From Beneath, It Devours…Yes, It Might Be A Hellmouth (Night Shift – A Book Review)

Night Shift (Midnight, Texas #3)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated D for an intriguing and curious build-up that only to lead to a disappointing delivery.

 

The first suicide arrives one early October night.

Midnight, a small town in Texas with only one stoplight, is facing strange times. Weapons in the local pawn shop, Midnight Pawn, are flying off the shelves only to be used in gruesome suicides right at the crossroad in the middle of town. Secrets and revelations come out into the open throwing Midnighters off balance. One thing is for sure, there’s a strong power rising in the small town and it’s threatening to destroy everything and everyone.

 

The Midnight, Texas trilogy is a part of my New Year’s resolution and this is 3 of 3.

 

Midnight Crossroad review – here

Day Shift review – here

 

It upsets me to say this, but this book was such a disappointment. GAH! No! I love the show. It inspired to read the books!!! I kept imagining that this final installment would put things into perspective and give some sort of fulfilling closure. Alas, not the case. Manfred is still being his crazy, work-driven self. Fiji is more tense than usual. Bobo is awkward. Olivia is on the precipice of losing her shit. Then, of course, there’s this great evil below the town.

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Where do I start? There was so much that was promising with this final book. I always felt like the final book of a trilogy or any series was meant to be significant and final and closing, and most importantly, satisfying on some level. I thought there’d be answers that would make sense, but everything from Olivia’s secrets about her life to the reason Manfred feels like he has to work constantly to Fiji’s family history is messy. While reading, it felt like it was all shoved together super fast with no clear rhyme or reason. There were no real answers to be had, and if there were, it wasn’t clear. Everything was left hanging in the air.

It’s been hard to feel anything for these characters. It still is. I was hoping to gain ground, but with the style of writing keeping the characters at arm’s length with the reader, I just didn’t find myself caring, EXCEPT for at the end with Fiji and Bobo. And at that part, I was utterly mortified. Like, what the holy balls of hell!? If you’ve read this trilogy and have gotten to this part maybe you understand where I’m coming from.

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The big bad? It wasn’t clear until about the middle of the book that there was one and who/what the big bad was is still a mystery because the book didn’t get into it. There just wasn’t much depth or interest paid to it. It felt very meh. Usually, there’s something dire about an evil that threatens to destroy you and your home. Not the case here. Bummer.

 

Overall

Well…it’s over. *Shrug* Anti-climactic. Just not what I expected. Harris is a great writer. I mean that. I enjoy her style and flare and how she gave normalcy to the supernatural rather than painting them as nothing but monsters. But, here’s the but(t). I felt like nothing really happened. Nothing exciting or liberating. Maybe a little past my comfort zone at the end there, but that’s about it. As you can tell when a book gears me up, whether, at one end of the spectrum or the other, I get to writing a lengthy review. This one will go up on my shelf. While it didn’t come out as a favorite it was still enjoyable.

 

Quotables:

“It might sound snobbish if being a real Midnight person were something anyone else in the world aspired to. That’s like saying someone doesn’t really fit in with the Weirdo Club.” (Manfred to Olivia, p. 108)

“‘I know a pair of angels. I talk to angels. I live on the same street as angels. And across from a talking cat and a witch.’ And yet, he admitted to himself, this didn’t feel strange at all. It felt quite normal.” (Manfred, p. 165)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Taking Over Me by Evanescence.

 

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The Non-Refundable Type of Gifts (A Gift of Magic – A Book Review)

A Gift of Magic
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1999

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated T for three kids inheriting shit from grandma they shouldn’t have.

 

Nancy can do things no one else can…

When grandma was dying she told Elizabeth that she had three gifts for her grandchildren. Now, after a divorce, Elizabeth and her children come back to her hometown to her grandmother’s house. While she’s struggling to find a sense of normalcy, her three kids are fully coming into the three gifts promised to them. One of them, specifically given to Nancy, is special and will turn her life upside down. It’s the gift of magic.

 

Lois Duncan always delivers. A master and classic writer of not only suspense that doesn’t put me to sleep but also supernatural and/or slasher-y. She really keeps my attention and her writing is engaging. This one is no different.

