Month: July 2017

Review: The Dark Lake

The Dark Lake
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book this, it is a murder mystery set in small town Australia, a town where everyone has secrets and things they need to hide, this includes Gemma Woodstock the lead detective on the case. A teacher at the local high school has been murdered and her body found in the lake. She is someone who was in Gemma’s class at school and there is history between them. While she is working on the case, having an affair with her police partner and raising her small son, Gemma is pretty stretched. Her relationship is crumbling and the pressure of all of the stuff going on for her is taking a toll.

This is a nicely complicated crime novel, Gemma is the kind of troubled detective character that I really like her past informs her present and the alternating chapters between the past and the present tell her back story. Sometimes this can be annoying but I found it nicely . The characters in the town are very realistic and Gemma’s dealings with them all ring true. The suspense builds nicely and the pace picks up as the conclusion draws near. Great book.

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Review: Prick with a Fork

Prick with a Fork
Prick with a Fork by Larissa Dubecki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love the title! I have a son who works in hospo and he sometimes tells me stories of the customers and their interesting behaviour, so when I saw this I thought it might be a bit of fun, and it is. This is the story of the behind the scenes doings at restaurants and bars the author has worked in as a waitress. This book is guaranteed to make you think twice before you send your food back! It is entertaining and funny in parts, occasionally the stories fall a bit flat but some of the anecdotes which are interwoven in the stories are pretty hilarious.

I’ve been dipping into this book over the last couple of weeks and it has been a pretty enjoyable experience. This writer can tell a good yarn and you get a good view of the kitchens and behind the bars of a bunch of places, something only the insiders would see normally.

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Review: Gilded Cage

Gilded Cage
Gilded Cage by Vic James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really good fantasy novel. Perfect for anybody who likes their fantasy laced with magic and special skills but also set in a familiar world. This is England but 700 years after the rules changed which meant that unless you have magical skills, you are destined to spend 10 years being a slave to the inaptly named Equals. They have all the power, those without magic have none. England is a brutal place if you are serving your slave days.

This story is told from the point of view of siblings Luke and Abi, each of them serving their slave days in very different ways. Luke at Millmoor the grimy nasty industrial city and the rest of the family at the luxury estate of Kyneston, the seat of one of the most powerful families in the country, the Jardines. The family hate that Luke is separated from them but Luke becomes a vital cog in the resistance machine fighting to change society. He is involved in resistance missions and meets a team of others, as the series goes on I’m sure these people will come into their own. This is magic, political intrigue, family drama and survival novel all in one.

This is a fast moving story, whipping along as it sets you up for an action packed fantasy series. I’m sure that my students will love it. The cover is awesome and definitely influenced my decision to pick up the book.

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Review: Moonrise

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been thinking about this book a lot since I finished it yesterday. The story of Ed and Jo Moon and their family is very moving, well it would be, given Ed is on death row and due to execution in the very near future. Sadly the odds of saving Ed are stacked against him. Even though he didn’t commit the crime that he is accused of and his lawyer is working hard to save him it doesn’t seem like there is going to be a last minute reprieve. This is Joe’s story, the story of how he deals with the horror of the looming death of his brother, how he relives the memories of his childhood with Ed in flashbacks. Joe has always looked up to Ed, the much older brother who was kind to him, a support for him while their mum was being flakey and someone to look up to. Now Joe is all alone in a prison town, he is drawn to be with Ed, he has no money and and he knows nobody in the town. Luckily for him he falls on his feet and even finds a kindred spirit.

This is a wonderful book. A book that will stay with you and haunt you, it will make you consider the impact of the death sentence on those left behind. Those who physically put the person to death and all the people on the periphery. Sarah Crossan is a wonderful writer, the prose style makes this very easy to read and the language is perfect. An excellent book.

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