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Book Review: The Passage

Title: The Passage

Author: Justin Cronin6690798

Six-year-old Amy lives with her mother. But circumstances force her mother to leave her. She leaves Amy in a convent where nuns could take care of her and disappear without a trace. Sister Lacey takes care for Amy but soon two men appear, claiming to work for Secret Service and they need to take Amy away. Special Agent Brad Wolgast and his partner had already traveled across America, with a secret project to bring twelve, to death convicted criminals, to a secret base where special government experiment is going on. Amy is their final task.

However, things go terribly wrong.  Wolgast is fascinated by little Amy and wants to do everything to protect her. But he can’t do anything against apocalyptic destruction which is a result of failed experiment.

He’s protecting Amy as he can but at the end, he’s only human who’s suffering the same fate as all the others. And then Amy remains alone. Her faith is to wander around aimlessly, while decades are passing by. The world is destroyed, full of fear and terror. But Amy has the power to restore it.


What to write about a book, which is one of best books you ever read? The Passage is a book, that I read for the third time and each time it was better. The reason is probably also, that with each new reading, I discovered new details and understood a story better.

But despite reading this book many times, it would be probably easier if I would write a review after first reading. Now, it will be probably just bragging how this book is amazing. And, I already read the second book (twice), so I know everything that happens.

As I mentioned, this book is multi-leveled and full of details that can be easily overlooked if you don’t pay enough attention to them. But precisely those details create the story, although sometimes seems as unnecessary information. There are many side characters, that Cronin devotes a lot of attention, a reader learns everything about their life and past and then they’re gone. However, this also has its charm. But despite detailed writing of characters and events, this book never becomes boring, even though is huge!

Characters are amazing! I loved main characters, Amy and Wolgast. Especially Wolgast. He’s such an amazing man, and his character develops so well through the story. I liked him even more than Amy. And believe me, it’s hard to love somebody more than her. Despite being quite and shy little girl, she has such a powerful role in this book. But still, I think, that Wolgast really stands out!

The world after the apocalypse, when a world was destroyed by the virus is creepy and horrible. Vampires are just like they should be, horrible and bloodthirsty. I usually don’t like books about vampires because they are too romanticized, but here are scary and perfect.

Reading about the world after a virus was enjoyable. Perhaps, it was little too similar to the world before, which annoyed me. After all, so many decades passed by and I would assume, some things would be different, people would act differently. But nevermind, diversity of characters is fascinating and I didn’t have any problems with connecting to them and enjoying their story.

Maybe it’s just the last part of the book, which can be confusing and I was all “what’s going on?”. But exactly this part is full of tension, action, and events.

In spite of the diversity of characters and different stories, everything connects at the end. Again and again, I was amazed, how the fates of people connect one way or another through the novel and that Cronin manages, despite detailed narration, to unite all the elements in the story.

Once again I can say, that this book is just amazing. Enjoyable characters, great background stories and gruesome vampires. Tense, emotional and frightening.

Rating: 5/5 stars

What were your thoughts about this book, if you have read it? Do you have any other vampire books recommendations? Or did you read any similar books that I would like?

 

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Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Author: Laini Taylor8490112

Karou is a high school student who attends art school in Prague. In her sketchbook, she’s drawing most unusual creatures with animal and human body parts. Her friends admire her artwork and her imagination. However, Karou is not drawing things that would be made-up. She never had a human family and since her birth, she was raised by creatures she’s drawing.

Brimstone, demon and monster, who took over a role of her father, collects animal and human teeth, but he doesn’t want to tell her why. Karou is curious about her past and she starts to discover more about it, when burned palm prints start to appear around the world, left there by angels. One of them is Akiva, who is particularly interested in Karou.


Years ago, I was seeing this book everywhere, but I was not interested in reading it. Last time, I saw it in my local library and said, why not? I borrowed it, read it and I was pleasantly surprised.

I liked the main character Karou because she was strong, independend and had a strong character. Nevertheless, the author didn’t exaggerate with her strong character – her loneliness and questioning about her past made her vulnerable and even more interesting.

At first, I was unimpressed by Akiva, because he seemed too cold but later, I changed my opinion about him. In the second half of the book, when his story begins to reveal and when I learned about his life and loss, I started to like him and understand better, why he acts so untouchable.

The story pulled me in from the start. Brimstone and the rest of the characters were interesting and certainly I wanted to learn more about them and their role in the world. What bothered me were small plot holes. It was strange that the events did not have (almost) no impact in the world. Yes, the author mentioned that people were started seeing angels and considered it as miracles. But still, I thought was strange, when Karou and Akiva were fighting and a crowd, watching this faith, remained completely passive. For me, this was unbelievable and quite unrealistic.

Not to mention the reaction of Karou best friend Zuzana, when she tells her about her past. Zuzana just accepted her story without questioning, like it’s something totally natural to have a best friend who hangs out with angel and strange monsters. Yeah… we all have a friend like that.

When I started with the second half of the book, I was skeptical. It was boring at the start and I was not convinced about a love story of Akiva and Madrigal. However, both stories connected really well at the end and altogether turned out completely unexpected.

I was surprised that romance was so in the foreground in this book and love at fist sight seemed to me far-fetched in both cases. I understand that it happens once, but not twice. Sorry. Nevertheless, I didn’t mind about romance scenes because of beautiful, poetic language and it was not cheesy at all. So, it was ok.

I liked this book so much, that I will continue with next book in this trilogy. I really want to find out what will happen between Karou and Akiva and how the fight between angels and demons ends.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? Does the trilogy get even better?

 

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Book Review: A Letter to Queen of England

Title: A Letter to the Queen of England

Author: Vicenc Pages Jorda30068112

 

Joan Ferrer is blacksmith’s son and he creates a sword, which is so great that devil wants it. Devil offers Joan a deal – three wishes for a sword. Joan wishes for immortality and inexhaustible wealth.

Centuries go by and Joan notices that the world is changing rapidly and that immortality and wealth are not bringing only benefits.


Book A Letter to Queen of England has only 108 pages which mean it’s extremely short. It’s written in a form of a letter, addressed to Queen of England. Joan is in jail and needs her help and this letter is actually an explanation of his immortal life.

Because of book’s length, this was really quick read. I could not say, I was bored, but I did expect something more.

To me, writing was impersonal, almost passive and very dull. You can also imagine, how quickly the plot unfolds if the book has something more than 100 pages and it still covers the period from 11th-20th Century. Events are taking place quickly but described are just the ones which were “important” to Joan. I’m aware that this is not a historical book, yet I felt like some important events were just briefly mentioned.

There’s nothing much to say about Joan and his character. Because of his impersonal writing and lack of emotions, a reader can’t learn much about him.

He thought that fulfilled wishes would make him happy, but soon he finds, he was wrong. Wealth and immortality didn’t bring him joy and happiness, which is obvious – he must hide both from the world, can’t settle down anywhere and can’t have friends or family. It’s just not possible without revealing his secrets. He is bored, has experienced everything, but found nothing that would impress him. He’s miserable and nothing can please him.

Like I already mentioned, the story unfolds through ten centuries and it’s quick and effortless display of history. And I liked an idea about that. It was interesting and fun to read about the changes that have occurred over the centuries of time and space, through the perspective of a man who has seen it all and had to adjust to all the crazy changes. But I would love to read more about it and know more about how did they affect Joan.

There are many real characters, who actually lived, and quickly appear but also quickly disappear during the story. (Except Greta Garbo who has important role in the plot but I still can’t figure why…)

Mainly, I liked this book because of the questions it raises: about death and transience of life, immortality, about wealth and human happiness. When I finished this book, I was actually thinking about all these things for a while and about my wishes. What would I choose, if I would have the same option? Would I choose the same as Joan did? Would I make a better use of them?

Rating: 3/5 stars