Category Archives: ARC review

[Review] The Furies: A Thriller – Mark Alpert

Book Title:                   The Furies: A Thriller (Standalone)
Author:                           Mark Alpert
Number of pages:    320

Synopsis:The Furies - Mark Alpert

For centuries, the Furies have lived among us. Long ago they were called witches and massacred by the thousands. But they’re human just like us, except for a rare genetic mutation that they’ve hidden from the rest of the world for hundreds of years.

Now, a chance encounter with a beautiful woman named Ariel has led John Rogers into the middle of a secret war among the Furies. Ariel needs John’s help in the battle between a rebellious faction of the clan and their elders. The grand prize in this war is a chance to remake the human race.

Mark Alpert’s The Furies weaves cutting-edge science into an ingenious thriller, showing how a simple genetic twist could have inspired tales of witchcraft and sorcery, and how the paranormal could indeed be possible.

(re: Goodreads @ The Furies: A Thriller by Mark Alpert)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– A “chase-thriller” with a variety of fast-paced action sequences involving guns and explosives, a ferryboat, and many bullet ants.
– Despite romance driving the protagonists actions and the synopsis sounding as if it’s a paranormal romance… it’s not.
– Speculative-fiction that considers a variant genome which has caused disparity and civil unrest between the genders of the Furies.
– Generally immaculate world building that gives nod to historical timelines and paints a realistic landscape of various settings.
– Narrative pacing is a hit or miss as perspectives change between major and minor characters.

Initial Thoughts:

Sooooo…the Salem Witch Trials lay the groundwork for this mixed grab bag of witchy woo-woo speculative fiction which isn’t as paranormal as I initially thought. To be frank, I thought the Furies were the name for a species or something. Nope, it’s actually a family lineage. With the tagline of being a thriller, its success is a toss-up erring on the side of being flat through the course of its journey. While not a disastrous read by any means, there is a considerable nod given toward historical attributions emphasized by differing societies concerning the unordinary superstitious behaviours of [insert-your-religion-of-choice-here]. With this in mind, it isn’t executed to the potential that I thought it could have been. But the cover is kind of rad though.

Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of The Furies: A Thriller through NetGalley for an honest review. I extend my thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me the opportunity to review this book.

Disclaimer: There may be spoilers inherent to this review from this point onward.

Continue reading [Review] The Furies: A Thriller – Mark Alpert

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[Review] The Here and Now – Ann Brashares

Book Title:                  The Here and Now (Standalone)
Author:                          Ann Brashares
Number of pages:  288

Synopsis:

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

(re: Goodreads @ The Here and Now by Ann Brashares)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– Depicts the post time-travel life which reads more like a contemporary romance despite having elements of science-fiction.
– Various thought-provoking elements and themes presented in a very wishful way when regarding the plausibility of the future environment.
– Basically The Prenna Show, where events unfold in favour of the protagonist with no sense of urgency and tangible consequence.
– Unsubstantiated world-building necessary to set-up the dystopian-influenced Community; ultimately leaving gaps in the narrative that may lead to further questioning. 

Initial Thoughts

Dear desk, I have marked you with the blunt force from my head. For this I apologize.

I think I enjoyed the idea of liking the novel more than actually wanting to read it. Does that make sense? I hope it does because now that this one positive is out of the way, I can now detail everything that was very off to me about this read. This might be the angriest review yet.

Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of The Here and Now through NetGalley for an honest review. I extend my thanks to Random House for providing me the opportunity to review this book.

Disclaimer: There may be spoilers inherent to this review from this point onward.

Continue reading [Review] The Here and Now – Ann Brashares