Unlocked by J. D. Stonebridge begins when a baby, Charlie, is rescued from a car accident. The couple that rescued Charlie also raises her. Charlie’s dialogue is staunch, stark, boring and she talks like she swallowed a textbook or a thesaurus. The dialogue becomes more smooth as the story progresses and the plot begins to take shape. The Unlocked is reminiscent of X-men because of the institute and powers, but the students aren’t born with their powers. The powers are unlocked with a syringe and a shot of a chemical mixture. Charlie learns of her twin sister because of the institute and she discovers that she and her twin sister Jeanne had their powers as long as they can remember and didn’t need to be unlocked. A sinister plot and deception are revealed as things spiral out of control. 4 stars for this science fiction mystery.
When Time is a River by Susan Clayton-Goldner is a mystery for adults and young adults alike. The story begins with Brandy in the office of a plastic surgeon. She’s suffering from the results of an accident that has changed her face and she wants to look like she used to. She’s babysitting her two-and-a-half-year-old half sister, Emily, at the park during a community Teddy Bear Picnic and while Brandy is in the bathroom stall, someone takes Emily! She overheard Emily talking about Pooh Bear not taking a nap and the detective found flat shoe prints in the restroom. Two witnesses claimed to have seen Emily with a Pooh Bear getting into a car. I didn’t imagine the turn of events that unfolded as the mystery progressed. The unpredictability built suspense and my appreciation for the author’s ability to spin a riveting story! An impressive mystery that is part of the Redemption Lake series but can be read as a stand alone book also. 5 stars for a perfect mystery!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
The Scarlet Tanager by Emigh Cannaday is the third book in the Annika Brisby series and it begins where The Silver Thread leaves off, with Annika’s kidnapping. I was so angry at Talvi when I thought he was flirting with his work partner and very relieved in the next chapter when his purpose was brought to light. I absolutely love Finn and how he takes great care with Annika and Talvi seems extremely selfish compared to Finn. When Annika loses her memory, she seems completely content with Finn. I think he treats her like a queen. The narrator performs the characters’ voices perfectly and endeared the characters to me. 5 stars for an elaborate fantasy in a complicated world!
M school by Kevin T. Johns packs a punch! Lilith has the emotions and mannerisms of a sociopath. She blends into school life fine and she’s a great goalie for their soccer team. The captain of the team and Lilith’s best friend is brutally murdered and the loss devastates the school. The soccer coach approaches Lilith and states that he needs a replacement for Lara. Immediately, Lilith thinks he means as a soccer captain and when he states that’s not the replacement he needs, she assumes it’s as a sex partner replacement and she becomes extremely and awkwardly uncomfortable. It takes the coach a bit to realize what she’s thinking. He’s a bit flabbergasted, but the truth is even harder for Lilith to believe. Coach Taylor and Lara are undercover agents for M School and they’re trying to take care of The Dissidents, a domestic terrorist organization. Lilith’s life changes completely after she is recruited to M School. Her parents believe that Lilith will be attending school for gifted students but she’s going to become a trained killer. All Lilith wants is vengeance for Lara’s murder but she gets so much more. The M School setting is creative and the characters are strong, but in turmoil. 4 stars for this action packed adrenaline rush of a story!
I received an arc from author for a fair review.
The newest addition to the Kennedy Boys series by Siobhan Davis, The Irish getaway throws us right back into the never dull, sometimes chaotic lives of the Kennedy family. The cheese factor is high with Ky and Faye and everyone calls them out on it, humorously. The interestingly complex parts of the story involve a mystery dealing with Rach, the conflict between Kal and Lana, the group fight, the sisterly contention between Faye and Whitney and the odd, but funny conflict triangle with James, Adam and Alex. I also enjoyed the bonus reads about Ky, Faye, Brad, Kalvin and Lana that are included with the arc. Thanks Siobhan, for the extra reading material! 5 stars for this quick read addition to the Kennedy Boys series.
*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Great mystery for middle school and early high school readers!
Skylar Robbins:The Mystery of Shadow Hills by Carrie Cross is an all new Nancy Drew-type detective story! Skylar loves investigating and her grandfather taught her true detective skills. The reader is transported into Skylar’s memories and daydreams. She’s stuck for eight weeks at her grouchy cousin’s old Malibu mansion while her parents travel abroad. Skylar attends summer school while she’s in Malibu, but she only has to go to an art class. The descriptions of the art assignments make me want to take the class too. Skylar makes friends and learns new things. I enjoyed the mysterious happenings because they were a bit spooky. I like the fact that the author’s writing allows the reader to be spooked along with Skylar, even though she’s a very practical person. Very fun middle school read, 5 stars!
Skylar Robbins and the Mystery of the Hidden Jewels by Carrie Cross is the second book in the Skylar Robbins series. Skylar and her parents are looking at new homes and Skylar wants to make sure she will be attending the same school; she doesn’t want to be the new kid. She believes there is an unsolved mystery in their new home and things become even more suspicious when the remodeling workers, which were recommended by the neighbors, are looking around and Skylar notices. Skylar and her friend Alexa work to solve the puzzle of the missing jewels of Xandra Collins, the previous owner of Skylar’s new home. The two friends also help each other cope with school problems, such as Alexa’s dyslexia and mean girl drama. This sequel in the Skylar Robbins series proves that young people can be great detectives too and being a true friend is very important. Skylar Robbins is the Nancy Drew for a new generation, 5 stars.
Skylar Robbins and The Mystery of the Missing Heiress is the third book in the Skylar Robbins series. The book opens with a mysterious poem by Xandra Collins that sets the mood for a good mystery. I love the puzzles and codes that are in the book to be solved and the reader gets to figure them out right along with the story. I also like how Skylar’s experiences teach us to stand up for ourselves, keep our integrity and persevere. Geared toward middle school and early high school, the Skylar Robbins books are fun and interesting mysteries. 5 stars!
I love the Skylar Robbins series; the perfect books for a cozy mystery read!
Loving Kalvin by Siobhan Davis- Kalvin was accused of raping his girlfriend, Lana, and is scheduled for court. Eleven months later they are both attending the same college and run into each other by accident. Lana is hiding something from Kalvin and she’s reluctant to tell him about it. The story contains graphic language and graphic sexual content and fits in the new adult genre. The characters are more vulgar and arrogant than in the Kyler Kennedy books. Lana was a contradiction of confidence and lack of self esteem, so I questioned her sincerity at times. She also wavered between mature decisions and immature actions. 4 stars for this addition to the Kennedy Boys series.
I read a complimentary advance copy of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.
The Syndicate by Sophie Davis impressed me with its mix of science fiction and history. The story begins with the Prologue during May, 1796 in Florence, Italy, which is being occupied by Napoleon and the French army. The main character, Stassi, has stolen Napoleon’s letter to Josephine and she’s running to ensure her escape. She’s helped by her partner Gaige. They work for The Syndicate as runners and travel to the past to procure requested items that rich people pay a good chunk of money for. Gaige and Stassi later travel to 1925 Paris to collect a Rosenthal manuscript and they attend a party celebrating Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and its publication. Along with finding the manuscript, a serial killer on the loose adds to the suspense and danger. The elaborate cover stories of the runners, the historical background and interesting, dynamic characters make this a very fun science fiction read worthy of a 5 star rating!
I am reviewing Freeze by Kaitlyn Davis for a blog tour. Freeze begins where Frost left off. Pandora is imprisoned in a cell and Sam visits often. He teaches her to transport, and that along with her power to hide in the shadows and become invisible, helps her escape with another prisoner, Naya. Naya is a werejaguar and a necromancer. Pandora and Naya help each other through escapes and attacks. They also become friends and share their secrets with each other. Naya wants to save her brother who has been turned into a vampire while Pandora wants to speak to her mother that is no longer alive. This is how Pandora plans to find out the mysteries of her past. Pandora isn’t sure about Sam or Jax , the two men she cares for, and she doesn’t fully trust either of them. Pandora’s life continues to become more complicated and confusing. When she finally speaks to her mother, she’s given advice and more vague warnings about her future and the people she knows. The story continues in the third book, Fractured. The complex characters and situations keep the mysteries strong and the story interesting. 5 stars for a intriguing supernatural read!
Thanks to Hilary Thompson for the request to read and review her book, Justice Buried. In this first book of the Starbright series, Astrea is going to be partnered with Lexan against her will and she’s being told by a teacher that she’s in extreme danger. He also tells her that there’s a secret history of their community, Asphodel. Asphodel is a community of Earth survivors who moved underground after the Great Sickness took over Earth’s surface. The First Leader and Minister govern the community and Astrea is being trained to be First Leader and her future partner, Lexan, is being groomed for Minister. The citizens are grouped by their horoscope and zodiac signs and rely on astrology to decide their future, including careers and spouses. Beautiful descriptive writing and complex characters make this an entertaining dystopian read. 5 stars.