REVIEW: Death of the Mad Hatter Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would...moreREVIEW: Death of the Mad Hatter Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.
Heads would Roll… Hearts would Break… In the end, would it matter who Reigned
Ms Sarah J Pepper asked me if I would like to review her book, Death of the Mad Hatter, and how could I refuse, when I love fantasy novels so much. The cover of the book of course also captured my attention, which I know isn’t always fare as one should not judge a book by its cover.
So when reading the title of the book and seeing the cover you might realise that this book has some relation to the Classic Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I will admit that this put me off a little as I don’t generally like books that are a remake of a classic, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s not a remake, so don’t panic, it’s kind of an extension, but not really. Just read it, I bet you’ll love it.
The story is about Ryley Edward Edgar, a boy that has moved too many times in his life than he would care for. His father, Robert Edgar, is in an Institution; as he’s gone a bit mad. So Ryley and his mother live alone and don’t talk about his father’s history or where he is much. Ryley also has a best friend, Dax, who is the only other person who knows the truth about Ryley’s dad. Ryley obviously goes to school, and has a thing for a red haired beauty named Courtney, so as he’s trying to get her to like him, a new girl enters the picture. Alice Mae is a bit weird, she doesn’t dress like everyone else and she just seems like she’s from another world. Ryley doesn’t care for her much at the start, she infuriates him, drives me crazy, but for some reason he can’t get her out of his mind. It might be because she’s just plain weird, or the fact that she knows something about Ryley’s dad, something she’s not sharing.
So that’s Ryley’s story, in the real world. Then there is Alice Mae’s story in Wonderland and the real world. Alice Mae is a young girl who, after chasing after a rabbit that was eating at her vegetable garden, falls down a rabbit hole into Wonderland. There she meets the Mad Hatter, more commonly known as M.H., and all sorts of other creatures. It is here that Alice Mae here’s the Bleeding Hearts Prophecy for the first time… “If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.
Heads would Roll… Hearts would Break… In the end, would it matter who Reigned”
It becomes clear to her that M.H. wants to kill the Queen of Hearts so that the reign of terror can end. So some things happen (I don’t want to give it away) and Alice Mae starts working for the queen for various reasons. Her mission… find Robbie Edgar’s son in the real world. Thus brings us back the Ryley in the real world meeting Alice Mae.
Her plan is simple, get Ryley to fall in love with her and then lure him to Wonderland, where the queen will most probably behead him so that the Bleeding Hearts Prophecy can never come true. Only problem is that she doesn’t just pretend to fall in love.
This book was just so fun to read. Getting to know the characters, Ryley, Dax, with his kind heart, Mick who starts flirting with Alice Mae and thinks he’s a knock out, Irwin with his stutter, Becky the noisy witch, Courtney the beauty with the red locks, Crazy M.H., Mr Ruth with his one eye, Hearts with her wicked ways, the Joker and his dangerous toys, Jack without the tongue, insane Robbie in the institution, Alice Mae’s crazy aunts. There are so many, and all are wonderfully written. I felt like I could really see all of them, I got to live in this imaginary world where they all came to life.
The story of Ryley and Alice Mae is such a beautiful one, really. The way the author described their encounters together sometimes made me blush and wish for that too! Sometimes authors get really mushy, especially in a young adult book, but Ms Pepper did it really well. It wasn’t over the top or erotic, it was just blush worthy and beautiful to read. I admit that when reading my emotions get tangled into the pages, but I never once felt like rolling my eyes at the antics that happened between these two characters. I do have to say that the reason I didn’t give this one 5 stars is that besides what I just said about the way the relationship between Alice Mae and Ryley went, there were other parts in the book where I did do a bit of an eye role. Not much, mostly at the beginning, but it did put me off a little, the way Ryley acted in the beginning. But it all did improve.
I therefore give this book 4 stars. A joy to read. (less)
REVIEW: The Pegasus Project Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
When Jack Randal lands a job with Bells Biological Research Centre, he sets off for the remote So...moreREVIEW: The Pegasus Project Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
When Jack Randal lands a job with Bells Biological Research Centre, he sets off for the remote South African farm, unaware of the dangers lurking behind the high, electrified fence.
It doesn't take long for him to uncover a top-secret project.
