I don't think I have ever had more trouble figuring out how to rate a book in my life. My emotions are so conflic...more 4 What-The-Fuck-Just-Happened stars.
I don't think I have ever had more trouble figuring out how to rate a book in my life. My emotions are so conflicted right now, and my head's still spinning from the entire reading experience.
"The problem with you, McGrath...is that you have no respect for murk. For the blackly unexplained. The un-nail-downable. You're mining for something quite powerful that does not want to be found. And it will not."
As not to ruin the story for anyone, i won't really get into the overall plot of the book. Just lay out some of my thoughts and emotions.
Night Film had quite possibly the most brilliantly creepy opening scene I have ever come across. It takes a LOT to get under my skin, but this scene did just that.
A man jogging alone in the middle of the night. A young girl, face obscured by long dark hair and wearing a bright red coat. The feeling of being hunted by something not exactly human.
By the end of the prologue i was feeling both entirely unsettled as well as super excited to dive head first into this monster of a book (it comes in at a little over 600 pages).
The girl was like one of those picture books with pages that unfold and unfold, all the way out, which caused children's eye to grow wide. I suspected she'd never stop unfolding.
There was so much about the first half of this book that worked for me. I loved the fact that the author incorporated both photos and 'web pages' throughout the book. It definitely went a long way in making me feel as if i were reading a true crime novel, instead of fiction. I loved how the mystery of Cordova was laid out for the reader. I really felt like I was in the middle of the investigation right along with our main character, and I absolutely loved that. And the storytelling itself felt so fresh and unique to me, that for a long time...even though early on in the book...i truly thought this would end up being one of my favorite books of 2013.
"Surely you've noticed that the space around Cordova distorts. The closer you get to him, the speed of light slackens, information gets scrambled, rational minds grow illogical, hysterical. It's warped space-time, like the mass of a giant sun bending the area surrounding it. You reach out to seize something so close to find it was never actually there."
Unfortunately, and surprisingly (at least for me) around the 65-70% mark, the story began to fall apart.
The lines blurring the good guys from the bad were constantly shifting. One minute the author made a particular character out to be a monster, and 20 pages later, the same character was made out to be the victim. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if it only happened a couple of times. But it was a recurring theme that really became annoying after a while. Also, I felt like the main character, for supposedly being a hard-nosed investigative journalist, was far too naive about certain things. And far too dismissive of events that were obviously going to be important later on in the story.
One thing that i really enjoyed was how certain minor, yet pivotal characters had opportunities to shine. There were several scenes where key players in the Cordova mystery were allowed to tell the reader a story. To lay out certain events that went a long way towards unfolding the underlying storyline. Pessl has a knack for using words to paint a picture for the reader. Making us feel like we are in the middle of the story...no matter how disturbing the scene may be.
I have to admit, I was incredibly disappointed in how the author chose to resolve many of the mysteries in the story. Yes, the plot was outlandish and over the top....but I loved that about the book. I truly wish she would have stayed true to the promise of the story, instead of going for a seemingly much safer, less disturbing angle. After the roller coaster ride of the first half of the book, I feel like the last third was a total let down.
As for my thoughts on the actual ending of the book? Seriously? That's what we get after 600 pages of build up? This had to be the most ridiculous, and infuriating ending I have read in years. (view spoiler)[ This wasn't an ending at all. There wasn't even anything close to a resolution, and just when we get to the moment we have been waiting for for the entire book....bam. The author slams the door in our faces. I realize that the ending of the book was supposed to mirror the endings of many of Cordova's films. But, as a reader I still feel immensely cheated. (hide spoiler)]
So, that is why I found rating this book to be so difficult. There were so many things that I loved about it. But there were also so many things that I thought were beyond frustrating. In the end though, I have to give it 4 stars, on the strength of the first 300+ pages alone. Add in the creep factor, the uniqueness of the concept...and Night Film was an entertaining if eventually disappointing walk on the wild side.
"Did I not warn you McGrath, that to capture Cordova was to try and trap shadows in a jar? You wanted the truth? Here it is. It's boxes inside of boxes. What made you so certain you could ever figure him out? That his questions even had answers?"
This would have gotten a higher rating if it weren't for the fact that the main character continually made ridiculously stupid decisions th...more3 1/2 stars
This would have gotten a higher rating if it weren't for the fact that the main character continually made ridiculously stupid decisions throughout the book. Also, the ending felt off. Everything got tied up a little too neatly, a little too quickly. (less)
I didn't enjoy this one as much i did Blood Men, but it was still quite the roller coaster ride.
I love t...moreCleave sure likes to end his books abruptly.
I didn't enjoy this one as much i did Blood Men, but it was still quite the roller coaster ride.
I love the character of Theo Tate, even though he is an anti-hero if ever there was one. That's one of the main things I enjoy about Cleave's novels...the fact that all of his characters are pretty damn twisted and no one is ever really innocent or truly heroic in a traditional sense.(less)
I was a HUGE fan of the first book of The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series, This Dark Endeavor. That book was chock full of genuinely cree...moreI was a HUGE fan of the first book of The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series, This Dark Endeavor. That book was chock full of genuinely creepy surprises, and I loved the whole Gothic, claustrophobic feel of the story.
