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review 2017-09-22 16:24
Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

So many people reviewed this book and we don't need another one you will think. Especially someone who read it 20 years late. But considering I am one of those who read it after the TV show, I am only six years late. But still, the hype is so big, fans are dying being too fanatic and critics are so savage they could kill the show or the book. Without forgetting the very genius ones who leak scripts and episodes ! (sarcasm here). Anyway, it took me a while to read the first book because my pleasure of reading consist in fact to constantly starting new books and I sometimes found myself with six or seven started books.

As everybody knows, the first book is very close to the TV show. In fact there is the same dialogs, same story timeline, not so much less and not so much more. And I loved it. We absolutely cannot rate this book in the same way than the reader who reads it before the show came out. The final spoil is too big to be ignored. So I mostly concentrated more on the form of the book. I must say George R.R. Martin has the simplest complicated way of describing and constructing his characters. The feelings they have and the way they think is ornamented in a genius way and this is what, I think, make it possible for the show to be absolutely complete and deeply detailed. It’s a typical story timeline which is split by short chapters placed in the point of view of all the important characters. So we can assume that the book has already a cinematic ambiance.

What is most incredible about the story is that the different characters live and develop so far from each other and still at the very end of the book and knowing that they will meet one day let you think about the extremely large and rich journey that is waiting for them. This long journey but also the big importance the past events seems to have for every family is what makes each small detail very important to remember. Those subtle details who take place in the show as in the book, has an immense history that is written and known somewhere behind and before everything took place. (Look at all the wiki about westeros history and important characters that are already dead when the events took place). So this is what I call a complete story created by a complete and solid imagination. A big story written on the surface of an even bigger story that you, as a reader, need to dig a little. That is why I find this first book of the serie totally genius and so is the TV show !

 

 

5 ☆

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review 2017-09-09 01:48
The Dying Game (The Trying - Lame)
The Dying Game - Asa Avdic

Who: Asa Avdic - A Swedish journalist (tv and radio) – this is her debut novel.

 

What: A merge of dystopian Stockholm politics, and a ‘reworking’ of Christie’s And Then There Were None (The correct, modern PC title)

 

When: Sweden in 2037. For some loosely explained reason, the country resembles the broke communist countries of the 1950s.

 

Why: I have no bloody idea! She basically pinched half the idea, topped and tailed it with some internal politics, and convinced some publisher she had an original worth printing.

 

I am tipping no one will be rushing out to buy the book on the strength of this review, so I’m not going to bother with spoiler alerts. Also, it’s only fair to declare this book was originally written in Swedish (under the title of Isola). I don’t think it struggles with the translation, it’s the material that’s the problem.

 

20 years in to the future, Sweden has left the European Union. The Protectorate of Sweden is now under the Union of Friendship. There is seriously a whole page (fake encyclopedia entry) explaining this at the start – full of contradictions and confusion.

This convoluted set-up is necessary to explain the bleak state of Sweden. Under totalitarian control, we are introduced to Anna. She is forced by the Chairman to accept an assignment on a Swedish island.

 

Now here’s my problem – the next 60% of the book happens on the island of Isola. It does have some minor variations, but she’s so damn close to plagiarising And Then There Were None* , it’s almost actionable. I feel like Advic must have read the book at some stage, as the blueprint is almost identical, but long enough ago to feel like she was writing an original mystery.

 

Strangers stuck on an island, dying one by one, as the guessing game goes on. OK, in this story, there are fewer people, with a slight twist involved, but it’s essentially the same premise, setting, and result.

 

Then we’re back to dreary Stockholm for the wash-up. A series of interrogations to explain what happened, ending in the usual political buck-passing. The end…

 

It really is a bizarre mix of 2 stories – one that has Christie’s fingerprints all over it, and then the dystopian future of Sweden, a worrying futuristic view from the author, one of the country’s most popular TV current affairs presenters.

 

*I thought it was only fair to go back and read And Then There Were None before writing this. It had been 24 years since I first read it, but I could feel the tale coming back to me as I read The Dying Game.

 

Agatha Christie is a damn genius! First published in 1939, there are obviously some dated phrases and social conventions, but it still stacks up as one of the finest mysteries written. Fast paced and engrossing, nothing extraneous, and will have you guessing right to the end. To those who haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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review 2017-09-05 13:36
Angsty
Unfair Game: A Gay Sports Romance Novel - Cecelia Storm

Unfair Game is a a friends to lovers, sports romance. We do get some actual game play, although it's more quick overview than anything else. Kyle and Cade are teammates during most of the story. The premise and writing are good, but the story has a little more angst than I felt necessary. With the story being told from Kyle's perspective, it's hard to really know Cade. I felt like he was more self-absorbed than anything else for most of the book while Kyle's fears are prevalent throughout the story and he comes across as quite indecisive. The romance felt like a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing. The heat and attraction between them came across very well, but I had trouble with the actual love thing. Cade seems more curious than invested in a relationship and of course, Kyle's angst is off the charts. Things do finally start to come together, but by that time, I was rather fed up with Kyle's push and pull and Cade's 'everything will be okay' attitude. Kyle's fears were understandable and I could even empathize with him, but as they went on and on, that empathy began to wear thin. There was some amusing and witty dialogue between this pair and I even found myself chuckling at some of their banter, but for me, a huge portion of the story could've been left out and I would've enjoyed it much more. Just too angsty for my tastes. If you enjoy an angst-filled romance with a bit of humor and plenty of heat, this one is certainly that.

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review 2017-09-05 12:11
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

 

I never wrote a proper review for this book, but I loved it. Does that make me a twisted person? I don't normally read books like this, but I loved the manga and movie and when I found out the novel came first, I just had to read it! I am so glad I did. I was intimidated by the size, but flew through the novel in a couple days.

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review 2017-09-02 02:47
Fraternize (Players Game) by Rachel Van Dyken
Fraternize (Players Game) - Rachel Van Dyken

 

Ms. Van Dyken creates heroines that are an inspiration.  Her stories may be a bit risque, but the messages are rooted in positivity.  Fraternize is a sexy spin on self love.  You don't have be a size zero to go after what you want.  Emerson is making her mark by living her own truth and working what she was born with.  A couple of sexy guys and a chance in the spotlight are just an added bonus.  Lessons to learn and characters to enjoy make Rachel Van Dyken a MUST read author.

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