Book Review: Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Published by HQ on June 19, 2018

Series: n/a

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

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

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Book Review: Good Trouble: Stories, by Joseph O’Neill

Good Trouble, by Joseph O'Neill

Good Trouble: Stories by Joseph O’Neill

Published by Pantheon on June 12, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary

Format & Length: e-book, 176

Source: Penguin’s First to Read

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A masterly collection of eleven stories about the way we live now from the best-selling author of Netherland

From bourgeois facial hair trends to parental sleep deprivation, O’Neill closely observes the mores of his characters, whose vacillations and second thoughts expose the mysterious pettiness, the underlying violence, and, sometimes, the surprising beauty of ordinary life in the early twenty-first century. A lonely wedding guest talks to a goose; a pair of poets struggle over whether to participate in a “pardon Edward Snowden” verse petition; a cowardly husband lets his wife face a possible intruder in their home; a potential co-op renter in New York City can’t find anyone to give him a character reference. On the surface, these men and women may only be in mild trouble, but O’Neill reminds us of the real, secretly political consequences of our internal monologues in these perfectly made, fiercely modern stories. No writer is more incisive about the strange world we live in now, and the laugh-out-loud vulnerability of his people is just as well fodder for tears.

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Book Review: Ark of Blood, by J.F. Penn

Ark of Blood, by J.F. Penn

Ark of Blood by J.F. Penn
Published by The Creative Penn Limited  on April 16, 2015 (first published December 12th 2012)
Series: Arkane, #3
Genre(s): fiction, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 256
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A desperate race to find the Ark of the Covenant – and save the world from a devastating Holy War.

Cairo, Egypt. When the curator of the Museum of Antiquities is slaughtered in a horrific ritual by a group wearing the masks of Ancient Egyptian deities, local authorities ask for help from ARKANE, the agency tasked with investigating religious and paranormal events. Then, in Washington DC, a decapitated Arab body is discovered. The head is placed on the replica Ark of the Covenant along with a chilling message that warns of a terrifying escalation of violence in the Middle East.

ARKANE agent, British-Israeli psychologist Dr Morgan Sierra, must race against time to uncover the real Ark – aware that her nemesis, the vicious mercenary Natasha, is also in the hunt and out for bloody revenge. Morgan travels across Egypt and Jordan, retracing the steps of the Biblical Exodus and following a trail of clues that takes her into the mists of history – and mortal danger…

The third novel in the bestselling ARKANE series, EXODUS is a pulse-pounding thriller for fans of Dan Brown and James Rollins. Filled with puzzles, adventure and excitement, it also asks serious questions about the nature of religion…and the beliefs that lie at the very heart of humankind.

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Mini reviews: Nonfiction – Hunger, by Roxane Gay & The Fact of a Body, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Mini reviews: Nonfiction

Happy Friday! Who else is ready for the weekend?

I’m excited to bring a new series of posts to you today in the form of mini reviews! These will include two to three books that are within the same genre or run along similar veins, and briefly sum up my thoughts on each book in just a short paragraph. It’s likely these will tend to be nonfiction books, but there may be some fiction sprinkled in as well. I hope to post at least one set of mini reviews each month, but it will just depend on how busy life is at the time and how many books I wind up reading.

Today I’ll be reviewing a couple of memoirs: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay; and The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. I listened to both of these on audiobook a few months back and was struck by the similarities despite the difference in their tone and content. Ready to see the reviews?

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Book Review: The Good Twin, by Marti Green

The Good Twin, by Marti Green

The Good Twin by Marti Green
Published by Thomas & Mercer on May 15, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense
Format & Length: e-book, 272
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In Marti Green’s twisting novel of psychological suspense, twin sisters become engaged in a dangerous deception…

Mallory Holcolm is an unfulfilled waitress and aspiring artist living in a Queens boardinghouse when she learns something astonishing about her past: she has an identical twin sister named Charly she never knew existed.

Charly is a Princeton graduate, a respected gallery owner, and an heiress married to her handsome college sweetheart, Ben. Charly got everything she ever wanted. Everything Mallory wanted, too. And now it might be easier than Mallory ever imagined. Because Ben has reasons of his own for wanting to help her.

