Blog Tour; Life Ruins- Danuta Kot

How do you find a killer when no one believes there’s a victim?

 

Page Count 480

Publication date 2019/ Publisher Simon & Schuster

Good Reads link

Life Ruins Cover

 

Synopsis

Three very different people, connected by a thread of violence  … and hope. 
Kay, recently widowed and coming to terms with life on her own, feels she has hit rock bottom. For years she and her husband fostered difficult children – including Becca, whom trouble follows like a stray puppy. And now Becca seems to be in the worst trouble of her life. 

A girl has been attacked so savagely she can’t be identified. She’s alive, but only just. Becca, tossed out of university and just let go from her dead-end job, is certain she knows who the victim is. But no one will believe her.

 

Review

Our protagonists Becca and Jared are deeply flawed, realistic characters, each broken by their own history. I liked the angry, defiant edge to them. Whilst Jared’s past is laid out early on we have to dig deeper to piece together Becca’s full story.

Jared’s recollection of his best friend Charlie’s death gave me shivers. I really felt the claustrophobia and the rising fear of inescapable danger. The ensuing hollowness of Jared resonates in Kot’s writing, I connected well with his changing emotional states and loved his development throughout the story arc.

I’d have liked a little more of Becca’s past. The reader can put it together easily enough but whilst we are treated to Jared’s full story Becca’s is not as fleshed out, her character felt a little one dimensional in comparison.

Life Ruins holds on tight to its secrets. There was no guessing ahead for me this time, I was gripped almost the entire way through with absolutely no idea what I was hurtling towards. The antagonists were an enigma making them unpredictable and keeping me on edge throughout the read.

Unfortunately the behaviour of the authorities in Life Ruins was not at all believable. The police characters were stereotyped straight out of a bad movie and their failure to investigate such violent attacks yet waste time searching for an apparent crank phone call made no sense.

For me the final chapters felt a bit rushed. Everything all tied up neatly and made sense but felt like small fry compared to what Kot had been alluding to earlier in the book. I realise that’s very vague but I’m desperately trying not to drop spoilers!
I’m really not a fan of the ‘2 months later…’ style endings either. Using a short summary to suddenly resolve a story that had been at the height of action in it’s previous chapter always feels lazy to me.

Life Ruins bolts out of the gate and races towards an unfortunate stumbling finale. Worth a read but for those as invested in endings as I am this journey outweighs it’s destination.

Roxanne’s Reactions:

 

I received a copy of Life Ruins from Random Things Blog Tours in exchange for my review. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Simon & Schuster.

Book Review; Pans Labyrinth- GDT & Cornelia Funke

The perfect blend of fantasy, history and horror.

Published by Bloomsbury

Released 2nd July 2019

Page count 320

GoodReads

pans labyrinth

Synopsis:

This book is not for the faint of heart or weak in spirit. It’s not for skeptics who don’t believe in fairy tales and the powerful forces of good. It’s only for brave and intrepid souls like you, who will stare down evil in all its forms.

Continue reading “Book Review; Pans Labyrinth- GDT & Cornelia Funke”

TheWriteReads Blog Tour Review; Chasing Graves – Ben Galley

‘Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.’

I received an epub of this title in exchange for my review on The Write Reads Blog Tour.

GoodReads

chasing graves

Synopsis:

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning…

 

Review:

The concept of shade-binding (ie- enslaving the soul of a corpse in the form of a ghost) was a refreshingly original plot for a SFF. It was this that originally stoked my interest, and whilst the synopsis made me wonder if having so many characters would make the book hard to follow I was happily proven wrong.

The world building in Chasing Graves is phenomenal. The balance between description, action and dialogue was absolutely perfect. Galley sets each scene brilliantly without slowing the pace.

I was pleased with the formatting of the book. Having the origin and laws of shade-binding laid out piece by piece in italics below each chapter heading meant I got a good grasp of the idea without having a massive info dump. Each stage is explained simply and concisely as it becomes relevant to the story.

There are four concurrent storylines to follow. The rise of criminal Boss Temsa, the scheming or Empress Sisine, Niliths journey with her shade husband Farazar and the secret project of Widow Horix. I assume the main character Caltro will be the key to them all but you won’t find out how in this book.

I spent much of the book wondering how and when things would tie together and just as they began to… it ended! Whilst I really enjoyed Chasing Graves it felt like a lot of side story without enough main plot advancement. It’s a fantastic opening to what I think will be an incredible series BUT i felt like I’d been given 3/4 of a book.

I had a massive AHA! moment (though I’ve heard other readers saw it coming, I was completely thrown by it) but then ten pages later the book came to an abrupt end. I will definitely be reading the next one as I’m totally invested in the characters and their secrets, but to my mind the first instalment finished too early. I’m left feeling like the book was put down unfinished rather than it being a planned cliffhanger.

Well you got me Ben! I need to know now!
Must. Keep. Reading.

 

Roxanne’s Reactions

 

This was my second contribution to UltimateBlogTours run by the fabulous Dave at TheWriteReads, you can see the first right here; Blog Tour Review; After The Green Withered – Kristin Ward.

If you’d like to join the gang in reviewing indie authors then come! Join us! Head over to Twitter and contact Dave to get your spot in the fastest growing book community online.

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Book Review; The Girl In Red- Christina Henry

Beware the wolves in the wood…

Publisher: Titan Books

Release date: 18th June / Page Count 304

GoodReads Link

girlinred.png

Synopsis:

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods…

Continue reading “Book Review; The Girl In Red- Christina Henry”

Blog Tour Review; Chop Shop – Andrew Post

Sometimes running a business can cost an arm and a leg. Literally.

Page Count 256

Publication date June 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press

Good Reads link

chopshop.png

 

Synopsis:

Amber Hawthorne and Jolene Morris, business partners and roommates at the Hawthorne Funeral Home, are drowning in debt. People are complaining about the makeup jobs they’re giving deceased loved ones–the word clownish has been used–and both young women have a little trouble keeping their partying habits in line. 

When they start selling body parts on the black market to keep their business alive (Jolene much more reluctantly than Amber), their new buyers seem friendly and trustworthy enough at first. That is until the dead gangster they’ve recently parted up turns out to have been full of disease. Now Amber and Jolene’s buyers want something else to make up for lost profits, leaving the two undertakers to learn sometimes running your own business can cost you an arm and a leg. Literally.

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review; Chop Shop – Andrew Post”