Hope’s Peak (Harper and Lane #1)

Title: Hope’s Peak (Harper and Lane #1)

Author: Tony Healey

Genres: Crime | Mystery | Thriller

Length: 207 pages | 2848 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3/5

Premise:

A young black girl is found dead, a crown of vines over her head, her eyes closed. She has been brutally assaulted. And she is not the last… nor the first.

Review:

The first book of Hope’s Peak was quite thrilling at times but it left me wanting on several aspects.

First of all, I never even got a clear image of how the detectives look or who they were really. They seemed bland.

Many things did not feel realistic, much like the dialogues. Even the way the detectives addressed each other, particularly Stu calling Harper ‘kiddo’ when they were sleeping together, irked me.

The procedural aspect felt lacking as well. All the time they were using a psychic to move forward in the case I kept wondering how they would justify their findings and it bothered me that neither of the detectives did that.

The scenes where the killer is described are what kept the book up for me and, consequently, the rating. He was a truly wicked fellow.

Hope’s Peak had its highlights but I would not say it shines amongst other of the genre. It is still an exciting read, for the most part.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 29th to Jan 31st, 2017

GR Review

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Never Out of Sight

Title: Never Out of Sight

Author: Louise Stone

Genres: Psychological Thriller

Length: 320 pages | 3579 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4/5

 

Premise:

Freya’s daughter is missing. And now she is torn between telling the truth about where she was and keeping her secret, which would devastate her life as well as those around her. It couldn’t possibly be relevant to Zoe’s disappearance… Right?

Review:

Never Out of Sight gripped me because I felt that this could happen to anyone.

Freya is a woman approaching 50 who is searching for the woman she once was. When she finds a way to do just that, she does not realise how much that affects her life and those in it.
Now her daughter is missing.

As the narrative advances, we watch Freya unravel as she realises she doesn’t really know her own daughter. I was torn between feeling sorry for her and judging her for being so focused on herself and all the self-wallowing, until I reached that conclusion that it really could happen to everyone. If you don’t pay attention, life just goes by, and those who you take for granted may not be there one day and then it is too late to say you love them.

Therefore, this was thought-provoking and heartbreaking. I did feel however that the book got a bit repetitive. Things kept being said over and over as if it was the first time, like when Freya talks about her own parents not showing her love, for instance. When that happened I felt the book dragged on a bit and became uninterested.

It was still very exciting for the most part, though, and even if I had somewhat anticipated what had happened and a couple of things felt off-character, there were still plenty of surprises towards the chilling end. This was a thrilling read and I recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 28th to Jan 29th, 2017
GR Review

Poll – Publisher and Publishing Date

Greetings, ladies and gents!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

I have been wondering if I should include the Publisher and Publishing Date in my summaries when writing a review, since most of my books are ARCs.

Please vote below.

Thank you for your time!

Hangman’s Army (Lake of Sins #3)

Title: Hangman’s Army (Lake of Sins #3)

Author: L.S. O’Dea

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Paranormal | Post-apocalyptic | Speculative Fiction | Thriller

Length: 565 pages | 7940 locations

Source: Author

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4/5

Premise:

Book 3 of the Lake of Sins takes place four years after the events of the previous one. While High Hugh Truent was in prison for claiming that all classes were genetically similar, the world outside changed radically. A war is looming… and the allied classes need Hugh.

Review:

When I first looked up the book details I thought whoa, 565 pages, that is going to take me a while. But it went by so fast! I never imagined I would finish in just three days.

I cannot say this enough, L.S. O’Dea is such a talented writer. The pace is relentless but that does not mean that the world and character development is not satisfying, on the contrary. There is a lot going on but it is quite easy to follow and it only made me want to know what happened next.

It’s a YA book, not my favourite genre, so there will always be things I don’t particularly like as the characters end up sounding too dramatic for my taste. Trinity ticked me off a few times but I enjoy to see her keep growing.

There were quite a few repetitions – a lot of disgusted looks, for instance, and the way Hugh kept correcting mother to Sarah and father to General Truent when he found out the truth just felt forced and overdone, just like the excessive compliments on both Trinity and Hugh. I feel that their actions say enough, we don’t need to be told several that Trinity is brave and honest, even through the voice of another character, or that Hugh really doesn’t want more deaths on his conscience.

All in all I had a really good time reading this. Some parts made me laugh out loud, which earned me quite a few puzzled looks on the bus ride home, while others had me biting my nails. Some scenes were just so tense that I figuratively stood on my toes.

I can honestly say this is amongst the best YA reads I have stumbled upon and encourage you to pick up these books. This series has all the ingredients to become an epic.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 25th to Jan 28th, 2017
GR Review

Movies I Really Want to Watch

After such a long time without a single movie that I really had to watch, there are quite a few now that I do not want to miss.

In no particular order, here are the 11 movies that I am looking forward to watching over the next couple of months (the covers link to IMBD page):

Moonlight

Moonlight
A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.


Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures
Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.


Toni Erdmann

Toni Erdmann
A practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO’s life coach.


Split

Split
Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.


Rings

Rings
A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in 7 days.


20th Century Women

20th Century Women
The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.


Fences

Fences
A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.


The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us
The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.


The Eyes of My Mother

The Eyes of My Mother
A young, lonely woman is consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life.


The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The Autopsy of Jane Doe
A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets.


Ah-ga-ssi

Ah-ga-ssi
TA woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.


Please let me know if you watched any and let me know what you thought – no spoilers, though!

Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals

Rating: 4.5/5

Premise:

From IMDB:
A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Review:

This movie was such a pleasant surprise. It was riddled with beauty and sorrow and I was just hypnotised throughout it.

We are presented to Susan Morrow in such a subtile manner. We get a glimpse of her current life and then the action is interspersed with bits of her past as well as scene’s from her ex-husband Edward’s novel. Everything is just so smooth. You are presented with just enough to understand the dynamics in her life and what she and Edward have felt. Every scene is precious and engaging and I did not want the movie to end but at the same time I did because the tension was just so rich.

Some images are quite shocking, starting with the opening one. The soundtrack is quite enthralling and, much like the narrative, it wraps up nicely towards the end. The sobriety of Amy Adams’ character’s look, as well as her surroundings, as well as other very clever scenes add to the dark atmosphere but not in a in-your-face sort of way. The film is just so well made. Everything comes together to produce an entrancing work of art. It is an intense and powerful movie with little clues scattered throughout that will make most sense towards the end but that you can definitely take with you and mull over.

There were a couple of cheesy lines both in the ‘real world’ and the novel one but overall I am blown away by this movie and so glad I managed to watch it. The ending caught me off guard but once I digested it I saw it made sense.

And the performances. Amy Adams stunned me and Jake Gyllenhaal was amazing as always but I absolutely have to mention Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. My goodness, they were stunning in their role. Pretty much everyone was superb, but these guys shone extra bright and I hope Shannon wins the Oscar. I will also definitely be looking out for more movies by Tom Ford.

I hope you watch it. Nocturnal Animals will hopefully stir your emotions, as it did with me.

A Collapse of Horses

Title: A Collapse of Horses

Author: Brian Evenson

Genres: Horror | Paranormal | Science Fiction | Short Stories

Length: 220 pages | 2683 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4/5

Premise:

A varied short story anthology.

Review:

What a wonderful collection of short stories. They manage to be thought-provoking, engaging and entertaining.

Overall they were quite disturbing, exploiting the darkest corners of the human mind, and really got under my skin. Some struck me as almost psychedelic and/or nightmarish. They were not only quite philosophical but also just plain insane and my oh my there were so many types of insanity.

As in all anthologies there were stories I liked better than others and there’s always the feeling of disappointment when I finish a story that is just too short or unresolved, but if you are a fan of the genre and don’t mind your mind being turned into jelly I am sure you will enjoy this.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 21st to Jan 25th, 2017
GR Review