Cover Image: They Kill

They Kill

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This was good and solid read but it was not quite what I expected but I found myself interested and and liked how the story flowed really well.
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This book has elements of urban fantasy, cosmic horror, science fiction, zombie fiction, and gross-you-out horror.

Waggoner gives us a whole slew of scary bad guys, and I “enjoyed” (and was grossed out by) Waggoner’s creativity. I think the scariest bad guy is the silver man who is half-man half-android. (Imagine something like Siri or Alexa melding with your mind and body, yikes!)

This is a fast-paced story with danger or blood on every page. The murderous characters kept me turning pages long after I should have hit the sack.

I love the ending. I know far-fetched storylines aren’t to everyone’s liking, but I think the ending is so clever, and it ties everything together. (And it’d make a GREAT movie!)

The only reason I didn’t give They Kill five stars is the way the timeline is structured, it makes it hard to connect with Sierra in the first part of the book. It seems like she’s just reacting to her situation. Okay, wanting to survive is a good motivator, but it’s not as good as her motivation later on.

Overall, They Kill is an enjoyable, gory horror novel that’s hard to put down, but to get the most out of it, you must read clear through to the end. Four enjoyable, gory stars!
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Tim Waggoner's They Kill is a pulpy exploitation style horror throw back full of gore, sex and violence.
Framed around the premise of a woman who, when her dead brother is resurrected by a mysterious man, finds herself the target of four people in her life who have been turned into inhuman monsters.
If it sounds like a bizarre premise, it's because it is and really only seems to serve the purpose of unleashing a series of violent and depraved kills scenes.
The monsters themselves are quite unique, with shades of Clive Barker's twisted creations, and are by far the strongest aspect at play.
Fans of Waggoner's previous work will find something here.
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Who doesn’t love a good monster? How about five? @tim.waggoner.scribe’s They Kill delivers exactly that and more. 


One year ago, Sierra’s brother was in a fatal car accident. An ominous man named Corliss not only resurrects him from his death, but also bequeaths him with the touch of death. Anyone he touches turns to dust. Corliss also turns four others into unique monsters, all with a mutual desire to find and kill Sierra and Mark, Sierra’s brother’s boyfriend, who is also desperate for answers. 
Who is Corliss, why is he targeting Sierra, and why do these newly created mutants have a mutual vendetta against her? How will she escape their wrath? Will Sierra and Mark do what it takes to save her brother and bring him back for good? What would you do to save the ones you love?


This is what horror is all about? They Kill will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. 
Thank you @netgalley and @flametreepress for this ARC. It released in July so it’s available now! Go check it out! 

#bookstagram #netgalley #netgalleyreview #books #bookpusher #bookish #bibliophile #horrorbooks #booksofinsta #reader #booksbooksbooks
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With only my second book by this author I am convinced that he is very messed up! 🙂 I mean where on earth does he come up with this stuff!

Honestly I am not even sure how to describe what was going on in this story but I will try. So a year after Jeffrey dies he is brought back by a strange man called Corliss and let loose to go find his sister Sierra. Sierra is having a bad day because it’s the anniversary of her brothers death.

Then the strange guy seems to turn some people that Sierra has run ins with on a daily basis into some kind of freaks. Each one of them are different depending on their personality. All they want to do is kill Sierra and pay her back. Then she has a run in with her dead brother and lets just say she is not having a great day.

For most of the book I was totally confused on why all of this was happening to Sierra and why it was happening and to be honest even after I find out why I was still not sure I understood it. I thought for the most part the story though strange was kind of boring until the end when it picks up.

I didn’t like any of the characters and so I could care less what happened to any of them even Sierra, who I believe her attitude towards people was one reason she was picked for all this mayhem. I think out of all the characters I might have liked Jeffrey the most and he was a walking dead guy! 🙂

This book solidifies the fact that I think the author has a very strange mind and that when I read one of his books I probably will find something very weird and gross going on. 🙂
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I did not finish this book. It just wasn't for me. I enjoy horror, violence, blood, and guts, etc but this one just didn't connect with me. I have to care about the characters in order for the violence to have meaning or hold weight. I just didn't care about anyone in this book. I rated it two stars instead of one because I believe that there is a skill to the writing and that some people will find enjoyable, it just wasn't for me.
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My review of THEY KILL can be found at High Fever Books.

They Kill is a bit of an odd duck overall. It has a lot of neat concepts, but narratively it didn’t really come fully together for me and required a fair bit more willing suspension of disbelief than I was capable of giving. I typically like Tim Waggoner’s stuff, but I definitely prefer his more direct — and more directly believable — stories, like A Kiss of Thorns and The Winter Box. They Kill, as with his previous Flame Tree Press release, The Mouth of the Dark, goes all-in with the weird, even more so than that prior title, which is saying a lot! 

One year ago, Sierra’s brother was killed in a tragic car accident. And yet, Jeffrey is up and about again, wandering the streets of their hometown. He’s been resurrected by a long blond-haired man in a black suit named Corliss, and given a strange gift, the touch of death. Any living thing Jeffrey touches turns to ash. But that’s not all! Sierra’s stalker ex-boyfriend, her drunk neighbor, and a few others have been changed by Corliss, too, and are all gunning for Sierra, eager to exact revenge for the perceived injustices perpetrated by the woman at the center of their crosshairs. 

Waggoner shows off a lot of unique forms of body horror with this one, particularly as he details Stuart’s transformation from an overbearing, control freak, electronics store salesman to a deadly, psychopathic cyborg whose body grows all kinds of high-tech goodies to aid him in his hunt. Each of Sierra’s deadly adversaries undergo some kind of radical change, turning them into killer mutants that wouldn’t be out of place in the X-Men’s Brotherhood of Evil. 

It’s clear Waggoner has a lot of fun taking such a deep dive into the inexplicable, but the big lingering question at the heart of They Kill is why? Who is Corliss, what does he want, and why is he targeting Sierra? There are a big questions that Waggoner is content to ignore for as long as possible as he, instead, focuses on making strange, bloodthirsty murderers to set against Sierra and Jeffrey’s lover, Marc. Mind you, this is OK, to a certain extent, but around two-thirds of the way through, I was itching for answers and wishing They Kill had some kind of a point to it. Corliss spends too much of the narrative as an enigma, and readers are left in the dark for so long that it becomes a huge struggle to remain invested in this particular freakshow. I found myself getting bored with the chase, particularly as Waggoner kept creating one more weirdo killer after another, seemingly with little reason beyond mayhem.

By the time we do get an idea of what Corliss wants and why Sierra has found herself in the middle of all this insanity, the book is nearly over and the resolution feels rushed. The trajectory Sierra is spun off into as a result of these answers feels under baked, and I would have liked to have seen more of her response and growth as she adjusts to understanding why she’s been targeted. 

There is plenty of good stuff happening within these pages, though. I dug the burgeoning friendship that developed between Sierra and Marc, the two people closest to Jeffrey but who also found themselves at odds. Jeffrey’s resurrection draws them together in a way that neither his life nor his death managed, and by forcing them to work together in order to survive, Waggoner creates a really compelling relationship between them. Sierra’s ex, Stuart, and her alcoholic neighbor, Grace, are both intolerable, love-to-hate villains and every time they showed up, I kept hoping it’d be their last scene. I really wanted to see them meet their comeuppance, and the sooner the better! One of the more compelling characters, though, was Randall, a retiree who lives across the street from Sierra’s parents, and who crafts pennies with smiley faces on them, which he calls Chucks, to pass out to the people he meets. It’s his attempt to do a good deed but, good lord, is it ever creepy, and it’s pretty amusing to see people react to his eccentricity, as well as what results from his meeting with Corliss. I couldn’t help but wonder where the idea about these Chucks came from and if this was something Waggoner drew on from personal experience or observation, or if it was just another deranged product of his unique imagination. And let’s face it, as far as imaginations go, Waggoner’s got one hell of a creative mind.

They Kill is a decent read, but it feels a bit imbalanced as the more interesting aspects of the plot get buried beneath an onslaught of oddities. Mind you, Waggoner does write some good straight-up weird horror, but I can’t help but feel like this is a lesser installment in his massive body of work. It’s not a bad way to kill some time, but it doesn’t approach the heights of other strange deeds he’s laid to page, like his post-apocalyptic The Last Mile. 

[Note: I received an advance readers copy of this title from the publisher, Flame Tree Press, via NetGalley.]
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They Kill is horror in all its dark, squishy, over-the-top glory.

Starting slowly with the raising of the dead by the mysterious Corliss, we then follow Sierra as she tries to cope with the first anniversary of her brother’s death and the fact that his corpse is back, wandering around town turning brick – and other things – to dust. Teaming up with Jeffrey’s ex-boyfriend, Marc, Sierra hopes to save her brother somehow, or at least stop him doing any more damage, but first she simply has to survive.

Corliss takes four resentful, difficult people in Sierra’s life and turns them into graphically horrific monsters in ironically appropriate ways: the alcoholic becomes a poisonous mummy; the controlling ex becomes a machine; the awkward do-gooder becomes a smiley psycho; and the repressed spinster becomes a voracious incubus. The changes to their appearances and personalities; the atrocities they wreak in their pursuit of Sierra and the damage inflicted on them, is all dwelt upon in loving and explicit detail – this book is definitely not one for the faint of heart or weak of stomach!

As Sierra and Marc hunt for Jeffrey, whilst the monsters hunt for Sierra (I was reminded of the Four Horsemen), the pace and splatter build to a gloriously ridiculous crescendo of gore, vomit and body parts. Will anyone survive? Why is everything so focused on Sierra? Can she save her brother, and will she even want to when she understands what is at stake.

This is a gleefully dark story with a serious undertone about the monsters that lurk inside all of us, even the most innocuous and well-intentioned. Tim Waggoner gently pokes those monsters into the sunlight, then blows them up into grotesque caricatures that show plainly and painfully what humans are capable of given sufficient quantities of their own personal motivation. But what is motivating Corliss to set this destructive puppet-show into action? Sheer malevolent enjoyment or something more? You’ll have to read and find out!

Corliss gazed upon Jeffrey’s corpse. It had come to a rest on its shoulders, spine curved, knees down by the face, head twisted at an unnatural angle. Death fascinated Corliss. One moment a collection of meat, blood, and bone was moving, and the next it was motionless. The event always struck him as so… anticlimactic.
He leaned his face close to Jeffrey’s and breathed upon the man’s open, staring eyes. An instant later the pupils widened and Jeffrey began to stir.

– Tim Waggoner, They Kill

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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A gritty, intense, fast-paced, riveting, artful melding of modern, unspeakable horror, wickedly-twisted, hide-under-the-covers terror and spine-tingling, hair-raising suspense. An edgy tale, full of dark secrets, shocking plot twists and pulse-pounding, palpable tension. This book brings it ALL! (Caution: Leave your lights on!)

#TheyKill #NetGalley

*I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & Flame Tree Press in order to read and provide a voluntary and honest review, should I choose to do so.
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A good solid read, not quite what I expected but I found myself immersed very quickly and the story flowed really well.
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A year after Jeffrey Sowell’s funeral, he’s suddenly alive again and walking the streets, thanks to the help of the mysterious Corliss, who functions as a kind of anti-King Midas, causing everyone he effectively touches to fall prey to their own worst aspects.  Jeffrey’s touch causes decay and ruin, as his sudden reanimation isn’t entirely “natural” (if any reanimation of the dead can be considered natural) and he has one chance to survive his resurrection and become truly alive again. His sister Sierra is tasked with staying alive in the bloodbath that follows, but she is also given the choice to make one terrible sacrifice in order to make her brother’s resurrection permanent.  The book asks how far a person would go to save someone they love, but it also explores how low a person can be brought by their own personal failings. 

“They Kill” is an immensely fun read in the splatter punk genre, and Waggoner’s unique and cerebral voice produces a truly original and fascinating (while also disgusting) cosmically horrific universe. Similar in its weird and visual style to Waggoner’s earlier “The Mouth of the Dark” this is such a stunning read that I won’t be surprised if it becomes a movie. Waggoner’s descriptive writing is both beautiful and evocative, and the pacing of this particular book allows the reader to luxuriate in the sentences. The writing is exquisite and gross, which is a really amazing combination that very few writers manage to pull off.

The supporting characters are fascinating in just how terrible they are. The main characters aren’t exactly likeable, but they are just recognizable enough to allow you some sympathy for them while you’re remarking on how awful they are. The plot speeds along quick enough to keep you turning pages but slow enough to allow the reader to ask questions, especially WTF? more than a few times when the gore and blood level rises.

 It’s hard to compare this book with any other because it’s so original in theme and execution, but it reminds me a bit of the classic “deal with the devil” stories, maybe a little “Needful Things,” with a little “Videodrome” thrown in the pot, but it’s really such a unique story it needs a shelf of its own. I recommend this one to gore and splatter fans, people who enjoy visual story-telling, and readers for looking for something truly different in the horror genre. Many thanks to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the early review copy, but this is my honest opinion about the book.
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This book has some fantastic scenic writing right away. Very detailed in the description and you can see things unfold before you in vivid detail. Waggoner writes in a manner where the reader is able to get every detail; big or small. It plays into the overall narrative of the story. The characters you meet throughout this novel each have very well written character descriptions(something I always enjoy). Every person that our protagonist,and even our antagonists, interacted with got their own little paragraph, adding to the story in one way or another.

The characters; I liked Sierra, but honestly the rest were rather unlikeable, but they were supposed to be. I was able to gladly hate the various antagonists throughout the story. In a sense, our main antoagonist is Corliss, an extremely otherworldly character that seems sinister from the immediate start. He alters the unlikeable characters that have been consistent in Sierra's life over the course of the year since her brother's death. You get to know these characters from Sierra's POV and then from their own. Their small hatred for Sierra is ramped up to ten and plenty of bloodshed and strange happenings occur on their hunt for her

What I find to be of interest; Corliss takes the very thing our antagonists consider most dear, and twist them to nefarious means. This story has a bit of a fantasy feel to it, but with a larger horror theme. Their abilities are used in gruesome and absolutely horrible ways. I love how dark  an disturbing this was. There are a few moments of subtle foreshadowing that were a wonderful addition.
This story is a slow burn, but not, at the same time. Plenty of sinister trouble ensues, even when we aren't following Sierra. Waggoner did wonderfully with adding body horror into this book(and I LOVE body horror). I winced at the descriptions. This book is not for those easily squeamish, there are plenty scenes of violence and sex(especially toward the end). 

They Kill had a nice twist ending that was equal parts shocking and satisfying. A sort of cosmic horror read to me. Lovers of the horror genre will enjoy this book!
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My first comment on "They Kill" is that this book was blast to read.  After reading "The Mouth of the Dark" and meeting the infamous Pink Devil, I knew the potential for the "ew-factor" would be high.  I wasn't wrong and it didn't disappoint.  On the year anniversary of Jeffrey's death, he is suddenly reanimated.  He starts roaming his hometown which causes some alarm for those who know he's really dead.  Most effected are his sister Sierra and his boyfriend Marc, who team together, despite disliking each other, to figure out what is going on.

I can best describe "They Kill" as a B-movie in book format.  Which personally I think is great.  It's basically a slasher flick with some really unique characters who actually have some depth.  By that I mean that Waggoner has really put some thought into these individuals and created some truly scary human monsters - and I use the word human lightly.  Honestly, I would enjoy seeing "They Kill" adapted to a movie because it would be a heck of a ride.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it to be a much faster-paced read than "The Mouth of the Dark."  In Sierra I had a character I could cheer on and on a few occasions, I felt a quite a bit of sympathy for Jeffrey.  Except when he killed the dog - could have done without that scene but frequent visitors to my blog aren't surprised I'm mentioning it.  In addition, the ending caught me completely off-guard so kudos Mr. Waggoner! 

