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Profile for Heather Pearson > Reviews

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Content by Heather Pearson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 242
Helpful Votes: 184

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Reviews Written by
Heather Pearson "Heather" (Ontario Canada)

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OUTSIDE - a post-apocalyptic novel (Outside Series Book 1)
OUTSIDE - a post-apocalyptic novel (Outside Series Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 3.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Sheltered teens venture out and learn about the world, Nov. 20 2015
I found this an enjoyable story. It didn't focus so much on the mechanics of post-apocalyptic life as it did on Riley and Luc and how they live as a result. They are both rather sheltered seventeen year olds and their naivety is shattered when Riley's younger sister is murdered within the guarded walls of their community. These walled communities are a major step beyond the gated communities of today. Even though they have both been trained in survival and defence skills, once they leave the safety of the walls, they realise that they have no idea of what the world is really like.

Riley had big goals she expected to accomplish out in the world, which is so like a teen her age. She knew what she wanted and saw no reason why she wouldn't accomplish it. I did find it unbelievable that so many problems would find them one right after the other. This set me up to expect that in each situation they would be defeated. I wonder if that was the author's plan.

Running parallel to Riley's story, is that of Eleanor. This is where we learn about the crash of British society. At first I didn't connect this past with the present, but I continued to read and it became clearer.

This is a fast paced story with lots of action. It also contained a number of plot twists that were pleasant surprises to me. I prefer more about the struggle to survive. This book dealt more with the coming of age of two teens and the development of their relationship.

Every Word
Every Word
by Ellie Marney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.39
29 used & new from CDN$ 6.65

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book, Nov. 16 2015
This review is from: Every Word (Hardcover)
I loved this book. If it weren't for family obligations, I would have read it through in one sitting. Once I had this book in hand, I couldn't wait to find out what mystery would confront the inquisitive pair. In their last book, Mycroft and Watts helped the Melbourne police solve the murder of their friend Dave. Eight weeks have elapsed since that event and the duo are still trying to work out the kinks in their relationship, mainly that Rachel is effectively grounded from seeing James unsupervised.

Things come to a dramatic head when he learns of the death of Daniel Gardener, a rare book conservator, at a library in England, that had just lost an extremely valuable copy of a first edition folio of William Shakespeare's plays. Mr. Gardener died in a car jacking that sounded suspiciously like the one in which James' parents lost their lives. Could these two incidents be connected.

From this point on, the story goes into overdrive and the plot progresses at a record pace. Over the next week we learn about the true depth of their feelings and commitment to each other. The two work so well together, like Holmes and Watson who inspired them. They continue to compliment each others strengths. I enjoyed seeing Rachel take more of a lead and carry out some investigations on her own.

This is a complex plot that is carefully revealed to the reader with lots of bits and pieces just waiting to be fit together. I found it believable that Mycroft would have been asked to help in the investigation. It was a bit harder to accept Rachel's determination to follow him, but it is true that if teenagers are anything, they are impulsive and seldom think through the consequences of their actions.

I was sad then this book ended. I really like the character of Mycroft and didn't want to leave him. Author Ellie Marney has done a terrific job of developing these two characters and the groundwork has been laid for a successful continuing series.

Every Breath
Every Breath
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I just want to hug this book and read it again for the first time, Nov. 10 2015
This review is from: Every Breath (Kindle Edition)
Every Breath is a captivating start to a new series involving Rachel Watts and James Mycroft who are styled after the famous investigative pair Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Rachel has recently moved to the city and is missing everything about her past countryside lifestyle. James has never recovered from the death of his parents and is struggling to stay in school long enough to graduate.

While being in some of the same classes at school has aided their friendship, it is being close neighbours that has cemented it. Perhaps it stems from Rachel taking care of the animals on the farm, but she seems to view Mycroft as a motherless lamb who needs someone to keep and eye out for him. It's a good thing too, because he has some unresolved issues that threaten to overwhelm him.

The school year might have gone by uneventfully, except for a murder that occurs in the city park and the duo are drawn into the investigation. considering their namesakes, Watts and Mycroft are the perfect people for the job, or are they.

I loved this book. The setting in Melbourne, Australia provide all the big city venues for the two to explore and investigate. It also establishes without a doubt that they are not their earlier incarnations, but a new investigative team with differing strengths and techniques. The timing is early in their acquaintance and they are still working out the details of their relationship. They work well together, they compliment each others skills and weaknesses. Best of all, they tend to bring out the best in the other.

There is something about the flaws of the character of Mycroft, that I find endearing, much like the feeling I experience when reading about Odd Thomas in novels by Dean Koontz.

I highly recommend Every Breath for teen and adult readers. There is lots to appeal to the teen reader; school angst, young romance, and parental disagreements. Adults will find indepth character development and teens dealing with situations beyond their years.

Savage Run 2: Book 2 in the death-defying, action-packed YA dystopian novella series
Savage Run 2: Book 2 in the death-defying, action-packed YA dystopian novella series
Price: CDN$ 3.65

3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest of the story, Nov. 10 2015
After having enjoyed Savage Run 1, I was looking forward to spending more time with Heidi and Nicholas. Unfortunately, this book was so short, that I was barely getting into the story and it was finished. This should be marketed as a serialized novel.

The story picks up immediately where book one ends with no recap or reminders of what had already happened. It can not be read and understood without having read the first installment.

While there is some good action, there is not enough to call it a book and to substantiate it's cost. The entire story of the Savage Run should have been published as a single novel and not broken up into little bits.

Savage Run 1: Book 1 in the Savage Run young adult dystopian novella series
Savage Run 1: Book 1 in the Savage Run young adult dystopian novella series
Price: CDN$ 0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A real cliff hanger, Nov. 9 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Savage Run is a YA novel set in a future time on earth. The countries are no longer recognisable and governing styles have changed drastically.

Heidi lives in Newland, which has a hierarchical society and she is at the lowest rung; labourer aka slave. There is only one chance to improve her life, by entering and successfully completing the Savage Run. Two problems, only boys can enter, and second, the weakest are bound to perish during the gruelling trials.

Nickolas Volkov, son of the country's president, sees a different future for Newland. First, he has to figure out what to do about Heidi's false identity and entry in the challenge.

I like the characters of Heidi and Nickolas. They are both willing to go against the norm and the wishes of their fathers. The readers learn about their backgrounds and their hopes for the future. Not everything, but enough to want to cheer them on. In true YA fashion, we learn a little bit about the secondary characters and the descriptions are limited to that which is pertinent to the plot development.

This is not The Hunger Games, each participant is on his own, pitted against the challenges and the clock. Yes, it is a game for survival, but there can be more than one victor. I enjoyed following the progress of the competition. I felt that the reactions of the other competitors toward Heidi were realistic. How could she possibly be a threat to most of the others, many of whom were gargantuan athletes.

Heidi's self-talk during the challenges was well thought out and did portray the anguish and stress should would have been feeling. I found that these passages brought me closer to her.

A good story, thought it did end rather abruptly leaving me wanting more.

The Tale of Halcyon Crane: A Novel
The Tale of Halcyon Crane: A Novel
by Wendy Webb
Edition: Audio CD
Price: CDN$ 34.95
7 used & new from CDN$ 34.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling uneasy, in a good way, Nov. 4 2015
Dream or nightmare. You receive a letter from a lawyer informing you that you have inherited a large estate from your recently deceased mother. One problem, your father told you that she had died decades ago. Hallie James faced that exact situation. For the past thirty years, she had believed that her mother perished in a house fire. Her father was the doting parent trying to make up for her missing mother.

To learn about her mother, she travels to Grand Manitou Island, located in the Great Lakes. What she finds there is a tight knit community that hasn't forgotten her and what caused her father to flee the island.

While Hallie is trying to reclaim her heritage, she encounters strange occurrences and ghosts. She has to decide what cost she is willing to pay for learning about her past.

I listened to the audio book version twice as read by Cassandra Campbell. Unabridged from Blackstone Audio 9 hours 52 minutes. Ms. Campbell provided great voice characterisations especially for Iris, the ancient housekeeper. I was mesmerised as she told her tales.

I had a level of unease throughout this book. Nothing I could quite put my finger on, but it was lurking there and had me peering over my shoulder when listening alone. I imagine that Hallie felt the same when she was exploring her mother's house and when she visited various sites on the island.

This is author Wendy Webb's debut novel. I totally enjoyed the story though I did question one part. There are no cars on the island and all transport is via horse drawn carriage (except for emergency vehicles). A character comments that it is acceptable to drink alcohol and drive a horse buggy on the public roads. I live in an area where there is a large population who travels via horse drawn buggy. They have to follow the same rules of the road as do all other persons operating vehicles on the road. I question that the United States does not have similar rules of the road and would drinking and driving really be allowed on the island. In no way did this affect my enjoyment of the book.

Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 13.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I almost gave up on this book, but am glad I didn't, Nov. 2 2015
This review is from: Disclaimer (Kindle Edition)
I'll admit right off that I didn't like the characters in this book. They were not likable and I didn't feel any sympathy nor empathy for them. I almost gave up reading it a few times, but didn't only because I couldn't accept that author Renee Knight would have written a book with no hope what so ever for none of her characters. There had to be something I was missing.