When a fellow scientist dies under mysterious circumstances, Jack zeros in on the Pegasus Project. Tension mounts as he probes the dark secret surrounding the genetically modified bio-fuel, and the time comes when he must decide whether to risk his life in order to prevent a global catastrophe.
I was privileged enough to be asked by the author to read and review her book. It took me some time, sorry guys, a bit busy with exams at the moment.
I really enjoyed the book. It is well written and a quick read and kept my attention throughout. I do have to admit that again I had my doubts as the book is set in South Africa and deals with some illegal type things which I’m not partial to. I prefer books that are set in another country and that don’t really focus too much on the History of South Africa.
But the book surprised me.
The story is about Jack Randal, a young man who is looking for a well-paying job in order to save his family farm after his father dies. He has some experience with farming and plants, but not much. So he applies for a job at Bells, not really thinking that he would get the job. He messes up in the interview and after that really thinks he’s done for. But to his surprise, he lands the job, which will have him live at the Research Facility which is set up like a bit of a small town with houses, clubhouse, clinic and grocery store.
It’s only when he gets to the Research Facility that he realises that there might be some illegal activities going about. At his first encounter at the grocery store he hears about some untimely deaths of some of the employees that worked in The Zone, the mysterious part of the research facility where he isn’t allowed to enter yet. This of course peeks his interest and he digs a bit deeper, finding out that Mr Ruben Brandt, the head of Bells, is working on a special project, The Pegasus Project, presumably some type of Bio Fuel that will change the world.
Then Jack befriends his neighbour, Ben Ferguson, and the neighbour’s daughter, the beautiful Maggie, and he eventually falls in love with Maggie (a bit too soon I would say, but still it makes for a bit of distraction from the more serious topic going on in the book). Ben is a long-time friend of Arthur Bell, the founder or the Bells Research Centre, and the things that Ben starts telling Jack of course makes Jack even more curious about this new place he is living and working at. It’s when Ben dies in a bit of a mysterious car accident and when strange cases are seen at the Clinic where Maggie is the head nurse, that Jack and Maggie really start digging around, and what they find is horribly shocking.
There is a bit more to the whole research farm too, like the fact that Ruben Brandt married Mr Arthur Bell’s daughter, Ruth, just to get the chance to be the head of the firm and to create this extraordinary Bio Fuel that will make him rich and famous. The relationship they have is tumultuous and I really started feeling sorry for Ruth, until she showed that she had some balls to get back at her husband. There’s also the story of Arnold Mason, second in command, but treated more like a minion in the firm by Brandt. He has a daughter, who is severely mentally challenged, and you really feel sorry for this man, he seems to have no self-worth, but he also surprises everyone in the end.
The characters were well written, described well, which I always like as I love to imagine what each person looks like, the sound of their voice, the colour of their skin, hair, clothing etc. it wasn’t a dull description at all.
So I won’t give away the whole story there. Just know that it really captures your imagination. I’ve mentioned before that it was a quick read, because the story really flows well. I can’t really think that there were any dull parts in the book, and also no storylines that didn’t really make a lot of sense. Everything gelled together well.
I enjoyed the book very much and will give it a 3.5 stars (less)
In 1982, Annette Pretorius lives a life of privilege afforded to those of Europ...moreREVIEW: Operation: Genocide Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
An inhuman agenda…
In 1982, Annette Pretorius lives a life of privilege afforded to those of European descent in South Africa, but when her husband is murdered, she discovers a shattering secret: he’d been commissioned by the whites-only South African government to develop a lethal virus aimed at controlling the growth of the black population--already oppressed under the cruel system of apartheid.
A clandestine organization…
The murder came with a warning to Annette from a secretive organization: keep our secrets or you too will die. Captain Trevor Watson, Annette’s former boyfriend, is appointed to lead the investigation. Watson’s loyalty is tested as the evidence stacks against his high school sweetheart.
And the killing isn’t over yet…
When the investigation points in a terrifying direction, Annette and Watson face a wrenching choice: protect those they love or sacrifice all to save innocents from racial extermination.
I was again privileged that the author sent me the book and asked me to do a review for her.
In some of my previous reviews you would notice that I don’t really love reading books about South Africa, especially when they involve serious political contexts. Thus I have to admit that I didn’t really go into this book with a total open mind.
