Cover Image: To the Lions

To the Lions

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Member Reviews

The story premise is intriguing and the plot was full of action.  It was difficult at times to follow along with at time, but I enjoyed the action.
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I've attempted to get into this book, but I'm having difficulty. I'm sorry. I won't finish it at this time, so will not provide a review of it. :-(
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To the Lions is a stunning book.

Holly Watt has created a story that will pull you in, that will haunt you, that will make you think about horrific things that could so easily be reality. And maybe they are. I wouldn’t be surprised.

This thriller, seemingly the start of a series, focuses on Casey Benedict. Casey is an investigative reporter based in London who is adept at going undercover for the sorts of stories that do capture the attention of the world as they are released in troves and mountains of information that bring down the powerful, wealthy people around the world.



Watt is herself is an investigative reporter in England who worked on many exposes that have grabbed the headlines for weeks at a time. This lends a deeper layer to the novel, because it is easy to see the truth and reality in the detail she goes into. And it isn’t a level of detail that even comes close to dull or boring. It is intense.

I’m going to say a little bit about the plot that drives the story. It is not a spoiler, because it is made very clear from very early on that it happens. The purpose of the story, the thing that carries the narrative, is how Casey and Ed, who is inherently fascinating, uncover the the horrifying plot and how far it reaches.

Also intense is the plot itself – one in which the ultra-wealthy, for reasons that appear to be little more than the proverbial ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, travel to Libya to hunt. They hunt humans. Refugees, to be specific. They stay in one of Muammar Gaddafi’s former palaces and then use high-powered rifles to shoot refugees in a refuge camp in the valley below.

Can’t you imagine that happening today?

I can.

I received a copy of To the Lions through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.
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This book was just not for me. I found it to be very choppy and hard to read. There are random chapters about an unknown persons past that are never explained, I felt like the situation with Ed needed to be expanded on and that the ending needed an actual ending or at the very least an epilogue. I was very surprised when I went for the next page and it was over. It does give a good insight on what could go on when you are investigating to get that big scoop. 

Thank you to netgalley & Dutton for the copy in exchange for the honest review! To The Lions publishes on September 3rd, 2019!
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In this suspenseful thriller we find Casey, an investigative journalist chasing down a horrifying story she overheard while at a nightclub investigating a different story. What she overhears is terrifying and very unsettling. Wealthy people looking for the thrill of the kill, the prey just happens to be unsuspecting refugees living in a camp in Libya. One of the themes of the book is what will a person do, to what lengths will they go to get the story. The main characters are well written, flaws and all and the pace picks up speed as the story develops. There are a few plot holes but nothing too off putting unless you're a stickler for such details. Due to the subject matter I'm not sure I can say I enjoyed it, but it held my attention and had me totally invested throughout. This is a debut novel and I'm not sure if it's the start to a series or not but the ending, while complete, left ME with just enough questions to want it to be. I recommend this one to those of you who like their thrillers topical and thought provoking.

Thank you to Dutton Books and NetGalley for the ARC to read and review.
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Disappointed by this one, didn't finish. Couldn't get behind the plot and this just felt pretty messy, Not sure if this is a debut or not, but it felt like one.
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A chilling thought provoking book a whisper heard an unbelievable game being played a safari where humans hunt humans,Holly Watts writing drew me in kept me turning the pages brought up issues right out of the front pages immigrants their treatment.A mystery a page turner.#netgalley#duttonbooks,
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Does the end always justify the means?? This debut novel addresses this question and many others as Watt delves into the lives of investigative journalism. Casey and Miranda who both work for the Post, find sketchy evidence of a manhunt in Libya and are determined to expose the truth (think The Most Dangerous Game with unsuspecting victims). With combat veteran Ed in tow, the three travel to Libya and use subterfuge and other talents they've gleaned to become part of this chilling "tour." I'll be honest; it's a difficult read because of the subject matter, as it's terrifying and heartbreakingly dark. But in today's political climate, it's both relevant and shockingly real. 
It's even more so for us as we live in San Diego, mere minutes from the border where thousands of refugees are seeking asylum and are living in deplorable conditions, suffering from a multitude of injustices and not knowing what fate awaits them. I shudder each day as I open the newspaper or watch the news on TV and witness what is happening (and yes, on both sides). The answers aren't easy I know. Today's news is about the outbreak of mumps in 57 detention centers affecting both children and adults. 
So yes, this book is painful but it also addresses concepts we can't hide from. Watt shows us the underpinnings of investigative journalism, both its pitfalls and successes through two incredibly strong female protagonists. My heart was in my throat for most of the book but I liked it much more than I anticipated!
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I requested this gem from Dutton because I was intrigued by the vague blurb. I think Watt did a good job in her freshman novel. Casey is a reporter for the Post in the UK, and in the midst of her undercover work, she catches a tip, people are hunting humans. Surely that can't be what is going on, but worse things have happened in the history of humans. With the help of Miranda, another reporter that she works closely with, they set out to uncover what exactly is going on and how they can bring it to light for the world. 

