Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dark Waters (Raisa Jordan Thriller #1)Dark Waters by Chris Goff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Completely phenomenal! I have a new go-to author. I will read whatever Chris Goff writes I think. I received an e-Arc via the publisher, Crooked Lane Books - Penguin Books in exchange for an honest review. I am a bit behind with reviewing titles due to work and previously working on my dissertation. I truly loved Dark Waters. I will always dig in to read a great thriller that has special forces from Israel or really from anywhere really. Throw in two kick-ass women that lead the story and I am all in.

Jordan is Russian but was mostly raised in the U.S. where she works as an agent for the government. She has been recently stationed in Israel where she is replacing an agent who needs to return to the U.S. immediately, however, it appears he was not being truthful and he is involved in something so deadly that when the shooting starts it appears a judge and his daughter who are visiting Israel from the U.S. are the targets. There actually are no shortages of targets in that plaza when the shooting starts. Not to mention an Israeli agent who is on the scene for her own reasons that are just as deadly. It is not quite clear who started the shooting, who the actual target is, and what the reason is for the assassination, but, Jordan, who is quite intelligent, and learns that she can be just as deadly when she is assigned assets for protection. What Jordan uncovers is a plot that is far reaching and really a plot within a plot that really kept me enthralled. I am really looking forward to the next book, i.e., Red Sky by Chris Goff.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Girl from NowhereGirl from Nowhere by Tiffany Rosenhan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am totally enamored of Girl from Nowhere. I received a copy via the publisher, Bloomsbury YA and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I work a lot of hours each week. It used to take me a few hours or at most a day or two to read a book. Sometimes it takes me 2 weeks, if I am lucky and have not forgotten some of what I have read. Part of this occurred when I was working on my dissertation and I thought I will get to read more leisure reads now that this is done. But, no, work just replaced it. I have a pretty good reading month and I am happy to say that I honestly loved Girl from Nowhere. I am a big fan of YA Action books, especially those where the protagonist is someone the reader can like and admire.

Sophie and her family move to a new town in Montana which oddly enough is a place that my best friend has been harassing me to visit. I have no clue why and it is not really on my list but, it worked well in this book. Sophia has parents that have traveled the world as diplomats for the government since she was born and she is always with them. They have never really had a permanent homestead to stop at and take a break from. They move often. It turns out that something occurred during one of their trips which has traumatized Sophia. The author does a great job of having Sophia slowly tell her story as she meets new friends and makes a more permanent home for the first time. Her parents have gone out of their way to make a home for her by actually taking their things from storage and decorating their new house. Sophia is adjusting when what they appear to have been running from seems to have found them. Girl from Nowhere vividly introduces colorful characters, good and bad, and even makes the places Sophia and her parents travel into characters, i.e., Montana, Istanbul, etc. I do not know if there are any plans to continue Sophia’s story, but, I can see room for it and it also had a great ending if this is the last we see of Sophia.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Killing November (Killing November, #1)Killing November by Adriana Mather
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, I know I am well behind with this review. This happens when I fall in love with a cover and book blurb and then work interferes. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I did receive a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and Killing November definitely goes in my, Yes!, category. I already love books that have the boarding school backdrop. Take a student who doesn't want to be there, who knows nothing about why she is really there, or for that matter, who knows nothing about who she really is or who her family really is and the reader gets a great experience.

When I read the title, I wondered if November is killing people or if she is being killed. Finding out is something I will leave to other readers. There are so many things to love about Killing November so I will just list out my favorite things. The bad guys were truly terrible and the reader and even November do not really know who really is a bad guy and who might be a good guy that turns bad and vice versa. The character development is top-notch. Every character stood out and if you were meant to hate them you really do hate them. I have to admit that there were times I just wished that November would develop some sort of supernatural power and wipe the floor with a whole lot of people. Now, I was raised that guys just did not hit girls and if the girl hit them first they should just walk away. Apparently, these guys did not have the same home training. Of course, these girls could hold their own and were just as skilled at wiping the floor with a guy many times their size.

You should have guessed by now that this is not a normal boarding school. It trains students in things nowhere near what we usually learn, like grammar, writing, mathematics, and other scholastic topics. Learning a foreign language is even different at Academy Absconditi. Even the name sounds ominous. November really has some surprises in store and she also will be doing some of the surprising. I cannot wait for Hunting November.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

London PrepLondon Prep by Jillian Dodd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great adventure! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I have to say thank you to Jillian Dodd (author) and the publisher for allowing me to join their early readers. I am an avid fan of books that allow me to step outside of my own background. I live in the U.S. and this book is based in London. I attended public school and this story takes place in what appears to be a private school. It is great to read a book that takes the reader out of their comfort zone and does a great job of showing them a different pont-of-view. I considered going to private school but, I wanted to stay with my friends. That was no longer a choice when I went to high school but, even with different types of school the same issues pop up like not wanting to do sports. I was voted the most non-dressing student in gym class as I always had an excuse for why I couldn't participate, well until I was forced to participate. I do relate to Mallory quite a bit.

