Friday, March 6, 2020

The Vanished Birds : Book Review

Thanks to Del Rey Publishing for the complimentary copy of
The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

A cargo ship lands on a source planet every fifteen years to load the crop grown exclusively there and transport it through Pocket Space. But time in Pocket Space is different and what is eighteen months to Nia on her ship is fifteen years to Kaeda on Umbai-V. They meet every fifteen years when Nia comes to collect another shipment. One year when Kaeda is very old, he asks Nia to take the mysterious boy who dropped from the sky.

I rarely read Sci-Fi books. It's just not the genre that I'm consistently drawn to. I'm not exactly sure why I was initially so intrigued and accepted a review copy of The Vanished Birds. However, I am so glad that I did.

I was entranced by the novel. I fell for the characters--emotional, brave, flawed and deeply human. The plot was new, fantastical and fascinating. It brought up existential questions. If you could periodically freeze yourself and live forever, would you? Is it worth it to sacrifice a soul to bring new life-changing technology to millions?

The writing is so lyrical and intoxicating, that I found myself routinely staying up later than I intended devouring page and page. It is a beautiful novel and in a world devoid of relationships, it ultimately glorified the human connections.

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenex was published January 14, 2020.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Sun Down Motel : Book Review

Thanks to Berkley Publishing for the complimentary copy of 
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Carly's aunt was working at the Sun Down Motel in 1982 when she vanished. Her body was never found though most presumed she was dead. Now, Carly is taking a break from college, determined to figure out what really happened to her missing aunt.

Viv just needed to get away from home when she set out for NYC. She got as far as Fell, NY and found a job as the night clerk for a quiet, secluded motel. Viv soon discovers that the motel isn't as quiet as she first thought. Besides the paranormal disturbances at the motel, there have also been several young women murdered--their bodies dumped. Viv believes there's a connection and is determined to find out who is killing the girls and stop them.

I like ghost stories. Ghosts are spooky and unpredictable and can really push a book into the extra creepy zone. I like Simone St. James ghost stories. Her books are paced well so that I can devour them quickly. They're scary and thrilling but there isn't gratuitous violence. They're great for late, sleepless nights. They might even cause some sleepless nights.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James isn't perfect. There's some unnecessary overlap between Carly and Viv's stories. I could have used some more character development. However, I read the novel quickly and I enjoyed it. I was hooked from the first chapter. I found myself actually looking forward to reading time after being in a bit of a slump lately. The paranormal activity is creepy and the climactic scenes are sit-up-in-bed thrilling.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is published by Berkley Publishing and released on February 18, 2020.