Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

The underground railroad – Colson Whitehead

30555488.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

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My thoughts: I’m sad that I didn’t like this more. Maybe I had too high hopes for it but I thought it would move me more than it did. Since Whitehead won a Pulitzer prize for this one there are obvious people who think this is literature art with some beautiful sentence, genius structure and intriguing story. However, it did not work for me and my biggest problem with the book is that it is written in this type of macro view, the chapters are jumbled and there is a big historical “fault” in the book. If the chapters were in a “correct” timeline order (except Mabel’s chapter) it would not have been too much jumping back and forth for me. I hate broken structure and time jumping like that when it isn’t done with smooth finesse.

So, let’s start with the historical “fault”. I read this book as an historical fiction because that is how it was presented to me. Now however I wish someone would have told me that it is more of an allegory. Then I would probably not have irritated over the fact that in this book the underground railroad is an actual railroad underground with train and everything. I didn’t think I was so bad on American history so I had to dedicate some time to google and find out what was true. No there was no real underground railroad as I thought. And this irritated me boundlessly.

The next thing is that I felt the book somewhat unemotional, distant, meek and cold. No real thoughts or feelings. Nothing that really moved me. Maybe it is me who are to jaded and cold for a book like this, or maybe I can’t relate on the same level since I’m not American or black and my history, family’s history and my country’s history is a lot different. If it would have been written from first person perspective, so that me as a reader would get some thoughts and feelings and not this cold storytelling, I would find it a lot stronger and more relatable. Because feelings I can relate to.

It is still an uncomfortable read with a terrible story and it do make you think. So, Whitehead have done something right. The book is not a graphic read and even though I felt somewhat detached, I think Whiteheads goal was to start some thoughts and of all the discussions I have found on the internet, he has certainly succeeded.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Classic/Historical

1943 – D. Clarke

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Goodreads synopsis: The book doesn’t have a fulfillment synopsis so I will try to write something short about it.

Here we meet Letty. A young teenager who is thrown back in time from 2017 to 1943 Harlem, New York. The time is completely different than what he is used to and you get to follow Lettys struggles to adapt to this hard times. He make friends in a world where being a woman or black is like a sin and you get to follow his struggle to find a way to get back to his own time. We meet some nice characters in this modern time travel story.

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My thoughts: I received this book from the author against an honest review and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised even though I had some big problems with it. I really like time travel books and that is one of the reasons I choosed to read this book.

First off, the language is really weird for me. Let me remind you that English is not my first language and even though I mostly read in English, it will always be a second language to me and this book was just a little too hard. There is no good flow in the language and it keeps switching from proper use of words to slang and in between there are some big words, which I feel don’t belong in the telling of the story. The lack of easy use of the English language and flow did the story hard for me to read and I had to take breaks ever so often due to the strain it put on my mind. I also feel that the book is missing some depth. Both in character reactions, feelings and story wise. This can of course be a result due to the language and my inability to read the book with ease. Unfortunately, I would not recommend the book to someone who do not have English as first language or is a stronger reader than me. Oh and I don’t like the cover. It doesn’t do the book justice.

I do however like the story itself. It is an entertaining idea and it is quite exciting. Even though there is nothing new in the theory about time travel and Clarke have clearly choosed the way that is the most simple and easiest to understand it is likable. I like Letty and I like the characters he meet in 1943. They made the story come alive. I also like the little twist with “Red” and that I didn’t know who he was until the end of the book. The story is also a little sad and it makes you think, which I see as an positive thing.

Would I read anything by Clarke again? Yeah probably. If the book have gone trough some heavy editing first by a professional who could ease up the language for people like me. Until then, No! 🙂

 

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

The doll’s house – M.J Arlidge

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Goodreads synopsis: A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.

Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing – her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.

For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it’s chilling evidence that she’s searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful – a predator who’s killed before.

And as Helen struggles to understand the killer’s motivation, she begins to realize that she’s in a desperate race against time .

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My thoughts: I was skeptical about this book. I liked the first one in the series, but the second got pretty low rating by me. I am however happy that I choosed to read it anyway because it was really good. There is one thing I have an issue with however. And that is all the drama.

There is 5 female characters in this book who have some kind of issue with one another. There is jealousy and other stuff that just brings the story down. I hate drama and I hate office politics. Bringing this two together and it brings it all down for me and I am ashamed over the female genus because I know that this happens in the real world. However, it was still nice to get some kind of closure on the whole Grace and Harwood fiasco and I hope the drama is now over.

