Artemis #18

Hey booklovers!

The weekend is here and I hope you are cozying up with lots of books! So after a considerably long time I was finally able to finish this book. Ta da!

The plot is pretty simple. Jasmine Bashara (Jazz for short) is a citizen of the only city on moon – Artemis. She is highly talented but works as a porter (a menial job on Artemis) and has had a fallout with her father. She wants to be rich and quick. So she makes a deal with a powerful man to do something daring and illegal for a million slugs (moon currency!). But obviously things take a different turn and now it’s up to her to make things right.

First of all the character Jazz was really weird. It was like a guys voice and not a girls. Sure I understand she has lived there, her morals are different, I can even agree she’s tomboyish but she is not convincing as a female to me. She is also from Saudi Arabia. I loved that the protagonist is ethnic but it sure as hell sounded like a white man.

And the science. Oh my god. In ever nook and corner of the book it’s inserted like a template which reminds me meet the new Dan Brown of Science and Space. It was so typical of the way he writes. Inserting trivia all over as much as possible. I get it that we are reading something out of our usual stuff but so much explanation of the science part was annoying.

I couldn’t connect with the characters. They were “alien” haha. Of course they are not citizens of the earth far into the future so that makes sense but then the crime part was like – who cares. Why should I invest myself in this character who is so lost and uncaring herself. I don’t know how to put it in words but Jazz wasn’t relatable. The worst part was that it just went on and on rambling about space-y stuff. To the authors credit he does try hard to create an original story and it works but it didn’t feel right to me.

Bibliogyan rating – for “space” buffs.

 

If you liked my review please consider buying a copy from here

The Outsider #17

Hey booklovers!!

Am back with another book review. Am so excited to share this cause the book am reviewing is by none other than Stephen King. Admittedly this is my first king book, though I have seen quite a few movies based on his books. I never realised I could actually like his work since am not really a fan of reading horror. That’s the same reason am always stuck with Dean Koontz books. Maybe someday I might read his books too.the outsider by stephen king

Anyhoo, after careful consideration I decided to read The Outsider as part of my Halloween special books. Mainly because with just a few words Stephen king had hooked me. How can a man be in two places? Did the man really commit a gruesome murder or is it something else?

The book starts with corroborating witnesses on account of a murder committed couple of days back in Flint city. Our protagonist Ralph Anderson, chief detective sets out to arrest the perpetrator of the crime and does so in a grand manner which later in the book causes him a lot of trouble.

Terry Maitland is the accused, he is a football coach for boys and the allegations on him is that he murdered and raped an 11 eleven year old boy.

Despite evidence against Terry, including eye witnesses and fingerprints and a pending DNA test, Ralph realises there’s something missing but the angst of such a gruesome murder prevents him from thinking rationally and goes ahead with a public arrest. Later on we find many things missing and a baffling mystery as to Terry’s alibi. How can he have been at two places when the murder was committed?

I found king’s writing to be so effortless. Unlike other murder mysteries he dwells on the characters and creates something extra ordinary from the mundane. It’s hard to believe that the book goes on for 475 pages without making us feel like it’s dragging or that certain parts were unnecessary. Everything just fits. I was truly impressed and completely in awe.

Of course this is not a regular thriller murder mystery. Stephen king’s books are always doused with certain amount of the supernatural, and this is where “the outsider” comes in and he makes it look so natural. Like how could we not imagine it, right?

I definitely felt a bit creepy mid way through the book and started watching my back and having restless sleep till I completed the book and an extra day to boot. But this was unputdownable after the first two chapters and I can definitely add myself in the countless million admirers of Kings. Looking forward to reading another book of his.

Bibliogyan rating – what are you waiting for? Grab your copy and start reading!

Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh

Hey booklovers!!

Am back with another book review. Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me this reader copy. I find myself reading a lot of thrillers and maybe that is my specialty genre. But sometimes I do need to lighten up and read other genres too and am looking forward to the next one on my TBR list in Goodreads.

Coming to the plot: Ellie and Tia are identical twins but other than their appearance nothing else is identical. Ellie is ambitious and headstrong and married to Will where as Tia is a little slow, gentle and lives alone in an institution for the differently abled. They haven’t seen each other for fifteen years but Ellie writes Tia a letter every week where she pours her heart out about everything in her life, to the minutest details. Soon it’s time for Tia to move and both Ellie and Will agree to let Tia stay with them till they can find another place for her. But once Tia stays with them something happens and that something changes their lives forever.

