While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Hull's Landing by James Melzer

Thanks to the author for letting me review this one.

About the Book

Nestled deep in the heart of Pennsylvania is the small borough of Hull’s Landing. While it may seem like just an ordinary place, The Landing holds a secret so dark, that there are those who will do anything to protect it.

For decades, young girls have been disappearing like clockwork. While some have their suspicions, the entire town lives in fear; and for good reason. When Rita Clemens, a former member of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, decides to make her new home in Hull’s, she begins to uncover what the locals have tried to keep hidden for so long.

As the race against time begins, Rita will have to do everything she can to protect herself, and to save a child’s life, before one of the world’s oldest evils can be unleashed.

Hull’s Landing is an original novella from the author of ESCAPE, and is Rated R for violence, adult situations, and language.

For more information about James Melzer please visit his website.

You can purchase a copy of Hull's Landing on my Amazon Store.

My Review

This one was a bit difficult for me to read given the subject matter. I have never been abused in any way, and I can't imagine what kinds of feelings are associated with it. The book was really good, but it is a bit graphic and it took an emotional toll on me to read it.

I did like this one. Like I said the subject matter was difficult to read, but the story was really good. It did take me a while to read, as I had to put it down a couple of times and get my head away from it. But I always came back to it because it is such a compelling story.

Rita was an awesome character. She's a take no s**t from no one kind of woman and when she realizes something's up in Hull's landing she won't stop until she figures it out. Her questioning of the locals puts her at odds with many of them, but she just keeps digging. And while I felt that she could handle herself towards the end I felt nervous for her because I kept feeling like she was going to push the wrong person and end up in a horrible situation.

I really liked this one and I will personally be looking for more of Melzer's work. However I do have to warn that this book is not for the faint of heart and deals with a very mature subject matter. I can usually read any subject without having to step away from it, but this one is very strong. It's not offensive (at least I wasn't "offended") but it was hard to read.

Review: After All by Deborah Raney

Thanks to Glass Road PR for letting me participate in this Blog Tour.

About the Book

Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave. A secret that changes everything she thought their marriage had been. For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable? Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence—because her dearest friend was someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls’ fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters who lost their lives that awful November night. Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy? As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

For more information about After All please visit Deborah Raney's website. You can Like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

You can also purchase a copy of After All from my Amazon store.

My Review

I've not had the chance to read the first two books in the Hanover Falls series. And while I think that it would have given me a better understanding of the emotions that were associated with some of the parts of the story I don't feel like I had missed out from not reading them. The book was well written and it gave all the major background information so that I didn't feel lost in what was going on.

I liked the main character Susan. She was a bit naive though. I'm not sure if her naivety comes from the fact that she was so busy with her own life that she didn't have a chance to see what was going on around her or if she was just a naive person. Because she did seem to have things together. 18 months after the death of her husband she's running a homeless shelter by herself. And despite the town's objections to the shelter she seems to be doing at least an ok job with it. I know if I lost my husband it seems like it would take more strength than I have to be almost solely responsible for the lives of so many people. But I also think that her ability to throw herself into the homeless shelter comes from needing something to keep herself occupied so that she's not dwelling on the loss of her husband. As in the few times that she is alone with nothing going on her mind does seem to wander to her husband.

The story had quite a bit going on. There was a budding love story, some mystery, and tons of emotions. I didn't get a good sense of who most of the other characters really were, and I would have liked to have a bit more insight into Peter and even Susan's son Davie. But overall the story was good and it kept me hooked. I finished it in one day as I was just so drawn into everything that was going on.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Drawn to Injustice by Timothy Masters with Steve Lehto

Thank you to Steve Lehto for sending me this book for review.

About the Book

Timothy Masters was a lonely, troubled teenager with a penchant for gory artwork when he first saw Peggy Lee Hettrick…

…her dead, mutilated body nearly frozen in the early morning of Fort Collins, Colorado. Not believing it could really be a dead body, thinking he was the victim of yet another prank by his abusive classmates, the fifteen-year-old didn’t go to the police—but they came to him. So began a decade-long investigation led by a relentless detective who was sure that Masters was the killer, even without a shred of physical evidence.

Against all reason, a conspiracy of silence and circumstantial evidence eventually put Masters behind bars. Only the determination of a lone investigator who believed the young man was innocent would reveal the shocking truth, and free Masters after ten years in prison.

This is the compelling true story of one life ended in blood and murder, one life ruined by coincidence and prejudice, and justice long denied but finally found.

