Publisher: Quirk Books

Early Review – World of Trouble (The Last Policeman #3) by Ben H. Winters

July 11, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2014 0 Comments

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

Early Review – World of Trouble (The Last Policeman #3) by Ben H. WintersWorld of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
Series: The Last Policeman #3
Published by Quirk Books on July 15th 2014
Pages: 320
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: ARC
Source: Library Thing
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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Also by this author: Countdown City, Golden State

four-stars

Critically acclaimed author Ben H. Winters delivers this explosive final installment in the Edgar Award winning Last Policeman series. With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank’s safety is only relative, and his only relative—his sister Nico—isn’t safe. Soon, it’s clear that there’s more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it’s up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out . . . for everyone.

The Last Policeman series

The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman #1) {Purchase}
Countdown City (The Last Policeman #2) {PurchaseMy Review}

‘…there are not jostling anxious crowds outside, no frightened people rushing and pushing past each other in the streets. No klaxon howl of car alarms, no distant gunfire. The people are hidden now, those that remain, hidden under blankets or in basements, encased in their dread.’

With mere weeks left before the impending asteroid makes an impact with the earth, Detective Henry Palace is on a last minute mission to get to his sister Nico before it’s too late. Nico is convinced that the group she’s joined up with is going to be able to save the world with the help of a nuclear scientist by the name of Hans-Michael Parry but Palace is convinced that it’s nothing but a farce. One way or another, he intends to do anything and everything he can to ensure his sister’s safety and solve his final case for the brief time that he may or may not have left.

‘They say that just before impact the sky will brighten ferociously, like the sun has burst from its own skin, and then we will feel it, even on the far of the earth we will feel it, the whole world will quaver from the blow.’

The journey to find his sister is a difficult one. The few clues he has takes him and his dog Houdini from New Hampshire to Ohio and upon reaching the abandoned police station in the small town of Rotary, the evidence he sees leaves the outlook bleak. His determination to find his sister despite the knowledge that in a few days it will no longer matter is heartrending but his resolve is truly admirable. Society is crumbling around him and the world is literally about to come to an end yet Detective Henry Palace is doing whatever he can to maintain his morality even in the face of mortality. World of Trouble is an engaging end to a thrilling trilogy that you will want to race through to determine the fate of the earth and its inhabitants. I’ve never been so pleased with a not so happy ending.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker [PurchaseReview]
The Road by Cormac McCarthy [Purchase]

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Early Review – Countdown City (Last Policeman #2) by Ben H. Winters

July 12, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 5 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.

Early Review – Countdown City (Last Policeman #2) by Ben H. WintersCountdown City by Ben H. Winters
Series: Last Policeman #2
Published by Quirk Books on July 16th 2013
Pages: 316
Genres: Detective, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: World of Trouble, Golden State

three-half-stars

There are just 74 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over...until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone “bucket list” or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off “impact zone” refugees.

The second novel in the critically acclaimed Last Policeman trilogy, Countdown City presents a fascinating mystery set on brink of an apocalypse--and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?

Last Policeman series

The Last Policeman
The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1) {Purchase}

How would you spend your remaining days if you knew an asteroid was on target to destroy the Earth in a few short months? Would you pack everything and travel the world? Would you finally do all those things you’ve been pushing off and just haven’t ever gotten around to? Or would you continue living your life as if nothing has changed?

Henry Palace is no longer employed with the Concord Police Department, but that doesn’t stop him from solving various mysteries. Sure, the Earth is in the direct path of an asteroid but he continues working because that’s what makes sense to him. That’s always been what his life was about, what gave his life meaning and he isn’t going to stop now just because his days are numbered.

A missing person case has become quite simple in this day and age where people are running away from their lives to fulfill bucket lists and the like. Palace’s lasted missing person investigation leads him to a group of revolutionaries that are slowly building their own society with their own new set of rules. As the clues begin falling together Palace realizes that not only is this not a simple missing person case but this is one individual that is on a crusade and doesn’t wish to be found.

While I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic novels, I’m beginning to understand the appeal of pre-apocalyptic novels as well. Being able to witness a society that is slowly preparing themselves for catastrophe and watching the evolution of society and civilization and watching things slowly change for the worst is not only mesmerizing but frightening in its realism. It will definitely leave you wondering how you would respond: would your survival instincts kick in or will you scramble away in fear?

While the mystery aspect didn’t hold the same intensity as the one in The Last Policeman, this was still an engaging installment. Society as we know it has reached its saturation point and the situation is bound to get worse. I eagerly await the final installment of this thrilling pre-apocalyptic tale to find out the fate of the Earth and the whole of civilization.

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Book Review – The Resurrectionist by E.B. Hudspeth

June 8, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 4 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 – The Resurrectionist by E.B. HudspethThe Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth
Published by Quirk Books on May 21st 2013
Pages: 208
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Format: Hardcover
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
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two-half-stars

Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

‘I have butchered many men. All are innocent and equaled when they are on the table. All are exquisite and grotesque.’

Dr. Spencer Black is a controversial surgeon in the late 1870’s who has developed a fascination with the deformities of the human body. It’s a gruesome and at times shocking tale of the lengths the good doctor would go to in order to continue his research.

This story definitely had potential to fascinate, especially regarding the aspects that Black believed deformities were actually ‘evidence of a genetic code that was not completely eradicated’. The idea that mythological creatures were ancestors of humankind is really quite intriguing but unfortunately failed to stir any lasting interest. It all read like a Wiki page: informative yet dry and oftentimes tedious. I think it would have been much more interesting if written as an actual short story or novella rather than a biography.

The best part of this book was the amazing artwork included in Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts. The artwork was incredibly detailed and Reading this book as an ebook would hardly do it justice considering this is very much a coffee-table type book. It’s also a book that could be read through quickly (considering the text amounts to approximately 65 pages) but considering the style of writing it may be more interesting to read small bits at a time.

Overall I found The Resurrectionist to be a macabre tale that will likely interest fans of Frankenstein and Dr. Moreau. The artwork is truly the most interesting part of this book and is worth checking out for that alone.

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Book Review – The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

February 21, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 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 – The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora GossThe Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story by Theodora Goss
Published by Quirk Books on January 17th 2012
Pages: 82
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: the Publisher
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Goodreads


three-stars

One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.

‘Have patience, love, and we shall meet again
As surely as wild roses have their thorns
For weary years eventually pass.’

The ‘Thorn and the Blossom’ is quite literally a “two-sided love story” about Brendan Thorne and Evelyn Morgan. Intertwined with their love story is the tale of Elowen, queen of Cornwall and Gawan and their own timeless love story. Brendan and Evelyn first meet when she walks into Brendan’s family bookstore in Cornwall. After introducing himself and finding out she’s from America and will only be in town for a week he offers to show her around town. The two end up spending the entire week together and on their final day together something happens that results in her immediate departure without even a goodbye. The story of Elowen and Gawan is essentially what brings them back together 10 years later.

I was initially intrigued by this book after hearing about it’s unique accordion-fold binding which I’ve never seen done before. From a practical stand-point the book could be considered lacking as it’s hard to hold since it’s missing a binding; however, I think that it was still a beautifully executed idea.

You can start with either Brendan or Evelyn’s side of the story. Read one side and then simply flip the book over and read the other persons point of view. I originally thought that this would be the same story simply retold from separate points of view but I felt that each person managed to tell their own story. I chose to begin reading Brendan’s story first and found myself glad I did. I felt that Brendan’s side generated most of the questions while Evelyn’s sufficiently answered them. I’m sure either way you start will suffice though.

I felt a bit put off how the story was progressing but I think it was because it wasn’t the love story I was expecting. This was a bit more tragic than I had anticipated although I did enjoy how the ending left much to the imagination.

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Book Review – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom Riggs

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine #1
Published by Quirk Books on June 7, 2011
Pages: 386
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Time Travel
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

As a kid, Jacob formed a special bond with his grandfather over his bizarre tales and photos of levitating girls and invisible boys. Now at 16, he is reeling from the old man's unexpected death. Then Jacob is given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the photographs--alive and well--despite the islanders’ assertion that all were killed decades ago. As Jacob begins to unravel more about his grandfather’s childhood, he suspects he is being trailed by a monster only he can see. A haunting and out-of-the-ordinary read, debut author Ransom Rigg’s first-person narration is convincing and absorbing, and every detail he draws our eye to is deftly woven into an unforgettable whole. Interspersed with photos throughout, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a truly atmospheric novel with plot twists, turns, and surprises that will delight readers of any age.

‘I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.’

Going into this book I had the impression that it would be this scary, ‘Shutter Island’ type novel. I also thought it was Adult Fiction. I was wrong on both counts; but was still not disappointed, the story was quite interesting.

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ is the story of sixteen-year-old Jacob who has grown up listening to his grandfather’s tales of his younger years living in an orphanage with ‘Peculiar Children’ on an island off the coast of Wales. Jacob stopped believing his grandfather many years ago, but when his grandfather is attacked and dies mysteriously Jacob begins to wonder if his stories weren’t true after all. His grandfather’s dying words cause him to go in search of this mysterious island and to find the abandoned orphanage even though those children can’t still be alive… or can they?

I loved how the author incorporated all the old photographs into the story. Having something visual to relate the story to, made it much more interesting. I thought that the storyline was extremely original. It reminded me of those people that performed at the circus with the extraordinary powers, except these were children with extraordinary and they were all kept in an orphanage/school all Harry Potter/X-Men style. I also had no idea that this book was the start of a new series…the ending left me anxious in anticipation of what would happen next.

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