Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian
by Andy Weir
Crown Publishers (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3902-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Random Thoughts
  • Do you know how bloody hard its going to pick only 3 favorite passages (ok spoiler - I won't)
  • Mark is a truly wonderful character that will make you laugh your ass off (if you are upset by the word ass, I'm thinking this isn't the book for you) and you will cheer him on and hope he will make it (and nooo I am not telling you if he does or not)
  • Some of the science is a little much for someone simple like myself, but most people won't mind it - I actually learned a few things though : )
  • I could not put the damn thing down, I just wanted to find out what would happen next. And after it was all over, I honestly just wished it was longer
  • Best opening paragraph I have read in a long time
  • Made me snort out loud with laughter. In other words, reading on public transit might get you attention
  • As my co-worker Connor mentioned, it is the perfect blend of science and story
  • The humour is fabulous and used perfectly.  This book could only be made into a movie though, if Joss Whedon was in charge
  • Love the mentions of disco music and 70's tv
  • Would love if it there was more scenes with the secondary characters
  • Duct tape!!!!! Trust me, great mentions of that amazing invention
  • Even astronauts can do stupid stuff - think hard resin and hands
  • The world needs more Mitch's
  • The use of the word Pirate-Ninja as a scientific term - trust me that scene is hilarious
  • A truly fascinating man vs nature thriller with a unique and sarcastic hero.  And best thing, lots of laugh your ass off moments. 
  • Going to buy the audio book, but sorta wish I could have picked who the voice was done by.  Who do you guys think should narrate?
  • My friend, Christa, suggested Mark is a space MacGyver - which I would say is a bang on description of him!
  • Ok and I have had that damn David Bowie song stuck in my head since I started reading the story
Favorite Passages

"Hell yeah, I'm a botanist! Fear my botany powers!"

"The data transfer rate just isn't good enough for size of music files, even in compressed formats. So your request for  "Anything, oh God, ANYTHING but Disco" is denied. Enjoy your boogie fever."

"Yes of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped."

"I can't wait till I have grandchildren. "When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill. In an EVA suit| on Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!"

5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from my co-worker at Chapters. And FYI, everyone who has read it gave it a huge thumbs up

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld


The Enchanted
Rene Denfeld
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062285508
Buy from Indigo

Description: "This is an enchanted place. Others don't see it, but I do."

The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality


Random Thoughts
  • Haunting and heartfelt
  • Makes you think about those we judge without knowing of their pain and the world they were raised in
  • At times I was mesmerized by the authors prose. His words are thoughtful and lyrical
  • The jumping around between points of view is very jarring at times and quite frankly I was often confused (but hey that is more me and my lack of intelligence) Currently re-reading the story to see if I missed a few things
  • A truly perfect book for a class discussion or book club (Redemption, nature vs. nurture, prison, reform, evil, and way too many more to mention)
  • Could not put the story down even with the issues I had with it. The writing is too magical and the story so fascinating. Reminded me a little of The Green Mile
  • Raw and heartbreaking - bawled my eyes out
  • Wanted more background and answers, but again this is just me, the story works beautifully without background and answers. I'm just needy and want to know everything, though lets face it in this case I think the details would just make me feel hatred
  • Insightful and shows a true knowledge of the penal system (which after reading Denfeld's bio I can totally understand)
  • Loved the passages about books and the power they have to help one escape
  • Interesting that one of the most despicable characters is a guard
Memorable Quotes

"The bull chain is in case he tries any funny business. The funny business never ends up very funny, I have noticed."

"Such men are like diseased dogs or demented animals. You can bemoan what made them killers, but once they are, the best thing is to put them down with mercy."

"It seems wrong to him. No one deserves death more than someone like York or Striker or especially Arden. And yet those are the deaths that others will say are unnatural, not that of his dear sweet wife, a woman who raised three kids and never did anyone a wrong pass."

"Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening."

4 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins as part of the Indigo Insiders program and am in no way required to review or promote

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0-06-222473-6
Suggested Ages: 13 + (very mild sexuality)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love

Random Thoughts
  • Greek Mythology mixed with Beauty and the Beast - truly unique and highly readable
  • Fabulous opening paragraph. Hooked me in right away and didn't let me go
  • Characters are extremely flawed which makes them all so interesting.
  • You are never really sure where the story is going and it keeps you on your toes and totally enthralled
  • Some great uses of dark humour
  • I fell in love with Ignifex right away, but I have always had a thing for the naughty boys - yup even married one
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the ending
  • Nyx was so unusual for YA fiction and I think that is why I enjoyed her so much. She is fierce, defiant and at times very wicked, yet so broken inside that you cannot help to feel for her
  • Reminded me of times of the Bluebeard tale, which was a personal favorite of mine growing up
  • Fantastic cover - I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but lets face it, a good cover makes you pick it up & in this day and age, it makes a difference in terms of sales
  • Pretty impressive for a debut novel
  • Nothing is ever as it seems and it makes you think and would be a fabulous book for discussion
Memorable Quotes/Passages

"He had seen me, in all my ugliness, and never hated me, and in that moment, nothing else mattered."

"That's what makes you my favorite." He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. "Every wicked bit of you."

"We finish the bottle." I passed it back to him.
Ignifex held it up to the light, squinting to see how much was left. "Mortal customs are more fun than I thought."

"They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense."

4 Dewey's

We received this at work from HarperCollins and I am in no way required to review or promote

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Killing Woods
by Lucy Christopher
Scholastic Inc
ISBN: 978-0-545-46100-9
Suggested Ages: 14+ (Sexuality, drug and alcohol use)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Fatal attraction, primal fear, survival in the forest: From the author of the Printz Honour Book Stolen, the highly anticipated thriller about deadly games played in the dark.
Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime. An ex-soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence. What really happened that night? Before he's convicted, Emily must find out the truth. Mina and Joe, the only friends she has left, warn Emily against it, but she feels herself strongly drawn to Damon, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend. Together they explore the dark woods. Soon Damon brings Emily into the Game: an extreme version of childhood games like hide-and-seek that he and his crowd play at night as a way to break boundaries, to lose themselves. A strange, sexually charged relationship develops between Emily and Damon. And when she realizes he may know more than he'll reveal, she plays the most dangerous game of all, risking her own life for a confession. To expose the lies that will exonerate her dad, she's got to survive one last desperate night in The Killing Woods.

Random Thoughts
  • PTSD is discussed openly and brings up some teachable moments
  • Drug, alcohol and sex are treated respectfully and without promoting the use of or making it a after school special discussion - in other words realistically
  • Characters are all flawed and very life like - no archetypical characters - very real
  • Storyline isn't wrapped up all neatly and Disneylike.  There is an essence of hope, but it is real and not staged
  • Emily and Damon are deeply flawed, but very likeable. You feel for the predicament they are in
  • Was frustrated at times with the description and actions of Emily's mom - but hey it's a teen novel.  I do understand mom's actions, but I still don't feel like they were true to character
  • Not going to lie, I cried like a little baby at times
  • This would be a good one for reluctant readers as it is very fast paced
  • Hard to write this review without giving away major plot points
  • Have a feeling the author has dealt personally with someone who has gone through PSTD, it just felt so real and so understanding
  • Good message about forgiveness and friendship
  • Storyline keeps you hooked, you feel yourself rushing through parts of the story so you can find out what really happened
  • Cover will hook people
  • Ok at times I felt like a mom and wanted to slap these kids for being so stupid - but I let it go because  - well -- I remember being a teen and having those feelings and being stupid - thank god fortune was smiling on me and I didn't end up dead - but than again I never took drugs
Memorable Passages

"I'd rather she do anything except keep playing numb."

"When I missed school for a week, not long after everything happened, the school was ringing just 'bout everyday, and a counselor and a doctor came round to check on me. Maybe killers' daughters don't get the same treatment.|

"I don't understand how I can look at Emily's fingers and I want to hold them. I don't understand how I can both hate and want this girl at the same time - how she can be two people at once. How I can be too."

3.75/5 Dewey's

We received this from Scholastic's as part of our job at Indigo. I am in no way required to review or sell copies

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

The Lost Sisterhood
by Anne Fortier
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9781443412469
Buy from Indigo

Description: The Lost Sisterhood tells the story of Diana, a young and aspiring--but somewhat aimless--professor at Oxford. Her fascination with the history of the Amazons, the legendary warrior women of ancient Greece, is deeply connected with her own family's history; her grandmother in particular. When Diana is invited to consult on an archeological excavation, she quickly realizes that here, finally, may be the proof that the Amazons were real.

The Amazons' "true" story--and Diana's history--is threaded along with this modern day hunt. This historical back-story focuses on a group of women, and more specifically on two sisters, whose fight to survive takes us through ancient Athens and to Troy, where the novel reinvents our perspective on the famous Trojan War.

The Lost Sisterhood features another group of iconic, legendary characters, another grand adventure--you'll see in these pages that Fortier understands the kind of audience she has built with Juliet, but also she's delivering a fresh new story to keep that audience coming back for more.

Random Thoughts
  • I know its probably my preconceived notion that academics are more reserved, but I was a tad frustrated with Diana's girlish behavior towards the two male love interests.  Now if it was me, that behavior would be normal- but I expect more from an academic.  Yes not really important but it was something I felt when reading
  • Again with the preconceived notions but I thought Diana was way too wussy to be an Amazon.  Liked her character, but felt a more stronger character would be more believable
  • Love Grandma even though we only get to see her through flashbacks - what a little spitfire she was. Quite frankly wanted more about her background
  • The story set in the past is fascinating and I couldn't put the book down when reading those chapters
  • Love the cover and where can I get me one of those bracelets
  • Even with all my problems with the story, it interested me enough to keep reading and some parts were quite intriguing
  • Hard time explaining this but I liked the use of mythology like it was an actual historical incident
  • Women power
  • Some great suspenseful moments that keep you on the edge of your seat
  • First chapter of the story sucked me in
  • Got a kick out of her name - Diana Morgan - think about it
  • Made me want to do research on Amazons - ok and lets face it when I hear Amazons I think Xena or Wonder Woman so it really cannot be a bad thing. Come on what woman doesn't think the idea of women warriors who don't need men (well except for that one thing)  is a glorious thing
  • Enjoyed the scene where Granny deals with the death of Rebecca's dog
  • Some fabulous quotes - couldn't narrow it down to three like I normally do 
  • Enjoyed it enough that I will pick up a copy of Juliet, Ms Fortier's other novel
Favorite Quotes

"I quite liked the idea of Granny as a young warrior woman, armed and on horseback, chasing churchwardens and gossipy ladies with arrows and war cries."

"Thousands of years ago, these regions had been fertile, with prosperous urban settlements, but nature had cast  a fairy spell and put them to sleep beneath a blanket of fine-grained oblivion that no amount of scholarship could ever hope to remove."

"Men always like to blame women for everything that goes wrong. Look at Adam and Eve..."

"But the world is far from simple, and intelligent human beings don't like to be pinned down and painted by some hand in the sky, whether it belongs to a  god, priest or politician."

"By stealing her girdle, Hercules would in a sense remover both her masculine power and her female dignity. Or less philosophically, he raped her and stole her pepper spray. What a hero."

3.5 Dewey's

I received this from the Indigo Insider program as I work for Indigo. I am in no way required to review or sell any copies. That being said Cory/Shannon/Roz - If Nathan Fillion ever writes a book and you are his publisher  - I expect a meeting with him

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bobby Deen's Everyday Eats by Bobby Deen

Bobby Deen's Everyday Eats
by Bobby Deen
Ballantine Books (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-8041-7716-0
Buy from Indigo

Description: Beloved food personality and #1 New York Times bestselling author Bobby Deen is back with 120 new, simple, mouthwatering recipes—all under 350 calories—that can be prepared from start to finish in under 30 minutes.
 
Bobby Deen’s life has always revolved around food—especially good Southern fare. But he knows that with a busy lifestyle in and out of the kitchen, finding the time to make delicious, nourishing meals can be tough. Just because your schedule is overstuffed doesn’t mean your belly has to be. Now, in Bobby Deen’s Everyday Eats, Bobby helps you get a tasty and good-for-you dinner on the table in no time flat, with dozens of delectable recipes all under 350 calories and all prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Whether it’s salads and soups that make hearty suppers, lip-smacking dishes for midweek grilling, meatless main courses for watching your waistline, scrumptious sides for every season, or reduced-calorie sweet treats to cap off your meals, Bobby Deen’s Everyday Eats includes such satisfying recipes as

• Light and Easy Scallops and Grits • Deviled Egg Salad • Lightened-Up Beer Cheese Soup • Peachy Pulled BBQ Chicken • Mustard-Rubbed Flank Steak • Grilled Whole-Wheat Flatbreads • Shrimp Coconut Curry • Cajun Ratatouille Bake • Creamy Spinach Polenta • Hot Roasted Green Beans with Sweet Chili • Zucchini Corn Fritters • Strawberry Angel Food Cake • Lighter Chocolate-Mint Shakes • and so much more!

Bobby also serves up time- and money-saving tips for stocking your fridge and pantry, ideas for watching your calories when you go out to eat, and a weekly 1500-calorie-a-day menu plan that helps you pull it all together. He even includes nutritional information for each and every recipe. Bobby Deen’s Everyday Eats is the cookbook you’ll reach for night after night for meals that are quick, delicious, and best of all . . . good for you



The Good Stuff
  •  Practical easy to make recipes
  • All of the pictures of the recipes look appetizing
  • Best recipe for meatloaf (and let me tell  you so much more fun when they are all mini size - finally have use for those cupcake tins - yeah not much of a cupcake maker)
  • The Lemony Greek soup is extremely filling and tasty
  • The zucchini corn fritters are to die for - and I shared them with a lot of people too
  • The Cajun Ratatouille is easy to make and delish - but I don't recommend reheating next day - it tasted kinda mushy
  • Recipes are easy to read and nicely organized
  • Good index
  • Like the inclusion of the nutritional info
  • Good idea at the end with suggested daily menu planning
  • Great practical suggestions for when eating out
  • Good selection of types of recipes - would have liked a few more desserts though 
  • DH mentioned that the posed photos made him want to toss him into his pool for being such a total poser
  • Definitely regionally inspired - this can be a bit of hindrance when you live in Canada and items not easily available and if available are extremely expensive
  • Nothing really unique - not a bad thing but not really inspiring

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Not enough pictures of the recipes - think each recipe should have a picture - trust me - you will sell more. Could have left out some of the pictures of Bobby Deen - I am sure he is lovely and all but when I buy a recipe book, I am interested in the food
  • Most of the recipes will not appeal to those with kids
  • I know this is picky but it doesn't sit well in a recipe holder - and I don't like to break the spine - so it is a bit irritating when trying to prepare stuff

Favorite Recipes
  • Lemony Greek Chicken Soup with Spinach - Pg 38 
  • Mini Meat Loaves - Pg 91
  • Cajun Ratatouille Bake - Pg 113
  • Zucchini Corn Fritters - Pg 156
  • Home Baked Apples - Pg 189

3.75/5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Audio Book Review: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness
by Rhys Bowen
Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Audio buy from Audible
Paperback Buy from Indigo


Description: Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiancé Fish-Face, for London, where she has:

a) worked behind a cosmetics counter-and gotten sacked after five hours
b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal
c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and
d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son.

Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family's 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.


Random Thoughts
  • A pure and utter delight to listen to, Ms Kellgren has the perfect voice to embody the character of Georgie 
  • Georgie is so wonderfully naive yet smart on her feet
  • You will be snorting out loud with laughter due to the dialogue and the trouble she gets into
  • Ms Kellgren does a fabulous job of giving each of the characters their unique voice. Love when she does the voice for Belinda
  • Georgie is so delightful it makes up for the lackluster mystery
  • Looking forward to future installments of this series  
  • Just plain delightful fun 
  • Only thing that bites about listening to books its a total pain in the but to give you quotes -- sorry will try harder to use the bookmark function next time - but wish I had this time around, so many  hilarious quotes
  • A hot Irish character - what's  not to like about that : )

Favorite Quotes

“They don't hang dukes, darling. He'd be let off by reason of insanity. Everyone knows the upper classes are batty"

"Really men are too hopeless,  wrapped up in themselves from the day they are born. I put it down to a public school education. It would serve him right if he was arrested."
  

3.5/5 Dewey's

I purchased this from Audible on advice from Jen L and very glad I did.  Jen always has the best suggestions

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic
by Lauren Oliver
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0-06-228559-1
Buy from Indigo
Release Date: March 4, 2014

Description: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most


Random Thoughts
  • Would be a fabulous book for class discussion and opening up communication
  • The adults were mostly caricatures - the typical self involved and neglectful parents that can be found in most ya novels (You must remember I am a 43 yr old mom and am a good parent). That being said it does explain the actions of the teen characters 
  • Great message without being preachy
  • Author had a good understanding of the teenage mind with all its turmoil, confusion and angst. Especially of those teens growing up in such a poor and depressed town.
  • I didn't feel a real connection to any of the characters, with the exception of Heather, and some of their actions (Bishop's for example), didn't really makes sense to me.
  • Fast paced and interesting - ir was a hard one to put down - even when I wanted to slap these kids upside their heads for some of their stupid actions (yet I still remember being a teen so I can see how they would react the way they did)
  • Oliver does a brilliant job of creating a town that is in an economic downturn and the feeling of desperation permeates throughout the story and all of the characters
  • The towns name is Carp (hmm play around with those letters LOL!)
  • Could totally see this situation happening
 Memorable Quotes/Passages

"The sky was deepening, the light was fading and so were the colors, swirling away behind the line of trees beyond the ridge, as though someone had pulled the plug"

"...about her fears that she would never get out of Carp and it would eat her up, swallow her as it had her mom, turn her into one of those brittle, bitter women who is old and drug-eaten and done at twenty-nine." 

"My point is, when you love someone, when you care for someone, you have to do it through the good and the bad. Not just when you're happy and it's easy."

3.75 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins at work as part of my job. I am in no way obligated to review or sell any copies. One of the perks about being a bookseller which almost makes up for crappy retail pay LOL - love the job though so I really shouldn't complain - just miss my cushy library job that had benefits and paid vacation time
 

Open Secret by Deryn Collier

Open Secret (Bern Fortin #2)
by Deryn Collier
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4767-1680-0
Buy from Indigo
On Sale Date: April 8, 2014

Description: After the abrupt end to his military career Bern has settled into an uneasy peace in his new life in Kootenay Landing—a peace he knows can’t last. Out for a fall hike, he discovers Dr. Juniper Sinclair, the town’s lone doctor, attempting to revive small-time drug dealer Seymour Melnychuk, who has been shot in the forehead. In a seemingly unrelated incident, Gary Dowd abandons his van while crossing the US border. Gary is a local father of two, an accountant, and a steady, predictable guy. He’s also been best friends with Seymour Melnychuk since elementary school.

Bern knows the two disturbing events must be related and works with police constable Maddie Schilling to uncover the hidden ties that connect the two cases. Why was Dr Sinclair already on the scene? Why is there no exit wound on Seymour’s body? Why did Gary Dowd disappear while trying to cross the border? Who truly controls the hills and forests around Kootenay Landing? Amidst the chaos of the case, Bern’s military background comes back to haunt him, forcing him to confront the secrets of his own past that he has long sought to keep buried.

As Bern and Schilling close in on the killer, each is drawn into the case personally and the stakes are higher than anyone can imagine. Everyone has something to hide, and no one in Kootenay Landing seems willing to talk. But Bern Fortin is well aware that no secret can remain buried forever—not even his own.


The Good Stuff
  • Bern is a truly fascinating character. Author does an excellent job of creating a character who is obviously still dealing with PTSD
  • Interesting ti get a little bit more about Bern's backgrounds
  • Storyline was fascinating and had me hooked
  • Some of the story broke my heart as the characters felt all too real
  • Author has a gift for recreating a small BC town - again the setting feels authentic and the characters are realistic with many flaws - so basically like those in any community
  • Need to find out more about Bern's past and those of the rest of the town
  • An intelligent thriller - you really need to pay attention to all the little details

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Story jumped around a lot from the past to present and it often felt a little disjointed 
  • Not enough  details
 Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Word was that his mother was now in a wheelchair and his father was serving a twenty-year sentence in the US for pot trafficking.  Americans took their marijuana seriously."

"Bern locked eyes with the younger man and marveled that even the Canadian army count not reach inside some men and stamp out their will."

"The silent partners in this tragedy were the gangs at work behind the scenes. The master puppeteers. Their fingerprints were everywhere, they were to blame for everything, and yet they remained invisible. Perhaps he could find them while there was still something of a soldier left in him."

3.75/5 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review 

If  you are interested in meeting Deryn Collier - she will be at the Calgary Public Library on March 18th along with Andrew Pyper and Nick Cutter (craig davidson) For more info