Book Review: No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Author: Cormac McCarthy
Pages: 309
Published: July 11, 2009 (First Published January 1, 2005)
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Rating: 5/5

This is the third book I’ve read from McCarthy and he never ceases to disappoint. A crime thriller that follows a man named Llewellyn Moss when he discovers the left overs of a heroin deal gone bad in the desert. Now on the run from both parties involved, Llewellyn has to decide if the decisions he has made thus far are worth it.

Told through multiple points of view, No Country for Old Men was absolutely fantastic. I had a little difficulty getting used to the writing style McCarthy used in this novel as he wasn’t a huge fan of punctuation. But after the first chapter it became increasingly easier to read and I flew through it. If it weren’t for McCarthy’s work I don’t know that I would ever have picked up novels with a western US setting. Now I’m hooked.

I loved this one.

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Book Review: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Author: Lisa Genova
Pages: 292
Published: December 16, 2014 (First Published July 6, 2007)
Genre: Contemporary, Psychology, Adult Fiction, Medical
Rating: 5/5

One of the most difficult things I’ve ever read. I picked up Still Alice for a project during graduate school and never expected to love it as much as I did.

Alice has been a linguistics professor for Harvard for years. Known as a prominent academic and strict mother, Alice and her husband are well known in their fields. One day while jogging, Alice forgets where she is. This starts a downward spiral of forgetfulness, mistrust, and eventually leads to a career ending diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. While Still Alice is a work of fiction, this novel read too much like a real life account of what someone may experience with this diagnosis.

Told entirely in Alice’s perspective, the reader follows Alice as her world crumbles around her and she struggles to find a way to cope with being treated like a child by her friends and family.

Gut wrenching and brilliant, Still Alice is a fantastic novel that I highly recommend.

Book Review: Ask the Dark by Henry Turner

Author: Henry Turner
Pages: 256
Published: April 7, 2015
Genre: Mystery, YA, Thriller
Rating: 4/5

Billy is known throughout his small town as a trouble maker. But now that his father told him they might lose their house, Billy is doing everything he can to make money in time to save it. That is, until boys start going missing.

Billy has his hand in a few odd jobs around the town, but has been so focused on saving his money that he didn’t realize he had uncovered clues to who was kidnapping the boys. That is, until he is confronted by the kidnapper.

Ask the Dark will take you on a crazy journey with Billy and his family as he tries to change the towns opinion of him, save his family home, and solve a kidnapping/murder at the same time.

I really enjoyed this story but sometimes the dialogue took me out of it. At one point near the end Billy is engaged in a sort of inner monologue that felt a little too cliched. But overall I highly enjoyed reading about Billy. Henry Turner wrote the entire book almost in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way where the reader is inside Billy’s head.

This mystery novel will keep you guessing up until the end. A fun new read for any thriller fan .

Book Review: The Silence by Tim Lebbon (ARC)

Author: Tim Lebbon
Pages: 400
Published: April 14, 2015
Genre: Horror
Rating: 5/5

One of the creepiest novels I’ve ever read. And the only novel to make me tear up.

I was sent an ARC for review from Titan Books.

The Silence is the new horror novel from Tim Lebbon that is sure to give you the creeps.

Ally is a teenage girl that wants nothing more than to be a journalist and she’s found a new story to follow. After a cave discovery in Moldova is broadcast on the news, both Ally and her father Huw become intrigued. While Ally is home with her brother, mom, and grandmother, she turns on the Discovery Channel to watch the live feed of the explorers at the cave site. While away on a business trip, her father Huw has done the same thing. Unknowingly they are both about to see something horrifying that will change their lives forever.

Now as the monsters that have been unleashed from the cave are making their way across the world, Ally and her family must decide if they want to stay in their home and wait it out, or try to make it to Huw’s parents old vacation home in Scotland.

No one knows what the monsters are. The only facts that have been shared about them with the world are that they are killing people and they hunt by sound. For Ally’s family this presents a challenge unlike what most other families will experience since Ally is deaf and her family can communicate through sign language.

Follow Ally and her family as they fight to survive in Tim Lebbon’s new fantastically terrifying novel, The Silence.

This novel was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed every second of it and am now completely hooked on Tim Lebbon’s writing. The Silence is the second sensory deprivation novel that I’ve ever read and that’s partly what made it so terrifying. This is also the very first novel I’ve ever read that made me tear up. Which says a lot about Tim Lebbon’s ability to create characters that the reader can relate to. I highly recommend all horror fans read The Silence and gave it a much deserved 5/5.

Book Review: Ice

Author: Jessica Wren
Pages: 121
Published: September 29, 2014
Genre: Thriller, Psychological, mild Horror
Rating: 5/5

That was fantastic.

Minterville is a strange little town. Half of the population of the town has the ability to speak psychically to each other while the other half can’t. But after two new families move into the town, things began to change.

Elliot is a high school student that begins to realize something is wrong when women start disappearing from the town. After contacting his Uncle Andy who is the police chief and hearing that even more women have been reported missing, Elliot takes it upon himself to begin investigating. What he uncovers will shock everyone in the small town of Minterville and lead to the biggest massacre to ever take place there.

I was sent this novel for review from the author and could not be more satisfied with it. Even though the book is only 121 pages, Jessica Wren managed to pack a ton of world building and character development into an action packed psychological thriller that was beautifully screwed up and kept me grasping for more.

Ice was incredibly entertaining and the writing style this author has is fantastic. Easy to read with very strong storytelling abilities. She’ll be an indie author to watch for years to come.

