Crimson Death (Anita Blake,Vampire Hunter #25) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Book Description:

Published: October 11, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Review –

After I read Serpentine (#26) I realized that I hadn’t read #25, Crimson Death, so I looked on OverDrive and it was available so I borrowed it and drove right in.  Having read Serpentine, I knew that some VERY bad things were going to happen.

In Crimson Death vampires aren’t supposed be living in Ireland, but it seems something strange is going on across the ocean with dead bodies turning up with tiny holes in their necks. Even worse, whatever is going on isn’t good for Anita’s vampire servant, Damian. He’s suffering badly with night terrors and sweating blood, leading Anita to suspect that his old master could be responsible. Determined to learn the truth, she teams up with Edward in Ireland to hunt down those causing trouble before any more bodies turn up.

Ever since book #10 of this series, Narcissus in Chains, which I may have re-read soon, I’ve been getting more and more annoyed by the relationships Anita has with her men. There are just too many for me to handle,(and keep track  of) and quite frankly, I think Ms. Hamilton is beginning to focus too much on Anita’s relationships and not nearly enough on the investigation side of things when it comes to her job in hunting rogue vampires and shape-shifters or raising zombies.

However, in saying that, every time I read one of Ms. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books, I find myself totally captivated by what Anita needs to do to ensure the safety of humans and those supernatural that are doing the right thing. With this book, readers are taken on quite the adventure with Anita heading to Ireland, and although it takes quite a few chapters for her to get there – since those that are already hunting the rogue vampires (besides Edward) seem reluctant to accept her help – I could not stop listening once she starts investigating.

The dialogue was intense due to the investigation; what happens to Anita and her triumvirate in Nathaniel and Damian; what is happening to Damian with his nightmares and blood sweats (which was a little spooky); what Anita needs to do to figure out who is breaking vampire rules and the ever burning questioning of whether her powers as a necromancer will work in Ireland. Moreover, I liked that Anita finally began to find peace with her triumvirate and worked hard to make it work because she needed Damian, if she was ever to survive what she faced.

I really liked the introduction of characters readers have never met until this book. The fae; the vampires and their animal to call that they were up against, and the people Edward was working with. Anita had to prove herself and faces some tough challenges from each of them. Can she work with Edward and the team he’s currently working with in Ireland? Will the Fae give her grief over her abilities or will they accept her help? The tough challenges Anita faces, especially towards the end of this book are hard, yet the way she overcomes them certainly proves she’s still one of the best vampire hunters.

Overall, this was a good (almost great) book with an ending that brought tears to my eyes because of what happens to one of Anita’s men and with her, yet she’s tough and proves it with how she uses her powers to take down her enemy. I would recommend Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton, if you enjoy strong heroines that hunt vampires but doesn’t have an easy time when it comes to relationships.

Loved it!

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Shifting Skin by Chris Simms

Book Description

August 1, 2014
Second book in the critically-acclaimed DI Spicer series
The Butcher of Belle Vue’ has struck again. Like the first two victims, the third has been partially skinned and dumped on waste ground: muscles, tendons and ligaments exposed to view. Only this time, her face has also been removed.
Jon Spicer and his new partner, Rick Saville, are approached by a woman who insists she heard ‘The Butcher’ claiming his latest victim in the next-door room of a run-down hotel in Belle Vue. But all she has to back up her story is an escort’s business card recovered from the empty room the following morning.
Jon’s investigation takes him into the twilight world of Manchester’s sex workers and the unscrupulous cosmetic surgery industry, eventually forcing him to confront the potential for violence within every man – even within himself.
Review –
The story line is well thought out and easy to follow but there are many twists and turns.  Jon Spicer is a flawed character but you can’t help but like him. Rick Saville, his new partner (who might be a plant) ,I’m a bit unsure of. 
This is a fast read that at times will have ou on the edge of your seat.  Loved this book and will have to find more by this author.
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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Book Description

August 13, 2013
In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was–that I couldn’t stick around–and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.

 
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.
Maybe one day he’ll believe that being different is okay, important even.
But not today.

From Booklist

It’s Leonard’s eighteenth birthday and, big surprise, nobody remembered. This birthday, however, is going to count—because Leonard plans to shoot cruel bully (and former best friend) Asher Beal after school. First, though, there is the small matter of gift giving, in which Leonard deliversfour presents to the four people who made his “worthless” life a little better: a noir film–loving neighbor, a violin prodigy classmate, asuperhot teen evangelist, and his favorite teacher. The single-day time frame provides a good deal of claustrophobic tension, as readers will hope against hope that one of these four people will be able to deflect Leonard from his mission. But this is far from a thriller; Quick is most interested in Leonard’s psychology, which is simultaneously clear and splintered, and his voice, which is filled with brash humor, self-loathing, and bucket loads of refreshingly messy contradictions, many communicated through Leonard’s footnotes to his own story. It may sound bleak, but it is, in fact, quite brave, and Leonard’s interspersed fictional notes to himself from 2032 add a unique flavor of hope. Grades 8-11. –Daniel Kraus

Review –
The first thing about this book that I noticed is the abundance of bad language but after I got past that I had a very depressing story to look forward to. This poor kid is turning 18 and his mother (who is unbelievably bad) doesn’t remember, doesn’t even live with him any more. Then his name!  How can anyone with the name of LEONARD PEACOCK be taken seriously? It is a very very depressing story and could have used better resolution at the end but it made me cry and I liked it when all was said and done.
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The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

Book Description

January 8, 2013 
Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author, calls Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper “a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak.”It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, VanessaSheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.

Review –
This was recommended to me by my Assistant Professor daughter who specializes in children’s and young adult literature as a “Wintery Themed Book” and I was hooked from the first few pages. It’s a poignant story told in two points of view, a current student, who happens to be an albino, and a former student that had the same room in a private school, the year before. The story includes forbidden romance, a tragic accident, friendships and relationships and I rated it five stars *****. Truly perfect to read on a cold wintery day with a cup of hot chocolate.
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Night of the Purple Moo (The Toucan Trilogy) by Scott Cramer

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Book Description

March 25, 2012
Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her–adolescence
Review –
This was a free book and a good book but I don’t think I will read the next in the series, which is Colony East, unless it is offered free.
 
That said, it does was a very good story line, being that only very early teens and younger survive a bacteria  spread by the dust of a comet and they have learn how to take care of themselves and well as some toddlers. This group lives on an island and are pretty well off until they encounter some bullies that steal food from them. Two of the bullies die of the bacteria and the other joins their team. Soon they discover that an antidote is being created by some scientists who have been safely underground and were never exposed to the purple dust. Now they have to figure out how to get to a distribution location and who to send.  Will they make it and will they run into any trouble?   You will just have to read the book, which is still being offered free by Amazon, and find out.
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Shatter Me(Shatter Me #1) by Taherej Mafi

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Book Description

Publication Date:November 15, 2011

“You can’t touch me,” I whisper.

I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him.

He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

Review –
I gave this book five stars ***** although when I first started reading(or listening, in my case) I wasn’t sure what to think.  The main character, who has been in isolation for 264 days when the story begins, seemed over melodramatic in her speech, but as the story progressed I could see a reason for the writing technique. The author uses metaphors and similes all over the place.
Here are a few of the lines that stood out:
“his voice (Warner) like an icicle piercing the flesh of my memories.”
“my face has been slapped by a hundred hands” (when she’s embarrassed
I’m dripping red paint on the carpet” (embarrassed when she’s told she’s beautiful)
“touching me like I’m made of porcelain and I want to shatter”
“I want to rip up the carpet and sew it to my skin” (when she’s wearing a tank and shorts)
“I’m gapping like a dead fish”
my throat is a reptile covered with scales”
Juliette is 17 and was put in an asylum because she has the power to kill if she touches someone. She thinks she is alone.
Adam, who Juliette hasn’t seen for many years and loves) is put in as a cell mate and over time falls for her.
Adam was a plant by Warner who wants to own Juliette.
Adam and Juliette escape and Warner tracks them down.
They escape once more and find others like Juliette.
Warner continues his search to find Juliette. He loves her.
Great story and series and the covers are fantastic.
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The Flu (A Novel of Outbreak) by Jacqueline Druga

