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Posts Tagged: 4 Stars

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Title: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Goodreads)
Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Source: Library
Publication Date: 31 Jan 2012
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 1250001544
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 310

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: There was a dead clown sitting in my living room. Since I wasn’t particularly fond of clowns, and it was way too early for anything coherent to come out of my mouth, I pretended not to notice him.


Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light (July 2013)
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

You know that I am in love with a series when I do a little dance when the next book in the series comes into the library just as I’m finishing up book 2 and just before I’m about to head onto a plane and all that glorious uninterrupted reading time. This was the case with Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones which became available the day before I was headed out to see my sister in New Mexico (where it should be noted this series is set, though just further north than where my sister lives.) I don’t usually travel with library book but this was a special circumstance as I just needed to know what happened next! I may have even asked my sister if she could request the 4th book for me from her library but alas that was not to be. 
The story picks up not long after Second Grave on the Left ends and features all the characters that we’ve come to know and love from the previous books. Charlie is her usual, crazy sarcastic self and I love being her head throughout this series. Not to mention the shenanigans that is Cookie and Swopes. I just love when these characters are on the page and their banter with Charlie. I also loved all the very hot, sexy scenes that involve our favorite son of Satan, Reyes. There were also some new characters in this book some which are nice and other are down right terrifying. 

As with previous books Charlie is wrapped up trying to help her Uncle Bob with cases for the APD and also doing some of her own investigating but stakes are also raised to a whole new level. There is a whole lotta action in this book and Charlie has so much that needs to be done in a short amount of time and she does it all on almost no sleep. Seriously, there were moments when I got tired on her behalf during my read of book. Third Grave Dead Ahead is one of the best books in this series and I just loved every moment. I blitz read through this one almost as fast (if not faster) than the previous 2 books. 

I was also so glad that the 4th book in this series was out when I finished this one I just had to know what happened next! Talk about your crazy cliff hanger but not the sort that forces you to read the next book. All the big story ARCs started in this book are wrapped up but this ending leaves just enough open that you just can’t wait to know what happens next in Charley’s life. There are new mysteries revealed to the overall series ARC and some wonderful twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I am a total fan of this series and can’t recommend it enough. 

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Audio Review: Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Title: Unwholly (Goodreads)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Source: Audible.com
Publication Date: 30 April 2013
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: B00CL8ICA4
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~12.5 hrs
Narrator: Luke Daniels

The Author on the Web:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: He’s fighting a nightmare when they come for him.

Unwind Series Order
Book 1: Unwind
Book 1.5: Unstrung (novella)
Book 2: Unwholly
Book 3: Unsouled (15 Oct 2013)

When I first finished Unwind by Neal Shusterman I was upset when there was no audio for the next book in the series, Unwholly. When I can I like to stay in the same format that I started a book, there are exceptions to this of course, but its always nice to stick with it. Then I was browsing through my audible.com when my credits renewed last month and low and behold there was now an audio for Unwholly and I downloaded it immediately. As with Unwind the synopsis of this story is a bit misleading and as with the first book Unwholly is also told from multiple POVs there are the ones you’d expect from book 1 Connor, Resa, and Lev. Then there are new voices Starkey, Miraclena and Cam along with a couple of random one off POVs that do nothing for the story but act as a cheat (easy way) to get things across. 

Despite the fact that this book was released years after the first one it picks up about a year or so after events in Unwind end. Connor, Lev and Resa are all still adjusting to life after Happy Jack and trying to do the best they can. Then there is Miraclena who is a tithe and plays the roll Lev filled at the start of Unwind and Lev is more like Connor trying to convince her that her path is wrong. I never really understood her whole purpose in the story and hope that it will become clear in book 3. Otherwise, it was just all a bit of pointless filler that I could have done without. 

Connor and Resa are both a bit different in this story as well. They aren’t as close as they once were and that makes me sad. I was expecting more in terms of romance from them but all I got was annoyance and frustration as they both kinda refused to communicate what they were really thinking. Though Resa’s journey in Unwholly ends up being far from dull even as it was a bit predictable at times. But one of the most interesting characters was Cam, the hodgepodge human created entirely from unwinds. A character that Dr. Frankenstein would have been most impressed with. Cam is complex and funny and I really liked his addition to the story. Even while at the same time being a bit horrified for how he came to be. I look forward to seeing where his story goes in the third book providing of course that he makes the POV cut. 

