I've loved every minute of this series; the ties to history, mythology, the magic and the politics - it's a wonderful, rounded series with an intelligI've loved every minute of this series; the ties to history, mythology, the magic and the politics - it's a wonderful, rounded series with an intelligent and resourceful heroine in Diana Bishop.
The concluding part does not disappoint either, it's an absolutely stonking last book. I do appreciate getting my money's worth when i buy a book (or when headline send me a free copy - thank you! :) ) and there's so much here to love and absorb. After the ups and downs of the story there are no nasty cliffhangers, nor much in the way of loose ends; just the story tied up, ready for the characters to continue on without us....more
This book is a bit genre busting and absolutely thrilling. A real page turner and worthy of inclusion in the waterstones bookclub.
Melanie is a wonderfThis book is a bit genre busting and absolutely thrilling. A real page turner and worthy of inclusion in the waterstones bookclub.
Melanie is a wonderful character, a child full of hope, grace, intelligence and blood thirsty hunger. Her story, told from her perspective and that of those around her is fascinating, sad, horrifying and a bit beautiful at the end. It reminded me a little bit of a lot of different SFF classics, but ultimately, it's pretty unique and totally wonderful....more
This was an entertaining story, if a wee bit unoriginal. I would have been happy to have a narrative without 3 different POVs but I understand how itThis was an entertaining story, if a wee bit unoriginal. I would have been happy to have a narrative without 3 different POVs but I understand how it helped with the serendipitous feeling of the characters eventually finding each other. I can cry reading a book quite easily, embarrassingly so, but the deaths here came and went so quickly that I didn't get too upset and by the home stretch of the novel I thought it wrapped up everything spectacularly neatly and quickly and this was both a blessing and a curse. I was getting a bit fatigued by the story, but felt the characters deserved a wee bit more than we were given in the end. I did really enjoy it though, it was a great holiday book during a trip away and it was interesting to read a zombie apocalypse book with some fairly ordinary characters and based primarily around a mother's POV whist waiting reunite with her kids. This gave the whole book a different feel, there's no superbitch character or wayward hero, it's a humdrum bunch of people trying to survive as best they can whilst looking out for the people they love ....more
I read this in 1 day ( a working day too) - every spare second was spent trying to squeeze in another chapter. This is such a sweet story about the faiI read this in 1 day ( a working day too) - every spare second was spent trying to squeeze in another chapter. This is such a sweet story about the faith and doubt that comes with living with and loving someone for so long that you might, maybe just a wee bit, take him or her for granted. There's also a magical phone thrown in for good measure. You'll remember what it was like to find one person so completely perfect that it seems crazy that only you'd noticed. That the weird thing they do that would drive you nuts with anyone else, becomes such an essential part of your life that it's unexpected absence can drive you nuts instead. It's a remember the excitement of falling in love and recognising those feelings are still there, hidden under the monotony of every day routine, book. If any of this makes sense to you, if you want to remember those fuzzy, sickening, exciting feelings of putting your fate in those perfect, that-person-is-my-person-forever-ever person's hand, read this....more
Disgusting, violent, obscene, unputdownable. It's like passing an accident on the roasd and being unable to look away; the reader is unsettled and enthDisgusting, violent, obscene, unputdownable. It's like passing an accident on the roasd and being unable to look away; the reader is unsettled and enthralled in equal emasure....more
A satisfying start to the series. A host of mismatched characters in a town that seems to be full of secrets and magic. It reminded me a lot of KelleyA satisfying start to the series. A host of mismatched characters in a town that seems to be full of secrets and magic. It reminded me a lot of Kelley Armstrong's Omens, and probably a good few others besides, but it's Fiji, Bobo, Lemuel and Olivia that steal the show for me and give the book finding special. They're likeable, memorable, enigmatic characters that anyone could enjoy reading about. Manfred was pretty inconsequential, though that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but he isn't what brings the book to life - it's an ensemble piece....more
This book is a bit of a breath of fresh air for paranormal romance fans. It's set in Liverpool, the quality and frequency of the swearing is seriouslyThis book is a bit of a breath of fresh air for paranormal romance fans. It's set in Liverpool, the quality and frequency of the swearing is seriously entertaining and our leading ladies are too busy being FTFO to be lusting after our 'hero' or his alternatives (well, most of the time, at least) In short, Lily has a fate to fulfil that she had no idea about and suddenly 'Gabriel' shows up and she's having visions of popping out his first born. Seriously unhappy about this disruption to a gig she's reviewing, she heads back to the newspaper to find solace and tells night editor Carmel all about it. The freaky doesn't stop, however, and soon Lily and Carmel end up in what is ostensibly Goddess and Champion intensive training; exposed to a world, people and not-quite-people they couldn't have imagined existed. Luckily for Lily, Carmel takes to this new reality with a nod of her curly head and the new dangerous landscape is peppered with hulking eye candy to keep both girls from becoming completely miserable. This is well worth a read, particularly for UK PNR fans, it is something quite different and is bags of fun....more
‘Gretel and the Dark’ covers well-trodden ground - the atrocities of WW2 told through the eyes of a child. What makes this version different is that t‘Gretel and the Dark’ covers well-trodden ground - the atrocities of WW2 told through the eyes of a child. What makes this version different is that the innocence of the child narrating the story isn't quite as obvious and there's a real darkness permeating the story until the very end. It’s a wonderful book; I’d recommend it to older fans of the Book Thief. The story starts, loops and winds around the fates of Lilie & Benjamin and Krysta & Daniel. Lilie is a mysterious woman, found badly hurt and abandoned on the street, convinced she's a machine and is thus incapable of feeling. Krysta is a spoilt and capricious child who suddenly finds herself orphaned and housed in Ravensbruck alone. Slowly their two fates weave together as characters pass through each narrative. The book ends beautifully and I don't want to give too much away, but the telling and retelling of stories and how books and magical tales can transport you away from the horrors of your real life to anywhere in time and space is paramount here. As the characters mature and deal with their hardships through the imagined fates of their transgressors; Ravensbruck nurses turned into witches shoved in an oven and soldiers as ogres or monsters, we come to understand what it is we're reading in Gretel and the Dark and see the horror on each page was nothing compared to the horrors our characters were escaping from. ...more
The Biologist leads us through Area X: A pristine and mysterious eco-system that has developed and spread since an environmental event thirty years prThe Biologist leads us through Area X: A pristine and mysterious eco-system that has developed and spread since an environmental event thirty years prior.
