Halloween Read-A-Thon 2016: The Results!

So, as you may know, I’ve been doing Lauren @ Wonderless Review’s Halloween Read-A-Thon. It’s been really fun – I’ve loved having an excuse to ready creepy and supernatural books. I started out really well (finished half of my books within the first week) but then I got really slack and really struggled to finish all six books! (Boohoo!)

I have provided links to my full reviews for each book (just click on the titles!). Anyway, here’s how I got on…


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Bloodlust by C R Benson: As it turns out, this was more of a romance and was therefore not scary at all. But still, full of wolves and fighting and a curse from the devil – very Halloween! It was far from the best paranormal romance I’ve ever read, but I didn’t hate it.518dtd0btxl

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Buan: The Perfect Mortals by Reece Bridger: this book contained demons and monsters. It was good, but was largely setting up for the rest of the series (which I am looking forward to reading).51oskMb35qL

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Abduction by Nicole Hatfield: Again, turned out to be not scary AT ALL. Abduction sounded like a kind of horror/kidnapping story, and turned out to be another romance (including sex and everything). I did enjoy it, but it really didn’t fit with the Halloween theme.

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The Nurse by Amy Cross: I actually read pretty much everything after sunset, but I specifically chose The Nurse for this because Amy Cross is a well-known horror writer. I was not disappointed. It wasn’t actually as scary as I expected, but it was a brilliant story with creepy aspects and a totally unexpected twist. Loved it.

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The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen: I chose treat because I didn’t want to overdo the horror (although it turns out I didn’t really need a break from it since most of my choices were not scary at all). I truly loved this book. It was so intricate and real, and even had a level of Halloween-appropriateness that I wasn’t expecting.

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Risen by M. T. Miller: I finished my last book with two days to spare! This was short, fast and pretty good. Full of violence and mystery, I really enjoyed it and will definitely be reading the next book to find out what’s going on.

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Did you do the read-a-thon? How did it go for you? Thank you so much Lauren, for coming up with such a fun Halloween activity!

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Risen – M. T. Miller

51izcz1ss9l(Book #1 in the Nameless Chronicles). A nameless man climbs out of a grave, to find himself in a crazy world where people with skull-faces trying to kill him. He doesn’t know who or what he is, all he knows is that he must fight to survive.

This book is non-stop, violent action, and it’s only about 100 pages which makes it a very quick read. The setting is kind of apocalyptic, and the story is very intriguing (although, being so short, the plot doesn’t develop that much).

I enjoyed reading Risen and I am very interested to see how the series continues.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Buan: The Perfect Mortals – Reece Bridger (Buan #1)

51oskMb35qLThis is the first book in the Buan series, and as such, it is largely setting up the story. In a world of magic and demons, the lives of four siblings change forever as each of them gain magical powers and are sent on a mission to save the world. (That is basically the entire plot so far).

Not much actually happens in The Perfect Mortals. We meet the main characters and see them gain their powers and learn how to use them. It all kicks off in the last chapter when they fight a bunch of monsters and start to really understand the peril that lies before them.

There isn’t a huge amount more to say. Bridger’s writing is good and the plot has the potential to get much better as the books continue. This could turn out to be an epic fantasy series (although, from the pace of the first book, I doubt it will be anywhere near as good as the likes of Eragon or His Dark Materials). I have high hopes for book #2.

Once Lost Lords – Stephen Morse

31127839This review will be brief, because to be honest I’m not even sure what happened.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Humanity hasn’t been alone for almost two thousand years. Elves, wolves, vampires, all joined together with mankind to eradicate the ‘darker’ races and maintained a tentative peace until modern times. Society adapted, everyone has rules that help keep the peace in this modern era. Yet, absolute genocide is impossible when talking about creatures beyond the pale. Some hid, some buried, other were re-purposed.

Some, like Jay Fields, pass for human with a little bit extra. His abilities didn’t belong to one of the major races, but any information was buried along with the long dead boogie men. All Jay cared about was those closest to him and a job that let him hit people. He used to be a bouncer at a bar, a part-time enforcer for a loan shark, and even a fight club champion. That was four years ago, before betrayal by someone close sent him packing.

