My Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

16130549The day this book came out I heard a BBC Radio review of it. The reviewer ended her review stating that they believed that this book would hurt Stephen King’s reputation….well talk about a ruined day! I am always scared to read a new book from an author I love. What if it’s a complete dud and I hate it? It’s harder to remember a great passionate love for a book when you read a few that are total rubbish from the same author. Should it matter? No. Maybe not. But it does. Think about it…how many times have you said, “well, I used to love xxxxxx but I hate their later works, so I don’t even bother any more….Do you ever spend sleepless nights pondering all the great reads you might have missed just because of one bad book? Aw, co’mon….I’m the ONLY one??????? Psssffftttttttt……

So, anyway, I was hesitant now to start a book that I had *really* been looking forward to….all because I happened to hear a random stranger on the radio piss and moan about how boring this book was at parts….SERIOUSLY?????? I’ve been a Stephen King fan for over 25 years!!!! Yet, this random stranger made me doubt that love! This is why I avoid reviews (well, except for Muse Reviews….we offer only the BEST and most honest reviews EVER…no! REALLY we do!!!!)

Well, let me tell you, Doctor Sleep grabbed me from the very first paragraph and I tell you now….it had me by my throat and it did not let go until the very last….and I tell you now….I am still a bit breathless from the whole experience…..

However, that crazy woman from BBC Radio stayed close to my mind. As I read this book, I had to stop and think about Stephen King as well. Sure, there are one or two authors I follow because I have learned that I love just about everything they write….blog posts, reviews, epic novels, whatever…..but it’s not often that I am wondering what the hell is going on in their mind as they are writing the book I am reading…..I don’t mean, wondering how they ever came up with the story, or the wonderful characters….I was wondering what actual thoughts of failure or success SK was pondering. How was he able to put his own thoughts of what this book would mean to his readers and his career to the side and actually write this novel. What sort of discipline that must have taken!

With all the hoopla over this book, I know that SK has been a bit anxious about how it would be received. Any one of the dozens of interviews with him leading up to this novel will tell you he’s been nervous. Especially since “The Shining” is so well known……Why wouldn’t he be? Think about it……take a moment out of your busy day….go on then…..close your eyes……turn off that telly…..and think of one single word…just one…

~ REDRUM ~

What do you see? What do you feel? What do you know?

Stephen King did that! With a single word! How f**king brilliant is that? Seriously…..How many people in this life time get one word that instantly brings such a strong memory to you? ONE. SINGLE. WORD!!!!

So how do you top that? How many of King’s works have been pure and magical brilliance? How many have been…errrrr….rubbish? How does he handle that? Is he able to shut that off? At the end of this novel he puts the date of May 1, 2011 – July 17, 2012 as the dates this one was written….of course there is probably no way to measure just how many minutes, hours, days, even years that little Danny Torrance played in and out of King’s mind.

If you think “The Shining” scared you, well how do you reckon it has scared SK all these years? Who haunts him the most? Jack with his alcoholism that AA was not readily available to help him though. Especially knowing SK’s own battle with the disease…..Was it little Danny, aka “Doc”, whom was a victim by no fault of his own. Or is the complete success of “The Shining” itself that haunts him the most?

The fact that this book was so wonderful, well it’s just amazing. It wasn’t overdone. It wasn’t a rehash of the first book. Most importantly, it was so NOT a disappointment. It’s been a few days since I finished it and I am still thinking about it! I am still savoring bits and pieces in my mind. I wish I was STILL reading it!!!

SK did little Doc proud in this novel. He also makes amends to any wrong he might have inadvertently caused Jack Torrance in “The Shining”. Most importantly, for me, SK also manages to do what I love the very most from any author….he ends it in such a way that the reader can walk away with a smile on their face…or the story can be revisited years later….he leaves you, the reader, completely happy with a closure yet leaves a huge, elaborately carved thick wooden door there….it’s closed at the moment….there’s no way we can see beyond it….we don’t have the key to enter….and really…. it’s lovely to just look at….but….if by some chance…..SK decides to open it at a future date, we, the readers, will be thrilled to once again let him hold our hand and guide us through that magic that is contained within his mind that he sometimes shares with us…..just please….Someone! Anyone! Don’t forget the bloody torch! It can get scary sometimes where he leads us….and no way am I riding in a RV to get there either….just saying….