The story itself is classical. No big surprises and it is something you have seen or read to many times. It is still entertaining and then I also like these slow burner, English crime books that ends with a bang. Helen Grace keeps being an enigma and after three books, I can’t say that I know who she is. I know she has some problems due to her childhood and that she has a strong desire to help people. But other than that, she is a complete puzzle to us readers.

One other thing I liked with this book is that the chapters are really short and it pleases my OCD. I can absolutely see myself read the fourth book in the series.

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

The horse and his boy – C.S Lewis

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Goodreads synopsis: A wild gallop for freedom. Narnia… where horses talk… where treachery is brewing… where destiny awaits. On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.

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My thoughts: This is so far my favorite among the three books I have read. I really like it. The story is set in the Golden age and it takes place in the south outside of Narnia’s borders. Because Narnia is actually not that big. The book has a completely different feeling. It is somewhat darker and more medieval with fairies, horses, King and Queens and of course, War! They have swords and complete knight equipment. The ladies have big, flowing dresses and they live either in castles or poorer in small houses. They are fishermen’s, farmers or have other, not so legal ways to provide for them self’s. The story is simple and just about a Boy and a horse. Who talks by the way and it makes the story just better. More magical.

They are on an adventure through danger from both people and nature. They meet a girl also with a talking horse and decides that four are better than two. The book is about staying alive, do the right thing, friendship and fight for the weaker people.

There is also a mystery that you don’t get to know the truth about until the end of the book and it made it all more real. A little darker but still with the learning that there is light in the end of the tunnel and if you fight for what’s right, yourself and your friends, you have done alright. And even though the book is a lot darker than what I associate with Narnia, you still get that Narnia feeling.

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

The treatment – Mo Hayder

647954| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered. Badly dehydrated, they’ve been bound and beaten, the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing.

When DI Jack Caffery of the Met’s AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins…

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My thoughts: I have very few triggers when it comes to books. I read most of it. I don’t like it all and it can affect me bad mentally, but mostly I can handle it. But the few triggers I do have, are different types of sexual assaults. Specially against kids. I can read a book when the story is that it already has happen and you get to read about it in past tense and preferable not in that much details. Read it happen in present time and aftermath is something I have tough time with and I do my best to avoid those types of books.

So, you can imagine how tough this book was for me. And I didn’t know that it was supposed to be about pedophilia and other sick monsters. Now I’m glad I didn’t know since the book is terrifyingly awesome and if given the choice, maybe I would not have read it. But since I do have read the first book, I should have been a little smarter and foreseen that this would be a big part of the book. Apparently, I’m not that smart.

This book was so much better than the first book and I love the broken dynamic between Jack and Becky and how they, even though all the shit that has happened, not give up. The truth comes out and it just makes them fight harder for them self’s and each other and I love that. Other than that, the book is a typical British crime novel. Some really sick stuff is happening and you get some answers on questions from the first book (So yeah you should read them in order) and it builds something of a series I can see myself continue.

But no, this is not a light read but I do think it’s worth it.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Assassin’s code – Jonathan Maberry

12024990| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In ASSASSIN’S CODE, the fourth book in New York Timesbestselling author Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series, Joe Ledger and the DMS go on a relentless chase to stop an ancient order of killers from plunging the entire world into Holy War.

When Joe Ledger and Echo Team rescue a group of American college kids held hostage in Iran,the Iranian government then asks them to help find six nuclear bombs planted in the Mideast oil fields. These stolen WMDs will lead Joe and Echo Team into hidden vaults of forbidden knowledge, mass-murder, betrayal, and a brotherhood of genetically-engineered killers with a thirst for blood.

Accompanied by the beautiful assassin called Violin, Joe follows a series of clues to find the Book of Shadows, which contains a horrifying truth that threatens to shatter his entire worldview.

They say the truth will set you free…
Not this time.

The secrets of the Assassin’s Code will set the world ablaze.

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My thoughts: Dear Mr Maberry.

You broke me! You broke me to the moon and back and then you put me together with scotch tape and hot glue. Blood seeping trough the wounds, glistening in the night as I lay and think about Joe Ledger and his life. And then I read the last sentence in this book and it is all better again. Almost! So please, do not fuck it up. (Yeah I know you already have written like 6 more books after this one but I can still Wish because that guy need some happiness.)

If I ever was one of those people who wrote letters to musicians, actors, authors, serial killers or what not, this is probably how I would start a letter to Jonathan Maberry. After every book about Joe Ledger, I have felt a little broken, a little hurt but at the same time had this good, warm, fuzzy feeling in my chest. Maberry takes his readers on an exquisite ride through out the horrors of real life mix with the horror of the historical, fantasy, conspiracy tales and mad science. As a child I loved books like Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker and every other “supernatural” book my little hands could get. This is just an modern view of old tales in a more exciting form. There to entertain, not to teach and with twist you would not be able to foresee.

I have not written an official review on any of Maberrys books before but they pretty much go the same. The story is phenomenal. The imagination and execution of the story is one of the greatest. This is not generally a genre I read much in and even less if there is not more of an Romantic suspense/horror type of book. Mostly because I often feel a get bored. Long descriptions, not enough dialog and so on is not always the best. But I do not get bored by this books. It is terrifying, exciting and lovable. And you as an reader are there with the characters. There have not yet been a full 5 star rated book (but The King of Plagues was pretty close) and that is because every time I feel i’m missing something. But I cant figure out what.

chapter.PNGJonathan Maberry is also a king on writhing short chapters with a punch and a total effect to wake your curiosity. This picture is the first chapter from the book “The King of Plagues” and I wrote this on my Instagram (this was before I created The Book Chick).

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And it is perfect for those of you who read by chapters and goes like “Just one more chapter” late in the night. 😉

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

Intensity – Dean Koontz

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Goodreads synopsis: Edgler Vess is a sociopath intent on murder. He lives for one purpose only: to satisfy all appetites as they arise, seeking ever more outrageous experience. To live with intensity.

When he attacks her friend, Laura, Chyna Shepherd is saved by the instincts developed during a dark and turbulent childhood. Not knowing Laura is already dead, Chyna follows, hoping to save her friend, as Vess carries her body to his motor home – a dungeon and morgue on wheels. The killer, unaware of her presence, drives away. But Chyna is now trapped in his dangerous orbit.

Her sole aim is to get out alive, but when she learns the identity of the killer’s next intended victim, she knows she must act to save that precious life – and take risks beyond any that she ever imagined she could endure.

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My thoughts: It is funny how years and experience can change your point of view and how you perceive the world. I read this book for the first time when I was like 11-13 years old. I think it must have been wrongly placed in the library because they where really strict about children under the age of 15, reading this types of books. And even now, I don’t really see this one as an young adult book. But anyhow, it was the first book I ever read by Koontz and it mesmerized me. Terrified me. Woke my love for thriller, horror and the mystery that is serial killers. Now, like 17 years later, I still like it a lot, but I do not feel the same mesmerized feelings for it as I did when I was younger.

And that is what I mean about how different your point of view gets with age and experience. I remember a lot from the book but there was some really important details that I did not remember an actually surprised me. It was nice to read a book, where I did not remember it all, but still did. Do you know what I mean? And I perceive the book completely different now and what I did then. And in my opinion, there is no horror. It is an thriller and it is great. But I have probably read and seen to much, gotten to jaded, to feel that this is an horror. It does not mean it isn’t good. But I just don’t see it as an horror anymore.

I have read a lot by Koontz but here you can really see that it is his earlier work of art. I feel he writes his book different nowadays and that his older works, usually is better. More real and terrifying. Vess is just such an weird killer, so different from what you usually read about in books. He is just so much more down to earth, smart and not insane and very logical. And THAT is certainly terrifying. Chyna is a little gray and I think that really was the point with her history and all. But it made it a little boring and somewhat repeatable until she got her fighting spirit going and refused to let some asshole decide over her life. Overall a great book, worth to be read by those who likes thrillers and getting in the mind of the characters and see the actions through the killers mind, not only the good guys.

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

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

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Goodreads synopsis: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy find their way through an old wardrobe into the world of Narnia. There, they unite with Aslan to fight the White Witch and save Narnia from perpetual Darkness.

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My thoughts: This is the second book (chronological order) in the children series about Narnia. I have never read the books before but I have seen some movies, which this is the one I remember the most. I did not expect that the book would be so short and actually a little meager. I remember the movie as so much more and even better now after I’m done with this book. I do not know if that is true so I need to watch the movie again.

But yeah, it went to fast, was a little meager and actually a little bizarre. I feel that the emotions of the children that was in the first book was more realistic and here, this kids just took it all a little to easy. But I do have to say that the movie (as I remember it) is a great and match the book perfectly.

I have to remember that these books are written for children and that I am not a reader of the genre children and young adult. I try but I cant lie to my self and you when it comes to the rating, just because everyone else loved it. I do however think that children to appreciates this book so much more than me, and that I will read this for my children in the future.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Blue Smoke – Nora Roberts

114184.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Reena Hale grew up with an intimate knowledge of the destructive power of fire. When she was a child, her family’s restaurant was burned to the ground, and the man responsible was sent to jail. The Hale family banded together to rebuild, and Reena found her life’s calling. She trained as a firefighter and then as a cop, always with the end goal in sight: to become an arson investigator. Now, as part of the arson unit, she is called in on a series of suspicious fires that seem to be connected-not just to each other, but to her. And as danger ignites all around her, Reena must rely on experience and instinct to catch a dangerous madman who will not stop until everything she loves has gone up in smoke.

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My thoughts: I have said before that my biggest problem with Roberts books, is that they often start of slow. And we do not talk about just a couple of chapters but like 1/3 or 1/4 of the book is Slow. No difference here either, but this time it did not bother me as much. Maybe because it still happens a lot even though we have like 20 years to get through before we are the ace of the book. Or maybe it is because I was so prepared on the fact that it would start slow and I just need to have patience.

The story is great and as always I love all of the characters. That is something Roberts are very good at. Writing good and alive characters. And I love Bowen and how well he fit together with Reena and she is all thorns on the outside but he manages to sneak in between without getting stung to bad and that just makes it all so much better. But I have a huge problem with this book. And that is the red thread, the ending, the answers or what not I should call it. I knew it all from the start, and I mean all, through out the book but often thought for my self that, soon it will come an curveball. Soon something will happen and my thoughts will change drastically. It just can’t be this obvious. But yeah, it is that obvious which gave me an anticlimactic feeling in the end of the book.

To know it all, from the start off the book, and hope you are wrong, but are not, is just not a good feeling for me. And that only took of an star/heart in my rating of this book. That is how much it effected me. The story is still god and if I would have been prepared that it is somewhat clear water, it would probably not have affected me as much. But yeah, nothing to do about it now. Still a good book and I can still recommend it.

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

Blood Harvest – Sharon J. Bolton

8658911| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Sometimes I wish that she’d just leave me in peace . . .

Psychologist Evi is worried about one of her patients – a woman who is convinced her little girl is still alive. Two years after the fire that burnt their house down.

Meanwhile, the new vicar in town is feeling strangely unwelcome. Disturbing events seem designed to scare him away.

And a young boy keeps seeing a strange, solitary girl playing in the churchyard. Who is she and what is she trying to tell him?

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My thoughts: I’m not one of those people who scares easily buy movies, series or books. I often feel them to much and quite exaggerated and overrated. I can enjoy an good scary movie but they do not affect me to that degree that I will have nightmares after. This book however did give me nightmares. And it is such a clever written book.

We get to meet Evi, Harry and the family Fletcher. They are like the main characters. Harry is the new vicar in town and the Fletcher’s are the new family who moved there not long ago. Then mysterious things begin to happen. Things they can not explain and one of the sons in the family is not believed by other than Harry, who is still trying to find natural explanations to it all. Then other stuff happens, children are disappearing and they are trying to find the truth to it all.

I think that the reason the book is so “scary” for me is the children. I cant go to close into it without give you an spoiler. But it is seriously terrifying and gives you that one bad feeling you cant really explain and put words on. It’s just sits there in you chest, sucking you dry of every confident feeling you ever had. I even woke up several times one night with the feeling that someone was watching me. However I do not want to scare you away from this book because it is seriously good. And in the end it is not really an horror story at all. I love the small English country town with there history and people but the very best ting with the book is that you get an explanation for EVERYTHING. Not a loose thread to be wondering about and it was great. Believable and fit the story perfectly.

I do however need to point out that on the absolute last page, it did happen one thing that I did not like and the story would have been better without it. But hey, you cant get it all and knowing Bolton, she is good to throw you curveballs in her books. So I should not be surprised.