Reviews

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Strain of Resistance

Michelle Bryan

Rating: 3 Shrimp

Strain of Resistance paints a harrowing tale of the apocalypse filled with hardened heroes, twisted creatures, and gruesome deaths.  Bryan establishes a fascinating but dark world.  I enjoyed learning about the battered locales and the vibrant (albeit gritty) characters.

Here is Bryan’s biggest strength.  Her characters were interesting and had a lot of voice.  Some you loved and some you hated.  Luke was my favorite and I really enjoyed his and Bixby’s dynamic.  It was fun to watch the team bicker and see how they overcame terrible situations.

Resistance is told in first person present tense which was a bit of a challenge for me.  My brain kind of struggled to get into the action because of this, but once I got used to the style I enjoyed the ride.

I had fun with Strain of Resistance.  Definitely a dark thrill ride perfect for anyone who loves classics like The Last of Us or The Walking Dead.


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Identity Check

Rich Allan

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Rich Allan masterfully weaves together three distinct storylines into one satisfying thriller in Identity Check!  All three storylines were equally interesting, from a man investigating his parents’ mysterious deaths, to another man in a psychiatric ward, and even to the President of the United States.  But it’s in the way that they’re all connected that makes Identity Check a real gem.  Allan’s writing is both fast-paced and meaningful, and his characters are likeable and believable.  This is a great one if you love a good political thriller or mystery!


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Do Bugs Wear Shoes?

Addie Broussard and Anthony Puttee

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Do Bugs Wear Shoes by Addie Broussard and Anthony Puttee answers all sorts of great questions about bugs in a fun way.  This colorful and picture filled guide is perfect for the classroom and even comes with worksheets and research links.  It’s a quick read and makes learning fun making Do Bugs Wear Shoes a great book to share with kiddos of all ages!


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The Unseen Market

David McElroy

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Ben, the good goblin, returns in David McElroy’s The Unseen Market.  I love Ben and the way he embodies the struggle many people face.  This time Ben tries to solve his problems of searching for acceptance in an unaccepting world by searching for a mysterious and secretive book.  This tale is action packed, but also full of heart which I really appreciate.  I enjoyed a second outing with the good goblin and hope there’s more in store for Ben down the road!


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Clarissa’s Warning

Isobel Blackthorn

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Isobel Blackthorn’s Clarissa’s Warning presents us with an enticing mystery.  After winning a huge sum of money, Claire Bennett purchases her own vacation island, but shortly after moving into her new abode she finds that not everything is as it seems.  The island has a sinister past, and an even more sinister presence.  Blackthorn has great descriptions and draws you in as Claire unpacks this compelling mystery.  Great for any thriller lovers out there!


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A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West

Justin Bienvenue

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Justin Bienvenue puts you on a fun rollercoaster ride in A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West.  In this mash up between a Western and a zombie apocalypse, freelancer Emerson Shaw must save a post Civil War town from outlaw Bones Jones.  Jones made a deal with a powerful stranger, cursing him and turning him into the leader of an army of undead.  It’s a fun premise right off the bat and Bienvenue really fleshes out his characters making it a tense whirlwind of a read!  If you like Westerns or zombies, definitely shamble your corpse on into this one!


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Strange Glow Collective: The Moon

Rachel Bross

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Rachel Bross offers a tantalizing start to a great mystery in Strange Glow Collective: The Moon.  When young Peter’s family is murdered, he’s taken in by his neighbors.  Flash forward several years and Peter and Sarah discover a strange glowing rose.  Inexplicably, this leads to the death of Sarah’s family and puts both her and Peter on the run.  This story is adventurous and has an interesting mystery, but it was really Peter and Sarah’s dynamic that made it for me.  I loved the two of them!  The book ends on a cliffhanger so I look forward to seeing where their journey takes them next!


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The Obsession of Doctor Pendergrass

John David Buchanan

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

John David Buchanan takes us on a trip through the gritty underbelly of near turn of the century London in The Obsession of Doctor Pendergrass.  Pendergrass is an interesting complex character who deals with the wounded in an ever growing plague of London crime.  But Pendergrass’ solutions are somewhat unusual, his drive pushing him ever onward towards madness.  In addition to Pendergrass, London itself becomes a compelling character.  Buchanan has a great attention to detail and description bringing this period piece beautifully to life.  This one’s great for any historical thriller or mystery fans out there!


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The Dragon Songs Saga

JC Kang

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

After reading JC Kang’s first book in The Dragon Songs Saga, I went out and bought the set.  Kaiya’s quest to master the power of the Dragon’s Song is unique like Avatar: The Last Airbender, another of my fantasy favorites.  It was exciting to see what strange place or interesting character she would happen upon next.  Kang’s writing flows with both description and wit that carried me through this satisfying quest.  Now I’m sad that there’s not a book #5!


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Noble

Adeleke Kayode

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Adeleke Kayode’s Noble builds a brand new superhero universe.  This one isn’t full of bright capes and whimsy, but it still manages to pack all the action and interesting character drama we’ve all come to know and love.  Carter and his strike team are tasked with hunting down a stolen formula that can create supersoldiers despite Carter’s fractured memory.  Carter’s fragmented past was the most interesting part of Noble for me and I look forward to seeing where this superhero squad ventures in the future!


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Numen the Slayer

Grady P. Brown

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Numen the Slayer by Grady P. Brown would make a great revenge flick!  In this fantasy world of divided and bickering kingdoms, Numen Magnus is forcibly removed from his kingship and cast into the wilds of Umbran.  He then goes on a quest for revenge, but more one of self discovery.  It’s a fun book filled with a great journey that will satisfy any fans of Tolkien-esque fantasy!


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Tau Ceti: A Ship from Earth

George T. Hahn

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

When the Asimov left the Earth for the distant world of Pitcairn, they likely didn’t know how much of a change they were about to make for the bustling colony.  George T. Hahn paints a vivid and realistic future world for us in Tau Ceti: A Ship from Earth.  Hahn graces us with plenty of details about the future colony in the same unimposing style of Asimov (the author, not the ship).  It’s this pleasant throwback to classic science fiction that made Tau Ceti for me and I look forward to more stories from our distant stellar neighbor!


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The Hunters and the Hunted

Joel Norden

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

The Dragonband series has given me everything I can want in a fantasy world.  Cool monsters, awesome fights, and a complex and interesting array of characters return in The Hunters and the Hunted, a Dragonband anthology by Joel Norden and numerous other authors.  This is Forgotten Realms and Dungeons and Dragons all the way, each story unique and memorable.  It’s fun to explore Dragonband’s many venues and I look forward to the next installment!


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The Rumors of My Demise

William Renken

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

The Rumors of My Demise by William Renken is an almost memoir almost Clerks-esque tale about Russell, a freshman in college who gets a summer job at a movie theatre.  Russell finds himself getting mentored in film and just life in general by the odd and out there Shaw.  The Rumors of My Demise is a fun romp of late 90s nostalgia, but what makes it really creative is Renken’s choice to turn the dialogue into screenplay format.  It’s a little jarring at first but I thought it was a cool touch in the long run.  All around a fun look back at yesteryear!


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First Grave on Mars

Veronica Brush

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

It’s incredible to me that everything that used to be science fiction is quickly becoming reality.  This is also true for the idea of colonizing the Red Planet.  Veronica Brush takes a realistic approach to this in her book First Grave on Mars and asks a really interesting question: what happens if someone chooses to murder someone offworld?  There are only a few colonists and when Sadie Blaine arrives with the second crew, she discovers someone is disillusioned with their mission and has been murdering people.  This is a great ‘who done it’ with a realistic take that I look forward to seeing more of!


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