Book Reviews · Books

ARC: White Peak

Book Review: White Peak by Ronan Frost

Published: 21st May 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

Keywords: Thriller, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Sci Fi

Synopsis

Greg Rask, a dying tech billionaire, has invested millions chasing miracle cures. None of them are worth a damn, but he refuses to give up. Now, he’s gathering a team willing to go to the ends of the earth chasing life.

Each of Rask’s crew has beaten incredible odds to rise from the ashes of their old lives to where they are now. Together, their next task is to retrieve a painting that is believed to hide a map which, if genuine, marks it as a treasure of the Ahnenerbe, the occult wing of the SS, who had devoted dozens of expeditions in search of the three cintamani stones for their combined properties, and the lost city where they were rumored to lay hidden: Shambhala. But a mystical brotherhood sworn to protect the secrets of the ancients—the same secrets that allow its members to defy death—will stop at nothing to ensure that Rask’s crew fail.

In an adrenalin-pumping quest through some of the most savage terrains known to man, the crew will be pushed to the limits of endurance and beyond.

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Book Review: Recent Reads #4

hotelirisHotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa

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My Rating: 4/5 stars

‘In a crumbling, seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother fusses over the off-season customers. When, one night, they are forced to eject a prostitute and a middle-aged man from his room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man’s voice, in what will become the first gesture of a long seduction.

Mari begins to visit the mysterious man at his island home, and he initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure. As Mari’s mother and the police begin to close in on the illicit affair, events move to a dramatic climax.’

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Book Review: Frankenstein by Junji Ito

frankensteinReleased: 16th October 2018

Junji Ito meets Mary Shelley! The master of horror manga bends all his skill into bringing the anguished and solitary monster and the fouler beast who created him with the brilliantly detailed chiaroscuro he is known for.

Also included are is the Oshikiri story cycle—a high school student who lives in a decaying mansion connected to a haunted parallel world. Uncanny doppelgangers, unfortunately murdered friends, and a whole lot more are in store for him.

Half of this manga is the story of Frankenstein while the other half is made up of short stories all revolved around a creepy house and the character of Oshikiri. I havn’t read the original story of Frankenstein so I can’t really compare it to that unfortunatly but it was very well done and enjoyable. I liked how the monster was portrayed and just wanted to fit in with this strange world and be understood but kept being regected by everyone. Who is the real monster? As with every Junji Ito book, the art is amazing.

The short stories were great, chilling, terrifying and entertaining. Ito never fails at making me cringe with how well he portrays his stories with his artwork. A haunted house, multiple dimensions with multiple versions of people. Haunted swamps and killer pen pals, people buried in walls and the dead coming back to life. Experiments gone wrong and people with long necks? Pretty much everything that could be horrifying is included in here and things you never knew you didn’t want to know about.

This manga is deffinitly not for everyone! If you love horror, gore and generally messed up things then this is for you. But how scary and gross can a manga be? ha!

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

this book was purchased by myself
Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Return to Dyatlov Pass by J. H. Moncrieff

dyatlovpass‘In 1959, nine Russian students set off on a skiing expedition in the Ural Mountains. Their mutilated bodies were discovered weeks later. Their bizarre and unexplained deaths are one of the most enduring true mysteries of our time.
Nearly sixty years later, podcast host Nat McPherson ventures into the same mountains with her team, determined to finally solve the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass incident. Her plans are thwarted on the first night, when two trackers from her group are brutally slaughtered.
The team’s guide, a superstitious man from a neighboring village, blames the killings on yetis, but no one believes him. As members of Nat’s team die one by one, she must figure out if there’s a murderer in their midst—or something even worse—before history repeats itself and her group becomes another casualty of the infamous Dead Mountain.’

