Book Review: Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith and Walter Flanagan

Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith and art by Walter Flanagan Is the sequel to Batman: Cacophony, which I really enjoyed and rated 5 stars Batman: Cacophony review This story asks the question of what does it take for Batman to trust in both love and in partnership. In this graphic novel both relationships will be tested. This book features Batman, Nightwing, Robin (Tim Drake), Superman, Aquaman Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy, The Demon, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face and a plethora of D list villains from the history of Batman’s Rouges. Baron Blitzkrieg anyone? though he is one over the cooler ones for the new era. This book does have Kevin Smith patented humor which is not all dick and fart jokes, this one is a little bit more mature than Cacophony and thankfully no rape jokes. There’s a lot of great moments Catwoman’s reaction to aging and getting called a cougar. Robin’s callback joke to being a man. Batman not trusting when a person or situation is too perfect, Alfred finding out about Bruce Wayne’s sex life and Aquaman rushing to the surface because dolphins reported a woman screaming in the ocean, which was a result of sex.

The Plot: Bruce Wayne meets a woman from his past that seems to perfect, but in his world as Batman too perfect leads to bad, can he let his guard down to find something real. As Batman he meets a new vigilante calling himself Baphomet that helps him time and again, but can he trust this new vigilante, or not. We go through Batman’s troubled past with trust issues and when he finally started trusting Robin and his trust issues with Superman. This comic will end in one of the most shocking twist I have ever read in a Batman comic.

What I Liked: The humor and observation that only Kevin Smith could bring to the world of Batman. The brutality and carnage of these villains, especially Mr. Freeze, we see people frozen but also death by shards of ice. Bruce Wayne happy and letting his guard down for a second. The personal tour of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude on a date. Baphomet and his secret origin. The hilarious Batman and Aquaman scene. The theme of trust throughout. The Demon as a villain is terrifying and I liked that he brought him from him Green Arrow run. When on the tour of the Fortress of Solitude there’s a Dinosaur, and batman has a line about he had one before they were cool to have at your hide out. It is double the size of Batman Cacophony.

What I Disliked: Every female character is sex crazed. There’s too many religious minded crimes, it’s Batman and I want to escape reality. The romance moves too fas, in regards to feelings. The story arc takes too long too develop. The Book ends at a cliffhanger and says to be continued except so far Kevin Smith has not continued it’s been 9 years!

Recommendations: I will recommend Batman fans check this comic out for the questions and conversations that are asked and answered. If you’re a fan of Batman: Cacophony then you have to check the sequel! I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars, while I liked the first one better this is a worthwhile read, and I will continue to read any works Kevin Smith.


Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale By Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a gothic mystery that reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, which I loved so that’s high praise. This novel has some beautiful prose, I’m not really a prose guy, I don’t need beautiful metaphors on every page, just enough to get be the mind picture, but this book manages to do both beautifully. There’s too many passages that took my breath away for how they were described. The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights both written by sisters which is a theme in the novel. this Novel makes some really cool observations, the two I liked is birth is showing up to a play late, they way we have to catch up to are parents lives and all the history before us; the other I really enjoyed was the twins viewing people by themselves as not whole because they were missing there other half and thus not whole. I really love where the novel went with this observation. I did think this book was going to be more about Vida Winter’s writing which, seems like an after thought at the end, but it is more about her life than writing.

The Plot: Margret Lea is a antique book shop worker at her father’s store, she’s very comfortable reading the classic’s and not the contemporary stuff by Vida Winter said to be the Charles Dickson of our times. It comes as a shock that Vida Winter wants Margret to tell her story. Margret as well a book store clerk has dipped in to writing short biographies on people from literary history, the one that she believes caught her attention was her work on the two twins the Landier brothers. Vida Winter just so happens to be a twin, and wants to tell her story. Margret doing he research has learned that Vida Winter has told a different past with each interview she has ever given, what has changed? The mystery of Vida Winter deals with death, secrets and ghosts, and there is a reason Margret was chosen that will change her life along with Vida Winter’s.

