Archive | July 4, 2013

The String Diaries Stephen Lloyd Jones


ARC provided by publisher.

I’m not a great thriller reader, but do love anything connected to the supernatural and this novel spans both genres. I loved Deborah Harness All Souls Trilogy, ( and hopefully book three is out soon) and was hoping for something along those lines. The historical aspect is similar in that it spans time from present to historical, but the romance was missing and for me that made a huge difference. I’m a sap (blush) and some romance – even if fleeting – keeps me reading. I enjoyed this book but wasn’t riveted. I kept putting it down and picking it up, whereas a good book keeps me hooked til its ended, and even though this is a massive tome that wouldn’t stop me if I was really gripped. I read several hours daily so could have done it in one big sitting, two at most. I found the constant hopping back and forth from past to present really difficult at first, as I did the foreign terms – I had to keep looking them up on my phone just to work out what the author meant by it. A glossary would help 🙂

I finally got “into” the book from about a third in, but if it hadn’t have been a review book I’d have abandoned it by then. That’s a shame because clearly the author has worked hard to create something very different, and I can’t say there’s anything I really disliked, but it just didn’t reel me in and make me want to keep it on me at all times to sneak in a few pages between cooking tea, stuff like that. My Other Half laughs because when I’m in the grip of a good book I take it everywhere with me, even when I’m using my mobility scooter ( I only have one leg) to go round the garden it’ll be propped up in front so I can continue reading, but this one- well, I kept putting it down and picking up others, then found it hard to recall where I was in the story and needing to backtrack as it was so complex.
Its beautifully written and the supernatural aspect is very different to that we usually find in novels, and that’s a refreshing change. It must be hard to come up with something new and original like this. The descriptive parts too were very well fleshed out, and I felt I was there in the scene with the characters. For me where it fell down was that I just didn’t integrate with the people, I didn’t really care about what happened to them. I have no problem suspending belief if its presented in a realistic way, and that’s done well in this book, but the lack of any kind of romantic theme running through linking past to present just made it not work for me. That’s personal of course, and I’m sure those who like thrillers unencumbered by romantic elements will love this book. We all want different things from our reading and that’s good – means we get a fabulous diversity of books.
Overall – a well written book, fabulous length ( I love longer books and am disappointed at the current trend for ones that are really novellas), great plots that link up well, beautifully descriptive, bringing reader into the scene and yet…it was the characters that didn’t quite work for me. I didn’t really worry too much about what happened to them – I guess that’s where my need for romance comes in, I want to really get emotive about people in books, and a romance adds to that feel.

Priced at £7.49 for kindle, £9.59 hardback, £6.60 paperback its not cheap, but it is a massive tome with 406 pages for hardback version (the paperback worked out to something like 650-700!) so if its the sort you enjoy its worth buying because it has enough detail to keep you reading it over and over without being bored by the story. I’m sure like the best books with lots of information you’ll find things you missed first time round on subsequent reads.
Stars: just a three from me for the reasons I’ve explained – its a great book but not for me. I’m sure its a five for those who like non romantic thrillers.

This Man Confessed (This Man Trilogy) Jodi Ellen Malpas

This Man Confessed (This Man Trilogy)

Like thousands of This Man fans I was waiting for this book on Tuesday, and waiting…and waiting…Its happened before – the crossover between US and UK releases on Amazon. Pretty disgusted though at how many one star reviews placed on Amazon US for the delay. That’s not the fault of author or anything to do with book content. Anyway – got it on 3rd and spent yesterday engrossed in the world of Jesse, Ava and the Manor.
Its a massive 515 pages so a real rich, in depth read, and the length allowed Jodi to get in some incredible plots without skimping on details, which happens in so many shorter books. Its a really riveting read. Titled this Man Confessed – well I thought maybe one or two confessions left, after all in the past two books Jesse’s life hasn’t been a steam of innocent encounters has it 🙂 Well, lots from those past encounters creep up in this book to affect the present. Each time I think there can’t be more there is, and it got so I really couldn’t stop reading for anything as mundane as going to the loo….fortunately we disabled people have strong bladders due to that lack of accessible public loos (and having to hunt down who holds the key to them!) Unusual benefit to disability eh?
In previous books I got irritated at Ava sometimes over how she didn’t stand up to Jesse, except at the wrong moments, but she’s grown so much in this one and knows when to stand her ground. Jesse – Mr Insecure – is learning that she won’t disappear over some silly incident. There are of course some things that really blow up between them – with a personality as intransigent as Jesse there are bound to be times when its rock meet hard place incidents. We learn so much more about his history here and how it affects his behaviour. There’s some real shocks come out (yes, those in earlier books weren’t all of them!!) and Ava is learning when its important to let things go and when to hold fast to her opinions. Of course there’s plenty of retribution, sense, etc sex – Amazon won’t let me use Jesse expressions 😦 And the countdowns…:) One of the things I’ve said in other reviews I have a problem with is the use of the term Baby for the other person. Yet when Jesse says it I don’t find it odd…I think because its not his default term, but one he uses along with Lady – that one seems far better, and other terms. It’s the overuse that grates I guess and here it fits just right. I love the “watch your ..cking mouth Ava” that made me laugh right from the first book, the way Jesse says the f word so often and yet when Ava does it’s “Ava!”
We meet lots of the original characters again, Kate, Sam, Dan, the lovely John (s’all good girl..) Cathy – I want someone like her for my house – and a home like Lusso too of course…Mario, inventor of Mario’s Most Marvellous, the gang at Ava’s workplace…I could go on, but I’ll stop at saying its full of people that we feel we know, like those we’ve met in everyday life and that’s what makes this book so great – it feels like it Could be real, that a real life Jesse just might be out there. And of course I can’t finish without saying how fabulous, wonderful, marvellous, fantastic, exciting, tremendous it is to get a romance set in UK – I’ve loved ones set in US but as a Brit its good to read about home ground for a change.
So, a riveting book full of updates to the old plots, lots of new ones, constant excitement, tears, laughter and happiness. Loved it and definitely lives up to books one and two in content. A great read for romance lovers who like plenty of story and drama with their reading. Oh – and sex, lots of hot sex!
A real bargain at 515 pages for £4.06 and then factor in re reads and its one not to be missed. Thanks Jodi.
Stars: well five of course 🙂

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