mystery

Treat Yo Self Thursday 9/25/14

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At No Money 4 Books, we know that it’s just not possible to buy ourselves every book or bookish item that we’d like, but we should treat ourselves once in awhile! Inspired by Parks and Recreation’s Treat Yo Self Day, this is a chance to share what bookish item you treated yourself to this week.  It can be a book you had to get your hands on, a great deal you just couldn’t pass up, or even reading paraphernalia such as a shiny new e-reader, cool bookmarks, cute reading glasses… nothing’s too small to include on Treat Yo Self Thursday! Please link back to No Money 4 Books in your post and leave a comment with a link to your Treat Yo Self Thursday post.  And if you didn’t Treat Yo Self to something this week – do it now!

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This week I treated myself to Jackaby by William Ritter for $10 from B&N. This was one I actually received from the publisher through Netgalley, but didn’t finish before the date on my copy expired while I was away. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t finish it at the time, because I was really enjoying the quirky characters and the similarities to Dr. Who and Sherlock. Now that I have my own copy, I will be finishing it soon!

What did you treat yo self to?

Unwept by Tracy and Laura Hickman

Thank you to the publisher, Macmillan-Tor/Forge, who provided me a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review. Unwept is available July 1st.

Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself—but she doesn’t remember any of them.

 Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who claim to be friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, and that her memories may return in time. But, for her own sake—so they claim—they refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state.

 Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?

Only her lost past holds the answers she seeks—if she can uncover its secrets before she falls prey to an unearthly killer.

My review:

What I’d Pay: $8 (~3 Stars)

I was left slightly confused at the end of this book, and I’m still not sure exactly how best to review it without spoilers – but I will try.

First of all, because the  description for this book is appropriately vague for a mystery, it ended up completely surprising me. I expected a mystery with some elements of the supernatural due to the mention of phantom suitors and unearthly killers in the synopsis, but this book is decidedly other-wordly. The picturesque setting combined with the often creepy and odd characters, create an atmosphere that has a sinister, dreamlike quality to it. Overall I thought that the tone and atmosphere the authors created was great for a brooding mystery. Sadly, the characters came across a little flat and two-dimentional to me, except for the main character who was definitely more real. Because the main character can’t remember her past at all, it’s a useful tactic to keep us, as readers, guessing right along with her. What I didn’t appreciate though, was the fact that none of my questions were answered until the very, very end of the book. After raising tons of questions and offering cryptic clues throughout the book, the last couple chapters move so rapidly that I’m still trying to sort out all that happened. It was a very exciting action-packed last few chapters, but it left me slightly confused at the half-answers and cliff-hanger ending. This is a frustrating feeling after investing in an entire book. I actually set this book down when I was roughly 80% done and didn’t pick it back up for a few weeks because most of the book is pretty slow and offers no clues or answers along the way to keep a reader going. This is the first in a trilogy, and I have a feeling based on the ending of this book that the second will be much better, but I still wish I’d been given some more answers about the world and characters in this first installment of the series.

Bottomline: This is a unique book with a creepy, dreamlike atmosphere, that left me with more questions than it answered. As the first in a trilogy this is not necessarily a bad thing, but as a reader who has invested time in a book it did leave me slightly confused and frustrated at the lack of any real answers. I’m willing to pick up the second installment to see where the authors take this intriguing story, but I wish I had a better grasp on the world itself and the characters’ motivations by the end of this first book.

Treat Yo Self Thursday 6/26/14

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At No Money 4 Books, we know that it’s just not possible to buy ourselves every book or bookish item that we’d like, but we should treat ourselves once in awhile! Inspired by Parks and Recreation’s Treat Yo Self Day, this is a chance to share what bookish item you treated yourself to this week.  It can be a book you couldn’t wait any longer for, a great deal you just couldn’t pass up, or even reading paraphernalia such as a shiny new e-reader, cool bookmarks, cute reading glasses… nothing’s too small to include on Treat Yo Self Thursday! Please link back to No Money 4 Books in your post and leave a comment with a link to your Treat Yo Self Thursday post.  And if you didn’t Treat Yo Self to something this week – do it now!

Boneseeker

This week I treated myself to Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman. I saw the synopsis and interview with the author over at Beauty and the Bookshelf, and when I saw the ebook was less than $5 on B&N, I had to pick it up. It’s a mystery with some supernatural elements and the main characters are children of Sherlock and Watson – sounds interesting and fun!

What did you Treat Yo Self to?

 

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis

What I’d Pay: $12

To sum it up: A teenage girl and her parents are cryogenically frozen for a 300 year trip to colonize a new planet, but she is woken up early and must try deal with the strange civilization that has evolved on the ship.

This book might have the most intense opening chapter I have ever read.

However, after that incredible opening scene, the book slowed down quite a bit. I even set it down halfway through and read another book before coming back to this one. That said, I think it had a very interesting premise and raised a lot of uncomfortable ethical and moral questions. The main character’s interactions with the strange society that has evolved on the ship in the hundreds of years it has been journeying is legitimately creepy. The people are controlled by a dictatorial leader called Eldest, who determines what they know, what they can do, and even when they die. They aren’t even aware of the group of cryogenically frozen people on their own ship because it’s been kept a secret from them.  There are some disturbing scenes and behaviors by the ship occupants, and ultimately the book raises questions about what measures we can, or should, be willing to take in order to preserve human existence. I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters and I had a difficult time connecting to them, despite the very emotional and dramatic situations. I also figured out one of the ending twists early on, but was still quite surprised at some of the revelations at the end of the book. But, ultimately this was a success in my opinion due to its very creepy and intense setting, and the legitimate questions it raises throughout the book about how humans might respond to such an extreme situation.

Bottomline: This book has some creepy moments and raises questions about ethics and morality that can really mess with your mind. Definitely for fans of scifi that appreciate psychological thrillers since this one doesn’t have a lot of action but manages to keep you tense while seeing the plot unfold.  I am definitely going to be reading the next book in the trilogy since I am anxious to see how things evolve. Got the ebook from the LA library after about a week wait.