Showing posts with label Novella. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Novella. Show all posts

December 30, 2020

Memories of Tomorrow (Nameless #6) by Dean Koontz


What strange science made Nameless who he is? What catastrophes have been erased from his memories? In the stunning conclusion of this series, the dark past comes flooding back, and Nameless must decide how much he really wants to know.

In Indiana, a murderous psycho has kidnapped his own six-year-old stepson, Jamie, and secreted him away in a subterranean cave. It’s become their bunker. For Nameless, the case is breaking down his defenses, and it may force him to face his memories.

I have to be honest and say that I was really sad to get to the end of this series. Nameless is such an interesting character, and the stories felt complete – even if they were all bite-sized. Nameless is a well-written series that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It’s fun and quick, and that’s how it should be digested. 

While I may have been sad to get to the end of the series, I was delighted with how the 6th installment wrapped the story up. This one really gripped me from beginning to end. I needed to know what happened to each character. It had a much darker feel to it than the others, so I was really hoping something terrible wasn’t going to happen to Nameless. 

I won’t spoil it one way or the other. But, I will say that it was a fitting conclusion to the series. I’m glad I read through it. I enjoyed going through all 6 of these novellas. Highly recommend for any fans of Dean Koontz – or if you’re looking to get your feet wet with his work. 

5/5 stars

Memorable Quotes: “On waking, he knew that his destiny was henceforth to be a defender of the innocent who are ill served—or not served at all—by the current justice system, especially when their tormentors are among the empowered.”

“It’s not about the money, it’s the kindness, the way it makes the recipient feel special. Life is hard and lonely for many people. If all of us would just make one another feel special now and then—not just with money, but however we can—wouldn’t that be lovely?”

“Southern Indiana is a land of disappearing streams. They follow carved courses through fields and forests, only to drop suddenly out of sight, into a flue, down into darkness, chuckling like evil spirits homeward bound after working their wickedness in the upper world.”

“Killing even a murderer is never exhilarating. In this case no less than others, death is still death—and solemn.”

“He is not an agent of justice, for there can be little or no real justice in this broken world, where culture and politics are forever redefining the word.”

The Mercy of Snakes (Nameless #5) by Dean Koontz


A series of suspicious deaths in a retirement home draws Nameless into the confidence of a terrified former resident—and into the dark heart of a shocking conspiracy. In part five of the Nameless series, it’s time to hunt.

Oakshore Park is Michigan’s most exclusive assisted-living community. Presided over by two killer angels of mercy, it’s also the go-to facility in assisted dying. For a cut, they make impatient heirs happy. Nameless must concoct a scheme just as cunning. But righteous retribution stirs disquiet in the avenger as light starts to shine on the black hole of his past. Should he welcome it or keep running?

This was the weakest novella in the Nameless series. Maybe there were too many moving parts, a lack of chapters involving Nameless, or maybe I’ve listened to too many true crime stories about “Angels of Mercy”. Either way, it was just bland to me. 

That isn’t really the vibe I was hoping for going into the final novella in the series. I was definitely left hoping #6 redeems The Mercy of Snakes and ends the series strong. 

3/5 Stars

Memorable Quote: “In a world sick with envy that leads to coveting that leads to greed that too often results in violence, it wouldn’t seem that something as small as excellent muffins could lift a man’s spirits, even during talk of murder. But that is the way of the world: sadness and delight, anger and forbearance, hatred and love—all woven together in every inch of the tapestry.”

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December 29, 2020

Red Rain (Nameless #4) by Dean Koontz


In a town where the corrupt are protected, a bereaved mother seeks retribution for an arsonist’s deadly crimes. Only Nameless can help ease the burden of her grief—and satisfy her rage—in part four of this thrilling series.

After a suspicious house fire, Regina Belmont lost her two children, was left disfigured, and was abandoned by her gutless husband. Brokenhearted and bullied into silence by corrupt officials, Regina’s only recourse for truth and justice is Nameless. There’s something about this case that’s breaking Nameless’s heart as well. But can he bear to remember why?

This is the second bad guy in the series who thinks he can play God. Well, the God of Fire . . . so, maybe the Devil. Either way, sometimes the most charming people can be the most heartless. But, Nameless and crew don’t buy into the act. 

They know what he’s done, and now he has to pay. This one was also pretty creative in that they had to go after more than one guy, but Nameless only had to take out one himself. 

Red Rain may have been the easiest novella in the series to read. Don’t get me wrong, this guy has done truly evil things that make you angry. But, it’s not as sickly disturbing as some of the others. 

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “’Justice is a human concept, as flawed as any. There is no reliable justice in this world and, given human nature, never can be. Politics, bigotry, envy, ignorance . . . Those forces and others redefine justice day by day, until it means something different to everyone—until it means nothing at all.’”

“’There’s hope, though not in justice. There’s hope in truth. A sea of lies can’t wash away a single grain of truth. Truth is what it is.’”

