My review: The Spaces In Between, by Collin Van Reenan

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About the book:

One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.

It should have solved all his problems…

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

‘The Spaces In Between’ has one of the most interesting stories I have ever read. It has everything – the biggest mystery, love story, some Russian history and cultural features, a little bit of Paris, psychological thriller, a bit of drama and lots, lots, lots of secrets. 

The ending of the book can be disappointing for some readers, but I just liked it the way it was. Was it all fiction or not? Was it just a game of imagination? Was it a very vicious plan? And why…

Without giving anything away, I just say that I liked absolutely everything about this book. It kept my attention so much that I couldn’t wait to get on the bus on the way home or to work to start reading again chapter after chapter. The story is truly captivating. The possible truths are very interesting as well. And in my opinion, quite possible.

The cover designed by Patrick Knowles is an absolute masterpiece itself and illustrates the book so well.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman

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About the book:

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

My review:

This book is just magical. I felt so much interested in the lives of Franny, Jet and Vincent that was extremely sad when the book came to an end.

‘The Rules of Magic’ is a fairytale for adults who still want to believe in magic, curses, destinies and that love can conquer all. Set in the 1960s really gives a special charisma to everything that was happening in the book. The free spirit of that time, fashionable and modern New York and the opposite of it all where it all started – in Massachusetts, in the old house full of secrets and exotic plants. 

‘The Rules of Magic’ will give you so many rules that will help to define your own destiny. It teaches you kindness, love and that you always have to be yourself.

The world of ‘The Rules of Magic’ is full of wonder, wisdom and stories that will make you laugh, cry, think, love, hate, exhale and inhale again. It’s been a few days since I finished the book and I miss it all so much.You don’t need to believe in magic and witchery to like this book. It tells stories that will make you care about the Owens and what will happen to them.

Despite it being the second book in a series, it can be a stand-alone novel. I haven’t read the first book – ‘The Practical Magic’ but definitely will.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

 

 

My review: The Night Market, by Jonathan Moore

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About the book:

From an author who consistently gives us “suspense that never stops” (James Patterson), a near-future thriller that makes your most paranoid fantasies seem like child’s play.

It’s late Thursday night, and Inspector Ross Carver is at a crime scene in one of the city’s last luxury homes. The dead man on the floor is covered by an unknown substance that’s eating through his skin. Before Carver can identify it, six FBI agents burst in and remove him from the premises. He’s pushed into a disinfectant trailer, forced to drink a liquid that sends him into seizures, and is shocked unconscious. On Sunday he wakes in his bed to find his neighbor, Mia—who he’s barely ever spoken to—reading aloud to him. He can’t remember the crime scene or how he got home; he has no idea two days have passed. Mia says she saw him being carried into their building by plainclothes police officers, who told her he’d been poisoned. Carver doesn’t really know this woman and has no way of disproving her, but his gut says to keep her close.

A mind-bending, masterfully plotted thriller—written in Moore’s “lush, intoxicating style” (Justin Cronin)—that will captivate fans of Blake Crouch, China Miéville, and Lauren Beukes, The Night Market follows Carver as he works to find out what happened to him, soon realizing he’s entangled in a web of conspiracy that spans the nation. And that Mia may know a lot more than she lets on.

My review:

This book provided so much promise at the start that I felt a bit disappointed in the end. The storyline, its science fiction/dystopian part, is absolutely fascinating. This area had so much potential that I got my hopes up. The mystery part was exciting as well but the ending wasn’t quite there for me.

Ross Carver is a great character and I felt strongly connected to him. He is a great detective, great friend you can always trust. Mia, on a contrary, made me dislike her from the start. Maybe it’s just me but I found everything she was saying or doing absolutely hideous. Not that I didn’t believe her but how she did it (or the author did for her). If Jonathan had an intention of creating a love story, then for me personally it failed.

The other thing I didn’t quite like is a title. I don’t really get why it’s called ‘The Night Market’….If you get, can you please help?

Despite the stated dislikes, I quite enjoyed the story and how it was going. I’m an absolute sucker for dystopias. The more the better. This one also about really interesting society created on consumerism and advertising technologies which are great topics to explore. As I said it can be so much more in that. This was my favourite aspect of ‘The Night Market’.

I was also disappointed to find out in the end that it’s the third book in a series. It can be read as a standalone novel but now I keep guessing how much connection it had to other books.

This book is one of those to enjoy the process but not the ending. I score it 4* out of 5*.