Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Fear Collector by Gregg Olsen Blog Tour


--Allison Brennan

Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written eight nonfiction books, eight novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. He has also appeared on Dateline NBC, William Shatner's Aftermath, Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, FOX News, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, CBS 48 Hours, Oxygen's Snapped, Court TV's Crier Live, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, and A&E's Biography.
In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People, Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post.
The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington's Secretary of State for the book's contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival.

Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker spaniel) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).


To view the tour schedule, click here

Buy The Fear Collector from the following retailers simply by clicking on them.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Review: Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz

Title: Oblivion (The Power of Five #5)
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

Having escaped from Hong Kong, the five gatekeepers - Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scarlett - are scattered in a hostile and dangerous world. As they struggle to re-group and plan their next move, the malevolent King of the Old Ones gathers his forces in Oblivion: a desolate landscape where the last survivors of humanity must fight the ultimate battle.

I've been waiting for four years for this book to be released. With a very painful cliffhanger at the end of the fourth book, Necropolis, I have finally finished reading the conclusion of this wonderful series by Anthony Horowitz. I was quite ecstatic when I finally bought a copy of this book and had it in my hands. A book you've been waiting for a very long time in your hands. I'm sure you know how I had felt that instant.
Oblivion starts off exactly where the previous book ended. With the Old Ones in full power, the five have a very long and dangerous journey ahead. 

I was completely sucked into this book from page one. With the introduction of a new character/narrator from page one, I found myself very much reliving the details of the previous books in the series. The world this book (specifically) is set in is very interesting. It actually is realistic because it shows turmoil and destruction as it is in real life. Corruption, poverty, famine, crises everywhere. Horowitz FLAWLESSLY managed to picture this and it stood out for me. You don't always get a realistic world building with everyday issues in a fantasy story.

The book is split into several parts, revolving around the five main characters. Each character had enough time to show his/her significance. As you might expect, I love all the characters. What's remarkable about these five Gatekeepers, Scott, Jamie, Pedro, Matt, and Scarlett is that they all have flows. Even though they are represented as heroes, they're not perfect. Each character could make mistakes at any instant. Each character has a specific adventure to fulfill until they finally all the five get together.

I won't reveal much about this book's ending, but as you probably expect, it is not a happy one. And no, this isn't a spoiler. When I met Anthony Horowitz back in 2008, he said that he likes book endings not to be perfectly happy, but to have have glints of hope. Oblivion has death, lots of death. And most importantly, it has sacrifice. The ending is great, it is well-crafted and unexpectable.

Overall, The Power of Five series has been a long journey. I've been following this series for years, and Anthony Horowitz has managed to give us fans a perfect ending. Something we've been waiting for many years. It has definitely been worth all these years. Finally, give an applause, "'To the Five,' I say." You will know what I am talking about once you finish reading the book. I just had to include that here. This series has been going on for many years, and it feels like Harry Potter all over again. I have cherished and will ALWAYS remember the memories I've had with Anthony Horowitz, the Power of Five series, and the Alex Rider series. A stupendous series to be remembered for a long time and passed on for generations. Thank you Anthony Horowitz for this amazing series for I have had unforgettable memories and great time with these characters.

Book Review: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.
THE HOUSE OF SILK bring Sherlock Holmes back with all the nuance, pacing, and almost superhuman powers of analysis and deduction that made him the world's greatest detective, in a case depicting events too shocking, too monstrous to ever appear in print....until now.

I haven't read any of the original Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Dolye, but I've watched Guy Richie's adaptations and I enjoyed them very much.

I am a very huge fan of Anthony Horowitz, and that was the main reason I picked this book up. Also, lately I haven't been too found of YA books because I find them to be too repetitive, so this was the perfect time to read The House of Silk.

The House of Silk is a new Sherlock Holmes novel, but that doesn't stop you from going back to the 1800s. The vivid descriptions will make you fall in love with the Victorian London setting. The story is narrated through Dr Watson's, Sherlock Holmes's companion, point of view. Anthony Horowitz perfectly makes you visualize what goes through his head. Watson is a very intriguing character. He is not as observant as Holmes, but still, he is nonetheless interesting.

The mystery in this book is always lurking (and of course it should). Each chapter left me more curious. When the questions were answered in the end, I just couldn't help but admire Holmes's intelligence. Everything wrapped up nicely, with few sad events here and there.

The language in The House of Silk, as you might expect, is a little bit heavy. However, it wasn't much of a problem getting through the story. It was a tiny bit of a challenge and made it more interesting overall. Reading shouldn't always be too easy :). I have to add, I didn't have any problem with the language.

Overall, I was engaged throughout this book. With perfectly crafted 400 pages, I was left satisfied with the story that was delivered. I was able to enjoy something very different from my usual read. It was quite a ride, and I will for sure look out to read more adult books, specifically mysteries in the future.

I am sure Anthony Horowitz went through a lot of researching process and tried his best to recreate the world of Sherlock Holmes. His hardwork is evident through every page of this book. With that, I might not be the best judge since I haven't read the original books, but I have to say, kudos to you, Mr Horowitz. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Breaking Point Blog Tour: Review

The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back.

About the author:

Kristen Simmons has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her husband Jason and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida.