Category

Fiction

One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) – Janet Evanovich (1994)

One for the Money

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn’t get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010’s, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90’s.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990’s and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90’s, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One for the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy One for the Money, you may enjoy:

To die for   Orphan X

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The Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom

The Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom (2018)

The Last Laugh

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

Bittersweet! That’s the main word that pops into my mind when I think about this book. So sad yet so joyful and lovely. Devastating, yet uplifting. I haven’t read many non-psychological thrillers from bookouture, but they have hit the mark on the head with every genre it seems!

On the day Jenny finds out she has terminal cancer, she finds out her husband is screwing a leggy blonde. Talk about a bad day. So in order to make herself feel alive again, she organises a huge party. Just like the ones she had in her 20’s. She invites all her family and old friends to come along. What transpires is a lovely story of reconciliation, moving through regrets, and of love.

To be honest when I started this book I didn’t like it. I thought that Jenny was a complete dill. How could she act so blaze about a terminal cancer diagnosis. And I couldn’t relate to her not being able to tell anyone about it. But as I kept reading I began to warm to her and the other characters, and by 3/4 through I was laughing out loud.

I really started to enjoy the characters and the dialogue. Although I couldn’t help but feel like her husband was a complete bastard, I was even warming to him by the end. Impending death puts everything into perspective I guess.

The main thing I was surprised about was how much I was thinking about this book after I finished. Not only thinking about the actual book, but thinking about the main theme – How important it is to enjoy your life right now. How you shouldn’t wait to mend relationships and how you should always try to be happy, even when life is really REALLY crappy. I like to think of myself as a pretty upbeat, easy going person. I have seen quite a few people die (occupational hazard of being a nurse I guess…) But I don’t know how I would handle this if it happened to me.

Would I recommend The Last Laugh?

Absolutely. It was a quick, entertaining and upsetting in a good way. Death is a part of life, and I really enjoyed and appreciated this perspective. Great book!

Many thanks to author Tracy Bloom and Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of The Last Laugh for me to review. The last Laugh will be available for purchase from the 23rd February from: AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy The Last Laugh, you may enjoy:

Paris Is Always A Good Idea   The Sun In Her Eyes

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Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky (2015)

Children of Time

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Don’t you love those years where you think that you have read the best books of the year already, and then one book comes along and BLOWS THEM ALL OUT OF THE WATER!!!! ?

Its difficult to condense this extraordinary tale that spans thousands of years, into a single paragraph. Also, I don’t want to give anything away because it will spoil it. So ill be as simple, and as vague as possible. Humans go out of the solar system to colonise other planets. Things don’t exactly go to plan. There is a lot of fighting, a lot of evolution, a lot of characterisation, and a whole lot of INTELLIGENT GIANT KILLER SPIDERS!!!

I am glad I listened to the audio version of this. Not because it would be any better than the written version, but because I am struggling to find the time to read at the moment with work and looking after two small children (one being a demanding teething baby). So audio books are about the only way I am able to read at the moment. I listen to them while doing housework and cooking, while driving to and from work, and during any other spare moment I have during the week. And although I miss reading written words, audio books – GOOD audio books, have a magic about them that words on a page do not have. A good narrator can turn a good story into a great one, just as a bad narrator can bring down a great story to an average one. Well this one, my folks, is a GREAT narrator.

In case you haven’t realised, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! It had absolutely everything I love in a good sci-fi, but the writing my friends… The writing was absolutely superb! I cannot put it into words how this book resonated with me and touched me. It made me think about my life, space, and our place as humans in the universe. It absolutely BLEW my mind!

Would I recommend Children Of Time?

ABSOLUTELY!! Any Sci-fi fans, sci-fi novices or anyone with an interest in space, evolution, or just bloody good writing should try this one! I am sure I am going to read and listen to this many MANY times in future.

I purchased Children of Time at my own expense through audible.com

 


If you enjoy Children of Time, you may enjoy:

The Threat Below   

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Theft of Swords – Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations Volume #1) – Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I really love big, epic fantasy books. I don’t read enough of them. But they are quite an investment. Especially on Audio book, as my reading time is SO much faster than my listening time. Going in, I knew that it wouldn’t be a light read, and that it was going to be a BIG listening time. In this case it was 22 hours and 37 minutes. I knew there was going to be a lot of pausing, replaying, and pushing “save clip” hundreds of time just in case I fell asleep or lost my place. But my gosh it was worth it!

We are quickly introduced to our two main characters Royce and Hadrian. They are thieves, but thieves with a conscience. In book one of this two book volume, Royce and Hadrian are framed for the murder of the king. Using their brains, humour and a bit of good luck, they have to unravel the mystery, save their own hides, find the real killer and unravel an intense and conspiracy.

In the second book of the volume, Rocye and Hadrian are employed by a young girl to come and kill a monster that has been slaughtering the people in her village. They are also reunited with some old friends.

This first volume consists of the first two books of the Riyria Revelations, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. This series is 6 books condensed to 3 volumes. There is also the Riyria Chronicles which was written after these ones, but is set in the years before.

What a fun story! I was enthralled listening to both the books. They were moving, funny, action packed, violent, and just plain old entertaining. The narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds was fantastic. I have listened to him narrate a fantasy once before when I listened to Dawn of Wonder and he does an amazing job! The right narrator is so important, and can really make or break a good book in audio. A good narrator is like listening to a good movie!

I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about these books. It was great entertainment and I am really looking forward to the next volume. I do wish that there was a bit more romance, but it didn’t bother me much because I was too busy getting enthralled in the story!

Would I recommend Theft of Swords?

Absolutely! For any fantasy fan! It would also be a great place to start if you are a fantasy novice and want to give fantasy a try, as its a lot easier to read and follow than some other high fantasy series. And its a LOT of fun!

I purchased Theft of Swords from audible.com at my own expense.


If you enjoy Theft of Swords, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows   Dawn of Wonder   The Name of the Wind

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Diamond Sky – Annie Seaton

Diamond Sky (The Porter Sisters #3)

Diamond Sky

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this whole series. Kakadu Sunset and Daintree are among some of my favourite Australian suspense/romance books and Diamond Sky was like the icing on a really yummy cake!

Dru escaped a difficult situation in Dubai and came back home to Australia to work in a Diamond mine in the Kimberley. She feels safe now and enjoys her job, however is a bit rattled when newcomer Connor starts working at the mine. Connor is a private investigator, hired to find out who is stealing some of the mines diamonds. He is working undercover as a safety officer, and Dru is his number one suspect…

Firstly, I think the covers of this series are probably my favourite covers of any books EVER. They are all so beautiful and I think Diamond Sky is my favourite cover! Just beautiful! They really capture the landscape perfectly and just look so gorgeous!

Loved the premise of this one. I knew nothing about diamond mining before, so I feel like I have had a bit of education along with a great read! Really interesting stuff surprisingly! Really enjoyed the description of the mine and the workers, the different personalities and rules and regulations of the mine and living quarters.

It was such an original setting and, like all the other books in this series, I adored the descriptions of the landscapes and her research really shines through.

The romance was cute and the situation made it all the more intense. As always, I enjoyed the satisfying romantic tension.

It had a fair bit of action and suspense, but I would have liked more. It felt slightly lacking by the end, but I still can’t get past Kakadu Sunset and the CROCODILES!!! What can beat that??!

Would I recommend Diamond Sky?

Yes it was a great romantic suspense by talented Australian author Annie Seaton. I won’t hesitate to read anything she has written! Check out an interview I did with her last year HERE!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of Diamond Sky in exchange for my honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annie Seaton

Annie Seaton lives near the beach on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing and has been delighted to discover that readers love reading her stories as much as she loves writing them. Her career and studies have spanned the education sector for most of her working life, with the completion of a Masters Degree in Education, and working as an academic research librarian, a high school principal and a university tutor until she took up a full-time writing career. She is now published internationally in e-books across the romance genre, in 2014 Annie was voted Author of the Year and in 2015 was voted Best Established Author in the AusRomToday.com Readers’ Choice Awards. Each winter, Annie and her husband leave the beach to roam the remote areas of Australia for story ideas and research. (via Pan Macmillan)


If you enjoy Diamond Sky, you may enjoy:

   Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton    Daintree    Black Hills

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Ashes to Ashes – Tami Hoag

Ashes to Ashes (Kovac and Liska Book #1)

Ashes to Ashes

4 Stars (4 / 5)

FINALLY!! Back to reviewing following a long absence due to a difficult pregnancy and a huge bout of newborn sleep deprivation. I haven’t had much of a chance to do anything except rock a screaming baby lately, so its so nice to be able to read a book. Or I should say, listen to an audiobook. Finding time to sit and read is still a little bit beyond me at the moment. But hopefully soon!

I had listened to another book by Tami Hoag last year, and I always wanted to read another. So when I wanted something that would hold my interest in the endless hours of feeding my baby, I immediately thought of her and randomly picked and downloaded Ashes to Ashes.

Ashes to Ashes is the story of a serial killer, and the joint effort to find him. “The Cremator” is what the media have dubbed this killer, because of the people that he is setting alight. But he gets sloppy, and there is a witness to one of his crimes. Kate, the crime victim advocate, attempts to look after the witness, Angie. Kate’s past comes back to haunt her when an FBI agent Quinn is called in to investigate the case. In the meantime, more of Kate’s clients begin to disappear, she thinks that the killer may have a vendetta against her.

This was a great audiobook. I really enjoyed the narrator and the exciting story. One thing I really enjoy about Hoag’s books (so far) is that she introduces different complex characters, and any of them could be the killer. It isn’t blatantly obvious like so many other books, and that is really important to me. I love the surprise aspect, and because I read so many thrillers, I’m getting really good at figuring who the killer is!

Enjoyed the cute love lost, love found again romance aspect of this book. And I enjoyed how it was set amongst the murder mystery, but didn’t take anything away from it.

Would I recommend Ashes to Ashes?

Absolutely! To any thriller fan! Really liked the audio version, and I am looking forward to reading more by Tami Hoag!

I listened to this audiobook through Audible, at my own expense.

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I am constantly impressed with the new Aussie authors that are emerging! What a bunch of talent we have here!

This book was delightful! What captured me the instant I saw it, is the beautiful cover. It really captures the essence of the story. I quickly became engrossed in the beautiful saga of this family, and its interesting and perhaps magical history.

A teenager named Zoe has been reported missing, most likely drowned off the coast of Tasmania. Tony is the lead investigator in her disappearance and realises right from the start that there is something strange about the family that lives in the beautiful house by the sea. While investigating Zoe’s life, Tony is swept into the stories of the history of the family, from hundreds of years ago, up until now. And some of it is a bit beyond belief. Will he be able to find Zoe? Is she really dead, or is there something extraordinary happening?

The story is told from four perspectives. Tony, the investigator carries the weight of the plot in his search for the missing girl. Zoe’s aunt Sadie and her parents John and Eva have the remaining narratives, and fill in the story with important history, leading certain things to come together, and others that create even more mystery.

The writing of this novel is absolutely beautiful. It didn’t take me long at all to get engrossed in the story and just when I was getting into a nice groove, the tales within the story BLEW ME AWAY. I was utterly captivated by the stories of love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice. And the romance! There were a few romances weaved into the story and they were all sweet, one especially. However, with so many back stories I sometimes became confused with who was who and where I was in the story. I think this is my issue more than the writing though, I am a very fast reader, and I have baby brain! I’m not surprised I got a bit lost – I am surprised I can remember my name most days at the moment!

My only other criticism was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. It was good, and I got it, I really did. But personally I didn’t find it ultimately satisfying. However, it didn’t diminish the rest of the story for me at all!

Would I recommend To The Sea?

Absolutely. If my ramblings have even remotely sparked your interest, then I have no doubt you will enjoy it. Definitely worth reading!

Many thanks to the author via Pan Macmillan for a copy of To The Sea to read in exchange for an honest review.

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | Kindle AU | Kindle US


If you enjoy To The Sea, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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Daintree – Annie Seaton

Daintree – Annie Seaton (The Porter Sisters #2)

Daintree

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 Another quality rural romance by Australian author Annie Seaton! Around this time last year the first of the Porter sisters novels was released “Kakadu Sunset” and I fell in love with the writing, the romance, and the setting. It wasn’t until after my review was up, and I had a chat with the author that I discovered she actually lived in the same town as me when I was growing up, and actually taught at my high school! Small world!

In this instalment, Emma Porter is living up in the Daintree rain forest. She is an emergency doctor who is happily living her life working and taking care of the community, when new doctor Jeremy enters the scene. He is an old flame and their relationship had ended abruptly and confusingly. As well as the old romance, Emma is trying to deal with some strange events that are occurring in the rain forest, ones which have put her life in danger.

Firstly, can we just take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book. Absolutely beautiful! Great choice! I think it was a perfect cover for the atmosphere of this book. The setting was fabulous! I thought Emma was a great character and I really enjoyed the mystery and adventure. And of course, the romance was lovely.

There are not may negatives! The only things were I felt that a few things in Daintree were a tiny bit rushed, and I was a bit disappointed about the way it went with Jeremy’s family. It felt a bit unresolved to me. I also figured out the final twist and the identity of the bad guys very early on, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the thoroughly wonderful story! So much more positive than negative! I thought it was just wonderful!

Would I recommend Daintree?

Absolutely! For any romance fan, and who doesn’t love an Aussie rural romance to get away from life for a few hours! I can’t wait to read the next one!

Many thanks to author Annie Seaton and Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW of Kakadu Sunset | Q&A with Author

PURCHASE:

PAN MACMILLAN AUS | KINDLE US | KINDLE AU


If you enjoy Daintree, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   The Peppercorn Project

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Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Well, this one is a MAJOR contender for my favourite book of the year! This book was right up my alley, I love nerdy science stuff, and the concept of this book really appealed to me. I was trying not to expect too much as it is very hyped. But in the end, I was totally swept away by this fabulous sci-fi adventure.

Think Schrodinger’s cat as a novel if you can… Jason Dessen is a brilliant scientist, leading a very happy, yet average life as a science professor, wondering what would have happened if his life led him on a different path. He is abducted by a masked man at gunpoint, drugged, and awakens in a world that is not his own. His house isn’t his own, his wife isn’t married to him, and his son doesn’t exist. What the hell is going on?

This is all the plot I am going to give you. It gets strange, then weird, then weirdER, then FREAKING CRAZY!

I listened to the audio version of dark matter and i LOVED IT! Jon Lindstrom was the absolute PERFECT narrator for this book, he made every minute of listening to it extremely enjoyable.

This book made me think, it made me laugh, it made me go WHOA!!!!! Absolutely bloody brilliant!

Its not often i’m finished talking about a book in only 200 words, but I’m done. I don’t want to ruin anything else for you, read it or listen to it. ASAP! Its absolutely fantastic!

Would I recommend Dark Matter?

YES! Even my friends who HATE sci-fi absolutely LOVE this book, and that’s saying something! Highly recommend the audio version, but I am sure it would be just as good with words!

 I listened to Dark Matter through audible.com, at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE | AUDIBLE AUPanMacmillan AU


If you enjoy Dark Matter, you may enjoy:

The Fold   14   Ready Player One

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Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was a lot of fun! I listened to the audio version of this as I was unable to read actual words due to debilitating morning sickness, and the narrator was absolutely fantastic!

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Brought up as a child in the “Orphan Program”, Evan has some killer James Bond/Jason Bourne skills. Since the orphan program was disbanded, he uses these skills to help people in need. People in extremely desperate situations. Unfortunately someone is tracking him… Someone as dangerous as he is.

Well, this one certainly sucked me in. Perhaps it was the fact I was so sick and needed another world to escape to, but it was exactly what I needed to listen to at the time. I was completely hooked. I loved the story, I loved the narrator, the romance, the action, the violence… Loved it all.

But… The reason I give this 4.5 and not a full perfect score, is the predictability aspect. Of course I’m fairly sure that 99.9 % of people figured out who the boss was, and at least 50% could also guess the big twist right at the end. There was only one or two people it could have POSSIBLY been right!? It was so extremely predictable I was BEGGING for there to be some other spin or twist which would make it less obvious, but alas – I was disappointed. For me to deduct only 0.5 Stars however is saying something, because I usually deduct a lot more for something as major as that. But I just liked it so darn much, so it didn’t really take much away from the story for me. There were also a few minor twists that also held me.

The narrator Scott Brick was a FANTASTIC choice. And there is a sequel coming out! I may have to listen to the audio of that one too and hope that Scott is doing the sequel!

Would I recommend Orphan X?

YES YES YES Lots of fun! I can easily see it being made into some sort of blockbuster action flick which I would happily pay to see at the movies. Thoroughly enjoyed!

I listened to the audio version of Orphan X on audible.com, purchased at my own expense. Well worth the credit!

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE |


If you enjoy Orphan X, you may also enjoy:

Yeagers Law  The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson   Zero World

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