Tag Archive: March


This is the final part for Shadow’s Edge. So many things happen in this section! Diana and I will be starting Beyond the Shadows next.

*As a reminder, we’re both doing giveaways for this trilogy. If you haven’t entered already, you can do so on our introduction post.

**The following may contain spoilers for The Way of Shadows and Shadow’s Edge.

 

Did anything surprise you in this section?

{Diana} THE END. Really, everything in the last 100 pages or so, but HOLY COW, THAT ENDING!!! Brent Weeks is a evil genius and I bow down to him in reverence.

{Heather} I completely agree with Diana. The ending was a huge surprise! I was so excited that I squealed. I’m ready for the next book. *Grabby hands*

 

Who was your favorite character in this section?

{Diana} Like Heather, I liked Lilly a lot in the last section, but her part in the final battle of this book really cemented my admiration of her. Her loyalty to Logan is unwavering and that totally makes her a winner in my book 😉

{Heather} I definitely agree with Diana about Lilly. I would have to say Vi for this section. She’s really growing on me as a character, and I like where she’s headed. I can’t wait to see more from her.

 

Who was your least favorite character?

{Diana} Move over Elene, there’s a new biatch in town—Terah Graesin. OMG, I hate her SO MUCH. So, so much. Like, I was screaming at the book in public because of her. I seriously hope she dies a horrible, horrible death.

{Heather} Diana and I are very synced up with these questions. I can’t stand Terah Graesin! I thought Elene was bad, but no Terah had to prove me wrong. Why does she have to be so awful? I really hope she meets a ferali . . .

 

What was your favorite quote or passage?

{Diana} My favorite quote in this section comes from Logan as he addresses the masses on the eve of the last battle. I’m not gonna lie, it kind of gave me chills.

“Let me tell you what I learned in the Hole. I learned that in suffering, we find the true measure of our strength. I learned that a man can be a coward one day and a hero the next. I learned that I’m not as good a man as I thought I was. But the most important thing is this: I learned that though it cost me dearly, I can change. I learned that what has been broken can be made new. Do you know who taught me that? A prostitute. In a bitter woman who made her living in shame, I found honor, courage, and loyalty. She inspired me and she saved me.”

*slow claps* King Gyre! King Gyre! King Gyre! Ahem. What?! It’s not like you didn’t know that I’m Team Logan all the way 😉

{Heather} Besides the amazing speech Logan gives, my other favorite quote is when Momma K is talking to Kylar about showing a certain character compassion.

“What did Durzo teach you, Kylar?” Momma K asked. “A wetboy is a knife. Is the guilt the knife’s or the hand’s?”

“Both, and damn Durzo for his lies.”

I won’t say who they are talking about, but I thought this quote really did justice for him/her. Momma K is asking Kylar if it’s the killers fault for the murder or the person who hired the killer. I find this really interesting considering Kylar’s past, and I think it puts the whole thing in perspective because it’s not just one person’s fault when a wetboy kills someone. That person shouldn’t be the only one held responsible when two parties were involved in the murder. This quote just really stuck out to me, and I liked it.

 

What do you think will happen next?

{Diana} I literally have no predictions for what will happen in Beyond the Shadows. Weeks has already shown that he’s not afraid to make terrible things happen and that he’s most definitely a fan of high shock value, AND I’ve already had people warn me about the craziness that is the next book, soooooo I’ve got nothing. I really hope that something truly horrendous befalls Terah Graesin though. *crosses fingers*

{Heather} I’m not entirely sure but I hope Logan can take his place as King without someone *cough* Graesin *cough* trying to take it from him. I want to know more about the Wolf character. He is too mysterious, and I feel like he’s up to something. Chad keeps hinting at the third book being even better, but I’m not sure I can handle all of the twists. These books are just so good!

Part three of our Shadow’s Edge buddy read. Next week, we will be finishing this book and moving on to book three, Beyond the Shadows, in April.

*As a reminder, we’re both doing giveaways for this trilogy. If you haven’t entered already, you can do so on our introduction post.

**The following may contain spoilers for the first book, The Way of Shadows.

 

Did anything surprise you in this section?

{Diana} Only everything that happened in the Hole! And that’s A LOT of stuff, let me tell you! I may have yelled at the book a lot in this section.

{Heather} Everything in the Hole definitely surprised me too. I wasn’t expecting things to go that way. Hu Gibbet’s part was also a big surprise to me. I really want to tell everybody what happened, but I can’t spoil it. Go read the book now!

 

Who was your favorite character in this section?

{Diana} Since I was pretty preoccupied with the goings-on taking place in the Hole, my favorite character this go ’round is definitely Gnasher. The big guy was so protective of Logan that it’s hard not to love him.