The story in this one wasn’t super complex or even as riveting as Unwind and it definitely comes across as more of a set up/transitition novel. While Unwind is able to stand on its own. There are threads left dangling in this story and while its not a major cliffhanger there are still enough pieces missing that you need another book to finish them up. Which is a bit of a shame as there were lots of filler type moments in this one that could have been eliminated so the story was more complete. I am still a bit fascinated with this world though so I will be reading the next book, I just hope that there is more to it substance wise than in this one.

As for the narrator, Luke Daniels returns to tell this story and he does just a so-so job this time around. A lot of the voices seem to get a bit muddled and Cam, while I liked the ultra raspy approach to him, always sounded far far older than the teenage boy he was supposed to be. It was always a bit jarring when his ‘age’ was brought up. There were also times when it was hard to tell who was speaking when as Daniels seemed to use similar voices for certain characters and it was messy if they happened to be in the same room. The whole thing just seemed a bit rushed in some ways and the narration just didn’t have a polished feel to it. It was almost as if Daniels was a new narrator and not one who has a long history of reading audiobooks. Despite that though I will still go with the audio of Unsouled if there is one available and only if its read by Luke Daniels.
 

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Posted by Irish in Review4 Comments

Title: Blood Bound (Goodreads)
Publisher: Ace

Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2007
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0441014739
Format: ebook
Pages: 292

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Tri-Cities, Washington

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: Like most people who own their own businesses, I work long hours that start early in the morning. So when someone calls me in the middle of the night, they’d better be dying.

Mercedes ‘Mercy’  Thompson Series Order
Prequel – Homecoming

Book 1 – Moon Called
Book 1.5 – Wolfsbane & Mistletoe (short story)
Book 2 – Blood Bound
Book 3 – Iron Kissed
Book 4 – Bone Crossed
Book 5 – Silver Borne
Book 6 – River Marked
Book 7 – Frost Burned 
Book 8 – Night Broken (~2014) 

As with most books that I start on audio I debated on if I wanted to continue the series that way or move to print. Since I was out of audible credits and I had a gift card this time around I opted to read the ebook of Blood Bound. Sometimes this transition is easier than others and this time around the ebook was a bit harder to get into after the audio. Part of me wished that I’d waiting to get the audio and the other was happy to just read at my own pace.  

Blood Bound pics up not long after the events of Moon Called end and this time Mercy’s vampire friend Stefan needs some help. Mercy and her friends are quickly sucked into a dangerous mystery with the vampire clans and its a heart racing ride until the end of the story. Patricia Briggs really knows how to spin a tale and I love the mythology and world that she has created. As this series primarily involves werewolves one would think that I would hate it but Briggs has such a way with telling a story that I find in this case that I like them. 

I don’t like the love triangle and every time the two Alphas, Samuel and Adam, are exerting dominance trying to get Mercy to choose I just roll my eyes and sigh. I may be willing accept werewolves as a plot point but I don’t think that I will ever be ok with a love triangle. Although Patricia Briggs does present a more realistic triangle than most authors. In her story its not a choice between the ultimate bad boy and the good boy next store. Where the heroine is inevitably drawn to the bad boy as she knows that he will be healed by the gift of her love. *gag me* In Patricia Brigg’s world both Adam and Samuel are a flawed characters but they mean well and they care for Mercy. They are mostly good but they are will to do what it takes to protect those they love. 

They mystery that is at the foundation of Blood Bound is interesting and it holds a reader’s attention. Its not impossible to figure out but its fun to see the various clues that Briggs lays out for the reader to find. I also liked learning more about the vampires and Stefen and he’s grown to be a favorite character. As has Zee and some of the other members of the wolf pack. With a series its always fun to see how characters grow and change over the course of the books. And while in book 2 we are still just getting to know them the reader gets that feeling of visiting with old friends while reading the story. 

As with Moon Called, I enjoyed Blood Bound more than I expected. I was immersed in the world as I read it and I felt a little lost when I left. This is a series that I will definitely be exploring more although I might switch back to audio as I do enjoy the narrator, Lorelei King. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in Review2 Comments

Title: Second Grave on the Left (Goodreads)
Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Source: Library
Publication Date: 16 Aug 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0312360819
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 302

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: “Charley, hurry, wake up.” Fingers with pointy nails bit into my shoulders, doing their darnedest to vanquish the fog of sleep I’d been marinating in. They shook me hard enough to cause a small earthquake in Oklahoma. Since I lived in New Mexico, this was a problem.

Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light (July 2013)
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

After finishing First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones on audio I debated long and hard on if I wanted to continue the series in that format or not. I loved the audio narration and really could have done the whole series that way. But I also wanted to devour these books and that is something that the steady pace of an audio doesn’t allow you to do. Since Second Grave on the Left was just sitting there on a shelf at my library it seemed like the right choice to make to move to print. At first it was a tough transition, yes the reading was faster but it lacked the nuance of Lorelai King’s narration. So it should come as no real surprise that in the back of my mind I heard her voice as Charley’s as I was reading this book. 

Second Grave on the Left picks up not long after the first book ends and it starts off running. Well, it does once Cookie is able to get Charley out of bed. That girls loves sleep almost as much as I do. lol As with the previous book this story is filled with lots of humor but its not all fun and games. There is the mystery that spans the book from cover to cover that keeps the reader engaged and entertained. And then there is this bigger secondary mystery that carries over from the first book. One gets resolved as this book ends and the other lays a trail of seeds that leads the reader into the next book. Yet, despite the secondary story arc not being fully resolved the reader is not left unsatisfied. Instead, this does what all those crazy bomb dropping cliff hangers that are so popular in series reads fails to do for me. 

These little seeds make me want to read the next book as do all the characters that just grow and become deeper and more real as a series progresses. There is no big huge cliff hanger and if you never read the next book then you aren’t disappointed. As a reader, you can make your own ending, or you can move on and see where Darynda Jones leads you next. Its that desire to know what happens next that is key. Its what makes it so hard to put the book down once you start reading it. And for me this is one of those unputdownable reads. 

Second Grave on the Left is a laugh out loud funny story but there is a seriousness to it too. There is drama in Charlie’s world and lots of tension with her evil step-mother and uber hot and so very confusing Reyes. Oh, Reyes, if you pick up this serious for just one reason than he is enough. I adore Charley and I love her friends and family but there is just something special about Reyes. I like how he keeps Charley on her toes and keeps her off balances. I actually like that he’s the ultimate bad boy and yet he’s not totally evil. He’s just such a fun character and you never quite know just what side of the board he is playing on. 

Darynda Jones is a talented writer and I love her writing style. I love the characters and the world that she has created and I loved getting to know all these characters even better. I love a series in which you can see character growth and added depth with each new book. If you are looking for a fun and entertaining mystery then you will enjoy this book. Its perfect for the beach or for curling up on the couch on a cold winter’s day. I promise you’ll devour this story and immediately want to dive into the next book. I know I did.


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Audio Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Title: First Grave on the Right (Goodreads)
Publisher: Macmillian Audio

Source: Audible.com
Publication Date: 09 Feb 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 1427211302
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~9 hrs
Narrator: Lorelei King

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: I’ve been having the same dream for the past month – the one where a dark stranger materialize out of smoke and shadows to play doctor with me. 

Charlie Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light 
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

First Grave on the Right  by Daryna Jones is one of those books that I didn’t know much about before I downloaded the audio but its one that quickly became a favorite of mine. I fell into the humor of this story pretty quickly and when I get stuck in a crazy, crazy traffic jam coming home from my parents house one night I didn’t really mind as I had this audio to keep me company. Ok, so I hated to not be moving…at all…but Charlie and company made the annoyance a little less as I could better focus on what was happening in the book.  

First Grave on the Right is told from the POV of Charlie Davidson who is a private investigator living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She is also able to speak to the dead as she is also a grim reaper. Yeah, that grim reaper. When she isn’t helping the dead cross over or working on a case she tends to consult with the local police department (specifically her Uncle Bob) and help him maintain a very successful close out rate for his cases. 

When I started this book I was thinking that it might just be a fun paranormal mystery but I got so much more. There were times when I literally laughed out loud at something Charlie did or said. The secondary characters are all such a big presence in the book that sometimes its hard to separate that Charlie is the star. But it all works well as anyone with a crazy family can relate in some way to Charlie’s. Even if you don’t speak to the dead like she does. I also loved all the chapter headings in this book…and if you are a long time reader of this blog you know that I’m usually not a big fan of these. But each chapter starts with a quip of Charlie’s or some funny t-shirt saying that they just add to the story and don’t take anything away. 

I fell in love with this book and found every opportunity to listen to the story. The narrator, Lorelei King, became Charlie. She has this perfect, slightly raspy voice that just really fit Charlie well. She also did a good job with all the other characters that it was never hard to tell who was who or even when it was a male or female who was supposed to be speaking. King told the story in a nice even pace and I admire her restraint in not laughing out loud during some of the more humorous scenes of the book. She also became Charlie so much that even when I switched to print I still heard how King spoke as Charlie in my head. 

This was a great audio and a great story and its one that I recommend to all that love a good mystery with added humor. 

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Posted by Irish in Review8 Comments

Title: Attachments (Goodreads)
Publisher: Dutton

Source: Library
Publication Date: 14 April 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 0525951989
Format: Ebook
Pages: 323

The author on the web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Omaha, Nebraska


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Line: Would if kill you to get here before noon?

After blitzing through Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park (my review) and Fangirl I knew that I had to get my hands on her debut novel, Attachments. Luckily for me my library had an ebook of it available for immediate download so I was able to dive right in. Attachments differs from her other books as its told in two different formats. There is Lincoln’s POV which is more like your standard narrative and then you learn about Beth via emails that she writes to a friend and co-worker. We get to see these emails as its part of Lincoln’s job to monitor the email of the newspaper where they all work.

I enjoyed Attachments but I didn’t like it as much as I did Rowell’s other books. I enjoyed watching Lincoln fall for a girl he had never met via her email though at the same time it was a little creepy. I also felt that we never really got to know Beth as we only saw a small part of her via her correspondence. When the paths of the two characters finally cross their romance just sort of happens and its too quick. It never felt real and then the book was done. We never get to see them as a couple or even get any real scenes of them getting together.

The whole story was this big buildup to Lincoln and Beth meeting….as a reader you are cheering for them wanting them to get together. So when it happens and its rushed, well, I was disappointed. I remember closing the book and asking myself, that’s it? And it was and I was just sat there and went huh…I wanted more.

Maybe if I’d read Attachments before Rowell’s other books I might have been happier with how events played out. But as it was I know the sort of deep and meaningful connections that she can write and I just wanted to experience more of that here. Maybe if Beth’s POV wasn’t entirely in emails I might have been able to connect with her character more as I did with Lincoln. There always seemed to be a disconnect with her and as a result she was a very surfacy character.

I did enjoy Attachments my heart ached at times for Lincoln and my wanting him to find a true connection with Beth. As with Rowell’s other books I read this one in a single sitting and the time just flew by. Unlike her other books I may not re-read this one but I am glad to have read it. If you are a fan of Rowell then you should look into picking this one up if you haven’t done so already. Then be sure to move on to Eleanor & Park and then pre-order Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell is on my autobuy, autoread, auto-recommend list and she should be on yours as well. You won’t regret it reading any of these stories.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Audio Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized2 Comments

Title: Unwind (Goodreads)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Source: Audible.com
Publication Date: 01 November 2009
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 142337309X
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~10 hrs
Narrator: Luke Daniels

The Author on the Web:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: “There are places you can go,” Ariana tells him, “and a guy as smart as you has a decent chance of surviving to eighteen.”

Unwind Series Order
Book 1: Unwind
Book 2: Unwholly
Book 3: Unsouled (15 Oct 2013)

Unwind by Neil Shusterman is a book that I remember buying shortly after it first came out. I thought the premise sounded interesting and just a tad bit creepy…the whole idea that a parent could decide to unwind their child was just terrifying. But for whatever reason the book just sat on my shelf and I eventually gave it away. Then one day I was searching through audible and stumbled upon the title once again. Since I’m always on the hunt for a good audio I listened to the sample, liked what I heard, and not long after I was listening to this story. 

Events in Unwind start off with a bang. There is no long build up you are thrust into the action and the world and the pace never really lets up. What really surprised me the most about this story was that it was told from three main points of view. What I didn’t like was that sometimes Shusterman would head jump into other characters to help the story along. When its done for ease of plot movement I am not a fan. Although I did enjoy being in the head of one character towards the end as he was going through a procedure. Well, enjoy is the wrong word but it was one of the creepier scenes in the entire book and it had me riveted. 

The ending was also a bit rushed for my tastes and I thought that there was a bit of a hypocritical action that happened in terms of one of the mains even when there was little choice in the matter. I totally found myself rolling my eyes and thought…oy with the poodles already did that really happen? And it did so I rolled my eyes again for good measure. 

There was also a romance to be found in Unwind which was also unexpected. But it was very understated and I think that is one of the main differences between male and female authors. Male authors tend to put more emphasis on the story and not as much on love (unless of course you are Nicholas Sparks, but he’s an anomaly) while with many female authors the romance of a story tends to be more on the front burner. Both styles I enjoy and sometimes its really nice to have more of a plot then just two characters mooning over each other. 

