I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Published by Macmillan on July 30, 2019
Also by this author: The Night Swim, Stay Awake, Dark Corners
Format: Audio/Physical (357 pages) • Source: Library, Scribd
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Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style―but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?
I’ve been working my way through Goldin’s books and she’s quickly become one of my favorite mystery/thriller authors. An absolute auto-read for me. (I’ve got one more backlist title to go now!)
THE ESCAPE ROOM was on my radar but I never got around to it because I’ve always thought I don’t like locked room mysteries. I’m definitely curious to keep testing that theory because I think it’s wrong haha – I enjoy ones like this! It’s so intriguing to have two timelines or POVs and see what’s happening separate from the “locked room” (in this case, an elevator).
This story centers around a few shitty financial/banking people who get trapped in an “escape room” elevator together. The other POV is Sara, a girl who busted her ass in the company’s graduate program and how she started rising up the ranks. Once the story gets going, there are some good twists and turns – I always found myself eager to check out what was happening in the other POV, which kept me turning the pages. I did finish this book in one day (great audiobook, btw!) but I don’t think I would classify it to other people as unputdownable. I just had the right kind of day to sit down and read or listen to the audiobook while multi-tasking all day.
I do think it’s quite predictable overall – I wasn’t shocked by the ending and there was a lot of explanation and backstory when it got toward the end. I didn’t mind though because it was interesting to see all of the connections and the “how” of it all. It’s also a little dry and businessy. It’s not like a book where it takes you through all these financial details necessarily (kind of like how CARRIE SOTO by TJR involved a lot of tennis talk), but you’d probably enjoy it more if you’re someone who works in the business world (luckily I do). Lots of corporate greed, NYC/Wall Street assholes.
Overall, this is my least favorite by Megan Goldin but still totally worth the read! If you’re like me and are interested in all of her books, certainly give it a try.
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
Series: Legends & Lattes #1
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Published by Tor Books on February 22, 2022
Format: Audio/Physical (294 pages) • Source: Owned, Scribd
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A NOVEL OF HIGH FANTASY AND LOW STAKES
After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time.
The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success—not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is.
If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won't be able to go it alone.
But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.
This was very cute – it rarely happens where a book fully meets your expectations. Not necessarily “I was so excited for this and I gave it five stars like I hoped” but more like “everything you’ve heard about this and expected the book to be is so true.” All the reviews about this are correct: cozy, quiet, easy to read, and minimal conflict.
Above all else, this is truly a love story about coffee. Totally here for that. I loved watching them set up shop, expand the menu, and deal with whatever came their way. I expected absolutely no issues based on the coziness factor and minimal drama. The ~thing~ that happens toward the end actually surprised me because I didn’t think anything major would happen.
I loved the characters and just watching them build up the cafe together. It sounds boring but it’s great if you’re a fan of coffee, baked goods, and enjoyable characters. I can see myself rereading it when I want something cozy someday.
While I can’t think of any actual flaws in this story, there’s something missing from me calling it a true five-star favorite? I’m not sure why. The lack of conflict (or at least – conflict that is very easily resolved) appealed to me and the “high fantasy” vibes are there, but minimal. Not a lot of world rules to learn when the orc is just building a coffee shop instead of out at a war using magic. It’s just a cozy (count how many times you see that word in any review for this book!) fantasy with low stakes. No plot, just vibes, and I loved it.