Monday, August 1, 2022

The Cabin in the Woods by Sarah Alderson


Title: The Cabin in the Woods
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: July 7, 2022

The unmissable new thriller from the bestselling author and screenwriter of Netflix movie, The Weekend Away.

In a cabin in a wood,
A woman by the window stood.

Glancing out, she thought she heard
Footsteps, whistling, something stirred.

Hiding here, she fears the night,
For what’s done in the dark will come to light.

She must run fast to escape her lie

Or she’ll be the next to die…

‘Why’d they always pick me?’


I loved this one.

The Cabin in the Woods starts with Rose Reid, a woman, who had a hard childhood. She marries Ryan who is a lawyer. They meet in New York City but they move to Westchester after the wedding. She goes from being a waitress to becoming a socialite. Yet, in the present, Rose lives in a cabin in the woods without electricity.

What happened to Rose? Why is she hiding in a cabin? Who is she running from?

The Cabin in the Woods was a page-turner with a likable character and a good narrative. I was happy to follow both timelines, learning more about Rose, her sister Daisy, and why Rose was alone in the present.

I need to go back and add to my TBR any other books Sarah Alderson has written. Now that I know I enjoyed her writing, I can't wait to read/listen to her other books.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Avon Books UK via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin


Title: Stay Awake
Author: Megan Goldin
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: August 9, 2022

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently.

A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.

Stay Awake was unputabledown!

I can already imagine the movie or a limited Netflix series.

Liv Reese was living a normal life. She had a good job as a writer for a magazine, a good roommate/best friend, Amy and she was falling in love with the man she was dating, Marco.

Then everything changes when she wakes up in a taxi and arrives at her apartment early morning. The people who answered her apartment door are strangers. Her best friend Amy is not there, her things are gone and her cat is missing. Nothing makes sense. Worse, she finds writings all over her hands and arms, and on her knuckles, the words STAY AWAKE are spelled.

Of course, she starts to freak out and while looking for her cellphone, she finds a knife with blood in her pocket.

What is going on? What did she do?

And this is all I'm going to say about the plot. I believe it's best to go in blind.

I will mention that besides Liv's POV, we also get the POV of the detectives following a crime. Darcy Halliday and Jack Lavelle. Their timeline is in the present while Liv's is both past and present.

I'm not sure why this book reminded me so much of Memento since they are not at all alike. Maybe it was because of the sense of urgency I felt while I was listening to it. I knew time was running out for Liv. The audiobook narrated by Imogen Church and January LaVoy did a great job at wanting me to keep on going and finding out the truth.

Did I guess the ending? Nope. Looking back it was so easy to know. One more reason to make me like this one a lot.

As for the characters, I liked Liv and felt horrible for her. I also like Darcy a lot. I do hope we can get to see her character in another book. She was smart, resilient, and resourceful.

This is the second book I read by Megan Goldin (Night Swim was my first) and I'm now a confirmed fan. 

Sign me up for her next novel!

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press/Macmillan Audio via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier


Title: Things We Do in the Dark
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Publisher: Minotaur Books 
Release Date: July 19, 2022

A brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.

When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom – covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her – she knows she'll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it's not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it's only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she's worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.

Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she's unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris's secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.

Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.

Things we do in the dark kept my interest from the first scene to the end.

The main character is Paris Peralta. She is found by the cops in the bathroom with her husband’s dead body in the tub and she is holding the murder weapon in her hands.

Looks bad, right?

Worse, her husband Jimmy Peralta is 30 years older than she is. Jimmy is also famous. He was part of a show that everyone remembers and recently he has come back from retirement to do a couple of comedy specials.

Paris knows the situation is dire. Yet, it can be worse if they find out the truth of who she really is. Although, someone already knows and is blackmailing her.

Ruby Reyes, the Ice Queen, is in prison in Canada. She is about to be released back into society after murdering a man. She knows who Paris is and wants money in exchange for silence.

Drew is an investigative reporter in Toronto. His next true-crime podcast is about Ruby Reyes and her daughter. He wants the world to know what an awful person Ruby really is. Drew feels guilty. He made mistakes and he is relieving the time when he let his friend down.

Joey Reyes is the daughter of Ruby Reyes. She suffered in the hands of Ruby's verbal and physical abuse.

Things we do in the dark has three POVs. Paris, Drew, and Joey. We get to know Joey and what she went through from early childhood. It was quite heartbreaking.

I found the audiobook to be perfect for this novel. It kept the timelines straight for me. I enjoyed all 3 POVs and despite guessing the twists, I found that I liked the overall picture.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Minotaur Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Neon Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport #29

Title: Neon Prey
Series: Lucas Davenport #29
Author: John Sandford
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: April 23, 2019

Lucas Davenport pursues a prolific serial killer who has gone undetected for years in the newest nail-biter by #1 NewYork Times-bestselling author John Sandford.

It was a relatively minor criminal matter, all things considered, but enough that the U.S. Marshals obtained a warrant to enter the home. They didn't expect to unearth trophies from a score of killings.

Now Davenport is on the trail of a serial murderer, one who was able to operate for years without notice or suspicion. But there's even more to this killer than meets the eye...

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lucas is on the hunt for a cannibal in Neon Prey.

Yes, you heard it right. A man by the name of Clayton Deese is arrested after beating up another man for not paying his debt to a loan shark named Rodger Smith. Instead of cooperating with the police, once he is out on bail, he disappears.

Rae and Bob who are US Marshals and have worked with Lucas on prior cases called him to come over to New Orleans after they find shallow graves on Deese's property. They also find enough evidence that suggests he was cannibalizing his victims. The search is joined by an FBI agent, Sandro Tremanty. Together, they will follow the clues from Louisiana to California and later on to Nevada.

The Marshalls suspect Deese has joined his brother's crew who specializes in home invasions. It will be great to get them all but catching Deese is the sole object in Lucas's mind.

Enjoyable banter, fast-paced action, and interesting characters are some of the reasons why this series is a success!

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Christmas Eve by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files #16.1


Title: Christmas Eve
Series: The Dresden Files #16.1
Author: Jim Butcher

Jim wrote a new short story, Christmas Eve, as a gift for his fans on December 24, 2018. It is posted to his website and Facebook page. The story is set after Peace Talks and Battle Ground and depicts Harry's first Christmas Eve as a dad, as well as a few other familiar faces. As it was released before its predecessor, it does offer some hints as to the happenings of Peace Talks and Battle Ground, but no major spoilers.

I read this short story back in 2018 but I guess I forgot to review it. I reread it (it only takes 10 minutes) and found it still to be adorable.

It is a cute story about Harry Dresden putting together a gift for his daughter, Maggie on Christmas Eve. His dog Mouse is with him. This is going to be their first Christmas together and he wants it to be a special one. A few characters drop by including Mab.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

The Good People by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files, #17.1


Title: The Good People
Series: The Dresden Files, #17.1
Author: Jim Butcher
Release Date: 12/22/2020

This Molly-POV story takes place concurrently with "Christmas Eve," so expect Battle Ground spoilers aplenty.

A very short story about Christmas and Molly when she decides to "do good" by spreading Christmas cheer in the name of "the wizard of Chicago".

Molly uses all her powers to bring gifts to the people of Chicago who have suffered enough. After all, Christmas is part of Winter and she won't mind having a friendly competition with Kris Kringle.

I love Molly and seeing her do good is always a plus.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Be the Serpent by Seanan McGuire
October Daye #16


Title: Be the Serpent 
Series: October Daye #16
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: September 6th 2022

October Daye is finally something she never expected to be: married. All the trials and turmoils and terrors of a hero’s life have done very little to prepare her for the expectation that she will actually share her life with someone else, the good parts and the bad ones alike, not just allow them to dabble around the edges in the things she wants to share. But with an official break from hero duties from the Queen in the Mists, and her family wholly on board with this new version of “normal,” she’s doing her best to adjust.

It isn’t always easy, but she’s a hero, right? She’s done harder.

Until an old friend and ally turns out to have been an enemy in disguise for this entire time, and October’s brief respite turns into a battle for her life, her community, and everything she has ever believed to be true.

The debts of the Broken Ride are coming due, and whether she incurred them or not, she’s going to be the one who has to pay.

If I’m honest I was dreading reading this one. Just the title worried me. Toby was so happy in the last book so I knew it couldn’t last and it didn’t …..

Someone is targeting the Brown children.

Stacy Brown has been Toby’s very good friend since they were little and jumping in to rescue her kids is not a question. This "case" is not easy for Toby but as a Hero of the Realm, she must do what is expected of her. Yet, she is not alone. Tybalt will be with her. But can he really help?

Be the Serpent is UF at it's best. It has the Fae, shocking twists, a funny side, and drama with very sad parts. It also finishes with a cliffhanger!!! 

I can only say: Be ready, be prepared. 

One thing I will say and I never thought I would: I love Simon. He keeps on getting better. Who would have thought that was possible after reading book 1, Rosemarie and Rue? 

I can't spoil the novel for you so I will not tell you who is responsible for the chaos that Toby has to fight through. Although, I think some of us have a guess. I also think I know who is the other missing part of the equation and I'm guessing she will reveal herself in the next installment. 

The wait until These Violent Delights is going to kill me.......

Cliffhanger: Yes

4.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by DAW via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.