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!

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Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | Devil’s Gold by Amanda McKinney

 

Devil’s Gold by Amanda McKinney

Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Page Count: 121

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon US


Despite being chronically late, occasionally disheveled and a tad disorganized, Dixie Knight is one of the top private investigators in the country, and when a young woman goes missing in the small, Southern town of Devil’s Den, Dixie takes the case. She expected it to be another ordinary missing person case—until Lizzie Meyers is found naked and beaten to death at a local, seedy motel.

While visiting relatives on his two-week leave, Marine Liam Cash bumps into Dixie at the local bar, and his attraction to her is immediate. When Liam connects Dixie’s current case to two unsolved murders in his hometown, he steps in to help find the killer, and keep her safe, whether Dixie wants him to or not.

After another woman is found brutally beaten, Dixie turns the town upside down trying to solve the mystery—could it be the rumored witch that lives in the mountains; the rich, neurotic doctor’s wife; or the perky, blonde receptionist at the local medical clinic?

Time is running out and Dixie knows she has to put the pieces of the puzzle together before another body turns cold in Devil’s Den.


With high-paced action, steamy romance, a strong female lead, suspenseful twists, and a good dose of mystery, Devil’s Gold is a solid whodunit that will keep you surprised at every turn. It will truly keep you reading throughout the night. Thrillers typically don’t grace my TBR pile, but I want to see what Amanada has in store for this new series.

I need to remind myself that Devil’s Gold is a novella, so don’t expect anything more. But with what’s included drew my attention. It could have quickly been a typical mystery. But Amanada adds suspense to elevate this novella above other thrillers I’ve read. Even though it’s short, it introduces a layered and well-thoughout storyline. And the author quickly starts off with suspense and action. But with this story, the females rule, an they’re fiesty and ready to fight.

The Black Rose Investigation specializes in anything criminal. Three sisters who lost their parents in an accident run this organization. So when Dixie Knight, a PI, is tasked with finding out if a doctor is having an affair, she discovers she’s found a lot more trouble once the woman in question goes missing. I loved reading this spirited character. Dixie doesn’t need anyone to save her, even if her life is scattered all over the place. She’s easily relatable. And I admire her spunk and her determination to make her parents proud.

Sisterhood is at the heart of Devil’s Gold. And I adore how easy the relationship among these sisters has grown to be. The death of their parents hasn’t separated them, and their love is what keeps them together. And while they have opposite personalities, they are a united front. I hope to see more of their relationship in future stories.

Just to add more sizzle, a marine Liam Cash steps up to offer help on the missing case, which reminds him of the murders in his hometown. The instant attraction between Liam and Dixie flows organically, even though the ending is a little corny. But their quick banter makes up for all that though.

I hate when authors incorporate too many perpetrators. They muddy the story and don’t give readers a chance to get to learn more about the characters, even the bad ones. But this story’s length works in Amanada’s favour since the author doesn’t have to introduce more of them, and she only focuses on a select few.

I haven’t heard of this author before, but the Black Rose Mystery series intrigues me, and I’m interested to see what Amanda has in store for her next installments. So if you’re wanting torrid hookups, instant seduction, and a thriller as well, Devil’s Gold might interest you.

 


Author’s Bio

Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, Lethal Legacy, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.

Amanda’s debut novel, Lethal Legacy, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the Berry Springs series, The Woods and The Lake. The third book in the series, The Storm, is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

Author’s website | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Now onto to the contest. Enter to win for $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Devil’s Gold! This contest is international.

 


Blog Tour Schedule

Don’t miss out on this tour! Here’s the schedule:

February 12th
CBY Book Club
Whatever You Can Still Betray
Loves Great Reads

February 13th
Mes Livres
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Writers and Authors

February 14th
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
Booked J >> Review

February 15th
Two Ends of the Pen
Evermore Books

February 16th
La libreria di Beppe
Viviana MacKade

February 19th
A British Bookworm’s Blog
the attic ghost
The Genre Minx Book Reviews
anie’s blog: diary of a wanna be writer

February 20th
Just Books
The Pursuit Of Bookiness
NewbookcatsReads

February 21st
Book Sniffers Anonymous
Novelties

February 22nd
So Few Books
tfaulcbookreviews
For The Love Of The Page

February 23rd
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
E. Lizard Breath Reads

Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

25487124Missing by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Doubleday Canada

Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Crime

Page Count: 384

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase


The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?


