thriller

Graphic Novel Review: American Vampire Volume #1

American Vampire Volume #1

American Vampire Volume #1 by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King – Paperback, 192 pages – Published November 1st 2011 by Titan Publishing Company (first published October 5th 2010)

I’ve decided to check out more graphic novels at the local library, and have started going through alphabetically. Which is how I found this series, by Stephen King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque.

It’s an adult graphic novel, complete with tons of action and obscenities. It’s set back in the 19th and 20th Centuries, in – you guessed it – America. It’s about a new breed of vampires; the American Vampire, stronger and less vulnerable than the original European vampire.

Of course, the two groups are rivals. Best friends fight each other, and one person welcomes death instead of becoming a monster. It’s all very interesting and exciting. The art is great, too – it really portrays the action and danger and monstrosity of the vampires.

But I, personally, got a bit lost and confused with the timeline – there are dates and everything, but I often forget them. And all the different characters got a bit confusing for me, too, but that might be because I didn’t have the time to sit down and really focus on the novel.

I’m still planning on reading the next few volumes of this series. It’s really interesting, and I like this new breed of vampires. As for the young girl born at the end….. I wonder where that will go! 3 stars.

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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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Book Review: Kellie’s Diary #1

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Kellie’s Diary #1 by Thomas Jenner and Angeline Perkins – eBook, 50 pages – Published March 1st 2013 by Survive Entertainment

This was free in the Kindle store and despite not really knowing much about it, I decided I’d download it. It’s the graphic novel version of the first part of this collection, which is also available as an ordinary novel. It’s a short story, as I believe each individual story is.

As this is only a really short part of the collection, and I don’t want to spoil the story, I can’t really tell you much. But it is written fantastically, really capturing the voice of a young child. It’s based in the early nineties, when several children – and then teachers – start to fall ill and disappear. Kellie is later forced to fight for her life against the “monsters” – most commonly known as zombies. Yep, this is an apocalypse diary written by a small child, alone.

Of course, being “written by a child” means that description – even spelling – is not great. But that is obviously intentional and adds to the overall effect of the book. This particular edition happens to be designed to look like a notebook too, as opposed to the ordinary text of a novel.

I am really tempted to look into buying the whole collection. It really ends quite suddenly and unexpectedly, and I do want to know what happens to Kellie. Does she find her family? Does she even survive in the end? I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this in the end. 3.5 stars!

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Book Review: All Our Yesterdays

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All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill – Paperback, 360 pages – Published August 1st 2013 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Okay, the plot of this book is kind of complicated and my summary probably won’t do it justice, but here goes:

Em and Finn have been held prisoners in their cells for months. The doctor puts them through horrific interrogations on a regular basis, trying to determine the location of some documents he believes to be in the possession of Finn and Em.

Em is obsessed with the drain in the centre of her cell, positive that it has some kind of important meaning. Eventually, she manages to unscrew it, and discovers something incredibly unexpected; a note from herself.

With the the help of Mike Connor, a guard that other versions of themselves had convinced to help them in the past, Em and Finn escape their cells and make their way to Cassandra. Before the doctor can stop them, they switch on the machine and are transported four years into the past.

This is written from two different perspectives; Em’s, and Marina’s. Through each girl’s story, we discover the truth about the doctor, Cassandra, and the death of Nate, the brother of Marina’s childhood love’s brother.

I know this all sounds really complicated, and sometimes it does get that way, but it is written so well. Em looks at Marina like she’s a different person, which I suppose she is, really. The relationships between each version of Marina/Em and the two different boys is so unique to this book. I suppose it’s a regular love triangle, but at the same time, it’s not.

I really liked this book. It’s not quite made it’s way to my favourites list due to the fact that there were times where I got a little bit lost. But it definitely deserves 4.5 stars, because it is such an gripping, unique book. I’m so glad I read this.

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Book Review: Every Other Day

Every Other Day - Paperback Cover

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Paperback, 329 pages – ublished February 2nd 2012 by Quercus

Contains a few spoilers.

