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review 2017-06-19 20:00
Confessions
Confessions - Kanae Minato,Stephen Snyder

Yuko resigns from her job as a teacher after har daughter has supposedly died from an accident. During her last lecture, she confronts her pupils with the truth. It wasn´t an accident and two of the pupils in her class are responsible for the death of her little girl.

 

This is only the beginning of the novel and a dark and twisted revenge story unfolds. Each chapter is told from a different persons perspective and every time I thought I knew where the story was heading, it took a completely different direction.

 

I enjoyed the feeling of strangeness and alienation throughout the novel. The culture and the people are completely different to my own European upbringing and the way Kanae Minato describes the characters is creepy and eery, yet she manages to make her characters human in a disturbing way. I constantly asked myself who is telling the truth and which character is the most responsible one for all that has happened.

 

It´s a rather unsettling read but a captivating one as well. I couldn´t put this book down once I have started it. And I have a soft spot for Japanese mystery and crime novels and the atmosphere that these books are able to create.

 

I´ve read this book for the Booklikes-opoly. It´s a mystery / thriller novel and it starts with a C.

 

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text 2017-06-13 20:53
Please, choose something nice for my next ride
Confessions - Kanae Minato,Stephen Snyder

I´ve hit the Booklikes square, so I need your help for my next read.

 

 

Feel free to send something my way - and I hope it´s going to be a square that I like ;)

 

 Edit: Familiar Diversions has send me to Square 8. Thanks for the pick :)

 

 

Confessions is both a mystery and it starts with a C. So it fits perfectly the task.

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review 2016-11-01 17:35
American Vampire Volume 1 by Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque (Illustrator)
American Vampire #1 - Stephen King,Scott Snyder,Rafael Albuquerque

 American Vampire Vol. 1 caught my eye when I was at the bookstore getting the next two volumes of the Sandman series. Then I saw one of the story-lines was written by Stephen King and I had to have it. I was not disappointed.

 

Within are two stories, one about Skinner Sweet, (late 1800's) and the other about Pearl Jones, taking place around 1925. I enjoyed them both but Skinner was my favorite. He's not even a good guy-he's an evil vampire, (just the way I like them), sporting a western duster and a peppermint stick. A gun-slinging, cowboy vampire. Oh yeah.

 

Pearl is an aspiring Hollywood actress, made into a vampire against her will and she's a badass. She was determined to get revenge and you'll have to read this to find out whether or not she did. 

 

I originally was waffling between 3.5-4 stars, but I decided to go with 4. I really liked the artwork in this volume and even though the story was not a phenomenal one, it has interested me enough to continue with volume 2. 

 

Get your copy here: American Vampire Vol. 1

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review 2016-09-07 14:39
Review: Out by Natsuo Kirino
Out - Natsuo Kirino,Stephen Snyder

My original OUT audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

 

Out, an Edgar Award nominated crime novel out of Japan, is a deep, twisty, and complex thriller that is neither for the faint of heart, nor the uninitiated.

 

Natsuo Kirino does a masterful job penning this tale of murder, greed, corruption, and sexism taking a slow-boil approach and letting it all steep and simmer. Coming in at more than eighteen hours, this is not a quick whodunit kind of listen, but more of a howdunit – how, after a woman kills her husband, will she and her friends dispose of the body, and how will the act of mutilation that follows spiral out of control? How, exactly, will all their lives unravel in the wake of this rage-induced violence?

 

Out is a deeply layered story, with superb characterizations, and a number of plot threads intertwining and separating. These are women under stress, and Kirino paints intimate portraits of each, showing you both the good and the awful as they cope with the stress of not only their jobs at a box lunch factory, but with their personal lives and problems, and the growing complications of their complicity in a criminal conspiracy. New wrinkles subtly appear to keep both the characters and this book’s listeners on edge as the women are thrust into a strange, new world of police detectives, organized crime, betrayal, blackmail, and, ultimately, revenge as they find themselves scrutinized by an unknown outside force.

 

Emily Woo Zeller does an excellent job narrating the story, providing enough distinction between the four central women at the heart of this story, and hitting a (mostly) properly deep register for the males of the cast. At times, I thought she hit a little too-deeply for some of the men, giving the effect an almost comical vibe that didn’t jibe with the story, but it’s a minor enough caveat given the overall strength of her reading of the material. Out‘s production quality is top-notch, and the audio comes through cleanly and without a hitch, as I’ve come to expect as a listener of Audible Studio’s productions.

 

Out is a slow-going crime story, but one that’s well worth the time and attention required. It’s a dark story, punctuated with insight on Japanese culture and the treatment of women in their male-dominated society in between flashes of violence. Kirino does not shy away from violence – and, perhaps it should be noted that this is violence Kirino deals with here, not action as you may find in most other popular crime stories. The people in this book are not running around with guns and knives because it’s sexy and thrilling, but because they seek to do brutal damage to others, either to kill or to prevent themselves from being killed. This is a book where the actions of these characters carry a particularly heavy weight. Out is filled to the brim with bleak stuff, with depictions of rape, murder, and dismemberment, and Kirino puts his audience right in the middle of it all. These are characters who are seeking a way out, and at times it’s uncomfortable enough that the listener or reader may themselves be hoping for an easy escape as well.

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review 2016-08-21 19:54
American Vampire, Vol. 1 (American Vampire #1) by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, Rafael Albuquerque (Illustrator)
American Vampire, Vol. 1 - Rafael Albuquerque,Scott Snyder,Stephen King

The first volume of this story moves between the 1880's and the 1920's. It begins in the twenties with the story of Pearl, a young aspiring actress living in Los Angeles.  In between picking up bit parts in movies, Pearl works several odd jobs to make her rent.  When she gets a big break - an invitation to a party by a successful director, Pearl believes that her hard work has finally paid off and that she's going to get her big break.  Pearl's gets a break alright but it leads to the end of her human life.

Volume One then takes a step back to look at the life and death of the infamous outlaw Skinner Sweet.  Just as his last name implies, Sweet, loves candy and he combines this with his love of robbing banks, violence and sleeping with prostitutes.  Sweet is not even remotely at this point an anti-hero, let alone all around good guy.  

Sweet is Pearl's sire but the connection runs a lot deeper than that.  Because they are both a new breed of vampire, the sun has no effect upon them and the old guard, (read:European Vampires) want them gone.  Sweet and Pearl represent a contamination of the blood and if that were not enough, this so-called contamination means that no one knows what they are vulnerable to. Sweet and Pearl absolutely have a target on their backs but the tie that binds them is deeper still even if it is ridiculous.

Volume one is written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King and the difference in the writing is evident from the start.  Clearly, King wanted to step away from vampires that sparkle. One guess as to who?

Houston commercial photography
 
It's hardly surprising given King's very adamant dislike of Twilight, based in the idea that it's "tweenager porn" and his belief that Stephanie Meyer "can't write worth a darn".  It feels as though Sweet's story is an absolute refutation of the sparkly vampire.  Sweet is most certainly not a vegetarian and he glorifies in violence.  He works his own agenda and simply cannot be tamed.  It's clear that Sweet is not a man to be taken lightly and certainly not a man to run into even casually. He is bound to no one and serves his own end. In fact, the creation of Pearl is about the only good thing that he does in this volume and it's clear an ulterior motive exists for this action.  
 
 
 
 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/08/american-vampire-vol-1-american-vampire.html
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