Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on February 6, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy

Format & Length: e-book, 848

Source: purchased

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A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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Book Review: The Passengers, by John Marrs

The Passengers, by John Marrs

The Passengers by John Marrs

Published by Berkley on August 27, 2019 (originally published April 1, 2019)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: Netgalley

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You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die”. 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?…And who should we kill first?”

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Book Review: Bad Axe County, by John Galligan

Bad Axe County, by John Galligan

Bad Axe County by John Galligan

Published by Atria Books on July 9, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: Netgalley

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Dennis Lehane meets Megan Miranda in this tense, atmospheric thriller about the first female sheriff in rural Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, as she searches for a missing girl, battles local drug dealers, and seeks the truth about the death of her parents twenty years ago—all as a winter storm rages in her embattled community. 

Fifteen years ago, Heidi White’s parents were shot to death on their Bad Axe County farm. The police declared it a murder-suicide and closed the case. But that night, Heidi found the one clue she knew could lead to the truth—if only the investigators would listen.

Now Heidi White is Heidi Kick, wife of local baseball legend Harley Kick and mother of three small children. She’s also the interim sheriff in Bad Axe. Half the county wants Heidi elected but the other half will do anything to keep her out of law enforcement. And as a deadly ice storm makes it way to Bad Axe, tensions rise and long-buried secrets climb to the surface.

As freezing rain washes out roads and rivers flood their banks, Heidi finds herself on the trail of a missing teenaged girl. Clues lead her down twisted paths to backwoods stag parties, derelict dairy farms, and the local salvage yard—where the body of a different teenage girl has been carefully hidden for a decade.

As the storm rages on, Heidi realizes that someone is planting clues for her to find, leading her to some unpleasant truths that point to the local baseball team and a legendary game her husband pitched years ago. With a murder to solve, a missing girl to save, and a monster to bring to justice, Heidi is on the cusp of shaking her community to its core—and finding out what really happened the night her parents died.

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Mini Reviews: Nonfiction Book vs. Movie – Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich, Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly & Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom

Mini Reviews: Nonfiction Book vs. Movie

For this set of mini reviews, I want to talk about some nonfiction books I’ve read fairly recently and compare them to their movie adaptations. I’d seen all of these movies first before even knowing they were books and when I discovered they were adaptations wanted to check them out in their original format. In each of these cases, I found the book and movie to be fairly complementary but some were slightly stronger in one format or the other.

Ready to see the reviews?

Continue reading “Mini Reviews: Nonfiction Book vs. Movie – Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich, Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly & Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom”

Book Review: The Island, by Ragnar Jónasson

The Island, by Ragnar Jonasson

The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

Published by Minotaur Books  on May 21, 2019

Series: Hidden Iceland, #2

Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: hardcover, 336

Source: library

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Elliðaey is an isolated island off the coast of Iceland. It is has a beautiful, unforgiving terrain and is an easy place to vanish.

The Island is the second thrilling book in Ragnar Jonasson’s Hidden Iceland trilogy. This time Hulda is at the peak of her career and is sent to investigate what happened on Elliðaey after a group of friends visited but one failed to return.

Could this have links to the disappearance of a couple ten years previously out on the Westfjords? Is there a killer stalking these barren outposts?

Written with Ragnar’s haunting and suspenseful prose The Island follows Hulda’s journey to uncover the island’s secrets and find the truth hidden in its darkest shadows.

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Book Review: The Escape Room, by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room, by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Published by St. Martin’s Press  on August 6, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: Netgalley

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For fans of JP Delaney’s The Girl Before and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 comes this hair-raising novel of deception and revenge that will blow readers away.

Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.

When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.

The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—now “gone but not forgotten”.

This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives.

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Book Review: The Book Charmer, by Karen Hawkins

the book charmer

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

Published by Gallery Books on July 30, 2019 (expected)

Series: Dove Pond, #1

Genre(s): fiction, magical realism

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: Netgalley

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The New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular MacLean Curse series crafts a charming and evocative story about a picturesque Southern town, two fiercely independent women, and a magical friendship that will change their lives forever. 

The residents of Dove Pond, North Carolina, know three things: they have the finest bar-b-que this side of Atlanta, their Apple Festival is the best that ever was, and the town has phenomenal good luck whenever the Dove family has seven daughters. Fortunately, that time is now, because Dove Pond desperately needs a miracle.

The seventh daughter, Sarah Dove, believes in all things magical. Books have whispered their secrets to her since she was a child. Now the town librarian, she makes sure every book finds the reader who most needs it. But recently the books have been whispering something different—that change is about to come to Dove Pond. Sarah is soon convinced that the legendary Dove Pond good luck has arrived in the form of new resident, Grace Wheeler.

After the tragic death of her sister, Grace has moved to Dove Pond with her grieving young niece and ailing foster mother hoping to retrench financially and emotionally before returning to her fast-paced city life. But she soon learns that life in a not-so-sleepy town isn’t as quiet as she’d hoped. Despite her best efforts to focus on her family, she can’t avoid the townspeople, especially her next-door neighbors, the quirky and talkative Sarah Dove and cynical veteran Chris Parker. Grace’s situation grows more complicated when she assumes her duties as town clerk and discovers that Dove Pond is on the verge of financial ruin.

Already overburdened by her own cares, Grace tries to stay aloof from the town’s issues, but she’s never been good at resisting a challenge. With Sarah’s encouragement, and inspired by the wise words of a special book, Grace decides to save her new town. And in her quest, she discovers the rich comfort of being a part of a loving community, the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the heartfelt power of finding just the right book.

With Karen Hawkins’s “fast, fun, and sexy” (Christina Dodd) prose, The Book Charmer is a feel-good story with plenty of heart that will appeal to fans of Sarah Addison Allen, Alice Hoffman, Heather Graham, and Jude Deveraux.

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5 Beachy Books To Read This Summer

5 Beachy Books to Read This Summer

It seemed to take forever this year for the weather to warm up to spring temperatures. Combined with higher than usual amounts of rain, I’ve found myself ready to settle in with books that give me strong summer vibes based on their setting. Particularly those set on the beach, ocean, or lakefront, making me think I can already smell the sunscreen and feel the sand in my toes.

So today I’m sharing five books with beachy settings to help you dig into summer! This selection is strong on thrillers with some romance and coming of age mixed in. If you prefer a bit more variety, the 2019 summer reading guides from Modern Mrs. Darcy and Sarah’s Bookshelves have fantastic choices as well!

Ready to see my picks?

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May Reading Wrap Up

May 2019 Reading Wrap UpMay was a full month of fun plans and plenty of reading, and it flew by in the blink of an eye!

This was a great month of books for me. I enjoyed a variety of genres, from suspense and thrillers to science fiction and contemporary to historical fiction. With the exception of one book I decided to DNF for now, I wound up rating everything I read at least a three, and two books a full five out of five! You can’t really get much better than that.

Ready to see what I read and reviewed?

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Book Review: Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Published by Berkley Books on February 6, 2007 (first published 2005)

Series: Languedoc, #1

Genre(s): fiction, historical fiction, mystery

Format & Length: paperback, 515

Source: purchased

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In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.

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