Tag Archives: book reviews

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock

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Title
:Medium Wave
Author:Rose Zolock
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing
Publishing date: April 6th, 2018

Synopsis: Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake. Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live in air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival

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My Review:

It has been a while since I have found a book where I am caught on from the first page. Medium Wave has a beginning that sucks you straight in and keeps you hooked. The main character Becky, is interesting, mostly I found her interesting because she is a fraudster who gets turned into a “real medium” (sort of). Though the story is much about good and evil, it is also a story that is character driven. The characters seem to hop out of the pages, they seem like real people.
Medium Wave, as interesting as it is is not without a few faults. In the beginning there is quite a lot of infodumping which might have benefited better at other relevant parts of the story. Though I did not mind the infodumping that much, I did feel that it did kick me out of the story for a brief moment while it was going on before the action at the radio station quickly sucked me back in. That aside I very much enjoyed to spend time with Becky, for the other POVs I did not care as much, but I will look forward to spend more time in this bookiverse. Medium Wave is a terrific debut novel and it can only get better for here.
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The Seer’s Curse by J.J. Faulks

Title: The Seer’s Curse
Author: J.J. Faulks
Genre: Frantasy
Publisher: Matador
Publishing date: April 28th, 2018
ISBN: 9781788038546

Synopsis: Orleigh is cursed. Or so the other villagers believe. With each harvest worse than the last, something must be done. And so they consult the Seer. A deal is struck: the village will thrive once more, but in return, Orleigh must be sacrificed to the Earth God, Teymos.
A tale of friendship, acceptance and self-discovery, filled with a new mythology, The Seer’s Curse is a moving debut to be enjoyed by all fantasy fans

My Review:

The Seer’s Curse start off a little slow in order to set up a world that is a little different from ours and to set up the plot. I think that for some readers the beginning might be a bit too slow to stick with, but when you stick with it you will get delivered a story of self-discovery and acceptance. At times the story seems a bit confused in regards to which audience it’s intended for, whether it is middle grade, teenage or intended for the YA genre. That issue aside, I did really enjoy to hear the story through the various point of views it had to offer, however the view of the Seer became redundant and did not really add any value to the narrative of the complete story. Overall I believe this is a good debut novel and I look forward to what else this author can bring to the table.

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Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

Title: Herding Cats
Series: Sarah’s Scribbles #3
Author: Sarah Andersen
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publishing date: 27th of March 2018
ISBN: 9781449489786

Synopsis:Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.

My Review:

I love small, quirky books filled with self irony and truth. I also love cats. Putting the two together in a series of ironic cartoons is not a mistake. This book was a blast from the first page (I mean the cover) to the end.
Sarah’s drawings are insightful and fun without becoming cliché, they make you laugh and they make you think. And to be quite honest, as an aspiring crazy cat lady, I recognized myself in a lot of the fun scenarios the book puts forward.
As much as I though enjoyed the book, I will have to point out that it did have a lack of cat related topics and the comics did not have a clear topical connection. This did though  not take away from my enjoyment of the comics, but as a book it would have felt more as a “book” if there were some interconnection between the comics.
That aside, if you want to read some quirky comics about adulting or not adulting, you will certainly enjoy this book.

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

Title: Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms
Author:Robert Paul Weston
Illustrator: Misa Saburi
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publishing date: 20th of February 2018
ISBN: 9781101918746

Synopsis: A warm, gorgeous exploration of a little girl’s experience immigrating to a new country and missing her home and her grandmother, who still lives far away.

My Review:

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms is written through a series of Tanka poems , a traditional Japanese poem. The poem style is applied flawlessly throughout the book, and though it has few pages this book covers a lot of ground.
The story is about Sakura, who relocates with her family to America, and her meeting with the everyday in a foreign country with a new culture and a new language. It gives a view of how she misses her old home and her grandmother, but still becomes a sweet story about friendship.
The illustrations in this book is beautiful and varied, they compliment the story excellently. It is an excellent story, very suitable for young readers between 3 – 7 years.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café by Richard Dee

35086847Title: Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café
Author: Richard Dee
Genre: Cozy Crime, Light Sci-fi
Publisher: 4Star Scifi
Publishing date: 15th of June, 2017
ISBN: 9780995458161

Synopsis: Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn!
She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.
But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not.