The book is set in 1982 South Africa, which is 3 years before I was even born. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about what the country was like back then, I’m not a fan of apartheid and I don’t care much for that in any way. I know that it is a major part of our history and that the book had to depict it as such, but it’s not one of my favourite subjects to read about.
The story involves a secret society, where men receive a white unicorn to show that they are in the society, a society who wants to make things “better” for the future generations in South Africa, by poisoning the water of the less fortunate (black) people. So here is this rich man, who seems to have the perfect family, he is a renowned scientist and part of this secret society. But then one day he decides that he doesn’t want to be a part of it anymore, he wants out, and then a couple of days later he is dead. It looks like suicide, but turns out to be murder.
Then something in the story happens. The detective that is sent to investigate is the ex-lover of the bereaving wife. And it turns out she’s not so bereaving as you would think. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are a fan of the soppy romance dramas then this is right up your ally, but I thought the book was about a murder mystery? So this spoiled it for me a little.
There are also a lot of twists and turns in the storyline, and not all good, it does get a bit confusing. And the way the author writes makes me wonder if she really did a lot of research about the South African people, not only the “white folk” in the book but also the “black”. I felt that it was very poorly written.
I did keep on reading and felt that I wanted to finish the book because the story was interesting; I wanted to know who was behind it all. I wanted to know what was going to happen and why some other things had happened. But thinking back to it all now I can’t even remember what really happened.
What really peeved me was the grammar and language use in the book, it didn’t feel like the way that South Africans would talk.
Other than that the story was ok. I did finish the book and I’m not sorry that I did. The storyline was ok, like said before, it did grab me, but I didn’t care for it that much. There were so many different scenarios in the book that it became a bit confusing. There were so many suspects, and in the end I just didn’t care about who had done it anymore, which I think is a major fault in this book, as it’s supposed to be a suspense and murder mystery, and that would be the point, to make the reader wonder who had done it.
I did give the book 3 stars. It was better than a lot of other books I’ve read, so I had to give it that. (less)
REVIEW: Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu #4) by Michael Stanley Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Girls are disappearing in Botswana....moreREVIEW: Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu #4) by Michael Stanley Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Girls are disappearing in Botswana. The rumor is they're being harvested for muti, a witch doctor's potion traditionally derived from plants and animals—and which, some believe, can be made more potent by adding human remains. Detective David "Kubu" Bengu joins the investigation with the police force's newest detective—and only woman—Samantha Khama, for whom the case is personal.
Soon one girl's father, convinced that his daughter's death is linked to the recent popularity of a political candidate, takes the law into his own hands. After the father flees, what Kubu and Samantha find in the politician's home confirms their worst fears: muti containing human DNA is real.
Now Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer or killers—and those who would pay for their special, lethal muti.
I was privileged enough to be asked by the authors of Deadly Harvest to review their novel. Their novels are based in Botswana and features Detective David “Kubu” Bengu, his nickname Kubu meaning Hippo.
As some of you might know, I’m not always keen on reading books set in South Africa or Africa, as there is always some political twist which I don’t really care for. But when the authors asked me I couldn’t refuse, as they tempted me with the fact that this was a murder mystery.
The book started off very well and was easy to read. It grabbed my attention from the get go and I found that I didn’t want to put it down. The book had very little political interest and centred more on a problem that most African countries struggle with – Muti Killings.
The characters were also well thought out, and the way they were described to the reader you could really get a clear mental picture of who they are and what they look like. I was drawn to a couple of characters to tell you the truth.
The dialect of the book was also not disappointing. Many authors sometimes don’t really know how the local folk talk, but these authors sure had done their research and the story just flowed, you really got the sense that you were there, in Botswana, with the locals.
We get introduced also to a new detective, Samantha Khama. At first you might think she’s a bit of a loner and wants to impress everyone by doing things herself, but then the author gives you a glimpse into her past, and you grow to really like her. I loved the way they connected her with the rest of the story. This is also the first in the series where detective Khama is featured.
So, if you’ve read the book you would know there is also an election involved in the storyline, and you might ask me but how could I say the book had no political connotations? Well, these authors were great, they made the elections a part of the story, but also didn’t overshadow anything else in the book with that. The major focus is the unit in the police who are investigating the disappearance of the young girls around the city.
