Review: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The ChemistMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I was interested to see how this book turned out. I had a LOT of issues with the The Twilight Saga, but I really enjoyed The Host (Still waiting on the sequel – The Seeker!). The synopsis of this book definitely seems different enough.


The result, however, is just…

Rating: 3.5
I feel that fans of her previous work (especially Twilight) will not love the governmental conspiracy, spy thriller parts. Fans of spy thrillers will not be completely satisfied either. Both will—at best—be in the middle. Fanatics of Meyers will probably love it though and forgive all the obvious flaws of the book, nothing wrong with that though as I myself have authors that I am that way about

(My reaction to anything Patrick Rothfuss)

Not surprisingly the characters are really one dimensional. This is not always a bad thing, sometimes a story calls for it or does not suffer because of it. Usually when there is enough action and suspense to cover for it. This was not the case in The Chemist though. Much of the book is spent with the characters “in hiding”, which would be a great time for them to get to know each other but there is not much to that. The majority of the characters can be summed up in a single sentence:

Alex (for simplicity) – Former government chemist interrogator on the run.
Daniel – White knight.
Kevin – Super macho ex-special ops who is on the run and trains dogs.

Surprisingly, one of the most multidimensional characters is the main antagonist—whom I can’t for the life of me remember the name of—Alex’s former handler.

The thing that was the hardest for me to swallow in this book is the whole romance angle. Daniel just felt completely unbelievable and hard to swallow. From the first moment he enters the story he is obviously smitten with Alex. At first this is fine, but after the torture scene where she tortures him, he just acts as if that never happened and it doesn’t change how he feels about her at all? And the whole “love at first sight” stuff?

I do give Meyer tons of props for completely changing genres and stepping out and writing something completely… ok mostly different.

In conclusion, there were definitely enjoyable parts of this book and it entertained me sufficiently. I do wish there was either more character and relationship development or more fast-paced, nonstop action.

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Review: Heart of Gold by J.A. Cipriano

Heart of Gold (Clans of Shadow #1)Heart of Gold by J.A. Cipriano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Frank Butcher is a retired veteran with a passion for movies. Retired from the military he is now working his delivery job. On the last stop of the day – which happens to be the highlight of his day due to the attractive Doctor Gabrielle – some serious shit goes down and Frank is nearly killed saving the life of the beautiful Doctor. Gabrielle saves his life in turn by using a powerful magical artifact, throwing Frank into a world of magic and getting him mixed up right in the middle of two warring factions who would both kill to get their hands on the magic that Frank now possesses.

Frank would prefer to just walk away from all of this, lay low and let this all blow over. However, Gabrielle’s son Max has been kidnapped and she asks for his help to rescue him. Because Frank is a badass – Think Jack Burton meets Jason Bourne with a just a dash of Ash (Evil Dead) – he steps up to the challenge.

I found this book enjoyable and fun. It is what I like to call popcorn fiction: It has lots of action, good one liners, not too much depth.

The only complaint I have is that it is a tad on the short side, leaving me wanting more! Luckily it left off in an obvious setup for a sequel.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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Review: The Vesik Series: Books 1-3 by Eric R. Asher

The Vesik Series: Books 1-3 (Vesik Series Boxset)The Vesik Series: Books 1-3 by Eric R. Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This review is for books 1-3 (spoiler free)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Vesik Series is an Urban Fantasy series about a Necromancer named Damian Vesik, told in first-person from Damian’s perspective. Damian works with and against such creatures such as Faries, Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, Ghosts, Gods and of course… Zombies!

As a huge fan of urban fantasy such as Jim Butcher‘s The Dresden Files, Kevin Hearne‘s Iron Druid series, Carrie Vaughn‘s Kitty Norville, and Kim Harrison‘s Hallows series, I found this series quite enjoyable.

Eric Asher starts the story in a world with a rich history and characters all have deep backstories that you get to learn as you go along. Some things are explained, some things are hinted at and remain a mystery. It is executed in a way that feels as if you just joined a group of old friends. It is done in a way that feels organic. Between the books, time passes without us and events have happened that you catch up on during the course of each book.

I do have to comment on one nit-picking thing that bothered me throughout all three books. This book has a good amount of humor, in the form of jokes, sarcasm, and innuendo. Mostly it is done well however after every joke the author has to make sure you know that a joke was made by having another character react with a snort, chuckle, or laugh.

Every. Single. Time.

The jokes and humor themselves are done well, but when the reactions have to point out the jokes so often it subtracts from the joke itself. In the same way having to explain why something is so funny, pointing out that it IS funny kills it. Some jokes deserve a reaction, but the frequency in which it is done in these novels quickly started to get to me. Not quite enough to kill my enjoyment of the story, but enough to diminish it. Eventually, I had to just convince my imagination that these parts didn’t happen. Perhaps because I experienced these books on audiobook format, it was more noticeable. OK, I am done with my nit-picking!

The Narrator William Dufris does an excellent job especially depicting different characters of different sexes, accents, and inflections. I have enjoyed William’s work in Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, The AMAZING Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo and many other great Audiobooks. He is a great narrator and I always enjoy his work.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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2017 Reading Challenge

found this challenge from Kory M. Shrum’s Twitter (Thanks, Kory!), and I am going to attempt to do as many as possible!

A book recommended by a librarian
A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long
A book of letters
An audiobook –
A book by a person of color
A book with one of the four seasons in the title – Winter’s Demon by Eric R. Asher
A book that is a story within a story
A book with multiple authors – Death Knocks by Miranda Hardy and Jay Noel
An espionage thriller – The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer
A book with a cat on the cover
A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read
A book by or about a person who has a disability
A book involving travel – Tips from the Cruise Addict’s Wife by Deb Graham
A book with a subtitle
A book that’s published in 2017 – Shadows in the Water by Kory M. Shrum
A book involving a mythical creature – The Vesik Series: Books 1-3 Boxset
A book you’ve read before that never fails to make you smile – The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
A book about food
A book with career advice
A book from a nonhuman perspective
A steampunk novel – Steamborn by Eric. R. Asher
A book with a red spine
A book set in the wilderness
A book you loved as a child
A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited – Fellside by M.R. Carey
A book with a title that’s a character’s name – Olga by Ted Kelsey
A novel set during wartime
A book with an unreliable narrator – Degrees of Separation by Marc Richard
A book with pictures
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
A book about an interesting woman- The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
A book set in two different time periods
A book with a month or day of the week in the title
A book set in a hotel
A book written by someone you admire
A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017
A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
The first book in a series you haven’t read before – Sensation by Kevin Hardman
A book you bought on a trip

Let me know here or on Twitter if you are going to do this as well! Here are my ideas for some of them:

A book by or about a person who has a disability – Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

A book that’s published in 2017 – Shadows in the Water by Kory M. Shrum

A steampunk novel – The Aeronauts Windlass by Jim Butcher

A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017 – The Dark Tower by Stephen King or Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (again)

The first book in a series you haven’t read before – Hopefully A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

A book about an interesting woman – Either You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day or Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

A novel set during wartime – Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

If you have any suggestions let me know!