Friday, September 30, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Curse of the Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #10
10 hrs. 40 min.
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 6/28/16
Source: Library
As a Part-time PI and fulltime grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension. 
There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers? 
Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…
My thoughts:

Finally got to this one! I wasn't disappointed either. :D I did become worried about Reyes when a lot of people who had read/listened to this one before me was complaining about him being less that forthcoming. I didn't want a stupid misunderstanding to get in the way of this couple (that is usually how it goes). Luckily my fears were unfounded. While there was miscommunication, it was cleared for our couple and for the reader.

Oh so much was clarified! We got to know more details about what is going on and yet there are still more mysteries to be had. I think what I really loved about this one is how much more confident Charley feels to me. She is still learning what she is and who she is because of it, but she really is accepting of those parts as they come and is learning to use her powers. I think I really like this Charley. I cannot wait to see what comes next and I cannot wait to get to know Beep. I have a feeling she will be more than a handful to both parents. :)

I also swear that if Lorelei King stops narrating this series, I might have to read them instead of listening to them. I don't say that often, but she is the voice of Charley and does such an excellent job of the other characters. I think it would be too jarring for me to hear anyone else narrate it. If you haven't tried this one on audio, do try it. I think you'll love it. Might also be the series to get you into audiobooks. :D

I give this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to those that love UF and snarky humor.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On My Wishlist: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

by Marissa Meyer
464 p.
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Published: Nov. 8, 16
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. 
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen. 
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. 
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
I know that not everyone loves retellings but I just enjoy the creativity that comes from taking something well known and making something new. After all, in a way, there is nothing really new. :)
So what is on your wishlist this week?

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Sinner by Amanda Stevens

Series: Graveyard Queen #5
384 p.
Publisher: Mira
Published: 9/27/16
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place…

I'm a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone.

I've come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is hard to come by…for the ghosts here and for me. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a caged grave, I know that I've been summoned for a reason. Only I can unmask her killer. I want to trust the detective assigned to the case for he is a ghost seer like me. But how can I put my faith in anyone when supernatural forces are manipulating my every thought? When reality is ever-changing? And when the one person I thought I could trust above all others has turned into a diabolical stranger?
My thoughts:

I had heard about a last book being written and I was afraid that this one would be the last in the series (...especially with that ending! NO cliffie, but open). I didn't have to worry. There will be a #6 which will be featured in an upcoming wishlist post. :) *whew* and *squee* :D

This one was so creepy that I had trouble getting to sleep the first night I started the book. I set it aside for a bit because I needed sleep, but after I was refreshed I totally went through this book quite easily. Yea, you might want to keep a nightlight on or snuggle with your own ghost detecting Angus before reading this book. Oh and speaking of Angus... he's back! I love that dog. Unfortunately I don't have one of those and my huge pup would rather me protect him from those things that go bump in the night. LOL

I didn't like where things were left off in the last book romantically and I wasn't hopeful for most of the book. By the end with all the twists and turns, I'm now hopeful again that things will turn out the way we want. I need my HEA! You don't quite get that here, but you aren't left devastated either.

The mystery is twisty and quite dark and spooky. Perfect for a graveyard book. This one had me second guessing ALL the secondary characters (except Angus, of course) and I have to say I'm still not totally convinced that all are on her side even now. It feels like personal agendas are also being played while she is forced to solve some of the scariest mysteries. This atmosphere sets us up brilliantly and gives us the perfect feel for the book and I dare say the next as well.

Oh and that ending! I knew there had to be another since there are a couple of things still needing to be solved and I cannot wait to get my hands on that book! Oh and what a great ending. So perfectly sets us up but doesn't let us down. I want to say more because I do think I squeed a bit at the end (um... I know that sounds bad, but it wasn't... LOL). I highly recommend this book to horror fans (I'm a wimp and loved it, just sayin'), UF fans, and those that love a good paranormal mystery. This is one to read in order. If you haven't started this series now, do it! We'll wait... *taps fingers*

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Series: #1
448 p.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: Sept. 27, 16
Source: Edelweiss and Publisher for review
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched. 
The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die. 
Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan. 
Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara. 
Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . .
My thoughts:

 I loved this author's other retellings and seeing the creepy cover I jumped at reading this book. While I did like the dark world she built here and it did engage me, it just fell a bit flat for me. I don't think this will be how everyone will experience this book but, in my case, it happened this way for me. I think that it was because it was a retelling of such an iconic and famous play and I have a feeling I would see it differently if it wasn't a retelling. This usually doesn't bother me and I've read other retellings of Romeo and Juliet and it didn't bother me, but for some reason I think it got in my way here. Perhaps it is because the world is SO different and I would have enjoyed it if it was labeled more as an original story.

This is also a very dark story. VERY dark. In fact there was no HEAs in this book. Now it is possible it may end in an HEA (I believe this is supposed to be a duology) but this book does not give you that happy feeling at the end. In fact the foreboding is for more darkness and pain emotionally and physically.

While this book may not have totally captured me in full, I still have enjoyed it enough and it has made me so curious as to what will happen next. How will they resolve things? How are all the players in this twisted dark play going to come together? Will there be no HEA or a final resolution in the end? While I realize this sounds like it ends in a huge cliffie, it does not, but it does not feel complete. I must know where this story will take me.

I give this book 3 stars. While I didn't love everything about this book the darkness really did capture my attention and curiosity. I really need to know if things will come to the light or wither in darkness.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On My Wishlist: Yesternight by Cat Winters

384 p.
Publisher: William Marrow
Published: Oct. 4, 16
A young child psychologist steps off a train, her destination a foggy seaside town. There, she begins a journey causing her to question everything she believes about life, death, memories, and reincarnation. 
In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged by one curious child. 
Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination. But, slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might indeed be telling a strange truth. 
Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.
I've only read one book by this author, but I really want to read more. This sounds so good!
What is on your wishlist this week?