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  1. Just one small thing, I read a Kindle book recently and I went to the reviews (as I do after I've read it) and there was a person who was reviewing who said they had also bought the audible version to listen to as they read along with the kindle and that it appeared that chunks had been missed out of the story as there was more dialogue in the audible version than what was written in front of them, nothing which affected the story but they questioned if it was a different version but surely that would be Kindle selling abridged books as unabridged?
  2. Very Long Books - Are they worth it?

    It depends on the book, if its a cracking read which holds your attention it doesn't matter how long it is, whereas if its a pile of poo the shortest book can be a hard slog to get through. Personally speaking I like short books and I like long books some of my fav's have been the size of a breeze block and some which took me forever to get through because they were so bad were relatively short. I think this thread ties in nicely with the thread I started asking if books were getting shorter as I have noticed in recent times it doesn't take me as long to read a book as it used to, and sometimes I feel I have been a bit short changed when I read a book which seems to end before its even begun.
  3. Glorious Tosh

    A little late to the party on this one, (to put it mildly!) I remember this series and watched it when it first aired (I can't believe its over 10 years ago though!) When we got Netflix I was overjoyed to find it on there but then they took it off. Out of the blue (very randomly) my husband bought me the entire box set of DVDs of this series recently, so now I am reacquainting myself with this series and loving it all over again. Yes it takes some terrible liberties with historical fact and some of the details are quite outstandingly wrong, yet I can't help myself, this is my current 'guilty pleasure' and I'm enjoying every moment of it.
  4. Currently Reading

