Figment (Insanity #2) 4/5 ****
Cameron Jace - Fantasy/Retelling
"You know what insane people are, Alice?" the Pillar says. "They are sane people who know too much."
Figment is the second book in the Insanity series, Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) is the first and you really have to be a tad bit insane to really enjoy it!
Cameron Jace takes his readers on a crazy adventure through madness and has clearly mastered the arts of deception and thrill.
Alice and the Pillar are after a serial killer who is chopping off the heads of overweight children and stuffing them inside watermelons (what? I told you, you have to be a little insane to enjoy the book!). I can see how this series, particularly this book, may be a bit too ridiculous for some, but I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity and spin Mr. Jace give the original fairy-tales depicted in Figment.
There were certainly moments when I stopped reading only to scratched my head, a little taken-a-back by what I just read, that maybe I wasn't understanding it correctly; it's just THAT good.
It's definitely a quirky, laugh-out-loud, bizarre read but I will absolutely be finishing the series! I want to know just how insane Alice Wonder is or maybe she isn't insane at all!
Here's a little hint about one of the characters you'll get to know should you choose to jump into the rabbit hole that is Figment (Insanity 2).
"Oh, do you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Oh, do you know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane?"
If you're not familiar with Lewis Carroll and the original "Alice in Wonderland" here are some quick links to the book and few different movie versions!
Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) 4/5 ****
Cameron Jace - fiction/retelling
Cameron Jace may have graduated with a degree in Architecture but he found his home in the literary world and a best selling author or young adult fiction. He currently resides in California, but you won’t find him on Rodeo drive chasing down the latest fashion trends, instead he’ll be looking for those rare or out-of-print books to add to his collection.
His writing is inspired by folktales and the people who tell them, hence why many of his books are fairy tales many of us are familiar with, but with a twist. They are told from the point of view of a young adult and link together many of the stories we heard as children.
He has several best selling series including the Grimm Series and the Insanity series of which Mad in Wonderland is the first novel.
"Sane is mundane. Insanity is the new black"
Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) is the retelling of Alice in Wonderland and brings back the characters of the classic novel by turning them into modern day criminals. Alice Wonder is locked away in Radcliffe insane asylum after murdering an entire school bus full of her classmates. She does not possess any memory of the day, or why she killed her friends, or if she even committed the act at all. Pillar the killer, a fellow asylum patient, thinks she is innocent and believes he can prove her sanity by following and decoding clues left by Lewis Carroll in paintings and photographs which will lead to Wonderlands whereabouts and prove Alice’s sanity.
The book is quirky and crazy and makes nearly no sense, but that's the whole point! It's well written with wonderfully developed characters. It keeps you guessing and pulls you into Alice's world with just enough intrigue and insanity to make you wonder if Alice did kill her classmates or if something or someone else is at play.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will absolutely be reading the others in the series! Look out for my reviews in the coming weeks!
The Master Magician 2.5/5 ****
Charlie N. Holmberg - Fiction/ Sci-Fi
The Master Magician is the last of the The Paper Magician series and I have to admit it is also the least entertaining.
I was SO disappointed in this book. It's predictable and boring. If it hadn't been the last book in the series, my sense of obligation motivating me to finish it would have been void and it likely would have ended up in the "can't finish" pile.
The Master Magician jumps ahead about 2 years from the conclusion of The Glass Magician and brings us to weeks before Ceony test for her Master Magician title.
Fearing scrutiny given the relationship between himself and his apprentice, magician Thane sends Ceony to test with another Paper magician, one who does not care for Emery or his apprentice. Really, I think the separation between Ceony and Emery is needed simply so Ceony can find ways to get herself into dangerous and unnecessary situations, otherwise the book would have ended before it even starts.
The only bit of excitement is the idea that Ceony still harbors a secret that could change how magic is practiced forever; the ability to practice magic outside the original bonded material. The potential for this book to be engaging and entertaining was endless based on Ceony's new "superpower," but it fell flat, very flat.
If you've read the other books, you know how it ends. PREDICTABLE.
Purchase the paperback HERE.
Other Books by Charlie N. Holmberg
Did you know you can read new release books a month before their publication date?!
If you are an Amazon Prime member you have the opinion to select 1 title to download for FREE once a month! If you aren't an Amazon Prime member don't worry, you can download one of the select titles for only $1.99 by signing up for the Kindle First email newsletter!
The below titles are the Kindle First selections for March, 2016!
The Light of the Fireflies 3/5 ***
Paul Pen - Fiction/mystery
***The Light of the Fireflies is a KINDLE FIRST selection for March, 2016 which means you could download it for FREE or pay only $1.99!***
The Light of the Fireflies was my Kindle first selection for March and I am still a little unsure how I feel about the book as a whole.
The premise of the book is good. The characters are well developed and there’s enough intrigue to keep the reader reading, but how the characters and the plot twist together to formulate the conclusion leaves me feeling unsettled and a little disappointed.
