Thursday, 21 July 2016

Review: Little Heaven by Nick Cutter



Little Heaven: A Novel - Nick Cutter

Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

My Rating:


I received a free copy of Little Heaven from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I'm really not feeling this book at all, it's readable and I could finish it but I don't know if I want to. I'm 27% in and it's taken me a week to get that far. It's just so slow and drawn out.

There is a LOT of backstory given to the characters. Around 20%, perhaps more, of the book so far feels like it's been backstory. So you can imagine how little has actually happened of the present day storyline by 27%. Not much. Despite so much back story I still find myself not caring what happens to the characters. Is there danger ahead? Are they going to get hurt? Die? I'm honestly not compelled to pick the book up and read on to find out.

I also feel like there is a lot of useless information and filler in the book. I don't need to know every radio station or radio programme they are listening to. I don't need to know the words to the radio jingle that's airing in the car. I don't need to know so much detail about the plot of the movie a character is thinking about. I don't need to know all the product names of every item they buy.  I just want to get to the good stuff, to the adrenaline fuelled action, and not feel the need to skim all the useless information that's not adding anything to the story.

The whole time I am reading this I find myself thinking about the other books I have to read instead. I think it's time to admit defeat and move on.





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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Review: Eight Rivers of Shadow by Leo Hunt



Eight Rivers of Shadow - Leo R. Hunt

Eight Rivers of Shadow by Leo Hunt

My Rating:


I received a free copy of Eight Rivers of Shadow from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I was keen to read the next in the series after having enjoyed 13 Days Of Midnight, it wasn't a bad read but it wasn't as enjoyable as the first.

I feel that the characterisation was lacking in this second instalment. The choices that the characters made and their interactions didn't work for me. The story relies almost solely on the characters of Luke, Elza and Ash and they didn't come across as strong enough to drive the story in my opinion. I found myself questioning their decisions and more irritated by them than anything else.

The world building is what made the book more enjoyable. The visuals of the underworld and the descriptions of the scenes were a pleasure to read. I missed the humour though. A large part of what made the previous book fun was the Host, they brought a lot of humour and fun to the story and that was missing here.

All in All it was a decent read but it was lacking in comparison to the previous book in the series.




Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Friday, 15 July 2016

Review: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt



Hex - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

My Rating:


I received a free copy of Hex from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The concept of Hex really appealed to me but I found the book to be rather disappointing. I was expecting it to be a lot scarier and creepier than it was. Don't get me wrong, it had it's creepy moments but over all there was something lacking.

The main characters were well written and the pacing was consistent and held my attention. The writing style created a nice dark atmosphere, especially the forest scenes which were extremely visual and atmospheric. For a huge chunk of the book I was thoroughly enjoying it but as it got closer to the conclusion I found myself drawn out of the story and questioning the characters actions.

I'm still not exactly clear on the circumstances surrounding the witch herself. I feel like there wasn't enough background given, no in depth scene for me to look back on that would explain why she kept retracing the steps that she was taking. I know what happened to her but I couldn't visualise it or relate to her experience in any way and link it to her current actions. There was no narrative or inner thoughts or experiences from her perspective and this created a feeling of disconnect.

For the most part I did enjoy the book but in my opinion it went a bit off the rails at the end. There was the potential there for it to be brilliant, and at times it was, but the conclusion was disappointing after such a suspenseful read.




Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Review: The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull



The Hawkweed Prophecy - Irena Brignull

The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull

My Rating:


I received a free copy of The Hawkweed Prophecy from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I find myself conflicted on whether to rate The Hawkweed Prophecy with 3 stars or with 4.

The writing style was good, the storyline and pacing consistent and the characters appealing but the introduction of Leo is where I felt the book went awry.

Bringing the character Leo into the mix really wasn't necessary, I don't feel that he added anything positive to the story. The relationship between Poppy and Ember was unique enough to work on it's own and in my opinion their storyline suffered at the expense of Leo's character. I found the connection between the two girls to be lacking and would have much preferred that the time spent introducing Leo to the story was instead invested in expanding and exploring the growing relationship between Poppy and Ember and creating a more in depth and emotional bond between their characters. My enjoyment of the book would have improved significantly had this been the case.

Aside from the above, the plot was interesting and the writing style was enjoyable and a pleasure to read. The whole coven and witchcraft aspect was done well and was in large what stood out the most for me.




Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Review: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

The Bone Sparrow - Zana Fraillon

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

My Rating:

I received a free copy of The Bone Sparrow from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The plight of the characters in The Bone Sparrow is one that we all should be aware of as it's currently happening in refugee camps right now. It's a shocking, heartbreaking and sad story, made all the more frightening because it's a reality for far too many people.

The Bone Sparrow draws you into the lives of two young characters and their families, one living outside the fence of the refugee camp and one inside, who find each other and strike up a friendship. As the story progresses the violent and inhumane treatment of refugees is at the forefront and it's disturbing reading. But, as disturbing as the storyline is, it's also beautiful. The friendship between the two characters offers hope and an escape from reality for them both.

As the author points out in the afterword, this is really happening. These poor people are suffering and being treated worse than animals. It's not right. We need to step up. More needs to be done to help these poor souls.

There but for the grace of God, go I.




Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood



All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel - Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

My Rating:


I received a free copy of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel from the publisher in return for an honest review.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was an uncomfortable read. I want to say it was uncomfortable in a good way but because of the controversial story line it feels wrong to even say that. It's also a very hard book to write a review for without ruining a lot of the storyline for those who haven't yet read it.

The story brought out all sorts of conflicting emotions and at times I found myself thinking that it was wrong of me to be getting so much enjoyment from it. The relationship between Wavy and Kellen is sad, compelling and disturbing. If you were to stumble upon this happening in real life you would be outraged. It's wrong on so many levels. But, experiencing their story, seeing their relationship through their eyes, you begin to view it differently. All of sudden it doesn't feel so outrageous and then you realise that you feel this way and have a WTF moment and find yourself feeling disgusted and uncomfortable with where your thoughts and feelings have taken you.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a book that not everyone is going to be comfortable reading. It's a book that had me questioning myself, my feelings and my emotions. On finishing it I wasn't sure how I felt. I enjoyed it but at the same time my mind was all over the place trying to analyse what I was feeling and why it left me feeling so conflicted. It's controversial, it's uncomfortable, it's shocking, it's raw and it's a very powerful and emotional read that will take you out of your comfort zone but it's because of this that I enjoyed it so much. Not many books can create this kind of reaction.

Highly recommended!



Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan



Dear Amy - Helen Callaghan

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

My Rating:


I received a free copy of Dear Amy from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I found Dear Amy to be lacking in many ways. While the concept really appealed to me it failed to hold my attention. I kept finding myself drawn out of the story as certain reactions and situations just seemed too far fetched and implausible and I was unable to suspend belief enough to enjoy the book completely.

There wasn't the mystery, suspense or thrills I would have expected, if anything I found the twists to be rather predictable and I knew pretty much right away where the story was going from the get go.

Everything revolves around Margot, which is understandable she's the main character, but other characters suffered because of this. A girl is missing but  it feels like everything is Margot this and Margot that. All the events surrounding Margot felt superficial compared to the plight of the young girl being held against her will. There was a huge missed opportunity to really ramp up the tension, more focus was needed on the missing girl to really push the fear of her situation to the reader. It felt like she was forgotten for most of the book.

Despite the fact that I found it to be lacking I did enjoy the writing style and it was an OK read but not one I would recommend. It started out well but it failed to reach my expectations.



Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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