Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

  The sequel to Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes is just as intense, just as remarkable, and just as unforgettable as its predecessor.
  Although it follows two very different stories from Bill Hodges' and Brady Hartsfield's, Finders Keepers opens our eyes to a world beyond what happened on that terrible day outside of the City Center, and intertwines two new factors to our story.
  When I say Stephen King is getting better with his work, I mean he is really getting better. These new(er) stories of Mr. King's will stick with you until the day you die.
  I catch myself referring back to the Bill Hodges (now) trilogy, and I think, "Oh that was a good book/series...that was a REALLY good book/series!" Stephen King is the master at horrifying his readers; if not by ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, by the twisted labyrinth of the human mind. What makes a serial killer tick. What makes a sick, twisted soul rub his (or her) hands together as he (or she) plots the perfect plan.
  He is a genius. A mad genius, and it shows in Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers.
  Finders Keepers may be my favorite of the trilogy, but it's hard to say, because it's hard to beat Bill and Brady's first book.
  It's odd. Mr. King is most famous for his older work, and after reading The Stand, I get it, but this trilogy is just undeniably addicting. Sickening, disturbing, horrible, and everything else awful that makes the Master of Horror himself, a New York Times Bestselling Author.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

  The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay uncovers the secret world of South Africa during the frantic tyranny of Hitler's reign, through a child's eyes. Suffering from the political and social strain of World War II, Peekay learns to grow up in a violent and terrifying world with no parental guidance, and no friends to lean on.
  But the stars begin to align for Peekay when he leaves the private school in which he was mercilessly bullied, to begin a new chapter of his life, and create the most unusual of friendships. From a young boxer, to a German doctor, to a beautiful school teacher, to an amateur banker, Peekay will live the lives of a thousand men, and learn the ways of the world as only a young pre-welterweight champion of the world can.
  I savored this book. I took my time with Peekay's story, and enjoyed every minute of it.
  The Power of One can be compared to eating beet greens. (It always comes back to food now, doesn't it?) At first they may look daunting, and even as you delve into them, you're unsure of whether you like them, or if you're just eating them because they're good for you, but in the end, they were satisfying, tasty, and you know you'll want them again. (If this analogy does not suit your taste, then either come over to my house and I'll make you good beet greens, or equate my analogy to something that's equal to beet greens.)
  Basically, this book was large, serious, and drier than your average fictional read, but boy was it good. You will come out of your reading experience of The Power of One more knowledgeable and more informed about what growing up was like on that side of the world during such dire times.
  Because I had my friends recommend books for me to read this year, I find myself learning more and more about parts of history I had never considered before. I've learned about communist China, and now South Africa in the 1930s to the 1950s. Call me naive, but until now, I had never given thought to what the world was like in South Africa during those times. I, like many others, have mostly learned the history of Germany, America, and a bit of England.
  The Power of One has opened my eyes, not only to a new part of the world, but to life lessons and powerful statements brought to me by Bryce Courtenay's colorful characters.


Friday, July 15, 2016

The Human by Stephanie Erickson

  Splitting the narrative into two, The Human by Stephanie Erickson has the best factors of the previous two Children of Wisdom books; Penn and Michaela. (But I have to say, I am partial to Michaela.)
  Michaela is missing after her run-in with our villain, Penn is desperate to save the love of his life, and all hell is very close to breaking loose. Literally.
  It all comes to an end in Stephanie Erickson's latest installment of the Children of Wisdom trilogy, and it's quite possible that not everyone will make it out alive.
  Ms Erickson knows that when I read her first two Children of Wisdom books, The Fate and The Reaper, I highly and vocally favored the latter. I was worried that The Reaper would continue to stick in my head as "the best," and a part of me still feels as if it was the best of the series, but I have to say, The Human was VERY satisfying. I wouldn't change a thing about it.
  There were many things that worried me about the possible outcomes of this book, but without spoiling anything, none of them came true. I was very, very, very happy with the way this book ended, and now that I think back to it, I remember more and more things I loved about it.
  The Human was a fantastic way to end a beloved Stephanie Erickson series. In fact, this ending may even bypass my favorite series of Ms Erickson's, the Unseen trilogy.
  But who knows, perhaps I'll have to reread them one day to make a final decision.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott

  Rachel Abbott's Kill Me Again is the most recent DCI Tom Douglas book to be released, and I have to say, I think it is my favorite.
  Maggie Taylor is an average woman, with an average house, and an average family that she loves dearly. Everything seems quaint and normal as usual, until Maggie comes home to find her husband missing, her children alone, and her husband's necessities gone.
  Is he in trouble? Does he have a secret life he's hiding from her? Was he kidnapped? Maggie has no idea, and no inkling as to what happened...until she starts to receive threatening phone calls, and the news channels start to show pictures of women who have been murdered.
  Together, Tom Douglas' and her stories will intertwine, and solve a mystery that will hopefully put a stop to the frequent deaths in her little town.
  This book had me constantly guessing. As soon as I thought I was sure of how the book would end, Ms Abbott would throw another curve into the story, and I would have to reevaluate my assessments. In addition to that, Kill Me Again is one of the first books recently to actually have me jumping in my seat. There were certain parts of this book that had me so on edge, I had to keep looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was creeping up behind me.
  This book is good. Very, very good.
  And without saying too much, I will have to say that the ending of this particular novel had me bumping my rating of it from a four to a five. Yeah, it's that good.

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nowhere Child by Rachel Abbott

  When I started Nowhere Child, the short novel following Stranger Child, it had been months since I had read a Rachel Abbott book. The last book I had read by Ms Abbott was Stranger Child (book four in the DCI Tom Douglas series), and I was worried that the amount time absent from Tasha's story would blur my memory, and would make it harder to remember what had happened.
  But going back to Tasha's story was easier than breathing. Although breathing was something I was short of during my read of Nowhere Child. If anything, it was more intense than Stranger Child.
  Nowhere Child picks up where Stranger Child left off, and involves the same few main characters; Tasha, Emma, Ollie, Tom Douglas, and DI Becky Robinson (who is quickly becoming a favorite of mine).
  This is Rachel Abbott's first follow up novel to a DCI Tom Douglas story, and she did a brilliant job.
  Nowhere Child is a fantastic book.
  I love it just as much as Rachel Abbott's others, and possibly even more so than Stranger Child. I stand by my previous statement in saying Ms Abott's writing and stories are getting even better.

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