#BookReview Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming was a truly marvelous classic.

I can totally understand why this book is considered one of the classic and first spy novels. It felt exactly like what I would expect a James Bond book to be – full of thrills, surprise twists and turns, double agents, alcohol, gambling and pretty women.

My favourite part of this book is that it wasn’t exactly like a James Bond film – this James Bond made errors along the way and wasn’t the perfect spy. He was headstrong and did what he thought was best (even if it wasn’t the best plan). It made Bond feel like a real person.

I also really enjoyed the writing style. Mr. Fleming’s writing felt elegant and perfectly placed for a spy thriller. I was enchanted along the ride and loved the word choice. It felt more royal, like the English Secret Service should be. On top of that, the heroes, heroine and villain all feel like actual people instead of characters. It was the way and tone of Ian Fleming’s words that made it feel so real instead of just written words.

That being said, it was a lovely read. I would highly recommend these books to those who love thrillers and want to see the history of the genre. I found the book really intriguing. I might not continue reading the series but I did really like it book. It was a nice change from my normal read.

Three out of five stars.

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out some other books and content you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay
#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee
#AuthorInterview Elaine Williams Crockett, author of the Warren Alexander series
#BooKReview Drug Gang by Neil Walker
Quick Book Review: The Darby Shaw Chronicles (Books 1-3) by Liberty Speidel

 

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#BookReview Open Source by Anna L. Davis

 

Open Source by Anna L. Davis is an R rated, epic, sci-fi, fantasy, crazy adventure!

This book far exceeded my expectations, especially since sci-fi isn’t my usual genre. Anna makes this fantasy novel come off the page and take over my brain (pun totally intended, by the way).

Ryker, our home-less former writer lead, doesn’t have a NeuroChip in his brain. Everyone else in this world does, and it’s a fad that’s taking over the nation. Soon enough, our friend gets himself into a difficult situation and a chip is forced into his brain. His buddy Sawyer, Rae, Rae’s ex Nox, a bag lady, and many more quirky characters dance across the pages and whisk us through a not-so-distant, potential future. What do we do when chips are in our brains, following our every move? Will politics get in the way of the potential good? It’s sci-fi, the answer is always yes.

This is one of the few books that I didn’t see the ending coming, and I loved that. There’s so many little hints along the way, yet I just didn’t connect those dots. Anna has a well crafted story on her hands and it’s so well thought out. The seeds planted along the way will make you question reality itself – what the heck is going on in this book?! Everything ties itself up nicely in the end, thank goodness. But… I still want that sequel. It says this is book one in the series everywhere I look, so I really hope Anna throws us some more epic fantasy our way!

I don’t have many cons about this book. I would have liked to read this as a book I binged instead of putting it down. I’m not much of a tech or sci-fi fan, so I ended up forgetting some of the terminology and background when I left it for a few days. It’s still easy enough to read if you step away, but personally I want to binge it.

I like that the story leaves off like the book could end, even though the story could continue. I hate cliffhangers, so this ending bides well with me.

Overall, this book is truly an epic. I could see a television show or a movie being made of it. It’s just so darn good! I have to say… it’s one of my top reads of 2019!! I never thought I’d put a sci-fi that high on my list, but I did! And it’s all Anna L. Davis’s fault!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Find out more about this book and the author on:
Goodreads – Open Source
Twitter – @annaldavis1
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble

Check out some other reviews and books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

 

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#BookReview Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy

Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy is the perfect mix of action, romance and drama!

Bas and Myst have two of the coolest names I’ve ever seen in a book, let me say that outright. And now, onto the review!

I’ve been hoarding Alexandra Ivy books on my shelves for years now, so I was thrilled to finally pick up one of the books hanging around on my shelves. This book was a lovely book to start off with, even if it was third in the series. I had no problem jumping into this story and I fell in love with these mysteriously epic characters! In this book, Myst and Bas have a young girl named Molly (she has such a normal name for her parents having cool ones, just saying…) and she brings them back together. Bas, the assassin, and Myst, the woman who’s seen a very important vision, are such a strangely well paired couple. They are hot and bothered and ready to fight.

I loved that this book wasn’t purely romance – I’ve gotten tired of the “this is a fantasy book” but it really is all romance trope that I’ve been seeing lately. Having this book full of intense drama and action with the romance coming in closer to the end felt REALLY nice. These two characters are definitely made for the romance sphere, but they also have such incredible back stories that it would have been a waste to not explore them. So, kudos to Alexandra Ivy for making this book so different.

My notes on the book are as followed:
1. You can see the ending coming from a mile away, but that’s probably just me reading too much and watching too many movies.
2. This book is easy to jump into as a stand alone, but I might have understood a little bit more of the world building if I had read the first two books in the series.
3. The fantasy in this book is REALLY COOL. You can tell a world is being built around this series, so I really hope there’s more books to come.
4. I love the relationship between Bas and Myst. They are sassy, sarcastic and yet romantic at all the right times.
5. The story felt “real” – you can believe that Bas and Myst would go save their daughter. All of the plot points didn’t feel forced and worked really well within the story as a whole.
6. If I had to pick one negative for me, it would be that the book felt just a little too long. Some scenes could have been cut out and the story would have made just as much sense.

Overall, I really liked this book! It was a great mix of fantasy, action and romance and I’d highly recommend it to someone looking to fill the void in those genres. I wouldn’t recommend purely binging it. I liked it much more when I was able to set it down and jump back into the world.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy:
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1
#BookReview Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister
#BookReview Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

 

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#BookReview Dance with a Vampire by Ellen Schreiber

This is one of my fave throwbacks to my teen years – Ellen Schreiber and her Vampire Kisses series. To say I was obsessed with this series is an absolute understatement. Recently, I picked this book up again and decided to throw myself into this series, and I still love it!

This series is full of cute-sy YA romance with Alexander and Raven. The book is written for a younger audience, but if you’re like me and love sinking away into a fantastical world then it will be no issue to you. If you’re expecting a “True Blood-esque” novel, then you’ve come to the wrong place.

The fourth book in this series, Dance with a Vampire, continues Alexander and Raven’s epic love story. Except, this time around we’ve got more crazy antics that the pair have to deal with. Valentine is now up to her trouble, making it seem impossible for our love birds to have a happy ending.

A note for the reader: These books are relatively short, which makes them a fun, sweet, and smooth read. It’s really easy to binge all of these books in a day if you have the nerve to. I read the first four books (back in the day) on a bus ride to a school swim meet. I re-read these books many times because of how short and fun they were. So, it’s not a big time commitment if you read these babies one by one.

Final note: The manga version of this series was one of the first mangas I ever read and made me fall in love with that “genre” (is genre the right word? Probably not). The pictures were beautiful, the story was magical and I’m glad it got me so into reading! Thank you Ellen for being one of my early reading addictions. Hopefully I’ll find some more newer books by her soon! Her writing just vibes well with my reading style.

I’d highly recommend these books. They are on the younger side of YA, but they are funny, sassy and absolutely adorable. My biggest con for this whole series was that it ended! I loved each book and I really want more by this author. So many YA novels take themselves way to seriously and try to make the teen be an adult. This series makes Raven be a fun, young girl who makes mistakes along the way (but she somehow gets an epic romance out of it).

Five out of five stars!

 

You can locate this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo (Canadian Retailer)

 

If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy:
#BookReview Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi
#BookReview The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber
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If you love YA, check out my top ten list for Young Adult reads!
Collection 2: #TopTens – Young Adult Part 1

 

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#BookReview Matt, The Green Cat by Jenny Mitchell

I love cats, so this little picture book already had me interested when it presented me with a cute, little, itty, bitty, green kitty! Matt, our lead, was a ginger cat who accidentally got some green paint on him!

The plot of this book is really simple – we learn all about Matt the cat and his general day. The book is all about his life as an accidental green cat and how friendly and lovely everyone is. As it says at the end of the book, it’s a short story!

