Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Girl Who Disappeared Twice (Forensic Instincts #1) by Andrea Kane

kane_disappeartwicecover

*No Spoilers*

If she’d only turned her head, she would have seen the car containing her daughter, struggling to get out. Struggling to escape her kidnapper.

Despite all her years determining the fates of families, veteran family court judge Hope Willis couldn’t save her own. Now she’s frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy’s rescue. Her husband dead set against it, she calls Casey Woods and her team of renegade investigators, Forensic Instincts.

Forensic Instincts will dig through each tiny clue and eliminate the clutter. But time is running out, and even working around the clock, the authorities are bound by the legal system. Not so Casey’s team. For they know that the difference between Krissy coming back alive and disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect’s rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope’s dark family history.

“If that’s true, this won’t end as a quiet closed case,” Casey responded. “The offender will want notoriety, or recognition. Krissy will turn up.”

“In one form or another, yes.” Hutch’s tone was grim. “Our job is to find her before she ‘turns up’ and to find her alive.” – The Girl Who Disappeared Twice

I was looking through books I had bookmarked on my library account and found this series. I am a lover of mysteries, and this peaked my interest. I was not disappointed in the overall quality of this thrilling novel.

Casey’s team, Forensic Instincts, is a team made up of a computer wiz, a former Navy SEAL, and Casey herself is a behavioral psychologist. Along the way, the team grows throughout this novel.

This novel does bring an interesting scenario to the table. Is a missing child case from over three decades ago be connected to the current missing child?

Some of the characters in this novel reminded me of some of the characters from Criminal Minds. Maybe the author loosely based a couple of the characters off of the characters from the show. Whatever it is, it made this novel more enjoyable in my opinion.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it did have a flaw for me. I predicted the ending (more or less). Don’t let this detour you from this book. It’s just something about mysteries and I’m like “The killer is…” and I turn out to be correct.

My favorite character was Hero, the bloodhound who helped Forensic Instincts solve the case and find the missing child; Krissy. I am a dog lover at heart, so seeing any law enforcement canine makes me happy.

I would recommend this book for lovers of mysteries, thrillers, and Criminal Minds. This book will have you on the edge of your seat until the very satisfying ending.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Spinner Prince (Pride Wars #1) by Matt Laney

lion *No Major Spoilers*

Prince Leo is next in line for the throne of Singara, a land ruled by super-evolved felines. Like every thirteen-year-old, Leo must prove his worth by hunting a deadly beast called a slaycon. But killing a slaycon is the least of Leo’s problems. The enemy beyond the Great Wall is rising up. Inside the wall, Singara is being torn apart by Leo’s rebellious cousin. Worst of all, Leo is a Spinner, cursed with a dangerous and forbidden power he can’t control.

The future of Singara is in Leo’s hands. Can he conceal his curse, claim the throne, and protect his realm? Or will he embrace his power and discover a far greater destiny . . . for himself and for his world?

I have been a fan of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter for a long time. The way she could personify the cats to make them believable characters was well done. Matt Laney has created believable and in-depth characters.

This novel is meant for middle grade-level readers, however, I found this book to be enjoyable for all ages. The characters are relatable and remind me of The Lion King movie in a sense. A young lion is to take over the throne, but a family member gets in the way…you know the rest.

However, this is not word for word like the movie. There are enough differences and variations to make this novel in its own uniqueness and story.

Being a Spinner in Leo’s world is highly forbidden. A Spinner is someone who tells fictitious stories. In a world, where only facts and nonfiction rules, you can see why this would be a problem.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel. The story is good, and it leaves just enough of a cliff-hanger to keep you interested in the series. I would recommend this novel for adult and children alike. A good book to share with the family.

I would also recommend this novel for lovers of the Warriors series as well as the Lion King movie.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Update: Slowing Down

autumn autumn leaves branches danger
Photo by David Whittaker on Pexels.com

Since things have been chaotic in my personal life, I guess it’s that time again for me to take a break, or at least slowing things down.

I’ll post when I can, I still want to ensure that my reviews are the utmost quality that I can manage. You just won’t see them as often.

