Thunder Head by Neal Shusterman

 *SPOILER ALERT!!*
This review contains spoilers. These will be marked if you wish to avoid them. 

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In a perfect world where there is no governments or monarchies only the attentive Thunderhead, and where the act of dying has become temporary, and it is an annoyance for some but a thrill-seeking hobby for others, how would one stay dead? By way of gleaning at the hands of a Scythe of course. Though Citra and Rowan have completed their apprenticeship and become Scythes with their own very different reputations, one is feared and the other is consider an upstart or annoyance to some. there is one who judges nether and cares for both deeply, who can only observe and nothing more.

“Humans learn from their mistakes. I cannot. I make no mistakes.”

Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe series. The story follows Citra and Rowan, they have been Scythes for over a year, but they are still trying the adjust to their new lives.

In Scythe the Thunderhead was nothing more than a sentient computer program who governs and guides humanity in the perfect world, but in Thunderhead we get a deeper understanding of it, and in a way that doesn’t imped the story (as it is about Citra and Rowan) but adds incite. Neal Shusterman dose this by in between each chapter there is a diary like entry of the Thunderhead’s thoughts and feelings. These relate to what is happening in the next chapter. I like this and thought it was a clever way to involve an otherwise distant yet important character, because I feel the Thunderhead is its own character.

When I found out there was going to be a second book, I was a little bit irked. This was because I really liked how Scythe ended and where Citra and Rowan were as people. I felt there would be unnecessary character development, but I decided to stay open minded to what might come. I was glad to find that instead of focusing on the two-main character’s development, Neal Shusterman showed us the inner workings of the Thunderhead. I found the Thunderhead had not just the ability to observe and make decisions based on those observations, but also understood why it was making them. The Thunderhead isn’t just some computer program, it can not only think for its self but also feel emotions like joy, sadness, grief, longing, anger, regret and more. Because it’s not a computer, the Thunderhead is like a human in the way of having all of the best thing that make up humanity but none of the worst things.

Although I wasn’t happy at the end of the first book to find out there was going to be a second, I can say that I am now looking forward to the next one. I hope Neal Shusterman shows us more of the Thunderhead’s personality, (and just between you and me the book ends with quite the cliff hanger shh spoilers)

Have you read Thunderhead? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to more from Neal Shusterman just as much as I am.

And that is another one to add to the collection, and I already have someone else telling me I have Too Many Books
        Emily
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Review Death Note by Tsugumi Onba and Takeshi Obata

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all in one edition

*SPOILER ALERT!!*
This review contains spoilers. These will be marked if you wish to avoid them.

*please note this is a review on a manga series which I have read as the all in one edition*

Imagine you find one day a strange note book on the ground. You pick it up and written on the cover are the words Death Note. Intrigued you look inside the cover to find a list of rules of how to use the Death Note, the very first rule on the page is ‘the human whose name is written in this note shall die’. do you thinking it must be some sought of joke, write someone’s name down or do you put it down and walk away and never think about it again?

 

Light Yagami found himself in this situation, he thought it was a sick kind of prank. But instead of putting the note book back where he found it, he put it in his bag and went on his way. It was only when he was at home later that day, he really started to think about the Death Note. “what if it isn’t a prank, what if its real?” he decided to test it out. The person whose name that Light had written down suddenly died. Shocked but still unsure if it just a coincidence, Light tests it again, this time he knows for sure that the Death Note is real, and it does kill people.
But what would you do in this situation, would you keep the book and start writing peoples name in it, or get rid of the cursed thing as quick as you could and try not to think about it ever again? Well not only did Light decide to keep the Death Note, but to change the entire world. He would start by killing criminals, then once the wold was free of crime he would start killing the people who go out of their way to make other’s lives miserable, the world would be a kinder and over all better place, and he would be the God of this new world.
When a week or so later Light is surprised one day with a visit from the Shinigami Ryuk, who tells Light that the Death Note used to be his, but it’s now Lights to do as he please with. No one can see or hear a Shinigami except anyone who has touched that Shinigami’s Death Note. And he will be hang around for a while. I think Ryuk is by far the best character in the entire story. He is just looking for something to do that’s fun and will kill a bit of time, as Shinigami can live forever. There is one part in the story when Light tells Ryuk he can’t eat apples in Light’s room anymore Ryuk loses it. It’s funny, but not as good as the one in the live action movies, his reaction is so hilarious. It’s my favourite part.

(*this next part contains a spoiler, please feel free to skip this part if you wish to be surprised.)

The series is split into two arks. The first is Light’s battle against he’s mysterious arch rival known only as L. L is the head of the police task force trying to stop ‘Kira’ aka Light. The second is Light’s Battle against L Successors Near and Mello. Near has a personality close to L’s, which is patent, wants to solve any puzzle with understanding and deductions (sought of like a certain British Detective) while Mellow is more do wat ever it takes to be better than L.
I did like it but overall, I was disappointed. Not with the story or even the ending (which was the only way it was going to end, you saw it coming) but with Light Yagami’s character. While I like his idea of changing the wold for the better, I feel he went the wrong way about certain problems, there were so many things he could have done differently if only he wasn’t so arrogant and stopped thinking he was so much smarter than everyone else.
I read this after watching the live action movies and this is properly the only book that I liked the movies better than the book itself, Light was less arrogant and less of a real d*ck, in the movies than in the books. If you did want to watch the anima or the live action movies (they split it into two) I recommend the Japanese live action. Don’t bother with the American Netflix version, it is horrible and doesn’t do the story justices (better get L on to the case)
Have you read Death Note? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to more from Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata as much as I am.
And that is another one to add to the collection, and I already have someone else telling me I have Too Many Books

Emily

 

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Update on new book by Matthew Reilly

in case you don’t follow Matthew Reilly on Facebook there have been two massive bit of news.

Number 1 – not only did Matthew Reilly make the finals of the Australian author of the year award. He was named the Number One Australian Author of The Year as voted by the Australian (and New Zealand) public. for the Second Year in a Row I might add.

Number 2 –  We have a name and release date for the next Jack West Jr. book27336930_10155597007356339_3788486671123963886_n

I can’t wait for this!!!!

Emily

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Review The Secret Recipe for Second Chances by J.D. Barrett

 *SPOILER ALERT!!*
This review contains spoilers. These will be marked if you wish to avoid them.

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You wouldn’t think that a book that has a woman who is leaving her lying, cheating, steeling asshole of a husband, a dead, womanizing ghost from the 80’s and the run down, abandon restaurant which belonged to said ghost, would make an interesting book, but it does.

“I’m not sure if there’s an exact meal I could pinpoint when I knew that Leith and I were done. Actually, yes I do, it was the roasted snapper stuffed with kaffir lime, ginger, and lemongrass I baked in foil when we were on holiday up at Seal Rocks … the one where we were meant to try to make up, to reconnect. He used a bone from the fish as a tooth pick. Leith pretty much use any device, accoutrement, item of clothing, menu, or other inanimate object as a toothpick … and as a result he has brilliantly healthy teeth. Was it the fish or was it the creeping realisation that everything about his eating annoyed me: the clicking of his jaw, the loud swallowing, the way he shovelled peas on his fork? It on that day I realised I was fantasising about raising the fork, dropping the peas over his head and slamming the prongs into the back of his hand. I knew this wasn’t yogic, wasn’t kind, wasn’t real, but the rush of it was what told me that there would be no reunion. That and the fact he had slept with three other women, two whom were our staff. Worse than any of theses crimes is the simple, truth that he doesn’t believe in meal sharing. How did I marry someone – a fellow chef, of all people – who refuses to share food? To Leith it is always the competition of who ordered the better meal, salad combination, or smoothie. With him, there is no harmony in a bowl of pasta, or anything else. I don’t want to take myself to the ‘what was I thinking?’ place – my best friend and my mother are filling that space already – because I did love him, and we were good together for a time. We created Circa together, a restaurant that has become the go-to destination for middle-aged yuppies in search of marital distraction via the bells and whistles of the expensively printed menus and pandering service. I wonder how many of the meals we served actually saved people’s lives with their sheer ability to distract – Stop looking at your heartbreak; the chicken is on fire on a tray, and it’s being carried to the table. A fair few, I expect. Circa has also become the place cashed-up international hipsters visit for a memorable proposal; ‘He proposed to her at Circa, Sydney’s celebrated three-hatted restaurant’ is a common sentence in the New York Times marriage announcements. I would say there’s a sweet irony in the number of hours I have spent over the past three years baking cakes, Soufflés, preparing soups and salads in which the engagement rings are elegantly and expertly concealed (no swallowers yet – the dish concealing the ring is rarely eaten, everybody is too busy photographing it) while my own marriage was terminally ill.”

The story is about Lucy Muir who is trying to put her life back together after leaving (what I would consider) the biggest asshole the ever lived. Not only does he repeatedly cheat on her with any attractive woman he comes across, he continually tries to destroy her attempts at opening a new restaurant, gets one of her good friends pregnant, and even had the nerve to try and destroy her online.

She comes across the abandon Fortune one of the hottest restaurant back in the 80’s. It’s when Lucy goes inside and finds a little red recipe book that belonged to the previous owner Frankie Summers, that her life starts to change for the better. Unknown to Lucy, Frankie Summers is still there cooking for all his customers from the past each living their own afterlife with their own regrets and woes.

(*this next part contains a spoiler, please feel free to skip this part if you wish to be surprised.)

One night after a long day and unable to sleep, Lucy heads to Fortune red book in hand and starts to make Twice-baked Gruyère Soufflé, suddenly Frankie is in the kitchen as well. They have a conversation in which Frankie tells Lucy that he was murdered and didn’t kill himself and he wants Lucy to help him find out who is reasonable, Lucy believing she is making the whole thing up agrees to help.

The book is fill with unexpected and interesting developments and characters, you just can’t put the book down. What was surprising was the recipes scattered here and there though out the book, there is 16 in total*. Each one can be found in Frankie’s little red book, and was used be ether Lucy or Frankie in the story, ether before or after the recipe in the book. The way the recipes have been written is informative and precise, as an apprentice chef myself I was surprised by the level of professionalism shown in the recipes. J.D. Barrett ether did her homework or knows how recipes should be written out so they can be easily read and understood in the kitchen.

(*I went through the book a few times just to be sure but there may be one or two I missed. If you would like page number locations, leave me a comment.)

The way J.D. spoke about the industry makes me think that she ether has personal experience or knows someone that works in the hospitality industry. It is a tough industry the hours are long and you have to deal with assholes no matter where you go, from chefs to manages.

After reading The Secret Recipe for Second Chances I am intrigued about J.D. Barrett’s other books. If her other two are any thing like her first they should be well worth reading, I am looking forward to reading more of her work.

Have you read The Secret Recipe for Second Chances? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to more from J.D. Barrett just as much as I am.

You can find The Secret Recipe for Second Chances in all good book shops and online at https://www.amazon.com

And that is another one to add to the collection, and I already have someone else telling me I have Too Many Books

Emily
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Review Maria V. Snyder Touch of Power

*SPOILER ALERT!!*
This review contains spoilers. These will be marked if you wish to avoid them.

                                                    touch of power

The first in the healer trilogy, and is Maria V. Snyder’s ninth book. Maria has once again stuck to what she does best, and as a result produced another best seller. If you haven’t read any of her books before, Maria V. Snyder writes in the young adult, fantasy, and romance categories. All her books come under all three categories, as the main plots are focus around magic in some way, the main character is normally female (with one exception (so far) with a love interest, that at the start of the story want nothing to do with but later find they do indeed have strong feelings for, and it is clear from the way she writes, she intents her books for teens and young adults, as the action and some themes in the stories aren’t really suitable for younger readers. For this book Maria V. Snyder has stepped away for the world of Ixia and Sitia (two neighbouring countries with very different views on magic) once again, and in its place, has given us a world that has been devastated by plague, and its people struggling to return to the way it was before.

Touch of Power is set in The Fifteen Realms where three years ago a devastating plague was spread throughout each and every realm wiping out a third of the population. Before the plague there were elven types of magicians, one such type were healers, unfortunately all but one healer had been executed for the crime of starting, spreading, and refusing the heal the plague.

“The little girl wouldn’t stop crying. I didn’t blame her. She was dying after all. Her lungs were so full of fluid she’d drown in another few hours. Tossing and turning on my thin mattress, I listened to her cries as they sawed through the floor boards and through my heart, cutting it in two. One piece of my heart pleaded for me to save her. Urging me to heal the girl with the bright smile and ginger curls. The other side pulsed a warning beat. Her family would thank me by turning me into the town watch. I’d be hung as a war criminal. No trial needed. The horrors from the dark years of the plague were still fresh in the survivor’s minds. They considered those times a war. A war that had been started by healers. Healers who spread the deadly disease, and refused to heal it. Of course, it was utter nonsense. We couldn’t heal the plague. And we didn’t start it. But in the midst of the chaos, no one would listen to reason. Someone had to be blamed. Right? The girl’s screams pierced the broken remains of my heart. I couldn’t stand it any longer. Three years on the run. Three years of hiding. Three terrible years full of fear and loneliness. For what? My life? Yes, I live and breathe and exist. Nothing else.”

That is how we are interduce to the main character Avery who (unknown to her) is the last surviving healer. It is clear from the start, that Avery has a soft spot when it comes to sick children. She just can’t bear the thought of a child dying because she fears for her life.

“Flinging my blankets off, I hurried downstairs. I didn’t need to change since I would never sleep in night clothes or sleep without my boots on. When you were on the run, the possibility of being surprised in the middle of the night was high. There was no time to waste when escaping, so I wore my black travel pants and black shirt to bed every night. The dark colour ideal for blending into shadows. Another trick of being on the run involved finding a second-floor room with both front and back doors and no skeletons. They were hard to find as most towns had burned the plague victims’ homes in the misguided attempt to destroy the disease. And many victims died alone. My current hideout was above the family with the dying child. I knocked on my downstairs neighbour’s door loud enough for the sound to be heard over the child’s wet wails. When it opened, her mother, Mavis, stared wordlessly at me. She held the two-year-old girl in her strong arms, and the knowledge that her child was dying shone in her brown eyes. Her pale skin clung to her gaunt face. She swayed with pure exhaustion. Underneath the sheen of tears and red flush of fever, the little girl’s skin had death’s pale hue. In a few moments, she wouldn’t have the breath to scream. I held out my arms. “Mavis, go to sleep. I’ll watch…Fawn.” Finally, I remembered her name. Another rule to being on the run was to avoid getting close to anyone. No friends. But I needed to earn money, and I had to make a few acquaintances in order to keep up with the gossip. I’d stayed with Mavis’s children on occasion which helped with both.”

(*this next part contains a spoiler, please feel free to skip this part if you wish to be surprised.)

It is because of this choice, we are taken on an adventure none of the characters see coming. Avery had been captured by the town guards and was awaiting execution the following morning, when she is recued by a man with an agender other than turning her in for the gold bounty. It turns out that the man who recued Avery is a powerful forest magician known only as Kerrick, and the leader of a group of four other men on a mission to save a prince who may be The Fifteen Realms last hope against a psychopathic tyrant hell bent on expanding his kingdom to be all Fifteen Realms. But the prince is the very man who caused the mass execution of the healers.

The book is filled with twists and turns as the characters journey though the land, and come to know one another. Maria V. Snyder wrote this book so well that fans have became attached to the characters and can’t wait to see what is going to happen next. The way Maria wrote Touch Of Power, (the bombshell at the end of the book was so unexpected) was enough to keep the fan hanging on until next book Scent Of Magic.

Have you read Touch of Power? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to more from Maria V. Snyder just as much as I am.

You can find Touch of Power in all good book shops and online at https://www.amazon.com

 
And that is another one to add to the collection, and I already have someone else telling me I have Too Many Books
Emily 
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Review – The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

*SPOILER ALERT!!*
This review contains spoilers. These will be marked if you wish to avoid them.

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“Jack West woke with a lurch, startled and gasping for air. He was alone and in darkness. He didn’t know where he was, how he got here or how long he’d been here. The air was cool and moist, like in a deep cave. The floor was dusty. The wall against his back was solid stone. He was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shit, but no shoes. His head was sore. He touched it … only to pull his hand away in shock. His hair had been shaved off– With a piercing shriek, the rusty iron door of his cell swung open and light flooded in. a horrifying silhouette filled the doorway. The outline of a bull-headed man. A minotaur. Or at least a man wearing a bull-shaped helmet. He was well muscled, with knotty biceps and a stocky chest. While his upper body–save for his bull mask–was bare, on his lower half he wore modern black army-issue cargo pants and black combat boots. I must be dreaming, Jack thought. He didn’t have time for a second thought because right then, with a roar, the minotaur charged at him. A serrated hunting knife appeared in the masked man’s right hand and it came slashing down at Jack.”