Unfortunately, this book seems to suffer from "2nd Book Syndrome". Which is what I call the annoying trend of sequels never living up to the awesomeness of the first book in a series. I have been running into this quite a bit lately, and it's more than a little depressing.
While the overall story was enjoyable, there were several times that I did find myself rolling my eyes while reading about the adventures of Victor, Henry and Elizabeth. While the first book did have it's intense moments, I feel like Such Wicked Intent went more for the gross-out factor, then for the much more satisfying uber-creepiness that was found in TDE.
Victor was a cocky SOB from the beginning, but his un-likability level went up a bit in this book, and I found it hard to root for someone so hell-bent on self-destruction.
But, even though i did have several issues with the book...this series is still quite entertaining, and one that I hope the author decides to continue.
Being a huge fan of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I was beyond excited to find out there was going to be a series detailing the life of a teenage Victo...moreBeing a huge fan of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I was beyond excited to find out there was going to be a series detailing the life of a teenage Victor Frankenstein. So, I had enormous expectations going into reading this book, and I am happy to say that Kenneth Oppel did not let me down at all.
Victor and his twin brother Konrad are 16 and staying at the family house in Geneva along with their cousin Elizabeth and close friend Henry. One day, they discover a hidden passage way that leads down to a secret room that the friends dub The Dark Library. Shortly afterward, Konrad falls mysteriously ill and Victor becomes obsessed with creating The Elixir of Life, a potion found in a book from the Dark Library, and sets out on a quest with Elizabeth and Henry to track down it's ingredients.
From the beginning, the 4 friends are pretty much isolated from everyone other than Victor and Konrad's parents, so they only have each other to rely on. And Victor uses a tiny cell in the basement of the family's chateau as his first laboratory. The Dark Library itself is completely underground and cut off from the rest of the house, and all of these things combined create this wonderfully creepy, claustrophobic feel.
Content Warning Even though this book deals with teenagers, and has been lumped into the YA genre, in my opinion it is much more of an adult read. Some of the scenes, especially towards the end are quite intense, and I also feel the need to point out, Victor ends up being portrayed as quite the horny teenager (something that only intensifies in the sequel Such Wicked Intent). So you know...just keep that in mind. ;)
My one complaint...and it truly is a bit nit-picky on my part: The love..quadrangle. I could understand having the conflict of Victor and Konrad both being in love with Elizabeth (though if I'm being honest, the fact that she was their cousin skeeved me out. Yes, I know it was much more common back in those days, but still...), but the addition of Henry also being smitten? Not really necessary.
The actual ending of the book was a bit of a surprise, though it probably shouldn't have been, but it still packed an emotional punch.
This was a truly wonderful, and atmospheric gem that is definitely deserving of a spot on my keeper shelf.
Detective Hank Palace is dedicated to his job. So dedicated in fact that even as the world is counting down the days until the end of the world, he's...moreDetective Hank Palace is dedicated to his job. So dedicated in fact that even as the world is counting down the days until the end of the world, he's still committed to solving his case. A case that no one else believes needs solving.
A huge meteor is barreling towards earth and there is seemingly no way to stop it. So, people all over the world have decided to stop going to work, stop paying their bills...stop living every-day, normal lives. They have pretty much given up all hope in the face of what seems to be a definite end date to the human race. The death by hanging that Palace is investigating is just considered another suicide, but Palace is determined to prove everyone wrong and isn't going to let a little thing like the end of the world stand in the way of getting to the truth.
What a truly wonderful & original Ben H Winters has created. In Detective Palace, Winters has created a truly likable and relate-able character. He is a simple man who chooses to deal with the impending apocalypse by throwing himself into his job. By fighting for the memory of a man that most people considered forgettable.
This book exceeded all of my expectations and I am anxious to see where Winters takes the story in the next installment.
A man walks into a school in a small town, taking a class hostage. Outside, as a huge snowstorm approaches the townspeople struggle to not only figure...moreA man walks into a school in a small town, taking a class hostage. Outside, as a huge snowstorm approaches the townspeople struggle to not only figure out who the man is, but also the motive behind the attack.
This book knocked my socks off. It has been a long time since I picked up a book and wanted to stay firmly planted on the couch until I had reached the end, but this was definitely one of those books. The author kept me guessing as to the identity of the gunman until *almost* the very end, which is always a joy for me, since I tend to figure out who the bad guy is pretty early on (i did figure out who it was slightly before the big reveal). The story is told in alternating POV's which i really enjoyed, ad it added to the tension of the story. The end of each chapter felt like it's own little cliffhanger, which was awesome.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great whodunit and for those just looking for a good 'can't-put-it-down-for-a-second' type story.
FBI agents Ty & Zane are less than thrilled to be partnered up to investigate a possible serial killer. They are both considered somewhat troubled...more
FBI agents Ty & Zane are less than thrilled to be partnered up to investigate a possible serial killer. They are both considered somewhat troubled by the bureau, so on the surface is seems like a partnership made in hell. But, before long the two men have grown incredibly attached to each other, and learn that they work very well as a team.
It has been a long time since i read a M/M romance, and I am so glad I stumbled upon this series. I loved just about every aspect of this story, and Ty and Zane are a couple to be reckoned with. They are both intensely Alpha so it is always entertaining to see their interactions in and out of the bedroom.
The fact that I could spot who the killer was almost right off the bat, didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story, because the mystery element was definitely second fiddle to the romantic aspect of Ty and Zane getting to know each other and developing the chemistry that by the end is absolutely blisteringly hot.
A quick, super fast paced novella featuring one of my favorite male characters in all of fiction.
Will Trent is doing routine surveillance duty at a lo...moreA quick, super fast paced novella featuring one of my favorite male characters in all of fiction.
Will Trent is doing routine surveillance duty at a local airport when he quite literally watches an abduction take place before his very eyes. Will blames himself for the young girl's disappearance and becomes obsessed with finding her before the kidnapper is able to navigate his way out of the airport.
Slaughter has long since been one of my go-to authors for crime and thrillers, and while this was a novella, she still managed to pack a lot of tension and fear into a short story. Will is a wonderfully complex character and I for one am always happy to read anything where he is featured.
Definitely one of the better novellas I read in 2012.(less)
I am always looking for a good scary read, and I had high hopes for this one. But unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment.
FBI agent Jake Cole co...moreI am always looking for a good scary read, and I had high hopes for this one. But unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment.
FBI agent Jake Cole comes back to his hometown after his ailing father has an accident. He soon gets caught up investigating a series of extremely grizzly murders, and finds himself questioning what is what isn't reality.
This book is very dark and brooding, which works for the premise. However the author not only went overboard on the minute details, but the characters tended to ramble on to the point where I found myself skimming ahead several times. It is hard for me to lose myself in a book if i find myself getting annoyed by how much the story is dragging. Bloodman could have done with some heavy editing, and probably about 100 less pages.
Several people have mentioned how shocking the ending was. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about the plot, but I still managed to figure out where the story was going, and what the supposed "twist" would end up being within the first 20-30 pages. That probably had a lot to do with why I didn't end up enjoying this as much as some other reviewers have.
Being a huge fan of this series, I went into this book with high expectations that up until now Gard...moreWhat a huge disappointment this turned out to be.
Being a huge fan of this series, I went into this book with high expectations that up until now Gardner had always managed to live up to. This book unfortunately fell flat. Everything about it, the character interactions (DD Warren is usually one of my favorite female protagonists, but here she seemed to be a whiny shell of her former self, the "evil doer" and their story was uninteresting and pretty much the entire mystery aspect was boring.
One of the most disappointing reads of 2012 for me.(less)
In A Nutshell: When wealthy but slightly nutty patriarch James Boyle dies suddenly, his relatives congregate at the family home for the reading of the...moreIn A Nutshell: When wealthy but slightly nutty patriarch James Boyle dies suddenly, his relatives congregate at the family home for the reading of the will. As more questions arise about the true cause of Boyle's death, and more and more relatives begin dropping like flies, utter chaos ensues.
Thoughts: I can't remember the last time I had so much fun reading a book. The over the top wacky story line reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies; Arsenic & Old Lace. The pure chaotic insanity of the characters and some of the situations that unfold in A Will To Murder garnered me so many genuine laugh out loud moments that i have lost track of them all.
Yes there were a LOT of characters to try and keep track of (a little bit difficult to do for the first third of the book), but it was worth it in the end because the author had planted such a huge goofy grin on my face that none of that seemed to matter.
Hands down my favorite character was Arthur. His sections of the book were among the most entertaining. I vote for another book featuring Arthur and his adventures with Flopsy & Mopsy.
Bottom Line: A wild and wacky mystery that's bound to be one of my favorite reads of the year.
Rating: 4 stars Scare Factor: Intense (Gretchen is one mean mama-jamma!) Depth of Character: 4 stars Steaminess: Warm (one highly inappropriate but stil...moreRating: 4 stars Scare Factor: Intense (Gretchen is one mean mama-jamma!) Depth of Character: 4 stars Steaminess: Warm (one highly inappropriate but still so-wrong-i-feel-dirty-but-i-can't-help-but-like-it sex scene)
The second installment in the warped and twisted world of Archie & Gretchen nearly liv=ves up to the first.
This book delves much deeper into the hold that Gretchen has over Archie. We know that she is evil...that she will be Archie's destruction if he gives in to his inexplicable desire to be with the woman who has not only killed countless people, but tortured and kidnapped Archie several years ago. But damn if seeing the two of them together again wasn't a fascinating, if beyond warped roller coaster ride that i enjoyed the hell out of. (less)