Posted in Audiobooks, Book Club Reads, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore


*No Major Spoilers*

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history–and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society–the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal–private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?

“Poor people all think they deserve to be rich,” he continued. “Rich people live every day with the uneasy knowledge that we do not.”
Graham Moore, The Last Days of Night

This historical fiction novel was interesting to me because I’ve always had a fascination with the early inventors. The remarkable scientific leaps are amazing even for the times. Without these such inventors, we wouldn’t have things like the Internet, our smartphones and computers.

The mythos that surrounds Nichola Tesla is fascinating. How he was so far advanced for his time, and whether the government was conspiring to hide his inventions or ideas. Tesla is featured prominently in this novel, and I enjoyed how not only foreign in a fact that he is from another country, but foreign in how his intelligence far outpaces everyone else.

Paul’s adventure into this strange new world full of scientific wonders was awe-inspiring. How Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb and so many other inventions from the scientific community. I can understand Paul’s struggle to comprehend new technologies.

I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of historical fiction, early inventors, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and early lawyering.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Awakened by James S. Murray with Darren Wearmouth


*No Spoilers*

After years of waiting, New York’s newest subway line is finally ready, an express train that connects the city with the burgeoning communities across the Hudson River. The shining jewel of this state-of-the-art line is a breathtaking visitors’ pavilion beneath the river.  Major dignitaries, including New York City’s Mayor and the President of the United States, are in attendance for the inaugural run, as the first train slowly pulls in.

Under the station’s bright ceiling lights, the shiny silver cars gleam. But as the train comes closer into view, a far different scene becomes visible.

All the train’s cars are empty.

All the cars’ interiors are drenched in blood.

As chaos descends, all those in the pavilion scramble to get out. But the horror is only beginning. High levels of deadly methane fill the tunnels. The structure begins to flood. For those who don’t drown, choke or spark an explosion, another terrifying danger awaits—the thing that killed all those people on the train. It’s out there…and it’s coming.

There’s something living beneath New York City, and it’s not happy we’ve woken it up.

I have noticed a trend with my reading preference, this is the second horror novel that involves a monster that I’ve read and reviewed recently. Maybe I need to change it up a bit haha.

I enjoyed this novel a lot, a “locked room escape” is thrilling and exhilarating. To think that there are creatures and monsters that are unknown to the world, and having to fight against the unknown. It makes for your classic monster story.

I liked the fact that there was a small main group of citizens, reporters, police, and politicians where the main attack occurred. However, when they started bringing in “rescue teams” I felt like it made the list of main characters too many.

This novel is graphic and heavily violent. They describe the carnage in detail, so this isn’t for the faint of heart. They describe the creatures ripping bodies limb from limb leaving blood, gore, and entrails of everything from intestines to brain matter. There is no bit of violence left unsaid.

The exhilaration I felt while reading this was absolutely intense, I could sense the fear, pain, and wonderment of the entire story!

Overall, this story isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s still an excellent read! Anyone interested in gore, horror or knockoff Xenomorphs will definitely love this one!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Spider-Man: Noir (Spider-Man: Noir #1-4)


*No Spoilers*

It was 1933 and the Great Depression was just getting started. And so was the corrupt mob boss The Goblin. When embittered, angry Peter Parker meets a spider and its life-changing bite, he may have just inherited the force to honor the phrase, “If those in power can’t be trusted, it’s the responsibility of the people to remove them.”

People who know me, know I love film noir. I’ve also been wanting to dive into the Marvel Noir series for a while. When I saw this at my library, I knew I had to read this.

I still haven’t seen Into the Spider-verse yet. I only recently learned that this version of Spider-Man was in the movie. I think Spider-Man in 1920’s New York is interested in the fact that Spider-Man is a “glass half-full” kind of hero. Even though Spider-Man has faced tragedies he is still hopeful and optimistic about the world around him.

Here, with the Great Depression, and The Goblin having control of the entire city, Peter Parker has a dour view on life. He is more vigilante than a hero. In that, he murdered one of Goblin’s henchmen that were after Aunt May. This caused Aunt May to be outraged by the pure violence that Spider-Man displayed and claimed she could take care of herself.

The artwork is dark and gritty. Throughout the novel, it is constantly snowing, and the art style makes the pure, white snow seem dirty and unclean.

I would recommend this graphic novel to lovers of Marvel Comics, Film Noir, and Spider-Man in general. This graphic novel definately scratched my itch for the Film Noir genre, and I think this novel might be perfect for you!

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea


*No Major Spoilers*

On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .

In another part of town, a woman’s backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What’s clear is that they’re hostile–and they’re ravenous. . .

With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can’t help them; FEMA can’t save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

I am a fan of conspiracy theories and the occult. This book is based on the conspiracy theory that the government is bioengineering creatures to be a better weapon of war. This book feeds into this conspiracy and blows it out of the water!

There’s violence, blood and gore, and some sex. A perfect guilty pleasure monster movie read!

I enjoyed this novel even though it was a bit silly and ridiculous. It was over the top and an exciting read. This was a nice read after all of the more serious books I have been reading lately.

My only complaint is that there are too many characters. I understand that the author wanted to demonstrate just how chaotic the city of Montauk had become. I still couldn’t keep up with most of them except for the main characters.

If you are looking for a guilty pleasure read, I would highly recommend The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea. It’s fast-paced action, and even when things seem to slow down, they won’t be for long.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

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


*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.