“Emotive” Kevin Laymon – Book Spotlight

Emotive is a tale of life, love, compassion, and the pursuit of happiness as told through the eyes of the story’s narrator, Linus. Linus is a puppy living in a small city located in the rolling hillsides of upstate New York. When the abnormalities of his owner Sam are all he knows since birth, he gains a perspective of unyielding acceptance and love towards the man who feeds him, takes him to the park, and murders women in his basement.

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What reviewers are saying

“I absolutely loved this book. I stumbled upon it on accident while I was on the Goodreads site. I shelved it and waited anxiously until it was available for purchase on Amazon. Being a huge dog lover is why the cover sparked my interest. The description interested me a lot, even though I knew it was probably going to be a grim book. I love how the book is told from the dog’s point of view. It really makes you think about the emotions dogs probably really do feel, but can’t communicate to us. This book went in directions I didn’t expect. I was kept at suspense and enjoyed how it all played out.” – Kaylee

“Emotive was a unique read full of interesting perspective. The storytelling through the eyes of a dog created deep emotions & connections with powerful characters. The writing was strong & visual.” – Amazon Customer

“I absolutely loved this book !!! Blunt and straight to the point, a quick read that moves right along and delivers. A fresh point a view from the main character that I found myself rooting for and falling in love with. This story takes off like a bolt of lighting right from the starting line. I’m an avid reader and though this story is brutal it is well written and I found that I could not put it down and felt quite satisfied with the ending which was heroic to say the least. I give this book a solid rating of 5 stars. This is the second book in Kevin’s line up that I have read and I can eagerly say that I am looking forward to reading his next publication. He’s a new and young writer who shows a lot of promise. I highly recommend this book as well as his first ( FUTURE WINDS )” – Don B.

Have you read this book? If so, do Mr. Laymon a solid and give your two cents by reviewing it on Amazon or Goodreads! 

We loved this book and will tell you all about it in our review in a few days! Keep an eye out but in the mean time give it a look yourself and see what all the buzz is about!

 

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“The Betrayal of KA” – Book Spotlight

As the spaceship secretly lands on Earth, Ka’s mission is clear: find and kill Transprophetics. His shipmates think of him as a killer. On his home planet of Koranth, he is considered a murderer. Haunted in his dreams by the boy whose life he stole, Ka struggles to define who he really is.

A girl in a temple in Thailand. A boy kidnapped in Mexico. Both can do the impossible. Both can move objects with their minds. These two Transprophetics pose grave risks to the Donovackia Corporation as it plans its invasion of Earth.

With a blade in his hand, Ka’s decision to kill, or not, will reverberate across the galaxy.

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How about those reviews?

“Betrayal of Ka is sci-fi at its best. It starts out strong, keeps its pace and manages to be suspenseful till the very end. I initially thought the story would be pretty average, looking at the description. Many sci-fi favorites hover over some cliches. Of course, this book too remains true to some of the regular elements of a sci-fi thriller. But it brings in a lot of novelty.” – Page Hungry Bookworm

“Five stars for The Betrayal of Ka, and a warning that, as the saying goes, “once you start this book you won’t want to put it down.'” – Don Sloan

“This book is GRITTY. It hits on politics as well as some of the lesser used subjects in science fiction. It will kick your butt. This book is also multi-faceted. It brings up real political issues that are relate-able to our current time period while at the same time creating a story that is both entertaining and emotion catching.” – AlliesOpinions

This is one Sci-fi book you don’t want to miss! It’s listed for free with Kindle Unlimited! Get your copy and see what all the buzz is about.

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Shea Oliver Author Pic

Shea Oliver lives in Niwot, Colorado, near the base of the Rocky Mountains. He can often be found wandering through mountain forests and alpine tundra. An avid hiker and photographer, he often uses his time in the mountains to work through various characters and plots. When he is not enjoying nature, Shea is a devoted father of two teenage sons and a serial entrepreneur.

 

Book Review “Ribbonworld” Richard Dee

Miles Goram has a problem. All the down-on-his-luck journalist planned on doing was writing a hotel review and now there’s a body in his bathroom. Far from home on a strange planet, Miles must deal with the fact that somebody wants him dead.
Welcome to Reevis, a planet without days or nights where life is only possible under a vast pressure dome. It is on this airless wasteland that Miles finds himself caught up in a mystery involving a huge interplanetary corporation, a powerful man and his ambitious PA, and a beautiful young heiress who has been missing for years.

