Thursday, October 19, 2023

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 6-20-23
Adult - Thriller

The Only One Left- Riley Sager: In 1929, a town on the Maine coast was rocked when seventeen-year-old Lenora Hope seemingly murdered her family. Though never found guilty, Lenora spent the rest of her days locked away in her family's mansion on the cliffs. In 1983, home health aide Kit McDeere is back at work following an incident with a previous patient. When Kit is assigned to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night, Kit is rightfully nervous. Kit is picturing a murderess and is shocked to find Lenora confined to a wheelchair, left mute and partially paralyzed after a series of strokes. The only way the pair can communicate is through an old typewriter, and one night Lenora uses it to tempt Kit by saying she wants to tell Kit everything. As Kit learns the truth behind that fateful night, she realizes that there are more secrets hidden at Hope's End, and Lenora may not be who she says she is.

I have a love/hate relationship with Riley Sager in which I love to pick up his books, but I usually end up hating them. So no one is more surprised than me that I liked this. That doesn't mean it was a good book, but it wasn't as horrible as the others I've read by him. I liked the setting of this grand manor, perched atop this cliff that could break off at any moment and tumble into the sea. Sager's writing was once again repetitive and predictable. I can never understand why he writes female characters because he's not particularly good at them, but Kit didn't bother me as much as his previous leads. I enjoyed some of the end reveals, but there were too many. I think I have to start coming to terms with the fact that Sager will never meet my expectations, but will that stop me from picking up this next release? Probably not.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 11-4-14
YA - Thriller

Killer Instinct- Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Cassie Hobbes is a natural profiler, and her gifts have led her to join the Naturals, a secret FBI program for gifted youth. Her ability has also led her into some dangerous situations. Cassie and her friends have barely survived an encounter with a rogue agent and now find themselves thrust into another murder investigation that hits too close to home. When a string of murders crops up using the same MO as Dean's incarcerated serial killer father, the Naturals must outsmart the copycat before they strike again.

It's safe to say that I'm fully obsessed with this series. It's so bingeable, and just like the previous book, I couldn't put it down. It felt more like a psychological thriller than the first, and I liked it a lot. It was so interesting watching the group put themselves into the mind of a killer. Everyone had a part to play, and I liked watching them learn to be a team. I figured out who the killer was but not the motive, so the ending was still satisfying. I'm still not a fan of the romance here, but I'm looking past it because this series is so good.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 5-9-23
Adult - Historical Fiction

Our Hideous Progeny- C.E. McGill: It's 1853, London, and Mary Saville is desperate to make a name for herself in the field of science. However, due to her gender, she is constantly shut down. Mary knows she has the brains and know-how to become a world-renowned paleontologist if only given the chance. But neither Mary's outspokenness nor her husband, Henry's, gambling debts incite her peers to lend a hand. When Mary stumbles upon the work of her great-uncle, Victor Frankenstein, she knows this is her chance at turning the tables. No one will be able to turn Mary or her husband away once they see that she holds the power to create life. But when they successfully construct their Creature, Henry's quest for fame and fortune becomes obsessive, and Mary starts questioning the lengths she'll go to to protect what she's created.

This was such an interesting take on Frankenstein, and I liked it a lot. McGill's writing was so atmospheric. I usually find more Gothic-leaning stories slow and drawn out, but that wasn't the case here. Admittedly, it takes a while for anything of substance to occur, but I never found myself bored. A lot of that has to do with Mary. I enjoyed her as a character. She was intelligent, driven, and focused. There was also a little romance between her and Maisie that I liked as well. If you're looking for an eerie read for the fall, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 3/5


  1. I really enjoyed The Last One Left (after not liking the last couple of Riley's releases). In his next one, he's going to be writing from a male perspective! And I'm hoping to binge the whole Naturals series next month (depending on library wait times!).

    1. I'm so intrigued to see if I'll enjoy his writing more if it's from a male POV. Ah, I can't wait to hear what you think of the Naturals!