Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – A Review

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This book was one of two choices for September in The Rick O’Shea Book Club over on Facebook , the other was Zone Of Interest by Martin Amis. I’m not a fan of war themed books so I chose the former.

This is the synopsis from Random House-

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”

If I’m honest, I don’t like the idea of dystopian, pandemic related themes in books, I would never normally choose them but this was the best of a bad lot as regards book club picks for September!

I found the whole book a bit disjointed. While some elements tied together towards the end of the book, I just couldn’t get into the story. Or stories. As there were a few interlaced and I just couldn’t get into any of them.

I liked the idea of the Travelling Symphony and what it stood for, but I thought some of the events that occurred around them were a bit odd!

I can’t say I would ever recommend this book if I’m honest! It’s just not my kind of thing, and reading it pretty much confirmed what I already knew; not my style!

Reviews to come!

Just noticed it’s been a while since I’ve done a post!

Since reading The Fire Witness, I’ve read 3 more books, so I’m hoping to get three reviews up on the blog in the next couple of days!

The books I’ll be reviewing are:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Rick O’Shea’s September book club choice)

The Girl with A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson

The Death Sculptor by Chris Carter (Robert Hunter Series book 4)

Incidentally, I’m currently reading One By One by Chris Carter (Robert Hunter Series book 5) , which I will most certainly be reviewing as I’m halfway through and it is brilliant!!!

Stay tuned… 🙂

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The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

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Finished reading Joona Linna book 3 today and it was pretty great!I read The Hypnotist 2 years ago and thought it was average so wasnt to pushed about the next ones! The Nightmare, The Fire Witness and The Sandman! I’ll be honest, I wish I didnt wait so long! I read 2 and 3 over the past week or so and they were brilliant!
The Fire Witness started slow but once it gained momentum I thought it was brilliant! I couldn’t figure out who was the killer (a trait I love in thriller books!) So I found myself racing to the end to find out!
The book also contains a preview of The Sandman, I’ve already been to Amazon and added it to my list!
I highly recommend this book! Bloody brilliant read! 🙂

Quick Review : The Nightmare by Lars Kepler *Spoilers*

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I was flipping through a newspaper at the weekend when there was a mention of the new Lars Kepler book (The Sandman) , needless to say I went googling immediately!

If you have read my previous posts, if I find a series/author I like, I tend to want to get ALL the books, yesterday!!! Back in 2012, I joined Cold Water Book Club on Twitter, and The Hypnotist was one of the books we read! I wasn’t gripped by the book, but I didn’t dislike it, so when I saw the snippet in the paper I decided now was as good as any to go back to the Lars Kepler books!

The blurb from Amazon for The Nightmare is as follows:

From the bestselling author of The Hypnotist comes the second high-octane thriller featuring Detective Inspector Joona Linna

Stockholm, Sweden: the lifeless body of a young woman is discovered on an abandoned boat. Later, a man is found hanging alone in his apartment.

Should the deaths be treated as suicide or murder? Only four people know the answer. And one man wants them dead.

Can Detective Inspector Joona Linna keep them alive long enough to find out the truth?

I didn’t know what to expect when I started, as it’s been a while since I’d read Kepler! I have to be honest though, I found the book a bit slow to start! I like to be gripped within the first few chapters, and although I wasn’t totally enthralled by the beginning, I still wanted to keep reading to see how the events would unfold!

Joona Linna is still cool and charismatic, with little to faze him, and he’s still quite a likeable character. The supporting characters are fairly well written and support his character easily!
The plot of the book takes a while to come through, but essentially is is about smuggling weapons and the race to silence the people who know about the deal! There are some adrenalin filled scenes and chases throughout the book, which do well to ramp up the tension as you find yourself willing the detectives (or whoever is in the scene) on in their efforts. I can’t say much more without discussing the actual events in the book, and I am not prone to big spoilers so I won’t mention them!

What it will say about The Nightmare is that it is a tense, edgy thriller with a good plot and fleshed out characters. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading the next two books; The Fire witness and The Sandman!

Happy reading 🙂

Mini Review: Jack Kerley No One Will Hear… Her Last Scream

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Product description:

“A serial-killer targets the country’s most vulnerable women in this new thriller featuring Detective Carson Ryder.

They thought they were safe at last…

Across the US, a secret network of crisis centres permanently relocates women in serious danger from domestic abuse. But now someone is killing them before they reach their destinations.

Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus are having trouble gaining the trust of the volunteers who run the scheme. The only way in is for an undercover police officer to pose as a threatened woman, making herself a target and drawing the killer out.

Reinetta Early is the ideal candidate – but she also happens to be Harry’s niece. He always promised his sister that he would keep Reinetta safe from harm. Suddenly he’s unsure if he can even keep her alive…”

This is book 8 in the Carson Ryder series from Jack Kerley, and it doesn’t disappoint! I’ve already mentioned Kerley in an earlier post!

Book Haul | bibliophilebookclub
https://bibliophilebookclub.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/book-haul/

I don’t like going into detail as I don’t like spoilers, but I can honestly say that I found myself flying through the book trying to figure out who the killer was, and when the time came, I wasn’t really expecting it! Kerley has a way of ramping up the tension and then flying through the climax in the last few chapters. With other authors, this annoys me but with him, not so much!

If you’ve never read any of Kerley’s books, I would highly recommend them! I find they really hook me after only a few pages!

I’m off to Amazon to do some shopping 😉

Currently Reading…

I had a book called The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter on my Amazon Wish List for a while so when I popped into Easons for a look recently I was surprised to see it there as I hadn’t expected it!

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Even better, it was in a buy one get one free deal! So I managed to get four of Chris Carter’s books at a really decent price!

I find that I get wrapped up in authors and decide I have to read as many of their books as possible in order!
Examples of these are –
Lee Child
Jeffrey Deaver
Patricia Cornwell
Jack Kerley
Michael Connolly

I’m now onto The Executioner and so far so good! Will definitely be reading all of Chris Carter’s books as soon as possible!

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