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Book Review: We Sold Our Souls: A Novel By Grady Hendrix
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We Sold Our Souls review

We Sold Our Souls
Hardcover | Kindle
By Grady Hendrix
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: September 18, 2018

The myth of musicians selling their souls to the devil in exchange for success goes back to 18th century violinist Niccolò Paganini, a rock star in his own time. But of all the musical genres, this Faustian pact has become most associated with heavy metal, the modern-day “devil music.” It’s one thing to choose to sell your soul to gain fame and fortune, but what if someone bargained your soul away for their own benefit without your knowledge, leaving you broke and in despair? That’s what happens to rising star Kris Pulaski in Grady Hendrix’s We Sold Our Souls.

In the 1990s, guitarist Kris Pulaski and her band Dürt Würk were seemingly on the verge of a major breakthrough. They had released several well-received albums and had toured the world, where they opened for the likes of Slayer and repeatedly won over live audiences. But then one night, Dürt Würk’s lead singer, Terry Hunt, deceived and betrayed his bandmates, tricking them into signing a contract that led to his – and only his – eventual stardom and their downfall.

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Audiobook Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story Junior Novel By Joe Schreiber
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Solo: A Star Wars Story Junior Novel by Joe Schreiber

Solo: A Star Wars Story Junior Novel
Star Wars Junior Novelizations
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
Written Joe Schreiber
Audiobook narrated by Sean Henin Bradford Hastings
Publisher: Del Rey Books | Random House Audio
Audiobook Release date: September 4, 2018

I’d like to preface this by saying that the next week or so is going to be interesting. I just finished the audiobook of Solo: A Star Wars Story Junior Novel (which I will review here in short order) and then I’m embarking on Solo: A Star Wars Story Expanded Edition. Both are novelizations of the same movie, but with different authors and different voice talents on each. I want to liken it to watching the theatrical and director’s cuts of a film, but I don’t think it’s going to be like that at all, to be honest, because the interpretations by the authors should be slightly different and the lead voice will have a different sound entirely. Bear with me, okay?

I began with the Junior Novel audiobook because I knew I could tear through it pretty quickly and because I’m already familiar with author Joe Schreiber‘s work in the Star Wars Universe having read both Death Troopers and Maul: Lockdown. (I’m pretty sure Death Troopers is the final book I purchased before Borders Books & Music shuttered forever).

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Book Review: Dive Smack By Demetra Brodsky
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Dive Smack book review

Dive Smack
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Demetra Brodsky
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: June 19, 2018

Theo Mackey should have it all. He’s the captain of the diving team, gets good grades, has a lot of friends, and the girl he likes is showing serious interest. But he has darkness in his past that threatens his present and future. His mother died in a fire, a fire he started, and his dad, who never recovered, died soon after. Now Theo lives with his alcoholic grandfather, and he cannot remember that night. He’s also popping Adderall like candy, and seeing his “Uncle” Phil, a psychiatrist with the heavy prescription hand and an enemy of GP (grandpa). He gets assigned a family history project with his crush, who also lost her mother, and a kid he does not like. On top of all that, he’s going into some fugue states, some that endanger his life. He’s hitting a brick wall with his memories and GP. What will he find when he finally breaks it down?

More below on Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky.

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Book Review: Paradox Bound: A Novel by Peter Clines
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Paradox Bound book banner Peter Clines

Paradox Bound: A Novel
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Peter Clines
Publisher: Broadway Books | Crown Publishing
Paperback release date: June 26, 2018

In Peter Clines‘s Paradox Bound, a young man leaves his small town to embark on a cross-country trek to find the mysterious traveler he met in his youth, and it lands him on a dangerous journey … through history!

Eli Teague lives in Sanders, a behind-the-times town in Maine that doesn’t even have internet or cell service. While he finds the place boring, he’s not really compelled to move. Instead, he awaits the possible return of Harry, the traveler who he twice encountered as a boy who whizzed in and out of his life so quickly. He’s never forgotten about this woman dressed in Revolutionary War garb, driving a tricked-out Model-A Ford that runs on something other than gasoline. Who was she really and would she ever return?

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Book Review: ‘Lucifer’s Star’ By C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus
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Lucifer's Star Header

Lucifer’s Star
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus
Publisher: Crossroad Press Publishing
Release Date: October 13, 2016

If you’ve read some of my interviews and reviews, you know that I have a great appreciation for indie authors. I also love the fantasy and science fiction sub-genre of grimdark. Some of my favorite books are grimdark.

