Book Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

June 24, 2016 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2016, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
on May 5th 2015
Pages: 416
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy
Format: ARC
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

three-half-stars

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

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A fairy-tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a world made up of humans and faeries. Five hundred years before, humans were enslaved by faeries but following the Treaty, the wall was built to relegate humans to a sliver of land kept separate from faeries. Growing up, Feyre has known nothing but hate for faeries and their kind, hearing the stories of their violence and abuse of power. Her family was once great, living in a manor, with her father being a lucrative merchant. But now, at nineteen years old she is the youngest of her two other sisters, but it is left up to her to ensure her families safety after their mothers death and her fathers inability to care for them any longer. Not wanting to fall asleep another night with an empty belly, she sets out to the dangerous forest and does manage to fell a deer, but also a massive wolf. This wolf though, was actually fae and his master appears soon after demanding retribution by way of her death. Shockingly, she is offered an alternative: that Feyre come live on his land forever, in safety not to be enslaved, never to see her family again. She accepts.

“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”

Having lived in fear of the fae, she is shocked to realize that they aren’t quite as brutal as is commonly said. And the one that offered her her life, Tamlin, is incredibly kind to her forcing her to re-evaluate her generalized feelings about his kind. During her time there, she discovers that there is a blight on the land that resulted in the fae being forced to forever hide their faces behind masks, a female fae that everyone seems to be terrified of, and enough secrets to make anyone curious. But by the time she finds out exactly what is being kept from her, will it be too late?

This was one of those that I never got around to reading (even though I received an ARC) because of the massive hype surrounding it. Eighteen months later and look at me, I’m finally reading it! So much time had lapsed that I had even forgot that this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a faerie twist! Incredibly fascinating concept so I was eager to love it. Alas, I did not, but it was still an enjoyable tale.

From the very beginning I adored Feyre. She was quite a capable character that was willing to do anything to make sure her family was able to eat. Even though she was the youngest of her two other sisters (with one of them being a royal asshole that I totally would have let starve) and even though her father could have gotten a job but simply didn’t. The fact that she stayed as strong as she was, didn’t let life beat her down, was a testament to her tenacity and I loved her for it. Once she arrived in the faerie kingdom, she got a few points docked for being such an imbecile and running off into danger all the damn time but I guess we have to consider the fact that even though she was being told shit was dangerous, she didn’t really know who to trust. Tamlin was the requisite studly yet brooding faerie that she was clearly meant to fall for from the very beginning. He was interesting but he was no Beast… he was trying way too damn hard and it becomes a little obvious in the end why that is but I won’t spoil that. All in all though he was a pretty boring love interest that lacked a lot of depth.

And now for my biggest issue: the romance. Honestly, the sexy times descriptions by themselves were cringe worthy.

“…ignoring how easily I could see the cut of his muscles beneath his white shirt, the way the blood soaking it made them stand out even more.”

And my favorite that had me laughing like a loon:

“My fingers grappled with his belt buckle, and his mouth found mine again. Our tongues danced – not a waltz or a minuet, but a war dance, a death dance of bone drums and screaming fiddles.”

I mean, seriously? War dance? Bone drums? Screaming fiddles?

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I mentioned that Tamlin lacked depth, well, the romance really lacked depth. But then again, if you think about it, seems a bit fitting in terms of Disney fairy-tale comparisons. They make swoony eyes at one another, someone gets put into mortal danger leading the other to make some heroic rescue, there’s some dancing and kisses and just general love stuff going on. Disney romances never consist of talking about feelings and working through issues, it’s just sweet and flawless and they live happily ever after, the end. Fortunately, Maas didn’t leave us with that yawn worthy ending. Which brings me to the question I’d been asking myself almost the entire time: So… who’s Gaston in this tale? Amarantha. Evil incarnate. And yes, a woman. She turns the tables forcing Feyre to be the rescuer in this story and basically, badassery ensues. I will let the rest be a surprise in addition to the character fully introduced near the end that made it ALL worth while.

Maas really had a fascinating concept with her fantasy/fairy-tale hybrid, but I feel that it never quite came to fruition for me. The world-building was superb and I feel with a bit more time delving into the actual characters in future installments we’ll have a real winner with this one. At least one can hope.

