Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Review: The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

Author:  Rin Chupeco
Number of pages: 304
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date published: 5 August 2014
Buy on: AmazonBook Depository

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. 

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out. 

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story


So...I've been thinking of trying a new style of reviewing. It is quite simple, really. 

Why you should read the book

So, first of all the writing. What a beautiful writing. I think the best way to describe it is as a Japanese writing. While you may think me somewhat not politically correct with that phrase I will explain.

While there are all sorts of writing styles- as many as there are people on this earth, I'd say culture and roots and language affects the writing style.

For example what few books by French authors I read had the same feeling to them in the writing style- the beat wasn't fast but it was steady, the language and descriptions were matter of fact and though it was not dramatic the drama level was kept at the same level all along, hanging in the background just beyond your reach yet tainting everything.

Japanese writing style is calm, somewhat leisure and descriptive, with an emotional undertone. It has a prolonging tune that keeps you waiting to a climax that is rather disappointing and anti- climatic in its existence. It is lyrical, and in my opinion at least very beautiful. I usually look at things somewhat differently after reading such work.

"Time had taught me to temper the malice within. But for a long long time, I was a great and terrible thing. I was a creature that found pleasure in the ripping. In the tearing. I am no longer that monster. But memories of that creature still lurk within this well. There are some things that never fully die." 

Secondly this IS a horror story. True, those that really love horror stories might not feel the goosebumps while reading this book but scardy cats such as myself surely will. 

Those who are interested in the Japanese ghosts stories and culture will find this interesting enough. 

Why you shouldn't read the book

First of all, if you are one of those that wake up in the morning dreaming of Jack the Reaper and think that was a good dream, if you like horror and your room is painted in black or of you are just a horror geek then truth be told this book might be just a little anemic for you. 

Secondly, not much is happening. There is a plot and there is a climax and we are being led to something but it happens slowly. So if you are looking for a nightmare of a rollercoaster this is not for you. 

Thirdly, I'd like to point it out right now- while the story is told by the ghost, fact is she is more of an observer (some would say stalker) than a MC. Some of you might not like it. Personally, I think that the very fact that the author chose such MC has set problems to the book since a ghost can't do much but observe and scare. Which is exactly what she does - shame is for some what she observe may not be that inetresting or scary.

"It is not in my nature, to be interested in the living. But there are many things, I have found, that defy nature."

My thoughts

All that being said truth is I loved this book. From the writing style to the story to the way it ended. I was scared shitless from all the scary moments (I'm a scardy cat. when I go to a horror movie I grip my friends' hands tightly). 

I loved what was seen here from the Japanese culture and I loved the fact that Akiko wasn't good or bad but somewhere in between. 

So yeah, while I am well aware to the fact that this book is far from perfect for me it is a 5 stars read. 

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 9, 2015

He Drank, and Saw the Spider by Alex Bledsoe [Review by Sharon]

Author: Alex Beldsoe
Series: Eddie LaCrosse
Number: 5
Number of pages: 320
Publisher: Tor Books
Date published: 14 January 2014
Buy on: AmazonAmazon UK
Rating: 3 stars

"After he fails to save a stranger from being mauled to death by a bear, a young mercenary is saddled with the baby girl the man died to protect. He leaves her with a kindly shepherd family and goes on with his violent life.

Now, sixteen years later, that young mercenary has grown up to become cynical sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. When his vacation travels bring him back to that same part of the world, he can’t resist trying to discover what has become of the mysterious infant.

He finds that the child, now a lovely young teenager named Isadora, is at the center of complicated web of intrigue involving two feuding kings, a smitten prince, a powerful sorceress, an inhuman monster, and long-buried secrets too shocking to imagine. And once again she needs his help.

They say a spider in your cup will poison you, but only if you see it. Eddie, helped by his smart, resourceful girlfriend Liz, must look through the dregs of the past to find the truth about the present—and risk what might happen if he, too, sees the spider"


The book starts in the past with Eddie saving a baby girl. Sixteen years later that assignment comes back into his life- with a teenaged girl, A king, some problems and magic birth. 

The ending, of course, is a HEA in an Eddie kind of way- meaning no cliffhanger. 
Also, the writing level and style are kept throughout the series- which is a good thing, I recall not so long ago one of my friends complaining on a deteriorating writing style in a series she used to love. Not here.

Moreover, the characters are charming and amazing as usual. 
However, I still felt a problem with this book, I might even be bold for a moment and call it a weird problem. 

I shall explain. 
While each book in Eddie's series has its own adventure (as well as some overall development) and none of those adventures are recycled. He drank, and Saw the Spider was still less interesting than the books that preceded it. Why?

It took me some time to understand, but I now have this theory.The author had grown comfortable in the world he created . Yes, the world building is great, solid with definite rules- there are magic and technology. But there was nothing new. 

There was nothing new to discover in this book. Eddie and his girlfriend are great characters they are deep, they have conflicts in them, they are likeable. Hell, you can say Eddie is a PI in a world where magic exists, he solves magic mysteries and he doesn't believe in magic!

While Eddie's character has much left to be discovered, he hasn't yet reached his full potential the world he lives in need something new in it. If this problem won't be solved, I'm afraid the next book will be great but not interesting all the same, a MEH . In such s case, IMO, Eddie's series should come to an end and I wouldn't want that. 

I would LOVE to see Eddie go back to his home kingdom, I think that could be interesting. It's just that there's a need to find something new in Eddie's world, something that would challenge him. 

On a more private note-there was a new aspect to Eddie's and his Girlfriend relationship. An aspect that felt forced and a little Out of Characters for them (sexual bondage and BDSM). 

So, to summarize while old fans will enjoy it, perhaps it's time for something new, some change, or and ending (which will be sad as there's still so much to explore with the characters)

A review copy was provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review 

This review is also on BookLikesGoodReads

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Wicked Pursuit by Isabella Bradford [Review by Sharon]

Author: Isabella Bradford
Series: Breconridge Brothers
Number: 1
Number of pages: 337
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date published: 25 February 2014
Buy on: AmazonAmazon UK
Rating: 3.5 stars

In Isabella Bradford’s enthralling new trilogy, three noble brothers—London’s most scandalous rakes—are about to do the unthinkable: settle down. Harry Fitzroy, Earl of Hargreave, is the first to meet his match and lose his heart . . . to a lady he least expected.

"As the eldest son of the Duke of Breconridge, Harry Fitzroy is duty-bound to marry—and marry well. Giving up his rakish ways for the pleasures of a bride’s bed becomes a delightful prospect when Harry chooses beautiful Lady Julia Barclay, the catch of the season. But a fall from his horse puts a serious crimp in his plans. Abandoned by Julia before he can propose, the unlucky bachelor finds himself trapped in the country in the care of Julia’s younger sister.
Harry has never met a woman like Lady Augusta. Utterly without artifice, Gus is clever and capable, and seems to care not a fig for society. After a taboo kiss awakens passion that takes them both by surprise, Harry realizes he’d almost given his heart to the wrong sister. While London tongues wag, he’ll use his most seductive powers of persuasion to convince the reluctant Gus that she belongs with him—as his equal, his love, his wife"


This book came to me at just the right moment. You see, I felt in desperate need to read more historical romance books after finishing The Luckiest Lady in London 

Historically wise, this book is very accurate and there is lots to learn from it. It is quite obvious the author, Isabella Bradford, paid great attention as well as research. 

The whole story of Harry's recovery was very realistic and I appreciated that, as well as the way Harry and Goose fell in love. Even if, at times, I felt like he didn't deserve her. 

This is a good brain candy to pass the afternoon. However, I'd like to point out that this book's fort point is also it's weakest. You see, Harry's recovery is the hardest thing that happens there, the longest one. I dare say the conflict is all about Harry's recovery and his feelings toward the fact that his leg will never be the same. 

Even though that is all nice and good. I'm sad to admit that, well, this book lacks in any other conflict. 

Yes, Goose's and Harry's relationship has some ups and downs. But each one of them is solved within a few paragraphs…5 pages top!

On the one hand, one might say their relationship is so solid it's good. And it is the little challenges in life that are the real test. 

On the other hand, one might claim that many times you read romance book to see a relationship evovlving. Including some uncertainty. 

It is a good book, but it lacked in drama and scandal so very much so that I felt a little disappointed. Had it been funnier, or more witty I probably wouldn't care. But it wasn't. 

I would recommend it for rainy days, I think, when you want a stress free brain candy that will make you lips curve into a smile and forget you had a bad day. :D

In case you were wondering, I think the next book will have more scandal and conflict to it. I sure do hope so.