Crossing the galaxy in search of answers, Miles begins to uncover a web of deceit that stretches further than anyone could have imagined. With his life becoming at greater and greater risk, he realizes that there is no one he can trust. Will he discover the truth and finally come to terms with his past? And, if he does, will it be enough to save his future…?

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“Ribbonworld” is one of those books that is easy to relate to. You wouldn’t initially think so since it’s based on a fictional settlement but it’s themes are comparable to current day.

The pace is fast and Miles finds himself right in the middle of a conflict that goes far deeper than a hotel review. At first, Reevis’ dome and people feel claustrophobic and Miles is ping ponged between different factions without having a clear view of who has motives, what they are and what his role is in them. What a convoluted mess! 

After some time the picture is less blurry and the allure of this planet of extremes starts to wiggle its way into Miles’ psyche.  The planet descriptions are one of my most favorite aspects of this book. I was transfixed with the beauty of it all. Mr Dee enraptures the reader with his poetic descriptions and the pictures he painted swirled in my mind deepening the stories impact as I read. 

This is a story of intrigue and the relationship between a powerful company with little oversight and the people who built it. This is a look into what can happen when money is more important than people and integrity is an afterthought for the greedy. This is a story that transcends these pages and is eerily similar to the past, present and probably the future. 

Solid 5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Ribbonworld | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Richard Dee  |Publisher: SilverWood Books  / Publication Date: 11-2-2015 |Pages: 201 (Print) | ISBN:B016N4YAI4 |Genre(s): Science Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense  |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2-8-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

Book Review “The Junkyard Capital”Jak Locke

Senator Aphid only wanted to improve his country, though after four years in the District of Laws he really should have known better. He’s removed from office and soon grudgingly finds himself paired with Frog Dell, the reckless and self-indulgent hermit of the junkyard. As the two evade the wrath of a government run amok with corruption, dissension spreads through the public, and conspiracy reigns. What role does psychiatrist and part-time inventor Weasel McKenzie play in the upcoming Archministry election? How does front-runner candidate and acclaimed playwright J. Thomas Capra plan to fix the broken nation? Who’s being stalked by merciless bounty hunter Jack Dingo? Why is Dead Fish wandering an empty version of the world? The pressure escalates quickly in this twisting, zany, fast-paced and subversive satire that, like real politics, requires (and prefers) absolutely no prior political knowledge. NOTE: This book is the heavily revised second edition of the now out-of-print book Frog Dell’s Junkyard.

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I’d like to start this review with sharing some of my favorite passages of this book. “The Junkyard Capital” is one of those books that you could basically highlight from cover to cover. It’s probably the most quotable fiction novel I’ve read in awhile. I hope you enjoy the few I’ve selected for you.

“Well that’s a bit rude, but then again, genius is never understood by the layman, so why the lawman?” 

“I’d be interested in your package that includes just leaving me be, that was nice. How much is that? Is that a thing we can do?”

“Ahh Good, more like Ahh Stop. Have you considered working in corrections?”

“What kind of person thinks to run to be Archminister? The idealistic fool, the strict careerist, and the sinister. In short, the only sorts the job description’s not revolted, are unqualified to do it or the type that shouldn’t hold it.”

“All must awaken eventually; for even the sweetest dream is just that”

“The Junkyard Capital” begins by dropping the reader right into the mind of a few characters that really appear to be way off their rocker. Have you ever heard the saying “He/she has the attention span of a nat”? There’s a couple characters in here that definitely fit the bill. 

Just as I was about 40% into the book, a lot of things started to come together in really unexpected and very clever ways. Once you get passed the  assumed madness of their minds and the full picture comes into view, I promise it will all make sense and will blow your mind. I especially enjoyed the “News Debate” sections. There’s a lot going on and the updates help to keep events in order without boring the reader by rehashing the whole ordeal. Very clever strategy from Locke.

While “The Junkyard Capital” is definitely a fictional story, it was also eerily similar to current events. I’ll admit there was more than once that I looked up from the pages and pondered the similarity.

The ending completely blew my mind. Like, total head explosion. I did a double take and yelled WHHHAAATT???? at my Kindle. My whole family whipped their heads around and eyed me like I had lost my mind. Which I did because it’s rare I don’t catch onto the climax before it happens. Well done Locke, well done.

