Monday, August 3, 2015

The Dead Room by Heather Graham

Title: The Dead Room 

Author: Heather Graham

Published: Mira, 2007

Pages: 441

Series: Book 4, Harrison Investigations

Summary: A year ago, archaeologist Leslie MacIntyre barely survived the explosion that took the life of her fiance, Matt Connolly. In the long months since, she's slowly come to terms not only with her loss but with her unsettling new ability to communicate with ghosts, a dubious 'gift' received in the wake of her own brush with death.
Now she's returned to lower Manhattan's historic Hastings House, site of the explosion, to conquer her fears and investigate a newly discovered burial ground. In this place restless spirits hold the secrets not only of past injustice but of a very real and very contemporary conspiracy with deadly designs on the city's women--including Leslie herself.
By night Matt visits her in dreams, warning her and offering clues to the truth, while by day she finds herself helped by--and attracted to-- his flesh-and-blood cousin Joe. Torn by her feelings for both men, caught between the worlds of the living and the dead, Leslie struggles against the encroaching danger that threatens to overcome her. As she is drawn closer to the darkness at the heart of Hastings House, she must ultimately face the power of an evil mind, alone in a place where not even the men she loves can save her.  (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts:  It was a dark and stormy night when I decided to pick up this book and start reading it.  Some of the Harrison Investigation novels can have quite a creepy element to them and this one did a little bit but it didn't have that much of a sinister feel even with the events that were happening.
This one reads a little differently to the previous books in the series but I will say that in a good way.  The mystery was just that much more interesting, and the formulaic style of Heather Graham's writing wasn't as obvious.

The ending took a bit of an unexpected turn which I had not thought of at all.  I did feel as though it was lacking a little in emotion however, as it was a big thing to happen but however.  In terms of the mystery, I didn't manage to guess who the bad guy was but honestly, the book had so many red herrings that it could have been anyone that had done it.

Overall, I quite enjoyed The Dead Room.  I always like to read Heather Graham's novels when I'm looking for a light paranormal mystery.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July Wrap-Up

July seemed to fly by for me and so I now have a little list of books that I managed to read this month.  I also wanted to just say that I'm going to be changing my scheduling up a little bit from now and instead of posting a review every Monday and Friday I am now going to be a little more ambitious and try and post up a review every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will try to post up some other kind of bookish post but we will see how we go.  Now, onto the books I managed to read this month.

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

At the beginning of the month I was still working on my thesis and I was using reading as a way to wind-down at the end of the day so I found reading Harry Potter was a really good way to make me feel good and relaxed at the end of the day.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire isn't my favourite book in the series but I felt as though I had a greater appreciation re-reading it this time.  It was just really what I needed at the time.

2. Rogue by Gina Damico

You can find my review of Rogue here.

3. Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham

You can find my review for Trouble with Lichen here.

4. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

My review of Shadow Scale can be found here.

5. Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

My review for Speaking in Bones can be found here.

6. Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

My review for Murder is Binding can be found here.

7. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

I have to say that I didn't find this book as enjoyable or convincing as what I would have hoped.  I felt as though Jonathan Safran Foer's writing style was kind of pretentious and I didn't like the way he outlined his argument.

8. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M. C. Beaton

My review for Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist can be found here.

9. Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

My review for Poltergeeks can be found here.

10. The Dead Room by Heather Graham

Review will be published in the future.

11. Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris

Review will be published in the future.

12. Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death by M. C. Beaton

Review will be published in the future.

13. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Review will be published in the future.

14. Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

Review will be published in the future.

15. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Review will be published in the future.

16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

This is my least favourite book in the Harry Potter series but I did feel like this time around I was getting some really interesting and more detailed information that I couldn't recall the other few times I had read the book.

So those were the books I read in July and I am extremely happy with the amount of books I read.  I don't expect August to be as good of a reading month but I can be hopeful.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Title: Poltergeeks

Author: Sean Cummings

Published: Strange Chemistry, 2012

Pages: 320

Series: Book 1, Poltergeeks

Summary: 15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection. 

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  This book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now, and this year I have made it my goal to read as many of these old books gathering dust as I can.  My reading tastes have changed a bit since I purchased Poltergeeks and lately young adult books have not been my kind of book.  So when I decided that this was to be my next read I didn't have particularly high expectations.

Needless to say, I actually quite enjoyed reading Poltergeeks.  It was just a nice fun and light read. I think that my low expectations of the book worked in my favour as I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

There are quite a lot of cliches and things that are typical of a lot of young adult books but I felt like the mystery and supernatural side of this book kind of outweighed those parts and I found myself having fun.

While this is quite a light read, I was reading it at night time by myself and I was pretty tired, so I did find myself getting a little nervous at some parts.  I will admit that it was a little bit scary.  That being said, I think it was just the situation of having read a few other scary stories earlier in the day that I was a little on edge.  Poltergeeks isn't meant to be overly frightening.  The tone really is quite fun and light-hearted.

In all honesty, there isn't a lot I have to say about Poltergeeks, other than it was a light-hearted and fun read.

So, will I read the second book in the series?  At this point I'm still not sure.  On the one hand this was quite a fun read, but on the other, there are so many other books that I want to read before it that really it will just depend on whether or not I feel like it one day.  If you are interested in reading this book and/or its sequel I would suggest purchasing them sooner rather than later as the publishing company, Strange Chemistry are not in business anymore, so the books that are out there, are the last going to be printed, unless they get picked up by another publishing company some time in the future.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Title: Speaking in Bones

Author: Kathy Reichs

Published: William Heinemann, 30 July 2015

Pages: 320

Series: Book 18, Temperance Brennan

Purchase Link:
Book Depository*

Summary: Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan investigates what looks to be a typical missing person case, only to find herself digging up bones possibly left by a serial killer, a cult, or perhaps something not entirely of this world.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I'm not normally one to read books in a series out of order, but with the Temperance Brennan books it doesn't really matter about reading them in order unless you care about small spoilers such as the relationship and life statuses of the characters.  These things never bother me so I had no qualms about reading book 18 even though I have only read five of the other books in the series.

Speaking in Bones was pretty much exactly what I needed.  It was so good.  I started reading it and had a lot of trouble putting it down because every chapter made me want to know more about what happened next.  It was so well written and it just got me really excited about reading.  I do wonder if my love of this book had something to do with the fact that I have been reading some books I haven't been enjoying as much lately, but Speaking in Bones was really good.

The mystery aspect was so interesting.  I really love how a lot of the science is explained, and it's like being in a lab with Temperance, learning about forensic anthropology techniques.  I also really enjoyed that as Brennan was discovering information about Web Sleuths, I too was learning more about them.

I thought it was funny that a couple of times in the book, Temperance Brennan referred to people being interested in web sleuthing as being enthusiasts of shows such as CSI and Bones.  Although, I feel like if that was bought up in every recent book, it would probably get a little old.

I had taken a break from reading the Temperance Brennan series because the first three had followed a really formulaic pattern that I was getting a little tired of.  However, Speaking in Bones has renewed my excitement about this series and has left me wanting to read more.  This book is proof that this series gets better over time.  I would definitely recommend Speaking in Bones and cannot wait to go back and read more Temperance Brennan.

Source: Penguin Random House for Review

Friday, July 24, 2015

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M. C. Beaton

Title: Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist

Author: M. C. Beaton

Published: Constable and Robinson, 2010 (first published 1997)

Pages: 292

Series: Book 6, Agatha Raisin

Summary: May contain spoilers! Agatha Raisin leaves her sleepy Cotswolds village of Carsely to pursue love - and finds murder. Spurned at the altar, she follows her fleeing fiance James Lacey to north Cyprus, where, instead of enjoying the honeymoon they'd planned, they witness the murder of an obnoxious tourist in a disco. Intrigue and a string of murders surround the unlikely couple, in a plot as scorching a the Cypriot sun!  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I've been on a cosy mystery kick lately so I was pretty eager to pick up the next book in the Agatha Raisin series, as I always find those to be quite fun.  

James annoyed me so much and he always has really.  I just wanted to go up to Agatha and to tell her to forget about him because he is not a very nice person.  I have no idea what she sees in him and I feel as though the whole Agatha pining after James Lacey thing is getting to be a little tiring.  It's one of the least likable things about the book.

I felt like the mystery in this book was put on the backburner a lot and while there were the odd mentions of it, there just wasn't enough delving into the mystery to keep me fully interested.  I really felt like the majority of the book was Agatha chasing James, then messing around with someone else so James would get mad and act weird.  That part just did not interest me in the slightest and it's really what made me dislike the book.

By the time I got to the end of the book I no longer cared about who the murderer was because really I just wanted the whole awful affair to be over.  I had a fair idea about who it was but at the same time I didn't really care which character did it.

I think one of the other issues I had with this book was that it didn't take place in the village of Carsely and so there weren't the usual cast of characters that I have come to find fun and enjoyable.  This book could have been exciting as it took place in Cyprus and Agatha could have explored and been more excited about it but really she just had a one track mind throughout the entire book.

I have to say that this was definitely my least favourite book in the series and I'm not sure how I'll feel about the rest of the books.  I own the next book in the series already so I will see how I feel about that one, but at this point I feel as though I will probably take a break or just stop reading this series, depending on how I feel about The Wellspring of Death.  Really, there are so many other cosy mystery series out there that are more exciting and interesting to me that I'm not sure I want to waste much more time on this series.