Review: The Chalk Man

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In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.
That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.

 

I loved the whole premise behind this book…mysterious chalk drawing–what could be more intriguing! I was so excited to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed.

The Chalk Man is told from the point of view of Eddie and toggles back and forth from events that started it all in 1986 to 2016 when it all comes together.

The story opens with a morbid discovery in the woods, a body of a young woman found brutally murdered.

I loved how the author dropped little bits and pieces of information on what has happened and what was found. And as each of the characters grow and mature, we learn more about each of them, too. There is definitely more to each characters story, but what surprised me most was what the reader discovers about Eddie, the main character. He seems fairly normal, but certainly has his issues, too.

The book is superbly written, with lots of red herrings, twists and turns in the story that kept me hanging on and wanting to read more.

It’s not until the very end when we discover who killed the girl in the woods, and believe me, you can’t even guess who did it!

I have to say, I LOVED the ending. I never saw it coming. It was strange and sad, and somewhat horrifying.

Have you read the Chalk Man? What did you think of that ending?

Thanks for reading,

Jo-Ann

 

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Review and TGIF: Dark Beneath the Moon by Sherry D. Ramsey

Dark Beneath the MoonLuta Paixon has plenty of trouble on the Tane Ikai, with relationships in flux and the sticky problem of two captains on one ship. But when an alien artifact, the remnant of a long-ago war, shows up on the other side of a newly-discovered wormhole, the crew also find themselves pressed into the service of the Nearspace Protectorate. The Tane Ikai‘s task: covertly deliver an alien historian to the site to decipher its meaning—and possible threat.

Jahelia Sord is a woman with a grudge against the world, and against Luta Paixon and her family in particular. She has her own secrets to guard, and an alliance with the notorious PrimeCorp—one she’ll keep only as long as it suits her own hunt for vengeance.

When a mysterious attack leaves them stranded in an uncharted new system, Luta, her crew, and Jahelia must try to put their differences aside and decide who to trust, while they uncover a shocking truth about the Chron war and what their old enemies are so afraid of…

 

The crew of the Tane Ikai is back for more mystery and adventure. This second novel in the Nearspace series is full of intriguing mysteries, covert operations and action.

The characters are more in-depth and developed. Rei, especially is one of my favourite characters, and I love that we get to learn more about her.

 

The Chron is an alien race that viciously attacked and almost wiped out Nearspace generations before. As quickly and mysteriously as they had appeared, they disappeared without a trace. There were references to them in the first book, this time we get to learn a whole lot more.

The Protectorate has discovered a new wormhole with ancient alien artefacts. They are believed to be of Chron origin and secrecy is of utmost importance. Luta’s brother, an Admiral in the Protectorate has asked her to deliver an alien historian through the wormhole to assist them.

They go through measures to make sure they are not being followed. Unfortunately,  Jahelia Sord manages to follow them through the wormhole. She is a whole new character on the scene with her own agenda in mind.

Jahelia’s motivations are certainly questionable. Working for PrimeCorp, she has her own grudge against Luta and her mother.

Parts of the story are told through her POV. She certainly has her own unique voice and she is not a very likeable character because of her attitude and issues, though she certainly is entertaining!

Luta and her crew along with Jahelia find themselves under attack and in trouble. They reluctantly work together to find a solution to get back home.

In the meantime, Luta has her own set of problems when her health declines. It’s a race to escape the Chron, try to find their way back Nearspace and find her mother before its too late.

Once again Sherry had done an amazing job growing Nearspace and beyond, as well as adding new alien species and technology.

I thoroughly enjoyed Book 2 in the Sherry Ramsey’s Nearspace series and can’t wait to start reading the third book in the series Beyond the Sentinel Stars. 

For more information about Book 1, One’s Aspect to the Sun, you can check it out on Goodreads here or see my review here.

Review: Aggravated Momentum by Didi Oviatt

Blurb from Amazon: Deadly thriller, twisted plot, shocking, and dark conspiracy hardly scratch the surface to define Aggravated Momentum. Not everything is as it seems in what appears to be an average family. When danger lurks so close to home, skeletons emerge, and the darkest of secrets surface, causing twisted desires to become reality. Aggravated Momentum offers the perspective of some very diverse and unique characters, including fun, witty personalities to fall in love with, along with an intellectual killer to die for. You may be surprised as to whom exactly you can relate. Is it the cold, calculated murderer, who’s name is yet to be revealed? Markie or Kam, the independent sisters, guilty of nothing more than getting tangled with the wrong people at the most inopportune times? Or, the cowardly snake curled in a hidden corner? Who are you, exactly? And, more importantly, who are they? The deeper you dig into the psyche of another, the more breath taking are the secrets you will find.

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Put on your seatbelt and hold on tight because this novel is one hell of a roller coaster ride! There are more twists and turns I never saw coming.

As you can tell by the gorgeous cover, it is about murder — a serial murderer at that. It has great pacing and once I started reading it, could not put it down. It was wonderfully unpredictable, I had to know what was going to happen next! Didi did an amazing job building suspense and giving just enough back story that you don’t know who to trust.

The book is well written in Didi’s unique style. The dialogue is realistic. Yes, people do use swear words. It is an adult thriller.

I love that the point of view changed several times during the story and the reader could get into the head of not only Markie, the main character but also her sister Kam, the killer and even the main character’s mother. The reader gets to experience first hand what they are thinking (more surprises!) and discover their own dirty little secrets. And believe me, it seems that every character has them.

Go to Didi’s blog

Thanks for reading!

