Book Review, Books

Nemesis (Tom Wilde #3) by Rory Clements

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★★★★★

Nemesis is the third book from the Tom Wilde series by Rory Clements. I haven’t read the previous two books, and I also haven’t read any books from Rory Clements before. I received this book through ReadersFirst, and I will be honest, I was quite reluctant to read it. You already know my opinion on reading sequels before reading the previous books – but I went in blind in this book.

The blue cover is simply gorgeous and I knew it was a thriller and a mystery, so I decided this was enough to get me going. If this book review ever captures your attention, I advise you to also go in blind. I think going blind made me enjoy this book even more.

The fact that this is a third book in a series doesn’t mean anything. The only similarity with the other books is the main character. Almost the same basis as Dan Brown’s series and his professor Robert Langdon. The books are entirely standalones.

It is very hard to reveal what the plot is about without spoiling the fun. Tom Wilde is a university professor and one of his very talented students, Marcus, has left to join the International Brigades in Spain. Now, two years after, he is in trouble, and Tom helps him come home.

Meanwhile, numerous things happen, involving World War 2 Politics and propaganda, and in these times, no one knows who to trust. And when Tom Wilde finds himself in great danger, who will help him? And who does he needs to be afraid from? Has maybe helping Marcus been his greatest mistake?

Nemesis is full of suspense from the very first chapter, and the thing I loved the most about it was that the chapters are quite short, and always leave you hanging, hungry to find out more. Every word that Rory Clements types had a meaning and a purpose in this book, and that was the bit I admired the most.

The time setting revolves around the Second World War – a subject I don’t often read about. I can’t judge about the historical fiction element. However I do know that while I am a person that doesn’t enjoy war books, this one struck me in a nice way. The war setting was very well written, and you could even feel the atmosphere around it. The ending was pleasantly surprising and it involved a mystery I could simply not resist.

I will definitely read more books by Rory Clements, as I really enjoy the writing. If you enjoy thrillers and if you are a fan of Dan Brown, you will probably enjoy Nemesis a lot!

Buy Links: Amazon UK * Amazon US

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Book Review, Books

The Battle of Trafalgar Square – David Winship

Goodreads 

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★★

I have this rule about books being sent to me – I try to read and review them all, because people spent time, effort and resources to write and share their works with readers. I received this book through a giveaway on LibraryThing almost a year ago, and decided it was time to give it a go. 

This being said, my readers are the most important thing in the world. My reviews simply cannot be compromised, no matter how I acquire a book.

I think I should stop babbling now, and start talking about this book.

I dived into ‘’The Battle of Trafalgar Square’ not knowing what to expect. This is a book where two pigeons are the main characters and through dialogue and presentation they share this historic battle, but from their point of view.

It is lucky that this book is only 120 pages long, because otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it. It is a boring book, where one pigeon is desperately trying to tell this story of the battle, and the other pigeon is disturbingly annoying and keeps interrupting. The second pigeon also has terrible grammar knowledge. And even though I know this is on purpose, I applaud the author for the wittiness, but couldn’t enjoy it. Some people might find this funny though, and that’s also okay.

The idea of pigeons telling a story is quite interesting and unique to me, and this is something I admire about this book (therefore, the two stars). However, the plot is unstable, and the story keeps being interrupted and delayed to a point where I started to get fed up. I also expected some more references of the actual historical moment. The only references in the book are the pigeons that were in the battle and had names of famous leaders. However, their pigeon story was not similar to our history books. I really think that keeping the story as close as possible to the real event would have made a difference in this book.

Not an enjoyable read for me, but if the plot sounds like something you might enjoy – go for it. Try it out. Your opinion is also valid!

Until next time! x

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Book Review, Books

Romanov – Nadine Brandes [BOOK REVIEW]

Goodreads 

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★★★★

From the author of Fawkes comes a magical take on the story of Anastasia Romanov.

The history books say I died. They don’t know the half of it.

Ever since I read Fawkes, I knew I loved Nadine’s writing, and when Romanov was announced, I couldn’t be happier. As I have spend my childhood and young adult life in the Balkans, whilst travelling across Europe, I have always admired Russia, and always enjoyed reading all the theories about the Romanov family.

As a child I would be told stories and fairy tales, I would watch the Disney adaptation of Anastasia, and as I was growing up, I would read history books and fiction on this very subject. When I got my hands on ‘’Romanov’’, I knew I would be up for an adventure, with lots of expectations, but what I never knew was that I would be blown away of how beautiful this book is!

This book is split into two main parts, before and after the Romanov’s execution, but it is also split into the first being the historical part, and the second being the fictional part. Both parts of the book are quite intense, and very different emotions come up to surface, but they are both very powerful throughout, and fitted together quite well.

In the first part, we are introduced to the Romanov family, and how they are kept as hostages by the Bolsheviks. It would’ve been much better if we had more details on the pre-hostage period, why the revolution began, why the king abducted the throne, who are the Bolsheviks and what they believed in. The book starts in the middle of this whole situation, and whilst I knew the beginning before, I am certain a lot of people wouldn’t have.

The history, as much accurate as it was, also had a personalized feeling that the author wanted to give. I have to admit, a lot of the details, especially around the family were quite accurate. The family did stick together and loved each other, they did have secrets and they did make friends with their captors. Anastasia’s brother did indeed had hemophilia and Rasputin was allegedly helping him. However, the author decided to put her personal feelings into the history as well. The king is presented as a wonderful leader that cares about the people. I understand that we see this story from Anastasia’s point of view, and as his daughter, she is supposed to see her father as the best figure in the world. But I still believe this part should be more objective, if not from Anastasia’s point of view, then at least by the king’s actions and dialogues. The other big element that bothered me was the portrayal of Rasputin. He is shown in this book as a family helper and a kind man, when in fact, he was far from that. In the history books, he is described as a madman, a creepy person, and the king was not happy of him coming in the house. The family’s secrecy and the queen’s silent domination over the king, together with Rasputin’s doings were the start of the revolution, and I believe that it one of the required truths that this books should have included, but didn’t. And that troubled me.

On top of this, is the Russian language used throughout this book. There were a lot of spelling errors, and misinterpretations. And whilst I can understand these words, many people can’t, and translation wasn’t provided in the book. Also, I really found this quote interesting, talking about the Russian culture, and how they don’t show emotions. Just a note – this is most of the time true, people won’t be nice to strangers, but actually, Russian people are quite friendly and emotional as well.

‘’We Russians weren’t required to share any amount of emotion we didn’t want to.’’

Apart from these few things that slightly bothered me, I really enjoyed this book. Anastasia is an amazing character, and through her we can see her love towards her family, her country, and even towards the people that wish her harm. We get to see her love, cry, be hurt, be afraid, forgive, and grow throughout the book, and her journey was magical.

‘’As I lay in the grass next to the spell that could rid me of heart pain, I realized that a part of forgiveness was accepting the things someone had done – and the pain that came with that – and moving on with love. Forgiveness was a personal battle that must always be fought in my heart.’’

I loved the beginning of the book the most. The setting was well-written, and I got the feel the same way as the Romanov family did. They tried to act as if everything was normal, when in fact, they were held captive, and moved out of their home. They weren’t allowed to go out in the garden often, and when they did have this opportunity, they enjoyed every single second of it. And they all had hope every single day. They kept smiling and stayed together.

There are number of scenes that will always stay close to my heart – the relationship between Zash and Anastasia (as unrealistic as it might be), always kept me on my toes, his desperation, and his guilt, and her ability to forgive and love regardless.

The brother’s illness, and his persistence through it. His motivation and his will to never give up. The love he holds for his family, and especially his sister Anastasia, and the toughness and not letting go. A few scenes were unrealistic with him, as I hardly believe anyone suffering from hemophilia can survive all those injuries mentioned in the book and the pools of blood, but above all – this character did achieve what he was meant to do – show hope where there is none.

A wonderful and magical tale, with a history behind it of a mysterious family, especially their end – this book brought tears on my eyes and made me think about the power of forgiveness and love. A true masterpiece.

Thank you to Nadine Brandes, for letting me be a part of her Ninja Team.

Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and NetGalley, for providing me with a complimentary ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review, Books

The Last Seven Months Of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

When I went to the library to pick up the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, I also picked up this book. I wanted to learn more about her last months, as Anne didn’t write in her diary after she was found and brought to the camps.

If you, just like me, are looking for books to help you find this info, please skip this one.

The title is completely misleading, as Anne Frank is barely mentioned in the book, and these women that claim to know her seem to not have known her at all. If I see a person on the far end of the fence, or sit together while the guards are counting us, I wouldn’t consider them a friend. Just a fellow unfortunate companion.

Don’t get me wrong – these six women, that went through all this traumatized period, and are brave enough to tell the story are worth mentioning, and are worth of great recognitions. And this book is also a great value to history of what happened in those cruel places.

But when people use a famous person’s name in order to sell a book, on such painful basis, this is beyond me to comment, so I will leave it to you to make a conclusion on your own.

Among this part, the stories of these six women were heartbreaking, and so well-described, it felt as if I was there for a moment. The things they went through and the families they lost is so sad.

I also liked the old images that were in the middle of the book. They added a real image to the words.

If you want to read more about Anne Frank – choose another book. But if you want to find out about other people’s stories from this time period – grab this book.

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Book Review, Books

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

We have all heard about or read this book. I remember reading it in high-school as a project. And since I never had written a proper book review, I decided to read it again.

I went to the library, and they only had the short Penguin version, with the most important diary entries of Anne Frank. It is only 65 pages. So, I decided to also grab another book – The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer, so I can write a full overview.

This is a diary of a young girl, and she was writing these stories during two years of hiding. Anne Frank and her family are jews and they live in The Netherlands. After the Germans invade, many people are captured and go to designated camps. A few manage to escape and go into hiding. Anne’s family hides in her father’s office.

If you are reading this diary, without knowing anything about history – this could be a happy story. These diary entries are filled with love and hope, dreams of a young girl, beliefs, opinions, descriptions of her first crush and planning a future.

But this is not a happy story. This girl doesn’t get the chance to grow up. This girl doesn’t get the chance to experience freedom, and live to get to know her grandchildren. This is a sad story of not just Anne Frank, but all these people that have gone through that painful journey.

While this book deserves to be read by every person, and this history needs to keep being told many years after us, I feel the need to make a proper book review.

This is not a well-written book, with a great plot and amazing description. So based on that, this doesn’t stand up to the standards. But this book has a meaning that makes up for all the amateur writing. After all, this was a teenager writing it, without even knowing this will someday be shared with the world.

To all of you that haven’t read it yet – I highly recommend it. If you don’t want to go with the long version, read the short Penguin one, like I did.

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