It begins with his startling proposal. All Mallory has to do is say yes.

But as their devious plan falls into place, piece by piece, Mallory learns more about her sister and herself than she ever meant to—a discovery that comes with an unexpected twist. A chilling deception is about to become a dangerous double cross. And it’s going to change the rules of Ben and Mallory’s game to the very end.

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Review: The Dragon’s Glare, by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

The Dragon's Glare, by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

The Dragon’s Glare by T.J. & M.L. Wolf
Published by CreateSpace on December 23, 2017
Series: The Survival Trilogy, #2
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, science fiction, suspense
Format & Length: paperback, 346
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In 2019, three years after recovery of a powerful Hopi artifact from a mystery cave in Arizona, Una Waters finds herself on special assignment from D.C. to Chinatown in New York City. Unexplained acts of violence, including a cyber breach at the NYPD threaten to disrupt the lives of immigrants, forcing military intervention from General Ashcroft, now with U.S. Cyber Security. When newshound and compadre Jack Howser arrives to investigate a reported UFO sighting, Una begins to realize an episode of “missing time” at the Chinese New Year’s parade may hold the answers. Finally, an out-of-this-world encounter confirms Una’s childhood beliefs in Sky People, hinting that our future lies in accepting the fact that we are not alone.

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Review: Lies You Never Told Me, by Jennifer Donaldson

Lies You Never Told Me, by Jennifer Donaldson

Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson
Published by Razorbill on May 29, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, suspense, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 336
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“A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist–get ready to stay up all night!” –Sara Shepard, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Pretty Little Liars 

Gabe and Elyse have never met. But they both have something to hide.

Quiet, shy Elyse can’t believe it when she’s cast as the lead in her Portland high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Her best friend, Brynn, is usually the star, and Elyse isn’t sure she’s up to the task. But when someone at rehearsals starts to catch her eye–someone she knows she absolutely shouldn’t be with–she can’t help but be pulled into the spotlight.

Austin native Gabe is contemplating the unthinkable–breaking up with Sasha, his headstrong, popular girlfriend. She’s not going to let him slip through her fingers, though, and when rumors start to circulate around school, he knows she has the power to change his life forever.

Gabe and Elyse both make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, and falling hard. Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences that not everyone will survive.

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Review: Dragon Coast, by Greg Van Eekhout

Dragon Coast, by Greg Van Eekhout

Dragon Coast by Greg Van Eekhout
Published by Tor Books on September 15, 2015
Series: Daniel Blackland, #3
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, dystopia, fantasy, young adult
Format & Length: hardcover, 320
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Dragon Coast: the sequel to Greg Van Eekhout’s California Bones and Pacific Fire, in which Daniel Blackland must pull off the most improbable theft of all.

Daniel’s adopted son Sam, made from the magical essence of the tyrannical Hierarch of Southern California whom Daniel overthrew and killed, is lost-consumed by the great Pacific firedrake secretly assembled by Daniel’s half-brother, Paul.

But Sam is still alive and aware, in magical form, trapped inside the dragon as it rampages around Los Angeles, periodically torching a neighborhood or two.

Daniel has a plan to rescue Sam. It will involve the rarest of substances, axis mundi, pieces of the bones of the great dragon at the center of the Earth. Daniel will have to go to the kingdom of Northern California, boldly posing as his half-brother, come to claim his place in the competition to be appointed Lord High Osteomancer of the Northern Kingdom. Only when the Northern Hierarch, in her throne room at Golden Gate Park, raises her scepter to confirm Daniel in his position will he have an opportunity to steal the axis mundi-under the gaze of the Hierarch herself.

And that’s just the first obstacle.

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Review: The Liberty Box, by C.A. Gray

The Liberty Box, by C.A. Gray

The Liberty Box by C.A. Gray
Published by Wanderlust Publishing on May 19, 2016
Series: The Liberty Box, #1
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 6:38:00
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Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancee and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.

Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?

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Review: Ace of Shades, by Amanda Foody

Ace of Shades, by Amanda Foody

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 10, 2018 (expected)
Series: The Shadow Game, #1
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 384
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Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

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