In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni (Book Review #212)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 17/01/19

My 4th book this year)

Angela Collins has just admitted to killing her husband, but then her son Conner also gives a statement saying he killed his father. Now the detectives need to find out who is telling the truth or if either of them are telling the truth. As evidence is tampered with and so called witness statements not coinciding, the police have a difficult time in solving this case.

40 years ago a teenage girl, Kimi, died. It was ruled as suicide, then the case was closed. A young, new detective, Buzz, seemed to have a hard time believing this and dug deeper into the matter. With potential evidence he went to his superiors meeting nothing but chastisement for trying to make more work for the force on a case that was already solved.

Buzz decided to keep investigating in his own time. Even at his death he hadn’t found any answers. His daughter, Jenny, found the file and decided to continue what her father started. Many people believe Kimi did not commit suicide. People speculate, people have formed their own opinions. With modern technology being so much more advanced, the evidence is checked over again. There is evidence of a more sinister story. Kimi’s death was likely to be more than it seemed. But how do the police find enough evidence to uncover the whole truth to the story?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Another great book to the Tracy Crosswhite Series. The third book and I am still thrilled at the way Robert Dugoni takes us through the cases and keeps the reader hanging on and needing to find out more. He excels at delivering twists and turns to move the story forward.

I absolutely loved the way Kimi’s story unfolded. The twist was unexpected and was not overly dramatic, which is what I admire about this author. He doesn’t feel the need to make everything over the top. Great flow to the story and a very interesting plot.

The focus of this book was more on the case from 40 years ago. The current case of Angela Collins was rather neglected therefore maybe it wasn’t necessary to have this case in the story at all. Otherwise I would highly recommend this book, this series and previous books by this author. I am very excited to pick up the next book of the series.

Written by Ling Lee (17/01/19).

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The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (Book Review #211)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 13/01/19

My 3rd book this year)

Meghan Chase finds herself destined to enter the Nevernever realm of fey once again. This time to protect her family from the Iron Fey and the false Iron King. She must find a way to defeat him before he destroys her family and the rest of the fey realm is damaged beyond repair by the destruction caused by Iron.

Meghan is the Summer and Winter feys only hope. She is the only one of them who can enter the Iron kingdom and stand a chance at bringing peace to the other courts again. With the help of her Summer best friend Puck, and her Winter love, Ash she will try her best because it is the only way for some of the most important people in her life to keep surviving.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Quite a let down as the third book of the Iron Fey Series. There was no wow factor left. It felt like an anguished extension of the Iron Kingdom. Almost like the author ran out of ideas and had to fit another Iron kingdom book in just to keep writing.

I love the dedication from Ash towards Meghan, but their petty disagreements were too immature for their character and roles in the story. Puck became a less likeable character. The gremlins were adorable in their own destructive ways. Grimalkin the cat is the same as always. Appearing where necessary then disappearing unexpectedly.

Not much to elaborate on really. Just the feeling of amateur writing came through on this book. Apologies to the author but I cannot recommend this book to other readers and I am quite possibly put off from this series and may not find myself finishing off the series.

Written by Ling Lee (14/01/19).

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The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth (Book Review #210)

I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 09/01/19

My 2nd book this year.)

Essie had postnatal difficulties, one time she left her daughter at the park and went home without her. The second time round she is determined to show everyone she can get it right.

Ange is the perfect image of a perfect family. She is the real estate lady for their community at Pleasant Court. She is beautiful, hard working, her husband is perfect, her children are great, the image of a family life that every dreams of.

Isabelle is the newest member of Pleasant Court. She doesn’t fit the usual description. She doesn’t have a child or children, or a husband. She has an ex-partner. Throwing a huge imbalance to what they want their society to portray, but the residents all try to be welcoming.

Essie soon finds herself wanting to get to know Isabelle better, wants to spend more time with her, wants her company more than her own husband and children.

