Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











13576713From Goodreads: “Be careful what you wish for.” That’s a warning Dylan Johnson should have listened to. When his mobile tech company is bought out by Mantric Technology, a red-hot firm about to go public, it seems like a dream come true for the young entrepreneur and his partners. But the closer they get to payout, the more uncertain Dylan becomes. Something doesn’t feel right. When his colleague is found dead on what should have been their night of triumph, Dylan is determined to find out what happened. But asking questions plunges him into a digital web of deceit and betrayal that will shake everything he thought he knew…

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If you’re into corporate espionage, murder mysteries, and mayhem, then this novel is for you. What was supposed to be the merger of a lifetime for Dylan Johnson, complete with a huge payout, ends in murder, deceit, and lie after lie, leaving Mantric Technology in the hot-seat and losing money faster than it ever gained.  Filled with many intricate characters, Waite rolls out his story focusing on the upside of mergers and buyouts, eventually turning the coin and showing the downside, as we’ve all seen in recent years as large robust companies crumble from the inside out.  Though I’m not really a technology guru, I was able to mostly follow the high tech world in which our characters reside, and I enjoyed much of the story, however, certain points were a bit unbelievable for me, such as the lack of police presence and investigation into the murder of Dylan’s friend and colleague.  I also have to wonder exactly how much one duo would be able to uncover on their own in a huge company like Mantric, but then again, I’m not in a huge corporate business and, having never worked with a corporation like Mantric, I’m also not worthy of making a call concerning validity.  In my personal world, it seemed a bit strange, but certainly not too farfetched, and I enjoyed the story overall, but think those with more knowledge of the inner workings of corporations, buyouts, and technology would enjoy this more than I.  Three stars.

3 stars

Marlborough Press has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.



cover32155-mediumFrom Goodreads: A cross between the Gone series and Lord of the Flies, Quarantine #2: The Saints continues this frenetically paced and scary young adult series that illustrates just how deadly high school can be.

Nothing was worse than being locked in—until they opened the door…

McKinley High has been a battle ground for eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy will think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken.

As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hookup and actually interact with members of other gangs seemed to signal a new, easier existence. Soon after though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive.

The Saints brings readers back to the dark and deadly halls of McKinley High and the QUARANTINE series.

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I have been dying to read this next installment in the Quarantine series for a year now, and I’m so very glad I was able to get an ARC of this novel via EgmontUSA through Netgalley as it’s another phenomenal read—bloody, gory, and downright stomach churning, but good just the same.

This second novel in the series follows Will and Lucy as they drift apart and join different groups.  The Loners have disbanded, David has graduated, and everything has changed drastically, especially with the addition of a new group from outside the school, The Saints.

As I read this novel, I noted that it has a lot more happy undertones throughout, which was nice because the first novel, Quarantine: The Loners,  was extremely dark.  That’s not to say that book two isn’t dark—it is.  But it juxtaposes the light and dark within the story, drifting from one cringe worthy scene to a happier one that actually sheds light on the evilness portrayed, showing that it isn’t all done to hurt others, but rather to make them stronger. In other words, some of the malicious actions you’ll read about have a higher purpose and are actually fueled by love; the reader just doesn’t know it at the time.

Sam, the villain of book one, is still in the school, but Thomas has given readers exactly what they want: his downfall.  However, Thomas takes it to the extreme, and by the end, it’s hard not to feel sympathy for him as we learn his story and why he acts the way he does, not that it excuses him by any means.  But I certainly never wanted this to happen…

Will has grown up some.  He still makes some terrible decisions and I wanted to slap him on many an occasion, but even so, he’s pulling it together.  He’s much more likable in this second installment, caring about others, even his enemies, in a way he wasn’t capable of in the first novel.  He’s grown-up quickly due to some circumstances that present themselves early on in the novel, and I’m proud of him.

The Saints are an entirely different entity in and of themselves, though.  Their attempts to free the students in McKinley ended with their entrapment, but they’re so laid-back and free that they’re able to change the inner-workings of the school, bringing people together instead of pulling them apart.  But underlying it all is the sinister, psychotic nature of their leader, who Will soon learns to fear as events unfold and smack the reader in the face.  I was floored, and a little bit sickened, by some of the events, especially those near then end as Thomas throws bloody incident after bloody incident at the reader.  This novel will leave you speechless.  Four stars.

4 stars

EgmontUSA has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on July 9, 2013



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