Thursday, 21 March 2019

Tackling The TBR March Update 3


In 2019 I'm making a big effort to reduce my TBR by buying less, getting stuff read and getting rid of the things that I just don't want to read from my bookshelves and my ereaders Maurice and Myrnin! I'll be doing this regular post to show my progress-what came into the house, what I read and DNFed and what was taken off the TBR.

The TBR total shown is the total number of books I own but have not read yet-wishlist books are NOT in my TBR! Re-reads have already been taken off the TBR when I first read them so don't count in reducing the pile but is just here as a note to help for end of year stats! The re-read total is the running total so far for the year, not what I've read each week.

BOOKS IN
-Books in refers to bought, downloaded or gifted THIS WEEK. 
-Books added are books I bought a while back but haven't yet added to my Goodreads TBR so they aren't newly bought, just newly added. Both of these categories together are my 'in' total. 

BOOKS OUT
-Books read and DNFed are obvious. 
-Deleted from the TBR are books I lost interest in reading, or sequels to DNFed books I no longer want to read and have been removed without starting to read them. These three categories added together are my books 'out'.

Sarah over at https://allthebookblognamesaretaken.blogspot.com/ is also trying to reduce her book pile and we hope to keep each other motivated! I'm posting my progress on the 7th, 14th, 21st and final day of the month and noting what is coming in and out of my house. Anyone else is welcome to join in. No rules, set up your your posts how you want and when you want just reduce the pile!

MARCH 1st-7th

TBR Start Total: 1124

BOOKS IN:
New Books In: 2
Old Books Added: 1

BOOKS OUT:
Books Read: 4
Books DNF: 1
Others Deleted From TBR: 2

Rereads: 2

New Total: 1113
********************
March 8th-14th 

TBR Start Total: 1113

BOOKS IN:
New Books In: 1
Old Books Added: 3

BOOKS OUT:
Books Read: 6
Books DNF: 0
Others Deleted From TBR: 5

Rereads: 2

New Total: 1106  
********************
March 15th-21st

TBR Start Total: 1106

BOOKS IN: 
New Books In: 3
Old Books Added:

BOOKS OUT: 
Books Read: 1
Books DNF:
Others Deleted From TBR: 4

Rereads: 2 

New Total: 1104

Reading Challenges March Update 3


Whether we are getting spring weather or storms, there is still every excuse to curl up with a good book and read! Here are the books for the various challenges that I'm trying to get to this month. If I deal with them all, I'll be happy!

WORLD READS-Antarctica
1) Hunter Shea-Antarctic Ice Beasts (read)
2) William Meikle-Operation Antarctica (read)
3) Brad Harmer-Barnes-Tempest Outpost (read)

ROYAL CHALLENGE
1) E Knight-My Lady Viper
2) Kate Emersen-The Pleasure Palace

SERIES CATCHUP
1) Jaye Wells-Green Eyed Demon
2) Jaye Wells-Silver Tongued Devil
3) Jaye Wells-Blue Blooded Vamp
4) Jaye Wells-Rusted Veins

PAPERBACK PURGE
1) Thomas E Sniegoski-The Demonists (DNF)

E-BOOK ELIMINATOR
1) Suzanne Lazear-The Secret Lives of Rockstars (read)

FOR FUN
1) William Meikle-Infestation (read)
2) JR Tate-Tornado Warning (read)
3) George RR Martin-Fire & Blood 

ALPHABET SOUP 
E: Bobby Adair-Ebola K (read)
U: Chris Pike-Unexpected World (read)
V: Matt Shaw-Voyage to Hell (read)
Why do all my reads have the same letters?  Gameland, Going Home and Graduation Day! Independent Study, Into the Darkness, Infestation and Into the Mist! Royal Marriages, Rebel, The Remaining, Redfall and Red Headed Stepchild!

A) A Dance With Dragons
B) Booked 4 Murder
C) The Chalk Man
D) The Devil's Fingers
E) Ebola K
F) The Farm
G) Gameland
H)
I) Independent Study
J) Jack and Jill
K)
L)
M) The Mage in Black
N)
O) Operation Antarctica
P) Premonitions
Q) Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
R) Red Headed Stepchild
S) Secret Lives Of Rockstars
T) The Testing
U) Unexpected World
V) Voyage to Hell
W)
X)
Y)
Z)
 



Welcome to my ebook challenge! This year I plan to get as many books off the ereader and the tbr and free up space for other things. 

Here is my starting list of those I really want to deal with. I'll add to the list through the year.

1) Bobby Akart-Axis of Evil (Lone Star #1) (DNF)
2) Bobby Akart-36 Hours (Blackout #1) (DNS)
3) Bobby Akart-The Loyal Nine (Boston Brahmin #1) (DNS)
4) WR Benton-Premonition of Death (Fall of America #1) (DNS)
5) Lee Murray-Into The Mist (read)
6) Lee Murray-Into The Sounds (DNS)
7) Donna Galanti-Joshua & The Lightning Road
8) Jeff VanderMeer-Annihilation
9) Meg Collett-Fear University
10) Alex Hughes-Clean (DNF)
11) Adam J Wright-Lost Soul (DNF)
12) Norman Christof-Destination Lost
13) Seth Skorkowsky-Damoren
14) Simone Pond-Exodus of Magic
15) Steve McHugh-Crimes Against Magic
16) Suzanne Lazerar-The Secret Life of Rock Stars (read)
17) Michael F Haspil-Graveyard Shift
18) Lisa Blackwood-Betrayal's Price (DNS)
19) Bobby Adair-Ebola K (read)
20) Ania Ahlborn-The Shuddering
21) Saul Tanpepper-Gameland (read)
22) Hunter Shea-The Devil's Fingers (read)


This year, I really need to get a pile of paperbacks off the tbr and bookshelf, and out to the charity shops! Every month I'll be trying to tackle a few that I'm not sure I'm going to like based on gut feelings, reading tastes or Goodreads reviews. On this list I'll indicate what I managed to read, what was DNFed and if any of them are keepers! I'll be adding to the list through the year and the challenge will end in December.

1) A American-Going Home (The Survivalist #1) (read-3 star)
2) Annie Berdel-Alpha Farm (Prepper Chick #1) (DNF)
3) Justin Somper-Allies & Assassins (Allies & Assassins #1)
4) Michael J Sullivan-The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1)
5) Candace Robinson-Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1) (read)
6) Candace Robinson-The Bride of Glass (Glass Vault #2) (DNS)
7) Conn Iggulden-Darien (Empire of Salt #1)
8) RL King-Stone And A Hard Place
9) Stephen King-Revival
10) Joseph Nassise-Eyes To See
11) Joseph Nassise-By the Blood of Heroes
12) Boyd Craven-Breaking Point
13) Mary Kubika-Every Last Lie
14) CJ Tudor-The Chalk Man (read-3.5 star)
15) DB Thorne-Troll
16) Seth C Adams-If You Go Down to the Woods
17) Belinda Bauer-Snap
18) Terry Brooks-Running With The Demon
19) Thomas E Sniegoski-The Demonists (DNF)


The idea is to read books with a royal theme ie Kings, Princesses, Queens, Dukes, Knights, Castles, Kingdoms, Quests etc. This challenge is hosted by Adriana Garcia over at https://shesgotbooksonhermind.blogspot.com/ .

Here are the books from my tbr that I hope to get read this year for the challenge. I've picked 15 to try and get Queen status but if I do well, more may be added!

1) David Baldwin-Henry's Last Love
2) Shrabani Basu-Victoria and Abdul
3) Jane Bingham-The Tudors (read-4 star)
4) Lady Colin Campbell-The Royal Marriages (read-4 star)
5) Lady Colin Campbell-Diana in Private
6) Sharon Kay Penman-The Queen's Man (DNF)
7) Dinah Lampitt-Pour The Dark Wine
8) E Knight-My Lady Viper
9) Elizabeth Fremantle-Sisters of Treason
10) Katherine Longshore-Tarnish
11) Laurien Gardner-Plain Jane
12) Margaret Campbell Barnes-My Lady of Cleves
13) Diane Haeger-The Queen's Mistake
14) Judith Arnopp-Intractable Heart
15) Kate Emerson-The Pleasure Palace



I'm intending to catch up on quite a few series this year, starting with a few of the shorter series that have been lurking on my shelves for a while! If I can clear them it will help in the battle to reduce the never-ending tbr! 

