Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Strange the dreamer – Laini Taylor

36187690| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: THE DREAM CHOOSES THE DREAMER

Since he was five years old, Lazlo Strange has been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to go in search of it. Then a stunning opporunity presents itself – in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legandary warriors – and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

 

Untitled

My thoughts: I’m finally DONE! Thought I never see the day. It is so slow and what the heck is I missing? Did I even read the right book because quite frankly, I can’t see what’s all the raving about. It is so dark. Incredibly dark and slow and with a terrible ending. Not a series I wish to continue to say it frankly.

I got through it and I did like parts of it to be honest. Other not so much. And I had such issues getting into it. I got to around 150 pages and had to put it down for several weeks before I could start it again. And only because I’m waiting on the January book club book that should be here any day now and I’m trying not to start anything new.

The world of Lazlo and Weep is certainly one heck of a good writing. I give you that. The environment and descriptions of both characters and history is wonderfully done and I really liked the character Lazlo. I can see the charm and maybe understand why others like this so much. For me personally it just never hit home. I’m not much for those heavily angst-ridden, young adults, fantasy themed books that are so popular nowadays. I need some velocity to get hooked in that kind of themed book. Like the ACOTAR series for an example. That had everything I wanted, needed and sought for. This one? Not so much.

Fantasy/Paranormal

Santa Claus: The King of the Elves – B.C. Chase

36021329.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Meet Santa Claus, the epic hero. From internationally bestselling author B.C.CHASE comes an imaginatively fantastical take on the man in red featuring a brilliant host of classic and original fantasy creatures including dwarves, dragons, goblins, and of course elves. This not-to-be-missed allegorical tale of courage, determination, and selfless love has been critically acclaimed as an instant classic destined to be passed down for generations to come. Also available as an abridged children’s edition.

 

Untitled

My thoughts: What a bad book. I’m so sorry Chase but this was not good in my opinion. The writing is terrible and it is really hard to read. Keep in mind that I read books with more than 1000 pages as if it was a magazine and English is not even my first language. I should not have this kind of problems. I’m not the only one who had troubles either. This was elected to be the December book in our book club. All of us (sure we are not that many) had trouble. I’m not even sure the others even finished it because they as me, struggled so much. But since it was a book club book and I also run this review blog, I wanted to finish it. I so wanted to like it and gave it a chance after chance. There was nothing fun about it and now I regret that I didn’t DNF it early on. Because god damn this was boring. And I payed 8 dollars for this.

The idea of an darker Santa story was intriguing and maybe it would have been a lot more fun to read if not for the writing. For me it felt like Chase tried to make it more than it was with a complicated way of writing. This is not Kafka, Chaucer, Mellville or Tolkien we are talking about. Books should not be hard. They should be enjoyable and fun to read. Don’t destroy it with a veil of sophisticated texts that clearly just isn’t you. I did not feel the author at all. There was no soul and for me, in my opinion, this one is just not worth the time.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

The Fireman – Joe Hill

29875363.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Untitled

My thoughts: This is the type of book you wished Goodreads had the ability to give half stars to. Because I do not feel the book is worth four stars, but it is not as bad as a three stars either when I think about it as a whole. However I do not feel this was a consistent read. After N0S4R2 (which I freaking LOVED) this was a major snoozefest and I’m sad to say that I was so bored some of the parts that I’m now amazed that I actually continued.

The beginning was so good. I loved the whole burning plague, dystopia where the earth is on the brink to unravel plot. It was well thought out, written, interesting, capturing and skillfully described. I loved the characters and the more day to day business you was a part of. Then around two, three hundred pages in, it started to fall. The characters was now even better but the day to day business certainly started to drag. And worse it got, the longer I read. There was some highlights in the middle of the book that did capture me, but mostly I was more or less waiting for stuff happening. I was bored out of my mind some times and this is a great example of the saying “Longer does not equal better” .

And the ending, how am I even going to be able to describe my thoughts and feelings about the ending. There is so much but at the same time so little happening that I can’t wrap my head around it. Not after all that I have already read. And it was by far not satisfying.

So to be honest, I loved some parts of it, others bored me. But I did love N0S4R2 so I know he will make it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

If looks could kill – Heather Graham

731806.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.

That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.

And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….

Untitled

My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.

It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.

Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.

It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Bird box – Josh Malerman

18498558.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Untitled

My thoughts: I had such a bad luck with this book. Me and a friend started a BookClub since we could not find one here where we live. The first book we choosed to read was Bird Box. It was supposed to be Novembers book. But I could not get hold of a copy in a bookstore. So I ordered one online and the order was cancelled due to empty stock. I ordered from another web store, same thing there. Note that by this time, two weeks had already passed. I tried to order it to a bookstore in town, but the system was down. In a last attempt I ordered a different format from the first place I ordered from. After a couple of days I received note that the book had been shipped. Hallelujah. I may still have time to read it since this was around 15 of November. However due to Christmas, it took longer than usual for the book to arrive. I actually started to think that it had gotten lost in shipping. But on the 3 of December it finally arrived. 18 days after I ordered it, a month after I ordered the first time. But I still had time to read it. Our club meeting is on Thursday 6 of December. It gave me three days. Would I make it?

Well I did And i’m so happy that I finally received the book. It was so much better than I had predicted. Malerman did a great job writing a book, solely relaying on sensory other than image description. Sound and feel descriptions, emotion and imagination build most of the book. It creates a really spooky feeling while reading. It reminds you how vulnerable we would be without our eyes and it certainly reminds you of all your childhood fears. Remember those? The terror you as a child felt for not what you could see, but what you could not see. The monster under the bed, the beast in the closet. The creatures outside your window, just waiting to eat all the small children, not laying in bed at night. It is an emotional read where even you as an adult do feel discomfort to some degree. And I loved it.

Unfortunately I did have some problem with the writing. Malerman keep referring them by names ALL THE TIME. I’m not kidding that Malories name was mentioned on the same page at least fifteen times. If he had used words like “her”, “she”, “him”, “that”, “it” and so on, would have eased up the flow of the text considerably. After fifty pages you don’t think about it anymore, but it bugged the hell out of me in the beginning and when a book only is 250 pages, you do not want to be bugged one quarter of it. And I have thoughts about the end. I will however not discuss it here due to spoilers. But either way, the book is certainly worth reading and I’m happy that I finally got to.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of frost and starlight – Sarah J. Maas

31076583| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Untitled

My thoughts: Can you love a couple of characters as much as I love Feyre and Rhysand? O my god how wonderful they are. This is the book about just after the war. Wounds need to heal and order need to be restored. It is powerful, wonderful, happy yet so sad that it breaks your heart. And it gives you a sneak peek on what will come in the future. Because yes, there will be more books in the Court of Thorns and Roses series and o my, I can hardly wait.

It is as good as you would expect. The writing is still the same and Maas is still the queen. I wouldn’t say that the book is especially exciting or anything like that. Not really that much happen, but it is a closure for the old and a beginning for something new. Perfect little middle book while you are waiting for the next one. Oh I hope it comes soon.

This is so far the best series I have read this year. Yes it is that good. All of the books. Two received five star and two received four star. Wish to read more? Her you have my other review.

A court of thorns and roses
A court of mist and fury
A court of wings and ruin

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction

Royal Assassin – Robin Hobb

22016387.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Untitled

My thoughts: Oh my! Fitz does really feel sorry for himself. That was probably my biggest problem with the book. Yes it is easy to forget how young Fitz is supposed to be and yet it was so annoying that I didn’t even want to read on. It makes me so conflicted. I loved the beginning and the end but all that stuff in the middle is just mud. Nothing major or big really happens and it is such a character driven story that 50 pages can have been read but nothing substantially had happen. However that is what in the end make it so great so overall I do like the book.

I did struggle more with this one than I did with the first. A lot because of the writing. This is high/epic fantasy for adults and it is such a slow burn that when you read page after page without any action and no breaks between the sections, it is hard on the head. Well at least for me. Hobb certainly has an unique way of writing. Hard but still great writing that gets you involved regardless of the challenges it contains. It is powerful, deeply imaginative and beautifully constructed. A real work of art. You get emotional invested and when all that stuff is happening and Fitz stands in the middle of it you can’t stop thinking about the book.

It certainly is a great story with a highly imaginative and deeply written plot where characters became friends and enemies. It ended unexpectedly and I do believe that the third book will be a great ride in this roller coaster called Fitz Life.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel – A.W Jantha

36244389.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don’t quite go as planned, it’s a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches’ latest death-defying scheme.

