Thursday, September 8, 2011

CBR III Review #104: Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy) by Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

CBR III Review #104:  Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy) by Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

Double Cannonball completed!  I have officially read and reviewed 104 books this year.  There is no way I would survive a triple cannonball but I will keep reviewing and posting as I keep on reading.

I decided to save this review for my double cannonball completion because I had a real problem with the Waking Hours.  The problem is really truly enjoyed the novel.  The reason this is a problem is because when I went to look up information on the author about other novels she had written I found out Lis Wiehl is a Fox News contributor and used to co host a radio show with the devil himself, Bill O’Reilly.  I've never seen Lis Wiehl on television so I can't say for certain I would hate everything she stands for, but considering she works for Fox News it's not a huge leap of faith on my part.  When I found out who the author of Waking Hours was I wanted to hate everything about the book, but I couldn't.  Far left leaning atheistic feelings aside I really enjoyed the novel.

Waking Hours is about the mystery of a young girl's brutal murder in  East Salem, NY, a rich suburb of New York City.  Forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris is brought into help the police catch the killer.  Dani's path keeps crossing with Tommy Gunderson, an ex football player, who has decided to try his hand at being a private investigator.  Dani and Tommy both went to the murdered girl's high school several years back and feel personally connected to the case and it's outcome.

I really enjoyed everything to do with the murder mystery and the journey to find a vicious killer.  The novel is well paced and the characters of Dani and Tommy really come alive.  Besides the author my main problem with the novel was the overt religious scenes.  Tommy spends a lot of time in this novel praying and discussing religion and it felt heavy handed at times. I didn't realize this novel was going to be a trilogy when I received it from Net Galley so you can understand my confusion when the story didn't end with a neat and tidy bow around it.  It was only after looking it up on Amazon did I realize that there are two more novels to go in the series.  I really believe the story will continue well in a trilogy and I look forward to reading them.  I just hope the religious aspects are toned down or Wiehl risks alienating her non Christian readers.

I would also like to point out that my main problem with the overuse of the trilogy is its almost impossible to keep up with all the ones I need to finish.  Am I going to remember to look for the next book in this series a year or two from now?  I guess only time will tell, but changes are I'll forget about it unless I run across it while browsing on Amazon for new books to purchase.

This title will be released on October 4, 2011.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595549404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595549402
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CBR III Review #103: Fallen: A Novel by Karin Slaughter

CBR III Review #103: Fallen: A Novel by Karin Slaughter

Fallen by Karin Slaughter, is her latest novel in her series that joins Grant Counties Dr. Sara Linton and GBI Investigator, Will Trent. The two characters had separate series before Slaughter brought them together after the murder of Sara's husband (an ending to a series that still makes me tear up if I think about it).

I'll be honest I've always enjoyed the Grant County series much more than the Will Trent series and I'm only continuing to read the Will Trent series because Sara has long been one of my favorite characters in a novel.

Fallen starts off with GBI Investigator, Faith Mitchell, arriving at her mother's house to pick up her infant daughter.  When she arrives her mother appears to be missing and several gang members are in the middle of a shooting war.  Faith quickly jumps into action but after everything settles down her mother is still missing and her mother's blood is found in the house.  What follows is Will's investigation into the kidnapping, Faith's investigation into the kidnapping, and Sara's investigation into the kidnapping.  The novel gets progressively most complicated as several gangs and gang members are introduced as well as corrupt cops.  It's no secret I tend to plow through novels at a fast pace but until the last chapter I never had a solid feel for what was going on in Fallen.

I'll admit I mostly kept reading because I wanted to know if Trent and Lipton were finally going to do it...I'm still a teenager at heart and I wanted some quality sexy time for the two characters I have gotten to know so well throughout several novels. If you aren't that interested in Trent's and Lipton's  relationship then I would tell you to skip this installment. And if you hadn't picked up one of Slaughters novel's before then I would suggest picking up one in her Grant County series to start with.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Printing edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345528204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345528209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CBR III Review #102: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

CBR III Review #102: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures is your typical young adult supernatural romance fiction novel, but I enjoyed it more than the majority of the other submissions in this genre.  For one Garcia and Stohl make the small town of Gatlin, SC come alive.  I may have enjoyed the novel most simply because I have lived in Gatlin, SC.  Now Gatlin, SC doesn't actually exist and I grew up in a town called Wallburg, NC but at times I felt she was describing where I grew up.  The authors really nail the feeling of growing up in a small southern town.  Even Steven's has also reviewed Beautiful Creatures so I wont bore you with too many details.

Beautiful Creatures follows the main character Ethan as he struggles with the death of his mother and his despondent father.  Ethan has started to feel out of place in his small town and can't wait to get out until he meets Lena Duchannes, a girl who is anything but ordinary.

For anyone that is worried I will let you know there isn't a single vampire in this series, thank god.  It is however, a trilogy (boo).  I'm entirely sick of trilogies, but it's almost impossible to read a novel now a days without getting sucked into one. 

Garcia and Stohl weave together a really great tale of teenage love with a supernatural background that is fun to read.  I also enjoyed the fact the the majority of the characters actually have a personality!  Some of them even have ::shock:: hobbies.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316077038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316077033
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 
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Monday, September 5, 2011

CBR III Review #101: Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

CBR III Review #101: Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

I first read Chevy Stevens' debut novel Still Missing last year and loved it.  It was dark and twisted and heartfelt all at the same time.  She has returned with her second novel Never Knowing.  

Never Knowing opens with Sara Gallagher trying to trace down her birth parents.  Sara is happy in life.  She has a young daughter and she is in love with her fiancee, but she always felt there was something missing.  So she decides to track down her birth mother.  What she discovers is a nightmare and Sara finds herself in the middle of a series of unsolved murders.  Murders that go back 30 plus years.

I really enjoyed the novel but I will warn readers I loved Still Missing just a little bit more.  More times than one Sara's character grated on my nerves, but I was still enthralled by the story and was curious about how it was all going to end.  I think the novel would help if was trimmed down some and a few of the repetitive scenes were removed, but I wouldn't discourage people from picking it up especially if they enjoyed Steven's debt novel.

Product Details

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

CBR III Review #100: The Resistance by Gemma Malley

CBR III Review #100:  The Resistance by Gemma Malley

The Resistance is the sequel to the The Declaration and the story continues to follows Peter and Anna's lives and how they deal with the consequences from the ending of The Declaration.  I don't want to give out too much plot in case anyone after the first review wants to pick up The Declaration but I without pause can say to skip the sequel.   They are both young adult novels, but The Resistance reads like 14 year old wrote it.  I didn't have that problem with The Declaration so I'm not sure what happened between the two novels but I would skip the second installment in the series.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599903024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599903026
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

CBR III Review #99: The Declaration by Gemma Malley

CBR III Review #99: The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In The Declaration we are introduced to a society that has invented a drug that cures all diseases and ailments.  People can now live forever.  The only problem is once people decide to live forever people need to stop reproducing or there will not be enough resources for the population.  In The Declaration it has been decided that people have two choices.  They can either live forever and never have children or agree to never take the life saving drug in order to have one child. Legally a mother and father can decline to take the drug and have two children.  If a child is born to parents who are still taking the drug the child is confiscated and placed in an orphanage where they are trained to become unpaid servants to the world's rich and elite.  These children are called surpluses.  Anna is one of these children.

Anna has grown up without in a family.  For as long as she remembers she has been living as a surplus with many other surplus children.  They are being trained to become servants and Anna is one of the best.  She has come to accept her existence and is trying to make it up to the world for ever being born.  That is until a new surplus arrives and he claims to know Anna's parents. The rest of the novel follows Anna's journey between deciding if she should escape and met her parents or staying and work off her debt to society.

The Declaration had a lot of potential but a few of the characters came across as cartoons. I really did enjoy the discussion: "Is it ethic to live forever and deny the world new children and new ideas?"

In The Declaration, it also it shows how a lot of people just become complacent and bored with their lives.  Apparently, being around for hundreds of years makes life less exciting.

If you happen to run across it I would recommend picking up the novel just so you can entertain the moral arguments the novel brings up.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (August 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599902958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599902951
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Friday, September 2, 2011

CBR III Review #98:Thirst #4 The Shadow of Death by Christoper Pike

CBR III Review #98:Thirst #4 The Shadow of Death by Christoper Pike

If you are a fan of Sita and the Thirst series then of course this continuation of the series is a must read.  I grew up reading the The Last Vampire Series and was shocked when Pike decided to bring Sita back for new installments.  Even though the original series concluded masterfully I couldn't argue with Pike bringing back my favorite character.  I read Thirst #3 over a year ago and a few times I found myself a bit lost at times even though Thirst #4 picks up right after Thirst #3  I highly suggest brushing up on Thirst #3 before picking up Thirst #4.

The following part of the review has spoilers if you have not read the series.

Sita has woken up in Teri's body.  She is now a brand new vampire.  She no longer has the strength and control that she use to have, which proposes a problem as she tries to bring down The IIC and the Telaar supernatural race of humans.  I know how ridiculous this all sounds, but if you pick up the first novel in the series I promise you will not be putting it down anytime soon.

Thirst #4 relies heavily on religious allegory, anyone who is a Pike fan should know a lot of his novels discuss the concept of heaven and hell and what makes one worthy of heaven of hell.

On Christopher Pike's fan page on Facebook he indicates that there will 3-4 more thirst novels before Sita's journey is finished and I am super crazy happy.  This means I will be reading a Young Adult series well into my late 30's but I can not wait for each and every installment.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Original edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442413190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442413191
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
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