Unfriended (2014) – Review

hfEBlhvVWFt61EWjNbjlKdDilBI-0-230-0-345-cropUnfriended is about a group of teenagers with a dark secret who are being hunted by a mysterious killer. Slowly, the truth about what really happened all those years ago is revealed,  and at the same time characters are murdered one by one. It’s the standard slasher plotline, the same one that appears in Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and countless other films of variable quality.

To be fair though, Unfriended does attempt to break the mould and do something new(ish). This is not a normal slasher film; this is a modern, high-tech slasher for the digital age, for people with four different web-capable devices and a Google+ account. Continue reading “Unfriended (2014) – Review”

The Irredeemable Prince – Alyssa J. Montgomery (Review)

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Prince Devereaux is not an ideal role model. Rather than working to benefit his country, he spends his time drinking and dancing with a succession of beautiful women. He seems to have no interest in anything more serious.

Despairing of his brother, King Gabriel hires an image consultancy to improve the prince’s public image: the kingdom must have an heir, and no one will marry someone with Devereaux’s reputation. At first, Devereaux is reluctant to go along with the scheme, but he quickly finds himself enthralled by the passion and beauty of the consultant. Continue reading “The Irredeemable Prince – Alyssa J. Montgomery (Review)”

Eagles at War – Ben Kane (Review)

EaWEagles at War tells the story of  the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Given that it’s one of the most famous military upsets in all of recorded history, I don’t think I’m giving away any plot twists here if I talk about it. I don’t think many people read historical fiction in a state of surprise. Three Roman legions march into Germany under the command of Quintillius Varus. They all die.  Continue reading “Eagles at War – Ben Kane (Review)”

H is for Hawk – Helen MacDonald (Review)

HifHH is for Hawk is about a hawk. A goshawk, specifically. But it’s not just about that. It’s also about T. H. White, and falconry, and the grieving process.

After the death of her father, Helen MacDonald returns to her childhood hobby of falconry. She withdraws from society and begins training a goshawk – a famously grumpy and difficult-to-train bird. Through this training, and her growing relationship with the hawk (Mabel), MacDonald deals with her grief and explores ideas about nature and identity.

Continue reading “H is for Hawk – Helen MacDonald (Review)”

Spire – Fiona Snyckers (Review)

SpireDoctor Caroline Burchell is a specialist in virology at the most unusual research centre in the world. Spire is a high-tech facility in the Antarctic wastes – a structure designed to cope with the brutal winters, and to keep the inhabitants alive for the months when no outside help can get to them.

When people start falling ill with exotic diseases, suspicion falls on Caroline. She’s the only one with access to the viruses. Apparently alone in a facility filled with corpses, Caroline has to find a way to survive the winter and convince the outside world that she’s not a crazed eco-terrorist. As she desperately tries to keep the facility functional, she can’t escape the feeling that she’s being watched.    Continue reading “Spire – Fiona Snyckers (Review)”

Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (Review)

Vanity_Fair_01_coverI always forget, when not reading the classics, that the reason they are classics is because they are very, very good. Yes, they take a little more energy to engage with, but it’s absolutely worth it.

I read Vanity Fair because I’d been meaning to for years, and finally mustered the enthusiasm. Then I read it voraciously and rapidly, because once I was past the initial reluctance, I was hooked. This happens every time I pick up something highly regarded but ostensibly dull, and I really should learn from this.  Continue reading “Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (Review)”

Eight – W. W. Mortensen (Review)

EDeep in the jungles of South America, an expedition searches for a lost city and a new source of potentially limitless power. But something is stirring in the ancient ruins – something ancient, dangerous, and hungry.

Rebecca Riley, an entomologist, joins the expedition at the request of her former partner, facing her deepest fears in search of his deepest desire. What was promised to be a journey of scientific discover quickly becomes a desperate struggle for survival.
Continue reading “Eight – W. W. Mortensen (Review)”