Book Review: Crystal Deception (Crystal #1)

Author: Doug J Cooper
Pages: 400
Published: October 10, 2013 (First Published September 15, 2013)
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Rating: 4.5/5

Really need the next one now!

Crystal Deception is the first installment in the Crystal Series by Doug J. Cooper and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This story follows a few different characters as they prepare for a potential battle in space against the Kardish race that have been lingering just outside of Earth for decades without making a move. Juice, or Dr. Jessica Tallette, has been tasked with creating a new generation of AI crystal that can help navigate and control Earth’s army space ships. As a result, Juice creates Criss.

Criss is locked in his own prison and must make the ultimate choice to save the human race or take off on his own.

There were a crazy amount of layers to this novel and I couldn’t wait for the next big plot point to hit to see how the main characters would react. The author did a fantastic job of world building and character development. I will absolutely be reading the next book and anything else that Doug J Cooper decides to write in the science fiction genre. This was fantastic.

Book Review: Santa Claus vs The Aliens

Author: James Cardona
Pages: 120
Published: October 5, 2014 (First Published January 1, 2013)
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, YA
Rating: 3/5

This is my second time reading something from this author and I wanted to love this story as much as I loved Under the Shadow of Darkness, but unfortunately I didn’t.

Edwin is a little boy staying in a boarding home run by nuns. He has a friend there named Frankie, if you could even call Frankie a friend since he is more of a bully than anything else. Edwin has a family that loves him and would like him to move back home, but he doesn’t feel comfortable doing that ever since his dad got re-married.

Edwin carries a ring with him that his father gave him before coming to the boarding home and never really thought much about the ring until one night when he accidentally got his blood on the ring. After that Edwin began noticing that these strange gray men were following him everywhere and he couldn’t escape them.

One of the many times that Edwin is on the run, he bumps into Santa Claus at a local department store while Santa is on his break from taking pictures with little kids. Soon Santa and Edwin realize they have a lot more in common than they thought and now Edwin has to decide what family really means to him.

This was a cute story, but I had a few problems with it. The first problem was the amount of run-on sentences in this book. At times there were entire pages with only one or two sentences. It definitely kept taking me out of the story and felt more like an oversight than anything else.

The second problem I had with the story was the age of Edwin. Edwin is supposed to be a 14 year old boy, but it definitely read more like Edwin was younger than that. To me the story made more sense if I believed Edwin was really 10 or younger. Again, a minor problem.

The final issue I had with the story was the random religious bits thrown in at the end. They felt completely out of place and I’m not really sure why they were in the story.

Those three things combined made me give the story a 3/5. Overall though I really did enjoy reading about Edwin and Santa. I thought it was a cute idea for a story and definitely one that I could see myself enjoying if I had read it when I was younger. James Cardona is a fantastic fantasy/science fiction writer so it’s a little strange to see a shorter story by this author have more issues than his longer installment in the Apprentice Series.

Book Review: Seed (Keepers of Genesis I)

Author: DB Nielsen
Pages: 432
Published: May 7, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Rating: 3/5

Seed is book one in the Keepers of Genesis series by DB Nielsen. I read this book as our first pick for the Indie Book Club.

Sage and her twin sister have grown up immersed in a world of history. Their father has worked for museums their whole life and his job has taken them around the world. While visiting her dad in the museum, Sage stumbles into her father’s office only to discover that her father and a group of other museum workers hovered around a strange looking artifact on her dad’s desk. After quickly shooing Sage out of his office and then punishing her when he got home from work, Sage decides she has to go back to the museum and find out more about what she saw.

The mysterious St. John Rivers works for her father in the museum and had a pretty strange introduction to Sage where he began reciting Shakespeare to her. Sage and St. John then embark on a journey together through London uncovering secrets to a world Sage never thought possible.

Now to be honest, I had a lot of problems with this novel. The biggest problem was also the best part of the novel which was the amount of historical detail. After about 30% of the novel I began only reading the dialogue and yet still felt as if I wasn’t missing anything.

Another issue I had with the novel was the main plot. It felt incredibly jumbled and a little too radical for me. At one point I realized that I was rolling my eyes every time something new happened because it became too unbelievable. Now I understand that this is a paranormal world and thus things extend beyond the typical range of beliefs, however, this felt like it was reaching.

The writing was excellent and I did enjoy reading about the characters, but a lot of the main plot points kept taking me out of the story and if it weren’t for the book club, I’m not sure that I would have finished the novel. =/

However, even with all that I will continue on with this series because I do want to see where the author will take Sage’s character.

Book Review: The Core (Equilibrium Series I)

Author: Kate Thomas
Pages: 157
Published: February 10, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, New Adult
Rating: 4/5

This was amazing.

The Core is the first installment in the new series from fantastic author, LA Starkey aka Kate Thomas. The Equilibrium Series kicks off by introducing readers to Ellie and her mysterious boss David. After Ellie walks into David’s office and finds him covered in blood, Ellie is convinced she works for a murderer.

Ellie enjoys her job with David, but somehow has no idea what her boss actually does for work. After discovering David in her apartment one night, Ellie begins to think there might be more to her boss than just insanely good looks.

Now I have to admit, this story is again not something I typically go for mostly because it falls into the “new adult” category. However, this. Was. Amazing.

Kate has once again proven that she can create incredibly detailed and layered paranormal worlds that pull the reader in within the first few pages. At first I was really against the idea of David’s character, but by the end of the story I couldn’t get enough. The Core was a fantastic beginning to this series and I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment.