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The Girl in the Box Series – Robert J Crane

I have decided after this week that I really like Indie authors. Any of you who follow this blog on twitter will know that I have been doing my usual tweeting and tweeting to the authors of the books I am currently reading. Now, when you do a mainstream author, chances of getting a reply or a re-tweet are very small. Tweet an Indie author and you shall see miracles! Both Lily Zante of A Perfect Match series and now Robert J Crane have tweeted back to this little blog and indeed re-tweeted certain posts. This is obviously beneficial for both parties involved, getting my blog out to new people and the same for them. Obviously being nice does tend to help in one’s review of a book. You might not say it is a good book but you can say the author is nice!

Back to the series in hand. Again, through Kindle, the first three books of this series was offered to me. After reading Caged I was slightly apprehensive of reading another free paranormal book, especially one that gave me three new books. Luckily I was hooked on these from the first chapter!

Plot

We meet Sienna, a girl who seems to have spent her whole life inside her house. Her mother has her rules, Rule #1 being no going outside, as well as no talking about outside, always wear a full set of clothes including gloves and to basically listen to her mother all the time. Two men break into her house with guns and surprisingly, Sienna is able to defend herself extremely well with a great sense of wit to boot. Escaping her house, she runs into another man and he helps her to escape. Reed turns out later to be a great friend (watch for the twist) but for the mean time he ends up being knocked out by a hulk of a man named Wolfe. This guy is out for Sienna (another one?!) and nearly captures her at the local mall. However, a few tranquillisers later and the two previous men intervening, Sienna manages to escape. The men take her unconscious body to an institute called the Directorate and here she learns about herself and that she is part of a species called metas. These are humans who have extra strength, speed, agility, intelligence (sometimes) and their own individual power. Sienna learns she is a Succubus, a person who can dream-walk and steal people’s souls/essence from them. This obviously kills them and causes great distress to Sienna in more ways than one.

Throughout the series we have questions raised, such as where her mother has gone too, can the Directorate be trusted, who is Reed and many more resulting in a hair raising, emotional and sometimes funny quest that we venture on with Sienna.

Opinion

I love this book series. The plot isn’t fully complete as I am currently on book #7 out of 10. I have read the previous 6 in about 2 days. This is how enthralling a storyline it is. I have always been a bit of a geek and these books play on this extremely well. Very large geek references are throughout, from the comic books (Iron Man and Thor) to Star Wars and more. I am sure there are some that go over even my head.

Sienna is a great character. Unlike in Caged where the leading lady was just annoying, Sienna has an Orissa feel about her (from the Contagium Series). Her tongue in cheek wit is great and I wish I had the ability to dish out some of her comebacks. She is so mature in some ways and then in a blink you are reminded she is only 18. For a man writing about a woman, Crane did an excellent job of getting an 18 year old girl insecurities down pat. Her feelings and emotions are some that I can remember from my later teenage years so well played Crane!

Like I said, I haven’t finished the series yet so I do not know what is going to happen and I am finding the directions the books are going in at the moment to be interesting. I hope we get a good ending and I’m trying not to rush them to find out as I am prone to do because I like them so much I don’t want them to end! For me they are as good as Emily Goodwin’s Contagium Series (another Indie author and the next one isn’t out until September this year!!!) and as I loved them this is high praise indeed!

My verdict is 9/10. The same mark as I gave Goodwin’s and an excellent read. I just hope the remaining books stick to the same level of entertainment! Give them a go, especially as the first three are currently free.

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Filed under Book Review, Fantasy, Robert J Crane, The Girl in the Box

Killer Swell – Jeff Shelby

As some of you may know, this blog has it own Twitter account. From this, tweets appear of new posts and people can tweet if they want a book reviewing or just to generally say hi. So I received a friend request from Jeff Shelby. He is an american writer and was this blogs first follower on Twitter. So, after reading his profile and finding he was a writer I thought I’d thank him for the follow through a review of his first novel, Killer Swell. If the book had been bad, it wouldn’t have been a good thank-you, I know but he was able to publish another two in the series so something must have gone right!

Plot

We start with meeting Noah Braddock, a PI from San Diego. He is meeting up with his first ever girlfriend’s mum whom he believed split the two of them up. 11 years later, it is she who needs his help to find her missing daughter (Kate) and believes that his history with her daughter will convince him to take the job. Braddock still remembers his first sweetheart and it is with his memory of her that we find out about the missing girl. She was rich, popular, daddy’s girl and number one sister and student. Braddock starts his search with her husband, a sleazeball of a man who from Noah’s memories of  Kate, it is surprising she would date, let alone marry a man like him. Braddock finds Kate, but not really how he would have wished and her father then employs him to look further into the case, not trusting that the police will keep them informed, or that they will look for the culprit.

During the investigation, we meet Carter and Liz, a best friend and another ex girlfriend. Both went to the same high school as Noah and Kate and both are trying to find the solution to the mystery. Drugs, gangs, FBI, violence, sex, guns and guilt all play a part of this PI book and brings you round to conclusion which you part expect and part are surprised at.

Opinion

Now, I am not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting that much from this book. It wasn’t available from Amazon UK and I did get it relatively cheap from America (their postage is so cheap!). However, I was pleasantly surprised. I finished it in one night. It reminded me of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mystery PI series and as I’ve just begun to start the series off and love them, that’s quite a compliment. Noah Braddock is a loveable good guy and his best friend is a hoot. I love Liz as well even though she is portrayed as a tight arse at the start but we see her softer side towards the end. The character interactions were well thought out and executed swiftly. The plot was ok and made sense and I liked the slight twist at the end, making it a little more unexpected and I thought the best point was that even though Kate seemed to have made some very wrong choices, we always see Braddock’s Kate, meaning we feel empathy for her. A key point when she is the catalyst to all the guilt and pain Braddock goes through in this book.

Overall, a good book and has made me want to read the others in the Noah Braddock series so a very solid 8/10.


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Filed under Book Review, Crime, Jeff Shelby