Sunday, 25 September 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?

 It's Monday is a meme by Sheila of Book Journey. It's a fun way of sharing what we have been reading. It's also banned book week and since one of my books listed this week was banned I thought I would highlight the fact that Sheila is having a banned book giveaway. Two reasons to visit her blog!

This week I read;

 A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French - not much to the story until the end but it was so funny it really didn't matter.

 Skuldugger Pleasant: Death Bringer by Derek Landy - a little disappointed with the latest installment in this series. Still a fun read though.

 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - surprised by how much I loved it. A disturbing dystopian (and a banned book)

Just now I am reading;

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn - recommended by another blogger. A fun and easy read so far.

 Making History by Stephen Fry - this is my book for on the bus. I am also reading this as books I should have read by now challenge. Bought this a good few years ago but never got round to reading.

Next I plan to read;

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan - I read The Joy Luck Club after a holiday in San Francisco. I absolutely loved it but never got round to reading anything else by the author. When I saw this in a second hand book shop I decided I had to give it a go.

What have you been reading?

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Fifteen year old Alex is the leader of a small gang. He loves nothing more than to spend his time harassing and beating up the weak and the wary. His crew and himself get kicks out of it and they make some money in the process. Egged on by his gang he ups the ante and decides to do a proper break in and steal as much as he can. Things don't go quite as planned and he ends up in prison. After two years he is the model of good behaviour in the hopes that it will get him out again. He even wishes to take part in a trial that will ensure his freedom in two years. However, he isn't quite prepared for what this trial will entail or for the end result.

Another book that I was reluctant to read originally. I have seen this advertised on numerous television show as a book and as a movie. It's always listed under cult classic, controversial or banned books. The banned books should have got me interested but it didn't. Mainly because all I ever heard about it was the violence. Reading about a bunch of teens who dress strangely and beat up the locals didn't appeal to me. I couldn't have been more wrong about this book. In my defense it just hasn't been sold to me properly. Describe it as a disturbing dystopian and I would have been there.

For that's what it really is. The violence is only a part of it. Teens are terrorising the streets and Alex is just one example of that. As a result he is then made an example of. The powers that be discover a way of inhibiting the violence. They take away Alex's choice. He wants to react in violence but he can no longer do it. I found the whole section of the treatment to be disturbing (in a I can't stop reading way). You are seeing it from Alex's point of view but when you read of the terror faced by his tormentors you are left to wonder if the means justify the end. It was certainly very interesting.

Meg of A Bookish Affair mentioned in a comment that Burgess changed some words to get it past the censors. I had no idea to what extent the author went to. In fact I worried at first if I was going to be able to get past that aspect of the book. As I said it is written from the point of view of Alex. The teens of that time have their own way of speaking and Alex narrates using this way. After the first few pages I sort of got used to it and it has it's own lyrical quality. It certainly wouldn't have been the same book without it.

I very much enjoyed this book and I'm glad that I opened my mind enough to read it. I can see myself reading it again at some point in the future. Plus how could I dismiss such a highly praised book from one of my favourite genres - dystopian. Mind you, a number of years ago I read "Earthly Powers" by this author which I loved. It should have been no surprise that I would like this one too.

A little note on the cover. This was part of a series that Penguin brought out called Penguin classics. They published the most popular books of each decade and gave them all these fantastic covers. A Clockwork Orange represents some of the literary genius of the 60's. This was another charity shop purchase but I think I am going to have to look out for more of these covers.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Valkyrie has received some good news. She is no longer expected to be the Necromancers death bringer. Instead the new death bringer is her rival Melancholia. Problem is Mel is a bit unstable. She was forced into her power by fellow Necromancer Crave who carved symbols into her skin. So once again it's up to Skulduggery and Valkyrie to save the day. They must stop the death bringer from bringing about the passage which could lead to the death of millions.

This wasn't my favourite book of this series. In fact I was a little disappointed in it. It still had the snappy humour and the action but it just felt like something was missing. Mainly a lot of my favourite characters were missing. The focus was on the Necromancers this time and so none of the usual bad guys made an appearance (unless you count Scapegrace). It just wasn't the same. Some of her friends were also missing or didn't make much of an appearance. Going by the way this book ends there will be even more changes on that front.

