Ashley's Desire

Writing's Readings...

66 North (Fire & Ice 2)

66º North (Fire and Ice #2) - Michael Ridpath A political crisis sweeps over Iceland, banks and lifetime savings vanishing into thin air and a deficit so much as to cause incredible dismay. The blame of the economic disaster is rested on the politician's shoulders. A group of disgruntled citizens are willing to unlawfully bring down the 'responsible' politicians through other means which doesn't mean the usual Icelandic protest but through gun violence?

Until page 250, 66 North was lacking in tension. There was little suspense and all that was of suspense was exerted through a an overenthusiastic questioning policeman that harassed citizens. Up until this point the novel was really frustrating as there were noticeably missed opportunities to add suspense and points of interest.

Most of everything was explained as the novel kept veering off to lots of perspectives. Didn't really leave much room for guessing and when the ending of the novel prevailed, the character that did all the harm, had barely a connection to what was happening previously in the novel. Essentially it was equivalent to reading Little Red Riding Hood and finding out that a tapir was behind it all. Not surprising, vapid.

Characters in the book were mundane. It was as if the author had no interest in the characters he created. The characters didn't have much of a personality and also very difficult to imagine as to how they would be in your head. Little description of them.

The Author describes the place once or twice, adds an Icelandic name to the location and every further mention of the place seems expected for the reader to remember everything that was mentioned earlier. Surely the author could've explained the locations better. After a while I found that all the Icelandic names were muddling into one and all the places appeared to be the same.

On a whole, the book was frustrating. In fact, If I could rename the novel it would be more suitably entitled 'Struggles of a frustrated policeman.' 66 North failed to take me on a ride.

Sacrilege

Sacrilege - S.J. Parris Sacrilege touches base on a world of opposing moral and lawful difficulty in the small town of Canterbury where words of gossip travel faster than the speed of light.

Characters throughout the book are often deadlocked into telling the truth or hiding dark secrets purely out of fear. Each action is associated with a consequence either immediate or delayed and characters have to really weigh up who they choose their battles with.

Trust is a heavy component in Sacrilege. Friends and connections are entwined with enemies and most importantly the final decider, the law. There is always the impending fear that what is spoken will be used against you by either a higher power or some other lurking in the shadows unknowingly watching your every move. A large moral is submerged from the trust issues incorporated in the novel. The book really makes you think thrice about who you let into your life and whether are you willing to sacrifice your life for them.

Power, yet another key element. Sacrilege perfectly conveys how anyone with power can undermine someone who lacks power. You could call this the abuse of power. Unfortunately for the protagonist Bruno, power came down to who he knew and his immediate connections. In a town you've been in for less than a week, your connections are flimsy and you're the vulnerable donkey to get the tail pinned on.

A moral that seeped through Sacrilege was how people will use other people in their own pursuit of power. Characters used other characters and spent their lives willingly as if their lives were disposable. Many murders took place in the small town of Canterbury in the short period of time all to stop a secret from coming out or to stop someone from a higher power from losing their reputation.

After reading Sacrilege for a little while, a perfect picture of the town is painted in your mind and with each occurring event in the novel, your mind maps you to that area in the town that was previously described. In fact, many books don't paint a full picture of a town and the buildings within without there being any holes in my imagination as to where something may be.

Sacrilege is a book that has strong moral implications and makes you more aware as a reader to who you trust and perhaps how much you are willing to trust them. There feels to something that's missing in the book that would make it a bit more whole which maybe the author themselves can mend. Sacrilege can be a tense read at times and definitely worth the time.

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown The Da Vinci Code is an ingeniously complicated and thrilling novel that had completely engulfed me.

Dan Brown is a master of creating an element of surprise and twisting plots. What you expect is far divergent from what actually comes next. When two or three characters are caught in a trap of a 'who is going to shoot first' type scenario, Dan Brown always finds an incredible way of forfeiting the situation by creating another complication which solves the previous one.

The links and ties are incredible as the amount of research taken place in the novel. Symbols and images, some that appear factual some not so much appear relevant in solving another complication or mystery. The symbols, characters and events that all unfolded created an intriguing plot.

The Da Vinci Code is well written and deserves 5 stars.

Inferno

Inferno - Dan Brown Inferno by Dan Brown is nothing short of a literary masterpiece on a historical, moral and social level. Inferno depicts strong intertwined complications which lead to further complications and somewhat amazing resolutions. Throughout the novel, there was never an instance where there wasn't a complication that didn't render more than one answer. The answer as a reader conjured in my mind was highly divergent to the one Dan Brown implicated.

Descriptions in the book were immensely vivid and astonishing. Sights, smells and sounds were conveyed very well and the locations were researched with great detail. No location was left without an accompaniment of a brilliant description.

The historical element in the book was powerful and a great deal of thought was put into the locations in which the characters madly rushed to and from, with a mere escape. Buildings were not only described using sights, sounds and smells but a lot of research was placed into including actual history.