I felt all the three characters are horrible. The worst was Ellie. What a horrible sister. Unless there are concrete reasons to stay away from your sibling like death threat or drastic sibling rivalry there’s no reason for one to stay away. Especially when their father had begged her to look after Tia, she was the vulnerable one after all. She stayed away cause they are identical – what a load of bull.

Of course am not a twin and I don’t know what it’s like to be one. But how can someone be so heartless. Will on the other hand is so selfish like he can’t see anything beyond what he desperately wants. What’s wrong with you?

And Tia. I don’t know where to begin. She suffered a lot without any complaints so when it was time to have something for herself I am really confused if she is in the wrong.

By the way I saw this happening miles away. Yet I wasn’t sure if the writer was going in that direction specifically. I found Ellie to be so contradicting. One second she cares about her sister, feels guilty for not been there for her and the next she can’t wait to get rid of her. Horrible horrible sister.

I didn’t feel like I was reading a thriller and the pacing too didn’t feel like one. Maybe a suspense in the mild form but when you already have an idea of where this is going there is little that surprises you.

The writing is definitely good for an author I have never read before and hence had low expectations going in. But she doesn’t disappoint where as the plot is nothing great ( I also wonder if the title is slightly misleading?) I don’t care about any of them but yes, Tia just was in the wrong place but I can’t decide who’s right or wrong here. So the author must have done something right, huh?

Publication Date: 14th November 2018

Bibliogyan rating – Read it if you can bear unbearable characters but good writing 🤷

The Woman in the Window #14

Hey Booklovers!

Finally I have finished reading this dump of a book. I am not usually so scathing in my review and believe me am not writing anything harsh as it may sound.

But rarely do I read a book where nothing is happening for the first 200 pages or so in a 427 page book. Am all for reading books with huge page counts. Especially if it’s good I like taking my time to finish it but this book was a slog fest.

Basically the book is about a woman who is suffering from agoraphobia. She stays put in her house and for extra entertainment watches her neighbours or specifically spies on them. From the beginning I had four theories going on in my mind as to what is going on in the book and I was more or less apt.

The woman is Dr. Anna fox, psychologist. She also counsels others suffering from the same online and basically her whole world is controlled online. After been stuck inside for 10 months, a new neighbour settles opposite her building. The Russell’s. They remind her of her own family. But of course nothing is as it seems. After all who can say what goes on in a family huh?

Anna fox is hands down the worst protagonist I have read about this whole year. Her backstory is definitely heartbreaking and made me teary eyed for sure but I find her dependance on alcohol beyond irritating. This is the third female protagonist, after TGOT and TWBU, who is facing hurdles in life as an alcoholic (that I have read). Whats with that? What’s with this pattern?

And the first half of the book is all about her time sitting in her home. Which is fine but I feel it could have have been given lesser attention and page count. This book could have been one fifty pages short in my opinion. I don’t know if the writer is doing this to show off her writing skills or what.

Coming to the plot, once the neighbours settle in, Anna sees something she shouldn’t have and is having a hard time convincing everyone about the truth. So did she really see it or was it hallucinations? Well you can read the book to find out.

Despite the negative start to my review, there are some pros to the book as well. I did find myself rooting for the character in the end despite half heartedly agreeing with the antagonist (which never happens). The writing is funny and heart-wrenching all at once. The character development is engaging and the book does hook you towards the last one fourth. Up to the reader to decide if it’s worth it.

Bibliogyan rating – Tests your patience. For thriller/suspense fans.

Annihilation

Hey Booklovers!

How’s your month going so far? In terms of reading it’s been terrible for me. I haven’t been able to catch up much with both the books am currently reading – Eliza and her Monsters and The woman in the Window. I find them both to be slow and dragging. Not hooking me enough. But for today am back with another movie review!

Yes. It’s a book turned into a movie. Annihilation based on the book of the same name by Jeff Vandermeer. I have reviewed the trilogy under the name Area X on my site. Do check it out here.

Coming back to the movie. I loved it. Purely on the basis of turning books to movies. Usually they fall flat on your face but this one was done tastefully. It wasn’t so much as trying to redo the whole book but taking elements of it and taking a completely different approach to it.

So this is the gist of the movie:

Lena is waiting for her husband Kale who is in the military, he has been gone for an year on a secret mission and she doesn’t know if he will ever come back but he does. Suddenly and literally out of nowhere. But his comeback is short. He suffers seizures and is admitted immediately in the same facility he was working for. This time Lena is interested in working for the facility in hopes of rescuing her husband.

This ‘facility’ is the headquarters of Area X, an unidentified phenomenon that occurred three years ago, situated in the Southern Reach. A team of five women are deployed to enter “The Shimmer” including Lena. What they uncover is the rest of the story.

