25 Nov 2014

Teaser Tuesday #2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

The rules:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this Tuesday is from Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

 
Blurb:

For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend.

But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it's too late to walk away.
  

My Teaser:

'And though she thought he was "beautiful" – her word; he'd heard her use it – his beauty to her was like the beauty in a painting, something you admire but do not want to touch. It was the worst kind of beauty, he thought.'

How did you like this teaser? Please share your thoughts with me!

Play along if you'd like to! Leave a link to your teasers in the comment box below, or – if you don't have a book blog – share your teasers in a comment here. 

Review - Bummed Out City by Scott Burr



Title: Bummed Out City

Author: Scott Burr

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: At almost thirty years old David Moore is living the unremarkable life he always equated with failure: instead of going on book tours and giving readings he’s scraping to pay his bills; instead of meeting with producers and selling the movie rights to his breakout novel he’s arguing with his girlfriend about whether they should get a dog. When an unexpected visit from his deadbeat dad upsets David’s fragile financial balancing act it sets in motion a series of domestic disagreements and ill-advised reactionary reprisals whose compounding repercussions threaten to unmake the tenuous structure of David’s mundane life: the life that David, focused only on that life’s disappointments, may not appreciate or fight to salvage until it’s already too late… 

The publisher provided me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts: Boy, did this book surprise me. I don’t read many contemporary novels but now I’m happy I decided to give Bummed Out City a chance.

I think the main reason why I liked this book is that it was honest and I could relate to the situations that certain characters found themselves involved in. Not necessarily because I once went through situations like those, but because they were life-like and I can imagine them happen to me or to anyone around me.

Virtually there is no plot in this book. Our protagonist, the not so successful writer, David Moore, is struggling to find his place in the world, to find his goal in life and to find answers to his questions. He thinks his life is already over, even though it hasn’t even started yet.

Bummed Out City is a coming of age novel. This statement might sound weird after you find out that the main character is 29 years old, but this fact makes it no less true. David hates the idea of responsibility and since he cannot deal with any amount of it, he’s stuck. He rather sinks in self-pity than lift a finger in order to move forward. And of course as a result of his behaviour things go wrong: his girlfriend is mad at him all the time, he finds himself without a job and thus he runs out of money; he’s drifting.

To be frank, I can’t say I liked David in the first half of the book. I felt sorry for him, yes, and wanted to be on his side, but most of the time his inability to change things, his negativity and passivity annoyed me. However, later, when everything fell apart around him I started rooting for him and wished he would make it. The ending didn’t disappoint, I liked how realistic it was.

With Bummed Out City I stepped out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t regret it for a moment. I recommend this novel to everyone who would like to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

20 Nov 2014

What's Next? #1



What's Next is a weekly meme hosted by IceyBooks.
Click here to read more about the meme and go here to participate.

Here are a few books I want to read soon. Which one should I pick up first?


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter's daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer's apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love...

  


Love and rivalry. Can one survive the other? I'm dying to know.


City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) 
by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? Clary would love to spend more time with her best friend, Simon. But the Shadowhunters won't let her go--especially her handsome, infuriating newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil--and also her father. When the second of the Mortal Instruments is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor suspects Jace. Could Jace really be willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?




I read City of Bones a while ago and loved it very much. I hope the second book will be even better (if that's possible at all...).


Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Freed from jail, Anya hopes that things will get back to normal. But life on the outside is even more dangerous than life behind bars. Some of her gangland family want revenge for the crime for which she has done time: the shooting of her uncle. Forced to flee the country, Anya hides out in a cacao plantation in Mexico. There she learns the secrets of the chocolate trade, a trade that is illegal and deadly in her native New York. There too she discovers that seemingly random acts of violence carried out across the world have a single target: her family. As innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire Anya must act fast and decisively to stop it, no matter what the danger to herself.






I started the Birthright series ages ago, so probably I should re-read All These Things I've Done before starting Because It Is My Blood to relive the events of the first book. I feel it's time to marathon these two books and then get the third one and read that as well.


