Reading

Library Of Souls By Ransom Riggs | A Book Review

Title: Library of Souls

Author: Ransom Riggs

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: It’s the third and final novel in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

First impressions: I liked the first two books. It’s been a while since I read them though, so I forgot some details, but they started coming back to me.

Characters: This novel follows Jacob and Emma more than the others. I enjoyed getting to know the both of them better. Jacob develops a great deal over the course of this story and the entire series in general.

Quote:

“Doubt is the pinprick in the life raft.”

Writing: I love the photographs. Having images made imagining everything easier. There’s a good balance between photos and text as the author didn’t include too many or too few.

Riggs is descriptive but doesn’t dump too much information all at once. He describes what’s going on in the pictures, but also lets them speak for themselves.

I appreciate that the romance isn’t too prominent. The storyline focuses heavily on rescuing the peculiar children as well as the ymbrynes. That said, I didn’t mind Jacob and Emma’s relationship.

The book doesn’t feel too short or too long at around 450 pages.

Final thoughts: The ending ties up loose ends and answers lingering questions.

I’d recommend Library of Souls if you’re a fan of fantasy stories in addition to vintage photography. It’s an odd story, but that makes the book more fun to read.


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Reading

Empire Of Storms By Sarah J. Maas | A Book Review

Title: Empire of Storms

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: It’s the sixth novel in the Throne of Glass series.

First impressions: I finally got around to picking up Empire of Storms. I don’t know why I took so long, but I’m glad I did.

I was excited to read it even though I forgot some details. That said, I enjoyed slowly recalling what happened as the story unfolded.

Characters: I love all the characters from Aelin to Rowan to Aedion to Lysandra. Manon becomes more likeable as well. The storyline with Elide and Lorcan grew on me. I also enjoyed Dorian’s role. Everyone has such a complicated history, which makes for dynamic characters. As always, the banter between the friends is so fun to read.

Quote:

“Don’t waste your energy worrying about what could have been.”

Writing: This book more than the others takes romance to the next level. As a result, it may not be as appropriate for much younger audiences. I’m not the biggest fan of romantic storylines in general, but at least there aren’t any tropes I hate like love triangles.

It’s much longer than the previous books, but the plot still feels fast-paced.

Many scenes contain fighting, blood, violence, etc. I didn’t mind it too much. If you are a bit more sensitive to those themes, fair warning in advance.

I’m all for various cliffhangers at the end of some chapters as well as the twists and turns within them. There’s never really a dull moment even when Maas is world-building.

Final thoughts: The ending blew me away. I want to read the next book now because I have to know what happens.

If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend Empire of Storms, especially to fans of magic in fantasy stories. Also, I suggest reading the other books first, so you have a better understanding of everyone’s past.


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Reading

The 17th Suspect By James Patterson | A Book Review

TitleThe 17th Suspect

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Mystery

About the book: It’s the 17th novel in the Women’s Murder Club series. A serial killer starts murdering homeless people, and Lindsay Boxer tries to solve the crimes while Yuki Castellano takes on a high profile rape case.

I received a free copy of the book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I haven’t read anything by James Patterson in a long time, but I felt excited to read this thriller. I liked the beginning. Even though I haven’t read the other books in the series, I didn’t feel lost or confused.

Characters: The two main characters, Lindsay and Yuki, are likeable. I would’ve liked to learn more about the secondary characters like their husbands and friends though. I also wanted more backstory on the bad guys.

Quote:

“Hunches are valuable in this line of work.”

Writing: While I love short chapters as much as the next person, some of them seemed too abrupt. Patterson is pretty concise, and he gets to the point. He doesn’t drag out scenes, so the novel feels shorter than it actually is at almost 350 pages. I think more detail and description could have gone a long way. At times, the story touches on some important issues without delving deeper. Despite people being murdered, the writing isn’t too violent or gruesome.

Final thoughts: Both Lindsay and Yuki resolve their cases, so the ending seems satisfying. Although The 17th Suspect isn’t a highly unpredictable read with crazy twists, it is a fun, fast novel. That said, I wish the book was a little longer. Due to the mature themes, I’d recommend it to an older audience.


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Reading

What We Were Promised By Lucy Tan | A Book Review

Title: What We Were Promised

Author: Lucy Tan

Genre: Contemporary

About the book: It’s a debut novel about a family who returns to Shanghai after trying to chase the American dream in the United States.

I received a free copy from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I felt excited to read a novel about Chinese characters written by a Chinese author. I expected I’d be able to relate.

I love the title and cover page. It took me a few chapters to get into the story though.

Characters: Wei, Lina, and Qiang grew on me. They’re all flawed, but they’re hard to hate. Wei Zhen is married to Lina, but she has feelings for Wei’s brother, Qiang, who left home years ago. Sunny is a housekeeper and later she gets hired by the Zhens to look after their daughter, Karen. The adults have interesting issues to say the least.

Quote:

“Why do our minds fixate on the kinds of love we’re not getting instead of the kinds of love we are?”

Writing: In both the exposition and dialogue, Tan includes some words written in pinyin, which get repeated throughout the book. I understood most of them. The author offers an English translation or enough context to decipher the meaning. She describes the scenes well, including a lot of detail.

I think the nature of the story calls for more telling than showing. That being said, I would’ve liked more of the latter.

Final thoughts: My favourite part of the story is the ending. The characters confront the past and everything finally made a lot of sense. Overall, I think the novel increased my knowledge of Chinese culture and customs.

I recommend What We Were Promised to fans of contemporary reads about families. If you know Mandarin and pinyin, you’ll recognize certain words in addition to what they mean. Even if you don’t, the writing is still accessible.


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Reading

Confessions Of A Book Reviewer

  • I don’t always remember to write a review after finishing the book. My memory isn’t what it used to be.
  • I copy the same template for all my reviews. My reviews would be a mess if I didn’t structure them.
  • I forget some details. Sometimes I’ve even looked up the protagonist’s first name.
  • I don’t take notes while I read. Maybe I should.
  • I love reviewing physical books. More often than not, they’re fiction. But hopefully one day, I’ll get around to reading more nonfiction.
  • I finish every book. I feel like it isn’t fair to the author or potential readers if I only read and review half the novel.
  • I use the same phrases in my reviews. There are only so many ways to say I recommend a book.
  • I don’t write in books. I can’t do it. At most, I’ll write on a sticky note to mark a specific passage or page.
Reading

The Fallen By David Baldacci | A Book Review

Title: The Fallen

Author: David Baldacci

Genre: Thriller

About the book: It’s the fourth novel in a series that follows Amos Decker who works for the FBI.

I received a copy of the book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I love Baldacci’s works, so I had high expectations. I enjoyed the action-packed beginning where Decker discovers a crime scene.

The title and cover page are great. I haven’t read the other books in the series, but it’s not necessary.

Characters: Amos Decker is a complex character because he develops over the course of the story. Alex Jamison works with Decker, and she’s likeable as well.

The book has many characters, yet Baldacci makes it easy to keep track of everyone’s identity. Also, there’s more than one bad guy.

Quote:

“Sometimes that’s all you need for a major life change: a dream.”

Writing: I’m a fan of the short, suspenseful chapters. Baldacci balances description with dialogue well. He moves the plot along at a good pace without rushing scenes or dragging things out.

The author created a well-written, well-edited book. It’s easy to follow along but still hard to predict everything at the same time. Bonus, there’s no romance.

Final thoughts: I read the ending in one sitting because I didn’t want to put the novel down. A lot happens, and I didn’t see much coming. If you love a good suspenseful thriller, be sure to check The Fallen. I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.

All in all, the novel is a fun, fascinating read about different issues such as drugs, specifically the opioid crisis in America.


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Reading

Dawn Among The Stars By Samantha Heuwagen | A Book Review

Title: Dawn Among The Stars

Author: Samantha Heuwagen

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the first in a series, following the perspective of three characters: Kayin, Henry, and Melissa in that respective order.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I like the premise of the novel with other beings arriving on earth. I also love the title, and the cover page reflects what the story is about.

Characters: The three characters are different with each having their own goals. What’s more, the secondary characters are likeable.

Maybe it’s just me, but Kayin, Henry, and Melissa seems younger than they actually are.

Quote:

“Sometimes it is better to be disappointed than to never know at all.”

Writing: There’s a mix of description and dialogue. The world building is done well because the author doesn’t bombard readers with too much information all at once.

Even though the book follows three characters, their perspectives are written in the first person.

Final thoughts: The book wraps up many loose ends but still leaves questions to be answered in the second instalment of the series.

If you love sci-fi reads about survival, check out Dawn Among The Stars.


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Reading

The 49th Mystic By Ted Dekker | A Book Review

Title: The 49th Mystic

Author: Ted Dekker

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: It’s the first in a series about a blind girl named Rachelle. As the 49th mystic, she has to find five seals before it’s too late.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: Dekker eases you into the story. I especially enjoyed the beginning when the author gets into the science of epigenetics. That was eye opening and educating.

Characters: I could relate to Rachelle. During her journey, she learns a lot about herself. In my opinion, Rachelle becomes more likeable as the story progresses. Her father also plays a big role, and I liked him too.

Quote:

“All fear springs from an averison to being threatened or wronged on some level.”

Writing: I got to the end of the novel before realizing there’s not much romance, which I loved.

Dekker’s a good writer and storyteller. He’s descriptive, making the scenes come to life, even when Rachelle can’t see.

Final thoughts: The ending sets the stage for the second novel, so it wraps up some loose ends but doesn’t provide complete closure. I’m curious to see what’ll happen next.

The author manages to weave various storylines together into a cohesive read. It’s a little over 400 pages, so the book didn’t feel too long or too short.

If you’re into fantastical reads that involve two different worlds, check out The 49th Mystic. It wasn’t what I expected, but I liked the premise a lot.


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