An End, Once And For All? This is one hell of an action-packed thrill ride, with Tess, Po, and Pinky struggling as never before to figure out and then confront an enemy that may yet prove to be too powerful for even their considerable combined might. For the first time since I began reading this series (admittedly late in its run), Po and Pinky in particular have finally met an opponent who can best them – which produces even tighter and more visceral fighting sequences than the still-great “normal” for this series.
And then… that ending. Not a Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King ending at all – more like a Fallout one or the one at the end of the Mass Effect Original Trilogy (whose soundtrack song over this sequence provides the title of this review). And unlike Mass Effect 3 in particular (and more similar to the widely-regarded-as-best-single-game-in-the-franchise Mass Effect 2), the overall action of the book goes pretty well right up to the moment the “After” is triggered.
If this is truly the end, what a way to go out. And if these characters ever do get a chance to come back… what a way to leave it until that time. Very much recommended.
This review of Cold Fire by Matt Hilton was originally written on April 28, 2023.
Discover Yourself And Push Yourself Further Than You Ever Dared. This title of this review is pretty well exactly what happens in this tale of a forty something mother finally having enough and breaking away from the only life she has known as an adult. Along the way, we get the beautiful and sometimes charming waters and towns along the US Eastern Seaboard – and a *lot* of sailing terminology. The techno-babble didn’t bother me too much as a *long* time reader of military technothrillers (where Clancy infamously spent seemingly dozens of pages on the first *nanoseconds* of a nuclear detonation in The Sum Of All Fears, among numerous other examples), but perhaps it could be more of a problem for someone whose experience is more exclusively within the women’s fiction/ romance genres (where this book squarely resides). An excellent tale that almost begs for a sequel to more fully explore the new setting the characters find themselves in at the end. Very much recommended.
This review of Wherever The Wind Takes Us by Kelly Harms was originally written on October 1, 2022.
Nothing Technically Wrong, Yet SLOW. This is one of those books where there is nothing technically blatantly *wrong* about the storytelling… and yet the reader is left with the sense that this story could have been so much more engaging had it been told differently. To the level that while this book is around the 350 page mark, it almost reads as though it is a dense academic tome of twice its length – even though it very clearly is *not*. As other reviewers have noted, there are a LOT of characters to keep up with early, but that does in fact get easier probably by even the 25 – 33% mark, once we’ve visited each a couple of times and get a sense of where their individual arcs are. In the end, this is a solid slice of life family drama that touches on very real and very messy issues, but could have been better told in this format with several dozen fewer pages (to speed the pacing) or with this number of pages in a different format. Still, as noted, there is nothing technically wrong here and other readers may have a better time with this book. Recommended.
This review of It All Comes Down To This by Therese Anne Fowler was originally written on June 20, 2022.
Reacher Fans, Meet Tess, Po, and Pinky. This is a somewhat standard mystery-with-badass-heroes where there is a baddy (in this case, a team of them) who does bad things (we find out, and it is pretty dang terrible – though fortunately the worst of it is off screen and in the past, relative to our current story), and the hero of the series (heroes, in this case) meet up with the baddy through some circumstance… which the baddy winds up not appreciating in the end. 😉 Within this scope, this is Hilton’s particular blend of charm, wit, charisma, and caring. As with the entire series, you find yourself wanting to see what happens to Tess, Po, and Pinky next – which is the hallmark of any solid procedural. The *singular* reason for the single star deduction is that COVID (and masking) are mentioned heavily throughout the book, and *I DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT COVID*. I am on a one-man war to eliminate this topic from fiction, but the only weapon I really have is this single star deduction – and so I use it on every book I read that mentions COVID, and I mention why in every review. Still, for readers who aren’t as adamant about this position as I am or even those who may disagree, there really was nothing too objectionable about this entry in this long running series, and quite a bit of fun escapism (minus the COVID aspects). Very much recommended.
This review of Fatal Conflict by Matt Hilton was originally written on June 6, 2022.
This week we’re looking at a book that absolutely owns its space in a way that I’ve only seen exactly one other time in all of my reading. This week we’re looking at The Singing Trees by Boo Walker.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Boo Walker Just Has A Way With Words. That’s really all there is to this one. The story is emotional yet also one told in so very many ways by so very many people. The story of the late 60s and mostly early 70s (with prologue and epilogue in 2019, and penultimate chapter later in the 70s), of a pair of star crossed lovers in that perilous time, of loving someone yet having goals of your own. Walker walks into this well-worn area and even era, and owns it in a way I’ve only seen *one* other book do in all of my vast and diverse reading – Laurie Breton’s Coming Home. That book was an absolute gut punch that left you absolutely devastated for days. Walker’s is one that will slap you in your face several times, feint to the groin, and then land a hay maker right in your solar plexus at the end, right when you thought you were already completely spent. Truly a beautiful story, superbly crafted. Very much recommended.
This week we’re looking at a fun tale that showed a fairly large set of steel balls in both its writing and its ending. This week we’re looking at You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon.
As always, the Goodreads review:
Misery Loves Company. McKinnon gets bold, trying to tell one cohesive story from three separate primary perspectives – and largely having it work. The ending itself isn’t quite as mind-bending as her 2020 release Sister Dear, and perhaps elements of it are in fact fairly well established much earlier in the text. But it also isn’t *quite* so predictable as some other reviewers make it seem, as many of the actual details aren’t really known until McKinnon actively reveals them. And then that ending. Mind-bending? No. But showing that McKinnon has balls bigger than many male authors? Absolutely. 😉 Very much recommended.
And in quite possibly a first for this blog (which will actually be repeated in about a month… 😉 ), we have a surprise! This week’s Featured New Release is ALSO a Blog Tour! After the jump, an excerpt followed by the publisher information! 🙂
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of The Week: You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon”
Once again we come to a Carina Adores Blog Tour, which are always awesome. Seriously, I haven’t encountered a bad book in this program yet, and I’ve found several authors doing this that have taken me to places I’d never been before – and that is always awesome. 🙂
This time, we’re looking at The Secret Inredient by KD Fisher.
Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:
Fun Foodie FF Romance. This is a lesbian romance where the two ladies are about as opposite as it gets – one is a trained chef working for a corporate restaurant group, the other is a legacy baker who took over and revitalized her mom’s shop. As a short romance, it works well in that it hits all the requirements of the genre (yes, including sex) and executes each solidly – but you’re not going to get the conflict and growth of a 100 page longer book. Though there are still significant, more complicated than Hallmarkie, conflicts here. Ultimately a fun book that hits all the right notes and even manages to highlight the particular region it features very well. Very much recommended.
And below the jump, a page-ish excerpt from near the front of the book (Chapter 2, IIRC):
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Secret Ingredient by KD Fisher”