Tag: Kim

The Continent by Keira Drake

Author: Keira Drake
Published: March 27, 2018
350 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of battle, a thing long vanished in the peaceful realm of the Spire. For Vaela, the war holds little interest. As a smart and talented apprentice cartographer and a descendent of the Continent herself, she sees the journey as a dream come true: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But Vaela’s dream all too quickly turns to nightmare as the journey brings her face-to-face with the brutal reality of a war she’s only read about. Observing from the safety of a heli-plane, Vaela is forever changed by the sight of the bloody battle being waged far beneath her. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, Vaela finds herself much closer to danger than she’d ever imagined—and with an entirely new perspective as to what war truly means. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

Kim’s Review:

I found this book at the Barnes and Noble 50% Book Haul. The cover was nice and the description sounded interesting. I decided to move it up my list and read it relatively soon after buying it. It was ok. That’s the only word I can think of to use. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t good. I had high expectations at the beginning; it had all the makings of a great story. But as the story progressed, the more disappointed I was. Vaela was a boring, rich girl. Noro could have been interesting, but Vaela brought him down. The political allegory of savagery vs. privilege was obvious and somewhat true, but when the Spire was condemned for minding its own business and not getting involved with the warfare on the Continent, I was done. Even the action was just ok. It held my attention only marginally. I was very glad when I reached the end. Snowflakes definitely won’t like this book, the ones on Goodreads made that very clear! I didn’t think it was offensive, just mediocre. I’m glad I read it, but I don’t recommend it to anyone.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

A Double Review of Sticky Fingers 3

Today Kim and I are bringing you a double review of JT Lawrence’s short story collection Sticky Fingers 3. We have really enjoyed these complications and really hope Lawrence keeps writing these short story collections.  Again, this collection was sent to us from Lawrence in exchange for an honest review.

Author: JT Lawrence
Published: June 15, 2018
Audible

Book Description:

JT Lawrence is back with more short stories that are creepier than ever. You won’t be able to get these deliciously twisted tales out of your head…

Grab them while they’re hot and sticky.

This collection includes:

Tears of a Dead Man
A man tries to convince his doctor that he is dead.

The Shelter
Would you take the noose around your neck if it meant saving everyone you knew?

The Children in the Walls
The storm tried to keep her out; she should have listened.

Death is a Woman in a Blue Dress
What happens if you let Death in the front door?

Fenrir
A viking is called to fulfill his bloody destiny despite his desire to stay home with his love.

Blackwater Estuary
Witch panic spreads like wildfire in this poignant tale of a midwife accused of saving a baby.​

Perky Pilgrim
Jeffrey Sacks is back, and this time he’s taking no prisoners.


Kim’s Review
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

I am writing this review based off the listening of my free Audible copy, provided by the author. This is easily my favorite of all the Sticky Fingers short story compilations. I could not stop listening and found every excuse to drive just so I could have it playing. Once again, Lawrence builds on the first two collections and I love it! And these stories were actually slightly longer, which I didn’t think I was going to like, but I did. We find out the end of Jeffrey Sacks’s strange online review obsession. Believe it or not, I actually like Jeffrey!

My favorite of this volume is The Shelter . . . whoa! Lawrence needs to write an entire book, just based off that story. I seriously want to find out what else happens to Anna and Simon! Fenrir (the Viking story) was also brilliant! Such a great ending to a great collection . . . unless of course, we get more Sticky Fingers volumes!! Cuz I am all for that!!!! I would actually recommend, not just this volume, but all the Sticky Fingers collections to pretty much everybody.

Jessica’s Review
Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars

JT Lawrence is back with volume three of Sticky Fingers!  I really hope she keeps these books going as I have truly enjoyed all of this short story series.  They can be read as standalones, but I would recommend reading them consecutively as there are appearances from ‘repeat characters’. This was a pleasant surprise to experience. 

The narrator for all three Sticky Fingers volumes is Roshina Ratnam, and like Lawrence she is also South African.   Once you adjust to her ‘accent’ you will love her voice! She does a superb job with the narrations. 

As with the previous volumes, I will share some mini-reviews of some of the stories I enjoyed:

The Shelter:
OMG, this one was excellent and I need more of this story! This is the kind of story that pulls me in. If you enjoy dystopian stories, this will be one to read!

Lucky Strike:
A good one: be careful who you might double cross!

The Hostage Situation:
This one is every parent’s worst nightmare.  I am thinking it must be autobiographical when Lawrence dealt with a sick child.

Every Breath You Take:
A prison interview: I really enjoyed this disturbing story on obsession/love. 

Blackwater Estuary:
 Another disturbing story I did not want to end.  A witch hunt….. I find those kinds of stories fascinating.

Perky Pilgrim:
Jeffrey Sacks is back and sharing more reviews: This one is a continuation and very enjoyable!!!

If you enjoy short stories that are a bit twisted, this is the series of books to read.  You will not regret it.  I hope Lawrence continues to bring us more Sticky Fingers volumes!

 **Special thanks to JT Lawrence for sending us an Audible copy to listen to in exchange for an honest review.  PLEASE write more Sticky Fingers!**

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK 

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A Double Review of Sticky Fingers 2

Kim and I previously listened to the Audible version of Sticky Fingers by JT Lawerence here.  We will be reviewing Sticky Fingers 2 today and Sticky Fingers 3 tomorrow!  All of these Audible versions were sent to us by Lawrence in exchange for honest reviews: and both Kim and I  love these short story collections!  We are somewhat similar yet also different with what we like and it seems that between the both of us we enjoyed all of the stories in these collections. Thank you so much JT Lawrence for sending us these copies!  

Author: JT Lawrence
Published: March 24, 2018
Audible

Book Description:

Diverse, dark-humored, and deliciously bite-sized: JT Lawrence ratchets up the tension with this compelling collection of short stories perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Roald Dahl.

Stories Include:

Gatsby’s Double
An artist’s Pomeranian has been replaced by an imposter.

Court, Marry, Kill
Whose body ends up being unzipped by fish on the ocean floor?

Rockabye Baby
A female-only cult has a very dark side.

He Did It
A detective relies on his gut (and his hallucinations) to help him solve murder cases.

The Brain Bleacher
He can remove your pain by hacking your memory, but his own suffering is here to stay.

If you’re a fan of Roald Dahl or Gillian Flynn you’ll love this collection of unsettling stories with a twist in the tale. Get it now.


Kim’s Review
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

I am writing this review based off the listening of my free Audible copy, provided by the author. Another awesome short story collection, just as dark as the first! And I really enjoyed how the author built on stories from the first collection. The vacation reviewer story was funny in the first volume, but he was absolutely hilarious in the second! I laughed through the whole story. I loved trying to predict the twist in each story, not that I’m very good at it, I just enjoy doing it. I think my favorites in this bunch were Astrid, about the mother who puts her daughter in daycare for the first time, Dasher, cuz I hate kids and people (:D), and Court, Marry, Kill, because I love vigilante justice!

The Sticky Fingers compilations are pretty much the only short story collections that I’ll read, and I really like them a lot! The only reason I gave this collection 4 stars is because one of the stories is from the When Tomorrow Calls series, and I had already read it. I absolutely recommend this collection to anyone looking for a chilling, interesting read!

Jessica’s Review
Dates Listened: October 10-16, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Continuing in the tradition of Sticky Fingers, JT Lawrence brings us volume two in what is at this point a three volume series of short stories.  There are twelve stories in each and I love these books! I really enjoy short stories, especially when they are well written.  There is something for everyone if you like short stories that have a twist to them. Just be prepared for when the story is over that you may want it to continue!

Not all the stories were not for me, at no fault to the author.  Some of the stories just did not work for me, but not everything written will please everyone.  JT Lawrence really has a talent with her short stories!  I will write ‘mini-reviews’ on some of the stories:

Panama Wings:
A Missing woman and a missing plane. What’s the connection? It’s not what you expect and neither was that ending. 

Astrid:
This one really gripped me. I figured the twist out fairly quickly, but the journey of getting there with our narrator… OMG!

GlobeTrotter69:
Here we go again with the reviews of a hotel stay! I love it!!!!

Court, Marry, Kill:
This one was difficult to listen to, but had a satisfying ending: I loved it!

Alpha Lyrae:
A robot love story: I needed more to this one. Maybe Lawrence will expand on this world! (And I am selective with my sci-fi stories…)

Rockabye Baby:
A female only cult:  That is all you need to say and I am there reading it!  I find cults fascinating and this had a Handmaid’s Tale feel to it for me (I have not read Handmaid’s Tale and only watched the first episode of the show, but it had the same type feeling for me.) 

Brain Bleacher:

I loved this concept and I need more!

**Please note that Jessica had previously purchased a Kindle copy, but chose to listen to the Audible copy sent by the author. Thank you again to JT Lawrence for the Audible copy. We both enjoyed it and highly recommend this short story collection!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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