Pack by Jeaniene Frost

Book Review

 


PackBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Short Story, Audio

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/4/15 

Pages: 54  Price: $1.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Pack

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

 Previously published in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance and the Under Her Skin anthologies—now updated to include over 20% more sizzling extra material. 

Marlee isn’t alone in the woods. Daniel is sworn to keep the existence of werewolves a secret. Yet Marlee is awakening Daniel’s most primal urges, and soon, neither one of them will be able to resist the call of the wild.

My Review:

This was a short listen that I download for the drive to my doctor’s appointment on Monday.  Not used to shifter stories from Ms. Frost as she is more widely know for her Bones and Cat vampire series.  This was an enjoyable story felt that the heroine, Marlee, was a little on the weak damsel in distress side but she did have some steel backbone moments in there too.  I liked Daniel but wished we would have seen more of him.  I know it was a short story but it felt that he didn’t get enough page time but maybe that’s just because I liked him better.  I think my only real problem with this story is that it was too short.  This was an interesting world and I wanted to know more.  I wanted to dive into this society and learn how and why things worked.  I wanted to to the supporting character’s better.  Frost teased us with another character being interested in Marlee but it never developed into anything.  Oh well.  If you are in need of something short and sweet then I highly suggest giving this one a try the only disappointment you may face is that it is far too short.

My Rating: 4 Stars

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Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan

Book Review

 


Agents of DreamlandBook Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery

Book Series: N/A

Released: 2/28/17 by Tor.com

Pages:112  Price: $2.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Agents of Dreamland

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publishers through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.

In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible—the Children of the Next Level—and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.

A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.

And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.

My Review:

Well, that was weird and I’m not quite sure what I just read.  It was science fiction that read more like a horror story (of which I usually steer clear of, not a fan of scary).  It almost felt like an episode of the X-Files or the Twilight Zone.  The story is short, however, which encouraged me to press on as I figured the book would need to get to the point pretty quick.  So stick with it as after three chapters I had a pretty good idea where the author was taking us.

The story jumps back and forth in time but the author is helpful in sharing the date of the current action at the beginning of each chapter.  Being a short story that is quite mysterious there isn’t much time to become invested in any character but I did find myself drawn to Signalman and could see a series of these short stories that feature him handling these strange cases.

I’m not quite sure what or if there was a point to the story, besides being entertaining, as the story is almost as mysterious at the end as it is at the beginning.  This is a book that holds its plot close as it slowly discloses what is going on.  It is one of those books that lingers in your mind as you try to figure out what the heck you just read.

My Rating: 3 Stars

2BR02B By Kurt Vonnegut

Book Review

 


2 B R 0 2 BBook Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Classic, Short Story

Book Series: N/A

Released: January 1962

Pages: 28  Price: 99 Cents E-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source:I borrowed this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut is a science fiction story that focuses on a society where individuals have an indefinite lifespan and the population of the United States is limited to forty million.

In order for a new birth to take place, someone else must die. The suspense builds as two parents wait for someone to dial 2 B R 0 2 B, which is the telephone number to dial for an assisted suicide with the Federal Bureau of Termination.

My Review:

Was looking for a new audiobook to listen to and came across this one that I added to my wish list sometime last year.  Couldn’t remember what it was about so I decided to pop over to Goodreads for a reminder.  Seeing that it was only 28 pages long I decided to borrow and read it this afternoon as I am currently not feeling well.  This was an interesting little story that I did not realize was written so long ago, the topic is still relevant to modern society after all.

Quite strange, a little dark, and a tad simplistic if you ask me.  Not quite sure if the author is trying to mock the extreme government control he saw coming or mock those that see the great danger of overpopulating the planet.  Then again he might have been nothing but sincere and wanted to warn people of what might come if the human race does not change our ways.  Some of the off-putting tones might simply be the fact that it was written in a different era….

Anyway, if you can’t tell I am unsure how I feel about this one, but that just might be because my stomach hurts.  It was interesting like I said, short so no matter your stance on topics like abortion, death, over-population you this story won’t be with you long. It will remind you what we are doing to our one and only planet though and what our freedom to over-reproduce might cost us in the end.  Dark read for a dark mood.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

 

 

The Strange Library

Cover links to Goodreads page.

Stand alone short story: Publish in 2005

I borrowed the audio book version of this title for a reading challenge saving me $20.00(audio price)

Author’s Site

Book Synopsis:

From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination.

My Review:

This is my first Murakami book and it might just well be my last.  This was a strange little story that I probably would not have read if not for a reading challenge that required me to try on of his books.  Not sure what to make of his writing style I went to the other reviews and according to some I’ve read this one not a typical story for this author, but not far off either…  Some of the strangeness I am chalking up to it being a translated work, something is always lost in the process.  The rest I am just going to file under not-for-me author.  I’m not sorry I tried him, especially since this was so short, and heck I might even try another of his audio books if it ever crosses my radar.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and one more shot since he seems to have such loyal followers.

This story though, was just as others described it; strange and surreal.  I’m not sure it had a point, and I spent much of the story trying to figure out what the author was trying to convey to me.  Now I’m not staying a story needs to have a moral, message or lesson to be valid, but the strangeness of this piece just led me to believe the author was trying to tell me something that was lost upon me.  I would like to take issue with how the author portrays librarians in this story, one was a cliché and the other down right monstrous.  Not appreciated.  Great way to perpetuate stereotypes and frighten people away from using a service of great value to them.  Again there seems to be no point or much of a plot to the story so I’m kind of lost on what else to review.  The imagery was bizarre, the lead character a pushover and the climatic end anticlimactic.  I did enjoy the parts of the story where the boy was reading and got lost in the experiences of the book.  I also liked the young girl and the starling.  Other than that it reminded me a lot of a less gory Stephen King bedtime story.  But still I didn’t hate it, just not something I would typically read.

 

My Rating: 2 Stars

 

Darkness Falls by Erin Kellison – 3 Stars

 

Darkness Falls (Reveler, #1)

Cover thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book one in the Reveler series

I received this book through Net Galley for an honest review

Book Synopsis:

Agent Malcolm Rook is hunting for people with the rarest of talents—the ability to master dreams. He finds the undeniably gifted Jordan Lane, but she’s wary of mysterious Rook and resists his pursuit as long as she can. Yet the dreamwaters they enter are too exhilarating to resist, and attraction soon ignites electric passions. Delving too deep stirs a nightmare, one they must defeat, or be forever lost to darkness.

Fans of paranormal romance and bad boys, get ready for a dark, sexy plunge into fantasy and desire. The Reveler Series is set in a contemporary world in which people can indulge in Rêve, or shared dreaming—a pop culture phenomenon sweeping the world. Imagine being able to fall asleep at night, only to wake in a dream world, one in which you are lucid and in control—where you can be anything you want to be and do anything you like. But you must be careful…dreaming can be as dangerous as it is seductive.

My Review:

I’m not quite sure what to think of this book.  It is very short, the story only 89 pages on my nook, yet it took me three days to get through.  I can usually knock that many pages off in a couple hours, less if I’m really into the story.  So what does this say about how I felt about this story.  Hmm.  I’m thinking life might have gotten in the way.  Some busy days at work, riding my bike, shopping after two weeks without getting groceries, a tree falling down in our pasture…yep, life got in the way.  I also think that the story was difficult for me to get into at times or I had trouble figuring out what was going on.  Perhaps I wasn’t just paying close enough attention due to the interruptions.

The story reminded me of a lot of different ones, however, the ones it reminded me of are all movies.  Darkness falls is billed for paranormal romance fans in the synopsis, but to me the story is more sci-fi then paranormal.  Sure they have some sort of powers, but much of what is being dealt with is scientific or technological in origins.   I think the story could be enjoyed by both fans, but I would not really call it paranormal.  The romance label is spot on, though, and well done.  Steamy enough, but not over done.  They don’t spend most of the 89 pages in the sack, time is taken to develop the relationship.  Malcolm and Jordan have good chemistry and their personalities play off each other nicely.  The supporting characters didn’t get much development, but it is a short story, so I can overlook not learning too much about them.  We did learn a bit about Jordan’s sister, but she was pretty important to the plot.

So I mentioned that the book reminded me of some movies, so what are they?  Right off I this gave me a bit of The Matrix vibe and eventually elements of Inception filtered in.  Not that the book has anywhere near a similar story line as either movie, alright Inception is also about shared dreaming, but the story just reminded me of those movies.  I can’t think of a book that I can compare this to, so I can’t recommend it based on if you liked this book try this one too.  But fans of either of those movies might want to give it a go.

So what did I feel is missing from the story?  We never really find out why the “bad” guy wanted Jordan, and I was really curious about that.  There is another book after this one, so perhaps that was held over for a plot thread in that story.  The start was kind of rough for me.  I would have liked a little bit more information about how all the shared dreaming works and maybe some more time in the dream realm.   I think also the story didn’t grab me until about the middle, that could be why I had such an easy time putting it down to do other things.  If I’m really into a story to hell with everything else, I’m gonna read dammit.  This one just wasn’t that way for me.

Bottom line, it was an interesting concept, pretty good execution, and great ending.  The characters were likable and well written, with flaws, strengths, wise cracks, and growth.  The story is short, but feels like a longer book, the author packed a lot of action in to just 89 pages.  I think I’m going to give it 3 stars, and will probably look into book two to see what happens next.  I hope you give it a try, and if you do let me know what you think.