Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig Book Review

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig

“This might be the last chance to get off the ride. The Miriam Black Experience is about to depart the gate, and you’re either strapped in or left behind. Time to commit, Miss Wiz. The lady or the tiger.”

In Chuck Wendig’s second installment Mockinbirds, Miriam is definitely in a pissy mood. She is totally exhausted of trying to live the normal life that Louis is hoping they can live together. In fact, this ‘living the rat-wheel life’ of working at a shitty store dealing with tourists day in and day out is pushing her over the edge.

The book opens up, introducing the readers to Miriam. A stand-alone novel, the average reader does not have to know the Miriam we loved in Blackbird. This Miriam is wearing black gloves; stifling the visions but is living a numbness sort of life that she hates. She is trying to be normal but Miriam isn’t normal. And having a job and a home address does not a normal person make. And she is tired of faking it.

So when she gets fired she decides to get a quick fix; just a quick looksee at how her boss gets to the grave. And how alive she feels when she pulls those black gloves off makes it totally worth it. Only Miriam isn’t prepared for what she sees and immediately goes into full action mode which entails going face to face with a lunatic.

For those who read book one the rules of the game changed for Miriam. In this book, whether you knew the rules changed or not, the reader learns the cold hard truth. The only way to prevent one death is to offer up another to death’s hands. Eye for an eye kind of thing, if you will only it is a life for a life this time.

Fate is a hard ass stickler when it comes to the rules of death. It’s hungry and it MUST eat. So Miriam gives it what it must have- a soul. When she does she is called into the darkness where she is greeted by…well, she doesn’t exactly know. She once thought it a figment of her imagination but she isn’t sure anymore. For the sake of it all, she calls him the Trespasser.

When she returns to the land of the living, she decides to call it all quits. No more job. No more shitty trailer where she lives alone because Louis is of driving his truck. No more Rat-wheel living for her. She finds the traveler inside her is coming alive and she hits the road. Only Louis shows up on the same road.

Louis tells her about a job; a psychic job. A teacher at a boarding school for girls is certain she is dying and is offering to pay Miriam to learn how she is going to die. After some reluctance, Miriam agrees to take the job. Only the job turns out to be so much more and now she is caught in the clutches of finding a serial killer before they find her.

Though the beginning had me, there were times where I found myself wanting to skim through and past some of the scenes. I can’t say this book held me captive as much as the first in the series but I will say it is definitely a book worth picking up. Wendig is up to his antics again in Mockingbird. Gore, death, and the usual relentless and foul-mouthed female holds up in this second installment. Another book that is not for the easily ‘creeped out by the bumps in the night’ reader, this is another unique read. Tightly woven into a book that will turn your stomach and at the same time have you turning the page to see what happens next, this is another must read.

Verdict: 8.5/10

 

Desires of the Dead Book Review

Desires of the Dead By Kimberly Derting

I must first admit that I got this audio book without the knowledge that it was part of a series. Having learned that there was a book before this one helped me to make sense of a few things that I was a little confused about. However having said this I do believe this could be a stand alone novel because Derting does a fine job of including key details about the main protagonist’s past events.

Desires of the dead opens up with Violet and her school peers at school talking about the new kids in town. To me the conversations of the high schoolers as well as their behaviors were a bit off for some reason. (This may be because I’m no longer anywhere near that age.) The reader learns a bit later that she has the ability to sense the ‘echoes’ of those who have died. Those who have been murdered have a unique echo and the murderer shares the same ‘echo’ which links them together.

Violet does not give out this information to many people; not even her best girl friend. (This too seems odd to me because if you can’t trust your bestie…who can you trust?) Violet has her best friend which is also now her boyfriend. So she isn’t altogether alone. However, from recent past events Violet questions how much their relationship has changed and their exists a certain uncomfortable change (at least in her mind).

Violet soon senses a new echo and she later goes off to find out what or who is producing the echo. With disturbing dreams and a penetrating echo that refuses to leave her alone, Violet searches for the echo in hopes of bringing closure. In her attempt to do so, Violet draws the attention of the FBI. Violet is terrified that her secret ‘ability’ will become public knowledge and makes some hard choices trying to keep her life normal, or as normal as one can be with such powers.