Life always looks better for others. When you look closely enough you begin to see flaws, you begin to see everyone has bad days, you begin to see trouble. Isabelle has a huge secret. But so do the others. When their secrets get out their entire community will be in great shock. But life goes on because that’s the way life works.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I just cannot understand how this book has such a high average rating. The plot wasn’t amazing. The execution of all the vital points to the story were too sudden then not enough happened after the big reveals of the secrets.

Each woman had a secret to share but Fran’s secret felt completely unnecessary. Just another detail to make the reader think “wow”, however it didn’t seem to fit into the story. Ben didn’t need to have his secret to make the story work either, so that felt pointless.

Isabelle was supposed to be the character that brings all the chaos but nothing really fit smoothly. The book felt erratic and there was zero suspense filled moments. Not at any point did I feel the need to continue reading, or feel the excitement in uncovering what was next. The book felt like a first draft rather than a completed novel. Compared to a lot of other books in this genre, for me, this book failed. Apologies to the author but I would go as far as to tell people this book is not worth reading.

Those who gave this book a high rating must not have read many from this genre. (I suggest try Liane Moriarty for a real story that is well put together.)

Written by Ling Lee (09/01/19).

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Winter by Marissa Meyer (Book Review #209)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!!!

(Finished Reading: 07/01/19

My 1st book this year.)

Queen Levana rules Lunar through mind control, brainwashing her subjects and threatening those who are not willing to serve her and accept her as ruler. When she first came to rule it was for her people and her planet but then she began to lose her way and the rising power got the better of her. She is now planning to forcefully marry the Emperor of Earth and to take over their planet too. She has unleashed a deadly plague upon the humans and she will only hand over this antidote if the Emperor agrees to marry her and to give her power over Earth and its’ people.

There is talk of a missing heir to the throne, Queen Levana is adamant to stay in control whether or not this rumour brings truth with it.

A secret revolution is beginning in the outer sectors of Lunar. Most of the poor and working status population are less than happy with their living conditions. In hope by winning in numbers, the revolution is being organised by Cinder, the cyborg, allegedly, quite possibly the true heir to Lunars throne.

Cinder has banded together with the strangest of people to help her cause, all with their own reasons behind supporting the revolution. The Queen’s niece, the nieces’ guard, a highly dangerous wanted felon, an android, a genetically modified part wolf; part human beast, Lunar’s best technologist and finally the Emperor himself.

A stunning book full of fairytale references, strong and unusual characters. Who will win? Good or evil?

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a stunning series, The Lunar Chronicles. This final book really pulled everything together although overly dramatic, I still absolutely loved this series. I love fairytale retellings. There were so many twists that kept pulling back to the basic plot of each princess’ story. I never knew I could enjoy a book about androids and cyborgs but Marissa Meyer has been exceptionally clever in pulling this off and making this one of my favourite series of all time so far.

I love how this book deals with the hardships in life. What some people must sacrifice for the good of others. What love can do to a person and what you can do for someone you love.

The book discussed discrimination although more to do with differing races, it was still about dealing with differences in society and the changes that take place over time.

So much sadness, darkness, war, violence, but then the goodness seeps in and out of each chapter, drawing you deeper into the story. A must read for fairytale lovers, young adults and for those of us who still believe in a bit of magic and the possibility of other realms.

Highly recommended read!!!

Written by Ling Lee (07/01/19).

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (Book Review #208)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 27/12/18

My 64th book this year)

Emma was in her teens when she went to summer camp. The year three girls went missing. All three bunked in her room. She was the last to see them. Fifteen years later the mystery is still unsolved.

All these years later, camp is reopened for the first time since the incident happened. Emma is persuaded to return by the site owner. She’s not sure it is such a good idea. But with so many thoughts haunting her mind she needs to go back. She needs to conquer her past and maybe even try to find out what really happened to those girls.

The clues are vague and misleading. Camp is as eerie as it has always been. Emma feels like she is being watched. One of the girls, Vivian, still haunts her thoughts. It seems she is on the right track, yet the closer she gets to finding out the truth the more she feels her life is being threatened.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I enjoyed most of this book although I dislike creepy, dark and eerie subject matters. The final twist was a bit too much for this novel. Less is more in this case in my opinion. So the ending was what let the book down.

