BOOK REVIEW: A Walk Through Hell, Volume 1 by Garth Ennis

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Title: A Walk Through Hell, Volume 1

Author: by Garth Ennis and Goran Sudzuka (Artist)

Book Length: 129 pages

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel, Comic, Horror, Mystery

LinkGoodreads

Brief Summary of the Plot: When two federal agents go missing inside a warehouse, FBI Agents McGregor and Shaw go in to find them. They soon realize that what they walked into is not just an ordinary warehouse, but a fun house…for insane people. If it wasn’t creepy enough to fall unconscious and wake up without a pulse, the two FBI agents find one of the missing agents blowing his own head off again and again like some gruesome version of ground-hogs day. Will they ever make it out alive?

My Review: The artwork was really good, and the overall story was creepy as hell. The story alternates from a past case that the partners were working on, which is somehow related to them being stuck in the warehouse. The back and forth between the past case and the scenes in the warehouse got a little confusing at times, but it all pulled together in the end. As this is only Volume 1, I would be curious to see what Volume 2 holds in store for the two agents.

Professional Reader

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Talking with Psychopaths and Savages by Christopher Berry-Dee

32713413Title: Talking with Psychopaths and Savages

Author: Christopher Berry-Dee

Book Length: 292 pages

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, True Crime

LinkGoodreads

Brief Summary of the Plot: Criminologist Christopher Berry-Dee goes deep inside the mind of the world’s most sick ,sadistic and predatory people alive. The author introduces the book as follows “Welcome to ‘Christopher World’, with a gilt-edged invitation to take you on a journey for, dare I say that I am your ‘tour guide’ on a road trip into the deeply disturbing and darkest recesses, the abyss of the minds of psychopaths and savages, because now that you are reading this book, you are coming with me, like it or not!” The author discussed the differences between “psychopath” and “savage”, fleshing out his thesis using 9 “case studies” on some of the most vile and violent people on Earth.

My Review: Although I found the crime details thoroughly disturbing, there is also something surreal, and therefore fascinating (all be it in a negative way), about people who kill without empathy or remorse. I have a hard time killing a spider, so I cannot even imagine how someone can be capable of killing another human being, and then acting like it was nothing. The concept of harming another person is completely alien to me, and somehow, because of this, I was able to disassociate a bit from the narrative, and see it more as a story rather than the facts of a real life crime. To not disassociate, would have certainly led to agoraphobia. These psyhopaths are outwardly just ‘normal’ people…they could be anyone!

This book dives into what makes these people tick — what drives them to kill. “And what motivates the psychopath is the desire to take what he, or she, wants regardless of the consequences. He is insensitive to all but his own needs; his inability to recognise the needs or rights of others means that he sweeps them casually aside or simply uses them for his own ends.”

In telling the story of John Cannan, a British robber, serial rapist and murderer, the author paints the following horrifying picture “The dark hair is well groomed…He is dressed immaculately…His voice is soft, almost upper-class…Confident, he is seemingly a worldly person who could almost certainly hold his own in any company…So far so good, for there is nothing to worry about in what you see in John, is there? But ‘Buyer Beware’, because what he portrays is a mask , when everything behind it can be demonstrably monstrous. He is like a fake Rolex watch — all shiny and false — then, when you rewind it, the spring breaks, and savagery is released.”

Shiver. Puts a whole new perspective on internet dating, doesn’t it?

If you like to read true crime novels, or just like to be plain scared, then this book is for you.

 

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: The 12th of Never

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: November, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BOOK REVIEW: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

12432220Title: The False Prince

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book Length (Audiobook): 8 hours 15 mins

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure

LinkGoodreads

Brief Summary of the Plot: The King, Queen, and Crown Prince are dead, and the (now) heir to the throne, the youngest son of the King, is presumed dead (although no body has ever been found). Carthya is on the brink of civil war when nobleman Connor takes orphan boys Sage, Roden, and Tobias to his estate to train them for the biggest con job in history. Each of these boys will compete to impersonate Jaron, the lost prince. The boy who wins the competition will become King, but for those boys who lose, only death awaits.

My Review/Expectations: Honestly, I was very surprised to like this book as much as I did. I had originally read it back in 2012, and am reading it again so that I can read the 2nd and 3rd books in the series (which are part of the top 10 oldest books on my Want to Read Shelf). The story of this book is fun and entertaining, and I found myself eager to continue listening to it. Sage is of course the front-runner (and the main character), so it was obvious from the beginning that he was going to be chosen by Connor to be the False Prince, but this didn’t lessen the quality of the overall story. The writing is good, but easy, so I was able to breeze through in a few days at 1.6x times the normal speed (Audiobook).

There was a plot twist at the end, but I saw it coming a mile away. This could have been because I had read the book before (even though I didn’t remember anything about the story), or maybe there were just numerous hints throughout the book…but I would say that this added to the story rather than detracted. I kept waiting for the big reveal!

I would definitely recommend this book.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing special to report.

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: 11th Hour

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: August, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.

You can read my review of the 9th book, The 9th Judgment here.

You can read my review of the 10th book, 10th Anniversay here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book (contains spoilers)

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands

34084Title: The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands

Author: Stephen King

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Audiobook Length: 17 hours and 54 minutes

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction

LinkGoodreads

Brief Summary of the Plot: If you are interested to see my reviews of the first two books, you can click the links below. In this third book, which takes place five weeks after the second book ends, Eddie, Susannah (formerly Odetta) are being trained by Roland to become gunslingers. All the while, the three are continuing their quest to the Dark Tower by following magical “beams” (which I guess are like ley lines?). They encounter strange (ancient) beings along the way who are becoming sick and dying, as Midworld is “moving on” (onto the next age?)

Meanwhile, due to the fact that he saved Jake from being killed in the 2nd book, Roland’s mind has become fractured into 2 pieces. The first piece remembers Jake (from the timeline where he died and came to Midworld), and the second piece where Jake lived, and therefore never met Roland. This juxtaposition is tearing Roland apart and slowly making him insane.

Back on “Earth” in NYC, Jake’s mind has also become fractured. He remembers both the life in Midworld, and the one where he never went there. Strange things are happening to him in NYC, and its like he is living a double life. Eventually he is able to find his way to a portal to Midworld. Once Roland and Jake are together again, the insanity ends for both of them.

The rest of the book is about the adventures they have while on their quest, which I won’t tell you about so as not to ruin it for you.

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

 

9436746Title: 10th Anniversary

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.

You can read my review of the 9th book, The 9th Judgment here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: 10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: The 9th Judgment

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book, but be careful because there are several spoilers.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: The 8th Confession

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: May, 2013

Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

LinkGoodreads

I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.

You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.

You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.

You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.

You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.

You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.

You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.

You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.

The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.

See below for the plot of the book, but be careful because there are several spoilers.

Continue reading “BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro”

BLAST FROM THE PAST BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

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Title: The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three

Author: Stephen King

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I read it: April, 2018

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction

LinkGoodreads

Brief Summary of the Plot: 7 hours after the end of the first book, Roland awakes on the beach, where he is attacked by lobster-like creatures called “lobstrosity”. The lobstrosity eats parts of a few of Roland’s fingers before Roland manages to kill it. The wounds become infected, and Roland realizes he is dying. Roland continues to walk down the beach, where he encounters three doors, which open into different time periods in New York. As Roland walks through the first two doors, he brings back a person who will help him on his quest (i.e., Eddie Dean and Odetta Holmes). The third door leads Roland to Jack Mort, who we find out was the guy who pushed Jake into oncoming traffic, killing him (which is how Jake ended up in Roland’s world). Roland goes into the mind of Jack Mort and is able to prevent him from pushing Jake.

Jake is not in the novel, because in The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger, Roland lets Jake die. Walter is also not in this book, and is presumed dead. Just as a recap, at the end of the first book, Roland and the man in black encounter each other, and the man in black reads Roland’s fortune using tarot cards. The man in black casts a spell over Roland, making him fall asleep. Roland awakes 10 years later holding a jaw bone, which is presumed to be that of the man in black.

The Writing: As with all of Stephen King’s books, the writing was great.

The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.

Expectations/Recommendations: I more or less had the same ambivalent feelings about this book that I did with respect to The Gunslinger. It’s hard to get into the story because there are so many moving pieces. Basically, though this book was just about collecting the companions–Roland stayed on the beach the entire time. This book was more or less building the back story of the two new characters, and revealing the connection with Jack Mort. I guess, however, that it is an important story insofar as the entire series is concerned.