For twenty years, Catherine Ravenscroft had been keeping a huge secret from her husband, something about her son that could have blown her family and marriage apart. We also met Stephen Brigstocke, a loathsome man. If this former school teacher were a real man, he is someone who I would avoid at all costs, I would cross the street if I saw him coming my way. Once these two families crossed paths, life was never the same for either.

All through this story, Ms. Knight had me jumping to conclusions about what happened in that distant past and what type of person Catherine really was. I wasn't alone in this, Robert and Stephen were also prone to jumping to conclusions with dire results.

As I said from the start, I didn't like these people, but by the end of the tale, I had shed tears for three of them, and finally felt that each of them had earn some level of redemption. I was convinced that there was no way I would ever feel for them and that I would not be able to recommend this book. I was wrong, this is one of those books where you have to keep an open mind and read to the final page before judging it.

Slade House
Slade House
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.77
3 used & new from CDN$ 18.77

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepiest Book I've read in years, Oct. 27 2015
This review is from: Slade House (Hardcover)
This is the best unsettling novel that I have read in several years. The entire time, I had that queasy feeling, that I just couldn't get comfortable. Then again, the guests/visitors to Slade House weren't quite comfortable either. They might have been when they first squeezed through that small wrought iron gate, but eventually they realised that not all was as it should be within that house.

Slade House, and the narrow Slade Alley are enigmas to those who've heard about about and tried to visit uninvited. Even the police find no clues to those missing persons with links to the house. How can this be. Things are not adding up. What is a ritzy house belonging to Lady Grayer doing in a low rent neighborhood.

Author David Mitchell has woven a tale that is captivating and chilling at the same time. He has created several likable characters that I was starting to care for, and then, wham, their time in the story ends. I didn't even have time to mourn for them and he'd be on to the next plot line. This created a careful balance of anticipation, frustration and unease. I'd put the book down to regain my equilibrium, and then almost instantly I'd pick it up again and continue reading. I had to know what would happen next.

A very enjoyable though creepy read.

Price: CDN$ 0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy setting for a gothic romance, Oct. 25 2015
Katherine is no closer to understanding the mysteries of Ravenhurst nor in resolving her feelings for it's owner, the enigmatic Sebastian de Winter. This story picks up where book 1, Forgotten Time, leaves off.

The butler, Milford, remained close lipped about the events that brought Katherine to this house and time period, but he is buried in it over his head. Seems there are far more secrets than even those he is privy to.

It was a bit frustrating watching Katherine and Sebastian skirt around their feelings for each other instead of opening up to the truth. Yes, it does make for good suspense writing, but the reader knows where their romance has to go, but are forced to wait for them to catch up.

I like the setting for this book. A fairly isolated Gothic mansion during a raging winter storm. The staff have all be sent home to care for their families leaving only the immediate family in residence. The perfect location for creepy things to start happening.

This was a suspenseful and entertaining read.

Do not read this as a stand alone, you need to read Forgotten Time first or you'll be totally lost.

1/2986: The Climate Fiction Saga
1/2986: The Climate Fiction Saga
Price: CDN$ 0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars interesting look at an apocalypse, Oct. 23 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Micka doesn't fit into her community. She asks questions that her teachers rarely answer. Her family is cold and indifferent to her yet are dis-appointed in her lack of achievement. When the opportunity arise to leave town, she practically jumps at it.

This is a post-apocalyptic novel that is set in the lowlands of the Alpine region of Europe. Micka's teachers have taught her that the majority of the earth's population have died from rampant cholera and tuberculosis. Turns out that there is much more that they didn't teach. What has she and the others in her community been sheltered from and why.

While most people are determined to re-populate the planet, the BSA, Brothers and Sisters of the Apocalypse who Micka hasn't even heard of, appear to have very different objectives. Most young women readily get pregnant, but Micka has other plans.

In 1/2986 we are introduced to two interesting and different characters. Micka is a step away from ending her life, and now she is faced with monumental changes and opportunities. Can it possibly get worse than the end that she was already planning. Her teacher/mentor Runner is full of suprises and a seemingly vast knowledge of what her teachers never voiced.

Author Annelie Wendeberg is slowly revealing this post-apocalyptic world. It is not totally un-expected that some regions would have access to technology and knowledge that other more isolated communities don't. I am undecided whether the highest tech would still be operational ofter all these decades since the fall.

The abrupt end of the story leaves me wanting to learn more about Micka's apprenticeship and the fate of the world.

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