Well Played by Jen DeLuca

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 9/28/20-9/29/20

How I Found It: Continuation of Series

This is a review for the second novel in a series. If you haven’t read the first novel, this post will contain spoilers. If you would like to read my thoughts on the first book, you can see my post here, otherwise please read this review at your own discretion.

Preface: I gave the first book 5 out of 5. As someone who reread that book so I could remember what happened in the first book, I am definitely in a bad mood compared to the first time. So if this review seems really critical, I’m just in a weird book review funk (I’m hoping that I can get out of it soon).

Set after Well Met, this book focuses on Stacey. I recognize that I never talked about her in the first review, but she was a tavern wench with Emily. Stacey had been hooking up with the lead guitarist, Dex, for one of the bands at Faire for the past few years, and she is trying to figure out where she stands with him. She ended up sending him a drunken message to the band’s fan page on Facebook. Now, it is a point to make, the band manager, Daniel, is Dex’s cousin. So for a year, Stacey thinks she is talking to Dex, but really she is talking to Daniel (I don’t think that is a spoiler because I knew within two seconds of the storyline that it was Daniel, but uh… sorry if it is). So this entire story is about change and how Stacey doesn’t want to be stuck in a small town going nowhere.

And here’s the thing, I have been in a really weird reviewing mood this week. With issues at work, and having to write a really rough review at the beginning of the week, I’m just not in a good mindset to write a good review, so I’m sorry, bear with me. I know that there is going to be one more book in this series, and the relationship that it is going to focus on has already been hinted at in this book (and leaked on GoodReads). So I am very excited for the next one! And I can guarantee that next year I am going to be roasting this review.

Also, quick heads up for people who want to read books that are similar, The Inn Boonsboro trilogy by Nora Roberts and The Wedding Date series by Jasmine Guillory (admittedly, I have only read the first 2 books in this series, but I currently own all of them and hopefully will be reading them soon!) all focus on love stories within the same character-verse. The Inn Boonsboro trilogy focuses on an inn located in Boonsboro, MD, and each book within the series focuses on one of the brothers that were part of the construction company. The Wedding Date series is more independent, but the characters do interact, if that makes any sense.

But back to this book. Having grown up in a small town in Maryland, I understand the feeling of wanting out. I have wanted to live on the other side of the country for years now, but I have never felt like it was a good time to leave. I connected with this book super deeply, and I encourage you to read it. This book didn’t have as much blatantly laughing at work moments for me as Well Met, but that’s not to say there wasn’t wit or humor. Putting myself in the position where I need to make a rating, I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars, but keep in mind my weird book reviewing funk.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 10/10/20-10/11/20

How I Found It: Amazon

So the premise is a little weird to me, so bear with me if I describe this kinda badly. So I think that everyone has the ability to do magic, but few people take advantage (which like, why would you not use magic? I have wanted the Harry Potter windshield wiper glasses for YEARS), but there are magic conventions where high school teams compete in different categories. We focus on the magic team, called The Fascinators, as they enter into their senior year.

Now, we focus on Sam, a queer senior who is trying to understand what is going on between himself and his best friend James. Part of their group is Delia, who is incredibly talented as a magicker and is the most driven member of the group. And we have James, who is destructive and impulsive, causing the events that lead to this story. Oh, and Denver who is the new kid and who truly has the biggest crush on Sam, and who deserves SO MUCH MORE!

Anyway, James went to a party over the summer where he ended up taking part in a ritual to steal other people’s magic, as one does, and ended up stealing their big book of spells, again as one does. This group that threw the party is called True Light, and they are essentially a cult that believes their powers come directly from an angel. Now, they end up giving the book back, and Ture Light was like, alright, let’s take a bunch of people’s powers now. And throughout this whole thing, stuff gets complicated between The Fascinators, causing huge division within the group.

A lot happens, and it kinda feels like an assault of all senses, but in the best possible way. I devoured this book, but there were a lot of times where it felt like there were a million moving pieces that it was hard to keep track. I truly did enjoy this book, and I can’t wait to read anything else Eliopulos writes! I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… How do the Hunger Games movies stack up to the books?

