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Title: The Liberation                                                        3D_BOOK-2-614x1024[1]

Author: Marissa Shrock

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Cover Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If you haven’t read Marissa Shrock yet, you are missing out.

I originally fell in love with Shrock’s writing when I read what was her debut novel in this series, The First Principle. (You can read the review here.)

I loved that book and didn’t think it could get any better… annnnd then I read this one. 😉

The Liberation picks up where The First Principle left off:

In a corrupt, dystopian society, Vivica Wilkins has joined the rebel forces and must either keep her identity a secret, or risk being executed. With the clock ticking, will she and the other Emancipation Warriors be able to rescue those they love before it’s too late, or will their quest for liberation cost them more than anyone ever bargained for?

This book. Lemme tell ya.

First of all, you won’t be able to stop reading. Second, Shrock’s crazy talented imagination will creep you the heck out with how realistic she created this society to be. And third, her characters are so endearing and well-developed, you’ll cheer for them ’till the very end.

In a style similar to The Hunger Games, you’ll be hooked from the beginning and want to know more. It’s not very often anymore I have to stay up late to finish a book, and The Liberation kept me up until 2:00 in the morning to find out what would happen next.

If you like fast-paced, creative thrillers with faith interwoven throughout, then I definitely recommend this book!

Me, I’m gonna catch up on some sleep before the third and final book comes out! 😉

Let’s Talk Book: When’s the last time a book kept you awake long into the night?!

 

 

 

 

 

The Pawn, JamesTitle: The Pawn (The Bowers Files Book #1)

Author: Steven James

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Boy, you better be ready for a ride with this one! The Pawn is somewhat of an older book, but since I’ve wanted to read James for a while now and this is the first in a series, I figured it would be better to start there. Based on the first book alone, I think it is the type of series where you have to start from the beginning to really get it. There were a few hints in this first book that suggested more of the story and main character would be revealed in the next. And good golly, that character! But let me give you a peek at the plot first before I get too carried away:

“Special Agent Patrick Bowers had only met one man who made him truly afraid. Until now. When he’s called to North Carolina to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself in a deadly game.
Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he’s about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers’s instincts and training to stop this man who calls himself the Illusionist. And just when the pieces start to come together, Bowers realizes they’re not quite adding up. Can he unravel the pattern and save the next victim? Or will the Illusionist win the game by taking one of his opponent’s pieces? Thrilling, chilling, and impossible to put down, The Pawn will hold suspense lovers in its iron grip until the very last page.” (Amazon.com)

Let me tell you, “thrilling and chilling” is one very apt description! The author goes so deep with his characters. Like, scary deep. Think Criminal Minds deep. On one hand, I was really impressed by that. His villain has a motive, and the motive is very plausible. His main character, Special Agent Patrick Bowers, is so well-developed he almost became like Sherlock Holmes, that’s how real and how heroic he became. A man with flaws but also almost otherworldly talent. If you’re going to name an entire series around a certain character, he better be a good one, and I’m pleased to say Patrick Bowers easily held up his end of the bargain.

The plot was also fantastic. The writing was superb. This will sound really strange, but my only complaint is that it was too real.

I got really freaked out by this book, I’m not gonna lie. There’s a scene at the very beginning of the book I just cannot get out of my head. It was grisly and creepy and just way too real. That’s where my struggle comes in. Because was it excellently written? Absolutely. The fact that it got under my skin so much shows how great of a writer Steven James really is. But can I recommend it? I’m not sure. Would I read him again? I don’t know.

I suppose it comes down to this: if this looks like your kind of genre, then by all means, read it! It’s very well-written. But if scary reads aren’t really your thing, you may want to avoid this book. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend this author. I’d just recommend him with a caveat.

So! Here’s my question for you:

Let’s Talk Book: Weigh in and let me know what you think! Should I read the second book in the Bowers series? Comment on this blog post with your vote by clicking on “comment” on the top right-hand side. If you’re voting no, tell me why and what I should read instead! If yes, then a review of The Rook may be coming to a blog near you!

Gone to Ground, CollinsTitle: Gone to Ground

Author: Brandilyn Collins

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In the small town of Amaryllis, Mississippi, everyone knows everyone and most don’t even bother locking their doors. That is, until the murders start happening.

In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago, there was a sixth.

As panic floods Amaryllis, three women are certain they know who the killer is and will stop at nothing until he’s caught. The only problem? They each suspect a different man.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

And who is dead?

Brandilyn Collins has become one of my favorite authors, and Gone to Ground is a fantastic example of why I love her writing so much. At this point I’ve read four novels by her, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you pick up anything of hers you’ll be hanging onto the edge of your seat until the story finishes. Her books are fast-paced and almost impossible to put down, and Gone to Ground is no exception.

Not only was I completely immersed in the story, but I could not figure out who-dun-it. I enjoy books that make you think and keep you involved in the mystery, and with this particular novel I was guessing until the very end.

Throughout the book Collins’ uses the viewpoints of three different women who are certain they know who the killer is. I’d read one viewpoint and was certain I knew, too. But then the other woman would get a chance to tell her story and show her evidence, and I was certain she was right. And so it went the entire book.

Collins is a master at both suspense and cleverly woven twists, and Gone to Ground had a twist I never saw coming.

The characters in this book were even more well-rounded and defined than I’d seen before in any of the other books I’ve read by Collins, and their voices were so uniquely crafted that I think you would know who was speaking even without the chapter headings at the top. I also really appreciated the fact that Collins went a little deeper than she normally does with her characters’ faith.

Because of the perfect balance Collins struck between an excellent plot and characters you felt as if you’d known all your life, Gone to Ground may be my favorite of hers yet.

So if you haven’t guessed already, I’m highly recommending you check out this book!

Let’s Talk Book: What’s your favorite surprise ending or twist you never saw coming? Just this once, I’ll even let you use a twist from a movie if you want. But just this once! 😉

P.S. You can leave a comment by clicking on “Leave a comment” up at the very top of this post. It’s small and a little hard to find, but just keep looking to the right after all the tags at the top, and you’ll find it there!