What I really wanted to know was what happened to Tanith Low. What happened to her at the end of the previous book left me on edge and I couldn't wait for this one to find out what came next. Sadly Tanith was mentioned maybe a handful of times and the character herself didn't make an appearance. On that front I guess I will just have to wait for another book.

The story itself was a little slow going. I felt that quite a lot of it could have been edited. Mind you, I was reading this one at home so it could be it was slow going because I took my time reading it. There are a few surprises in there but no jaw dropping moment or revelation at the end as has occurred in previous books.

It sounds like I didn't enjoy the book. I did, it just was in no way as good as the others. I still liked the humour between Skuldugger and Valkyrie. They still make a great team and I am looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Tiny Bit Marvellous - Dawn French

Mo is about to turn 50 and is feeling a little lost in life. She loves her family and her job but is feeling a little bit isolated. That and she is fed up constantly battling with her eldest, Dora. Dora is about to turn 18 and is just as confused as her mother. She is also just about to finish school but has no idea what to do next. She hates her mum and her life in general. Best friend Lottie is the only one who understands her. Then there is Oscar. The 16 year old son who insists on being called Oscar due to his love of Oscar Wilde. He is looking for his first love but in the wrong direction.

I read this one for my book group. It had some good reviews which was why it was picked. I, on the other hand, was wary. I always am when it comes to anything written by a celebrity no matter what they are famous for. It's all very well for them to write their biography. The constant stream of celebrity biographies at Christmas time is irritating but I am resigned to it. When any of them try their hand at fiction though I can't help but feel cynical. I was about this even though I grew up watching and loving French and Saunders. Plus Dawn French was always my favourite of the duo.

Anyway, these worries were all for nothing. The book didn't really seem to go anywhere at first to be honest. I think I was a little more than half way through when it seemed to pick a direction. That aspect was a little frustrating. Had I not been enjoying the book I probably would have given up on it for that reason. What I liked about it was that it was completely funny. The battles between mother and daughter were hilarious. Especially when you got to see it from both sides. The daughter was very much a typical teenager. Confused, selfish, scared, self conscious and with a mouth on her. Mo is trying to understand. Being a child psychologist she should but Dora won't let her in. Meanwhile she is feeling turmoil of her own. She's just realised she has hit middle age and she doesn't like it. All of these things make up for some very funny moments.

The funniest character though was the brother, Oscar. Quite a lot of the book was dedicated to his point of view even though the battles of his mother and sister were barely acknowledged by him. Instead we are treated to a very confident Oscar who has insisted he has found love in the form of a colleague of his mothers. If Adrian Mole and Stephen Fry were able to have a child together I think the result would be Oscar. It certainly made for some very funny moments. The main one being his therapy session with his love interest, Noel.

The one thing that surprised me is that at no point did the book remind me of the author. I think when you are reading fiction by a celebrity it's easy to channel their voice. You can't help but hear it as you read. Or at least see something of them in the book. I think that can be another down side to celebrity fiction. There wasn't any of that there. Had I been handed this book without the cover I wouldn't have guessed it was written by Dawn French at all. A good thing I think.

A very funny book. I actually did find myself laughing quite loudly on the bus but I was too amused to care. A great book if you are looking for something light and you need a few laughs. Although not the best book I have ever read I liked it and I would happily read something else by Dawn French.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

Rosaleen has been placed in prison and beaten after mouthing back to the the three most racist men in their small town. Lily decides to rescue her as Rosaleen is the only person who loves her. She uses it as an opportunity to run away from her abusive father and to find out more about her mother. With only a few clues amongst her mother's personal items she ends up in the home of three amazing black women who keep bees for a living. Despite the fact that the civil rights movement is still in its infancy August, June and May take in Lily and allow her to stay with them. They know the story she tells isn't the real one but they give her the time to tell them the truth. Until then Lily falls in love with life there. She learns all about keeping bees and that she can be loved.

This is another second hand purchase which is why I managed to pick up the American edition. I actually prefer the American cover to the British for a change. I wanted to read this for a while now and mainly because of the bees than the actual main plot. I love bees. If I could keep bees in Glasgow I would. Every spring I buy my mum something for her garden and usually I pick out something that will attract the bees (not wasps though as they are the sum of all evil).

I found this book to be a little slow starting at first. I found it difficult to place Lily's age and in the first 50 pages this was a little off putting as it's written entirely from her point of view. Most of the time she came across as a girl much younger than 14 and other times (rare times) she appeared much older. I could see that would more than likely be a result of her unhappy childhood but it was a little strange at times. It took a while but Lily did eventually grow on me. Her immaturity annoyed me at the start but eventually all I wanted was for her to have some happiness in her life. Something she discovered when she found the three sisters.

I did like Rosaleen too but I didn't always like the way she was portrayed. The author couldn't seem to make her mind up as to whether she was a strong or week character. One minute she is fighting for her rights and not caring what anyone thinks. The next she is following Lily around like a puppy dog and allowing her to speak for her. The three sisters on the other hand I liked instantly. Even June who came across as a little spiteful at times.

I saw this book as a lovely story of friendship, family and discovery. I think the ending was a little too perfect but for once I could let that go. I think I would have been upset had it ended any other way. It did mean I couldn't really take the book seriously as a whole but I still enjoyed it. By the time it ended it was a feel good story. I think we all need one of those every now and then.

As for the film I haven't seen it yet and I now don't think I will. I just can't see Dakota Fanning in the role of Lily. The description of Lily's appearance alone makes her all wrong. I also can't see Queen Latifah and Alicia Keyes in the roles of August and June. I watched a clipping of the film and it just didn't feel right.

A good book though, I recommend it if you need something light with a fluffy ending.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Apologies for not being around so much and for not travelling round everyones blogs this last week or so. I started university last week and I am just getting into a routine. I do want to keep the blog up so I will try to post as much as I can and of course visit you all.

 This is a fun book meme by Sheila of Book Journey. Each week we share what we have been reading.

This week I read quite a lot on the bus so managed to get through a few books. I read;

 Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote - fantastic collection of short stories.

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle - the first of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I loved it.

 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I just finished this. I quite enjoyed it. Will review it later.

Just now I am reading;
 Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer by Derek Landy. I'm still reading this. Haven't been reading much at home so it's taking me longer. I am enjoying it though.

 A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French. Will start this one today on the bus. This one is for my book group.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Another charity shop purchase. Shockingly this will be the first time I will have read it.

What have  you been reading?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A Study In Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes are just getting to know each other. Dr Watson is finding it particularly difficult to place Holmes's personality as he is constantly being surprised. The most recent is his belief that he can solve any mystery or crime purely through observation and deduction. Watson has his doubts and so Holmes proves it to him over and over. The ultimate test arrives when Holmes is asked to help with a murder investigation. A man is found dead in an empty house with no injuries and yet covered in blood. The police have no idea how the dead American came to be in the house or how he died in the first place.

This is the first book featuring Sherlock Holmes but not the first one I've read. My first was The Hound of the Baskervilles. It wasn't my favourite book and I probably wouldn't have read any more books starring Holmes had someone else not convinced me to start from the beginning. I am glad I did because this book was significantly better and more gripping. It's in this book that Holmes and Watson first come together. A little wary of each other but by the end they are firm friends.

The mystery itself was interesting as is Holmes's methods. I very much doubt anyone could have worked it out just from reading about the investigation itself. Holmes keeps to himself just how he came to his conclusions until the very end. By that point we know the why too. I was actually surprised that after the murderer is caught we immediately go to part two. In that section it describes in detail the background of the murderer. Not as told by him or by Holmes but almost as though you are reading a separate story. It made for interesting reading. I did have a problem with Doyle demonising Mormons though. Maybe he just meant that one little community was corrupted. However, although I know very little about them I am sure they aren't the way Doyle described.

I very much enjoyed this book. As I said I am so glad that I gave the Sherlock Holmes stories another chance. I was extremely disappointed after The Hound of the Baskervilles and this one completely made up for it. Plus I love these covers. It's part of the penguin classics range. I bought the second one in a charity shop in amazing condition and of course had to get the first one with the same cover design. Looking forward to reading more of these books.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Breakfast At Tiffany's - Truman Capote

The narrator has just moved into a sandstone building where he hopes to begin his career as a successful writer. Like almost everyone around her he quickly becomes fascinated by his downstairs neighbour Holly Golightly. A New York social lite with a whirlwind life that the narrator is more than happy to be sucked into. He falls in love but Holly isn't someone that can be held onto. Instead he gets to see snippets of her life while he can.

I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favourites. I have always been put off reading the book because of how much I loved the film. I didn't want it to spoil it. Then when Cold Blood came out and I saw clippings of Capote in that film I couldn't relate that character to my favourite book. Even though I didn't go to see that film I still felt that there was no way that that Truman Capote could have written something anywhere near that film.

Recently though I have been trying to get over all these little prejudices. I saw a copy of this book in a charity shop in almost new condition and I ended up picking it up. I still had reservations but it lasted maybe only a page. For once I am not sure which I like better, the book or the film. The character of Holly Golightly was very well translated to film. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing her part either. Despite that she is meant to be blond with short hair I still pictured Audrey. The ending is the only real difference but we know that from the start of the book. That didn't bother me. I think both endings fitted both formats. The book itself is tinged with a hint of sadness but also of hope. Hope that Holly is out there continuing her crazy haphazard life.

There were three other short stories in the book which convinced me that I could truly come to love Capote as an author and that my love of the first story was just because of the film. I understand that different editions of the book have different stories in them. My copy contained "House of Flowers", "A Diamond Guitar" and "A Christmas Memory". All three were fantastic and I think even those who don't generally enjoy short stories would like them. It's hard to choose my favourite of the three, particularly out of the last two. Diamond Guitar reminded me so much of one of my favourite Stephen King stories, Shawshank Redemption. Not just because it was set in a prison but because it was mainly about friendship and loneliness. I found A Christmas Memory to be particularly sad. It's a happy memory of an unlikely friendship.

I felt that each of the stories contained a little sadness, even if it was just a hint. I wonder if all Truman's stories and books will be the same in that way. Something I very much look forward to discovering. I found this book a delight to read and I only have two regrets. The first is that it took me so long to build up the courage to read it in the first place. The second is that it was so short. I could have happily spent days reading it.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This is a book meme by Sheila over at Book Journey. It's a fun way for book bloggers to share their reading week.

Another quiet reading week. I start studying this week so I think I can expect that from here on in.

This week I read;

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton which I enjoyed. Great book if you just want a distraction and have to think very little about what you are reading. I read this as part of the Books I should Have Read By Now challenge.

The Odyssey by Homer. Took me longer to read than I expected. Mainly because I was disappointed that it was in prose and not poem. Still a fantastic read though and nothing at all to be intimidated by.

Just now I am reading;

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Deathbringer by Derek Landy. Yep, the latest Skulduggery is out and in my hands. Not far into it but as usual it doesn't disappoint. I am reading it at home though as it's quite large compared to the rest of the series.

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. I picked this up in a charity shop the other week. It was in fantastic condition and since I love the film I saw it as a sign that I should read it. Actually been meaning to read it for a while. Love it so far. I'll be reading this one on the bus but I don't think it will take me too long.

Next I plan to read;

A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. The author is Scottish and disgracefully I have read very few by him. Decided to start the Sherlock Holmes books from the start so this will be my next book for the bus. I picked up the second one in the same type of cover in a charity shop (same day as the Capote but different shop). How amazing are these covers? Much better seeing it in person mind you. Of course I had to get the first one in the same style too.

I have a fair idea of what I am going to read after this one. I'm not normally as organised as that. However, I'm not going to tell as my track record for the last few weeks shows I won't read more than what I have already listed. So save something for next week.

What have you been reading? Have a good reading week everyone.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Odyssey - Homer

Telemachus is having to watch his inheritance being wasted away by his poor mother, Penelope, suitors. After years of putting up with it and with the help of Athene he leaves to find news of his father Odysseus who left for Ilium almost 20 years before. Meanwhile Odysseus has been kept prisoner for years by the beautiful goddess Calypso as she has fallen in love with him. He, however, just yearns to return home. His continuous weeping for his wife and home melts the heart of Athena and she interferes with the help of her father, Zeus. Soon he is on his way home but must face a few more trials before revealing himself to his kith and kin.

This edition is in prose. I didn't realise that when I picked it up. It's the same publisher and translator as my copy of The Iliad so I just assumed it would be in the form of a poem. Was a little disappointed when I discovered it wasn't. I generally I am not a poetry reader but with the Iliad it added a sense of rhythm to the story and I very much enjoyed that. I did try to find one written in poetry but gave up and just forced myself to get over the fact that I was reading it in prose.

