Friday, 15 September 2017

The Treatment by C.L.Taylor


Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed meets Never Let Me Go in the pulse-pounding YA thriller from the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of The Escape.

“You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.”

All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She's not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she's almost relieved.

Everything changes when she's followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets. Before it’s too late.

My review:

A fab, fast-paced young adult fiction book full of good characters and twist and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope there is a second instalment.

Drew and Mason are pretty much normal teenagers, one rebelling against the world, the other one keeping head down and out of the way. When Mason is sent away to the Reform Academy, everything changes. And when Drew gets the mysterious message in the hands of Dr Cobey, things get plain dangerous.

Drew decides to be brave and see for herself what sort of treatment this revolutionary school delivers and gets herself enrolled through basically making herself seems like a bad egg. She soon realises there is much more to that place then strict regime and therapy.

Great story that never really stops with Drew as the main character, which you can’t help but like and spur on throughout the book.

Thank you to the author and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 4/5

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Shining by Stephen King


Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

My review:

I’ve had Stephen King’s books on my shelves for years. First I picked up Salem’s Lot and loved it, even though it scared me so I couldn’t sleep for three nights. Misery was next and again loved the book, although I had to stop reading couple of times for all the gory details King is so good at. Rosie Madder was a slight disappointment for me - a little too strange an ending, but still a brilliant book to read.

And now - The Shining. For me it’s gone straight to the top. It’s a brilliant book. It has a fascinating back story for all the characters, their relationships and all the things and mistakes that lead them to such a fabulous finale in the book.

The characters developed throughout the story with some surprising outcomes and not the way I felt they were going. The suspense is typical for King’s work, his very suggestive, psychological way of getting you to the edge of your seat and holding your breath.

This is horror, but intelligent horror. It helps you create your own picture in your head and guess at what’s going to happen and then it takes that idea and twists it around.

I am happy to say that I have not watched the movie before I read the book. Once I finished the book I excitedly put the film on wondering how the special effects needed for the story would have been done in 1980. And I was disappointed and bored. None of the back story filtered into the script and details that really helped characters in the book develop into who there really were, were changed (for example Jack’s meeting with the Hotel Manager Ullman – in the book they clearly can’t stand each other, whereas in the film they are best pals). I felt that the movie was purely based on the scare factor of good old fashioned suspense music and dark things waiting around the corner. Also both Danny and Wendy were made to look quite dumb, which is the opposite of how they are portrayed in the book.

So my advice is that even if you have already seen the film, please read the book. You might have loved the film already, but I can guarantee that the book will blow your mind.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 28 July 2017

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam


She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever. 

My review:

This is my first dip into the world of Pacifica, brain implants, brainloading etc. and what an introduction this is.

Shattered Minds continues in the world of Pacifica where I believe Laura’s novel False Hearts is based, but this is a standalone novel and I had no trouble getting accustomed to this science fiction world or technology that really is quite realistic when we think of the progress we are making in this field.

Fabulous novel that is fast paced with great characters and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. I couldn’t ask for more.

Three characters I loved the most:
  • Carina – messed up, with lots of issues and made to face her past, present and future by going after the company that has altered her mind and therefore set her on a dangerous path of self-destruction.
  • Roz – the ruthless neuro-scientist responsible for unethical human trials she uses to reach her goal of altering people’s minds and she is also Carina’s arch-enemy.
  • Dax – member of the Trust, a group of hackers fighting for justice and the ultimate fall of Sudice, the company behind the Roz’s trials.

I very much enjoyed the relationships between Carina and Roz, especially as Carina starts accessing her supressed memories and we read the flashbacks into hers and Roz’s past. Dax is the first person in Carina’s life that manages to get close to her and helps her wake up from the nightmare of Zeal addiction she has let herself to enter through a belief that she is an evil, murderous individual.

I’ve said this about most of the books I have read lately, but this is another cracker and I loved it. Different genre for me to try and realise I really enjoy. This book has introduced me to Laura Lam and I will be seeking out her other novels.

Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

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