Jo-Ann

 

It’s Friday: Aggravated Momentum by Didi Oviatt

The blurb from Goodreads: Not everything is as it seems in what appears to be an average family. When danger lurks so close to home, skeletons emerge, and the darkest of secrets surface, causing twisted desires to become reality. Aggravated Momentum offers the perspective of some very diverse and unique characters, including fun, witty personalities to fall in love with, along with an intellectual killer to die for. You may be surprised as to whom exactly you can relate. Is it the cold, calculated murderer, who’s name is yet to be revealed? Markie or Kam, the independent sisters, guilty of nothing more than getting tangled with the wrong people at the most inopportune times? Or, the cowardly snake curled in a hidden corner? Who are you, exactly? And, more importantly, who are they? The deeper you dig into the psyche of another, the more breath taking are the secrets you will find.

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Holy twisty turns! What a book! I will post the review in the next couple of days, but I wanted to share with you a little piece of Aggravated Momentum! Also, please check out Didi’s blog here! She is an amazing writer, and if you enjoy suspense you will love her books!

Book Beginnings on Fridays

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted at Rose City Reader where you share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

 

 

My hands are as far above my head as they can reach, my back intensely arched, and my calf muscles tighten, extending to the footboard. My pumpkin orange painted toes point as they join the stretch. The sun beams through a tight crevice in the drapes, challenging my eyes to regain vision. I squint and strain to open them. It’s late afternoon, and I’ve been sleeping for four hours. Sadly, it’s the most uninterrupted sleep my taxing life has allowed in over a week.

The Book Beginning was actually from the prologue. Nice setup, don’t you think?

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted at Freda’s voice.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Here’s the blurb from 56% on my Kindle:

The entire time he’s filling us in, the officer sitting at the desk gawks at Kam. She’s mine, fucker. I force myself to look away and show no reaction to it–a master performance, as usual. 

Hmmmmm!  Never a dull moment in this book! What do you think?

Thanks for reading and Happy Weekend!

Jo-Ann

 

Review: Cell by Stephen King

Blurb from Amazon: On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He’s just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He’s already picked up a small (but expensive!) gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he’ll get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay’s feeling good about the future.

That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone’s cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization’s darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature…and then begins to evolve.

There’s really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points home to Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north they begin to see crude signs confirming their direction. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat…

There are 193 million cell phones in the United States alone. Who doesn’t have one? Stephen King’s utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn’t just ask the question “Can you hear me now?” It answers it with a vengeance.

My Thoughts:

From the time I started reading, I was immediately drawn into this novel, Cell. Right off the bat in the first couple of pages when the apocalypse began, I had a really hard time putting it down. We are introduced to Clay, the main character, who was immediately likeable. As the story progresses, his character was well rounded out, struggling with internal conflict as well as struggling to survive in the new world of phone crazies. I would have like to have seen the other characters developed in more depth as well. Alice and Tom were interesting in their own right and I think more background on them would have served them better.

The zombie apocalypse trope has been done before but King comes through with a brilliant and unique take. The phone crazies have strange and interesting behaviour, flocking, they called it. Not only that, the phone crazies began evolving, adding a whole new dimension to the story. As Clay and his group of refugees travel together to get to Clay’s home and find his son and estranged wife, they experience and witness many strange events, and strange characters.

The book started out amazing, as I said, especially the first half of the story,  but I have to say the ending did me in. I wanted to throw the book across the room and if it wasn’t a library book (overdue, at that) I probably would have. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen in the end and I had nothing. I was left hanging.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cell. Stephen King is an amazing author, his writing is always fresh and different. If it wasn’t for the ending it would be five stars. Here, I am giving it 4 stars.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by!

Jo-Ann

 

 

 

 

 

New Review: Worlds With Ruby by C.P. Cabaniss

Worlds With Ruby by C.P. Cabaniss

When you’re already dead, why should you be afraid?

When Ruby finds herself on the edge of a cliff in a land between life and death, with an ominous creaking coming from the nearby woods, she is left with no choice but to follow it to its source. Nothing is what it seems and Ruby soon finds herself being whisked away to worlds beyond her imagination. Worlds in need of saving. Along the way, she discovers that in saving these worlds, she is saving herself.

First of all, I’d like to thank the author for giving me the opportunity to read this short novel!  It was a quick read, dreamy and escapist and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially as I got into the story.

At first, I have to admit, it seemed a bit odd and I wasn’t sure where it was all going.  As the story progressed, I found myself understanding Ruby more.  She’s a very likeable character, strong, but still with her own internal struggles that she learns to deal with.  The story advances, she deals with being a hero and saving other worlds, to examining her own self and her own weaknesses until she is finally ready to move on.

I liked the concept of translucent beings in the afterlife.  She was fearless because she had nothing to fear.  She was already dead.  I liked the worlds she visited, in fact, I would have liked to see her spend more time in these worlds.  Maybe in Book 2?  We shall see!  If you are looking for a quick read that is escapist, entertaining and thoughtful, this book is for you.

What kinds of books do you like to read?  Is Worlds of Ruby something that appeals to you?  I’d love to hear.  Post in the comments or send me an email 🙂

I received a copy of The Worlds of Ruby in exchange for a fair and honest review.

C.P. Cabaniss

Author Bio:

C P Cabaniss lives in South Carolina where she teaches Mathematics at a community college and writes about the things of her imagination. When not writing she enjoys reading the novels of Brandon Sanderson and Dean Koontz, among others.

C P is inspired most when caring for her horses, exploring old cemeteries, traveling to historic sites, and touring old naval ships.

Website: cpcabaniss.wordpress.com

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