Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@epicreads @KendareBlake]

The second book in the Three Dark Crowns series (Three Dark Crowns came out last year), One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) will be released next month. Here is the book trailer:




The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.




Harper Teen // September 19, 2017 // 464 pages // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Escape from Camp 14 ~ Blaine Harden review [@VikingBooks] (repost)

This is a repost of an earlier published Book Sp(l)ot Reviews review. (The original post.)


Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Viking Adult
March 29, 2012
224 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The only person known to have been born and raised in one of North Korea's prison camps and then escape* (others, brought to them have been released after some years), Shin Dong-hyuk lived more than two decades in North Korea's Camp 14.

Estimates have between 150,00-200,000 people living in North Korea's political prison camps. Isolated, starving, routinely beaten and cut-off even from the rest of their country, those living in these camps know very little (if anything) of the outside world. While most in North Korea are taught of South Korea and the United States' evil, growing up in Camp 14, though, Shin heard none of this. Expected to work long 15 hour days from a young age (10-year-olds worked together to push two-ton coal cars up a hill), prisoners subsisted (just barely) on corn, cabbage and salt.

Beatings were routine - from the guards, from family members, from other prisoners - and life was beyond hard, everyone sold everyone else out.

It would be no wonder that people wanted to escape. But few seemed to dream of it and even fewer try. Those, like Shin, who has always known this life didn't know there was a better world - with more food, something called love and friendship and trust. Not only that, the consequence for escape, attempting it, or even talking about it made it, often too dangerous: death.

Until the idea for escape did form in his mind. And he acted on it.


While the reading level of Escape from Camp 14 is not difficult (especially compared to many nonfiction books), it's the content that makes reading Shin's story hard at times.

Harden admits, quite frequently, that there is not, truly, a way to fact check Shin's story. He can't go to the camp and do interviews, he can't call anyone up and ask them questions, he can't even go into North Korea. While this does make the reader slightly dubious of Shin's story - especially when it's acknowledged that the story has changed in some dramatic places - the tale has been vetted in a way. Other memoirs have been published about people's experiences in the camps (those that were released or former guards) and different groups have led investigations/inquiries. These individuals and groups do contend that Shin's recollections are  in line with what happens in the prison camps. He has the physical scars, as well.

Harden's background as a reported and knowledge of the area adds some great extra information to the book. I learned a lot more about not only North Korea and its politics, history, and practices but also about South Korea and China as well (including their relationships with North Korea and its defectors).

While Shin's life and the life of those in Camp 14 was so separate from what was happening elsewhere in North Korea, it was very nice to know what was happening concurrently in the rest of the country.

The book doesn't wait for a nice, neat ending; it shows us how Shin's life is today. How he's adjusting to life, learning about being a regular human being whose life is not completely controlled, under constant threat of violence by prison guards. I wish him well.





*This according to the book, the synopsis on Goodreads makes it sound as if there are others, so if my review is wrong, I apologize. I'm basing it on the text of the book.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The House ~ Simon Lelic (earc) review [@Simon_Lelic ‏ @PenguinUKBooks]

The House
Penguin UK
August 17, 2017 (ebook)
November 02, 2017 (print)
340 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon UK

What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them...

Starting, probably, when I first The House's description, I had very little idea what was going on with or. more accurately, in this book.  Even while reading it, I often was not sure just what was happening, as they presently took place or even afterwards.  But all in the absolute best way possible. The House is very much a book that keeps you guessing. Who do you believe? How much of what they say do you belive? And why, oh why, is all of this happening? If it even truly is.

The House has two narrators: Sydney and Jack. What makes this different than most novels is that Syd and Jack are aware they're telling a story to someone, what you're reading is something they're writing, in alternating parts, to tell their story. This makes things a bit different and I enjoyed teh more relaxed air it gave to the story, especially on Syd's part. It was a bit like a diary combined with a novel. It isn't something polished and objective and it connects you more with the characters. It makes you more curious about the truth and what's happening that made them feel the need to write this.

There was a point, later in the story, where I wasn't sure if what I was reading was supposed to still be something written by the characters or it if had transitioned into a more conventional narration. (And if it was still the characters writing their story, that left some other questions for me.)

