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review 2017-11-15 23:39
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance - Ruth Emmie Lang

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was such a magical story. I don't read a whole lot of magical realism but it seems that I love them when I do read them. I am not sure that this book would work for every reader since there are a whole lot of strange occurrences but it worked well for me and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up.

This book tells the story of Weylyn Grey. We don't learn his story from Weylyn. Instead, we learn about him in different points in time from others that are close to him. We see Weylyn as others see him and learn all of the incredible things that play a part in his life. Each section of the book shares a very vivid snapshot of this wonderful character.

Weylyn lives a life unlike anyone else. He is different in a lot of ways. He has a certain innocence throughout the book and it is hard not to fall in love with him. I also really liked the characters in the story that shared Weylyn's story. These characters grew and changed over the course of the book and seemed to be positively changed through their association with Weylyn.

There is a bit of magic on nearly every page of this charming story. This was a strange book in a lot of ways but it was strange in the best way possible. There are so many strange things associated with Weylyn and his life that I never knew what to expect. I quickly learned not to even try to guess what Weylyn would do next and just sat back and enjoyed the journey. 

I would highly recommend this book to fans of magical realism. I found this book to be a wonderful story filled with magic. I am very impressed by Ruth Emmie Lang's debut novel and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. 

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book filled with things you wouldn't expect. This probably won't be a book for everyone but it worked well for me.

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review 2017-11-12 18:12
The Lying Game
The Lying Game: A Novel - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

This is the first book I've read by Ware despite having had my eye on her previous books. I now regret not having picked them up sooner. I was immediately drawn into the story of four tight knit teenagers who met at a coastal boarding school called Salten. They developed the lying game where they would concoct elaborate lies to tell people who were not part of their small circle and award each other points. The game had rules, one of which was, never lie to each other.

The girls are eventually kicked out of their boarding school and all go their separate ways until years down the road when their shared secret comes back to haunt them. A single text reunites them.  

"I need you." 


The book jumps back and forth between Isa's perspective and their past. The story slowly unravels to reveal how they met, their shared secrets, and what became of each of them. I didn't give this book a full five stars only because the final reveal didn't blow me away as much as I had anticipated. I enjoyed the ride and discovering the mystery, I just wanted a bit more thrill and suspense. I am, of course, looking forward to reading more from Ware.

 

-SW

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-05 03:09
Book Review: A Room Full of Bones
A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Mystery - Elly Griffiths

Book: A Room Full of Bones

 

Author: Elly Griffiths

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery

 

Summary: When Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop, she finds the museum's curator lying dead on the floor. Soon after, the museum wealthy owner is also found dead, in his stables. These two deaths could be from natural causes, but once again Ruth and DCI Harry Nelson cross paths during the investigation. When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth's friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, Ruth and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling, and the mystery of "The Dreaming" hold the answers to these deaths, as well as the keys to their own survival. -Mariner Books, 2012.

 

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review 2017-10-27 22:21
Freaks of the Heartland
Freaks of the Heartland - Steve Niles,Greg Ruth
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. We begin with a father who likes his drink, a mother who tries to stick up for her children and son who is silent outside but has lots of emotions inside. The illustrations showcase the gloom and the emotions that hang over the household. You don’t really need to read the words to know how each individual feels as they tread inside the house. The boy must go tend to his brother and at these words, I am wondering if they named one of the livestock “brother.” I am hoping that my guess is correct but as I turn the page and see a large child shackled in a barn, my hatred towards the father grows. It is the conversation that these two brothers have that tells me that love still resides outside in this barn. It is later at night when the boy unshackles his brother, unbeknownst to anyone, so that they can romp and walk through the fields together that I have hope for these two boys.
 
The next morning, father is planning to matters into his own hands as he takes his rifle down from the wall. When mother says, “Maybe if we didn’t treat them like animals they wouldn’t act like animals.” I am startled as she said “them” so there is more than one individual being treated like the boy in the barn. What occurs out in the barn made me wonder who the freak was in the novel and how many more freaks I would read about before this novel was over.
 
This is one of those novels where you wonder how things will play themselves out. Why is the boy’s brother being held in the barn and who else was in hiding? What would happen in the final pages of this book? It was hard not to look.

