Dangerous Games ~ Danielle Steel : Book Review // My first Danielle Steel novel!

Summary:

Television correspondent Alix Phillips dodges bullets and breaks rules to bring the most important news to the world from riots in America to protests on the streets of Tehran. With her daughter in college, and working alongside cameraman Ben Chapman, a deeply private ex-Navy SEAL, Alix revels in the risks and whirlwind pace of her work. But her latest assignment puts her at the center of an explosive story that will reshape many lives, including her own: investigating damning allegations involving the vice president of the United States, Tony Clark.

Alix starts with a nationally revered woman who may be the key to exposing frightening secrets. Olympia Foster is the fragile, reclusive widow of America’s most admired senator, who had been destined for the presidency before an assassin’s bullet felled him. Since then, Olympia has found emotional support from Clark, who once wanted her as his wife and now stands as her protector and confidant. When Alix begins to dig deeper, federal agents pick up the trail. Then the threats begin.

As the stakes rise in this dangerous game, Alix needs Ben’s help as never before. And soon they realize they are grappling with an adversary far more sinister than they had imagined.

Review:

Rating: 4/5 stars

I have heard A LOT about Danielle Steel novels, and they keep popping up on my Goodreads Recommendations. However, this was my first time reading one, and I was pretty excited.

The book started off in a both slow as well gripping manner. The narrative was smooth, hence I had to keep reading, however, it took a long time to reach the main incidents in the story. But I guess the character backgrounds were also necessary, hence the delay.

The main plotline was quite interesting and very relevant to current real-life incidents. I won’t say the portrayal of the whole world was very realistic all the time though, and if you forget this is fiction, you might have problems with it. But I read it with the intention of enjoying the book, and so it worked well for me.

My favourite part was how this story seems to be about Alix Phillips, a journalist slash television correspondent, who “dodges bullets”for her career, but ends up being two individuals — Alix and Olympia. They are both very different women, and the character development shown here is remarkable. Olympia, a grieving widow, stuck in a limbo since her husband’s death, isn’t a likable character in the beginning, but Danielle Steel slowly transforms her, infusing strength into her in every page. Alix, a fierce and independent woman, also struggles with her own issues throughout the book.

The language used is really simple but it makes the book an easy read, even for someone like me who does not understand much about politics at all. The romance is sort of half hearted, but it’s good for people who don’t want a mushy read. I also love how there are some parts where the author adds gentle irony to criticise issues, it makes the book funny as well.

The ending was really strange and abrupt, and leaves a scope for a sequel, but I am not sure about that.

Overall an enjoyable read, perfect for lazy weekends, with just the right amount thrill, intrigue, depth and an added sprinkle of romance.

~ Sreepurna.

The Liberty Box (#1) & The Eden Conspiracy (#2) : Review

ARCs received in exchange of an honest review.

PART 1

The Liberty Box

C.A. Gray 

Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie. 

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom. 



Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?



Rating: 3/5

REVIEW:

The Liberty Box is an unusual book. This dystopian novel is not your Hunger Games or Divergent. The characters here are older (which makes more sense, I mean c’mon, teenagers saving the world? It was becoming quite boring), and you can defintely classify this into the sci-fi genre.

The book begins with a slightly boring prologue, but it picks up pace when the main story begins. Kate isn’t the best protagonist, but she is unique in her own way. At around 19% into the book, Jackson appears, making things much more interesting.

The book ends with a pretty intelligent cliffhanger. Amidst all the action I didn’t expect the twist, but that’s what made me read the next book.

Overall; this a a good enough start to an adult dystopian trilogy. It has action, romance, science, drama, and truthfully, it was quite enjoyable.

PART 2 

The Eden Conspiracy (The Liberty Box #2)

C.A. Gray

Can the truth set you free?

The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far.



The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace.



Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?



Rating: 3.5/ 5

This book was surprisingly good. I normally find things to become a little boring at the second book of a trilogy, but The Eden Conspiracy was definitely anything but boring.

The twist at the ending of the first book made the second book so much better. Even though these books are from the third person POV, you have alternate chapters from two different perspectives: Jackson’s and Kate’s, making things even better.

The ending of this book too is great, and I can’t wait to read the third book.

To purchase The Liberty Box visit this link.

~Sripurna

Review: Valley Of The Moon by Bronwyn Archer

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Valley of the Moon
by Bronwyn Archer
Publication date: April 13th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult

Blurb:
There’s just one semester left at the Briar School for Girls in Sonoma, CA. But it will take more than straight As for Lana Goodwin to survive . . .

***
Senior year is not going well for 17-year-old Lana Goodwin. Her father’s vintage car business is about to crash and burn, the nicest (and cutest) teacher at school was fired under a cloud of scandal, and her hot sort-of boyfriend may or may not have something big to hide.

She’s also totally over being the class pauper. It’s bad enough her dad was briefly married to the head of the board—the rich, cruel, impeccably groomed Ramona Crawford. What’s worse is going to school with her vindictive ex-stepsister, who never misses an opportunity to make her life hell. Not ever.

It also happens to be the tenth anniversary of her mother’s suicide. No one knows why Annie Goodwin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge the day after Christmas. She didn’t leave a note. She wasn’t sick. Even Lana’s father can’t explain it. Ten years later, someone—or something—starts sending her clues about her mother’s past.

Before Lana can escape to college, she finds herself in a life-or-death race to uncover her mother’s long-buried secrets.

Can she claim her birthright before her future and her life are snatched away?

Valley of the Moon is a modern-day fairy tale with some intense themes.


Review copy provided by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange of an honest review.

(Valley Of The Moon has a sequel.)

This book is really difficult to rate. It was interesting to read, but I didnt like Lana, the main character, very much. She seemed to me a quite weak character. Or maybe she’s just nice.

Lana’s friend choices are terrible. I dislike them all and I also wonder why Lana claims to love Eden even though she thinks of her like twice in the entire book.

What pulls you to read this book though is the mystery factor. I still want to read the next book in the series (I am also used to Lana now, so I don’t mind her much right now). I need to know what exactly is happening, need to fill the loopholes.

The blurb doesnt mention it but this book does have some paranormal aspects.

Sometimes it feels like there’s too much going on with the story, but it all somewhat adds up by the end of this book. Also, don’t DNF it at the prologue, the rest of the book is better.

Valley Of The Moon seemed also sort of like a mild retelling of Cinderella. Stepmother, check. Two stepsisters, check. A Prince Charming, I am hoping check, atleast uptil now.

If you are searching for a YA mystery novel with a light romance angle and a massive cliffhanger, give this a go.

-Sripurna.

Enchanted

Feet agile. Long steps to the carnival tent. Step up on the magic carpet. Get away.

Strong hands. Callused palms. Shuffling a deck of cards. I can only choose one.

Brown hair. Specks of fairy dust I showered on you.

Full lips. Uttering spells and charms.

Entrapping, mystifying. Strange unknown languages, yet so familiar.

Mismatched eyes. One green, one grey.Carefully watching everyone. Carefully watching me.

But you are a trickster. I am your audience. Sometimes I feel like your show is only for me. Other times, I am just another in a crowd of people captivated by your tricks.

I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.
Because your words are lies. Illusions. For some reason I don’t mind.

With the click of your fingers, you disappear. Evanescence.

Were you even there to begin with?