Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review - Prince of Thorns

Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence
Prince of Thorns

Review by Jacqui
Prince of Thorns is another first volume that I took a chance on. I had often seen it in the various book shops, and hesitated only as it was in hard back and expensive- thank god for Christmas and book vouchers!

This is the first of a trilogy, the main character is Jorg Ancrath, and you see the story through his eyes. He started as a royal prince loved by his family but after a traumatic experience ends up leading a small band of outlaws in raids through the countryside.  You find out quite soon that Jorg is very young and this combined with the actions of the outlaws and Jorg himself may perhaps put some readers off.

This isn’t a frothy fantasy, Mark Lawrence’s world is dark, vivid, there is magic here, blood and suffering and though the violence is not graphically described, it is more implied so the effect is more powerful.

Lawrence writes well and has created a bleak and violent world, he describes ruins from a more advanced age and you follow Jorg and this band of brothers as they are called. There is not much detail of the ruins or the history of the world, but as this is only the first in the series, I can see this being build on in the following books.  

Don’t get me wrong; though the book is dark there is fair bit humour which does lighten the tone. Not all the characters are evil, they are so well described that they have a depth that a lot of secondary characters lack so you come to care about them and about Jorg.  You are with Jorg as he grows and faces the nightmares around him, and the reader is cleverly given the choice as to see Jorg as someone who has made a clear choice as to who he has become or has been forced to do so because of his past.

I really enjoyed this novel; the story worked its way to a natural conclusion which was the one thing I was worried about being the first in a trilogy. The characters are excellent and realistic; the world itself though bleak does pull you in thanks to the skills of the writer.

I did have a few minor moans to myself when Jorg seemed to win through when you thought it was not possible he could do so, and there was a scene towards the end of the book which I wasn’t too sure about. But overall a really good read, which I rate really high for a first novel. A good 9 out of 10


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review - Fallen

Fallen – Karin Slaughter
Does Karin write a bad book? This is the 11th novel of hers that I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed all of them immensely. She is one of the handful of authors I look forward to reading every year and releases a book like clockwork.
The Blurb:
There's no police training stronger than a cop's instinct. Faith Mitchell's mother isn't answering her phone. Her front door is open. There's a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother's house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn't see is her mother. . . .

'You know what we're here for. Hand it over, and we'll let her go.'

When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she'll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they'll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn't just a cop anymore - she's a witness. She's also a suspect.

The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light - or bury it forever.
By using the same characters throughout her novels, it would easy for them to become formulaic like so many other top authors out there that adopt the whole, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it mantra” – Hey Lee Child and James Patterson. Not that I think there is anything wrong with this, after all it was the reason I got into their novels in the first place. But what separates the very good authors from my favourite authors is the ability to keep things fresh.
Karin achieves this with every book. Whether it be that she introduces a host of new characters or moves characters to different locations, they feel fresh. In Fallen, she achieves this freshness by focussing on Will Trent’s partner Faith Mitchell. A character who has been present for several novels but has not a prominent role until now.
As the blurb indicates, Faith has to confront the possibility that her mother is not only potentially dead but that she is not the woman she thought she was. The intrigue surrounding Faith’s mother’s disappearance is reminiscent of Harlan Coben’s standalones. The more you find out the more you realise that nothing is what it appears to be. Faith’s background is explored and you end up feeling genuinely sorry for her situation and her enforced isolation as she struggles to be strong for her children and tackle the difficulty relationship with her brother.
Will Trent is also placed in the uncomfortable position of being cut off from his partner and forced to work closely with his boss Amanda. Up until now, the series has revealed Amanda to be a hard nosed but fair boss. In Fallen she is no different, but we start to see different facets to her personality. Being a close friend of Faith’s mother, Will is convinced she knows more than she is letting on and is forced to bite his tongue on several occasions against his better judgment where he follows the direction she takes the investigation in.
Throw in the ever dependable Sara Linton into the mix and her blossoming but obstinate relationship with Will and this story is bulging at the seams with interesting events and dynamics.
When the full story is revealed, it is highly satisfying and believable. Fallen then is possibly Karin Slaughter’s strongest novel to date. There may be a few contrived plot points such as how Sara is once again the only medical examiner that can look help with the investigation but these are only minor digressions on an otherwise excellent novel.
My rating: 9.1

