Book Review: India Black (Madam of Espionage, #1) by Carol K. Carr
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lisasimpsonfan
India Black (Madam of Espionage, #1)India Black by Carol K. Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoy historic fiction with a strong female lead. I am a history buff and if the story is well written I know it's a book I will read. India Black is the kind of character I like reading about. I want to know more about her story. This book was a great introduction to the series.

India Black (the narrator) is a owner/madam of a rather posh whore house in Victorian London. She is smart and strong and rather brave. India gets drug into a government conspiracy between the Brits and the Russians. There is a lot of action in this book. The only reason this is a 4 star book instead of a 5 star is because at times India has a somewhat modern voice. It's like she slips out of her time and uses a word or two that just don't fit. But I am excited about this series and look forward to reading the next one.




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Story Reviews: The Flower of Arizona & One Hell of a Ride by Seanan McGuire (InCryptid series)
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lisasimpsonfan
Westward WeirdWestward Weird by Martin H. Greenberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Since westerns really aren't my thing I only borrowed this book to read the InCryptid story. This story about how Fran and Jonathan met in 1928. It was so cute. Fran reminds me so much of Verity. I just loved it.



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One Hell of a Ride (InCryptid, #0.02)One Hell of a Ride by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Jonathan is bring Fran back to Michigan. They run into a little trouble by making a side trip to HELL. It's a great story and Jonathan and Fran are so darn cute together. I will say I liked how Ms. McGuire tied in the American West, train urban legends, and her InCryptid mythos.



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Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells
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lisasimpsonfan
Partials (Partials Sequence, #1)Partials by Dan Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I wanted to review this book earlier but coffee + keyboard = typing like this "asdjfasdfoe"

I picked up this book on a recommendation of a friend. I didn't care for Mr. Wells other series so I wasn't sure I would like this one. I am glad I gave it a chance. I love dystopian novels. 11 years ago there was a war between the humans and the Partials (human cyborgs). The RM virus was released killing 99% of the human population. The humans retreated to Long Island and tried to rebuild civilization.

The story is based around Kira and her friends trying to find a cure for the RM virus because no babies have been born immune since the war. Their journey takes them into Partial territory and they find out neither side is 100% truthful.

This is a well written book and I enjoyed the characters especially the Partials. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.



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Book Review: Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer
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lisasimpsonfan
Zombies Don't Cry (Living Dead Love Story, #1)Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I adored the twist to zombie lore this book brought to the genre. It reminded me a lot of 'White Trash Zombie' in that the protagonist is easy to identify with and undead. The only tiny problem I had was I didn't like who Maddy ended up with at the end but I have a feeling that she will end up with the other one in the long run. I look forward to the next installment from this series.

EDIT: I just finished re-reading this book (2/13/16). I still love it and it deserves 5 stars.



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Book Review: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
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lisasimpsonfan
A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mystery, #1)A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book was so much fun to read. I love a good strong female lead character and Miss Speedwell was no disappointment. She was charming, independent, and brave. Also a little foolhardy but that is part of her charm. And Stoker plays perfectly to her character. The handsome but damaged brooding Byron.

The story begins with Veronica burying the last of the two spinster Aunts that raised her. With all her ties to England cut Veronica plans on taking a journey to increase her career as a lepidopterist. After the funeral she returns to gather her things at their rented cottage, finds it trashed and with the help of a stranger, who happens to be a German Baron, she escapes a kidnapping attempt. The Baron deposits her with Stoker for safe keeping and the novel takes off from there. From the tents of a low brow circus to the higher reaches of London Society Veronica's story and the truth behind her birth play out. I can't wait for the next book.



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Book Review: 21st 21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Christopher Golden
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lisasimpsonfan
21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Christopher Golden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I love a good short story and this book delivers with both rotting hands. The zombie genre is just perfect for short stories. It gives you just enough meat to get a nice taste but doesn't smell up the place. A zombie short story can be just like a roller-coaster ride. It should be fast, intense, and leave you wondering what just happened. Some of my very favorite stories in this book:

Antiparallelogram by Amber Benson
Down and Out in Dead Town by Simon R. Green
Ghost Dog and Pup: Stay by Thomas E. Sniegoiski
All the Comforts of Home: A Beacon Story by John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow
Jack and Jill by Jonathan Maberry
Couch Potato by Brian Keene



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Book Review This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
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lisasimpsonfan
This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Sloane's life fell apart long before the world did. I had no problem identifying with Sloane. I have been where she was and have felt like life was pulling me along just like it pulled her along in this book. And I understand her feelings of abandonment by the one person she could trust. But it still took a while for me to warm up to Sloane. I grew to like her as the book went on. Over all
This is Not a Test
isn't a zombie novel but about Sloane's struggle to survive. I enjoyed this book. It had moments where the story was a little dull and short on zombies but the interactions between the teens made up for it. I am planning on reading the sequel.



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Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
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lisasimpsonfan
The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Sometimes I really wish GoodReads let us give out half stars. I liked The 5th Wave more than 3 stars but it wasn't quite 4 star material. The concept behind the book was excellent. I loved how Mr Yancy used his aliens and he really got me with the twist. I didn't see it coming and that is my favorite kind of twist. I even liked Cassie. She was a good protagonist. What I didn't like was Mr. Yancy's use of 'blind luck' and coincidence to save her. Most authors use those tools when they get a character into a corner and need a little boost to move the character or plot along but it felt like Cassie got more than her fair share of luck. I love fantasy, science fiction, and horror but the best books have some root in reality and it just felt that every time she got in a tight spot she got a little too much help. Over all it was good book and I plan on eventually reading the rest of the series if I can ever work my TO READ pile down..LOL

The movie based on this book will be out in my area Jan. 21, 2016. The trailer looks rather close to the book so I will catch it out at the cheap theater or redbox it.



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Book Review: Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2) by Ilsa J. Bilk
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lisasimpsonfan
Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2)Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoyed this book a lot. It's a fresh take on the whole genre. And I enjoy that the characters are flawed. There isn't one MarySue in the bunch which is wonderful. The isolation Alex, Tom and Chris feel is very relatable. And they are intriguing 3-dimensional characters who aren't always easy to figure out.

This is a continuation of Ashes. Alex is living in Rule but still wants to find out what happened to Ellie and Tom. It is a great continuation to the last book. And since Ashes ended on a cliffhanger Shadows does help clear up SOME of the questions the reader was asking.

There are a couple reasons I couldn't give this book that elusive 5th star. The STORY line is topnotch and is wonderful. But I am not a fan of how the stories POV kept abruptly switching between people. It felt jarring. Maybe that is what Ms. Bick is trying for but it makes it harder to read. I also didn't like the overuse of cliffhangers. It seemed like every chapter ended with a minor cliffhanger and the book ended with a huge cliffhanger. I enjoy some suspense but over and over again it gets a little old and the effect wears off.

I still recommend reading the series if you like zombies or dystonia novels. I can't wait to finish the series with Monsters.



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Book Review: The Plague of the Undead by Joe McKinney
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lisasimpsonfan
The Plague of the Undead (Deadlands, #1)The Plague of the Undead by Joe McKinney

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


I liked Joe McKinney's other zombie series Dead World so I was looking forward to his new series. The Plague of the Undead was a disappointment. I was looking forward to some exciting zombie action and suspense but this book just didn't deliver. Everything was rushed including the fights and the characterization. If I don't care about the characters then why should care about who died or lives? What's weird (not in a good way) for how rushed the book was only half told the main story. The rest was filled with short stories that didn't fit in with the timeline of the store and seemed like filler. I doubt I will read the second book in this series.



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