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

HEX – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

31560400| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

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My thoughts: Two nights in a row I have been dreaming about the wicked Witch of Black Spring. She have sneaked her way into the back of my mind and taken control in a way I have never experienced before. I’m not easily scared and specially not by books. And certainly not in a way where I actually wakes up, in the middle of the night with a racing hart and with a feeling that I don’t want to sleep anymore. I can feel discomfort and such but never really fear.  I wouldn’t call this one a scary horror either but it’s still an unpleasant book in the way that it was uncomfortable and mesmerizing at the same time.

Well written with an really interesting and suitable history and backstory. The details fit together nicely and in a way that it did not feel exaggerated or cheap. The original story takes place in a Dutch town but when the rights for the English version was sold it was decided to move the settings to a Hudson Valley and change the ending. That is two major difference between the original story compared to the translated one. According some forum threads I found, there is no big difference and has no great significance. Since I’m never gonna read the dutch version, it really doesn’t matter to me.

There is a lot of mixed feelings toward this book out there and my own are probably more on the good side than the average. I found the book complex and deeper than I first thought. A little obsessive with tits, breast and nipples but hey it is a guy who have written it after all. I liked the ending (even though I hate it) and I like how it makes you think. It compels you to seek deeper and read between the lines. A book which awakens feelings and questions and do need to be discussed because it is all in the way it is interpreted.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

And the mountains echoed – Khaled Hosseini

17345748| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

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My thoughts: I loved “A thousand splendid suns” and I don’t know, maybe I had expected something as strong as that. Or maybe I had expected a story that make you feel fulfilled when ending. Neither happen here in my opinion. I found the writing somewhat confusing and it was hard to keep track of all the characters. I had particularly trouble with every chapter change because you did not get to know which character you now following. Most of the characters are so remotely connected that it does not work at all and it was not until the end you started to understand who this person really is and what connection it has to the main character. It kept me sitting like this throughout 90% of the book.

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I have read some reviews and found that it is not only me who feel this way or perceived this books as a bunch of different characters telling me about their own life history. The red thread and “main” character, you hardly see and some of the connections is just so farfetched that it is weird. The story in the beginning is good and I do get the point with the book. I do however find it flat when you do not get to follow the “main” character more than like 20% of the book.

I did however like the ending. It was a nice end with its way of tying the last strings together, even though I did not find it great since I did not get that happy, finally, good for you feeling. I give the book a strong three star rating due to that Hosseini is a great writer and he do writes in a way that snares you to the story. Any other author, I would probably have DNF it.

Classic/Historical · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

Drums of autumn – Diana Gabaldon

10988.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong….

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My thoughts:

HAPPY ENDINGS?

 

There are no happy endings.

Endings are the saddest part.

So just give me a happy middle

and a very happy start.
-Unknown

I needed to take some time to think over the book before writhing this review. It is a lot of feelings floating around and it was a little hard to get it sorted out.

I am one of those few who have not yet seen the tv series. I wish to get further into the book series before starting to watch it. Right now I’m not even sure I will ever see it. Every time after ending one of these books, I feel mentally exhausted. My heart hurt and even though the story is so great and I do not wish that I ever started it, I feel so broken down for a while after that it is hard to start something else. I almost feel a little depressed.

I guess it is a great ability as an author to really effect your readers as this series affects me. That her written word can insinuate oneself so far in my mind and body is unbelievable. And rare. Even though I often feel so bad after her books, I also feel so good. And I still want to read more. Just need a break or two before I start the next one.

WARNING! This review contains spoilers to book one, two and three. No spoilers on this fourth book however so you are safe. You have to have read the three books in order and if you don’t have read them yet, I do recommend you do NOT read further. You have been warned. 🙂

So in this book Claire has found Jamie and is in America where we left of in the third book. They are trying to put some roots down among mountain, miles of forest, fields and Indians. If not Indians are trying to kill them, the white man is or if not, the nature is doing its best. It is a hard life but they have finally found peace. After years and years of misery, surviving and loneliness, they are finally at a great place. Claire left Brianna behind in the year 1969 in the third book, to live her life in her own time. Brianna however discover something that takes her back in time to find her mother and father. In 1969 she got to know Roger even better and when he discovers she is gone, he follows her.

After the third book (which so far is my least favorite) I was wondering if the series was worth to continue. It was still good but I was just not sure if it was good enough. Now i’m so glad that I choosed to continue. Because this fourth book is so, so good. It is up in the same favorite spot as the first book.

I love that in this book you get to follow both Claire and Jamie and Brianna and Roger. I love to see peace and love at one end and the relationship between Brianna and Roger at the other. It is a great story, hard sometimes and there is a couple of horrific events happening that made my heart race and I just could not stop. I needed to know how it would end. It totally surprised me but in a good way. A little unsatisfying however. I mean have you spent 800 pages building it up, you could spend another couple pages to end it satisfyingly. Some parts felt a little forced but overall I’m happy.

I will continue the series, but as I told you, I need some time. 😉

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Salt to the sea – Ruta Sepetys

25614492.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

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My thoughts: Wilhelm Gustloffs shipwreck is the greatest in maritime history. Over 9000 people (that’s almost 8000 more than Titanic) lost their lives and yet, almost nobody knows anything about it. I certainly didn’t. My interest for war, historical fiction and that I didn’t know anything about this disaster, was a big reason for me to choose to read this book.