“It’s okay to feel for a creature in pain. And it’s okay to recognize that sometimes we can’t afford to feel, that it’ll hurt too much. You need to protect yourself and you need to let people in. It’s a matter of finding the right balance.”

I’ve been itching to find a new thriller. Kelley offers up a new, creepy, atmospheric thriller that keeps you guessing. Hidden family secrets, dark pasts, and missing teenagers make for a gripping story. So if you’re looking for your next summer read, pick up Missing.

Winter Crane hopes to follow every teenagers’ dream to leave Reeve’s End, a dying and isolated Kentucky town hell bent on chasing the youth away. But when Lennon, a boy she finds beaten up and left for dead in the forest, disappears, and his brother, Jude, shows up demanding answers, Winter may have stumbled upon a secret best left hidden.

With enough twists and thrills, Missing will keep you up at night. It wouldn’t let me go, and for three nights straight, I couldn’t put the book down. While Kelley finesses her thriller narrative, I can’t help but get immersed. She just captures your imagine and effortless flows from one arc to another. Missing has been sitting on my shelf for almost two months, and I regret not picking it up sooner.

Missing in not an easy story for readers who have faced physical abuse. It’s dark, utterly realistic, and creepy. Kelley builds off this ominous atmosphere that lends well to this lower-class environment. The social class brings a new element to this town, and you get a feel of the life for people defined by their area code rather than their worth.

This standalone YA forces you to examine every character. While it’s more plot driven, I feel as if it is a character study, and you ultimately question each one. What I love the most from this story is the characters. Kelley well defines each one, and you want to get to know them. Winter, who hopes to become a doctor, holds many secrets, and you’ll have to wait to see why her sister left. While going solo, she grows into her own. Her tenacity, survival instincts, and strength draw me in. Yet she still shows her weaknesses, which I appreciate in this genre. Her life, once her family moved to Reeve’s End, has only gotten worse. Facing physical abuse from her father only spurs her need to leave. I connected with this character instantly.

Lennon, a rich boy looking for Winter’s friend, sets off this thriller when Winter finds him left in the forest she loves. Her discovery and his eventual disappearance spark more intrigue once the story progresses. I’ll always be a sucker for the tall, dark, and broody. So while I liked Lennon and Winter’s pairing, his brother, Jude (Beatles anyone?), incorporates more mystery into this story. The banter between Winter and Jude cracked up and made me want to read the next chapter.

With a dark, twisted, and eerie storyline, Missing is sure to captivate mystery readers alike and bring back Kelley’s dedicated following. Don’t miss out on her latest book.

 

What do you look for in a thriller? What’s your next summer thriller? Let me know in the comments!

Spring 2017 Recent and Upcoming Releases

This little bookworm needs to stop being shy around other bloggers. Bloggers mean friends. And friends are good (not food [I had to throw that in 😂]) So let’s talk books! What are you looking forward to for this season? What’s on your pre-order list? What’s your instant buy? Let me know in the comments. Here’s my list for recent and upcoming releases I’ve been waiting for.

 

Missing (April 18)

Another Kelley book? Come on, it’s me. Kelley publishes a book, and I’ll buy it. This YA has an interesting twist. The kids in Reeve’s End always leave town, but when Winter Crane discovers a boy left for dead, she wonders if all the children who have left are missing. Sounds interesting? Yes, indeed. I can’t wait to jump into another one of her mystery/thriller books. She hasn’t written many YA mysteries, so I wonder where she’ll go with this one.

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin (May 2)

I’m slipping more into the YA genre. And I admit that I’m completely and entirely hooked. Just twelve more days. TWELVE DAYS. I haven’t anticipated a book this badly. And we get 720 glorious pages! Okay, calm yourself, Sib. Now A Court of Wings and Ruins may just kill me, but I want it more than any other book (fighting words, yes?).

I can’t get enough of this series. The fanfiction doesn’t satisfy me, the illustrations somewhat stave off my anticipation, but I need the book. And my little bat babies. Hello, wingspan. 😍 Cue the fangirl screaming now. Cauldron help me.

 

Flame in the Mist (May 16)

Look at this cover! I’m in love. For months, I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about the Flame in the Mist. Betrayal, murder, Feudal Japan, and a kickass woman who infiltrates a male-only gang? I’m in. I haven’t read any of Renée‘s other work, but her book certainly piques my interest.

