Tag: 2 stars

Engines of the Broken World

Engines of the Broken World
Author: Jason Vanhee
Published: November 5, 2013
272 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Merciful Truth and her brother, Gospel, have just pulled their dead mother into the kitchen and stowed her under the table. It was a long illness, and they wanted to bury her—they did—but it’s far too cold outside, and they know they won’t be able to dig into the frozen ground. The Minister who lives with them, who preaches through his animal form, doesn’t make them feel any better about what they’ve done. Merciful calms her guilty feelings but only until, from the other room, she hears a voice she thought she’d never hear again. It’s her mother’s voice, and it’s singing a lullaby. . . .

Kim’s Review:

What a weird book. The whole time, I just sat, puzzled. This animal that wasn’t an animal, but looked like an animal, but kept changing its appearance to different animals . . . What?? I thought maybe, once the mother started moving and talking even though she was dead, things were gonna get good. Not really at all. I had such high hopes with the cover and the description. But by the end, I was more confused than when I started!

I’m not even sure how to describe what I read. I think it was supposed to be some kind of post apocalyptic tale, but even then, I’m not sure. Different worlds that can communicate with each other, ministers that look like animals but aren’t, snowstorm that shrinks the world. But then it just ends with no resolution. I just didn’t like it. I don’t get what happened. I don’t understand what the author was trying to say. I just don’t know. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this book to anybody.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Reviews of the Night Fall Series Books 10 and 12

The Night Fall series is a series of 12 books aimed at young adults written by different authors.  I recently listened to two of the series on audiobook and I am sharing my reviews for both The Prank and The Late Bus today:

The Prank
Series: Night Fall #12
Author: Ashley Rae Harris
Published: August 1, 2011

Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 25, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Pranks make Jordan nervous. But when a group of popular kids invites her along on a series of practical jokes, she doesn’t turn them down. As the pranks begin to go horribly wrong, Jordan and her crush, Charlie, work to discover the cause of the accidents. Is the spirit of a prank victim who died twenty years earlier to blame? And can Jordan stop the final prank, or will the haunting continue?

Jessica’s Review:

I was waiting for another audiobook to arrive and saw this was available and also a short one, right around two hours. It is part of a series that seemed reminiscent of the R.L. Stine Fear Street book series I absolutely loved as a teen. But it did not deliver for me.

First, it takes place in high school, and yes, I do enjoy YA books, but the teen drama was too much for me in this.  There is a reason you may not want to go back to high school and this book showed it.  

Jordan doesn’t like pranks but then the ‘popular kids’ invite her to come join with them. She doesn’t at first but then gets pulled in because they used an item of hers and left it at a location. Then things begin to get out of hand.  Quite honestly, I don’t even remember the ending and even though it is a short audiobook, I will not go back to it as I did not really even care about the teens.   It just tries to give a lesson for teens to not prank others or face consequences.  

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Late Bus
Series: Night Fall #10
Author: Rick Jasper

Published:  August 1, 2011
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Date Read: June 26, 2020

Book Description:

Lamar takes the late bus home from school after practice each day. After the bus’s beloved driver passes away, Lamar begins to see strange things–demonic figures, preparing to attack the bus. Soon he learns the demons are after Mr. Rumble, the freaky new bus driver. Can Lamar rescue his fellow passengers, or will Rumble’s past come back to destroy them all?

Jessica’s Review:

The Late Bus is the second audiobook in the Night Fall series I listened to. This one was much better than The Prank.  This one was a 45 minute audiobook, but Warning Warning: We have a problem Libby App: This is only part of the story!  If you look on Amazon, it says the book is 116 pages.  116 pages cannot be read in 45 minutes!  Also when I started the beginning of the audiobook, the narration began with chapter 10. So we are missing the first half of the book. This is very unfortunate as I enjoyed this one.  It is not ‘scary’ but a mystery. I don’t think it would be scary to ‘younger readers’ either. I was invested in the story  and really enjoyed the ending and if I had gotten the whole story, I am sure I would have given it 4 stars. You can’t really review something when you don’t have the whole story, but being I enjoyed it, I tried to review it the best I could.

I am far from the target audience for these two books, I don’t think I would listen to the others in the Night Fall series based on these two books, but if I had the chance to read the whole book of The Late Bus I would. I would like to get the whole story.  I hope if I ever re-read some of  the Fear Street series I hope they hold up well for adult readers as they did for teen readers  all those years ago.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Little Secrets

Little Secrets
Author: Jennifer Hillier

Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: April 21, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-16, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.

Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.

Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.

Jessica’s Review:

This was a thriller that had promise but did not deliver. I hate to say this because you don’t ever want to blame the parent (especially if you do not have kids like me) but it was all Marin’s fault: She was in an extremely busy area with her young son and texting. Not only texting, but it wasn’t really important! She took her eyes off of her son at the height of Christmas shopping season!  So basically I did not have empathy for Marin while listening to the audiobook.

Then, the direction the novel goes did not bring anything new to the thriller genre for me.  It wasn’t really a thriller either; it was an average suspense novel.  The direction it goes in is a bit far-fetched, but then when we ultimately find out whom the ‘villian’ is it isn’t surprising and neither is their motive.

This one just did not deliver, but I would give Hillier another chance to see if one of her other novels works for me.  She may be another author that ‘isn’t for me’.  The one saving grace for me with Little Secrets was the narrator Kirsten Potter. To me she has a voice similar to Diane Sawyer, and I was first introduced to her narration with The Couple Next Door.  As with The Couple Next Door I felt like I was listening to an episode of a news show such as Prime Time Live. Potter was the reason I finished Little Secrets.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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