Book Review: We Are 100 by Nathan Timmel

2021, Book Reviews, By Year

It’s the last day of June!
And it’s hump day!
And in celebration to the last book I squeezed into the first half of 2021, today’s post is a review that follows up on Monday’s spotlight for “We Are 100” by Nathan Timmel! A comedian, with some other previous books, this is his first fiction and I truly loved reading it! I mean, I was squealing when it ended.

And in true Esther fashion, I have a lot to say when I finish with books that dumps adrenaline and joy in my system. 

Book DescriptionCharacters
SummaryWriting and Writing Style
Overall FeelingFinal Thoughts
PacingQuotes
Chapter Length & ContentReview To-Go (Mini Review)
Writing NoteRating

Book Description

Title: We Are 100
Author: Nathan Timmel
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 247
Publisher: Red Oak Press
Genre: Fiction, Thriller > Mystery, Police Procedural
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. This does not influence my review and all opinions are fully my own.

Links:
Amazon
Goodreads
Author’s Website

CW/TW: Illness, death due to illness, sexism, death, murder, mentions of sexual abuse against children, mentions of rape, swear words, gun violence, mentions of racism

Blurb

After losing his wife, Evan Francart is depressed. He has an axe to grind with the pharmaceutical company that jacked up the price of her medications, but feels powerless against a billion-dollar corporation.Then he meets Cassandra.She shows Evan a way to both end his life and become a hero. With her guidance, Evan interrupts a company board meeting and blows the building sky-high.As FBI agents Susan Chamberlain and Michael Godwin discover, Evan is the first of many. Ninety-nine more like him wait anonymously in the wings, their targets just as personal as Evan’s: the prosecutor who lets rapists walk free, the inept surgeon who maims patients yet keeps operating, the phony evangelist preying on those seeking solace… and that’s just the beginning.Will the FBI unearth Cassandra’s identity before all 100 have carried out their plans?

“‘In life, you’re either the fucker, or the fuckee. Which one do you want to be?’ Susan decided she did want to be either. She wanted to be a protector; she wanted to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. Which made this case all the more interesting. Here, the wolves were being attacked by the sheep. Fuckees had decided enough was enough, and they were pushing back against the fuckers.”

Overall Feeling

The main story and plot of “We Are 100” revolves around revenge that centers on grief. We’re not talking about bullied kid setting up the ultimate middle school, teen Hollywood-movie-worthy, humiliation revenge against the school queen bee. Here we’re talking much bigger. People like those in high bank positions, big pharma, corrupt cops, lawyers, and doctors who are doing or have done things that ought to get them at least some time in jail, but they’re rich. And we know rich people hardly ever actually end up in jail.

So now, the 100 are taking action. 100 strangers, lured in, their grief weaponized, to perform one big final act; murder-suicide actions that will use the targets as examples to the world; You’ve gotten away from the law, you boast, and now justice is here. They’re here to set an example to all the other corrupt and greedy individuals of high society. They can no longer hide behind connections and money. Anyone can be a target and the lesson from each death is that only you can paint that target board on your own back.

This book was a crazy from the beginning. I finished the first chapter, nearly throwing down the book and running off. It was sheer adrenaline. I read it once, gasped, processed blankly at the wall, and then went back and read the entire first chapter again just to feel that same bundle of emotions because holy shit what a way to GO OUT

“The 1% were animals. Or, if not animals, maybe their wealth allowed them to act without care. They knew someone like Evan would tidy up after them.”

And it doesn’t stop there. We’ve got a website filled with photos that are blank, set to turn into videos per profile, within the hour of their deaths, explaining and confessing each of the 100’s deeds along with why they did it. Sure, there were a few deaths that were skimmed over, but towards the beginning, it was just death after death. Some of the murders were generic shootings and while others may be a tad bit more creative (very tall tower kind of creative). There was always something happening that left the team running around.

Now…two wrongs don’t make a right and honestly, the book addresses this. Sure, all of the victims pretty much deserved it (judges letting rapists go despite solid SOLID evidence, big pharma’s jacking up prices to unsurvivable amounts, pedophiles…) but like one of the characters mentioned, eventually even those who get away with the act (or played a part in why others got away with their acts) were going to be caught, it was just down to “matter of time.” However…for the entirety of the book, despite how much I loved the protagonist duo team (and the supporting team) I found myself cheering on the big bad hoping he could complete what he needed to do. 

Gotta say. I was very satisfied by the end.

Pacing

The pacing was pretty good. The start of this book came in and I was left in so much shock that I read the chapter twice and it’s not the only chapter I did so with. Things pick up and we’re left with the agents running around trying to gather clues because at this point, we don’t just have one serial killer, we have a highly intelligent leader (with the wherewithal to fund this operation) heading a bunch of common folks, under him, and with them all being strangers to one another, there’s no connection between them other than their collective grief stemming from being wronged by the high, rich and mighty people that were previously untouchable. 

And then it all tapers off towards the middle where I was starting to get a little bored.

Heck, this gets noted in the book too. Agent Susan asks the rookie, Agent Michael, if this is what he thought it’d [FBI work] be like and he answers that he knew it wasn’t going to be like how Hollywood makes cops and FBI out to be. There’s no constant door busting, fighting, high speed chases, and fire fights. A lot of the work? It’s interviews, investigations, chatting with others, interrogating whose already been caught (with perhaps a bit of negotiation skills sprinkled on top), and the such. So to go from a high rush to a “Time to interview and investigate anonymous hotlines” was a nice way to break up the sections and pacing. I mean, if there was adrenaline in every chapter, there’d be a mountain of dead bodies! So, with a handful of cool down chapters in between, it really helps.

When you’re going through it, reading it at that moment, it can get a bit slow; a little bit like when the rollercoaster suddenly stalls with a hisssss either at the bottom or peak of the ride. But when you’re all done, you appreciate that it gets a little boring in the middle, because it gives Susan and Michael a breather and that means it gives you, the reader, a breather. It spaces things out nicely and I liked it like that.

Chapter Length & Content

Not usually something I comment on, but I will say…with the average chapters (that I read) anywhere from 20-50 pages, these chapters fall a short on that mark and oh my god am I relieved. Sure, some chapters are like 5 pages but do you know how accomplishing it feels to say “I hammered through like 10 chapters today 😎”? It’s also easy to digest each chapter so that you’re summarized and processed by the time you hit the first line of the next one.

And they had TITLES!

Oh, how I’ve missed chapter titles…

I haven’t seen chapter titles in a while because I tend to read relatively the same books by the same authors who don’t use them and sure, a lot of the titles are short or very to-the-point like “Michael’s Moment”, but I love chapter titles because it gives you that 2 micro-seconds of a glimpse into the chapter.

