Friday, 29 April 2011

Book review: The Innocent by Harlan Coben

The InnocentThe Innocent by Harlan Coben

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Innocent by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is one of my favourite authors, but this book isn't one of his best. It started off, like all brilliant Coben books with several starts, all to be revealed at the end. I enjoyed the chapters in second person ('you do this...'), it made it much easier to see it from the main character, Matt Hunter's, point of view. I liked Matt and sympathised with him, but the story wasn't really about him, it was about his wife Olivia and all her secrets. I felt the book lost 'the pull' about halfway through and I guessed some of twists before they happened, especially the last one. There were also far too many characters. I had to stop and think about who was who and how they related to the case. However, saying that, I enjoyed reading about Loren Muse. She's appeared before in another book.
Overall three stars, a good book, but not as good as the others.

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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Book review: The House At Sea's End by Elly Griffiths

The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway #3)The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths

I love Elly Griffiths, her books just keep getting better and better. Not only does she write a superb murder mystery, but she also manages to control and keep check of a number of extra characters not integral to the plot, which I sometimes enjoy more than the murder mytsery aspect of it.

In this book, Ruth has just had her baby, which is the product of an affair with the mairried, DCI Nelson. Ruth is a great character and you feel for her and all her worries. Their relationship is always interesting to read about.

The main plot focuses on six dead bodies which have been found buried on a beach and the ensuing murders that happen as their secrets are told. It's a brilliant plot, slightly more outlansdish than the others, but I loved it.

I can't wait to read more about Ruth Galloway!

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Monday, 18 April 2011

Book review: Being Human: The Road by Simon Guerrier

Being Human: The Road (Being Human Novels)Being Human: The Road by Simon Guerrier

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Being Human: The Road by Simon Guerrier

I'm a massive fan of the Being Human series, and I was a bit sceptical about the accompanying book, but my aunt, also a big fan of the series, recommended it to me. I've read other books from TV shows, such as CSI and Dr Who, but my main problem was that Being Human is a series and has an ongoing storyline every week where as the other books (from TV Shows) I've read are distinct and you can read them (or watch them) without knowing the back story. You can't with this, not that it personally mattered, but it felt like a part of the book was missing. The plot otherwise was good, intriguing and I didn't guess the ending at all and the quality of writing was good, but other points let the book down. For example, the writer didn't capture the characters very well. There were a few moments with George, where he nailed it, but I found myself shaking my head when a character did or said something more often than not. If I find another Being Human book by a different author then I'll check it out, but if not, I'll stick to the TV series.

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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Book review: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

206 Bones (Temperance Brennan, #12)206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

I'm a big fan of the Bones TV show, but I'm fully aware that the only thing the books and the programme have in common is Tempe Brennan. Having said that, I think the character in the books is far more likeable. The relationship she has with Ryan is brilliant and I often spent a lot of time waiting for them to meet up. I've read another of Reichs books which I must say, I enjoyed more. I read that within a matter of days, this took me a lot longer. I love Reichs' style of writing, but sometimes, she doesn't say who's speaking and I have to back track a few lines to work out who says what. I was also quite confused with the several cases going on, and the several aliases that one man had. Having said that, Reichs has the much needed pull that some authors do not, the one that keeps you turning the pages, no matter what time of night. Although I was disappointed with this book, I'll definately read more Reichs books.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Book review: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

Band of Brothers : E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's NestBand of Brothers : E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

I'd never read a non-fiction book before, apart from autobiographies, so I was a bit reluctant to pick this up. However, I'd seen the series and wanted to know as much as possible about the men of E Company. Ambrose is brilliant at bringing the places and battles to life and describing the battles involved. The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is because I sometimes struggled with remembering who was who, the injuries they had suffered and what they had done. After watching the series, I could easily put a name to a face which definately helped. I'll even admit that at the end I cried. This is a phenomenal book and series which everyone should read and watch.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Book review: Flood Tide by Clive Cussler

Flood Tide (Dirk Pitt, #14)Flood Tide by Clive Cussler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Flood Tide by Clive Cussler

I'm a massive fan of Clive Cussler, but this one wasn't as good as the others. It was too much politics and not enough treasure hunting. As always the action sequences were incredible and I love the banter between Pitt and Giordino. The characters were brilliant with the exception of Julia Lee. She was supposed to be an INS agent, yet half the time, all she did was cook, swoon over Pitt and wear leather blue miniskirts! I know Cussler can represent women well, but in this book he didn't at all! Sorry for being all feminismy!
Overall, three stars. I'll chalk this up as one of the bad ones and move onto Spartan Gold which is sitting on my shelf.