Another really great thing about the book was how there were so many twists and turns. I literally sometimes felt that I had it all figured out, and then I would read a little further and be flabbergasted to see that I was totally wrong, not just a little, but a lot! It keeps things interesting and that’s another reason you just won’t be able to put the book down, you want to know what the heck is going on and who is behind it all.
There was one lose end for me in the book, and not a major one. The father of one of the missing girls goes on a mission by himself to find out what happened to his daughter. He goes on quite a rampage and thinks he knows what’s up (and he is very nearly right), but then he does something stupid and ends up on the run. From here, yes, the storyline does make sense, but it was a bit lose fitted for me to really go with. It did however not spoil anything in the book.
I must say that it’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a book with and African plot and mind-set and not been disappointed. This book (and I bet the series) could compete with any international crime drama or murder mystery. There was almost nothing that disappointed me about this book, and for that I want to say to the authors, well done!!!
I gave this one 4 stars. Well done. Definitely one of my new favourites. (less)
Sorry, but if you liked this book, rather don't read my review...
I really don’t like when the male character is...moreI don't even want to give it a star...
Sorry, but if you liked this book, rather don't read my review...
I really don’t like when the male character is someone who is always good looking, always gets the girl and just assumes that she will fall for him, Travis is such a nonchalant guy and it pisses me off because he just assumes that Abby is going to fall for him… the way he talks and uses slang makes him seem like this wannabe gangster type guy, yet apparently he gets straight A’s… very confusing. This book is really hard for me to read with the type of language Travis uses. Abby also acts like a nerdy high school girl who seems to be disgusted by a guy, I find that very unbelievable. When most girls reach college, they’ve outgrown that haven’t they? The story seems a bit juvenile to me. And first she hates him, then in some way they become friends, he tutors her and we’re not even far into the book and he is picking her up over his shoulder and she’s giggling? What on earth?
Everything that Travis and Abby do seems so far-fetched. She doesn’t care what other people think of her? Bull… what 18/19 year old girl really doesn’t care? Travis being all sweet and caring and acting like she’s his property when they’re not even dating? Sounds really stupid to me, no girl in her right mind would stay on at this guy’s apartment because of a bet she lost, when she was in love with another guy… I would have moved back to my own place so fast!
And after she sleeps with him and then goes back to her dorm room he tears his apartment to pieces, why? It’s not like she died! It’s not like he won’t ever see her again!!! Why can’t he just try and “woo” her like a normal guy, why go ballistic? Really, this whole thing is terribly far-fetched, not sure how it came on to the American Best Seller list.
It just gets worse, promoting unsafe sex just because you think you’re sure you won’t get pregnant? Unsafe sex with a guy like Travis who’s slept with half of the girls in the University? It’s unbelievable!!! Then she starts using the pill, big whoop, in the REAL world that takes about a month to kick in, you can’t just go sleeping around after you took one little pill, idiot! I also don’t get how it could seem remotely right to anyone to be sleeping in a guys bed as a bet, but dating another and NOT think you’d be called a slut?
Travis is such a weak character. First he is this tough rough guy, beating up other guys for money, sleeping around, drinking, and then he turns to putty over a girl? Has this author lived in the real world, because that very rarely happens? And then they go out, and he becomes all possessive over drinks and a guy looking at his girlfriend, dude, make up your mind! Are you going to be the little whipped boyfriend, or the angry domineering boyfriend? Travis falls to pieces when Abby isn’t around, yet he’s supposed to be this huge powerhouse of a guy whom no one wants to mess with, so how does he all of a sudden become this weakling?
“Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe.”
Well said by Abby’s roommate Kara… Just the way Travis talks, the language he uses, it’s enough to make me want to vomit, who talks like that? Seriously! Did this author do any type of research before writing this book? Does she know what relationships are about? This story could have been something good, but all these small things screw it up and make it hard to like. At least it’s a quick read, but that’s about the only good thing I can say about this. I was constantly rolling my eyes while reading because everything seems so unbelievable in this book, this is NOT what it’s like in the real world people! I also totally agree with a review I read on Goodreads, this was supposed to be a YA book, but there is unprotected sex, threesome sex, all kinds of sex, drinking, fighting, swearing and goodness knows what else going on in this book. Travis isn’t at all good bf material, he fights, he swears, he has an incredibly short temper, he gets jealous, he yells and screams at Abby, he uses girls for sex, he has sex while Abby (the supposed love of his life) is just in the other room…
Abby is also very confusing… she doesn’t want anyone to know her past, she goes to a different town to a new school and changes the way she dresses, but why not just change your surname? It’s not like Abernathy is this common surname that everyone hears all the time. She also tries to hide who she is, but at her party she drinks like a fish, because that’s how she was in the past, so why do that if you don’t want anyone to know your past? And at poker night? Why not just sit out! She really isn’t very good at trying to keep the past in the past. She could see these people knew poker and would know her if she played. I think she wanted them to know.
This whole story is a bit how we all want things to be in our fantasies, we want the bad boy to become all good and sweet and kind, we want them to change and we want to show our bad side a bit, but this I just bordering on ridiculous. It’s way too far fetched!
Travis yet again guilts this girl into things, first the bet, and now by not telling his family that they broke up. He seems incredibly stupid and thick headed, not understanding when poor Abby tells him that it’s a bit inappropriate now for her to be there, but he just keeps going on how she promised, my goodness dude! That was when you were a couple!!! You broke up! Can one person be so ignorant? So self-centred? What and asshole! But then again Abby is stupid enough to fall for it, she pretends to be all hurt and leaves him, but she seems to just be seeking attention.
Travis is a stalker! He pressures Abby into doing things, and when she doesn’t want to he flips out or just does it anyway. Like at his house, he wants to sleep while holding her, he wants to kiss her etc, what the hell happened to when a girl says no it means NO!
Abby seems like an idiot, and incompetent of doing anything for herself, Travis carries her up the stairs, carries her to the bed, what the hell? Can’t she walk? Is she lame? And then after being assaulted by Ethan she says she wants to go back to her dorm room, but magically Travis talks her in to staying with him… she must have a bloody rubber arm because he manages to twist it very easily. Another thing, why does she dance with him if she hates him so much? Walk away retard! And then Travis threatens the poor guy she does dance with, what the hell is wrong with this guy, he’s a narcosis! When he doesn’t get his way he threatens everyone with violence. The dam girl doesn’t want to go with you you lunatic! What the hell of a picture does this paint for the youth out there? But then again Abby doesn’t really paint a great picture either, because she goes ahead and has sex with him.
Oh goodness and then she asks him to marry her… what a load of bull, this story is so unrealistic it’s not even funny. This guy is so confusing, he first acts like a child, then like a killer, then like a lunatic, and then like a baby. He revolts me.
This story was so bad. Sorry but how did this reach the New Yorks Best Seller list? (less)
I've been one of those fans of Stephen King who loves his writing style but never seemed to read too much of his books.
I really thougth Carrie would b...moreI've been one of those fans of Stephen King who loves his writing style but never seemed to read too much of his books.
I really thougth Carrie would be harder to read, but it was not, I truly enjoyed the book.
The book is very intense, and I felt so sorry for Carrie throughout it all. Not only is her mother a God fearing freak show who believes most everything in the world is filthy or wicked, but Carrie herself is such an odd character that she gets bullied at school and the kids make fun of her.
Of course she has special powers of telekenesis. Her mother especially hates this and believes it is a gift from Satan and that she must cut it out of Carrie. (Twice she has wanted to kill her child).
But one girl takes pitty on her after a bunch of her classmates humilate her at the locker rooms after she gets her first period (and shockingly does not know what it is).
Sue Snell asks her own boyfriend, Tommy Ross, to take Carrie to the Prom, because she wants Carrie to experience it too, to have the same fun and be normal.
All goes well, Carrie wears a beautiful dress that everyone loves, she and Tommy are having a great time and are then crowned Prom King and Queen, and that is where the good times stop.
Two of the "mean" crowd organise to have pigs blood spilled onto Carrie and Tommy, and in the event it pushes Carrie over the edge, and she goes on a rampage to destroy the town and the people who make fun of her.
The book was easy to read, it was quick too, nothing too long and boring to read, sometimes when an author goes into too much detail it gets a bit much to read, but this was perfect. Found it a delight and cannot wait to read more of him.(less)