In March of 2012, Lionsgate released the movie The Hunger Games to movie theaters across the globe, thereby blowing up the already popular fandom. Quickly, people who never read the books (I had just read the books since my friends were excited for the movies) were getting into the conversation. Over the next 3 years, 3 more movies were released to the world, bringing the trilogy into a 4 movie extravaganza. Also, not sure if ya’ll know this or not, but they are turning the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes into a movie as announced by the Hollywood Reporter.

I am always skeptical of movies adapted from books. A lot of the time, those movies just can’t really compare, so I always feel like I need to talk about the movies as separate entities. While I will always recommend you read the books before you see the movie, I also understand that there are a lot of people who don’t like to read (which like, thanks for stopping by if that’s you). So with that being said, and because I truly am an entertainment garbage heap, I am here to give you a review on both!

So I’m going to talk about the first two movies, and then I will be discussing the second two. I group them this way, because the first two follow the books almost to a t. There were many times while I was reading where I could perfectly see the movie in my head. There were very few things that were changed or added (thank you for not making us sit through hours of Cato being tortured), and they really were good adaptations.

And then we get to the last two movies. Firstly, I don’t think we really needed the last book to be two movies. And if you are looking at “was the large majority of the book represented in the movies?” the answer is yes. The problem is the amount of filler. While I understand that they wanted to show the unrest in the districts, at a certain point they just put stuff in to make the book into two movies (and I mean, Harry Potter did it, so we had to do it, right?). And unlike the first two, I couldn’t really picture scenes from the movies as I was reading.

I’m always going to have a special place in my heart. While I was really struggling with anxiety issues, I would put these movies on to help me go to sleep (which now that I’m thinking about it, is something I really should talk to a therapist about), so I could probably quote most of the movies. With that being said, read the books. Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

How I Read It: Print/ Audibook

Dates Read: 8/15/20-8/27/20

How I Found It: Goodreads

Okay, so I was genuinely upset when I first started reading this book because I didn’t want to humanize such a monster as President Snow. But as I kept reading, it took all I could do to get through the whiny ramblings of the 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow. I personally don’t think that this book was as good as the trilogy and here’s why:

We flash back to the 10th annual Hunger Games. In an effort to make the Hunger Games more of a spectacle, the Capital is making a group of seniors as the mentors. Corialanus was chosen to be the mentor for District 12’s female tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy Gray was the most well-liked tribute for the year, mainly due to her ability to sing. This year is also the first year where Capitals can bet and send gifts to the tributes, two aspects of the Games that will continue for all Games to come. So Coriolanus does everything he can to get Lucy Gray in front of a spotlight in order for her to get a lot of sponsors.

Here’s the thing about Coriolanus, his family is broke. While he had standing before the war, most of their money was in District 13, which means that he is now the only male heir and the only person who can try and salvage his life into something worthy in the Capital. The mentor to the winner of the Games gets a scholarship to University, so Coriolanus is pushing for Lucy Gray to win. And at some point he claims to “fall in love” or whatever dumb bs he says, but really he is just a horny 18-year-old who has power over this girl and therefore thinks that since she is dependent on him to succeed, he has ownership of her (can you tell I don’t like him?).

While all this is going on, Coriolanus is in a special class where he gets to work alongside the Head Gamemaker (sorta). He spent a lot of time with her, learning about the Games and making suggestions along the way, and this puts him in a position where he knows too much about how the Games work, thereby giving him the power to cheat. Oh, there is a guy, Sejanus, who grew up in the Districts, but became the heir to an ammunitions dynasty after the war. He thinks the Games are stupid, especially when one of his childhood friends is reaped as a tribute. And Coriolanus ends up having to clean up Sejanus’ messes, including when he sneaks into the Games, Coriolanus finds himself dealing with a lot more than he could bargain for.

