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Book Review: Slade House

Title: Slade House

Author: David Mitchell24500887

 

In London, in the Slade Valley, is where you can find a Slade House. However, the usual passers-by can’t see it. Slade House opens its doors every nine years, for a chosen person. This person is invited to enter the Slade House by its two strange residents, brother and sister, who carefully choose, who will visit them.

Though, the chosen one does not enjoy in a visit for a long time and also can’t leave the Slade House just like that.


This is the first book that I read from the author Mitchell and certainly not the last. And this review will probably be short but I really don’t want to talk about the book too much or spoil anything.

The book is quite short and in each new chapter, there is a new character. It all begins in 1979 when the boy enters the house, and the story ends in 2015. So, every nine years a new person enters the house with his own life story and discover the secrets behind the Slade House.

Each story reveals more about the Slade House and mystery behind it and each story creates more tension which towards the end of the book only intensify. It’s amazing how all characters are well developed, despite their diversity and shortness of the chapters. The book really isn’t long, neither are chapters but it’s still really well written. I was hooked right from the first page, from the first story. But with each new character, I wanted to know more.

The ending was unexpected for me but rather average for a book like that. Considering the plot before, I expected something else, something more unique. But despite everything, it was a solid conclusion.

For me, it was not spooky at all, even though this is a horror book. Yes, there were moments that were creepy but otherwise, this book is more of a fun and intense read that you can’t put down.

Slade House was a pleasant introduction to Mitchell’s writing and I can’t wait to read something else by him.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Did you read Slade House or any other book by David Mitchell? What are your thoughts about it?

 

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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: City of Lost Souls

Title: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare8755776

Despite the fact that the demon Lilith was defeated in a bloody battle, Clary, Jace, and others cannot enjoy happiness. Because of Lilith’s magic, are Jace and his brother Sebastian inseparable bounded and missing. The Clave is looking for both but they are aware of truth – they can’t harm one, without destroying the other. Clary is determined to find a solution and is trying to find Jace on her own, while Alec, Magnus, Isabelle and Simon ask demons for help.


I was so glad, that this book was better than the previous one. The story was still focused on Clary and Jace but they were more in the background and other characters came into the front. Reading about others was so much more interesting and despite the fact there is still too much drama in their lives for my taste, I still prefer reading about them and their love life than about Clary and Jace. I still like Simon and Magnus the most, though even their relationship became too complicated. Mostly because of Alec who become really strange and his behavior in a relationship was unacceptable for me and I wasn’t surprised at all about the disentanglement at the end. I also liked Maia and Jordan, although they were too immature at times. If I would have to choose one character from this series who has never annoyed me while reading, I would easily choose Magnus. The reason is probably his immortality and all the experience that he got during that time. All the others are childish, they are whining all the time and mindlessly getting into impossible and stupid situations.

I never liked Clary and also in this book she hasn’t left the best impression. Her immaturity, her love for Jace and her blindly worshiping of him really got on my nerves. I don’t understand why in almost each chapter, I had to read about his breathtaking beauty and his chiseled body – yes, I understood he’s hot the first time. There is no need to repeat yourself (if these descriptions would be thrown from the book, I assume that it would be at least 50 pages shorter).

I also felt uncomfortable while reading about Sebastian’s flattering to Clary. I don’t mind reading about sexual allusions, but he’s her brother! Eww!

At least the story was better than in a previous book. More action, a lot was going on and I liked how individual elements linked to one another in the end. Sebastian made this story more interesting and even though he’s a villain, I like his character. Ok, with an exception of seducing Clary (which I already mentioned but I can’t get this out of my head).

This book was not bad but I would enjoy more if there would not be all the teenage drama, which bored me. I understand that it’s probably necessary to include some romantic conflicts to make things more interesting but seriously in this series everything is complicated. Nobody can be just happy. I am glad, that I’m almost finished with the series because almost all characters get on my nerves and the story is no longer able to weight out their stupidity.

The end of a book was great because nothing shocking happened and I can wait with reading next book for a while. But probably I won’t because I still want to know how everything will end. And I really want to finish this series.

Rating: 4/5 stars

What did you think about the book City of Lost Souls? Did you like characters and story?

 

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Book review: City of Fallen Angels

Title: City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare6752378

Two months after the bloody battle, life is back on the track. Clary is in New York, where she’s training to become Shadowhunter and helping her mother with planning a wedding. She’s happy that she can finally enjoy with Jace, with whom they’re finally a couple now.

