Since I read a lot more books than I have time to review here, I thought I’d do a group post. Especially after the last entry was rather down on a series that just didn’t get started for me, here’s some positivity for a change. Recently, I’ve been plowing through my list of free books. I usually get overenthusiastic when I see freebies and end up downloading a bunch of stuff I don’t really want to read. In many cases, I give it about 50 pages before deciding if I want to continue. The four books below all passed the 50-page test, and with such flying colors in fact, that I blew past the fateful page without realizing it. So, here they are, in no particular order:
Beautiful Demons: Peachville High Demons #1 – Sarra Cannon
This was a quick and enjoyable read. I’ll probably read the next in the series, at least. Very young adult oriented, it’s about Harper, a troubled teenager who lands in a small Georgia town after being kicked out of her eighth foster home. She knows she’s different, but in Peachville, it doesn’t take long before she realizes she’s not alone. The town appears to be run by a cabal of ex-cheerleaders- Harper knows something ain’t right when she realizes that the Sherriff is black, and the Mayor is Asian, both of them women. How likely is that in a small southern town?
Oh, and all of the town, er, mothers used to be Peachville High cheerleaders. The plot thickens, OMG! This story took some enjoyable twists and turns without ever being too creepy. It’s still free on B & N.
King of Swords-Russell Blake
I read this all in one sitting, and can’t wait to read the next one. (Although I’m forcing myself to put it off at least a few weeks while I manage the to-read list down a little further.) It’s a thriller set in the Mexican drug wars. Stars of the story are a charismatic hit man known as El Rey, since he leaves behind a Tarot King of Swords as his calling card. He’s pursued by a highly driven policeman with nothing to lose.
The prose was on the purples side, but it fit the luridly colorful world of corrupt Mexican politicians and sometimes gentlemanly gangsters. Pretty brutal- not for the faint of heart. If you enjoy fast-paced international thrillers, this one’s for you. Self-published and still free on B & N.
The Grave Gourmet (Capucine Culinary Series #1)- Alexander Campion
This was quite a change of pace. Capucine LeTellier is a Paris police officer married to a much older food critic. When a body is found in the walk-in fridge of a fancy Paris restaurant, Capucine gets her chance to work on a murder case instead of her usual boring financial investigations.
There’s a lot of food and French bureaucracy and chases in tiny French cars. Probably not as well-written as it could have been, but it kept my attention. The second in the series hasn’t made an appearance, so unless it falls into my lap, I probably won’t read it.
Cry for the Moon: The Last Werewolf Hunter- William Woodall
This was unexpected in a few ways. It looked like a young adult paranormal, and it is in the broadest sense, but most of the action of this book follows 12-year-old Zach running away from home and finding a family he can live with. I’m guessing the werewolf action happens in the next book. Zach leaves his family because he knows they want him to become a werewolf like the rest of them, and he doesn’t want to.
He runs off to Texas and finds and uncle he’s never met before. His uncle is understanding and loving and together they do their best to put Zach’s family out of their minds. This actually read more like a coming of age story, with a really authentic pre-teen voice. I was reminded of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, with its spare, realistic young male voice.
The other surprise was that this is a Christian book. It couldn’t be less heavy-handed, though. I was probably 2/3 of the way through before I realized it was going that way. Feeling the way I do about most Christian genre fiction, this is a high compliment. I’ll definitely be reading the next one, especially because Mr. Woodall kindly included the first few chapters of the next one, so I’m already hooked. Also self-published and also free at B & N.
I don’t think any of the above books took more than 3 hours to read. They all qualify as some good summertime escapism.