Sunday, August 28, 2016

Review: Ghostly Echoes

Ghostly Echoes Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jenny has been practicing possessing Abigail in order to make it possible to leave the house. During their early sessions, Abigail discovers that while she is possessed, she is privy to some of Jenny’s memories. Jenny wants nothing more than to solve her own murder and she convinces the unusual Jackaby to open the cold case. Where to start? With the disappearance of Jenny’s fiancé, who hasn’t been seen since the night Jenny was killed. Is there a connection between a new murder and Jenny’s? How deep can a conspiracy get?

Ghostly Echoes is the third book in the Jackaby series. Abigail and Jackaby have developed an odd working relationship that becomes more obscure as additional cases are solved. Although everything takes place in nineteenth century New England, readers will have no problem following the cast of characters on their adventures. Readers who jump straight into this story will be able to enjoy it on its own merit, but those who have read the first two books will have a greater appreciation of developing bonds. A fun read that does not show any signs of an ending series.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: Leave Me

Leave Me Leave Me by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maribeth is a busy wife and mother of twins. She is extended in multiple directions and isn’t even aware that she is having a heart attack until she is post-surgery. Now all she needs is me-time to focus on recuperation, but her husband and twins don’t seem to understand that she is nowhere near 100%. Maribeth does the unexpected. She withdraws $25,000 from her savings account, packs a bag and leaves. She is now able to focus on herself, make new friends and learns that there are some secrets she was even hiding from herself.

Leave Me is a stand-alone novel that left me with mixed emotions. The first portion of the book did not pull me in. I continued on because I had agreed to review it, but I kept thinking this lady needed to get a backbone. Once she left her family, though, the story was much improved and I was glad that I continued on. This is an adult character with adult problems, but it is appropriate enough for teens who enjoyed Forman’s other books.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review: Labyrinth Lost

Labyrinth Lost Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alex is the most powerful bruja that has been born in recent generations, yet she hates to use magic and would love to give it up. It is time for her Deathday celebration where she will come into her power, but she tries to perform a spell to remove her power and sends all her family into another realm. Alex is now stuck with a brujo boy named Nova. She knows she can’t trust him, but he is the only link to magic she has to work with. Nova and Alex go to Los Lagos, an in-between realm, where their goal is get her family back to the living realm.

Labyrinth Lost is the first book in the Brooklyn Brujas series. The overall story is not extremely complex and readers will enjoy the magical storyline based on South American legends. Córdova’s characters are varied, but not too deep. In the end, I found the tale passably good, but not a drop everything to finish novel. This would make a good in-between book after finishing a longer or tougher novel.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Review: Elite

Elite Elite by Mercedes Lackey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joy seems to have adjusted well to her new duties within the Elite; she has even made a few friends. Her uncle has recently given her a covert assignment looking for monsters inside the storm sews that run under Apex Central. She was given this assignment because she has the largest pack of hounds and can fight off more monsters that an average hunter. Unfortunately Joy finds a new type of monster that needs to be fought and a dead Psimon without any apparent injuries. This has made Joy of interest to PsiCorp, and now she has one more thing to look out for. Can Joy uncover the mysteries under the city and keep its residents safe? Will the answers have additional consequences for Apex City?

Elite is the second book in the Hunter series. Joy’s adventures continue quickly and readers should have no issue jumping into this continuation. Inside these pages, readers will find adventure, combat, social intrigue and a little bit of romance. Endorphins are kept high as the pages move along and readers will easily loose themselves in the storyline. Lackey has so many secrets woven inside this world that they obviously could not all be uncovered in this second volume, but that makes it even better since readers will be aching for the third book. Not many second books keep me as excited for a series as this book. A great read, but please read the first book before jumping into this one.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review: Naked '76

Naked '76 Naked '76 by Kevin Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lili Garcia was content playing the piano, but when an opportunity to play bass for a newly forming band appeared, she jumped at the chance to learn the new instrument. This new punk band takes off and with the addition of a new guitarist they begin to make it big. Unfortunately, Billy the Kid has secrets he only partly shares with Lili and while trying to understand William, she also is looking within to decide what she really wants.

Naked ’76 is a stand-alone historical fiction novel that will entice the reader with a realistic storyline while throwing the history of English Punk Rock into the mix. The band members’ rocky associations leave them always on the verge of imploding, yet Brooks’ tale keeps readers going along the way. The book was enjoyable and worth the read, but I finished the book feeling like something was left out. Even though I feel something is missing, I still think it is a good read for those who like realistic fiction and/or historical fiction.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: The Giant

The Giant The Giant by Lex Thomas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Readers learned a lot about The Loners in the first Quarantine book, yet Gonzalo was seen in the periphery and readers were not able to grasp the depth inside this large young man. Before that fateful scene when The Loners stood up against The Varsity, Gonzalo lived with a gang of thieves inside the ductwork of McKinley High School. During his short time with this band of misfits, he falls in love with a girl named Sasha, but he is destined for a great size and soon becomes too large to fit inside their secret passages. Gonzalo is now outside of McKinley High, but he is unwilling to leave the infected zone. He will do everything in his power to find and reunite with his girlfriend Sasha. Is Sasha even alive still? What turmoil will Gonzalo have to wade through to find out his answers?

The Giant is the fourth book in the Quarantine series. It is composed of two intertwined stories that were a little confusing at the start, but once readers understand that the first story is Gonzalo during the first book and the second story is outside the high school, the alternating storylines become easier to adjust to. Unfortunately, readers who finished The Burnouts with unanswered questions about the overall fate of the infected will still have to fill in the gaps with their own guesses. Thomas has opened up the possibility of additional companion books in this world where chaos seems to rule.

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