Month: January 2017

Book Review: Lost Girls

pro_readerThis was my first experience of Marsons’ D.I. Kim Stone series, even though it is the third instalment. I love thrillers and crime/detective novels, so I’m incredibly grateful to the author/publishers for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley.

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Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone #3) by Angela Marsons – eBook, 442 pages – Published November 6th 2015 by Bookouture

A year ago, two young girls were kidnapped. Only one came home.

Two more girls have gone.
There are several obstacles for the team to overcome: Is it the same persecutor as last time? Will they be using the same location? What do they want? Are the girls even alive still?
Stone knows one of the mothers from her younger years spent in care. They never got on, yet she still requests Kim to lead the investigation.
Marsons gives an in-depth insight to the workings of the case, including the emotional effect on the workers. The use of a “profiler” was a nice touch, even if she was constantly hated and insulted at the start. (I’m looking into some kind of psychological side of crime for a uni course, so it was interesting to see what role she played. My psychology course at A Level also means I understand some of the references mentioned, which made me rather happy.)
With the help of a negotiator, a crazy psychic and the survivor of the last case, Kim manages to narrow down the search location. But the clock is ticking.
Throughout the course of this investigation, Kim is hung up on a previous failure. She’d always blamed a reporter for the death of a young man, but what if it wasn’t her fault? What if someone else was really to blame?
We also see into Kim’s past through small instalments of memories. Bit by bit, we conjure an image of her character, her experiences and feelings. She comes across as bit of a bitch, but shows her tenderness when trying to save the girls. Her relationships with different characters in the novel also reveal different strengths and weaknesses.
While the investigation is going on, the couples go through several different domestic issues. Leads are being found and extinguished all around, and the previous case notes provide little help. The tension builds as they struggle to keep hope alive.
The end includes a few somewhat predictable twists, but isn’t bad. Some non-crime-related developments are quite unexpected, though, proving that this is more than a simple detective novel.
An interesting read, but not particularly outstanding. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Buy it now!

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WWW Wednesdays

What am I currently reading?

Still reading The Jungle Book (Booktrack), City of Heavenly Fire, Ensnared, Lost Girls and Frankenstein.

What have I finished reading recently?

Adventures of Superman Volume One and Adventure Time Volume #4.

What am I reading next?

I’m still to start My Heart and Other Black Holes and The Earthsea Quartet.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Adventure Time Volume #4

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Adventure Time Volume #4 by Ryan North – Paperback, 128 pages – Published February 11th 2014 by KaBOOM!

Number four in this colourful series! Another fun, exciting adventure with our favourite characters. It includes issues 15 to 19 of the comic.

The first adventure Finn and Jake embark on is the retrieval of their voices after a princess tea party is crashed by the mischievous Magic Man. The princesses all get together, including Bubblegum and LSP (of course), to assist Finn and Jake.

After that, the boys find themselves in the Ice King’s hidden (and forgotten) dungeon. They want the treasure at the other end, but that requires defeating several monstrous bosses first…

The adventures are, as always, great fun. The graphics are awesome and the dialogue is hilarious. This volume teaches us a lot about the Ice King’s past, too, and is actually quite emotionally deep at times.

I really enjoyed this! A light-hearted, funny read (although it had it’s more emotional moments). I found myself actually sympathising with the Ice King, and really wanting to know more about his past. And I loved the cover gallery, as always! There are some amazing pieces in here!

Easily 4 stars for this volume, at least.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Adventures of Superman Volume One

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Adventures of Superman (Volume 2, #1) by Jeff Parker, Jeff Lemire, Justin Jordan and others – Paperback, 168 pages – Published April 22nd 2014 by DC Comics

 

This is a collection of standalone comics featuring the Man of Steel. Lex Luthor stars in several, as well as Bizarro, Lois Lane and many other infamous characters.

One comic includes Metropolis in a bottle, while another requires Superman’s help with a child that has been moved across the timeline. In one, Lex even reveals plans to run for US president.

There’s a great undercurrent of humour in many of these, and several comics give an insight to the day-to-day lives of different characters. The final episode in this volume is possibly my favourite – featuring fans of Superman who require his assistance. I thought this story was so clever, and pretty emotional, too.

This is very nearly in my favourite books list. Each story is so interesting and unique. 4.5 stars.

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WWW Wednesdays

I know I haven’t posted one of these for ages, which means this one is going to be really long. (Sorry.)

What am I currently reading?

The Jungle Book (Booktrack), Ensnared, Lost Girls, City of Heavenly Fire and Frankenstein.

What have I finished reading recently?

Okay this is going to be a long list… (Remember, it’s been months since my last WWW Wednesdays post.)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, 07-Ghost, Adventure Time, Fire Study, 07-Ghost Volume #2, Adventure Time Volume #2, Beautiful Broken Things, Red Queen, Adventure Time Volume #3 and The Legacy.

What am I reading next?

I’ll be reading Adventure Time Volume #4, Adventures of Superman Volume #1 and My Heart and Other Black Holes next.

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Book Review: The Legacy

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The Legacy by Gemma Malley (The Declaration #3) – Paperback, 288 pages – Published November 8th 2012 by Bloomsbury Children’s

 

When I first read Malley’s The Declaration series this third novel hasn’t yet been released. And then I kind of forgot about the series until the end of last year.

Anna and Peter have found a safe residence in the countryside thanks to the Underground, the resistance movement against the use of Longevity. But their safety is being compromised as some unknown “illness” is spreading through the Legals – killing people who are supposed to live forever. People are pointing the finger at everyone around them, fear spreading even quicker than the virus.

Jude and Sheila are living in the main Underground facility, but are forced to move base when their leader, Pip, hands himself in and a brick comes flying in through their window. Meanwhile, Peter’s ring is of high importance to Richard Pincent, who has arranged with some unknown Underground member for it to be sent to him.

Without Pip, Jude has to take over. But he wasn’t expecting his half-brother to arrive, especially without the rest of his family. And now Sheila’s disappeared…

Why are people dying? Are the Underground really to blame?

And then, when he didn’t think things could any worse, Jude sees Pip talking to Richard Pincent’s closest friend and guard, as if they were friends.

Is this really the end of the Underground? Have they finally lost?

I noticed a lot of typos and punctuation mistakes, which gave the book a bit of an unprofessional, juvenile feel. But I’ve always loved this series and honestly I found the book so easy to read and enjoyable, despite the mistakes. There are some really interesting twists, and the story focuses a lot on characters other than Anna an d Peter which is nice.

4 stars for this book.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Adventure Time Volume #3

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Adventure Time Vol. 3 (issues 10-14) by Ryan North Paperback, 112 pages – Published June 19th 2013 by KaBOOM!

 

The third collection of Adventure Time stories!

The first part of this volume involves the Ice King and his spell to remove Finn and Jake’s free will. This leaves them at the will of the readers, who decide how their adventures will pan out.

The next chapter in the collection starts with BMO digging up an old video game for Finn, Jake and Marceline to play. Little do they know that this is the start of a major computer virus that will spread throughout Ooo…

The main characters are, of course, Finn and Jake, along with Marceline, BMO and Princess Bubblegum. The Ice King and “Ewlbo” are also featured for some time in this volume.

I always think these comics are great, just for a relaxing, easy read. They’re funny, clever, and pretty immature sometimes. The art is lovely and the stories are just a bit of fun for all ages. This isn’t my favourite, but I will still give it 3.5-4 stars.

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Book Review: Red Queen

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – Paperback, 383 pages – Published July 2nd 2015 by Orion

This first appeared to be just another YA fantasy novel, with similarities to The Selection series. But I was pleasantly surprised by Aveyard’s  novel, and may actually have another favourite book.

Mare Barrow is a Red, a servant and a worker to the Silvers. She helps her family eat and survive, dreading the day of conscription. Her brothers already risk their lives in the war daily, and now her best friend is doomed to go to the front lines…

But then Mare meets someone different, someone with friends in high places. Soon, she finds herself working in a palace, a servant to the royal family. And then she’s serving at the Queenstrial, where young Silver girls compete to become the next heiress.

What nobody expects from this trial is for a Red-blooded girl to take the stage and survive the electric shield above the stadium. Mare definitely doesn’t expect to be thrown into the world of the Silvers – but that’s exactly what happens.

So Mare is betrothed to the younger prince, having to pretend she’s actually Silver. Meanwhile, a huge Red rebellion is developing and targeting different Silver areas – will the palace be next?

I must admit, the love triangle between Mare and the royal brothers was a bit of a typical YA romance plot, but the way it’s “resolved” is so exciting. I found myself sympathising with every character to some extent, which I greatly regretted regarding certain people…

This whole novel was full of action and surprises, and I really was gripped. The Red Guard situation was exciting from start to end, and the giant twist toward the end was totally unexpected. I can’t wait to read the next book!

While some parts are, in hindsight, a little predictable and typical for this genre, I did love this book. It was so enjoyable and clever, and I’m really excited about where the next book will go. There are many tragedies, romantic scenes, and some heart-warming family moments. And action! A great combination. 5 whole stars!

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Goodbye 2016… Hello 2017!

Happy New Year everyone! I’m going to keep this as book-based as I can, but I apologise for any random, personal tangents I may go off on.

First of all, a quick summary of my past year. I aimed for 100 books, but only managed to read 66. (Disappointing, I know.)

I can’t seem to link them to their reviews, but you can find a list of every book I’ve reviewed on this blog, in alphabetical order of author, here.

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At the end of last year, I added a poll to the sidebar of my blog. The question was what you guys thought was the best book published in 2015. The winner, with 33% of voters on their side, was Dan and Phil’s The Amazing Book is Not on Fire.

I’ve put up a new poll for this year, which I will also paste below. What do you think was the best book of last year?

That’s it for now! I may post a little something about my favourite books of the year later on, but for now I shall leave you in peace. Happy New Year!

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