Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Crossing the Line (Paris Homicide, #2)Crossing the Line by Frédérique Molay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received Crossing the Line as an eArc through NetGalley. It is the 2nd in a series based in Paris that follows a police officer, Nico Sirsky. In this book we get more of a glimpse into Nico's everyday life but our introduction to him and his family happens in the first novel, The 7th Woman. We meet his great team and follow each of the members as they investigate a great mystery. In Crossing the Line a group of dental students in Paris find a note under a tooth and this leads us to a great mystery that unfolds into something the reader does not see coming. Although we get to see a bit into the lives of the other officers on Nico's team I wish we had more character development for Nico and at least 1 or 2 of the other team members. I am especially interested in seeing more of Anya's life and hopefully one of the future books will allow us to see them in Russia.

In Crossing the Line we are faced with a question. We have to ask ourselves the same question that the antagonist is faced with to see if we would come up with the same answer. How far is too far? Do we know the answer or does it change if we are put in the position and have to face it ourselves? I still had the feeling of not being in the place with the story. It might be that this is a translation to American English but there does not seem to be the feeling that I am in Paris walking along the streets with Nico and his team. It feels more like only being told about it. I'm hoping the next book gives more of a feeling of being there and I look forward to reading it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The 7th Woman (Paris Homicide, #1)The 7th Woman by Frédérique Molay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received The 7th Woman from Netgalley where I am really due to review this quite some time ago. Boy do I regret waiting. But, when my reading gets extremely fickle I back off of reviewing because I tend to start and stop books that I normally would love when I am in this kind of reading slump and I have been in one for over 6 months. I am glad I finally got into this book. One of the interesting things is I expected it to be more like armchair travel but I realize now that if the author lives in France then they would write about it as something they see everyday as opposed to making it more attractive to those who want to picture everything. There was good description of where things occurred but I didn't get the feeling of an armchair traveler. I had more of the feeling of this is where "we" live so things occur on this street or that street. But, it was great to have that feeling of living in Paris and not sightseeing there.

The 7th Woman was an intense mystery/thriller which I am happy to say I guessed correctly, not because it was easy but mainly because the bad guy just rubbed me the wrong way so I blamed it on that person. One thing that was harder for me to grasp was the emotional struggle that Nico was having between getting his behind back to finding the killer instead of worrying about a lady. I kept wanting to yell at him and say get back to work. But, I guess when people start falling they get a bit of tunnel vision. There were some great surprises and some pretty good character development also. The 7th Woman also jerked on the emotions because we start to learn about the other police officers and we start becoming invested in what happens to them. I have to admit that I did not notice that the French police carry weapons but I'm so glad they do because they really needed weapons with this kind of evil to handle. I look forward to reading Crossing the Line!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an early release e-Arc through NetGalley and I have to say with one exception this is the book I have been anticipating for a year. This is saying a lot since I have not been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy or Paranormal books in the last 6 months to a year. I had to take a break because I sort of burned myself out on them. But, I had the chance to read this one early and jumped at it, especially knowing it was the end of the series. My sister teased me saying “maybe they’ll add another book or another 3 books.” I was quite grumpy thinking this could happen. But, I have to say I am writing this without having even finished the books. I have had different thoughts as I read and wanted to start jotting them down so that I could get my review in just as the book is released.

As I read this my first impression is that Book of Life does not disappoint. There is wonderful character development as we meet new friends and see old ones. I almost went back and read Shadow of Night because some of the characters left my memory. I purchased both A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night in unabridged audiobook as well. I will be rounding out the series in audiobook and purchasing The Book of Life in unabridged audiobook when it is released. These will be great to listen to a 6 months to a year down the line. I am betting I will hear things I missed the first time through.

I have to say my biggest fear with this book before I have finished it is that someone I like in the series will be killed off. Both Diana and Matthew have survived a lot of losses in their lives so I’m hoping this doesn’t happen but, I know how these things go with series. The readers fall in love with a character like GallowGlass. How can you not love him? We want the best for him so much and worry for him. There are so many likeable characters in this book just as there are some truly bad villains. It is hard to decide who to dislike more, Benjamin, for being such an evil creature; Gerbert, for being Switzerland in front of everyone when he might just be evil and Peter Knox, for being so power hungry that he will do anything to get that power. The Congregation is not innocent either and it does not appear to only be because they want to stop humans from finding out about the otherworldly beings. Part of what they do seems to be steeped in prejudices and control as well.

I have to admit that Book of Life was a satisfying ending to a great trilogy. There were some individual stories I wished we could have had more information about but all in all things were drawn to a great conclusion. Diana and Matthew both have grown a lot and learned a lot about who they are and who they needed to be and their trials drew others to them and helped them grow as well. Sarah and Isabeau are two people that grew so much in this book. Isabeau just draws you to her more and more throughout the entire series. But, there was change and growth in the supernatural community as well which was all any of them could hope for along with the cute babies that we get to know a bit about since they are still small babies. But, maybe we’ll see them again one day. I wouldn’t be against that at all!

Review can also be seen at http://fictionisstrangerthanfact.blogspot.co.uk/

The Bleiberg Project: A Consortium ThrillerThe Bleiberg Project: A Consortium Thriller by David Khara


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I received an e-copy of The Bleiberg Project by David Khara from Netgalley. I have to admit when I think about reading anything related to the Holocaust it makes me want to run the other way. Knowing everything that was done and probably not being aware of some things makes it a hard subject to digest. I have to admit this is my first foray into reading about this topic for that very reason. But, when I read the synopsis I thought this sounds really good and just maybe there is a good enough ending that I will not feel totally depressed afterwards.

The characterization in the story was done really well. I have to admit that Jeremy Corbin, even without knowing his secret, makes it hard to like him. He is quite witty and also so darn down on himself it makes you want to avoid him. But, as the book goes on you start to become invested in his pain and hope that somewhere down the line things get better for him. Oddly enough his thoughts about Jackie Wells at first seemed a bit off to me, then as I read on I decided he is just a bit self-centered and immature and kind of thinks of her in high-school terms. Jeremy takes body blow after body blow in losses and as he deals with them throughout the book you start to see him maturing and growing and realizing how he lost more than he realized with his father.

I love reading books based in other countries, especially Europe and Eastern Europe. This book did a good job of giving me a bit of armchair travel. There was not a lot by way of describing the sites in the different places they visited when they arrived in Switzerland and made their way across to Poland but, there were enough of the descriptions that it grabbed my interest. What was really great was the tie-in to some of the rumors of some of the medical testing that happened in the camps. They were nicely woven into this book. But, my all-time favorite part of this book was Eytan Morg. I love reading about and seeing stories on television about the Kidon unit of The Mossad. Granted they are not nice people but, this was my first book that I got to read about some of what they do and what is known about their skills. It took me back to my favorite parts of NCIS and the character Ziva who was also Kidon. Eytan was larger than life and not just due to his size. He was this amazing, scarred man who didn’t allow himself to have anything other than the work he did and we find out why in The Bleiberg Project. That part of the story was riveting. Eytan’s fight scenes were awesome and jumped off the page when you read them. Interestingly enough at the beginning of the book you don’t know whose side he is on so he comes off as if he might be one of the bad guys but, he is so much more.

I just read on Goodreads that this is the start of a series and I have to say a very good start and I look forward to following this series every step of the way!




Monday, July 7, 2014

From Paris with Love (Doubting Abbey, #2)From Paris with Love by Samantha Tonge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the most interesting things happened with this title. I requested it on NetGalley without even knowing it was the follow-up to Doubting Abbey which I really enjoyed. I started reading it and had a deja vu with the characters so I went and looked up the author's name and realized this was the next step in the hilarious antics from Lord Edward and Gemma. I think of that story and the first thing that pops in my mind is the imitation of Titanic.

This story had some great Gemma antics as well. Her internal dialogue was hilarious as always. She also gets to further her adoration of Kate Middleton. Who knew I would ever have a reason to type that name? In From Paris with Love, Gemma is visiting Paris with Edward and he is still waiting for a response to his marriage proposal. She's also in Paris to enhance her cooking skills at a famous Parisian restaurant. Edward is working to increase his skills as a host. They have a bit of notoriety from the reality show they both participated in from Doubting Abbey. They introduce us to a host of Parisian characters that really enhance the enjoyment of this book. There is a side story that just makes things more fun and gives From Paris with Love its adventure and fun. I do not know if there will be more books in this series but, I can say that I will definitely read them if there are more.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I Am the Mission (The Unknown Assassin, #2)I Am the Mission by Allen Zadoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unknown assassin is back and this time he is Daniel. I love that we don’t know his real name. We are returned to the series right after he finishes his previous assignment and is found at a camp training to be a camp counselor of sorts. There are some bumps in the road just before he is given his new assignment, to eliminate the leader of a right wing camp for kids. The problem is that there was someone else on this mission and they have disappeared. Daniel is brought in to complete the mission. The problem is it starts off with massive problems and he doesn’t know who he can trust.

Daniel meets new kids his age and starts again experiencing confusion because he starts having memories of his father and of course continues to remember his previous assignment in New York. He made a friend or two there and that is not is against the rules. He is supposed to be alone with minimal exposure to those around him, and that exposure is only supposed to be cursory, enough to do his job. I find it weird that Father and Mother and whoever else is running this organization think that a teenager would be able to not have any feelings when they are full of jumbled up emotions. I like that Daniel does what he needs to do to finish his task and get out alive. The only problem is that anyone else he involves is in danger.

I am the Mission is full of action, emotion and that dreaded betrayal, or is it betrayal. It is time for Daniel, or whatever his name is, to find out. In comes Mike, the biggest contradiction that Daniel has come against. Can you be friends with the person that murdered your father in front of you? Did he really murder Daniel’s father? The next book is ramping up already and as much as I hate cliffhangers I cannot wait until the next installment in the Unknown Assassin series comes out.


A damaged cowboy full of pride must find a way to be the man his childhood sweetheart's always needed, or come to terms with losing her...