Mini-Review: Raven’s Cove, Frozen, Pale


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Raven’s Cove

Title: Raven’s Cove

Author: Mary Ann Poll

Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural, Mystery

Rating: 2,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Welcome to Ravens Cove, Alaska, a tiny town nestled in a small hollow on the majestic Cook Inlet. A town familiar with storytelling-after all, Alaska abounds in rich legends. Unlike other tales, however, the account of Ravens Cove is not just based in fact. It is fact. Meet Josiah Williams, the peculiar stranger whose warning to lifetime residents Kat Tovslosky and her cousin, Sheriff Bart Andersen, raises more questions than answers; a man whose dark past and knowledge of the murders make him a suspect more than an ally. Join Kat and Bart as an unlikely troop forms (including a very unwelcome FBI agent) to discover the identity of a killer. The unearthing of which will throw the reluctant warriors into a battle for their very lives and the lives of all who call Ravens Cove home.

Review: Raven’s Cove wasn’t the intriguing blend of fantasy and supernatural mystery that I’d hoped. It wasn’t nearly as creepy as I thought, there were a lot of Christian themes, and it actually read more like a cozy mystery. Not too bad, but it definitely lacked suspense and creepiness. The villain isn’t defined well enough, and is rather bland, just your typical, standard bad demon that is inherently bland.


Title: Frozen

Author: Mary Casanova

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Rating:  4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn’t know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother—and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.

One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs—pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life’s great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel—did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?

Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again.

Review: A mix of coming-of-age, mystery and historical fiction. The story is haunting, lyrical, and the writing was great. Sadie is a lovely main character, and the setting, the roaring 1920s is amazing. She’s curious, intelligent, and quite charming – she matches well with the 1920s setting. The slow revelation of what’s going on was great, but the ending was a little too fast.


Title: Pale

Author: Chris Wooding

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Dystopian

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead – but when you come back you’ve changed – you’re a Pale, an outcast. It’s the last thing Jed wants, but an accident changes everything and Jed’s forced to discover the true cost of living forever.

Review: This was a novella, so a quick read. The premise was intriguing, and I liked the whole plot about the Lazarus Serum. Jed, the main character, goes through some real changes, and has to make tough moral decisions. The book moves fast, sometimes too fast, skipping over the consequences of some of Jed’s decisions. It would’ve worked better if the plot had been expanded upon more, and turned into a full-length novel.


Mini-Review: The Lynching of Louie Sam, Scent of Magic, Cold Remains


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Lynching of Louie Sam

Title: The Lynching of Louie Sam

Author: Elizabeth Stewart

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Fifteen-year-old George Gillies lives in the Washington Territory in the late 1800s, where white settlers have an uneasy relationship with the indigenous people living there. When a local man is found murdered, suspicion falls on Louie Sam, a young member of the Stó:lō tribe. George and his best friend, Pete, follow a lynch mob north into Canada, where the terrified boy is seized and hung.
Racked with doubts, George begins to ask questions. Was Louie Sam really a murderer? As George uncovers the truth, tensions in the town rise, and he must face his own part in the tragedy.
Inspired by a true story.

Review: The book is based upon a true story, which makes it more intriguing, and sad too. While I found Louie Sam an interesting character, and I enjoyed getting to know his world and customs, I wasn’t to impressed with the writing. Could’ve been better. The ending was dissapointing and provided little closure.

 Scent of Magic

Title: Scent of Magic

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Hunted, Killed—Survived?
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible … again.

Review: Another one that I didn’t figure was a sequel until I started reading. This book is an excellent read though. I loved Avry, I quickly picked up on the worldbuilding, which is quite extensive and impressive, and all characters seem well-motivated and three-dimensional. Excellent writing too. No wonder this was a bestseller.