 
That is how Matthew Reilly starts The Four Legendary Kingdoms. Strait into the action, with someone already trying to kill the main hero on the very first page. Talk about not starting slow, and that pace is kept up throughout the entire story. The thing is all his books are like this, thrills a minute and that is what makes Matthew Reilly’s books so great. Unlike most authors, his books don’t waste time in the beginning. Which is what has made his books so popular, and another great thing about this book is even if you haven’t read the three before it you can still follow the plot. You may be a bit confused though with the mention of characters and events from the previous books, but not enough to turn you off the book. In fact, it will do the opposite and make you want to read the other books just to get a better understanding of the characters histories.

 
The Four Legendary Kingdoms is the fourth in the Jack West series. The others in order, are Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, and The Five Greatest Warriors. These three are closely linked and are best enjoyed if they are read in order. The Four Legendary Kingdoms is also linked to the others, but you can enjoy the story without reading the other ones. (I would highly recommend you read first three, first though.) Just like all of Matthew Reilly’s other books, The Four Legendary Kingdoms is filled with great action, loveable characters, mystery, twists, and turns you don’t see coming, and amazing illustrations of maps and diagrams of important items. The cover illustrations, are per usual spectacular. To every fan’s great surprise and delight, The Four Legendary Kingdoms saw the very thing we have been waiting (and asking) for, for a long time now. We the fans were not disappointed.

 
When Matthew Reilly released the teaser chapter for The Four Legendary Kingdoms, social media was ablaze with the excitement and speculation of what this was telling us. We all knew he had finally given us the thing we all wanted and hoped for but were wondering if we would ever see it.

 
(*this next part contains a spoiler, please feel free to skip this part if you wish to be surprised.)

 
“In a third cell, a United States Marine also waited tensely until, with a scream of rusty hinges, the door to his cell opened and a third minotaur thundered in. like the British SAS man this Marine was prepared. That’s to say he was dressed in desert fatigues and a helmet and he was armed with a telescoping nightstick. He wasn’t entirely prepared though: while expecting an attack, he hadn’t expected a crazed half-man dressed as a minotaur to come bursting in brandishing a knife. Unlike Jack’s ugly and awkward struggle, this fight was short, although not as ruthlessly quick as the SAS man’s encounter. The Marine examined the body of his fallen attacker, touching the bull helmet, noting its modernness, and also assessing the odd semi-human creature beneath it. Then he put on a pair of wraparound anti-flash glasses and walked out of the cell into the light.”

 
If you have read any of the Scarecrow series you will know who Matthew Reilly is talking about as soon as you read that last sentence. I was so excited when I read it, I was almost in denial that he had finally done it. Matthew Reilly had Jack West meet Shane Schofield, better known as Scarecrow. There aren’t enough words to describe what my-self and many other fans were feeling when we discovered this. It was like being a kid on Christmas morning seeing the tree full of presents, or getting the birthday present you really wanted but didn’t think you were going to get. It was just so amazing and unexpected. And not only did we see Scarecrow in this adventure but we also see the great Genia Newman or better known as Mother, short for Mother Fucker. The way she perceives Jack and Scarecrow’s encounters with each other is hilarious, she even used the word Bromanse in there at one time. Now the question is will we see the two heroes team up again in the next books and if so when?

 
The big question now is what has Matthew Reilly got in store for his next books? Will we see Scarecrow again? Will Lily have an important roll to play as the Ancient Oracle of Siwa in the next three books? And what was released from those silver coffins? What will the next book be called, The Three (Secret, Hidden, Mysteries) Cities? And when will we see it? All we know for sure is that it is going to be one hell of an adventure or three.
Have you read The Four Legendary Kingdoms? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to more from Matthew Reilly just as much as I am.

 

You can find The Four Legendary Kingdoms in all good book shops and online at https://www.amazon.com

 
And that is another one to add to the collection, and I already have someone else telling me I have Too Many Books
Emily
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📖📔📚📙Too Many Books📗📖📚📕

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Hi, my name is Emily. Welcome to … (CRASH) oh wait one second it seems one of my many towers of books has fallen over. Sorry about that, now as I was saying… Welcome to Too Many Books. In this blog, you will find info about the books and their authors that I have read, what I thought about them and maybe a little bit about me.

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