Blue Gold – David Barker

 

The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat – a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow.

When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission.

Freda’s misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster – a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires’ tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust

As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon – and protect the future of ‘blue gold’.

This book was one of the scientific kind of those set in the future hunting for a new kind of treasure to the norm.

Between the lines of the main plot, beyond all of the sci-fi and treasure hunting was a story of a lost man looking for a better version of himself, chasing a dream he thought he had and hoping to find his answers amist the action. This is what drew me into the story

I’m not sure it was my kind of read, certainly not a ‘go to’ genre for me.  I found I struggled a little because of this but that didn’t detract it from being a good story.

I have found myself rethinking about Blue Gold, now that I have finished reading it, not necessarily the plot or the chapters but the characters. They made the story worth reading and kept me captivated.

I rushed through the more ‘historical chapters’ to get to the present day I felt hungry for, I was following Freda and Sim on their epic adventure everything else blended into the background, they were my story and had my full attention.

I believe it to be clever writing when characters are strong enough to haunt you thereafter the last page has been consumed and the story concluded

Barker’s development of his main characters at the very least was wholesome and rounded. They had history, presence and purpose. His side characters, most certainly Rabten stood proud within the novel. The loyalty shown by him is honourable and helps ties together the loose ends, bringing the conclusion to a close.

I love a story where everything comes together at the end

Due to the fact I struggled with reading the novel I felt relief when I finished, not because it was poor but because it wasn’t my style of book – yet – I found myself drawn to reading the sample of the next book ‘Rose Gold’ and wanting to know more. That is a sign of a very well written novel.

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PsychoAnalysis – V R Stone

A serial killer who wants to quit. A detective struggling to keep his personal life out of a murder hunt. And a celebrity psychiatrist facing an incredible challenge. Three damaged individuals, linked by their traumatic histories. They’ve chosen very different paths. Now those paths are about to cross.

Sarah Silver is a hedge fund manager – from Monday to Friday she makes a killing in the markets. At weekends, though, she hunts men, not profits. Martin White used to be a brilliant detective. But his family, judgement and self-control are deserting him. And Karl Gross has sold millions of books on serial killers. However he’s a controversial figure in the medical community.

Can Martin keep it together and catch a killer who commits almost perfect crimes? Is Karl capable of unravelling Sarah’s psyche and putting an end to the killing? Or will she disappear when she realises that the hunter has become the hunted?

PsychoAnalysis is a psychological crime thriller that explores the grey area between good and evil. Why would a woman kill for fun? Can she be understood? Can she be stopped?

What I loved most about this book was the original plot.

Quite different and very gripping

The characters were very well-developed Sarah especially with her history and back story being thorough and in-depth

The whole book pulsed along the rhythm with my speeding heart rate as I witnessed the push and pull of the cat and mouse chase

Intertwining of the constant near misses, close calls and red herrings. Loved watching the story unfold slowly monitoring the missing jigsaw pieces slotting into place and with the conclusion drawing near wondering what the bloody hell was going to happen.

The fact that the author is male gave the story more definition especially writing from different points of view and alternative angles both male and female.

Sarah is an especially interesting character with an unusual history which feels realistic and works really well

Even though she was sinister and yes, terrifying she was a great character who kept the story fuelled and alive.

Martin was nothing more than a naive stupid fool throwing everything away as he retreated into his protective self disillusioned bubble yet I liked him. Again a colourful character with hidden depth, multi layered with substance. His gut instinct was of interest but his head was way up his arse with his heart not far behind which made him the fool…or did it?

A collection of great people living double lives, spilt down the middle. Lots going on, which is concluded well leaving no end lose and very riveting stuff.

A thriller with a difference in my opinion. A book that you think about often and plays on your mind.

Very much looking forward to a second book.

He Said / She Said – Erin Kelly

Who do you believe?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something – and someone – is always in the dark…

 

This book did not have the ending I needed.

It lulled me into a false sense of security ensnaring my gullible nature into believing this could be the perfect story with the much awaited ending but no, it was far more blunt than that.

The book was cleverly written, surprisingly pulling you along whilst hiding its cunning side with the darker side of each eclipse

I adored those young kids. Fresh faced and heading into the world. Loved up. High on each other and giddy with excitement. They grew up so fast and life became very serious indeed. Things do not always go to plan and are rarely plain sailing.

You won’t believe what you read. You will question the motive, hunt the answers and dissolve in bitter tears at the truth.

Beautifully executed taking the reader on a fantastic roller coaster journey without the limitations

I recommend this book with caution you don’t get too attached, people are not what they seem.

 

Eveyln After – Victoria Helen Stone

Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.

Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.

But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?

I REALLY enjoyed this book. I loved the journey Stone took the reader on, full of intrigue, betrayal and passion.

I found myself completely enthralled and drawn into the story

The prose, the writing and storyline were magnificent, how we heard a before and after point of view really strengthen the story and kept the reader engaged. I was constantly rooting for Evelyn, even when she was in the wrong. I cheer on Evelyn even in her wrong doings which throughout all she had been reborn and found a newer more confident version of herself loving and appreciating her womanly drive once again, albeit from the wrong situation but regardless she is on fire and thriving. It is so easy to become lost and insignificant as the years drift by.

My favourite character was most certainly Evelyn but I must say I adored Noah

The connection between the two is delicious and the antics they got up to even more so, I wanted a happy ending, I desperately wanted them to be. Noah is the man Gary can never be and would never even try to be. Evelyn deserved Noah and they both deserved happiness.

What I found the most interesting aspect is that the control her husband held was crippling yet Evelyn had no idea how much so until her world was shattered by his betrayal. Her journey begins with the night when she is jolted from sleep to come to the rescue and from there how he lies to cover his tracks. Evelyn has a lot to discover.

I also very much appreciated the artistic aspect of the story, giving it an extra depth and providing a further connection

Evelyn After for me was a brilliant story, and originally presented with an air of suspense where the reader has no idea how things will end up. It discusses long-standing relationships, marriage, aging insecurities and the relationships with children. It leaves bare that not everyone is as happy as they portray to be to the outside world.

 

* * BLOG ANNIVERSARY * *

12 Months ago today was the day my Book Reviewing Blog, Addiction of Books, was born. Today is the first birthday and to celebrate I have collaborated with the author of my most successful blog post to bring you a smashing bookish gift.

Before all of that though I have a few thank you’s to say.

My first thank you goes to ALL OF YOU

thank you for taking those precious minutes out to read my reviews and better still asking for my recommendations and buying books based on what I have said about them.

Thank you to the handful of you amazing authors

who take the time out to connect and appreciate my works. My favourite line being that ‘she really gets it’ and I do, I understand novels on lots of different levels and hope that this comes across in my reviews. It takes time to write a review, to absorb the finished story in full, analyse it and capture all aspects of this eloquently in writing to present back to the person who spent the time writing the book, that very precious thing they created, waiting on your words hoping that at least some aspect of it worked well. Better still when you can tell the author your review has sold a handful of books for them, which does happen, encouraging them to continue and supporting them wholeheartedly.

Feedback for a reviewer is as important to them as a review is to an author and so very satisfying when you make someone happy after writing your review. I do not write bad reviews, If the book isn’t for me I will try to find an aspect of it that worked and praise that instead, as readers we are all individual and enjoy different books and writing styles. What doesn’t work for me may be another reviewers favourite read and to write a poor review feels selfish, to write is a very hard journey and labour intensive full of rejection without explanation and frustrated tears, I try to remember that when I am reviewing a book and look at thing objectively and being open-minded.

I want to thank those publishers who welcome my reviews and send me books to review

those who are appreciative and grateful for the reviews I prepare. I enjoy catching up and hope our relationships grow from strength to strength.

In the past year I have learnt that

  • Not every book is my kind of read,
  • That sometimes a recommendation that I never thought I would enjoy becomes my favourite classic.
  • We are all unique and individual and not everyone likes the same genres (which is not a bad thing)
  • That sometimes the hype destroys the story
  • I never read a review of a book until I have written mine and often go into reading blind not knowing what the book is about, which is easy to do when reading on kindle.
  • It is ok to refuse to review and say no.
  • All books need reviewing, not just the new releases, older books need some loving too.
  • I really enjoy reading a book at the same time as others, I enjoy the book related discussions.
  • It’s always better to review a book within 24 hours after completion, although I do make notes as I go along.
  • I love engaging with the author during the reading of their book, twitter is amazing for that reason.

The stats alone over the past year have been incredible

When I started out I never anticipated that my reviews but be so popular, in a whole twelve months my blog has been viewed a staggering 10,531 times. The most popular post receiving 897 alone!