However, soon the first body of killed Shadowhunter appears and then another. It’s obvious that somebody is intentionally killing Shadowhunters, just to spoil a peace between them and Downworlders, which could lead to another war. Of course, vampires are the first suspect, which doesn’t surprise Simon. But he has already enough of his own problems. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and kicked him out, he has no place to stay and besides that he has love problems. He doesn’t have time for Clary and her problems with Jace, who is drifting away from her.


If I enjoyed reading first three books from the series, I couldn’t say the same for this book. This book is completely average and nothing special. On the contrary, I thought it was dull. There was just a lot of whining from all characters.

The only thing I liked was Simon being in the foreground (in previous books it was Clary). I liked Simon a lot from previous books because he’s such a likable character, so when I started reading this book I thought it would be awesome because it is written from his perspective. It’s true, that reader can find out more about him, his life and life of vampires, but Simon is not funny or likable anymore. He’s a coward who is dating two girls at a time, just because he can’t decide which one he likes more. Ok, he even doesn’t know if he’s in a relationship with any of them. Because he’s too afraid to talk about that.

Instead of enjoying in their fresh love and chance of being a couple, Clary and Jace are distancing from each other. Jace is being stubborn and depressed most of the time and Clary doesn’t know what’s going on. Of course, none of them would sit down and talk about their problems. It’s better to ignore things.

Alec and Magnus are more in the background in this book – I think they actually appear in second half of the book because they were in vacations. When they finally return, they also fight all the time and blaming each other for things from the past and the ones from future that actually didn’t even happened yet. Again, they won’t discuss their problems, it’s so much more fun to not talk with each other.

You can probably see already what was mostly going on in this book. And what lacked in this book – an honest talk or just honesty in general. It’s amazing how things could be easier if these people would just talk to each other (but probably it would not be good for a book).

The plot would be so much more interesting if people would act mature. But because of the drama, I couldn’t focus on anything else. And even that little action and tension that was part of the plot was completely lost amongst constant whining. All those relationship problems, depression and darkness, instead of happiness and joy, which I expected after the third book.

I will continue with the series, I already borrowed next book from a library and I hope it will be better. Because I was really disappointed after finishing this one.

Rating: 2/5 stars

What did you think about this book? Do we have similar thoughts or you don’t agree with me? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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Book review: The Little Stranger

Title: The Little Stranger

Author: Sarah Waters

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Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where family Ayres lives. Ayres family owns Hundreds mansion for over a two centuries and before the war they were wealthy and powerful. And mansion Hundreds Hall is a reflection of this – magnificent and full of wealth and luxury. Or such it was before the First World War. After the war, Ayres family lost their influence and wealth, and this also reflects in Hundreds Hall.

Before the war, Hundreds Hall was also a place where doctor’s mother worked as a maid. Once she took him with her and mansion thrilled him. This is also a reason why he gladly accepts an invitation to the mansion when he’s called there due to illness. However, he’s shocked when he sees the condition of Hundreds Hall and how few residents live there – Mrs. Ayres, her son and daughter Caroline and their maid. The Hundreds Mansion is only a faint shadow of what it once was, it slowly collapses, and the family does not have the resources to maintain it.

Dr. Faraday starts visiting mansion more and more often and reasons for visiting the mansion are not just because he becomes a family doctor. He’s particular interested in unexplained and strange accidents that happen and that nobody knows how to explain it.


Too bad that the book from the beginning is very slowly read. Well, at least, I had problems with that. In the first half of the book nothing much happens. It’s mainly only description of Hundreds Hall and people who live there and, of course, Dr. Faraday. And for sure there is nothing creepy about it as it’s promised on the cover of the book: “Be prepared for a scary reading…”.

The story slowly unfolds and I was rewarded for my patience in the second half of the book. I still wouldn’t call it scary but it was quite a suspense and I couldn’t wait for the unravelling of events.

Ayres family thinks they are superior, which is often reflected in their behaviour, especially to other people. They also show this to Dr. Faraday. For me, it was interesting how they cling to the times that no longer exists, rather reconcile with the current situation and live and work in a way to improve it. There’s nothing in the world that would persuade them to get rid of the Hundreds Hill, even if it’s clear that it leads them into gradual destruction – in a physical and psychical way.

I was attracted to descriptions of the post-war era in England when great families had fallen into decay. Families who before that have great impact and later they were exposed to a new world, which they don’t understand. Some were able to adapt, others didn’t – among them was Ayres family.

I was also expecting a little more action and unexpecting mysteries. But I was left down – there is actually not much going on and also, there are just a few mentions of evil spirit or ghosts. The reader has to explain things on his own which of course is not bad, but everything is really uncleared and confusing at the end.

Rating: 3/5

Did you read this book or any other book by Sarah Waters? What do you think about it and her writing?

If you read the book, what do you think actually happened? As always you can leave comments down below!