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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Freaking out moments #24 - William Kent Krueger (@WmKentKrueger)

As usual, getting the slightest attention from author itself makes me really happy! I might not know them all that well but the fact that they have responded to my tweet, I'm all STOKED!!!

Personally, I have not read any of his Cork O'Connor series. But "Ordinary Grace" itself has already blown me away. I might want to try it one day .

Official Website:  William Kent Krueger
Tweet: @WmKentKrueger

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (@jojomoyes)

And I thought this book falls under the Romance genre. To my surprise, this book has brought me into a whole new level of Romance that I have never read before. I am so shaken up about this journey called life that no one is able to live through this with unending tears. I'm in total admiration of their bravery.

I must admit, I thought I knew it all when it was being told from the beginning the exact intention of hiring Louisa Clark as the carer for Will Traynor. I couldn't have been more wrong when the excerpt was thrown to my face during Nathan's explanation on what Will has went through. I must confess, that I was in a state of selfishness to think like a dictator on how to live a good life.

Euthanasia is still by far illegal in most countries. This book did not promised the definition of it but it has brought you through it with so much love, joy and uncertainty. The movie adaptation will be out by June 2016. And by the look of the movie trailer itself, both Emilia Clarke & Sam Claflin did a fantastic job in portraying these characters with much dignity and pride.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (@WmKentKrueger)

This book is so beautiful. Historical Fiction is where my comfort zone is, and til today it never fails to grab my attention. This book covers both Historical Fiction and Crime Mystery elements in it too. It was set in 1960s and the nostalgia of it brings in so much flavor into the the story line. Endless old vehicle brands were mentioned, as you are able to imagine the old glory days of how rugged there were.

We are told in the perspective of Frankie. He is the older son, middle child, of a Pastor in that community and as mischievous as he can be, he seems to be really nosy around the neighborhood. Why, if not, there wouldn't be a story to tell at all. It's fascinating how the story is being brought to life through many simple ways, some might say back-to-basics, in the days of the 60s. Good food, caring neighborhood, and a united community... what is there to complain?

The fact that this book has a mystery elements in it, I would rather remain my silence by allowing you to enjoy how it's solved. There was a shocked factor but I kinda brought the rating 1 star down because I knew who it was the moment someone went missing. I was an avid reader of the Crime and Political thrillers before I joined the Internet book community. So, I kinda spoiled myself  because there was a little giveaway in the middle when the crime starts to unfold itself. 

Overall, this was a wonderful read. I love how the author delivers his message through 4 types of death. It's written beautifully! Give it a go!

Some of my favorite quotes:

"He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

"And what is happiness? In my experience, it's only a moment's pause here and there on what is otherwise a long and difficult road. No one can be happy all the time. Better to wish for wisdom, a virtue not so fickle."

"It seemed good to be dead and by that I mean that if the dead cared no more about the worries they'd shouldered in life and could lie back and enjoy the best of what God had created it was a day for exactly such."

"God never promised us an easy life. He never promised that we wouldn't suffer, that we wouldn't feel despair and loneliness and confusion and desperation. What He did promise was that in our suffering we would never be alone. And though we may sometimes make ourselves blind and dead to His presence He is beside us and around us and within us always. We are never separated from His love. And He promised us something else, the most important promise of all. That there would be surcease. That there would be an end to our pain and suffering and our loneliness, that we would be with Him and know Him, and this would be heaven."

"The truth is that when you kill a man it doesn't matter if he's your enemy and if he's trying to kill you. That moment of his death will eat at you for the rest of your life. It'll dig into bone so deep inside  you that not even the hand of God is going to be able to pull it out, don't care how much you pray. Multiply that feeling by several years and too many doomed engagements and more horror than you can possibly imagine. And the utter senselessness and the total hopelessness become your enemy as much as any man pointing a rifle at you. And because they were officers, some men were forced to be the architects of that senselessness, and what they asked of themselves and of the men they commanded was a burden no human being should have to shoulder."

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I love this book so much. It makes the world so colorful. This book never promise that life is a bed of roses but it was written with so much love. Much things has happened and yet you still feel homely and you yearn for more. Nevertheless, it still has to end.

I have no words to describe how much this books makes me feel. 

*Hugs* everyone!!!

This is still my favourite movie of all time!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Monday, February 29, 2016

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

You know you're in for a treat when you are reading a book that is based on a post-apocalyptic world. Many might think this would be another Dystopian worthy book which made many readers now cringe every time some of this words mentioned. In this case, it's not.

This is what most post-apocalyptic book should be. It was written so well that you know you're in the same world with a total disability on the basics of life after a pandemic flu outbreak and destroy most of mankind. To begin with, some might think that the end of everything is due to war but this book has brought us to a whole new paradigm on how mankind can be destroyed with just a simple deadly virus.

It was written with care on how humans will be like during moments such as this. Some of your close ones are stuck in some random parts of the world (ehem, my home country was mentioned) and the rest of the world would just siren a stand down and you are being set apart just like that.

How it was written very much reminds me of the TV series "The Walking Dead" which creeps the crap out of me. One has to go through the agony of finding whether are there survivors out there after many days of hiding in the room. The fundamental of survivor-hood during times likes this is it crucial? Everything now has been so taken care of that these basic knowledge of starting a fire is so essential to mankind. Mind you, there is no more electricity and internet. 

The world became so big once more where the main source of communication has been cut off! So much for Globalization. This book has been thumping into our heads, what would you do when you lost all of WHAT-YOU-THINK is basic to you now is no longer basic when you have no fire and clean water to begin with.

This is a great book and I just got to know that this book is already in the progress of turning into a movie. I would love to see how all of this turns out.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller

I know of many who has heard Jesus's ever famous parable "The Prodigal Son". And I know of many who hasn't got the chance to hear about it too, which I think they might have a hint since many story's adaptation has minor hints of this parable. In my years of being a believer of Christ, this parable speaks to me in so many ways. It has so many dimensions that this can be a very good material for all people (especially Christians).

Only 7 chapters and this book is able to astound me by realizing how one parable is able to sum up the Bible as a whole. I never knew who was the original audience that Jesus was REALLY speaking to when it was being told.

Tim Keller started out by clarifying the definition of Prodigal:
1) Recklessly Extravagant
2) Having Spent Everything

Note this, this parable was a response to the grumbling Pharisees around him and Jesus starts the story by saying "There was a man who had two sons." Now, this is where the discussion starts.

Firstly, Timothy has laid down all the foundation of the Middle Eastern patriarchal practices when he further breakdown the story by explaining how inappropriate these two sons has shown towards their father. Secondly, this book shows us there were two types of sons who sins against the father. The "Younger Brother" is the one who has rebel but repented. The "Elder Brother" would be the one who refuses to forgive both the father & brother for what he thinks he should be the one getting rewarded.

Our society is divided into two cultures, as Keller points out. The culture of the "older brother" is the conventional moral conformist, commonly known for "stability" as well as striving to please authority figures. The "younger brother" culture lives by their own rules, walking a path of self-discovery. Every person gravitates to one of these two categories, and some combine the two. Both cultures proclaim, "If those people would follow our example, the world would be a better place." Our problem is that, no matter what side of the cultural divide we land on, we still play the role of the two lost sons, alienating ourselves from the Father by a self-centered focus on either keeping all the rules or breaking them all.

Overall, I love how this parable has executed for the greater good for the Christian community. Now I know why many are getting away from the Christian's faith. It is because of us who portrays so much like the "Elder Brother" that drives people away from God. Good read!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Monday, February 1, 2016

Saga Series 12 - Chapter Twelve by Brian K. Vaughan

No way! No *effin* way!!! You can't just end it like that. It's illegal! This is an abomination to end such a fantastic build up. You can't possibly expect to me to be left hanging just like this. It's wrong! It's abusive to the readers!

The whole build up was fantastic. The dreams, the interrogation and the whole drama that was placed right in front of the readers face. Wait, am I assuming too much that Prince Robot IV is a little bi-curious? I literally saw his monitor flashing gay orgies with tons of penis in it. Is that why he's avoiding to go home?