Cold Remains

Title: Cold Remains

Author: Sally Spedding

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Horror

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Jason Robbins arrives at the eerie Heron House in deepest Carmarthenshire for a writing course, he soon meets its two weird servants who seem to exercise a sinister power over their scheming employer, Monty Flynn. Another newcomer is Helen Jenkins, a cook, to whom Jason is instantly attracted. Together they discover what dangers really lurk behind those ivy-clad walls; how the terrible post-war past bleeds into the present when the tormented soul of the young woman haunting them will stop at nothing to have her story told. But is the ghost’s version of events to be trusted? And at what cost to Jason and Helen when they attempt to find out the truth?

Review: This book was different, in a way that was sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I found it a bit wordy, the descriptions too lenghty to keep up the suspense at times. I loved how a ghost did some of the storytelling though, and it definitely had original elements. It’s a mix of mystery, suspense, horror, thriller, set in a beautiful, atmospheric landscape.

Mini-Review: Innocent Darkness, Enchanted Ever After, Sister Assassin


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Innocent Darkness

Title: Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles #1)

Author: Suzanne Lazear

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock’s hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer’s eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

Review: This book starts out amazing. The middle part is a little less kick-ass awesome, but it picks up again toward the end. Faeries are awesome, and I loved reading about the Otherworld civilization. Great worldbuilding and writing too.

Enchanted Ever After

Title: Enchanted Ever After

Author: Robin D. Owens

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Magic was just around the corner….

Kiri Palger knew the difference between reality-new house, hard work and not too many friends-and fantasy-the fun she had playing online games. So when the chance to work for the best gaming company in the world came up, giving her a chance to merge business with pleasure, how could she not apply?

Suddenly she has more friends, interesting neighbors and an intriguing love interest. But when the game begins to awaken something inside her, Kiri is shocked by the talents she never knew she had… and an evil she’d never imagined.

Her nice, safe life is imploding around her-and if she takes up the mantle of her powers, it will never be the same again….

Review: I had no idea this was the third book in a series. However, even though not reading book one and two, I wasn’t completely lost, and I got the hang of the story almost right away. This book is filled with original elements, and a great plot. I enjoyed the characters, but sometimes the plot got away from me, and some parts seem to go nowhere. A decent read, but could’ve been better.

Sister Assassin

Title: Sister Assassin

Author: Kiersten White

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Dystopia

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

She never chose her deadly gift but now she’s forced to use it. How far would you go to protect the only family you have left?

Annie is beset by fleeting strange visions and a guilty conscience. Blind and orphaned, she struggles to care for her feisty younger sister Fia, but things look up when both sisters are offered a place at Kessler School for Exceptional Girls.

Born with flawless intuition, Fia immediately knows that something’s wrong, but bites her tongue… until it’s too late. For Fia is the perfect weapon to carry out criminal plans and there are those at Kessler who will do anything to ensure her co-operation.

With Annie trapped in Kessler’s sinister clutches, instincts keep Fia from killing an innocent guy and everything unravels. Is manipulative James the key to the sisters’ freedom or an even darker prison? And how can Fia atone for the blood on her hands

Review: What an amazing read! Sister Assassin is amazing. It’s an original story about two sisters, one is blind but has visions of the future, and the other has flawless instinct. This is a fast-paced, great read. The ending shocked me to the core. Awesome read!

Mini-Review: Dead Letter Office, As She Left It, Shakespeare vs. Lovecraft


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Dead Letter Office

Title: Dead Letter Office

Author: Kira Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues.

Review: Started off great, but quickly went downhill. The idea is wonderful, reminiscent of those choose-your-own-adventure books, but it falls short. The setting, New Orleans, was great, and I loved how the book even brought a ghost into play. Unfortunately the plot seemed far-fetched, and the characters were one-dimensional. Celia was all right, but the secondary characters lacked personality. A so-so read.

As She Left It

Title: As She Left It

Author: Catriona McPherson

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When she was twelve years old, Opal Jones escaped her mother’s endless drinking. Now, returning to their small Leeds cottage after her mum’s death, Opal feels like she’s gone back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, Opal’s ancient music teacher, still plays trumpet with his band. And much to Opal’s delight, her favorite neighbor, Margaret Reid, still keeps an eye on things from the walk in front of her house.