You may be asking yourself, “what the heck is grimdark?” Well, Lucifer’s Star, by indie authors C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus is as grimdark as they come.

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Book Review: The Blood Card (Magic Men Mysteries Book 3)
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The Blood Card review

The Blood Card
Magic Men Mysteries Book 3
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Elly Griffiths
Publisher: Mariner Books | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: September 5, 2017
Paperback release date: September 4, 2018

A police inspector and a stage magician team up to investigate the murder of their old wartime commander as well as a possibly related case of the suspicious death of a local gypsy fortune-teller in The Blood Card, the third book in the Magic Men Mysteries series by Elly Griffiths.

It’s May 1953, and all of London is prepping for the imminent coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is busy investigating the death of Madame Zabini, a local gypsy psychic whose body had washed up by the pier, while nearby his best friend and old World War II buddy, the famous magician Max Mephisto, prepares for a prominent two-week run at the Theatre Royal during a time when people more and more are staying home to get their entertainment via television. The two friends are then summoned together by General Petre to the scene of the murder of Colonel Peter Cartwright, the man who had recruited them into the Magic Men, a top secret wartime espionage unit.

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Book Review: The Disappearance Of Sloane Sullivan By Gia Cribbs
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The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan book review

The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Gia Cribbs
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 29, 2018

Sloane Sullivan isn’t real. The deal is that she picks her first name and her protector/friend/brother/agent, Mark, picks the last name, until it’s time to run again. But she’s so close – so close to graduating high school and witness protection at the same time. All she has to do is blend in until the school year is over, just 9 weeks, and she’s free. No more running. No more practicing escape routes in the schools she attends… free. But there are two complications, one from her past and one from her present. Who can she trust? Or can she not trust at all?

More below on The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan by Gia Cribbs.

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Book Review: City Of Ghosts By Victoria Schwab
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City of Ghosts review

City of Ghosts
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 28, 2018

Cass is not your typical girl. It’s not just because her parents research ghostly places for their show, Cass is not even sure if they believe in ghosts. It’s because Cass can see ghosts, especially her ghost best friend, Jacob, who saved her from drowning. Ever since then, Cass can pass through the Veil that separates the living world from the dead, as can Jacob. She just can’t help it. Sometimes she gets this feeling and seeks out that other world, but now, in Edinburgh Scotland (the city of ghosts), the Veil keeps sucking her in. On top of all of that is a mysterious girl with similar gifts, and a ghostly red pied piper woman who is terrifying.

More below on City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.

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Book Review: Not Even Bones By Rebecca Schaeffer
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Not Even Bones Book Cover

Not Even Bones
Hardcover | Kindle
By Rebecca Schaeffer
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release date: September 4, 2018

There’s a risk inherent in reading the first published novel by an otherwise new author. There’s additional risk when that first published novel is announced as part of a planned trilogy before the author has even had the opportunity to toe the waters of publishing success. I admit I initially felt this way about reading Rebecca Schaeffer’s Not Even Bones. But the official synopsis won me over and made me overlook my trepidations and dive in.

I am so glad I did!

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Book Review: The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette
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The Spaceship Next Door book review

The Spaceship Next Door
Paperback | Kindle
By Gene Doucette
Publisher: John Joseph Adams | Mariner Books | HMH Books
Release date: September 4, 2018

With a title like The Spaceship Next Door, you’d think this book was a beloved children’s tale about a little girl who befriends her new neighbor, “Shippie,” a spaceship from another world. Instead, in Gene Doucette’s new novel, the little girl is precocious 16-year-old Annie Collins and “Shippie” is not exactly buddy material.

It’s been three years since an alien spacecraft landed in a field in the small mill town of Sorrow Falls, MA, where it’s sat dormant ever since. The U.S. military has formed a perimeter around it, while just outside is an RV campsite filled with eccentric alien watchers with surveillance equipment waiting for something – anything – to happen. And it’s about to. When Ed Somerville, a government operative unconvincingly posing as a reporter, comes to town, he immediately hires the young, knowledgeable Annie to be his guide and together they try to uncover the secret behind this mysterious ship now that it seems to be “awakening.”

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