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?

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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.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The Devil’s star – Jo Nesbø

25214258.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star – a pentagram, the devil’s star.

Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work.

A wave of similar murders is on the horizon. An emerging pattern suggests that Oslo has a serial killer on its hands, and the five-pointed devil’s star is key to solving the riddle.

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My thoughts: Another excellent, complex thriller from the Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. As I probably said before, I was not a big fan of his two first books about Harry Hole. I absolutely loved the third and the fourth was a little mediocre. Now this. This is the book I would refer to when talking about Jo finding his “sound”, his writing style. I found it meticulously and selective in its plot, yet exciting and full of suspense. The alcoholism story is a lot bigger than in the earlier books. A lot more raw, emotional and there is sometimes you wonder if Jo is writing from a personal experience. That is how vivid and sentimental I found it.

Harry Hole is an character I can’t decide if I love or hate. He’s a loner, he’s prickly, he drinks. He does not like authority, yet he is a cop. He’s a broken man who for some reason never gives up even though he certainly tries. He can’t keep a normal relationship with anyone, he has almost no friends and he is down in the deep, trying to drink his sorrows away that you can’t help but wonder, where is this going to end.

Besides all that, it is a good book. I do love a good serial-killer plot even though I did find it was more of a side plot to the story than the actual main story-line. In fact in the mist of it all, there is dark secrets finally surfacing to the light. Even though I did not find the end as satisfying as I would like, it is certainly the perfect end if the series would stop here. I do however know that there is 6 more books about Harry Hole and the great thing is that you do not know where Jo will take us. It is impossible to foresee and he is that unpredictable.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction

Royal Assassin – Robin Hobb

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 😛

Fiction/Science Fiction · Graphic Novels/Comics · Thriller/Horror

Uzumaki – Junji Ito

17837762| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people’s bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi’s father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper into a whirlpool from which there is no return!

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My thoughts: It was okay. Somewhat confusing and I do not know if it is due to my inexperience or what. But I often felt like I missed something. The settings kept switching so fast and I often thought that I had skipped pages. I also had some problem with getting used to reading it in reverse. But in entirety I did like it. It was horrific and the drawings was certainly disgusting. Didn’t cause any nightmares but still it was great. Would certainly recommend it to those who read more graphic novels, comics than I do.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · Thriller/Horror · War/Military

The woman left behind – Linda Howard

34747260| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of “Babe,” the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.

Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a “Babe,” especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion-leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.

Levi would never willingly leave a soldier behind, especially a brave woman whose sweet voice haunts his every thought. Once he discovers Jina is alive, the tenacious warrior will walk into fire to save this intriguing woman who has captured his heart.

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My thoughts: The woman left behind is simply Linda Howard at her best. It is deep, complex and captivating. I love all the characters. I love Jina and how strong she is and I love pretty much everything about it. I do missed some small things which is the reason for not giving it a five star rating. But it is a great story with an exciting plot and I can definitely see myself rereading this one in the future.

I did not expect the book to be as slow as it was however. Not a bad slowness per say but half the book is mostly about all the training and growing attraction between Jina and Levi. I would have liked to have the whole “left behind” part to come in a lot earlier and that it was maybe a bit longer. It was over so fast and then we were back to the “slowness” again. However Howard won some points with keeping the plot interesting and the depth was always there which made it feel like you fell deeper and deeper into it all. And I did really love the way it made me feel.

Simply the best.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

End of watch – Stephen King

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Goodreads synopsis: In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

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My thoughts: Naah! In my opinion I could have skipped this book. Make my own ending and be good with it. Because this was boring. I think the idea was great and the plot was sufficient, but it was never captivating, interesting or exciting. Halfway through I wanted to DNF but I made a commitment to finish the series. (I’m horrible bad on finish series.) Besides, I do like the characters Bill and Holly so it was nice to follow them for a while more.

This one in the series is absolutely a lot more like the Stephen King we know and love. And I think it is that who wrecked it for me. The first two books are so painstakingly normal that going in the third book with that type of fantasy twist, made it disconnect from the first two books. It was only the characters who made it clear it still was the same series since it was so, so different. Others probably loves that type of thing. I however do not.

King is such a hit and miss type of author for me. Some books I love, others I don’t. It is funny how similar it can be even in a series. I loved the first book, the second was okay and the third I could have done without.

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.

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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.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

The Apprentice – Tess Gerritsen

715834| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: It is a boiling hot Boston summer. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes, in which wealthy men are made to watch while their wives are brutalized. A sadistic demand that ends in abduction and death.

The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her – literally and figuratively – she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence . . . even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad.

But Rizzoli isn’t counting on the U.S. government’s sudden interest. Or on meeting Special Agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he will tell. Most of all, she isn’t counting on becoming a target herself, once Hoyt is suddenly free, joining his mysterious blood brother in a vicious vendetta. . . .

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My thoughts: I enjoy Tess Gerritsens writing and find her a terrific storyteller. That Jane Rizzoli gets on my nerves all the time and that I sometimes just want to scream, is a testimony for how great her writing really is. I had no trouble with keeping the speed up and there were few slow parts. It is action packed and suspense filled all the way from the first page to the last. Such a great ride. We did pick it up more or less from the end of the first book and we are following the same track with Hoyt and all that, just several months later. I thought it would be excessive and underwhelming, maybe even a little boring to go with the same story plot once again but it was never anything like that and I loved it.

Another thing I love is how great Gerritsen are with the medical explanations. They are never tedious or hard to understand for someone like me who is not that knowledgeable in those subjects. And even though I have seen the TV series several times over and there is not that many differences between the book and the series, I was never bored. I did know the ending before starting the book and I thought that was going to be hard for me but it never was. It was nice to meet some of the other characters that has a big part in the TV series and I was a little surprised because they are a little different. But I do think it will be some changes further on in the book series that I’m exciting to follow.