The Song Actually Fits the Novel…

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Newly reinstated to the Homicide Division and transferred to a precinct in Tokyo, Inspector Iwata is facing superiors who don’t want him there and is assigned a recalcitrant partner, Noriko Sakai, who’d rather work with anyone else. After the previous detective working the case killed himself, Iwata and Sakai are assigned to investigate the slaughter of an entire family, a brutal murder with no clear motive or killer. At the crime scene, they find puzzling ritualistic details. Black smudges. A strange incense smell. And a symbol—a large black sun. Iwata doesn’t know what the symbol means but he knows what the killer means by it: I am here. I am not finished. As Iwata investigates, it becomes clear that these murders by the Black Sun Killer are not the first, nor the last attached to that symbol. As he tries to track down the history of black sun symbol, puzzle out the motive for the crime, and connect this to other murders, Iwata finds himself racing another clock—the superiors who are trying to have him removed for good. (From Goodreads)

So if you’re into police procedurals where you want high speed chases, lots of action and a real fast plot you will not find it in this one. You read this more for the characters and how they’re involved or what they have in common with each other whether through association of one other person, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I do admit, this is a very lyrical and poetic novel. There’s snippets of song lyrics, and quotes in between the book that can be distracting to the reading experience and may cause some confusion. Also, you go back and forth in Iwata’s memories to show how he became who he was in present day. This part can especially be confusion because you’re not sure where it starts or begins (you get the rhythm of it however, once you get further into the novel.) This may be off putting to some readers. I found myself taking breaks in between. There’s a lot of characters to take into account and there’s a lot of putting together the puzzle to get why these characters are involved and how.

I took a liking to Sakai. I loved her fiery attitude (understandably so once you figure out what she’s been through) and in the end you do feel for her. I really liked her character, she puts up a tough front and you know she’s hiding something within. When you find out what she’s been hiding all along it’s sad but makes sense as to explaining her behavior.

The plot itself is slow moving and the setting is bleak and dark. The entire theme of the book is rather dark and gloomy. It does not have a noir feeling to it and I was hoping for something more on the creepy side considering a cult is involved. It’s not much scary or thrilling as it’s more dark and foreboding undertone throughout the entire novel. And it’s not just the police case that has this tone. It’s the characters, and Iwata himself that carries this feeling with him.

Iwata as a character, he’s not that likable or unlikable. There’s not much to him. He’s very stoic and takes quite a beating throughout the book. He can be wry with other characters in the book but when he puts his mind to his police work, he does the job even though he makes the rest of the department angry with him. He’s quite abrasive with his co workers but can be a great partner when need be.

Also, take the time to actually listen to the song “Blue Light Yokohama” the song actually suits the novel. 🙂

There’s a sequel supposed to come out with Iwata. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up or not. I don’t mind reading about the characters in depth and length but the plot could have been a lot quicker and less lyrical/poetic.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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You actually think I had time to read this week??? nooooooooo it seems everybody wanted my attention JUST when I’m about a third or less into a book then the interruptions start coming non stop. “Let’s go out and do this” “Let’s go get this” “Let’s do a pokemon go raid”

Okay I admit I did go on the pokemon raid……even though it aggravated me to no end because the stupid zapdos just wouldn’t stay in the pokeball and I gave up getting another one because one is enough. I’m not going to go through the frustration and agony of seeing my pokeball roll once only to have that odious bird pop up again no matter how many berries and nanabs I give it. You can just go stuff it Zapdos. Just stuff it. Thanks to you my reading went to a crawling halt. 

That being said however, I did manage to finish two books and started a few. So let’s see how my progress went:

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I finished this one. AND I LOVED IT. Expect a review coming up soon. OH MY GOD THERE MUST BE MORE TO READ ABOUT ERIC CARTER. Although he did manage to tie loose ends, I’m hoping they’ll continue his adventures. You can’t get enough of an anti hero with an attitude!

 

 

 

 

 

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I finished this one just yesterday after MANY INTERRUPTIONS. Finally, it was good. Despite the slow pace and the plot I didn’t mind it at all. It was more about the characters and their own stories that all come together into the novel.

 

 

 

 

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I’ll be working on this one for this week. I really want to finish this and get a review going. It’s off to a good start and introduces you to a small cast of characters. I can only wait to see what’s going to happen next.

 

 

 

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Just a few pages into this one since I read the first book a few weeks back. I still miss the Darkling. I fell for him and his stupid charms. Mal is nice too but we all like the bad boys don’t we?

 

 

 

 

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I was in a few chapters with this book while getting my oil changed for my car. I love this time period and the atmosphere it provides. I’ve read Ariana Franklin’s books before and absolutely loved them. It’s a shame she passed on I loved her Adelia Aguilar books.

 

That’s my reading this week! let’s hope I can actually get some done!!!

 

 

When the Past Comes Back…

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Somewhere on the South African veldt, 1901: At the height of the Boer War, a doctor at a British concentration camp conducts a series of grim experiments on Boer prisoners. His work ends in chaos, but two children survive: a boy named Benjamin, and a girl named Tessa. One hundred years later, a disgraced young police constable is reassigned to the sleepy South African town of Unie, where she makes a terrifying discovery: the body of a young woman, burned beyond recognition. The crime soon leads her into her country’s violent past a past that includes her father, a high-ranking police official under the apartheid regime, and the children left behind in that long ago concentration camp. (From Goodreads)

This is not a book to read, leave and come back to later. The reader needs to read this carefully and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand how every character was involved and when the loose ends have been tied, it’s an amazing read and we’re left with a wow experience at the final page of the book.

It’s definitely not a quick read but meant to be read slowly as the book spans through the early 1900’s right until present time. One must also follow who’s who in the book and keep in mind the characters. As the ones in the past are still playing in part in what’s happening in the present. Its written through different various points of view so the reader gets both sides of the story but it’s so well written and eventually the reader will be witness as to how the murder has taken place and how Alet is central to what’s happening. The plot was very well done. Some historical information may help to better understand the situation if needed, but otherwise it’s very clear and understandable. What may cause a problem is there’s a lot of terminology and references to various words in Afrikaans. Some words do make sense but others may need some dictionary to help understand it better.

What I enjoyed the most of this book is how characters are tied into the past and the present. The book goes back and forth and you get to see them as how they were in the past, and how they are in the present. Their personalities don’t really change, but you get to see how they evolve and what led them to their positions, and how all of them come together to make this murder case.

Alet is, from the start of the book one big mess (thanks to her past) and although she’s not that likable, she earned my sympathy at the end when her investigation reaches a climax. You certainly feel for her at the end of the book but at the same time admire what she went through to get the information to solve the murder case and you admire her strength afterwards for what she had to do, to put it behind her.

At times this book can be a hard read as corruption is rampant through the police force and those in higher positions are not entirely innocent or have shiny records of achievement. Yet because of their privilege and of who they are, they’ve gotten away with it. You feel the injustice and the resentment throughout the book. You feel sympathy towards those who have been wronged and bear the abuse. I really felt for Flippie, and Jacob. Trudie/Tessa who was central to this story along with Alet, her story was so interesting as all she wanted to was to live peacefully and lead a somewhat ‘normal’ life. It was interesting to read her story from when she was born to the present.

I really enjoyed this novel, I was hoping it would be a series, but perhaps it’s better if it is a stand alone. I don’t think Alet could have gone on that far with what she went through. I greatly recommend this book to anyone who has a liking to a good murder thriller, with historical fiction mixed in. It’s a long read but well worth the journey.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Wow it’s the end of July already? Where the heck has the time gone and how come my reading pile is growing instead of shrinking? I had some time to finish up my books from the past week.

So this is what we have (clicking on their photos will take you to their goodreads page)

 

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No. Just no. This one didn’t make even past the 20 page mark. The writing style didn’t hit it off with me and I couldn’t bring myself to be interested. This one ended up in the Did not finish pile.

 

 

 

 

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I finally got to finish this one!!!! Review will be coming shortly!!! I was a bag full of emotions in this one. Gahhhh!

 

 

 

 

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I’m about the first 100 pages into this one. So far it’s not bad. It’s interesting. The world is certainly something I haven’t read before. I just went over a cringing moment with Neverfell but this one has got my attention so far.

 

 

 

 
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I’m a third of the way into this one. Wow. I was pretty much engrossed into it but wanted to finish some other ones first before really diving into this book. I’m really liking it so far.

 

 

 

 

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Just started the first 20 pages on this one. I hope this isn’t the final book in the Eric Carter series (already read the first two) because I don’t want to see this end! I love him! he’s the perfect anti hero! and not very likable but that’s what  makes the read so good! I was already hitting the action bits but put it aside. I need to go further into this one too.

 

 

 

Last but not least:

 

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Will be starting this one this week. I won this one at a contest and can’t wait to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

Those are my reads for the week. Lots have been happening. Lots of books have been started! but I’ll get to them! Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you’re up to on your reading agenda!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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I didn’t get much reading done over the weekend this time around since my sister came to visit us from BC. It was a nice change and it was great having her around. Of course naturally, we stopped by Barnes and Noble and I grabbed my LibraryThing app and started scanning right left and center for books.

Anyway! I finished This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. Wow. Completely blown away from that one. That review is coming up on the blog. So let’s see what’s on the reading agenda for this week (clicking on images will take you to their Goodreads page):

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Really want to finish this one. I’m about..nearly halfway on it. It’s long and the pace is a bit slow but it’s not boring and I always go back to it when I can sneak in some reading. It’s pretty good and I like it. I’m still trying to figure out how everything from the past ties in with what’s going on currently.

 

 

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Not much progress was done with this one since I was caught up with This Savage Song and The Monster’s Daughter. I did get some reading done on it yesterday while I had some downtime. Progress was made. I’m almost done with this one so I’m going to try and wrap this one up soon.

 

 

 

 

 

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I received this by Bethany House to review last week!!! am so excited! I already a few chapters into it and I’m loving it so far. It kind of reminds me of a lighter comedy version of Peaky Blinders. I’m hoping to finish this one as soon as possible!

 

 

 

So those are my reads for the week! what are yours!? thanks for stopping by! have some blueberries~! 🙂

Review of Conclave by Robert Harris

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The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on Earth. (From Goodreads)

 

I love these kinds of novels. I’m always up for a plot filled with intrigue, who’s going to backstab who, who’s got the dirty secrets and who’s the horrible but cunning bastage that will expose these secrets and so on….

I had to whip out my dictionary for these latin/Catholic terms that are prevalent throughout this novel. (My knowledge in Catholicism is very rusty.) But you learn something new all the time right? Now I know there’s actually names for each piece of their clothing these men wear.

I love how it in the first third of the novel the plotting to be the next pope starts. It’s a reminder that even though these people are spiritual figureheads and we look to them as authority figures, they’re still humans with ambition. But this is the part I loved reading the most. I love the intrigue, I love the plotting. I love how Lomeli is in the middle of this and is trying to make sure everything in the voting process is legitimate.

You have a group of characters to keep track of, but there isn’t much to them. They’re broken into cliques to keep track of them easily but the book is centralized on Lomeli and he’s the only one that develops throughout the novel. He’s likable for the most part and does deal with his inner self for the most part. He has his faults as well which makes sense (who doesn’t want to be pope?!) which makes these characters realistic.

The plot itself starts off really well. I liked the pace and events during the story. What bothered me was the last third of the novel where everything went chaotic and the author seemed to inject some action to make it more lively. I didn’t think it was necessary and there wasn’t any need for that. What I would prefer is more intrigue and inner plotting amongst the Cardinals. (There was but there was no need to the action sequence which wasn’t even a feature it happened “off screen”.)

Another thing which didn’t sit too well was it was one thing after another with the surprises. First it was this guy. Then the other. Oh, can’t forget this guy either. We already elected the pope? No wait here’s another monkey wrench. It was just too much (by the end I was screaming out: “Just give him the papacy and let’s go home. This is getting ridiculous”.) Some parts were spaced out but it just felt too much. However, good on the author to make sure all the loose ends were tied together. Nothing was left unanswered.

I liked this book but it would have been better without all the extra bits and pieces here. More intrigue and plotting within. It’s what makes it so much better. Otherwise, it was a short quick read and worth it. Just remember this is an alternate history of events.

I give it a 5 out of 10.

 

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

The Night SeasonWith the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan—a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims—can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that’s what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn’t drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water. Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she’s also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than sixty years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people. (From Amazon.ca)

If you picked this book up to read more on Gretchen, you won’t find much about her. She is mentioned but not until literally, the last pages of the book.

Anyhow, I thought this was a nice break away from Gretchen (you can only drag her out for how many books?) and focuses on a much different serial killer. I really enjoyed reading about this new mystery killer, but the setting and the floods add to an already dark and sinister setting. The floods themselves do add more action and suspense (especially towards the end) so I thought this was a nice addition to an already dark setting.

The pace of this plot was really good, and the short chapters makes the reading go much faster than usual. I like how there are no lulls in the plot. Although the sub plot with Susan Ward is not as interesting, it’s still related to the main storyline and provides more background information that is important to understanding the plot. There are quite a few moments of total suspense and thrills. The ending and the revealing of the killer had a lot of action sequences, and as mentioned before, the floods add more to the action and suspense. There was one particular moment in the book where I feared for a character (not going to reveal, am trying to keep this spoiler free!).

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the way the killer killed his victims. It’s a little far fetched and perhaps to some readers, they might find it silly. It’s different, and I have not read anything like this. Although I found it a little unbelievable, it’s still interesting and still worth reading.

I’m glad there’s a break from Gretchen. For a moment I thought this Gretchen thing might drag and just might make the series go downhill. It may disappoint some readers, but this plot was well done, the characters are consistent, and I think it’s worth the read. With a tiny cliffhanger ending, I am curious to find out what happens next to Archie and Susan.

I give it an 8/10