“Zero World” by Jason M. Hough

5 out of 5 stars! Wow! This ended up being fantastic!
Note: The book actually only takes up about 77% of the Kindle version. There is a novella after that called The Dire Earth that ties into The Darwin Elevator world.

Meet Peter Caswell.

He’s a bad-ass secret agent/super soldier/assassin who works for an elite company called Archon. His handler, Monique, gives him his missions via mind-to-mind communication through a high-tech implant located on his neck. The implant also happens to wipe his memory after jobs, which makes him an incredibly efficient killer since he has no guilt afterward or any emotional complications.

Caswell gets an unusual mission that takes him off-world and thrust into all kinds of intrigue, insurgency, and lots of mindfuckery.

Meet Melni.

She is the agent Caswell meets off-world and they become tangled together in a web of intrigue, insurgency, and lots of mindfuckery.

I really don’t want to say any more because this was such a well-written sci-fi thriller full of surprises it would feel like spoiling the fun to go into the plot any further!

There’s some great world-building and a slowly unfolding, complex story that ends up being just amazing! My inner Star Trek/Star Wars fangirl self was appeased and it’s got a great Mission Impossible/Jason Bourne vibe going on too. It’s even got a dash of steampunk thrown in. I highly recommend if you love sci-fi.

I am definitely going to check out more stuff by this author.

Here’s a nice review by someone I follow named Jason. Check it out.

Review also found at: Goodreads.

Childstar 1 (Childstar, #1) by J.J. McAvoy

Childstar 1 (Childstar, #1)Childstar 1 by J.J. McAvoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, this was such a fun read! It’s about two child actors who dated as kids/teens, had a horrible breakup, hate each other, and are then forced to work together as adults on a very sexy Fifty Shades type movie. It’s a serial, so it ends on a cliffhanger, but not a horrible one. The story kind of ends, but then a new one is set up for part two.

I really liked both main characters. Noah was fun to hate in a bad-boy way. Amelia is the good girl who is cast in a risky part and all the fangirls for the series the movie is based on hate her. LOL

I will definitely be reading the second part. The sex is hot and the story is fun and uncomplicated. I also liked the mystery/thriller aspect that has been set up for the next one.

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for a digital copy of this to read and review.

View all my reviews

“Brother” by Ania Ahlborn

BrotherBrother by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stayed up until 2 a.m. finishing this book because I just could not stop reading. Then I was in bed another hour thinking about it. My friend Kim first recommended this to me. Her review is here. Then, my friend Kelly read it. Her review is here. They both 5-starred this baby and now, so am I.

This is one of the best horror books I have ever read. Michael lives with his family and they are serial killers. He doesn’t like his life, but he goes along and does what he is told. He meets a girl and suddenly realizes he wants to escape his family and leave with her.

That is basically all you need to know before diving into this. It’s brutal and disturbing, put I couldn’t stop reading. It’s more than just slasher horror. It’s a story about multi-generational child abuse, loneliness, apathy, mental illness, LOVE. I mean, there’s so many layers going on with this story. I highly recommend it to horror fans looking for something more complex and layered. I liked how easy it was to read, even though the subject matter was completely crazy.

I started out feeling so sorry for Michael and then I hated him for being such a pussy. The author does a great job of making you feel just a tiny bit sorry for the vicious characters because of what they went through as a child. But of course, that sympathy only goes so far. I wanted them to suffer. I hated them all.

It was a satisfying and riveting read. My emotions were all over the place. I just freaking loved it!

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the chance to read and review this book!

Review also found at:

https://theparanormalpaladin.wordpres…

View all my reviews

“Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror” by Christopher Golden

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric TerrorSeize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror by Christopher Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you Netgalley for a digital copy of this to read and review. I do love me some vampire stories, both the romantic ones and the creepy, horror ones. This is an anthology of the horror-type variety.

Overall, this was solid collection of horror stories. I admit with the cover of the shirt-less male on the front, I was expecting something a little more along the lines of this:

Or at least this:

Some of it was very vampy, of course, but mainly it was stories about flesh-eating monsters. Still good for horror fans.

I knew this wasn’t about emo sparkly vampires or sexy muscular ones who were great in bed, etc. But I was expecting less monsters and more old-school vampires. However, this is was still pretty good. I’m glad I read it.

Now for my long-ass breakdown of the stories and how I rated them.

1)Up in Old Vermont – 3 stars (a nice and creepy story involving vampire creatures called the skad)

2)Something Lost, Something Gained by Seanan McGuire – 3 stars (an interesting take on vampires involving fireflies?)

3)On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin – 2 stars (meh, this one didn’t do much for me)

4)The Neighbors by Sherrilyn Kenyon – 2 stars (This was incredibly short and just when it got good, it ended. The only reason I can think to include this is because of the author’s popularity.)

5)Paper Cuts – 4 stars (A wonderful story, longer than most of the others… it was creepy and had a very unique take on vampires. One of my favorites in the anthology.)

6)Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris – 2.5 stars (This had the potential of being interesting, but ended up just being okay. Harris is into “energy vampires” these days. She’s got one in her current Midnight series and it’s a similiar premise here. It just didn’t do much for me.)

7)In a Cavern, in a Canyon – 1.5 stars – MEH. (I’m starting to wonder where the real vampires are in this freaking book.

8)Whiskey and Light – 2 stars – MEH. (This one was boring although (view spoiler) I just didn’t care for the story that came before the ending.

9)We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong – 4 stars (This was really good. A dystopian, apocalyptic take on vampires as a contagion-type disaster scenario. I really enjoyed it!)

10)May the End Be Good – 3 stars (This was decent, creepy, and had the horror and gore aspect you’d expect in a book like this.)

OMG I’m only halfway done. This book is too frigging long. I think some of these stories could have easily been left out, to be honest, and it would have make it stronger overall.

11)Mrs. Popkin – 5 stars! (Hahaha, this one was awesome. I am not even sure what exactly happened or what was really going on, but it was creepy and twisted and fun. What a freaky family!)

12)Direct Report – 4 stars (This was really good. More of what I was hoping for with this collection: real vampires. A female accepts a job with a man who ends up being much more than he appears. She gets her revenge after going through some crazy shit. I don’t want to say any more because of spoilers. I enjoyed this one a lot, though.)

13)Shadow and Thirst – 2 stars (I couldn’t get into this one. It had a cool sci-fi twist to it, but I was bored with the back story and it just wasn’t my thing, I guess.)

14)Mother – 3 stars (This was written well and a nicely fleshed-out story about two rivals seeking information about the chupacabra who end up finding another type of monster altogether. Creepy and a good horror tale.)

15)Blood – 1 star (I think this was my least favorite out of the anthology. It was some weird Lolita thing and I had no idea what the ending meant.)

16)The Yellow Death – 4 stars (I enjoyed this. It was an apocalyptic deal with vampire-type creatures. It was a decent story with a nice creep factor. Much more along the lines of what I wanted with this.)

17)The Last Supper – 3 stars (This one had an end-of-the-world setting also. A lonely vampire wanders, looking for food and company.)

18)Separator – 3.5 stars (This was a nice horror story set in the Philippines about a creature called a manananggal which is a type of monster vampire that can detach the upper part of its body and fly around with wings looking for victims to eat. Prefers organs to “just” blood-drinking. Unlikable MC who sort of gets what he deserves, but it’s also creepy and gross. A good story.)

19)What Kept You So Long? – 3 stars (An entertaining story about a trucker who was infected with vampirism and the hitchhiker he picks up.)

20)Blue Hell – 3 stars (A weird one about an ancient tribe offering sacrifices to a flesh-eating water monster called Chaac.)

Review also found at:

https://theparanormalpaladin.wordpres…

Goodreads

“Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined” by Stephenie Meyer

No no no no no.

Okay, I admit I had my doubts at first, but then because I love Twilight so much, I decided I had no choice but to read this and ended up looking forward to this “reimagined” version. Only, aside from the alternate ending and a couple other scenes, there wasn’t much reimagining going on. The alternate ending, I admit, was kind of cool, but then most of it ended up being a recapping of the rest of the series and a huge unnecessary info dump.

I guess I can’t help it. I can’t picture any of the characters except as they were. I LIKED Edward and Bella. I missed Alice and Jasper and Carlisle and the other characters. They didn’t need changing.

It is apparent that Meyer “cleaned up” the writing and that part of it was better, but who cares??? That was for her, not the readers/fans. It seems like this whole endeavor was for her… to settle a curiosity, to fix errors, and other items she had OCD about.

It just didn’t work for me AT ALL. If anything, she should have released a short story with just the alternate ending. This was just a way for them to ramp the price up and to satisfy some ego thing with Meyer. The characters weren’t different enough to make this seem like a true “reimagining” – or worth making an entire new book about. If she had “reimagined” their personalities, it would have been much better. I didn’t like Beau or Edythe that much. Switching the names completely changed the dynamic and atmosphere of the story. I know that if this had been the original story, I would not have liked the series as much. I suppose it satisfies a curiosity for those so inclined.

I would wait until it gets to your library or you can get it for free, though. I would have much preferred a short story about another character. Whatever, I’m moving on. Still love me some original Twilight, though. #guiltypleasure

Buddy read with Anne and Kat.

“Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch

Wayward (Wayward Pines, #2)Wayward by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A solid second book in the trilogy, although not as good as the first one, in my view. If you didn’t like Pines, this one isn’t going to change that. The story picks up right where we left off, Ethan is now sheriff and everything is still FUBAR. If I say anything else, it’s just going to be a spoiler. You really don’t want to know anything about this series before you start it.

There’s not quite as much going on until halfway through the book, but it’s still an easy book to read, and the creepy mysteriousness is always thrumming below the surface. It does end on a cliffhanger. We find out a lot more about Pilcher. Pam is a crazy bitch. Like, seriously. As if we didn’t already know that from book one, but STILL. *shiver*

I can’t wait to see what happens next. What happens at the end changes everything.

Just read the damn book.

Unless you hated the first one and then you’d probably hate this one too.

Buddy read with the Saucy Wenches group in October. I couldn’t wait, so already started it.

View all my reviews