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End of Watch (Stephen King) Tour Recap: Reno

June 23, 2016 Bonnie Event Recap 7 Comments

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Everyone has a list of things they’d love to be able to say they did before they pass on from this world, a Bucket List, and being able to hear Stephen King speak is was definitely on mine. Our Barnes & Noble here in Reno did the audience selection for his stop on June 18th, 2016 quite weird. They didn’t sell tickets but instead we had to send an e-mail at exactly 8:00am on a particular day in order to get a reservation spot, and seating was limited to 300. I sent my e-mail at 8:02am (my auto-send plugin failed me most spectacularly) but I was still hopeful, yet… I didn’t get a reservation. I was bummed but life goes on. And then I found out that for some reason Barnes was remaining open to the public so after a little bullying from a good friend, I convinced myself to put my shoes on and go practice my ninja skills and try to still get the experience of a lifetime. It was a massive success.

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The crowd was insane but I snagged myself a prime spot on the second floor balcony. Everyone had wristbands and I thought for sure some bouncer was going to walk up to me and say, “Ma’am, I’m going to need you to come with me. You’re not allowed up here.” But I was left alone! And some incredibly kind person actually scooted over me so I could be up against the balcony like I was. (You can see my forehead in the picture which someone from B&N took.)

King came out to deafening applause (as I fought back tears of extreme happiness) and proceeded to make us all laugh with a story about a fan. “I did a book fair in Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago and that was the first time a lady came up to me and said “You scared the shit out of me, can I have a hug?” *laughs* I just thought it was really fucking weird.” And those are the two things you really must know about Stephen King: he cusses… a lot and he’s fucking hilarious. I never would have guessed that the man who could write about rabid dogs and possessed cars, haunted hotels and murderers that drive ice cream trucks could be as effortlessly funny as he is. He was also genuinely appreciative of our attendance at his event and seemed genuinely humbled by the amount of people. “We’re all here, we’re in the fucking bookstore, man. We’re the blessed minority, as far as I’m concerned, we’re book people and I think that’s the most fabulous thing in the world.”

This was apparently the first time King had ever been to Reno but said he liked it and glad it wasn’t Vegas. In retrospect, maybe he was humbled by the amount of people in attendance because he thought Reno was smaller than it really is? 😂 He pronounced Nevada as Ne-vah-duh which generally causes my eye to twitch but most everyone who doesn’t live in Nevada pronounces it like that so I’ll let it go. He adapted what could have been his tried and true scripted speech (that still would have been completely fine) but changed it to suit us Nevadans. He discussed riding through the desert on Highway 50 and of the open pit mine called the Elijah mine near Ely, Nevada and how it became the inspiration for his novel Desperation. I also will no longer be able to mention Wendover without calling it Bendover whilst laughing like a loon. The fact is, that section of his speech was something fitting only for us. He couldn’t have talked about those things on any other tour stop and have it still be relevant to the audience and that made it special.

He discussed Christine and how it was originally intended to be humorous, about how Misery was just planned as a short story, and how The Stand is  photo cover_2.pnghis favorite novel he’s ever written. Despite the fact that he was on tour for the final book in the Bill Hodges trilogy, he didn’t discuss it once. But then again, as he said, “If you need me to talk about the book I wrote, that book was shit. (It wasn’t though, I loved it.) We were also treated to a random yet hilarious story about the time somebody offered him $20 to change a flat tire. And he did it. And his wife asks him, “Are you really going to take that [money]?” And King says, “You’re fucking right. This is the first honest work I’ve done in 20 years.” King also talked about his wife always being his first reader and when she first read It she said, “I love it but you gotta change the title. […] Because if you call it It the critics will call it shit.” Obviously he stuck with the title and didn’t listen to the critics but as King said, “It never bothered me because when I started I was 24 and I knew they would all fucking die eventually.”

After over forty-five minutes of speaking, he announced that he was running on empty and that he’d take some questions from the audience. Honestly though, the audience questions were shite (like the lady that just wanted him to sign her hat — he told her no) and if I wasn’t so tongue tied I wish I would’ve grown a pair and asked a question of my own. One of the questions was actually good where he was asked about his deftly placed “Easter Eggs”, how connected all his works/characters are and whether it came naturally or if he made a conscious effort to do that. He talks about how he feels they all relate back to The Dark Tower series which is simply fascinating. Personally, I would have taken that question a step further and asked about the fact that Joe Hill’s characters are also connected to Kings characters and how the decision was made to do that. I can envision some sort of family meeting to discuss this and damn, seriously, but those two really ought to write some books together.