In comparison to the series, I think that this book is the worst one. I personally don’t think that we needed another Hunger Games novel, and the prequel didn’t do much for the series as a whole. And while I am being really negative, I also think that the writing for this book was incredible. I understand why she wrote this book, but I personally was not a huge fan. I would, however, love a history of the Games book, where she described each of the Games as the victor for each, I think that would be really cool. But she made Coriolanus so unlikable in the trilogy that I couldn’t even try to get into this book.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Team Peeta or Team Gale?

Heads up: this post includes spoilers. If you still haven’t read the series or watched the movies, I truly encourage you to read/watch before reading this post.

Here’s the thing about being old, I remember this question as a huge topic of conversation when I was in high school. But now that I have a blog where I can actually talk about this question without having a bunch of teenage girls telling me I’m wrong (at least for now), I am finally going to say my thoughts on this important fandom decision.

I have always said that I am Team Peeta, which I think at the ripe old age of 16 was a good place to align yourself. But I’m almost 25, and it is time that I reeducated myself and made a more informed decision. So having just reread the books, here are my new thoughts on the matter:

So let’s start in the first book. Initially, I am Team Gale. Gale is her hunting partner, he agrees to take care of her family, and throughout most of the first book, Gale is the first person Katniss is thinking of. Obviously, compared to the relationship with Peeta which is more or less fake, it is easy to jump on the Gale bandwagon. And before people come at me, every single second that Katniss was having her romantic moments with Peeta while in the cave, she continued to think “what would I need to do in order for Haymitch to send us stuff?” and that’s why she did it. That’s why she told the story of the goat, that’s why she kissed him, and that’s why we have two victors in the 74th annual Hunger Games.

When it comes to the second book, that’s when we start thinking that maybe there is a choice to be made. While we spend a lot of time thinking about Gale before the games, but there is a huge drop-off once we are in the Game with Peeta. The first moment when we all kinda think “okay, maybe this thing going on between Katniss and Peeta is real” is when Peeta hits the force field and Katniss loses her mind as Finnick saves his life. And while should more or less be up in the air, at this point, I am exclusively on Team Peeta.

The third book cements those feelings for me. With Peeta stuck in the Capital, it is no wonder that Katniss can’t get him out of her mind. But even in District 13 with Gale, she doesn’t really cling to him as much as we would expect. In fact, I think she had more romance with Finnick than she did with Gale. But once Peeta is back, the immediate reaction to seeing him is tampered by his torture from the Capital. But even when Katniss is saying that she is not interested, that she hates him, whatever, she still thinks about him all the time. By the time we reach the end of the book, Katniss is forced to make her decision. Even if Gale wasn’t the brainchild that killed Prim, I still think that Katniss would have chosen Peeta. Every second that she kept him alive, even after he tried to kill her, even after he begged for death, I am sure that she was always going to choose him.

I think if you based it off the movies, you could be Team Gale because A) Liam Hemsworth aka Thor, God of Thunder,’s brother and B) the movies don’t give you as much access into Katniss’s thoughts. But, based solely on the books, I think the ultimate winner is Peeta. I said it, I meant it.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 8/8/20-8/16/20

How I Found It: Word of Mouth

An oldie but a goodie, I recently picked up The Hunger Games trilogy because a prequel named The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (expect a review later this month) came out in May of this year. After finally getting my butt in gear and writing reviews again, I felt like now was the time to write my thoughts on the series, so here I am. Side note: it’s been a hot minute since I have picked up a book are read it in one day, but man, have I missed it.

The Hunger Games

In a future United States, called Panem, the Capital declares a Hunger Games, where 2 tributes from each of the 12 districts are forced to compete for the death with one victor remaining in reminder of the former rebellion made by the districts. These tributes are chosen from all the children aged 12 to 18 using a lottery-type of method. Our focus is on the tributes from District 12, where Katniss Everdeen volunteers in place of her younger sister, Prim. Forced to go compete in the games, Katniss proves to be a challenging and cunning competitor, which leads many to wonder if her relationship with fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark is just an act or if they have feelings that surpass the Games. Fighting for their lives against all the other Tributes, only person can make it out. Who is it going to be? But more importantly, what is the cost?

Catching Fire

Following the end of the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta have to come to terms with their victory. Forced to go through a Victory Tour, the victors must keep up their romantic façade in an effort to curtail the growing rebellion within the districts. President Snow (leader of Panem) announces the Quarter Quell, which marks every 25 years after the rebellion, where the twist for the Games this year is that the tributes would be selected from the living victors. Forced back into their nightmares, Katniss and Peeta must compete for their lives again, but they know this time that they can’t get away with having 2 victors again. With both of them making deals to save the other’s life, they must do everything they can to keep each other alive.

Mockingjay

After being rescued and healed in District 13, Katniss has to come to terms with the new reality in front of her. District 12 has been destroyed, Peeta is a Capital prisoner, and Katniss is the face of the revolution as the Mockingjay. I’m kinda at a loss as to what more to say, but essentially we spend the book watching as Katniss has survivor guilt, the rebellion continues to barrel through, and we sit helpless as we watch how people in this position make decisions that would affect Panem history forever.

What I remember from my experience of reading this trilogy the first time (which has almost been a decade at this point), I devoured the first two books and spent a lot longer reading the last book. I didn’t have the same issue this time, but I also had a ongoing reminder of the movies, which may have affected my speed.

I really enjoyed the series as a whole, and it is one of the first series that I truly got into the fandom of. I even made my dad take me to the movies so I could see Mockingjay Part I, which if you know my father, was a big deal. I also had a year of crippling anxiety, and the movies from this series really helped ground me.

I feel like I am probably too emotionally invested to be able to give an objective review, but I would probably give this series 4.75 out of 5 stars. I wouldn’t say that universally these books would be well accepted, but I think that there is a huge nostalgic factor, a large fandom, and the ability to make an enterprise out of them, which makes them ranked very high. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher

Side note: This is the 3rd book in a series. If you want to pick up the other two, they are also available from this link.

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 11/1/20

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club

This is the Sweet Halloween Box from Once Upon a Book Club. I haven’t opened anything in this box yet, but compared to the Spooky Box, the package was smaller and there is one less gift in this box.

Gift One

“When the candle hit the half-hour mark and extinguished, I gasped.”

15 Minutes of Flame, page 204

So this weird contraption is a set up for a candle timer. Using two identical candles, you can mark how far down the candle is a set time, and by using the pins, you can create an “alarm” from the pins falling out of the candle. It is a cool idea, even if the set up looks a little strange.

Gift Two

“As I took a sip from my glass, my eyes fell upon Leigh’s bag. Specifically, I noticed a coffee cup from The Bean, shoved into a side pocket. It was safe to the assume the drink had been given to her by Fontbutter, as part of his contribution to the morning. What I found interesting, however, was a marking on its side: HN.”

15 Minutes of Flame, page 240

Yes! Yes! A million times yes! New favorite coffee mug, 100% putting my cold brew in this in the mornings, I can’t form anything but fragments because I am happy. Thank you OUABC, you won me over!

Gift Three

“…said Andy, pulling the cobwebs off our [killer].”

15 Minutes of Flame, page 283

Okay, no one taught me how to get a picture of a table runner, so my bad. Also, I went through an entire process to try and get a better picture and the picture deleted off my phone, so whoops. Anyway, it’s a big spider web with spiders and stars on it, and it looks pretty dope.

Right, so story. Stella finds a dead body from the 1800s in the wall of an antique house. With that discovery, forensic anthropologists come out to assess to the bones, and based on that information, it leads them to another potential body from the same time period. At that excavation site, the head anthropologist is killed. Stella start piecing together who could have murdered him, which leads to a lot of antics.

Okay, storywise, it reminded me a lot of Sue Grafton’s books (keeping in mind that I have only read ABC, and not the entire alphabet. One day I will, I promise). It has a quality of cheap drugstore mystery, but is also very good. I don’t have a lot to say about the book itself, other than I don’t think it is the greatest thing in the world, but it also was an enjoyable read. I am going to put this one at a solid 3 out of 5.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

Side note: Since I give you guys a link to purchase the book, I was surprised to see that she has written a bunch of these haunting books. If you are into this sort of thing (weirdos), there are a bunch of options to choose from! Happy reading!

