The Ice Queen review

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Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning.

She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets–what turned one to ice and the other to fire.

I don’t know if I should review this book or not.  On one hand, the story was incredibly depressing to me but on the other hand, it was interesting too.  Her first idle wish wasn’t the one being struck by lightning – her first one was when she was just a child and then she blamed herself for the outcome.  She blamed herself her entire life for something that was in no way her fault.

The whole Lazarus thing could have been left out and it would have been a trifle better to me but then again, maybe it wouldn’t have.  At least Lazarus helps her begin living again – even if only a little.

Someone else wrote that the book is depressing to the reader and keeps kicking you deeper and deeper.  I can see that – it is a sad story and I don’t think even the ending can undo the sorrow the book can hoist on this reader.

So, how do I rate it? Um, I give it a B+ because it did begin to feel long and a bit tedious towards the end.  I enjoyed it – and yet, I also hated a lot about it – and yet…

Basically, you will have to read it yourself.  I am not certain I will read more of this author – this book is so dark and bothersome that I can’t see reading another.  Of course, who knows?

The Whispering Hollows review

27221254Part Two: The Burning Girl

Ten years on, Eloise is a renowned working psychic who has resigned herself to her role in The Hollows and to “The Work.” She’s discovering some disturbing things—secrets about her genealogy and the dark history of The Hollows, and that her granddaughter, nine-year-old Finley, has her own powerful gifts. Most disturbing of all, Eloise realizes that not all of the whispering voices are calling for help. Some of them are looking for trouble.

Part Three: The Three Sisters

When Finley, now nineteen, comes to live with Eloise, Eloise’s abilities transform. Her load is somehow lighter, and rather than chasing down people she needs, they are coming to her. She teams up with a detective to help a desperate father bring his daughter’s killer to justice. Meanwhile, Finley has bigger problems than she’s willing to admit. Can Eloise help her see the difference between justice and revenge—and the dark truth that nothing stays buried in The Hollows?

Well, I was going to review them separate but since the book had to be returned today, I had to finish both stories.  I enjoyed both though not as much as the first one.  Jumping ten years makes me feel like the author is skipping a lot of things that happened in between.  To become “renowned” in the second one, what all did Eloise solve or was involved in?

I plan on reading the other books – “Crazy Love You” which is the one I checked out tonight and then “Ink and Bone” which isn’t out yet.  I started the former but only got to chapter two before calling it a night.  My poor eyes need a break.

Great series, I recommend it.

Death Match review

39027Goodreads: When a perfect couple commits double suicide, alarms go off in the offices of the high-tech matchmaking company. Investigation into a second couple’s double suicide reveals a stunning labyrinth of artificial intelligence, creative genius, and a melding of technology that does indeed deliver on the company’s guarantee of a perfect, lifelong mate.

What can I say – I think I read this a few years ago but couldn’t remember so read it again.  It was alright – predictable in every way.  Still, it was well written and a decent book.

I know there are people who love reading all the technical stuff but I am not one of them – I could have done without the history lesson in AI technology.  I also don’t believe the methodology was all that exciting but whatever.

It reminded me of an X-File episode.  I give it a B+.  I liked the characters for the most part which made the book a breeze to read.  I know that isn’t much of a review but it would be very hard for me to discuss the book any deeper without revealing spoilers.

Beyond the Ice Limit review

26245817BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT
That thing is growing again. We must destroy it. The time to act is now…
With these words begins Gideon Crew’s latest, most dangerous, most high-stakes assignment yet. Failure will mean nothing short of the end of humankind on earth.
Five years ago, the mysterious and inscrutable head of Effective Engineering Solutions, Eli Glinn, led a mission to recover a gigantic meteorite–the largest ever discovered–from a remote island off the coast of South America. The mission ended in disaster when their ship, the Rolvaag, foundered in a vicious storm in the Antarctic waters and broke apart, sinking-along with its unique cargo-to the ocean floor. One hundred and eight crew members perished, and Eli Glinn was left paralyzed.
But this was not all. The tragedy revealed something truly terrifying: the meteorite they tried to retrieve was not, in fact, simply a rock. Instead, it was a complex organism from the deep reaches of space.
Now, that organism has implanted itself in the sea bed two miles below the surface-and it is growing. If it is not destroyed, the planet will be doomed. There is only one hope: for Glinn and his team to annihilate it, a task which requires Gideon’s expertise with nuclear weapons. But as Gideon and his colleagues soon discover, the “meteorite” has a mind of its own-and it has no intention of going quietly…

Ah, I finally have read the book I have been waiting to read for months.  Finally!  I picked it up from the library on Wednesday but waited until last night to start it.  I had to finish the other book first…did I write a review? I can’t remember.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter.  This book was everything I had expected – intriguing, exciting, and also creepy.  I didn’t think I would like them meshing Gideon Crew with the rest of the characters from the first book, Ice Limit, but it actually worked very well.

Sometimes, admittedly, the book’s technical/scientific stuff was way over my head but it was still fascinating.  The end came too fast but it worked.  I’m amazed how authors come up with this stuff and firmly believe I will never write again.  I love it when a book fulfills my need for a good sci-fi horror story.  There is virtually nothing I would change about the book.

Excellent.  I give it an A+

Fragile review

9986977Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case–and also dangerous.

Eerie parallels soon emerge between Charlene’s disappearance and the abduction of another local girl that shook the community years ago when Maggie was a teenager. The investigation has her husband, Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely. Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn. In a town where the past is always present, nobody is above suspicion, not even a son in the eyes of his father.

“I know how a moment can spiral out of control,” Jones says to a shocked Maggie as he searches Rick’s room for incriminating evidence. “How the consequences of one careless action can cost you everything.”

As she tries to reassure him that Rick embodies his father in all of the important ways, Maggie realizes this might be exactly what Jones fears most. Determined to uncover the truth, Maggie pursues her own leads into Charlene’s disappearance and exposes a long-buried town secret–one that could destroy everything she holds dear. This thrilling novel about one community’s intricate yet fragile bonds will leave readers asking, How well do I know the people I love? and How far would I go to protect them?

So because the author said “The Whispers” was the prequel to this book, I had to stop reading “The Whispering Hollows” and turn to this one so the story could continue in a natural flow.  I will do the same with the next two novellas in the book.

This one made me a trifle disappointed when I realized Eloise was going to have a very bit part in it after being the star in “The Whispers” – but understand where the author is going with this.

This story centers around a young girl who disappears one night and how the small town “The Hollows” deals with the mystery.  Some of the adults remember that it wasn’t that many years prior when another young woman went missing and was later found dead.  So the story intertwines with the current and previous disappearance.  The old case was solved long before this girl went missing so it can’t be the same person – so what happened to Charlene?

I liked the story, it was engrossing and I did hate to put it down to go to bed last night but I did.  I liked Maggie and while I started off skeptical about Jones, I ended up liking him quite a bit too.

At this very moment, not far from my home, a 9 year old girl is missing.  Will they find her alive? I certainly hope so.  Reading this book and hearing about the girl, made me shudder that fiction and real life can be so similar. The Bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.  That verse comes to mind whenever I encounter, via news, reading or real life – a person with evil intentions.

I give the book an A and will look forward to reading more of Unger’s work.

The Whispers – Review 1

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Part One: The Whispers

On an ordinary day in The Hollows, a terrible accident claims the lives of Eloise Montgomery’s husband and oldest daughter and leaves Eloise in a coma. While recovering, she experiences her first psychic vision. Struggling to understand her frightening new abilities, Eloise is torn between helping her grief-stricken younger daughter move on and the work she feels compelled to do now—heed the tortured whispers of lost women and girls calling for her.

So I read this short novelette – The Whispers – and liked it quite a bit.  The author did a great job introducing Eloise and her daughter.  The tragedies around their life and the feelings that the tragedy lead to.  I liked the idea of her visions and now the mission she has in life to help those lost souls who were brutalized by the world and disposed of.  It was well written but could have used a smidge more to make the story feel less rushed.

I am going to enjoy the next novelette in the book and expect to read more from the author about The Hollows. I give it an A.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs review

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While visiting Tommy’s Aunt Ada at Sunny Ridge Nursing Home, Tuppence encounters some odd residents including Mrs. Lancaster who mystifies her with talk about “your poor child” and “something behind the fireplace”.

When Aunt Ada dies a few weeks later, she leaves Tommy and Tuppence a painting featuring a house, which Tuppence is sure she has seen before. This realization leads her on a dangerous adventure involving a missing tombstone, diamond smuggling and a horrible discovery of what Mrs. Lancaster was talking about.

I haven’t read Agatha in decades…can’t even tell you what the book was that I read.  This one caught my eye as I perused my Nook for something to read at work so I decided to give it a try.

I have to say, I don’t like the name “Tuppence” but I did like the character in the book as well as her husband, Tommy.  Both were well developed that you’d be able to compare them to an aunt or uncle in your own family.  I had to laugh at their musings more than once as they sounded like, in my mind, what an old married couple might sound after 30+ years of marriage.

The story itself wasn’t too hard to figure out but goes to show how a chance encounter can lead to all sorts of mischief when we use our imagination rather than asking concrete questions.  This is mentioned as well by the innkeepers husband who complains about how women are always building fantasies around people and circumstantial evidence.

I can’t say anything – I do it all the time.

The books is fun and kept my interest throughout.  There were several times I thought Tuppence wasn’t using the smarts the author said she had but I suppose we are all prone to bad decisions now and then.  I will, no doubt, find another Agatha book to read but not right away.

I give the book an A – it was a quick and easy read.