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The Hunger Games Complete Trilogy (Hunger Games Trilogy)
The Hunger Games Complete Trilogy (Hunger Games Trilogy)
Price: 10.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 19 Mar 2014
I bought the books after seeing the first two films - I enjoyed The Hunger Games but after Catching Fire I couldn't wait (until 2015) to find out what happens. I thought it made sense to start again at the beginning but initially just bought the first book in case I didn't like the style of writing or if I thought the books were too young for me (being in my thirties, I'm not really in the tween literature target market!).

How wrong I was to doubt the millions of fans - right from the beginning Suzanne Collins drew me in with her simple but straight to the point writing. She has a knack of being descriptive enough to capture the look, feel or emotion of something but without giving us endless, tedious detail.

The story moves along at a fair pace but is always easy to follow. Being told in the first person from the main character, Katniss' point of view was unusual at first but it allowed the reader to get a feeling of being right there in the middle of the action and the author nailed the emotions that we would all probably feel at being faced with adversity and emotional turmoil.

I won't go into too much detail on the specifics of the plot because the outline is probably well known to most either from the book blurb, word of mouth or from watching the films.

What I will say is that I went out and bought the other two books in the trilogy straight away (in fact before I got to the end of The Hunger Games) because I just needed to keep reading. I read all three books within a week, pausing only for work or sleep, and it probably wouldn't be a lie to say they took over my life for that time - when I wasn't reading, I was thinking about the characters and their motives, going over in my head the scenarios the plot posed or wondering what I'd do or say faced with the same problems. I was completely taken in with the characters (Peeta and Katniss especially) and when I was reading the third book, Mockingjay, I purposely made myself read slowly or put the book down for a while because I really didn't want to come to the end (all the while desperately wanting to know how it ended!).

As a individual books, I preferred the first and second books (Catching Fire probably being my favourite) because I felt that Mockingjay wasn't as intimate due to it's bigger themes of war and rebellion. Much of books one and two revolve around only a select few characters and indeed mainly Katniss herself, which really helped with the feelings of immediacy (in the danger) and isolation she feels.

Mockingjay introduces a lot more characters and I felt it jumped around more, rather than having a direct narrative that led to the conclusion. I don't know if it was written after the decision to make the films had already been taken but I felt like some of the "scenes" were written with a visual impact in mind - indeed I think the film version will benefit from having other people's points of view, rather than just Katniss', because when you're looking at the larger themes of the book, it will be more effective. Also there are events that occur that we only find out about later in the book because Katniss is not there when they happen - if the film intersperses these scenes at the point of time they occur, then that will probably help with the flow of the narrative.

That said, I enjoyed all three books immensely and would agree with someone else's words that I felt "bereft" when I finally got to the end. It's been a few days since I've finished them and I'm still thinking about them (and have had to watch both films again!), so that in itself should be an indication of how effective and affective the novels are.

The Dying Hours (Tom Thorne Novels Book 11)
The Dying Hours (Tom Thorne Novels Book 11)
Price: 2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Thorne's back!, 3 Jun 2013
I'm a Tom Thorne fan, so any time he features in a novel it's one I rush out to buy. I've read all of Mark Billingham's Thorne series (and his non-Thorne ones for that matter) and some are brilliant, whilst others are just very enjoyable depending on the originality of the killer's motive or modus operandi (obviously you pick up the lingo reading crime novels LOL).

I would say The Dying Hours is probably more in the "very enjoyable" category, only because I thought the reasoning behind why the killer does what he does (not his motive, but they way in which he kills) wasn't really given much explanation. Also, the actual deaths were not written in much detail - this may sound like I just want the gory details but I always thought one of Billingham's strengths was when he writes the chapters in first person from the killer's point of view and I don't think those are that descriptive in this book.

All that said, I enjoyed the book a lot and whipped through it easily because quite simply Mark Billingham writes Thorne in such a way that you just feel like you're on the journey with him and you want to work out what's happening. Plus, unlike his tv incarnation (which was very poor in comparison - so if that's all you've seen, PLEASE read the books), Tom is such a interesting character with his bad taste in music, sardonic humour, complete disregard for authority and partiality for a good curry, that you can't help but love him. In addition, there's always a good array of supporting characters, who all have their own personality quirks and are never boring (unless they're Jesmond!).

So, if you're new to Billingham, don't read this - start at the beginning with Sleepyhead (one of the brilliant ones) and get to know the characters - but if you're already a fan, then you'll no doubt be keen to catch up with Thorne and won't be disappointed.

Rush of Blood
Rush of Blood
Price: 5.49

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A departure from usual style, 12 May 2013
This review is from: Rush of Blood (Kindle Edition)
As a Mark Billingham fan...even more so a Tom Thorne fan...I was interested to read another of his standalone novels (having previously enjoyed In the Dark).

From the cover blurb, it seemed like Rush of Blood would be a different type of book, not a detective story but still a mystery novel all the same.

And it was different - the writing style seemed different, still dark and gritty but lacking the sardonic humour, in the main. The characters were unsympathetic and unlikeable, which did heighten the mystery element as you could imagine that any one of them could perform an unspeakable act but also didn't give you someone to root for. Even the police were generally self serving.

I think there were hints into each of the characters' backstories but these weren't fully developed (I suppose to keep the reader guessing) and this made the book feel slightly unfinished.

I won't go into the story more, as I wouldn't want to spoil it but I would say that overall it was an easy read, which made me want to keep going to the end and was twisty enough for me not to guess the outcome.

I would recommend the book but feel that it doesn't compare to the Thorne novels (that character could've livened things up a little but I guess he would've worked things out too easily )


After a decent enough book, the ending is where things fell down and why I wouldn't recommend more highly - after a decent build up, the actual ending felt rushed and the killer's motive was rather unbelieveable and frankly a bit daft. There was a little cameo for Thorne fans, which revealed a little interesting detail which presumably will lead on to the next book.

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