If you like body horror and fast-paced death and destruction, then you definitely need to pick up "They Kill."
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Jeffrey Sowell was involved in a car accident, orchestrated by the man in the black suit……his head crushed and spine snapped…..dead instantly.

 But Corliss, the man I the black suit….brings him back to life and sends him a year ahead…..but why?

Sierra, Jeffrey’s Sister, is still grieving the loss of her brother…..but then she sees him…!

This reminded me a little of Stephen King’s Needful Things, with a touch of the dark man from The Stand, but this is something marvellously different…..

Angry people get angrier, alcoholics get meaner and the creepy get so much creepier…..

Randal and his chucks is horrific….a smiley faced horror..

Stuart and his upgrade is a thing of nightmares….and the vagina dentata…..oh dear god!

Can Sierra fix this? Can she save her brother? But at what cost?

This is gory, unsettling and definitely strange and I loved every minute. It’s what a horror story should be and has reignited my love for the genre. Brilliant.

Thank you to The publishers, the author and NetGalley for  a free copy of the ebook  and this is my honest, unbiased review.
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“Even in her darkest moment, she was still capable of love.”
I’m a bit ashamed to admit this is my first Tim Waggoner read. I have a bunch of his books on my TBR but just haven’t arrived at them yet. I was kindly approved for an ARC of this through Flametree over on Netgalley and slotted it in to read and review for what I thought was an August release date.
Then I realized I’d confused it with Hellrider and saw that it in fact had an end of July release!
So I bumped it way up and dove in.
At its heart ‘They Kill’ has an amazing story about loss, grief and the depths of despair people suffer when dealing with the death of a loved one. In this case Waggoner delivered two such tales of suffering; Sierra & Marc.  Jeffrey was killed in a horrific car crash one year ago. Brother to Sierra, significant other to Marc, now the two of them wake up on his anniversary and try and figure out how to get through the day.
I really felt that this plot point would have been the basis of the entire story and if it had been, I think I would have ate this book up. Seriously – stop and think; if you’re most loved person in this world unexpected died – and then one year later you see them walking down the street, how would you respond? 
Unfortunately for me, the book itself started off on the wrong foot. I was hoping it would change, heck I even tweeted about digging it at 20%, but that was right as we were really getting the back story of Sierra, Marc & Jeffrey.
The book starts off with some weird rash decisions/characterizations towards Sierra by some secondary characters – mainly Grace & Stuart. Both have this unexpected over the top hatred towards Sierra. Throw in some completely random twists (which I don’t think are spoilers as it’s in the synopsis) where Grace develops powers and Stuart becomes this weird Cyborg with a digital assistant named Krista and I was confused.
But time and time again, Tim kept pulling me back in. Learning more about Corliss and Jeffrey and the realm rift. Then seeing what happens when Randall is affected was a great narrative push. Waggoner kept digging the story hooks into me and I was hoping we’d be able to move away from Grace & Stuart. I was even hoping for more story line with Karolyn. But then we are introduced to Mandy, a sex-crazed succubus and the ship started to sink for. Sadly there were a number of times I thought I was going to DNF.
The ending both frustrated me as well as excited me. I can’t talk too much about it for full spoiler territory but again – I think if Tim could have lost a lot of the extra stuff, this would have been such a great read. When all was said and done, I almost longed for the book to have been a novella instead.
Oh well. I’m still really looking forward to the other books I have by Tim, and if you read the synopsis and it sounds like a book you’d enjoy – then definitely check it out!

