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Book Review: Villain by Michael Grant

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
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Villain is the captivating second book in a trilogy that follows on from the superb and super selling Gone Series.

The first book in the trilogy was Monster which I reviewed here.

The Gone Series had six books:

  1. Gone which I reviewed here.
  2. Hunger which I reviewed here.
  3. Lies which I reviewed here.
  4. Plague which I reviewed here.
  5. Fear which I reviewed here.
  6. Light which I reviewed here.

In Villain we meet Dillon Poe, a boy who once morphed, can command anyone to do anything. Anyone who hears his voice must obey his every command, even if it means hurting themselves or others.

Dillon is a survivor of the Perdido Beach Anomaly. But unlike some of the other kids in Perdido Beach, Dillon didn’t get any special powers there. After Perdido Beach Dillon’s parents moved to Las Vegas – which is where most of the book is set.

Dillon buys some Perdido Beach Magic Stone online and after he consumes it. Afterwards he discovers he can morph into a greener and better version of himself. He discovers that when he’s morphed people must obey his every order. Dillon is a wannabe Comedian and when he morphs he has an audience, the dark watchers. Dillon sets out to do whatever he wants and to entertain his new audience. This inevitably leads to chaos in the streets, casinos and hotels that make up Las Vegas.

Then we catch up with Malik Tenerlife, Shade Darby and Cruz. Malik is in agony after most of his body was burnt in a battle at the end of Monster. Shade and Cruz make the decision to give some of the space rock to Malik, but it doesn’t work out quite as they had both hoped.

Shade, Cruz and Malik hear about Dillon’s antics and decide to be heroes. They team up with Dekka Talent and Armo and all make their way to Las Vegas.

Along the way a secret Army base, known as the Ranch, hopes to fight powers with powers. They have also been experimenting on soldiers, adding technology to their damaged bodies. It resembles a shop of horrors and the new heroes, with Dekka and Armo decide to close down the Ranch for good.

Tom Peaks, the Monster, wakes up with a hangover from hell. He finds himself in a cave, which is the torture chamber of Drake. Also known as Whip Hand.

Drake holds a grudge and still wants revenge on Sam Temple and Astrid Eillson. His anger seems to be targeted at Astrid. He really hates her.

Dekka visits Sam and Astrid. Dekka secretly gives Astrid some of the space rock.

Villain ends with an epic battle in Las Vegas and leaves the reader with lots of excitement for the next book in the series.

Villain is an addictive and page-turning read. The characters are brilliantly developed, they have a great level of depth and develop as the plot does.

The plot is good, but focused only on Las Vegas and parts of the United States. Pieces from the meteorite are falling to earth in locations all over the world. It would have been great to have characters that come together from all over the world.

Grant’s use of description enables the reader to imagine everything perfectly. Grant’s pacing expertly flows from fast action scenes to more moderate character and plot development scenes.

Villain is available to buy at all good book shops and on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
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In the late 1960s, as children, four siblings visit a mystic who tells them when they will die. The exact date. But she doesn’t tell them how they will die.

The Immortalists tells the fantastically imagined and written stories of siblings Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya.

How will they live their lives, knowing exactly when they will die? How will they decide on what’s important in their life? What will be their life’s purposes? How far will get in completing their life purposes, especially with other events that life brings along with it.

One becomes a dancer, another becomes an illusionist, another a doctor and one a researcher of longevity.

The Immortalists is a delightful read. The first chapter in any book should captivate the reader and reel them in. However the first chapter in this book had the opposite effect.

Benjamin appeared to be trying too hard in the first chapter. She made the characters appear unrelatable.

But I implore readers to read on, as they are rewarded with a simple but genius idea, a fairly predictable plot with the odd charming twists, great description, characters that readers come to care about and a perfectly paced tremendous read.

Benjamin lacked a distinctive writers voice, although to be fair The Immortalists is only her second book.

The Immortalists is an addictive, easy, relaxing, engaging, captivating, heartwarming read and the perfect book to read holiday. You will throughly enjoy The Immortalists.

The Immortalists is available to buy on Amazon and at all good book shops.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Cell by Stephen King

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
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Cell by the remarkable Stephen King is an addictive read, which is a must read to anyone who likes disaster stories or zombie stories.

In Cell at 3:03pm on the 1st of October a Pulse is emitted that is transmitted to everyone with a mobile phone. They become zombie-like and start attacking those who didn’t have a mobile phone and therefore weren’t affected.

Clay is a young artist who has just made his big break. He is away from home and just out of an important meeting when the pulse strikes. Minutes after The Pulse, Clay meets Tom, a gay man. They join together to survive chaos and attacks.

Clay is adamant that he must get home to find out what has happened to his wife and son.

Clay’s son has a mobile phone, but it’s usually under his bed. He has to hope that this was the case when The Pulse struck and that somehow his wife survived the proceeding chaos and attacks. Tom joins him.

Clay and Tom are first joined by Alice, a 15 year old girl and later by Jordan, a scholarship student from a private school.

Clay and crew start to see changes in the zombie-like people’s behaviour. First they start to flock, all drawn together and moving in certain patterns. The zombie-like people come out during the day, but disappear at night.

Clay and crew destroy a flock resting at night. They later learn that the flocks have a shared intelligence and communicate through telepathy. The flocks know who Clay and his comrades are and what they did.

Can Clay reach home? And if so, what will be the fate of his wife and son?

The characters were likeable, had depth and the reader comes to care about them. The description was clear and concise, enabling the reader to imagine scenes perfectly – adding suspense. The thrilling plot was utterly riveting from the first word until the last.

I read this book in just a few days, despite being exceptionally busy. I just couldn’t put it down. It is without a doubt a King classic.

My only criticism of Cell was that it was too short. Cell is a total of 473 pages, meaning it is about the average size of a novel. But having read the mammoth-sized novels The Stand and Under The Dome both by King, I would have loved Cell to be of that length.

Cell is an absolutely excellent read. You can buy Cell on Amazon and at all good bookshops.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments

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From the back cover:

Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it – and time stops.

John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most…

(From: The Husband’s Secret (2013) by Liane Moriarty.)

In The Husband’s Secret, you follow Cecilia, Tess and Rachel over one life-changing week. It starts with a secret, a revelation and a long standing injustice.

The Husband’s Secret is an utterly captivating, addictive and compelling read from page 1.

Moriarty initially only used surnames to give the characters a sense of reality, but as the story continues she share’s the characters thoughts. This sharing of thoughts helped the reader empathise and connect with the characters. This was a shrewd move on Moriarty’s part, as the clever and intricate plot is character driven.

The pacing is full of suspense and the reader will find themselves thinking just one more chapter before I stop.

The Husband’s Secret is chick-lit that is well worth a read. It is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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