Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review: Marie Antoinette Serial Killer

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Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

Another of the books that I snagged from the free shelf at the airport and another one that was perfect for me to read when I spotted it...

The Good:
This book is such an amazingly easy read and though the author has a reputation of being a horror writer, this book isn't horror. I'm the biggest chicken in the world and nothing in this book even gave me a shiver. What it did give me was the joy in watching a teenager grow up and come a bit more into herself as the book progressed. It gave me a ghost story that was set in the present, but had its start in the past. I'm a history junkie and while this part was totally made up, I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the book.

The Bad:
If I had one complaint, and it's a small one, it's that not all of the french in the book is translated. Still, this was so minor and it didn't take away from the reading itself so I'm nitpicking.

The Summary:
This is another light reading book. It isn't a heavy mystery or a scary horror novel. It's a fun book geared towards the teenage set. Some have complained that the main character is a snobby bitch and that it gives girls the wrong impressions about fat girls, nice girls, and the lot, but the reality is that I have seen groups of girls made up of exactly the group depicted within this book. Is it always the case? Nope. Still it exists and Collette has to learn that fashion sense, the latest boy, and all of that doesn't define a person.

If you like light reading in this genre, I suggest you give this book a shot.


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Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Review: The Clockwork Scarab

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Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

Lately I've had some periods where I've needed to sit around and wait on the boys to finish whatever they're up to. It's given me some bonus reading time that I completely grabbed up. It gave me the chance to finish a couple of books that have been calling out for me to read them...

The first is The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason. I picked this up from a free shelf at the airport a couple of months ago and the title alone had me from hello. Then, I read the description and discovered that the two main characters were a Stoker and a Holmes and that was it. It left the shelf and went with me.

The Good: 
This book was fun to read. The characters were easy to relate to and while I've seen it said that Mine especially seemed judgmental for someone who was supposed to be brilliant, I have to say that it seems very much within a teenage girl's personality. Just because you're brilliant doesn't mean that you don't sometimes make assumptions. Aside from all of that, the story is very much plot driven and it's a plot that had me picking the book up whenever I had a few minutes to squeeze in some reading.

The Bad:
This book is a steampunk novel and while I don't mind that per se, I did mind that the author reminded us of it every other page or so. It wasn't necessary to the story building. The book also felt slightly unfinished. We don't know who was behind what was happening. We don't really know why the time traveling character was brought there or if he ever made it home. I know that this is book 1 of a 4 part Holmes/Stoker series so I'm hoping that the author revisits these in future books and resolves them.

The Summary:
Overall, this is a really fun book. It's certainly geared towards the teenage set, but as a not quite a teenager anymore, I enjoyed reading it and I'm going to try to track down book 2 to see what happens with this pair next.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review: Princess Nenji

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Nenji lives a quiet life, but with a longing for adventure. Barely considered royalty, her life is uprooted when the Dragon King sets out to eliminate the threat of the Lorac Family revealed by prophecy. Nenji has to learn quickly about magic, politics, and herself as she takes on the roles of young lady, witch, and queen. Princess Nenji is a gripping novel. This fantasy story revolves around a young 14 year old girl, mages, royalty, dragons and creatures you never even imagined. This book gives new insights about justice and mercy, coming of age, and the power of a family's love. It is a quick read, both exciting and refreshing. You will be continually surprised at how the plot unfolds. The author has been called a creative genius, and this book is unlike any other book you have read.


Last week, I introduced you to Dani and the Dragon. Princess Nenji is set in that same realm. Heck, she's part of the same family as Dani. This book takes place after the events in Dani and the Dragon, although I believe it was written prior.

While I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as I did Mr. Carroll's other book, I very much enjoyed it. In fact, I read it in one sitting. That says a lot for a book. I loved the glimpses of characters that I had grown to love in the other book and the first thing I did upon completing it was to go to the author's Goodreads page to see if there were other books in this series. Unfortunately, there are not. I really wanted to find out what happened with all of the amazing characters that the author has put together.

If you're a lover of magic, dragons, fantasy, and princesses that can more than hold their own, I strongly suggest that you pick up Mr. Carroll's two books. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed an author so much.

Edit: The author has changed his pen name to Simon Driscoll. For information on how to find his books, check out his web page.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Book Review: Dani and the Dragon

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Coming of age isn't easy for a homeless orphan girl. But when Mages, Kings, and Dragons all want to control her destiny, she must uncover her past to find her future.

I'm not going to lie to you. This book has been sitting on my shelf for far too long. That's what happens when you fall apart and have to put yourself back together. Things get set aside for far too long...but in some ways, it makes them that much more awesome when you pick them up again.

In this case, I had no idea what to expect from this book. I picked it at random from a stack when I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time sitting around while the youngest child performed with his steel drum band. Turns out that it was a really good random book choice!

All of the characters in this book are really well written. Dani is a character that you can't help but get attached to. With every step of her journey, you're right there with her. Though the book is fantasy, you believe that all of these things have happened or are happening to her. The writing is just that good. The story progresses at a steady pace and you're caught up in the world of royals and dragons and one girl who is just trying to figure out what's right for her.

Would I recommend this book? Yep. Totally. Go and get it. It's a great read and another one that I couldn't put down.

Edit: The author has changed his pen name to Simon Driscoll. For information on how to find his books, check out his web page.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own. 
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