Review: Whack A Mole by Chris Grabenstein

Whack A Mole (John Ceepak Mystery, #3)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whack A Mole is the third book in the John Ceepak Mystery series. This is one of the few series that you do not need to worry if you have not read the first two books in the series. The same could probably be said for Mad Mouse (book #2). So far each book is its own stand-alone mystery which is resolved entirely in the novel. This is a nice change of pace from many other series that I have read lately where even after three books into the series nothing major has been resolved.

The story is set in the New Jersey summer spot Sea Haven. It is told from the first person perspective of now rookie police officer Danny Boyle. Danny is partnered with John Ceepak, a man with a strict code: “Don’t lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.”. After a discovery on a beach, Danny and Ceepak start investigating a cold case of a missing person that is 30 years old. Soon new evidence comes to light that raises the stakes.

This book was a fun, light read much like the previous two books. One thing that bothered me in this book more than previous books, was the complete ineptitude of the other police in this book. The pinnacle of this is Officer Santucci. The degree to which Santucci took the inept police work, was just a bit much for me at times.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will probably continue with this series!

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Review: Sensation by Kevin Hardman

Sensation (Kid Sensation, #1)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SensationSensation by Kevin Hardman is a young adult book about a world in which superpowers are a reality. Those that develop these powers can try out to be part of the elite superhero team, the Alpha League.

The protagonist is Jim, a teenager who instead of having just one superpower has inherited multiple powers from his family which is full of other superheroes, and more powers seem to come to him as time goes on. When it is finally time for Jim to try out for the Alpha League, things don’t exactly go as planned and soon Jim finds himself fighting those who he wished to join. Two years after this, Jim finds himself with the opportunity to set things right and possibly become a member of the Alpha League. But of course, nothing is ever that easy!

Sensation is the first book by Kevin Hardman that I have read. I found the pacing of the book to be just about perfect. It had a good balance of action, character building, and drama to keep you interested and at the same time move the story along. I never felt like the story got into a slow spot or started to drag on at any point. The style is obviously written for a young audience, with plenty of teen angst and teen drama. However, as a 40-year-old, I did not find this to be so over the top as to affect the enjoyment I was able to get from the story. If you are a fan of superheroes then this book is definitely worth a listen!

The audiobook is narrated excellently by Mikael Naramore. Naramore’s narration checked off all the things I hope for in a good narration of an Audiobook: Distinctive and consistent characters, and good inflection that matches the tone of the story. His performance was done well enough that I will be looking for his name on other narrations in the future.

Visit Kevin Hardman’s blog at http://kevinhardman.blogspot.com/

Find Mikael Naramore on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikaelNaramore

*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review*

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Review: Shadows in the Water by Kory M. Shrum

Shadows in the WaterShadows in the Water by Kory M. Shrum

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I found out that Kory M. Shrum was working on a new crime thriller book, I was super excited! Then when I was able to get an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of the book to proofread, I freaked out even more!

Shadows in the Water is about a woman named Louie Thorne who is seeking revenge for the death of her parents. But this is not your typical revenge story, as Louie has a special gift. A gift that allows her to dish out punishment to members of a Mafia family involved in her parent’s deaths. As she uses this gift to exact her revenge, she learns that this gift does not come without costs and dangers.

The first chapter of this book was so intense and gripping, that to this day I get a little creeped out when I give my children baths! The characters are everything I look for in a good story: Complex, quirky, layered, and most of all… flawed. With the gift that Louie possesses it would be easy for her to become a complete “Mary Sue”, but she is far from that. Not that she isn’t a complete Bad-Ass, because she totally is!

With each new book that Shrum writes it just gets better and better, and it started off pretty darn great! This latest book was so good that I purchased it for my Kindle despite already having the ARC copy so that I could lend it out to my family and get them hooked as well.

I highly recommend reading this book – Just not in the bath!

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Review: Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Double Dexter (Dexter, #6)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book #6 in the Dexter series follows what is in my opinion the worst book in the series so far. It stripped Dexter of all the qualities that made him such an intriguing character, and left me ready to just walk away from the series.

It was actually after learning that the final book in the series (Dexter Is Dead) was released that made me want to return and give it another try.

Right away I was not disappointed. From the beginning it takes us back to Dexter at his best – dealing out “justice” to someone very much deserving of his special attention. But someone witnesses Dexter’s playtime and discovers his identity. The unknown witness begins taunting and stalking Dexter making threats to him and his family.

As a side note – I noticed the opening scene in this book is very similar to the opening scene of the first episode in the T.V. show.

The only thing that bothered me in this book was Rita. I do not remember her being so annoying and scatter-brained. I don’t think she completes more than five sentences in the entire book. She starts one sentence and cuts off to start another. It has been a while since I read the other books, so this could be something that I just forgot or didn’t bother me as much in the previous books. This was a minor annoyance though and not enough to significantly detract from the book.

This book has restored my passion for this series and I am already well into the next book!

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