Watch Me Disappear

Billie Flanagan is a beautiful, charismatic wife and mother. One day while hiking alone in a place called Desolation Wilderness Billie vanishes. It's coming up on the one year anniversary since the incident and her body has still never been found. But her teenage daughter Olive begins seeing her. She takes this as a sign that her mother is still alive and that she wants her to find her. Jonathan is worried about his daughter but as he uncovers secrets about Billie's past he thinks that just maybe Billie is alive out there somewhere. And they're going to find out once and for all what happened. 

This book was really good! It has lots of layers - the characters are complex, Billie especially - she was a completely different person before she met Jonathan and she only allows him to have a glimpse of who she was and who she is even well into their marriage. The story flowed well. There was never a dull moment. We'd be trying to figure out what happened to Billie and then we'd be hit with secrets of hers that I did not see coming. I couldn't stand not knowing if she was dead or alive. I thought I had the ending figured out but I was wrong. I loved it!

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for a copy of this book.


5/5.

Black Light Express

Zen Starling and Nova have travelled all over the Network Empire, but they've never passed through a new gate - one that should not exist at all. They've been through a lot and can't go back so their only option is to go through. 

There is a new Empress of the Great Network who has just chosen to take a criminal named Chandni Hansa out of the freezer and into her world to help find Zen Starling. But railwar erupts and they're running for their lives. 

Everyone ends up at the mysterious Black Light Zone - a world no longer in use with secrets to uncover.

This is the sequel to Railhead and it picks up where book one left off. The creativity is still strong and we have some of the same characters we saw in the first book. This is action-packed as Zen and Nova race through new worlds, avoiding bad trains and bad people, and hoping to make it home alive. I found this book just a teensy bit long, but overall it was really good. And like the first book there is a glossary in the back to help us understand what's what. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Capstone for a copy of this book.


4/5.

Railhead

Zen Starling is a petty thief. He thinks he has just been caught stealing but instead he has been chosen for a mission by a mysterious stranger named Raven. Zen has to infiltrate the Emperor's train and steal something Raven desperately wants. He has always wanted to traverse the Great Network - a vast place of a thousand gates leading to very different places, of Station Angels, drones, maintenance spiders and many different trains all with their own personalities. Zen Starling jumps at the chance to see the worlds and steal something big.

I'm not really into made up worlds and stuff like that but this book sounded interesting enough to give it a go. And I must say it was really good! There is a very helpful glossary at the back. I really enjoyed going into these weird new worlds and meeting different types of creatures and trains. I was fond of Uncle Bugs. He is a Hive Monk which is a million bugs clinging together to form a human-shaped skeleton by using old junk like a cloak and a face mask. Very creative!


4/5.

The Weight of Lies

Meg Ashley is the daughter of famous author Frances Ashley. Frances wrote a book called "Kitten" and everyone is gearing up for the fortieth anniversary of its publication. This bestselling horror novel became a cult favourite and the Kitty Cult has been trying to solve the murder which has been based on real people at a real location. Meg and her mother have never gotten along. Although she lives a life of privilege, Meg's childhood had been a solitary one and her mother has always been a manipulator. Now Meg wants to be free of Frances Ashley and decides a tell-all memoir is the way to do it. She travels to Bonny Island, Georgia, to dig into her mother's past. She starts investigating the murder herself and talking to the woman who was the inspiration for her mother's book. As Meg begins asking questions and sorting through all the lies, the disturbing truth is finally uncovered.

I loved the setting. Bonny Island was swarming with people after Kitten came out but now, forty years later, the Gothic-mansion-turned-hotel, is shut down. The owner, a cook, a housekeeper and a groundskeeper are the only ones left on this beautiful, quiet island. It's not fast-paced but the suspense made me keep turning the pages. Who killed little Kim Baker?! There's another twist in the book before we find out who the murderer is, which I didn't like at first, but without it the book wouldn't have come together as well as it did. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book.

4/5.

The Last Night at Tremore Beach

Peter Harper is a world-renowned composer. He's taking some time to clear the cobwebs after a recent divorce and dry spell in creativity and he's spending the summer on the Irish coast. Tremore Beach is beautiful and isolated. His neighbours are good people. He's involved with a wonderful woman. And his kids are coming to visit. But after he's struck by lightning one stormy night, Peter starts getting wicked headaches and having strange dreams; dreams that are so real Peter doesn't know where they end and reality begins. But he soon figures out that these dreams may be warnings of things to come.

I liked the setting. I liked the concept - a man struck by lightning begins having vivid dreams about his loved ones being hurt by strangers. But then the other part of the story, the one that wraps everything up, just didn't do it for me. It left me disappointed.


3/5.

Fierce Kingdom

Joan and her four-year-old son have been playing in a secluded part of the zoo, but now they're cutting it close as the zoo is about to close for the day. As they hurry toward the exit Joan immediately turns around, Lincoln in her arms, and races back into the zoo. Those pops she heard earlier weren't balloons bursting or fireworks - they were gunshots and there is a man with a gun at the exit. Joan loves the zoo and it's her knowledge of this place - the hidden pathways and what exhibit is empty - that keeps them one step ahead of danger for the next three hours. She will do whatever it takes to protect her son.

With a cover like that and especially after reading the blurb I desperately wanted to read it right away. As an animal lover it pains me to read about fictional animals being hurt and killed and since this takes place in a zoo I figured it would happen. (I skimmed over those parts and I'm pretending they didn't happen!) But this book is so good! I couldn't help but fall in love with little Lincoln. His imagination and the love he has for his mother - their bond - it was something special. I was totally absorbed in this and if life didn't get in the way I would've read it in one sitting. It was very intense. Never a dull moment. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this book.

Now You Know Canada

This book is packed with facts all about Canada and Canadians. The author covers a variety of subjects from geography, sports, disasters, war and heroes. What I enjoyed reading about the most - baseball, war, explorers and those who weren't afraid to lead the way and stand up for what they believed in. It was fun to read about some of the brave Canadians who helped shape this country into what it is today!

Thank you to Netgalley and Dundurn for a copy of this book.


4/5.