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Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 352
Date read: September, 2016

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for - and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong...


Wow! That was quite a ride... and I had no idea what to expect when I first started it, which just made it even better.

"The Woman in Cabin 10" is the kind of suspense novel I enjoy the most - where the mystery is slowly unraveled, and seemingly inexplicable events turn out to have a very good reason indeed. No leaps of logic and - more importantly - no supernatural events, no dreams and no split-personality issues!

I liked the way the story unfolded, and loved that it took part on a cruise ship, as they have always fascinated me. Most of the book takes place inside Lo's head, so we don't get to know the other characters as much as I would have liked, but because of the way the story is written, it actually works, without becoming too 'navel gazing'.

Great book. I had a very hard time putting it down. People compare it to "The Girl on the Train", but personally I think it's heaps better :)

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Title: Fortune's Dance (The Fixers #3)
Author: Audrey Faye
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 152
Date read: September, 2016

Imogene Glass isn't a Fixer who makes waves - she leaves that part to her friends. They fight. She Dances the universe into harmony. Until she gets called onto the carpet for choosing the easy road instead of the right one.

Her next assignment is an observation-only mission, one where she's supposed to keep her eyes open and her Talent off. Which only sounds mildly frustrating - until she gets there.


This was definitely a book I read despite the cover rather than because of it. I'm sorry - it is UGLY! Fortunately, since it's an ebook, I've only really had to look at it on Goodreads.

That out of the way, I enjoyed this KarmaCorp novel just as much as the previous two :) I enjoyed getting to know Iggy, and her mission at Thess rang very true to me. It was certainly very different from the more active missions of the two first books, but though I hadn't expected it at first (which is why it took me awhile to get properly started on this), it worked for me.

I do recommend reading "Star Stories" before reading this one though, or there are some references that you won't get.

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Title: Night Study (Soulfinders, #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 400
Date read: September, 2016

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.


Still not a huge fan of the changing POVs in this series, but I'm getting more used to it, and for once all storylines were equally interesting, which also helped quite a bit.

Lots of surprises in this one, and I'm especially interested in seeing how the relationship between the Commander and Valek will continue in the third book... and of course see if my theory about Yelena's magic loss is correct.

All in all, I'm really enjoying this series. Still can't live up to "Poison Study" itself, but nor could any of the other books in the original trilogy, so I'm not holding that against in. I'm looking forward to the third book coming out next year.

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Title: Shadow Study (Soulfinder #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 410
Date read: September, 2016

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands - and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek's job - and his life - are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.


PSA: You'll want to read "Ice Study" before reading this one, as it refers quite heavily to the events of that short story. "Ice Study" is available for free at Maria V. Snyder's webpage.


Plot-wise, I enjoyed this book just as much as the books in the "Study" or "Glass" trilogies. Writing-wise Maria V. Snyder has taken to writing the story from several different POVs instead of sticking to just one. I can understand her reasons - it's easier to show the events of several places at once, if you don't have to stick to just one POV - but as usual it turns out that not all storylines are equally interesting, so some chapters just feel like 'fillers' until we get to the next person.

I did really enjoy it though! And have my guesses as to what's blocking Yelena's magic. It'll be interesting to see if I'm right.

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Title: Søvnen og døden (Niels Bentzon #2) (Sleep and Death)
Author: A.J. Kazinski
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 490 pages
Date read: September, 2016

The hostage negotiator at Copenhagen Police, Niels Bentzon, should have been able to talk her out of it. Talk her out of jumping down on the train tracks. But he couldn't. But who was she? What caused her to jump? Somebody or something was after her - something that made her prefer death to life.

Soon Niels realizes that the woman wasn't a mentally ill woman, but a solo dancer at the Royal Ballet who's been missing for two days. And the autopsy reveals something else - the woman has been drowned and revived several times just before her jump.


This was a surprisingly slow read. I liked it well enough, and thought the premise fascinating (man trying to kill and revive people in order to get answers from a dead relative), but it was just too easy to put down and not pick up again.

Niels' way of working annoyed me - it always bothers me when policemen in books and movies get an idea and decide to run with it themselves, instead of following policy and wait for backup. You know it's going to get them into trouble sooner or later - trouble which could so easily have been avoided.

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Title: No Quest for the Wicked (Enchanted Inc. #6)
Author: Shanna Swendson
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 278 pages
Date read: August, 2016

Now that the Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. team has defeated the nefarious Spellworks, the only "competition" in town, Katie Chandler doesn't have much to do as director of marketing, and she's starting to question her role at MSI. Her boyfriend Owen Palmer, on the other hand, is in hog heaven, translating an ancient and powerful magical manuscript.

But then he finds that the cryptic text describing the location of an enchanted gem known as the Eye of the Moon has radically changed. This deadly stone gives its holder enhanced power over others and a craving for more power. It once caused a terrible war before it was safely hidden and then lost - and now it seems to be in New York and set in an elven brooch that renders its wearer invulnerable. Whoever has this brooch could take over the world.

Katie and Owen must find it before anyone else does, and they're not the only ones searching. They'll need all the help they can get, including Katie's visiting grandmother. But who can they trust when their allies fall under its spell? Not to mention the new enemies who are deadlier than anything they've faced before.


After a bit of a break I've returned to this series, as they really do make for perfect plane reading. I still love reading about Katie, Owen and all their friends (Katie's grandmother especially - she's delightful!), but must admit that the plot itself in this one didn't really do it for me. It was one long hunt that seemed like it could have been planned better and executed more efficiently. I did enjoy the return of Katie's evil ex-boss though. She's so delightfully despicable (something I can only enjoy as I know she won't get away with it).

I still enjoyed reading it, as Shanna Swendson really has a way with words, but it was more to get to spend more time with the characters, than because I was all that interested in what was going on. A bit strange to read a book in spite of the plot instead of because of it, but it kept my attention nicely on an insomniac red-eye flight.

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Title: Down with the Shine
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 368 pages
Date read: August, 2016

These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...


Ooooh boy, where to begin with this one! The concept sounded intriguing but the book itself ended up being ridiculous, far-fetched, outrageous, oh, and did I mention ridiculous?

People died or were permanently disfigured and apart from an initial "Oh no, how terrible!" it ended up being regarded as non-events? And everybody just mostly accepted these totally crazy things that happened? Honestly, at one point I wouldn't have been surprised if the book had ended with "And then they woke up, and it turned out it was all just a dream."

Fortunately, they didn't sink quite that low, but it came close. So why do I still give this 2 stars? As ridiculous as it was, it did keep my interest, and I really wanted to know how it all got sorted in the end, so I never considered giving up on it.

I'd never recommend it to anybody else either though.

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Title: The Nest
Author: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweetney
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 373 pages
Date read: August, 2016

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.


I browsed through the first few chapters at a bookstore and found myself strangely intrigued, despite the fact that the blurb on the back of the book hadn't really caught my fancy. Still, I couldn't stop thinking about it, and ended up getting hold of an e-copy a few days later.

Once again, this is a character-driven narrative rather than a plot-driven one. The plot itself is very quickly explained, but the people themselves - this highly dysfunctional family - are fascinating. I found myself putting the book down frequently, as I could see this person or that heading towards a bad decision, but I kept picking it back up, as I grew to care about the siblings, and had to know how everything got resolved.

An intriguing read about people I grew to care about... but am not really sure I like very much.

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Title: Before the Fall
Author: Noah Hawley
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 390 pages
Date read: August, 2016

On a foggy summer night, eleven people—ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter—depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs—the painter—and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members—including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot—the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.


I heard about this book through a podcast and was instantly intrigued - it sounded absolutely fascinating. Fortunately I got the chance to pick it up just a few days later, and after a bit of a faulty start, I was hooked and couldn't put it down.

"Before the Fall" is the story of a plane crash. All but two passengers died.

But why did the plane crash? Was it a technical error? A human error? Or was it murder? And if so, who was the target?

The book alternates between chapters focusing on one of the survivors and how he's treated after the crash, and chapters focusing on one or more of the passengers or crew members of the flight - trying to uncover the truth about what happened.

It's definitely a character-driven book more than a plot-driven one, but it's extremely well written and had me hooked till the very last page. A great book with a very satisfying ending.

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Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 352 pages
Date read: August, 2016

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


I'd tried reading this awhile back, but got stuck only a few chapters in. Seeing the recent trailers for the movie made me want to try again, and this time I made it through.

It's a decent enough book that unfortunately just couldn't live up to my expectations thanks to all the hype surrounding it. I was fairly well entertained, but never really got to care about any of the characters (with the possible exception of Jacob) and certainly didn't agree with Jacob's final decision. His reasoning just didn't seem convincing enough to me. For both of these reasons I won't be continuing with the other books in the series, although I might still be keen to go see the movie.

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Title: The Little Shop of Happy Ever After
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 358
Date read: August 2016

(Disclaimer: this blurb was written by somebody who obviously hasn't read the book, as it's actually WRONG! However, I'm useless at summarizing books myself, and the end result (Nina owning a book-bus) is correct, so I'll leave it as-is.)

Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly - dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books... not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing...


Probably my favourite book by Jenny Colgan so far. It was a bit slow to take off, but once it did (basically once Nina first made it to Scotland) I was utterly charmed and just didn't want to put it down! Nina pretty much has my dream job, and I loved reading about her adventures and living vicariously through her.

I'd seen the ending a mile away, but that's okay. You're allowed to in books like these. It was a perfect comfort read.

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Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Genre: YA
Rating: 1.5/5
# pages: 320
Date read: August, 2016

Super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?


It started out decent enough (enough that I actually purchased it after having read the sample), but then it turned really, really weird and really, really ridiculous. I'm glad I was warned that there was a twist about half way through, but even so, the twist ended up being even more ridiculous (and - let's be blunt about it - actually uncomfortably close to being pro-rape) than I had expected, and I finished the novel with a permanent eye-roll.

It had its moments, and the first half of the book deserved a much better ending. But the second half pretty much ruined it for me. Do not recommend.

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Title: Transylvanian Mail Order Bride: A Tale of Buyer's Remorse
Author: Elliot Wolfson
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 123 pages
Date read: August, 2016

Ben’s world changes when he orders a bride from a shady Romanian company. She’s the discounted option, with a single picture, and free shipping. He actually does all of the paper work and he’s too ashamed to cancel the order. He is shocked, horrified, and a little excited when she arrives at his doorstep.

Amatuer vampire hunter Adela Delca lights the fuse on her mission of revenge. When it backfires she runs to America, right into the arms of a strange gamer with a tangled family history and a dangerous friend.


Really, really badly written (enough to have me rolling my eyes on a regular basis), but still oddly compelling. Not enough to make me want to read any more books by this author, but at least enough that I finished this one. The plot was ridiculously outrageous, turning this into almost a train-wreck read. I didn't much like it, but couldn't look away.

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Title: Tempus Investigations
Author: Claus Holm
Genre: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 228
Date read: August, 2016

Jim Corrigan died in 1933... but he returned to life. Now, he can't die.

Through the first season, Jim and his friends matches wits with the supernatural side of San Francisco, making both new friends - and a few enemies.

Tempus Investigations mixes the world of TV and books, making a unique kind of story - a fan fiction so elaborate it needed to create the show itself. In this book, you'll find the first four episodes, which form Season 1.


It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of TV crime shows (Criminal Minds, Law & Order, CSI, Bones... they're all my jam), so a fictional version sounded very intriguing! Also, I liked the idea of reading fanfiction for a show that doesn't even exist :)

Fortunately, it worked well. I really liked Jim and his friends, and though there were definitely some "episodes" I was fonder of than others, I would absolutely tune in for the second season.

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Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Fantasy, play
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320
Date read: August, 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


A lot better than I had expected, and miles better than the leaked synopsis made it sound. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars for awhile, but it made me cry on several occasions, so that bumps it up to 4.

I won't deny that it reads a lot like fanfic, but I think that may partly because the media is so different. There were plotholes here and there and some parts seemed to be glossed over, but like everybody had told me, part 2 was heaps better than part 1 and turned the reading experience from a mediocre one, to a really enjoyable one.

I think I'll probably need this for my physical library after all. It'll never live up to the original series, but it doesn't embarrass itself either.

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Title: Rise: The Complete Newsflesh Collection
Author: Mira Grant
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 608
Date read: July, 2016

A collection of all the Newsflesh short stories published until now, plus two never seen before. Some are obviously better than others, but they're all well worth reading for people wanting to remain (figuratively only, obviously!) in that universe.

The book includes a short introduction by the author to each short story, which I enjoyed.

Short stories included:
- Countdown
- Everglades
- San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the Browncoats (this one always makes me cry)
- How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea
- The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell
- Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus
- All the Pretty Little Horses (*new* - how the Masons moved on from losing their son in the rising)
- Coming to You Live (*new* - 2 years after Shaun and Georgia disappeared off to Canada)

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Title: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 576
Date read: July, 2016

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it. After travelling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home in France they reunite with their families - with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.


Why did it take me this long to get started on this book? Once I did, I couldn't put it down, and finished it in just a few days.

Every bit as good as the first two books in the series, "The Book of Life" tied up all loose ends very nicely and served as a very satisfying ending to the trilogy. I'm actually kind of sad we won't get to hear more about Matthew and Diana, and feel positively book-hungover right now.

This trilogy is the kind of epic storytelling I love the most. It's "Outlander" with witches and vampires; just as rich in details and with just as large a supporting cast ;) It's difficult to say much about the plot without giving away spoilers for the two first books, but I think what I enjoyed the most was seeing Matthew and Diana's relationship with their families (both of blood and of loyalty) and watch Diana grow in powers and confidence as a witch. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when Diana and Janet sat to talk magic after the end of the book ;)

It's been a few years since I read the two first books, so I almost want to go back and reread the entire series now, as I'm sure I lost details here and there, but for my own sake, that should probably wait until I go on vacation.

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Title: Secrets
Author: Sue Welford
Genre: YA
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 187
Date read: July, 2016

17-year-old Jason is going out with Maria, and everything would be perfect if it wasn't for his 15-year-old sister, Lisa, behaving so strangely.

Slowly Jason realizes that Lisa is anorexic.


20 years ago I would have adored this book, and indeed read several books of this genre. Now that I'm ever so slightly out of its target audience range (*grin*) I had a few problems with it, as I felt some parts were somewhat unrealistic. I did appreciate that it was told from the viewpoint of an older brother, however, instead of from the anorexic girl herself.

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