Hush Little Baby REVIEW

32191593Hush Little Baby by Joanna Barnard

Published May 1st 2017

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Pages: 352

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

When baby Oliver breaks his arm, no-one can (or will) say how it happened.
His mother is exhausted.
His father is angry.
His older sister is resentful.
And they all have something to hide.

 

When Oliver appears with a broken arm, social services take him away and start investigating his family.

Sally, the mother, is obsessive and paranoid. Richard is angry all the time and lashes out at anyone who doesn’t let him have his way. Martha is Richard’s daughter of the previous marriage. A rebellious teenager that struggles with life.

I think the characters were well done. Sally was my favorite. I felt her distress while reading her chapters. Richard and Martha were also interesting but Sally was the best.

The plot was gripping. The mystery wasn’t that surprising but I kept reading the book, excited to know what would happen next. It could improve, yes, but it was still enjoyable to read.

My biggest problem was the ending. It felt forced and not something the characters would do.

Rating: 3,5 stars

If you want an extended discussion, check out the Book Club discussion I did with Thatonenerdygirl over in her blog (LINK). Just remember there are SPOILERS!

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The Emperor’s Railroad REVIEW

26883552The Emperor’s Railroad by Guy Haley

Published April 1st 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 178

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Global war devastated the environment, a zombie-like plague wiped out much of humanity, and civilization as we once understood it came to a standstill. But that was a thousand years ago, and the world is now a very different place.
Conflict between city states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out.
Until now…

This book is about a post-apocalyptic world where a plague turned humans into zombies.

I have to say that I love the cover. I don’t know why I like it so much though.

With that being said, the cover was probably the only thing I liked about this book.

Let’s start with the characters. Abney, the main character, was twelve years old and I didn’t care for him. His mother was probably the only woman in the book and was mostly irrelevant to the plot. Quinn, the knight, was supposed to be this mysterious and badass character but just came out as one-dimensional.

The plot wasn’t that great either. Most of the book was boring. It focused entirely on Abney, Sarah, and Quinn’s journey to a distant city and nothing interesting happened until they got there.

The only action in the book happened 70% in and it was nothing really mind-blowing.

The writing was nothing exceptional. It didn’t help the lack of plot and personality of the characters.

This book disappointed me. I started reading without knowing much about it but expected something.

I won’t be reading the sequel.

Rating: 2 stars

The Invention of Hugo Cabret REVIEW

9673436The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Published March 2007

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Pages: 525

Source: Library

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

This book is about Hugo Cabret, an orphan boy that lives in a train station. He steals food to survive and, sometimes, also steals toys. One time, he gets caught by the owner of the toy store and begins working there, where he meets Isabella.

This book is set in Paris and I think it has an interesting premise.

Part of the book is told through images, which I found wonderful. The art was black and white and it made the book way better.

For me, that was the only good aspect of the book. The plot was interesting in the beginning but lost momentum half way through. The characters were fine but didn’t stand out for me.

I don’t usually read children’s fiction and that may be influencing my enjoyment of the book but, still, if you like children’s fiction, you should try this book.

I read Gregor, The Overlander (REVIEW) some time ago and, even though it was middle grade, I was able to enjoy it. I’m sad to say that that didn’t happen with The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

If you don’t read children’s fiction but still want to know the story, just watch the movie.

Rating: 2,5 stars

Departures (Tremontaine S1 Ep13) REVIEW

28017864

Departures by Ellen Kushner

Published January 27th 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 64

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Kaab triumphant. Diane ascendant. And Rafe gets a consolation prize.

Kaab and Diane, enemies bound by common interests, forge a new understanding. Micah and Rafe receive unexpected offers of employment. And Will, now the Duke Tremontaine in name only, languishes at Highcombe House, where it is hoped—by some—that he may yet recover.

This episode concludes the first season of Tremontaine.

It wasn’t as intense as the last one but it set the mood for the next season.

For me, Tremontaine was a marvelous series. I absolutely loved this first season and I hope the next will be as good as this one or even better.

The characters were well-thought and well-written, and the plot was addicting.

I recommend it to fantasy lovers. The series has mystery, sword fights and romance, and the Serial Box format makes it even better.

Rating: 5 stars

Arrivals (Tremontaine S1 Ep1) REVIEW

A Tale of Two Ladies (Tremontaine S1 Ep12) REVIEW

28017845A Tale of Two Ladies by Malinda Lo

Published January 20th 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Kaab seeks out the services of a good forger before paying a visit to the Duchess Tremontaine. Diane, meanwhile, pays a visit to Highcombe House, the Tremontaine country estate. And at long last, Kaab and Diane face off in a drawing room duel where the weapon of choice is words.

 

This episode is divided in two perspectives: present day and seventeen years ago.

The way the authors wrote this episode was brilliant. The reader gets bits of information throughout the episode and, only in the end do we get the confirmation of what happened to Diane and Louisa.

Just like the last one, I believe this was one of the best episodes of the series.

The characters keep developing and the plot is still gripping, even after 12 episodes.

The next episode is the last one, concluding the first season of Tremontaine. I can’t wait to read it.

Rating: 5 stars

Arrivals (Tremontaine S1 Ep1) REVIEW

Go and Tell the Morning Star (Tremontaine S1 Ep 11) REVIEW

28017798Go and Tell the Morning Star by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Published January 13th 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 63

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Will fears he is losing his mind. Kaab unlocks a deadly secret.
Afraid that he is losing his mind, Will looks for comfort in Rafe’s arms. Rafe, meanwhile, blames himself for his lover’s condition. And when Kaab hears of Diane’s childhood and her long-ago encounter with Rupert Hawke, new questions arise that can only be answered within the walls of Tremontaine House itself.

