Monday, 25 July 2016

Review - Eight Minutes by Lori Reisenbichler

I was sucked into this novel and not spat out until I reached the end. I lost valuable sleep reading this, but I’m not complaining.

This book is maturely and fluently written, and has little gems of wisdom and insight dotted through it like currants in a cake, striking chords within me every time I bit into one. The way the main character talks about motherhood was one, and another was her take on the loss of a loved one (her mother). I could relate to both of those. And then there was the marriage thing - that sounded familiar, too.

Aside from my personal reaction, the plot is a good one, not fast paced and action packed, but gripping all the same. The tension builds slowly and surely, as she loses her grip on everything she believed to be true – until now. The relationship between the two lead characters is the main driving force behind this novel, which possibly has less to do with supernatural phenomena than the real issues inherent in any marriage when one partner appears to go off the rails – though the paranormal element is well thought out and plausible, and adds a certain intriguing kick.

This is Reisenbichler's debut novel, and a darned fine debut it is. I will be on the lookout for the next offering from this lady, and I hope it will be soon.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Review - Satan’s Lullaby by Priscilla Royal

This is a gentle olde-worlde who-dunnit. I assume from reading the novel that this is one of a series, yet it is a stand-alone book and can be read as such without there being any detriment to understanding.

Although the plot was okay and the story pottered along in a sedate manner, with little great surprise at the end, what I fond fascinating was the description of the lives of those who had dedicated themselves to God, and the religious world they lived in. Eleventh century Britain was a time when illness was regarded as the work of the devil and anything could be a sin.

A genteel book, in spite of the backdrop of Medieval England, I felt it was a little lacking in tension, and I kept expecting more, yet I wasn’t really disappointed with the storyline or and still found it to be an enjoyable read.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Review - Pharaoh’s Star by Vera Jane Cook

The first chapter was pacey (although I found the main character, Nick, talking to himself to be really irritating), but then the story line slowed to a crawl, with enough repetition to annoy.

I didn't really start to become invested in the characters, or the novel as whole, until chapter 32, which would normally have meant my abandoning the book. However, this was a Netgalley review, so I preserved.

The premise was interesting, but I did think the delivery could use a little work. Viewed from multiple POVs, though some of them could have been cut, there were some unanticipated twists and plot resolutions, and the ending was unexpected.

Altogether not a bad read, but I wasn't as engaged as I hoped to have been.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Review - The Disappeared by Roger Scruton

I'm really not sure what to make of this novel. The premise was good but I'm not totally convinced the delivery worked. Second person, present tense is a difficult POV to get right, and although the author did a tolerable job, it grated on me, especially towards the end when, within the 'you' viewpoint, the speaker also referred to a different 'you', and it took me a while to work out which character's eyes I was looking through.

There was a great deal of introspection in this novel (often on a par with that found in Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment'), and a lot of woe-is-me from the male lead characters, which didn't particularly endear them to me. I thought it was trying too hard to be literary, rather than concentrating on telling a good tale.

That said, the story line is a good one, and other readers may well be happy with the things that did not sit so well with me

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Review - Hidden by Karen E. Olsen

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written, with a likeable protagonist,and  the author was skillful in the timing and the way of the revelations. It kept me guessing and wondering right to the end. And as for the end - loved it! Anything else would not have worked half as well.

Hoping for a sequel.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Review - The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

I read this in one sitting!

The author was skilful in building the protagonist's recklessness through the novel, and the
reader becomes totally immersed in her character by then we realise her stupidity - 
or the lengths she goes to in her desperation. I enjoyed learning about physiotherapy 
and the author's knowledge and enthusiasm shone from the page, providing a strong
 framework for both the plot and characters.

There are only two negative comments (and they're not strictly negatives) - I'm not so keen 
on the title and if the blurb hadn't popped up when my mouse hovered over it, I would have 
passed this novel by. And that would have been a shame.  Plus the very last email seemed 
out of character for Henry. I don't think the novel particularly needs a hint of a HEA with him. 
I believe it would have been stronger without....

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Requiem for the Living by A.J. Locke

This is the second in The Reanimation Files series, and it more than lived up to the promise of the first. I even think I like it better!

Fast-paced, action-packed and convoluted, it had me guessing right to the very end - which was totally unexpected.  Selene has grown as a character, and this time the problems she faces aren't mostly of her own making.  

Moving straight on to book 3!!

Here are the links to the author's page and Amazon: