#BookReview Gods in Oslo by John Plaski

Gods in Oslo by John Plaski is a thrilling ride full of super power-like abilities, Odin and the gods and love of action!

This book looks very daunting – it’s over 400 pages and looked WAY to big to tackle, but I did it anyways. It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made, because it was ridiculously cool! This was one of those books I was actually interested in and wanted to read more.

John Plaski creates a world and builds it exponentially in this book. Kaitlin, Marc and Claire are on an adventure. They have superior abilities that makes them stronger than your average human. As they try to solve some problems and fight bad guys, things don’t go according to plan…

I felt like this book needed to be binged. I put this book down for a few days, jumped back in, and I forgot half of what happened. There is so much world building and unique story telling elements, that it was just too much for me to remember. If I would have binged the book and not put it down for longer than a day, I feel like I would have loved it even more. What’s even more troubling is that every character has two names (a “normal” first and last name, and a name representing their abilities). I couldn’t keep them straight when I jumped away from the book. I almost wish there would have been an index or summary of all of the names in the back of my copy of the book to help me out.

Despite the troubles I had with this book, John Plaski has made one truly remarkable novel. The book makes you think and pulls you in to the point of addiction. The unique themes and commentary throughout the book got me involved more so than I do with my typical fiction books. I love books like this! Throw in the fact it felt like a fantasy meets spy/thriller novel… yeah, it was worth the read.

Overall, I think this book was a wonderful first novel from John Plaski. He has a real knack for writing and he’ll only get better with the more books he writes and releases. I hope he continues writing because this book was really cool!

I’d definitely recommend this book if you like thrillers, fast paced books, fantasy (along the lines of Greek/Roman gods), super heroes and books that make you think.

Four out of five stars. It would have been five, but I kept getting a little lost when I jumped away from the book.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

If you enjoyed this book or review, here are some others you might enjoy:
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell
#BookReview Tamisan by Susan McKenzie
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

 

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#BookReview Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is a seriously funny book that will take you on one wild adventure.

Books like these are always my favourites – they tell fun and inviting stories and welcome you into someone else’s world. I also identify as an ‘old soul’ so I get a real kick out of reading books about the past. This book, Carrying Albert Home, is about Homer’s parents taking a pet alligator back to Florida. Yes, you read that right, they are transporting an alligator. Along the way they get themselves in lots of trouble and difficult situations, all of which are hilarious!

This book did feel like it would fit into the niche market. It’s a fictional comedy based on true stories that weren’t exactly true… It’s so weird, but lovely. If you’re looking for a book that’s out of the ordinary, I think this book would be one excellent fit!

To be honest though… this book isn’t my type of novel. I did enjoy reading it as a change from my normal selection, but it just didn’t hit me as well as I wanted it to. The book is long and at times feels like too much. I had to put it down and pick it up a few times to really get through the story. It’s not boring and it’s written in a beautiful manner, it’s just not made for me as a reader. There will be readers out there who are dying to read this book, but it just isn’t my style. My rating for this book reflects the fact that it wasn’t a book for me. In reality, I think this book is a solid 4.0 for the average reader, but based on my rating score it’s a 2.

Overall, if I had to describe this book in a series of words they would be: quirky, spontaneous, eccentric, outlandish and zany.

2.0 out of 5.0 stars – it’s just not my type of book, but it is absolutely lovely and I highly recommend it.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads.

If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop

 

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#BookReview The Fencers by Geza Tatrallyay

The Fencers by Geza Tatrallyay is a beautifully woven, true tale of perseverance and fencing!

Autobiographies and biographies are one of those ‘genres’ that I really fall in love with when I start diving into them. Reading about someone’s life and peeking into their mind is a truly marvelous experience for me! Having the opportunity to read Geza’s story, in Canada of all places, was absolutely breathtaking!

This book isn’t long, but it sure packs a punch. This story follows Geza’s journey studying in Canada and joining the Olympic fencing team. I really enjoyed the fencing side of the story! I have always found fencing to be a memorizing sport to watch. Reading Geza’s explanations of how the game is played and how various matches went was excellent! The ups and downs of a match, the crazy stories Olympians can tell and the descriptions of the matches were just so darn cool.

Fencing isn’t the only aspect of this story that makes it so intriguing to me. Geza helping his friend Paul really stood out in this story. The Hungarian is trying to seek refuge in Canada, and Geza is up for the challenge. There were just so many aspects of this story that tied together to make it attention grabbing. The Olympic story line, Geza’s undergraduate and graduate tales and Paul’s story all wrapped up into one perfect gift.

The story may pull at your heart strings a bit near the end, but otherwise it’s an empowering tale!

If I had a con, it’d be that I wanted a little more. Some of the stories presented were written beautifully, but I would have love to pick Geza’s brain more! They sounded so interesting and I’m sure there’s more to some of these stories than what made it into the book.