You can purchase a copy of Drawn to Injustice on my Amazon Store.

My Review

 It's hard for me to review this one without judging what happened to Timothy Masters. He was accused of a murder he clearly didn't commit and was convicted because a detective didn't want to admit he'd made a mistake?!?!?! I know that kind of stuff happens more often than we know of, but it just killed me to read this story. Throughout the entire thing I just wanted to smack the detective and the prosecutors that were working on this case.

Having said that the story was really good. It was filled with suspense, I think it's because we obviously know how it ends, and all the major plot twists, but I wanted to know exactly how these things played out. With each new chapter I couldn't help but try to figure out what was going to happen in that chapter. It really made me not want to put this one down. I just wanted to keep reading because I wanted to know how this all happened. This one would have made a really good fiction book. Master's life had so many twists in it that I kept thinking to myself "I can't believe this really happened". But it did, which is so sad.

The writing was really good too. Everything just flowed. The writing was more like a conversation than a report or a listing of facts. That's a weird way to describe it, but it was just so easy to read, it felt so natural. I liked that Masters gives us a peek into what was going on in his head while all of this was going on. I can't really imagine going through what he went through, but having his "commentary" made it at least a little more understandable.

This is a well-written book about a horrible tragedy and how it ruined one man's life. It sickens me that this happened, but I'm glad that Masters had the courage to put his story out there. It was enjoyable to read and it brings light to a flaw to our justice system that likely still claims victim today.

Just a note: my copy was an ARC. There are supposed to be some pictures in the final release, these were not included in the ARC.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: The Sara Chronicles Book 2 - Evolution of Us by L. Hughes

Thanks to Reader Spoils and the author L. Hughes for letting me review this one!

About the Book

What Happens When Magical Powers Can't Be Turned Off?
A year after restoring the balance of good and evil to the magical Land of the Keepers, young Sara, James and Thomas are laying low -- living separately to protect them from the vanquished members of Garren that they helped defeat. But it's not the only danger they face. Suddenly, the magical powers they possess begin to possess them. Sara's the first to notice: her powers now include the ability to control weather. But as she begins to use them, the powers run amok, leaving a trail of freak snowstorms and record heat waves. Meanwhile, people around them are mysteriously disappearing; simply vanishing into thin air.
Now, the three of them must reunite in the Land of the Keepers to learn to control their awesome powers and fix whatever is stealing people away. It is there they discover there is much more to their enemy, the hate-filled Garren, than they realized. The battle is just beginning; and before it is over, someone will have to pay a very high price to keep several worlds safe.
Packed with adventure, this second entry in The Sara Chronicles is a fast-paced and savvy fantasy thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the shocking finale.

You can purchase a copy of The Sara Chronicles Book 2- Evolution of Us from my Amazon store.

My Review

I'm not sure how to approach this review. I liked the book. It had a good plot, there were some twists that made it very interesting. The characters were well developed, I liked Sara - she was compassionate and reminded me of myself. The dialog was a bit off for me. I had a hard time of keeping track of who was saying what and had to keep going back and re-reading to figure out who was talking.

I really did like Sara, she was a good person. I would have liked to have read the first book so that I had a more complete picture of Sara, but Hughes did a good job of keeping the reader informed about the background that was missed from the first book. I didn't get a great sense of understanding of the rest of the characters, but I wasn't turned off by it. I think with all that was going on in this one that it would have deterred way too much from the story to go into much detail about the other characters. But I could tell that there was a great connection between the characters, which was central to the story.

I liked the setting of the book. It was neat to see the characters interact with the environment they were in. Olie seemed to have the most control, but being that he was the elder of the group and (if I'm perciving the story right) the leader that brought them all together. Hughes does a great job of describing the wonderful world of the keepers. I could picture beautiful landscapes and buildings, even when the Garren were part of the picture the world around them still seemed so beautiful.

The story itself is very fast paced. It reads quick and moves quick. There's not really any "lulls" to the story. Once it gets going, it keeps moving till the end. And it takes off pretty close to the beginning of the book. It jumps through most of the parts that would have slowed the story down. These times aren't just gone, there is an explanation as to what is going on during the "jumps". So I didn't feel like I was missing anything. The story is full of adventure. There's so many battles with evil and within themselves that I was on the edge of my seat through most of the book.

My only issue was the dialogue, but there was so much more to this one that made up for that. I will be reading the next two in the series for sure, and I'll probably get my hands on the first one so that I can get a fuller picture of the wonderful world Hughes has created.