[ARC] Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

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5stars

We’re weapons. They made us this way.

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad #2

Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: So many twists, such an intriguing story!
Bad things about this book: That ending left me wanting the next book now!! (not a bad thing, I know)
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given to me by NetGalley

I didn’t expect anything to go the way it went. Everything caught me by surprise. I’m speechless after those last chapters, and I need the third and last book like right now because I don’t think I can’t wait a minute longer. I love sci-fi novels, and I love when sequels are as good as the first books, or even better. Color me shaken and excited. But mostly shaken!

I started the book barely remembering all the character’s names and personalities. It’s been a year after all. By the first quarter of the book I was all caught up on the characters and I would’ve killed anyone who wanted to hurt them (all but Isadora. Also, yay for lgbt representation! Do not kill them, please, Mr. Reintgen, PLEASE). By the end I was so messed up by everything that was happening that I almost forgot to pray the alien gods for their safety. It’s not a YA contemporary, lives can be lost, the characters, no matter how important, could die at any moment. I was eternally on edge.

There’s absolutely no way I can write about this book without telling too much, giving up too much information that I got later on the story. The last book ended with Emmett having to fight for his place in a launching pod that’d have taken him to Eden. This book starts right inside the pod with Emmett on his way to the planet’s surface. All the rivalry is put aside as they team up to mine Nyxia, partner up with the Adamites, and sense that things aren’t the way they appear to be. They never are, right?

Emmett is like a living lie detector. He senses when things aren’t right, reading the little tells everyone have when they are not being truthful. Morning is no less; she is truly a force of nature. In the first book I thought their romance was forced because it really was, but now I love them as a couple. They are adorable and care for each other deeply. As much as I didn’t like the way their relationship started, I love how it blossomed to the way we see in this book. They are meant to be together, and I will fight whoever hurt them! I want them safe with their friends on Earth. It’s my wish and I demand it to be granted!

Book series are great and all, but you need to wait months and months for the next book to be published, right? And it’s not only the human memory (mine) that is weak and will make me forget about all the characters, it’s also the fact that I will imagine multiple scenarios in my mind about how this will end, and I will be worried about all the characters’ well-being until the day I’ll read the third and last book. I know some characters won’t make it; they are too many, too easy to sacrifice. How can I live with the knowing that all my babies won’t be happy and safe surrounded by the people they love? A reader’s life is a hard life.

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Anatomy of a Murderer by Tim Floreen

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4stars

“We humans like to think of ourselves as more rational than we are. We imagine we navigate through life using pure logic, but far more than we realize, we do things for illogical reasons and then bend our perception of reality to make our actions seem logical, at least to ourselves. It’s a trick of the brain, something we all do.”

Title: Anatomy of a Murderer
Author: Tim Floreen
Number of pages: 370 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It has pretty dark themes but I liked how they were portrayed.
Bad things about this book: Read the trigger warnings before starting it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Oh, how I wish I could just spoil the entire book and write every little thing that’s in my mind right now. I have a lot of thoughts, really a lot! When I picked it up, intrigued by the darkness it promised, I truly didn’t expect to read what I read. I found myself following Rem’s mind, influenced by his feelings and thoughts. Our brain is really powerful; it tricked me into believing things that should have been obvious from the start. Maybe I didn’t want to believe, maybe I just wanted to imagine how the story would turn out if things went my way.

This is not an easy book; it has many triggering moments and it surely isn’t for everyone. I got palpitations during a few scenes, nothing that made me close the book but, in those moments, I imagined how these scenes would look like to someone who has experienced school shootings and bullying. I can’t begin to imagine how traumatic it could be and how frightening it is to live in a country where everyone can brandish a gun and kill whoever they want.

