Book review (February 2016)

Book review (February 2016)

I know I know, we’re already passed midway March, but I have yet to post my February book review! In the month of February I read 4 books. I read book centered around Victorian London, a book with a protagonist with some form of autism and I got started on reading the massive amount of books I bought in recent months. Here’s what I read in the month of February and what I thought of these books.

Book review (February 2016)

Alex Grecian – The Devil’s Workshop
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Alex Grecian – The Devil’s Workshop

Deep under London is a maze of tunnels where a secret society practices their form of justice, making hardened criminals relive what they did to their victims in the hope of teaching them a lesson. In the mean time, some highly dangerous prisoners escape from Bridewell prison, ‘Saucy Jack’ is on the loose and Inspector Walter Day’s wife Claire is giving birth to their first child. It is up to the Murder Squad to round up the prisoners while skirting Jack the Ripper and trying to stay alive at the same time.

After reading the two previous books in this series, The Yard and The Black Country, this third installment felt a little lackluster and over done. In the first two books, the two main characters of Walter Day and Nevil Hammersmith take center stage as they solve crimes as part of London’s newly instigated Murder Squad. This book is much more driven by plot, but I found it didn’t really work. Some new characters were too transparent, the plot too muddled and the chemistry between Day and Hammersmith was missing for the majority of the book. This book was trying to do too much in too little time. It was still a tremendously fast read which packed a little too much (and too fantastical) excitement into the last 100 pages or so. It was okay and entertaining, but it didn’t capture my attention as much as the previous two books.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

After zapping his algebra teacher into oblivion, Percy Jackson finds himself nearly being expelled yet again. When him and his mom finally get to take a trip to Montauk together, a storm is brewing which only gets worse. Percy’s mom realizes there is no other way and drives off to bring her son to safety. There Percy finds out that all those crazy mythological stories from his Latin teacher are true and the Greek Gods truly exist and that he, Percy Jackson, is, in fact, a half blood: half human, half god. And his uncle Zeus blames him for stealing his master bolt of lightning…

I read this book a few years ago. At the time I found it a bit young, but the mythological basis for the story kept me interested in reading more from the series. So I bought the box set and reread the first book in the series. And I loved it! This book is written for a very young audience (12-13 year olds), but it cleverly merges Greek mythology with a modern day plot. The puns and wordplays are hilarious and these books are action packed and fast-paced. The fact that you reside inside the head of a 12 year old pre-teen becomes very much less annoying when you focus on those elements of the story. A must read if you like Greek mythology and wit.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

A very quiet, much too quiet, year at school ends with bang for Percy Jackson. A bang in every sense of the word as Percy is blamed for letting his school’s gym explode with the help of his friends Annabeth and Tyson (who just so happens to be his Cyclops brother). He travels once again to Camp Half-Blood where the tree that serves as a magical boundary for the camp, the only safe haven for half-bloods, has been poisoned and is slowly losing its magical powers. With Chiron gone and the camp under attack, Percy and his fellow campers deal with a few attacks before one of them gets sent on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the Golden Fleece.

Like the first book, this is a very fast-paced read. It is even shorter than the first one, which means it makes for an even quicker read. The plot does drag on a little bit as Percy and his friends hop from island to island trying to find the Fleece and rescue Grover at the same time. Truth be told the way the mythological fiction is weaved into this story is again brilliantly done. From references to Hercules defeating the Hydra to a Cyclops wounded by Odysseus: this story is again jampacked with Greek mythology references. If you’re a mythology geek like me, this is a book you’ll definitely enjoy.

Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Christopher is a 15 year-old boy, obsessed with math and everything red when it comes to food. He is different from other boys his age: he hides when he gets upset, never goes further from home than the food shop at the corner and he has a tendency to lash out when people make him angry. The thing is that Christopher is autistic and when his neat and ordered world is turned upside down because a neighbor’s dog gets killed, he feels it is his duty to investigate.

Told from Christopher’s perspective and his limited view of the world, this novel is a great read. What seems so logical to Christopher, seems not necessarily logical to you. He has no room for empathy or emotions and that leads to him causing many awkward situations. He just knows what he knows and that comes in very handy when you’re trying to be an investigator. Despite the limited perspective, this novel was written in such a way that you empathize with Christopher over everyone else.

Which of these books have you read?


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