Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shaken - J.A. Konrath

I'd like to start off by saying there will be no spoilers in this review. I am not that kind of girl. Shaken starts out with three different time lines for Jack. Jack is working two separate cases that all seem to come together in the third present time.

The first part shows us when Jack was a rookie working prostitution rings. She chases a John into a back alley where they both stumble upon a dead escort. That puts Jack onto a killer.

The second part has Jack looking for a psychotic killer who tortures his victims. In unimaginable ways. It threatens everything Jack knows about good and evil and what some people can do to others.

The third and most important present day time line which is mixed into both others was the hardest for me. I was getting so frustrated jumping back and forth from each time period that I was trying to read faster just to get back to the present day to see how Jack was fairing.

Jack is one of my favorite heroines of any book I have read. Shaken did not disappoint. It had me laughing to myself, laughing loud enough for people to give me strange looks and also had me tearing up. It almost seems like Jack is cursed. Things just start to go right for her and bam they turn around tenfold.

The only thing that bothered me about this one was that it felt like such a quick read. It seemed to go so fast. What I didn't bother learning before I started reading was that in addition to the original story this book also comes with a linear version. I could have read each time line in order had I so chosen. I have to say, honestly, as much as I complained about jumping around in the story, I actually preferred it.

I feel like if I had to do a time line and blend them together I'd fail miserably. Konrath was a master at it. While the time lines mixed together the seemed to go perfectly and seamlessly. I could not ask for more. Well, that's not true. I could ask for Konrath to never ever end the Jack Daniels series but I guess there is such a thing as asking for too much.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cherry Bomb - J.A. Konrath

Cherry Bomb by J.A Konrath is the sixth book in the Jack Daniels series and where everything comes to a head with Jack and Alexandra Kork. The serial killer Jack's been chasing. I love the Jack Daniels series. It combines humor with the macabre.

Fuzzy Navel left us with a huge cliffhanger and we find out immediately what happened. It was definitely not who I expected but still very satisfying. Well... not satisfying in the fact that someone died and Daniels loses someone important to her but in the fact that it was not any of my very super favorite characters.

For me this book seemed less gruesome than some of the others I've read. I could be confusing some of Konrath's other novels with the Jack Daniels series though.

I really liked this book. I really don't want to give anything away, because I'd be sorely disappointed if it happened to be before I had a chance to read it myself. So, I won't throw in any spoilers. I'll just say that it probably was not my favorite in the series so far but it was still worth the wait. I'm looking forward to more Jack Daniels!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Draculas - Konrath, Crouch, Wilson, Strand

I was super lucky to get a copy of the up and coming novel Draculas. It is a novel that four authors collaborated on and it's about a terminal old man who purchases the head of a Dracula. Everything goes down hill from there. Shanna, was hired by Mortimer to study the head that he purchased. Jenny was the hospice nurse who he hired to watch over him. After Ol' Morty does something unthinkable they both accompany him to the hospital. Once there all hell breaks loose.

This book is like a cross between vampires and zombies. Each character was running for their lives. The more you get into the novel the more it seems to become hopeless for each character involved. You're thinking, there's no way their luck can be that bad, but guess again!

What I really find amazing about this novel in particular is that each author had a set of characters. They each wrote their own parts separately but you'd never know from reading it. It's that seamless. I never once thought to myself, huh, this doesn't sound like the last part. It just flowed.

Honestly, I cannot begin to explain the amount of gore. There's just so much. Not to mention the adrenaline ride you're put through. Will they make it? Will they not make it? In some books when there are more than 4 characters I normally get lost. Not in this case. Each character made such an impression with me that I had no trouble remembering who and what was happening to them. I think that is a testament to how well these authors write.

I was nervous, excited, disgusted, and frustrated to no end during this one. It's one of my favorites. It ended in such a way that it had its own conclusion but it could also have a sequel if the authors ever wanted to get back together. In fact, I kind of insist they do. I want more.

You can find a copy of the novel here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Bleeder and other stories - J.R. Rain

The Bleeder - Leo an unaccomplished artist finds out during an accident that he can bring out his inspiration. All he has to do is bleed. While he's bleeding he paints the best pictures that sell for thousands. One day he see's his masterpiece and he knows he'll never get another chance to paint it.

This story and masterpiece was ominous. Very freaky. I'm not sure how I felt about it. I think scary is the best word to describe it. Mostly, it leaves you thinking which road would you take?

Deal with the Devil - This story was different from what I've ever read. It was basically the first chapter or edition in a comic book. Unfortunately, the comic was never made. However, that wasn't necessary. The imagery in this book made me feel like I could see everything happening as it would in a comic book. Best short story of the lot in my opinion.

It's basically about a private eye who makes a deal with the devil. They'll let his father go free if he finds the one soul that escaped from Hell. I hope that Rain completes this story. I'm itching to read more.

The Back of Beyond - I honestly didn't remember reading this one. I had to go back to recap what happened. Basically, it's about a yuruk who starts a fight in a bar. The owner doesn't want to fight but when the yuruk hits his help he has a no hitting the help policy. This story was just that a story. I had no strong feelings whatsoever.

Vampire Moon - This is a deleted scene from a book that has not been published yet. It's the second book in the Vampire for Hire book. It basically puts Samantha Moon in jail talking to the warden because she appears to have punched through a bulletproof window. Samantha insists that the glass was cracked. The warden of course suspects something else.

I enjoyed the deleted/bonus scene. I can't wait for more. I really enjoy J.R. Rain's stories. They're creative and fun. There are a lot of things going on and some even have lessons to learn. I can't wait to read more.

Moon Dance - J.R. Rain

Samantha Moon is trying to balance her family life, her work life, and her vampire life. 6 years ago Samantha was infected by a vampire. She had to quit her job as a federal agent because going out in the sun is impossible without slathering on a bottle of sunblock.

Her husband is spending more and more time at work and not coming home. When Sam was first infected he was great, but unfortunately, he's pulling away more and more. Pretty much disgusted with his cold, scary wife. Still Sam holds on for her kids.

A client walks in and asks her to find the man that shot him 5 times in the head. With her vampire instincts it should be no problem for Sam. She finds herself in the middle of a strange case and not sure of where to turn.

I enjoyed this book. It was a fairly quick read and it had a lot of characters and a lot of side plots going on but it flowed easily and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how Samantha got this way and what she plans to do. Unfortunately, it stopped before going into all of the details but there are more books in the series to come. I'm excited to see what's next for Samantha Moon.
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