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 | Dark Glitter by C. M. Stunich and Tate James

Dark Glitter by C. M. Stunich and Tate James

Published by: Sarian Royal

Publication Date: January 24, 2018

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

Page Count:

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon US


Ciarah O’Rourke was born into torture.
A human spirit reincarnated in the body of an ancient fae goddess, she’s spent the last five years in iron shackles, her mind poisoned with magic for secrets she doesn’t know.

Waking up in a dirty alley with no memory of her escape, Ciarah finds herself in the hands of The Wild Hunt Motorcycle Club–a ruthless and violent group of bikers with faerie blood in their veins.

Arlo. Reece. Killian.
Three men drenched in death, sin, and old magic.
From their clubhouse in the middle of the Louisiana bayou, they’ll offer Ciarah the keys to unlock her memories and control the veil between worlds.  But even her knights can’t erase the twisted scars that remind her they aren’t the only ones who hunt.

When The Wild Hunt rides, the souls of the dead join their parade.
All that’s missing now is their queen.


I’ve received an eARC for an unbiased and honest review. I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours, the authors, and the publisher for providing me with this copy.

 

I’m the goddess and I’ll have my males as I please.

Calling all paranormal romance lovers, this book should be on your TBR list. The Fae Queen is back, and she’s looking for her Lords. Brimming with magic, Dark Glitter blends together urban fantasy with old-world folklore, but with a twist.

Sweet Jesus. For all you paranormal romance and reverse harem readers out there, do not read Dark Glitter anywhere outside of the confines of your house, or you’ll go red in the face. This steamy read will entice all readers who are looking to spice up their book collection.

The reason I signed up for this tour is because of Tate. I previously read her debut novel, The Vixen’s Lead, and I knew I had to get my hands on another one of her books. I admit that Dark Glitter is not a Kit Davenport story. You don’t get intense and quiet Cole or sultry River. What you do get are hardened fae bikers who have been looking for the Keeper of the Veil, who must carry out her destiny. And she so happens to be Ciarah O’Rourke. The only issue is that she doesn’t have any of her memories, except the ones where she’s tortured. And she needs them so that she can bring her fae people back home.

I loved the mythology in this romance novel. Both authors excelled in introducing lore from different backgrounds. You get a mix of a few, and that livens up the story. The romance is fierce and starts off rather quickly. I was hoping for more lead up to that since it allows readers to get to know the characters in their own right, then see them progress into that romance. But don’t expect any mates here. The main character wants her men, and she shall get them indeed.

Dark Glitter is more plot driven. The story relies heavily on the lore. But I don’t mind that direction though. As you continue through the story, the authors introduce more layers. But you may not see a large amount of character development, which I wanted to see more of. However, I do find the characters intriguing though.

Ciarah awakens to find fractured memories and has no remember of who she is. Once the Wild Hunt finds her, she doesn’t understand her past. Two spirits inhabit her: her own and the spirit of the Keeper of the Veil. I truly sympathized with her, and her torture scenes are graphic, but she quickly learns her place in the fae. And her alpha female demeanour is not something to go up against. Her Lords—Reece, Arlo, and Killian—bring out a new side in Ciarah. I love their banter. I prefer Arlo though; he is the hard, alpha male who has a soft spot. Killian is sweet, quiet, and caring. And while Reece is adorable, I cannot stand his accent.

Dark Glitter is the new book on the paranormal romance scene. It’s dark, intense, and torrid. More importantly, it’s gritty and unapologetic. This woman rules over her Wild Hunt and her Lords. She is the Queen, and she’s looking for revenge.


Authors’ Biographies

C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands (among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.

She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.

Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.

Author’s website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.

She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.

Author’s website | Facebook | Instagram

 


Giveaway

Are you a James and Stunich fan? Enter to win for a free copy of Dark Glitter. The contest is open internationally.

 


Tour Schedule

Find out ut out more reviews and post by following the tour:

March 5th
Rainy Days and pajamas >> Excerpt
tfaulcbookreviews >> Interview
Abooktropolis >> Excerpt
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Review
FANNA >> Review
The Red Hatter Book Blog >> Excerpt

March 6th
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Natalie The Biblioholic >> Review
Mes Livres >> Review
Behind Closed Doors Book Review >> Excerpt

March 7th
Girls With Books >> Excerpt
Aconite Cafe >> Review
Reading for the Stars and Moon >> Review
Bobo’s Book Bank >> Excerpt

March 8th
Silence Is Read >> Excerpt
Novelties >> Review
The Musings of Author Jeanne St. James >> Excerpt

March 9th
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Review
Birdies Bibliotheca >> Review
Book Addict >> Review
Rolling with the Moments >> Review
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder >> Guest post

 

March 12th
Just Books >> Guest post
Evermore Books >> Review
Viviana MacKade >> Interview
The Book Disciple >> Review

March 13th
The Writer’s Inkwell >> Excerpt
So Few Books >> Guest post
Novels & Necklaces >> Review

March 14th
Book Sniffers Anonymous >> Excerpt
FantasyRaiders >> Review
Two Ends of the Pen >> Interview

March 15th
Books a Plenty Book Reviews >> Review
The Pursuit Of Bookiness >> Review
Booker T’s Farm: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales >> Review

March 16th
Rabid Readers book Blog >> Review
BrizzleLass Books >> Review
O. D. Book Reviews >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Review

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!

Book Haul: May 2017

I’m spoiled. I wasn’t expecting a large book haul last month. But I finally received my two most anticipated books of 2017! What did you get? Let me know in the comments.

 

25487124Missing by Kelley Armstrong

YA novel with a mystery/thriller twist and a Kelley book? I’m in. Honestly, I don’t need to read the synopsis; I’ll just add the book to my ever growing TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it. I’m turning desperate, I swear.

Every teenager dreams of leaving Reeve’s End. Winter Crane hopes to do the same. But when she finds a boy left for dead in the forest she loves, she wonders what has happened to the other teenagers.

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

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

ACOWAR is my most anticipated book of the year, and I cannot stop looking at it. Obviously Sarah is planning to write more novels from the ACOTAR world, but I’m rather sad to see Feyre’s POV end, since I believe Feyre has more stories to tell.

ACOWAR (ominous acronym, don’t you say?) quickly starts off from ACOMAF. Feyre is back in the Spring Court and hopes to find everything she can about the coming war and the King of Hybern. But with betrayal and deceit at every turn, Feyre must find who she can trust and who will be her ally.

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

 

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Here’s my second most anticipated book of 2017. I’ve been waiting to read this book for a long time! And I’ve bee drooling over that cover equally as long.

Mariko, a daughter of a samuri, survives an attack while she was on route to her betrothed. To discover why she marked for death, she infiltrates the Black Clan. But what she soon learns will change her life.

I’ve recently finished it, so I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel!

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

 

The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter

Beth, you are a godsend. And naturally you continue to supply my book addiction you created. 😂 I love you, woman.

Determined to find ancient artifacts that may lead to the Lords’ freedom, Lucien, Keeper of Death, is ordered to kill Anya, the Goddess of Anarchy. What he doesn’t know that she’s hellbent on hooking him.

The second instalment of the Lords of the Underworld series will capture the attention of any paranormal romance reader.

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

 

The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

Danika Ford has been on the run for months, since Aeron, the Keeper of Wrath is tasked to kill her and her family. Finally, I get to read Reyes’ book. Reyes, the Keeper of Pain, can’t help but protect her. But their undeniable attraction may just doom them both.

Gena has been hinting at Danika and Reyes’ story since the first book, The Darkest Night. And I’ve been eagerly waiting to read their book since my friend gifted it to me.

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

 

The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter

Sabin, Keeper of Doubt, prefers the battlefield over the bedroom. And I don’t blame him. His demon will shatter any woman’s confidence. But Gwen, a harpy oddly nicknamed the Timid, is up for the challenge, even though she fears Sabin may spark her inner harpy. He takes her under his wing once he and the other Lords set her and other supernaturals free from the Hunters.

But the Lords’ hunt for the artifacts leading them to Pandora’s Box may just become increasingly dangerous than the warriors thought.

Keep your eyes open for my review!

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

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.

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: 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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Wrap-up: January 2017

january-2017-wrap-up2

I’M BACK! Finally, I can blog full-time. 😌 I’ve been trying to catch up on my TBR pile on my shelf so I can be ready for the release of Victoria Aveyard’s King Cage and Kelley Armstrong’s A Darkness Absolute. And I have to throw in a little weirdness to boot.

 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve fallen in love with this book. I adore Kelley’s fantasy work, and she’s known for that genre, but this series just brings an exhilarating twist to her repertoire. Her writing shines in City of the Lost. It’s one of her best works in the last few years, and I highly recommend. Kelley has a huge reservoir of stories, and you may feel overwhelmed. But the Rockton Thriller series steps away from previous characters and solely focuses on a solid psychological thriller. If you love her Nadia Stafford series, you’ll love this.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I cannot get enough of this series. Yes, there are some issues with the whole special snowflake syndrome, but, and I mean BUT, Victoria’s storytelling makes up for some of these problems, and she takes a new spin on that trope. Like The Hunger Games, Red Queen inspired me to take more risks with picking up YA books, and I’ll always be grateful for her work.

Reviews for both Red Queen and Glass Sword will be coming soon!

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Glass Sword has an X-Men feel to it with Mare, Cal, and the other newbloods (Reds with Silver abilities) looking to find, well, more of their kind. Mare and Cal try to deal with betrayal they never saw coming in Red Queen. And throughout the book, Mare struggles with herself, fighting an internal tug-of-war. Her transformation is hard to read. THAT ENDING. My feels can’t take it.

#freemare!

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The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So my girl Kat hooked me up with her charming and dark little MG story revolving around a girl after my own heart. It has a dash of Coraline and a sprinkle of Tim Burton’s magic. Kat offers such a refreshing tale. I simply love this book.

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The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book looks wonderful in person. I read it back in late 2016, but it has always struck a cord with me. What is life? What is death?  The Oddity is one of the most intriguing and thought-provoking stories I’ve ever read.

I will always support small publishers. So if you want to do the same, go directly to the publisher and buy here.

Find my review here.

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Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

26869354.jpegCity of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Random House Canada

Publication Date: January 2, 2016

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Adult, Contemporary

Extent: 480 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase


Casey Duncan once killed a man and got away with it. But that’s not why she’s on the run. Her best friend’s ex has found Diana again, despite all Casey has done to protect her. And Diana has decided the only way she’ll ever be safe is if she finds the mythical town she’s heard of where people like her can go to hide. Turns out the town really exists, and will take Diana, but only if Casey, a talented young police detective, comes too.

Imagine a hidden town, isolated in the Yukon wilderness, where everyone is pretending to be someone they’re not. Even good people can get up to some very bad stuff. The laconic town sheriff dispenses his own frontier justice, but he’s more accustomed to sobering up drunks in the horse trough, than attempting to solve the series of brutal murders that has rocked the town. As much as he hates it, he needs Casey. As for Casey, coming to the far North may have started out as a sacrifice she was willing to make for her best friend. But maybe, just maybe, she needs Rockton as much as the town needs her.


Kelley has ventured in the suspense, thriller, and mystery genres before, so I had a general idea of where she might go in City of the Lost. I was wrong. So wonderfully wrong. The first book in the new Rockton Thriller series strikes down any preconceived suspicions. It contains touches of her Nadia Stafford series, one which I enjoyed greatly.

After surviving a horrific attack, Casey Duncan, a detective, discovers her tumultuous past comes back seeking revenge. But she is not the only person facing former conflicts. Diana, a high school friend, desperately searches for a way to escape her abusive husband. When Diana proposes an idea for them to find a hidden town where people escape their lives, Casey agrees to disappear from society. The catch? She must destroy any record of their lives, cut ties with all loved ones, and find a possible serial killer among the town’s people within six months, when her time runs out.

Rockton, in the Yukon territory, morphs into a character of its own. It’s rough and brash yet quiet and watchful. One aspect I love about City of the Lost is how Kelley slowly and deliberately reveals this character. She builds off each layer. And, similar to Stonehaven in Women of the Otherworld series, I can’t help but fall in love with it. Kelley fleshes out the natural atmosphere of Rockton perfectly, showcasing the beauty of Canada’s rugged landscape. This psychological thriller shows the brutality of our society and the North. Animals will act out of fear or survival. Humans, on the other hand, act on savagery, hunger, drive, and desire. She encapsulates the difference between the two beasts in such an effortless way.

The characters, including the town, make the story. Each one opens up a new history and a new threat. People aren’t afraid to kill, and they certainly aren’t afraid to show their true side. Some may have run from abusive lovers, drug lords, or possible convictions. They aren’t the heroes. They may have even created the horrors we fear. However, each characters’ vulnerabilities break down the door to salvation and possible self-forgiveness.

One character who stands out is Casey. I identify with her. She’s driven, determined, yet separated from people. And with good reason. Throughout the book, she tries to come to terms with murdering her boyfriend, Blaine twelve years ago. While on a date with him, local gang members accuse him of trespassing on their territory. And while he says he’s the grandson of a Montreal mobster, he abandons Casey. Her action conflicts with her career path, though, and also forces her to build a wall between her and others. Her possible rape and her physical assault prevent her from doing so. And I relate to that decision. While there are many resources women and men have access to after sexual assault, sometimes they simply cannot move on. I instantly connect with Casey, who is, by far, my favourite character in the series.

Eric Dalton, Rockton’s sheriff, dedicates his life to protecting the town and its residents. His history fascinates me. The way he rules his town will surprise and may even anger you. But wait until you see why. Rockton isn’t in an urban environment. Controlling these residents requires Dalton to inflict police brutality at times. But he must stay harsh in this dangerous town.

I first gave this book a 4.5 rating, but I see nothing wrong with it, nothing to improve. Kelley creates a solid, refreshing, and invigorating psychological thriller that will resonate with many readers. It’ll take you on a intriguing journey highlighting the human condition. I warn you now: you might know who the serial killer is at certain stages of the book, but finding out who commits these crimes may stump you. Kelley tricked even me, and I’ve been reading her books since I was twelve. The character arcs move beyond that discovery, and they add more richness to the story. So I’ve bumped it up to a 5. 😉

Have you heard of these towns where people can escape? What would you do if you lived in one? Tell me in the comments.

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