Weekly Book Reviews: 7/10/21

Note: The reviews will be pulled directly from my reviews on Goodreads.

I have three book reviews for my first official week of this blog. I hope you enjoy them. I’ll include the amazon link for each book in the book cover like I always do. If you hit ctrl + the book cover it will open in a different tab.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m going to start this off by saying I realized about halfway through that this was not my kind of book at all. There were parts I feel like were really over drawn out and then some parts that were overly rushed. This book also mentions rape and other dark things and may trigger people who are sensitive. Overall, I did wind up enjoying the story. Even if it deeply disturbed me. In more ways than one. I really hope I don’t have a nightmare tonight.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Some parts were a little hard to keep up with for me. That is most likely a personal thing. Anyway. I really enjoyed the read. It’s not something I really thought I would like. The cover is really pretty as well. I loved the narrators in this book as well. I’m curious to see if this becomes a series. If so, I wonder where it’s going to go from there. There are so many possibilities.

Currently Free

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I had misconceptions on this book before I started it. I can say that I was guilty of judging a book by its cover here. I can also say that I really enjoyed this book very much. It was intense and action-packed. There are some things that went on in the book that I don’t really fully jibe with, but those are more personal preferences rather than the writing or the book itself. I’m definitely curious to see how the rest of this series goes.

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Down World by Rebecca Phelps Book Review

Date Started: 4/1/21
Date Finished: 4/5/21
Rating: 5 of 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Title: Down World
Author: Rebecca Phelps
Pages: 368

Note: Don’t read if you’re sensitive to horror and thriller-type books that get a bit dark from time to time. If you are into those kinds of stories, this book may pull you in and keep you consumed until the very last page.

This book is more considered science fiction than anything, but it is also classified as horror and thriller as well. It could have been a bit scarier in my eyes, but it was still intensely creepy. I really enjoyed it. If I hadn’t had a work schedule to read around, I probably would have finished this book in one sitting. It was a real page-turner.

The dialogue gets a little bit tricky in my opinion on this. Because sometimes the characters seemed like they knew each other all their lives and then other times they acted like complete strangers who didn’t know each other at all. I think it could be chalked up to nerves and stress with all of the secrets they were trying to keep though. Especially the adults.

While trying to figure out how to get her brother back, things start changing in her world. She and the group realize that the changes that keep happening between the worlds are causing major disturbances. It winds up leading to something major that happens that I really don’t want to get into too many details of because of spoilers. It’s really extreme and completely turns their world upside down.

I really liked Marina in this story. She comes off as really sheltered and dumb, but she was very bright and quick-witted. People around her seemed to think she was delicate and couldn’t take care of herself and never took her seriously. I think because of that she didn’t take herself seriously. There were many things that happened because of her that could have been played out before had anybody else paid attention like she did or bothered to take two seconds to listen to her.

I have to be very honest. I didn’t care for the ending at all. It wasn’t at all in the direction I wanted it to go in. I get why it had to go the way it did. It just really makes me sad. There was something that happened in the story that I was totally there for. I was so happy for it and I wanted to see how it was going to go from there. I just can’t even tell you. I really think that everybody should read this book!

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The Third Call by Lorhainne Eckhart Book Review

Date Started: 4/1/21
Date Finished: 4/1/21
Rating: 4 of 5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Title: The Third Call
Author: Lorhainne Eckhart
Pages: 170

Note: This is book two in the series. The series can be read as standalone books. I have a review for Hometown Hero which is book seven in the series.

This book isn’t based on a true story, but it is really realistic. There are many topics it addresses that most movies, television shows, and books gloss over or glamorize. I’m very happy that this one didn’t. I love that we get a glimpse of how things really are rather than how we all wish they could be. Don’t get me wrong, the fluffy is nice, but I want the real deal now and then.

At the beginning of the book, there was a very intense situation. A little girl calls the police because she feels that she and her mother are in danger. Turns out that the situation was intense, but it wasn’t a hostage situation. The person was attempting to help her and her mother suffered PTSD and was triggered by a sound.

