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Werewolves and zombies and romance, oh my!

survive to dawn

Title: Survive to Dawn

Author: P.J. Schnyder

Series: Books three of London Undead

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Source: Galley received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer: Kristen R.

London is overrun by zombies but the epidemic has been contained to the city. The local werewolf pack is in charge and holding steady, but it is only a matter of time before things spread outside the containment barrier.

Deanna, a human, comes to London with a research team to try to find a badly needed cure along with a more personal reason that she is reluctant to reveal. When the team refuses to follow the rule of not caging the zombies, even for scientific reason, they are left unprotected and alone.  They are soon slaughtered by the undead. Deanna is the lone survivor and that is only because Danny, the pack medic, rescues her from certain death. The pair share an instant attraction and they are not shy about admitting it to each other.

Deanna is determined to find a cure for the zombie plague and so is Danny, but will Danny be willing to go against the Alpha’s orders to obtain it? How far will he go to help this woman that he has just met and what if the Alpha is wrong about should be allowed to be used to find a cure?

This is the concluding volume of P.J. Schnyder’s London Undead trilogy. Most people would think that romance novels and zombie plagues cannot go together, but those people are wrong. Schnyder has done a fine job of it. There is some violence and gross zombie stuff, but it is not overwhelming if you are not terribly squeamish.

The series is composed of three novellas, so Schnyder has to fit a lot of character development into a short amount of time for each one. She pulls this off admirably. In this story the relationship between the characters is able to develop within the time restraints since they are both logical thinkers and quickly admit to the attraction that they feel for each other. However, I do wish that the books were longer so that I could spend more time in this world. The story leaves things open ended so the world could be revisited. Let’s hope that it is!

Each of the stories of the trilogy are unique, so reading this did not feel repetitious, which is my main complaint when I read many paranormal romance series. The characters are honest about their feelings towards each other, accept them and move along. No moping or resisting what they were feeling after they logically worked through it.

When Deanna reveals her additional motivations for showing up in London it leads the pair to different parts of the city and they interact with some nasty vampires. We get some resolution as to the cause of the zombies and why it is centered in London. Of course, I won’t give that away here, but I thought it was creative.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 bookmarks. If you are up for a paranormal romance that is a bit gruesome at times (it is about zombies and werewolves, after all) and is a quick but entertaining read, go for it! You need not have read the previous stories to enjoy this, but if you pick them up you will be glad that you did.

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Review: Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a HalfTitle: Hyperbole and a Half

Author: Allie Brosh

Genre: Non-Fiction, Autbiography

Source: Amazon

Reviewer:Emily Bedwell

Summary (From Goodreads): This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

My Thoughts:

I loved Allie’s blog and I wanted, so wanted, to love this book. I wanted it to be as funny and smart as the blog, but I just had a hard time getting into it. There were some great moments, mostly stories I had seen on the blog. It is less biography and more just a collection of stories from her blog. It’s fine, and an easy read. It’s hard to review this book because there just isn’t a lot to say. It’s funny and sometimes smart. It’s a look into Allie Brosh’s depression and battle with finding herself again.

Final Thoughts:

Three out of Five bookmarks. It was fine, but not life-changing.

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Review of The Damsel and the Daggerman

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Title: The Damsel and The Daggerman

Author: Delilah S. Dawson

Series: Blud 2.5

Genre: Carniepunk e-novella

Source: Galley received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer: Kristen R.

Summary (From Goodreads):

“Bad boy knife-thrower Marco Taresque is the hottest and most dangerous performer in the caravan. He keeps to himself until a pesky female journalist arrives, anxious to interview him about his checkered past—his last assistant disappeared under mysterious and bloody circumstances, earning him the nickname “The Deadly Daggerman.”

Unsinkable journalist and adventurer Jacinda Harville doesn’t take no for an answer, and she’s determined to wear down Marco no matter how threatening—or incredibly desirable—he might appear. He agrees to an interview—but only if she’ll let him strap her to a spinning table and throw knives at her body. How can she say no? And how can she resist him when he leans close for a kiss that strikes her more sharply than any blade? It’s the first time she’s let a man get the better of her, and she’s determined it will be the last…”

My review:

The Blud series has been enjoyable to read from the start and this novella is no exception. We are brought back to Criminy’s Clockwork Carnival after the last book took us away to other parts of the world of Sang. We get to see Criminy and Tish once more (Wicked as they Come), as well as Madam Morpho and Mr. Murdoch from an earlier novella (The Mysterious Madam Morpho). There is something special about being with the caravan again and it gives us a chance to learn more about its cast of characters and their interesting culture.

Dawson once again comes through with unique and colorful characters for this story.  There is the independent and strong-willed reporter Jacinda.  She has her eye on the mysterious and deadly Daggerman, Marco. Will Marco reveal the truth to Jacinda as to whether he murdered his assistant? Jacinda is willing to do almost anything to get him to tell her what really happened and finds herself caught in a game of cat and mouse.

As always, there is a nice balance of steampunk flavor mixed with paranormal romance and set in a fascinating world. There are clockwork animals and vampires (Bludmen), as well as other supernatural creatures.  Due to the length of the story the reader only gets a taste of what the world of Sang is like, but there is certainly enough information to enjoy the story and what is revealed will entice first time readers to seek out the other titles.  

The relationship between Marco and Jacinda was a little too much about power to be completely appealing to me as a story element, though I know it can be a very appealing to others. Despite the fact that this element was not quite for me I could appreciate it because the interactions between the two characters were expertly done. Jacinda is headstrong and determined and  will do almost anything to get her story but is challenged by the feelings that Marco brings out in her when he is in control. Dawson is wonderful at creating complex characters with complicated backgrounds and putting them together with interesting results.       

 My rating:

4 out of 5 bookmarks.  This is a wonderful novella that can be enjoyed even without having read the earlier stories, though they are highly recommended.  If you like romance with a paranormal or steampunk twist you will like this novella.

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Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves

 

Title: The Dream Thieves

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: ARC

Reviewer: Emily Bedwell

Summary via Goodreads:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

My Review:

I loved The Raven Boys so much. The first book in this series was unlike anything I had read before; mysterious and exciting all at once. I just loved everything about it. I loved that it was different, challenging and required the authors to truly suspend disbelief and dive into a world of supernatural moments and experiences. I was pretty sure that The Dream Thieves would have a hard time living up to the first book, but I couldn’t be more wrong. The Dream Thieves picks up right where The Raven Boys left off. Ronan is just as dark and haunting as he was in the first book. Blue and Adam find themselves at odds with what Adam did to save Cabeswater. Gansey, ambitious, crazy Gansey is fighting hard to find the ley line that will lead to his ultimate goal.

What I loved about this book was that it was rough around the edges. Because the book focused more on Ronan, the story was darker and more complicated. Ronan’s life is one of mystery and power. He doesn’t realize what he is really capable of for a long time. When he does, it changes everything. Ronan must come face-to-face with his past in order to prevent a future that looks just like his father’s. He must look at the dark things that he can do and make a choice. The choice he makes, ultimately, is one that changes the fate for everyone along the ley line.

Stiefvater is one of my favorite YA authors anyway, but this series has cemented how much I adore her and her writing. Each one of her books or series are so different from the others. She reminds me so much of Stephen King sometimes – able to piece together amazingly diverse stories that readers cannot wait to devour.

My Rating:

5 out of 5 bookmarks, no question. But be sure to read The Raven Boys first or you’ll be super confused!

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Who is Shelf to Nightstand?

We are a group of book bloggers from across the country that met as part of Jon Acuff’s Start Experiment. One of our goals was to start a book blog, but we believe blogs like this succeed because of teamwork, multiple voices, and passionate readers!

Come back and get to know each of us, our favorite authors & genres, and what makes us tick!

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