Wrap up – Blackbird Duology by Anna Carey

When there is no-one you can trust, people are trying to kill you, all you can do is rely on yourself… and survive!

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What a dynamic duology! I loved and devoured both of these books in quick succession. I would recommend reading these close together, or marathoning them, as ‘Blackbird’ ends on a cliff-hanger and if you get entranced as I was, you’ll be desperate to find out what happens next.

I will say that the whole memory loss/amnesia trope has been clubbed to death, especially in YA. However the majority of protagonists in this action/thriller genre tend to be male, so it was fantastic to read it from a female perspective. Especially since she is intelligent, resourceful, and follows her instincts. No fading wallflower or damsel in distress here.

One other note of contention that we never really get explained is how the protagonists get some of their spy-like survival skills. It was a bit of a reach for me to completely swallow this aspect.

But on the whole, I loved how quickly the series kicks off isolating the protagonist. The feeling of not being able to trust anyone is visceral and the writing style is punchy. Short chapters, so you can really power through these novels.

Once our protagonist begins to regain some of her memories, especially in ‘Deadfall,’ there were a lot of flashback scenes that pulled me from the narrative. I would have preferred different methods of revealing these memories to the reader though, because after three or four, to became too repetitive.

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There is a love triangle in here, but it does not devolve into an angsty mess. So I did not find myself rolling my eyes at this trope.

I have to say this is a solid four star rating across the board. The brief and punchy descriptive style of Anna Carey keeps the pace going from beginning to end and I was highly entertained and would happily recommend this to lovers of the YA genre. We get a decent amount of character development. The plot twists are pretty great and was completely satisfied with the pay-off upon completing the two novels. A fun cat-and-mouse type thriller.

Blackbird’ was optioned by Lionsgate back in March 2015, but there has been no news since the announcement. I can see how this would have appeal to the public as an action/thriller, especially since there have not been a lot of releases in this genre of late, so I guess we will have to wait and see if it comes to fruition, and what type of Hollywood treatment it gets. But it is certainly a film I’d be interested in seeing. But in digging further into the screenwriter attached to the project, Daniel Mackey (of ‘Aim High’ fame,) he hasn’t been involved in anything listed on the regular movie production sites since 2015. Plus ‘Blackbird’ is no longer listed on Lionsgate’s website as movies in development, so while it is optioned, at this point in time it is not being actively worked on. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

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For individual reviews click on the links below:


Deadfall’ – https://strokingfire.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/book-review-deadfall-2-blackbird-by-anna-carey/


© Casey Carlisle 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Safe in My Arms by Janice Sims


 Safe in My Arms Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Romance

No. of pages: 224

From Goodreads:

Operation: love. 

Former army pilot Mina Gaines isn’t looking for a hero. She’s too busy running her grandfather’s remote mountainside hotel to bother with love. That is, until a private plane crashes and brings danger to her doorstep…and a sexy stranger into her life. There’s no mistaking that a serious threat is near, but when faced with no other way to survive, can she trust that there’s more to Jake?

Bringing a drug kingpin to justice is undercover DEA agent Jake Wolfe’s top mission. Now, with the beautiful Mina caught in the criminal’s crosshairs, he’s ready to take any risk to protect her—and keep her in his arms forever.

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I wanted to read something I don’t normally; step out of my comfort zone, so I selected this title at random out of my collection of ebooks… let’s just say the desired outcome wasn’t anything pleasant.

‘Safe in My Arms’ did not get off to the best start, the introduction of all characters with their full names, did not flow naturally and ultimately came off clunky and poorly written. I should have expected, this being romance, a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek, but the cheesy premise and a big case of telling instead of showing left a bad taste in my mouth. It was close to something I would’ve whipped up as a first draft in a pain-killer haze while in hospital.

I like an occasional soppy romance, but this did not reach the calibre of book I usually read – it’s my own fault for a completely random pick – usually I am much more discerning on how I spend my reading time.

Our protagonist and her love interest have got to be the worst written characters I’ve read to date. Mina was boring and kind of gullible considering someone with her military background. Jake just felt leery. I didn’t relate to either.

The antagonists were just as unimaginative and two dimensional.

There were some redeeming aspects to this novel – the corny jokes had me rolling my eyes or smiling and did a great job at breaking up the monotony. Also Jancie Sims wasn’t bad at building the angst and tension. I just wish she had spent a lot more time developing this story and its characters. It’s such a shame to blast the writing given the racially diverse cast.

One other note: there is a sex scene that gets quite graphic, yet sadly, generic Unoriginal slop.

And the ending… gag me with a spoon! No more random romance picks for me.

Overall feeling: URG

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Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.