A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness | Spoiler Free Review

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn Review

Title: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn sharp.jpg
Genre: Crime / Thriller 
Pages: 321

Synopsis:

When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family’s mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows – a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims – a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

Review

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The Cuckoo’s Calling…

cuckoo

Goodreads Summary:

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

Thoughts:

The Cuckoos Calling by J.K Rowling writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, is the first Crime/ Mystery Novel I have ever read and I am so glad I had the courage to pick it up and give it a go because I absolutely loved it. Why did I only rate it 4.5 stars instead of a full 5 if I loved it you may be asking, well I struggled to get into it for a while but I think this was more to do with my unfamiliarity with the genre than the book itself.

The book itself is 455 pages (hardcover) therefore at first I held off from picking it up because of how daunting it was to commit to such a long book however I found it to be quite fast paced and ultimately I wanted to read more to see what was going to happen next in the reveal of how Lula died. Once Cormonan began to pick up more and more clues in the case the book itself became an even faster pace and I could feel a sense of tension and anticipation as the case drew to a close.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was an amazing read and it held the ability to shock me with its twists and turns, I thought I knew what had happened to Lula but then J.K. Rowling grabbed that rug right from under me and took the novel in a totally different direction. A books ability to shock me as a reader is very important because then I know it’s not going to be predictable and I know that I need to read the entire book to find out how it is really going to end. On numerous occasions throughout this book I found myself making up my own theories and questioning every character, at the end I actually whole heartedly believed one person in particular was responsible however I was wrong. (no spoilers).

A note on J.K Rowling… Of course I love her writing, I find it just descriptive enough to paint a full picture without being overly boring in the mundane activities and surroundings. Throughout this novel she managed to bring many emotions to me as a reader, especially one of hate towards the other characters in the novel. I hated how everybody refused to answer Lula’s phone calls or seemed too caught up with themselves and simply ignored her. Lula’s biological mother was rather annoying as well, with her dropping hints of how she wanted money as well as going on about how hard her life was. As a whole I found myself fighting for Lula throughout to the point where I could gain such emotions from the behaviour of other characters.

Finally one aspect I found really interesting was how Lula’s phone was tapped into by Paparazzi and her voicemail’s listened to, I thought this was great to incorporate into the story as it relates to the Phone Hacking Scandals which have featured on our news for a few years now. By incorporating such context it allowed me to immerse myself into the book to a greater level because I could find similarities directly associated to our current reality.

As a whole I recommend The Cuckoo’s Calling to anybody who is a fan of the crime and mystery genre but also to anybody looking to venture out of their comfort zones. The Cuckoo’s Calling delves into the mystery of Lula’s death, the revealing of secrets as well as a look into the fictional celebrity life which seems very much like the reality.

Have you read The Cuckoo’s Calling? If so what were your thoughts on reading it?

Useful Links:

Goodreads – BookGoodreads – Robert Galbraith |The Cuckoo’s Calling