These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker/Kelly Zekas

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★★★★☆

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Published by Swoon Reads on February 9, 2016
Genres: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural, Abilities, Victorian Era
Pages: 352
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Goodreads

 

Let me begin with saying is this cover not to die for? Most of us often do judge a book by it’s cover as it is something that draws us in and this one does that quite well. Often times we find ourselves misled by a beautiful cover with a mediocre tale inside, this does not do that.

This is set is a beautiful Victorian London, the characters are Austen-esque characters and with a brilliantly strong leading lady. Evelyn starts off bored with the tedium of society, her mother akin to Mrs. Bennet of Pride & Prejudice, does not help matters. Rose, Evelyn’s sister is a lovely charismatic angel that just seems to have a way with people.

The story begins off a touch slow until we meet Mr. Braddock, at once the story hits the ground running with what you may think is going on and what is actually going on. Mr. Braddock seems unlikable, secretive and not one to be trifled with!

Once Rose vanishes, leaving a strange note behind, Evelyn cannot stand for it as she believes she has been abducted. Evelyn springs into action, enlisting her friend Mr. Kent and oddly enough seeking out Mr. Braddock for answers.

The story begins to run, it’s a page turner once they begin looking for Rose and all that happens had me clutching my iPad as I read. By the end I really wanted more, and you can be sure that a second book would surely have me reading.

I truly enjoyed this book. It was fast paced once the real story started, there is a touch of romance in there too, but not overly much and what was in there I felt the emotions which is quite important to me. Over all, a lovely book deserving of the 4 stars!

Stone-Cold Fox by Hailey Edwards

25567459 ★★★☆☆

Stone-Cold Fox by Hailey Edwards
Published by Hailey Edwards on October 31st 2015
Genres: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural, Shape-shifting
Pages: 100
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Goodreads

*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

I must confess I haven’t read any of these books so I was walking into it blindly, but that being said even though I don’t know the back stories this was fairly easy to follow along with. The book explains in dribs and drabs about what is going on or what has transpired.

The book starts off with Mai at a comic con and I really found myself amused at this part because of the Labyrinth references – being a huge Labyrinth buff myself I kept giggling. From there the story moves quickly and Mai winds up abducted by someone she thought was her friend only to wind up in Ryuu’s claws.

It’s a quick moving story and soon we begin to learn some truths and Mai feels her world teetering, unable to grasp at the more reliable truth which is her memories. Things are resolved quickly and there are more Labyrinth references throughout the book which just makes me squee.

It goes by quickly and definitely leaves you wanting more just as it begins to get interesting. It’s a cute, fun, fast read.

The Benighted by A.M. Dunnewin

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★★★☆☆

I received this book in an exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.

First of all, let me begin by saying that this book was nearly a 4 stars for me and perhaps is more deserving of a 3.8 but since I can’t use a “3.8” rating on sites, a 3 will have to do.

I gave it a 3 because while this book is rather good, the writing is done well and the story is intriguing there is one thing above all else that held me back from really becoming engaged in this story – which is the constant shifting between present and past via flashbacks. While the flashbacks themselves aren’t troublesome its that one moment you’re reading a line of the present and the next you’re thrown into a dream state and flashback of what really happened. It takes a moment for your brain to adjust and for me it kind of kept me from really engaging into the story.

HOWEVER, all of this aside I really did enjoy the story and the fact the MC, Skylar Mandolyn, is a strong female character who takes matters into her own hands. Plus, her trusty knight – Harlin – is a strong, sturdy male who is there to support her.

There is a touch of romance but not the sort to make your teeth fall out, it’s a fast paced tale and will surely get you hooked and waiting for the next one. Look out for A.M. Dunnewin!

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

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★☆☆☆☆

There are some books that lure you in with the first few pages and then betray you by suddenly not being at ALL what you thought it was going to be about. Sometimes this can work in your favor and others not so much. This was far from working in my favor.

I should have read more reviews, which I often don’t do because I like to base my own on a book, but there are so many previous reviewers that I agree with.

If you’re looking for a book that has anything to do with Alice in Wonderland please turn the car around [har har har] and go back from whence you came. This is NOT an Alice in Wonderland book like the title suggests that it may be.

This book is as Alice in Wonderland as a tomato is akin to an apple, and there may be more similarities between an apple and tomato, they’re both red for instance, have seeds, are fruit and…. well, this is a review about a book not an apple or tomato. I hope you get my drift.

So why would this book dare to class itself in with Alice in Wonderland? Well, let’s see.. first of all there is no such thing as Wonderland so much as it is “Spiritland” – it takes an outer body experience to a whole new level and that is where the zombies hide, they attack ones spirit and what is done to a spirit is done to a body – thus resulting in a possible death.

