Welcome to my train of thought. Just a warning, there might be turbulence. I'm a little eccentric, but hopefully you'll find something here that'll make the crazy worth it. Stay tuned for book reviews, ramblings on random things, and all sorts of stuff that tickles my fancy. But keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. My brain is a scary place!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Review: Good Girls Don’t Die

Good Girls Don’t Die Good Girls Don’t Die by Christina Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with an early copy of this novel. Below you'll find my honest review.

Christina Henry is a pretty much guaranteed amazing read... EVERY. DANG. TIME.

This one is no exception! This one weaves themes of misogyny, sexism, and toxic masculinity in with a genre-bending, plot-twisting romp following the lives of women who find themselves in very... interesting situations.

The three major players each wake up in a strange place, dropped into situation that isn't normal. One finds themselves smack dab in the middle of a cozy mystery, another in a slasher movie, and a third in dystopian death-games type story. But not all is at it seems, as these situations might be part of something much larger, and when it comes down to it, their lives might just be on the line.

This one was so hard to put down. Seriously, I read late into the night, trying to race to the end to find out what was going on. And honestly, I was both thrilled and frustrated each time the story for one woman ended and a new one started, because each new beginning sucked me right in.

Highly recommended for fans of mixed genres, strong women, and really great twists and turns.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Review: Where He Can't Find You

Where He Can't Find You Where He Can't Find You by Darcy Coates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire for giving me an early copy of this novel. Below you'll find my honest review.

I read my first Darcy Coates horror story earlier this year, and was really excited to get my hands on this one. It did not disappoint!

This one drops you right into the thick of it, into the town of Doubtful. It lets you know that it's a bad place where bad things happen. It tells you the rules you must follow to have the best chance of staying alive, so the Stitcher doesn't take you. It doesn't explain what's going on, why these things are happening... it just lets you discover all of that as the story unfolds.

And unfold it does... when one of the main characters' sister is taken by the Stitcher, vanishing into the night, they do the unthinkable... they decide to fight back and try to save her.

The bonds of friendship, the isolation of only depending on each other as the town has given up trying, and the constant fear of the Stitcher - man or monster?, intertwined with the weird effects on wildlife and electronics and the empty, dead feeling of the town, really push this novel into true horror. The atmosphere is set up perfectly. The hook is set deep inside. And the action drives it forward.

My one complaint is that I'd have loved a little more detail of how things became the way they are. The explanation is satisfactory, but I'm craving more information on this well-painted world.

Absolutely loved this one. Highly recommend.

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Review: The Olympian Affair

The Olympian Affair The Olympian Affair by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for gifting me an advanced copy. Below you'll find my honest review.

I'm really torn on this one. The parts I loved were definitely worthy of 5 stars - mostly Abigail's storyline, the interactions with Folly, and everything involving Bridget/Benedict/Rowl/Fenli. I also liked the redemption ARC of a certain character, and the masterful development of some of the characters.

But there were a lot of places that felt like they needed more editing. There were sections that felt very repetitive, storylines that built and then were dismissed with no payoff, and lots of scenes that just weren't necessary to really push the story forward. This book could have lost probably 50-100 pages and been better off for it. So for those sections, which I still enjoyed for the most part, I'd have to give 3 stars.

That averages out to 4 stars. I really like the world, and absolutely adore some of the characters - the cats especially.

Recommended for those who enjoyed the first one and can deal with a little rambling.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Review: West Heart Kill

West Heart Kill West Heart Kill by Dann McDorman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Knopf for gifting me a pre-release copy. Below you'll find my honest review.

I'm really torn on how to rate this one, because it's absolutely unique and brilliant in its own right, but some of that uniqueness turned it sour for me.

I liked the characters - it felt very much like an old-timey, Agatha Christie era murder mystery story. I liked that the characters weren't really all that likeable half the time, even the detective, and I liked that there were a lot of twists in who people really were on the inside.

I liked the mystery - a death, another death, another death, they just kept coming. I liked that one of those deaths was completely and entirely unexpected for me and subverted my expectations.

I liked the unique style choices the author made - at one point, the novel becomes a screenplay, which was a very clever and interesting way to show the scenes.

BUT, all of that being said, the non-stop style choices, the swaps between tenses, the jumping into lessons on the history of mystery writing, the charming-at-first bits about how the reader interacts with the story and has certain assumptions/guesses/etc.... these things all became tedious and distracting. Every few pages, you're pulled out of the story for another aside, and after a while, it just became hard to stay engrossed in the actual mystery.

Couple this with a highly unsatisfying ending, and I just couldn't say I loved it like I wanted to when I started. I still enjoyed the novelty and clever shtick for much of it, so I will give it a solid, yet average, three out of five stars.

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Review: The Innocent Sleep

The Innocent Sleep The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and DAW for gifting me an early copy of this SECOND October Daye book releasing this year!

This one, best read immediately after SLEEP NO MORE, is the first full length novel in the series that isn't Toby's POV. It's Tybalt's POV, following the same events leading out of BE THE SERPENT.

We've been in Tybalt's head before, in some of the Patreon shorties and some of the freebies, but this one really gave us some deeper insights into our favorite King of Cats. We get to see his true feelings on the people around him, the people in their lives, whether friend, acquaintance, or begrudging ally.

While the end of this one is a quick recap of the end of SLEEP NO MORE (just through Tybalt's eyes), the rest was a glorious glimpse into the catman we love so much.

Yet again, McGuire finds a way to keep me on my toes waiting for the next one to come out. It's one series I really hope continues a long, long time.

As has become the trend lately, this one includes a novella that adds to the Octoberverse, this time from Helmi, Dianda's Cephali handmaiden, and jumps through time, tracing life in Saltmist from before Dianda's birth up until the events of SLEEP NO MORE/THE INNOCENT SLEEP. It's a cool peek into more of Saltmist and their traditions and peoples.

Highly recommended, but please do yourself the favor of reading the rest of the series first. You won't regret it.

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Review: Under the Smokestrewn Sky

Under the Smokestrewn Sky Under the Smokestrewn Sky by A. Deborah Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Tor for gifting me an early copy of this novel. Below you'll find my honest review.

I adore Seanan McGuire, and everything she writes is gold. This isn't my favorite of the Up-and-Under tales she's written as A. Deborah Baker to build up the lore for the Middlegame world, mostly because the end left me dissatisfied, but it was still a great story. There were a few obvious reveals, and some things that felt rushed in this one. There was just a little something more I was left wanting.

Overall, a fun little adventure tale in four parts that I still highly recommend for fans of Alice in Wonderland or the Tales of Oz, fairy tale worlds, and really creative characters. Four stars from me!

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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Review: Long Past Dues

Long Past Dues Long Past Dues by James J. Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for the early copy of this one! Below you'll find my honest review.

The author has definitely honed his craft some more!!! This one was fantastic, and really delivered a solid plot, moving at just the right pace, with just the right reveals. It continues some of the storylines set up in book one, pushing them forward and leaving just enough threads dangling for you to know there's more to come without the plot of *this one* feeling unfinished.

The villain in this one was clever. I figured it out early on, but didn't figure out the connections to the main and side plots, so that was a nice surprise.

I really like the character of Wudge. Wildly entertaining, that one. I also love how Grimsby fights for Mayflower as well. And Rayne's story from the first gets amped up in this one, too, as all the storylines head for a big crash into each other near the end.

Recommended for fans of urban fantasy, but please read book one first. :) Can't wait for book three!

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