Category

Suspense

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I originally rated this book 4.5, but then I was thinking about exactly what it was that deducted half a star and I honestly couldn’t come up with a single thing I didn’t like about it. It was even better than the first one, I just loved it!

So our friends have just finished with the Ice Court and have been betrayed. Inej has been taken, and they need to get her back. So begins an exciting tale of mystery, intrigue, romance, laughter and the classic twists and turns that have made this series so entertaining and unique.

So sad that this is the last one, and it is EXTREMELY RARE for me to say that about a series because I much prefer stand alone books usually! However, two is a very readable number, and I highly suggest you check this series out!

Again I listened to the audio version, and this time it got straight into it. I didn’t need to be introduced to the characters one by one like the first book, and it was WHAM BAM! The audio version was great, yet again. But this time it didn’t feel slow at all. The story was already set up, the characters already known and loved. So it was just my job to sit back and enjoy the ride.

It had more action, more intrigue, more betrayal, and more excitement than the first one. I actually couldn’t stop listening to this book. Ended up stayed up extremely late for a few nights even though I had things on in the morning! I was UPSET THAT AN 18HOUR AUDIOBOOK ENDED!!! UNHEARD OF!

Although I did pretend the characters were older like I did in the first book. It just made it much more enjoyable to me than imaging a bunch of 15 and 16 year olds doing all of that. Seriously!

Anyway, absolutely one of the best reads of the year!

Would I recommend Crooked Kingdom?

YES YES YES YES!!! If you enjoy fantasy and don’t mind YA (or can just be like me and pretend its not YA because it DOESN’T WORK) then you will LOVE this series. Its so unique, has a surprising depth to it and I will be absolutely checking out her other work set in this universe!

I purchased the audio version of Crooked Kingdom on audible.com at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AUDIBLE | Kindle US | Kindle AU


If you enjoy Crooked Kingdom, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows

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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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False Security – Angie Martin

False Security – Angie Martin

False Security

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I enjoyed this one. It was a good romantic suspense with a solid story line and good characters.

Rachel Thomas is running from her past. When she meets the handsome Mark, she wonders if she will be able to take a chance on a relationship with him. However her past is quickly catching up with her, and it is deadly.

This book is set out into three parts. Part one is the present, part two goes back in time to when Rachel was a child and growing into a woman, and part three is the present again. I found part one a bit slow. I felt that suddenly all these characters were introduced and it was almost as though we were expected to know them already. The romance started off sweetly but seemed to fizzle. However, it totally picked up when it entered part two. Things started to make a lot more sense and almost magically came together, and I really started to get into it and enjoyed it.

I liked that the book addressed the issue of domestic violence, and there was a lot of action and suspense. The romance aspect was cute and I enjoyed listening to how her life developed and how she got into her situation. I really  loved the characters, especially the nasty ones.

The audio book was good. I enjoyed the narrator, however I didn’t like her portrayal of the male characters. They all sounded robotic and it was hard to tell them apart at times.

Would I recommend False Security?

If you are a fan of romantic suspense you will enjoy this book. It had some slower parts, but overall it was a solid, enjoyable story.

Many thanks to Cherry Hill Publishing for an audio version of False Security in exchange for an honest review.


If you enjoy False Security, you may enjoy:

White Hot   The Obsession   Love Is Murder

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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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See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This fast-paced thriller was just what I was in the mood for! I have said it before and I will say it again, Bookouture are one of my FAVOURITE publishers! I have not read a book published by them that I haven’t enjoyed!

One fateful night new parents Harry and Alice are woken by armed masked intruders. They are after a man named Renshaw, who Alice and Harry have never heard of! They threaten the baby and promise that they will be back. Alice and Harry are left completely confused. Who is this “Renshaw”? How will they protect themselves and their baby daughter from these people if they don’t know who he is? This fateful night is the catalyst for the next series of events that will put all their lives in danger.

I’m just going to briefly mention that I did have a few issues with this novel. My issues mostly revolved around the start, and how on earth two intelligent people could NOT CALL THE POLICE! Their excuse why they didn’t was silly and just as unbelievable. Not just that, the fact that Harry WENT TO WORK the next day, was just so stupidly unbelievable to me. I actually had a lot of trouble moving along with the story after that.