The only single thing I was kind of disappointed in was that all the individual baddies and villains had their little chapters. There are chapters that explains their history and reason why they’re out to kill their specified victim and the maybe a few pages of them actually confronting the victims while they sit in shock (well probably confusing and paralyzing fear) but the big bad guy? The main bad guy? The main antagonist? His history is spread across multiple chapters so, I didn’t miss much there. But…I was really looking forward to really reading how he lured in his prey and wanted to see their reactions of “Oh shit, I’m one of the targets the news has been talking about.” 

However, I’m not too disappointed. While shorter than I had hoped (I expected his chapter to be far longer than the others’ because he’s the main antagonist) it’s not like Nathan glossed over the villain’s personalized chapter either. Therefore, my disappointment is kept to a minimum and I was still satisfied because I got the ending that I wanted and the main antagonists’ victims got what they deserved AND were awake and conscious to feel all of it.

Writing Side Note

I’m not a fan of info dumps. I try to tolerate them, whether they are traditional info dumps or dialogue dumps (I’ve read books where a character practically speaks for 7+ pages straight in order to explain history to another character [thus the audience and readers]), but generally, I don’t particularly care for it.

And there’s info dumps here and there in this book.
Strangely? I didn’t mind.
I called them “personalized chapters.” There was literally a whole chapter just dedicated to introducing Agent Susan Chamberlain to the readers (her history, why she chose FBI, etc.) and then another chapter doing the same for Agent Godwin (Michael). But, everything was short and I kind of enjoyed the writing so it didn’t really matter. They were info dumps…that didn’t feel like an info dump. I can’t explain it further than that.

And by the time I caught on that nearly all of the main pawns/villains were getting their OWN little background chapters, I was starting to enjoy it. It was part of how this book was going to go, because, for a lot of these 100’ers, you’ll only get to hear their tale in that one chapter and never again. It’s their story squished into a single chapter, a chance to hear their reasonings. A chance to make the world look at them like the heroes they believe themselves to be. 

So yeah, somehow, I didn’t mind the info dumps because it added to the charm of the story. It just fit into this particular book very nicely and the writing really patterns around those chapters. Strangely nicely done.

Characters

The characters were likeable, especially the main protagonists, Agent Chamberlain and Agent Michael, but I was kind of rooting for the villain and his 100’ers. I read a lot of mystery thrillers and crime books. I’m usually on the cop’s side because the bad guys are REALLY BAD GUYS, but all of the villains here are grieving and have been terribly wronged. All of their victims deserved some form of karma and I found myself unable to hate them for their actions.

I’m not condoning their actions nor their violence and definitely not condoning how the main antagonist was weaponizing grief (that’s how it’s stated) even if all of the entire operation was done for the better good and to teach a lesson to those who take advantage of people below them. However, I still rooted for them, the bad guys here, in a sorrowful way.

The protagonists? I liked Susan. She had her flaws and like any good human had her oversights. Sometimes, Michael had better ideas than her, despite being the senior office and Michael’s mentor. There was a scene where a cop was disrespecting her because of her gender and she practically flattens him with words. I don’t think that guy is ever going to recover from that…(I cheered though). 

Michael is a very smart fellow and his catchphrase is “Fair enough.” It’s his first major on-field case and damn, talk about first case man! It must be such an adrenaline rush as he makes his way in proving his worth to his team. He makes for a good teammate because, sure he’s a rookie, but he had his fair share of contribution and breakthroughs that helped catapult the case forward. He thinks outside the box and questions things that Susan or Sumner may have missed. There was a major moment where his lightning fast reflexes essentially saved the case from blowing up in their face, taking their only lead to the grave AND became a major turning point in the story too!

“Working with a new agent was like a first date, only with potential life-or-death consequences while in the field.”

The main villain is there to lead the other “We Are 100” members and he’s got the means to pull everything off too. He can be manipulative and even he acknowledges that there are moments where he pulled certain stunts that might’ve met the requirement of putting him on the chopping block in the same lanes as the victims. Still, he’s cunning and his entire plan is so thoroughly thought through that it makes my head spin. However, he’s got an ego and he enjoys toying with the agents even if he knows of the risks behind it all. 

Writing

Nathan’s a comedian and his quips, sarcasm, and little remarks show in the writing. One of the reasons I really enjoyed this book was because I enjoyed Nathan’s writing. He’s got good things to say about many things, especially those in high power or high wealth, that makes its way into the book because they’re relevant to the plot. His dialogues are pretty nice and I enjoy the little interactions between everyone. One of the things I really enjoyed was how he wrote all of his characters, especially the women in this book.

Emotions wise, I got my fair share of light tears, chills and handful of shocks (of course). There was the moment that the agents discovered the website with the blank profile pictures and a cold feeling ran down my spine (for the agents, because the blurb already gives away that there’s plenty of others out there). Think about it. You come to investigate one man’s crimes, perhaps he’s got about 1-5 accomplices tops, only to discover that there’s a potential of up to 100 total related cases, blank profiles staring like ticking time bombs…Can you image the sheer fear and horror of this discovery? 

Final Thoughts

I don’t think you need a final thoughts section to know that I really loved this book. I took it on because I gave the blurb a single look over and thought, “Oh hell no, I’m not missing this one.” The writing was entertaining and kept me going even when the plot slowed down during the investigation. The characters were well written with some decent interactions between themselves. Info dumbs didn’t feel like info dumps and lastly, I’m over here rooting for the wrong damn side. I had a great time these last few days with “We Are 100” so Nathan, don’t stop writing fiction! I hope you continue and come out with more because I’ll be right there to read your next one!

Quotes

“The internet was supposed to break down all the walls between people, and information. We were all supposed to get smarter, and this would usher in a new age of enlightenment. In reality, all the internet did was make it a thousand times easier for crazy people to meet and befriend one another.”

“People shared things online they would never share in person. There was a comfort in being alone with your computer in the middle of the night; the cold screen in front of you allowed you to type out thoughts you’d never verbalize. It was a better confessional than the Catholics had in their churches.”

Review To-Go

I really enjoyed this book. Right into the first chapter, we go from 0 to 100 really quick and it ends off in such a way that I had to stop and process what just happened. The adrenaline was dripping off me and I turned right back and ended up reading that chapter one more time just to experience it again. In Nathan Timmel’s first fiction novel, we follow the story of the sheep that fight back against the wolves that have set their paws on top of the common folk for long enough. Powerful people in powerful positions are falling one by one and their deaths are there to make an example to the world. You only paint your own targets is the theme that those in the “We Are 100” follow.

The writing is really good, even during moments that starts to slow down in between all the drama and adrenaline. The characters are likeable; both the good and all of the villains, and you find yourself sympathizing with the bad guys. With a good pace, short chapters, and well written storyline and characters, this book was a great read that was easy to digest. Emotions are strong from the beginning to the end and the book finishes off satisfyingly.

  • Pacing: The pacing was done nicely. It’s fast paced only slowed down, slightly, towards the middle as the investigation and “boring leg work” part of the job finally begins. When discoveries are made, the pace quickens again and you’re once again flying through.
  • Chapter Length & Content: With short chapters that have chapter titles, the length is really nice. It helps in processing each chapter when some are only 5-7 pages long.
  • Info Dumps: While there are info dumps, mostly background stories, it fits in nicely to this book. There’s a pattern to the format of how this story goes and eventually the individual “personalized chapters” feel like it’s simply part of the charm of the book.
  • Characters: Likeable characters on both the good and bad side. Dialogue is nice and I enjoy the interaction between the team members and the duo.
  • Writing: The writing is easy to process and digest and you can see pieces of Nathan’s comedy background sneak its way into his writing style. It’s quite unique and helped me through some of the slow parts. Funny note: Characters raise/furrow/wrinkle/etc. their eyebrows quite a lot. I counted 6 before I stopped 😂
5 Stars

Spotlight: We Are 100 by Nathan Timmel

Featured Books

Wow, that was amazing!
That’s what went through my mind as I tried to stay composed after closing the book.
What I physically did was squeal until my mam looked at me like, “What’s wrong with this chick, now??”

I just finished reading “We Are 100” by Nathan Timmel and while I haven’t had time to sit and write the actual review (By the time I finish up this spotlight post for schedule, it’ll be well into the midnight of an alarm day *sob*) but hey! That means more to look forward to, after work, tomorrow! Not that anyone really needs more of an incentive to want to go home on a Monday.

So a spotlight it is.
I look forward to writing the review.
And hope it does the book enough justice without me shoving the book at people’s faces like “READ! IT!”

We Are 100 by Nathan Timmel

Bookcover of a book with multiple blank photos, one of which has a bloody red X across the profile. The author's name, Nathan Timmel, is across the upper right in all lower case while a chalk like font spells out the title of the book in upper case lettering. The title sandwiches "ARE" in between "We" and "100" totaling three lines of the title "We Are 100"
Cover is grey scale with the red X and all title and author font is in black.

Blurb (from Goodreads)

After losing his wife, Evan Francart is depressed. He has an axe to grind with the pharmaceutical company that jacked up the price of her medications, but feels powerless against a billion-dollar corporation.Then he meets Cassandra.She shows Evan a way to both end his life and become a hero. With her guidance, Evan interrupts a company board meeting and blows the building sky-high.As FBI agents Susan Chamberlain and Michael Godwin discover, Evan is the first of many. Ninety-nine more like him wait anonymously in the wings, their targets just as personal as Evan’s: the prosecutor who lets rapists walk free, the inept surgeon who maims patients yet keeps operating, the phony evangelist preying on those seeking solace… and that’s just the beginning.Will the FBI unearth Cassandra’s identity before all 100 have carried out their plans?

About the Author (from the back of his book)

Nathan has been writing since he could scribble using crayons. As a comedian, he has released six albums that can be streamed on Pandora, Spotify, or anywhere else you stream your audio-based entertainment. Should you be interested in parting with your hard-earned cash, these albums can be purchased anywhere and everywhere (e.g., Amazon, Apple Music, Google Play, etc.)

Nathan has told jokes all over the world, Iraq and Afghanistan included, for American troops stationed far from home.

Nathan currently lives in Iowa (on purpose) with his wife, kids, and cat named Turtle.

(You can thank the daughter-unit for that.)

He is an avid fan of Billy and the Boingers, and enjoys a fine pair of pants.

Nathan has written more nonsense than you can shake a stick at, including:

  • I Was a White Knight… Once
  • It’s OK to Talk to Animals (and Other Letters from Dad)
  • Hey Buddy (Dubious Advice from Dad)

Please visit nathantimmel.com for anything and everything Nathan-related. Look for his podcast, “Idiots on Parade,” wherever you find your favorite podcasts, and his vodcast, “Artificially Intelligent,” on Youtube.

If you can, go see Nathan perform live. Failing that, dial up his YouTube channel. You’ll giggle and have a good time.

Promise.

===== 🎙 =====

Esther note: Don’t worry Nathan. At least your kid was more imaginative than I was as a child. I named my pets [turtles], “Turtle A and Turtle B”…

Three Bookish Things Tag

Tea Corner (Blog)

Hallo hallo to you lovely lovelies!

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for Book Tag Thursday!

I can’t remember my last tag, so I’m super excited to do these next two and for my first one, it’s the Three Bookish Things Tag! I was tagged by the awesome Danni over at For Books Sake! Go and give her wonderful blog a visit too! Thank you Danni! This was so much fun! (I sat through a rainy lunch break to write these down!)

THREE READ ONCE AND LOVED AUTHORS

  • John Sandford is one of the first authors that I picked up and never put back down. All of his books are my default “slump cures.” I read his Virgil Flowers books in [roughly] linear publishing order and his Prey series completely out of order, but so far, there has yet to be a book that’s disappointed me.
  • Amanda Prowse is my first NetGalley read. Her “The Day She Came Back” brought me to tears and while I am easily emotional with a lot of books, hers was the first to have me crying nearly every chapter. I absolutely adored her storytelling and her characters.
  • Lee Child is another one of my favorite authors. I first came across his “Gone Tomorrow” back in college and it blew it away. It was such a thrilling adventure and I ended up reading a couple of other books in the Jack Reacher series. It’s thanks to him, Sandford, and Patricia Cornwell that Mystery Thrillers became my favorite genre.

THREE TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT HAVEN’T READ

  • Vampire Diaries – I vaguely recalled that there was a book on this, but it didn’t really hit me that…THERE ARE BOOKS ON THIS SERIES! At least…not until I started to write this post. I watched the series, with my mother, a few years back and didn’t particularly care for the show, but I do have fond bonding memories of binging this with my mother back when I had the time to do so. However, I highly doubt I will ever actually pick up the written series to read.
  • Sherlocks Holmes – Another one that my mother started to watch, a few years back, so I ended up just sitting down with her. I loved watching this show and particularly loved watching Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlocks.
  • The Lord of the Rings – I watched the movies growing up but never thought about there being books behind the movie (not didn’t know, just wasn’t something I thought about). I had the biggest crush on Legolas (still do) and thought it was just so cool that he was walking on top of snow while everyone waddled their ways through it.

THREE CHARACTERS YOU LOVE

  • Virgil Flowers – Okay look. The VF series is my absolute favorite series of ALL TIME. Why?!? I have NO idea. I simply love it and I can always count on inhaling these books in a couple sittings. I think it’s because I ended up developing a book crush on the protagonist, but I simply love reading any of his books. So, favorite series and favorite book (Shock Wave) brings me to my favorite character. No surprise there!
  • Kiran – The bloodmage from The Shattered Sigil books! He’s adorable and he’s suffered so much. I need to give this poor boy a big hug. Like. A BIG HUG. He needs it, desperately.
  • Jalan – The cowardly prince from the Red Queens War series. He’s a coward and not afraid to admit it, but my favorite thing? His dumb luck! This guy knows he’s a coward but somehow, he’s always doing something that ends up making him look like a brave hero instead and I think it’s absolutely hilarious.

