Webtoon Wednesday: My Deepest Secret Review

Warning: This review will have some mentions of animal abuse, so if this bothers you, I suggest that you don’t read this review or this Webtoon!

I typically don’t like Drama/Thriller Webcomics or Webtoons, but I found myself drawn to this one. Emma is a sweet girl who has a boyfriend named Elios. They met while working at a coffee shop and have been together for several months, but Emma is still too scared to get close to him. He is so handsome, everything he does makes her freeze up, but she loves being his girlfriend. Emma thinks that her boyfriend is perfect and could do no wrong. The readers see another side of Elios.

In the first episode, a stray cat pees on Emma’s shoes and grosses her out. Emma leaves to clean off her shoes in the shop, leaving Elios outside with the cat for a few minutes. As the two pass a trashcan, readers see the body of the cat laying next to the can, spattered in blood. I was totally not expecting this for the first episode, but this was how readers know that something is definitely not right with Elios.

This Webtoon will bounce back and forth between the POVs of Emma, another character that she meets in the beginning episodes, and a general POV that just gives more information about the story from no specific character’s viewpoint. There are some points in the story where you can see what Elios is doing, but there isn’t anything besides a few flashbacks that are actually from Elios’ POV so far. I’m expecting more of his POV to be in the next season, where things kick up a notch from the look of the cliffhanger.

The only complaint I have about this comic is that it seemed to be moving a bit slowly. We are 39 episodes in, and the author is currently on a break, but I don’t think that Emma thinks that anything is really off about Elios yet. Only a bit off, even though readers know he has done a lot of messed up things already. I also wish we knew a bit more about what happened to Emma when she was a child. We only have flashbacks of some sort of traumatic experience, but I feel like telling the full story of her childhood would greater enhance the reader’s understanding of why Elios has latched onto her so and why she feels so connected to him.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this Webtoon to anyone looking for a dramatic thriller with some horror elements.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 paintbrushes

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The Feathered Serpent ARC Review (Hiram Kane Series #5)

A Betrayed Archaeologist. A Ghost from the Past. A Dozen Worthy Sacrifices.

Expedition leader Hiram Kane is holed up in his native England recovering from wounds both physical and mental, when his family receives a mysterious anonymous letter that dredges up nightmares from the past. Could it also offer a ray of unexpected hope?

Across the world planet beneath a forgotten Aztec pyramid, a betrayed archaeology professor is about to unleash his wrath.
How? Brutally murdering a dozen innocent victims in an ancient sacrificial ritual.

When the modern and ancient worlds collide and the unhinged professor starts committing unimaginable blood-spilling atrocities on the adolescent virgins, Kane is forced to make an impossible choice; 

Can he sacrifice the love of his life to save the innocent girls?


This book starts with the main story being about Hiram finding his long-lost brother, and a side story about a disgraced archaeologist coming up with a plan to get back at those who hurt him.

Hiram lost his younger brother years ago when he was 10 and his brother was 8, and now he receives a letter from a person claiming to be his now-adult brother who lives in Mexico. Hiram decides to go down to Mexico to meet his brother Danny and to finally get some closure as to what happened to his younger brother.

To be honest, this arc was probably my least favorite part of the story. I was expecting Danny to have been kidnapped, but he wasn’t. He chose to leave the family of his own free will at 8 years old and then chose to never go back. This was just astonishing to me. How do you decide at 8 years old that you are going to be ok living on your own? The book doesn’t really explain if Hiram’s parents were ever abusive towards Danny, it was just a few misheard conversations. I know we have all had times where we overheard something or misinterpreted something and thought that our parents or siblings didn’t love us anymore. We’ve also had times where we decided to “run away.” But for an 8-year-old to run away and then just STAY away for years and years, without even trying to contact his or her parents when they weren’t even abusive? That’s definitely not normal behavior at all. I hope that this behavior is actually discussed in future installments of the Hiram Kane series.

Besides this rather strange arc, I enjoyed the rest of this thriller! The former professor had such an interesting backstory, and I almost thought that I could forgive him for his crimes before he had started killing the girls. Honestly, he was disgraced in such a stupid way. I couldn’t blame him for being upset. But then he just got crazier and crazier as the story got on, and I saw more and more of the professor slipping away as he started to believe the facade that he had created for himself. By the end, I realized that the professor was completely gone, and only a madman was left. All I wonder is what happened to Rafe? Is he going to pop up in another book? So many questions that I am going to need answers for.

Once the action in this story starts, it REALLY starts. I was actually a bit shocked by the sheer gore in this story, I definitely cringed during some parts. If you don’t like gore, this is definitely not the book for you. I have read a few of the Hiram Kane stories, and this one definitely ranks pretty high on the gore. For me, I actually liked the fact that the story didn’t shy away from gore. It really added to the intensity of the action scenes and made me really feel as if the girl’s lives were really on the line. Unlike many other stories that pretend to kill people and then reveal to the reader that it was really all fake. This book almost had me crying at times, it was just that good.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new adult thriller-mystery novel to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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A Creation of Tomorrow Review

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\A Creation of Tomorrow (The Creation Series, #1)Alice’s daughter now missing, Cami was without a mother, and the one person that protected her from her father’s anger. Now Cami continuously wore new bruises.

