Cryptid – MIchael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

Cryptid by Michael Kott is the second book of these series. It is a sequel to the Piasa, and you can find my review on that here. I have to admit and say that I didn’t enjoy Cryptid as much as I would like to, and you’ll find out why soon.

About the book:

Cryptid continues to tell the story of Sara, a girl that survives a car accident, when all her family dies. While in the first book she meets Mike, who gets her a job as his assistant in his adventures, in this book we will see Sara still maintaining that position, but a little bit from the background. When a few cats that look like leopards will appear at the museum, people start to get scared, and the police wants to shoot the animals. Then Mike and the team come to the rescue, to try and identify what the cats are, and save them from dying.

Review:

In Cryptid, we will be introduced to a couple new characters, some of which I happened to be very fond of (Hi Xenia!). The good thing for me was, that I could get a bit of a break from all the Sara moments. The thing I didn’t like was the fact that their background was too short and untold, and they kept making decisions based on the past that we didn’t know (I will mention Shannon’s decision here).

My favourite moments of the book, were, of course, those where Sara wasn’t there. Followed by my previous review of the Piasa, I sometimes like the character of Sara. But I  also couldn’t agree with her. I couldn’t understand her character, behaviour and decisions. Maybe it is because of my own childhood. I mean, luckily, I haven’t lost any of my family, but I have lived without both parents in those crucial years, raised by grandparents, while having a little sister to look after, and having an aunt similar to Pamela to guide me through my worst. But I was never this arrogant, self-centered and desperate for ME-ME-ME attention like Sara. Whoa, that lady really can push my limits sometimes.

The same goes with everyone around Sara that constantly tries to please her, and make sure she’s not upset.

And what is the reason that all of the characters are losing their shoes somewhere?

Unlike Piasa, in this book the focus is only on one big event, at two main places – the park and the museum. Apart from a few places in the introduction, the whole story keeps us around these places, which I particularly didn’t mind, but some people may or may not find it boring.

I was a bit sad because I really like Mike, and he wasn’t as present with his story as his was in the other book. I expected to see and learn a bit more of him.

Not to be all negative though, there were a few moments that I really enjoyed! I loved to read about the sisterhood of Pamela and Xenia, and the beginning of the book was fantastic. Xenia is also such an incredible character, and I really admired her. I also loved the explanations on the different kinds of cats and their latin names and meanings.

All in all, I am a bit sad to say that this will be a 3 out of 5 stars. Especially because the author, Michael Kott, is a dear friend of mine, and I greatly enjoyed the Piasa. I may have expected a bit too much of this book, that left me disappointed. But I do believe that some of you might greatly enjoy it! If you like Young-Adult fiction, and stories about mystery animals and cryptids, you will definitely enjoy this book!

Thank you Mike, for sending me a copy of the Cryptid, in exchange for an honest review.

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The One And Only – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

When bio-terrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.

Ruby Spencer is a wife and a mother. She also happens to be the only person that could save the people on Earth from dying! In moments when she is planning to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council, Ruby and her husband Clay are sent to one last mission.

With the last assignment being a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they need to analyze the zombie infection and consult with scientists, it seems like they are about to go on a long-deserved mini honeymoon.

But everything goes wrong! They get kidnapped, the biggest world powers all plan a war ahead, and it seems that only the ones that have Ruby are likely to win the war. They all fight over her, and she has no clue why. What makes her so special?

Review:

First of all, I have to thank the author, Julia Ash, for sending over this amazing book to me, in exchange for an honest review!  

The beginning of The One and Only is extremely breathtaking! I believe that the beginning might be the best part of the book, actually! The flow of the story is well-thought, and I especially loved the scenes where the author refers to the past, and made me feel like there was another book before that. It is quite easy to catch up with the beginning and the brief details of the past, but if in the future there is a prequel that explains it all – I would love to be the first one to know about it!

Now, the characters are probably the reason that made the book the way it is! We have Ruby, who is our heroine, a brave lady, ready to give all the love, courage and wisdom in the world. She is a mother, a wife, and a brave fighter that never gives up and is never afraid to stand up against evil.

On the other hand, we have her husband – Clay. He was… alright. I suppose? His love for Ruby and their daughter is incredible, but somehow, I could think of him as a manly enough figure in their relationship. He was smart and brave, but not as smart and brave as Ruby.

I couldn’t somehow connect with him.

The character that intrigued me the most is Ox. I loved how Julia has shown us the psychological profile of this man, and the way he thinks. It was lovely reading about his part of his story, and even though he was on the wrong side, it is what he believes in. And the way it is written in so extraordinary, that at times I could see myself giving him an excuse.

The only part that I couldn’t agree with, and I am refusing to accept is – THE ENDING! I will withdraw myself from spoilers, but that’s not how things should have ended! That is not the ending I wanted, that is not the ending I was hoping for. No, no, no. It made me upset, and angry, and I wanted to break something very bad! That was a huge disappointment for me and it changed my whole perception of the story and the book itself.

If you ever get the chance to read this book – you should expect a lot of twists, a lot of ups and downs, and if you are like me and are trying hard to not bite your nails – well, you’re about to fail. This is not your typical book about zombie apocalypse. This is not your usual book about a heroine being kidnapped. This is not your usual book of how a person saves the world. This will be nothing like you expected, and everything you hoped for.

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Quarry’s Climax – Max Allan Collins [BOOK REVIEW]

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Quarry’s Climax is the 14th book of the Quarry series, and even though I only had the chance to read this one, the rest of the books are certainly something that I have put on my TBR list!

The plot is simple – until, of course, it gets complicated:

Quarry is a Hitman – he kills people for pleasure, I mean, money! He works for this guy ‘’the Broker’’ and his new mission is to protect a chairman of an underrated Porn magazine and strip club – The Climax. When this task might seem easy, suddenly everyone hides something and everyone has secrets. And then our man Quarry – who usually goes on the spot and just kills whoever he needs to, now has to play the role of a detective, find out what the hell is going on in this rat hole, and eliminate any danger.

Now – first things first – I am not usually a person that reads these types of books – Pulp fiction, hardboiled fiction, entangled harsh noir stories, but this book pleasantly surprised me with its light reading experience and admirable description of the characters.

Quarry – now that’s one interesting character! Quarry is what happens when you mix a Cowboy personality, with a bit of witty humour, no respect for ladies and egotistical appearance. I happened to actually kind of like this guy!

Though the part I didn’t like it how he treats women and talks about them as they are a piece of meat with no brain whatsoever. I am not a feminist, but I mean – you couldn’t have tried harder, I guess. He would just go to a scene, let us know how irrelevant and thick this lady is, he would sleep with her, never call her again, and then continue with his life as nothing happened. Wonderful, isn’t it?

This is one of a kind book for me, and even though I wouldn’t put it on my favorites pile, it has a special place in my heart. I greatly enjoyed it, and it made me smirk at times. I will definitely explore this genre in the future, and I am sure that Quarry’s Climax was a great beginning for me on that.

I received this book by winning a Goodreads Giveaway from Max Allan Collins and Hard Case Crime.

Wide Open – Amy Bodossian [BOOK REVIEW]

Wide Open is one of the few books of this kind. I personally am not a huge fan of poetry, and I don’t enjoy reading it too often, but sometimes a book comes and makes me wonder I act this way. Amy Bodossian truly wrote something beautiful and unique, and I look forward to reading more poems from her.

I have to say a huge thank you to Outside the Box Press, for letting me have a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

Wide Open (Published by Outside the Box Press) is a book that contains poetry written about love and sex. Amy writes with so much emotion and oh, the feels! It can be very straightforward and harsh at times, and it can be warm and loving as well, and it is a perfect blend of feelings and emotions that make you see the art of love and sex in a completely different and unique way. In the book you can also see a lot of amazing illustrations made by Amy, which perfectly represent each poem.

I wouldn’t say I loved it, because I don’t easily love books, but I have to mention that this one did surprise me in a very pleasant way. It is incredibly open and very thorough, and I believe it deserves a place on your shelves as well. It makes your body shiver from her words in an unusual way, and it helps you realise to always keep your heart open – to new loves, to new experiences, to new adventures, to new opportunities!

Coming Home – Fern Britton [BOOK REVIEW]

I had the pleasure to receive a copy of this book from GoodReads and HarperCollins. This was the first book I have read from Fern Britton, and I know it won’t be my last for sure!

Coming Home is based in Cornwall, England, a beautiful seaside area with loads of fisherman around. The author describes the place so well, that it made me want to go there, just to see it and be close to the characters. It reminds me of South Shields very much as well.

This is a story of one family, three generations and their difficult lives entwined with love, pain, leaving and coming back home.

Sennen is a woman that leaves her hometown, her parents and her two little children (Ella and Henry) at 17-years-old because life gets too hard to handle.

Ella and Henry are raised by their grandparents and live their whole life without their mother in their lives – until one day, Sennen comes back and wants to be a part of their lives. But are they ready for it?

We see the story through the eyes of Sennen, Ella and Henry and the grandparents. We travel from one generation to the other through the years, and we learn a lot for each of the characters. It is so well-written, that I wasn’t confused at all. Usually I get confused when authors try to do this in other books, but this one was definitely not the case.

This is one of those books that will hook you from the very first pages! The characters are so warm and close to the heart, that I felt like I have known them forever. I felt close to them and their feelings and thoughts, that I could have easily gone out and have a conversation with them. It is one of those books that fills you with anticipation, then gives you a back-story, and just when you thought things will happen as you thought, you will discover a surprise.

Wonderful plot and beautifully written – this is a book of love, family, broken and fixed hearts. This is a book that will make you cry while waiting for a train, and laugh out loud while drinking a hot chocolate in a coffee shop.

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The Night Raid – Clare Harvey [BOOK REVIEW]

If you are a fan of drama, history, romance, World War II related books, heartwarming read and words that will make you laugh and cry at the same time – The Night Raid from Clare Harvey is the perfect book for you.

In the time of the World War II, in a factory in England, women work their way to earn a bit of money for themselves and their families. All of these women have their own stories and their own secrets.

When a woman comes to the factory to paint the ladies working the night shift, a lot of secrets will reveal itself. The stories of love, broken hearts, never-haves, hopes and dreams for the future will be painted on that canvas.

Full with passion, mystery, warmness and moments that will stay with you forever, Clare Harvey captures all of these and more in this amazing book.

She describes the characters in a unique way, she gives them life and meaning, and in a page or two you will already be inside their world, going through their happiness and pain.

This book was quite fast paced – in the meaning of, the story goes on smoothly, and there aren’t any sideway streets where you can get lost into. It was easy to keep track of what is happening from the very first beginning and easy to stay on track as well.

Clare managed to capture the World War II period in England quite well. I would never know how it was then, of course, but by reading the book, I could find myself being there, stuck in that time, stuck with those principles that we don’t believe in now. Stuck in a time where people believed that if a woman becomes pregnant during her working time, she has to either give up the baby, or live in a house full of other women that ended up the same way as her. Stuck in a time where gender equality is not a thing, and how could it be?

I would definitely recommend The Night Raid to every one of you, because it is a perfect blend of history and romance, of sadness and happiness, and of such powerful women that fought against all odds to survive and achieve in what they believed in!

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The Help – Kathryn Stockett [BOOK REVIEW]

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

This is a book where coloured maids in 1963 are afraid to speak up.

This is a book where they gain the courage to tell a white lady what actually happens inside their lives.

No one is ready to hear the truth, everyone is scared for their future, but bravery is a strong attire to have, and the maids prove they have what it takes.

Lot of courage, lots of excitement, anxiety and me biting my nails over and over again, but definitely book that’s worth reading. And definitely a book that will open your eyes about what actually happened back then.

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