Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review of MONARCH by Michelle Davidson Argyle and Contest Winner!

My first ARC came in the mail a few months ago, before my move and my new job and everything else that caused social upheaval in my life. "Giddy" doesn't have enough force behind it to describe how I felt when I tore open the package and found my very own copy of the novel in my hands.

And it only got better from there. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Blurb (from Goodreads): Nick's life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness, a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the United States has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he'll have the chance to start his life over again. Just when he's on the brink of catching Ferreira, he's framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia, where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He's safe, but not for long.

Okay, let me try to explain my experience with this book. You know how, when little kids get a piece of candy that they love, they eat it and swallow it so quickly that an observer isn't even sure they tasted it? They didn't savor the gooey chocolate or the refined nugget core. But the love of it just inspired them to INHALE the candy.


Yes, this was me with MONARCH. Not because I knew I would like it before it landed in my hands, but because with every page, I enjoyed it more. It grew to the point where I couldn't stop reading. It became compulsive. And like all good things, it was soon over. Maybe 48 hours later? Too soon, that's for sure.

And after having devoured the novel, I remembered, "Oh, right. I agreed to write a review."

So, in order to write something of more substance than "Dude, this novel ROCKED!", I decided to read it again. Not a hard decision, really, seeing as I enjoyed it so much the first time. And guess what happened.

Yup, I devoured it again.

So, clearly, this says something in its own right about MONARCH: it's a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller that is unput-downable. All of the characters went straight to my heart as soon as I opened the cover, and all I wanted was for everyone to survive. Davidson Argyle weaves tension like an expert loomist, with almost every scene inspiring nail-biting reactions. "Real" time and flashback move seamlessly back and forth, creating a vivid full picture.

On top of it being a great story, I think I can learn things from Davidson Argyle's writing as well. If you read my interview with her from last week, you may remember my asking her about a group scene at the climax of the novel. I have rarely read a scene with so many characters that so flawlessly came together. I had a clear image in my mind of where everyone was and what they were doing during each moment of the tense scene, while the tension never abated. It's just one example of the skill Davidson Argyle brings to the craft.

So, would I recommend this book? What do you think?

YES! Holy cow! Read. This. Book.

Thank you so much for Michelle for letting me participate in her book tour, getting me my first ARC, and writing such a great book.

And one lucky person from last week will receive a copy of MONARCH. Random.org chose number 7, which led to:


Congratulations! Please email me soon at rlconnolly01 [at] gmail.com so we can get your copy to you.

Didn't win? Do you want to read it, too? There are several other ways you can read the book.

Direct from Rhemelda Publishers (they're having a sale right now on their recently published books).

Or from Amazon below:


Matthew MacNish said...

What a great review! I was already looking forward to this book, but now even more so.

Angela Felsted said...

I got my copy in the mail yesterday. I am SO excited to read it.

S.P. Bowers said...

I can't believe I won! Thanks! I just emailed you.

J.C. Martin said...

Congratulations to S.P.! You will enjoy the book! I second Rosie's review -- it is one enjoyable read!


Join me in the Trick or Treat Spooktacular! Could you help make the Grand Prize a brand new Kindle Touch?

LTM said...

wow! Fantastic review!!! I've seen blurbs about this book around, and it really does sound awesome. Must add to the TBR pile... :D <3

Carol Riggs said...

Congrats to the winner! And I must go to Goodreads and put this on my TBR list before I forget! Off to do it...

Lola X said...

Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

Lola x

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