Review: A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: April 2016

Read: May 2016

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.
While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place – Aldrich Castle – but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.
Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

Review: This is a great book and I am super happy I got to read it, even thou it was a very long and big book. Do not let that intimidate you because it’s well worth it.

Arundel_Castle_-_motte_and_quadrangle,_England_(18_April_2006)It’s a story of the FBI agent Kendra and how after a really bad take down where a lot of her team gets killed she goes on a revenge mission and winds up in the 1800’s in an English household of a duke. Being a women thrown back in to this time isn’t easy and soon it get’s even worse when a murder happens of a young women. Using her techniques she helps to figure out who the murderer is and try to keep her secret of time travel to herself.

It’s a good novel and you really get to like Kendra and how hard it is for her to keep the secret that she travelled back in time. Even when she doesn’t know herself why it happened. It’s hard to solve a murder when you don’t have any of the technology that you are used it. 94ed6a_538625e50f5f35d696aa70162694d777

All the characters were strong and you were kept guessing who the killer was till the end. You thought you knew and then BAM things change and it’s not who you thought it was. Of course you have to wait until the end of the book to figure it out but it’s worth it. There was a bit of romance but not a lot and it didn’t overshadow any of the story which was great. It was a pleasant side note that you got to read about once in a while.

The writing is good and overall the pace is good. Some spots were really slow but it picked up again. This is where the .5 mark got deducted. It also ended like there is a sequel which is exciting, I would defiantly buy it right away to read it and find out what happens next. Over all a great début for this author.

If you like mysteries you will like this book, or even Outlander. There is a hit of resemblance so fans of that book will be a fan of this book. Also if you are inclined to read books of this time period this is also for you.

Review: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

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Category: 9-12 Age Group Fiction Book

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 5/5 (I’d give more if I could)

Synopsis: (Goodreads) When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….

Review: This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read for this age group. I wish I had the full version with the illustrations but I will take my Advanced Copy and keep it forever.

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It’s a story about a Robot Roz who after a ship wreck ends up on an island inhabited by only animals. At first they are all scared of her as she is new and different and doesn’t speak their language. Something happens and Roz is thrown in to the roll of caretaker when she doesn’t even know who she is herself and what her purpose is.

Over the time she is on the island she learns to communicate with the animals and herself and finds her purpose and love. Love that can only happen with true family.

This is an easy and very fast read, if I didn’t have to be an adult and work it would have been done in one night. It’s a great book for all kids and I think it’s something that should be read as the messages are beautiful and true. This story touches on everything from acceptance and prejudice, hate and love. Being true to who you are and accepting other people who they are. That we may all be different but all good people on the inside. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I could go on but these are some of the big themes I wanted to mention. In this day and age with all the hate in our world we need books like this to show kids that it is not necessary we can all get along and love each other. 4d6N_diI

It also ended like it was going to be other books and I say bring them on. I look forward to more stories with Roz and her friends.

 

Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: February 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore. There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…

Review: This is a book that I like and don’t like all at the same time. It’s such a promising story but I found it really dragged on and I had a hard time trying to finish it. I am starting to get wary of any book that has “The Next Girl On The Train” as the selling point.

It’s about Jean and what happens to her when he husband is accused of kidnapping and murdering a little girl named Bella. You also get the point of view of the lead detective and what happens to him from beginning to end as well as a hardcore reporter who is there from the start covering this story. It jumps from the day of the kidnapping till the present and one good thing is you are never confused as to what time frame you are in it is clear at the beginning of every chapter. So that is a big point in the favour, your never confused who is talking and when this is.

It starts from the day of the kidnapping to the present when her husband is now dead and the truth still has yet to come out. You are left throughout most of the book trying to figure out if he did or didn’t. By the end you know and quite honestly you are just trying to get through it and are thinking “alright already get it over with”. I found the story dragged on and if a lot of it was left out it would have been a better read and a more thrilling read. There was a lot of unnecessary filler and it got boring after a while.

Jean was a tough character to like as she clearly knew what was going on. It was also hard to hate her too as you can clearly see there was some emotional and mental abuse from her husband to turn her in to what she was. camera

It was a great concept for the book. Points of views from the people accused and what happens after they are accused in all parts of their lives. It could have been done so much better. I was disappointed as this book had a lot of hype around it. Hopefully Fiona Barton’s next book isn’t as boring as this one.

If you like these thrillers and don’t mind a slower plot this one is totally for you. If you want fast paced completely avoid it.

Review: The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

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Category: Teen Fiction

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

Review: This is one of the most interesting and up and down books I have read in a life time. I loved it for the most part but I did find it a little hard to get through. There was just so much happening it took me over a week to finish. It’s not a light read that is for sure.

Maya is our main character here who lives in a Haram as one of the many daughters of the Raja. She is cursed because her horoscope says so and this causes people to treat her differently. She is forced to make a horrible decision with her life and when the time comes get rescued by Amar, an interesting and handsome stranger. Than taken to Akaran her new life begins. It is full of secrets, magic, death and heartache. Due do the decisions she makes there she has to safe herself as well as the people she loves in ways you could never imagine than kill her enemy. Can you kill someone who is already dead? the-star-touched-queen-quote-01-constellations-roshani-chokshi

It is based on Indian folklore and it is a beautifully told story. It’s rich with description and I could imagine myself in these places with Maya. There is love, and a lot of death and blood. It’s not a faint for the heart read. It deals with things like reincarnation and life choices. There really isn’t much sex but it hints at it for sure. It’s more about deep, everlasting love.

My only complaint is how heavy it was. It took forever to get through but honestly I would probably read it again. I also like the fact it’s a stand alone…it’s nice to read those once in a while without having to wait for new books in a year…or years.

If you like fantasy and retold stories this book is for you. Plus look at that cover, it’s amazing and one of the best ones I have seen this year. I can’t wait to see what else this author is going to come out with as this is her first novel. Star-Touched-Queen-350x300