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Barbara Ann RS's Blog (81)

Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave has received much praise since its release, and after finishing the book, I can say that praise is well-deserved. This is one of the best young adult novels I’ve read, blending elements of post-apocalyptic, dystopia, and science fiction into one adventurous, provocative,  and suspensefully gripping reading experience.

When the story begins, aliens or “Others” have already invaded Earth, and their attacks have come in Waves.  When the novel opens, readers…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on November 3, 2014 at 5:11pm — No Comments

Review of The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

One way I can become immersed in the beauty of autumn is through books, vicariously experiencing the season through the story’s setting and characters. One of those novels that does exactly this is Rita Mae Brown’s The Litter of the Law.  The series is set in a small rural farming community called Crozet, Virginia, which is also a real town. The Litter of the Law takes place in October and centers on the protagonist, Mary Minor Haristeen or “Harry” who  finds herself…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on October 4, 2014 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Review of The Bully of Order by Brian Hart

One of the reasons I chose to read this book is because of its setting and time period. The story takes place in the late 1800's in the Pacific Northwest, and Hart paints a vivid verbal picture of the harsh conditions the characters in a mill town called "The Harbor" face daily in their efforts to earn a living and make a home for themselves. In the first chapter, readers are warned about and welcomed into this callous fictionalized by one of the main characters, Jacob…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on October 3, 2014 at 9:48am — No Comments

Review of The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman

 The Angel of Losses is a creative mix of fantasy, Jewish folklore, and history blended together and secretly embedded into the ancestry of one modern-day family.  The plot explores the significance of family bonds, love, sacrifice, and the need for redemption. Feldman packs a lot of subject matter into this book, so it is not a light, easy read.

 In a nutshell, it’s a multi-layered novel that begins in the present with Marjorie’s quest to uncover the truth about her…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on September 16, 2014 at 1:40am — No Comments

Review of Convicted by Dee Tenorio

I was drawn to this book because it centered on the DEA and local law enforcement banding together to take down a lawless motorcycle club and, in the midst of this joint effort, an unlikely friendship between undercover DEA agent Katrina Killian and Deputy Cade Evigan blossoms into a romance. Overall, I enjoyed the romantic aspect of the book but was disappointed in some respects by the level of action and suspense.

One of the most surprising parts of the book for me is the reversal…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on September 14, 2014 at 12:09am — No Comments

Review of Personal Assistance by Louise Rose-Innes

Personal Assistance appealed to me because of its volatile Middle East setting: an Arab nation on the brink of civil war and the book description’s promise of action, danger and romance. The author does not disappoint in regards to the book’s vivid descriptions of this place, its customs, and the barrage of dangers Hannah and Tom face in their endeavors to escape Prince Hakeem’s clutches. Because Hannah has inadvertently discovered secret intelligence that may prove vital in swaying…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on September 2, 2014 at 3:25pm — No Comments

Review of Dangerous Destiny (Night Sky # 0.5) by Suzanne Brockmann & Melanie Brockmann

A Good Teaser to Whet Your Appetite for Night Sky

 

When I started Dangerous Destiny, I thought I would be reading a novella; instead, I consider it to be a compendium of writings to familiarize readers with this series. The prequel begins with a short story that introduces readers to high school junior, Skylar Reid and describes how her friendship with Calvin is forged after they face down a gun-toting fellow student who appears to be delusional, thinking the only way…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on September 1, 2014 at 10:58am — No Comments

Review of Whatever It Takes (Trust No One # 4) by Dixie Lee Brown

 If you read the third book in this series, If Only You Knew, like me, you probably have been looking forward to Nate and Alex’s story because they don’t seem to get off on the right footing when they meet in the latter part of the book, and the sparks between them have already started to fly! Now, in this fourth installment that extends the plot from book three, Whatever It Takes features the continuation of Nate and Alex’s relationship. And I’ll go ahead and say right now…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 27, 2014 at 9:56am — No Comments

Review of The Devil's Fire by Matt Tomerlin

If you like fictional novels about Pirates and their lives on the high seas, but aren’t looking for a romance, I can recommend The Devil’s Fire: A Pirate Adventure Novel, by Matt Tomerlin, the first book in his Devil Fires Trilogy:

Tomerlin takes readers into the raw and gritty world of piracy, and one woman’s struggle after she and her ship captain husband are kidnapped after their merchant ship is overtaken by a…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 24, 2014 at 10:18am — No Comments

Review of Not Quite Dead (A Lowcountry Ghost Story # 1) by Lyla Payne

A Conversational Review of Not Quite Dead

When I write a review of a book, I try to think about what readers would really want to know, and then I incorporate my reactions into a more formal, organized essay-like response.  However, today, I’ve decided to stray from this format, and do a Q&A -style review where I’ve compiled a list of questions I would most likely ask someone who has read the book, so I could determine whether or not I would choose to read it.…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 24, 2014 at 10:17am — No Comments

Review of Target for Terror by L.A. Iding

Target for Terror is has all of the elements that make for a good book: mystery, action, suspense, and romance all bundled together for one sexy, engaging read. Iding is definitely off to a good start with her new series centered on the work of Sloan and Jordan who have partnered together to create Security Specialists, Inc.  The history behind the startup of the company and the backstories of these two heroes are smoothly incorporated throughout the book without readers having too…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 22, 2014 at 10:52am — No Comments

Review of Personal Target (Elite Ops # 2) by Kay Thomas

“Everything is not always as it appears.” –Ernesto Vega, Personal Target

I found this quote spoken by one of the main antagonists to be quite accurate in encapsulating the plot of Personal Target.  Thomas takes the hero, Nick Donovan and Jennifer Grayson, the woman he’s determined to protect down a thrilling, dangerous path that is filled with suspenseful action and a bit of mystery as they face down Mexican cartels, human traffickers, and a barrage of violence…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 21, 2014 at 9:27am — No Comments

Review of Jill McCorkle's Life After Life

In the Afterward of Life After Life, Jill McCorkle sums up the book by saying:

“This novel is a love song to memory and life.”

I think this is an apt and eloquent summation of this moving, insightful look at living, dying, and all that lies between the two.  A quick scan of the book’s description may leave you thinking this is a book about the woes of the elderly as they face impending death and that its tone may be too morbid and dark for your tastes. …

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 13, 2014 at 12:57pm — No Comments

Review of The Horde Without End (The World Without End # 2)

The Horde Without End picks up where the first book ended, with Finn and Ren’s ongoing journey to find Ren’s brother, Collin and her boyfriend, Dustin. The enigmatic Finn is Collin’s best friend and his two main priorities are keeping Collin and Ren alive. After surviving their arduous trek to obtain medication for Dustin, who was injured during their escape from a zombie invasion of their Safe Haven or home in the first book, they must now face the wide open, zombie-infested terrain…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 6, 2014 at 11:17am — No Comments

Review of The World Without a Future (The World Without End # 1)

Nazarea Andrews has taken new adult romance out of the college classroom and moved it  into a post-apocalyptic world where survivors of a world-wide virus outbreak struggle to survive the terror of zombie hordes that surround them. They thought they were safe behind the walls and barbed wires fencing of their Havens, but the hordes have grown much larger in number and the walls are beginning to crumble. No Haven in what's left of the U.S. is safe from the zombies headed their way. If you…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 6, 2014 at 11:15am — No Comments

Review of Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Susannah Sandlin

Susannah Sandlin is off to a very good start in her new Collectors series with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. What made this book so enjoyable for me is the interweaving of a suspenseful plot and setting along with a great cast of memorable characters.

This series revolves around a secret group of rare artifact collectors who are known as “C7.” This group is comprised of uber-wealthy, powerfully connected individuals who compete against each other to see who can be the first to…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on August 6, 2014 at 9:27am — No Comments

Review of Waking Up White: And Finding the Story of Race by Debby Irving

“Whiteness, it turns out, is but a pigment of the imagination.” – Debby Irving

Debby Irving has written an enlightening, boldly honest, and refreshing narrative that describes her awakening to her own whiteness and her personal transformative journey to understand the complexity of systematic racism that is still perpetuated in society.  In the preface of the book, Irving reminds readers how important it is to dismantle racial barriers and inequalities that have become entrenched in…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on July 26, 2014 at 10:40am — No Comments

Review of An Undying Oath by H.K. Savage

An Undying Oath, the first book in what looks to be a planned trilogy, was an enjoyable read. I was drawn to the book because of its storyline: three honorable soldiers serving their country in the Middle East become unwilling test subjects for an immoral, unethical secret government genetics experiment to create the ultimate immortal super soldier.  After escaping imprisonment, Justin, Marcus, and Jimmy refuse to rest until they have destroyed the program headed by a deranged and…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on July 24, 2014 at 8:52am — No Comments

Protagonists Over 40 Can Still Rock: Reviews of Still Life with Breadcrumbs & The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the protagonists in a lot of the fiction I read (excluding YA literature) are always in the age range of mid- 20s-30s.  Why is that? Is it that those middle-aged and above characters have pretty much lived their lives and have nothing worthwhile left to discover, so they are best suited as supporting characters?  Well, I wholeheartedly disagree; older main characters still have plenty of opportunities for growth and change. Their stories can offer us…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on July 20, 2014 at 9:01am — No Comments

Review of Last Day of My Life (Freebirds # 4) by Lani Lynn Vale

I’m a sucker for books featuring heroes who ride bikes, and when you add in a tight-knit group of former military men who run a motorcycle shop and secretly help women escape from domestic abuse, well, I can’t help but be drawn to the story, and this was exactly the case with Last Day of My Life. Although I hadn’t read any of the previous books in this series, based on the book’s description, I thought I would be fine jumping into this fourth installment, and, for the most part, I was…

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Added by Barbara Ann RS on July 20, 2014 at 8:50am — No Comments

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