I loved how Emma would confuse her past and the present. I understand why she was consumed with guilt and was continuously haunted by Vivian.

Vivian’s character was great. We all know of a girl like her from the good old school days. Emma was too unstable for my liking. However I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to other readers. Well done to Riley Sager! I am excited that there are more books to explore by this author. I will definitely be picking up another book by Riley.

Written by Ling Lee (28/12/18).

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Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Book Review #207)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 14/12/18

My 63rd book this year)

Book 3.5 of the Lunar Chronicles. Everyone has a past, everyone has experienced things that help shape them into who they are. Queen Levana, the “Fairest” in Luna has had a dramatic, traumatic, unstable start to life. Emotions run riot as we start from her younger years and see her past through her eyes.

So much sadness, the need for love and affection. Wanting to be someone important to the people of Luna. Trying to fight the injustice and unfairness in life. Her sister Channery has it all, Levana is just a shadow in the palace, but she wants more.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I didn’t realise this was a bridge book until I started reading. Other than the disappointment in the length of this book, it was a lovely read.

I felt sorry for Levana, I understood why she did the things that she did, I see how she became such a fearsome ruler up to the present day. I admire her will in love but it was such a sad story to read. The worst part is knowing what parts of her past helped build her character to be so dark in her adult years.

This book was just as good as the others in the Lunar Chronicle Series. It could have been extended and fit into the series as a full book. A highly recommended read for fairy tale lovers. Well done to Marissa Meyer. I am very much looking forward to the 4th book of the series.

Written by Ling Lee (15/12/18).

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The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (Book Review #206)

I rate this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 12/12/18

My 62nd book this year)

Locke Lamora is dying from poison, too close to death to hope for recovery. Jean refuses to give up, using every penny, every trick, every idea he can think of to get all the doctors in town to help him.

Just in time a bondsmage appears and makes an irresistible offer. In return for purging the poison from Locke, the duo must help win the upcoming magi elections. The catch is they will be up against the woman of Locke’s life, Sabetha. They grew up together, learnt to survive, learnt to fight, learnt their skills, their thievery, their tricks, all as a team once known as Gentlemen Bastards. Sabetha was the only female in their group, she left them behind. Now fate brings them together once again as rivals but can either of the three put the past behind them and fight for their designated sides?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Unfortunately highly disappointed in this 3rd book of the series. Not even close to what I expected in comparison to book 1 & 2 of the Gentleman Bastard Series.

An excessively long winded book with at least 30% of such boring events I almost gave up. The first 10% and the last 20% picked up the rating a little. Otherwise this book felt like it was written by a complete different author.

I really enjoyed Locke and Sabetha’s relationship. Jean is still forever loyal. I am still confused as to why the trio were ever sent out to become troupe members.

There wasn’t enough of the usual ups and downs. The book didn’t flow well. The interludes and breaks between past and present were terrible.

Apologies to Scott Lynch. I have been a massive fan of your series up until now. I would only recommend the first 2 books of this series. This third book was almost a complete waste of time. However, I am interested to find out what bondsmage Falconer will be up to next. There is a chance I might continue this series but I am totally lacking enthusiasm for book 4 at the moment.

Written by Ling Lee (12/12/18).

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Kisscut by Karin Slaughter (Book Review #205)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 30/11/18

My 61st book this year)

Jenny, a young teen, is at the ice rink. She takes out a gun, points it at Mark. Jeffrey the police chief is on scene. He needs to focus, stay calm, take control of the situation. A shot is fired, Jenny drops dead.

Now Jeffrey and his team are left with the aftermath. Sara, the town’s paediatrician and medical examiner discovers some horrific injuries to Jenny. Self harm, mutilation and evidence of extensive abuse. As Jeffrey and Sara continue to explore what led to this disastrous episode, they find more and more disturbing leads. Jeffrey and his team are faced with a huge problem when they find out that Jenny’s past is connected to many others. It’s too late for Jenny but if the team act fast, they might be able to save the others.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I enjoyed picking up from book 1 of the “Grant County Series”. Sara, Jeffrey and Lena are working together again. Dealing with issues from book 1 without over telling what has already happened.

Then the book has so much shock factor it seems that Karin Slaughter is putting every idea into this book to make the reader cringe, recoil, be disgusted and disturbed by every reveal in the book. I understand these situations do happen, but as a book I would have preferred one less moment of shock. The individuals involved and their relationship to the children was a bit too much for me. It spoilt the overall effect of the story. Definitely too much for one book.

However, with the over dramatic scenes aside, this book was great! Just what was expected after book 1 of this series. I would still recommend this series but only to those who are brave and can step back and not be pulled in too deep. Such a disturbing, violent, disgusting plot with child abuse being at its’ worst, paedophile issues, sex, rape, drugs, every bad thing thrown together. Yet I would definitely pick up the next book of the series and am still excited to find out what horrors will unfold. Job well done Karin Slaughter!

Written by Ling Lee (30/11/18).

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C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton Book Review #204)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 26/11/18

My 60th book this year)

Kinsey Millhone is a female, private investigator. She is hired by Bobby Callahan. He believes someone made an attempt to murder him months ago but his memory is terrible since the car accident that took him off a cliff and killed his best friend. He believes he is in trouble, he has feelings and glimpses of problems from his past but he cannot remember enough to do anything with the information.

The others in Bobby’s life are not so sure. Some believe he made up the murder attempt to avoid manslaughter charges. Some believe there was something possibly sinister in his life. No one knows much that can help Kinsey in her investigation.

Kinsey is shocked when Bobby dies just days after their first meeting. She feels inclined to finish the job and find out what really happened to Bobby and if he really was murdered.

***SPOILER ALERT***

The 3rd book of the Kinsey Millhone series. Almost as good as the others. Fluent, flow to the story. Kept my interest all the way up to the end although I found the ending too abrupt and a bit too dramatic for what was necessary to round up.

I enjoyed getting to know Bobby. The side story was great too. I wonder if private investigators really get themselves into so many life or death situations because by the look of things, Kinsey is going to be facing trouble a LOT more times throughout the series.

I am still enjoying the series and would very much continue to recommend these books to other readers. Looking forward to book 4 to see what else Kinsey is up to.

Written by Ling Lee (26/11/18).

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Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (Book Review #203)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 23/11/18

My 59th book this year)

Opal Cowan is a glassmaker with the gift of being able to intwine magic into her work. She needs to work alongside the Storm dancers to help control the elements and to help keep their people from dying out due to problems with their most recent glass orbs that hold the storms.

Someone is out to destroy the storm dancers. Opal’s life is in danger as the enemies need her glass and magical talents for their own master plan. Kade is the strongest storm dancer, he is the one responsible for saving his people so he has to find a way to trust Opal and to let her into his life.

Opal slowly discovers more to her magic skills, but she fears what will happen when the Master Magician’s find out because she could be a threat to the whole of the magical society.

Opal needs to control her gifts. She needs to help Kade. She needs to avoid enemy capture and torture. She needs to live, be young and be free.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Definitely a YA book. If I had read this series at an earlier age I would have been thrilled. I would have probably enjoyed it as much as I did the “Study Series”.

Another great storyline full of magic, danger, love, storms, glass making and the importance of family shines through. A beautifully created world.

I disliked Opal. Her uncertainty as to where her heart should be wasn’t a great read. Especially when the great secret about Ulrick is uncovered. I would have preferred for this book to omit the confused teenage heart and to focus more on the story itself.

I love magic. I love the possibilities. I love the unexpected mistakes. I would recommend this series to a YA audience. I am willing to read the next book of the series however I am not desperate to pick up book 2.

Written by Ling Lee (24/11/18).

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