Monday, June 30, 2014

Hacker by Ted Dekker

Nyah Parks is a teenager that is brilliant and has an amazing skill with hacking computers. Her mom has suffered a brain injury from a car accident, the same accident that killed her brother and father. She is desperate to find some help for her mom before she loses her too. She asks her friend for help hacking into one of the largest companies in town but everything goes wrong. While Nyah is on the run she flees to her friend Austin. Austin reveals he is suffering from a health problem and has been experimenting on himself to find a cure. His potential cure could be exactly what Nyah’s mom needs if they can figure it out before time runs out for Nyah, Austin, and Nyah’s mom.

I had trouble getting into this book after the initial few chapters. I found myself a little confused by Austin’s experiments and the explanation of those experiments. By the half-way point of the book, I was hooked and could not put it down. I realized that understanding the experiments was not critical to enjoying the book. I was amazed by how Dekker ended the book and the experiences of the characters throughout the story.

I think this is a great story but I found that there were pieces that could have been taken out and the book would have been just as good. Throughout the middle of the book I was curious how the beginning played a part it the story. It felt like there was an intense beginning and then it was set aside for the main part of the story. It eventually came back to include the resolution to the beginning of the book but it felt like an added part that could have been cut from the book.

Overall, I would recommend this book to Dekker fans. I think readers need to be exposed to other Dekker books to understand his writing style before reading this one. I feel that most Dekker fans will not be disappointed in this book and that they will see Dekker back to his old writing style. That is the style that attracted me to his books years ago. I’m glad I read this book. I will keep some of the word pictures in my mind for years to come and my picture of Heaven has been altered to include some of his descriptions. It was a memorable book and I look forward to reading it again soon.

Advance Reader Copy received via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Read May 25th – June 17th

Don't Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams

This is the third Keye Street book. Keye Street is the main character in Amanda Kyle Williams’ books. Keye has a new member of her staff and she is fitting right in with Keye and Neil. Keye is living with Rauser now but it is not paradise. Keye is trying to keep her relationship afloat but gets a call from a small town sheriff who needs her help on a case. He has two decease young ladies that have been found in the woods. He wants Keye to come to this small town in Georgia for a few days and write up a profile on their murderer. Keye is hesitant but she knows she cannot turn it down. After Keye arrives, there is a third abduction and Keye is in a race against the clock to find this young lady before it is too late.

This is another great book by Amanda Kyle Williams. She has a talent for writing great characters and it gets you so absorbed into the book that it is hard to put it down. I love that she has not changed the personality of her main characters: Keye, Neil, and Rauser. The dialog between these characters is fantastic. I find myself chuckling out loud while I am reading the book. I feel like Williams writes characters that are relatable.

The story line of this book is one that keeps you on your toes. I felt the subject was a little dark since it dealt with the kidnapping and murder of young girls but Williams did a great job of being thorough but respectful of the issue. This type of murder can be tough for some people to read even though it is fiction; however, Williams writes it in such a way that it doesn’t make the reader uncomfortable. I love the descriptions of the areas that Keye went to in this small town. I could visualize it easily. I appreciated that she had descriptions that were just enough and not too wordy.

Overall, I would highly recommend this latest book by Amanda Kyle Williams. I like that Williams doesn’t write these books the exact same way each time. I feel like I am getting a brand new story with each book instead of just a continuation of the previous one or another case just like before. Williams seems to have a vivid imagination that can produce exciting books every time. I look forward to the next Keye Street installment.

Advance Reader Copy received via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Read March 16th – April 21st

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

This book is set in Atlanta during a tumultuous time in the 1970s. A female working within the Atlanta police department is not welcome. There is a divide between the whites and blacks working in the department and no one seems to get along. While all the tension is happening within the department, there is also someone out there killing cops. All the officers are on high alert and searching for the suspect, but they are still struggling to work together. Maggie’s brother has just lost his partner and she wants answers to what happened. She gets paired up with a new officer, Kate, who is very na├»ve and is struggling with being a new officer. The two start to get along and find themselves in the middle of the investigation of the cop killer. The case is going to lead them to the answers to questions that they may not want to hear.

I was surprised by this book by Karin Slaughter. It is not like her usual work but I’m glad she took the chance to branch out. It was well worth the gamble. I consider this book a hit. I will be honest that I was a little nervous when I first started reading the book. I was concerned that it would be uncomfortable to read about the turmoil between races and sex during Atlanta in the 1970s. I was proven wrong. Slaughter did a fantastic job of depicting the times for women, blacks, homosexuals, and even white men within the police force. I felt that this book expressed the challenges that each group faced at that time. Each group had a challenge to face and Slaughter expressed them in a respectful and accurate way.

I enjoyed the story line and the characters. This story has suspense, humor, and an ending that will throw you off. I really enjoyed the characters. Slaughter did a wonderful job of giving life to each one and making you have compassion and frustration at each of them. I found myself so invested in the book and characters that I wanted to confront one of the characters myself. For me that is the gauge of well written characters. Once I got past the first couple of chapters, I couldn’t put the book down. It was interesting to me that this book had me tense to know what happened to the characters next more than it did learning who the shooter was in the story. I’m usually anxious to know who the suspect is but this book had me wanting to know more about the characters. It was different but well worth the read. I will definitely recommend this book to my friends and family.

Advance Reader Copy received via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

Read May 16th-May 31st