My Review:

I am not much of a crime or mystery reader, but as this book sounded like quirky science fiction  book I decided to give it a try. The book did not disappoint.
The heroine, Andorra Pett, comes across as a likable mess in control with a habit of stumble into trouble. Though she has a bit of a striking personality at first, she quickly becomes a character you want to spend the next couple of hundred pages with.

The story has all the familiar classical marks of a crime novel; an outsider getting into a secluded society with few ways in and out where she ends up having to solve a crime in an environment where everyone might be a suspect. With it being a bit of a crime story and a bit of science fiction, these elements do shine through and should be strong enough to enthuse any regular crime reader looking for fresher watering-hole.

The story is set in space, so of course we will have to label it science fiction, but the elements of science fiction are light. The whole thing takes place on a space station circling Saturn, making most of the day-to-day life pure speculation, but the author has managed to do so without jamming a million made up words down the readers throat. It is believable that this colony could potentially exist in a future time.

Another thing I particularly liked about this book is that the trusted sidekick is gay, and he is not gay in the stereotypical flamboyant way books and movies like to gay people out to be. Like all people he does have his, for the lack of a better word, issues, but they do not seem to be there because of his sexual preferences but more as normal character flaws (because all characters have to have flaws to be real).

For last, I did really enjoy to read this book. I might have struggled a bit while setting into the story but I usually do. It takes a chapter or two to get you hocked. Bottom line is, I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys science fiction, guilty pleasure or crime fiction.

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Hosted as part of tour by Rachel’s Random Resources

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks by Seniha Slowinsk

Title: Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks
Author: Seniha Slowinsk
Genre: Picture book, Children’s fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publishing date: 1st of February 2018
ISBN: 9781912262274

Synopsis: Can you help Rocky Rocks find his socks? If you can see, you must tell me, what colour sock you can see?
I’ll give you a clue, it rhymes with bed, could it be the colour…

My Review:

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks is a nifty little picture books which will teach the youngest readers about colours as you search through Rocky’s house looking for socks.
The book is written in light rhyme which makes it easy to read out loud and easy to remember. The illustrations are large and colourful, which makes them entertaining.
I would recommend this book for the youngest readers, as the text and illustrations are fun.

Planet of the Orb Trees by Barton Ludwig

Title: Planet of the Orb Trees
Author: Barton Ludwig
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Heartlab Press Inc.
Publishing date: 14th of December 2017
ISBN: 9780995044159

Synopsis:Environmental disasters have forced most of humanity to live inside Roaring Rocket Amusement Park. Everyone is happy riding broken-down rides except for Kai. When Kai spots a healthy tree inside a giant maze, he wonders if orbs from that tree can transport him to a new green planet. Kai’s friend, RJ, tries to talk him out of his dreams but Kai persists.

My Review:

I enjoyed the premise of this post apocalyptic world where a group of people have taken refuge withing an amusement park. Kai, is not convinced that he is safe at the amusement park, he want to flee the flame-ridden planet to find a safe haven. Despite his friend’s warnings he set out on a journey to get to the biggest Orb Three, because he is convinced that his escape lies in this three.
In his journey Kai learns a lot of lessons about other people and about being kind.
I did enjoy the story, but the story felt too rushed and it lacked any depth in its characters. The artwork was nice, but whoever was tasked with drawing a camel for this book does not know the different between a camel and a dromedary. Camel are two-humped, the drawing in the book is one-humped (that is a dromedary). As a children’s book I believe that things like that should be on point, because these books are supposed to not only entertain children but also educate them.
The book also had a few inconsistencies where there were talk about not having any coconuts and then suddenly the orbs were called coconuts.
Apart from that it was an okay read.

The Girl Who Said Sorry by Hayoung Yim

Title: The Girl Who Said Sorry
Author: Hayoung Yim
Illustrator: Marta M.
Genre: Children’s Fiction , Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Self-published
Publishing date: 5th of October 2017
ISBN: 9780993717482

Synopsis: Too girly or too boyish. Too thin or too fat. Too quiet, too loud. Be ambitious, but don’t hurt feelings. Be inquisitive, but don’t interrupt. Be outspoken, but don’t be bossy. Most of all, be yourself — but be a lady. What’s a girl to do in a world filled with contradicting gender expectations, aside from saying sorry?

My Review:

The Girl Who Said Sorry is a short and easy read, this is a book intended for 4 – 8 year olds. It does serve a good narrative for all the things that girls are told to do but not to do from an early age on. This is a picture book, and the illustrations are simplistic and colours are used sparingly. I think the design goes very well with the books theme.
This book does cover a topic in great need for coverage, and I think it that this book could definitely help both child and parent. This book could potentially help a little girl to get on the path of discovering herself.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Publishing date: 18th of June 2013
ISBN: 9780062255655
Purchase Link:

Synopsis:Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl

My Review:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane has been advertised as Neil Gaiman’s first book for adults since Anansi Boys. Reviewing a Gaiman book is always hard, because of the nature of his stories and how they might be intended for adults or children but their themes are so universal that they cannot be locked into either.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was written for adults, but because we see the whole story though the retrospective eyes of a 7-year-old boy much of it reads like a children book. The story touches on human mortality and centralises the innocence of childhood where everything is magical and new. The story starts off slow, but the Gaiman stated that it starts off slow to deter young readers before things get to the grotesque parts.

The story sucked me in from page one, the nostalgic overtone of the story kept me interested and kept me reading. Following the story and feeling with the horror of childhood fears. As all Gaiman’s books “the Ocean at the End of the Lane” is instantly quotable, where Gaiman picks at the truth and reality of the human condition and mortality.

“I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this story for beginning to end, even though it was a very short story. The characters felt real and I was sympathetic to the main character, and the ending came together in a beautiful bittersweet knot.

“And did I pass?”
The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, “You don’t pass or fail at a being a person, dear.”

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Title:The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Author: Hiro Arikawa
Genre: General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher:Random House UK; Transworld Publishers; Doubleday
Publishing date: 2nd of November 2017
ISBN: 9780857524195

Synopsis:It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.
Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say.
Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and striking humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take. TRAVELLING CAT has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of kindness and truth. It slows, above all, how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives.

This is a very delayed review, because it took me longer to finish this book than I anticipated.

My Review:

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a charming and heartbreaking story about a cat and his owner traveling across Japan trying to find a new home for the cat. The story starts out, innocently, with the tomcat’s point of view, from before he knew his future owner Satoru, before the cat’s got a name.
Being a catlover this book sucked me right in from the very start. Nana (the cat) portrays a good picture of a cat, he is very much like the sarcastic and sassy way most cats will be described by their owners. And the voice of a feline is very much alive and personified in Nana.
As the story goes on Nana warms up and we learn more about Satoru and his past. The bond between Satoru and Nana grows with each chapter. While reading I did not want this book to end, I did not want to get to the final chapter and I had to take breaks from reading (Hence why this review is over a week later than I planned).
The end is inevitable, unless I quit reading the book, and it is heartbreaking. In order to avoid spoilers I will not discuss the ending of this book. However, I will warmly recommend this book to any catlover and anyone who enjoys Japanese literature, because this book hits home in both departments. From the first page, like with Murakami, you know you are reading a book translated from Japanese: it is just how the story is narrated, the way everything is described and the attention to vivid details that pops out at you. And going with a sarcastic, sassy and a little stoic cat, you can never go wrong.