Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Iron Lake by William Kent Kruger

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Darla brightened a moment. "Sometimes Paul stops there a while. The judge seems to like him. Tells him stories and things. Paul hates it, but I've told him to be polite."
This week I am reading Iron Lake by William Kent Kruger. It is my first book by this author. This copy has been on my Kindle for more than a year. Here is the description from Amazon:
New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger joined the ranks of today's best suspense novelists with this thrilling, universally acclaimed debut. Conjuring "a sense of place he's plainly honed firsthand in below-zero prairie" (Kirkus Reviews), Krueger brilliantly evokes northern Minnesota's lake country—and reveals the dark side of its snow-covered landscape.

Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. Embittered by his "former" status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, there's not much that can shock him. But when the town's judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption, and scandal.

As a lakeside blizzard buries Aurora, Cork must dig out the truth among town officials who seem dead-set on stopping his investigation in its tracks. But even Cork freezes up when faced with the harshest enemy of all: a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 17, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup. YA and middle grade reviews will still be posted on  Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Other Than Reading...

This past week has been filled with house showings. We have had one offer so far on the Locust Street house but it was too low. Friday there were at least three showings with one person expressing a lot of interest but not an offer yet. Sunday there will be an open house. Things look to be moving right along there. There was also a showing for my townhouse on Saturday. The realtor hopes that one will result in an offer too. It would be nice to get these houses off our hands.

I have read all of my August review books except the one that comes out on August 29 and am dipping into TBR mountain for my current reading. I'm sort of taste testing what's there. If it doesn't grab me quickly, it's going back on the pile for another day. I'm going to take a couple of weeks to read what interests me before going on an reading my September releases. There are fifteen of them so I don't want to wait past August 1 to start reading them.

Our weather has been changeable this week. One day in the 50s, one day in the 80s, and today a very pleasant lower 70s. We have almost had enough rain-free days that my two Adirondack chairs are dry enough to stain. Of course, it will probably rain again before I get around to it. I may have to put them in the garage for a few days. Speaking of which, construction should begin soon on our new garage which will give us space for more storage and also space for my car in a garage. My car has been sitting out since I moved back home because the garage has been full of my brother's two cars.

Read Last Week
Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock was an entertaining contemporary romance. My review will be posted on July 29 on Ms. Martin Teaches Media.

In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody was also entertaining. This one tells the story of a girl who hits her head and then jumps to an alternate timeline where she lives the life she always sort of wished for and learns that it isn't quite what she hoped. My review will be posted on Ms. Martin Teaches Media August 2.
Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima is the third Timber Creek K-9 mystery and was quite good. My review will be posted on August 3 on this blog.

Dead Man's Bridge by Robert J. Mrazek was another enjoyable mystery. I especially liked the main character in this one. My review will be posted here on August 5.
Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes concludes her Naturals series. This was an intense thriller populated by a fascinating group of teens. My review will be posted on Ms. Martin Teaches Media August 4.

Among the Dead by J. R. Backlund was an entertaining thriller with an intriguing main character. My review will be posted here on August 10.
To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough was a fascinating mystery about a girl looking for her past and trying to solve the murders of her mother and her favorite teacher. My review will be posted on Ms. Martin Teaches Media August August 9.

Currently
I am currently reading Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. This one is a little different for her but I am enjoying it.

Next Week

With a gap in my reviewing calendar, I'm taking the time to read some books from my TBR mountain. With no obligation to read and review, I'm going to start with these. I may choose something else if they don't grab my attention though.
White Hot by Ilona Andrews (favorite author)
Iron Lake by William Kent Kruger (on TBR mountain since January 2016)
Heart of the Storm by Michael Buckley (3rd in a series)
Exile by Anne Osterlund (on TBR Mountain since December 2012)

Reviews Posted
Shallow Grave by Brian Thiem
The Emperor of Mars by Patrick Samphire
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener
Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (new YA review published Jan. 9, 2018)
Due Diligence by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (novella by favorite authors)

What was your week like?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Book Review: Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

Midnight Curse
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Series: Disrupted Magic Book 1
Publication: 47North (February 7, 2017)

Description: Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

But on the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. Meanwhile, the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—and the penalty is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

My Thoughts: Scarlett Bernard is back. She is still cleaning up messes for the Old World. She has been living with Eli - a werewolf - for some time and she's happy but he's pushing for marriage and she isn't sure that is what she wants. When she gets a call from Molly who was a vampire roommate of hers a few years in the past, she goes to see what the problem is.

After Molly asked Scarlett to leave because Scarlett was too much of a trouble magnet for her, the two lost track of each other. Now Scarlett answers her call and finds her surrounded by her twelve roommates. It looks like Molly killed them all and gorged on their blood. Scarlett is used to cleaning up messes but this one is a little more than she usually has to handle. What makes it worse is that Molly told her that she was forced to do it.

With the Trials set to begin in just a day, Scarlett has to find out what really happened with Molly or let her go to trial where she will almost certainly be condemned to death. Molly goes to Jesse for some help though she hasn't seen him for years either. Jesse's life was also changed by his contact with Scarlett and the Old World. He is now longer with the police, married and divorced, and became a best-selling author when he wrote his story. Working with Scarlett will finally let him quit with the pity-party that his life has become.

I liked seeing Scarlett and Jesse again. I liked the action and the mystery. I liked Scarlett's unusual dog Shadow. This was a fast-paced story that kept me guessing up until the end.

Favorite Quote:
"They said I could--"

"What? Look for clues?" he said, his tone derisive. "Dashiell has about as much faith in your crime-solving abilities as I have in Scooby-Doo's. He might have moved Molly's trial until tomorrow night, but think about what he didn't do. He didn't mobilize his security team to help you, or delay the Trials for a few nights, or even put the word out for vampires to be on their guard against the boundary witch. Because he expects you to fail."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Memes: Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
"What is that thing?" came a disgusted voice from across the table.
Friday 56:
"Why would I pity you," she snapped, "when you've so obviously got that covered."
This week I am reading Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson. This one is from my TBR mountain. Here is the description from Amazon:
Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

But on the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. Meanwhile, the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—and the penalty is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

ARC Review: Shallow Grave by Brian Thiem

Shallow Grave
Author: Brian Thiem
Series: A Matt Sinclair Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (July 11, 2017)

Description: When the Oakland coroner’s office uncovers a body buried in a shallow grave in the outskirts of the city, homicide sergeant Matt Sinclair expects to find a drug dealer caught in the crosshairs of a turf war. Instead, the victim is identified as Phil Roberts, the commander of the police department’s intelligence unit and Sinclair’s former partner.

Police brass want to pin the murder on a dead member of an outlaw motorcycle gang and they want the case closed quickly, but Sinclair and his current partner, Cathy Braddock, aren’t satisfied with that answer. As Sinclair delves into the details of Roberts’s past, secrets from his work and personal life come to the surface--secrets that some people will go to any length to keep buried. But Sinclair won’t stop until he finds the truth, even if it means sacrificing his former partner’s reputation and possibly his own career.

With Shallow Grave, Brian Thiem brings back his beloved detective for a thrilling third adventure in his acclaimed police procedural series.

My Thoughts: Matt Sinclair and his partner Cathy Braddock catch the case of a body buried in a shallow grave when the rest of the force is dealing with one motorcycle gang member killing another. They are surprised to learn that the victim is Phil Roberts who is the sergeant of the intel unit. He also trained both Matt and Cathy and was Matt's partner too.

Now the hunt is on for the one who killed a police officer. Matt is determined to find out what happened to the man he had a falling out with a few months earlier. His investigation puts him at odds with the Chief of Police when it looks like a city Councilman who is a leading candidate for mayor might be involved. Matt has gotten in trouble for investigating this councilman before.

Matt finds himself suspended from the force and discovering things that lead him to believe that Roberts might have been a dirty cop. He needs to find out if that is true before the huge police funeral for him.

Matt is an interesting character. He is an alcoholic and has issues with his father that have been unresolved since his childhood. In this story, his father suffers a heart attack and Matt is just going to keep on working until his colleagues almost force him to go support his mother during his father's illness. Matt is also relationship-shy but starting something with a nurse who is a friend of his partner Cathy.

This was a fascinating police procedural. Fans of that genre who like complex characters will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
It made no sense that Tiny would attempt to lose him by making quick turns when his bike's advantage lay in the sraightaways. But cops only caught the dumb crooks, as many of Sinclair's police buddies were fond of saying.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Shallow Grave by Brian Thiem

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Every homicide investigator's worst nightmare was being assigned the murder of a fellow officer and failing to solve it. He could have the most spectacular career, but being the detective that didn't clear a brother cop's murder would become his legacy.
This week I am reading Shallow Grave by Brian Thiem. I got this eARC from NetGalley. Here is the description from Amazon:
When the Oakland coroner’s office uncovers a body buried in a shallow grave in the outskirts of the city, homicide sergeant Matt Sinclair expects to find a drug dealer caught in the crosshairs of a turf war. Instead, the victim is identified as Phil Roberts, the commander of the police department’s intelligence unit and Sinclair’s former partner.

Police brass want to pin the murder on a dead member of an outlaw motorcycle gang and they want the case closed quickly, but Sinclair and his current partner, Cathy Braddock, aren’t satisfied with that answer. As Sinclair delves into the details of Roberts’s past, secrets from his work and personal life come to the surface--secrets that some people will go to any length to keep buried. But Sinclair won’t stop until he finds the truth, even if it means sacrificing his former partner’s reputation and possibly his own career.

With Shallow Grave, Brian Thiem brings back his beloved detective for a thrilling third adventure in his acclaimed police procedural series.

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 10, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup. YA and middle grade reviews will still be posted on  Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Other Than Reading... 

This has been another week of hurry up and wait. The windows were repaired on Monday when we finally had a day without rain. I'm still waiting for bids to repair the landscaping and have another company coming to give a bid on Tuesday. The contractor and plumber have promised to come on Monday to do their needed fixes. The painters are doing their final touches around the rain storms. The Locust Street house should go on the market this week. My townhouse will be advertised extensively this weekend and an open house is planned for Tuesday. Hopefully things are moving in the right direction with both those houses.

I have managed to get a little ahead on my reading but it is in exchange to an almost empty week on my blogs coming up the week of the 17th. Rainy weather gave me lots of reading time this last week and all but one of the books I read were engaging and fast-paced. 

Read Last Week
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener (review July 13 on MMTM*)
The Emperor of Mars by Patrick Samphire (review July 15 on MMTM*)
Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson (review July 15 on IoD)
Blood Gamble by Melissa F. Olson (review July 29 on IoD)
The Hunting Grounds by Katee Robert (review July 22 on IoD)
The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! by Stephen Bramucci (review July 22 on MMTM)
The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky (review July 27 on MMTM)
A Wedding Tail by Casey Griffin (review July 27 on IoD)

Currently
Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock is the last book on my July calendar. It is a review book.

Next Week
From TBR Mountain and moved back so that I could read review books:
From my review stack:
Reviews Posted
Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
Murder in Mayfair by D. M. Quincy
What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy

Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
Snowspelled (The Harwood Spellbook) by Stephanie Burgis is a new novella that will be released in September. I was offered this by the author and, since I have always enjoyed her books, I was glad to accept.

Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson is the first book in a series and is continued in a book from my review stack. I bought the Kindle version because I wanted to be up-to-date.
Visiting other people's blog is hazardous to my TBR mountain. After reading about these books, I had to get copies of my own.
I added two more to my Kindle.
 What was your week like?
*MMTM = Ms. Martin Teaches Media
*IoD = Inside of a Dog

Saturday, July 8, 2017

ARC Review: Murder in Mayfair by D. M. Quincy

Murder in Mayfair
Author: D. M. Quincy
Series: An Atlas Catesby Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (July 11, 2017)

Description: In 1810, Atlas Catesby, a brilliant adventurer and youngest son of a baron, is anxious to resume his world travels after a carriage accident left him injured in London. But his plans are derailed when, passing through a country village, he discovers a helpless woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder--by her husband.

In order to save her from being violated by another potential buyer, Atlas purchases the lady, Lilliana, on the spot to set her free. But Lilliana, desperate to be with her young sons and knowing the laws of England give a father all parental rights, refuses to be rescued--until weeks later when her husband is murdered and Atlas is the only one who can help clear her name of the crime.

Fortunately, Atlas is a master at solving complicated puzzles, both with games and the intricacies of human motivation, and finds himself uniquely suited to the task, despite the personal peril it may put him in. But soon Altas learns the dead man had many secrets--and more than a few enemies willing to kill to keep them quiet--in Murder in Mayfair, the first in a new historical mystery series by D. M. Quincy.

My Thoughts: Atlas Catesby is the youngest son of a baron and a world traveler who delights in solving puzzles. A carriage accident and a damaged foot have kept him in England longer than he would like. His stay becomes more interesting when he discovers a young woman being sold to the highest bidder by her husband. Being a gentleman, he steps in and buys the young woman - Lilliana Warwick - and finds himself in the midst of a criminal investigation when her husband is found dead.

There are a number of suspects because Godfrey Warwick was not a nice man. Besides the way he treated his wife, he was jealous of his brother and attempted to blackmail a number of his business acquaintances. Everywhere Atlas looks, more suspects appear. Atlas has to do his own investigation because the runner who has the case thinks Atlas makes the best suspect.

This historical mystery makes good use of the time. In England, in 1810, women had no rights. They and their children were the property of their husbands and had no legal identity beyond him. Lilliana learns this when Godfrey sells her and denies her access to her two young sons.

The story also has the beginning of a romance between Lilliana - who has a big secret she has been keeping - and Atlas but a number of things are conspiring to keep them apart. This was an engaging and entertaining mystery.

Favorite Quote:
They held each other's gaze. It was silent except for the rain that had begun to fall outside, a gentle patter sounding against the window. Her eyes glittered against the smooth porcelain of her complexion. A strange, fierce sensation kindled deep in his belly.
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from  You can buy your copy here.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Memes: Murder in Mayfair by D. M. Quincy

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
Had his mount not lost its shoe on the return journey to London after taking the waters in Bath, Atlas Cateby would not have been in a position to purchase another man's wife.
Friday 56 (from 56% of the eARC):
"Very good, sir," Jamie said with a smile, recovering his usual youthful cheeriness. Ah, to be young again. At two-and-thirty, Atlas was hardly ancient, but at times his damnable left foot made him feel one hundred years old.
This week I am reading Murder in Mayfair by D. M. Quincy. I got this eARC from NetGalley. Here is the description from Amazon:
In 1810, Atlas Catesby, a brilliant adventurer and youngest son of a baron, is anxious to resume his world travels after a carriage accident left him injured in London. But his plans are derailed when, passing through a country village, he discovers a helpless woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder--by her husband.

In order to save her from being violated by another potential buyer, Atlas purchases the lady, Lilliana, on the spot to set her free. But Lilliana, desperate to be with her young sons and knowing the laws of England give a father all parental rights, refuses to be rescued--until weeks later when her husband is murdered and Atlas is the only one who can help clear her name of the crime.

Fortunately, Atlas is a master at solving complicated puzzles, both with games and the intricacies of human motivation, and finds himself uniquely suited to the task, despite the personal peril it may put him in. But soon Altas learns the dead man had many secrets--and more than a few enemies willing to kill to keep them quiet--in Murder in Mayfair, the first in a new historical mystery series by D. M. Quincy.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

ARC Review: Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

Some Kind of Hero
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Series: Troubleshooters (Book 19)
Publication: Ballantine Books (July 11, 2017)

Description: The Troubleshooters return in the latest thriller from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann! Some Kind of Hero showcases Brockmann’s signature white-knuckle suspense, romantic twists, and sexy Navy SEALs.

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

My Thoughts: If you like your romantic suspense with hot SEALs, great suspense, and lots of romantic tension,  Brockmann is for you. This was an excellent story that had me both tearing up and laughing so hard I couldn't see the words on the page. Shayla Whitman had noticed the hot SEAL who moved in across the street with his daughter but hadn't met him until she picked him up on the side of the road and, at his urging, followed the car that he was sure his fifteen-year-old daughter Maddie had taken off in.

Maddie had been missing for a couple of days and Pete Greene - Lieutenant Peter Greene, US Navy SEAL - was determined to find her. Pete and Maddie's relationship was new. He got custody of her when her mother died. Though he had faithfully sent child support, Maddie's mom Lisa had been determined to keep the two of them apart. Now, he's dealing with a grieving child who is convinced that Pete never wanted her and didn't care about her while dealing with becoming a full-time father of a teenager.

Maddie has made only one friend at her new school but Fiona isn't the kind of friend anyone needs. Fiona set up Maddie when she blew town with $10,000 that she owed her drug dealer. Now Maddie is on the run from the drug dealer with her older boyfriend Dingo. We get her viewpoint as she tells about what is going on with her and Dingo.

Meanwhile, Shayla, a writer of romantic suspense herself though suffering through a bout of writer's block, and Pete begin to follow the clues to find his missing daughter. I liked that Shayla has the voice of her main character in her head giving her advice and I liked that she kept trying to fit her and Pete's story into some sort of romance novel trope.

I liked Pete because, besides being very hot, he was concerned, caring, and really listened to Shayla. Starting a romance wasn't what either of them planned for and both threw up barriers that caused a lot of the romantic tension in this story. I liked that we got a chance to reconnect with some characters from earlier books in this series - this being book 19. But even if you have never read another book in the Troubleshooters series, this book will grab you and keep you reading. I was up well past my bedtime because I couldn't sleep until I knew how the story would work out for Pete and Shayla.

Favorite Quote:
She was always thinking. "You'd make a great SEAL," he told her.

Shayla snorted. "Yeah, except for the part where I can't run very fast, my swimming is limited to the dog paddle, I hate the cold, and oh, yeah, I'm afraid of literally everything."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ARC Review: Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

Bannerless
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Series: The Bannerless Saga (Book 1)
Publication: John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books (July 11, 2017)

Description: A mysterious murder in a dystopian future leads a novice investigator to question what she’s learned about the foundation of her population-controlled society.

Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn’t just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.

Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She’s young for the job and hasn't yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him?

In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid’s world and make her question what she really stands for.

My Thoughts: BANNERLESS is a dystopian mystery set about 100 years after the collapse of civilization in the United States. The Coast Road section of the United States is doing pretty well because they have adopted strict population control. Birth control is mandatory. People have to prove that the can support a child before they can earn a banner and have the right to have one. Everyone has to pull their weight and work in their communities. Most people have grouped together in households within small towns.

Policing this society are Investigators. The heroine of this novel is Enid of Haven. She is a relatively new Investigator whose mentor is Tomas. She is the lead investigator on a case of suspicious death, or maybe murder, in the town of Pasadan. When she and Tomas arrive she finds a divided governing committee. Ariana, one of the committee members, called her in but there is friction between her and committee chair Philos who wants the Investigators gone.

The citizens of Pasadan are very reluctant to assist the investigators in any way, claiming that the victim Sero was an outsider that no one knew very well. Rumor has it that he was bannerless - illegitimate. Enid's investigation is complicated by the presence of Dak, Enid's first love. She and Dak, a traveling musician, had taken off from her home in Haven to follow the Coast Road ten years earlier. Chapters of flashback tell the story of Enid and Dak's relationship and also how Enid came to be an Investigator.

Enid's investigation leads to other discoveries about the seemingly perfect town of Pasadan and eventually lead her to discover what happened toe Sero. Along the way we see what it is like in the Coast Road through some excellently interwoven world building.

Fans of dystopias and mysteries will enjoy Enid's first adventure and be looking forward to more stories set in this world.

Favorite Quote:
The worst storms were the ones that changed you. The ones you remembered not for how bad they objectively were, but for how much damage they did to your own world. Banners, planted in memory.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser (from 10% of the eARC):
"It's okay, Mads," Dingo said in his lilting accent as he took her havy backpack off her shoulder. She tried to hold onto it, but he gently pried her fingers free. "I won't let anyone hurt you."
This week I am reading Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann. I got this eARC from NetGalley. Here is the description from Amazon:
The Troubleshooters return in the latest thriller from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann! Some Kind of Hero showcases Brockmann’s signature white-knuckle suspense, romantic twists, and sexy Navy SEALs.

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.