Bottom line, this was an awesome event and I’m so very fortunate that I was able to attend. I’m not sure it was possible but I think I love him even more than I did yesterday.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

June 22, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday, YA 4 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva DarrowsDead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows
Published by Harlequin Teen on March 28th 2017
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N
Goodreads

Quinn Littleton was a mean girl—a skinny blonde social terrorist in stilettos. She was everything Emma MacLaren hated. Until she died.

A proud geek girl, Emma loves her quiet life on the outskirts, playing video games and staying off the radar. When her nightmare of a new stepsister moves into the bedroom next door, her world is turned upside down. Quinn is a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way. Teachers, football players, her fellow cheerleaders—no one is safe.

Emma wants nothing more than to get this girl out of her life, but when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone ever realized.

A meaningful and humorous exploration of teen stereotypes and grief, Dead Little Mean Girl examines the labels we put on people and what lies beyond if we're only willing to look closer.

About Eva Darrows

Eva Darrows is Hillary Monahan is also an international woman of mystery. Holed up in Massachusetts with three smelly basset hounds, she writes funny, creepy things for fun and profit.

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I love this author and I love the idea behind this one, and how there is always more that meets the eye with anyone. Hillary/Eva wrote up a fantastic article about the story behind this story that is worth a read over on Barnes & Nobles Teen Blog so be sure to check it out here. This one doesn’t come out for ages but I’m ready and waiting!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite 2016 Releases (So Far)

June 21, 2016 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 5 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

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A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
I’m still reeling from finishing this one and not knowing what the hell to do with myself. I’m leaning towards just going back to the beginning and starting again. Best of the year (so far?)

The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski
I was so sad to see this trilogy come to a close but fans will be pleased with Rukoski’s close.

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach [Review]
There’s something mesmerizing about each of Wallach’s stories and he really hit it out of the park with this one. An obscure magical realism story that shouldn’t be missed.

The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda Jones
It’s so fantastic to be TEN installments into a series and love it just as much (if not more) as the first one. Charlie Davidson continue to entertain.

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End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen King [Review]
King brings his detective mystery to a close with this installment and it was a most satisfying ending.

The Fireman by Joe Hill [Review]
This was easily one of my most anticipated of the year. I was a little underwhelemed to be quite honest but this is still a must-read.

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser [Review]
This one is a bit of an underrated gem with under 700 read on Goodreads. Fans of Winters Bone? Read this. Fans of Country Noir? Read this.

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of June 20th, 2016

June 20, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of June 20th, 2016

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Unplugged (The Wired #1) by Donna Freitas [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by HarperTeen

The Marked Girl (Marked Girl #1) by Lindsey Klingele [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Harper Collins

Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Razorbill

Never Ever by Sara Saedi [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

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Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Dial Books

Willnot by James Sallis [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Bloomsbury USA

School of the Dead by Avi [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by HarperCollins

The Secret Fire (Secret Box #3) by Whitaker Ringwald [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

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Pressure by Brian Keene [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books

Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Orbit

In the Shadow of the Gods (Bound Gods #1) by Rachel Dunne [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Harper Voyager

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock: A Novel by Paul Tremblay [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by William Morrow

Pride’s Spell (Sin du Jour #3) by Matt Wallace [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Tor.com

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We Were Kings by Thomas O’Malley & Douglas Graham Purdy [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Mulholland Books

The Weaver’s Lament (Symphony of Ages #9) by Elizabeth Haydon [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Tor Books

Judenstaat by Simone Zelitch [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Tor Books

Fatal Pursuit (Bruno, Chief of Police #9) by Martin Walker [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Knopf

The Royal Nanny: A Novel by Karen Harper [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks

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Surprise Me: A Novel by Deena Goldstone [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Nan A. Talese

As Good as Gone by Larry Watson [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Algonquin Books

Vinegar Girl: A Novel by Anne Tyler [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Hogarth

So Much for That Winter: Novellas by Dorthe Nors [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Graywolf Press

My Last Continent: A Novel by Midge Raymond [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Scribner

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A Measure of Love (A Pound of Flesh #3) by Sophie Jackson [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Gallery Books

By The Numbers by Jen Lancaster [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by NAL

Mystic Summer: A Novel by Hannah McKinnon [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Sunshine Beach: Ten Beach Road Novel by Wendy Wax [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Berkley

Downtown Devil (Sins in the City #2) by Cara McKenna [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 21st 2016 by Signet Eclipse

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Early Review – Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant

June 17, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2016 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira GrantRise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh Trilogy
Published by Orbit on June 21st 2016
Pages: 656
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

four-half-stars

Collected here for the first time is every piece of short fiction from New York Times Bestseller Mira Grant's acclaimed Newsflesh series, with two new never-before-published novellas and all eight short works available for the first time in print.

We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, a man-made virus taking over bodies and minds, filling them with one, unstoppable command...FEED.

Countdown
"Everglades"
San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats
How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea
The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell
Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus
All the Pretty Little Horses
Coming to You Live

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Being back in the Newsflesh world after so. long. had me all sorts of giddy. Sure, I’ve read some of these short stories recently, but the best thing about this collection of short stories is the expectation of more to come. Feedback is coming this October and this is the perfect book to read to get a bit of a refresh and to prepare yourself mentally. More George. More Shaun. More zombies. Oh, man, is it October yet?

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So, back to Rise. This collection consists of eight short stories and two of them have never before been published. These are all set in the Newsflesh world but not necessarily George and Shaun’s world (although a few of course do).

The first, Countdown, is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh novels. Countdown takes you back before the virus was spread, before the zombies came alive, when the world was still as vivid and vibrant as it is today. This is a super short story and left me wanting much much more, but it was still an extremely informative piece of writing that I felt was essential to truly understanding the Newsflesh world. You don’t get to read anything about Shaun or George or even Buffy, but you do get a glimpse into the life of Amanda Amberlee, the creator of the cure Dr. Alexander Kellis, and of the group responsible for unleashing it onto the world, ‘The Mayday Army’. Even with a short story, Mira Grant does a phenomenal job at pulling you right in.

’When will you Rise?
And the world gave itself an answer:
Now.
Welcome to the aftermath.’

Everglades was a short story that was originally included in The Living Dead 2 anthology. Set on the UC Berkeley campus, this is a story that focuses on the sorts of individuals that have found themselves a survivor among the growing apocalypse but realized that this sort of world isn’t one that they can continue living in. This short story effectively recaps the life of Debbie whose grandfather taught her to respect Nature, that it can be cruel. This life lesson is never more apparent as she watches the dead come to life and the air begins to smell like the Everglade swamps of Florida. Life is only temporary but death is eternal. Incredibly eerie story. Makes you wonder what form you would take in an apocalypse: hero or someone more expendable?

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats tells the story of individuals that found themselves in a comic book convention when the zombies begin to rise. Thirty years have passed since the Last Stand and Mahir Gowda interviews the only survivor Lorelei Tutt. This short story encompasses a large cast of characters and we get to see snippets through their eyes and what they’re doing to try to survive the long five days they were barricaded inside the convention center. Last Stand was a Hugo nominee for Best Novella in 2013 and it really comes as no surprise. This nod to the Browncoats of Firefly is yet another brilliant story that brings to light the realities of just how terrifying a zombie apocalypse would be.

In How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea, we get more Mahir but this time he’s in Australia doing an article on their famed rabbit-proof fence. It’s an interesting piece that reads very much like a travelogue, as if Bill Bryson visited Australia except there’s zombie kangaroo hopping around. It was interesting to get a glimpse at how people outside of the United States have handled the zombie apocalypse. There’s a definite lack of action with this one, Mahir never was the type to get out there and slay some undead, so this one is definitely for those interested in the scientific aspects of an apocalypse.

The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell is a riveting and suspenseful novella set in the same world as Grant’s popular Newsflesh trilogy. The story follows Alaric Kwong and Mahir Gowda in current day 2044 who are conducting research on the tragedy trying to find the cause of it all. Flashbacks to 2036 are told from the point of view of teacher Elaine Oldenburg and shows the flaws of the ‘secure school system’ she thought she worked in. Her desperation to survive and to keep as many of the children safe as possible is palpable and even knowing that all sorts of wrongs are likely to follow, the reader can’t help but hope for a miracle. Incredibly thrilling for a mere 112 pages, Mira Grant continues to impress with her boldness.

Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus centers are my favorite character: Dr. Abbey. Most of these short stories can stand by themselves but Octopus combines not just the story from Blackout but The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell and guys? It’s so damn good. Dr. Abbey is being her badass scientist self trying to figure out how to save the world from the virus that overtook it, but she also has to protect her lab from those who want to take it from her. There were some fantastic character revelations and added backstory to those interesting characters that we never quite knew much about. Bottom line, if you haven’t read this, do it immediately.

And now we come to the brand new stories! All the Pretty Little Horses was admittedly a massive step back in terms of pacing after the thrill ride of Octopus but I can’t complain too awful much. We also took a bit of a step back in terms of time as well. Georgia and Shaun have always been center-stage and we never quite knew much about their adoptive parents, at least until now. Stacy and Michael Mason, we know from the Newsflesh novels, lost their son Phillip after the family dog amplified. Stacy, lost inside her deep depression after being the one to have to put a bullet in his head, pulls herself out when she develops a passion for photography. The duo are one of the first to start blogging of the epidemic and photographing it for those too scared to venture out into the unknown. It was interesting to finally get some backstory on these characters we’ve always known but never knew much about.

The final story, Coming to You Live, is clearly leading up to events to come in Feedback and if I wasn’t excited before I sure am now. This story takes us into the backwoods of Canada, where Georgia and Shaun have been living since the end of Blackout. Honestly, I don’t want to spoil a single thing about this but I will say that it was so damn good to have those two back on the page. This one was intense and a bit of a nail-biter at times but such a satisfying read. I may not have wanted this one to end but it was still fantastic no matter the size and I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Feedback but I’m even more excited for it now. Feedback, the fourth Newsflesh novel, comes out in October. But seriously, is it October yet?

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Audiobook Review – End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen King

June 16, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 1 Comment

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen KingEnd of Watch by Stephen King
Narrator: Will Patton
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #3
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on June 7th 2016
Length: 12 hours and 54 minutes
Genres: Horror, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Publisher
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

four-stars

Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.

Bill Hodges Trilogy

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Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) [PurchaseReview]
Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2) [Purchase]

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Seven years have passed since Brady Hartsfield drove a stolen Mercedes through a crowd of people, killing many, and paralyzing one survivor by the name of Martine Stover. Despite her disability, she still lives a peaceful life with her mother who is her primary caregiver. That is until the day the police are called to her residence in what appears to be a murder/suicide, but is in all actuality anything but. This crime has Brady Hartsfield written all over it, but he’s in a mostly vegetative state in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, how could such a thing even be possible? But when more and more suicides begin popping up, the only thing that connects them is Brady and Bill Hodges just might be the only one that could believe such an impossibility.

“End of watch is what they call it, but Hodges himself has found it impossible to give up watching.”

The gang is all back together for one last hurrah: Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson. Hodges and Holly were doing their fair share of investigating the strange evidence piling up around the recent increase of suicides, but it’s not until one of these attempted suicides hits close to home that the ante has been upped. Despite the impossibility of Brady being the backstage conductor, readers that have been with this series from the beginning will have been given a glimpse at where King was heading at the end of Finders Keepers. Mr. Mercedes, the first installment, seemed to at first be a bit of a departure from King’s typical style, going for your basic mystery/detective thriller, yet slowly but surely he deftly infused it with his trademark supernatural horror. Whether it’s due to the blow that Holly landed or the experimental drugs being delivered by his doctor, Brady has developed the ability to influence the minds of others. With his technological genius, he manages to find a way to increase the way he spreads his infectious thoughts so that he can finally commit the massive crime he was prevented from carrying out before.

Despite the fact that King doesn’t fully flesh out the supernatural aspects of the novel, it doesn’t take much suspension of disbelief for it to still work. The powerful effects of video games are evident in society even without the supernatural aspects involved and King uses this to bring that effectiveness to life in this novel of horror. Suffice it to say, the cover may have been intriguing before reading the story, but after? You won’t want to maintain eye contact for long. And this song is definitely ruined. So, King subsequently ruined the ice cream man and a Mickey Mouse song in one fell swoop with this series. A most impressive feat.