Thanks for the support everyone and I appreciate your patience!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

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*No Major Spoilers*

Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help! If Kamala can stop fangirling out about meeting her favorite superhero, that is. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity — by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future. Kamala bands together with some unlikely heroes to stop the maniacal villain before he does real damage, but has she taken on more than she can handle? And how much longer can Ms. Marvel’s life take over Kamala Khan’s?

I have been wanting to start delving into the Ms. Marvel series for a while. I love that she’s a minority in the fact that she is Middle Eastern and Muslim. It is nice to see Marvel making their heroes into minorities. I feel like this is a step in the right direction for equality in the Superhero world.

The story is good, Ms. Marvel is still trying to figure out who she is. Is she a mutant? An Inhuman? She is on a journey to find herself. She is also struggling to balance family life and her superhero one.

Favorite character, hands down, is Lockjaw! He’s a member of the Royal Family of Inhumans. He is sent to look after Ms. Marvel by Medusa. He has amazing teleportation powers that he uses throughout the graphic novel. Being a dog lover myself, but never being around large dogs, I’m not sure how I would react if I met Lockjaw in real life!

Overall I really enjoyed this story. I’d recommend this to fans of Ms. Marvel, the Inhumans, and stories with a minority protagonist.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol.2: Squirrel, You It’s True by Ryan North

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*No Major Spoilers*

In this collection of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl,” we see Squirrel Girl come across new allies as well as new enemies. Before you know it the world, including the Avengers, is thrown into chaos. It’s up to Squirrel Girl and her new allies to save the day!

I love how quirky and humorous this is written, I’ll say even just the concept of a girl being able to communicate with squirrels is humorous in itself. Another part about this book that I enjoyed reading about and learning about online was the fact that there’s a Norse god who is a squirrel. I found that to be a rather interesting concept to incorporate into this story.

One of the scenes I really enjoyed was when Doreen (aka Squirrel Girl) had to recruit The Avengers for an almost impossible mission. When she arrived they were under the Norse god’s spell, arguing about meaningless and stupid things and Captain America calling the team “Giant Diaper Babies”.

I loved this story so much and the art style I couldn’t really find anything to nitpick about other than that Squirrel Girl kind of looks like Sandy Cheeks from “Spongebob Squarepants” 

If you want an enjoyably funny comic then this is the one for any comic lover! I got such a kick out of it that I’d almost buy a second copy!

Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

DISSCUSSION: “Local Girl Missing” by Claire Douglas Book Club Questions

When I finished Local Girl Missing I found there were several discussion questions for book clubs. I thought about these questions, and here are my responses.

**Spoiler Warning**

  1. Why was Frankie drawn to Sophie as a friend? Why was Sophie drawn to Frankie in return?

I think since Frankie has proven throughout the novel that she is a sociopath and/or psychopath. Usually, with these types of people, they find someone who is “submissive” which Sophie is when she first meets Frankie. Sophie is thereby, drawn to Frankie as a friend because of Frankie’s confidence, and willing to teach her about being a teenager in a small town. It was the perfect storm personality-wise.

2. Why do you think Sophie feels so unable to tell anyone about her stalker? In what ways could she have acted differently?

Back before the days of texting, mobile phones, and e-mails. It makes it 10x more difficult to have proof that you have a stalker. Second of all, she is correct in the fact that the local police wouldn’t have done anything. The police can’t take action unless a threat to the victim’s life has been made. However, if she put in the anonymous tip after the rape happened, those women might have come forward before she felt the need to run away. Her stalker/rapist being a prominent figure in the community, it would make it more difficult to prove that he was in fact guilty.

3. The author uses the phrase “Like father, like daughter” in relation to Frankie and her father. How similar are these characters and in what ways? Frankie calls Sophie a liar when she reveals that Alistair has harmed her. How far will we go to protect our perceptions of the ones we love? Are we in denial about our loved ones?

 Frankie and Alistair are similar in the fact when they want something or someone they will stop at nothing to acquire it or them. Alistair (as far as we know) never murdered any of his victims. Frankie murdered Jason because she was turned down and she thought the reason was that Jason fancied Sophie more. None of them knew at the time, that he was gay.

The last part of this question is difficult for me to answer. From what I’ve learned in college was that as we grow up we’re supposed to see our parents as the people that raised us as well as their flaws.

Since Frankie didn’t have a good relationship with her mother, all of her love and attention went to her dad, thus building an unrealistic expectation of who her dad is. I would say for those that grew up in a healthy home, this is true. We go into denial if that parent is threatened to tarnish the idealization.

4. Do you think, on some level, Frankie believes her own story? Can you convince yourself to believe your own lies? How do you think this novel approaches the theme of memory?

I think she either spent the rest of her life convincing herself that Sophie was missing. Just like how she convinced Sophie that Jason dying was just an accident. I think it’s interesting to hear Frankie’s side of the story as well as Sophie’s side of the story. Sophie’s journal entries slowly unraveled the lies that Frankie has built up over time.

5. Sophie’s friend Helen insists that “Friendship should be about given and take. It should be about equality” whereas Sophie thinks this is naive. Discuss the power dynamics between friends throughout the novel and how they change.

While they are growing up together, Frankie gives Sophie the protection from bullies and an escape from home. After Frankie went to boarding school, this gives Sophie the chance to gain independence from Frankie. So when they meet up again, Sophie is more independent and is looking for a job outside of Oldscliffe. Frankie expects to go back to the way things were before boarding school, and they don’t because Sophie “grew up”. She didn’t need Frankie anymore to tell her what to do, or how to dress or who to date. Which causes the friction between them when it comes to their taste in men.

6. What are Sophie’s flaws? Is she purely a victim in this story?

The only flaws about Sophie that are noticeable to me are that her self-esteem is low. She never believed any of the boys were attracted to her. She talks about her younger self negatively. By the end of this novel, I felt more sympathetic towards Sophie than I did Frankie. Maybe it was because I could relate to Sophie better than Frankie.

7. Frankie addresses Sophie throughout the novel almost as if she is speaking to her. What do you think that the author was trying to portray by writing this way?

I think the author writes the novel in this fashion because it makes it seem like Frankie is talking to Sophie as if she was actually dead. She apologizes to Sophie for the way things happened as if she is praying for forgiveness for her brash actions.

8. How does young Frankie from Oldcliffe compare to the Frankie we meet in the present day? What has caused her to develop in this way? If Frankie really believes such assertions as “nobody turns me down” what causes her to feel so entitled?

I would say the “old” Frankie was ambitious, wanted to be popular, and wanted to leave Oldcliffe to do something not involved in the hotel business. The “new” Frankie has repressed the memories of the past, she does run her father’s hotel business in London. She loves the amenity of living in a big bustling town. I think she feels so entitled is because her father always gave her everything she asked for.

9. Do you believe that Frankie has real feelings towards Daniel? Discuss Daniel’s relationship with the women in this novel. 

I think after two failed marriages, Frankie going back to see Daniel may have made her realize how he was “the one” for her. He loved and cared for his family. Even if he was laid back, that didn’t make him undesirable.

10. What role does the atmosphere of Oldcliffe play in this story? 

The way the author described Oldcliffe, it reminded me of places like Coney Island in the “off” season. A tourist town that’s bustling in the summer, all of a sudden being empty for the rest of the year can feel creepy at times.

11. “I don’t think I’m bad. I’ve just done some bad things”. Is Frankie “bad”? What makes someone a “bad” person?

I don’t think Frankie is “bad”. She never seems to bully Sophie or other people. I think she might have some mental health problems, and if she sought help for them, she might get better. Anger and rage can flare up and causes you to lose your sense of your actions.

12. What causes friendships to turn to toxic envy? Are there barriers we should uphold with our friends? Can people be too close?

When we are children, we make friends easily. Maybe they were friendly to you once, or because you got paired up on a field trip. Any of those reasons. However, once puberty and growing up happens, you start realizing that your friend may have things better off than you. Whether they are real or imaginary reasons hatred and jealousy start brewing. We need to uphold our boundaries with every relationship we have. People can get too close and start suffocating you or making your life toxic.

13. What do you think happens after the novel ends? Does Frankie survive the fall and start a new life for herself, just like Sophie?

It is possible that she survived, but it’s just as possible that she’s dead. The reader will never know. If she did, she will either start a new life similar to Sophie or seek revenge on Sophie and her family. I think she’s mentally unstable enough to continue on telling herself that Sophie was missing or that she was dead. She is also capable of wishing to harm Sophie and her family.

Read my review of Local Girl Missing