Monday, September 20, 2021

Book Review: Over The Falls by Rebecca Hodge


 SUMMARY:

It's early June in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, and the idyllic beauty of the landscape belies the darkness that lurks beneath the surface. Bryn Collins has been living in isolation for fourteen years after her fiance, Sawyer, jilted her for her despised sister, Del. Although a life-threatening accident ended her days navigating the perils of whitewater, she still finds refuge kayaking in the local lakes.

But Bryn's placid life hits the skids when an unwelcome cast of characters reenters her life. Del goes mysteriously missing, and her fourteen-year-old son, Josh, arrives to ask for Bryn's help finding her. His father, Sawyer, had been killed in a plane crash and he has no one else to turn to. Carl, an unruly punk the sisters knew years before, is desperate to find Del because she owes him money.

Bryn and Josh follow an ever-elusive trail to Colorado, and at the annual Mountain Games competition in Vail, they finally confront the truth. For Bryn, all roads lead to the river, and on vicious Colorado whitewaters, she must muster every ounce of courage and strength to save what she most loves in the world.

TEE'S THOUGHTS

This was the first book I have read by Rebecca Hodge, and after the thrill ride that I just went on I know it will not be the last time I pick up one of her books.

I really enjoyed the setting of Eastern Tennessee, I have been there on vacation several times so it was easy for me to picture the surroundings, even though Hodge did a great job of describing the area. I espececially enjoyed the peaceful farm like Bryn lived, and have craved that for myself many times. I saw why Bryn was so reluent to give up that peace to help her nephew Josh.

The characters are all well rounded. Bryn is the unfavored child in the family, her parents more douting on her sister Del, who Bryn herself remembers fondly as they were growning up, in reality Del is just pure evil and the book proved that point. I liked the growth of the characters and the bonding betweent Bryn and Josh. They are also somewhat easy to relate to, showing faults and weaknesses, something everyone has, but at times books seem to leave them out.

There is some good action to keep you turning pages, for instance the white water rafting. The intensirty of the scenes will have you holding your breathe.

The story is a bit of a slow burn, and takes a bit to get started, but it is engaging and well written. At times I did feel that the story was in places repetitive, so some of the twists and turns were easy to figure out beforehand. But all in all this was a good introduction to Rebecca Hodge and I look forward to checking out her back books and what she writes next.




Friday, September 3, 2021

Book Review: The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

  


Goodreads Overview:

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

Jacque's Review:

This is the second book in the Camelot Rising trilogy. I enjoyed the story, but I don't feel like a lot of progress was made in the plot or character development. Arthur is still dedicated to Camelot and I do not think there will ever be a real relationship between Guinevere and Arthur. The few times Mordred appeared, there was an undeniable spark and connection between him and Guinevere. I am hoping things will eventually move in that direction even though I know she feels a sense of obligation to protect Arthur and Camelot. 

Lancelot wants to be just like all of Arthur's other knights, but as skilled as she is, she will never be one of the boys. She is assigned as Guinevere's knight and the two develop a friendship that eventually becomes strained. Guinevere can see that their relationship is impacting how Lancelot is viewed by her piers and tries to put some distance between them. Lancelot is one of the few people who knows the story of who Guinevere really is, so the two are able to speak freely with one another. They work together and take part in some quests along the way, which added the only real action and adventure to this story.

We do not learn any more about who Guinevere was before coming to Camelot or what has happened to Merlin. Without her memories, she feels like she is an imposter simply playing the role of Queen.  When the real Guinevere's sister arrives, she is convinced she is going to be outed. We do learn more about the real Guinevere from her sister, which I did find interesting.

The ending was a bit shocking, so I am looking forward to reading the final book to see what happens next. I'm not sure this story will have a happily ever after for everyone involved. Fortunately, The Excalibur Curse, is scheduled to be released December 7, 2021, so we will find out soon enough.