Monday, January 23, 2017

Rasputin's Supernatural Dating Service by David D. Hammons Book Review


Monsters, ghosts, dead, undead, and Frankensteins still unsure if they’re depressed because they’re abominations against existence or if it’s just been forever since they’ve been laid, all can find love with Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service!
Eli Kowalski has seen his share of freaks as a Certifier for Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service. It’s his job to weed out the real monsters from the weirdos with too much black lipstick. While on a routine certification, he comes across the Tablet of Nicaea. A powerful witch and self-proclaimed “Men’s Rights Activist” wants to steal the tablet and use it to kill all supernatural creatures so that “nice guys” like him can have a better chance with women. Eli must unite with the supernatural policing agency, the witch’s ex-girlfriend, and the constantly-naked Rasputin to save supernatural creatures in the name of love. He’ll probably excuse himself from Rasputin’s victory orgy, though.
Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service casts a humorous, silly light on romance in the paranormal community. Fans of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens and Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job will find similarities in the book’s comedic treatment of the supernatural. 


I needed this kind of read after the last two books I read. This book was so humorous. I think even when things were going wrong, they were hilarious.

So, basically Eli works for Rasputin's Supernatural Dating Service--which is exactly how it sounds, a dating service for supernatural beings. What made it so funny was this whole idea of going door-to-door, hooking up the undead, and the creepy crawlies. From vampires, to goblins, Rasputin services them all. And Eli, is the person you call to certify their super-naturalness. Because, if this were real life, as in this book there would be some pretenders--pretending to be vamps, and such to hook up with real live ones.

The certification process was funny, the characters both important and momentary were funny. This book is just fun, and funny. It's to be taken lightly, so if you are looking for something more serious. this book is definitely not for you. There are a lot of talks of ghosts,vampires, getting laid, and saving the world from a slightly-overweight warlock.

I had a good time with this. The writing was cool, and the pacing was on point. Definitely a great read, if you're a fan of the supernatural--and you like to laugh. Just beware, Rasputin does not like pants, sports a lot of hair, and likes to get any and everyone into his hot tub--where a mermaid lives beneath the water. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Willing by Suzanne Young Book Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Program comes a thrilling new novel about the lust and lure of darkness.

Amelia Cardone has spent her entire life under the guardianship of the Building, a cult of believers who made a pact with her father—the Devil. In exchange for protecting Satan’s child, the Building’s leader was promised untold power after Amelia completes the ceremony on her twenty-third birthday. A ceremony that will permanently raise the Devil from the depths of Hell.

But the half-breed child of Satan has power of her own . . . and a secret that threatens to destroy them all. Betrothed since birth, Amelia defied the Building’s prophecy by marking another as her mate when she was a child. The boy—long-thought dead—has grown in captivity, and has now returned to kill the girl who cursed him. But, bearing her mark, Jonas Wells finds himself unable to harm her.

The passion that ignites between them will bring forth the wrath of everyone in Amelia’s life, including her soulless half-brother (the only person she’s ever truly trusted), and a demon who is determined to make Amelia his own. Amelia knows that to survive she’ll either have to kill Jonas, or go against the Building, her father’s pact, and everything she was brought up to believe.

In the end, her only way out might be to embrace the demon she was meant to become—and face the Devil’s consequences.

While the story was very intriguing (at least the idea of the story), by the time the action (and I use the term, action, lightly) picked up, I was quite bored with the connecting characters. The romance was set up nicely, but once the two characters came together--I felt that the build-up could've lasted a little longer, actually a lot longer. And to be honest, the two of them were a little (a lot) meh. They didn't incite any of the feelings I like to get when the couples finally get together.

As far as these two are concerned, it was far to soon in the story for the resistance to wane, and it wasn't very believable (see, not at all)--when it did. They were all he loves me, he loves me not, and I was ready to rip the proverbial flower into bits because I had enough.

The so called romance in the book is what made the book a failure in my opinion. The novel heavily depended on the fact that these two would form some sort of alliance, or not--so for it to go the way it did, it just didn't work. It was far-fetched, not believable, and the by the end on my nerves.

It just didn't connect, and that was an issue. To be honest the plot, as we will call it--didn't really have a point either because it quickly fizzled at the end, with no clear resolution in sight--aside from the meh, HEA, walk off into the sunset, never to be heard of again, ending we got--which to be honest did nothing to salvage anything. I'm just so disappointed and so over it.

If you are in the dark and religious, see Christians capture, cursed boy, and try to save him--while Satan tries to rein supreme. Bored.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Infinity of You & me By J.Q. Coyle Book Review


What if every life-altering choice you made could split your world into infinite worlds?

Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds—strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is while trying to save the people and worlds she loves. J.Q. Coyle’s The Infinity of You & Me is a wild ride through unruly hearts and vivid worlds guaranteed to captivate.

* A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*
2.5 out of 5 stars
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Can you say let-down in any other way?

 The plot for this was set up well, it was unique and multi-layered but it failed somehow. In the beginning I was definitely intrigued by the hallucinations, the different worlds, the obvious secrets, and the underlying cause of it all. But somewhere along the way the plot became too complex, and the characters became hard to track. It was sort of like a strange version of the movie Inception--except this one was a little harder to follow due to a lot of information, or should I say situations, worlds, being thrown at you at any given time.

Don't get me wrong, you do not have to be a genius to keep up with this one, you just have to be invested enough to care.

Can you say doing too much?

After a while I was having a hard time keeping up with the different characters and which characters were doing what, and where. I was starting to get frustrated with it all, and was quite ready to call it quits.

By the end of it, I was satisfied to see it end, but not completely fulfilled with the ending. Again, the novel had a lot of potential but it sagged and fell beneath the many worlds, and goings ons. I didn't hate this one, but I can't say I quite liked--especially not by the end. I was more happy to see it over, than anything--and it's a shame too.

I'd recommend this one for readers that like complex, sci-fi-ish like reads, that don't mind a lot going on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

City Of Saints & Thieves By Natalie C. Anderson ARC Review

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.
In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn't exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill's personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

I can be totally sold on a book just based off of where the book is set. Most books, set in a different country, will appeal to me. Maybe I have this underlying wanderlust living inside of me I don't know. But this book was no different, a book set in Africa, I was like, "Count me in."

The setting of this book did not disappoint. I could envision this part of Africa in my mind--although I don't believe the actual city the author chose is real, but still. It was like a part of it was with me while I read.

The one thing that didn't stick with me, or rather do much for me was the whole mystery. I don't know what it is but when it comes to mysteries/thrillers, it is so hard to please me--particularly with YA mystery titles. It's like the authors are afraid, or can't, (I don't know) really go there. It always seems to be so tame. Now, don't get me wrong some YA authors write decent YA mysteries/thrillers. I mean you can tell me anything about Amanda Panitch. BUT, there always seems to be that "something," lacking. Like I said, it could be my own critical self but, it's something missing.

This one, was in fact, a thrilling read, but by the end of it, I didn't feel strongly about the book one way or the other. The saving grace was the characters.

They were complex, layered, and written in such a way--that I was intrigued and entertained by their story.

Tiny Girl was this resilient, bad a** African girl, with all the strength of someone older, and the power of someone far beyond her reach. I really liked the fact that she was this dark-skinned, fearless tiny thing. I liked watching her develop, and I felt some inexplicable connection to her character. Her relentless pursuit of justice, and her fierce protection of her younger sister, made her easy to like.

Boy Boy--was flashy and not a boy of many words, but a presence that was felt thoroughly. I liked that Tiny Girl had him as a friend.

I also, (which is going to sound weird) liked the inclusion of the gang, The Goondas. It really gave a realness to the land, and to the story itself. It gave it another level of depth. It was really interesting to see how the gang played apart in both the development of the story, and Tiny Girl, aka Christina.

I'll briefly mention Michael, although his role is sort of important to the story. His character was interesting, but I didn't get to learn much about him, just the surface things. In a way it wasn't necessary but would have been nice to know. I liked the inclusion of his character, but felt if he wasn't included, nothing would have been lost. (Sounds kind of crazy, now that I'm writing it.)

All in all it was a good read, that had strong points, but like I said just felt, "okay," by the end. That's not to say it's not worth reading. It is, just don't expect to be blown away. I mean with comparisons to Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which I've read and loved, and The Girl On The Train, which I plan to read--it definitely puts this book on a pedestal I'm not sure it belongs or needs to be on.

Anyway, recommended for readers who enjoy a whodunit type of novel--with a great setting to boot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston Book Review

Five went in. Four came out.

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the district attorney’s office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As investigates with Stone, the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot, she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

A heart-pounding mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat, until you fall right off, flat on your face with disappointment. This book did so well until it got to the end. Let's talk about the story a bit first...

Five boys went into the woods, and only four came out. What happened here? "In my tootsie pop voice," the world will never know. Just kidding, you do find out, and again, I will get to that.

Kate works for the district attorney's office when her boss is handed it's biggest case ever. The River Point Boys Case. Someone killed Grant and Kate, finds herself seeking her own personal justice, and putting herself in danger. The DA just wants the case to go away, but Kate and Mr. Stone are determined to find out what really happened--no matter what.

What I liked: Secrecy. There are a lot of secrets in this novel, which was perfect for build up and anticipation. I was on the literal edge of my seat, reading this novel.

The characters:The characters are really solid, and I was actually interested in seeing what happened with and to them. I was invested in the story. And for me that matters. You have to care about what happens to the characters, or why even read the book?

The romance: It was subtle, believable and cute. If this were a contemporary, I'm sure the romance would have been stellar. There's all the makings for it.

What I disliked: Drumroll, please...the ending. I was sorely disappointed. All the heart-pounding, all the build-up, all the anticipation couldn't put this book back together again. If I had to describe the ending in one word, it would be, boring. The reasoning, the reveal, all..boring.

It made sense but I think that's what bothered me, it made too much sense. It was too easy for my liking. I prefer my mysteries to be hard to solve, and even harder to figure out. When it's all said and done I want to say, "I didn't see that coming. I never would have expected that."

Although I didn't have an inkling, or rather I had a hope that it wouldn't end the way it did--I still wasn't too happy with it. It was pretty flat to say the least.

Aside from that it was most definitely an enjoyable read. I can't take that away from it--but I could have done without that easy ending. Endings mean a lot to me, just as much as, if not more than the beginning.

Despite that, recommended for mystery readers, and romance readers alike.