Categories
Fiction Paranormal Uncategorized

After Hope Dies by Lily Haraden

First off – I am so sorry for missing the publication date on this, I was swamped at work all weekend but feel bad!!

Title: After Hope Dies

Author: Lily Haraden

Release date: 10/20/18

Length: 350 pages

Thank you first to Lilly Haraden and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review!

The publisher’s warning should definitely be taken seriously, there are multiple upsetting themes and rough language used throughout.
Some of those themes include child prostitution, rape, murder, suicide, racism, Lilly Haraden a lot of big ones! On the flip side she also uses some stunningly beautiful language, such as any time when the cranes of hope and despair appear. It feels like an intentional balance the way the passages are placed.

Some of the language forced a slower read for me to keep track of what was happening at times, and I got the feeling that the reader is supposed to shrug and accept the supernatural aspects- much like the characters. Sometimes it was hard to understand what happened but the idea is there. The story has some unique points such as the characters creating monsters that create more monsters/spirits/ entities, very cool.

I really did enjoy the hope, despair and death imagery. I loved Hugo’s character, and most disliked the vampire because she felt thrown into the mix and unrelated.

As a social commentary the book does it’s job, if nothing else evoking some strong feelings and making us think about class, race, desperation, and despair among brighter aspects. It definitely is not meant to be a happy story but it is a good one. I would rate 3.5/5 stars and recommend this to those with a strong stomach and big imagination. Fans of the supernatural and fantasy won’t be let down.

Categories
Fiction General Fiction

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

Title: The Rain Watcher

Author: Tatiana de Rosnay

Release date: 10/30/18

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Length: 240pages

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review!

This is the story of the Malegarde family, told through Paul(the father)’s written account and Linden(the son)’s memories. There is a terrible flood in Paris where the core of the family is convened for Paul’s birthday. As the waters rise, so does the tension as the family deals with illness, tragedy, and coming to terms with past traumas.

Once I figured out the flow of who was narrating at what time, this became a lovely read. Paul’s voice is so unique, here is a brief quote just because I love it:

” I played with the trees. They were like living things to me, as alive as humans. They seemed to whisper secrets. Maybe I was the only one who heard them . Trees were at the heart of things. I was four years old, but I sensed that already.” – from Paul’s transcript.

While I was not fully engaged in the story at times, the writing is truly beautiful. Linden’s descriptions of people, places, and the flood are amazingly vivid. I would have enjoyed the story more if I knew Paris – I skimmed some of the tales about the city but I could see French people truly loving this book.

The characters are very real, well developed, and likeable. Each Malegarde faces and comes to terms with a past or present trauma in the novel. The dialogue is also very well done except some times the book switches from conversation to a third person telling, right in the middle.

As a nurse I also really liked the hospital evacuation scenes, how cool would it be to work disaster relief!

I would 100% recommend this to anyone with even a vague knowledge of Paris, lovers of language, and a good fiction. 4/5 stars only because the author lost me at times in the pages of stories!

Categories
General Fiction Thrillers

Vendetta by Iris Johansen

Title: Vendetta

Author: Iris Johansen

Release date: 10/23/18

Pages: 413

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Rating & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟 yes to fans of the author and genre

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for the opportunity to read the eARC of Vendetta in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

This was an honor!

In the 5th Catherine Ling thriller, a team of intelligence operatives must work together to locate and bring down the Red Star terrorist group before they wreak havoc on the west coast. I was expecting to see more of Catherine, but she plays a supporting role to Rachel Venable (Carl’s daughter) and they make a strong female team. Brandon, Hu Chang, Nate, Monty, and Cameron make up a great supporting cast of characters. I found the characters to be one of the strong points in the book – their relationships and access to international intrigue.

Johansen’s writing style is absorbing and easy to read.  My one qualm is that she used “jerkily” and “dryly” quite a few times- strong or distinct words like those stand out FAR too much to be used as frequently.  I know that Johansen has a vast vocabulary to pull from and likely she didn’t realize she was doing it. Speaking of oddball items – Cameron threw me off as well, where does one supernatural(ish) man fit into the world? He really does not and I feel like he takes away from the book, but just ever so slightly.

The plot and story itself are amazing. I love the deep level of intrigue between the CIA, Red Star, Nemesis, and the various other groups trying to vie for information and results.  At times there was too much talking, sitting around the house, chatting on the veranda…. The background is interesting and important but there is just too much of it, then the action came and went rather quickly. Very awesome and intense action though, I couldn’t stop reading once it started heating up.

Overall I would recommend it to Johansen fans and fans of action. It does work as a stand alone novel but doesn’t do Catherine a lot of justice so I wouldn’t start with it.

Again, thank you NetGalley and the aforementioned, I really was thrilled to be able to read and review this!

Categories
Fiction General Fiction

24 Hours of the Phoenix by Caroline Bertaud

Title: 24 Hours of the Phoenix

Author: Caroline Bertaud

Release date: 11/3/18 **Debut novel**

Length: 327 pages

Rating: 3.5/5 stars!

First off, thank you to NetGalley and Caroline Bertaud for this eARC in exchange for an honest review! This is Bertaud’s debut novel and I enjoyed it for the most part!

This book asks the question “What would you do if you had 24 hours left to live?” Thrown into this position, 21 year old Phoenix navigates her emotions and life review in this novel. The premise and format is fairly unique as each chapter constitutes an hour in the countdown that is supposedly left of her life. This format served to break the novel up into readable and well organized portions. I appreciate the perfect length of the chapters and it kept me hooked, I kept thinking “Yes I have time for one more!”

The premise itself didn’t quite work for me (and unfortunately the plot twist didn’t either) because I am an RN and just couldn’t wrap my head around Phoenix’s behavior while she was in the hospital. I firmly don’t believe in spoilers but the plot twist was not a realistic occurrence and it threw my nurse-mind for a loop… but the book made me think quite a lot about {certain medical conditions} – is any of it possible? A lot of Phoenix’s life review and finding of meaning in things seemed a little cliche as well – I laughed when she stated it herself! Once I put that aside, I still found the book to be a very readable and enjoyable story.

I give this a solid 3/5 stars, and would not hesitate to recommend it for anyone who enjoys a work of fiction with a twist of romance! Really, it is a great debut novel! I warn you that this book will make you think about your life and might inspire you to call your parents!

As always, thank you for reading! All it takes is an email and a password (no complicated registration) to interact with this website, and I hope you will all let me know that you were here!

Categories
Fiction General Fiction Historical Fiction

In the Far Pashmina Mountains by Janet MacLeod Trotter

Welcome back! I was thrilled to receive my first early reading copy for Kindle from the Goodreads giveaway! Thank you to Goodreads and the Author/publisher for the opportunity!

I rapidly devoured this book despite it’s length (544 pages). We follow the life of main character Alice over the span of about 40 years. It is a story of love and history, with a good deal of adventure, heartbreak, betrayal, beauty and horror, native culture, and so much more.

The characters are developed beautifully throughout, some we love and others – not so much. Whether a bad, good, or grey character, I feel like MacLeod Trotter captures the ethnicity, personality and also age of them in such a real way. Her writing is also vividly descriptive at times, when other times she gets lost in the history. As her author’s note suggests, an obvious mountain of research went into this book!

While I won’t pretend to know anything about the British invasion of Afghanistan and the tribal conflicts, I could feel the horror of the prisoners and stayed up until 0300 to reach the ending. I would have sacrificed some historical details in this part of the book to find out more about what happened to Alice at the end 😉 The ending was tied up very neatly and felt rushed but satisfying.

I would 100% recommend this to anyone interested in historical fiction or romance, or just a great read! It changes settings and introduces new adventures enough to stay very interesting!

As always, thank you for reading! I included a link to the author’s website below!

http://www.janetmacleodtrotter.com/

Categories
Fiction General Fiction Literary Fiction Uncategorized

Review of Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

Good evening everyone and welcome back! I finally finished Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk, has anyone else read this or any of his work?

