What’s on the Ereader? Not what I intended.

I had this post all ready to go, but the day I scheduled it, I made up my mind – I didn’t finish the book. I couldn’t. It was a very lackluster story that just trudged along. I went looking for reviews, thinking maybe others who have read it could convince me to continue, but it did the opposite. I haven’t stopped reading a book in a long time and it bothers me.

I truly didn’t know what to make of this story. I’ve had it for a couple of months and I was on chapter 14. The premise was interesting; the poles are about to flip and a group of scientists race to confirm their findings and study the effect, but I was nine chapter in and nothing really happened. Some frogs mutated and a couple people died. That’s it. I put it down for a week because I wasn’t sure if I would continue to read it, but I started again because I kept hoping it would get better. At chapter fourteen I gave up. I had half the book finished but nothing about it excited me and I can’t keep reading, no matter how many chapters in, if the story no longer interests me. I’m not posting the title out of respect for the author. I just wasn’t a fan of the book.

What’s on the eReader: The Prophetess, by Reed Blitzerman (Book 1).

Tait Gonzales is unemployable. Her parents are gone, and her college loans are due. Fortunately, she’s also a psychic. When a dark-haired stranger shows up for a reading with a bad vibe and a dead brother, she sees a chance for a different life.

By the time it’s over, she’ll either get rich or die trying.

~~~

(DISCLAIMER; I received this ebook via Booksprout but could not post anything due to severe restrictions from Amazon and Bookbub.)

The Prophetess follows Tait Gonzales, a young woman who has fallen on hard times. Tait is a scruffy, borderline alcoholic with a broken past and a psychic gift she wishes she didn’t have, but it comes in handy when she needs money fast. It’s a dark tale with a bit of humour and some interesting ghost characters. It’s an imaginative story that brings the reader along when she uses her gift. Tait comes across as being her own worse enemy, a character trying to make a better life for herself, despite herself.

That’s all I can say about it, as it’s only 63 pages long. I finished it within two days. You can probably do it in one sitting if you’re a fast reader.

I didn’t give this story a higher ranking because, to be honest, I felt cheated. The length of the story didn’t give me enough time to truly feel for the character; understand her, her life, and her abilities. There were too many questions I felt the author didn’t answer; most had to do with her past, especially regarding her mother, as the gift was inherited from her. All of this was just touched on, and then it ended. This ‘taste’ was not enough to tempt me to purchase more books in the series.

3 stars.   

What’s on the Ereader?: Chills, by Mary SanGiovanni.

CHILLS is described as a ‘True Detective meets H.P. Lovecraft’. I’ve never read any Lovecraft so I was very intrigued.

I found this book during my zombie book feast a few years back and downloaded a sample, but it wasn’t until May that I finally read it. It’s the first horror story I’ve bought. Usually, I stay away from that genre, but lately, I’ve been daring enough to try a few, and no, I don’t consider zombie books as horror, but that’s a different post.

The book takes place in a small town called Colby, in Connecticut. The town is ground zero for a cult that creates a doorway into another realm to unleash creatures from that realm into this one. There are a lot of grisly murders and cultish goings-on, wrapped up in a strong plot with interesting characters. The story moves along nicely and the plot kept me engaged so that even during the slower moments, I was hooked enough to keep reading.

The story jumps between two main characters; Kathy Ryan, a paranormal investigator, and Detective Jack Glazier. I’m not used to reading a story with multiple POVs, and at first, I found this a little distracting. Jumping between two POVs always throws me and takes a few paragraphs before I get back into the it, but there were sides to this plot that couldn’t be told from just one angle – especially during the final battle scenes – so it was necessary.

The only drawback I have deals with the deaths of four townsfolk. Ms. SanGiovanni goes into great detail about each of their deaths, but apart from showing how the creatures kill, it didn’t move the story forward and she could have left the other three out, as the characters who died were of no importance to the overall plot and were barely mentioned afterward, other than the fact they died.

Overall, this was a good story.

3 stars.

What’s on the eReader: Anne of Green Gables.

We’ve all seen the television mini-series from 1985, and during second lockdown I re-watched the 2017 show on Crave. When the series was cancelled I was very disappointed, so I decided to read the first book, and was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d already downloaded it on my tablet.

Anne of Green Gables is a beloved Canadian book that I feel every Canadian should read. Both the 1985 mini-series and 2017 show depicted the book wonderfully, and I was a little surprised to learn that Rachel Lynde was a Liberal supporter. I’ve seen both adaptations and am a fan, so it was easy enough to read along and remember how the scenes played out. I think that was the fun part for me; recalling both series as I read.

This book has all the charm that I expected, even if it doesn’t go into more detail. Personally, that’s what I liked about the tv. Series; that it told the story and then some. It gave the reader that extra bit of content that ‘could’ have happened, and was fun to watch, and unfortunately, reading the book after seeing both the mini-series and television show left me wanting more from the book version.