Ophelia by Lisa Klein

He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.
In this reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen's most trusted lady-in-waiting.  Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns the ways of power in a court where nothing is as it seems. When she catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia's happiness is shattered. Ultimately, she must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret.




Being a Shakespeare geek I'm always ready to put my nose in a book as this one. Hamlet is one of my favourite Shakespearean tragedies and I'm eager to read the story from Ophelia's point of view!


  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashums. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.









I've only heard positive things about The Kite Runner. And come on, this is a book about friendship. Who doesn't love a book about friendship...?


Help me decide! Which one do you think I should read next? Please leave a comment below!

18 Nov 2014

On my to read list #2


Bummed Out City by Scott Burr

At almost thirty years old David Moore is living the unremarkable life he always equated with failure: instead of going on book tours and giving readings he’s scraping to pay his bills; instead of meeting with producers and selling the movie rights to his breakout novel he’s arguing with his girlfriend about whether they should get a dog. When an unexpected visit from his deadbeat dad upsets David’s fragile financial balancing act it sets in motion a series of domestic disagreements and ill-advised reactionary reprisals whose compounding repercussions threaten to unmake the tenuous structure of David’s mundane life: the life that David, focused only on that life’s disappointments, may not appreciate or fight to salvage until it’s already too late…


Read more about the book on The Artless Dodges Press' tumblr blog

16 Nov 2014

Review - True Calling by Siobhan Davis



Title: True Calling (True Calling #1)

Author: Siobhan Davis

Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis: Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17 year old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.


I received a free ebook copy of this book by the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked it, but didn’t love it – couldn’t love it. I think the main problem was that the shadows of now popular YA books were cast on it: there was a touch of Hunger Games in it, some elements of Divergent could be detected, The Selection must have had a great influence on the writer (The Bachelor vibe is there without a doubt) and at some parts it even reminded me of Angelfall. I shouldn’t make a big deal out of it I guess, I shouldn’t blame the writer for sticking to popular themes, but I was so sad to see the original ideas getting stifled by the familiar elements.

Now that you know what I didn’t like in True Calling, I’d like to highlight all the things that positively surprised me in this novel, because there were quite a few of those too:

At last we have a female protagonist who is not afraid of showing her feelings or does not feel guilty for breaking down and cry in front of others. You go Ariana Skyee, never harden!

The story is gripping (sometimes a bit slow, but action packed in general); first we follow the events through Ariana’s eyes, then we have Zane in the role of the narrator, but towards the end of the book we switch back to Ariana. I think it’s always interesting to see what different characters think of the same situation, so I was happy with this kind of structuring.

I loved the popular culture references that appeared here and there in the book. Novo’s motto is Live.Love.Prosper which is obviously a strong reference to Star Trek’s famous phrase: Live long and prosper.
’It’s like ’The Bachelor’ meets ’Nightmare on Elm Street’ says Ariana at some point about the Calling – indeed, it was a bit like that.
There’s a mention of the movie ’Groundhog Day’ as well when she’s talking about her dreams about Zane. I liked these bits very much.

I was delighted to find a gay character in the book and it was heartwarming to see how his friends supported Ben. Of course the government wasn’t that understanding... Siobhan Davis depicted well the people’s attitude towards same-sex relationshps in our world today: the majority rejects, the minority supports.

And last but not least let me say how great it was to see a real father figure around… I mean, we rarely meet a loving father in YA books nowadays. Ariana’s father was a really nice guy.
All in all, True Calling is an enjoyable sci-fi novel and it’s very likely I’ll read the second installment when it comes out. It might even stand a chance of getting four stars instead of three if the storyline develops differently than that of the Hunger Games.

15 Nov 2014

On my to read list #1


Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein

She is young, beautiful, and desperately in love with a man who cannot return her affections without arousing suspicion. And so they meet in secret, embracing in stairwells and castle turrets, murmuring each other’s names in hushed voices, reaching passionately for each other under the cover of darkness.

A Hamlet retelling from the point of view of Ophelia. Can’t wait to start reading this.

Goodreads link

13 Nov 2014

Thursday Quotables #1

Thursday Quotables is a weekly meme created by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Read the rules and the details here.


My favourite quote of the week is from Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon:


Blurb:

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland's majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ... and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire's spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Quote of the week:

"Lying on the floor, with the carved panels of the ceiling flickering dimly above, I found myself thinking that I had always heretofore assumed that the tendency of eighteenth-century ladies to swoon was due to tight stays; now I rather thought it might be due to the idiocy of eighteenth-century men."

Share your favourite quote from your current read in a comment or/and tell me what do you think of the one I've chosen!

11 Nov 2014

Teaser Tuesday #1

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

The rules:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this Tuesday is from True Calling by Siobhan Davis


Blurb:

I wonder which situation is hardest.
Mine, because I remember everything, or hers because she can’t.  

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17 year old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
 


 My Teaser:

'The dreams always have a certain banality; I see Zane doing the same things in every dream, but always with some variable element. A bit like that movie 'Ground Hog Day' which Eve and I saw last month, with the day panning out slightly differently each time over.'

What do you think? Does the book seem interesting to you? Do you like science fiction?

Play along if you'd like to! Leave a link to your teasers in the comment box below, or – if you don't have a book blog – share your teasers in a comment here.





 

9 Nov 2014

Review - Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood



Title: Born Wicked

Author: Jessica Spotswood

Rating: 4/5 stars

Sometimes I wish I had a sister – a sister with whom I could share my feelings and thoughts, who would understand my fears and motivations. The three sisters who are introduced to us in the first book of The Cahill Witch Chronicles certainly have an enviable connection – up until the time when a new governess and a prophecy turn their lives topsy-turvy and their relationship changes.

Cate, Maura and Tess are witches and such creatures are not welcome in New England anymore, therefore they do everything to hide their true identity from the people that surround them. But magic is not always controllable especially if the witches in question are the most powerful ones of their era.

I really enjoyed this book, although the beginning was a little bit slow for me. The tension was building slowly and the explosion was saved to the last fifty pages. I didn’t mind it that much though, because I was fascinated with the characters and I have to confess, I developed a crush on Finn, the book-loving gardener/love interest. I was rooting for him and Cate like crazy.

However, even if I had a chance to meet Finn, I would never choose to live in a world that is described on the pages of Born Wicked. Under the surveillance of the Brotherhood, women are supposed to behave like empty-headed housewives and be obedient lest they are labelled as witches (whether they are or not in reality) and dragged away to an asylum from where they can never return.

It was good to see how strong women characters (Zara, Marianne and Cate for exampe) rebelled silently – or at least tried to – against the system and at the same time it angered me how the ’official’ community of witches that should have helped the sisters turned out to be almost as bad as the Brotherhood.

I could have screamed when I finished the book, the cliffhanger was so infuriating! I can’t wait to find out what happens in book two. Hopefully I can put my hands on Star Cursed soon.

4 Nov 2014

Review - Debutantes by Cora Harrison


Title: Debutantes

Author: Cora Harrison

Rating: 4/5 stars

My thoughts: This was such a heart-warming read! I’ve been meaning to read Debutantes since I first saw it on my friend’s bookshelf about three years ago. The summary on the back of the book seemed very intriguing at that time, because I was obsessed with Downton Abbey and Debutantes definitely has a DA vibe to it.

We are in 1923, specifically in the beginning of the ball season. This is the time when young female members of the aristocracy are introduced to the public, and thus many young girls are about to have immense fun in the capital. The Derrington daughters are not so fortunate. The family is as poor as a church mouse and so Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose cannot have much hope to conquer London and have a time of their lives. Or so it seems, until they get an invitation to a house party from Violet’s rich godmother, the duchess.

I liked the characters in this book very much. I wanted to know where the story leaves them in the end, especially Daisy because she seemed the most independent of all and her fascination with the film industry was an element I adored.

Daisy was the real protagonist, but Cora Harrison painted a vivid enough picture of all her sisters as well. Poppy and her jazz band, Violet with her dress-making talent and little Rose with her hunger for knowledge; they are all hard to forget.

I found the plot very witty. Even if at times you can see what’s coming, it doesn’t ruin the overall experience.

All in all it was a charming read and I recommend it to everyone, who enjoys the show Downton Abbey, likes Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle or simply is in love with the time period that this book is set in. (Oh, and look at that gorgeous cover!!)

In my mailbox - October


I know, I know, it's already November, but look at these beautiful books I got in October!

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Circus arrives 
without warning

No announcements 
precede it...

It is simply there, when
yesterday it was not

I won thebookcookisarnna's giveaway on tumblr and opted for this book at once when I saw it was among the possible prizes, because everyone says it's good and I haven't read any circus themed book ever (yes, not even Water for Elephants, boo me). This is going to change soon.

  • Debutantes by Cora Harrison
I purchased this book via bookdepository. Already finished it, review coming soon!

  • Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
October was a lucky month for me, because I won another giveaway as well (which was hosted by themindofafictionbooklover). I haven't heard much about this one, but it has witches in it and YA and witches sounds like a good combination. I'm currently reading this, review coming soon!

Review - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen



Title: Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen

Rating: 5/5 stars 

Synopsis: The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.

My thoughts: This is a story of lady meets gentleman. The lady in question likes reading gothic novels and the gentleman’s father owns an abbey that could easily be the set of one of the lady’s beloved tales. Perfect match, isn’t it? Seems so, but what if the Abbey turns out to be not nearly as pleasant a place as the lady thought it would be? What if the gentleman belongs to a peculiar family with a past that some members of the kin cannot bury?


Northanger Abbey could be divided into two parts set-wise. The first part of the novel takes place in Bath, to where our heroine Catherine Morland accompanies family friends and where she expects to spend a joyful time. And indeed, she soon gets acquainted with two families, each of which provides her with one friend and one suitor. In this first half of the book there’s an awful lot of talk about gigs and bonnets, but don’t worry, dear reader, Jane Austen is that kind of an author, who can make a conversation about ladies’ attire interesting.

The second part of Northanger Abbey is set in the Abbey itself – here Miss Austen reaches back to gothic novel traditions and shakes the reader’s spirit up a bit: if you get to the chapter where the journey to the Abbey starts, then it’s time to bid adieu to the ‘rosy’ part of the story. The nights grow longer and a hunt for the truth begins. But will the search around the house give Catherine satisfaction?

All in all, Northanger Abbey is a really entertaining tale. What I enjoyed the most in it were the gothic elements, the dark and at times creepy-crawly nature of the story-telling in the second half of the text. The main character Catherine is a lovely young lady, but since she’s young she’s quite naïve – oh well, who wasn’t at seventeen? As for the other characters, I was a bit irritated by Mrs. Allen as well as Mr. Thorpe. Unfortunately, the ending was spoiled for me – thanks mom! – but I liked it nonetheless as well as the whole of the novel.

Review - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell




Title: North and South

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.

My thoughts: How could I possibly describe the complexity of feelings Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South evoked in me? It won my heart completely. The basic oppositions in the book – north and south, light and dark, leisure and work, humility and pride – grow into something deeper than their simple selves throughout the pages. The main characters, Margaret and Mr. Thornton seem to represent the two parts of England and with it two kinds of lifestyle. Maybe at first we idolize the south ourselves, looking at it through Margaret’s eyes, and think Milton is hell compared to it, but later it seems just so natural to alter our opinions. I personally found Milton a great deal more interesting a place than Helstone – and not only because the love between Margaret and Mr. Thornton unfolded there, but because I strangely became interested in the class struggle that was part of the plot too. It was fascinating how the workmen organized the strike, and so were the things Mr. Thornton said about the relationship between ‘hands’ and masters.

