Weekly Wrap Up: October 14th through October 20th 2018

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Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Limits

The Lost Thorn

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review coming October 30th, 2018

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Dear Santa—-review coming October 16th, 2018

Dear Santa: A Novel

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Limits—review here

Limits

The Last Thorn—review here

The Lost Thorn

Dear Santa—review here

Rough & Ready—review here

Rough & Ready (Lightning Book 3) by [Wolff, Tracy]

Aaru: Halls of Hel—review here

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2)

The Christmas Star—review here

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

Mr. Nice Guy—review here

Mr. Nice Guy

 

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

 

The Girl He Used to Know

 

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

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The Lost Thorn by Joshua P. Aguayo

The Lost Thorn

3 Stars

Publisher: Full Runa Transmedia Studio

Date of publication: December 4th, 2015

Genre: Cyberpunk, science fiction, dystopia

Where you can find The Lost Thorn: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

The Lost Thorn is a science fiction novel, with a strong and unstable female protagonist, that fuses the ideas of cyberpunk with dashes of urban fantasy. It’s a heart-pounding adventure told from the perspective of a highly chaotic girl who has lost everything she held dear, leaving her with nothing but a powerful drug to cope with the inescapable pain.

Cyberpunk meets psychological thriller. The Lost Thorn deals not only with mega-corporate thugs and gang politics, but it also follows Samantha’s spiral and constant clash with the demons of addiction and madness.

The novel is a grim and depressing social critique that often becomes a foil for the protagonist, whose voice we hear guiding us through her story. She is spunky, easygoing, careless, and terrible at making puns. This is an adventure of contrasts from beginning to end, one that will leave you hanging and asking for more!


My review:

Cyberpunk is a genre that I haven’t read. So when I was approached to review The Lost Thorn, I decided to accept it. I am undecided on how I feel about this book. I thought that I had a good storyline with interesting characters. But, the plot was all over the place. I got lost several times while reading the book. The characters weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked for them to be.

The Lost Thorn is about Samantha. Sam is an addict. She wasn’t always an addict. But after the execution of her father and her identical twin sister being held hostage by ClearSight, snorting Obsidian is her way of coping with her pain. Sam is barely getting through life when the head of the gang that she was affiliated with asks her to take a look at something they have. Something that only Sam can open. See, Sam is a mage. Mages had been outlawed for the past 20 years. Sam was in hiding. But she needs to reawaken her powers. Because someone needs her to break someone out of a prison for mages. They also need her to destroy it. Can Sam shake her addiction long enough to do what her mysterious employer wants? Or will she succumb to it?


I liked Samantha. She was such a wise guy. Always had a quick comeback for people or a bad pun if the situation called for it. Her grief over losing her father and sister came off the pages. Up until the end of the book, I felt that there could have been more “oomph” to her character. If what was revealed at the end of the book was stated at the beginning, everything would have made much more sense to me.

I couldn’t read Kiki. Up until the middle of the book, I didn’t know how she felt about Sam. Her flirting with Sam annoyed me because there was no other sign that Kiki felt anything for her. She flirted, it seemed to me, to get information out of Sam. She also knew a lot more than she let on. She had known about things that surprised Sam. I also didn’t understand why she had to go along for the rescue mission.

The secondary characters were interesting but I wish that they were more fleshed out. I wish that more was said about the mysterious Hummingbird and why that person wanted Sam to take down ClearSight’s mage prison. It was very frustrating not to know that.


As I mentioned above, the plotline was all over the place in this book. There were times where I had to backtrack to earlier chapters to understood what was being referenced in what I was reading. Or I was left going “what the heck“. Usually, because I couldn’t figure out what was going on in the book. I do not get confused while reading books. So, yes, this factored hugely in my rating.

I had a few questions about certain things mentioned in the book. What happened to Earth to make it the hellhole that the author made it out to be? Was it war? There were some vague references in the book but nothing was truly answered. I also wanted to know why mages were being hunted and kept in prisons. Why did the ruler of that city hate them so much that he ordered them to be executed? I also had some questions with Obsidian and its origins. Not going to get into it here but I was kinda confused about how it was created. The Last Thorn should have answered those questions by the end of the book. But it didn’t. I can only hope that there is going to be a book 2 and that book will answer my questions. And, like with the previous paragraph, this factored in with my review also.


The end of The Last Thorn confused me. What Sam “confessed” to should have been made clear at the beginning of the book. It did explain a lot about her personality. I got no sense of closure from the ending. The storylines were not ended and were left hanging. Which makes me wonder if there is going to be a book 2.

I gave The Last Thorn a 3-star rating. I thought the characters were interesting but felt that the secondary characters could have been a bit more fleshed out. The plotline was fast-moving but I kept having to backtrack and that added time to my reading. There were also times where I got lost because I had no idea what was going on. The end of The Last Thorn was confusing and storylines were not resolved.

I would give The Last Thorn an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Last Thorn. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Last Thorn.

All opinions stated in this review of The Last Thorn are mine

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


Have you read Aaru: Halls of Hel?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

WWW Wednesday: October 10th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Nothing much going on in my personal life right now. Reading wise, it took me forever to get through The Forbidden Door. I wasn’t expecting that.


What I am currently reading:

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Angel Martin plans to marry Tony and live happily ever after until Tony disappears. Nursing a broken heart, she takes a job at Tetterbaum’s Pub, unaware it is the most prestigious Mafia hangout in Chicago. She finds herself suddenly caught in the middle of a revengeful scheme from a past she’s never known and a blackmail scandal that has left several dead, and she’s next on the hit list. Racing to find answers, Angel’s life is left hanging in a twisted balance of deception and revenge, and the only way out is to expose the truth… TETTERBAUM’S TRUTH.


What I finished reading:

Days of Reign

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Zelenka is an outcast. Tormented by the harsh rules and punishments of Eldon, she will soon be imprisoned in the horrifying government factories. Her lover, the charismatic Fraco, may be her one chance to escape. But Zelenka is drawn to the dangerous and elusive world of the Amaryllians. Only through them can she triumph in her two dreams: freedom, and survival.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

Dear Santa: A Novel

A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?

The Lost Thorn

The Lost Thorn is a science fiction novel, with a strong and unstable female protagonist, that fuses the ideas of cyberpunk with dashes of urban fantasy. It’s a heart-pounding adventure told from the perspective of a highly chaotic girl who has lost everything she held dear, leaving her with nothing but a powerful drug as a means to cope with the inescapable pain.

Cyberpunk meets psychological thriller. The Lost Thorn deals not only with mega-corporate thugs and gang politics, but it also follows Samantha’s spiral and constant clash with the demons of addiction and madness.

The novel is a grim and depressing social critique that often becomes a foil for the protagonist, whose voice we hear guiding us through her story. She is spunky, easygoing, careless, and terrible at making puns. This is an adventure of contrasts from beginning to end, one that will leave you hanging and asking for more!

Limits

For as long as she can remember Millie has had her limits. Staying within them keeps her isolated, safe; helps her to cope. Why then have they started to feel so stifling? Why is her loneliness starting to rival her fears?

When she watches him she wishes she could be normal; she wishes she could be like the people he interacts with so seamlessly. Pavlos Martakis is her complete and total opposite: physically intimidating, likable, naturally attractive, extremely confident, sexually promiscuous: the most uninhibited, charming, outgoing and free person she has ever encountered in her life. He fascinates Millie; thrills and intimidates her in equal measure.

But, as the culprit behind the invention of her nickname Nuclear Winter, Millie knows that if Pav feels anything for her it is more than likely contempt. Cold, boring, robotic: that is how the rest of the hospital sees her. So she can safely watch him from afar. He would never notice her … would he?

This book is a full-length contemporary romance of approximately 90,000 words with no cliffhanger and its own HEA. 

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Sometimes love is just around the corner . . .

With her dreams of being a wedding dress designer suddenly over, Arianna Bell isn’t expecting a holly jolly Christmas. Instead, her heart feels about three sizes too small. That is until her high school sweetheart Connor Gallagher returns to town and she finds his mere presence still makes her pulse race. But just when she starts dreaming of kissing under the mistletoe, he announces that he will be her opponent in the upcoming mayoral race…

Hot-shot attorney Connor Gallagher has something to prove. He’s tired of playing runner-up to his high-achieving brothers. So when the opportunity to enter the campaign comes up, he takes it. Even if it means running against the only woman he’s ever loved. But with a little help from Harmony Harbor’s local matchmakers and a lot of holiday cheer, Connor and Arianna may just get the happy ever after they both deserve.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!