Another striking thing about London Prep is seeing that students that go to private school and that live in London have the same issues in their family lives as U.S. students. It is interesting that despite how divergent our country's paths were some things are quite similar. Mallory did point out how different some things were also. I can attest to the great coffee shops in London as I found one as soon as I arrived for a visit a few years ago and made it my home away from hotel. Since it was directly across from the Victoria and Albert Museum, there was some great people watching to be done there.

London Prep is a funny book at the same time that it can be heartbreaking. It is hard to understand sometimes why adults don't always consider their actions and sometimes it is the case that families see everything as family business. But, when does something supersede or become more important than keeping things secret within a family? London Prep successfully highlights home situations that students have everywhere. For example, it is hard for a student to concentrate on school work and socializing when they don't have food to eat at home, a family member is sick, or any number of trying family situations. London Prep provides great characters who are well-written and that the reader can relate to regardless of age differences. It is the start of a great series and I really look forward to the next book.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Golden In Death (In Death, #50)Golden In Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am always truly excited when the new In Death books come out. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I had to get Golden In Death on audiobook as I love the narrator, Susan Erickson. She makes me forget that only one person is reading all of the roles in the book. I have re-read the first 10 books more than once and I start to dig out the audios, yes, I have all of the audios for the series as well. I did receive an early release ARC via NetGalley, but, I still like to own the audiobooks of this series.

I was driving the other day listening to the Golden in Death and it was on a part that had Dennis Mira and I realized what I like about the characters. Each one of the regular characters, i.e., Dennis, Charles, Louise, Nadine, etc., are written so well that you wish that they were people you could get to know in real life, or at least know people who are like them, even Roarke's majordomo, Summerset. Golden In Death is a great addition to the series and makes me realize that this series can keep going for some time as it never gets old.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Revolution (Cold War Magic, #2)Revolution by W.L. Goodwater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Revolution is the 2nd installment in the Cold War Magic series. It is a new installment in what I consider to be a great newcomer in the Urban Fantasy or Speculative Fantasy genre. I would lean towards more calling it Speculative Fantasy because it tells an alternate version of what happened at the end of World War II where magic is a known entity and only some people were born with magic. Where the first book has a setting in Berlin and describes how magic played a key part in how the war ended and the repercussions of the use of dark magic which culminates in a book that multiple parties are trying to find. To some, the book is a myth. To others, it is a fact and they will do whatever is necessary to obtain the book.

Karen is on her last legs with the magic agency where she is employed. She is afraid of her magic and has decided that she would prefer to not use magic which means leaving her job. In the middle of making this decision, she receives a weird package that turns out to be a request for help from a former employee. He has uncovered something at his current employer that causes him to risk his life and the lives of others trying to assist him. This investigation takes Karen to Florida and to Cuba where she will have to decide whether she has a choice about using her magic. There is a lot more at stake than her job and it turns out that the book thought to be destroyed is still front-and-center in the story.

I have to admit that I love this series. The characters are flawed, including Karen, and she questions herself throughout the book but, at her core, she cannot help but stand up for those that need help which makes her an admirable character. She also realizes that she has no clue who really can be trusted and as usual who is good and who can be trusted is not always as clear as she would hope. I plan to follow this series and avidly wait for the next installment.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Archangel's War (Guild Hunter, #12)Archangel's War by Nalini Singh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Phenomenal! Archangel's War is an explosive entry in the Guild Hunter series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was so busy and I wanted to know what happened that release day was upon me so I bought the audiobook also. I love the narration in the audiobooks and this is a series that I re-read or re-listen quite often. One of my favorite aspects of this series is the vividness of the characters. When I read about Illium's feathers, the description is detailed that I can picture it like a colored photo or like watching a movie.

In Archangel's War, the title sort of speaks for itself. There have been multiple skirmishes throughout the series as Lijuan grows in power and loses more of the little bit of "humanity" or care for humans and other angels that she had. She is a brilliant tactician and serious "delusions of grandeur" except in her case they may not necessarily be delusions. Thinking that the other archangels will just bow to her and give up their people and territories is maybe the biggest delusion that can be attributed to Lijuan. Each of the archangels that have known her throughout history has memories of her being more humane but when the reader meets Lijuan it is clear that she likes playing games and manipulating everything around her.

What I love about Archangel's War is this innate desire to make the story go slow so that it is not over too soon. It is action-packed. I have to admit that something rare happened when I read this latest installment in the series. I hit a part that brought tears to my eyes. Elena and Raphael are so likable that the reader empathizes with them so it can be quite gut-wrenching when they feel emotional pain and sometimes when they feel physical pain. I admit to a fair amount of apprehension that this might be the end of things. But, I am happy to see that things just keep rolling and Nalini Singh is just the person to keep the readers hooked and looking for the next Guild Hunter book.

Dark Waters by Chris Goff My rating: 5 of 5 stars Completely phenomenal! I have a new go-to author. I will read whatever Chris Goff write...