This will be the end of Volume 02 in the series. So good!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saga Series 11 - Chapter Eleven by Brian K. Vaughan

Alright, I wanna get back from where I left off. And it looks like the first few pages was a little too R rated for my opinion. Nonetheless, it's part and puzzle of life and it was a flashback scene. So, just deal with it.

They were in the middle of a giant planet fetus type that was sucking them all into a giant mouth vault. Saving themselves is a current daunting task where this tree spaceship isn't their best option to speed up as expected. Compromising for everyone's safety, a life has been sacrificed and flashback memories of how important this person is has tone down the softer side of Marko and it was amazingly executed.

Still an amazing series!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bear, Otter, and the Kid 01 - Bear, Otter, and the Kid by T.J. Klune

Well, if you do not know by now, this is TJ Klune's book and it is part of a series. This is not my first book from this author and I think this is one of his best contemporary LGBT genre I've read so far. You would know whether the author has great writing skills, and this one does because he plays with my emotions while I'm reading it. Not fair! Anyway, he's the type of writer that draws you in real quick, and it is the very minute you start reading the first sentence, let's just say paragraph. I'm trying very hard not to sound over exaggerated here.

All of his characters were so well thought off and I can't seem to fathom how much I can relate to all of them -- especially the bonding of these 2 brothers, the Kid and Bear. The bonding between this 2 brothers were so strong that you know that nothing can ever tears them apart. Great moments of joy, sadness and laughter were portrayed so well when the siblings were having their assurance for one another on how much they love each no matter what ugly comes their way.

Love interest between Bear and Otter was not a smooth ride. The hiding, the struggles, the pain and the frustrations were all spelled out progressively instead of throwing it all into the readers face with just pure lust. The built up of their relationship was very well-paced rather than heading down the cheesy and lusty romance route where you can find it in practically most of the New Adults genre these days. Sexy scenes were in it but it's never the main spinal of the plot line. Thank God!

I'm not going to discuss about the plot because many who has read this book referenced it with the movie Shelter back in 2007. I've had my fair bit of curiosity on what the fuss is about. So, I've watched it and came to a conclusion that it was really closely adapted BUT the connection in the movie was not doing anything for me as an audience in as much as reading this book is concern. That movie is heavily on self-discovery and just romance based for each other; this book has family values written all over it with real love and support.

Many might think this is plagiarism between the movie and the book, but I think this ending has taken to a whole new level of anti-climatic journey which no readers were expecting that sort of turning point and it works really really well. How it ends was even a greater blow in which you, as readers, would want to know what is it for all of them in their next chapter. Such a good read!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book To Movie Review 06: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (2004)

Alright, here me out, I did not like this movie as much as the book. You know I know how much books adaptation movies are when it comes to details.

It has so many comedic elements in this portion of the book and I can't imagine is has taken a big portion out. It has so much elements on how the British scorns, despise and to abhor a person with so much hatred in their words and eyes. Harry has grown and how he manages to threatens Uncle Vernon is one way to see how much he can manage him instead of how they ill-treated him all the whole dang time!

Now, I was a little disappointed that the whole show, we only have 1 game. It has 3 games in the book and the house points will be gathered. In addition, there were moments of the book by introducing a so-called infatuation between Harry and Cho-Chang, which in turn to build it up in the for the 4th movie with a smoother transition.

Also, the Firebolt was given to him during the 2nd game in the book! However, the Firebolt was diverted to the end of the scene! Why!!?? I literally can't wait to see the jealous rage on Malfoy in this. Big disappointment!

House Points
In lieu with the Quidditch rant above, they literally have neglected the whole house points system in the movie like how the first one do. I know that Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were truly celebrating for Gryffindor but I have never see how Slytherin always sulk in the movie version. Come on!

Sirius Black
Now this, I was anticipating a flashback shot for this. I was really yearning to see how much flashback they could spend on telling the backstory of Lily and James Potter with the rest of the marauder map's creators. This was largely a huge bit to further explore the identity of Harry Potter. It was only conveyed verbally in through conversations in the movie. Short conversations.

