Posted in book review, fiction

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I found this post in my drafts and it seems a shame not to post it now considering it’s a book I really didn’t like! (I think I was quite generous!)

I was really looking forward to this book, it sounded amazing – nine strangers go on a health retreat but all is not what it seems – my perfect read!

However that is not what this book is. All the way through I kept thinking ‘maybe something will happen now and everything will kick start’, this didn’t happen, I was so disappointed! I finished the book wishing I hadn’t wasted my time.

Characters – the chapters are centred around the different people individually for the most part so you have the chance to get a feel for each character however I personally didn’t think I connected with any of them very deeply – I just wasn’t given enough from each one. I wanted to get inside their heads and really get to grips with their hidden pasts (promised from the blurb) but each character was just touched upon and then left abandoned. Perhaps there were just too many of them to delve into – each one was flawed and vulnerable (reflecting very human neuroses – very refreshing and relatable), it’s just a shame we aren’t given the chance to pay them the attention they deserve and get ourselves some mental healing too.

Narrative – The book is written well but simply; this is not a wordy text you need to take your time over however it feels like the narrative never really gets going in a sense and because of this the conclusion felt rushed to me. The majority of the book is taken up by how these strangers distrust each other and how their experience in the retreat will make them ‘new people’ but it is written too lightly for such heavy subject matters (mental health & wellbeing) which I believe has led to my disengagement with the text. I found myself confused as to if I was reading a happy book of self-discovery or a mystery thriller.

I have given the book two stars, it did keep me reading to the end after all but I’m glad I borrowed this from the library and didn’t actually pay for it. I’ve only read one other Liane Moriarty novel – Big Little Lies and I loved it, it whet my appetite with its intrigue and by the end of the novel I was stuffed. I’ve also heard great things about her other novels so I think I will read her back catalogue before I read any more of her new stuff, hopefully this one was just a blip!

Goodreads Rating – 2 / 5

Posted in book review, fiction

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

I found this review in my draft folder and since it is already all written out it seems a shame not to post it!

This was a beast of a novel not only physically but also mentally. I am completely drained after reading this one! Don’t get me wrong, it was good, almost amazing; the amount of detail gives it a ‘wow’ factor but there is so much to take in. It’s a good job Terry Hayes is a good storyteller – he made sure even when he was jumping around the timeline that you had all the information you needed – you never felt completely adrift in a sea of nonsensical words which to be honest is impressive given how much detail the narrative needs.

The paperback copy of the book I read weighed in at 888 pages and I felt every.single.one. This is not a book to skim or speed-read, this book deserves your attention and if that wavers, trust me you will miss something. If I break it down I know those first 200 pages are the hardest, you just want to get into a story but I Am Pilgrim keeps you waiting, it needs you to know the story right from the very beginning. The next 200 pages are building, you’re intrigued. You now have a solid background for the two main characters and you’re wondering how it is they come together. You’re now halfway through and you just need to know everything, the last 400 pages fly by in a blur, you’ve read them before you know it and then it’s over, you are left feeling complete, satiated.

If I had to compare this book to any other I would struggle, to me it is in its own category however I definitely got a Dan Brown feel while I devoured it (old Dan Brown, Digital Fortress style) only more grown up I would say. Dan Brown’s older brother! The characters are real and gritty, their actions have awful consequences and you get to picture their indecisions and apprehensions before they make those actions. This really makes the novel, it leaves a lasting impression – you’ve spent a lot of time with these characters and by the time the novel closes, you’re ready to say goodbye, because you know the story is complete and you haven’t been fobbed off with a quick exit.

Seriously, I cannot stress enough how immersive this text is. The first 200 pages were overwhelming they were so detailed in telling this backstory which you weren’t sure you really needed to know – but you do. Every miniscule detail gives you an insight into the mind of an operative and into the actions of a terrorist, I often stopped to try and imagine where Hayes gets his inspiration from, it is like he has lived it. Like I said, impressive. However, it is easy for me to say to you to persevere through those first 200 pages, I have the hindsight and know that it is worth it and this is the reason I can’t give this book 5 stars. For me, it was a slow starter and I know others would give up but I was recommended this book so I pushed through and found it was worth it!

I will definitely recommend this book to everyone.

Goodreads Rating – 4 / 5 stars

Posted in book review, fantasy, fiction, young adult

Daughter of Darkness by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

Publishing Due 4th August 2022 by Hot Key Books (UK)

Synopsis

Enter the Underworld in an epic new fantasy, where the Gods of ancient Greece rule everything but fate.

Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world – unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.

Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.

So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades. . . The prize of freedom is before her – but what will it take to reach it?