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 10/31/20

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club

Well, well, well. Welcome to the first of the Halloween themed boxes from OUABC. This one, based on the cover, is the spooky version of this box, so I am hoping I can get through this one in a day, or else the nightmares are going to be rough tonight. TRIGGER WARNING: This book is a horror novel, so it features paranormal events, such as ghosts and occult things. Read at your discretion.

Gift One

“Adrienne lowered Wolfgang to the porch and tore open the envelope containing her key.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 14

These things are super heavy. Fun fact about my family, we don’t really celebrate Halloween. As someone who has a birthday within a week of Halloween, my family has always made the holiday more about me than the spooky scary stuff, which like God bless. Anyway, I am going to be gifting these keys to someone who I think will enjoy their aesthetic, but these super heavy things are currently just noisemakers to confuse my dog.

Gift Two

“But she couldn’t stop herself from turning toward the next painting. Edith.

There was no terror in the child’s face, only a flat, cold focus. She stared directly ahead, intense attention squared on the observer, the muscles in her face tight but not from fear.

… The painted eyes blinked.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 253

I cannot express to you how nauseous I am at this current moment. Also, if that painting is actually attached to the frame, I am going to have to burn it, it is the only way. Despite my body’s natural reaction to a very creepy lady, I will put this one at a 7/8 out of 10 on the spooky standard. I’ve read worse, but I also am trying to speed read this book at midnight so I won’t have to deal with this tomorrow.

Gift Three

“Adrienne pressed the flashlight against the windowpane to shine its light in the car’s path. The beam was too weak; it didn’t reach past the forest’s edge….

An idea struck her. Adrienne pulled the desk’s drawer open… to find the magnifying glass she’d seen while looking for batteries….

Adrienne shoved the window open and reached the magnifying glass outside. She then pointed the flashlight at the magnifier so that its beam passed through the glass.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 273

Okay, this magnifying bookmark is super cool. Firstly, it is ACTUALLY magnifying. Secondly, it just looks dope. The tube looking thing is a flashlight, and I am not in the general vicinity of batteries, or I would try it out.

Gift Four

“Adrienne moved to the fire, placed a new log on the blaze, and picked up the novel propped on the little side table….

The woman in the mirror folded her hands tidily in her lap and smiled as Adrienne opened the novel and began to read aloud.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 329

Oooof, it’s over. And listen, this might be the greatest book in the world, but right now is not the time for me to try it out. I NEED A BREAK. I am still determined that this painting they have given me is cursed and I am genuinely afraid for my family that I have this in my house. As for this story, it got me. It was creepy enough that I knew I couldn’t just stop halfway through, and I can pretty much guarantee that my sleep tonight isn’t going to be great, but that’s the point of horror, right? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I HATE GHOSTS. Every year I buy this spooky box knowing I am going to be pooping my pants, and I never learn. So, I hope you enjoyed my insanity.

As for what happens in this book, Adrienne moves into the Ashburn House after it was left to her from her great aunt. The Ashburn House is known for being haunted, but Adrienne is hoping that her Aunt Edith’s life as a recluse is the main cause of that. As she accustoms herself to the house, more strange things start happening, causing Adrienne to consider the paranormal. Quickly, things fall apart, and Adrienne has to fight for her survival.

Personally, I hate this book, so I’m going to give it a 1 out of 5 star rating. But, in the effort of being fair, I will give this book a 3.5 star rating, and do know that the little girls face in the painting will haunt my dreams tonight (yes, I cannot get over the painting thing).

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 10/25/20-10/31/20

How I Found It: Book of the Month, Personal Recommendation

Did I hit my steering wheel on my way home from work because of this book? Maybe. Was the older man in the car beside me completely concerned for my well-being? Probably. Is that the power of this book? Absolutely.

