🔊Pre-requisite for reading this book: Must be read whilst commuting!
Let me start by extending my warmest regards to the author for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for my review, though I regret that I did not follow the pre-requisites for reading this book. *hides behind a bookshelf*
Commuting: An Underground World was written by Stephen Down and was published in 2019. It is, to use the book’s own words.. “new reading reading material to provide some light entertainment for your commute to work.”
Commuting hosts a series of mostly comedic anecdotes about the wonders and perils of the London underground. If you’re a frequent commuter like the author, then you’ll probably relate to most of this book, I certainly did, though I don’t commute much these days. The joys of walking..
This book is undeniably funny. It’s packed with quippy humour and sarcastic witticisms and definitely succeeded in getting a few laughs out of me. There were also more serious moments in the book that lingered in my thoughts and made me consider my own complicity in certain situations i.e. the conundrum of giving up one’s seat.
I would definitely recommend Commuting: An Underground World if you’re looking for light entertainment and a quick read that is deeply relatable and very funny!
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My reading month is looking pretty dismal so far and at this rate, I’ll be happy if I complete at least one book. I’ll never understand how some readers can complete upwards of 15 books in a month…FREAK readers is what I’ve decided to call them. Those people that can transcend the the strain of ‘adulting’ and thus process multiple books like machines. But I digress. Regardless of how subpar this month is turning out to be, I’m really excited about the new Booktube video that I’ve just posted and you should definitely check it out (despite my mugshot of a thumbnail!)
The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle was written by Steven Turton and was published in 2018 by Raven Books, a crime-thriller and horror imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing. It was later published in the U.S. as The 7 ½ Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle, but don’t worry, it’s exactly the same award-winning book with the Best First Novel prize in the 2018 Costa Book Awards, under its belt.
Synopsis: When Aiden Bishop wakes up, he has lost all his memories. He no longer remembers his name nor does he have any recollection of what he is pursuing out on the fields of the dilapidated Blackheath estate. He soon learns that he is trapped on this estate until he can solve the mystery behind Evelyn Hardcastle’s death. Everyday he wakes up in the body of a new host, where each new perspective provides more clues, unraveling the many dark secrets hidden behind the walls of Blackheath.
The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle felt like a BBC period drama reminiscent of Groundhog Day and the works of Agatha Christie. Despite the many influences this novel seemed to draw upon, it maintained its own sense of originality. I loved the way the narrative combined elements of thriller and horror. It had a very nail-biting, suspenseful edge, that was arresting.
The book handled the many co-existing storylines, involving the various different hosts, in such a way that the mystery felt like it was gradually coming together instead of relying too much on heavy exposition to fill in the gaps. There were occasions where exposition was artfully used under the guise of buying time, which honestly.. I would’ve preferred less of.
As you would expect from a thriller book of this sort, there are many plot twists which I was really entertained by, mostly because I didn’t see them coming, but that’s because I’m not the greatest at solving mysteries and would probably lose in a game of whodunit. So if you’ve read enough murder mysteries novels to call yourself a connoisseur, you may find the plot twists in want of distinction.
Overall, The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle was a deeply entertaining read that constantly kept me guessing. I think this book would make for a fantastic TV adaptation, which I can definitely see myself winding down to with a glass of wine (if I had a TV).
I rate The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle.. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hey Bookworms!! Thank you so much for reading this review! What was the last murder mystery you read? For more reviews like this, please visit the Book Reviews page.
I hope you’re enjoying whatever you’re reading this weekend. Feel free to share also, I could always use more recommendations. 😉
I recently posted my latest Booktube Review on VOX by Christina Dalcher, my current Book Of The Month! See below to view it and also if you’re feeling especially charitable today, then please subscribe to my channel for more booktube reviews.
Today I will be doing a book review of; Lord Of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. This review is brought to you courtesy of LoveReading UK, the largest book recommendations website in the U.K! Make sure you check out their website at www.lovereading.co.uk for more information on the LoveReading UK Ambassador book buzz, where you can also read other reviews on the epic Dark Artifices series.
Synopsis: Lord Of Shadows is the second book in The Dark Artifices series and was originally published in 2017. It continues the journey of the fearless shadowhunters, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn as with the rest of the L.A. institute, as they contend with a new threat. That of a faerie King with plans to unite the Seelie and Unseelie courts under his tyrannical reign, through means detrimental to Nephilim. With this threat looming overhead, the already strained relationship between Nephilim and Downworlders continues to breed devisive tension.
Clare maintains the escapist story-telling I was gushing over in my last review. The book’s magical quality, particularly in its portrayals of Faerie, appeal to the reader’s imagination, with its sense of novelty. Unlike Lady Midnight, this novel explores the land of Faerie in greater depth, propelling us deeper into a world of enchantment.
Lord Of Shadows is a novel that sets itself apart from most other fantasy books in its representation of different sexual orientations. I really appreciated the inclusion of such diverse characterisation, as it reflects a truer picture of modern day Western societies and therefore made the novel more current and relatable than many fantasy novels around today.
I’m super excited to present today’s book review, which is brought to you in association with LoveReading UK, the largest book recommendations website in the U.K. Make sure you check them out at; www.lovereading.co.uk
Also a BIG thank you to the publishers, Simon&Schuster for sending this book to me!
Synopsis:Lady Midnight is an epic fantasy novel that follows the story of Emma and Julian who are highly trained, demon-slaying Shadowhunters. As parabatai, they also share a magical bond, which amplifies their angelic powers in battle. But to be parabatai means to be bound to one another for life, forbidden from falling in love with one another.
When a series of mysterious murders occur across L.A. Emma and Julian, together with Julian’s family investigate these strange events that all linked and rooted in dark magic. Even if it means risking their lives, they are determined to solve this mystery as it leads them to the answers behind their tragic past.
Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy which was published in 2016. If you’ve read Clare’s previous Shadowhunter books, most notably The Mortal Instruments Series, which was also adapted for film, you’ll love reading this book. Clare creates an immersive, supernatural world that is a boon of escapism.
Interlude In Kosovo is the second novel written by former doctor turned author, Robert Hedley. It was published in 2018 by Michael Terence Publishing.
Synopsis: ” Dr. Claire Peters flees her unfaithful husband, James, to work for The World Health Organisation in post-war Kosovo. Her husband follows, hoping for reconciliation. Both take lovers, she a French Captain in KFOR (Kosovo Force), part of UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) he a beautiful Kosovar, wife of a senior member of the KLA (Kosova Liberation Army), catapulting both into a mix of Kosovo politics and criminality…” (an overview by goodreads).
Firstly, I would like to thank the author for gifting this book to me in exchange for my review!
I was immediately drawn to the title of this book as one who has essentially grown up in an environment where I was surrounded by Kosovans and Albanians, particularly during my school years, when there was a sharp increase in the number of migrant Kosovans to London in the aftermath of the war. Many of my schoolmates were Kosovan yet I knew little to nothing about the political unrest in their country and had the vaguest knowledge of a war that ravaged their land so when Robert asked me to review this book, I was very much eager to do so.
The writing in this novel is flawless; it sets the scene perfectly and the plot progresses at a comfortable speed that eases the reader into the story before the pacing suddenly picks up towards the end.
The story is loosely based on Hedley’s own experiences, also working for the World Health Organization in Kosovo during the post-war period, therefore there is a strong medical presence in this novel, however this didn’t detract from the book’s other core themes of political uncertainty, destitution, criminality and infidelity.
I particularly enjoyed the arc surrounding one of the ethnic Albanian characters, where the story conveyed an air of mystery and villainy, the development of which I found to be extremely multi-layered and made me sympathize with their character.
However, I was mostly underwhelmed by the development of the main characters; Claire and James, particularly the latter, not because of his lack of his restraint, or the fact that women seem to want to take their clothes off when there’re around him, but because of the bad decisions he constantly makes throughout the novel which made it difficult for me to empathize with his character.
I also wasn’t keen on the ending which felt a bit too sudden and rushed. The pacing of the novel picked up towards the end which I loved as it built suspense but it also meant that some of the mystery was handled with only cursory detail and therefore left underdeveloped. I was overall satisfied with how it ended but not so much on its execution.
Interlude In Kosovo was nonetheless an extremely enjoyable and insightful read that I would easily recommend. I would definitely read this book again purely for the enjoyment value and not as a critic as I love the story-telling and the light it sheds on the history and culture of Kosovo as well as the cataclysmic effects of oppression at the hands of a Serbian dictator.
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