Horror

Lucid

Lucid

Summary:

Lori Blaine is not your average seventeen-year-old high school student. Cool and iconoclastic in her dread-locks and natty thrift shop garb, with an IQ that’s off the charts, she is the ersatz leader of a pack of Goth kids that circle around her in the halls of Valesburg Central like a school of pilot fish. Lori speaks softly, but when she does speak, people have a tendency to listen.

But Lori Blaine has one problem: The door.

Lori’s dreams are haunted by this strange, recurring symbol. The door is always there on the periphery… beckoning to her, daring her to see what might be waiting for her on the other side. Finally, at the urging of an overzealous school psychologist, Lori Blaine decides to face her fears. The next night, she goes through the dream door… and immediately plunges into a shattered looking glass world in which nothing is as it seems and evil awaits around every corner.

But when Lori fights back, all hell breaks loose.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours.

Review:

This book had just enough of a creepy factor for me to love it without enough to give me nightmares.  Well, maybe just a tiny nightmare when I stayed up too late reading and I had just gotten to…one scene.  IN ANY EVENT, I absolutely love Lori.  She’s spunky, different and actually interesting since she brakes the mold of the stereotypical heroine.  I also enjoyed her tendency to avoid following the rules more often than not.

The world behind the door is fascinating.  I loved how vivid each setting was and it had me intrigued to see what other worlds were out there.  If I have any complaint it’d be the instant-attraction factor, but it was never overdone throughout the story.  Now I just want to know…is there going to be a sequel?

Warning: Contains violence, note there is a horror aspect to the book.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of books that paranormal in a contemporary setting.

Jenny Plague-Bringer (The Paranormals #4)

JennyPlagueBringer

Summary:

Jenny has survived in seclusion for the past year, but her peace is about to be shattered by two new paranormals, each of them with unknown intentions, both of them searching for Jenny and Seth.

The nightmares of Jenny’s most recent past life in the 1930’s erupt into the present, and she will face enemies old and new. Jenny is more vulnerable than ever, because she can’t use her pox without risking the small life now growing inside her.

Jenny’s entire life has led up to the challenge she must now face, one that will endanger her life, her unborn child, and her own soul. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

In this final book in the Paranormals series, I felt like all my lingering questions were answered.  Bryan does a fantastic job weaving the past and present in an effective story telling without slowing down the plot too much.  One thing Bryan is particularly skilled at is having realism interspersed with the fantasy world.  For example, the CDC was involved in the cleanup and investigation in the first three novels.  Again Bryan continues that trend in Jenny’s struggle to manage the memories of a dozen previous lifetimes that include horrible endings.  It only seems realistic that she is waiting for the second shoe to drop her seemingly happy ending. 

In this book, Seth grows to be a solid rock I respect more than in previous books.  Add in some new characters and it’s a recipe for chaos.  This is an action-packed intense book that I highly recommend to finish the series!

Warning: Contains horror and violence

Rating: 4 stars!

Who Should Read it?  Fans of fantasy in a contemporary setting or horror. 

Want to read the whole series? 

Last Impressions (The Marnie Baranuik Files #3)

Last Impressions

Summary:

When an FBI Internal Affairs investigation lands the Preternatural Crimes Unit in a bureaucratic spank-fest, it feels like the perfect time for Marnie Baranuik to skip town and lend her expertise to a bear-sized Canadian cop who doesn’t want her help with his case, his love life, or his car stereo.

Back in her childhood stomping grounds, Marnie leaps into action, facing an exorcist in skinny jeans, a slap-happy specter, and an old friend up to new tricks. Are ghosts behind a string of unusual deaths? Why didn’t her revenant companion, Lord Harry Dreppenstedt, tell her he had a Combat Butler? Can she survive dinner with her parents?

With a shifty man of the cloth offering her soul’s redemption, and a revelation that could change the future of her love life, she has her gloved hands full. She may not make a great first impression, but no one makes a Last Impression quite like Marnie. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

I will have to thank Aalto: I had no idea that reading about ghosts terrified me until I read this book.  Zombies? Ghouls? Vampires – excuse me – Revenants? Excessive Gore?  Apparently I can handle all that without a single nightmare, but throw in some spooky events and things moving by themselves and I’m reduced to Disney cartoons at a high volume in my hotel room.

Mild terror aside, it’s a great tribute to Aalto’s skill as a story-teller that I was engaged in the book enough that I was spooked.  In this installment, we see a different side of Marnie.  Faced with her family and back in Canada, she is trying to grow up (a little) and think about others more.  Perhaps she will even gain a little (begrudging) courage.

This was a fantastic continuation of the Marnie Baranuik files with plenty laugh out loud moments and adventure.

Warning: Contains violence, sexual content and gave me nightmares about evil grandma ghosts.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Folks looking for a fun continuation to the series!

Want to read the whole series?

 Want more?  Check out my interview with the author

Alexander Death (The Paranormals #3)

AlexanderDeath

Summary:

While Seth searches for Jenny, Dr. Heather Reynard of the CDC unravels Seth and Jenny's secrets.

Alexander opens Jenny's mind to her deep past, and to the full horrific extent of her powers.

Torn between her feelings for Alexander and Seth, and between her past lives and her present, Jenny must prepare to face her enemies, as well as the darkness within her...(Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

 Review:

This books marks significant changes in all of the characters.  In this one, Jenny finds herself quickly taken under the wing of Alexander and his questionable influences.  Despite myself, I was rooting for Alexander and Jenny though something seems off.  He helps Jenny see into her past and the true source of her powers.  That being said, be prepared for some major twists and turns!  I won’t say much more because it’d be too easy to reveal too much.  Originally, this was planned to be the final book in the series so I will say that most major questions are answered by the completion of the book.

Warning: If you didn’t enjoy the level of horror/violence in the previous books, I would not continue with the series.  It only gets more intense going forward.  Contains horror and violence.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who Should Read it?  Fans of fantasy in a contemporary setting or horror.

Want to read the whole series?