    February has now begun and I’ve just started reading The Diary by Vikki Patis, it's a book which has been on my kindle for a while and I've kept skipping over and reading something else, billed as a psychological thriller (I seem to be reading quite a lot of those recently) and the blurb tells me a girl travels back to her home town for the first time in years - since her sister died in fact and when she arrives, she finds a diary that her sister wrote and things start to happen, not saying any more than that but so far its holding my attention so we shall see how it progresses. With that in mind here is a quick round up of what I read in January, not exactly currently reading I know but I thought I'd like to share my recent reads with you all, not a bad haul to be fair, more than I anticipated reading, and with varying degrees of quality. 2019 started with The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes, a disturbing psychological thriller which I enjoyed very much, it was a little incredulous at times but it was one of those books where you could visualise what was going on and feel as though you were there so not a bad start to the year, next up things went downhill dramatically with Damien by J Kenner, this was the latest offering as part of her long running Stark series about Damien and Nikki Stark which was originally a much better series of novels and novellas than its peers (Fifty Shades of Grey and The Crossfire series by Sylvia Day) however, it went downhill and became just as predictable and cringeworthy as anything found in those diabolical stories, but I was intrigued, as this one was written from Damien's perspective rather than from his wife Nikki's. I had enjoyed this series originally I decided to have a little look and the result – shouldn’t have bothered simple as that! Then came a trilogy 'The Mitchells and O Hara Trilogy' by Kimberley Chambers which was made up of the books The Feud, The Traitor and The Victim these were a story about family feuds, London’s underworld and organised crime, now things started well The Feud was the first book of 2019 to inspire me to pull an all-nighter it was edgy and captivating, but the quality of the story diminished in book 2 and book 3 was barely readable it was so far-fetched, so to say I was disappointed would be an understatement, started well but very disappointed by the end. After that I was anxious to find a book which I would actually not be disappointed with I turned to Time’s Convert next by Deborah Harkness, as I felt it was time for a bit of supernatural, perversely I wasn’t really expecting anything from this book as I had convinced myself that it would in no way live up to the outstanding 'All Souls Trilogy', and I had talked myself into being disappointed before I had even started, but on the other hand I knew the author was talented and even if the plot wasn’t great I knew she wouldn’t disappoint with the historical details she filled her books with, so even if I was disappointed with the story I wouldn’t be – does that make sense? It was a very different story to the trilogy but it was magnificent and I was sad when I had finished it which is always the mark of a good book. Next up was In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards, another whodunit psychological thriller, again I was expecting nothing from this as I hadn’t really thought much of 'The Retreat' which I had previously read, but it was there (and it was a Prime Reading freebie) so I thought what the hell and it was actually really very good, it was a little incredulous at times but overall it was a solidly good story with many layers and it all came together well. The Supernatural called to me again after that one and somewhat fortuitously I had just received a book I had pre-ordered at the end of last year - Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones and so I decided to get stuck in this was the final book in the fantasy supernatural series I had read and totally adored last year, and this final installment did not disappoint, it did everything it set out to do and ended the series nicely. Doll House by John Hunt was up next and that was a very dark disturbing psychological thriller, and well written as despite the fact I figured out who the torturer/rapist/killer was about half way through it still kept me riveted to the end. A bit of fluff was in order next after the heavy subject matter of 'Doll House' and Dan & Nat Got Married by Jon Rance fitted the bill it was a romantic comedy and a freebie from Prime Reading, not something I would spend money on but for a freebie it wasn’t too bad, basically the story of two people who meet on two separate stag/hen weekends in Las Vegas and whilst totally slaughtered they get married to each other - as you do! They return to the UK and decide instead of getting a divorce and forgetting it ever happened. to try and make a go of things and see if they can have a relationship and be happy together, as they are both pretty much losers in the relationship department, it's a ‘nice’ story, nothing special a bit predictable and twee but I enjoyed it and it served a purpose, plus it was free so what was not to like. Last book of the month was Love You Gone by Rona Halsall a psychological thriller and all I can say about this is thank god it was short, it only took me 5 hours in total to read and those are 5 hours I am never going to get back, the sad thing about this story was it had real potential, the idea behind the story was superb it raised a number of valid serious points about how relationships are viewed and it could have been absolutely outstanding yet the author managed to completely blow it and produced a book which was flat, superficial and crap. So there we go, January in a nutshell, now on to February, so watch this space!
  5. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I got Dark Genesis by A D Koboah as an ebook, I say 'got' rather than bought because it was actually FREE it's the first in a trilogy and you obviously have to buy the rest. It sounds intriguing and covers the emotive subject of slavery but there is also a supernatural twist. From how it reads it sounds like vampires are involved but I could be wrong. This is either going to be very good or very bad!
  6. Doll House by John Hunt This story begins with a young girl - Olivia being abducted off the street and held captive in pink room in a house along with other girls and being repeatedly tortured and raped for a period of five years, this is the 'doll house' of the title. She manages to escape and helps the two other girls escape by killing one of the men. The story then follows how Olivia adjusts to normal life and how the whole ordeal has affected not only her but also her father. Olivia lives in fear that the the second captor and the (warped) brains behind the entire thing, known as the ‘Jackal’ due to the Jackal mask he wore to obscure his identity will come back, and she is right to fear that as, as well as following Olivia’s progress in the outside world we also follow his and his obsession to get the girls back – in particular Olivia who he is in love with in his own warped and twisted way. This was a cracking story, no doubt about it, the writing was superb, it was dark, very dark and you could almost visualise the different scenes as they played out, some of which were quite gruesome. The lead character – Olivia is extremely strong and likeable and you find yourself rooting for her throughout. Also the Jackal character was brilliantly written, he was the archetype serial killer – ‘cool, calm, detached yet totally bonkers’, his complete obsession with Olivia and how he rationalised it in his mind left you cold and the way he was written, so calculating and careful was very unnerving. Some of the secondary characters were a little clichéd especially the other captor known as ‘the Gorilla’ due to the gorilla mask he wore and the uncle, he was particularly dislikeable and quite over the top. The pace of the story was break neck, especially at the beginning although it slowed a little in the middle of the book which I felt gave it something more before it picked up significantly once more towards the end, if I am honest I think I would have preferred the slightly slower pace throughout. All the clues are there and you are told so much by the Jackal himself and by everyone else that if you pick up on it it’s like a neon sign which points out who the Jackal is, and I will say that I had figured out who it was about half way through, but having said that the writing was so good that despite the clues pointing to the obvious I kept doubting my own gut theory. So when the end came and I was proven right I wasn’t disappointed like I normally am when I have figured it out first, the ending is particularly shocking and then comes to an abrupt halt, and you are almost left thinking ok… so what happens now?! I am certain that was deliberate on the part of the author almost leaving you with a sense of anti climax, which is how Olivia would be feeling that, at last the man who kept her prisoner for five years and continued to keep her prisoner in her own mind after she escaped was finally gone. An oddly compelling read despite the fact it really was unnerving and sometimes uncomfortable to read at times, yes I figured out who it was before the end but somehow that didn't matter - would I recommend it? It had faults but they were forgivable due to the overall quality of the writing, so yes I would.
  7. I want to pose a question, not sure if its been asked or not, I did (as I always do) a quick search using various key words to see if anything came up and it didn't so I think I'm pretty safe, but as always if there is a thread on the subject I am about to talk about, feel free to delete this/move it or whatever. How much credence to you put on reviews? A broad question I know but in these days of everyone having an opinion on everything I do often wonder; 1. Are these reviews credible, accurate or even in some cases real? 2. Does anyone pay any attention to them on sites such as Amazon/Goodreads before buying a book? 3. If they do, do they really influence purchases in in any way? Ok, so that's three questions really, but hopefully you can see what I am getting at. I look for recommendations on books in places like this, and from personal real life friends, places where I can be fairly certain people concerned have actually read the books. I do look at Amazon/Goodreads reviews but only after I have the book, sometimes I can agree with what has been written, and people do, generally speaking seem to have the same view of the book as I did sometimes I think, have these people read the same book I did? and others I am so astounded I end up thinking things along the lines of, how much were they paid to say that? Now I know that sounds like I'm saying if someone has a different opinion to me then its wrong but I really don't mean it to sound that way, I can genuinely say sometimes I will read a review and although disagree with it I can see what they are trying to say and see their point of view and it also makes me stop and realise in some cases that maybe I missed the point of the book. Call me suspicious, cynical and downright distrusting but sometimes I cannot for the life of me see how some books get the almost universally rave reviews they do, for them to be so universally adored and gushed about seems a little, I don't know, unbelievable. At one time you could see quite clearly the 'marmite' books, which were either loved or hated in equal part, the middle of the road books which produced a mediocre response but increasingly you find there isn't the balanced mixed reviews available, its all or nothing, everything is raved about with hardly any negative remarks in sight or the opposite. You can still find odd books which appear to have balanced reviews but not very often. Which I think leads me on to another point, the increasingly popular crime/psychological thriller genre which at the moment is like an unstoppable Juggernaut on Amazon, is very hit and miss, some books are very good those that have depth and which are incredibly well written and keep you guessing until the last page then you get others which are incredulous, superficial and you can see the ending coming a mile off, they read like they have been written by a bored teenager with an overactive imagination and you have worked out the big twist about half way through the book and are just treading water to finish the damn thing and then there are those which fall somewhere in the middle not bad as such but not brilliant either, yet if all the Amazon reviews were to be believed practically every single book in this increasingly overcrowded genre is first class, a real page turner and outstanding, with the majority of reviews giving a 4 and 5 star rating with only a tiny minority giving anything lower and to me that just doesn't ring true.
  8. The Charley Davidson Series

    Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones I eagerly awaited the arrival of the final book in the Charley Davidson series, and yet I was concerned, this we have been told is the last one, which revolves around Charley - sarcastic and slightly batty PI, also Grim Reaper, a portal for the departed to cross over, not to mention other dimension goddess and her husband Reyes aka the evil god Rey'azikeen aka Son of Lucifer. (I think I mentioned in my previous review of the other 12 books the revelations that came out as the stories carried on were mind blowingly incredulous and that the series more than lived up to its fantasy genre expectations). It is hard to review this book without giving away the story as it revolves around tying up all the loose ends and cleaning up a mess (an end of the world as we know it type mess) that Reyes and Charley created in a previous book. So all I will say is it did not disappoint me, it had a nice pace throughout and all the loose ends were indeed tied up and questions answered. There was a sub plot which focuses on Charley's 'job' as the grim reaper which although a distraction from the main story also fitted in nicely and reminded you of where these books began. There were a number of really stunningly heartbreaking moments, some mind blowing revelations - just when you thought you knew every character in the story and thought there could be no more revelations about a characters identity Ms Jones managed to do it and there were also a number of laugh out loud moments mainly surrounding Charley and her brilliant take on life and her sometimes sarcastic, sometimes downright off the wall commentary and one liners, it felt like an old friend as i was reading it, it had everything I was expecting and it delivered on everything I hoped would happen and still managed to surprise me with revelations I really didn't see coming. It did however end on a sort of cliffhanger so my theory of that is the next book Ms Jones is going to produce is probably going to revolve around the life of Reyes and Charley's daughter, who has a destiny mapped out before her like no other child. In conclusion, a fitting end to a fabulous series of books and yes I would recommend this quirky, original, highly entertaining series.
  9. Time's Convert

    Thank you, that's very kind of you to say so - and I think I kept it pretty sane sounding too!
  10. Time's Convert

    Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness I have just finished Time’s Convert and have to write a review about it, but hopefully this time I will stay within the realms of sanity and not end up sounding like a raving loon! Here goes… The latest offering from Deborah Harkness and a spin off story yet also a sort of follow on from the totally magnificent ‘All Souls Trilogy’. Most of the characters who appeared in the trilogy are featured here in this book and as a side plot we are given an update into the lives of Matthew and Diana who the All Souls stories revolved around, and with that update you get the feeling it has (hopefully) provided scope for further books down the line. This story focuses on the human life and ‘rebirth’ as a vampire of Marcus – who features in the trilogy as a vampire sired by Matthew, and it tells his experiences of that transformation from human to vampire alongside his ‘warmblood’ human girlfriend/mate Phoebe who has agreed to become a vampire and is sired by Marcus’s long time work colleague and centuries old associate of the De Clermont family, Miriam. The book highlights the stark differences on their experiences of becoming vampires, how Marcus was turned without knowing all the facts and ignorant of what being a vampire involved or even meant, and who was practically abandoned by his sire Matthew shortly after his rebirth as a vampire and who was left with and passed around various members of the De Clermont family who taught him what being a vampire was all about, and his struggles at being a vampire within the powerful patriarchal De Clermont family, compared to Phoebe whose experience was totally the opposite and who was totally informed and almost coddled and over protected throughout. This is very different from the All Souls Trilogy, that had various and many different threads and sub plots which all came together whereas this is primarily a story about a man’s search for a family to belong to, along with family loyalty, especially when there is conflict within the family when an individual’s values and beliefs collide with the rules and autocracy of the head of it. This appears to be an ongoing theme throughout the entire series of books as the long dead head of the De Clermont family still seems to manage to cast a very long shadow despite being dead for a number of years. The writing is first class and I soon fell into it and the words flowed over me and I was quickly consumed by it just as I was previously, once again I was struck by the attention to detail, and once again you are left in no doubt that the story is so obviously written by a historian as the facts of the time period covered are spot on and cleverly entwined with the fictional characters. The period of history covered in this book is the late 1700’s and the War of American Independence and there is nothing more I can say other than it is a complete joy to read. I was left with one minor question, Marcus took the name Whitmore, now a huge thing was made in the story about a vampires name and there is an ongoing theme throughout the story where Marcus went by different aliases through his human life and there was even a moment when he was officially named by the head of the De Clermont family, I can make an educated guess as to why he chose it, using it instead of the surname De Clermont which he was given but there was no mention of where and how he chose the surname Whitmore, whether this was an oversight or a point which will be answered in a later story remains to be seen. I will admit that I was a little concerned when I started this book, because I had been so totally enraptured by the trilogy I feared that it would fall short in some way as Marcus and Phoebe were really quite minor characters in the trilogy and I wondered how a sequel (as that is essentially what it is) could be centred around two relatively minor characters, but that is the beauty of it, as you see the story of becoming and being a vampire from the perspective of characters you don’t really hold too many preconceptions about. Plus it really is such a different story from the trilogy, as that was so complex and multi layered and had so much going on within it, by comparison this reads more like a novella, but it would be totally unfair and crass to even compare it to one considering it is over 400 pages long. In fact I feel ashamed at making that comparison but it is the only way I can think of to describe the content of the story but don’t get me wrong apart from the lingering question about Marcus’s name choice there is nothing whatsoever lacking in this book, it is comprehensive, intelligently written and very enjoyable story and one which I would thoroughly recommend.
  11. Driven to murder...?

    If this story is accurate, and you always have to bear that thought in mind, going on the 'facts' given in the report you can see quite easily how it happened, a relatively confined area, very little to do socially apart from read and if that relaxation and social time is then spoilt by someone - which it would be as nobody likes spoilers, and if the other guy was doing it deliberately, frustration at his actions coupled with the influence of alcohol, you can see how it quickly got out of hand. I'm not condoning what he did, but generally speaking society as a whole seems to be getting angrier and lashing out at others for no apparent reason these days and you hear in the media about people being murdered for seemingly petty, insignificant reasons, so it seems reasonable to assume that it could also happen within the confines of a remote Antarctic base.
  12. Currently Reading

    Just started Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness, Luna messaged me privately and pointed out that the ebook version was at that point in time just 99p and considering the last time I looked at it it was £9.99, I had decided (albeit reluctantly) to wait till it came out in paperback as if I was going to pay that kind of money I wanted something physical to show for it (plus I had the All Souls Trilogy in book book form), but with a deal like that I didn't think twice about getting it, it immediately leaped to the top of my TBR list and I started reading it on Tuesday and so far I am loving it.
  13. How do you choose your books?

    Back in the day, I got the majority of my books from charity shops, so I would just go in and mooch around the books browsing what they had, initially it would be if the title jumped out at me or if the cover attracted my attention, then I would read the blurb and if that heightened my interest I would read the first page and if I wanted to continue then I would buy it, if it was a subject which interested me (in the case of non-fiction books) was another factor. Now I tend to browse Amazon instead, I get a number of emails offering deals and the like and I will always have a look at what's on offer and I pretty much go by the same plan, title and cover, then I read the blurb and at that point I make the decision, sometimes I will download a free sample of the book if I am not totally convinced before buying. Very occasionally I will seek out a book if I have enjoyed a TV adaptation of it but more often than not it is the other way around and I watch the TV adaption after reading the book. If I have read something else by a particular author and enjoyed it I will gravitate towards another book by them, and have a little look. Another interesting point - I have also bought books from recommendations and reviews on here, yet funnily enough I don't take any notice of Amazon/Goodreads reviews, partly as I'm never sure if they are genuine or not, and I will only read these reviews after I have read a book and made my own mind up about it.
  14. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I have bought the ebook version of Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones which is the 13th and final installment in the fabulous long running Charley Davidson series, which I found and 'binge read' last year, I pre-ordered it to arrive as soon as it was released which it just has been, earlier this week. I am currently reading something else but this has immediately been bumped to the top of my TBR list. Also recently bought: (all ebooks) The Black Mile by Mark Dawson, Doll House by John Hunt, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes, Marking Time by April White (This was actually a free ebook so not holding my breath as to how good it is)
  15. Book Lists 2019

    Book List - Completed Books read in 2019, all first time reads are rated I have included re-reads but not rated them as obviously I liked them or I wouldn't be re-reading them, they will have a (R) at the end instead of a star rating to denote they are a re-read. RATING: *****5 stars - Outstanding! Brilliant! Highly recommended, read it, read it now! ****4 stars - Very good, recommended, ***3 stars - A good enjoyable read, read it if you want to, **2 stars - It was ok, not totally sure about it so don't blame me if you think its rubbish *1 star - Not good, just about readable but not recommended No stars - Utter crap, don't bother - should never have been published! (R) - Re-read FICTION: The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes*** Damien by J Kenner The Mitchells & O’Haras Trilogy by Kimberley Chambers - overall rating : ** (and that is being generous, because the first book was so good) The Feud by Kimberley Chambers**** The Traitor by Kimberley Chambers ** The Victim by Kimberley Chambers * Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness **** In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards*** Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones**** Doll House **** Dan & Nat Got Married by Jon Rance ** Love you Gone by Rona Halsall*