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review 2020-04-03 09:17
The Golden Cage
Golden Cage - Camilla Läckberg

No, just no.

I was really excited I could read The Golden Cage through Pigeonhole. I have been a big fan of the Fjallbacka series for years (though admittedly, the last book is still waiting for me to read it). So, I was expecting a great read during these COVID-19 times, but I was very disappointed.

The Golden Cage is a 180-turn of the other books by Camilla Lackberg, in that it is not cozy at all. Instead it is filled with bad sex, bad power plays, and ridiculous schemes (one even more implausible than the other). There are so many easy coincidences that my eyes started to hurt from all the rolling they had to do. Fjallbacka is mentioned a couple of times, but all that was good about her books were clearly left back in Fjallbacka.

I do not think I will read more of her standalone books.

~Read through Pigeonhole~

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review 2020-03-29 10:25
Face Of Glass
Face of Glass - Damon L. Wakes

I read about Pigeonhole, where you get a piece of a book - a Stave- per day for a limited amount of time. The idea is that everyone who is joining is reading at the same speed as you. Face of Glass was my first try with Pigeonhole, and it worked, but still, I don't really like reading from my phone as opposed to my eReader which reads great.

What I liked about Face of Glass, mainly the stories that were interwoven into the main narrative. The leader of the tribe outsmarted the volcano, the Sun and the Moon. The main story was mwah. It wasn't that it wasn't interesting, but it was all far too easy for the main character. He raises from slave to leader in the blink of an eye, and from that conquers all the remaining problems in a likewise quick fashion. There were 8 staves of this book and I felt that there was hardly any problem that couldn't be solved within one of those. Which was a shame.

~Read through Pigeonhole~

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review 2020-03-08 14:31
You Let Me In
You Let Me In - Camilla Bruce

[I read this book through Pigeonhole.]

A very surprising read, in that I had an (albeit vague) idea of what it’d be about, and it turned out it was actually much more grounded in dark fantasy than in the “basic contemporary” setting I was expecting. Which was, in fact, for the best, as I got sucked in very quickly into the story. I was, as usual with Pigeonhole, glad I didn’t start on the very first day, since it meant being able to read more chapters in one go. For some books, it doesn’t matter to me much; for this one, I really appreciated that.

A word of warning about the very beginning, which makes it sound like the whole novel will be told in second person POV present tense (a.k.a something I instinctively dislike): it doesn’t last, so don’t let this stop you like it almost stopped me. The story is worth its salt after that, and this point of view quickly makes sense at the end of the first chapter.

The story follows the life of Cassandra Tipp, nee Thorn, a rumoured crazy writer living in the woods, who from early childhood had a very conflictual relationship with her family. Did she commit the murders she was suspected of, or was there another explanation? Was she crazy, or gifted with a second sight? Was she a victim of abuse, and was that abuse committed by people she should’ve been able to trust… or was there something else altogether behind it? The author toys with her readers all along, because no matter which “explanation” you decide on, the other one still cannot be completely discounted, and many situations can, in fact, be read and understood both ways.

It is a gruesome story, all in all, full of blood and ancient things, with passages clearly not for the faint of heart. Disgusting and revolting? Sure. But fascinating at the same time, so very fascinating. I had a hard time putting it off when I did, and kept wanting to get back to it. And for once, while the ending is somewhat ambiguous, the quality of this ambiguity didn’t bother me like it usually tend to.

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review 2020-03-05 18:30
Rules For Perfect Murders
Rules for Perfect Murders - Peter Swanson

[I read this book through Pigeonhole.]

It's the first time I read a mystery by this author, and I had no idea what to expect, but the setting (a book store, its owner as the narrator, and the whole "list of mystery books prompting murders" blog post) appealed to my inner bookworm, so here I am.

In general, I really liked it—I'm glad I started it slightly late, since that meant being able to read more than one stave a day. It had a lot of characters with uncertain motives, dark areas, and overall suspicious traits that kept me guessing throughout the whole story. Is Malcolm the murdered? Is the list a coincidence? Is someone trying to frame him? What are the FBI agent's actual motives? And so on. I did end up guessing who the murderer was, but only a few page before the reveal, so I almost didn't see it coming at all, and that's pretty good.

I'm not sure I really liked the ending. It made sense, but it felt slightly... low-key, compared to the rest? I don't know. I'm not sure what else I would've expected here anyway.

A warning: while the books in Malcolm's list are old enough now that many people have read them, the way the narrator tells about them is still liable to spoil them if you haven't (it was my case for a couple, but I trust my memory to forget about the spoilers at some point, and then I can read the books, haha).

Conclusion: 3.5/4 stars.

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review 2019-12-23 20:48
The End of Magic
The End of Magic - Mark Stay

That was a fun and intense read. I'd say it's between grim fantasy and a somewhat humorous one, the latter mainly owing to the dialogues (Malachy was definitely one of my favourites in terms of dialogues). The world depicted here is not a nice one. As magic disappears overnight, former mages that previously held people in check through the threat of their powers find themselves on the other end of the leash, and it's not going well for them. Meanwhile, a warlord uses this to raise to power and overthrow the current kings. Amidst this chaos, former mages Rosheen and Sander must make their ways—one trying not to get killed, the other desperately looking for her brother Oskar, a defenceless moon child. (Moon children being affected by the very same moon that allowed magic to exist, and left as impeded people who can't see and hear well, can't form words, and live in a perpetual fog.)

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Some parts were hard to read, because they depicted abject behaviours (the villain and the men doing his bidding and definitely, well, villains) and because there were some characters whom I really wanted to get a break. But the story was always enthralling, never boring—actually, I read it through the Pigeonhole, and I ended up piling on the last five staves just so that I wouldn't get interrupted every 10% of the book in my reading. :D

If anything, the ending, though, felt too abrupt. I see how we got there, and the final decision does make sense, but I felt that it was harsh, not giving the affected character enough of a second chance (there was absolutely no talk of trying to reason with them some more later, and in a way, that was maybe the most cruel decision in the whole book?). Also, there were still some things left without an answer, and... I just wanted an answer, haha.

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