With this story, I especially liked having Syd and Jack telling the story. Not only do we not know, for sure, that either of them is a reliable narrator, we only see events through their eyes, based on their interpretations and in the way they want the other to see/read. Not only does this mean some key information is being withheld, you also do not always know when it is. It makes the mystery even better.

The novel is a great mix of being unsettling and confusing while telling a great mystery. There are several times it seems like you might, now, be piecing the clues together only to be thrown when something else transpires. When we do finally learn what has been happening, who has been doing it and why, it is both surprising and completely in keeping with what we have already learned and read.





digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@HMHBooks]

Seems like a good week for this book trailer pick, Imagine:





Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will be as one.

Join one little pigeon as she sets out on a journey to spread a message of tolerance around the world. Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song and illustrations by the award-winning artist Jean Jullien, this poignant and timely picture book dares to imagine a world at peace.

Imagine will be published in partnership with human rights organization Amnesty International.




September 21, 2017 // Clarion Books // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sparks of Light ~ Janet B Taylor (earc) review ]@HMHKids @Janet_B_Taylor]

Sparks of Light (Into the Dim #2)
Houghton Mifflin
August 01, 2017
448 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends . . . and a (maybe) boyfriend. She’s a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

There is not a lot of recapping of Into the Dim in this second book, Sparks of Light, so if you have either not read that book or largely forgotten it, you may feel a bit left out at certain points. Of course, the larger, more major parts of Into th Dim we are reminded of simply by who is or is not present when Sparks of Light beings and what we thn learn of their current location or state. Though there were a few things I wanted to go back to Into the Dim and refresh myself on, I liked the focus on the now.

I liked that each book, so far, at least, seems more self contained. Yes, you will be spoiled for some parts of Into the Dim if you read Sparks of Light first (some pretty big things so I really don't recommend it) but it's still possible.

I appreciated that in this book, Hope is familiar with the Viators, with the Dim, how it works and its limitations. There is both their immediate plan and worry, in 1895 New York City with Tesla, but also a larger, overreaching goal. The author does a great job focusing very much on the here and now (whenever that may be), with great attention to detail and historical fact and accuracy but simultaneously making it all a part of a larger whole. This is true of both the Viators characters and for history and what's supposed to happen.

I loved that gender, race and class played into the time travelling and what they encountered or experienced.  Paired with Hope's memory and her knowledge of the time, it felt like a very true representation of the period. It is also extra enjoyable that it isn't simply: go back in time, say this to this person, don't do this and then come home. Their plans are often foiled, inadvertently or purposefully or both and it makes for a bit more excitement and danger.

This series does a great job of giving us fun, thrilling and often dangerous time travel adventures, fantastic character relationships and accomplishing one, isolated mission somehwere in time while also having something larger they're still working towards in the present. This is a series where I would gladly read several more installments.









digital review copy received from publisher via NetGalley

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@verykaitlynsage @HarlequinTEEN]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



THE DIMINISHED (#1) by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.

The singleborn

A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.

The diminished

When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what's left of her life in peace.

As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.


published April 10th by HarlequinTEEN

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I do love a book set in a created empire or universe, whether it's an allegory to a current or past real place or somewhere wholly original and imagined by the author. When you add in how almost everyone in the Alskad Empire is born with a twin and what it means if they're not or if their twin dies, this sounds very much like a book I will like.

I like that there are gods and goddesses in the book and kings and queen but what has me most eager to read The Diminished is a desire to find out what that long-held secret is!


That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Monday, August 7, 2017

It's Always the Husband ~ Michelle Campbell (earc) review [@StMartinsPres]

It's Always the Husband
St Martin's Press
May 16, 2017
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

I no doubt deserved my enemies but I don't believe I deserved my friends. -Walt Whitman --epigraph to It's Always the Husband.

I don't know if I actually liked anyone in It's Always the Husband. Some of these characters were frustrating, irritating and, really, pretty bad people. So, maybe they all deserved each other?

The first half (well, 48-49% according to the ebook) took me forever to read.  I had trouble understanding why Kate, Aubrey and Jenny were friends as college roommates but even more so as adults. They reminded me a lot of the girls in Lauren Saft's Those Girls except that they were older (first by just a year or two, then by decades). When a character's almost forty and calling her supposed friends of twenty years, "these losers" (pg 97) it not only feels weird that they still voluntarily spend time together, but also juvenile.

As much as we can see how screwed up the girls are, as they start at Carlisle College, it's also hard to understand why they accept what they do, are grateful for some of the things they are or treat themselves and each other how they do. (Especially when it come to Jenny, with Kate and Aubrey it can be disconcerting but easier to understand.)

That said, the second half of the book, Part Two, is where they mystery really comes in and where the story really got compelling and much easier to read and be pulled into. I can also, objectively, see that all of Part One, all that we saw of the girls and their relationships, was crucial to Part Two.

You had to have seen all of the love, all of the hate and to understand why these people all seemed to be part of each other's lives - whether or not they wanted to be or liked it. I still didn't like the characters but they mystery was great. Thanks to the earlier part of the book, you knew all of the different possible suspects and all of their possible motives. Even as things come together we discovered eve more of just why these characters were so, so bad for each other.

The characters and some of their relationships weren't for me but I can't deny how well it all played into making a great mystery. I look forward to what this author publishes next.









review copy received, via NetGalley, from publisher

Friday, August 4, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@colleenhouck @DelacortePress]

Reunited (Reawakened #3) by Colleen Houck will be out on August 08th, here is the trailer:



about Reunited:

After surviving her otherworldly adventure, Lily wakes up on her nana’s farm having forgotten everything. Her sun prince, her travels to Egypt, and her journey to the Afterlife are all distant memories.

But Lily is not the girl she once was. Her body is now part human, part lion, and part fairy. And if that isn’t bad enough, she must now harness this power of three and become Wasret: a goddess destined to defeat the evil god Seth once and for all.

With the help of her old friend Dr. Hassan, Lily departs on her final voyage through the cosmos and across the plains of Egypt. On the journey, she will transform into the being she is destined to become.

Reunited is the heart-pounding conclusion to the Reawakened series.

It is time for Lily to find her sunset.

Reawakened Book Three // Delacorte Press // August 08, 2017 // Goodreads //  Book Depository // Amazon

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Shadow Girl ~ Gerry Schmitt (earc) review [@BerkleyPub]

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller #2)
Berkley Books
August 01, 2017
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree...

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.
Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case.

As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again and succeeds in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person and she s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage...

Readers were introduced to Afton Tangler, the Family Liaison Officer with the Minneapolis Police Department in  Little Girl Gone and now Afton is back, involved, perhaps more than she should be, in a new case. She is only supposed to be helping Max, Detective Max Montgomery that is, out: keeping his notes organized but otherwise only doing her assigned job. But for Afton, who wants to be a detective, it's hard to not go when someone needs questioning or a lead needs to be followed up on. Even if it is beyond what a Family Liaison Officer should be doing.

One of the things I really loved about Shadow Girl was that the police did not miraculously piece everything together or stumble across something crucial as can happen in some books. There were times I was sure someone was going to remember something that another character said or guess the next stop and things were going to all come together. But they didn't. In this book the bad guys get away with more than you think they will and seem to always be a step ahead.

It makes for a very thrilling read and definitely keeps you, the reader, guessing. Afton, Max and the other members of the department have to investigate, talk to witnesses, engage in a bit of conjecture and be in just the right place at just the right time. It feels realistic but also exciting and definitely keeps you reading.

I truly enjoyed how the mystery unfold in Shadow Girl. It seems that we know the 'who' from nearly the very beginning but the 'why' is left for later revelation. Then, the more that is discovered, the more we learn from the characters, the more you have to wonder who all is involved - even remotely or indirectly - in what happened. And who will be safe when it's all done.

I do wish there were more female members of law enforcement (police, detectives, etc) in the story. We do only focus on a handful of characters but, aside from Afton, even those only mentioned seem to be male ("...large, hunky men dressed in riot gear." pg 302).

The way this series focuses on Afton, who is a Family Liaison Officer but still seems to find herself in the thick of it. doesn't sensationalize the investigative aspects and is building relationships between the characters makes for both a thrilling, satisfying read and has me eager to read more of the series.








review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@tomi_adeyemi @FierceReads]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.



published March 6th by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

There is magic . . . but it's gone . . . but it could come back. And it is up to Zelie - and help from a rogue princess - to try to bring the magic back. I love that Orisha was a place used to magic, that it was part of life. I love that it is girls who are going to try to bring it back.

The way the 'night magic disappeared' is described (that it was not just a mythical, abstract removal but that, 'maji were targeted and killed' has me very curious about just how ruthless this king was, how much of that is also present in the crown prince and how those deaths affected Zelie and her people.

This sounds like a fantastic new YA fantasy series and I cannot wait to read it! (Plus, that cover is absolutely gorgeous.)




That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Monday, July 31, 2017

I See London, I See France ~ Sarah Mlynowski review [@SarahMlynowski @epicreads]

I See London, I See France (#1)
HarperTeen
July 11, 2017
378 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


I see London, I see France, I see Sydney’s underpants.

Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend, Leela. Their plans include Eiffel-Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug-of-war.

As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera…wearing only her polka-dot underpants.


Sarah Mlynowski's novels can be fun, quick, cute reads - like Ten Things We Did - and I See London, I See France is definitely those things. I loved the traveling parts of this novel: the sights, the actual traveling, the food, the other travelers, the hostels. It was great that, while some of the destinations were the more known, even expected ones (London, Paris), there were also several places you might not think about visiting or might not know much about.

I liked that the trip was not just a carefree, forget-about-everything summer vacation for Sydney. While trying to take in the sights and enjoy Europe, she was also worrying about her mother, trying to check in with her sister and manage things at home. I thought that her mother's agoraphobia, how it had affected Syndney's choices since middle school and her struggle to balance being there for her mother and having her own life gave the book ab it of seriousness.

That Sydney also had that going on made her trying to figure things out with Leela (and her ex) feel more substantial. It wasn't just Leela she did not seem able to assert herself with and her actions on the trip make more sense when paired with her life at home. I still don't know if I like Leela or think she was a good friend to Sydney.

It always surprises me when YA books are more NA books, though I don't know why. I See London, I See France was a bit odd in that area. It's tone felt very Young Adult, but the content (the sex, drinking, drugs) was more New Adult. It did definitely fit the characters, their ages (post first year of college) and the location(s) but still felt younger than what was happening.

I See London, I See France is a fun read that will absolutely make you want to go on your own trip around Europe and I hope there is a description for Book 2 soon!




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Library of Light & Shadow ~ M.J. Rose (earc) review [@mjrose @AtriaBooks]

The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune #3)
Atria Books
July 18, 2017
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


In this riveting and richly drawn novel from “one of the master storytellers of historical fiction” (New York Times bestseller Beatriz Williams), a talented young artist flees New York for Paris after one of her scandalous drawings reveals a dark secret—and triggers a terrible tragedy.

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, which is desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École de Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets—for better or for worse. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd. Though her ancestor La Lune, the legendary sixteenth-century courtesan and—like Delphine—a witch, might have thought differently.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Horrified, she renounces her gift.

Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian in his attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the centuries-old Book of Abraham, written by the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that had led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions and in many ways rejects what and who she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, her brother, and Mathieu—as she tries to finally accept them as the gifts they are and to shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open.

The Library of Light and Shadow is the third Daughters of La Lune novel, following The Witch of Painted Sorrows and The Secret Language of Stones. The books do not need to be read in order, but I definitely recommend reading, at least, the first book, The Witch of Painted Sorrows first; it is where everything started and introduces readers - and the characters - to La Lune and what being one of her descendants means. I did notice that, beyond that, M.J. Rose seemed careful not to include things in The Library of Light and Shadow that was spoilery for The Secret Language of Stones.

As much as I wanted to know more about those characters, now that several years have passed, I also liked that you could read that second book after reading this one, the third. (Opaline's story was fantastic and should be read, before or after Delphine's.)

I loved that this story took place both in France and in New York. It was a nice echo of that first book, with Sandrine. With the story taking place in 1925, but Delphine's sort-of diary giving us a window into five years earlier, we start with the after effect of something and get to see ohw deeply it's impacted her life, before really seeing what happened. Or what came before and thus why it affected her so.

I loved that this book does show us more of Delphine's family's life - both pieces of their childhood and now, in the present, than either of the first two books did. It not only felt like a nice epilogue of sorts to Sandrine's story but really connected teh characters form all three books that much more.

