I didn’t drop off the face of the earth. I wasn’t kidnapped by aliens. I fell into this fun little trap called LIFE. I had forgotten how crazy it could be! I spent the latter half of 2017 combining households with my now fiance. I spent most of 2018 trying to figure out what mysterious illness was making its way through my body giving me symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, irregular heartbeat, digestive issues, headaches, anxiety and about half a dozen other ailments. I thought I was going absolutely crazy until we discovered my thyroid was not working correctly. It took nearly a year to figure out what was going on and another six months before the medication got me to a point where I finally feel like myself again. So, now I’m back!
I won’t be able to update and review like I had in the past because again, LIFE. I am now going to school full-time in addition to my full-time job. I’m also in the midst of planning my wedding. But I still try to read every chance I get and need to get back into the swing of things again!
This is the sequel to Sleeping Giants and as sequels go, this one was pretty darn fabulous. Written again as excerpts from diaries, recordings and interviews, the story takes a darker turn. The metal giant that Rose found as a child is now something of a media darling. Everyone wants to see it and be near it until a second giant, even bigger than the robot that Rose and the Earth Defense Corps has been using and learning about. One that is not so kind. One that unleashes a brutal and deadly attack. As more of these massive robots appear, we are thrown into what can only be characterized as an alien invasion.
Rose and her team refuse to surrender, but the odds are squarely stacked against them. One wrong move and everything that we know could disappear. Or we could unlock the secrets of these massive robots and become the masters of our own destiny again. But at what cost?
The author takes us on one hell of a ride and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Right up until the end. As I got nearer to the end my heart raced and I read faster and faster and then suddenly there were no more pages. I was a passenger in the car and startled my boyfriend when I yelled “NO! That can’t be the end!!!”. I usually despise cliffhanger endings to the point where I will refuse to read the next novel. But I will gladly make an exception in this case. The cliffhanger ending, while despised, was absolutely perfect in this situation. I don’t think it could have ended any differently.
I desperately hope that there is another novel because I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Tea is a bone witch. Feared and ostracized even in a world of magic, her power of necromancy is something that is reviled, especially when her power reveals itself when she brought her brother, Fox, back from the dead. Her power is discovered by another Bone Witch and she is taken under her wing to learn the art of her craft, one that comes at a price.
The story is told from two viewpoints. We get the story of Tea’s early life directly from her memories and recollections. She takes us through her life and the changes that came with it after she was discovered to have the gift of necromancy. We watch her grow into her power and watch the interaction between her and her mentor and also her and her brother. The relationship between Tea and Fox is definitely worth more than 2 stars. The second viewpoint is from a bard that is telling her story from an interview with her. The switch between the viewpoints can be jarring at times. You finally get into a piece of the story only to be violently taken out of it to hear about something from the other viewpoint. It was disconcerting and disconnecting.
The world is expansive and immersive. But it comes at a price. It’s very easy to get lost. There is a glossary at the end, but it makes it very cumbersome to try and remember what leader goes where and what country is what. It doesn’t really help with some of the other things like new words. There’s so much to learn about this new realm that it really comes at a cost to the overall story. It’s just so easy to get lost and bogged down in the beautiful prose.
This will probably appeal greatly to a lot of fantasy readers, but this one just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Julie Prentice and her family move across the country to start over after being terrorized by a stalker after the publication of her best-selling novel, The Murder Game. Julie doesn’t know anyone in town and on her morning run, meets her neighbor from across the street, John Dunbar. They have an instant connection and Julie begins to hope that this is a new beginning for her and her family. She never thought that a simple conversation with a neighbor could set her life spinning so far off course and out of control.
After a series of misunderstandings, Julie and her family become the target of harassment that seems to be increasing in their intensity. She believes that her former stalker, Heather, has found her and is after her again. Or could this be someone new? Is someone in her neighborhood out to get her too? The tension increases and new friends turn into enemies and Julie seems to have nowhere to turn when things become dangerously out of control.
The plot was very interesting, but the writing style and the constantly switching point of view was very distracting. Not only did the point of view change constantly between Julie and John (and other lesser known characters) the time changed too. One minute you are in the present day with John, the next you are with Julie, six months previous. This really made the story hard to follow, at least for me. I found myself having to go back and re-read passages just to get the story to make sense again.
Unfortunately I hated the characters. I couldn’t identify with a single one of them. The main character was a mess. She was weak, annoying and consistently made just really stupid decisions. Her husband was just as much of a dishrag as she was. John Dunbar wasn’t much better, he was just as wishy-washy as Julie. His wife had more of a spine than he did and wasn’t afraid to use it, even if she did come off as a spiteful and vindictive brat. And the neighborhood scion, Cindy, was about as unbalanced as they come. If I had a neighborhood association like this, I would have been packing my bags and running for the hills. Why did everyone feel the need to cower before this woman?
Without giving anything away or spoiling the ending, it was unsatisfying at best. There were characters in play that really had no business being there and I can’t even come up with a rational explanation as to why they were there in the first place. It was a rushed ending that still left you with more questions than answers, and I can’t stand that, especially in a book that is listed as mystery/suspense. Read at your own risk.
Detective Michael Gideon and Sirius, his K-9 partner, are back again to tackle the strangest cases that the LAPD has to offer. But this time, the case is a little different. The case finds them. One evening Sirius saves a dog from pack of coyotes. They try to return the dog to her owner, Heather Moreland, only to find that she is missing. The circumstances around her disappearance seem suspicious at best and the more that Gideon digs, the more convinced he is that Heather has been abducted.
As Gideon tries to help locate Heather, he’s also troubled by the death of Detective Langston Walker, the leader of a support group for families of murder victims. When they last met, Walker told Gideon about a cold case he had reopened, making Gideon wonder if Walker’s death was truly the accident everyone believes it to be. Gideon has his suspicions right off the bat and as he continues to look through Walker’s cases and his life, the more he’s convinced that Detective Walker was murdered because of something he uncovered.
This is the third book in the Gideon and Sirius series, and once again, I would recommend reading the previous two entries before taking on Lost Dog. There’s not a huge amount of backstory in this book as compared to the previous two, but it still helps.
The mystery of Heather’s disappearance plays out very well, even though the mystery isn’t very strong. You’ll figure it out pretty quickly, there are some very obvious clues that are left behind. The mystery surrounding Detective Walker’s death was a more interesting one and while it wasn’t entirely surprising, it was satisfying. There are times that I wish the book could have been longer so that equal attention could be paid to both cases. It’s hard at times to make the jump from one minute he’s still scratching his head and the next the case is solved. Even with his visions that he experiences after fire-walking, it’s still a pretty big stretch to get from point A to point B.
The secondary characters are still very washed out. I think at this point I’m actually disappointed in Gideon’s girlfriend. I know that she has the patience of a saint, but come on, at least make seem realistic. I still wish there was more interaction between Gideon and Sirius. With his humor and biting wit, I think Sirius would make an excellent straight man..er..dog!
This is book 2 in the Gideon and Sirius Series. While it is recommended to read the first book in the series, I believe there might be enough explanation for this one to nearly stand alone. Especially since there are some disconnects between this book and the first book.
Once again we join Detective Michael Gideon and his K-9 partner, Sirius. They are still in charge of handling Los Angeles’ strange and special cases. And this newest case is a real doozy. Wrong Pauley is a homeless man who has long fallen from grace and has given up on anything good in life. Late one night, his drinking binge is interrupted by a detonation of light and he sees what he can only describe as a being of light being murdered in the alley below. For once in his life, Wrong Pauley tries to help, but is too late and he believes he has witnessed the murder of an angel. Gideon’s superiors believe this is a perfect special case for Gideon and Sirius.
Gideon and Sirius are already on another case when this one lands in their lap. They are trying to track down the man who is being called the Reluctant Hero after rescuing children from a schoolyard shooting. Braving gunfire and personal injury, the man runs in and tackles the gunman and then disappears. The LAPD brass want him found so that they can hold a press conference and properly reward his actions.
As they tackle both cases, complications abound. Wrong Pauley winds up dead and now they have two murders on their hands. Gideon and his partner are soon on the tail of a very high profile suspect who likes to collect trophies. He has already hunted every species on earth, who better to want to hunt a being of light? Gideon finds that being in this man’s cross-hairs can lead to his own demise and he finds that a Reluctant Hero can be a very vital asset to keeping both him and Sirius alive.