I’m pretty sure I’ll continue with the series, but I don’t think right away. I have a lot of other books in my TBR pile and I’d like to try and get through the first, but the temptation to keep reading the series is powerful. I read this on a whim and I am glad because it let me see the story that the author wanted people to see, instead of someone’s interpretation. Not that the mini-series and tv show isn’t good, but it’s nice to get caught up in the original material.

What’s on the eReader: [Good question]

I’m sorry, folks. No book review this month. Getting back into the swing of reading again now that I’m back to work, has been a little more difficult than I thought. I’m exhausted at the end of my shift and other than relaxing in front of the tv, I haven’t done much reading. Too much strain on the eyes.

So what’s on the ereader? A hell of a lot, to be honest.  Here’s a rundown;

10 Gothic

5 Science fiction

20 Classic

9 Zombie

5 Paranormal

1 Mystery

1 My book

4 Other

Total: 55

Most of these are just samples. I refuse to purchase a book until I’ve read a small excerpt of the author’s writing. I’m particular when it comes to the books I read, and a lot of these samples I downloaded while I was working on certain books. The Gothic and zombie ones I downloaded to get a feel for the genres. Most of the gothic are classic as well, so I suppose there’s a bit of cross-genre going on here.

The classic books I think everyone should have in their library just because, and I’ve always been a fan of scifi. I don’t normally read Paranormal but one was recommended by a friend and I enjoyed that so I downloaded more. The mystery book was written by a friend who has a whole series which I now plan on reading.

In total, I’ve finished seven.

I’ve read some of the classics; Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Frankenstein, Dracula Carmilla, and the Castle of Ontorno. You can imagine my surprise when I first read Frakenstein only to learn that it was NOHTING like the 1950’s movie.

The zombie ones came a while later after I was able to sit through a whole episode of The Walking Dead and started writing my own zombie plague novel. I must have downloaded a good two dozen of them, only to delete them after the sample. Most were self published, and no, I’m not going to get into a rant about that, because there are good self-published novels, but with the zombie genre, I just found that it was the same story over, and over, and over. I don’t know, maybe people like that sort of mindless shooting spree/survivalist story without any sort of a plot, but it’s not my cup of tea.

The crime novel was written by a friend, and to be honest, I don’t read a lot of novels by friends. What if I don’t like it and they ask me if I did? I don’t want to be stuck in that awkward situation, so I tend to avoid it all together. Having said that, the ones that I have read are good, but I’m not going to push my luck. So yeah, back to the crime novel. You might have read my review of it on my blog a while back. I did like it and I am going to read more in the series once I’m back on track. There are a few horror ones I want to check out as well, but I want to get through this lot first before I add more to my ToBeRead pile.

Oh yeah, and one of my co-workers suggested I read The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, so I’ve added that which means that if I like it, I’ll get the other books. This list just keeps getting longer and longer.

What book[s] are you currently reading? If you like them, maybe I’ll add them to my list.

What’s on the eReader: Burn the Dark.

Cover for Burn The Dark

Robin is a YouTube celebrity gone-viral with her intensely-realistic witch hunter series. But even her millions of followers don’t know the truth: her series isn’t fiction.

Her ultimate goal is to seek revenge against the coven of witches who wronged her mother long ago. Returning home to the rural town of Blackfield, Robin meets friends new and old on her quest for justice. But then, a mysterious threat known as the Red Lord interferes with her plans . . .

DISCLAIMER: I did not receive this book as a gift or in exchange for a review.

Review:

Burn the Dark is the first book in the Malus Domestica trilogy, and I was excited to read this, as I like to read books written by people I know. The main character Robin’s journey is a hard one. Her backstory is tragic, and serves as a strong motivation for her actions; specifically hunting down and killing witches. She also videos this and puts them on YouTube, monetizing her videos for income.

After many years, she returns to her hometown with one goal in mind; to kill the coven that murdered her mother. Along with happier memories, the horror of her mother’s death comes back and she begins to remember things that she thought were hallucinations.

The story is told through the eyes of a myriad of characters, each of which have, or will have, a connection to the evils that still lies in the town of Blackfield. As she gathers herself to attack the witches, she learns that a more deadly enemy is waiting for her; the one her mother warned her about with her last breath. One that has haunted her for all of her life.

The story starts out with a bang and soon dissolves into a drawn out setup of backstory. The array of characters sometimes makes the plot hard to follow, but once the reader is past the excess scenes, the story takes on a frightening atmosphere as all those involved come face to face with the evil that not only haunts Robin’s old home, but the witches who use their powers in some very gruesome and intimidating manor.

Ms. Hunt’s grasp for description is beautifully detailed and enough to make the reader feel like Blackfield is their home town. The characters are engaging, colourful and witty, and keeps you routing for them when things become desperate.        

