The Meg and The Trench by Steve Alten

The ocean isn’t a place that I frequent. It isn’t that I don’t like water or that I can’t swim. I like watching storms come into the beach. The waves getting higher and higher..the grey clouds rolling towards the shore. The sound of the thunder and waves crashing against the shore is beautiful and relaxing. However, I am not a fan of getting on a boat whether it is big or small. You can’t see what is beneath you. There are so many things that are underneath the water that could eat you. I don’t think that my healthy fear of getting eaten in the water is going to be cured by reading The Meg and The Trench.

Summary: A Megladon is enticed out of the Mariana Trench and all the chaos happens. It includes chomping on a lot of people.

What I like: The pacing of the story was fast and I really appreciated that. Alten’s writing reminds me of Crichton’s. There is science mixed in with fiction that could make you scratch your head and wonder whether there could be something to it. The male characters are well written and full fleshed out. The stories were fun and there was a lot of people chomping happening, which is always my favorite part of shark books. I really enjoyed the parts of the books that were written in the POV of the Meg and Angel from The Trench. There is an addition to the story that I really appreciated and it made my heart happy but you need to read it to find out what it is.

What I didn’t like: So here is my only problem with the Alten’s writing…the way he portrays a lot of his women. I believe that he is trying to write a strong woman character but it doesn’t work out well.

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

My Thoughts: Besides the issue I had with the way female characters are written I loved the chomping. I loved many of the aspects of The Meg and The Trench. They are awesome creature feature palette cleansers.

The Shatter Point By Jon O’Bergh

I love haunted houses at Halloween. They have always been one of my favorite things about Halloween. Going through a dark maze with different scenes or a pop-up skeleton. Every once in awhile something comes across my email about extreme haunts. I’ve always been intrigued but it isn’t something that I really wanted to do. The Shatter Point by Jon O’Bergh brings a little of the haunt to you….

Summary: The story follows the lives of three different characters and what happens when they reach their breaking point.

What I liked: I liked the premise of the story. I enjoyed some of the backstories of the characters. I enjoyed O’Bergh’s writing style.

What I didn’t like: I feel there were elements of the supernatural that needed to be explored. The pacing was very slow throughout the novella. With the length of the novel I would have expected the pacing to pick up towards the middle but alas this didn’t happen. The ending felt a bit rushed. I didn’t feel like all the story lines were complete. There was talk of certain things that had happened but they were not completely explored which left me feeling a bit hollow.

Star Rating: 3

My Thoughts: I really wanted to like the story but due to the pacing and the build up I found that my mind was wandering. I appreciate that O’Bergh trying to weave all these stories together but it didn’t quite work. There were a couple of story lines that I wasn’t sure of why they were left in as they really had no bearing on the outcome of the story. As this story was over 100 pages we really need to make the pages count towards the climax of the story.

Bury the Lead by Cassondra Windwalker

With the advent of the term “fake news” I have been wondering where do we draw the line. What’s real…..what’s not real? Who can you trust and you can’t you trust? Is there  line where the news is publishable and or not publishable? What is true and what isn’t true? Bury the Lead explores this issue in a new and unsettling way.

Summary: A newspaper editor begins a social experiment using his newspaper and embedded advertising.

What I liked: After finishing Bury the Lead I had a deep and unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach. Just like a thriller should. Windwalker’s writing delivers this unsettling feeling with flair and style. Her writing is witty and biting. The storyline was pertinent to what is going on in society today. The ending was deliciously dark and left me scratching my head. I loved that the ending wasn’t laid out on a silver platter. It left a bit to my imagination and with a surreal feeling which was perfect for what I wanted.

What I didn’t like: Nothing there was nothing I didn’t like about Bury the Lead.

Star Rating: 5

My thoughts: I finished this quickly but I wanted to really to sit back and think about this story. And it has been a few days and I am still thinking about this book.

Sinners by Christopher Graves

” The thriller is the most popular literary genre of the 20th century.” Ken Follett. I love a good thriller. One that will make your heart hammer in your chest and get the ole adrenaline going. When I was offered the chance to review Sinner by Christopher Graves I jumped at the chance.

Summary: A centuries old cult still has one person that is doing their bidding against the women of Pennsylvania.

What I liked: I read Sinner in one sitting. Once I started it I couldn’t really stop. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The story was one wild ride from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. I liked the cult aspects to the story I found that it added a bit of spice to what could have been a average thriller.

What I didn’t like: I found the main bad guy to be a bit formulaic. The ending felt rushed. And honestly I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. I don’t like everything to be all roses in thriller endings but I do like some closure unless it it a series.

