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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill

The Fireman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've been meaning to read for a while, and I'm really glad I finally did.

Harper is a school nurse when the world starts burning. A mysterious spore everyone calls Dragonscale starts infecting people and civilization slowly crumbles. After the schools are closed, she spends months trying to help the infected in a local hospital.

Until even that burns to the ground.

When she gets home, Harper discovers the dreaded condition has found her too. Being infected highlights how shitty her marriage really is, and leads her to a group of survivors who might be able to help her save the most important thing in her life. Or might end up being her damnation...

Wow. Seriously, wow.

What an awesome book!

I was intrigued as soon as I started. I liked Harper instantly, disliked her husband, and as soon as the Fireman entered the scene I couldn't wait to find out more about him.

The pacing in this book is great. While on one hand, it's a total slow burn (pardon the pun) because the end of the world comes gradually, when fire starts engulfing everything and everyone things move pretty swiftly.

It's a fast-paced story, yet nothing is rushed.

There are quite a few characters and they're all weird, wonderful and awful in their own way. But I liked that we see things unfold from Harper's third-person POV because she was a great narrator. She has quite a bit of conflict going on: a crazy ex, a new society to adapt to, an unborn baby to think about, and a man who intrigues her. There's a lot to unpack, but her kindness and determination to do the right thing never fades. No matter how bad it gets, she never sways.

Harper is one of many strong women in this book. RenΓ©e is awesome and brave. Allie is stubborn and brave.

This is quite a chunky book, but I couldn't put it down. I was hooked from the start and the tension kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. The stakes kept getting higher and everyone goes through hell.

I liked that although the Fireman was quite skilled in his use of the Dragonscale, and totally mysterious, he's not a superhero. He's an average man and it takes time for him to recover. He was charming and funny and annoying all at once.

There's not a dull moment in this insane story.

The Fireman is an unpredictable and totally addictive story about the end of the world. It's an original and unique twist to the post-apocalyptic genre full of interesting characters that surprised me every step of the way.

It's unpredictable, surprising, full of adventure and is riveting until the very last word. And contains some really cool references to other books, music and pop culture.

Oh, I thought the hive-mind mentality commentary on social media, wrapped up in a great story was very clever, too. How the sense of belonging can deepen connections, but can also be corrupted. Actually, this doesn't just apply to social media. I've seen it happen in so many other situations. People are capable of destroying anything that's good. πŸ˜’

Well, there's only one last thing to say: I wonder how long the Dire Straits Romeo and Juliet song is going to be playing inside my head...?


Tuesday, 26 November 2019

THE BRILLIANT DR WOGAN by RA Montgomery

The Brilliant Dr. Wogan (Choose Your Own Adventure, #72)The Brilliant Dr. Wogan by R.A. Montgomery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I used to love reading Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid. I borrowed them from the school library and from the public library. I couldn't get enough!

So it was awesome to find a few during our thrift store adventures. This is one of them and I had a blast reading it.

Dr. Wogan has designed a machine able to neutralise radiation. That means that everyone could survive a nuclear war. But in the wrong hands, it would mean the world could be held ransom.

As her young assistant it's YOUR job to find her, and make sure the plans are safe...

This was a lot of fun! The beauty of these books is that you can choose one path to The End, and then go back and take another one.

I enjoyed the book so much, I followed three different paths:

1). I took a few wrong turns and didn't find Dr. Wogan. Instead, I found myself in the middle of a time-travelling possibility. 😲

2). I took worse turns here, and ended up getting captured and forced into a shitty situation. πŸ˜’

3). I finally found my way to Dr. Wogan! Yay. And although things didn't turn out great, it was a bittersweet ending. Both good and bad, but at least it was with my boss. 😁

Yeah, this was really cool. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the other ones I have.


WELCOME TO CAMP SLITHER by RL Stine

Welcome To Camp Slither (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #9)Welcome To Camp Slither by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

During our thrift store adventures, we've been lucky enough to find a bunch of Goosebumps books, and this one is part of the Horrorland collection.

I used to read Goosebumps to my daughter when she was in primary school. And years before that, I used them to tutor English to kids.

So, of course I'm interested in checking out all the ones I haven't read.


WELCOME TO CAMP SLITHER:

Boone Dixon and his younger sister are excited about going off to Camp Hither. But as soon as he makes a friend, Roddy starts telling him about the scary snakes that are supposed to live in the lake and are keen to eat the campers...

This story was SO much fun!

I also love the writing style because it sets the scene perfectly with just enough information. As soon as I started reading, I felt like I was swept away to a creepy camp in the middle of nowhere.

Boone was a cool narrator. A kid who wants to enjoy himself and doesn't want to believe silly stories until he's facing it. And he doesn't like mysteries. Heather was a funky and brave girl who played by her own rules. And I liked their sibling relationship.

Although there are several ew! scenes featuring snakes, mice and a lab, this turned out to be a lot of freaky ssslithering FUN!


ENTER HORRORLAND:

This is actually a really nice feature. A week after the incident at Camp Hither, Boone gets an invitation to HorrorLand and he's glad to go because he's bored.

But as soon as he gets there, trouble finds him. At least he can use his newfound fear of snakes to some sort of advantage. LOL.

I enjoyed this because the creep factor makes an appearance early on, but it's also a small part in a story that had already started several books back so I didn't recognise some of the characters and villains.

Still, it was freaky cool.

Also, the Fear File #9 stuff was a great addition.

I really enjoyed this. Only problem is that I now want to read more! 😈


Monday, 25 November 2019

TWISTED 26 by Janet Evanovich

Grandma Mazur is a widow . . . again. This time her marriage lasted a whole 45 minutes. The unlucky groom was one Jimmy Rosolli, local gangster, lothario (senior division) and heart attack waiting to happen . . . well, the waiting's over. 

It's a sad day, but if she can't have Jimmy at least Grandma can have all the attention she wants as the dutiful widow. But some kinds of attention are not welcome, particularly when Jimmy's former 'business partners' are convinced that his widow is keeping the keys to their financial success for herself.

As someone who has spent an entire career finding bad guys, a set of missing keys should be no challenge for Stephanie Plum. Problem is, the facts are as twisted as a pretzel with mustard.


This is one of my favourite series. I look forward to reading the latest Stephanie Plum book because it always feels like catching up with old friends. 

When Grandma Mazur gets married to Jimmy Rosolli and he dies after forty-five minutes, she becomes an instant widow. 

That means she'll get the chance to be the centre of attention for a while. But, not all attention is good because Jimmy's mob buddies are convinced she's got some very special keys, his sisters have a vendetta against her, and at least one ex-wife wants a piece of Jimmy's money.

Now it's up to Stephanie to keep her grandmother safe. If only Stephanie wasn't having a personal crisis...

This was another awesome and fun book!

I love Grandma Mazur. She's hilarious, adventurous and totally gets Stephanie. She might be an elderly lady but really knows how to enjoy life, and a bit of danger isn't going to change that.

This book was nerve-wracking because Grandma's fearless nature works against her. I was as worried as Stephanie and kept waiting for something awful to happen.

The mayhem never stops. And although Steph is doubting herself and feels like she has no direction, it was so cool to see how efficient she really is. Not to mention how entertaining it is when she works with Lula. πŸ˜‚

Or how she deals--or doesn't deal--with Morelli and Ranger.

Twisted 26 is another fun addition to this awesome series. Just when I think Stephanie's life can't get more complicated, I read the next installment and the stakes get higher. I love how a story dealing with so many heavy situations, and a bunch of dangerous people, can also be SO funny.

Love these characters.

I can't wait to see what happens next. This might not have been a cliffhanger ending, but it definitely left me wondering about what's next for Steph.


Twisted 26, November 2019, ISBN 9781472246141, Headline Review

 
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