Book Review: Aleks Mickelsen and the Call of the White Raven, by Keira Gillett

Aleks Mickelson and the Call of the White Raven, by Keira Gillett

Aleks Mickelsen and the Call of the White Raven by Keira Gillett

Published by Keira Gillett on April 6, 2018

Series: Zaria Fierce, #5

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 286

Source: author

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“Whose white raven is this?”

Aleks Mickelsen is a changeling with diminishing magical powers and a complete nuisance for a new a pet. For the first time in his life, he’s lost. He led his friends to the wrong place. They might joke about there being worse things to face than disorientation, but comparing what Aleks did to the Wild Hunt breathing down their necks (even if the comparison is somewhat favorable) isn’t all that comforting. Hopefully, Aleks can get his head on straight and get them all back on track to fighting Fritjof, otherwise chaos is going to win.

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Book Review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Published by Simon & Schuster in June 2013 (originally published October 19, 1953)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 249

Source: purchased

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Sixty years after its publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

“Fahrenheit 451- The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns.”

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

The sixtieth-anniversary edition commemorates Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Nelson Algren, Harold Bloom, Margaret Atwood, and others; rare manuscript pages and sketches from Ray Bradbury’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.

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Book Review: 29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan

29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan

29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Published by St. Martin’s Press on September 3, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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From the bestselling author of LIES comes 29 SECONDS, a sensational new thriller that explores what happens when a split second thought of revenge takes on a life of its own. 

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne, a renowned scholar and television host. The beloved professor rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, she’s left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid. In the only way he knows how. The man gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. No chance of being found out. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

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Audiobook Review: Maybe in Another Life, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC on August 18, 2015 (originally published July 7, 2015)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 8:52:21

Source: library

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From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

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Book Review: The Whisper Man, by Alex North

The Whisper Man, by Alex North

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Published by Celadon Books on August 20, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, crime, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

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Book Review: The Warehouse, by Rob Hart

The Warehouse, by Rob Hart

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

Published by Crown on August 20, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“On the surface, The Warehouse is a thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a terrifying cautionary tale of the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Timesbestselling author of Dark Matter

Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities.

But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses…well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering.

Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.

As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here.

Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go…to make the world a better place.

Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price.

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Book Review: The Murder List, by Hank Phillippi Ryan

The Murder List, by Hank Phillippi Ryan

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Published by Forge Books on August 20, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 304

Source: Netgalley

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Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

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Book Review: As Long as We Both Shall Live, by JoAnn Chaney

As Long as We Both Shall Live, by JoAnn Chaney

As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

Published by Flatiron Books on January 15, 2019

Series: n/a

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

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: Netgalley

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What happens when you’re really, truly done making your marriage work? You can’t be married to someone without sometimes wanting to bash them over the head…
As Long As We Both Shall Live is JoAnn Chaney’s wicked, masterful examination of a marriage gone very wrong, a marriage with lots of secrets…

“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.

But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.

Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free.

So what happens when you’re done making it work?

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Book Review: Keeping Lucy, by T. Greenwood

Keeping Lucy, by T. Greenwood

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

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

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, historical fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 304

Source: Netgalley

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One of PopSugar’s 30 Must-Read Books of 2019

From the author of Rust & Stardust comes this heartbreaking story, inspired by true events, of how far one mother must go to protect her daughter. 

Dover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson’s heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on.

But two years later, when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth–its squalid hallways filled with neglected children–she knows she can’t leave her daughter there. With Ginny’s six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.

For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy. Racing from Massachusetts to the beaches of Atlantic City, through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a roadside mermaid show in Florida, Keeping Lucy is a searing portrait of just how far a mother’s love can take her.

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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”