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Book Review: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

The Lady Rogue

 

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon & Schuster – Simon Pulse, for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Plot: Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

Opinion:

A historical adventure fantasy about treasure hunters searching for a lost ring, that belonged to Vlad the Impaler.

a.k.a.

Count Dracula

a.k.a.

Mass murderer of THOUSANDS

a.k.a.

Romania’s crowned jewel and the world’s nightmare.

Oh, you KNOW it’s going to be good.

Theodora Fox is used to her father abandoning her in five star hotels around the world, while he slinks off to uncover hidden treasures and unearth rich history. So when he disappears again, leaving her in yet another ritzy establishment in Istanbul, she is forced to stay behind with only her crossword puzzles and obsession for history to keep her company. That is until Huxley Gallagher turns up in her hotel room, handing over her father’s journal and claiming that he is missing. What Theodora assumed was a typical expedition, turns swiftly into a hunt for her father and the truth behind his current hunt – to find the long lost ring of Vlad the Impaler for a wealthy client. Nobody said this adventure would be easy, especially when traveling with the boy who broke her heart and never spoke to her again. But what Theodora is about to uncover will change her and her family’s life forever.

The Lady Rogue is dripping in adventure, mystery, intrigue, wit and a TON of history! The author has artistically woven historical events with fantastical elements to bring a legendary story fit for any thrill seeker. Perfect for fans of Tomb Raider, National Treasure, Count Dracula, the Occult, dragons, fantasy…and, really everything.

This book is PHENOMENAL.

Set in the late 1930’s, this historical fantasy takes main characters Theodora and Huck to Romania in search of Theo’s missing father who is chasing after a much sought-after ring. The only clues of his whereabouts come from Huck, her father’s protege and a young man that her father took in at a young age. At an excavation in Hungary, Huck and Theo’s father, Fox, uncover a metal box with strange symbols encasing it that warned of the dangers kept inside. What they hoped was the resting place of Vlad’s long lost ring, turned out to be an empty box. Dismayed, they travel back to their hotel, where Fox suddenly disappears, leaving behind strict instructions for Huck to find Theo in Istanbul, where he is to give her Fox’s travel journal, and escape to Hudson Valley.

And so begins the WILD adventure that Theo and Huck embark on in search of Fox and Vlad’s infamous ring. While the two travel to Romania, Fox’s last known whereabouts, they are chased by dangerous men hellbent on taking them out.

And I don’t mean for dinner and a movie.

I’m talking murder, ladies and gents.

Because this book is PACKED with action! These characters are CONSTANTLY tiptoeing the lines of death and swing-dancing with fate. Both Theo and Huck are talented treasure hunters with extensive experience and passion for what they were raised around, and it shows. Theo is obsessed with history and any ancient topic that might involve a haunting or some form of magical element. She is proficient in multiple languages, has an uncanny ability to decipher codes, and above all else…this girl is witty as hell! Her sharp comments and sarcastic remarks had me nodding my approval during my entire read. She’s a saucy little minx who curses, throws obscene gestures in the air and has an epic drunken outburst where she dubs herself Lady Rogue – a lady of independent and royal standing!

Huck is also quite sarcastic and playful, but has a different set of skills and hates anything to do with spirits and magic. He is a pilot, a great lock-picker, and oh yeah…Theo’s ex. Once inseparable best friends as children and teens who began to have feelings for each other, now we meet them at a time when they haven’t spoken in over a year – due to events that later become revealed. This is the obvious romance of the story, but DON’T WORRY. This isn’t one of those books that has a killer premise and then becomes overshadowed by mushy teen love.

This book focuses SOLELY on the premise, and you will be so incredibly thankful for it. Because it is spectacular, exciting and downright addicting. The author did an outstanding job implementing actual historical events and facts into the story, which in turn lead me to researching different historical figures so I could learn more about them. There are countless elements that make up this gripping tale, and there is a little something in there for every type of reader. But I think what really struck me while reading, was Jenn Bennet’s uncanny ability to create a flawless book. It is detailed, well-constructed, comical, suspenseful and a TON of fun!

The book ends with everything wrapped up nice and tight, no cliffhangers in sight. BUT I am curious if Jenn plans on writing a sequel, because how everything is left, she definitely set it up to be a possibility. If so, you know I am going to be at the front of that line demanding a copy!

With that said, I’ll leave on this note:

5-stars

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Book Review: Forsaken Wrath (The Scorpio Files, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Forsaken Wrath.jpg

 

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

Genre: Adult/YA/Adventure/Short Story

Plot: In a world, where men are judged by their profession, there are few like the fortune hunter. These steely men of fantasy search the globe in pursuit of lost treasures, which have been forgotten by time.

Among fortune hunters, there is none quite like Nick Reed, a man called Scorpio.

My name is Bartimaeus… I am the partner, and friend, of Nick Reed. I have compiled for you this account of how I first came to meet the man called Scorpio, and of our first perilous adventure together.

Opinion:

This book is perfect for fans of National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code, or even Pitfall! – a game that came out on Atari in the early 80’s but has since been revamped on Wii (seriously, so good). Forsaken Wrath is book 1 in the Scorpio Files series that centers on the tales of fortune hunters Nick Reed, known as Scorpio, and Bartimaeus.

A former Navy Seal and excellent marksmen, Scorpio spends his time hunting down the lost relics made famous by history books. When Bartimaeus seeks him out to acquire his assistance on a job that his father had dedicated his life to researching, the two embark on an adventure around the world to find three gates that will lead them to treasures beyond their wildest dreams.

