What’s on the eReader.

The Wailoa Waltz (The Noelani Lee Mysteries Book 6)

Blurb: For Hawaiian PI Noelani Lee, a typical Wednesday morning begins like any other day. But a bizarre series of events propels her into a case rife with disjointed family dynamics, unsettled scores, and murder.

It all starts when an elderly survivor of the 1960 tsunami asks Noelani to find her lost maneki**neko, or Japanese lucky cat. One problem: the ceramic figurine has been missing for 30 years. But before she can say “no,” Noelani is caught in a grudge-fueled tug-of-war between the scions of two once-powerful organized crime families, who also want the cat, and a shadowy former underworld kingpin, whose motives are less than transparent.

In taking a case she doesn’t want and would be better off avoiding, Noelani finds a connection between the missing cat and a decades-old unsolved murder—and an unexpected, unwanted, and gut-wrenching family reunion.

Publisher & Date: Self Published via distributors November 5, 2019.

Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Wailoa-Waltz-Noelani-Lee-Mysteries/dp/1709437774

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Review:

With the pandemic raging I decided to take the time and branch off into genres I don’t normally read, and I started with a crime mystery.

As the blurb states, this story centers around a small ceramic cat that has been lost for several decades. The request for its return is harmless enough, but Noelani soon learns that there’s more to this cat than anyone is willing to tell her. The cryptic explanations and vague memories from everyone she questions doesn’t add up, especially when some clues point to a seemingly unrelated and unsolved murder that occurred around the same time the keepsake went missing.

Set in Hawaii, the writing is strong with quirky, eccentric characters that are all connected one way or another to the cat. I love that the author peppered the story with references and detailed descriptions of Hilo, with a bit of history thrown in to add to the overall flavour of the plot.

The only drawback that I had is that the story is thirty-three chapters long. At first I was hesitant about starting it because of this fact. I’ve read other novels (and dropped them) that had over thirty chapters, and most of the story therein felt more like padding and didn’t really move the plot forward in any way, but not for this story. For this story to truly reveal its secrets, I don’t think the author could have edited anything out and still keep it interesting.

I greatly enjoyed this book, and as it’s the sixth book in the series, I’ll be back for more investigations by Noelani and crew.

4 out of 5 stars.

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: Carmilla

Written by J. Sheridan LeFanu

I found this book while researching the origins of vampire stories. Carmilla is different from other vampire stories for several reasons, the main one being the possible lesbian undertones. I had always thought the homosexual characteristic was a more modern trait.  Whether or not the author intended this, I don’t know, but it’s clear from the prose that this creature of the night was very attracted to her victim.

The story is told in hindsight essay from the main character, Laura,  as she writes down her account of what happened from several years later. When Carmilla’s carriage is involved in an accident outside of their home, Carmilla’s mother is distraught and at the insistence of Laura’s father, the young girl is left behind to get better while her travelling companions continue on, reassuring them that they will be back for her in three months’ time.

Shortly after the young girl arrives, odd things begin to happen. Mostly through Laura’s dreams. Apart from Carmilla’s strange behaviour (here is where the overtones appear), nothing is out of the ordinary. Not even when people begin to die in the local village. It isn’t until a dear friend arrives that they begin to see their house guest for what she truly is.

I found this book to be one of the more easier reads. The link below gives you more information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmilla

I think, if you’re going to read vampire books, this is another one that must be in your collection.

 

5 out of 5

Book Review; Bram Stoker’s Dracula

If you love vampires, you must have this book in your collection.

Written during the last years of the 19th century, it’s considered by many to be a gothic novel due to the ominous and dark prose.

 

The first thing that caught my eye is that the entire book it told not in one POV, but rather, in several and all through letters, journal entries and business correspondence. Having seen the movie, I can understand why the director would chose to take Mina POV through the movie.

 

Another thing that caught my eye was the prose. It was an awkward read. Flowery prose that often goes into great detail and descriptions. The dialogue left me shaking my head and wondering if Victorian England really spoke that way, and I had to constantly remind myself that this was the way they wrote novels back then. Anyone who has read a Jane Austin novel can understand.

 

Despite the awkwardness, I did enjoy it!

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