The second six months: my favourite books of 2019. Part two

Monday, December 9, 2019 Permalink

For several years now I’ve done an annual wrap-up post of the (new release) novels I’ve enjoyed most that year.

For the past couple of years I’ve actually done a ‘first half of the year’ post though usually skip over the ‘second half of the year’ post and go straight to the grand final… bypassing the semi finals completely.

Well not this year. Not only did I write my ‘fave novels released in the first half of 2019‘ post, but I’m following it up with those I’ve enjoyed most in the second half of the year.

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Book Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Sunday, December 8, 2019 Permalink

When I attended a romance readers conference a few years ago, New Zealand author Nalini Singh was oft-mentioned. As romance and paranormal romance aren’t genres I read (particularly the latter) I’d not heard of her, but now know she’s much-loved internationally with over 20 books to her name.

A Madness of Sunshine is her first crime novel. It’s set in New Zealand – a place she obviously knows well as the landscape of the south island – its untamed beauty in particular – plays a central role in the unfolding tale.

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Book review: The Assistant by SK Tremayne

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 Permalink

I read and enjoyed The Ice Twins by SK Tremayne in 2015. I know the English author and journalist (Sean Thomas) has released a couple of books since but haven’t heard a lot about them here in Australia, though I know The Fire Child in particular, was well-received by overseas authors and bloggers I follow.

Tremayne’s latest release is very timely in the age of Siri and Alexa, Google Home and automation in general. It takes things a little further however (well, I’ve not heard of some of the technology so it ‘may’ exist!) and things turn ugly. Of course the big question is whether it’s artificial intelligence (AI) and ‘the machines’ taking over or if humans are still the main source of evil.

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Book review: The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale

Sunday, December 1, 2019 Permalink

Interestingly I read Pip Drysdale’s The Sunday Girl, while travelling home from Italy last October. It’s typical of me, but I’ve included reference to my Emirates meal in the review, which in retrospect is kinda weird. Happily however, I enjoyed the book (far more than the meal) and it seems, though I thought I knew what was going to happen, it didn’t quite play out like that.

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Book review: Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Saturday, November 30, 2019 Permalink

I only requested this book for review recently, though it was released earlier this year. I’ve read two books by Peter Swanson and still remember the beguiling title of his debut… The Girl With a Clock for a Heart.

His novels are satisfyingly twisty with complex characters, usually with frailties and there’s often moral or ethical challenge at the heart of the book. His latest is no different.

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Life lately – a November check-in

Friday, November 29, 2019 Permalink

I’ve not written many non-bookish posts lately. I suspect it’s because I’ve felt I’ve had nothing to say. Anything I really need to get off my chest I tend to do so on Facebook or Twitter. (And yes, if you follow me there, you’re very welcome!)

There are probably a few things marinating around inside my little mind however and – as I found a draft of an October check-in I’ve done nothing with – I thought I’d partake in a little brain dump here this month.

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Book review: Darkness For Light by Emma Viskic

Monday, November 25, 2019 Permalink

I missed Resurrection Bay when it was released in 2015. Of course I’ve no excuse now (four years later) for not reading a copy of the much-lauded debut novel by Emma Viskic. And. I. Really. Must. Read. It.

I read her second And Fire Came Down, also featuring Caleb Zelic, but – though I loved Viskic’s writing – I didn’t get the hype over the main character (and therefore the series he was carrying).

Viskic’s new release Darkness for Light, the third in the series however is my favourite so far (noting of course I’ve not read the first!). I devoured this in a sitting and engaged with Caleb far more than I did in the previous book. I’m not entirely sure why that is… but here I really enjoyed the time I spent with him and now can’t wait for more.

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Book review: Hi Five by Joe Ide

Thursday, November 21, 2019 Permalink

I adored the first book in this series featuring Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) by Joe Ide, named after its lead character.  I was a little disappointed by the second, Righteous but enjoyed the third, Wrecked, Which brings us to Ide’s latest release and the fourth instalment, Hi Five.

Interestingly I think what I struggled with in the second novel was the increased involvement of IQ’s childhood friend (and kinda loveable rogue) Juanell Dodson. Dodson plays a larger role in this book again but I’m finding myself becoming accustomed to the fact he jousts well with IQ, even if it means the latter no longer seems to be quite the scary-smart and savvy character I initially fell in love with.

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Book review: The Sleepover by Samantha King

Saturday, November 16, 2019 Permalink

Thrillers or psychological suspense novels featuring missing kids aren’t a rarity.  I went to a session at Bad Sydney Crime Writers Festival about ‘missing children’ in books and they touched on a something I – as a non-parent – found interesting.

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