Fire in Frost

Fire in Frost

by Alicia Rades

 

I enjoyed reading this book, and initially through this was going to be a 4 or 5 star rating as I got into the story quickly and loved the characters. However, the later stages of the book really let it down for me. I won’t go into details here because of spoilers, but I found the way a very sensitive issue was handled so well in the early stages, lost it’s sensitivity later on and got solved in the manner of a magician waving his wand and saying “so be it.” The whole thing just felt a bit too easy and had the feeling of the author losing steam as she got near the end and just wanted to finish the book. Still, it was an enjoyable story, and the characterisation was very well done.

I do think this book is better suited to the lower age range of the YA spectrum; the writing is free flowing and an easy read. This book does have themes of domestic violence but is done so in a way appropriate for younger YA readers. I wouldn’t have a problem with my daughter reading this book, infact i think it would do her some good to be aware of these issues in an accessible way.

 

Rating: ***

You Are Mine

You Are Mine

by Janeal Falor

 

This book wasn’t what i was expecting! I did go into it fairly cold without much research, but the title and cover had me thinking it would be a romance story, when really it’s more like a commentary on women’s rights in a fantasy world. I still loved it! The story starts off very brutal and hard-hitting then mellows into something fun and easy to follow, if a little predictable. The world which the author builds is extremely vivid and immersive, the characters interesting. Action comes relatively slowly as a consequence which may put some people off but i found myself too busy enjoying the immersive world that was created so it didn’t bother me in the slightest.

 

Rating: *****

A Quest of Heroes

A Quest of Heroes

Morgan Rice

 

This is the first book I have read from Morgan Rice, and was impressed. I don’t know what the other reviewers are complaining about – whilst this isn’t the best book i’ve ever read, it’s a great story and an easy, enjoyable read and I found myself connecting with the main character. It isn’t “deep” in the same way that other books in this genre can be, which is a good thing. Shakespeare or Tolkien it is not, but I loved it! ¬†The story is fast paced and the writing style economical, giving us exactly the details we need and nothing more, a perfect lighthearted, easygoing read. I have added the next book in the series to my list to read.

 

Rating: *****

The Blood Series

The Blood Series

by Tamara Rose Blodgett

 

I only just about managed to work my way through to the end of Book 1. This was a frustrating read for what could have been a good story. There are a lot of characters to try and follow and the storyline chops and changes between all these characters at lightening speed without ever really allowing me a chance to understand and get to know what is going on. Just when i think i am getting to grips with it, a whole load more new characters come onboard and i’m back to square one. Instead of being exciting and moving the story along at a good pace it just becomes frustrating. The storyline itself could be interesting, although most of the book is taken up with Julia being kidnapped from one place to the next to the next. Sorry i won’t be reading the next one.

 

Rating: **

The Woodlands

The Woodlands

by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

 

The first part of this book was great, and then sadly it went downhill about a third of the way in with a plot twist which completely derailed the whole background that had been built up so vividly. I was sad to see this richly built world never to return later (or perhaps it’s more relevant to a future book, but I won’t be reading any more of this series) and it turned into ‘survival against the elements’ type of story. The world from which she escaped didn’t even put up much of a fight to try and find her, we just hear the whizz of overhead helicopters. Towards the end there is a further twist which catapults us back into a dystopian type setup of a different kind, the book feeling very unfinished and obviously trying (and failing in my case) to draw us in to the next book in the series.

There are lots of answers i’d like to get about the world that was presented to us initially in the book. Sadly, by the time i got to the end i just didn’t care that much anymore so won’t be seeing it through to the next installment.

Overall, a bit disappointed as there were so many positive reviews on Amazon!

 

Rating: **

Outsmart Your Instincts

Outsmart Your Instincts

How The Behavioral InnovationTM Approach Drives Your Company Forward

by Adam Hansen, Edward Harrington and Beth Storz

This book is a good read whether you are familiar with cognitive biases or not. It goes beyond the normal definitions and onto practical tools which can be used to become aware of and overcome the biases of yourself and those around you to drive your business/ideas forward.

There are some very interesting illustrations about how the various points raised work in a real life setting, along with plenty of ideas to work on.

I’m not sure that I’m the main target audience for this book since I work alone, or with others remotely through the computer and the activities are geared towards physical groups of people, but I was able to take a lot away from it and will find the techniques very helpful when adapted to my situation slightly. The biases highlighted are of course still applicable even when working alone, and the solutions can be worked through by myself or with some willing ¬†victims/ volunteers. I can also see how the principles in this book can be applied to aspects of my personal life.

I look forward to putting the exercises into action – there is a lot here to think about and this book will stay with me for some time.

Rating: *****

A Painted House

A Painted House

by John Grisham

 

This book feels like a study in character development. In that regard, it succeeds, the characters are vivid and feel authentic, and i did feel i learnt a lot about life on Cotton farms in the 1950’s. The problem however is that there is no plot. Nothing really happens. Luckily, Grisham is a talented enough writer to keep me reading to the end just for the characters, but i was very disappointed that nothing really came of it.

Rating: ***