The initial working title for this book was The Suicide Prince and while I was disappointed when it was announced it would actually be End of Watch instead, it’s so much more fitting. King didn’t disappoint with this ending, not leaving us hanging with unresolved questions but not coating the ending in unlikely perfection. I may have started this trilogy skeptical that King could pull off a convincing mystery but by the end I’m hoping that he experiments with this genre more in the future.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Mirror Image: A Novel by Michael Scott & Melanie Ruth Rose

June 15, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 4 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – Mirror Image: A Novel by Michael Scott & Melanie Ruth RoseMirror Image: A Novel by Michael Scott, Melanie Ruth Rose
Published by Tor on August 23rd 2016
Pages: 352
Genres: Horror
Format: Hardcover
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Goodreads

A mirror that feeds on human souls wreaks destruction on those around it in Mirror Image, the new novel from internationally bestselling author Michael Scott and Melanie Ruth Rose.

In an auction house in London, there is a mirror no one will buy. Standing seven feet tall and reaching four feet across, its size makes it unusual. Its horrific powers make it extraordinary. For centuries, the mirror has fed off of the lives of humans, giving them agonizing deaths and sucking their souls into its hellish world.

When Jonathan Frazer, the wealthy owner of a furniture and antiques shop in Los Angeles, buys the mirror at an auction, he believes he is getting the bargain of a lifetime. With its age and size, it is easily worth eight times what he paid for it. At this point, the mirror has sat dormant for years. But within days of Jonathan's purchase, the deaths begin again. One employee is crushed when the mirror falls on top of him. A few days later, the corpse of another is found in front of the mirror, brutally stabbed. A third is burned beyond all recognition. All the while, an enormous man with a scarred face is following Jonathan, demanding that he give him the mirror and killing any police officer that gets in his way.

The police are becoming desperate. As the death toll rises, Jonathan himself becomes a suspect. He knows there is something wrong with the mirror. He knows it's dangerous. But he cannot bring himself to get rid of it. Everyday he becomes more captivated by the mirror.

For the mirror is awakening, and its powers are resurfacing.

About Michael Scott

Irish-born Michael Scott began writing over thirty years ago, and is one of Ireland's most successful and prolific authors, with over one hundred titles to his credit, spanning a variety of genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Folklore.

He writes for both adults and young adults and is published in thirty-seven countries, in over twenty languages.

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“A mirror that feeds on human souls”

WELL THEN. That sounds delightful. 😂

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Top Ten Tuesday – 2016 (Second Half) Release Spotlight

June 14, 2016 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 8 Comments

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Stars So Sweet (All Four Stars #3) by Tara Dairman (Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
This is hands down one of the most adorable Middle-Grade series out there. This also incorporates my love of foodie fiction most effectively.

To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Little, Brown and Company)
I feel like I read Snow Child a lifetime ago when it was really only 4 years. But it’s been a long 4 years waiting for Ivey to put out another beautiful story.

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas (Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens)
I anticipate taking days off from work when the next installments of these books are released if that’s any indication of my obsession.

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell (Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books)
Foodie fiction + Magical realism. I need more of these books in my life.

The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud (Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion)
Stroud has created a fantastic group of ghost hunters and I’m always eager for the next installment.

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The Family Plot by Cherie Priest (Expected publication: September 20th 2016 by Tor Books)
I’ve had Cherie Priest’s books on my TBR shelf for years and have yet to read any. But I’ll give any haunted house book a shot.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews (Expected publication: September 20th 2016 by Ace)
Admittedly, installments 6 and 7 almost had me giving up on this series but 8 completely brought me back into the fold.

By Gaslight: A Novel by Steven Price (Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
I am such a sucker for violent Victorian mysteries and at 752 pages this one better be incredible.

Stranded: A Novel by Bracken MacLeod (Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Tor Books)
“Apocalyptic storm.” “Ominously thickening fog.” “Mysterious illness.” Check, check, and check.

Feedback (Newsflesh #4) by Mira Grant (Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Orbit)
No, there’s no cover yet and there’s barely a synopsis but I DON’T CARE I NEED THIS LIKE AIR.

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