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My Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

20170404I won’t lie. It took me a while to get into this novel but at the end of the day I have to say I really did enjoy it! I’ve heard a few friends mention that they didn’t care for it because they kept waiting for something to happen….maybe that’s why I did end up enjoying it so much…I finally stopped trying to figure out any surprises or to look for something to happen….let’s face it…the story itself is what is happening….from start to finish life and the end of life is happening….this is one of those rare books that you don’t have to look for the unexpected. You don’t have to follow a storyline of ups and downs…you just need to sit back and follow along in the life of the day of survivors of an epidemic that has wiped out the majority of Earth’s population.

However, if you think this is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world you would think wrong. This is a novel about what it means to be human. About what it means to remain human in the face of adversity…

I believe that with the success of this book that there will be a second novel….it would be wonderful if we are lucky enough for Mandel to grace us with another…I would love to hear more about Station Eleven. I would love for all the characters to meet up at some point…having said that, don’t go into this feeling you might be disappointed with a storyline that didn’t end….remember! This isn’t that type of book….

It’s well worth the investment of your time….

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

My Review: Missing You by Harlan Coben

18114060OKAY!!!!!!!! LISTEN UP!!!!! YOU!!!!! YEA!!!! YOU!!!!! What are your plans for today? Well…whatever they are, forget them…ditch them….change them….You need to be first in line to buy this newest thriller from Harlan Coben…..no, seriously…I’m not kidding! This was a fantastic read!!!! I think it might be my favourite Coben yet, and I’ve been a mad fan for years!

Here we have a story about Kat….a NYPD detective. After a close friend signs up the single Kat for an online dating service, she stumbles across an old flame. This one simple act, combined with the imminent death of her father’s convicted killer sets Kat off to question events in her past that have always remained a mystery…to ask questions that might be best left unasked….to seek answers she might not be able to live with…..along this road of discovery she also stumbles upon a questionable missing persons case….and from there all hell breaks loose….

And that is all I am going to spill…..

This novel has lots of puzzle pieces for you to figure out. Although you are able to fit the pieces together, piece by piece, you’re still unsure of what the overall picture is….you’re also missing that one very important puzzle piece…..even when it’s all solved, you still won’t see everything until the last possible minute….that’s right….you need to read this one to the end…..and just listen up….it’s worth your time and your trouble…..this is a heart racing read…the further you read, the more your heart is going to race….near the end, you’re certain to be fighting yourself to slow down and actually read the pages and not just race ahead to see what happens….

This is a solid 5 star read for me….It might not be the best book I’ve read but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being the most suspenseful and exciting read of the year!

Have you cleared your calendar yet? Hurry up and read this one!

ARC provided by NetGallery for an honest review

My Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

17212231I made it all the way to 37% I deserve a medal…..

okay….I just can’t finish it….it started with this paragraph at about 12%

“She knew it was probably just the adrenaline, but she found herself strangely attracted to the American professor. In addition to his being handsome, he seemed to possess a sincerely good heart. In some distant, alternate life, Robert Langdon might even be someone she could be with.”

From then on all I could think of was what a complete sell out Dan Brown was. I mean, this isn’t even an original love twist…it’s so overused….so overdone. I made it all the way to 37% before I just am done…I’m over it…kaput…no more….

So far Langdon has escaped several assassination attempts. He has managed to escape several times from places that were inescapable. So we’re suppose to believe he is insanely clever, right? WRONG!!!!! When he meets up with a lady he met the night before (he has short-term amnesia …ufffta…. how very original) he has to ask her half a dozen times, “You did, I must have overlooked that” when she points out that they discussed it the night before. Hello! If you’re trying to act like you don’t have amnesia, don’t question every thing she tells you from the night before, moron!

I just can’t take it anymore….

I honestly feel that Brown has just totally sold himself out here….He has not only recycled generic writing themes, he has used boring, unimaginative ones to boot! At this point, I can’t help having visions of Harrison Ford (Indian Jones) and Matt Damon (Jason Bourne) running through my head. Where the hell is Robert Langdon? I just can’t picture him. There is no clear picture of him or his personality. How dare Dan Brown assume that everyone has read the previous books. As an author I would think that you can never assume that your reading audience has read your other books. This might be the very first time they have picked up one of your novels. Yet, Brown gives us no insight to who Langdon is. What makes him tick? There simply is no inner workings to his mind or his personality here. So very disappointed….I seriously wanted to finish this book, but I’ve been debating with myself the entire time from that stupid paragraph until now….I mean, seriously, I’m in the middle of a paragraph and ask myself, “Connie, how much longer are you going to go on with this rubbish?”….guess I finally answered myself….zipt…psssfffttt…done…. adios…..

**after thoughts**

After publishing this review, I was amazed at how many angry people on Goodreads decided to inform me that I had no right to review this book as I didn’t finish it. I disagree. I paid the same amount of money for this book as anyone who loved the novel. I’ve been accused of being a “Dan Brown Hater”, as if I have nothing better to be in life…all I can say is, like I stated before I have loved some of his books. I wouldn’t have spent $15 on a book I didn’t expect to love…and really, I don’t have to finish a rotten chicken dinner to know that it’s rancid and will leave me feeling queazy and unsatisfied…I didn’t need to finish this book just to prove a point…I knew I hated it soon after starting it, but I kept trying to work my through it to be fair…but once I find myself asking myself why over and over again, there really is no point to continue on….

My Review: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

2924362First, I can’t believe this book was written almost 40 years ago!

Second, I can’t believe I haven’t bothered to read it up until now.

Third, it is worth all the hype.

Finally, a message to my dear Louis –

Louis, Louis, Louis…you are not a tortured soul…you’re just a big fat whiner…..get over yourself man…..

Bwhahahahahahahahaha

Brilliant book. Amazing really….

My Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

2163164Not only did I love the writing style of Mohsin Hamid, I absolutely loved this story. Yes, I even loved the ending that I just KNOW many people will absolutely abhor.

I won’t do a long review on this book. I wouldn’t want my political opinions to effect how you go into reading this book. I wouldn’t want them to effect how you feel about this book.

I will only say, with all the distrust and bias towards Muslims this day and age post 911, people seem to forget that they are, in fact, individuals. They are not an idea, a symbol, or some inanimate objects. I think that society in general has taken them as just that. Inanimate objects or like a small child that has no idea what others are saying right in front of them.

That, no matter what your views are, is heartbreaking. It is also widening the chasm of ignorance that is the base root of so many problems.

The ending of this novel just confirms this.

So read it…and then tell me….what do you believe really happened at the end? What facts do you have to support that belief?

Brilliant book….

My Review: The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

68527 (1)F’ing hell what a book. What in the world am I to read next as I can’t jump into book 2 right away. I need to savour this series and my beloved warrior, Uhtred Ragnarson…

That was all I could write when I finished this book and attempted to do a review. Really…I was just overwhelmed…now it has been several weeks and I still don’t know what to say…

Here is part of a conversation I had with a mate when she told me she didn’t like historical reads:
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Really isn’t that different from some of the other stuff you’ve read honestly…except some of it is based on fact…King Alfred the great, the Danes and some of the battles…but people are people no matter the time…

Basically a young orphaned boy who discovers what it feels to loved and valued for the first time in the enemy’s camp…later his loyalties are tested time and time again…people want him to be educated, but he just wants to be a warrior…

A quote that won’t leave my mind from the book

‘Touch a harp,’ I said, ‘and it just makes noise, but play it and it makes music.’

The same is true about writing…put letters on a page and you just have words, but written by a writer and true magic can happen….

Once again (never happens enough for me) a book I’ve read is well deserving of its high ratings…
———————————————————————–

That’s what this book was to me…true magic….I am ready to continue on with book two…let’s be honest…I can’t stop thinking about book 1, even though it’s been near two months…I might as well follow my heart and carry on…

as testament to another quote from the book…

Destiny is everything