Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Worm Wednesday Part 2

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Here we are once again as I gather up another collection of 5 reviews to share with you.  It’s been pretty busy in the reading world and I just got approved for a whole bunch more books through Net Gallery. But all of them are from there, I did add some books from the library too.  With the summer here, I’m hoping to get more reading done.  So maybe there is something here that you want to add to your summer reading pile. 




Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.
Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

I received a free copy of this book for Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. So here it goes.

This is the first of Nancy Mehl’s books that I have read.  I found my self riveted to this suspenseful small town thriller.    With the new trend of Amish/Mennonite fiction that ties in good, clean, contemporary romantic suspense together is a nice break from a TV world that is filled with sex, violence, 80’s remakes and hard core “reality” shows  that are the new “norm” in our sociality.  I find that I turn towards more “softer or cleaner” stories at times.  And this one fit the bill very well. 

The writer’s style allows you to visualize the scenes in your own mind as she draws out the story with out losing the “whodunit” factor that could be solved in the first three chapters, only to leave you “wanting” for the rest of the book.

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

**This was an ARC from Net Galley/ Bethany House for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**



A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word.
In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. And thus begins Anana’s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole . . .

Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads, The Word Exchange becomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.

I have to say that I have a high reading level but this book almost made me feel dumb.  I had to constantly look up some of the words in order to understand the context in which the word was being used. I found the footnotes to be distracting and unnecessary. It was wordy and  very slow reading as it took me close to 6 weeks to actually reading it all the way through the book for the sake of doing the review. I had to get 50% through the book before the story started to come together. The story concept is set in the not-so-far-in-the-distance-future; had images of my daughter popping into my head. This daughter is addicted to her cell phone. She at times lacks the ability to speak to a person in real life and the ability to function without blasting everything out into the “social media” world she lives in, when it should be keep “in house” so to speak. now don’t get me wrong – at times there were spots of brilliant writing but I sort of wish the book was half it’s current size.  I am reluctant to give this 2 stars out of five.  It just doesn’t do anything for me but have me reaching to a dictionary of my own.

**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**



In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.
Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.
Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.
At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.

The Godborn is the second novel of the soon-to-be released The Sundering series and yes I did read the 1st book Companions. If you are a Kemp Fan you will enjoy the book with it's strong beginning , middle and ending. I was able to follow along without re-reading the whole series which was a plus for me. 
I look forward to reading the next book in the series when I have a minute to breathe. 

Thank You Mr. Kemp for bringing me back to my D&D roots!! It's been a long while since I read this genre and I'm glad I have the privilege to say you brought me back!!
**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.*



Jazz Age London, a passionate and forbidden interracial romance, and the unbreakable bond between a bright young woman and her eccentric grandmother come together brilliantly in this gem of a novel, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, Twenties Girl, and The Chaperone.

Fresh out of university, Betty is ready to begin a new chapter of her life in London—one she hopes brings new friends, a big career break, and perhaps even true love. Following her dreams in bustling, grungy nineties Soho, she’s ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks…

In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette—Betty’s grandmother—is starting her new life in a time of post-war change. Beautiful and charismatic, Arlette is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. But two years after her arrival in London, tragedy strikes and she flees back to the country for the rest of her life.

As Betty tries to manage the ups and downs of adulthood, she’s distracted by a mysterious letter she finds after Arlette’s death—a letter written to a man Betty has never heard of but who meant the world to her grandmother. Will the secrets of Arlette’s past help Betty navigate her own path to happiness?

A heartwarming detective story and a captivating look at London then and now, Before I Met You is an unforgettable story about two very different women, separated by seventy years, but linked by a shared determination to make their dreams come true.

As I type this up I realized that this is an “either/or” book.  Where I liked the book over all, some others did not. I got to see London in 2 different eras through the eyes of Arlette and Clara.  I liked the way it was presented as we learned a bit of the family mystery & history in the story line that leaned on the more serious side in comparison to other Lisa Jewell’s books .  There is different emotions with in the book that will have you coming full circle as you go on.  It has that delicate, lacey feel of a by-gone era with a touch of humor, mystery and intrigue to keep it interesting. It made for a nice easy read on a slow rainy weekend.  I would give this 4 stars out of 5.

**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**



On a February night in 1897, the general store in Walford, Iowa, burned down. The next morning, townspeople discovered a charred corpse in the ashes. Everyone knew that the store’s owner, Frank Novak, had been sleeping in the store as a safeguard against burglars. Now all that remained were a few of his personal items scattered under the body.
At first, it seemed to be a tragic accident mitigated just a bit by Novak’s foresight in buying generous life insurance policies to provide for his family. But soon an investigation by the ambitious new county attorney, M. J. Tobin, turned up evidence suggesting that the dead man might actually be Edward Murray, a hard-drinking local laborer. Relying upon newly developed forensic techniques, Tobin gradually built a case implicating Novak in Murray’s murder. But all he had was circumstantial evidence, and up to that time few murder convictions had been won on that basis in the United States.
Others besides Tobin were interested in the case, including several companies that had sold Novak life insurance policies. One agency hired detectives to track down every clue regarding the suspect’s whereabouts. Newspapers across the country ran sensational headlines with melodramatic coverage of the manhunt. Veteran detective Red Perrin’s determined trek over icy mountain paths and dangerous river rapids to the raw Yukon Territory town of Dawson City, which was booming with prospectors as the Klondike gold rush began, made for especially good copy.
Skull in the Ashes traces the actions of Novak, Tobin, and Perrin, showing how the Walford fire played a pivotal role in each man’s life. Along the way, author Peter Kaufman gives readers a fascinating glimpse into forensics, detective work, trial strategies, and prison life at the close of the nineteenth century. As much as it is a chilling tale of a cold-blooded murder and its aftermath, this is also the story of three ambitious young men and their struggle to succeed in a rapidly modernizing world.

Fascinating piece of non-fiction!! This is for all those True-Crime buff’s out there - you don’t want to miss this one!!   It was a great read from the 19th century and it shows how forensics has come a long way from there to here.  I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

**This was an ARC from Net Gallery for my honest opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.**


Well folks there we have it.  5 different genres to pick from this week.  As always comments are most welcome and I look forward to replying to them.  If you have read any of these books, I would me interested in hearing what you thought.  Thanks for stopping by!! Until next time…


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