Review of The Annihilation of Foreverland – 5 stars

The Annihilation of Foreverland (Foreverland, #1)The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I downloaded this book a while ago but it has been sat on my to-read list since. I’m now devastated that I actually left it this long to read. The book is excellent, truly one of the best I have read so far this year. Such an unusual concept of the sci-fi genre but incredibly fast-paced like a detective mystery. Something that even fans not keen on sci-fi will love.
The story centres around Danny Boy, the new arrival to the island. An exotic island run by the investors which gives boys everything they can dream off, especially once they step inside the needle. However, another camper named Reed intrigues Danny, Reed refuses to step inside the needle and instead is tortured for it. When Danny then meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland, things get complicated, she knows things, things the investors don’t want the boys to know. She is stuck in Foreverland. Which side will Danny choose – the outcast Reed and his strange girlfriend or the investors and the boys living their dream on the island. Danny doesn’t know but he knows he needs to find out more.
For those that like sci-fi, dystopian or even thriller stories this is a great read and the pace is set almost instantly. Great as a standalone novel although I was pleased to read this is actually a series. For those that really enjoy clever twists, this book is full of them.
The descriptions were very realistic and although in theory this is set in a future world there is a tiny part of you that thinks, this could be happening now, how far are we from such technology. The characters were complex and the twists kept coming, I especially liked the little snapshots of their past weaved into the story. Everything you want from a good dystopian thriller.

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Review of Cop Town by Karin Slaughter – 4 Stars

Cop TownCop Town by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adore Karin Slaughter’s Grant county series and I wondered how I would take to this alternative standalone novel. I must say it really worked. Harsher and grittier than the grant county series this novel takes place in the 1970’s when a woman truly was in a man’s world. Worse when that was a cop’s world. Slaughter captures the struggles perfectly in this fast paced high impact thriller.

The story focuses on two young female cops Kate and Maggie. Kate is a young Jewish widow from a wealthy family, searching for where she truly feels needed she joins the police force and enters a very different world from the one she is used to. Maggie comes from a poor family. Both her brother Jimmy and her Uncle Terry are cops but instead of welcoming her into their ranks, she is dismissed as a useless female not one of the “old boys”. Soon Maggie and Kate join forces to show the men how to get a job done.

For those that like thriller stories this is a great read and the pace is set almost instantly. The ending was very well written too and for those that really enjoy a clever twist will appreciate it. This story is similar in to the Amanda Wagner story told in the novel Criminal (#6 in the Will Trent series) but as mentioned earlier it is a lot darker and grittier with more violence.

An unusual deviation from the Grant County series for Slaughter to embark on this standalone novel but I admire the bravery (and concept) that she took in doing so. Another great novel, the descriptions were very realistic (although a little graphic – I don’t mind that at all in this type of book and just chose to skim if I thought it was a bit much as the story was meaty enough I wanted to keep reading), the characters were complex and the twists kept coming. Everything you want from a good crime thriller.
Not a typical slaughter novel but a great story, excellently written.

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Review of Hide and Seek by P.S. Brown – 4 stars

Hide and SeekHide and Seek by P.S. Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is about a reunion gone wrong, when Peter goes back to town to a funeral he attends an after party with the “old gang”. Soon he finds himself in trouble that just seems to escalate further and further as Peter is pulled into Celo’s twisted game. Peter not only has to find each of his friends as quickly as he can before something bad happens to them, avoid the police (as he is suspected of being the killer) but he also has the twisted journey through his childhood memories trying to figure out who the real killer is and why they have picked him to torture.
For those that like psychological stories this is a great read and the pace is set almost instantly. The ending was very well written too and for those that really enjoy a clever twist will appreciate it. The whole book is laid out like a distorted puzzle with the reader and Peter trying to put all the pieces together. Reminiscent of the Saw movies that were out a few years ago.
I stumbled across this author by accident looking for something a bit different to read and at the time purchased the e-book was less than a pound, however I have to say it is worth much more than that. P.S.Brown’s writing is easily as good as the big name thriller writers. The descriptions were great (although a little graphic occasionally – I don’t mind that at all in this type of book), the characters were complex and the twists just kept coming. Everything you want from a good
My only tiny (and it is tiny criticism) was the endless chase scenes along with the descriptions of running up this alley and that street, over a fence, etc, although I can understand why the author included them for dramatic effect I actually found myself skimming over those parts to get to the next proper storyline as they seemed to slow the story down a little.
It is extraordinary that this is a debut novel from this author and I definitely look forward to reading more of his work. More exciting is he is a local so I may even get a chance to see him at a local library or something :p

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Review of The Viking by Marti Talbott – 5 Stars

The Viking (Viking Series, #1)The Viking by Marti Talbott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With a recent obsession with the Vikings tv series, when this book came up I thought the story blurb sounded interesting. This is novel tells the story of Stefan, a young Viking on his first raid with his father. When the raid goes wrong Stefan finds himself stranded in Scotland and at the mercy of a young female, Kannak, who has hidden him from her clan. Kannak has a lot going on too, her father has deserted her and her mother and clan tradition is that one of them must marry, but her mother has a secret that Kannak can never know that could threaten their way of life. With Kannak alone knowing the truth about Stefan, can she protect him from the clan at risk as a suspect of betrayal? Will her refusal to marriage endanger her and her mother’s way of life?
The story had an interesting premise, and it gripped me very quickly. The author seems to have researched a lot of details making it very realistic. The split between Kannak and Stefan worked very well and the blossoming relationship between was lovely! Suspense, drama, passion, history, and innocence all add to this dramatic story.
The settings are well written and you can feel the isolated village come to life, I really enjoyed the opening scenes on the boat too, an exciting start to the story which was brilliantly described. These are wonderful details that certainly added to the story and plot.
This book captures your interest in a beautiful historic setting, giving a fairly well known story a refreshing view. These books will appeal to most historical fiction fans especially those of Philippa Gregory. I will certainly keep an eye out for more from this author. This novel is part of a series so I look forward to reading more in the future.

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Review of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I should have probably tried to get this review published in December when I read this book but time has a way of running away from me at times. So happy belated Christmas first of all! Now, obviously Dickens A Christmas Carol is a classic and doesn’t need my two-penny worth to be so but I just wanted to put this review on here anyway to encourage all those who haven’t read it to do so.

So many people have this image of classics being long-winded, with lengthy wording that is cumbersome to read (– I’m looking at you Thomas Hardy!), but this book truly isn’t. At a length of 112 pages this book can actually be read in a sitting or two. As to the cumbersome, here is a little extract I highlighted, this is as fanciful as the wording gets:

“They were a gloomy suite of rooms, in a lowering pile of building up a yard, where it had so little business to be, that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and forgotten the way out again.”

Although you may not read “one could” in many novels nowadays analysing the rest of the sentence you have got to love that it is a little cheeky and a little sarcastic.

I probably don’t need to tell you a summary of the plot as Disney has managed that very well but I will say that the book is better; more magical, a little darker in places, and there is quite a few scenes not included in the modern adaptions. I think everyone should read this book, at least once, you may even be surprised by the happy boost it will give you.

At the time of writing it is even free on amazon for kindle – what more incentive do you need than free. 🙂

KL ❤

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Review of The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin – 3 Stars

The Last Sherlock Holmes StoryThe Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmm… I am not sure what to make of this book – I have read other reviews and well they are very mixed and that is my opinion of this book – mixed.

There was parts I thought were great. Holmes as narrator was particularly well written and I actually enjoyed the locations and the time period. I actually really liked the concept of this book with Sherlock on the hunt for Jack the Ripper and trying to decipher if Jack was actually arch-nemesis Moriarty.

Onto the bad, I did feel the detective’s classic sleuthing was glanced over. I missed the dry sarcasm that is associated with Holmes, apart from one paragraph criticising Doyle’s interpretation of a Holmes case at the beginning this wit was missing during the book. Towards the end I must admit I did stop enjoying the plot of the novel to some extent, it’s difficult to go into details without giving away the plot but I was a little disappointed.

It was a short-novel and quite easy to read in one or two sittings. The writing was good, the characters were mostly kept true to form, the time-period was really well adhered to and the concept was excellent. A good attempt at a classic. Good for a short quick read, not the book for a die-hard Holmes fan.

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Review of Hushabye by Celina Grace – 4 Stars

Hushabye (Kate Redman Mysteries, #1)Hushabye by Celina Grace

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an unusual police crime thriller, following DS Kate Redman. Kate has just changed jobs and is now Detective Sergeant in a local unit. Her first case is one she struggles with that immediately pulls at her heart strings, someone has murdered a nanny and kidnaps Charley, a three-month-old baby. With no ransom note and a lot of potential suspects, this is quite a super-sleuth novel, keeping the armchair expert guessing to the end.

This is much more of a TV drama type crime story, Frost or Jonathan Creek style plot. Without too much gore or aggression present but enough mystery, frustration, red-herrings and humours to keep the reader guessing and judging the characters.

The story had an interesting plot, with lots of drama from the first page. This novel is incredibly well written, particularly as the first in a series as the story stands up very well on its own. The writing style is very easy to read, straight forward and quick-paced.

The characters are incredibly well written and I can see them easily returning in future novels in the series. Kate particularly is a well thought it character with a complicated personal life, a mother who is a drunk and secrets that Kate hopes to keep that way. The only character who I wasn’t too impressed with was Olbeck, he played a critical character at certain stages of the book but his character itself seemed a bit stale, hopefully that is just the author leaving room for his character to grow in future novels.

These books will appeal to fans of MC Beaton or Kate Ellis style writing; not too dark or gritty, but still quick-paced, crime thriller with a very smart plot, a smart character and plenty of action.

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