Wow. This book was actually amazing. I saw it on Goodreads and decided to order it into my library. I’m so glad I did!

Kali is like any other girl, every other day. She has no friends, no mother, and not much of a dad, but she’s human.

But every other day, she’s not.

She hunts. Not deer, or wolves, or foxes. She hunts hellhounds and basilisks and zombies – preternatural creatures. So when she sees popular-girl Bethany with an ouroboros (the death mark of a chupacabra) she knows it’s up to her to save her.

That day also happens to be the day Kali meets Skylar. Her instincts tell her to keep Skylar away – the less people she puts in danger, the better. But Skylar has other ideas, and soon she gets caught up in Kali’s world, along with Bethany and Elliott, Skylar’s brother and Bethany’s boyfriend.

The chupacabra has unexpected effects on Kali thanks to her difference to other people, and she finds herself connected with another of her kind; Zev. She is immediately determined to rescue him from where he is imprisoned, Chimera Biomedical. While trying to achieve his rescue, Kali begins to discover things about Bethany’s parents, who work at Chimera, as well as the mystical woman in heels…

Along the way, Kali also discovers the truth about who – or what – she really is. Her father brings light to some of the questions she’s had for years, and she finally discovers her mother – or mothers.

When the kids reach their final destination – the secret Chimera facility where Zev is being held – they are truly tested. Kali doesn’t want to drag her friends into it, but they want to help her. Skylar claims to know that her decision to come is the right one, thanks to her psychic gift. Things get incredibly interesting at this point…

I was not expecting what happened to Kali to happen. Even afterwards, I was waiting for something to come along and fix it, but that never happened. The letter toward the end is such a great touch, I really liked it. And it ends on an amazing cliffhanger!

Kali’s a great character. She doesn’t know her mother (yet) and up until now, thought her dad couldn’t stand to look at her. But she begins to understand his actions, as well as the true meaning of friendship. (Cheesy, I know. Sorry.)

As for Skylar… I loved her so much! She had such an awesome personality. And Bethany was a well-developed character too, who Kali gets to know slowly throughout the novel.

Every Other Day brought on so many emotions. It was thrilling, exciting, and surprisingly sad. I wasn’t sure about Kali as a character at first, but she really did grow on me. This didn’t have the typical romance story in it that many YA books do, which I appreciate. I actually think this managed to work its way up to 5 stars, and into my favourites.

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Book Review: The Bunker Diary

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks - Paperback, 268 pages - Published March 7th 2013 by Penguin

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks – Paperback, 268 pages – Published March 7th 2013 by Penguin

The whole idea of this book really intrigued me. A 16-year-old boy, Linus, is kidnapped off the street and stuck in what appears to be an underground bunker. The book is written as his diary, like the title suggests. There are a few diagrams to help the reader visualise the scene, and it’s full of Linus’s thoughts and ideas as well as the events that take place.

The ending was so unexpected, and I absolutely adored it. It wasn’t a typical happy ending. It wasn’t even a resolved ending. Everything sort of just fades out, and it ends mid-sentence followed by numerous empty pages. I suppose this is what makes it more realistic, and more like someone’s diary.

Linus is followed by five other people in the bunker; little Jenny, Anja, Fred, Bird and Russell. Tensions are high, and they’re faced with numerous horrific problems. They can’t find a way to escape, and although things are bearable at first, The Man Upstairs soon stops sending down food supplies or providing heating or energy. Everyone is struggling to survive, to keep up hope. But there doesn’t seem to be a way out, a way to contact the outside world.

Eventually, things start to really go downhill. People start to lose their lives in numerous horrendous ways, and there’s only so long a group of people can survive for without food, water, heat, or electricity. The pain seems endless.

This is such an exciting book, where you never know what’s coming next. It was even rather emotional, and extremely hard to contemplate being in such horrible circumstances. I really enjoyed The Bunker Diary and all the plots it includes. An easy 4 stars for this.

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