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review: The Eagles of the Ninth

The Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliffe

The Eagle of the Ninth

This book is universally well regarded but I found the Eagle of the Ninth good but not great. It did not help that I did not realise it was a book for young adults going into the novel and therefore perhaps my expectations of epic story telling gruesome deaths were a little off to say the least. Still Harry Potter is meant for young adults and I love those books.
The blurb:
Set in Roman Britain this story is of a young Roman officer who sets out to discover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion, who marched into the mists of Northern Britain and never returned. Marcus Aquila is determined to find out what happened to his father and the legion. His venture to find them is seen as a quest so hazardous, no one expects him to return.
Don’t get me wrong, the Eagle of the Ninth is not a bad book by any means. I just found myself wishing for more. The book begins with Marcus getting injured in battle and forced to recover at his uncle’s home. Here we are introduced to a series of admittedly interesting characters: from uncle Aquilla himself and his servants to the noble slave Esca and the young rebellious teenage girl Cottia. Just as we are getting to know these characters however the main plot (blurb above) kicks in.
Marcus then begins a travelogue of sorts searching for the Ninth Legion. Although this occurs over a large time period in the book, in terms of pages it is relatively quickly before he finds what he is looking for. Herein lies the problem I had with the book, every part of the story is good, it just felt summarized rather than epic. Marcus’s journey felt straightforward despite being told how difficult it was.
Sutcliffe manages to weave strong elements into her story telling. Some of the character’s loyalty is touching whilst the conflict in others intriguing. But ultimately this feels like a young adult novel. The ending is wrapped up nicely but I was left wishing there had been more substance. As a Young Adult novel you can see why it scores highly, personally I thought it was just “good”. My rating 7.5

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review - Among Thieves

Among Thieves - Douglas Hulick
Among Thieves

Review by Jacqui.

I first heard of Among Thieves from a friend who also reads fantasy and decided to have look. This is Douglas Hulick’s first novel, and sometimes I am slightly wary about reading first novels, especially after reading a review where the book is described as ‘A beguiling lively urban fantasy’, which can mean absolutely anything. This aside, I decided to risk it and after a few pages in, I was really glad that I had.
Many fantasy books tend to blur into one another, with elf like creatures and magic seemingly used as a matter of course (not that there is anything wrong with such things, I hasten to add).  But this novel is different; the story is darker with some violence, I have only a little knowledge of fencing, but Mr Hulick’s obvious knowledge is used well but not too much, so the reader is not bombarded with unwanted technical terms.
 The story is told by Drothe who is an informant or Nose as they are called, who gathers information for his boss’s organisation and also smuggles on the side. He comes across signs that there is a great deal of serious trouble coming, and that somehow involved in it all is a book which everybody wants including some very important people called Grey Princes. Drothe then finds the book and all the trouble as well.
 The descriptions of the City where the story is set are linked in well to the story so the reader is not faced by paragraphs of just descriptions which can often happen. You can visualise the world that Drothe moves in as the characters have depth to them, and there are not too many used that you get confused or have to stop and turn back pages to refresh your memory.
 There is magic or glimmer in the story, but it is used cleverly and Drothe is an excellent main character who thanks to Mr Hulick excellent writing makes you sympathise with him. The story comes to an excellent close and leaves you satisfied with the ending. There are clever twists in the plot that keep you entertained and though I was left with a few questions at the end, was then happy to see that there is going to be a book 2, which I will certainly buy without any qualms. 9 out of 10

Jacqui - A brief introduction

Hi, this is my first ever blog, so excuse me if I ramble on.
I read anything, though at the moment it is mainly fantasy as you will see from the reviews that will soon be posted. I write myself when I can, and am currently trying to find the time for a novel, which I am struggling to do.
I would like to thank Rob for this opportunity to contribute to his blog site. I have been moaning at him for ages to concentrate on his writing, so from now I will be doing weekly book reviews which will hopefully give him more time to concentrate on his writing.
I hope you enjoy my reviews; I’ll try to be as honest as I can. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Introducing Jacqui

I love blogging, but for a while now, I have been aware that I am writing far more reviews about the books I have read rather than writing on the book I want to write. Lately, the momentum has shifted. I have the bug back and I have polished off for the final, final time my draft. Having lost all my hard work I have now completed the long road back and catelogued all of the background info (character's traits, descriptions, their history etc) I needed to have on hand when writing book two and I am raring to go. As I become more focussed on writing the second book, I did not want this site to suffer the two reviews a week I was doing. So....

You may have noticed that by far and away my most frequent visitor to this site is a lady that goes by the name of Catherine. Catherine struck me as someone who had similar tastes in books to me and so when I came up with an idea to utilise her talent, she was thankfully enthusiastic about my proposal to write her own reviews for the site. It turns out that Catherine is actually called Jacqui. Why the alias? Who knows. But from now on Jacqui will also be putting up reviews. The aim is for her to do one a week probably on a Friday. Sometimes we will review the same book, but that just gives you twice the opinion.

So please look out for and give a warm welcome as I introduce Jacqui!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: Black Order

Black Order - James Rollins
Black Order is the third book in the Sigma Force series and the third book I’ve read from James Rollins. The first two Sandstorm and Map of Bones were both very good with the latter being the stronger novel.
For me Black Order falls somewhere in between but is closer to the Map of Bones in terms of quality. The plot focuses mainly on two PoV within the Sigma Force. That of Director Painter Crowe and of Commander Gray Pierce, both of whom had prominent roles in the previous books.
The Blurb:
A sinister fire in a Copenhagen bookstore ignites a relent-less hunt across four continents. Arson and murder reveal an insidious plot to steal a Bible that once belonged to Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory. And Commander Gray Pierce dives headlong into a mystery that dates back to Nazi Germany . . . and to horrific experiments performed in a now-abandoned laboratory buried in a hollowed-out mountain in Poland.
A continent away, madness ravages a remote monastery high in Nepal, as Buddhist monks turn to cannibalism and torture. Lisa Cummings, a young American doctor investigating the atrocity, is suddenly a target of a bru-tal assassin working for clandestine forces that want the affair buried at any cost. Lisa's only ally is a hidden pilgrim, Painter Crowe -- director of SIGMA Force, an elite command of American scientists and Special Forces operatives -- who is already showing signs of the baffling malady that destroyed the minds of the monks.

Now it is up to Gray Pierce to save both Painter and Lisa -- and a world in jeopardy -- as SIGMA Force races to expose a century-old plot that threatens to destroy the current world order . . . and alter the destiny of humankind forever.
As you can tell from the blurb Black Order begins with Painter and Gray on two separate seemingly unrelated missions. This works well as it allows the reader gain insight into the angst of both characters and allows Rollins to update us on there status so far in the series. Gray is struggling to deal with his long distance relationship with Rachel, trying to convince himself that he is ready for the next step whilst also kidding himself that miles apart is not affecting their feelings.  Whilst Painter, we see through the PoV of Lisa, which is a nice technique as it stops the characters from seeming samey whilst they are separated.
At the start of the novel, of the two plot threads Painters is perhaps the more interesting due to the remote setting, although Gray’s is the more fun to read thanks to the fast pace action, the interaction with the feisty teenager Fiona and the lovable Monk (incidentally one reviewer on Amazon stated how much they detested Monk in their review and his presence stopped the novel from achieving top marks – each to their own I suppose but I find his character endearing. His relationship with Kat is one of the bright spots in the novel).
In conjunction to these plot threads, there is also the one set in Africa that runs through the story and where we encounter the mythical creature Ukufa. This story is perhaps the most intriguing of them all and feels like it should be a separate book until it is inevitably linked in with the Sigma Force team.
As the team’s paths become entwined the mystery is revealed piece by piece.  Like with the previous James Rollins novels I have read, the science is revealed in an interesting way that is easy to follow. In fact Rollins writes in such a way that he makes you feel pretty smart for being able to follow the various theories of Quantum Evolution etc.
With this type of novel there is always going to be the detractors that will scoff at the plausibility of the science, but to me it does not matter. If it is based on a strand of science that I can identify with then what is important to me is that the story is good. There is no better feeling then wondering is such a thing could really happen. With Rollins, I am always half convinced.
The characters all progress in this novel. Painter’s slow deterioration due to radiation exposure is interesting. It makes him fallible. His team, usually so reliant on him, begin to question the sanity behind his decisions.
Black Order has everything you want from an adventure novel: twists and turns, not stop action, explosions, exotic locations and monsters. The ending is satisfying with the big finale that you would expect. My rating: 8.9