Despite the disappointment it is a fantastic tale. Actually the story really involves several tales. You have the running story of the suitors ruining Odysseus' great hall and his revenge on them. The bulk of the book though is filled with stories of Odysseus' failed attempts to get home after the sacking of Troy. I think I can safely assume that it's this part that make people enjoy it more than the Iliad. It's filled with angered gods and mythical creatures. I was particularly excited when I got to the chapter with the Cyclops.

Poor Odysseus, all he wanted to do was to get home. However, there were times that it was difficult to truly sympathise with him. I suppose I am using today's moral standards when I am reading it. He is upset that the suitors evil-doings and yet thinks nothing of raiding the home of the cyclops. Near the end of the book he even mentioned going pillaging to return his hall to greatness once more. I also find it funny this expectation of visiting a King and expecting to come away with many fine gifts. I am sure though that that's the norm for ancient Greek culture. I shouldn't really be surprised about the pillaging part as many cultures did this.

I actually found The Iliad easier to read. Possibly because the poetry created a rhythm. However, I think I still prefer this one. I certainly loved all the different tales within. Anyone else who wants to read this but feels intimidated just give it a try. If I can read it and get something out of it anyone can.

Monday, 5 September 2011

A is for Alibi - Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone is a Private Investigator in the state of California. She is hired by Nikki, a woman just out of prison for murdering her cheating husband. She wants Kinsey to find out who really murdered him and who set her up. Kinsey believes that Nikki was wrongly imprisoned and so agrees to take the job. It soon becomes clear that she is investigating not one murder but two. A young woman who was an accountant for the dead husband was also found murdered in the same way four days later. Surely there must be a connection.

Is it just me or is first person narrative an overused tool in crime fiction? Seems to be be especially popular when the main character is a PI. It's not my favourite writing style. Too often the author feels they have to account for every movement of the character narrating. I always find it to be a little annoying when I start reading a book but with this one it soon faded. I could put up with it.

We actually learn very little about Kinsey as a character in this book. She finds it difficult to open up and share and so we know very little about her back ground. Rather than being frustrating it's actually quite nice. It means there is more focus on the investigation itself. Although there was some of her personal life in there just to keep us interested. I am sure we learn more as the series goes on. It was actually quite refreshing having the main character as female. I have read a few books where the main police investigator is female but not a PI. It could be that I just haven't read enough but I liked the change.

Over all it was a very easy read. Not at all taxing and I quite liked that too. Perfect for when you don't want to have to think about anything. The person behind the murders was obvious from early on I felt but not the why. So there were still some surprises. In fact Kinsey herself seemed to come by the answer by accident.

This was perfect for the mood I was in and I very much enjoyed it. I can see myself reading others in the series. However, I can also see myself getting bored about half way through it unless the author gives us more from the main character. This book was also the second for this months 'Books I should Have Read By Now' challenge. I originally bought this one about five years ago when I first started reading Janet Evanovich.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 This is a fun book meme by Sheila over at Book Journey. It's a great way for everyone to share their reading week.

I had another fairly quiet reading week. Starting to get busy now that term time is about to start. Who knew there would be so much to organise.

This week I read;
 Hunger by Michael Grant. This is the second book in the Gone series. I did like it but still have my reservations.

 A Storm Of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin. Another fantastic edition to the series. This was also part of this months 'Books I should Have Read By Now' challenge.

Just now I am reading;
 A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. Also part of this months 'Books I Should Have Read By Now' challenge. Has been sitting on my shelf for 5 years. So far so good.

Next I plan to read;
The Odyssey by Homer. This is my choice for this months classic. I am very much looking forward to it. I have heard from everyone that it's better than The Iliad which I also liked.

How has your reading week been?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Storm Of Swords: Blood and Gold - George R. R. Martin.

Jon Snow has returned to the Night Watch and warned the few brothers left that the Wildlings are about to attack. Little does he realise that he will become responsible for keeping the wall intact. King Stannis has a choice to make and one he doesn't relish. It means killing his kin but he is told it could win him the throne. Robb, King of the North, prepares to make amends to the Frey's after breaking his oath. Jaime Lannister is on his way home to his sister and family whilst Kings Landing prepares for the royal wedding. Meanwhile Daenerys is continuing her campaign to free all slaves before returning to the 7 Kingdoms to claim her rightful place as Queen.

When reviewing the last book I said that events were at a faster pace and this book was once again no difference. Something unexpected always seemed to be occurring. I even began to dread the end of chapters in case something big would occur and of course it would be a few chapters on before I got to see more from that person. It was very frustrating but in a good way. Certainly made putting the book down very difficult. I would have happily stayed in all week just reading this if I could have.

The one thing this author doesn't mind at all is killing off main characters. He has been doing it since book one but the pace of those deaths seems to be upped with the pace of the book. There were some killed off in this one that I felt sure that it must be a trick. That these characters would pop up again later on having escaped. But alas no. Have to respect an author who can do that. Not all authors are comfortable with killing off established characters. In light of that though I am more than ever confused as to where this book is going. The good and bad sides were never clear cut and this line has been made all the more fuzzier. For now I am hoping that Daenerys will reach the 7 Kingdoms and take over.

As ever, Tyrion is still my favourite character to read from. He seems to be at a cross roads at the end of every book and he is one of the few Kings men I actually like. I also still like Arya and like Tyrion she seems to be at a cross roads too. However, I am slowly but surely growing on Jon Snow and now very much look forward to his chapters. His have proved to be some of the more exciting battles as he is torn in his loyalties. Plus there is of course the added threat of the Others of the North.

Another fantastic book. I can't praise this series enough. I have book four there but I think I am going to take a little break from it and read a few other things that have been vying for my attention. When I say break it will be at the most a month or so. Not like my five/six year break between the first and the second. I should also mention that this is this months first book in the 'Books I should Have Read By Now' challenge. I originally bought this book after first reading "A Game of Thrones". At the time I thought it was the second in the series because it had 2 written on the cover. Not realising that it meant the second part of book 3. Not to worry, at least I discovered my mistake before I actually started reading the book.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Hunger - Michael Grant

It's been three months since the battle between the Coates and town kids. Three months since they were all trapped inside their town with no adults to look after them. So all the kids are looking to Sam to solve everything and the pressure is starting to get to him. Food is now an issue but no one wants to help with it. This problem is made worse when worms start attacking them when they try to pick cabbages. Meanwhile Sam also has to worry about the darkness, an attack from Caine and escalating tension between normal kids and those with power. It's too much for any one person and eventually somethings got to give.

As with a lot of sequels I don't think this book was quite as good as the first one. There were three main plots; the lack of food problem, the tension between power kids and the non power, the darkness/malignant force trying to gain power. The book couldn't quite make up it's mind which one of these was the primary plot and which was the secondary. All three were fighting for attention with a few small sub plots thrown in. Funnily enough it was the tension/Lord of the Flies aspect of the book that I preferred and would have enjoyed the book more if it had went with that. It's surprising because I normally love the sci fi aspect.

I have a few problems with the sci fi side. First of all I knew from book 1 where the powers and the malignant force came from. It was extremely predictable and my heart sunk when that prediction turned out to be true. It's been done before. In fact the reasoning has a very similar resemblance to one Stephen King book. The second problem I had with it was that the book seemed to skirt round it. We know little Petey is behind a lot of what's going on and understands it more but is unable to articulate it. A lot of this came out in the book but when details began to emerge the book would swerve away which was a little frustrating. Clearly the author intends for big reveals to be in later books but it felt like he wanted to tell all in this one. My last problem with it has more to do with myself. Again I am still wary of it. I still think that it would be very easy for it to merge into ridiculous territory. It didn't happen with this one but I still think it could in future books.

I know it sounds like I didn't like it but I actually did. As I said I liked the Lord of the Flies aspect of the book. I thought that part was well done. I can well imagine kids starting to tear at each other out of fear and hunger. The fact that some of those kids are also different just added to it. It gave those without something to focus on. I wish there had been more of that but like I said earlier it was fighting for space with other plots. I am also intrigued by what Albert has in mind to get the kids working. I am curious to see how that works out. I quite like this character and he actually seems the only one who is not as upset by events.

I will probably read the rest of the series eventually but for the moment I am not going to go out of my way to pick up the books. To many others fighting for my attention on the shelves. I would like to see how this series ends though.