The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney – Book Review

The Gril Before

This is a story about a high-tech, apartment totally controlled by a computer and its minimalist architect.  In order to be accepted as a tenant, you have to fill out a long application that covers what you think about certain things, how you react to them, and what you want your life to be like.  The lease is many pages long with rules that you have to obey or risk being evicted.  The lease basically seeks to control how the tenant lives her life.

This is a murder mystery/thriller all wrapped up in one very creepy package.  The novel follows both Emma “the girl before” and Jane, the new tenant with alternating chapters.  The descent into confusion caused by the apartment makes for riveting reading, especially since nothing is as it seems.  This novel kept me up, turning pages in an effort to discover its secrets.

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J.P. Delaney

I highly recommend this novel.  Well done, Delaney!

 

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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth – Book Review

CarvetheMark

This is another dystopian novel, the first in a new series by the author of Divergent.  I must say that I enjoyed this novel.  This series takes place in outer-space with a whole new universe.  I loved the “world” building here, it was very complete with wonderful descriptions of the different worlds, peoples and customs.  Roth is very good at this, and I must commend her for it.

The two main characters, Cyra Noavek, sister to the ruler of the Shotet people, and Akos Keresth are completely different, having been raised in much different ways.  However, once they find a common ground, can they be stopped?

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This novel is full of rival families, political feuds and inter-world politics.  There is much going on and there is nothing boring about it.  I really enjoyed the world-building and character development Roth has created.  I highly recommend this novel.  Well done, Roth!

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Veronica Roth

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall – Book Review

The Book of Polly

I absolutely loved this novel.  Polly is the “older” mother to Willow Havens, who is totally fixated on her mother’s death.  Of course, Polly is alive and kicking (in every sense of the word), but Willow feels that she needs to do everything in her power to keep her mother alive, both in the flesh and in spirit.  So, at eleven years old, she tells whoppers about her mother, for which she gets in trouble and sent to the school psychologists’ office.   Polly refuses to allow anyone to call her daughter a liar, and shows up at school with the express intent to prove her daughter is not a liar.  The ensuing scene is hilarious, and Hepinstall keeps us giggling while at the same time tackling the fear of a parent dying, long-held secrets, illness, shoddy police work, misogyny, adolescence, religion, and long lost love.

Wow!  This is a wonderful novel, and I highly encourage you to read it.  It is highly entertaining, extremely well written, and a total pleasure to read.  Well done, Hepinstall!

Kathy Hepinstall

Kathy Hepinstall

 

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal – Book Review

Ghost Talkers

This is a novel about World War I, with quite a twist.  The British are using mediums in order to help win the war.  I loved this different take on the first World War, and it gave the story new places to go.

The main character, Ginger Stuyvesant, an American living in London, is a medium with quite a lot of power.  She is part of a secret group whose war efforts are to speak with the ghosts of the men who have died in the war in order to obtain as much information as they can.  This information is then passed along to British Intelligence and used in order to win the war.  There is mystery and a different kind of romance that keeps you turning the pages.  I loved the character development and the plot twists.  Your heart goes out to Ginger, the other mediums and the men fighting in this war.  When Ginger has to go to the front in order to uncover a spy, the reader really feels as though they are there.  I loved the attention to detail in this book.

This was a well-developed novel, with just the right amount of mystery, danger and love.  I highly recommend this novel.  Well done, Kowal!

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Mary Robinette Kowal