Mar 14

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Title: Burial Rites: A Novel

Author: Hannah Kent
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 322
How I Read It: ARC received from the publisher – The views expressed in my review are mine alone and I have received no compensation for these opinions.
Synopsis: Charged with the brutal murder of two men, Agnes Magnusdottir has been removed to her homeland’s farthest reaches, to an isolated farm in northern Iceland, to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family on the farm avoids Agnes. Her arrival threatens the peaceful rhythm of their way of life, while her stoic approach to the daily chores is an unsettling contrast to the passion that, rumor has it, drove her to kill – disturbing proof for them of the dangers that can lurk beneath a placid surface.
Only Toti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. As the winter months pass and Agnes’s death looms closer, the farmer’s wife and his daughters learn there is another side to the sensational tale they’ve heard, but will their new knowledge be enough to save her?
Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the saga of this young woman, the last to be publicly beheaded in Iceland, in the early nineteenth century. Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the heartbreaking question: How can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others? Inspired by true events, this is an astonishing and exhilarating read that gives voice to a fierce and daring heroine and heralds the arrival of a great new talent.
* Synopsis taken from the book jacket
My Review: This was one of those novels that was a tough one to get in to, in some ways, because we know the eventual outcome from the start. Knowing that Agnes is doomed made it more heart-wrenching for me to read her story as she reveals it to Reverend Toti, from her earliest days through the unfortunate murder of Natan Kettilson. She’s the sort of woman who doesn’t seem able to catch a break, being shuffled from one sad situation to another.
The novel presents a somewhat sympathetic look at Agnes and the situation she finds herself in. There’s no way to know what really happened with her, whether she really participated in the murder or if she was just a bystander, so this alternate perspective made it an interesting story. That being said, it did take awhile for me to really become interested in it, but the slow pace was really the only complaint I had.
I also found it fascinating that a convicted murderer, one sentenced to death, was sent to live with a random family on a farm in Iceland. The whole scenario makes me very curious about the Icelandic justice system, both past and present, so I may have to read more about it to understand it on a better level. Their concept is very different from the one we use in the U.S., plain and simple.
Knowing basically nothing about Iceland, I enjoyed the look into what life was like there a couple hundred years ago. It seems like a reasonably harsh climate, and the idea of having to walk everywhere in it had never really occurred to me. Reading that made it seem even more difficult for someone like Agnes to rise above the station in life she was born into. When you think about it, that seems a pretty bleak life to live in a lot of ways.
Although a little depressing, this was an interesting story, and I’m glad I read it. I’d encourage everyone to pick it up, being a historical fiction novel from a place we’re less familiar with in general.
Read this book if: If you’re looking to branch out from the typical historical fiction, you should check this one out.
My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!

Mar 09

It’s Monday! What are you reading? March 9, 2014

Reading on MondayThis is a weekly meme run by Book Journey, where we post the books we completed during the last week, what you’re currently reading, and really whatever other book related stuff you want!

And Mailbox Monday is an awesome way to share the books you received during the week!
*****
The last couple of weeks have been spent doing a fair amount of house painting, so I haven’t been doing as much reading as usual. The plus is I’m close to done now!
Books completed last week:
The Hypnotist (The Reincarnationist) - MJ Rose: Third book in the Reincarnationist series, and a definite improvement over its predecesors.
Burial Rites: A Novel  - Hannah Kent: An interesting historical fiction novel set in Iceland. Sad, but interesting!
Books I’m reading this week:
Freud’s Mistress - Karen Mack & Jennifer Kaufman ~ Page 20: The title is basically self explanatory, hehehe. I’m not very far into it, but I am enjoying it.
Books ongoing:
Emma - Jane Austen ~ 41%: Oh Emma, I will finish you some day I swear!
What I watched this week:
  • Star Crossed
  • The Originals
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Almost Human
  • Grimm
  • Sex & the City
  • Parenthood
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Crazy Ones
  • Castle
Stuff I listened to:
  • Kelis
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Björk
  • The Cure
  • The Smiths

Mar 07

The Hypnotist by MJ Rose

Title: The Hypnotist (The Reincarnationist)

Author: MJ Rose
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 416
How I Read It: Hard cover borrowed from the library
Synopsis: An FBI agent, tormented by a death he wasn’t able to prevent, a crime he’s never been able to solve and a love he’s never forgotten, discovers that his true conflict resides not in his past, but in a past life…
 
