The Searcher by Tana French

The Searcher by Tana French is an adult standalone novel about a retired cop who moves to a small town in Ireland to get away. 

Retired detective Cal Hooper moved to a remote village in Ireland in the hopes of putting aside the cop part of his brain that always has him looking for trouble. But it turns out that small town living has intricacies all its own and Cal will have to use a whole new set of instincts to get by. 

When a local kid from the “wrong” part of town starts showing up at his house, Cal must break out his detective skills one more time. What do they say about trouble? Don’t go looking for it unless you want trouble to find you. And trouble has certainly found Cal. 

I liked this quaint little mystery, even if I wasn’t overly thrilled with the ending. Cal is a very likeable guy and he fits in well with the rural, nosey citizens of the town. I liked his polite, solitary, yet analytical nature. And his relationship with Trey is handled really well, built up throughout the story. 

This story/mystery builds really slowly but I didn’t actually mind it because it goes with the vibe of the town and it’s citizens. 

Though I sort of saw the twist coming and I didn’t necessarily like the ending, I don’t really see how it could have ended any other way and that, in a sense, was satisfying. 

This one gets 3.5-4 stars from me. 

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J. Hackwith

The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J. Hackwith is the second book in the Hell’s Library series. 

As Claire and Brevity adjust to their new roles within the library a new threat from within could destroy those who depend on it. 

After being almost destroyed and losing hundreds of books to a fire, the Library of the Unwritten and its caretakers are trying to deal with the trauma and heal but tensions are high and so many stories were lost. 

In the Arcane wing, a mysterious pool of ink appears and Claire and Brevity are at odds at what to do with the dangerous substance. Will they be able to put aside their differences before it is too late?

A Library in hell, a stubborn librarian, a fallen Angel, a muse and a hero… really, how could I not like this series. This second book introduces a bigger arching plot only hinted at in the first book that feels sort of like a coming end game. 

I did have mixed feelings about having more points of view in the second installment because I felt like I missed Claire’s voice and wasn’t as invested in Brevity’s. I understand why we need it to propel the story but I just wanted more from Claire and not broken Claire, determined, stubborn Claire. 

I also missed the feel of “the chase” from the first book. There wasn’t much of that feeling of urgency here and I wanted to see Claire back on the case. 

Even so, there was still a lot to like about this one, Hero and Rami’s budding relationship to name one. Overall, I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see where the next one goes. 

That’s ask for now! 

-M-

Aru Shah and the End of Time

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is the first book in a juvenile fantasy series.

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah is a bit of an outcast. She isn’t as rich or popular as the kids at her school, so she tends to stretch the truth a bit. This time, it has gotten her in BIG trouble–world ending trouble.

Aru lives at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture with her mom and when she gets caught in a lie, she lights a forbidden lantern and ends up releasing The Sleeper, who is going to end the world if not stopped. Well, it’s a good thing Aru is, unbeknownst to her, the reincarnation of one of the five Pandava brothers from Indian myth and it is duty to stop the sleeper and save the world… in her Spiderman pajamas.

With the help of a talking pigeon and one of her reincarnated Pandava brothers, who is allergic to everything and obsessed with death, Aru must travel to the Kingdom of the Dead and make right what she started. Sounds easy right?

Hmm, this was a slowwww read for me. I just opened it up and could not get into it, until about 200+ pages in. It did pick up speed toward the end but it was surprisingly hard to want to pick up this book. It has all the elements of a great juvenile fantasy and is somewhat reminicent of Riordan’s Lighting Thief, so many kids will probably enjoy it but I just couldn’t get into it.

There is a lot of great Indian myth and legend come to life in the book, which I think will appeal to a lot of kids but, not know much about these myths ahead of time myself, made me feel a little lost.

I don’t think I personally would continue the series but if a 5-7th grader were looking for a new one to start and liked the Riordan books, I think they might just enjoy this one.

This books gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

His & Hers

His & Hers by Alice Feeney is a psychological thriller that follows an ex husband and wife as they investigate a series of murders in a small town.

Anna Andrews is hyper focused on her job, even over family and friends. She’s finally a mainstream presenter for BBC and she finally has a measure of peace. When her lunchtime slot is taken from her, Anna’s life begins to crumple and the past she left behind comes back to haunt her, dragging her back to the one place she never wanted to return to, home.

Back on the beat, Anna is asked to report on a murder in Blackdown, the sleepy little town where she grew up. When the victum turns out to be someone she knew as a girl, Anna becomes tangled in the investigation.

Lead investigator, Jack Harper and Anna’s ex-husband, also knew the victum but decides to keep this a secret. As the evidence accumulates, Jack looks more and more guilty and the only person he can turn to is Anna.

There are two sides to every story and it’s not always clear where the lies end and the truth begins.

This is probably my least favorite of Feeney’s books. I will admit, I did not see the twist coming and kudos to Feeney because she pulls that off every time I read one of her novels. I usually love her narration and the way she tells her thrillers but this one was just really hard to get into and I didn’t really care about the characters all that much.

The biggest problem I had with this book, and it probably didn’t bother anyone else, was with the character Priya. She is obviously meant to be a suspect and as a character she definitely has some red flags but other than being a red herring, she doesn’t serve much purpose for the story. She felt like a loose end and that bothered me.

Overall, this was a mediocre read for me. It gets 3 stars.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Dawn Chorus

The Dawn Chorus by Samantha Shannon is a Bone Season novella that takes place between book 3 & 4.

After finally escaping from captivity and torture at the hands of Scion, Paige Mahoney and her ally and confidant, Arcturus Mesarthim, have hold up in a safe house in Scion Paris. But Paige has been damaged both mentally and physically and time may not be enough to bring her back from the edge.

Within the confines of the safe-house, Paige and Arcturus begin to reconnect but after weeks of following separate paths the reunion is fraught with tension and insecurity. The two must work through their differences while waiting for their contact to tell them where they must go next to continue their fight.

I don’t normally read novellas, I just don’t tend to pick them up. But the Bone Season novels are not regularly published and there has been so much time between the third and the to be released fourth book, I decided to give it a try. And I was pleased that I did.

It was nice to get back into the Bone Season world and to remember why I liked the series in the first place. It did also make me wish that the novels would come out faster than every 2-4 years. It seems like forever since I read the last one and the series may need a re-read before the next is published.

This one gets 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-