What I Liked: The prose is so good and haunting at times. The mystery once it is revealed is pretty interesting. The twist is really good and will make you want to read the novel again. I loved the character’s of Missus, Hester, John the dig, and Aurelius. Aurelius character arc was told really well and I loved his ending. I loved the gothic aspects story and the ghost moments. The twin theme was really great and how much it is enforced in the novel was very effective, I bet if I reread it I will find even more connections. I also like how the twist is on the surface and if you follow the clues you can solve most of the mystery. Every time it has a piece of Vida Winter’s writing, I loved the small short story that is read and how it fit in with her life.

What I Disliked: There was no dates, I would have liked a little time period to help me visualize. The middle is pretty slow I felt the story was going somewhere but it sure took it’s time getting there, the middle does have a point but you don’t realize the significance of it until the twist, but still the pacing slowed way down. I’m really happy that I read through it but I can understand why other readers might not finish. Margret’s haunting was very confusing for a couple of passages, it makes a little more sense as the novel progresses.

Recommendations: I will recommend this one, too readers that I know can power through a slow paced middle. I have not read Jane Eyre, (I know) but it seems like if you like that story you will like this, this novel really wants to make me check it out. I have read Rebecca and I see a lot of things in common especially the gothic aspects which were my favorite parts, I think that book is better paced but a lot of similarities. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. I will read another Diane Setterfield novel, Once Upon A River sounds really interesting.

Book Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the first novella in The Murderbot Diaries series that is up to 4 book so far. This novel has one a plethora of award The Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for best Science Fiction Novella, as well of plenty of others. I’ve seen other reviews rate it quite high, and I personally was not disappointed. This novel is a unique character study with thrilling bits of action thrown in. The novel is told from the perspective of Murderbot, who is not your average bot, he has a rebellious side to him. Murderbot can me compared to a rebellious teenager as it choose it not to read reports, would rather spend time watching entertainment, would rather be alone than with the crew who doesn’t understand it and doesn’t know what it wants of this life.

The Plot: Murderbot is an SecUnit a self aware droid with human features and characteristics. Murderbot is what he calls himself but not allowed. He works as a piece of hardware for the Company which is a massive rental facility that provides security and gear for teams. Murderbot is not like other SecUnits he hacked himself out of the mainframe and does not have to follow orders, which no one know except him. He assigned to a group of scientists that are surveying soil on a distant planet through a worm hole. Murderbot is bored most of the time, a massive creature breaks up the boredom as it attacks the crew coming up from the ground. Murderbot kills the creature before it can inflict too much damage . The crew survives but end up finding that their survey of the planet has been modified with no mention of the creature and places on the map omitted. The crew find themselves in danger as someone doesn’t want them to leave the planet alive and Murderbot is their only hope.

What I Liked: This is not a stereotypical robot story there are not beeps and boops. The voice and personality Murderbot is unique and refreshing. The relationship of the crew toward each other and towards Murderbot. The action is easy to follow and exciting. The ending was unexpected I feel it was right for the character, even if I was a little sad of what the outcome means for the next novel and some of the characters. It is short but the story fills complete it could of added a couple more pages to fill in a scene that gets interrupted.

What I Disliked: The end of the rising action left me wanting to know what exactly happened, I felt a little cheated not knowing.

Recommendation: I totally recommend this novel, I look forward to reading more adventures of The Murderbot Diaries. I would recommend this to people who like science fiction, this novel is could be a good novel to get some one to try Science Fiction it is short and not overly detailed when it comes to science. There is one use of bad language, I would recommend this to teenagers, since Murderbot is so much like a teenager himself. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading more of Martha Wells.

Wrap Up: June 2019 Book Reviews

It’s wrap up time for June, and wow did I read some great books this month.  This is the most 5 star reviews I’ve ever given in a month.  I read 8 books this month, which is really good for me.  Two of the reviews Every Locked Door and Aquaman/ Justice League: Drowned Earth were given to me free in exchange for a honest review.

