Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Timebound



Book 9 of 2016 is Timebound by Rysa Walker.

This was another Kindle Unlimited book that I chose because it was free. Again, this was a great recommendation that I didn't expect much from. When will I learn that the one thing you can trust on Amazon is a book rating?

Another strong female lead who I want to read more about. In fact, all the important characters are women or respectful supportive males. Obviously written by another female. I didn't know that for sure until I checked while writing this. Female sci-fi fantasy authors are owning the genre in these modern times and thank goodness for that.

These are not only written for women but for everyone and quite well. Well worth the read.

4 disappearing photo IDs out of 5.

Should I read this?  Yes and possibly the whole series. It is so promising.
What did I learn? Recessive genes can really count against you.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Departure


Book 8 of 2016 is Departure by A, G, Riddle.


Again, I wasn't expecting too much and this could be because my random choices of science fiction are based on the blurb on the back of the book and that is never written well.

Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised by the way this book was told in the male and female voice and that the twists really were not predictable.

There are many complex relationships in this book and a bunch of likable and drownable characters in this book, which leaves you feeling like you really cared what happened in the end.

The final couple of chapters kept me engaged right up until the last page.

This i an original tale and one I am already recommending to friends and colleagues.

4 flights to Heathrow of 5.

Should I read this? This is only for sci-fi fans.

What did I learn? The good of the many outweighs the good of the one. Haha, no, Spock taught me that.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Frostfire



Book 7 of 2016 is Frostfire by Amanda Hocking.

This is the first book in The Kanin Chronicles and that is the only thing that annoyed me about this book. It ends in a to be continued stance and this irks me because I think first books should always stand proudly on their own without the need of the rest of the series. If not, you better not carry on for more than 3 books.

The female protagonist is very teenage girl but she has an independent mind and that is nice to see in a fantasy book. A female author obviously makes for good female characters. The main character and the mysterious criminal she pursues make this series worth chasing alongside her.

4 gilled relatives of 5.

Should I read this? For fantasy readers who like mystery and good female characters.
What did I learn? Not all trolls are ugly.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories



Book 6 of 2016 is Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.

A friend of mine came to see Salman Rushdie promote his latest book: Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel. This is her favourite book and hearing all the people at Rushdie's reading raving about this book and asking when the movie will be made. That was enough to see me buy this book on my very next visit to my favourite book store.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book. It is for children and adults. It keeps you engaged the whole time and although words are wielded by the wizard that is Rushdie, it is easy to read.

In the style of Arabian Nights, the story is of a boy and his father saving the stories of the world. Everything is magical and fantastical. It is quite wonderful. Absolutely one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I wish I'd read this as a child.

5 happy endings out of 5.

Should I read this? Yes, you should. You should also read it to all the children you know or gift them this book.

What did I learn? Storytelling is alive and well. Literature is a good story.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Angela's Ashes



Book 5 of 2016 is Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

I have intended to read this book for a very long time but only now got around to it.

McCourt makes this one of the best depressing reads since The Road and I loved it!

As an Irish descendant, this explained the great Irish migration away from the religious oppression, dire poverty and depression.

His writing is descriptive and brutally authentic. This is very much worth the read.

5 dead siblings out of 5.

Should I read this? Only if you can deal with the suffering of children going through an economic depression. It may not be for everyone.
What did I learn? The Catholic church is even more horrible than I thought.

Monday, 25 January 2016

One Foot in the Grave




Book 4 of 2016 is One Foot in the Grave from the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost.

This is book 2 of the Night Huntress series and I think I will continue. This book was much better than the first book, which almost had me not touching the second. A few Good Reads reviews helped me go one.

I'm still not a massive fan of the whole bodice ripping genre but ignore that and it's a good plot with a strong female character. Although I read on, I am worried Cat may go the way of Anita Blake. Hopefully not.

4 vampire cultural rules out of 5.

Should I read this? Only if you like Anita Blake, which owns that genre.
What did I learn? I don't care much for written porn. It bores me.

Halfway to the Grave


Book 3 of 2016 is Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost.

This is book 1 of the Night Huntress series and I've already started the second book.

Since the Anita Blake books went to hell in a handbasket around book 9, I haven't had a good vampire hunter series to read. This may be it.

The writing isn't very good but the stories are interesting and original. The sex scenes are boring and very Mills & Boon but they are few and far between and you can scroll by them.

3 half-bred assassins out of 5.

Should I read this? Yes, if you like the early Anita Blake style books or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
What did I learn? The writing isn't great but the story arc is promising.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Rook



Book 2 of 2016 is The Rook by Daniel O'Malley.

This is a book that my friend Jan chose for our distant book club. We will be discussing this over Skype when she finishes the read.

Having read The Hanged Man, this followed on quite well. Fantastical historical fiction is my new obsession and I am going to own this genre this year and read so much of it. This isn't the best example but it did introduce some nice ideas.

The reason I would read the rest of the series is because I had no love for any of the characters.

Told in the first person, the only possible sympathetic character is the story teller and seeing inside her mind makes her less-so.

The current to historical context is the most appealing part of this book. I can imagine it happening in almost modern day London but it misses something. It didn't bring me in to the place or the moment. My guess is that this is a British text written for Americans because it is nondescript and only hints of the culture.

What I would have liked was something distinctly English. Something that gave me an insight in to the culture and the moment. But alas, it did not.

3 forgotten moments due to amnesia out of 5.

Should I read this? Only if you like fantastical history novels.
What did I learn? I like this genre and want to find better versions of this.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A Man Called Ove



Book 1 of 2016 is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

This book was raved about for all of 2015 and I started it towards the end, like a chore.

The thing is, this is an absolute pleasure to read and not a chore. I recommended it to friends when I was less than half way through it and having finished it, I can only recommend it more strenuously.

There are many stories of grumpy old men but this old man stole my heart. I want to go out and hug old people everywhere but I may be shot for that in this country.

It has been a long while since I listened to a book and understood why I want to live my life with fury.

5 grunts of disapproval out of 5.

Should I read this? If you like stories about anti-heroes that you can't relate to but can like.

What did I learn? Good people don't always look like good people. Being good is all that matters.