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EmpressReece

Hooked on Books

Reading is my passion! I'll read anything if it looks good & sounds good. I'm also a sucker for books with unique settings & I'd choose Hardcovers over E-Books any day! : ) -Empress Reece

Currently reading

Gemina (The Illuminae Files)
Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Admiral
-Penguin Audio-, Sean Danker-Smith, Johnathan McClain
The Facefaker's Game
Chandler J. Birch
Grimalkin the Witch Assassin
Joseph Delaney, Christopher Evan Welch
Progress: 90 %
The Forlorned
Angela J. Townsend
Progress: 274/274 pages
The Other Side of Midnight
Simone St. James
Olmec Obituary (Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth Book 1)
David L. Owen
Progress: 12 %
Stiletto: A Novel
Daniel O'Malley, Hachette Audio, Moira Quirk
Progress: 31 %
The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel (The Queen of the Tearling Book 3)
Erika Johansen
The Aeronaut's Windlass: The Cinder Spires, Book 1
Jim Butcher, -Penguin Audio-, Euan Morton
Progress: 11 %

Wych Elm House...

Lost Among the Living - Simone St. James, Justine Eyre, Inc. Blackstone Audio

Another great story by St. James! I would say this is my second favorite book of hers; the first being The Haunting of Maddy Clare. I listened to the audio of this and it was wonderful. She really knows how to evoke an eerie atmosphere. Her descriptions of Franny and Princer's 'appearances' were just chilling. I was starting to think they were real myself. : )

Hello!!

I just wanted to say hi! I am so thrilled to see that BL seems to be running smoothly and I can post things quickly and with ease again. Woohoo! : ) I didn't realize how much I truly like BL more than GR until I had to go without BL. I look forward to rejoining you guys over here again. : )

 

 

Expedition to Kangchenjunga...

Thin Air - Michelle Paver

I love stories about climbing expeditions so I try to read as many as I can. This one focuses more on the ghost story aspect versus a lot of climbing details which is still great but if you are looking for a more technical perspective then you probably want to read a true account instead of this.

 

With that said, I enjoyed this story immensely but when it's all said and done, it didn't 'wow' me like I was hoping for. It had all of the ingredients of a good ghost story but I just didn't get that eerie, creepy feeling that I felt like it should have evoked, which is why I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

 

 

To A New Year!!

Hi all! I missed you guys! I know I've been scarce lately. I originally took a hiatus because I had the most awful writers block & coupled with the Booklikes issues, I was having a hard time getting anything done. Writing reviews started being more of a chore for me then it was fun so I felt a much needed break was in order. 

 

Then as they say...when it rains it pours and I had a number of personal things pop-up, culminating with my father unexpectedly passing on the 10th of this month followed my grandmother passing, not unexpectedly, on the 26th.

 

So it's been a hell of a month and I normally don't share much personal stuff but when I lost my father, I lost a friend too and he deserves a mention. Whatever better place there is out there, I hope he and my grandmother are both in it and we'll all meet again one day. 


Reading has always been soothing for me and has carried me through many nights in the past so as I ring in this New Year's, I'm going to turn to my loyal books, fellow bloggers and friends, catch up on some reviews and read the night away....

May this year be better then the last!

Happy New Year's!! 

 

 

 

 P.S. I'm glad to see BL is up and running again, or is it? I've been having problems all evening trying to connect and post this.  : (

Ouija- Never Break the Rules!...

Ouija - Katharine Turner

This was quite the little page turner and definitely worth the bargain basement price of $1.97 that I paid for it at Books-A-Million. Don't go into it thinking you'll be scared out of your mind though because it is a teen/YA book and seems to be watered down accordingly. There is some creepiness to it though and it'll make you think twice about playing with a Ouija board. 

 

The book was too short though. When I got to the end I was wanting more, more, more! An 'adult' version with a little more depth and horror would be perfect. I definitely could go for that! I'm dying to see the movies now- the original that is based on this book & the prequel that's in theaters. The original movie, I'm planning to watch tonight so I'm looking forward to that. I imagine it will be quite a bit scarier then the book. This is just one of those stories that needs some on screen theatrics. 

 

If you like a little bit of paranormal horror but not too much then this is the perfect book! You can get your 'scare me' fix and still sleep at night!

Pendergast Series Book #16- Diogenes...

The Obsidian Chamber (Agent Pendergast series) - Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

I absolutely love this series but this is the first book that didn't really grab me like the others. If you're familiar with this series and characters then you know Aloysius brother' Diogenes usually plays the bad guy role. In this book, he is supposedly turning over a new leaf and he has not only fallen in love with Constance but is giving up his bad boy ways.

