Friday, July 21, 2017

The Hunting Town by Elizabeth Stephens

Brothers, Book 1

The Hunting Town is about a group of brothers involved in a fight ring but are also much more than that. You end up dealing with a Cartel and Russian Mafia, so you have to know this book would be incredibly action packed. The action didn't disappoint. Elizabeth Stephens has always been great at crafting violence. I really think that's her specialty but I also think sometimes it can be too much. How is that possible? I know right ... How could I even say that? I don't mind the violence, but there's a brutality to it. Couple the brutality with how well written it is and you're almost cringing at times.

As far as the brothers go, I think they're over the top. They're well written, character development is awesome, and each have a distinct personality as well as 'look' but something happens when they meet a woman that reminds me of an Alpha wolf. If this were a shifter series, it would be completely understandable, but since these are human males, I don't understand the strong sense of mating that came over them in a split second.

Plumeria, the first lady we're introduced to, is paired with Knox. He's a badass. She's a badass. Sort of. I love her one minute and then don't care about her the next. I don't think it's anything that she did in particular, but I'm kind of over the damsel in distress. All the women in this book are a damsel in their own way and it makes me not even think twice about them. I don't even remember the other two women's names.

This book shifts POVs with each passing chapter so it may be easy to get lost in one persons head, and then have trouble switching over. I know I had trouble, but then again, my ADD is pretty severe.

If I remember correctly, Dixon is black and Plumeria is mexican, but outside of that, I don't see much more diversity being added unless one of the brothers gets a WOC in a later installment. I kind of doubt it.

Overall, this book is extremely well written, the world building is good but I think the overall feel of the book is what transports you there. I often felt like I was standing in the middle of the bloodbath or at the fight club and had to press myself out of the way so I won't get killed. This book is not for me but I already know it's going be a lot of people's favorites.

3 Stars
Thank you, Elizabeth Stephens, for the ARC!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

White Trash Zombie - Books 1 & 2 - By Diana Rowland


I'd seen the cover a million times and thought it was divine. I was in Half Priced Books last week and found books 1 and 2, so I bought them, read them, and I'm hooked. But I don't know why.

Angel Crawford calls herself white trash. She's a pill popping drunk loser who is on probation, has an abusive father, lives in a crappy house, and has a crappy boyfriend. The first book begins with her waking up in a hospital and finding out she'd overdosed on prescription meds. The next thing you know, she's drinking some secret concoction left by a mystery person that we find out later is like a brain slushie. Now that Angel is a zombie, she's mysteriously been given the best job she's ever had, as a van driver for the coroner's office. Working there will give her access to the brains she needs to survive. While navigating her new found life, she has to deal with her old life and how it will fit in with her new one while keeping being a zombie a secret. Meanwhile, somebody is killing zombies left and right and now she has to watch her back, and the back of the other zombie she's found out about.

In book 2, more plot from book 1 unfolds. At the end of book 1, we find out who was chopping off heads and have a roundabout reason why. In book 2, we get the real reason why and boy is it not good. A zombie, who had his head chopped off in book 1, resurfaces in book 2 ... But old. Of course, our ever inquisitive Angel starts asking questions in all the wrong places and gets herself kidnapped in the process. She manages to free herself, but after we find out what the heck is going on.

I have no idea why I like this series so much. It's a fast easy read (I'm listening to book 3 now) that doesn't make you think too hard about what's going on. I guess the main reason I like it is Angel Crawford. She's just a damn likable character that a lot of people can relate to, and therefore is the biggest draw for me. The action in the series isn't great but it's just enough to get you through the scenarios where Angel has to use her Zombie Super Senses (her words, not mine). I actually bought the audio for book 3 and the narrator is spot on. I think the narrator makes me like Angel even more. Her tone, inflections, and delivery are just perfect for this character. The downside to this series? All the other characters around her. Angel is a gem and her father is convincing. Everyone else is a little bit of a bore, especially Marcus. He's a cop, and Angel's ... Boyfriend? He's a goody goody who lives by his uncle's word and I don't like either of the one bit. Despite the fact that the others around her are not stellar, Angel is amazing on her own.

The more you read the series, the more you'll get to see how Angel develops into a person who finally loves herself. Being a zombie left her no choice but to get her life together, and even though some crap has been thrown in her lap, she still manages to claw her way out and up a little higher than before. I'm going to continue binging the series and will be back with another review when I finish books 3 and 4.

Diverse characters ... Angel has a death investigator partner who is black, a probation officer who is hispanic, and a colleague who is Asian.

3.5 Stars