Area X is a sort of Bermuda Triangle as far as I can tell - it is part of the general consciousness of the population of the world though nobody really understands or questions it. The stories concerning it are fantastical, intriguing but ultimately easily dismissed and forgotten. It's not a concern to most, just a vague mystery.
The Biologist has been chosen and sent to Area X. She finds beauty and irregularity everywhere and seems to fare better in this landscape than the others in her party. What unfolds, through her journal entries, is the start of an unsettling environmental horror-lit journey the likes of which I’ve never read before. It is sinister and unsettling and The Biologist's assessment of the events manages to compound this fear as she mixes genuinely terrifying observations with a detached sense of wonder.
This reminded me of ‘Lost’ and H G Wells and ‘The X files’ and maybe a bit of Cormac McCarthy - yet although I could see some elements of kinship to these other masters of muted suspense, Annihilation is really quite unique. ...more
A friend said to me about this "It's unlike anything I've ever read" and knowing the roundabout premise of the book I wasn't sure how it would proceedA friend said to me about this "It's unlike anything I've ever read" and knowing the roundabout premise of the book I wasn't sure how it would proceed and conclude. She was right, it was a completely unexpected novel.
I did enjoy it, but like some other commentators I found it a bit science heavy (and I quite like science stuff - i'm taking a science based night class right now, just for fun!) and this meant I did skim read some of Mark's entries. I have a lot of books to read, not enough time and a lot of his diary content isn't pivotal. However, this snarkiness might be in part because I've just finished it and I have NASA acronym fatigue and an adrenaline come down after the rollercoaster last few chapters.
He's a great character, is our Mark. Full of jokes, optimism and the ability to live in a hostile environment, alone, without any sign of despair or fatigue. I could have done with him losing his good humour just for a while. Actually, perhaps that's why this novel just bristled with me a little bit - I'm jealous of Mark. He's so intelligent, a brilliant problem solver, reasonable, well-adjusted, innately happy and logical - he's just so *together*.
Jealousy aside, this is a memorable first novel from Weir and one that deserves to be widely read. I swithered between 3 and 4 stars when giving my review here. It's a 7 out of 10 book for me. I look forward to reading more of Weir's titles, he obviously has a great mind for detail and character bulding. This is a really interesting read - 'Castaway' on Mars, but without the tears, toothache or Wilson.
this was a well developed espionage thriller with interesting characters and a great romance. I loved the linguist angle, that was something new, andthis was a well developed espionage thriller with interesting characters and a great romance. I loved the linguist angle, that was something new, and the romance was balanced well in the plot. I really enjoyed this, it was an easy, satisfying page-turner and finished it in a day....more
Didn't enjoy this as much as others, mostly because I found Hawk a bit too Alpha for my liking. I'm glad i'll eventually get to read about Tack &Didn't enjoy this as much as others, mostly because I found Hawk a bit too Alpha for my liking. I'm glad i'll eventually get to read about Tack & Mitch - I much preferred them and couldn't really understand why Gwen thought her 'relationship' with Hawk was at all appropriate most of the time. Pretty much until the last few scenes i kind of hoped he'd kick the bucket and she'd end up with someone else. Honest to goodness, i'm all for a man being a man, but this takes the biscuit. Lastly, any sex scene that ends with the woman running to the shower upset and trying to 'wash his scent' from her afterwards, isn't romance, that's a messed up situation in my book....more
For me, this was very much like re-reading a Lois Duncan or Christopher Pike from 20 years ago. I loved Point Horror in my early teens and this was veFor me, this was very much like re-reading a Lois Duncan or Christopher Pike from 20 years ago. I loved Point Horror in my early teens and this was very similar, if for a slightly older readership. I think, as this wasn't what I was expecting, I was a little bit disappointed at first. A lot of what I've read of Lauren Oliver so far has been beautiful and full of meaning from the outset, and this was more a straightforward thriller at first glance - ultimately though as I read on, I started recognise the voices of the characters and couldn't put this down.
The story revolves around the game of 'Panic' - the teenagers at the local high school all pay in a dollar a day throughout the school year to build a pot of prize money for the game at the end of the year. Increasingly dangerous dares weed out the competition, culminating in a head to head vehicle 'joust' in order to be crowned winner and take the pot of money for yourself. In most cases, the dares are life threatening, and the desperate teenagers of this seemingly impoverished backwoods town are more than happy to tempt fate in order to win.
I'm not sure who the final product will be aimed at - YA or adult readers, but I think this sits happiest in the YA category and is a great thriller for that age group. It's great to have a strong YA title released that isn't about the supernatural, a love story or a dumbed down, but well trodden plot line. This is definitely a story that marks the desperation of teenagers - reaching the age where sometimes you DO know better, but still being almost entirely powerless. For all readers, the dip into the motivations of the characters and the overall message at the end (the penultimate scene was my favourite) shows how versatile Lauren Oliver is and how fascinating and frightening the behaviour of others can be....more