One By One, By Ruth Ware ~ 4.0 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Scout Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: September 8th, 2020

384 Pages

Synopsis: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of  The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

There have been many variations of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, since it was published in 1939, but I couldn’t resist the upcoming One By One, as it’s written by Ruth Ware, and although I didn’t quite find it flawless, it was an enjoyable and quick read. One issue I had was that the lightly sketched characters were tossed at the reader at once, and it took me a few chapters to separate them in my head. I also guessed the identity of villain pretty early on which making the mystery a little predictable. However, the motive remained tantalizingly elusive until near the end, which kept me reading. While the characters were a little on the light side, the setting was eerily atmospheric and the story suspense-filled. Overall, I don’t think One By One is one of Ware’s best books (I reserve that honor for last year’s The Turn of the Key), but I believe fans of hers will be pleased. If you’re new to her writing, and you enjoy authors like Agatha Christie, and you’re looking for a fun escape, I unhesitatingly recommend this.

The Nemesis (Diabolic #3), by S.J. Kincaid ~ 5.0 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: August 25th, 2020

320 Pages

Synopsis: In the heart-pounding conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Diabolic series, the Empire teeters on the edge of destruction as rumors spread that Nemesis is still alive.

Three years ago, Tyrus Domitrian shocked the galaxy by killing the woman he swore to love forever. The woman for whom he upended the Empire. The woman with whom he wanted to build a new and brighter future.

Now the once idealistic heir has become the cruel Emperor Tyrus, wielding his authority with an iron fist, capable of destroying planets with a single word, controlling all technology with a simple thought. He has bent the Grandiloquy to their knees, and none has the power to stand against him.

But there is a muttering among the Excess. They say that a Nemesis is not truly gone. They whisper of her shadow spotted in distant star systems. They say that Nemesis lives. That she will rise, and rally the people to topple the man who was once her truest love—and is now her fiercest enemy.

When I read the first book of the Diabolic trilogy in 2016, my one disappointment was that it was a planned standalone, because the ending left me wanting so much more. Thankfully S.J. Kincaid listened to readers’ feedback and gifted us with two more books in this space opera: The Empress (2017) and now The Nemesis. After devouring this in one day, I can unequivocally say that it is a picture perfect ending to one of the most exciting YA science fiction trilogies I’ve come across! I’m determined not to reveal any spoilers, but let me just say that fans of the previous two books will be thrilled with this explosive finale. Be prepared for more nail biting, and heartbreaking moments as Nemesis and Tyrus each seek to reshape the Empire into what they believe it should be. Also be ready for more than one jaw dropping twist. For those who haven’t tried this incredible space opera trilogy, I can’t recommend these books highly enough! While I’m sad to say goodbye to this world and its fascinating inhabitants, I can’t wait to see what Kincaid embarks upon next!

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

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If you stop to think about it, you’ll have to admit that all the stories in the world consist essentially of twenty-six letters. The letters are always the same, only the arrangement varies. From letters words are formed, from words sentences, from sentences chapters, and from chapters stories.

~ Michael Ende, The Neverending Story ~

 

Duke University Mask Study

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I’ve been up on my soapbox screaming about people needing to wear masks for the last few months, but one question that pops up repeatedly is which ones are the most effective. Duke university has just released the results that should help answer that.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/08/us/duke-university-face-mask-test-trnd/index.html

Lore (Chapter Sampler), By Alexandra Bracken ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: January 5th, 2021

480 Pages

Synopsis: Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of  ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away thought of revenge against the man—now a god—responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to finally leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost—and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

What do you get when you combine bestselling YA author Alexandra Bracken with Greek gods? A surefire blockbuster is what I’m thinking, especially after reading this chapter sampler. Lore starts off with a bang and plenty of blood, gore, and even a decapitation. This sampler only includes the first six chapters, but I already love kickass Lore, and loyal and endearing Miles. I can’t wait to find out more about the mysterious Castor because even the one scene with him left quite an impression on me. While the storyline may sound similar to previous books, like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, let me assure you that this is completely original. The only reason why I deducted 1/2 a star from my rating is because the epilogue had me completely confused as to the beginnings of the Agon. Thankfully, Lore explains everything to Miles, a couple of chapters further in. I don’t usually do chapter samplers, but I couldn’t resist the lure of Lore. It has now become my #1 most anticipated book of 2021!