Monday, December 16, 2013

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: Orion Books, September 2013

Pages: 386

Series: Book 1, Reckoners

Summary: Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I had heard so many good things about Brandon Sanderson that when I saw his new book Steelheart I figured it sounded interesting and so I picked it up to give it a go.  When I sat down to read the first page just to get a feel for the book I ended up reading for 50 pages before finally putting it down for a minute.

Needless to say, I absolutely loved Steelheart, it was so good.  Each chapter ended in such a way that I just had to know what happened next and so I would keep reading it.  I managed to get through the book in no time because it is really addictive.

The world-building and the way that the Epics work is so fascinating that I just had to know more.

There were a few big reveals at the end and some of them I had guessed at but others I was completely astounded by.  They have definitely given me more to think about and make me want the next book right away.

I can definitely see why so many people enjoy Brandon Sanderson's writing, he has such a fantastic way with words and weaves a story that leaves you hanging on page by page just dying to know what happens next.  I feel like Steelheart is one of those books that everyone needs to read because it is amazing.  I wish I could read the next one right now.

Source: Purchased

Friday, December 13, 2013

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Title: Asylum

Author: Madeleine Roux

Published: HarperTeen, August 2013

Pages: 310

Summary: For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After I heard that Asylum was a creepy book with creepy photos scattered throughout the book to add to the story I was intrigued.  I had read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and was interested in how this book would do.

The premise of the story was really interesting but I found the book hard to read.  For starters, I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters.  Dan was weird, and was supposed to be but his weirdness was to the point where I just couldn’t connect with him on any level.

I felt as though the pictures in the book didn’t really help with the plot and it was just sort of random when they would show up.  I felt like the majority of them were just there to add something to the lack of amazing plotline within the story.

There were all of these strange things going on and I felt like they missed being explained, either that or I missed something somewhere.  Some things would happen but then they were never acknowledged again which I thought was strange.  Then the reveals left too much to guess at so I wasn’t entirely sure if certain things were because of one thing or another thing within in the plot.

I thought the book was interesting and if done slightly better it could have made a good story, however, because I was only more confused by the end of the book, I thought it was just an ok read.
 
Source: Library

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Black Notice

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2010

Pages: 464

Series: Book 10, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS A foreign ship arrives in Richmond, Virginia, among its cargo an unidentified body...

While Lucy Farinelli goes undercover in Miami to bring down a notorious criminal cartel, Dr Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino discover a body in a cargo ship recently arrived from Belgium at Virginia's Deep Water Terminal in Richmond. Initially is seems as though it may be the decomposed remains of a stowaway, but Scarpetta's post mortem reveals neither a cause of death nor an identification. So the victim's personal effects and an odd tattoo take Scarpetta on a hunt for information that eventually leads her and Marino to Interpol's headquarters in Lyon.
At first the highly confidential information they receive seems incredible, a bizarre trail of conspiracy and deceit, but inexorably the facts reveal a web of privileged and criminal arrogance which puts Dr Kay Scarpetta directly in harm's way, and places her and those she holds most dear at mortal risk.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is the tenth book in the Kay Scarpetta series and I have to say that seeing a new killer had me quite interested as I was starting to get sick of the same serial killers being dragged out over a whole bunch of books.

I feel as though the further I get into this series the more I miss the first few books.  Postmortem was such a good book and I hope that some of the later books are just as good.  The beginning of Black Notice made me feel like this but I have to say once the story progressed I did find myself to be really enjoying it.

The ending of this book was quite abrupt and I was really surprised by it because it just stopped at a really interesting part.  It actually made me want to pick up the next book in the series straight away though.

There’s not a lot more that I want to say about Black Notice, other than it’s an awesome book and I am very interested in reading the next book in the series, The Last Precinct.

Source: Purchased

Monday, December 9, 2013

Carrie by Stephen King

Title: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Published: Hodder & Stroughton, 2011 (first published 242)

Pages: 242

Summary: Carrie White is no ordinary girl.

Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie - the first step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.
But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her . . . (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I started reading this one when I found out they were making a new movie for it and so I wanted to read it before I went and seen the new movie.  I have seen the original movie and I did find it to be enjoyable.  I felt that knowing the plot of Carrie didn’t take away from the book at all because right from the start you know roughly what will happen anyway.

The book is told as a narrative but also has snippets of books, articles and other types of reports that relate to the events of the book.  I found this to be quite interesting but I also felt like it was a little disjointed because there aren’t any chapters in Carrie.

While there were some parts of the book I found to be really interesting I did find some parts of it to just be a little dry and they seemed to drag on a bit.

Overall, I did find Carrie to be quite an interesting book and I can see why a lot of people enjoyed it.  This is the first novel of Stephen King’s that I have read and while I didn’t find it horrifying I am curious as to see what some other novels of his are like.

If you enjoyed the movie and haven’t read the book yet, I would definitely suggest doing so because it’s always fun to see how different or how similar books and movie adaptions are to each other.