Haunted by a twenty-year-old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a special agent with the FBI’s Art Crime Team. Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation – dedicated to the science of past-life study – where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotist.
Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of the world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity, and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history – the theft of a 1,500-year-old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
My Review: The Hypnotist was a bit different from the first two novels in this series, in that the reincarnation story line wasn’t nearly as important as it was in the other novels. As a result, I liked this one quite a bit more, and it was much easier for me to get through it. Additionally, our main character, Lucian Glass, was also in the last novel, and I enjoyed the continuity that his story brought.
Our ever present villain, Malachai Samuels, was far more tolerable to me this go around as well, which definitely helped the story move along for me. Lucian is a character that was pitted against Malachai in The Memorist and this novel, and that was much more fun to read about. In the previous novels, our main characters were working with Malachai, and it bothered me a ton cuz I haven’t trusted that guy from the start!
Lucian has demons of his own – he’s being faced with the repercussions of events towards the end of the previous novel, plus old demons coming back to haunt him twenty years later. I wished we’d had more of a story with Lucian before this novel, because I liked him quite a bit and would have liked to learn more about him as a character before he had all these new issues. Either way, stories about the FBI always interest me, so that made Lucian a character I wanted to root for from the start.
As was the case with the previous novels in the series, there were some unnecessary characters that I didn’t feel belonged for any good reason. That being said, they were less obtrusive in this one, so it was easier to deal with in a lot of ways. We do have the typical helpless female, but at least this one had a bit of spice to her!
On the whole, this works both as a continuation of the series, and as a stand-alone, which was nice. It’s by far my favorite of the series to date, and I hope we get to see more of Lucian in the future.
Read this book if: I think people who read the other books in the series would enjoy this one. It’s also a decent paranormal type mystery.
My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!

Feb 21

The Memorist by MJ Rose

Title: The Memorist (The Reincarnationist)
Author: MJ Rose
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 464
How I Read It: Hard cover borrowed from the library.

Synopsis: International bestseller M.J. Rose has written a gripping and unforgettable novel about a woman paralyzed by the past, a man robbed of his future, and a centuries old secret.

The dreads are back. As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music.

Now the past has reached out again in the form of a strange letter that sets her on a journey to Vienna to unlock the mystery of who she once was. With each step, she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, a lost flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven, and David Yalom, a journalist who understands all too well how the past affects the future. David knows loss first hand–terrorism is a reality that cost him his family.

He’s seen every solution promised by security experts around the world–and he’s seen every solution fail. Now, in a concert hall in Vienna, he plans to force the world to understand the cost of those failures in a single, violent act. Because those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it…

*Synopsis taken from Goodreads

My Review: As was the case with the first novel in this series, I had to suspend my disbelief in order to appreciate the story. Given the subject matter, that may be difficult for a reader, so keep that in mind when picking this one up.

Having read The Reincarnationist, I had a bit of an idea about what I was getting into when I decided to continue the series. The stories themselves are not bad, I just wish there was some other sort of explanation for it. That being said, I particularly loved the flashback scenes, and I wish there had been more of those, especially the ones with Beethoven. I really felt like I was in Austria during his lifetime, and that in itself is pretty amazing.

The mystery in this one was a bit harder to figure out than in the first novel, which did allow me to enjoy the story more. You know all along that someone is out there, looking for this mysterious flute and doing everything they can to find it, but figuring out who that may be was complex enough that I didn’t just pick it right out. That makes for an alright mystery in my book!

All along though, something was bothering me, and after awhile I figured it out…I think I would have liked it more if there had been maybe one less plot point to follow. There was our main story, following Meer around, but then about four other pretty major things going on at the same time. While they all tied up in the end, it felt like some of those storylines were written simply so things would have that little bow on them. Even before the climax unfolded, I was thinking “how is this story ultimately going to intertwine with the rest of this?” I don’t like thinking about a novel that way, and I really prefer to just float along with it, so that bit disappointed me.

While I liked the characters alright, I wish there had been more background to connect with Meer on. I didn’t feel like I identified with her at all, and I think had we seen her story from an earlier point in her life, it would have been better for me. Plus I got super tired of the way her episodes would come on…it seemed like there was a full on, basically the same description of them, for half the novel.

I am going to continue the series, but I’ll be crossing my fingers that some of the more likeable characters cross over into the next novel, because that might help me maintain some continuity.

Read this book if: This was a decent sequel, and if you really liked the first one, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

My Rating: 3/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!

Feb 14

The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

Title: The Lavender Garden: A Novel
Author: Lucinda Riley
Publisher: Atria
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
How I Read It: ARC received from the publisher – The views expressed in my review are mine alone and I have received no compensation for these opinions.