In the past, I have always thought of American high schools as some sort of great experience I wish I could have done: proms, sports, science labs, the canteen, the friendships. I don’t remember at what point my eyes opened to the awful reality that that high school dream hides. The bullying, the way if you do sports you are deemed a king and you can do what you want with no consequences, the shootings, the suicides, the popular kids feeling like royalty. I started to fear it, to start seeing high school in the US as a place you went but you never knew if you’d come out unscathed or alive.

This book made me think of myself back when the idea I had of high school broke into a million pieces. I felt for Franklin, being an odd kid, targeted by bullies for how he looked, what he liked, and how he was in general. I tried to understand Rem and the way he thought he was protecting himself by not being the nice guy everyone thought he was. I really tried to see the reason Rem’s mother had for starting her brain experimentations in Franklin in the first place. I tried to give everything logic, my logic, and failed.

Everything that happened couldn’t have been avoided by Franklin not being a sociopath, by Rem being always nice, by Tor and Pete not being bullies, by Callie making less jokes, by Lydia stopping herself from saying a bad thing. If it wasn’t Franklin shooting Pete, that day a year in the past from when this book takes place, it could have been another kid, another day, with a gun they could have gotten easily. And that’s the problem. Not only we should try to treat people they way they deserve, the way we want to be treated, we should also understand that without the means to violence, with guns purchased online with few to zero background checks, maybe things wouldn’t go as awry as the do today. Violence wouldn’t end but maybe it would be easier to control, and people with ill intent would be easier to stop if instead of a gun or a rifle, they were armed with a knife.

I’m rambling because I’m scared. This isn’t fiction, this isn’t fantasy, this is real. These things happen all the time. They are happening so often that, even though I’m all the way here in Italy, I’m scared every morning when kids the other side of the ocean go to school, hoping they all make their way back home safe and sound.

This book was hard to read but I’m glad I did. I think it will make a very nice tv show or movie. It has all the elements needed to be great. I started reading this book expecting something entirely different from what I got, and, as rarely as it happens to me, I liked how things ended here more than how I wanted them to end in my head.

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White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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4stars

Title: White Rabbit
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s really entertaining and captivating.
Bad things about this book: The bullying is always a sore spot for me.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I say you can give it a chance.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I started it midafternoon yesterday and finished it at a little bit past midnight. I couldn’t put it down. While it wasn’t without flaws, I kind of liked how it was written and how over the top it was. Like a movie or tv show with teenagers doing unnecessary things in criminal situations instead of going to the police. I can think of at least five shows exactly like this (Riverdale, people??). Totally unlikely in real life but extremely entertaining.

I wanted to know how it was going to end so until the last page I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know who the murder was or I was going to dream about it! I liked the mystery and I liked how the two characters with obvious unresolved business were put together in this ridiculously dangerous journey that would also help them talk about the past that left Rufus heartbroken. I hated Sebastian for most part of the book. What he did to Rufus, how he made him feel, for whatever reason he thought he was doing it, was too much.

I would have given it five stars if it wasn’t for the bullying. Everyone bullied and threw ugly degrading words at Rufus, yet nobody did anything about it. He knew better than to say anything because the adults, as much as his schoolmates, were absolutely useless. Is it really like that in schools with rich kids? I hope not but I’m afraid to know the ugly truth.

As random and ridiculous as it got, there were many sweet parts that made me forget for a bit the bad ones. Rufus and Sebastian were cute and frustrating and I couldn’t stop myself from shaking my head when they were stubborn and annoying and so clearly in love with each other.

Recommended to fans of shows like Riverdale, fans of mystery books and thrillers, and fans of over the top narrations that you can’t stop reading!

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Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

“I’d watch the world burn if it meant keeping you safe!”

Title: Hoarfrost
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #6

Number of pages: 232 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how cute were the couples: Whyborne and Griffin, Christine and Iskander.
Bad things about this book: It bothers me a little that Whyborne isn’t studying more spells. He doesn’t know how to do much!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t wait much longer so I started another one of Whyborne & Griffin’s book! I read there are going to be 11 and now only 9 are out. I read this one that is the 6th so I still have a few to read slowly. I’m going to miss them so much when it’ll all be over. I don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

Whyborne and Griffin are now happily married and are enjoying some time of peace, until a letter informing Griffin of his father’s death put him in a whirlwind of emotions and nightmares. He never reconnected with his father after he found out about his love for Whyborne and he doesn’t want his mother to leave this Earth without seeing her again. Then one day, his biological brother who works in Alaska, sends him a letter asking for help identifying a weird relic and our crew leaves Widdershins for a long and cold journey north.

This book introduces, for the first time, chapters from Griffin’s point of view. I liked reading his thoughts, his feelings, his love for Whyborne. I also loved how we now know what torments the poor man, why he continues having nightmares about that fire in Chicago and the creatures in Egypt. Griffin hasn’t got an easy life but his love and life with Whyborne has given him a new reason to live and to fight for what he has, no matter the consequences.

There are a lot of surprises in this book; new interesting characters, the obvious bad guys that you can see from miles away but it still surprise you a little when they’re revealed, and more whiny but adorable Whyborne. I just want to know why Whyborne doesn’t know more spells since he’s had that damned book for years. He should be the most powerful sorcerer of the world but he doesn’t study!! Pick up the book and do your homework, Whyborne!! I’m not sure I like what happened at the end of the book but I’m curious as to how that will change the following books.

I will read the next book next month. I don’t want get to a point where I don’t have more Whyborne and Griffin to read. I can’t have that!

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Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

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5stars

I wanted to save everyone. I wanted it so bad. Maybe it’s because no matter how much I try, I can’t shake the thought that they’re dying because of me. I fell on a hand and I brought the world to the brink of war.

Title: Waking Gods
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #2
Number of pages: 320 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I love the writing style and all the science!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

What a rollercoaster of a book. I was left shaken and with my jaw on the floor. So many things happened. So many twists I should have taken into consideration but instead didn’t so I was genuinely surprised. And shocked.

The first book ended with Rose literally coming back from the dead without her memories of working with Themis and her team of soldiers and scientists. This book starts nine years after that, with Rose feeling out of place and like a fake, and with Kara and Vincent still being the Themis pilots going on tours around the world. A new organization for the protection of Earth has been founded and it has the giant robot as sole protector of the planet. But the feared alien invasion, even if later than anticipated, decided to arrive and one after the other, bigger giant robots than Themis start appearing on Earth in highly populated cities. People in power don’t know what they want, they are scared, and scared people make mistakes. Things weren’t looking very good for humanity.

I still love the writing style of this book: the dialogues, the journal entries, and the mysterious man behind it all. It felt like a movie was playing inside my head while I was reading. No long descriptions, just the characters interacting among themselves or involved in some mission that could be fatal. Sometimes this kind of narration is refreshing.

The third and last book of this trilogy, Only Human, is on its way and I will receive it soon. I have already put it on my may tbr list so I will read it as soon as it gets here. I’m really curious about what is going to happen after than ending! I didn’t really see any of that coming. These books would make a really great mockumentary movie.

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[ARC] Lock Nut by J.L. Merrow

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5stars

Did couples buy each other wedding presents, anyway? I mean, he’d be getting me, which some might say was quite enough to be getting on with.

Title: Lock Nut
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5
Number of pages: 330 (kindle edition)
Expected publication: May 14th 2018
Good things about this book: Tom and Phil!! The ending!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes yes yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

I may have already mentioned it but I requested this book from NetGalley because I thought it sounded interesting and when I got approved and was ready to read it, I noticed it was the fifth book of a series. Bad luck? Au contraire, I’d say! This mistake made me discover one hell of a book series I have fallen in love with. There’s always room in my heart for more fictional characters to love and cherish.

This book was really sweet (besides the murders) and, surprise surprise, Phil wasn’t a bum in this one. After four books of him being the broody melodramatic man our Tom loves, I was ready to slap him if he dared do anything to upset my boy. He did, of course he did, but it wasn’t like in the first books when their love was just beginning. I forgave him almost immediately.

