Tag: #review

Fiona’s Guardians by Dan Klefstad Review

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You guys already know about my love of vampires. I am here for all the vampire stories. The author reached out to me about a unique vampire story, and I had to say yes. I received an arc in exchange for my honest review. Here is what I thought about Fiona’s Guardians.

Daniel dedicated his life to his job. He is the guardian of a 250 year old vampire named Fiona. Daniel’s main duty is to supply Fiona with 10 pints of blood a day. In his spare time, he manages an investment portfolio to fund her need for blood. Then, Daniel’s job gets harder when Mors Strigae sets their sight on Fiona. Their main goal is to exterminate vampires. With the imminent threat to vampires, Daniel realizes he may never retire.

My Thought on Fiona’s Guardians

The concept of this story is awesome. Of course I want to read about the daily life of a vampire’s assistant. Daniel’s job was well defined. I knew exactly what his purpose was. Daniel as a character was not as well defined, but that was on purpose. He had very few thoughts or actions outside of his role in Fiona’s world. When he had a section of time on his own he wandered aimlessly. The author did an awesome job depicting how consumed Daniel was by his job.

The main conflict of the story was interesting. However, I didn’t love the execution. The perspectives’ of different members of Mors Strigae was included. Usually, I enjoy a story with multiple perspectives, but I am not sure that it was necessary in this case. It seemed to cloud the story. Therefore, I began losing track of who was speaking. The switch between perspectives and time periods made the story feel disjointed. It didn’t flow as easily as it could have. It moved the focus away from the main characters, which were the guardians.

With all that being said, I still really enjoyed it. It is fun and unique. All in all, it just needs a little polishing, in my opinion. And like I normally say, reviews are opinions. We all have different reading tastes.

My Rating: 3/5

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Review

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Guys, I finally finished a book! I’m actually getting to do a review! I picked The Stranger Diaries for my monthly challenge. The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge prompted me to read a book nominated for an award in 2020. The Stranger Diaries won the 2020 Edgar Award for best novel. It deserved it.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder, but most of the time it is a work of fiction. She is a high school English teacher that specializes in gothic horror. Clare’s life collides with her favorite novel when her friend is murdered. When Clare turns to her diary to document her feelings, she discovers writing that isn’t hers. Suddenly, she finds herself living in a horror novel.

The Stranger Diaries is what I wanted The Broken Girls to be. For instance, it incorporated a haunted school, a horror novel, and a murder mystery. Each element brought great depth to the story.

Above all, I loved the inclusion of multiple points of view. It had Clare’s point of view, her daughter Georgie’s, and Detective Sergeant Harbinder’s point of view. Even with multiple points of view I couldn’t single in on one suspect. There wasn’t a character that I didn’t suspect.

I didn’t expect the ending. It wrapped up so well. The friendship that developed between Clare and Harbinder was great. The Stranger Diaries was a well developed mystery with a lot of depth. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it until now. It is definitely underrated!

My Rating: 5/5

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The Affliction of Praha by Simon Gillard Review

Murder mysteries and historical fiction have been my two favorite genres recently. The Affliction of Praha combines those into one quick read. Keep reading to see what I thought about it.

The citizens of 20th Century Prague adore the Teralov Family. Therefore, the murder of Peter Teralov shocked everyone. The family hired Detective Edgar Rollenvart to bring the killer to justice. Edgar teams up with Peter’s brother to learn more about the case. As suspects mount, the evidence dead ends, leaving the Teralov family with more questions than they had at the beginning.

The Affliction of Praha is fast paced. There was not a dull moment in the entire book. It didn’t take me long to finish. However, that did lead into my main problem with the book. The character development wasn’t great. I didn’t really connect with any of them. I couldn’t figure of the motive of the killer, because Peter was barely discussed. My reading preference leans toward character motivated stories, but if you like plot driven stories this might not be an issue for you.

Above all, I do hope the author continues to write. His writing reminded me of Agatha Christie’s. With a bit more polishing and development I think he will be a great mystery writer. Toward the end there are several plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. He put a lot of thought and creativity into them. It made for a strong ending.

My Rating: 3/5

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Thanks to the author for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben

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The Boy from the Woods was my first Harlan Coben experience. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be my last as well. To be honest, I don’t have many positive thoughts on this one.

Years ago, authorities found Wilde living in the woods with no memory of his previous life. They turned him over to a foster home because they could not locate his family. Now he is living on the outskirts of town. When a girl goes missing, he must return to the community to help find her.

After reading the synopsis I thought the girl went missing in the woods. I thought Wilde would use his knowledge to help the community find her. That was not what I got at all.

Wilde gets involved when his godson, Matthew, becomes concerned about the missing girl from his class. The next thing I know the search for the missing girl turns political. Very political. Like dirty presidential candidate political. That was not what I signed up for. I am so dang tired of politics. I don’t even know why I finished this.

Between the lack of woods, a dirty politician, and a half baked kidnapping I was so over the whole thing. I guess I kept reading because I liked Wilde as a character. I wish he had have been more involved.

Lastly, the ending was almost painful. It was disjointed and half hearted. I’ve read several reviews that say that the entire book doesn’t even feel like Harlan Coben wrote it. I was definitely expecting more from The Boy from the Woods.

If you have read anything you liked by Harlan Coben let me know. I want to give him a fair chance.

My Rating: 1/5

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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager Review

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Home Before Dark was one of my most anticipated books of the year. Riley Sager continues to be one of my favorite authors. Home Before Dark did not let me down.

Maggie Holt is tired of living in the shadows of House of Horrors, the book her father wrote many years ago. Maggie doesn’t remember her time at Baneberry Hall. If it was as terrifying as the book says wouldn’t she remember? Houses can’t be haunted because ghosts don’t exist. Twenty five years later, Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death. Maggie moves in to remodel it. She soon finds that the stories from her father’s book might be true after all.

My Thoughts on Home Before Dark

As always, Riley Sager’s ability to create an eerie, complex atmosphere amazes me. It could feel the walls of Baneberry Hall surrounding me. It was spooky and unsettling. I could feel the tension building.

I loved the inclusion of excerpts from House of Horrors. It perfectly paralleled the events that were happening to Maggie, which added to the suspense. It was impressive that Sager could change his writing style enough to make House of Horrors seem like it was written by someone else. I have read books with faux excerpts of other books where the author’s style bleed over and takes away from the contrast between the two. That wasn’t a problem here. Honestly, I wish House of Horrors was an actual book because I would love to read it.

Sager’s endings are always shocking. I thought I had anticipated the plot twist, but then he added another twist in. The ending was not as jarring as the endings of The Last Time I Lied or Final Girls. I did miss that wow factor, but it was still a solid twist. I can’t wait to see what he writes in the future.

My Rating: 4/5

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