The Semi-Ultimate Reader. 

{Review} Tortures of the Damned by Hunter Shea

Tortures of the Damned - Hunter Shea

One day the world is rocked. By a bomb? Who knows. Power and communications are downs. The electronic they we enjoys so much are useless. Cars are now monuments of days just passed. The security of your home, no longer a place of comfort, just temporary safety. 

The Padilla and their neighbors, who camped out in an underground bunker while the world and its inhabitants went through a transformation, were saved from certain death.

After days of being cooped up together, the group decides to venture out into unknown territory where humans are the lowest beings on the totem pole and animals, of all kinds, are thirsty for their blood.

Maybe death would have been an easier fate.


With a title like that, you know going in that the story is not going to be easy. The characters are most likely going to have to deal with some crazy situations, and indeed they did. 

A good story for horror and Apocalyptic readers alike. Tortures of the Damned definitely had a mainstream feel to it. It appealed to my love of darker fiction involving blood and guts. There were a few progression issues where I felt paragraphs and/or whole conversations could have been deleted completely. TotD shined in the second half by upping the consequences.

Hunter Shea did a fairly good job overall and his use of short chapters really helped keep a sense of urgency going right until the end of the book. I do wish he would have stopped a few pages early to make a more definitive ending.

This was my first Hunter Shea read and I'll be sure to check out his future works.


{Review} Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Mr. Monster - Dan Wells

Is a killer a monster if they only kill bad people? What would you do to keep your child from thinking bad thoughts, from fully embracing the sociopath that he or she is?


In book 2 John talks about his "Monster" and basically the rules he and his mother have made to keep him from going off the deep end.


The story had a good flow and could easily be read in a sitting or two.


While the story of John Cleaver progressed, it did so in the most minimalist way possible. The baddie in this read was, not necessarily out of the blue, but seemed to give away his secrets too easily and therefore the climax had a little less impact.


If your kid likes to choke frogs or tear off butterfly wings, I'd let him skip this. There's no sense in giving him/her a study manual.


*3 Demon-possessed stars*

Parallax Red by James Axler

Parallax Red - James Axler

Parallax Red was an act of repetitiveness. Kane rushes head-first into dire situations. Brigid, for the main part, stays level-headed even under the threat of rape. Grant continues to fend off our albino lady-friend, Domi, and Lakeesh is only focused on the future of mankind to the detriment of his morals.

In this read we meet some Martians that may hold a key weapon that could possibly stop the alien barons and their control over humans. However, the alien leader is mad and not likely to share his power.

I like the world and the baddies that surface in the Outlands. I would just love to see more forward movement like the first 3 books.

I'll be moving on to the next.

Review: When We Join Jesus In Hell by Lee Thompson

When We Join Jesus In Hell - Lee  Thompson

When We Join Jesus In HellWhen We Join Jesus In Hell by Lee Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lee Thompson has an obviously fertile imagination. His stories are "thinkers" and have an emotional impact that stay with you long after you've read the book. That's a sign of a good writer connecting with his/her audience.

For me, When We Join Jesus In Hell captured my attention, knocked me over with emotion, but left me out in the cold with realism.

The backstory of Fist and his wife, their happiness, his fighting, their family, well, it worked. What did not work was the fact that Fist came into the situation as if it was all over (view spoiler)[ Why the hell did he keep walking toward the intruder? (hide spoiler)] before it had even begun. Like he had snapped before he even came home. Where was the slight relief that his wife was not in the wrong before the vengeful rage hit him? I couldn't get past this and it made me analyze the rest of the story for more inconsistent characters.

I don't want to spoil anything, and honestly, this is a good story that you should read. Hell, I recommend you read it just for the sake of saying you read it.

*3 Farewells*

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Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game - Patricia Briggs

I think the story focusing so much on Charles potentially losing himself and no one really listening but his lovely Anna started us off on the wrong path. It lasted way too long and anyone with compassion would tell someone who is stressed to take a break or find something that is relaxing to take your mind of things.

That brings us to the case of serial killers. Werewolves are being targeting so Anna and Charles were requested to help out the FBI hoping they could shine some light on the case and how to deal with their species.

Long story short, they step right into the eyesight of the killer. Charles and Anna have drifted apart yet, nothing makes you realize the lengths you'll go to for the one you love until that person is in danger then everything else becomes unimportant.

Patricia does angst pretty well, but something was missing from this story. Maybe it was the info dumps and overly chatty moments or the slow pacing, but I was in no hurry to finish it, yet I rushed anyway just so I could moves past it.

Just a "middle of the road" read for me. It lacked luster.

Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Solid, is the writing.
The characters rarely grow.
So immature, wrong decisions, do show.
I know the story, I hear the story, yet it doesn't really flow.
What is the point with the shards, the drawing, the stones?
They can fly in the air, and have sprines as shadows.
They keep secrets, but are handy only when the author says so.
Where this story is going, I do not know.
Hopefully, it gets there faster, rather than slow.

by Nikki

Thought I'd change it up a bit. Someone asked me for a poetical review. I'm rusty, but here it is.