Review: Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Subterranean Press

Publication Date: March 31, 2017

Genre: New Adult, Mystery, Modern Gothic, Fantasy

Extent: 192 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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


The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.


How many more of Kelley’s books can I read? Meh. All of them. Kelley takes you on a mystery-packed adventure that will surely satisfy her Cainsville fans.

After his disastrous reaction of finding out he’s the reincarnation of Gwyn ap Nudd, the king of the faries, Gabriel Walsh tries to find a way to get onto Olivia’s good side. So when Patrick, a Cainsville elder and Gabriel’s father, comes to him with an intriguing case of a woman who disappears after accepting a ride from a man, Gabriel takes it. But this case is more than it appears to be, and he must come to terms with his past and his ghosts. Set between Deceptions and Betrayals, Lost Souls blends together urban fantasy with lore to create a fascinating novella.

I admit I’m a huge Cainsville lover. Kelley thrives in her mystery and modern gothic series. For the last several years, I’ve been giddily awaiting to jump back into Olivia’s world. You get mix of fae and Welsh lore, huge dose of mystery, and––come on, you know I am leading up to this point––steamy male characters. So when I found out the book is split between Gabriel’s and Patrick’s POVs, I couldn’t wait to pick it up, even though my bank account said otherwise.

Kelley takes inspiration from lore and urban legends, but she twists them to make them her own. Her stories often turn into character-driven pieces. The Cainsville series itself has captivated me since Omens. I cannot get enough of it. So having a continuation of Cainsville just adds more layers to an already complex series. With Lost Souls, you get a better understanding of Gabriel and his inability to have people in his life. I’ll always be on the fence about him, because I feel that Gwyn holds more sway on him than Arawn has with Ricky. Obviously Gabriel’s past continues to control his present and future, but there’s no excuse for his behaviour toward the people he loves. But with this new insight, at least I feel that I can see why he acts this way and maybe acknowledge his reasoning behind his coldness.

Subterranean Press books are a luxury I’m willing to pay for. So expect gorgeous design, beautiful interior illustrations, and an engaging storyline. My hat is off to Xavière. She possesses an uncanny talent to capture any scene in Kelley’s work. And finally I can see what Liv, Ricky, Gabriel, Patrick, and Rose look like!

So if you’re a Kelley Armstrong and Cainsville fan, Lost Souls will be a treat for you. It opens up Gabriel’s world, shows you, for once, Patrick’s guilt of not being there for his son, and lets you watch Liv and Gabriel’s friendship grow.

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

27840861.jpegCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Published by: Henry Holt

Publication Date: September 27, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Crime

Extent: 546 pages

Rating: 5/5


When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.


“When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.”

I finished this book back in December. But writing this review took even longer. I adore this series and absolutely fell in love with both books. But the both of them stuck with me long after I finished. Not many books have that effect on me.

Instead of revelling in the spoils from the greatest heist ever pulled off, this badass, chaotic gang Katterdam dredges up from the ruthless Barrel looks for retribution. Double-crossed, Kaz and his group race against impossible odds to save one of their own, pull off another job, and prevent jurda parem, a highly addictive drug that changes Grisha powers, from slipping into the wrong hands.

The stakes touch on insanity. Leigh blends together power plays, masterful arcs, heartbreaking pasts, and unattainable love in this ingenious sequel. I don’t know how I can possibly express how much respect I have for her. I’m still picking up the fragments of my shattered little organ I once called a heart.

Leigh masterminds a well-thought-out story that kept me thinking and picking over every little detail, and yet she fools me every bloody time. Crooked Kingdom is one of my favourite reads in the last few years. She combines an intricate storyline, engaging characters and antagonists, and arcs I hadn’t seen coming. The character development just completes the book and series. These characters bring more vibrancy to this world. You don’t fall in love with the world; you fall for them, who keep calling you back.

 

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

The diverse team currently deals with the aftermath of its heist gone wrong. In Six of Crows, Jan Van Eck tricked Kaz, the cleverest mastermind in Katterdam. And I think you all know what happens when people cross the Bastard of the Barrel. Scheming face? Scheming face. He matures into the most cunning and well-written character out of the gang (out of any series really), yet I didn’t see enough of him. However, the moments Leigh offers you make up for his absence. I haven’t wanted a character to succeed, break the bonds that bind him, and win than I have with Kaz. You can’t imagine how happy I was when witnessing his growth. Kaz’ disability, psychical and mental, isn’t his shield. It grows into his strength.

That girl Inej has more balls than, I dare say, Kaz does. She kills it in this book. Leigh reveals her weaknesses and her insecurities, then somehow gives her a life she isn’t hoping for but keeps fighting to get. Kaz and Inej’s relationship slowly unveils. The littlest actions show how much he loves her. They’re a smouldering chaos that would bring Katterdam to its knees.

Jesper is one cocky bastard, I’ll tell you that. His past, his powers, and his growth just add to the book. I wanted to smack him in the last one, but now, I’ve fallen in love with getting to know him more. And Wylan, that little devil, may just break every heart imaginable. He somehow brings semblance to these delinquents.

Nina and Matthias grow into the brightest flame of the book. I consumed every passage, conversation, and slightest touch between the two. He transforms into the character I wanted him to be. And bless Nina, this woman owns my heart.

My love for these crazy characters has transitioned into the fanatical zone I’ve never thought I’d cross.

Crooked Kingdom lives up to the claims. It’ll make you cry, rage, scream, cheer, and otherwise obsess over Leigh’s beautifully crafted world. Each characters’ personal battles will break your heart but keep demanding more from you. I want back in to Katterdam. I want to know how Kaz will fleece another pigeon, and I just want to live in this pandemonium.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon | Book Depository

Wrap-up: February 2017

february-wrap-up

I loved February. I got to read the books I’ve been dying to get my hands on. And my heart, psyche, and well, mind are all in revolt. I can’t count how many times I’ve cried. So here are the reads that kept me up past midnight!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Naturally, my first carnival book is, in fact, my favourite. Yes, Caraval has a insta-love feel to it, but the author makes a nice twist to it. The hype is real, so magically real, and I can’t help but gush about this book.

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

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kelley’s books are always instant buys and instant reads for me. I’ve read most of her work and probably own well over thirty of her books. I’ll warn you now: this book is dark and may trigger some readers. Kelley has an uncanny talent for writing complex and utterly intriguing characters. I can’t get enough of the series and hope to get my hands on the next instalment.

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

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I need a support group, stat. Please. King’s Cage is a vast improvement from Glass Sword. You can feel how much time and effort Victoria put into this book. It’s deliberately slow paced, yet it smacks you with intensely real emotions at the end. The sequrel cannot come soon enough.

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

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A poignant tale of a girl falling in love with the Goblin King and finding herself and her music in the Underground. I knew I had to read this story. Don’t expect anything similar to the Labyrinth. Wipe the slate clean and prepare yourself for this gut-wrenching love story. Highly recommended!

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

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

23437156.jpgSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Published by: Henry Holt

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Crime

Extent: 462 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase


Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


“No mourners. No funerals.”

Once you read the first page, Leigh throws you in a dark and gritty landscape that you know you should leave but are just too tempted not to. I’ve been waiting for this kind of wickedly charming book for years.

When a mercher enlists his help to break out a hostage held in the Ice Court, Kaz Brekker, Katterdam’s criminal mastermind, knows he can’t pass up this impossible heist. To do so, the Bastard of the Barrel finds the most intriguing bunch of street rats Katterdam has to offer.

When I started reading Six of Crows, I hadn’t known of the Grishaverse. I heard of it, but I walked in to this series with no expectations, no previous knowledge of this expanding world. So starting this new series grew into a complicated learning curve. However, I was up for the challenge. I’m in love with Leigh’s world building. Leigh creates these complex layers that are more satisfying than the last. She takes the characters’ history and blends it in to the present, seamlessly converging both into a thrilling narrative. She’s one of the few authors who keep me guessing. And she concocts such masterful and suspenseful plot twists.

Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.

How can I gush over these characters more? I can’t. Well, I can, but doing so might be borderline obsessive, if you ask me. Leigh merges each POV perfectly. I don’t like many POVs, but she creates six authentic voices. At the centre of this chaos is Kaz.

“You love trickery.”
“I love puzzles. Trickery is just my native tongue.”

Kaz, the monstrous Bastard of the Barrel, transforms into the backbone of this band of misfits. The ghost of his brother, Jordie, haunts, taunts, and fuels him to ruthlessly seek out their revenge. I can’t help but adore him. Similar to Kaz, I cannot stand when strangers touch me. His hatred of human touch is more extreme than mine, but I completely connect with him. His past seeps in and controls his present and future. And God, he’s the most conflicting character I’ve ever read, but I love him so much.

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

And this demon needs his Wraith. Inej, a Suli acrobat, wants nothing more than to find her family. Her religion grounds her while she maneuvers through Katterdam and tries to forget her time in a brothel. Her past shames and also haunts her. The tension and the relationship between her and Kaz are precious.

“Oh, I see. I’m the wicked Grisha seductress. I have beguiled you with my Grisha wiles!”

Leigh blesses our neglected world with Nina, a Heartrender who has a debt to pay. Her past mistake feeds her. And she’s determined to break Matthias out of Hellgate. She is still a Grisha soldier though, even though her duty conflicts with her feelings for him.

“I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.”

Matthias is a former Drüskelle who seeks retribution. His loyalty to Fjerda sometimes infuriates me, but Leigh shows you how divided this universe is. Drüskelles hunt Grishas, who they believe shouldn’t exist. Grishas, who possess supernatural abilities, crave revenge. And being betrayed by a certain someone still doesn’t sit well with him.

Jesper, a sharpshooter who can’t escape his gambling ways, is an iffy character. I didn’t see a lot of development with him. However, his loyalty to Kaz jumps off the page and intrigues me. Wylan, a mercher’s son with a gift for blowing things up and a past to hide, sticks out from this ragtag team. He doesn’t fit in with thieves, murderers, and soldiers. Yet somehow he’s a perfect fit for them though.

The ships in this book will put me in my grave. But God just let them all sail.

Leigh incorporates current issues from our world. Slavery and human trafficking not only exist but also thrive. They’ve turned into Katterdam’s dirty secret and currency. She has built a convincing and sinful world. And while it is fictional, I feel as if I can walk down the Barrel and see this wicked city for what it is. But she also brings a human touch to the story. Both Kaz, who loses his brother, and Inej, who was sold as a sex worker, battle PTSD. She masterfully presents this mental illness and champions it. She doesn’t shy away from it. She makes it shine.

Six of Crows is a deviously delicious novel. It immerses you into a world that may just scare you, yet she skillfully hooks you from the first time you walk down the Barrel and will surprise you until the betrayal and ultimate sacrifice. So don’t be surprised if you’re asking for more.

What do you think of this series? Do you prefer it over the Grisha series? Or has it convinced you to read Leigh’s first one?

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

Review: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

31338270A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Random House Canada

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Extent: 464 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase


People disappear to Rockton so no-one can find them. But the trouble is people also disappear from Rockton. New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author and master of thrills Kelley Armstrong returns to Rockton for more page-turning suspense, following her #1 national bestseller, City of the Lost.

It’s winter in Rockton, a little town hidden deep in the wilds of the Yukon. The town exists for people who need to escape their pasts, though it’s not clear if those in hiding are victims or perpetrators. Or, when the lines gets blurred, maybe both. Ask Casey. She’s been used, betrayed, beaten. But she’s also killed someone. She moved to Rockton to help her best friend, Diana. Ex-best friend. Diana lied to get Casey to come with her; she used her and she almost got her killed. But Casey decided to stay anyway, to work as a detective alongside her new boyfriend and the town’s sheriff, Eric Dalton. Fresh off solving a series of grisly murders, Casey and Deputy Will Anders get stranded in a blizzard while they’re tracking a runner from the town. Seeking shelter in a cave, they stumble across a woman who’s been imprisoned in a deep well. Nicole Chavez–whom everybody thought had run away from town and died in the woods more than a year earlier–is alive. Barely. But she can’t identify her captor: she’s never seen his face.


Valentine’s Day seems like an appropriate time to post a review about a dark thriller. 😅

 

“I’ll die in this wasteland, buried under ice and snow.”

Welcome back to Rockton, a hidden town for people who need to escape their lives, whether or not they deserve that protection.

Four months have past, and, while tracking a resident who wants nothing more than to leave Rockton, Casey Butler, formerly Duncan, uncovers a woman trapped in a cave when she and Will Anders, Rockton’s deputy, seek shelter from a blizzard. What they unearth is far worse than a lost woman. She, Nicole, has been tortured and raped for fifteen months. The town’s people believed she died. Worst yet, Casey wonders if the captor is a Rockton resident. But how can she figure out who he is when some residents themselves are more than they claim to be?

