Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
Sometimes I like to think that a title should be something somewhat distant from the book, but this one refers to the ingenious contraption at the centre of the catastrophe, the Cogheart. The illustrations in this book are helpful to the reader and the front cover is a stunning work of art. Now the story isn’t entirely unique, and it’s becoming a very common trope for a child to go on an epic quest to retrieve their father except the author gives an interesting take on it. Bunzl has thoroughly created a unique world that blends to vastly different ideas into an eerie, yet colourful place. The undertones of segregation in this book are very clear. The mechanical and the hybrids in the story convey hypocrisy in their hatred of each other, even though they are essentially the same. This book is a thrilling blend of mystery and action, and the clocktower climax is a stunning work of art.
Rating – 4.3/5
Pins and needles, the infinite tiny pricks that invade the comfort of our skin for seemingly no reason. In this post I’m going to try to explain what pins and needles are with no scientific evidence to back me whatsoever.
Continue reading In The Turf of the Pins and Needles
Thirteen Reasons Why BOOK by Jay Asher
I think mystery has always been my favourite genre, which may contribute to my utter adoration to this book. Another factor may be since I watched the Netflix series first, which I also highly recommend. The title is clever, using the iconic unlucky number to entice cynical readers like myself in. The story of Hannah Baker’s suicide will be a classic, one where every character is so terribly flawed and ignorant until the end. Asher was incredibly clever in having the two main characters’ dialogue run simultaneously, a method which allows the story to be seen through two sunglasses, both which are tinted. One tinted with hysterical shock, the other with distasteful reminiscence. I think my favourite scene is when Clay’s friend tells him about Hannah, and you realise no matter how small your role you could mean the world to someone else. A gem of a book that makes people want to be better.
Rating – 4.5/5
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
This was a… strange read. I think the premise of a man waking up in a world where he doesn’t exist is fantastic, though this book has the problem a lot of 20th century books have. It doesn’t make sense. A lot of characters are introduced that have no role in the story, or their potential is greatly underplayed. An example of this is Cathy, the unstable girl who forged his identity cards. What happened with her threats to turn him in if she didn’t sleep with him? And also why are the police so slow to act? The only time they do is when they inject him with a drug then let him slip away from them. Though I do think it was a good idea to make the lead a celebrity is almost poetic, since to him his whole identity is that he is well known, and what this book asks is what is left if that is taken away?
Rating – 3/5
Silverfin by Charlie Higson
My first EVER audiobook, and I have to say I’m glad this was it. Higson has developed a wide range of colourful characters, though James Bond is quite the Mary Sue here. It was interesting that the entire first third of the book takes place in an entirely different location than the mystery, though the Eton scenes are pleasant and useful in setting up the antagonists and Bond’s running capabilities. It differs from Alex in many ways, especially seeing as he doesn’t reject being a spy, and the stakes are much lower. My favourite part was when James was punished for his uncharacteristically sexist views, which had me laughing.
Rating – 4/5
The Ministry of SUITS by Paul Gamble
This was a hilarious (though confusing) read. Jack is a lovely, clever character that is very adaptable, and acts as the wide-eyed view on the Ministry for the reader. He was believable apart from when he continuously hugged a girl he’d only know for a few days which did not make much sense, especially considering their ages. Having his best friend as a stark opposite to him (where he’s not curious about anything in the slightest) seems absurd but I have actually met some of those people in real life and I believe Gamble has represented them well. This book is just as action-oriented as it is mystery, giving every page progression in some way. Gamble is such a humorous author, especially here where he gives stupid yet sensical explanations for the things nobody else would blink at. My favourite part is where Jack learns to harness the Speed, which is an absurd idea though its entirely based on common sense. This brilliant novel is entirely worth it, and will make you question all the answers you take without question.
Rating – 4.5/5
Stay Where You Are and then Leave by John Boyne
From the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Boy at the top of the Mountain, is by far his book with the most confusing title. With yet another protagonist called Alfie is a World War I book, with an interesting twist. It very much fits the genre, and shows the turmoil and strife of those in Britain who were affected by the war. It’s a chilling exploration of shell shock, an illness I’ve never seen portrayed in fiction. Alfie is a brilliant character we can sympathise with, and has a lot of initiative with his idea to make money shining shoes. Another interesting character was the conscientious objector, another one with who we sympathise and can understand his point of view. My favourite part is at the end where everyone has something to say, which is a much more organised version of another book’s ending (The Thornthwaite Inheritance, in case you were wondering). A bit of ambiguity is left during Alfie’s epic plan, though and it pans out a lot better than I expected. In reality, it’s a freaky friday type story of father and son, and we get to see out protagonist adapt and excel in any role he is put in.
Rating – 4/5