So this is the “Reads & Reviews” portion of my blog this week. I know that I had fallen way behind on sharing my current reading materials with you since my last review in August. Well I’ve been trying to play catch by reading non stop. It’s sort of like cramming for that final exam in school. I had at least a half (?) dozen books to read for the reviews that stretched across many genres. There is a number of titles up for review and I hope that one or more of them peak your interest. What I’m going to do is split them up a bit as there is quite a number of them. And oh yeah…I’ll going to do the reviews in alternating colors so that it will make it easier to differ in between each other. So here we go folks.
The first book up for review is “Untraceable” by S. R. Johannes. The overview is provided by BarnesandNobles.com site.
Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he's dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she's enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it's going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves
I found it refreshing that the author made the choice to have our heroine to be a strong , determined and capable. That she could tackle the hard issues that she faces throughout the book with out the stereo-typing of short skirts, high heels and in need of a “male” to do all the hard work. But she also made her “human” with feelings all on to her own. The story grips you from the word go and keeps in a whirlwind of emotions all the way through until the last page. I won’t give a hint on how this book ends, but I will tell you it was so worth reading! It had a more “real life” feel to it even though it’s fiction thanks to the wonderful wording the Shelli uses. She is able to make you feel like you are right there. It took me back to when I lived in Tennessee as a pre-teen and ‘venturing out in the woods myself. I could hear the birds, the crunching of the undergrowth and smell the dampness all around me again. This book has many things going of it in family/grown up issues, adventure, a bit of a love triangle, and brings the subject of animal cruelty to the foreground. The book makes me wanting more from S. R. Johannes and I hope to read from her in the near future. I have to give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I have to admit it but for a YA Book… it can cross the age barrier without any problems.
Next comes, “The Companions: The Sundering," Bk.1 by R. A. Salvatore. The overview is from Barnes & Nobles.com
This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore's beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore's signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt's fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life—the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.
Now this will have an interesting arrangement for each of the books in this series. With each new book we will introduced to different author. Now I have come across this before in a few series, sometimes it’s good and other times, not so much. This book comes to me via NetGallery in exchange for an honest review. meaning that this is just my own opinion so please take it with a grain of salt knowing that it is no reflect on the author, the publishing house and anyone else associated with the making of this book. One thing to know is that it helps to read the previous books by the author in order to get a better understand of the characters. I have admit that I haven’t read the Drizzt’s book in many, many years. I was at one point an avid D&D person about ohhhh … 25 years ago. Wow talk about dating myself…LOL. Anyhow as I read on, I like the way the details come about. You almost can see Salvatore’s love for gaming come forth in the background. Although I have read some of the previous books way back in the day, I felt that I was in mid-story. Once I looked past that little hurdle, the story was put together well. For as long as the author has been writing, it’s nice to see him come full circle and returning to his roots. He was a great writer that had some passable books but this isn’t one of them; for the better. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
I read this too. “Corpse Flower” by Gloria Ferris. This ebook came to me from Dundurn press, via NetGallery; so for the clarification. This is my opinion to be taken with that preverbal gain of salt. It has no reflection on those in the making of the book whatever their association was.
From country club to trailer park ...
Swindled out of a fair divorce settlement, former socialite Bliss Moonbeam Cornwall works a number of part-time jobs to pay the rent on a rundown trailer and keep her motorcycle on the road. House cleaner, yoga teacher, library assistant, cemetery groundskeeper, drudge for her agoraphobic cousin -- the work never ends. But Bliss still can't save enough money for another day in court. So, when her cousin offers her a generous fee to find a pollinating mate for his giant jungle plant, she agrees to help. How hard can it be?
That's when she discovers that her neighbors', her employers, and even her cousin are involved in a string of illegal activities -- including grow-ops and suspicious deaths. Police Chief Neil Redfern's persistent scrutiny is interfering with her goal, and Bliss suspects he may be up to his badge in the crimes he's supposed to be investigating. With no one to back her up, Bliss must make a decision. She can give up on her dream, or she can start fighting dirty. Either way, she risks becoming another murder victim.
I actually liked this story. It was a great little mystery with it’s 408 pages and gave a peek into a “possible everyday-type person” that just trying to survive in any means possible. The multiple jobs, the sticking & stinking way of not only dealing with her agoraphobic cousin but with his ex-wife too. To the underhand dealings of her ex-slime err husband as he strives to bigger/better hopes through politics. The book had me giggling at the antics of all the characters as Bliss seems to find out that everyone around her has “pot” on the brain, including the somewhat sleazy parrot. Say What?? Bliss makes for a character that makes you glad you might not have her life & really glad at the end of the day. This would make a great “pick-me-up” story at a time you need some humor and giggles in your day. I give that story a 4.5 out 5 stars. My hats off to Gloria Ferris as I add her to my list of “New & Upcoming Authors” to read. My thanks to Dundurn Press for allowing me to review this book for them as “Corpse Flower” is due to come out Jan. 7, 2014
So that it’s for the night. I’m thinking of doing “Reads & Reviews” as a separated part of my blog on it’s own day or even it’s own blog. I would love to have your honest opinion on the subject. Please feel free to leave a comment on the subject.