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A Dying Fall: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 5
A Dying Fall: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 5
by Elly Griffiths
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant on its own and with the series, 21 Feb. 2014
I am a huge fan of Elly Griffiths and this book does not disappoint at all. All the familiar characters are back such as Ruth, Cathbad and Nelson. This book also characteristically introduces new characters in an easy fashion. The story follows the main characters as they investigate the murder of a childhood friend of Ruth's.

I love the mystery and intrigue that this author serves up with a little splatter of history. I have to say the history is not so evident in this novel and for me personally this was a little disappointing. The story is normally fast paced and pulls the reader along. I love the development of Cathbad in this book and we get to spend a lot more time with him. I have to say he is one of my favourite characters.

This is a brilliant edition to the series as well as being a welcome standalone for anyone who has not read the previous books. Well worth picking up thoroughly enjoyable.

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Book 2)
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Book 2)
Price: £6.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first, 5 Feb. 2014
Having read the first in this trilogy I can't say I couldn't wait to read the next but I certainly wanted to read it at some point. I am not disappointed now I have finished it. The book starts exactly where the first finished and I have always been a fan of this in series. It deals with the characters progression through the war that started being waged in the previous book. At times the content of this book is both violent and dark.

There are aspects of this book that deals with war and the cruel games that both sides play very well. I have to admit there are times when Todd just appears too naive and this started to annoy me until I realised this was integral to the story. For those of you who read the first novel the book is easier to read than that as there is less "noise' in the print. The book swaps between the two main characters of Todd and Viola continuously and more frequently as the story reaches its conclusion. At times this was confusing even though the two voices have been written in different type. Towards the end though this constant changing of character helps the story progress at a fast paced and I actually started to enjoy this unusual way of writing.

Overall I have to say that, I liked this book a lot more than the first and I will be grabbing the last one in the trilogy much sooner than I reached for this one.

Favourite Quote: "Sometimes the rumour of an army is just as effective as the army itself"

Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2)
Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2)
Price: £3.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Right where the first left off, 3 Feb. 2014
The second in the trilogy Insurgent picks up exactly where Divergent leaves us. Unlike Divergent that got 4 stars I gave Insurgent 5 stars as it was a better read. There is not as much action in this story although this does not leave it lacking in anyway. The story is more rounded and the characters developed further. One thing I did notice was at no time did Veronica Roth introduce the characters we had met in Divergent which reduces the chance of this book being a stand alone read, it really has to be read as part of the trilogy.

The story constantly twists and turns and you change your opinion on people as your read through. You end up second guessing yourself constantly about who is on what side, good or bad. Even as the book finishes I am unsure of who I can really trust and who I can't as we go into the third novel. This novel does have some religious connections but unlike other reviewers I do not feel that this spoils the story at all. To be honest you have to look for these references to find them.

I have to say as the story leads to a conclusion I was wondering what the big twist would be and I was not disappointed. I have to be honest I found the ending a little rushed and had I not read this book when the third had been released I think I would have been frustrated having to wait for the story to continue. This however, is not enough to put me off the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and am now restraining myself to read something else before reading the third.

"Like a wild animal, the truth is too powerful to remain caged" Quote from the first page of Insurgent.

Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing New World, 23 Jan. 2014
This was a gripping novel that I read in just over a day. As a novel that is for young adults the writing is easy and flows well. This means you can accelerate through the book at speed.

The characters are well written and the constant twists and turns allows you to constantly second guess who is on what side. The characters personalities change constantly. Just when you think you know who you can trust with the story everything changes and you have to reevaluate your views. There is also some romance written into the novel which again is enough to keep you interested but not so much it has you reaching for the bucket.

I like the underlying messages that the author tries to put over with this book. The idea of leaving your family for another faction really hit a nerve with me as it reminded me of the foster care system. Young people being removed from their family removed to another area and having to adapt to a new family / faction.

If I have one criticism of this book I would like to have explored what caused the idea of factions to occur. I am hoping as the novels progress with find out more about the history of this world. Having loved this novel however, I felt I could only give it 4 stars as it did not really rock my world as much as other books in this genre such as The Hunger Games.

A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Novel, 23 Jan. 2014
Having read The Kite Runner I was eager to read more by this author and I was not disappointed. The novel centres around two females living in war torn Arghanistan. This book is harrowing in places and deals with violence and the general treatment of women in this country. This is also a good historical read and deals with the subject of what happened behind the constant war and unrest in the country.

Both female characters are well written and you find yourself relating to both in different ways. The first character Miriam appears strong at the beginning of the novel. However, as this progresses with the constant abuse she receives her character changes which can only be expected. I have to say at the end I feel she goes back to being the strong character she started out as. The second character in the book Laila is in complete contrast to Miriam and helps the novel progress at an exciting speed.

As well as the historical nature of this book there are also the thriller style twist, turns and completely unexpected events. I also liked the description of how the women felt when wearing a Burka which gives your plenty to think about.