 

I don't think I quite like this "new and improved" version. I just don't buy it so it was hard for me to reconcile this new personality with the evil person that has always committed such heinous acts. Plus Aloysius and Constance have been so set on finally just being done with him that what they did at the end, 

 

let him go, 

(show spoiler)

did not ring true to me at all. It felt totally contrived to keep Diogenes in the picture for a little while longer.

 

So this was definitely not one of my favorites but I am doubly curious now to see what the next book brings. I just hope it's better then this one!

 

*I received this book from NetGalley & Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 

 

 

Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 155 out of 224 pages.

Ouija - Katharine Turner

This book is pretty good! I'm dying to see both movies now- the original and the new prequel that just released. I'm pretty chicken though when it comes to really scary movies so I hope these aren't too over the top or I'll be seeing things around every corner & have nightmares for days. : ) Lol

Obsession & Possession...

Burnt Offerings - Robert Marasco

This was one of the best haunted house stories I've ever read! I just loved it! It's about The Rolfes- Marian, Ben & their son David. They live in a noisy apartment building in Queens so in order to get some peace they rent a house in the country for two months for their summer vacation. The house turns out to be a huge mansion that has fallen in disrepair. They find the renters, Roz & Brother, to be very eccentric and in the back of their mind they know that something isn't quite right. They present them with an offer they can't refuse though so they move in and take possession of the house but they'll come to find out that the house has taken possession of them; and as Marian's obsession with the house intensifies and her will to choose her family over the house is slowly taken from her, the house comes back to life...

 

Sometimes I find the endings to haunted house stories can be kind of hokey but I thought this one was very satisfying. The entire story was very atmospheric and I really enjoyed the sense of dark foreboding that overcast their stay. Seeing the house take possession of the family was very eerie and nicely written by the author.

 

If I absolutely 'had' to pick something that I didn't care for, it would probably be Marian & Ben's lovey-dovey dialogue. It was kind of sweet at first, and to give the author credit where credit is due, it was pretty realistic but I really don't care to hear couples baby talk in real life so I definitely don't care to hear it in a book either. That's really just a personal preference though and it didn't bother me enough to sway my rating.

 

On a side note, my 'obsession' with books 'possessed' me to buy a 1973 first edition of this but I'm so glad I did! It was totally worth it and I know I'll go back and reread it one day. For now though, it's going back in its Brodart and I'm going to find a copy of this movie that I'm dying to see!

Happy Halloween!!

 

Happy 11th Birthday Shadow! 

Mary Stewart and Merlin -should be good!

Starts tomorrow...

Starting November 1, 2016

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

Just putting this up here as a reminder!

 

Don't forget that we are beginning the Mary Stewart Merlin readalong on

November 1st!

 

Start acquiring your books now so you are ready to read!

 

2016 Halloween Bingo- Updates 22, 23, 24 & 25: BLACKOUT!!

Woohoo! I've completed all 25 squares-

BLACKOUT!! : )

 

 

 

 

Read by Candlelight or Flashlight- The Factory by Mark West

 

Magical Realism- The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

 

Witches- Rise of the Huntress (The Last Apprentice series- #7) by Joseph Delaney

 

          22. Genre: Horror- The Apartment by S.L Grey

 

Black Cat- The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

 

Diverse Authors- Lost Labyrinth by Zoraida Córdova

 

Ghost Stories & Haunted Houses- The Signalman by Charles Dickens

 

Young Adult Horror- One Was Lost by Natalie Richards

 

          23. Scary Women (Authors)- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

 

Reads with BL Friends- Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels

 

Grave or Graveyard- Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates

 

Genre: Mystery- Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen

 

Free Space- Bookburners (Episodes 13, 14, 15 & 16) by Max Gladstone et al.

 

Gothic- The House by Michael McDowell; The War by Michael McDowell

 

Creepy Crawlies- The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

 

         24. "Fall" into a Good Book- Rage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney

 

Locked Room Mystery- The Third Bullet by John Dickson Carr

 

It was a Dark & Stormy Night- Stranded by Bracken MacLeod

 

          25. Set in New England- The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft

 

Full Moon- Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell

 

Vampires vs. Werewolves- Silver In The Blood by Jessica Day George

 

SupernaturalStorm Front by Jim Butcher

 

Classic HorrorSweetheart, Sweetheart by Bernard Taylor

 

Pumpkin- Trick or Treachery by Donald Bain

 

Set on Halloween- The Worst Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson

 

 

    

 

The Shunned House...

The Shunned House - H.P. Lovecraft

The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft is a novella about an actual house in Providence, Rhode Island but Lovecraft's inspiration to write the story came from another house in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The story is about a doctor and his nephew. They've been fascinated with this house because so many strange things have occurred there over the years and so many people have died or became sick after staying there. In hopes of getting to the root of the evil, they both stay overnight in the house with dire consequences...

 

So this story was ok. It took me a little while to get into it and use to the old style of writing. I appreciated the scientific vibe of the haunting and story the most. It made me question for a second whether this strange house and all of its happenings really existed. The ending was also pretty good. It was a little faster paced and had the most action, so to speak. The story wasn't scary though but it did have a little creepiness to it. It was a quick read and good for getting in the Halloween spirit.

 

*I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~Set in New England~ square

 

 

Guess the # of Candy Corn, Win $100 Giftcard!

Rafflecopter is hosting a giveaway. If you can guess the amount of candy corn in their pumpkin jar without going over, you can win one of two $100 Amazon giftcards. 

Rafflecopter prize packs include a t-shirt, some swag, and a 1-mo Rafflecopter premium subscription.

 

To View the Jar of Candy Corn and Enter, Click the Link Above or Here.

 

Good Luck! 

Candy corn pic

Giveaway ends October 31st, 2016 at 11:59pm MST. Winners will be

announced on Twitter and Facebook on November 1st.

Stalking Jack The Ripper - Book 1...

Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco, Hachette Audio, James Patterson, Nicola Barber

 "Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life."

 

"Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world."

 

"The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget."

 

When I saw this was published by James Patterson's new imprint and his name was on the front cover, as usual, my first thought was- oh no, really! I know, I know- he didn't write it, lol, and I shouldn't judge but I still wondered what the hell I was getting myself into. I'm almost embarrassed to say though, I honestly loved it and thought it was fantastic! : )

 

I especially liked the story's foray into forensic medicine, although it was a little gruesome, but I didn't think it was too bad. I listened to the audio version though and missed out on all of the graphic pictures and detailed footnotes that I heard were included. The narrator was really good but I would still like to see the book at some point. If you have a weak constitution though, the audio route might be the way to go.

 

I also absolutely loved the main characters, Audrey Rose and Thomas Creswell. Audrey's strong willed and determined to study forensic medicine no matter what the cost. She wears what she wants to and does what she wants to do- screw the rules of society and she stands up to her father and anyone else in her way. She's my kind of girl!

 

Thomas is also studying forensic medicine. Him and Audrey end up as partners in detection as well as falling for each other. He's smart, sarcastic and so very blunt -it's hilarious! He comes across sometimes as cold and harsh but I loved his personality.  The dialogue between the two was absolutely priceless. I really hope to see more of both him and Audrey. I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for the sequel.

 

I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~Scary Women (Authors)~ square

 

Scary Women Authors

 

 

The Last Apprentice/ Wardstone Chronicles Series-Book #8...

Rage of the Fallen: Wardstone Chronicles / Last Apprentice, Book 8 - Patrick  Arrasmith, Christopher Evan Welch, Joseph Delaney

Rage of the Fallen is the 8th book in The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. Tom, the Spook's apprentice, has made a lot of enemies in his three years fighting the dark. One of his enemies, Morrigan -the goddess of witches has told him not to ever set foot in her homeland of Ireland but the war is still raging in their own country so Tom, the Spook & Alice must flee there anyways. His other very powerful enemy, the Fiend, is also still hunting him in hopes of catching him unguarded. The Spook decides that it's time to go on the offensive and bring the Fiend down so Tom joins forces with Grimalkin- the witch assassin, who trains him and helps him battle and bind the Fiend once and for all. 

 

After eight really well written books I'm starting to run out of things to say! All of them have been so good and this one was no different. The audio narrator, Evan Welsh, is just marvelous! I think it would be extremely hard to talk like a witch or demon or boggart etc. but he does it so effortlessly and he sounds just like what you'd expect a creature of the dark to sound like. If you're a fan of these type of stories, then you can't go wrong with this series. It's perfect for older kids as well as adults. 

 

*I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~"Fall" into a Good Book~ square

 

 

Finding Fossils, Finding (Insta)Love...

Every Hidden Thing - Kenneth Oppel

Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

 

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

 

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other? 

 

 

If you're not a big fan of "insta-love" then you'll probably be doing some major face palms while reading this book. Two of the main characters, Rachel & Sam, don't just 'think' they're in love, they go from full fledged bumbling innocents 

 

to married business partners,

 

(show spoiler)

in record time- with ALL details included unfortunately! 

 

I liked how the characters deviated from the norm though and didn't follow their strict society rules. I wasn't expecting their bold, rash moves which I have to give them credit for. It made for a nice change and was hilariously entertaining! 

 

The rivalry and fighting between their two fathers though felt too contrived and became a little irritating after a while. There was just too much of it I think. 

 

Anyone who has an interest in paleontology or fossil hunting or even if you just enjoy a grand adventure, you'll especially like this one! Don't take it too seriously though and just have fun with it and you'll enjoy it a lot more!

 

*I received this ARC from NetGalley & Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge