Tag: 4 stars

Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender

Published: August 25, 2015
329 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second time I’ve read this book and I’m so glad I went back to it. Since it was so long ago, I barely remembered anything about the story. Katie Alender has established herself as a solid horror author. She does a great job with atmosphere. Her settings create the perfect atmospheres that push her stories forward. Hysteria Hall … why don’t I have a rich relative who leaves me an old mental hospital? The story was simple, but unique. The twists were surprising and unpredictable. My only real issue with this story is Delia’s parents. It just annoyed me how much they overreacted to her little stunt. I added tips to my future parenting notes after reading this book. But overall, it was creepy, it was fascinating, and I really liked it a lot! I think it’s a great book to hand to teens to encourage their love of reading!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

Strangelets
Author: Michelle Gagnon

Published: April 9, 2013
272 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
18-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they’ve been trapped in a future that isn’t of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light Sophie, Declan, Anat, and the rest must decide what to do with a second chance at life—if they can survive to claim it.

Kim’s Review:

This was a random find that sounded pretty cool. I saw the words “abandoned hospital” and that was it! Unfortunately for me, the hospital wasn’t haunted or even the focal point. Once I got over that, I couldn’t put it down! The story is engaging even predictable, but without being obvious. Every time I thought I guessed what was happening, the mystery just continued. My only real issue with this book is that with all the anticipation that Gagnon built up, the ending felt a little anticlimactic. I don’t want to give any more info about the plot, because this book needs to be read with as little knowing going into it as possible.

Overall, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to those who like mystery with a little creep.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Goddess in the Machine
Series: Goddess in the Machine #1
Author: Lora Beth Johnson

Published: June 30, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: September 27-October 12, 2020

Book Description:

When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

Jessica’s Review:

It is rare that I read a sci-fi novel, but the book description sounded intriguing to me, so I decided to read (well listen) to it: And Goddess in the Machine is a LONG one coming in at a 15 hour narration!  

I was really only interested in Andra’s unique situation, and  Zhade’s storyline did not interest me at all.  I could care less that he is the bastard son and his whole situation.  Part of my problem with Zhade’s perspective in the novel is the linguistics of the people in the year 3102.  It is easy to ‘catch on’ with the way they speak; it just did not work for me.  I think I benefited listening to the audiobook because of this versus having actually read the book. I think if I had tried to read it that I might have DNF’d it.   I give props to Johnson for coming up with an ‘updated English language’ as this must have taken some time and effort to come up with.  This is also her first novel, so bravo for doing something different language wise.

I did not really like Zhade with him using Andra for his own benefit.  Though I do like how his name is pronounced in the audiobook.  I did really like Andra (her name is short for Andromeda.)  She is an average, normal teenager thrown into the most unexpected and unusual situation and having to try and struggle to survive in a new world and time with everything unfamiliar. 

There are twists that come up throughout the novel that I would have never seen coming in 1000 years. As the ending of the novel creeps closer, we get more twists which was setting up for the second novel, which I need NOW!  My husband heard a little of the audiobook as we were driving one day and he ended up reading and enjoying Goddess himself, though he did figure out the twists that I didn’t. That could be that he is more of a sci-fi reader/ watcher.  He is not a reviewer but he said he would have given it 4 stars.

For a novel that is outside of my ‘comfort zone’ 4 stars is a very strong review from me!  I would recommend this one to those who enjoy sci-fi and maybe those not so into sci-fi. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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