April 25, 2015

Review: L.A. Rotten by Jeff Klima

Product Description:
As an expert crime-scene cleaner, Tom Tanner charges big money to carve out bullets, mop up fluids, disinfect walls, and dispose of whatever’s left of whomever was unlucky enough to require his services. For a handsome young ex-con determined to stay out of trouble, it’s practically a dream job—until he discovers a grisly pattern to his work: a string of gruesome murders at a cheap motel chain, always in Room 236.
While prying into a serial killer’s nasty scheme, Tom finds himself with a sharp-witted strip-bar waitress plastered to his side—and his conscience. Even more surprising, the killer starts prying into his life, luring Tom into a twisted friendship. As Tom struggles against his adversary’s wicked whims, risking the lives of the few people he holds dear, bodies pile up everywhere he turns. With a psychopath calling the shots, Tom has little choice but to clean house once and for all.`

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved L. A. Rotten. It is now my #1 read for 2015. Tom Tanner was one of those characters that stay with you long after you finish the book. He was a broken, tragic mess yet still managed to become a lovable character in the end. He kind of reminded me of Dexter who is another one of my favorites. Along with his sidekick Ivy, they managed to track down a serial killer that the cops didn't even know existed. 

Even better than reading this is the fact that L. A. Rotten is the first in the new Tom Tanner Mystery series. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend L. A. Rotten to anyone who loves crime noir.

April 18, 2015

Review Arivaca: Guardians of the Light by John Poulsen

Product Description:
Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.
Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, has spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.
My Thoughts:
The action in Arivaca started out from almost the very first page but once Jesse was sent to the boy's ranch it all came to a screeching halt and I struggled to continue reading. The religious relic part of the story is what kept me going and thankfully towards the last third of the book, the action picked up again.

Another reason I didn't get sucked in were the characters. With her poor attitude, initially it was really hard for me to like Cedar and Jesse wasn't very appealing either. He was too bland for my liking and there wasn't anything to make me feel invested in what happened to Jesse until the very end. The only characters I really liked were a couple of the boys in Jesse's posse and the ranch hand, Paco. The added some much needed lightness to the story earning a good chuckle here and there.

Overall I did like the way the book came together in the end and thought the cliff hanger ending was well done but not enough for me to want to read the next installment in the series.

My Recommendation:
Recommended for teens.

April 10, 2015

Review: The Teller by Jonathan Stone

Product Description:
Between her low-paying job as a bank teller and the high costs of caring for her terminally ill mother, Elaine Kelly is struggling to make ends meet. When one of her regular customers, Antonio Desirio – a lonely old man with no family or friends who has saved over a million dollars in his account – is hit by a truck outside the bank after making his weekly deposit, Elaine impulsively switches the money into her own account, figuring she’ll be long gone by the time the crime is discovered.

The problem? Antonio wasn’t just some lonely old man, and the hit-and-run was no accident. From New York’s darkest corners to its loftiest financial towers, Elaine’s problems are just beginning, and it will take all of her wits and determination to solve them.

My Thoughts: 
Elaine Kelly had an opportunity and took it. Being a trusted teller in the bank she knew just what to do not to get caught but instead of taking the money and running off she stuck around planning what she wanted to do until it was too late. 

Then once she found herself in real trouble she had to make the most of her situtation to ensure the bad guys paid for their dirty deeds and save herself along with a newly made friend. 

Any time lotto jackpots exceed the hundred million mark I start day dreaming about what I would do if I won even if I don't buy a ticket so I can see how Elaine got caught up in the planning instead of the running. The things she has to do to survive makes the ending that much more sweeter. The Teller is a page turner all the way to the end. I devoured the book in under two days and it has now taken the top spot as my number 1 read of 2015. 

My Recommendation: I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves a good suspense tale. 

March 20, 2015

Review: The Doomsday Equation by Matt Richtel

Product Description:
Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has designed a machine that can predict global conflicts and ultimately head them off. But he’s a stubborn guy, very sure of his own genius, and has wound up making enemies, and even seen his brilliant invention discredited.
There’s nowhere for him to turn when the most remarkable thing happens: his computer beeps with warning that the outbreak of World War III is imminent, three days and counting.
Alone, armed with nothing but his own ingenuity, he embarks on quest to find the mysterious and powerful nemesis determined to destroy mankind. But enemies lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Could they have figured out how to use Jeremy, and his invention, for their own evil ends?

Before he can save billions of lives, Jeremy has to figure out how to save his own. . . .

My Thoughts:
I wanted to read The Doomsday Equation because it was billed as "ingenious as the works of Michael Crichton". I'm going to have to highly disagree with that statement. The storyline had a lot of potential but the protagonist were just an annoying a-hole that was extremely rude to everyone around him. I hated him more than I cared about what happened in the story.

I actually put the book down halfway through and read another book before coming back to this one. Because the storyline had so much potential I thought I would try again and see if it got any better. A little over halfway through the action picked up and I was able to finish the rest of the it within 2 days but the ending was predictable and disappointing. Overall I wouldn't say I disliked the book but thought it was unsatisfying. 

I wouldn't recommend this as there are too many well written techo thrillers out there to waste time on this one. Try Daemon by Daniel Suarez or Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather as alternatives.

February 28, 2015

Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

Product Description:
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other.

Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.

My Thoughts:
The Fire Sermon was set in a vivid world with incredible characters. Haig gave us such wonderful descriptions that I could clearly imagine the landscape and the people so much so that it felt like I had paused a movie whenever I wasn't reading. The best part of it was the fear that the new world felt about the technology of the past. With dystopian books I always wonder what pushed society to the point of the total control that most books have their characters living under but with The Fire Sermon I could clearly understand why their world was the way it became. 

Starting the book I had no clue that it was part of a trilogy and towards the end I could tell there was going to be a resolution but I felt there was more of the story to be told. That's when I looked up the book online and found that it was just book one. I was so happy to learn that there was more to come and the book has also been optioned by Dreamworks so I'm hoping that a movie is soon to come. The Fire Sermon is now in the top spot on my 2015 Top 5 list. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for fans of dystopian YA.