Having no doubt Cami’s father Tom was responsible for the bruises Alice turned to the police again and again, but just like when Patsy went missing, they repeatedly turned their backs on her.

Alice was desperate to find help. With nowhere left to turn, she turned to the most dangerous men she’d ever laid eyes on.

Rumour had it that they were drug traffickers. The leader was thought to be the devil himself, and his men his demon disciples; but what choice did Alice have? She needed someone that could protect Cami.

***
They didn’t wear patches on their leather, and they weren’t called by any name, but they were brothers.

For Rick running a drug ring was challenge enough. Having each other’s back was all that mattered – until Alice approached him. Taken with Alice, and drawn in the moment he looked at Cami’s picture Rick ordered Jonathan and Swan to tail the little girl, and find out what they could about her situation.

What they found was that she abused and needed their help. What they discovered was an innocence they forgot existed in the world, and a strength no child should ever have.

Her sweetness drew them in. Her strength tore at their hearts. They would do anything to keep her was safe.

This is a creation of tomorrow..

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Cami was in trouble, and her grandmother knew. No one believed that Cami was being abused by her father Tom, and the police reports that Alice had been filing were fruitless. Tom was going to really hurt Cami if Alice didn’t do something, so she decided to turn to a local gang for protection. She was expecting to have to pay but little did she know, the gang’s leader Rick had a soft spot for her and little girls in need of his help. The gang decides to watch this girl in order to find out what her father is really doing to her. They don’t mean to become attached to young Cami and Alice, but they do. Now, they have to worry about protecting the two from Tom and from the gang’s enemies.

This was the longest book that I’ve read in a while. It actually took me 2-3 days of on and off reading to finish it! But I kept on reading because I just loved the characters so much. I was reading in a lot of different spare moments that I had, just to get a chapter or two in. And even through all of this, I still had that moment at the end of the novel where I thought “that’s it?” I didn’t want these characters to ever stop talking to me.

This book has a nice balance between shocking/sad and cute/relaxing scenes. You would have a scene with Rick’s gang fighting or killing members of another gang, and then you would have a scene with the same guys playing with Cami. The author makes sure that her readers know that just because the men are gangsters doesn’t mean that they are cruel to everyone that they meet. They can treat a young girl like a princess, and still kill anyone who dares to put her in danger. Some scenes might get a little gory for those faint of heart, but it still was an amazing novel.

This was also a semi-realistic portrayal of child abuse. Everyone knew that something wasn’t quite right with Cami’s relationship with her father, but they couldn’t get her to say anything. Bruises aren’t uncommon on children, and police reports might not go anywhere for quite a long time. The only way for the gang to find out what was wrong was to see it firsthand. Cami didn’t even show signs of being abused emotionally, she had gotten good at hiding things. The gang had to get really close to Cami to get her to say a word about her father.

After the father story arc is set to the side, you get to see Cami’s life with the gang around her. They became a sort of messed up family, with the gang using the money that they received from their other activities to give Cami elaborate gifts. I was so sad when they worried about Cami’s safety from themselves.

The romance in this book was also sweet. Rick definitely had a soft spot for Alice, and slowly Alice started to warm up to him as well. I had wished that it had gone further than it had, but it had to end for safety reasons. Such a tragic love story! Then, there is a romance that was introduced at the end of the novel. A bit of a triangle even. I don’t know how this will work out, but I will just have to wait until book 2 and see!

Overall, this was an amazing thriller. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an adult mystery/thriller novel with a side storyline about family.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Endangered Review

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newbirdThe one secret she cares about keeping—her identity—is about to be exposed. Unless Lauren “Panda” Daniels—an anonymous photoblogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions—plays along with her blackmailer’s little game of Dare or . . . Dare.

But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn’t know what to do. And she may need to step out of the shadows to save herself . . . and everyone else on the Admirer’s hit list.

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Lauren is a photographer named Gray who secretly runs a blog about people in her school. She takes pictures of students who she deems deserve to be exposed. Some of the pictures aren’t exactly what they seem, but as long as the picture makes the bully/bad student look bad, Gray will post it. No one knows that she runs this, but the whole school is always tuned into this blog to see who will be posted next. Then she posts a picture of a mean cheerleader having sex with a coach, and it absolutely blows up. This is the first time that she ever caught a teacher for her blog, and the teacher gets fired for his actions. The cheerleader automatically goes from the top of the social pyramid to the bottom, and then she dies in a car crash. Lauren is getting mysterious messages from a fan and thinks that she knows who might have committed the crime. She will have to reveal herself to inform the police though, which may lead to repercussions for her.

I don’t think that the way this story played out was entirely realistic. Gray takes a pretty graphic picture of a student having sex with a teacher, I don’t think that this would have just flown over everyone’s heads because they disliked the teacher and were so into the drama. Realistically, someone would have been trying to go after Gray for posting inappropriate pictures of a barely-legal girl and a man together. And also, the school would have probably tried to shut Gray down long before. I remember at my high school there were just a few fake Snapchat accounts going around spreading rumors about the school, and the administration actually contacted Snapchat to have the pictures taken down. No way that Gray would have flown under the radar for so long if so many students were being affected.