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

My thoughts: I love the cult aspect of the story. But some parts of the story really felt formulaic. Which I do have a problem with. The ending was open ended which in this kind of thriller leaves me a bit bleh. It feels like something else should have happened at the end of the story. I just felt a bit deflated. But that is just me. But I appreciate a good cult story as much as the next person.

A big Thank you to Smith Publicity for sending me a review copy for my honest opinon.

What Should Be Wild a novel By Julia Fine

” The woods are wild, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep….” – Robert Frost. As a child I lived in Colorado for a couple of years. On the weekends to keep me occupied and out from under my mother’s feet, my father would take me up into the woods and teach me about trees and animals. But even in the light of day with my father, who at the time was as big as a giant, there was something deep and dark just out of sight. I think my Nan told me too many fairy stories….changlings and what not. But even now, as an adult when I have been alone hiking in the mountains near our home there is still something just a bit sinister. As soon as I saw the synopsis for What should be Wild I knew I needed to read it.

Summary: A child with a very particular gift is raised on her family estate by her father near the deep dark woods.

What I liked: The story was fresh and interesting. It didn’t really take me where I thought it was going to go and I really appreciated it. I was very pleasantly surprised. I liked how the families mythology was intertwined with the story. The non main characters where three dimensional and well written. And for reasons I can’t discuss the main character was not, at least that was how I read her. It fit very well with the story. The setting was well written and I enjoyed the descriptions.

What I didn’t like: I felt like the end was a bit rushed. It was the end of the story and then a blurb on the last page. It felt a bit abrupt to me. I would have really like to know the country this book took place in. I can’t tell you like reasons because spoilers. But knowing would have helped with specific parts of the story.

Star Rating: 4.75 Stars

My thoughts: I loved What Should be Wild until the last couple of pages. When I finished I was like are you serious!!! The ending was good but I found it lacking in one aspect. I find something terribly interesting with this book and I am sure that it was written that way but there are subtle feminist themes that run through it. They weren’t in your face but rather subtle and woven into the story and I really appreciated that. This is defiantly a would have bought and enjoyed book. I wanted to hug it when I was done.

Release Date: May 8th 2018….

As always a big Thank You to Harper Collins for sending me a copy for review.

The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace

” i’m not ashamed to say i’m my first priority” I don’t read a lot of feminist writings. However, this book of poetry really speaks to me at a very deep level. There are so many different aspects to this book of poetry. The one that resonates the deepest within in me is self worth. I am more then a step-parent, employee and significant other. I am me. With all my flaws which are many. Bt I am my priority.

Summary: Poems….This is hard to describe. I don’t want to say just poems but they were so much more then feminist poetry.

What I liked: I really enjoyed this book of poetry. Many of the themes such as loving yourself and making yourself a priority really resonated with me. The layout out of the book I loved it was interesting and visually pleasing. The cover was spot on and I truly enjoyed the simplicity of the cover. Lovelace’s writing is poignant and timely.

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about Lovelace’s writing.

Star Rating: 5

My thoughts: Lovelace’s writing is fantastic and raw. There is a lot of emotion between the covers of this book.

Follow You Down By Michael Bradley

I like a good thriller. One that makes you kinda look around the corners or keeps you guessing. My favorites are the ones that aren’t laid out for you. They keep you guessing until the very end. Unfortunately, they don’t all keep you guessing.

Summary: Follows a weekend where 4 school friends get together to say good bye to their old summer camp.

What I liked: Bradley’s writing style is really good. For example; I hated the main character.  I am pretty sure Bradley wrote the main character to be unlikable. In the first chapter I was like ohhhh he has a unlikable protagonist. I truly like when writers make the main character unlikeable. It adds a bit of something to the story. The other characters came off as half way likable people. Which lead to well written 3 dimensional characters. The plot of the novel was well written and I liked the way Bradley incorporated flashbacks in the book. It allowed the reader to understand the dynamics of the characters relationships. The pacing of the chapters and the chapter transitions are very good and what I would expect for a thriller.

What I didn’t like: So about 1/4 of the way into the book I knew exactly what was going on. There were really no surprises. The end didn’t even surprise me. I don’t know if I have seen to many plot twist thrillers or read too many.

Star Rating: 4 stars

My thoughts: Let me explain my reasoning behind my rating. This is a book that I would have bought but I would have been disappointed about 1/4 of the way in. As I pretty much knew the plot. The book is well written and the characters are well written my problem was the fact that I guessed the rest of the plot of the book in the first 1/4 of the book.

As always a BIG thanks to Amberjack Publishing for sending me a advanced readers copy for my honest review.