“To be fair to himself, perhaps he should accept that some fates are sewn into the fabric of time with tighter stitches than others. The possibility exists that no one, even if possessing greater powers than his, can strip the future of all hardships, threats, and tragedies. Utopias, after all, are sought mostly by great fools, though also by dangerous charlatans, and more death and pain has been brought down on humanity by the pursuit of a perfect world than by all other crime combined.”

“Humble goals and modest expectations are more likely to be fulfilled than are utopian dreams.”

“Truth. There is no one truth. Everyone has his own truth. It’s all about point of view.”

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The Praying Mantis Bride (Nameless #3) by Dean Koontz


A deadly black widow has eliminated three husbands and counting. But Nameless knows her one weakness. To bring truth and its consequences to her crimes, the vigilante must spin a web of his own in part three of the Nameless series.

Lucia—current last name, Rickenbah—has made a fortune by marrying rich men who tend to drop dead. But the superstitious blonde believes in more than money and murder. Nameless’s job is to scare a confession out of Lucia, and as the psychological warfare escalates, even he may be in for a shock.

The third book in the Nameless series sees the first female antagonist. She sure is something. She will take down anyone in search of endless wealth. But, it catches up to her. 

Nameless and the crew use their most creative method yet for torturing their bad guy. I can’t even begin to spoil it. It’s as crazy as the lady, herself, is. You just have to give it a read. 

5/5 stars if for nothing more than the insanity that ensued. 

Memorable Quote: “However, he is a tool of the program, a status for which he is sure that he volunteered before amnesia was imposed on him. A hammer should not argue with the carpenter who wields it.”

Photographing the Dead (Nameless #2) by Dean Koontz


A self-styled artist is getting away with murder in Death Valley. If all goes well, so will Nameless. In part two of the Nameless series, the relentless avenger is haunted by nightmares of the past and visions of what’s to come.

Palmer Oxenwald’s hunting ground is the Mojave wasteland. His victims are random tourists and hikers. His trophies are cherished photographs of the damage he’s done. His greatest threat is Nameless. Two men with one thing in common: memories of the dead. For a psychopath like Palmer, they’re a clear rush in black and white. For Nameless, they’re visions of violence buried and erased. But for how long?

Nameless is back in this second installment to carry out another mission for the mysterious Ace. This time, they are going after a truly evil photographer. 

Just like the first novella, some of the details about the bad guy were truly horrific and just made me feel sick. That seems to be a theme with the kinds of people Nameless is sent to go after. 

The series is a fun, short read about vigilantism by a man who has no idea who he is. It may be non-believable at times, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be super realistic. If you go into it ready for an interesting journey, you’ll enjoy it. 

Plus, they have creative ways of taking care of the person they’re after. 

4/5 stars. Not perfect, but an enjoyable sequel

Memorable Quotes: “Death cannot die. Death and Death alone is immortal.”

“He is not fearful. He is never fearful. He is an avatar of Death, Death incarnate, and Death fears nothing.”

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January 8, 2020

Mother Of by Lauren Coffin

Following the arrest of her youngest son, caught burying a body in the woods near the home where she raised him, Meredith Mayes moves through the memories of her own life with disbelief. Her sense of loss is familiar: her husband and firstborn son died in a car accident ten years prior. These two events circle one another in her mind, enshrouding her as one grief reawakens the other.
The onslaught of a clamoring media is the noisy backdrop to the ferocious crush of her memories. With the arrival of her nephew, Curtis, she finds some measure of sanity, but he has trauma of his own to process. Neither of them can fully trust in the wake of what has happened, but together, they must work to find a way through.
The intrusions of the past and the immediacy of the present combine to make “Mother Of” a powerful examination of the choices we make, the lives we live because—or perhaps in spite—of them, and a heartfelt, gut-wrenching look at the soul of a mother coming to grips with the unthinkable.

When it comes to novellas, they can either be great or highly confuse you. When not written well, there can be too many descriptors and the story never progresses OR the story moves way too fast and doesn’t end up making any sense.

I was pleasantly surprised reading through ‘Mother Of’. It was written in a unique style with narrative, inner dialogue – moreso than inner monologue, and flashbacks. The use of font and verb tenses allows you to sort it out in your mind once you get used to it.

The story was intriguing, and I know it could probably be used to expand into a full novel, but I liked having a bite-sized version.

It's one that shows the struggle between love and morality. It really gives you something to think about.

If you’re a fan of crime novels or fiction in general – take an afternoon and check this one out. It’s quick. It’s interesting. It’s worth the read!

5/5 Stars

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August 24, 2016

First Kill by Robert Swartwood


In this new novella from USA Today bestselling author Robert Swartwood, available exclusively as an eBook, a young Holly Lin comes face to face with danger for the first time.

Oahu, Hawaii. Paradise to some, but to seventeen-year-old Holly Lin it's a place she'll never forget. A place where she's kidnapped by masked men. A place where she must find the strength to survive. A place that will take her one step closer to her first kill.

So, First Kill is August’s Book of the Month in a group I am a part of on Goodreads. Being a novella, I figured this was a good one to read to get back to being involved in that community.

This is my first Robert Swartwood book, and I think I am intrigued to read more. I have gathered that he usually writes full-length novels, so my next experience with his writing should be interesting.
First Kill is a bit of an unrealistic book. A 17-year-old taking on a bunch of people at once typically wouldn’t happen in real life. That said, the action kept the pace of the book fast, and Holly was an interesting enough character to keep reading.

There are more books with her as the protagonist, so maybe I will finish her series.

If you like action books or thrillers, I think you will like this book. It is packed full of action, and the suspense keeps you guessing.

It was a positive first experience with Robert Swartwood, and I look forward to the next book.

4/5 Stars

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December 23, 2013

A Magical and Inspiring Book Two: And Then There’s Haley by Marissa Marchan

This book is the sequel to A Boy Named Ray. My review of that one is HERE.

Theo, Mary, and Ray are back for this one. There is a new addition to their family, though. Theo and Mary have a daughter named Haley. She is just as perfect and gifted as Ray.

She shares his abilities of being able to talk to nature except she connects more with plants and animals, and Ray with natural forces such as wind and water.

This is just a nice feel good story. It is in the realm of science fiction, so some of the reactions and story lines are not realistic, but it isn’t meant to be.

What I found to be pretty interesting with this book was that every chapter told a different story, but it all came together to tell one big story. It was fun to put together.

For being so short, each character was well developed. This may be due to the fact that we were introduced to Theo, Mary & Ray in the first book, but nonetheless, I did not feel disappointed with any of the character developments. It was done very well.

The story was also well rounded. It completed the story circle beginning in the first book. Theo and his family are able to return to the town that they were run out of for being ugly. When Theo and Haley return after hearing that the once beautiful town has gone to ruin, they help restore the town with the help of Haley and Ray’s unique gifts. The family is accepted back into the town, and everyone is happy again.

While unrealistic at times, the real story these two books are telling is that doing a simple nice deed for someone can go a long way in the end. That is a lesson I feel people need to be reminded of more often. These books do a good job of conveying these messages through fun and interesting mini story lines within one complete story.

3.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed it, but there needs to be some editing  due to some grammar mistakes and wrong pronouns. 

December 20, 2013

One Day In Budapest by J.F. Penn

After an ancient relic is stolen, Budapest in thrown into a frenzy.

It is up to Dr. Morgan Sierra and her pal Zoltan to uncover who is behind the theft and who is framing the Jewish citizens for the terrible crimes of setting bombs off all over the city.

Jewish symbols start appearing all around the town, it becomes more apparent that they are being framed, and that something serious is about to happen. Bombs are going off in the city, and no one knows how to stop it.

I felt like I was on a journey through Budapest while reading this; Traveling through the city and the underground labyrinth while learning more about the history as I went along. It was a fun reading experience and I recommend it for readers who enjoy history, travel, religion, and even politics. It has a little bit of all of those things for readers to enjoy.

It is a novella, so it is pretty short, but I didn’t feel as though anything was lacking.

The characters were well written. There wasn’t much time for elaborate character arcs, but none of them were boring or useless. They all had a place in the story and were written to match their role very well.

Not to mention the major cliff hanger at the end.

4/5 stars. Some of the scene cuts were confusing when starting a new chapter. But once you figure it out, it is fun to read, and it will take you on a journey. 

December 15, 2013

Incorrigibility by Rayme Michaels

I am going to call this Bro-Fiction. If that is not a genre, it is now.

I am going to call it that because it seems like a story a guy might share with his friends. It is pretty sexually explicit and full of dirty humor.

The definition of incorrigible and the top two definitions that match this book are:

Incapable or being corrected or reformed


Difficult or impossible to control or manage

Why does that match this book? The three main characters in this book do not change their point of view no matter what life throws their way – good or bad.

I feel as though the characters all represented three different sides to one man in a way. They were all completely different, but I feel that if you put them together, they would make up one complete man with their thoughts.

That being said, and even though it is a short story, I don’t feel as though there was any real character development.

It was interesting to read, but I couldn’t really get into it, and felt myself cringing from time to time from the content.

2/5 stars.

May 11, 2013

Snow Day by Dan Maurer

Snow day is a novella that is told like a spooky campfire story told to children. It also reads like it could be a child’s nightmare.

I really enjoyed the writing of this novella. Mr. Maurer did a wonderful job of setting the tone of the story. It was spooky throughout the whole story and had a hint of doom around each corner.

It tells the story of one snow day. Usually snow days are days that children love more than none other. What could beat getting out of school for the day and being able to play in the snow? Not much!

But when things go in a horribly wrong direction that leaves the main character haunted for life, snow days aren’t something to be excited over anymore.

Some parts are a little silly, and some parts are very gorey (the ending for sure!). But, there is just something about this story that keeps you holding on until the very end. It captivates your mind by drawing very explicit mental images, and I think that is where the skill of the writer comes in.

If you are into spooky and somewhat unsettling novellas, this one is for you!

5/5 stars. Kept me hanging on until the end, and Dan Maurer did a wonderful job with descriptive writing.