Rating: 3 stars
A thriller this was not. It took a while to get into the story. For a while it was nothing more than a banal story about a scorned woman left for a younger woman. Then it turned into a story about a deceptive husband.
This fell flat. Most of the time what was going on didn’t hint at anything deeply disturbing going on. There were a few twists, but they certainly weren’t mind blowing. Richard was the main impediment to this story being appealing. It was apparent from the start that he was controlling, demanding, selfish and superficial. It was hard to understand why more than one woman was ever in love with this man. Sure he was rich but that’s not everything. I felt like this was supposed to be a story about a charming man who was not what he appeared. For that to work, he had to be charming in the first place. Vanessa’s role in the story wasn’t interesting as it alluded to.
The ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It was good, but I was expecting more. There were dark elements, but the story itself wasn’t dark. Nothing that anybody did was shocking or maybe I was too unattached to the characters to feel disturbed by what happened to them. The prologue definitely had an unexpected twist although it wouldn’t have changed anything if it hadn’t been included.
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3 stars
A year after Ro’s death, the people who loved her were still deeply affected. Her younger sister Mae desperately wanted to know what happened when she died. Unexpectedly Ro’s boyfriend, Cage, showed up at their house wanting to know what happened to Ro which didn’t add up since he was there when she died. Mae was the only one who believed Cage didn’t kill Ro. The two of them tried to figure out what happened when Ro died.
Ro had secrets. Mae knew they had something to do with an old family book. It was filled with vague spells and cryptic writings. Some of the things Mae uncovered from the book and around the house were spooky. All the while she was meeting with Cage while he regained his memories of what happened a year before.
It was interesting at first. The things going on were eerie and mysterious. After a while it was boring because nothing of significance was happening. Although Ro was dead, her presence was strong because many of Mae and Cage’s thoughts were about her. She was a major obstacle in becoming deeply invested in the story. I didn’t like her. Two boys were in love with her and fought for her attention, and I couldn’t understand why. Ro was obnoxious. She used various methods to manipulate people, some of them cruel. She thought she was hot shit and flaunted it. The rest of the characters were one dimensional. I was never invested in their fates.
The ending was lackluster after all of the build up about magic. The key to completing the spell seemed quite obvious to me, so I didn’t get why it was shocking to the characters. There were a lot of little things that weren’t explained in the end. What was up with Fern seeming to be in the know? Why was Lance different after being away for a year? Why did Cage have severe headaches all of the time? The main thing that should have been explained and was not was what happened to Cage during the year he was missing. Leaving those things open ended would have been okay if this weren’t a standalone.
Rating: 3.5 stars
It didn’t live up to the hype. It started off with a bang. Then it got really boring for quite a while. The school shooting happened. Then the events of it were immediately rehashed through police interviews. Considering one of the MCs was at the school shooting it seemed unnecessary. The tragic murder from the beginning was also written about two more times. Too much felt repetitive. I didn’t care about much of anything that was going on until about half way through.
By the end I warmed up to the characters but I can’t say that I ever liked them. Considering I hated them for most of the book it was an improvement. Charlie was a bitch. Most of the book she felt bad for herself about her marital situation. It annoyed the hell out of me because she was the cause of most of her problems. It was hard to sympathize with her. Sam didn’t intend to but came off as pretentious. I hated it that she ignored her family for so long. I liked her better than Charlie but couldn’t sympathize with her much either. Rusty meant well but was a shitty parent in many ways.
Around 60% of the way through I finally became invested in what was going to happen although this book never reached page turner status for me. I probably would have liked the book better if it had been 100 pages or so shorter. I loved the ending. It was twisted and I didn’t see it coming.
Rating: 5 stars
Series: Graveyard Queen #6
A great end to the series! It wasn’t perfect. The mystery revolving around the ghost and the people she was connected to was way too easy to figure out. That’s okay because the ghost story was not my main concern. I was much more interested in what was going on with Devlin and the conge.
Devlin and Amelia spent a fair amount of time together. It was different with them this time. They still had the same chemistry as always but it was underlying. Amelia was trying to move on, and Devlin was with Claire. Regardless of what was going on the magnetic pull was there, but nothing felt as romantic as in the prior books. I was happy that Amelia didn’t have any interest in other men. In the other books when she was alone, she went out with someone else even if she wasn’t truly interested.
Devlin’s grandfather finally got some page time. He had a strong presence throughout the series without getting the chance to know him other than by reputation. The guy was a manipulative bastard, but there was more to him than that. Claire finally made herself known to Amelia. There wasn’t a damn thing I liked about her, and it wasn’t all about her being the other woman.
This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it was definitely one of the better ones. I didn’t want to put it down despite the mystery being predictable and not being as spooky as some of the others. The danger was from the living not the dead. The general tone of it was different, but I really liked it. The end was slightly rushed. Having a brief epilogue would have been good. Not everything was completely wrapped up making me wish and hope there could be another book, but based on how things ended with Amelia it seems unlikely Amanda Stevens would ever change her mind and write another.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: Graveyard Queen #5
So this is officially my least favorite book in the series. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad, but the last book was amazing. This paled in comparison. It wasn’t creepy enough, and I hate it when Amelia leaves Charleston. It’s not the same when she is away from the people there. I wouldn’t mind it as much if there wasn’t a potential romance with a new guy every time she leaves town. Can’t she nurse her broken heart without having feelings for another guy? Just like in The Kingdom the lust was there but not much else. Everything between Amelia and Kendrick felt too manufactured.
Now that Amelia’s powers are strengthening and she is in contact frequently with powerful beings, it’s hard to gauge what is genuine and what is manipulative magic. Amelia constantly questioned if things she saw, heard, or felt were real. It’s not bad if magic is used to confuse her every once and awhile, but I don’t like it when it happens often.
The mystery started out interesting enough with the discovery of some unusual graves and the appearance of Darius Goodwine. Everything was too straightforward in regards to the bad guy. I had them pegged early on in the book. There were two unexpected things that happened along the way to revealing the bad guy. Not much directly had to do with the overarching storyline. It hinted at what Devlin is really up to. This book is a victim of my high expectations. I had assumed the penultimate book would have gotten me more amped up about the final one.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Series: Veronica Speedwell #2
A tedious undertaking would have been a more apt title. The pacing was so slow. Every 50 pages or so they’d get some minuscule clue. They had to do a lot of socializing to get these clues too. The worst part was that I didn’t care about any of the characters other than Victoria and Stoker. All of them were obnoxious and self absorbed. The mystery was too simple. The occam’s razor theory definitely applies here.
The main reason I read this was because I wanted to know more about Stoker’s past. Well none of that was revealed. Something about him was revealed but nothing that was alluded to in the first book. Stoker’s okay. I like the guy but I don’t love him. He’s too much of a pushover. He always gives into what Victoria wants.
Victoria is still just as cold as ever. It’s hard to feel a deep connection between her and Stoker because she’s emotionally detached. Every man she meets falls over themselves to get her attention. It irritates the hell out of me because she’s not that charming. It’s odd that Victoria thinks about sex often. I would think some as unfeeling and practical as her would find it to be a useless endeavor especially since she doesn’t want a committed relationship or children. For a book with sex alluded to often, there certainly wasn’t any of it to be had. All I know is this book needed something to spice it up, and sex would have been a great place to start.