Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: June 2014

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Cassie Scott: Paranormal Detective by Christine Amdsen

Promo blurb:

Cassie Scott is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a lace for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family's reputation isn't easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

My review

From the start I could see that I was going to enjoy this book. Something about the way it was written truly spoke to me.
I loved the character of Cassie, who appeared as a realistically strong young lady. Evan was an intriguing character, which fitted his role in the story well. 
The plot was a good mystery-style story, and I found myself truly wanting to work out 'who-dunnit' for myself, however I did feel that the outcome was a little too predictable.
The only thing I really didn't enjoy about this book was the form of paranormal investigation. I can't go into more details without ruining the plot, but suffice to say that it was one of my personal dislikes. If you enjoy all forms of paranormal then this book will be fine for you.
I would also have liked it to have finished on more of a cliff-hanger as had ending felt a little too resolved for my liking (in the middle of the final chapter would have been perfect).
Overall, an enjoyable book which had me reading the quickest I have for a long time.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review: The Ghosts of Nagasaki by Daniel Clausen

One night a foreign business analysis in Tokyo sits down in his spacious high rise apartment and begins typing something. The words pour out and exhaust him. He soon realises that the words appearing on his laptop are memories of his first days in Nagasaki four years ago. 
Nagasaki was a place full of spirits, a garrulous Welsh roommate, and a lingering mystery.
Somehow he must finish the story of four years ago- a story that involves a young Japanese girl, the ghost of a dead Japanese writer, and a mysterious island. He must solve this mystery while manoeuvring the hazards of middle management, a cruel Japanese samurai, and his own knowledge that if he doesn't solve this mystery soon his heart will transform into a ball of steel, crushing his soul forever. Though he wants to give up his writing, though he wants to let the past rest, within his compulsive writing lies the key to his salvation.

My review
At first appearance this book is a collection of adolescent goings on from the point of view of an intoxicated man living in Japan. It jumps back and forth between points of time and is quite hard to follow. For this reason it took me a long time to recognise any real story.
Then, slowly, I began to get into the book. It began to make sense and become something more spiritual and meaningful. By the end the protagonist no longer felt like a jerk, but more like an understandable human being. 
This is a story of growing up and discovering yourself. I only wish it had started from half way through.


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