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I read a lot of books and I write about them on here. Mummy Geek is sometimes a guest blogger....people seem to love her.....Oh and you can find me on Twitter.....@book_geek_says. Shortlisted for Blog of the Year by the 2015 Love Stories Awards...THANK YOU!!

Thursday 26 July 2012

Review: Harmattan

Publisher: Myrmidon Books
Price: £ 12.99

Mr Weston has tweeted that this book is based on fact...I warn you now, that makes it most upsetting! It is the story of Haoua over about 1 year of her life from living with her family in a village in Niger to moving to the city where she marries an older man against her will.

The sentence structure is as if Haoua has written it. I see a lot of French and Italian articles that are translated and read exactly like this book. I don't know if that was deliberate but it adds to the tone. I am however, unsure of the language, I feel as if it is slightly too mature for a 12 year old. Admittedly she has been educated and forced to grow up quickly but surely a 12 year old would still not be so adult when it comes to turn of phrase. There was however a cracking use of the word Dandy! That word is not used enough! OO also, the sections in Haoua's voice are starkly contrasted with letters from her sponsors in Ireland. Everything from the language to letter content seems like polar opposites. It also showed that a lot of people have no understanding or concept as to what life is like for people like Haoua.

The entire novel highlights the many types of hardship felt not only by the people of Niger but all over the world. At one point even Haoua feels sorry for some people and thinks they have a hard life! That made me feel really terrible, she has a lot of love and compassion for people that in many instances I lack. This novel has indeed made me aware of the terrible lives and situations people in Niger suffer. To some of them it isn't so bad I am sure but in this instance it is. There is no freedom. I was aware of child brides and the like but sometimes you need more information to make it seem real. I recently wrote an Editor's Comment on blood oil in Nigeria and our August issue focuses on Africa so I have learnt a great deal about the continent of late and the difficulties its people face. 

You can tell that Weston has done a lot of research to write this novel. From geography to politics to the Niger way of village life to religious practices. It is indeed most impressive. I do however find it funny that middle aged (sorry if you aren't) and middle class white men write books from the perspective of a female whose life is so alien to them. The second I started reading this, I thought of Memoirs of a Geisha  and how it falls in to this category. The entire country seems to be divided by politics, patriotism and religious faith. This again would have taken a lot of work as it is set in the late 90s. I do wonder if Weston set it then because that is the time in which the actual story is based on occurred, or, if it was set then to add to the story. Or, it could just be the logistics of getting a book from manuscript to print, I know it can take a while.

The chapters set in the hospital were most distressing and led me to have great admiration for people who go to countries such as Niger to help! They are wonderful people! The road trip section was my favourite despite the sad event that resulted in it. There was hope in this section, the lack of prejudice and the family bonding were lovely! Archie and Abdel were fantastic characters!

One death in this book upset me more than anything else. But I think what upset me most was the very detached manner in which it was dealt with. You were told of it in a line or two. No emotion was showed. It was a shock to see the death dealt with like this as the character was so important and loved.

The last portion of the book when Haoua is married and the events following are the most upsetting yet satisfying part of the entire book. I had thought that the end would come like that and I was pleased. I feel I would have probably done the same in her situation. It truly is devastating that such things happen!


Book Geek

Thursday 19 July 2012

Review: Turbulence

Publisher: Titan Books
Price: £ 7.99

With this book you are thrust face first in to a modern action packed superhero film...well yes I know it is a book but it feels like a film. I could imagine the title appearing on the screen as chapter one ended. Chapter two slows down immensely but this is not a bad thing as the explanations begin and all starts to slowly become clear. Also, it doesn't stay slow for long!

You are flung in to the world of super humans, superheros and in some instances you are thrown among some of the dorkiest second rate super heros alive, however, you grow to bloody love them! Tia is my character of choice in this book and her super power damn well rules! I want it! 

The whole thing is funny and sad and in some cases a bit spoofy and tongue in cheek. Basu has really taken on board the superhero genre and used it to the very max! You can see the novel as a film from the word go and I've never read a book like that before. I'd love this to be made in to a film actually for my imaginings to become reality. I NEVER SAY THAT!

At the start, the book doesn't seem as Aman focused as the blurb makes out which was a shock, however, as it moves on, Aman becomes the main man....well as focus of the novel even if not in the goings on of the plot. 

The formulaic, good versus evil, right versus wrong is there throughout the whole novel and you shouldn't be surprised! It works and it works well, and it is wholly enjoyable! There are also sweet moments and sad moments just like you would expect.

When you read the final section it blows you away as the action rules! The second the book finished I thought it was set up for a sequel, but in a good way. There aren't millions of unanswered questions and you are not left hanging, everything is tied up nicely. There is just an air of part 2 about it and I was correct as the about the author section told me! I can't wait for the second one and I will be reading it with hunger! BRING IT ON!

I kinda think why I know the book is called Turbulence, however, I'm not going to say why in case I sound like even more of a dick than I usually do.

In a nutshell, I don't think I have ever read a book that falls in to the superhero genre before but I certainly will again thanks to Turbulence. A fantastically enjoyable, intense yet funny book that will be enjoyed by many!!

Happy Reading!

Book Geek 

Friday 13 July 2012

Review: Blue Murder at the Pink Parrot

Publisher: Cutting Edge Press
Price: £ 7.99

First off bloody love the phrase 'Lady Poise'! Thank you Ruth for bringing this phrase in to my life!!!!!!

Anyway, on we go. As I've said before I'm not a fan of first person, however, I enjoyed it thoroughly in this novel. It made me enjoy the world of JJ by page four. I also really really enjoyed the fact that the reader was addressed. It drew me in straight away and didn't let me go.

The entire thing was dark, twisty, fettishy and totally fantastically funny! Every second of it was enjoyable and many a giggle was there to be had! Don't get me wrong, it was quite an eye opener on occasion. I mean, I'm not naive but I do feel like I've been living under a small rock in some respects. Be prepared to be enlightened, possibly!

I have no idea if the area where JJ lives is real but it reminded me of the Hastings/St. Leonards areas. Especially because of Bar Bleu. The novel also kept me thinking of Bridget Jones, but only if Bridget was a drug popping, PVC wearing, dom with a murder to solve. It's Bridget Jones for the more curious, adventures and twisty reader. A reader with balls.

I didn't fall in love with a major character. I know I usually do but I didn't in this instance for a reason that perplexes me as I did really like JJ. I did however, fall for a minor character. BABS!!!! WOW!!! BABS is fantastic, she rocked my world!

I wasn't totally convinced by the last 60 pages in the beginning, however, I soon changed my mind. They ruled! Everything ties up in to a nice little ball that makes perfect sense.

I do have two questions, are the Tarot cards drawn by Ruth? Is any of this, in some small way based on her life? OOOO I also have to say that I loved the 'About the Author' section.

Now for the usual endorsement I always give books I love! READ THIS!!! READ IT AND ENJOY IT!! OH AND MAYBE EVEN LEARN A THING OR TWO FROM IT!! ;-)

Oh and reader, I love a good piss take!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Review: The Twelve

Price: £ 14.99
Publisher: Orion

First off a MASSIVE THANK YOU to the young lady who gave me this book! You know who you are and I bloody love you!!!!

Now, I read The Passage last year. I picked it up at Foyles in St. Pancreas. The reason for this was: Whilst on the train from Farnham to London to a conference someone threw themselves in front of the train I was on. Bizarrely aptly I had Double Indemnity with me for the journey. We were waiting for 3 hours for things to be sorted so I obviously finished this short book. I then needed a new book so bought The Passage after the conference as I'd heard it was about vampires and the picture of the girl on the cover creeped me out. If you didn't know I BLOODY LOVED THE PASSAGE!!!! IT WAS AMAZING!

Now on to THE TWELVE!! I BLOODY LOVED IT TOO! Justin Cronin, I salute you and want you to write books forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. You produce the right type of novels for me! SPOT ON!

If you think you will not remember what happened last time, like me, don't! There is a bit of a Genesis (Bible not band) recap at the beginning and then the first section runs in parallel to the beginning of Amy's journey with Wolgast and beyond in TP. The feeling of having to go going back in order to go forward was cool. It also answered some of the questions I had at the end/during TP. You quickly remember all that happened in the last one and there is no need to panic. If you are thinking of reading TT without having read TP, I wouldn't recommend that. You'll miss out on a lot of back story and integral information. You may also miss out on some of the depth of understanding in the story. 

In this brilliant first section I fell in love with two characters and I am not ashamed to admit it. Mrs Bellamy ruled! If I am ever old and in an apocalypse I want to be like her! Damn it, I want to be like her if I experience one at my current age! I also fell in love with Kittridge. It took me a little longer but it did happen. He rules! OOO, another bit that made me feel ok about living in a post apocalypse world was the stuff related to oil refining, I now feel confident that I could help and have a function as I work on a oil and gas mag and whilst I've never put my knowledge to the test, I do know some things which will hopefully be deemed helpful! WOOO! Actually I'll keep for a second with falling in love with characters....some of the characters from TP return however, my love allegiances have altered hugely!

The whole novel still kept posing the question I had in TP, where the hell is the rest of the world and why are they not trying to help or making any communication whatsoever with any of the survivors?! I hope at some point this all comes to light.

The narrative jumps about a fair bit between characters and even time periods. This wasn't at all confusing and kept the entire thing neck breakingly gripping! The whole thing was incredibly fast paced because you were never in the same place for long. There were a lot of twists and turns and SHOCKS but at the same time suspicions were confirmed and questions were answered. What more could you want??? The majority of the action happens in the last 3rd of the book and there is a lot of set up preamble in the first 2/3rds however, they are by no means less fantastic to read! 

There is one warning I will make. There is a hell of a lot of violence and quite shocking violence compared to TP. It was pretty upsetting and shocking in some instances, however, it doesn't seem unnecessary to the story of TT.

OOOO...The Texas stuff really creeped me out as I know Texas pretty well. I'm sure Texans who read this book...and well people from other places in the US will be creeped out! *shudder*

The ending left many many questions in my mind. It is obvious that there will be another part...WOOO!!! It had better answer some questions though...I now have lots of questions...even more questions.


Happy reading

Book Geek