Year One (Chronicles of The One #1) by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: December 5, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed–and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river–or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

Review –

When I started listening to this book, I knew immediately that I was going to love it, and therefore would have to not rush the experience. By that I mean, I don’t “binge-listen” hour after hour, but take it slow and make it last. I even set it aside for a week here and there to make it last longer.

This is unlike anything that Nora Roberts has ever written and she hit it out of the ball park!

“When the world as they know it ends, the survivors of a mysterious plague are faced with a new world in which both dark and light magic are rising.

“When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he’d killed himself. And billions of others.” So begins the latest novel from publishing juggernaut Roberts, and the rest of the book is just as gripping. When a virus takes out nearly 80 percent of the Earth’s human population, the survivors must figure out how to live in their new world, which includes the appearance of a varied set of magical abilities in a large part of the surviving population. Both the magick and un-magick people have violent factions which are trying to vanquish internal and external enemies, and good people from both groups have to band together in order to stay safe and establish a new order that honors life and decency. In one such community, witches Lana and Max are having a child, and from the moment of conception, it’s obvious that the child will be magical. As her pregnancy advances, Lana begins to suspect that even in the context of the new magical paradigm, her child has a special destiny, an impression that becomes clearer when she realizes she and her unborn child are being hunted. Finding sanctuary on a remote farm, Lana ushers the child into the world, and soon both foes and allies begin to arrive at her doorstep, deepening Lana’s belief that her daughter is meant for something great and dangerous. Roberts’ new direction is electric and ground-breaking. In some ways, it’s a synthesis of her past work: she’s often written about magical elements, family—both biological and emotional—and community. In this series launch, she’s created a believable apocalypse that is obviously leading to a grand showdown between good and evil, but the story and the characters—there are many, and she’s made some choices that are going to stun her die-hard romance fans—navigate timely issues of tolerance and bigotry; fear of the Other; violence on behalf of perceived “purity” and misdirected religious zeal; and how good people combat evil.

A fast-paced, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking novel that will no doubt add to Roberts’ legions of fans.”

KIRKUS Reviews

Five stars!!!

grab a warm cup of Theraflu, snuggle up with a copy of Year One and pray you’re one of the lucky survivors.

 

Ron Charles of the Washington Post
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Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2010

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Losing everything has Lexi clinging to her daughter. Hell is determined to loosen her grip.

It’s been seven years since disaster struck her family. Lexi Solomon has held it all together since then–just barely.

But now Lexi is losing it. The husband who deserted her is back in town, wanting to see their daughter Molly. Her sister’s shameless murderer is up for parole. An unsavory old friend is demanding payment for debts that Lexi knows nothing about and can’t begin to meet.

And something else is going on–something Lexi feels but can’t explain. A dangerous shift is taking place between this reality and the next. Forces beyond her imagination are vying for control.

A rare novel that will satisfy a wide range of readers, Never Let You Go, explores the high-stakes decisions played out in the thin spaces between heaven and earth. As the enemy’s grip tightens around Lexi, she will have to decide what’s truly worth holding on to.

Review –

I did not like this book at all. If it wasn’t for my rule to always finish a book, I would have stopped listening shortly after it started.

Nest by Terry Goodkind

Book Description:

Published: November 15, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes.

Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her.

Now, hot on Jack and Kate’s heels are a force of super-predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn’t sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her.

An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide bestselling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human.

Review –

Nest is a thriller novel, bordering on horror, set in Chicago. The book follows Kate Bishop after the murder of her brother, when she finds out she has a special ability to identify a killer by looking into their eyes. The story takes the reader on a journey through how she comes to terms with this ability, and with this, discovers the evil lurking everywhere around her, impossible to escape. She meets Jack Raines, and author specialising in helping people with Kate’s particular ability in identifying evil and helping the world understand evil in a way they never thought about it before. This book will keep you up at night, even hours after you have closed the book.

This is fast-paced book full of suspense, and on the edge of your seat thrills. It ends with a semi-cliffhanger so I hope the author, Terry Goodkind, has a plan to write a sequel. It wouldn’t have to be lengthy – just let Kate and Jack find their way back to each other. Please!!!

Five stars.

 

Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Book Description:

Published: June 12, 2012

Something is wrong in Niceville. . .
A boy literally disappears from Main Street. A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty different lives over the course of just thirty-six hours.
Nick Kavanaugh, a cop with a dark side, investigates. Soon he and his wife, Kate, a distinguished lawyer from an old Niceville family, find themselves struggling to make sense not only of the disappearance and the robbery but also of a shadow world, where time has a different rhythm and where justice is elusive.
. . .Something is wrong in Niceville, where evil lives far longer than men do.
Compulsively readable, and populated with characters who leap off the page, Niceville will draw you in, excite you, amaze you, horrify you, and, when it finally lets you go, make you sorry you have to leave.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I loved this book from the very beginning.  It’s a combination of a black comedy,ancient-but still active hatreds, pure evil and paranormal activity.

So much happens in this book so here are some high points:

  • Rainey Teague vanishes one afternoon in the sleepy Southern town of Niceville. Several days later, he is found in a place where it seems impossible for him to be. (a grave)
  • The Teagues are one of the four families who have ruled Niceville since its founding and that bitter feuds, going back a century or more, rage among them.
  • Two bank robbers are pursued by police as they make off with more than $2 million dollars.
  • Their confederate, stationed on a hillside, proceeds with military precision to shoot and kill the drivers of all four police cars in pursuit of the robbers and also downs a news helicopter.
  • Kate Kavanaugh, an idealistic lawyer, is married to Nick Kavanaugh, formerly of the Special Forces, now a “ruthless but fair” lawman with a taste for vigilante justice that leaves suspected criminals unlikely to sin again — or perhaps even to walk and talk.
  • For decades, people have vanished from Niceville at a rate far above the national average. In the course of this novel, several more leading citizens go missing.
  • There is talk of a curse on the town, and outside Niceville looms Crater Sink, an apparently bottomless body of water that Native Americans have long considered a source of evil. Many of the missing, it is feared, might have somehow met their fate in Crater Sink.
  • We witness demonic, truly frightening deaths (“darkness flew at him, black wings, razor-edged beaks, claws ripping, yellow eyes with a green light, a crushing force thick with rage and hate. The feeding began”),
  • We meet many twisted characters. A leading citizen has for years been photographing his teenage daughters with a camera hidden in the ceiling of their bathroom. A dentist dispenses overdoses of happy gas to make young female patients “unwitting models in erotic photo-essays.” We see a drunken father “teaching his toddler how to pull-start a gas-powered weed whacker.” We’re then warned, unnecessarily, “It wasn’t going to end well.”
  • Most of the twisted characters meet their just demise and justly so while others remain alive at the end of the tale.  Just which ones, you’ll have to read the book for yourself.

Five stars *****

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The Soulkeepers, Weaving Destiny and Return to Eden by G.P. Ching (The Soulkeepers Series)

Book Description

Publication Date: June 24, 2011 | Series: The Soulkeepers
When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. Made a ward of his uncle and thousands of miles from home, a beautiful and mysterious neighbor, Dr. Abigail Silva, offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. In exchange, she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a gifted warrior charged with protecting human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions Dr. Silva’s motives for helping him.

Book Description

Publication Date: August 29, 2011 | Series: Soulkeepers
Book 2 in The Soulkeepers Series Malini Gupta thought Jacob Lau was her destiny. But after months of failing to decipher how she fits into the Soulkeepers, frustration threatens to tear their relationship apart. And it doesn’t help that a new Soulkeeper named Mara is ready to stop time itself to earn Jacob’s love. When Malini faces her worst fears, and even death, she learns a funny thing about destiny. Fate is a tapestry of choices, and she has the power to weave hers.

Book Description

Publication Date: March 2, 2012 | Series: The Soulkeepers
Book 3 in The Soulkeepers Series. Dr. Abigail Silva has waited over 10,000 years for redemption and a chance at a real relationship with the angel she loves. But when you’re made from evil itself, it’s hard to remember if salvation is worth the wait. With Lucifer’s plan coming to fruition, she must decide if God’s offer of humanity is all it’s cracked up to be, or if a deal with the devil is the more promising solution.
Review –
Since I read these three books in The Soulkeepers Series almost back to back I thought I would present them this way and forgive me but it’s been awhile since I’ve finished them (I’m way behind in my reviews) so this will be short and sweet. 
The first book was offered free for my Kindle and it was a very fast read and I loved it so much that I paid for the next two in the series.  Although the books are written for young adults anyone  liking paranormal fantasy mixed with good vs evil with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure will love this series.   Give them a try.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Book Description

Release Date: November 6, 2012 | Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.
Review –
This is the second book in the series and  while I listened to the first one, I read this one and I can tell you that I enjoyed listening more than reading for the simple reason  that the names of some of the characters are hard to pronounce and while I stumbled through them, the narrator did a superb job and made it seem so easy.
The story was a whirlwind of action and carries you on a wild ride  finding out a lot about both main characters and feeling their pains and joys.  I can’t wait for the third installment of this good vs. evil series.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Review –

I normally don’t show the cover of the book  so large but I couldn’t help it.  I love it.  Covers, to me, add a lot to a book and can influence if you pick it up to read or not.  This is one you can’t pass by.

This is another book that I have given FIVE STARS *****.

The author created a magical world of Angels and Chimera, who happen to be enemies going way back, (sound familiar Romeo and Juliet) and along comes Karou, a human raised by Chimera and naturally the angel is immediately attracted to her and not because of her beautiful blue hair.

I had the audio version and the narrator did a fantastic job and made me feel as if I were a part of the story along with Karou and Zusanna.

Five stars really doesn’t do it justice but I stand b y it-at the end I had to sit for a minute and collect my thoughts and then figure out where to find an ARC of the sequel(More on that later)

If  you like fantasy intertwined with myths with a side of humor and a splash of romance rush out and get this book – you will not be disappointed.

 

 

 

The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts

From Booklist

Twice now, Gage Turner, Fox O’Dell, and Caleb Hawkins, with help from Quinn Black, Layla Darnell, and Cybil Kinski, delivered severe blows to the demon known as Lazarus Twisse. The team of six even managed to restore the bloodstone that could be the key to permanently defeating the demon. But Twisse is not going down without a fight. As the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year once again comes to the small town of Hawkins Hollow, Twisse is prepared to rain down death and destruction unless the six send the demon packing for good. After matching up Cal and Quinn in Blood Brothers (2007) and Fox and Layla in The Hollow (2008), Roberts focuses on Gage and Cybil, both of whom have a gift for precognition, as she winds up her Sign of Seven trilogy in fine fashion. Deftly blending edgy suspense and dark horror with her tried-and-true brand of sexy contemporary romance, Roberts has created an intriguing novel, rich in paranormal thrills and chills. –John Charles
 
Review –
 
This is the final installment of the Sign of the Seven  trilogy and although it was very good ,the ending  was anti-climatic for me and  amd made the entire series feel a bit short.  Maybe the author was getting a bit tired of this storyline and decided on a quick end of the situation.  Anyway, I’m glad I read the series but I won’t be reading it again.