Posted in book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: God of Manna by Daeus Lamb

BOOK REVIEW: God of Manna by Daeus LambGod of Manna by Daeus Lamb
Published by Independently Published on April 10, 2019
ISBN: 1093395915
Pages: 72
Source: the author
Goodreads
four-stars
Synopsis

The hideous God of Manna has taken away the soul of Mortristan's father. Now, it is Mortristan's doom to find what his father never could: something worth living for.But when Mortristan is forced to hunt an intruder in the God of Manna's paradise-city, he learns just how enslaved he is. As bad as life is with the God of Manna, it's impossible to live without him. Can Mortristan really sacrifice everything he has to find just one thing that's lasting?The God of Manna has reigned for millennia and he doesn't take rebellion lightly...The world needs a savior. And if Mortristan doesn't find a way of escape, he will too.God of Manna is a fairy tale that explores the human search for satisfaction in both its glories and disgrace.Buy your copy today to follow Mortristan as he battles to free himself from the God of Manna.


I received this book for free from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve had God of Manna book on my TBR for a really long time now. I started to read it right after receiving it, but I wasn’t really in the mood for a book I had to put much thought into… Now I kinda wish I’d given it a chance because I ended up really enjoying the allegory in this story!

The crazy thing is, I wasn’t a big fan of the beginning. But it made me curious enough to keep reading – so right when I was thinking “I’m gonna DNF after one more page,” I ended up speeding through the rest of the book, unable to set it down.

This dystopian world is beautiful and ugly and full of dark secrets. Everyone is separated. Those lucky enough to live in the lush land of Elysigard care nothing for the people outside in the desolate wasteland, who work and toil to keep the God of Manna and the people of Elysigard happy. The world itself is a major player in the book.

The main character, Mortristan, is on a search for something his father never finds (or many of us, for that matter)… something that lasts. Mortristan’s journey changes him in ways he could never imagine. He doesn’t seem like a courageous or even all that caring of a person, but he ends up doing miraculous things. He overcomes the land, himself, and even defies the God of Manna.

And that ending…At the time I’m writing this, I finished the book two weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it!

If you enjoy high-concept, allegorical dystopian stories then this novella is definitely worth the read. My only real complaint (other than the slow start) is that I REALLY wish it wasn’t so short. God of Manna could easily be a full-length novel and I think it may have been even better if it was.

What do you think? Have you read God of Manna? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below!

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four-stars
Posted in book reviews, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – January 8, 2019

WWW Wednesday

Well, it’s a little later than I normally post, but better late than never, right??? It’s still Wednesday (at least here) so it’s time once again for WWW Wednesday ! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.


Don’t know what WWW Wendesday is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog! (You can also leave your link in my comments to be sure I don’t miss your post!)

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So let’s get started, shall we?

What am I currently reading?

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown Seri…

Dragon Connection by Ava Richardson. I am LOVING this book so far. I get nervous when picking up fantasy from authors I’ve never read before because you never know what you’re gonna get. I can be kinda picky about my dragons especially, but I can already tell I’m gonna be an Ava Richardson fan for a long time! Which is exciting because I’ve been looking for some more female fantasy authors to follow!

What did I recently finish reading?

Veritas

Veritas by Ariel Sabar. I ended up DNF ing this one. It was interesting but I just couldn’t get into it. Not sure if it was just my mood and it was the wrong time for me to be reading it or what. Just one of those cases where there was nothing wrong with the book itself, I just wasn’t the right reader for it.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, …

City of Bones by Cassandra Claire. I felt like I was the only person in the book blogger world who hadn’t read this book yet. So I was super excited when I saw it’s the January book in the Book Hoarders United Group on Goodreads! I had a good idea I’d enjoy this series and I was right. I loved it! It was a good read to just tune out reality. It’s a super easy, quick read despite being 400+ pages.

What I’ll be reading next:

Posted in book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

BOOK REVIEW: Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonaldBehind Every Lie by Christina McDonald
Published by Gallery Books on February 4, 2020
ISBN: 1501184040
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Synopsis

If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?
Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street. She can’t remember what happened but the police are highly suspicious of her.
Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.
Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets.


This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I received this book for free from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If you read my review of The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald then you know why I was excited to read Behind Every Lie. I absolutely loved the way McDonald portrayed the mother-daughter relationship in The Night Olivia Fell. It was emotional, complicated and made the characters come alive for me. I expected the same kind of emotional thriller novel in Behind Every Lie, but it was much more of a straight-out suspense/mystery than being emotionally driven.

Normally, I talk about what I loved about a novel first, but this time I want to get what didn’t work for me out of the way first – mostly because it has a lot to do with how I’ve reviewed the book. I enjoyed the story itself and the characters, but there was a lot that was just hard to believe. I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan so my ability to suspend disbelief is pretty high up there. Behind Every Lie requires that you believe in a series of consequences that, taken by themselves may not be that unbelievable, but when combined just ruined my ability to pretend what I was reading was anything other than make-believe.

Another problem I had with this story wasn’t so much to do with the writing itself, but because I had recently listened to the audiobook Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil. While the plots of the two stories are nothing alike, the characters and their relationships are essentially the same. The result was that I figured out almost every plot twist just because I knew how the relationships were going to play out.

All that being said, I still really enjoyed this book. I’m definitely a fan of the way Christina McDonald writes and this would probably be a full 4- or 5-star book for me, if not for the issues I pointed out above.

I’ve become a fan of books written from different perspectives, but it’s hard to pull this off well and so there are few stories I can even read like this. But Christina McDonald has perfected this way of storytelling. In Behind Every Lie, the story goes back and forth between Eva and her mom, Kat. Kat has been murdered and Eva is suspected of being the murderer. The relationship between Kat and Eva had recently become more strained than usual and we’re slowly let in on the reasons for this most complicated of mother-daughter relationships.

It’s hard for me to say much more about the events or people in the novel itself because SO MUCH happens and is interconnected that this entire review would just be spoilers. So I’m gonna go ahead and wrap this up…

This book is worth the read for anyone who enjoyed The Night Olivia Fell. I know I’ll definitely be picking up the next novel Christina McDonald writes.

I’m curious… has anyone else read both Behind Every Lie and Silent Child? If so, did you see the similarities like I did?

If you’ve read Behind Every Lie, what were you’re thoughts? Agree with me? Disagree? Leave a comment below!

three-half-stars
Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – New Year’s Day 2020!

Happy New Year!!! 🎉 Another year has come and gone and I’m very excited to start this year off with a fresh new excitement and vision for my little space on the internet here at Combing Through the Pages. I’ll be posting more about that another day, but right now…

It’s time once again for WWW Wednesday ! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.
Don’t know what WWW Wendesday is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog! (You can also leave your link in my comments to be sure I don’t miss your post!)

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So let’s get started, shall we?

What am I currently reading?

Veritas

Veritas by Ariel Sabar. I gotta be honest, this one hooked me hard with the description on NetGalley, but so far I’m just not that into it. It’s taking everything in me not to DNF it already and I’m only about 9% in. I’m gonna give it another 20 pages or so and we’ll see what happens. I’d give some kind of explanation on what’s not working for me, but I can’t even put my finger on what I don’t like.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, …

City of Bones by Cassandra Claire. I felt like I was the only person in the book blogger world who hadn’t read this book yet. So I was super excited when I saw it’s the January book in the Book Hoarders United Group on Goodreads! I literally JUST started it, so no opinion yet… I’ll definitely let you guys know what I think later though!

What did I recently finish reading?

Behind Every Lie

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald. I was invited to review this on NetGalley because I’d previously reviewed The Night Olivia Fell. I’m happy to say, it didn’t disappoint! My review will post tomorrow so come back for my full report then!

The Socialite

The Socialite by J’Nell Ciesielski. Gotta be honest… I picked this one mostly because I loved the cover. But I absolutely loved it! I’ll be posting the review next week.

God of Manna

God of Manna by Daeus Lamb. I meant to read this novella forever ago, but got distracted by kids, life, and well…other books. I wish I’d read it sooner now that I’ve finished it. It’s one of those that took me a minute to get into it, but once I did I really enjoyed it. A review for this one will be posting next week as well.

What I’ll be reading next:

Posted in book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in White Gloves: A Novel Of Grace Kelly by Kerri Maher

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in White Gloves: A Novel Of Grace Kelly by Kerri MaherThe Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher
Published by Berkley on February 25, 2020
ISBN: 0451492072
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Synopsis

A life in snapshots…

Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves.

A woman in living color…

But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth. The sacrifices it takes for an unappreciated girl from Philadelphia to defy her family and become the reigning queen of the screen. The heartbreaking reasons she trades Hollywood for a crown. The loneliness of being a princess in a fairy tale kingdom that is all too real. Hardest of all for her adoring fans and loyal subjects to comprehend, is the harsh reality that to be the most envied woman in the world does not mean she is the happiest. Starved for affection and purpose, facing a labyrinth of romantic and social expectations with more twists and turns than Monaco’s infamous winding roads, Grace must find her own way to fulfillment. But what she risks--her art, her family, her marriage—she may never get back.


I received this book for free from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Yes, I’m actually posting a book review. You can close your mouth now!

It seems 2019 has been the year of reading books about things I know little to nothing about and The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher continues that theme. I knew the name Grace Kelly and had seen some old movies with her in them but I knew absolutely nothing about her. For instance, I didn’t even know she married the Prince of Monaco!

I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into the life of Grace Kelly. It’s written in such a way that you actually feel as if you’re spying on this icon. The story felt intimate and almost too real. I loved every page of it!

The story goes back and forth between Grace’s struggle to make it on Broadway and her life after she’s left Hollywood behind for life in the palace in Monaco.

Grace spends so much time chasing after approval and dreams. Unfortunately, the two don’t always compliment each other. Her family, and more importantly, her father, don’t approve of her ambition to be a Broadway star. But she’s determined to have it all… Family, friends and a successful acting career. If only the men in her life would agree to let her have them!

If I was going to sum up this book in one word, it would be “brilliant.” Like all great historical fiction, it blurred the line between fact and fairytale and has made me hungry to read more about it’s subject. In this case, I want to watch every movie referenced in the story and find out more about the real life of Grace Kelly.

I recommend The Girl in White Gloves to anyone with even a passing interest in Grace Kelly!

four-half-stars
Posted in book reviews

Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth WoollettBeautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett
Published by Scribe on July 30, 2018
ISBN: 1947534637
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
Goodreads
four-stars
Synopsis

The thrilling new novel inspired by Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple from the author of The Love of a Bad Man.

Following her conscientious-objector husband Lenny to the rural Eden of Evergreen Valley, California, Evelyn wants to be happy with their new life. Yet as the world is rocked by warfare and political assassinations, by racial discrimination and social upheaval, she finds herself disillusioned with Lenny’s passive ways — and anxious for a saviour.

Enter the Reverend Jim Jones, the dynamic leader of a revolutionary church called Peoples Temple. As Evelyn grows closer to Jones, her marriage is just the first casualty of his rise to power.

Meticulously researched, elegantly written, and utterly engrossing, Beautiful Revolutionary explores the allure of the real-life charismatic leader who would destroy so many. In masterful prose, Woollett painstakingly examines what happens when Evelyn is pulled into Jones' orbit — an orbit it would prove impossible for her to leave.

I received this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I just finished reading “Beautiful Revolutionary” by Laura Elizabeth Woollett and it’s put me in a very weird mood. I don’t even know what to say about this book right now.

Before reading this fictionalized story about the events surrounding the Lyndens, Joneses, Peoples Temple and Jonestown, the only thing I really knew was that a bunch of people drank some poisoned generic Kool-Aid and died because their leader, Jim Jones, told them to.

After reading “Beautiful Revolutionary,” I feel oddly compelled to learn everything I can about these disturbing events and how so many people were led so far astray.

The book opens with the Lynden’s on their way to start a new chapter in their life. Newly out of college, newly married, and their dreams of a happy life fully possible. But Evelyn Lynden quickly grows tired of her housewife duties and her husband. Their lives take a dark turn when Evelyn, a minister’s daughter, takes them to Sunday service at Peoples Temple. It’s here where they, and so many others, meet and fall under the spell of Jim Jones.

Even knowing where the characters in this story would ultimately end up, I still found myself dumbfounded when I got to the end. I recommend “Beautiful Revolutionary” for anyone who has a fascination with cults, Jonestown, or who is just looking for a fascinating historical fiction novel.

Have you read “Beautiful Revolutionary” or have any thoughts about Jonestown or book recommendations based on this review? Leave me a comment below and thanks for visiting!

four-stars