Book Review: Addiction by B.L. Pride

Addiction is a difficult book to review, and not because it’s bad.  It has a pretty damned cool twist that I can’t talk about lest I give away the mystery and I’m not so much of a jerk that I’d do that to you.  There are some books that keep you guessing, where you just want to dig up the Wikipedia entry, read the synopsis and say, “Ah ha!  It was the butler in the library with the candlestick.  I never would have seen that coming.”

But there is no Wiki entry for Addiction.  You have to read it and you won’t see it coming.

The title refers to Mila’s (our heroine, also addictive) addiction to Adam, a mysterious and extremely hot sad guy who Mila falls deeply in love with.

Because Thor.  Wait, that's my Addiction

Because Thor. Wait, that’s my Addiction

It’s Adam’s chemistry and touch that Mila becomes addicted to and she finds herself falling further and further for a guy she frankly doesn’t know that much about.  He’s convinced she’ll ditch him when she learns more about him and she’s convinced she’ll never leave him.

Ah, yes, that's the right one.

Ah, yes, that’s the right one.

At its heart Addiction is a romance, but to keep things interesting it also has some great elements of mystery and acts as the set up for a series which should explain even more.  Normally I’m not given to enjoying romantic stories unless they’re of the “boy meets girl and they both fall in love under a full moon that turns out to be a space station” variety, but Addiction kept my interest until the end and now I find myself wondering where Mila, Adam, and that total jerkface Alex are going to wind up.

There’s plenty of introspection on Mila’s part, so you really get to know her as a person.  There’s also plenty of sex, intrigue, sex, wonder, sex, romance, and sex in the story.  Just kidding; there are some sex scenes, but they’re very tastefully handled which, in my opinion, keeps this firmly on the fiction side of the fence.  With sex scenes it’s easy to tip over into the erotica side of things (which isn’t bad, I know plenty of great authors writing erotica), but B. and L. keep things well in hand (read their author bio for that tidbit).

Overall, though, it’s the story that compels and keeps you coming back for more.  So, B.L. Pride, you’ve got book one of the Beyond Life series out; we’re wondering what will happen in book two.

Buy Addiction on Amazon

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Check out B.L. Pride’s blog and website

Book Review – Darkly Wood by Max Power

darklywood

Darkly Wood is, as far as I know, the first novel by Max Power, the Irish author with the coolest name on the planet.

Darkly Wood seems, from the outset, to be a simple horror story but is actually far more.  It details the misadventures of Daisy May Coppertop and her ill-advised entry into the titular woods near her house.  Things go bad and the wood becomes much more than they prototypical scary woods you tend to find in average horror stories.  In an average horror story our heroine would have barely escaped and then we’d have the literary equivalent of a fading scene of someone else standing at the edge of the wood, thinking about going in.  We would have been given all the answers and at least a couple teenagers would have been killed.

This is not an average horror story.  This is a richly textured story that defies conventions and breaks boundaries.  The heroine fights back against unspeakable odds.  The antagonist is more than a relentless killing machine.  We don’t get all the answers.  Even at the end of the story there’s still some mystery and that mystery allows the story to keep its magic intact.  Darkly Wood will mess with your head, you’ll find yourself on the edge – hoping everything works out but dreading that it won’t, and in the end you’ll find you’ve read a great story.  It will take you places, even if they’re places you don’t want to go, and drop you in the thick of it.  This is where horror stories should go; less about the monsters and more about the characters.  And when the characters fight the monsters – oh, yeah, that’s good stuff right there.

So, about that richly textured stuff…

Most stories have exposition.  It’s one of those things you just have to do unless the story focuses on an extremely narrow slice of time and uses well-known characters or settings.  The going phrase these days is “show me, don’t tell me,” which is kind of silly if you think about it.  A book is telling you a story.  If you want something to show you a story go to the movies.  Darkly Wood (the wood, not the book) has a long history of turning people into corpses and one of the best ways Darkly Wood (the book, not the story) handles the exposition about that history is a book within the book that tells you stories about what has happened in the past.  It was a stroke of genius, and a brilliant way to handle the horrid history of the past.

I’ve written in the past about my disdain for traditional horror stories, but this was one of the rare gems that makes use of a horror backdrop to explore characters and how they react to extreme situations.  Well worth the read.

Buy it on Amazon

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Max’s Blog of Awesome

Max Power on Facebook

Just Two Weeks – Amanda Singleton-Williams

justtwoweeks

Whoa. This is a wild ride. What starts out as a simple beach vacation goes horribly awry. The author did a wonderful job of describing Jo’s slow descent and I spent about half the book wondering if she was just paranoid or if there was something sinister going on. I’d like to spend more time talking about it, but, at its heart, this is a mystery (and a damned good one, too) story and I don’t want to be the jerk that spills the beans about the ending. Trust me, though, this is well worth the money and time.

Not sure if Amanda has a blog or website.  If she does, and she shoots met the info, I’ll add them here.

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Truth, Lies, & Propaganda: in Africa – Lucinda E. Clarke

truthlies

First up, this a memoir of one remarkable woman’s work in South Africa as, among other things, a TV writer. It starts with her work as a radio writer in Libya and moves with her to South Africa. This is a recollection, and a fascinating one at that, of what it was like and what she saw. At times you feel the author’s frustration with the people she’s dealing with and at others you want to laugh out loud with her. I’ve been to a lot of different places, but never to Africa. In truth, the whole continent still holds an air of mystery to me. This memoir did a fantastic job of pulling back the covers of South Africa and letting us see the people inside. It’s eminently readable – a good thing to have in this genre – and fascinating at the same time.

Check Lucinda’s Blog, See her FB Author Page, check out her Amazon Author Page, and follow her on Twitter

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