Finders Keepers
Book Review / May 2, 2016

  Title: Finders Keepers (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) Author: Stephen King Genre: Thriller Book Procurement: Christmas Present. Available on Amazon, Takealot and Exclusive Books Synopsis: A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes. “Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel. Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s…

The Well
Book Review / May 2, 2016

Title: The Well Author: Catherine Chanter Genre: Suspense Book procurement: Exclusive Books Greenstone Mall, also available on Takealot.com and Amazon. Synopsis: A drought-ridden, riot-threatened country; a sinister religious cult; a child’s unsolved murder; and a culture of surveillance. Catherine Chanter’s first novel has the ingredients of a dystopian nightmare yet it’s more a straightforward thriller – albert a sensuously written one… a strong literary page turner. Goodreads: Ruth Ardingly has just been released from prison to serve out a sentence of house arrest for arson and suspected murder at her farm, The Well. Beyond its borders, some people whisper she is a witch; others a messiah. For as soon as Ruth returns to The Well, rain begins to fall on the farm. And it has not rained anywhere else in the country in over three years. Review: When I picked up this book in the bookstore I read the synopsis at the back and immediately added it to my To-Read list. The image in my head with words like “a sinister religious cult; a child’s unsolved murder; and a culture of surveillance” gave an action packed novel filled with zealous crazies, suspense and enough thrills to shame a rollercoaster but in the end I was…

The Harvest Man
Book Review / May 2, 2016

Title: The Harvest Man – Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad #4 Author: Alex Grecian Genre: Horror/Thriller Book procurement: Exclusive Books The Glen, also available on Takealot.com and Amazon. Synopsis: In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad. For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field. Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back. Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with…

The Night Circus
Book Review / April 26, 2016

Title: The Night Circus Author: James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton Genre: Fantasy Book procurement: Exclusive Books The Glen, also available on Takealot.com and Amazon. Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. I found this book at Exclusive…

Endgame: The Calling
Book Review / April 26, 2016

Title: Endgame: The Calling Author: James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton Genre: Adventure / Book procurement: Exclusive Books Greenstone Mall, also available on Takealot.com and Amazon. Synopsis: Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they built our earliest civilizations to mine it for them. When they had what they needed, they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future. This is Endgame. For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise assassination. Together the players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all. This is Endgame. Play. Survive. Solve. People of Earth. Endgame has begun. Review When I read the synopsis at the back of this book before buying it, I was not sure what exactly…

Book Review: Apocalypse Now Now
Book Review / April 15, 2016

Title: Apocalypse Now Now Author: Charlie Human Genre: Urban Fantasy Book Procurement: Bought myself – Takealot.com. Also available at Exclusive Books Synopsis: (Back of book) Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. He’s making a name for himself as the kingpin of his smut-peddling high-school syndicate, the other gangs are staying out of his business, and he’s dating the girl of his dreams, Esme. But when Esme gets kidnapped, things start to get seriously weird, and the only man drunk enough to help is a bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural bounty hunter that goes by the name of Jackson ‘Jackie’ Ronin. Plunged into the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter and Ronin team up to save Esme. On a journey that takes them through the realms of impossibility, they must face every conceivable nightmare to get her back, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse. Review:  Baxter Zevcenko is the leader of the Spiders, a group that run a lucrative porn business within the school grounds as their means of setting themselves apart from the gangs and the runts.  Considering the other two gangs, both equally dangerous in their own right, I had to appreciate how well Charlie Human got these two groups right. As…

Book Review: Kill Baxter
Book Review / April 14, 2016

Title: Kill Baxter Author: Charlie Human Genre: Urban Fantasy Book Procurement: Bought myself – Takealot.com. Also available at Exclusive Books Synopsis: (Back of book) The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No. Instead he’s packed off to Hexpoort, a magical training school that’s part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). The problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He’s also desperately attempting to control his new ability to dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school’s resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One. But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again. Review:  I picked up Kill Baxter, along with the first book Apocalypse Now Now, with much excitment as I would be able to read yet another local South African…

Book Review: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – Library of Souls
Book Review / April 14, 2016

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Library of Souls Author: Ransom Riggs Genre: Fantasy Book procurement: Takealot.com (Online store). Also available at Exclusive Books and Amazon. Synopsis: A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom. The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children. They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience. Review: This third and final novel to the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children trilogy, left me satisfied with how all…

Book Review: Hollow City – The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Book Review / April 14, 2016

Title: Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Author: Ransom Riggs Genre: Fantasy Book Procurement: Bought at Exclusive Books Greenstone, also available on Takealot as well as Amazon. Synopsis: September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them—but she’s trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience. “A stunning achievement . . Hollow City is even richer than Riggs’s imaginative debut, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”—Boston Globe Bonus features: • Sneak preview of the third Peculiar Children novel • Exclusive Q&A with Ransom Riggs • Never-before-seen peculiar photography Back of…

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Book Review / April 14, 2016

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Author: Ransom Riggs Genre: Fantasy Book Procurement: Bought at Takealot.com also available at Exclusive Books and Amazon. Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. Review: I was introduced to Jacob as a pitiful young man with an eccentric friend and an even more eccentric grandfather who told amazing tales about peculiars. Armed with breathtaking black-and-white pictures of these peculiars, the story began as much of a fairytale as any other. The quest for truth (and to verify that his grandfather wasn’t a crazy old fool), the world of…