My first thought about this novel is that it is not a good one to introduce yourself to Palahniuk with. This is an obvious conclusion after getting midway through two chapters. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Invisible Monsters, Fight Club, Diary even, but this book requires warming up to.

This is a satire of American culture, seen through the eyes of a young foreign operative. I would guess Czech Republic or one of those countries. The protagonist is a genius yet supposedly speaks in terrible broken English, in which the entire book is written. I felt like I missed important things due to the way that the language made me want to skim paragraphs. The language is also very repetitive at times.

To the meat though – if you can stomach the shock of a graphic sodomizing, or tolerate the 13 year old’s constant fixation with genitals, the book really is hilarious. Trips to Wal-Mart, religious propaganda outlets, his reverence of great war hero Colonel Sanders, mixed with quotes from all of the European dictators … it all does make for a difficult but entertaining read. The take home point is reading this in the mind frame that it is satire, and taking the recurring shock points for what they are.

I would recommend this for adults who are already Palahniuk fans or like his minimalist style. You can google similar authors faster than I can type them!

Recap: 3/5 stars for difficult structure. Redeeming point is that he managed to make Pygmy out to be a real person with feelings by the end. Also made me alternate between laughing out loud and cringing, at least every chapter.

Find me on IG at OneReadingNurse and as always, let me know if you are here! Thank you!

Categories
Fiction General Fiction Mysteries

Review: The Secret of Seaside by Agatha Ball

This morning was cold and rainy, and with a bit of down time I picked up The Secret of Seaside by Agatha Ball. I grabbed it for the cute little cat on the cover, who played a bit role in the book. This was released in March of 2017, and I believe is Ms Ball’s first full length book! It is also my first “cozy” mystery.

I will openly admit that I have never read one of these before, and had to Google what “cozy” meant. It feels like Nancy Drew for adults!?

In general, a small town person rises to the occasion and solves or helps to solve a mystery with the support of the local residents. This is the gist of the story – a tourist town post collegiate feels helpless after a local murder, for which the local cops are beyond useless – and starts to sleuth around.

It is a fairly simple story. The characters stay one dimensional but are likeable enough. It is about a three hour long read. The dialogue is written as it would be spoken and carries the story along. I can’t mention the murderer without a spoiler – I did not expect the last few chapters though. The conclusion felt rushed and could have been drawn out a little more, but I have no real complaints.

There were no loose ends, and I believe it correctly fits the bill as a clean, “cozy mystery”. If I have down time this winter I may read more, so to Mrs Ball: I appreciate the introduction! If this is your kind of story I would say grab a cinnamon roll and cozy up!

As always, please let me know if you stop in! I love feedback and talking books! This is a 100% unsolicited review with no compensation

Find me on IG at OneReadingNurse

Categories
Fiction Literary Fiction

Review: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

Happy Sunday and welcome back! Let’s talk about Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani. This was released back in 2015, but if it missed your radar I highly suggest that you go back and do yourself the favor. It was a Goodreads choice best fiction award winner as well, so I am not the only one who loved it!

Long story short, the patriarch of an Indian American family falls into a coma and during the months that he is on life support the family has to come together, then come to terms with their history. There are secrets, buried emotions, traumas, and all the history just waiting to either destroy or rebuild these women anew.

I wouldn’t automatically grab this off the shelf if I didn’t have a sick parent at this time, but if you are a fan of this sort of fiction, a fan of beautiful language, good quotes, strong dialogue, and a flawless editor, please read this book! The language is truly flowing and I managed to read it in about three days. I also learned a lot about Indian culture.

I don’t know if this book might be upsetting to domestic abuse victims, but I do feel like it’s a subject that we shouldn’t shy away from in popular culture. It is a story of healing and coming to terms with the past. Finding ways to put away your fear and pride and loving your family.

Even with some parts being a bit melodramatic I give this a solid 5/5!

As always, please let me know if you stop in! I love feedback and talking books! This is a 100% unsolicited review with no compensation

Find me on IG at OneReadingNurse