Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi

South African born author working as a Junior Technical Writer for Everlytic and a freelance writer for Gamecca Magazine. His main focus at Gamecca is running the Independent Game Developer interviews, and writing up game Reviews and Previews. Occasionally does book reviews too. He is a hobbyist blogger, writer of short stories, and aspiring digital artist.

Finders Keepers

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finders-keepers-stephen-king

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 released from prison after thirty-five years

Review: 

Stephen King has always been a big influence in my life when it comes to reading and writing. I have been a King fan for over a decade now, starting back when I was a Primary School bookworm, who took out seven books from the library for the week (at that age you were only allowed a maximum of two but I was given the exception).

My goal in life is to read every Stephen King novel out there and so far so good. Have you seen my Goodreads page?

Finders Keepers was, for me, a different read when it came to my expectations of a King novel. At first, this was in a bad way as I felt like it was so different from his other books. His nuances were evident, his writing style obvious and the trademark “This was his biggest mistake” subtlety before, as one of my mentors says “The paw-paw hits the fan.”

The story is not necessary a follow up of his previous book Mr Mercedes (even though it is part of a trilogy), but it does refer to it many times, including the predicament that put the young protagonist, Pete Saubers, in the situation he finds himself in when he finds a bag full of money and extremely rare writings of a famous author who was murdered – an author he has fallen in love with. There is also the convict, Morris Bellamy, who murdered the author for his books, was incarcerated for an entirely different reason, and once released, goes out to find his hidden treasure trove – of the author he has fallen in love with. The result is a back and forth page turner between Pete, Morris, and the det-ret (retired detective) Bill Hodges, spanning over three decades and spiraling into a thrilling adventure about book lovers who get a little too attached to books and the author who penned them.

I won’t lie, I was not too impressed at the beginning of the book but as the suspense built and the three characters began to intertwine into each other’s lives without either of them being aware of it, I was gripped. The novel is also a well of knowledge as King name drops so many authors, songs, books and devices both modern and old, that if it were a blog post it would be on the first page of every search engine (thanks SEOs -Search Engine Optimization).

If there is one thing I appreciate about King, it is his excellent character development. He has an ability to put you right into the mind of the various characters, understand their quips and quirks, feel their anxiety, their worry; their fears. I find I relate to them on some level and that makes them believable, and that makes his books worth a read. Finders Keepers jumps between different characters and even with the jumps, you know who is who and who they are, and that is really what I enjoyed about this book.

Rating: Unbiased by my love for Stephen King, I give this an enjoyable 4 out of 5

Nthato MorakabiFinders Keepers
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The Well

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The Well

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 sourly disappointed.

The novel is slow paced and too descriptive, making it long-winded at times where a simple scene spans a page or more. It makes sense though that this would happen considering the novel is about a woman under house arrest with hardly anything to do in her spare time but look back in retrospect at the events leading up to her incarceration. This would include introducing the supposed “sinister religious cult”, meeting the child that would eventually lead to the “child’s unsolved murder” and seeing the supposed “culture of surveillance”.

The novel is well written though, able to switch between the past and the present fluidly without losing me. I know one of my weakness in writing is exactly that and Catherine Chanter executed it perfectly. The story also progresses well, delving into the mind of a woman who is so lost in the events around her that she sometimes loses perspective and you can’t help feeling sorry for her. The other characters also have substance and don’t feel like unnecessary additions in the overall novel.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Nthato MorakabiThe Well
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The Harvest Man

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The Harvest Man

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 him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.

Review:

When I saw this book at the bookstore, I thought it was a once off tale, only to realize a couple of pages in that this was a continuation from three other novels, I was right in the middle of it all. Did I stop reading? No. Alex Grecian was able to fill in details from what happened before as hints and references, told with enough information that it is not completely necessary to start reading from the first book but knowing that is so much still to the story. I will say, however, that there is greater insight into the characters and their growth by reading the first books and of course a proper introduction to the antagonist Jack the Ripper.

From a story perspective The Harvest Man is well written and flows brilliantly from one tense moment to the next, offering insight from multiple characters to create a well rounded tale.

I will admit to a sleepless night when I’d read the Harvest Man’s methods and psyche, which is something considering I’ve been reading horrors since I was ten. That sort of mindset has always been my greatest fear.

A cliff hanger ending, an iconic antagonist who appears enough times to both frustrate and cause anxiety, as well as a well captured and re-created world where the characters live, makes this a worthwhile read.

Rating: A grand 4 out of 5.

PS: I will be purchasing the preceding and proceeding novels.

Nthato MorakabiThe Harvest Man
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The Night Circus

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The Night Circus

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 Books The Glen and inside it was a note that said “Please buy this book it was amazing” from an unknown person with the initials F.D. Who are you F.D?

NIght Circus Notes.jpg-large

It’s one thing to watch a movie about magicians and illusions, and to watch those spectacular feats come to life right before your eyes. The Harry Potter series comes to mind as well as the film Now You See Me. It’s a completely different thing to live those illusions in your mind reading a book and to find an author who not only articulates them in a believable and eloquent manner but brings the magic to life in words. This is what Erin Morgenstern has done and as an aspiring author, I am severely impressed.

