Author: Annalee Adams
Published: October 31, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars
Trapped in a cage, fighting for her life, will she survive the night?
Gretel is a blood-curdling serial killer thriller, that tells the story of seventeen-year-old Lucy, taken against her will five years ago. Caged up with no-one left to protect her she must survive the night or become the killer’s latest victim.
After he killed her, she wept. Body bags and chainsaws stripped the night clean. Her mind a mess of revulsion, as the silence took over and the girls pleaded for their lives. Had it been five years already? Trapped down in the darkness, away from reality. Now Jess was gone, brutally murdered; she was like a lamb to the slaughter… and tonight was the feast.
Halloween had arrived and that meant only one thing, candy bars, and corruption as he took her screaming soul from the cage and introduced her to her former best friend. This short story is a novelette of nightmares, forgotten victims and surreal realities.
I’m not sure what I expected from this little book, but it’s nuts! It’s the perfect short story for those Criminal Minds fans. The cover is amazing, the story is simple and effective, the characters are interesting and easy to sympathize with. My only real criticism is that I’d like more overall info; I also acknowledge that it’s just a short story. Gretel just left me shaking my head. It was terrifying and nasty and engaging and I have to say that the twist was pretty crazy! A very good book!
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Radiance by Grace Draven! This is the first in the series, and is way out of my normal genres I read! But we both gave it four stars, so that is saying something!
Series: Wraith Kings #1
Author: Grace Draven
Published: January 13, 2015
The Prince of no value:
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
The noblewoman of no importance:
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
I think Beccie and I have found our groove with Buddy Reads! And this time we brought Yami and Jessica along with us! I’ve heard good things about this book for a while. I’ll admit that it wasn’t what I was expecting; that’s the only reason I gave 4 stars. When I read a romance book, I like smut. This book didn’t have much. But, for a romance book, the plotline was deeper than I expected. And I enjoyed it! I definitely plan on reading more of the series. I also liked the characters. Brishen was pretty stereotypical, but Ildiko surprised me. I really liked her. Normally, I’m not a fan of female characters, but she was likable and consistent. She wasn’t stupid nor did she behave stupidly. Even the villain was beautiful and terrifying and I enjoyed hating her! Overall, an excellent example of quality fantasy romance!
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: June 23-July 6, 2022
Format Read: Kindle e-book
This one was a buddy read with Beccie, Yami, and Kim. Though I was the slow reader of the group as they all finished it within a few days of starting! Radiance was very much out of my comfort zone with reading in both Fantasy and Romance genres, I did not know what I was going to think of it. Surprise for me: I actually enjoyed it!
We have two people Ildiko and Brishen who are from different species that are forced to marry for their peoples. Brishen is the ‘spare heir’ of no importance who is Kai and Ildiko is of Human royal blood, but also not of enough importance. It is a marriage bound together for a treaty. Both find each other physically revolting, and their first meeting is entertaining at times.
We get to see the differences in the two species both physically and how they live and what they even eat. ( A strong dislike for potatoes for Brishen and for Ildiko as she discovers scarpatine pie… This is something no human would ever want to eat!) But out of their marriage of convenience comes a respect for each other which leads to friendship and humor and eventual love . It is a slow burner romance, so don’t go looking for smut right away because you won’t get it. They are both smart and very mature which this makes a good love story!
There isn’t much that goes on in the story until closer to the end and then we get some action! It seems that Draven is saving the action for the second in the series, which I will be reading.
I really liked Ildiko and Brishen, but his mother…well… You will just have read Radiance to see… His mother is truly a piece of work….
For a novel that is out of my genre, I think four stars is a very good review, and the fact that I will be starting the second says something. Maybe I really am starting to expand my horizons in reading.
Sea of Tranquility
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Published: April 5, 2022
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
A novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal–an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
What a fascinating book. I bought it on a whim and while it had its small bit of annoying idealism, I truly enjoyed reading it. I’m liking this multi-timeline trend. Not the historical fiction, lady walking away on the cover kind, but this sci-fi kind. And this one added a thread that is definitely unique. While it had some of those typical factors that are oh so overplayed, the overall product felt like something I hadn’t read before. And considering how technical some of the concepts were, I still felt like I knew what was going on. I enjoyed this book! Will I read it again? Probably not, but it’s definitely worth the read!