The Plan is to start this year with a few series that I really must finish or catch up with. Once I've done them all I'll extend the challenge by adding more series on until I run out of days in the year. The challenge will run all year.

SERIES TO BE FULLY READ

1) DD BARANT-BLOODHOUND FILES
1-Dying Bites
2-Death Blows
3-Killing Rocks
4-Better Off Undead
5-Back From The Undead
6-Undead To The World

2) JAYE WELLS-SABINA KANE 
1-Red Headed Stepchild (read)
2-The Mage In Black (read)
3-Green Eyed Demon
4-Silver Tongued Devil
5-Blue Blooded Vamp
 -Violet Tendencies #2.5 (read)
 -Rusted Veins #5.5

3) MLN HANOVER-BLACK SUN'S DAUGHTER 
1-Unclean Spirits
2-Darker Angels
3-Vicious Grace
4-Killing Rites
5-Graveyard Child 

4) CHRISTINA HENRY-BLACK WINGS
1-Black Wings
2-Black Night
3-Black Howl
4-Black Lament
5-Black City
6-Black Heart
7-Black Spring 

5) KELLY MEDING-DREG CITY 
1-Three Days to Dead
2-As Lie the Dead
3-Another Kind of Dead
4-Wrong Side of Dead
5-Requiem For the Dead
6-The Night Before Dead 

6) JOELLE CHARBONNEAU-THE TESTING 
1-The Testing (read-5 star)
2-Independent Study (read-4 star)
3-Graduation Day (read-4 star)

Book Review Backlog Challenge Update 3


Having happily completed catching up on reviews for all the books I read last year I've decided to keep motivated by writing a list of everything I've read this year and have yet to review. Seeing the actual list to be done has really motivated me to get it done so hopefully that will continue right through the year!

JANUARY READS 
1) George RR Martin-A Dance With Dragons part 2 (reviewed Feb 19)
2) Saul Tanpepper-Gameland (reviewed Feb 19)
3) Lady Colin Campbell-The Royal Marriages (reviewed March 2019)
4) Joelle Charbonneau-The Testing (reviewed March 2019)
5) Joelle Charbonneau-Independent Study (reviewed March 2019)
6) Joelle Charbonneau-Graduation Day (reviewed March 2019)
7) A American-Going Home (reviewed March 2019)
8) CJ Tudor-The Chalk Man (reviewed March 2019)
9) Diana Anderson-Premonitions (reviewed March 2019)
10) Lee Murray-Into The Mist (reviewed March 2019)
11) Jay J Falconer-Redfall (reviewed March 2019)
12) Christopher Coleman-They Came With The Snow (reviewed Feb 19)
13) Chris Lowry-Flyover Zombie (reviewed March 2019)
14) MV Stott-66
15) Edward Chilvers-Curse of the Forever Rain (reviewed Feb 19)
16) Cheryl L Cholley-Survivalist By Circumstance (reviewed Feb 19)
17) Kealan Patrick Burke-Jack and Jill (reviewed Feb 19)
18) Doug Kelly-Into The Darkness
19) DJ Molles-The Remaining
20) Bobby Akart-The Loyal Nine (reviewed Feb 19)
21) Bobby Akart-Axis of Evil (reviewed Feb 19)
22) Annie Berdel-Alpha Farm (reviewed Feb 19)
23) Catt Dahman-George's Terms (reviewed March 2019)
24) Adam J Wright-Lost Soul (reviewed Feb 19)
25) Alex Hughes-Clean (reviewed March 2019)

FEBRUARY READS 
1) Jaye Wells-Red Headed Stepchild (reviewed March 2019)
2) Jaye Wells-The Mage in Black (reviewed March 2019)
3) Jaye Wells-Violet Tendencies (reviewed March 2019)
4) Hunter Shea-The Devil's Fingers (reviewed March 2019)
5) Candace Robinson-Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
6) SM Wilson-The Extinction Trials: Rebel
7) JC Eaton-Booked 4 Murder 
8) Greig Beck-Primordia 
9) Sharon Penman-The Queen's Man (reviewed March 2019)
10) Greig Beck-Primordia 2
11) Bruno Miller-Breakdown (reviewed March 2019)
12) Ryan Casey-Into The Dark (reviewed March 2019)
13) Ryan Casey-Blackout (reviewed March 2019)
14) Mildred Abbott-Cruel Candy
15) Amy Cross-The Dog (reviewed March 2019)
16) Leigh Perry-A Skeleton in the Family

MARCH READS 
1) William Meikle-Infestation 
2) William Meikle-Operation Antarctica
3) Matt Shaw-Voyage To Hell (reviewed March 2019)
4) Brad Harmer-Barnes-Tempest Outpost 
5) Thomas E Sniegoski-The Demonists (reviewed March 2019)
6) Suzanne Lazear-The Secret lives of Rockstars 
7) Bobby Adair-Ebola K 
8) JR Tate-Tornado Warning
9) Hunter Shea-Antarctic Ice Beasts
10) Chris Pike-Unexpected World  

Books From The Backlog-Jurassic Hell


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf.  You might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks. Go to Carole's blog and add your blog post link in to join in the fun! Hosted by Carole at https://carolesrandomlife.blogspot.co.uk/

This seems like a fun feature and I have been planning to take part since Carole launched this so at last, here we go! I have a TON of unread books to choose from in various genres and I'm looking forward to sharing some of them with everybody. 


There are not many places left untouched by man. There are even fewer where dinosaurs roam…

A probe breaks up on its return to Earth, scattering valuable data over an uninhabited island in the South Pacific. A three man crew from private company Space54 investigate, but they fail to return. The local chief refuses further access to the remote island, protecting an ancestral home unseen by man until now. An undercover military unit led by Phoenix Lewbridge is sent to the island to find any survivors and bring them home. What she finds on the island tests her unit’s fighting capabilities to the extreme.

Jurassic Hell: The ultimate showdown begins between man and beast. There can only be one winner… 


I can never resist a good dinosaur adventure and this one sounds just like my kind of thing. Isn't that cover amazing? I've also never tried any books by the author so I'm looking forward to this one! This was added to my shelves in the summer of 2018. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. 

This week the topic is our spring tbr. These are books I hope to get to in the next couple of months but of course it might change!

1) George RR Martin-Fire and Blood
I'm hoping to read this monster sized book between now and the new series of Game of Thrones coming on TV so that leaves me a few weeks to get it done! 

2) Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Hell Divers
I've been promising to read this one for well over a year and it is on my reading list for next month. If I like it, I'll have a few sequels to buy!

3) Michael Stephen Fuchs-Carnage
I have the last three books in this amazing zombie series to get caught up with so I'd like to get them all read. This is book #12 and I want to get to it soon.

4) MLN Hanover-The Black Sun's Daughter
This was an urban fantasy series that I started back in about 2010. I enjoyed the first book and plan to do a series catchup with it this spring.

5) Jaye Wells-Sabina Kane
I'm already halfway through this series catchup having read the first book back in 2011. I've read two books and a short story, leaving me with three books and another short story which I hope to tackle this month.

6) Jeff VanderMeer-Annihilation
I want to get the book read so I can watch the film. I have no idea what to expect as I keep seeing reviews that talk about both being weird. Guess I better get it out of the way!

7) Diane Haeger-The Queen's Mistake
I read my first book by this author which was about Mary Tudor, Henry's younger sister. I'm looking forward to reading this one about Catherine Howard.

8) Kate Emersen-The Pleasure Palace
I have five tudor books by the author but haven't read any yet. This one deals with the story of one of Henry's alleged mistresses Jane Popyncourt. Hope to read it this month.

9) Seth C Adams-If You Go Down To The Woods
I bought a lot of cheap thrillers in a sale last year at The Works and I plan to read this next month. A group of bored kids interfere with something they shouldn't and get stalked!

10) Michael J Sullivan-The Crown Tower
I picked this up in a charity shop last year. I don't read much fantasy but I thought it sounded interesting so I want to try and get it read soon.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Book Review: Fight For Survival by Jay J Falconer (Redfall #1)


Very soon, when the government is bankrupt and battling civil unrest . . .A ruthless, global conspiracy will rise from the shadows to seize control of everything. But that’s only the start. They’ll soon unleash a mysterious red rain, grounding all travelers, knocking out communications, and taking down the grid.

As civilization tumbles into chaos, those clinging to power turn to one man, Simon Redfall. A desperate loner who’s hunted by angry mobs and his own past. Simon may be an outcast, but his unique skills are the last, best hope for survival. With time running out, Simon will need to hurry. Once the red rain ends, it will be too late to stop what’s coming next.


My Review: 
We are introduced to a new world in this book. StarBright Networks have partnered with the government to show the live executions of criminals for crowd entertainment and Simon finds it horrific to be there, listening to Tessa plead that she is innocent before dying in front of a baying crowd. She was accused of the mass murder of scientists and their families and even Simon believed the evidence presented as he himself went into hiding from the media and authorities. As he leaves the arena, he is recognised by the media and it leads to a hate mob giving chase to him to gain revenge for what his wife did. Rescue comes when a strange red rain begins and distracts the mob long enough to allow Tally and G to rescue him and take him back to their safe compound where they need his help in their investigation into the activities of RaineTech, and they think Tessa is innocent.

Jeffrey Hansen, founder and CEO of RaineTech created and unleashed the red rain around the world, blowing up his underwater complex to destroy evidence before escaping in his mini sub. When he is attacked by an unknown enemy, he is determined to find out who is trying to kill him and decides he needs to find Simon, a previous contact, and get him to find out who did it and destroy them. It is going to be a difficult task as he has washed up on an island run by a notorious criminal so Jeffrey has to get diplomatic in his negotiations with the criminals if he has any hope of surviving his imprisonment. Vito runs Indigo Technologies and warns his trusted employee Zeke to stay safe inside a specially prepared compound while the rain is on. Vito also tells President Cooper who was responsible for the red rain and offers his assistance. General Rawlings wants to find Simon and get him to track down Hansen.   

Tessa has set up a prepper property with the people she trusts, a base where they can work on their investigation. Her people are very much divided about having Simon with them as they find it hard to trust adults. Simon himself is unsure if he actually wants to get involved with Tessa's group. Her brother has set up his own compound nearby as the siblings disagree on pretty much everything. So when his group are sent a weapon delivery that was intended for a shadowy government mercenary group, his people become an instant target.

This book was a decent enough read but I didn't find myself greatly excited by it. I think part of the problem was the red rain. I found that and the conspiracy surrounding it interesting but the rain just seemed to keep falling and not actually doing anything. I was expecting it to be toxic or turn people mad or something, but it just seemed to keep raining and nothing was really happening with it other than it being strange and people staying indoors. It seems to just be disrupting things like communications but I struggled to get excited about it through the book.  

I didn't feel greatly connected to the characters, especially Simon. We get told about how his life fell apart after his wife was arrested but I just don't really get him. He was a bit of a cardboard cutout and I was never greatly invested in his story or why everyone and their dog in this crisis seemed to require his personal help. He never exactly strikes you as the go-to guy that they keep making him out to be. Tessa and G were mildly interesting and with a bit of development could become interesting but I just felt that there were too many shadowy people with half discussed agendas and little development taking up a lot of the story, rather than just dealing with the main event of the rain and what is coming next. There is also that teaser of 'we think your wife was innocent' but nothing comes from that and Simon doesn't seem to want the answers, which is weird.

It just didn't grab me and pull me into the story the way I want an apocalypse book to do. I never really felt invested in either the characters or plot and while there wasn't anything really wrong with it, I never got excited by it. It lacked tension until very close to the end and it was more like setting up a story than really telling one. The book was ok to read but I don't feel interested enough to continue with the series.

Read January 2019
3 stars.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Book Review: Into The Mist by Lee Murray


When NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army.
Militant TÅ«hoe separatists are active in the area, and with its cloying mist and steep ravines, the forest is a treacherous place in winter. Yet nothing has prepared Taine for the true danger that awaits them. Death incarnate.
 

They backtrack toward civilisation, stalked by a prehistoric creature intent on picking them off one by one. With their weapons ineffective, the babysitting job has become a race for survival.
Desperate to bring his charges out alive, Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left? 


My Review: 
What attracted me to this book was firstly the cover and secondly the idea of there being a scary dinosaur in the forests of New Zealand, a location we rarely see in horror reads. I was really excited to read this one.