In this book we are following four characters  who all seek peace and freedom from the war that are breaking there country and family’s apart. Some of them, I like more than others but that I think was done with purpose and I understand it in the end. It is a great story, that do play on my emotions and now after i’m done, I do feel a little emotional drained.

It was a really thrilling read and as first book for me to read by Ruta Sepetys, I’m really pleasantly surprised. It started off quite slow and it is a slow burner through most of the book and I did lose interest there for a while, but I really wanted to know how it would end, so I picked it up again. The last chapters went past extremely fast and suddenly the book was over. I do not usually like books that are slow and then all the action is happening right before the book is ending. But it did work in this one. It is a really good book and that I lost focus has really nothing to do with the book itself, but with me who sometimes don’t have the patience for slow burners.

It is a hard read, just have to warn you. There is some terrible human fates that are happening and even if the book is fiction, it is hard to deny that this and probably even worse have happened in real life. I understand why Sepetys won the Goodreads Choice Award 2016 for this book. It is that good.

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

Fear University – Meg Collett

26038790| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: I’ve always known I was a monster, and I don’t mean some teenage vampire shit either.

My mother abandoned me when I was ten years old because I have a freakish mutant disease that makes me incapable of feeling pain. I bounced from one foster family to another because too many people like to test my medical condition in a game of “Try To Make Ollie Scream.” At sixteen, I killed a man for taking that game too far.

Two years later, I’m still on the run in Kodiak, Alaska. Here, I’m the most dangerous person around, until I come face to face with a creature that should only exist in folklore. The monster is an aswang, and I, with my medical anomaly, am uniquely qualified to hunt the beast that haunts the night. At least, that’s what the two scarred, mostly crazy ‘swang hunters tell me when they kidnap me and take me to Fear University, a school where young students learn to hunt and kill aswangs.

I arrive at the university a prisoner, but I stay because I finally find my freedom.

For once in my life, I belong. I’m needed. I make a home for myself inside the university masquerading as an old Alaskan prison. Something close to happiness warms my icy heart when I’m with my scarred, still mostly crazy tutor, Luke Aultstriver. For a murdering runaway like me, Fear University is a haven where I can put my skills to good use hunting monsters in the night.

But when certain truths come to light and even more lies are exposed, I fear that I, Ollie Andrews, am the worst kind of monster of all. And, maybe, they should be hunting me.

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My thoughts: First off, before I start to talk about the book itself. I don’t know if it is the authors fault or someone else but either way. Do not, I repeat, PLEASE DO NOT end the e-book under 90%. It makes you as an reader feel cheated, and that is not a good feeling to have your reader sit with at the end. Even more important so if the book ends on a cliffhanger. It happened with this book. Ended on a cliffhanger when I thought I had at least 10% left of the book to read. Not a good feeling at all. An quite frankly, it makes me a little pissed off and not wanting to read the second book. I will of course someday read it, because I need to know how it will end, but it will probably take awhile.

So what about the book itself? It is really good. Fresh and quite imaginative. Asuwangs is from an old Filipino folklore and I have seen and heard a lot about it from the movie world. But really not read anything. So I did not know exactly what to expect. But the story is exciting and filled with lies, mystery’s, really good characters and suspense. I like the dynamic and I like what the book is starting to build up. It’s twisted and you think you know how it all is put together but in the end that is just wrong. I do not, however, like Ollie that much. Well I like her fine, but for a girl who has been through everything she has been through, she is quite naive and really childish sometimes. And it does not get any better. I do hope she grow up some in the next book because if not, I don’t know if I want to continue reading.

I do not know the history with Asuwangs but have read a little about it now after the book and if I get it right, Collett (Which is not of Filipino descent) has done a great job with mixing the history with her line of the story and make it believable.

So as soon I have forgotten the “betrayal” I will read the second book and I really hope it is as good as the first one.

How do you feel about books ending before you think it will and cliffhangers?

Everyday things

New in the bookshelf!

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Got myself a new book this weekend. I have seen this one circulate on internet and on Goodreads and when I saw it in the bookstore I thought that maybe I should read it. It feels like a book that will be an classic that everyone should read. When I will be able to read this one however, I don´t know. It just have to stand in line and its turn will come eventually. 🙂

Have your read The underground railroad? What did you think about it?

Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

Fluency – Jennifer Foehner Wells

22566044| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it. The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse. The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed. A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, “You are home.”

Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive.

My thoughts: First off, I want to say that i really dont like cliffhangers. If you do need to break up a book in two, do it at least a little more satisfying. It was like just hit pause in an movie and wait a year before you will see the rest. I´m not even sure that I will read the second book. Mostly because I feel such an dissatisfaction.

So the book earns its two hearts for the writing. I like the writing because its easy to read and most of the times it is also easy to understand. It can sometimes be hard to understand all the technology in Science fiction. But in the book I only had like two or three times that I had hard to understand or make myself an mental picture. I also do like the red thread throughout the book. It feels consist and are quite exiting. And it did have some really exciting chapters.

What i do not like is the characters. They feel kind of superficial and I think the author could have done a better job to make an connection between reader and character. I do not like the romance bit either. I would be a lot more satisfied if i could get closure there, since it never had a big part though out the book but still was a meaningful subject that really never happen anything with.

So overall, a book that can be great for the right person. I´m just not that person.