Hermit Girl by E. M. Collyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars “I’m a bit like moss; at first you don’t notice me, but while you’re not looking, I secretly grow on you.” I got this book for free as an advance review copy by the author who happened to like my review of “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” and approached me. Thanks, E. M., I appreciate it! Secondly, I’d like to point out that “ten percent of the profits of this novel [are ...

Repentance by Andrew Lam My rating: 3 of 5 stars “The fact that they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor didn’t matter. They were guilty by association, by the color of their skin and the slant of their eyes. It didn’t matter that they didn’t speak Japanese, or that they were American citizens. The bottom line was that their kind had perpetrated a horrid crime that came from the land of their ancestors. The shame was a burden that all ...

Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh by Malayna Evans My rating: 1 of 5 stars “KA-TASTROPHY” Or “The story erupted from his mouth like vomit.” I got this book for free as a win from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. Thanks! There are books I’d love to just completely forget about, e. g. Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter so that I could read them again for the first time. Others, I simply want to forget. This book is one of th...

Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette My rating: 1 of 5 stars I was given this ebook for free by the author. In short: An eccentric rich guy called Hail kills a North Korean bad guy, the US administration notices, sends Hail on a mission to break stuff and sends a female “supermodel” CIA agent, Kara, with him. The story is lousy and the entire book has tons of useless techno babble in it that should simply have been scrapped. One of ...

Rise by Jennifer Anne Davis My rating: 4 of 5 stars I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program. As I’ve often received sub-par books, I was somewhat sceptical about this book as well. Turns out I was wrong, to some extent at least. While “Rise” does have quite a few deus-ex-machina moments (a certain rescue comes to mind), even some (more or less) glaring plot holes (what are the “apparitions” during...

Into the Decay by Justin K. Arthur My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was yet another pleasant surprise from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. This is a classic example for not judging a book by its cover because – let’s be honest – the cover looks like a failed experiment. The book itself, though, is fairly enjoyable. In fact, the story telling, the writing and the overall style (which *is* somewhat rough at the edges) re...

Silk by Chris Karlsen My rating: 2 of 5 stars This is yet another win from Early Reviewers. Unfortunately, it’s a completely forgettable book. I’ve read “Silk” some time ago and waited to write this review for a while to see what I would actually remember and how I would feel about it. The story is pretty much standard murder mystery: Killer kills woman, police tries to find him with the limited means of the time, police c...

Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was yet another surprisingly good book from early reviewers. As usual, I won’t bother with a summary especially since the description is already pretty good. The story is basically narrated on two different levels in time which are slowly being merged into the current day. Especially in the beginning, this is done masterfully and effortlessly. It’s getting slightly harder t...

Arctic Wargame by Ethan Jones My rating: 2 of 5 stars This review may contain spoilers! Since I got this book in a give-away, I really hoped I’d like it. Alas, it was not to be. First of all, the plot is thin. Thinner than a sheet of ice on a puddle. Evil Danes (or rather: a single evil Dane, being blackmailed by clichée russians) attacking Canada with a bunch of common criminals. On the other side are some non-descript Canadians (our blan...

The Normans: From Raiders to Kings by Lars Brownworth My rating: 4 of 5 stars I didn’t really know what to expect from this book. I thought the topic of the Normans was interesting but didn’t get my hopes up high since I had never heard of the author before, popular history books are usually not my taste and the cover was somewhat attention-seeking. I very quickly got drawn into the book deeply, though. Brownworth definitely succeeds ...

Cold Heart Creek (Detective Josie Quinn #7), by Lisa Regan
Book Review / January 24, 2020

Cold Heart Creek by Lisa Regan My rating: 4 of 5 stars Phew, Josie is back! After having been disappointed by Her Silent Cry, the previous instalment in the Josie Quinn series, this book brings her back on the right track. This time, Josie investigates the murder of a couple and the disappearance of a friend of theirs, deep in the woods. A hermit, some creepy underground caverns and a strange cult feature prominently in this story and l...

Herkunft, von Saša Stanišić
Book Review / January 15, 2020

Herkunft, von Saša Stanišić My rating: 5 of 5 stars “»Wo bist du zu Hause?« »Meine Sonne«, sagt Großmutter. »Meine Freude. Mein Esel. Begreif das endlich. Es zählt nicht, wo was ist. Oder woher man ist. Es zählt, wohin du gehst. Und am Ende zählt nicht mal das. Schau mich an: Ich weiß weder, woher ich komme, noch wohin ich gehe. Und ich kann dir sagen: Manchmal ist das gar nicht so schlecht.«” Ein neues Jahr und die er...

Warden’s Vengeance (Ancient Guardians, #4), by Tony James Slater
Book Review / January 8, 2020

The new year’s first review and, again, it’s a difficult one to write. In part because I did somewhat enjoy this latest instalment of “Ancient Guardians”. On the other hand, though, in spite of being a page-turner, I was constantly shifting between liking and hating this book. First of all, it’s more of pretty much exactly the same as in the previous books – Tris is fighting for peace in the universe, tagging along are K...

Little Wren and the Big Forest (The Legends of the First Empire 0.6), by Michael J. Sullivan
Book Review / December 16, 2019

Little Wren and the Big Forest by Michael J. Sullivan My rating: 2 of 5 stars This was, unfortunately, a quick and painful read. We’re observing how Wren enters the big – forbidden and foreboding – forest despite her entire family having disappeared in it before. Even worse: She goes into the forest knowing full well it’s a trap and, “being eight years old and small for her age” she has absolutely nothing to expect b...

The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library #6), by Genevieve Cogman
Book Review / December 13, 2019

The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Stories matter – telling them, sharing them, preserving them, changing them, learning from them, and escaping with and through them. We learn about ourselves and the world that we live in through fiction just as much as through facts. Empathy, perception and understanding are never wasted. All libraries are a gateway into other worlds, including the past – and the fut...

Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire #5), by Michael J. Sullivan
Book Review / November 30, 2019

Age of Death by Michael J. Sullivan My rating: 3 of 5 stars It pains me to write this but I didn’t really like “Age of Death”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book per se. It’s just that it feels flat and – ironically – lifeless. That’s probably why it took me almost a month to finish it. “Age of Death” starts where Age of Legend, the previous book, left off with a huge cliffhanger. Now our heroes mo...

The Darker Arts (Frey & McGray, #5), by Oscar de Muriel
Book Review / November 4, 2019

The Darker Arts by Oscar de Muriel My rating: 1 of 5 stars I read one book at a time, always. I simply cannot just “switch” from one book to another anymore. So, if I hit a rotten tomato I tend to actually read less. I’m typing this on my iPhone. A minute ago, I found myself wondering and thinking, “I usually read at a time like this.” – while I was playing a game. Then it began to dawn on me: ‘How much must you despis...

A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18), by Deborah Crombie
Book Review / October 21, 2019

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, we’re already at the 18th instalment of this great series. When I picked this book up, I was slightly worried how I would like it, considering that I haven’t exactly had much luck with long-running series this year; the latest Dupin a disappointment almost as badly as the latest Bruno (review here). Would Deborah Crombie let me down as well? Would she make me wish for Du...

Fallen (Alex Verus, #10) by Benedict Jacka
Book Review / October 14, 2019

Fallen by Benedict Jacka My rating: 3 of 5 stars Let me state clearly where I stand when it comes to Alex Verus: I think he’s the greatest Urban Fantasy protagonist ever. I’ve enjoyed every single book in the series and I enjoyed this latest instalment as well – just not as much as most of the others, unfortunately. Why though? The trademark humour is there, Luna is there and so are Anne, Variam, Arachne and others. Sadly, they mo...

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.75), by Andrzej Sapkowski,
Book Review / October 11, 2019

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski My rating: 5 of 5 stars “‘Who the hell are you?’ Geralt asked again, leaning forward. ‘What are you doing… in this forest? How did you get here?’ The girl lowered her head and sniffed loudly. ‘Cat got your tongue? Who are you, I said? What’s your name?’ ‘Ciri,’ she said, sniffing.” Once more we return to Geralt of Rivia, the eponymous Witcher, and his deeds. Mostly, though, ...