I really loved the dialogue in this book. It was raw and emotional. It was realistic. The compassion behind what the main character felt was real. It caught my emotions fully. I was really impressed. I guess it doesn’t help that the thing that upset him would have upset me just as much.

This book really highlights the fact that the justice system doesn’t always work properly. An innocent woman whose daughter thought she was in danger goes to prison for charges piled up against her when she was a victim. The prosecutor didn’t care at all. She and her daughter were homeless. She was just doing the best she could for them both. She got put in a bad situation and lost it all because of it.

While there wasn’t a real hero of the story, I really feel the main character of the story came through in spades. He went out of his way to make sure that the mother had good representation so that she didn’t go to prison for the rest of her life for something that she wasn’t even guilty of. He even went and checked on the daughter after the fact because he felt so guilty. He wasn’t really responsible, but he felt like he played a major part in it.

While I loved the ending of this book, I really feel like there could have been another ending that happened years later. I won’t say what I mean exactly because I don’t want to fill this review with spoilers. If you read it, you’ll know what I mean. There’s just something that I wanted to see wrapped up in the end. Or what happens to a certain two characters in the book. I really enjoyed the story.

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The Hometown Hero by Lorhainne Eckhart Book Review

Date Started: 4/1/21
Date Finished: 4/4/21
Rating: 3 of 5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book Title: Hometown Hero
Author: Lorhainne Eckhart
Pages: 174

Note: Potential triggering issues with death and teenage drug use.

I really feel like this story could have been a lot longer. I enjoyed it. I found it to be a very easy read that I could have listened to all in one sitting had my schedule allowed me to. I just feel like parts were very rushed and that they could have been drawn out more than they were. I also felt parts were a little cheesy. That’s just my opinion though.

I feel like if this book had been drawn out more that I would have felt more drawn into the book. I might have even been on edge through many parts. Sadly, it kind of fell a bit flat for me. The idea behind the story was amazing. It really was. I also need to note that this isn’t the first book in the series. It could be that the main reason I’m not impressed is that I didn’t read it from book one.

I really did enjoy the dialogue in the book. It was very witty. It felt like I was actually observing interactions in a small town. I loved every minute of it. I really love the small town vibes where everybody has known everybody all of their lives. I moved a lot as a kid so I never really got to experience that. It’s something I always kind of wanted.

There wasn’t really a villain in this story. There was an investigation into why a teenage boy died and was shoved in a closet. They were trying to figure out what caused the death and why people went to great links to hide it if it was an accidental death. They were also trying to figure out which of the teenagers were involved and what exactly happened.

I was really intrigued by the fact that there was a back story about a family scandal with the main character. I’m going to assume that because I didn’t read the first several books in the series. Maybe it’s referenced through the book entirely. It seems to be a thing that connects the books together honestly. I may go back and read them all together.

I really enjoyed the ending. I especially enjoyed the nugget that kind of draws you into continuing the series. It’s not exactly a cliffhanger. It doesn’t leave you angry or wondering why they would leave the book off like that. It’s just a little nugget that leaves you curious. Some might even be curious to pick up the next book right away. I am definitely considering going back and reading this series in order. One day.

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Ruthless Stranger by Maggie Cole Book Review

Date Started: 4/7/21
Date Finished: 4/7/21
Rating: 4 of 5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Title: Ruthless Stranger
Author: Maggie Cole
Page Count: 398

Note: Not intended for a younger audience. Multiple graphic sex scenes and cursing are littered throughout the book.

I feel like it’s different from other romance novels because I wasn’t able to predict things like I have been able to other books. That was a very pleasant surprise for me. I also feel that the title was very fitting for the story. It set the tone and mood for the entire story.

So this book was a Russian Mafia book. There are multiple families at war. I can’t really say I identified with any of the characters in this story at all. And there wasn’t really much in the way of antagonists. They played a role in the story, but they were cast into the background more than anything. At least in my opinion.

I normally don’t talk about the romances in books. Mainly because I am a little jaded and skeptical when it comes to romance. I think that most of them are far-fetched. Including this one. I still find the thought behind them all very endearing. Quite frankly, only one romance has really had me swoon in a book. This book isn’t that book. I do have to say that it was a very intense ride though. If I’m being honest.

The book was split into two parts. We had Aspen who just recently got out of a marriage of twenty years. Out of both of the characters, I could relate to her the most. Especially with the trust issues and insecurities involved in previous relationships. Then we have Maksim. He was an amazing character and he treated Aspen really well, but I just didn’t relate to him.

I think that the chemistry between Aspen and Maksim was really intense. However, I feel like they rushed into a serious relationship way too fast. Unless there were unspoken time gaps, they knew each other for maybe a week or two and they were already super intense and wanting to spend the rest of their lives together.

All in all, this was a very good book that I enjoyed a lot. For those who don’t really like cliffhangers, I do have to warn you that this has a bit of a cliffhanger. The second book has not been released yet as far as I know. I think it should be released very soon. I’m not sure. I didn’t pay attention to the date.

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The Pillars of Creation by Terry Goodkind Book Review

Date Started: 3/9/21

Date Finished: 4/1/21

Rating: 5 of 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Title: The Pillars of Creation

Author: Terry Goodkind

Page Count: 725

Note: For those of you who have read this series and loved it, it’s still just as good as the rest of the books in the series. It just doesn’t include our trio of heroes and heroines. Our Zedd and Addie don’t play big roles either. They haven’t really played big roles in a few books anyway. It’s still a really good book and you get a glimpse of the inside of the enemy’s side in this one. 

I was prompted to read this book because it’s one of my mother’s favorite series of all time. I read the first book many years ago and I really loved it. So I broached the idea of buddy reading the series together. I’m so glad that I did. This entire series has thrown me through the loops over and over again. I love every moment of it. 

I think that the author painted the scenes and characters amazingly. I felt what the characters felt when I was reading their point of view. I felt the emotions of the crowds that they were surrounded by. I was in the moment every single step of the way. It was beautiful. There were people who I just couldn’t stand and hated to read their points of view. That was the point of the matter though. I won’t say who. I want to let the reader draw their own opinions of the new people in the book. 

This entire book in the series was told in three points of view. Two of which were offspring of Darken Rahl. Ones that managed to keep from being killed before Darken Rahl dies. They are considered a whole in the world to anybody who is gifted with magic. Magic can’t touch or harm them in any way. The third point of view is of the husband of one of the gifted women that are referenced in the series. He plays a more important role than he will ever realize. 

This entire series twists and turns so much that there are times I wonder if I will ever recover. It seems that things are going great, and then everything flips upside down out of nowhere. The transition is so smooth that I can’t even begin to explain it. Even if I tried. The only thing I’m sad about with this book is that Richard, Kahlan, and Kara aren’t in the book as much as I would have loved. 

Jenson was a really amazing character in this book. I hated that she was so brainwashed and she believed with all of her heart the lies that she has been told all of her life. I wish I could have found out for sure if her mother was also brainwashed or if she was one that was filling her daughter’s head with lies as well. Jenson was a really amazing woman who was more intelligent and brave than she really gave herself credit for. I related to her in many ways. 

I know this series was actually turned into a television show at one point. Sadly, I didn’t know about the series until long after the television series was off the show. I also have no way of watching it as far as I know. Maybe one day I’ll go back and check to see if I can watch it. I would like to see another television series based on this series. I would watch every episode that aired. Probably more than once. I’m not sure it will happen though. Sadly, the author of this book passed away last year. 

