Watching You #BookReview #MysteryThriller #AtriaBooks #Netgalley

about the book winter.png

41219211

Title: Watching You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published December 26, 2018 by Atria Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Page Count: 336

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41219211-watching-you

My review Winter.png

A murder has taken place. A woman is dead. We don’t know who killed her. And we don’t know who was watching.

The stunning cover of Watching You gives the impression that it tells the story of someone watching others through the window, and that’s exactly what this book is about.

“Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing.”

Joey (Josephine) is a twenty-seven-year-old living with her boyfriend, brother, and brother’s wife in a charming Bristol suburb. Joey becomes infatuated with her neighbour, Tom, a fifty-one-year-old who lives with his wife, Nicola, and teenage son, Freddie. Freddie is socially-awkward, is on the Autism spectrum, and is obsessed with observing people in the neighbourhood. One of Tom’s students, Jenna, lives with her mentally-ill mother who is paranoid and captivated with watching everyone. Jenna is suspicious of Tom’s behaviour and thinks he has an inappropriate relationship with a student.

“Voyeurism was a form of control, like mental abuse, like rape, like bullying. It was nothing to do with the physicality of the action, and all to do with the feeling of power it gave the perpetrator, the balancing out of delicate ids and egos.”

If you don’t like unlikable characters, then this may not be a good choice for you.

Watching You is an intense story with short chapters, and intriguing characters. I was trying to figure out the mystery the entire time, and was mind-blown when everything was revealed. The idea of characters being watched, or watching others gives this thriller a creepy feel. Highly recommend!

Setting: 3/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Message: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.9/5 Rounded to 4/5 on Goodreads

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*

about the author winter.png

Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.”

smitten 4 fiction winter.png

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy #bookreview

25522033

Title: The Telling

Author: Alexandra Sirowy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: August 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary, Horror/Thriller/Mystery

Page Count: 389

ISBN: 9781481418898 (hardback)

 

 

 

synopsis

Lana used to know what was real.

That was before, when her life was small and quiet.

Her golden stepbrother, Ben, was alive.

She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.

Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief.

But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.”

My Review

I picked this book as my Five Star Prediction read for Contemporaryathon. Sadly, I was greatly disappointed.

“For the girls who are sharks, and those who are kittens, and those who are heroes, and those who are villains.”

The Telling is about a teen named Lana becoming a different person after she witnesses her stepbrother’s murder. Before his murder she was a quiet “kitten”, worried about what other’s thought of her, spending most of her time with her close friend Willa. After his murder she’s becoming a more confident “shark”, hanging out with the popular group of friends known as “the core”: Josh, Carolyn, Rusty, Duncan, and Becca.

My favourite characters are Lana’s stepbrother Ben, a good guy who couldn’t stand living on rich Gant Island after volunteering in Guatemala, and Lana’s best friend Willa, studious, cool-minded, and not impressed by “the core”.

I liked the paranormal aspect of Ben’s stories coming to life. It was a page-turner, but only because I guessed who the killer was really early on, and wanted to find out if I was right (hoping that I was wrong so I could be surprised).

I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters, and wasn’t upset when any of them were in danger. Detective Sweeny and Wood are flat, uninteresting, one-dimensional, typical good cop/bad cop.

It’s disappointing that we never get to meet “Skitzy-Fitzy“, even though he’s mentioned multiple times.

I was really confused when the parents let Detective Sweeny and Wood interview Lana, Willa, and “the core” without a parent or lawyer in the room. The detectives told Lana details about Maggie’s death during the interview which I think should have been kept private. It felt extremely unbelievable that a detective would be giving a suspect that much information about a possible homicide.

The Telling felt like a cheesy horror novel with stereotypical characters that lack real emotion. Pardon the pun, but The Telling did just that – too much “telling”, not enough “showing”.

Even though I didn’t like it, a lot of my friends on Goodreads did. So don’t take my word for it! I recommend The Telling to readers who are into YA horror/mystery stories.

About the author

“I WRITE ABOUT GIRLS WHO RESCUE THEMSELVES, TRUE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, SECRETS AND LIES, AND MONSTERS AND HEROES THAT LOOK LIKE ME AND YOU.”

http://www.alexandrasirowy.com/about.html

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle #review #netgalley

40033006

Title: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (originally published as The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)

Author: Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Date of Publication: September 18, 2018 (first published February 2018)

Page Count: 432 (e-book)

 

 

 

 

synopsis

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

My Review

I’m going to try to write a review worthy of this amazing début novel by Stuart Turton. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a mind-twisting story with characters that leap off the page. This multi-perspective mystery has murder, manipulation, and a feeling of desperation, but in the end delivers a message of kindness, forgiveness, and self-acceptance. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of the BEST BOOKS I have EVER read.  I’ll try to keep this post at a reasonable length because I could ramble for pages about the writing quality, descriptions, and symbolism.

I have NEVER read a book with so many moving parts. Turton must have lost his mind trying to keep track of who was doing what, and when. Mentioned a few times in the novel, chess is a symbol of the theme of dark and light throughout the story with Aiden moving each host towards checkmate. Trying to figure out who killed Evelyn is like putting together the most complicated puzzle you’ve ever seen.

As Aiden embodies the eight hosts he initially complains about their limitations, but learns to focus on their unique talents. The plot is very twisty, at times confusing, and I loved every second. The ending clearly explained all the confusing parts and I felt extremely satisfied.

The characters are FANTASTIC. I could picture each unique person clearly in my mind. The mansion, Blackheath, is one of my favourite characters. “Blackheath shrinks around me, shriveling like a spider touched to the flame.” The Plague Doctor is a mysterious character who keeps you wondering if he’s good or bad. Anna is “fierce and fearless”. I love to see authors write about strong, smart, women.

Hooked from beginning to end, I recommend The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to fans of mystery/thriller who like a dash of magical realism (time travel).

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

The Death Of Mrs. Westaway By Ruth Ware #NewBook #Thriller #Mystery #Netgalley

📓 The Death Of Mrs. Westaway is a new atmospheric thriller from best-selling author Ruth Ware. I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review. This review is spoiler-free 📚 😌

36373481

 

Title: The Death Of Mrs. Westaway

Author: Ruth Ware

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Date published: May 29, 2018

Page Count: 384

 

 

synopsis

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.”

 

My Review

Gypsy Caravan, Tarot Wagon, Seaside

 

The Death Of Mrs. Westaway is a mystery novel about dark family secrets that takes place in England, during November (the perfect dreary weather for a thriller). The story is told from Harriet’s perspective in present day, and by journal entries from the past. After her mother is killed in an accident, Hal takes over the family business reading tarot cards on a pier in Brighton. I became attached to Hal pretty quickly, and found myself hoping she’d be able to pull off the fraud of walking away with someone else’s inheritance. Mrs. Westaway’s family is a loveless group of people who barely have anything to do with each other. I especially enjoyed cranky Mrs. Warren who helped run Mrs. Westaway’s ancient mansion for many years. Her sharp, uninhibited tongue reminded me of Lady Crawley from “Downton Abbey”.

Tarot Cards Magic Fortune Telling Gypsy Es

The setting of the Westaway mansion, Trepassen, is my favorite character. I loved how the five-sense descriptions of the house helped me feel like I was there, causing the creaks and secrets to haunt my dreams after reading late into the night.

I kinda saw the twist coming, but I almost always guess the “surprise ending” for books and movies. The secondary characters were one-dimensional for me. I would have liked to have been given more opportunity to get to know Mrs. Westaway, and Hal’s mother. Mrs. Westaway seems like an entertaining character that would probably make a great protagonist for a prequel 🙂

There was some fact repetition and I feel like one more big edit could have polished this one to a 5 star read for me.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a suspenseful thriller that is a slow-burn, however, it will keep you turning the pages. I definitely recommend you pick up this new book by Ruth Ware.

About the author.jpg

“Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9013543.Ruth_Ware

Find her on twitter at www.twitter.com/ruthwarewriter, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ruthwarewriter or via her website – www.ruthware.com

May Wrap Up [2018] #reading

I read 6 books in March:
2 Young Adult (Fantasy, Contemporary Romance)
2 Adult (Anthology/Fantasy, Mystery Crime Thriller)
2 Middle Grade (Fantasy Graphic Novels)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I follow the Goodreads rating suggestions:
🌟= did not like it
🌟🌟= it was ok
🌟🌟🌟= liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟= really liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟= it was amazing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

32075662

Title: Our Dark Duet

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Date Published: June 2017

Page Count: 510

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟 Our Dark Duet By Victoria Schwab #BookReview

 

 

 

