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Review: 100 HOURS

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Title & Series: 100 HOURS (100 Hours #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

A decadent spring break getaway on an exotic beach becomes a terrifying survival story when six Miami teens are kidnapped and ransomed.

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.

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NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the author and an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy has been pre-ordered for my collection.


The Review

Action-packed and suspense-filled, 100 HOURS takes readers on a harrowing and nerve-wracking journey through the jungles of South America from not one but two characters’ perspectives. With a pace that is lightning fast, tension that continues to build, and with a few surprise twists, this is a story you will not be able to put down.

What starts off as a simple spring break vacation turns into a terrifying nightmare for Genesis, her cousins, and her friends. Used to being in control of every situation, she did not expect her decision to go to Colombia and hike to their beautiful remote beaches would be anything more than a mild inconvenience for her privileged friends and a step out of her comfort zone for her cousin Maddie.

She couldn’t have anticipated the situation they found themselves in – on the run, fleeing from a gun-toting kidnapper, facing even graver threats. She didn’t think her life held as many secrets as it did. She never imagined that things could go from idyllic to deadly in just 100 hours.

With a quick peek at the present, alternating points of view, and 100 hours to find out just what happened, Rachel Vincent created a gripping, electrifying, twisty-turny thriller. She introduced two female main characters to tell the tale – one who is strong, arrogant, entitled, manipulative and one who is cautious and caring, and who gains strength as the story progresses.

Not everything is as it seems – so expect a few surprises. This is not simply a young, wealthy tourists kidnapped for ransom horror story. There are hidden truths, power struggles, conflicting agendas, and betrayals of trust at play. And because this is just the first book in a series, not everything will be revealed or wrapped up at the story’s end.

100 HOURS promises to be a quick and enthralling read that will keep you on edge from the very first chapter where it teases what is to come. It delivers all the chills and anticipatory tension that can be hoped for. It drops hints at things that might be amiss. It reveals information from one character’s perspective that the other isn’t aware of. And it switches viewpoints, leaving you hanging for a chapter until the viewpoint switches back.

Readers who love their stories exciting, intense, and climactic from start to finish, that have a bit of a mystery, a touch of romance, a pulse-pounding pace, and characters they can connect with, will not want to miss this first installment in a sure to be outstanding series.

The Rating


About Rachel Vincent

Photo credit: Kim Haynes Photography

Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

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Review: DANGEROUS LIES

Dangerous_Lies

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Title: DANGEROUS LIES
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Release date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Read a few SNEAK PEEKS

Description…

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

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NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

Becca Fitzpatrick has delivered yet another chilling and suspenseful thriller with DANGEROUS LIES. Her story will keep you on pins and needles as you follow Stella Gordon, formerly Estella Goodwinn, into witness protection as she awaits the chance to testify against her mother’s boyfriend, the head of a powerful drug cartel. Secrets, lies, and unexpected twists will keep the pages turning and the nail-biting build-up to the shocking conclusion will ensure you remain riveted until the very end.

Estella Goodwinn’s testimony is the only thing that will keep Danny Balando behind bars. But as the leader of one of the biggest drug cartels on the East Coast, he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that he won’t be locked up for the rest of his life. Estella’s only hope of staying alive is to erase her identity, leave everyone she knows behind, disappear into witness protection, and become Stella Gordon.

Walking away from her name, her home, her friends, her boyfriend, and her entire way of life is bad enough. But having to live in a go-nowhere town in Nebraska called Thunder Basin, under the guardianship of a woman who insists on imposing rules and curfews, and having to lie to everyone she meets, is not something Estella is sure she’ll be able to handle. Even if it’s only for the summer.

And with one boy hell-bent on digging into her past and making her life miserable, and another whose charm, good looks, and friendship are making her miserable for very different reasons altogether, she’s not sure how long she’ll be able to keep her secrets or stick to her lies. With everything that’s happened, she is certain that no matter how much she tries to remain hidden, trouble is going to find her.