Morality in Inferno was overpowering. There were four main morals extracted from the novel throughout my reading experience. One was that 'you can't run away forever'. This moral was shown heavily through Sienna's Houdini like escapes. A second moral was that 'some things are best left undiscovered.’ Or ‘the power of discovery can fall into the wrong hands.’ No further ado otherwise the book could be very well spoiled. Another strong moral was 'Trust few'. The novel experimented heavily with trust issues among characters to the point where nobody believed anyone. ‘Truth can’t hide.’ All lies
eventually got filtered out and when they did, hurt prevailed.

Despite the obvious symbolism located throughout the novel (Robert Langdon is a symboligist afterall), I noticed the breaking of Elizabeths talismen depicting medicine breaking in half. Foreshadowing?

Inferno is a writing piece fit to be a literary classic. Classics contain foresight, issues relevant to this day and morality. All three are easily marked off with Inferno. Between the intertwining plot, writing on a vivid descriptory level and social issues raised, Inferno is a masterpiece.

For All Time

For All Time - Meredith Resce Despite being mentioned at the start of the book about its historical incorrectness, it became quite a nuisence as you venture futher on through the book and ultimatley finding yourself nitpicking about how there were no knights in the 16th century and so forth. Authors have so much room to be creative but why intrude on that area?

Authors can make up a fictional place, characters and complications but when it comes to history and time periods I do believe that should not be altered. Altering what happened in the time period will give people a false understanding of the past. Whenever you read a novel you almost always take something away with you, something you've learnt but in this novel I can't say I could take anything away from it because I didn't know whether to trust what was written in it.

From a Christian person's perspective, this book had too many biblical references it almost made me sick as a reader. They had petty Christian arguments and Christian this and that. The author should've put a warning on the front of the book titled 'Excessive Christian pontification'.

A lot more could've been done with this book. So much work was placed into making Sir Percival seem like a revenging and sly backstabber and there was no great complication arisen out of that. There were a few warm moments were a little tension arose with Sir Percival which would've been the perfect place to throw in a complication. Instead, Adam and Analiese were just too caught up in love which became the main focus.

To end a book with it's title can be described with no other word than 'uncool'. It's extremely cliche and I stopped doing that when I entered highschool. Lets face it, it's easy to end a book with it's title so in other words it's a copout.

Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse - Daniel H. Wilson Robopocalypse was missing so much potential. I saw opportunities for twists which would of lead the reader to be engaged in a higher level of captivation.

The book was conceived and conducted amazingly, at first the introdcution of so many characters in different sections seemed daunting but with time, it grows on you.

I found the book was dragged on too long especially near the end. Towards the end all that was really spoken of was white snow and "Oh no! Another machine!" situations until the next complication.

Knowing the end of the book, I don't know whether I would've started reading it if I'd known better.

And what ever happened to Takeo Nomura? Was that left unsolved?

Of Mice and Men (Popular Penguins)

Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men started off with vivid descriptions that captivated me as if I was there in the moment looking apon the sycamore trees.

Lennie had the impecable strength while George had the smarts needed to live productivley. Perfect team right? No, not the case. Throughout the book Lennie's gift of strength turned out ot be one of him biggest downfalls.

The book for me would have to be three stars. There was no real complication until the end (which is understandable for a short novel). The real problems emerge and if you look through the text before reaching the end, there is a lot of foreshadowing.

The ending was rather sad and left me feeling quite dim and down for a while afterwards. How George says he isn't mad with Lennie and continues to tell Lennie of their dream life with a luscious farm... this is when the sad bit comes and Lennie is shot dead.

Beneath the Dark Ice (Alex Hunter #1)

Beneath the Dark Ice (Alex Hunter #1) - Greig Beck To get to the point, the book on a whole was a little below average. It took to pages 190 - 200 to get interesting. This was Greig Becks biggest downfall with the writing side of things. The intro was somewhat captivating but after that, every subsequent page was like grinding teeth until it got interesting (pages 190-200).

Throughout the book, there was too much banter on "Oh look, this is an ancient..." And from there, was too much incomprehensible babble with biological words that all if I know meant nothing(probably madeup).

The characters also were a bit boring (Except Silex who... died). But the ending was great.

If you're considering reading this book, I wouldn't. I would advise a direct detour to Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth who had indepth characters.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Puffin Classics) - Robert Baldick, Jules Verne Just finished the book and I enjoyed every minute of it. I came to like the professors personality despite how unreasonsble, impatient and short tempered he was. A fantastic read.

Bliss (The Bliss Bakery Trilogy, Book 1)

Bliss  - Kathryn Littlewood I just finished reading this book a little less than 20 minutes ago and I really enjoyed the complex twists and drama that goes on in just one small bakery. The plot was engaging and the characters are likeable. I would have to rate this book four stars.