Scarlet's Web

 

 

"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be - I had a mother who read to me."

Review: Bone White by Ronald Malfi

Bone White - Ronald Malfi


I would like to thank Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

There was a lot to love about Bone White but I found myself losing interest somewhere along the line. It started off great and I was thoroughly enjoying it but it slowed down nearer the middle and I wasn't as invested in the story as I had been up to that point. It's not that I was bored, I think the suspense was overshadowed by the main characters initial lack of direction once he reached the town of Dreads Hand and the repetitive way that every person in town seemed to treat him. The build up stagnates and meanders along for too long and although it does pick up again the dread and suspense never recovers enough for the ending to be as satisfactory as it should have been.

 

That being said, the writing was great and the descriptions of the surroundings were vivid and easily pictured in the mind's eye. The atmosphere really drew me in and the feeling of the cold and isolation of the forest came across well. It's just a shame that the middle section of the story didn't work for me.

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

Review: Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

Gather the Daughters: A Novel - Jennie Melamed

 

I would like to thank Headline for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

Gather The Daughters was a middle of the road read for me. The premise was interesting but it never quite reached its full potential. It didn't have the impact that it should have considering the subject matter. I wanted it to get under my skin but instead, I found it to be predictable and I was left rather disappointed.

 

The characters came across as carbon copies of each other. There is quite a large cast of young girls in the book and there was only one who stood out from all the others. Things did pick up character wise a little later on in the book but by then it was too late.

 

All in all, it was ok. I'm not sure I would recommend it though.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter


I would like to thank HarperCollins UK for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I have yet to pick up one of Karin Slaughter's books and be disappointed. The Good Daughter had me completely engrossed from start to end. There are so many fascinating layers to the plot, there's always something going on and the pages couldn't turn fast enough. Every time I thought I had all the information, another layer was revealed and it got better and better with every page turn.

 

The characters were complex and well developed, they were living, breathing, real people and I was right there with them throughout. I shared their pain, their fear, their anger, and their sadness. I can honestly say that I loved everything about this one.

 

Definitely one I would recommend.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

Review: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights - Kathy Reichs


I've been a fan of Kathy Reichs for years and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Temperance Brennan series so I was looking forward to Two Nights. Even more so when I learned that it was a stand alone, but I have to say, I was a bit disappointed.

 

I didn't particularly enjoy it, it held my attention enough that I finished it but I couldn't connect with the main character, or any of the other characters. They didn't feel real, they were just names on the page and not very likeable at all. The only thing that kept me reading was the plot. I wanted to know how it played out, but even then it was more out of curiosity than need.

 

Not one I would recommend.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

Review: Savage Jungle by Hunter Shea

Savage Jungle: Lair Of The Orang Pendek - Hunter Shea

 

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

Natalie and Austin McQueen set off on another adventure following on from their revenge on good ole Nessie. Like Loch Ness Revenge it's one that's not to be taken too seriously and just enjoyed for what it is. It's a fast, fun, and easy read. It's every bit as enjoyable, humorous, fast paced, and as cheesy as the previous instalment, with lots of madness, creatures, action and adventure.

 

Well worth a read.

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

Review: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

 

 

As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, Kindred was chosen by Enya

Kindred is her third pick from the jar this year,

her previous picks being The Exorcist and Middlesex

 

 

 

I went into this expecting it to blow my socks off as I've seen many people raving about it, but that's not what happened. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, it was engaging, the plot was great, and I flew through it in no time, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

 

The writing was simplistic and easily readable. It didn't require much concentration or dedication to get through and I wasn't expecting that. I don't know if I am disappointed because my expectations were too high, or because the author approached the important topics of race relations and slavery using such simplistic language and writing style.

 

I went into it with something more complex in mind, a deeper hard to read story and message, but I feel it was overly simplified and somewhat dumbed down in order to entertain or make it a lighter read. I highly doubt it was used as a plot device for entertainment purposes, but at times it felt that way. Perhaps it's a victim of its time, had it been written more recently this wouldn't have been the case as today's readers are more open to the truth of the brutality and realism of slavery.

 

The above makes it sound like I didn't enjoy it, I did and I'm keen to read more by Octavia Butler, but I'm left with questions. The time travel just happens, there's no explanation given for Dana being pulled back in time. How was Rufus able to pull Dana back to his time? What effect did her interactions with her past relatives have on her present timeline, family, and bloodline?

