Tag: 5 stars

Book Review: Kallista by Sian B. Claven

Kallista
Series: The Butcher #2
Author: Sian B. Claven     

Published: February 15, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 10-12, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

All her life Kalli thought that her sister had lost her mind, seeing a ghost everywhere and associating it with death. Kalli wants her own answers though, and spends her life working towards being granted access to the Butcher files and solving the deaths that rocked their community all those years ago.

Things take a turn for the worst when the haunting figure from her sisters’ twisted mind starts appearing to Kalli and she is left questioning her sanity and whether the Butcher is back.
Kalli must find the answers before it’s too late.

Before she sees the skeleton girl one more time.

Before she meets her own demise.

Jessica’s Review:

I have the whole Butcher series on kindle, but Claven was wonderful enough to send me Kallista on audio as I can get to audiobooks much quicker than kindle or physical books due to my daily commute. My review for the first in the series, Tatum, is here.

Kallista is the second in the Butcher series and takes place 10 years after the events of Tatum. Kallista (Kalli) is determined to find the Butcher and is working to become a profiler and we go on this journey with her!  We have two pov: Kalli and The Butcher himself!  I was invested in the whole story, and cannot decide which pov I preferred! I was rooting for Kalli but loved getting into the disturbing and depraved mind of The Butcher. And I was dying of curiosity the whole novel: Just WHO is The Butcher?!!??!!?

Besides the mystery of The Butcher, we have a horror and thriller novel with paranormal take on it that will keep you reading. I also enjoyed this as we see that the skeleton girl is back! Just an FYI:  This series deals with an extremely disturbing serial killer and Claven doesn’t hold back with the violence and goriness as she tells us her tale, so reader prepare yourself.  But I can’t help that I enjoy the dark and disturbing!  

I really enjoyed everything about this continuing story. Kallista kept building to a very intense climax and just when you think the story is over, Claven comes back with one more “gotcha” moment! I can’t wait to see where the series goes next, and thankfully Claven also sent me the audio of the third novel: Sylvana, so I can start it right away!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: While You Sleep by Caillou Pettis

While You Sleep
Series:
Newryst #1

Author: Caillou Pettis
Published: March 8, 2022
140 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Welcome to the city of Newryst – one of the most terrifying places known to mankind. On the surface, it seems to be a bustling city full of big dreams and hopeful ambitions, but upon closer inspection, it’s actually the focal point of some of the most horrifying and unexplainable cases ever documented.

In this collection, you’ll read ten pulse-pounding tales. An ordinary man experiences the most extreme form of sleep paralysis ever documented. A young boy wakes up in an unfamiliar room and must do everything it takes to escape. An antique store owner comes into possession of a mysterious music box with a cursed backstory. A man continuously hears clicking noises coming from deep inside his walls. Two radio hosts receive unsettling news while broadcasting live on air.

What do all of these stories have in common? They all occur in the city of Newryst. Take a journey into the mind of author Caillou Pettis as he walks you through all of the most disturbing events throughout the history of Newryst.

Kim’s Review:

This is a really good anthology! Normally I’m not a huge fan, especially when I have a hard time seeing the commonality in the stories, but that’s what I liked about this book. I didn’t have to search for it. All the stories take place in the same city, and that’s it. I went into it with that simple piece of info and it made all the difference. When I wasn’t looking for things in common, they just started appearing. And then, the most important thing: it was pretty creepy! So many of these stories gave me chills! I don’t want to say too much or give anything away so this is one of those reviews where I tell you to just read it and you’re welcome! An excellent anthology!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

Anatomy: A Love Story
Author: Dana Schwartz

Published:  January 18, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 13-28, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

A gothic tale full of mystery and romance about a willful female surgeon, a resurrection man who sells bodies for a living, and the buried secrets they must uncover together.

Edinburgh, 1817:

Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.

Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.

When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect.

Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then.

But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.

Jessica’s Review:

Anatomy is a YA Historical Fiction novel that is so much more than what meets the eye!  We have Hazel who is a young woman ahead of her time: She wants to become a surgeon when women were not. This is also a time when being a surgeon is looked down upon versus being a regular doctor. Hazel was attending lectures disguised as a man, and she is kicked out when her true gender is discovered. She does make a deal with the professor that if she can pass the doctor’s test then he will let women attend his lectures.  Being kicked out she is forced to find her own ways to learn about the human body which involves a ‘resurrection man’ (a man who is paid to steal bodies of the newly deceased. We also have a mystery when resurrection men start to go missing.

The title is a bit deceptive, there is a love story, but it is minor to the story itself.  If you go in expecting a full-on love story, then you will be disappointed.  Anatomy was a solid four star read for me until we got closer to the ending and the novel went in a direction I would have never expected!  It was a bit mind blowing for me and this unexpected twist brought this novel up to five stars and I anticipate that it will be in my top ten of this year. 

Being this is a YA novel, Hazel comes off older than her actual age, but that is due to the times she is living in. She is smart and determined, yet also unsure of herself due to her young age.  I couldn’t help but like Hazel.

This is a dark novel that will have some scenes that could make some readers squeamish. It is not entirely accurate: towards the end there is a particular medical scene that most readers would know that the procedure would not actually ‘work’, so you have to suspend disbelief and I did because the story was so intense at this point!  Towards the end there is no way a reader can put this novel down!

I listened to the audiobook version which includes a conversation with the narrator and author.  Definitely listen to this as you will learn more, which includes a possible sequel which I hope Schwartz delivers on!   She also started writing this novel before our current pandemic hit and changed the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed Anatomy and very highly recommend it! Another positive:  Just look at the gorgeous cover options available to a reader!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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