I find it hard to say I enjoyed this book with the lifestyle that it describes but what I will say is it is a very good read and I will be reading more by this author soon.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing, 9 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Book Thief (Kindle Edition)
My definition of a five star book is one that changes my life. One that I can't forget and lives with me for ever. The Book Thief is the total definition of a 5 star book. It is simply a work of literacy genius. The story is centred round world war 2 from a German perspective. Oh no not another war book I hear you cry but this is just so much more. The characters are so well written I fell in love with them all. Some of them not initially but as the book progresses you find that some of the characters you dislike you have seen another side of. The author shows fully rounded characters the good, the bad and the emotional struggles they go through.

The emotional connection you make with these characters is what makes this book such an amazing read. Towards the end you have committed so much to the characters the impact of the last pages is increased. The story is not particularly fast paced but there is no part where it drags and you wish it would move on. Each chapter is broken up with shorter passages and this again increases the readers pleasure.

There are simply not enough words to describe how much I liked this book. I am only sorry I finished so quick, but it will live with me for ever.

The Gate: A New Breed of Orc
The Gate: A New Breed of Orc

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy and Fighting, 6 Jan. 2014
This is generally a fantasy book based on a war between humans and orcs. I could not get the vision of the Orc's looking like those in Lord of the Rings but this is probably because this is a favourite read of mine. There are other similarities between the two book in the way that the author describes the battle scenes between the two species.

There are moments of genius in this book. At the end of Chapter one I found myself having to read the last paragraph again the action and violence took me so much by surprise. A good book is one of those that you can't quite believe what you have read. I did however find some of the battle scenes hard to visualise throughout the reading and found myself losing focus during some of the more descriptive passages.

I have to say that I greatly admire fantasy writers as they not only have to create a story and characters, but also a whole world for these to exist in. This author has accomplished this well. The story is fast paced and in places can change between characters too fast. You never get a feeling of getting to know one part of the story before you have moved onto the next.

In summary I found the battle scenes hard to keep up with, however, this is not my normal type of book and may be why I struggled. I would greatly liked to have seen more character development and a real chance to get to know the characters and their flaws. The ending of the book is excellent and clearly leads you into the next book. I am hoping this next in the series will allow us more time to bond with the characters.

Not my type of book but well written.

No Holding Back: My Story
No Holding Back: My Story
by Amanda Holden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Utterly Amazing, 5 Jan. 2014
I think it is important to start this review by saying I would consider myself an Amanda Holden fan. She has long been someone I had on my list of people I would like a beer with. After reading this I think I may have to change that to a glass of wine rather than beer.

This book is extremely well written and flows in an easy way. Unlike some autobiographies I have read this is written in a way that you can imagine the actress speaking to you herself. The book is brutally honest in places and she shares events with her readers that she is both proud and ashamed off. This rounded approach to telling her story makes the book even more authentic and good reading. Although there are parts of this book that hit the media this was clearly not written to gain publicity. Amanda Holden is very careful in places to hide the identity of some of the characters mentioned. At places she uses initials and in other places she does not mention names. This is refreshing as other autobiographies have been written as a way for celebrities to beat people with.

The most heartwarming part of this book is towards the end where Amanda Holden talks about her pregnancies and the struggles she has had in order to gain her two beautiful daughters. This part is well written and will be an inspiration to anyone who is going through similar in their life. I also enjoyed the gossip about Britain's Got Talent which remains the only talent show I watch. Largely this is due to the mix of judges and it is reassuring to know that they actually get on as well as comes across on TV.

Of all the autobiographies I have read this is one of my favourites and well worth a read I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the author. I am only sorry that I have finished it.

No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you thinking about it, 21 Oct. 2013
When I finished reading this book at 120 in the morning I lay there for half hour thinking about the book. What had occurred and the twists and turns. If this is not a sign of a good book I don't know what is.

The book has all the normal twists and turns which makes Coben such an amazing author. The twists continue throughout the book with no rest and this is what keeps you engaged as a reader. There are links throughout the book to previous novels, which I believe is the authors way of rewarding the loyal fans. I like these little quirks which means that new readers can still enjoy the books but the old faithful fans get little rewards looking for the connections. It makes me want to go back and read the earlier books to see what I have missed in them.

The fast moving pace, the twists and turns and the constant action has meant that Harlan Coben is fast becoming a favourite of mine. If you haven't read any of his offerings I urge you to have a look you will not be disappointed. Another excellent read.

Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy)
Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy)

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Believe it's Over, 29 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is will a slight twinge of sadness that I write this review, because it is over. The trilogy that I have loved and the girl on fire who I have followed is finished. This last book does not disappoint. The questions are answered and the characters are concluded.

This is a book which has been written to show how pointless war is and how all sides play the other. Who is the energy and who the hero? It is hard to tell at the end of the book This is written in a way that leaves you questioning not just war in this fantasy land of Panem but also war in any land.

Throughout the book this shows the manipulation that all sides use to win a war. A naive young girl is fully transported to see the world clearly, well at least her version of the world. The beauty of character such as Katness Evergreen is not just that she is flawed, but that she also see's her own imperfections and deals with them herself throughout the book.

Nothing I write here will do this book justice. It is one that simply has to be experienced by the reader themselves. It is with a sense of regret I have to move onto my next read. I know that for sometime, nothing will measure up to the pure wonder that was The Hunger Games Trilogy.

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