to be a likeable and relatable lead. I found her narrative to be extremely believable and there were more than a few moments where I found myself chuckling under my breath as she dealt with difficult and seasoned detectives.

The plot itself was pretty stellar. I love when a novel is able to make past and present collide and Desombre does a brilliant job of doing just this. Medieval rituals, modern Moscow and biblical references had me captivated and I loved the premise of the “sins”. I thought this was very different which is always incredibly important to me in a new crime series!

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Book Review: The Silent Children (Carol E. Wyer)

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 7.25.39 AM.pngCarol Wyer writes a seriously addicting thriller. Anyone who has read her work will know within the first few pages that it will be an absolute struggle to put down one of her books. The Silent Children, the fourth book in the DI Robyn Carter series, was no exception. I sat down to read this one and had it finished in an afternoon.

As mentioned, this is the fourth novel in the series that follows female detective. Robyn Carter. I did read the first novel in the series, Little Girl Lost, and just never got around to reading book two and three. They are in my TBR pile, it is all just a matter of time! I am happy to report that this novel did read well as a standalone. Now, be warned, Wyer is teasing out some information about her protagonist’s personal life and I did receive some of the backstory from some other bloggers so I was pretty much up to speed. This doesn’t bother me at all, but I do know that this would bother other readers, so, if you want the FULL experience, then I would absolutely recommend reading the books in their order.

This novel follows the discovery of some seemingly unrelated bodies and the story of abuse from a young boy. Told in snippets to the past and Robyn and her team working in the present, I was on the edge of my seat! Red herrings and twists and turns aplenty, I was left in the dark until the A HA moment!

I am shocked that Wyer is able to bang out these books as fast as she does and with such finesse. The series appears to be getting better and better!!  Now excuse me, while I catch up on the series and wait patiently for book five!

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel.  It was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

This book was one of the December picks for #cjsreads!  Keep reading if you want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one!

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Blog Tour: Anything for Her (GJ Minett) @BonnierZaffre @GJMinett

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Good morning and welcome to my stop on the Bonnier Zaffre blog tour for Anything for Her by GJ Minett!

I am lucky enough to be able to share an extract with everyone for my stop, but, first, let’s check out a synopsis for this fabulous book!

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago? 

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do.

AH!  Doesn’t that sound fantastic??!!  I cannot wait to dive into this one.  If you are impatient (like me!) then you can find this book in e-book format NOW!  Otherwise, the paperback release is in March!  Be sure to mark your calendars either way!!

Now, keep reading for an extract…

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Book Review: Stillhouse Lake (Rachel Caine)

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It’s that time of year when Goodreads releases their list for the Goodreads Choice Awards and I begin my frantic need to read all of the nominees!  Luckily for me, I chose to start with Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine.   How did I spend the entire year without this book in my life?? IT WAS FANTASTIC.

The novel surrounds Gwen Proctor, formally Gina Royal, who has worked hard to create a new identity for herself and her children after her husband is arrested and put on death row for the brutal murder and torture of several women.  After being on the run for several years, trying her best to keep her children safe and avoid vigilantes who would like to punish her for her husband’s wrongdoings, the family has settled in Stillhouse Lake, a small town in Tennessee.  However, when the bodies of young women are found in the lake outside Gwen’s home, looking eerily similar to her ex-husband’s handy work, Gwen finds herself in harm’s way. 

This book was truly on the edge of your seat thrilling from beginning to end.  Not your run of the mill serial killer thriller, this one was full of psychological suspense and paranoia.  I loved seeing this new perspective in a novel.  It is rare to read about the aftermath of a psychopath through the eyes of the people close to them.  In fact, the crimes themselves took a backseat.  I loved this spin

Told in entirely her perspective, Gwen was an amazing character as she moves from sweet, naïve, Mid-Western housewife into a kick-ass, gun wheeling super mom who would kill for her children’s safety.  I absolutely loved watching her transformation throughout the novel.   

From the suspenseful moments to the addictive writing style, I was completely compelled from the moments I turned the first pages.

5/5 stars from me.  I cannot wait to dive into Book Two!! 

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

This book was also a #cjsreads pick.  Want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one?  Keep reading to find out!

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Paperback Publication: Say Nothing (Brad Parks) @BRAD_PARKS @DUTTONBOOKS

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.14.42 PMI’m alive, folks!  I know I have been a little MIA over the past few weeks; I moved into a new apartment and have been completely preoccupied with life;  however, I had to crawl out of my blogging whole to celebrate the paperback publication for one of my favourite novels I read this year, Say Nothing by Brad Parks!

This book I have recommended countless times to family and friends who all feel the same as I do: this book is pure entertainment and absolutely unputdownable!

In case you missed my original review (and the reviews of Chandra and Jessica- this one was a #cjsreads pick!), you can find that here.  Otherwise, keep reading for a Q&A with Brad Parks!

Continue reading “Paperback Publication: Say Nothing (Brad Parks) @BRAD_PARKS @DUTTONBOOKS”