Title: The Good Father Author: Jeff Wade Genre: Fiction; Crime and Mystery Year Published: November 10, 2022
Date Started: April 25, 2023 Date finished: April 27, 2023
This is a story about an average guy named Tom Knight who finds a bag with lots of money and a situation that wasn’t pleasing. He has ideas on how to spend the money but he’s also aware of the situation the money was in. Tom has a son, Kalen, who finds out that he might not be able to walk anymore. This puts Tom in a tough place with the situation with the money bag and with his son’s health.
This was a great story about choices and family. Tom really loved his son and wanted the best for him, but he was also afraid someone would come for the money and for him. He tried his best to live a simple, normal life, but at the back of his mind, there was that danger.
This is a fast-paced story with a lot going on and a lot of characters who don’t have a lot of story to them. It can get confusing at times, but the overall focus was on Tom and his son. The writing was excellent, especially the action scenes. It’s what drew me to this story. This crime story is unique that it doesn’t follow detectives but an ordinary man with a family who’s going through regular life problems. It depicts a situation in which someone as ordinary as Tom gets mixed into a crime that he’s not a part of or know anything about. It is a “what if” story with a lot of tension. I felt sympathy for Tom and Kalen. I was hoping that nothing happened to them. I’m glad of the outcome of the story, but it was pretty tense.
Who should read this book: Anyone who’s into suspenseful stories about murder and mystery.
Title: Soul Seeker Author: Kaylin McFarren Genre: Supernatural fantasy, romance Year Published: October 27, 2020
Date Started: August 27, 2022 Date finished: August 29, 2022
This is a supernatural fantasy about a demon named Crighton whose job is to take human souls for the devil. Along the way, he is forced to work along an angel and the two of them end up defeating enemies. In the process, they find love.
There are two parts to this story. The first part is exposition in which we learn about Crighton. He comes across as cold, calculating, and just pure evil. He has a job to do, and he does it exceptionally well. He enjoys tormenting and destroying human lives. You almost think the story is about the man named Benjamine Poe and his family because that’s what’s mostly described. There is a reason for that though and it comes at the very end of the story. In the second part, we learn where Crighton comes from and what he’s up against. He’s sort of a perfectionist and pleaser. He wants to do what his master asks of him. We later learn that he really isn’t all that bad and that a special angel could change him.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I liked the action, and strangely, the unexpected romance as well. I liked how Crighton changed because he was put in a position where he had no other choice but do what he normally wouldn’t do. I also liked that he wasn’t completely evil and fell in love with someone he wasn’t supposed to. There were parts I felt was simply just telling or info dumping. I would have preferred more action, even in thoughts. However, even with that, the story was a fun read. I liked the take on heaven and hell and the angels.
Who should read this book: If you’re into angels and demons or just want a story that isn’t always about werewolves, witches, faes, etc., this one is an excellent one.
The prequel to The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is coming out this November. I’m so excited! I read the book a few years back and loved it. You can read my review here. There was so much to take in from the book. I’d recommend reading it if you haven’t, especially if you’re planning on seeing the movie.
Title: Savage Wounds Author: Sam Knupp Genre: Historical fiction; alternate history Year Published: August 29, 2022
Date Started: September 19, 2022 Date finished: September 21, 2022
This story takes place during the American Civil War in an alternate history. The war and characters are the same but there are new characters with new names. The story follows a colonel named Goliath Entwistle as well as a man named Optimist/Optimus.
This was a very interesting read. I’ve read alternate historical fictions before and have always liked them. This one is up there with my favorites. I enjoyed the flow of the story and just how savage the characters were. It’s a pretty sad read just revisiting that period of history but made even sadder by this new storyline. The author puts the reader right into the story so it feels as though you’re not just watching from afar, but you are right there with the characters and could literally walk over and stop an incident.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. The writing pulls you in. It’s fast-paced but with a lot of important information. I loved the quotes in the chapter openings and the “wisdom says” at the end of the chapters. The characters were well developed with depth and really made you feel for them and/or detest them. Since the story took place during the Civil War, specifically during the Battle of Gettysburg, the world building was already set for the period. However, the author created his own version of the specific scenes to his story which made it pretty amazing.
Who should read this book: I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a love for historical fiction with an alternative timeline. You won’t be disappointed.
Title: Keeper of Enchanted Rooms Author: Charlie N. Holmberg Genre: Fantasy Year Published: November 1, 2022 (release date for paperback on Amazon)
Date Started: October 16, 2022 Date finished: October 18, 2022
The story takes place in Rhode Island in early to mid 1840’s and is about a man named Merritt Fernsby who inherits a home that is haunted. Hulda Larkin, a woman from a company named BIKER was asked to figure out who was haunting the house. She comes to the house as a housekeeper but eventually reveals herself to have an ability to detect ghosts and spirits. As Merritt and Hulda work together, a sort of romance ensues. There is a side story about the antagonist, Silas Hogwood. Silas is determined to take down anyone who comes in the way of him gaining power and will do everything in his power to stop them.
This story was a lot of fun to read. I liked the idea behind how the house was haunted. There was bit of humor in it. I enjoyed the characters and the pacing at which Merritt and Hulda eventually came together in their realization that they had a thing for each other. I’m finding that the style of two stories (Merritt and Silas) is the trend now and I’m really liking it. If you’re looking for something light-hearted with great character development woven into a haunted house mystery with magic, romance, and a well-thought-out backstory, this one will hit the spot.
Who should read this book: This mystery-type fantasy is for those who enjoy a detective style storytelling with a touch of romance in the background.
Title: Far Beyond Destiny Author: Stephen C. Perkins Genre: Sci-fi, paranormal Year Published: November 1, 2021
Date Started: October 19, 2022 Date finished: October 21, 2022
This book is about an antagonist whose goal is to take over the world by destroying people in power using ordinary people. Sam Yalta Booth is not your ordinary man. In fact, he’s not even human. His agenda is to gain power by taking advantage of three young film industry people. Brian, Malcolm, and Vanessa were friends in college and ended up going into film. They thought what they were doing was their dream, however, Sam found his way to them and began to destroy their lives. He sees Vanessa as his puppet, someone he can control at a very young age. He went after her and her family. Brian and Malcolm came to her rescue where Brian ends up attracted to her. There’s so much going on between the three of them that the love story is just a minor part of the plot.
What I really enjoyed about this story is the pacing and the ease of going in and out of different characters’ stories. The story moved forward with bits and pieces thrown in of backstory which was great in connecting the past with the present. I also enjoyed the execution of the pharmacological aspect of Sam’s experiment. The way the “drug” was tested and became the source of Sam’s vengeance had me intrigued. The characters were unique and had some depth to them. However, because this was a plot driven story it wasn’t necessary to fully develop these characters.
Overall, this was a great read. I loved the setting descriptions. They pulled me in and added to the story’s mood. This would be an excellent read for anyone who loves a good sci-fi with some paranormal-fantasy elements thrown in.
Who should read this book: An action-packed sci-fi fantasy all sci-fi lovers will enjoy
Title: The Gamma Recruits Author: James Pelkmans Genre: Sci-fi Year Published: March 22, 2022
Date Started: April 16, 2023 Date finished: April 18, 2023
This is a story about Jayson Reilly and a bunch of other recruits who were sent to a location in Hawaii as test subjects. However, it turns out that that wasn’t the case. Through the process, a few of the recruits formed friendships and relationships.
I wanted to like this story. The idea sounded cool, however, it just didn’t grab me. Mainly because there were so many characters who appeared to be very similar because there wasn’t much depth to them. Initially, it felt like it was from Jayson’s point-of-view, but then it’d go into another character’s head. Also, a lot of dialogue went nowhere. These recruits could never stay on topic. The plot wasn’t strong enough and clean enough. The story seemed to drag a lot.
Who should read this book: It’s a sci-fi, slow moving story with multiple characters. So if this is your thing, it might be for you.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, but the opinion is my own.
Title: The Future of Disruptive Technologies Author: Dr. Srikanth Gaddam Genre: Non-fiction; General Technology & Reference Year Published: November 25, 2020
Date Started: October 26, 2022 Date finished: October 28, 2022
This book covers technology that can benefit as well as hurt humanity. It’s very informative and provides insights into the main types of technology that has the most impact and influence on society.
Technology has been a part of human lives for some time now. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we use technology in almost every facet of our lives. From our cars, phones, television, medicine, our homes, and everything else, there is a component of technology in it. This technology is what drives us forward. It’s what engages us and keeps us going. It’s also what motivates us to keep up with the latest and greatest. Out of it we gain new knowledge as well as learn that this upkeep, this new way of running our lives and our world can destroy us. There is a danger to very advanced technology and they come in the form of loopholes and hackers who are determined to take down a country and possibly the entire world.
Technology, at the speed it’s been moving at, will advance our world far beyond what we can fathom where it could go. There is a fear that AI will take our jobs, and at first, I was skeptical, but this book made me realize that it could actually be possible. Not that AI will take away every single job, but that it can take away the monotonous jobs that some people need to survive on or jobs that require more than one person and leave those people without anywhere to go. Technology can be beneficial to everyone, but it requires tight regulation and an understanding that humans come first.
There is so much to take in from this book. The information provided is enough to get you intrigued and interested in what we face in our future. It’s a book with positives and negatives of the different types of technology.
Who should read this book: It’s worth the read if you are interested in the technological infrastructure of what keeps our society moving.
Title: The Stroke of Winter Author: Wendy Webb Genre: Contemporary fiction, murder mystery, gothic romance Year Published: November 1, 2022
Date Started: October 22, 2022 Date finished: November 1, 2022
This story about a woman named Tess who wants to restore a home that belonged to her family. She learns some mysterious things about the house and the people (family members) who once lived in the house. It turns out that the house is haunted by a past situation and Tess is determined to find out what happened. Tess is also a mother who is raising a young teen on her own and just trying to make a living on her own so living in this house will be the beginning of her life as a single mother.
This book starts out with information about the past, about an artist related to Tess. In the present, Tess learns how the owner of the home ended up in the situation they did. There is also a love story between Tess and a man who lived in the town names Wyatt. The mystery of the “haunted” house unravels as the story progresses. Eventually, we learn the truth.
Initially, I thought this was an excellent contemporary fiction with a side of romance, but after realizing that it’s a gothic romance, I wasn’t really feeling it. It’s more so a murder mystery with a side of modern romance, and because of that I’ve changed my ratings from four to two. I didn’t feel any gothic in it. It did drag for a while and then picked up within the last three chapters where all the excitement was. The writing was smooth, and the weather played into the mood, which I enjoyed. However, to be honest, I never really understood Tess’s motivation. I didn’t understand why she wanted to know the story behind her grandfather and why it was so important to her. I guess in a sense, I didn’t understand the motivation or it’s importance. As for the relationship between her and Wyatt, that too was a little off. For a book with so much hype, I just didn’t feel it. It’s not a terribly bad book, it’s just not my cup of tea.
Who should read this book: If you’re interested in ghost or haunted house stories with a bit of soft romance, this would be a good choice. If you’re looking for a real gothic read, I’d say, stay away. You’ll be disappointed.
Title: To Dream of Shadows Author: Steve N. Lee Genre: Historical Fiction; War Story; Romance Year Published: April 16, 2023
Date Started: April 10, 2023 Date finished: April 14, 2023
This is a story about bravery, compassion, and love. Two people, an SS soldier and a Jewish woman transferred to his camp, are put in a tough place and the soldier must make decisions that could put him and everyone he cares about in danger.
This story was wonderfully written. It hooked me from the get-go. I’ve read many holocaust and labor camp stories and this one was right up there with my favorites. The difficulties the Jewish people dealt with during this period was horrendous and the German soldiers were truly cruel. However, I believe that in everything that is evil, or made to appear extremely evil, there is some good hidden within, and this story showcases just that. This was a powerful, heart-wrenching read that tore at my soul.
I also really enjoyed learning that the story was based on researched facts. The extent the author went to find as much as he could about the two main characters and the setting is amazing. Well done.
Who should read this book: If you’re looking for a book to really tear at your heart and soul, this one will do it.