A high number of missing people have been reported in the national park and a military team that was sent in to find out what happened has also disappeared. Major Arnold decides to put a second team led by Taine McKenna into the park to find out what happened to the other team and solve the mystery. They go undercover as a military security team for an official scientific expedition to find gold in the area and try to use the opportunity to scout around for any sign of the missing people. However what they find instead is a legendary monster that has been on a killing spree and is determined to add everyone on the expedition to the lunch menu.

The actual main story was interesting. The monster is totally lethal and deadly so just being a few steps adrift of the group can be enough to cost you your life. The monster is scary and the attack scenes are pretty brutal so I liked those parts of it. The expedition does seem to go round in circles though as the team try to trek out after their first encounters with the monsters and then trek back in again, then try to get out again. I would expect a military team to decide to get everyone out immediatly and if two people are idiot enough to go back to try and set a trap for the beast, surely the military has a duty to get the others to safety first and then consider going to fetch the idiots? I found it a very strange decision to take everyone back into the danger zone they were just getting out of.

I'm not much for mystical plot threads about local legends in my horror books so I did struggle a bit with that in this book. A local man is visited by an image of the beast which makes him block the road into the national park and try to stop people going into the danger zone, knowing that a monster is waiting for them. But we then get dream sequences where he goes out walking and meets and talks to the monster and I felt that these additions kept slowing down the plot. I sort of lost interest in this dreamwalker stuff every time it appeared.

I was also a bit disinterested in the conspiracy plots which for me felt a bit half hearted. We have the story of how the gold sample was planted to make everyone think the land is gold rich and the person putting together the survey team was then blackmailed into adding someone to the team but I'm not really clear on the purpose of all this. Someone from Geotech also persuades someone to be a front for their company based on reports of what is in the jungle but again it was all a bit vague as to why this was going on. Add in the militant young locals who are prepared to kill the people on the expedition as they don't want outsiders in their forest despite elders giving permission, and some jungle camp getting attacked and I felt a good horror plot descended into a bit of a mess. I just didn't feel that all this extra stuff added anything to the story and it just slowed things down too much. 

Overall, I didn't love this book. I did enjoy the monster bits but not much else about it really appealed to me I'm afraid. I finished it because I needed it for my World Reads challenge but I did consider DNFing it at one point. I decided not to read the sequel. For me it just didn't quite deliver what I was hoping for and just wasn't my thing.

Read January 2019
2.5 stars.

Around The Blogs With Chuckles


We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out. 

This Week!

1) Book Review-The Other Tudors by Philippa Jones 
Sarah looks at Henry's possible mistresses and children.

2) Book Review-Please Don't feed The Mayor by Sue Pethick
Barb looks at doggy fun and politics!

3) Book Review-Shadow Magic by Nazri Noor (Darkling Mage #1)
Carole goes urban fantasy.

4) Book Review-The Witch's Kind by Louisa Morgan
Mogsy looks at historical fantasy.

5) Book Review-The Art Of Losing by Lizzy Mason 
Ash looks at YA contemporary.

6) Book Review: Columbine/Parkland by Dave Cullen
Sarah looks at school shootings and why nothing has changed.

7) Why I May DNF
Erica shares her reasons not to finish a book.
https://www.ericarobynreads.com/bookish-discussion-reasons-why-i-may-dnf/ 

8) Book Review-The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell
Mogsy looks at historical horror.
https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/03/17/audiobook-review-the-devil-aspect-by-craig-russell/ 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Book Review: Premonitions by Diana E Anderson (The Farm #1)


Denise Armstrong is a nurse, mother, widow, and military veteran. Raised by prepper grandparents, she learned at an early age to watch national and world events closely. She has been paying close attention to the economy, both around the world and at home. As she sees signs in her own community of the slowing of the economy, she begins to experience premonitions of a cataclysm to come. Denise decides to use the resources available to her to help her friends and family weather whatever crisis she KNOWS is coming. When Tom VanZant, a dear friend, confides he, too, is experiencing feelings of an impending catastrophe, they both realize it is time to hunker down to survive the storm about to occur. 

