Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving! I understand that the holidays can be a difficult time for some people, but no matter what you do today, I hope you have fun doing it.
So 2022 is here, and I thought I’d like to take a moment and focus on some things I have hopes for in the coming year.
- As always, I have my reading goal of 50 books for the year, including graphic novels, manga, and audiobooks.
- I am going to also challenge myself to clear out some books on my ever growing TBR (to be read) list.
- I am hoping to put some love and attention back into the blog. Updating old posts, and keeping information and links up to date.
- I am also going to remind myself to only take these tasks in pieces. Not to get overwhelmed with everything I want to do, but just small and easy tasks.
- My biggest one is to get back into being on social media to interact with authors, and readers alike. I started a TikTok account in December, and even if it turns into the dormant social media account like all the others I have, I can at least try to reach new people here.
Well looks like that’s what is going in the works for this new year. Let’s hope this year will be better than the last, and just try and stay positive and keep moving forward!
*No Major Spoilers*
As paleontologist Grant Coleman waits to board a plane for a much-needed Hawaiian vacation, thugs knock him out and kidnap him. He awakens on a cargo aircraft in flight to find he’s an unwilling member of an expedition to a secret Arctic location called Mammoth Island.
Unscrupulous fossil dealer Angelo Destro has assembled the expedition to steal the fruits of a Russian oligarch’s labors The oligarch’s scientists have resurrected extinct wooly mammoths at the island’s laboratory. But from the moment the plane lands, the plan goes to pieces. The lab’s scientists are missing, the compound is a shamble, and it looks like something enormous has crushed the perimeter fence.
Even worse, Destro isn’t the only one after this prehistoric prize. Before Grant and the others solve the destroyed lab’s mysteries, Russian soldiers arrive. Destro’s group is forced to flee into the surrounding forests, where killer mammoths lurk, ready to hunt more human prey.
Trapped between the twin tips of Russian bayonets and mammoth tusks, who among them will survive and escape Mammoth Island?
I discovered Mammoth Island through the horror authors community that I follow on Twitter. I love how social media can help authors get the word out about their novels, and that’s where I find a lot of my horror books. So let’s dive into Mammoth Island and see what monstrosities await us!
Why doesn’t anyone try and resurrect Pleistocene bunny rabbits? Am I the only person who’s seen the Jurassic Park movies?Mammoth Island by Russel James
Even though this is the latest novel in this series, I didn’t have a problem jumping in to the story. Grant has been a lot of places and seen a lot of things that some would say were unbelievable. Some of his adventures are so unbelievable to most people that he writes them as monster stories. He seems to be making a decent living off of the profits, but I’m glad he’s still teaching. Grant is a teacher I wish I had.
As for foul language and blood and gore, I didn’t find it to be that offensive compared to other horror novels I read. Only brief descriptions of body horror and mentions of blood. Not much foul language if any at all. Overall, I found this an approachable story.
I love how in the afterword, the author goes into detail about the research he’s done on wooly mammoths and other extinct animals. I mean, it’s fun for some who are interested in archeology and biology. I just appreciate the amount of research that’s gone into this book.
Even though I try and avoid spoilers, I would say that I enjoyed the ending. It wasn’t an “everybody dies” trope ending, but a majority of the characters meet a grisly end.
I would recommend this novel for readers who enjoy monster/kaiju stories, horror fans, and lovers of the wooly mammoth.
*No Major Spoilers*
In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilization-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world?
After my initial bad experience I had reading Fury From the Tomb, I was somewhat hesitant to jump into a similar themed novel; ancient artifact(s), adventurous trip around the globe, Indiana Jones-inspired death traps. However Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire is what Fury from the Tomb should have been. So let’s dive into the adventures of Captain Samantha Moxley.
I love the way the author makes the reader feel like this is just one of many crazy adventures for Captain Moxley. I wanted to hear more of her stories or join her on wacky quests around the globe whether it was during her time with a secret organization called The Nine, or after this story where she is trying to stop the Nine from becoming too powerful.
Once the action starts, it rarely stops long enough to grow bored. From Captain Amanda Moxley getting shot down mid-air, to arriving in Egypt on the run from The Nine. Amanda and her entourage are on the run to keep two ancient artifacts out of the bad guys’ hands.
However, as much as I want to rave about this novel I do have one small negative. If you have been reading my reviews for awhile you can probably guess I’m about to talk about the plot twist. I saw this one coming a mile away. I won’t spoil what the plot twist was, but it’s my only complaint about Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire.
Overall, I enjoyed this globe-trotting adventure to save the world from evil. I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of adventures, Egyptology, and are a fan of The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw. I know I’m giving a light spoiler by the title, but trust me. If you want more adventure then check out The Atlantis Code or vice versa.
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*No Major Spoilers*
Almost everyone in the small town of Splendor, Ohio, was affected when the local steel mill exploded. If you weren’t a casualty of the accident yourself, chances are a loved one was. That’s the case for seventeen-year-old Franny, who, five years after the explosion, still has to stand by and do nothing as her brother lies in a coma.
In the wake of the tragedy, Franny found solace in a group of friends whose experiences mirrored her own. The group calls themselves The Ordinary, and they spend their free time investigating local ghost stories and legends, filming their exploits for their small following of YouTube fans. It’s silly, it’s fun, and it keeps them from dwelling on the sadness that surrounds them.
Until one evening, when the strange and dangerous thing they film isn’t fiction–it’s a bright light, something massive hurdling toward them from the sky. And when it crashes and the teens go to investigate…everything changes.
First off, I have to say that when I saw the cover of this novel at the library, I fell in love with this beautiful book cover. When I finished reading When the Sky Fell on Splendor, I can say that the story is just as beautiful as the cover.
I love how the characters were relatable and had depth. Franny and her brother Arthur grew up living in their older brother’s shadow. After the steel mill explosion and their brother Mark ends up in a coma, Franny’s mom and dad divorce and Franny and Arthur continue to live in the background of their depressed dad’s life.
“How many billions of things had to happen just right to give me this ordinary life.”Emily Henry, When the Sky Fell on Splendor
We don’t get much from the other characters other than what is on the surface that Franny has observed. One of the key facets of their friend group is to not talk about emotional stuff. Even though some of the signs of the parents’ issues have clearly effected their kids in subtle ways.
Franny had grown close to one of the other boys in their group, and during an emotional moment he shared about how his mom’s doomsday prepping quickly spiraled into hoarding after the accident. He even took up a job at the local Walmart just so he could support his ailing mom and how he had become the sole breadwinner after his dad died in the accident.
I personally would’ve loved more insight on Sophia. I think she was left out when it came to emotional weight. She was the smartest one of the group and wasn’t an outcast like the others. She wanted to be a lawyer after a weekend with her grandmother watching Law and Order: SVU. She seemed to have a great relationship with her mom, and doesn’t understand why Franny started keeping her at arm’s length.
I read this book being compared to The Serpent King and Stranger Things as well as Super 8. I personally haven’t read or watched any of these, but they seem to have similar themes to When the Sky Fell on Splendor. So if you are familiar with any of these popular stories, I would recommend this novel for you.