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: City of Ruin

City of Ruin - Mark Charon Newton

I read Nights of Villjamur the first in Mark C Newton’s books of the red sun series, almost two years ago to the day. This was not intentional I just like silly facts. Back then, my 30 year self rated the book 7.9 / 10. I liked it a lot but felt there was something missing.
Most reviewers agree that City of Ruin improves on the first book in every way.  Do I agree? Well let’s see shall we?
City of Ruin is based in the city of Villiren. A city ruled by the gangs, scrambling for dominance. Commander Brynd of the Night Guard is the man charged with protecting the city. Not only does he have to plan the cities defence against an increasing number of reports of gathering invaders, but he also has to contend with a serial killer like no other.
The premise is good, once again the star of the novel is the setting. Villiren oozes desperation. A City brought to its knees and on the brink of despair. Brynd struggles to establish himself as the new commander of the Night guard and get the various factions to see the bigger picture in trying to unite them against the forthcoming invasion.
Several familiar faces return from Nights of Villjamur, Jeryd, Rika, Ramur and Eir are all seen. Jeryd is enlisted as an inquisitor once again to investigate the murders. His pragmatic approach, his struggling marriage and his weakness for food, all serve to endear him to the reader.
However, the other characters mentioned above have slightly weaker outings until about 2/3 on the way through the novel. Ramur was one of the characters I liked best in the opening book of the series. Cocksure, but humbled, his arc was a pleasure to read. Here I struggled to identify him as the same character to begin with. He comes across as whiney and out of his depth. Unsure of himself at all times and the blossoming relationship with Eir is unrecognisable. They are close but not as close and there is no real explanation as to why. Still this trio come into their own later in the novel.
The thing I like most about City of Ruin is the plot. So often in books events unfold nicely at an even pace. The mystery building to a climax. When a battle occurs it seems that all the characters are ready for it. It is a satisfying formula and is the reason why so many authors stick to it. However it is not always realistic.
However, the plot of City of Ruin is. For the majority of the novel we are aware of the forthcoming attack on the city but only a handful of characters seemed concerned about it. The city is largely in denial or regards the threat as to be so far off that they are not concerned about it. Instead, the novel focuses on the individual lives of the characters and their concerns. Jeryd is recruited to investigate a serial killed that cannot possibly be human. We are introduced to Malum, leader of the one of the gangs and learn how he is more than he seems and struggles to maintain control and reputation.
When the war does happen it completely dominates the story as it should. That is not to say the story arcs we’ve been following are left unresolved, they are not, it is just they make way for the wider threat. It magnifies the impact of the attack and makes the story far more realistic. As a reader it made me care about the characters that have been well established previously.
The war itself is well handled. Characters come into their own, their are deaths and there are heroics. There are also betrayals. It is well described and lasts long enough to feel epic but not too long as too outstay its welcome.
Overall City of Ruin improves on Nights of Villjamur. Apart from my disappointment with the handling of Ramur’s character, this is an excellent book. My rating 8.9

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review - Step on a Crack

James Patterson – Step on a Crack

Step on a Crack

Step on a Crack marks a start of a new series for James Patterson in collaboration with Michael Ledwidge. It introduces Michael Bennett, an FBI negotiator called in to handle a crisis event when America’s top celebrities and rich people are held hostage after being kidnapped at the funeral of the former First lady. Not only that, Michael is also the father of 10 children. Yep 10 children. His wife Maeve is in hospital tragically dying of cancer and Michael is left to deal with the situation of his life at work and raise 10 children on his own.

