Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Rituals” by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: Rituals

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defying genres and taking names.

Summary:

Olivia Jones must make a choice. Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.

And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax. 

Review:

What should I say about this book? The last in a beloved series, whose characters I held close as though they were friends I wished to cherish.

This is a book that grasped me from the first word. It fulfilled my hopes for the three main characters, and yet it still left me wanting more. I am not one who wants to let go, and these stories and characters are going to be hard to let go of, even those I don’t like.

The plot was strong, twisting and turning, introducing new characters still, who I loved (some of them) and abhorred (one of them) which really is just the mark of good writing.

Liv, Gabriel and Ricky are each so different, but carry some similarities, and in this book you get to see what characteristics they’ve taken on from each other.

The thing that I think I appreciated most about this book is how there was humour imbued within it, even when bad things were happening it didn’t feel too dreadful and heavy.

I understand Kelley Armstrong will be writing more short fiction in Cainsville, which is good, because I don’t yet want to leave.

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Book List 2017

Review: “Lost Souls” by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: Lost Souls

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Ghost story

Summary: 

The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

Review:

I am a huge fan of urban myths and legends, I even did a speech on them in school. That is why this novella was awesome for me. So seriously awesome. Reason number two why this is awesome is because Gabriel might easily be one of my favourite characters in this, and I have a serious love/hate for Patrick.

This is from Gabriel’s point of view, which is interesting because there’s only really been few, fleeting moments where we get inside of his head, and I am certainly did appreciate the insight to this character.

This is a must for Cainsville fans.

 

Book List 2017

Review: “Betrayals” by Kelley Armstrong

betrayals

Title: Betrayals

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Magic, Mystery, Fantasy and defying genres

Summary:

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers–she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents’ crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn’t enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.

Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel’s help to clear Ricky’s name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

Review

This book is a thing of beauty. It’s delicately woven plot and mystery pulled me right in and kept me turning the pages and absorbing the words as quickly as I possibly could. It is un-put-downable.

Olivia is stronger than I’ve ever seen her being in the books before, especially when it comes to her mother, and her father and her relationship with them.

Gabriel is softening, just slightly, and only for one person. I can’t really complain about that though. His character is still one of my favourite in the books.

Ricky remains steadfast, and his tale begins to unravel a little more in an interesting way.

The visions are still horrific, but so well written that I can see them in my mind’s eye as though they are right in front of me.

The world of the fae opens up more in this as well, and I’m glad to see it and found myself looking up stories and background for some of the things mentioned here, wanting to know more. Needing to know more.

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “The Orange Cat and Other Cainsville Tales” by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: The Orange Cat and other Cainsville Tales

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Mystery and Magic (Though really, defies all genre)

Review:

The Orange Cat

This may have been one of my favourite of the tales in this book. It gives us more insight into Gabriel as a professional before the beginning of the Cainsville series. It is almost like gothic satire, reminding me a bit of a classic horror tale with a satirical modern spin on it. It also shows why Gabriel is so open to the thought of magic, and something otherworldly, other than Rose’s powers to foretell the future.

Bad Publicity

God, does Patrick have an ego or what? I hate to say it but he is still one of my favourite characters even though I know he’s not the best guy in the fight. I actually really liked this story because it actually showed how his ego might be his downfall one day.

Lady of the Lake

This was an interesting story for me, skirting the edges of Cainsville, and taking place somewhere I’ve driven along here in Canada. I found it interesting, as Olivia and Ricky did to find out how different places, and cultures have many of the same fae tales but under different names.

The Lady of the Lake was a formidable opponent and the danger, despite this being an in between tale, felt quite real for these two.

The visions as always were a little horrific, and I did appreciate getting a little bit more of Ricky’s point of view on Olivia’s relationship with Gabriel. It only served to flesh out his character more.

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Deceptions” by Kelley Armstrong

deceptions

Title: Deceptions

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defies genres but magic and fae ahead

In the exciting new novel in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s compelling Cainsville series, Olivia realizes that she is at the heart of a tug-of-war between ancient forces–and that everyone around her risks becoming collateral damage. 

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the only child of a privileged Chicago family, but of a notorious pair of serial killers–she found a refuge in the oddly secluded but welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a precociously successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she managed to partially clear her parents’ name in an investigation that also revealed darker forces at work in the town that had offered her a haven.