This new instalment contains dark elements, like torture, rape, and murder. While City of the Lost also includes them, Kelley brings them to the forefront. She thrives in this setting. Yes, she’s a fantastic fantasy writer, but I see a hidden gem in her thriller series. I enjoyed this story. Each chapter layers on each other and builds up for an enthralling novel. But pay attention to each detail. I had to. I had my suspicions on who took Nicole, but Kelley surprised me with the level of detail in this story.

In City of the Lost, Kelley hints at probable corruption in Rockton. The town is flawed. Criminals buy sanctuary there. They’re vetted, but some slip through the cracks. Unfortunately the council creates more than just glaring loopholes; it opens up a dangerous environment for all residents. The problem with this scenario is that the Casey cannot determine if people are what say they are. And she, Will, and Eric, Casey’s boyfriend and town sheriff, try to protect their people when they’re often shackled by their environment. Basic forensics and policing are all they have.

Kelley throws a light on the council itself. You don’t see a lot of it in first novel. But the people involved in it are shady. Casey and Eric question if they can fully trust them or not. I hope to see more of these people in future books.

Kelley constructs a platform for each character to shine. Her writing pulls it off flawlessly. They’re the backbone of the book. She moulds the sequel into a character-driven treat for any reader. She also introduces intriguing new characters into the mix. But she also allows for her main characters to mature.

Casey has built her life in solitude. She finds no need to forge relationships with anyone. Having been gang raped, almost killed, and lied to by the only person she trusts, she believes living alone is safe. But in A Darkness Absolute, she gets the chance to plan for her future with Eric. She finally discovers what hope feels like. Will shows her that while darkness inhabits her, light still exists. Both characters redeem themselves in this secluded town and continue to do so every day. Redemption is a power drug.

I was rooting for her former lover in City of the Lost. But Eric and Casey grow into a strong couple. Hell, they’re bloody adorable. They offer a safe haven for each other. Eric hides his past because he doesn’t know how to confront it. Casey has run from hers since she killed her ex. But getting more backstory from the both of them is what makes me want to pick the book up again. They give each other balance in an already turbulent world. You get the opportunity to see them accept their past, or at least, learn to live with it.

Kelley offers you glimpses of humanity’s dark side, a place where you’d never want to venture. But she also shows you how people look for their redemption, how they struggle with their inner darkness, and how they ultimately fight back. She captures you from the first chapter and demands that you see the world in a new light. I can’t wait to head back to Rockton.

 

What do you look for in a thriller? Are you hesitant to pick up a thriller book if it contains dark elements? Let’s talk!

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Book Haul: January and February 2017

I’ve been waiting forever to buy these books. Ah! Okay, clearly I didn’t have a huge haul for these two months, but I’m giddy to see them in the mail.

January

27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I’ve read a lot of raving reviews for this book. And each one just solidifies my need to buy Caraval. The story has intrigued me from the first day I heard about it. It is my first carnival-themed novel, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like. I was wrong. I love it. Caraval is one of my favourite books for 2017!

I’m tempted to buy a UK edition, too. The book designs are simply beautiful!

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February

91519King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Queen Victoria, you bless us with another enthralling story….And now I sound obsessed. Great.

I can’t wait for this book! I’ve been waiting for a good year or more. And while I saw the betrayal coming, Victoria’s debut novel just sparked something in me.

Victoria is an outspoken author, but that trait draws me to her books. And I hope that her views will translate into some interesting stories!

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24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I can’t get over that Sarah, aka JJ, expands on the Goblin King universe! And I’ve been drooling over this cover for months. I have huge hopes for Wintersong. And I love how she incorporates German folklore. She also draws a lot of inspiration from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, which is one of my most beloved movies. It contains layers and undertones in each shot, so I expect nothing less for Sarah’s debut novel.

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31338270A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Not too long ago, I finished reading City of the Lost, but I can’t even enough of it. Kelley weaves in these dark and twisted arcs that just hook you from the very start. This series is a departure from her fantasy realm, but she has touched on mystery, thriller, and crime in her other series, though. So I have a feeling this book will ignite a new love. City of the Lost is definitely one of favourites!

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