{Heather} I have to say Lilly was my favorite this round. Her actions in the hole for this section were very selfless, and I really liked what she did for Logan. So much stuff happens in the Hole.

 

Who was your least favorite character?

{Diana} Fin. Fin, Fin, Fin, a thousand times FIN. I hate that guy. I yelled a lot because of that guy. I was extremely happy when that guy got what was coming to him. EXTREMELY happy.

{Heather} I’ll definitely agree with Diana on Fin, but I also didn’t like Gorkhy. He is such an awful person, and when it’s revealed how truly horrible he is, I wanted something terrible to happen to him.

 

What was your favorite quote or passage?

{Diana} I’m sorry, but it’s about to get a tad bit spoilery. The passage that I like doesn’t really give away any major plot points, but it does kind of allude to them, so you’ve been warned.

“You’ll doom us all,” Agon said. “You have the kind of power I’d die for, and you won’t use it to help us. Damn you.” . . .
“I know it doesn’t make sense,” [Kylar] said. “But I swore to leave this behind me. I broke that vow for Logan. That cost me Elene’s love and Uly’s trust. I didn’t abandon them so I could steal another life, but so I could save a life. Do you understand?”

I liked this quote because it showcases Kylar’s honor. That may sound strange because he admits to breaking vows and whatnot, but Agon and Momma K have just offered him the motherload of all wetboy jobs, and instead he chooses to use his powers for good to save a friend who may or may not be alive. It’s like, yeah, he’s made some sacrifices, but he’s gonna be darn sure that whatever he does next will be worthy of those sacrifices. Does that make sense?

{Heather} My quote will also be a bit spoilery. I’ll just say it’s a character talking to Kylar.

The man smiled wolfishly at him. “You are nothing but a fat, awkward child in the land of giants. You close your mouth instead of eating. You speak when you should listen. What are you for? Any answer I gave you’d reject. So why should I waste my time? You’re as arrogant as your master ever was, and you don’t have a shred of his wisdom. I find you wanting.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Better. Do better.”

I really like this quote because it helps put Kylar in his place for this scene. I like Kylar’s character, but he still needs to grow in some areas, especially when it comes to his powers. He’s only just beginning to understand everything, but he acts as if he already knows everything. I can’t wait to see more interaction between Kylar and this character.

 

What do you think will happen next?

{Diana} I haven’t got a clue, but I really want to know what’s going on with Elene (even though I still hate her) and Uly and Feir and Curouch and Jenine and Dorian and Solon. . . and the list goes on and on. Weeks seriously owes us some answers before the end of this book. LOTS of answers.

{Heather} Deaths. Lots of death. I’m pretty much waiting for the rest of the cast to die. Brent Weeks is not afraid to kill off his characters. I try not to get too attached to anyone for fear they will die.

This is part two of our Shadow’s Edge buddy read. We’re almost halfway through now and everything is getting intense. If you missed part one, you can find it here.

*As a reminder, we’re both doing giveaways for this trilogy. If you haven’t entered already, you can do so on our introduction post.

**The following may contain spoilers for the first book, The Way of Shadows.

Did anything surprise you in this section?

{Diana} I think the more appropriate question would be, “What didn’t surprise me in this section?” There was that thing with Dorian and the weave, that thing with Kylar and Retribution (which made me question Kylar’s sanity, BTW), who Tenser really was, that time with Logan and the pointy thing, and THAT THING WITH JARL. So, yeah. Plenty of surprises 😉

{Heather} I completely agree with Diana on this one. Everything was a mess, haha. In this section, everything started to build tension, and the story took quite a few turns I wasn’t expecting. The whole thing with Jarl really surprised me. I was not prepared for that scene at all. Brent Weeks, what are you doing to us?!

Who was your favorite character in this section?

{Diana} I’m gonna have to go with Logan this time. I’m fascinated by his character growth and how he’s handling everything that he’s been through. I also really liked General/Commander/Whatever-He-Is Agon. He’s just SO honorable and, like, one of the only characters that you can trust. I think.

{Heather} I would have to say Jarl for this section. He was really owning his role and taking charge. It’s really interesting to see how he’s changed since the start of the trilogy. My second favorite character would have to be Elene . . . just kidding (See next question).

Who was your least favorite character?

{Diana} ELENE. Gah! I just want to shake her! I STRONGLY dislike how she’s trying to change and, dare I say, manipulate Kylar. Yes, he loves her, and yes, he decided to give up the biz for her, but can’t she see what it’s doing to him??? Having him fight his nature and potentially break a vow that he made to her and OTHER STUPID THINGS THAT MADE ME YELL AT MY BOOK LIKE A CRAZY PERSON IS HURTING HIM. Ahem. She’s smothering him and I don’t like it, not one bit.

{Heather} Elene for sure! I hope she develops more in the rest of the trilogy because I really don’t like her now. I don’t hate her . . . no, I’m pretty sure I hate her. I can’t stand what she does to Kylar and how she acts superior to him. Whenever I read a chapter with her in it, I mentally check out because I want to smack her so much.

What was your favorite quote or passage?

{Diana} There’s a part where Momma K and Agon are talking about their strategies for the rebellion, which somehow leads to them talking about their shared history and how (*POSSIBLE SPOILER*) even if he wanted to be with her he couldn’t because there’s a chance that his wife might still be alive somewhere and how he couldn’t betray her as long as that chance was still alive, so could she please help him to resist his attraction to her (“her” being Momma K). First of all, I love how noble Agon is, and second of all (and finally getting to the point) I loved this exchange at the end of their conversation:

“You’ve chosen a hard road,” she said.
“Not a road, a battle. Sometimes life is our battlefield. We must do what we know to do, not what we want to do.”

Can I get a “TRUTH”? I feel like this rings true not only in real life, but also for the majority of characters in this book.

{Heather} Uly has been through a lot in her life, and I really like how this quote gives her more depth. It’s a reminder that children can suffer just as much as adults, and it makes it even worse when they become victims.

If anyone thought children couldn’t suffer pain as deeply as adults, Kylar wished they could see Uly’s eyes now. For all he loved her, he’d been treating her as a child rather than as a human being.

I enjoy this whole scene with Uly because it also shows that she still has some innocence left even after everything she’s been through. It shows more about the relationship between her and Kylar and how close they’ve become.

What do you think will happen next?

{Diana} Honestly, I’ve stopped trying to figure it out—I’m usually wrong anyway! But, I think we’re about to head into some serious chaos. Things are definitely picking up steam and I’m pretty sure it’s all about to hit the proverbial fan 😉

{Heather} I’m pretty sure some people are going to die. No idea who, but I wouldn’t be upset if it was Elene.

Diana and I begin our buddy read with Shadow’s Edge (The second book in The Night Angel Trilogy).

I was going to add a summary to this post of the events that take place in these chapters, but I don’t want to spoil any more than we have to. I want everyone to enjoy all the twists and turns that this trilogy offers. If anyone would like a summary of what happened, I will be more than happy to add one in.

*As a reminder, we’re both doing giveaways for this trilogy. If you haven’t entered already, you can do so on our introduction post.

**The following may contain spoilers for the first book, The Way of Shadows.

Did anything surprise you in this section?

{Diana} You know, there really hasn’t been anything that’s made me gape in astonishment and yell “Whaaaaaaaat???!!!” at the book yet—but I can feel it coming. There are things-a-brewing though, I can feel it.
Wait. I take that back. I was kind of surprised at that job Kylar took, the one down at the docks. It went south pretty quick and I’m still wondering what in the world it was all about. I mean, I see that it’s tied to a certain plot thread, but I don’t really grasp the importance of it yet. So there’s that.

{Heather} I have to say what Logan does to survive shocked me quite a bit. I mean I had a hunch that he might have to do something like that, but I didn’t actually think about him doing it until it happened. I just feel so bad for him because he’s a good person, and he didn’t deserve what happened to him. Although, I do think everything that he is going through will make him an even stronger character. Now, all he needs to do is get out of the Hole.

 

Who was your favorite character in this section?

{Diana} The obvious answer here would be Kylar, right? But honestly, I’m really liking Uly right know. The poor girl has been through so much recently and yet, despite that, she has this strength about her that’s pretty inspiring. Plus, being only 11, she still has that childlike wonder and sense of innocence that definitely provides a ray of light in this kind of dark story—not to mention comic relief 😉

{Heather} Logan is the answer to this question as well, haha. I just really like how his character is developing, and I like that he isn’t the perfectly untainted character anymore. As of now, he’s still trying to keep to his morals. It’s interesting to see how he reacts to his new situation, and I can’t wait to see what happens WHEN he gets out. There is no IF. He will get out. I know it . . . at least I hope. O.O

 

Who was your least favorite character?

{Diana} Ooooh, this one is a toss up between the Godking, Garoth Ursuul, and Verdmeister Neph Dada at the moment. The Godking is evil and power-hungry (and does some pretty gross things on page 7), but Neph Dada is conniving and sneaky and obviously has some kind of nefarious plan tucked up his sleeve. . . I’m not sure which is worse.

{Heather} Besides the Godking and Hu Gibbet, I have to say that I’m not a big fan of Elene. I just don’t like how she’s trying to change Kylar. I understand why she would want to, but I want Kylar to embrace his new talents. It’s not that I don’t like her character. I just don’t like that she’s trying to change him. They both had rough childhoods, and I want her to understand his point of view.

