Monday, October 31, 2016

Coven

A few month back I added "Coven" to my to read list on Goodreads because I seen Andi O'Connor was the editor and as some of you know I absolutely lover her work.  Then I went to a literary convention here in picture and met up with some author friends.  Imagine my surprise when I see Coven sitting on their table!  They had worked with Andi, and had a short story included in this anthology.  So this book is incredibly special to me for various reason, that aside and people know I will remain completely bias in this review. 

The majority of the stories I loved reading.  So many of them included everything that caught my attention and held me throughout.  Many made me want to find the author and read more of their work. It is a great anthology that introduces readers to fantastic authors like Shenoa Carroll-Bradd and Benjamin Sperduto. I love that it includes a little introduction to the authors before their stories that help readers get to know the author.

I absolutely loved "Across Silence and Darkness" where in order to have a magical gift one must sacrifice something. dr. derryl can turn dying people into animals. His world is shaken when a dying woman asks for him specifically, and quickly finds out how he knows her.  It was such a heartwarming story that I loved reading.

I am not one for anthologies, but   I am happy I bought the book to help support my friends and favorite authors, because I found numerous new authors to completely love.  I give the anthology a 4 out of 5 rating and look forward to looking up some of the other author included in the book.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Tree Spirited Woman

This was a short little book, easily read within an hour or two, that focuses on many aspects of life that we struggle with on a daily basis.  It tells of one woman's meetings with a woman who referred to herself as Tree Spirited Woman.  The narrator(author) spends time with this woman learning her wisdom and knowledge she accumulated throughout the years.  It is a book that makes you look at your own spiritual journey and wonder how you can turn away from the negative things in your life or negative outlook on this and find positive gentle ways of dealing with them such as death and heartache.

While a lot of the things mentioned in this book are things that we have heard before in other forms, but this one puts it in a story format and addresses the ideas in a new light and encourages readers to think about these things differently than they previously have in the past.  I know it has made me rethink some things.  This is one of those books that you will re-read in the future and learn something new each time you pick it up. 

I found it to be a fantastic book to read and enjoyed it.  I am glad I picked it up on an impulse.  I believe I will be reading it again in the near future and see what else I can pick up from it.  I will give this lovely little book a 4 out 5 rating because I actually wish it was longer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

12th Demon

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to review something a little scary.  Okay maybe not too scary, I haven't been able to bring myself to read something from the horror genre, but at some point I will.

On the cusp of the demise of the 13th demon, the 12th demon tries to make his mark and take over 13's territory, but he is not the only one trying to do so.  Raven is a woman with certain skills that make her appealing to those who want someone to wind up "in the gutter" so to speak.  When she is hired to assisnate various members of Kendrick's board she runs into Jonathan Steel and is amazed he is still alive.  She holds a portion of his past that he still struggles to remember.  After seeing her he begins to get more memories back, but nothing concrete yet.  He is working to obtain guardianship of Joshua who makes it his mission to save his girlfriend from people who believe themselves to be vampires and they try to "recruit" Joshua in the process.  With a cast of interesting characters, will Jonathan be able to save Josh, regain his memories and defeat the 12th demon?

There is so much going on in this book that it is hard to pinpoint where to start this review, other than saying there is so much going on in this book.  As a reader you don't know what is happening at times and may find yourself wanting to skip over parts of the book.  Please don't do that because you may just miss something important.  This is the second book in the Jonathan Steel series, following the 13th Demon.  There is enough background included in this story that you don't need to read the first book to understand what is happening.  We are given more to Jonathan's background but still some questions regarding who or what he is, Raven just adds to these questions.

The novel does hold on the readers from the beginning until the end, but I admit there are moments when the story felt like it dragged on and bordered upon the cliche especially with the inclusion of the wanna-be vampires.  Josh continues to be the typical teenage boy and Hennigan does a great job at portraying his characters the way he intends.  I love the way he writes and look forward to reading the next book in the series which is entitled.....11th Demon.  Surprise right?

As for the rating I will give it a 3 out 5 because there were numerous moments when the story dragged on and some of the flashback parts felt forced and drull.  That being said I do suggest this book to other thriller, spiritual thriller, even mystery fans. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Entangled

Graylee was a typical high school student.  Dressed in her own style, tried to do well in school while remaining somewhat invisible.  What makes Graylee special is that she has magical powers, as does her twin sister and several other students in the school, but they are skilled at keeping their gifts a secret.  Graylee was once one of the most gifted among her coven, until one day her gift started to mysteriously not work as well.  Then suddenly and unexpectedly Gray passes away, and through the loving attempts of her mother to get her back, Gray ends up sharing the body of her twin sister.  Every other day Graylee is herself and the other days she is her sister.  The days when she is herself she strives to find out the answers to her death and magic.  The answer is not something she expecting and shakes her to her core.

I was hooked on this book straight from the beginning.  It was really unpredictable and found myself genuinely surprised at the end.  Jefford tells a great tale of magic and the bonds of friendship and dangers of jealousy among those with magic.  Entangled is the first book in a series and I will be sure to read the other books to see what happens to Graylee and her sister Charlee.  I loved the character of Graylee and could see myself being friends with her in high school, Charlee is the exact opposite of Graylee and Jefford does a fantastic job at distinguishing between the two girls once they begin sharing a body.

There is a lot happening in this book that sets the stage for future books.  It is a great start the series and gets readers interested in the storyline.  I am excited to see what else will happen to Gray in the future books.  I would recommend this to young adults and mature adults who enjoy a good fantasy novel.  I could also see this novel being made in a movie gaining a strong fan-base.  The rating, is a 3.5 out of 5 because I think Jefford could have done more with the character of Raj and made him a little more bad-ass rather than the brooding young man with a crush on Gray.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Heart of Evil

I have read a few of Heather Graham's novels in the past and have enjoyed a great deal of her books.  When I picked up this novel, I had such high hopes for it, but those hopes feel real short.  The story focuses on Ashley Donegal, who's family plantation is known for dining, atmosphere and legends.  They play host to re-enactments from the Civil War.  After one of these enactments a corpse shows up in the same situation.  She turns to a team of paranormal investigators which includes a previous love interest.  As the continue to investigate they find secrets buried deep within the plantation.  Will they be able to unravel these mysterious secrets. 

I found that this book seemed to fall short of the other books that I have read by Heather.  In this book the ghosts interact with the characters which is something that I have seen in the other books, but in this one it seemed everyone could see the ghosts not just a select few which seemed to take away from the feel of the book.  There are to many of them and the are too prominent in this book.  It is better when there is only one or two ghosts in the book but not a whole bunch.  It almost felt like being spoon fed everything rather than learning and developing as the story developed.  I almost didn't finish the book I felt so cheated. 

I have a huge fan of Heather Graham and have enjoyed many of her books in the past, I am dumbfounded at how much I disliked this book.  The writing almost did not feel like it was Heather writing it.  It felt completely different from the other book which had so much mystery and thrills in it where this one was almost predictable.  The romance in the book was incredibly cheesy and unrealistic.  The novel completely drags on and feels like it goes no where,  it so relentlessly slow that it took me months to read it rather than the day it normally takes me to read a novel.  I kept walking away from it, not feeling compelled to read it.  I kept with it because I had hoped it would get better, but it didn't.

While I would recommend Heather Graham's novels to other mystery lovers and those who like a paranormal aspect to their stories, I don't think I would recommend this one.  Sadly I give this novel a 1.5 out of 5.  This was far from one of Heather's better novels, and I do know they get better because I've read other books in the series.