The Night Beat by Gini Koch

Finished: January 22, 2019

So today is Gini Koch’s birthday, and I thought writing up my review for her action-packed Urban Fantasy novel, The Night Beat, was a great way to celebrate!

My Review:

This book is an incredible roller coaster ride of action, monsters, and special guests. Yes, this book features such surprises as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and (no, I’m not joking) Queen singer Freddie Mercury. That should give you a good idea of the kind of wacky adventures that ensure and the kind of world you’re jumping into.

Victoria Wolfe is an undercover werewolf who works as a police officer to protect Prosaic City. What starts out as fighting an unspeakable monster that’s taking out the city’s unfortunates turns into a fight bigger than heaven and hell. It’s pulpy, it’s hilarious, and it’s intense from page one to the end. I absolutely loved it and am looking forward to her next book!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Absolutely! This book is like a fantastic fever dream of your favorite horror and action films.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? If you enjoy fast-paced, pulpy stories with a heavy dose of intricate world-building and a slew of inhuman characters, then yes!
  3. Does it stick with you? This book is so unique and unusual that it definitely sticks with you. There’s just nothing quite like it.

My overall rating: 5/5

The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson

Finished: Friday, December 14, 2018

Candace is one of my fellow authors over at Parliament Houes Press. Knowing how much I loved book 1, she was kind enough to offer me a review copy of book 2 as well in exchange for an honest review.

My review:

So if you saw my review for Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, then you’ll understand how quickly I sped through the first book in this series. (And if you’ve been taking notes on how often I review books, you’ll know that’s a rarity!) I don’t want to spoil anything, but book 1 had an amazing, unexpected ending, and book 2 picks up right where things left off.

I honestly wasn’t sure where Robinson could take it after book 1 based on where it ended. The whole situation was completely unexpected so when book 2 came along, I realized that I was along for one heck of a ride on this roller coaster and threw my expectations out the window. It did not disappoint!

One of the things that I loved with the first book was the wonderful mix of dark horror and old-school monsters. The array of creatures was just fantastic. Book 2 digs even more into these crazy monsters and I legit had to message Candace directly at one point because of one of the monsters that showed up. (Bonus points if you can figure out which one that was!) If you have so many wicked monsters, you have to choose how to handle the gore, and she did not skimp there! This isn’t a bland monster story, Robinson digs in with some visceral descriptions where you won’t be able to pull away.

I also love Perrie’s storyline. She’s the protagonist from book 1, and she carries the main storyline in book 2 as well. However she’s a very different person than she used to be. The events that occur change her in realistic ways and it was wonderful to see that portrayed. Maisie is still one of my favorite characters too, but I also grew an unexpected soft spot for Vale. I can’t say too much without dropping some major spoilers, but let me just say that by the end of it, I felt for all of them. It was quite an amazing read and a perfect end to this series.

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Definitely! I was grinning during some of the scenes because I just loved Robinson’s unique take on the characters or the unique monster that appeared.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but especially to anyone who loves old-school monster movies. Or even fans of current monster films. You’ll get a kick out of this more than the average reader because you’ll get the references.
  3. Does it stick with you? Yes! Vale’s character in particular and his interaction with Perrie is going to be a pairing I’m going to reflect on for a long time. I felt like one of the biggest strengths in this book is the characterization of these two and you feel like you’re right there with them through it all.

My overall rating? 5/5

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia


Finished: October 3, 2018

R. J. is one of my fellow writers over at Parliament House Press, and when I heard about this book, I simply had to pick it up!

My review:

I didn’t expect this to be a roller coaster ride, folks. I didn’t expect this to be a book that was a compulsory read once I hit that halfway point. I had trouble putting it down and then looked forward to when I got the chance to pick it up again. When I recently had my Kindle stolen, I was devastated because I wanted to finish this book so bad!

This story starts out with Tommy moving to a new town and having to adjust. He makes new friends: Finn, Silence, and Annie. Things seem pretty normal, until they turn for the worst. I don’t want to say too much because this slow-burn thriller is too good to spoil, but let’s just say when things get real, they get real fast. As a debut novel, I’m super impressed and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from R.J. down the road! The suspense, the environment, the struggles of these four kids really hit home. You feel for these four and they’re all fighting their own battles. I’m happily giving this book five stars!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Did I mention I had trouble putting it down??
  2. Would you recommend it to others? If thrillers in the vein of Stranger Thing appeal to you, then this is definitely a book to pick up!
  3. Does it stick with you? These characters are fantastic, and I think they’ll stick with me for a long time. But ya’ll know how I am. I love characters dealing with dark turns.

My overall rating? 5/5

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson


Finished: July 19, 2018

Candace is one of my fellow writers over at Parliament House Press, and offered me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Let me tell you this book didn’t disappoint!

My review:

Wow… this book!

When I was given an ARC of this just before I went on a beach vacation, I thought I would crack it open and read a little bit of it. I didn’t realize that I would get 60% through it because the plot hooked me so well! The writing is so fluid and when they get to the scenes within the Glass Vault, it was just so difficult to put down. I kept wanting to see what happened next and find out where the characters would go. I can feel Candace’s strong love of old horror movies come through on the pages. Each one made me smile.

The cover and premise already had my interest piqued, but the book itself is just fabulous! Think Waxwork with a very big twist. That ending – oh my gosh, I can’t wait to read the next book in this series! It definitely threw me for a loop and now I’m checking on when the next one gets re-released. I screamed with Perrie, I loved Maisie’s creativity, I felt sorry for Neven, and I swooned for August. Definitely a book that will pull you in.

Perrie is a high school student who has recently had a difficult break up with Neven. It doesn’t help that her heart is being stolen away by August, a fellow band member. While she’s dealing with all these emotions, a strange Glass Vault appears. As more of Perrie’s friends go missing, and the police start eying her suspiciously, Perrie has no choice but to investigate. But Quincey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is nothing like she expects.

Let’s just say that as someone who loves classic monster movies, loves horror and fantasy, and totally will binge watch Vincent Price films, I am really digging this series!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Absolutely! I can’t say too much without giving spoilers, but yes it is.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? If you love classic horror films or books that make you keep turning the pages, check this out!
  3. Does it stick with you? These scenes… oh my gosh, again no spoilers, but yeah. Some of these scenes will never leave me, and I love it.

My overall rating? 5/5

Bacon Pie by Candace Robinson and Gerardo Delgadillo


Finished: June 7, 2018

Candace is one of my fellow writers over at Parliament House Press, and offered me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. How could I resist, I mean have you seen that cover? And trust me, this book is just as cute and colorful as the cover!

My review:

Oh my gosh, this book is so much fun! It’s full of adorable, romantic silliness but it’s also not afraid to take on darker topics as well. One of the first stand-out pieces (or slices hehe) was the amount of diversity! We have Kiev, who is Mexican and speaks Spanish while at home. We have Lia, who has a mom and two dads (her father and mother got divorced, and now he’s with her second dad). Then we have Barnabus, a goth kid whose family immigrated from Cambodia and is an incredible harpist. I mean, any one of these people sound like they would be fun to hang out with, but all of them in one book? Just fantastic!

Oh and did I mention that Kiev has a pet armadillo? As someone who lives in the southeast of the U.S., we see these little guys a lot, and the idea of him keeping one as a pet just made me smile every time. I don’t want to give anything away, but he totally steals the show too.

It also isn’t afraid to handle some dark topics, but in a light manner so as not to drag the book down, which I appreciated! There was family drama, substance abuse, obsession, and anger issues, but handled in a fairly positive way the entire way through. We need more books like this, that show incredible diversity and give positive examples of managing hurdles in life.

Overall this was a super adorable YA Contemporary that will leave you thinking on this group for a while. Plus the book is on sale on Kindle right now at $0.99, and it’s totally worth picking up! Definitely a great book to take to the beach!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? These characters really make you love them!
  2. Would you recommend it to others? For fans of cute, romantic antics that don’t mind touching on some poignant topics on occaision, this is definitely the book for you!
  3. Does it stick with you? I’m probably going to think of Bacon Pie every time I see an armadillo to be honest. xD

My overall rating? 5/5