THREE SERIES BINGED

I don’t binge series, not even the Virgil Flowers series. I know that I burn out easily in a lot of things so I’m making sure I don’t saturate a given month with only one series. Even if it’s not related to burn out or boredom, I don’t binge because even the longest of series is only so many books long. I want to make sure I have a sufficient stock of slump-cure books and binging a favorite series would kill my backup 😬

THREE FAVORITE BOOK COVERS

  • I loved botany back in HS (and still do). I was especially enamored by poisonous plants so I ended up buying Wicked Plants and adored the cover. I mean…look at it!
  • The first Omnibus of The Chronicles of the Black Company is badass and I absolutely love it.
  • One of my favorite fantasy series and authors of all time (Riyria – Michael J. Sullivan); While I’ve read a handful of the books, The Rose and the Thorn is my only physical edition. I love seeing (I’m heavily assuming) Royce and Hadrian on the cover.

THREE GOALS FOR THIS YEAR

While my goal for the remainder of the year is simply to read more and post more, I also have a separate post (earlier in the year) just for my goals for 2021. You can see it riggghtt >HERE< !

I TAG:

First Lines Fridays

Tea Corner (Blog)

FIRST LINES FRIDAY

First Lines Friday is a weekly book meme hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Once again, it’s Friday!

Father’s Day is this weekend and I’ve nary a clue on what to get my father other than knowing that today’s the last day I can either order online with hopes that it’ll reach by Sunday or I find something during my lunch break walk.

At this point, I’ve forfeited to the fact that I have about 3-4 books started and reading at the same time. I guess my little reading slump has resulted in me book jumping and mood reading! Today’s lines for First Line Fridays are from an audiobook [current read] from Netgalley. It’s a book that includes the narrator half singing, half speaking the lines from Baby Shark…so you know you’re in for a good time!

Can you guess what the book is?

THIS WEEK’S LINES:

“At half past eight in the evening, the musicians played “Ahesta Bero,” prompting bride and groom to enter the wedding hall after hours of symbolic isolation. Qasim Nadar, along with the three hundred other guests, got to his feet and turned to watch the bridal procession. Round tables and high-backed chairs with white cloth covers filled the cavernous event space, leaving a wide central passage.”

ENJOYED THAT PREVIEW? THIS WEEK’S BOOK IS…

Sons of Valor (Tier One Shared-World #1) by Brian Andrew and Jeffrey Wilson

Blurb

Sons of valor …

Navy SEAL Keith ”Chunk” Redman has been one of the military’s top doorkickers since the day he pinned on his trident: loyal, single-minded, lethal. Tasked to lead a new, covert team of Tier One SEALs — the most elite special operators in the world — Chunk can no longer simply rely on the status quo. To safeguard America, he needs help to stay a step ahead of its adversaries.

Brilliant at spotting patterns in the data that others miss, ex-CIA analyst Whitney Watts sees evidence of a troubling link between illicit Chinese arms sales and an attack on a US military convoy in Afghanistan. If she’s right, it would portend not only massive casualties, but a devastating threat to global stability.

Sons of war …

From the ashes of a never-ending war, a new generation of terrorists has arisen: sophisticated, tech-savvy, and hiding in plain sight among America’s allies. Battered by the Taliban and by the West, they call themselves al Qadr — Power and Destiny — and they’re determined to wrest back control of their homeland. Armed with a powerful combat drone, they can strike with deadly precision at US forces in the region — but their ambitions reach far, far beyond that.

A new legacy …

The new Tier One’s first mission will require them to not only prove themselves, but to stop an enemy who’s using military tactics against them. Chunk and his team aren’t just the tip of the spear; they’re America’s first, last, and best counterterrorism defense. And they couldn’t have arrived at a more urgent — and perilous — time.

Music Monday Bury the Light – Casey Edwards and Victor Borba

Tea Corner (Blog)

Today’s Music Monday is from DMC 5, an OST by Casey Edwards and Victor Borba. I never got the chance to play any of the games, but every now and then, I’ll pop back into Youtube to watch playthroughs and Let’s Plays. I love this song so much and a lot of their other OSTs are just as amazing. They’re honestly perfect to work out to or get some tasks done (quick).

Music Monday is a weekly Monday meme that was created and hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

Lyrics (From Capcom Unity)

Immortal temptation
Takes over my mind
Condemned
Falling weak on my knees
Summon the strength
Of Mayhem

I am the storm that is approaching
Provoking
Black clouds in isolation
I am reclaimer of my name
Born in flames
I have been blessed
My family crest is a demon of death

Forsakened I am awakened
A phoenix’s ash in dark divine
Descending misery
Destiny chasing time

Inherit the nightmare
Surrounded by fate
Can’t run away
Keep walking the line
Between the light
Led astray

Through vacant halls I won’t surrender
The truth revealed in eyes of ember
We fight through fire and ice forever
Two souls once lost and now they remember

I am the storm that is approaching
Provoking
Black clouds in isolation
I am reclaimer of my name
Born in flames
I have been blessed
My family crest is a demon of death

Forsakened I am awakened
A phoenix’s ash in dark divine
Descending misery
Destiny chasing time
Disappear into the night
Lost shadows left behind
Obsession’s pulling me
Fading I’ve come to take what’s mine

Lurking in the shadows under veil of night
Constellations of blood pirouette
Dancing through the graves of those who stand at my feet
Dreams of the black throne I keep on repeat
A derelict of dark summoned from the ashes
The puppet master congregates all the masses
Pulling strings twisting minds as blades hit
You want this power then come try and take it

Beyond the tree
Fire burns
Secret love
Bloodline yearns
Dark minds embrace
Crimson Joy
Does your dim heart
Heal or Destroy?

Bury the light deep within
Cast aside there’s no coming home
We’re burning chaos in the wind
Drifting in the ocean all alone

My Favorite Apps

Tea Corner (Blog)
Be it for gaming, leisure, reading, blogging, or creating [anything], we spend a lot of time on our electronics and for me, phones especially.

At least, I know I do. There’s an array of fancy toys now that run apps; phones, tablets, computers, and heck, there are fridges now with touchscreens! Go to the kitchen to grab a coke and you come back with a drink in hand while knowing what this week’s weather will be (say whaatt?)

Between blogging and other leisure activities, I spend a lot of time with all sorts of apps. Amongst them are a handful of personal favorites for both blogging and leisure fun.

For the Ears 🎧

Youtube
Nothing beats good ol’ Youtube. When it comes to music, I can always count on it to keep me entertained. Whether it’s lo-fi for relaxation or some gaming OST for motivation, Youtube seems to always have the perfect video. Sure, I should really look into Spotify, but that’s for soon or later. For now, Youtube keeps me happy enough and that’s really all I need.

