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The String Diaries

(The String Diaries #1)

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,144 ratings  ·  519 reviews
A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity.

The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night--her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings throug
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Mulholland Books (first published 2013)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,144 ratings  ·  519 reviews


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karen
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
hmmmm… this is a tough one to review.

first, with the basics: the story begins in a car where a woman is racing to a safehouse in snowdonia with her sleeping nine-year-old daughter in the backseat, and her gut-stabbed husband losing blood in the passenger seat. things are not looking good.

as the story unfolds, it takes the reader back in time to the late 1970's at oxford, and then even further back to the late 1800's in hungary, and the narrative will weave between these time periods and stories
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Paige  Bookdragon
Let me correct the assumption.

This is not a page-turner. This book is a chapter-turner.

I admit there are moments when I just skipped some paragraphs because the descriptions bore me out. But wait until the chapter ends and you'll want to throttle the author because either he did another cliffhanger or he shocked the hell out of you.

description

The story revolves around some mythical beings from Hungary and I've never heard of them before. I'm interested in mythology (especially the Greek Mythology because
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Brandon
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2014
Hannah arrives at a safe house in the middle of nowhere with a sleeping daughter and a bleeding husband. In a frantic attempt to save his life, she invites in a complete stranger to clean and close the wounds. Shortly after she settles down, Hannah notices an all too familiar mark on the stranger’s hand that may bring to light his true intentions. You see ,Hannah is on the run, and what’s chasing her may not be recognizable at first..

The book is about a lot more than that, trust me, but to fully
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Eh?Eh!
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: karens-world
It's been a long time since I've burned through a book like this - in one day and snapping at my dear mother for not letting me ignore the family during dinner and just read - so while I'm not usually drawn to suspenseful stories like this, I've got to recognize how gripping this was. I was quite gripped.

It's hard to describe this without giving away the many payoffs. The synopsis did a pretty good job of giving the intro bits only. The story skips around in time and for once they were all comp
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
This is one of those books; that you can tell from beginning that it’s going to be gripping, that it’s going to develop into something much more than it initially appears. The prose is superb and beguiling, the language eclectic and captivating. The opening scene is imprinted in the mind’s eye in an eeriness that captures the nature of the treat they face: Jakob.

Jakob is an immortal shape-shifter with psychotic tendencies. He is completely delusion and possessive over a family he never had. Ove
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Monica
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Final is 3.5 ✴ Overall the story was engaging but lacked the power to keep me enveloped. Using three different timelines was a good tool, especially with the Hungarian folklore added. I felt there was a lot of missed potential but I'm also interested in finding the sequel. So this novel isn't a total loss. Just not spectacular either...
Dor
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[This book was provided to me in all its white, shining POD glory by the publisher, Headline, in return for nothing more than the warm fuzzy feeling that act of generosity gave them. They were able to do this thanks to Bookbridgr, not because they've been stalking me. That I know of.]

I've been keen to read The String Diaries ever since I read about the publishing deal being struck. A book about family relentlessly pursued down the generations by a man who can change his appearance at will? With
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Constance
Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a piss-poor excuse for a thriller. It has lots of fun elements that could have come together well: shape-shifters, secret societies, narratives spanning lots of history, etc. But it has no plot or substance or urgency. The book unfortunately goes into the evil shape-shifter's origin story, which makes no sense (don't read on if you want to read this shitty book): as a youth, he's kind of an outcast and gets rejected by a girl he doesn't know at a party, and then he goes out and shape-shifts ...more
Rinn
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

A quotation on the cover of this book claims that it is too terrifying to read late into the night. Now I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to horror films and television, or even video games, but not normally books. With books, you can imagine scenarios exactly how you want to.

That technique did not work with The String Diaries.

