Closed as of August 3, 2020
My book review list current has 6 to 15 months of books on it. The books near the top have been waiting for reviews for months, some since 2019. While I make every effort to do book reviews thoroughly, my timeliness has faultered, and until I can get a handle on the current list (get it down to 3 or 4 books), I probably shouldn't accept any more.
Book reviews are essential for both readers and authors alike.
For the reader, book reviews save time, energy, and reduce risks. Book reviews give potential readers the chance to become familiar with what a book is about before investing their time and money into getting a copy for themselves. Through book reviews, readers also have the opportunity to become a part of the author's world by providing their intake and input on their favorite works of literature.
For authors, book reviews increase awareness, sales, and visibility. Often, books with greater reviews have a higher chance of being read. Through book reviews, an author's work is also shared with a wider audience, giving the author an opportunity to influence a whole new group of people.
My Book Rating System
5 Stars – Absolutely flawless and intriguing. I don’t understand why this isn’t on every bookshelf everywhere.
4 Stars – The book has either mass appeal or cult appeal. Very few flaws and the premise of the story, characters and plot are extremely good. I’d recommend you to my family and friends.
3 Stars – Very much worth the read. I found the story intriguing and entertaining, but I also saw issues with structure and flow. I’d still recommend you to my friends and family.
2 Stars – You have a promising story, but it’s also filled with plot holes, dropped plots, cliches and reads like a second draft.
1 Star – Shows promise, needs a developmental editor. Wasn’t ready for publication.
No Mention of Stars – I couldn’t decide where the book belonged on the rating system, but I thought it was still good enough to receive a review. You have an audience somewhere, but it probably wasn’t me, and any star rating I would have given it would not precisely fit it. My estimated rating may have also been vastly lower than what you've already recieved, and I was unwilling to put a rating in that would ding you.
Where You can Expect Your Book Review
Chance by Carolyn M. Bowen is a 256 page psychological thriller. It has an interesting premise. Sydney Jones (attorney) is in a relationship with her bodyguard (Walker) when he’s accused of murder. Instead of seeing his murder case unfold, he’s recruited by the CIA and taken away from Sydney.
It is a very interesting read and worth the time to read it. However, it’s worth noting that it covers an extremely long timeframe. In the first 50 pages, you’ll learn of the murder, Walker’s “disappearance”, Sydney’s pregnancy and birth! And some stuff with the Chinese mafia. Because it covers such a massive timeframe, it can feel like the book is being told to you rather than shown to you.
Unfortunately, being an author myself, that’s the only way to do it when you are covering months instead of days or weeks. I also felt like a lot of things were being skipped. However, this is book 2 of this series, so those items may have been covered in book 1. I don’t know. I got this as an advanced reader copy more than a year ago (Yes, I am that slow at reading.) and haven’t read book 1, so I can’t tell you for certain if some of the things I noticed being glossed over or skipped are actually in book 1 and dedicated readers of the series already know these things.
What I can tell you is that the characters are extremely likable, and the plot is interesting. I give this a good 3 stars out of 5. It’s also worth noting that you can read this as a stand-alone book. If you feel like there are gaps, it may be worth going back and reading book 1 to see if that information is there.
Death Doll is a 245 page zombie thriller by Brian P. White. The main characters Didi, Paula, Isaac, Sean, Pepe and Rachelle are memorable. Through each page, you can see how they cope with their circumstances and the world and protect each other from the ongoing zombie apocalypse.
While most zombie books are nothing but fight the zombies and survive, this book offers more. It shows you the inner thoughts and inner personal relationships between the characters as they cope and share and hide secrets. After all, Didi has a big one, and as the story unfolds, we learn more about the Death Doll and Didi’s life before and after the apocalypse.
Death Doll is guaranteed to not leave you wondering where the action is or the character development. This book contains both and is well worth the read. I give it 5 stars.
First off, I want to say that Glimpse The Tender Killer is an extremely good book. It ranges somewhere between four and five stars. It is about a pair of detectives/police officers that are chasing a serial killer who is murdering people, according to the serial killer’s moral values. It is told both from the serial killer’s point of view and the police detective’s point of view. For the serial killer, I felt like it’s being told after it happened and after he was caught. The detectives point of view appears to be in the now, so, it’s very weird in that aspect. I liked the detectives better than the serial killer chapters, but both are extremely interesting. The reason I liked the detectives more than the serial killer is that you see the slow decay of morality in them. They start off wanting to solve the case by the book and strengthen their personal relationships. As the case wears on, they slowly shed these morals in order to solve the case. They abandon their morals, and the male detective in the story abandons his family, so this book goes against the grain and is not prescriptive by any stretch of the imagination. It is definitely worth the read. It is 342 pages and is a suspense/thriller book. This is book 3 in the series, but it works as a stand-alone.
Affinity’s window is a 294 page horror book that feels more like dark suspense until around page 60. The book starts in the past where we meet Affinity, her strange window, her magical doll, Mr. Moppet, and Bell Manor, which is a sprawling mansion with more hidden secrets that you can count. Readers are taken through a little bit of Affinity's life and her past until Chapter 4. Without giving away any details, we can safely say that Affinity's past was horrific, and the Bell family had its fair share of strife for the short time they lived in the house.
At chapter 4, the book jumps 30 years to 1974. That may be a little jarring. Chapter 3 ends abruptly and Chapter 4 starts after a large time jump. The good news is that the story started in the first three chapters doesn’t end, but it does become conversations, psychic visions and flashbacks once the book time jumps.
At the time jump, we meet Tanner Dan and psychic Linda. Tanner is working on a book and trying to prove that ghosts exist. Linda is trying to help him believe in ghosts and finish his book. She also knows that Tanner is trying to solve the mystery of his brother, who disappeared in a house very similiar to Bell Manner.
Author Douglas L Wilson has a very interesting writing style in the fact that nearly every detail is described. I would classify it at an older writing style versus the modern writing style of only describing extremely important things. This means that if you like books with a lot of description, you’ll love this one.
Because of the description and the slow pacing (It’s not a thriller horror by any means.), the actual horror doesn’t start until page 60, so it may very well catch you off guard. The entire book is like a cross between The Ring, Poltergeist, The Others and Cujo, if Cujo were a demonic ghost dog, and you can throw a little Chucky in there as well. It’s a mishmash of a lot of different elements, and it’s done well.
Overall, it’s a pretty good book. I’d give it a solid 4 stars. The description is what got me at a few points because it almost gets tedious, but the story itself is fine. It’s interesting, and it will certainly suck you in. Affinity's Window does hit its paranormal horror genre, as in it hits the old definition of horror. I would say that it is certainly worth the read. Whether or not you want to sleep with your nightlight on after you read it is up to you.
You Wish is a 284 page coming of age fantasy book. It has a wonderful premise in the fact that a high school freshman boy is able to make three wishes. Of course, we've all heard or read that tale. The good news is that Mark's retelling is fairly unique. After all, what's an awkward teenage boy going to wish for? You can guess, right?
The book starts off with a baseball game, and if you didn’t read or pay much attention to the category, you might have a difficult time placing this book’s age bracket. I would recommend it for anyone over the age of 14. This is due to the curse words and frequent use of the word “dickweed”. So, it’s important to understand that this is not a book for a really young audience. No one wants their 10-year old walking around saying dickweed. (If this were a book for an adult audience, the language wouldn’t even make my radar.)
I will say that the baseball game is fairly humorous in its content. I laughed more than once. However, it does start off fairly slowly with the baseball game and a visit to an old Victorian house in chapters one and two, then it switches perspectives to the adults in the teenagers’ lives. The meat of the story doesn’t really begin until chapter five when the teenagers finally discover the object of wishing (back at that old Victorian house). I won’t tell you what it is, but you can probably guess.
All in all, Mark hits his age bracket with this book. It wasn’t quite my cup of tea due to the fact that I felt it read a little choppy, and there seemed to be too many creative insults. If you’ve ever seen Milo and Stitch, the insults are right along the level of “Stupid-head”. I just felt that at some point they really distracted from Mark’s talent in retelling this story. With that being said, I’m an adult reader, and the teenagers who read this book may laugh their asses off at them. After all, Lizard Breath, may become the new favorite high school ribbing. Is it worth reading? Absolutely. It is a unique retelling of the three wishes story and worth the time to read. This book resides somewhere between three and four stars.
Dead End (Clown Conspiracy Book 1): A Short Thriller Kindle Edition
by Mallory Kelly
Dead End is a short, 48 page read by Mallory Kelly that can be found in the conspiracy thriller category, and it is book 1 in her Clown Conspiracy series of short, horrifying tales that are certain to keep you up at night. Dead End is set in a small Colorado town that receives more than its fair share of rain, and when detective's Carter and Shirley are all out to a cornfield to investigate reports of a body, they find one - still bleeding. Currently, as of the writing of this review, there are four books in this series and a four-book anthology that includes all four books.
The first thing to note about Dead End is that it is an easy book to read. It flows smoothly and contains easy to read language, so there's no need for a thesaurus. The book opens quickly, starting off with dialogue between two security guards at an old haunted house that happens to be on the edge of a muddy cornfield While a dialogue opening for a book is not typically recommended, it works for this short story. In fact, did the guards not paying attention and playing cards instead of patrolling the grounds fail to prevent this murder?
The lucky winner of checking out the cornfield for trespassers falls to Jack, a temporary employee that was lucky to land the gig after spending some time working in a pig slaughterhouse. Of course, his current job choice may not be any safer. After slogging through a wet cornfield, falling in the mud and hearing ominous laughing in the darkness, he spots a still bleeding dead body with its throat cut. Yikes! It's too close to Halloween in this book for crazy laughing murderers in cornfields. talk about setting your nerves on fire.
Solving the crime and stopping the perpetrator falls to detectives Carter and Shirley, who must stop the murderous clown before he strikes again! Of course, solving the case is harder than it appears. It is, after all, a haunted house that already dripping with fake blood, and it appears the college students aren't terribly bright either.
With that being said, Carter and Shirley are determined to find the killer before he/she strikes again, and that may just involve digging into the bowels of an Internet chat room full of...clowns? Did one of them commit the murder? Are they all committing murders? Are Shirley and Carl the next victims of this demented clown? You'll have to read to find out.
Overall, this is a pretty darned good read. It's fast-paced with plenty of action to keep you flipping the pages. The ending is also one you'll remember, and it may even entice you enough to pick up the next book in the series - Lock the Door.
Two Come Carrie Tonight by Britni Pepper is a 55 page erotica novel that follows Nate and Carrie. Nate is a broke, severely in debt college student, and Carrie is an up and coming photographer. This steamy book follows them as they journey on their own paths across in New Mexico and eventually meet up under a bridge. After a few words and a few pictures, Carrie decides Nate’s Jeep is a better option when it comes to taking photographs of old bridges along Route 66.
In fact, while this may be an erotica book, the research performed on the setting and the highway are extremely good. As it the setup and growth of the characters. This book could have easily gone another 100 pages had the author decided to expand the growing relationship between Nate and Carrie. Of course, as promised, this book has graphic sex scenes that include actual sex as well as masturbation. This book is definitely worth the read if you’re old enough to purchase and read erotic stories. It’s a solid 3.5 stars. It would have ranked higher had it both been longer and included more sex scenes. With that being said, there were no glaring errors, and the book is extremely well written.
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