* * Which brings me to my GIVEAWAY * *

This year saw me reading the hilarious autobiography of Simon Wan. I am not a fan of autobiographies and tend to avoid non-fiction yet the cover for this pulled me right in.

One of the best decisions I have ever made especially after being the very first person to review his book

Simon has been so delighted with the exposure he has sent me a signed copy of his book to giveaway to one lucky person. This is not a book you want to miss.

Happy first birthday to the blog that gently and sensually broke my review virginity. The blog was very gracious and made me feel special. Being my debut book I was nervous, I had no idea how it would go. Would I be any good? Would I reach the end of my chapters too soon and have to just lay there wondering what I could have done to be a better read. Luckily the words that followed were kind, honest and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Here’s to another great year of words, reading and tinkering in the fantastic. Lots of love, Simon Wan. X

* To enter into the giveaway click here *

Someone is Watching – Joy Fielding

As a special investigator for a hotshot Miami law firm, Bailey Carpenter is smart, savvy, and fearless. When she’s assigned to spy on a deadbeat dad in the middle of the night, Bailey thinks nothing of the potential dangers, only that she needs to gather evidence. Then she is blindsided—attacked and nearly killed.

Now the firm grip Bailey once had on her life is shaken. Her nightmares merge into her waking hours and she’s unable to venture beyond her front door without panicking. A veritable prisoner in her own home, Bailey is uncertain whom she can trust. But old habits die hard, and soon Bailey finds a new use for her idle binoculars: casually observing from her window neighboring buildings and other people’s lives. This seemingly harmless diversion becomes a guilty pleasure when Bailey fixates on the handsome guy across the street—until she realizes that he is also watching her. Suddenly she must confront the terrifying possibility that he may be the man who shattered her life.

Though crippled by fear, Bailey knows she can’t ignore her suspicions and risk leaving a predator at large. With the police making no headway in solving her case, she’s determined to overcome her terror and reclaim the power she lost by unmasking her attacker and taking him down herself. But it’s a harrowing battle that threatens to wreck Bailey’s credibility, compromise an investigation, and maybe even claim her sanity.

I have just finished reading the paperback copy of this book, at first I struggled, the text was tiny and I found I had to really concentrate on every word for fear of rereading every sentence. I had not read anything by Fielding before and found her writing style a little different to what I was accustomed to so it took me a couple of days to settle into the narrative of the book.

About a quarter of the way through I became addicted the story just gripped me and everything began to make sense and fall into place.

The prose, the writing style and even the small font just registered as familiar and they story really took hold.

Fielding wrote a complex story which was multi faceted and layered like an onion. Cleverly executed leading the reader along the path, leaving the clues like breadcrumbs. Each layer offering something different, the relationships, the family, the money, the rape and the sex.

I had my suspicions about the rapist long before the story ends, the motive however I couldn’t work out,

The red herrings were written all over the pages yet expertly so to continuously throw the reader off the scent and lose track of what exactly was reality and what wasn’t.

I think this one, for me, may have been a slow burn to begin with but felt really wholesome and satisfying as a result. I would definitely recommend it and suggest you give it a read.

 

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

 

The magic and enchantment of this story will bind you to its pages and hold on  to you tight. This is a tale of so many levels, a journey of self discovery, loyalty, passion, love and sheer determination.

Caraval might only be a game but yet it is one that you embrace with gusto never being quite the same when the game is over.

The enchantment around the book was amazing, the buzz of people reading something so special and sharing the excitement it created, I needed to read this book exactly because of that reason and the more I wanted it the harder it was to obtain. Then, as if my magic, it became mine.

Garber’s writing is beautiful in a fairytale way, flowing easily from one word to the next with a large amount of fantastical descriptions and majestic prose, almost written to feed the craving of needing to know more, needing to continue the game, needing the be involved.

The relationships between characters were volatile yet gentle almost loving, emotions displayed in colours and lavish scents with motions captured in beats and flutters almost audible to us as readers.

The suspense is captivating, the surrounding mystery and the playing at night, the lights and colours and rules…made to be broken and not forgetting Legend the man himself!

If you are a lover of The Night Circus you will love this one and better still this is book no.1

I think I am a little bit in love with Julian. I would like to play the part of Crimson please, she is my heroine.