My Rating: 4 Stars
A great read! A mix between different genres that blend perfectly together and with a style of writing that got me hooked from the beginning.
Arriving in a new school, Annie feels out of place. When she meets Elsie, she is forced to become her best friend. Her new friend soon begins to reveal that her character isn’t at all pleasant: she is controlling, spiteful and demanding, but at the same time, she is violently bullied. When Annie ends her relationship with Elsie and joins the opposition, things take a turn for the worse: Elsie dies of influenza… and she comes back to haunt Annie. How do you release a vengeful ghost when its anger is aimed at you?
This suspenseful novel is a page-turner with brilliant descriptions and amazing characters.
The setting was very well picked; the reader is taken back to 1918 during the World War I where political tension runs high, the talk of war is current and the Germans are considered the enemy. The descriptions allow the reader to live the story instead of just reading it. The storyline is solid and its depth reveals a few brutal events and behaviours that took place during that time. There is a mix of genres that is perfectly balanced and they all come together to create a historical ghost story.
The novel is fast-paced; I couldn’t find a moment it slowed down even for a moment, one of the reasons the book was so hard to put down.
The characters are the best element in the novel for me. They are very well developed and defined not only in behaviour but also in dialogue and their actions. I must admit I found it impressing that the author managed to do this with so many characters and not once lose track or diminish their presence in the story. Elsie is a character that I couldn’t help but sympathise with. In my opinion, her actions and behaviour come from her lack of attention and acceptance and her loneliness. If she never got anything positive out of human interaction, she wouldn’t know how to actually establish contact in a friendly way in the first place. She has a difficult character, but she was also a victim. Annie is a good main character and she struggles to fit in. In the end, she chooses to be part of the bullies group and it becomes her downfall. She does learn from it though, which was a satisfying point personally. Annie and Elsie are the pole opposites of each other both in personality and behaviour, like good and evil. However, I think the point of the author is that none is really good and no one is really evil, at least not without good reason.
A great read, one that I recommend to all the fans of a good ghost story with historical highlights.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Clarion Books. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best mystery thrillers I’ve read this year! I’m a fan of Caine’s work on The Great Library series and it was a pleasant surprise to read something so far from the fantasy world!
Gina Royal had it all: the house, the husband and her two children, completely unaware of the deadly secrets hidden behind a perfect family picture. When a car accident brings to light that her husband is a serial killer, Gina becomes Gwen Proctor, a woman on the run from accusations and internet stalkers that find her guilty of helping her husband. In desperate need to settle down, Gwen moves to the remote house of Stillhouse Lake where she thinks her children and herself will finally have some peace. That is until the body of a woman is found floating in the lake, killed with the same method Gwen’s husband used.
It’s a horrific, thrilling and suspenseful novel that had me glued to its pages, right from the first chapter. The style of writing and the very well thought plot made this novel very addictive and compelling. The feeling of paranoia is always present and the characters will share that feeling with the reader. The atmosphere builds up perfectly and every event just adds to a great climax. The novel works perfectly on the dangers of the internet and how “internet is forever”. The author describes very well the social dilemma of how the family of a criminal is easily put in the same bag even though they had nothing to do with the acts committed by that individual. People tend to forget that there is a chance they might be victims too. Also, beware: if your husband doesn’t show you his garage, maybe it’s not just his workshop after all…
The characters are well developed and very well described. Gwen is a great main character and a warrior; I was proud to read about her deeds and the demonstration of her courage. Her first priority is always her children and if she has to break the rules and moral codes to do it, so be it. It takes a lot of courage and a strong spirit to be able to do what she does in the novel. Overall, the relationships in the novel are solid, especially between Gwen and her children and Gwen and her neighbour.
A great psychological thriller that I recommend to all the fans of these genres.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great historical/mystery novel! It was the first time I read about the story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke and it captivated me from the very beginning.
Andrea Warren is haunted by the suicide of her father while searching for the coffins of Beechland a group of 117 people that went mysteriously missing in 1590. Being a young archaeologist, Andrea takes on her father’s path only to discover that her attention is very much unwanted. Someone is trying to stop her from discovering one of the biggest mysteries of the American culture but with what purpose? Can she finish what she started without losing her life?
Deborah Dunn did a great work in presenting so much historical details and research throughout the novel. It fits perfectly with the story and it made it believable, especially when put together with her own opinion of what might have happened. The mystery that is built around the legend is solid and it kept me captivated all the way through. The approach the author takes in presenting past events through dreams and visions is brilliant. No questions are left unanswered and no strings are left loose.
The descriptions are amazing. The details are so realistic that I could actually see, feel and smell what Andrea sees in her visions. Furthermore, there are the descriptions of the landscape. North Caroline both in the present and the past were described in a way that made me want to visit. The images of the small towns along the coast are mesmerising.
In the beginning, the reader is given a timeline with the known events and their dates of Roanoke; it gave me a first introduction to the theme of the novel. In the end of the novel, the author gives a clear image to the reader of what is real, what is fictional and a small bibliography if there is further interest, details that truly make the difference for me.
It’s an incredible, captivating and thrilling novel that I highly recommend to the fans of a good historical mystery.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
An epic fantasy worth all the five stars!
Two young men from different circles have a greater destiny beyond their wildest dreams and hopes. Quint is the son of a powerful religious family and leads a sheltered life, but everything changes with the introduction of the tribes of Dragonborn. When his life is turned upside down, Quint has to lead and advise his people. Will he be able to since he knows very little of his responsibilities? On the opposite side, Whym’s life has always been haunted by poverty, being born in one of the poorest parts of town; he has little hopes for the future. His life changes when he is given the opportunity to become the apprentice of a mysterious figure. Both men will have to face the journey of their lives, forced to go through dangerous geographical and political paths and war, filled with hidden enemies, dangerous lies and glimpses of truth.
I have a lot to write about on this novel. I loved every moment, every page of this story: I was taken into a different world, immersing myself in its history, its complexity, its characters and social life. But allow me to start from the top.
The style of writing is mesmerizing and I truly admire how the author managed to described and give depth to the world of the Lost Lands and its characters without leaving the reader bored or tired of the descriptions. Furthermore, the organized and methodical structure of the novel leaves no space for loose ends, which is the best satisfaction a reader like me could have. It starts with the lightness in the first chapters, thoroughly building up, providing background stories, introducing characters that sooner or later will have an impact in the story. I have this image that the words are like puzzle pieces that come together to create something bigger and beautiful. I got completely absorbed by the words; it was difficult to put the book down.
The characters are just as complex as the reality they live in. I have to be honest and confess that I did have to make a list with the names of the characters and who they were since I did end up forgetting who they were at some point, but that didn’t influence my view of the novel at all. It is an extensive list of characters however and all of them have a distinctive way personality, and they are all very aware of the issues of their society. They have depth and are well-developed; it was easy to connect with them. The way the novel is written gives the reader the opportunity to get to know the characters as individuals and then as a group. I really felt their connection with each other, not only based on their conversations but also their actions.
Overall: beautiful scenarios, unique characters and a thrilling story-line make this a very promising fantasy series! I vividly recommend this novel to all the fans of fantasy that want to live a unique adventure in this wonderful world!
Thank you, J. Kyle McNeal for reaching out and giving me access to the novel through NetGalley.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great, gripping novel that takes place in the near future where technology is key to immortality.
In a world where human conscience can be uploaded into a computer and loaded into a new body, the Metaform Corporation’s goal is to put an end to death. Gabriel, son of the leader of a cult, confronts his father and as a result, becomes the leader himself with a single objective in mind: to bring down Metaform Corp. Will his plan work or will he get more than he bargained for? It seems that some secrets aren’t meant to go public and some will do everything to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The novel is very addictive and gripping; the storyline is brilliant, refreshing and there is enough action to captivate the readers' attention. I never considered this approach for the future, but it’s true that it actually fits with the quick evolution of technology that we are witnesses of nowadays. It’s a bit concerning to think that only the sick and the old get buried or cremated while the bodies of the young and the healthy get turned into vessels for other consciousness to live on.
The writing style is intelligent, captivating and witty; by the descriptions, it actually seems like that world is very real. I think the author really made emotions transpire through her writing and her characters. Certain moments made me laugh; others hold my breath and in others even tear up a bit. I really enjoyed how Harding gives hope in a world ruled by technology where immortality is a reality, how people deal with the choice of dying or living another lifetime in someone else’s body. It’s a haunting question, which one would you choose?
