ARC Review: Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

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Title: Land of Shadows

Author: Rachel Howzell Hall

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Publisher: Forge Books

Source: eARC via Net Galley (320 pages)

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3 Stars

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From Goodreads

Along the ever changing border of gentrifying Los Angeles, seventeen year old Monique Darson is found dead at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit. Homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton’s new partner, Colin Taggert, fresh from comparatively bucolic Colorado Springs police department, assumes it’s a teenage suicide. Lou isn’t buying the easy explanation. 

For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self
made millionaire. . .and the man who may have murdered Lou’s missing sister, Tori, thirty years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical. 

Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique’s case she will finally bring her lost sister home. But as she gets closer to the truth, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice. . .before Lou becomes his next victim?

Review

This is a good Crime/Mystery read. One that will keep you up reading all through the night. Not so good in my case, because it had me asking my fiance’ to walk me out to my car in the mornings on my way to work. I was kind of shook up after reading it, but I like reading about decades old cases coming to light, whether it be fiction or real life.

Detective Lou Norton gets assigned a case of a possible suicide. As she and her new partner, Colin Taggert, investigate the case, she is positive that it is no suicide. As they delve deeper into the mystery, she sees links that goes back to the disappearance/possible murder of her sister 30 years prior.

Detective Lou is one tough lady. I really liked her character. She has this no-nonsense air about her, and that’s a great thing to have if you are in law enforcement. Trying to solve the case, and also teach her new partner the ins and outs of the streets in LA, is what she is about. As she gets closer to the mystery behind her sister’s disappearance, she also becomes a target herself.

It really picks up pace after about a quarter into the book. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more about Detective Norton. If you love Crime Fiction, this is a good book to add to your shelf.

3 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58

ARC Review: Blur (Blur Trilogy #1) by Steven James

18810282Title: Blur (Blur Trilogy #1)

Author: Steven James

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Skyscape

Format: eARC (368 pages)

Source: eARC via NetGalley

Genre: YA Mystery

Rating: 4 STARS

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Amazon: Available For Pre-Order


BRIEF SYNOPSIS

The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams. Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

REVIEW

This story starts off with Daniel, all the school kids and every member of the community, at the funeral of Emily Jackson. She was the over-looked, unpopular freshman of her high school. Her death was ruled as an accident, but when Daniel reaches his turn to view her body and she grasps at him and tells him a name he’s all to familiar with, he begins to think that it was no accident. At first, he thinks that he’s going crazy. But when he has the proof that Emily Jackson really did speak to him, marks on his forearms, he doesn’t think he’s crazy after all, and sets out to solve what really happened.

I enjoyed this mystery because I never knew what would happen as the pages turned. I was a little unsure about it at first, but after Daniel starts to uncover things, and piece together the Blurs that he experiences, I got into it.

I didn’t like the fact that while he’s waiting to view her body, he’s recalling every detail about Emily. He said that she wasn’t pretty, yet he’d date her. You don’t wait until someone’s dead to think about the What-ifs. This is YA, and I think that there needs to be a line drawn on the pretty/ugly teens in these books. We have models in magazines already making teens self conscious, no need to add it here.

Daniel did, however, know that he was wrong in his lack of  communication with her. I loved the mystery of it all. I kept wanting to go to the end just to find out what happens. This is a great start to this trilogy and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. Definitely recommend!

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

ARC Review: By Any Means by Chris Culver

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Title: By Any Means

Author: Chris Culver

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Source: eARC via NetGalley

Genre: Mystery/ Thriller

Rating: 4 STARS

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SYNOPSIS

At the end of a particularly grueling summer day, Ash is heading home to his wife and kids when he discovers a pair of bodies, shot execution style, in the front seat of a crashed vehicle. As the first officer on the scene, Ash finds himself and his department 20 minutes behind a killer in a race where every second counts. With two victims down and a third unaccounted for, the clock is ticking and Ash must find the killer before he strikes again.

REVIEW

This is my first time reading one of the Ash Rashid books, as there are 2 others before this one. Ash is a Muslim detective in Indianapolis and has to race against the clock to, not only catch the killer, but to save a hostage before she is killed. It’s very thrilling and suspenseful. I haven’t read many political thrillers before, but this one peaked my interest for some reason. Boy i’m glad that I read it, and it didn’t disappoint.

From the very start I was immersed in it. I was thinking that there would only be this race to catch a killer, but it goes way deeper. Ash is dealing with his religious side while also trying to solve a case, By Any Means. I was so worried about him not being able to do the job, put he is one determined character. He loves his family, but his wife isn’t so understanding. With a clever villain on the loose, Ash will stop at nothing to solve this case.

This is a thrill ride. I’d definitely recommend this to thrill seekers and non-thrill seekers alike. I can’t wait to read the next installment, but until then I have some catching up to do with the first two books.

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

ARC Review: Wicked Hunger by Delsheree Gladden

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Title: Wicked Hunger(Someone Wicked This Way Comes #1)

Author: Delsheree Gladden

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Source: eARC from publisher

Genre: YA/Supernatural

My Rating: 4 STARS


Brief Synopsis

Vanessa and Zander are good at lying. Their whole life is a giant web of deceit made in an effort to conceal the deadly secrets that plague their family. As if the Roth family need anything more to worry about, a vicious plot to expose Van and Zander for what they are is uncovered. When it becomes apparent that someone close to them is at the center of this devious plan, the fight to maintain control and keep their cover ensues. It’s a seemingly impossible battle because something is causing their powers to stir stronger than ever before… and it won’t stop until Van and Zander give in to their Wicked Hunger.


REVIEW

Van and Zander are forever resigned to the Wicked Hunger that lives within them. The hunger to cause pain to others. It is something that they have had to get control over for all of their lives. While Zander resorts to playing football to keep his hunger in check, Van dedicates herself to dancing and teaching others how to. When a new girl, Ivy, comes into school, she rattles the monster within them that is begging to be set free. Never have they had to fight so hard to control their hunger, than when she is in their proximity. Zander is drawn to Ivy, also, in a way that has nothing to do with his hunger. Or does it? Van just wants to find out what Ivy knows and why the girl is dead set on bringing her “differences” to light. She doesn’t trust her no further than she can throw her.

This is absolutely one of the best stories I’ve read pertaining to this subject. Well, it’s the only story I’ve read like this. It’s very well written and the characters just jump out of the pages. I love how the story moved and kept me on the edge of my seat. When Van and Zander find out the truth, their lives change forever. Having lived and believed that there is no rhyme or reason to their hunger, it especially changes Zander. Van has always believed the opposite, that their was a purpose to their hunger. Many interesting characters along the way.

Very good start to a great series. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next book!

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

ARC Review: Snitch (Bea Catcher Chronicles #2)

 

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Title: Snitch (Bea Catcher Chronicles #2)

Author: Olivia Samms

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing/ Skyscape

Source: eARC  through NetGalley

Genre: YA/Mystery/Supernatural

Rating: 3 STARS


SYNOPSIS

As the days count down to her eighteenth birthday, Bea feels trapped. Trapped by her dark past, by her parents’ expectations, even by her own dreams for the future. The road ahead is unclear, blurred with secrets and lies. The only constant, sure thing in her life is Sergeant Dan Daniels. He’s faced  with a gang related murder case and asks Bea to use her “skill” to see and then draw the truth out of the suspect….. literally. But when she does, it leaves her with more unanswered questions. And then another teen is shot- clinging for his life. Time is running out. Can Bea find the killer before someone else gets hurt?


REVIEW

I requested this book because I was told that it can be read as a stand-alone, even though it’s the second book in the series. It tells of a seventeen, almost eighteen-year-old, girl named Bea who is a recovering addict. Some time during her stint in rehab, she developed the ability to “see” into people’s deepest thoughts, drawing out the truth on paper. I found this somewhat fascinating, and wanted to know more. Bea is sort of lost right now, and the only person that keeps her focused is a cop named Dan, whom she happens to like (and he in return, even if he won’t admit it out loud). She’s under-age, so there can be no…. you get the picture.

It starts off well enough. We get a glimpse into the typical day for Bea. Her complaints about school, the students, her dad, the house, her mom, etc… She meets Dan at their secret meeting spot, and he wants her to come look at a murder suspect, whom he thinks is lying to cover for someone, and “see” the truth in him and draw it out. In her effort to play the part, she asks one of the “hip” boys at school to show her how to act “gangster”. She gets her first “seeing” down on paper and it gives her a slight headache. She nor Dan knows what she draws down means so she wants to try again, by being put in a holding cell across from the suspect. There she decides that she will find the truth on her own, so that no one will know that he snitched.

Bea is quite a character. She’s artistic and quite witty at times, but other times she’s just whiny. I despise whiny characters. And my God, she’s seventeen, why has she been in rehab and had drunken sex? I get rebellious teens, they come a dime a dozen. But Bea, seems more like an adult to me than a teen. And then there’s the obvious longing between her and Sergeant Daniels, which is just kind of wrong- but right? I don’t know what to feel about that.

This was an okay read for me. I admit, I expected more but that just did not happen with this book. Maybe others will enjoy it more than me, so i’d recommend reading it. Especially if you like a little mystery.

3 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58

Review: Savage Girl By Jean Zimmerman

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Title: Savage Girl

Author: Jean Zimmerman

Release Date: March 6, 2014

Publisher: Penguin/ Viking Adult

Source: Hardcover

My Copy: Won (Thanks Penguin)

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SYNOPSIS

Jean Zimmerman’s new novel tells the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society.

Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

Zimmerman’s tale is narrated by the Delegate’s son, a Harvard anatomy student. The tormented, self- dramatizing Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl. This narrative- a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable- is his confession.

REVIEW

This is a great book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s set in New York during the Gilded Age, which is my favorite era to read about for that city. Hugo Delegate comes across Savage Girl, and in swoops his parents. The Delegates take her back to NY, to live  with them and introduce her into their high society. Reading this, I don’t think the Delegates took her in from kindness, more like they wanted kudos for saving a young girl from the wilds of the West. *Rolls eyes* Soon, there is a trail of bodies everywhere Bronwyn (Savage Girl) goes. Hugo gets all obsessed with his, now, sister and all is not as it seems with these two individuals.

I loved the writing of  this novel. The character building is incredible, and the setting is even more so. Dare I say this is the third best Historical novel I’ve read this month? Yes, that’d be correct. This however, is so mysterious that after you reach a certain point, you won’t want to put it down. It did kind of speed up at the end, but it was a good ending. If you love adult/historical fiction, then add this book to your reading list. If you’ve never read adult/historical before, this would be an awesome book to start with. Definitely recommend!!

misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58 4 STARS

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