November 27, 2013
Books can take us to a whole new place. A world beyond our most wild imaginations. They provide a place to escape from reality.
That is what Alice relies on in this short story.
Alice has obligations at home that she does not want to deal with. She uses her books to escape from her reality and transport her into a whole new place.
I feel like Nancy Christie puts the reader inside the mind of Alice and you experience the insanity she is feeling.
It has a dark, heavy tone.
There were some parts where I wasn’t very sure what was going on, but the tone and the writing made me want to keep reading to find out how it ends.
If you haven’t read Nancy Christie’s other short story Annabelle, read my review here
November 18, 2013
We Shadows is the first book in the Night’s Dream Series.
If I had to sum this up in one sentence, it would be: You have to have quite the imagination to get into this one.
That being said, it was a very interesting book. Most of the time I didn’t know what was going on, so I am glad that it was only the first book. Hopefully the other two will do better to explain what was happening.
After a night of drinking, the main character, Shane, ends up in a crazy world where she doesn’t know if she is real or not. Dead or alive. Fact or Fiction.
She is in an in between state and only certain people can see her.
Mourning the loss of her boyfriend, she never really recovers from that sadness. He is always the first thing on her mind.
While trying to uncover the secrets of Eliot’s death and her own weird occurrences, she runs into some strange people along the way, though they will turn out to be what she really needs in the end.
A witch and a girl with no name.
With new found powers and strange people around her, Shane must try to figure out what is going on.
It all seems to come together at the end, but I suppose we will only really know after reading the last two.
2.5/5 stars. I don’t feel that there was ever really a take off point for this story. It all seemed to go at the same pace. I was confused much of the time, but through all of that, it was still intriguing.
November 16, 2013
Promise of departure has a little something for everyone. It has the masculine side with lots of motorcycles, but there is a softer side to it as well.
Motorcycles. Travel. Drinking Problems. Romance. There is a little bit of everything.
I wasn’t expecting to get into this book as much as I did. The beginning of the book is a little slow, and it takes about a chapter to officially figure out what is going on.
The further you read, the more it pulls you in. You slowly feel as though you are in Greg’s world and experiencing his adventures and his rides with him. It really comes out of nowhere. You are trying to figure out where this book is going, then, all of a sudden it is impossible to put down.
Greg has had a strange life. He started up his own video game company with some friends of his. But, then he realizes making so much money really isn’t all it is cracked up to be. He leaves his company, his marriage goes downhill, and all that he has left is his bike Sissy and thoughts of his daughter back home.
He travels to Haiti with the intention to help fix motorcycles after a severe natural disaster. When he gets there, he gets himself into something he never would have imagined.
The character development is really well done, especially for Greg. But even the supporting characters have great arcs, and you aren’t really left asking questions…. Well, at least about the characters.
Then comes the end …. A HUGE cliff hanger! I was almost screaming ‘WHO IS IT’ at my book. I know who I want it to be, but I will save that for the spoilers.
3.5/5 Stars only because the beginning, as I said, is pretty slow. But, by the end, I definitely enjoyed the read a lot.
Read Ahead for Spoilers!
November 12, 2013
This was a different book for me. Of course, it is Patterson, so it isn’t all that foreign.
It is centered on the Crusades and definitely has a medieval feel to it.
One thing that is clear from the start is who the hero is and who you should be rooting for.
It is a crazy emotional journey though. It takes you through heartbreak and triumph, and back again.
Hugh De Luc is a fool, in more ways than one. But he is a smart fool.
He will go to any length to avenge and save the ones he loves. Even try to take over some of the strongest armies in the land.
Sometimes when you have nothing left to lose, you have to give it your all.
Will Hugh be proven to just be a fool, or will he save the land he loves?
I guess you will just have to read to find out!
Each character has their own interesting story line and backstory. They are all well developed, and by the end you feel as if you know them personally. This is a specialty of Patterson.
4/5 Stars. A little slow at times, but an interesting story, and when it isn’t slow, it is full of action!
Bart Hopkins is the author and Co-Author of two novels. With Dead Ends he puts his writing to the test and forms a short story collection.
Dead Ends is made up of three short stories with dark tones. Things may not always be as they seem. And the endings are there to shock you.
Recalculating is a story where you sort of know the ending from the start, but you are still completely surprised to see how it plays out. You may never see it coming.
When a couple comes upon a GPS system at a garage sale, they decide to take a much needed vacation.
This may be the worst mistake of their lives.
Listening to directions on a GPS may not be all it is cracked up to be.
The beginning of this story had sort of a Carrie feel to it to me. With a crazy mother and a daughter.
Then it turned out to be very far from that once you get to the end. Though, maybe they need to find Jesus.
This one is unlike Recalculating, because you can’t really guess what is going on.
It keeps you hanging on until the end because it keeps you guessing where the story is headed.
Here’s a piece of advice: you may want to have some garlic around you while reading this.
