Posted in 2018, Books, Reviews

“Grave Visions”: A Book Review

Grave Visions Alex Craft annoyed the crap out of me.

Not the writing, not the author, not the plot, not the setting, not the other characters in “Grave Visions”. It is Alex Craft herself.

I’ve been mulling it over for a couple weeks and I’m not sure if the author is doing it on purpose now that we know Alex is fae (it’s not a spoiler if it’s on the book jacket). She’s not fully human so maybe her priorities and actions don’t match up with human values.

I thought about going into why I think she is being selfish, stupid, annoying and hurtful with each major decision she makes. But, then I realized I was just getting upset with her all over again and I need to let it go.

Great book with a main character that I wouldn’t want as a friend, coworker or even enemy.

 

Posted in 2018, Books, Reviews

“Before the Storm” : A Book Review

Before getting into spoiler territory here is a little Before the Storm (World of Warcraft) by [Golden, Christie]

TL:DR Review

Nice, easy read but don’t bother if you aren’t a huge World of Warcraft fan.

Spoilers Ahead. Beware!

The theme of opposites coming together with horrible or explosive results jumped out at me.

The King devoted to the light is paired up with the Queen who yearns for shadows and quietude. When their forces meet in an attempt to find common ground it ends up with a seemingly inevitable conflict and the deaths of many involved.

An estranged husband and wife from opposing factions are brought back together. After a rough reconciliation they literally end up on top of a bomb.

Life and Death are brought together in the form of the forsaken. People who have died but were brought back to some kind of life in decaying bodies. They are most cut off from their former lives and families and struggle to find a new way to exist.

Since this is a book that is part of a larger universe, the chances that anything significant will happen to the characters was minimal. We know who survives the conflict and who doesn’t.

I finished the book thinking I knew more about the characters and their thought processes than I had before. But that doesn’t mean I agree or even understand them.

The Horde side warchief still remains an enigma to me. She seems like a study in opposites within herself. Ultimately, I was left with little understanding of what her goals or motivations are. She describes her own sense of honor as ‘somewhat fluid’.

On the other side, the Alliance king seemed almost too simple in his motivation to find peace and have everyone reconcile. While he seems to be taking the his role seriously and willing to fight for it, he also seems blind to some of the realities of his world.

In the end, some blanks have been filled in as I start playing the Battle for Azeroth expansion that launched this month. There are still so many blanks and questions left that, while I’m glad I read the book, I may be slightly more confused about some of the story than when I started out.

 

Posted in 2018, Books, Reviews

“Death and Daisies” : A Book Review

Death and Daisies Book Jacket
Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower

There was something much more relatable to within the story of “Death and Daisies” than the other cozy mysteries I’ve read.

Now, I don’t need a book to have characters I can personally relate to in order to love the book. But when it does happen, it creates a different kind of mental bond while I’m reading.

Fiona is trying to make her way in a new country while her family is less than thrilled about it. And, just because they all technically speak the same language in her new home, the barriers are real.

The immigration makes up a relatively small part of the book. A large part was the flower shop opening. I appreciated that she was facing some real challenges. I believe that some other writers might have taken a hand-wavy approach to this kind of shop opening and made it seem like starting a business is super easy when you are a basically good person.

The magic garden was a tantalizing place and idea that I wish had played a larger role. While the book is very clear that the garden has magical properties, the perception of the garden seemed to play a larger role than the garden itself.

I was left wanting to see more of the story happening in the garden. But with Fiona opening a new shop it made sense that the story might focus more of the action in town.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel and would read future books in the series. Who actually “did the deed” left very little impression on me compared to the characters themselves and the setting which is fine by me.

I appreciate that NetGalley provided me with a copy of the book to review. I don’t believe this changed my opinion of the novel any more than if I had checked the book out of my local library.

#DeathAndDaisies #NetGalley

Posted in 2017, Books, Reviews

“Trouble in Mudbug”: A Book Review

Mudbug

Trouble in Mudbug may not hit every check box for a label of ‘Cozy Mystery’ but it is where I would shelve it on my bookcase.

While there was one cringe worthy sex scene the majority of the book was what I’d expect. There was the kooky best friend, the love interest who is both insanely hot and part of law enforcement, a back story of a love/marriage gone wrong, the substitute parental figure, just enough paranormal to affect the plot but nothing so powerful that it is of any real use and a heroine who is smart, self sustaining, needs to solve a murder and somehow grow into her community.

The only ‘cozy’ things that were missing was the description of an excessively cutesy town and a pet. Given that the town itself is named Mudbug I can forgive the first one and for reasons I don’t want to spoil, the lack of a pet made sense too.

What I couldn’t get over in Mudbug was Maryse’s job and the way it handled the science going on in the background. To be clear, this is not a science heavy book and I am always OK with a bit of hand waving in fun mystery/romance novels. What irked me was that none of the obviously ridiculous things needed to be there, the plot and story could have been carried out just fine if a little more care had been taken with that aspect.

Maryse is supposed to be a character who is throwing herself into her work at the beginning of the novel. Her apparent incompetence at her job throws a wrench into believing this fundamental part of her personality. It kept yanking me out of the story as I either mentally or literally found myself rolling my eyes.

This was so close to being a 5 star book for me. The pervasive mistakes in the big details had me seeing stars flying off the page even as I kept reading because I really wanted to know who did the deed in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2017, Books, Reviews

“On the Island”: A Book Review

OnTheIsland

On the Island felt like reading a slightly raunchy Hallmark Channel movie.
There was polish, a clear story line, and the characters 

were always the dead center of what was going on.

But there was a lot of hand waving over details, the backdrop was murky, and
characters had their lives simplified down to borderline stereotypes.

The way the story skimmed along the edges of the plot and lack of depth is what makes this a rather forgettable book for me. But, I also don’t regret or begrudge the time I spent reading it.