Review: She Lies in Wait (DCI Jonah Sheens #1) by Gytha Lodge

She Lies in Wait (DCI Jonah Sheens, #1)She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1983: Topaz. Coralie. Jojo. Benners. Connor. Brett.

Aurora.

When Aurora Jackson accepts an invitation to go camping with her older sister and her friends, she has no idea it will be her last night on Earth. The younger girl feels shy and out of place as the older kids get to drinking, drugs, dancing and more. The party goes late into the night and everyone basically passes out. In the morning, when they wake, the older kids find nothing of Aurora but her cold sleeping bag.

No trace of her is ever found and suspicions circle the group of friends for the next thirty years.

Present Day: A young girl on a camping trip with her family, stumbles upon the bones of a human hand in a small cavern at the base of a tree. Aurora has been found and so begins the cold case that may finally end up concluding what happened on that ill-fated night in the woods.

The small-town cop in charge of the investigation, DCI Jonah Sheens, knew the kids involved that night. In fact, when it happened, he was just a kid himself, at school with all the rest. Trying to keep his own past to himself, DCI Sheens and a great cast of fellow officers slowly unravel what happened to poor Aurora.

This gripping crime thriller is told in a format of alternating timelines. You get to see what happened on that camping trip in 1983 and the police procedural aspects of the current investigation. I thought the timelines were really well done and the pacing, for me, was perfect. I was so impressed with the fact that this is a debut novel. I hope that Lodge continues on with DCI Sheens character. I enjoyed him and the other officers he had on his team. I would absolutely continue on with this series, no question.

If you like police procedural and split timeline narratives, you should check this one out. Plus, it is always great to support new authors. Thank you so much to the publisher, Random House, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to getting my hands on more Gytha Lodge books in the future!

Trigger Warnings: Rape, sexual assault, drug use and emotional abuse.

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Blog Tour: White Stag Review by Kara Barbieri

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)White Stag by Kara Barbieri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-STARS**

We are all monsters to something, somehow, someway.

As the sole survivor of a goblin raid on her village, Janneke is wracked with survivor’s guilt. This would have been bad enough, however, to make matters worse she is taken hostage by the raiding army and forced into a life of servitude at the hands of the sadistic goblin, Lydian.

Her life while with him is absolute hell. This is putting it mildly. We learn about this time through flashbacks but let’s just get the trigger warnings out of the way: sexual assault/rape, torture, body mutilation, and emotional abuse. If you are a reader who is sensitive to these topics, tread with caution. The descriptions of these happenings do pop up continually over the course of the story as they are a big part of Janneke’s character development.

After some time, Lydian grows tired of his plaything and for one reason or another gifts Janneke to his nephew, Soren. When the story begins for us, Janneke has been living with Soren for 100 years.

How can a human girl live that long? I have no idea. I never really understood the concept of time in this story. She is supposed to have been there for a hundred years but is still the same as when she first got there as far as outward appearance? She is still written as a teenage girl. It is strange. I think it has something to do with the location. The Permafrost. The magical land of the goblins.

Soon after the story begins, the current Erlking, leader of the goblins, dies and a new leader needs to be chosen to replace him on the throne. In their world, the way this is done is through a ‘stag hunt’. The magical White Stag is where the Erlking draws his power from, quite literally, during his reign.

Any goblin may become King by slaying the Stag. Hunting groups are assembled, alliances formed, and the hunt begins. Janneke, trained as a hunter since childhood, joins Soren on the hunt. They are both willing to do anything to ensure that Lydian doesn’t become Erlking. They are joined by a ragtag group of allies and the real adventure begins.

On the hunt, things are never boring, there is a lot of action and quite a few violent and intense scenes. New alliances are formed along the way and one of the best parts of the story for me was the various side characters. They added depth and humor to the story which was definitely needed at times. There really isn’t too much more I can say on the topic of the hunt without getting into spoilers, which I do not want to do.

Throughout their journey, Janneke and Soren’s relationship begins to change. The intensity of the hunt pushes them closer together and they begin to rely on each other like never before.

I really enjoyed their relationship. Soren is swoon-worthy for sure.

Soren, you might ask? Isn’t he a goblin? Yes, but keep in mind, these are not your standard goblins.

Oh no. These goblins are hot and are described more like Viking warriors. I found it helpful to picture this when thinking of Soren:

Not what you think of when you think of goblin? Yeah. Truth be told, it was a little jarring at first but I think, again, it has something to do with the magic of the Permafrost. At one point, Barbieri mentions something about their looks being an illusion. Then in another section, during a fight, you read of their illusion dropping a little and their true, more animalistic, form showing through.

Ultimately, I am not really sure how it all works as there was quite a bit of ambiguity with the magic system. Granted, maybe I just didn’t get it, but I do read a lot of fantasy and felt this could have been ironed out a bit more. Perhaps we will get more clarification of the world in the second book.

The conclusion is an absolute cliffhanger and I look forward to seeing how Barbieri continues this story. Janneke and Soren both had so much growth here and I am most interested to see if they continue to grow together in the future or if changing circumstances push them apart.

Overall, I enjoyed diving into the hunt and learning about Janneke and the goblin world. Was this book perfect? No, not at all. There were definitely some places that I felt could have been fine-tuned; some repetitive phrasing and unclear magical elements, etc. That being said, it is impressive that such a young author is getting this out there as a debut novel. The world is vast and complex and I think that Barbieri should definitely be proud. It draws you in and makes you want to learn more.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review, as well as including me on the blog tour for its release. I truly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to continuing on with this story in the next book!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Hyped 2019 Releases I Don’t Care About

Hey bookworms! It’s Wednesday and time for my first ‘Top 5 Wednesday’ post of 2019. Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group that has a topic for each Wednesday of the month that bloggers, reviewers, BookTubers, etc., can discuss. This week’s topic is: Hyped 2019 Releases That I Don’t Care About.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, let’s just get out of the way that even if I don’t necessarily care right now about a given book, doesn’t mean I won’t care about it in future. Also, if you really care about any of the books listed below, please don’t take offense. It’s not that I think they will be bad and it certainly is no shade on these authors, just for me, they aren’t something I will be picking up anytime soon.

With that lovely caveat out of the way, in no particular order, let’s get into my list:

  1. King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo – This is a BIG one. Probably one of the most hyped books of the year. Leigh Bardugo is an incredible writer and I’m sure this book is going to be sensational. Someday, I will read this, however, I have NEVER read a book set in the Grisha Verse (Bardugo’s fictional world). I need to read the Grisha Verse trilogy and the Six of Crows duology before I can even think about picking this one up. The good news is that I do own them both, so I am set up to someday be reading this book. It just may take a while, therefore I give zero F*s about it now.
  2. Enchantee by Gita Trelease – This book has been all over BookTube for a while, since the ARCs went out a month or so ago. This book is set in late 1700s Paris and involves magic and stuff. I don’t know. I guess it is kind of a magical alternative history sort of story. I have read the synopsis multiple times and get bored after the first few sentences so just feel like this book and I wouldn’t get along. Seriously, after reading the synopsis like 5 times, I still have no clue what this book is about. Therefore, don’t care. Maybe after more of my friends read it and get their reviews up I will be tempted to pick it up. Until then, meh.
  3. The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh – I don’t know, vampires. I just don’t care about a vampire story right now. Unless it is Dracula or anything written by Stephen King (i.e. Salem’s Lot or Doctor Sleep), I’m pretty much over it. I guess once some of my book friends read it, if they love it, I could be convinced to check it out. Currently though, my feelings on this are pretty, meh. Also, I have never read anything by Ahdieh, so that probably influences a bit as well.
  4. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – Again, as with Enchantee, the synopsis doesn’t even hold my attention, let alone reading a 400-page book about it. Something about a Princess who’s Father is killed and a soothsayer and some magic, I don’t know. The cover is GORGEOUS though so don’t be surprised if some day, regardless of my lack of interest now, this one ends up on my shelf. 
  5. The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare – Okay, now this one, I can see as being the most controversial but, in my defense, I have only read one book that takes place in Shadowhunter World, so I would have a long way to go before I could ever pick this book up. Therefore, because of that, this one is barely a blip on my radar. I have read, Clockwork Angel, which I did love and I do plan to complete that triology and then move on to The Dark Artifices. I will probably never read The Mortal Instruments series though. I just feel like I am too old for it and Urban Fantasy isn’t really my thing unless it is set in Victorian London or somewhere atmospheric like that. So, Cassie Clare fans, don’t hate me, I do like her writing and definitely want to pick up more from her in future, I am just not completely invested in that world yet.

There you have it, nerds. The hyped books I currently couldn’t care less about releasing in 2019! What about you? Did any of yours make this list? Are you angry with my choices? I want to know! Leave a comment below or contact me through any of my social media links.

Cheers & Happy Reading~

Christmas Book Haul

Hey bookworms! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is feeling charged about the New Year. I know I am ready to tackle all of my bookish goals. One of my goals is to add more creative content to my blog – something besides reviews – so with that in mind, I thought I would start with sharing my Christmas book haul. I was so lucky to receive A LOT of books for Christmas so I am not going to go into detail into each and every book. Hopefully once I read them I can provide you more detail in a wrap-up or review. Without further ado, let’s get into this haul!!!

((Crowd Cheers))

From my significant other:

  • These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch – YA Fantasy with pirates
  • Black Wings Beating by Alex London – YA Fantasy about falconers
  • The Initiation by Chris Babu – YA Post-Apocalyptic SciFi
  • The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde – YA Contemporary about a rock band
  • Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno – YA Contemporary with Magical Realism
  • Reflection: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim – YA Fantasy Mulan Retelling
  • Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri – YA Fantasy debut novel
  • Bone White by Ronald Malfi – Adult Horror
  • Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao – YA Fantasy Snow White Retelling
  • Vengeful, Book 2 in Vicious by VE Schwab – Adult Fantasy
  • Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak – YA Contemporary set in Maine

From my parents (aka. the best parents in the world):

  • Wundersmith, Book 2 in Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – Middle Grade Fantasy
  • Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – YA Magical Realism
  • What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra – YA Dark Fantasy / Mystery
  • The Window by Amelia Brunskill – YA Mystery / Thriller
  • The Devils Thief, Book 2 in The Last Magician series by Lisa Maxwell – YA Fantasy
  • Sanctuary by Caryn Lix – YA SciFi

From my sister and brother-in-law (aka. the best sis & bro-in-law in the world):

  • The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – YA Frankenstein Retelling
  • The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth – YA Fantasy
  • Seafire – YA Fantasy with pirates
  • Muse of Nightmares, Book 2 in Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – YA Fantasy
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – YA Fantasy

Wow! That’s a lot but wait until my Book Outlet Boxing Day Sale boxes arrive…

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What books did you get for Christmas that you are totally excited to read? I want to know! Leave a comment below or contact me through my social media links. You can also find me on Goodreads @megs_bookrack.

Cheers & Happy Reading~

Review: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

The Witch of Willow HallThe Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Forced to flee Boston in the wake of scandalous rumors, the Montrose Family, moves into their summer estate, Willow Hall, in New Oldbury, Massachusetts. The three sisters – Catherine, Lydia & Emeline – take the move as well as can be expected and before too long are settling into their new life with only minor complaints.

The setting and language of this novel are absolutely beautiful. I was surprised to learn this is a debut as the writing seems so experienced. I loved the gothic vibes that extend throughout the story. There is always an underlining feeling of menace just under the surface. In regards to witchcraft, it is subtle in nature, and I felt very well portrayed. It is by no means the bulk of the story but hints of it are sprinkled throughout with it becoming a more prominent feature in the second half.

The interactions between the sisters, particularly Catherine and Lydia, reminded me so much of Downton Abbey with Mary and Edith. It is not a warm and fuzzy sisterly relationship by any means and in fact, their constant battling provides most of the drama in the book.

There is also quite a bit of romance. I am so exhausted by the courtship patterns of this time period. I just cannot even imagine dealing with all that formality. No one ever seems to say what they feel. GAHHHHHHH. Honestly, it’s a wonder anyone ended up with the person they wanted to be with!

Overall, I was very impressed with the book. It was a pleasure to read. All the drama, the overarching feeling of suspense, the subtle supernatural undertones, the hauntings, the domestic drama – soooo fun!

I did take off a half a star just because there were moments where I felt the drama was repetitive and could have been shortened up a bit but that is very slight and 100% my opinion. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, especially if you enjoy things with a gothic atmosphere.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Graydon House Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I very much appreciate the opportunity and and am kicking myself for not having picked this up in October as I had originally planned. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Fox comes up with next!

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Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous GirlAn Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“How do you know if you can really trust someone?” I finally ask.
“If you need to ask that question, then you probably already know the answer,” he says.

Wow! First book of 2019 on record and WOW, I loved it!

An Anonymous Girl follows two main perspectives:


Jessica:
A single-gal, late 20s, living in NYC and working as a make-up artist. Jessica lives a fairly solitary life. She has a sweet little dog and a couple of close friends but most of the time, she’s alone. She is a bit haunted by her past. Back when Jessica was a teenager, an incident occurred with her little sister and she has a lot of residual guilt stemming from that. Also, due to this incident, she can find it painful at times to be with her family and they are under extreme financial distress.


Dr. Lydia Shields:
Dr. Shields is a wealthy and successful psychiatrist and author who works at a local college teaching seminars and performing research studies, mainly on morality. Her perspective is written in second person which I did find jarring at first but eventually became used to and even enjoyed.

Jessica and Dr. Shields become acquainted when Jessica lies her way into participating in one of Dr. Shields studies. Motivated exclusively by money at first, Jessica eventually finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into Dr. Shields web.

The relationship lines are extremely blurry with Jessica and Dr. Shields. I was so confused as to who was the predator and who was the prey initially. They both seemed so enamored with one another.

To add to the complication we get Dr. Shields husband, Thomas, thrown into the mix. Again, is he good, is he bad?

Everyone in this book is just too damn smart for their own good! Manipulation FACTOR 10!!!

The story is extremely fast-paced, a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs….

Someone pass the dramamine! I loved every minute of it. There was mystery, there was investigation, there was an ultimate game of cat-and-mouse…I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! In my opinion, this could definitely be one of the top Adult Thrillers I read in 2019…if not, the top. I know it is early but I really, really enjoyed this.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for kindly providing me with a e-copy to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my feedback. This book is definitely a winner. The Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen combo is something very special! I hope they continue to write books together in future, as I would certainly love to read them!

When money and morality intersect, the result can illuminate intriguing truths about human character.

Original:

Ummmm, this is going to be so good -ARC received and I am already rearranging my life to fit it in NOW!

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2019 Monthly TBR Challenge & Happy New Year

Happy New Year’s Eve bookworms! Cheers to a festive and happy new year! I am so ready for 2019~

Inspired by a recent video that I watched on the channel, Hailey in Bookland ((click on the channel name to view her January TBR)), I have decided I am going to institute a monthly TBR challenge.

Basically, this involves 5 challenges I need to complete every month. This will be in addition to any ARCs I will be reading for a particular month. The 5 challenges are as follows:

  1. Read a book that was released in 2018
  2. Read a new release from the current month
  3. Read a new release from the next month (I can use any ARC for this)
  4. Read a sequel to a series you have started but haven’t finished
  5. TBR Jar picks

*A note on the TBR Jar picks: Today I created my first ever TBR jar. I wrote down on scrapes of paper pretty much all the books that I own on my ‘unread’ shelf ((over 250)) and put them into a decorative box. Every month I will be pulling 3 random slips from the box and trying to read two out of the three. I just selected my three books to choose from in January and they are as follows:

  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson- YA Fantasy released in September 2017.
  • A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston- YA Fantasy Retelling released in October 2015.
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- YA Paranormal Romance/Horror released in September 2011.

I haven’t quite decided yet which 2 of the 3 selected I am going to read yet but I am leaning towards, An Enchantment of Ravens and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I will certainly keep you posted on that. Every month I am going to try to complete all of the challenges listed above and I am hoping this will help me keep focused, as well as helping to clean up my backlist a little bit.

Thank you so much for sticking with me over the course of 2018! I completed 139-books this year and am absolutely blown away by that number. Looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish in 2019. Best wishes to you all and happy reading~

 

Review: Insane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of OilInsane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Even if it died tomorrow, Tesla has already achieved what it set out to do: accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport. It has convinced the world that electric cars can be great.”

I really enjoyed Hamish McKenzie’s overview of the pending electric revolution within the auto industry. I learned so much, particularly in regards to the progress various nations around the world are making to be rid of gas powered vehicles.

Full disclosure: I am a HUGE Elon Musk fangirl and Tesla shareholder.

This being said, my enjoyment factor for this book may be a bit heightened compared to an average reader who perhaps doesn’t have that love ((ahem, background)) in regards to Musk & Tesla. I believe in him and his passion for his companies and their products is absolutely contagious.

As far as the format and writing for this book, I think they were both very well executed. McKenzie has a journalism background and I think that definitely shines through in the best ways. His ease with explaining a fairly large and complex sector of the market was impressive and I appreciated the way he examined the big picture; aka. looked at the issue of transitioning to electric vehicles from a global perspective and the effects that it could have long-term.

If you are a gear head or a tech guru you should definitely check this book out. It is loaded with up-to-date information on where we stand in our transition away from the internal combustion engine into a more sustainable, as well as potentially autonomous vehicular future.

Whether you are a believer yet or not, it stands to reason that within a generation or two, the kids of the future will look at our current gas powered vehicles like my nieces and nephews look at rotary dial telephones. This concise book is a great start to understanding the history, scope and issues in a nonpolitical way and extends forth a positive outlook on the future while also questioning how these changes will affect our economy and society in future.

My parting words are, Elon, I love you…oh and I want to thank the publisher, Dutton, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity to read a book early and provide my feedback. Cheers~

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Bookish Regrets: The Ones That Got Away

Good day bookworms! As you can tell from today’s title, this post is all about my bookish regrets. The books I wish I would have read in 2018 but never got around to actually picking up. In an effort to keep this post a reasonable length, I have narrowed my list down to the top 6. Without further ado, here are the books that got away from me this year:

