Do you ever have that feeling of déjà vue? When Daniels wife Gracie tells him with her dying breath that they knew each other before, he starts wondering if they did. Struggling with his grief, alcoholism and her strange parting words, he sets out to find the truth. Daniel is a complex character; a reformed alcoholic that falls off the wagon after his wife’s death, we find out what turned him to drink in the first place. As harrowing as his story is we do have along it a message of hope and love. I really liked this book, even though it was quite a heart breaking story it left me feeling warm and fuzzy in the end. Very uplifting message; that love will find a way. It will appeal to people who wonder about heaven and reincarnation, but even if religion is not your thing this is an excellent read.
Sunday, 23 September 2018
I don't normally read metaphysical or religious fiction, but this book was a bit different. Well written and quite gritty, it dealt with heaven, reincarnation in an original way. Heartbreaking without straying into the sentimental, I was gripped from start to finish. 5 stars.
Friday, 14 September 2018
This is the second book in the Undertaker series. That and murder in the bush by Carmel Audsley have been reviewed earlier on this blog. So back in my favorite genre. I had two quibbles with this book. It was very short and some characters and events could have been fleshed out a bit more. I also found it hard to believe that with all Kate has been through in book 1 she would still take such naive and unnecessary risks. I gave this 4 stars as it is well written and a good story.
Being a woman in the 19th century wasn’t easy, not even in enlightened Scotland. Edinburgh was known at the time for its pioneering medical research. Something our Heroine Kate Grainger would love to be part off, but being a woman she can’t apply to study medicine.
I read the first part of the undertaker and was quite taken with this plucky woman who decided to live her life her way. I’ve read a few of Carmel Audsley’s books now and like them, this one is well researched. She has based the book on a real person but has taken it in different and surprising direction. Like all good historical fiction this tickled my interest to do a bit further reading.
One thing annoyed me a bit was, as Kate Grainger went through quite a lot in the undertaker, so I found her pig-headed naivety a bit harder to take. I hope if we see another chapter I would like to see a bit more caution due to a few hard lessons learnt. But as usual this was written in an entertain style. At a 128 pages a very quick read.
Tuesday, 4 September 2018
I always like to learn new things. I think that's why historical fiction appeals to me. Next to getting a good story, you pick up some interesting facts. Often a book spurs me on to open wikipedia and do some further reading. Like this one did about the Boer war; a conflict I didn't know much about. Plus this was an engaging story. I gave it 5 stars.
Three things attracted me to this book. Firstly it is historical fiction which is my favourite genre. Secondly it is set in two parts of history I don’t know too much about; Victorian New Zealand and the Boer war in South Africa. Part romance part adventure/war story it follows two young New Zealanders from early courtship, through separation by war and reunion.
The boy’s part is written in the first person, which I liked as it gave you a look inside the head of a young man dealing with the horrors of war. The details of this book where fabulous, the writer knows a lot about 19th century guns. I’m not a lover of guns but I appreciate he made these come alive for me. I felt he might have handled these weapons rather than read up on them.
The part of Rachel was written in the third person and the kidnap plot I could have done without. It might be because I’m a female reader that I would have liked a bit more of her emotions about a fiancee that is fighting on the other side of the world; how New Zealanders viewed the Boer war etc.
What you can’t fault this book on is its immaculate research; it can’t have been easy to bring 1990’s Wanganui to life. Start to finish it was a riveting read.
Saturday, 11 August 2018
I'm getting through my books a bit slowly these days. Work is getting in the way and I stopped taking the kindle to the beach as it was giving me a sore neck. So a bit more time between reviews. This week it was back to my favourite genre; Historical fiction. Johanna Craven has become a favourite of mine and this book was very good, but I preferred her other 2 books I've reviewed.
This is the third book I read by Johanna Craven and like her other books it is meticulously researched. She has set her story in 1740’s cornwall , a time when taxes where high and smuggling therefore rife. We are introduced to Isaac Bailey and his much younger sister Scarlet. After the death of his parents, Isaac does not only have to care for his sister but also has to pay of his father’s debt. The writer has put her characters in some desperate situations and they don’t always take the noblest way to get them out of these situations. This is what I like about this writer; her characters are flawed and complex in their motives. Like Scarlet who is innocent and trusting of her fellow man, but often finds herself descending into a dark and uncontrollable rage. The wild country side and the unpredictable sea form an atmospheric back drop and we can understand why the villagers are so superstitious. People where ill-informed and couldn’t explain the strange events Mother Nature had in store for them. This is the first of a trilogy and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes the Baileys
Thursday, 26 July 2018
I'm a sucker for a freebie and this one is free at the time of posting. Horror is not my favourite genre but I give it a try if free. If you're a horror fan and like your blood, gore and torture; you will like this. I gave it 4 stars.
This is the first book in a trilogy and what a start it was. Set in Newcastle of the late eighties, we delve into the world of emerging rock bands and the journalists that report on them. Philip Sturgess is one of those young journalists that write for a heavy metal magazine. He is happy with his life and girlfriend Shelley until he is sent to report on emerging rock group ‘Minstrels bargain’. The tension builds slowly as you realise Kick Bizarre is not your average rock star. The horror that follows comes as a shock, when people start to behave in rather zombie like trances and inflict gruesome acts. This horror novel has enough blood and gore to keep hardened horror fans on their toes. I liked the tension of the writing; it keeps up to the very end as Sturgess’ David takes on the Minstrel’s Goliath. We have seen the plot of good versus evil and a battle for the souls before, but Richard Ayre brings something fresh to the table by setting it in the eighties uk music scene. The writing was good and kept me hooked to the end. Couple of deep breaths now before I pick up the courage to buy the next one.