Tag Archives: Review

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King #review

BazaarDreams

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Title : The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2015
Pages:: 483
Format:: Print

The next short story collection containing many of the previously published but hard-to-find short stories published since Just After Sunset.

I thank Hachette Australia for kindly sending me this review copy. I haven’t read a Stephen King book in some time and after seeing this one coming I just knew I had to read it. This is a great collection that should appeal to old and new readers.

I enjoyed all the stories in this collection some more than others but good they all were. I think King sums it up well in one of the intros he writes for all the stories in this book.

“But, like all the stories in this book, its principal purpose is to entertain.”

I think this quote says it all. These stories are entertaining and are an escape from reality with a tip of the hat to post apocalyptic events, supernatural, baseball, people at their worst and finest all told in a way only Stephen King can.

 

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey #review

GirlGifts

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Title : The Girl with All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Published: 2014
Pages:: 460
Format:: Print

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

 

This book had quite a bit of hype around it and after having read it I can see why. An intelligent zombie novel that takes a different approach from many others. I love a good zombie read but often they are a variation of each other but this one with Melanie, her teacher and some military guys gives a look at a different zombie world.

With well developed characters, excellent world building and a great story its hard to not like this one. Its a hard one to review and not spoil for others so I’ll sum up by saying if you’ve not read this one I do recommend it highly.

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins #review

GirlOnTrain

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Title : The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: 2015
Pages:: 316
Format:: Print

EVERYDAY THE SAME

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

UNTIL TODAY

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Girl on the Train is a good read. It is not however Gone Girl as the marketing people who clearly haven’t read the book attempt to imply it is. Apparently this is how books are now marketed by suggesting similarities with best sellers, because every reader wants to do nothing but read varying replicas of their favourite book. The only similarity is that both are thrillers and people go missing and people die in both books. Nothing more. Which for that matter could be compared to the storyline of many thrillers.

I enjoyed this book and while not perfect it was an entertaining and fast read. The protagonist who clearly has issues often did things not exactly winning the reader over. She is like the person in Adele’s song Hello. Could you please just move on already. Hitting a slump is one thing but this woman after a breakup just hits rock bottom. To keep herself going she sits on the train every day and stares at the lives of others imagining what she will to pass the time. One such couple that has caught her attention warrants a closer look after a moment seen from the train and this begins Rachel immersing herself into the lives she has been watching from the train. Obsession, depression, lies and deceit are all covered within The Girl on the Train. A good entertaining thriller.

 

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig #review

Blackbirds

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Title : Blackbirds
Author: Chuck Wendig
Published: 2012
Pages:: 381
Format:: Print

Miriam Black knows when you will die.

She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

Chuck Wendig is kinda awesome and by kinda I mean totally. I’ve read his book Double Dead ages ago and have owned Blackbirds as well as the sequels Mockingbird and The Cormorant for ages now but for reasons that elude me I didn’t read Blackbirds till this year, and it’s a bloody awesome read.

Mirium is suck a great character. Well developed and someone who is a pain in the butt but who wins the readers hearts. Living the life she has with the “gift” she has its no wonder. Touch anyone and you see when they die. A touch depressing to say the least so its no wonder our girl has a chip on her shoulder. The characters and story have been done so well that I was engrossed. I can’t wait to read more of Mirium and am only disappointed in myself for not reading Blackbirds sooner.

No Harm Can Come to a Good Man by James Smythe #review

SmytheNoHarm

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Title : No Harm Can Come to a Good Man
Author: James Smythe
Published: 2015
Pages:: 384
Format:: Print

How far would you go to save your family from an invisible threat? A terrifyingly original thriller from the author of The Machine.

ClearVista is used by everyone and can predict everything.

It’s a daily lifesaver, predicting weather to traffic to who you should befriend.

Laurence Walker wants to be the next President of the United States. ClearVista will predict his chances.

It will predict whether he’s the right man for the job.

It will predict that his son can only survive for 102 seconds underwater.

It will predict that Laurence’s life is about to collapse in the most unimaginable way.

James Smythe is without a doubt my favourite author right now. His Anomaly Quartet is a series that must be read. Being a fan I highly recommend his work and so I myself had to read anything else I could find. No Harm has a fascinating premise and while not as great as the Anomaly series is an enjoyable smart thriller. A touch slow in places the story centres on a man set to be president, a sure fire win except according to ClearVista which is the magic crystal ball, predictor of all things website algorithm doo dad that people turn to for all answers.

The question then becomes do people do what ClearVista predicts because it knows all or will people do what is predicted because they believe it so deeply and suggestion at a possibility is all that is needed. Chicken or the egg scenario of the human condition and a scary look at technology and its ability to intertwine with daily life to the point of life ceasing. Media and its ability to sway and be swayed also is a curiosity within this great read that I recommend for all James Smythe fans. The man is brilliant.