**This book with feature on Kendall Reviews**
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Oh boy!! This was one wicked ride from start to finish. I raced down the pages as fast as Corliss the evil transformed men into the killing machines, all with a common target Sierra. This was Corliss's game to find out if Sierra had what it took to become the Unhallowed.

My first book by Tim Waggoner, the story had me quite in a thrum of adrenaline when the body count raised. The villain Corliss just had to transform the people then they became their inner selves. It is said the devil resided in some of us. And after reading this horror of a thriller, I agreed absolutely. Tim has taken parts of sci-fi, parts of slasher serial killer, parts of zombie horror to merge them into this book. Each chapter brought out the monsters without consciousness to the forefront

This book was a direct hit to my senses, unexpected and bold, with multitude of gross indecent behavior, inner lust, and extreme violence. The author certainly did not shy away, even when parts of me did. But the rest of me stopped analyzing and just sat motionless on this wild ride. Did I want to get off? Nopes, not once.

Not the book for the faint-hearted!!
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What are you willing to do, what are you willing to become, to save someone you love? On the one-year anniversary of his death in a terrible car accident, Sierra Sowell's brother Jeffrey is resurrected by a mysterious man known only as Corliss. Corliss also transforms several people in Sierra's life into inhuman monsters: her alcoholic neighbor Grace, her possessive ex-boyfriend Stuart, a creepy older man named Randall, and a sexually repressed colleague named Mandy. Each of these people harbor grudges against Sierra, sparks of anger and resentment which Corliss fans into murderous flames. Grace become a booze-fueled witch, Stuart a deadly cyborg, Randall a smiley faced serial killer, and Mandy an insatiable succubus. To matter worse, Jeffrey is only partially alive. He's a walking corpse possessing a devastating deathtouch. Sierra and Jeffrey's boyfriend Marc work to discover the reason for her brother's return to life while struggling to survive attacks by the monstrous quartet whose only desire it to see her dead. The monsters aren't willing to share Sierra, however, and they battle to determine which will be the one to kill her, leaving a pile of corpses in their wake. After the monsters carve a bloody swath through town - and each other - Corliss gives Sierra a chance to make Jeffrey's resurrection permanent: if she's willing to make a dreadful bargain. Can she do what it will take to save her brother, no matter how much blood is shed along the way? Or will she allow him to return to the land of the dead and perhaps join him there?

This was a great creepy read; just what I was hoping for.
This book is not your typical horror it does border on the strange.
I enjoyed this though and I think most horror fans will agree.
I enjoyed the gore and creepiness along with the strange and out there.
If you enjoy horror give this a go.
Recommend reading.

My thanks, to Flame Tree Press, and Netgalley for this ARC. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Now this one I liked. Interesting story, creepy characters, and a lovely ending. Parts of this story were a bit graphic for my taste but overall the story came together as a very suspenseful, creep fest.
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My thanks, to Flame Tree Press, and Netgalley for this Arc.
I hated this book. It's not the author's fault, nor the publisher's. 
I was a wee bit wary when I requested this Arc, But I had read a few fairly tame books.beforehand, and thought..😒hmm?  Blood and guts, yes! Well,! I'm just to old and tired of these type of books. Unless, it's done Ed Lee, Ketchum and Keene style. Which means humor. Especially Edward Lee. He can disgust me, yet have me laughing simultaneously! Think not? Man, read Headers 2. So 😝 gross! But, I nearly laughed and gagged at the same time! I can only deal with this kind of story if I find myself laughing. Just the odd bit of humor. Thing is that I've never liked Tim Waggoner books. But, because it was a free arc, and I love Flame Tree, I decided to give it a go. Argh! My bad! He still sucks. He hasn't grown at all as a writer. But, that's just my opinion. Many people like this guy. To each their own. Mr. Waggoner in my opinion is severely lacking. 
This just isn't something I'd recommend, unless you just want a book with no development. This is 80's type stuff. This is a one star story, but because I am impressed by the stuff Flame Tree puts out, I'll knock it up to 2 stars. Honestly? Waggoner has been writing the same crap for awhile now. He's not improved.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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