This episode continues the amazing plot of the series.

I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say much but this was one of the best episodes so far.

There was a lot of action and mystery, the perfect mix.

The characters keep developing and the plot just keeps getting better and better.

I can’t wait to read more.

Rating: 5 stars

Arrivals (Tremontaine S1 Ep1) REVIEW

Shadowroot (Tremontaine S1 Ep 10) REVIEW

28017771Shadowroot by Joel Derfner

Published January 6th 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 43

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Death returns to Riverside. Diane makes a fateful choice.
When Tess finds herself plagued by nightmares of the murdered Ben, Kaab vows to solve the case. But she may never get the chance, for Reynald is on her trail, with more murder on his mind. Meanwhile, Will tells Diane of Micah’s discovery, but her response is not what he had hoped for. And Micah gets an unexpected job offer.

This episode continues the plot of the series and Diane continues as intriguing as ever.

As we approach the end, the mystery of Ben’s death gets even more mysterious.

I am truly enjoying this series and I can’t wait to read the next episodes.

It’s a really fun series and I’m glad I have the opportunity to read it.

Rating: 5 stars

Arrivals (Tremontaine S1 Ep1) REVIEW

White Seed (Seed World #1) REVIEW

24267417White Seed by Kenneth Marshall

Published December 21st 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 248

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

The White Seed Brings Life to Worlds

Three thousand years ago, the seeds arrived from Earth on hundreds of worlds. The developed ones formed the Network, connected only by radio and laser. Since the time of the seeds, nothing but information has traveled between the stars. Now a starship, The Child of Ambition, is changing that. Her first mission: to explore the dark worlds, the ones that failed.

Kali Hakoian, pilot-astronaut and war hero, thought landing on the super-Earth of Keto would be routine. The emptiest seed world—its global ocean matted with algae and crawling with hurricanes—hides the oldest human ruins. Her crew of scientists: a dreamer, a believer, and a retired assassin. Their hypothesis—self-termination of the seed base.

But when an act of sabotage strands her in the path of a superstorm, she’s forced to escape with the man she trusts the least. They may never find out what happened to the settlers—unless it happens to them. Can she trust her crew enough to find a way out of the darkness?

This book is about a team of astronauts with the mission of exploring a failed colony in the planet Keto.

The beginning of this novel was a mess. The author started with a flashback, which could have worked out if the first quarter of the book wasn’t a complete mess. In that flashback, there were characters introduced that the author never mentioned again, like Odis. After that first chapter, where I was already feeling lost, there was a list of characters (that weren’t mentioned in the flashback) and their jobs. The rest of the plot surrounded some of them but it is not like I was going to memorize who they were and what they did just from reading the list. The second chapter starts and I get even more confused than in the first. All the characters of the list are together, talking to each other. I try to memorize their names but the author just throws descriptions and backgrounds. If there were less characters, maybe I’d retain something but with a group like that, I didn’t even know those descriptions belonged to who.

This character confusion only passed about halfway through but, with all the flashbacks, I would just get confused again.

Now, the plot. The overall concept of the book had potential. The problem was that the author didn’t deliver. The book was full of action-filled flashbacks but then, the “present” was only two characters walking around. There was almost no plot there but, luckily, after the middle, it got better.

The ideas were there but I still had a lot of problems with this book.

From the weird pacing, the flashbacks and the complete mess the characters were, this book offers a lot of confusion.

Still, it wasn’t all bad.

The mystery in Keto was interesting and, once I got used to the characters, the book was mildly enjoyable.

Rating: 3 stars

Me and thatonenerdygirl did a Book Club discussion of this book over on her blog. Here’s the link.

Check it out and comment your opinion.

Just keep in mind that there are a few spoilers!

Lies in Our Stars (Tremontaine S1 Ep9) REVIEW

28017747Lies in Our Stars by Paul Witcover

Published December 30th 2015

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 42

Source: Netgalley – in exchange for an honest review

Micah makes a breakthrough. And Kaab faces the music.
A moment of staggering inspiration and insight sets events in motion that have the potential to fracture friendships, shatter alliances, and remake the balance of power in the city . . . and the world. As Micah explores the implications of her discovery, and Rafe moves quickly to exploit them, Kaab is faced with a calamity that threatens not only her own future, but that of her family and the Kinwiinik people.

This episode continues the gripping story of the series.

I’m so invested in the characters and on their personal journeys that I can’t stop thinking about the episodes.

The plot keeps developing and the suspense keeps building up.

I still love Diane and her fantastic ability to play everyone around her. I also like the other characters and Micah has a special place in my heart but my favorite is still the cold Duchess of Tremontaine.

I can’t wait to read the next episode and I hope I’ll get to it soon.

Rating: 5 stars

Arrivals (Tremontaine S1 Ep1) REVIEW

The North Side of the Sun (Tremontaine S1 Ep2) REVIEW

Heavenly Bodies (Tremontaine S1 Ep3) REVIEW

A Wake in Riverside (Tremontaine S1 Ep4) REVIEW

The Dagger and the Sword (Tremontaine S1 Ep5) REVIEW

A Fair Hand (Tremontaine S1 Ep6) REVIEW

The Swan Ball (Tremontaine S1 Ep7) REVIEW