Blog Tour + Review: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson

Hello dear readers, today we have another blog tour with The Write Reads today, so let’s get going.

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Title: Catalyst
Author: Tracy Richardson
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the “I see dead people” way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained-an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit. But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.

This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archaeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilisation, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke.

The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds – something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.


Following one thread

This book is relatively short, just shy of 300 pages, but I felt like it was difficult to keep myself focused on the main story.

The ideas themselves weren’t particularly bad. I actually found them to be rather interesting, but the execution just wan’t there. I don’t think Richardson did a great job of executing them properly.

I’ll give the book some credit, it throws you right into the story, but once the story got going, there wasn’t much keeping me interested.


Supernatural Environmentalism

I was expecting to read a book about superpowers and maybe some spooky things. I was not expecting a lecture on environmentalism and its harms to the earth.

I support slowing down and eventually stopping climate change, but to me, this book felt a touch preachy about it all.

With the fracking that becomes the main storyline, the science fiction element becomes a lot more prominent, and that’s where the story takes a downward slope.

There was nothing compelling about it, and I found that the longer I read, the more uninterested I was.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that is was a YA book, and I just didn’t connect with it, or maybe it just wasn’t the story for me, but I did not enjoy it much at all.


Final Thoughts

I’m not sure why, but I’ve had a lot of bad luck lately with books I’ve received through tours/NetGalley. I just haven’t really enjoyed any of them. Catalyst was no exception. Though I think it had it’s moments, they were too few, and weren’t very impactful.

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Book Tour Review: Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Hello dear readers, I want to let you know that this week’s book was given to me as part of a book tour with Blackthorn Book Tours in return for an honest review.

If you enjoyed Slow Down, or like my reviews, make sure to follow me here, or on social media.
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Title: Slow Down
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Rating: ★★★.5☆☆

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick’s Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth.

For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good. Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.


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A Drug Induced Story

I had an idea of what I was getting in to when I started Slow Down, but I don’t think it’s possible to entirely understand a book until you start reading it.

Slow Down reminded me of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; both drug filled adventures that keep you on the edge of your seat.

I’m not always the biggest fan of these stories. Often the characters are out of their minds the entire time and they try to sound like the smartest man in the world; having reasoned out why humans suck, and it gets annoying.

Slow Down had this aspect to it, and at times it was too much, but it wasn’t intolerable.

For the most part, the characters are just high on drugs and partying, which I would usually find annoying, but Goldberg is able to tame it down and give us more of a mystery in the background of it all.


Blunt and Vulgar

With an entire story focused on being high on drugs, you can expect some vulgarness. Swearing, disrespecting women, death and more are all commonplace in Slow Down.

It makes sense in some parts of the story, but others it just felt like the character choice, and that made the story contradictory in a sense.

They were supposed to be enlightened and brilliant, yet they are disrespectful towards women and were prone to violence.

It’s a subtle touch by Goldberg, to show readers that the character’s are just as ignorant as they claim they aren’t, and that was a part of why I gave it a slightly higher rating than I normally would have.


Fast-Paced Read

Another aspect of this story that made me appreciate it more than I normally would for this type of story, is that the story was written around the drugs involved in the story.

If your story is just one drug-induced trip pretty much, then let the story be written that way. Don’t give me some slow burning story about drugs and their effects on people and the protagonist’s slow demise down the drug-filled rabbit hole.

I want something fast-paced, non stop, keeping me excited and waiting to see what happens next.

Goldberg does that well with Slow Down. Thing start a bit slow, but they ramp up at a nice pace and eventually things are happening left and right, you can’t help but keep reading.


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Final Thoughts

Slow Down isn’t my go-to choice of book to read. I usually prefer something with a bit more subtlety to it and not as in your face as drug focused stories often are, but Slow Down had a lot going on in the background which I appreciated.

I enjoyed reading it, and it is a short read, so you can definitely get through it quickly.

What did you think about Slow Down? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Book Tour: The Girl Who Found The Sun by Matthew S. Cox

Before we begin, dear readers, I want to let you know that I received this book as part of a Book Tour with Blackthorn Book Tours in exchange for an honest review, which I am happy to give.

I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I want to thank Blackthorn Book Tours for the opportunity!

If you’ve read this book, or are interested in it, let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Make sure to check out the other Blackthorn Book Tours Reviews for The Girl Who Found the Sun

Title: The Girl Who Found the Sun
Author: Matthew S. Cox
Rating: ★★★★☆

It started with the insects. 

The mass die-offs had been a warning unheeded. Before society realized the danger, the Earth had inexorably begun a transformation into a place where life could not survive. A small group found shelter in the Arc, an underground refuge safe from the toxins ravaging the surface. 

After centuries of darkness, humanity’s second chance is running out—and Raven Wilder knows it. 

Her job fixing the machinery in the Arc makes her aware of how close everything is to breaking down. When the systems fail, the last survivors of the human race will suffocate in the tunnels meant to protect them from the deadly air outside—starting with the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, in an example of history repeating itself, those in charge dismiss her concerns. 

When her six-year-old begins showing signs of oxygen deprivation, Raven refuses to go quietly into oblivion. 

She will break every rule to keep her daughter alive.


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I Like When the World Ends

No, I am not actively trying to pursue the end of the world, but I don’t mind when others do it. I am a sucker for an apocalyptic or dystopian novel because authors are so creative when it comes to telling those stories.

There’s always new takes on the same stories, and I like exploring the author’s mind with the decisions they make.

In this case, I think Cox had a very real idea of underground government bunkers and used it as the main storytelling piece.

Doomsday Preppers during the doomsday is what this book is. We see the results of earth’s decision to hide from their own mistakes and a very real reality that could come of it.

I think Cox’s take on the apocalypse is a lot more real than other authors. He doesn’t take some idea of zombies being real, meteors hitting earth, or some AI robot rising up. Instead it’s something simple and very possible, but it’s also a book that makes you look at some of your own life choices.


Is Too Fast A Bad Thing in Books?

I’ve come to realize that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to reading books. I always want more.

When it comes to a short story, I realize that the point is to give you just enough to get you hooked and you fill in the rest.

But when it comes to a full book, there should be more than just the story.

Or at least that’s how I feel.

I’m always wanting the characters to be explored more in-depth. Always wanting more reactions, more supporting information, more slow burning enjoyment.

I found that The Girl Who Found the Sun was missing in this department, and that is its one flaw to me. It seemed like everything was in the book entirely to be a part of the story. There were basically no moments of supporting information to help immerse you in the world more.

I still think Cox did a great job of giving us the information on his world, telling us the history and the mystery. I only think that there could have been more to make the story more immersive.


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The Mind of a Child

There is a lot that I could say about Cox’s skills. He is a great writer, and he got me hooked on this story in the first few chapters.

One thing I think he did that was exceptionally beautifully though, is give us the mind of a child.

The protagonist’s daughter is one of the characters we get to see the most, and though she is a bit too smart for a regular 6 year-old, she is one of the best parts of the entire book.

She adds a sense of fear, wonder, and she slows down the main protagonist. Without her, Raven’s story would be a lot more fast-paced. She would have no sense of fear to hold her back. She wouldn’t have to worry about abandoning her kid if she didn’t have one.

Exploring a six-year-olds mind watching her shape the story was something I haven’t really enjoyed in movies or books, but in this case I think it was a brilliant way to keep the story in line and not have it go off the rails.


Final Thoughts

The Girl Who Found the Sun was a lot of fun to read. There was never a time where I was bored or uninterested, and there were plenty of moments where I had to keep reading to know what was going to happen next.

It’s a fast-paced adventure that has mystery an drama, and you’ll be happy you decided to read it!


If you’ve read or want to read The Girl Who Found the Sun, let me know in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Ultimate Blog Tour: The Die of Death

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Title: The Die of Death (The Great Devil War II)
Author: Kenneth B. Andersen
Rating: ★★★★☆

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.

Hello my dear readers, it is finally my stop on The Ultimate Blog Tour! For this tour, a bunch of us bloggers took a look at Book 2 in The Great Devil War series by Kenneth B. Andersen.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first book, and immediately jumped at the opportunity to read the second book.

Before I begin, I just want to let you know that I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Shall we get going?


The Character of Phillip

Phillip comes off a bit juvenile in this book, maybe even a little more so than he did in the first one. I’m hit and miss on this aspect.

On one hand, it’s nice seeing a kid be a kid and have an innocent point of view. On the other hand, it almost seems fake, because that’s now what kids are like any more.

Though he seemed a bit predictable at times, I didn’t think any of his actions were too obvious that it ruined the book for me

I think Phillip knocked Satina out of the spotlight a bit, which isn’t necessarily bad, but she was one of the things I enjoyed about the series so far, and I wanted to see her a bit more this book.


The Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding is something that I look for in books. It is one of the things that can easily turn me on or off to a book.

Andersen does a good job at worldbuilding, in my opinion. I think he did a great job in the first book, and kept that going in this book.

Though we are already somewhat familiar with Phillip’s world, we got a bit of a peak behind the curtains to Purgatory and Heaven in this book.


YA Category

Though I would consider this book Young Adult, it definitely is nearer middle years. Yes, it is a bit dark, but it comes off very child-like to me. If the dark aspect of the book wasn’t present, I think this book would definitely be middle years.

I don’t read a lot of YA these days, but I pick one up now and then, and it’s refreshing. They’re usually simple reads with interesting premises, so I enjoy exploring their pages.

This was definitely true for The Die of Death. It was a lot of fun diving deeper into the world that I enjoyed so much in the first book.


Slow and Steady Doesn’t Win the Race

Anderson’s pacing is one of his strengths when it comes to his writing. He seems to have mastered the pacing of the books in the series, knowing exactly when to press on the gas, and when to ease up just a little bit.

He makes it feel a bit stressful. Like there’s always something happening, and that the stakes are high.

This helps add to the connections you feel with the characters. You feel like they’ve achieved something, like they’ve failed or succeeded in their goals.


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If you do a little digging, it won’t be hard to find a bunch of other bloggers with reviews out there of this book. It was a lot of fun to read, and I can’t wait till I can get to book 3!

Let’s talk about The Die of Death in the comments, or on the social media!
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