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There is a lot going on! Maybe too much. From dealing with the effects of Nancy dealing with her family splitting up, there’s also the pressures of childhood and the unique, scary, and supernatural themes that become obsessive. The book was good but there was too much happening to keep track of it all compared to the other Duncan books I’ve read. The focus was…well, there wasn’t much focus on anything. Each individual struggle seemed so separate, though it’s understood that the theme is the discovery of independence. But, trying to keep track of each character didn’t go well for me.

The setting was meant to be. Being in a beach town even though it seemed gray was beautiful. It just gave me some throwback time. Very nice and nostalgic and longing and perfect for the story itself, like (and I know this is cheesy) the place was made for it.

 

Overall

A bit all over, but a good story nonetheless. Duncan really went into the complication and construction of family and not just in the touchy-feely part but in the ways family works (if that makes sense). I also always appreciate that she makes her books quick reads. On the shelf you go!

 

Quotables:

“…You must learn if you accept it. A gift is nothing unless it’s used…” (grandma to Nancy, p. 135)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Tomorrow Never Knows by Our Lady Peace.

 

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The Space Goblin From Outer Space (E. T. – A Book Review)

E. T. – The Extra-Terrestrial in his adventure on earth (E. T. #1)
Author: William Kotzwinkle
Published: 1982

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for silly and sneaky as a lost alien searches for a way home and discovers a new family.

 

He was alone and three million light-years from home.

Based on the screenplay for the groundbreaking film, this book brings the movie home with the personal journey and special connection of E. T., an alien botanist stranded on earth and Eliot, the boy he befriends.

 

Overall tagline? Don’t peek in windows. LOL. For E. T., getting too curious for his own good got him stranded on a planet he’s only visited to help find ways to protect plant-life. He’s such a character! Very funny. My favorite thing about him has to be how he crushes so hard on Eliot’s mum.

Side Note: Maybe it’ll pique your interest, who knows, but there are talking plants in this book and it was so effing adorable.

The characters are filled with the silliness they have in the movie. However, the mum irked me to no end! Mum’s are pains in the butt (with love), but Eliot’s mum was off the wall. There wasn’t a second she thought a loving thing. That’s just my opinion. It nearly comes off that she wished she never had kids. That and she has perverts on the brain LOL. Like, what?

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All around a fun novel to read. Definitely one for the imagination. The storytelling makes for fast reading. I didn’t feel anything in the emotional department though. It was nifty and entertaining but not memorable.

 

Overall

Entertaining and cute. Not really a favorite, but I’m glad I got to read this. There was more to this than what was in the movie. Definitely going up on my classics shelf. Worth a read for sci-fi lovers and lovers of the movie and lovers of the cute, simple adventure.

 

Quotables:

“E. T. was in the whirling vortex of gravitational force. His dream of Earth-Life, and his dream of starshine, was over. His sun was the black sun now. And all because he couldn’t resist…peeking in windows…” (p. 209)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Moonlight by Thriving Ivory.

 

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From Time Traveler to Devil’s Thief…That Escalated Quickly (The Devil’s Thief – A Book Review)

The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician (#2)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

The Devil's Thief - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for twistier betrayals that are for the greater good…right?

Hunt the stones.

Beware the thief.

Avenge the past.

Everything Esta has known is a lie. Her parents were murdered and those she trusted betrayed her. Now, she and Harte Darrigan must travel to the world fair in St. Louis to track down the magical artifacts that and help fix the brink that surrounds Manhattan. It gets complicated since Darrigan is struggling after taking in the magic of the Book of Mysteries. It wants Esta, but so does he. Not knowing if what he feels is real or not, he must learn to control the power within him or it may just rip the world apart.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor. The city is on the verge of chaos. With the help of unexpected allies, they may just save the city too. History has a chance to be rewritten, but will it be for better or worse?

 

First off, this review took way too damn long to get up. I apologize for that. Now, on to the review!

 

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The Last Magician

Review – Here

 

I have no words. No, that’s not right. I don’t have enough words! Like The Last Magician, I was completely blown. Already excited to read this book, I was not let down when I plowed my way through it. Esta and Harte Darrigan broke free of Manhattan and are now on a mission to collect all of the magical artifacts he sent out of the city so that they may be able to save The Brink and everyone inside of it. The first stop is the extravagant world fair in St. Louis. Complications escalate quickly, just like they do back in Manhattan for Jianyu and Viola. There are more secrets! More danger! More adventure!

There are new characters! With the determined Ruby and Theo and the brave and courageous Cela, Viola and Jianyu find unexpected friendships. Esta and Harte meet Julien, Mother Ruth, and North and it’s unclear if they’re friend or foe. Nonetheless, they made this book even better! So much development and creativity in this series! Sophisticated and complex, I loved them so much. They opened up the main characters in so many ways. I really love how much they add to the story and that they seem like so much more than just side characters. I’m also hoping for more possible pairings because I can’t get enough of Esta and Harte. I’m totally up for Ruby/Viola and Jianyu/Cela. I love how they are together. Viola and Ruby are so hot and spicy together, like hot sauce and firecrackers. Jianyu and Cela are so strong and unbreakable like diamonds. They’re all precious and I appreciate all of them.

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The setting got so much bigger!! No longer held up in Manhattan, I’m excited to see so much more! I’m blown away at how vibrant and magical it is. I’m just so impressed with the world-building that Maxwell has done. Her vision is just superb. Major freaking kudos. And DAMA (Defense Against Magic Act) gave me some serious disturbing shivers because of how it relates to today.

Did I say I was addicted? Because I am! So much magic and tension and depth for these characters. So beautifully put together and did break my heart a few times. The writing is phenomenal. Sure, in some places, it felt a little drawn out, but it wasn’t so much that I was annoyed and felt the need to skim. There was so much purpose and perfect precision. And, the MAGIC! Oh. My. Gods. Legit. Utterly enamoring. I was swept away on a journey I didn’t expect.

It's so beautiful

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Overall

I’ve said this before, I’m pretty sure, but I’m not one to get into historical reads. I love history, not in the novel sense. Not all the time. But the magic that is interlaced between these pages is so enticing. This book is un-put-downable. I mean it! I’m addicted and desperate for the next one!

 

Quotables:

“The Thief turned her back on the city—on everything she had once been and on all the lies she had once believed. The ache of loss had honed her, and the weight of memory had pressed her into something new—hard and cold as diamond. The Thief carried the memory of those losses as a weapon against what was to come as she faced the span of the great bridge.” (p. 1)

“…a friend turned foe who would destroy the heart of magic if he held it in his hands. He was coming…” (p. 176)

“Americani and their guns. They all thought they were cowboys. Too bad cows had more brains than half of them.” (Viola, p. 307)

“…There’s an entire future coming, and Mageus won’t survive by being trapped on the city. Maybe they’d have a chance if things were different. Maybe that’s why we ended up here, so we could see what might be. So we could understand that things can be changed. That we can change them, only this time, we can change them for the better. Even if we can’t go back. We can start now.” (Esta, p. 374)

“You know, all this fuss over magic. People are so busy trying to keep it and control it that they’re willing to do all sorts of evil for it.” (Cela, p. 409)

“Her thoughts felt like birds taking flight, but she couldn’t tell if they were flying toward some new freedom or away from some unseen danger.” (p. 519)

“If it was her lot in life to always want and never have, so be it. She was strong and smart and could make her own way. And there were worse things than loneliness.” (Viola, p. 631)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Home by Daughtry.

 

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Fires Everywhere (The Outsiders – A Book Review)

The Outsiders
Author: S. E. Hinton
Published: 1997

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated

 

A heroic story of friendship and belonging.

Ponyboy has been struggling of late between understanding right and wrong in a society that automatically decides it for him, his brothers, and friends: greasers. His thoughts pull him in one direction and his brothers and friends pull him in other directions. After Johnny saves him from being drowned by a soc, the result something dreadful. Murder. The two go on the lamb. Even doing the wrong thing for the right reason can have consequences, and they’ll stay with you for a very long time.

Ponyboy’s world crumbles around him and this not only affected him but everyone around him, and he soon learns that it doesn’t matter if you’re a greaser or a soc, pain hurts all the same.