Don't get me wrong, this is how I feel what the movie has to offer. In the end, I like how the movie flows in a special way because no matter how, this is still a book-to-movie adaptation and I can foresee more to be taken off from the movie for the upcoming ones because the books are getting thicker and movie's duration can only be that few hours.

Ratings: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Harry Potter Series 03 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Now this, the third book in the Harry Potter series. This would be my favorite of all, as of now. It literally is! I've never thought I would say this, but this series really works to a wide range of audience! Shamelessly, me!

It started with the Dursleys (the usual), and Aunt Marge (Uncle Vernon's sister) was being introduced and she is seriously quite a character. She is definitely ten times worst than the three living with Harry. I remember watching an English movie titled "Melody (1971)" and how ill-treated the adults treated the minors, this is totally a resemblance of the such character that Aunt Marge portrays. She just got on my nerves and to them, discipline is a must! Right now, with that kind of discipline, I'll consider it illegal... but let's not dwell into that.

An interesting take on how Harry was being brought to Diagon Alley with a mini adventure. Pieces of plots were told which sparks up your curiosity. What was even more interesting was during the train ride to Hogwarts. We are being introduced with the antagonist alongside withe the prison guards creatures called the Dementors. Yep, not telling anything more, many has read the series, let's not be long winded. It's a review!

We have a new Dark Arts teacher named Remus Lupin, and it was one heck of a class whilst one is reading it. The class has taken to a whole new level of academia in the school. Here now, Hermione was taking tons of class and no one seems to understand how she was able to cope with the crazy timetable. The emphasis on Scabbers & Crookshanks played a larger part in this series with underlying plot. Nope, not going into that either!

Quidditch. It has 3 games overall, which got me really excited. We are being introduced to Ravenclaw's seeker, Cho Chang. She was described as pretty and I can sense that Harry took a little interest in her which made sense since they are both in the same sports, something in common would make them spark a little more, I suppose.

There was a major plot twist towards the end of the book and it ended very very well. This book has taken the Harry Potter series to a whole new level of the reading experience. I must say, this is really one heck of a ride.

The characters are growing, plots are getting stronger, many truths unveiled and more to come for the next book. I think I would want to dive in to it soon.

Ratings: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Series of Unfortunate Events 13 - The End by Lemony Snicket

It's the very end of the series. Honestly, I felt a little let down when I know that was how the whole series ended. There were so many things left hanging which made me kinda bump out knowing that I have invested so much time reading the whole series. However, I did like the pacing of the book. The plot was much more interesting than the last few books. It wasn't as draggy and it didn't feel that you're approaching the very end of the series.

Many thinks, as a reader, were left unexplained. I kinda sense it from the how the way the author was approaching the end. True, in reality, many things happened were left unexplained but this is a middle grade book and the target audience are the kids. Shouldn't the story line brightens up a little hint on how all the unfortunate events happened for a reason?

Was I happy that I have finished the series?

Was I happy with the writing style?
I'm okay except for the rambling.

Was I happy with the ending?

Was I happy with the plot?
Honestly, it was really interesting.

Lastly, what shocks me was when Lemony Snicket recites a poem by Charles Baudelaire. Now, this is the kind of shocked factor I would like from reading a book. It doesn't make much sense but then it has some contributing element into the plot.

Overall, this is only my own opinion and no one else's. You might like it or you might love it or you might hate it.

Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Series of Unfortunate Events 12 - The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket

Now, I finally felt the series is heading some where. There's a twist with something that the Baudelaire did which I'm liking it. I guess the explanation of phrases and words are a little bit of a stretched towards the adult readers. 

Although, it is still a good platform for the younger ones to read with a ton of new jargon to learn from but then again, I have realized that there is a repetitive trend in certain chapters of the book. It really bump me out while I'm reading. In lieu with that, I've been skimming through the series practically from Book 8 or 9 on wards.

I really do not know whether I will get myself blown away by the end of the whole series. Seriously, the author himself has already preempt us from the very beginning. So, I would be expecting something not as solid as what it should turn out to be. The ending, I mean.

C'est La Vie!

Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link