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Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking Trilogy #2)

I really don’t know why I delayed so long in reading the next in this trilogy. The first book was fantastic so I suppose maybe I was a bit unwilling to jeopardise how I felt about the first novel if the second wasn’t as fantastic. I needn’t have worried. This was just as good if not even better.

I really wasn’t sure about the ending of the first book I was so hoping to get a happy ending and I really believed that that’s what we were going to get too. However the author had other plans and ended it on quite a scary and confusing place so as readers, we were all left wondering what the hell was going to happen next. I have to admit I was worried. Part of the reason I enjoyed the first book so much was because it took place on a journey through a strange land that was new and exciting to both the characters and the readers. This is not the case in this instalment. Todd and Viola have arrived in Haven, their ultimate destination, in the hopes of finding shelter and help but alas, how wrong they turn out to be.

Not only is the setting of this book completely different we also see Todd and Viola apart for a huge amount of it which we rarely saw in the first novel. However this did not affect me in the way that I thought it would. Of course I want them to be together but their independent scenarios were so exciting I didn’t feel the longing as much as I should have. Viola is being kept first in a House of Healing where she eventually learns some rudimentary healing skills. Todd, on the other hand, is being kept in the bell tower above the Mayor’s home and is being forced to work with Davy Prentiss on a daily basis on various horrible tasks mostly involving the poor unfortunate Spackle.

The development of Viola and Todd’s characters over the course of this book is extensive to say the least. They both grow up a lot and not just in the physical sense but they seem to grow in maturity and can see that there is a bigger picture than just the two of them living happily ever after together. They want to see their world improve and become a better place to live. I also loved the development of lesser characters such as Davy and Wilf and the introduction of new characters in the shape of Lee and Mistress Coyle.

The ending is a humdinger and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Monsters of Men. I really hope that it is an ending that this trilogy deserves. Oh and Angharrad may not replace Manchee but I still thought he was lovely!

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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Cat and Mouse by James Patterson (Alex Cross Series #4)

Cover of "Cat and Mouse (Alex Cross)"

Cover of Cat and Mouse (Alex Cross)

James Patterson is one of those authors that you either love or you hate and thankfully I’m one of the people who thinks he’s just fantastic. Cat and Mouse is the next installment in the Alex Cross series and it just seems to get better and better. Each book is more exciting than the previous one and all the characters seem to become more in-depth and more loveable.

This is really like two novels squashed together and even though that may sound a little messed up it actually worked extraordinarily well. It begins with the return of Gary Soneji who we know well from previous books and is Cross’ ultimate nemesis. Soneji is still wonderfully insane and as always doesn’t disappoint in the bad guy stakes. As Cross hunts Soneji you’re all the while being told little tidbits of information on Mr. Smith, a serial killer who has already murdered people in the US and is now blazing a trail across Europe. However it’s not til Cross wraps up (or so he thinks) the Soneji case that we really get pulled into the deadly world of Mr. Smith.

He may possibly be an even more insane bad guy than Soneji. His crimes are horrible but yet morbidly fascinating in that way that you have to look when you see an accident on the road, you will be always wondering what Mr. Smith will do next. Patterson is a lover of a good twist here and there and he sure doesn’t disappoint in Cat and Mouse on this front. I won’t give anything away here but keep your minds open people, that’s all I’ll say.

This is a typical Patterson novel and I mean that in a completely good way. It’s exciting, it’s fast-paced, it’s got a little romance and there are plenty of twists to keep you on your toes. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Book Review

 

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More Than Friends by Tracy Culleton

This was not the light and carefree read I was expecting at all. After a big, complicated book like Game of Thrones I always like to mix it up a bit by giving myself a break with some chick lit or something equally as easy a read, hence the choosing of this book. However I made a bit of a boo-boo people. This falls somewhat awkwardly between the chick lit genre and a pyschological thriller, believe it or not. A funny combination, I know.

It begins innocently enough, which enforced my believe that it was indeed a light and carefree novel, with us being introduced to the main character, Sally. She’s the typical chick lit character, single, all her friends are happily living in coupledom, she’s looking for Mr Right, she feels like she’ll grow into a lonely old spinster, etc, etc. She decides to join a dating website and after a few mishaps shes meets Chris who just so happens to be her dream guy. Or so she thinks.

This is where it starts to get weird. He starts out by being this seemingly perfect gentleman but evolves into this monster from Hell. You see everything through Sally’s eyes and its terrifying to see a happy, healthy woman self-destruct into a shrivelling wreck of a human being all because of one man’s psychological abuse. He starts slowly manipulating her so that she obviously doesn’t realise anything strange is going on but eventually he has her completely and utterly dependent on him for every little thing in her life. So much so that she becomes a practical hermit who’s too afraid to step foot outside the door of the house. I thought this part of the book was very well written and even the reader is at times wondering, maybe he’s not that bad, when he clearly is evil. You could understand exactly how women find themselves in these positions where they end up in abusive relationships without fully realising how in the hell they got there.

There were a few bad points, of course, nobody’s perfect. The abandonment of Sally by most of her friends and family into the clutches of this horrible man is way too easy. Anyone with a brain could see what he was doing to her from the outside. I also had issues with how easily she accepted everything. They moved in together after two weeks, she didn’t see anything wrong with that. They started trying for a baby two months after that, once again she saw nothing wrong. He made her give up work which she genuinely liked, again accepted without a lick of doubt. I felt parts of the book were rushed where they didn’t need to be. The final problem I had was with the ending. After finally escaping his clutches she moves in with her friend David, who she believes to be gay, and within a few weeks she’s having sex with him in a swimming pool…

Mistakes? Learn from? Mean anything to you? Anyway it’s a cliché happy ending which I suppose you want from a chick lit novel but from a psychological thriller, maybe not. This is a good story, book-ended by a mediocre start and finish.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in Book Review

 

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A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)

This is definitely a huge hunk of gooood reading!! Even though this book is quite long being over 800 pages it never once dragged for me. Its done in the multiple narrative style that I like so very much so even though I might not have loved all the characters equally you never got the chance to get that sick of them that the dislike turned to hate.

My favourite characters were probably Tyrion and Daenarys. I loved Tyrion because he brought an element of humor into almost every situation and he was so smart and intelligent that you really wait with bated breath to see what he’ll come up with next to get himself out of a sticky situation he may be in. Daenarys was interesting to me because she really was forced into a situation that most girls would find unimaginably terrible but did she break down and give up? No. She embraced her new life and learned to live in different and sometimes terrifying ways that she could never have imagined previously. I also loved some of the characters we only got to see through Daenarys, such as Drogo and Ser Jorah.

I had been warned by some people, that the book was hard to follow and was so complex and has so many different characters that it became confusing and hard to follow. I can’t say that I experienced this at all. I found the book so well written and so well laid out that I actually couldn’t find a flaw in it. Which, considering the books length and depth, is really impressive. I didn’t get confused because I thought that most of the characters had such distinct stories that it was impossible to confuse one with another. For example a chapter following Eddard Stark was based for the majority of the book in Kings Landing and he was surrounded by a host of royal characters, a chapter on Jon, Starks bastard son, was based on the Wall where he was serving his time on the Night’s Watch, a chapter on Daenarys was based in a completely different land with the Dothraki surrounding her. I don’t see much of a basis for confusion. The only slightly difficult part to get used to was the sheer amount of characters but after reading a chapter from each of their points of view you won’t forget who’s who in a hurry.

The only character I had issues with was Sansa, I found her so weak and annoying that I didn’t warm to her until right near the very end. She had her loyalties and her heart in all the wrong places and felt the urge to scream at the book more than once when I was reading her chapters.

The way the plot moves along is exciting to say the least. Since I haven’t watched the tv series or read one of these books before everything was new to me and I was surprised more than once. There are numerous twists and turns in this book that will keep you on your toes for sure. If you like fantasy epics, then this is for you. It’s the best game of ‘I’m the King of the Castle’ you’ll ever play!

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Book Review

 

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