Again, the connection between Gideon, Sirius and the serial killer called The Weatherman is back. They were all burned in a fire while Gideon was in pursuit to capture him. The killer believes that they have a connection that can’t be denied no matter how much Gideon wants to deny it. I really wish this had been explored more. But once again, Gideon is unresponsive, denies everything and throws up a brick wall. This could be a really great story, but it is relegated to the back burner. Also lacking in this book as opposed to the first installment was the relationship between Gideon and Sirius.
There are some real gaps between this book and Burning Man. The relationship between Gideon and his girlfriend never seems to progress and she’s apparently had a complete change in profession that is never explained. All of the characters seem shallow and incomplete in this book. And while one case is solved, the case of the being of light is never fully explained. There were so many unanswered questions that it just really left a lot to be desired. The case of the Reluctant Hero was the only one truly resolved and even that was more than a little hollow. After the first book, I really did have high hopes for this one and I felt disappointed. But I will still read the next book, just to see…
3 1/2 Stars
This is the 4th installment of the Detective Crosswhite series. I received this copy from NetGalley and the publishers. I have also read the previous three books and would definitely recommend reading the previous books, but the author has written these novels in such a way that you can read them without reading the previous installments, but definitely recommend reading them in order, much more satisfying.
A woman’s body is discovered inside a crab pot, submerged deep in the waters of Puget Sound. Once again, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with yet another difficult case to solve. The first order of business is to find out who this woman is. During the course of the investigation, they find that this woman went to a lot of trouble to hide who she really is. What or who is she running from?
As Tracy and her A Team of detectives begin to unravel this case, they discover that their Jane Doe is actually a woman who went missing weeks earlier from Mount Ranier. This woman was married and her husband had been the prime suspect in her disappearance and becomes the prime suspect again now that she has been found dead. Just as the case gets rolling, the team is told that the case is going back into the hands of the jurisdiction that handled the disappearance case. Tracy doesn’t want to let go and she is willing to risk her entire career to solve this case.
As the case goes on, it dredges up memories of Tracy’s sister and the twenty year search for justice in her case. This is another case that hits close to home. The young woman who disappeared had much in common with Tracy. She lost her entire family at a young age and Tracy feels that she owes it to this woman to find out the truth, no matter the cost.
Once again, Tracy is an admirable protagonist and I love her strength and her convictions. But I am getting a little bored with the whole “personal connection” to every case. It’s starting to feel a little forced at this point, as is the strained relationship with her Captain. The guy is a creep and should have been shown the door after the last book. Her team is full of amazing people too and I’m glad to see them taking a larger role in this book. I especially love Faz and Del. We also get to see more of Tracy from a personal level and her relationship with Dan. It was nice to see her outside of the role as Detective and in the role of just an ordinary woman in love with a man.
If you have read any of the previous books in this series, I definitely recommend this one. I would not recommend this to someone who hasn’t read the backstory, it just wouldn’t give you the complete story and for that reason alone, I had to deduct half a star. It’s always hard to review books in a series to someone who hasn’t read the previous books. But this is a solid undertaking and I don’t think we are done seeing Detective Tracy Crosswhite.
This is the third book in the Tracy Crosswhite series. You could probably read this particular novel as a stand-alone, but you will definitely get more out of the story if you read the previous two installments.
Once again we find Detective Tracy Crosswhite once again taking on another unsolved cold case. She is asked by Jenny, a former police academy classmate to continue her father’s work and find the killer of a young Native American woman who everyone else assumed committed suicide. But her family never believed the official story and neither did the investigative detective, Jenny’s father. Tracy begins to follow up on the evidence and she begins to probe into the small town’s dark secrets. Secrets that the town seems hell bent on keeping. Is Detective Crosswhite going to be able to solve this case or is she going to become a victim too?
Again, this is another case that seems to hit close to home for Tracy. Her sister was murdered and she spent twenty years trying to solve her case and bring the killer to justice. Since then, she seems to be drawn to cases that are very similar to her sister’s murder. She gets very personally invested and involved, which causes trouble for her both with her superiors in the department and in her personal life as well. But she just can’t seem to let these cases go and while it’s a great thing for the victim, it’s playing havoc on her own life.
There is plenty of action and the investigation never lags. The interaction between the characters is always solid and believable and the characters are very well thought out and none of them are one-dimensional. Some end up being a little bit of a cliche. Especially Tracy’s boss, Captain Nolasco. But the victim’s brother also follows a stereotype and not a very flattering one when it comes to describing Native American men. But the main core of characters are very enjoyable and you find yourself really rooting for Tracy in more ways than one.