However, thankfully the shaky start was soon forgotten, as I became immersed in the action and mystery. Bale created an extremely entertaining story, full of thrills and action.

As a mother, I can only imagine how I would feel if any of the things happened to my baby, like they did to Evie throughout the novel. I think Bale did a pretty good job of creating a mothers anguish in some of those difficult situations. The scenes with the baby were all done quite well. I enjoyed how the baby still did all the normal things, cried, fed, pooped etc, and that Alice still had to take care of all these basic tasks while she was trying to stay alive herself.

I liked how there wasn’t a parade of characters. Just three main ones with a few secondary characters thrown in. In the end the whole thing just worked.

Would I recommend See How They Run?

Absolutely! Any thriller fan should enjoy this one! Another hit by Bookouture!

Many thanks to author Tom Bale and publisher Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of See How They Run in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy See How They Run, you may enjoy:

Out of the Ice  Deadly Obsession The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson

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Nexus – Ramez Naam

Nexus (Nexus #1) – Ramez Naam

Nexus

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I listened to the audio version of Nexus and let me tell you, it was 13 hours of nerdy-fun-brilliance!!!

It has an intricate plot, basically it is set in the not too distant future. Technology has surpassed what we could have ever imagined. The new nano drug Nexus works by linking minds together, it is also extremely feared and illegal. Young budding scientist Cade is caught improving it, and is made to work for the government as a spy, to bring down others who would use and distribute this technology. But not is all what it seems. Are the government the good guys? How can linking human beings together be a bad thing?

What a ride! It was exciting, thrilling, action packed and so darn interesting! The technology in this book is WOW, however still not incredibly far fetched. There is so much action in this book! It doesn’t really let up! The way that the characters all communicate in their heads and use their brains as an internet of sorts, allows the plot to develop in really unique ways. It was SO MUCH FUN!

The characters are all fantastically written! They have depth and all have other special qualities, whether it be physical upgrades, or if they have surpassed human intelligence all together. I thought Cade was a great character, however I felt he didn’t have quite the depth as some of the other characters. Sam was my favourite character, and we find out a lot about her and where she came from, and why she is the way she is. I enjoyed the way the story was written, with extracts, interviews and articles in between chapters to set the scene of the technologically advanced world and the challenges that it has encountered.

I thought the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels was FANTASTIC!! I loved the way he portrayed all the characters and at times it really felt like I was watching an action movie in my head because of his talented and gripping narration. If you are looking for a good audio book I would highly recommend you try this one!

Would I recommend Nexus?

YES! If you like sci-fi I am almost certain that you will enjoy this book! Loads of fun and there are two more! YAY!

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If you enjoy Nexus, you may enjoy:

Zero World   The Darwin Elevator   14

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Out of the Ice – Ann Turner

Out of the Ice – Ann Turner

Out of the Ice

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

What a great read! I saw this at Big W the other day in the top 10 section and it reminded me that I had it on my kindle ready to go! I have been so swamped with books to review lately, and this was one of the ones I was most looking forward to reading, but with other deadlines and tours I haven’t had a chance to read it before now. Good things come to those who wait!

Laura is an environmental scientist. She is sent to an old whaling station on a remote island in Antarctica to study the wildlife in the area, and decide if the station should be made open for tourists. When she arrives at the base she is treated extremely strangely by the staff, and then some odd and eerie things begin to happen. What is going on at the old whaling station? Who is trespassing and trying to scare her? And who can she trust?

This was an absolutely gripping, atmospheric piece of writing by Ann Turner. She has captured the isolation of the ice and the horror of the old whaling station perfectly.

Laura is an excellent character. I love how she was damaged but had a great inner strength and passion for the animals at the whaling station. I loved how at times you didn’t know if what she was experiencing was real or not.

I must admit I was unprepared for where this book ended up! I wasn’t expecting it and it was almost an abrupt change from where I assumed it was going. This wasn’t a bad thing at all, it was just surprising! The ending was good, and there were plenty of twists and turns.

I just LOVED the downright creepiness that dominated a lot of the book! I thought it was fantastic!

Would I recommend Out of the Ice?

Yes! Anyone who likes a little suspense, intrigue and ice will enjoy this one!