I even reread a good portion of the book to see if I could catch it and even knowing whats to come, I still couldn’t see it. It amazes me that this is Locke’s first novel. It’s incredibly well staged and boy has he set the bar high! 

One thing Locke has excelled at with this story is his complex character building. Locke also impressed me with his writing ability to “show” the reader instead of “tell” the reader. This isn’t as easy as it sounds and I was duly impressed with Locke’s skill. This book is cleverly crafted and masterfully written. I am absolutely blown away! For lovers of politics and all it’s intricacies, this is definitely the book for you.

Solid 5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: The Junkyard Capital | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Jak Locke  |Publisher: Amazon Digital Services  / Publication Date: 2-1-2017 |Pages: 200 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1542836135  |Genre(s): Political Satire / Fiction  |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2-25-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

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Jak Locke is an entertainer, filmmaker, and programmer obsessed with exploring every form of expression. The Junkyard Capital is his first book and gives his degree in political science some relevance to his life for once. He is a lifelong New Orleans area resident.

Dan Alexander, Pitcher – Bottom of the Ninth Series

Fed up with cheating women, Dan Alexander, star pitcher for the New York Nighthawks, grew restless. Searching for something more than a bar babe, he zeroed in on a girl in the stands. He never expected to see a beautiful chick pushing frankfurters. But the hot dog girl looked as smokin’ as the food she was selling. Holly Merrill found a place to hide in plain sight, as a vendor at Nighthawks’ stadium. Keeping her secret safe and simply happy to stay alive, she never considered finding love an option. After all, a bad girl doesn’t deserve a decent guy, does she? Coming off his best season ever, Dan went into the playoffs, hell bent on winning the pennant and playing in the World Series. But could he maintain his focus on the field, where everything was going right, when off the field everything was falling apart?

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! 

To see the review, click the title below.

Dan Alexander, Pitcher

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Review Stats

Amazon: 4.8 Stars!

Goodreads: 4.6 stars!

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About The Author

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I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. When other kids wanted to be doctors, teachers or firemen, I wanted to be a writer.
As soon as I could read, I began devouring books. I’d read anything I could get my hands on, but Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Nancy Drew mysteries were early favorites.
In school, term papers were my favorite homework. While others bemoaned the amount of work involved, I jumped in, burying myself in research and writing the document with care.
Still fiction was my first love. After college and a degree in English, I fell into the world of advertising. After many years in corporate America, I went my own way. Working and raising two kids took all my energy and creativity. But when the youngest went off to school, all the story ideas in my head came to life. Mac Caldwell and Callie Richards landed in my head and refused to leave. So I told their story. What started as one book has become six. Now I greet my characters every morning at six and jump back into their story, enjoying every minute. I’m blessed to be able to work at something I love and share my space with my husband as well as my beloved pug, Homer. More than 26 books later, I’m still up at the crack of dawn, crafting the tales of the people who live in my head.

Want to know more? Check out her website! 

https://jeanjoachimbooks.com/

This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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Book Review “Dan Alexander, Pitcher – Bottom of the Ninth” Jean C. Joachim

Fed up with cheating women, Dan Alexander, star pitcher for the New York Nighthawks, grew restless. Searching for something more than a bar babe, he zeroed in on a girl in the stands. He never expected to see a beautiful chick pushing frankfurters. But the hot dog girl looked as smokin’ as the food she was selling. Holly Merrill found a place to hide in plain sight, as a vendor at Nighthawks’ stadium. Keeping her secret safe and simply happy to stay alive, she never considered finding love an option. After all, a bad girl doesn’t deserve a decent guy, does she? Coming off his best season ever, Dan went into the playoffs, hell bent on winning the pennant and playing in the World Series. But could he maintain his focus on the field, where everything was going right, when off the field everything was falling apart?

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The first thing I want to say to anyone thinking about not reading this book due to its Baseball theme is….DON’T PASS THIS BOOK UP! It is fantastic! You don’t need to be into Baseball to enjoy the story. I am far from a Baseball fan and I couldn’t put this book down. Both Holly and Dan are compelling characters that will drive a spike into you with their authenticity. 

One of my most favorite aspects of this story is how different Dan and Holly became who they are. Two completely different upbringings and yet Joachim expertly brings them together in such a believable way that I won’t be surprised if ballparks across America find themselves over-run with “hot dog girl” applications. There is even a review on Amazon from someone who is a hot dog vendor! 

