Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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Early Review – A Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa Dale

November 9, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 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 – A Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa DaleA Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa Dale
Published by Berkley on January 3rd 2012
Pages: 346
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

An unforgettable novel about love, forgiveness, and letting go.

Nine years ago, Lauren Matthews prosecuted the case of a lifetime. But her error in judgment sent an innocent man to prison. Now Arlen Fieldstone has finally been released, and Lauren has only one thing on her mind: asking forgiveness. How can she make up for nine years of his life? To get to Arlen, Lauren must first get through Arlen's best friend, Will Farris, who hasn't forgiven her for destroying Arlen's life.
In the steaming summer streets of Richmond, Virginia, three people's lives collide. Lauren needs forgiveness. Arlen needs hope. And Will? He needs something too, something that no one can know—especially not Lauren...

Nine years ago Arlen Fieldstone was convicted of murdering the wife of Senator Juan Raimez. Today, he’s been exonerated of all charges and is now a free man. Lauren becomes so distraught over her role in putting away an innocent man and taking away 9 years of his life, she travels down to Virginia to apologize to him.

‘Lauren had thought she’d wanted to give something to Arlen: her apology. Her willingness to step up and take some responsibility for what had happened to him.’

This was a novel about forgiveness and second chances, but I didn’t relate with the characters which made their actions hard to understand.

The one section of the story that I would like to point out is a letter to the editor that Lauren’s brother actually wrote and submitted:

“Dear Editor: Everyone is pointing at Lauren Matthews for Arlen Fieldstone’s wrongful conviction. But here’s the truth: She’s not a cop, so she didn’t gather evidence. All she could do was interpret it for the jury. If you want to blame someone for Arlen’s mistreatment, blame the jury that convicted him. Blame the cops who botched the evidence. Blame a weak defense. But don’t blame Lauren Matthews for doing her job.”

Despite the fact that this was a biased statement, as the writer was her own brother, it still has a ring of truth: in the long run it really wasn’t her fault. She was presented the evidence from the police and it was her job as a prosecutor to convince the jury that the defendant should be convicted. I understand this and I especially think that anyone who has studied law would feel the same.

Will’s quick infatuation with Lauren seemed ill-placed with the rest of the story. This is supposed to be a woman that he can’t stand because in his eyes she’s the sole reason for why his best friend was put away for 9 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Yet by their second time around each other he’s already considering how good looking she is and by the fourth he’s imagining her in bed. Just seemed like a wrong piece in the puzzle that shouldn’t have been included.

Essentially, I enjoyed the story; however, I really had a hard time understanding the main characters guilt over the conviction of an innocent man. It happens, it will continue to happen, but you learn from it and you move on. You don’t let a single case from 9 years ago cause you so much grief that you develop heart problems and you feel the need to travel across several states in order to apologize to the man. A side story regarding her brother played a part in the reasoning for her guilt, but I still had a hard time understanding/accepting it.

The ending was quite predictable and everyone lived happily ever after. My main issue was that I didn’t connect with any of the characters and that made me lose major interest in this novel as a whole.

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Book Review – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) by Laurie R. King

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 2 Comments

Book Review – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) by Laurie R. KingThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1
Published by Minotaur Books on April 1, 2010
Pages: 384
Genres: Mystery
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles into his lap on the Sussex downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern twentieth century woman proves a deft protégée, and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, this first book of the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries is “wonderfully original and entertaining...absorbing from beginning to end” (Booklist).

If you’re in any way a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this book/series is a must read for you. I’m new to the world of Sherlock Holmes but I immediately loved him following his first book A Study in Scarlet and I desperately wanted to read more stories about him.

Sherlock Holmes is now a retired beekeeper residing in Sussex Downs. Despite the fact that he is retired, his mind is still just as sharp and he still assists the police in solving local cases. Sherlock Holmes meets Mary Russell (the narrator), a 15 year old young woman, one day and recognizes her as a like-minded individual almost instantly.

’The formality of his speech was faintly ludicrous considering that we were two shabby figures facing each other on an otherwise deserted hillside.’

Mary quickly becomes a sidekick to Holmes and he teaches her all the tricks of his trade. Despite her young age, despite the fact that she is female, she quickly becomes an equal to Sherlock which is quite a change when compared to the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.

”A conversation with you is most invigorating, Russell. That might have taken twenty frustrating minutes with Watson.”

I absolutely loved how true to form Sherlock was in this book and if I didn’t love him/this book enough as is, the addition of Mary made it absolute perfection. Their dry humor and verbal sparring was delightful. They began as friends and Mary was constantly striving for Sherlock’s approval.

’Ah, how sweet was the pleasure of seeing the look of appreciation spread over his face and hearing his murmured phrase, “Very good, very good indeed.” It was like coming home.’

The book actually spans quite a number of years as Mary is almost nineteen by the end. The progression of their relationship was lovely and despite the fact that it could be construed as inevitable it was still a delight to witness.

‘Reminders of my femininity always took him by surprise. However, I could not hold him to blame, for they took me by surprise as well.’

This has absolutely become one of my favorites and I will definitely be continuing this series. Thank you Maja for the recommendation. 🙂

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Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon Frater

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon FraterFighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #2
Published by Self-Published on February 17th 2009
Pages: 307
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Siege, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

three-stars

 

Katie and Jenni have found new lives with the survivors of their makeshift fort, but danger still lurks. Nothing is easy in the new world where the dead walk and every day is a struggle to keep safe. As the elements, bandits, and the zombie horde threaten their safe haven, Jenni and Katie join the other survivors in fighting to survive as the world dies.

 

*Please note I read the older, self-published version. There is a newer, edited version available but my review is not based on that version.*

The Storyline
Fighting to Survive picks up a few weeks after The First Days left off: Katie and Jenni are helping establish a new life on the fort and working to minimize the ongoing danger of the zombies. Nothing much happens (in my opinion) in regards to the zombie as this book focused mainly on expanding on new characters, the growing of existing relationships, and establishing more problems outside of the zombie issue. The writing was still a bit stilted for me and I still love the zombie action scenes far more than the character interaction scenes.

The Relationships
So I totally get that everyone is living day to day not knowing how much longer one another will survive, but does that give everyone the right to become a bunch of hussies?

“We just decided today,” he explained. “Life is so short. We just don’t’ want to waste time. We’ve been sleeping together in my tent. Might as well make it official and be a family.”

Uhh… okay?

Jenni and Juan were already together in the last book and their relationship steadily progresses until they are eventually living together. Jenni and Juan’s relationship is strange though and I’m not positive whether they actually like each other or not. And I swear… I was going to snap if I hear Loca one more time.

Then there’s Katie and Travis. In the last book Katie kept trying to keep Travis at bay by continuing to remind him that she is in fact lesbian and no she will not be with him. Her reasoning behind this was explained in the last book as she didn’t want to tarnish her memory of her wife Lydia even though she did have feelings for Travis. View Spoiler » I felt that whole storyline and the ending was anticlimactic and definitely inevitable. But… View Spoiler »

Final Thoughts
Reading these books back to back has caused me to become quite cynical. I do plan on finishing up the trilogy but will come back to it at a later date when I’ve managed to forget some of my irritations. I’m hoping the third one has lots of zombie action scenes and EVERYONE gets eaten! hahahaha

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Early Review – Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 2 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 – Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia HandHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17, 2012
Pages: 432
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Unearthly, Boundless, The Last Time We Say Goodbye

three-half-stars

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Unearthly Series

When I requested Hallowed on Netgalley I was dumb and didn’t realize that this was the 2nd in a series. Since I was already approved I decidedly to immediately read Unearthly so that I could dive right into Hallowed (that was the plan if I liked it). Well I did. I really really liked Unearthly and I wasn’t actually expecting to (not a diehard fan of paranormal/fantasy/romanctical/YA books).

There will be spoilers from Unearthly but any spoilers from Hallowed will be hidden in links!

The Storyline
Long story short, Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off; Clara is still confused about how to proceed after she failed to fulfill her purpose. When she starts having more dreams/visions she determines that she’s in a cemetery, that someone she loves is going to die, and it’s going to happen as soon as this Spring. Clara is also still trying to handle her conflicting feelings that she has for her boyfriend Tucker and for Christian as well.

What Was Missing For Me
Two key elements that had me completely enthralled in Unearthly unraveled for me in Hallowed.

The Love triangle: I think the author did a beautiful job of NOT making it a cliché and NOT irritating the daylights out of me in Unearthly. In Hallowed I felt that the work she did in maintaining the non-love triangle did not hold up under the pressure of being just like every other YA paranormal romance novel. Now don’t get me wrong, I can understand the reasoning behind her relationship with Christian in the beginning was because he was involved in her purpose. It then evolved into Christian and Clara both being angels, being able to relate to each other, and a kinship was created. It didn’t necessarily need to go into lovey dovey status, and that’s where she lost me.

Clara’s Independence: I loved the strength and independence that she exuded in Unearthly; I didn’t see that once in Hallowed. In this book she’s completely in love with Tucker (which is fine, not the issue) but she’s even daydreaming about their wedding and the kids that they would have and their life together (again, not really an issue). Where she lost me was when she started contemplating whether or not she should even leave for college because that would mean she’d be leaving Tucker behind.

Speaking from personal experience, I did this exact thing. I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend at the time behind and so I decided to actually stay home instead of making the leap of faith and going to the university that I had been planning on attending. I look back and hate myself for my lack of backbone in changing my future plans based on a boy that I thought I loved. So essentially this may not be a problem for everyone else or the general population but I certainly saw a part of me reflected in Clara’s actions and it definitely registered quite a negative reaction for me.

The one thing I was thankful for was that the author gave the main character friends that made sure to tell her she was being dumb and made attempts to dissuade her.

Straight Spoiler Section
There were some parts that I simply had to get out there for discussion, but for those of you who have read it already. Spoilers ahead!
View Spoiler »
View Spoiler »
View Spoiler »
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View Spoiler »

Final Thoughts
I still enjoyed this, it is still worth the read, but no I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Unearthly. I also feel a tad cheated as I was under the impression that this was a trilogy and now I hear talk of a fourth one? (Correct if I’m wrong.) I do see how there could be plenty more added on to the story, especially since Clara still has like 100+ more years of life left, but I do hope that we start getting some answers because the ending to Hallowed was a bit frayed at the edges for my liking.

So this IS a trilogy… I’m definitely looking forward to Boundless even more now because there will finally be a resolution and some questions that I’ve been dying to have answered! VERY EXCITED!

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Early Review – The Bungalow: A Novel by Sarah Jio

November 4, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 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 – The Bungalow: A Novel by Sarah JioThe Bungalow by Sarah Jio
Published by Plume on December 27th 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance, WWII
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Violets of March, Blackberry Winter, The Last Camellia

five-stars

A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.

In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.

A timeless story of enduring passion from the author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years.

 A sorrowful tale of war and the effect it has on each and every life involved.

The Storyline
It is 1942 and WWII is being fought. Anne Calloway is engaged to marry Gerard Godfrey and there are just a few weeks till their wedding; their marriage being planned from birth.

“Calloways would marry Godfreys. It was as natural as coffee and cream.”

Their relationship is one lacking in passion and Anne wishes to be marrying someone that she can be proud of; rather than someone whose father simply had the funds to see that his son is never drafted. Anne has a personal desire to join in the war effort and to do her part and toys with the idea of joining the Army Nurse Corps. At her engagement party, her best friend Kitty tells Anne of her decision to join the Army Nurses and that she’s being shipped to the South Pacific in one weeks’ time. Anne makes the immediate decision to go with Kitty as well, that she needed to do something rather than simply playing a part.

Anne arrives at Bora Bora not anticipating that she would be giving her heart away to soldier Westry Green. Their time together is blissful inside an abandoned beach bungalow that they call their own.

”For now, this little slice of heaven is mine.” He looked at me. “Well, ours. I’ll let you have half.”

The continuing war and a brutal crime that the two witnessed threatens to put a wedge between them and they are separated seemingly forever as Westry is sent to Europe and Anne is sent back home to Seattle. Years later, Anne has never been able to keep Westry from her mind and when a letter arrives from Tahiti she dares to hope that the two can be brought together once again.

Overall Thoughts
Before you decide to pick up this book I would suggest you have a free day to be able to completely dive in. Once I started this I simply could not stop; I was completely captivated. I found myself entirely enthralled in the romance of Anne and Westry but felt such sorrow at the impending separation between the two fearing the worst at what seemed inevitably to happen.

The brutal crime that Anne and Westry witnessed seemed at first like a disjointed piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit at first. As did the mysterious painting that they found in the Bungalow. I loved how it all came together in the end and how it was more integral to the entire story than one would originally think. All loose ends were tied up beautifully and I wasn’t left with a single lingering doubt that this was a fabulous novel that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. This will make you smile, it will make you sad, and it may even produce a few tears (speaking from personal experience). But I must say, it was well worth it.

This is my second novel by Sarah Jio and I must say I’m just as amazed as I was the first time at how much I enjoy her books. This woman has a talent for writing and I’ve become a devoted fan of hers. I can’t wait to read more from her in the future.

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Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

November 3, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
on January 4, 2011
Pages: 453
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hallowed, Boundless, The Last Time We Say Goodbye

four-half-stars

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Alright, yes, I admit… it’s November 2011 and I’m just now getting around to reading this. I was extremely skeptical about this one regardless of the glowing reviews. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from a YA paranormal romance book about angels. I can’t even count how many issues this book could potentially have… but I decided to read this at the perfect time because I was totally in the mood for something exactly like this.

The Storyline
Clara always thought she was a normal sixteen year old girl living in California with her mom and brother until her mom tells her that she has angel-blood. Her mother is half-angel which makes Clara a Quartarius: a quarter angel. Clara’s initial reaction is to refuse to accept her mother’s announcement but she is ultimately unable to deny the truth.

“My neck still tingled when I remembered the way she’d said “humans,” like the word suddenly didn’t apply to us.”

When she begins having visions which her mother informs her is her ‘purpose’ being revealed to her.

“In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees…”

In her vision she sees a boy surrounded my forest and flames and she feels that it’s up to her to save him. Unable to discern where this vision occurs she begins piecing it all together and finally determines that it’s in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Clara’s mother stresses to her the utter importance of completing her purpose that this is the reason she was placed on this Earth, and they at once pick up their lives and move to Wyoming. The first day at school she sees him; the boy from her vision whose name is Christian.

The Main-Character
My main issue with your typical YA paranormal romance book is the main character, or more often than not, the heroine. I found that not only did I not have the urge to slap Clara, but by the end I actually kinda liked her. Shocking, I know. This is the one line that got me:

“I just need to be mad for a little while, okay? I know it might not be the most mature thing, but there it is.”

Thank you! Finally, someone admits to their immaturity, which in my book makes it okay if you’re not living in denial. Clara was quite the independent girl who even though she did develop quite a crush on Christian it wasn’t overkill and in essence her obsession did still revolve around her purpose which made it acceptable.

Also? View Spoiler »

The Writing
This was an extremely quick one day read for me because I simply couldn’t get enough. A light, refreshing read that didn’t come off as corny or immature (which I think is quite the accomplishment considering the subject: angels). Speaking of, my aversion to angel books in general tends to be because the author fails to handle the religious aspects of angels quite well. I’m happy to say that Cynthia Hand did a spot on job. The author also did a fabulous job of building up the mystery behind Clara’s vision and it had me intrigued and fully engrossed.

Final Thoughts
So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? The ending was not as I had hoped for. Personally I think it was a really messy ending that left too many questions and not enough answers. It wasn’t’t even really a cliffhanger per say, more like a… to be continued. View Spoiler »

I have in my possession the second book Hallowed, but I’ve decided to give myself some time to really think this one over and maybe try and work out some of the questions I’ve got bouncing around in my head. (Thanks for the idea Wendy :D)

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Book Review – Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) by Chloe Neill

November 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) by Chloe NeillDrink Deep by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #5
Published by NAL on November 1, 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten

four-stars

Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can’t tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city iself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven’t been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.

That’s when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.

Chicago’s mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She’ll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who’s behind this, and stop them before it’s too late for vampires and humans alike.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)
Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)
Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)

*Keep in mind, this spoiler is intended for those of you who have read the first four books. Any spoilers for this book will be placed in spoiler brackets; however, I’m keeping spoilers from the previous books visible. You have been warned!*

The Storyline
As if Merit doesn’t have enough to deal with emotionally after the loss of her lover, partner, and Master, strange things are happening in Chicago and the vampires are automatically blamed. Lake Michigan has turned pitch black magical vacuum and is affecting all supernaturals in the area. As the book progresses more events are occurring around the Windy City but there are zero leads as to who could possibly be responsible and who could even be magically strong enough to be able to cause these incidents.

The Characters
I appreciated how the author didn’t shuffle Merit’s feelings under the rug regarding the loss of Ethan. I think it was vitally important to the story overall to show how affected she was by his absence in order to show how much he truly meant to her (as if we had any doubts). Thankfully, she didn’t turn into a super wimp and she still maintained the bad ass-ness that we all know and love.

Mallory turned into more of a minor character in Drink Deep and didn’t play as central of a role as she has in the past. Mallory is in the middle of taking her exams to become a sorceress and is naturally a bit stressed but it’s putting major strain on her and Merit’s relationship. I always found Mallory to be a major part of this series and I quite liked her. Oddly enough, I had a hard time even liking Mallory in this book.

Jonah has become a partner to Merit and is still trying to convince her of the reasons to join the Red Guard (RG). Jonah was a pretty awesome addition to an already great cast of characters if I do say so myself. Jonah is naturally a seemingly potential love interest for Merit and honestly, I was okay with that possibility. I liked him quite a lot.

Frank Cabot is a representative of Greenwich Presidium (GP) sent to evaluate Cadogan House. Naturally, he’s a huge pain in the ass. As Maja put it quite perfectly, he’s a ringer for Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter.
He was an outsider sent to label us as nonconforming and pound us, square pegs, back into round holes.

What I Felt Was Missing
There were a few key things that I missed in this book. Naturally I missed Ethan as he was such a huge character in the previous books. Also, the whole storyline was extremely tense but nothing was really going on, it was kind of stagnant until the last ¼ of the book when the action finally started happening. I would have loved to see more action throughout the book. But what I missed the most was the humor. I think the banter between Mallory and Merit made for a witty and funny addition to the series and it was sorely missed in this installment.

What I Felt Should Have Been Left Out
So… this is one big major spoiler so you are warned!

View Spoiler »

And I’m done.

Final Thoughts
So regardless of the fact that I was ecstatic to finally be reading this, I went into this with some existing irritation after the loss of Ethan. By the time the ending rolled around I was appeased and of course still plan on continuing the series because I love me some Chloe Neill. Seriously. This is one of the most enjoyable series still running and I’m glad these stories are still as enjoyable as the first. But I’m still looking for one to top Number 3, also known as the current best in the series. 😀

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Book Review – The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy #3) by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

October 31, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy #3) by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck HoganThe Night Eternal by Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro
Series: The Strain Trilogy #3
Published by HarperCollins on October 25, 2011
Pages: 560
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Paranormal, Thriller
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Strain, Trollhunters

four-stars

It's been two years since the vampiric virus was unleashed in The Strain and the entire world now lies on the brink of annihilation. There has been a mass extermination of humans orchestrated by the Master—an ancient vampire possessed of unparalleled powers. The future of humankind lies in the hands of a ragtag band of freedom fighters—Dr. Eph Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master who is bent on revenge. It's their job to overturn this devastating new world order. But good and evil are malleable terms now, and the Master is most skilled at preying on the weaknesses of humans.

Now, at this critical hour, there is evidence of a traitor in their midst. . . And only one man holds the answer to the Master's demise, but is he one who can be trusted with the fate of the world? And who among them will pay the ultimate sacrifice—so that others may be saved?

Night Eternal: the final installation in the Strain Trilogy. As the title may tell you, you’re in for a very dark and desolate journey. I will keep this short and sweet as much of this novel needs to be experienced firsthand, instead of through a review.

The Storyline
As the story opens, Dr. Ephraim (Eph) Goodweather is still reeling from the loss of his son, Zachary. Due to the vampire nature, his mother Kelly came back for him after she had already been turned.
”The insidious epidemiology of the virus spread in a vampiric perversion of human love.”
Norah and Fet are slowly developing a relationship between each other as Eph has been continually absent from Norah’s life.

The world they live in now is an extremely bleak one. The vampires control everything and you don’t get fed unless you work for them or reside in a blood farm.

“The farms were the only entirely different thing in this new world. That and the fact that there was no more educational system. No more schooling, no more reading, no more thinking.”

The blood farms were exactly as they sound: humans were rounded up as they were in concentration camps and they are drained of blood. Only the young and healthy were kept; the older humans simply weren’t kept around.

‘The darkly quiet exterior of the camp spoke to an oppressive efficiency that was almost as shocking.’

