Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Release Date: 1st November 2011
Publisher:
Orion Books

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 294
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
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"London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.

Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase-the House of Silk-a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society."

Review:
I had my doubts about this book. I had heard that it was really great, but I wasn't sure that Anthony Horowitz could really capture the essence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing, as the book blurb proclaimed. But I had no need to worry - I absolutely loved this. It was great because it managed to capture the essence of Sherlock Holmes, convert it into a really great story by connecting seemingly unconnectable story lines together with twists and turns left, right and centre. As always, you are left in the dark until the final last chapters, when Holmes starts to bring everything together.

I gave this book a rating of 5/5, which is a full star higher that what I gave 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle {my review here}. The reason why is because Conan Doyle wrote short stories, whereas Horowitz has written a full length novel, giving him the ability to create a really deep and thorough storyline that would otherwise be unachievable in a short story. On top of that, I found it a little difficult to work my way through Conan Doyle's short stories, whereas I had no such problem with this book. I won't go so far as to say that this book surpasses what Conan Doyle wrote (nobody could write a better, and more authentic Holmes storyline), but Horowitz has managed to write a really great, authentic book.

Overall, this is a must read. If you're a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast like me, you will love this book. If you're a mystery and crime enthusiast, then you will love this book. If you just want a good read, then you will love this book.


 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WWW Wednesday (6)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
WWW Wednesdays is a weekly Meme hosted by Mizb @ Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:
  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you'll read next?
*Note: all links go to Amazon, except for when you click on the pictures :)

My Answers:
  1. I'm currently reading, The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. It's just as good as I imagined it to be.

  2. Last week I finished reading Juliet by Anne Fortier {my review here}

  3. I'm going to take a little break for a while, and kick of the 2012 Off The Shelve Challenge by reading The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins on my new eReader in the new year! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (6)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Teaser Tuesday is a Meme hosted by Mizb @ Should Be Reading. Anyone can join in, as long as they do the following:
  • Grab your current read. 
  • Open your book to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. 
  • Warning:  Avoid spoilers in your teaser as not everyone has had the pleasure to read your current read
  • Share the Title Author so anyone can add your current read to their list if they wish to do so. 
  • Note: links go to Amazon

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz
Release Date:
1st November 2
011
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 294

It's the last Teaser Tuesday of the year - enjoy this really interesting and tantalizing teaser below! 

 "There were two figures. One was a young girl whom I recognised at once. It was Sally Dixon, the older sister of Ross, who had been working at the Bag of Nails. She had been shot twice, in the chest and in the head. She was lying on the cobblestones in a pool of liquid which showed black in the darkness but which I knew to be her blood. I also knew the man who lay unconscious in front of her, one hand stretched out, still holding the gun that had shot her. It was Sherlock Holmes" pg 140

Monday, December 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

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In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren 
*Note: all links go to Amazon

How was everybody's Christmas Day? It's Boxing Day here in Australia, and I would have done this post yesterday just that I was so busy when I got home setting up my NEW eBOOK READER! I am so excited to finally have one, and not only that, but it came with heaps of free ebooks to get me started!

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Review: Juliet by Anne Fortier

Juliet by Anne Fortier
Release Date: 26th July 2011
Publisher:
HarperCollins

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 512
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
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"When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?"

Review:
I didn't really know what this book was about when I bought it a couple of months ago. I had heard that it was really popular, and it had something to do with Romeo and Juliet. But I never expected this. I can't believe that I left this on my TBR pile for sooo long - this book kept me up until 2am one morning, it was that good. And I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for future Anne Fortier releases.

I think the main reason that this book kept me enthralled was the fact that two (yes, two) good, solid storylines were cleverly written and woven together. Chapters alternated between the present and the past, so it was almost like reading two separate stories. But, of course, each story related to the other, so reading them together gave rise to a really great story overall. I'm amazed by the amount of research that must have gone into writing this book - just for that reason alone you have to give it props. 

This is a book that almost anyone can read because it has managed to combine a whole array of different genres - romance was mixed with historical fiction and a little bit of mystery was thrown into the mix, making it a really interesting read. If I start talking about the character's I'm afraid I'll give something plot wise away, so I'll restrain myself. I'll finish by saying that if you only read one more book this year, make it this one. But, if the summary from Amazon and this review hasn't convinced you, maybe the trailer below will:

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WWW Wednesdays (5)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
WWW Wednesdays is a weekly Meme hosted by Mizb @ Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:
  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you'll read next?
*Note: all links go to Amazon

My Answers:
  1. I'm currently reading, Julietby Anne Fortier. I can't believe I left this book on my TBR pile for so long - It's turned out to be a lot different, and better than I expected.

  2. A while ago I finished reading Deja Deadby Kathy Reichs, but I only got around to writing up my review on Monday {which you can read here}

  3. I'm planning to read The House of Silkby Anthony Horowitz next- not only have I heard that it's quite good, but it's also a Sherlock Holmes novel!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (5)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Teaser Tuesday is a Meme hosted by Mizb @ Should Be Reading. Anyone can join in, as long as they do the following:
  • Grab your current read. 
  • Open your book to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. 
  • Warning:  Avoid spoilers in your teaser as not everyone has had the pleasure to read your current read
  • Share the Title Author so anyone can add your current read to their list if they wish to do so. 
  • Note: links go to Amazon

Juliet by Anne Fortier
Release Date:
26th July 2011

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 512

I'm sorry this teaser is a bit long, but I just had to include it all!

