Tag: #reading

The Shadows by Alex North Review

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The Shadows was fantastic. Alex North’s writing was reminiscent of Stephen King. Considering King was mentioned, I imagine he was influential to North.

Twenty five years ago, Charlie Crabtree murdered a fellow classmate. The motive of the murder was shocking. The murderer went down in infamy, sparking several copy cat killers to act. Paul Adams has tried to block that day from his mind. Charlie Crabtree-and his victim- were his friends. But now Paul’s mother is sick and it’s time to go home. All is not well. His distressed mother insists that there is something in the house. And something is following Paul. Then Paul reads that another copy cat killer has struck. The memories of that awful day begin to resurface, including the fears. After all, Charlie Crabtree didn’t just commit a murder that day, he disappeared as well.

My Thoughts on The Shadows

This is the best thriller that I have read in a while. I loved Alex North’s writing style. It leaned slightly to the paranormal side of things. A local myth motivated Charlie to murder his classmate. Then the author directly connected Charlie to the origin of the myth. It was brilliant.

An interesting aspect that I noticed was the fact that the identity of the person murdered is not disclosed at first. As a reader, you know that someone is murdered, but you don’t know who. I just assumed that I knew who it was. Then I realized that the narrator might not be all that reliable. There are missing pieces that are filled in along the way.

Like many thrillers, The Shadows jumps from past to present. I love this sort of formatting. Seeing the actions of the past clears up so much uncertainty in the present timeline. It was interesting to watch Charlie manipulate and brain wash his friends. He was completely self motivated.

I really enjoyed The Shadows. I highly recommend it. The Whisper MAn by Alex North has received a lot of good reviews as well. I may have to give it a try. I have a feeling he might be a new favorite author.

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Fall of Giants by Ken Follett Review

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I finished Fall if Giants….finally. It is a beast of a book, but it is worth the read. It took me the entire month of July to read it. I have read books of this length in a shorter amount of time, but it is so detailed. You have to pay attention.

Fall of Giants follows five families through WWI, the Russian Revolution, and women’s right to vote. Five families from different countries are connected in unlikely ways. The Williams’ are a family of coal miners that works in the Fitzherberts’ family coal mines. Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with a German spy named Walter. Gus Dewar, an ambitious young aid to president Wilson, becomes entangles in their secret affair. Two orphaned Russian brothers dream of the freedom that America offers. Nobody’s life will remain the same.

My Thoughts

My first thought on Fall of Giants is wow. That’s it. Wow. But I know I would be a horrible book reviewer if I left it at that. Let me get my thoughts together. The character development is probably that best I have ever experienced. Each character is so diverse. They all have lengthy back stories and characteristics. You couldn’t convince me that these aren’t real people.

My next thought is the range of emotion that each character felt is amazing. Just like real life, each character had high moments and low moments. Follett captured the nuances of everyday life flawlessly.

Sitting at a page count of 985, Fall of Giants is dense. For the most part it kept my attention the entire time. Toward the middle I hit a couple of spots that lost my attention. That quickly shifted as major events developed.

Lastly, some of my favorite scenes happened toward the end. We see the end of WWI and the events slowly shift to the prohibition era. I loved how Follett used that change to transition into the next book. If it continues in the direction Follett pointed then I believe I might like Winter of the World even more.

My Rating: 5/5

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Pestilence by Pamela Taylor Blog Tour Review

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Today I am participating in my first blog tour. I will be reviewing Pestilence by Pamela Taylor. I’m excited to be participating in the blog tour, but when I received my copy of the book there was a note included. Pamela said that she recognized my address and decided to write. Weirdly enough, her father was a pharmacist at a pharmacy that my family frequented. I really enjoyed being able to connect with her. It brought back great memories for me. Now on to the book.

Set at the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred the second son must seek a destiny foreseen by his grandfather. Alfred’s brother has taken the throne, and it’s worse than anyone imagined. The kingdom is shattered and Alfred must decide how to help the kingdom built by his family.

Pestilence was a great read. The contrast between Alfred and his brother was striking. I’ve always enjoyed that element. As an only child, it’s interesting to see how siblings can be so different. Alfred’s loyalty was to the kingdom, while the king’s loyalty was to himself. The story follows Alfred on his journey to help protect the kingdom. It was a high stakes mission because he bordered on the line of treason.

I loved when Alfred decided to keep record of the actions of the king. As a history lover, I think documentation is so important. It gave a clearer picture as to what was happening in the kingdom.

I think it is important to read the first two novels to get a clearer picture of the kingdom. Let’s see how the story develops in the next installment.

My Rating: 4/5

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Review

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Guys, I finally finished a book! I’m actually getting to do a review! I picked The Stranger Diaries for my monthly challenge. The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge prompted me to read a book nominated for an award in 2020. The Stranger Diaries won the 2020 Edgar Award for best novel. It deserved it.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder, but most of the time it is a work of fiction. She is a high school English teacher that specializes in gothic horror. Clare’s life collides with her favorite novel when her friend is murdered. When Clare turns to her diary to document her feelings, she discovers writing that isn’t hers. Suddenly, she finds herself living in a horror novel.

The Stranger Diaries is what I wanted The Broken Girls to be. For instance, it incorporated a haunted school, a horror novel, and a murder mystery. Each element brought great depth to the story.

Above all, I loved the inclusion of multiple points of view. It had Clare’s point of view, her daughter Georgie’s, and Detective Sergeant Harbinder’s point of view. Even with multiple points of view I couldn’t single in on one suspect. There wasn’t a character that I didn’t suspect.

I didn’t expect the ending. It wrapped up so well. The friendship that developed between Clare and Harbinder was great. The Stranger Diaries was a well developed mystery with a lot of depth. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it until now. It is definitely underrated!

My Rating: 5/5

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