32905900

Title: Some Of The Best From Tor.com

Author: Various

Publisher: Tor.com

Date Published: January 2017

Page Count: 667

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟  Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016 #BookReview #Free #KOBO

 

 

 

36632316

Title: Find You In The Dark

Author: Nathan Ripley

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date Published: April 2018

Page Count: 352

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟  New Thriller by Canadian Author #Findyouinthedark #Netgalley

 

 

 

10537195

Title: The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: September 2011

Page Count: 219

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10537195-the-last-council

 

 

36373464

Title: From Twinkle With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Date Published: May 2018

Page Count: 336

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟 New Teen Contemporary Romance #BookReview #Netgalley #FromTwinkleWithLove

 

 

13436384

 

Title: Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: September 2012

Page Count: 203

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2400981523?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

New Thriller by Canadian Author #Findyouinthedark #Netgalley

📓 Find You In The Dark, Canadian author Nathan Ripley’s début novel, is an Adult Thriller (Crime, Mystery).  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review📚 😌

findyouinthedark

 

Title: Find You In The Dark

Author: Nathan Ripley

Genre: Adult, Mystery/Thriller/Crime

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date published: March 2018

Page Count: 352

 

 

synopsis

Martin Reese has a hobby: he digs up murder victims. He buys stolen police files on serial killers, and uses them to find and dig up missing bodies. Calls in the results anonymously, taunting the police for their failure to do their job.

Detective Sandra Whittal takes that a little personally. She’s suspicious of the mysterious caller, who she names the Finder. Maybe he’s the one leaving the bodies behind. If not, who’s to say he won’t start soon?

As Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder, Martin makes a shocking discovery. It seems someone—someone lethal—is very unhappy about the bodies he’s been digging up.

Hunted by a cop, hunted by a killer. To escape and keep his family safe, Martin may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever imagined.” Goodreads

 

My Review

 

Martin Reese and his wife, Ellen, have a teenage daughter named Kylie. Ellen’s sister is missing for twenty years. The serial killer charged with her disappearance is dead. After selling his tech company, Martin starts buying info from a dirty cop about missing women, trying to find his wife’s sister, and during the process he becomes obsessed with digging up the bones of murdered women. Find You In The Dark made me ponder the gray area between right and wrong, and ask myself just how far I would go to find someone.

The Ragman! Oh how I enjoyed his character. I wanted to read more of his dark, twisted, thoughts, motivations, and actions. What an interesting monster he is.

This is a slow burn, but somehow I found myself longing to read it, wondering what was going to happen next, and staying up way past my bedtime trying to figure out who Martin Reese really was. I now realize I love to read stories about people who live a secret life.

I disliked the cliché rich-man-not-paying-attention-to-beautiful-wife story line. Ellen is a spoiled, selfish woman. I didn’t care about her at all. She is overprotective when it comes to her daughter, yet doesn’t wonder what her own husband is doing on overnight solo camping trips.

The pace is slow for a thriller over the first half of the book, and I felt like the characters didn’t come to life until the last quarter. If you like a fast-paced thriller, this is not the book for you. However, if you’re into a slow burn with a sprint to the finish, then be sure to check this one out.

About the author.jpg

According to a note from the publisher on Netgalley, Nathan Ripley is the pseudonym of Naben Ruthnum, a winner of Canada’s prestigious Journey Prize for best short story published by an emerging writer.

“Originally from Kelowna, British Columbia, Ruthnum is of Mauritian descent.[5] He has a master’s degree from McGill University, where he wrote his thesis on the role of Oscar Wilde in the development of the ghost story in British literature.” Wikipedia

“Nathan Ripley is the pen name of literary fiction writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum. His stories and essays have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Sight & Sound, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, among other places. He lives in Toronto.” Fantastic Fiction

Nathan Ripley on Twitter

The Broken Girls

📓 The Broken Girls is a suspenseful, ghostly, mystery novel about two murders that took place at a girl’s boarding school. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review. This review is spoiler-free 📚 😌

35533431

 

Title: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Ghost Story

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Date published: March 20th, 2018

Page Count: 336 pages

 

 

synopsis

“A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .The Broken Girls: Goodreads

 

My Review

The Broken Girls tells the story of a journalist named Fiona trying to uncover the truth about her older sister’s murder. Followed by the ghost of Mary Hand, Fiona uncovers the tragic story of Sonia, a student at Idlewild Hall boarding school in Vermont.

