The Cuckoo’s Calling By Robert Galbraith

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I thought this book was really great. the basic plot is this : a distraught brother comes to an old acquaintance who happens to be a private eye in order to look into the mysterious death of his sister. the problem is that said sister has been written off as a suicide by everyone else, occurring after a fight with a boyfriend. The brother is convinced that it is murder.

The book started off slowly for me but the plot really gets moving pretty quickly. I really liked the main character Cormoran Strike (what a great name), and his secretary/assistant Robin is pretty great as well. I felt The author really let the readers see all the sides to the main characters. Cormoran is kinda pathetic really. When the story kicks off he has just broken up with a longtime girlfriend and is currently living in his detective office. He is the son of a famous rock star whom he has never met (and doesn’t really want to), and can turn morose and melancholy pretty fast. He is however a pretty great detective and the backstory of his time in the army is great and very interesting.

Robin is also pretty well rounded out. She gets a few less dimensions to her character than Cormoran but she is a side character that edges towards being more of a partner throughout the book. I hope she gets a bit more filled out in subsequent books.

The plot itself actually kept me guessing the whole way through, and I thought the mystery was wrapped up really interestingly. I get tired of mysteries that I guess right from the start, and luckily this wasn’t the case in this book. The mystery was well plotted and the web of suspects kept me guessing until the very end, which makes me very happy. I hate mysteries that I can guess right from the start.

I liked it and would definitely recommend it to friends, I am definitely looking forward to picking the second book up soon.

I would like to say,here at the end, that I do know that the author Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for JK Rowling. I think it is really interesting she chose to use a pseudonym actually, and am glad she is sticking with it for future books. it’s a great way to separate herself from Harry Potter, and give herself some breathing (and writing) space.

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Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Underground

I think this was another great entry into this series. I really love all the characters and the mystery is a good one and was well handled. The story begins with the body of American exchange student James Gallagher being found at the end of a tube station. Inspector and Apprentice Sorcerer Peter Grant is called in (along with Nightingale and Lesley) to solve the murder and find out- as usual- things are a lot weirder than first thought.

The newer characters introduced here are quite interesting and I hope we hear from them in the future. Because the murdered student is the son of a politician the FBI send one of its agents over to assist. When you read the back cover copy, “he’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well.” if you are like me you will cringe and sigh. Yes I know these people exist and there is no way this isn’t going to be painful to read. Except its not so bad. Even with the emphasis of her on the cover she doesn’t turn out to factor that much into the plot really, and her born-again status isn’t really mentioned much.

These books are just so much fun. I like the setting because it really feels lived in and “real” I suppose. I have never traveled to London but I can clearly picture what each setting looks like and feels like from the descriptions in he book. Most important, to me anyway, are the characters. They are diverse and interesting and all of them feel three dimensional and the motivations are clear through the book, and series.

There are some stories that are continuing throughout the series that I really like. Not only the continuing training of Peter by Nightingale, but also Lesley’s troubles and now training, and the mystery of the Faceless Man. I’ve heard that the next book in the series delves deeper into the mystery of him which I am really looking forward to.
Make no mistake these books are pure fluff to most people. They are easy reads and flow quickly, with clear cut motivations and resolutions which is why I like them so much. Not every book I read needs to be Anna Karenina (which I love)!

Definitely recommended for people who like series such as The Dresden Files and others like that.

Randomness: End of Summer Reading

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Hello!

At this point I am basically writing this blog for myself, but just in case anyone who reads this cares here is why I haven’t posted in a while:

I haven’t been reading any new books!

Lately I’ve found my self re-reading old series that I love and re-visiting old characters and places. Every one in a while I go through this reading “laziness” and I’m not sure why. It is not like I don’t have new books to read, my TBR pile is huge and I just keep adding more and more onto it! It might just be that nothing new is really interesting me or the end of summer is making me nostalgic for my older series. Sometimes it is just comforting to read old favorites, and sink into familiar worlds that you already know you love. For instance I could probably read J. R. R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit constantly for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. Even after all these years they still amaze me in the same way they did when I was 12 and picked them up for the first time!

I might just start making whole series reviews for these books and posting them here, if I have anything new to say about them at least.

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What I have been (re)Reading:

  • The Dresden Files
  • Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • Graphic novels!
    • Sex Criminals
    • Pretty Deadly
    • Ms. Marvel
    • Captain Marvel
    • Fables
    • Saga
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Prey Series by John Sandford
  • The Drood Series and the Nightside Series by Simon R. Green

I hope to get back to tackling my exhaustive TBR pile soon!

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