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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Book review: PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

PS, I Love YouPS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

There was only one thing going for this book, and that's what I call 'the pull', the thing that makes you keep turning the pages, even when you're really tired. Other than that there was so much wrong with it. I watched the film first and I'm glad I did, because I actually thought it was better than the book. Also, without the film, I would have had no images in my head for any of the characters.
For a start, I had no idea where the book was set. It eventually revealed that it was Ireland, so that was fine. The character of Holly slowly got on my nerves. The things she did and said began to grate on me the further it went on. Her friends were the same person pretty much. I also had no sense of Gerry at all. I had no idea what he looked like, what his interests were or anything. It all seemed a bit inappropriate that Holly was checking out other men within months of her husband passing. The dialogue was really strange as well, people don't talk like that! Ahern also used adjectives like 'bitchily'. I didn't think that was a word.
I thougt the story in the film would've made a much better book. The whole thing was much more romantic. Gerry sent Holly to the place where they met rather than to Lanzarote and the letters arrived at random. The only thing the film lacked were the family present in the book, which I thought was needed, and the ending was rather unrealistic. She started up a shoe shop from nothing!
I hope Ahern gets better because there's something there for her to work with.

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Book review: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Pirate LatitudesPirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

It took me a long time to read this book and I'm not entirely sure why. The writing was good, the characters each had unique attributes and were developed and the plot was exciting and full of action. Yet for some reason it look me months to read it! Normally, I read Michael Crichton books within a matter of days, although with those books I had the advantage of seeing the films first (Jurassic Park and Sphere), so I knew the plot and I knew what to expect.
Overall, I'm giving it three stars because it didn't have the initial grab that I look for in a book, although it certainly picked up towards the end. I remember when I started reading it that I was also confused by all the characters. Hunter's crew are introduced all at once and trying to remember which name belongs to which character is difficult.

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Monday, 4 April 2011

Book review: The Moses Stone by James Becker

The Moses StoneThe Moses Stone by James Becker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although technically I am currently reading it, I haven't actually read it for ages, I'm stuck about three quarters of the way in it and I keep getting distracted by other books. It just hasn't got the momentum I would like.

The Moses Stone by James Becker

I have moved house twice since I started this book. There are some things that James Becker does well, especially tension. The parts of the book where Bronson and Angela are running through the steets, followed by armed men are great. I often found that I was holding my breath and only released it at the end of the chapter. This book made me want to visit the numerous locations it talks about. It would also make a great movie with it's half-blind villians and chase scenes through busy town centres.
However, there were several points that let it down. The characters of Bronson and Angela were a little bit one-dimensional and some of the dialogue they exchanged was unrealistic. The statement I made before about the book having no momentum I'm sticking to. The last few chapters that I read should have appeared much earlier, as a result the end of the book seemed rushed.
Overall, the book was a bit of good fun, but it's nothing that could be taken too seriously and the majority, if not all of the characters hadn't really been developed.

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Book review: The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

The Fourth Bear (Nursery Crime, #2)The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

I'd read one of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, but I didn't realise he'd written a collection of books based around nursery rhymes. I picked this up in a charity shop, not knowing it was the second in the series. But it didn't matter, the characters were introduced well and although I'd not read the previous one, there were several references to Red Riding Hood, which I'm guessing is the previous case.

Fforde's universe is amazing, bears and aliens and PDR's (basically nursery rhyme characters) live alongside humans and it's all totally believable. I also love the added section of the Berkshire Bumper Book of Records at the beginning of every chapter.

The story itself is brilliant if a little confusing. This book focuses on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but puts a spin on it that brings it up to modern day. Intertwined in this is the psychopathic Gingerbreadman, possibly one of the best ideas ever! As well as bears breaking their porridge quotas, a new theme park known as Sommeworld and a global company known as QuangTech.

The reason why I didn't give this five stars is because it took me a while to get into it. I probably read the last half of the book within two days, but the first half took me about a month. I'd say the reason for this is because there are a lot of different elements you have to keep in your brain, such as cucumbers exploding, the Gingerbreadman and Spratt and Mary busting a bear with a van full of oats. Only later does it all so cleverly slot together.

Overall four strars for the great characters, clever plot and fantastic world that Fforde has created. I will most certainly be getting the others!

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