The End of Marking Time by C. J. West

Name of book: The End of Marking Time

Author: C. J. West

Genre: Dystopian Suspense

Reviewer: Melissa

Summary: Sentenced to prison for theft, Michael is shot and winds up in a coma only to wake up years later and discover a new kind of prison – one where you are free, but not really.

Rating: 3

Reason for rating: This book was pretty hard for me to get into. At first I was like why should I care about the main character? He doesn’t seem to care about anyone, he pokes fun at his friends for wanting to settle down (I am in the process of settling down myself at the moment), he breaks into people’s houses, and is really kind of cocky about the whole thing. When he gets arrested I was like good – you got was you deserved. That said, I have always had a bit of a soft spot for dystopian literature and I really thought the concept was interesting. I’m just not sure it was executed as well as it possibly could be. I felt like there was a lot of telling me things instead of showing me and I understand that now because of the nature of the story. I really did come to care for Michael, but it took a long, long time. He still didn’t seem to care a lot of the time. Also, I didn’t like the ending. I thought it was unsatisfying. And kind of cruel. But it wasn’t bad – like I said, I liked the concept but it maybe wasn’t carried out the greatest.

Find The End of Marking Time on Amazon

Find The End of Marking Time on Goodreads

C. J. West’s Website

Disclosure: I was not paid for this review. I received a free copy of the e-book in order to provide my opinions about it. All opinions in this post are 100 percent mine.


Shaken by J. A. Konrath

Name of book: Shaken

Author: J. A. Konrath

Genre: Thriller

Reviewer: Melissa

Summary: Retired cop turned private eye, Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels, meets with her arch nemesis, Mr. K.

Rating: 5

Reason for rating: I absolutely loved this book! I know I said that of the last book, but I mean it with this one as well. I mean come on, I stayed up way to late reading until I finished it (I’ll go to bed at 1 am. No, I’ll go to bed at 1:15. No, I’ll go to bed at 1:30). I even had a dream about the characters when I did finally finish and go to bed (which I won’t post for the sake of spoilers since my dream had to do with like the what happens next after the end of this book). In the e-book, you’ll get two versions of the story – one that jumps around back and forth in time and one that is written linearly. Not having read many thrillers before, I didn’t mind reading it non-linearly so that’s what I went for. At first, it was a bit confusing – I think I would have liked the headers to be different. Not date per say but more like some indication of what was going on. However, I quickly picked it up. The pacing worked well for me and I liked the way the time jumps allowed the story to keep me guessing what would happen next in so many ways. I also liked that I had the option to choose.  The ending, I thought, was sort of a cop out – a bit of a deus ex machina if you will because it just seemed too easy but it perfectly set up the next book – a book I can’t wait to read! I also think his characters are really compelling – though for the longest time I kept getting Harry and Herb mixed up (the H’s!). And I did find one think towards the end that sort of felt like an inconsistency to me, but I don’t want to mention what it was because I feel like it would give away a major plot point.

Find Shaken on Amazon

Review of Draculas (co-authored by J. A. Konrath)

Find Shaken on Goodreads

J. A. Konrath’s Website

Disclosure: I was not paid for this review. I received a free copy of the e-book in order to provide my opinions about it. All opinions in this post are 100 percent mine.


Name of Book: Draculas

Authors: Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, F. Paul Wilson

Genre: Horror

Reviewer: Melissa

Description: Put one scary dracula who has the ability to infect others in a rural hospital and you have the basic plot of this novel. Basically.

Rating (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest): 5

Reason for rating: Let me say that I absolutely loved this book! I didn’t think that I was going to be so gung-ho on it when I first started because I don’t read very much horror. However, this book, I feel, will intrigue all readers if you can stomach the thought of picking up a horror book. It was the right mix between horror and humor. It also was descriptive without making me want to throw up. Also, the characters were very realistic and compelling. I fell in love with them – all for their own reasons. Randall and Jenny were my favorite though. Randall for being a dumb nut but super lovable and brave. Jenny for taking care of the kids as her first priority (that would be me too). Also, Adam and Stacie were favorites of mine too. I definitely cried after certain characters died (though I won’t tell you who). It was so good, I took it to bed with me one night intending to read for maybe 15 minutes – instead I read until my battery died. I was so tired in school the next day, but it was so worth it. I highly recommend this book, even if you don’t like horror, because it doesn’t seem one dimensional horror at all – like I said, there are lovable characters. Also, it comes with bonus features. At first I was like – whatever, take it or leave it, but when I finished the book I was so glad there were bonus features because I wanted more! As a writer, I loved reading how they worked with each other on this project. Only one criticism – I do think I found an inconsistency. I’m pretty sure there was one more couple on the maternity wing that gets mentioned early on but never mentioned again. Were they there in the end or did they make it out alive? My guess is the first one, but I just thought I’d point that out, though most people probably won’t notice it.

Pre-order it on Amazon here

Goodreads Page

Book’s Website

Note: I am not being paid for this review. I received a free copy of this e-book in order to share my opinions. All opinions in this review are fully mine.