Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 4-6-15
Adult - Horror

Rolling in the Deep- Mira Grant: The Imagine Network is known for its documentaries that may or may not be based on facts, so it wasn't a surprise when they announced their latest series would be about mermaids. Crew members, scientists, filmmakers, and a troupe of professional mermaids board a ship called the Atargatis, and set their sights on the Marianna trench. They were all set to run some tests, take a few murky clips that would be doctored in the editing process, and then call it a wrap. No one on board that Atargatis expected to find mermaids, so no one could foresee the bloodbath that was to come. When the Atargatis is finally discovered, lost at sea with no sign of anyone, is it all a tragedy or an elaborate hoax?

I love a good mermaid story, and if those mermaids happen to be murderous? Even better! I either love or hate novellas because I worry about not having enough time to make the story feel fleshed out, but this was perfect. Grant packed so much into the story to make it entertaining and suspenseful. None of the characters felt flat, and nothing was lacking in the plot. All of the characters felt realistic, and you could tell that Grant put a lot of research into all the scientific aspects. I also thought the disability rep was well-done. If you like sea-based horror, then I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 11-3-15
YA - Mystery/Thriller

All In- Jennifer Lynn Barnes: When Cassie Hobbes joined the Naturals program, a classified FBI group of teens with unique talents, they were advising on cold cases. But now the rules have changed, allowing Cassie and the gang to work on active investigations. The latest is a string of violent murders committed at different casinos along the Las Vegas strip. Despite the murders happening in public, no security camera has caught the perpetrator. The only calling card left behind is a string of numbers imprinted on the bodies. The investigation gets more dangerous the closer the Naturals get to breaking the code. Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with problems as new information about her mother's disappearance comes to light, which seems to tie into this new case. With tensions rising and one of their own marked for death, will the odds be in the Naturals' favor, or will they fold under the pressure?

This has been my favorite in the series so far. It felt more psychological and twisty than the previous two books, and I couldn't get enough. I loved how we got to learn more about Sloane and her background. She's one of my favorite characters, and it broke my heart to see what she went through. Like in the previous book, I guessed the culprit but still enjoyed seeing it all play out. I'm constantly impressed with how Barnes' brain works and how she can craft such a compelling story. How she has Cassie step herself into the minds of killers is so fascinating to me. I also liked how this one ties into what happened to Cassie's mother, which led to them discovering a larger conspiracy. I'm so excited to read the last book, but I don't want this series to end.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pub Date: 4-11-23
Adult - Fantasy

The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England- Brandon Sanderson: John West wakes up in a clearing surrounded by scorch marks with no idea where he is, how he got there, or even who he is. All he has is a vague sense of being in a place reminiscent of medieval England and partial pages of a battered guidebook titled "The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England." It doesn't take long for him to realize that he's being chased by people from his own world, and his only hope for surviving is by unlocking his missing memories. Trying (and failing) to fly under the radar, John decides to team up with some locals and assist them in their quest. Slowly, John begins to remember more about his situation, but can he parse out the rest before it's too late?

I've only recently gotten into Sanderson's work, but this has been my least favorite so far. You're dropped into this world with barely any information, and just like the main character, I was lost for most of the story. It took me a while to find my footing (I'm talking almost halfway through the book), and once I did, I found I didn't care all that much. I was interested in learning about Johnny's past and how he ended up in this dimension, but it wasn't enough to keep me invested. I also found the pacing a little too slow, but that could have been because I wasn't enjoying the reading experience. If you like alternate dimension stories or are a huge Sanderson fan, I'd say give it a shot, but it didn't work for me.

Rating: 2/5


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