Tag Archives: thriller

Book of the Month
June 12, 2014 posted by Nichole

Wicked Games – Sean Olin

18599672Wicked Games is the first book in a sexy thriller series where passion, lies, and revenge collide-perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Sara Shepard.

To all the locals in the small beach town of Dream Point, Carter and Lilah seem like the perfect It Couple-but their relationship is about to brutally unravel before everyone’s eyes.

Carter has always been a good guy, and while Lilah has a troubled past, she’s been a loyal girlfriend for the last four years. When smart, sexy Jules enters the picture at a senior-year bash, Carter succumbs to temptation. And when Lilah catches wind of his betrayal, she decides that Jules needs to pay.

By the end of the summer, the line between right and wrong will be blurred beyond recognition. Blood will be shed. Nothing in Dream Point will ever be the same.

This juicy summer read will keep readers turning pages until the shocking, nail-biting finale



That was my reaction when I finished this book. I had to take a couple days before I could write this review, because I was in such deep mourning and shock and pissed off ness and ….oh my goodness…so many feels! I’m sitting here and my mouth is flopping open and closed with unspoken words. I’m being a little bit choppy since I have so much I want to say. But these words can sum up this book. So. Many. Feels.

I was a little nervous when I first started Wicked Games. They’re calling it a sexy thriller. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. After reading it, I’m still not quite sure how that description relates to the book. However, I will say that this was one rollercoaster of a read. I felt so many emotions, my heart rate was probably sky high, and that ending? OH MY GOD, THAT ENDING? guys….THAT ENDING! I’ve never read such an ending. I’ve never had a book leave such a impression on me. I’ve NEVER been so upset over a book that I had dreams about it two night in a row. This book will last with me forever.

Have you ever watched the movie Swimfan? The one with the creepy stalker girl…I think she plays the sister lawyer on Parenthood. If that was a book…this would be it. Wicked Games was so spooky, so dead on, so jumpy…omg at how many times I jumped throughout this book. It scared the living crap out of me.

What I loved about Wicked Games was the characters. I thought everyone in the book was exceptional. It was almost like just reading about real people and a real story that happened. And then at the end of it you have to remind yourself that it’s a book and those things didn’t really happen. There was Carter, and my heart was broken for him and all of the things that he had to go through. There was Jules, the new girl in Carters life who Lilah was targeting, and then there was Lilah, the messed up girl who went psycho and started stalking her ex and his new girlfriend. It’s so hard to put into words how brilliant these characters were because there is so much to say about each and every one of them. If it were up to me, I would break down every single damn scene in this book and tell you all about it. But since I actually want you to read the book, I will refrain.

I think the thing that I loved most about Wicked Games were my feelings toward Lilah. For most of the book, I thought she was a crazy ass psycho girl who needed to be locked up. Then there were times that I felt so sorry for her. I really wish that we had the chance to learn more about her past and what exactly caused that trigger in her to go off. When she’s first introduced in the prologue she seemed like such a normal girl. I guess I loved the message that not everyone is who they appear to be. Obviously, I thought she was nuts, but I think that she was my favorite thing of this whole entire book.

There were two reasons that I knocked Wicked Games from a 5 star to a 4 star. First, I didn’t really care for how quickly Carter got over Lilah. When you’re in a four year relationship those feelings don’t just go poof in the air. I respected that he was trying to distance himself because she was going a little batty, but I wish that there would have been more scenes showing his pain and regret over the situation in private. It just kind of seemed like he was over Lilah like that and moved on with Jules. I’m not saying that couldn’t happen. They are portrayed as teenagers, and…well….enough said there….but I just didn’t like that part.

My second complaint was with the ending. And I have VERY mixed feelings over the ending. At first, I hated the book because of it. Then, I wanted to give it 5 stars because of how brilliant and unexpected the ending is. And then I settled on 4 stars once I had time to come to terms with it. Well….to get over it a little bit more than I was. I have never had such an emotional reaction to a book before. I almost cried over that damn ending. It was just……it was so out of nowhere. Part of me wants to tell you all to read the whole book except for the very last chapter. That very last chapter…those last 3-4 pages….they made me uncontrollably mad and upset. Another part of me wants to tell you to read the whole damn thing and experience what I did. I’m honestly torn. I feel like it must be a great ending if it had me so worked up. But all I can feel is just shock. That’s it. Shock.

My verdict for Wicked Games is that it is absolutely brilliant. Probably one of the best books that I have EVER read. And if you don’t go buy this book right this second, you’re missing out.


Pages: 352

Publication Date: June 10th, 2014

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Rating: : ★★★★☆

Beautiful Malice – Rebecca James
Book Reviews
January 14, 2012 posted by Bianca

Beautiful Malice – Rebecca James

“Katherine has moved away from her shattered family to start afresh in Sydney. There she keeps her head down until she is befriended by the charismatic, party-loving Alice, who brings her out of her shell. But there is a dark side to Alice, something seductive yet threatening. And as Katherine learns the truth about Alice, their tangled destinies spiral to an explosive and devastating finale.”


If you have read the hype regarding this novel , you would believe that Rebecca James is going to be the next JK Rowling. That is a big call, and not really fair to the author. Flattering? Yes. Fair? No. I too, knew sketchily of the details surrounding ‘Beautiful Malice’ – a bidding war at a book fair in Germany – or somewhere. I wasn’t really paying attention because I was, as most wannabe writers often are, too busy being insanely jealous. So of course when I picked up the novel I was expecting to be blown away.

I wasn’t. But what I did get was a solid read that kept me interested, if not utterly engrossed and up reading past 2am. But I must stress, that even though I didn’t love and adore this book, I can see the appeal and why many others would rate it very, very highly.

In this part romance, part thriller, we are introduced to Katherine Patterson, an intelligent girl who is completing her high school career, away from her family and friends. But we don’t worry about why too much, as we are swept up with Katherine’s new friendship with Alice and Alice’s ‘kind of’ boyfriend, Robbie.  Beautiful, sexy, crazy Alice. It soon becomes clear that crazy is definitely a word used to describe her. Spiteful, cruel, arrogant and scary also come to mind. Although Katherine has been dealt some horrifying blows in her life, she still has her wits about her, and when Alice’s behaviour becomes truly inappropriate, Katherine cuts her loose. Doing her final exams, nurturing a new love and finally being happy – an unhinged bestie is the last thing Katherine needs. Of course, that is when the fun really begins. Katherine’s tragic past becomes a focus for Alice; a means to wreak havoc on Katherine and those she loves.

It has been claimed that the novel has a strong ‘international appeal’, which I think suggests that it isn’t noticeably ‘Australian’. I can’t figure out whether that is an insult or not. It is Catch-22 for me. I love teen stories set in America, with the school hallways indoors, the cafeterias, snow, no school uniform and ‘mom’. I suppose that with a tweak of mum to mom, the change a some place names and a bit of a flora readjustment, this story could be set anywhere. Does it matter? I guess not. I am just not sure if it is a sell-out when a story set in Sydney, by an Aussie author doesn’t feel Australian.

‘Neutral’ setting aside, I liked Katherine. She has a good head on her shoulders – she doesn’t fall prey to Alice’s manipulation and has the strength to end their friendship. Alice is just a nasty piece of work, all the things you expect a bunny-boiling villain to be, but you do wonder how she got so far hiding her crazy. That in itself is impressive, if not a plot hole. Robbie, who makes up the third member of the trio is sweet and gorgeous – you want to hate his weakness where Alice is concerned, but well, she’s gorgeous and seductive and fun, and he’s a boy. What can he do in the face of that? He is not totally clueless; he does realise the hold Alice has over him, and he does pull her up on her behaviour when necessary.

While I don’t want to give to much away regarding the plot – as a thriller, you need the surprises – I feel that Katherine went through a hell of a lot to achieve what happens at the end of most teen romance novels. I know this isn’t a teen romance, but if the murder, mayhem and Alice’s crazy was notched down a bit, it could be. With a bit more swearing. When you reach the end of this novel you will feel wrung out and maybe a little hopeful, that the good, decent characters will finally get what they deserve – peace and happiness. Early on in the novel, we know Alice got what she deserved. You just have to read on to find out how.

Pages: 283

Publication Date: June, 2010

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Challenge: Debut Author

Rating: : ★★★½☆

Teaser Quote: Robbie’s father puts his hand on Alice’s arm and pulls her in beside him. Alice’s face is absolutely inscrutable – and though she’d looked shocked when she’d first seen us, she now looks perfectly comfortable, slightly amused even, as if this whole situation is just a game, and we are the toys.

Brain Jack – Brian Falkner
Book Reviews
January 6, 2010 posted by Katie

Brain Jack – Brian Falkner

It would take a very special person to crack the computer systems of the White House.

An expert. A genius. A devil. All of the above, some would say.

Someone like Sam Wilson, brilliant teenage computer hacker. But Sam’s obsession is about to lead him into a dangerous world. A world of espionage and intrigue; of cybercrime and imminent war.

A world where logging on to your computer could mean the difference between life and death.

Sam Wilson is just your average teenager. At least he looks like your average teenager. What is different about Sam is his ability with computers. Sam can access nearly anything that is on the internet. He has written his own computer programs to allow this and just recently pulled off one of the biggest hacks the world has seen – with a few side effects. Sam hacked into Telecomerica, got himself and his friend a new computer and neuro-headset, but in the process, caused the majority of the United States of America to lose power. For a few days.

Of course, if you ask Sam, none of that was meant to happen but he needed to blow off his trackers somehow. And as Sam successfully gets his new computer without any obvious form of detection, Sam is ready for his next challenge – NetH@ack. The secret convention of the most skilled hackers on the net. With belief in his ability that he can’t be caught, Sam almost succeeds. That is, until the Cyber Defence Division of Homeland Security knocks on his door.

Transport to a containment facility, Sam is destined to be a prisoner for the rest of his life. Seemingly forgotten by all but his mother, it is the worst situation Sam could have ended up in. Constant security, no internet access and limited computer time on a computer so ancient and riddled in security protection, that it seems impossible to get through. Apparently. But if you know what Sam does, then it seems like biding your time is all that you have to do.

Making one of the most daring escape attempts in the history of Recton Hall, against all odds, Sam succeeds only to be picked up, again, by the Cyber Defence Division which seems like it was waiting for this exact move, somehow knowing that Sam would try to escape. Once Sam reaches CDD headquarters, everything that he thought he knew, gets turned completely on its head. Sam is given a lifetime opportunity – if he can survive the probation.

And when the next war begins, it starts in cyberspace, and Sam is part of the front line of defence, and it’s up to Sam to stop the internet taking over the world.

Brian Jack by Brian Falkner is a fast moving action thriller that kept me turning page after page, wondering what is going to happen next. When I started reading, and I found that Brian Jack was based in cyberspace, I was worried that it would become too technical, that I wouldn’t understand the language being used, but quite like his previous novel Falkner provides a way that you don’t need to be a tech-savvy person to understand and enjoy the novel. The feeling of being in over your head only enhances the understanding of the stakes the characters would be going through. The development of Sam from a teenager who believes he can do anything into a person who understands the implications of what one single action will have on the world is believable and engaging from start to finish.

A good read with a fast plot and an action thriller for all ages.

Pages: 438

Publication Date: 2009

Rating:: ★★★★☆

The Tomorrow Code – Brian Falkner
Book Reviews
November 13, 2009 posted by Katie

The Tomorrow Code – Brian Falkner

“It happened before. Burnt Mountain, Alaska. Novosibirsk, Siberia. Now it’s about to happen to a thriving city. Crack the code…or tomorrow is history…”

Auckland, New Zealand. A city with a population of 1.3 million. 25th December. Already, 50 000 people have just vanished into a mystery white fog. They were never seen again. Their town was surrounded by white fog which defied gravity and wind, with whispers of ‘snowmen’ coming from the very few survivors. No one who goes in, comes out. No electrical transmissions can find their way through the storm, and nothing New Zealand authorities do can seem to stop the fog.

Imagine that you’re the only one who knew this was about to happen. Imagine that you’re the only one who has a chance of stopping it from happening again. Imagine that you had discovered a way to receive messages from the future and no one would believe you. Imagine that the fate of the civilization of the world could rest on how quick you can crack the code. Everything is stacked against you, you’re a teenager still in school, not old enough to be considered seriously, you have a mother that is only interested in the next episode of her favorite soap opera on TV and every minute that goes past is another death that could have been prevented.

This is Tane and Rebecca’s reality. Months earlier, Tane and Rebecca discovered a way to read messages that were transmitted through time. Messages coded and hidden in gamma ray bursts that are recorded by high-tech NASA space equipment, only you invented and discovered the program to read these messages. The messages that are decoded spell out a bleak future for live on earth. Receiving instructions from their future selves, Tane and Rebecca face a race against the clock to try and get the New Zealand and International military and bio-medical forces to listen to them. Every instruction that they have followed from these coded messages has been correct. From winning the lottery as a test, to breaking into NASA’s top-secret internet files, each step brings you closer to either saving humanity, or watching it descend further into chaos and destruction. Whispers of the Chimera Project that must be stopped, cryptic instructions for a device to send information to the future and juggling sudden millionaire status are just some of the issues that Tane and Rebecca have to deal with on a daily basis.

And this is only the beginning.

The Tomorrow Code is Brian Falkner’s first young adult novel, with three children’s novels being published prior to this. The style of writing and the way in with Falkner deals with some difficult concepts is remarkable. When talking about science, quantum foam and biology, it is easy to get lost in the technical terms, yet Falkner allows the reader to sympathise with either of the two main characters. Rebecca is the brains, the science and math whiz who more often than not is the one talking and explaining the technical jargon while Tane is the creative soul and often, like me, doesn’t have a clue what Rebecca is saying, yet somehow works it out in more simple and creative terms. Rather than subtracting from the plot, this actually adds to the sense of urgency and mystery of the novel. In all, I liked this novel, it captured my interest from the beginning and it was an easy read that I didn’t have to struggle through. The characters were interesting, plot well developed and style captivating from the first page to the end.

Rating:: ★★★★☆

July 8, 2009 posted by Nikki

Patrick Carman Update

Those of you who read Patrick Carman’s interactive novel, Skeleton Creek, will be interested in this. Patrick has just released a bunch of weblinks where fans can go and keep up to date with the production process of his upcoming projects. It seems that Patrick is continuing his style of interactive novels, and the links below have some really cool features. Check it:

Main sitewww.enterpcstudio.com
Follow writers, directors, and actors through Twitter, vlogs from the set, production photos, and live chats.
The back lot gives young readers an unparalleled look behind the scenes as we create, shoot, and edit the next project.
This is where readers can find out quickly what’s happening from day to day.
Ghost in the Machine (the sequel to Skeleton Creek) comes out in October and apparently has a cracker ending. He’s also working on another thriller-type interactive novel that you guys can follow through the links above.

A Chaos Walking Novel: The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness
Book Reviews
July 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

A Chaos Walking Novel: The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness

“Your Noise reveals you, Todd Hewitt.”
A voice –
In the darkness –
Everything is shadows and blur and it feels like the world’s spinning and my blood is too hot and my brain is clogged and I can’t think and it’s dark –
I blink again.
Wait –
Just now, just
now we were in the square –
Just now she was in my arms –
She was
dying in my arms –
“Where is she?” I spit into the dark, tasting my blood, my voice croaking, my Noise rising like a sudden hurricane, high and red and furious. “

This is how the second novel in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Ask and the Answer, begins. My heart was thumping as I read every single word. Every single freaking word, and it did not stop thumping until the end, some 519 pages later. Even then, I had to take a walk around the block just to calm myself down.

For those that have read the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, you’ll be well aware that readers were left dangling in the midst of one hell of a cliffhanger ending. Fortunately, this installment picks up right where that one left off, only now our two protagonists are no longer together. Todd has no idea where Viola is, or even if she’s alive. But the Mayor (actually, that’s Mr President to you now, thank you very much) promises Todd she’s alive and that he’ll get to see her soon. Todd has nothing else to go off and has to believe what he’s being told. He just has to. The thought of Viola not being alive any more is just too much to contemplate. He tried to save her; he tried with everything he had. What if it wasn’t enough?

I know what you’re thinking. If Viola isn’t with Todd, how are we supposed to know what happened to her? Fear not, special readers, as Patrick Ness is the God of all Gods right now and he definitely factored that in. Viola fans will be super pleased to hear that she has her own point of view in this installment, which means – obviously – that she’s alive. But she doesn’t know where Todd is, either, doesn’t know if Todd is even still alive. The President has her being held ‘captive’ and wont tell her a thing. The President is no fool, and he knows better than anyone that keeping Viola and Todd apart is imperative if he wants to see out his plans successfully.

Can you imagine what would happen if they were ever reunited, what they could achieve as a team? Would it be their connection be as strong as it was before? Would they still need each other so desperately? Maybe you’ll find out, but then again, maybe you wont…

Todd grows a whole freaking lot in this novel. He displays the maturity and strength of character of someone much older than just thirteen. In fact, at times, I found it hard to believe (in an astoundingly impressed way) that someone of his age would know so much, would have the emotional capacity to feel the way he does. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Todd – even if he is only thirteen years old.

I adored reading Viola’s point of view, as well. Readers are afforded the privilege of stepping inside her mind and witnessing first hand how she thinks – and honestly, I can see now why Todd likes her so much. She’s a fierce, strong girl with a remarkable capacity for compassion. She’s a fantastic heroine, and a great role model for young girls everywhere.

The Ask and the Answer is completely unputdownable. I read the entire 519 pages in one sitting, not even stopping to go to the loo. This is one series I know I’ll read over and over again in the years to come.

Rating:: ★★★★★