Does this girl look like a murderer to you? Yes…yes she does. Do you see those eyes? However, that is beside the point. Just because someone looks like a murderer does not automatically make them a murderer. Most of the time at least.
The novel opens up to a banging on the door. Tandy, our teen supreme, opens it to find two cops. Making there way in they discover the bodies of her parents, Malcolm and Maud Angel. lifeless in their bed. There has been a murder in the house of Angels (Nice set up there Patterson). There is no sign of forced entry and obvious signs of foul play. Due to the circumstances there are only a few suspects and they are all guilty of something. Hugo, the youngest member of the family, has anger issues. He hated his parents. Harry, Tandy’s twin brother, was always the least favorite child. Samantha, Maud’s assistant, has no real connection to the family. And then there is Tandy.
Right off of the bat Tandy establishes herself as a untrustworthy narrator. She talks to the reader, hides information and events from the reader, and even goes back on things she said were previously true. Her character adds a second mystery to the novel. The first one being who killed Malcolm and Maud.
Tandy decides that she wants play detective and find out what happened to her parents as well. She isn’t that great of a private detective but she does have quite the mouth on her. What she lacks in tact she more than makes up for in sheer wit and quick thinking.
This novel had a lot of twist and turns in it and I never managed to figure out what was going on until it was to late. Which was good. It was a true mystery. In its story and in its characters. No one was as transparent as they seemed.
My only true gripe with this novel was that it series baited, hard. So hard that there is an important event that happens in the novel that doesn’t even get brought up again or resolved in the novel itself. It is painfully obvious that this was meant to be the start of a series. And if it did not happen then we would have been left scratching our heads. However, this doesn’t really take away from the novel itself.
Overall “Confessions of a Murder Suspect” is an amazing mystery novel with enough going on to hold you attention. The characters a deep and lifelike. The cops are thorough, and come off really mean. And the Angel family has to many secret to count. James Patterson and Maxine Paetro seem to always make magic when they work together and this is no exception. 5/5 stars.
I only picked this book up because it reminded me so much of the movie “Her” by Spike Jonze, despite being made years in advance of course. And after reading it I am amazed how close the plot of “Her” follows this novel.
The basic concept is that a guy realizes that his smart phone can talk back to him. And not the simple Siri commands, it can actually hold a conversation. It has opinions, questions, comments, and concerns. The book also takes time to show you the world that the character lives in. A truck crashes into a building and the driver gets away with it by saying “Sorry, I was sending a tweet”. Everyone instantly seems understanding and don’t mind that this man could have possibly killed someone.
The main character goes through a lot of trouble trying to meet the girl of his dreams, even going as far as to track down the creator of Siri. I should also mention that this novel is illustrated and told in comic panels. This makes the book a really easy read.
It is very easy to tell that David Milgrim, the author, was shooting for a comedy with this book. It doesn’t really take itself to seriously. However, it is a great little read and I kind of want a squeal that I know won’t happen. Oh well, 5/5.
Is it mean of me to say that I wanted to murder this 5 year old. Like with a weapon. Yes? Moving on. “Room” by Emma Donoguhe is a novel about a woman and her son being held captive in a room. It is told through the perspective of the 5 year old. Right off the bat I have to give this author some props. Going for the kids view of the situation changed the tone of the novel. For the first couple of chapters you don’t really get to feel how messed up this situation really is. Where as his Mother has lived a life outside of Room, Jack, the little boy, has only ever lived in Room.
However, after getting to about half way into the book this kid started to work my last nerve. He was not understanding fast enough for me, and I felt like the story was being halted because he just did not understand. And in all honestly this novel did not need to go on for as long as it did. They came a great stopping point about half way through. It would have been the perfect ending and it would have definitely warranted 5 stars. Then last half of the novel came and dragged the plot out. It gave no new information, no new conflict worth noting, and it just really felt like a drag. It was the hardest part to read for me as I just could bring myself to deal with the slow pacing. And if I have to hear “Can I have some?” one more time I am going to go insane.
With that being said the book is not all bad. Like I said before, its a very interesting read. It is a lot more lighthearted because of the point of view. You also get to see how characters have to word things certain ways in order to reach this young boy. The sheltered life that he lived for 5 years has taken its toll on his. So much so that he doesn’t even believe that other people exist outside of his Mother and himself. He only kinda believes that Old Nick (the man who kidnapped the 19 year old on her way to college) exist. And he outwardly mocks his Mother when she tries to tell him that there is life outside of Room. That his Mother has a mother, and a brother, and a father too.
Overall “Room” was a fun read. It was definitely something different compared to all of the novels I have been reading recently (sci-fi and mysteries). I can see it making a good movie. It was just to dragged out to long for my taste. 4/5.
B.H.: When did you decide to become a writer?
Barbara: I decided to become a writer when my “Duck Poem” won a prize in 2nd grade! I only started publishing e-books in the past few years because Amazon Kindle made it so easy to do.
B.H.: Why do you write?
Barbara: I love to write, it’s mesmerizing, although it can be very challenging. When I write, the time flies by because I’m so wrapped up in the story. Writing allows me to tap into different parts of my mind: I can be creative and playful and walk in someone else’s shoes for a while. Writing increases empathy, that’s a given.
B.H.: Which writers inspire you?
Barbara: This may not be original, but I can’t help but be inspired by J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin because of the magnitude and breadth of their work. To maintain an army of characters and multiple plot lines over multiple books takes a special kind of genius.
I am also inspired by by Ann Patchett for her ability to capture the emotion of her characters and Vonnegut for his truthfulness, humor and farce.
B.H.: Where do your ideas come from?
Barbara: My ideas come from all kinds of places—people I’ve met, things I’ve seen, newspaper articles, and stories I’ve heard.
B.H.: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Barbara: Not procrastinating.
B.H.: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors right now?
Barbara: I read in fits and starts, reading non-stop and then taking a break. I really enjoyed reading Robin Sloan’s “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” and I also loved “The Night Circus,” by Erin Morgenstern and “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline. I’m still a Sci-Fi/Fantasy geek from way back.
B.H.: What is your favorite book of all time?
Barbara: That is a hard question! I can’t decide, but I would happily read all of the Harry Potter books again. It wouldn’t even have to be a rainy day…
B.H.: Who designs your novel cover?
Barbara: I design my own covers
B.H.: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Barbara: They are welcome to visit my blog: www.BarbaraVenkataraman.blogspot.com
Well there you have it. Be sure to check out Death By Didgeridoo and stop by Barbara’s blog.
I have recently discovered that I can conquer more books at the same time if I listen to audiobooks. Besides the fact that I love hearing the characters voices I also seem to retain more information from the audiobooks. That being said, even though I finished “Amped” by Daniel H. Wilson months ago the story and the characters have stuck with me. So now I’m going to do a review about it.
I also want to comment on the main complaint against this novel. That complaint being that people are say that the idea is “to far fetched”. Are you kidding me? So you will accept all matters of fantasy but realistic technological enhancements are where you draw the line. Right.
So I picked up this book because I was on a huge technology kick. I had not previously read "Robopocalypse”, another one of Daniel’s works, but that did not lessen the fun I had with this novel. The story felt very natural to me. Very X-Men like. Humanity bans together to stand against the things they don’t want to accept, thus, causing a rip in humanity as a whole. The Amps versus the Non Amps. Amps describing anyone with a tech modification of some sort.
Enter our main character, Owen, who was a school teacher until he was fired for being an Amp. His device is only to stop him from having seizures, yet he is looked down upon all the same. He loses his job, his apartment, his possessions, and even his father to the fear that is building up around him. And whether he likes it or not he gets thrown into the conflict.
His Father gave him something special, something that could help him protect people who could not protect themselves. Yet in order to unlock the secrets of his Amp he has to enlist the help of a crazy cowboy who only wants a war. Humans vs. Amps.
Saying that I enjoyed this book would be the understatement of the year. I picked it up and did not want to put it down until the very end. I loved it every time Owen activated his Amp and went thoroughly beast mode. The imagery in the novel is spot on. However, I do agree that some of the other characters needed a lot more fleshing out. The Cowboy needed more story. I wanted to know all about him.
If you have not checked out “Amped” I sincerely suggest that you do. It is a thrill ride through territory that normally doesn’t get cover. It is not Man vs. Machines per say. It is more like Man vs. Man with the help of Machines. Either way it is awesome. 5/5. I do consent.
Jamie Quinn is an interesting protagonist, interesting because she has no clue what she is doing. She is not a criminal lawyer. She doesn’t even know the first thing about criminal law. Yet, here she is, trying to represent her little cousin who is fighting a murder charge. Jamie might not know what she has to do to help him, but she has friends that she can call upon. And that is enough, it has to be.
Overall I liked this novel. It is not really that much of a mystery and more like a slow episode of law and order. The characters in it could have used a little bit of work. With the exception of the shady P.I., and Jamie herself, everyone else just seems to fall flat. Her Aunt is thoroughly annoying, The prosecutor is slow, and the suspect all but give themselves away.
Speaking of the P.I., he has to be my favorite character of all time. Not only did he have the most interesting back story but he also did all of the work. While also being slightly drunk the entire time. I would definitely read a novel with him as the main character.
However, even with all that “Death By Didgeridoo” seems to hold a slight charm with me. It was like a Scooby Doo mystery. You knew all of the pieces were going to fall into place but it was still fun watching them do it. I recommend this novel to people wanting to get into mystery and suspense novels.
What it lacks in story it makes up for with some interesting characters. This series could actually have some potential. 4/5.
“Jackey Two Times: Australian Hero” is a story about an aboriginal boy that joins the expedition crew of Edmund Kennedy as they explore a new land. Kennedy, a land surveyor, takes on Jackey after helping him with some unruly men. The story starts off being more about Kennedy than about Jackey but as the story goes along Jackey comes into play. And when he does, he is pure awesome. By the end of the novel Jackey is known as The Australian Hero. And those word should not be taken lightly.
My quickie review would have to be that I loved this novel. It was a short, 67 pages, tale of one person’s devotion to another. The author, Budd Severs, captures the language spot on. However it was hard to understand what some of the characters were saying at times. As I said before Jackey is an overall beast. But, my favorite character would have to be Edmund Kennedy. He was just more developed as a character in my opinion. Which is weird considering that this is based on a true story. Edmund was just the one I was rooting for. There are other characters in the novel but they are not as important.
Character development, the awesomeness of Jacky, Edmund’s character as a whole, and the tone that the story follows all add up to “Jackey Two Times: Australian Hero” being an awesome read. 5/5 stars. Indiesently good.