The characters are very likable and they fit perfectly with the story and this reality. They are complex and deep, which made me love the novel even more. The author did a great job managing the changing between the first and the third person in the novel; it was easy for me to follow the story.
I’m not a fan of the sci-fi genre but Manumission became one my favourites. I will definitely buy it on paperback. I highly recommend this novel to all the fans of dystopias and sci-fi!
Thank you, E.R. Harding, for reaching out and sending me a free digital copy of your in exchange for an honest interview!
My Rating: 5 Stars
A brilliant novel! Thrilling, a bit creepy and very intriguing novel: a promising start for a new series!
Julie Hall has had a tough life: abused by her grandmother in her childhood and cursed with the ability to find dead bodies with her dousing rods, she just wants to blend in and have a normal life with her grandfather and her dog Wookie. At the same time, a serial killer is on the loose, leaving the bodies of young women behind with very little evidence. When an FBI agent called Garrett Pierce comes knocking asking for her help, Julie has to use the ability that she was raised to believe to be evil in order to prevent other killings. As the killer gets wind of Julie, Garrett vows to protect her… but will it be enough?
Grave Calling is highly engaging and addictive. The story-line is very well-developed and constructed, full of twists and turns and a perfect ending with a very unlikely killer. I really enjoyed how the author jumped from the past to the present, it was done beautifully and it was very easy to follow the story without losing myself or the details.
Julie is a great main character and a very unlikely heroine all things considered. The abuse she suffered in her childhood is heart-breaking and the fact that she still struggles with it gives her depth as a character, it makes her more real. Her past has a direct influence in the story, not only because it shapes her, but also because it emphases her struggles to deal with the killings and the bodies she finds. It was a bit agonising to read to be honest. Even so, she has no problems in speaking her mind and definitely not afraid to take on a serial killer. Garrett is a great male protagonist and he has his share of suffering and of bad memories which makes the partnership with Julie a great one, they understand and comfort each other. I really enjoyed reading about their developing relationship and their chemistry. Despite the age difference, they are great together. The secondary characters complement the story very nicely, especially Julie’s friend Katie.
This was my first read of Wendy Roberts and I highly recommend Grave Calling for the fans of cosy mysteries with a bit of spice and a lot of twists and surprises. A great thrilling read!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Carina Press. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
You know when people say that you should never judge a book by its cover? Well, this is definitely one of those cases! I must warn you right now that this book is brutal, very very graphic and definitely not for the faint of heart! I had to stop reading it and start with something lighter to be able to go through with it.
Olivia is about to start a new phase in her life: university. After her father drops her off at the campus dorm, Olivia takes a stroll in the university grounds only to be kidnapped by two masked man and thrown in a van. When she is finally able to see, she finds herself in a room that looks like the interior of a doll house; everything is pink: the bed, the walls, the furniture. Olivia quickly realises that there is no room to escape and the daily visits of her abductors show her in the most brutal way that she is at their mercy. In a house where several young women are abused and raped daily, Olivia spends five years confined in that pink room. Will she ever be able to escape?
Dark and disturbing doesn’t even begin to cover this novel. When I was younger I had nightmares about a white van and it still haunts me today. I can assure you that after reading this, I will run for the hills if I actually see one. My heart was beating on my throat for most of the reading and the level of psychological and physical horror of the story is both admirable and scary. Even though this is fiction, I know that these events actually take place around the world, and that’s why for me it was so hard to read. It’s like facing a reality that we just keep in the back of our brains.
The style of writing is great, pulled me completely into the story. There was this constant morbid curiosity to know what was going to happen next even though I knew nothing good was waiting around the corner.
I definitely want to read future novels of John Hunt but I do have hopes for something less dark and traumatic. I recommend this book to fans of hardcore thrillers with very detailed, disturbing descriptions. But again a warning, this is not for the faint of heart.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Black Rose Writing, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
This was my first time reading a book from Leigh Russell and consequently the thrilling adventures of Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel. I’ll definitely take a look at the previous novels though because this was one amazing and memorable read.
Geraldine is going through hard times. When she finally had her feet on the ground, her twin sister Helena enters her life and proves that the relationship between siblings can be very complicated. As if that wasn’t enough, the Detective Inspector has to find the responsible for the murder of a young woman found in a trash bin before he strikes again. Will she be able to manage her professional and personal life without losing her career and her life?
Even though I didn’t read the previous novels, I still got a good grip of the story and the characters, so I can say that it can be read as a stand-alone.
The story-line of the novel is very solid and very well developed. The murder story is very well structured and it builds up very nicely. One of the things I love the most in this type of story is how in the end everything comes together, like a puzzle. It’s very satisfactory!
The combination between the personal life of Geraldine and the murder investigation was the “cherry on the cake”: the two realities give depth to her character and it’s impossible not to sympathise with her, her internal conflicts and the way she tries to deal with her problematic sister. The effort she puts into coordinate everything is both tiring and admirable and it serves as a reminder that members of the criminal justice system have their own problems and sometimes difficult choices to make.
I will definitely be reading more of Leigh Russell and I’m very curious to see what comes next in the life of Geraldine Steel.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher No Exit Press, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This book was awesome. No other way to put it. I don’t even know how I only heard about these series now and I will definitely get my hands on a paperback version of both instalments.
The story starts with the main character Evelyn and her search for gifted people who are struggling with their powers or simply hiding them out of fear. At the same time, she needs to make sure that she gets to them before the Society of Aberrations does. It’s not a group one should trust… right? With her parents back, Evelyn has to protect herself in two fronts, from the Society and her parent’s intent to marry her off.
I fell in love with this book even though I didn’t have the fortune of reading the first volume These Vicious Masks. It is fast-paced, pack with action, not a dull moment in sight. Intrigue at every corner, I was sitting at the edge of my seat in anticipation. I really couldn’t guess who to trust or to be suspensions of, even though most of the characters are simply amazing. Twists and unexpected events would make anyone hold their breaths.
The time-period is simply perfect and definitely one of my all-time favourites. The colours, the dash of steampunk, the language and the manners are so beautifully described I got goosebumps. The style of writing is perfect, words feel like silk when I read them in my mind, it’s breathtaking and hypnotic. Oh, and did I mention highly-addictive?
Evelyn is an amazing character and she definitely became one of my all-time favourites. She is one badass lady, with a strong character, spirit and smart mind. She is the picture of independence, the complete opposite of what society requires of a woman in that period. She is the proof that we can break free of society’s rules and how we can break them in style and with grace. Despite everything though, she still feels the need to make her parents proud, and does her best to please them even if she doesn’t agree with their traditional views and beliefs. That’s another thing this character is great: even coming from a family with high social status, Evelyn is kind and treats everybody equally and she truly wants to make a difference in the world, no matter the cost. Her powers are incredible, so, another reason I like her, of course.
Utterly brilliant is the only way to describe this amazing novel. I will be ordering the first volume and the second one for good measure because this is definitely a series worth following and having in the bookshelf!
I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this book tours in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
My God, there aren’t enough words to describe this book. Written by Stephen King, this little gem made my emotions run high, and my heart slam against my ribcage from so much suspense. The unique way this book is written really pulled me into the story.
This is the story of Dolores Claiborne , a tough island lady that is both a murderer and an innocent. Read her testimonial as she tells the story of how she killed her husband and how her employer died in her care. No, she didn’t do it. And because she has nothing to hide, she tells the story in the first person and will take you on a ride though the dark side of an island village life and how despair can ride people to commit the most inconceivable acts.
Stephen King did it again, Another brilliant novel. I will be completely honest: I didn’t know at all about this book until I ran into it in the local library (and yes, I mean that quite literally). But it definitely made its way to my heart and it’s one of my favourite novels by King.
First of all, I absolutely loved Dolores! She’s a bitch and knows how to ride that high-horse of hers but she is one badass old lady! When she’s accused of murdering her mistress, she just walks into the police station and tells the story of how and who did it, while coming clean about killing her husband. She’s a mother of three and that never slowed her down! Her wit, perception, charm and boldness make her a great narrator and a memorable character.
The first-person narrative is absolutely brilliant! I could almost hear Dolores’ accent and her own unique way of expressing herself. It’s an unique style of writing that makes the whole difference with this story-line. For me, it invoked a feeling of suspense, the type that creates a ball of nerves in the bottom of the stomach and squeezes the heart.
I highly recommend this novel to all the fans of Stephen King and suspense-genre lovers!
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.