Review | Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Doubleday Canada

Publication Date: February 12, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Page Count: 416

Rating: 3.75/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town’s only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she’s lived there. Yet even she didn’t think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she’s come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. But then, only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It’s up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.


“The Yukon isn’t an easy place to live—with long, dark winters that never seem to end—but it is a place that people choose. A place that seduces. I don’t need my sister to be seduced, but I want her to see the magic.”

As a series expands, sometimes you aren’t sure if you’ll stick with it, or you’ll fall out of love with it. The Rockton series is one that will always deserve its spot on my bookshelf. I’ve stayed with it from almost the beginning. Each new sequel reminds me of the spark I found when I first discovered Rockton. And Kelley’s writing only improves with every novel. So for the author’s dedicated following, Watcher in the Woods will be a treat for them.

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My Most Anticipated Reads of April 2019

Morning, book bloggers,

Today is probably the right time to do this post, right? I may be late, but I caught most of the titles though. 😅 So be prepared for your TBR to explode with new books. April is turning out to be a great month for readers. But I doubt your bank account will like me or my post.

Like my first post, I haven’t listed all the upcoming novels, but I want to include my top picks.

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Monthly Wrap-Up | March 2019

Morning, bloggers!

Have you ever had a month where your blog went great, but everything else in your life, particularly reading, just stalled? That’s how I explain my March.

Mom started her treatments, and my thrill in anything has kind of died. But I’m fighting to get back to where I was, even though it’s a daily battle. So life may have been a downer, but my blog kept me fighting. And I have to thank you all for the support. You don’t understand how much I need that right now.

So even though the month was slow, I’m glad I discovered fantastic reads. Hopefully, April is a better month for us all. Now let’s get to this post.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2019

Hey book fam,

Phew! Another month has passed, and I can let out a well-deserved sigh of relief. February was rather slow and hard for me personally. We finally got the results of my Mom’s cancer. And she’s in the early stages, which I can’t believe.

I wanted to take some time away from my blog. But you all were the reason why I stayed. You kept me smiling and laughing. You kept the shadows away. And I cannot thank you enough for all of your support.

Even though blogging is stressful, it has given me purpose and drive to strive forward, even when I feel I can’t get off the ground. So although February was arduous, I found an escape through this community and some great books. Now, let’s get to the wrap-up, yes?

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Loved with Fewer than 2,000 GR Ratings

Did anyone else struggle with this topic? I had to browse through my entire Goodreads read list just to find some titles. 😅 But fear not. I’ve found something to work with!

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. The next prompt talks about books with no more than 2,000 Goodreads ratings. So don’t expect to see a lot of your favourites on this list.

So I won’t waste any more time. I hope you love this week’s picks!

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The Romance Reader Tag

Hey book fam,

Even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, which I’m a day late on, February the 15th is always great for cheaper chocolates. Am I right?

I’m starting to love romance books. And I’ve eyed this tag for a long time. I found it on Meeghan Reads and Bakes. So give Meeghan some love and like her post!

Let’s get to the tag!

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Top Ten Tuesday | 2019 Books I’m Anticipating the Most

Okay, I’ll admit: I made this list much smaller than it truly is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it balloons to more than 30 books. I may want to reign in my TBR list, but I doubt I’ll tackle that task in my lifetime.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For the next topic, we show off our anticipated reads of the first half of 2019. So my list may be short, but at least I won’t keep you here for forever. 😉

I hope you enjoy my picks. And I can’t wait to see what you choose for your list!

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Top Ten Tuesday | Authors I’d Love to Meet

Happy Tuesday, readers!

 

Who is excited for October? I can’t see to see what this month has in store for all of us! So many great releases are coming up, and I’m a ball of nerves.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For this week’s topic, we get to fangirl/boy over our favourite authors we’d love to meet. Oh God, this is not good. I have too many options and not a lot of room to fit them in. What have you done when you picked this prompt?!

I’m good. Not really. I’m I’m slightly calmer. Anyways. As a Canadian, I don’t always have the opportunity to meet my favourite authors. But, if the chance arises, I’d probably die if I met these ones:

 

Jay Kristoff

I’m a new fan of Kristoff. And even though I haven’t read a lot of (if not, most) of his work, I’d probably flip if I met him. The man is a literary genius. He reaches out to his dedicated followers, and I love that kind of interaction. And honestly, I want to see the height difference between us, given that I’m 5’2″ (and ¾).

 

V. E. Schwab

I have immense respect for Victoria. She isn’t afraid to discuss her disability and her struggles. And her writing brings such joy to my dark days.

 

Leigh Bardugo

My goth Queen—frankly, she’s a goddess—will be at the top of my list. I adore her. I admire her. And I respect her strength. She gave me Kaz, who has inspired me to fight my demons. And I can’t thank her enough.

 

Sarah J. Maas

I just want to talk about the Inner Circle boys with her and find dirty fanmade illustrations of them, then giggle like 10-year-old girls together. Odd? I don’t care. I can’t make this list without her on it. No dice.

 

Sabaa Tahir

I arrived late to the Sabaa train, but I was an instant fan. I adore her writing and her strong female leads. I don’t know what I’d say, but I’d love for the chance.

 

Kelley Armstrong

Okay, this list cannot be complete without a Canadian author. So here she is. Yes, I’ve met Kelley before. And I still remember the day. She’s the reason why I continue to blog and stick it out in publishing. I’d more than likely fangirl like I did before, but I might be more coherent. I doubt it though.

Review | Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: PRH Canada Young Readers

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Genre: Contemporary, Thriller

Page Count: 384

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Three years ago, Skye’s brother Luka died in a mass shooting at the local high school. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim — he was a shooter. Now, Skye returns to the small town she had fled to start anew. But the scars of the past don’t heal easily. And there’s one person Skye dreads seeing most: Jesse Mandal. Her childhood crush and former best friend until the massacre tore them apart.

Told in alternating points of view, Skye and Jesse wade into the mystery of what took place that fateful day. But someone clearly doesn’t want Skye back in town, and when she and Jesse uncover new evidence that could clear Luka’s name, it becomes obvious that someone wants the past to stay buried.

In the aftermath of violence, someone has to pay. Blood for blood.


“There’s grief, too, but I bury that even faster. You aren’t allowed to grieve for someone like Luka. It doesn’t matter if he was an amazing brother. Luka Gilchrist was a monster. Write it on the board a hundred times and don’t ever forget it.”

I knew coming into this book that I’d more than likely be an emotional mess. And while I was, I have gained even more appreciation, admiration, and respect for Kelley, who takes on such a polarizing subject. This thriller will keep you up at night, tear you apart, and somehow make you question your thoughts on school shootings.

Aftermath is a thought-provoking, unapologetic, and in-your-face story that everyone needs to read. We as a society never look past a school shooting. We don’t forget the victims, the dead, and the survivors. But we don’t think of those families who must face the fact that their loved ones murdered other students. We shun them. We forget them. We allow our teens to bully their siblings. Yet Kelley makes you question if we should. And because of that, I will never forget this story.

Skye lives in the shadow of her brother’s heinous act, and she cannot move past her pain and her fear of what people think of her and what they want to do to her. She suffers from the past. And once she’s forced to move back to her hometown, she wants nothing more than to disappear. What she fears the most is seeing Jesse, her former best friend and childhood crush, whose brother died in the shooting. But the town hasn’t healed. And soon, she discovers some residents want her gone.

I’ve never cried harder over or sympathized with a character more than Skye. Her internal battle with herself breaks my heart. She constantly fights the thoughts of mourning over her brother and condemning him. But I utterly relate to this honest and broken character. And her scenes forced me to put down the book and breathe. But she faces more than just herself though. A town and the students of the new high school will not let her forget. And the only person she can rely on is Jesse.

Jesse Mandal struggles with seeing Skye show up. And at first, he pushes her away. But with the help of his forgiving mother, he knows she’s not the one to blame. These two evolve throughout the story. And while their past and pain shape them into who they are, Jesse and Skye refuse to allow these feelings defy them. But as he discovers evidence that may prove Luca’s innocence, their strength is put to the test. The thriller aspect of Aftermath still keeps my heart racing even as I write this review. And I am still feeling the after effects of the ending. I had some inkling that it may end the way it did. However, Kelley surprises even me.

She shines a difficult yet important light on mental illness, especially PTSD and anxiety. And she beautifully shows that there is more than one side to a shooting. This character-driven masterpiece is worth the pain and tears. And I cannot recommend this book enough. Buy it, read it, and bring the Kleenex. Trust me when I say that you’ll need it.

Review: This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong

This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Doubleday Canada

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary

Page Count: 400

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


When Casey Duncan first arrived at Rockton, the off-the-grid, isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect. There are no cell phones, no internet, no mail, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. She certainly didn’t expect to become the town homicide detective. But, the very last thing she expected was for the council to drop a dangerous criminal into their midst without a plan to keep him imprisoned. And she never thought that she’d have to be responsible for him.

The longer Oliver Brady stays in town, the more people seem to die around him. When evidence begins piling up that someone inside Rockton is working as his accomplice, Casey races to figure out who exactly Brady is and what crimes he’s truly responsible for committing.


I have always enjoyed Kelley’s decisions to explore other genres. Thriller seems to suit her almost as much as fantasy. And now, she ups the ante in this already nerve-wracking series. She doesn’t stray away from the vile side of our humanity. She somehow perfectly shows you what we humans are capable of inflicting onto others. And this unremorseful and daring storyline is why she is my favourite author.

Spring arrives to Rockton, a secluded town in the Yukon where people come to hide. Casey, her lover and sheriff Eric, and the residents believe they can finally move past the horrific events that rocked this community. But this hidden and often bought-for town comes with a price. The Council, a governing body who decides who enters and stays in Rockton, drops off a sadist murderer for safe keeping. Even though this man swears he’s innocent, people start dying, and Casey and Eric must find out why and who may be helping him.

The town is built on a corrupt concept. People buy their way into this community. They are either running from someone who will kill them or trying to escape authorities. You’d think the Council vets out the serial murderers or rapists, but money is its determining factor. This time, it may harm, not support Rockton.

I somewhat missed the slower pace from the two previous books. That atmospheric tone creates a complex and thrilling environment to read. In This Fallen Prey though, Kelley never stops the fast-paced action, which sets this book apart from the last installments. Her writing grips ahold of you and frightens you. She demonstrates how people revert back to their primal form when society no longer exists, and laws do not apply to them.

This Fallen Prey is an unnerving and suspenseful read that keeps you fearing what is next for these characters. You are on this gripping ride as much as the Rockton residents are. While I enjoyed how Kelley weaves in the tension, she excels at making this sequel a character-driven treat. Casey will be one of my favourite characters. Even though her past still haunts her, she doesn’t let the darkness win. And the relationship with Eric, who is finally opening up, just makes the storyline sweeter.

The Rockton Thriller is one series you shouldn’t miss. With murder, trickery, and plot twists, This Fallen Prey will keep you on the edge of suspense. I’m eagerly awaiting to see what’s next.

Do you like thrillers? What is your favourite series? Let’s talk in the comment’s section!