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Book Description

Publication Date:November 26, 2013
Throughout history there have been several thousand different strains of influenza. Each year hundreds are active. Chances are, this year, you will catch one of those strains. You will cough, sneeze, and your body will ache. Without a second thought, you’ll take a double dose of green liquid, go to bed, and swear you’ll feel better in the morning.
Not this time.
In 1918 forty million people succumbed to a particular strain of swine flu. It appeared out of nowhere, and just as quickly as it surfaced, the Spanish Flu vanished. Gone for good. Or so we thought. Though mankind has anticipated its resurfacing for some time, mankind is ill prepared. Mutated and with a vengeance, the Spanish Flu returns.
In a world blackened with plague, a glimmer of light exists in the small town of Lodi, Ohio. They shine as a sanctuary because they are ‘flu-free.’ In the wake of the reality that they are spared, the spirit and strength of Lodi is tested. It becomes a fight against what is morally right or wrong in an ncreasingly difficult battle to stay healthy and alive until the flu has run its course.
Review –
Very scary premise because this could completely happen and it would probably be worse that this author tells us. There are graphic descriptions of the bodies at the end of the flu and they are not for the squeamish. There is also a few pages of tear jerker prose and even though it makes a good story the end could have worked out the same without the demise of a main character.
All in all, I enjoyed it very much and read it in one sitting.
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The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

549938The Cricket on the Hearth. A Fairy Tale of Home” is a novella by Charles Dickens, written in 1845. It is the third of Dickens’ five Christmas books, the others being “A Christmas Carol” (1843), “The Chimes” (1844), “The Battle of Life” (1846), and “The Haunted Man” (1847).

John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy and their nanny Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle’s house for a few days.

The life of the Peerybingles intersects with that of Caleb Plummer, a poor toymaker employed by the miser Mr. Tackleton. Caleb has a blind daughter Bertha, and a son Edward, who travelled to South America and is thought to be dead.

The miser Tackleton is now on the eve of marrying Edward’s sweetheart, May, but she does not love Tackleton. Tackleton tells John Peerybingle that his wife Dot has cheated on him, and shows him a clandestine scene in which Dot embraces the mysterious lodger; the latter, who is in disguise, is actually a much younger man than he seems. John is cut to the heart over this as he loves his wife dearly, but decides after some deliberations to relieve his wife of their marriage contract.

In the end, the mysterious lodger is revealed to be none other than Edward who has returned home in disguise. Dot shows that she has indeed been faithful to John. Edward marries May hours before she is scheduled to marry Tackleton. However, Tackleton’s heart is melted by the festive cheer (in a manner reminiscent of Ebenezer Scrooge), and he surrenders May to her true love.

Review –

I had the audio version of this Dickens short story and didn’t get to it before Christmas so while I’m laid up in bed with a horrible cold that came on the morning of New Year’s Eve, I had a chance to catch up on my listening.

This is joy to listen to and the innocence of it makes my heart smile.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

161426Product Description:

Published : 2004

Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story.

Review –

 

Once I started this book I could not put it down because as outrageousas  the plot sounds it could happen anywhere anyday now.  That what is so scary about it.

What would you do to survive a war?  How and what  would you eat?  Where would you live or fimd shelter? What would you wear?  Who could you trust?  Who would you love and how would you keep them safe?

I give this book five stars ***** and it deserves more.

Everyone should read this and think about it daily.

The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

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Book Description

Publication Date:October 13, 2000

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals . . . a used hangman’s noose . . . a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude can’t help but reach for his wallet.

I will “sell” my stepfather’s ghost to the highest bidder. . . .

For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man’s suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn’t afraid. He has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts—of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed. What’s one more?

But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It’s the real thing.

And suddenly the suit’s previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door . . . seated in Jude’s restored vintage Mustang . . . standing outside his window . . . staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting—with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand. . . .

A multiple-award winner for his short fiction, author Joe Hill immediately vaults into the top echelon of dark fantasists with a blood-chilling roller-coaster ride of a novel, a masterwork brimming with relentless thrills and acid terror

Review –

Joe Hill can tell a great ghost story that leaves you looking over your shoulder and leaving the light on when you go to bed. I there is a moral to this story, it is be careful what you buy off the internet.  I love it and highly recommend it  if you like the horror genre.