Synopsis: An aristocratic French family, a legendary chateau, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire…

La Cote d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinieres, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent chateau and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt – and almost as many questions…

Paris, 1944: A bright, young British office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is sent undercover to Paris to be part of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during the climax of the Nazi occupation. Separated from her contacts in the Resistance, she soon stumbles into the heart of a prominent family who regularly entertain elite members of the German military even as they plot to liberate France. But in a city rife with collaborators and rebels, Constance’s most difficult decision may be determining whom to trust with her heart.

As Emilie discovers what really happened to her family during the war and finds a connection to Constance much closer than she suspects, the chateau itself may provide the clues that unlock the mysteries of her past, present, and future. Here is a dazzling novel of intrigue and passion from one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.

*Synopsis taken from the book jacket

My Review: The Lavender Garden is a touching and interesting story of two families coming together, in the past and semi-present, with heroics in one generation and a mystery in the other. We go back and forth from the present to the past in alternating sections, watching Emilie’s journey of growing up as she learns about the activities of her family in France during World War II. Despite being from an important family, Emilie doesn’t know much about her history, and it turns out, herself either.

Constance, on the other hand, is caught up in the war, separated from her husband and sent off to a foreign country on a very dangerous mission. Almost as soon as she makes it into France, she meets Edouard de la Martinieres, and while her mission is taken off course, her desire to fight for her country and end the war stay with her. Connie is an amazing woman, the sort I wish I knew and had the opportunity to be friends with at some point in my life.

I spent much of the novel wanting to shake some sense into Emilie – whether it’s that I’ve seen too many movies, or I’m just not as trusting of a person as she is, I felt like I could see trouble coming for her and I couldn’t do anything about it. She is pretty naive at the beginning of the novel, and I couldn’t help but be frustrated as I read some of what she was going through.

Consequently, the flash back segments set during the war were much more interesting to me. I felt like I was able to get a reasonably realistic view into the war in Europe – or realistic for me, at least. Although I know that WWII occurred, and who the major players were, I feel relatively separated from it, both by generation and locale. The danger these characters were in was so palpable, I felt at times that I was in an air raid, at risk in a safe house, or stuck in a cellar somewhere. These scenes were all beautiful, heartbreaking, and I wish there had been more of them.

At the end of it all, while I didn’t want to participate in Emilie’s life much, I do want to read more novels about this time period in Europe, as well as visit a vineyard or five in France.

Read this book if: I highly encourage fans of historical fiction to pick this one up, it was lovely!

My Rating: 4/5 – Borderline amazing!

Feb 09

It’s Monday! What are you reading? February 9, 2014

Reading on MondayThis is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!
Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week.
Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that was created by Marcia at The Printed Page , who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring meme (details here ). It will be hosted at Mailbox Monday for the 2014 year.
*****

As I’m sure you all know, the Olympics started this week. I honestly don’t really care about them, I’m not much into sports or general competition, so I don’t watch for the most part. As in, I watched the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London games because I really wanted to see that music montage and the gigantic story book characters, but that’s the only part I saw willingly. Anyway, the games usually mean catching up on TV and reading for me, so that’s some of what I did this week!

Books completed last week:
The Memorist (The Reincarnationist)– MJ Rose: I think I liked this one better than the first book, but I didn’t love it.
The Lavender Garden: A Novel– Lucinda Riley: This came as an ARC awhile back and I picked it up for Royal Reviews. I liked it quite a bit!
Books I’m reading this week:
The Hypnotist (The Reincarnationist)– MJ Rose: Continuing the Reincarnationist series…
Books ongoing:
Emma – Jane Austen ~ 41%: Several chapters were completed in Emma this week!
Books I acquired this week:
No new books this week
What I watched this week:
  • Chelsea Lately,  The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
  • Parenthood
  • The Crazy Ones
  • The Originals
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Almost Human
  • Modern Family
  • Arrow
  • Community
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Revolution
  • Sherlock
  • Lee Daniel’s The Butler
  • Hannibal
  • Justified
My Top 5 Artists This Week:
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Coldplay
  • Joss Whedon
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers

Feb 07

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Title: Bellman & Black: A Novel
Author: Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 328
How I Read It: ARC received from the publisher – The views expressed in my review are mine alone and I have received no compensation for these opinions.

Synopsis: One moment in time can haunt you forever…

As a boy, William Bellman kills a rook with his slingshot. The act is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games, but has unforseen and terrible consequences.

By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems to have put the whole incident behind him. But rooks don’t forget. When a stranger mysteriously enters his life, William’s fortunes begin to turn. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.

