It Sleeps at Dawn by Anthony Renfro

***Thank you to Anthony for sending me his short story! It is much appreciated!***

Anthony Renfro is one of our own talents here in the blogosphere. You can check out his blog over at Poetry, Books, Movies and Music . He writes up haiku posts every day and he has released a very good selection of short stories with unique twists, predominantly in the horror genre.

With Halloween right around the corner, his new short story, It Sleeps at Dawn, is here right on time.

It Sleeps at Dawn (Short Story)
by Anthony Renfro

It Sleeps at Dawn

This short story is about a Vampire who stalks the Appalachian Mountains. A traditional Vampire who uses fangs instead of guns. He hunts. He kills. He sleeps at Dawn. – Goodreads 

Excerpt

She gripped her nerves tight, pushed back the fear, and stepped up to the door that she hoped led out of the long hallway and into freedom. The door was made of solid oak, black from top to bottom and side to side, with a gold door knob in the shape of a demon with two emerald green eyes. Bright red pentagrams were embedded into its wood. These pentagrams were so red they seemed to be filled with blood, ready to bleed at any moment, almost pulsing from their plumpness. She reached down for the handle, deep breaths filled with dread ran through her lungs, as her heart drummed a loud terror beat inside her chest. She turned the handle and opened the door, which was so heavy that it took two hands and a healthy dose of sweat to move.

Her heart sank once the door was wide open because there he stood, the man who had brought her here the night before. Her cloudy memory had finally opened up, spilling forth the information. It was the bar where they had met, the bar where he had laid on his charms, the bar where he had asked her to go home with him, the bar was the last memory she had before waking up in this mysterious place. And she was sure of another thing, he wasn’t the same man who had picked her up. That dashing handsome young man with the long black hair and dusty blue eyes, who stood at least six foot five, and was easily a foot taller than her was now nowhere to be seen. Instead of the young man dressed in modern clothes, here stood an ancient older man in dated black three piece suit with a cape tied around his neck. The cape fell to somewhere near the middle of his back. It was black to match the suit, but the interior of it was as red as the pentagrams on the door. His cologne wafted through the air as he stood there, an ancient smell of High Karate.

He smiled at her, an evil dark eat you alive from head to toe smile, which revealed large white fangs that hadn’t been there when he picked her up.

Review

Something about going back to the basic vampire formula is very dazzling. Everyone right now wants to add a new tweak to the vampire stories to make it unique but no one realizes that vampires in their traditional forms have a certain appeal. They create a danger through their clever, one-minded goals. They are sly and yet still have a disadvantage of living only in the evening. Plus, it adds a bit of mystery and magic to what they are. This is where Anthony’s story comes in as a rather fun one to read. On one hand, we get a view of the vampire and how he hunts for his victims. On the other hand, there is a portion of how his victims get lured into the trap. Through this short story, we already get a complete image of what a vampire’s abilities and his ruthlessness. While I can’t say that this is terrifying to read, it did feel slightly tense in the second half as the vampire’s plans seem to unfold and we, as the audience, looks in and can see the victims walking into a plan and are way above what they expected to find in the first place. Plus, Anthony uses very vivid imagery and language for a top notch writing that made it even more engaging to read. Definitely one of his finer short stories!

Where to get it

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXYPP02
UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LXYPP02
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01LXYPP02
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LXYPP02

What We’ll Do For Blood (The Almost Human Series #1) by C.L. Mannarino

For some of you who are new here, I love supernatural and paranormal novels. More specifically, while the vampire genre has been wildly overused, I still remain intrigued by what else is showing up. This is where this next novel comes in. What We’ll Do For Blood is the first book in a series by C.L. Mannarino.

Before we start the review, I would like to send a huge thanks to the author for sending me the novel in exchange for an honest review!

What We’ll Do For Blood
by C.L. Mannarino

what we'll do for blood

In the sleepy town of Northam, Massachusetts, not everyone is who they seem to be. Take Scott Whitney, for example. A struggling high school senior, Scott wants nothing more than to have his much-divided, social-climbing family believe him when he comes to them with something important, no matter how often he disregards their rules. One night, Scott catches his father’s beautiful colleague, Maria, drinking his father’s blood in their office parking lot. When his father has no recollection of this event, and gets weaker the more he spends time with Maria, Scott turns to his mother and sister for help. When he realizes that Maria has captured their hearts and minds, as well, Scott has to find a way to believe in himself, and become more than anyone thought he was capable of, in order to stop her. But what will it cost him? – Goodreads

What We’ll Do For Blood is the first in the author’s series. For that, it definitely does set a decent stage to the characters and story. In particular, we learn quite a bit through his actions and decisions and thoughts about the person he is. Our main character is Scott and if not a little silly sometimes, because he lacks a bit of real life experience since he is only a high school guy, he definitely is brave. He emphasized the point that you can’t choose family no matter what happens. It never is too far-fetched in building up a scenario or a thought and that is especially with a genre like this one.

As mentioned before, vampire stories are overused. You don’t need me to tell you all the crazy ways they have been portrayed in books then adapted to movies and TV. For the most part, the vampires here stick pretty much to tradition. They feed and glamor and do what they have to to survive. They live in groups but hunt in solitude. They are ruthless and don’t eat human food and drink human beverages. I do appreciate sticking with the traditional portrayal. However, this story does also hit a lot predictable turns whether it is the choices or Maria, the vampire and adds in pieces that are just glimpses of supporting characters that are there.to serve a certain purpose only.

The aspect that saves it is that it is well-paced and well-written. Nothing beats a good reading like having a tasteful piece in front of us. What We’ll Do For Blood hits some super predictable plotlines and in the end, its really easy to see what it is setting the stage for. However, the setting itself is before modern times and I believe somewhere in the seventies perhaps. I cannot remember the time frame. It is mostly a vibe perhaps also because the characters themselves also live in a small community with even more small-minded people which makes Scott’s father’s recent promotion at his work so significant and why it becomes even harder to sidestep talking to the wrong people and even how Scott’s parents perceive what his son is doing.

Overall, What We’ll Do For Blood is a decent start as it is well-paced and well-written. While we can appreciate taking the traditional vampire route, it does have its predictable moments that do take away from it being exceptional. The extra of society ranking and community impressions and the likes add a little something extra to the story. It is an easy read and while does feature a high school main character, still will appeal to an older audience as it has some more violent descriptions but do note that this book seems to be intended for young adults (at least).

Imminent Danger: And How to Fly Straight Into It by Michelle Proulx

A note to remember that the version I read of Imminent Danger: And How to Fly Straight Into It is the older version. It is entirely my fault as I bought the version a few years back and never got around to reading it.  The author, Michelle Proulx also has a blog in this community and you can find it right HERE. It is actually through a blogger’s book tour a few years back that I found this novel.

Imminent Danger: And How to Fly Straight Into It
by: Michelle Proulx

Imminent Danger: And How to Fly Straight Into It

High school junior Eris Miller thinks she’s having a bad day when her roommate’s boyfriend catches her stepping out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel. Then she gets abducted by scaly six-armed aliens with a strange fondness for the color blue, and her day suddenly gets a whole lot worse…As they race across the galaxy, outrunning a villainous figure from Varrin’s past, Eris begins to realize that their relationship is putting her planet, her life and her heart in imminent danger. She knows that trusting Varrin could prove deadly … but what other choice does she have? – Goodreads

As I slowly fall out of love for the Young Adult genre, there are still charming books with lots of heart that catches my attention. Michelle Proulx constructs her story for Imminent Danger: And How to Fly Straight Into It in a captivating way. There are flaws and that mostly goes to some clunky and/or cheesy dialogue, but the world she imagines in space and the creatures are vivid and brutal and versatile. It is a space that I’d like to visit eventually and kind of envy our main character Eris to have the chance to even though most of the creatures are quite unforgiving, cruel or downright dangerous. She takes the readers on a journey through space with a huge focus on our main three characters here. Most of the novel is watching Eris make her decisions and how she feels about certain situations in a third person perspective and that works fine.

