#BookReview The Darkening by Maggie L Wood

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The Darkening was a thrilling sequel to the Divided Realms series.

I am so dishearted when I couldn’t find the third book of this series, because I was OBSESSED with this book series back in the day. I went to Borders (in the states) and bought the first two books. They were two of the first books I bought with my own money at a bookstore. Then, Borders left that mall and I thought I would never find the books again (since my local Canadian bookstores didn’t carry them, and I wasn’t aware at the time that I could order books).

The game of chess was the focus of this series, and that was so fascinating to me. There’s good and evil, light and dark, and pulls towards each direction.

The world building within this universe was fantastic, and to me it’s a definite must read.

Overall, I really want to pick up this series again but with the final book (it says it’s available online as an ebook but I’ve yet to find it. I’ll have to look a little harder!). Maggie L Wood was so talented and I really hope she writes more and has more books come out. The premise alone was unique!!

Five out of five stars.

 

Comment below your favourite YA novel!

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

Tweet me with the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #DividedRealms if you read this review!

You can find Maggie L Wood on her website: http://www.maggielwood.com/

Check out The Darkening on Amazon:

Amazon.com The Darkening

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#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

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And the Wolf Shall Swell by Joni Dee

Summary:

Summary: John Daniel, just a regular Joe, a foreigner who works in the City of London, is entangled with a political plot which tracks all the way up the corridors of Westminster. Aided by retired MI6 agent Adam Grey, the duo will set off to an adventure which will take them throughout London. A nuclear threat, terrorism in Oxford Street, Israeli Mossad and the British government, are all working against them. Will they unravel the plot in time?


This thriller felt like a mix of Jason Bourne, James Bond, Man from U.N.C.L.E and Jack Reacher. It was a fast, thrilling ride that will keep you hooked until the last page!

The book is fictional, but felt oh so real. Joni Dee’s descriptions and plot lines mirror reality, which thoroughly impressed me. Additionally, the settings were so beautifully described – I felt like I was in London (and I’ve never been there before). Mixing in the well-written, well developed characters made this book all around fantastic. Joni Dee is someone to watch for the future, because this book rivals the top spy thrillers.

I really liken it to the new Man from U.N.C.L.E movie – it gave me those epic thriller vibes that had me hooked to that movie. The book was also just long enough that it kept me interested. There wasn’t anything I’d remove from the novel, and I wouldn’t ask for much more. Somehow, Joni managed to find that perfect medium (for me, anyways).

This isn’t a mind-blowing new genre, it’s pretty “typical” when it comes to the thrillers I’ve read. That being said, Joni has his unique spin on it that made this book feel like it’s own entity. If you’re looking for some new “spin” on the thriller genre, this book isn’t it. If you love spy and thriller novels, this book is perfect for you.

One element that was “missing” was romance, which some readers might not like. I felt like this book didn’t need romance, so Joni did well in that aspect. Almost every thriller or mystery novel I read, there is always some romantic element in there that doesn’t need to be. The tension between characters is awesome, but that lack of romance made this book go to a new level for me. Joni didn’t need to follow the stereotypical norms of these books, so A+ for Joni!

Overall, for a DEBUT NOVEL (seriously? That doesn’t even seem right! This book was so good!) I am blown out of the water. Five out of five stars for sure! Joni Dee needs to write WAAAAY more soon, because his talent is only going to sky rocket with each book he writes.

Five out of five stars!! A definite recommendation from this reviewer!

I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.


 

Message from the author: All “verified purchase” reviewers will enter a raffle to have 1 of 2 characters named after them in the sequel. see https://jondbooks.com for details.


Get this book on Amazon:

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Find Joni Dee on his website: https://www.jondbooks.com/ or give Joni Dee and myself a shout-out on Twitter! @ydital  & Briar’s Reviews on Twitter: @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite spy thriller!!

#BookReview Dreams and Other Lastings by RJ Sobel

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Dreams and Other Lastings was a beautiful set of poems that left me breathless and feeling warm (despite it being the “winter” Season).

I truly loved these poems – I always love a good set of poetry, but I could really relate to these stories. This isn’t a long book, and isn’t filled to the brim with poems, but the content within them makes this small set of poems worth every single word.

Reflection, aging, and memory are just three of the many topics discussed within these poems. I found myself reflecting on my own life and finding ways to see how these poems mirror situations I’ve had. For example, wanting to write someone and letter and reflecting on life, the good and the bad. It was so beautifully written, it almost pains me to think this was the last of the four books (of course, I could find the first three in the series to fill that void to fix that problem).

I 100% recommend Dreams and Other Lastings to anyone who wants a quick read, something to relate to, or just some good, old-fashioned poetry to warm their nights.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Quick Book Review: Song of the Earth by Susan Nunn

#BookReview A Long, Hard Look by Joel D Canfield

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A Long, Hard Look by Joel D Canfield was a fun, quick paced, thrilling mystery novel that left me in suspense.

When I picked up this book I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it was definitely a pleasant surprise. The novel was a mystery/suspense novel that kept me hooked at every turn. I did not see the twists and turns coming in this novel, which had me highly impressed.

There were a few faults with this novel: I felt like it dragged on a bit to long. When I was about 3/4’s of the way through the novel I felt like the plot could have come to an end and it would have been fulfilling. I was left feeling like the book was a little too long, but that is just a personal opinion.

The story itself is well thought out, and in the end the finale makes sense. The entire book was logical (for a mystery/suspense/thriller genre novel) and I enjoyed it.

The characters were well developed, and the information about these characters were released at the perfect timing. No information came to soon or to late, it all tied in perfectly.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It wasn’t my all time favourite book, but it was a good, quick read that kept me hooked.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Enjoy this book? Why not check out another review you might enjoy?! #BookReview – Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

#BookReview Zodiac Unmasked by Robert Graysmith

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Zodiac Unmasked was an interesting take on the real life incidents revolving around the Zodiac Killer.

This book could have been a LOT shorter than it is, there is almost so much content in this book I got bored (and I am OBSESSED with conspiracies and theories, I’ll sit through long books and videos any day of the week). I almost quit this book completely because it was boring me to death. I did love all the research and information within this book, but it was almost too much.

This is one of many theories of who the Zodiac Killer was, and it truly is fleshed out. It may not be 100% correct, but it was a good read if you want to look into the information surrounding this theory.

The positives within this book is the amazing content within it, but that also ties with my major negative: it’s long, repetitive and becomes quite boring due to those two factors. The theory itself is confusing and long, but that doesn’t mean the book needs to be over 500 pages of repeating the same stuff over and over and over. I did enjoy the fact that the book was in chronological order, but I also felt that it didn’t need to be. I would have loved all the hard hitting facts and awesome plot points first before all the boring, nitty, gritty details.

Overall, I’m not totally impressed with this book. It bored me to tears and I almost stopped reading it.

1 out of 5 stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange

#BookReview Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn

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I love Shakespeare – anyone who knows me well can tell you that – so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. But, sadly, it was under whelming and quite the disappointment. Perhaps I put to much pressure on this book before reading it?

I haven’t read King Lear yet, but I have been meaning to. I made sure to read over the synopsis and read some of the more “famous” pieces from the story online to get a better feel for it before I picked up this book. I wanted to understand the source material and see what Edward St. Aubyn would do with it. While he got the base of the story and plot correct, it just wasn’t as great as it could have been.

Henry Dunbar (our King Lear) the media mogul is our lead, who has three daughters (two of whom seem out of their right mind 99% of the time, I feel like they should have been in the psych ward, personally), is currently in what appears to be a psych ward with a not-so-funny comedian. He plans to escape and prevent the two psychotic daughters from running his company/getting his trust money.

The two psychotic daughters appear to be too evil – like it’s obvious, but their reasoning for getting the trust money doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to be crazy. I would have liked to see the craziness pulled back a bit to make it more realistic, or interesting. I just found them to pull away from the great story of Henry and Florence. While Florence does seem to be a little too goody-goody, their scenes are really beautiful and seem to be the best part of this entire story.

St. Aubyn uses a lot of Shakespeare quotes – which I loved! They were used in the correct context too. My issue within this, is sometimes it seemed like he was trying to write in iambic pentameter or using language from that era when it just didn’t fit in. The first chapter when Henry and his comedian friend are telling stories seem to be edging towards that era, but it just wasn’t funny. If anything, it made me more confused and bored. I had to keep re-reading what they were saying just to try to understand what they are doing (and I was an ace at Shakespeare in English, so how could I not understand normal English?…Geez).

My overall review – just read the original. There are some FANTASTIC adaptions out there that can wow your socks off and rival the original, and this one isn’t it. It’s a great story, and if it entered a contest it could potentially win, but it’s not the best I’ve seen. I gave up a few chapters in just to force myself through the book.

Edward is a great author, and while this might not be his strongest novel I’m sure he is great in other areas. I definitely want to give him another shot in the future with a book that’s an original story because I’m sure he could shine there.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Check out this fantastic author on Goodreads: Edward St. Aubyn on Goodreads

Or visit his website:  Edward St. Aubyn.com

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#BookReview – The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

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The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

This action/adventure novel hits a home run in this genre and is a must read for those wanting a fast paced, adventure novel!

Normally, these types of books aren’t my thing but for whatever reason this book stuck with me and I could not put it down. I’m slightly annoyed I didn’t pick this book up early, because it was a fantastic read, leaving me to believe I absolutely need more Lori Lansens in my life.

This book isn’t just a survive out in the wilderness story – it has heart, a plot, and lots of backstory. There are definitely survival aspects, but it’s not just survival/wilderness porn. It’s a fantastic blend of action, adventure, suspense, mystery and a splash of romance (just a tiny splash). We follow our leads throughout the story revealing truths about themselves and developing their personalities and lives. It’s not cookie cutter or the norm, which is why this book is such a great read.

Why is it not a five star you may ask? There were definitely some slow/boring parts for me. There were a few times I put the book down and thought I might not pick it up, but decided that I needed to. Once you get past those few boring chapters, the book keeps chugging along at it’s fast pace.

This book has plot twists and turns that make it interesting – you think it’s going one way and then it swings in another – all while maintaining a PG/PG13 rating that I believe any reader will enjoy – not just adults, perhaps young adults too?

The book isn’t sensory in it’s description, but it’s well written that you can almost imagine yourself with the characters. I applaud Lori for writing this novel – it’s a fantastic read that I’ll definitely be recommending to fellow readers!

Overall, this fascinating novel is a truly spectacular ride! Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.