A review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through NteGalley. Thank you! 

this reveiw is also on: BookLikesGoodReads

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch [Review by Sharon]

Author: Scott Lynch
Series: Gentleman Bastard
Number: 3
Number of pages: 650
Publisher: Dell Rey
Date published: 8 October 2013
Buy on: AmazonAmazon UK
Rating: 2 stars

"With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body - though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean's imploring - and the Bondsmage's mention of a woman from Locke's past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival. 

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha - or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend."


This is a sad one. 

I'm not even sure anymore how to explain it. reading the book took time...It's a long one, and I found it very uninetersting in comparison to the first two books. 

I'm going to do a mash up between a brief review and an overall review to the series. Simply put, I don't remmeber much about this book anymore. It started with me not wanting to write the review because I felt disappointed. Later I simply forgot. 

Today as I went through my books I saw it again and realized I needed to write a review. I needed to write something. 

So I'm gonna try. 

The first two books were good, they had an interestimg plot, and interesing world building, the characters were great and there were some unexpected twists and turns that were done SO WEll. I'm fond of them. Yes, I had issues- it felt as if in some way the author forgot to do his research and didn't research the small things- things that concern nature, it's law and simple physics. Truth be told, Had I not read the books with my father I probably wouldn't have known on these little holes and improbablities. 

But as vain as I might sound, my lack of knowledge or my own tendency to suspend rational thought when I read a fantasy book cannot excuse the author's mistakes. Hence, the first two books got 4 stars only. The little things can sometimes be a pain in the ass. ;)

However, in the thief book I could no longer ignore those little details, moreover, there were bigger issues. 

I shall explain the best I can. But remeber, it had been a while since I read it and I don't remember it that much anymore...

Throughout the book we jump between two story lines, one in the past one in the present. Eventually, they collide. 
The jumps between the story lines happen so often.that the whole pace of the book is slow 
So many interesting things happen, the plot moves so slowly that I was fighting to continue reading it. 

While I read the first two books I felt that the author had planned each one of them from start to end before writing them. While it was one of the good things about the first and the second book, in the third book it was...well...a problem. 

While adoring the author's efficiency, as many things he mentioned had a purpose, I cannot ignore the feeling that the author was so single minded in achieving his purpose & goals that he forgot to let the characters have free rein. 

As a result, the characters don't have the freedom to develop. 

All in all, it was Ok but I didn't like it. And in the long run it has left no impression on me. As I am not invested in the series I think, for me, it's time to bid goodbye. 

I still recommend the first two books. They were greet, they were wonderful! 

A review copy was kindly provided by Dell Rey in exchange for Ann honest review. Thank you!

this review is also on GoodReadsBookLikes

Friday, October 2, 2015

Geek with Cat Tattoo (Cool Cats 2) by Theresa Weir (review by Sharon)

Author:  Theresa Weir
Series: Cool Cats
Number in series: 2
Page Number: 162 pages
Date published: 20 December 2013
Publisher: Belfry Press
Buy on: Amazon, Amazon UK
Rating: 5 stars!

"Shy music geek Emerson Foshay breaks into a cold sweat and is rendered speechless whenever Lola Brown, the girl of his dreams, steps into his guitar shop. But once a stray cat named Sam follows him home, everything changes and Emerson becomes the coolest guy in town. Setting: Minneapolis, Minnesota Cast of main characters: Emerson Foshay, shy music geek Lola Brown, Melody's (Girl With the Cat Tattoo) sister Sam the cat, Max's (Girl With the Cat Tattoo) brother"

Since this is a short one, I'm gonna keep it short (I'm also trying to learn to control the length of my reviews so yay me :P)

This is the story of geeks Emerson and Lola and one special cat named Sam. And, IMO, it is one of the sweetest love stories I had the 
pleasure to read [and I do plan to read more books by Teresa Weir.

First of all, the writing is quite simple but still I found it held some magic. It was so easy to imagine everything, almost like a movie.

The sense of humor, and the love for cats and music only made this more vivid and cute. 

Besides, a love story between to geeks…need I really say more? Yes? Well how about shy geeks?

It was just so cute, and gentle, and it's no wonder they say geeks make the best husbands. And Sam's voice (the cat) was just so funny and scarcastic and cat like I kept laughing. He really added spice to this whole story…is he up for adoption?!

I can only say, READ IT! [if you love cats that is…]

a review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Thank you 

This book is such a short sweet read, with one of the cutest love stories ever (Lola and Emerson are both so dorky and geeky it's just sweet)

This review is also on GoodReadsLeafMarksBookLikes