Let us appreciate the fact that this is as much a romantic novel as it is fantasy. What I enjoyed most was not having the romance smudged against my face continuously, and when those scenes swept into the pages, it flowed right in, whisked you away for a while, brought you back all emotional to move right along with the unfolding drama. The atmosphere is stunningly created and carried throughout the course of the book. The language is vivid and carries the story along from scene to scene. The characters are well thought out, personalities etched so you get a real sense of who each one is and how they have grown by the end of the book.

The Night Circus is definitely worth a read and I would strongly urge you to read it if you enjoy magic, fantasy and a touch of romance.

Rating: A solid 5 out of 5

Nthato MorakabiThe Night Circus
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Endgame: The Calling

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EndGame-Final-Cover-Art

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 to expect. Well perhaps I envisioned another Hunger Games or something of the sort. Twelve kids all trying to kill each other for their chosen tribe? Maybe I should not pledge my money for tribute.

What I got instead, was an action packed, emotional rollercoaster across obscure cities, landscapes, historical sites and entire continents, following Players as they each sought to defend their respective lines in the deadliest game ever: Endgame. Seeing the world through each of their eyes, stalking other players, betraying, killing, saving. I was riveted from the first chapter right through to the climatic end. When one speaks of suspended disbelief, this is the book I would refer them to.

The story is paced fantastically well. Not too slow and not too fast. I was able to follow each of the players without getting confused. I was able to understand each of their personalities and loved/hated each of them accordingly. Even one of the characters who is mute was portrayed believably. What I enjoyed most, apart from everything else that is, was how each character’s quirks and traits were written out. One of the Players has a stutter and was written with the stutters as part of his “thinking”, and not in an annoying or hindering way either. It fit so well that I could, in a sense, relate to him when I read his parts. Amazing character portrayal and development all round.

The action is intense. The authors did not hold back nor did they minimize the violence, showing just how far people would go when their lives and the lives of their people were on the line; even the young thirteen year old who was both childish and dangerous, was not afraid to spill blood for the sake of winning.

It’s been a long while since a book whisked me away from reality, has so thoroughly taken me, that I had to pull back out and remember there are no Players running around the world hoping to win some endgame.

If this book is not on your To Be Read list, it definitely should be.

Rating: Undeniable 10 out of 5… ok ok 5 out of 5!

Nthato MorakabiEndgame: The Calling
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Book Review: Apocalypse Now Now

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Charlie Human - Apocalypse Now Now

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 a South African, I can imagine the situations that occur in the book and the characters that lead the gangs, actually existing in the real world; and that’s a scary thought.

The first part of the book was quite riveting, as Cape Town comes alive in the eyes of the sarcastic, obviously intelligent, deceptive Baxter Zevcenko. He takes great pleasure in manipulating people and situations in his favour. I mean, how do you start a gang when two very powerful opposing gangs already exist, and manage to have “peaceful relations” with both? Outside of this, he has a soft side that he keeps for his girlfriend Esme, and at the same time a horrible streak aimed at his brother. Baxter is quite a character.

The world building aspect of Apocalypse Now Now is so much richer for me as a South African, understanding the nuances, the cultures, the language and everything, with the supernatural twist that is right up the same alley. Not to mention the colourful Jackie Ronin who is a bounty hunter that Baxter employs, who turns out to be more than what he seems. While Baxter keeps blacking out, and fears of a serial killer sweep through the news, one can only imagine would be going through Baxter’s mind.

The story is paced well and you get a real understanding of who Baxter is, and the conflicts that rise up in his life. The supernatural world is just a small taste of what his future holds and as the story progresses, it becomes obvious that Baxter Zevcenko is not just an ordinary boy.

A great story from a talented local author.

Rating:  Cornea inducing 4 out of 5

Nthato MorakabiBook Review: Apocalypse Now Now
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Book Review: Kill Baxter

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Charlie Human - Kill Baxter

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 author who has “made it”. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book; the telling of Baxter Zevcenko, 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.  That is until things take a turn for the worst for Baxter, as events lead him to think that he is a serial killer whenever he blacks out, only for the supernatural world to become a solid reality as Baxter finds out he is part Siener (an ancient Boer mystic people) and part Crow (giant shape-shifting crow creatures). And then he saves the world.

Kill Baxter begins at the end of Apocalypse Now Now, after the almost apocalyptic event that destroyed a Cape Town in a different dimension (uh read the book for details, I recommend it) but no one knows of his heroism and bravery. However, new events unfold as he goes to the secret government magic school, that will allow him to avoid juvenile detention following the unbelievable events that left many dead.  In the midst of this, a legend has crept into the Hidden realm, a mysterious entity referred to as Muti Man, who seems to be the reason plenty MK16 agents are dead and missing teeth. And Baxter is once again in the middle of the chaos that ensues.