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

Another DNF - See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done - Sarah Schmidt

 

One for the DNF pile. I can't get into it at all, every time I pick it up I find myself becoming bored and I have to try and force myself to keep reading in the hope that it will improve.

 

I just don't care for the characters. There's nothing likeable about them in the slightest and I honestly couldn't care less what happens to them or where their stories are heading. I'm not a fan of the writing style either. Definitely not a book for me.

 

It's taken me 5 days to read 26%, time to admit defeat.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

Review: Gork, the Teenage Dragon: A novel by Gabe Hudson

Gork, the Teenage Dragon - Gabe Hudson

 

This is a DNF for me. I'm not a fan of the writing style, it's rather juvenile and reads like someone's high school English homework. The humour wears off very quickly, there are only so many times "my scaly green ass" can be found humorous or used as a descriptor. There was so much repetition throughout the book that it started to get on my nerves. At times it felt like every other sentence started with "Now, ..."

 

Not a book I would recommend.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

Review: A Life Removed by Jason Parent

A Life Removed - Jason  Parent

 

Yet another excellent book from Jason Parent. This was a lot of fun to read and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was engrossed from start to finish and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. The characters are well written and fully fleshed out and there are plenty of twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. The descriptions were vivid and at times had me cringing but I couldn't look away from the page.

 

A Life Removed has a wee bit of everything that I enjoy: crime, thriller, police procedural, action, and horror, and there is plenty of each to please every reader. It never ceases to amaze me how well Jason Parent can meld different genres together and produce something that is a lot of fun to read rather than a hot mess.

 

The only mistake was mine... I picked it up late at night and ended up awake into the wee small hours because I kept having to read just one more page...

 

Definitely one I would recommend.

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

Review: Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

Just Add Water - Hunter Shea


I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

Just Add Water was a lot of fun. Pure unadulterated trashy 80s horror kind of fun. It's packed full of blood, gore, and dark humour and was a blast to read. It's not a book to be taken seriously, but one where you have to just have fun with it and enjoy for what it is.

 

That being said, I was tearing through the pages and thoroughly enjoying myself and then all of a sudden was completely pulled out of the story. I initially thought it may have been a case of me reading too fast because I was having so much fun, but on re-reading it I discovered quite a silly inconsistency that should have been easily caught during editing. Up until that point, I had been having a riot and loving the ridiculousness and the chaos but I had been reminded I was reading and my immersion faded.

 

I did still enjoy the book a lot, it's just a shame that something that should have been easily caught and fixed during editing ruined the flow and immersion so early on.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

Review: You Will Grow into Them by Malcolm Devlin

You Will Grow into Them - Malcolm Devlin

 

I would like to thank Unsung Stories for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

The world is a far stranger place than we give it credit for. There, in the things we think familiar, safe, are certain aspects. Our fears and desires given form. Moments that defy explanation. Shadows in our home.

In Malcolm Devlin’s debut collection, change is the only constant. Across ten stories he tackles the unease of transformation, growth and change in a world where horror seeps from the everyday. Childhood anxieties manifest as debased and degraded doppelgängers, fungal blooms are harvested from the backs of dancers and London lycanthropes become the new social pariahs. The demons we carry inside us are very real indeed, but You Will Grow Into Them.

 

 

'You Will Grow into Them' is a solid selection of short stories. The stories are varied and different and have a dark unsettling undercurrent. The author's writing style is engaging and draws the reader in, he manages to give the reader just enough information to get the story across while at the same time leaving room for the reader's imagination. This allows the reader to fill in the gaps and to embrace the strangeness and fantastical and let their imagination run with it.

 

While I didn't find them to be scary, I did enjoy the strangeness and unsettling feel of them. They made me think, had me reading between the lines and contemplating the effect and affect, and the reasoning behind what was taking place. I can't say I was a fan of every story in the collection, some stood out more than others. My two favourites in the collection were 'Her First Harvest' and 'We All Need Somewhere to Hide'.

 

As a whole, I would say that 'You Will Grow into Them' is a 4 star read. I did, however, rate each story individually as I read through the collection and you can find those ratings below:

 

1 - Passion Play - 3 stars.

