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Early Review – Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin

July 29, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 4 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 – Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike MullinAshfall by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #1
Published by Tanglewood Press on October 14, 2011
Pages: 474
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ashen Winter, Sunrise

five-stars

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.

Ashfall was one of the most well written books I’ve read in a long time. I was so enthralled with this book that I read it a little bit at a time because I wanted to relish this book and all that it was about.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy learning to survive on his own after the Yellowstone super-volcano erupts. With the electricity out, the sun hidden behind a cloud of ash, and the obligation to remain indoors to keep from breathing in the deadly ash, Alex has to learn quickly what it takes to survive on his own. He takes shelter with his neighbors after his house becomes uninhabitable; however, after witnessing an intensely traumatic event he takes off on his own in hopes he can get to where his parents are: over 100 miles away. Alex doesn’t blink at the prospect of traveling 100 miles until he realizes that he’s going to need to do this on foot.

The Good
Everything, and I mean everything, about this novel was spot-on amazing. The relationship between Alex and Darla was so heartbreaking and realistic. At the point in the novel where Darla joins him on his journey to find his parents, they have become emotionally dependent on each other because they’re slowly realizing just how lonely the world has become. Watching Alex grow and develop in the novel was also pretty moving. Here’s a kid who at the beginning of the novel who was excited because his parents had left him home alone for the weekend for the first time in his life and he could do whatever he wanted. By the end of the novel that ‘Alex’ is long gone. The one thing that I found so incredible about this book was the complete and utter realism of the book. There’s no fluff to this story and you can truly imagine every single scenario actually happening. Overall, the story of survival and strength is a beautiful one.

The Bad
I was so overwhelmed by the end of this novel that I couldn’t express my opinions and views into sentences. This is not bad. This is me explaining that it took me about a month to finally be able to sort through all my thoughts in order to write my review and to be able to determine wholeheartedly that I enjoyed everything about this novel.

I loved at the end that the author Mike Mullin included information about the research he had done and how he had combined several scientific findings to create what he believed to be a realistic possibility if a Yellowstone super-volcano were to actually happen. Yes, it freaked me out a little (okay, maybe more than a little) at the prospect of something like this really occurring (and yes I totally freaked out at my complete lack of preparation for the end of the world). In the end though, this will now be one of my favorite books ever and I’ll be waiting anxiously (but not patiently) for the next chapter in the Ashfall series.

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Short & Sweet – Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short & Sweet Reviews 2 Comments

Short & Sweet – Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana RowlandMark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #1
Published by DAW on June 17, 2009
Pages: 386
Genres: Detective, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Blood of the Demon, Secrets of the Demon

five-stars

Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control—to a power that could kill....

Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...

‘Mark of the Demon’ is the first in Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian Series. Kara Gillian is a newbie Detective in small town Beaulac, Louisiana. She’s also a skilled summoner of demons who uses her occult skills in her cases. She’s put in charge of a case of recent murders that appear to be the same killer, The Symbol Man, who killed 13 people but hadn’t killed anyone in over 3 years. All of the victims show evidence of being killed for demonic purposes so Kara attempts to summon a demon to assist her but ends up summoning something else: a powerful Demonic Lord, Rhyzkahl.

I am SO glad that I decided to read this series. For those of you who don’t know, I started out a huge mystery/thriller fan and that’s about all I read. Then I discovered urban fantasy and realized I loved that as well. Well this series combined by two favorites. This had demons, crazy serial killers, hot cops, crazy CSI shit, and a demonic lord to boot… right up my alley. I don’t typically read back to back books in a series, I like to mix it up a bit every now and then, but I’m going straight to book number 2.

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Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 8 Comments

Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 1, 2011
Pages: 336
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: For I Have Sinned, Second Grave on the Left, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

five-stars

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from Darynda Jones, an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

Charley is a grim reaper. Or THE grim reaper. She is the portal that allows the deceased to pass through to the other side. Charley is also a private investigator and in addition to helping the deceased pass through to the other side she also helps them tie up loose ends whether it be passing on a final message to a loved one or solving the mystery of who murdered them. Plus, Charley is hilarious. She’s this super snarky and fabulously funny chick. She also has a mysteriously handsome supernatural stalker named Reyes Farrow. He’s certainly something. 🙂

This book had me rolling with laughter, so if you’re in that kinda mood, this is so the book for you. I had to stop myself from doing about a gazillion status updates just to share my favorite quotes; so instead, you get some of my favorites in my review!

“What twirly nugget are you from?” (Okay this one is taken out of context, so it might not make sense, but just on principle it’s funny!)

Because my apartment was roughly the size of a Cheez-It, it didn’t take me long to feel my way to the kitchen in the dark.

Maybe if I hovered over the pot, it would develop an inferiority complex and brew faster just to prove it could.

• “So, then, what are you?” I wondered if your worst nightmare would sound silly.

“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a bookcase or something.

Okay, so here I am stopping myself again. Because those were my favorite lines from like… half of the first chapter. I’m writing a review here not a novel. Suffice it to say, I loved this book!

I don’t recall having ever read a novel about a grim reaper before, so I don’t actually have something to compare it to, which is nice. When I first read the summary of this book it made me think of the HBO series ‘Dead Like Me’ which I was a super big fan of. The lead characters are both girls, both grim reapers, bot hilarious, and they both have boy names. (George and Charley). Hmm… just realized that. Anyways!

Darynda Jones wrote a fabulous story, it was extremely intriguing, had me laughing inappropriately at work for two days straight, and I absolutely CANNOT wait for the second book.

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