Aftershock (Pendulum #3) by Adam Hamdy

Hi guys,

So I know I’m not meant to be reading crime/thriller type books at the moment, or even reviewing for that matter, but when I came home from Harrogate, there was a copy of Aftershock waiting for me. I have loved this series from the beginning, so I genuinely couldn’t relegate this one to the TBR. I know it isn’t out until November either, but once again, I couldn’t wait!

About the author (via Adam’s website):

Picture
British author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels. James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was nominated for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction, and chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and WH Smith Travel. Pendulum was also selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. Adam is currently adapting Pendulum into an eight-part series for Hardy, Son & Baker and NBC Universal.

Freefall, the second book in the Pendulum series, will be published by Headline in November 2017. Freefall has been described as a ‘thrill overload’ with one critic saying, ‘It’s a fabulous thriller, with a very contemporary spin. Excitement guaranteed.’

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors, experience that has given him a useful insight into many industries.

Adam has a law degree from Oxford University and a philosophy degree from the University of London. He is a seasoned rock climber, skier and CPSA marksman.

Adam is a member of the ITW, Crime Writers’ Association, and Society of Authors. He is the membership coordinator for the ITW Debut Authors Program.

Twitter: @adamhamdy

About the book:

Aftershock: (Pendulum Series 3) by [Hamdy, Adam]

THEY BELIEVED IT WAS OVER
Having survived the lethal Pendulum conspiracy, photographer John Wallace atones for his past mistakes.
DI Patrick Bailey clings to the hope that he can, at last, return to a normal life in London.

BUT IT’S ONLY JUST BEGINNING
FBI investigator Christine Ash – alone and paranoid – hunts down the remaining members of the ruthless Foundation organisation.

DARK FORCES ARE RISING AGAIN
But when masked assassins strike at the heart of the UK government, a shocking new threat emerges that forces all three to reunite.

DEADLIER THAN EVER BEFORE
With time running out, they must defeat a lethal new adversary: a manipulative mastermind with sinister powers unlike anything they’ve seen before.

Published in November, click the link below to pre-order, you won’t regret it 🙂

Aftershock (Pendulum #3) by Adam Hamdy

My thoughts:

If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve read and loved the previous books in the trilogy (review links are left below) so I had been eagerly awaiting Aftershock since I finished Freefall last summer. Which feels like a lifetime ago! So you can imagine my delight to find a copy waiting for me after I got home from Harrogate. I literally turned the last page of Aftershock a half hour ago, and I am shook, in the best possible way of course.

I’m mindful of the fact that I don’t want to go into too much detail in this review, so I will try to keep it relatively short because if I start rambling about the book, I probably won’t stop too easily!

Aftershock starts with a bang, and I swear the pace doesn’t let up for the entirety of the 500+ pages. If you’ve read the first two books, you’ll recognise Adam Hamdy’s innate talent for writing extremely cinematic thrillers, and this one is no exception!

We are back with the usual suspects, Wallace, Ash, Bailey as they try to deal with the fallout from the events that took place in Freefall. Each is trying to battle their own demons, and the internal guilt/struggles they are experiencing make for tough and emotive reading at times. The journeys that each one goes on, and the arc of their respective characters is so well plotted, and I found myself really rooting for them at various points in the book.

The Foundation has claimed so much of these people’s lives, and in Aftershock they try to claw back something for themselves. Destruction and force are The Foundation’s weapons of choice, but murder seems to be the order of the day and its up to Wallace, Ash and the rest to try to finally put a stop to this wide-reaching organisation.

I swear the tension and pacing in these books is designed to get your adrenaline pumping, but not in a bad way. I kept my reading of this one to daylight hours, but even then I was on tenterhooks while the action was unfolding. Lets not even mention the bits that made me tearful!!!

Aftershock is a pitch perfect ending to what has been one of the best action series I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Cleverly plotted, excellent characters and a truly terrifying reality made Aftershock a truly gripping read. 

If you like your thrillers with real heart, then I highly recommend you pick up Aftershock, and its equally impressive predecessors.

You will not be disappointed.

All the stars for this one!

