Mini-Reviews: Black Swan Rising, Rooms, Dance with the Dead


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.

Black Swan Rising

Tite: Black Swan Rising

Author: Lee Carroll

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . . .

That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?

On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.

Review: The book started out strong and atmospheric, but then lost some of its charm along the way, with the introduction of the elementals, and then some parts that didn’t make much sense. I did like the main character, Garet James, and the storytelling was all right for the most part. I loved the first half of the book, but only somewhat enjoyed the second part.


Title: Rooms

Author: James L. Rubart

Genre: Christian Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.

Review: When I started reading this book, I didn’t realize it was Christian fiction, which isn’t my usual genre, but I did enjoy part of it nevertheless. I thought this would be more of a ghost story, so I went in expecting that (the hallways and doors appearing and disappearing had me thrown off) but it wasn’t that at all. Anyway, most people who read it, loved it, but for me it was over the top, and the characters didn’t act very realistic either.

Dance with the Dead

Title: Dance with the Dead

Author: James Nally

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district. Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.
Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district. Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.
PC Donal lands himself a place on the murder squad just as his unconventional brother, journalist Finton, unearths the secret double life of Elizabeth.
The bodies mount, each clinging to the strands of hair belonging to the previous victim. The police are convinced it’s the act of a serial killer. But how does Donal convince them it’s not?
The only people he can trust are the victims he dances with in his dreams.

Review: I have to admit I picked up this book because the cover intrigued me – the synopsis didn’t convince me that much. But soon enough, I started getting sucked into the sotry and loved every minute of it. PC Donal is an amazing protagonist, with some hidden secrets, the case kept me on the edge of my seat, and the writing was excellent.

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