Alice Bell suffers a traumatic accident in which her family passes away in and during this time she sees them slaughtered by “monsters” she has grown up thinking her father absolutely mad only to find out he had been telling the truth and his years of training Alice were for good reason. Except now it’s too late, she’s an orphan and is sent to live with her grandparents.

She has to transfer schools and also finds herself being glared at by a dark, hunk of a boy who’s glaring totally does it for her! Cole Holland does nothing but glare and then a few chapters down the road the glaring turns to just cockiness… and from then on its just kind of horribly lame, we’re talking Disney TV movie kind of lame. High School Musical kind of lame.

None of this worked for me and I’m sorely disappointed.. for one, Alice in Wonderland! YES PLEASE.. and two.. ZOMBIES…

Just do your homework folks, if you follow reviewers who you trust… just spare yourself the wasted brain effort, because it is really just that.

The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

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★★★☆☆

I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a delightfully creepy little gem that was found and I rather enjoyed it.

This story is loosely based off of Bluebeard and his delight in harboring wives and killing them, except sometimes in this story they don’t always die.

Rhea is an unassuming miller’s daughter who often finds herself a victim of an ornery swan and has no choice but to devise a plan to show him who is boss, she is also being given away to some noble Lord Crevan she doesn’t even know.

She’s told to venture the woods at a certain time, always a certain time, so that she may meet him. Only, she’s trapped once she gets there. At once she meets horrifying golem creatures, birds that have human flesh and speak? They’re warning her and then along the way she meets a little hedgehog who becomes her companion.

From there she finds the house and meets the rest of the household, all of Lord Crevan’s wives. Some are worse off than others and from here we begin to see Rhea really delve into herself, she begins talking to herself more which switches up the writing style and to me it is a little distracting. I wasn’t keen on how much she went into herself to talk because I felt like there could have been more story written instead.

Times ticking away, and it’s unknown if Rhea will find her way out of this marriage or if she is doomed to suffer or die at the hands of her husband to be.

In the end, this really is a little gem of a creeptastic book. I did enjoy it, it’s a quick easy read, but there are those few things that I wasn’t keen on. The internal monologue took away from the current events quite a bit, I would have liked to see some more of Lord Crevan’s evil doings and not simply from his wives.

Yummy Addictions by Belle Davis

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★☆☆☆☆

I received this arc via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t really have much to say about this book because it didn’t really hold my interest much.

It’s about a newly divorced woman who is celebrating by taking a trip she’s always wanted and wouldn’t you know the hottie she sees on the plane is someone she’s met before. A year ago she danced with a guy and doesn’t quite remember because she drank herself into oblivion.

Fate has brought these two together again, she doesn’t want anything serious though and so…even though she doesn’t know this man and has just been divorced, she starts making out with him on the plane… and she says she just wants sex from him.

He demands that she gives her his number and that HE is the one to give her a good time.

SAY WHAT?

I wasn’t keen on this whole possessive alpha male business, especially when she’s supposed to be celebrating her freedom only to play into this dominating males hands. It was poorly written, in my opinion and not something I enjoyed in the least.

Engraved Immortality by Melanie D. Basileus

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★★☆☆☆

I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did, mostly because this is a debut author and I always give them the benefit of the doubt. I, however, give honest reviews after reading.

This book is about a 20something year old Helene Carter who has begun to have odd dreams about her dying, it just so happens we open up to her waking up with marks along her Achilles tendon which is something we need to remember through the book. She dreams about herself dying and a man beside her weeping.

We then kind of tread the pages for about 200 pages or so, we go from where she works, to home, to the hospital where her mom works, to school and then she finally decides [after numerous dreams and getting a tattoo to cover up her mark,] that she needs to travel to Greece or specifically, Mykonos Island.

Things begin to pick up from here, although I’m not overly keen on it and here is why.. I was hoping for more depth to the story and what I mean by this is emotional depth, not an ‘insta-love’ thing, which happens. This story had a lot of potential and the storyline itself was quite interesting, it was just how it was executed.

Some parts were quite drawn out while others seemed to happen quickly, to the point I was wondering if that was truly how things were going to pan out, because it almost felt *wrong* to me. There are some gaps [emotionally and depth wise] that left me feeling unsatisfied.

There is going to be a second book “Engraved Bloodlines” that comes out in 2016. It does set up for a sequel rather nicely.

I wanted to like this more, I truly did, but for me it was just a 2 star. This is available via Kindle Unlimited [free] and also available on Amazon for 2.99 kindle edition.