The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness, Book Review

Goodreads Blurb 

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

My Review 

Rating: 4.5*

I’m not quite sure where to start with this book as I have some conflicting opinions on it, but before I dive into my review this book certainly wins the award for Best Opening Line:

“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”

There may be spoilers if you haven’t read it yet.

What I didn’t like was the incessant nature of the violence and the running of the main charcters, Todd and Viola. I actually found it exhausting. Some moments to pause and catch your breath as a reader may have made the action more shocking. I’m the kind of reader that will stay up all night reading a book if I’m enjoying it, but this book required frequent breaks.

I did, however, like the main characters. Their relationship developed nicely and didn’t feel contrived. My favourite was Manchee the dog and (SPOILER ALERT!!!) I’m not sure if I’ve forgiven Patrick Ness for killing him off. I was genuinely distressed at his demise (SPOILER OVER!!!)I also liked how the world the author created was three dimensional, if at times a little hard to picture due to the amount of detail he provided.

Also, I must applaude the author for not patronising his younger audience. He did not shy away from the horror on account of protecting young minds. I think if he had done that the book would not be what it is, which is a fantastic read, thought provoking, and lingers in the mind long after you’ve reached the end.

All told, a must read book.

Advertisements

Mark of The Demon by Diana Rowland, Book Review

Goodreads Blurb 

Cop and conjurer of demons, she’s a woman in danger of losing control to a power that could kill….

Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives’and souls’of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head…

My Review

Rating: 4*

So this was an interesting one for me as it was a little outside of my usual fare. It was a real combination of police-procedural and urban fantasy, with a healthy dose of humour and just a dash of eroticism. I think Ms Rowland did a seamless job of blending all those elements together and the one constant throughout was Kara. She was a great lead character as she was imperfect, flawed and ordinary except for when she was extraordinary. I like her vulnerability, it makes her extremely human in sometimes inhuman situations.

I must confess to taking an immediate and very shallow liking to Rhyzkahl. Ryan, on the other hand, was a slow burner, intentionally so I think. The two male leads really make you question the concept of good and evil, reminding me a little of Anne Rice’s Memnoch the Devil.

All told, an enjoyable read and I look forward to finding out what happens to the trio in the next one.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly–Book Review

 

Goodreads Blurb

There are 16 contestants, but only one will survive.

The last thing Jack West Jr remembers is arriving for a meeting at a top-secret military base with his family in tow. Now he awakens to find himself in a hellish scenario.
Jack has been selected to take part in the Games, a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual. If he chooses not to compete, both he and his daughter will be killed.

With the fate of the earth at stake, Jack will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight ruthless assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him to the limit. In the process he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: the four legendary kingdoms.

 

My Review

Rating: 5*

I cannot begin to describe my excitement over this book!

Maybe it’s because I haven’t read a good action book in a while. Maybe it’s because it feels like ages since Matthew Reilly‘s last Jack West Jnr book. Actually, it has been ages since his last Jack West Jnr book. Eight long years, to be precise. But now I’m rambling. And I’m rambling because, not only is this another adrenaline-fuelled rip-roaring yarn from one of the best action story tellers out there, it also has the mother of all spoilers that I really want to tell you about but absolutely won’t! I can’t! I mustn’t!

What I can talk about is how much I loved the premise of this book. It has a slight feel of the Hunger Games but for adults. Jack, amongst others, is kidnapped and taken to an arena in order to take part in the Hydra Games. In short, nine spheres have to be acquired from the arena—whilst also surviving what the arena throws at you—in order to save the world. The arena is creative, imaginative and utterly without mercy. The odds are definitely stacked against Jack in this one. And if you thought the Hunger Games were brutal, this is brutal squared. I don’t know how he does it but just when you think Matthew Reilly has taken Jack to the point of no return he pulls it out the bag.

One of the pluses of having waited so long for the next Jack West Jnr book is that Lily, Jack’s adopted daughter is now twenty and has a featuring role in this story. It was also cool to catch up with Stretch and Pooh Bear. I was totally absorbed by this book right from the beginning even if much of the foundation idea is somewhat unbelievable.

But that’s exactly what makes a Matthew Reilly book so engaging. You leave your disbelief at the door and hop on board the Matthew Reilly Crazy-train to Funsville.

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth, Book Review

 

Goodreads Blurb

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

 

My Review

My rating: 2.5*

Imagine you’re a child. You’re just about old enough to understand what Christmas is because you’ve just had it, and you’re already looking forward to the next one. Unwrapping presents is so much fun! It’s exciting, mysterious. What will be inside?

But it’s January and you have a whole year to wait. You wish the time away, wish it to speed up, go faster, because you can’t wait for Christmas to come, yet no amount of wishing makes it come any sooner. You have to be patient. Wait. 

Days pass.

Weeks.

Months.

Until eventually it’s December again and Christmas is coming! Finally, the day arrives. You get up, a year older with a years worth of excitement contained within you. But still you have to wait, because you can’t open your presents till after dinner and, as much as you enjoy the day, you can’t help thinking about unwrapping your presents.

What will be in them? you wonder.

Until, at last! Its time.

Slowly you peel of the pretty wrapping paper. You open the box, a delighted smile waiting to be worn on your face. You open the box, lift the lid, anticipation making your fingers tremble, and inside are…the rotted bones of your favourite pet.

That’s how I feel about this book.

On a technical note, it’s well written, though it lacks the fun element I so enjoyed in Divergent.

That’s all.

Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin, Book Review

 Goodreads Blurb

Incapable. Awkward. Artless. 
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail. 

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

My Review

This book doesn’t really inspire me to write a review but because it’s such a mixed bag I feel I must.

Rating: 2.5* on merit. (Wish I could give it a higher rating  because I don’t feel a 2* would be fair as there is a lot of good work in this book, but in good faith I can’t give it a 3*.)

I wanted to like this book and there were things about it that I did like. The writing is good and I can’t criticize Albin’s imagination. Where the problem starts for me is with her ability to clearly express what she is seeing inside her head. 

I once had a maths teacher who was extremely gifted when it came to understanding mathematical concepts, but her teaching ability was non-existent. In a matter of months I went from someone who loved maths and was competent at it to someone who struggled to the point of hating maths. If you can’t convey what’s inside you in a way where others can connect with it then it loses it’s magic, it’s power. That’s how this book made me feel. Albin had a wonderful idea with Crewel, full of originality and potential, but somewhere between concept and the page, the clarity was lost in transition.

The main character, Adelice, I found to be bland for want of a better word, and her two cohorts were much the same, resulting in my feelings of indifference towards them. The antagonists where actually much more interesting characters, more believable, more rounded.

My other major issue with this book was the dead air in the middle section of the book. I appreciate that Albin was trying to give a real insight into what Adelice’s life with the Spinsters was like but it needed more grit. There wasn’t much to get my teeth into; it was pleasant enough but uninspiring and that frustrated me because I was actually interested in the possibilities of what might have happened.

The end, however, was what I’d wished for throughout the book, and certainly went some way to appeasing my earlier frustrations. There was some clarity, finally, some action and some interesting, if not totally unexpected, revelations. Sadly, it was too little, too late to change my overall opinion of this book, though I may now be tempted to read the next one…

Widow’s Web (Elemental Assassin #7)by Jennifer Estep, Book Review

 

 

Goodreads Blurb 

I used to murder people for money, but these days it’s more of a survival technique.

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town. 

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. 

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

 

My Review

Rating: 4.5*

Gin Blanco is still one of my favourite female protagonists, and Jennifer Estep is yet to let me down in her recounting of Gin’s adventures. Perhaps I’m just in a demanding or particularly picky frame of mind right now,(I get like that when I’m in writing mode) because, as much as I want to, I can’t give this book 5*. 