The one thing I dislike about audiobooks is that I have not found a vocabulary list to know how to spell the names and whatnot. Minor, but irritating.

This author is reaching. Both of the books could have been shortened. The author keeps expanding on the world-building and THEN throws in a little something for the characters. For instance, Shallan's backstory should have popped up a lot sooner and maybe that would have helped the reader connect with her in some way. Instead, it had me wonder if the girl was crazy for going through all that to save someone who can't be saved (I don't want to spoil anything).

And, poor Kaladan still does not know where he stands in the world. All he knows is that he needs to protect someone and fight, thus he is the hero of this tale. Sometimes strong, sometimes weakened by circumstance. He has a hard time convincing the reader of his role.

We do learn more about the Mythology of the world Brandon has built, but it is not nearly enough and it was way past due.

It was free and I always like to see if an author improves. Every piece of work can't be a masterpiece. Book two was a little better.

This story gets 2 Broken Shards

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Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1278867099

Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! by M.P. Johnson

Cattle Cult Kill Kill - MP Johnson

CCKK is a good read involving a bizarre cattle cult, militia, weak humans, and a wicked sounding god of agriculture whose gentials are described in slimy detail.

While this read is not as over-the-top (which is what I like) as DDQ it stands solidly on its own.

MP does a fantastic job of pulling the reader in and convincing us that what we are reading, for however long it takes us, is real, and it's happening, right up until we finish that last page and close the book. Now that's a writer with skills.

This read does have it extremes so, beware.

Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite - Mira Grant

I tried. This book just bored the hell out of me. The pacing way too slow to make the impact it needed to keep my attention.

I was unable to identifying with the main character. And when a reader can't do that, you better have a damn good story, world, and/or bad guy. The scientific part didn't even help.

Not for me.

Screwed Every Day of the Week and Twice on Sunday by J.S. Reinhardt

Screwed Every Day of the Week and Twice on Sunday - J.S. Reinhardt

Sing it with me! When you're sliding into third and you feel a juicy ________--STOP! That word right there. The one you just inserted. Yeah, this book is filled with moments where that word is the meal of the day, where it is revered, and dare I say, a turn on for some of the characters in this well-written, atrocious read. Be prepared. There is no lubrication . You will not slide easily into this read. Every word you read will be friction on your brain. It's rough and it's dirty. There's one story that involves a dead body and maggots that...well, it was disturbing. There are plenty of violated orifices for you to explore fully and in depth as this author cares not a whit for your sensibilities. I would be reading a story and think, "this is the grossest one" and then the next one would come and I would feel the need to blow chunks. This man deserves a crown! Seriously though, if you like the bizarre and the extreme, I think this may push you to your limit. *I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Shark Bait and Other Stories by A. Michael Schwarz

Shark Bait and Other Stories - Andrew Michael Schwarz, Heather McLeod, Amalia Chitulescu

An interesting collection of speculative fiction featuring some fantastical beings and worlds.

My favorite story, other than the shark Detective, would be Robot Murders. Robots are being found mutilated and because they are not human, they never get justice and the killers go on their merry way. One being sets out to change the rules, by any means necessary.

All of these stories speak of crimes and their resolutions.

Although I'm not the biggest fan of short stories and collections, Mr. Schwarz had just enough ingenuity to carry me effortlessly to the final page.

Doll Face by Tim Curran

Doll Face - Tim Curran

It's all in your mind. Stokes, the town, no longer exists due to a fire. Sound familiar? Yet six friends find themselves trapped there. Does being trapped in a town that doesn't exist, that was, burned to the ground, ring a bell? Okay, let's keep going. The group soon find themselves separated and they get their first glimpses at the parts a pieces of dolls and mannequins. They want you to be part of them. All you have to do is listen to them and everything will be okay. I'm not going to spoil the book for you. However, when you have little minion dolls, there is always a god-like leader with their own disillusioned reasons for the way things work. The Controller and other bosses in this read don't want to let anyone go. They want you to become a part of them. Literally. Gah! You still can't figure out what movie or game comes to mind? Does no one play video games? Fine, I'll give you the answer: Silent Hill. The last movie even had a mannequin spider type thing in it collecting human body parts. I'm not saying Mr. Curran got it from that movie, that's just where my imagination took me. If it's a shout-out to it: Awesome! I've always said that Mr. Curran is very talented and has major atmospheric and descriptor writing skills, I'm just waiting on the one that will blow me out of the park. This read started out in-your-face but once the dolls showed themselves so much, they, and the story had less of a horror impact. Doll Face settles nicely into the "that's a good one" category. Don't like dolls and want to be creeped out? I'd definitely try this one on for size.

