Laura Griffin

List-O-Rama: Beginner's Guide to Awesome WTFery

List-O-Rama: Beginner's Guide to Awesome WTFery

A couple of weeks ago, I detailed my favorite fictional Awesome WTFery. I love explosions, random ghosts and fake relationships with a possibly unhealthy passion. Much of my love of WTFery manifests itself in my movie and television watching, but it creeps into books too. 

Are you wanting to delve into a big of Awesome WTFery escapism? Here are a few I dare you not to secretly devour.

The Lux Novels by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Entangled Teen)

Why It's Awesome WTFery: Hot aliens live in West Virginia, hijinks ensue. 
Bonus Points: Sex-Positive YA; No Love Triangle

I just blew through the first three Lux novels by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and while I'm not normally ​one to be embarrassed by my reading, I'm not exactly proud of not being able to put these books down. The plot of these (marginally) sci-fi young adult urban fantasy romance series is incredibly absurd and has continuity issues, but damn... the plot just moves along at a swift clip and Armentrout manages to make the reader care about snarky teen book blogger Katy and her good-looking pain-in-the-ass alien neighbor Daemon. 

Amazon | Goodreads

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Review: Scorched by Laura Griffin

Review: Scorched by Laura Griffin

Scorched by Laura Griffin

In Laura Griffin’s Tracers series—like in the television series 24, which I enjoyed—practical considerations are unnecessary. In the Tracers world, domestic terrorists drive MINI Coopers, anthropologists defuse bombs and everyone is terribly attractive. 

Scorched is the sixth book in the Tracers series, which follows employees of a top-notch private crime lab in Texas. The series has featured hackers, scientists, sketch artists, cops, criminal investigators, writers and FBI agents who all work to solve crimes while simultaneously finding true love.

Yes, Laura Griffin’s Tracers books are as awesome as they sound. 

Admittedly, this latest installment isn’t my favorite because it marks a distinct departure from the previous novels which focused on local crime-solving and veers toward stopping a terrorist plot (in addition to solving a local crime—it’s complicated). However, it still features Griffin’s trademark fast-paced writing and capable, tough characters.  

Scorched features forensic anthropologist Kelsey Quinn at the Delphi Center, where she focuses on identifying bodies. While on a dig in The Philippines, where she’s investigating a mass grave, Kelsey discovers a body that’s buried separately from the others, one that’s had facial reconstruction and appears very out-of-place for a remote Asian island. Suspicious, she takes samples and sends them to her former fiance, Blake, who works for the FBI. 

Upon her return to the United States, Blake asks Kelsey to come to his apartment because he has information about the evidence she collected oversees. Except when she gets to his apartment, Blake is murdered and Kelsey is a witness and on the run. And because she fled, she’s also a suspect. 

Kelsey suspects that law enforcement is involved in a larger conspiracy related to Blake’s murder, and turns to her ex-boyfriend Gage, a Navy SEAL who worked for her uncle Joe. This is where I was a bit confused—I’d not realized that Griffin has published a novella featuring Kelsey and Gage, Unstoppable, and that provides much of these characters’ backstory.

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{Review} Twisted by Laura Griffin

Oh, Laura Griffin, why can’t I quit you?

For real… you’d think after I went mildly ballistic over the Magical Missing Condom Syndrome in Griffin’s previous novel, Snapped* and wanted to strangle the main character in One Wrong Step (Celie is the worst main character I’ve ever read—I wanted the bad guys to kill her and leave her body in a ditch), I’d be able to make a clean break from Griffin’s books. But, oh no… a new Tracers book magically accidentally landed on my Kindle and I devoured it in a couple of evenings. 

This is my problem: I enjoyed the hell out of Laura Griffin’s Glass Sisters duology (especially the first one, Thread of Fear). Those two books were the perfect formula for awesomesauce brain candy: decently suspenseful but not too stressful, smart/tough women, smart/tough guys, an interesting setting. I also really, really enjoyed the first book in the Tracers series (which is kind of connected to the Glass Sisters series), Untraceable, because one of the main characters is a female computer hacker for good, which is incredibly badass. So, I keep reading Griffin’s books, hoping to recapture that magic.

And, a lot of those elements are there in subsequent books—plus, Griffin’s a pretty good writer.

She’s got a snappy, journalist style and doesn’t get bogged down in procedure or unnecessary details. (Do not bring details and nuance into my brain candy!) Yet, with that said, her novels still seem well-researched—more so than your average CSI episode at least. Trust me on this.

Since I have lost my stomach for a lot of mysteries in the last few years, I’ve tried a lot of the fluffy rom/suspense writers and most of them are just not at all my thing. They tend to be painfully formulatic and beyond ridiculous. (Ridiculous**, I can handle, in fact, I kind of love ridiculous—beyond that… no thanks.) 

Also, I have learned two things about Texas from Laura Griffin’s books:

  1. The state is virtually crawling with serial killers. It’s amazing anyone survives past thirty there.***
  2. The state is also virtually crawling with extremely attractive law enforcement officers.**** 

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{List-O-Rama} Five Dealbreakers

Editor’s Note: Today we’re introducing another one of our regular features, “List-o-Rama,” which is part opinion, part airing of grievances, part miscellany. 

I really try to be an open-minded reader. I’ve tried loads of genres and authors I assumed I wouldn’t like and have found gems that really speak to me. With that said, I have a few absolute reading dealbreakers. You know, those things that just leave you saying, “No, no, no.”

Dealbreaker #1 Controlling, domineering Alpha-male, characters. 

Now, you may be saying,

“But Sarah, you love Urban Fantasy, which is full of this character type.”

Which would be a true statement.  

However, the UF that I love has actual consequences for this sort of behavior. For example, in Patricia Brigg’s marvelous Mercy Thompson series (Goodreads, Amazon), Adam has to learn to keep his domineering tendencies in check—it’s a key part of his character development. The same goes for Jeaniene Frost’s incredibly fun Night Huntress series (Goodreads, Amazon), in which Bones (that name still kills me after following this series through a slew of books) has to change his behavior because he can’t call all the shots anymore. So, really, I’m fairly forgiving as long as there are consequences and a change in the behavior for this character type. 

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