New Book Review: A Brilliant Death

Tags

,

26025680

Rated 5 of 5 stars

Robin Yocum is an exceptional writer with a keen eye for building relationships and scenery that transports you to small town Ohio. In A Brilliant Death, you meet Mitchell Malone, the stories narrator, who is recounting his childhood and his special bond forged over the Summer of 1953 with his bestfriend, Travis Baron. Travis is an unfortunate teen. He has lost his mother to a river accident shortly after his birth. His father doesn’t really care to raise him unless he’s beating or intimidating him. Mitchell, coming from a stable home environment, takes Travis in as a brother. As Travis grows, he starts wondering about the disappearance and perceived death of his mother whose body was never found in the river accident all whilst having the rumor that she was with another man, her lover, on the night of her demise. This rumor fuels Travis and subsequently, Mitch, to find more information on Travis’ mom. Once they start down the rabbit hole of investigating who she was and what happened that night. They soon realize finding their way back out will be just as difficult as knowing the truth.

Yocum writes impeccably. As a reader, you are transported into the town of Brilliant, Ohio and you meet different townspeople that sew you into the time period, the location and the general feeling of growing up in the 1950’s. There were quite a few topographic explanations that could be lessened but did not take away from the story itself, just slightly noticeable. You’ll enjoy the unfolding of the mystery and get your heart caught up in finding the truth for young Travis, just as Mitch did. And the end will be especially exciting.

Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended!

* Received book for free from publisher at BookCon 2016.

Get it HERE for $10 on Book Depository with FREE shipping.

Advertisements

New Book Review: Dead Loudmouth

Tags

, ,

 

27012468

Rated 4 of 5 stars

Houston writes a pretty solid murder mystery with a twinge of police tactics and fishing references abound. She definitely sets herself apart from other murder mysteries due to her keen interest in fishing and the general down home appeal of her characters.

The synopsis of the 16th book in the series follows Chief Ferris on a hunt for a murderer that has crushed two people to death on a piano. Ferris finds through her investigation that there are many suspects with a motive to kill the two. With her sidekick Osborne, Ferris weaves through the mystery until the killer is found.

The story is short and therefore, fast paced. I found that the evidence was always right there so that took some of the fun away. Luckily, the characters are very well written and bring color to the story. Houston writes with a realistic stroke like I haven’t seen in a while. This is one of those authors you don’t know about but could probably get comfortable with them as a new reader of their work. Recommended for readers who like police driven murder mysteries in small fishing towns.

Raging Book Reviews Recommended!

*Received for free from publisher at Book Con 2016.

October TBR List

Well, I’ve tried (painstakingly) to get through my bookshelf filled with a TON of books that I either impulsed purchased or was gifted at various book festivals. So you’ll see some mainstream books this month right along with some quiet authors you may not know about. Hopefully, you’ll find my blog to be not only fair in its assessment of books but also give you some ideas for new reads. If you’re like me, sometimes stepping off the beaten path is the most unexpected fun I could have. I’ve stretched my passion for murder mystery and have read even a few classics or *gasp* sci-fi novels lately. I’m getting outside my reader’s box guys (although my October TBR pulls me back in). Hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have. For my October TBR list, I tried to find books you may know or have read, authors you haven’t heard of and books serving major thriller and suspense.

27012468

Quick Synopsis: Who-dun-it murder mystery in a backwoods Wisconsin town.

26025680

Quick Synopsis: A son investigates his mother’s murder from when he was an infant.

38447

Quick Synopsis: As if you need a synopsis of this for goodness sakes…its on Hulu.

25489485

Quick Synopsis: Smart, female detective chases down a methodical serial killer.

*******

So what do you think of the TBR list? Ever read these? Which one looks/sounds the best? Let me know.

New Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

Tags

,

13259307

Rated 2 of 5 stars

I know people will look at this rating and wonder what the heck is wrong with me…but I really did not like this book! It was ALL over the place and the writing style was strange and disjointed in my opinion. Maybe I’ve grown used to a certain amount of description and not outlandish emotions. Anyway, this well read “classic” was so close to a DNF but because it was so short, I finished it.

The story follows Guy Montag in the near future (now). The book was written originally in 1951. So many people who read it are enamored with Bradbury’s ability to “see” the real future with flat screen televisions, earbud phones and other tech that we so easily use today. Once that initial awe wears off, you’re left with a story of Montag who is a fireman that burns books and houses instead of saving them from fire. His job requires him to extinguish books of all sorts, even the Bible and the Constitution and the Magna Carta. The world exists for fun alone and if it makes you sad, its banned and a threat to all. Montag meets a strange girl one day on a walk home from work and her perspective on life shifts something inside him. He starts seeing things differently. He sees his home life in shambles, his unloving drone of a wife, no children, the endless suck of his days without real happiness. The story is his plight to finding himself and the courage to want authentic happiness.

In the end, the story is a great idea but the execution was flawed and scattered. Glad I read it so I can say I did and to engage with others who have also read it but I didn’t gain nearly as much as I thought I would.

Raging Book Reviews

*Purchased with my own money.

New Book Review: Play Dead

Tags

,

455307

Rated 3 of 5 stars

Listened to this on a car trip. It had our attention throughout the trip for sure! Lots of weird murders and a good protagonist with her own back story. The narration was great as well. Overall, the story was a good start but lost a star for the stories details needing to bigger for the book. If you insert the idea of magic, voodoo or some type of power but never really show it…that just pisses readers off! If you tell me someone has a power and I’m waiting anxiously to see said powers…then I’m mad if at the end of the book I’m lost as to what they were referring to throughout the book. Elise Sandburg is a detective with “powers” because she is kin to some voodoo priest or something to that nature. Non-spoiler…you won’t see any powers or magic from her though.

The story has many twists and will surprise you but it’ll also leave you wondering like….that was so left field there’s no way I feel satisfied for following along. Lol. It has potential to be really great but definitely needed to be longer to get into some details that would tie the story up with a bow. Right now, it’s just pieces of string everywhere. Overall, great setting, great characters but faulty twists and thin back stories.

Raging Book Reviews

*Audiobook purchased by me.

New Book Review: The United Continuums

Tags

31921412

Rated 4 of 5 stars

This end to a sci-fi trilogy was quite satisfying! Brody did a good job of weaving all the different story lines and perspectives into one action-oriented and heartfelt story. I liked the conclusion of the book but felt it lagged a bit at times because the main characters were far apart and absent from each others story line quite often. This made the readers a little disjointed in their following of each character interacting with the other. It felt like the bond they had was severed. Maybe that was on purpose? Anyway, I felt the ending was good but had sort of hoped for a different outcome for some of the main characters. Overall, I think the ending to the trilogy was well done and provided a basis for more stories in the future. I can’t tell you too much without spoiling it for certain characters so I’ll just say…

Raging Book Reviews Recommended!

*Purchased with my own money.

New Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn

Tags

, ,

32370233

Rated 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Renee Ahdieh book and I’m hooked! The cultural aspects found in this Middle Eastern romantic suspense with some magical elements was extremely gripping from the very beginning. We follow the story of Sharzhad, a young woman who volunteered to marry the king…a cold, murderous ruler. The king has always killed the women by dawn the next day after their marriage. As the town grieves the loss of their daughters to the king time and time again…the unrest boils below the surface. Sharzhad lost her bestfriend to this king and now wants to kill him as revenge. After training and planning, she volunteers to marry the king. But their night ends with a cliffhanger of a story and the king just cannot let Sharzhad die the next morning, or the morning after. Her sassy and take no prisoners attitude pulls him in. Her fearlessness keeps him guessing and wanting her more.

Throughout the story, you wonder when or if the shoe will drop and she will be killed for the myriad of things she does against the king. There’s a bit of magic in the story but its not really fleshed out. You won’t have any true vision of magic and how/why it occurs. So hopefully that will be explained in the next book, The Rose and The Dagger. I’ve committed to reading Book Two and have already started. 🙂

I recommend this book for those that like culturally different romantic suspense with a strong female lead character and formidable antagonist.

Raging Book Reviews Recommended!

*Purchased with my own money.

New Book Review: Projekt 1065

Tags

, ,

29241321

Rated 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a young boy who is a spy in the Hitler Youth, an army of young boys preparing to wreak havoc for Hitler. He is the son of an Irish dignitary (ambassador). His mother is a very skilled spy that has saved him from more than one near death experience. She has the utmost respect and encouragement for her son while her husband (not a spy) is more fearful for his family and only hopes to keep them safe.

In the book, the reader follows Michael and his budding friendship with Fritz. Fritz is an unlikely friend and in the beginning, an unwanted friend. But Michael soon learns that Fritz has more information at his fingertips and Michael getting his hands on it could change the scope of the war.

I enjoyed the playfulness of the youth boys but also felt the palpable fear of being outside the Hitler Youth. For any boy that did not make the cut, his family would be in danger or even his own life. This was like many of the mafia stories but with children! I think readers who like historical fiction and especially appreciate this time period of the Nazi reign over Europe will like this book. Not too stuffy with facts and just enough history to take you to the place and time.

Raging Book Reviews Recommended!

*Purchased with my own money.

 

New Book Review: The Rose and The Dagger

Tags

, , ,

35122058

Rated 4 of 5 stars

Ahdieh has done it again! This is a great ending to a fabulous duology filled with love, suspense, rich dialogue and colorful scenery. The first book in the duo, The Wrath and The Dawn, let’s you meet a unique blend of perfectly imperfect characters. In this final novel, you get to see how and where each person’s choices had led them to a new place in the finale. Love is the underlying theme in this series and I undoubtedly felt my heart trimmer for some scenes. I was like “WHY?!?!” throughout the second half of the book (the first half was a bit slow). The wrap up is soooooo delicious. So many twists and turns, so many heroes and martyrs. I was thoroughly pleased with the character development of Khalid. Such a wonderful and intricate weaving of who he was and who he is now in this final book. Well done indeed. I can’t say much about the book since its the final book in the series and don’t want to ruin it but if you liked the first novel even a little bit, then you’ll enjoy seeing how everything turns out. You’ll try not to cry at the end, I’m sure if it!

 spongebob squarepants laughing male devious animated male GIF

Raging Book Reviews Recommended!

*Purchased with my own money.

New Book Review: Stranded

Tags

,

24885705

Rated 2 of 5 stars

Braun writes a very fast paced novel of young adults stranded in the wilderness fighting to save their own lives. Unfortunately, the story is larger than life in many areas and quite unbelievable for readers who have read very good, realistic “stranded” stories. Also, the character development was not strong enough to make this very memorable. So I’ll walk through those points…

Pros – Very fast read with light-hearted characters.

Cons – (some spoilers here)
The character development left a lot to be desired. Although Emma had a backstory, no one else did and hers wasn’t strong enough to carry the story. I suppose the author was trying to show through her dreams or premonitions that she was evolving in the wilderness but it came across as totally spaced out confusion. It only works if the character figures it out as well as the reader. We figured out what was happening but Emma seemed to still feel as though everything was her fault until the last pages and she still didn’t fully identify with it. We had a little hint of Isaac’s backstory but we had that overtaken by his sour, demeaning attitude so in the end, we just didn’t care if he was hurt. Chloe and Oscar unfortunately were place holders for barriers and forced love. Chloe hurts herself early on which of course is the barrier for the group to do things they wouldn’t naturally do and make it a harder, slower journey. Oscar is the love interest and that’s where his backstory stops. Wish there was more on him so I could actually care about any love interests. The dialogue was not memorable nor did it open us up to any character backstories. All the characters ended the book knowing absolutely nothing about each other. What happened to the bonding through survival?

Now to the big whoppers…the weather changing so drastically (hard to believe), a winter storm coming but its warm days earlier (hard to believe), a moose being chased by wolves for days (hard to believe), falling down a ravine and holding a person with one hand for a very long time (hard to believe), Isaac’s constant sexual actions and innuendos not being stood up to by anyone (uh…), Isaac being quickly forgiven and not even confronted entirely about abandoning a person in the woods and his racist comments (hard to believe), no one using the items in their bags appropriately (uhhh…). So there’s lots of things as a reader where you’ll stop and go “why don’t they use the mirror? What happened to the flashlight? Why did someone use all lighter fluid and matches in one day and no one said anything?”.

While the story was fast, it was hard to suspend my belief constantly.

Raging Book Reviews

*Purchased with my own money.