Mini Reviews #1 - Outlaws! Beetles! Deadbeat Dads!

Some lovely publishers sent me review copies that are a little out of my reading zone, but I LOVED nonetheless!

I didn't have much to say about them, since I haven't read very many books like them, BUT LET'S START THE MINI-REVIEWING!

NEWS!: It is my BIRTHDAY in a month, and I would LOVE your opinions on what to giveaway to all of you lovely people!! I was thinking an Empire Of Storms preorder AAAND a whole Throne Of Glass Series Set (1-5)? Let me know in the comments.


Title: Counterstrike (Urban Outlaws #4)
Author: Peter Jay Black
Publication Date: April 7th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 4 
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US
Blurb Description: The Urban Outlaws face their biggest challenge yet. They have to break into the Facility and find the ultimate weapon – Medusa – before Hector does. But there are five levels of security to crack and a mystery room that has Jack sweating whenever he thinks about it. 
But the clock is ticking. Hector is determined to have the weapon and release doomsday, and it is down to the Urban Outlaws to stop him. Can Jack come up with a plan in time?
The tension is high and the shocks are breathtaking in the fourth book of this high-octane adventure series for fans of Robert Muchamore, Anthony Horowitz and Alex Scarrow. 
Though this is the fourth book in a series, and I haven't read the others, I actually found it rather easy to catch up, AFTER reading all about the Urban Outlaws on their website,

If you want to start this series, I would also recommend it because IT IS REALLY QUITE AMAZING! 

One of the first things that struck me about this book was HOW YOUNG the characters were. 
Wren is only 10, the oldest Jack and Charlie are both aged 15, and I FEEL SO OLD, not having saved the world at one month away from 18! There was something about the writing that showed me, a newbie to this series, how worldly the Outlaws are, something which normal 10 or 15 year olds wouldn't have, especially Jack! This made it feel extremely realistic as I imagine after four adventures Jack, their leader, WOULD be tired of Hector and all his schemes.

In their (supposedly) hardest mission yet, the outlaws need to find a way to get into the secure building, gain access through the security check points and secure doors. This mission is intricate and every detail needs to be in place, and again, I adored the adrenaline that rushed through every word.

Counterstrike is a SERIOUSLY gripping read even when nothing seems to be going right for the team! I did however, love the tricks they always had up their sleeves, because what's the point of reading a book if you can predict it, right?

All in alll, if the synopsis of the series seems interesting to you, i suggest you pick it up without a second thought, because IT IS WORTH IT!

Title: Beetle Boy (The Battle Of The Beetles #1)
Author: MG Leonard 
Publication Date: March 3rd 2016
Publisher: Chicken House
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/3
I Got A Copy Through: Scholastic India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK ||
Blurb Description: Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever.
A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad’s disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery? A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer – if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it …

I haven’t read a Middle Grade Book since, well, middle grade? (I’m now a college veteran*, in case you were wondering) and yet, when the lovely folks over at Scholastic offered, I thought, why not? What could I possibly lose?

*College Veteran: I’ve been in college for a grand period of one month and one day. See Also: Broke

What is Beetle Boy all about?

Darkus lived a normal life, nestled between his loving parents. He was just a normal boy. Until his mother died suddenly and his dad had Bad Days. Darkus helped in pulling him out of his fuck, and everything was back to normal again.

Until one day when his dad went into a vault, locked the door and was never came out.

How could he have left his son to fend for himself? Where did he go? Why hasn’t he made contact? Who is Lucretia Cutter? And what is up with all of the beetles?

I’ll be honest, I surprised myself with falling in love with this book fairly early on. The writing was fast, Darkus’s narration heartfelt and simple, the story was quickly paced and the characters (including the beetles) were wonderful.

For the first time in ever, I also adored the villain. Lucretia was determined, badass, scary and knew what she wanted. She really seemed like an MG villain.

What simultaneously managed to freak me out and impress me to no extent were the beetles themselves. There were scenes where Darkus were covered with beetles, and I wanted to shout ‘RUN! HIDE!’ and then I was amazed by how they helped him. I’m not putting a beetle in a cage anytime soon and calling him my pet, but #veryimpressed

I should also mention the side characters – Uncle Max, Bertolt, Virginia and Novak because they were awesome in their own right!

4 stars!
Title: Deadbeat Dad (Dead Dective Sries #2)
Author: J.R.Rain
Publication Date: September 13th 2016 
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Part of a Series?: Yes, Books 2 
I Got A Copy Through: Audoibook via Curiosity Quills Press!
Blurb Description: Hard-boiled police detective Richelle Dadd is back. And in a whole world of fresh trouble. Still... well, dead as the result of a Gypsy curse, she must now face life as a single mom. Not only does Richelle have to worry about all the usual stuff—her baby’s health and well-being and keeping a roof over their heads by working a precarious dead-end job—there’s also her homicidal ex-boyfriend to fear, the father of her child, stalking them both day and night with the avowed intent of kidnapping baby Tamara.
Not to mention a mysterious Russian agent hell-bent on “recruiting” Richelle into a suspiciously perfect overseas job, plus there’s a vicious Ripper-style killing to investigate, one that ties in with the Black Rose Murders that terrorized the city nearly ninety years ago. Throw in the increasingly bizarre behavior of Richelle’s ex-husband Devon and the fact that somebody’s bugged every inch of Richelle’s house—and it all adds up to a recipe for disaster…
But once again, just as in the Dead Detective, the first book in the series, some very off-beat characters come to her aid. There’s her love-sick ex-detective partner Malena Ayon, for one, and the long-dead ghost cop Bull McGuinness for another. And Richelle’s equally dead new boyfriend, a dreamy World War I vet cut down in the prime of his youth. Last but hardly least, the roguish old Irish Traveler and scam artist Dicky Dadd, who claims to be Richelle’s vanished father, but who may be something else entirely; a half-Gypsy wizard sent to watch over her by the kriss, or Romani High Council.
On the eve of a second ‘Ripper’ murder at a nearby theme park, Richelle and Malena must race to save an innocent victim’s life—along with that of Tamara—while battling shadowy forces both real and supernatural, as the story builds to a shattering and unexpected climax.

Full disclosure? One of the reasons I requested this book from the awesome team over at Curiosity Quills was because it was an audiobook! And, as you might know, I'm only a slight sucker for them!

While it took me a long while to listen to this second book in a paranormal series, I would really recommend reading the first book before getting into this one, because some places I was just sitting there, scratching my head.

Detective Sergeant Richelle Dadd is undead, stuck between the realms of the living and the dead. Deliberately made this way by her ex-boyfriend Val Tabori, to father a Moroi child, a half human, half zombie boy.

I don't really read paranormal books, having gotten over my vampire phase a while ago, but Deadbeat Dad was just in the realm of the extraordinary and the not too out there that I just couldn't wrap my head around it. I loved the complexity of Richelle's home life and just who she was in general. All the secondary characters were well narrated and written as well

This is a fast paced book with several minor storylines all adding to the tensions, which definitely surprised me!

What was the last book YOU read that was out of your reading comfort zone? Do you like the adventure? What do you think of these books?

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