Previous reviews:

Pendulum by Adam Hamdy

Run by Adam Hamdy

Freefall (Pendulum Trilogy #2) by Adam Hamdy

Blackwing by Ed McDonald~ Mini Review!

 

*Many thanks to Stevie at Gollancz and Ed McDonald for my signed and doodled proof copy!*

About the book:

The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

Out now from Gollancz, you can get your copy of Blackwing by clicking HERE!

About the author:

emc

Ed McDonald has spent many years dancing between different professions, cities and countries, but the only thing any of them share in common is that they have allowed him enough free time to write. He currently lives with his wife in London, a city that provides him with constant inspiration, where he works as a university lecturer. When he’s not grading essays or wrangling with misbehaving plot lines he can usually be found fencing with longswords, rapiers and pollaxes.

Ed’s debut novel Blackwing is the first part of The Raven’s Mark trilogy. Blackwing will be published on July 20th 2017 by Gollancz in the UK, and October 2017 by Ace in the United States. German, Spanish, French, Hungarian and Russian translations will be available from 2018.

My Thoughts:

Awesome. Absolutely awesome book. That’s a mini-review right?! 🙂

Loved Blackwing! I’m new to this whole fantasy book reading thing, but I’m starting to figure out what I enjoy and Blackwing is just amazing! It has epic world-building, a damn fine main character, a band of supporting characters that is both motley and brilliant, and an absolutely insane plot!

The concept of the Blackwings is one of my favourite things about the book. I mean, what’s not to like about ravens ripping themselves out of your arms to deliver you a (usually bad) message?! I jest, but I do like the gruesomeness of Ed McDonald’s mind. Its dark, and messy and the exact kind of thing I enjoy reading about.

Special mention to The Misery, because to be air, it is bleak as f***. Riddled with dangers, seen and unseen, and just a generally rubbish place to find yourself. Not least when a war is coming. I really enjoyed the magic system in this one. How it was made, maintained and described was super cool as imagining the horrors made the book even more immersive and dark.

So yeah, Blackwing… superb! I cannot wait for the next one!

Highly recommended!

Freefall (Pendulum Trilogy #2) by Adam Hamdy

About the book:

Eight months after confronting Pendulum, John Wallace is losing himself in a dangerous warzone in a misguided attempt at penance for what he has done. But an assassination attempt makes Wallace realise that he has once again been targeted for death. This time, Wallace is prepared and, tracking down his would-be assassin, he discovers a link to his nemesis, Pendulum.

The link is the missing piece of a puzzle that has tormented FBI Agent Christine Ash ever since they confronted Pendulum, but with no Bureau support she has been unable to progress her case. Wallace’s proof breaks it, but also exposes them both to terrible danger.

Confronted by a powerful, hidden enemy, Ash and Wallace must overcome impossible odds if they are to avert a dangerous challenge to the networked world that threatens to destroy our way of life.

Freefall will be published in November 2017. You can pre-order your copy by clicking the link below:

Freefall (Pendulum Trilogy #2) by Adam Hamdy

About the author:

Adam Hamdy is an author, screenwriter and filmmaker who has worked with studios and producers on both sides of the Atlantic. Adam is currently writing Oracle, an original drama series, for the BBC, and is developing To Kill A Shadow, a crime thriller, with See-Saw Films. In addition to his own original work, Adam has adapted a number of comic books and novels for the screen, including the forthcoming film version of David Mitchell’s novel, Number9Dream.

Prior to becoming a writer, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses operating in a wide range of industries.

Adam’s first novel, Out Of Reach, was published by Dare in 2015. His second, Pendulum, was published by Headline in November 2016. The follow-up to Pendulum, FREEFALL, will be published late 2017.

Days after Pendulum’s release, the screen rights were snapped up by Tom Hardy’s production company, Hardy Son & Baker.

@AdamHamdy

www.adamhamdy.com

My thoughts:

Having read and loved Pendulum, I was more than a little excited to see early proof copies of Freefall on twitter recently, and even more delighted to receive one myself. This is one book I had been waiting for, pretty much since I finished Pendulum, so there was no question of my leaving the book aside until publication, NO SIREE!!! In fact, I brought it away with me to read while I was away with my husband for our wedding anniversary. Luckily, my husband understands the need to read the much anticipated books so I didn’t feel bad about losing myself with John Wallace for a few hours!

If you’ve not read Pendulum, well,
A) What are you waiting for?
B) I won’t be saying too much about it because SPOILERS ARE A NO-NO!

Still reeling from the events that took place in Pendulum, John Wallace has fled to a war zone in an attempt to try and find penance for what has taken place, and, in my opinion, he’s seeking danger in the hope that it may cause an end to his personal torment, but that’s neither here nor there. When there is an attempt on his life over there though, it leads him to think that someone wants him dead. However, Wallace has been through this before, so he knows what to do. What he is NOT expecting though, is that there’s a link between his would-be assassin, and his old enemy, Pendulum. This attempt on Wallace’s life sets in motion an terrifying chain of events which nobody could have foreseen.

Not even Agent Christine Ash. Yep, she’s back (woop!) in Freefall, and still diligently trying to work the Pendulum case, but with no breaks and even less help from the Bureau, she’s plateaued with her work on it. Called out to the scene where a masked killer beheads his victims with an unknown weapon that leaves a perfectly clean cut, Ash gets the break she needs. BUT during course of her investigation, Ash finds way more than she bargained for. Ash is also having a bit of a rough time as regards confronting her past (READ PENDULUM to find out why!!!) and this will either sharpen her focus, or weaken her resolve in terms of her ability to work the case. I think Adam Hamdy has done a great job with her character arc in this book too. It’s much more intricate, and there’s a lot of inner turmoil that he captures really well when she’s alone.

Another returning favourite is Patrick Bailey. Bless him, he’s another one struggling to get his life together in the wake of the Pendulum nightmare. Plagued with insecurity and fear, Bailey is a shadow of his former self. When he gets a call to assist on a case, once present it becomes evident that there is much more at play than what’s in front of him. Bailey must work fast to find what he needs before it’s too late. However, as I’m realising, the author has a knack for pulling the rug out from underneath the reader without warning.

Bailey, Ash and Wallace are all connected, whether they realise it or not. And once again, someone wants them gone, and will stop at nothing to make it happen. They thought Pendulum broke them, but they have no idea what they are up against…

Corruption, subterfuge, murder are all present in Freefall. But it’s the little intricacies like levels of trust, networks (both people and technology) and lies that weave this book into the expertly crafted web the reader has to pick through. Every time I thought I knew something, I was told something different. The authors sleight of hand is immense in Freefall. Adam Hamdy makes the reader look one side, while he’s creating something dangerous on the other, which means the tension is ramped up completely!

I loved Freefall. It was so worth the wait, and I am already chomping at the bit for book 3, and this one isn’t even out until November! All the stars for this one! ⭐️

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!

Previous reviews:

Pendulum by Adam Hamdy

Run by Adam Hamdy

 

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka


*My thanks to the lovely Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre for my review copy*
About the book:

Seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson is hardly your average teenager. She lives by herself in the city of Tampere, Finland, and has a firm rule to mind nobody’s business but her own. But that rule is put to the test when she happens upon five hundred washed euro notes hanging up to dry in her school’s darkroom, and it is shattered once Lumikki realises who owns them.

Caught in an increasingly tangled web of deception, corruption and danger, Lumikki finds herself navigating the Tampere’s dark underbelly in the search to expose its shocking connection to the international drugs trade. Lumikki is smart, but is she smarter than a master criminal? Can she bring down the infamous ‘Polar Bear’ – or will she become another one of his victims?


My thoughts:

I’m not gonna lie, I hadn’t heard of this series before I got the email from Emily, but once I read the description I was completely intrigued. Anyone who reads my blog knows that the colder the location of a book, the higher the likelihood that I will want to read it! That’s no different here because as soon as I saw Finland I was sold! 😂

I don’t usually read YA, in fact I can probably count on one hand how many YA books I’ve read in recent years so that was the only thing making me wonder whether or not I’d enjoy this book as its a little different to my usual reads.

Lumikki is a fun character. She reminds me of Lisbeth Salander, a comparison drawn between the pages too, and it’s pretty damn accurate. The only difference being their age, but both are strong characters and Lumikki is more than capable of looking after herself as the reader finds out on more than one occasion.

