Binding of Bindings · Books · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #2: My Top 10 Best Books of 2018

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Happy Friday my lovely bookworms!

We are back with another weekly Binding of Bindings and showcasing my favorite reads from 2018, in a big black cauldron of Yes, YES, YESSSS!

Servings: 10

Read Time: 80-100 Hours

Book Hangover Time: Eternity

Calories: 0 (Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients: Magic, tears, humor, anxiety, love, adventure and a royal or two

Directions:

  1. Start by opening your spell books to page 394
  2. Grease your cauldron with the heart of a Villain, and preheat to 975 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl add your dry ingredients: 1/4 Cup of Historical Fiction, 1 Cup of Adventure and 1 heaping Tablespoon of sarcasm. Mix together thoroughly.
  4. Add 4 cups of Fantasy and 1 Pound of fresh Young Adults.
  5. Stir in a handful of Science Fiction and a sprinkle of sadness and regret.
  6. Now carefully fold in your 2 cups of mini spells and curses, and maybe even a zombie (optional).
  7. Pour the mixture into your cauldron and stir rapidly until sparks fly and it begins smoking.

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Garnish your dish with mischief and a curse, and VOILA:

My Top 10 Best Books of 2018

 

  1. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

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The obvious place to start is at the most morbid one.

Did I say morbid? I meant soul-crushing.

This book is all the feels and the most brutal of my 10. It’s the story of how a girl lives the rest of her high school years after being raped one night. The reader follows Eden as she struggles to come to terms with what happened, and while she seeks to find a way to relieve her pain.

Clear a day and night for this read. You’ll need it.

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2. Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman

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Along the Indigo is intriguing, unique and BEGS to be read. It’s slightly unorthodox in that the main character skims dead bodies and lives in a brothel.

HEAR ME OUT!

It sounds a little weird, but its actually a hidden-gem and something I guarantee you haven’t read before. It’s a about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mars who seeks to leave her small town with her sister. Down by their home there is the covert where townspeople go to commit suicide, and where Mars skims bodies for money to escape. It sounds strange I know, but it will forever be one of my favorite YA books. You can check out my review for Along the Indigo here.

3. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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A 2018 FAVORITE of MANY readers, The Wicked Deep is the perfect witchy story. The legend goes that three sisters were drowned by the townspeople of Sparrow in the early 1800’s, and each Swan Season three girls are inhabited by one of the sisters who seek their vengeance by drowning a boy each. A witch-hunt ensues, there is possession and mystery, and eve a little love. It’s a MUST read. You can see my review here for more info.

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4. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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Deception, royals, torture, death, rebellion and crowns made of ash?

Um…YES PLEASE!

Ash Princess is the first in this amazing trilogy, and I know I’m not alone when I say I can barely stand waiting for book 2! It’s about a Princess who’s country was invaded when she was child, her parents were killed in front of her and she was enslaved by her conquerors. Years later, she is used as a trophy for the Kaiser to show his people (and hers) that he won. It is a tale of rebellion, and of brutality. Buckle in for this one! You can also see my review here for more!

5. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t believe it’s over!!

I devoured five of the seven books in this series in 2018, and I have read through them twice more to prepare me for the last two. This series is EVERYTHING a Fantasy addict could hope for in a series. A badass female assassin with a pension for stabbing people, magic, Fae, demons, WITCHES! This series did not disappoint, and all I am left with is a sadness and hole in my chest because it’s over….and I’ll never be the same.

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6. The Lone City series by Amy Ewing

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I know I mentioned this series in my last post. It’s only because it is THAT amazing. The Handmaid’s Tale meets the YA world in ball gowns and rebellions. It’s a vicious, vicious world in The Lone City, so bring your battle-gear readers! You guys won’t be able to stop yourselves from annihilating these books. They’re just amazing.

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7. Dead Dog (Zombie Dog series, Book 2) by Doug Goodman

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I was SO lucky to have received this second book in the Zombie Dog series from Doug Goodman! This series is great for the readers who love books set in the wilderness, and who also love science fiction. It’s all about a young woman who formally trained dogs to be Cadaver Dogs (to find dead bodies), but who now works with her lead dog Murder to hunt zombies. But these aren’t those virus-ridden drooling zombies. These are wasps who have attached to the heads of humans, and who are reproducing at a rapid rate.

Scared?

You should be.

See my review here.

8. Quelling (The Purification Era, Book 2) by Angie Grigaliunas

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*Le Sigh*

If there was one book I could describe as making me happy cry EVERY TIME I read it, it would be this book and this series.

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I was SO lucky to have been able to Beta/Alpha read this book, especially because I needed to know what happened. This books follows two sisters, with two very different outlooks on their governments. One appears to be meek and trust her superiors without question, while the other hates them and joins a rebellion to end their control. This book has a feel of The Handmaid’s Tale, but is completely of its own uniqueness.

This is not a recommendation. This is an order. Buy these books.

Click here for my review!

9. The Quantum Ghost (The Quantum Worlds, Book 2) by Jonathan Ballagh

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This is the second book in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. The main character is a young child, but it is a great read for any age! It is all about traveling into a parallel dimension and fighting evil androids who have taken over humans. It is EXCITING and it is so incredibly enjoyable. See my review here for more information.

 

10. In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

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If you have noticed from my reviews and posts, I don’t get around to reading too many Historical Fictions. Thankfully I gave this series a shot, because it is SPECTACULAR. The writing is fantastic, the characters are well-formed, and it twists a little fact with fiction. This series starts at the height of religious reformation in Europe in 1589, and is based on an ACTUAL trial that was held for a man called the Werewolf of Bedburg, who was accused of murder and cannibalism. This series snowballs into something truly fantastic, and I am so excited to read book three in 2019!

 

With that, ladies and gents, I give you my Top 10 Best and Favorite books of 2018!

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Until next time, stay Witchy 😉

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*Warning: Severe weight loss may occur from the devouring of these books due to the raw emotions they may induce. Please do not operate heavy machinery after reading these books. Please do not mix books, as this may become lethal. In case of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 dispatch*

*Don’t actually dial 9-1-1 dispatch*

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Dead Dog (Zombie Dog Series, Book 2) by Doug Goodman

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Amazon.com – Dead Dog (Zombie Dog Series, Book 2) by Doug Goodman

Goodreads.com – Dead Dog (zombie Dog Series, Book 2) by Doug Goodman

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

Genre: Fiction/Horror/Suspense

Plot: He couldn’t run anymore. He was just too tired. And the undead were getting closer. He wondered how long he could survive in the desert heat? His only hope for being found was a woman from halfway across the country and her uniquely talented dog, Murder.

For Angie Graves, hunting the dead was nothing new. She’d hunted them from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the bayous of Houston. But this vast national park the size of Rhode Island? The task seemed impossible. The scents were vanishing. Could Murder find the undead in time? Could she trust her dog?

Opinion:

Trust your dog. Trust your dog. Trust your dog. But never trust a zombie.”

Angie Graves, The Zombie Dog’s Handbook

These isn’t your regular zombie story.

It was in Colorado that Angie first came across a zombie when she was working on a case with one of her Cadaver Dogs, a dog that finds corpses. Nothing could have been more disturbing and grotesque to find that giant wasps had embedded themselves into the skulls of humans, in order to feed on other humans and reproduce. But after a dangerous search in the Colorado wildfires ended in the retrieval of a young girl, the services of Angie and her zombie tracking dog Murder are in high demand. With the outbreak of zombies in Harris county making Houston “Ground Zero”, Angie and her faithful dog are enlisted to help Harris County Wasp Control Unit in eradicating the threat. But a new group called the Missing Lone Stars who have come to Houston in order to help the zombie problem, succeed more in making a spectacle of it and Angie’s work. To make matters worse, a young park ranger frantically comes to Angie in need of dire assistance. He claims that a zombie is in the Big Bend National Park, though it seems impossible that one would have made it so far. But when a young hiker’s life is on the line in Big Bend, Angie makes the decision to change course. Now Angie must depend on Murder to find the trail to the zombies, and to a hopefully still alive hiker.

BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, be sure to read my review for book of the Zombie Dog Series, Cadaver Dog.

It has been a LONG while since I have had the immense pleasure of following Angie and Murder into the depths of zombie hell! But might I say you guys, it is GOOD to be back. Now let’s first begin with why I love this author, Doug Goodman, so much. I first read Cadaver Dog, book one in this series, back in 2015. So naturally, when I picked up Dead Dog and was about to begin my glorious descent into horror oblivion, I suddenly panicked at the thought that I may need a refresher of what happened! But to my wondrous surprise that included a loud “HAH!” from me, Doug did what no author I had read before or after him had done before.

He put the most beautifully, depressing and haunting dedication I have ever seen.

And then, he put in a recap of book one. Without having to even be asked.

Doug, you amazing man!

So since I was able to jump right into this story, let’s do the same! Our main characters are of course Angie and Murder. Angie has most of her experience in training dogs to find dead bodies, a skill she uses to help find missing people or to solve cases for the police. She is a saucy young woman who has a love for dogs, and a tolerance for her fellow people. Murder is a dog Angie had found abandoned and half dead on the side of the road, having gained his name by being almost eaten alive by a murder of crows. After one of Angie’s cases leads to the discovery of zombies, her services swiftly change and she begins training Murder to track zombies.

But these zombies, are so NOT your regular zombies! Sure. They walk around like gurgling drunk college students, and yes, they like to eat other people. BUT. These zombies are controlled by giant wasps that have attached themselves to the back of their skulls. These things use their giant stingers, insert them in the back of the head to control the body, and just have them walking around finding other humans to gnaw on! To make it slightly more disgusting, inserting those stingers is ALSO how they reproduce

I’ll let that sink in.

Go ahead and vomit a little, I can wait.

Usually I would find myself a tad bored following characters into forests and foliage while they follow scents and tracks. But Dead Dog makes it impossible to get bored or lose interest. There is CONSTANT excitement, turmoil and danger around ever corner. I found myself in a constant state of anxiety while reading, because I was expecting a wasp stinger to come out of nowhere and attack someone’s face! Thankfully, I can report that a stinger to the face doesn’t happen…*gag*. But with a new adventure, comes new characters! A few saucy volunteers, some entertaining park rangers, and even a haughty woman hell-bent on ruining Angie’s career for no apparent reason! OH! Happy day. Our story really picks up when new main character, Tyler, arrives on Angie’s doorstep. Tyler is a young Park Ranger who thinks that zombies may have infiltrated the Big Bend National Park after stumbling upon a dog that was practically ripped apart. His character is quick and intuitive, and I find him to be a great match to work with Angie and Murder. He proves to be an extreme asset to their team when they go out searching for zombies in Big Bend, and he inspires some touching and special moments with our usually tough and closed-off Angie.

“The great big, blue, cloudless sky rained heat down on his isolated hell. He was ostracized by fate and nature’s cruel designs from the world. From technology. From his loved ones.”

But as always, the real gem of these stories by Doug  Goodman is the writing. This author has a true knack for writing a detailed story that the reader feels almost trapped in, but ensures the reader won’t feel confused or overwhelmed in by too much wording. There is one chapter in particular that comes to mind, and it is when our lost hiker is stumbling through Big Bend. He has been lost for days, is being followed by zombies, and quite frankly having one hell of a mind trip. It isn’t a long chapter, just about two pages of hallucinations and sadness. But after I read it I put my book down, blew out a deep breath, and just said “well s**t”.

“By nightfall, he had crossed a desert of sand and stone. He stopped to pull a needle out of his boot, but found that it had impaled his toe. He was bleeding now. He hoped that didn’t attract coyotes, but more importantly, he wanted to drink his blood. It glistened like water. He knew it was a messed up idea. But there it was. Drink your own blood.”

I obviously can’t give much more away about this fantastic follow up to Cadaver Dog, even though I could probably go on about it for another three pages. I am honored to be able to read and review these books for Doug, and to be able to share his amazing work with readers. I can only hope that there is plenty more of his writing in the future, and I cannot wait to get my hands on book three in this series. I HIGHLY recommend you guys try this series out. Even if the genre isn’t for you, the writing will hook you and make you obsessed. Trust me. I know these things.

5-stars

 

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