Book Reviews

Brotherhood in Death

Brotherhood in Death (In Death #42) By: J.D. Robb

Plot:

Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather’s magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.

Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD’s top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there’s nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze.

As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed—and locked—doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can’t go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.

Review:

“Brotherhood in Death” was an enjoyable read not just because the murder was interesting and you could empathize, but because we finally got to learn more about Dennis Mira the husband to Dr. Mira. Basically, they’re Eve’s parents. There were several emotional scenes for everyone and I cried more than a couple times.

There wasn’t as much Rourke in this story but I was actually kind of glad at that, he was there when he needed to be and not too much more. Eve is great at her job she doesn’t always need him to help even though she’s almost always the one in the lead.

The negative for me was the ending. Unless there’s a huge shift in rape stats, which I find it hard to believe, Eve’s reaction to the murderers was mostly un-empathetic. If only they’d come to the police they would have been believed when they were told they dreamt of demons raping them. Are you serious Eve? Really? You? I get that what they did was wrong, very wrong, but she shouldn’t have gone down that route.

Apart from the ending I felt that “Brotherhood in Death” was a great addition to the series and I’m actually looking forward to reading the next book and here we are over forty books in, crazy.

4/5

Side Note: The majority of rapes go unreported, it’s estimated that in the US only 16% of rapes are reported to the police and only 25% of those result in a conviction. Roughly 5% of rapists will spend time in jail. 1 out of every 6 women, 1 out of every 33 men are victims of an attempted or completed rape.

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Renegades

Renegades (Renegades #1) By: Marissa Meyer

Plot:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Review:

Why do YA superhero books have to start out killing a baby? I understand setting up a tragic past, but come on do something else, please.

It took me a while to get into Renegades, partly, I believe, because it reminded me a lot of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. As the world was revealed and the characters more developed those similarities lessened, but it was still a world recovering from an apocalypse, still had young adults with powers making stupid decisions and being emo.

Nova and Adrian are frustrating characters for me, they’re both smart kids, capable of critical thinking, but they have both swallowed the kool-aid so completely on their respective sides that they can’t seem to see the negatives. They’d walk right up to the edge and then turn around, they couldn’t take that final step. It was annoying.

My fear is that the next book, which is supposed to be the final one, doesn’t try to fix things, that it picks a side and you’re supposed to just accept the problems that come with it. Surely that’s not where she’s going with this.

I was disappointed with the level of world building. What there was only really existed for the Renegades. The rest of the world didn’t matter, it was just sort of there ignored in the background.

There was some potential here, but I wasn’t thrilled with really anything in this book.

3/5

A Likely Story

A Likely Story (Library Lover’s Mystery #6) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

Small-town librarian Lindsey Norris must solve a murder and a missing person’s case involving two reclusive brothers.

NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER

Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate.

Review:

It’s been a while since I read a Library Lover’s Mystery and I had forgotten that there is a love triangle going on right now. Well, Lindsey knows who she loves but she’s apparently clueless that another guy really likes her. She somehow misses word usage both somewhat vague and not, for someone that’s able to spot a pregnancy before everyone else it’s really annoying.

The pace in A Likely Story felt a bit slow as well, but that could have just been my mood. The mystery was fine, though a bit cliché with the hermit brothers living on an island and affairs and long lost relatives or members of the community.

All in all it wasn’t my favorite in the series and the way it ended I’m not looking forward to the next installment.

3/5

Carmel Crush

Carmel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #9) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Review:

This was not one of the more entertaining and fun Cupcake Bakery books. I’ve never been a fan of Mel, it’s always been the side characters that have me enjoying the series, but this time they were just as annoying as her. The constant Mrs. Tate Harper and Mrs. Joe DeLaura, or whatever their last names are, was annoying. I’ve always hated that and I felt like I was beat over the head with it. There was constant “I’m not good enough for my man” to the point where I almost stopped reading. Angie and Mel were both like this so it was just constant. If maybe one of them had been confident with some self-esteem it might not have been so bad, but you’d get finished reading about one’s “failures” and have to start reading another. It was awful.

The mystery at least was fine. There were plenty of suspects to kill the guy, the clues were there to pick out who did it, the dude “deserved” to die. It was the only good part of the book.

Oh, before I forget, Mel’s college friend was awful. She was supposed to be unsympathetic to a point, but because of reasons owing to Mel’s lack of self-worth and messed up view of the world, she felt like she had to help her out. There was even a “cute” little romance between Diane and her IT guy. Of course this is all thrown away in the last part of the book and I just wanted to scream.

The views in this book about women and their relationships were awful. You do not owe someone big if they save you from being rapped and the video of your rape being distributed. They were being the bare minimum of a decent human. When you get married it’s not just about being someone’s wife and what you can offer them. I feel like McKinlay knows this but it was not clearly conveyed in the book and because of everything else that was going on it added to the lack of a positive female message.

I was really disappointed with this book, but I feel like I’ve invested so much time in the series so far that I need to continue it. Hopefully, things are better in the next installment.

2/5

Son of No One

Son of No One (Dark Hunter #23) By: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Plot:

It’s not easy being life’s own personal joke, but Josette Landry has made an unstable peace with the beast. Life will continue to throw every bad thing it has at her, and she will continue to not put her head in an oven. But that’s okay. That which doesn’t kill her will just require a few hours of mental insanity. Completely down on her luck, Josette takes a job with a local paranormal group trying to get their own cable show as a photographer and camerawoman. Yeah, they’re even crazier than she is. The only paranormal thing she believes in is the miracle that keeps her rusted out hoopty running. But when her group accidentally releases something truly evil into the world, they are forced to call in reinforcement.

From the moment Josette meets Cadegan, she knows something about him isn’t quite right. And it’s not just because she can’t even begin to pronounce his last name: Maboddimun. Mysterious and armed with lethal sarcasm, he seems a lot older than his apparent age…

Centuries ago, Cadegan sold his soul for vengeance against the betrayer who cursed him. Forced against his will to do good, he hates everything in life. All he wants is a way out. But for the damned there is only eternal suffering. And yet there is something about Josette that intrigues him as much as it irritates and frustrates him. Something he can’t seem to fight, and the last time he felt this way about a woman, it cost him his soul.

He knows he has to stay away from her, but the evil her friends unleashed is hellbent on consuming her soul. Something he cannot allow. If one more innocent is taken, he will be sent back to an unimaginable prison that makes his current hell look like paradise. But how can he keep her safe when his being with her is the greatest threat of all?

Review:

Yeah, I’m done with this series. There’s always another world ending, apocalypse coming event, or a bigger badder demon. It’s just not interesting anymore and I don’t care about the wider world, at all. I don’t even want to see the previous couples anymore. The series has gone on long enough, the world isn’t fun, I wish she’d just end it and move on to something else instead of just adding more in the world.

At least this book returned to one couple and their “romance” but it was love at first sight, amazing sex, then they switch bodies and have even more sex. It was weird and at times confusing. There was no wooing, it just went straight to sex and sacrificing for each other, and learning about the hero’s tortured past. It feels like Dark Hunter novels are just torture porn at this point.

Jo started off interesting, but quickly got to a point where the only thing that mattered was her man. Literally all of her problems disappeared once she got with him. Apparently all her rich relatives and friends won’t help you unless you get a man, or she won’t accept their help until she’s got a man. It was stupid.

I liked Cadegan at first but then after a series of stressful events he all of a sudden is pushed over the edge and turns into his demon self. The event that pushed him over wasn’t any more stressful or threatening than previous ones so no idea why it set him off and the others didn’t. Of course the only thing that could stop him was the love of his woman.

I felt like it was poorly plotted all around and not entertaining at all after a promising start. So I’m done with the series, too many recent installments have left a bad taste in my mouth.

2/5