While she attempts to ‘handle’ things Violet is also becoming aware of how her boyfriend is spending more time with the new boy in school and the new boy’s sister seems to have a huge crush on Jay…a dangerous crush even? With all kinds of time to think about things Violet begins imagining, or is she, crazy scenarios about Jay and this other girl. These new kids have brought some secrets of their own.

While listening to this audio book I was at times very interested but found myself being let down frequently. I thought there were some strong scenes that could have offered me more. One character left me wanting more for sure. HOWEVER, after recently learning that this was part of a series, I also learned that the character I wanted more from and of is returning and I am surely going to read if only to get more of that one person.

I don’t normally do this but I will say that if this had been a book by itself I would have rated it differently than I am going to rate it. Knowing that it’s part of a series, and learning what the next book is about has improved my opinion of the book by a lot.
So I am offering two scores for this book (Which I’ve never done before)

B4 knowing this book was part of a series: 6
After knowing: 7.5

Will I read the next book? Most Definitely!

 

 

Blackbirds Book Review

Blackbirds By Chuck Wendig

Image result for blackbirds by chuck wendig

Wendig writes Blackbirds in such a manner that you just want to sink you teeth into it, let it clog the arteries, and die a peaceful death with a big grin of satiation on the face.

When Miriam Black touches you skin-to-skin she instantly is privy to very personal information about you. She knows how you die. She lives the event within her mind. Now whether she tells you or not, that’s a whole ‘nother ballpark. If she does decide to tell you, you’ll likely either not believe her or if you do, it’s already too late. This is the case as you turn that first page and enter into Miriam’s life. You are immediately thrust into her world. And after the show is over, Miriam sits back, lights herself a cigarette, and writes. Dear Diary: I did it again. Continue reading

Split Book Review

Split by Swati AvasthiImage result for split by swati avasthi

Jace finally stands up to his father but only after other things have built up all around him and he can no longer hold in his rage. In doing so, he gets kicked out. His mother barely able to give him any loving words to carry away with him, hands him an envelope which leads him to Christian. Continue reading

Evil at Heart Book Review

Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain

Image result for Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain

I fell in love with Archie Sheridan and his obsessive disorder with the Serial Killer Grethen Lowell in Chelsea Cain’s first book Heartsick. Sweet heart, Cain’s second installment was a little less nail-biting but still carried me all the way to the end with its sometimes predictable events. I totally loved the reporter Susan Wards active presence in the second novel. So when Evil at heart came around I was thrilled to have both Archie and Sheridan resuming active roles in Cain’s third installment.

With Evil at Heart the reader continues to follow Detective Archie Sheridan’s dangerous and obsessive ways only this time from inside the walls of a mental ward. He is in hiding. He feels safe here. And he believed Gretchen when she promised she wouldn’t kill (from book two) anymore. Continue reading

Room Book Review

Room by Emma Donaghue

Image result for Room by Emma Donoghue

‘Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. “Was I minus numbers?”‘

Wow! Yep, I’m going to say it again. WOW! This novel was extremely powerful. In fact, it is probably the best book I’ve ever chosen from the Kroger magazine & book rack! Donaghue went above and beyond to show her expertly crafted writing skills and creative magic prose with the  writing of this novel.

Meet Jack. Jack is a brilliant little five year old boy. He loves reading his books, playing games with his Ma, and of course he enjoys watching TV. But Jack is different from any other boy because he has spent his entire life in one tiny room. He shares this room with his Ma and a mysterious man who he calls Old Nick. Room is all he knows other than his Ma. Continue reading

From A Distance Book Review

From A Distance by Tamera Alexander
Book review
Overall Score: 7/10

A Timber Ridge Reflections Book 1Christy Award Winner, Best Historical Romance

Elizabeth Westbrook enters Timber Ridge, Colorado set on taking the perfect picture. One which will help her become an established photojournalist in Washington, D. C. However, Elizabeth is living in 1875, a time in which headstrong, career-minded women were not looked upon too kindly. Knowing this, she withholds telling the fine people of Timber Ridge just what exactly brings her to their small, quaint town.
Finally she finds the perfect scene and takes a picture. She knows this picture is the one. Moments before she can even ponder further into her future standings with her home newspaper she witnesses an event which causes her to lose all she has worked for. And Daniel Ranslett is all to blame.

Daniel offers to make good on a promise to help her find another scene worth capturing even though he doesn’t know that she needs the picture for her job. All he knows is the woman has a passion and a hobby for taking pictures. But Daniel is a gentleman and one who always honors his word.

When Elizabeth happens to take a picture of a scene that might hold the key to solving a murder, she puts herself in danger. Someone else knows that Daniel is always good for his word and requests he repay a debt which will take both Elizabeth and Daniel on a journey; a dangerous journey.

While battling the elements of nature as well as of those non-natures related, they find out just how much their lives are intertwined in ways they never would have imagined.

Although I am not passionate about historical novels, Alexander help my attention in this Christian genre colonial times novel. It was heart-felt and was hard for me to put down at times. The description of not only the inner workings of photography in the 1800’s but also of the ways people lived back then were hands down the best I’ve ever come across.

Alexander created a Elizabeth. She was a head-strong women but was made realistic in that she had her demons in the closet as well as weaknesses that she could do nothing about other. All the characters were well played and the dialog was sensational. Alexander definitely knew how to give the reader the perfect balance of description and conversation.

For the most part I would say this book was perfectly written. The only drawback I felt in the storyline was the threatening manner in which the lead characters were forced to take a journey. It was somewhat confusing exactly why it was so urgent to go on this journey. Perhaps if I were to read it a second time it would make clearer sense for me. Still the story, and the subplots, were excellent and well-crafted.

Overall Score: 7/10

 

 

 

 

I’d Know You Anywhere Book Review

I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
Book review
9/10

Eliza Benedict did not always go by Eliza. She changed her name after she was fifteen, after her abduction. Eliza is a happily, married wife and mother. She doesn’t live in the past. She moved on the…best she could. Still, she can’t help wondering why her abductor, after killing an unsolved number of young girls, let her live. But she was fine without any answers. Like I said, she doesn’t live in her past.

However her past catches up with. Walter Bowman, her abductor, who is about to die for his crimes, sends her a letter after seeing her picture in a magazine article. Now he wants to talk to her and isn’t letting up. What does he want? And is Eliza ready to dive back into the shadows of her past.

What I liked best about this book: Laura Lippman draws the reader in. She writes elegantly while introducing us to people in such amazing ways. She shows the reader just how it would feel to be kidnapped while at the same time how one can grow past those horrors. The characters, for example, her husband and children are given enough voice to not overpower the main storyline while still adding all the crazy chaos of a wife and mother’s life.

Lippman also gives the reader an opportunity to consider the varying sides of the death penalty without being showy or preachy. She writes with an expert speed with her dialog and descriptions. And most important, to me anyway, is that the ending was perfect. This book will not let you down. It will draw you in and hold you there, urging you to turn the next page until the very last.

My Score 9

Still Missing Book Review

STILL MISSING By Chevy Stevens

Book ReviewImage result for still missing by chevy stevens
Score: 9/10

In one moment, Anne O’Sullivan, a 32-yr old real estate agent, finds her life forever changed when she is abducted from an open house she is hosting. The reader doesn’t come in on this scene. Instead, we get to read as her experience is told to her therapist one session at a time.
Her life before the event was similar to the everyday normalcies of life, sprinkled with shadows of a horrific event in which her father and sister were killed in an automobile accident when she was just a child leaving her mother and herself to continue on with their lives. Continue reading

Devil by J. Paul Stephens

Devil by J. Paul Stephens

Image result for Devil by J. Paul StephensBook Review:
Score 8/10

Magdalene has been single for too long. When she meets James at a party she is both excited and cautious at how forward he is in his conversation. He immediately asks her out again and she accepts. The story thrusts the reader forward through lessons that she has learned.
We soon realize that James is one of those bullies who abuse their women. Magdalene is forced to do some pretty awful things on her birthday when James gives her a ‘gift’.  She suffers through the experience and even dissociates herself from the scene. After the birthday gift is given and James has his way with her yet again, he tells her that he expects her to resign from her nursing position.
James has now taken away from her every aspect including home, family, money, and now job. He owns her and she belongs to him and only him. She is now trapped in a constant state of humiliation and is prepared to die from his abuse.
Continue reading