Publisher: St. Martin's Press


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Not a Good Addition to the Series: Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by 4 Comments

I received this book for free from Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Not a Good Addition to the Series: Alone in the Wild by Kelley ArmstrongAlone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton #5
Published by Minotaur Books on February 4th, 2020
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Survival
Source: Minotaur Books
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
two-half-stars

In #1 New York Times bestseller Kelley Armstrong's latest thriller, the hidden town of Rockton is about to face a challenge none of them saw coming: a baby.

Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that's what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there's always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from - and whether she's better off where she is.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong again delivers an engaging, tense thriller set in perhaps the most interesting town in all of contemporary crime fiction.

I’ve been a longtime fan of Kelley Armstrong and in particular love her mysteries. While I didn’t pick up City of the Lost as soon as it came out, when I did, I was unsurprisingly sucked into this new world Armstrong had crafted. Since picking up book 1, I’ve consistently kept up with the series and eagerly anticipated every new installment. So, I was very very excited to dive into Alone in the Wild. There were a lot of exciting things that happened in the Watcher in the Woods and I was looking forward to seeing how Armstrong would deal with those threads. I ended up being pretty disappointed. It isn’t that Alone in the Wild is inherently a bad book on its own but its not a good installment in this series.

We ended book 4 with a lot of speculation on what the council was up to. Alone in the Wild doesn’t focus on any of that at all and instead dismisses most of the theories it was hinting at in the last book. I thought we were headed towards a bigger, darker secret but NOPE. Alone in the Wild is all about babies. Casey is suddenly angsting about whether or not she wants to have babies. Erik is pretty chill and doesn’t seem to care much about anything even though Casey thinks he is all worked up. I did not sign up for a book that is all about babies. Especially in a mystery series!!!!!

Because Erik and Casey spend most of this book out of town, we also don’t get to hang out with any of our fav secondary characters. There were several key introductions that took place in the last installment and I was really hoping we’d actually get to see more of these characters and they’d be further developed but that also did not happen.

The only really noteworthy thing this book does is expand the world a little bit as we get to meet groups of people we haven’t met before. I appreciated that but still really don’t like the way Armstrong talks about the so-called ‘savages.’ 

I honestly don’t remember if this happens as much in the previous books but there was so much repetitive information being shared and I am convinced it’s because I read an unfinished copy. Like 20% of the book is just Armstrong repeating information from the previous books. I appreciated it at first but it became really annoying after a while.

My whole review has been me nitpicking about all the details but I do think that if you’re also a fan of the series, the book is probably worth the read. It’s not the best book in the series by a long shot but Casey (baby stuff aside) is still Casey and Erik is still Erik and together they make a good team. The ‘mystery’ is not as intriguing but it’s fun to follow along with. 

Overall, Alone in the Wild is not really a good addition to the series but of course, like any committed fan, I’ll be back for future installments and hope we find out some NITTY GRITTY SECRETS about the council.

two-half-stars

2.5 Hot Espressos

Gritty Characters: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Gritty Characters: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Posted by on 04/09/2019 • 1 Comment

CW: Self-harm and manipulative romantic relationship

I was told Wicked Saints would destroy me but I still didn’t realize what that would mean until I read the last couple pages of this book. If you enjoy happiness at all, you will stay far away from this book. If you love gritty characters, none of whom are particularly good (and some who might just be PLAIN EVIL), you will love Wicked Saints.

Right off the bat, we are pushed into the middle of a war with an opening scene where one of our MCs has to watch as many people important to her are murdered. So no, there are no rainbows and puppies in this book. Honestly though, having such a powerful scene was helpful to me because I’ve been struggling…

Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 03/04/2019 • 0 Comments

I’ve always been a fan of Kelley Armstrong ever since her Women of the Underworld series. While this one isn’t paranormal, it still has an air of fantasy in it when we’re taken into this secluded town where people go to escape their tragic or criminal past. 

This town is hidden from the world, and as you can guess comes with a side of mystery and even horror. Casey is brought there to try and find out why their people are disappearing and coming up murdered. The whole seclusion aspect makes this story so compelling and eerie. It’s sort of like a post-apocalyptic world where you have limited supplies and every skill is put to good use, and wandering off a bit too far from the edge means you’re likely…

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 02/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I have been reading Kelley Armstrong’s books for over half a decade now so it’s safe to say I am a fan. From her YA to her adult, she never fails to deliver a series of characters I find myself immediately invested in and plots I am eager to watch unfold. Watcher in the Woods is the fourth book in a series and usually, by the fourth book of a series, my interest starts to wane but a fourth book in the hands of Kelley Armstrong??? Watcher in the Woods proves that it can be a very powerful thing.

If you haven’t read this series and are a fan of well-written mystery novels that don’t involve annoying dude detectives, you should probably get on it. If you’re already a…

Good to be Reunited With Some Beloved Characters: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Good to be Reunited With Some Beloved Characters: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Posted by on 08/28/2018 • 2 Comments

Roshani Chokshi has already earned herself a place on my auto-read list so it is unsurprising that even though I am a shit head who hasn’t read A Crown of Wishes, I still needed to read Star-Touched Stories. Chokshi has a distinguished writing style that just calls out to me, I guess.

Short stories set in a favorite world are always fun and I love how Chokshi really does somehow manage to bring the Star-Touched queen world to life even through this short snippets into the lives of beloved characters. WHICH. I know I’ve read Star-Touched Queen so I have some context but its been two years so I really didn’t remember much and yet, THE STORIES WERE SO WELL WRITTEN that I didn’t really need to remember…

Not the Persuasion Retelling My Heart Desires: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Not the Persuasion Retelling My Heart Desires: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Posted by on 08/24/2017 • 1 Comment

I’ve always regarded Persuasion as my favorite Jane Austen novel so when I heard about The One That Got Away, I was immediately intrigued. There is something about the angst of a second chance romance that always draws me in and I love seeing the various takes on the classic novel. I dove into The One That Got Away expecting to enjoy it and I am not sure I did? I am also not sure I didn’t.

Retellings don’t have to follow the original storyline word for word but in my opinion a good retelling is at least very aware of the word for word storyline and has a fun take on that story. I felt like The One That Got Away didn’t really do that? It’s biggest tribute to the novel was essentially…

Q&A With S. Jae Jones

Q&A With S. Jae Jones

Posted by on 02/13/2017 • 2 Comments

Hello and welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Today we have a Q&A with the author and hopefully they’ll make you feel even more excited about reading the book!

Please give a round of applause for S. Jae-Jones!

Q&A With S. Jae-Jones

What was your favorite part about writing this book? What was your favorite scene to write?

I loved that I was able to draw on so many things that inspired or influenced me aesthetically as I wrote this book. I love goth stories, Death and the Maiden tropes, Jacques Cocteau movies, Phantom of the Opera, glitter, David Bowie, Mozart, and all of that made it into my book in some form or another. I don’t have a favorite scene,…

The Lost Girl (Fear Street Relaunch #3) by R.L. Stine

The Lost Girl (Fear Street Relaunch #3) by R.L. Stine

Posted by on 09/04/2015 • 4 Comments

As a kid I loved R.L Stine. I seriously would read his books over and over again. I had not yet gotten into any of the newer books he had written until now. I really do need to go back and read the first two books of this series, but this was fun and creepy. It’s wasn’t outright scary, but it does have a very subtle underlying feeling of doom throughout. I’m not a very easy person to scare, so it might be pretty scary to others, but I found it very enjoyable. The story was very interesting too, and I really liked how it all ended.

Michael is the MC in this. When Lizzy comes to town, he is instantly drawn to her, and his group of friends…