DANGEROUS LIES is the author’s second foray into this genre and she has proven once again that she knows how to keep readers on edge, make them anxious for what might happen, surprise them, keep them guessing, and make them so invested in the outcome that they won’t be able to put the story down. With a heroine whose life and safety are constantly at risk, whose secrets are forever on the verge of being revealed, whose actions put her in danger, whose lies put her in even graver danger, and whose feelings put her heart on the line, Becca Fitzpatrick has created a gripping, nerve-wracking, exciting, and unpredictable story.

Murder, mystery, romance, deception, betrayal, distrust, DANGEROUS LIES has it all. It is captivating. It is electrifying. The characters evoke strong emotion. The reveals elicit even stronger reactions and feelings. It is a positively delicious, spine-tingling read that can easily be read in one sitting.

The Rating

05


About Becca Fitzpatrick

BeccaFitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga, including Hush, Hush; Crescendo; Silence; and Finale all debuted as New York Times best-sellers. She graduated with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she’s most likely running, prowling sales racks for shoes, or traveling. She lives in Colorado with her family.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | BLOG | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS


Book Watch: Undercurrent

Undercurrent

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UNDERCURRENT by Paul Blackwell will be released in the U.S. on July 23, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats.

It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 320 pages.

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There are several awesome books releasing the week of July 23rd that it was so hard to choose just one to spotlight. But after much thought the book I’m most intrigued by, the most curious about, is UNDERCURRENT by Paul Blackwell.

It was only a month or so ago that I stumbled upon this book. But I was immediately captivated by the cover and the fact that it is a thriller. I love suspense. I love mystery. I love to be thrilled. So I had to add this book to my shelf on Goodreads and to my pre-orders at Amazon. And then I had to wait. I’m still waiting. But not for too much longer, thankfully.

Because I am just so curious how going over the falls landed Callum in a “twisted version of the life he knew.” And I’m even more curious why more than one person in this alternate reality wants to see him dead.

The description is more than a little bit vague about what actually happens with Callum, which makes me even more eager to get answers to those questions it poses. And with its promise of “mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills” I’m just dying to read this book.

If UNDERCURRENT delivers on its promise and the pace is fast, Callum’s new reality dangerous and the story suspenseful then I just know this is a book I’m going to love. And as I already love the cover and the idea of it, I just had to make it the book to watch this week. Even with three other amazing books releasing on the 23rd that I’m anxiously awaiting.

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Places to Watch

The author on TWITTER

The author on FACEBOOK

The author’s WEBSITE

The author on GOODREADS

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About the Book

Goodreads description:

In this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started.

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all…what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go.

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Other Amazing Books to Watch

Here are just a few of the other awesome books releasing the week of July 23rd:

A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY (Something Strange and Deadly #2) by Susan Dennard

THE FURY (The Fury #1) by Alexander Gordon-Smith

OCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu

OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay

A REALLY AWESOME MESS by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

STARGLASS (Starglass #1) by Phoebe North


Review: Dark Eden

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman will be released in the U.S. on November 1, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and in hardcover and eBook formats at Barnes & Noble.

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, a division of HarperCollins, the print edition is 336 pages.

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Goodreads description:

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

***

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Just how far would you go to cure yourself of your darkest fears? What price would you be willing to pay?

Fort Eden promises a cure for even the most incurable of phobias. A cure that will take you to the darkest depths of your fear, making you confront what terrorizes you the most.

But in the end, if you make it through and the cure doesn’t kill you, you will be able to live a normal life. Free of the crippling dread that once left you paralyzed.

But at what cost? How much of yourself would you be willing to give up to be free? And would it still be worth it if you knew just what dark purposes were achieved in order for you to be cured?

If living free of your worst nightmares is worth any price, then welcome to Fort Eden….

***

Dark Eden is a gripping story that will draw readers into the mystery of Fort Eden and the seven teens who are sent there to confront and overcome their fears.

As each piece of the puzzle is slowly revealed about this remote facility that promises a cure to what seem to be incurable phobias, new questions arise, leaving readers to guess as to just who Rainsford is and how the supposed cures really work.

When Will Besting and the six other patients – Ben, Kate, Alex, Connor, Marisa and Avery – first arrive at Fort Eden, Will releases he just can’t go through with it. So, as the others head to the Fort, Will takes off, figuring he can hide out until the week is over.

While he does have provisions that can sustain him for the week, what he fails to realize is that the nights are extremely cold. So when he gets the opportunity to sneak into the bunker that is adjacent to the facility, he takes a chance.

And what he discovers in the basement of the bunker is both fascinating and chilling – a bomb shelter with monitors that allow him to watch the other patients as they receive their cures. So, as one by one each of the patients undergoes the process that supposedly cures them, Will watches unnoticed. Hidden away in the depths of the bunker, he is a voyeur to all that is happening.

The more he sees, the more he begins to question just what is going on. And in his attempt to find out the secret behind the cures and what Fort Eden really is, he may just become its next victim.

Author Patrick Carman has done something quite different by offering this story as both a complete novel and one that can be approached as a multimedia experience.

Exploring the word of Fort Eden through audio and video, as well as through the written word, can make each reader’s experience an individual one depending on just how much or how little of each of the different media they choose to incorporate into their reading.

While choosing to include some, or all, of these extras into the story does enhance the overall effect, it is not required to enjoy this book. Told entirely in the first person from Will Besting’s perspective, it’s as if readers are experiencing the horrors of Fort Eden right along with Will.

Dark Eden is a fast-paced and captivating story with a twist at the end that readers just might not see coming.

Reviewer gives this book

On a personal note:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received a copy of Dark Eden for review. I hadn’t heard about it until it arrived in my mailbox, but from the description (especially that last line), the tagline “Fear is the Cure,” and the cover, it sounded really cool. Definitely something I might enjoy.

I was a little bit wary after I took a peek inside and saw the chapters were named after the different characters in the story. I was so sure that this would be told by each of the seven characters and I thought that having this story told from all those perspectives might be just a bit too much.

But when I finally picked it up and got past the first chapter I was ecstatic to discover that the entire story was told from Will Besting’s point of view.

I got off to a little bit of a slow start with this book, as I found myself puzzling over just what was going on during the first few pages. I spent way too much time trying to figure things out, rather than reading on and getting absorbed in the story. Which I did. Very shortly thereafter.

And once I did, I was completely taken in. By Will. By everything that was happening at Fort Eden. I wanted to know just what each character’s fears were, what Fort Eden was doing to them and whether everything would be okay in the end. I just had this bad feeling that things would end on a dark note.

In addition to this being a thriller, there was a mystery, which I immediately set out to try and unravel. And while I was able to figure out most of the story’s secrets and the character’s motives, I did end up missing the biggest one of them all.

Though I had a few suspicions, I didn’t discover everything there was to know and didn’t quite get what I did piece together right. When everything was revealed at the story’s end, I found myself saying, “Huh” and “Didn’t see that coming….”

Will Besting was the most interesting – and surprising – of the seven patients at Fort Eden and I liked having the whole story told from his perspective. I loved how he was practically a ghost at Fort Eden for the majority of his stay, wandering alone, in secret and afraid, but I wish he could have explored some more. I would have loved to get a longer look at Fort Eden.

I did download the App for my iPhone and checked out the free episode Arrival and watched some of the videos and listened to some of the audio. Which really did enhance the experience of this book. But I did all that after my read, rather than combining both and making this a truly interactive experience.

The videos and audio added a level of creepiness to the Dark Eden experience, but I would have liked to have the author paint more of a picture through his words and through Will’s observations in the book itself.

I absolutely loved the bunker, which reminded me so much of the one in Lost with those monitors. But my favorite part of Fort Eden had to be the staircase that spiraled down into the endless dark. The one that Rainsford used to come and go.

I also loved how the numbers and colors had meaning – which I won’t say anything more about because they are definitely spoiler-y.

But what I loved the most – and it probably has something to do with my age and younger readers won’t find as interesting – were the observations and wrap-up at the end.

I had wondered about a lot of what was talked about and revealed in that last section. And I liked that the author made his reasons for including certain things a part of the story rather than simply explaining things in an afterword.

As soon as Will and the other six were headed to Fort Eden I was hooked and was not able to put this down until all my questions were answered. And Will Besting made me smile, right up to – and especially because of – the last line.

This was such an enjoyable and easy read, with a mystery to solve, a few eerie and chilling moments, especially as pertains to Rainsford, and a pretty huge twist at the end. And while this was not a heartbreaking story, there was just something so sad about how it all ended.

 ***

For other ways to experience Dark Eden, check out my post, HERE.

Book trailer for Dark Eden:

This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Review: Dead Man’s Eye

Dead Man’s Eye is a novella by author Shaun Jeffrey. It is available in eBook format only from Smashwords. It is also available at Amazon in the U.S. and Amazon in the UK.

First published September 18th 2010, it was published on  December 30th 2010 by Deshca Press.

Genre: Horror/Thriller   Audience: Adult

Goodreads description:

A corneal transplant does more than correct Joanna Raines sight. It allows her to see something that doesn’t want to be seen. Something evil. Something that threatens mankind. The only trouble is that no one believes her, and by the time they do, it might be too late … Seeing is believing. Now Joanna just has to convince everyone else.

Joanna Raines was losing her sight. It crept upon her stealthily until she was left in almost complete darkness. As a young photographer her entire world revolved around her visual impressions.

Electing to risk transplant surgery before being forever trapped in blackness, what at first seemed to be a miraculous cure has turned into Joanna’s worst nightmare.

Through her new eye, a dead man’s eye, she is now able to see what others can’t, an evil that resides within, an evil that is spreading. But what can one former photographer do to stand up against the powers of hell? Will Joanna be able to find help before it’s too late? Or will the legions of hell claim her first.

***

Dead Man’s Eye is a novella in the horror/thriller genre. Joanna Raines has Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy and received a transplant in one eye. While still in the healing stages, she is witness to a terrible accident and begins seeing what appear to be dark corona-like shadows around the victim.

Afraid that she is going crazy, she is reluctant to seek treatment, but when the shadows turn out to be something other, something evil, she can no longer stand idly by.

Author Shaun Jeffrey has written a dark and brilliant novella. The author has a very smooth quality to his writing which offers a nice contrast to the subject matter. While only a short narrative, there is enough substance to the plot to make this story feel complete. And it is the author’s ability to really paint a picture with his words that elevates this from being just another horror story.

From the very first line, the writing captivates:

Joanna Raines looked at the world through a dead man’s eye.

Reviewer gives this book

On a personal note:

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. From its description I anticipated this to follow along the lines of those horror stories where someone receives a possessed body part from a transplant and evil and violence ensue. That was not the case here.

Although similar in concept to the film “Jian Gui” and its American re-make “The Eye,” the story progresses very differently. As I’ve read hundreds of horror stories, I didn’t expect this one to wow me. And while the plot itself and its ending are not unexpected, it was the writing that stood out.

I did not anticipate an indie horror author to have such command of their words and the ability to craft such a well-written novella. I would typically never rate a short horror story a five (aside from Stephen King), but the writing in this one deserves it.

***

A note to readers: In its eBook format, the story has not been adapted for an American audience so readers should expect alternate spelling and punctuation as well as certain “Britishims.”

This story contains language, violence and brief sexual content and may not be appropriate for young readers.

 

Author bio from Goodreads:

Shaun Jeffrey was brought up in a house in a cemetery, so it was only natural for his prose to stray towards the dark side when he started writing.

He has had three novels published, Evilution, The Kult and Deadfall, and one collection of short stories, Voyeurs of Death. He has also had over 40 short stories published in places such as Dark Discoveries and Cemetery Dance.

His novel The Kult was optioned for film and shooting has just finished.


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