“You’ve got him well trained,” Dave said with a smirk.
“Too right. Want to see him come when I call?” I winked in case he hadn’t got the innuendo.

Cherry and Greg got married, left for Scotland for a pretty cold honeymoon, so now it was Tom and Phil’s wedding countdown. With only a few months to spare and a lot to plan, Tom is overwhelmed and overthinking. This led to some misunderstanding but not something to be worried about. Tom and Phil are super in love and it shows. There weren’t the steamy scenes we got in the first two books and I was weirdly okay with that, with only imagining how they had fun when nobody was around. I knew they were all over each other and that they loved each other so much they wanted to protect the other from harm.

There’s nothing easy about this protecting from harm business when they are always involved in murder investigations, though. First one man dead, then another, and Tom and Phil are once again among suspects they want to trust but can’t, seeing as it could lead to them getting badly hurt, again. Like that never has happened in the past.

Giving us a polite smile was a young man—early twenties, I’d guess—who set my gaydar pinging off the scale. So going by past results, he was probably happily married to his second wife and with a baby or six on the way.

I love the idea Phil has about Tom’s abilities being evolving because he’s using them more. I want him to stop thinking himself a fraud and try experimenting at home to see to what extent he can find what’s hidden. This will help him in the future and it will make their lives much easier when someone hires Phil for a job.

The ending was precious. Nothing over the top with forced tears or forced emotions. You find yourself truly invested in the lives of those two men and the feelings you are having are authentic. You are really happy they found each other again even if when they met at first one was the living nightmare of the other. The part where Tom reveals something hard about his past as a bullied boy, broke my heart. I think Phil needs to know this, not to make him feel guilty but I think he needs to know this part of Tom’s past. I think it’s important and I wonder why Darren, having witnessed the speech, didn’t say anything about it. I wonder if we’re going to come back to it in the next book. Because there’s going to be a next book, right? I need Tom in my life! I need more of him!

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Blow Down by J.L. Merrow

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5stars

Funny how getting mixed up with a few murders can give people second thoughts about inviting you into their house.

Title: Blow Down
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #4
Number of pages: 332 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s sadly hilarious that there are so many murders involving our Tom!
Bad things about this book: Phil is still my weakness but he’s getting better so he’s not so bad after all.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love this series to pieces. I love the mystery yet I NEVER get the murderer right. I guess I’m not really a detective, not good at understanding who is a suspect.

Loved Tom, as usual, and with all the mixed feelings he makes ne have, I’m warming a lot to Phil! I just want them to be happy! As much as I’m tolerating Phil a little bit more, I still find his sudden bursts of anger to be annoying and unnecessary. Tom doesn’t deserve this. They need to understand each other and trust each other more; they’re getting married for goodness sake!

I reeled away from the gazebo feeling in dire need of a bit of moral support, possibly of the liquid variety. No, scratch that. This was serious. I needed moral support of the tall, blond, and broody variety.

Tom is famous now and everyone wants a piece of his psychic butt. Unfortunately nobody seems to understand what his talent entails. He is bothered and he doesn’t need to add that to his many sufferings. A posh lady asks him to find her missing valuable necklace and, not surprising me in the slightest, she ends up dead. Again, Tom is badly hurt, Phil wants to protect him at all cost, and they end up in trouble. Their life is not boring, that’s for sure.

“Stop judging my taste in food,” I told Merlin. “I saw you eat a moth last week. And it was still flapping at the time. You haven’t got a paw to stand on.”

I need a spin off of the adventures of Arthur and Merlin, the cats. I want a short story of Tom and Phil through their eyes. That’ll be wonderful!

It’s been too long since I read it and I don’t remember every detail so I’m leaving this review as is. Nothing to add. I read the series so fast that in my mind they’re one huge book. I think about Tom all the time. Just give me more books about him!

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