Alice by Christina Henry book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!

Alice cover

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice

Initial thoughts

An Alice re-telling that’s apparently has a darker twist. I was really interested in reading this and the new covers are gorgeous. 

Writing

It has a simplistic, straightforward style which I really enjoyed. I could visualize everything really well. The mix of description and dialogue was good and it moved at a fast pace.

Plot

The plot was solid. Although, I would’ve liked more surrounding it. More inclusion of the government.

And the ending was the tiniest but anti-climatic. I thought a different ending, (which from the way it reads, I’d bet the Author consider doing), would have had more impact. I’m reserving judgment on that until I’ve read the next book.

One thing, I’m going to put a warning for right now. A strong theme is the abuse of women. 

Characters

Most of the characters are well written. Although, I’d have liked more backstory in general. We only got the barest glimpses of them and it’s all strictly related to the plot.

They aren’t many side characters. Most of it is focused on the two main characters, whom I like. And of course, the bad guys who everyone will really hate, as you should. 

Some I feel should have been used more .

Overall thoughts

While, I may have been disappointed by the ending, (as I said reserving judgement on one particular plot point), the plot is tight and wraps up the story while leaving enough to entice me for the next book which I’m looking forward to reading. 

This is not for young readers. The abuse themes in this a prevalent throughout.

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Maaaaybe

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Weekly update

So, as some of you may have noticed, (or, you know, not), there were no book reviews last week.

As I mentioned on twitter, my laptop charger died on me and I didn’t notice until I had 10% battery left. D’:

I ordered one and received it yesterday so the schedule will be back to normal this week. (Spoiler free book reviews every Wednesday and Saturday with a weekly update on Sundays.)

Let me know what you’ve been reading so I don’t feel so out of the loop. D’:

Hope everyone had a great week and I can’t wait to catch up on all the blogs!!

Weekly update

Seriously, what’s up with the weather?! Today may be the first dry day of the last two weeks!

I’m having to do this post on my iPad because my laptop charger died on me. Let’s see how we do!

What I read last week

Library of souls by Ransom Riggs 

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So, I finally finished this trilogy. I thought it was a solid series, but this last book was a little underwhelming. I think the climax came too soon. It may have needed another book before ending. 3/5 

Lock in by John Scalzi

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This is one of those easy read were you can relax and enjoy it without having to think too much. 4/5


What I’m reading this week

Swallows and amazons by Arthur Ransome

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I grew up watching the film and this is a very important book from my Dad’s childhood. He actually went and visited the place where it was set.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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I’d seen the film a long, long, looong time ago. And, after reading The fireman by Joe Hill, it reminded me of this book as Joe Hill mentions it. (I think.) It’s also part of the sf masterworks challenge I set for myself. (Again, I think.)


 

So, what have you been reading? And what do you plan to read this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lock in by John Scalzi book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!

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Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

Initial thoughts

I had previously read a stand alone Redshirts by John Scalzi and, while I was disappointed by it, I liked the writing style and where he had been going with it. In the end, I kept an eye out for other books by him.

I spotted this at the library, (as I’m sure most of you know), and the blurb is SUPER interesting.

Writing

I really like the simplistic style of John Scalzi’s writing. I’m a simple kinda gal! (Although, I do like the occasional foray into more ‘complicated’ books). It’s written in first person and Scalzi does a good job of making sure that doesn’t feel too restrictive.

Plot

The world that the story is set in is it’s most fascinating aspect. It didn’t feel used to its full potential. The mystery I felt was solved a bit too conveniently and I didn’t feel the cost of not solving it. They were there, but I just didn’t feel it.

Characters

There is a diverse array of characters in this novel. They were all enjoyable even though we didn’t really get to know them. One of the most interesting to me was the main character’s Dad. He was cliche, but not cliche. 

And speaking of cliche, the main character’s partner only got away from being the most cliche character because she’s likeable. 

Overall thoughts

An interesting world with a lackluster representation of it and plot. It was entertaining enough and I liked the ride enough that I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book. (Expected publication 2017!)

It’s one of those easy reads that you can relax into.

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Library of souls by Ransom Riggs book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

This is the third and final book in the Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children series. You can read the first book’s review here and the second here.

