Monthly Archives: September 2015

Cyborg Cinderella

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cinder

Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a book with a one word title. I oscillated back and forth on this category for about a month. I’m so indecisive when it comes to what I want to read next because I just want to read everything. Then I get myself in over my head by being way too overzealous. I finally narrowed down my list of one word titles and settled on Marissa Meyer’s Cinder. I’ve heard some great things about this novel, as well as the series as a whole, and I can’t wait to get started.

Usually I’m not too big on sci-fi but am fully willing to give this novel a go. I love the fairy tale premise and can’t wait to see how Meyer manipulates the genre. Combing sci-fi, fantasy, and fairy tale should be an interesting read. I’m curious to see how all of these elements will change/enhance the original tale.

Stay tuned for the full review of Cinder. Happy reading!

The Girl on the Train

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450 from paddington

Shall we take a trip on the 4:50 From Paddington?

At first, The Girl on the Train was giving me some serious deja vu. It was so much like Agatha Christie’s 4:50 From Paddington. A woman on a train, in Christie’s version it was Miss Marple and in Hawkins it’s Rachel, sees what she thinks could be a murder and then feels the need to prove that what she saw actually happened. But then the two begin to deviate. Rachel is a very unreliable narrator who sometimes doesn’t even know she’s being unreliable. You can’t take her observations at face value because you never know if she’s seeing something factual or just thinks she’s seeing something. The lines between fantasy and fiction blur for her in her alcoholic stupor. The alcohol leaves giant gaps in her memory that she tries to fill with both facts and fiction.

Overall I did like this one. Nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets. The people you think have the perfect life don’t actually. They’re hiding secrets that run far deeper than you could ever imagine. Every person has their own agenda and is determined at whatever risk to see things through for their own betterment. Just when you think the novel is heading one way it swerves and begins going down a different road.

You feel for Rachel and all through the novel are encouraging her to get her stuff together. But it just seems that she moves from one obsession to another. She moves from alcohol and obsessing about her ex-husband to obsessing about Megan and trying to find her and prove what happened to her. Little does she know, she’s the key to solving the whole case.

Rachel is so easily lead to believe different things I waited a long time for her to finally come into her own. She has about given up on life and is willing to let people tell her what to believe. It takes Rachel an awful long time to finally put two and two together. But when she does it leads to quite the explosive ending.

Rating: 4/5

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

The Bat

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the bat

“Then Harry was alone. As we always are.”

Harry Hole is the epitome of the modern day noir detective. He’s a Norwegian Philip Marlowe. His life revolves around his cases. His relationships can never last because he lives for his cases not for his relationships. The only lasting relationship he can ever have is with crime.

In this first installment, we see Harry as a bright eyed, bushy tailed detective on his way to Australia to help the Australian police solve the murder of a young Norwegian girl. He’s almost naive at the outset of this case. He seems so young and innocent in comparison to where I found him in The Leopard. Harry is quickly taken under the wing of a seasoned Australian police detective, Andrew, who begins to show him the ropes of the Australian police force.

As with the last Harry Hole mystery I read, this novel is surrounded in folk tales and fables. Tall tales of creation stories that weave throughout the case Harry is working. In this case, Aboriginal creation stories are told, including the bat, representing death, Bubbur the snake, and Walla the fighter. Each folk character has it’s counterpart in a character involved in the crime. And it’s up to Harry to figure out who is who, what is truth and what is fiction.

It doesn’t take long for the Harry in The Leopard to begin to emerge. The case soon drags Harry down the rabbit hole, kicking up his worst traits. It’s almost as if Harry has to succumb to the depths of his own depravity to see the depravity in others. Harry manages to get his man but each time at a greater cost. It makes me wonder what will be left of Harry Hole at the end of the series.

Rating: 4/5 You can see Nesbo is still working out the kinks of Hole’s character in this one but I love the character study from the later novel to Hole’s creation.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

Translation Please

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the bat 1

Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a novel translated into English. I had a few different options on this one and had a hard time narrowing them down. This was one of those categories that made me realize just how many books there are in the world to read. I finally settled on the first Harry Hole mystery, Jo Nesbo’s The Bat. Funny story, I was reading the novel just for fun and not for the Book Battle until I realized that, duh, it was first written in Norwegian.

I’ve already read one Nesbo thriller for this reading challenge so I expect a lot of scares. With The Leopard, I read the prologue and had to stop reading it for about a week because I was traumatized. But I ended up really liking the gritty journey of that novel and can’t wait to see where Harry Hole started. Usually I like to read series in order but with this one I started somewhere near the middle/end. I’ve seen Harry Hole at his most down trodden it will be fascinating to see how he got there. What choices he made throughout the series that left him in down and out in Asia.

Stay tuned for the full review of The Bat. Happy reading!