There was only one drawback that I found; the book ends just as it starts to delve into the heart of the story. I understand that this is a trilogy, but it felt as though Burn The Dark was just a long set up of world building and character introductions with a few, minor altercations between said characters and the coven. First novels in a series can be a daunting task to write, unless the world created by the author draws you in and make you care for the character’s well-being, and I believe that Ms. Hunt does accomplish this with her book with the wit and caring. It will be interesting to see how these characters interact with each other to help Robin fulfil her revenge.

4 out of 5

What’s on the eReader: Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse

TrailOfLightningBlurb: While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

Publisher & Date: Saga Press, June 2018

Book Link: Trail Of Lightning; Rebecca Roanhorse

*****

Review:

This book was recommended to me by a friend in my writing group. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it; my taste in novels is very different from others in the group, but the Native American storyline really interested me.

I was grabbed by the first line of the novel, and by the end of the first chapter, I KNEW this story was not going to let me down. I was right. Just the viewpoint alone kept me reading; a story with so many Native references, by only disappointment was that I couldn’t pronounce the Native words. I’d love to hear what they sound like so I’ll be ready when I purchase the second book of the series (I so am).

I’m not going to go into detail about this story, that’s not my thing and the book blurb I put at the top pretty much sums it up. If you’re looking for something in UF that is definitely different, then I suggest you give this a try.

5 out of 5 stars.

What’s on the eReader: Z Risen: Outbreak

Z-Risen-+OutbreakSince I’m writing a plague novel, I’m reading more zombie novels to get a better understanding of the genre.

This book seems to be your typical zombie novel. It starts sometime after the infection has swept across the world.   Done in a diary/journal format the two protagonists survive among a city inhabited by zombies, occasionally coming across other survivors. Some they stick with, others well, you’ll have to read for yourself.

As the cover and blurb suggests, the book is filled with military terms and slang. The whole zombie apocalypse seen through the eyes of a military man. Written in first-person gives you a very limited view of the world and there were a few places where the characters bravado got to me. If the characters were scared, it didn’t come across very well. There’s no real plot other than just surviving, and no real motivation to do anything. I understand it’s a zombie novel, but I wasn’t seeing anything other than the characters just going through the motions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book with lots of action, just not the kind of zombie story I was looking for.

If you enjoy military-style zombie novels, you will enjoy this story.

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What’s on the eReader: Bypass Gemini, written by Joseph R Lallo [Sci-Fi]

~ In a distant future, Trevor “Lex” Alexander was shaping up to be the next great race pilot until a fixed race got him banned from the sport. Reduced to making freelance deliveries, he thinks his life can’t get any worse. That’s when a package manages to get him mixed up with mobsters, a megacorp, and a mad scientist. Now his life depends on learning what their plans are, and how he can stop them.~

 bypassgemini

It’s been a while since I read any science fiction. Seems I’ve been in a dark and scary mood these last few years, so I was a little hesitant about reading this free ebook. Not because it was free, but as my taste has been leaning more toward the paranormal, I wondered if a Sci-Fi book could still interest me.

I’m glad I picked it up. This is a really good book. The characters are a little on the quirky side, but nothing wrong with that and just the right amount of techno babble too. I think that’s one of the best things about Sci-Fi novels, the exploration of futuristic technology.

The story is fast-paced, but nothing that lost me, and while at times the light-heartedness of the plot was a little hard to take, it didn’t really ruin the overall feel of the story. I think it could have been a little less quirky, but either way works.

4 stars

Book Review; Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

~~~~~

soullessOne of the first things I noticed when reading was the style of writing. I assumed the author wrote her book in the same way of other books written during the Victorian era. I’ve read several classics, including Dracula, several Jane Austen, and Anne Radcliff, so I am familiar with the overly descriptive prose. It gives the book an overall Victorian tone. What I wasn’t expecting was the constant POV shift between characters, and right in the middle of a scene. Very confusing.

My second observation was that for it being a Steampunk novel, there wasn’t much in the way of technology. This was not a problem to me. Each writer has a different idea of what is required, technology-wise, and I was glad to see a bit more towards the end. There are a few ‘steamy’ scenes in the book, but nothing that could be considered erotic.

This book was recommended to me by several friends when they heard I was interested in reading Steampunk. I felt it dragged a bit, and there were a few places that I skimmed through, but overall it was an enjoyable read. There are more books in the series, but I’m not sure if I’ll read them or not.

 

3 out of 5

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