The premise is good. The struggle between work and home life balance could really be explored here. The reaction of the children at the neglect from their father and coping with the imminent death of their mother could have created some high tension scenes and a great deal of pathos. The pressure of being forced into such a high profile case when Michael is out of his depth could have been fascinating. Could, could, could, could bloody could!!

As you may suspect James and Michael (although for the purpose of the review I will refer to the work as James Patterson’s) do not explore any of these themes, none whatsoever. Instead Michael adapts to the hostage situation like a sparrow to the sky, dealing with the situation effortlessly. Yes, there are times where he feels helpless, but you never get the sense that things are too difficult for him.

The family dynamic feels no different from the Alex Cross set up. All of the children are heavenly, verging on sanguine and they don’t mind being neglected as they are perfectly looked after by an Au pair (readily accepted into the family) and a grandfather.

Michael’s frequent visits to the hospital to see his wife (he is allowed to leave the hostage situation readily despite being the only one that the villain will converse with) are sometimes touching but mostly I found myself hankering for a bit more drama. Why did the relationship have to be so perfect? Why couldn’t they have had a fight recently and every time Michael sees his wife he is consumed by guilt?

Having made those points, the book is not bad. The interaction between Michael and Jack the villain are well handled. Jack is not made out to be too cartoonish, and there is enough shocking behaviour by the kidnappers to keep you interested.

I have to admit I was intrigued to discover how on earth the villains would get away with their actions and when the time came I was not too disappointed. I was disappointed however with the ending. It had a rushed, tacked on feel to it which spoilt all that came before it.

In summary, a typical James Patterson book. Enjoyable for what it was, but should have been so much better. My Rating: 7

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Review - Weaveworld

Weaveworld – Clive Barker
I actually picked up this book as a complete stranger implored me to read it. The stranger had seen my favourite books and authors and insisted I try Weaveworld as it featured in there top 5 list of all time. Having read the other four books on the list and enjoyed them all I didn’t hesitate in diving in.
Whilst, Clive Barker’s rare attempt at the fantasy genre (he is more well known for horror) does not make my all time top 5 books, it is a dam good read.
Weaveworld is about a young man disillusioned with his life. He has a steady job, and long term girlfriend and a comfortable life. The only thing is, he is a nagging feeling that there is something more out there. He is right.
Upon chance he stumbles upon a carpet, just an ordinary carpet to anyone looking casually, but a carpet containing the Fugue, the most terrific world for those that know how to look. Slowly, this world becomes unravelled and escapes into our own.
What follows is a desperate struggle between those inhabitants of the carpet to protect the world, those dark forces that wish to destroy it and of Cal and Suzzana, ordinary folk caught up in the war.
Normally, I dislike books about magic etc set in the modern world unless they are a certain type such as Mike Carey or Jim Butcher’s novels. I also have to confess, the idea of a whole other world contained within a carpet was very off putting. But I have to say the concept works very well and this is solely due to Clive Barker’s excellent story telling.
It would have been easy to become confused with all the different fantastical elements contained within the story, names such as the “Fugue” and the “Gyre” are alien to me (they are things rather than places by the way). However, at no point did I find the story hard to follow. Mr. Barker does a great job of introducing a variety of characters very quickly but this is done expertly. Every new character is introduced in a way that immediately links into the main plot of the story and so you are never struggling to remember who is who or what they are doing.
The characters themselves are all well portrayed. Clive Barker strikes the perfect balance of Cal and Suzanna’s disbelief at discovering the Fugue whilst also moving the story forward.
The characters possessing enchantments are also well done. The emphasis is on dying magic rather than everyone being too powerful. This makes them interesting as they are more afraid than confident in their abilities.
The main antagonists, Immacolotta and Shadwell are excellent. Both look to gain power but for good reasons rather than just because that is what villains do.
The real triumph in the book is the Fugue itself. The world is very well imagined. The creatures are fantastical but not too fantastical. The inhabitants in many ways are superior to humans in their way of thinking, but in some ways fail to demonstrate the most basic logic. The way the Fugue interacts with the human world is also well done. Humans are aware of strange occurrences but put these down to natural phenomena.
So why isn’t this book the greatest book ever? It doesn’t really have a down side but there are occasions when you think the story comes to a natural end yet there are still several hundreds of pages left. The villains either escape yet again or a new threat evolves. I wasn’t sorry this happened as I loved the book, but I would be lying if I sometimes thought “where could it go from here?” Having said that the ending is very well done and left me feeling satisfied. My rating: 9.1 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: The Exile's Return

The Exile’s Return – Raymond E Feist
Exile's Return
The Exile’s return picks up immediately after the events in the King of Foxes. This time however the focus shifts from Tal to Kaspar (the exile of the title).
Stripped of his title and wealth, the former Duke of Olasko is forced to evaluate his life choices so far and begin anew. Essentially, the Exile’s return is a story of redemption.
The reason I love Raymond E Feist is because he tells a traditional fantasy story brilliantly. Yes the Likes of Martin and Abercrombie write far more engaging stories but no one surpasses Raymond when telling a story of the underdog grinding his way to the top.
Kaspar was a vile person in the first two novels of the Conclave of Shadows series and so I wasn’t overly looking forward to reading about him. Within pages Raymond changed my mind.
Reading how Kaspar goes from being pampered and thoughtless, to fending for himself made for a great yarn. He had a rough idea how the real world works but had never bothered to learn the practicalities of manual labour for example.
His transformation from the man hell-bent on revenge to one of the anti-hero is fascinating.  However, the story is not as predictable as you would assume. Around of a third of the way through, Kaspar is forced on a different path entirely. One that he is forced to see through and one that brings him into contact with those he swore to act vengeance on.
For ¾ of the novel, the Exile’s return is an excellent novel. The final quarter felt a bit too rushed to me. There are some philosophical debates concerning the Gods, that whilst interesting, slow the speed of the plot down tremendously. The conclusion is wrapped up far too quickly and the cliffhanger of the ending leaves a bit of a sore aftertaste. Instead of wanting to rush out to buy the next series (although I do want to) I felt more disappointed that the final quarter of the novel was used to set things nicely rather than concentrate on the concluding the plot I was reading in a satisfactory manner. Many old characters return and although Raymond briefly summarises they past, if you haven’t read those books you will wish you had – I certainly did having only read the SerpentWar Saga. My rating: 8.3

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Review - The Woman in Black

The woman in black – Susan Hill.
The Woman in Black
This book has always appeared on lists of the scariest books of all time. As much as I enjoy reading, rarely have I ever been scared reading one. In fact I can only remember one instance when I was very young and that was only because a coat fell off a chair as I was reading a dark scene.
With the film being advertised every few minutes on TV at the moment, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
The woman in black is about a young lawyer (Arthur Kipps) sent to a remote village to set the orders of a house (Eel Marsh) in place after the elderly woman that resided there (Mrs Drablow) had passed away. As you might imagine, what should be a routine task turns out to be far more frightful and terrifying.
All the typical “scare” techniques are used here, but they are done very well. The ghostly sightings are not overly done or dramatic, but they do create sense on unease. Arthur is disturbed by what goes on, and although he tries to rationalise what he has experienced, Susan Hill is careful not to dwell on pages of pages of procrastination.
The most successful horror elements are portrayed by Arthur’s interaction with the other residents of the village. They are reluctant to talk to him or keen to be away from the house. This all creates a sense of mystery and frustration for Mr. Kipps and adds to his unease. Arthur is given a dog called, “Spider” to accompany him and it is when the dog reacts to an unseen foe that the tension really escalates.
Susan Hill also utilises the changes in the weather across the marshes to really add to the atmosphere of the book. Fog closes in swiftly and is oppressive adding to the sense of claustrophobia.
The woman in black is too short (192 pages), to really make you afraid. Whilst I like my ghost stories short, I felt too much time was focussed on Arthur Kipps travelling the house and not enough on actually dwelling in the house.
The plot behind the mystery is well thought out and actually quite good. Arthur behaves in a rational way at all times which is refreshing. There is no teen horror, “running up the stairs rather than out of the house here.” The ending is good. Really good in fact. You know from how the book starts that certain things have to happen, but throughout you are wondering how they get to that stage. The explanation does not disappoint. My rating: 8.0