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The Boy Who Drew Monsters review

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Goodreads: Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper, who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy’s only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings. While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all.

This book has been in the back of my mind for a couple years.  Tonight I was glancing around for something to read and decided this one would suffice.  It was well worth the effort.

All along you know that Jack is responsible for everything – it is in the title afterall.  The boy draws monsters that come to life.  But why does he draw them? Why monsters? Especially when they hurt people?

The story goes deeper and in the end, you want to slap your forehead in exasperation that you didn’t see it a lot sooner.  At least that is what happened with me.

The book had some slow points but overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  I give the book an A – it has a few rabbit holes one gets distracted by which makes the ending more of an “ah ha” moment.

Up Next

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Goodreads: From the Gulf of Mexico’s warm shallow waters…to the deepest parts of the Pacific…terror comes to the surface…

Six-year-old Paul Haines watches as two older boys dive into a coastal river…and don’t come up. His mother, Carolyn, a charter boat captain on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, finds herself embroiled in the tragedy to an extent she could never have imagined.

Carolyn joins the marine biologist Alan Freeman in the hunt for a creature that is terrorizing the waters along the Gulf Coast. But neither of them could have envisioned exactly what kind of danger they are facing.

Yet one man, Admiral Vandiver, does know what this creature is, and how it has come into the shallows. And his secret obsession with it will force him, as well as Paul, Carolyn and Alan, into a race against time…and a race toward death.

Just started this book so can’t tell much about it yet.

Fangtooth review

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Goodreads: After the death of his wife, Bruce Holden moves to the quaint coastal fishing village of Mulberry with his son, Jack. He is hoping for a fresh start, but the locals greet their arrival with mixed reactions, from friendliness to open hostility. Bruce puts it down to them being outsiders, but when a tourist is killed while swimming, the real horror is unleashed. There’s something ravenous in the sea. Something that’s coming ashore in search of prey. Now Bruce and Jack find themselves embroiled in a nightmare where humankind is no longer at the top of the food chain.

I did enjoy this book about these weird creatures that came out of the ocean to eat a village.  I was a bit disappointed how long it took the creatures to show up more than the first couple glances to stir up the anticipation.

A bit predictable, I will say, but since I read it with a lot of interruptions, I found the predictability worked better for me.

Still, a fun little read that might make me hesitant to go back into the ocean if I still lived in Florida.  Course, I never was stupid enough to go in the water at night.   I give the book a B+.

Fangtooth

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Just started this book – might even get it done tonight yet.  I have five more hours to read on it before my shift is over.

Goodreads: After the death of his wife, Bruce Holden moves to the quaint coastal fishing village of Mulberry with his son, Jack. He is hoping for a fresh start, but the locals greet their arrival with mixed reactions, from friendliness to open hostility. Bruce puts it down to them being outsiders, but when a tourist is killed while swimming, the real horror is unleashed. There’s something ravenous in the sea. Something that’s coming ashore in search of prey. Now Bruce and Jack find themselves embroiled in a nightmare where humankind is no longer at the top of the food chain.

Kronos review

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Two years after his wife’s death, oceanographer and former navy SEAL, Atticus Young, attempts to reconcile with his rebellious daughter, Giona, by taking her on the scuba dive of a lifetime — swimming with a pod of peaceful humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. But the beauty of the sea belies a terror from the deep — a horrific creature as immense as it is ancient. There is no blood, no scream, no fight. Giona is swallowed whole by the massive jaws. Only Atticus remains to suffer the shame of the survivor and his inconsolable grief turns to an unquenchable thirst for revenge.

Drawn by the spectacle, Trevor Manfred, a ruthless billionaire, approaches Atticus with a proposition: Trevor will make available all the advanced technology of his heavily armed mega-yacht, the Titan, to aid Atticus in his death-quest. In return, Trevor is to receive the beast’s corpse as the ultimate hunting trophy. But in the midst of the hunt, Atticus makes a terrifying discovery that changes the way he sees the ocean’s creatures and begs the question: what is Kronos? The answer sets him on a new and much more deadly course.

This is my second time of reading this book.  I have to admit, I liked it better the second time which, I liked it a lot before so would have to give it an A+.

The book centers around Atticus and his family – but also around his transformation from a Navy Seal willing to kill to a man who finds it is harder to be a man willing to live.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who likes a good creature feature.

Death of an Honest Man review

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Goodreads: Sergeant Hamish Macbeth–Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious policeman–returns in M.C. Beaton’s new mystery in her New York Times bestselling series.
Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul had moved to a house in Cnothan, a sour village on Hamish’s beat.

He attended church in Lochdubh. He told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat and in these days of increasing obesity it was her duty to show a good example. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie–who repeated all the last words of her twin sister–that she needed psychiatric help.

“I speak as I find,” he bragged. Voices saying, “I could kill that man,” could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan.

Started this book a little after midnight and had it done at 7:30 a.m.  It was true to the other Hamish books and it was good to read one for it seems like it took forever to become available.  I kid you not, I was 148th on a list for this book at the library.  I went ahead and bought it rather than wait.
Some would think that, this being the 33rd book, the series would be getting old but, alas, it does not.  I enjoyed this book as much as the first one I read.  Hamish is such a character that it is hard not to love him.
The story line keeps a person interested and while we really don’t get much of a chance to get to know the self-declared “honest” man (who isn’t very honest) before he is done off, I still didn’t like him.  With Blair up to his usual tricks, Hamish has to stay on his toes.
The book does do one thing I found a bit anti-climatic and that was its constant referral to something evil coming but failed, I think, to deliver on it but it is a small thing.
The hardest thing about reading this book is that I will have to wait another year or longer before the next one comes out.  I give it an A.

The Great Alone review

The Great Alone

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

This was my first book by this author.  It was recommended to me by my sister who thought it was a pretty good book.  I read this book on Tuesday – it took me just over 6 hours to read it cover to cover.  I had minor interruptions and bathroom breaks but otherwise kept it in my hand. Was so deep in it that I forgot to eat the soup I had bought for supper.

Yes, I liked the story and thought it moved rather smoothly throughout.  It would have been exceptional except for those last couple over-emotional chapters. I felt like the author was trying to make me cry rather than sneaking something in so subtly that the tears come.  But whatever.  It was a small thing.

Quite frankly, I would have liked to see more about the awesome animals of Alaska too – more encounters – because the one encounter included was short and rather anticlimactic.  But maybe the author thought it would be too cliché.  Personally, I would have liked it a lot better.  The characters emphasis all through it that a person has to be armed and prepared for bear and wolf encounters but then nothing happens in that area.  Why bother stressing it so much then?

The book is good, I do recommend it.  It is not my normal genre, for sure, but it is good to stray now and then from the norm.  I give the book an A.