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review 2015-07-11 10:38
Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Passage - Justin Cronin

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.



This book began with a flash and multiple bangs, blowing my mind and making me thank the book gods for such an incredible feat of writing. It's amazing, filled with complex characters, grotesque circumstances, and difficult choices. It's the end of the world, and we definitely know it. 


Cronin can write. And write. And write. At almost eight hundred pages, you better be in this for the long haul. Took me three weeks to read this baby, and when I finally finished the workout that was The Passage, well... To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I felt.


All of the above is true. I was completely enraptured by the first 300 pages. I couldn't stop talking about this book. My husband was vaguely annoyed. But then it was like someone else took over and kicked Cronin to the curb, because I truly did not recognize it anymore.


Flash forward, and we've got a brand new time a century down the road and a slew of new characters. I don't mind a change of pace, but this went from breakneck speed to when....will....something....happen...?


Cronin seemed to lose that sharp focus that had me hooked in the beginning. This new cast of characters didn't connect and lacked the development of their predecessors. There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary filler, describing, over-sharing. There wasn't a balance between the characters and the world-building, and as a result, the second half of the book lacked that vibrancy that I fell in love with from first page. In my experience, I connect to the world through the characters, and most of them felt like cookie-cutter versions of cliches. 


So enough of the negative... Cronin worked too hard to create this epic novel for his daughter who asked him to write a book about a little girl who saves the world. And that in itself melts my resolve, and I've already started The Twelve, the second book in this trilogy. I'm a sucker. But I'm glad I've moved forward, because The Twelve, even only one hundred pages in, is.... incredible


Even with my less than satisfied mood in regards to the second half of The Passage, overall, I've gotta give it four stars. Cronin's created a real world here, and while I wished for more from some of his characters, he's got something amazing to work with, and I can't wait to see what else he has to offer. 


If my impression of The Twelve so far is correct, I think it's going to be, for lack of a more appropriate word, epic.





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text 2015-07-02 17:32
Best Reads of 2015 so far....the next 8
Dear Beneficiary - Janet Kelly
Terminal: A Virals Novel (Virals series Book 5) - Kathy Reichs,Brendan Reichs
You Belong to Me - Samantha Hayes
Tuesday Falling - Paul S. Williams
You Think You Know Me (Choc Lit) - Clare Chase
Second Life: A Novel - S.J. Watson
Die Again - Tess Gerritsen
No Other Darkness - Sarah Hilary

Dear Beneficiary by Janet Kelly

Terminal by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

You Belong to Me by Samantha Hayes

Tuesday Falling by S. Williams

You Think You Know Me by Clare Chase

Second Life by S. J. Watson

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary



Last year, I had a final list of 10 Best Reads for the year, the top spot being taken by Sarah Hilary's fantastic debut Someone Else's Skin, published by Headline.


Someone Else's Skin


With 16 fantastically engrossing novels making it to the shortlist so far, it looks like I'm going to have a really tough decision to make at the end of the year.

I welcome your comments !

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review 2015-05-20 22:55
Review: Terminal (Virals #5) by Kathy Reichs and Brandon Reichs
Terminal: A Virals Novel - Brendan Reichs,Kathy Reichs

Publication Date: 26th March 2015


Publisher: Random House UK, Cornerstone


ISBN: 9781448134366


Source: Publisher provided review copy, via NetGalley


Rating: 4*



A terrifying new Virals adventure for Tory Brennan – great niece of Dr Temperance Brennan – and the Virals team as they come face to face with their greatest enemy. From the producer of the hit TV series Bones and No.1 Sunday Timesbestselling author of the Temperance Brennan series.


Tory Brennan and the Virals are forced to confront the existence of a rival pack – The Trinity – who wants them off the scene – declaring war by engraving ‘One Territory. One Pack’ on a local landmark. What’s more this pack’s powers seem stronger and their eyes glow red rather than golden when they flare.


Chance Claybourne, who now owns his father’s pharmaceutical company, shares The Trinity’s powers – he accidentally infected himself and his ex-lab tech Will Speckman. Chance claims he’s on Virals’ side but can they trust him? And if Speckman is one of The Trinity, who are the other two?


As the tension mounts between the two packs an even greater threat looms. Covert government agents are closing in on them, determined to find out exactly how their powers work, to experiment on them. Have The Trinity pack given them Virals to save themselves? Or are both packs at risk?



An exciting fifth installment of the brilliant YA Virals series featuring Tory Brennan and the boys from Morris Island.

A well written, terrifically entertaining story that held my interest throughout - it's a real page turner. One of the things I love about this series is the interaction between the Virals - Tory, her wolfdog Cooper, neighbour Ben and schoolfriends Hi and Shelton. They are all such different characters and the banter between them is great. It's funny enough to make you chuckle yet serious when needed.

The new gang in town threaten the Virals' very existence and cause no end of trouble for Tory and her friends. But they won't be let off lightly. When the gang seek an unlikely ally in Chance, fireworks really do go off and a battle commences. I couldn't put it down!

A love triangle develops to complicate proceedings further - I adored that! I honestly couldn't see which way things were going to go and was surprised at the very end of the book, when the choice is made.

Brilliant stuff!



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review 2015-05-15 01:24
Exposure - Kathy Reichs,Brendan Reichs

Very angst. Much unbelievable. Such bored.

And there you have it. But seriously, each new book in the series gets progressively worse. The characters, by which I mean Ben and Chance, get more annoying, the book is always at least 100 pages too long, and the plot for the individual books are pathetic or ill-written.

For example, Chance. Chance is something like 19. He's a multi-billionaire. And he IS Jackson Whittemore from Teen Wolf, no joke. His whole life is consumed with finding out what Tory and her gang pack are and becoming it too. He cannot rest till he has accomplished his goal and he's a giant jackass, to boot. Despite being a bajillionarie, I find it highly unbelievable that he can literally do whatever he wants and experiment in labs and wander in and out of anywhere and everywhere and no one ever questions him or wonders what he's doing or anything. Urgh.

Or, and here's a gem, why would two teenagers who wish to fake their kidnapping in order to get ransom money from their (apparently) horrible stepfather ASK A COP TO HELP THEM? Like, how did that even come about?

Kids: *wander into police station*

Cops: *eating donuts*

Kids: *spot a likely candidate*

Kids: Hey, mister. Want to help us fake our kidnapping for $5 million ransom, which is entirely too much to ask, so that we can use that money to make our own way in the world, even though this is an ill-fated plot that will never work out?

Likely Candidate: *silently ponders*

Kids: Oh, pretty please, mister cop!! We'll give you $1 million of it.

Likely Candidate: Okay!!

And like any good self-enterprising cop, Likely Candidate plans to double-cross the Kids, kill everyone in his way, and abscond with the $5 million.

Just not getting into this series and, after picking up the last book and paging absentmindedly through it, I shan't be finishing the series. I simply don't care enough.

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review 2015-03-14 17:40
Virals by Kathy Reichs
Virals - Kathy Reichs,Cristin Milioti

You know...funny thing, I think I wanted to read this because I thought it was like the show Dark Angel ( which I loved), but it turns out it wasn't anything like it.  ((shoulder shrug))  Not really sure why I thought that???




With this breakthrough novel, Bones mystery writer Kathy Reichs begins an offshoot sci-fi series for teens. In this launch volume, set on a secluded South Carolina island, Bones' niece Tory Brennan and her friends catch a virus that almost miraculously enhances their reflexes and senses, enabling them to literally catch a killer's scent. A fascinating concept artfully applied. Bones, the television show based on Reichs' adult series, continues to be successful in its sixth season.


My Thoughts:


I don't know if I would call this a breakthrough novel, but then again, I've never read any other Kathy Reichs books...


Kathy Reichs writes books about Temperence Brennermen (Bones) and they are usually more geared towards adults.  In this she jumps into the Young Adult genre.  I feel as if my biggest problem with this book is it trys to hard to be Young Adult and therefore comes off as to juvenile.


The story itself is not unsatisfactory, it's just executed somewhat poorly for me.  The Mystery was good and I was surprised at the end, with how it turned out. The setting of the islands off the shores of North Carolina were interesting too.


I listened on Audio, with narration done by Cristin Milioti, and while the narrator was not one of my favorites, it still probably saved the book from getting a lower rating from me.  The best part about the narration was the addition of music to the intense situations within it; and I'll admit the first time it sounded I jumped because it scared the beejeezus out of me, but I got used to them and found them an interesting addition.

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