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review 2015-12-12 17:29
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R King
Dreaming Spies - Laurie R. King

Full review on my blog.

Dreaming Spies is the first book from author Laurie R King that I read. I’d been meaning to read Mary Russell’s adventures for a while, so when I saw this book and its praise as a novel of suspense, blackmail, fraud, conspiracy and espionage that included the wonderful Sherlock Holmes, I knew I had to read it. I also knew this wasn’t going to be a full Homes mystery, but I was excited to read how this dynamic duo behaved together.

Dreaming Spies is divided into 3 parts. It starts in Sussex and Oxford, then we take a trip from India to Japan where we stay for part 2 of the book and then we’re back to Oxford where it all ties up. In all honesty I think Book 1 could’ve been edited because nothing exciting happened. Book 2 was better than the first, more action and drama, but my favorite part was book 3, which is when we finally see the mystery unfold.

My problems with this book:
1.I had a hard time getting into the story.
2.It moved to lowly for my taste.
3.Too many redundant and endless descriptions that make you feel blasé.
4.The book focuses too much on the description and leaves the mystery to be solved and the interaction between Russell and Holmes in a second place.
(more about this on the full review on my blog.)

What I take from this book:
1. The Haikus at the beginning of each chapter.
2. The Holmes-Russell duo action.
3. Everything tied up well in the end.
(more about this on the full review on my blog.)

Having read Dreaming Spies, I don’t feel motivated to check out the other books in this series. So in terms of recommending it, I guess I can say that if you’re looking for an action packed, fast-paced, exciting mystery featuring Holmes and Russell, this is not the book for you. If you want to earn extensive knowledge of what it was like to travel by sea from India to Japan in the 1920’s, this is the book for you. If you want to learn about Japan, the Japanese culture, and ninjas, this is the book for you. And of course, if you are a fan of Laurie R King and her Mary Russell series, this is the book for you.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/read-reviewed-dreaming-spies-by-laurie-r-king
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review 2015-12-05 18:47
A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison
A Small Indiscretion - Jan Ellison

Full review on my blog.

Do you remember that line from Titanic, “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.” A Small Indiscretion is a book that makes you dive into Annie’s ocean of secrets. It is the story of Annie, a 40-something year-old woman who lives you could say an uneventful normal family life and has it all, a loving husband (Jonathan), and three children: Robbie, Polly, and Clara, as well as a successful career. But you know what the say: no family is perfect. Annie’s life gets suddenly disrupted when a secret from her youth comes back to haunt her. And if that wasn’t enough to handle her son Robbie has an accident that leaves him in a comma. Needless to say, the life of her family is altered and forever changed.

The premise is a good premise that calls for an emotional family drama. Even though I liked the story, I had trouble with the way the author chose to tell it. I didn’t enjoy the constant time jumps. I’ve enjoyed other books that use this format of having the reader go from past to present and vice versa. But I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it with this book.

The book is divided into two parts. Part one didn’t do it for me. Instead of building up the conflict and making me feel totally engaged, it felt endless, boring and confusing. More about this on the full review on my blog. Part two was better than part one. In the end I was glad it all worked out, although without spoiling it for you, I felt like it would’ve been nice to know what happened when Annie met Robbie in detail, instead of leaving the reader to imagine it.

A Small Indiscretion is a likeable story. Even though I couldn’t relate to the characters or the “conflict”, I never felt like I wanted to DNF the book. On the contrary, despite the confusion from the first part, by the second part, I found myself wanting to know how the story ended.

I don’t usually feel age affects the reading experience but with this book and how I couldn’t relate to the story that much, I feel like I would recommend it to anyone who is in Annie’s age group or who can identify with the stage in her life somehow.

If you’re into stories about family secrets that are unexpectedly unveiled and how they affect everyone involved, this is the book for you. Book clubs might enjoy this story. I can see discussions about marriage, handling conflicts, infidelity, unexpected pregnancies and their effects, the impulsiveness of youth and its effect in your adult years, separation and its effects on children, etc., arise from this book.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/read-reviewed-75-a-small-indiscretion-by-jan-ellison
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review 2015-11-14 18:39
The Glittering World by Robert Levy
The Glittering World - Robert Levy

The Glittering World was a book that I chose to read solely for the cover. Yes, it was pure cover love for me. I then read the blurb and for some reason I thought it has going to be a dark fairy tale. I was in the mood for some adult fantasy, so I had to check it out.

The Glittering World is the story of 4 friends, Blue, Elisa, Jason and Gabe, who travel from New York to Cape Breton to sell a house that Blue inherited from his grandmother. What they thought was going to be a cool road trip between friends turns out to be the you could say trip of their life time. Shortly after arriving to the house and getting acquainted with the locals, Blue remembers secrets from his past that help him discover who and what he really is. Dun dun dun! The trip then gets complicated after Blue and Elisa mysteriously disappear. Jason and Gabe are left with the mission to find them. As they search for them, the mysteries that lay behind below an abandoned artists’ colony are unveiled.

After reading the first two chapters I was hooked and intrigued. Blue seemed like a tortured soul. The introduction to his character and his woes was good. I didn’t understand why this was so important because I wanted the fairies or whatever strange creatures this book was going to be about to pop up. I was anxious for fantasy.

I kept reading and it got weird but in good way. The author had me with the creepy dark luminous fairies. As the story progressed it got creepier and darker. The plot is divided into 4 parts. Each part is narrated by one of the four main characters, starting with Blue, then Jason, followed by Elisa and it ends with Gabe. Since part two I was dying to know Gabe’s side of the story. I thought it had to be creepy weird, and I wasn’t wrong.

The Glittering World was a confusingly addictive adult read. It is an utterly wild ride. Strange, gross at times and different from everything I’ve read. It is a fast paced read that you can’t put down. I would describe it like a maze, once you get in on one side, you can’t go back. You just have to keep going until the end. You might get disoriented and or lost inside it, but once you start it, you can’t stop until you get out of it.

I liked this book and gave it 3 stars. I didn’t give it a higher rating for the reasons I state in the full review on my blog.

 

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links.
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/read-reviewed-73-the-glittering-world-by-robert-levy
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review 2015-11-07 15:43
The Garden of Unfortunate Souls by Eddie Mark
The Garden of Unfortunate Souls - Eddie Mark

Full review on my blog.

The Garden of Unfortunate Souls is American author Eddie Mark’s debut novel. It is a dark story about Shadrack and Audwin, two African American boys, who grew up in opposite ends of society in Buffalo, NY in the 80’s. One of them grew up in an environment that you could say gave him everything he needed to make it in life. The other grew up in an environment that made the act of surviving life a real quest. Despite their opposite backgrounds, they share a common ground, which is that they both face from a young age: neglect, violence and all sort of negative situations that mold them and make them become the men they do in the end.

I must say that this is not a sweet coming of age story. It is a serious and obscure story for adults. It deals with religion, crime, corruption, violence, mental illness, sibling rivalry, rape, drugs, and all sorts of abuse: physical, emotional, verbal, economical, domestic, sexual, etc.

Despite the somber topics this story touches, it is written in a way that keeps you wanting to read the story until the end.

If you’re looking for a feel good fuzzy wuzzy coming of age story, this is not the book for you. If you’re looking for a story that takes you into the minds of deeply troubled people and follow them as they overcome or not their life’s tribulations, this is the book for you. If your book club is looking for a book that will generate deep and serious discussions on the effect of religion, neighborhood or surroundings and parenting, this is the book for you.

The Garden of Unfortunate Souls is a timeless and current story. It is set in the 80’s but as sad as it sounds, it is a story that could be happening in our times regardless of race, creed or gender. It is a book about fortune; it will make you ponder on it. Good or bad fortune, does it matter?

Full review on my blog.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links as stated in my disclosure policy.

 

Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/read-reviewed-72-the-garden-of-unfortunate-souls-by-eddie-mark/review
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review 2015-08-29 18:16
Black-eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense - Julia Heaberlin

 Black-eyed Susans by American writer Julia Heaberlin is the story of Tessa, the sole survivor of a multiple crime that took place in Texas in 1995. Back then Tessa was 16, went by Tessie, spent her time running (she was in the track team) and with her friend Lydia. She had a normal life until one day she wakes up after someone dumped her in an almost dead state along with bones and corpses of other girls in a field covered with black-eyed susans. A man was convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

Flash forward to the present, the “killer’s” execution date is near. After all the therapy and time Tessa is scared when someone plants black-eyed Susans outside her bedroom window. She is not sure the man convicted is the real criminal and fears the killer is still out there, haunting her. And so we begin reading her flashbacks to her memories from the time after the crime, therapy, the trial, etc. as Tessa finally tries to face the truth about what really happened.

I was attracted by the title of this book and the cover. More about this in the full review on my blog.

The premise of this book is intriguing but the way it was executed confused me. My issues with the book were:

- The going back and forth in time.
- I felt like I had been reading for hours but nothing added up. It took too long, almost halfway through the book for me to feel like I was really invested in the story.
- I don’t agree with the blurb because this was not a shocking and intense read for me. It wasn’t that dazzling of a psychological thriller either. Yes it has some suspenseful moments that make you guess and try to figure out who the killer is, but to say it was dazzling is a bit too much. It is a good book in theory; I just think it could have been better.
- At times it felt like I was reading young adult fiction rather than adult fiction, especially when reading Tessa’s flashbacks from her teenage years.
- My main issue with this book is that there were loose ends, and I don’t like loose ends in my books. This book left me not knowing EXACTLY what happened to Tessa, it is never stated clearly. And then there’s Lydia, there’s a lot about her that the reader is left not knowing.

I explain these issues on the full review on my blog.

Black-eyed Susans is a puzzle that the reader has to slowly solve. Each chapter is a puzzle piece, you can’t skip any or you’ll have an incomplete puzzle in the end.

What I really enjoyed was all the forensic science mentioned in the book. I wasn’t aware of how advanced the methods for solving these types of crimes are. I was pleased to learn about mitochondrial DNA and its application to identify murder victims. I didn’t know what geochemistry was. I think it rocks! Like the author I also understand more than ever that we are the earth. All this scientific mambo-jumbo-to-some is what I happily take from this book.

In the end, Black-eyed Susans wasn’t about suspense, mystery or crime solving. In my humble opinion it was more about friendship, and the effects of jealousy, rivalry and deception on it. It is also a book about letting go of the negative things/relationships/problems/memories from your past. Learning to not give them the power over us is a hard process but it can be done. We can’t let our sanity held hostage by them. Only when you stop dragging them around, when you truly let go, you are free.

Black-eyed Susans is an OK read. A book to read in the last weeks of summer that we have left. If you’re into books about unsolved crimes, psyco-killers, dark secrets and mystery this is the book for you. If you like suspense novels this is the book for you. If you like books about dark friendships and unexpected final twists this is the book for you. If you like black-eyed susans, I bet you are going to think of this book every time you see one after reading this book. If you like Snicker’s bars, all the talk about them will probably leave you craving one or two after you read this book. I would recommend you to read it with a stash of Snicker’s bars or snickerdoodle cookies. :P  

 

Buy on Amazon US

Buy on Amazon UK

 

 

 

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/read-reviewed-64-black-eyed-susans-by-julia-heaberlin
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