Mystery

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review

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This is definitely one of the better books for young readers that I have read in a long time. There were many different parts in this book that set it apart from other books of similar topic and meant for similar age range.

This story follows the adventure of a young girl, Ophelia, who has recently lost her mother and been moved by her father to a new country as he begins work cataloguing swords in a museum. While exploring the museum, Ophelia stumbles upon a young boy held prisoner in a secluded room. He explains to Ophelia that he never ages and has been held prisoner for many years. This marvelous boy, who’s name was previously stolen from him, leads Ophelia on a quest around the museum, through haunted rooms and other dangerous things, to find the key to unlock him from his prison before it is too late and the spell keeping him safe wears off.

The plot in this book is really exciting. The story starts out with a lot of action and keeps the pace up throughout most of the story. This book has a lot of magic in it and a lot of suspense, so it probably isn’t the best for those younger readers who get scared easily (but for an adult it was perfect).

The characters in this book are all truly exceptional. All of the characters show growth throughout the story, but Ophelia most of all. She starts out the story by continually reminding the reader that she isn’t a brave young girl, but as the story continues she begins to become more self-confident and realizes her potential to be whatever she wishes.

The writing in this book is absolutely perfect for the age range the book is intended for (and is suitable for any reader). The author does a fantastic job of writing in a style that is simple, yet doesn’t insult the intelligence of the reader. The author also manages to be descriptive, yet while still allowing the reader to use their imagination to further each scene.

Overall, I found this book to be a marvelous children’s fantasy story. There were so many different parts that served to make this book stand out from other books written for the same age range. This is definitely one of the better young reader books I have read in a long time.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

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Snowblind: Review

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I truly enjoyed this book and while I don’t think that it fits neatly into the category of horror, it was still a good book. This book did remind me of Stephen King novels, yet this book had so much more going for it than any Stephen King book I’ve ever read.

The plot in this book is absolutely fantastic. The excitement starts right at the beginning with the first snowstorm and keeps up at a brisk pace until the very end of the story. The plot draws in the reader and doesn’t let them go, keeping them glued to the pages until the very end of the story. It’s hard to write about the plot in this book without giving anything away- the action starts so soon in the story. I will say that during the beginning of the book, during the first snowstorm, I was genuinely creeped out. While things settled down somewhat after that as some of the mysteries were revealed, I was still slightly chilled, but things don’t get much creepier than the beginning of this story.

Not only is the plot in this book really exciting, but the characters are really phenomenal too. The author does a fantastic job of introducing separate characters to the reader and then tying them together later on in the story. And each character is really unique and fascinating. I found myself wanting to learn more about each characters life as they were introduced and I wanted to read more about what was going on with the characters and how they were interacting with each other. The characters in this book were also really realistic. Their actions, dialogue, and reactions to events all seemed very realistic and it was easy to imagine them as actual people.

I also really enjoyed the authors writing style. The author writes in a manner that is descriptive, without being overly descriptive and annoying. I also enjoyed the way the author introduced all of the characters and then wove their interactions together later in the story. I found this book easy and enjoyable to read.

The only problem that I really had with this book was the fact that it doesn’t fit nicely into the horror genre. While there are some suspenseful parts of the book, the overall message was one of friendship and love. Yet I don’t know where you would classify this book if you didn’t classify it as horror, so it’s not really that big of a deal.

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspenseful stories and is looking for a chilling story to curl up with during a blizzard…

Runner: Review

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I really enjoyed this book. There were just so many different reasons why this book was so enjoyable.

The plot in this book was absolutely fantastic. This story is a stereotypical crime/action story but there are also numerous science-fiction elements thrown in. The science fiction elements are really woven into the story in a pleasant and believable manner. The science fiction elements definitely aid in adding action and intrigue into the story.

The characters in this story are also quite wonderful. The characters were very believable and easy to relate to. I especially felt that the two main characters were relatable. Their bond and relationship seemed realistic and extremely sweet.

The writing in this book was extremely pleasant to read. I didn’t notice anything fantastic that stood out about the writing, but the writing flowed smoothly and was extremely easy to read.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 9/10 stars. There was just so much to enjoy in this book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of crime novels, especially if you’re looking for ones with a sci-fi twist.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

White Fire: Review

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I received the eBook version of this book from NetGalley, and then the publisher contacted me about sending me a hardcover copy of this book. A few days later I received my hardcover copy in the mail and sat down to read.

I’ll start out by saying that I had never before read a novel starring Pendergast, yet I wasn’t confused. It might have helped that this book focused more on Pendergast’s apprentice, Corrie, but I still felt that the authors did a nice job of re-introducing the characters without requiring prior information to understand the story.

The plot in this book was really intriguing. There was a mystery of some long-dead miners that related to Conan Doyle and there was also another mystery involving house fires in the area. As the reader is exposed to each mystery there is a lot of action and the reader is left wondering whether things will tie together at the end and how things could possibly be related. There is so much going on with all the mysteries in this book that there truly is not a dull moment.

I truly enjoyed the ending of this book and think that the authors did a fantastic job of tying everything together in the end. Not only was everything tied up nicely, but also the ending was entirely plausible. I truly enjoy it when books are believable and this story certainly was.

