Monday, April 28, 2014

Time To Die by Sabrina Sims McAfee

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Miss McAfee and the publisher for this opportunity.

Time to Die is a story about a cop who is trying to catch a serial killer. In the process of investigating Sergeant Ginger McCormick not only becomes a target for the killer, but meets up with an old flame.

I really enjoyed the part of the story that involved investigating the serial killer. I think Miss McAfee did a good job of keeping the reader guessing who was involved in the killings. I liked the way she delved into the psyche of the killer as well as Sergeant McCormick's psyche as she investigated as well as why she (McCormick) went about her investigation.
What I didn't like was the way she tried to incorporate all the cussing and the sex. The amount of cussing the the number of times the F-word was thrown around was ridiculous. It made it difficult to get through the story trying to wade through all the f-bombs. While most of the characters are of African-American decent, Miss McAfee conveyed through her writing that most African-Americans could not converse without dropping the F-bomb every third word. Personally. I was offended and I am not African-American.
About the sex: I read books with sex in them, it doesn't bother me. But the way Miss McAfee described her sex scenes made me feel dirty. I liken them to porn. It was dirty, nasty, and unreal and it felt like it was over half the story. I honestly felt like I needed a good cleansing shower after I read the book.
If Miss McAfee had stuck with the mystery part of the story, i would have really enjoyed this book. As it stands, I don't recommend this book. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I received The Kiss of Deception as an ARC for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Pearson and McMillan Corp. for this opportunity.

I am going to do something a little different. I am going to give my synopsis of this book.

This is about Lia, a princess who is a "first daughter" of a first daughter of Morrighan. Every first daughter of Morrighan is supposed to have the gift of "sight", the ability to see what is going to happen in the future. Lia's mother had the sight, but Lia does not. Her father, the King of Morrighan, has made an agreement with the king of a bordering land. Lia is to wed the prince in exchange for a truce. Lia is not happy with this arrangement. She wants to marry for love. But she also does not agree with her parents deception. They are letting the other king believe she has "the sight". Unhappy with her fate, Lia runs away on her wedding day. She and her maid run to a faraway village to live. They stay with the woman who raised Lia's maid. Lia gives up her life of luxury and becomes a barmaid. She is happy that she is her own woman. 
One day two handsome men ride into the village. Unbeknownst to Lia, one is the jilted prince and the other is an assassin from a land of people enemy to her people and the prince's people, sent to kill her. Both men show interest in her. She is somewhat torn between the two men, but leans more towards one.
When one of her brothers comes rushing into the village where she is hysterical, telling how his beloved, pregnant wife was murdered in his arms, she sets off to go back home to fulfill her duties. She has quite an adventure, as she is kidnapped by the assassin and taken to his land far away to be turned over to his leader.

I enjoyed this book. It was not what I expected. I was expecting a story about a princess who runs away and is found by the prince and they fall in love. Well it was so much deeper than that. For me it was intriguing. Miss Pearson used a multi-voice approach. She told the story form different characters' points of view. At times she took each chapter and used it to tell the story from a different character's voice. But it never got confusing, instead she would back track a little from the previous chapter to tie the story together and then go forward. I enjoyed the way she wove the relationship between Lia, the prince, and the assassin without letting you know which male character she was talking about. It kept me trying to figure out who was the assassin and who was the prince. 
I also liked the way she made Lia human. She didn't create a typical spoiled, little rich girl. She developed a fighter and survivor. She made it easy to connect with each character. Her writing is so effective that I found myself rooting for all of them. Miss Pearson's ending was a good cliffhanger. She definitely makes you want to get the next book so you can find out what happens next.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

THE WORD EXCHANGE by Alena Graedon

Official description:

In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted "death of print" has become a near reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are essentially things of the past, as we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but have become so intuitive as to hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of our stomachs, change traffic lights and interface with home appliances--even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language(NADEL), where they are hard at work on the final edition that will ever be printed. Doug is staunchly anti-Meme and fondly remembers the days when people used e-mail to communicate--or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving behind a written clue: ALICE. It's a code word he and Anana devised to signal if one of them ever fell into harm's way. And thus begins Anana's journey down the proverbial rabbit hole . . .

Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana's search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways, the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library, secret meetings of the mysterious "Diachronic Society," meetings with executives of the corrupt corporate behemoth Synchronic, and ultimately the hallowed halls of the Oxford English Dictionary--the spiritual home of the written word. As Ana pieces together what is going on, and more and more people succumb to a pandemic "word flu" that causes decaying language, 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Let me start by saying I was very interested in this book by the description: dystopian society, mystery; it intrigued me. But OMG, I have never had a book that I could not get through the second chapter; until now. This book is boring and confusing. It makes no sense. I got lost with the plot going from chapter 1 to chapter 2, as well as who was telling the story.
For me, this book is mostly about the author letting the world know that she knows a lot of big words. Now, I have a Bachelor's degree, so I am educated, but I literally felt the need to go to the dictionary for at least 2 words per page. It is very hard to enjoy a book when you can't understand a large portion of the writing.
This book was not for me. I need a book where I understand at least 95% of the words. If you are a literary major or really enjoy learning new words, then this book is for you. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ICED by Karen Marie Moning

Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1; Fever, #6)

Official description:
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be. 

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux. 

