Anna Recommends

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark was recommended to me by someone I follow on Instagram. I rate their opinions and recommendations highly, so I purchased the book off the Book Depository. And boy, am I glad I did!

Michelle delves deep into the horrendous crimes committed by the EAR/Golden Sate Killer over the span of ten years (1976-1986). She doesn’t focus on the brutality and gruesomeness of the crimes, but rather the facts surrounding said attack. Did someone witness a prowler hanging around the neighborhood?

It is rare to discover a writer that can write so informatively and brilliantly that they change your life. If you asked me a year or so ago if I thought that a True Crime writer would change my life, it is highly likely that I wouldn’t have believed you. Being primarily a fiction reader, the two writers that have changed my life the most would be: Stephen King and Jodi Picoult.

Now, I can say that the writers that have changed my life are: Jodi Picoult, Stephen King and Michelle McNamara.

This book is a solid 5/5.

Click below to buy I’ll Be Gone In The Dark.

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“The City of Mirrors” was a perfect but epic way to end The Passage Trilogy.

This review will be rather brief because I don’t want to give away too much. The parts I loved in this book involve major spoilers, so I’m not going to delve into those in much detail, if at all.

Anyway, I really liked how, in this book, we learn more about Tim Fanning (aka Subject Zero) and his background before the virus overtook him; how he met Jonas Lear and Lear’s girlfriend, Liz. As a reader, you really get a great insight into the way Tim’s mind worked in the beginning, and how, after meeting Jonas Lear and Liz, it changed.

In the first book, you (kind of) assume how Tim Fanning came to be on an expedition to research the virus with Jonas Lear (as they are both scientists). However, in the third book, Fanning tells the reader more about the events in his life, and how he wound up agreeing (reluctantly) to accompany Lear on the expedition.

Overall, I thought that “The City of Mirrors” was a great way for Cronin to end this epic trilogy. With some trilogies and books as epic this one, the endings can sometimes be rather disappointing. You have all of this climatic build up, and you get to the end of the book, and the ending sucks. But not with this book. The way in which Cronin ended the trilogy was appropriate and classy. I was not at all disappointed.

I give this book a solid 5/5 stars 🙂

Click below to purchase “The City of Mirrors” from Mightyape.

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The Twelve, the second book in Justin Cronin’s epic, The Passage Trilogy, is a great read and a good follow-up to The Passage. It was fantastic to be reacquainted with characters from The Passage to see what they were up to, and in what directions their lives had taken them.

It was also very interesting to be introduced to completely new characters, especially people who had survived the plague/virals in the modern world as we know it (not one hundred years in the future – Amy and Peter’s era).

I would have liked Cronin to have given us a bit more time with Kittridge, April, Tim and Danny as they were very likable and interesting characters. I do, however, understand that skipping ahead a hundred years to Peter, Amy, Alicia and Co was necessary for the story to flow and not drag on slowly. The real crux of the story is about Amy, Peter, Alicia and the others in their group, and their fight to kill The Twelve primary virals.

As always, Cronin writes an epic antagonist in Horace Guilder. Guilder is the Deputy Director of Special Weapons who oversaw Project Noah. Over the course of the novel, you start to see how absolutely insane, murderous, power hungry and just downright evil he really, truly is.

If you loved reading The Passage, then you most definitely have to read The Twelve!

Overall, it was a great book, but I found it didn’t have the same full on spark as The Passage did.

The Twelve gets: 4/5 stars.

Click below to purchase The Twelve from Mightyape.

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“The Passage” is one epic book, that’s for sure! It runs 766 pages which is chunky to say the least.

At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to Jeanette Bellafonte who after a series of set backs, is forced in to prostitution to provide for herself and her daughter, Amy. Finding the struggle too much, Jeanette leaves Amy at a convent with a Lacey, a Nun, who they begin talking to.

We are then introduced to Brad Wolgast who is enlisted by the Military’s Special Weapons division to make the idea of being part of an experiment that could change the human race, to specific men on Death Row. They are serving on Death Row, so what do they have to lose? Well, a lot.

