Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Rise Again (Rise Again #1) by Ben Tripp

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*No Spoilers*

Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun – starting with what might very well be the end of the world.

Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead and men turned monster. Obsessed with finding her missing sister against all odds, Danny’s epic and dangerous journey across the California desert will challenge her spirit . . . and bring her to the precipice of sanity itself. . . .

I thought I’d make a return to the zombie subgenre after a hiatus. This novel definitely satisfied my craving for a good zombie apocalypse. There’s action, suspense, violence, and plenty of blood and gore.

My major complaint with this novel was I felt like there were too many survivors that the author focused on. I found it difficult keeping track of who’s who and what motivates them.

I did like how the author made the protagonist a female veteran. Even with what she’s seen during her service and the injuries she’s suffered from, she was still able to feel fear and confusion throughout the novel. I felt this made her more likable and relatable.

My favorite character was Amy, the local veterinarian. Even though she worked on animals before the apocalypse, she was still able to help fellow survivors and give first aid when needed. She slowly gained the ability to lead the others after Danny goes alone to look for her sister.

When Danny goes rogue from her group to go look for her sister, the finality of the apocalypse sets in really strong during this time. Towns abandoned, littered with corpses and abandoned cars. It also foreshadows the coming conflicts between various groups of survivors. You can feel the tension as Danny is on her selfish mission.

I enjoyed this novel, and I am highly interested in reading the next one in the series. I would also recommend this for lovers of female protagonists, zombie apocalypse, and science fiction.

 

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: As Long As We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

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*No Spoilers*

“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.

But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.

Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free.

So what happens when you’re done making it work?


I am a fan of crime and mystery novels as well as true crime documentaries. When the spouse gets murdered, it’s usually their “dearly beloved” who committed the crime. So this novel caught my interest from the start.

This is told from a vulgar, and negative perspective of how a marriage can be. I was shocked by how vile some of the language is. So if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, you might want to give this one a pass.

Despite the language, I found this novel to be thrilling and hooked me from the first chapter. What happens when the wife comes home early from work and finds her husband in bed with the secretary? Anything can happen.

I felt this novel was put together well. It took logical leaps and bounds, “things aren’t what you think they are”. I found the plot twists weren’t too illogical or bewildering.

The ending was neatly wrapped up, and there weren’t any loose plot threads. I enjoy a novel that’s well written and wrapped up nice and neat.

I would recommend this novel to lovers of crime, mystery, and hard-boiled detective novels. I enjoyed this audiobook and think that you will enjoy it as well!

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Disarray​ by Jessie Cal

*No Spoilers*

*I received a copy of the novel from the author*

It’s been four months since Mia woke up with no memory—no recollection of any of the twenty-four years of her life. She doesn’t remember getting married, or even moving to the small town of Cooper Creek. But what bothers her the most is not knowing why she keeps having the same recurring nightmare about the Chinese tattoo on her ring finger.

When Mia discovers how to trigger back her memories, she’s taken aback by the fact that her past does not match her current life. When Mia experiences a trigger so intense that she has a seizure, she learns that any further triggers could cause permanent damage to her brain.

On the edge of her doubts, will she risk her mental stability to find out the truth about her past?

My first impression of this book was not the best, to be honest. I don’t like how one author strikes fire with a “new” literary technique, and soon everyone is basically writing the same story over and over again. The best example of this is what happened during the Twilight craze. I assumed this was going to be the same situation.

I will give the author credit for originality. An amnesiac waking up from a coma and finding an unfamiliar world around her and wanting to know her past. It’s a mystery to both the narrator and the reader. The narrator isn’t keeping any secrets from the reader and both are in search of the truth.

Now time for my negatives, which are not that bad. I was rooting for Mia when she started getting some of her memories back. She’s figuring things out! Yay! I thought to myself as I reached the halfway point.

Once I passed a major plot point, I felt like the author had to constantly throw “plot twists” and “things aren’t as they seem” cliche’s at me. It got to be exhausting to the point where I had to put down the book and gather my thoughts.

I don’t mind plot twists, but when they start happening too often I start to get annoyed and start screaming at the book to just stop with the crazy twists and turns.

Also, it’s difficult to surprise me with major twists and turns. However, this novel did throw a few surprises in a way that I didn’t see coming. Although through hints that are given through Mia’s flashbacks and her seizure, I figured the “main” plot twist.

Now, this doesn’t mean this novel isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. This was a good read the pros and cons considered. I’m going to recommend this to my mom and get her thoughts on this novel. Even though we read different genres, we do have some genres in common.

Overall, I found this novel to be an entertaining read. If you love stories full of mysteries and twists and turns, you should definitely check this novel out!

Buy Disarray by Jessie Cal HERE!

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

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*No Major Spoilers*

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with the knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

This Young Adult novel travels from Ancient Rome to a futuristic Earth where time travel is possible. I was intrigued by the plot of this story. I am familiar with Doctor Who so time travel is a genre I enjoy.

As a fan of Doctor Who when someone is born “out of time” that spells trouble. The laws of nature do not bend to our will. And when something is out of line, nature will correct itself no matter the circumstances.

I felt like the romance between Far and Priya, the ship’s doctor was natural. She and Far had a friendship before the Invictus first launched. Far would short-circuit medical droids because of his unnatural date of birth. So Priya would arrive and troubleshoot the problem, and that’s how they first met.

The other romance between Far’s cousin Imogen and the ship’s engineer Gram felt forced and awkward. They are polar opposites. Gram felt like an android from the many sci-fi movies. Stiff, robotic, genius as he plays Tetris and has a collection of solved Rubick’s Cubes. Imogen is bright, dying her hair a new neon color every day. She’s the ship’s historian, and she loves to have fun and party hard.

So for unnecessary romances, I only found one of them unnecessary. I wish they could have remained good friends and grow in that way.

This novel is fairly well-paced. Action-packed, and keeps you on your toes by trying to figure out what’s going on with the mystery of the unusual girl Elliot and her secrets she was keeping from the Invictus crew.

This novel is 400+ pages. If you prefer shorter novels, then you’re out of luck with this one. However, if you enjoy audiobooks, the flow of the novel made the over 400 pages go quickly.

Overall, I thought this novel was good. It was action-packed with plenty of time travel and world building. My only downside was the one unnecessary romance, and a few nitpicks. Other than that, I felt like this was a good, well written, Young Adult novel for any age to enjoy.

Posted in Book Club Reads, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

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*No Spoilers*

The old Victorian pier was once a thing of beauty. It’s also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier vanished eighteen years ago.

Francesca has spent the last twenty years haunted by the disappearance of her best friend. But when she receives a phone call from Sophie’s brother saying that a body has been found, she knows she can’t keep hiding from what happened. Francesca doesn’t relish the idea of digging up the past or returning to Oldcliffe. But it is time to go back to where she grew up, and it looks like she isn’t the only one.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

This novel was recommended by a fellow bookworm in a book club I follow. I love mysteries, and mysteries involving returning home are the ones that seem to draw me in.

Similar to Bonfire by Krysten Ritter, Frankie returns to Oldcliffe to help find out what happened to her best friend Sophie. Skeletons long left in closets are soon released and bad memories attack those involved in Sophie’s world.

However, this book is also telling the story from Sophie’s point of view in diary form. Her side of the story gives light to Frankie and how she behaved when she was younger. It makes you feel more sympathetic towards Sophie rather than Frankie.

The twists and turns this thrilling novel has will leave you breathless. I was glued to this book, wanting to know what happened to Sophie. Even though all the twists and turns, my original theory turned out to be correct. Even though it took a majority of the novel to reach that conclusion.

I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of mysteries and thrillers. For readers who enjoyed Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, I think you’ll enjoy Local Girl Missing as well.

Please read my Book Club discussion questions!