It’s been a long while since a book seriously
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Liz Barnsley
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If in doubt....RUN! Set over several periods of time, the String Diaries is a wonderful thrill ride of a mythology story, one you could almost imagine had been written by the Brothers Grimm should they be alive and publishing today. Following Hannah in the present day as she struggles to keep her family safe, through flashback we learn the reasons for her paranoia and fear. Charles in 1970's Oxford meets a mysterious girl who fascinates and intrigues him, but little does he know what pursuing he ...more
Bandit
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most impressive debut that I just stumbled across because the author's name just happens to be similar to someone I was trying to look up. The summary is what really drew me in. There might be a way to resist a story of an ancient shapeshifter chasing the long lost love throughout generations and continents, but who'd want to do that. Jones has created his own mythology, using a country most Americans can't even place on a map, no less. Although Jones is British, so that's neither here nor there ...more
Robjr73
I would give this 3.5 stars if i could. It started off really strong and I was initially hooked. Essentially this book is about a shape shifter who is stalking a family. Its a fun ride as characters are introduced trying to determine whether they are secretly the shape shifting monster.

The story flashes back to two other time periods to explain why all of this is happening and the origin story if you will of the shape shifter himself. I was all in for the first half of the story and found mysel
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Stephanie White
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing, action packed thriller, it is a rare book that seems to span across enough genres that it is a great read for everyone, there is the folk tale side (which I loved) the love stories throughout histories (which I also loved) the thriller component (which I didn't love and which had me up at 3am scanning my dark room) and also the unexpected twists that lead me to sleepless nights and quickly turning pages. In the end I can't sum this book up, but it is a must read, well written ...more
Milo (BOK)
The Review: http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/07/...

“An awesome, engaging and unputdownable novel with a wealth of content and mystery to explore. Highly Recommended.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

The String Diaries arrived unannounced along with Herald of the Storm by Richard Ford and was something that immediately piqued my interest. I love a good thriller novel, and endeavoured to make it my next read after I’d finished with Ford’s fantastic grimdark fantasy. As it turns out, the book
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Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
http://www.mybookishways.com/2014/07/...

“Damn the odds, keep fighting until you have nothing left.”

When Hannah Wilde arrives at the remote farmhouse in Wales, with her young daughter, Leah and seriously injured husband, Nate, in tow, all she knows is that she must protect them at all costs. As she attempts to nurse Nate back to health, with help from a local man (who may be more than what he seems), the terrifying story of how Hannah got to this point unfolds, resulting in an interweaving of his
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Lisa
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
3.5 stars, rounding up since its a first novel

Full Review Posted at Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2014/0...

The String Diaries is a mysterious and intriguing tale. There’s no build up in this one, you are thrown straight into the action and are left trying to puzzle together everything through out the book. I tend to like that, and so I felt this started off very strong. The story features three different (alternating) timelines, each providing a piece of the puzzle this story
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shanghao
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Liked the idea, couldn't deal with the execution. Had a sense of grandiose only the characters themselves were privy to. Plus the ending was a copout.

Apparently the author had a vision of a story where it all began with a woman running away from something scary in a car, and that's the focal point from which he developed the story. Well it showed, because the beginning was one of the more gripping parts of this predictable thriller spiced with what could be an interesting (with better execution
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Lainy
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 416

Publisher - Headline

Source - Waterstones

Blurb from Goodreads

A jumble of entries, written in different hands, different languages, and different times. They tell of a rumour. A shadow. A killer.

The only interest that Oxford Professor Charles Meredith has in the diaries is as a record of Hungarian folklore ... until he comes face to face with a myth.

For Hannah Wilde, the diaries are a survival guide that taught her the three rules she lives by: verify everyone
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Elaine
It takes a lot to make me intrigued for a book since I read a lot. I mean, A LOT.

The premise of this book sounded not only creative but ripe with potential.

You hear that sound. That THUD. Those were my expectations.

Not only is this book not thrilling, not suspenseful, not full of action or interesting, intriguing characters you want to discover more about...I could almost forgive that.

What I cannot forgive is the 'villain.' Note that villain is written in quotation marks.

A villain, especially on
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Susan
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fast moving novel straddles many different genres - it is part thriller, part supernatural fantasy and also touches on historical fiction. What is certain is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. We are immediately thrown into the action, meeting Hannah Wilde, her injured husband Nate and nine year old daughter Leah when they are fleeing for their life. For some time we are unsure about why they are on the run and, more to the point, who (or what) they are trying to escape from. ...more
Alexandra Telfer
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had me up until 1 every morning furtively turning pages and glancing suspiciously around the room EVERY NIGHT. This author has a gift of constructing a tale I another level to most authors. Every chapter had an ending that made you NEED to read the next one, and the next one, and just one more.
Part thriller, part fantasy, awesome intertwining and unraveling of each 'story' within the book.
That being said, the end did let me down a bit. With a book like this in which you slowly tease t
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Paul
Not quite the book I was expecting. I got it as I thought it would be like The Historian but it turned out to be very different . The academic and research side was little nore than a lead in to the plot .
In saying all that I still enjoyed it. The move back and forward in history was interesting and I quite liked the descriptuons of 19th century Hungary, the pace was quite good but the biggest strength for the book was that the author managed to keep a string tension going from start to finish.
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Absinthe
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a unique read. I believe this book gets incredible points for originality. The world that the author crafts melds seamlessly into our own that you can almost wonder if it really did happen. Jones is also an expert on conveying the intense emotions that the characters feel. As the reader, you feel yourself tossed about in a tumultuous storm of never being able to trust anyone, of never knowing who's good and who's not.
Allyce Cameron
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one. I don't read a lot of thrillers and it definitely got my pulse racing in places! I also liked the supernatural aspects of it and all the history and backstory you were given. I do feel like the book ended very suddenly and even though everything was resolved I feel like it could have been done better. Other than that a great read that I highly recommend! :)
Jenny
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jenny by: Kate
Shelves: book-club
I almost didn't think I'd make it past the first 200 pages. I was actually pretty stoked to read it since one of my friends really liked it, but I think I was overly excited to read this. The book is about a family who is being hunted by a person who lives a very long time - hundreds of years. Jakab is the villian's name and you learn this through the present story, with the Wilde family (Hannah and Nate and their daughter Leah) as well as in flashbacks to Charles and Nicole (view spoiler) ...more
Bibliophile
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
The action scenes are well-written, and I liked the mythology, but didn't connect with any of the characters. The villain's motivation struck me as implausible, but then again, history is full of petty men so I could be wrong. The heroine had no discernible personality, and while she was fretting about protecting her family and feeling feelings, I was nodding politely, hoping she would just get on with it. That is no way to read a book. 2,5 stars.
Andjela
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
OK, without spoiling too much, this is a novel about a shapeshifter (hosszu elet), who, completely obsessed by a woman from his past, feels the urge to stalk her descendants to (try to) recreate what he could have had with the said lady. It sounds weird, I know.
However, the novel has some very, very good parts. I especially liked the chapters near the end. My main two problems with the book are:
1. Jakab, the obsessed shapeshifter freak, is a completely undeveloped character. I mean, you need to
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Jeannie Zelos
The String Diaries Stephen Lloyd Jones

ARC provided by publisher.

I'm not a great thriller reader, but do love anything connected to the supernatural and this novel spans both genres. I loved Deborah Harness All Souls Trilogy, ( and hopefully book three is out soon) and was hoping for something along those lines. The historical aspect is similar in that it spans time from present to historical, but the romance was missing and for me that made a huge difference. I'm a sap (blush) and some romance
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Leah
Oct 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Okay, folks... are you comfy? Settle in, because I have got OPINIONS.
(view spoiler)
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Julie
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, horror
The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones by a 2014 Mulholland publication. I was provided a copy of this book by Supsense Magazine and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The String Diaries is a complex supernatural thriller that spans several time periods starting in the 1800's , with a stop over in the 1970's and ending in current times. Hannah, her husband, and young daughter are on the run and in terrible danger. They are hiding out in a farm house borrowing a little time before Jaka
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Around the Year i...: The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones 1 11 Jul 09, 2017 03:27PM  
The ending. A cliched letdown? Or perfect? 3 32 Nov 07, 2014 06:02AM  
South African Boo...: The String Diaries (Spoilers) 4 26 Jul 01, 2014 03:42AM  
South African Boo...: The String Diaries (No Spoilers) 8 18 Jun 30, 2014 09:30AM  

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Stephen Lloyd Jones grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, and studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He now lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and far too many books. He's the author of The String Diaries, Written in the Blood and The Disciple.

Other books in the series

The String Diaries (2 books)
  • Written in the Blood (The String Diaries #2)
“He smiled. Rather, he widened his mouth, exposing teeth.” 1 likes
“A lot of mistakes, but all of them in the past. Some made with worthy intentions, some without. When you live a long time you get to collect a lot of mistakes.” 0 likes
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