The Spirit Chaser
by Kat Mayor
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
Pub Date 13 Nov 2015
I received a copy of The Spirit Chaser by Kat Mayor from Netgalley for review. The book was a mixture of romance and horror. Probably an even split between the two genres. The main characters are all part of a group similar to current cable ghost chaser reality shows. The group consists of people with different skills, technical as well as paranormal. The houses they investigate are truly haunted, some by benign spirits, some malevolent and some demonic.
I really enjoyed the horror aspect of the story. The way the team planned their houses as well as how each team member functioned was fascinating. The entities were pretty cool. Whether they were evil or not, they were written with vivid description so the reader could imagine getting the crap scared out of themselves discovering one. The action scenes were well written also.
I was not wild about the romance part of the book. Some of the sex scenes seemed like they were there just to be sex scenes. I can understand ones that advance the plot (and I cannot go into more detail because of spoilers) but not all of them did. Granted, my experience with the romance genre is limited but I feel the book would have been better with more horror and less sex.
I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. If the romance was toned down, it would have easily been 4.5 stars.
I received The Sleepwalkers through the Kindle Scout program. It was a very interesting read. Some of the psychology and neuroscience jargon was above my head but the story was very good. The characters were well developed. The story did wrap up in The Sleepwalkers, it is not a cliff hanger or one where you need to buy the next book. But I am hoping the author writes another because I would like to read it.
I really struggled with The Black Magic Series Starter. I downloaded it from Netgalley on April 23rd. Ultimately it took more over a month to finish the three books and frankly, it was painful. I rarely have to force myself to read something but The Black Magic Starter Series achieved that distinction.
The Black Magic Series Starter includes three novels: The Devil Rides Out, Strange Conflict and The Haunting of Toby Jugg. The two books, The Devil Rides Out and Strange Conflict, revolve around the Duke de Richleau. He is an elegant, mature, wealthy gentlemen who has hidden knowledge of all things occult and magical. The Haunting of Toby Jugg is about an airman who returns injured from World War II. While convalescing, he is stalked by an evil entity.
The major problem I had with the books was the amount of tell not show. Pages of dialogue about esoteric occult rituals or the basis behind all world religions. It was very hard to follow. There seemed to be some type of Light God of Goodness and a Dark God of Evil (my paraphrasing). As I progressed through each discussion of evil or good, I cared less and less for the characters. They never really connected with me. I doubt I will try a Dennis Wheatley again. I know he has his fans but his writing is not for everyone. It was not for me.
I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
This is the third book in The Scattered and the Dead series. I enjoyed this one as much as the last two. It advances the story lines of several characters. It follows Fiona, Lorriane, Ray and Marissa. There are very brief sections with Baghead and Decker. Ray, Lorriane, Baghead and Decker are all characters from previous books.
As with previous books, the story is told through journal entries. The time line is fluid. One section may take place before the event while others take place weeks or months after the event. As you come to know the characters, it is not hard to follow.
Book 0.5 and Book 1.5 are much shorter compared to Book 1. They are not bridge books by any means. Each book is a contribution to the series, just as much as the larger Book 1. As I mentioned in earlier reviews, the universe is unique in a way I have yet to be able to define. The Scattered and the Dead universe is more real. Possibly because it is told from many points view, possibly because the characters are from such different backgrounds and personalities.
I highly recommend The Scattered and the Dead series. If you have not started it yet, now is the perfect time.
I have read several books on different aspects of the Nuremberg Trials. Each one covered a different aspect or group involved. The Nuremberg Trials: The Nazis brought to justice by Alexander Macdonald was an excellent overview. The book did a wonderful job of explaining how revolutionary the trials themselves were. Genocide was a new word. Although it had happened before in history, the perpetrators had never been held accountable.
Macdonald introduces the personalities on both sides of the dock. He introduces the individual Nazis and what they were charged with. He also introduces the lawyers and judges. The book then leads the reader through the trials itself and the reactions of the defendants and others in the courtroom to the evidence.
The book ends with the sentencing and continues onto the similar trials in the Pacific. The lasting effects of the trials are still with us. Nuremberg was important for many reasons and Macdonald does touch on them all. If you are unfamiliar with Nuremberg, this book is a wonderful introduction. If you have already have studied Nuremberg, Macdonald’s book is a terrific way to pull all the pieces together.
A copy of this title was provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
My parents were both avid readers and often discussed their reading choices with me. This is probably why I have an appreciation for classic literature between the 1930s to the 1970s. Leave Her to Heaven by Ben Ames William is one such classic, published in 1944. I had previously read two of his historical fiction novels and was excited to listen to an audiobook of one of his other works. I was rewarded with another excellent story.
Leave Her to Heaven does not actually have any dates in terms of specific years. I have tried to date it by the omission of any mention of war, the existence of airplanes, Warm Springs operating as a polio institution, and have come up with anywhere between the 1920s to the late 1930’s. I tried researching it to pin it down but was unable to.
The main character is Harland. He is a successful author, raised in privilege. Since the death of his parents, he now supports his younger brother Danny who is recovering from infantile paralysis, polio. Harland is in his thirties and Danny is thirteen. They have a very close relationship before Danny is sick and afterwards they become even closer. They keep each other strong as they struggle with Danny’s recovery.
Harland’s relationship with Danny lives at the heart of the book. He is not a person seeking fulfillment in a relationship. He tries to keep Danny as active as he can be and tries to find activities they can do together. When he and Danny are invited to a friend’s ranch in the west, Danny encourages Harland to go although he cannot accompany him. As Harland travels by train, he notices a beautiful woman reading his latest book. This beautiful woman, Ellen, is headed to the same ranch he is.
When they meet on the way out to the ranch, Harland is enchanted by her beauty. Ellen immediately sets her cap for him even though she is engaged to a lawyer in Maine. At the ranch, Ellen’s sister, Ruth and mother, watch as Ellen manipulates her way into marrying Harland before they leave the ranch. He is not truly in love with her but allows himself to be swept of his feet.
Ellen will stop at nothing to possess all of Harland. She is jealous of his brother, his writing, or anything that she is not wholly the focus of. It is a fascinating study of a woman whose possessiveness becomes deadly. While some characters realize there is something wrong with Ellen, others are easily manipulated to fulfill her plans. No one is safe while Ellen breathes. Or even after.
Mike Dennis does a wonderful job narrating the book. He does a great job with the male vs. female voices. The language in the book reflects the time period in which it was written. Mr. Dennis handles the dated language well. It flows and seems very natural. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by Mr. Dennis. The production quality was excellent.
Audiobook provided by Audiobook Reviewer in exchange for honest review.
A Path of Ashes: The Path of Ashes, Book 1
Written by: Brian Parker
Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
Series: The Path of Ashes, Book 1
Publisher: Muddy Boots Press
A Path of Ashes: The Path of Ashes, Book 1 by Brian Parker was an enjoyable book. The book starts with an elderly man talking to children, including his grandchildren, and telling the story of how the family got it’s name. The family name is Traxx. As he tells his story, the book goes back in time, to before, the before the apocalypse.
The two main characters are freshmen at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Both boys were signed to play baseball for the University. Aeric is from Springfield, Missouri and is glad to escape his overprotective parents. Tyler is from Lincoln, Nebraska and is hoping to escape the homophobia from his family. The two boys hit it off and settle into a routine of classes and baseball practice. Around them the world is sinking into chaos with various terror groups mounting weekly attacks but it does not really penetrate the boys’ lives.
One night the terror attacks are led by a local quasi-religious group called the Vultures. They manage to destroy most of the campus, take down the electrical grid and kill thousands of people in fires and violence. Aeric and Tyler decided to leave Austin while they can and head to Missouri and what they think will be the safety of his parents.
The story follows Aeric and Tyler as they change, not always for the better, in response to the dangerous world around them. When nuclear weapons take away any hope of return to normalcy, it becomes a darwinian struggle to survive and find a safe haven.
Stephen Bel Davies does a nice job narrating. His voice is a consistent level so there is no fiddling with the volume necessary. The production values are good. All in all, it is an enjoyable listen and a nice introduction to what looks to be a good series.
Dwelling is an enjoyable read. I purchased the sequel and am looking forward to reading it. The Dwelling centers around a group of childhood friends who are connected by more than just fond memories. Ricky and Jonathan served together in military deployed to the mid east. Maggie, Ricky's wife, and her sister, Karen, who married Jonathan, waited for them to return safely. Bobby returned from his military service damaged beyond repair. Jake also served in the military as a chaplain. Back in civilian life, he has lost his faith from what he experienced there.
In an attack on their armored vehicle, Ricky dies and Jonathan sees something that haunts him. Then Ricky begins to haunt Jonathan. Bobby is haunted by a solider who he failed to save. Bobby is haunted by the moon. All the hauntings are connected. The hauntings are herding the friends to a hell that makes their war experiences pale in comparison. If they do not reconnect and work together, the evil will pick them off one by one. An enjoyable horror with a fresh plot.