Books · Reviews

THE ACCUSED AND THE DAMNED by Evan Ronan

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Horror/Adult

Plot: This is the third book in the paranormal thriller series The Unearthed by Evan Ronan.

Anson Ketcher is being charged with the murder of his wife Alice. Not only is Anson’s violent past, his drinking problem, and the issues in his marriage hindering his innocence, but he claims he didn’t do it and that a ghost killed his wife. Anson’s only ally is Giles Tyson, a paranormal investigator who had just been exposed for fraud, and a former member of Tim and Eddie McCloskey’s team.Now Giles has called upon Eddie McCloskey to help prove Anson’s innocence and to find the real killer.

Opinion: “Eddie meant to hold up all his fingers at her, but only the middle one listened”. GOLD 😀

I have come to the conclusion that I am undoubtedly ADDICTED to this series, and that I can no longer live without it. If there were no other books in this series (thank Evan Ronan that there are!), I would dig myself a hole and live in it while crying like a deranged addict who can’t get their next fix.

The Accused and the Damned is about a woman named Alice Ketcher who turns up dead in her home with a broken neck, and her husband Anson claims a ghost is the culprit. Eddie McCloskey is now the expert witness in Anson’s defense, as a favor to his old friend Giles Tyson. After Alice and Anson start experiencing strange paranormal incidents in their home, they enlist the help of Giles Tyson to get rid of the ghost. As Alice starts to notice that the presence of Giles is making the ghost appear more, she starts to visit a psychic that teaches her about reverse possession in the hopes that it will help get rid of the spirit. The story takes the reader through the investigation of the murder and the trial of Anson Ketcher, while Eddie works to find out who the real murderer is or if a ghost actually did it.

Usually, by the third or fourth book in a series I start to get a little bored with the same characters and the predictable direction that the series is going. If I said that this was how this series has played out, I would be telling you a terrible lie that would only hinder the satisfaction you would experience from reading these books…and I just COULDN’T do that to you guys. I LOVE this series, and this book The Accused and the Damned is my favorite thus far. Not only is the title KILLER, but the book is dripping in mysterious paranormal experiences and crazy murderous character twists. Evan Ronan’s style of writing has improved SO MUCH through this series. As I had said in my reviews of the previous books in this series, he was using a strange writing style way too much in the first book and there was a lot of grammatical errors in the second. I found maybe one or two grammar mistakes in this book, and the author has really sculpted his “Instant Messaging” dialogue style of writing so that it flows smoothly with the story and isn’t overused to a point that it confuses the reader.

While reading this book I was taking notes for my review (key characters, descriptions, clues, etc.) and I found myself taking side notes about who I thought had done it. I will say I had a hunch since the start of the book of who had done it, and I was right, but there were so many other things that twisted the story that it made me second guess MY GUESS. I also found myself writing done hilarious quotes in the book, as well as some very unique ones (see opening quote above). Not only is the authors writing style improving and making the read more enjoyable, but his character development is way more in depth. I am obviously attached and invested in Eddie’s character, but I felt like I knew the characters in this book much more than the characters in the past two books. I do wish the author would have elaborated more on the couple that occupied the house before the Ketcher’s though, you can never have too much background info and history in a story. So READERS, if you haven’t purchased this series yet then I don’t know what you’re thinking, but you’re not thinking clearly! This is an AMAZING series and it is only getting better as the books go on!

Stars

With love and other words,

Jenaca ♥

Books · Reviews

ENSNARED by A.G. Howard

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Genre:
Young Adult/Fantasy/Fiction/Romance/Adventure

Similar Writings:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Alice in Zombieland – The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

Plot: This is the third installment of the Splintered series by A. G. Howard, called Ensnared. In this third and final book of the series, Alyssa has enlisted the help of her father to rescue Jeb, Morpheus, her mother Allison, and all of Wonderland. Alyssa and her father, who has just recovered his memories, must go through the looking-glass world full of mutated and terrifying creatures in the hopes of saving Wonderland and destroying Red for good.

With the help from Jeb and Morpheus, Alyssa must find a way to get rid of Red and restore Wonderland back to its original splendor. Not only is Alyssa preparing for her showdown with Red, but she also must still decide which path to take: stay in the human realm with Jeb, or become the Red Queen of Wonderland with Morpheus as her king.

Opinion: SPOILERS! It would be almost impossible to review this last book and the series as a whole without mentioning some key moments, so beware.
Well, I am definitely glad I didn’t give up on this series and went ahead and finished it. After reading the second book, Unhinged, I wasn’t sure the series would continue to “WOW” as much as it did in the first book, Splintered. The first book in the series was creative and addicting, the reader was introduced to another take on the world of Wonderland and all of its strange yet endearing creatures. The second book centered more on character building and the drama that Alyssa had circling around her, while finally letting a few secrets from her family’s past come to light. In this final book, the story finally comes together and all the creativity is back and even better.

Alyssa finds Morpheus and Jeb, but Jeb is not the same guy he was the last time they saw each other. After going through the looking-glass, the magical powers from both Red and Morpheus intertwined inside of Jeb. Now Jeb has the ability to paint things and make them come to life, and Morpheus has no powers at all. Finally the tables have turned and we can see another side of Jeb that isn’t so boring! But there were some MAJOR twists in this story. Not only was I wondering how the love triangle was going to play out, but the “death” of Jeb was very convincing (you got me A.G. Howard 😉 ). The descriptions of the deformed creatures that live in the looking-glass world was both amazing and demented. I mean WOAH, these creatures are getting cut up and they don’t run away because they love the thrill of watching each other get mutilated?…speechless.

The love triangle is FINALLY at an end! I will be honest, I wish this would have ended with Jeb not in the picture but I am glad the author didn’t go with what was expected. For both of these characters to agree to basically share a girl and let her love two people at once is CRAZY! Jeb and Morpheus have HATED each other this entire series, but they came together in the final book and worked pretty well together. Due to Jeb getting magical powers and Morpheus losing his, Jeb helped create ways for Morpheus to travel and to give the illusion that he still had magic. Granted, Morpheus will always be that manipulative arrogant moth guy, but the author really showed a much more selfless side to him. He was the LAST person that was going to give Alyssa up, so agreeing to a compromise with Jeb about sharing her was pretty remarkable for him. I am really pleased with Jeb’s character in this book, though he is still mopey and all “WOE IS ME”, his character developed quite a bit more with him getting magic. I think that is exactly what he needed in this series, to have something that makes him unique and not so blasé.

Learning about Alyysa’s fathers memories and finding that he is actually part of the Wonderland world was pretty cool. All this time he could have been helping Allison and Alyssa. Allison would have never gone to the insane asylum, and Alyssa could have been way more familiar with Wonderland and made sure that Red didn’t come back with a vengeance and try to destroy everything. I wish the author would have went into a little more depth with how Alyssa got rid of Red, it seems like the action moments and fights go very quickly in this series. It feels like Alyssa easily skated through all the tests and big moments she was given, so they didn’t seem to stand out as much. With that said, this series was quite good and very well written. It does target more of a younger demographic because of the ages of the characters (teens or early 20’s), but an Alice in Wonderland spinoff is pleasant for any reader no matter your age. If you love anything “Alice” as I do, you should definitely give this series a go.

4 Stars

With love and other words,

Jenaca ♥

Uncategorized

THE LOST by Evan Ronan

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Horror/Adult

Plot: This is the second book in the series The Unearthed by Evan Ronan, and is set five years after the paranormal investigation of the Rosselli family and the murder of Eddie McCloskey’s brother, Tim.

Fourteen years ago, an eighteen year-old girl named Tessa drowned in a lake after playing a deadly game of chicken with her friends. Now a man named Marty Kindler, who was one of the people who witnessed Tessa’s death, is convinced that Tessa is haunting the town. Shortly after showing up in town, Eddie is enlisted by Marty Kindler to investigate and find proof that it is Tessa. Though Eddie has given up the life as a paranormal investigator, he decides to help and realizes that this could be the most dangerous and in depth case ever.

Opinion: Whether you are the reader or the author, the second book in a series is usually a hard book to get through. There is pressure to stay with the same storyline (if that is the route the author wants to take) and to make it as addicting as the first. When I first started reading The Lost I didn’t bother reading the book description, I just dove right in because the first book had me HOOKED. I assumed the book would basically take off where it stopped and pick back up with Eddie McCloskey going back to the Rosseli house to get rid of the spirit that returned. I didn’t actually go and read the book description until I was a few chapters into The Lost, and then I realized that it was an entirely new storyline but with some of the old characters. At first I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t the same story, but as I read on it proved to be another ADDICTING read from author Evan Ronan.

The story starts off with Eddie residing in a town in northeast Pennsylvania, it has been five years since Eamon Moriarty went on a killing spree and murdered Eddie’s brother Tim and Steven McKenna. He has sworn off paranormal investigating, but of course gets dragged into another investigation when local Marty Kindler claims that the town is haunted. Eddie gets in touch with Anna, the sister of the girl who drowned fourteen years prior, and together they start to discover what is happening. The police report stated that on the night of the drowning, Tessa was at the lake with some of her friends who were playing a game of chicken where they each pressured each other to walk out onto the frozen ice. Everyone was making fun of Tessa’s boyfriend Michael Hollis, including Tessa, and pressuring him to go onto the ice. He went onto the ice with Tessa in tow and worried that it would crack under both of their weight, so he went back. The ice finally broke and Tessa,who had stayed, fell through and drowned. The other witnesses were Matry kindler, Bernard Hathaway, and Colin Winspear. As Eddie and Anna go to each of the witnesses houses to investigate the paranormal activity that they claimed was occurring in their homes, they realize that someone or something is trying to murder the men that were there the night of the drowning.

Though this book didn’t take off where The Unearthed ended, I have to say I loved it just as much. I was constantly trying to figure it out as I was reading, which is EXACTLY what you want to be doing when your reading a mystery type of thriller. I am so glad the author went into so much depth on Eddie and made sure the reader was involved in his thinking process of what was going on. Eddie was constantly thinking about what his brother Tim would have done if he was there, which really shows how regretful he feels about what happened to him and how much he looked up to his brother. The characters Moira and Stan play a very small part in this story, but it was nice to see the story reference back to his past and the people that were once close to him. Oh and then there is that small little detail of Sean McKenna popping into the story and describing how much he wants to kill Eddie for what happened to his son. Well there’s a nice TWIST for you huh? Not only does Eddie have to worry about another investigation going wrong, but he has to worry about being murdered by a vengeful psycho. Talk about EXCITINGGGGG! I won’t give any spoilers because this series is way too awesome to ruin for other readers, but you just HAVE to read it. There were a few grammatical errors and repeated words, but nothing too noticeable that will make you want to put the book down…because you simply CAN’T until it ends.

4 Stars

With love and other words,

Jenaca ♥

Uncategorized

UNHINGED by A.G. Howard

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Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fiction/Romance/Adventure

Similar Writings: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Alice in Zombieland – The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

Plot: This is the second book in the Splintered Series called Unhinged, by A. G. Howard. A year after Alyssa’s journey in Wonderland, she is back in the human realm with her boyfriend Jeb and trying to handle living with her mother, who is newly released from the insane asylum. Not only is Jeb working hard on starting his career as an artist, which is putting friction on his and Alyssa’s relationship, but Alyssa cannot find the right time or courage to remind him of what happened a year prior when they went to Wonderland.

To make matters worse, Morpheus shows up to school one day masked as another human to get Alyssa to come back to Wonderland with him and defeat Red. Alyssa is once again forced to choose between her human side by protecting the ones she loves, or her netherling side and protecting a world she feels is her home.

Opinion: I don’t want to give anything away that could ruin the story, so I am going to be as descriptively cryptic as possible. This book was a little less exciting compared to the first story, Splintered, but it was still packed with new turmoil and headaches. I feel like it might just be a stepping stone for the reader to prepare themselves for the third book (remember how they split the last Harry Potter book into two movies? This book is like the part 1, you need it to get to part 2). Don’t get me wrong, there is A LOT going on in this story. Alyssa almost drowns while on a date with Jeb, Morpheus starts showing up to school tempting Alyssa as usual, and she starts making mosaics with her blood. Her mother Allison is completely overbearing and overprotective, but considering she has been away for years in an insane asylum, you can’t really blame her.

The main issue I had with this book is that my mind kept wandering, never a good sign. I just wasn’t as wrapped up in this book as I was with Splintered. This book was centered in the human realm and not in Wonderland, so it felt more like a teenage drama story than the awesome take on Alice in Wonderland that it was in the previous book. There are so many more important things that Alyssa COULD have been focused on, like the fact that Red is destroying Wonderland. Jeb’s character is played up so much by the author that Alyssa seems to always be looking like she’s less than him, which is probably why I am not the only reader who prefers Morpheus. The reader gets a bit more insight on the other sides of the characters in this story, but I could still care less about Jeb. Morpheus starts to show his sincere side to Alyssa to prove that not everything he does is selfish (apart from the vow he made Alyssa make 😮 ) , and Jeb is shown as having more faults and makes mistakes which is always refreshing for a character who seems so perfect. But in the end, it seems like the author really wants the reader to know that Morpheus is the darkness and Jeb is the light.

I think the story finally started coming together and grabbing my interest again towards the end. Jeb finally has his memories back and remembers everything, and the craziness of Wonderland is brought to the human realm for an awesome battle. So in less words than more, you really need to read this book just so you can read Ensnared and know what is going on. I just started Ensnared today, but so far it is proving to be the epic wrap up to the series that I was hoping for.

3 Stars

With love and other words,

Jenaca ♥

Books · Reviews

THE UNEARTHED by Evan Ronan

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Horror/Adult

Plot: Living in a house that was the setting of a massacre three years prior, the current occupants, the Rossellis, start to experience strange and abnormal activity. Worst of all, the Rossellis’s son Billy is talking to someone that nobody else can hear or speak to.

The Rossellis hire Tim and Eddie McCloskey, ghost hunters, to get to the bottom of it. Though Tim and Eddie have been in the ghost hunting business for some time, they have never come in contact with an actual spirit or had the physical evidence of one through recordings or video. As Tim, Eddie, and their team of ghost hunters start to investigate the history of the house and the Moriarty Massacre, they start to realize that this may be more than just a regular job for them. Digging deeper, similarities between the Moriartys and the Rossellis surface, and they fear that another massacre could be developing.

Opinion: This is the first paranormal adult horror book that I have read, and the first book in Evan Ronan’s The Unearthed paranormal series. This isn’t usually the genre of book I pick out first, but WOW am I glad I read it. I have seen many paranormal horror movies and they all end the same, the spirit or demon is extracted and everyone lives happily ever after. NOT THIS BOOK. This story leads you through so many twists and it just keeps going, taking the reader on a roller-coaster of murder, ghosts, and mayhem. At one point I thought I figured out who or what had “done it”, but then the story switches and goes a complete other direction. I read this book in one day, so I think we can all agree that this book is SMOTHERED in ADDICTION.

A little more depth into the Moriarty Massacre and the Rosselli Family – The Moriarty family consists of the father John, the mother Siobhan, and their two sons William and Eamon. John was a workaholic and loved to drink, he was a pretty mean father and definitely let his anger get the best of him. Siobhan was a housewife, she favored her son William over her other son Eamon, always going on about how special and artistic William is and why Eamon should strive to be more like his brother. Not only was the mother playing favorites, but it was rumored that she was also having an affair. Eamon was always more reserved and quiet, which made it easier for his brother William to beat him up and pick on him. The forensics team comes up a scenario of the massacre where the parents are fighting and the father is hurting the mother, so William (the mothers’ favorite son) stabs his father in order to protect his mother. The father turns the knife on William stabbing him several times and then proceeds to kill his wife. William is still alive and ends up having enough strength to kill his father, while Eamon supposedly is just sitting in the living room…making him the only survivor. So three years later the Rosselli family moves in, the father John (Jackie), the wife Talia, and their son Billy. The family starts to notice strange things such as a recurring blood stain on the floor, their house phone will ring twice randomly during the day with nobody on the other end, and Billy starts talking to another boy who calls himself Billy, that only he can hear or speak to. John (Jackie) is very hard on his son and tries to make him tough so he will stop getting bullied by kids at school, but it just pushes Billy farther away from his father. As the story unravels and the Ghost hunters, Tim and Eddie, start their investigation, everything starts to get out of control. Billy runs away and they have to race to find him and solve the mystery about what is making the strange things happen in the house.

Cons: 1) The author has two different styles of dialogue that he uses. The first is standard dialogue that is in a paragraph format with all the “he said” “she said” and little sentences that explain what the characters are doing during the conversation. The second style he uses is what I can only describe as an “instant messaging” style. One character says something, the next line is the other characters response and so on. At first this really irked me because if I looked up from the book and then looked back down, I would have to read back to remember who was talking on which line. It also made it harder for me to stick with the characters conversation because it goes back and forth so “quickly” that you don’t get those extra emotions or side notes from who is talking. I want to know what their body language is saying and what they are doing while speaking, I don’t want to imagine them just standing there. After a while though, I got used to it and actually enjoyed the different pace of writing because there is the standard style of dialogue in the story as well. 2) Halfway through the book I didn’t feel invested in any of the characters except Billy and Eamon. I wasn’t getting enough description and background on the other characters for me to get to know them and actually care about their well being. I have found that the more descriptive and in depth you go in writing, the better. No reader would be upset with a book that makes them feel like their watching a movie inside their head.

Overall, I loved the ending to the first book in this series. The story grabbed me from the beginning and spiked my interest, but it took a few chapters before I was completely immersed in it and could not put it down. I cannot stress enough about how refreshing it was to have so many twists in the story, and it ending on a note that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL!! I felt attached to Eamon the most, which is shocking because the reader doesn’t start to read from his point of view on his current life, until later in the book. There were a few minor grammatical errors I noticed while reading, but nothing extremely noticeable. I am definitely going to be reading the second book in this series, I need to know how it all ends! This is an addicting read for anyone that has a fascination or guilty pleasure for paranormal stories, and it has just the right amount of terror to make you shocked and leave you wanting more.

P.S. Did I mention that the author put himself in the story? Makes you wonder if it’s actually a true story…spooky huh? 😉

4 Stars

With love and other words,

Jenaca ♥