Andrew Martin, Maths professor at Cambridge, husband and father (in that order) has done what everyone else couldn’t – he’s solved Riemann’s hypothesi...moreAndrew Martin, Maths professor at Cambridge, husband and father (in that order) has done what everyone else couldn’t – he’s solved Riemann’s hypothesis. To the vast majority of people this is meaningless but to aliens from another planet this is devastating news. Riemann’s hypothesis is the last remaining maths problem and its solution will allow humans to advance technology at an exponential rate, resulting in space travel.
The Vonnadorians kill Martin and put a clone in his place. The clone is tacked with killing anyone who knows what Martin has accomplished and destroying his work. If you’ve got this far then you’re probably expecting something from the sci-fi genre, full of lasers, teleports and space ships, however “The Humans” is the complete opposite. It’s about characters, life and, most importantly, love.
The clone is from a race that don’t age or die, who are never hungry, don’t experience war, never experience emotion. To be immersed in the day to day life of a man in England is initially fraught with problems, to the extent that he’s arrested and it’s believed he’s suffering a nervous breakdown. As the clone acclimatises he realises that all of the things that the Vonnadorians despise about humans are actually the things that make us special and unique. The way in which the clone develops through out the novel is heart warming, particularly the relationships that are built – and broken.
Matt Haig is well known for writing quirky novels, fans of his previous books will enjoy this outing, as will anyone just discovering this author. Don’t worry about the thought of a book about university level mathematics, there’s very little maths to contend with.
Mo Hayder has written a novel with a seriously creepy opening. Claustrophobic and atmospheric, you really feel the sense of terror - like a horror fil...moreMo Hayder has written a novel with a seriously creepy opening. Claustrophobic and atmospheric, you really feel the sense of terror - like a horror film. The story takes place in a high security psychiatric hospital for people who are a danger to themselves or others. There are lots of hints about something terrible having happened recently. Things which are attributed to "The Maude"' a ghost who wanders the corridors and tortures the patients. When some of the staff start dreaming similar things the idea that The Maude could be a real person finally begins to dawn on one of the staff. He also wonders if a recently discharged patient could be responsible and decides to talk to the police about his concerns.
Thankfully the horror story start isn't maintained throughout the novel, although the are times when the book has you on the edge of your seat. I loved the pace of the story, alternating chapters kept me reading, wanting to know more - quickly! The twist was well thought through and certainly not obvious, one or two red herrings thrown in to keep the reader off balance.(less)
This is the third book in the Lacey Flint series from S. J. Bolton. All of the characters from the previous two novels are there, including a very bri...moreThis is the third book in the Lacey Flint series from S. J. Bolton. All of the characters from the previous two novels are there, including a very brief appearance from psychologist Evi.
The story touches on some very up to the minute themes - child abductions and murder, the obsession with vampire culture and the use of social media to report (and distort) news. Bolton ties all of these things together in an extremely well written and engrossing book.
Considering this is the third book in the Lacey Flint series she isn't the main character, that is left to the extremely likeable Barney. Barney lives next door to Lacey, in an area of London where four young boys have been abducted and murdered. Barney is obsessed with the murders and along with his friends try to investigate. All of the children are thoroughly engaging and give the story a touch of "The Famous Five" in a modern day and darker setting.
Barney is worried that all the clues point to his father being the murderer. He turns to Lacey for help and as the tension builds there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I certainly couldn't have said with any certainty who the culprit was before the great reveal. S. J. Bolton has done a fantastic job in keeping the reader guessing right until the end. Throughout the story my main concern was the well being of Barney.
Lacey Flint is not one of my favourite characters, however she comes across well in this story. The budding romance with colleague Jonesbury moves forward fractionally. She also squares up to her boss Dana Tulloch which could lead to interesting developments in future stories.
Lovers of psychological thrillers will love this, one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. Anyone new to the series shouldn't worry about reading this out of sequence as it works well as a stand alone and is a great introduction to the writing of S. J. Bolton.
Megan is in her early teens and has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. She is unhappy about having to go in to hospital for treatment. The ward is de...moreMegan is in her early teens and has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. She is unhappy about having to go in to hospital for treatment. The ward is designed for young children, she’ll miss her school friends and she’ll be separated from her family, particularly her grandfather who is rapidly approaching his 96th birthday. Once Megan is settled in hospital she meets Jackson, another teenager on the children’s ward.
The character of Megan is well written. A young teen who is part adult, part child and struggling to cope with all her emotions. Having to come to terms with her illness and the effect it has on those around her also adds to her vulnerability.
Jackson is an enigmatic character. He doesn’t actually have must dialogue. He’s a Pied Piper to younger children on the ward and an emotional crutch for Megan. Their friendship blossom’s and all the signs of first love are evident.
There are some lovely supporting characters. Sister Brewster, a no-nonsense nurse who always seems to be around. Megan’s grandfather who dotes on his grand daughter. Kipper, another young patient on the ward. These supporting characters could have had a much larger role in the story.
I desperately wanted to love this book for young adults but felt that it lacked something. The story jumped too much at times as it only focused on the times when Megan was in hospital. Jackson’s “enigmatic” character was too enigmatic, more dialogue and back story really needed. The developing love story was done much more effectively in the recent “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.
Even though I didn’t love this I would recommend it to others, it certainly made me cry. The juxtaposition of children suffering with Megan’s grandfather reaching his 96th birthday added poignancy to the story. The message that when someone has cancer it’s not just their life on hold but that of everyone around them struck home.
Tina Boyd is working for CID when a bomb explodes in London. Initial indications are that it’s a terrorist plot. An ultimatum is given, warning that t...moreTina Boyd is working for CID when a bomb explodes in London. Initial indications are that it’s a terrorist plot. An ultimatum is given, warning that there will be far greater devastation in 12 hours. As a result of this Serious Crimes are involved and we see the pairing of Boyd with Mike Bolt again.
From the beginning all the indications are pointing towards terrorists, yet there are clues given to make you realise that there’s more to the story than first appears and you begin to try to solve the riddle of what is actually happening.
The time frame of 12 hours keeps the plot moving at a brisk pace, almost in real time, however I didn’t feel that this was as gripping and frantic as some of Kernick’s earlier work.
The character of Tina Boyd seems a little more toned down than previous outings and this fits well with her back story. Readers who are new to Simon Kernick’s novels so not be put off by this as this book works well as a stand alone story.
Readers of Mitch Albom’s previous novels will be familiar with his style of writing and “The Time Keeper” is no exception. Here we have the familiar m...moreReaders of Mitch Albom’s previous novels will be familiar with his style of writing and “The Time Keeper” is no exception. Here we have the familiar mystical story with a message – a modern fairy tale almost. The novel introduces us to Father Time and how he came to be. More importantly we’re also introduced to two modern day characters, Sarah and Victor, and are given a glimpse of their lives. Sarah is a high school student, Victor a wealthy old man. Neither have anything in common and have never met. However for both of these characters time is important. As the novel progresses we’re given a glimpse of each characters life and begin to understand why time is important to them and how Father Time interacts with them.
Mitch Albom’s pared down style makes this a quick and easy read, however I would have liked to know more about the lives and family of both Sarah and Victor, rather than just the brief snapshot we are given.
Overall the message given in the book made this a worthwhile read – in a modern day world were time seems to control everything we do, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, year by year - we need to slow down and be thankful for what we have.