Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dane Curse by Matt Abraham

**I was given this book with an honest review.** 

The author has approached me for an honest review. And this book has came to me as a surprise. Alright, in all honesty when I first started picking this book out, I wasn't in the mood for Mystery & Thriller. So I put it back down and go on reading something else. Then again, I pick it up and I got myself all interested with the plot line and read it like reading a comic.

I must say, I like how the world building premise setup, and it is enough for me to get around the map in my head.  Not too massive and very city based, which I think we're able to relate well especially those who reads comics regularly. I love how writing has taken it's course for readers to get by easily. Nothing fancy in which readers are able to relate with the character faster.

I do not have a strong command in English especially when it comes to grammar, however I only have issues with missing punctuation. It kinda disrupt the reading flow as I have to re-read it a few times to know how the author is conveying the tone of writing. Overall, is not a big deal but it would be smoother with the right punctuation.

Plot wise, I need to applaud the author for the plot. I know it's going to be a big twist but I didn't know it's gonna be that epic. It was really fun with all the non-stop actions flying around the city and buildings. From machine guns to lasers to certain degrees of wave power by throwing people off. Now that was really a fun read. No doubt, the technology of this world seems very advance for our time and it goes off with futuristic advantage to most of the characters.

Now, about the characters, Dane is one person I like. He's groovy and slick. No doubt, he's a Private Investigator but then again he has a sense of style that I really enjoy reading about. Well, he has his way around with girls, I must say. 

My personal rant, can we ship him with Fangirl together? I really enjoy their chemistry together. Seriously, put them together and solve the mystery together. That would be so cool!

I wanted to give 4.5 stars due to the punctuation, but hey who's to say my reviews are perfect with or without them. Haha!! 5 stars it is!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Links

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman

My little sister knew I was a crime thriller geek when I first started reading as a hobby. So, she gave me a task to see whether I'm able to find out who the psycho is in this book. I took up her challenge and read it without hesitation.

The book introduced us to our victim and was immediately being held captive is less than 5 chapters. So, this is where we are being introduced to our investigator and the plot starts to flow. I'm quite fond of the writing because this book is written from different point of views (POV). Hence, it makes it very interesting in reading how different opinions solves this crime. 

Without a doubt, I knew who the kidnapper was before half of the book. Now I was dreading to know how the ending is going to happen because there were other cases involved while the rest of the world is trying to solve this one. Trust me, this book is written with a slight graphic violence and gore. Very well executed with every little bit details that might cause you your appetite. 

What caught me off guard was the ending twist. It was so well thought off with subtlety. I applaud the author for doing so.  In a way, my sister has got me all interested in reading Crime Thriller again. I personally love Crime and Political thriller and I might want to get started with Archer's "Clifton Chronicles" soon.

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Review Link

Monday, July 11, 2016

After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton

I was being introduced to this book when I got my very first Kindle as a gift from my cousin and cousin in-law in Singapore. They were nice enough to ask me whether I'm open in reading books from other religions. Of course I'm open! Moreover, this book is about the history of Islam. Here's a little background about my whereabouts, I'm born and breed in a Muslim country all my life and I would really give anything to further understand the context of the history of Islam.

I do not despise the religion because most religion preaches good teachings and it's worth the time to get hold of these knowledge. Moreover, it's the epic story of the Shia & Sunni split. And it was after reading this, I came to realized that my country is practicing the Sunni Islam so this book might come a little of a bias toward the Shia's practice.

It all started with the ever famous Prophet Muhammad. It is set during his last days before his death, while every one is anticipating who is the next Khalif to be. Now, here's where all the controversies and political misunderstanding started. There were many versions of how this story is being conveyed. One might say that the Shia or Sunni is the true Islam Doctrine and one might argued that they are not.

Lesley is smart enough to bring us back to yesteryear on how it all got started. It was dramatically portrayed with opinions with basic facts from the Quran. There were certain parts where it might be a little gory during wars and political schemes. Well, even the Old Testament from the Bible has it's fair share of violence too. So, embrace it with an open mind.

Lesley points out some good arguments where one is truly faithful with the teachings of Islam and the other is greedy with power, favor and of course money. This is where many is able to define that Lesley is bias towards the Shia group and it looks really bad on the Sunni ones. In my opinion, vast majority are of the Sunni Muslim and this book is not in favor of how they came about and it might trigger many unsatisfied people among the group which causes disunity among the Shia-Sunni where it has already started since the 7th century til today.

Overall, I love how this book is able to open many of my understanding in the Islam context. In which it has started my curiosity even more and would really love to give myself chance to read more on the life of Prophet Muhammad.

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

At First Sight 02 - The Queen & the Homo Jock King by T.J. Klune

So, this is the direct sequel to "Tell Me It's Real" and I pick it up to read it without any hesitation. I was in for another treat like how I love it for the first. 

Verdict: I did not thoroughly enjoyed it as much as the first but I love every moment of it. So much so on how twisted the plot's direction has taken it's readers to a another level.

Not forgetting the lovable characters of the Austere family including Vincent. They, too continue to play in a significant role in this. They are very much involved on planning the wedding, whereby Sanford (Helena) is the planner. However, circumstances took place where Sanford has to ally with Darren (his so-called arc nemesis due to sour past).

The writing was easy and light. Always a plus point for any Klune's readers to enjoy. Characters are very well thought off, however at times I'm really confused between Paul and Sanford. I know they are like blood brothers but then again, I do have difficulties in differentiating both conversations while I'm reading on a fast pace.

I like how this is a romance genre and Klune has kept all sex scenes to a minimal. Sometimes it can be a little graphic but it still maintains to a minimal level. I like how this goes as a sequel. Humour is what kept the story going. Klune has never lost touch on the humour aspects of the series. It is still intact of all it's course and many a times I laughed out loud too. Klune as an author is way too underrated! I demand for a full-fledged publicity for this guy.

As I am writing this review, I didn't know there will be a third book in this series! Titled "Until You", which is the anticipated wedding between Paul and Vincent when both Sanford (Helena) and Darren will be planning their wedding. I hope it is gonna take up to another level of Drama, Laughter and Sexual Innuendos for all characters in the series. That would be the Grandest Finale of all time.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

American Gods Series 01 - American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This would be my very first Neil Gaiman's book and I have picked this up not because this is going to be a TV series, but because it was really hyped up with good God's mythology plot line. I will try to be as diplomatic as possible. 

I do no hate it per se but the execution of the book is somewhat not what I've expected. Though I've bought the 10th anniversary edition and only to realize that there were many things has been included into this version from the original publication. Hence. it is even a more wordy read. I've started picking this book up in the month of July 2015, and I got stalled since then and got me into a drastic reading slump from then on.

Personally, I do like Gaiman's writing. It conveys and yet it has some elements that makes the whole thing works. I was literally stuck at where Shadow was in the Lakeside Town and he was getting to get familiarize with the folks, practices and cultures over there. Now, when the plot concentrates into the lives of the Lakeside town, I was no longer interested anymore. I don't know whether is it just me, but the slump itself has causes me to stalled a nearly good year with other reading materials. To be even more honest, I feared in picking up another fantasy book from then on.

That aside, I love how the execution of Mythology has been written in the context of our time. It was cleverly done with a lot of sudden magic, bargains and threats. Weird sexual fantasies among mentioned with some gods that was described in full images all over our imaginations. This is some R rated shit we're reading here, and this is suppose to be an Adult Fiction with great depths of the understanding of other gods as well.

I would love to say that this is something not be missed however, I do have my issues with certain things. If you are an avid fast pace Fantasy reader, please do give this book sometimes as the built up is not as quick. It needed time to simmer into our heads before the grand finale of the plot kicks in.

At the end of the book, Gaiman did say he missed out one of the most talk gods in all generation and was still thinking whether this was supposed to be added into the amended plot or whether it should be taken out. He wasn't sure at all, but the excerpt was in there for readers to judge whether that few pager would made it worthwhile for all readers or it will just cheese some readers off as that part of the scene might be to draggy.

Overall, I liked it but it wasn't great for me. A person who was brought up in a multi cultural environment which was able to pick up most of these major mythology stories on other gods, wouldn't been blown away. Why? If this is big, I guess the ones from the Asia as a whole would made it into a more Religious Fantasy in a larger scale in which it will has it's own universe and all that crap. Let's not get into that and hope the TV series would execute it from a better perspective and outlook of it. Whether or not the TV series would remain PG or , that I would be interested to know.

Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Mistborn Series 3.5 - Secret History by Brandon Sanderson

Now this was a big surprise to many of Sanderson's fans. Especially for those who's closely following the Cosmere universe. I have not venture "The Stormlight Archive" series since the current print has only 2 books out of 10, my take would be, taking my time with that series since they are humongous-ly intimidating.

Note: Brandon's suggested to read this ONLY after reading "The Bands of Mourning". (I would highly agree with this suggestion due to certain happenings in that book itself)

Do I consider this as a novella? I would say that it's a companion of what's the real behind-the-scene of the Final Empire trilogy. There were many "AHA!" moments which made readers go, "This makes much more sense rather than being left unexplained throughout the course of the Mistborn series." (Mind you, the original Mistborn series is very well thought off but there were some being left unexplained). It will definitely cross-over to the Wax & Wayne story whereby the development of how it all happens even though it has been 300 years later.

I don't think I am able to further breakdown this review without spoiling anything. This book itself is bringing us closer to "The Cosmere" universe and we definitely still want more. Should I be reading "Elantris" next? I don't know but it seems to have a certain connection to it.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Mistborn Series 06 - The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

So, it's the continuation of the Wax and Wayne story from where we left off in "The Shadow of Self". There was a closure in that book and that would make readers like me by anticipating this book even more. Cut the crap and let's go into the good stuff.

Let me get it off my chest, I am in love with Steris in this book so much more than the first 2 books. Her character development has improved vastly and she makes the whole series even more interesting than I thought. The chemistry between Steris and Wax are to die for through out the book. The adventures here did not fail readers as there were more magic systems are being used and taken advantage of here.

Plot was a mystery at the beginning til the middle part of it. Remember, this is the second last book before the Finale of the Wax and Wayne trilogy. Many new things pop up right in front of my eyes that made me gawked. I wasn't expecting something to be so advanced when things happens.

Moreover, the new race, new mystery and new crap just happened in this book that make me puzzled whether I'm reading the same book as before. Many things where left hanging from the original trilogy. Many has not been said and told in the days of the Final Empire. What is it that causes the Bands of Mourning stood out is the advantage of knowing that there were new race, new languages and new technology.

You said that this was a steampunk-like book, I guess we will be heading something so ahead of our time and would made it into a real Sci-Fi Epic/High Fantasy genre that readers are going to get their mind so fucked up blown. Excuse my language, but I wouldn't know how to express any better than that anymore.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link