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review 2018-03-23 08:23
Gelungene Fortsetzung - Ich bin auf das Finale gespannt
Im Namen des Sehers -: Soul Seeker 3 - R... Im Namen des Sehers -: Soul Seeker 3 - Roman - - Alyson Noël,Ariane Böckler

Obwohl ein bissen Zeit vergangen ist, als ich Teil 2 gelesen habe, kam ich doch recht schnell wieder in die Geschichte rein und war sehr schnell Mitten im Geschehen.

 

Zunächst wacht Daire an einer ihr völlig fremden Welt auf und scheint geschwächt zu sein. Geschwächt von dem Kampf, mit dem Band 2 endet. Allerdings ist sie alleine und ihre Gedanken drehen sich nur noch um Dace. Wo ist er? Geht es ihm gut? Sie schafft es zu fliehen und macht sich auf die Suche, was sich zunächst als gar nicht so einfach erweisen soll. Denn auch Cade ist immer noch da und neben ihn gibt es auch weitere Personen, die es Daire schwer machen wollen ...

 

Mir hat der dritte Teil der Reihe sehr gut gefallen. Alyson Noël hat einen so wunderbaren Schreibstil, womit sie es schafft dem Leser tolle Bilder vor Augen zu zaubern. Außerdem mag ich auch Daire und die anderen Charaktere sehr und habe sie teilweise wirklich ans Herz geschlossen. Ich lese sehr gerne Bücher, die aus der Ich-Perspektive geschrieben werden, da ich mich damit besser in die Figuren rein versetzen kann. Das hat hier auch wieder super funktioniert, denn teilweise habe ich richtig mit Daire gefiebert.

 

Was mir an dem Buch außerdem gefällt, man bekommt ein tolles Gesamtpaket. Es gibt Spannung, Action und es knistert heftig zwischen den Protagonisten, also kommen auch die Gefühle nicht zu kurz. Dabei wird das Ganze schön gemischt und man erhält eine gelungene Abwechslung. Das Buch hat mir also sehr gut gefallen, aber ehrlich gesagt habe ich nichts anderes erwartet, denn bisher mochte ich beinahe all ihre Bücher.

 

Das Cover ist sehr schön und gliedert sich in der Reihe perfekt ein. Außerdem passt es super zur Geschichte.

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review 2018-03-21 20:08
A Nordic noir thriller with two fascinating protagonists, D.I. Hulda Hermannsdóttir and Iceland.
The Darkness - Ragnar Jónasson

Thanks to NetGalley and to Michael Joseph for providing me an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

I’ve followed with interest the rise in popularity of the Nordic/ Scandinavian Thrillers in recent years, although I have read random titles rather than becoming a dedicated fan of any single writer. (I’ve also watched quite a few of the crime TV series produced in those countries and I’ve particularly enjoyed Wallander, The Bridge, and The Killing). This is the first novel I read by Ragnar Jónasson, although I suspect it won’t be the last.

The novel contains some familiar elements, although with interesting variations. The main character, Hulda, a Detective Inspector, that works in Reykjavík, is 64 and on her way to retirement. She is surprised by the news that this retirement has been brought forward, and, as an afterthought to keep her quiet, her boss tells her she can work on a cold case of her choice. She chooses the apparent suicide of a Russian girl, an asylum seeker because she mistrusts the lead investigator. The novel, written in the third person, mostly from Hulda’s point of view, follows her last three days in the force. I say mostly because there are other fragments that are told from other characters’ points of view, although at first, it is not that clear who they are. We come to understand how they relate to the main story later, but I must clarify that they are clearly distinct, easy to follow, and do not cause any confusion. They do provide additional information, a different perspective, and they help us understand the story and the characters more fully (and yes, they might also mislead us a tiny bit), although I suspect some readers might catch on faster than others as to their true relevance.

Hulda is a known standard of the genre: the old detective forced to leave the job that is determined to solve one last case before retirement. Only, in this case, she is a woman, and she does reflect on how difficult things have been for her because she is a woman, glass ceiling and all. She does share some of the other attributes sometimes typical of these characters: she is very good but not that very well liked; she has to work alone because she is not a favourite among the other detectives; she resents her younger boss and many of her teammates; she is effective but might bend the rules slightly; she is reserved and has suffered tragedies in her life… The author is very good at creating a very compelling character and then making us question our judgment. At least in my case, I really liked Hulda to begin with, but after a while, I realised that she might be one of those favourites of mine, an unreliable narrator (or, although not directly a narrator, her point of view is unreliable). She makes decisions that are morally questionable; she drinks a bit too much; and well… I am keeping my mouth shut. My feelings for this character went from really liking her, to not being so sure, to not liking her very much, and then… This change in opinion and perception is cleverly achieved and extremely well done, and it reminded me of books like We Need to Talk about Kevin (not the story itself, but the way the writer slowly makes us empathise with a character to later pull the rug from under our feet).

The story is dark in more ways than one. As I said, there are morally grey areas (or even quite dark): the subject matter and the fact that a young asylum seeker and her death are not considered important and have been all but forgotten a year down the line (unfortunately that rings true), Hulda’s own life and the secrets she keeps, and Iceland. Although there is not a great deal of violence (and definitely not explicit), there is a certain unsettling air and a cold and menacing atmosphere, that comes in part from Hulda’s paranoia and her personality (suspicious and mistrustful), but goes beyond it. The setting is very important and it contributes to the story and its effect on the reader. Iceland is a character in its own right. The descriptions of the many locations in the book create a picture in the reader’s mind and help understand how important the place is to the mood, the characters, and their way of life. A place where light and darkness rule people’s lives, and where the inhabitants have adapted to conditions many of us would find difficult and hostile. The title is apt for many reasons (as we learn as we read on). It is a noir novel, where nobody is exactly as they appear at first, and where red herrings, false clues, and side-stories muddy the storyline, adding layers of complexity to what appears straightforward, at first.

The writing is fluid, and versatile, providing different registers and clearly distinct voices for the different aspects of the story and the varied points of view, and although it is a translation, it is well-written and the style fits in perfectly the content. It is not the usual fast-paced thriller, but one that builds up tension and organically incorporates the psychology of the characters and the setting into the story.

A couple of examples:

Time was like a concertina: one minute compressed, the next stretching out interminably.

‘She’s being deported. It happens. You know, it’s a bit like those games of musical chairs you play as a kid. The music starts, everyone gets up and walks in a circle and when the music stops, one of the chairs is taken away and someone’s unlucky.’

The ending… I will not talk in detail about it but although perhaps not unexpected, is a bit of a shocker.

A great (and not long) novel for lovers of Nordic thrillers, or anybody who enjoys thrillers that deviate from the norm. I’d also recommend it to anybody intrigued by Iceland and unreliable narrators. And I’d also recommend it to authors always intrigued by other authors’ technique and voice. I intend to keep reading the series. And enjoying it.

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review 2017-10-27 08:12
Spannende Fortsetzung mit überraschendem Ende
Das Echo des Bösen: Soul Seeker 2 - Roman - Alyson Noël

Schon den 1. Teil fand ich klasse und hier geht es spannend weiter. Das mag ich.

Anfangs hatte ich wohl minimale Schwierigkeiten in die Geschichte reinzukommen, aber es dauerte nicht lange, bis ich den Kindle kaum noch zur Seite legen konnte.
 
Allerdings zweifle ich jetzt ein bisschen an mir selbst. :) Ich habe absolut keine Ahnung, warum ich im 1. Band Cade so mochte. Im 2. Teil habe ich ihn einfach nur noch gehasst und habe ständig gehofft, dass das hier ein gutes Ende nimmt. Ab und zu habe ich geglaubt zu wissen, was passiert, aber nein. Ich wurde überrascht und vor allem das Ende war sehr unerwartet. Wie geht das jetzt weiter? Ich muss auf jeden Fall die Fortsetzung lesen.
Warum ich jetzt so aufgewühlt bin und mir Sorgen um die Liebe zwischen Daire und Dace mache, kann ich schwer sagen, ohne zu spoilern. Und dabei fing es so schön zwischen den beiden an und auch das heftige Knistern war hier und da zu spüren.
 
Die Stellen wurden teilweise so schön beschrieben, dass sich die Geschichte fast durchgehend wunderbar vor meinem inneren Auge abspielte.
 
Mir hat das Buch auf jeden Fall sehr gut gefallen. Da die Autorin zu meinen Lieblingen gehört, ist es klar, dass ich ihren Schreibstil liebe. Er ist wunderschön locker und klar und sie achtet auf viele Details, die das Lesen einfach angenehm macht.
Das Cover gefällt mir auch wieder sehr. Es passt sehr gut zur Reihe.
 
Empfehlen würde ich das Buch definitiv, aber man sollte unbedingt den 1. Teil gelesen haben, damit man weiß, um was es überhaupt geht.
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text 2017-10-20 15:07
Reading progress update: I've read 264 out of 317 pages.
Dark Seeker - K.W. Jeter

not too many pages left, and the last 50 pages or so that whizzed by have paved the way for a rather frightening conclusion; I'll finish this up tonight, and do the Helen Simpson short story I've been anxious to get to in Resorting to Murder. meanwhile, Dark Seeker has got me optimistic about the other Jeter Horror novel I have stashed, despite the cover I hate. well...dislike. don't want to carry around and get seen with.

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text 2017-10-20 02:36
Reading progress update: I've read 209 out of 317 pages.
Dark Seeker - K.W. Jeter

it's getting scarier and weirder now...

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