Tag: Book Review

“Norse Mythology” – Audiobook by Neil Gaiman

“Norse Mythology” – Audiobook by Neil Gaiman

Narrated by Neil Gaiman

Fun and fascinating! “Norse Mythology” is just what it sounds like, a retelling of the Nordic mythological tales. But it was so much more at the same time. This is my first adventure with Neil Gaiman and my first audiobook in way too many years, and I am now hooked on both. I do occasionally enjoy mythology and I was intrigued by this one because I was pretty much clueless about the Nordic myths. When I started listening I thought maybe I’d gotten in over my head because there were a lot of characters with names that I had no reference point for. However, the more I listened, the more the characters came together in my mind and the stories were just fascinating. The characters in these tales somehow seemed more human and less god-like than, say, the Roman or Greek gods. Of course there is Thor with his mighty hammer, but I found myself most fascinated by Loki, who can be quite devilish at one moment, and in the next be the one who has the perfect solution. There are some pretty violent scenes in these stories that might not be appropriate for younger children. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Neil Gaiman is a perfect narrator, not overly dramatic, but able to bring out the characters as individuals. You should give this one a try.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Advertisements
“Deadly Alibi” by Leigh Russell

“Deadly Alibi” by Leigh Russell

This is book 9 in the DI Geraldine Steel series. In this installment, Geraldine is on the hunt for a murderer who left his victim in a trash bin outside a charity shop. The husband is the immediate suspect, but when his mistress disappears, Geraldine is not so sure that the obvious choice is the right answer. In the midst of this, her birth mother has died and Geraldine finds out she has a twin sister who is very needy. Trying to balance all this proves to be a great challenge.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series but I did not, while reading, have the sensation of having missed out on the backstory. The parts of the previous stories that you needed to understand this one were definitely there. I liked Geraldine as a detective but wasn’t quite as impressed with her as a person. She makes some choices in this story that felt out of character to me and made the story a little hard for me to believe. I’m sure that fans of this series will enjoy this episode but overall I didn’t find anything in this story that “wow-ed” me.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3 star rating  3 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“The Principal’s Daughter” by Russ Katz

“The Principal’s Daughter” by Russ Katz

My deepest thanks to Russ Katz for bringing this story to life! In “The Principal’s Daughter” we are introduced to Kim, whose father is the principal of the school in the South Vietnamese village they live in near Saigon. Kim grows up during the war and her village becomes the center of the Tet Offensive when she is still a young girl. She endures the deprivations of the war and subsequent Communist regime with the hope of one day emigrating to America.

I found this story to be very moving and enlightening. Reading Kim’s story opened my understanding of the Vietnam War in a new way, and introduced me to a culture I previously had no knowledge of. I was also very impressed with the author’s writing. This book was fairly easy to read, although there is use of Vietnamese language, particularly names, which threw me a bit in places. As I understand it, this is the author’s second book and first piece of non-fiction, and I just have to say, “Job well done”. The personalities of the people come through in a way that I felt as if I was sitting with them hearing the story from their lips. I think that stories like this go a long way towards helping us as individuals to see the people of other cultures as not just different but as fellow humans on a journey to fulfillment. I hope that many people will read this book and allow it to give them new insight.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Thank you to NetGalley and Dog Ear Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“The Yorkshire Witch” by Summer Strevens

“The Yorkshire Witch” by Summer Strevens

This book is about the life and trial of Mary Bateman. She was hanged on March 20, 1809 after being convicted of murder just days before. But Mary’s crimes began many years earlier when at the age of 5 she stole a pair of shoes. She became a very clever con-woman and thief, and while she was convicted of one murder, there were several other unusual deaths within her circle of influence over the years. The author has compiled the known facts about Mary and the society she lived in, in order to tell the story of this infamous woman’s life from childhood to her death.

I found this book to be very well written. The author has organized the chapters so that each covers a section of her life and her activities during that time. We get to see how her crimes escalate over time. Mary apparently employed the use of fictitious personas to lure her victims into her schemes. She was somewhat educated and knew how to read and write, this gave her a leg up on the neighbors that she was able to use to her advantage. Mary was married and had several children but the knowledge or involvement of her husband has never been definitively established and remains a mystery. I really enjoyed reading this book and history buffs or true crime addicts should enjoy it also.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

 

“Dead Watch” by John Sandford

“Dead Watch” by John Sandford

Senator Bowe has gone missing and his wife Madison wants to know why. So does the President. Jake Winters is a researcher that the President calls on when he needs help with special situations. This is one of those situations. When the Senator is found dead in the woods, Jake and Madison are thrown together in order to determine exactly what happened, but they may be in for more than they bargained for before they get their answers.

As with other novels by this author, this is a thriller with some graphic violence. I liked the characters of Jake and Madison, though I did take a little while to warm up to Madison. The story is political in nature and has some engaging twists and turns. Unlike most of this author’s books, this is a stand-alone and not part of a series which is a little disappointing since I would love to see these characters developed further. Overall, this is a good story, but I didn’t find it as engaging as other books I’ve read by this author. That being said, I’m not a big fan of political stories, so that makes it hard for me to be objective.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“Lies” by TM Logan

“Lies” by TM Logan

If you love psychological thrillers, you need to get a copy of this book. This is a pulse-pounding ride of a story. Joe Lynch’s life starts on a downward spiral the moment his 4-year old son spots Mom’s car in traffic one afternoon. The first lie he uncovers is just the beginning. As the author takes us step-by-step through the deceptions you can’t help but wonder if Joe is being set-up or is he covering up? The final twist will take you completely by surprise.

Joe Lynch is an average guy, happily married, adores his son, and teaches high school English. Ben Delaney considers him an underachiever. When Joe confronts Ben about the affair he is having with Joe’s wife Mel, Ben threatens to destroy him. With each new day it seems more and more likely that Ben will succeed. I couldn’t help but like Joe from the beginning and continued to like him even while questioning his guilt or innocence. This story has lots of twists and the author keeps the plot moving forward at a good pace throughout. I highly recommend this book!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Goodreads

Twenty7 and NetGalley provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Actual Malice” by Breton Peace and Gary Condit

“Actual Malice” by Breton Peace and Gary Condit

Who doesn’t remember the media onslaught surrounding Gary Condit and the disappearance of Chandra Levy. What people kept calling for at the time was some kind of confession from Gary Condit, but he refused to speak about his part, if any, in the disappearance. In this book we get the whole story from the Condit side of the drama. Breton Peace has done a fabulous job of detailing the events, the media’s actions, and the response of the Condits to the onslaught of accusations. You will read in here about the missteps of the investigators and the self-promotion that certain members of law enforcement was engaging in, at Gary Condit’s expense.

I found this story to be very disturbing. The level of false accusation and the destruction that came in its wake just astonished me. The author’s writing style made the story very engaging and at times un-put-downable. I would like to think that our society as a whole can gain, through this story, an awareness of how false accusation can destroy an individual, and that we would, as a result, hold ourselves to a higher standard. I was very moved while reading this book and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Thank you to NetGalley and Ghost Mountain Books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“An Untamed Land” by Lauraine Snelling

“An Untamed Land” by Lauraine Snelling

Christian values and 1880’s Dakota Territory combine in this inspirational story. Roald and Ingeborg, Carl and Kaaren, two young couples from Norway emigrate together to America in order to take advantage of the homesteading opportunities in North Dakota. Just getting there almost costs Kaaren her life, but they have been researching and planning for this trip for years and are ready to hit the ground running when they arrive. Proving up a homestead is no easy task and finding the tools and livestock they need proves more challenging then they anticipated. The story follows these two couples through the first 3 years recounting their triumphs and tragedies, and demonstrating how their faith pulls them through.

I don’t normally read books in this genre but I was drawn to this one because the story takes place in the Red River Valley where I happen to live and I was looking for a change from my usual thrillers. The story did not disappoint. The pacing and creative of the storyline kept me well engaged. I think the author did a great job of bringing the realities of the homesteading life to the reader. My usual problem with this genre is that it can be quite preachy, but I did not find this to be true in this case. If this is a genre you enjoy then you won’t go wrong with this book. This is the first book in the Red River of the North series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“Everything You Want Me to Be” by Mindy Mejia

“Everything You Want Me to Be” by Mindy Mejia

Hattie is 17 and has always felt like an outsider in her small hometown in Minnesota. She dreams of the day she graduates from high school and can run off to New York City. Her senior year begins and the school has a new English teacher, a young, married man, who will change her life forever. Peter and his wife have moved back to his wife’s hometown to care for his ailing mother-in-law, a woman who seems to hate him. As his wife becomes more and more involved with her mother’s care, Peter starts to feel like the odd man out, and he misses the vibrancy of their life in Minneapolis. Just a few weeks before graduation Hattie is found dead in an abandoned barn and suddenly the whole town suspects Peter. Will the local police chief be able to unravel the secrets of Hattie’s life and catch a murderer?

I found the mystery in this book to be a fascinating one with plenty of twists to keep you guessing. There is a lot of angst being worked out in this story. Both the teenage variety, as Hattie is straining against her small town life, and Peter’s more adult variety, as he struggles with a troubled marriage and a life that is not fulfilling to him. The author has done a great job in crafting her main characters in a way that makes them appealing to the reader and also draws the reader in to the story. “Everything You Want Me to Be” is a great story and should appeal to a broad range of readers. I highly recommend it!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“Scarred” by Michael Kenneth Smith

“Scarred” by Michael Kenneth Smith

Synopsis:  After fatally shooting the Confederate sharpshooter who killed his best friend, Zach Harkin’s sense of revenge changes to deep remorse when he views the dead man’s diary and photo. Haunted, suffering from post traumatic stress, and unable to serve, he is mustered out of service. With scant information, he begins an epic journey to search for the dead man’s family. He is captured, imprisoned, tortured, and thoroughly tested as a human being, but after escaping, he never expects to find love in the war ravaged South.

My thoughts: I found this story very moving. Zach Harkin is so damaged by his war experience and yet still all he wants is to return the journal he found on a Confederate soldier to the man’s wife. What he thinks will be a relatively simple task turns into a nightmare for Zach. I liked that even when his circumstances were at their worst, he thought of other’s needs before his own. It’s not often that I come across a story set in the Civil War, but this is a moment of history that has always piqued my interest so that just added to my enjoyment. I cannot recommend this story highly enough, a real gem. I am looking forward to more from this author.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads