Monday, 27 March 2017

Review: Room

Room Room by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, this was hard-hitting and unbelievably sad.
Five year old Jack has lived his whole life in one room. His mother (having been kidnapped) was forced to raise Jack in horrific, cramped conditions and led him to believe in a warped sense of reality in which Room is the entire world.

As this will be a no spoiler review, I'll keep it short and sweet:
Told through the point of view of Jack, we see everything through the eyes of a five year old child who doesn’t understand societal norms, and doesn’t quite understand what is real and what is not. To be perfectly honest, while Jack is understandably confused and doesn’t have a firm grasp on the world, at times I found his ignorance to be annoying as a narrator. His reactions to everything was of course justified in his eyes, but they still made me unbelievably frustrated at times. And on that note, I have to give the author credit because if I was getting frustrated, you know for a fact that Joy, Jack’s mother, was a million times more frustrated with their situation. This book gave me an unbelievable amount of empathy and sorrow for people who are forced to live in conditions like these. It's easy to forget but this actually happens to people. And it's scary as hell.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Review: A Darkness Absolute

A Darkness Absolute A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

This is a review of an ARC (however the final version of the book has now been released.)

First of all, disclaimer: Kelley Armstrong is my favourite author. I grew up in a town near her, and we all took huge amount of pride in the fact we had a local Canadian author who was just so damn good! That being said, I am also writing my review without having read the first novel in this series. While I've never read a series out of chronological order before, I couldn't manage to get my hands on a copy of the first, and waiting was seriously bringing down my NetGalley review ratio...and lets face it I had a new Kelley Armstrong book on my Kindle. I couldn't wait any longer! However, jumping into the second book, I had nothing to worry about. This read fine as a standalone mystery. Armstrong is very good at giving us characters histories and backgrounds without it coming off as "this is what you missed last time on City of the Lost!"

I found the mystery in the novel to be genuinely interesting. Casey Duncan, our main character and detective, stumbles across a young woman who has been held in a cave for over a year. The rest of the book is piecing together who did it, and whether or not they did it to others before. While at times I felt the plot was meandering around (there was much more talking and thinking different theories through) I think it fit well with the story.

I really loved how character driven this story is! Typically in mysteries we see the investigator solve the case. Cool. However we get a bit of a more realistic approach here, in that life goes on. Not every single sentence is devoted solely to I gotta catch the bad guy, and instead gives our characters little breaks to deal with their everyday lives.

My only critique with this book (which may have been resolved in the final copy), is that it felt a little too long, with the characters never keeping me 100% focused on them or the case. I am planning on going back at a later date and reading the first novel, which hopefully will get me involved with the characters, but as for now they fell a little flat for me.

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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Review: A Study in Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I am Sherlocked.
I absolutely adored this book! First of all, I should start by acknowledging that yes - BBC Sherlock is my favourite show. I am obsessed. And meaning no disrespect to the author, this book read like a really, really great Sherlock alternate universe fanfic, either for any of the television programs or even for the original Conan Doyle stories. And let me tell you, I enjoyed every second of it...

So the plot: modern day Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of our favourite duo. This novel (of course being a reference to Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet) has our modern day duo meeting, slowly developing the typical Holmes/Watson relationship (including a bit of a romantic one), and solving a case that hits close.

One of the things I particularly loved about this novel was the set up. I really enjoyed the fact that Sherlock and John existed in this world and the public is (mostly) aware of their "adventures." Interestingly enough they even give explanations for a couple of the less probable/impossible conclusions in the stories. The author Brittany Cavallaro obviously put in a lot of time into incorporating the traditional Holmesian and Watsonesque personalities and psychology, while still giving our new characters modern personalities.

I am incredibly excited to continue this series!

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