But a tragedy has struck Mote Street. Margaret’s grandson, Craig, disappeared some ten years ago, and every day he’s not found, shame and sorrow settle deeper into the neighborhood’s forgotten corners. As the door she closed on her own dark past begins to open, Opal uncovers more secrets than she can bear about the people who were once her friends.

Review: Mysterious atmosphere, suspense palpable from the first page. Opal is an intriguing main character, and I felt for her, and all the hardships she went through. I enjoyed how the mystery slowly unfolded, and we figured out more and more about the characters. Solid mystery read.

 Shakespeare vs. Lovecraft: a Horror Comedy Mash-Up

Title:  Shakespeare vs. Lovecraft: a Horror Comedy Mash-Up

Author: D.R. O’Brien

Genre: Horror Mash-Up

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In the same putrid vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shakespeare v. Lovecraft slithers hideously onto the literary mash-up scene, whispering of cosmic horrors and eldritch tales whilst espousing sweet soliloquys and profoundly contemplating mankind’s place in the universe.

Prospero, driven dangerously insane by prolonged exposure to the dread Necronomicon, makes a terrible pact with the titanic alien beast known only as Cthulhu. Now only his enchantress daughter Miranda and a handful of history’s greatest heroes are all that stand between humanity and blasphemous eternal subjugation.

It’s a bloodbath of Shakespearean proportions as Cthulhu and his eldritch companions come at our protagonists from all manner of strange geometric angles in a hideous and savage battle for supremacy.

This horror-comedy novella of 36,000 words will seize you in its clammy grip and not release you until you have gone positively mad with delight! Witness all this and more:

Histrionic Heroes vs. Tentacled Terrors!!! Endless Soliloquys vs. Unnatural Silences!!!

Romeo vs. Mi-Go!!! England’s Royal Beasts vs. A Shoggoth!!!

The Author vs. Iambic Pentameter!!!

Review: Great premise, to combine Lovecraft’s characters and Shakespeare characters. Unfortunately the plot falls short. The first chapter is riddled with adjectives that have little purpose being there. Characters lacked depth and personality, and I didn’t much care for them. A ‘meh’ read.

Mini-Review: Auraria, Devil’s Bargain and Grounds to Kill


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Title: Auraria

Author: Tim Westover

Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Folklore

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Water spirits, moon maidens, haunted pianos, headless revenants, and an invincible terrapin that lives under the mountains. None of these distract James Holtzclaw from his employer’s mission: to turn the fading gold-rush town of Auraria, GA, into a first-class resort and drown its fortunes below a man-made lake. But when Auraria’s peculiar people and problematic ghosts collide with his own rival ambitions, Holtzclaw must decide what he will save and what will be washed away. Taking its inspiration from a real Georgia ghost town, Auraria is steeped in the folklore of the Southern Appalachians, where the tensions of natural, supernatural and artificial are still alive.

Review: Auraria offers an intriguing blend of folklore, paranormal, history and even some facts, since it takes inspiration from a real Georgian ghost town, and the folklore of the Southern Appalachians. A whimsical, fun experience, with captivating writing. The main character borders on being one-dimensional though, which was a letdown, but overall, I enjoyed it.

Devil’s Bargain

Title: Devil’s Bargain

Author: Rachel Caine

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Jasmine “Jazz” Callender is on the downhill slide to ruin. Once a decorated homicide detective, she’s lost it all: her former partner’s been convicted of murder, she’s been cashiered out, and she’s drinking away what little self-respect she’s got left. But Jazz has a talent for trouble, and somebody knows it. When a mysterious, sexy stranger comes looking for her with a fateful red envelope in his hand, she’s about to make the deal of her life…for good or bad.

The deal requires her to enter into a partnership with a stranger and investigate cases that arrive in special red envelopes…which is odd enough, but gets weirder as she and her new partner Lucia realize that they may be working for someone with supernatural abilities.

And maybe they’re not on the side of the angels anymore.

Review: Romance only plays a minor part in this book, and that’s a good thing. Detective Jazz is on a downhill slide, but when she gets a red envelope from a mysterious stranger, proposing her the deal of a lifetime, it’s her way out of this mess. The deal requires her to enter a partnership with a strange, and investigate cases arriving in red envelopes. Things get weirder soon, and Jazz finds herself in a complicated moral dillemma. Excellent writing and character development – I absolutely loved Jazz, and wouldn’t mind reading more books in this series.

Grounds to Kill

Title: Grounds to Kill

Author: Wendy Roberts

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Barista Jen Hanby’s coworkers give her a hard time for bringing coffee and pastries to a homeless man who sits outside her café—but she has a secret. The scruffy man is her father.

She’s also hiding the little matter of why her palm itches. But how can she explain that her hand has a mind of its own and writes messages from the beyond? Right. That’ll get her Employee of the Month.

When she finds herself scrawling your boyfriend is cheating on you! to herself on the bathroom mirror, she immediately dumps the guy. But then his little fling—who just happens to be her half sister—turns up dead, and suddenly Jen’s homeless father is the prime suspect.

Jen knows he is being framed and must take matters into her own hands to protect him. But will anyone believe that the crazy old man is innocent? Or that his spirit-writing daughter holds the truth?

Review: Cozy mystery with a touch of paranormal. Jen is a barista with a homeless father and an itching hand that writes messages from the month. Unfortunately, her life is about to get worse – her boyfriend is cheating on her, his fling turns up dead, and her Dad is the number one suspect. Interesting mystery, but the main character lacked personality, and the story was riddled with adjectives. Suspenseful, at times humorous, but all in all, just “okay”.

Mini Review: Winter Chill, Lynnwood and Now You See Me


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Winter Chill

Tite: Winter Chill

Author: Joanne Fluke

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The moment Marian Larsen sees the patrol car stop outside her house, she feels a shiver of foreboding. The news is even worse than she feared. Marian’s husband and young daughter have been in a snowmobile crash. Dan is paralysed and Laura is dead, her body broken on the icy ground.

. . .With A Chilling Secret

Friends and colleagues in Marian’s Minnesota home town rally around to try and ease her grief. But soon there are more horrible accidents. Then the rumours start–that these are not coincidences at all, that someone is picking off victims one by one. And as winter deepens, the search for answers will reveal a killer whose blood runs colder than the blinding snow. . .

Review: While the book offers an intriguing plot, the characters are as thin as a sheet of paper, the language feels outdated, and while a huge part of the novel is build on the psychological state of the main characters, the characters themselves lack personality and character development. Gripping writing though, and an interesting plot, but fails to deliver.


Title: Lynnwood

Author: Thomas Brown

Genre: Horror, Suspense, Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The unthinkable is happening in Lynnwood – a village with centuries of guilt on its conscience.

Who wouldn’t want to live in an idyllic village in the English countryside like Lynnwood? With its charming pub, old dairy, friendly vicar, gurgling brooks, and its old paths with memories of simpler times.

But behind the conventional appearance of Lynnwood’s villagers, only two sorts of people crawl out of the woodwork: those who hunt and those who are prey. Visitors are watched by an entity between the trees where the Dark Ages have endured to the twenty-first century. Families who have lived behind stone walls and twitching curtains know that the gusts of wind blowing through the nearby alluring Forest bring with them a stench of delightful hunger only Lynnwood can appease.

Review: I had trouble getting into the feel of the novel, but after the first few chapters, I got used to the cinematic, descriptive writing, and the setting. It’s a well-crafted tale of horror in a quaint, remote English village, that reminded me of gothic horror classics, and gave off a disturbing, claustrophobic feel. Excellent writing, and a plot that surprised me and chilled me to the bone.

Now You See Me

Title: Now You See Me

Author: S.J. Bolton

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

One night after interviewing a reluctant witness at a London apartment complex, Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, stumbles onto a woman brutally stabbed just moments before in the building’s darkened parking lot. Within twenty-four hours a reporter receives an anonymous letter that points out alarming similarities between the murder and Jack the Ripper’s first murder a letter that calls out Lacey by name. If it’s real, and they have a killer bent on re-creating London’s bloody past, history shows they have just five days until the next attempt.

No one believes the connections are anything more than a sadistic killer’s game, not even Lacey, whom the killer seems to be taunting specifically. However, as they investigate the details of the case start reminding her more and more of a part of her past she’d rather keep hidden. And the only way to do that is to catch the killer herself.

Fast paced and completely riveting, S. J. Bolton’s Now You See Me is a modern gothic novel that is nothing less than a masterpiece of suspense fiction.

Now You See Me is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Mysteries title.

One of Library Journal‘s Best Mystery Books of 2011
Review: A modern-day copycat Jack the Ripper. A young detective constable, Lacey Flint, who has to solve the case, and seems to become the focus point of the killer’s sadistic game. This book blends historical fiction and contemporary thriller into a riveting blend of action, suspense, and fear. Definitely has its own style, and stands out from the crowd of books based on the Jack the Ripper story. Great writing as well.

Mini-Review: Hanging by a Thread, Renegade and Wicked Kiss


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Hanging by a Thread

Title: Hanging by a Thread

Author: Sophie Littlefield

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year’s Fourth of July festival won’t see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing’s wrong.

And they’re not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people’s pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year’s Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

Review: An interesting, original topic, but unfortunately entirely screwed up by the way too long narrative. The characters and plot don’t live up to the potential of the premise either. Clare is a pencil-thin character, with the personality of a cardboard figure. The plot takes too long to pick up – I went through half of the book, before I even got the feeling there was some plot to speak of. Not recommended.


Title: Renegade (Ripper #2)

Author: Amy Carol Reeves

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Brimming with romance and danger, the suspenseful Ripper series continues

The Conclave—a secret group with twisted ideals and freakish practices—has been wiped out, thanks to Arabella Sharp. Now there’s a new malevolence afoot. Fishermen are getting killed, their partially devoured bodies washing up on the shores of Scotland. Is the Ripper responsible? Or have the Conclave’s sinister experiments left behind something more monstrous? Abbie fears the worst when her beloved Dr. William Siddal vanishes. To save the man she loves, Abbie must comply with the Ripper’s dreadful orders—and put her own life in grave danger.

Review: I loved the first book in this series, but the sequel, “Renegade”, did not convince me.  Abbie’s dark visions, and her continuous hunt for Max, were the most intriguing things about the book. I wasn’t so fond of the whole Conclave thing, felt too much like a conspiracy theory. But the major downside of this story is how Abbie, previously a strong, independent character, loses her entire personality when William is around, like she turns into a ragdoll. An okay read for people wanting to continue the series.

Wicked Kiss

Title: Wicked Kiss

Author: Michelle Rowen

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

My kiss can kill.

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that’s changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone’s soul…or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don’t…I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I’ll kill him. Then there’s another boy, one I can’t hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They’re both part of a team of angels and demons that’s joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I’ll be able to help Bishop—or if I’m just another part of the darkness he’s sworn to destroy….

NIGHTWATCHERS: When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising…

Review: Wicked Kiss definitely does NOT suffer from second book syndrome, in fact, it’s even better than the first. What would you do if you could steal someone’s soul, or their lives, by kissing them? It’s a question Samantha Day has to answer, and fast. Demons and angels working together is pretty kick-ass. Add in a kick-ass main character, and you get an entertaining novel, ideal for fans of YA paranormal.

Mini-Review: The Iron Traitor, Of Triton and Some Quiet Place


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Iron Traitor

Title: The Iron Traitor

Author: Julie Kagawa

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as “normal” as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he’s forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, “normal” simply isn’t to be. For Ethan’s nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan’s and Keirran’s fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan’s next choice may decide the fate of them all.

