I've decided to start sharing some book reviews with you guys on a regular basis, since it stands to reason that if you like my books, you'll probably also like what I like to read. I'm going for batches of three. Why? I don't know, I just like the number three.
Every year I do a reading challenge, which last year and this year was set to 52 books. That's one a week, of course. Last year I finished early, in November, but this year I've fallen behind. Still, I have plenty of options lined up on both my physical and digital bookshelves!
Mortality Bites: Publisher's Pack (Books 1 and 2) by Ramy Vance
I quite enjoyed these two. Getting them as a pair was definitely a good idea as the first book ends on something of a cliffhanger, and I think I would have been hard pressed to forget about them and put it down. The story follows a teenage ex-vampire, Katrina, in a time when the Gods have all left us behind - taking her vampire powers with them.
She now has to figure out how to do something normal, like go to college, without tipping people off to the fact that she used to be immortal. And there's so much more, but I won't spoil it here.
I don't always read young adult, but I do like to pick something up now and then. When I do, I love a supernatural flair. This ticked all the boxes for me - it went by very fast as it's so fun and light. The main character has this odd mix of modern teenager against 300-year-old Scottish vampire which was charming to read. I can see myself getting into the rest of the books very easily - which might be a danger as the author has a couple of series out plus some single novels, so I could be here for a while!
Holy Island - LJ Ross
I knew for a while that I wanted to get into LJ Ross's books. I think they're a remarkable achievement and obviously I was very curious to know what all the hype was about! I finally got stuck in with the first in the series.
Holy Island follows DCI Ryan as he attempts to enjoy some enforced leave, after a mysterious traumatic incident. It has the odd feel of starting halfway through a story - I even double-checked this really was book one - but the details are soon revealed.
The storyline takes us on many twists and turns, but what I enjoyed by far the most was the inclusion of the scenery and the way it is described. I really felt like I was there, racing towards a castle or crossing a choppy channel, as if I was watching it unfold rather than reading it.
I followed this up by reading the second book, but I'll leave that review for another time. After all, I'm a crime writer - I have to leave you with something to come back for next time!
Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole - Allan Ropper & B. D. Burrell
This is a bit of a mystery book, though of an entirely different sort: medical mysteries. The doctor behind the stories is like a real-life House, taking us through some of his most interesting cases, all dealing with the horrific ways the brain can go wrong.
It's definitely not for the faint-hearted: I had read reviews warning of 'nightmares', but I plunged on ahead anyway. I did end up feeling really unsettled at some points, thinking about what could happen if one tiny thing misfired in my brain.
But while the stories are horrifying, they are also horribly interesting. There's plenty of food for thought (pun intended) for authors who need real maladies to play with that are still in the realm of the very unusual.
Not only are the medical conditions themselves fascinating, but the stories are told in such a way that you can't help but be drawn in. Larger than life characters and even famous faces make up the cast, and you'll find yourself rooting for the most unlikely suspects - even knowing that these cases were likely over and done with years ago.
Even if you don't usually read this genre - which I certainly don't - I highly recommend it.
That's all for this week then - I do share short reviews and ratings on GoodReads, too, so you can follow me there for more if you just can't wait for my next instalment. That's also where you can see listings of all my own novels, on my author page.