Classic/Historical · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime

Sixteen trees of the Somme – Lars Mytting

42102301._SY475_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery – he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother.

But he knows that the fate of his grandfather’s brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. One day a coffin is delivered for his grandfather long before his death – a meticulous, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Perhaps Einar is not dead after all.

Edvard’s desperate quest to unlock the family’s tragic secrets takes him on a long journey – from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France – to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance. The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is about the love of wood and finding your own self, a beautifully intricate and moving tale that spans an entire century.

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My thoughts:

I wish Goodreads had the ability to let us readers give half stars in rating. I would really need that function right now because I can’t decide if I want to give it a two star or a three star rating. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of liked the book. It was just so damn slow and that (in the end, no spoiler) mostly evolved around some threes just made it unbelievable. I could not connect with it and even though it was an interesting and kind of fun puzzle game regarding the family history, it was just not enough. I didn’t even like the main character that much.

I believe that if I hadn’t had the audiobook, I would have struggled to finish. It was just so tedious, I didn’t like the main character, who apparently cannot have a non-sexual relationship with women and the ending was quite unclear. Much better to listen, but the book itself was not as good as I had expected.

Gold star for the nice writing. I thought that was really good and Mytting did a great job with it.

 

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

The islands of Chaldea – Diana Wynne Jones

18107099| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Aileen was supposed to grow up magical – just like the other women in her family. Unfortunately, she’s just found out that the magic seems to have skipped a generation… but that’s not her biggest problem right now.

In her world, there are four Islands of Chaldea. The largest and most magical island has been cut off from the other three for decades – and is slowly draining the magic from them.

But now a prophecy has come to light. Someone from Aileen’s island will gather a man from each of the three islands, bring down the magical barrier, and unite them with the fourth island again. And according to the king, that someone is Aileen’s Aunt – who insists on dragging Aileen along. AND the boy Aileen is sure she’ll marry (one day); the local boy with more brawn then brain. Someone seems to want to stop them too… someone with an interest in keeping the Islands apart. But still, with magic on their side, nothing can go wrong. Right?

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My thoughts:

Okay, so I needed a book that was published posthumously so I could tick that prompt off in the 2019 PopSugar challenge. I had some trouble finding anything I wanted to read, but after some googling I eventually settled on this one. Written by Diana Wynne Jones and finished by her sister Ursula Jones after Diana’s death. Apparently Diana was and probably still is, a famous and loved author all over the world. She wrote children’s/YA books often with a Sci-fi and fantasy theme. I personally never heard about her before this, so I was going in completely blind with not much to expect.

Apparently, according to some of the reviews I have read, and I quote, “Ursula Jones did not do the justice of the potential of what this book could have been”. I kind of agree with Xylia, whose quote I have included. I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I agree that it doesn’t feel that completed.

It started out okay with an interesting story and plot line. But in the middle it kind of fell apart, lost my interest and in the end I actually struggled to finish it. Perhaps a great book for a younger audience, but I felt It was supposed to be something more. And it just wasn’t there. Kind of flat and two dimensional. Nothing I would recommend and unfortunately, nothing I liked very much.

 

 

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Shortstory

Norse mythology – Neil Gaiman

37903770._SX318_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

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My thoughts:

Norse Mythology is something I know quite a lot about. In Sweden we study the mythology and vikings from an early age. We even have a “Viking camp” we do in school, where we learn how the Vikings lived, hunted, cooked food and so on. I can’t say I learned anything new by reading (audiobook) this book per say, but I have to say I really like the way Gaiman has put the tales to life. It is truly descriptive and beautiful in a way, I believe, everyone can enjoy. Neil Gaiman is also an fantastic narrator and perfect for reading his own books. I really enjoyed listening on him. It is also perfect for those who doesn’t want anything heavy to read right now. It is a bunch of short stories, gathered together in one book. Light and easy. Perfect for those “in between” books.

I have to be hones and say that I first wasn’t supposed to read it. Since I know so much about the topic, It wasn’t anything that interested me to read more about. But a prompt in this years Pop Sugar Challenge was actually the reason to why I read it. The prompt was to read “A book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore” and when googling what book fits that prompt, Norse Mythology kept poping up. Now I’m happy that I read it. It is fun, light and familiar. Almost a little nostalgic and it woke something in me which have been buried since childhood and school was finished with teaching us kids about our heritage.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

12974171._SY475_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The scientist Victor Frankenstein, obsessed with possessing the secrets of life, creates a new being from the bodies of the dead. But his creature is a twisted, gruesome parody of a man who, rejected for his monstrous appearance, sets out to destroy his maker.

Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale, conceived after a nightmare in 1816 when she was only eighteen, became a modern myth. It is a disturbing and dramatic exploration of birth and death, creation and destruction, and one of the most iconic horror stories of all time.

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My thoughts:

It’s strange to review a book which was written over 200 years ago. The times changes, the language develops, words gets new meanings and limits are pushed. It feels almost a little wrong to review such a widely read and known story. Myself have never read the original before now, but I’m very well known in the story about Frankenstein. Not only through movies and series, but also through different retelling from different authors. For an example Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series, which meets the old time Frankenstein in a modern world where science is a lot more developed.

Anyway, I can see why this has become so famous through out the years. Not only is it written by a female (lo and behold) which was not gently looked upon at the time, but it is also a horror story with an underlying message, which you can interpret in several different ways and discus to the end of days. My thoughts about it is that science can go too far and it is up to us too think before we do and stop before we go over that line. But where is that line? I also think it is about the humanity, that we are the biggest threat against our self and that the “monster” is us all. No one is better than the other, no matter what you may think. I can discuss this forever but in a nutshell, this is some quick thoughts of mine.

I would probably have liked it more if it was written in a more modern way, or in Swedish. At least I would have found it simpler. I can only blame myself really. I wanted to read it in the utmost original way I could. But I’m happy I finally read it. Frankenstein is one of my favorite classical stories and now I can say I have read the original. 😀

 

 

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

The pillars of the earth – Ken Follett

40195487| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

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My thoughts:

WOW!

Okay, breathe! It’s difficult for me to describe why I love this book as much as I do. It’s a 1104 pages long story about the building of a cathedral in the 12-century and you would think I’m on drugs, but it was so damn fascinating. The characters are memorable in both good and bad ways, the story was interesting and the plot was captivating. It has been a while since I was so emotionally invested in a book. The pillars of the earth is pure and simple one of the best books I have read in 2019.

First off, a warning. If you are a sensitive soul or in any other way have problems with rape and injustice, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! Bear in mind that this book takes place in Medieval England where the church has a strong hold on the people, the rich rule the poor and there is violence, misogyny, accusations of witchcraft, revenges back and forth and rape. Yes, rape! And one scene is especially disturbing and graphic. It was hard to read and I was totally unprepared for it.

Other than that, it is a wonderfully written book with characters you love, hate and love to hate. It is a page turner and it was like I could not get enough. I still can’t get enough and I want more. The main plot is about the building of a cathedral but it is the characters around it who really drove the story forward. There was some love stories in there, friend and family relations took a huge part and there was a few, strong female characters who I wish to praise Follett for doing such a good job with.

As strange as it sounds, I loved to read this book. Even with all the injustice, despair and misery, there was always hope. And all the weaving of destiny was really what made it all come together in the end in a satisfying way.

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

Save me from dangerous men – S.A. Lelchuk

35343341| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nikki Griffin isn’t your typical private investigator. In her office above her bookstore’s shelves and stacks, where she luxuriates in books and the comfort they provide, she also tracks certain men. Dangerous men. Men who have hurt the women they claim to love. And Nikki likes to teach those men a lesson, to teach them what it feels like to be hurt and helpless, so she can be sure that their victims are safe from them forever.

When a regular PI job tailing Karen, a tech company’s disgruntled employee who might be selling secrets, turns ugly and Karen’s life is threatened, Nikki has to break cover and intervene. Karen tells Nikki that there are people after her. Dangerous men. She says she’ll tell Nikki what’s really going on. But then something goes wrong, and suddenly Nikki is no longer just solving a case—she’s trying hard to stay alive.

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My thoughts:

If Jessica Jones and Jack Reacher had a baby, you get Nikki Griffin. A kickass, female PI character who stand up for the weak, and helps out in a way that everyone can understand. And to top it off, she is a book lover with her own bookstore. How cool is that? Just that description was enough for me to decide that this is the book of 2019 releases I just have to read.

Now when done I’m quite conflicted. On one hand I absolutely love Nikki and feel that this is a character I want to read more about. I also want to meet those side characters that we encounter now and then throughout the book. On the other hand I felt myself somewhat detached to the story itself. It is hard to explain but I was there but never quite there if you understand. It’s not a bad story because of it, it just didn’t capture or connect with me on a level that makes me invested. Maybe because I felt the plot line was somewhat destructed and not completed in a degree I feel it could have been. And the ending was a little too farfetched when you take some of the characters and their actions in account to the end result.

I do however LOVE the “romantic” aspect of the book. There is almost no romance per say, but there is a character Nikki meets and the chemistry and several situations and monologues that is happenings which was just wonderful.

It looks like there is coming more books about Nikki and if so, I’m certainly is going to read them.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance

The husband’s secret – Liane Moriarty

17465450| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: My Darling Cecilia
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died . . .

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all – she’s an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia – or each other – but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s devastating secret.

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My thoughts:

I really, really liked The Husband’s secrets. Never read anything by Moriarty before but keep seeing her name circulating out there in the bookish community. So when I found one of her books in my grandma’s bookshelf I just had to buy myself a copy and give it a try. Grandma has great taste in books.

At first I was a little confused. Judged by the synopsis, I thought that the letter would have had a much bigger part of the story than it actually has. But it is the three main characters, Cecilia, Rachel and Tess, and what was happening in their day to day life, that’s actually was the focal point. I like the history twist of the story, the character and their relationships. It is not disappointed at all that it was not what I first had foreseen. It is relatable, believable and realistic. Really well written and even though it is suppose to be a chick flick, the mystery feel of it and the dark emotions certainly made it a lot more likable for me. It made it more captivating, if you understand what I mean. And that ending was both wonderful, heartbreaking and you sit there thinking, what could have been and are not in your own life and on the butterfly effect.