I must say that I absolutely love Charlie Human’s writing style and gritty dark scenarios peppered with humour and witty sarcasm. I have never laughed out loud in a cafe while reading a book but this book has changed that little fact. The characters are fascinating, each with their own quirks that set them apart so well. The descriptions he uses for some of the creatures are just brilliant. In one scene he refers to a goblin like creature as “He has misshapen head, bulging eyes , and thick, coarse hair, like a shower cap made of pubes.” Also, he does not hold back in his language or the crude remarks that Baxter makes which gives the characters so much colour and life. So on that note, I will also say that the language is pretty harsh so not for the faint of heart.

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would probably read them both again just to once again delve into the underground magical realms of Cape Town, in the boots of the lovely (note sarcasm), dual minded Baxter Zevcenko.

Rating: Mind blown 5 out of 5

Nthato MorakabiBook Review: Kill Baxter
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Book Review: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – Library of Souls

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Miss Peregrine - Library of Souls

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 the events concluded. Following a cliff-hanger second novel, I was keen to continue the adventures of Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom who just seem to be falling from one nightmare into the next. And falling for each other obviously.

The story paces itself well, like the previous novels, and the characters experience their trials and hardships in believable, possible ways. Sure there were a few “lucky” breaks but the two never get through their adventure unscathed. It’s a nice break from most novels where the protagonists get away with mild scratches and enough energy to power a small village., but considering they have had a week of continuous running, barely enough sleep and so much emotional turmoil; I’m surprised they survived at all.

Once again, fantastic world building and character development. The transitions between the loops, the various places they visit, the fact that their enemies seem to be everywhere, and the weight on the two’s shoulders as they race to save their friends, all work together for this final novel. I figured out what the Library of Souls was (or at least its relation) once an important key character showed up, but for that you will have to read it an find out.

The idea of time loops and “living forever” in the age you were in that loop is such a fascinating concept for me. I would never have thought about it in that way. Also one of the key points about the “peculiar” children was their restriction to the current time line, doomed to age rapidly forward according to the years they have “skipped”. This and the very unique Jacob who can speak to Hollows, combined with new myths, an amazing machine, surprising mysterious characters and revelation, all looping together to tie up the plots from the previous two books to make it one complete adventure.

A really great trilogy with a fascinating collection of weird and wonderful photos.

Rating: An impressionable 4 out 5

Nthato MorakabiBook Review: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – Library of Souls
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Book Review: Hollow City – The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine - Hollow City

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

My Review:

I began the first book quite a while ago (2014/2015) and I thoroughly enjoyed the wild, somewhat awkward adventures of Jacob and his discovery of the Peculiar world, as well as his own hidden peculiarity.

We last left Jacob and the peculiars in quite a dire situation, and you would think that the second novel would at least put them on the path of peace and quiet. Not likely. In a world infested with Wights and Hollows, with so many of the Loops raided and hardly anyone to reach out to as their only hope is trapped in the body of a bird; peace and quiet is the furthest thing they will find.

The story is wonderfully paced as we run, duck, fight, and pray with the peculiar children. The world is not such a grand place after all, especially when you are peculiar but this peculiarity also means discovering that not all fairytales are fairytales. The characters continue to be true to themselves and it’s easy to forget they are fictional, which is a compliment to Ransom Riggs for well written characters.

One again, the combination of story and Riggs’ images augments the story rather than distract, giving a rounder feel to the tale and giving a glimpse into the peculiar world where the story takes place. The world building aspect of it is once again absolutely marvelous, as we are taken to different time periods and experience both the horror and the wonder of them. With plenty of action to keep the pages turning, and with Jacob learning to harness his new ability, this second novel continues to build up towards what should be a climatic end.

Thrills. Spills. Peculiarities. Love. Hope. Fear. All the ingredients that left me shocked, happy, sad and a convoluted mess of emotions.

Rating: A solid 4 out of 5

Nthato MorakabiBook Review: Hollow City – The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
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Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine - Home for Peculiar Children

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 the peculiars opens up spectacularly.

The descriptions really took on a life of their own and when coupled with Random Riggs extensive collection of carefully selected images, the visuals of the story opened up further. The world was as real as any other, taking in the environment so I never forgot where I was or what was around me. From the first time Jacob sees the decimated mansion where the peculiars are hidden, to when he sees it again in all its glory, to the sleepy fishing village on the “mysterious” island, the world is built superbly.

From a story perspective, it’s great to find that, as amazing as all the abilities are, some are downright weird and are not abilities where one would think to don a superhero costume. No one seems exceptionally powerful beyond belief while at the same time each ability is unique… and limited. This limitation made the characters more real, some thing I appreciated about the story, that it wasn’t focused on the abilities as it was on the people who owned them.

Time travel, or at least time related stories, are my favourite. Ransom Riggs’ “time loop” theory works brilliantly and establishes rules that ensure that everything is believable. Combined with a history that makes you want to find out more about this world of peculiars.

Ending on a cliff hanger, after it becomes evident that monsters do exist, this first book in the Home for Peculiar Children series had me riveted and anxiously awaiting the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Nthato MorakabiBook Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
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