Review: Alive (The Generations Trilogy #1) by Scott Sigler

Alive

A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.

Alive is one of those books which the premise alone made me drop everything else I was reading to start reading this book. I had read very few reviews on this book, and the author has requested that very little detail about the book be given. I don’t think I’m the sort of reviewer that reveals spoilers in books, but I have to admit that I struggled while writing this review in fear of giving too much away.

This is my first book by Scott Sigler and the first book of The Generations Trilogy. I love dystopian novels and that drew me to this story. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed as I started to read and recognize themes very similar to other famous dystopian novels. This is not a bad book, and although the story is interesting and fast paced the storyline is not very original. I’m looking forward to the next books in this series, and hopefully a departure from these familiar dystopian themes.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Alive/Author: Scott Sigler/Genre: Dystopian/YA / ISBN: 9780553393101/Publisher: Del Rey/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Indelible by Peter Helton

Indelible

Chris Honeysett agrees to do an exhibition at the prestigious Bath Arts Academy together with several other artists to celebrate the Academy’s thirtieth-year anniversary. Shortly after arriving at the Academy, and against his better judgement, he takes on a position as a tutor. Several peculiar incidents start to happen leading to the death of one of his fellows and Honeysett being framed for murder.

Indelible is a mystery novel by Peter Helton. It is the sixth book in the Chris Honeysett series. My local librarian recommended me this title after an afternoon chat about my love for Agatha Christie. The front cover of the book even describes the characters of this book as Agatha Christie-like. But were they really? I’m not so sure. They were extremely quirky and the general feeling of the book reminded me very much of Christie’s novels, but what I really liked about this book was the amount of humor it contained.

Chris Honeysett is a great character! He is both a painter and a private detective with a self-deprecating sense of humor. He is probably a better painter than a PI, but his dialogues are pretty funny. There is also a significant amount of information about art and painting. The author has a fine arts degree and he uses that knowledge very well in composing the story. The end did not disappoint, but I found the early chapters were a bit too slow for my taste, and it took me a while to get into this book.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Indelible/Author: Peter Helton/Genre: Mystery / ISBN:9780727884237/Publisher: Severn House Publishers/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) By Juliet Madison

Sight

When Savannah wakes up after two months in the hospital, she sees a whole lot more than expected, things that could put those close to her at risk.

Three months after being discharged from the hospital, Savannah Delcarta and her family start a new life in the town of Iris Harbor. The change is difficult at first, but Savanna and her four sisters share a lot more than sisterhood and friendship in common. All five sisters have paranormal abilities. Savannah has the gift of sight, Serena the gift of sound, Sasha the gift of scent, Tamara the gift of taste and Talia the gift of touch. When the sisters get together and hold hands, they are able to predict the future using one of those senses.

When a serial arsonist terrorizes Iris Harbor, the Delcarta sisters rely on their senses to find out who is behind the mysterious fires.

This is book one of the Delta Girls series and I absolutely LOVED it! The story is awesome! Savannah is sassy and kind and the plot is well-developed. I really had a great time reading it. It was a nice, enjoyable afternoon read. I liked that there was the right amount of adventure, romance and suspense weaved in the story. Because this is book one, not all the characters were as developed as Savannah, but we get an introduction to her sisters and mother as well. I’m definitely looking forward to the other books in the series, and to learn more about the Delcarta sisters.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 14, 2015.

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Book Details:

Title: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) /Author: Juliet Madison/Genre:Paranormal/YA / ISBN: 978162681550-6/Publisher: Diversion Books/Rating: 4-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm where anyone can play along.

Indelible

I love Agatha Christie, so I was more than excited when my local librarian suggested this title to me. Today’s Teaser Tuesday sentences come from Peter Helton’s novel Indelible. An Agatha Christie-like mystery with a bit of Monty Python humor to it. When laid-back painter and private detective Chris Honeysett accepts a role as tutor at the Bath Arts Academy, he had no idea that a series of peculiar events resulting in the death of one of his fellow were going to land him prime suspect in a murder investigation. Who is framing him, and why?

Someone deliberately tried to electrocute her? Your Mrs Kroog talked me into giving a spiel on my work up there but I’ve gone right off that place. It’s creepy and crumbling and right by the forest. I bet the trees move by themselves. And I don’t like the sound of your wild man of the woods, either. Be careful up there, hon.

Don’t worry, I’m a painter. What could possibly go wrong? Anyway, the place is crawling with police. Needham is here. Already grilled me a bit. But I’m only half done, apparently.”

If you liked this teaser, add this book to your TBR list.

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Summer Reading Programs

Summer is just around the corner and parents start wondering how to keep their little ones occupied during the summer months. My kids are no stranger to reading programs. Every summer our library system in Nevada runs some sort of reading challenge or activity for children.

This year we found Barnes & Noble’s version of a reading challenge called Imagination’s Destination.

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For every eight books your child reads and records in the Reading Journal, they’ll get one free book from B&N’s collection.

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This has been a great incentive for my kids who were less than enthusiastic about getting another plastic medal from the library. They are hoping to turn in as many journals as possibles in exchange for more free books. 😉

Review: Constant Fear By Daniel Palmer

Constant Fear

In Daniel Palmer’s electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy….

Jake Dent lives with his diabetic teenage son Andy in the town of Winston, MA. Andy is a computer geek and part of the Shire–a group of hacker kids who steal money from rich people’s bank accounts to give to charity. It’s all nice and fun until the kids hack a drug cartel’s bank account and steal millions of dollars. When the drug dealers stage a chemical spill at the school and take the children hostage; Jake an ex-baseball player turned Rambo, goes on a race against time to save his son and the rest of the kids.

I really enjoyed Daniel Palmer’s new thriller Constant Fear. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but it certainly kept me interested. The story is really well-written and the book has a great premise. The characters were well developed, but I found some of the chapters with descriptions of the guns and ammo to be a little too long and boring. Overall, I definitely recommend this thriller.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 26, 2015.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Constant Fear/Author: Daniel Palmer/Pages: 416/Genre: Thriller/ ISBN: 9780758293466/Publisher: Kensington/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Enchanted April

Title: The Enchanted April

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim

Pages: 222

Genre: Fiction/Classics

ISBN: 9780143107736

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Rating: 4-Stars

Read: May, 2015

Four very different women take up an offer advertised in the Times for a “small medieval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April.” As each blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring, quite unexpected changes occur.

This is a lovely book by Elizabeth von Arnim! Four women decide to leave their dreary lives in London and rent a villa in Italy. A delightful afternoon read, and a great homage to friendship and most importantly, the power of traveling and how transformative it can be in our lives. I love Arnim’s descriptions of the landscape, the scenery and the flowers. I love flowers and I could almost smell them on the pages of this book. My only complaint, and the reason I didn’t rate this book 5 stars was the husbands’ part in the story (without giving too much away). I would’ve let them out completely and glorified the power of female friendship. Overall, a fantastic read.

I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. The new edition of this book is scheduled to be published on June 2, 2015.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

Broken+Promise

Title: Broken Promise: A Thriller

Author: Linwood Barclay

Pages: 488

Genre: Crime/Thriller

ISBN: 9780451472670

Publisher: NAL

Rating: 4-Stars

Read: May 2015

After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent…

David Harwood is a widowed father who moves back to his hometown of Promise Falls, NY with his young son Ethan. Life is at its low for David, he loses his job at a local newspaper shortly after moving back and has to move in back with his parents. When David’s mother asks him to take some food to a nearby cousin, he finds out that his cousin Marla is raising a baby. The problem is that Marla does not have a child. David starts to snoop around to try to get to the bottom of the story, and hopefully find the actual mother of the baby. When he learns that the mother of the baby has been murdered, he starts his own investigations, leaning on his experience as a reporter, to find out what happened and what role–if any, his cousin played in the crime.

Linwood Barclay is indeed a master of suspense. Broken Promise was a delight to read. A real page turner. I love the way Barclay developed his characters! The plot was very well written, full of twists and unexpected events. A fantastic thriller! My only complaint was the fact that although the ending was really good, there were a few loose ends that were not explained. I’m hoping there will be a sequel. Overall, it is a great read for fans of this genre.

I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 28, 2015.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Lit-Cube: Book Subscription Box

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Last month I started a subscription with Lit-Cube. Lit-Cube is one of many book subscription boxes available to book geeks and aficionados. I have several friends who subscribe to different types of monthly subscription boxes varying from makeup, skin products, vegan food and doggy treats. I’m always amazed at how excited they get every time they get their box in the mail, so I guess I can say I just couldn’t resist getting my own monthly box.

My first Lit-Cube box arrived yesterday and oh! Was I happy?

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The box took a little longer than I expected to arrive, but it came intact and full of goodies. As soon as I opened the box I found a bunch of fun bookish things as well as a book (YA theme for this month of May).

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Inside the box I found:

I’m so excited about this monthly subscription, and I already added this book to my TBR list. It is like Christmas! I love the surprise factor, and I can’t wait for next month’s box!  🙂

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Do you subscribe to any monthly book subscription box? Any recommendations? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Last Train To Istanbul by Ayse Kulin–Audiobook Review

Last Train To Instanbul

Unabridged: (12 hours and 9 minutes)

Author: Ayse Kulin

Narration: Sanjiv Jhaveri

Release Date: 10-08-13

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Rating: 3-Stars

Listened: May 2015

As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.

But when the Nazis invade France, the exiled lovers will learn that nothing—not war, not politics, not even religion—can break the bonds of family. For after they learn that Selva is but one of their fellow citizens trapped in France, a handful of brave Turkish diplomats hatch a plan to spirit the Alfandaris and hundreds of innocents, many of whom are Jewish, to safety.

Last Train To Istanbul is a beautiful work of historical fiction about two privileged Muslim Turkish sisters–Selva and Sabiha. Sabiha marries a prominent Turkish diplomat, and Selva falls in love and marries a Turkish Jew–Rafael Alfandari. Selva and Rafael are shunned by her family, and move to Paris shortly before the Nazi German invasion in World War II.

What I really appreciated about this novel was Ayse Kulin’s extensive research about that period of history, and I loved to learn about WWII from a Turkish perspective. It’s a beautiful story of hope and courage. Many times WWII books are difficult to read due to the horrible accounts of the Holocaust, but this book kept me very interested and the narration by Sanjiv Jhaveri was just perfect. His accent and all the accents portrayed were essential to the atmosphere of this book.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in historical fiction and WWII novels.

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3 star