Adeline, aka Addie, was in Villon in 1714 when her parents found her a husband. Hoping to be free, Addie began praying to all the gods to save her from her marriage. But when the sun set, Addie didn’t pay attention, finding herself praying to the gods of the dark. This god’s main currency is souls, and Addie ended up promising her soul after a lifetime of infinite freedom.

“Infinite freedom” is obviously a trick, and Adeline becomes a ghost. The second that she is out of someone’s eyesight, she is completely forgotten, with no ability to leave a mark of her own. Her only way out? To surrender her soul to the god of darkness.

Quickly, the deal becomes a war. The darkness, who Addie named Luc, is the only “person” who can remember her. But as he said, there is power in words and ideas, and soon Addie tries to find ways to outsmart Luc’s curse. And as we continue through this story, we watch their game of chess unfold move by move.

300 years later, Addie meets Henry, and suddenly she is remembered. As she tries to understand how this could be possible, she thinks that maybe she found a way around the darkness. As we switch between Addie’s 300 years and 2014, we learn about both the lack of and abundance of survival, love, and power.

So when this book was first offered to me as a Book of the Month option, I was hesitant. I am not a big fan of fantasy, and I just didn’t think I would enjoy it. When my friends from college started recommending it, I decided to give it a chance, and man, was it the right decision.

It was a little slow to get into, in my opinion, but the payoff was a million times worth the effort put in. I truly believe I could have a hours long conversation about the terms of Addie’s deal, any potential plot holes, or just the book itself with my friends, which puts this one pretty high up on the list for me. And while I personally think that Henry’s origin story is dumb, I realize that that is probably the point, so I won’t knock the story on that.

For the people who are not really interested in fantasy novels, this book really isn’t one. While the overall premise is supernatural, this book is more about the human condition, and that is why I think this book truly is for everyone. I am going to give this book 4.75 out of 5 stars, and I hope you pick it up soon!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Stand by Stephen King

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 9/14/20-9/26/20

How I Found It: Personal Recommendation

When I asked my Facebook for Stephen King recommendations, almost everyone encouraged me to read this book. I put it on the back burner because it was over a thousand pages, and that’s a commitment I wasn’t ready for, but I finally took it on, and man is it good.

It seems like a normal day until a man named Campion, in a car with his wife and daughter, drove through gas pumps in Texas. Campion was working for a secret government project that focused on making a “superflu” that was incredibly contagious and extremely fatal. From the 4 men who found the bodies of the Campions, a terribly quick domino effect infected the entire world. After a few weeks, very few people were left, and those that were had dreams of a farm in Nebraska.

So at this point, we follow a bunch of survivors as they come to terms with their new reality. For the sake of posting a readable review, I’m not going to breakdown the characters unless I truly think that it will affect the rest of the review.

To narrow down this story into a simple sentence, this book is a game of good vs evil, specifically God vs. Satan. Since so much happens in this book, I’m not going to go into more specifics, but like, 1000 pages worth of stuff happens, so it’s a lot. Compared to the other books I have read by King, this book was probably the best, though it is A COMMITMENT.

Reading this book in a pandemic is interesting to say the least. The beginning of the book was rough, mainly because I saw a lot of parallels between how the government handled the superflu in the book with how the US handled the coronavirus in real life. Once the flu has eradicated the majority of the Earth, it gets a little easier to stomach.

Into my personal preferences, I enjoyed this book more than the other ones of King’s I have read. Part of that was that it was based on a theme that we see in A LOT of other books, so I had a point of reference as to where the story was going. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending, but you win some you lose some. Since I listened to the majority of this book as an audiobook, I definitely zoned out many times. There are a lot of characters that we follow, and many of their storylines are red herrings for the actual story. It is easy to get lost in them, but that is one of the things that King excels at in his writing. It’s a Catch-22, because if he didn’t give those characters light, we would already know where the story was heading. It keeps the story interesting by just inundating the reader with details about every character.

Now to a rating. I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn’t say that this book was the greatest thing I have ever read. I stand by my rating for Doctor Sleep, so I’m going to give this book 4.25 out of 5 stars, but that might be a little generous for my liking.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!