This where I need to talk about Eris. I think its a problem sometimes for my falling out of love with Young Adult thing here and justifies why the dialogue doesn’t work so well as mentioned above. It is because I need to constantly remind myself and forgive the character of Eris that she is only seventeen years old and I’m almost double her age. However, when I do manage to put myself in her shoes, there are quite a few similarities between myself and Eris. Eris isn’t a weak character, just inexperienced and she has very honorable traits despite her naivety. It can all be explained by her youth and lack of real world experiences. Not to mention out of the world experiences. She still has so much to learn and she does because her character development is noticeable throughout the story.

 However, the other two characters on this journey are equally notable. While our main male character in this is a little textbook Prince Charming with a twist and his name is Varrin, he does have an endearing character although we don’t really learn a lot about him. He could use a little more knowledge which I’m hoping will be visible in the sequel (which is released). Varrin is a good character mostly because his dialogue is the most fun to read. However, the character with the most charisma has to go to somewhat of a sidekick supporting character Miguri who is this quiet and easily frightened alien species that warrants a lot of our love and even pity because his story is a touching one of how he has ended up all alone.

Overall, Imminent Danger has a few predictable parts but not a lot of young adult books (at least the ones I have read) is about aliens and definitely not touching alien abduction that takes a turn for the abnormal. Space and the worlds Eris and her companions travel to are done well and engaging. It never drags even if the dialogue sometimes emphasis on Eris’s naivety too much, however it does contribute to the fact that I am not the targeted audience anymore. While that is the case, the character development of Eris, Varrin and Miguri are done well enough. I know I talk a lot about self-containment in stories and this one doesn’t have that issue at all. It remains self-contained and hints at a sequel but never leaves us hanging, however I do hope that the sequel will give us a little more on Varrin’s backstory or Miguri and maybe some more planets.

November Rain (Bad Bloods #1) by Shannon A. Thompson

Set for July 18th release, the first book of Bad Bloods, November Rain was sent to me for an honest review by the author, Shannon A. Thompson.

For those of you who don’t know Shannon, I have reviewed her trilogy, The Timely Death Trilogy. You can find the review for it here:

Minutes Before Sunset
Seconds Before Sunrise
Death Before Daylight

Suffice to say that I’m a big fan of her work. The trilogy is done really well and she has some incredible imagination and ideas that I truly love reading. However, I believe my fave of her work goes to Take Me Tomorrow that I still hope will get a follow-up eventually. However, we’re here for her upcoming release and that is for her two part story, Bad Bloods. The first is November Rain that we will be looking at today. The follow-up, November Snow will be released a week later on July 25th and that review will be coming up fairly soon as well.

Let’s check out November Rain!

November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)
by: Shannon A. ThompsonNovember Rain

Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them. Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning an election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote.

When the two unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and every bad blood they know will come together to fight and win, but very few of them will survive to see the day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy. –Goodreads

November Rain is part one of a two part story featured as Bad Bloods. It works on many levels. For one, the dystopian world here is imaginative because of its fantasy elements.  While bad bloods are a species kind of like mutants in X-Men, they aren’t too different except that they have special abilities and its our main character’s Serena’s abilities that make her special.  However, we will look at characters a little later. November Rain takes a alternating two voice narrative between Serena and Daniel. It seems to be a signature approach for Shannon A Thompson. The Timely Death Trilogy also took this approach. There is nothing wrong with it however because she manages to keep her timeline and the events of both characters very well. It helps us see a part of the story on either side but still have surprises in our discoveries as the story unfolds.

The story builds its characters and lets us feel the relationships between them carefully. It takes the time especially through the two voices to better understand the motives of our characters and their personality.  While both of them have different instincts and backgrounds, especially when they also different in the group they are associated with in the bad blood community, there is also a bigger issue that pushes the story along with the bad bloods having issues with the groups at the desperate time when humans are trying to wipe them off completely. There is a mystery connection between Serena and our male main character, Daniel and it works successfully at keeping the readers guessing on what they feel. However, it does apply to the fact that Serena, while seemingly weaker in personality and much more trusting, she still has a strong character that follows a lot of her feelings. Daniel is a little different in a way that he seems to be more planned but also carry a lot of pain in him that he struggles to let go of.

However, November Rain is only half of a complete story. It stops at a good point but does beg its readers to keep going on the adventure in November Snow. With a double narrative and a good pace to the story, November Rain delivers on building mysterious and intriguing characters in a world that has a lot of dangers for the bad bloods who are being executed, however also hoping for the upcoming election that could change everything. The secret is Serena but no one quite knows how and why she has the connection with Daniel. It drops us off with a lot of questions in the end and promises many more secrets to reveal. I can’t yet place judgement on whether this would be just better as one book or as two until I read the next one but that is something that has been on my mind.  While November Rain is a fun read and very much a page turner, I can’t help but feel that I was not as impressed as from some of her previous works that I’ve read.  There are a lot of imaginative ideas here and the approach is done well, however, there are some parts that remain to be answered. I wonder if it will all clear up after the next book.

You can find the books here upon their release:

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016
November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

The Tale of the Golden Pirate by Anthony Renfro

Today’s book review is for a book sitting in my Kindle for a little while from a fantastic blogger and author Anthony Renfro over at Poetry, Books, Movies, and Music. I’ve read a few of his short stories before and read his first full novel AWOL as well. I’ve reviewed all of them here. This is the second novel I’ve read of Anthony’s called The Tale of the Golden Pirate, previously called as I realized Ghostly Visitations and Southern Destinations.

The Tale of the Golden Pirate
by Anthony Renfro

The Tale of the Golden Pirate

An Action-Adventure tale about pirates, ghosts, buried treasure, doomed love affairs, double crosses, drug deals, and creatures made of slime. An eclectic tale combining the world of Jimmy Buffett and Stephen King. Follow Parson’s journey as he is pushed into endless peril, and asked to do things most people are rarely asked to do. Does he get his buried treasure? Does he get that easy life so many of us dream about? The answers lie within the pages. –Goodreads

I haven’t read a lot of books about pirates. There’s a little bit of paranormal factors in here. The Tale of Golden Pirate is definitely an adventure. There are some little bumpy patches here and there but overall, its an enjoyable read. The story is pretty much about being introduced to man called Parson, a jogger and uncommitted sort of guy to his job or the girl he is with. I can’t say that Parson starts off being a really likeable character but in the course of the story, the readers learn to warm up to him a little more. The best thing that Anthony does is set some interesting characters and here, he does a good job at it. Parson’s character has good development while also keeping up with injecting various characters throughout to make it not just a solo journey but one filled with worthy encounters. Even the pirates who are ghosts of the past pose a mystery that keeps us guessing what the deal is and why Parson was chosen.

The Tale of the Golden Pirate does have a few clunky bits. Its not enough to put off reading but there were awkward parts. In rare places, we’d jump to talking about jogging which somewhat breaks the momentum of the adventure on hand. In later bits, there are parts of talking to the readers which I’m not sure how I liked it. I think if it was done throughout the book, it would be more effective and add a little fun twist to it. Maybe give it a consistent character. However, I do like the addition of haikus throughout the story. It was a nice touch especially since bloggers who know Anthony know that he writes a lot of haiku posts on his site and he is really good at them.

In a whole, The Tale of the Golden Pirate was a decent read. It does start off strongly and sets up a good pace for the novel. The pacing does lose a little steam in the middle bits. Whenever we are in the main adventure mode, the story is tight knit and absolutely engaging to read however, it does tend to veer off a little in parts. At times, it felt a little like I was missing the point of it or maybe it was to add a few casual moments in there. I’m not sure of the reasoning behind it. However, once we enter into the last third or quarter of the novel, things really pick up quickly and it is one big well-written page turner sequence.

Even with some rough patches, The Tale of the Golden Pirate has something different. The ending is well worth the scattered slow bits in the middle. While I might not recommend this as highly as his first novel, AWOL (review HERE), The Tale of the Golden Pirate deserves a chance. Its still an overall pleasant read.

Red Ribbons by Louise Phillips

Its been a few weeks since a book review but I’ve taken some time to get back into a new rhythm. Its still a work in progress.  The good news is that I’m back to reading and I have book reviews for the next few weeks. I’m pretty happy about that. There is naturally no feeling better than sitting next to the pool under the sun and reading. That is one of the best feelings of summer. I’m still diving into the unread books on my Kindle so next up is a mystery thriller called Red Ribbons by Louise Phillips. I know nothing about this and have no expectations, which is probably the best way to start a book.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Red Ribbons
by Louise Phillips

Red Ribbons

 A SERIAL KILLER. A missing schoolgirl is found buried in the Dublin Mountains, hands clasped together in prayer, two red ribbons in her hair. Twenty-four hours later, a second schoolgirl is found in a shallow grave – her body identically arranged. A hunt for the killer is on.
THE CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGIST. The police call in profiler Dr Kate Pearson to get inside the mind of the murderer before he strikes again. But the more Kate discovers about the killings, the more it all feels terrifyingly familiar.
THE ACCUSED WOMAN. As the pressure to find the killer intensifies, there’s one vital connection to be made – Ellie Brady, a mother institutionalised fifteen years earlier for the murder of her daughter Amy. She stopped talking when everyone stopped listening.
What connects the death of Amy Brady to the murdered schoolgirls? As Kate Pearson begins to unravel the truth, danger is closer than she knows… The bad man is everywhere. Can you see him? – Goodreads

Red Ribbons was a downright surprise. While at part the story dragged on, the overall story had so many tense and chilling moments. Sitting in the mind of the serial killer, the criminal psychologist and an accused woman that everyone thinks is crazy has a whole new level of contrast in characters. In the beginning, its hard to determine what everyone is doing. You might not even know what the end goal of anyone is here. Thing is, these are all flawed beings and they have their own issues. As we peek into their lives and the case opens up and more information is discovered, the tone and effectiveness of the story really grabs hold. Its hard to fathom actually experiencing a murder like this one. Thing is, what everything means never becomes apparent until the last few chapters. It doesn’t have anything to do with the manipulation of surprises and twists like a lot of thrillers do. There is a care in building up so that the we start understanding and developing especially the serial killer and criminal psychologist.

I can’t say that there isn’t a bias on my part. I do love criminal psychology a lot. However, its the feeling of learning about the deep complex psychological aspects that us as humans have. The scariest thing in this world to me (even above my immense fear of ghosts) is the twisted human nature. Its why this intrigues me so much.  This is the true winner of Red Ribbons.  Its not hard to believe that the characters in Red Ribbons could exist in our world. They are made to be human as well as their reactions and their lives. Kate, the criminal psychologist, is accomplished and smart. She notices and captures the little details that others have neglected. However, despite all these abilities, it strengthens the fact that your pros professionally may be your downfall in your personal life and her life is fractured. She struggles to find a balance just like a normal everyday person (at least I can feel for her). Even Ellie, the accused woman has a strong voice. Her loss, her flaws, her self-blame and her hopelessness is actually a little heartbreaking to read. The scariest character has to be the serial killer. The twist is that we as the reader, know who he is the whole time. Not by name or specific character but he drops hints on himself and we start wondering who this person doing the narrative is and we also know his personality traits. The piece of the puzzle that we learn is his history and what triggered him to murder.

Red Ribbons is a great find and a well-paced read. There is no point to dive further into details because that just kills a thriller. The best way is to walk into this not knowing too much and deciphering for yourself. I promise you, I just scratched the surface. There is still so much to unveil. I urge you to give it a chance if you like mystery thrillers or criminal psychology investigations.

Where There’s Smoke (short story) by Jodi Picoult

Its been ages since I last read a Jodi Picoult book. It must be My Sister’s Keeper and that was before book reviews here so imagine that. I do have another book that I probably will read later this year that’s been sitting on my book shelf for some time, but today, we’re looking at short story by Jodi Picoult called Where There’s Smoke. Its definitely a change in pace from the past while’s books. I needed a little palette cleanser and this felt like it would do the job.

Let’s check it out!

Where There’s Smoke
by: Jodi Picoult

where there's smoke

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.-Goodreads

 Where There’s Smoke is  an introduction to a character for a novel Jodi Picoult released called Leave Time which is with the same main character as this one, Serenity Jones. I’ve never read Leaving Time before so I don’t know how the character actually turns out or what she does. It would intrigued me however to see what this character is all about.

Right off the bat, Where There’s Smoke sets the tone of the story rather quickly.  Its also a more refined writing style and one that I definitely enjoy. Serenity Jones is a flawed character and maybe even has moments where I dislike her decisions. But I do acknowledge that on a full-length novel scale, her character would have huge room for development and that is what the best characters are based on and if the cards are played right.

This short story was a decent read. Serenity Jones is a psychic and this gives it a paranormal twist. The story itself is probably nothing unheard of and could have used a little more focus and depth. However, I believe the concept behind this novel was the psychic case being the background but rather learning who Serenity Jones is as a person, a psychic and a TV figure is the goal. It is a short story in the end and it only sets a stage as it is also a prequel. Where There’s Smoke is a short story of about forty pages so it would dive straight into spoilers if I write anymore.

Overall, Where There’s Smoke is an enjoyable short story. It spends most of the time letting us learn who Serenity Jones is and how she works while telling us a small slice of mishaps that occurs in her world also. It left me wondering how the novel Leaving Time is and what it is about after getting a taste of it.

Have you read Where There’s Smoke and/or Leaving Time? Are you a fan of Jodi Picoult?

The Most Boring Book Ever Written by Rudolf Kerkhoven and Daniel Pitts

Before you all start calling me rude, this is the actual name of the book, I kid you not. You can find it HERE on Goodreads.

The Most Boring Book Ever Written is definitely a nifty name for a book and I think when I got this it was linked to someone in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, its been so long that I can’t remember who. If you do read this, please comment and I’ll respectfully link you. However, I did find one of the co-authors and you can find Rudolf Kerkhoven right HERE to check out his other works as well.

The Most Boring Book Ever Written
by: Rudolf Kerkhoven and Daniel Pitts

The Most Boring Book Ever Written

Be honest.  Life is boring.   So now go with it.  Do you hit snooze or turn off the alarm? Do you take a shower or run the bath? Do you have a bowl of cereal in the morning or skip breakfast? Do you turn off the freeway to avoid congestion or stay on the interstate? Do you keep waiting on hold or hang up the phone?   These choices (and many more) await you….This book is just boring. Do no expect anything interesting to happen in this book.   It is the most boring book ever written. – Goodreads

Remember the Choose Your Own Adventures books? I do. I love them because I like how its sort of personalized to how the reader has a hand in deciding the fate of our character. This is what The Most Boring Book Ever Written is. I’m not sure if the authors were working on a reverse psychology or that they were just referring to the focal point of the story being nothing exciting, however, The Most Boring Book Ever Written highlights one very important aspect of writing anything (at least to me). The concept behind a book and making it personable is a very engaging aspect. Obviously, this is subjective in a way like how the movie Boyhood may be the most boring movie to some and for others the most fascinatingly engaging experience to watch despite all its gimmick. I think it also highlights a good point on the increasing interest on making interactive games as well. Its the same idea used in different entertainment channels. For me, they work.

I make that Boyhood comparison above is really to emphasize that The Most Boring Book Ever Written is about a man setting off for his day.  His choices define who he is and they can change. Certain obstacles can happen and yet it can also be overcome. Life is a matter of perspective and our adventure every single day are the little choices we make that contribute to the big picture turnout. While it may be on what our daily routine and may sound “boring”, in reality, it also emphasizes on a fair point that even the smallest tasks like our little choices will determine on our outlook that day.  We are in control of our lives to a certain extent and its a neat little lesson as we merge with this book’s character.

However, the reason of why I did not give this full points is that as an ebook, which it should function like a webpage or something like that, the links were a little weird.  Never during the first few bits but when I kept flipping the book on my Kindle, I eventually ended up landing on all the other endings and story flows. I’m not sure whether its deliberate or that my version is old so it didn’t work so well.  Regardless, while I did enjoy being able to flip to another scenario and just keep reading all the possibilities and choices, the book should technically stop at the end of the story to prompt the reader to give it another go with other choices if they would want to.  Just a little technical bit.

Overall, The Most Boring Book Ever Written isn’t boring. The story itself proves a good point that even the most mundane events of life’s daily routine is our adventures and yet they still reap unexpected outcomes. We control them but yet, we don’t either and it all turns into our outlook for the day. The idea is very clever especially since the name of the novel definitely is catchy as well. Its quick and surprisingly fun read. I’m interested in checking out what other books they have as it seems these authors have done a few other interactive novels.

Book Review: Bitter Fruits (Eden’s Fall #1)

Next up is another book from my Kindle that I had found a good while back.  This one is called Bitter Fruits and is the first in a series called Eden’s Fall. Bitter Fruits is an adult paranormal romance.  Although it features college students and vampires, there is quite a bit of erotic scenes that its hard to categorize it as a young adult novel, in my opinion.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Bitter Fruits
(Eden’s Fall #1)

By: Sarah Daltry

Bitter Fruits

A vampire-themed masquerade party isn’t really her scene, but Nora is sick of frat parties and bars. When she meets Alec, the appeal suddenly becomes clear. It’s obvious that they’ve been struck by the same intense mutual attraction, but Alec keeps his distance. Intrigued despite herself, Nora pushes a little deeper — and discovers Alec’s unimaginable secret…  Nora is not afraid of following Alec into the darkness, but the choice is soon taken from her. Someone is hunting her — someone tied to the secret and desperate to see it play out. But when Nora finally meets her aggressor, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to him. She needs to make a choice between the two men, but can she save them both, knowing one is destined to die? – Goodreads

 I honestly don’t even know where to start with Bitter Fruits.  Its not a bad novel and actually if you cut out a lot of the college girl angsty moments and take out the whole very similar to TV series version of The Vampire Diaries sort of story of trying to love both brothers at the same time and being torn apart, its decent. It may seem like I’m contradicting myself here since I’m a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and this is right up my alley. I guess what doesn’t work so well here is that Nora, our main character, treats the two boys in terms of meat.  Like their bodies and physical traits is what draws her to them. Maybe its something more and its just instinctive like they are just right for her and she can’t explain it other than that. I said it in previous reviews and I say it again: Physical traits are great but that is not what makes ladies jump on them literally or turn them into indecisive sexual beings that betray their original lover. Let’s stop this point before I hit further in the spoiler territory.

Despite all that I said above, Bitter Fruits has a good idea brewing under all the sex and love story. It rotates around these mythological creatures that actually aren’t exactly vampires and despise being called that. It pulls in some mythological investigations.  While I’m not very well-versed or know mythology to a deep extent, its fun to have that connection pulled in where it links up with the story of Adam and Eve and our main characters here, Alec and Caleb are actually the original Abel and Cain and because of their issues has caused them to be cursed and its for this exact reason they would like to break it but of course, its not that easy especially when Lilith is also in the picture. The imagination behind this, although reminisces a lot of TV series in the past few years still manages to add a fresh twist to it that intrigued me quite a bit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of these parts.

Deal is, I wish there was more mythological breaking curses going on than the first part which is just Nora wanting to have sex with Alec who resists because he doesn’t want to drag her in until they do.  Then Caleb comes along and she just can’t resist him and more sex happens because he’s even more perfect for her but she doesn’t want to betray Alec even if she already did. She goes back to having sex with Alec and then Caleb or maybe thats what it feels like.  With all the steamy action going on, I kind of lost track.

Sometimes, less is more.  The plot of the curse and what dangers these characters should be much more than the love story and incredible amounts of sex because that is what build characters and develops them into something more. Nora, Alec and Caleb lacked that development to make me want to care about them.  I just wish they would stop having sex, think about their choices and take care of the important stuff more. There’s something here but its hidden behind a lot of dragged out overused bits.

House of Cards by Ilana Waters

House of Cards has been sitting in my Kindle for a while. As I work through the list and only in my 2013 free Kindle downloads, House of Cards was the next one and I remember downloading it because it had the same name as the TV series but the plot was totally not.  To be honest, at this point, I wasn’t even reading the summary again.  From the cover, it looked YA paranormal (aka vampires) so hey, I did read the whole Sookie Stackhouse so this is right up my alley. I do love me some vampires.

Let’s check it out!

House of Cards
by: Ilana Waters

House of Cards

Eighteen-year-old Sherry has just begun her newly independent life in Paris when she is kidnapped by a group of vampires. They hold her hostage in the House of Cadamon, their catacomb lair beneath the city, ruled with an iron fist by a leader known as “the Master.” The only thing keeping Sherry alive is her ability to tell vampire fortunes through tarot cards, a task she is forced to perform night after night. She finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a four-hundred-year-old reluctant blood drinker who is as much a prisoner of Cadamon as she is. –Goodreads

It turns out my deductions are correct, mostly because the cover of the book was positioning the book well. Very nice cover, by the way! I like it quite a bit.  While I want to rate a book and sometime even pick up books by their attractive covers, we can’t exactly do that.  It means nothing to the story itself. House of Cards is an average YA paranormal vampire romance. There were some good ideas, like using tarot cards and fortune telling to indirectly weave in the vampires in House of Cadamon and even reveal their temperament, especially that of “the Master”. I liked the beautiful setting of Paris and “the Master” having a hold on them and having the freedom but not actually having it so it wasn’t just set underground in the catacombs where House of Cadamon was located.

The story is simple.  Its at times a good thing and at times, not so good.  For one, its not a long book but in the middle, it dragged out quite a bit as they built the relationship between Sherry and Lucas.  I have nothing against romance.  In fact, I like reading them.  As I was reading House of Cards, I couldn’t help but feel like Lucas and Sherry had the Bella and Edward sort of vibe and I only know it from that one time I watched 70% of New Moon. If you’ve followed my last few reviews of these ebook adventures, I stepped into this one hoping for that it wouldn’t have these steamy sex scenes and then this was all reluctant and craving it all.  The point is: Sherry is in this House of Cadamon and I can’t imagine being seventeen year old, on my own, being captured and having been revealed that vampires actually exist and while there was fear, it quickly subsided and became like something totally different.  But that is the thing, House of Cards isn’t aimed or made for me so its hard for me to relate in a realistic way and for that, I couldn’t engage into Sherry’s character.

However, the main issue here isn’t even that.  I think its the fact that the writing style is not done well.  We are looking at everything from Sherry’s perspective but yet its in a third person point of view however, the actions are insinuate towards a first person. Then, deductions and events happen and it would feel awkward to read.

Don’t get me wrong though. House of Cards may not be geared towards me, even if I read a good bit of YA paranormal novels but while it takes time and drags on a little at parts, the ideas here are good.  I can understand the appeal of the book and it actually changes from my normal views of YA books.  I would’ve preferred a first person perspective and maybe a little more romance action.  I don’t mean sex but just kissing or more of that than just desires floating all over the place and feeling like it didn’t really amount to much after all that wait time. If YA and vampire stories appeal to you, its worth a read.