The cartoon style of this book was really lovely! I think it fit in wonderfully with the story and I loved looking at all of the pictures. The details were incredible, and yet just enough at the same time. There’s lots of animals and fun backgrounds to keep you occupied when you aren’t reading the words on the page. There’s just so much to look at!

If I had one con about this book it would be that it was hard to read on my device. Some of the pages looked like they would have been better suited for an actual two page spread on a physical copy rather than the electronic copy I got when I downloaded it.

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub.

 

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

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy!
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#BookReview Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Many eons ago in my high school/teens years, I used to read J-14 magazine. That magazine was my lifeline to society – celebrity gossip, posters of the Jonas Brothers, and book recommendations! During those formative years, I remember seeing endless advertisements for Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and I never truly forgot about this book… Fast forward to my mid-twenties! I’m at a local charity book sale and I see THE BOOK! The book was right there within my reach! I picked it up, put it on my book shelf and forgot about it… until recently when I cleaned my house and donated many books so I had room on my shelves.

I am SO glad I finally picked this book up. This was another one of those books that gets me hooked instantly and falling in love with some teenie bopper characters. Throw in fantasy, typical YA “I can save the world”-esque plots and magic and you’ve got me hooked!

This book is funny, super sweet and sometimes sassy. It’s absolutely the first book in the series and it leaves off with one of those dreaded cliffhangers that makes me want to read the next book ASAP.

We follow Sophia (she goes by Sophie) in this adventure filled novel after she performed a love spell a little too well. She gets sent off to Hecate, Hex Hall, and the rest is history! Sophie gets roomed with Jenna the vampire, she holds classes with some ‘Mean Girl’ clique-y girls and might be falling for the school’s bad boy. She’s the daughter of a powerful warlock, everyone seems to hold that against her and she’s got some wild family history behind her. Yes, this sounds like the typical YA plot but it’s written so wonderfully that I didn’t even care! Rachel opens this world and makes me feel like I was apart of the journey. I felt for Sophie and Jenna, I ogled after Archer and I absolutely HATED Elodie. Hey, I was a teenage girl once. I remember the mean girls ruining all of the fun.

My favourite part of this book is all of the sassy one liners thrown around. Sarcasm is the way I live my life, so I loved that this book is full of it! Sophie, Jenna and Archer are absolutely hilarious. I also adored the side characters, the Groundskeeper being my favourite.

My least favourite? STUPID CLIFFHANGERS. I hate them and I truly believe that a book should be able to stand on it’s own. I hate when I’m left off feeling cheated at the ending. Yes, I know Rachel wants us to read the next book in the series but I don’t like when I’m left feeling like I HAVE to read the next book – I WANT to.

Overall, this book is a real gem! I’m glad I finally found it. Back in my teenage years I didn’t have the funds (I mean, I’m a college student…I still don’t, but I know how to bargain hunt now!), so it’s awesome that I found a book I’ve been dreaming of! I still remember that ad page distinctly…

Five out of five stars!

 

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo – Canadian Retailer

If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!:
Collection 2: #TopTens – Young Adult Part 1
#BookReview Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi
#BookReview Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

 

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

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#BookReview Zachary and the Great Potato Catastrophe by Junia Wonders

This tale is super sweet and adorable! The very beginning had me hooked instantly – this tale might be true, and the identity of the leads are disguised. How much cuter can this book get?!

The soft tones of the art in this book made me feel really happy. I love the style and I think it went well with the story. The rhyming scheme was also silly yet it worked! I found myself giggling along the way. Sometimes the words didn’t rhyme exactly, but it was the thought that counts.

If you’re looking for a goofy, short, animal filled story book, then you’ve come to the write place! I absolutely adore Junia Wonders and her picture books. They are filled with silly plot lines, amazing art, and lots and lots of fun!

Overall, the story is cute and fun and I’d highly recommend parents and teachers pick this book up! Children will love it! This book is totally worth every penny!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

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

If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton
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#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

 

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