Why? I hear you ask. If you love the story and you love the writing, why not give it full marks? 

I only have one answer to that. For the first time in reading an Elemental Assassins book I felt the formula. This series, as with many ongoing series, does follow a formula, but usually with this series I don’t notice it. The story flows logically, with one or two surprises on the way, ending with Gin kicking ass. But with Widow’s Web it felt very similar to a couple of the earlier books, just with a couple of name changes. The result of that was it lacked a little of the usual Gin magic that I have become accustomed to.

That is the only criticism I have of this book. What I am enjoying is watching Gin’s development as a person, aside from her identity as The Spider. I very much like how this book focuses very heavily on Owen and his background, which I hope means we’ll be seeing more of him as the series progress. In fact, many of the characters that feature in this series are growing and changing, even Jo-Jo (g’wan, rude girl!) has a little twinkle in her eye. Thankfully, Finn has stayed exactly the same: flirtatious, materialistic, fiercely loyal, utterly loveable.

I wonder what book #8 has in store.

Broken (Women of the Otherworld #6) by Kelley Armstrong, Book Review

 

 

Goodreads Blurb

In this thrilling new novel from the author of Industrial Magic, a pregnant werewolf may have unwittingly unleashed Jack the Ripper on twenty-first-century—and become his next target.

Ever since she discovered she’s pregnant, Elena Michaels has been on edge. After all, she’s never heard of another living female werewolf, let alone one who’s given birth. But thankfully, her expertise is needed to retrieve a stolen letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper. As a distraction, the job seems simple enough—only the letter contains a portal to Victorian London’s underworld, which Elena inadvertently triggers—unleashing a vicious killer and a pair of zombie thugs. 

Now Elena must find a way to seal the portal before the unwelcome visitors get what they’re looking for—which, for some unknown reason, is Elena.

 

My Review

Rating: 4.5*

Women Of The Otherworld is back to it’s best with this instalment. Loved it!

For me, Women Of The Otherworld is at its best when Elena is at the heart of the action. Though there is a cast of interesting and unusual characters in the series, it’s Elena that piqued my interest from book 1, and it’s Elena’s story I really want to follow.   

In this instalment of WotO, Elena is pregnant. ‘How on earth is Kelley Armstrong going to make this work?’ you may ask. That’s what I asked. I mean, Elena Michaels is a kickass werewolf chick who never walks away from trouble and loves to have a bit of a rumble and a tumble with Clay. I’ll tell you how she handles it: With serious aplomb and a deft touch.  

From the earlier books we always knew how much Elena worried about her fertility, whether she’d be able to have children after the horrible things that were done to her. So now that she’s pregnant she’s likely to be taking a back seat, letting the guys deal with any situation that might arise, right? Wrong. Though she’s aware that she needs to be careful, Elena is certainly not allowing pregnancy to turn her soft.

Kelley Armstrong has been very clever in choosing the situation for this instalment in that, although there are fights and scraps that Elena invariably gets caught up in, the theme of the plot is more a magical mystery than out-and-out action. It’s a more closed environment than we’re used to seeing in WotO, it’s more intimate, really driving home the emotional nature of this book. How Elena feels about her pregnancy is a thread that runs throughout Broken like veins of colour run through marble. In proportion to the whole, it’s a small percentage,  but without it you’d just have a lump of rock. The very presence of those veins intrinsically changes the very composition of said rock, and that’s exactly what Elena’s pregnancy does, not just to her, but to Clay and Jeremy,  too. It changes the dynamics of their relationships with each other and I very much enjoyed seeing, and feeling, their personal growth.   

As always, the book is well written, easy to read, imaginative and well paced. Though I enjoyed the last few books in the series, this one had something extra, something some of the earlier books perhaps lacked,  that I found really pleasing. This story didn’t just have heart; it had soul. One of my favourites yet.