Fifty Shades of Mutt (Shadow of the Moon – A Book Review)

Shadow of the Moon (Moon #5)
Author: Rebecca York
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Shadow of the Moon

My Rating:Half bolt

 

His gifts help him uncover the hot stories. But his latest investigation will take him inside a sinister world of power and pleasure, alongside a woman who knows how to bring out the animal in him…

 

Lance Marshall is very good at finding the next major story, but that may be because he’s a werewolf. His abilities allow him to have that extra edge. With stealth, speed, and enhanced senses, he’s currently investigating a private nightclub called The Castle. Dark and mysterious, he already knows what goes on there.

His investigation is nearly destroyed when Savannah Carter is discovered investigating The Castle as well. There in the nick of time to help her, they both get away. Turns out, her sister in a coma and it had something to do with her frequenting The Castle. Whatever the case. Savannah will get answers.

Forming an unlikely pair that toils on edge of passion, Lance and Savannah set out to uncover the truth about this dark place and the monstrous evil that lies within it.

 

This is a series that doesn’t necessarily require you to follow any kind of order. I started with this one and it’s where I’ll end. I tried and tried, but I was not into this book AT ALL. In fact, I was astounded and not pleasantly.

Scarlet Reader

Yup, guys. I’m about to turn into Voldemort and Avada Kadavra this damn book.

I was deeply intrigued about the werewolf part and the sister being in a coma and how two very different people, who actually aren’t all that different, come together with these two plot. This was nothing like that. The passion promised felt very lacking, even for a lush read. It started out mysterious, which is good, but quickly fell apart for me shortly after.

There was an incredible amount of vagueness to everything that didn’t do much for my imagination and I love it when my mind gets to wander. A little over half of this book just made me outright uncomfortable. Not my kind of read.

The characters, Lance and Savannah, were dreadful. Lance came across as domineering, cocky, and immensely chauvinistic and with how he was written, it was really disgusting. He was the kind of guy that thought about himself solely and how he could get Savannah to please him, with no regard of if he was coercing her or even considering forcing her into it. Cue my *shudder*.

Side Note: It is not my usual to be so harsh with reviews, but this book really made my stomach go green. Not my kind of book. I enjoy aggressive and playful and a side of smutty because I can, but when it comes down to the characters getting overly controlling to the point that the character opposite of them comes off as property or just another object, like a lamp or a desk. It riled me up something fierce.

Savannah was brash and lacked common sense LOL. Very common in women that leap with their heart over their head. Thought as bullheaded as she was, she didn’t think twice before sharing everything she was doing with a complete stranger…that lack of common sense bit, remember?

I wasn’t rooting for either of these two. Thus, I decided pretty quickly that they were extremely toxic.

Shattered Memories

Now, I’m not one to complain too much about writing often. It’s usually that I want more detail because I’m greedy and always caving more detail. However, I found myself trying to figure out why there was just random vocabulary that didn’t blend in some parts, as if certain words were just put in to beef of the writing. But, they didn’t do that. They just made it weird. Having to reread some of the sentences, my face got screwy here and there. The vocabulary interrupted the flow and the flow interrupted me trying to get into the story…you know how that goes. That can make you want to chuck the book across the room.

 

Overall

I wish so much that my feelings about this book weren’t so disturbed. I imagine there are quite a few people out there that enjoyed this book and that’s fine because this is their kind of thing. It’s not mine. I’m donating this book so fast that it’ll be like I never owned it. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you branch out. I’m not proud of bad reviews that I make, not proud of how they make me appear, but I believe in honesty and that sometimes there isn’t enough sugar to coat something if it’s really really bad. Sorry, but no, not really sorry.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Open by Rhye.

 

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Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

22/25

 

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.

 

This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.

 

First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

Scarlett Reader

The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

Scarlett Reader

I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.

 

The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.

 

Overall

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.

 

Quotables:

“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.

 

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Under the Light of the Moon(Over the Moon – A Book Review)

Over the Moon
Author: Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra, Sunny
Published: 2007

On Goodreads

Over the Moon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Experience the lure of the moon…

A beautiful werewolf in the chains of old and violent traditions falls into the hands of a lone werewolf in hopes that he can save her. With tensions running high under the Burning Moon, they get more than they bargained for.

In mountains, a girl goes on a life-changing trek, looking to find herself and finds so much more when she happens upon a group of strangers, one of which is more gorgeous than she has words for. She gets caught up in a world between mortals and fae.

A vampire and a werewolf collide, yet these two opposites can’t pull away from each other.

In a world where souls are born of the moon, and Queen of an otherworldly nature have control over warlords.

 

 

Fun and wild, these four short stories are like letting your inhibitions go. These ladies created fantastic worlds that lets the imagination out of its cage. Sometimes you desperately need that and they didn’t hold back. Each story was mystical and hot to the touch.

The cover art was also gorgeous. Mysterious an alluring. I also have an obsession with the moon, so the title really worked me in too.

 

The stories:

  • Moon Dance
  • Between the Mountain and the Moon
  • Driftwood
  • Mona Lisa Three

I must say that Between the Mountain and the Moon and Mona Lisa Three were my favorites. They not only held adrenaline rushing romance that had my toes curling, but they had a really good story to them as well. I really like the characters and how independent they were. I get a little deflated when the characters get ruled over by other characters. It wasn’t just romance for them, though it was a big part of their lives.

Between the Mountain was really beautiful and scary. Getting caught up in the fae world is like that. Its enchanting looks hide away that its dangerous. Mona Lisa was similar. A  queen, had a family she cared for and multiple lovers. It was a little wild, but the magic of it was so original. I’d never read anything like this life or death story. The emotions of whether she’d lose people she cared about unless she went through with a heinous act were intensely strong.

 

These were quickie stories honestly. Short and to the point. This is something you could get done at the DMV or while in the waiting room. Flushed with erotic romance to sweep you off your feet. It’s really the kind of fluff you let yourself get caught up in, and there’s no harm in the great fantasy every once in a while that gets you biting your lip.

Over the Moon

I won’t say that these are earth-shattering. They aren’t. The writing isn’t very in depth nor enough to really stick with me. I didn’t find myself lingering all that much. I certainly didn’t get attached to the stories or the characters like I typically would when reading. That’s fine. It makes the stories enjoyably for one reason. Thrills and chills. And of course that steaming hot anticipation.

 

Overall

This was a fun book that really got my blood pumping and my mind racing. Though, I didn’t feel attached in any way. With enchantment, those typical daydreams every person has gets enhanced threefold. Definitely a quick read that’ll leave you breathless.

 

Quotables:

“Take two alpha males, add a female in her burning moon, and you had a prescription for bloodshed.” (Moon Dance, p. 19)

“Her fate is their punishment.” (Between the Mountain and the Moon, p 151)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Wreak Havoc by Skylar Grey.

 

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Even In Your Sleep (Down a Dark Hall – Book Review)

Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1974

On Goodreads

Down a Dark Hall

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

The terror is real only in her dreams.

Kit is dropped off at Blackwood School for Girls along with others. Each of them possess unique traits. Strange things begin happening around the grounds. Kit is having weird dreams and sleep walking. With each passing day, it gets stranger. She knows evil lurks down the dark halls, but she only sees it when she’s asleep. How can she escape? How can she get free if no one will believe her when her fears are only in her dreams? Or are they?

Like Duncan’s other books that I’v read, this was pretty good. She brought the supernatural element again to one of her novels. The dark halls of Blackwood are chilling and creepy. There are many unexplainable instances. Sleepwalking. Dreams of dead people. And becoming oddly talented and skilled at something you typically aren’t.

Kit experiences all of this and she’d love to run away. Her parents dumped her on the doorstep of this private school and didn’t look back as they to go on their honeymoon. Jerkfaces. Lucky for Kit, she made some friends. I really like the story. As you progress, the story intensifies until BAM! Everything breaks loose and Kit is feeling helpless.

With supernatural forces at work, I’m a little unnerved. Losing control is scary. It’s a feeling that can make anybody go over the edge, which is exactly what happens with Kit and her friends.

I found the characters to be quite like-able…except for Headmistress Madame Duret. She can go jump in a ditch because there is a special place for a person that lets ghosts possess teenagers. Kit was a strong-headed girl and has no time for bullshit. She also doesn’t leave her friends behind, which puts her in a high place on my list.

Each of the girls were having different things happening to them that were unexplainable. Kit was hearing music everywhere. Her closest friend, Sandy, was creating poetry, which doesn’t seem all that bad, but it was in foreign languages. The other girls, too. It was alarming and I wanted to figure this book out more. When I did, I was surprised. They weren’t just experiencing supernatural events but were pulled into them, getting possessed by ghosts. And being in the front seat of that was crazy!

This also just came out as a movie. I’m kind of intrigued. Ghosty movies are always chilling to me and I would love to see the differences between it and the book.

Down a Dark Hall

The style Duncan has with her books is one that I love. Incredibly simple and attention grabbing. She knows all the tricks to make a person go investigate the dark and creepy places, though they probably shouldn’t. There’s bread crumbs of curiosity behind with a twist of scary. And the TWIST! There always a twist, and Duncan did NOT disappoint. It gets me going and like it. This was also a quick read. Her novels aren’t usually long.

Overall

While I can’t say this is some epic literary piece, it was pretty epic. Period. She really approached the teen slasher/supernatural genre with great skill. These are instant classics in my opinion. A fun read to indulge in when you want goosebumps, like a story you tell around the campfire.

Quotables:

“Somewhere in the quiet dormitory someone had shrieked, In pain? In terror? Perhaps only from a nightmare, and yet, perhaps for some other reason. For—help?” (p. 42)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Help I’m Alive by Metric

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Peruse Carefully (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – A Book Review)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A master of horror, crazy, and supernatural, Stephen King brings another collection of short stories. A few you may know. Others come at you with a realistic and horrifying twist that will make you shiver. From a people-eating car to a little green god of agony possessing an elderly, rich and entitled asshole to a Kindle linked to the Dark Tower.

In this latest collection, the King still stirs that pot, mixing the dark and morbid side of reality with that of the fantasy side.

 

Personally, Nightmares & Dreamscapes is my favorite collection of the King’s stories: the hardcover, purple with the gravestone. Just beautiful. This one wasn’t as great, but their were a few stories that really perked my interest. Just something about the way they caught me by surprise.

Mile 81

The Bad Kid

Ur

The Little Green God of Agony

Obits

Summer Thunder

The ominous shadow that hangs over all of these stories really enticed me. It kept me curious.

I found the title of the book to be intriguing. A bazaar-a market that sells goods-was a unique choice for it, emphasizing that you can peruse these short stories instead of reading them in order. And, bad dreams? Yeah, the King isn’t kidding. Some of these stories are what nightmares are made of. And the cover, looking at a person and only seeing death, is beautiful and chilling.

Short stories are an art form. I agree with this. Very hard to conquer. Sometimes. With this book, I feel that. This was one that I had 50/50 feelings about. It was good, yet not really. The imagery was powerful with each one. Some of the stories I enjoyed immensely and others not so much. There were points where I just couldn’t get invested into the story. I felt like I was getting dragged.

However, each detailed intro to each story was poignant and beautiful. It’s getting a backstage pass to what I believe to be one of the funniest yet outspoken minds of fiction. He truly writes some beautiful words in a cloud of morbidity. I dig it.

Thumbs Up

Now, my favorite stories (above) are favorites because of one BIG element. Shouldn’t be that hard to guess if you’ve been keeping up with me this far in the blog. There’s that special supernatural touch. Though, if I had a specific favorite it would be Obits. The story centers on a journalist’s dark comedy obituary and his sudden ability to kill people with it. So much power and so dangerous!! This was the greatest page turner, and maybe that makes me a bit morbid, but I’ve read stories similar to this—where you could write someone’s death and then it actually happens. Its creepy and unnerving. Imagine having that kind of power. It’s mind-blowing!

mind blown

And I swear, when reading this, I can hear the King’s voice ring so clearly, and it sounds very close to a professor’s I had: cocky and condescendingly intelligent with a thrive for life. It made me smile. I liked that professor, because while he did sound like that, he was a cool guy. Made everyone feel included and nobody felt stupid. There was learning to be had and he did a great job of helping with that.

 

Overall

This book left me tied up on how I feel about it. There were some great stories. They really pulled me in. But…I wasn’t moved to love the entire book. That’s what’s interesting about short stories. Because you don’t like one, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the entire book.

Beautiful words, chilling stories, intense characters, but a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“If you saw a guy lying by the side of the road, it didn’t matter if he was a Samaritan or a Martian. You stopped to help.” (Mile 81, p. 23)

“Arr, reality’s a dirty place with no religion in it.

So buy me a drink, goddam you!

We’ll toast elephants that never were.” (The Bone Church, p. 162)

“I think the world is mostly populated by shitheads. You take it from there.” (UR, p. 210)

 

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

 

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A Door to Anywhere (House of Dark Shadows – A Book Review)

House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings #1)
Author: Robert Liparulo
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

House of Dark Shadows

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

15/25

 

Dream house…or bad dream?

When the Kings up and move from L.A. to the small town, Pinedale, Xander is more than upset. But when they happened across an old Victorian house hidden out in the woods, they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Everyone gets their own rooms. There’s woods for miles to explore.

Weird things begin to happen as they get ready to move in. There are prints of larger-than-normal feet in the dust. A special door in the linen closet. There a hallway with doors that lead to different periods in time like the Civil War. Xander begins to wonder if this is the coolest thing ever or just a dread nightmare come true.

 

This book marks 15 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I was really drawn in by the artwork and weirdness.

 

I honestly don’t know how I’m feeling about this book. It felt a little all over the place for me. I know this book is geared toward the independent reader genre, but still, I didn’t feel all that enthralled. Much of the bits were very intriguing, but I felt like they were lost in the story. Crazy things are happening in this old house, but they just didn’t work together, not in any way that made sense to me. My curiosity was piqued for sure, but unsatisfied. I did love the many TV references—Misery, Star Wars, and Supernatural to name a few. It puts the story in the real world, and lets readers relate more.

The setting of the small town and the old house was very cool. Everything was secluded, adding to the growing ominous feeling. The boys, Xander and David got a tower in their bedroom. Call me jealous, I’ve always wanted my own personal tower; a spot where I can read and have my own world. I really liked the blueprint of the house in the beginning of the book. Things like that really make me feel a little closer and involved with the story.

I struggled in following the story. There just wasn’t enough detail to make all of this click. I just couldn’t get emotionally invested either. This was written to get you on the edge of your seat with all of the wild things happening and sadly, I was just wanting it to be over.

ITBT

The closeness between Xander and his siblings was so special. At such a young age, most siblings fight and bicker and that wasn’t the case at all. They were there for each other and protecting one another. However, the parents were very odd. There wasn’t much of a difference between them and the kids. They talked and acted like them. Any real parental authority was overshadowed by them wanting to relate to the kids and be their friend. It really threw me off.

 

Overall: this book wasn’t what I imagined. I knew it wouldn’t be gory or utterly spine-tingling, but I do feel like this should’ve been more to help make the story more vivid and enthralling. Connect the dots. With tigers in the jungle and a creepy man wandering the property and other unexplainable things, I hoped for something more.

 

Quotables:

“What was embarrassing or personal, dreams and fears—it was all fair game in the King household.” (Xander, p. 107)

“We’re humans, not robots.” (Mom to Xander, p. 107)

“Loved ones die. Fact of life.” (Xander, p. 271)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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To Heaven or Hell With Them (Marked – A Book Review)

Marked (Servants of Fate #1)
Author: Sarah Fine
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Marked

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

13/25

 

In post-apocalyptic Boston,

Supernatural factions battle

For human souls.

 In a world that’s been swamped by environmental collapse—coasts have flooded, countries have gone dry or iced over, and disease has spread—Boston paramedic and heiress, Cacia-Cacy-Ferry risks her life on the front lines in the dangerous city. What most don’t know is that she also ferries those who die on to the afterlife. That’s right, she goes into limbo to make sure souls go where they need to go, whether to heaven or to the fiery depths of hell.

Enter, new transfer and partner to Cacy, Eli Margolis, who has a past of his own, and who’s only concerned with making sure his sister is safe. Though wary of the Ferry family, Eli finds himself attracted to Cacy. Cacy isn’t sure about jumping into a relationship, but she can’t stay away from Eli either. But, when he’s marked for death, Cacy will do whatever it takes to save him, even risk her future, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her and his sister.

This book marks 13 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Every once in a while…okay a little more than that, I will pluck a book at random to give myself a chance to read something new. This is one of them.

A death rocks the Ferry family and Cacy won’t stop until she finds out who did it. She blames the Ker-vicious, sharp toothed, red eyed, greedy creatures that mark people for death, much like the fates. The Ferry an Ker factions are close to war and Eli has no idea just how in the middle of it he and his sister are. And let me just say, I wish I knew more about these factions. There wasn’t enough information on them at the start. It was about halfway through the novel that I had a hook on them and how they worked.

This book was intense, steamy, and supernatural. I was just hanging on for dear life as Cacy’s and Eli’s lives collided. This was so action packed whether from heart pumping danger or seriously sexy moments that were breath stealing. I really enjoyed it. This was certainly one of those stories filled with drama, romance, and everything else under the sun. It’s fantastic and shock worthy! There was a lot I didn’t see coming.

Side note: This isn’t YA. It contains mature language and sexual content. However, that’s not to say young adults can’t it shouldn’t read it. They’ll read whatever they please. This is just a warning that it actually doesn’t fall into that genre.

I get really into world-building and this one was really interesting. Our planet is in a bit of a rough spot as it is with climate change and pollution, so Fine’s creation/morph of the world in her book is nice! She captured future in which the world rages back against humanity incredibly and realistically. A third of the world was wiped out from disease and from there everything else just collapsed. People are stealing organs like plucking apples from a tree, and technology has advanced so that vehicles can drive right on to the water and medical supplies It’s so creative, yet a great way to play on the real world. This alone really got me interested in reading this.

Marked

The chemistry between Cacy and Eli was electrifying! They’re hot and cold and HOT! It’s gasp worthy. They connected instantly and I couldn’t get enough. The build-up was enough to make me pop.

I loved that they both had a story and that they collided. They’re incredible together—a wildfire blazing in a dark world. Eli doesn’t come off as a hot shot nor an overly broody man. The way that Cacy is so straightforward, knowing what she wants, and she’s strong is powerful and endearing. I love a female character like this, especially because she kicks ass and takes names. Both she and Eli propel into danger for those they care about. That trait is always one that sweeps me off my feet.

Dead of Winter

Fine’s writing was incredible. It was entertaining and gripping. I couldn’t put this book down! My heart skipped beats. My pulse was racing. The supernatural element was fresh and original. However, I did find it a little confusing every once in a while. I wish the way the way Cacy’s supernatural ability worked was more accessible. Every once in a while, it just didn’t get through to me or was a little repetitive. I did think it was interesting, how dark and light intermingled with how heaven and hell were described by Cacy. I just wish the imagery had been stronger with limbo, the marked, the coin that moved the dead to their afterlives, and the Ker.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. This wasn’t a what I consider a literary piece, but it was a fun ride! There many parts I reread because I couldn’t get enough. I hope to find the second book sometime in the future. For those of you that enjoy really in depth, supernaturally original. Oh, and this is totally not YA.

Quotables:

“Life isn’t fair, Cacy, and neither is death.” (Dec to Cacy, p. 58)

“I’m on your side, Eli. There is more going on here than you understand, but there one thing you can count on. She. Is. Yours.” (Moros to Eli, p. 210)

“I see you better than you see yourself.” (Cacy to Eli, p. 283)

“I don’t believe in deserving. You haven’t deserved most of what has happened to you. But it happened anyway. So did we.” (Cacy to Eli, p. 285)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Trouble by Natalia Kills.

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