The Vampires
I had been anxiously awaiting how the authors decided to handle the creation aspect. I’ll keep this as a spoiler as some readers may be pleasantly surprised and I would hate to ruin this for them. View Spoiler »

The Writing
I had complained early on in the trilogy that the books read like a screenplay and that they would do fabulous as a movie, but left a little to be desired as a novel. The writing in the third, despite the bleakness, was completely enthralling and was worth suffering through the darkness. And dark it was; there was not one single of iota of happiness until maybe the very end and even that can is up for debate.

Final Thoughts
I’m quite pleased at how the trilogy was wrapped up. Ending a series well always seems like such a struggle in trying to wrap up all the storylines and loose ends but I think the authors pulled it off sufficiently. I’m not sure that it’s exactly what I had anticipated, not sure what I would have changed if I could, but you’re still left with a feeling of completion. All in all this is one of the best vampire series I have read; definitely one of my favorites.

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Book Review – The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

October 30, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck HoganThe Strain by Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro
Series: The Strain Trilogy #1
Published by HarperCollins on May 28, 2009
Pages: 612
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Sci-fi, Thriller
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Night Eternal, Trollhunters

three-half-stars

An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in The Strain—the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy from one of Hollywood’s most inventive storytellers and a critically acclaimed thriller writer. Guillermo del Toro, the genius director of the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, and Hammett Award-winning author Chuck Hogan have joined forces to boldly reinvent the vampire novel. Brilliant, blood-chilling, and unputdownable, The Strain is a nightmare of the first order.

The Strain is a new series by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. This book had a really great concept and it was quite original. The summary itself spooked me…

‘A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.’

…and it certainly didn’t stop there. This is not your average romanced vampire novel. This was a very exciting, fast paced, nail biter, edge of your seat kinda book. Not a recommendation before bedtime.

My one main issue that dropped this novel from 4/5 stars down to 3 was the writing style… it read to me more like a screenplay where nothing was really explained, like it would be better left to an actor acting out a script. I had a hard time connecting with the characters for this reason. This was overall a highly enjoyable novel regardless of my 3 star rating and I will definitely be continuing this series in the future.

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Book Review – A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Arthur Conan Doyle

October 28, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Arthur Conan DoyleA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Series: Sherlock Holmes #1
Published by Penguin Classics on October 1st 2001 (first published 1887)
Pages: 192
Genres: Classics, Mystery
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

In the debut of literature's most famous sleuth, a dead man is discovered in a bloodstained room in Brixton. The only clues are a wedding ring, a gold watch, a pocket edition of Boccaccio's Decameron, and a word scrawled in blood on the wall. With this investigation begins the partnership of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Their search for the murderer uncovers a story of love and revenge-and heralds a franchise of detective mysteries starring the formidable Holmes.

Part I: This being the first story in the Sherlock Holmes series, this is also the introduction of the two main characters: Holmes and Watson. After meeting one another they agree to move in together as they were both in need of a roommate. Shortly after, a man is discovered as being murdered and Sherlock Holmes is asked to evaluate the scene to determine if there is any evidence of who may have done it. The only clue is a woman’s wedding ring and the words “RACHE” written in blood on the wall.

Okay so… I think I have a bit of a crush. I loved Sherlock eccentricity and how unconventional he was. I will admit, the mystery wasn’t really much of a mystery but it was still entertaining nonetheless. It did get a big “oooohhhhhhhhh….” from me once the mystery was finally solved though. Silly me, probably should have seen that one coming.

‘There is no mystery about it at all. I am simply applying to ordinary life a few of those precepts of observation and deduction which I advocated in that article. Is there anything else that puzzles you?’

Part II: So, umm… I thought I missed something. The second half of this book was almost like a different book entirely and all of a sudden I’m right smack dab in the middle of Utah and everyone has buckets o’ wives?

Anyways. Essentially, the second half of this book was a major bash-fest on the Mormons. I figure that’s why it ended up on the banned book list.

“We have come,” continued Stangerson, “at the advice of our fathers to solicit the hand of your daughter for whichever of us may seem good to you and to her. As I have but four wives and Brother Drebber here has seven, it appears to me that my claim is the stronger one.”

Uh-huh. Five is definitely better than eight.

Overall, pretty enjoyable, would definitely be interested in reading more about Sherlock most definitely.

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