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

First off, I have to admit that Karen Marie Moning (KMM) is one of my favorite authors.  ICED  is the 6th book in her FEVER series. This is a story about Dublin after the wall went down from Dani's perspective. Dani is a 14 year old sihe-seer who can move so fast she calls it freeze-framing. Dani is still on the cusp of childhood/adulthood. She understands what sex is, but it still grosses her out. She has Christian, a druid-turned-Unseelie Prince and Ryoden, a supernatural being who nobody knows who he is, fighting over her. But Dani is oblivious to the fact that that they find her attractive, that she calls to them on a base-level. But all Dani really cares about is killing Fae, keeping her city safe, and staying free.

KMM lived up to my expectation! I was tickled to be able to go back to the FEVER world. I did miss Kayla and Barrons, but I understand that this was about Dani and she needed to keep it about Dani. She brought the FEVER world back just the way it was in the previous 5 books. Only in this one she progressed it a little bit more. She left it opened for more about Dani and with the ability to combine Dani's world with Kayla's world.
Dani's character is so well developed that you can't help but love her, get frustrated with her, and understand why she is the way she is (after her past is explained). Her youth is never in question-and while some other reviewers complain that having 2 grown men after a 14 year old is sick-nothing inappropriate ever happens between Dani and the men interested in her.
I loved this book as much as the last 5 and will continue to read this series. If you decide to read this book (which I highly recommend), be aware that reading the previous 5 are pretty much a necessity to understanding what is going on in Dani's story.
If paranormal romance/apocalyptic world intrigue you, you really need to read this series! Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Win the Rings by K.D. Van Brunt

Win the Rings

Official description:
The most valuable weapon that the U.S. Army possesses aren't guns, bullets, or tanks. They're kids-trained kids...lethal...special. Jace is one of them. She has been the property of the U.S. Army since they found out about her when she was five. But Jace is not the only one of her kind. Gray is one too, but with the help of his sister, he has spent most of his sixteen years hiding from the Army. 

Now, the Army has found out about Gray and they cannot allow him to roam free. Operating on the theory that it takes one to catch one, Jace is send out with a special ops squad to hunt Gray down. But Jace is not the only one pursuing Gray, and the competition is after her too. What ensues is a desperate chase through city after city as duty and honor collide with love and sacrifice.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Thank you Mr. Van Brunt for the opportunity.
I can describe this book in one word: AWESOME!
I really wish I had started reading this book on the weekend, Then I would not have had to put it down. I was intrigued to find out the story behind the title. Bringing a piece of Roman history into his story was very smart. It helped me to better understand the motivation behind Jace.
With my military background I was excited to read that the setting started in Fort Meade, a place I have been, but I also gained respect for Mr. Van Brunt when I read his adherence to military protocol through out the story-in as much as possible considering the story contained teenagers in the Army. 
I normally do not like stories that bounce back and forth between characters' perspectives, but Mr. Van Brunt did an excellent job of keeping the story line congruent. I never became confused about what was going on with which character. 
His characters were developed so well that I was able to develop a type of relationship with each character. Jace went from being a cold, heartless soldier to a born leader, to a teenager with feelings determined to save herself and others like her. Gray went from being an immature boy who listened to his sister, but really wanted to rebel any way that he could within reason, to a strong young man determined to save his sister and help her finally live and normal life. 
I found myself anxious to read the next chapter, wanting to know what was going to happen to the characters next. I pretty much liked everything about the book. The only think I disliked was that the book ended and I have to wait for the next book to come out to find out what comes next.
Mr. Van Brunt has earned himself a fan who can't wait to read more of his work!
I highly recommend this book. Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Joshua Effect by P.S. Meronek

The Joshua Effect by P.S. Meronek

I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads contest.

A portion of the official overview:
The rooftop reception on the skyscraper in lower Manhattan is an elegant and festive affair right up until the moment the murders occur. With the lives of sixty-three of his friends and business associates snuffed out in one horrifying blink of an eye, the wealthy and enigmatic Jonathan Strickland boards a dangerous roller coaster ride of a lifetime in this clever, nail biting who-done-it.
Following the nebulous clues left behind at the scene of the terrible crime, Strickland finds himself kidnapped and taken to a clandestine meeting in the middle of the foreboding Syrian desert beneath the ancient ruins of one of the oldest civilizations known to man. The lines between good and evil blur as the suspect list narrows.
Strickland races against time to find the invisible killers who have even more horrific carnage in mind; they call their sinister plan the Joshua Effect.

When I read the overview of Mr. Meronek's book, I was excited. I was expecting a story full of adventure and suspense. Unfortunately I was unable to finish the book. I tried very hard to finish reading it. I finally put it down for the last time on page 235 of 251 pages.
I was very skeptical when I read some of the reviewers that wrote that they did not like the book in part because they did not like the main character. That to me is what makes a good writer. The fact that Mr. Meronek could elicit such feelings for an imaginary person screams "talented" to me.
What pulled me into wanting to read this book is that the story is relevant to what is going on around us right now. I was intrigued by his take on what could possibly happen, what motives he would pull out, and how a billionaire could pull off what most of our Federal Agents couldn't.
I enjoyed how he gave a brief but thorough description of Strickland-how he came to be who he is and what defined him as an adult. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I did not find Strickland to be anything other than what we expect wealthy people to be. Yes he was arrogant, somewhat selfish, and acted like he was above anything because he had money. But, that is a wealthy person for you; and those people are not only found in the U.S.
While Mr. Meronek is a gifted writer, this book was not for me. I can not say it was good read or a bad read. I would, however, recommend it to friends who are interested in this type of story.