 

What was your favorite quote or passage?

{Diana} I’m totally loving the banter between Kylar, Elene, and Uly, but I think I’m going to go with a quote from Momma K:

“Just because it’s a dream doesn’t mean it’s a lie.”

Things have never been great in Cenaria, especially in the Warrens, but since the Khalidorians invaded things have been positively dire. When Momma K said that to Jarl, it kind of gave me a little spark of hope—hope that maybe they’ll rally, fight back, and change things for the better. I won’t be holding my breath though; Brent Weeks has a way of dashing dreams LOL.

{Heather} I also really like that banter between Kylar, Elene, and Uly. I found myself laughing out loud at quite a few bits of their dialogue. However, my favorite quote would have to be from Dorian:

“Why is it, my shadow-striding friend, that we don’t fear dreams? We lose consciousness, lose control, things happen with no apparent logic and abiding by no apparent rules. Friends appear and morph into strangers. Environments shift abruptly, and we rarely question it. We don’t fear dreams, but we do fear madness, and death terrifies us.”

I’ve never really thought of dreams like this, and I like Dorian’s point. Even though we have no control, we don’t fear dreams like we do other aspects in our lives. It’s an interesting concept to think about.

 

What do you think will happen next?

{Diana} Well that’s a loaded question! There’s no telling where Weeks is going to take us! But, I HOPE that Kylar is finally going to snap out of it and embrace his destiny (sounds epic, right?) and that Logan finds a way to escape the Hole *crosses fingers*.

{Heather} I completely agree with Diana. I want Kylar to go back to being a wetboy, and I want Logan to escape the Hole. Logan needs to get out, or I will be so mad. He’s been through so much, and I want him to get out and become the leader that everyone needs.

Hello again, everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been really busy with pretty much everything. I have been reading though, so that’s always good. I’m ahead of my Goodreads goal by 5 books, and so far, I’ve read 13 books this year. I’m quite happy with that. Now I just have to get back to blogging about it. 🙂

Since the beginning of 2015, Diana (from Brilliantly Novel) and I have been discussing doing a buddy read together. We’re really excited to do this because neither of us have done a buddy read before, and we believe it will be a lot of fun. We decided on The Night Angel Trilogy because both of us owned it and hadn’t read it yet. I read The Way of Shadows (Book #1) last year, so Diana went ahead and caught up with me. Over the next two months, we will be reading books 2 and 3, Shadow’s Edge and Beyond the Shadows. Every Sunday there will be a post recapping what we read during the week, as well as some brief discussion between the two of us.

To celebrate all of this, we decided to do two giveaways as well! Both of us will be giving away the trilogy but in different formats. I’ll be giving away a paperback boxed set from Books-a-Million, and Diana will be giving away the ebook versions from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Be sure to check out all the details and rules at the end of this post to enter!

Diana has graciously prepared our reading schedule for the next two months. If you would like to read along with us, all of the information is below:

Shadow’s Edge Reading Schedule

Week 1: March 1-7

  • Read Chapters 1-18
  • Recap on Sunday, March 8

Week 2: March 8-14

  • Read Chapters 19-36
  • Recap on Sunday, March 15

Week 3: March 15-21

  • Read Chapters 37-54
  • Recap on Sunday, March 22

Week 4: March 22-28

  • Read Chapters 55-72
  • Recap on Sunday, March 29

Beyond the Shadows Reading Schedule

Week 1: April 5-11

  • Read Chapters 1-25
  • Recap on Sunday, April 12

Week 2: April 12-18

  • Read Chapters 26-50
  • Recap on Sunday, April 19

Week 3: April 19-25

  • Read Chapters 51-75
  • Recap on Sunday, April 26

Week 4: April 26-May 2

  • Read Chapters 76-Epilogue
  • Recap and Giveaway Winners on Sunday, May 3

Since we both read The Way of Shadows separately, we had a discussion on Twitter when we finished the book. Here is our conversation: (Thanks again to Diana for preparing this for WordPress)

Bookish Talk: The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)

{Diana} Soooo, THE WAY OF SHADOWS was crazy good! There were so many characters and so many plots. . .Brent Weeks is a fantasy writing genius!
{Heather} I know! It’s amazing what he can do with so many characters and sub plots. I was also surprised with all the twists that happened.
{Diana} Right?! Weeks is a master of the “made you look!” And, at one point, I thought he might really be George R.R. Martin in disguise.
{Heather} Haha, exactly. Sometimes I reread sections to see if it was actually true. There were a few moments where I was like “what just happened?!”
{Diana} Speaking of surprises, I was surprised that Azoth was only like 9 when we meet him! That’s so young!
{Heather} Poor Azoth was so young. I was surprised he was that young too. It’s awful all the things he and the other kids went through.
{Diana} Ugh, the guilds were AWFUL! And the stuff that Rat did to Jarl and Doll Girl. . .*shivers*. I thought it was great world building though.
{Heather} I hated Rat! He was so awful! I was glad at least Momma K let them stay inside sometimes. I think the world building was really awesome too. He really has a balance in his writing. Not too much description and just enough action. But that doesn’t mean I’d want to live there. 🙂
{Diana} No joke! Living there would not be pleasant, even if you were nobility—you’d never know who you could trust! But I kind of liked how most situations and characters weren’t exactly how they seemed. Nothing was really black or white, and it kept you on your toes.
{Heather} Yes! I love that the characters are not 100% good or evil. They were depicted as real people and had their own secrets. Who was your favorite character? Or if you had more than one, haha.
{Diana} Oooh, that’s tough. I’m going to take the easy way out and say Durzo, Azoth, and Logan. They were all complex characters and were likable in their own ways. I also really like Dorian. He was pretty funny for a guy with the weight of the world on his shoulders, what with those visions taking their toll on him and all that. What about you? Who was your favorite?
{Heather} Is it strange that I liked the same characters? Haha, Durzo is definitely one of my top favorites though. I don’t know if we want to get into spoilers, but what happened to him made me stare at the page for a good five minutes in disbelief. I was like “No, you’re kidding, right?”
{Diana} Great minds think alike! And, OH MY GOSH I KNOW!!! I thought Weeks was just messing with us again! It’ll be interesting to see how Azoth, or I guess Kylar, adapts in the face of what happened, plot wise and character wise. It’s kind of a big deal.
{Heather} Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how he acts later on in the series. Who was your least favorite character? I have to say mine would be Rat because he was just awful, and I wanted to punch him in the face.
{Diana} Rat was the worst! I also STRONGLY disliked the King. I might be a horrible person, but I may have been a little bit happy about what happened to him in the end. Also, the Godking was a special kind of evil. I’m kinda scared to see what he’s capable of.
{Heather} Hahaha, I know! I felt the same about the King. The Godking was terrible. It’s disturbing how far he will go to get power.
{Diana} So, at the end of the book there’s still a lot of things that have yet to have been resolved. . .What plotline are you most looking forward to finding out about in SHADOW’S EDGE?
{Heather} I really want to find out what happens to Logan. He went down a creepy hole and I want to see what is going on down there. What about you?
{Diana} THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY!!! I really want to know how he gets out, ’cause he’s gotta get out, right? I love it when he says, “Let me make this real clear…You will not break me. The hole will not break me. I will not break. I. Will. Not. Be. Broken.”
{Heather} He better get out! Haha Brent Weeks can’t do that to us. I really like when he says that too. I want him to live! He just seems like a really nice guy and actually cares about others so I want him to get out.
{Diana} Me too. You know, it’s funny. At first I didn’t think I was going to like Logan, but then he ended up being one of my favorite characters. I really liked his and Kylar’s friendship. They were totally BFFs. LOL 🙂
{Heather} Same with me! At first I didn’t think he would be a big deal for me but now I need to know what happens to him. Yes, I like how they first met too. Haha just that their friendship was started because kylar picked a fight with Logan.
{Diana} Yeah, that was pretty great 🙂
{Heather} There were quite a few surprise twists in this story. Was there anything that really surprised you?
{Diana} Oh gosh, there were several things! Like the truth about Roth. And that thing with Jenine at the end. Oh, and that other thing between Durzo and Momma K. And, well, Durzo. And Momma K. LOL. What surprised you?
{Heather} Yes, oh my gosh. Definitely Roth. I was really surprised about him. I cannot believe what happened to Durzo though haha.
{Diana} Not to mention who he really was! Durzo, not Roth . . .well, him too I guess LOL.
{Heather} Hahaha There were so many twists that I didn’t expect. Brent Weeks is definitely a great author. I can’t wait for the next book!
{Diana} Me too!


Giveaways!

Enter to win the complete Night Angel Trilogy (The Way of Shadows, Shadow’s Edge, Beyond the Shadows) by Brent Weeks in Paperback! *US ONLY*

The Rules:

  • This giveaway is open to anyone with a postal address in the United States.
  • The giveaway will run the entire length of the Buddy Read, so from March 1 – May 2, 2015. The winner will be announced in the Recap of the final chapters of BEYOND THE SHADOWS on Sunday, May 3.
  • All Rafflecopter entries will be verified before a winner is announced, so no cheating please.
  • Any personal information divulged for the use of collecting a prize will be expressly used for that purpose. It will not be rented, sold, or otherwise given away for any reason. Ever.

 

Enter to win the complete Night Angel Trilogy (The Way of Shadows, Shadow’s Edge, Beyond the Shadows) by Brent Weeks in eBook!

The Rules:

  • This giveaway is open to anyone who can receive gifted eBooks from Amazon (for Kindles) or Barnes & Noble (for Nooks).
  • The giveaway will run the entire length of the Buddy Read, so from March 1 – May 2, 2015. The winner will be announced in the Recap of the final chapters of BEYOND THE SHADOWS on Sunday, May 3.
  • All Rafflecopter entries will be verified before a winner is announced, so no cheating please.
  • Any personal information divulged for the use of collecting a prize will be expressly used for that purpose. It will not be rented, sold, or otherwise given away for any reason. Ever.

March was a much better reading month for me. Of course, the beginning started off slow. I was still in a reading slump, but by the end of the month, I kicked the reading slump’s butt! I read 5 books, which is an improvement from the past two months. I’m hoping to read even more in April, so we shall see how it goes. I also watched two movies I haven’t seen before. They are quite old, and I’m sure most people have seen them. As always, I’m behind on pretty much everything. I’m slowly catching up though.

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

The Trap – John Smelcer
Genre – Young Adult/Survival
My Rating – ★★★★

Seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel knows that his grandfather Albert is a stubborn old man and won’t stop checking his own traplines even though other men his age stopped doing so years ago. But Albert Least-Weasel has been running traplines in the Alaskan wilderness alone for the past sixty years. Nothing has ever gone wrong on the trail he knows so well.

When Albert doesn’t come back from checking his traps, with the temperature steadily plummeting, Johnny must decide quickly whether to trust his grandfather or his own instincts.

Review: This was an enjoyable read. I liked the tales at the beginning of each chapter, and I love that they related to the overall story. The main characters were likable, and there was good characterization. The Indian traditions and stories the characters told built the environment and world. The story was a bit slow at times, but it didn’t take away from anything. I thought the ending was really great, though others might not think this. I won’t spoil it but just prepare for some intense moments. Overall, The Trap was entertaining, and I would recommend it.

How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff
Genre – Young Adult/War
My Rating – ★★

“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

Review: I was disappointed with this novel. Of course, I was prepared for Daisy and her cousin’s “bond” so that aspect didn’t bother me. I wanted to see how the author dealt with it, and I feel the relationship was handled well, which I appreciated. However, the writing style bothered me to no end. It’s written how a teenager would speak. It’s a lot easier to listen to than it is to read. There are long sentences with no pauses and lots of ands. I mean lots of ands. Example: First I did this and then I did this and then this and this and this. It was a lot of telling instead of showing, which is fine for the writing style, but it made me feel emotionless towards all of the characters. I didn’t really care what happened to any of them, even though this is a war story with dire consequences and heartache around every corner. I wouldn’t recommend this, but others have liked it.

Hyperbole and a Half – Allie Brosh
Genre – Humor
My Rating – ★★★★★

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Review: This is a fantastic novel! I have officially added this to my favorites list. This book is perfect for getting out of a reading slump. It has such a great sense of humor while still being realistic. All the stories are relatable and down to earth. There were many points where I was laughing out loud and had to tell Chad why I was laughing so hard. I would highly recommend this book, and I feel like everyone should read it.

Endless – Amanda Gray
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy
My Rating – ★★

Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.

When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back.

While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock – and the Order – Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life – and beyond death.

Review: I have a full review of this novel posted here. Overall,  the book was well-written, and it had potential, but sadly, this story wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy the romance, and most of the story elements were lost. The story was okay, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Others have enjoyed it though, so it’s always up to the reader.

Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy
My Rating – ★★★★

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review: I really enjoyed this story. I’m usually skeptical about fairytale retellings, but I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. Cinder was likable, and she had good characterization. She was also pretty tough and was able to take care of herself. Although there were some oversights, and it was quite predictable, Cinder had a certain charm about it. The story was pretty exciting, and I found myself being immersed in the story. I did want more world building, but I love the details that were given. I would recommend this novel.

The Cannonball Run
Rating – PG
My Rating – ★★★★★

A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country car race.

Review: It has taken me forever to watch this movie. Honestly, I didn’t even know this existed until Chad showed it to me. This is such a great movie. I love all the characters and how random this movie can be. Everything about it was funny and entertaining. It reminded me of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Rat Race, both of which I love. I would highly recommend this movie, but I’m sure everyone else has watched it. I would love recommendations for more movies like this one. I did get my hands on Cannonball Run II from a neighbor, and I plan on watching it soon.

National Lampoon’s Vacation
Rating – R
My Rating – ★★★★

The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Review: This was such a strange movie but in a good way. I loved this crazy family vacation. However, I would not want to be a part of it. It seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It would be one epic vacation. The ending was even better and fit well with the overall tone of the movie. Now I finally get all the references Family Guy makes to this movie.

 

March 2014 Book Haul (#3)

Another book haul! As I said in my previous post, I went to the book fair again this weekend. I picked up five more books to add to my TBR. The book fair and bookoutlet will be the end of me. So many good deals on books. I did discover one method to read books faster each month, and I’ve already started using it. It’s actually working so far, so I’ll be able to put a dent in my large TBR. I’ll have more details about this in another post. Anyway, on to the book haul!

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Goddess of Yesterday – Caroline B. Cooney
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Anaxandra is taken from her birth island at age 6 by King Nicander to be a companion to his crippled daughter, Princess Callisto. Six years later, her new island is sacked by pirates and she is the sole survivor. Alone with only her Medusa figurine, she reinvents herself as Princess Callisto when Menelaus, great king of Sparta, lands with his men. He takes her back to Sparta with him where Helen, his beautiful wife, does not believe that the red-headed child is Princess Callisto. Although fearful of the half-mortal, half-goddess Helen, Anaxandra is able to stay out of harm’s way—until the Trojan princes Paris and Aeneas arrive. Paris and Helen’s fascination with each other soon turns to passion and plunges Sparta and Troy into war. Can Anaxandra find the courage to reinvent herself once again, appease the gods, and save herself?

In Caroline B. Cooney’s epic tale of one girl’s courage and will to survive, Anaxandra learns that home is where you make it and identity goes deeper than just your name.

The Dark Side of Nowhere – Neal Shusterman
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

A classic science fiction novel from bestselling author Neal Shusterman is back in print.

Jason is having a bad day. The kind of day when you just don’t feel like yourself. Only for Jason, it’s not just a feeling. He really isn’t himself.

Not any more.

Who is he? That’s the problem. Jason isn’t sure. And it’s not just him. Everyone in town is acting weird. His friends. His parents. Everyone. Billington is usually such a normal town. As Jason is about to discover, nothing will ever be normal again.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales – Oliver Sacks
Genre – Non-Fiction

In his most extraordinary book, one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders.

Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’ splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine’s ultimate responsibility: the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject.

The Light Between Oceans – M. L. Stedman
Genre – Historical Fiction

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

Fury – Elizabeth Miles
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

In this chilling start to a trilogy rife with revenge, two teens learn the hard way: Sometimes sorry isn’t enough.

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems… Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better—the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.

March 2014 Book Haul (#2)

As I said in a recent post, I went to a book fair this past weekend. I only bought six books and two small items, but I might end up going back some time this week or weekend. Even if I don’t buy anything, I like browsing the shelves and seeing everything the book fair offers.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Unsaid – Neil Abramson
Genre – Fiction/Animals

In this explosive debut novel, Neil Abramson explores the beauty and redemptive power of human-animal relationships and the true meaning of communication in all of its diverse forms.

As a veterinarian, Helena was required to choose when to end the lives of the terminally ill animals in her care. Now that she has died, she is afraid to face them and finally admit to herself that her thirty-seven years of life were meaningless, error-ridden, and forgettable. So Helena lingers, a silent observer haunted by the life she left behind-her shattered attorney husband, David; her houseful of damaged but beloved animals; and her final project, Cindy, a chimpanzee trained to use sign language who may be able to unlock the mysteries of animal communication and consciousness.

When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena’s life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief, and loss and discover what it really means to be human.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Genre – Young Adult/Romance

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City – and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be – and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Naked – David Sedaris
Genre – Non-Fiction/Humor

In Naked, David Sedaris’s message alternately rendered in Fakespeare, Italian, Spanish, and pidgin Greek is the same: pay attention to me.

Whether he’s taking to the road with a thieving quadriplegic, sorting out the fancy from the extra-fancy in a bleak fruit-packing factory, or celebrating Christmas in the company of a recently paroled prostitute, this collection of memoirs creates a wickedly incisive portrait of an all-too-familiar world. It takes Sedaris from his humiliating bout with obsessive behavior in A Plague of Tics to the title story, where he is finally forced to face his naked self in the mirrored sunglasses of a lunatic. At this soulful and moving moment, he picks potato chip crumbs from his pubic hair and wonders what it all means.

This remarkable journey into his own life follows a path of self-effacement and a lifelong search for identity, leaving him both under suspicion and overdressed.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris
Genre – Non-Fiction/Humor

“David Sedaris’s ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art,” (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.

Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths.  Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris’s sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from “a writer worth treasuring” (Seattle Times).

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
Genre – Romance

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

Fever Crumb – Philip Reeve
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.

Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb – nearly the only person she’s ever known – to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven.

The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.

All Fever knows is what she’s been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

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While I was walking from one part of the building to the other, I found some cool items. I ended up buying a pack of Vampire Knight playing cards. The cards have scenes from the anime which I think is pretty neat, and they only cost 99 cents. I also bought these killer magnets. (You can click on the pictures to get a close up).

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Giveaway Winner!

The giveaway has officially ended! Thank you to everyone who entered and participated. I’m very excited to have had so many entries. Don’t worry if you didn’t win this one. I’m planning on doing more giveaways in the future. 🙂

Now, for the moment you have been waiting for. The winner is . . . Michelle M.! Congratulations!

I have already sent the winner an e-mail, and she will have one week to reply to claim her prize. If she doesn’t reply by next Thursday, I will pick another winner. I’ll pick someone every week until the prize is claimed.

Thank you again for making this giveaway successful, and I’m looking forward to hosting another one.

March 2014 Book Haul

Here is another book haul. Oh the books keep piling up. I didn’t plan on having these book hauls so close together but there were so many great deals on books that I couldn’t pass them up. I also got two Lisa Frank coloring books in this order. “Why?” you may ask. Because why not. I miss Lisa Frank stuff, so when I saw them on bookoutlet.com, I knew I needed them. Plus, I really want to color. I’m such a child sometimes.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel – Heather Mcelhatton
Genre – Chick Lit./Contemporary

There are hundreds of lives sown inside Pretty Little Mistakes, Heather McElhatton’s singularly spectacular, breathtakingly unique novel that has more than 150 possible endings. You may end up in an opulent mansion or homeless down by the river; happily married with your own corporation or alone and pecked to death by ducks in London; a Zen master in Japan or morbidly obese in a trailer park.

Is it destiny or decision that controls our fate? You can’t change your past and start over from scratch in real life–but in Pretty Little Mistakes, you can! But be warned, choose wisely.

Revolution – Jennifer Donnelly
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Wuftoom – Mary G. Thompson
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

“Wildly imaginative . . . something utterly new and weird.”—Publishers Weekly

Everyone thinks Evan is sick. But Evan knows he is actually transforming. His metamorphosis has him confined to his bed, terrified, and alone—except for visits from the Wuftoom, a wormlike creature that tells Evan he is becoming one of them. Clinging to his humanity and desperate to help his overworked single mother, Evan makes a bargain with the Vitflies, the enemies of the Wuftoom. But when the bargain becomes blackmail and the Vitflies prepare for war, whom can Evan trust? Is saving his humanity worth destroying an entire species, and the only family he has left?

Arclight – Josin L. McQuein
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense—the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

With a Name Like Love – Tess Hilmo
Genre – Childrens/Historical Fiction

One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011

When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession?  Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.

Four Summoner’s Tales – Kelley Armstrong
Genre – Anthology/Horror

In Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children,” an acute diphtheria outbreak kills most of the children in an isolated village in nineteen-century Ontario. Then a stranger arrives and offers to bring the children back to life. He wants money, of course, an extravagant sum, but more importantly, but for each child resurrected, one villager must voluntarily offer his life…

In David Liss’s “A Bad Season for Necromancy,” a con man on the margins of eighteenth-century British society discovers a book that reveals the method for bringing the dead back to life. After considering just how far he would go to avoid bringing his violent father back, he realizes the real value of this book. Instead of getting people to pay him to revive their departed, he will get people to pay him not to…

In “Pipers” by Christopher Golden, the Texas Border Volunteers wage a private war against drug smuggling by Mexican cartels in a modern-day South Texas town, complete with an indestructible army of the risen dead…

In “Alive Day” by Jonathan Maberry, a US Army sergeant must dive into the underworld of modern-day Afghanistan to try and barter for the release of his team, never dreaming of the horrors that await him…

Heartsick – Chelsea Cain
Genre – Mystery

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.

 

The Sleeping and the Dead – Jeff Crook
Genre – Mystery

A new mystery series starring a Memphis crime scene photographer with ghostly assistance

Jackie Lyons, a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department, is trying to put her life back together. Her husband has served her with divorce papers, she’s broke, and her apartment has just gone up in flmaes. But a failed marriage, unemployment, and an incinerated home aren’t her only problems: she also sees ghosts.

Since Jackie left her job with the MPD, she’s been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector.  When she’s called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer’s latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective– her new camera captures spectral images. As her camera brings her ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won’t let go: Did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone in her inner circle?

As Jackie works to separate natural from supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case.