Review, Tour & Giveaway (3 copies!): Bait

Bait
Bait
By J. Kent Messum
(Plume, Paperback, 9780142180259, August 27, 2013, 288pp.)

The Short of It:

Think Survivor, on heroin. Utterly gripping but this is a dark, gritty little tale.

The Rest of It:

Six strangers wake-up on an island somewhere in the Florida Keys and what they have in common, is that they are all heroin addicts just coming off their last hit. As they struggle to piece together the puzzle of why they are there, the lure of treasure, in the form of a heroin,  is what keeps them hopeful. To get it, they must risk everything and that includes shark infested waters and each other.

It’s a simple premise. Messum takes these six characters and places them in an impossible situation and let me tell you,  it makes for some good reading. The pacing is tight and the writing is impressive. It’s a page turner but it’s a gritty, dark little book. Heroin addiction is not pretty and the desperation of these six people is made clear to the reader by what they are willing to do to score their next hit. As the pieces come together, the reader learns a little bit about each person’s background, but ultimately the problem with the premise itself is that it’s hard to feel anything for these characters. As one of the characters mentions in the book, these guys are throw-aways and I would have to agree.

Aside from that, the ride itself was quick and action driven, but it felt abbreviated to me. This was read in one sitting, and I am not sure it’s meant to be read that way. There are some things to ponder and the frantic pace did not really allow for that. For me, it played out like an episode of Lost. Lots of questions, lots to investigate but once the credits roll, you’re left hanging until the next episode. Only in this case, there isn’t a next episode to look forward to.

This begs the question, what makes a novel a novel? Bait was impressive but entirely too short. It had a beginning, a middle and an end and it explored some deep, dark secrets but in the end, it didn’t quite feel like a novel to me. It felt more like a novella and I’m not sure, but I’d guess that Messum changed his mind half-way through on who would survive. Wasn’t a bad choice but wasn’t surprising either.

Readers looking for a quick, fast-paced read will appreciate Bait for what it is but I prefer to spend a little more time with the characters. That said, I think Messum is a writer to watch. His ability to put you in the moment is impressive and the fact that I wanted more from him can only be good, right?

The publisher has made it possible for me to giveaway THREE copies of this book. Look for details at the bottom of this review.

J. Kent Messum

To visit his Facebook page, click here.

Follow @_JamieK_ to follow him on Twitter!

To visit his other tour stops, click here.

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review and giveaway copies provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.


GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

This giveaway is for one copy of Bait and is open to the US and Canada. THREE winners will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person. Giveaway closes on September 6, 2013 (pacific). I will contact the winners for his/her mailing address.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

 

Giveaway: The Lost Art of Mixing

The Lost Art of Mixing

Guess what I have? I have a copy of The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister to giveaway to one of my readers! This is the book that followed The School of Essential Ingredients and I reviewed it here. Today is the release date. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

This giveaway is for one copy of The Lost Art of Mixing and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on January 31, 2013 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.

To enter the giveaway, please click here.

Source: Giveaway copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.

Review, Tour & Giveaway: 12-21

12-21

12-21
By Dustin Thomason
(The Dial Press, Hardcover, 9780385341400, August 7, 2012, 336pp.)

The Short of It:

A quick, adventurous read that takes you from the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles to the ruins of an ancient Mayan civilization.

The Rest of It:

After a patient exhibits signs of FFI (fatal familial insomnia), Dr. Michaela Thane enlists the help of prion expert, Gabriel Stanton. With a disease this rare, the question to ask is, “How did it get here?” In his quest to find the answer, Stanton brings in Chel Manu, a Mayan expert,  to translate what the patient has shared with them thus far and when Chel is presented with a Maya codex, she begins to think that the two incidents may be related.

With the title and all, I was eager to read this book as I love anything that has to do with the end of the world but it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. I pictured a riveting medical thriller with people dying everywhere and doctors and scientists running all over hell to find a cure. There were elements of that but on a much quieter scale. What I found contained between these pages was in fact, a beginning to a screenplay as I could see it in my head played out on the big screen.

The framework was all there and the story interesting, but I felt as if the momentum seemed to stop as soon as I was getting into it. Plus, I didn’t find the Mayan connection to be all that interesting even though it had everything to do with the significance of the title and the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar and in turn, the end of civilization as we know it.

However, the  medical bits were well written and did pull me in. I definitely wanted to know more about Stanton. Maybe a bit more about his personal life? Oh, and I wanted more drama. I am a Southern California gal and the fact that it was set in Los Angeles was a huge turn-on, but Los Angeles in the midst of a pandemic? Hello! That has crazy written all over it and what I got was a bit too tame.

If you are looking for a quick read and like medical thrillers that are on the quiet side (no blood or gore or oozing snot), then you might enjoy this one.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy! Details below.

Dustin Thomason

To view Dustin’s other TLC tour stops, click here.

TLC Book Tours

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

This giveaway is for one copy of 12-21 and is open to the US & Canada only (no PO boxes). A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on Sunday, September 2, 2012 (pacific). I will contact the winner.

To enter the giveaway, please click here.

Source: Review and giveaway copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Trick or Treat? TREAT! A giveaway for you!

The Leftovers (Audio)

Thanks to the folks over at Macmillan Audio, I have one copy of The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta on audio to giveaway to one of my readers! This will be a super quick giveaway and will end at midnight, October 31, 2011, Pacific Time. That’s right! IT ENDS TONIGHT!

If you’d like to know a little bit about the book, check out my review here but be sure to use the link below to enter.

Open to the US and Canada, all you have to do to enter is complete this form. (Giveaway is now closed!)

Happy Halloween!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 449 other followers