The story for As Red As Blood is also really engaging. There’s a Nancy Drew-esque mystery to solve, and along with some schoolmates Lumikki is drawn into a rather unsavoury situation involving murder, corruption and drugs. Heavy themes for a YA novel, but they work really well here.

As Red As Blood is the first in the Snow White trilogy, and upon finishing it last night, I was more than tempted to dive straight into the next one, As White As Snow, because the way it finishes certainly leaves the reader wanting more.

I throughly enjoyed reading As Red As Blood (4⭐️ on Goodreads), and if you enjoy YA books then I would highly recommend it! It’s a very promising start to the series. I will definitely be starting the next one ASAP. It’s out now, and you can purchase a copy by clicking on the link below:

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka

What do you think? Would you read it? Let me know in the comments! 😊📖

The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo

My thanks to Hayley at Harper Collins for my copy of The Invisible Guardian to read and review.

I’m honoured to be the last stop on the blog tour for this book, the first in the Baztán trilogy.

About the book: 

The naked body of a teenage girl is found on the banks of the River Baztán. Less than 24 hours after this discovery, a link is made to the murder of another girl the month before. Is this the work of a ritualistic killer or of the Invisible Guardian, the Basajaun, a creature of Basque mythology?
30-year-old Inspector Amaia Salazar heads an investigation which will take her back to Elizondo, the village in the heart of Basque country where she was born, and to which she had hoped never to return. A place of mists, rain and forests. A place of unresolved conflicts, of a dark secret that scarred her childhood and which will come back to torment her.

Torn between the rational, procedural part of her job and local myths and superstitions, Amaia Salazar has to fight off the demons of her past in order to confront the reality of a
serial killer at loose in a region steeped in the history of the Spanish Inquisition.

 

My thoughts:

I had seen The Invisible Guardian pop up on social media a couple of times, so when I was contacted by Hayley to see if I was interested, naturally it was a yes. I was intrigued to read this Spanish bestseller to see what it was like!

Initially, I found it hard to get into. It took a while for the story to progress and there were many asides to do with Spanish mythology and with character backgrounds. However, these descriptions all (whether I realised it or not) had some impact on the developing story and it was all explained much later on.

I liked Inspector Salazar as a character. Well written and quite a strong woman, she didn’t take any prisoners (pardon the pun) and did her job well. Salazar, like many main characters, has her own hidden weaknesses and some of these threaten to undo her during the course of the book.

The murder investigation takes many different twists and turns, and I honestly couldn’t see where it was going for quite some time! Every time I thought I had the perpetrator, the author cleverly pointed the finger in another direction. I quite like that in books, as it makes you think back over what made you choose one person over another and what changed for the characters.

Redondo has skilfully written in Basque heritage and mythology into her novel. The pictures painted are wonderfully vivid, misty mornings that roll on, dense forestry and a flowing river all add to the darkness of the ritualistic subject matter in The Invisible Guardian.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would happily read the following two books in the Baztán trilogy.

You can purchase a copy HERE
Happy reading 😊📖

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 10

A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving…

This was a no brainer for me. As a member of Rick’s Book Club over on Facebook, I knew not every book would suit my taste. When I saw Wool I groaned inwardly. It was not my genre of choice, it wasn’t even in my top 3 so I put off reading it until the last week of whatever month it was picked for.

About the book: (via Amazon)

In a ruined and hostile landscape. in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive. a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside. men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations. of secrets and lies.To live. you must follow the rules. But some dont. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream. and who infect others with their optimism.Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

I clearly remember reading this synopsis and thinking to myself ‘nope, not gonna be good’. I posted in book club to see how everyone else was doing and I said I was struggling. Someone said once you get past  page 120 you’ll enjoy it. They were spot on!

Seriously, once I broke through page 120 the book was amazing!!! I could not put it down! I devoured the book very quickly after that and absolutely loved it!

If I had given up I’d have missed out on a wonderful, thought provoking book. Even now, months later, I still find myself thinking about Wool. It was completely unexpected just how much I loved it. I didn’t want it to end!

Has this happened to you?😊