Review: Someone needs to stop Julie Kagawa before she writes more masterpieces. Seriously. She kind of destroyed my heart with this one. As usual, we meet a bunch of characters from the Nevernever, some old familiar turn up, and the writing is, once again, top-notch. Julie Kagawa is an amazing author, and she drives that point home once again, with this novel. Words cannot describe how awesome this is.

Of Triton

Title: Of Triton

Author: Anna Banks

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half-Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

Once again, Anna Banks infuses Emma and Galen’s points of view with humor, intrigue, and waves of romance.

Review: Main character Emma is one of the most annoying protagonists in the history of mankind. She struggles with a major identity crisis, which, for some reason, means she wants to complain every other sentence. The romance is overwhelming – it’s everywhere, and everything is focused on it, and it’s not even that interesting. At least the world-building made the book somewhat enjoyable.

Some Quiet Place

Title: Some Quiet Place

Author: Kelsey Sutton

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Review: Interesting concept, with the protagonist unable to feel emotions, although she sees them in others. Delicious chemistry between Elizabeth and Fear. A spooky read with a mystery wrapped inside, and gorgeous writing to match.

Mini-Review: POE, The Creep, Girls and Monsters


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Title: POE

Author: J. Lincoln Fenn

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

It’s Halloween, and life is grim for 23-year-old Dimitri Petrov. It’s the one-year anniversary of his parents’ deaths, he’s stuck on page one thousand of his Rasputin zombie novel, and he makes his living writing obituaries.

But things turn from bleak to terrifying when Dimitri gets a last-minute assignment to cover a séance at the reputedly haunted Aspinwall Mansion.

There, Dimitri meets Lisa, a punk-rock drummer he falls hard for. But just as he’s about to ask her out, he unwittingly unleashes malevolent forces, throwing him into a deadly mystery. When Dimitri wakes up, he is in the morgue—icy cold and haunted by a cryptic warning given by a tantalizing female spirit.

As town residents begin to turn up gruesomely murdered, Dimitri must play detective in his own story and unravel the connections among his family, the Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, and the secrets held in a pair of crumbling antiquarian books. If he doesn’t, it’s quite possible Lisa will be the next victim.

Review: I thought it was young adult, turns out it’s not, but it still reads like one. Dimitri is an okay main character. I wasn’t really that fond of him, but he turned out all right. Aspinwall Mansion is almost a character on its own, and some of the scenes are deliciously creepy. The writing is atmospheric and suitable for a gothic horror novel. Unfortunately the story lacked originality, and while the writing was atmospheric and haunting, the book never really reached the creepy-level I’d hoped for.

The Creep

Title: The Creep

Author: Jonathan Case, John Arcudi

Genre: Comic, Graphic Novel, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A young boy puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. The police don’t care – not about his death or the death of his best friend two months earlier. The dead boy’s mom seeks help from an old flame that’s employed as a detective. What she doesn’t know is that he suffers from a physical deformity that manifests at midlife. Will the detective’s freakish appearance get in the way of uncovering the terrible secrets of these two teenagers? This collection features additional art by Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Ryan Sook, and Tonci Zonjic.

Review: Two young boys kill themselves months apart. Nobody seems to care, so the boy’s Mom calls in the help from a deformed detective. Atmospheric reading, a noir graphic novel where tragedy meets mystery and suspense, and one of the most intriguing casts of characters I’ve read about in a while. A definite recommendation for fans of horror / mystery.

 Girls and Monsters

Title: Girls and Monsters

Author: Anne Michaud

Genre: Short Stories Collection, Dark Fiction, Horror

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:

Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine’s beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears…and lived to tell about it.

Review: Girls and Monsters is a short story collection, all featuring stories by Anne Michaud, and all stories have something to do with girls and monsters. The writing is of great quality overall, and the stories are original enough to entertain. “Dust Bunnies” was my favorite story, mostly because I’m scared of spiders, and this story played on that fear. Overall the stories offer unique twists, but I found “We Left at Night” to be a bit of a letdown.