The Night is Alive 

The Night is Alive

by Heather Graham

The Night Is Alive (Krewe of Hunters, #10)

MIDNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

It’s a city of beauty, history, hauntings. And one of the most haunted places in Savannah is a tavern called The Dragonslayer, built in the 1750s. The current owner, Gus Anderson, is a descendant of the original innkeeper and his pirate brother, Blue.

Gus summons his granddaughter, Abigail, home from Virginia, where she’s studying at the FBI Academy. When she arrives, she’s devastated to find him dead. Murdered. But Abby soon learns that Gus isn’t the only one to meet a brutal and untimely end; there’ve been at least two other victims. Then Captain Blue Anderson starts making ghostly appearances, and the FBI’s paranormal investigation unit, the Krewe of Hunters, sends in Agent Malachi Gordon.

Abby and Malachi have a similar ability to connect with the dead and a similar stubbornness. Sparks immediately begin to fly; sparks of attraction and discord. But as the death toll rises, they have to trust each other or they, too, might find themselves among the dead haunting old Savannah!

I like Heather Graham. I enjoy her quirky female leads and how she smoothly integrates her paranormal characters in to her mysteries. But, I will not be reading any more of her Krewe of Hunters books. The Night is Alive is the second Krewe of Hunters novel reviewed on Sand Between the Pages.  You can check out Phantom Evil here.

I grabbed the audio version of The Night is Alive, Krewe of Hunters #10,  from the local library, drawn in by the promise of Savannah history and pirate ghosts. I never say no to pirate ghosts y’all!  I just wish I actually liked The Night is Alive.

Let me start with the positive points. The Night is Alive delivered on Savannah history. The detailed passages of the city streets, the historic buildings, and underground tunnels had me ready to book a vacation. I had no problem feeling like I was exploring alongside Malachi and Abby. Graham also didn’t disappoint when it came to pirate lore. My husband and I are both big fans of pirate history and Blue’s scenes were definitely my favorite.

Now on to why I will not be reading any more Krewe of Hunters novels. I do not like the Krewe characters.  They are undeveloped, leaving them to read very two dimensional and forced.  I can’t get invested in their stories.  Abby is a new FBI agent driven to prove herself and we are constantly reminded of this fact by EVERYONE in the story.  She never actually acted like a trained FBI agent until she faced off with the killer so we definitely needed all those reminders, but it gets old fast.  Her relationship with Malachi didn’t feel remotely realistic.  They went from hating each other, to hooking up, to maybe dating, and then to discussing marriage in the course of three weeks.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? This is the second time insta-love has been a major plot device in my Krewe of Hunters reading.  No, just no.  Don’t worry, I didn’t give away any spoilers.  You know where Abby and Malachi’s relationship is going the minute they meet.  Here are some actual spoilers though, so avert your eyes if you must!  I do not like what Graham did with her serial killer.  She did everything she could to divert suspicion from this character so that the reveal would be all the more shocking.  No, it wasn’t shocking.  It was irritating and I was rightly pissed when I realized whodunit.  And then, THEN, she kills off the serial killer before explaining his motivations.  I know this happens in real life, but it just felt lazy coupled with the complete lack of character development throughout the entire story.  UHG!

Now don’t let this review deter you from Graham’s stand alone and Harrison Investigation novels.  I enjoy many of them and they are pretty well developed!  I just can’t get behind her Krewe of Hunters series.  Are you a Heather Graham fan?  What do you think of her new series?

Lindsay

The Stench of Honolulu

The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

by Jack Handey

The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

 The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel-a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale.

THE STENCH OF HONOLOLU

Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!

Jack Handey’s exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists and unforgettable characters whose names escape me right now. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days-a travel agent-and discover an old treasure map. She might have been a witch, by the way. Our heroes soon embark on a quest for the Golden Monkey, which takes them into the mysterious and stinky foreign land of Honolulu. There, they meet untold dangers, confront strange natives, kill and eat Turtle People, kill some other things and people, eat another thing, and discover the ruins of ancient civilizations.

As our narrator says, “The ruins were impressive. But like so many civilizations, they forgot the rule that might have saved them: Don’t let vines grow all over you.”

Disclaimer: I did not finish The Stench of Honolulu. I managed to get through a third before putting it down, so this will be a short review.

I am far too literal for the humor in The Stench of Honolulu. I just didn’t find it funny. Some reviewers describe breathlessly laughing throughout; I chuckled once.  The majority of the jokes fell flat.  The main character was an idiot with no redeeming qualities.  I initially thought The Stench of Honolulu was Handey’s attempt at satire, but no.  Instead it is just pages and pages of ‘opposite day’ type observations, a dragging plot, and unrealistic commentary.  Seriously, who doesn’t know what a cow is?!

Now I did chuckle that one time because the explanation of the formation of Hawaii was pretty darn funny. I also like Handey’s minimalist journal-style writing technique; it was rather well done and a nice change from most modern fiction.  I also felt that he had a decent plot following the two main characters’ journey through the jungles of Hawaii in search of the golden monkey.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t force myself to stick around long enough to reach the end.

Some people enjoyed it, and I am sure Handey is a great humorist in different mediums, but The Stench of Honolulu was not the book for me.  Have you read The Stench of Honolulu? Are you a fan of Jack Handey?  I’d like to hear your thoughts about his work.

Lindsay

Fairest

Fairest

by Marissa Meyer

 Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Fairest is the story of the evil Queen Levana, and the prequel story for Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series.  For those not familiar with the series it contains three full length novels (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress), two short stories (Glitches, The Queen’s Army) and now a short novel with Fairest.  The final novel, Winter, is scheduled to come out the Fall of 2015.  The Lunar Chronicles is a science fiction re-telling of the classic fairytales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.

I received Fairest as a birthday gift and initially began reading it in February.  You may be surprised it took me so long to finish the novel considering how much I love the other books in the series, but I just couldn’t get into the story.  This has nothing to do with Meyer’s writing and story development.  Her writing is good and the story moves well.  It has everything to do with Levana as a character.  I just don’t like her because I have never been fond of the Evil Queen despite her many reincarnations over the last ten years.  Charlize Theron’s portrayal is by far my favorite, though I was less than impressed by the Snow White and the Huntsman film.

Anyways, a story about the Evil Lunar Queen wasn’t going to be my favorite of the series, but I still wanted to read it.  It should have been half the length, a novella instead of novel, because we spend far too much time delving in to the frantic, and often childish thoughts of Levant, resulting in her seeming more whiny instead of powerful and terrifying.  I loved the glimpse into her psyche; how lost and confused she was, how desperate in her love, and how much she hated herself.  I just wish the power of the final scene with the mirror resounded through the entire story.

I still recommend it to fans of the series.  Fairest adds depth to the Queen, and provides a wonderful view on the early lives of some well known characters from the other stories.  We get to see Cinder and Winter as children and even a few hints of Dr. Erland’s life on the moon.  Plus, its always fun to learn a character’s backstory and Levana’s is interesting…

Have you ready Fairest?  What is your favorite story in the Lunar Chronicles?

Lindsay

Sorry Guys

I owe y’all an apology.  I’ve fallen behind on my reviews the last three weeks and I’m sorry.  I’ve just had a hard time focusing on my reading and reviewing because this has been me.

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See, today is my last day at my job.  A job I’ve had for the last four years working in a wonderful place with some amazing people.  Working at a place I have dreamed of working at since I was eleven years old.  A job I would love to have for the rest of my life but the time has come to move on.  So I am taking a different job, one that offers an actual career and a great working environment.  This move is for the best but I’m still just a little….

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My free time next week will be spent on the beach…reading.  I’ll catch up on all those TBR books and get you those reviews!  The future is bright at this new job and I will have more time to pursue my writing dreams.  So hopefully, I’ll be back to my normal self in the coming weeks.  I may even take a hint from Stitch and put on some Elvis to put me in a dancing mood!

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I’m sorry guys! I promise the reviews are coming!

Lindsay

What to Expect – APRIL

What to Expect – APRIL

Happy April Fools Day!

Here’s what to expect in April on Sand Between the Pages.  March was all over the darn place and I was left with a number of partially read novels that desperately need to be finished!  So, I going to finish them and get the reviews up this month.  I’m not sharing any titles; you’ll just have to be surprised!  I’ll give you a hint…see if you can figure out the genres from the pictures bellow!

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Other updates for Sand Between the Pages:  I will no longer post a writing update at the end of each month.  I have a sister page, which you can see HERE, that is dedicated to my writing.  Please take the time to check out my progress!  I need all the encouragement I can get!

Spring has officially arrived in Florida, so I will be spending my afternoons soaking up the sun and reading!  Have a great day and enjoy this picture of Kata sporting her new headband! (Helps me not lose her in the yard!)

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