Google Podcasts
This app keeps me going when I really have nothing to listen to! Sometimes, I just really need that human voice droning in the background to keep me company during those work-from-home shifts. It’s that light-heartedness of friends talking to friends that sets podcasts aside from audiobooks or music and Google Podcasts is perfect for that. I also have Anchor though it’s not an app I use as much as I do with Google.

NetGalley Shelf
While reading off of this app didn’t particularly impress me, especially considering I could easily download it to my Kindle App or my actual Kindles, like the Google Podcasts, I couldn’t make it through the workday without the audiobook feature this app has! Having recently been really into audiobooks, I make sure to look for new ones every time I come to an end with the one I’m currently listening too. The audiobooks are fantastic and despite being one of the more neglected apps, on my phone (in the past), NetGalley Shelf has easily risen to become one of my top favorite apps in the last few months!

Youtube by Google LLC
Google Podcast: Discover free & trending podcasts by Google LLC
NetGalley Shelf by NetGalley

For Reading 📚

Kindle App
I think this one is a given. One of my favorite apps of all time, this app is there for me whenever whipping out an e-reader becomes inconvenient. On a crowded train? Phone. In line at the grocers? Phone. At work, in the John, and want to sneak a few pages? Phone. Waiting on that absurdly long red light to change? PHONE! (I’m talking about walking, don’t phone and drive, people)! I also love reading audiobooks on here. I’m not sure the NetGalley Shelf audiobooks comes with any words, but sometimes it’s nice to have both the text and audio to a book and the Kindle App has that too. Simply put. I love this app because it’s the perfect default to situations where I just want to sneak in a few pages where a traditional book or e-reader might be…awkward.

Overdrive
The other reading app that I use, albeit not as often as the Kindle App. I can use my Overdrive app to borrow library e-books! I only recently discovered this little guy and it was a life saver during the lockdown. I never knew that I could borrow ebooks like that and having free books to borrow without ever leaving your house? Golden!

Amazon Kindle by Amazon Mobile LLC
OverDrive by OverDrive, Inc.

For the Creative Ones🎨

iIbis Paint X
My favorite painting and drawing app! I’m not the best of artists, but if I needed to doodle up some graphics for my page this is the app I rely on. Sure, there’s Canva, but this one let’s you freely paint with a large variety of colors and brush choices along with some other handy tools to use. Sure, a lot of the options are locked, but it’s one video away to unlocking all tools and options for 18 hours and that’s a trade I’m willing to make. My little cup and tea leave doodles as well as my logo were made with this app (or at least started from here).

ibis Paint X by ibis Inc.

Color Picker and Color Grab
Sometimes, I find petty mistakes in smaller drawings so I want to recreate the logo with some other touch-ups or I’m trying to create a pin and I’m looking for the palette to draft up a theme, I look to these two color dropper tools for help. Simply drop in a picture and you’re all set to go. Color grab provides you with the hex codes of colors as well as their RGB, HSV/HSB, HSL, Lab, CMYK and a bunch of other useful color tools to help you get that perfect set of colors. Meanwhile, Color Picker is a little more on the simpler side with the hex code results as it’s main feature.

Background Eraser
The other day, I was trying to get my old Cozy logo to lose its background so that it’d be transparent. Unfortunately, I…don’t have the paid version of Canva to do this and thought, “I wish there was a transparent eraser app I could use” and lo and behold…there it was. I’ve always been fascinated with images that have transparent backgrounds and now I have a tool that can let me create my own! I’m never letting it go.

Color Picker by Mikhail Gribanov
Color Grab (Color Detection) by Loomatix
Background Eraser by handyCloset Inc.

Pinterest
Needing a fanart because you fell into a new fanfic hell? Need some bullet journal inspirations? Don’t forget the recipes and the outfit ideas, Pinterest has it all! I’m mostly there because of blogging and use it as one of my traffic drawing websites, but I find the act of creating pins more fun than the actual website. It’s also a great place for blogging ideas and tips and finding fanart for fictional characters because I can’t draw for shit.

Canva
Leave the best for last, eh? If you can’t tell from my header image and the image with this post, I’ve been a little obsessed with Canva in the last few days, particularly after discovering that Canva has an animation feature. So…guess who ended up gif-fying everything?? It’s like…discovering a new toy! Besides the graphics here, Canva also helped me finish up some logos and is my go-to for creating pins for Pinterest! My friend uses it for resumes (to which I also didn’t know there were templates for). Give me a few days to tire off from the Canva craze. I’ll grow bored eventually, but I will admit, these last few days of playing on that app (and the site!) has been insanely fun and I don’t think I’ll stop using it even after the initial amusement dies off.

Pinterest by Pinterest
Canva: Graphic Design, Video Collage, Logo Maker by Canva

Social Media 📱

Twitter
There’s only one social media that I use the most when it comes to blogging. Sure, I occasionally pop on Facebook for friends and family or on WeChat for my overseas family, but Twitter is where I’m at most of the time. The writing and reading communities of Book Twitter are fantastic and so warm and friendly. I’m always discovering fascinatingly stupid things on there that keeps my attention locked for hours (when I ought to be reading or editing…). While I would throw in Instagram, I find that platform to not be as amusing and sometimes it gets a little lonely. The pressure of beautiful pictures is always lingering on IG (even if there is no actual person pressuring you) so Twitter is just a great place for me. Not to mention, occasionally I can shout into the void, my stupid thoughts, and I might occasionally hit empty air or the void or maybe even get a shout back. Either way. I love Twitter. I just…need to get off that site for the sake of productivity. Gosh!

Twitter by Twitter, Inc.

The Games 🎮

I used to think that there’s no way people don’t have games on their phone until I picked up my mother’s old phone and she had nothing but Chinese novel apps (since then, she’s discovered the joys of Farmville and hasn’t turned back). I used to have pages and pages of phone games, but it’s dwindled to barely anything in the last few years and now, my phone gaming days are at an all time low with only two games (that I play regularly).

Fire Emblem Heroes
I hate this game as much as I love it. What do you mean I just threw a hundred orbs for junk characters?!? Darn gacha games! Fire Emblem is a game series that I’ve been playing and following since I was a kid with my first game being Fire Emblem Sacred Stones. Since I completed that game, I’ve re-played it to death. Then…they came out with a mobile phone version of the game and my life was over. I love the story and it’s worse than waiting on the next book to be written in the writing world. Here, I have to wait maybe a month before the next chapters of the storyline come out and it’s so painful. But I love all the characters, the art, and the voices actors that the developers pair the characters up with. After all, growing up, the GBA versions I played were all 2D and didn’t have any voices so I’m always eager to see how close the VA come to how I image the characters would sound like.

