27 Feb 2022

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Book Review / Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

 On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless - mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the "steam" that children with the "shining" produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant "shining" power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes "Doctor Sleep."

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan's own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra's soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

Published:     24th September 2013
Publisher:  Scribner
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  The Shining, Book 2
Source:  Bought




Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Shining, I knew that I had to pick this one up pretty much straight away.  I had to know what came next in this story.  For obvious reasons, I am not going to go into any detail to avoid spoilers but as with reading the first book, I just couldn't put this down.  This story is a bit longer than its first book but I just didn't want the story to end!  It did take me longer than a day to read but no longer than a couple of days!

What I loved about this story is pretty much everything!  Despite the fact that book 1 and book 2 were written years apart, it really didn't feel like it.  Yes, time has moved on in the story but it really just felt like I had blinked and the time in story has just flown by.  The atmosphere and suspense felt the same as what I had experienced in the first book, but even better!  

And that ending was just perfect!

I did watch the movie not long after finishing the book and I really did enjoy that also.  It was a lot better than I thought it would be (obviously not as good as the book!) and a lot better than the movie of The Shining, for me anyway.












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Book Review / The Shining by Stephen King

 Danny is only five years old but in the words of Old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner,’ aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control.

As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that too is beginning to shine.

Published:     28th January 1977
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, The Shining
Source:  Bought




For me, this is one of those stories that I have heard more often because of the movie with Jack Nicholson, not that I had watched it before I read this novel, but that it is a very popular movie.  Of Of course, the book is nearly always better than the movie so I knew I had to read this first before even attempting to watch the movie.  

What I loved about this story was the suspense.  There is so much of that in this novel it really did keep me on the edge of my seat and I have to admit that I read this book in one day because I just could not put it down!  Because I had heard of the story I had thought that the main character would have been the dad of the story, but it wasn't.  It was the son, Danny.  I liked that we were viewing the story from his perspective especially as he is the character who is the 'shiner'.  There are also nice moments between Danny and a new friend who is also a 'shiner' which I thought was a great additional level to the story.  

I should also mention that this book also touches on some real aspects of family relationships such as alcoholism and a brief reference to the hitting of the son by the father.  This just added another layer to the family dynamic which added to the chaos that follows. 

I have also watched the movie and boy is it different to the book!  I am not saying the movie is bad or anything, I did enjoy it, but the book was better by a long mile!







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9 Feb 2022

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Book Review / The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton


A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It's 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

Published:    6th October 2020
Publisher:  Sourcebooks
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought




After reading and thoroughly enjoying The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I couldn't wait to pick up this novel.  Honestly, this story is not one that I would normally pick up as it is a 1600s mystery onboard a ship, but as I loved this author's writing from his first book I knew that I had to give this a go. 

I loved everything about this book, but to limit it to a few comments the first would be the characters and the mystery surrounding Old Tom.  The mystery surrounding this kept me hooked right until the very end, having not figured out what was going on before then!  The ending was very much a surprise.  You also have a bit of a backstory with one of the main characters Arent.  He has a past that we discover more of and is relevant to the story that is happening in this story.

I would highly recommend this novel, even if you don't think this is something you would normally pick up.  I wouldn't normally and this is now one of my favourite books of the year, and the author has been firmly placed on my favourite author list!






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7 Feb 2022


Book Review / The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton



Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man's race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Published:     1st October 2018
Publisher:  Raven Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Bought 




I can't tell you how much I have heard about this book and seen it literally everywhere!  I knew that I had to pick it up.  Even Goodreads says that it has over 200,000 ratings with a 3.88 average.  With all that in mind, I was definately intrigued.  I am always intrigued when I see high ratings like this, whether they are good or bad.  

Despite the fact that I have seen this everywhere, I had been avoiding reviews and spoilers, successfully which surprised me!  So, luckily, I went into this story pretty blind to what was going to happen.  I didn't really read the description on the back.  All I needed to know was that this character, Evelyn Hardcastle was going to die, seven times apparently!

There is a lot going on in this novel, with a lot of plot and a lot of characters.  This is not a book that you can read lightly or take down the beach or wherever that might be in the winter.  You need to concentrate and try and figure out the story at the same time as the main character who is jumping from host to host.  

At 505 pages long, it is not a short book but I am actually glad about that because I, honestly, I did not want the story to end.  I found this story a slow read also, because there is so many details, characters and plot it is almost impossible to speed ahead.  But this did not put me off reading the story, not one little bit.

There were two things that I loved the most about this story; the first being the bigger picture plot.  Obviously I can't tell you exactly what that is, because of spoilers, but let's just say that there's more to the story of Aiden than we lean for most of the book, until the very end.  The second part that I loved was the twists in the story.  There's a few and, to be honest, I wasn't expecting most of them.  There's a very big twist at the end that really surprised me!

Would highly recommend if you like being kept at the edge of your seat but do bear in mind that this is a long story written at a slow pace. 




Continue reading Book Review / The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton