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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

Poppy Mayberry, The Monday

Poppy Mayberry, The Monday - Jennie  K. Brown
In Nova City anyone born during the week, Monday through Friday, receives a special power dependent on the day that they were born.  Mondays have the gift of telekinesis, Tuesdays are able to teleport, Wednesdays are able to manipulate electricity, Thursdays can read minds and Fridays have the gift of invisibility.  Most kids are able to use their gift between 10 and 13 years old.  Poppy Mayberry, a Monday hasn't been able to use her gift until Ellie Preston, a Thursday, makes Poppy so mad that Poppy sends Ellie's headband flying right off of her head.  Poppy is still far from controlling her gift however, and is sent to Power Academy, a summer school for those who have to improve their weekday skills.  If that wasn't bad enough, Ellie is her roommate and in her weekday group.  Power Academy is run by the totally mean Headmistress Lariby.  Headmistress Lariby singles out Poppy's group by issuing them a challenge.  If they succeed, the four weekdays can leave Power Academy early.  Now, a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will have to come together, harness their abilities and see if they can claim back some of their summer.
 
Poppy Mayberry, The Monday is a perfect story for younger middle-grade readers.  I enjoyed reading it as an adult, but I'm sure I would have loved it more as an eight to eleven year old. Poppy Mayberry is very easy to relate to.  Poppy is trying to do her best at school while worrying about developing her gift, Ellie dislikes her for reasons unknown and now she has to go to summer school.  Incorporating themes of friendship, development, and teamwork in a fun and humorous way, young readers will easily understand Poppy's struggles.  I loved the growing relationship between Poppy and Ellie and I'm glad a female friendship was the main focus, although there is a hope of some summer romance.  I would love to find out more about how Nova City came to receive its powers and how the four teammates are progressing.  Hopefully, more will be explored in future installments.
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

 

The Mourning Ring

The Mourning Ring - Sarah Parke
As a young woman returning from school, 16 year old Charlotte Bronte can't wait to jump back into the make believe world of Glass Town and her favorite activity to share with her siblings, storytelling.  Together, the remaining Bronte siblings- Charlotte,  Branwell, Anne and Emily have created the alternate world of Glass Town and keep meticulous written records of the events there.  However, when a strange sleepwalking occurrence happens, a memory of Charlotte's meeting with her fairy grandfather and the strange gift he gave her resurfaces. The siblings begin to learn about their fairy bloodlines from their Aunt and attempt to learn the magic that has been brewing in their bones.  Meanwhile, things are not going well in the city of Angria in the sibling's alternate world.  Thanks to Branwell's imagination, there is a new King and a civil war is on the brink.  When the former King crosses worlds to ask for Charlotte's aid in retaking the throne, she is more than ready to cross realms and step into the world of their creation.
 
I have always wanted the chance to step into the worlds from certain books, and I would definitely take the opportunity to visit a world of my own creation and talk to the people there!  Aimed at young adults, but an absolute pleasure to read as an adult, The Mourning Ring is a  magical and whimsical story that serves as a wonderful introduction into the world of the highly imaginative and revered storytellers themselves, the Bronte's.  I was pleased to find out that the four siblings really did create these worlds in their youth and served as a start to the three sister's writing careers. With the addition of the fairy blood, the story was able to be brought into the fantasy world. The adventures in Glass Town were the highlight of the story, rich descriptions of the land, the dress and the characters that the Brontes loved made Glass Town just as real to me.  I was excited when each sibling had the chance to interact with the character of their making and had to come to terms with that character's features and flaws.  The trouble in Glass Town also parallels Branwell's future true-life troubles, however, in the story the siblings must work together to reinstate their former King Zamora and not become too entangled within the land of their own creation.  Overall, a unique look into the early lives of four extraordinary siblings and the creative process that fueled their imaginations. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

 

Sense of Touch

Sense of Touch: Love and Duty at Anne of Brittany's Court - Rozsa Gaston

Anne of Brittany has known tremendous loss in her young life; orphaned at eleven and left to rule her country, Anne strategically married Charles VIII of France ensuring peace for her country and keeping her role as its ruler.  Her marriage to Charles produced six children, none who lived past the age of three.  However, Anne persisted.  Her ladies that surround her are a source of comfort, Nicole St. Sylvain is one of those ladies; brought to court at 15, Nicole grows to idolize Queen Anne. Nicole is also fond of working with animals and using the knowledge of herbs that her mother passed to her. When a young horse trainer, Philippe de Boise is in need of a helping hand with the Queen's new horse, Nicole provides a healing touch. Meanwhile, Nicole and Philippe discover new love.  Nevertheless, Nicole and Philippe are pulled apart due to duty and birth stature.  Years later, Nicole and Philippe may have another chance when fate brings them together one more time in order to save the life of the Queen's young daughter.

Sense of Touch is a 15th century historical romance that took me back in time to the court of Anne of Brittany.  Though the story focuses on the romance of Nicole and Philippe, I was able to get a taste of the courageous, strong and graceful woman that Anne of Brittany was and how she ruled.  Through Nicole's eyes, the young sovereign was shown at her best.  I could not imagine the strength of character Anne possessed to get through multiple pregnancies that ended in stillbirths or deaths at a young age.  More than anything, Nicole had respect for Queen Anne and took her lessons to heart.  Nicole may be fictional, but she does portray many of the real girls that Queen Anne brought into her life as part of a type of finishing school. Most historical romances feature cunning lovers who go against their ruler's wishes.  Nicole and Philippe were different than most lovers, they fulfilled their duties to family and country first.  Fate took a large role in eventually bringing them back together.  Overall, a historical romance set in 15th century France that features not only forbidden romance, but a true friendship and appreciation for Anne of Brittany. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review

Beyond the Wild River

Beyond the Wild River: A Novel - Sarah Maine

Evelyn Ballantyre has grown up in a privileged but sheltered life on Ballantyre estate in the Scottish Borderlands in the 1890's. Her father is a respected magistrate and has spent his life carefully building up his wealth and taking care of his holdings. One choice Ballantyre has made was to take in a young man found poaching on his estate; James Douglas was given the role as a groom and became a companion to the younger Evelyn. Years later, a hunting incident leaves an older poacher dead on Ballantyre grounds. The poacher was James' friend from his youth. The murder is pinned on James and he very nearly escapes. Both Ballantyre and Evelyn know of his innocence; however Ballantyre has no evidence-yet and Evelyn is just simply confused. Five years after the murder Evelyn is whisked away with her father on a trip to North America where they travel around New York City, Chicago's World Fair and finally a camping and fishing trip up the Nipigon River. On the Nipigon fate will take its turn to bring everyone together from the day of the murder on Ballantyre estate where the truth will finally come out, revenge will be served and past mistakes made right.


Beyond the Wild River took a path much like a meandering river; beginning with a murder, then an extravagant trip dotted with flashbacks to Evelyn's time growing up at Ballantyre and an explosive ending with a waterfall. It did take me a while to feel like I was taken into the story and it took me until about 30% of the way through to really get into it. I'm not sure how much of the trip before arriving at the Nipigon was really necessary. Once the mystery between Evelyn, Ballantyre, James and inadvertent guest Rupert Daltson begins to unravel, I had trouble putting the book down. Much like the river rapids, the four travellers could not keep their memories about the night five years ago tucked away and their emotions soon bubbled over. However, Ballantyre is a surprising force to be reckoned with and I was truly astonished at how he planned on resolving everything. The characters also took me a little while to get to know; Evelyn and James were the main focus. I really wanted to like Evelyn, however she was a little hard to identify with. Evelyn eventually grew on me as she made her way camping and fishing in the wilderness. James was the most thorough character and I did want to know more about his past. I do wish that a little of James and Evelyn's future would have been revealed at the end. Overall an interesting and intricate historical mystery that will take you from the upper class Scotting Borderlands to the wild Canadian rivers.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

Misfortunes of T-Funk

Misfortunes of T-Funk, Book 1: (Built-in Music Edition) - Barnaby Hazen

Theo and Judah are long time friends and musicians. Together, they decided to go to a new and specialized University of Jazz and Music Technology.  They are studying different tracks, but still find time to come together to make the music that they like.  With the typical college distractions thrown in- girls, drink, drugs, part time jobs and finding their way in the music industry, Theo and Judah still find time to form a band and go on a small tour.  However, nothing seems to go quite right for the group and the misfortunes seem to take their toll.

This book provided a unique reading experience.  With any book that includes music or songs, I have always wished that I knew what they were supposed to sound like.  With Misfortunes of T-Funk, you get exactly that.  Reading the electronic version, the links are right in the book that you simply click to take you to the Soundcloud page where you can listen to the band's song. Even if you are reading the paper version, you can still go to the Soundcloud page to check out the songs.  This was a really awesome addition that let me know exactly what kind of music Theo and Judah were producing. The content of the book focuses on a different aspect of a musician's life, the intelligence, creativity, motivation, knowledge of audio production and of course, all the crap that can go wrong.  This is a really good look at the backstage portion of a musician's life.  As the wife of an audio engineer, it seemed about right to me.  Some of the college stuff got a little tedious for me, but did help to round out the characters a little more.  I perhaps didn't need to know about every single escapade unless it helped to carry the story along.  Overall, a different story about the not so glamorous side of the music industry.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft

Condemn Me Not - Heather B. Moore
Susannah North Martin stands accused of witchcraft in 1629. At 71 years old, Susannah has led a full life raising her many kids and grandkids and spending time with her loving husband, George. However, Susannah was also known for speaking her mind and not caring what others thought of her which led to tension with some of her neighbors. Years later, Susannah finds herself imprisoned along with five other women in the Salem jail who have been accused of Witchcraft.


I am an avid reader of historical fiction and nonfiction concerning the Salem Witch Trials. Some stories are deeply rooted in fiction with magic and good witches; though my favorite books are those rooted in history and carefully reconstructed by the ancestors of the accused women themselves. Heather B. Moore does just this, an ancestor of Susannah North Martin herself, Heather has lovingly created the best and worst parts of Susannah's life so we can see how she lived and how she died. I loved how the book went back and forth between Susannah's life at 25 years old as she was meeting George Martin and establishing a family and 1629 while she was imprisoned in a jail cell. Most books written about the trials focus on just that, the trials. I enjoyed learning about Susannah's life and the political and personal reasons that she may have led to the accusations of Witchcraft. It was very interesting to see Susannah enjoying and living her life as a normal person and not just an accused witch. The time spent in the jail cell was also very interesting. I liked the focus on the camaraderie between the six women and their feelings about being accused and found guilty. In many books about the Salem witches, there is a touch of magic thrown in, in Susannah's case her touch of magic was just right and just enough. Overall, a heartfelt and fact-based recreation of the life and death of Susannah North Martin.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
 
 

 

The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan

The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan - Steve Wiley, McDonald Jen, Chris Cihon

Richard Lyons is a successful businessman in Chicago, a vice-president of something or other.  He makes a lot of money ordering people around and then spends it on alcohol.  Even though Richard has a successful career, a wife and a son-he is not happy and begins to wish his life away by means of falling icicles.  Richard has forgotten his childhood when he was just Rich, when he played Ghosts in the Graveyard and caught the uncatchable girl, Francesca Finnegan and was introduced to the magic of Chicago.

 
This fairytale is very much for adults, adults who have forgotten how to have fun and invite magic and mystery into their life.  When Richard is introduced, he is very much like many of the adults that I know, climbing up in their career ladder, but unhappy in their private lives.  I did not like Richard very much at this point.  However, Richard then meets a young woman on the street who takes him back to the past.   Once Richard began to go back, I loved every second of his journey with Francesca Finnegan into the Fairytale Chicago.  Much like any other fairytale, the fairytales that Rich witnesses strive to explain events and other things that don't seem to have an explanation at the time.  Francesca's fairy tales explain the Great Chicago fire, the strange turns in weather, the colored L trains, even the secret mermaid statue.  I'm sure I would have appreciated the stories even more if I had any significant ties to Chicago, but anyone familiar with the major traits of the city should understand.  Francesca was absolutely magical, practical, logical and humorous all at once reminding both Rich's character and the reader the beauty of childhood.
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

The Orphan's Tale

The Orphan's Tale - Pam Jenoff
Noa has been cast out of her parents house at sixteen after becoming pregnant with a Nazi soldier's baby. After the baby is born with a darker complexion than her perfect Aryan features, the baby is taken from her. Noa finds work at a train station where she must watch people come through on their way to concentration camps. One winter's day, a boxcar full of babies comes into the station. Most of them are already gone-except one. Noa risks everything in taking a baby that looks so much like the one taken from her. She escapes into the woods where she is found and taken in by a German circus. Herr Neuhoff's circus is struggling during the war, but still performing. He has already taken in Ingrid-now Astrid- a Jewish circus performer who had been cast out by her Nazi husband. Astrid is a trapeze artist and Herr Neuhoff thinks Noa could learn to perform with her so their act can continue. Astrid and Noa have a rocky start, but Noa has found a safe place for herself and the baby, so she is determined to make things work.


I was immediately drawn in by the idea of the circus during World War II. It seems so contradictory, however, was probably a bright spot for many people during this time. Noa and Astrid are both amazing characters that are bases are real stories from the time. Their stories elicited compassion, friendship, joy, and heartbreak as the two women find their places. As Astrid and Noa grow closer, they find more in their similarities than differences and create their own family. Another part of the book that I enjoyed as much as learning about another facet of World War II was the circus lifestyle. I loved learning about the trapeze and Noa's strength made me want to try it out myself. Also, Peter the clown seeming amazing and I wish that I could see his act today. I do wish that the story would have extended more into baby Theo's life, however the epilogue helps the with that. Overall, an engaging, memorable and heartbreaking story about a different aspect of life during World War II.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
 
 

 

A Boy Called Bat

A Boy Called Bat - Elana K. Arnold, Charles Santoso

Bixby Alexander Tam is a young boy who likes to go by the nickname Bat.  Bat loves animals and knows all kinds of facts about animals.  Bat's mom is a veterinarian and Bat would like to be a veterinarian just like her some day.  However, Bat is still in grade school and must focus on that.  It is hard for Bat to make friends since he doesn't like to look people in the eye and likes to flap his arms. One day, Bat's mom brings home an orphaned baby skunk that she plans on taking care of before giving it to a rescue.  Bat is amazed by the baby skunk and helps him mom with it's care.  Bat doesn't want to give up the skunk so soon and tries to find a way to convince his mom to keep his new friend; and as Bat learns to love a skunk, he may learn to open up to new human friends as well. 


A Boy Called Bat is a fun, engaging and heartwarming middle grade read.  Most of all, this book encourages diversity and empathy without the story line being directly about the fact the Bat is on the autism spectrum.  In fact, that is not even mentioned within the book, what is mentioned is how Bat perceives the world, how he handles emotions,  interacts with other people and his intense love for animals. This is all done in a way that is easy for kids to understand and makes Bat very easy to relate to.  I loved that Bat was coupled with a skunk, an animal that most people do not like very much; together, as Bat learns to take care of the infant skunk and convince his mother to keep the skunk for longer, Bat learns skills in how to relate with people.  All of the characters in the book were equally as well thought out, though we see most of the people as Bat sees them, everyone surrounding Bat cares for him and wants the best for him.  Overall, a great middle grade read, especially for animal lovers.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

Himself

Himself: A Novel - Jess Kidd

Mahoney was dropped off at a Dublin orphanage when he was just a baby. Now, 26 years later, he has come into possession of a note that tells him of his mother's name and where she was from.  Mahoney decides to return to the small, west coast Irish town of Mulderrig to see if he can figure out the truth of his mother.  However, Orla Sweeney was a blight on the town of Mulderrig and most of the folks are glad to have her gone, by whatever means.  Orla and her son share the gift of ghosts-and the ghosts tell secrets about the townsfolk. When Mahoney returns and reveals his parentage, many of the townsfolk are put out and don't want the memories of Orla to return.  With the help of an aging thespian, Mrs. Cauley, Mahoney will use his gifts and the town's fear to find out what happened to his mother.  



Himself is an amazing story of mystery, secrets, acceptance and a bit of magic.  I was immediately pulled in from the beginning when we see Orla's murder and Mahoney's return to the strange town.  I was especially interested in all of the ghosts that Mahoney is able to see and loved his interactions with them, especially Ida. Mahoney's journey took me to a beautiful and haunting Irish town in 1976. From an enchanted forest to a low-tide island and magnificent old buildings, reveal Mulderrig's appeal.  Even more than the setting, the cast of characters is expertly drawn.  Both the living and the dead receive full attention in the hunt for revealing Orla's fate.  For me, Mrs. Cauley stole the show with her straightforward attitude and unrelenting will.  I am in love with her comebacks and her promptly placed farts in church.    The mystery of who exactly killed Orla kept me reading.  I really wanted Mahoney to connect with his mother's ghost.  I do wish there was more of a resolve there, but the ending was still satisfying.   The mix of history, mystery, and grand characters sprinkled with a bit of supernatural created a wonderful world that I absolutely could not put down. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

Polaris

Polaris - Beth Bowland
Aaron Martin is a 13 year-old boy from Bixie, Montana.  On a cold and snowy day Aaron allows a young wayward boy to come warm up in his house.  However, the boy, Nakal is not who he says at all and by allowing him inside, Aaron is now a player in a dangerous game being controlled by different beings in space.  Nakal and Aaron are pawns in a scavenger hunt being led by The Council of Legend- an otherworldly group  of beings that have promised Nakal the ultimate prize if he wins.  Nakal is willing to do anything in order to gain an Earth family, but when Aaron learns that he is playing for his life, he is willing to fight even harder. 
 
Polaris  has a really interesting concept, humans being forced into a game beyond their control by beings in the stars.  It had a little bit of a Jumanji feel to it.  I liked the combination of the high-stakes game and science-fiction elements.  At first, the game itself seemed very confusing and I was probably just as lost as Aaron.  However, as Aaron begins to learn the rules and play some of the confusion is ironed out.  I did like the inclusion of the constellations and star names in the clues and the artifacts for the scavenger hunt and I was trying to guess what each clue might lead to.  Nakal is a bit of an enigma at first, he is originally set up to be the villain, but after learning his back story, I felt for him as well.  It is too bad there wasn't a way for both boys to have their families.  Overall, a unique and exciting science-fiction story aimed at middle-grade readers who enjoy adventure and aliens. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below - Donald G. Firesmith

Dr. Jack Oswald is a geologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.  Just before classes are ready to begin for the semester, Jack receives an urgent call from Kevin Kowalski who works for ExxonMobil drilling oil.  There have been a series of mysterious holes opening up around the drilling fields that are affecting operations.  The holes are deep and perfectly cylindrical and just plain strange.  Jack has been hired to investigate; he assembles his team consisting of his wife, Dr. Angela Menendez, a climatologist, two of his grad students Mark and Jill Starr, a wildlife biologist Bill Henderson and is cajoled into taking along AIleen O'Shannon, a photojournalist.  When the team arrives in Deadhorse, they immediately get to work exploring the holes.  However, upon closer examination of the holes, no explanation for the holes can be found.  Then, disaster strikes and all hell is literally unleashed.  Now, the research team turns instead to survival and perhaps sending the demons back to where they belong. 

 
This was a fast-paced and short read that managed to combine climate science and supernatural horror in an effective way.  The book is written from Jack's point of view as a memoir of a survivor the attacks.  The first part of the story is a bit of an info dump as Jack's explains what he does, describes the fieldwork and his team's hypotheses about the holes. As a scientist myself, I enjoyed reading about permafrost and pingos and liked that climate science is featured in a book.  The story quickly picks up as hell breaks out on Earth.  One character has a large surprise up their sleeve that may help the team out of the mess if they can accept their new reality.  The different demons were all very interesting and I wish Bill could have continued his post mortem of the Hellhound.  Since this is a memoir of events, there is not much characterization, but more focus on events.  The story ends on quite a cliffhanger and with a sneak peek of book two at the end, I will definitely want to read on. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

The Munich Girl

The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War - Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Anna Dahlberg is facing the task of going through her mother's belongings after her death.  In addition, Anna must cater to her husband, Lowell's every whim as he finishes publishing a book about World War II and manages a magazine centered around the armed forces.  When Anna is given writing assignments about women war correspondents and Eva Braun, her interest is piqued.  Then, her interest quickly becomes personal as Anna uncovers several items in her mother's collection that carry Eva's special monogram or Eva's picture.  Added to the fact that Anna has looked at a rough sketch of Eva every night in her mother's dining room, Anna begins to see a connection between her mother and Eva.  As she researches, Anna finds that her mother, Peggy, could have actually been friends with Hitler's infamous mistress.  With the help of Hannes Ritter, a new hire at the magazine, Anna begins to unravel the unlikely connections. 

 
I love stories of objects that intertwine past and present.  In the case of The Munich Girl I was pulled into Anna's research into a sketch and a handkerchief that led Anna to discover secrets of her  mother's time in Germany and her friendship with Eva Braun.  I was astounded at how little was known about Eva Braun and much her life effected not only Hitler but the War itself.  Most people think of Eva Braun as little more than Hitler's mistress; however, through the eyes of Peggy, Eva is showcased as a supportive friend, a talented photographer, a dedicated lover and a woman with her own thoughts, feelings and agenda.  I enjoyed seeing how Anna became empowered in her life after reading about her own mother and Eva's life under Hitler.  While Lowell was definitely oppressive in his and Anna's relationship, I do wish that Anna would have come into her own before Lowell left the scene so he could have witnessed Anna's rebirth.  Overall, I loved reading about Anna and Peggy's stories in 1995 and during World War II and I certainly learned more about the importance of Eva Braun. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

The University of Corporeal and Ethereal Studies

The University of Corporeal and Ethereal Studies (Students of Madness Book 1) - Wolfgang Edwards

The University of Corporeal and Ethereal Studies deals with all types of science, both natural and supernatural, physical and unseen.  Through eight interwoven yet standalone stories I was able to experience many different aspects of what one might study at the University of Corporeal and Ethereal Studies, the different types of people involved in the college and the very interesting town that is shaped around the college.  With any collection of stories, there were some stories that I liked better than others.  Each story followed a different subject in the science fiction and fantasy genres; my personal preferences were for time travel and lucid dreaming, so there is probably at least one story in here for everyone.  From each of the stories I had a wonderful sense of characterization and there was a diverse cast as well.  In many of the stories I enjoyed that there was a dark element, a warning that these branches of science are both amazing and dangerous.  My only complaint was that some of the stories felt very heavy, some warranting a long break before I picked up the book again and that the eight separate stories made for quite a long read ending at over 600 pages.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

Grimm Woods

Grimm Woods - D. Melhoff

Scott Mamer is holding a dark secret in his past about the death of a young girl. Since then, he has had trouble sleeping and holding down a job. When an opportunity arises to work at Camp Crownheart, a children's fairy tale camp set deep in the Michigan woods, Scott seizes the opportunity even though it isn't his cup of tea. When he arrives, Scott is surprised that the counselors aren't exactly the wholesome bunch that you would expect to be a a children's camp; girls with eating disorders, exotic dancers, drug users and teens who owe child support round out the list. The camp director, Charlotte and her maintenance guy, Bruce also seems to be running quite a strict business. Scott tries to settle in before the kids arrive; however, on the very first night two of the counselors go missing and are found dead later that night. The death toll continues to climb and Scott tries to figure out why the counselors seem to be targeted.

Many of us know that the original fairy tales were not the nice sweet stories that have been imagined for today's world. The original fairy tales were dark, gory and downright horrifying; nonetheless their purpose was to teach a lesson, a moral of the story. This is what the killer at Camp Crownheart is striving to teach the wayward counselors. Grimm Woods begins like a typical teen slasher camp film that we all know; teens who are hooking up quickly fall victim to a murderer bent on revenge. It isn't until about halfway through the book that the fairy tale angle begins to become apparent and I became very interested in what twisted fate that the counselors would meet. I was very intrigued once we begin to learn the true versions of the fairy tales and what moral the killer believes each counselor deserves for their transgressions. The deaths were very creative and of course, gory, violent and bloody. The mystery involved is of course finding out who the killer is, but more so why they have it out for Scott specifically. Once all those plot points come together, Scott's fairy tale moral is revealed for an exciting, vengeful and bloody ending. Overall, an interesting murder mystery with original fairy tale tie-ins.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

Justice By Another Name

Justice by Another Name - E.C. Hanes
Hogg County North Carolina is known for its hog production industry. In the area, Martin Farms, Inc. owned by Owen Martin contracts and controls the majority of the hog industry for smaller farmers. On the day of a violent Carolina storm, two young boys, Paulie Reavis and Hank Grier are playing in Mitchell Creek below Wallace May's hog waste lagoon. When the storm proves too fierce, the lagoon breaks and the boys are swept away in a mix of water and hog manure. Paulie Reavis dies and Hank Grier is seriously injured. For Lana Reavis, the death of her son after the suspicious death of her husband Paul Sr., is too much to handle. Especially because both deaths were suspicious accidents connected to Martin Farms. Chief Deputy Will Moser is on both cases, especially since Paulie was like a son to him, and some local folks are beginning to blame the Griers for Paulie's death due to the color of their skin. As Will begins to dig deeper and question those involved in Martin Farms, he finds a lot of new information. For Lana however, she now seeks justice in another name- revenge.

Justice By Another Name opens with the most beautiful description of the outdoor environment of eastern North Carolina and a very realistic scene of young boys at play that instantly grabbed my attention and allowed me to picture everything perfectly. Then, quickly turned into one of the most terrifying death scenes I could imagine- drowning in pig manure. From here, I was intrigued by Will's investigation into the hog production industry and Lana's involvement into the veterinary side of hogs. Learning about all of this was really interesting to me, especially about how the pigs are treated and different diseases that they carry. Will's investigation brought out the seedier side of the industry and what farmers might do in order to cover up when something goes wrong. The suspense and mystery of the book was not so much who caused Paul Sr. and Paulie's deaths, but the reasons why they were killed. Will's journey into the mind of the killer and Lana's sophisticated way of revenge lead to an exciting and thrilling ending.