I also liked to read about the great development in the latter towards the end of the book. Of course I melted every time Margaret’s thoughts about Mr. Thornton were expressed, but even more when I learned about Thornton’s thoughts about Margaret. The man has such a gentle heart, I always held my breath out of excitement when I came to read his musings on the beloved woman.

Thornton’s mother is a very well written character, it was entertaining to read her parts too, because she made me go ‘who this woman thinks she is’ many times. She is a very strong mother figure and I liked how protective she was of her son.

I feel I could go on forever and ever rambling about my favourite characters and parts, but I won’t. When I started to read this book I thought it was going to be about a girl, who moves from the south to the north, falls in love with a miller and, after having to face some difficulties, eventually they settle down with each other. Now that I’ve read it I can tell you, North and South is much more than this. It is an Experience and it is most certainly recommended to everyone (especially if you’ve read and like/d Jane Austen’s novels).

2 Nov 2014

Review - The Road by Simon Guerrier




Title: Being Human: The Road

Author: Simon Guerrier

Rating: 4/5 stars


Synopsis: Annie has learned quite a bit about her new friend Gemma: she’s from Bristol, she used to work in a pharmacy, and she’s never forgiven herself for the suicide of her teenage son. She also died 10 years ago and doesn’t know why she’s come back through that door. Perhaps it has something to do with the new road they’re building through the rundown part of town. The plans are sparking protests, and Annie knows those derelict houses hold a secret in Gemma’s past. Will stopping the demolition help Gemma be at peace again? Annie, George, and Mitchell get involved in the road protest, but they are more concerned by mysterious deaths at the hospital—deaths that have also attracted the attention of the new Hospital Administrator

My thoughts:
I just finished the fourth season of Being Human the other week and I’m already missing Annie, George and Mitchell, so it was no question I purchase this book. I had various experiences with spin-off novels before (I’ve read Doctor Who and Torchwood books) therefore more or less I knew what to expect when I picked up The Road. I have read good books of this sort, but I’m also aware they are never really perfect as a whole somehow. They have parts that I enjoy and then parts that are disappointing and at times a stupid plot or some bad characterization puts me off these novels for a while.

Luckily I didn’t find anything ‘that bad’ about The Road. The story starts with a domestic scene that is way too adorable for words (it creates the first season’s atmosphere, which is my favourite of all): Annie’s making the boys breakfast, Mitchell is all giggly, George is worried about being late for work… Soon the boys are off to the hospital and the story begins. 

The book introduces a new character, Gemma, who is a ghost herself and, for some reason or another, comes back from the other side through a door that leads to Annie’s living room. The housemates immediately assume she has an unfinished business and when they slowly find out little details about Gemma’s life, they realize her business has something to do with the new road, which is just about to be built on the other side of Bristol. Meanwhile in the hospital everyone is afraid of finding themselves out of their jobs, as the new administrator monitors every staff member closely and so George and, especially, Mitchell is struggling to keep a low profile while digging out information about certain patients (to solve Gemma’s mystery). 

The story flows well enough to keep a fan intrigued and, the most important thing, Simon Guerrier has a very good grasp on the characters. There are some ghostly ghosts in the story – translucent, gleaming ones–, which is also a plus (frankly, they are spookier than an Annie-like ghost). Throughout the novel, in the hospital everyone seems to think that George is gay for Mitchell & vice versa – I found this hilarious. By the way, Annie has a closer relationship with George than she has with Mitchell here, so George/Annie shippers, there’s a treat for you!

The book is not flawless though. At some points the writer forgot he was writing mainly for fans and put down obvious information that those who watched the show regularly would know – like that Annie makes tea all the time even though she doesn’t drink it – and this can be annoying after a while. Also, the physical description of the characters in the beginning is not quite accurate (George is not taller than Mitchell)… Oh, and I know Mitchell smokes a lot, but I don’t see him as a chain-smoker, while Guerrier apparently does.

All in all I liked the story very much and I’ll definitely check out Chasers, which is the second book in the series.

 

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