Five Star Reviews:

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – This one was an instant favorite for me.  What sets this mystery apart form all the other’s is the way that it is told.  The mystery gives you 8 days to solve the crime of who murdered Evelyn Hardcastle, the catch is everyday you are a different person full of their own personality and faults.  You can work together with your future selves, but beware two others are playing the same game. This mystery was really fun and sucked me in completely.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – on my half of the year review for books that came out this year, I have this at number 1 so far.  This is a well plotted thriller with no big twist but a lot of really clever small twist and turns that kept adding tension.  This follows a girl who lives in New York desperate for money to help her and her family just get by, ended up sneaking into a college study, and becomes the main test study for a manipulative doctor who desires their own result in a study that becomes very personal for both parties.

Batman: Cacophony by Kevin Smith – Kevin Smith is a write director famous for creating the duo Jay and Silent Bob, he is also a huge proud geek and the owner of a comic book. He is one of the fore fronts of geek culture.  He wrote this work adding great lines of dialogue asking question know  one thought to ask, He expanded on a villain he created in in a run on Green Arrow comics that’s brutal and wants a dead Batman’s cowl for his collection.

Goosebumps: Stay Out of the Basement by R. L. Stine – A great story that plays on a real life scenario of a father losing his job and going a little bit nuts to prove the people wrong.  In this story he’s a scientist and goes a little mad.  Just a fun story with a great ending that is truly creepy.

Four Star Reviews:

Aquaman & Justice League: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder – A fairly good graphic novel with one of my favorite writer’s Scott Snyder.  Aquaman and the Justice League have to deal with alien gods of water that want to see Earth drown, and it’s citizen’s becoming sea creatures that they can control.

Three Star Reviews:

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – This review hurt a little I’m such a fan of Riley Sager’s other two novels Last Time I Lied and Final Girls and remain so but this story of a hunted hotel had me wanting a lot more. The novel is still a page turner in terms of flow and the set up.

Alice by Christina Henry – This is the most divided I’ve been on a review in a long time. On one hand I found the plot a bit stilted on the other I wanted to find out where this went and was awed about some of the changes to characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Goosebumps: Monster Blood by R. L. Stine – A haunted “flubber” like substance causes a lot of problems for teenager Evan and his dog Trigger.  This story seemed to have no direction and the ending was wrapped up to conveniently.

One Year Anniversary Post and Best of Halfway Book Reviews for 2019

Hello Everybody! I made it a whole year reviewing. I have enjoyed sharing and conversing with you all. I started this blog with really just a goal of joining Netgalley but it has evolved much more than that and I’ve improved a lot as a reviewer.  I have reviewed 107 books since a year ago.

Top Five of Books I’ve Reviewed on Reading With My Eyes Site:

1. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager: a mystery in the past a present merge about missing campers, some of the most jaw dropping twists in this book, that keep making you turn the pages.

2. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: The best way I’ve heard it described is an Agatha Christie novel on crack.  This is a love it or hate it book, and I loved it!

3. The Last Time I Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson: A classic novel that is so good it became an instant favorite. You will not guess where this novel is heading. When the ending hit I was pretty amazed at what Jackson pulled off.

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Just good solid storytelling that amerces you in the story.  I remember getting so wrapped up in the story that I forgot the interview character was even there sometimes.

5. Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson: Epic high fantasy at it’s finest.  Sanderson can crank out fantasy novels faster than anyone and they’re all interesting. I was a big fan of the Mistborn trilogy, but this book blows them all away in terms of character development, battle scenes, and world building.

Can you believe this year is already half way over? I’ve rated 42 book this year. 12 of them are from this year, I have not read Daisy Jones and the Six, The Huntress and Silent Patient  which I’ve been told Ill love.  Also I got approved for The Passengers by John Marrs which has already released in the UK and has gotten incredible reviews.

My Top 3 so Far for 2019:

  1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen: A really smart thriller that is filled with small little twists, that add up quickly for a worth while finale.
  2. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding: is a modern day Grimm’s Fairy Tale, this story id creepy and I enjoyed every minute of it.
  3. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas: This is her follow up to The Hate U Give, it is an original story about a up in coming female rapper.  It deals in race relations, poor verus wealth, and growing up and dealing with all the feels that come with it.

Book Review: Aquaman & Justice League: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder

Aquaman and Justice League: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder is an epic tale of alien gods of oceans determined to see Earth’s ocean waters raise and drown the earth, after the oceans on their home planets have dries up or frozen over. Scott Snyder uses the type of story telling that I fell in love with his writing in the first place like his Court of Owls run on Batman, where he starts with a theme and then reinforces it in flashbacks and present action, what I love is there is an over arcing theme but also an individual comic theme as well, he handles this better than anyone in comics, it reminds me a lot of what Joss Whedon did on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel so well in the TV storytelling landscape. This novel feature to many character’s to name them all, If you read DC’s Metal comics or graphic novel’s this story is still dealing with those changes like Atlantis is no on the surface not at the bottom of the sea. I have not read DC’s Metal, I read Dark Days: The Road to Metal and was not a fan, you can find that review here https://readingwithmyeyes.wordpress.c… but this work does a good job of catching you up and actually got me excited to finally explore those titles. A thanks to netgalley and DC comic’s for letting me download this title, (Note : I was not able to open this title and had to purchase it) I’m an honest reviewer and did not let this reflect in my view at all of this title. It was released on April 16th of 2019.

The Plot: Aquaman, Wonder Woman, other Justice League members are searching are searching for a rumored Graveyard of the Gods. As legend tells this is the place the where gods would dispose of there human form, but it’s rumored Poseidon the actual god is down there. They find a graveyard of ships from the past that got lost in there searching. When they arrive they find something they did not expect, they find the entrance to the Graveyard of the Gods is opened with a trail of heat signatures. It is reveals that the Legion of Doom have released alien gods of the ocean from other planets that were trapped by Aquaman’s ancestors and they want revenge on earth. They start by a massive flood of the Earth then they release a new Kraken that infects the flooded waters where if the breathe in the water it turns you into a controllable sea creature who’s goal is to drive you into the waters to change more. Evacuations have started in Gotham with people going to the highest towers to get flown to higher ground, Jim Gordon in an emotional scene is dragged down to the water by sea creatures as he saves a family. Superman has a force wall over Metropolis that keeps most of the water back. Atlantis is the first place hit having only Mera and an imprisoned Ocean Master survive. Aquaman rushes full steam ahead and is easily defeated not knowing the true power of his enemies and his powers are taken and given to Black Manta Aquaman’s greatest foe and member of the League of Doom. Can the justice league survive and can a powerless Aquaman prevail a Drowned Earth?

What I Liked: The writing and theme work is so good the overall theme for Aquaman is exploring new oceans and ideas, plotting and finding the unknown. The Sea creature reminded me of Cthulhu like creatures and there were nods to the Trench. I liked that Flash get’s infected but is able to stave it off longer than anyone due to his metabolism. Jim Gordon turned into a sea creature is powerful and to his character. Ocean Master’s dialogue to Mera that convinces her to trust him to fight for Atlantis. The ending is pretty good and satisfying, there’s a real nice double cross at the end. Really nice character study on Aquaman in the Graveyard of the Gods.

What I Disliked: The art especially the wide drawings closeup are just fine but 80% I was just turned off by the art. There needed to be a synopsis especially on the Teen Titan book I was very lost on what they were doing and it took me a couple of pages to get oriented, I was a little bummed to only see one of those characters do anything further in the novel.

Recommendations: If you are up on current comics then you should definitely read this. If you are not you might be lost for a little bit because there is no real synopsis, but the writing is really good and it doesn’t take too long. If you’re a fan of Scott Snyder’s writing like in the Court of Owls, End Game, and White Knight then this is a great graphic novel that shows off his skills. I rated Aquaman & Justice League: Drowned Earth 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Monster Blood by R. L. Stine

