Jan. 16th, 2017

goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Thirteen Hours
Author: Francis Gideon
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 1.5/5
# pages: 73 pages
Date read: January 2017

Hans longs to be accepted by his academic peers. When he discovers a cure for the ongoing zombie crisis, he thinks he's finally achieved that goal - only to be stripped of his rank and unceremoniously tossed out on the streets.

With nowhere else to turn, Hans, his wife, and her lover Joan look for solutions in other areas, cobbling together a lab and supplies by scrounging the back alleys of London. The only thing they lack is a body to experiment on.

When the body of a young man shows up, it's almost too good to be true. Hans has only thirteen hours to work, but he's determined to prove himself. The clock is ticking, and nothing is ever as easy as it seems...


If goodreads hadn't told me otherwise, I'd have assumed this was Francis Gideon's first book. The plot showed definite potential, but was very poorly executed and the characters were two-dimensional and caricatures. The writing was choppy and needed editing, and at a mere 73 pages, the author wanted to do far too much, and had to rush through the various stages of the plot (which actually turned out to be a good thing... I doubt I would have finished it, had it been much longer). For a book containing zombies, it was awfully tame, with not even the fear of an attack to add tension to the story, and unfortunately the main love-story seemed tacked on and completely unbelievable.

A shame.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Dare to Do
Author: Sarah Outen
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 288 pages
Date read: January, 2017

On 1 April 2011, rower and adventurer Sarah Outen set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam - cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean after tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so.

But that wasn't the end. Despite ill health and depression, giving up was not an option. So Sarah set off once more to finish what she had started, becoming the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, as well as the first woman to row the mid-Pacific from West to East. She kayaked the treacherous Aleutian chain and cycled North America, before setting out on the Atlantic, despite the risk of another row-ending storm...


I've been wanting to read this book pretty much ever since I first heard of it... which was while Sarah was still on her London2London expedition, so it's been awhile :)

Sarah Outen's first book, "A Dip in the Ocean" was a clear 5-star book, and this came very close to being the same, but unfortunately it suffered somewhat from the expedition being so much longer, and the book (by necessity) therefore couldn't go into as much detail.

I still loved reading it though. Granted, I knew much of it in advance from following Sarah Outen's blog and youtube channel, but it was still great to have it all wrapped up here, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her experiences... well knowing that there's no WAY I could follow in her footsteps in reality. Didn't make it any less fascinating to read about - probably quite the contrary.

My one complaint is that there wasn't nearly enough photos for my liking - only 8 pages worth - but fortunately the rest are easily found online.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett #1)
Author: Cody McFadyen
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 396 pages
Date read: January 2017

Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best - until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead - but her life was shattered forever.

Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who's lost everything, what is there left to lose?

She's about to find out.

In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him - a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers' attempts to understand him. And he's issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live.

The killer videotaped his latest crime - an act of horror that left a child motherless - then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever.

Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again - and she's about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother... and a merciless killer's next victim.


Brilliant page-turner that made short work of the long commutes I had between Denmark and Sweden last week.

I'm very taken with crime shows like CSI, Criminal minds etc. and apparently that translates to books as well. I was instantly taken with Smoky and the rest of her team, and enjoyed reading about all the work that has to be done in order to investigate crime scenes, follow up on leads, analyse evidence etc. The crimes themselves were horrid and gruesome, but while absolutely fascinating, the book itself wasn't as scary as I'd thought it might have been... still very difficult to put down, however.

Very well written, and most of the time well translated as well, so mentally correcting the translator didn't constantly pull me out of the story - I mostly completely forgot I was reading a book in translation. There were two very obvious exceptions though, with some glaring mistakes that really ought to have been caught by the editor or proof-reader:

First the translator obviously didn't know the two meanings of "to start", meaning that "Smoky started and..." was translated with "Smoky began and..." instead of "Smoky was startled and..." - making for a rather confusing sentence until I puzzled it out.

At another point, Smoky and her best friend were described as having been each others' "ladies in waiting"... I'm pretty sure the original text said "maids [of honour]" instead.

Fairly minor issues though, and in the end didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. And for once I wasn't too disappointed by the way the unsub was finally caught... in this case, it seemed like the only way it really could end.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Chemist
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 518 pages
Date read: January, 2017

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.



I'd forgotten how utterly awesome it is to disappear into a brilliant book for a weekend, and not return for air until the very last page is turned. This is the best book I've read in a very long time - let me put it this way, if "The Chemist" isn't an automatic shoe-in for the "Top 10 of 2017" list, I will have had a very amazing reading year indeed!

I was a bit hesitant at first. It had been sold to me as a crime novel, and they have to be very good for me to like them - J.K. Rowling certainly didn't manage - but "The Host" is among my favourite books, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Well! Whoever sold it as crime fiction was dead-wrong. Suspense, yes. Crime - no. Instead we got a thrilling "escape from the government" story with lots of action and humour thrown in (and yes, a love-story. Not sure Meyer knows how to write books without them, but it was believable and it WASN'T a love-triangle, so I didn't mind).

I had a very, VERY hard time putting it down for the night (stayed up much too late Saturday for "just one more chapter"), and totally disagree with the reviews calling it boring - I was hooked from the very first page.

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