For someone who has read the books it’s obvious there are a lot of changes. For one, there are no names in the first book and everything has been reinterpreted for visual purposes.

I found the camaraderie so much better between the team members which was sorely missing in the book. (On a side note they reminded me of Ghost Busters in their get up and attire!) Lena is much stronger than she is in the book. Even has military background. They all talk like normal team members are supposed to unlike in the book which is filled with small talk and suspicion.

The book invokes a feeling of dread despite nothing happening in it but the movie felt more calm yet unnerving. That’s the beauty of Area X. There is no mention of a topographic anomaly in the movie (nor the lighthouse keeper), only the lighthouse is important.

The climax was weird, the dance between Lena’s double was creepy and a bit confusing as to what’s going on – at least to me. But the ending was satisfactory, for a lack of better word. It could have been worst but it makes do with what it has.

Overall the movie can be watched even if you haven’t read the book which is awesome and the gist of the book is all in there. Strong performances from the lead Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaacs. The psychologist nailed her character (who is also the team leader) but lacked screen time I guess. I wanted to see more of her. The other three were adequate. The movie is good on its own.

Bibliogyan rating – Must watch for sci-fi fans. Watch it for something new and different.

AUDIOBOOKS #1 THE WIFE BETWEEN US

I have been wanting to listen to audiobooks for the longest time. But everytime I began to listen to one I would be distracted with something or the other. In all honesty I just don’t have the patience to listen when I can read the book much faster. Either ways I decided to listen to this one – The Wife Between Us (TWBU).

Written by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, and read by Julia Whelan TBWU is a story about an ex wife, Vanessa, her ex husband Richard and his new fiance. Vanessa wants to stop her ex husband getting married again at any cost.

Just like the synopsis we would assume its a jealous ex wife wanting to stop her ex getting married but just like in the synopsis Assume nothing.

In the beginning I was irritated with Vanessa. I wanted her to get a life and move on but once the first twist is revealed everything else slowly falls in place.

The book is written like a maze where the author reveals nothing in the beginning but brings it all together in the narrative as it goes on.

I found the audiobook narrator Julia to be very entertaining for sure. Her performance of various characters was spot on except for Richard. I didn’t like her way of sounding male characters. It gave no connection to the character itself. Anyhow, she was a joy to listen to otherwise.

The book is definitely worth reading/listening to for it knows everything we might assume but is nothing like it at all. But I have to say I have read enough and more books so I know where things become predictable. This one was definitely harder to predict but I knew some parts were going to be the way I imagined them.

Vanessa maybe a slow character in the beginning but once you understand her the story propels forward quickly though there are many scenes that may not have been necessary, I felt it was a tad bit dragging at places.

It felt more thrilling than a suspense but it definitely exceeded expectations. I was a bit hesitant in case it was all hype and nothing else and I can see how some may feel duped especially since a lot of the book is told by way of backstory. So only read if you have patience.

Bibliogyan rating – A good friday night read.

The Legacy #12

Hey Booklovers. Sorry I took quiet a bit of time to post since my last review. June been the month of back to school, has made it a bit difficult to read or review. But now am moving back to a schedule so hopefully won’t have a gap like this.

Coming to the book am going to review for you today is The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.

The story begins with a flashback in the past about three kids up for adoption. Their background is shrouded in secrecy. In the present we are confronted with a grisly murder. This is where we are introduced to the main character Huldar, a police officer in the CID promoted to investigate the case.

Apparently there was a witness in the murder case and its a seven year old girl – the victims daughter. But what she says makes matters worse – There’s about to be another murder.

I found the story to be slow burning but never dragging. Characters are well drawn out specially Freyja and Karl. Karl’s specially is a sad one. I wanted him to become stronger and find his way in life. But in the story he is only there to bring the plot forward.

Freyja works at the Children’s House (for child protection) as well as serves as Huldar’s love interest. She doesn’t have much of a backstory but her arc is drawn out well. Towards three fourth of the book I had an idea who the killer might be, at least their background, though I didn’t expect the final reveal.

The supporting characters are all neither here nor there but Huldar’s colleagues Erla and Rikhardur deserves special mentions.

I picked up this book because I wanted to read something different in the suspense genre and found crimebythebook recommend nordic noir under crime fiction. I was intrigued by the summary of the book and decided to read it.

I liked the characterization and the authors ability to draw us in but I don’t know, maybe I expected something more gripping. Definitely will be trying out her other books but for now am looking forward to reading Jo Nesbos book next. Pick this if you are a fan of crime fiction.

Bibliogyans ratings – Worth a read for crime fiction fans.