Many thanks to Simon and Schauster and author Ann Turner via NetGalley for a copy of Out of the Ice in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON AU | AMAZON | Booktopia


If you enjoy Out of the Ice, you may enjoy:

Little Black Lies

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Vanquished – S.E. Green

Vanquished – S.E. Green

VanquishedTourBanner-1

I don’t do many blog tours, but when I saw the cover of this one I had to check it out. It has an amazing rating on goodreads and the synopsis grabbed me, so I decided to go for it. SO GLAD I DID!!!

 

Vanquished

Goodreads Summary

Where society’s elite go to explore their darkest desires. And where promises of freedom are just manipulative lies.

For a price, the world’s most powerful people can have their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean, they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.

Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.

Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.

After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.

But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .

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My Review of Vanquished

Well, that totally took me for surprise in a fabulous way! I absolutely LOVED this book! WOW!

Think Hunger Games meets Sparticus! Valoria wakes up in a strange place and is auctioned off to the highest bidder. There she must become a warrior, and fight for her freedom and the freedom of her sister, who has been sent off to be a sex slave. Valoria must meet multiple foes and fight to the death. She must also figure out a way to escape this horrible place with her sister.

I don’t want to give too much away, but AWESOME!!! Note though, this is NOT YOUNG ADULT! Don’t go letting your 14 year old read this! There are explicit raunchy scenes and a HUGE amount of gruesome violence! Also, if you are sensitive to the topics of violence, slavery and other atrocities, you may want to think twice about this book. However I actually think the author did a really good job writing those horrible scenes quite tactfully.

I want to mention that I was REALLY glad this book was not the first of a series. I was expecting it to continue on and end in a cliff-hanger like most of these types of books do, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that it ENDED. Sure, there is always the possibility of a sequel, but it had an extremely satisfying ending! And the fact it was a stand alone was so great! Sometimes you just want the story to end, you don’t want it dragging on for 3 books and 4 movies!

The characters were awesome! I really got engrossed in the relationships that Veloria had. I absolutely LOVED the romance! GOOSEBUMPS!!! I think the author pulled it off really well! There is something about forbidden/hopeless love… And the twist near the end? Genius! Didn’t see that one coming!

There were a few good themes in there that were explored too, slavery, ownership, the class system, violence as entertainment, humanity etc etc.

Would I recommend Vanquished?

Yes! For any fans of adventure/violence/thriller/gory novels that keep you up ALL night to finish them in one sitting! Loved it!

Many thanks to author S.E. Green via XPRESSO blog tours for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

5 Stars (5 / 5)

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | Barnes and Noble |

Click below to enter to win an E-Copy of Vanquished, or an AMAZON gift card!

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Click below to see the Vanquished blog tour schedule, thanks to XPRESSO tours!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SE

S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of several novels including the teen thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, and the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.

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If you enjoy Vanquished, you may enjoy:

Kraken Rising

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Daisy in Chains – Sharon Bolton

Daisy In Chains – Sharon Bolton

Daisy in Chains

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I am such a massive Sharon Bolton fan! Ever since I finished the last page of Now You See Me, I was hooked! Not only on the Lacey Flint series, but also all of her stand alone novels. I quickly devoured them and was left feeling sad that there weren’t any more. So I was SO EXCITED when I saw Daisy in Chains was being released!

Maggie Rose is a crime writer and lawyer, and is approached by the mother of a convicted serial killer Hamish Wolfe, to get her help to set her innocent son free. At first reluctant to take the case as she believes him guilty, Maggie soon becomes interested in the case and the charismatic killer, who has a legion of female fans. Soon she becomes swept up in the investigation. Did he really kill those women? What other secrets is he hiding?

Another 5 Stars to my favourite author of all time Sharon Bolton! I absolutely loved this book! I love the way that Bolton weaves the story together, using letters, emails, media reports and the actual events of the story. I thought it was fantastically clever and made it an extremely enjoyable and unique read.

As always, her characters are damaged, raw, and yet incredibly likeable. I loved having absolutely NO IDEA what the twist was or what the ending was going to be like! I think Bolton is the only author that keeps me guessing EVERY TIME! I have not figured out the twist in ANY of her books and that is so refreshing for me as I usually figure it out.

So yes, there are a few massive unexpected twists and turns, even when you think you have figured out what is going on, she slides in there with another one that BLOWS YOU AWAY!

I must admit Daisy in Chains didn’t quite grab me as much as Little Black Lies, which remains my favourite book of all time. But I still don’t have anything bad to say about it at all. I loved the games, the characters, the lies, the plot! Everything!

Would I recommend Daisy in Chains?

YES!! Thriller/mystery fans should read Daisy in Chains, and ALL of Sharon Bolton’s books! You won’t regret it!

HUGE thanks to author Sharon Bolton and the publisher via NetGalley for an advanced copy of Daisy in Chains in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | Book Depository


If you enjoy Daisy in Chains, you may enjoy:

Little Black Lies    Now You See Me   Dead Scared    Like This, For Ever    A Dark and Twisted Tide

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The Fireman – Joe Hill

The Fireman – Joe Hill

The Fireman

4 Stars (4 / 5)

It must be hard for Joe Hill to follow in his fathers footsteps as an author. As the son of Stephen King it’s not really surprising that Joe Hill is well known now for his horror writing, however he is an extremely talented author in his own right. I am sure he gets even more criticism than your usual author for having one of the most renowned writers of our time as his father. However I think he probably gets a lot MORE ATTENTION than your average writer probably would because of this fact. No doubt about it, The Fireman is a good book. But I did compare! As much as I told myself I wouldn’t! I couldn’t stop myself! The Fireman was almost a homage to The Stand. When at first I was slightly disappointed, I soon realised that this was obviously totally intentional. Character names and traits were similar or the same, parts of the story that I picked up were the same or mirrored, and probably a lot that I didn’t pick up (its been a very long time since I read The Stand!) And at the age I was, I am sure I didn’t appreciate The Stand as much as I probably would now. The Stand was a 3 star read for me at the time. Despite this, I have given The Fireman 4. So I obviously still enjoyed it, actually more than his fathers work.

Harper is working as a school nurse when Draco Incendia Trychophyton makes its way to her city. Soon the disease has taken over the whole world. Otherwise known as Dragonscale, this deadly spore covers the sufferer with black and gold markings as it enters the blood stream and overtakes the whole body and brain, before literally burning the victim from the inside out. Spontaneous combustion. Before they know it the world is in ruin and the healthy turn on the diseased to try to eradicate them. Harper and her husband Jakob decide that if they get infected that they would both end their own lives, together. However this all becomes complicated when Harper discovers she is pregnant, soon before discovering the marks all over her body.

I really did like this book. I listened to the audio version narrated by Kate Mulgrew. The first half of The Fireman especially was extremely riveting. I really enjoyed listening about the progress of the disease and the deterioration of the world. Being a nurse too I think I really enjoyed Harper’s character and resonated with her. Although I found her to be just TOO good, and it annoyed me at times. The Fireman himself was nothing like I expected him to be. I thought he would be a larger part of the book, having the title role, however the book was all about Harper.

The length of the book and the slow parts were what brought this book down for me. I found the narration to be excellent in general, however I am not sure if perhaps I would have enjoyed the book more listeneing to the characters in my head instead. I guess that’s the risk with all audio books that you listen to. Even the most wonderful of books can be brought down by a bad narrator, and a horrible book can be made magical by a good one. I didn’t like the way she portrayed The Fireman. This could have just been her feminine voice with the English accent.

Also the ending just didn’t do it for me. I was expecting it and felt a bit let down. I found a lot of the novel predictable. I was also surprised by the constant Merry Poppins references. I understand that he was aiming for that sort of vibe with Harper and that Merry Poppins was an influence for him. However it really started getting on my nerves.

The majority of the book however, was superb. I loved the chase with the exterminators, the camp, and the fact that the disease wasn’t exactly a disease as such, and gave the sufferers something very special… The fact that the world split into healthy versus diseased was depressing, but made every move they made even more dangerous and exciting. And you could imagine easily that humanity might actually do that if there was an event like that. All these excellent qualities of this book was still not quite enough to give it 5 stars for me, but its a strong 4!

Would I recommend The Fireman?

Yes, I think its worth a read even if this isn’t your usual genre. And if you enjoyed the stand you will appreciate (or maybe not) the references made throughout this book.

I only wish I had been able to have such an opportunity to learn from such an inspirational author from birth. Its no wonder he paid homage to him!

*I bought this book myself on Audible.com

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Purchase:

AUDIBLE | AUDIBLE AU |AMAZON | AMAZON AU | Book Depository


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