Book Review: The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke (3/5)

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When child psychologist Anya begins to treat Alex, a schizophrenic 10-year-old with hundreds of imaginary demons, she feels like something is wrong. This is not a straightforward case. Alex knows too much for a 10-year-old and claims his best friend is a centuries-old demon named “Ruen.” This friend may be real…. Ruen takes an interest in Anya and seems to know everything about Anya’s personal life and inner demons…

I enjoyed reading this psychological thriller. But I don’t think I’ll be reading it again or adding it to my favorites shelf because the plot twist just felt off. I felt like this book could have stabbed me in the heart; it could have been something deeply touching and impactful…Instead, the plot twist kind of ruined the mood of the book.

I still have to say I really enjoyed the book. It was a fun read and I thank it for introducing me to the genre of adult psychological thrillers!

***eBook provided by Netgalley in exchange for my honest review

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Book Review: Parallel Heart by J.L. Robinson (1/5)

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From page 1, I did not get along well with Parallel Heart. The prose contained glaring grammatical errors and the voice  just seemed off. It felt stilted and dense — as though it was trying too hard to be witty, descriptive and aloof. I would know. I wrote similarly (although in a more child-like tone) several years ago, toying around with big words and awkward sentence structure. Writing needs to flow, and when it flows well enough, it will make the reader comfortable enough to stay for about 50,000 words in the novel’s world.

Parallel Heart could not make me stay. It had a potentially very interesting premise — an unhappily married man longs to escape into a parallel world with a lover who may or may not be real. I thought, “This is interesting,” in my head when I read that the novel is based on the author’s love of quantum mechanics and explores the concept of parallel dimensions and blurred realities. All of this sounded new, fresh and different.

But I just couldn’t get into it. I tried very hard…the voice (as well as plot, characters and developed) just came off as stale. I’m sure Parallel Heart, given a liberal editor, time and a different direction, could’ve been something real special. But it just wasn’t for me… Again, all this is my own opinion. Perhaps you will think differently!

Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think of this review/book.

Currently Reading: Carniepunk

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Carniepunk is an anthology of short stories. Steampunk mixed with a bit of horror, urban fantasy and parnormal.

I’m not sure what I think of it yet (read through two of the stories), but the writing is mesmerizing so far. Both authors know to make you addicted to their writings. It’s not so much the plot (the plotlines are nothing amazing…dare I call them cliche?). But the words drown you — they’re bewitching and feral and full of tangled emotions. I’ve highlighted so much already.

I’ve never reviewed an anthology before, so I’m not quite sure how I’ll be formatting the review. Maybe rating each story separately, with a couple of thoughts on each? I can’t really judge the whole thing as one, since there are so many different authors.

Carniepunk might be something amazing. I’m not sure yet, but I’m gonna slow down my reading for Carniepunk. The words are so wonderful.

Book Review: Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes (2.5/5)

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At first glance, Viral Nation looks like any other dystopian novel we’ve seen on the shelves in recent years. Yes, Viral Nation is another dystopian novel. Yes, a Virus kills most of the human population and greatly decreases the quality of life for the survivors.

But what’s unique is the main character: 16-year-old Clover Donovan is autistic and incredibly smart. I must say, this appealed to me from the get-go. How does autism affect Clover’s life in the dystopia? Will it make her more vulnerable to the “villains” of the story? Is she treated discriminately because of her autism?

After reading the novel, I feel mixed as to what rating I should give it. On the positive side, I liked the “prologue” setting up the story. In addition, the alternating viewpoints between Clover’s older brother and Clover herself set up the perspectives quite well. I did like the issues portrayed at the Academy involving Clover’s autism. Near the middle, there’s also quite a lot of suspense and science fiction/corrupt power action.

On the negative side, the setup is a bit cliché, minus the autism. In addition, the author failed to delve deeply into the emotions and relationships between the tangled cast of characters. As readers, we hunger for depth in the themes – and unfortunately, there isn’t too much. 2.5/5

***eBook provided by Netgalley