The tie in to the missing Sherlock Holmes story was a fantastic part of this book. I expected this to be a basic detective novel but the tie in to another book/author really set this book apart and brought it closer to the literary fiction genre. The Sherlock Holmes aspect added something for this people who love to read about classic detectives or literary topics, truly setting this book apart from others in the genre.

The writing in this book was really pleasant. I don’t think that I had ever read a book that was written by two authors before and this was the perfect book to start with. The writing is fluid and easy to read, although there aren’t any signature author styles in this story, there is still enough uniqueness to make this story an enjoyable one to read.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars. While it isn’t in my top favorite books, this story is a perfect one to curl up with and immerse into on a lazy day.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

The Survivors Club: Review

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I tend to read detective/murder stories when I need to relax. I picked this book up figuring I would read it throughout the week, when I had time to read. I couldn’t stop reading and finished the book the day after I started it.

The plot in this book is really exciting. The story follows a few different characters and it takes a couple of chapters before the stories come together. Yet, even though there are separate stories at the beginning, the transition between stories flows seamlessly. The story starts out with a grisly murder and things just escalate from there. The reader learns about other murders that have taken place as the story tracks the ongoing investigation.

Part of the mystery is solved halfway through the story, which surprisingly didn’t detract from the story as a whole. There is enough other stuff going on, and enough still left unsolved, that the reader is still hanging at the edge of their seat waiting to see what will happen next.

The characters in this story are really enjoyable. Tess, the main character in the story, was incredibly likable and realistic. Her personality was feisty without being obnoxious, a good mix for the lead detective. The “bad guys” were perfectly written into this story. They were very realistic and it was easy to imagine them as actual people.

The writing itself was pretty good. There wasn’t anything that stood out as fantastic in this authors writing, but it certainly wasn’t a chore to read. The author does a nice job of keeping the sentences and story flowing smoothly.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 9/10 stars. I look forward to more books involving Tess and her photographic memory.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

Cracked: Review

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This book started out beautifully, and while it didn’t stay beautiful for very long, it was certainly very good.

The first page of this book drew me right in. The prose on the first page is quite nice, introducing the voice of Meda and the subject of the book in beautifully crafted sentences. Even though the beautifully crafted sentances were gone by the second page, the writing style was still unique and the subject matter intriguing enough to keep me reading.

The writing style in this book is very interesting. It’s written almost as if we are looking through the eyes of the main character, Meda. Yet, it’s as if the reader can also step back and look at the whole picture when Meda can’t. The writing style is the perfect amount of sass and straightforwardness to draw in the younger reader. And while I can’t exactly say that the older reader will enjoy the writing style, it’s a perfect fit for this book and the characters in it.

The plot/subject matter of this book is really interesting. Just the premise of a girl who eats souls is unique, but the way the author puts the good/evil spin on things really sets this book apart from other books that might have similar subject matter.

The plot of this book is really nice. There are numerous conflicts (good vs. evil, Meda vs. her inner demons, etc.) throughout the story, which allows for nonstop action throughout the story. And while there are numerous conflicts, they all spin together to create a strong plot in the story.

The characters were very likable. They are extremely easy for a young reader to relate to and enjoy, while not being annoying for older readers to read about. The dialogue between the characters was awkward at times, but mostly the characters were strong and conversation flowed smoothly between them.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars. While it isn’t the typical story that I like to read, I still enjoyed it. The writing style and plot were both extremely unique, making this book a fun and quick read. I will probably look for the second book in this series.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

The Heavens Rise: Review

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I really enjoyed this book, up until about halfway through. I found myself really into the story at the beginning, yet it lost all magic and I got bored with it midway through.

The plot of this book is really quite unique. Nicky, Anthem, and Ben are a tight-knit group but when Nicky, and her entire family, mysteriously disappear; things just fall to pieces. Not only has Nicky’s family disappeared, but also it seems to be that the shady (and borderline psychopath) character, Mitchell, might have something to do with their disappearance. The story then follows along with what is going on in the lives of the characters as the reader learns more about what is going on with Mitchell and the disappearance of Nicky and her family.

The plot really captivated me up until about halfway through the story. Some of the major mysteries were revealed by the midpoint and I couldn’t bring myself to care enough about Nicky’s disappearance to maintain any interest in the book. I wish that the plot had kept up throughout the book, but things definitely weaken by the midpoint.

Although the plot started out strong, the writing was weak throughout the book. The jumps between past and present were a good technique to use for this book but they were not executed well. Each jump between time periods was jarring and left me confused, I often had to revisit the first page of the chapter to remind myself what time period that chapter was supposed to be taking place in. Excluding the sudden period changes, there wasn’t anything that really stood out to me as exceptionally good or bad about the writing itself.

The characters in this book were somewhat mediocre. Mitchell was somewhat of an exception as he was an incredibly interesting character. I found myself wondering what was going on with him as I was reading through the book. Without giving too much away, I will say that you need to read through a decent chunk of the book before things really start to get interesting with him. The other characters weren’t exceptionally interesting because they seemed like they were just depictions of everyday people. Yet, although they seemed to be everyday people, I had a really hard time relating to any of them.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 7/10 stars. Although I was bored by the halfway point, I truly enjoyed the first half of this story.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.