Fleeing Cainsville after she is almost killed, Olivia finds herself not only the target of the Cainsville elders and of the Huntsmen, but also of her ex-fiancé, James, who stalks her and even tries to have her kidnapped. All this as her feelings for Ricky deepen, and confusingly her feelings for Gabriel too.

Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, and holds out in her palm a black stone and a white stone that swirl together to create a balance of light and dark. Death stalks them all, as Olivia desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating the triangle that links her to Gabriel and Ricky, or whether she has the power to change the tragic outcome.

Continue reading “Review: “Deceptions” by Kelley Armstrong”

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Omens” by Kelley Armstrong

omens

Title: Omens

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defies all genre but it’s fantasy, horror, suspense and mystery all rolled into one if you’re going to force me to label it.

Summary: 

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Continue reading “Review: “Omens” by Kelley Armstrong”

Book List 2017, Reviews, Series: Joe Tesla

Review: The Steel Shark by Rebecca Cantrell

the steel shark

Title: The Steel Shark

Author: Rebecca Cantrell

Series: Joe Tesla

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Rating: Related image Related image Related image Related image

A dog. His computer. The tunnels under New York City.

That’s all Joe Tesla’s agoraphobia has left him with—the inside world, the dark world—and now the black depths of the sea.

In the latest book in this award-winning thriller series, Joe Tesla seeks to expand his world beneath. He buys a personal submarine to join an underwater scavenger hunt. The competition turns deadly when a mystery sub targets Joe. His search for answers drives him and his service dog out to sea where he alone might find answers in time to save the city he loves from annihilation.

But can a man trapped inside by his own fears save the larger world above?

Received a free copy of this book via the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It truly does suck that my dream man is an agoraphobic fictional character who lives under Grand Central Station. Joe Tesla, in this, the fourth novel in Rebecca Cantrell’s Joe Tesla series, remains a character who is full of heart, warmth and an intelligence that just won’t be stopped by anything. Not even crashing submarines.

This newest installment caught me from the first page, making me quite anxious to get into my reading and finish the book, but at the same time I desperately didn’t want to because I didn’t want it to end.

Without spoilers I will tell you there is a lot of character development for Joe, as well as Vivian, and the mystery isn’t so much a mystery as it is a determined, forceful plot-line pulling you through the book. The wonder in this is that even though there is no big huge whodunnit mystery in this book there is still enough of a mysterious tone to keep you guessing as to what might happen next.

Rebecca Cantrell’s strength in writing for me has always been the way in which she captures my attention with just a single moment in her books. In this book there were so many moments if I had been holding a physical book I would’ve gotten paper cuts by how quickly I would’ve turned the pages.

 

 

Reviews

Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galgraith *cough* JK Rowling *cough*

the silkworm

Cormoran Strike would probably be a very hard person to like if he were real. He’s gruff, sometimes insensitive, often clueless despite being quite intelligent and can be quite rude. However, that doesn’t stop me from utterly loving him on the page. I know he’s flawed, he’s a pain in the ass and yes, sometimes it does suck to hear about how little he is able to take care of himself as a grown man. And he really needs to learn to give Robin her due, but despite that I love this book, I love him in this book and I adore this series.

The mystery was gruesome, as was the crime scene and the book within a book. JK Rowling’s writing has evolved quite a bit since the Harry Potter series although there was still lots of filler at times and the character growth is quite good. Cormoran is slightly better at allowing others to do things for him, and in one moment actually quite considerate of Robin. Robin seems better at standing up for herself in this book, and still remains my kinda gal with her need for adventure, and her ambition.

This was a big time page turner for me, and I found myself going beyond my five chapters at a time, to reaching for ten, for fifteen. I craved the ending, yet, i didn’t want it to end.

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges 2015

I have decided to participate in a few reading challenges this year.

The first being the Banned Books Challenge at the level of Trouble-Maker, reading 3-5 banned books.

banned books

The second challenge will be the Women Challenge at level 2 reading 6-15 books by a female author.

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The third challenge is the Diversity Challenge, in which I will read 7-12 books.

diversity

So readers, how will you be challenging yourself in 2015?