Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Don't Turn Around

Don't Turn Around Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Without thinking and without skimming the blurbs, I bought both this and the second Time to Die book in the series for a reasonable price after picking up the third for 0.99 Eur a month ago - I tend to read series in order, mostly.
So I wanted a UK based page-turner crime. What I got was meh. Skimming a few 4 and 5 star reviews and with the supernatural twist revealed, I thought, this might really be good (or should be at least).
Well, not for me. The setting was UK, ok, some expressions and a little bit of scenery was good, but not enough for me, could have been way more english. And from the blurb and the reviews I was expecting a page-turner, I wonder which book the others read they are reviewing, not this one.
Instead, like some really good books I read (Val McDermid comes to mind, there it happens a few times) at around 40-44% there is certain lack of story, not enough action, no suspense and too many side-stories which only function together when all is revealed in the end and it comes together. But that does not save it for me. Having bought the next two books already I have wasted my money, but might look into them to fast-forward read them if they get better.
Sometimes the writing gets better after the author has settled and written more, the late Eva Hudson comes to mind (although the series took a nosedive for me with the takeover of the writing after her death by her friend and editor and I abandoned it), so here is hoping.
The MC is ok, and the background is interesting, but the writing is not. To explain that, the author has published a non-fiction book about a real, documented haunting that took place in the house she (her family) bought. That could be interesting, but I have not read it yet, and that does nothing for the suspense and possible entertainment I wanted from this book.

So this is not really recommended, barely warranting 3 stars for a good idea and a start of a series (and does this count as a debut? not sure about that).

View all my reviews

Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Eeny Meeny

Eeny Meeny Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Waited with buying this till the price sank to my desired level, and bought both Kindle and Audible versions.
Very dark beginning leaning on borrowing from the SAW movies. Not for the faint of heart.
Very well done in describing the problems of the destroyed but still surviving victims.
Not entirely satisfied with the ending, it was to be expected, would have liked a twist there.
As with other authors, the MC makes the usual mistake of going places alone and without telling anyone, hopefully this will not happen to often in the next books in the series.
Setting is UK, so expect a few different words and places, but the usual f-word is used time and time again, like in US-written books, I am so tired of it, can do without it, but maybe a sign of how much influence the US (TV/books) has in the UK.

Highly recommended, will read more in this series, from this author.

View all my reviews

Review: Deadly Lies

Deadly Lies Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is mostly everything I wish for in a good present-day crime book:
dark, suspenseful, twisted, features sex, drugs and rock'n roll (really), modern technology, cybercrime. And violence, but not detailed and not very graphic, but rape is mentioned.

So why is not 5stars? The missing star is for the Cybercrime scenes.
These should have been more detailed, with the couple of MC's both in the business (IT and Cybercrime) and met before marrying at a security IT course (Network penetration). The IT in this book is sound, but for me and probably other nerds could have been way more detailed.
Ending also surprisingly dark, and interesting twist.

Standalone, highly recommended, will read more from this author.

View all my reviews

Review: Crimson Shore

Crimson Shore Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To fully understand this book you should have read a few, preferable all, of the 14 (!) books in the series before this one.
As a standalone you will miss out on some nuances of the story.
Although I rated this 5 stars and think it is one of the best in the series, I think the series has run its course and should be ended.

Two intertwined stories complicated and as often with these books on the fringe of science, you have to suspend believe at times which may not sit well for all readers.
The devastating cliffhanger ending saved it somehow, although some villain from the past pops up again (not named, you can only guess). Despite being killed without a body or proof. Like Nazis (which popped up in The Helen Trilogy of this series) bringing back supposedly dead people is something I can do without -which is to say I hate it, when that happens. Well, we will see how it plays out, hopefully with the next book.

Also to further being not comfortable with that, this could warrant reading every book again, just to see wether continuation is logical. Meh, another thing I can do without now.
Next book is supposed to be published October 18th, 2016 and I pre-ordered it already. Like so many others (current count for October is 14 ebooks for just a little over 100 Eur).

Recommended for fans of the series, complicated, not entirely page-turner quality, saved the 5th star with the open cliffhanger ending leading into the next book.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Do not really like the style. Not my cup of tea or Nesquik, as a non-tea-drinker.
Today (August 23, 2016) I tried to FF through the book and am still bored, mostly not only by what happens, which could have been interesting, but the writing style. This is as worse as Catcher in the rye and the like. Non-pc speaking, it feels braindead and retarded. Not at all like a shy wallflower could and should be. Not too fond of Zombies, some are much more alive than this book.

Calling it DNF now at 18%, but may FF through the rest or the ending and/or read a few reviews with spoilers to find out what the frack the point of this book is. Cannot see one.
Strongly not recommended reading big time waster. Also I am not sure wether I will waste my time and watch the movie (which I already bought) but then I know before how long it will take (102min per imdb, so even with pausing or some rewinding it should be 2 hours or less).

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review: The Dante Connection

The Dante Connection The Dante Connection by Estelle Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While first one was ok, for an introduction and the totally different idea, the case was better, more complex, but otherwise this book was only ok, in fact, some repetitions grated on my nerves. Quite a lot from the first review could be repeated here, so read that instead.
Setting is mainly Strasbourg with a few other places thrown in.
Repeat: Recommended but fluffy read, even though there is romance only hinted at, no sex.
Might read the next books (but not pay too much for them!), just now I do not feel like it.

View all my reviews

Review: Hushabye

Hushabye Hushabye by Celina Grace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this free, as the 2nd book was on an Alarm (ReaderIQ) and then I checked this was also free (as expected).
Reasonably fast read, page-turner.
Strongly recommended but not really 4 stars, not enough twists and although it is set in the UK, at times you do not feel it, except for some expressions. The case is simpler and could have been a lot darker for me, so this one is more like a 3.5 rounded up to 4. Little romance, no sex.
An author to watch for, I will certainly read more of her (and having the 2nd book I will do it now!).

Just having read Eeny Meeny before these two books, a comparison: all 3 take place in the UK, but Eeny Meeny (a debut I think) is longer, a little darker, and you get more of a feeling you are in the UK. Structure of all 3 books is quite similar, with a female MC hiding a dark past. So while all 3 books are very good, the 1 star difference towards Eeny Meeny is warranted for me. And looking at my already bought TBR-ebook-pile, want buy the next books in this and the M.J. Arlidge-series. But will try to clean up and look to DNF a few books, I began 2014 and 2015 (or this year 2016).

View all my reviews

Review: Hushabye

Hushabye Hushabye by Celina Grace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this free, as the 2nd book was on an Alarm (ReaderIQ) and then I checked this was also free (as expected).
Reasonably fast read, page-turner.
Strongly recommended but not really 4 stars, not enough twists and although it is set in the UK, at times you do not feel it, except for some expressions. The case is simpler and could have been a lot darker for me, so this one is more like a 3.5 rounded up to 4. Little romance, no sex.
An author to watch for, I will certainly read more of her (and having the 2nd book I will do it now!).

View all my reviews

Review: Requiem

Requiem Requiem by Celina Grace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Had set an Alarm at ReaderIQ, and got an email when this was available for free. The first book was also free on the same day, so I snatched up both. If you subscribe to her mailinglist (I did), you might receive this and 2 other books also for free.
Reasonably fast read, page-turner.
Strongly recommended but not really 5 stars, not enough twists and although it is set in the UK, at times you do not feel it, except for some expressions. But the case is slightly better, 2 cases intertwined and more complex, still very up-to-date and dark, while the first one would be 3.5, this is a solid 4 star. Little romance, no sex.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: The Gauguin Connection

The Gauguin Connection The Gauguin Connection by Estelle Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bookbub informed of the ebook being free back in 2015, so I did not pay for it.
Interesting start, though not much action, but being a former (Computer) Helpdesk Slave, I really enjoy the methods for investigation used. Cannot say for sure, how accurate the supposed autism of the MC Genevieve is. Everything is from her point of view.
Would have liked more details of the technology used, and I find it rather odd, that someone who uses computers for her work to create lists and presentation says of herself to know very little about computer - given the amount of time she spends with computers, she should know Excel, SQL and a few other things very well, or she is not able to do her work very well. There certainly is a difference between a proficient high-end user (I would consider the MC a high-end user), a programer and a hacker, and a professional should know her own limits and when to consult other experts (as she does when teaming up with a good female hacker), but in this book it does belittle herself, also it was late in the book, that just felt wrong for me.
Also this book is not very suspenseful and one of the bad guys is from a limited group of people, so no real surprise.
Recommended but fluffy read, even though there is romance only hinted at, no sex. Felt too long.
So solid 3stars. Will read the next book of the series, as that was free a few days ago (as an ebook).


View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect dark mirror for fans of Fahrenheit 451.
Alternate history steampunk, no TV, no mobile phones, instead steam driven machines or devices which use magic (like the ebook/slate/tablet like devices). World-building is a bit slow, but well integrated, as the books starts with action scenes, no long preface to explain the rules of the world. Some of the rules are explained when the main characters learn them, which is just as well.
The people are all complex, most not simply good or evil, very well written.
Also, there is love, even gay love (later in the book), but no sex.

As in Fahrenheit 451, we have a faction of book-burners, but they are like rebels, not like the firemen in Fahrenheit 451. The main laws are for preserving books or the information within, the originals are stored in the library, while the people use blanks, ebook like magical devices, which can be filled with a book. There is also an underground trade of original books, which are illegal to posses - they belong to the library. To explain more would spoil the book, so I will stop here.

War is waging in England and people get killed, and the group of people get send there to save books as the library in Oxford still has a cache of rare original books after it was evacuated.
The surviving characters get offered assignments according to their capabilities (or not, whatever), which they can take, for different time-spans (a year, 5 years, some a life-time), starting with an apprentice-like training.

This book could be read as a standalone, the end of the book is not a cliffhanger.
Highly recommended! The second book of this trilogy was published July 2016, with the third to be published July 2017 (which can still slip). So I will not read the second book soon, but pace myself and read probably in December 2016 or when I feel like it.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review: The Countdown

The Countdown The Countdown by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

After the cliffhanger-ending of The Replaced (The Taking #02), this starts faster.
And a little yai for no love-triangle gets squashed by a love-square...
Bodycount is rather high and there are a few very bloody and gory scenes.
You have been warned. Trying to finish it today (August 1st, 2016).
As it is today the 3d, I obviously did not manage to finish the last 1.5 (or less) hours the 1st.
Just looked at my reviews of the 4star first book and 3 star second book and do not have much to add to the review of the second book, most also could be said for this book, and I had a hard time, even at the 50%, to get into it.
Again too much romance, no sex whatsoever.
Surprisingly high body-count, and more than 200 killed indirectly (off page - off screen for a movie).
Also very bloody and brutal, some cold, cold actions by the MC, and though she (and others) think about it, it was for "the greater good" and sometimes self-defence. But not all where really needed and necessary, imho. Given the no sex rule, this was typical US-style, violence, killing, blood, so it is ok for YA aimed at teenagers?
Although the 3 stars for this and the second are solid and the first even 4 stars, the whole 3 books did not grip and there was not as much suspense as say in the Mara Dyer trilogy. Also, the ebooks (Kindle) should have been cheaper, for all 3 I paid more than 25 Eur, which is way too much, with the first two books just under my self set 10 Eur barrier at which I would not have bought either.
Just checked amazon.de, now you can get all for 15 Eur, with the third book being the most expensive, but altogether that is just ok for this 3 books.
The ending, not to spoil it, I hope, was mostly as expected and after that an Epilogue, as a clean-up, so no loose ends dangle around. For me sex, and suspense where missing and while the action was ok, it did not grip me in any way. And did I mention, yeah, I did, too much romance.
The whole trilogy should be read on a rainy weekend, but given how long it took me to read it, with reading a different book in between the reading of the second book (Thirteen reasons why), then waiting for this book to be published, then waiting till I was in the mood to read it - so the conclusion is, I cannot recommend the trilogy.



View all my reviews