Friday, March 17, 2017

REVIEW: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

A Curious Beginning is the first in an exciting new steampunk mystery adventure series from Deanna Raybourn.

The author brings us back to Victorian London, 1887 to be exact. Veronica Speedwell has just buried her aunt, and now the trouble starts and she's running for her life, no idea why anyone would be after her. Placed into the care of the roguishly handsome Stoker, the pair are determined to get to the bottom of who killed the Baron, and why they would be after her as well. The shocking secrets they discover make for an intriguing tale that kept me on my toes to the very end.

The chemistry between Victoria and Stoker was intense. Why don't they just kiss already? Haha! I'm not a big fan of romance when it's the main premise of the story, but the budding background sexual tension between the two of them served to add another emotional layer to the whole story. I'm definitely looking forward to further adventures between these two, and fortunately I have the next in the series, A Perilous Undertaking, waiting on my Kindle up next. :)

The Kindle edition of this book is only $2.99 right now. Click the link or picture above to get it!

Friday, March 03, 2017

REVIEW: The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, Book 3) by Angie Fox

My Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Verity Long can see and talk to ghosts. Unfortunately, she also seems to always find herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time, she's on the scene when the head of The First Bank of Sugarland is killed. No one saw who shot poor Reggie right through the heart, but the calling card left at the scene points to Handsome Henry, an infamous gangster and hit man gunned down and killed back in 1933.

Teaming up with her sort-of boyfriend, deputy sheriff Ellis Wydell, along with her ghostly gangster buddy Frankie, the three search for answers in a haunted mob speakeasy, as well as a spooky cemetery crawling with wailing ghosts. Can Verity use her medium skills to track down the killer before someone else gets popped?

Like the other books in the Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, The Haunted Heist was a fun, quick, and quirky read. There were several twists I didn't see coming, and I didn't figure out whodunit until the very end. I was also happy to see the relationship between Verity and Ellis blooming quite nicely. As usual, Verity makes a few stupid decisions along the way, and seems a bit more of a pushover this time around, but fortunately nothing that affected the story line too severely. (Unless you count getting locked in a bank vault.)

This book may not have had all the laughs of the previous two but I found it entertaining nonetheless. The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries are a witty, action-packed cozy mystery ride that I'd recommend to any fan of the genre. These books can easily be read standalone, though there are a couple ongoing threads going on in the background, like the burgeoning romance between Verity and Ellis, that make reading them in order much more enjoyable as you get to know the characters better.

Thank you to NetGalley and Season Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

REVIEW: Ghost of a Chance: A Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Novella by Angie Fox

My Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

This was a cute little novella, only about 40 pages long, that takes place chronologically between books 2 and 3 of the Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries.

Verity Long can see and talk to ghosts thanks to her resident ghost sidekick Frankie. So when her friend Major Matthew Jackson, long dead since the Civil War, comes to Verity for a favor, she's happy to do what she can to oblige. Matthew would like Verity's help to retrieve an old family heirloom from his family estate. And since it just so happens the Jacksons are holding their annual Christmas party this weekend, Verity straps on her catering hat to help out. But can she save the party, the reputation of her friend's catering business, and fulfill Matthew's request while all the Jackson ghosts are doing their darnedest to to dampen the festivities?

Though I've enjoyed the tales of Verity and the Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, I feel as if Verity brings many of her problems onto herself—she can be a bit of a ditz at times too. LOL That said, this series is charming, winsome, and witty, great for when you want a light-hearted, amusing read.

REVIEW: Crucible Zero: A House Immortal Novel (Book 3) by Devon Monk

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

The final book in the House Immortal trilogy brings things to close with a bang. Like the first two books in the trilogy, House Immortal and Infinity Bell, Crucible Zero picks up right where the previous book left off, so I'd recommend to read them all three together if you can. I myself re-read the first two book quickly before starting this one since it'd been almost 2 years since I was last immersed in this crazy, wonderful world.

An innovating change from the numerous vampire and werewolf tales dominating the genre, Matilda and the other galvanized are a sort of Frankenstein creation—immortal, intensely strong, and stitched together from numerous body parts.

Having just returned from the past, where she met up with her great-great-and-then-some grandfather to convince him to change the calculations of an experiment performed long ago that caused a break in time, Matilda now finds herself in a new reality that is not nearly the same as the one she left behind. But just as her reality is altered, so are the people she once knew. Gone is the heroic, ruggedly handsome Abraham, a galvanized she's got a lot of heat with, and in his place is Abraham the mercenary, killer-for-hire.

Unfortunately, there's yet another thorn in her side: a man named Slater who has followed her through time and will do everything in his immense power to see Matilda and her brother Quinten dead. For Matilda knows everything Slater has done throughout time to achieve the unworldly dominance he now wields in the world, and she'll stop at nothing to bring him down.

Now if she can only convince everyone else what's going on, maybe they'll all make it out alive!

The House Immortal Trilogy is a roller coaster of action and suspense. Science fiction and urban fantasy fans who enjoy great writing, riveting action, and unique world building should definitely check this one out.