Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night is the second book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. (I've reviewed the first one here in case you missed it!)

The first novel left off on a cliffhanger and this book picked right up in the same place. I wasn't sure what to expect with this one because the way the story has changed since I began reading the first, I was keeping an open mind and totally just going with the flow. I was not disappointed! 

To give you a little background on these novels, they involve witches, vampires, and daemons. There is a fear for their continued survival and its up to a witch and a vampire to figure it all out. There is so much more to these novels, but I don't want to give anything away by explaining more. 

These novels aren't a quick read. They are detailed and more involving then a lot of reads. I don't think these books get enough love, really. They are adult novels, but I don't think that anyone who reads more of the young adult type novels wouldn't enjoy them as well.

There is so many little plot points along the way that I almost feel like they could have evolved into their own stories separate from the book. Definitely keeps your attention and in no way does it feel boring or overly done. 

I am of course going to read the third one, but I think I am going to wait a little longer. Not sure I want to let this story come to an end yet. I will miss the adventure and knowing that it all will come to an end. 

Recommendation: Well worth giving these a try. Totally for the lovers of witches, vampires, and love stories in the pursuit to save the world. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling

I have been a big fan of Mindy Kaling since The Office and I had been meaning to get my hands on her book for quite a while. Now that her new one has come out, I was behind and grabbed this one as soon as I could.

This book was a memoir of sorts, written in essays about her life, her work, and everything else she felt like sharing. She is funny and interesting, and I loved it. It was a very easy read, but it felt like she was sitting across from you and just having a chat. It read exactly like I thought she would sound. It was perfect in my opinion. I loved the insights into how she found success and the background details she gave about The Office.  It was great.

I will be reading her new one as well when I can. This did not disappoint one bit! I did read in a couple places that others thought it was good but that she just tried to fill pages by the end, but really, she is still young. She has so much more time to live and to create. Of course her memoir of sorts won't be as full and a juicy as some may wish. This is why I am excited for her new one. I really do look forward to reading it.

Recommendation: For fans of Mindy Kaling, for those who wonder about her life, and who are just interested in the real girl behind the success.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wallflowers by Eliza Robertson

This one was a short story collection written by a fellow Canadian. I actually heard about this book first from a magazine. It was under new and hot reads. I remember cutting out the little blurb and saving it to look for it later. By chance, I came across it at the library totally by accident!

I will say I didn't get to read them all. I believe I read about half of the stories before I needed to return the book to the library.

What I did get to read, I will tell you, was strange and haunting, and perhaps even a bit magical. I found I couldn't read more than one at a time. Once I finished reading a story, I had to step away for a while to digest what I read. They were so different and so empty but full of life all at the same time that you were left feeling unsettled but intrigued.

I am not usually a huge fan of short stories. I always want more from them. I know that's just me, but I will say I did have quite a few questions after reading these. They were so different and left so much to our imagination.

Recommendation: These are weird. They are strange. They are haunting. But they are crazy good. Perfect for any short story lovers!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Murder in the Afternoon by Frances Brody

This was a recent library read that I chose purely because the title and the cover caught my eye. I had no prior knowledge of the author either and didn't know till late that it was part of a series following the main character Kate Shackleton who is a private detective.

This one was set in the English countryside shortly after World War 1. It follows the cases of Kate Shackleton and her partner. Kate is the daughter of a higher ranking policeman and she carries on her own cases at her descretion. This story involves a family who's husband goes missing after he was seen dead by the children in a rock quarry. There's of course interesting twists all over the place, including a little bit of insight into the life and past of Kate Shackleton. 

 Although I read so very many english mysteries set in all time periods, it still felt new and different to me. The story itself I haven't come across in exactly the same manner. There were parts that revealed a lot about the main characters that I am not used to seeing outside of the first in a series which is quite refreshing. I enjoyed the backstories and I would pick up another one if I have a chance to come across it.

Recommendation: Interesting mystery. A little on the lighter Agatha Christie side, but not the same exactly. Give this a try if you love mysteries. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Death of a Wine Merchant by David Dickinson

This was another cover grab at the library. I knew nothing of the author or the book when I picked it up. As it turns out this one is the 9th book in a series featuring a Lord Powerscourt. He's an investigator of sorts that, in this book, has come to the aid of a friend who is defending an accused murderer in court. The friend does not believe that the accused has committed the murder, but the accused won't talk in his defense, and there is some doubt about it.

It is another mystery set in England in the past. The characters are interesting and I would have loved to read more about their backstories. I did find that it was a little long and slow in some places. It was as if in the first 50 pages the mystery was announced, the supposed murderer was caught and almost everything was investigated. There were a couple twists later on, but it felt a bit like it was dragging.

It wasn't a quick read, either, and it felt kind of tedious at times. I don't know if I missed it, and it went over my head, but there were things that I felt didn't get resolved. I kept reading because there was a little side plot going on with someone who's identity that was concealed, but I didn't seem to find out who it was. I know I was losing interest by the end, but still.

I don't know that I will be in a hurry to read another one, but if I do come across more of these books, I might pick one up.

Recommendation: It's not the best, but it isn't the worst. A fairly good mystery with interesting characters.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book of Souls by Glenn Cooper

This book was another cover grab at the library. I love stories about books that lean towards the mystical. This book was a take on knowing when you'll die. It involves a secret society that has these books that list the day you are born and the day you will die in them. They do stop, but not for a while yet.

The book was mostly an investigation on where these books come from, set in the present day, with a lot of fighting and intrigue like a spy novel. It reminded my a lot of The Davinci Code but perhaps not quite in the same league? I haven't read The Davinci Code, only watched the movie, but it's had the same feels.

It wasn't a complicated read, and I'm not sure I was overjoyed by the ending, but it was interesting and different.  Rather a cool concept.

Recommendation: If you like mysteries on the origins of life and the ends of time, spy type mysteries, novels of the past and the present, then this one could be the one for you!