I have to be honest, the parts that were in the points of view of the person I referenced earlier were brutal for me. I couldn’t stomach them. I couldn’t stand really seeing how horrible somebody could be. How absolutely cruel and evil. It made my skin crawl. The fact that they thought that everything they did was right made it so much worse for me. I really just wanted to skip those parts if I’m being honest with myself. 

I won’t go into the details because I don’t believe in giving spoilers. I have been known to give them but only when I’ve been badgered. I don’t like doing so. I really enjoyed the whole story. It was intense. Like I mentioned, there were parts I didn’t want to see, but that’s just because I’m an Empath. I really enjoyed the ending. I was worried it was going to go a different way and I’m so glad that I was wrong. It was absolutely perfect.

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Soul Mates: Magic by Elizabeth A. Lance Book Review

Date Started: 3/4/21

Date Finished: 3/5/21

Rating: 4 out of 5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Title: Soul Mates: Magic

Author: Elizabeth A. Nance

Page Count: 178

Note: I didn’t realize it until I was about halfway through, but this is the third book in a series. As I wasn’t lost at all. I am going to say it’s safe to assume that they can be read as standalones. I always prefer to read series in order whether they need it or not though. 

I signed up for a tour involving this book. It intrigued me enough to want to give it a chance. I have a thing about reading books with characters who are considered normal. Especially if they have a bit of a feisty attitude about them. I just kind of have a thing for the feisty or bratty attitudes. 

I think the author did a wonderful job with the setting and the characters. All of the characters were quirky and unique., The worlds were described beautifully and with great distinction from each other. I really want to go live in the fae world if I’m being absolutely honest. Well the safe part of it anyway. I’m not really much for danger. 

Abbey is what you would probably call a bull headed individual. She knows what she wants and she goes after it no matter the consequences. At first I thought she was very shy and timid. That was until I got to know her and people’s observations of her. She kind of comes off as snobby and self absorbed, but I don’t see her like that at all. I just think she doesn’t think the way that most other people think. I related to her in the fact that people have thought I was weird all of my life. 

I wouldn’t say there were any plot twists in this book. At least none that I could think of. There were parts of the book that kind of came out of nowhere, but they weren’t really a big shock factor. I’m not sure if I’m describing that correctly. I mean the moments were intense, but I didn’t get overly shocked about things coming out of left field. 

I would say that Daire stood out more than anybody. It seemed like he was the one that just kept getting put in the middle of all of the danger. He was also just as bull headed as Abbey. It was very obvious from the very beginning of the book that they both had feelings for each other. The two reminded me so much of Dimitri and Rose that it’s not even funny. 

I think this would make a wonderful movie. I’m very bad at picking people to play other people. I’m also very underwhelmed by a lot of the picks that are chosen in adaptations, but I digress. I think this would be a very high fantasy-like movie. It would be similar to Lord of the Rings, but not as intense or long. 

There were quite a few scenes that I feel like should have had more flare and drama. Something major happens. I won’t say what for obvious reasons, but it just kind of ends. It’s resolved properly. But there’s no real intensity. It leaves a lot lacking to say the least. 

The ending was very beautiful. I won’t get into the details. Again, for obvious reasons. It wrapped things up beautifully. It also added to my suspicion that this is a series of stand alone novels. Either way, I would have liked to read the first two books. I’ll just have to add them to the list.

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Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind Book Review

Date Started: 1/4/21
Date Finished: 1/25/21
Rating: 5 out of 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Title: Soul of the Fire
Author: Terry Goodkind
Page Count: 788

Notes: This book is the fifth book in the series. I strongly suggest you read the first four before you read this book. Also, the audio narration is great, but being as there are different narrators it’s not always consistent. Still enjoyable to listen to.

My mom has been hounding me to read this series for about a decade now. She finally persuaded me into reading it by suggesting we buddy read it. So here we are months later. In the middle of the series. I’m glad I finally listened.

The author did a fantastic job with this book. Everything was written with remarkable detail. I was in awe at how beautiful it was. He took his time laying everything out. The intrigue. The build-up. It was inspiring. I even loved the characters in the book. Also, any book I get to read about my Kara is a good book to me.

There are several main characters in this series. All of them have been through so much on their journey for justice. We have Richard who went from being a normal woodsman to being one of the most powerful wizards of all time. Then we have Kahlan. She’s the only confessor left in the entire world. She is also adjusting to being able to find true happiness because her touch doesn’t work on Richard. Kara went from being a Mord Sith who was evil and tortured people for the sport of it until being thankful for her freedom because of Richard and protecting him with her life.

From what I understand, this series was turned into a television series. I never really got to watch it. By the time I found out it was a thing, it was no longer airing. My mother has seen a few episodes. She wasn’t really impressed with the cast or the adaptation. She’s generally not too picky when it comes to that kind of thing, so I’m kind of scared to watch them.

All in all, this series has kept me on my feet the entire time. Just when I think everything is going right, everything ends in disaster in the most dramatic way. The bad guys always seem to get the upper hand in the most intense and gruesome way. Everybody thinks that a certain author is evil with the way he kills everybody off, but that author has nothing on Goodkind.

Rebel Tides by Krys Fenner and Livi Luciana Book Review

Date Started: 1/15/21
Date Finished: 1/24/21
Rating: 5 out of 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Title: Rebel Tides
Author: Krys Fenner and Livi Luciana
Page Count: 112

Notes: Not the first book in the series. Can be read alone, but it’s best read in order. In my opinion anyway.

The cover of this book is very gorgeous. It pulled me in from the very beginning. I’m going to be really honest though, Krys Fenner is one of my favorite authors of all time. I would buy any of her books without questions without knowing anything about it. I heard about it when I was filling out her form for last year’s convention I attended.

The author did an amazing job with the visuals in this book. Or I should say authors since it was co-written. Either way it was engaging. It was very interactive. The characters had tension and compassion between them. It varied between the characters. One of the characters even reminded me of Aphrodite from House of Night.

I would love to see this book as a movie. Actually, it would be better if this whole book series were turned into a television series. Why watch a movie that will be over in a couple of hours when you can get a small nugget of the story a little at a time and truly get to enjoy it?

I would have to say my favorite part of this entire book was when they were in the bar trying to get information. I won’t say much more than that for the sake of keeping spoilers out. But two of the characters were trying to get answers to something that they were investigating about. Their banter with each other and the people in the bar was great!

I was really impressed with the ending. It wasn’t at all what I expected. Of course, if I’m being honest, this whole book kept me on edge to the very end. It was witty. It was charming. It was dark. It was everything I could ever ask for in a book. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips Book Review

Date Started: 1/18/21
Date Finished: 1/24/21
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book Title: Disappearing Earth
Author: Julia Phillips
Page Count: 312

Notes: This book is told from multiple points of view. It almost reads like a variety of short stories rather than a full novel.

This book is a work of fiction. However, it is realistic. Two girls go missing on an island. There is no trace of them nor are there any witnesses. The police would rather just chalk it off as an accident rather than doing anything to investigate the matter. Just a couple of girls missing. Not worth their resources. It’s really sad to see things like that.

I really wasn’t very interested in this book. It didn’t leave me at the edge of my seat. There were several chapters that just really irritated me. I am not saying I didn’t like the book. I just think it could have been more than it was. It could have connected all the points of view better.

I can say that the dialogue of the book was very well done. It didn’t help me connect to the characters. All of them were really self-centered and self-absorbed in their own way. In my opinion anyway. I’m sure that there will be other readers that will say that the characters were really amazing and that they adored them. I respect those opinions.

The ending was both surprising and really unfinished. It leaves off on a build your own interpretation on how it really ends. I really wanted to see a solid answer honestly. The twist of the witness being found and somebody recognizing the description she gave was amazing. I’m going to leave it at that. I don’t want to give too much away. It was a beautiful and sad story. In the end, it could have been a lot more engaging.