Some of the creepy Mary Hand ghost parts left me on the edge of my seat, all of my senses heightened in fear of hearing tapping on the window and the voice of a girl asking to come in. I enjoyed the Gothic feel to this read. The Broken Girls is a character-driven story, leaning more towards mystery than thriller. Idlewild Hall, looming over many souls for over a hundred years, was a character on its own.

There were some facts repeated multiple times which makes me feel like the author thinks I’m not smart enough to remember that particular fact after it’s mentioned the first or second time. We are also given a character description when she looks in the mirror. This info could have been woven into the story elsewhere (and it was, multiple times). The whole journalist dating a cop thing was a predictable relationship. For me, there was a lot going on, and maybe some editing could have made this a five-star read.

Chilling, unpredictable page-turner about overcoming hardships and the power of truth. I suggest this one to mystery fans who like a dollop of supernatural with a big spoonful of romance.

About the author.jpg

Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

http://www.simonestjames.com/

The Man Who Died #Thriller #BookReview #SpoilerFree #Themanwhodied #Netgalley

📓 I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.  📚 😌

The man who died

Title: The Man Who Died

Author: AnttiTuomainen

Translated from Finnish by David Hackston

Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date published: May 1st, 2018

Page Count: 245

 

 

synopsis

“A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.” Goodreads

 

My Review

Setting: Hamina, Finland

 

Jaakko Kaunismaa: CEO of mushroom business. After finding out he is dying, he walked in on his wife cheating on him with one of his employees. Jaakko suspects his wife, Taina, she is poisoning him and decides to embark on an investigation to discover the truth. I often found myself chuckling to Jaakko’s dark sense of humor.

The other characters were pretty boring for me and lacked personality. This story focused more on plot than characters, which is often the case for thrillers. I couldn’t put it down and read it quickly. I just HAD to know if his wife was trying to kill him, what the guys from the new mushroom company were up to, and if the cop would figure out what Jaakko’s been up to.

The Man Who Died is a dark, odd, funny thriller about a quirky mushroom business man.

“Finnish author Tuomainen has come up with an irresistible crime comedy caper /…/ More than just a whodunit, but a gripping tale of self-loathing, investigation and desperate floundering /…/ Both a thriller and a dark laugh a minute journey that will keep you hanging on to the end. The story of a man investigating his own death has been done before but not with such gusto. ” – Crime Time (UK)

About the author.jpg

“Antti Tuomainen is the award-winning author of seven novels: A Killer I Wish, My Brother’s Keeper, The Healer, Dark as My Heart, The Mine, The Man Who Died and his latest – Palm Beach Finland. He has been called ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ by the Finnish press and his writing has garnered attention worldwide.

In 2011 his third novel The Healer was awarded the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel and has subsequently been published in 27 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, China, Iceland, Turkey and Greece, among others.

His fourth novel Dark as My Heart was optioned for feature film in 2013 and is in development at Making Movies Ltd., the production company behind the Finnish film sensation Black Ice. Dark as My Heart has been voted the best crime novel of the past decade by the readers of a Finnish crime fiction magazine. The novel was also nominated for the prestigious Petrona-prize in the UK in 2016.

His sixth novel The Man Who Died was published in Finland in September 2016. The novel has been optioned by Finnish production company Luminoir and is currently in development for feature film. Publishing rights for The Man Who Died have been sold to the UK, France and Germany, among others.

Antti’s seventh novel, titled Palm Beach Finland was published in September 2017 in Finland.

Antti has been a featured guest on numerous literary festivals, events, panels and book tours in the UK, Germany, France, the United States, Spain, Italy, Romania, Iceland, Norway, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland.

Antti was born in Helsinki, Finland where he lives with his wife. In addition to novels, he also writes short stories and magazine articles. You can find him easily on Facebook and he will be happy to hear from you.”

http://anttituomainen.com/

Book Review ~ Gemina (Illuminae Files #2)

📓 Gemina, the second book of the Illuminae Files series, is a Young Adult Sci-Fi thriller set in the future that takes place in space. If you haven’t read the first book, be warned –  this review is full of spoilers. 📚 😌 Both books are a compilation of emails, instant messages, security camera footage, pictures, and “regular” narrative.

Gemina

 

Title: Gemina

Author: Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Thriller

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date published: October 2016

Page Count: 659

 

 

synopsis

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.”

My Review

Survivors of the Kerenza attack on January 29th, 2575 fled aboard the Hypatia, Copernicus, and Alexander. Pursued by the Lincoln, a Beitech Industries spaceship, Hypatia is the only remaining ship. Reaching the Heimdall Jump Station is their only hope to escape and let the rest of the universe know what Beitech has done. According to a comment Jay Kristoff made on Goodreads, Gemina begins 5 minutes after Illuminae ends, 15 days prior to Hypatia’s estimated arrival at the Heimdall Jump Station (home to over 10,000 people).

Mikhail Malikov is the leader of the House of Knives. Living on the Heimdall, he and his nephew, Niklas, inject worm-like creatures into living cow’s brains to create an addictive drug called “dust”. Nik is Hanna Donnelly’s drug dealer. She is the Heimdall‘s commander’s daughter, and is dating the incredibly handsome Jackson Merrick. A highly trained crew hired by Beitech attack the Heimdall, planning to use the jump station to reach Hypatia, destroy all people and evidence of the Kerenza attack.

In a strange turn of events, Hanna and Nik find themselves having to work together to try to save Heimdall and Hypatia.

Hanna is a lot like Kady, the main character from Illuminae. I love reading about smart, bad-ass women like Hanna and Kady. Nik is the bad boy that you’d love to date, Merrick is the guy you introduce to Dad. As you’ve probably guessed Hanna and Nik end up crushing on each other. The slow-burn/romantic triangle is slightly annoying at times, but I was able to put it aside thanks to the relatively fast-moving plot. My FAVORITE character is Nik’s cousin Ella, a genius 15-year-old hacker.

Gemina is a fast-paced, action filled page turning thriller that made me laugh.

I didn’t like that we don’t read about the character’s from Illuminae until the 55% mark. Even though the mixed-media delivery of this novel does make this a fast read for a book with over 600 pages, there is a lot that could have been cut. Even though they are strong, female leads, Hanna and Kady feel like the same character. The way they talk in the emails and instant messages felt like it could be the same person. I also had a hard time believing 18 year olds could outsmart well-trained adult agents.

I rate this one a strong 3.5 stars. Illuminae Files had better characters, Gemina had a better plot, I’m hoping the third book Obsidio will give me both. I would not recommend the e-book version, it just doesn’t work very well with the book format.

In case you’re interested, here’s my review for Illuminae Files.

Book Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

The Wonder

 

Title: The Wonder

Author: Emma Donoghue

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Ireland

Publisher: HarperCollins

Date published: September 2016

Page Count: 291

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

 

synopsis

“An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story.

Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, The Wonder—inspired by numerous European and North American cases of “fasting girls” between the sixteenth century and the twentieth—is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.” (Goodreads)

 

My Review

The Wonder is told from the perspective of Lib Wright, an almost thirty year old woman widowed after just one year of marriage. She’s a nurse trained by Florence Nightingale (a real person, founder of modern nursing). Lib is an English woman, not impressed by the conditions of the rural Irish town where Anna O’Donnell lives. The O’Donnell family claim that Anna hasn’t eaten for four months. Lib and another nurse, Sister Michael, have been recruited to watch over Anna twenty-four hours a day to ensure the validity of Anna’s fast. Lib and Sister Michael are working for a seemingly unintelligent doctor named Dr. McBrearty. Anna claims she doesn’t need food because she lives on “manna from heaven”.

In University I completed a few courses about Irish history and culture and quite enjoyed the Irish dialect and cultural references in this story. My favourite character is Lib’s romantic interest, William Byrne, a journalist correspondent for many English papers. The Wonder made me laugh, cry, and feel an insane amount of anger, particularly towards Anna’s family (wish I could slap her mother in the face).

Lib’s annotations of Anna’s daily vital signs were an extremely effective technique to help increase the reader’s concern for Anna and was an important piece of this psychological thriller. The plot starts with a slow heartbeat, but by the end my heart was pounding along with Anna’s.

The lengthy chapters create a slow pace for a thriller. I felt quite annoyed by the main character Lib. She’s irritated by just about everything and everyone, and I didn’t feel like she changed much throughout the story.

The Wonder is a thought-provoking, atmospheric, emotional Irish historical mystery. This is a quick, easy read that will leave you feeling satisfactorily disturbed.

About the author.jpg

Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their son and daughter. (Goodreads)