Hey there friends! It feels so good to be back; I thoroughly enjoyed my week away and feel refreshed and renewed for a new season of blogging. Thankfully I was able to get loads of reading done, so I thought I would spend my time catching up on some NetGalley titles and doing a few mini reviews to kick off the week. I was able to finish 3 titles that were are a bit different; the first is a paranormal romance thriller which was the second in a set trilogy that I have really enjoyed, the second a psychological thriller that left me feeling a little underwhelmed, and the third was a pretty good YA Sci-Fi that was heavy on thrilling action and satire. Buckle up because we are going to knock out all three right now!
Book Title: When They Come True
Author: Sarah F. Mountford
Series: Anna’s Nightmare #2
Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pub Date: 08/01/17
A strange illness ravages the countryside while Dr. Anna Roberts struggles to recover from her own near-death experience. She’s falling in love with Jedediah, a three-thousand-year-old ghost, but his guarded alliance with a Council of ancient spirits frightens her. Can Jed’s allegiance be trusted? Haunted by her dreams and driven by her calling, Anna is torn between the worlds of the living and the dead. Is she a healer or an executioner? Will Anna be able to protect those she loves from her nightmares when they come true?
All my fellow weirdos and lovers of supernatural thrillers gather round and take note of this series. While I can’t say much, as this is a sequel, I can say it lived up to my expectations fully and my only complaint was once again wanting more! They are fairly short, less than 300 pages for both books that I’ve read so far. This was another exceptional entry in the Anna and Jed saga; it’s really difficult to pin down what genre to place these books in. They contain a fantastical aspect of the paranormal world that simultaneously feels realistic and so far removed from the world we live in that it’s the perfect balance of escape and adventure. A little bit of romance and a little bit of mythology, these are wholly entertaining books with a complex plot and unique characters I’ve not quite experienced elsewhere. I always enjoy finding diamonds in the rough and this trilogy is definitely that! Not looking forward to the year long wait until the final book in the trilogy though. 😦 Highly recommended, but I also recommend starting from the beginning with WHEN THEY COME CALLING to receive the full character development that makes these books worth reading. If you enjoy books featuring a supernatural plot that are high action, these may be for you.
Book Title: The Girlfriend
Author: Michelle Frances
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Pub Date (US): 01/30/18
Laura Cavendish can’t wait to meet the woman who’s won her son’s affection. Despite a successful career in television and a long, prosperous marriage, Laura’s world revolves around kind, talented Daniel. She pictures his new girlfriend, Cherry, becoming a close friend and confidante . . . one day, even a daughter-in-law.
But although Cherry is beautiful and amiable, Laura can’t warm to her. There’s something about the possessive way she touches Daniel, the little lies Laura detects. Cherry seems to resent Laura, driving a wedge between mother and son—until one day Daniel is injured in a terrible accident. Six months later, with Daniel still in a coma and facing death, Laura makes a fateful decision—and carries out an astonishing deceit.
A handsome doctor for a husband, with a trust fund and a family villa in St. Tropez—it was all supposed to be Cherry’s. Now, instead of living with Daniel in his impeccable home, she’s jobless and broke. And then Cherry discovers Laura’s stunning deception. But Cherry is too clever, too ambitious to let her get away with it. She’s already transformed herself into Daniel’s dream woman. Now she’ll become Laura’s worst nightmare.
I think this would be better suited as a domestic drama than being pushed as a thriller of any variety. I know that psychological thrillers are hot right now and the title sells books, but readers like me who go in with certain expectations will only feel lukewarm about this story. While it wasn’t a bad read by any means, I’m afraid it wasn’t great or anything I haven’t read before. There were cliches abundant in this story and the pacing moves slowly and thoroughly with many unlikable characters that I felt hard to sympathize with. I will say that the story did manage to keep my attention and cause me to want to finish reading, so it wasn’t a lack of interest here that was an issue. I think those readers looking for a slow burning family saga that leans more on the drama than the emotions will enjoy this novel. I’d like to add that both the US and the UK covers are gorgeous, intriguing, and draw the eye nicely. Recommended to those who maybe are new to the genre and enjoy their suspense fiction with more focus on the characterization than the plot progression.
Book Title: Freefall
Author: Joshua David Bellin
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pub Date: 09/26/17
In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated planet Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and its 99% of rejects.
Then Cam sees a banned video feed of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight though the feed directly at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.
When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.
Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?
I found FREEFALL to be a fast paced, intriguing read that, while not perfect, was certainly enjoyable. I was a bit torn on my overall feelings, which is why I went with a 3 star rating, but felt it had just enough umph to give it that extra half star increase. That’s a long description above and it tells you just about everything you need to know for the story, so I’ll just dive into what I thought about it. The narrative is ever-changing between past and present, keeping things fresh and unique without being overly challenging to follow. I really enjoyed this form of story telling, and I found myself engrossed in the sections focusing on the time jump forward where the ship finds itself stranded on the hostile planet. I love survival stories, so this was a huge bonus for me as a reader. While the writing and prose were lovely, it did get a bit over the top at times and made it difficult to follow what was happening. I didn’t seem to ever develop the emotion I should have conveyed toward the romance in the early sections; honestly I could have done without that entire part of the story and just focused on the survival aspects, but I understand why it was written this way for credibility and it’s partially due to my natural aversion to most romantic plot lines. Overall, I think any fans of YA Sci-Fi and space travel will enjoy this book and encourage you to pick it up.
*Many thanks to the publishers for providing my copies via NetGalley; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.