Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Ensnared by [Stradling, Rita]

Title: Ensnared

Author: Rita Stradling

Publisher: Kindle Press

Date of publication: March 6th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction

POV: 3rd person

Number of pages: 380

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A Near-Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five-year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

My review:

This book was very interesting to read but I really wouldn’t compare it to Beauty and the Beast. Honestly, I would compare it to more I, Robot than anything. I mean, I get where the Beauty and the Beast lines were drawn: a beautiful woman trapped by scarred (physically and mentally) man but that is it.

What I really enjoyed was the usage of robots and AI’s in the book. I also like that Rose, the main AI, was self-sufficient and admitted to starting on rewriting her programming. It was at that point where I went “Oh no” and started reciting the 3 rules of robotics to myself:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Just based on these rules of robotics and the fact that at least one of them were broken within the first couple of chapters, I was hooked. Seeing that AI’s are becoming more commonplace in daily lives (hello, Cortona, Siri, Alexa/Echo!!!), I was pretty interested to see where the author would take this book and I wasn’t disappointed.

I really felt that Alainn didn’t have a choice to masquerade as Rose when given the choice. Actually, she wasn’t given the choice. Rose, the AI, basically told her to do it or her father would go to jail. All Alainn wanted to do was to go back to work on the ski patrol and not clean up her dad’s mess (not delivering Rose as promised to Lorcann). But she did it because she loved her father and she wanted to keep him out of jail.

Lorcann was messed up. He never leaves his tower and only has automatons and AI’s as companions. He is a germaphobe (requires everyone to be decontaminated before they enter the tower). I put the way he is on his parents. They never let him leave, installed a fear of germs and I believe abused him (there was one scene where he was getting beaten by his mother). Let’s not mention the scars on his face. The whole side of his face is scarred. It really wasn’t gotten into about why he was scarred. If it was an accident or if the scars were done intentionally. He believed that he was a beast. His only relationship is with a woman that he talks to over the phone. Until Alainn, under the guise of being Rose, enters the tower.

I thought that the romance between Alainn and Lorcann was kinda creepy at first. I mean, he thought she was an AI that was programmed to be absolutely humanlike. She, however, was there to buy her father time to finish Rose. But it happened, as creepy as it was. I really thought, during certain scenes, that Lorcann had caught onto Alainn’s ruse. Oh, was I wrong.

The AI’s were split between those that obeyed the three rules of robotics and those that didn’t. I actually felt bad for Rosebud, Lorcann’s house management AI. I had thought the whole time that she was working against Alainn when she was trying to help her and ended up getting hijacked by Rosette and Rose.

The last half of the book was nail-biting. I mean, I was on the edge of my seat and was literally cheering Alainn on. There were a few plots twists that were thrown in that actually made sense and gave me more insight into Alainn’s character.

The author didn’t end the book after the rescue (consider this a clue). Everything after that was a build to the second climax of the book. I have never read a book where the author has successfully had two climaxes in the same book. So be warned when you think there is a lull. It isn’t and the other climax is something that I didn’t expect. All I am going to say about that. Read the book!!

How many stars will I give Ensnared: 4

Why: I enjoyed reading this book. It was fast paced with characters that you actually like and a plot line that is engaging.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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Resthaven by Erik Therme

Resthaven by [Therme, Erik]

Publisher: Kindle Press

Date of publication: April 12th, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

Where the book can be found: Amazon 

Book synopsis:

The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.

My Review:

Ever read a book that is so creepy, so unsettling that it stays with you afterward? A book that invades your dreams and gives you nightmares?

Well, this is that book.

It starts off innocently. A sleepover at a new friend’s house. It turns sinister when the new friend decides to throw a scavenger hunt in the nursing home.

The doors to the nursing home mysteriously are padlocked. Locking Kaylee, Sid, Anna and Wren inside with an elderly man who is insane. When Kaylee finds a 5 year old abused deaf boy in a closet, my pulse level went through the roof!!!

I could not put this book down and read it in one sitting. Like I said above, it gets under your skin and you wonder what will happen to the girls and the boy at the end.

Speaking of the end, I enjoyed it. Kaylee did the right thing. I

How many stars will I give Resthaven? 4

Why? It is a very well written, scary YA/Thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

Will I reread it? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range: Teen on up

Why? No sex, minimal violence.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Need To Find You by Joseph Souza

Need To Find You by [Souza, Joseph]

Date of publication: March 15, 2016

Where the book can be found: Amazon

Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Book synopsis:

Yasmine ‘Yaz’ Weeks would prefer to forget her troubled past and the vile crimes committed against her, but when she discovers a hidden memoir in a kidnapped girl’s cell phone, Yaz finds herself on the run with an opportunity for retribution. She soon learns that the memoir has the potential to ruin both the reputation of its late great author, Robert Cornish, as well as the reputations of many influential people.

Whip Billings, an ex-cop, unwittingly becomes entangled in the mystery of the missing phone. Realizing that this newfound memoir could significantly hurt the sales of Cornish’s classic novel, Force of Will, he begins to search for Yaz. But why are the cops, and a mysterious drug kingpin known only as The Viking, also looking for her?

In his quest to find Yaz, Whip uncovers a vast network of political corruption, long hidden family secrets, and a series of reprehensible crimes. As the bodies in town begin to pile up, Whip knows that he must track down Yaz before she also turns up dead.

My review:

I liked this book. From the beginning,  when I met Yaz to the end, it was a rollercoaster ride of thrills. I didn’t know what I was going to get from one chapter to another. I liked that the author didn’t hide who the bad guys are. He did skirt the line on what characters were defined as bad or corrupt. He made me think about what I would do in certain situations, how would I have reacted? Would I have acted the same as these characters did? Would I make that choice that could send me down the wrong/right path? Very thought-provoking because of all the gray areas that were brought up in the book.

I liked Yaz’s character. She was badass (I mean, she’s a drummer in a band called The Kuntz”) but at the same time, she had a soft spot. She worked in a shelter for homeless teens. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time to get Mikiela’s cell phone. The flashbacks we get from her childhood were awful.

I liked Whip’s character but I didn’t feel bad for him, at all. I did at the beginning, I mean he was attending a funeral for his mother but after that, all sympathy went poof. He is an alcoholic. He had 1 year sober when he threw it all away to meet with an old contact to help locate his missing stepdaughter.

The other substories were blended beautifully into the book. Each ended towards the end of the book and they were merged beautifully with the substory.

I loved the ending and finding out who The Viking was and what drove him to do his crimes was great. I was very surprised to find out who he was, to be honest, but looking back, it made sense and fit perfectly into the story.

3 Things I liked about Need To Find You:

  1. Yaz
  2. Whip
  3. Storyline

3 Things I disliked about Need To Find You:

  1. Krell
  2. The Viking
  3. Haskins

How many stars will I give Need To Find You: 4

Why? While a very well written mystery/thriller/suspense book, the violence of the crimes got to me. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t take away from the book itself but it got repetitive after a while for me.

Will I recommend it to family and friends? Yes

Will I reread? Yes

Age Range? Adult

Why? Extreme violence, some sexual situations, drug use and memories of horrific child abuse.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**