Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Book Review of After Death, A Novel by Dean Koontz

As a longtime fan of Dean Koontz, I put his thriller/suspense novels into two categories. There is the suspense-plus-humor group of books, most often with a child and a dog, most enjoyable to read, and the thriller/horror group aka Stephen King style that will often scare you. After Death is not really horror, but it IS scary.

Desert scene

Synopsis of “After Death”

Michael Mace is head of security at a top-secret research facility. He is having lunch in the office cafeteria with his best friend, Shelby Shewsberry, a scientist at the facility, when an 'event' occurs and everyone in the building dies.

A short time later, Michael awakens and finds himself with extraordinary abilities and manages to 'escape' before anyone discovers he is now alive. He knows that the government will want to capture him, lock him up and study him, which is not something Michael wants. 

Enter Durand Calaphas, a most vicious assassin who works for the Internal Security Agency, a highly funded government agency who does not particularly have our nation's best interests at heart. Calaphas will stop at nothing to capture (and kill) Michael. If Michael dies twice, he will not live a third time.

Michael uses his new abilities to erase his past to keep the ISA from finding him and sets out to honor his late friend Shelby by helping a woman Shelby greatly admired. Nina Dozier and her son, John, age 13, are in trouble and only Michael can help them. 

The action in this novel takes place from Beverly Hills to a small apple orchard 30 miles east of Los Angeles, to a walled estate on the outskirts of San Diego. Only Michael can protect Nina and John from the violent street gang who threatens their lives, defeat the ISA assassin, and bring new light to the current darkening world.


In After Death, the action is fast-paced, and the tension is nonstop and scary. But ~ the ending is peaceful and calm and all that you would want it to be. This novel is definitely worth reading! 

Related Links to Dean Koontz Book Reviews:

*This book review of After Death is written by Wednesday Elf  

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Book Review -The Beach House

The Beach House

 I enjoy reading many different types of books.  There are times I get stuck on reading mysteries one after another and other times I'll read several historical fiction books in a row.  After going on my reading binges, I find myself longing for something light, that will take me away to a beautiful place.  

Rachel Hanna is the perfect author to satisfy my need for a book to take me away to a beautiful place with an interesting story.  I would categorize her books as light romances, but they also include some valuable life lessons along the way. 

The Beach House is the first book in the South Carolina sunset series.  You can find the book on Amazon at The Beach House.

A Look at the Main Characters

  • Julie--the main character has been married for 20 years and her two daughters are both out on their own.  Julie is looking forward to moving to her dream house on the beach.  The house has been sold and they are ready to embrace on their new life, when her husband comes home from a business trip and announces he wants a divorce.
  • Michael--the ex-husband (i.e. the Jerk) who has been living a second life when he goes on his trips and now not only has a fiance but a young son.
  • Dawson- the contractor that Julie hires to renovate the house she has purchased, sight unseen, in the small island of Seagrove off the South Carolina coast.
  • Dixie--the eccentric book store owner who befriends Julie.
  • SuAnn--Julie's bossy mother.
  • Janine--Julie's sister who she has not seen in many years.
  • Willam--Dixie's estranged son who she has not seen in 10 years.  William appears at the end of Book 1.

Books in the Series

I was so enchanted with The Beach House that as soon as I finished, I downloaded the second book in the series.  The Beach House has a definite beginning, middle, and end so it could be read alone but I'm sure once you read it you will want to read more of the series.  For the rest of the series, it is recommended that you read them in order as the characters are further developed with each new book.  Here are the books in the South Carolina Sunset series in order.
  1. The Beach House
  2. Sunsets and Second Chances
  3. Fireflies & Family Ties
  4. The Inn at Seagrove
  5. The Wedding at Seagrove
  6. A Seagrove Christmas
  7. Lighthouse Cove
  8. Beneath the Willow Tree
  9. Matts & Magnolias
  10. Chasing Sunset
I hope you enjoy this series.  I find it is a wonderful book to curl up with in a comfortable chair and escape for a few hours.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Calling all Bibliophiles! A Fantastic App Review!

Bibliophiles Unite!  This is a song that many of my fellow reviewers are sure to get on board with.  Why, well, let's just say that in the world of the "Written Word" , books are one of the favorite topics here at Review This

And why not?  After all there are just so many ways that you can get lost in another world or find yourself in this one.  It's all up to you and what you set before your eyes and mind.

I love reading and have been fortunate to be a part of a few different reading groups!  What I love about some of these is that they also have their own "apps" (short for applications).  These apps can be used on all your devices, phones, tablets and desktop computers to download books that are not yet published.  

girl on a stack of books

These books are known as ARC's (short for Advanced Reader's Copy) and you must belong to the group in order to get these books.  

All of these books are FREE!  Yes, you read that correctly, FREE!  

So if you love to read, there is no greater happiness than to read a book by an author you may or may not have heard of before, and help them to become better known.  

The whole idea behind these free reading apps, is that in exchange for the privilege of reading a not yet published work, you will give it an honest review!  This way the author will gain some valuable feedback on their "story".  It will not only help them with a reaction to their work, but may also contain some much needed constructive criticism, so they can work even better at their craft.

So what are these free reading apps and how do you become a member?  It's really quite easy.  

The first app I like is Netgalley!  

When you join this group, you will be asked to complete a profile.  This will include you name, email address and what types of books you like to read.  They will also ask you for a place (website) where you will share your reviews.  This could be your own website or another social media channel.  The important part is sharing the titles that you have read and enjoyed.  It's s small price to pay for the pleasure of reading some great books.

The next app I like is BookSirens!  

While this app seems to focus more on Romance, it doesn't always have romance as it's only subject.  Let the app know what you like and they will send you titles to choose from.  Whether you choose one or not, it's entirely up to you.  No one makes you read anything that you don't want to read and if you ask for a book but really don't like it, you can send in a DNF (DID NOT FINISH) review.  

Voracious Readers Only is another app that can fill your mind with lots of stories.  Four easy steps will get you started on being part of this group of readers.  

I am a reader not a writer, so for me these services are free, but you can also use them if you are a writer.  For that there will be some costs involved and you would have to get in touch with each platform to see what you are willing to spend as an author.  

All of these services are very happy if you post a review to Amazon, BookBub, Goodreads etc.  They are also happy if you are talking about books that you have read with friends and family.  There is even help available if you want to organize a Book Club, so that more eyes can read and discuss the stories.  Everything is done to help the authors get their names into the public eye.

Authors work very hard to get their stories written and can use all the help they can get to make sure their work is enjoyed by a good crowd.  By writing reviews, you not only help yourself to some great stories, you help struggling authors hone their work and get their names out there.  One of the best books I read as an ARC was "Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus!  I reviewed her book right here! 

I think this is a WIN-WIN situation.  I get all kinds of books to read (free of charge), I don't have to wait for my next great book and it's always fresh and new!  The author gets, my honest opinion of their work and possibly some constructive criticism to help them better hone their skills.

This summer I will be busy with my Kindle, my Tablet, and my phone, so that wherever I am I will always have a book on hand!  

image of devices

Happy Reading to all my book reading friends, come and join me on one or all of these platforms and enjoy some really good new authors at the same time.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, December 10, 2022

ICED by Felix Francis – Book Review

ICED is the latest horseracing mystery by Felix Francis, son of the British crime writer Dick Francis.

Image of Icicles


Iced book cover
Miles Pussett grew up wanting more than anything to be a championship steeplechase jockey like his father. He loved riding horses and dreamed of following in his father's footsteps.

When his dad is killed in an automobile accident when Miles is 12, he devotes himself to learning to ride like his famous father. He is given his first opportunity while still in his teens to compete in a point-to-point event, his first horse race, albeit as an amateur. When his mother dies, he becomes a jockey for a training stable.

Although Miles tries his best, he endures many setbacks as he pursues his dream. He is treated badly by fellow jockeys as they all think he is only given rides in horse races because of who is father was. Therefore he has no friends. He wins a few races, but 'being the best' eludes him as there are more losses than wins and his confidence level gets lower and lower.

Miles ends up drinking as a way to 'forget' his failures and eventually he hits rock-bottom. With the help of the trainer's wife, who sees the problem and wants to help Miles, he ends up seeing a psychiatrist. Turns out that Miles has been suffering from PTSD going back to his childhood. He always thought that PTSD was only a veteran's condition. Not so. Anyone can suffer from it given enough trauma that has gone unrecognized. 

Until the psychiatrist explains it to him, Miles had no idea that his dad's death had affected him so strongly (because 12-year-old Miles was in the car with his dad the day of the accident). And his mother's death when he was only 17 was due to suicide and Miles blamed himself. All this trauma before he ever grew up with no one helping him understand it led to his PTSD. 

Now it is 7 years later and Miles has left the horse racing world and is doing fine. Instead, he enjoys riding headfirst down the Cresta Run, a three-quarter-mile Swiss ice chute, reaching speeds of up to eighty miles per hour. 

Horses racing at Cresta Run in St. Moritz Switzerland
While at St. Moritz for the Cresta Run, Miles discovers it is the same weekend as the White Turf – an event featuring high-class horseracing taking place on a frozen lake.  Against his better judgment, he gets talked into helping out with the horses. But then he discovers something suspicious going on at the races.

Miles begins to search for answers, because the 'something suspicious' many have a profound impact on his future. But someone is adamant about stopping him – and they will go to any lengths to do it.


The horseracing mystery involved in ICED is, as always, an interesting read for fans of the Dick Frances and Felix Francis stories. But it is also a look into how Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) can affect not only those who have fought in wars, but anyone who has had to endure a series of traumas in their life.  

Book cover of the horseracing mystery Iced by Felix Francis
Available on Amazon

Related Links:

*Iced, a horseracing mystery by Felix Francis reviewed by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Review of The Keeper of Happy Endings


Eiffel Tower in paris
Book Review: The Keeper of Happy Endings
This was another book I downloaded from Amazon Prime and I was absolutely captivated from page one.  In this book the author, Barbara Davis, weaves a wonderful tale of two woman decades apart whose lives are very similar.  Both have a fiance' who is missing and they fear they have lost. Both are devastated by their tragedies and at first have trouble finding the strength to continue on with their lives.


Soline Roussel has learned the bridal industry from her family.  For generations the family has had a bridal shop in Paris where they are well known for the magic in their dresses that bring happy endings to the brides who wear them.  The dresses are all hand made and beautiful and Soline learns to carefully stitch the dresses.  All is well till the war comes to Paris along with the German occupation.  Dresses are no longer in demand and Soline is pulled in many directions including working with the resistance.  Heartbreak and grief lead her to America where she starts a new life.


Decades later Rory comes in contact with Soline when she leases Soline's old bridal shop for a gallery for unknown artists.  Rory has a tragedy herself in a missing fiance' and a domineering mother.  She is torn between hiding and moving forward.  I would love to tell more of the story but do not want to spoil the surprise and twists and turns of the story.  Let us just say that the two women meeting will become a turning point in both of their lives.

Other Books by this Author

I  first read a book by Barbara Davis when it was an Amazon Prime first read last year.  The Last of the Moon Girls was another book the captivated me right from the beginning.  Here is a review I wrote about it.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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