Sebastian by Christoph Fischer

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I read the Luck of the Weissensteiners about a year back and loved it. Though the book tied up most of that story, there were some threads that were left hanging and I always wanted to pick up where I had left off and see what became of the family that I had got attached to. The author really delves into history and his perspective of the War, imminent and ongoing, through the eyes of his characters is always well researched and interesting. I took a little while to get to the next book because you need to make time to be able to totally experience the book .

When I last met Sebastian, he was a bit of a disappointment. He was cowardly and unattached to his mother who was the character I was rooting for in the first book. Circumstances caused the situation but I was interested in finding out how the dynamics change. War can make for strange relationships and can break existing ones and forge new ones. Christoph Fischer has brought that out vividly and before long I was on Sebastian’s side, watching him grow stronger and become a person with strong family values.

And of course, I can’t end the review without touching on the incredibly well painted picture of Vienna and the detailed background that the story is set in. It speaks of not just the author’s prowess with the pen and his talent in turning a phrase but of the indepth research that must have gone into writing this story. Another fascinating read and a must for fans of historical sagas!

Odin’s Shadow by Erin S. Riley

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I really enjoyed this book and I’m surprised because historical fiction isn’t my go to genre. But this was a very well written book and pulled me in right away. The historical background is vivid and the characters stand out, tall and proud. I’m afraid my knowledge of the Vikings isn’t much but this book got me so interested in them that i actually read up more on these great warriors.

The love story is intense. I empathised with Selia right away but the author has written Alrik so well that my feelings for him changed gradually, from distrust as I slowly warmed towards the character, till I completely fell in love with the poor, misunderstood man.

There is quite a bit of suspense too, a secret to be revealed and Erin Riley has left me hanging, waiting to know more. A well written, passionate and intense story. A great read!

Bells on her toes by Diana J. Febry

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I love this author. As a huge fan of mysteries, with bodies and without, and having grown up on a diet of Dick Francis and Ruth Rendell, Diana J. Febry’s books are right up my street. They are the kind of books that you can easily finish in one sitting. I love the racing background, there’s just something about horses that draws me in.

But the reason that I pick up this author’s books is for the intriguing read. It is murder mystery at its best with suspenseful murders, enough clues dropped to keep you guessing, and let me warn you that you will be guessing till the end. She manages to give the tale a final twist and as always surprises you when she wraps it up.

The characters are written very well and DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams come with their own baggage which is delicately interwoven into the main story. The background life of these investigative officers makes them very real and you want to know what is happening in their lives. I realised that I’ve missed them when I picked up this book. It’s been a while since I read her last book and felt like I was catching up with their lives. I’m as hooked by what is going on in their lives as I am with the murder itself.

Add to this a whole lot of, not side stories, but more of interesting background of other issues and you will be riveted till you finish. Pick up one of her books and you will want to read them all!

Dying Thoughts by Joey Paul

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Dying Thoughts is a young adult mystery at its heart, but Joey Paul has made it so much more. It is a funny and entertaining story of young Tara’s ‘gift’, though she doesn’t consider it one. The first person narrative is neatly done and takes us on this journey in a sixteen year old’s shoes remarkably well. Tara’s introspective conversations are witty and does not grate (I’ve found that if not done well, it can ruin a book for you. It has ruined quite a few books for me.) But Joey has done a great job. Tara herself is very endearing and her relationship with her father seems very real. The mystery itself serves as a backdrop to Tara’s journey of self discovery, but is suspenseful and keeps you turning pages.

I think this book serves as a great introduction to Tara’s gift and how she realizes that she could be in a position to help people. I see there are more books about Tara Leverton’s adventures. I look forward to reading them. Five stars, Joey Paul!

Wired for sound by Cherime McFarlane

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For those who love rock and roll and reading, this is the perfect book for you. The author has an in depth knowledge of bands, tours and the behind the scenes action of a major tour. As with all artists, tempers run high and emotions get out of hand. Cherime Mcfarlane brings out the essence of the Scot in Hamish beautifully and his conflict over his love for Lori and his doubts about her, make that love story very interesting. A good mystery and an enjoyable read!

Savage Surrogate by Dorothy Mercer

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The Savage Surrogate caught me completely by surprise. Though the summary hints at suspense and mystery, I thought it was mainly a romantic novel. This is the first McBride book that I’ve read. Now I want to read the others. A dashing personality, suave and stylish, Dorothy Mercer has created a male character that women will find appealing.

The book holds your attention from the start and you are drawn into the murky underworld along with the protagonists, as they dig deeper to figure out what happened to Fran. The characters of Fran and Juliette have been given equal space and developed well. Both come out as strong, independent women. A captivating read…one I would recommend!

The dry by Rebecca Nolen

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I haven’t read a book that kept me glued to it, in a while. This one did! The Dry was like an exciting combination of Stephen King and Tolkein. It reminded me a lot of the “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King, but in a style that children and adults could understand and enjoy.

The setting of the book is fantastical and the description, detailed. You can visualize and feel “The Dry” ambience, which permeates the book. This is not just a quest, it is also a coming of age portrayal of Elliot Sweeney, and how he learns, adapts and becomes stronger with each new monstrosity that threatens him. His little fellowship is quirky and endearing and you can’t help but fall in love with each of the characters. Even the bad guys (bugs or worse) have well developed personalities.

I am in awe of the creativeness of Rebecca Nolen’s mind. To create a fantasy that is terrifying but believable is true genius. An exciting read and a wonderful adventure!