Overall, this book was a real gem! I’m glad I had the opportunity to pick this book up! I needed more biographies on my shelf, so this book will be the perfect fit!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Geza Tatrallyay, in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

 

Check out more books by Geza on his website: www.gezatatrallyay.com

Check out some more of Geza’s Books  on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Twisted Fates (#3) on Amazon.com

Twisted Fates (#3) on Amazon.ca

The Rainbow Vintner on Amazon.com

The Rainbow Vintner on Amazon.ca

 

And check out Geza’s Goodreads Page for more information!

Why not give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review? @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview The Murder of Leopold Beckenbauer by K. Kris Loomis

Man, oh man. I did NOT see that ending coming! Like… wow! What in the world just happened?!

The Murder of Leopold Beckenbauer takes some wild twists and turns in this rather short story. K. Kris Loomis does an absolutely marvelous job at allowing us a peek at Claire’s life and the brains of a few musical geniuses.

When the best musical genius comes to town, everyone needs to see his brilliance! Many piano players take a trip to a historic plantation site. Claire is one of the many musicians ready to learn from the always brilliant, but slightly insane, Leopold Beckenbauer. Along the way, many musicians learn their abilities and figure out who the real Leopold Beckenbauer is. Oh, and as the title suggests, he dies.

Claire’s troubled marriage, her tragic past, Leopold’s wacky behaviour and the kooky cast of characters all make this story really engaging. I was honestly so pulled into this story that I could hardly believe it was over! K. Kris Loomis can tell a really good story in such a small amount of space! I’m kinda annoyed that it wasn’t longer and that I couldn’t spend some more time with these characters. I was truly enchanted by the descriptions of Beethoven’s music (and the other composers too!).

I didn’t see half of this story coming from a mile away, which was super awesome! I hate when I can guess the ending by the first few pages. It took me about half the book to figure out the big twist, but I’m glad it took me that long! It’s a ‘fun’ yet tragic twist that most readers won’t catch onto unless they are paying attention. So many hints were dropped along the way that it’s “easy” to catch onto the twist, but you have to be paying attention to really grasp what’s going on. I felt like Sherlock Holmes trying to solve these mysteries!

My biggest negative is this: I want to see more of Danny. I felt like I needed a little bit more of him in this book or to see what happens with Claire and Danny. What can I say? I like a happy ending.

Overall, this book was epic! I want more mysteries like this that really pull you in and drag you along. It was such a treat! If you like Murder on the Orient Express styled books, this story will be right up your alley!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, K. Kris Loomis, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

If you liked this book (or review!) check out some other reads you might enjoy:
#BookReview After Namaste by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year.

Family drama, generations of Irish men & ladies, comedy, tragedy and character growth. What more could a girl ask for in novel? Not much else!!

I was truly surprised by how amazing this book was, considering it has so few reviews. It’s by far one of my favourite reads and it will sit high atop my shelves. Kathleen MacMahon has a beautiful sense of writing style and her prose is just magnificent. I can’t get enough of this book and I want more by her.

This story follows the MacEntees – an Irish family with four generations of men and women trying to deal with a long, hot summer. Deidre and Manus were once married, but Manus is now with his male lover and at Deidre is grasping with the fact that she is now “old” and in her 80s. Alma, Acushla and MacDara are their children and they all have to grasp with their own choices too. Alma and Acushla married twin brothers, and somehow their lives are echoing each other. The girls’ children, Constance and Nora, are also dealing with their own lives choices. The entire book follows these characters one by one and lets us into a world of family drama, insanity and growth.

I would have loved to read a book like this in high school, when you have the opportunity to pick apart lines and themes within the story. I loved seeing how each character interacted and how life didn’t end up the way they quite expected it. Lots of humors is thrown in with the tragedy, family drama is addressed in a very real way, and this book shows just how tough life can be (yet also how fruitful and silly we can make it). In summary, it’s all about perspective.

Kathleen does a great job showing the differences between the generations and how they interact with one another. The conflict felt so real and the book felt like it could have been a non-fiction retelling (but it’s not!). I really want to read more by Kathleen because she has a real knack for story telling. I was so attached to these characters and I was furious that this book had to end (and in the way that it did! I cried! I never cry at books!).

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you love fictional dramas, stories set in Ireland, and books about being a family.

Five out of five stars! I would give it more if I could.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out another book (or review!) that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

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#BookReview Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige is a YA, fairy tale adaption of The Snow Queen.

I had no idea what to expect from this book and I still don’t… I think I’ll need the sequel to better understand how I feel about this book… But at this time, I don’t know if a sequel is going to be made?!

Stealing Snow is based on The Snow Queen but has lots of elements of Snow White. Honestly, my local book store pegged it as Snow White to me, so I was a little shocked. I picked this book up because I loved Dorothy Must Die (plus it was on sale at my local book store and I’m a sucker for sales… go figure).

This book didn’t blow me away as much as Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (this author) did. It really felt like this book needed the sequel to keep moving the story going because it was left at such an odd place. I wanted more at the end… It wasn’t just a cliffhanger, it just felt like the editor had cut out a large chunk. I felt a little bit cheated.

That being said, it was a good book! I’m not as fluent in The Snow Queen (even though I have read it, it’s just been a while and there aren’t many adaptions out there that I’ve read) so I didn’t connect as well with this story as I wanted. I did re-read the fairy tale before I picked the book up, but it didn’t help me much.

I see so much potential in this series – the potential love triangles, the heroic action scenes that could come, the fairy tales that could be woven in – but it didn’t hit all of the marks in just this book. It really needs it sequel. Seriously. Danielle better write it. Don’t make this book a one off, it won’t do the book justice.

What I didn’t like about this book:
1. Snow’s mental illness felt… weird. It felt forced and out of place. Sure, she has a mental illness (potentially) but she bites people and takes pills. It wasn’t flushed out enough for me to believe it or respect it.
2. She’s special. Every girl in every YA seems to be the chosen one, but the trope didn’t feel right here (at least, not with the twist ending…).
3. There was way too much going on. I felt like my brain was being attacked because there was so many different plot points and half of which didn’t get resolved. I like having my books able to stand on their own as well as be in the series – like most movies series.

Things I did like:
1. Kai and Bale. I don’t know why, but I kind of enjoyed it and I want more. I want to know more about that part of the story, but I’ve always been a sucker for love triangles in my YAs so that one is on me.
2. Danielle has the most elegant writing style. She’s truly an artist and is SO GOOD with her words. I can’t express enough how much I love reading her books because she knows how to write and connect with the reader.
3. The potential is extraordinary. With so many plot points introduced, this book is set up to be a series. I’d like to see what Danielle does with this story.

Overall, this book wasn’t as bad as the reviews led me to believe. I do want to keep reading this series because Danielle is wicked cool with her words (pun intended) but I don’t know what to expect.

Three out of five stars.

 

P.S. After I started putting my reviews up I saw the new cover and W-O-W! Some of these covers are just insanely amazing!

 

Check out this book on:
Kobo
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Canadian Retailer
Barnes & Noble

 

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might enjoy:
#BookReview Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
#BookReview The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber
#BookReview Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I bought this book YEARS ago when I got my wisdom teeth out. Actually, my Mom bought it for me because I was drugged up from having my wisdom teeth out and there was a massive book sale. I gave her a list of books and she got them for me, and then this book sat on my shelf because I forgot I told my Mom to go buy me books when I got my wisdom teeth out.

So colour my cheery when I finally cleaned my bookshelf and there it was! I picked it up instantly, decided to ignore my upcoming exams, and settled down with this book. AND MAN I WAS SO STUPID FOR NOT READING IT SOONER BECAUSE I AM OBSESSED.

I am an adult now, but when I bought it I was a “Young Adult” reader. Some of the YA books just don’t sit with me as well now, but this book totally did. Cinderella, fairy tale, Star Wars-esque, cyborgs, science fiction, crazy evil overlords, and more! How could someone like me not love a book like this?!

My friends had given me horrible reviews of this book so I was very hesitant to pick it up, but when I took the dive I realized that I really shouldn’t have listened to them. I devoured this book in about two hours and I could NOT put it down. Marissa Meyer crafted an intriguing story that echoes our fave fairy tales and sci-fi movies, but also sits well on it’s own. Cinder is special but she doesn’t know why (like most YA novels, wink wink, nudge nudge). The Prince needs her help so she complies. Through helping him, trying to avoid a crazy super bug/infection and dealing with some major losses, she finds herself in a world of insanity.

This is a great read, but it leaves with an awful cliffhanger. I was so furious that the book ended the way it did because now I HAVE to pick up the next book in the series. Like, thanks a lot Marissa! But good on her, she did an excellent job crafting this book to the point that I seriously need the sequels. It won’t be okay if I don’t find these books on my book hunts soon.

To list some of the positives of this book, I have to say it really works well for young readers (maybe 8 and up, as a good book with their parents) but also sits amazingly well with adults. I didn’t feel like I was reading a purely YA novel, it felt like a fun fairy tale. I almost wish it wasn’t on the YA shelf in my local book store because it’s not strictly made for the YA audience, even though the narrative fits well with YA.

My negatives? Cliffhangers. I hate them, so they will always be my negative. Also, sometimes the story just felt like it happened at the right place, right time and just happened to work out in the character’s favor. It didn’t bug me at all in this book, but sometimes that trope grates on my nerves.

Overall, SO AMAZINGLY GOOD. Five out of five stars all around! This book really got me back into a reading binge, so thank you Marissa!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Canadian Retailer
Amazon.com

 

 

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