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A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Initial thoughts

I was that excited about reading this book after the previous one that I dived into it immediately, and then proceeded to get a headache from binge reading it. #worthit.

I was really sad the series was going to be over and felt it was too quick!

Writing

As with other two books, the writing is excellent. The mixture of description and dialogue was done perfectly. I really enjoy the description in these books. 

Plot

This is where things start going downhill. I feel like the climax was too rushed. Things were introduced in this book that should’ve been introduced in previous books or even things should not have ended in this one. Because things were introduced in this one, I found myself struggling to care. I feel the conclusion came too suddenly and also think the ending was wrapped up too neatly. 

Characters

The characters were one of my favourite part of these books. Sadly, this book had a major like of character-y stuff happening in this one. I was also disappointed to find that characters I love were essentially pointless the entire series. They could’ve just not been in it. D:

Overall thoughts

While I still enjoyed the ride, this is the weakest of the three and I was left with a feeling of disappointed not satisfaction at the end. It was a case of too little, too late. Everything felt a little rushed in this book and I felt like it skipped major plot arcs. It is still a solid trilogy though that I’d recommend to people.

Was it worth the read? Yes, if only to finish the trilogy.

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 3 grey


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Weekly update

OK, clearly, somewhere I lost a day because I posted yesterday’s book review today thinking today was yesterday. Makes sense, yes? Yep.

Anyhoo, that means you’re getting the weekly update today as well. (Things shall resume to normality after this. Unless someone starts stealing days from me again…I’m watching.)

What I read last week

The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

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Really enjoyed this. The plot is quick and well put together. A must for adults and younger children. 5/6

Hollow city by Ransom Riggs

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The writing and characters are so excellent in this book and the ending is amazing. I cannot wait to read book 3. 5/6

So, I had a good reading week. Both books were really enjoyable! What have you read and did you enjoy it?


What I’m reading this week

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I’ve already started this because I NEED TO KNOW! So many things are up in the air!

I’ve had these books out on loan from the library for aaaaages and I’m honestly sick of saying, ‘Oh, I’m reading these this week.’ Other books keep grabbing my attention. BAD BOOKS! (I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to shout. FORGIVE MEEEE!) So, yeah, reading at least one of these this week. 

I may read the next narnia book too, which I believe is The boy and his horse? Something like that, book 3 anyway.


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Hollow city by Ransom Riggs book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

This is the second novel in the Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children series. If you haven’t checked out my review of the first novel, (or read it), you should do that.

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This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Initial thoughts

I enjoyed the first one, if disappointed, I’m not sure why. I think I was just surprised by the direction it took.

But! I was really looking forward to reading the next one. Pretty sure I moaned about wanting to in the last few weekly posts. I felt like everything was really going to to kick off in this one. 

Writing

I’m really in love with Ransom Rigg’s style of writing. It’s just so clean and well written. The description is brilliant, not too long, just little dashes as the action moves along. 

The dialogue is brilliant too. And, often with first person, I feel too constricted by the MC, but it doesn’t feel this way in this book.

Plot

The plot is solid. There are no lulls. And each arc is answered nicely. I’m enjoying the story, my disappointment of the first book’s direction long forgotten. 

And that ending! Let me tell you, I am glad I have the next book on my shelf or I would be screeching with desperation to know what happens next! I’m so invested in what’s going to happen.

Characters

First things first, I want to mention how much I love that every character is as important as the other. I’ve read a lot of books in recent times that are soooo main character centric, (The maze runner). 

Onto the actual characters. I think…I’m about to go all mushy and squee about how much I love them. The character’s just eeks into first place about being my favourite thing about this book. (The second being the writing itself.)

Every character is well rounded and reacts differently to each situation. I really enjoy each one of them. Their personal stories are so interesting. My favourite is Enoch and, after that, Hugh. 

Overall thoughts

It was thoroughly enjoying. It’s definitely earned a place on my bookshelf. I just love the solidness to it through the writing, the characters and the plot. And, whereas when reading the first book, I wasn’t sure I liked the inclusion of photographs, I actually really love them now. 

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 5 grey


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The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!

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Initial thoughts

I’m reading these in chronological order rather than publication. I liked the first one, The magician’s nephew, but didn’t think it was amazing. But, I was really looking forward to reading this one because I think most people know this story even if they hadn’t read it. I think this book was written first too? Could be wrong.

Writing

I really enjoy the style of writing. It’s simple enough, and moves fast enough, for younger readers, but vivid enough for adult readers too. I do enjoy the breaking of the fourth wall too.

Plot

We dive straight in and everything is exciting immediately. The world of Narnia is unique with lots of potential, but comfortable enough that it’s easy envision it. I thought the ending was very clever. After reading it, I felt satisfied as if the story was wrapped up well. 

Characters

 I thought all the characters were brilliant. Each of the main characters, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy had their own personality and it was showed well without bogging down the story. 

Overall thoughts

I loved this book. I thought it was much better written than the first in the series and also had a better plot. It’s obvious why this one in the series is so well known. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series now. I think this is a brilliant book to read with young children. The pace moves quick enough that such a long book, (to a five year old), isn’t slow or ‘boring’. 

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 5 grey


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Weekly update

It’s July already?! What have I been doing with my life?! D: *Spends two hours freaking out that half the year vanished* Also, what is up with the weather? All it’s been here is RAIN.

P.S. Good luck to everyone taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo. I am not, but I’ll be cheering you on and watching all your progress with interest.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to check out my other blog where we inform you of upcoming book releases! 

Ahem, anyway on more bookish matters. Here’s the weekly update. Enjoy. 


What I read last week

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I love Diana Wynne Jones. Her books are such light-hearted adventures which is great when you’re someone who often reads apocalyptic books full of DEATH AND MISERY! I was a little disappointed by this because the characters from the first book are not the main characters in this. I wouldn’t even call this a sequel. 4/6

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The first novel, or rather novella, of an urban fantasy series by Holly Evans. This was a great sort of teaser for the coming series, lots of juicy hints and mysteries were laid out in it. 4/6

What I’m reading this week

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I’m about a 1/4 of the way through this. It’s the one Narnia book I’m familiar with because obviously there’s a lot of films, but I haven’t watched the films in a long, long, long…long time. 

AND I FINALLY GOT MY CLAMMY HANDS ON THESE! I’ve been wanting to read the next books and found out what was going on and finally caved and grabbed them. Do you know how nice it is that they all match up on the bookshelf? They haven’t decided to switch covers or make them in different sizes. Ugh, bliss.


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Infernal ties by Holly Evans book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

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The Hawke twins are hunters. They keep the supernal community of Prague in line, and they’re good at it. The witches whisper their names when something goes bump in the night, and the lycans tell stories of them to make their cubs behave. When Quin doesn’t come home after what should have been a quick rogue-disposal, Evie begins to worry.

Evelyn Hawke is a force to be reckoned with. Nothing and no one will stop her from getting her twin back. She’ll do whatever it takes, even dive into the supernal world and work with those she despises to find Quin and dig him out of the very large hole he’s got himself into.

Little does she know the far-reaching consequences of her actions.

Initial thoughts

I follow Holly Evan’s blog so have been watching her progress in readying to publish her books. I have read snippets of her writing that she shared, all unedited, all mouthwatering. I was excited to read this!

Writing

The writing is brilliant. The action and description pieces are the best of the lot, though I would’ve liked a bit more dialogue. I felt as if I was in Prague. (And I really want to try a pastry now!)

Plot

The plot was intriguing, several thing were foreshadows for the next book that I need to know! There were a few thing I would’ve liked expanded on. How the supernatural community fit in with the normal humans, the rules as it were. How The Hawke twins fit in to become Hunters.

Characters

I love the alchemist. Full stop. We’re done. Bye bye. Also his assistant.

Evie herself is brilliantly bad-ass. I actually felt sorry for some of the supernatural creatures who got in her way when she was on the warpath. I would’ve liked to known a bit more of the reasons why she felt the way she did concerning magic and the supernatural beings.

Overall thoughts

 It was a quick read, written well. My favourites were the description of Prague itself and just the description overall, there’s some many great one liners that had me smiling. I would’ve liked to learn more explanation and not as much fight scenes, but that just means I’ll have to read the next one to find out!

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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