 

This is a classic I’ve wanted to read for years. I don’t care that people usually read it back in middle school. For me, The Giver and The Cure were what was read. Classics are ageless and this a classic. It’s a dark and tragic story that proves that it doesn’t matter what social class you are put into, everyone bleeds the same and hurts the same.

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Actually, experiencing life from such an unexpected perspective is incredible and fresh. Greasers, like everyone else at the time, worked hard, fell in love, and felt heartbreak like everyone else, but because of where they live and what they look like they still get hassled horrendously. It made me fill pity, to be honest. Nobody understands what it’s like to struggle at the bottom unless they’ve been there and to have people that don’t understand or care add on to it is heavy. This book really gives readers a chance to experience that some. You fight for all that you have. In this case, it was for family, respect, and dignity.

The family dynamic is heart-wrenching. Sure, the decisions the boys make more often than not made me frown because they were quite the troublemakers but the way they supported each other was the true spirit of family. This book also reiterates that blood isn’t all that makes a family.

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The setting of the book really gives way to a time when society really was a bastard. Today, it’s still pretty bad and disturbing. What is so wrong with the human race that we beat each other because of status?

 

Overall

I’m really glad I read this. It really got me to think. No matter how old you are, a book doesn’t tell you that you can’t read it because you’re too old. They all have interesting lessons, stories, and/or emotions to give you, and for a reason. Now, I can’t wait to watch the movie to this and compare thoughts. This really is a valuable read.

 

Quotables:

“Suddenly, in the red glow and haze, I remembered wondering what it was like in a burning ember, and I thought: Now I know, it’s a red hell. Why aren’t I scared?” (Ponyboy, p. 92)

“I am a greaser. I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!” (Sodapop, p. 136)

“We’re greasers, but not hoods, and we don’t belong with this bunch of future convicts.” (Ponyboy, p. 141)

 

More to come soon…

  –K.

P.S. Song today? Surrender by Cheap Trick.

 

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Rules for Retribution (Half Bad – A Book Review)

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)
Author: Sally Green
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated P for parents who unknowingly and unwittingly put a shunning curse on their kid.

 

Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage. Son of the most infamous Black Witch, Marcus, he’s given rules and limitations, pushing him to the brink. His captors run him ragged and his only hope is to escape so that he may receive the three gifts that’ll bring him his magical powers. Only then can he go after his father and put an end to him. How can he do that when there’s nobody he can trust?

 

I’d heard such good things about this book, so when I saw a copy on sale I couldn’t help but grab it. And as much praise, as it’s gotten, I am in that small percentage that just didn’t enjoy it. Well, enjoy isn’t the word. I didn’t get hooked. I gave it my all, but it was just slow and lacked excitement for me.

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Taking place in Europe, witches are divided between white witches and black witches. Nathan was unlucky to be borne by both, his mom being a white witch and his father, a white witch. Many rules/laws kept him from having any normal kind of life because it’s quickly assumed he’ll be just like his father, a killer and power snatcher of witches.

Visually pleasing, the world building was impeccable. It was wide open and also beautifully bleak. I really liked how exploratory it was with Nathan’s journey.

This wasn’t dreadful, and I’ve read a dreadful book and reviewed as so. The characters were actually pretty moving. They carried such heartache and darkness. It was heavy and raw and deep. With Nathan struggling as everything worked against him, it was amazing how strong he was. Those that revolved around him showed how outside factors can strongly influence one’s life. It was pretty dang tragic.

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I struggled with the POV the most to be honest. Nathan is sixteen, but the book starts off much younger than that. What really caught me up, was that Nathan’s tone throughout it came across much older. More so, the POV switched up with second-person POV and first-person POV. It was a little confusing and distracting.

 

Overall

Though the imagery is strong, I struggled around other bends. I love the paranormal genre and the YA genre. This one just didn’t capture my love and that stinks. So, this goes to my donation pile.

 

Quotables:

“The new trick is no easier than the old trick.” (Nathan, p. 156)

 

P.S. Song today? Halfway Gone by Lifehouse.

 

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Silence is Not Golden, But Red and Silver – (King’s Cage – A Book Review)

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the searing pain only the love of a Silver can cause, though war divides many hearts

 

All Will Burn

Mare Barrow is a prisoner of the King of Norta, Maven. More so, she’s powerless. No lightning and no escape. In chains, she’s once again put on display, but not as a princess like before. She’s put on display as the new blood that is forced to betray the Scarlet Guard, the people she loves, and herself. Many times, she tries to break free. It’s the silent stone shackles around her wrists and ankles that keeps her powers locked up. She refuses to let it or Maven break her.

The Scarlet Guard isn’t hiding any longer. They’re ready for war. The tension between everyone might stop it before it gets started however. The exiled prince, Cal is lost without her and will do anything to get her back. Even destroy his brother and anything else in his path.

Reds turn on Reds. Silvers turn on Silvers. Brother turns on brother.

 

I’m still a damn mess over Shade. It’s ugly ya’ll. And every time he was brought up…

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Now, Mare is locked up and I can’t even handle that. She gave herself up! Just as I worried she may turn into a monster, she fell into a helpless heap. Well, not helpless. But, I couldn’t help her. I wanted to jump into the book and help her so badly. So much hurt and heartbreak.

I actually had to wait to start this book because my emotions were all over the place. Just so much hurt. So much loss. And this loss is strangely different for me than it is in other books. While reading this series, I’ve gotten such an in-depth look into Mare’s life and seen how much things matter for her. It’s such a close perspective and every bit that she’s ripped into rips into me.

The war isn’t just talk now. It’s happening. Nobody is safe. Not a single person. There were so many times I gasped aloud as I read, and forget my nails. They got chomped right off. From an assassination attempt to torture, this was dark. However, there were unique alliances made that really surprised the feck out of me. Many more unexpected twists turned like a blade in me, instilling in me that everything is not always as it seems with anyone.

When Mare and Cal finally did reunite, it was like finally getting able to breathe until it wasn’t. And I totally caught that Grey’s Anatomy moment and it shattered me. The two of them sure are cute though. Dance in the rain cute.

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However, this drama-llama she’s got between both brothers is done. I’m not heeding it. Not one bit. I’m not here for a triangle. I’m here for the lightning girl. She cares about both of them and in a way, I can see why. But, I can’t focus on them because I’m focused on my girl, here. I can’t be bothered by dream fictional guys this time.

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For some light, happiness, a spot of blue sky—more new bloods and some are like Mare! Oh, to know she didn’t have to feel utterly alone was so beautiful. It’s so exciting! And the imagery! *whistles* YASSSSS.

Hell, the whole reunion for Mare and her family—everyone—was just sending my heart soaring.

I really can’t find a fault in this installation of the series. It was gorgeous and chilling!. I latched on and still haven’t let go. Powerful imagery. Such well thought out plot points. Aveyard really didn’t rush things and I LOVE it when that happens. There’s no reason to rush things all the time. Look at everything along the way. Aveyard didn’t just look though. She dragged my butt right through the mud. Lol.

 

Overall

This series keeps getting more powerful with every book and War Storm is the final book. Not ready for it at all. Glad to wait for it to release to paperback. Completely A-okay with it.  However, I’m so unbelievably nervous. This is like coming up on the final season of Game of Thrones. While many people already know since War Storm is out, I don’t know. LOL. Anyway, I just get that churning feeling that a lot of people aren’t going to make, one of them being Mare. And after she’s developed so much in this book, that makes me so sad.

 

Quotables:

“It’s cruel to give hope where none should be.” (Mare, p. 18)

“Until we meet again.” (Mare, p. 39)

“Gods do not ally with insects, but they can be infected by them.” (Evangeline, p. 142)

“Control takes more practice than brute force.” (Cameron, p. 155)

“Those who know what it’s like in the dark will do anything to stay in the light.” (Maven, p. 279)

“Monsters are so easily made, especially in people like us…” (Mare to Cameron, p. 416)

“Love is not a word we use. We feel it, we mean it, but we don’t say it. it feels so final, a declaration from which there is no easy return.” (Mare, p. 437)

“Choose me. Choose the dawn.” (p. 503)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? you should see me in a crown by Billie Eilish.

 

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