A boy born and raised completely in the confines of an old lighthouse basement; having never smelled fresh air or felt the grass between his toes, it’s sad and selfish. He shares the confines of the basement with his parents, brother, sister and grandmother but his only friends are a cactus and the mysterious fireflies that suddenly appear.
Things get a little wonky when his sister has a baby. The speculation jumps from one family member to the next after Mr. Pen builds the relationship between father and son, a relationship described only as fragile and fake. But maybe things aren't as they appear, maybe its all a farce? A ploy to get the boy to do something he may not want to do.
Without giving too much away, I will say the reason as to how and why this family ends up living in a basement is a bit absurd and very unbelievable. Granted, The Light of the Fireflies is a fictional piece, the characters and events of the text are mostly plausible so I feel like the rest of the book should be as well. It feels like Mr. Pen felt he needed something extra dramatic to make his book pop and, in my opinion, there were better avenues to achieve that goal.
I enjoyed the book but I would have enjoyed it more with a different ending.
Click HERE to get the kindle version!
Click HERE to order the paperback!
Follow the Crows 3/5 ***
B.B. Griffith - Fiction / Paranormal
Follow the Crows landed on my Kindle by coincidence as the majority of books I read often do. It was a recommendation via Amazon and came at the best cost, FREE! Having read the synopsis, it likely wouldn’t have ended up in my digital library had it not been so cheap but, I've learned that sometimes the books we least expect are better than we hoped!
I tossed a 4 star rating back and forth but ultimately settled on a 3. It was good, interesting and intriguing book but it didn’t Stick with me like others have. I rarely give 5’s and 4’s are reserved for books that have a lasting impact of which Follow the Crows did not. It’s a good thriller shrouded in mystery but, it wasn’t the type of book I found myself pondering or thinking about once the last word was read.
Ben Dejodi is a Navajo cop whose family is plagued by the on-going mystery of his sister’s disappearance. They know she's dead but they have no idea where her body is. It simply disappeared from her hospital bed while under the not-so-watchful eye of childhood friend, Joey Flatwood. Life unravels from this point forward and people Ben thought were trustworthy are not and those he thought least worthy of his trust, deserve it most.
Romance, a lot of mystery and a great story lie between the pages of this book. It’s the first in a series so there’s plenty of intrigue to keep you coming back for more!
Download the Kindle version HERE (free).
Purchase the paperback HERE.
Also by B.B. Griffith
A Man Called Ove 5/5 *****
Fredrik Backman - Fiction / Humor
Fredrik Backman is a Swedish blogger, writer and columnist who seriously could not have written a more enjoyable book. To just say I enjoyed A Man Called Ove is grossly under clarifying just how much I liked this book.
I laughed (sometimes hysterically) I cried and even scooched to the edge of my seat anticipating the next snarky comment that would fly from Ove’s mouth, cringing at some and smiling at others. Backman did an amazing job creating and depicting every aspect of Ove. A truly well developed and thought out character.
“He’s the kind of man who points at people he doesn’t like the looks of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman’s flashlight.”
Ove is quite literally the definition of a grumpy old man. He could be labeled as rude and withdrawn, the kind of man who yells at kids for walking on his lawn or directs his anger towards the blonde bimbo’s dog for peeing on his sidewalk. He's methodical and logical in every sense of the words, and does what is right simply because it is right. Well…he does what he thinks is right, even if it’s considered socially unacceptable. Like punching a hospital clown for being a bit too anxious to get his clown gloves on a few coins to complete a magic trick.
Underneath the cranky and unapproachable exterior lies a story; a sad, heartbreaking story. A series of terrible accidents and unfortunate events have led to the man called Ove, and rightfully so. But, despite it all, Ove is a better human being than many of us.
Every fiber of the reader in me LOVED this book. A Man Called Ove has undoubtedly earned a permanent spot on my book self. No questions about that.
Download the Kindle version HERE.
Purchase the paperback HERE.
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Landed on Black 3/5 ***
Zach Fortier - True Crime/ Nonfiction
Having started and finished this book in one sitting my feelings about its content were indifferent. I wasn’t drawn into the stories or their characters, not deeply anyways. I laughed when you’d have expected someone to laugh and felt sadness when the words evoked it, but this wasn’t an “oh my goodness I can’t put it down” kind of book for me.
To be fair, I did read it in a bowling alley while my husband was competing in a tournament so maybe it didn’t get a fair shake. Regardless, I’m not intrigued enough to read it again to see if perhaps I missed the bigger picture.
Zach Fortier made a career of working the streets as a police officer. Well, actually, he did more than that but the gist of the book is the same regardless of whether he worked the K9 unit or sex crimes. Landed on Black is a book without a definite start or a definitive end, it’s a collection of stories detailing the life of addicts, prostitutes and the tug-o-war that many officers face between remaining loyal to the law or becoming criminals themselves.
Landed on Black was a quick and easy read. I didn’t dislike the book but I wasn’t overly thrilled with it, either. If you like true story books that are easy to move through and easy to pick up and put down, then read on my fellow book nerds!
If you read Landed on Black and like it, you may also like Zach Fortier's other books:
An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, and adventure through words printed on paper.
Books Read in 2020
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz