Book Review: Bloodwalker

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you can find the book at:
GoodReads | Author’s website | Amazon | Bookdepository
my review:
Rating: ★★★☆☆

* I received an ARC of this book from the author.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

When the Zorka Circus comes into town, they leave the town population with fewer children than when they came to the town. Bloodwalker follows two different protagonists, Rurik and Sylvie.  Rurik, the circus security guard, who suspects the killer is amidst the circus performers and despite their closed ranks, he knows he can find them before anymore child have to die. Sylvie descents from a group of people who teach the knowledge of the Bloodwalkers – who follow ancient techniques in preparations of dead bodies. She comes to the Circus to get married but, instead, finds a body. And the duo’s path soon converge to reveal a sinister plan within.

What I really enjoyed about Bloodwalker was the concept. Especially, the Skomori’s knowledge and teachings. It was interesting to read about the way they honour and prepare the dead and stay to their ancient techniques and charms despite living in the modern day. I really enjoyed the snippets the novel includes in the beginning of each chapter from “The Bloodwalkers Book” which delved into the ritual and culture of the Skomori. The location itself was quite sparse since the circus is moving a lot so we don’t settle into the place long enough to fully immerse ourselves into it. But it added to the tension as each new place meant they never had enough time to fit its blind spots and to stop the kidnapping and murder. The way the plot blends well the supernatural and murder mystery elements which made it interesting to read. The circus performers, murderous clowns and the close-knit community of the Skomori, Bloodwalker is a decent novel which had my interest throughout and greatly surprised me at many moments.

I believe a weakness of this novel was the Rurik had the stronger plot, while the bloodwalkers are important, its relevance was at its strongest towards the end. In the overall story, it just felt like something that was there but not really delved into enough so Sylvie’s place in the story was much weaker and when reading, I wasn’t very excited since the actual plot was with Rurik. Sylvie’s side of the novel felt like it was there to incorporate the Skomori elements and there were moments in the middle particularly where Sylvie’s chapters could be skipped and not impact the plot much which was disappointing because I really liked Sylvie. She is quite a determined main character. Once she realised how dangerous her situation was, she went and actually did something to change that. But, overall, I did enjoy Bloodwalker despite certain things that I didn’t like, it was a good read.

Paperback, 284 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Freedom Fox Press
ISBN: 1939844258


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Book Review: My Girl by Jack Jordan

30109213you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Author’s website
Amazon
my review:
Rating:★★★☆☆

*ARC received from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Ten years after her daughter was murdered and only two months after her husband’s suicide, Paige thinks she has nothing to live for. Until she uncovers her husband’s gun and she goes in a desperate search to find out her husband’s secrets.

I have to admit I was not expecting this book to go where it did. And I now feel like I need to read something happy next. My Girl was definitely a weird one. We follow Paige reeling in the aftermath of her husband’s suicide when peculiar things start to occur around her. I really enjoyed the suspense that book starts with but I felt like it ended way too soon and we’re thrown straight into the turning point without a clear introduction. She goes from looking into her husband’s suicide to something completely different which is a shame because a stronger build up and clear insight into the other characters would’ve improved the novel so that transition wouldn’t have felt so strange.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: July 4th 2016 by JJP
ASINB01F7U2SVG

 

Book Review: The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

26196106you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (unavailable)
Author website

my review:

Rating: ★★★☆☆

~ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~

Sean Jackson’s three year old twin daughter, Coco, has gone missing leaving only Ruby and no one has a clue what happened. The media blames their mother, but what really happened to the little girl? The Darkest Secret plays over two weekends, set twelve years apart. The first is in 2004 where various friends and family are attending Sean’s 5oth birthday weekend while the second is set twelve years later during the weekend of Sean’s funeral.

This book was an intense read with engaging characters and drama that focuses on a terrible group of rich people. (for some reason, I can imagine this being a BBC program??) They were horrible- to themselves and to each other. I’ve never read a more self absorbed group of people like these, which makes it even more fascinating to read as you read on trying to figure out what happened and hopefully learn the truth behind the disappearance of Coco.

Marwood has written an relentless novel that creates a group of egoistic characters, and throughout the narrative there is a sense of complete horror as they reveal how far they will go. Overall, a thrilling novel which I felt had a slow start but once the story kicks in, it’s really compelling.

Format: ARC Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 1st 2016 by Sphere
ASIN: B010RALUP6

 

Book Review: The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand

26534110you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Author website

my review:

Rating: ★★★★☆

~ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~

Justin considers himself to be a director, and after making three failed horror movies, he and his film making friends decide to take it up a notch and make something better than the last three put together. With a limiting budget, a barely completed script and a burning passion to complete this before summer starts, they decide to make The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. And, by luck, they also have Justin’s crush Alicia Howtz as their female lead. But when the pressure of making a movie finally dawns on them, could Justin be actually directing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever?

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BOOK REVIEW: Where Death is a Hunter by Christopher Stookey

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Author Website (unavailable)

GoodReads summary:

Hannah Fâtier is a thirty-two-year-old physician fresh out of residency training. She’s just started her first job as an anesthesiologist at Deaconess Hospital in San Francisco, she’s bought a new home, and she’s engaged to be married.

In short, life is good for Hannah–until, one day, tragedy strikes. A patient under her care dies unexpectedly during a routine operation. An investigation into the case reveals the cause of death to be a basic medical error committed by Hannah. […] She begins to suspect someone has framed her for a fatal medical mistake she didn’t make. But who would do such a thing and why? And, more importantly, why did her patient really die that day on the operating table?

Where Death Is a Hunter is a medical mystery dealing with hospital death, a dark enigma, one doctor’s self-doubt, and the search for redemption.

my review:

Rating: ★★★★★

~E-copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review~

Hannah Fâtier is a anesthesiologist with a brand new job at Deaconess Hospital in San Francisco. Her life seems ordinary until a patient under her care dies before the routine operation had properly begun. Hannah is blamed due to a basic medical error, yet Hannah knows she isn’t to blame. Research into the paitent Hannah discovers many inconsistencies. And learns that someone has framed her for a fatal medical mistake she knows she didn’t make.

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BOOK REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

my review:

Rating:
★★★★★


“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.” 

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl opens a new perspective in thriller novels by creating Nick and Amy as the main characters. The Novel opens as Nick – “I used to be a writer…back when people read things on paper, back when anyone cared about what I thought” – finds that at their fifth wedding anniversary his wife Amy has gone missing, front door is open, the coffee table shattered, books scattered. Amy, a trust fund baby New Yorker who has disastrous life since Nick put her to his Missouri home in order to care for his dying mother, is now gone.

Nick calls the police, obviously, but his reaction is strange. He keeps referring to Amy in the past tense, and then holding himself back. He is not quite worried enough about her disappearance. “I wasn’t sure what to say now. I raked my memory for the lines. What does the husband say at this point in the movie? Depends on whether he’s guilty or innocent.”

The book switches between Nick’s narrative, as a person who is desperately looking for his wife which Amy consumes the attention of America’s media, and Amy’s diary, as she writes about the early days of their relationship. “Tra and la! I am smiling a big adopted-orphan smile as I write this …I met a boy!” She says. And then later: “He promised to take care of me, and yet I feel afraid.”

Slowly, the two stories  begin to converge, the media and police begin to swing the blame towards Nick’s way. He lies to the police: little lies that don’t really matter, but why is he doing it? And there’s something strange about Amy’s diary too; her vision of the events of their past is different from Nick’s, it demolishes their perfect image. We begin to see the cracks of the darkness in this seemingly perfect marriage: where is Amy, and who is telling the truth?

Flynn, an extraordinary good writer, plays her readers with twists in throughout the story. She plays with her unreliable narrators to stunning effect, disturbing and delighting in turn. Gone Girl, her third novel, is an absolute must read.

I spent most of the book deciding between fearing Amy Dunne and wanting to be best friends with Amy Dunne. The woman is brilliant, witty and completely on-point about so many things (the “Cool Girl” speech; “bleed and clean,”). Her brilliance is terrifying. Even when it looks like her plans are going to unravel and she’s going to be caught, she finds a new way to win. Amy is always about winning.

I didn’t like Nick at the beginning but now looking back, you’re not supposed to like him then. He’s a bitter loser who drifts through the investigation, shrugging his shoulders at every new clue suggesting he might have a part in his wife’s disappearance. It’s only when he starts to fight back and become more like Amy, crafting his own lies and using the media to his advantage, that you begin to like him. It has a scary twist on the traditional happy romantic ending, and I loved it.

In short, this book hits all the marks and I will definitely be reading more from Gillian Flynn in the future.