There was one element, in regards to a character and what they were really about, that was hinted at in quite a heavy handed way. It didn't 'ruin' anything so much as it left me qondering why other characters weren't catching on, as well.

I really loved how some characters we might have met, albeit (usually) briefly, in the first two Daughters of La Lune novels played more of role here and how their past and/or relationships were also a part of the story or how Delphine interacted with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Library of Light and Shadow and seeing even more of what being a Daughter of La Lune means and getting to know more of the women (and to better know the men, too) in this family. It is a wonderful mystery, a great romance and a wonderful piece of historical fiction.

Now there has to be a fourth book about the youngest Duplessi sister, Jadine - there has to be. (And those mentions of Victor Hugo have me really wanting to read the author's Seduction.)








digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Waiting On Wednesday [@SG_Marsh @RazorbillBooks]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



REIGN OF THE FALLEN by Sarah Glenn Marsh

An LGBT fantasy series that follows a talented necromancer who must face down a deadly nemesis who has learned how to turn her magic into a weapon.

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

A lavish fantasy with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read that will grab readers by the throat and never let go....

published January 23rd by Razorbill

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I am loving the sound of necromancers, the Deadlands, the zombie-like Shades and the rules for how things need to work - and what happens when they don't. It's great that there is a system to what Odessa does (I also really like that name) and look forward to learning more about her and if this is a sort of 'calling' of hers, a job or how she views what she does in relationship to who she is.

Plus, I'm excited tha this is somehow a romance, too. I'm curious to see how it fits in with the Shades, Karthia and Odessa's role in it all.

(I also want to find out how that really rather awesome cover fits in it all.)



That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weird School Books ~ Dan Gutman, art by Jim Paillot reviews [@HarperChildrens @DanGutmanBooks ]

Mrs Master is a Disaster! (My Weirdest School #8)
Harper Collins
June 20, 2017
112 pages
(ages 6-10)
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!


In this eighth book in the new My Weirdest School series, it s Grandparents Day at Ella Mentry School! Alexia s grandmother Mrs. Master makes weird inventions for a living, but A.J. and the gang come up with the weirdest invention of all. And they re going to make a bazillion dollars from it! Will they succeed? Or will their great big idea be flushed down the drain?

Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!





My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents and Toilets
HarperCollins
June 20, 2017
192 pages
(ages 6-10)
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!

Did you know that the word “independence” never appears in the Declaration of Independence? Did you know that soldiers in World War I collected thousands of glowworms in jars to help them see at night?!

Learn more weird-but-true U.S. history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations.

Whether you're a kid who wants to learn more about our country's history or simply someone who wants to know how many Americans are involved in toilet-related injuries each year, this is the book for you!

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

These were the first two Weird School books I read and they were a fun discovery. The My Weirdest School book does seem able to be read individually, out of series order. (Though, other books likely explain some aspects: My Weirdest School #1: Mr Cooper is Super probably explains their teacher dressing like a superhero.) The nonfiction Fast Facts books can definitely be read separately from the Weird School series books.

My Weirdest School #8: Mrs Master is a Disaster! was a cute look at the process of inventing something. The process was definitely simplified and sped up, but included some useful information (you need to think of what people need but don't already have, making a prototype, etc_.

The parts about Grandparents' Day at the school have some bits that parents/older readers will get (one about being at Woodstock) but kids may just miss.

It is a fun, cute story that should be good for young readers.


My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents and Toilets is a nonfiction book with A.J. and Andrea from the Weird School books giving the information. The book does a great job presenting the information at an age-appropriate way. It doesn't stick with what you often learn as a kid: that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Readers learn about how the Native Americans were already here, how the Vikings came, and more, but without certain details that you don't need at that age.

The book had a lot of things I did learn through school, many of which I had forgotten about. It also had quite a few things I had never heard before (things involving oyster ice cream, pigeons in war or the movie Psycho, for example).

The explorers facts transition very well to those about the presidents and the combination seems natural. The inclusion of facts about toilets seems a little odder, but adds a bit of levity, seems to fit with A.J.'s character and might entice additional readers.

There was a joke repeated from Mrs Master is a Disaster but . . . whatever.

The photographs included in the book were of disappointingly low print quality, however. Many of the black and white images didn't have enough contrast, in the printed book, to really be seen. Based on web previews, the ebook versions seem clearer. I also wish they were larger.

Books like this one are ones I would have loved as a kid, with interesting facts put forth in a very entertaining and readable way.








books received from publisher for review consideration





Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@JamesENicol @chickenhsebooks]

This week I chose the trailer for  The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol for my post because the beginning of the YouTube description was just too good to pass up: "Every witch has a rough spell, especially when they fail their witch's test!"

Here's the trailer:



A special middle grade debut of magic and courage in a world of witches, written with the charm and enchantment of Circus Mirandus and The Apothecary.

Arianwyn has flunked her witch's assessment: She's doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch-- much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her.

With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch--even if she's only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride . . . for Arianwyn and the entire land.




July 25, 2017 // Chiecken House // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@JMCwrites ‏@DuttonYR]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



BLOOD WATER PAINT by Joy McCullough

A stunning debut novel based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome's most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough's bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia's heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia's most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman's timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do.

published March 6th by Dutton Books for Young Readers

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I really love historical fiction and both Artemisia Gentileschi and seventeenth century Rome are new to me. I have read novels with stories of women (both real and fictional) being something other than what was expected of them in Regency or Victorian times, during the French Revolution or the Tudor Court but those are eras we're all more familiar with. I am really looking forward both to learning more about Rome in 1610 and how it is a part of Artemisia's story.

I am incredibly intrigued by the fact that Blood Water Paint is a novel in verse. It is a different style of storytelling and I am curious how it will work with this historical fiction tale.

Blood Water Paint sounds very appealing and I can't wait for its March release.



That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bring Her Home ~ David Bell (earc) review [@DavidBellNovels @penguinusa @BerkleyPub[

Bring Her Home
Berkley Books
July 11, 2017
464 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father's worst nightmare....

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price's fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer's bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer's life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He'll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Bill Price is a recent widower whose teenage daughter Summer, along with her best friend Haley, has been missing for a few days. Now, an early morning phone call tells him to get to the hospital: they've found the girls.

I thought the author did a great job in the very beginning with Bill's portrayal. He seemed to be a great mix of upset, angry and confused, but glad his daughter was alive. He was sort of awkward in what he said or expected, but it worked. As things continued,  did have problems with Bill. He is a very angry person, which I suppose could be largely attributed to his grief (but not entirely as we're shown in some scenes from prior to his wife's death). He also seems to decide things (like what happened to Summer or who did it or why) without much or any basis or evidence. His fervent belief in these things, his overzealous actions and proclamations were just too dramatic.

I think that if there had been more focus on some of the other characters, or they had been more fully developed, I could have liked it more. There were just too many problems with Bill's character, the central one, for it to work for me.

There were small details, that while not really harming the story were distracting for being illogical or not following what had already happened. (Two non-spoilery ones: Bill notices Summer, while in the ICU, is not wearing her bracelet and wonders if whoever took her stole it. Only there's no way the hospital would have left that on her. There was no autopsy when his wife died because it was clearly an accident - except a healthy, young woman dying, alone from an accident seems like it would still require one.)

The language of Bring Her Home could get repetitive (phrases, specific words, even a story from Bill and Paige's childhood) and the twists were almost entirely predictable (the first may have been because I previously read a book, based on something true, where the same thing happened), but something did keep me reading this book. As much as Bill and his actions did not work for me, I did really wan to find out how it all ended. Bring Her Home was definitely dramatic but also very intense and that intensity keeps you pulled in, wanting to know the final whodunit (and why). Give Bring Her Home a try, Bill's character might work well for you.

NB: I checked points of issue against a finished copy and only factored those not changed into my review (some absolutely were removed/fixed).






digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, July 17, 2017

Seeker ~ Veronica Rossi review [@rossibooks @torteen]

Seeker (Riders #2)
Tor Teen
May 16, 2017
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

** My review of Riders (#1) **

When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth.

She wasn’t losing her mind; she was gaining the Sight—the ability to see the future. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first—and worst—mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael, the last surviving demon of the Kindred, guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It’s up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on instincts, intelligence, and blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil?

The very fate of humankind may rest in the answer.
Just like Riders introduced us to Gideon, Marcus, Jode and Sebastian, four young men who have become the four horsemen of the apocalypse (War, Conquest, Famine, and Death), Seeker gives more of a look at Daryn, their Seeker.

Without reading Riders first, you will be a bit lost in Seeker. The main story here about rescuing Sebastian and some of the characters (beyond the main five) were either introduced in the first book or are the result of how that story ended. You also won't be familiar with who Gideon is, what happened to him or how he came to know Marcus, Jode, Sebastian and Daryn. There are reminders, of course, but it's better if you read the first book, well first.

Seeker does not give us as much about the guys, who they are and what they can do (or why) as the first book but it does give you a fuller picture of Daryn and who she is, what she can do. I liked the focus on her character, her past, and on the characters' different relationships. Now that they know what they are and have spent some time together (some rather life altering time, at that) things are able to go beyond that preliminary, introductory phase.

As a follow-up to Riders, Seeker was a good story. It gave us more of the characters and their relationships and expanded on some things (like where Sebastian was trapped) from the ending of Riders. As the last book of a duology and presumably the last we'll see of these characters and this world, it was disappointing. I wanted more of the big picture, of the future and what them being War, Death, Conquest and Famine was going to mean. I liked the character developments but it was almost a bit of, 'can't see the forest for the trees,' where it focused on the problem of rescuing Sebastian and there wasn't as much of the grand scheme of things stuff I wanted.

Still, it was an enjoyable read and I recommend it to fans of Riders -- and recommend Riders if you have not already read it.



(although if this ends up not being the end to this series, it may change to four stars)





Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hello, Sunshine ~ Leila Howard (earc) review [@leilahowland @DisneyHyperion]

Hello, Sunshine
Disney Hyperion
July 11, 2017
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


A Prep School Girl with a Hollywood Dream

Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig or kill herself trying.

Unfortunately, not everything turns out as planned, and after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. As hard as she tries, Becca can’t land an agent, she's running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools. In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be it? Her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill?

Becca may not get the Hollywood ending she was hoping for, but perhaps she’ll learn there’s more than one way to achieve her dream.

Readers will love every page of this funny, romantic, aspirational, and ultimately triumphant novel about a girl who just wants to make it on her own.
(The description of this book doesn't really fit. About halfway through that second paragraph are things that don't happen until near the end.)


I loved the premise of Hello, Sunshine: Becca Harrington just graduated high school without being accepted to any college, made worse by the fact that (as she says in the proglouge) she went to a school with a '99.0 percent matriculation rate,' While everyone else from her class is off to start college, Becca is going to Hollywood. She's going to make it as an actress.

Or, that's the plan, anyway.

Unsurprisingly to readers but seemingly quite surprisingly to Becca, things are not quite that simple. For a girl already reeling from rejections, it's not that easy to deal with all of the new ones.  She has to not only not give up, but figure out how to live on her own: grocery shopping, decorating, bill paying, making money to pay those bills.

Things are harder than  She faces a lot more setbacks and incurs even more self doubt, but thankfully her new friends are there for her. I really loved Raj's character from the beginning (and only more so as the book progressed) and thought Marisol was great. I liked both who their characters were and who they were to (and for) Becca.

Becca expects. Becca's character was probably my least favorite part of this novel. She was a strange mix of 'I'm-not-good-enough-for-that' and 'I'm-too-good-for-that,' she was somehow not as good as people (to herself) but also better than people, at the same time.

I thought Becca was more naive than made sense for someone who a) planned to move across the country and truly pursue acting and b) whose mother agreed to the plan. She seemed sure that she was this enough or that enough that things would just happen, or people would make exceptions, or , , , something. I did think she was funny and could be endearing and you really do feel for her with each setback and hope she'll get her break, though.

Hello, Sunshine is a fun, cute read with romance and growing up and great friends.






digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@fsgbooks]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



A GIRL LIKE THAT by Tanaz Bhathena

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

published February 27th by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. 

I love that this novel takes that idea - the 'bad' girl, the one who will somehow make you 'bad' just by associating with her - but puts it somewhere where the ramifications of being a 'girl like that,' not to mention the reasons why she would be seen that way, can be very, very different.

That the book is told from multiple perspectives and that it is about finding out how an event (Zarin and Porus in that car) came to be, incredibly appealing.

I am really looking forward to seeing how the setting affects the story and finding out who Zarin Wadia was - both truly and how she was seen by others.

(Plus, I really love the cover.)


That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Final Girls ~ Riley Sager (earc) review [@riley_sager @DuttonBooks]

Final Girls
Dutton
July 11, 2017
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Final Girls is a novel full of thrilling twists and turns, the unexpected and true shocks and surprises.
Quincy Carpenter is a Final Girl, "the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre." But that was ten years ago and she is doing fine now; she has a baking website, a live-in boyfriend, a great apartment. She's moved on.

Or at least, that's what she wants everyone (including herself) to believe.

Though the Pine Cottage Murders are what made Quincy a Final Girl and finally remembering everything that happened may be so important, Final Girls is not a grisly, gruesome, bloody horror novel. Due to Quinn's lack of memory readers only see the before and the after of the murders. As she tries to remember things and as other details are given (through other means) we do get more specifics, but don't not read this because you don't like horror novels.

The more we see of Quinn and Sam, the more we know how deeply their pasts have affected them. Even though Quinn is 'fine' and has moved on, the appearance of Sam causes some cracks to form in that put together image. It becomes only a question of if it's for Quinn's betterment or to her detriment.

There were so many times I questioned Quinn's actions, her decisions, her thoughts on another character ("The only thing Sam lied about was xxx, and I know all about that now." [pg117] Except you don't know something's a lie until told/shown otherwise.) but all of it fit her character. As frustrating as it was, I also understood it - and it all came together fantastically well.

We are given enough to know that all is not what it seems (nor is everyone who they seem) but what makes this such a great thriller and mystery is that we're not sure what - or who - is the truth. When we do finally have it all, when the full truth (and not just this character or that character's idea of it) is revealed it's shocking and startling, even a bit of a betrayal. But at the very end it's all so very satisfying.
Quincy Carpenter's friends are murdered at a cabin in teh woods -
and Final Girls is full of just as much of the unexpected
I am looking forward to more from Riley Sager and absolutely recommend Final Girls.






digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, July 10, 2017

UNSUB ~ Meg Gardiner (earc) review [@MegGardiner1 @DuttonBooks]

UNSUB (#1)
Dutton
June 27, 2017
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.

Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?

The serial killer that people had thought -- or at least, hoped -- long gone appears to have returned and the people of the Bay Area are afraid. Perhaps, none more so than Caitlin Hendrix. The Prophet was a part of her childhood, investigating his crimes and trying to find him consumed, and nearly ruined, her father. Now he is back and it is her turn to try to find this UNSUB who seems to be the Prophet.

UNSUB gives readers crimes, both past and present, that are brutal, twisted and frightening but also work into something larger (albeit something brutal and twisted and frightening). I enjoyed that it was not obvious from the start what was happening, what was being worked towards or why. As the investigators worked to piece things together, to uncover messages' meanings, I did, too.

The way that Caitlin has a history with the Prophet's murders and those investigations but not with the detectives she is working with made for some interesting interactions. She was both the new kid, but also , in some ways, the expert. It also let the other detectives be a smaller part of the whole story which actually worked here; any long established friendships between them wouldn't have fit either time/space wise or within the plot.

We don't get quite as much of a connection with Caitlin's character as with other mystery, thrillers I've read with detective/police at the center (ie the Kathryn Dance, Max Revere, DI Helen Grace, or Taylor Jackson series). This was a big case to focus on and it did not leave as much personal/non-work time as there might have been in other books. Caitlin's relationship with her father, the role the Prophet and the cases played in ti and how things change during UNSUB was great, though. With the other characters we met here that are part of her life (Sean, Michele, even Shadow) I have very high hopes for more of a connection with her characters as the series continues.

The crimes, the investigation, how the pieces are put together the false leads and real clues and how the characters are impacted by it all, how they handle things and how they proceed made UNSUB a great thriller. UNSUB seems to be the start to a great new series - and you know you want to read it before the TV show. Book 2, Into the Black Nowhere will be out in January 2018.







digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley
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