Flower Garden (by Fairy Engine)
A super casual game where you have your own flower garden where you main task is…growing flowers. That’s it. I wake up, water them, watch them grow a TEENY bit, and put it away. It’s nothing but a test of patience and despite it not growing as slow as real flowers, there is still a good deal of waiting for the flowers to grow. I love this game for it’s simplicity and it’s just so calming to play. I had to include the developer’s name here because just Googling “Flower Garden”, you won’t find the game. It’s probably easier to find it in the actual app stores, but it was just not popping up when I needed to find that icon for my phone graphics!

Fire Emblem by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Flower Garden by Fairy Engine LLC

The Useful Tools 📧

Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive
Winding down to the last group of my favorite apps, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m very fond of the Google tools that I have on my phone. I love having my emails on my phone for easy access and love having my calendar for work and blogging. I’d be a dysfunctional mess without these two and their widgets are just as good. But the golden app is my Google Drive app. It’s like a little cloud portal (okay, I mean yeah, that’s exactly what it is). Drop something in on one end and it’ll be right there for you to use on the other. I use it to transfer PDFs and images for my graphics (especially the images) and it’s been immensely useful to me since I started to blog.

Gmail by Google LLC
Google Calendar by Google LLC
Google Drive by Google LLC

And That’s That!

A list of my favorite apps for fun, social, leisure, and for blogging. What are some of your favorite apps?

Renegade by Rob Sinclair [Book Review]

2021, Book Reviews, By Year

Title: Renegade
Series: A Ryker Returns Thriller [Book 1]
Author: Rob Sinclair 
Length: 9hrs 14 minutes
Book Type: Audiobook
Narrator: Marston York
Publisher: W.F. Howes Ltd

Obtained: NetGalley
Disclaimer: An audio-copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
TW/CW: Violence, gore, murder, death, kidnapping, torture, using someone’s child as a bargaining tool/threat

Blurb

James Ryker, a veteran intelligence agent now freelancer, working for the secretive Joint Intelligence agency on an op-by op basis, finds himself embroiled in a complicated mission that will test him to his limit.
When a simple surveillance mission goes awry and the key target is kidnapped in broad daylight in a busy London square, Ryker knows he has his work cut out.
Ryker is tasked with figuring out what went wrong. But when his good friend Sam Moreno disappears without trace, the mission becomes more personal than he could have imagined.
Torn between toeing the government line, and finding the answers he needs, Ryker realises there’s only one way to find those responsible, and to punish them.
His way.

Review

This book had me holding my breath enough to put a YA book to shame!

That’s it. That’s my one whole mood through the entire book.

===== X =====

This was my first full audiobook story that I’ve completed. I have a half-read book (that I already finished the ebook version of) in my Kindle, a choose your own story, and an anthology, but Renegade would be my first full and actual story in terms of audiobooks.

And it’s been one massive adventure with a lot of action, espionage, torture, and holding your breath because you never know if someone else was going to get caught; be that character a minor, side, or even the main character himself. Here, the fear of a character getting caught is amplified with the knowledge that the prospect of falling into enemy hands would result in something far worse than death; neverending and brutal torture. 

Now, I’ve never read any books by Rob Sinclair, let alone any of his previous series (James Ryker series) which seems to link to this one (A “Ryker Returns” thriller series), but I was able to follow through well enough despite the occasional nod to past references; minor things I didn’t particularly connect with because I didn’t read the prior series. Still, I had no problem with this book and the book, by itself, was a spectacular read.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I was going in. I only picked this one up because I was fresh out of new audiobooks which I’ve started to play during my work hours as it helped me pace my work and made the time go by quicker (not that my busy day needs any more encouragement and nudging than it already does). I was prowling the audiobook sections of NetGalley, looking specifically for a mystery thriller and eventually landed myself on this one.

It didn’t let me down.

There was so much action to be found. The story already starts off with a “babysitting” job gone wrong when a surveillance mission goes badly and is botched when their target is whisked away and eventually discovered dead. The entire operation and story only goes downhill from there and not even stopping at the ground. Instead, the floor opens up with stairways down to hell as things seem to spiral out of control over and over (with bits of luck every now and then; luck and wits).

There’s two main storylines going on at once, eventually merging into one single event as things from both sides begin to intertwine or…rather…after the stories start to come together, everything else finally began to make sense and things fall into place. The first storyline and POV, of course, belongs to James Ryker, while the second comes from a very different angle. It follows the story from Daisy Haan’s perspective on a much different case. While I was initially mostly interested only by Ryker’s story, somewhere midpoint my attention shifted massively to Daisy’s story because at that point, shit hit the fan and the hopping between their POVs drove me nuts because I NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!

Of course, halfway through Ryker’s own story, most of his personal missions were beginning to hit the fan as well and honestly, ending each chapter was painful because then it becomes a rollercoaster from one cliffhanger to another cliffhanger. Between the two POVs, there was no rest in emotions because things felt like it was spinning out of control on both ends. 

Lots of action. Lots and lots of very gorey, unsettling, and stomach turning torture. This isn’t just a plain thriller book. The amount of suspense in this book was insane. Sure, the beginning wasn’t as fast paced, even with all the action already taking place, but by the end, with each cliffhanger chapter, you were practically biting your nails waiting on this new chapter to end so that you could find out what happened to Ryker or Haan only for this chapter to also suspend you in an agonizing wait. 

My favorite thing about this book was the massive plot twist near the end of the book that left me gasping. I was not expecting it to turn up that way and it was wonderfully done because, boy was I surprised!

It was a great read that I wasn’t able to put down; easily throwing the entire book down my throat. I’ll have to eventually go back and read Rob Sinclair’s previous books to put the remaining little pieces to this puzzle together, but a fantastic and heart thumping and heart stopping first Sinclair read. 

5 Stars

My Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite

Tea Corner (Blog)

Note: I’m comparing my Oasis 2017 to the Kindle Paperwhite (Gen 6? 7?). I’m not comparing it to the latest Paperwhite.

Back in February, I purchased the Kindle Oasis 2017.

Part of me wanted it because my Paperwhite was maybe 7 years old (and yes, I know that that’s still pretty “young” for a Kindle considering others noting to have had theirs for a decade or more and that they were still alive, kicking, and functioning nearly as well as the first time I got it).

I had to rationalize my purchase. This thing would cost me nearly as much as the Nintendo Switch after all!

I thought:

  • It’s got buttons. I thought they were lame at first, but I was seeing the potential in BUTTONS.
  • It’s metal. I kinda want a metal device…like a phone…but in an E-READER 😉
  • The screen is bigger…more real estate for text! Meaning faster reading plus…warm lighting…dark mode…sharper text…
  • The design looked so stupid and uneven…I like!

But at the end of the day I think, deep down, I already knew why I wanted the Oasis.

I just want it.
That’s all.

Never have I ever allowed that to be an excuse. I always keep a close eye over my spending habits. I’m an accountant and I’m always weighting income to expenses or rather…unnecessary expenses.

I’d never allowed myself to buy something just because I wanted to buy something, but…I figured. It’s a once-in-a-long-time treat. Why not?

And then, I had it in my cart, forever…

I have this little trick where I would keep things in my cart forever. I’d look back at that product, read all the reviews, all the description and product notes, look up online IG pictures and youtuber reviews…basically make myself SICK of seeing that item everyday. And after a few weeks, if I still wanted it then at least it wasn’t some purchase on a whim deal.

Weeks went by.

I knew all about a device I didn’t even own yet.

And I hadn’t gotten sick of it yet.

So I got it.

(And got myself a cute little red vending machine case. I have…NO clue what those are. Little earless hamsters? Mochi? Dumplings?)

It’s from Ayotu (but you could probably just search “Kindle cover vending machine”

Product Review

When this little baby came home, it stayed in it’s box for a good few hours and then it finally came out. I stared at it for a long time because I couldn’t believe I’d just spent close to $300 on a device I already owned a different version of (but I was so happy). I treated it better than when my phone or Switch came home! (I will say that the cover was a wee bit of an awkward fit though).

I started to use it right away after that, only ever slightly stonewalled by a quick moment of “Grass was greener on other side” feeling because as soon as the tracking fun was over and it was safety at home, the excitement had died down for a solid minute before kicking back up again.

So how does it compare to my Kindle Paperwhite?

The oasis battery sucks!

Sure…it still trumps all other devices in the house (phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and even the Amazon Fire Tablet.) but I guess I’ve had my Paperwhite for too long. I knew that the battery wasn’t going to be as good as the Paperwhite, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so big of a difference.

While I do mix formats, I also have minor sprees between months of only physicals and months of only ebooks/audiobooks. Long story short, it means I have periods where I binge Kindle books and then periods where I neglect my devices for weeks. Between reading my Kindle for days/weeks or leaving it idle for days/weeks, either way, I could trust my Paperwhite to have a good handful of power before it goes out. If I saw my Paperwhite with 10% in the morning, I could still trust it to at least carry me through a day’s worth of to-from commute AND lunch break.

My Oasis? I’d be a little more worried. In fact, I might even be reading off my phone’s app by the time I’m on my commute home.

If I had to give out division awards, my Kindle Paperwhite would win. It carried me through my month in Hong Kong. I didn’t charge it once.

Whether I leave it alone for days or I do light reading with my Oasis, it comes nowhere near that length. Every few days, or if I was lucky every 2 or so weeks, it’d be charging.

Paperwhite? Been in my travel bag (idle) and it hasn’t had a charge in nearly 2 months (oops).

But the Graphics in Oasis is just a bit clearer.

Pristine and a tad bit more sharper, I quite enjoyed reading off of my Oasis because every now and then, I felt like my paperwhite felt a bit blurry. I suppose that’s due to the difference in PPIs; my Paperwhite’s displays were maybe 212 vs 300 in the oasis. So displays and resolutions wise, Oasis wins this round.

Bluetooth Headphones and Audiobooks!

Recently, I’ve started to read more audiobooks and it’s been a nice with the Oasis. Sure, I nearly NEVER use the Oasis for actual audiobook reading (I don’t use bluetooth headphones very often and there’s no headphone jack), but the thought that it’s there makes me a bit happy. It’s something that’s different and something I quite appreciate having around. Audiobooks do take up a lot of space, though, so the chances that I’ll start reading them off of the Oasis is slim, but it’s there and it’s a nice little feature.

Bath time!

Okay look. I have no plans to yeet my $250 device into the pool, shower or pull any romantic, candlelit reading sessions while bubble-bathing, but it’s nice that if I were to accidently spill a glass of water on it, there’s a good chance my Oasis is going to be okay. I believe the newer Paperwhite version is waterproof too, but I got mine back in 2014 and it’s the older Paperwhite device. I’m not too certain that one is waterproof in anyway.

Warm light and night reading

I will say, after I got my Paperwhite, eye strain was never a real issue (ever), but even in this minor area, I did notice that I enjoyed the warm yellow-ish tone that the Oasis gives out. It’s a little more soothing than the white, but again, after I really get into a book, lighting is the last thing on my mind. 10 minutes in, both lighting becomes a lost thought to me and they’re equal in class.

The buttons are a YES. The design is a…maybe.

When it first came out, both the first Oasis generation and the current 2 talked about the design of the Kindle Oasis; that weighed part where the device rests on your palms gliding down to a much thinner portion…I thought it was a neat idea. A lot of reviews remarked about how while it looks awkward, it did feel pretty nice because of the weight distribution. Personally, with or without a case, the uneven curvy designs didn’t really matter to me,

Once, I held my Oasis a little too lightly, tilted my hand and the whole thing flopped OUT of my hand (thankfully to my bed and blankets below). I had thought the weighted side was supposed to prevent this, but nah. All it did was help it catapult out of my hands while I made a literal 😳 face.

(It feels a lot less awkward when I’m reading on my side, laying down, though).

But the buttons! Oh…I…love it so so much. I toggled around the layout but eventually found that the default top[next] / bottom[back] worked best for me. With my right hand, it’s nice to be able to both tap on the right screen or the buttons to move on. With my left hand, it’s nice to be able to read (even if I can’t tap the screen as well with my left) it’s still nice to be able to switch back and forth.

And not to mention the auto rotate! Bedtime reading has never been so nice!

The one I carry out with me

Is my Paperwhite…

The oasis, as nice as it is, I enjoy reading it at home, particularly in bed. But with the battery life, I much rather carry my Paperwhite around. I could forget it for weeks in my purse, and it’ll still be a fine ol’ device. While I enjoy the bigger screen, the rectangular shape of the Paperwhite always feels like just a tad easier and less awkward to carry around in a purse than a square.

I’d have to hand it to the Paperwhite on this one.

At the end of the day…

I love both my devices; my old dog of a Kindle Paperwhite (yes yes technically young or at least “in it’s prime”) is less awkward to carry around in my purse. If I don’t grip it well enough, the Oasis can catapult out of my hand because of the weird weight distribution AND even with a matte skin on, it’s still pretty slippery. I’m not fond of popsockets either, so no point there. Between the both of them, one falling out my hand in a crowded subway during rush hour is much more of a nightmare than the other. Not to mention the battery is far poorer in the Oasis than the Paperwhite.

Still, I do love all the shiny new features that the Oasis comes with that my Paperwhite doesn’t have. I quite like the new sleek glass screen and metal body compared to the old beveled plastic (though, it only adds to the nightmare were it to fly out my hand). I love that there’s a bluetooth feature were I ever to want to listen to audiobooks off my Oasis. I love that it’s waterproof and despite not considering a bath time read, it’s nice to have at least one device in the household that I have feel relieved leaving it next to a glass of water. The lighting is warm and the buttons are a great additional touch. There’s a lot to love about the Oasis…but I’m grateful that my Paperwhite still works well enough on its own. Even if one beats the other in certain categories, each e-reader has its own joys, especially now that the Paperwhite has a much better upgrade compared to my older Paperwhite version, bringing it to a closer par at a lower price.

So at the end of the day, I love them both!

Thanks for stopping by and reading 😉

First Lines Fridays

Tea Corner (Blog)

FIRST LINES FRIDAY

First Lines Friday is a weekly book meme hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Once again, it’s Friday! The week always flies by so fast! Granted, I didn’t have work on Monday, so maybe that’s why…

This week’s First Lines Friday comes from the book that got me started in my favorite genre: mystery thrillers! I picked this book up from my college’s free books book cart on my way out of the library one day. Safe to say, I devoured the book and quickly fell in love with mystery thrillers, PI, forensics, and police procedural books! I know that First Line Fridays are generally for your current reads or your TBR, but I started this series in the middle so I’m placing this book back on my TBR for a reread so that I can get back into the series (from the start this time!)
Can you guess what the book is from the first line? 

THIS WEEK’S LINES:

“Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they’re nervous. By definition, they’re all first-timers.”

ENJOYED THAT PREVIEW? THIS WEEK’S BOOK IS…

Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher #13) by Lee Child

Blurb (Oh look…the first few lines are also in the blurb…)

Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they’re nervous. By definition they’re all first-timers.

There are twelve things to look for: No one who has worked in law enforcement will ever forget them.

New York City. The subway, two o’clock in the morning. Jack Reacher studies his fellow passengers. Four are OK. The fifth isn’t.

The train brakes for Grand Central Station. Will Reacher intervene, and save lives? Or is he wrong? Will his intervention cost lives – including his own?

The Sheriff by David Scott Meyers [Book Review]

2021, Book Reviews, By Year

Title: The Sheriff
Series: The Fellowship Series
Authors: David Scott Meyers
Illustrators: David Scott Meyers, Samantha Lee Meyers, and Hannah Nicole Meyers
Length: 380
Book Type: Physical paperback
Publisher: FSP (Fin Scott Publishing)
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Blurb from Goodreads

Two years have gone by in the surrounding area of Fellowship. Huey Morgan continues to feel unappreciated in his role as the deputy for the sheriff’s department of Duck County. Playing second fiddle to Sheriff Absalom Holmes, a well-respected constable who has been getting too comfortable in his job and becoming lazier and lazier, Huey feels the weight of the work falling solely on his shoulders. Late one, hot summer night, Huey is awakened by a phone call, which leads to a gruesome discovery that will shake the foundations of this small town…

Amazon Link
Goodreads Link

Review:

The second book to the The Fellowship series/trilogy, this one takes place roughly 2 years after the first book, The Contractor. While that book had focused on Elias as the main protagonist, Huey becomes the main focus in this book and his relationship with Elias is still an important part of the plot. In fact, that same relationship becomes a key factor to some events that takes place towards the end of book 2. 

In book 2, we are starring Huey who also was part of book one, albeit not as central as Elias was. The start of book two revolves around Deputy Huey and his relationship with the town Sheriff. Up in his age, he’s starting to become a bit old and lazy in his job. A good handful of things, that should be the Sheriff’s task, falls on Huey’s lap and he’s beginning to feel a taaadd bit underappreciated. As much as he’s disgruntled with Sheriff Absalom’s recent behavior on the job, he still has a bit of respect for the man and takes the work up in stride, despite the internal complaints. When something awful happens just a few chapters into the book, it shakes up not just Huey, but the entire town as well. 

The cases in this book mostly tie to a single one but the suspense is definitely there. The reader is pulled in and you become intrigued, constantly flipping to see how the story unfolds. You keep reading, seeing where the story is going. I managed to sort of guess who the culprit is pretty early on, but with a town so small as this, where everyone knows everyone’s business, the list was pretty sparse to begin with. 

The Sheriff has a handful of old characters coming back along with a few new ones. Amongst the new bunch is a state agent named Cynthia. Sharon, a lovely lady from the diner, is back and so is that sketchy pastor. There’s Buggy, the intimidating (but really a bit of a teddy) man who works on cars and I think he’s one of my favorite characters. There are a couple of older grumpy humans, there’s a “Daddy will pay my fine so I can go however fast I want” speeding brat of a teenager, there’s a drunkard who calls the bar his church, and a bunch more other colorful people. Fellowship might be small but damn there sure is an array of very interesting people there. 

The only thing I really dislike is that occasionally the dialogue feels a bit unrealistic and I have spent days on this, not really putting a solid finger to why it feels that way. When I read it out loud, throw an accent in there, and slow down, the text doesn’t feel half as bad as it does. It wasn’t so big of a thing until the 4th time I made the same remark of “Do people talk like this? People don’t talk like this.” Then, I’d read it out loud and go, “But maybe they do?” The closest I’ve gotten to why I feel the dialogue is a bit off is perhaps because sometimes the characters tend to ramble. It almost feels like the script to an NPC who is explaining something to the player character. It’s not a major deal of course, just something I made note of more than once as I went through the book.

HUEY. This man. I love and hate him. He’s the a bit of a jittery guy and in a way, I kind of appreciate that about him. In a world of superhuman cops that never seem fazed, he’s pretty normal. He’s distraught because of the terrible incident early in the book and it carries with him through the entire story (and I’m sure it’ll carry into book 3). He’s not focused, he can’t concentrate and starts like 5 tasks just to jump between them and that’s pretty accurate because when I’m very anxious I honestly do the same thing. As the book goes, you could almost see the rock slates, of each weird incident, just appear and stack on his back.

The problem? For a deputy…he’s quick to get annoyed and easy to bait. Once you get your hands on your fair share of a**holes, you start rolling your eyes and you’re not easy to rile up because then the power is in the hands of the person trying to bait you. Sometimes, he’s more of an emotional person than rational but maybe it’s because he’s practically on his last and dying nerve by the end of the book from everything that’s going on and the poor guy can’t catch a break 😦  

The plot gets interesting halfway on but, even in the beginning, the book is full of events. In a town of 1 Sheriff and 1 deputy, Huey is run ragged. I’d be as jittery and anxious of a cop as Huey, if I knew that there was probably no backup coming and you’re in the middle of a creepy house with thunder outside and the next neighbor forever away. 

All in all, the book was a pretty good read and I quite liked it. I screamed “OH HELLLL NO!” at the end because there were some [hell no worthy] events happening, by the last page, and not to mention it just leaves on a major cliffhanger. I can’t wait and I’m ready for book three to come out and I want to see justice being done! There was something Huey was involved in, in book 1, that was carried into The Sheriff. I feel like justice was not done and his secret remains veiled behind a thin transparent cloth, but it’s definitely coming up (I can FEEL it in my BONES). 

Fun note: The same illustrations and the same fun choice of fonts from the first book is back. The entire book is essentially in bold text and it’s fun because then the usual bold that writers use to place emphasis on words becomes an underline instead (because it’s already in bold!). The book is just as easy and smooth to read as the first and it really helped me in just chomping my way through it.