Sunday, February 21

Book Review: One Good Turn

Title: One Good Turn

Author: Kate Atkinson

Pages: EBook

Summary: Two years after the events of Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, Jackson Brodie has followed Julia, his occasional girlfriend and former client, to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival. But when he witnesses a man being brutally attacked in a traffic jam - the apparent victim of an extreme case of road rage - a chain of events is set in motion that will pull the wife of an unscrupulous real estate tycoon, a timid but successful crime novelist, and a hardheaded female police detective into Jackson's orbit. Suddenly out of retirement, Jackson is once again in the midst of several mysteries that intersect in one giant and sinister scheme.

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: While the book started off fairly slow, the first quarter seemed to drag, the book picked up and ended up being a pretty good and engrossing read. There were so many little pieces here and there that all came together in the end and I think the author did a fantastic job at bring everything together.

The overall case, or cases all had their own interesting piece here and there. I enjoyed how they all worked into one scheme in the end, some parts I was figuring out along the way, others through me a bit but all connected together well. The characters and their story arcs all came together naturally rather than feeling forced which I've found in similar books to this one - but the author did a fantastic job at bring it all together.

The characters were also well developed and well done throughout the book. They were a fairly miserable group of characters and I can't say I have a favourite character in this book, although some I liked more than others and some I wanted to just smack upside the head - which does show that the author has written some believable characters for me. Jackson Broadie is an interesting character, I like him the best, but I wouldn't exactly say he's a likeable character, although sometimes his inner thoughts did make me laugh and he grabbed my attention the most - I don't think he'd be a character I'd say he's likeable. He's definitely intriguing enough for me to want to read more about him, but still not exactly likeable.

In the end a good book, that has me looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

Would I recommend it to read: I would this one was well done and enjoyable to read, slow at first but well worth reading through to the end.

What to read next: When Will There be Good News? (Book Three in the Jackson Brodie Series), Inspector Rebus would also be a good choice

Challenges: 2016 Category Challenge, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge

Saturday, February 20

Book Review: Fair Game

Title: Fair Game

Author: Patricia Briggs

Pages: 280

Summary: It is said that opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son—and enforcer—of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant Alpha. While Anna, an Omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind. When the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial-killer case, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston to join the investigation. It soon becomes clear that someone is targeting the preternatural. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

My Rating: 7.75 /10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall I enjoyed the book - especially the aspect of a murder mystery - which gave it something a little different compared to the first two books in the series. The author did a great job at creating all the elements for the mystery and connecting it together slowly. I figured out who was behind it early on, but she did do a good job at building everything up to the end and resolution the mystery.

While the build up to the end was well done and at times, suspenseful, I found that the actual ending and reveal was underwhelming. There was so much careful time and plotting to get there and then it was a bland way to do a final showdown compared to the rest of the book. I also found Charles' brooding started to become frustrating - he's already not the top of my favourite characters list, but I found him to be even more bothersome in this book.

Anna on the other hand has become a fantastic character over the series and this book really showed how much she's grown. I'm really enjoying her and I can't wait to see what the author does with her in the rest of the series - Anna has really come into her own and this book shows it. In the end it was a good read - I'm looking forward to what the rest of the series has to offer as well as starting on the author's other series.

Would I recommend it to read: I would it was a good book, great built up to the end. It has something for both Mystery/Thriller fans and urban fantasy/paranormal romance fans

What to read next: Dead Heat, the next book in the series. Also the Mercy Thompson series might be worth checking out

Challenges: 2016 Category Challenge, 2016 Mount TBR Challenge

Sunday, February 14

Book Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Pages: 260

Summary: Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2,and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.

So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens. . .

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was basically a carbon copy of the movie, but there was a little more depth to in, because the author was able to get into the characters inner thoughts and show the reader more of an emotional depth for each character. Also, there was a few extra scenes in the book that weren't in the movie that really added something to the story - one of which will make the most hardcore Star Wars fans very happy, as that scene was absent from the movie.

For the most part, I enjoyed it - I liked that some of the missing bits of the movie connected things together and made the story come together a lot better. Some aspects that were different from the movie - even the most minor differences I understood why that was changed but there were more times than not that the book just connected everything together.

I wasn't a fan of the overall writing style of the book. It was fine but I found it to be repetitive, the word instrumentation was over used far too much and it began to get frustrating when reading the book. Otherwise it was a good companion read to the movie and overall fun book to read in general.

Would I recommend it to read: If you're a Star Wars fan I would for sure. If you watched the movie and enjoyed it and want a few more details and background information on certain pieces from the plot it's a good choice. But as a standalone or a fun new Science Fiction it doesn't stand out on its own.

What to read next: The other books in the series (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi)

Challenges: 2016 Category Challenge, New Author Challenge