I don't read much in the mystery/thriller genre...but I do enjoy Ruth Ware's novels. The Woman in Cabin 10 was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I naturally moved on to the other books in her repertoire. The Lying Game is her latest release and it doesn't disappoint.
Imogen Church is the actor of choice to perform Ware's work in audiobooks and she did a solid job on this one. The story was engaging and mysterious and, for the most part, kept me guessing. I did find some of the characters to be a bit annoying or not developed enough to my liking. I understand, though, that in the interest of a suspenseful plot a character may not be developed fully in order to make them more "mysterious". That said, one of my biggest issues with the mystery/thriller genre is that I always wonder how much of the story would be a non-issue if the characters just communicated with each other. The Lying Game is no different. I found myself growing frustrated with some of their characters for their absolute refusal to communicate with those they loved.
It would be too easy to spoil the plot if I discussed the story any further so to make a long story short -- this was an entertaining read that scratched the mystery/thriller itch.
The witcher books are ones I've seen on my bookstore's shelves for a while now -- their distinctive red spines grouped together make them easy to spot. I've always passed by them because I often don't read spin-off books from tv shows or video games -- I prefer to watch/play the originating media rather than read the spin offs.
But then I learned --- the books came before the witcher games?!
So, yeah. I'm late to that party. I picked up the first one a week or two ago and was surprised to find that The Last Wish was a collection of short stories rather than a cohesive novel. It's no secret that I don't much care for short fiction...but I had already purchased it. Plus, if I was going to dive into the witcher world, I was going to do it in chronological reading order. So...I read it.
And loved it! Granted, my opinion of short fiction remains the same -- not a big fan. And it did take me longer to read The Last Wish than a typical fantasy novel of that size. Sapkowski provides the reader tantalizing glimpses into Geralt's world and gives you just enough character development to string you along from story to story.
So...that said, I've already purchased the next book -- Sword of Destiny -- which is also a collection of short stories...and the first three novels. The Last Wish was a fascinating blend of original fantasy with fairy tale retellings at the very core. It was fantastic. I can't wait to dive back in to Geralt of Rivia's world!
The Mercy Thompson books are on my "auto buy" list. I've stuck with this series for a long time (I mean, Silence Fallen is book #10 of this series and it's still going strong) and don't plan on quitting any time soon. I went out and bought this one when it was released in March of last year...and yet I only JUST finished it. And, to add insult to injury, I listened to the audiobook from my library rather than read the hardcover I purchased almost a year ago. Whoops.
So why the delay? Well, to be fair, I did try to read my hardback copy when it first came out. I was surprised to find that Silence Fallen is written from both Mercy's and Adam's POVs. I don't much care for alternating chapters of different POVs...so that coupled with the fact that I probably wasn't in the mood for an urban fantasy made me put this one down last year.
Cue 2018 and the husband and I are getting ready to move house to a couple of states away and I don't really want to move books I don't plan on keeping. Yet, rather than pick up my hardback, I decided to listen to it. As an audiobook it was ok -- two voice actors read the story which was a nice way of differentiating between Mercy and Adam. I managed to finish it this time via the audiobook so I guess it was good for that purpose (even if I found it hard to listen to voices interpret the stories I've voiced on my own for years).
I was really wavering on what to rate Silence Fallen. The two POVs threw me off because Briggs hasn't used that device (that I can remember) in any of the earlier books. Also, the timeline is not linear either so it was a bit confusing keeping Mercy's timeline location and Adam's timeline location straight in my head. Add to that a ton of backstabbing and a variety of characters and Silence Fallen just seemed too busy. Based on the story alone I'd probably lean more towards a 3.0 or a 3.5 star rating for this installment of the Mercy Thompson books. The fact that it's characters I love (more Stefan, though, please) and a world that I love bumps it up to a 4.0 rating.
Disclaimer: I read this solely because I wanted to watch the Hulu series.
I'm conflicted about The Handmaid's Tale... Was it interesting? Yes, very. Was it horrifying? Yes, extremely. Did I enjoy it? No, not really. Is it an important book? Yes.
A lot has been said about this book in the past year due to certain political events. The modern resurgence aside, this book presents an eerie look into the "what if?" of a theocratic government that completely reverses women's rights and strives to put women in their place - as a wife or as a womb or as a servant. Any woman not fitting within one of those roles is classified as an "unwoman" and sent into exile to die while cleaning nuclear waste.
I listened to the audiobook version of this narrated by Clare Danes - she was fantastic.
I was conflicted about Binti. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of short fiction (But wait - am I currently reading The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapowski which is just a collection of short stories? Yes, yes I am. BUT the difference between the first Witcher book and Binti is that the stories in The Last Wish do not truly stand alone - they fit in a larger universe which does have full length novels in them. Ok, so it doesn't make sense...).
BUT, as short fiction goes, I kind of enjoyed Binti. I LOVED that the Himba people are represented through Binti and the cover image is just absolutely gorgeous. The story itself was pretty interesting and there were a few parts that truly took me by surprise. That said, I didn't really feel like it fit well into the science fiction realm -- as far as science fiction goes I actually thought it was kind of weak. I wanted more science...more explanation. I understand with short fiction one only has a small window in which to do the world building...but when I think of "science fiction" I think of something a bit more explanatory as far as the science and world building goes.
What knocked this down from a four-star read to a three-star read was one major point -- the lack of consequences. I don't want to post any spoilers, but the short of it is (and stop reading here if you don't want any spoilers) that the Meduse commit an atrocity on board Binti's ship and they suffer literally zero consequences for that atrocity. The people on the receiving planet see what the Meduse have done and nothing is said about it. The level of the atrocity committed would have (should have) warranted some kind of consequence but...nope.
An enjoyable read...but I am not sure if I'll continue on with the short stories which follow it.