Tag: 4.5 stars

The Fifth to Die #4MK

Author: J.D. Barker
Published: July 10, 2018
416 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 2- 15, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

Jessica’s Review:

My review of The Fourth Monkey, the first in the series is here.

J.D. Barker is back with The Fifth to Die, sequel to The Fourth Monkey (4MK). This is another brilliant novel in the series.  Be warned in advance:  there is a cliffhanger to this one…. I need the third (and possibly final??? ) book now!   I really like Detective Porter and Bishop is just frightening and now we see where he gets it from: His mother!

I would say you could read The Fifth to Die before 4MK, but I would not recommend it at all!  You would see what’s going on as this novel goes into the past some, BUT you would miss so many of the details and you NEED to know 4MK’s gruesome background!  You will not understand the brutality or how extreme of a sociopath Bishop is without reading 4MK

There is quite the punch of activities that occur in a short amount of time in Fifth. We have multiple POVs and more than one bad guy. The mystery with what is going on with the girls keeps you reading wondering what will happen next.  And thank you J.D. Barker for totally freaking me out by the overdose one character dies of: I am currently taking that medication!! 

Bishop is fast becoming a favorite serial killer of mine and I look forward to see what Barker brings us next in this series. I just hope it isn’t too long!

The reason I rated The Fifth to Die 4.5 stars (rounded up to five for Goodreads, Amazon, etc) was that I personally wanted more of Bishop in the novel.  His presence wasn’t as high in this one as I wanted.  BUT we do get another frightening serial killer!  J.D. Barker, how do you come up with these characters in your mind?????

Special thanks to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and J.D. Barker for my arc copies!

The Fifth to Die is highly recommended!

Giveaway Alert!!!:

**Be sure to go to Jessica’s Reading Room on Facebook for a chance to win a SIGNED arc copy of The Fifth to Die sent to me by J.D. Barker!! It runs through Saturday morning!!!!

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Author: Stephanie Oakes
Published: June 9, 2015

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second time I’ve read Minnow Bly and I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first. Stephanie Oakes has a way of drawing the reader into the story and immersing them in the lives of the characters. I identified with Minnow since I also grew up in a cult-like environment. Thankfully my parents had brains and used them to think for themselves and there was no violence, so I wasn’t affected at all like Minnow was. I’ll admit that there is a huge difference between the school I went to and a cult. ?

I also love how Oakes manages to draw the mystery out to the very end. She kept the scope relatively small and intimate; everything stayed believable and realistic. Minnow was a likable character that I had no problem rooting for even when the possibility of wrongdoing came into play. The idea of her missing hands made her more fascinating. And that brings me to the missing .5 star. I don’t like how the cover has a girl with hands holding a book . . . Minnow doesn’t have hands, why would you put a girl with hands on the cover??? Petty and picky, I know, but I can’t help it! Y’all know that covers mean a lot to me, so you can’t expect me to not analyze the cover! But overall, I really loved this book! Between this book and The Arsonist, I’m at the point that I will pick up anything written by Stephanie Oakes without question. I would definitely reserve this book for older teens, because there is some language. But I think anyone who enjoys brainy, psychological reads will enjoy this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

 

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The Price Guide to the Occult

Author: Leslye Walton
Published: March 13, 2018
288 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it.

In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.

Kim’s Review:

I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender several years ago and I really enjoyed it! Plus, the cover is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! So when I saw The Price Guide to the Occult, the cover jumped out at me and I had to get it. I actually liked it better than I did Ava Lavender! Price Guide was actually far more story-centric than Ava Lavender was.

I wanted so badly to find out what was going on that I barely put this book down. The history of the Blackburn family fascinated me. My inner historian (that’s actually not so inner and incredibly easy to arouse) jumped up and started begging to learn more.

Nor was a likeable character, considering that she’s a teenager who so desperately fights to be differing from what she is. I found myself feeling for her and rooting for her throughout the book. After finding out how horrible her mother is, I felt for her even more. Nor’s grandmother, Judd, may be gruff and bristly, but she really cares for Nor and she became one of my favorite characters. I loved the setting that Walton created and she was able to conjure fantastical elements that still sounded believable.

The fern tattoos were creepy, yet beautiful and I even started considering getting a fern tattoo up my arm . . . ink is addicting, don’t judge me! Overall, this story was interesting and unique and I like how I felt I had never read it before. I think this book is suited perfectly for older teens and honestly, it’s a great one to give to both teens who love to read and to those who don’t like reading. I think this would be a great book to help get them into reading.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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