The second part of the story that seemed unrealistic to me was how the end played out. It just….didn’t quite make sense? I don’t know how to explain it, but I definitely did not like the villain being who they were. It was so random, and I wanted it to be more than that.

Other than these issues, I really liked this book! Lauren as a character was great, I always had a soft spot for those stories about the outcast-turned-secret ______. She also shows readers her photography knowledge throughout the book, which I thought was a neat way of giving her character more depth. She really knew her stuff! The only thing that she could have done better was that last battle, but that wasn’t really her fault.

There isn’t much romance in this, even though Lauren teams up with her ex-boyfriend for a long time in this novel. I think I preferred the lack of romance. If there was more romance, it might have clogged up the actual story and characters. The main drama actually comes from Lauren and her best friend Ocie fighting, which was bound to happen. I only wish we had had some sort of conclusion to that at the end of the novel. If there was a sequel I might feel differently, but this was a standalone.

Overall, I don’t hate this novel, but I don’t love it. It was addictive, but by the end, I just wanted it to be over. Some parts seemed really realistic while others just didn’t portray high school well. I think I would have also liked the book more if the “last battle” had a different outcome.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend or not recommend this book, but if you have extra time and want to look at a new YA thriller, this might be something that you are interested in.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Get Real Review (Dale Conley #4)

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Get Real (Dale Conley Action Thrillers Series Book 4)

Dale Conley is struggling to be the voice of reason—because everyone around him is losing their minds.

San Francisco is in a panic. The entire city is hunting Jonathan Fair—son of a prominent crime family, sufferer of manic hallucinations, imprisoned bank robber … and recent escapee.

With the world watching and as the crimes pile up, Dale feverishly tracks Fair, whose delusions have convinced him he’s living in a different time, making his actions erratic. And almost impossible for Dale to decipher.

Meanwhile, other, darker forces are using the circus surrounding the Jonathan Fair manhunt to move into position, poised to strike a blow to San Francisco…

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I haven’t read a Dale Conley thriller in quite a few months, and I definitely didn’t know how much I needed to. This book got me out of a reading slump!

Jonathan Fair has managed to escape a mental hospital/facility. He suffers from manic delusions, and also has several different personalities that can completely take over his mind, so the city does not know what to expect from him. If they hunt him down like a criminal, they might come across a man with a child’s mind. If they hunt him down like a sick person who needs to return to the hospital, they might come across a murderer. Dale is hired to help catch Jonathan Fair, and he has to work with Yorke, another female cop, to figure out where he is. Jonathan is leaving secretive messages all over the town, which is sort of helping out the police, but they are still being lead on a wild chase throughout San Francisco. But was he the only one to escape the facility?

One of the main characters in this story is Jane. She is John’s sister and knows the truth about his struggle with mental illness. Hoping to find her brother before the police do, she tries to use the clues to figure out where John is, and which personality he is going to be at the moment. She has given up most of her life to try to protect her brother, never having any relationships and moving constantly to be closer to her brother. She doesn’t want to see her brother put in jail for something that he most likely doesn’t remember doing, and she knows that he is trying to reach out to her so that he can continue to get the help that he needs.

I’ll admit, it took me a bit longer than I would have liked to get into the book. The beginning made me feel as if I was flying from scene to scene, and I had no clue who most of the characters were. But when Jane came into the story about a third of the way through, I was immediately hooked. Her character truly propelled me through the rest of the novel, and she ended up being my favorite character in the entire novel. She really made all the pieces fall into place, as she gave the readers information about John’s true nature.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I was honestly surprised at how quickly I got through it. I felt like it had taken me longer to read the previous Dale Conley book. But I definitely liked that the novel, it didn’t have the usual “pages of boredom followed by a few minutes of thriller” that I see in several mystery novels. Once I got past the first 25% of the book, which I finished in probably less than 30 minutes, I was on the edge of my seat. There were no moments where the story bored me, I was constantly trying to use small clues to solve the mystery. I raced to the end, and immediately was ready for the next Dale Conley Thriller!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new mystery-thriller novel with an addictive storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I received an advance copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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My Short Stories Review

My Short Stories: Book Two

Anne Shier’s My Short Stories is a collection of stories that give the reader glimpses into the lives of different characters. The novel isn’t a complete standalone, as two or three stories are continued from Shier’s previous short story collection, but most can be read with no prior context.

The two stories that I liked the most were The Starvers and The Evil Evangelist. Even though both were a bit fast-paced, they drew me in and created a complete story out of a little bit of content.

The story that I liked the least was Living in Euphoria. Even though it sounded promising, the big “plot twist” seemed to just be tossed in there with no prior context, and I ended up not sympathizing with the characters that I was supposed to by the end of the story.

Overall, I would rate this collection 3.5 out of 5 stars. The majority of the stories were well-written and interesting, but a handful felt far too rushed to be classified as a full short story. I would still recommend this and the previous short story collection by Anne Shier to anyone looking for a new collection of stories about a variety of interesting topics.

I received this book for free and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 books

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