 

2 - Two Brothers - 3 stars.

 

3 - Breadcrumbs - 4 stars.

 

4 - Her First Harvest - 4.5 stars.

 

5 - We All Need Somewhere to Hide - 5 stars.

 

6 - Dogsbody - 3.5 stars.

 

7 - Songs Like They Used to Play - 2 stars.

 

8 - The Last Meal He Ate Before She Killed Him - 2 stars.

 

9 - The Bridge - 3 stars.

 

10 The End of Hope Street - 4 stars.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

 

This new book shop is bad for my bank balance! It's impossible to walk past and draws me in every time. I go shopping with my daughter to buy wool and come home with wool and books now.

Review: The Wicked by James Newman

The Wicked - James R. Newman

 

I received a free copy of The Wicked via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

 

Well, that was a lot of fun. The Wicked is everything that I loved about the good old fashion trashy horror novels of the 80's. It's a bit of a car crash. It's cheesy, it's gruesome, it's fast paced, it's your stereotypical good vs evil horror, but that's why it's so good. It's a roller-coaster ride that blasts through the doors of every ghost train and haunted house in the park without allowing you to catch your breath in between. There's no fancy prose, no heavy wordy detail, no pages and pages of world building or character building. It's straight up horror, no bells or whistles and I had a blast reading it.

 

Definitely one I would recommend.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

Review: The Night Brother by Rosie Garland

The Night Brother - Rosie Garland


I would like to thank HarperCollins UK for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

The Night Brother is a unique and unusual read and is unlike anything that I've read before. It's also a book that is hard to discuss without spoilers so this review will be rather brief and to the point.

 

At its heart, The Night Brother is a historical fiction novel but it also has a touch of magical realism and fantasy. It explores both gender identity and fluidity, and sibling rivalry. The plot was original and unique and the writing style appealing, but the overall concept wasn't clearly explained in the end.


I did enjoy it, the authors writing was engaging, it was a pleasure to read and it easily held my attention, but I am left with lots of questions. For example: Why was this happening to Edie and Gnome? Is it a curse placed on them and their family? Who placed it, when and for what reason? If it wasn't a curse then what was it? Was it medical? Psychological? There's was no clear explanation given. Had there been then this would probably have been a 4 star read for me but the lack of explanation knocks it down to 3 stars.

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

So much for getting peace to sit in the sun with my book. There's no escaping this trio.

Review: The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis

The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics) - Robin Jarvis


I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I somehow managed to miss this author's books as they were originally released many years before my own children were of age to read them. Last year I happened across his newer series, The Witching Legacy and have since read both books one and two and loved them. So when I saw this one I was eager to delve into it, especially as it's set in Whitby like the newer books.

 

The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun. It was full of adventure, imagination, and danger. I was completely swept along with the characters and their story. The writing was easy to read and the world was vividly described. It was wonderfully dark and atmospheric and a lot of fun all round. Everything was so easily pictured in my mind as I read. It was like being a child all over again, reliving that wonderful sense of adventure, danger and anticipation.

 

The only negative aspect, and it's not something that's particular to this story alone but something that seems to be a trend across many children's stories and books and something I'm more aware of now as a mother, is the fact that the majority of villains or bad guys in children's stories always seem to have some kind of disfigurement or disability. They are always "ugly" scarred or disfigured in some way. Why are we portraying this kind of message to our children? How a person looks doesn't portray whether they are good or bad. Beauty is only skin deep, the outside does not reflect who a person is on the inside. "Monsters" can look just like everyone else and just because someone isn't what most would class as "normal" it doesn't make them the bad guy to be feared. Perhaps that is too scary of a concept in truth for children but it's reality. Anyway, I realise this is a more general comment and not something particular to this book alone but it's something that I found myself contemplating after finishing this one so I wanted to comment on it.

 

All in all, The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series now.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

Currently reading

Artemis by Andy Weir
Time of Blood (The Witching Legacy) by Robin Jarvis
It by Stephen King
Progress: 227/1376pages
The Fibromanual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor by Ginevra Liptan
Progress: 29/384pages

Professional Reader Frequently Auto-Approved Reviews Published
Congratulations on being auto-approved by 4 or more publishers--only 2% of our community members have earned this badge!

Challenge Participant 2016 NetGalley Challenge