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

The Unleashing - Shelly Laurenston

I really did not know what I was getting into. This was like a mix of Sweet Valley High, Chick Lit, Girls Gone Wild, and a few other things that just DON'T MIX! Crows. Yes, those bird thingies that feed on almost anything and cough up the indigestible stuff up. Yet, the ones in this book all look (I'm assuming) like cover models. Kera is dying and, Vig, a customer she thought was homeless, saves her life, making her a Crow. She's grateful until she realizes that her new life goes against everything she was before. Unable to come to grips with her situation she tries to find control in trying to bring order to a riotous group of females with special abilities. Needing to belong, but making it hard for herself, Kera leans on her love interest, Vig. To make a long story short, this read had too much girl power going on. I listened to the audiobook so the ladies really grated on my eardrums. The bickering and bitchiness really took a toll.

Some may call this a "fun, light, and entertaining" read. For me, there was just too much estrogen, and an unrealistic plot, for me to enjoy it.

The Shadows by J. R. Ward

The Shadows - J.R. Ward

Did you happen to notice that the use of slang was toned down? I did.

It was a relief to not have to run to the urban dictionary to find out what the Brothers were saying. Thanks for that. I wasn't expecting much from this book as her previous books were not going anywhere and they focused on one too many characters. In this one, she did well.


This story is mainly about iAm, Selena, and Trez. Trez's whole life has been lived with the knowledge that, whether he likes it or not, he will be wedded to the Queen's daughter.


iAm, his twin, has been the strong shoulder Trez could always lean on. iAm understands his brother's motives and the sacrifices he must make so, he does everything in his power to help his brother and the woman he has fallen in love with.

Selena is sick and Trez wants to give her the world while she's still able to enjoy it.


Will the Queen call early to collect her due? What will iAm do when there is no one else to protect?


Ward digs a little deeper in this read, bringing emotion, longing, and love to the forefront.

This is a test.

For some odd reason. I have not been able to post anything on Booklikes. I couldn't even type in this text box. I could comment on other posts and everything. Just letting you know I haven't abandoned BL. I've been reading and hope to, now, post some reviews.




*Review* Orbs 2 by Nicholas Smith

Orbs II: Stranded: A Science Fiction Thriller - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Book 2 opens up with a survivor running for his life. He's alone and trying to evade the aliens that are slowly killing earth. Just as he's about to give up, he learns of a group of people who are working on a project that can help destroy the creatures that are absorbing all the water from the land and humans. This last transmission gives him hope.

To me, that is what book two is about. For some it's losing hope and for others, it's trying to find it in the darkest moments.

Mr. Smith brings back Sophie, the crew, and AI Alex (I gave her a nickname.) who are trying to keep themselves alive. Being cooped up doesn't help matters. Tempers rise as Sophie and Sergeant Overton butt heads on how they should move forward since they now know that humans are being harvested and that includes some of Overton's pals.

One argument changes everything as one of the children residing with them is captured by the Organics. Knowing what will happen to him and feeling guilty for his part, Sgt. Overton goes on a daring rescue mission. From here, the story really takes off.

As far as the characters go, I really felt that Sophie was a weak link in this one. To the point where I was irritated by her suggestions and anytime the story focused on her. I know she was going through a lot, but she showed none of the strength that she did in the previous book. I was sorely disappointed.

Overton, the surly man, was his usual self, always barking and yelling. No character growth there, but I got to see a little bit of heart.

The aliens themselves were as awesome as ever, I just felt like the story was missing something.

The newcomer's arrival seemed staged, and unhelpful. Where did the water-aliens come from? I don't remember hearing about them before.

Aha! I think I answered my own question. Thingw were being thrown into the story without the main MC's figuring them out or things being hinted at. The water-aliens, the big dinosaur alien, the sub. The folks at the biosphere were living blindly and when these new things popped up miraculously, it made the situations they were in and got through seem unrealistic instead of bad-ass.

I will definitely keep on reading Nick's work as he's got some skills.

*I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review*

*Review* City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare

  There were a lot of changes going on in this book. Alec's insecurities and his quest to live forever beside Magnus had some very disturbing results. We get a glimpse into the way he thinks.

  Simon is forever growing as a person. Even when he's losing or gaining powers, his heart is always in the right place. He starting to come into his own.

  We get to see Isabelle's vulnerable side which is still rough around the edges, but at least she tried. Isabelle and her brother don't seem as close as they were previously portrayed.

  Clary is determined to get Jace, the real Jace, back from the control of her brother, Sebastian. Sometimes it can be a little too much, but I suppose that's a teenage thing.

  I don't know if it's just me or not, but I'd really like to get the whole idea of a brother liking a sister out of my head, but these books won't allow it.

  I enjoyed this book even as I wished there was more fighting and less interaction with Sebastian.