jadestar31

Reviews
More
The Calling

by

The Calling picks up where The Gathering left off. From my review of The Gathering, it’s already apparent that I’m not a fan of this series. I admit that I enjoyed this book more than the previous one, but it was still just mediocre. There’s not much to say because nothing really happens. They’re on the run, they get captured, they escape, rinse and repeat.Everything I said about Maya still stands. She’s still smart, athletic, sensible and a really great role model for younger girls. I just don’t feel any chemistry between Maya and Rafe or even Maya and Daniel. There’s no spark or charm to this series. The book is just dull. I’m hoping the last installment will have more adventure in it since it’ll also involve the characters from The Darkest Powers.I just want to finish this series and be done with it. It’s not exactly the reaction people want in the books they read, but it’s what I’m stuck with.
Sherlock Holmes and the Element of Surprise: The Wormwood Scrubs Enigma

by

I have to confess that I always wanted to be as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes. The way he could put observations together always made me so envious of him. I wanted to have the same mental capacity. The mystery in this book was quite interesting and almost seemed unsolvable (as most Holmes mysteries are).Like all Sherlock Holmes stories, there are subtle clues that are placed throughout the novel so the reader can try to figure out how the murder occurred and who the killer is. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure this one out at all. A positive aspect of this book is that the language and atmosphere seemed relatively accurate, but unfortunately, the novel was missing the original spark that Arthur Conan Doyle's works had. The clues almost seemed too subtle and the end result was almost completely out of left field.This book was good for what it was, but unfortunately at parts I thought it was trying too hard to match the originals. However, I still found it enjoyable.
Dreams of Darkness

by

I’m really perplexed when it comes to this book. It started off with so much promise. It had really interesting mythical concepts, a creative and imaginative storyline, and very vivid scenes. Unfortunately, that only lasted for a little while before the details bogged down the book and it became a chore to trudge through all the myth.There’s a fine line between enough detailed myth to keep the reader invested and create an atmospheric environment and bogging down the reader with uninteresting and irrelevant information. It’s upsetting to me that this book couldn’t maintain that balance since it really does have a lot of potential otherwise.I wanted to like this book, but if I hadn’t promised a review, I wouldn’t have finished reading it. No disrespect to Mr. James – he has a lot of talent and I appreciate how much thought went into plotting out this novel. I think he would benefit from an editor of some sort helping to keep the pace of the book appropriate. Perhaps the sequel will live up to expectations, but I don’t think I’ll be checking it out.
The Devil of Echo Lake

by

There are a bunch of books I have read that are published by Journalstone Books. I've read Contrition, The Void, and The Donors. This is another book that is published by them. Journalstone is known for their collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novels. I've enjoyed the majority of them and this is another great book in their collection.The best part about this novel is the imagery. The descriptions of the recording process were intense and you couldn't help but feel like you were in the midst of it. The whole plot of the book sounds so unbelievable, but it was more realistic than I was expecting it to be. The plot moved at a great pace and as Billy's paranoia grew and the novel became darker, I found myself desperate to know how much of what Billy was experiencing was the truth.Billy was such a complex character and I found myself really sympathizing with him. I don't know much about what rock stars think, but his voice sounded authentic to me and while I read about what he was feeling, I was almost feeling it too. It's a rare book that allows you to connect with a character on that kind of level.The ending was entirely unexpected and while it was an interesting direction to take the book, I wasn't expecting it. I don't know if I actually liked the resolution or not. I think I still need to think about it a bit more, but all in all, this is a solid book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Bourbon Street Ripper

by

I will be frank. I didn't finish this book. There is nothing especially wrong with it, but it just wasn't as interesting or as exciting as I expected it to be. When I start thrillers or mysteries I need to get drawn in really quickly. Otherwise, I find myself sighing in boredom or trudging through the book without any real interest.However, just because this book didn't manage to draw me in doesn't mean it's a bad book. It's quite well written, the characters are interesting, and the plot has potential. The difficulty for me was caring about any of them. Another problem for me was the dialog. Sometimes, when the characters talked, I thought the author was purposely making them sound ridiculous. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Also, there was a lot of vivid description that wasn't always necessary. Sometimes, describing everything slows down the pace of the book and that was the case in this instance.I know that it's very difficult to write a book and since this is a first novel, I'm sure King will get better as he gains more experience. I know lots of people enjoyed this book, it's just unfortunate that I wasn't one of them.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel

by

Most of the time, I hate books that have children as the main characters because they seem so utterly precocious and are so infuriating with their thoughts. However, even though Oskar is overly precocious and his thoughts don't seem like the proper ones for a grieving nine year old, I still loved the character. He sees the world a different way than most people do. I don't know if it's a combination of his innocence mixed with his grief, but whatever it is, even though his point of view is strange and unexpected, it's maybe a little bit enlightening too. His voice is just so memorable.The book evoked a lot of emotion in me. Sometimes it was overwhelmingly emotional. I had a lump in my throat for most of the book, but I didn't mind that because it wasn't trying to make you cry. It described the trials of Oskar's family so honestly. I sympathized with all of them. I know people didn't always love the chapters about the grandparents but I thought they brought an extra dimension to Oskar's story. All of them were just so real.This book is highly recommended. I will definitely be reading more from Jonathan Safran Foer.
The Donors

by

This was a surprisingly dark novel. It starts off with a young boy getting abused by his mother’s boyfriend. At the hospital, he meets Dr. Jason Gelman, a man who has something very important in common with Nathan. I liked this novel, but it’s not what I normally read. The antagonists in this book were the Lizard Men, creatures that feed on fear and pain.This isn’t the type of book I normally read because in this book, it’s pretty clear who the bad guys are. It’s simplistic in the sense that you know exactly who’s good and who’s bad. You know exactly who you should be rooting for. However, that being said, it’s incredible in the amount of detail when it comes to the medical procedures. Some of the descriptions of the torture were indescribably horrific. I found myself cringing and physically uncomfortable while reading. It wasn’t as gut wrenching as in Robert Pobi’s Bloodman, but it wasn’t fun to read either.At the heart of this book is a story about courage and belief in oneself. It’s almost inspiring, but there are some moments that are a little too sweet. Nonetheless, Nathan is one of those rare kids in literature that you don’t wish would move to a foreign country. He’s not unbearably precocious and both mature and childish at the same time, which should be a contradiction, but somehow isn’t.Overall, it’s a very good horror book and I enjoyed it. Wilson knows how to build a suspenseful atmosphere and keep the reader completely invested in the characters. He writes with great promise and I’m looking forward to reading more from him.
Craving

by

There is only one thing that really bugs me about books. I get infuriated when books aren't consistent throughout. I don't care if a book is terrible from the beginning to end as long as it's consistent. I've read some terrible books that I actually enjoyed more than this one.This book starts off incredibly strong. I started this book in the middle of the day, but I found the first two chapters to be really creepy. It was a promising start with a "who-dunnit" kind of premise. The writing was fantastic, and the beginning really drew me into the story. I wanted to know Lilith and I wanted to take the journey with her to find out the mystery surrounding her sister's death. I was addicted to the first 30% of this book. The strong writing, the interesting characters, the mysterious elements combined with the slight philosophical writing made for a great combo. I was forced to expand my mind to understand some of the ideas and I really liked it.And then it lost me. It went from a mystery story with some philosophy to a philosophical book, completely putting the mystery on back burner. Lilith started to grate on my nerves and it was a chore to plod through this book. I don't think I've sighed so much in all my life. Half of the time, I couldn't even understand what they were talking about. It wasn't the Buddhist philosophy I had trouble with, it was the fact that these characters seemed to spout wisdom without any reason to. Every sentence was so pretentious. I finished this book, though not happily. The best thing I can say about it is that it ended.If only the end had been as great as the beginning. Alas.
#37 (A Picker Mystery, #1)

by

Every once in a while, I come across a protagonist that makes me wish I knew them in real life. Picker is definitely one such character. Picker is such an interesting, astute, and unpredictable antihero, but he’s very likeable. He’s sarcastic and irreverent, but I still wanted to be best friends with him.I absolutely loved this book. All of the characters were so colourful and unique and they really made this novel as great as it was. It was also enjoyable to learn about antiques throughout the novel. Antiquing is something I’ve never been interested in before, but the plot revolving around art and history in combination with antiques was a genius idea.The plot was entertaining and involving and draws the reader into Picker’s world effortlessly. Even though there are some elements of the unbelievable in it and the plot does get a little convoluted at times, the book comes together nicely in the final act and I was really satisfied with its resolution. However, it did take a little time to adjust to the format of the chapters with one chapter taking place in the present and one in the past. Luckily, it does not detract from the book at all.I give this book four and a half stars. It could be a five star book except for the minor spelling and grammar mistakes. One pass with an editor would make this novel incredible, but even as it is, it’s highly recommended. Scott Soloff has written a gem of a novel with an extraordinary protagonist, intriguing characters and an engaging plot. I can’t wait to read the next Picker mystery!
Murder Takes Time

by

After finishing Murder Takes Time, I found myself in awe of Giammatteo’s talent. I’ve never been a fan of books centered around the mob, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this novel.The book’s main theme is that of friendship and honour. These words are used throughout the book as the code that four young Italian boys live by. As children, they are inseparable and unwavering in their loyalty to each other. However, as they grow older, their lives go down different paths and their promise of friendship and honour forever is greatly tested.Murder Takes Time has a mesmerizing narrative. It immediately draws you into the story and it hooks you within the first couple of chapters. There’s a slightly gory beginning, but the story is still so magnetic. Each of the main characters are very well-developed and really distinct. They all have their own faults and demons, but each is willing to fight for what they believe in. Giammatteo uses a non-linear timeline and in the hands of other authors it could have been clunky or convoluted, but he does it effortlessly with seamless transitions. There are periods within chapters where the POV shifts to another character, but this is done without awkwardness. I have to applaud Giammatteo for being able to do this.During the book, Frankie is forced to face both the cop and gangster side of himself. As readers, we sympathize with his predicament and his confusion, but we see each character’s motivation and desires. This makes it hard to know who to root for, but it’s this aspect that makes the book brilliant. There is no black and white, no right or wrong, and no easy answer. Just like in life, we are forced to acknowledge our internal conflicts and do what we think is right.Giammatteo has written an extremely engaging story about friendship, honour, love, loss, and redemption. The dynamics between the four is impeccably written. An excellent, compelling read. Highly recommended.
scribd