Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Bad Luck (Bad #2)

Bad Luck

Summary:

Some people have all the luck. 
Unfortunately, Clay isn't one of them: He's the only camper at Earth Ranch without a magical talent. As if feeling totally useless isn't enough, Clay has to figure out what to do about Brett, a castaway boy who has just washed ashore and is determined to keep his presence a secret. Even as Clay helps his new friend hide in the remote volcanic island's wilderness, another fiery mystery begins to emerge, with all signs pointing to the impossible idea that dragons once roamed the island...and may still. Can Clay and his friends turn their luck around in time to uncover Price Island's secrets--and save it from a scorching end?
Danger, adventure, mischief, mystery, old foes, new friends, and a delightfully elusive narrator make bestselling author Pseudonymous Bosch's latest novel completely irresistible. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and I voluntarily chose to write a review

Review:

This was a solid read that kept me entertained despite being outside the target audience.  There was a little more fart humor than I would have normally chosen, but once again – no the target audience.  The book does a good job weaving together the two storylines and merging them together towards the end.  I liked that there weren’t any stereotypical adults (or kids) in the book, which kept it interesting.

I think this series would appeal to most middle grade kids although it’s slightly in favor of the boys.  It ends with a cliffhanger so if you’ll have to commit to the last book if you want to find out what happens!

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Middle grade readers who would like a non-traditional hero and magic.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Bad Magic (Bad #1)
  • Bad News (Bad #3)

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4)

Bone Crossed

 Summary:

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her perternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan - and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.  It'll be her friends'.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This book definitely felt more like a bridge, which isn’t bad per say, but there were also some revelations at the end of the last / beginning of this one that has me questioning the romantic angles.  There is clearly a lot of fall out that Mercy has to manage post “Iron Kissed” and I am glad that she didn’t magically deal with it.  That aspect is very refreshing in that Mercy has panic attacks and is working through it all.

I am starting to question that Mercy doesn’t have any female friendships that work out (Jesse excluded, but she’s not the same age).  Mercy is heading out of town to address some odd events around her college frenemy, yet there’s a lot of events that happen all at once. All that being said, this was a fun book that I enjoyed and it certainly was entertaining.

Warning: Contains repeated violence.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Paranormal and fantasy devotees – if you’re more of a casual fan, I’d skip this one and go on to the next in the series.

Want to read the whole series?

The Wicked City

The Wicked City

Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.

When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.

In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.

Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.

As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . . .  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins and I voluntarily chose to write a review

Review:

This book is definitely fun.  Gin likes to be the life of the party and it willing to give anything a shot.  She’s witty, keeps everyone on their toes and overall I really enjoyed her character.  Ella is going through a tricky time in her life and is trying to figure out how thing are going to change now.  I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell and start to pull her life together.  Despite Gin being the main character, I think I actually enjoyed the “modern” day more although there were some questions left unanswered.

The reason I didn’t have a higher rating on this book is that the storyline was a bit convoluted.  There were flashback and forwards, thing that happened “off the page” that we find out about afterward and some odd references.  I liked seeing revelations of how this book linked with the other Beatriz Williams book I read, but it wasn’t clearly tied up together.  If you hadn’t read another book, I think some of the events would have felt a little random.  Additionally, the ending felt like it was setting up for subsequent books rather than a conclusive ending.  I think if there are follow up books I will give them a shot because I want to know what happens, but if you’re only looking for a stand-alone, be forewarned!

Warning: Contains repeated violence and sexual content.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of the 20’s era and looking for a whirlwind story with fun and witty characters.

Bloodhound (Beka Cooper #2)

Bloodhound

Summary:

Beka Cooper is no longer a Puppy. She's a Dog now - a full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, which keeps the peace in Corus's streets. Beka's natural skills of observation and tenacity are augmented by her unusual magical talents, which allow her to gather information both from pigeons are from the eddies of dirt and dust that swirl on street corners. But even her magic isn't very useful when unrest comes to Tortall's capital in the form of counterfeit coins, which turn up in shops all over the city. Merchants raise prices to cover their losses, and with winter coming on, hikes in food and fuel costs could spell disaster - most of all for the city's poor.

The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeits from Port Caynn - and that the Port Caynn Dogs don't seem to be doing anything about it. Beka and her mentor, Clary Goodwin, are chosen to go undercover in Port Caynn and find out what they can. And wherever Beka goes, so do some of her animals. Departing from Corus with her are the scent hound Achoo, who has been newly assigned to Beka, and the pigeon Slapper, who carries the voices of the dead.

In Port Caynn, Beka and Goodwin delve deep into the gambling world. There Beka meets a charming bank courier, who may be involved in the counterfeiting ring. Things come to a head just as Goodwin returns home to report in Corus. It won't be enough to Beka to be her usual "terrier" self. She'll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals - to be a bloodhound. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

I really liked this book for a variety of reasons.  Beka is forced to move out of her comfort zone and work in a new way.  She has to take on a lot more responsibility and learn quickly to make sure she doesn’t reveal anything to the wrong people.  I really enjoyed that Beka is realistic and relatable because of it.  She messes up, but owns it and grows from it. Even though we had a rough sense of “who dunnit?” in this sequel, I think the complexity towards bringing them down was higher.  I liked seeing how things were managed and in the end, justice was served.

It was also nice to see more diversity in the characters.  Pierce has always had some, but I think she was consciously deciding to do it in this book.  It was well done and I really loved the characters. 

Warning: Contains repeated violence and sexual content.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Tortall fans and anyone looking for a spunky heroine – you can probably get away with reading this one even if you didn’t read the first in the series.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Terrier (Beka Cooper #1)
  • Mastiff (Beka Cooper #3)