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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review: Above


Above
Above by Isla Morley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars




I received a copy of Above from the publisher in return for an honest review.

After reading the blurb for Above I was really intrigued and looking forwards to reading and although I enjoyed it to start with, it lost me just after the half way mark.

The first half of the book held my attention. The story of the abduction and the scenes and events in captivity were done well. The author did a nice job of projecting the fear, loneliness and hopelessness of the main character Blythe Hallowell and her situation.

The middle of the book where the first half blends into the second half is where everything went wrong for me, it wasn't smooth and totally disrupted the flow of the story and started to drag.

The second half actually felt like another book, the pace, tension and atmosphere totally changed and was nowhere near as good as the first half. It lacked the world building needed to hold my attention and make the situation believable. The ending kind of picked up a little but not enough, it was still a bit of a slog to get through and was lacking too much for me.

It took me a bit to get into the story to start with because I couldn't connect with the character as soon as I would have liked to and I don't feel like I really connected and felt for Blythe like I should have in a book that covers a topic like this. There are times when it felt a bit jumpy, I would be reading and start the next line only to realise it had moved onto something else or a little further on in the timeline all of a sudden and I found that confusing and off putting.

It wasn't an awful read but it wasn't a great read either. I think perhaps it would have worked better if each half was expanded and was it's own book rather than feeling like two books squeezed into one as it does now.

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Review: Escape from Witchwood Hollow


Escape from Witchwood Hollow
Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars




I received a copy of Escape from Witchwood Hollow from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Escape from Witchwood Hollow was a light and fast read, I flew through this one in no time at all. I enjoyed the perspectives of the different time periods, it worked well and gave the plot and what was happening more depth. The way the characters from the different time periods came together in the end was a pleasant surprise and despite the back and forth between the different times it was easily followed.

There was quite a few characters and they weren't as developed as I would have liked and it gave the feeling of parts being missing but to be honest it didn't really matter much. The characters all worked well together and there was just enough of a background to each for the story to work. There was the odd factual mistake but not anything major that ruined the story.

One thing I did find irritating and kind of out of place was all the fashion brand naming, I felt it wasn't really needed. I found myself getting annoyed that almost every outfit the main character wore kind of felt like an advert. It was too much information, too often. At times I thought it felt like the author was being sponsored by different brands to give them a mention.

In summary this was a light and easy read that you can pick up and just enjoy for what it is. No heavy thinking involved and a simple plot that doesn't require your complete attention to try and follow or decipher. It has a few issues that are easily forgiven and was an enjoyable story.

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Review: Orphans of Wonderland


Orphans of Wonderland
Orphans of Wonderland by Greg F. Gifune

My rating: 3 of 5 stars




I received a copy of Orphans of Wonderland from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Orphans of Wonderland was a little slow for me, I felt like I was waiting for something to happen for most of the book. The characters were well done, the main character very well developed and likeable. The plot was OK although it felt drawn out a lot for me, it wasn't till the last third of the book that I felt like it was actually getting to the nitty gritty of what was really going on and the tension started picking up.

During the first two thirds of the book I found the book easy to put down and I wasn't overly drawn to pick it up again. On getting to the last section though I was really drawn in and enjoying it a lot more and I was keen to turn those pages to see what was happening next. I prefer books that have a bit of a faster pace but it was well written and had some nice twists in it towards the end that made up for what I found lacking in the previous sections.

For the most part this was a bit of a middle of the road read for me with the ending saving the book in my opinion but it has left me with a lot of questions which I don't feel were answered.

(2.5 stars rounded up to 3)

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Review: Dark Vengeance


Dark Vengeance
Dark Vengeance by Russell James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars




I received a copy of Dark Vengeance from the publisher in return for an honest review.

On reading the blurb and seeing this was about a coven of witches I just had to give it a read. Dark Vengeance was a bit of a hit and miss for me, I wanted to read on and finish it but it wasn't a book that stood out for me at all.

I would have preferred if the characters were a bit more fleshed out and developed, there was a little background but not enough for me to be able to relate to or connect with the characters. The plot was OK although I felt like there was something missing, it felt a little like it skimmed the surface and I wanted to know more about where the children came from, why the coven were doing what they were doing, why were they looking at the pupils stats, what did the numbers tell them etc. The dialogue at times seemed very unrealistic, especially when it came to the interactions between Theresa and the sheriff.

Despite the problems above, it was still an OK light read, the pace was even throughout and it held my attention enough that I wanted to finish and learn what the outcome was going to be.

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Naughty List

The Naughty ListThe Naughty List by Edward Lorn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Well who would of thunk it. Santa and his reindeer are badass!

This was a fun and twisted little story.



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Friday, 12 December 2014

Review: The Lurking Season


The Lurking Season
The Lurking Season by Kristopher Rufty

My rating: 2 of 5 stars




I received a copy of The Lurking Season from the publisher in return for an honest review.

After starting this book I was informed that this story follows on from a previous book, The Lurkers, which I have not read. I dithered on whether I should read the first one before reading any further but I decided that as I had already started, to just go ahead and continue reading. Now that I'm finished I think perhaps I should have read the first one before reading any further.

I enjoyed the book but at the same time I didn't enjoy it. The plot was pretty basic and I didn't feel there was much detail to it, perhaps that's because I haven't read the first book and that covers a lot of what I felt was missing here, I don't know. A lot of the background to the characters was hinted at but not enough for me to connect to them. As far as I can tell the characters in this book are mostly new characters to the story so I didn't miss any more detailed background to them from not reading the first book. I found I wasn't too bothered who survived and who didn't and the dialogue and character interaction didn't draw to me to any of them either.

Despite the problems I had connecting, I still wanted to keep reading and finish the book as I wanted to know how it would all end. I have to admit though I had trouble at times taking the lurkers seriously. Some of the descriptions and scenes made me picture the gremlins and I found the scenes quite humorous as a result, but that's just me. The book does have a few disturbing topics in it however, rape, cannibalism and scenes of violence are all in the story, so it may not be for everyone.

2.5 stars but not enough to round up to 3

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Review: Stillwater


Stillwater
Stillwater by Maynard Sims

My rating: 4 of 5 stars





I received a copy of Stillwater from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Beth who is wheelchair bound is looking for a new house in which she can find some peace and quiet to recover and to work on her new novel. She has leased a property called Stillwater but she soon realises she's not alone, she's sharing her house with the spirit of a drowned girl who previously lived in the house and who is making herself known in many different ways. Beth, as she learns more from the ghost, is determined to help her and discover what really happened at Stillwater.

I really enjoyed this one, it turned out to be a great ghost story and I was hooked right from the beginning. The tension and atmosphere builds really well and it has plenty twists and turns to keep it interesting. The characters are very well developed and I was really rooting for Beth, she was a very likeable and strong character. The pacing was good and and held my attention from start to finish and I didn't want to put it down but at the same time I didn't want it to finish.

Stillwater actually reminded me a little of the movie Jessebelle, only with a much better and more detailed plot and characters. It would make a much much better movie than Jessebelle that's for sure. Definitely one I would recommend for those who love paranormal and ghost stories.

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