A fictional investigation in to a real life tragedy, the Dyatlov Pass incident was never fully explained, as the deaths of the victims were too bizarre for reason. The book has a fairly slow start as we get to know the 8 people chosen for the challenge of revisiting the exact place that the incident took place to try and find answers for a popular online podcast. The middle section of this story was deffinitly the best part in my opinion, the atmosphere was written extremely well and seriously gave me the creeps. The yetis can’t be real, right? so who out of their group is killing them off one by one and recreating the Dyatlov victims deaths? There are a lot of shocking moments but the ending fell a bit short for me, although overall a very gripping read.

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My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

this ebook was purchased by myself

 

Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey

inthenightwood

‘Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside. But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive.’

Released: 7th February 2019

A dark fairy tale within a dark fairy tale, this book is a very atmospheric gothic thriller based in Yorkshire. Charles and Erin move in to Hollow House which is a huge mansion which has previously been burnt down by its previous owner and rebuilt. A tall wall has been built around the whole house, to keep the forest out? but why. Charles is obsessed with finding out more about the previous owner who was said to have been driven mad by the forest and committed suicide. When they move in, there are already staff working there to maintain the house, some more suspicious than others. A young girl has gone missing from the village that looks remarkably like their deceased daughter Lissa, both Charles and Erin see visions of a young girl and a dark horned figure in and around the forest, are they just visions?

This book kept me guessing to the very end about what was actually real, the truth, and who was responsible for the missing girls. It shows how people handle grief differently, some distract themselves and obsess over something else, others are completely consumed by the grief with no way out. Murder, adultery, betrayal, guilt. The only criticisms I have from reading this book is that it took me a while to get used to the writing style and I sometimes found myself lost in it and having to reread some parts. Overall I enjoyed this thriller and was satisfied with how it ended.

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My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

eARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

 

Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: Recent Reads #3

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I’ve finally read it, and I’m glad I read The Assassin’s Blade first. I think Sarah’s writing and the characters keep me coming back for more as the plot is definitely questionable at times. Also some of Celaena’s decisions make me literally ask “Why?!” The ending of this book wasn’t what I was expecting and I found it a little disappointing. I’m still moving straight on to Crown of Midnight!

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him
.’

This was my first audio book experience as I’d heard such great things about it. It was very immersive as it features a full cast and half of the book is basically a podcast anyway. Triggers warnings for sexual assault, pedophilia, drug addiction and PTSD. Listening to this kept me firmly hanging on to the edge of my seat the whole time, although the ending wasn’t very satisfactory and I wish we got more of an answer. I found the representation in this regarding young victims of sexual assault to be very accurate and eye-opening and this book should be read by everyone. Monsters really do hide in plain sight.

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

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My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Niki Jumpei, an amateur entomologist, searches the scorching desert for beetles. As night falls he is forced to seek shelter in an eerie village, half-buried by huge sand dunes. He awakes to the terrifying realisation that the villagers have imprisoned him with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit. Tricked into slavery and threatened with starvation if he does not work, Jumpei’s only chance is to shovel the ever-encroaching sand – or face an agonising death.

This was quite a wild ride. I picked this up to read as it is Pewdiepie’s book club pick of the month, and I love to read Japanese authors and I hadn’t read Kobo Abe before. This book made me hate sand. Sand now disgusts me and I’d be quite happy to never feel it again. Abe describes in such a way that you really feel Jumpei’s frustration and desperation. Some parts are sexually explicit and others are just disgusting. An interesting read but one I doubt I will be rereading in the future.

ALL BOOKS FEATURED IN THIS REVIEW WERE PURCHASED BY MYSELF.
Book Reviews · Books

ARC Review: The Orchid Girls

Blurb: Now we are bound forever,’ she says, her eyes determined. ‘I will never tell anyone, I 51UIAGEA2oLswear. This is between you and me. Now you swear too.’

They called them the

Orchid Girls.

Grace. Charlotte. Molly.

One of them is in love.
One of them is a liar.
One of them is dead.

One day, three became two – and no one knows the truth. What really happened that summer? 

 

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