While they prepare, economic instability accelerates, violence escalates, and infrastructure deteriorates. Terrorist acts across the country and horrific brutality close to home further complicate this precarious situation. While safe (at least for the moment) on Denise’s farm, Denise, her family, and friends can only wonder: Have they prepared enough to let them survive?

My Review: 
Denise inheritated a large farm outside a North Carolina town. She has noticed the economy struggling with her fellow nurses being laid off or losing hours. Fearing that a disaster is coming, she asks her sons and their wives to move out to the farm with her, and hopes that her closest friends will do the same. As they start to gather supplies and build extra space for new arrivals, society starts to fall apart and violence comes to their town.

I found Denise to be quite likable for an MC. She is living a comfortable life at her farm and doing her job because she loves it, not because she needs to. She is in the process of building a new wing on her house so that her sons and their wives can move in with her, and was brought up as a prepper. When her hours start getting cut, she is already concerned about the amount of local businesses going under and decides to just quit and concentrate on getting the farm ready for the trouble that is coming. She finds out that Tom, her old friend and the contractor taking care of work at the farm, has also been getting the same worrying premonitions about disaster coming and she asks him to get work finished on her property so the farm is self sufficient and ready to house everyone she cares about. 

I liked a lot of the other characters too. Tom is a good character. He is kind, hard working and organised and it is clear that he and Denise have an unspoken connection that remains in the background through the book, but fits nicely. I was kind of rooting for them as a couple because they already had an established relationship as friends.We get to see them as the group start to have meetings about joining forces if the worst happens. There is also the backdrop of the financial collapse as places in town close down and her friends start losing their jobs, causing them to decide to move out to the farm before everything collapses. I liked seeing the gradual deterioration to start with and then the rapid collapse of everything. I think that might be how it would happen in real life.

I always enjoy seeing how the characters prepare for a disaster like this. I enjoy the tense supply runs and the run ins with people who want to take what belongs to our heroes. There is a gradual build up of the tension until the real bad guys sweep into the town and start to take over. There is also the background of the problems going on in the US and the terrorist attacks that are fuelling this financial crisis. Planes are being shot down, credit cards become useless and the farm continues to work hard to be ready for anything that comes. I've read a lot of books with this type of plot-preparing for the disaster, gathering loved ones before the disaster and final supply runs, followed by defending the property from the usual gangs of psychos. I admit that however many times I read that scenario, I never get tired of it and that is what made me pick this one up. I actually liked it more than I expected to based on the Goodreads reviews that I looked at.

Some reviewers have commented about things coming too easily for the main characters but I didn't really feel that myself. Denise already has the farm and the building work is advanced when she and Tom decide to get the hammer down to finish it. Tom has plenty contacts he can still get materials from and I doubt that many in the local area had the money to buy wood and DIY supplies so I'm not really surprised that the things they needed were available. The group were also stocking up before the main collapse hits so that did give them time to get things done. I do wish that the tradesmen we get in were as hard working and reliable as Tom and his team as they really got things done quickly which might be a tad unrealistic!

I've seen complaints in reviews about right wing anti-liberal rants but I honestly didn't find it that bad compared to a lot of prepper books that I read. Yes the characters were right wing so I expect them to be protective of their guns, untrusting of Democrat politicians and view liberal policies with open dislike. Most prepper books are like that and I'm used to ignoring a few of the more extreme opinions in the genre, as long as I find the story entertaining. While the author has sympathy for the 'Trump' character President at times, she is clear that she doesn't always like his tone and words, and is unhappy that he is in hiding instead of dealing with the crisis. She rightly thinks that fake news is used too often by both sides for point scoring. It is liberal snowflakes that her ire is mostly directed towards and I can understand that viewpoint. I found it a bit more balanced than reviews led me to believe.

I've already got hold of the second book in the series and look forward to catching up with Tom and Denise and the whole posse! 

Read January 2019
4 stars?  

Chuckles Cover Love #117-Fire On The Mountain


If there is one thing that makes a great book even better, it is when it has a cover that we love! The cover design is what catches the eye as we browse through a bookstore shelf or check out the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations. The right cover makes me look closer at a book, to read the blurb and maybe make a purchase. A poor cover might mean I never look at the blurb at all.

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.   

This Week! 

I don't read Christian books but these covers are gorgeous!