*Synopsis taken from the book jacket

My Review: This is the sort of novel that left me saying “hmm…” at the end, but in a good way. We meet William Bellman on the day of the event – the killing of the rook. And then we follow him through most of the rest of his life.

William is a driven man, smart and interested in improving things at the family mill, which he ultimately takes over after the untimely death of his Uncle Paul. As various tragedies come through his life, William begins to notice a man dressed in all black who attends the funerals of everyone he knows. Desperate to find out who this man is, William starts to go a little mad in some ways, eventually believing he has struck some sort of deal with this man…even though he doesn’t really know what that deal is.

This novel is billed as a ghost story, and I think if you go in expecting that to be the case, you may end up disappointed. It’s closer to historical fiction combined with the question of: what happens to a man who refuses to acknowledge grief? Is the man in black a figment of William’s imagination, a ghost, a real person, or a representation of William’s own mortality? These are questions I had throughout the book, and I’m still not sure what the answers are!

This is the second novel by Diane Setterfield, and after reading comparisons between this and her first novel, I deliberately read this one first. I wanted to give it a fair shake and not compare it to her other work. As a result, while it wasn’t my favorite novel ever, I did enjoy it. It’s one of those stories where not much happens, but you get an interesting look into the textile business in Victorian England, which moves into a story about the mourning industry during the same time frame. As a historical study, it was fascinating in a lot of ways.

More than anything though, this is a story about tragedy. I was moved to tears a few times because of things that happened, and it reminded me of how fragile life was, and still is. This isn’t a novel for everyone, so you’ll probably either really like it or really hate it.

Read this book if: People who like semi-realistic looks at Victorian England will probably like this one. It’s got a hint of the paranormal, but is basically historical fiction.

My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!

Jan 24

The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown

Title: The Longings of Wayward Girls
Author: Karen Brown
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 336
How I Read It: ARC received from the publisher – The views expressed in my review are mine alone and I have received no compensation for these opinions.

Synopsis: It’s an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue – and she is never seen again.

Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will finally become clear.

*Synopsis taken from the book jacket

My Review: Sadie is the type of girl I think a lot of us can identify with. Most of us went through that awkward period in the tween years where we felt like we didn’t fit in with anyone or anywhere. To make matters worse, her mother is beautiful and strangely distant, so she doesn’t really have anyone to talk to about how lost she feels.

The novel alternates chapters from the past and present, starting out with the report of a disappearance of a neighborhood girl, which took place a few years prior to the “past” segments of the books. As one can imagine, this event has the adults at the time pretty worried about what their kids are up to. In a world before cell phones, the threat of kidnapping seems more real and more likely to happen in some ways.

Several years after that first disappearance, after what seems like a set of innocent pranks, another girl in the neighborhood disappears. Sadie and her best friend posed as a local boy, writing letters to one of the girls they know, who opens up to “Hezekiah” in a kind of frightening way. Ultimately, Hezekiah asks the girl to meet him in the woods, and she’s never seen again.

The flashes to the present day reveal that as an adult, Sadie still feels somewhat responsible, but also understands things about those letters that she didn’t think anything of as a child. In some ways, the entirety of the present segments are Sadie finally fully understanding a series of tragic events that occurred that summer so long ago. As the reader, we get to learn more about other things going on in child Sadie’s life, understanding the events before she does.

At first, I found Sadie to be annoying and a bit pretentious, but as we learn more, I found myself sympathizing with her quite a bit. For a young girl, she had to deal with quite a few major events, and I can only imagine how difficult that would be and how it would affect the rest of your growing up.

This story is touching and realistic, yet still compelling enough to be a page turner. There were moments where I wanted to take Sadie aside and tell her to slow things down, but instead we have to watch her learn these lessons for herself. It was frustrating at times, but ultimately worth it.

Read this book if: This is sort of a mystery, with a bit of a coming of age story, and an overall decent contemporary fiction. Most readers would probably like it.

My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!

Jan 19

It’s Monday! What are you reading? January 19, 2014

Reading on MondayThis is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week.

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that was created by Marcia at The Printed Page, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring meme (details here). It will be hosted at Mailbox Monday for the 2014 year.

*****

I had a pretty decent reading week, and a pretty tiring rest of the week. It turned out to be one of those times where I was busy pretty much every night after work, and apparently it took a toll because I had a very unintentional nap this afternoon! I was snuggling kitties and the next thing I knew, it was several hours later and I was just waking up.

Books completed last week:
Storm Front (Derrick Storm) – Richard Castle: This was an entertaining mystery, along the same lines as the Nikki Heat series. I liked it!

Bellman & Black: A Novel – Diane Setterfield: This was an ARC I received a bit ago, and I liked it, despite it being a bit bizarre at times.

Books I’m reading this week:
The Memorist – MJ Rose: I’m continuing the Reincarnationist series, we’ll see how it goes!

Books ongoing:
Emma – Jane Austen ~ 36%: No Emma this week.

Books I acquired this week:
The Black Country (Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad) – Alex Grecian: I liked The Yard so much that I ordered the sequel this week!

What I watched this week:

  • Chelsea Lately,  The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
  • Parenthood
  • The Crazy Ones
  • The Originals
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Almost Human
  • Modern Family
  • Arrow
  • Community
  • How I Met Your Mother

My Top 5 Artists This Week:

  • The Beatles
  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Guster
  • The Fray
  • Penguin Prison

Jan 17

Storm Front by Richard Castle

Title: Storm Front (Derrick Storm)
Author: Richard Castle
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 314
How I Read It: Hard cover borrowed from the library.

Synopsis: From Tokyo, to London, to Johannesburg, high-level bankers are being gruesomely tortured and murdered. The killer, caught in a fleeting glimpse on a surveillance camera, has been described as a psychopath with an eye patch. And that means Gregor Volkov, Derrick Storm’s old nemesis, has returned. Desperate to figure out who Volkov is working for and why, the CIA calls on the one man who can match Volkov’s strength and cunning – Derrick Storm.

With the help of a beautiful and mysterious foreign agent – with whom Storm is becoming romantically and professionally entangled – he discovers that Volkov’s treachery has embroiled a wealthy hedge-fund manager and a U.S. senator. In a heated race against time, Storm chases Volkov’s shadow from Paris, to the lair of a computer genius in Iowa, to the streets of Manhattan, then through a bullet-riddled car chase on the New Jersey Turnpike. In the process, Storm uncovers a plot that could destroy the global economy – unleashing untold chaos – which only he can stop.

*Synopsis taken from the book jacket

My Review: Those familiar with the show Castle may remember that at the beginning of the show, Richard Castle has just released his final Derrick Storm novel. Final because he kills off his beloved hero. For the record, this isn’t a spoiler because it’s been on TV for five years, and the book covers it in the first few chapters. As you can guess, Storm did not, in fact, die, but his death was faked by the CIA for some reason. Not knowing much about that sort of thing, like if it actually exists outside of the witness protection program, I found it a little odd that he came back as Derrick Storm – aren’t you supposed to get a new name and all that if you fake die?

That’s your first clue to take this novel with a grain of salt. If you’re looking for any semblance of reality, this isn’t the place to go. Anyone familiar with the Nikki Heat series will recognize the same almost super human abilities of the hero. These can also be seen in any action movie, so as long as you just sit back and enjoy the ride, you’ll be fine.

Volkov, just like Storm, is a super human villainy type. I don’t want to say super villain because while he seems smart, his whole part in this novel is the thug who hijacks a plan. Sure, he’s smart enough, but he’s no Lex Luthor. That being said, he’s pretty creepy, and is a no holds barred kind of guy that you definitely wouldn’t want to meet in real life.

This novel reads more like a typical mystery and less like a super long version of an episode of Castle. There are references to the show, which you’ll only pick up on if you watch it regularly, but the disconnect from the Nikki Heat series was refreshing. The thing is, I think that for what they are, the Heat books are pretty decent on the whole. I don’t read them as serious mysteries or clever tales, but a fun extension of a show I really like. Storm Front is definitely written in the same vein, but you can also tell why Richard Castle became a best seller with this hero. For the sake of my sanity, I’m just going to pretend that’s all real.

The tie-ins to the show were more fun than what I’ve seen in the other Castle books. There are characters named after characters in the series, but this isn’t meant to be a fictionalized version of their lives like the Nikki Heat series is. In fact, Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook themselves make a cameo during one of the chapters set in New York! If you can set aside reality for a second, and pretend that the world of Castle is real, that’s got to be exciting for Kate Beckett – seeing her fictionalized self in print with one of her favorite heroes!

I did find the plot to be a tiny bit predictable, but I was also terrified by the whole global economic catastrophe we get to read about, so that really balanced out the predictable thing for me. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, “holy shit, what if this really did happen!” I’m not financey in the slightest, I don’t know how realistic that whole plot point was, but I admire that the author did enough research to make it sound believeable to a layman. Undoubtedly, there will be more of these in the future, and I’ll be happy to pick them up!

Read this book if: On the whole, a fun read. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to my Castle loving peeps out there.

My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!

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