Review: Lullaby of Flames

Finished 4/9/2020

I went in completely blind on this short story, which is how I prefer to experience a story to be honest, so I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t expect our teenage lead, Cori, to fall down a pit into Hell.

This story took a number of unexpected twists and turns, and had a number of characters I really enjoyed, such as Rigel and Lilith. Cori was great from beginning to end though despite her big mistake, and speaking of, wow this ending!

Candace Robinson’s stories are always so creative and this was no exception. I seriously don’t know how she dreams up these stories, but I’m here for them!

This is a great read for fans of the 80s films of Legend or Labyrinth! Especially if you enjoy being taken by surprise.

My Rating: 5/5 stars… that ending!

Review: Zombie Road

Finished: 4/5/2020

I love dystopian novels and I enjoy zombie books, so I knew I would probably enjoy Zombie Road, the first book in Simpson’s intense Convoy of Carnage series. We follow a group of truckers at a truck stop in Nevada and watch how they revert back to their military origins when a zombie outbreak takes out most of the world in a 24-hour period.

This book is hard to put down once you start. As you switch from Gunny and his friends in a truck stop in Nevada, to his wife stuck in an upper floor of her office in downtown Atlanta, and to their son trapped in detention in High School, the intensity is ramps up quickly. Simpson has an incredible hand for action and for mixing undeniable humor in his worlds.

These chapters are short and sweet which keeps the pacing flowing smooth and maintains a high level of action throughout. I was reminded of George R. R. Martin in how I hated switching away from a perspective, but by the end of the chapter I was invested in this new character and didn’t want to switch from them. He has an incredible way of defining characters and coming up with nicknames for them that stay true to their character throughout the story. His pacing is so great though that at almost 400 pages long, I had no idea each page flew past so quickly because I was so engrossed in the world.

An excellent starter in a series that is going on seven installments right now. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more in his series!

In real life, Simpson is a truck driver, and as you read this he’s probably running urgent equipment and supplies across the country to hospitals and doctors who are in dire need right now. He’s a true hero.

My rating: 5/5 zombie head shots!

Review: Veiled by Desire

Finished: 1/16/2020

Tavarra is a beautiful sea dweller cursed for life, forced to be a beast when the moon is bright. Rhona is a girl with the ability to control water, and her friend, Perin, is a warrior who bears a dark secret. Quil is boy with an easy laugh and a penchant for music. Finally Eza rounds out the main cast of characters as a bat-like creature with a sharp wit and a bit heart.

Together they must seek out the dark pyramid to rescue their village and find the mercurial Stone of Desire who may or may not grant a wish. This tale is filled with action, love, heartache, and mystery with a flair for the surreal and fantastic that I’ve come to love in Robinson’s work. The characters in this story are so lovable and flawed that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

But first, I have a confession to make.

I have a weak spot for werewolves. They show up a LOT in my books, even when I try not to let them appear. Tavarra is one of the most original werewolves I’ve read about. Her desire to go on land and leave behind the sea, staying out too long and bearing a horrible curse, and forced to roam the land with only her friend, Eza, at her side. Even her description with her bright orange hair and orange fur down her arms makes her unique.

The magic in this story is really fascinating too, mixing science with the fantastic in a way that had me very intrigued. I loved the dark forest, and how even when everything seemed safe, nothing really was.

I really loved this one because it felt so horrific, and it was refreshing to be in a completely fantastic world. Robinson knows how to keep you reading too, and at the end I had trouble putting it down! I honestly can’t wait to read Book 3 in her Laith series!

My Overall Rating: 5/5

Review: Morsus

You all probably know how much I love Peter Salomon’s books by now. I mean I’m happily moving through every book that he’s published, and I don’t have a single problem with this. If you want to check out other books of his that I’ve reviewed, take a look at:

Finished: 11/24/2019

Let me start off by saying it is a crime that there are not more reviews of this book on Goodreads. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who has posted a review thus far and it deserves so many more!

The Morsus hide from the notice of humans. Some like the LaMontaine family hide in plain sight as part of the Louisiana police. Others like the Cromwells live in an expensive exclusive military compound completely insulated from human society. Morsus themselves feed off human adrenaline with their long, black claws. Their feeding can be addictive to adrenaline junkies, and deadly if they take too much. Morsus are also going extinct.

Lily Cromwell, the daughter of the ruthless Baron, lives with the expectation that as the youngest female Morsus, she must one day bear an heir. Her father forces her to train regularly and works with researchers to farm her eggs for experimental study.

Bayard (Bay) LaMontaine is a teenager having a hard time dealing with his new curse. His transformation is different from his parents’ and he soon runs into trouble at school.

Once the Baron discovers that Bay exists, he’s determined to have him wed to his daughter to continue the Morsus lineage. Only Lily will do anything to gain freedom from the demands of her father, and Bay quickly learns he’s not like other Morsus at all.

The world of the Baron and Lily’s rebelliousness gave me big Underworld vibes. Something about the Baron having a whole dedicated militia under his control just felt so similar to that world. This book started slow for me, but once Lily and Bay met, the action picked up quickly! About halfway through I had a hard time putting the book down cause I wanted to know what happened next! (Not at all unusual for one of Salomon’s books, I might add!)

I was so relieved to see this is book one of a series cause I still have so much I want to know! This was a very good book, and I think fans of the Underworld series would really love the style. As I said the first part is a bit slow to me, but I’ve read Salomon’s work before, so I knew my patience would be worthwhile.

Definitely a must read for a new breed of disturbing monsters. I can’t wait to read book two!

My Overall Rating: 5/5

Review: Bring Her Back

Finished: 10/17/2019

Frank calls himself ugly, but is also clearly socially awkward too. His story starts out happy enough when he falls in love and starts dating the flower girl down the street. It’s when he gets mixed up with some drug dealers that his life goes sour quickly.

The tone of this book is a lot of fun despite hor dark it is. Strand knows how to pack a lot of character into Frank’s voice and it’s a fun, compelling read.

As things go bad for Frank, the action picks up, and you’re cheering him on through dangerous and violent decisions. Finally the book ends on some gruesome body horror that I ultimately had to skip through.

Although I’m not a fan of body horror, that’s ultimatelyl not what made me knock a star off this book, it was for a very different reason that I’ll explain with…

SPOILERS START

(Highlight the white space below to read them.)

Abigail grew on me as a strong, reasonable woman and even when she’s kidnapped, she doesn’t lose herself. However when she is ultimately killed, I was frustrated because she was the only woman in the book. When it happened “off screen” though, that only made it worse for me. For the rest of the book she’s the reasoning for all of Frank’s actions, and I wanted to at least hear what her last words to him would have been.

SPOILERS END

Despite this and the body horror, this was a good book. If you’re not a stickler for these details like I am and you love a book with multiple horror facets, I think you’ll love this read! For readers who love dark, bloody horror alongside humor and fun movie references, this is definitely the book for you!

My Overall Rating: 4/5