Tagged: Fiction

Needful Things – Book Review

About the book:

Leland Gaunt is a stranger in Castle Rock–and he calls his new shop Needful Things, where there is something for everyone. Mr. Gaunt takes pleasure in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires, and he knows that almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul. (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review:

Needful Things is another masterful work from Stephen King. It will have you scratching your head and on the edge of your seat as you read.  It may not keep you up at night with nightmares, but it sure will hook you as a Stephen King reader.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a used hardback edition available here.

You can also purchase this in Kindle, hardcover, paperback and audible editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Black Beauty – Book Review

About the book:

Black Beauty teaches everyone he meets the true meaning of courage and loyalty. From escaping a burning barn to saving the life of his owner, every day is full of adventure. But he longs for a family to love him for the gentle horse he is. Will he ever find the perfect home?

Hear Black Beauty read by Jonathan Keeble, who appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

With the included audio you can HEAR the entire book, word for word, READ ALONG with the audio, or READ the story on your own. 

Each HEAR IT READ IT classic presents the world’s greatest stories in an easy-to-read abridged format. The included audio contains a dramatic reading-with music and sound effects-that match the text, word for word, so children of all ages and reading levels can read along. 

Perfect for high-level young readers experiencing the classics for the first time and also ideally accessible for “reluctant readers,” HEAR IT READ IT classics give young readers the best possible introduction to the world’s timeless tales. It’s a terrific way for adults to re-experience the thrills of a classic tale, too!

Jenn’s Review:

Anna Sewell’s classic tale of the life of a Victorian era horse highlights social issues that were prevalent at the time, as well as issues of animal welfare that still go on today. Suitable as guided reading for children as young as 6, there are some scenes alluding to class differences and animal abuse.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in hardcover edition here. [affiliate link]

Beast – Book Review

About the book:

I thought I was no good.

I thought I was a monster.

But in the end, her love was what I needed to redeem me, to save my blackened soul.

I let her slip through my fingers but, I still need her. 

Will my ugly, twisted love be enough to win her back?

Hurt and dejected, Jasmine wants answers when she crosses paths with Liam nearly two years after their unforgettable one-night stand. But Liam’s walls are up and his heart is closed. That is, until another man enters the picture and threatens to steal Jasmine away forever. 

Now, Liam must decide – will he stand by and watch Jasmine fall for someone else or will he fight for the love he doesn’t even think he deserves?

Jenn’s Review:

Beast is a creative, modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, right down to the heroine of the story running away (or trying to). Jasmine is extremely attracted to her former one-night-stand turned managing partner of the law firm she works for, but Liam pushes her away, convinced that he doesn’t deserve her, is unworthy of her, is too ugly to have someone so beautiful in his life. To further complicate the situation, enter “Chess,” wealthy, handsome presidential candidate who wants Jasmine to be his, wants her to be his First Lady; yet something seems off about Chess, both to Jasmine and to Liam.

Well developed characters and a driving plot kept me turning pages to get through this book; had me cheering for both Jasmine and Liam, as well as giving me a few moments of wanting to shake them both to make them stop being dorks. Definitely worthwhile reading for lovers of romance.

Buy the Book:

You can buy this title from Amazon in Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

Catching Fire – Book Review

Brian & Sam review Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book 2) on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. (From Amazon.com product listing)

Brian’s Review:

Book 2 to the Hunger Games trilogy, and this book is no disappointment.  Collins continues to build on her great characters and entraps your mind with them.  Again I can say if you love the movies you’ll love the books.  This is a series you will not want to put down.  I don’t recommend trying to read these books one at a time, as while you wait for the next you’ll be chewing your nails.  Just better to get them all and enjoy them as one.

Thrice Read Books reviews of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games book 2), reviewed by Brian and Sam

Sam’s Review:

The second installment in the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins doesn’t disappoint this reader, being equally good as the first. The title is Catching Fire.

Katniss and Peeta have been chosen for the Games yet again, and they have possibly started an uprising. President Snow is after Katniss, which makes this a whole lot more fun. Not! I feel really bad for Katniss.

This book was extremely fun, just like the last one, but i was slightly confused in the beginning because it just launched right into the story. Don’t worry though, everything was explained over time, which is good.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audio CD and Audible here. [affiliate link]

The Hunger Games – Book Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games

About the book:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Contains Affiliate Link)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. 

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  If you haven’t heard of the Hunger Games, I have to wonder what rock you live under.  The books are excellent. If you have seen the movies but not read the books you are in for a treat.  The movies were great, the books are even better.  Learn to love the characters in a way the movies can’t do.  Great for upper Jr. High students and above.

Sam’s Review (Added 5-22-18):

The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is a dystopian novel made for young adult. It is large print and is 374 pages long. The link to this book on Thrice Read Books is in  the description below.

Katniss’s sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, a game where there can only be one surviving winner. In a desperate act to save her sister, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Together with the other tribute, Peeta, her, ugh, fake love interest, she is forced to face the hardest challenge she’s ever encountered.

I loved this book, and, in order to understand some of what went on a little better, I took breaks and imagined myself in her position. That and I have Hunger Games music. That makes the experience so much better.

In the dislike section, well, let’s just say that I didn’t find any, which is good ‘cause I’ve got two more books in the series. This’ll be fun!

Sam and Brian review The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (YA Dystopian Fiction) on Thrice Read Books blog

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has 1 paperback copy for sale here.

This book is available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audible and mass market paperback from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Book Review

About the book:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Contains Affiliate Link)

The Industrialist

Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.

The Journalist

Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers’ past to uncover the truth behind the unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.

The girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.  (From back cover of book)

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  I highly recommend reading this book before you endeavor on seeing the film.  Filled with twists suspense action and all out making you cheer for the underdog, the Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo will have you cheering and fearing page after page.  Word of warning, once you open this book you will not want to stop reading until you have read all 3 books in the series.  If you love books, if you love words, you love justice, then you undoubtedly love this book.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this title from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook and mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Bound to Blackwood – Book Review

About the book:

Would you surrender your soul for the love of the King?

Lena, a vampire and a Guardian of the Order, has been honour-bound to protect human souls all her life.  Acting first and thinking second is what’s saved her skin time and again in the war against the Fallen, but her disregard for orders soon catches up with her when her boss is seriously injured.  Forced to take responsibility for her actions, Lena is thrust into the path of her very own kryptonite; Thorn.  The raw power of his soul calls to her and his mere presence lights a fire within her that she cannot contain.        

With Vampire magic waning and the race in crisis, can either of them afford to ignore Nature’s call? If they do, the future of the race is in jeopardy. If they don’t, they will both lose the most precious part of themselves. Their souls. 

Jenn’s Review:

I gave this book 4 stars on the Amazon website. There is some sexual content, adult language and violence. A funny and engaging novel about a Vampire clan in an age where vampires are in decline; sly subplots to foreshadow coming stories, and a romp through the country side as a vampire king and his elite guard try to solve a centuries old mystery (spoiler alert: it is fairly easy to solve the mystery early on, if you’re watching for the clues, but it’s still fun to see how they get from mystery to solution).

Buy the book:

This book is available at Amazon in Kindle or paperback here. [affiliate link]

Canticle – Book Review

About the Book:

Canticle by R.A. Salvatore (Contains Affiliate Link)

A classic adventure from the creator of Drizzt!

“High in the Snowflake Mountains sits the Edificant Library, a place of scholarly study for priests, bards, and others. Now from the hidden vaults beneath the library a devastating curse is unleashed, and a young cleric must battle the terrifying creatures set loose by a malevolent, consuming essence that’s been released, before his own brethren turn against him. Cadderly must put his studies to the test and enter the catacombs far below to save his brothers and himself.” (From Amazon.com Listing)

Brian’s Review:

This book flow nicely, and you meet some of the more fun characters in Salvatore’s earlier books.  You can easily start this book without any knowledge of Salvatore’s other books, even though some characters are the same.  This is Book of the Cleric Quintet series and not linked to the Drizzt books.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You may also buy this title at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, library binding, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Interview with Gabriele Russo – Author of INCOHERENT GODS

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Thrice Read Books presents an author interview with Gabriele Russo, author of the GODS, INC. series, and recent release, INCOHERENT GODS

Our guest this week is no stranger to the Thrice Read blog. Sam reviewed her first two novels in previous posts, and this week, we have the pleasure of hosting a promotional post for her newest release in the series. Today, we’d like to welcome Gabriele Russo to our blog!

Thrice Read Books presents an author interview with Gabriele Russo, author of the GODS, INC. series, and recent release, INCOHERENT GODS

Jenn: Welcome, Gabriele. Before we really dive into the books, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Gabriele: Yes, anything in particular that you would like to know?

Jenn: I gather from your name and where you went to university, that you have a rich cultural background, and that life has brought you a long way from where you started out.
Gabriele: I was born in Québec City, and I now live in Virginia, which is not that far, but not exactly where I thought I’d end up. I love it though – at least it’s warmer. I did live in Europe for a few years (my mother was German and so I still have family there), and South America, in Paraguay, for a bit.

Jenn: So, you’ve really been all over the world. What a fantastic experience! Have you always wanted to be an author? Or did you discover writing more by accident?
Gabriele: I did try writing a few times before these novels, but it never quite meshed… I never finished anything, anyhow. Then I discovered Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, and I thought “This! This is what I want to write.” Something quirky, where I can have fun with words and dialog. And so, when my life changed, I sat down and tried to write. It worked, even if I still had ways to go into perfecting my craft.

Jenn: What advice would you offer to would-be authors?

Gabriele: First, I guess I would tell them to be certain that’s what they want to do. It can be heartbreaking at times. You need a thick skin. Then I would advise them to take classes, maybe not as I did, but at least a few – and most importantly to verify the credentials of the person giving the class. Which brings me to my third item of advice: to be very careful. The world of publishing is now filled with scammers.

Jenn: Indeed. We see a lot of warnings to would-be authors and published authors seeking homes for their new work.
Alright… On to the good stuff. Book Three in the Gods, Inc. series comes out in just a few weeks. I know that Sam reviewed the first two books in the Gods, Inc. series, but could you summarize the series up to book 3 for our readers?

Gabriele: The series takes place in a world where the ancient mythological gods live alongside humans. They now mostly work at Gods, Incorporated, a huge multinational that polices the interactions between mortals and immortals, which is led by its CEO, Queen Louhi Pohjola, a mortal demigoddess turned vampire on a diet.

Jenn: A dieting vampire?

Gabriele: She doesn’t drink human blood, or at least tries not too. In the first book, Goblin, a bitter goblin with childhood issues takes over the company, to then take over the world and turn it into hell. In the second book, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist group has found a way to kill gods.

Jenn: The series plot sounds complex.

Gabriele: The thing to remember is that all the novels are independent stories. The third one is even more to the side. It takes place in the Gods, Inc. zoo, and pits Louhi and the gods against an old evil witch that doesn’t actually want to take over the world, just destroy it.

Jenn: Right.  How would you classify this series? I’m getting a Young Adult/Paranormal vibe here. Maybe with a dash of fantasy?

Gabriele: It is not Young Adult, that’s for sure. There are almost no characters younger than thirty, and most are centuries old. Paranormal certainly. Fantasy, of course – other dimensions, magic being omnipresent… And if you take the official definition of naturalizing the supernatural, that fits too. This mixed with a humor that is also probably not very juvenile, more social satire.
In fact, this third novel is the first one with a young character.

Jenn: Speaking of book 3, Now sounds like a great time to talk about that.

Gabriele: The story revolves around Hercules, Jupiter’s great-great-great-…-great-grandson. He’s the manager of the zoo, and lately, his charges (mostly immortal animals or gods in animal shape) have been going insane. When Louhi (accompanied by Jupiter, her fiancé Ba’al, and bodyguard Andrew) goes for her yearly visit, he tries to hide this from her but fails – let’s not forget to mention that he has a huge crush on her. When they investigate the matter, they realize that this plague of insanity is not natural and that the real target is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if Yggdrasil loses coherence, then so will the fabric of reality – meaning that there will be no more way to move between the planes of existence: the dead will be stuck on earth, souls meant to reincarnate won’t be able to come back, etc… All this because the evil witch Chiloe doesn’t want to go to hell, which she knows she richly deserves (she is quite the unapologetic villain).

Jenn: LoL… You have to love a villain who’s fully vested in her destruction!
As we draw closer to the end of our time, is there anything else readers should know before they embark on this witty, satirical, mythological journey that is Gods, Inc.?

Gabriele: I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers by inadvertence. Maybe just that I hope my books bring a little joy to them in these turbulent times.

Jenn: That’s a valid purpose to any book!
How can readers connect with you on social media, or follow you on a website or newsletter?

Gabriele: They can follow me on Twitter or on my facebook page. My website also has a contact form and quite a few links to articles and interviews.

Twitter     Facebook     Website

Jenn: Awesome! Thank you so much for sitting down with us and sharing about your upcoming release. We wish you all the best for your launch.

Gabriele: Thank you very much for having me. 

Thrice Read Books presents an author interview with Gabriele Russo, author of the GODS, INC. series, and recent release, INCOHERENT GODS

Buy the Book: 

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE     AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     KOBO

Related blog posts: 

Sam’s review of Incompetent Gods

Sam’s review of Inclement Gods

Incoherent Gods – Promo and Excerpt

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

About the Book

Incoherent Gods, Gabriele Russo (GODS, INC.)

Adult, Fantasy, 276 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC (November 13, 2018)

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Hercules, guardian of the Lemuria Zoo, has a big problem: the Zoo’s divine animals have been going crazy. To make things worse, Queen Louhi, the CEO of Gods Incorporated, has just arrived for her yearly visit… with a new fiancé in tow (along with his yenta-minded grandfather Jupiter). Of course, the fact that Hercules is desperately in love with her doesn’t help his plight in any way whatsoever.

His attempt to cover up the situation quickly blows up in his face and they finally realize the animals’ madness is caused by artificial means. Cue in the bodiless god Mimir, who reveals that the real target of the mind-altering poison is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if the Tree loses its cohesion, then so will the barriers between the worlds, crumbling the foundations of reality. Who in gods’ names could be crazy enough to want to do something like that?

About the Author

Gabriele Russo

 Gabriele Russo was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors. 

Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. 

That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.

She now lives with her husband in Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, teaching French and Creative Writing, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.SOCIAL MEDIAWebsiteFacebookTwitter

Excerpt (Reprinted with Author & Publisher permission)

MIND OVER MATTER (reprinted with special character)

IÞs eye!

The pain!

IÞ’d never felt such pain!

How was it even possible? No one knew about the eyes except IÞs guardians.

Had one of them betrayed the secret?

Told it to that presence felt earlier?

Had IÞ felt a presence earlier?

Yes. Yes, IÞ had. IÞ was… almost certain IÞ hadn’t imagined it. So, which guardian? Ratatosk?

Yggdrasil threw the squirrel off. Foolish squirrel, always squirreling around.

Someone pulled at the syringes.

Pain seared through the eye. Sap leaked out, life seeped out.

Nephtys! Why was she hurting IÞ?

And Loki and the Monkey, not doing anything.

Who did they all think they were anyway? As if they could just replace IÞs usual guardians…

Yggdrasil waved a few branches around, perhaps IÞ could hit Nephtys, even pierce her with a tendril.

Damn! She was getting away.

Too bad Loki had gotten off IÞs roots, IÞ could have swallowed him whole, and the Monkey too.

Now they were all standing out of reach, looking at IÞ. Always looking at IÞ.

What about the guardians on the other planes? Could they be complicit?

Yggdrasil lashed out at them, but they were too quick to get out of the way. IÞ barely managed to slash at Heidrun’s side, pierce one of Sinmora’s eyes and nick Pegasus’s wing.

They must have been warned! Proof!

All were involved, responsible for this suffering!

IÞ would exact vengeance!

Despite the atrocious pain, the idea of retaliation brought

Yggdrasil a measure of happiness.

They would pay dearly.

And the best way to get revenge was to die.

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Jupiter stood with the others, watching Yggdrasil trash about with dismay. He’d seen Louhi approach; he’d tried to yell a warning. Stupid cone of silence.

Ratatosk was crying with big strident sobs. He didn’t seem hurt; was he feeling the Tree’s pain? Nephtys, back to human form, was holding out her hands in front of her and whispering with her eyes closed.

Was she conjuring something? She became transparent and some kind of mossy substance slowly took form in her hands. She was getting something.

With a final drooping shrug, the Tree finally stopped shaking.

Nephtys, solid once more, opened her eyes. “It’s a poultice made from the moss growing on the far side of the moon. It freezes the pain and heals wounds.”

“That’s great,” said Loki. “But how do we get it on him?”

“I’ll go,” said the Monkey.

He took the stuff from Nephtys’s hands and disappeared.

Reappeared on the far side of the clearing. Disappeared again. Reappeared outside the dome, and disappeared… Jupiter was getting dizzy.

Loki took him by the shoulder. “He’s confusing the Tree. Don’t look at him. He’s fast and wily; he’ll get it done.”

And suddenly, there he was, at the eye, putting on the poultice. The Tree reacted, but not fast enough. The monkey ran back to them, easily evading the thrashing branches.

There was a sigh that seemed to come from everywhere at once. Ratatosk stopped crying.

“So that’s the pain taken care of,” said Jupiter, “but what about the madness?”

As if to answer his question, one of Yggdrasil’s limbs shriveled before their eyes and fell to the ground with a tearing noise.

Another one began to shrivel. Ratatosk hopped as close as possible and started to sing. It went slower this time, but the result was the same: a dead, ashen piece of wood crumbling to the ground. Ratatosk closed his tearful eyes and kept on singing.

Nephtys turned to Jupiter. “I think you better go tell Mimir to hurry up with that antidote.”

Buy the Book

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTOREAMAZONBARNES & NOBLEKOBO 

Related posts: 

Sam’s Review of Incompetent Gods

Sam’s Review of Inclement Gods

Author Interview with Gabriele Russo