Saturday, July 25, 2015

Review of NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern

Wow. All I can say is wow. I finished NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern a couple of days ago, and I still haven't stopped thinking about it. I haven't read a book that gripped me so completely for quite some time.

Before I hop into the review, I'm just going to tell you now...You'll want to buy a copy of this book the day that it comes out (September 22nd, 2015).

But don't take my word for it; check it out for yourself in the post below.




Synopsis:

A story where edge-of-your-seat horror meets post-apocalyptic thriller, perfect for fans of Lois Lowry and The Mazerunner.

Night is coming.

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours--it comes every twenty-eight years. Each sunset, the townspeople sail to the south, where they wait out the long Night. None of the adults will tell Marin, Kana, or their friend Line exactly what happens when they leave the island, but when the three are accidentally left behind in the gathering dusk, they learn the truth: at Night, their town belongs to others, and those others want them gone.

Fleeing through the now-alien landscape that used to be their home, the three confront shocking transformations and uncomfortable truths about themselves.  They are challenged to trust one another or perish. Marin, Kana, and Line must find their way off the island...before the Night finds them.


***

As for my review, as I've gotten older, my tastes in literature have changed. I enjoy horror a lot more than I used to and actually find myself seeking out thrillers with an otherworldly feel. When I got the opportunity to read the Advanced Reader's Copy of NIGHTFALL, I jumped on it. 

NIGHTFALL appealed to me for dozens of reasons, but especially because it brilliantly combined the horror and young adult genres. In the synopsis, this book is compared to THE MAZERUNNER? I read MAZERUNNER and liked it, but I loved NIGHTFALL even more. 

I fell hard for each of the three main characters whose stories, struggles, and voices are all so distinct. I fell for the island of Bliss and the tantalizing, yet terrifying Desert Lands. I cringed as Night descended, and the young people that I cared about so much were trapped in its clutches. 

Halpern made Night come alive in his book. I read NIGHTFALL while on the plane and sat on the very edge of my seat the entire time, oblivious to everything in the real world--but piercingly aware of every sound and shadow in the book. 

The trials that the characters must go through ramped up and up and up until I thought there wouldn't be any way for them to survive. But the unique traits that each of them possesses from the first page of the book helps through even the most perilous of situations. But are they safe? I believe that Halpern leaves the ending up to each reader. 

Normally I finish reading a book, and I'm irritated that it's the first book in a trilogy because I don't want to read two more books to get the whole story. When NIGHTFALL ended, I wanted to cry because I wanted so much more of Kana, Line, and Marin. I still haven't accepted that I might never get to venture into their world or their minds again (Here's my plea, Halpern! Please write more about these beautiful characters!)

So if this review hasn't convinced you that I liked the book enough to eat it, I also gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, which isn't something I do often. 

Again, NIGHTFALL will come out on September 22nd of 2015. If you're interested in pre-ordering the book or learning more about Jake Halpern, click here

I'll be back next month with another book review. See you then, readers!

 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review of THE MUSE by Meghan O'Brien

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the Advanced Reader's Copy of a book outside of the young adult genre, which I don't often do.

As I do normally do young adult book reviews, it has to be said that this review may be PG-13, but no one under the age of 18 should probably be reading THE MUSE unless given parental permission. This isn't to say that I didn't indulge in books like Anne Rice's The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Trilogy in high school, but still...

Whenever I have the opportunity, I like to support the LGBTQIA community's art, and reviewing O'Brien's book gives me the perfect opportunity to do so.




Synopsis:

Erotica author Kate McMannis has crippling writer’s block and a deadline in less than two months. When a beautiful woman named Erato appears at her house and claims to be her muse, Kate isn’t certain whether Erato is mentally ill or truly her supernatural savior. Either way, when the incredible sex Erato offers leads to genuine inspiration, Kate isn’t inclined to refuse her unusual brand of help.

When a little fantasy fulfillment with Erato inadvertently leads her to the shy and gorgeous Olive Johnson, unexpected feelings threaten to derail Kate’s motivation once again. Erato is just as determined to keep her writing on track as Kate is to explore her very real attraction to Olive—which leads to friction that threatens not only Kate’s ability to meet her deadline, but also her burgeoning romance with Olive.

Caught between a contractual obligation and her heart, is there any way for Kate to have it all?


***

So...if the cover alone doesn't grab you, I'm not sure what will. But in all seriousness, I read most of THE MUSE while on a plane and spent a lot of the ride blushing furiously and hoping no one else could see over my shoulder--in the best possible way. 

As a writer, it's hard not to fall in love with the idea of having your own personal muse descend on you and force your creative hand. However, what starts out  as an erotic twist rapidly devolves into chaos that, in a loose sense, reminded me of MISERY by Stephen King. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that my tastes in reading have slowly been shifting to novels that have a nail-biting quality to them, and though I knew that all would end well in this romantic tail, I did chew down to the quick waiting for the end to resolve itself. 

I gave the book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads and wished that they had an option for 4.5. Unfortunately, O'Brien doesn't seem to have a huge online presence, but you can purchase the novel online as it came out this June. 

Thanks, readers, as always for taking the time to browse this review. Go make this author happy, and purchase her work! I'll see you next month.