Memory Wars: Locked Within

locked within

Paul Anthony Shortt’s Locked Within, the first book in his Memory Wars trilogy, is an urban fantasy set in New York City.  While you may start reading it and go, “Oh no, vampires again?” (Like I did), if you keep reading past the character’s first introduction to the magical world teeming beneath New York’s skin then you will find a fascinating world of “reborns” versus immortals, the Conclave versus the Council of Chains.  Vampires do exist in this book, but I got the feeling they were more of henchmen to the big baddies instead of the big baddies themselves.

Locked Within follows Nathan Shepherd, an office clerk who likes to do some unofficial crime investigation on the side. When he receives paperwork he’s supposed to process for requests for more information on mysterious groups of deaths that occur every ten years, the investigative bug bites Nathan, and he goes out to investigate what he can about those past deaths. He finds himself in a deadly situation involving vampires, barely escapes with his life, and discovers a body of a woman who died with a look of pure horror on her face. Continue reading “Memory Wars: Locked Within”

Monster Boy by Ruth Fox

monster boy cover artGood evening, fellow readers!  Tonight, I’ve got a special treat for you.  It’s my first-ever review of a book I received free for the select purpose of writing a review.  You may be used to my old format of rambling my way through my impressions of the book.  This will continue, but I’ll also give a brief biography of the author at the bottom.  I’ll also give links to pages where you can purchase the book.  In that way, it’s slightly like an advertisement, but it’s the least I can do to show my appreciation for the free book.  And, as much as I like reading books, I love sharing the works of up-and-coming authors!  This will be the only time I give this so-called disclaimer.  From now on, I’ll assume you can figure it out for yourself.  Author bio + links to purchase = I got a free copy.  Anyway, on to the book!

Welcome to Silvershine! This city, on a little island in between New Zealand and Australia, is pretty much cut off from the rest of the world.  It has its own television programs, its own car manufacturers, its own smartphone factories.  It also has its own secrets.  You see, a vast wall cuts Silvershine in half.  North Silvershine is an idyllic city with safe neighborhoods where kids often run off to play Monster Tag at night.  South Silvershine, on the other hand, is cloaked in a dense yellow fog that corrodes metal and destroys any technology that’s exposed to it.  Monsters lurk within the fog, peering out through a hole in the wall, and North Silvershine’s residents wonder when the monsters will come through. Continue reading “Monster Boy by Ruth Fox”

Review: Alloy of Law

alloy of law coverI am pretty sure I’ve mentioned Brandon Sanderson in other posts.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve compared other novels to Brandon’s works, whether or not I was fair in my comparison.  So, if you’ve followed my blog, you would be right in assuming that I am a fan of Brandon Sanderson.  So, when I received Alloy of Law for a Christmas gift a few Christmases ago, you’d assume I would just hop right into the book and devour it.  Well, I’ve been nervous–very nervous–about this book because I knew I would compare it to the original Mistborn trilogy. I knew Mistborn before the title was changed to The Final Empire, first book of the Mistborn series. I was shocked when certain characters died, when other characters betrayed them, and I enjoyed every high-fantasy twist and turn.  So when I heard that the next trilogy (quadrology, soon?) would be a Western-style Mistborn, I was excited, but wary. Continue reading “Review: Alloy of Law”

Beatrysel by Johnny Worthen

beatrysel cover artBeatrysel, by Johnny Worthen, is a very interesting novel.  Set in Portland, Oregon, it centers around dark and occult deaths caused, if not by the self-made Mage Julian Cormac, then by someone close to him.

Julian has just come out of a drug-filled stupor prescribed by his psychiatrist after he exited a mental hospital to find that something is very wrong.  His friends the Crabs, so called because they frequent a quaint bookshop called the Crabtree, are being targeted by a serial killer that kills by luring their victims to their deaths by Magick. Continue reading “Beatrysel by Johnny Worthen”

I Am Not a Serial Killer

 Maybe I should rename this blog to, “Ellie Reads Sporadically.” I’m sorry! It’s not that I haven’t been reading lately, it’s just that life has gotten extremely busy. So, while I wait here at Jiffy Lube so they can make sure they did things correctly on my car, I decided to return to the world of book blog reviews. Pardon any autocorrect errors (hopefully I catch them all).

Recently, I attended Salt Lake Comic Con: FanX, a comic convention that is making San Diego Comic-Con nervous because of its similarity in names and the number of visitors it receives (it also helps that Salt Lake’s entry fee is only around $50-60 for basic multi-day entry, that all panels are free, and that there’s a strong author base represented there in a state that churns out authors and hopeful writers as fast as butter). One of the panels was, “I Am Not a Serial Killer: the journey from page to screen.” Continue reading “I Am Not a Serial Killer”

Line of Fire: An Autumn Rain Novel

Tline of fire coverhere comes a time when you’re reading a series when you have to decide, “Is this getting better?  Is this series still worth my time?”

I want to say that the Autumn Rain novels are getting better with each installment.  I want to love Autumn’s character as much as I did when I first discovered the series.  But either the author Rachel Ann Nunes is getting series fatigue, or I’m becoming a more savvy reader and recognize flaws in her writing that I never noticed when I first read Imprints.

I went over my reactions of the first installment of the series when I reviewed Final Call, so I won’t rehash them here.  Instead, I’ll focus on what stood out to me that makes me believe either the author has writing fatigue or isn’t focusing on improving her craft. Continue reading “Line of Fire: An Autumn Rain Novel”

The Devotion of Suspect X

devotion of suspect x coverThe other day I was looking on Facebook and noticed that the book club that I belong to, but haven’t attended in months, was hosting a discussion session on a day that I could actually attend.  And that day happened to be in two days’ time.  And I’d never even heard of the book that was going to be discussed.  Oh, and that book was approximately 300 pages long, a translation, and a cerebral read.  So like any semi-sane person, I decided to download it on my resurrected Kindle Touch and read it in approximately eight hours straight (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  It was seven hours straight, with an extra hour the day before). Continue reading “The Devotion of Suspect X”