Monday, December 28, 2015

The Dead Zone by Stephen King

Title: The Dead Zone

Author: Stephen King

Published: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011 (first published 1979)

Purchase Links:
Book Depository

Pages: 600

Summary: Meet Johnny Smith. A young man whose streak of luck ends dramatically in a major car crash. Followed by blackness. A long, long time in cold limbo.

When he wakes up life has been turned upside down. His fiancee has met someone else. And Johnny is cursed with the power to perceive evil in men's souls. He's had these hunches since he had an ice-skating accident as a child. Now he has an ability to see into the future. An ability which will bring him into a terrifying confrontation with a charismatic, power-hungry and dangerous man...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is the third work of Stephen King I have delved into, and to be honest I was a little unsure of how much I would like this book.  It took me a little while to pick this book up because of this reason.  I was a little intimidated by its size but when I started reading the book I felt as though I couldn't put the book down.

The book was a little slow to get going but at the same time I felt as though it had quite an addictive quality to it however.  So while this book is pretty big, I managed to read it in three sittings because I just wanted to sit down and find out more about what was happening.

I really thought the parts of the book where Johnny developed his psychic ability was so interesting.  I was kind of hoping for a bit more of that sort of stuff in the book because I found it to be really fascinating.  Interestingly, I wasn't really sure at all how this book would play out and I was expecting a little bit more horror elements but at the same time, I was fairly interested in the way that things went.

I do have to say that later on in the book there is a little bit of political talk and the book took more of a political direction, and I felt that bit of the book to be less interesting.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Dead Zone.  I definitely feel interested in trying out more books by Stephen King as he has so many interesting sounding books that I feel I would really enjoy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Poison Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Published: Mira Books, 2007 (First published 2005)

Purchase Links:
Book Depository

Pages: 409

Series: Book 1, Study

Summary: Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?
When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have read one other book of Maria V. Snyder's and I really loved it so I thought it was time that I read another one of her books.  I've had this one sitting on my shelf for a couple of years so I figured it would be a good time to read it.

I really enjoyed Poison Study.  I especially liked the parts where Yelena was studying different poisons and substances.  I was a little disappointed that there weren't more parts that talked about the different poisons and how they taste or if they have a smell.  Things like that interest me quite a bit.

As a whole I really enjoyed the story.  There were quite a few things going on, and I really felt as though Yelena had a tough life but she stayed so strong throughout all the ordeals she had to go through.

I like Maria V. Snyder's writing as she tends to write light fantasy.  In other words, if I want to read a fantasy novel but don't want something of a heavier fantasy I can pick up one of her books.  They're just really easy to fly through and such interesting reads.

Overall, I thought Poison Study was a very good and very interesting book.  I'm definitely keen to continue on with the series at some point.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Legion: Skin Deep

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: Gollancz, September 2015

Purchase Links:
Book Depository

Pages: 199

Series: Book 2, Legion

Summary: Leeds is a genius, his mind contains too much information. And to cope it his split his skills off into individual personalities. They crowd his head and he lives with them in a vast empty mansion. While he can call on any one of them to solve a problem he also walks a line across an all-consuming madness.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I remember reading Legion last year and really enjoying it, so I was looking forward to reading the second book. 

I couldn't remember much about the first book, but as I kept reading through this one things started coming back to me.  I think the good thing about this book is that you don't necessarily need to remember every detail of the first book as the story line is unrelated to the first one.  The only thing that relates is that Stephen has all these aspects who help him solve the mysteries.

The mystery of this book was so good.  It took a little while to get into the story but once I got there, I couldn't put it down because I was so curious about what was going on and who was behind the different aspects.  I think that I really liked this one because it had quite a few mysterious parts and I was intrigued by all of it.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Skin Deep.  I can only wonder if there will be a third book in the series because I would definitely be keen to read more.  That being said, the way the second book ended and the way that it hinted at things I feel like there may be a third book at some point in the future.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Title: Stolen Songbird

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Published: Strange Chemistry, 2014

Purchase Links:
Book Depository

Pages: 469

Series: Book 1, Malediction Trilogy

Summary: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…
But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: At the beginning of the year I went on a purge of my bookshelves and got rid of the majority of the YA titles as I seem to have outgrown the genre.  One of the very few YA books I did keep however, was Stolen Songbird as I was told that it wasn't a typical YA novel and that it was a really great fantasy book.

Stolen Songbird was alright.  I didn't think it was the most amazing book I've ever read and I don't think it was particularly original either.  It has an interesting premise and the idea of trolls being the main supernatural/fantasy creature I was definitely intrigued.  I just felt that as I was reading the book, the trolls seemed like they could have been any magical creature as they just didn't stand out.  Towards the end of the book it became clear what the trolls were but I thought it was a little odd the way that it was kept secret for so long.

The ending was interesting as it wasn't what I was expecting.  I will admit that I'm a little bit interested in how the second book will go, but I'm not interested enough to read the next book in the series.

The way that Tristan and Cecile argued constantly was kind of annoying.  For instance, the majority of the book were just the two of them fighting about one thing or another.
Overall, I just couldn't really get into Stolen Songbird, it was ok but it wasn't really my kind of book.  I feel like anyone who loves Young Adult fantasy will definitely enjoy it though.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Title: Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding

Published: Penguin Books, 2013 (First published 1954)

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Pages: 256

Summary: At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is a re-read for me as I originally read the book about nine or ten years ago but I remember I really loved reading it then so I was curious as to how I felt about the book this many years later.  Needless to say, I felt like re-reading this was like going back to an old friend.

I really like the way the book shows the decline in behaviour of people over time when they're taken away from society.  I remember the first time I read the book I just had to know what would happen at the end.  I needed to keep reading the book to see how it ended.  I still speculate about what would have happened if things had ended slightly differently.  What would have happened further down the line on the island.

William Golding's writing is very good and I'm curious about some of the other books he has read.  Really I don't feel like I have much more to say than that to be honest.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Lord of the Flies but I didn't feel like I got any more out of it than I did last time.  The upside is that I did get to read a nicer version of the book though.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Title: Siddhartha

Author: Hermann Hesse

Published: Penguin Books, 2013 (First published 1922)

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Book Depository

Pages: 224

Summary: A young Brahmin named Siddhartha searches for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have been eyeing this book up for a while.  Mostly because it is part of the Penguin Drop Cap series, which I am trying to read all of.  However, I was also recommended it by someone else recently so I decided it would be a good idea to pick it up sooner rather than later.

This book is written in such simple language but it's extremely effective in relaying its message.  I really do love books that speak in simple language but convey deep themes so well.

I really enjoyed reading Siddhartha.  It was just one of those books that I know will stay in my mind for a long time.  It's also definitely a book that I know I'll be returning to over and over again.  The characters are all very interesting and I was very intrigued in following along with Siddhartha's life and how his experiences influenced him.

There were a couple of things that happened in the book, I was a little surprised and taken aback by.  I think that given what I knew of the book I was just a little surprised that it had a tiny little bit of sexual content.  Anyway, I got over that pretty quickly, it was just a bit surprising.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Siddhartha.  I don't really feel like I have much else to say but I know that it's a book I'll definitely be recommending to people.  I'm also very interested in reading more books by Hermann Hesse in the future.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Title: The Grownup

Author: Gillian Flynn

Published: W&N, November 2015

Purchase Link:
Book Depository

Pages: 80

Summary: A young woman is making a living, faking it as a cut-price psychic working at Spiritual Palms (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage - mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke. Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor, built in 1893. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home, and taking possession of the stepson. She has even found trickles of blood on the wall. The young woman doesn't believe in exorcism or the supernatural, but she does see an opportunity to make a lot of money. However when she enters the house for the first time, and meets Miles, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time... (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I was really interested in reading The Grownup as a lot of the reviews I had seen said it was a scary story and I have been wanting to read more scary things.

This story is very short and while I found it to be interesting I thought that because it was so short it took away from that a little bit.  The way I found that it took away from the story was that the last few pages just kind of revealed a thing, then revealed another thing, and then another so I felt as though this didn't give me a chance to wrap my head around one of the 

As I was reading The Grownup I didn't find it very scary but when I started thinking about the story later that night I will admit I did get a little creeped out.

Overall, I enjoyed The Grownup but I felt as though I would have enjoyed it a little bit more if it had been even just a tiny bit longer.  That being said, I am looking forward to reading more Gillian Flynn in the future.

Friday, December 4, 2015

In the Woods by Tana French

Title: In the Woods

Author: Tana French

Published: Viking, 2007

Purchase Links:

Book Depository

Pages: 429

Series: Book 1, Dublin Murder Squad

Summary: As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children. He is gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox (his partner and closest friend) find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have been wanting to read this book since I discovered The Secret Place, book five in the series in a bookshop and thought that sounded amazing.  So I have been obsessed with wanting to read this one for about a year.  Well, I have finally picked it up and I have to say that I'm really glad that I picked it up.

I have to say that I loved reading In the Woods, it was so addictive.  I felt like I needed to know what happened next and I needed to know the answers to both mysteries.  Now, I don't want to say too much about the mystery aspect because that would make it less of a mystery 

I feel as though there were hintings at other mysteries which will be addressed in further books.  This was good in some ways as it has me interested in the next books.  But it was also bad because I felt as though some of my attention was then taken away and I started to wonder about the second book in the series and what secrets I will learn in there.

In the beginning stages of the book and until about three quarters of the way through I really liked Rob as a character.  I found him to be really interesting and there was just something about him that made me sympathize with him.  Then about three quarters of the way through his behaviour changed and he did something that I didn't really like.  I felt a little disappointed in him.

I stayed up way too late to finish this book as I got to a point where I just couldn't stop reading it because I needed to know the answers.  I have to say that I managed to guess whodunnit and why and it made me pretty happy that I was able to figure it out.

Overall, I felt as though In the Woods was such a great book and I am already itching to get my hands on The Likeness because I just need more of the mysteries.  Tana French can write very addictive and wonderful mysteries.