Monster Blood by R. L. Stine is the 3rd book from the classic Goosebumps series. So far in reviewing them I’ve stuck with the order of the classic series from the 90’s, so if you enjoy this review check out my reviews for Stay Out of the Basement and Welcome to the Dead House. Monster Blood was my least favorite of the Goosebumps so far, which I find a little funny since there is three more sequels to monster blood in the series. Monster blood is a story of possessed “flubber” not the cool “flubber from The Absent Minded Professor but the “flubber” from the movie Flubber starring Robin Williams, where the “flubber” becomes sentient beings and starts dancing. Monster Blood does not have any dancing Monster Blood but it does have some of the same traits (this book came out before the Flubber movie as well) it is bouncy, it is sticky, it does stuff to beings that eat it and it becomes sentient sort of. The real life scenario is staying with a relative you’ve had little to no contact until a family emergency is all to real. The real horror of this book is an aunt Katheryn who is deaf and can’t read lips or sign, and has a basically no filter and seems a little psychopathic. . I started reading Goosebumps for my nephews, who I’m giving all the books to and reading to, but the response from my followers has been overwhelming, so think you guys for that, it has been a delight sharing the reviews and the response with you.

The Plot: Evan ad the dog Trigger is being sent to his great aunt Katheryn for an undetermined amount of time as his parents look for a place to live in Florida after a recent sudden job transfer of his father. Evan has never met great aunt Katheryn but knows she is deaf and never learned to read lips or sign language. He’s met by a surprised Katheryn holding a bloody knife, that was only cutting meat for dinner. Katheryn talks with out filter and makes a rule that the house pet Trigger the dog must live outside while because of Katheryn’s pet cat Sarabeth who Katheryn talks to like a person than a cat. Evan ends up meeting a local girl Andrea who goes by Andy, they have an instant connection with all things stupid. Andy shows him the town and a vintage toy store that has old toys some covered in thick amount of dust, but Evan ends up finding Monster Blood, with a cool name like that it has to be cool, right? The Monster blood is neon green and glows in the dark as well as being sticky wit also bouncy, they play with it the whole day but the fun stops when trigger ends up eating a good portion and starts growing unexpectedly and the monster blood that remains starts expanding and seeming to never stop growing it’s self despite Evan and Andy’s attempts to stop it. Can they stop the monster blood from growing before it consume them?

What I Liked: Aunt Katheryn is a great character and really fun, I like the reason she has for never learning sign language or reading lips. I like what Andy and Evan’s friendship becomes. I will say I could not stand the character of Andy at first, she’s super annoying but grew on me at the end. The bullies two twin boy’s were written well and I could relate to having bullies like that growing up that just want to mess with people for no reason.

What I Disliked: The final twist comes out of no where, there was plausibility but barely, I needed more hints to what the ending amounted to. The story seems to have no direction until the rushed ending. I have a real problem on how long it took Evan to take his dog to the vet, the monster blood grows in the dark have your dog see a vet immediately.

Recommendations: This least favorite so far of the books I’ve read, so I would recommend Stay out of the Basement and Welcome to Dead House over this one. I if you thought the Flubber with Robin William is better than the original Absent Minded Professor then you might like this story. I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars. I will continue to read more more Goosebumps books by Scholastic Inc.

Book Review: Alice by Christina Henry

Alice By Christina Henry is a brutally harsh grownup retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) and Through the Looking Glass. The novel does create it’s own twisted story with a lot of references and clever nods to characters from the wonderland world. I would say this novel is like Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, in how it tells a more adult version of a classic children’s literature meets Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series, with it’s use of magic, sex, and violence. The character’s in this book from the Wonderland books are Alice, The Mad Hatter, The White Rabbit, The Jabberwocky, The Walrus, The Carpenter, The Door Mouse, The Caterpillar, and The Cheshire Cat (some of the names and features are changed). I usually do trigger warnings for the recommendation section instead of my first thought but this novel is so in your face, massive trigger warning for rape and violence. I’ve read some graphic stuff but this was intense for me.

The Plot: Alice is in a mental institution, she was found with blood covering her body and talking about a cross between a man and a white rabbit that she followed. She’s locked in a padded cell all alone. She hears a voice that she thinks is in her head, but it calls her a “nit” a word she would not use, and the voice tells he to find the mouse hole. She looks in at her cell mate next door Hatcher, and man known for going mad and killing several with a hatchet. Hatcher and Alice start to make a connection, Hatcher lifts her sprits my talking about what they’re going to do when they get out, even if Alice never believes they’re going to get out. Hatcher has starts to scare Alice with his talks of the Jabberwocky that he can feel is in the basement of institution. Alice has a horrible dream of fire all around her and wakes up to that in her cell. Hatcher saves her as he burst in to her cell and make a break for it. They escape but so does the Jabberwocky. The rest of the place burns down with Alice and Hatcher the only people that know a monster is lose on the streets. The streets themselves aren’t safe as women are the biggest commodity, and gangs rule the streets The Carpenter and The Walrus are constantly at war for new territory, Cheshire has his piece in the center and The Rabbit and the Caterpillar own the rest. Hatcher and Alice find out there is a weapon that can stop the Jabberwocky but don’t know which member has it. Hatcher’s grandmother says that Cheshire owes her for a service a long time ago he might have it. The bodies have already started to mount up only Alice and Hatcher can stop the Jabberwocky.

What I Liked: The cleverness of the naming and connecting the original works to this new Alice. I liked the mystery of the magic and how it worked. I loved the flashbacks for both Alice and Hatcher. I loved the backstory for the Walrus and his connection to Hatcher. Cheshire I like the new developments and update of his character, he probably stays the closest the original books but still new and fresh. I like the way the cakes and the potions were still used for big and small. There’s a couple of good story twist in there that I did not see coming.

What I Disliked: The ending felt super rushed, I liked some of the development in character and plot but the climax that the book had been leading to was over in less than 7 pages. I did not like that the story was sometimes so stilted, it was the same structure sort of the original where you get introduced to a character that never comes back and only has impact on that one scene. I’m forgiving it because it was tat way in the original works but it could have been better.

Recommendations: This one is a hard one I loved a lot of things that Christina Henry did with the characters, but the overall story could’ve been better. I will recommend this one if you love retellings of classics. Please remember the trigger warning of rape and extreme violence for this book, if you’re sensitive in any way to these subjects then stay far away from this book. I rated this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. I really hope that the story telling is better in some of the other retelling books because I felt the character study was so good and I loved the fresh new look at some of the characters. I will definitely check out another Christina Henry book for characters alone. Lost Boy, The Mermaid, and the Girl in Red all sound so interesting.

Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pakkanen is a very meticulous thriller that’s about love, marriage and secrets. I knew this book had a lot of hype this is the follow up to the super popular and well reviewed thriller The Wife Between Us and this book was getting crazy reviews from my fellow bloggers. I can confirm the hype is real this book went in a direction I was not expecting and could not be happier to just enjoy the ride. This novel doesn’t rely on one super twist, but a bunch of little twist and turns that add up quick, to a conclusion with a lot of stakes and secrets. The novel was fun in where watching a reality show where a character makes all the wrong choices is fun.

The Plot: Jessica is a makeup artist for hire, she works through an app called BeautyBuzz that comes to client’s home and do a makeover. Jessica does this part time and also does stage makeup for small productions. She lives in New York and is always looking to make extra money. When she goes to a dorm to do a makeover one of her clients talks about a study at the college she signed up that pays 250 dollars a session just to answer questions for two hours and if you qualify it could be more. Jessica uses an opportunity to go through the clients phone and find out where she has to go for the study. Jessica arrives at the study and tells them that she took the place of the other girl (the girl complained how early the study was) this excuse works and she’s approved for the study. Jessica enters a room with only a computer that projects a series of questions. Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt? Have you ever deeply hurt someone you car about? Should a punishment always fit a crime? The questions need answers long detailed answers of why Jessica thinks that way. Dr . shields runs the study a prods and pushes her to reveal some deep trauma and unresolved issues all through the the computer. Jessica soon begins to think that Dr. shields can read Jessica’s mind and see into her soul. Dr. Shields soon ask Jessica if she will me willing to be the doctors test subject out in the real world. Jessica has came a way a different person and is willing to do anything for Dr. Shields. She starts wearing what the doctor tells her and manipulates where she goes and who she talks to. Jessica starts to doubt Dr. Shields and the study keeps asking Jessica to act out of character. Jessica starts to investigate the Dr. Shields and finds out shocking truths about what the study is really leading up to.

What I Liked: I started off not really liking Jessica as a character but at the end she really grew on me. I liked getting to know how Dr. Shields analytical mind works and just how detailed it is. I liked getting the dueling perspectives of Jessica and Dr. Shields. The reasons that the character’s did what they did was backed up with fear and secrets, for the longest time I couldn’t figure out Thomas’s angle was if he was a pawn or a player, but I was satisfied why he played the game. The mystery/thriller element is really great and had me reading very late into the night, as the study goes into the real world I couldn’t put the book down I had to find out where it was leading, and I was pretty happy about where the book went. The dialogue and feelings expressed are excellent and tell the story more than descriptions

What I Disliked: The book sometimes went a little makeup heavy, she’s a makeup artist so it’s forgiven for the most part but sometimes the details were too much. The descriptions are sometimes very vague, I thought Leo was a cat for a few pages. I had a hard time picturing characters and their features.

Recommendations: I really enjoyed An Anonymous Girl, the plot is fast paced with small chapters making this book hard to put down. I would recommend this to people who like plausible mysteries that are well explained. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to there next book and I plan to read The Wife Between Us soon.

Book Review:The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (or The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle) by Stuart Turton is amazing an instant favorite for me. The book deserves a long slow clap for what it pulled off and accomplished. This book is an enigma wrapped in several riddles. The conclusion has four major twist that are all plausible and well thought out. The comparisons I’ve read about this book is Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day, which is very fitting. The novel embodies Agatha Christie’s writing by making a grand murder, and having many compelling characters full of family secrets all with reasons to murder. I told a friend it’s a murder mystery where you get to play 8 of the characters, all at once. The 7 and a half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is so fresh and new in its approach to and old fashioned murder mystery. It was unlike anything I’ve read before. Thanks for all the bloggers who made this book a can’t miss, and lead up to the hype of the novel.

The Plot: Aiden Bishop wakes up not quite feeling like himself, but it’s because he’s not himself he’s Sebastian Bell a doctor who’s alone in the wood with cuts on his arm. He says the only thing he can remember “Anna”. He feels like she’s in trouble he she’s a woman being chased by and man and heads in the direction of them. He doesn’t know what’s going on. The Man creeps up behind him and Bell cowers before him not daring to look up the man gives him a compass and a direction, which leads him to Blackheath an old mansion. Aiden soon learns there’s a murder taking place there and it’s his job to solve it using 8 host on the day of the murder. If he sleeps, loses conscience, or is murdered he goes into another host until all eight are used up. The day is repeated 8 days and he’s a different person every time. He can use versions of himself to help him, but everything still has to fall in order, also there are two others like Aiden also trying to solve the mystery, and who know who he really is, but can he trust either of them?

What I Liked: This novel makes sense, not at first but you’re just as confused as the character, but once everything is explained, everything fits, and its a beautiful thing. The writing is really good, this is my favorite line from it. “Anger’s solid; it has weight,. You can beat your fist against it, but pity’s a fog to become lost within.” This novel has a lot of character, but they all have they’re own voices, secrets, and agendas which made it easy to differentiate from one another. The twist are jaw dropping, and there’s more than a few. The way the story is told makes it very memorable and really unique as you go forward and sometimes backwards yet on the the same day. This novel nails the ending, actually I was satisfied after the first two major twists, and there’s a point that it could’ve ended, but it keeps going and offers two more major twist for ultimate satisfaction. There’s mysteries on mysteries, but the main mystery is very strong and kept my interest throughout.

What I Disliked: I still have questions? I feel satisfied with the ending but still have a couple of questions about the character’s and about time. I did not like that we did not get a time period for the party at Blackheath.

Recommendations: I whole heartily recommend The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcaslte, this novel is destined to be a classic. The only people I could not see enjoying this are distracted readers, there’s a lot of information and if you can’t remember it then you could get easily lost. The confusing beginning only last 3o pages and them it all makes sense. This novel is for murder mystery lovers with a fresh way of telling the story. Lovers of the Black Mirror and the Twilight Zone will have fun with the trippier elements of the story. This is a rock solid debut for Stuart Turton, and I can not wait to see what this guy dreams up next. I rated this novel 5 out of 5 stars.