The story isn’t all romance. Joachim weaves a thrilling thread with Holly and her ties to a sketchy ex-boyfriend. Right from the first page, the hazardous and perilous life of Holly draws you in to her desperation and regret. While reading, I was constantly concerned for her safety. This book kept me on my toes in more than one way. 

Beginning with the introduction of Dan, I felt an immediate kinship with him. Coming from a small town myself, his charm and authenticity  really made me want better for him. While successful and incredibly talented, I loved how Joachim made him imperfectly real. He’s not the best there ever was. He’s not a Baseball prodigy. He’s a guy who is improving in many areas of his life. He’s like a regular guy who is growing and learning with each new experience life throws at him. He’s a guy you would be hard pressed not to like.

Since a good part of the secondary characters are single….I’m looking forward to future books exploring their lives and future (possible) loves!

I loved everything about this story. It’s sweet but tense. Thrilling and comforting. The best of both worlds. I highly recommend it.

5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Dan Alexander, Pitcher | Series: Bottom of the Ninth  |  Author(s): Jean C. Joachim  |Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform  / Publication Date: 9-21-2016 |Pages: 240 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1539025665  |Genre(s): Romance / Sports |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2-17-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

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Book Review “The 5th Wave” Rick Yancy

synopsis

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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Funny story, I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile. I passed over it time and time again while choosing my next book to read. I had no idea what I was missing! I also had no idea there was a movie. Goes to show how much I pay attention. 

I made the mistake of beginning this book later in the day so I ended up binge reading it and stayed up literally all night. This wasn’t the best plan since I am the mother of two small children. Lots of coffee was drank the next day. I finished it about an hour after my husband left for work that next morning and as much as I should regret staying up all night…..I don’t. Yancey’s writing sucked me in and didn’t let go. I was jonesing so hard for the next book that the minute my husband got home from work I raced to the bookstore. I’m 100% sure that’s the only time I’ve gone more than 5 over the speed limit in probably 3 years.

I liked how real Cassi came across. She wasn’t just scared. She was angry and sad and terrified and brave.

She represents humanity. We never have just one emotion. All of our emotions are a jumbled mess and the complex decisions we make aren’t always based on emotion or logic. Sometimes they are a mix of both.  Her name….it’s fitting really. Cassiopeia. She’s a child of the stars while being entirely human.

The bravery Cassi shows comes across as a bit insane at times and very paranoid at others. I can’t brag enough on Yancey.

Cassi feels like a scarily real person in a terrifyingly real scenario. 

There are so many elements to this story and I think that is why it drills into the imagination so easily. It’s scary and brutal. It’s tender and loving. It’s suspenseful and chill inducing. It’s life.

The teddy bear was a nice touch too. 

I don’t want to say much else for fear of giving anything about the book away. Just know that it is absolutely worth the money and be sure to schedule enough time to read it in one sitting.

5 stars.

5 stars

The Technical Data:

Title: The 5th Wave | Series: The 5th Wave  |  Author(s): Rick Yancey  |Publisher: Speak  / Publication Date: 2-10-2015 |Pages: 512 (Print) | ISBN: 978-0142425831 |Genre(s): Science Fiction / Action / Romance / Suspense / Horror / Dystopian |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-06-2017 |Source: Copy from personal collection.

Book Review “The Collector” Nora Roberts

synopsis

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel about a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed and danger that brings them together—and could tear them apart…
 
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one…
 
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash try to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away and stolen; where what you possess is who you are; and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession…

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I want to kick this off by admitting that this book has been sitting on my shelf damn near all year long. My husband bought it for me earlier in the year when I was buried in my review pile. I’ve run my fingers over it’s cover at least 20 times wishing I had time to read it. Nora Roberts writes some pretty amazing books and I’ve been looking forward to (finally) reading “The Collector” for far too long. Considering I built up some serious anticipation for this book, I had to take a couple of days after reading it to decompress and make dang sure my review would be on the actual book and not my preconceived ideas of how it was going to go down. After decompression, this is what I’ve got.

The only character that I felt was close to fully fleshed out in “The Collector” was Lila. That’s not to say that she didn’t need some work. I thought I had a pretty good eye on who she was until Ash came into the picture. All the sudden, it was like Lila’s independent nature was squashed. She didn’t put up the fight I was expecting of her and it blurred who she was in my head.

I feel like Roberts should back almost all the way up with Ash. The “brooding artist” stereotype ruined him for me. I love his art and his steady side but found the few things I loved about him stomped on by his downright shitty behavior and inconsiderate nature. I could see that Roberts was trying to convince the readers that while brash, Ash cares about those around him but I’m not buying it. For the most part Ash acts like a douche and I don’t like him. I don’t think he is a good fit for anyone and feel that his behavior is abusive.

One of the main themes in this book is Obsession. The reader is hit with two forms. One slightly veiled in its intensity and the other’s is blatant and frightening. The veiled obsession still unsettles me. I felt the character exhibited some pretty frightening narcissistic traits that were passed off as bluntness. There is a big difference and I don’t like how this was passed off as a healthy relationship. 

The nefarious obsessor is blatant with his disregard for any life other than his own. I can see the distance Roberts tried to put between the “Obsessor’s” but felt that by only vilifying one she glossed over abuse in less obvious forms. Obsession is dangerous.

I love Lila’s profession and found it interesting to get a glimpse into that world. Roberts found a way to make house sitting seem exciting and I felt the job added nicely to who Lila was as a person. While having Gypsy tendencies, I felt Lila is also a very steady person. Someone to be trusted and cherished. Her kindness and thoughtfulness is so at odds with Ash’s domineering personality!

The book is well researched and the premise intriguing. I came away from the book with a mixed bag of emotion but ultimately enjoyed reading it. After serious consideration, I still feel like the book could stand to be reevaluated by the author. There is too much conflict for the romance to come across as anything other than abusive and I feel Roberts should consider this a bit further and consider who she really wants Ash to be.

3 stars.

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The Technical Data:

Title: The Collector | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Nora Roberts  |Publisher:  Berkley / Publication Date: 4-15-2014 |Pages: 485 (Print) | ISBN:  B00FX7REI6 |Genre(s): Romance & Suspense |Language: English |Rating: 3 out of 5 |  Date Read: 11-27-2016 |Source: Copy from personal collection.

Book Review “The Chemist” Stephenie Meyer

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In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. Resolving to meet the threat head on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life, but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of. In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.

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Stephenie Meyer has kicked major literary butt again with “The Chemist”. I love every single one of her books. Every. Single. One. “The Chemist” was so far removed from everything else I’ve read from Meyer and she wrote it like she is a seasoned pro in this genre. 

Meyer has this amazing ability to form these relationships with her characters that are incredibly improbable but soooooo believable. This has made for some intriguing stories.

In “The Chemist” Alex is one of those characters that is traditionally perceived as the bad guy. Meyer brings a depth to this “profession” that I hadn’t thought much on before reading this. It leads to the question of how much motivation would someone need to do great harm to one to save the masses. How much value do we bestow on the individual? What’s acceptable and what’s not? Meyer weaves some thought provoking questions into this story.

“The Chemist” moves quickly. It’s a hard one to put down because there really wasn’t a good stopping point. I basically went into zombie reading mode to finish it. The pages were basically on fire with the speed they were turning.

I love that Alex was a woman. In most espionage films or books this type of character is usually male. A female lead opened up a whole new set of obstacles and assets that I don’t think have been explored near enough in this genre. 

Alex’s intellect and chemical creativity was almost it’s own character in the story. I got a real kick out of all the “booby traps” she had on and off her person.

The use of “mirror twins” was expertly done. I caught on to where I thought Meyer was going with it before the climax but that may be the massive amount of books I’ve read that were similar to this one. There’s only so many ways this could of ended. That’s not to say that I’m unhappy with the ending because I think it ended the way it should have. Much different and the realistic narrative would have been bent maybe beyond beliveveability (not sure if that’s an actual word or if I made that up but it sounds good).

Something that Meyer brought up in building the character of Alex was her trying to formulate a way to “interrogate” without causing pain. A truth serum if you will…. this wasn’t harped on but it was mentioned that the powers that be didn’t seem interested in that line of research. If you think about that beyond the scope of fiction it does make a person wonder.

“The Chemist” has a lot to offer a variety of people. It’s entertaining, full of action but also brings up a pile of philosophical questions. It’s a solid book and Meyer has proved yet again why she is a best seller. Oh what it must be like to have those stories swirling in one’s mind.

5 star book!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: The Chemist | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Stephenie Meyer  |Publisher: Little, Brown and Company / Publication Date: 11-8-2016 |Pages: 528 (Print) | ISBN: 978-0316387835   |Genre(s): Thriller & Suspense |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 11-20-2016 |Source: Copy from personal collection.

Book Review “Missing Mona” Joe Klingler

synopsis

Tommy has boomeranged back to his parents residence and a dead-end job after too many years in college. As he looks squarely at his next decade of life his smartphone convinces him the time is ripe for a change. A gift from his grandfather provides the means, so he embarks on the path of blues artists and beatniks before him–and hits the road.

He immediately meets a damsel in hitchhiking distress who says her name is Mona. Her presence persuades him that the bright lights and dark clubs of Chicago might be his kind of town. So on a summer Saturday night they settle into a fancy hotel overlooking the beaches of Lake Michigan.

On Sunday…Mona disappears.

But she leaves behind more than a sweet memory that involves Tommy in a brand new cash flow problem he never imagined. While trying to sort out how to stay on the right side of the law and get back on the road, he meets a young criminologist who helps him, a DJ who doesn’t, and a librarian who teaches him about the city, women, and the art of the makeover. After truth and lies are stirred like a blue martini, being assaulted by a pink monkey, and witnessing a drive-by shooting that drowns a Ferrari–Tommy is desperate to help Mona.

If he can find her.

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“Missing Mona” was a fun read. It took me awhile to really get into the story but once I did the suspense had me flipping pages to unravel all those loose threads! 

I have to admit that when I began the book I did not like Tommy. Not even a little. He seems like a grown man baby. He doesn’t at all seem to understand how privileged he is and he surely doesn’t appreciate it. I was more than a quarter into the book before I stopped sneering at Tommy and actually started to like him a little. His evolution as a character is one of the aspects of the book that I enjoyed the most. Because, let me tell you…if Tommy wouldn’t of started to change pretty early on there is a good chance I would of put this book down and labeled a DNF.

Beyond my immediate dislike of Tommy, the plot of “Missing Mona” is intricate and cleverly constructed. Most of the twists and turns took me completely by surprise while a few others were a bit predictable. 

Now, the supporting characters is what makes this book! Klingler did a fantastic job of building Mona, Marvin, Lizz, Kim ect… They each stand out and build on the Chicago setting making the location feel more and more authentic. For a mystery, this had one of the best casts of supporting characters that I have read this year. I really can not brag on this enough. Each time a new character came into play the story became more vibrant and dug its hooks further in. 

All in all, this book is cleverly written and fun to read. Klingler did a great job and this is a series I will follow in the future.

4 stars.

4 star

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The Technical Data:

Title: Missing Mona | Series:  Tommy Cuda Mysteries  |  Author(s):  Joe Klingler |Publisher: Cartosi LLC / Publication Date: 10-23-2015 |Pages: 416 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1941156056  |Genre(s): Mystery & Suspense |Language: English |Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Date Read: 10-20-2016 |Source: Copy from Author

About The Author

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Joe Klingler was born in the Great Black Swamp on a hot July day during a cold war. In primary school he read Four Wheel Drift. That led to a soap box derby car named Restless, two crashes, and a lifelong love of motion.

Images of Jimi Hendrix playing the U.S. National Anthem at Woodstock inspired pounding on a Gibson in a garage band influenced by local groups like the MC5 and Iggy and Stooges whose pioneering punk music he figured existed everywhere—though it was actually coming out of Detroit, Michigan forty miles to the north.

Joe read The God Machine by Martin Caidin, and started thinking about the nature of computation. He studied electrical engineering, spent time doing research in medical image processing, published academic papers, wrote a few patents. All of which led to an interest in special effects and the software that made them. He co-founded a company that was soon acquired, leading to a string of jobs for bigger and bigger corporations until assimilation by a billion dollar enterprise gave him the idea for a book—which he wrote while moving 525 mph bouncing between the coasts of North America.

That book led to RATS, his debut novel, which draws on the beauty of technology, its uses, misuses and abuses. And how the collision of human ideologies shapes its future—and ours. A minor character in RATS led to Mash Up: a rollicking ride with student musicians through San Francisco, Silicon Valley, social media and the minds of persons who use sharp knives to solve problems.

He currently resides in California with an iMac and a couple of motorcycles, and has recently released his third novel: Missing Mona. He’s fond of turbochargers, and loves his S1000RR.

To learn more, check out Joe’s website HERE.