Tagged: Thriller

Three Dark Crowns – Review

About the book:

New York Times Bestseller * New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 Kirkus Best Book of the Year

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. And don’t miss the highly anticipated sequel, One Dark Throne!

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

Be sure to catch the stunning sequel to this New York Times bestseller, One Dark Throne.

About the Author:

Kendare Blake grew up in the small city of Cambridge, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York and received a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in London, England. She loves to travel, is an advocate for animals, and cheats a lot when she plays Final Fantasy. Adopted from South Korea at the age of seven months, she arrived with the following instruction: “Feed her chocolate.” Though not medically advisable, she and her parents are eternally grateful for this advice.

Kendare is the author of six novels: the contemporary SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, YA horror duo ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (2011 NPR Top 5, Kirkus Top Ten), and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES (2012 Kirkus Reviews Top Ten), and the Goddess War trilogy (ANTIGODDESS, MORTAL GODS, UNGODLY). 

Coming in September 2016: THREE DARK CROWNS, the first book in a fantasy series about warring triplet queens.

Sam’s Review

Hey, everyone, I hope your week has been going wonderfully, and our review will be about Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. On the island of Fennbirn, three queens are born, as is tradition. Each of then have a special gift: a naturalist, able to control the earth, a poisoner, able to withstand the harshest of poisons, and the elementalist, able to summon storms. Three queens, taken apart at six years old, and expected to kill each other for the crown. Sounds a little harsh, right? Well, one queen, the elementalist Mirabella, in the latest generation, refuses to kill her sisters, and hopes to bring peace to the three of them. Boy is she wrong. When Arsinoe, the proclaimed naturalist and trained to be cautious, takes Mirabella’s visit the wrong way, and her friend Jules loses control over Arsinoe’s fake familiar, hurting many at the start of the Ascension year, the year when the queens hunt each other, Mirabella and the poisoner queen, Katherine are both mislead about Arsinoe’s intentions.

Read the book to find out what is to come of the sisters. As the first book in a series, it will leave you begging for more. Luckily the second book is out, however we’ll be doing that book, next week. It gets two thumbs up and five stars for the amazing characters, really amazing places, and the airs of treachery and secrets, and I hope that you enjoy it too.Please subscribe, check out the little floaty link to the bookstore that’s to the right of my head, like, and enable notifications. I’ll see you next Friday! Bye!

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Other Reviews in this series:

One Dark Throne (book 2) coming soon

The Mussorgsky Riddle – Review

Twitter for Mussorgsky

About the book:

Genre: supernatural thriller

Series: Fugue & Fable #1

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release: January 12, 2015

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn

Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Psychic Mira Tejedor possesses unique talents that enable her to find anything and anyone, but now she must find a comatose boy wandering lost inside the labyrinth of his own mind. Thirteen-year-old Anthony Faircloth hasn’t spoken a word in almost a month and with each passing day, his near catatonic state worsens. No doctor, test, or scan can tell Anthony’s distraught mother what has happened to her already troubled son. In desperation, she turns to Mira for answers, hoping her unique abilities might succeed where science has failed.

cover art for Mussorgsky Reiddle



At their first encounter, Mira is pulled into Anthony’s mind and finds the child’s psyche shattered into the various movements of Modest Mussorgsky’s classical music suite, Pictures at an Exhibition. As she navigates this magical dreamscape drawn from Anthony’s twin loves of Russian composers and classical mythology, Mira must contend with gnomes, troubadours, and witches in her search for the truth behind Anthony’s mysterious malady.

The real world, however, holds its own dangers. The onset of Anthony’s condition coincides with the disappearance of his older brother’s girlfriend, a missing persons case that threatens to tear the city apart. Mira discovers that in order to save Anthony, she will have to catch a murderer who will stop at nothing to keep the secrets contained in Anthony’s unique mind from ever seeing the light.

About the Author:

Darrin Kennedy

Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq.

His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves–classical music and world mythology– and is slated for publication by Curiosity Quills Press on 12 Jan 2015. He is currently hard at work on his next novel.

His short stories can be found in various publications, many of which are available through Amazon, and most of which have been collected in his two short story compilations – Necromancer for Hire: The April Sullivan Chronicles & The Sicilian Defense and Other Dark Tales – also available on Amazon.

Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion.

He is represented by Stacey Donaghy at Donaghy Literary Group.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Jenn’s Review:

Admittedly, this book took longer to read than I anticipated – but not because it lacked the usual attention-pulling elements.

I generally try to stay away from murder mysteries. They tend to leave me feeling disturbed at best, anxious and overwhelmed at worst. I dove into this series, however, because of two elements: The paranomal/psychic and the classical composer element.

This mystery is less about the murder of a teenage girl, and is far more about the psychic’s journey through herself as she tries to help a young boy unlock his mental prison that he’s exiled himself to as a measure of coping with emotional trauma. 

Larger than the mystery of the missing girl, is the mystery of why young Anthony mentally locked himself up and how Mira can so easily walk in his mental-scape.

This book sucks the reader in, both with the unusual use of clairalliance by Mira (clairalliance being a gathering of psychic knowing through scent) and the trip through Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. 

This story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger by any means, (other than some romantic prospects that are secondary to the main plot), but I just finished the book and had to race out to my laptop to write the review, so I could start on book 2 of the series, The Stravinsky Intrigue.

For an added twist, listen to the classical piece that serves as Mira’s guide through Anthony’s mind. It serves as an excellent backdrop to the vivid imagery that Kennedy supplies in his writing.

Definitely a meandering, suspenseful read worth its weight in time.

Sam’s Review:

The Mussorgsky Riddle by Darin Kennedy was very interesting and captivating. Mira, the heroin, was very brave, and she’s a physic who’s desperate to help a young boy by the name of Anthony, who is nearly comatose. When she enters his mind, she learns that he knows who killed his brother’s ex.

Very powerful and very good, The Mussorgsky Riddle will draw you in, if you don’t mind being in a messed up dreamscape, that is. If you don’t mind that, but rather enjoy it, it’ll please you to the very end.

Some of the things that I didn’t like was how it was confusing at times. Moments like those were very little, but still. Baba Yaga was a very interesting character, and an unexpected plot twist happened near the end. I guess that that’s the whole point of a plot twist.

Buy the book:

This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

The Stravinsky Intrigue (Review coming soon)

The Tchaicovsky Finale (Review coming soon)

The Stravinsky Intrigue – Review

Sam's Teen Read Corner review of The Stravinsky Intrigue by Darrin Kennedy

About this book:

Nine months have passed since psychic Mira Tejedor last walked the halls of Anthony Faircloth’s adolescent mind. All but family now, Mira is relocating to Charlotte, NC, not only for a much-needed change of scenery, but to further her burgeoning relationship with Dr. Thomas Archer. On the eve of her move, however, a new threat emerges.

Young girls from every corner of Charlotte are falling catatonic, a condition eerily similar to the illness from which Mira rescued Anthony the previous fall. Mira reluctantly agrees to help Detective Calvin Sterling with the case and soon finds herself pulled into a new pair of fantasy worlds, both borne from the brilliant mind of Igor Stravinsky.

In the world of The Firebird, Mira becomes the warrior Ivanovna and battles an immortal evil threatening to steal the girls’ souls for all eternity. In the Russian fair from Petrushka, she assumes the role of Ballerina, one of three magical puppets who dance at the whim of a cruel Charlatan. Torn between Moor and Clown, bizarre doppelgangers of the two vastly different men in her life, and threatened at every turn by a sorcerer who craves her very essence, Mira must navigate the cruel deceptions of both worlds and win, or her life and the lives of a dozen innocents will be forfeit.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Darrin Kennedy's paranormal suspense novel "The Stravinsky Intrigue"

About the author:

Darrin Kennedy - Author of the Fugue and Fable series

Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq. His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. His short stories can be found in various publications and he is currently hard at work on his next novel. Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion.

Sam’s Review:

The Stravinsky Intrigue by Darin Kennedy is the sequel to The Mussorgsky Riddle, and it doesn’t disappoint this reader of the series. Mira is back on the case once more as she tries to find the one who the six comatose girls in the hospital. Taking more trips into the Exhibition, she discovering that instead of having all of her old friends, she’s caught in The Firebird, The Rite of Spring and Petrushka.

Once more, this book was incredible and fun to read, and there weren’t as many confusing moments in it, which is great. And just so you know, Mira won’t be the the main character in the next book. Sorry.

**Jenn’s note: This isn’t classified as middle grade or young adult. Since there isn’t much bad language or graphic violence in book 1, I let Sam tackle this series when she asked, because she is pretty good at knowing her own limits when it comes to lit. 

Buy the book: 

 This book is available from Amazon in paperback, audiobook and Kindle formats here. [Affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

The Mussorgsky Riddle (Book 1)

The Tchaikovsky Finale (Book 3)

It Ends With Her – Review

Thrice Read Books review of It Ends With Her by Brianna Labuskes

About this book:

Published by Thomas & Mercer May 1, 2018

An Amazon Charts bestseller.

He started the game. She’ll end it.

FBI special agent Clarke Sinclair doesn’t give up easily. She’s spent years tracking serial killer Simon Cross, forced to follow his twisted clues and photographs across the country. Clarke knows that Cross selects only redheaded women and that he doesn’t target another victim until Clarke discovers the previous one.

He’s never broken pattern…until now.

A girl has already gone missing in upstate New York when a second one is kidnapped—a blonde. The killer’s MO has changed, sending Clarke back to the drawing board. The closer she gets to the truth, the deeper she’s drawn into an inescapable trap made just for Clarke. Whatever Cross’s ultimate game is, it ends with her.

About the author:

Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Brianna Labuskes graduated from Penn State University with a degree in journalism. For the past eight years, she has worked as an editor at both small-town papers and national media organizations such as Politico and Kaiser Health News, covering politics and policy. Her historical romance novel, One Step Behind, was released by Entangled Publishing. She lives in Washington, DC, and enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, and exploring the city’s best brunch options. Visit her at www.briannalabuskes.com.

Brian’s Review:

Hello all, it’s another special guest review by Brian.  Today’s book, It Ends With Her was a really good read. Although it was listed as a thriller, I myself didn’t get the whole thriller vibe from it. To me it was more a drama.  Although the story was good, the constant whining from the main character got a bit over the top. Otherwise the story flowed nicely, and you really wanted to know how it ended.  A good crime drama.

Thrice Read Books book review of Brianna Labuskes suspense/thriller novel "It Ends With Her"

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook and MP3 CD here. [affiliate link]

The Maze Runner – Book Review

To purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the book:

“When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

The Maze Runner and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials are now major motion pictures featuring the star of MTV’s Teen Wolf, Dylan O’Brien; Kaya Scodelario; Aml Ameen; Will Poulter; and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. The third movie, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, will hit screens in 2018.” (From Amazon.com product listing)

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to the Maze Runner Trilogy.  Though there is a prequel I strongly suggest starting with this book. To read the prequel will ruin the biggest surprise in this book.  If you saw the movie, please don’t judge the book by it.  The book is better than the movie in my opinion. Great book for middle school to high school reading and a great book to use for book reports.  If you like Hunger Games, then you will surely like Maze Runner.

This book is also available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and Audio CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle – Book Review

About the story:

Jules has done something very, very wrong for all the right reasons. And now, she and her 3 siblings are on the run, trying to stay out of the clutches of her hateful step-mother. 

As if things aren’t complicated enough, Jules has caught the attention of one hot, surly regular at the diner she works at. Being noticed by anyone is risky for Jules and her family, but this is so much worse because Theo, and the co-workers he comes into the diner with daily… Are cops.

Theo knows something’s off about the petite, jumpy new waitress at the diner. His fellow officers know something’s off about her, too. But the more he tries to stay away from her, the more Theo finds himself drawn to her. He has his own problems to deal with, as well as a new K9 partner that is as emotionally damaged as he is, but in the presence of Jules and her siblings, both seem to come back to life.

Review: 

Ms. Ruggle has written a witty, touching and suspenseful romance that builds to a steamy climax with some shocking twists and turns in this third book in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series. Romantic suspense fans will definitely want to tune into this hot romance to find out what happens between Jules and Theo.

Buy the book:

This book is available at Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, audio CD and Mass Market Paperback here. [affiliate link]

Jenn Bradshaw is a creatrix, blogger and romance writer when she isn’t homeschooling her 12-year old daughter. Her blog, and creations may be found at www.sagewolfsong.com.

Kinglet – Book Review

About the book:

Kristan Gemeta has lost everything:  his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.

In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet.  As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.

But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go.  As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession. 

With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna.  He could regain his birthright and his honor.  But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.

Jenn’s Book Review:

Back to the fantasy genre with Book One of the Gemeta Stone series, Kinglet. I read the first two of these books backwards, and though I reviewed Fiskur first, I highly recommend starting with Kinglet (go figure… read a series in order – What a novel concept!).

Ms. Migliaccio’s debut novel for this series lays the foundation of a beautifully developed fantasy world filled with magic, mystery, bitterness and revenge slowly played out. We meet Fandrall’s heir-apparent, Kristan Gemeta as a shy, kind prince, doing his best to live up to his dying mother’s request. While Kristan isn’t as big and brawny, or as outspoken, as his father might like, he is cunning and quick.

Kristan’s father is betrayed by a former ally who’s sold his soul (and his morals) for want of an heir, setting in motion the events of the Gemeta Stone series. In nearby Hogia, Gemeta’s betrayer finds himself without heir or kingdom, and Daazna, the “devil” who’s usurped his throne, has a bitter grudge against Kristan’s family line, and cares little for the power he has in Hogia, leaving the kingdom in dispair and ruin.

Hogia still has hope in the form of a small band of rebels that find themselves fleeing for their lives, bound straight for their destined encounter with the exiled Kristan.

Lest I give away spoilers, I’ll leave you hanging there…

Ms. Migliaccio weaves a beautifully crafted fantasy tale of revenge and enemies, old allies and new-found friends, hate and burgeoning love in this series’ first book. Deep, well-developed characters, magic and myth, and cultures both familiar and new come to life in the pages of this novel.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger teens or those that tend towards squeamish about violence. Kinglet does have a number of battle scenes, and while Ms. Migliaccio is concise about her descriptions in Kinglet, I found that they were slightly longer in book 1 than they were in Fiskur, and more detailed. (Though, I feel it’s also fair to note that they are not unnecessarily long or overly graphic – they are what I would consider to be believable in nature.)

Book three is due out in February, 2018, and you can be certain that I’ll be on the blogtour once it’s released. In the meantime, catch up on Kinglet and Fiskur, and get ready for book three, Stoneking.

Buy the Book:

This book is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon here

Other Books in the Series:

Fiskur (book 2)

Stoneking (book 3)

Ragis (Book 4)

This blog post contains Amazon Affiliate links. This means that TRB receives a small percentage of your final order total, at no extra cost to you. The revenue generated from affiliate links helps us cover our costs, and keeps Thrice Read Books ad-free. Thank you for your support!

Triple Cross Killer – Book Promo

Triple Cross Killer   By Rosemarie Aquilina

Fiery Seas Publishing   December 5, 2017   

Thriller

cover art for Triple cross killer

Have you ever wondered what really happens to Santa Claus letters?  In Detroit and Sarasota some children’s letters are diverted and reviewed by Nick Archer, a religiously obsessed, narcissist. Nick responds, leaving a trail of devastation in the two cities.

In Detroit, co-ed partners and wise-cracking lovers, detectives Jaq McSween and David Maxwell, team up with Sarasota detectives Abel Mendoza and his partner, Rabbit, to find this daunting killer.

When Jaq’s friend, the lovely nurse, Rita Rose, takes a chance on love again, she gets caught in Nick’s web. Working with the ME, she joins in, adding her perspective when events take a sinister turn.  

Can this diverse team of characters pool their insights, barbs, and taste for bad food to save Rita when she discovers the final clues or will she become the next victim?

Buy the Book:

Amazon [affiliate link]     Kobo     iTunes     Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Rosemarie Aquilina is the mother of five children. Elected as a 30th Circuit Court Judge serving in the General Trial Division, after having served as a 55th District Court Judge in Mason, Michigan, she takes pride in public serve. 

In 1986, Judge Aquilina became the first female JAG Officer in the history of the Michigan Army National Guard, she retired in 2006 with twenty years Honorable Service.  She is an adjunct law professor at both Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law and has earned teaching awards at both institutions. Judge Aquilina is the former owner of Aquilina Law Firm, PLC, and former host of a syndicated radio talk show called Ask the Family Lawyer. 

Find her on social media:

Facebook     Twitter

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Book Review

Brian’s Review:

In this final book you’ll find yourself cheering and rooting for Salander.  You’ll experience the rush as things fall into place and the fear that perhaps it won’t go as planned.  If you have read the first two books, there is no way you’ll want to leave the story unfinished.  A must read. If you haven’t read the first two books, I strongly suggest you do.

The Book:

Lisbeth Salander- the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels- lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital.  She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders.  With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence.  And, on her own, she will plot revenge- against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

     Once upon a time she was a victim.  Now Salander is fighting back. (From inside the cover of book.)

Thrice Read Books has this used book in stock. You can purchase a copy here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon as hardcover, Kindle, paperback, audiobook or Mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

The Butterfly Garden – Book Review

About the book:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Jenn’s Review:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (contains affiliate link)

Okay, I am generally not one for psychological thrillers, but this one had me hooked from the go. “Maya” is one of several young women (girls? They’re all between 16 and 20, with one exception) who have been rescued from a serial abductor’s clutches, but she isn’t exactly forthcoming with the information the FBI needs to wrap up the investigation.

Instead, Maya takes readers, and her FBI interrogators, on a roundabout meander through the garden prison and the lives and deaths of her fellow “Butterflies” that have been her life for the last 2 years.

An amazingly spun tale of intrigue, broken lives, psychopaths and the deep inner strength that defines survivors of trauma. If you enjoy thrillers, don’t miss this wonderfully written story told in three parts.

**Warning: While most of the scenes are glossed over, there are a couple of dicey places that could trigger those with their own childhood sexual traumas, or those who are sensitive to violence.

Buy the book:

This book is available through Amazon as a Kindle, paperback, hardback, audio CD or MP3 CD here. [affiliate link]