Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews

REVIEW: Stoker’s Wilde (Fiction Without Frontiers #1) By Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

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*No Major Spoilers*

Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a mysterious madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will. With the help of a European vampire expert, a spirited actress and an American businessman, our heroes fight werewolves, vampires and the chains of Victorian morality. The fight will take them through dark forests in Ireland, the upper-class London theater world and Stonehenge, where Bram and Oscar must stop a vampire cult from opening the gates of Hell.

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I have read about the supernatural and paranormal in the past, but Stoker’s Wilde comes with a twist. A story about two historical writers coming together and battle the world of the supernatural. I knew I had to read this as soon as I discovered the sequel to this novel has Teddy Roosevelt joining the duo. So let’s dive into Stoker’s Wilde

First off, I love how Bram Stoker was just a friend of Oscar Wilde’s brother in this story. He didn’t want to go on this wild goose chase to hunt a werewolf. Werewolves don’t exist. However, with the help of Stoker’s curse, they soon find the werewolf was the captain on one of the ships in the harbor. Afterward, the duo set off into the world of the supernatural, willingly or not.

One thing I liked was how the story progressed through journal entries and letters to loved ones and friends. However, I was getting confused because I started getting minor characters mixed up. I’m not sure if I would still be confused if I read the ebook or not. However, this was a small complaint I had as I was listening through the audiobook. 

Stoker’s Wilde was a tale full of twists and turns. I couldn’t put this book down until I found out who was the leader of London’s vampires as well as what a member of royalty had to do in all of this puzzle. The conclusion will leave you breathless and ready for more! 

I would highly recommend Stoker’s Wilde for fans of horror, historical fiction, and alternative history. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel of this novel and reuniting with these lovable characters again.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Invasion (THEM #0.5) by M.D. Massey

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*No Spoilers*

Aidan “Scratch” Sullivan is a former Army Ranger and Afghanistan War vet trying to achieve some semblance of normalcy while he deals with the psychological after-effects of two combat tours in the ‘Stan.

But when the bombs fall and the dead walk, Scratch is forced to risk life and limb to rescue his aging parents before zombies overrun their quiet community. And to do it, he’ll need to traverse half the state of Texas while dealing with out-of-control military units, violent redneck looters, and all manner of evil things that go bump in the night…

I enjoy a good military-minded protagonist to guide the reader through the zombie apocalypse. To see someone who is trained to think and respond rationally, faced with the walking dead makes the tension even greater.

It was odd to me, as Aiden was able to travel around the zombie-ravaged wasteland of Texas and how his truck didn’t bring a constant mob of zombies wherever he went. The most common way a zombie can detect the living is by sounds. Since Aidan’s truck wasn’t affected by the EMPs then that would make the engine a very loud broadcaster to the zombies.

One thing I enjoyed about Invasion was the fact that the author wasn’t taking everything seriously. You could tell in the dialog that they were somewhat aware of how ridiculous their world has become. This was executed in a way where even though the author was having fun with the story, I was able to enjoy both the humor and the overall story.

I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction, zombies, horror, and novels that don’t take themselves too seriously. The Invasion was thrilling, action-pact, and humorous in a subtle way.

Read Other Zombie Books I’ve Reviewed

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Posted in Book Club Reads, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Summer’s End by Kristy Brown

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*No Major Spoilers*

Alex Doone, a man trained to fight and kill anything in his path. Summer, a young woman who woke up after a coma that took away her memories. The wolf and the rabbit do their dance, but what happens when the hunting instincts turn into love?

I was given this ebook by the author, so thanks! I volunteered to review this book, the cover looked interesting and I was intrigued by the premise.

The first half of this novel was boring and drama filled. I felt a good chunk of it could’ve been left out, and it would’ve read just fine. For example, we don’t need a cardboard cutout “bad guy” just to show that Alex is slowly growing feelings for Summer. You could do these many other ways without making it read like the love triangle in Twilight.

Once you get to the meat and potatoes of this novel, it was entertaining and exciting. I felt like the explanations and motives were explained very well. I was able to follow along, and it turned out to be a good last half.

The inspiration from other popular Young Adult series is blatantly obvious. So if you’re looking for a Twilight fan fiction, this is your book.

 Elisha’sBookReview: Are you a fan of the Twilight series? Your newest book [Summer’s End] reminds me a lot of the series so far.

Kristy Brown: Certainly am. More so when it came out. But yes I’m inspired by it. Also The Immortal Instruments, Hush Hush, Fallen, Star Crossed, I could go on!

Overall, I thought this book was alright, the first half was dull and boring, but the last half was exciting and intense! The last half was well written and made reading this novel worth it.

Buy “Summer’s End” by Kristy Brown

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Hiss-tory of Magic (Wonder Cats Mystery #1) by Harper Lin

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*No Major Spoilers*

Cath Greenstone, her cousin Bea, and her hippie aunt Astrid live in Wonder Falls, a small town near the mystical Niagara Falls. They run the Brew-Ha-Ha café, and naturally, they’re witches hiding in plain sight along with their three magical cats, Treacle, Peanut Butter, and Marshmallow.

When Brew-Ha-Ha’s baker is burnt to a crisp, along with their beloved café, Aunt Astrid lets out a big family secret: a powerful spell book, a Greenstone heirloom from the Salem days, has been stolen from its secret hiding spot in the café. If it’s fallen into the wrong hands, black magic could destroy not only Wonder Falls but the world.

My mom recommended this book to me. I do love the supernatural and cats. A connection I made between this book and another book I’ve read was, Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series. Both of the main protagonists has a very special talent for reading what cats are thinking and are able to help them.

This book starts at a slow simmer, gradually getting more hot as the story goes on. This mystery had me bamboozled! Even at the end, I was trying to collect my thoughts about the climax and aftermath.

All three main characters were my favorites, along with their cats Treacle, Peanut Butter, and Marshmellow. Treacle was the main cat amongst the three and belonged to Cath. Peanut Butter was an anxious and frightened orange cat that belongs to Bea. Marshmellow being the elder of the three and the one wielding the most magic; Astrid’s cat naturally.

My only complaint, and it’s just a minor one, but I wish the cats were more involved in the plot. Sure they helped the police find a clue, but other than that, Cath seemed to use the cats for eavesdropping on others.

I would recommend this novel to lovers of cozy mysteries, cat mysteries, and the supernatural!

Buy it on Amazon!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Baccano! Vol. 1 by Ryohgo Narita

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*No Major Spoilers*

New York, 1927.

In a corrupt city where crime rules the streets, Firo Prochainezo is Camorra, an Italian criminal syndicate distinct from the mafia. A member of the relatively small Martillo family, Firo nevertheless got big ambitions and is determined to make his mark. But while the Martillos may not be the biggest bad guys on the block, they’ve got some distinct advantages working in their favor. Does Firo have what it takes to become a made man?

Let the crazy ruckus begin!

I was really excited about this manga when I saw this at my library. I enjoy 1920’s era stories as well as Mafia/the Mob stories. Sadly, this one disappointed me.

The characters were generic, I had a difficult time telling them apart. Generic mobsters all fighting for control. For example Similar hairstyles and hair colors between each one it was a bit of a headache trying to distinguish them apart

The storyline only got interesting when I was more than half-way into it. At that point I had lost my enthusiasm for the rest of the story. I did finish the story though. When I finished it things started finally making sense, but up until that point, it was like going to a family reunion and seeing most of the people you’ve never met.  Kind of like when Aunt May comes up to you and squeezes your cheeks and says “OH I REMEMBER YOU WHEN YOU WERE JUST A BABY!!” And you’re standing there like “Mom, why is this strange woman pinching my cheeks?”

I did like when the plot fully came together and started to make more sense. I would be willing to read the next book in the series to give it a second chance.

I would recommend this to people who are more into 1920’s era New York and a bit of the Noir theme.

Buy it here on Amazon!