"No sooner had I made the decision to move than I heard the sound of footsteps; not the footsteps of a librarian returning from siesta or a student looking for a book, but the cautious footsteps of someone who did not want me to hear him, someone whose errand in the archives was even more dubious than mine. Peeking through the shelves I saw him coming my way - and yes, it was the same old scum who had followed me the night before - slithering from bookcase to bookcase, his eyes fixed on the metal door to the vault. But this time, he was carrying a gun"

And the book even has a trailer! Check it out below





 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: Deja Dead (Tempe Brennan #1) by Kathy Reichs

Deja Dead (Tempe Brennan #1) by Kathy Reichs
Release Date: 1st June 1998
Publisher:
Random House

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 509
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Book Blurb:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
"The meticulously dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery. Too decomposed for standard autopsy. Request anthropological expertise.

Enter Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, and expect in the identification of bodies too old or damaged for routine examination. Tempe has been researching recent disappearances in the city, and despite the deep cynicism of Detective Claudel who heads the investigation, she is convinced that a serial killer is at work. Her forensic expertise finally convinces Claudel, but only after the body count has risen...

Tempe takes matters into her own hands, but her determined probing places those closest to her in mortal danger. Can Tempe make the crucial breakthrough before the killer strikes again?"

Review:
I really, really enjoyed this book, and Kathy Reichs is shaping up to be one of my favourite authors. After reading Death Du Jour a little while ago, I went back to the first book of the series to get the back story straight. Now, I'm determined to read all of the books in the Tempe Brennan series, in order, because they really are just that good.
The book pretty much had me gripped from the beginning, and managed to hold my attention most of the way through. I did, however, find this book harder to read than Death Du Jour, which is why I'm giving it a 4.5 out of 5. But honestly, that's the only reason - not because the story was flawed, just because the book was too long for my liking. 

Most of the rest of my review is along the lines of what I wrote in my review for Death du Jour, so instead of bore everyone who already read that review, I'll just create a link to it here. The last thing I'll say is this - if you're a fan of crime, mystery and thriller books, then you can't go past this series.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

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In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren 
*Note: all links go to Amazon

 

This week I went Christmas shopping, and while I was in Target I noticed a whole section dedicated to Kathy Reichs. If you've been reading the blog, you probably know that I bought 3 Kathy Reichs books from Target not too long ago, and I've become a bit obsessed with them since. So when I saw that one book was only $10, I really had no choice - I had to buy it!

Mortal Remains
by Kathy Reichs

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Release Date: 9th April 2007
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 414
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival."

Review:
I really enjoyed this book. And what I enjoyed most was the imagery of the circus. It just seemed so majestic...the description made me feel like I was really there, in the thick of it with the animals. Not only that, but it was a really easy book to read, and I really enjoy books that don't require me to do too much thinking - one of the main reasons why I read is to let my mind relax and journey someplace new and exciting.
The love story itself was also interesting to read, but I'm not sure if it's just me, or if the romance was jumpy. What I mean is, it didn't progress very well...to me it seemed that Jacob meets Marlena, and then a couple of pages later, for no apparent reason, he was declaring his love for her. Whether this was the writing style or just me, it impacted on how I read the book and how I responded to it overall - if the romance had been conveyed better, this book would definitely be a 4.5 or 5 out of 5. Even so, this is a really great book to read - anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, chick lit and animals is going to love this book

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sign up for the $100 Amazon Twitter Blast


What is a Twitter Blast? You the blogger can join for free with one account – Twitter. Then we will provide the prize-$100 Amazon card.

For more information about the competition and to sign up, click here

Check back on the blog soon because the giveaway will be going live any day now... 

**Note** I am not the host or sponsor of this event - click the link above to sign up

WWW Wednesdays (4)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
WWW Wednesdays is a weekly Meme hosted by Mizb @ Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:
  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you'll read next?
*Note: all links go to Amazon

My Answers:
  1. I'm currently reading, Deja Deadby Kathy Reichs. I bought this book along with 2 other Kathy Reichs books because they were in a box set for only $19 (can't pass up a bargain like that!).

  2. Last Friday I finished reading Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs {my review here}

  3. Julietby Anne Fortier - it's been on my TBR pile for almost a year now...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (4)


Teaser Tuesday is a Meme hosted by Mizb @ Should Be Reading. Anyone can join in, as long as they do the following:
  • Grab your current read. 
  • Open your book to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. 
  • Warning:  Avoid spoilers in your teaser as not everyone has had the pleasure to read your current read
  • Share the Title Author so anyone can add your current read to their list if they wish to do so. 
  • Note: links go to Amazon
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
Release Date:
1st June 1998

Publisher: Random House Australia
Pages: 509

' "There may be a serial killer out there, Jewel. Someone murdering women and slicing them up. Jewel, is my friend in danger?" 

Our eyes locked.

"She female, chere?" '  pg 231


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
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