Character development was surprisingly well done in such a short amount of pages.
Donations is easily the creepiest and most horror filled of the three. It is also longer than the other two, so the character and story development really adds to it.
When the one you love is dying, how far will you go to save them?
This short story combines two different story lines, and they come together in a surprising way. It will keep you guessing up until the last page.
It is a very dark story with a mix of romance and craziness.
You may sleep with the lights on after this one.
Overall rating: 5/5 Stars. If you like horror, drama, and short stories, pick this up now.
November 7, 2013
If you haven’t read books one and two, the reviews can be found here
Our good friend Irving is back!
Seeking the Way Home is the third and final book in this fiction memoir trilogy. It closes out this chapter in Irv’s life.
It is a spiritual journey through Irving finally finding himself and what his self-worth is. He finds himself through the people he surrounds himself with, religion to a certain extent, and through psychic readings.
Irving is a special man with a special gift to travel while he sleeps. He must decide between finding answers to these journeys and settling down to find the love of his life.
Irving’s whole journey that he has taken us through in these books has been a rollercoaster. There has been a lot of laughs, emotional stories, and a fair share of craziness. It was almost sad to turn the final page of this books.
Reading this series gave you someone to root for and someone to relate to on many levels. I am sure every reader can find a piece of themselves in Irving.
If you haven’t read book one and two, I recommend you not waste any time and pick them up now. Then revisit this one to complete the story.
It is all wonderfully written, and it will keep you hanging on until the very end.
Each character has a well-rounded arc, and it doesn't leave you with any questions left unanswered. The ending ties all of the books together and is a nice wrap-up of the series.
5/5 for this book and the trilogy as a whole. A very, very fun read.
November 1, 2013
If you want to pick up a book that is near impossible to put down until the last page is turned, here it is.
When a professional hit goes wrong and a bag of diamonds ends up in Matthew’s hands, his life turns around forever. No longer is he a poor college student, he is now on the run from very influential crime bosses who want their diamonds back.
The contract killer known only as The Ghost is on his trail.
Matthew takes his girlfriend Katherine to Paris to try to escape, and everything goes downhill from there.
Will The Ghost get to Matthew and Katherine before they can escape, or will they get caught up in something larger than themselves?
This book is so fast paced, I read it in only a few hours. The whole book is action filled and intense.
James Patterson nails it again. I super recommend this one.
Romance. Adventure. Action. AND A HUGE TWIST. What more could you want from a Patterson book?
October 10, 2013
Seven From Haven is a collection of short stories centered around the town of Haven, Pennsylvania.
Haven is not your normal town. Strange things happen there that cannot really be explained.
The stories in Seven From Haven are all separate from each other. The only thing in common is the town of Haven.
It was perfect timing reading this in October because all seven stories are ghost stories.
With a collection like this there is always a risk that there will be some weaker stories in the mix, and that happened here as well. A few of them just seemed to drag on more than the others and didn’t really have much going on.
Then there were others that had a lot going on and read very quickly.
The stories seemed to even each other out, and overall it was a pretty enjoyable read. If you like ghost stories, this may be of interest to you.
Haven Takes Care of Its Own
3/5 stars. Good writing, but there were some slow moments.
October 8, 2013
If you didn’t read the first book in this series, read that first!
In To the Light and Beyond, our friend Irv is back, and his life is just as hectic as ever. However, he doesn’t have to deal with mentally ill children or work in the adult movie business this time.
Instead, he finds himself unemployed once again and he end up working in various restaurants…. As a bus boy.
Good ole Irv can never have very many things going in his favor. Although, he did make it to Europe, which was his goal in the first novel. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay and has to come back to Georgia.
I would say this installment takes the reader through Irv’s self-evaluation stage in his life. He is deciding what is best for him, and what is not so good… including the decision of whether to sleep with a married woman or not. It wouldn’t be an Irving H. Podolsky book without some sexual adventure.
I like how this book picked up right where the first one left off. It was a smooth transition, and it all felt very familiar being back in Irving’s world.
It wasn’t as long as the first one, but it was just as enjoyable.
I can’t even begin to imagine what the next one is going to bring!
4.5/5 stars. There were a couple slow patches, but the overall book was great. I suggest picking up the first one and then making your way to this one. It is quite the journey!
This book is a collection of very, very short stories.
They are riddled with humor and express tales of all types. From an angry swearing TV evangelist to a crazy, city-wide power outage that inconveniences everyone.
The cute illustrations at the beginning give you a sense of what is to come in the story.
They may make you smile or laugh out loud. They are creative and light-hearted.
They are filled with irony which will make you chuckle at the end of every story. The amount of advanced technology and uses of the technology will also make you laugh.
If you have a little free time one day, I would suggest picking it up as it does not take long at all to get through.
I believe there is something for everyone in here. They are relatable and funny all at the same time.
5/5 short and fun. Would be a good read on a commute or on a nice morning with a cup of coffee or tea.