Deadly Partnership

Deadly Partnership

by Richard Gardner

 

I wasn’t sure as I was reading this whether it was odd in a good or a bad way. Having got to the end successfully and being left thinking about the story and the characters, I must conclude it is a good sort of odd. The style of writing is definitely interesting, particularly the depictions of criminality which are presented in a very matter of fact way that leaves me wondering if my emotional response to murdering people is all wrong. But then again, I’m not a murderous criminal and perhaps I am gaining an insight into the murderous mind. The author seems just a little bit too skilled at getting into the right mindset here – I’m worried!

Overall, a good read. I was expecting more twists and turns than actually existed but this is a brilliantly written story that is gripping as well as unsettling.

 

 

Rating: *****

The Break

The Break

by Marian Keyes

“The Break” is an interesting read, exploring in detail the relationship between Amy and her husband Hugh as he takes a break from their marriage. The story follows Amy’s attempts to cope, the author weaving in other more subtle stories of relationships and their intricacies; mother and daughter(s), work colleagues, etc. It makes for an impressive exploration of relationships and a myriad of grey areas are thrown up and dealt with along the way.

Overall, this was a good read; the story was easy to follow and held my attention to the end.

 

Rating:*****

The House

The House

by Simon Lelic

 

This is one of those books that gets under your skin, definitely something I could describe as “unputdownable.”  As Syd and Jack’s story unfolds, I am drawn into an ever deeper, darker world, each scene vivid and alive in my mind as I read it. The plot is crafted with skill, manipulating me at every turn. There is no superfluous fluff, every detail counts and leads me towards the fantastic, unpredictable ending which makes me stop and re-evaluate everything I had read up until that point. A very satisfying read that will linger in my mind for some time!

 

Rating: *****

 

Icefall

Icefall

by Walt Stone and Mica Stone

 

This is a good, long read. The story moves at a fair pace and there were no dull moments where I felt bored or like I wanted to give up, which is saying something because it took me a long time to get through it due to personal circumstances, normally it’s hard to pick up a story after leaving it for a while- but not in this case!

The story itself is set in a post-apocalyptic ice age world; something unique to this genre that I haven’t seen before. The main characters are crafted vividly in my mind and I find myself really caring about what happens next to them (which is quite the adventure I have to say!)

Rating: *****

You Don’t Know Me

You Don’t Know Me

by Imran Mahmood

 

An intense, gripping read, “You Don’t Know Me” consists almost entirely of one character speaking for himself in a court room, leaving us breathlessly following his story without pause to divert elsewhere. Not many authors could get away with such a story, but Mahmood pulls it off brilliantly.

Even more brilliant is the range of emotions this book created within me. All at once I felt bad for the main character, who has a very ‘disadvantaged’ background, yet I could never feel too bad due to his unique kind of in-eloquent intelligence. I felt conflicted and confused, was he a victim of his own environment and essentially a good person? But then again, he couldn’t be good if he did even half the things that he himself claimed that he did. This tugging back and forth with  my emotions went from beginning to end, where I STILL don’t have an answer.

In all, a very good read and one that makes you stop and think!

 

Rating: *****

Rise of the Archmage (Deathsworn Arc:4)

Rise of the Archmage (Deathsworn Arc:4)

by Martyn Stanley

 

In this 4th instalment of the Deathsworn Arc, our heroes battle through more adversities, rescuing people along the way. There are some fantastic gruesome scenes in this featuring torture devices, hanging, burning etc, something i’m coming to expect from this author and which he achieves very well without being overdone. I loved the character of Vexis, who I felt simultaneously sorry for and horrified by. One of my favourite characters, who I won’t name, seems to be being axed, but I hope this isn’t the last I hear from them as i’m incredibly attached by this point – the ending in particular left me very sad.

I can’t wait for the next book, will be buying it as soon as it’s released.

 

Rating: *****

All That Remains

All That Remains

by Al Barrera

 

Kyle and Sara battle through a dystopian nightmare to get to a high-tech hidey-hole that a little girl thinks exists. An interesting premise, and I wanted to like this story, but it was very hard to get into the book at all. I almost gave up at around 60% but ploughed on to the end. I found it very hard to follow what was going on; the story felt very stilted and was broken up by extremely frequent flashbacks/thoughts/scanning, etc, and it was hard to tell which character was experiencing what event at any one time – so much so that I only started to be able to piece it together when I got to about 90% of the way through. Unfortunately it was a frustrating and difficult read.

 

Rating: *