The experiment starts off okay, until Wolgast and his partner, Doyle, are told that they need to pick up their next “patient.” This new “patient” turns out to be six year old Amy Bellafonte. But Amy is different.

As you can imagine, the world turns in to a catastrophe with the humans (Death Row inmates) who were a part of the experiment, have turned into Virals. The Virals end up killing the majority of humanity.

You’ve GOT TO read the book to find out what happens next!

Anyway, as far as the story, writing and characters go…

The story started off strong and continued to be strong until we hit the inhabitants of the Colony (relatives of people who had survived the Virals). I found it hard to adjust to the new characters in the Colony and the new world they now lived in. But it didn’t take me too long to adjust. Once I got to know the characters, the story was easier and simply fantastic to read.

The story reminded me of something in between Stephen King’s “The Stand” and Terry Hayes’s “I Am Pilgrim.”I loved the horror, post apocalyptic, dystopian, dramatic elements. Basically I loved everything about the story.

The writing was pretty much consistently great. I mean, writing 766 pages is a feat in itself 🙂

I loved all of the characters – even the nasty ones. (Gotta admit that they add to the story something wicked!)

I rate this book a FIVE OUT OF FIVE stars (5/5).

Now I’m gonna start reading the second book in the trilogy: “THE TWELVE.”

Click below to buy “The Passage” from Mightyape!

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This is going to be a short review as I don’t want to include spoilers.

“Moonraker” was a very well written story with some intriguing characters. The plot was unlike anything I have ever read before which is most definitely a positive. Ian Fleming expertly incorporated the technical aspects of aeronautics and science into “Moonraker” without turning the story into a textbook full of “foreign” words and meanings. He created the characters in such a way that you believed what they said – even if it was scientific jargon. It made sense for them to say certain things or speak in a certain way.

On the other hand, I found this novel to be rather predictable. However, Bond doesn’t always get the girl.

Overall it was a decent read, so I will give “Moonraker” 3/5 stars.

Click the link below to buy “Moonraker.”

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After I finished reading this book, I went Googling to find out a bit more information. You know when you read a book that has so many different characters and individual scenarios, that you want to consult Google to make sure you aren’t wrong? Well, that was me. And while I was Googling, I found out that this was one of Agatha Christie’s earlier novels – published in 1924. I would not have guessed that! Agatha was definitely ahead of her time.

Getting back to the novel itself.

The story starts off with the main protagonist, Anne Beddingfeld, telling us about her early life, her thirst for adventure, and the death of her late father – a renowned archaeologist. It is not until Anne witnesses an accidental death whilst waiting for the Tube that the story starts to pick up speed and intrigue. The story takes the reader on a an exciting journey from London to South Africa.

Anne is a witty, strong-minded, strong-willed, articulate young woman who makes arbitrary decisions, and thrives on the adrenaline of an adventure. Couple all of this with bit of good luck and quick thinking, and you’ve got a top heroine.

All of the other characters were necessary in order to make the story flow and make sense. Even the antagonists were great!

Agatha Christie is undoubtedly the Queen of Mystery/Crime. She writes a page-turner of a story so beautifully.

Hence why I give this book 5/5 stars.

Click below to buy “The Man in the Brown Suit.”

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I am a believer in the unknown – ghosts, aliens, ghouls. My reasoning is that the universe is too gigantic for us to be the only ones inhabiting its realm. There are too many strange and disturbing occurrences that we have no answers for; and what went down during the 28 days that the Lutz family lived inside 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville is full of them.

The book starts off with the Lutz’s viewing 112 Ocean Avenue and falling in love with it. The most appealing aspect to them was the price of the house, considering how grand the house was (three floors, a boat house and a pool), it was a bargain. It almost seemed too good to be true, so they asked the realtor why 112 Ocean Avenue was such a bargain. The realtor informed them that Ronald DeFeo killed his entire family inside the house. (Google the DeFeo case – it is very interesting). This didn’t phase the Lutz family, so they moved in.

As their time inside the house ticks by, the disturbing things George, Kathy, and their children, Christopher, Daniel and Missy experience exponentially – almost to the life threatening stage. The nasty encounters also reach people beyond their new home.

So as I said at the beginning of this review: I am a believer in these sort of strange and disturbing phenomena. I know that there are people out there that fiercely oppose my views on this because no one has found scientific proof. I believe that some things in this world are simply beyond our ability to explain or to fully understand.

This was a very, very interesting and intriguing story. I am definitely going to research 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville some more. The book was well written, but I found it annoying/silly when Anson placed exclamation marks after a shocking or scary encounter between a ghoul and the Lutz family. Let the spookiness speak of itself, man.

Aside from that nit-picky aspect, I found it very hard to stop reading this book.

Therefore I am going to rate it a solid 4/5.

Click below to buy “The Amityville Horror.”

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James Bond is a 007 Secret Agent with the Service – possibly one of the most famous Secret Agent’s in the fictional world, which is why I was curious to read “Casino Royale.” (James Bond #1).

I am going to be blunt. I was not as taken with James Bond as I thought I would be. I thought that it would be action-packed with action, and Bond taking on a couple of villains at once. This does show us that although Bond is a master at what he does, that he is still only human, and is susceptible to temporary defeat just like the rest of us.

I wasn’t completely sure as to why Bond was trying to bankrupt La Chaffre – I think it was because La Chaffre was doing some shady dealings somewhere, and was a traitor to his country.

I am going to rate this novel 3/5 stars.

It didn’t grab me like I thought it would, but it had a few tense and climatic moments that kept me reading. The way in which Fleming molds James Bond makes him a very iconic character – ruthless, cold and irate, but with a good heart; desirable, sexy.

Click here to buy Casino Royale

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16/09/2018

I am a MASSIVE Stephen King fan so I was very eager to begin reading this book! I purchased it from a local second hand book store, and although the blurb didn’t immediately grab me, I thought that I would give it a go. I mean, you very rarely go wrong when you purchase one of King’s novels 🙂

As far as the story goes, it somewhat grabbed me at the beginning when the characters were being established. I found Thad’s situation as a youngster rather intriguing. From there, I was still intrigued, but had a feeling that the book may not fully have me hooked. Being a dedicated King fan, I continued reading and I did not regret it.

King’s ability to weave a psychological horror story is amazing. There are times when you think you pretty much know how the whole business will end up, but then King throws in something that makes you second guess your assumption. You begin to think: maybe Stark and Thad are the same person – like a split personality scenario. But then something happens and you realize that Thad couldn’t have done that because he was in a different town at the time. Stuff like that.

I also liked how King added in the subtle but prominent symbol of the sparrows. That probably doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. But basically, he made references to the sparrows but didn’t overkill it.

Overall, I rate this book a 5/5. The story was solid and brilliantly crafted.

(Stephen King really is the Master).

Click here to buy ‘The Dark Half.’

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02/09/2018

It is not unknown that Agatha Christie is the Queen of Crime, and a genius when it comes to plotting a great story. And this one is no exception.”The Murder at the Vicarage” is the very first Miss Marple novel that Agatha Christie released, and it is masterfully plotted with many twists and turns.

I love a good Miss Marple Murder Mystery, so I was very excited to sink my teeth into this book, so to speak. The story is written from the perspective of the local Vicar – Mr Leonard Clemet – who details the gossip and chaos his village is thrown into after the sudden murder of Colonel Protheroe.

As you read further through the book, your suspicions of certain characters will make sense. Then you keep reading further which makes you think that maybe your assumptions were wrong. But by the end of the book! Oh boy! Every little detail each character mentioned; each little hint or nuance will make sense; and by the end of the book, you will be thinking: “Wow. Just wow.”

“The Murder at the Vicarage” is ingeniously plotted and beautifully written.

5/5 Stars.

CLICK HERE TO BUY “MURDER AT THE VICARAGE.”

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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26/08/2018

I have just finished reading “Wonder” by R J Palacio. 😊📚👌 I loved how the book was written from different perspectives – all of which you could understand.
August was a fantastic character – by the end of the book, it felt like August and I were friends.
It is a book that will make you think about how you treat people that are “different” from you.
I don’t want to give away too much, but this book is simply fantastic! ❤️📚😊👌

CLICK HERE TO BUY “WONDER”

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery