Category: Review

Belladonna by Sian B. Claven

Belladonna
Author: Sian B. Claven
Published: September 15, 2019
281 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Meeting Eleanor changes Patrick Knowle’s life as he knows it.

His only passion has been the ocean right up until meeting the enchanting heiress to a fortune almost as big as his own. Life simply couldn’t get better until Patrick starts seeing the pale woman in the water.

Mysteriously, people in their coastal town start to drown in the most bizarre ways.

After being attacked himself, Patrick goes on a quest to unearth the mermaids’ secret, and ultimately face the consequences of his own ignorant actions.

Kim’s Review:

Claven is a beast!! I swear, now I’m just reading her books to see if she’ll disappoint me! She hasn’t yet, and I’m starting to worry that her streak is coming to an end … I doubt it, but it would be just my luck! 😂

This book is labeled simply, “a twisted tale”: accurate. My only criticism, is that the ending contradicted my own sense of justice. Ok and the connections throughout the mystery were a little obvious to me and I wondered why the cops didn’t see it.  I’m pretty sure none of that spoils anything and hopefully it will intrigue you enough to go read it. In this world of sparkle and color, mermaids and horror are not the most usual combination, but it totally worked. The idea of getting lost at sea and drowning is terrifying enough. Then to add deranged mermaids, you got a great story. It was a fast read and I was done in one sitting. The cover is gorgeous and I had chills pretty much the whole read.

At this point, I recommend not only this book, but pretty much everything Claven has written!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Sunday Series Review: Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Trilogy

Today Kim brings you a Sunday Series Review of Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Trilogy by William Shatner.

Books in the Series:
Spectre

Dark Victory
Preserver


Spectre
Published: April 1, 1999
384 Pages

Retired and happily married, Kirk believes his adventuring days are over. But as he returns to Earth for the first time since his apparent death upon the Enterprise-B, events elsewhere in the galaxy set in motion a mystery that may provide Kirk with his greatest challenge yet.

Dark Victory
Published: April 1, 2000
303 Pages

James T. Kirk returns to the mirror universe that was first seen in the original televised Star Trek, to engage in a battle with the cleverest and most dangerous foe he has ever encountered, his mirror universe duplicate.

Preserver
Published: April 1, 2001
420 Pages

In the Mirror Universe the tyrannical Emperor Tiberius, once captain of the ISS Enterprise, had great success turning captured alien weaponry to his advantage. Until, that is, his failure to seize the tantalising advances of the ancient First Federation. Now, in the more peaceful universe of the United Federation of Planets, Tiberius sees his second chance. And a new ally will help him take it – his alter ego for whom he has nothing but contempt – Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk. Honorable, idealistic and decent, James T. Kirk is many things Tiberius is not. But he is also a man deeply in love with his wife – and Teilani is dying. To save her life, Kirk is prepared to compromise his ideals and enter into his most dangerous alliance yet.

Battling Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a new generation of Starfleet heroes, Kirk must guide Tiberius to a long-abandoned First Federation base which conceals a power so great it will enable Tiberius to conquer the mirror universe – and his own. But on that journey Kirk uncovers long-hidden secrets that raise the stakes far beyond the mere survival of family and friends. At the heart of their quest, something else is waiting: an object from a civilisation whose technology is far more advanced than any Kirk or Tiberius could hope to acquire, placed there for Kirk’s eyes only by mysterious aliens who appear to have influenced life within the galaxy over eons of time – a message from the Preservers…


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 3.5 stars

Kim’s Thoughts on the The Mirror Universe Trilogy:

I did write a separate review for Book 1, Spectre. This review is for the series as a whole. I won’t rehash what I’ve already said, I love Spectre so much. I was so excited to continue on with the series. My review for Spectre is here.

Unfortunately, Books 2 and 3 do not live up to the awesomeness of Book 1. I felt like we switched from Shatner to his ghost writers. Book 2, Dark Victory, felt like nothing more than a placeholder. It existed just to give details so we would get what was happening in Book 3. Teilani turned into a completely different person and Kirk went from maverick to unhinged. I was also completely out of my league with the science. Normally, I can keep up in Star Trek. I get the basics and pick up things as I go. I know that a cloaked vessel emits tachyon particles and that’s the best way to detect it … but I can’t really tell you why it does or what tachyon particles are. Dark Victory went to a more advanced level that I knew I’d never be able to reach. It felt like a struggle just to understand what was going on half the time.

Book 3, Preserver, got better, but I was still disappointed. The story line that was developing in Spectre was what I wanted to read. But by the end of Preserver, we were in a completely different quadrant and I’m still not sure how we got there. Preserver dealt more with history than with science so I felt a little better on my own turf, but I really didn’t like how it made me question literally everything I had seen and learned from Star Trek up to that point. And the ending just felt incomplete, like Kirk lost who he was along the way.

Overall, I was just dissatisfied. I wanted to enjoy it, and I did enjoy parts, but Shatner let me down and I mourn what this series could have been!!

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Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Jamaica Inn
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1936
307 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

Kim’s Review:

I first read this book back when I was in college. I was working on campus during the summer and I’d spend my lunches in the library reading and exploring … I know, I was a nerd. I had already read Rebecca in high school so I knew du Maurier was a great author.

Jamaica Inn is almost as good as I remember! It’s suspenseful, gothic, and kinda scary. I’ll admit that Mary felt a little overdramatic at times, which is why I gave it 4 stars, but when the problems were revealed, most of her reactions became justified. I also found it amusing that du Maurier was obsessed with gender in this book. Every other conversation was, “were I not a woman,” or “if you were a man”. Thankfully, it was mostly said in jest or “what if” scenarios, but it added an interesting perspective to a classic gothic tale. The plot also moved steadily and had a good twist, that I suspected, but was not obvious.

I’m pretty sure that Jem Merlyn was one of my first fictional crushes; he’s adorable! I enjoyed my rereading and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Eyre-esque stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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