Non of Moriartys books has interested me but after this I certainly feels that I should look into them to. Maybe I have missed something big here. Either way, I would differently recommend The Husband’s secrets. A perfect book for those late summer days.

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

Forgotten Secrets – Robin Perini

29643051| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: At age ten, Riley Lambert watched helplessly as her sister was abducted from her bedroom. Fifteen years later, she’s channeled the pain of her past into a career as an FBI profiler. Riley devotes her life to bringing violent criminals to justice…and secretly uses government resources to search for her sister, who was never found.

When Riley gets a call from the only man who’s ever swept her off her feet with a killer two-step and dangerous smile—ex-Navy SEAL Thayne Blackwood of Singing River, Wyoming—it stirs up dark memories. Thayne’s sister, Cheyenne, has been kidnapped. There are no leads, and the only witness is the victim’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother.

Desperate to find Cheyenne, Thayne needs Riley’s expertise. With time running short, they delve into dangerous small-town secrets while fighting against an increasingly ruthless adversary. But when her past and his present collide in a shocking revelation, can they overcome the secrets that have kept them apart?

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My thoughts:

 

I have had this, and I’m not kidding, in my kindle cloud since 2016. It was time to get this one read and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised.

First of, I did not like Perini’s writing at all. It had no flow and was at times confusing and almost rough to read, if it makes sense. Even some names are “terrible” and extremely hard for me to figure out how to pronounce. That’s not pleasant feeling to have and most of the books I have DNF:ed have been because of the writing. When starting it I actually though for myself that this would be a one, two star rating if I got through it but most likely I would DNF it. Imagine my surprise when the story, character and plot captivated me to such a degree that I devoured the book and ended on a four star rating.

Yes it was great. Surprising, hard to foresee what would happen (Except a few things) and it kept throwing curve balls at you. Great plot building and character development.

I’m happy and satisfied and even though I don’t like the writing that much, I can actually see myself reading the second book about the little town, Singing River.

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

The Breakdown – B.A. Paris

29438850| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

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My thoughts:

“Unfulfilling, a little melodramatic and anticlimactic.”

It is the first time I read anything by Paris and I have to say that I’m surprised over how little I liked it. Had its moments of course, but it was not what I had expected and not really for me and I love Thrillers.

I would call it a straight forward, light, predictable, thriller, where you are not supposed to think too much. The writing is mediocre and the last 50 pages was filled with misspellings. It makes me wonder how many misspellings there was in the whole book. Since English is not my first language, misspellings is mostly something I do, not detect and if I do see some, there is usually a lot more that I do not see. And that it was so many makes me feel that both author and editor just gave up in the end. And the whole “mystery unravelling” through SMS is, for me, a cheap and unimaginative way of unravel all the secrets. The ending is nothing to boast about either. Unfulfilling, a little melodramatic and anticlimactic.

And I didn’t like the character that much. Specially the main one, Cass. How can you be so gullible, naive and whining but still be so “smart” in the end? There are just several things that are contradicting each other and that makes me want to throw the book away. Unfortunately I had made a commitment to read it and in the end it did have some moments and I’m satisfied enough to finish it. I would however not recommend it to a fellow reader.

 

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Code Zero – Jonathan Maberry

19433029| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons—designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons. Within days there are outbreaks of mass slaughter and murderous insanity across the American heartland. Can Joe Ledger stop a brilliant and devious master criminal from turning the Land of the Free into a land of the dead?

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My thoughts:

“Thank you so much for not following those impulses I’m certain you had while writing, and that you gave me an ending which gives me hope for a future.”

I want to use several swearwords right now. All toward Maberry who once again gave me a scare that this will not end as I wish. He is a master with curveballs and surprises. Many of them not that great and I cried. Yes I cried at the end, thinking it would be the end for me, for this series and for Joe Ledger. But thank you! Thank you so much for not following those impulses I’m certain you had while writing, and that you gave me an ending which gives me hope for a future. A future where I feel the will to read more, know more and once again need more.

First off, out of all the six books I have read now, I’m thinking Code Zero to be the weakest of them all. The plot  is nice and it ties together nicely with the first book (Patient Zero) but I found it a little boring and it did not keep me captivated and interesting. At 60% I had the desire to put it down.

Second, there is not enough Joe. He is the sole reason I read this series but it is so many POV and Joe is not one of the main ones you get to follow. He has not enough “page time” in my opinion.

And third, there is so much fighting and all the scenes is starting to blend together and are not that interesting anymore. To be hones I have started to skim those parts of the book due to that it no longer interests me.

Overall a strong three star rating and I would love to see this one as a movie. I think it would be perfect for the silver screen. Note that several say that if you don’t want to read book 2 to 5 you don’t have to. I however do not recommend that. There is so much stuff happening that makes a difference and sense to why the plot line is going the way it goes. Maberry does a great job with briefly and concisely explains what have happened in the past, but it is shallow and it will not give you the dept I personally think you need. I, who have read the books, do not need more but I can imagine that if you have not, it would not be sufficiently to the meaning of the plot.