Watt covers quite a few things in To The Lions, including the refugee crisis, human smuggling, the starvation, the extent of sexual assault, and the suffering people endured under Gadaffi. I also think, whether intentional or not, she exposes some of the filth that is the world of reporting, the lengths people will go to "get the story", and Ed's character does a great job at sharing the feelings of the distaste at the fact the line is always moving, the lengths and risk always growing bigger. 

The book had a bit of a slow start for me, there was a lot of groundwork to get the story in place and we were thrown a lot of characters at once. But once the story picked up, it turned fast-paced, and you found yourself anxiously turning pages. Casey and Miranda were exceptionally strong characters and this was very well-written. Nicely done.
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I was so excited to read this book and really tried to keep an open mind, but I just couldn’t connect with the story or the writing style.
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I was so excited that my wish was granted! However I wasn’t a fan of the writing style or story. Didn’t grab my attention.
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Great premise and I was intrigued by the summary, but the book was slow and didn't keep my attention.  Decent read but not my favorite.
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The premise of this story grabbed my attention but once I started reading it I found myself distracted.   Casey Benedict is a reporter.  She overhears a conversation in a London nightclub that leads her to the story of a lifetime.

In the beginning setup we meet  Casey’s boss and man oh man, he drops the F bomb more times than I could count.  A few times gives you the flavor of the man and his personality but after a while, what a turn off.

As the big story unfolds I found it very disturbing.  I don’t want to give spoilers but let me say, if you are bothered by what’s happening to immigrants in the USA, this plot won’t be appealing. At all.

This book is under the mystery and thriller category, my favorite genre however this is too disturbing for me with our current political situation.  I don’t bring politics into my blog and what happens in the book is NOT a scenario that is happening here but…..I didn’t like this at all.

Holly Watt is an author and journalist.  I will say a talented writer as she had me emotions stirred, this book just wasn’t for me.

Publication date is September 3, 2019.  Much thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.  I was not compensated for a review, opinions are mine.
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I really thought I would enjoy this book based on the blurb and premise, but it lost me about 1/3 of the way through. Can't say that I finished it either; I found the writing to be rather dry and uninteresting. Thanks for the advance copy.
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I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, because it's my first by the author, but I'm sure it won't be my last. The story was fast paced, clever and engaging and I'm excited to see what Holly Watt comes up with next!
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A very sad and thought provoking story of the life of immigrants and the struggle to be treated as humans. It is unforgiving in our world to prioritize whose life is worth more and the lengths people will go for their own selfish experiences.
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I love a good mystery/thriller and was looking forward to this one. It lost me about 1/4 of the way through. While it started off strong, the technical language, long details, dull writing style did not keep my attention and while I wandered, it lost me even more. 
I loved Casey and Ed and their dynamic but wondered at the choice of them as main characters. 
Not bad, but not one of my faves either. 
Thank you for the advanced reading copy.
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Thank you NET GALLEY for the copy

Not so much a fan of this type but I was surprised.  The theme of a "manhunt" was updated and the refugee tie in brought a new freshness to a modern day story one awry.  I really think you will like Casey's adventures from the initial bar to the bush this one moves quite well
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To The Lions was intense, disturbing and morally challenging. It reminded me of The Most Dangerous game, except the victims don’t know their being hunted. They don’t suspects thing.

This novel explores the trenches of humanity and the disparity of wealth and privilege. From refugees to billionaire CEOs and Members of Parliament, To The Lions delves into the culture that reinforces who is the hunter and who is the huntee.

The writing was choppy at times, which added to the suspense but also sent me back to reread for clarification more than once.
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Immigration and naturalization issues are at the forefront in this epic new thriller brought to you by Holly Watt.
The idea that a journalist who overhears a conversations and lands the story of a lifetime will alter or change the course of events set forth for those fleeing is a whole new twist.
As the refugees flee the story takes on danger when a suicide by a wealthy man hampers her efforts for much needed and vital information.
Powerful, corrupt, wealthy individuals are at the heart of the novel while those seeking the land of opportunity and freedom collide.
Thank you to Holly, the publisher, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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