Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Hexed, by Heather Graham

In his youth, Rocky not only had to deal with the death of a friend, he was the one who found her body.  Now a member of an elite FBI team that deals with unusual situations, Rocky has returned to his hometown area of Salem to investigate a series of murders identical to that of his childhood friend.  Are the murders are related to each other, and to the witchy past of Salem?

I was absolutely fascinated by this book!  I love that the story centers around a real historic area, and weaves a lot of historic fact into the plot.  I also like that the story did not take the easy way out, making the culprit someone obvious or simply blaming the paranormal.  The plot was very strong, and well written.  I was engaged from the first page.

The character development was good, but I would have liked to either see a little bit more development, or a little less characters.  I know we needed a large cast, to serve as red herrings, but some of the people who were not obvious suspects just seemed to muddy things a little, and make it hard to keep people straight.  Also, I could have done without the romance aspect of the book.  I think the thriller and paranormal aspects of the plot were strong enough to carry the story, the romance seemed like it was an afterthought to try to appeal to romance fans.  

All in all, I found the book really well written, and very unique.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author!

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monster Realm, by Nara Duffie

For as long as she can remember, Lillian has loved mythology stories, and the "monsters" that appear in them. When her sister, Bluebell, goes missing, Lillian realizes that those stories may be more fact than fiction, and life as she knows it may change forever.

I cannot even begin to express how impressed I was with this book. The author, Nara Duffie, completed this book 11 days before her 11th birthday. Yes, you read that correctly! She was 10 when she wrote this. Actually, she started writing it much earlier than that, and took her time polishing and perfecting it. You can tell that this book was written with a tremendous amount of dedication and precision. The characters are very well developed, and the back story unfolds brilliantly in the middle of the present action. I thought the book was full of rich imagery, and I admire the author's imagination.

This book will really appeal to fans of books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I think it is a wonderful book for both young adult and adult readers. Do not let the author's young age deter you; this is better writing than I have seen from may seasoned, adult authors. Bravo Nara!