 

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review 2017-10-24 17:07
In a Dark, Dark Wood (I en mörk, mörk skog) by Ruth Ware (SWE/ENG)
In a Dark, Dark Wood - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

SWEDISH REVIEW

 
En oväntad inbjudan dyker upp i den tillbakadragna författaren Noras mejl – det är barndomsvännen Clare som ska gifta sig. En av Clares väninnor håller på och organiserar en möhippa, och vill gärna att Nora kommer trots att det var åratal sedan Nora och Clare hade någon kontakt.
 

Väl på plats, långt ute i skogen, för en helg med sprit och lekar, gör alla sitt bästa för att bjuda till, men snart uppstår spänningar mellan både nya och gamla bekantskaper. Är alla verkligen där på samma premisser? Varför är Nora bara bjuden på möhippan men inte på bröllopet? Och vem är det egentligen Clare ska gifta sig med?


Kontakten med omvärlden är i det närmaste obefintlig i det isolerade huset. Mobiltäckningen är usel och den fasta telefonen fungerar inte. Inom loppet av ett dygn går möhippan från krystad och märklig till våldsam och katastrofal – och Nora hamnar på sjukhus.


Frågan är bara vad som hänt från det att hon och de andra lämnade huset tills det att hon vaknade upp i en sjukhussäng. Hur har hon fått alla skador? Var är de andra? Och varför sitter det poliser på vakt utanför rummet där hon ligger?


Och framför allt – varför minns hon inte vad det är som har hänt?

 
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I en mörk, mörk skog är en intressant psykologisk thriller om en ung kvinna, Nora, som vaknar upp på ett sjukhus, skadad, och utan minnen av vad som hände med henne. Nu måste hon pussla ihop allt som hände från det ögonblick hon fick ett e-postmeddelande om en möhippa för Clare, en vän att hon inte har sett på tio år. För Nora är denna inbjudan ganska förvånande, särskilt eftersom hon inte är inbjuden till bröllopet, och hon vet inte ens vem Clare ska gifta sig med...
 
Jag måste erkänna att i början tyckte jag inte att berättelsen vara särskilt engagerande. Lätt att läsa ja, men jag hade bara svårt att riktigt gilla karaktärerna eller historien. Jag menar att det var ganska lätt att se att någon kommer att dö och någon kommer att vara mördaren. Skulle den stora twisten vara att Nora själv skulle vara mördaren? Vem vet. Men det kom en punkt när jag plötsligt fann mig väldigt engagerad i vad som hände. Karaktärerna började avslöja saker om sig själva och jag fick en känsla av att svaren på allt låg i det förflutna...
 
I en mörk, mörk skog visade sig vara en riktigt bra bok. I början, kunde jag som sagt inte riktigt se vad som gjorde boken så speciell, men historien visade sig vara riktigt bra och det fanns några oväntade ögonblick i boken. Kanske inte den mest överraskande slut, men den passade historien. Allt och alla en riktigt bra bok!
 

Tack till Lind & Co för recensionexemplaret!

 

ENGLISH REVIEW 


What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

 
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In a Dark, Dark Wood is an interesting psychological thriller about a young woman, Nora, who wakes up in a hospital, injured, but with no memories of what happened to her. Now, she has to piece together everything that happened from the moment she got an email about a bachelorette party for Clares, a friend that she hasn't seen in ten years. For Nora is this invitation quite surprising, especially since she isn't invited to the wedding, and she doesn't even know who Clare is marrying...

For the first part of the book did I not think the book to be especially engaging. Easy to read yes, but I just had a hard time warming up to the characters and the story. I mean it was quite easy to see that someone is going to die and someone will be the killer. Would the great twist be that Nora herself would be the killer? Who knows. But, there came a point when I just found myself quite caught up with the story. The characters started to reveal things about themselves and I got the feeling that the answers to it all lie in the past.

In a Dark, Dark Wood turned out to be a pretty good book. Yes, in the beginning, I failed to see the big deal about the book, but the story turned out to be really good and there were some unexpected moments in the book. Perhaps not the most surprising ending, but it fitted the story. All, and all a really good book!

 

Thanks to Lind & Co for the review copy!

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