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Kirsty "book fan" (Wales)
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The Light Behind The Window
The Light Behind The Window
by Lucinda Riley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly written, 1 Aug 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another beautiful book from Lucinda Riley.

This book follows a female spy from Yorkshire who travels to France in WW2, and a french heiress in the 1990's who is discovering her family's past. The duality timeline is effectively written, and seamlessly weaves a thrilling and emotional story throughout the whole book. The tension that was created during the scenes with the Germans was very palpable, and I found myself holding my breath during some pages!

As the book is based in different decades there are quite a few characters involved in the story. As always the author makes all of the characters believable and interesting, and I really did feel for them during their personal hardships. There any many difficult, and complex relationships explored during the book, which makes this such an emotional read.

This is definitely a book I will read again, and is easily on par with her previous books. Also a great book for fans of Kate Morton, Diane Setterfield and Rachel Hore. Enjoy!


Dirt
Dirt
by David Vann
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DIRT, 24 July 2012
This review is from: Dirt (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Here was my spectrum of thoughts as I read this book; Interesting... strange... bizarre... freaked out... disturbed!

This has to be one of the weirdest books I have read. It just did not seem to have any point other that to showcase a nomination for the worlds most dysfunctional family.

None of the characters are likable and most have very serious flaws. You have bullying, physical violence, emotional abuse, unhealthy reliance between a mother and son, an incestuous sexual relationship, and good old murder! There is so much wrong in this family it's unbelievable!

I also didn't really understand the main character of Galen at all, at twenty two years old he is more than old enough to stand on his own to feet and leave this crazy family behind. Yet he continues to stay and contributes to the events that spiral out of control, which culminates into the awful final event.

I also struggled with the concept of becoming one with the dirt and the earth?? I can understand wanting to commune with nature, and wanting to find an inner peace, but there is only so much you can say about mud before it becomes boring. It felt like the author was trying to make the dirt way more metaphorical and interesting than it actually was.

Overall a pointless book in my opinion. I'm not sure what the author was so powerfully trying to convey with Dirt, maybe there was so much mud I couldn't see past it to the deeper meaning!


Flowertown
Flowertown
by S.G. Redling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.45

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a badly written book... just not one for me., 24 July 2012
This review is from: Flowertown (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Flowertown is a government conspiracy, thriller type book. To be honest it wasn't my cup of tea, and I can't say that I really liked it.

To be fair the author has done a good job of creating the town, and back story of the chemical poisoning was very believable.

There is nothing really wrong with the book, except it was just not to my taste and I didn't enjoy it. The more the book tried to be indepth, and tried to create a confusing conspiracy, the more I found I was losing interest, and skimming the chapters in order to get to the end of the book quickly.

I didn't really like any of the characters in the book either, although I could understand why the main character acts out as she does. There was also a bit too much recreational drug use, and drug references for my liking.

I'm sure this book will appeal to many readers, but reading this only confirmed to me that this was not a favourite genre of mine, and I can't say I would ever read it again.


The Colour of Milk
The Colour of Milk
by Nell Leyshon
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sad story, but a little awkward to read.., 7 July 2012
This review is from: The Colour of Milk (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an interesting and sad short story. The book is the diary of Mary, a farm girl in 1830 and follows a turbulent year of her life.

I could appreciate the feistiness and courage of Mary. She is a girl born in the wrong century, she very much desires an education and works hard to get one. She stands up for herself and speaks her mind, very brave considering this was a time where men ruled the roost, and women had no rights at all. This becomes all to apparent towards the sad end of the book.

Although I enjoyed the book, I did find it difficult to read at first. The author has written it in a very literal sense. Mary has only just learned to read and write, so struggles with punctuation, capital letters and flow etc. A typical example is:

"and here was a house made of glass what had things growing in it.
and i sat on the grass. and it was not cold.
and the birds were settling in the trees.
and i was tired for i had not slept the night before when i was home."

Now this style is drastically different from the types of book I usually read, and does take some getting used to. I can see that the author was trying to make the writing as authentic as possible, but I did struggle with it at some points. Sometimes I felt like I was reading a children's book.

If you persevere with it, you do get used to the flow of the writing, and I happily read it until the end.

Overall, an interesting and tragic tale. I doubt I would pick it up again, but I am pleased that I read it this once.


The Guilty One
The Guilty One
by Lisa Ballantyne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good, 7 July 2012
This review is from: The Guilty One (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A very compelling book that details a child's murder trial, and the past of the solicitor representing the accused child.

This was a very emotionally wrought book, and had me hooked right from the start. The book has a good pace, and changes back and forth from the current murder trial, to Daniel's childhood, and shows why he became a solicitor specialising in defending adolescents.

Although the murder case was well written, I actually found Daniels past chapters to be the more interesting. The traumas that he suffered were written very emotively, and really made an impression on me. His quest to find a happy home and to be loved, just outshone the cold stares and awkwardness of Sebastian and his trial.

The characters were extremely well written, and their actions completely believable, but the one person that really stood out for me was Minnie. She was a testament to the human spirit showing that no matter how many tragedies we have to endure, we are still capable of great love and selflessness.

This really was a gripping book that I would recommend. Some scenes were difficult to read and very emotional, but you will be glad you have read it.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2012 4:05 PM BST


Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim 1)
Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim 1)
by Richard Kadrey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed!!, 7 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An excellent start to a new supernatural series.

Stark is not your run of the mill hero, and he is certainly no prince charming. He has been relegated to Hell for the last eleven years to battle various hellish fiends, and is now back on earth to settle some scores. I really liked Stark, he was a tough guy, but underneath is quite vulnerable and has suffered through some terrible things. It was good to see a new male protagonist, as so many supernatural books are from a female point of view, and can be heavy on the romance.

The author has very cleverly used the age old tale of Heaven versus Hell, and woven it into a unique fantasy world with a kick ass hero, guns, magic and a lot of sarcasm. It works very well, kept me interested to the end, and looking forward to the next book of the series.

There is plenty of action in the book, and it starts right from the first chapter. The is also a varied cast of interesting characters. You have everything from angels, fallen angels, vampires, magicians, various hellish fiends and even an appearance from Lucifer himself. Brilliant!

I really enjoyed this book. The author has a great imagination and the scenes based in Hell were excellent, exactly the type of supernatural / fantasy book that I love. Fans of Jim Butcher, and Simon R. Green will find this series just up their street.


Tales of the Gypsy Dressmaker
Tales of the Gypsy Dressmaker
by Thelma Madine
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The tales Thelma can tell!, 2 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed watching the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series, it was a fun if not always politically correct programme. Fans of the show will certainly enjoy reading Thelma's journey to becoming a successful business women.

The book details the full career of Thelma, from her humble beginnings at a local market, to becoming the go-to-girl for over the top fairytale wedding dresses. There is a good balance of lighthearted anecdotes, and the emotional trials that Thelma has gone through to be where she is today.

Even if you're not a fan of the show, you could not help but respect and admire the dedication Thelma has shown to become a success in her field of work. Her story is certainly one of rags-to-riches, but by no means a fairy tale all the way through. She has overcome some very tough obstacles and worked very hard to get where she is today.

Although I enjoyed her book, I did find that one point kept irking me slightly. As in the series, she continually points out that Gypsy girls are less promiscuous, and much more innocent that "settled" girls. Now I realise that Gypsy's are her business, and she would never want to bad mouth them. But it did irritate me that there is sweeping generalisation that all "settled" girls are here, there and everywhere with any boy they can find. While Gypsy girls behave themselves more.

I would have also liked a few more photos included in the book. The descriptions of the dresses are so tactile, that you really want to see as many pictures as possible. It would have also been nice to include some of Thelma's design sketches, so we could see the transition of the dresses from beginning to end.

Overall it was a very enjoyable book. Full of tales that will make you laugh and gasp with disbelief, very entertaining.


Pledge, The
Pledge, The
by Kimberly Derting
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Not really one for me, 22 Jun 2012
This review is from: Pledge, The (Paperback)
A little to slow for me. It was more of a "time killer" while I was on the bus, rather than a book I picked up eagerly everyday.

The language laws and caste systems was an interesting idea, but it just took to long to get going to hold my interest.

Not a book I would read again, or actively seek out the sequels either.


Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter 21)
Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter 21)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It may also appeal to fans of the early books in the series, 18 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've always been a fan of this series and this book was no exception.

This book is divided into two sections that reflect the split in how the series has progressed, and was written. The first half of the book is very much centred on Anita's police work as we head straight into a new case. This was reminiscent of the first 10 books of the series, where the plots revolved more on Anita's animating and Marshall work, I enjoyed reading about Anita in the field again as an interesting case such as this, has been missing for a few books now. The second half of the book reverted back to her various lovers and relationships, and was much more like books 11 onwards. Plenty of the sex we have come to expect.

It's well known that many of LKH's fans stopped liking the series at around book 11 due to the change in style of writing and direction. This is the first book in the second half of the series that may appeal to those 'original' fans, as it reverts back to some good all fashioned police and hunting work. Although there are quite a few sex scenes later on they don't dominate the book, and let's be honest it wouldn't be a LKH book without a steamy sex scene or two!

LKH has clearly started to resolve some of Anita's lingering issues, and this book did feel like the beginning of the end. It felt like there may not be too many more books before the series is completed. Anita is no longer controlled by the ardeur, she is feeling less guilty about the amount of men she has in her life, seems to be coming to peace with the idea that she is not able to love them all equally, or in the same way. She is also coping with her anger better and is picking her battles rather than letting her temper control her. It really felt like she had grown a lot emotionally in this book.

I also really enjoyed the section on Asher. His relationship with Anita and Jean Claude has been one of the most difficult and painful throughout the series, and I felt that the steps Jean Claude took to resolve this issue were necessary if a little sad. Asher is prime example to show that if you cannot love yourself, it makes it very hard for anyone else to love you too.

Overall another Anita Blake book that I loved! It won't be to everyone's taste, but LKH has definitely taken a step in the right direction to bring her older fans back into the fold.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2012 11:01 PM BST


Tell Me No Secrets
Tell Me No Secrets
by Julie Corbin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts you through the wringer!, 13 Jun 2012
This review is from: Tell Me No Secrets (Paperback)
A very good book, especially considering this is the author's debut novel. It's not the type book that you really enjoy, as it is very heavy and emotionally wrought. I actually felt quite depressed every time I picked it up, but this was only because the author was extremely clever at setting you on edge, and weaving an atmosphere of anticipation and dread.

It was a very interesting plot, with a variety of flawed characters that were all interwoven to a create a good thriller that kept me reading well into the night.


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