Tag Archives: thriller

Just Finished…Medusa by Tony Talbot

Medusa by Tony Talbot

Medusa by Tony Talbot

Well, I finally got the time to knuckle down to some reading for fun in the last few weeks and it has started really well: I just finished Tony Talbot’s great new book Medusa. This is the second book of Tony’s I’ve read and I was not disappointed.

We meet Lissa Two – captain of a strange ship with some interesting technical skills – in an apparently post-apocalyptic world of water. Giant ‘seasteads’ form the main areas of civilisation and Lissa uses her ship – Connie – and the particular powers she has, to salvage items for sale in the underground souks in her own seastead home. A random meeting with a man thrown from a strange flying machine; the mysterious disappearance of an apparently strong seastead and Lissa’s own questions about Connie provide the ingredients for a fast-paced, cocktail of adventure.

I really like Tony’s writing style, he has a real way with words (helpful if you’re a writer, I know!) But what I mean, what really stands out in this book for me, was his ability to create a world you felt completely transported to: there is beautiful description throughout the book, whilst he walks his characters through the fast-paced plot, leaving you the feeling that you could reach out and touch the world Lissa inhabits. Now and again, I would find myself noticing something, not because it jarred, but because it just flowed so naturally. Unfortunately, some of the best examples I highlighted would need spoilers to explain – so I’d say you have to check it to know what I mean.

Medusa is one of those books you get sucked into quickly and struggle to find a place to pause, when reading – you just want to know ‘what next’ the whole time. Especially once Lissa’s questions start taking her down interesting paths, it gets even harder to stop: I read the second half of the book in one day. And it was worth it! 🙂

Overall, I’m going 4.5* for Medusa, I thought the characters, pace and writing in the book was even better than Eight Mile Island, the main reason it gets the same rating is because I loved the way EMI sucker punched me in it’s concluding chapters. I didn’t get quite the same left-field shock as I did with that one, but overall, I would say I enjoyed Medusa more and if you’re thinking of trying one of Tony’s books, this is the one I’d recommend.

Recommended for: fans of dystopian YA / post-apocalyptic world settings; I think people who liked the relationships in Angelfall would enjoy this, as well as Hunger Games / Blood Red Road fans looking for something with a feisty female protagonist in an unusual setting.

 

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Just Finished…Eight Mile Island by Tony Talbot

This is a great YA mystery adventure – with a male lead you’ll probably loathe then like if you’re anything like me (one sentence was all it took for me to dislike him, then another one to turn everything around! It sucker-punched me a bit, I will admit – as I’d had a good few chapters of not thinking very highly of him!)

Tony weaves a great story with twists, technology and science that will make your skin creep at times, as Dylan finds out more about the strange Eight Mile Island. With short, fast-paced chapters and lots of action, all told in a clear, descriptive style you really experience the whole journey with Dylan. It kept me guessing throughout, and being told in the first person it cleverly excludes and includes things that only Dylan would know.

Looking back at the story again now – it’s been a couple of months since I read it – I can see even more in it than I did immediately. It has a ‘Matrix-y’ element to it (trying to remain spoiler free) about the ‘real’ and ‘unreal’ world – I have to admit that on my first reading I took everything at face value and accepted the world as presented by the narrator…I’m not sure I’d do that on a second reading, and think that there would be a different story there for read number two…

Overall, 4.5* for me: Eight Mile Island kept me gripped and interested from start to finish – highly recommended.

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Just Finished…The Tower by Jade Varden

Synopsis: Death brings some families closer, but it’s ripped mine apart. I wanted to convince the police that they had the wrong suspect…but I never expected them to start suspecting me. Now, I have no choice but to keep searching for the truth, even if all my relationships fall to pieces around me.

Someone is trying to make me look guilty. I never thought my mission to prove my own innocence would lead me to more family secrets. I thought I had already discovered the truth about myself. But every answer raises more questions, and everything I think I know is about to change…again.

I have to find the truth, no matter how much it hurts — before I get charged with murder.

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When I read Justice, the first book in Jade Varden’s Deck of Lies series, earlier this year I was looking forward to the release of the follow-up book The Tower after being left with a doozy of a cliff-hanger. You can read my review of Justice at Aside from Writing blog.

So…after the wait, did The Tower deliver? Absolutely! 🙂 I stayed up reading with one eye it was that good!

Normally I struggle with “Second-Book-Syndrome” – I love the first then find the second one less than satisfying (Twilight, The Hunger Games, Hush Hush series and Darkest Powers series all had this for me) – with The Tower I actually liked it better than Justice and would agree with the idea that you could read this book without having read the first. Although the characters and story continues from the first book, The Tower is written in a way that also allows it to work as a stand-alone book, which I think is great.

It is a difficult book to review without giving spoilers, but I’ll try…in contrast to Justice which focuses on the mystery surrounding the kidnapping of a baby girl and her subsequent reuniting with her real family over a decade later, The Tower is more a murder mystery. It reminded me a little of the Point Horror books I used to love when I read young adult fiction the first time around, where someone in the middle of the action needs to solve the riddles the police cannot, although it is written with much more depth and sophistication. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and another good cliffhanger to seal the end of the book. I liked the epilogue particularly in how it drew the themes of the story back to the symbol of the tarot card ‘the tower’ – very neatly done.

Overall, I’d say 4.5* for me – it was practically perfect – I did get a little lost in twists in the middle (just like Rain I wanted paper to map them out) and missed a character who featured heavily in Justice, but it was great seeing Sawyer  in more depth and I liked the relationship between him and Rain as they work through the mystery. Jade has a really good writing style: well-described, interesting and believable characters, who work well in the events of the novel. I absolutely have my suspicions as to who has done what…but I’ll need to read the next book to find out! So I’m looking forward to the next instalment.

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So – do you think this sounds good? Well – the author has kindly provided me with ebooks of her books so that one lucky reader could win both Justice and The Tower to read for themselves. The competition starts tomorrow and you’ll have a week to enter, so visit my main website and ‘like’ this review or follow on Twitter and get yourself in it to win it! 

Enter Competition at http://cusick-jones.com/giveaway.php

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