This is my first read by author Alexander Ferrick, and I am honestly blown away by his storytelling and creative abilities. He possesses an ease in his writing that feels so flawless and effortless. This young author has a knack for weaving tales that draw you in and keep you hooked, and for dreaming up characters with various backgrounds and unique personalities.

Each character has a meaningful amount of detail and explanation into who they are and what they stand for that is perfect for this short story. There is a man named Doc who is an eccentric genius, Gabriella who is a master of prosthetics and makeup, Nick Reed who was a decorated Navy Seal and sniper, and a cruel and sadistic man of equal lethal abilities named M’Kembe Oro.

Honestly, the only bad thing I have to say about this book is that it is under 70 pages long. I was so glued to this tale that I read it WAY too quickly, and am more than upset that it is over. I can’t wait to see where Alex takes this story in the next installment, and I am hoping that he turns this book and this series into full length novels. Because it’s THAT good.

5-stars

 

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Book Review: Zombie Dog (Zombie Dog, Book 3) by Doug Goodman

Zombie Dog

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Doug Goodman, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Horror/Suspense

Plot: You have to be there for your dog. On any search, your dog is the only one who didn’t volunteer for this work.

Murder has always been there for Angie. He stood loyally by her side in the Colorado wildfires, and he led her to safety in Big Bend National Park. But now they are hunting zombies in the city, joining the City of Houston Zombie Task Force. Their mission is to discover the source of weaponized zombies and prevent gangs from using them. Working with police detectives and curanderos, Angie and Murder work their way through Houston’s criminal underworld, but at what price? Angie must remember, Murder is her responsibility, and he is her loyal friend. Can she protect him as well as he has protected her?

Opinion:

HOLY S**T, Doug Goodman.

You just took this zombie series to a whole new level of disturbing, dark and twisted!

GOODBYE fluffy tale of a woman and her dog hunting corpses controlled by giant wasps

HELLO seriously deranged, body tensing book of 100% pure horror!

I can’t…look…away…

I love it.

They succeeded in the Colorado wildfires and survived the dangerous chase into Big Bend National Park. But back in Houston, “Ground Zero” for the wasp outbreak, Angie and Murder’s zombie tracking services are needed more than ever. Reports have been flooding into Houston PD of gangs weaponizing zombies, missing persons reports, and suburban homes that may be hiding monstrous creatures. Enlisted to assist the Houston Zombie Task Force, Angie and Murder begin working diligently to hunt the living corpses into extinction, all while helping form the Zombie Squad of other tracking dogs. But as the task force comes closer to uncovering the reason for the disappearances and Frankenstein zombies, they find something much more grotesque than they had ever expected.

Run for your lives, kids.

The wasps are multiplying.

I am honestly SO shocked with Zombie Dog, I’m not even sure how to begin.

I have fallen in love with Angie and Murder over the years, looked forward to their amazing and dangerous adventures, and delighted in their resilience. So as I began book 3 in the Zombie Dog series, I expected to feel much of the same mild, skin-crawly vibes and elated adoration for these two amazing characters. But what Doug Goodman has given the reader in this installment is

so much more than I could have ever asked for in this series.

I am severely disturbed by the gruesome evolution and reproducing of these zombies, obsessed with the Curandero elements, and beyond impressed with the detail and OBVIOUS research this author has done. Books 1 and 2 don’t even compare to the gut-punch that this book is! It is horrific, it is emotional, it is touching, exciting and borderline demented! Look, I thought wasps with giant stingers kidnapping people was bad…

…but what they’re doing NOW?!?!

THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE!!!!!

Goodman has raised the “what in the actual f**k” bar by about 1,000,000 Scoville. I’m sweating, I’m frightened, I’m cringing into the couch whimpering and wailing like a six-year-old version of myself that sees a spider free-falling from the ceiling towards her face.

There is SO much happening in this story. Gangs are turning zombies into walking death traps by attaching saws, blades, nails and metal armor to their bodies. Dogs Chainsaw and Kali are being trained to join the Zombie Squad in hunting down the growing wasps. Elements of voodoo and magic (can I call this magic?) are intertwined FLAWLESSLY into the story, making it nearly impossible to remember this is fiction. And the pregnant women are…

…*sigh*…the pregnant women…

But I think what is really impressing me, is Angie. Her character makes SUCH strides in this installment. She has blossomed from a somewhat cold and serious character to this beautiful, loving and fiercely passionate woman! She’s still as sarcastic and fiery as ever, don’t you worry! But in Zombie Dog I feel like I finally get to KNOW who she is. The author really took the time to go much more in depth with Angie and Murder, and it is something I didn’t even know I needed until I was immersed in it.

I know Doug Goodman is a huge outdoor enthusiast and previously worked in search and rescue, so I can never be surprised by the amount of resources that he pulls into his stories. This author goes above and beyond to give you EXACT directions to areas of Houston, precise details of how a task force/police unit is assembled and organized, and an easy and exciting understanding of how to read a dog when they are on a scent. These books aren’t just thrilling rides of fiction, they are pamphlets of knowledge and survivalist tools. This author literally puts everything he has into creating these books, and it is shouting through the pages. I wish more authors would put the amount of effort and heart into their work, as much as Doug Goodman obviously does.

Goodman lives and breathes the outdoors and the connection between man and dog, and it shows in every word that he shares on these pages.

5-stars

 

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