Source: Own Copy

Friday, December 6, 2013

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Published: Orion Books, 2005

Series: Book 1, Dexter

Pages: 275

Summary: Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He leads a normal, quiet life working as a forensic officer for the Miami police. He has a nice, shy girlfriend and is liked by her young children.

But Dexter has a secret hobby. He's an accomplished serial killer. So far he's killed dozens of people and has never been caught, because he knows exactly how to dispose of the evidence. And there are those who would rather he wasn't caught at all, because Dexter is a serial killer with a difference. He only kills the city's bad guys. Then Dexter's well-organized life is thrown into chaos. Another serial killer is invading his territory - and he wants Dexter to come out and play...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After watching the tv series and absolutely loving it I was really excited and interested in reading the book series.  After reading the first book I have to say that I am definitely curious as to how the next book will go.

If you’ve seen the first season of Dexter then you pretty much know the rough plot of the first book.  There are of course variations and one thing that surprised me a little is just how little there is in the book.  I felt like there was so much missing and that some details were just skipped over.  This could just be due to my having watched the tv series first.

There were a few changes from the tv series, mainly the ending which I am very curious about and because of how the ending was done it has definitely got me curious about how the next book in the series will go.
I felt like the characters didn’t have a lot of development, they were just there and that was really it.  This could possibly be the way that Dexter perceives everyone which would make sense.

Overall, I really enjoyed Darkly, Dreaming Dexter and felt like it was just as exciting as the tv series.  I am definitely curious to see what the next book in the series will be like.

Source: Purchased

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Point of Origin

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 1998

Series: Book 9, Kay Scarpetta

Pages: 400

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! A farmhouse destroyed by fire. A body amongst the ruins. Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner and consulting pathologist for the federal law enforcement agency ATF, is called out to a farmhouse in Virginia which has been destroyed by fire. In the ruins of the house she finds a body which tells a story of a violent and grisly murder. — The fir... more »e has come at the same time as another, even more incendiary horror: Carrie Grethen, a killer who nearly destroyed the lives of Scarpetta and those closest to her, has escaped from a forensic psychiatric hospital. Her whereabouts is unknown, but her ultimate destination is not, for Carrie has begun to communicate with Scarpetta, conveying her deadly - if cryptic - plans for revenge.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Point of Origin is the ninth book in the Kay Scarpetta series and I wasn’t entirely sure how I would feel about this one, especially given that I really quite enjoyed the previous book in the series so was curious to see what would happen with this book.

The more I read in this series, the more I feel as though if someone isn’t absolutely in love with Kay Scarpetta, they dislike her and simply must be out to get her.  I swear it’s as though nobody can ever be neutral towards her.

I thought the mystery in this one was interesting and different to the last few books.  I am however, getting a little tired of the same characters being an issue.  Let’s just say that there is one character who has returned in this book and I have to say I’m getting a little bored with them.  I thought they wouldn’t be mentioned anymore because their story was over a while ago but here they are again.

There was one event that happened which really surprised me, it happened quite abruptly and unexpectedly and I was just so surprised that it even happened.

Overall, I found Point of Origin to be an interesting novel but I felt like it was lacking something new and exciting as the same bad guys keep coming back and no matter where she goes, Kay just seems to keep making enemies.  Either way, I am interested to see what happens next.

Source: Purchased

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

Title: The Last Straw

Author: Jeff Kinney

Published: Harry N. Abrams, 2009

Series: Book 3, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Pages: 218

Summary: Let’s face it: Greg Heffley will never change his wimpy ways. Somebody just needs to explain that to Greg’s father. You see, Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other "manly” endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up . . . or get shipped out.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I’m really loving the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  They’re so hilarious and make me laugh so much.  The Last Straw has a few parts that are in the second diary of a wimpy kid film but there are also additional parts that are oftentimes even funnier than the ones that made it into the movie.

There was one particular part that referred to Shel Silverstein’s books that had me in stitches for at least five minutes, it was so hilarious.  I had to share it with anyone around me because it was so funny.

The bit where Greg started wearing his mum’s bath robe around the house was pretty hilarious too.  There are just so many funny parts in this book.

Overall, I really loved The Last Straw, it was so hilarious and I feel like it’s my favourite book in the series.  If you haven’t started reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series yet, I suggest you start soon.

Source: Purchased

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Goals

The end of the year is fast approaching and I feel as though I have some reading to catch up on.  I'm partway through about seven books and I really need to do something about that.  My reading challenge for this year was to read as many books as I buy and so far this year that total is 84.  So I have decided to make December all about books.  I need to read a total of 27 books in December to achieve my goal and so I figured a good way to do that would be to use this blog as a motivator/progress tracker.  And so for all of December I will be coming back and posting updates on my progress.  I will also be posting book reviews every Monday, Wednesday and Friday which means that I need to do some extra reading in order to put posts up on those days. 

So here is my list which I will be updating as I go: