Featured New Release Of The Week: No Place Too Far by Kay Bratt

This week we’re returning to a world I said just last year that the author could spend the rest of her career in and I would not be disappointed. This week we’re looking at No Place Too Far by Kay Bratt.

On the less-good front, my writer’s block for these posts is continuing. On the not-so-bad front, at least I was (hopefully) able to convey how I truly feel about this book in the Goodreads level review. Basically, I truly love this world and want much more of it.

Amazing Follow-up. I wrote last year of the first book in this series that Bratt could spend the rest of her career in this world, and that I would not be disappointed. Here, she comes back to the world ostensibly to give best friend Maggie her story… that Quinn plays an even larger part in than Maggie played in Quinn’s own story (where Maggie was present enough to be the obvious target of a direct sequel, but otherwise truly a secondary character). Bratt does a solid job of juggling both ladies, it just seems at times here that too much is being condensed into one book. To me, the tale here could have been told over three, maybe four, books rather than one and been more on par with the overall pacing and impact of True To Me. Going into specifics might get a bit too much into spoiler territory, so I’ll simply say that to me, the division is this: Quinn gets a dedicated sequel. Maggie’s story here gets its own dedicated book where Quinn becomes more of a secondary character rather than the co-lead she is here, and Maggie’s own story is then broken up into effectively the first and second halves of the story here.

I know, I know. I’ve complained in other reviews about books being cut in half in almost blatantly obvious cash grabs, but I don’t think Bratt would have done that in the above scenario. I think more time in each of these situations would have brought out much more of the depth of emotion that True To Me had, vs the constant “swinging for the fences” here.

But do not get me wrong: This is still truly an excellent book, one I am very proud to have read, and again, I want to come back to this world many, many more times. This is just me expressing my quibbles over pacing of a truly excellent book that to my mind *just* missed the “I can’t stop crying and my mind is blown” level of amazement that True To Me brought. Truly a great book, and very much recommended.

Featured New Release of the Week: All the Lovely Pieces by J. M. Winchester

This week we are looking at one of the darkest, most disturbing books I’ve read in quite some time. This week, we are looking at All The Lovely Pieces by J.M. Winchester.

At the back of this book, in the author bio, it notes that Winchester is a pseudonym for an author that primarily writes bubblegum pop level romance novels but who wanted to take a shot at psychological suspense. After reading this book, I can tell you first hand that if you went in expecting a bubblegum pop romance, well, those notions would have been dispelled in the first few pages. By the time you get to a rape scene fairly early in, the darkness has already been well established. So it is likely a very good marketing decision indeed to keep those two product lines separate.

That said, this was an absolute mind fuck of a book, particularly in the exceedingly dark and oppressive first half. As I say in the Goodreads review below, I really was questioning my desire to finish it, it was *that* dark. To the level that I’m actually glad I was alone when reading this one, just so no one else was impacted by how dark I became while reading it. It was an amazing effort, it really was. Winchester’s ability to bring the reader’s mind to such darkness was truly superb – and a bit disturbing. By the end, the story does in fact brighten up a bit, if only by a shade or two, and this was probably necessary just to preserve the reader’s sanity and ease them back into the real world outside the book.

This is an excellent book for a dark winter night laying around the fire reading, but probably a bit dark for the beach. (Scratch that, I was reading a fair amount of that first half while actually on a beach – there is no probably there. You really don’t want to take this one to a beach. But fall is coming anyway. 😉 )

And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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#BookReview: End in the Beginning by Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly

Epic Conclusion. In this truly epic conclusion to the God Tools Trilogy, the fate of humanity is at stake as the three God Tools come together with various human elements. This is the most fantastical book in the trilogy, the first one where the fantasy elements nearly override the human. But Williams and Knerly give a more complete ending than many stories do, and it works with what they had previously established.

This review of End in the Beginning by Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly was originally published on February 12, 2018.

Featured New Release Of The Week: Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie

This week, we’re looking at yet another book from a Lake Union author. Though in this case, we’re looking at the author’s actual debut book! This week, we’re looking at Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie.

This is a mystery that is told in two timelines – present day and twenty years ago, when Cara was in high school. Between the two timeline structure, the story is very well paced. You begin to get a sense of what is really happening and what really happened… and then yet another swerve is thrown in. And as big as some of the swerves are, the final one is very likely the biggest of them all. It is this final one in particular, in the very epilogue of the book, that will leave you breathless and mindblown.

There really is just not enough positive I can say about this book. It was solid from front to back, and I never saw any weakness at all to any aspect of the story or writing. Simply superb, and a gold standard for Cowie to attempt to meet with her sophomore work.

And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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