Now he’s back and trying to recover a life he left behind. Questions of origin aren’t his only problems. His ex-girlfriend is a vampire. His part-time boss doesn’t think he’s up to snuff anymore. There’s a missing elf who might have some answers, and Jay’s best friend is caught up in something dangerous… 

There was nothing intrinsically wrong with Once Lost Lords, I just wasn’t interested. It didn’t draw me in at all. I actually read 3 other books between starting and finishing this one (which, let me tell you, is not a good sign). I honestly don’t even know why I didn’t like it. I love vampires and elves and magic, but I just didn’t care who these characters were or what they were doing (to the extent that, although I only finished the book yesterday, I can’t remember what happened in it). Also, I never fully understood the ‘lord’ situation (I say not fully, what I really mean is not at all). I think this is the first part in a series, so maybe it would become clearer later, but it seemed weird to not understand something so central to the story.

I feel like the story line might have actually been quite good – and not totally badly written – I just could not get into it. I will not be reading the rest of the series.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

WWW Wednesday

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words. I haven’t done one for months, so decided it was about time to do another. To join in, all you need to do is answer three questions and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to check out.

The 3 W’s:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

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I’m racing to finish the Halloween Read-A-Thon, so right now I’m reading one of the books off my TBR list for that: Buan: The Perfect Mortals by Reece Bridger. (Don’t think I’ll finish this and my 6th book in 4 days, but I can still try!

The story hasn’t really got going yet. I’m about a third of the way through and not a lot has happened. I don’t mind that too much, but I hope it gets a bit more interesting soon.

Recently Finished:

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I just finished London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning a couple of nights ago. I loved it! The characters are fantastic, the story is fun, the setting is perfect and the humour is right up my street.

My full review is available here

 

Reading Next:

Next up, I will be reading Class of ’59, and ARCs of Caraval, and Defender. I’m so stoked for Caraval, I really love the cover.


What’s on your TBR? Leave a comment with a link to your post so I (and others) can take a look and share our thoughts!

London Belongs to Us – Sarra Manning

26177619__sy180_I LOVED THIS BOOK. I loved the characters, the plot, the setting, the style, just EVERYTHING.

When 17-year-old Sunny finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her with some ‘skank in short shorts’, she’s devastated. There must be some sort of explanation, right? So, Sunny spends all night trying to track him down and find out the truth, which turns into a very eventful adventure across London, chasing after her crappy boyfriend but instead finding herself (and some fantastic new friends) along the way.

London Belongs to Us is smart, sassy, creative and I loved every second. Sunny is a brilliant heroine, while the other characters are wonderfully entertaining (especially Vic and Jean-Luc – I don’t normally get that excited about characters but these two are the bomb. I want to hang out with them, like, so badly). Sunny’s choices are wild but somehow believable and, as someone who was a 17-year-old girl not all that long ago, I totally understood her thoughts and feelings. Although she starts out quite weak, she gets stronger and stronger until she is funny, independent, and completely likable.

Sarra Manning’s style is fabulous. The book is a loveletter to London and I really appreciated the little historical facts about each location at the start of every chapter. There are also hilarious interjections between chapters, with lists and pie-charts summing up Sunny’s thoughts at that moment in the story.

I think this is my favourite book of the year. 5 thousand stars.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Moral Justice – Catherine Michael

32061334This is a story about the law, justice and friendship. Dominic, Phil and Ged are three friends, all barristers, who sometimes question the morality of some of the cases they defend, but overall believe they are doing the right thing. One day, Dominic’s girlfriend suddenly runs away and no one can understand why, until Phil is given a new case to defend which makes things disturbingly clear. Phil tries to do his job, while keeping the shocking truth from his friend. But when Dominic finds out, he decides to take matters into his own hands…

The story started slowly. To begin with I was bored, but then things got going and became pretty interesting. Still, not much actually happens. The book is more about questioning morality and justice, but it does manage to be intriguing without having a very eventful plot. There’s also a strong concentration on (the death of) friendship, and what you should or shouldn’t share with your friends.

Moral Justice contains some very sensitive themes (namely, rape) and therefore I advise reading with caution. The attack is not followed blow-by-blow, so it isn’t too horrible, but some of the descriptions are quite graphic at points.

I reviewed this book at the request of the author.

The Nurse – Amy Cross

51ycadeqoqlThis was not as scary as I expected! Dark, super twisted and pretty creepy, but not actually scary. Rachel (who is blind) moves into a new house with her mother, who works away from home every night. When she’s home alone, Rachel starts to hear strange noises and, being that she can’t see, she is unable to discover their source. At the same time, we follow the story of Alice: a nurse who lived in the same house 20 years ago, caring for her dying father. Alice was involved in an incident at work which lead to the tragic death of an 8-year-old boy, who is haunting her while her father mocks and abuses her, slowing driving her insane. When strange things keep happening at home, Rachel starts digging into the past to learn more about the ‘crazy’ nurse who lived there before her, until eventually she discovers much more than she bargained for.

Alice’s story is truly tragic. I think this is what stopped the book being really scary – instead I was just really sad for Alice the whole time. Her father is truly horrible to her, why does she keep caring for him?! And the whole time she’s dealing with her guilt over accidentally killing a child. Poor woman.

The Nurse is violent creepy but not OTT on gore (which is good because ew, blood and stuff). The plot is genuinely interesting, not just horror for the sake of horror. And the plot twist is INSANELY GOOD. I did not see it coming AT ALL. Amy Cross is the queen of horror (seriously, she has so, so many books) and it’s easy to see why. I will definitely be reading more of her work.

Abduction – Nicole Hatfield

30524032I cannot explain the plot of this book without giving away too many spoilers, so instead, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads: Audrey Green’s life was going nowhere fast. She didn’t think things could get any worse until a stranger at a door proved her wrong. Mistaken for another woman, Audrey is abducted and thrown into a situation she thought possible only in the movies. Upon discovering the identity of her gorgeous yet arrogant captor, Audrey is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: Fight for her freedom… or stay and be rewarded. A simple choice with a huge reward. Easy decision, right? Or will her choice and her captor’s secret ultimately lead to more danger than she could ever be prepared for?

First things first, Audrey is a lunatic. I mean, I don’t think she’s actually meant to be, but from the very first time she meets her captors she starts checking them out and being physically attracted to them. Yes, Stockholm Syndrome is a thing, but this is way too fast. It gave the story very little credibility.

Having said that, the rest of the story was pretty good. Very eventful and exciting. The baddies were genuinely scary and the ‘goodies’ were amusing and likeable (once you get past the fact that they kidnapped someone). It’s more a romance than a thriller (including sex-scenes, which I was not expecting) but that was kind of okay in the end. I usually do not like reading the sex stuff (yes, yes, I am a bit of a prude) but in Abduction it actually wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t too gross or weird, and it didn’t go on too long. I mean, it was pretty explicit, but I was able to deal.

To sum up, the story is flawed and not believable by any stretch of the imagination, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

The Things We Wish Were True -Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

51mbmthrsslIn Sycamore Glen, a small-town neighbourhood in North Carolina, the residents spend their summers idling away the days by the community pool, socialising with friends and neighbours. But when an accident at the pool upsets the calm, some are drawn into unlikely friendships where lies begin to unravel and long-kept secrets are revealed. This is a story about real problems, the importance of friendship, and forgiveness.

The Things We Wish Were True is intriguing and complex. We follow the lives of a number of the neighbourhood’s inhabitants (both adults and children) in alternating chapters. This style means that each character is fully developed; their stories quite detailed. They’re so likeable and real, even the ones who have done bad things (and there are plenty of those). I really found myself hoping everything was going to work out, rooting for each character in their individual struggles. And struggles there are: there is so much going on, from old and new romances, stalking, cheating, illegitimate children, to an almost-drowning and a missing girl.

Marybeth’s writing style is wonderful. It’s descriptive without being over the top, well-observed and very easy to read. I really loved the intricacy and realness of the story. Every storyline was important, and they all linked together, no part any less important than others. The result was effective, the story very moving, and I really enjoyed it.