All in all I really enjoyed Unwind and I thought that Luke Daniels did a fabulous job with the narration. Yes, his female characters weren’t the best but then I find its always hard for narrators of one sex to do voices of the other so I don’t hold it against them. Unless of course its excruciatingly bad. There were a few times when the voice would slip from one character to the next but never too terribly that I had trouble knowing who was speaking when. I’m also really glad that they recently recently released the audio of book two, Unwholly, as I was pretty disappointed when I finished Unwind and learned that I’d have to finish the series in print. That, to me, is one sign of a good narrator and fortunately for me Luke Daniels is back with the sequel and I’ll be starting that one once there is a break in my schedule. That is, if I can wait that long. 

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Audio Review: Game by Barry Lyga

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Title: Game (Goodreads)
Publisher:  Hachette Audio

Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 16 Apr 2013
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: B00C38S4WI
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~13.5 hrs

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Lobo’s Nod, Any State, USA // New York, New York // Brooklyn, New York
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: She had screamed, but she had not cried.

Jasper Dent Series Order
Book 1: I Hunt Killers
Book 2: Game
Book 3: Untitled (TBD)


When I Hunt Killers came out last year I was hooked. I fell head over heels for the audio and loved every bit of it. The narrator, Charlie Thurston, game me chills and once I heard that there would be a sequel to the story I knew that I would have to listen to that one as well. Sequels can be such hit or miss things and while I was really looking forward to Game I was dreading it as well. Would it fall into the cliched role of a transition novel with not much happening or would it surpass the book that came before? While Game didn’t blow me away like I Hunt Killers did it wasn’t your standard transition novel either. 

In Game, Billy Dent is on the loose and there is also a new serial killer running around New York City. They police there decide to bring in Jasper Dent to consult as he does have a unique perspective on things. And even though he’s a minor and this is just a book I still find it a bit odd that he does all of this for free. But that is just a minor thought that I had while listening to this story. 

I mostly enjoyed this story and really liked its complexities. I enjoyed the twists and turns and was surprised a time or two during the course of this story. What I didn’t like was how this one ended. I didn’t like the cliff hanger aspect of it and how, as a reader, I am now forced to pick up the next book in order to find out what happens next. For me, cliff hangers are cheap plot devices that only take away my interest in a story. 

As with, I Hunt Killers, I enjoyed Thurston’s narration although unlike that book I didn’t get the same chills. Perhaps because this wasn’t a continuation of a story and so the voices weren’t fresh or new. It could also be because even though the story went to New York and Brooklyn – places that have some distinctive accents – none of the characters from there had an accent. Thurston gave them these lifeless voices that could have been from anywhere and I just think that it was a lost opportunity to further add some depth and realism to this story. 

I enjoyed Game but I didn’t love it as much as the first book. While I’m curious to see where a third book goes I’m also miffed at being forced to read it. I think that there are better ways to drive a readers interest in continuing on with a series and it doesn’t always have to be with a cliff hanger. Have I mentioned how much I do not like cliff hangers? I will most likely check out the third book but I’m not bursting for more, not like I was after finishing I Hunt Killers

If you enjoyed the first one you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Its a good installment in the series its just missing a little something that the first book had. At least, it was for me. I know many out there loved Game just as much if not more than the first book. Perhaps I just hyped this one too much up in my head to enjoy it fully. As an audio, it could have been better (see note on lack of accents above), but I will say that I will listen to the third book over reading it if Thurston is brought back as the narrator. He may not do a New York accent but he’s killer with the voice he does for Billy Dent.


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Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: Wrecked by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Posted by Irish in Review0 Comments

Title: Wrecked (Goodreads)
Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: 30 April 2013
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 9781484040119
Format: ebook
Pages: 286

The author on the web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Clayton Falls, North Carolina // Wilmington, North Carolina


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: As the speedometer hit seventy, I knew I had to go faster.

Clayton Falls Series Order
Book 1: Derailed
Book 2: Veer

Book 3: Wrecked 

If you’ve read the previous books in Alyssa Rose Ivy’s Clayton Falls series then you know that Jake Matthews hasn’t always made the smartest decisions. If all the signs point right then he’ll left just because. Such is the case with the opening scene of Wrecked where he knows he didn’t make the smart choice but yet he can’t seem to stop himself from doing so. Fortunately for him, he was a good support team around him to help keep on the right track. And because of one very bad decision he also crossed paths with Emily, the heroine of this story.

Wrecked is told from both Jake and Emily’s POVs and I loved getting to see both sides of the story. I thought that Jake was a bit of an ass in Derailed, a bit less of one in Veer, but I really came to adore him in this story. He just needed something really big to happen and to meet the right person and everything just started to change and turn out better. Sometimes you just need to hit rock bottom in order to see just how high that you want to climb. Jack and Emily’s story isn’t overly complex, most romances aren’t, but there is a depth and genuineness to it that made me like Wrecked best of the series. 

I also loved all the side characters. I loved how we got to see more of Ben and Molly and get to meet Mel and Cole. I really really really hope that there will be more books set in the Clayton Falls universe as I want to see Mel and Cole’s story. There were just enough hints and teases in Wrecked that left me wanting more. But what made this book for me were Jake and Emily. Neither trust easily and they both come with baggage but each obstacle just makes them stronger. And I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how it would all end up. 

With each book that Alyssa Rose Ivy writes her writing grows stronger and her characters a bit more real. I like how she keeps returning to Clayton Falls as it just further adds dimension to that town. Wrecked also managed to keep me up far far later than was good for me on a work night and I was an exhausted mess the next day. But I wouldn’t trade those hours of sleep lost for anything. Because my day wouldn’t have been the most productive anyway since I’d most likely been watching the clock waiting until I could get back to the story. And for me, that is the sign of a good book. =)



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Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Title: The 5th Wave (Goodreads)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 

Source: Amazon Vine
Publication Date: 07 May 2013
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0399162410
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages:480

The Author on the Web:
Place(s) Traveled to: Near future US – midwest // Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Line: There will be no awakening.
The Fifth Wave Series Order
Book 1 – The 5th Wave
Book 2 – Untitled (~Spring 2014)
Book 3 – Untitled (~Spring 2015)
I am always wary of books with lots of hype or huge publicity campaigns because all too often I end up horribly disappointed. Yet even  with all the early buzz surrounding Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave I was still excited for it. One of the things that I loved most about the 5th Wave was that there was a reason for the dystopian world that these characters live in. It starts with an EM pulse (or something similar) in the 1st wave and the world goes dark. Then the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th waves further break down society and the world as we know it all in preparation for the final stages of a very carefully planned invasion.
Normally with a dystopian read you need to take a world at face value but with The 5th Wave the series of events are plausible and so that makes this book stand out from others in the genre. As you read the story you can easily visualize all these things happening and that added bit of realism adds a whole other level to the reading experience. One that I loved and kept me so engrossed in the story that I was unable to put it down until I was finished. 
I also liked the multiple view points used as it gives the reader a wider scope of just what is going on. There are no blinking red signs that proclaim when you move into the head of a new character but it was never difficult to tell when the POV switched. These changes in POV also made it easier for me to get close to the various characters. It made me like them all the more and so that the various action scenes left me a bit breathless as I feared for these fictional people I’d come to love. 
The 5th Wave isn’t all action though and what there is doesn’t dominate the book. This is more what I’d call a slow burn novel where there is lots of descriptors and running around trying to make sense of this world where your biggest enemy looks like you and so you don’t know who to trust. 
What I didn’t like about this book was the gratuitous love triangle although that is something that could have been far worse than it was. In some ways I think it helped that this book was written by a guy as they don’t really allow romance to dominate a story. Many male authors seem to toss in a romance as an aside because its expected. Whereas in many, not all, books written by women the romance and/or love triangle is the main focus with the rest of the plot coming in as an aside. So while I’m grateful that the romance in this story wasn’t overdone I could have done without the love triangle. 

I also wasn’t a fan of the cliff hanger ending but as with the love triangle it could have been far worse than it was. I hate being forced to read the next book in a series just to find out what happens next. And so many cliff hangers seem so forced and take away from the realism of the story. In The 5th Wave the slight cliff hanger ending felt very natural and real.  It kept up with the slow burn nature of this book and does what cliff hangers are meant to do. It makes me want to continue reading this series. I want to know what happens next. But its also sort of an open ended sort of ending so that if there never were any books in this series the reader wouldn’t be totally let down. There is an ending to this book that ties up several of the plot points raised in the story. But its also a beginning setting the stage for what is to come.

As a whole I really enjoyed this book and I wish that I had its sequel in my hands right now. The waiting is hard but I think it will be worth it. This is a story that I think will appeal to many people regardless of their preferred reading genre as well as span age groups. It was really well written and I think that I will be checking out some of Rick Yancey’s other books as I wait for The 5th Wave’s sequel. 

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