Untitled

My thoughts: I really did not enjoy this book. Hocus Pocus is such a cult movie, a movie I watch every October, every year since I was a child. I never miss it and I loved the idea of a continuing. Bought it last summer but saved it just so I could read it in October. Such a mistake.

While the novelization of the movie is pretty good, the All-New Sequel should never have been written. I found the author was trying too hard to connect it with the first book with both details and happenings but nothing new. It is the same but different. Let’s take some small examples.

  • Instead of a cat, there is a dog.
  • The witches loses their brooms, again!
  • Again they use vacuum cleaners.Again it is the “rule the world” mentality.
  • Again it is circulating around one place. Just not the cemetery this time.
  • The humour (which I loved in the movie/book) are lame and forced. Not funny at all.
  • Instead of Zombies, there is ghost. But still the same thing.

I could keep going but I’m afraid we will go into spoilers so I will end here. The author tried too hard to include the 21- century in the story that it was just, overrated and not functional. And the worst part of it all is that the final act of the story just goes on and on and on. I actually fell asleep several times reading it. But I would not give up. It took me embarrassing long time to read it but I had to.

And to top it all, The book ends on a completely unnecessary cliffhanger. Come ON! That just makes me mad.

Final conclusion!
Oh Disney. I was so, so happy when I found out about the book. But it didn’t work for me. This was not what I wanted. It probably would have been better as a movie. One thing is for sure. The world of Hocus Pocus deserves so much more.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Miss Pregrine’s home for Peculiar children – Ransom Riggs

9460487| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Untitled

My thoughts: Before I saw the movie last year, I hadn’t heard about this book or series. I do not know which rock I have been living under to miss it but hey, I did and so it is with that. When I was back home I did find the three books in the same bookstore and since they had a great deal that day I ended up buying all three. I don’t like to buy complete series if I don’t have read the first book yet. But I did and I’m so happy that I didn’t dislike the first book. Because OH this was so fun. And I’m happy I didn’t remember much from the movie because it was almost like reading it without knowing much about it.

I liked most of it. I liked the strange but interesting plot and characters. I did however not like Emma and some of the things she does, says and thinks. No spoilers. I loved the photographs, history and story Riggs have written around them and I did find the whole “time traveling” quite interesting. However there was some details that didn’t make sense and if you thought about it you do wonder why they couldn’t do “this” or why the rules was like “that” and how it worked when it should not to. Maybe i’m thinking to much on the details instead of the big picture, but it did annoy me.

Not a big fan of cliffhangers either and yes this book did end on a light cliffhanger. Fortunately I do own the other two books in the series. 😛

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Färjan / Blood Cruise – Mats Strandberg

25445622| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: On the Baltic Sea, no one can hear you scream.

Tonight, twelve hundred expectant passengers have joined the booze-cruise between Sweden and Finland. The creaking old ship travels this same route, back and forth, every day of the year.

But this trip is going to be different.

In the middle of the night the ferry is suddenly cut off from the outside world. There is nowhere to escape. There is no way to contact the mainland. And no one knows who they can trust.

Welcome aboard the Baltic Charisma.

Untitled

My thoughts: Blood Cruise (god I hate that title) or Färjan (ferry) in Swedish is a horror story in Stephen King standard, taking place on a big boat that travels between Sweden and Finland. I did know that this was a horror before starting and I have read one book by Strandberg before this, but that was not a horror and I did not know what to expect this time. Well I did certainly not expect it to be as nasty, horrific, bloody and foul as it is. Wow it certainly made my stomach turn a couple of times and it is not a book to read while eating. Just saying.

When starting the book, I did not have high expectations and in the end I was actually was pleasantly surprised. Don’t know why that surprises me but there it is. We get to follow a lot of characters but Strandberg keeps it clear and easy. There is never any confusions even though the heavy load of information at times. The chapters are pleasantly short and you do get to know a group of characters deep enough to make connections.  But god damn you Mats are an evil person. And what you have created here is ingenious.

After the whole vampire hysteria that was several years ago, I’m not a big fan of vampires but this, this I can stand behind. It is dark and there is no lovey dovey or glitter in sight. It is true and realistic and shows all the good and bad sides of the modern human being. It even ends a little on the edge. Don’t know if I like it or not but it fit. If Strandberg writhes his horrors like this, I can certainly see myself reading more of his books.