September 26, 2021

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #25 Anna Reith, Jonathan Friesen, M.R. Carey


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL (though for anthologies, shorter books or books that I didn't enjoy/I don't have enough to say about, I decided to stick to minis). But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

Dead in Time by Anna Reith

★★★★

A twenty-something working on her dissertation finds herself sidetracked by her late mum's favourite glam-rock star - more than 30 years dead - when his revenant form shows up at her apartment and asks her to investigate his own murder.

***

A thoroughly enjoyable, often humorous, exquisitely written homage to '70s music (and related lifestyle), disguised as an amateur-sleuth tale with a supernatural angle - and a vivid British background. There are so many answers that we don't get (and questions that don't even get asked) about Damon Brent's comeback and its whole predicament - which is clearly done on purpose but slightly infuriating - and yet, the story sucks you in and the characters jump at you from the page in a way that almost makes up for that.

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

Mayday by Jonathan Friesen

★★★

An 18 y.o. girl, in a coma after trying to save her sister from abuse, is given the chance to go back and make her own life right (and to change her sister's past, rules be damned)...only not as herself.

***

An interesting twist on the time-travelling ghost (or in this case, soul-mind) trope and a tale of fierce sisterly love with some issues. First off, I couldn't buy that a mother would be so ill-equipped to protect one of her daughters and so hell-bent of making the other feel guilty for something she didn't even do. Secondly, I found it too convenient that an allegedly complete stranger (that is, the lead in a different body/gender) would fit so effortlessly into her/his past - and I don't agree with the author's stance about the gender you're in dictating your vision of the world and your, uh, interaction with its female specimens, your old self included. Finally, I thought that comparing the "guiding angel" character to "the woman who formed the Mrs. Butterworth syrup bottle" was in poor taste (then again, this book came out before awareness of such bottle being potentially racist was even raised). The ending was well-handled, though.

Note: definitive review (I don't have enough to say to justify writing a full-length one later).

(The Girl With All the Gifts #1)

★★★★

In a mutated world, a small, mismatched band of survivors and a little girl who straddles the line between monster and saviour try to beat impossible odds and/or make sense of the apocalypse while learning a different meaning for the word "human".

***

Rated 4.5 really.

A crude and merciless, yet poetic and heartwarming, all-round inventive tale of a post-zombie-apocalypse world coming in different shades, as do the characters it follows. Packed with action and (horrific/poignant) visuals, yet philosophical in nature, not afraid to go to very dark places and to brave morally grey areas, with a cast of mainly female, excellently developed characters and a shocking, yet life-affirming epilogue, this is the zombie book you didn't know you needed.

Full review to come. 
(Goodreads pre-review)

So, have you read/are you planning to read any of the above? And if you have, what do you think of them? Do you post mini reviews? Do you like to read them?

10 comments:

  1. Girl with all the Gifts is one I remember seeing a lot of good reviews for. Sounds like it ended on a high note too

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    Replies
    1. It's one of my few popular titles LOL. And yep, it did.

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  2. I haven't heard about or read any of these. They sound interesting though.

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    Replies
    1. The Girl with All the Gifts was popular - it even got a movie version - but it's not your usual genre for sure 🙂.

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  3. I've heard of Carey (he was a comic writer too) but haven't tried his books yet. I heard good thing about that one though...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know! I'm not into comics/graphic novels, so I don't have an opinion on his, but as a novelist, he's pretty good!

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  4. Dead In Time sounds super interesting! I love glam-rock, lol. And the paranormal aspect certainly gives it a cool story as well.

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    Replies
    1. It's awesome that you love glam-rock. The seventies were a fun time!

      It's a pity that DIT hasn't gotten more traction. The story is pretty neat, and the writing is quite lovely.

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  5. I saw the movie for The Girl with All the Gifts and really liked it. It hadn't known it was based on a book at the time. It was definitely an interesting take on the zombie genre.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    Replies
    1. I don't know if the movie follows the book closely, but if it does...wow, the visuals are WILD! LOL. Anyhow, it's a different take all right - especially due to Melanie's perspective.

      Delete

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