Sunday, 21 February 2016

Book Review: Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny
M.J. Arlidge
I was walking around my local bookshop one Saturday and thought I would have a little change. I set myself a task to find a new series of books by an author I had never read before. About 90 minutes later and the covers of around 50 books read I chose Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge. Why this one? Well it sounded really good,  plus I thought the cover kind of looked cool. I know, I know,  never judge a book by its cover but sometimes we have to take risks!
"A debut thriller - Dark, fast paced and action packed" 
PrĂ©cis (taken from the cover):
The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.
Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a patter is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted. Imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: Kill or be killed. Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?
Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors - living calling cards - who hold the key to the case...... And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die....
This book gets straight into the action. In the first paragraph, someone is already about to die. I was hooked there and then. No scene setting, no build up just boom, there you are. Before I knew it, I was already 50 pages in.
One of the best things about this book for me is the area of the UK in which it is set; Southampton. A city on the south coast of England for those that don't know. It is a different city and refreshing change from London, Manchester or Glasgow which we most commonly have in books set here in the UK. Don't get me wrong, I love those cities, especially London as it is one of my favourite and most frequently visited, but Southampton is all new for me to explore as the story progresses.
The plot line in this book is cracking and really original. Nothing like I have ever read or even watched on TV. A serial killer who compels the victims do the killing makes parts of this book very dark. The author also introduces twists which you just don't expect. I like how the book is written, leaving each chapter on a mind tingling thought, that only gives you one choice - read on.
Detective Inspector (DI) Helen Grace is the protagonist in this book. She is an extremely powerful, yet somewhat mysterious woman who has worked hard to get where she is. She kicks ass and refuse to take any crap. However, she is tormented by her own personal demons, which adds another layer to her persona. I really like Helen as a character and she is up there as one of my favourites. I can't wait to follow her in future books.
The other characters are also brilliantly written. The police detectives actually feel like real people as they have their own problems at home, which in some books you never really hear about so you are able to relate to them. Parts of the story with them are really sad as well.
Is there anything I did not like about this book? Nope, nothing at all. I thought it was brilliant -  I loved it. And to think it was a debut thriller as well, makes it even better. It was dark, fast paced and action packed.
Even before I finished this book it was a 5 out of 5. The following week I went to buy the next two books in the series. The Doll's House & Pop Goes the Weasel. I can't wait to read those. I mentioned this book to my friend Keely and she loved it as well, she read the next three books straight after.
I would love to know what other people think that have read this book as well. Do you agree with me or not? Let me know, I would love to find out.
Speak soon

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Book Review: Symbiosis by Guy Portman

Guy Portman
Firstly I would like to give a huge thanks to the author of Symbiosis, Guy Portman for giving me a copy of his book for a honest read and review. I really appreciate this. For more information on Guy's other books and his blog you can visit
About this book (Taken from the cover):
Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…
Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?
Perceptive and poignant, Symbiosis explores our enduring fascination with twins and the complexities of twinship.
A valuable addition to the monozygotic canon…
Symbiosis demonstrates Portman’s ability to populate his worlds with peculiar yet plausible characters.
Moving and laconic, with impressive attention to psychological detail…
I went into this book with an open mind. I really did not know what to expect. The start of this book was a little confusing for me if I was to be honest, I felt it did not flow and it took me a good few pages to pick the story up. However Once it did and I got my bearings I felt this was a wonderful story. We can all try and think what it would be like to be a twin especially identical one's but we will never really know unless you are one. I think how Guy wrote Talulah & Taliah was great, they had this special bond which included the power to know what each other was thinking and came with their own secret language. The story follows the twins from a young age and continues through to their late teens. The book starts with the twins in a special school until they are around 16/17 then after a bad and traumatic event they end up in a psychiatric hospital. One of my favourite films is Girl, Interrupted which is a movie set in a women's psychiatric hospital in the sixties and in parts of this book it reminded me of that. The subject's in this book are quite harrowing and upsetting in a way but it was written with so much realism, you believe every single incident that happens because of this. It was also very interesting to read, Although it is a work of fiction the troubles of mental health are very serious and you learn lots in this book. I also found this book funny in places which helped lighten the mood perfectly.
The characters in this book were all different. The twins were the stars of the show but each child, teacher, doctor & nurse had a great supporting role to play. One of my favourite characters in Symbiosis was Siegfried a teenage German anarchist who was addicted to fire and taking drugs. He starts off very funny but then gets evil as the book goes on.
Did I guess the ending? nope failed again... I must say though that throughout this book I did have a good 10/12 idea's as to what could happen. Each time I changed my mind I crossed it off my imaginary list and went with my new one. I love books like this where it keeps you guessing all the way through, for me there is nothing better.  
I scored this book a 4.5 out of 5. I really enjoyed it and it only lost points for me at the beginning where I felt a bit confused. This may have just been me though. I will definitely be investing in Guy Portman's other books Necropolis & Charles Middleworth at some point.
I would love to know if anyone else has read this book and if so do you agree with me or not? Let me know.
Speak soon,