Ciao, amici! It’s been a while since I posted any book reviews. Mostly because it’s been a while since I had a chance to read for pleasure. I know, I know… an author who doesn’t read? Blasphemy!

Believe me, I feel the same way. It’s just been crazy. But that’s no excuse, and I’ve started to carve out some “me” time to get lost in books again.

Today, I want to share my thoughts about my two most recent reads, HMS Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack and I Wouldn’t Be Surprised by D.L. Finn.

My review:

★★★★★ I I I I ! The root monsters are back! And the rest of the gang, too.

When I read the first book in the series, Voyage of the Lanternfish, I fell hard for the root monsters. They’re like the Minions, but on the ocean and a lot funnier. And who doesn’t love humorous antics in the middle of an action-filled voyage across the high seas?

James and his crew pick up where we left off—they’re pirates-turned-privateers in a global battle for power. And the stakes keep getting higher. This installment focuses on religious factions, nefarious despots, mythical creatures, greedy con artists, noble warriors … and the Lanternfish is trying to navigate all of it as they navigate the treacherous waters between the warring lands.

Boyack is, as always, wildly inventive. The creatures, the mythology, and the characters all weave together into a fascinating, fast-paced plot that kept me guessing and kept me turning the pages. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series and highly recommend the entire saga for fans of pirate adventures, or frankly, well-told stories of any genre.

My review:

★★★★☆ Evildwels and Ghosts and Crazed Killers… Oh, My!

Be prepared for your pulse to start pounding and not slow until… well, not until long after you finish this fast and fear-inducing read. D.L. Finn packs a lot of tension into a short space, and believe me, the creep-factor lingers.

Anyone who’s ever said, “I wouldn’t be surprised…” is going to think twice about uttering that phrase again. While enjoying a quiet evening in their new home—a secluded sanctuary in the middle of the woods—Janice turns her musings into a little game, always trying to one-up her last statement.

It’s a benign way to pass the time. Until her statements start to come true. Cue an escalating series of events that gives new meaning to “things that go bump in the night.” You may try to guess what’s going on, but your imagination probably isn’t that fertile. Finn delivers a surprising and frightening tale that will have you racing to the end to see what happens.

So glad to learn this is part of a series. I’d love to read more. And I suspect anyone else who reads this will feel the same.

One last review, though it isn’t mine. Yesterday, I was honored and humbled to find a review for The Stones, one of my new releases (as D.L. Cross) on Mae Clair’s blog. I can honestly say I’ve never received “5 honking big luminous stars” before on anything, and I was blown away by her comments. If you’d like to read her thoughts, you can find them here. And if (by some unfathomable possibility) you don’t read her posts, make sure you click the “follow” button while you’re over there. You’ll be glad you did.

That’s it for me today. Two reviews long overdue plus a surprise review of one of my own works. Don’t be like me; make some time to read! There are lots of great books out there. I’m looking forward to digging into another (hopefully tonight)!

Have you read HMS Lanternfish or I Wouldn’t Be Surprised? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Until next time, saluti!

80 thoughts on “#bookreviews of HMS LANTERNFISH and I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED

  1. I read The Stones and 5 honking stars doesn’t do it justice:) I loved it. I’m most of the way through the new Lanternfish, and I think it’s even better than the first book, and I really enjoyed that one. So two great reads for me. Yay! D.L. Finn’s premise for her book leaves lots of room to go creepy and scary. Sounds great.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What great reviews, Staci. Your enthusiasm has sparked my own. I’ve yet to read either book, but Craig and Denise are two of my favorites. I will soon be offering reviews!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Entertaining Stories and commented:

    Today is my flex day. I’ve been getting The Ballad of Mrs. Molony in shape to send to the formatter. Today I added all the silly graphics that are part of these books. HMS Lanternfish got its first review today in a kind of group post. I’m thrilled with it. It includes a couple of other reviews, and you can trust Staci’s opinions. I’m part way through The Stones and am enjoying the heck out of it. Stop over and check all of them out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful reviews, Staci. Congrats to the authors! I’ve read I wouldn’t be Surprised and enjoyed it (with a huge does of chill factor!) and can’t wait to read HMS Lanternfish.
    Glad you’re taking some YOU time- long overdo {{hugs}}

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “5 honking big luminous stars” Lol. That’s the equivalent of like 8 stars! I have to head over and read the review. And thanks for sharing your thoughts on Craig’s and Denise’s books. I’m immersed in Craig’s Serang now and just finished

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve read Denise’s novella and thought it was an excellent suspense-filled read. I’m looking forward to Craig’s HMS Lanternfish, if I ever catch up with my TBR (I’m starting to buckle under the weight, LOL!).

    And thanks for the blog shout-out. You deserve those “5 honking big luminous stars” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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