I was a little surprised at the climax, I really didn’t expect the reveal. You think you know who the killer is, but there’s one last surprise for you in the end. Watching Tracy work her investigative magic is always entertaining. While I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the previous two, it was still a very solid installment in the series and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Detective Tracy Crosswhite.
Michael Gideon is a LAPD cop who became a reluctant hero and celebrity along side his K-9 partner, Sirius, when they shot to fame by capturing a notorious serial killer in the midst of a raging wildfire. For their heroism, and continued PR appearances for the LAPD, they are chosen to head up the new Special Cases Unit. They are picked to take on the more unusual and unexplained cases. Given almost full autonomy, Gideon can’t pass up the chance to work together with his partner without all the red tape and bosses breathing down your neck. Perfect job for someone who is still trying to fight his own inner demons that have been haunting him since the night he and Sirius captured the serial killer known as the Weatherman, a man still haunting his dreams.
Those dreams that haunt Gideon also provide him unexplained information. He will wake from his dreams where he is walking through fire again, actually feeling the flames and the pain of the fire. He will also wake with unusual and unexplained insights into the cases that he is working on. A skill that he and Sirius need to learn to trust in so they can not only solve this case, but also save a bit of themselves in the process.
In their first Special Case, a teenager is found crucified in a city park. There are few clues and a whole lot of questions. Who would go to such lengths to not only kill this young man, but to give further insult by crucification? At the same time, another case appears that is close to Gideon’s heart. An infant is found dead, left in a box by what seems to be an uncaring mother. This discovery plays havok on Gideon’s PTSD and hits very close to home, as he was a foundling, dropped off as an infant in the parking lot of a church. Gideon must face his own inner demons as he unravels the threads of these cases.
While the dialog is a little sophomoric at times, the wit and sarcasm of Michael Gideon does make up for it at times. He reminds me a bit of Harry Bosch or even Harry Dresden. His sarcasm is biting and his wit is quick. His jokes and sarcasm hide the insecurity and the PTSD, you can see the defense mechanism at work and it makes him all the more human. I wish the interaction with Sirius was a little more pronounced, he seems to spend an awful lot of time in the car.
The connection that he has with the serial killer called the Weatherman is never fully explained and it more than a little creepy. It reminds me at times of the relationships that Hannibal Lecter had with his victims and those who brought him down. Definitely a bit of a creep factor there. I’m hoping that this gets fleshed out and explained in subsequent novels.
This is the third installment in the Kingfountain series and picks up seven years after The Thief’s Daughter. Owen has gone from a frightened child, cowering in the kitchen to one of the most trusted confidants of King Severn Augustine. He has watched his King grow ever more ruthless and mad with power. Owen knows that it’s just a matter of time the King will fail, someone will come to topple this man he has loyally served yet come to fear and revile. This man who has taken so much from Owen and still demands more.
Owen is ordered by his King to incite war with a neighboring kingdom. His appetite for power has taken over his reason, Owen sees this but feels he has no choice but to obey. Or at least appear to do so. It seems that Owen has an agenda of his own. It seems that there is a limit to Owen’s loyalty. He’s been robbed of everything that he has held dear. His protector, his mentor, his safe haven and his true love. As Owen’s understanding of his fountain-blessed powers grows, he begins to understand the role that he must play.
Watching Owen grow over these three books has been a treat. He has gone from a scared little boy into one of the most formidable men in the realm. His presence and power is only enhanced by his humanity and his internal struggle with what is truly right and what is wrong. He is taken through a gauntlet of trials and tests, each one harder than the one before. You spend much of the book wondering if Owen will truly do the right thing or will he fall into the same trap that his King fell into before him. Will he take the power for himself or will he allow it to transfer to its rightful owner?
There is even more magic in this book and while we are only introduced to a couple new characters, they have a huge impact on Owen and the story as a whole. There are times where the prophesy and the powers of the fountain threaten to take over the entire narrative, but the author skillfully brings everything back together again as the story runs its course.
I was dreading the end of the book, but only because I didn’t want the story to end. I didn’t want to leave Owen and his world. It was bittersweet to see the story end. I was happy and sad at the same time. I truly enjoyed how the saga unfolded and how it concluded. But all the same, I would really love to see Owen and his friends again.