  1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Release Date: January 2, 2018) – This was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I received it in my January OwlCrate box. I was so excited. Jumped up and down. Never read it. What gives, Meg? Seriously? For those of you who may not be familiar, this is a YA Fantasy book that follows a girl, Jude, who must live in the Faerie world after her parents brutal murder. Holly Black is queen of the Fae and I have heard pretty much nothing but good things about this. The second book in the trilogy, The Wicked King, is releasing on January 8, 2019.
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Release Date: February 27, 2017) – This YA Contemporary story topped the NY Times Bestseller lists too many times to count. This story follows 16-y.o. Starr Carter after she witnesses her childhood best friend, Khalil, get shot by a police officer. Khalil doesn’t survive and soon his story is headline news. Starr, as a consequence, is torn between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. This book has been adapted to the big screen which was released in October. I would like to see the movie but definitely want the opportunity to read the book first. With an overall Goodreads rating of 4.56 out of 5-stars, this is one the, if not the, highest rated book on this list.
  3. Everless by Sara Holland (Release Date: January 2, 2018) – The premise of this YA scifi/fantasy story is one where a world is run on a currency of time. The rich are able to tax the poor into the ground, extending their own lives by centuries. It sounds a bit like the 2011 movie, In Time, starring Justin Timberlake but more fantasy world focused as opposed to dystopian. As you may recall if you follow my reviews, I am a sucker for any story that examines time, whether it be in creative ways like this or more mundane uses such as time travel, jumps or loops. Either way, I was so excited for this book to be released and got it almost right away. Did I ever pick it up? No. No, I didn’t. Also, it is important to note that the next book in the duology, Evermore, is releasing on December 31, 2018, and yes, I have preordered it.
  4. Wildcard by Marie Lu (Release Date: September 18, 2018) – I was so pleased to see that one of my most anticipated book releases of 2018, if not the most, was being released on my birthday. I ordered in months in advance. This is the second book in the Warcross duology. Since Warcross was my favorite YA release of 2017, I had been chomping at the bit for this one. Alas, I still haven’t read it. Why do I fail at life?  
  5. Children of Blood & Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi(Release Date: March 6, 2018) – This debut YA Fantasy novel was easily one of the MOST hyped books of 2018. I had preordered a copy well in advance of the March release date with the full intent of reading it directly upon receipt. Well, it made this list so I think you can see how well that plan went. This story follows Zelie as she tries to bring magic back to her world. Based on Nigerian folklore, I have really heard nothing but good things about this one. I can’t really explain why I never ended up picking it up. It is quite large, coming in at 525-pages, so maybe subconsciously I was avoiding that commitment. Either way, I definitely NEED to read this in 2018 before the sequel releases in March.
  6. Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson (Release Date: January 16, 2018) – This is another book that I purchased right around its release date. This is a YA Mystery book that is set at a private school in Vermont. If you follow my reviews at all, you may recall that boarding school or private school stories are some of my favorite. I’m not sure what it is about them. Something about the teen dynamic in an environment with fairly minimal adult supervision that I find extremely entertaining. Basically you know some messed up stuff is going to go down when kids are left to their own devices. This story sounds so interesting. It basically involves a cold case from the time the school first opened. A new student, Stevie Bell, a true crime lover, decides she is going to solve the case but once she starts looking into it, the killer apparently returns. This book has a sequel releasing next month (January 2019) and I have already preordered it so I definitely need to pick this one up ASAP. I know I am going to love it. I have heard great things about the audiobook so I am end up reading this first one via that format.

I am hoping to get to most of these within the first quarter of 2019; especially the ones with sequels releasing this year that I plan to read! What books got away from you this year? Any of these make your list as well? I want to know – leave a comment below or contact me via any of my social media links.

Cheers & Happy Reading~

Review: Killing Adam by Earik Beann

Killing AdamKilling Adam by Earik Beann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With nonstop action and a hella good storyline, this high tech scifi thriller definitely kept me engaged from start to finish.

Set in the not too distant future, our world runs on ARCs. No, not Advanced Readers Copies, but Altered Reality Chips. These chips, inserted directly into the brain, allow people to experience anything they want at any time. They are basically living in their heads in a virtual reality world.

People are so addicted to their ARCs, they are tuned in all the time and thusly, tuned out from our ‘real’ world almost completely. This makes goings pretty tough for the minority of humans who are ARC-incompatible. Our protagonist, Jimmy Mahoney, is one of those few. Due to a head injury he sustained during his career as a professional football player, Jimmy is unable to have an ARC and therefore unable to connect with pretty much the rest of society, including his wife Michelle.

Jimmy’s main interactions come from his time at a support group for other ARC-incompatibles. Here he meets Trixie, a mysterious woman who ends up recruiting Jimmy to join the fight against the singularity running the system behind the ARCs, Adam. This is putting it in the simplest of terms but basically that is how our main action begins.

Overall, I had a really great time reading this novella. It is short, just over 200-pages, and is packed with action and intrigue. The whole story takes place over only a couple of days. It would have been great if it could have delved a bit deeper into the world and the characters but I understand not every book can be 400-pages long.

There were a couple of cringe-worthy sexual comments/jokes towards the beginning that were a big turn off but I am glad I stuck with it because the story definitely deserves to be read. If you are the kind of reader who likes your scifi to be so close to the truth you could see the premise actually happening in our own world in 15-to-25 years than this is absolutely a book you should pick up. It was close enough to home and what is going on currently in our tech sphere that it made it not only plausible but creepy AF.

I would definitely pick up more books by this author in the future and want to thank him for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my feedback!

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